Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Classical Enthusiasm

Benjamin Disraeli, Vivian Grey, chapter XIV, note:
I must exceedingly regret, that such an authority as the Quarterly Review, and so strenuous an advocate for "keeping our pure well of English undefiled," as this Quarterly Reviewer, should interlard his sentences with the tritest Latin quotations, with a classical enthusiasm worthy of a very young schoolboy, or a very ancient schoolmaster.
Disraeli refers to "Novels of Fashionable Life (Tremaine, Matilda, Granby)," Quarterly Review, Vol. XXXIII, No. LXVI (March 1826) 474-490. According to Myron F. Brightfield, "Lockhart's Quarterly Contributors," PMLA 59.2 (June 1944) 491-512 (at 492), the Quarterly Reviewer was William Stewart Rose.

I owe the quotation from Vivian Grey to Henry Hitchings, The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), p. 281.

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