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repentant pedagogue of his wrath, and made him fall upon his knees, and supplicate forgiveness for his own impiety. The friendly relation which St. Adrian held to the scholars of Canterbury, was filled by Queen St. Ermenilda, at Ely. • Do you imagine that St. Ermenilda is always to be your patroness when you have done wrong?' said the schoolmaster, as he forced some of his boys from their place of refuge, and flogged them to his heart's content (usque ad animi satietatem verberat); but in the ensuing night, the insulted saint appeared to him, and compressed his hands and feet more tightly than if she had fastened them with manacles and fetters; all power of motion was instantly taken from the contracted parts, till the boys, of whom it was now his turn to pray for forgiveness, had forgiven him, and then being carried as a penitent supplicant to the shrine, he was restored to the use of his limbs. In such miracles the manners of the times are truly represented, as in the drawings with which the manuscript of an old romance is illustrated.
It is one of the best things recorded of Archbishop Anselm, a man not otherwise remarkable for meekness of mind, or gentleness in his course of life, that he perceived the folly as well as the barbarity of this servile discipline, and remonstrated against it. A certain abbot, talking one day with him of the affairs of the monastery (Canterbury is very likely to have been the scene), asked him what could be done with the boys who were bred up there. They are perverse, he said, and incorrigible; we never cease beating them day and night, and yet they are always worse than they were before. What, replied Anselm, do you never cease beating them? And what sort of persons do they turn out to be, when they are grown up? Stupid and brutal, said the abbot. Then, answered Anselm, how well have you bestowed all your pains in education when you have educated human beings so as to make brutes of them! But what else can we do? said the abbot, abashed at the rebuke, and yet not made sensible that he had proceeded upon a wrong system. We use all means for compelling them to learn, and yet they make no proficiency. For compelling them?' repeated Anselm. Tell me, I pray you, Sir Abbot, if you planted a young tree in your garden, and were presently to shut it up so closely on every side, that it could nowhere push out its branches, what sort of a sapling would it prove to be, when, at a year's end, you came to set it free ?— truly a worthless one, with crooked and intertangled boughs; and this from no fault except your own, in having so unreasonably cramped it. Certes it is just thus that ye are doing with your schoolboys. They have been planted as an oblation in the garden of the church, that they may grow there and bring forth
fruit unto God. But you keep them under a perpetual constraint by fear, by threats and stripes, so that they are not allowed to enjoy any liberty. And, therefore, they who suffer under this injudicious oppression acquire such evil thoughts and desires, which grow up like thorns in their minds; and these they feed and cherish, till they have acquired such strength as to resist obstinately every means which you can possibly administer for correcting them. Hence it results, that because they never perceived in you anything of love-anything of compassion-anything of benevolence or kindness toward them, they can have no belief afterward of any thing good in you, but are persuaded that whatever you did proceeded from hatred and malice: and the miserable consequence is that, as they grow in years, their dispositions being thus contorted, and rendered prone to evil, suspicion and hatred grow with their growth. Having themselves never been trained by any one in true charity, they can never look upon others but with a downcast brow and an eye askant.' It was the best sermon that ever Anselm preached,—one that entitles him to a far more honourable and endearing remembrance than any thing which is recorded of him in the civil and ecclesiastical history of England. For God's sake,' he pursued, tell me why it is that you treat them in this spirit of annoyance? Are they not human beings are they not your fellow creatures? Would you that they should do unto you as ye do unto them, if your relative situations were changed, and ye were what they are? But admit that your intention is to form them to good manners by blows and stripes; did you ever know a goldsmith form a plate of gold or silver into a goodly shape only by hammering it? I think not, indeed! But how then? to the end that he may bring his plate into the form desired, he, with his instrument, gently presses it, and taps it gently, and carefully, and with gentle touches smoothes and shapes it; and so must ye, if ye desire to accomplish your boys in good learning, bestow upon them the alleviation and the aid of paternal compassion and kindness, as well as the use of stripes.' The abbot was not yet convinced, but maintained his cause like a sturdy disciplinarian. 'What alleviation?' he asked, what aid?' 'We endeavour to force grave and good manners upon them.'- Bene quidem,' answered Anselm. Bread, and any kind of solid food, is good and wholesome for those who are able to eat it; but take an infant from the breast, and give it him instead of his natural food, and you will see him choked by it, rather than comforted and delighted,-I need not tell you why. But hold you this for a truth, that as there is for the weak body and the strong their appropriate food, so is there for the weak and the strong mind. The strong mind delighteth in, and is
nourished by solid meat, to wit, by patience in tribulation,—by not coveting other men's goods, by turning one cheek to him that smites the other, by praying for his enemies,-by loving those that hate him; but he that is as yet feeble in the service of God needs to be fed with milk as a suckling,-that is to say, with gentleness, with benignity,-with pity,-with cheerful encouragement, with charitable forbearance,-and so forth. Adapt ye yourselves thus to the strong and to the weak, and by God's grace ye will, as far as in you lies, bring them all to the service of God.' It is to the credit of the abbot that he no longer resisted the force of this unanswerable reasoning, but groaned and said, Verily we have erred, and the light of discretion hath not shone in us! And falling at Anselm's feet, he confessed his fault, and entreated pardon for the past, and promised amendment for the future.
This was a day to be marked with a white stone by the boys of that convent, so long, it may be hoped, as the abbot lived, and as the archbishop's lecture was remembered there. But this would not be long; for severity belongs to the spirit of monastic discipline, and nothing is so liable to be abused as power: this is seen in mobs as much as in military despotism; in planters, drovers, and ship captains, as well as in eastern sultans or Roman emperors,-in the great schoolboy, who is the tyrant of his fellows, as in Orbilius, and the long line of his successors in the same profession. When Almanzor exclaims, in the bombasted heroics of Dryden's tragedy, and Drawcansir repeats after him, in well-deserved burlesque, I can do all this because I dare;' the well-known line expresses what is the actual feeling of those who, finding themselves possessed of power over their fellow animals or their fellow men, abuse that power, because they are under no human responsibility for its abuse, or are so far removed from responsibility that they think they may defy it. To what an extent the cruelty of scholastic discipline was carried in the middle ages, and at the restoration of letters, may seem scarce credible in these days of improved humanity,-for, God be praised, there is this improvement, however much we may have worsened, and are worsening, in certain other points. Most readers are acquainted with the complaint of poor Thomas Tusser, the unlucky, but good, honest, industrious, lively, pleasant author of our own homely Georgics :
From Paul's I went, to Eton sent,
To learn straightways the Latin phrase,
For fault but small, or none at all,
It came to pass, thus beat I was.
See, Udall, see the mercy of thee
To me, poor lad!'
Such severity, were it inflicted in these days, would deservedly bring infamy and ruin upon the inflictor; and yet this was mild, in comparison to the barbarities described by Ravisius Textor, who in the early part of the same century was Rector of the University of Paris. He was a person of more erudition than taste, and of more oddity than genius; but, what was far better for himself and for those under him, a right-minded, kind-hearted, goodnatured man. His testimony is entitled to the more weight, because he was himself too much influenced by the spirit and the habits of the age to err on the side of indulgence; for in one of his epistles he writes thus concerning the treatment of boys: 'If they offend, if they are detected in falsehood, if they slip from the yoke, if they murmur against it, or complain in ever so little a degree, let them be most severely whipt; and spare neither the scourge, nor mitigate the punishment, till the proud heart shall evidently be subdued, and they shall have become smoother than oil and softer than a pumpkin. And if they endeavour by mollifying speeches to disarm the preceptor's anger, let all their words be given to the winds.' One who has written thus must, therefore, be an unexceptionable witness when he speaks of the cruelty practised upon schoolboys in the course of their education. In one of his poems, two schoolmasters are brought before Rhadamanthus for judgment, and the Judge of the Dead asks,
Quid prior hic sceleris fecit?
Afflixit rigidis corpora verberibus.
Hic juvenum scapulas mutilavit et ossa flagellis,
Nec timuit pedibus pueros calcare tenellos,
Nec croceam manibus vellere cæsariem.
The preceptor cries for mercy; but Rhadamanthus answers,
Audebis veniam quærere ? perge miser!
Clausus in obscura baratri fornace latebis,
The other schoolmaster is sent to Elysium, Rhadamanthus telling
tua te in pueros clementia salvum
Elsewhere, in a prose dialogue between father and son, he describes these cruelties as being carried so far as actually to kill the victim. And evidently there is no exaggeration intended. The good old rector describes an atrocious case which had actually occurred; and the habitual inhumanity practised in schools had made so strong an impression upon him, that he refers to it again and again in his writings. The men to whom children were committed for education, in those days, were under as little responsibility as planters and Guinea captains in the last generation. They were screened from it probably by conventual privileges, which were so great, and moreover so enormously abused, that offenders could be disposed of within the walls of a monastery so as never to be heard of more. And the children were none of them in a condition to look to their parents for protection; they were all of low degree; and, when once received into the school, were as little thought of by those who had disposed of them there, and probably as little cared for, as that eldest born of Madame de Sevigné's heartless daughter, who, before the winning years of her infancy were over, was placed in a nunnery, and destined to remain there till she should be carried from her cell to her grave! The children of the gentry and of the higher families were never educated at school they were trained to arms, and to the manners of their station; but in such proud and contemptuous ignorance as to be unfit for any office in the state wherein any knowledge of letters should be required. This continued to be the custom even after the encouragement to learning which was given at the courts of Henry VII. and Henry VIII.
Is there never a nobleman to be a Lord President,' said Latimer the martyr, but it must be a prelate? Is there never a wise man in the realm to be a Comptroller of the Mint? I speak it to your shame! If there be never a wise man, make a water-bearer, a tinker, a cobler, a slave, or a page, Comptroller of the Mint: make a mean gentleman, a groom, a yeoman, or a poor beggar, Lord President! Thus I speak, not that I would have it so, but to your shame, if there be never a gentleman meet nor able to be Lord President. For why are not the noblemen and young gentlemen of England so brought up in the knowledge of God, and in learning, that they may be able to execute offices in the commonweal? Therefore, for the love of God, appoint teachers and schoolmasters, you that have charge of youth; and give the teachers stipends worthy their pains, that they may bring them up in grammar, in logic, in rhetoric, in philosophy, in the civil law, and in that which I cannot leave unspoken of, the Word of God.' And in another sermon he says, Read the chronicles-ye shall find sometimes noblemen's sons which have been unpreaching bishops