Any one who knows how singularly difficult it is to find
suitable matter and suitable forms for the higher intellectual culture
of youth, and how much more difficult it is to set aside the matter
and forms once found, will understand how it was that the Romans knew
no mode of supplying the desideratum of a more advanced Latin
instruction except that of simply transferring the solution of this
problem, which instruction in the Greek language and literature
furnished, to instruction in Latin.
In the present day a process
entirely analogous goes on under our own eyes in the transference of
the methods of instruction from the dead to the living languages.
But unfortunately the chief requisite for such a transference was
wanting. The Romans could, no doubt, learn to read and write Latin
by means of the Twelve Tables; but a Latin culture presupposed a
literature, and no such literature existed in Rome.