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be imprisoned in a solitary dungeon for two days, than to be so imprisoned for one day, and so on. That, on the same principle, corporal punishment at schools, where its efficacy depends not on the pain of the infliction, but on the shame attending it, is a bad punishment, because the first infliction is more severely felt than the second, the second than the third, and so on, till at length in many, and the worst cases, it ceases to operate as a punishment at all. This argument, which we must admit to be very simple and obvious, seems to us expressed with sufficient clearness in the place alluded to. We have, however, been understood as suggesting not only the abolition of corporal punishment at public schools, but also the substitution of solitary confinement in its place. Do we,' it is asked, take Eton School 'for the county jail? Do we intend to convert it into a penitentiary? Is the school to be converted into a barred and 'grated receptacle for delinquency, and are the masters to be turned into prison keepers?'* We can sincerely assure the author or authors (whichever it may be) of these remarks, that we have no such desire or intention; that whenever the defects of the system of punishments adopted at Eton are admitted, it will be time for us to suggest remedies; a consummation to which we can never hope to attain, if our plainest arguments are to be thus misrepresented in order to be refuted.+ In like manner we stated that the system of rewards at Eton was defective, inasmuch as the incentive to industry afforded by emu'lation and competition does not exist; no places are taken, no prizes or distinctions of any sort are conferred, except for Latin ' verses.' The fact is as we have stated it; farther, we said nothing. We have, however, been understood by these words to recommend the taking of places in the upper forms of a public school as a stimulus to exertion. We repeat that we merely examined the existing institutions of Eton, without proposing

Observations on an article in the Edinburgh Review, entitled Public Schools of England-Eton.

+ It is likewise alleged that we have been guilty of a remarkable 'error,' in saying, that there is no sort of punishment at Eton but 'corporal,' inasmuch as transcription is much the most common sort.' We repeat that our statement was strictly correct. The only regular punishment at Eton for ignorance of a lesson, or a breach of the regulations of the school, is flogging. We are aware that by the mercy of the assistant masters, this penalty is frequently commuted for transcription; but this change of the punishment is always considered in the light of a pardon; and we repeat, as a fact not admitting of dispute, that any offence brought in a regular official manner before the headmaster of Eton, is, as a matter of course, visited with flogging.

substitutes; that we had nothing to do with the cure, but only with the existence of the disease. In this article, however, where we are enquiring into the system of a public school, in which the practice of taking places in the higher forms does exist, we have no hesitation in declaring our opinion, that this mode of exciting emulation is not to be approved. We entertain no doubt that a periodical examination of the boys in the books which they have read in school, and an arrangement of them according to their several degrees of merit, would have the effect both of teaching them to combine and retain what they read, and of exciting among them a lively, though not hostile spirit of emulation. What are our reasons for holding this opinion, it would be needless to state, so long as it is maintained that each one of all the many different systems adopted at the public schools of England is the best possible.

Westminster is one of those public schools in which the practice of fagging is still maintained. The three highest forms have the privilege of commanding: the fourth form is in a sort of intermediate, or probationary state, as it neither fags nor is fagged: all boys in the under school are subject to the duty of obeying. In comparing the condition of the fags at Eton and Westminster, it appears that the former have the advantage of being more numerous in proportion to their masters; for, whereas at Eton, the lower boys outnumber the upper boys, at Westminster the lower boys are scarcely a third part of the whole. At Westminster, however, boys, on their first entrance, are not unfrequently placed in the upper school; but at Eton it is a rule, for which we know no reason, but which we believe to be universally acted upon, that no boy at his first coming shall be placed in a form where he is not liable to be fagged.

We have heard with pleasure that the system of fagging has at Westminster been lately alleviated, and the number of menial services required of the lower boys considerably lessened. We say with pleasure, for we can see nothing useful or improving in the imposition of menial duties on the sons of persons, who, by their station in life, are not dependent for their livelihood upon bodily labour; and we abide by our former arguments and our former conviction, notwithstanding the defence which it has lately been attempted to make for the practice of fagging. We are perfectly willing to take the issue which has been offered to us, and to ask whether in large public schools, on the whole, much 6 tyranny is not saved by laying down a rule for the subordination of the boys, instead of leaving them to settle the matter amongst themselves.' In the first place, it is natural to ask, how a rule which legalizes tyranny can be said to save it? Boys

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are capricious in their wishes and tempers, imperfectly restrained by moral principle and the sense of shame, fond of exercising power, and unscrupulous about the means by which they exercise it. It is therefore certain, that when several hundred boys live together at a large school, the strong will combine against the weak, and compel them, by bodily force, to obey the commands of their superiors in strength. Comparative strength in such cases depends chiefly upon age; and the older boys being most advanced in learning, it may be generally said that the boys in the upper part of the school will attempt to exact obedience from those in the lower part. A lower boy soon finds that if he refuses to submit, he is beaten, and that other strong boys will be unwilling to protect him, both from the natural unwillingness to interfere in the quarrels of others, and from a fear of sanctioning a principle which may be turned against themselves. Still the rule of submission is not fixed, and some bold spirits among the weaker party may attempt to set up a right of resistance. At this point the authorities of the school are supposed to step in, and say to the boys: in order to prevent a recurrence of the unfortunate disputes which have arisen ' amongst you, we declare that those commands which some of you contend to be harsh and oppressive, are, if properly consi'dered, conducive to your benefit; and that henceforth all boys beneath a certain form shall be bound to obey the orders of all above that form.' We call this not mitigating oppression, but sanctioning it; not the toleration of a necessary evil, but the deliberate confirmation of an iniquitous and needless tyranny. The practice of fagging does not diminish tyranny-it autho rizes and multiplies it. A refusal to obey would equally entail a beating, whether, by the law of the school, the boy is bound to obey or not. Fagging has no tendency to restrain the wanton infliction of pain, to which boys are unhappily so prone. Indeed, so far from believing that fagging has been established at large schools by the masters from a deliberate and well-considered persuasion that it is beneficial to the boys, we doubt not that in most cases they have, either from indolence, or ignorance how to act, tacitly sanctioned a custom which they could not conscientiously approve. We assert that no master in a public school has done his duty, so long as he has not attempted to prevent the weaker from becoming the slaves of the stronger boys, and has failed in the attempt. At Westminster, for example, there is one form in which the boys are neither fagged by those above them, nor fag those below them. If this partial exemption is successfully maintained, if there are some boys who neither order nor obey, why is no endeavour made to extend the same

abstinence further? The tutor of a public school must have formed a low notion of his duties, of the vicarious functions with which he is intrusted, and of the high charge which is devolved upon him, before he can rest satisfied with remaining a patient spectator of the maltreatment, and consequent mental suffering, of his younger pupils. Ought he to be referred for the lessons of a higher morality to the heathen poet of a most corrupt and wicked age? And could he join in the beautiful exclamation

'Di majorum umbris tenuem et sine pondere terram,
Spirantesque crocos et in urna perpetuum ver,

Qui præceptorem sancti voluere parentis

Esse loco ?'

For the same reason that no parent would permit, still less compel, the younger to become the slaves of their elder brothers, the tutor of a public school ought, as far as in him lies, to protect the weak against the strong; to study the characters of his pupils; to confirm the feeble-hearted; to attempt, by instruction and admonition, to soften the fierce natures of the cruel and tyrannical; and, where advice failed, to curb, by prompt punishment, the bad dispositions of those who still maintained their authority by brute force. It is a fatal mistake, which tutors, often from inadvertence, but sometimes from incapacity and indolence, commit, to imagine that they are merely instruments for the communication of a certain quantity of knowledge. The moral part of education, if not the most important, is not at least to be wholly neglected.

Such, indeed, seems to be the indifference of the masters at Westminster on this point, that by the annual representations of Latin plays, they permit several boys near the head of the school to be thoroughly imbued with the morality, or rather immorality, of Terence. Notwithstanding the conclusive remarks of Dr Whately on this subject, the custom has not (as far as we are aware) been either defended or abandoned: we trust that the masters of the school will see that they have only to choose between these two alternatives. The performance of the play of Terence is preceded and followed by the repetition of a prologue and epilogue, written in Latin hexameters and pentameters. The prologues are sometimes written with great spirit and elegance; but the epilogues are intended to be com

* We allude particularly to the prologues on the deaths of General Wolfe and the Princess Charlotte.

posed in a comic and humorous vein, and are filled with Latinized modern words, and various other barbarisms; upon the whole, they bear less resemblance to ancient Roman Latin than any collections of Latin words which it is our good or bad fortune occasionally to read. Indeed, it is clear to us, that they are imitated from no other model than the Latin poetry at the end of the Westminster grammars, complying strictly with its fundamental canon of the violation of all canons, and that they are just such compositions as the founder of the grammatical school of poetry would, in a jocose and playful mood, have himself thrown off.

The defects of the system of education adopted at Westminster school seem to us rather negative than positive. It is not that boys learn what is mischievous, but that they do not learn what is good. There are, indeed, many positive errors both in the modes of instruction and moral discipline: nevertheless the faults of omission preponderate greatly over those of commission. To estimate the effects of moral discipline at a school is not easy but the test of intellectual advancement is simple: we need only ask how much knowledge has a youth of seventeen gained by five or six years' residence at Westminster? A little divinity, a little ancient geography, a knowledge of the elements of geometry, a fair knowledge of Latin, an imperfect knowledge of Greek, and a slight smattering of ancient history, and beyond this nothing. With the single exception of religion, of those things which it is most important that he should know, of the history of his own country, of the history of foreign countries, of modern languages, he is wholly ignorant. It is useless to say that these things cannot be taught to boys, when no attempt is made to teach them. At Eton, indeed, a pretence is kept up of teaching mathematics and the modern languages, but nothing more than a pretence, as every one acquainted with that school, and even the author of a late defence of Eton, notwithstanding the parade of assertion which he makes on this point, must well know. It is admitted, that at Eton mathematics and modern languages are not made part of the general business of the school.' But,' we are told, it is only justice to acknowledge that the French language is as well taught by the present master, as it can possibly be taught at any school. The German language is also taught with great skill; though the teacher has not yet been 'incorporated into the school. And the reviewer seems ignorant 'that a mathematical master of high respectability has been 'lately appointed. Unforeseen circumstances have hindered this 'latter gentleman from doing all the good that could be wished; but it is to be hoped that things may be so arranged in a short

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