Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dotty's Latin Quotes

Twice in the Susan books Miss Johnson speaks Latin to Susan. The first time is at the end of Chapter 2 of Susan at School, when Susan gets stuck in the window and Dotty tries to free her. She tells Susan to be patient, with the Latin proverb Festinatio tarda est, which is equivalent to our More haste, less speed. The second time is in Chapter 14 of Susan's Trying Term. Again speaking philosophically, Dotty quotes Plautus, saying Quid te igitur retulit Beneficium esse oratione, si ad rem auxilium emortuum est? This means What was the use of being bountiful in talk if all real help was dead in you? Although Susan agrees with her teacher, we are told that "her knowledge of Latin consisted of amo, amas, amat and she wasn't even too sure of that". This is yet another example of Susan and the Carmichaels' parents continuing to throw money away on a private education for their children, even though it is obvious that they never learn anything.