From F. W. Farrar 7 March 1
My dear Sir,
Your kind approval gratifies me more, I think I may candidly say, then would the approval of any living man.2 I have reason to hope that real work is being done, in the direction of relieving our present educational system from its extraordinarly fantastic & stationary condition. I am filled with sorrow & indignation when I think of the mere paralysis of intellectual power wh. it produces—not in boys of genius, for genius is a fire wh. calcines any amount of superimposed rubbish—but in boys of fine manly minds & average intellect. I allude especially to the fetish-worship of Latin Verse, with wh both at the University & in the Public Schools I think that we cd wage war to the knife. I shall be happy if my Lecture (wh. of course involves me in some unpleasantnesses) hastens the death of so irrational a system.3
The constructive side is really not difficult. I send, by book post, (but only at present, privately) a copy of the Report of a Sub Committee of the Brit. Assocn. on this subject, for wh. I moved at the Nottingham meeting.4 The only members of the Committee were Professors Tyndall & Huxley, Mr. Griffith (who after Easter is coming to be a regular Science master here at Harrow), & Mr. Wilson of Rugby.5 This Report will probably come before you when it has been adopted by the Council, as I expect it will be tomorrow. It is not yet revised & corrected.
I am, dear Sir, with sincere respect, | Most faithfully your’s | Frederic W. Farrer.
On improving the educational system.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5434,” accessed on 18 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5434