Thirst For Knowledge


To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

There was recently inserted in your columns a lamentable sort of editorial concerned with the two criticisms of the President's Report published in the latest "Harvard Advocate."

The quasi-criticism in the editorial provokes the memory of that instance in which Johnson, asked by Boswell whether or not he "really thought a knowledge of Greek and Latin an essential requisite to a good (sic) education," answered: "Most certainly, Sir; for those who know them have a very great advantage over those who do not. Nay, Sir, it is wonderful what a difference learning makes upon people even in the common intercourse of life, which does not appear to be much connected with it.

"And yet (said Boswell) people go through the world and carry on the business of life to good advantage, without learning, Johnson. Why, Sir, that may be true in cases where learning cannot possibly be of any use; (In the CRIMSON?) for instance this boy rows us as well without learning as if he could sing the song of the Argonauts. . . ."

He then called to the boy, "What would you give, my lad, to know about the Argonauts?"


"Sir, (said the boy) I would give what I have."

For this he had a double fare.

Then Dr. Johnson said, "Sir, a desire for knowledge is the natural feeling of mankind; and every human being, whose mind is not debauched (!) will be willing to give all that he has to get knowledge." James LeB. Boyle '36.