Lord Melbourne on Reading Latin

I began with Eutropius, then with Caesar’s Commentaries, which Lord M. said are very hard, and too hard for a beginner; then read part of Virgil, also hard, part of Ovid, which he says is very fine but very hard, and part of Horace. Said I thought I had benefited but little by what I had learnt, for that I could not construe any quotation; but Lord M. said, “Oh! Yes you have (benefited). You know that there are such books and such authors, and what they are about.”

—Queen Victoria, diary entry, 10 October 1838

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