Greek and Latin Are Luxuries

Recollections of the table-talk of Samuel Rogers : to which is added Porsoniana:

“A gentleman who, at the age of forty, wished to commence the study of Greek, asked Porson, with what books he ought to begin? Porson answered, ‘With one only – Scapula’s Lexicon; read it through from the first page to the last.’ Of the editions of that work Porson most valued the Geneva one: he said that he had found in it several things which were not in the other editions.

He recommended Gesner’s Thesaurus in preference to all Latin dictionaries.

He read a vast number of French works, and used to say, ‘If I had a son, I should endeavour to make him familiar with French and English authors, rather than with the classics. Greek and Latin are only luxuries.’

Of Italian, I apprehend, he knew little or nothing.”

Image result for painting reading classics

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