Pleasure Even In Caesar

Leonard Woolf, Sowing:

There was a good deal to be said for Mr. Floyd’s system, for, when I went to school, I found I was quicker than most boys in manipulating figures in simple arithmetic. He had also taught me to sit still and be silent on occasions, a rare accomplishment in a boy of ten. He taught me more than this. He had, I think, a genuine, if somewhat eccentric, passion for literature and he made one feel, even at that early age, that the books which we read with him— even Caesar’s De Bello Gallico— had something pleasurable in them, and were not merely instruments of educational torture. I have in my time been subjected, in the name of education, to so much mental torture, particularly the torture of the boredom of being taught by bored teachers, that I am grateful to Mr. Floyd for having made me dimly aware at the age of ten that lessons— things of the mind— could be exciting and even amusing.

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