Friday 29 October 2010

Rave review

In this stupendous work, we scarcely know which to admire most - 
the extensive erudition, or the unwearied, 
we might say super-human, labour of its author.
Dr P. may well exclaim, with the Roman bard,
'Momentum exegi aere perennius.'
Dr Johnson's great Dictionary, in four volumes, 
cost not one tenth the pains and research that
 Dr. P's Pentaglot must have done.
Dr P. will not be rewarded during his life-time, 
for the labour he has undergone
 and the wear and tear of mind and body 
which he must have experienced in the construction of a book,
 that might be considered a hard task for a long life of
 literary drudgery in the study,
 free from every other avocation or pursuit. 
What, then, must have been the destructive toil 
by the midnight lamp, stolen from rest and sleep, 
during the compilation of this 
immense cyclopedia of dry technical terms,
 definitions, and derivations.

 A genuine review for the life's work 
of a distant forbear which it was my privilege to peruse
in the British Library yesterday.

If only I could say,
'Momentum exegi aere perennius.'
about my humble scribblings.
In fact I have no idea what it means as Google translate 
is no help at all,
so unless Mr M. is looking in...
I must just hope that it isn't rude.


  1. It's from Horace, Book III, Odes: "I have created a monument truer than steel." and is the motto of Le Regiment de la Chaudiere (Canadian).

  2. MrM Translation Services offers the following:

    I have raised a monument more enduring than bronze.

    He is paid in cake and will be invoicing shortly.

  3. I knew I could rely on you. I have only the highest calibre of reader.

  4. See, that's what makes Latin so difficult - it's so open to variation! Bronze, steel, same difference, as my son used to say when he was a surly teenager......

    What about cake for me????? (whine)

  5. My latin started and finished at the age of eleven with "amo, amas, amant, amabo........" etc, and then.......... sigh......... we moved house again and a different school.......... which didn't offer Latin.........

    Cake, however has remained a feature of my education throughout my life.......

    (PS: think the plant with the gorgeous berries on one of your previous posts is Black Bryony. It featured on another blog and I ended up Googling to find out what it might be).

  6. Thank you for that botanical information. Cake for everyone.

  7. My research said the same but brass.

    I did 6 years of Latin at school but I don't remember it featuring either monuments or brass.