Lectures in Classics in the 19th Century

“I had a very insufficient consciousness of my defects in Greek and Latin, and no conception at all of the immensity of the knowable in this direction. But in my ignorance of what other boys were like, I went into my first lecture with fear and trembling, expecting to find myself very far behind the rest. A college lecture in those days meant the class construing, in turns, some twenty lines of a classical text to the tutor, who corrected you when you were wrong. Of the value as intellectual gymnastic of this exercise there can be no question; the failure as education lay in the circumstance, that this one exercise was about the whole of what our teachers ever attempted to do for us.”

– Mark Pattison, Memoirs (London: Macmillan and Co. 1885) p.64

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