Quotation by Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield, 4th Earl

I am not of the opinion generally entertained in this country [England], that man lives by Greek and Latin alone; that is, by knowing a great many words of two dead languages, which nobody living knows perfectly, and which are of no use in the common intercourse of life. Useful knowledge, in my opinion, consists of modern languages, history, and geography; some Latin may be thrown into the bargain, in compliance with custom, and for closet amusement.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Nov. 5, 1769, Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl, Esq, 5th ed., vol. IV, p. 282, London (1774).

This letter was written to his son's widow on the subject of the education of his two grandsons. An accomplished classicist himself, and a frequent quoter of Horace, Chesterfield nonetheless believed in the greater utility of learning modern languages for practical purposes.
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