Wednesday, October 05, 2016


It Nearly Finished Me

Richard Garnett Jr., "Memoir of the Late Rev. Richard Garnett," in The Philological Essays of the Late Rev. Richard Garnett of the British Museum. Edited by his Son (London: Williams and Norgate, 1859), pp. i-xvi (at ii):
Before all things, it was necessary to obtain a thorough acquaintance with Latin, of which he knew little, and with Greek, of which he knew nothing. This — as well as a competent knowledge of technical divinity and no despicable amount of Hebrew — was the work of something less than four years, much occupied with other tasks. In 1809 he quitted his father's roof to teach at the school of the Rev. Evelyn Falkner, Southwell — in 1813 he was ordained by the Archbishop of York, after an examination in which he displayed an amount of knowledge, especially Scriptural, declared by that prelate's chaplain to have surpassed every thing that, in his official capacity, had previously come under his notice. Traces of the severity of his application at Southwell survive in the mass of marginal notes that cover his books, as well as in his recorded feat of mastering the whole Iliad in a month. "I finished it," he remarked to one of his brothers, "but it nearly finished me."

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