Even members of The Spectator‘s natural constituency on the Right have been mourning its decline lately, and, sure enough, the rest of the magazine contains a lot of rubbish. Try this nonsense from Petronella Wyatt or how about the following from the letters page—surely a parody?:
My lambasted Latin
From Peter Knight
I was sorry to read of your contributor Harry Mount’s apprehension that he might not remember sufficient Latin to satisfy the Oxford examiners (Letters, 24 April). This must surely reflect badly on his early tutors. In 1946, at the age of 11, I was beaten by my prep-school headmaster for failing to use the subjunctive after ut. I can say quite honestly that in the intervening years I have never made the same mistake, and that in 40 years as an insurance broker my diligent adherence to the subjunctive after ut has been the source of widespread admiration. In case any of your younger readers might consider my early chastisement an unduly severe sanction, I must confirm that my headmaster was the most civilised man, for whom everyone had the highest regard. He had a profound love of Ovid’s elegiacs, many of which are still imprinted on my memory and not, I hasten to add, on my backside.
Ansty Coombe, Wiltshire