with the labyrinth of the German writers. . . . . Certainly, for one only twenty seven or eight years old, he is a very extraordinary person. August 15.—. . . . In the evening, a grand dinner was given by the Provost and Senior Fellows of Trinity College to the Lord Lieutenant and about three hundred of the members of the Association. It was a beau finale to the splendid week Dublin has given to so many distinguished guests. We assembled in the imposing hall of Trinity Library, two hundred and eighty feet long, at six o'clock. . . . . When the company was principally assembled, I observed a little stir near the place where I stood, which nobody could explain, and which, in fact, was not comprehended by more than two or three persons present. In a moment, however, I perceived myself standing near the Lord Lieutenant and his suite, in front of whom a space had been cleared, and by whom was Professor Hamilton, looking much embarrassed. The Lord Lieutenant then called him by name, and he stepped into the vacant space. ‘I am,’ said his Excellency, ‘about to exercise a prerogative of royalty, and it gives me great pleasure to do it, on this splendid public occasion, which has brought together so many distinguished men from all parts of the empire, and from all parts even of the world, where science is held in honor. But, in exercising it, Professor Hamilton, I do not confer a distinction. I but set the royal, and, therefore, the national mark on a distinction already acquired by your genius and labors.’ He went on in this way for three or four minutes, his voice very fine, rich, and full; his manner as graceful and dignified as possible; and his language and allusions appropriate, and combined into very ample flowing sentences. Then, receiving the state sword from one of his attendants, he said, ‘Kneel down, Professor Hamilton’; and laying the blade gracefully and gently, first on one shoulder, and then on the other, he said, ‘Rise up, Sir William Rowan Hamilton.’ The knight rose, and the Lord Lieutenant then went up and, with an appearance of great tact in his manner, shook hands with him. No reply was made. The whole scene was imposing; rendered so, partly, by the ceremony itself, but more by the place in which it passed, by the body of very distinguished men who were assembled there, and especially by the extraordinarily dignified and beautiful manner in which it was performed by the Lord Lieutenant. The effect at the time was great, and the general impression was, that, as the honor was certainly merited by him who received it, so the words by which it was conferred were so
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