Friday, September 23, 2016

Plutarch comments on things, words, and learning languages

"But I my selfe that dwell in a poore litle towne, and yet doe remayne there willingly least it should become lesse : whilest I was in Italy, and at Rome, I had no leysure to study and exercise the Latine tongue, as well for the great busines I had then to doe, as also to satisfie them that came to learne Philosophie of me : so that even somewhat too late, and now in my latter time, I began to take my Latine bookes in my hand. And thereby, a straunge thing to tell you, but yet true : I learned not, nor understood matters so much by the words, as I came to understand the words, by common experience and knowledge I had in things. But furthermore, to knowe howe to pronownce the Latin tongue well, or to speake it readily, or to understand the signification, translations, and fine joyning of the simple words one with another, which doe bewtifie and set forth the tongue : surely I judge it to be a marvailous pleasant and sweete thing, but withall it requireth a long and laborsome study, meete for those that have better leysure then I have, and that have young yeares on their backes to follow such pleasure."  ~~ Plutarch, Life of Demosthenes