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Barracks for Latinists? Grammarians’ Prison?

“Walk as children of the light”
(Ephesians 5:8)

Parents, leaders, and educators, we have a mission, a duty to lead children's souls toward the Light which will be their guide and their happiness. In order to illuminate the way that lies before each one of us, once a week we invite you to discover some of the words of certain wisemen and witnesses, measuring their worth by the words of St. Thomas Aquinas: “Do not consider the one who speaks, but whatever good you hear from him, confide it to your memory.” (from The Sixteen Ways to Acquire the Treasure of Knowledge by St. Thomas). Happy reading!

portrait dessiné - scholae fanjeaux

“Almost nothing great is done in haste.”

Jacques Bainville (1879-1936)

“October: here we are, the end of vacation. Little boys today, or at least a great number of them, no longer experience the melancholy that comes with autumn as did the little boys of my time. Boarding school is a tradition that is waning. Today’s highschool is no longer a barracks for Latinists nor a Grammarians’ prison which it still was not that long ago. The fashions no longer wish the child to be cut off from life in his family. He is spared the rigors of the refectory and dormitory, the servitude of a uniform and the discipline of school life. The free day-student, with his shiny shoes and slicked back hair, the secret object of envy of all of us unkempt boarders, was a precursor of today’s students. (…) As for me I come from a generation in which the fathers of families believed in the virtue and utility of boarding school. Perhaps they weren’t so wrong for all that. I was a boarder and I don’t regret it. (…) It was both Spartiate and Athenian at the same time, military and literary, and the beat of the drum was set by the vigorous hand of an old soldier. It often happened that the supervisor was an old non-com, and we composed latin verse and discourses under the direction of masters who believe in Cicero like you believe in God. Field trips were rare, and the outside air didn’t make it into the phalanstery. (…) Despite all these severe qualities, the highschool of my time nevertheless had whims and fancies, and it was the students who gave it these things. What a prodigious diversity! I never heard so much talk about all the nations of the world, and about the farthest and strangest countries imaginable as I did from my friends at school.”

Jacques Bainville (1879-1936)

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