The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXV. Scholars

§ 10. Edward Everett

Everett, after his election to the Eliot Professorship of Greek Literature at Harvard, had gone abroad in 1815 and had achieved the doctorate at Göttingen in 1817. Thereafter he went alone on the Greek tour which for a while Cogswell and Ticknor had been planning to take with him, and became acquainted with Adamantios Koraës just before the outbreak of the Greek war for independence. Returning in 1820 full of enthusiasm for learning and for Greece, he gave lectures which must have been inspiring, else Emerson would not have praised him so highly. But “what avails thorough preparation of the college teacher, if his pupils are unprepared? We need to reform our secondary schools,” Everett had written from Göttingen; and the want of adequate preparation on the part of his pupils may help explain why he left no school. Moreover, he soon resigned his professorship and his editorship of The North American Review, to enter public life; and though he was afterward president of Harvard College, he is known no more as an American scholar. His writings show him rather in the attitude of a Roman orator, draped in a toga which to modern taste seems less virilis than prætexta.