Monday, January 27, 2020


Replacement of Liberal Arts by STEM Subjects

Edward Littleton (1698-1733), "A Letter from Cambridge to a young Gentleman at Eton School," lines 35-56, in A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands, Vol. VI. (London: Printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763), pp. 290-294 (at 291-292):
No more majestic Virgil's heights,        35
Nor tow'ring Milton's loftier flights,
Nor courtly Flaccus's rebukes,
Who banters vice with friendly jokes,
Nor Congreve's life, nor Cowley's fire,
Nor all the beauties that conspire        40
To place the greenest bays upon
Th' immortal brows of Addison;
Prior's inimitable ease,
Nor Pope's harmonious numbers please;
Homer indeed (for critics shew it)        45
Was both philosopher, and poet,
But tedious philosophic chapters
Quite stifle my poetic raptures,
And I to Phoebus bade adieu
When first I took my leave of you.        50

Now algebra, geometry,
Arithmetic, astronomy,
Optics, chronology, and statics,
All tiresome parts of mathematics;
With twenty harder names than these        55
Disturb my brain, and break my peace.

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