The Grand Panjandrum. A village boss, who imagines himself the “Magnus Apollo” of his neighbours. The word occurs in Foote's farrago of nonsense which he composed to test the memory of old Macklin, who said he had brought his memory to such perfection that he could remember anything by reading it over once.
I myself knew a man at college who could do the same. He would repeat accurately one hundred lines of Greek by reading them twice over, although he could not accurately translate them. His memory was marvellous, but its uselessness was still more so.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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