Perhaps there is no better way of measuring a person of liberal education than by the number of substantives he is able to use with familiarity and discrimination. We remember how Scott tried a score of openings with the man on the coach and got no further until he hit upon ‘bent leather’; then the talk went merrily for the man was a saddler. We have all had such experiences and know to our shame that we ourselves have victimised interlocutors who have not been able to find our particular ‘bent leather.’ Vol. 6 p. 260.
Okay, now back to the wordle at the top of the page. These words were all used by an eleven-year-old with ‘ease and fitness’ on an examination. The child had heard the material one time during the term and had no review before the exam. I don’t think that anyone will have a problem finding this child’s ‘bent leather’ when he is older, nor do I think he will have a difficult time finding others’! This ability to be familiar with so many things – and we are not talking about “general knowledge” here – is one of the reasons I was drawn to Mason in the first place. I’ve seen what a broad education as she describes can do for a person and so I am delighting in offering it to my four still at home, in addition to our CM co-op, Truth , Beauty, Goodness. However, there is more . Mason was very specific in how to go about this. I will talk about that in my next post, “Bent Leather, Part 2“.