Norman Douglas (1868-1952), South Wind
(1917; rpt. London: Secker & Warburg, 1947), pp. 27-28 (Chapter IV, describing Ernest Eames):
He had taken a high degree in classics, though Greek was never much to his taste. It was 'runaway stuff'; nervous and sensuous; it opened up too many vistas, philological and social, for his positive mind to assimilate with comfort. Those particles alone—there was something ambiguous, something almost disreputable, in their jocund pliability, their readiness to lend themselves to improper uses. But Latin—ah, Latin was different! Even at his preparatory school, where he was known as a swot of the first water, he had displayed an unhealthy infatuation for that tongue; he loved its cold, lapidary construction; and while other boys played football or cricket, this withered little fellow used to lark about with a note-book, all by himself, torturing sensible English into its refractory and colourless periods and elaborating, without the help of a Gradus, those inept word-mosaics which are called Latin verses. "Good fun," he used to say, "and every bit as exciting as algebra," as though that constituted a recommendation. Often the good form-master shook his head, and enquired anxiously whether he was feeling unwell, or had secret troubles of any kind.
"Oh, no, sir," he would then reply, with a funny little laugh. "Thank you, sir. But please, sir! Would you mind telling me whether pecunia really comes from pecus? Because Adams minor (another swot) says it doesn't."
Later on, at the University, he used the English language for the sake of convenience—in order to make himself understood by Dons and Heads of Colleges. His thoughts, his dreams, were in Latin.