In a number of his books in which are recounted the memoirs of Harry Flashman, the bete noir of "Tom Brown's School Days", George MacDonald Fraser gives a number of Latin quotations, mostly recounted by the erstwhile and manque scholar, Captain John Charity Spring, whom he first meets as the master of the slave ship 'Balliol College'. Flashman's ability to both understand the meaning of these quotations, and indeed to quote them many years later, when writing his memoirs, surely indicates that his classical education at Rugby School was a lot more thorough than is generally supposed, and that he was indeed a credit to the efforts of his former headmaster, Thomas Arnold, despite his expulsion for drunkenness.
Introduction. This extract from St. Paul's first letter (or epistle) to the Corinthians features the final part of the traditional reading laid down in the Book of Common Prayer for the Funeral Service. This magnificent and haunting passage is set out below in four versions. The first two versions are in English, the recent translation of the New English Bible preceding the words of the Authorised Version, in which the English language appears at its most majestic. Below are the Latin version of the Vulgate, used by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries, and, finally, the original, as written by St. Paul in 'koine' Greek.