It is to be hoped that there are a few people who look upon it as a
problem why philologists should be the teachers of our noblest youths.
Perhaps the case will not be always so--It would be much more natural
_per se_ if our children were instructed in the elements of geography,
natural science, political economy, and sociology, if they were
gradually led to a consideration of life itself, and if finally, but
much later, the most noteworthy events of the past were brought to their
knowledge. A knowledge of antiquity should be among the last subjects
which a student would take up; and would not this position of antiquity
in the curriculum of a school be more honourable for it than the present
one?--Antiquity is now used merely as a propaedeutic for thinking,
speaking, and writing; but there was a time when it was the essence of
earthly knowledge, and people at that time wished to acquire by means of
practical learning what they now seek to acquire merely by means of a
detailed plan of study--a plan which, corresponding to the more advanced
knowledge of the age, has entirely changed.
Thus the inner purpose of philological teaching has been entirely
altered; it was at one time material teaching, a teaching that taught
how to live, but now it is merely formal.
- -- Friedrich Nietzsche