Thursday, January 28, 2016


A Personal Affront

J.C. Stobart, "The Teaching of English," The Living Age, No. 3940 (January 10, 1920) 83-91 (at 90):
I write as a Pharisee of the Pharisees, brought up at the feet of Gamaliel. A man like Robert Whitelaw loved the literature of Greece and Rome with such devotion that its very forms were sacred to him. A false quantity or a false concord was to him a personal affront: it caused him physical pain. Accents and particles mattered to him and so they mattered to us. There was a right and a wrong. We did not understand why, but we knew and felt his scorn of anything careless or superficial. He read Sophocles aloud with an intensity that at first puzzled and then infected us.
We have buried our Grammarian upon his peak, fronting the sunrise. He settled hoti's business. I have heard him lecture for an hour upon the future sense of the optative with an enthusiasm that was drawn from some pure source in the depths.

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