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What's the Tacitus story?
The Modern Library ranges over a wide field as you
know. We have a lot of translations from the Latin and
Greek. We decided one time some years ago, when our office
was up on Fifty-seventh Street, that we'd have a one-volume
Tacitus in the series. Whenever we decided on a scholarly
book of this kind, I would get advice from Harvard and
Columbia authorities on a choice of editors. The consensus
of opinion was that the best man to do Tacitus was Dr. Moses
Hadas at Columbia--an excellent professor and a very nice
gentleman. I called him up at Columbia and told him what I
wanted. He made a date to come down to see me at my office
on Fifty-seventh Street on the fifth floor.
According to the practice I learned in the School of
Journalism, I bone up on something when it becomes necessary.
You don't have to keep everything in the back of your head.
The sum total I knew about Tacitus was that there once had
been such a man. But just before Moses Hadas came down, I
carefully read the whole piece about him in the Encyclopedia
Britannica. So when the good professor arrived, I was
ready for him.
We readily agreed on the fee he was to get for the
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