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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

268                        The Greek Papyri
meaning of this may be elucidated from another letter in which
the lady of the house gives instructions for some pigeons and
chickens, which she doesn't eat herself, to be sent to her
daughter's tutor, 'that he may work hard with her'. This atti-
tude is natural; but it is a relief to see the other side of the
picture in a letter of a Byzantine parent withdrawing his son
who had proved an unsatisfactory pupil (it is possible, but I
think less likely, that the boy was not at school, but apprenticed).
*You have written to me about little Anastasius, and as I am in your
debt, be sure you will be paid in full. Nothing of what has been told
you is true except that he is stupid and a child and foolish. He wrote
me a letter himself quite in keeping with his looks and empty wits.
And since he is a child and stupid, I will fetch him home. I am keeping
his letter to show you when I come. Chastise him; for ever since he left
his father, he has had no other beatings and he likes getting- a few—
his back has got accustomed to them and needs its daily dose.'
So few are the allusions to higher education among the papyri
that the following letter deserves quotation. The writer, who
was probably at Alexandria to complete his education, after
relating how he has had an accident with the family chariot
(which may be connected with some discreditable incident in
the theatre to which he makes several references), expatiates to
his father on the difficulty of finding good tutors:
'He has also persuaded the sons of Apollonius to attend Didymus5
school. For they and he since the death of Phllologus have been looking
for an abler tutor right up till now. For my part, I'd pray never to
see Didymus, even from a distance, again, if only I had found tutors
worth the name. What really depresses me is that this fellow, who was
a mere provincial schoolmaster, has seen fit to compete with the rest.
So as I know that apart from paying more and more fees all to no
purpose there's no good to be had from a tutor, Pve other resources
of my own. Write and tell me soon what you think about it. ... By
attending the lectures of the professors—Posidonius is one of them—
with the gods5 favour I shall do well for myself. The worry over these
matters is such as to compel me to neglect my health—I have the feeling