Sunday, December 08, 2019


The Making of a Scholar

Morris H. Morgan (1859-1910), Addresses and Essays (New York: American Book Company, 1910), pp. 6-7:
For you can be perfectly sure of one thing, which is that no teacher, however brilliant or learned, can make scholars of you (whether you want to be philologians or historians or geologists), if you sit passive. To use the terminology of Aristotle, the teacher can, if he is a good teacher, give you 'the how,' but he can never give you 'the what.' He can point to methods, he can 'show you the way wherein you must walk and the work that you must do,' but then he must leave you to do the work for yourselves. Scholarship cannot be melted up and poured into you, or chopped up fine and spooned into your mouths. You have to chew on it yourselves; you must become metaphorical Fletcherites and chew on it hard and long. But observe a difference: the Fletcherites do their chewing in public, and they are not a pleasant spectacle. He who would become a scholar has to chew in private; all by himself his work has to be done.
Fletcherites were followers of Horace Fletcher, "The Great Masticator," who advocated chewing food into a liquid pulp before swallowing it.

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