A CASE AGAINST NOSTALGIA
It is a rare treat to be allowed to see such a brilliant and learned letter as the one addressed to Mr. Conant protesting the recommendation in his annual report to abolish the Latin requirement for an A.B. degree. With fine generosity the authors have had their efforts printed and sent to all the officers of the University gratis (a Latin word), though with seemly modesty they use the aliases, "Harvard '22," and "Harvard '28."
There can be no doubt that the authors are profound classical scholars, for on the very first page one finds the inspiring quotation "Omnibus ad ques hae litterae pervenerint Saintem." That they are cultured they prove by the quotations from Thomas Arnold, Bacon, Kant, and Moutaigue. A cultured shudder gently ripples down their sensitive spines as they forsee the end of the liberal arts tradition in the old school. We can almost see a wistful fear dropping upon the already damp paper as they plaintively ask, "Have you considered what would be thought by the other great teachers of the past? Can you believe that many would approve?"
A strong case can be made for keeping the Latin requirement for the A.B. degree, but only by keeping our nostalgic eyes dry and considering it on its own merit as a discipline and as a literature will a wise decision be possible.