JOHN J. CHAPMAN ATTACKS ABOLITION OF CLASSICS
Deplores Action of Colleges Which Did Away With Latin and Greek Examinations.
In an article entitled "A New Menace to Education", which is appearing in a current magazine, John Jay Chapman '84, attacks the new plan of several American colleges of abolishing Latin and Greek as entrance requirements. He makes a strong defense of the classics as an essential part of University education, and makes a particularly effective plea for the continuance f Latin.
"Any boy with good teaching could learn enough Latin in six months to get into an American college", says Mr. Chapman, "and just this amount, this little smattering of latin, is enough to make the whole difference in any man's outlook upon civilization. This bonus bona, bonum' makes French and Spanish and Italian easy to him. It puts him at home in half the words of the English language. Almost everything an educated man has to do with is tinged with 'bonus, bona, bonum'."
"And now our Universities have decided that the Latin phrase-book is too hard for the American brain. It is difficult and unnecessary. The real reason that our Universities are throwing over Latin is that Latin has been badly taught, and it is easier to throw Latin over than to bring in good teaching. But what a calamitous state for the learned to be in!"
"The nature of education cannot be changed by the action of any American College Boards", concludes Mr. Chapman, "and it is certain that if we are hereafter to produce poets, writers, and thinkers, their power will be drawn from the same sources that have fed the poets, the writers and the thinkers of the past. It cannot be otherwise.
"I have a fait that nature will always produce the scholar. Not only will the tradition of him be continued in families, but--and this is certain--new schools will be started to meet the deficiencies of our colleges, and minister to the deeper needs of the age, now that the colleges are shutting up shop."