Sunday, January 28, 2007

"Perhaps you are lazy ..."

I'm just now memorizing this in order to respond to students:

(From The Relation of Latin to Practical Life by Frances Ellis Sabin, 1913)

Transcription (for those without graphics):


1. "It's too hard!"

Perhaps it's not so hard as you think. Perhaps you are lazy and do not like to do anything that does not immediately interest you and so calls for an effort of your will. Anyone who has had much experience in life will tell you that very few things that are really worth while come easily. Do you know Herbert Spencer's famous definition of education: "to accustom myself to do the thing I know I ought to do at the time when I ought to do it, whether I feel like doing it or not"?
Number 1 is the best of all, so we'll leave it there. I'm actually going to turn this into a poster.

One problem though: was it Herbert 'survival of the fittest' Spencer who said that, or another famed Darwinist of sorts T.H. Huxley?


Eric said...

That is fantastic. Perhaps I will print it out and hang it above my own desk to chastisingly remind myself.

Or maybe a t-shirt?

Eric said...


I think I might have found a Latin tagline you could use for your poster. I was looking in R.D. Williams' commentary on Aeneid 1-6 at 1.33 (tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem), and he quotes Donatus, who remarked (drily, in Williams' view), 'magna enim sine magno labore condi non possunt'.