21 FEBRUARY 1987, Page 27

Pitt and Rossini

Sir: All academic pedants, of course, take great pleasure in spotting howlers; so I hope you will allow this (retired) academic pedant to point out two in your issue of 14 February.

Dr Rowse ('Some chance for a Chancel- lor') alleges that the younger Pitt went to Trinity College, Cambridge. In reality, he went to Pembroke. And Mr Graham Greene (Letters) grievously misquotes his favourite Browning. Bishop Blougram's Rossini did not sit 'silent' in his stall. He sat `patient' — a much richer epithet, evoking as it does a calm acceptance of audiences' silliness.