Monday, September 29, 2008



Samuel Parr (1747-1825) to Edmund Henry Barker (1788-1839), as recalled by William Maltby (1763–1854), in Alexander Dyce, ed., Recollections of the Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers, to which is added Porsoniana, 2nd ed. (London: Edward Moxon, 1856), p. 317:
You have read a great deal, you have thought very little, and you know nothing.
That reminds me of Schopenhauer's remarks on reading:
Reading is thinking with some one else's head instead of one's own. To think with one's own head is always to aim at developing a coherent whole — a system, even though it be not a strictly complete one; and nothing hinders this so much as too strong a current of others' thoughts, as comes of continual reading.
Among the fruits of Barker's extensive reading is his article "On the Howling of Dogs," The Classical Journal, Vol. V, No. IX (1812) 73-75, a fitting title for a scholar named Barker.

For more on Barker see M.L. Clarke, Greek Studies in England 1700-1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1945), pp. 94-96, my source for most of the above.

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