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8. Reading remains for consideration. In this connexion there is much that can only be taught in actual practice, as for instance when the boy should take breath, at what point he should introduce a pause into a line, where the sense ends or begins, when the voice should be raised or lowered, what modulation should be given to each phrase, and when he should increase or slacken speed, or speak with greater or less energy. [2] In this portion of my work I will give but one golden rule: to do all these things, he must understand what he reads. But above all his reading must be manly, combining dignity and charm; it must be different from the reading of prose, for poetry is song and poets claim to be singers. But this fact does not justify degeneration into sing-song or the effeminate modulations now in vogue: there is an excellent saying on this point attributed to Gaius Caesar while he was still a boy: “If you are singing, you sing badly: if you are reading, you sing.” [3] Again I do not, like some teachers, wish character as revealed by speeches to be indicated as it is by the comic actor, though I think that there should be some modulation of the voice to distinguish such passages from those where the poet is speaking in person. [4] There are other points where there is much need of instruction: above all, unformed minds which are liable to be all the more deeply impressed by what they learn in their days of childish [p. 149] ignorance, must learn not merely what is eloquent; it is even more important that they should study what is morally excellent.

[5] It is therefore an admirable practice which now prevails, to begin by reading Homer and Vergil, although the intelligence needs to be further developed for the full appreciation of their merits: but there is plenty of time for that since the boy will read them more than once. In the meantime let his mind be lifted by the sublimity of heroic verse, inspired by the greatness of its theme and imbued with the loftiest sentiments. [6] The reading of tragedy also is useful, and lyric poets will provide nourishment for the mind, provided not merely the authors be carefully selected, but also the passages from their works which are to be read. For the Greek lyric poets are often licentious and even in Horace there are passages which I should be unwilling to explain to a class. Elegiacs, however, more especially erotic elegy, and hendecasyllables, which are merely sections of Sotadean verse1 (concerning which latter I need give no admonitions), should be entirely banished, if possible; if not absolutely banished, they should be reserved for pupils of a less impressionable age. As to comedy, whose contribution to eloquence may be of no small importance, [7] since it is concerned with every kind of character and emotion, I will shortly point out in its due places what use can in my opinion be made of it in the education of boys. As soon as we have no fear of contaminating their morals, it should take its place among the subjects which it is specially desirable to read. I speak of Menander, though I would not exclude others. For Latin authors will also be of some service. [8] But the [p. 151] subjects selected for lectures to boys should be those which will enlarge the mind and provide the greatest nourishment to the intellect. Life is quite long enough for the subsequent study of those other subjects which are concerned with matters of interest solely to learned men. But even the old Latin poets may be of great value, in spite of the fact that their strength lies in their natural talent rather than in their art: above all they will contribute richness of vocabulary: for the vocabulary of the tragedians is full of dignity, while in that of the comedians there is a certain elegance and Attic grace. [9] They are, too, more careful about dramatic structure than the majority of moderns, who regard epigram as the sole merit of every kind of literary work. For purity at any rate and manliness, if I may say so, we must certainly go to these writers, since to-day even our style of speaking is infected with all the faults of modern decadence. [10] Finally we may derive confidence from the practice of the greatest orators of drawing upon the early poets to support their arguments or adorn their eloquence. [11] For we find, more especially in the pages of Cicero, but frequently in Asinius and other orators of that period, quotations from Ennius, Accius, Pacuvius, Lucilius, Terence, Caecilius and others, inserted not merely to show the speaker's learning, but to please his hearers as well, since the charms of poetry provide a pleasant relief from the severity of forensic eloquence. [12] Such quotations have the additional advantage of helping the speaker's case, for the orator makes use of the sentiments expressed by the poet as evidence in support of his own statements. But while my earlier remarks have special application to the education of boys, those which I have just made [p. 153] apply rather to persons of riper years; for the love of letters and the value of reading are not confined to one's schooldays, but end only with life.

[13] In lecturing the teacher of literature must give attention to minor points as well: he will ask his class after analysing a verse to give him the parts of speech and the peculiar features of the feet which it contains: these latter should be so familiar in poetry as to make their presence desired even in the prose of oratory. He will point out what words are barbarous, what improperly used, and what are contrary to the laws of language. [14] He will not do this by way of censuring the poets for such peculiarities, for poets are usually the servants of their metres and are allowed such licence that faults are given other names when they occur in poetry: for we style them metaplasms,2 schematisms and schemata,3 as I have said, and make a virtue of necessity. Their aim will rather be to familiarise the pupil with the artifices of style and to stimulate his memory. [15] Further in the elementary stages of such instruction it will not be unprofitable to show the different meanings which may be given to each word. With regard to glossemala, that is to say words not in common use, the teacher must exercise no ordinary diligence, [16] while still greater care is required in teaching all the tropes4 which are employed for the adornment more especially of poetry, but of oratory as well, and in making his class acquainted with the two sorts of schemata or figures known as figures of speech and figures of thought.5

1 One form of Sotadean is ZZZ The Hendecasyllable runs ZZZ,= the Sotadean minus the first three syllables. Both metres were frequently used for indecent lampoons. For Sotades see index.

2 The formation of cases of nouns and tenses of verbs from a non-existent nom. or pres.: or more generally any change in the forms of a word.

3 schematismus and schemata both seem to mean the same, sc. figures.

4 See Book VIII. chap. vi.

5 See Book

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