Friday, December 14, 2012



Aspects of Modern Oxford, by a Mere Don [i.e. A.D. Godley] (New York: Macmillan & Co., 1894), pp. 117-118:
Man comes to read me an essay. Know nothing about the subject: thought he was going to write on something else. Essay finished: must say something: try to find fault with his facts. Man confronts me with array of statistics, apparently genuine: if so nothing more to say. Criticise his grammar: man offended. Interview rather painful, till concluded by entrance of nine-thirty man with Latin prose. Rather superior young man, who considers himself a scholar. Suggest that part of his vocabulary is not according to classical usage: proves me wrong by reference to dictionary. Is not surprised to find me mistaken. Wish that Higher Education had stopped in Board Schools and not got down to undergraduates.

Man at ten, with a desire to learn. Stays till near eleven discussing his chances in the schools at great length. Presently comes to his prospects in life. Would send me to sleep if he wouldn't ask me questions.

Eleven: no more men, thank goodness.

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