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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Atlantic Essays, On an old Latin text-book. (search)
in the Arabian Nights. The epoch of vague dreams will come later; up to the age of thirteen he is a Roman or a Greek. I must honestly say that much of the modern outcry against classical studies seems to me to be (as in the case of good Dr. Jacob Bigelow) a frank hostility to literature itself, as the supposed rival of science; or a willingness (as in Professor Atkinson's case) to tolerate modern literature, while discouraging the study of the ancient. Both seem to commit the error of drawgant imbecility of classical learning. We can spare the Louvre and the Vatican, we can spare Paestum and the Pyramids, as easily as we can spare the purely literary culture from the world. And while watching the seeming death-throes of the one nation on earth which still recognizes literature as a branch of art, we need surely to make some effort to preserve the tradition of the beautiful, lest it vanish from the realm of words. Cambridge: Electrotyped and Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co.