A Doorkeeper in the House of Philology

“A great teacher, one to whose living presence I owe a great deal, one whom I love to recall in his flashing prime, has said: Enthusiasm abides only in specialization. Rightly interpreted, I believe in this also. A man who simply raves about the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome is one for whom the real lover of antiquity has little respect. A man who exhausts his English vocabulary in extolling a Greek orator and mistranslates the passages that he selects for especial comment is worse than the infidel who does not believe in Greek. It is better to be a doorkeeper in the house of philology than to dwell in the tents of the rhetorician.”

-Basil L. Gildersleeve, The Channels of Life

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