Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

scrutinise with a very wary eye all the rest that he 
I may mention a ludicrous but discreditable 
incident at a meeting of the Geographical Section of 
the British Association, which the timely reference of 
a paper before it was allowed to be read might 
perhaps have prevented. It was in Cambridge in 
1862. Sir Roderick Murchison had been nominated 
as President of the Section, but fell ill just before the 
meeting, and I was nominated and elected in his stead. 
Mr. W., a Fellow of King’s College, had been 
entrusted with the MSS of a recently deceased 
Oriental Professor, including a memoir on the inscrip¬ 
tion upon a stone near Aberdeen. It was well known 
to antiquarians, and had long puzzled them ; the 
Professor declared it to be Phenician. The title of 
the Geographical Section then included the already 
obsolete words “and Philology,” so it was technically 
correct that the paper should be read there. Mr. W. 
called on me, most desirous, as he said, for the honour 
of the Association that a paper by so distinguished 
a University Professor should be read before it. I 
demurred, saying that it was doubtful whether a single 
member of the Committee knew a word of Phenician, 
or were able to discuss its merits. In reply to the 
question whether that language was really sufficiently 
well understood to justify a translation, he assured me 
it was, and mentioned two great works in German, of 
which I knew nothing, in proof. I still hesitated, 
but said that if the Committee should agree to accept 
the communication, I would offer no objection, and 
they did agree, under the spell of Mr. W.’s eloquence ; 
so the paper was accepted.


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