Thursday, April 07, 2005



Samuel Johnson, quoted in Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, year 1780:
Greek, sir, is like lace; every man gets as much of it as he can.
Recollections of the Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers, to which is added Porsoniana (New York, 1856), p. 300:
At the house of the same gentleman I introduced Cogan to Porson, saying, "This is Mr. Cogan, who is passionately fond of what you have devoted yourself to, -- Greek."

Porson replied, "If Mr. Cogan is passionately fond of Greek, he must be content to dine on bread and cheese for the rest of his life."
Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, chapter 31:
Latin and Greek are great humbug; the more people know of them the more odious they generally are.
George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara, Act I:
UNDERSHAFT. Never mind me, my dear. As you know, I am not a gentleman; and I was never educated.

LOMAX [encouragingly] Nobody'd know it, I assure you. You look all right, you know.

CUSINS. Let me advise you to study Greek, Mr Undershaft. Greek scholars are privileged men. Few of them know Greek; and none of them know anything else; but their position is unchallengeable. Other languages are the qualifications of waiters and commercial travellers: Greek is to a man of position what the hallmark is to silver.

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