28 JANUARY 1905, Page 31


SIR,—I have just received a letter from one of the few survivors of Professor Conington's intimates which contains an anecdote resting on the Professor's authority. My corre- spondent, after giving his own version of the multiform stanza relating to the floorer of port and porter, goes on to say of that unexemplary student :—

" A characteristic anecdote about him is, that travelling by rail and wishing to smoke, he found he had no matches. The remedy was simple; he broke with his stick the glass bell beneath the oil-lamp, and so got a light from the flame. Un- luckily, the lamp being, as I remember them, between two compartments, and the glass holding some overflow of oil, the oil ran down the back of a lady in the next compartment. She complained, and I suppose the delinquent had to pay up."

Here is an epigram of Mansel's which was reported to me by one of his kinsfolk. During the craze for electro-biology which sprang up, I think, in the " fifties," Mansel took up a

disc and stared at it for some time without success. "I give up," he said, "the didici a disco of the Latin grammar; for I can learn nothing from the disc." Was it Mansel or Osborne Gordon who nicknamed the authors of " Essays and Reviews" Sapient contra Christum ?—I am, Sir, &c., LIONEL A. TOLLEMACHE.