To the well-known passage in Childe Harold on Soracte and the "Latian echoes" he appends a prose comment, which preserves its interest as hearing on recent educational controversies:--"I wish to express that we become tired of the task before we can comprehend the beauty; that we learn by rote, before we get by heart; that the freshness is worn away, and the future pleasure and advantage deadened and destroyed, at an age when we can neither feel nor understand the power of composition, which it requires an acquaintance with life, as well as Latin and Greek, to relish or to reason upon.... In some parts of the continent young persons are taught from common authors, and do not read the best classics till their maturity."
We understand these things far better to-day than did those monsters of erudition in the sixteenth century who studied the classics for philological purposes mainly.
He said that, knowing the Senior Classics he did, himself a Senior Classic!
After leaving the university Arnold first taught the classics at Rugby; then, in 1847, he became private secretary to Lord Lansdowne, who appointed the young poet to the position of inspector of schools under the government.
for whom was published the Delphine Classics (1661-1711).
The author was Bishop Poore of Salisbury, according to Morton, who first edited this old classic in 1853.
Mrs. Barbauld's stuff has banished all the old classics of the nursery; and the shopman at Newberry's hardly deigned to reach them off an old exploded corner of a shelf, when Mary asked for them.
Neither of them wanted the venerable classics.
In the "Defense of Poesie" Sidney upholds the classics and ridicules the too ambitious scope of the English drama.
He loved to study and translate the classics.
In June, 1853, they were grouped together under the title of "Cranford," meeting with wide approval, and have long taken rank as one of the accepted English classics.
They swallow their classics whole, and never taste them.
He even essayed to sing the old-timer's classic, "The Juice of the Forbidden Fruit," but broke down and drowned his embarrassment in another round of drinks.
She was amazed to find there, instead of the accustomed orchestra, a pipe-organ that panted and throbbed and rumbled over lugubrious classics.
I shall be glad of the opportunity of rubbing up my classics a little; I have been neglecting them rather lately, and actually got into a mess over a passage in Aristophanes that I shall ask you to clear up."
To one who can repeat the Five Classics without stumbling this is a contemptible achievement.
So he proposed the classics; and the youth Caught at the offer; and for many a night, When others lay and lost themselves in sleep, He groped his way with lexicon and rule, Through ancient deeds embalmed in Latin old, Or poet-woods alive with gracious forms; Wherein his knowledge of the English tongue (Through reading many books) much aided him-- For the soul's language is the same in all.
For sixteen more years, during which he worked upon and produced immortal classics of biology, he was the most wretched and unhappy sufferer from neurasthenia.
Therefore it is that I seek to rouse an interest, beyond the limits of Oxford, in preserving classics as an essential feature of a University education.
The poet as well as the novelist acquired her learning because of her thirst for knowledge, and mainly by her own efforts; but she preferred the classics to science, and literature to philosophy.
I am merely a rank plagiarist--for the rhyme, on the fame of which I have rioted for a glorious week, was two lines of Pope's, an author so effectually forgotten in these palmy days of literature, in which all knowledge seems so condensed into the productions of the last few years, that a man might almost pass off an entire classic for his own, without the fear of detection.
More might have been added, and some taken away; but they had in them a world of instruction and illumination which children miss who read too exclusively those books written with rigid determination down to their level, neglecting certain old classics for which we fondly believe there are no substitutes.
There is no way of attaining a vital catholic taste in literature so good as to begin by mastering some difficult beautiful classic, by devoting ourselves in the ardent receptive period of youth to one or two masterpieces which will serve as touchstones for us in all our subsequent reading.
From three to six he attended a "dame" school; and from six till nine (when his father died and left the family destitute) he was in his father's school, learning the classics, reading an enormous quantity of English books, avoiding novels, and delighting in cumbrous theological and metaphysical treatises.
Probably Sheridan could not at any time have quoted a whole passage of Greek on the spur of the moment; but it is certain that he had not kept up his classics, and at the time in question must have forgotten the little he ever knew of them.
The name of Helen frequently recurs in his youthful verses, "The Paean," now first included in his poetical works, refers to her; and to her he inscribed the classic and exquisitely beautiful stanzas beginning "Helen, thy beauty is to me."
Partly because of this high ideal of poetry, partly because he studied and unconsciously imitated the Greek classics and the best works of the Elizabethans, Keats's last little volume of poetry is unequaled by the work of any of his contemporaries.
The parodies of Martin Scriblerus had not yet consigned to ridicule the verbal criticism, and solemn trifling, with which the ancient schoolmen pretended to illustrate the classics.
The driver was pumping on his brakes continually, no doubt keeping time to some Country Christmas Hit Classic.
Angling is the only sport that boasts the honour of having given a classic to literature.
I find him perpetually haunted by a ridiculous fear that boys will "do something," and in his terror seeking whatever is dull and unstimulating and tiring in intellectual work, clipping their reading, censoring their periodicals, expurgating their classics, substituting the stupid grind of organised "games" for natural, imaginative play, persecuting loafers--and so achieving his end and turning out at last, clean-looking, passively well-behaved, apathetic, obliterated young men, with the nicest manners and no spark of initiative at all, quite safe not to "do anything" for ever.
Footnote 16: In reference to his editing the six Classics of his time.
They degrade the classics into authorities.
It is the purpose of this little volume to inquire into the reasons why he is still justly counted a classic, and whether he has not, as Tennyson said of him, "a world of his own," still rich in interest and in profit for the explorer.
He does no more than all schools have done, copy their own masters; as the Greek epicists and Virgil copied Homer; as all succeeding Latin epicists copied Virgil; as Italians copied Ariosto and Tasso; as every one who can copies Shakespeare; as the French school copied, or thought they copied, "The Classics," and as a matter of duty used to justify any bold image in their notes, not by its originality, but by its being already in Claudian, or Lucan, or Virgil, or Ovid; as every poetaster, and a great many who were more than poetasters, twenty years ago, used to copy Scott and Byron, and as all poetasters now are copying the very same models as Mr. Smith, and failing while he succeeds.
Then, too, the book contains allegories, such as that of the Pilgrim's Progress, Christendom's greatest religious classic next to the Bible itself, and those of some of Andersen's Tales.
When, after the holocaust of books, it was desired to collect the ancient classics again, texts were found under strange circumstances in the walls of Confucius's house; they were written in an archaic script.
The sermon that would send him to sleep had never been written, at all events by his favourite theologian, whose sermons he read every Sunday afternoon, and annotated with that same loving appreciation and careful pencil with which a scholar annotates some classic; so true is it that it is we who dignify our occupations, not they us.
G. Montgomery.--A good fellow is one who abhors moralists and mathematics, and adores the classics and Caroline Mowbray.
He learned rapidly, absorbed the classics as if by intuition, and, dissatisfied with ordinary processes of learning, seems to have sought, like Faustus, the acquaintance of spirits, as shown in his "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty": While yet a boy, I sought for ghosts, and sped Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin, And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing Hopes of high talk with the departed dead.