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[4] Then what is to be done? It is the parents who should be attacked for refusing to allow their children to profit by stern discipline. To begin with they consecrate even their young hopefuls, like everything else, to ambition. Then if they are in; a hurry for the fulfilment of their vows, they drive the unripe schoolboy into the law courts, and thrust eloquence, the noblest of callings, upon children who are still struggling into the world. If they would allow work to go on step by step, so that bookish boys were steeped in diligent reading, their minds formed by wise sayings, their pens relentless in tracking down the right word, their ears giving a long hearing to pieces they wished to imitate, and if they would convince themselves that what took a boy's fancy was never fine; then the grand old style of oratory would have its full force and splendour. As it is, the boy wastes his time at school, and the young man is a laughing-stock in the courts. Worse than that, they will not admit when they are old the errors they have once imbibed at school. But pray do not think that I impugn Lucilius's rhyme1 about modesty. I will myself put my own views in a poem:

1 The allusion is not known.

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load focus Introduction (Michael Heseltine, 1913)
load focus Latin (Michael Heseltine, 1913)
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