of bondage, he resolved to commit suicide, but was diverted from his project by the good advice of his master who, by sending him to travel in Sicily, gave a more salutary direction to his thoughts. From this time forward, the ascendancy of Plotinus fiver Porphyry was complete. The latter became a devoted adherent and able advocate of the Alexandrian philosophy. He wrote a highly eulogistic biography of Plotinus, and superintended with much care the arrangement and publication of his works.—(See Plotinus.) On the death of Plotinus in 270, Porphyry became the head of the Alexandrian school of philosophy at Rome. Besides the life of Plotinus, he wrote a work, "On Abstinence from Animal Food." In those days there were total abstainers from flesh, just as in these there are total abstainers from wine. His other compositions are—a "Life of Pythagoras," which is largely interspersed with the fabulous; "Starting-points leading to the Intelligible;" "The Cave of the Nymphs," as described in the Odyssey; "A Letter to the Egyptian priests of Anubis" on the gift of prophecy. The most useful and intelligible, and best known of his writings, is the treatise "On the Five Predicables," which is frequently printed as an introduction to the Organon or logical works of Aristotle. The arbor Porphyriana, in which genus and difference are laid out as constitutive of species, is known to every student of logic. Many of the writings of Porphyry have perished, and among them a violent attack on the christian religion, which excited much controversy in its day. To this work the wide-spread celebrity of Porphyry in his own day was mainly due; and the tradition of the powerful impression which it made, and of the rejoinders which it called forth, has been instrumental in keeping his name alive down to the present time. It was publicly burnt by the orders of the Emperor Theodosius II. in 435; and only a few fragments of it remain, preserved in the writings of the early fathers of the church. In the extant writings of Porphyry there is not much that is original. He is little more than a commentator on Plotinus; it is therefore unnecessary to characterize his compositions further than by saying that they echo faithfully, and sometimes emphatically, the tones, frequently rather inarticulate, of the older sage. Their general tenor, like that of all the other philosophers of this school, is mystical and obscure. What they chiefly inculcate is a fantastical pietism consisting in an ecstatic union of the human soul with the divine reason, or with something still more transcendant and ineffable. Porphyry relates that Plotinus had succeeded four times in effecting this mystical union; but that he himself, in his considerably longer life, had succeeded only once. The morality which these philosophers enjoined was an ascetism and mortification of the flesh, which bordered on insanity, and which was practically carried considerably beyond the border by the Indian gymnosophists and by numberless Egyptian fanatics, of whom Simeon Stylites (although he appeared at a somewhat later period) may be accepted as a prominent example. Porphyry died at Rome in 306.—J. F. F.
PORPORA, Nicolo, a musician, the celebrated pupil of Alessandro Scarlatti, was born at Naples in 1689, and died in the same city in 1707. He is said to have composed fifty operas, besides sacred music, most of which were highly esteemed in their time. Perhaps the art is more indebted to Porpora for having polished and refined recitative and measured air, than for enriching it by the fertility of his invention. He was particularly distinguished as a singing-master. Farinelli, Mingotti, Caffarelli, and many other theatrical singers, were amongst the number of his pupils.—E. F. R.
PORPORATI, Carlo Antonio, a celebrated Italian engraver, was born at Turin in 1740. He studied engraving at Paris under Beauvarlet, and afterwards under J. G. Wille, but formed a style of his own—clear in line, pure in drawing, true and graceful in colour and expression, but deficient in strength and vigour. His Jupiter and Leda, Leda and the Swan, and Madonna with the Rabbit, after Correggio, are among his best prints. Porporati worked for some time in Paris, and was elected a member of the French Academy, but afterwards settled in Turin, where he died in 1816.—J. T-e.
PORSENA or PORSENNA, Lars, king of Clusium in Etruria, appears in Roman history as attempting the restoration of the banished Tarquinius Superbus. He is said to have occupied the Janiculum, 506 B.C., but to have been prevented from crossing the Tiber by the courage of Horatius Coeles. He then tried to reduce the city by famine, but it was saved by the self-sacrifice of another Roman youth, C. Mucins, who penetrated to the Etruscan camp with the design of murdering Porsena, but in ignorance of his person killed the royal secretary instead. When brought before the king he thrust his right hand into the fire on the altar (hence his cognomen Scævola, left-handed) to show his contempt of pain. Struck by his heroism, Porsena released him. Mucius then told him that three hundred Roman youths, besides himself, had sworn to take his life. This led Porsena to make peace with the Romans, on condition of their surrendering the lands won from Veii, and giving twenty hostages, who, however, were afterwards released through the bold venture of Clœlia. Such is Livy's story (ii., 9-15). It is probable, however, that Rome was really conquered by Porsena, as is stated by Tacitus (Histories, iii., 72), and that this conquest was part of a general outburst of the Etruscans on Latimn, which was checked by their defeat at Aricia under Aruns, Porsena's son (Livy, ii., 16). Lars was the common title given to Etruscan kings. The penultimate of the name Porsena is lengthened by Virgil (Æn., viii., 646), shortened by Martial (Epig., xiv., 98).— G.
PORSON, Richard, the eminent critic, was born on the 25th December, 1759, at East Ruston, Norfolk, and was the eldest son of Huggin Porson, the parish clerk, and a weaver by trade. The boy was put to the loom as soon as he was able to work. He got his earliest tuition at a school in Ruston and at one in the neighbouring village of Happisburgh, where he acquired that very beautiful handwriting which he retained through life, and where his fondness for arithmetic and his prodigious memory began to display themselves. The curate of East Ruston was attracted to the boy, and voluntarily took charge of his education. Mr. Norris, founder of the Norrisian professorship at Cambridge, then became patron of the "heavy-looking youth," and on being satisfied of his proficiency, after an examination by the Greek professor and two tutors of Trinity, provided for the "unwinning cub's" being sent to Eton, which he entered in August, 1774. He did not shine at Eton, though he wrote some dramas for juvenile performance. His mind, however, received that bias which led to those studies in which he afterwards rose to such eminence. Porson remained four years at Eton, and through the kindness of Sir George Baker (Mr. Norris having died in 1777) he entered Trinity college, Cambridge, in October, 1778. In 1780 he was elected a scholar of the college, and in the following year he became Craven university scholar, and soon after obtained the first chancellor's medal. In 1782 he graduated as third senior optime, and the same year was chosen a fellow of Trinity. It was the study of Toup's Longinus, Bentley's Phalaris, and Dawes' Miscellanea Critica that directed and confirmed his critical tendencies. At this period of his career he began to write in Maty's Review—his first paper being a critique on Schutz's Æschylus, and he continued his similar contributions for the four following years, the most noted of them being a review of Brunck's Aristophanes. He had also turned his attention to criticism, and corresponded with Ruhnken on the subject, showing at the early age of twenty-three that felicitous tact which succeeded so marvellously in restoring difficult and lost readings. In 1787 appeared in the Gentleman s Magazine his letters on Hawkins' Life of Johnson, so full of caustic humour in their quiet but effective exposure of the faults and affectations of the biography, by the imitation of not a few of them. In the same magazine appeared also the famous "Letters to Travis on the Three Witnesses." The dispute was as to the genuineness of these words—"In heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one; and there are three that bear witness on earth," 1 John v., 7-8. The clauses had been ground of controversy before. They are found in no Greek MS. of any age or value—in none before the fifteenth century. They are wanting too in the ancient versions, though they are found in the Vulgate codices after the eighth century. They are quoted by no Greek father, even during the Arian controversy. Luther never admitted them, nor Erasmus in his first two editions. Gibbon had recently come out in his own style against the passage, and Archdeacon Travis—a person with little qualification for such an attempt—had written in its defence. The book, as directed against such a sceptic and in vindication, as was thought, of a primary doctrine, was popular with many. Porson exposes its blunders with no ordinary power and sagacity, and with overwhelming argument and erudition maintains his point—yea, with unsparing invective holds up