MR. BALDWIN AND THE CLASSICS [To the Editor of the
Sra,—May I, in all humility, commend to the attention of your readers one aspect of the subject so admirably handled by the Prime Minister-I mean the study of the Classics in later life ? I count it among the best of God's gifts that I have been able, like Browning, to return to Greek and Latin in my closing years. On Sundays I give my free time to the Classics, and pass a couple of hours or more with them--a recreation and companionship worthy of the day. Then I tread again the familiar fields, and if I sometimes limp a little, why there is Loeb—whose name be blessed for evermore—to .lend , a steadying hand. May I give just one hint besides? Always keep a volume or two within arm's reach when you are smoking an idle cigarette before your study fire.
It is indeed true, as Stevenson says, that to the Englishman who holds communion with those august and severe masters of the mind, there come not so much visions of the Sabine hills or the forests of Etna or the bay of Salamis, as memories of English names and places and of the haunts of his own boy- hood. For the Spirit of the Classics has passed into the blood of the race. In the golden days, whatever we thought of them, they filled a large arc in our horizon. We read them at school and we read them at College : we got them by heart : we learned to seize and keep the haunting epithet and the unforgettable or untransmittable phrase : we copied them in our own ambitious periods and flamboyant verse, and were highly pleased. And now the old lines come back to us with all their charm, and with something in them besides, which was not there then. Or is it perhaps something in ourselves which the years and the spirits of the great past have wrought and set there, so that we see life with different eyes, and all its lines are softer and its colours more subdued, and there are undertones in the air, which we never caught before ? However that may be, to the man who comes back to them, when his day is drawing in, the kings of thought tower up like the giants of the Oberland in the evening sky, and he understands now, if he never did before, what it has meant to him that he was once for all and at a price made free of the Court of the Immortals.—I am, Sir, &c., Haddiscoe Rectory, Norwich. NORTON G. LAWSON.