Et tu, Espagnol?

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Students, teachers, administrators, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Latin, not to praise it.

The evil languages cause lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Latin. The noble Budget
Hath told you Latin is impractical:
If it were so, it is a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Latin answer’d it.

Here, under leave of the Budget and the realists–
For the Budget is an honorable man;
So are realists all, all honorable men–
Come I to speak in Latin’s funeral.

It was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But the Budget says it is impractical;
And the Budget is an honorable man.

It hath brought many lessons home from Rome
Whose concepts did our young minds fill:
Did this in Latin seem impractical?
When that the brains have cried, Latin hath wept:
Impracticality should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet the Budget says it is impractical;
And the Budget is an honorable man.

You all did see that on the Festivus
I thrice used it to solve an SAT analogy,
Which it did thrice defuse: was this impracticality?
Yet the Budget says it is impractical;
And, sure, the Budget is an honorable man.

I speak not to disprove what the Budget spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love it once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for it?

O judgment! thou art fled to Budget brutes,
And realists have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Latin,
And I must pause till it come back to me.


  1. Chris Carosa says

    Author’s Note: I wrote this on the Ides of March when my children told me the Budget Advisory Committee was meeting that night to consider dropping Latin from the program. I imagined how Shakespeare might envision Marc Antony addressing the committee. The graphic is from Vincenzo Camuccini’s Morte de Césare, (Death of Caesar) painted in 1798. It’s not the full picture.

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