As everyone knows, the poet was also a professor, and one of the first authorities on the old Pagan literature. I cherish a story about him which happens to concern this double character of the classical and the poetical. It may be a familiar story; it may be a false story. It describes the start of an after-dinner speech he made at Trinity, Cambridge; and whoever made it or invented it had a superb sense of style.
`This great College, of this ancient University, has seen some strange sights. It has seen Wordsworth drunk and Porson sober. And here am I, a better poet than Porson, and a better scholar than Wordsworth, [somewhere] betwixt and between.'
From G. K. Chesterton, Autobiography (1936), p. 283.
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