At Riverside Tutorial, we have created six honorifics-Loremaster, Wordsmith, Bard, Logician, Orator, and Scribe – each of which designate a person who has mastered a certain set of skills, all of which are necessary for both the maturing of a boy’s soul, and the mastering of his native tongue. Every activity at Riverside Tutorial is designed to encourage a boy’s growth into one or more of these honorifics, so that they possess the skills that the honorific recognizes. The next few posts will highlight one of these honorifics, explaining why it was chosen, what it means, and how the skills it encapsulates can be gained.
The Loremaster has always been an indispensable part of human culture. The role was exemplified in the past by the elders of the tribe, magi, monks , and mentors of myth like Chiron the centaur, or Bilbo’s father, Bungo, (not to mention Gandalf). Of course, grandparents from all ages have played the role of sage, teaching the family culture, and handing down the stories that connect us from one generation to another.
The Loremaster knows by heart and can recite a vast array of anecdotes, excerpts, and verses. He is a country of wisdom unto himself. He can visit within the grand landscape of his memory poems which stand as landmarks and monuments, and can recall the well-traveled roads of a well-told story. His imagination is populated by the great and good folk of story and history, which speak through his mouth their ancient common sense. Their words, in quotes and aphorisms, Biblical verses, and ballads are not so much etched in the boy’s heart as spoken comfortably and constantly, with paternal good will, to his inner ear.
Because we are grateful for the astounding achievements of our forebears, and can only defend their memories, their stories, and their ideas, the pillars of our very society, if we first love them and know their worth, we must teach our boys to know and love them as well, to form a colony in the imagination for them. Once there, these stories become an inexpugnable part of their characters, things of beauty, to be referred to time and again. As the poet Keats said:
“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.”