Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

a

[ocr errors]

ible rights and liberties varies at postor, more private and domestic different schools. At Eton, as we than that of the master, hardly goes have seen, the exercise of monito- the length of demanding admitrial discipline would be resented tance into the fortress (about the by public opinion as not the size of the Commissioner's table, thing”—and no phrase could be as Dr Temple describes a schoolmore expressive. On the other house study) in which the smallest hand, at Eton, as well as at Har- fag has intrenched himself, for lawrow, it is the custom-and appears ful or unlawful purposes, in the to the authorities there, as it does evening. Sir Stafford Northcote is to the Commissioners, as nothing examining a late member of the more than a wholesome precaution Rugby Sixth Form“ with regard to

—for the masters to visit occasion- keeping order in the house :".
ally the private rooms or studies of
the boys in their respective houses.

“1538. Suppose there was any cardThe same takes place in College at the Sixth take notice of it?–Certainly:

playing going on in the studies, would Winchester; and in none of these Did they ever go into the boys' schools is this kind of occasional rooms to see if there was any mischief surveillance complained of by the going on?—They would not go into boys as any violation of their pri- their studies on purpose ; but if they vacy. Mr Harris, one of the as

came upon it by accident they would

notice it. If they knocked, the fellows sistants at Harrow, is asked in the course of his examination by Sir considered legal to lock your door?—

would probably lock the door.-Was it S. Northcote

It was considered legal.—So that any “986. Are you in the habit of going

mischief might be carried on, which up into the boys' rooms at all —Yes; I could not be prevented in that way? do always once in the course of the

Except by the influence of the Sixth evening. When I am at home during

fellows generally.” the evening I generally go up before Sir Stafford, with an Etonian's prayers; I always go up once after- natural preference for his own inwards. 987. Do you go into each room, or only into some of them ?–It depends stitutions, returns to the attack on circumstances. I have no uniform subsequently :practice; the less uniform the better. “1556. It is not the habit of the I always knock at the door and go in.” masters to go round the house at night,

is it?-In our house the masters very Again,

seldom did, except late at night to see “487. As a matter of discipline, are

that there was no chance of a fire or boys allowed to lock their doors ?—They anything of that kind.—Do you think it are not. 488. Would that be considered would be a better system if, instead of an offence ?-Yes."

trusting the discipline to the Sixth, the

masters had themselves occasionally At Rugby, on the contrary, any gone to the boys' rooms ?-No; 1 think such system would be looked up- that would engender distrust between on as little better than espionage. the masters and the boys, and the By time-honoured tradition, every

Sixth would not think it their business

so much if the masters took it into Rugbeian's study is his castle. No

their hands." doubt, a master has a right to make a domiciliary visit, and would An ancient author with whom probably do so if he had strong we trust Eton and Rugby men are reason to suspect the prevalence of alike familiar tells us how a certain any such habits as gambling or tribe of Indians, of advanced utilidrinking in a particular house; but tarian views, who piously and reit is a right very rarely exercised, verently ate their aged parents, had and such a visit would require to their feelings terribly shocked when be justified by very peculiar circum- it was suggested that they should stances in order not to violate the adopt the Greek practice of burning traditionary feeling of the school. them; they cried out and stopped Even the jurisdiction of a præ- their ears against the indecency of

a

[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the mere proposal. So in the small ceived an anonymous complaint Etonian the sense of personal upon the subject, of which (as dignity revolts against the præ- being anonymous) they very propostor's cane, while he feels no loss perly took no direct notice; but it of independence in the domiciliary seems pretty clear that the evil, to visits of the master; while the whatever extent it may have exlittle Rugbeian takes his licking isted, is rapidly becoming a thing cheerfully, but stoutly locks his of the past. The late head of the study door in the tallest præpos- school admits that there were “two tor's face, and denounces even the cases, very bad ones,” during his visit of an inquisitive master as an own time, and the energetic way in intrusion on his domestic privacy. which they were punished-by the Even Royal Commissioners decline process of Lynch law known as to dogmatise upon the points of public whopping”-shows at least honour in these respective systems, that the practice was foreign to the and wisely make no attempt to cut tone and feeling of the school. out public school boys all of one pattern. And we must content serious offences which a boy could com

“It was considered one of the most ourselves with quoting Pindar, as

mit; a meeting was called, and the of. the old historian does, to the effect fender was publicly caned by the head that “custom is sovereign over all” of the school, the senior monitors being - public schools included.

present as well as the whole school, sumAs to bullying, which in bygone moned in the fourth-form room, and then times used to make many a boy's the offender was publicly whopped, life miserable for his first two or

or before a monitors' meeting in the

school library.” three years at a public school, it is as little to be found now at Rugby In the matter of fagging, there is as at Eton. Dr Temple says— but one possible complaint which “There is very little of it at Rugby.

can be made at Rugby; that there is

too little of it. It has become so very The public opinion of the school is exceedingly sound upon two points; it nearly nominal, that it seems to is very sound upon truth, and it is have lost, with the abuses, almost very sound upon bullying; I am quite all the advantages of the system. sure of the body of the school on those Dusting a præpostor's study, maktwo points; it would not only resist ing his toast, and attending his call bullying, but it would resist it indig. for half an hour at supper, seems nantly.'

to be almost less than is required And this statement is fully borne even at Eton. The old system of out by the younger witnesses. • keeping goal” at the “ big-side"

Neither is there much to com- football, by which a small boy was plain of in this respect at Harrow. compelled to stand shivering in the The head-master says in his evi- cold for some two hours of almost dence—“We do not regard bully- every winter half-holiday, without ing as one of the great dangers being allowed to amuse himself or which we have practically to appre- keep himself warm by taking any

and Mr Harris states that share in the game, was, as Dr a case of bullying is of very rare Temple very justly calls it, opoccurrence indeed.” Lord Claren- pressive in the extreme, and he don indeed remarks that “there deserves every credit for having have been some very notorious abolished it; but when we are told cases of bullying at Harrow," and that the fagging-out at cricket has that there was a notion that it very nearly disappeared, and that was carried on there to a consider- although a Sixth-Form boy has the able extent;"* and the Commis- power of employing fags to field sioners during their sittings re- for him, it is a power which is now

hend;

* Harrow Evidence, 919, 1571.

[ocr errors]

very rarely exercised,” we are by functionaries whom Provost Goodno means inclined to share the sa- ford of Eton (and we cordially tisfaction with which the informa- agree with him) would wish to see tion will no doubt be received in banished by authority from every some quarters. There is no real school cricket-ground in the kingbardship in an elder boy employing dom. In former days, it was contwo or three younger ones in stop- sidered one of the advantages of a ping his balls for an hour or so: it public school life that boys learnt is one of the most practically con- to do things for themselves. The venient of the Sixth-Form privileges, system of education pursued at Mr and may very fairly be conceded tó Squeers’s well-known establishment his position in the school : the ser- was far from perfect; but that vice has nothing in it that is menial “first class in English spelling and or degrading, and it is what he philosophy,” in which a boy learnt might very reasonably require from not only to spell “horse

but to his younger brothers at home. It rub him down, always struck us as only becomes oppressive when a a redeeming feature. And an hour's boy is kept at it too long at a time, rolling of the old cricket-ground at or so often as to cut up his own Rugby was very wholesome and imhalf-holidays too much; and this proving exercise for a young genneed never be the case in so large a tleman who was rather loud in his school as Rugby. The Report re- orders to servants at home. The marks very justly, that “the Har- fault of schools fifty years ago was row rule as to cricket fagging ap- hardness ; future years will not impears to be well calculated to pre- prove them if they introduce softness serve it from abuse without entire- instead. Even at Rugby, the comly abolishing it.” There are certain parative luxuriousness of modern boys (known familiarly as slave- habits seriously diminishes the prodrivers) appointed by the head of fits of the boarding-house masters, the school to send fags down to ser- by necessitating very much better vice on the cricket-ground in regu- accommodation, and therefore much lar rotation. It is so arranged that larger rents, and secondly, a great no boy has to be fagged in this many more servants of a different manner more than once a-week; class ;” and this is not only likely to and if he is sent down a second involve a future increase in the chartime," he may simply come to the ges to parents (which Dr Temple captain of the eleven," who at once suggests), but has already led to some admits the appeal. The Commis- difficulty in obtaining first-rate men sioners have not thought it beneath as masters when vacancies occur, their office to suggest a doubt whe-' because the profits of a boardingther“ the total abolition of fagging- house (which form one of the main out at cricket would not unneces- sources of emolument), no longer sarily shorten the apprenticeship in offer the same inducement as forthe less exciting but not useless merly. And yet it is of Rugby that practice of fielding;” a suggestion the Commissioners specially report to which we hope the reformers of that “ as the charge for board is Rugby will give its due weight. moderate, so is the dietary simple ;" We do not think it even a distinct that “it certainly does not incline matter for congratulation that the too much to a high scale," though fags have no longer anything to do amply sufficient "to support a stuwith keeping the cricket-ground in dious life,” as well as football in order. It is the fashion now at its most combative form.” In short, public schools that the boys should the school makes some respectable have everything done for them; attempt to maintain that “plain even the stumps and bats are now, living and high thinking” which at most schools, carried down to one who carried off its highest honthe ground by one of those paid ours once recommended in a time

66

66

[ocr errors]

of trouble to his fellow-students at work with any real success, there Oxford.*

can be no question; but it may be There is one point of school gov- doubted whether the enforcing it ernment common to both Harrow as a necessary part of the school and Rugby, to which they owe constitution, as the Commissioners much of their present success and recommend in their general Reprosperity ; it is the cordial work- port, would not be quite as apt to ing together of the head-master and introduce elements of discord. The his staff. Nothing is clearer, both summoning of any such council from Dr Temple's and Mr Butler's should be a spontaneous and cordial evidence than this ; that, retaining motion of the head-master. But it for themselves in theory the supreme is, as the Report observes, “imposand unfettered control of all the sible to read the evidence furnished school regulations, and accepting from these schools and from Eton all the responsibility which this respectively, without perceiving involves, in practice they would that in the former the assistants take no step of importance without have a thorough sense of co-operaconsulting their assistant-masters, tion with the head - master, which and would give the greatest weight is wanting in the other.” I In the to any of their suggestions or re- Rugby evidence especially, every monstrances. The Harrow masters one who has read Dr Temple's exmeet regularly once a-fortnight for amination will be quite prepared consultation at the head - master's to find that the footing upon which house. "I habitually consult all he stands not only with Rugby of the masters,” says Mr Butler; masters but with Rugby boys, is “I should attribute the greatest thoroughly open and cordial; that, importance to their opinions, whe- as one of his pupils testifies, there ther expressed at their meetings or is “a very great deal of interprivately.” At Rugby, the system course between him and the boys,' of regular councils for the purpose and that the influence of his perof discussing all matters connected sonal character is felt“

very perwith the discipline and studies of ceptibly indeed. In short, as the school was introduced by Dr Lord Clarendon sums up the state Arnold, first in the good old-fash- of things at Rugby in a few permisioned way of friendly dinners, then sible leading questions—not at all for a short period every morning more than the whole tone of the for about a quarter of an hour be- previous evidence fairly warrantsfore second lesson,” and latterly,

to the masters were on very good in more formal fashion, at intervals terms with each other, and with of about three weeks. These meet the boys,—there was a friendly reings fell somewhat into abeyance lation between them, as if the whole under Dr Goulburn, but have been thing was a joint-stock company, resumed by the present head-mas- and success the object of all.” Ş If ter. To this,” say Mr Anstey that feeling bas indeed been estaband Mr Buckoll, who have worked lished, and can be maintained there, loyally on the school staff under it is not necessary to inquire into many successive rulers,—“to this it the special character of the teachis attributable, in a very great de- ing, or the details of the curricugree, that we have so very harmoni- lum of study, to account for the ous a working of the school.”+ Of undoubted popularity and success the necessity of some such practice of Rugby School. in order to insure anything like that The Commissioners seem, indeed, unity of spirit and action through- almost to have overstepped the limits out the body of masters, without of their office—which we take to which no public school can hope to have been “to inquire," rather than

[ocr errors]

a

* A. H. Clough of Oriel College, in a pamphlet published during the Irish famine. + Evidence, 119.

# Report, p. 6.

§ Evidence, 2392, &c.

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

authoritatively to praise or blame- by every year from the lower forms, when they deliver this as the re

and to most of them I think that our sult of the “ general impression

system does but scant justice. I am

not speaking of the idle and the dull, which they have derived from the

but of a very large class of boys of good Rugby evidence :

natural abilities and industry, who yet A head-master, whose character do not reach high positions in the school. for ability, zeal, and practical success

At about sixteen years of age this type promises to make him conspicuous on

of mind appears to reach the length of the list of Rugby head-masters ; a staff

its classical tether, and however much of assistants who combine with skill,

worked after that time it takes no poability, and knowledge such a lively lish. • • . They have never reached the personal interest in the school as induces point at which the study of classics bethem to make habitual sacrifices for its gins to acquire its greatest value as an welfare ; a system of mental training engine of moral discipline ; and apart which comprehends almost every sub

from the moral and social advantages, ject by which the minds of boys can

and the unconscious self-education of a be enlarged and invigorated; a tradi- large school, their last two or three tional spirit among the boys of respect years at Rugby are, I think, almost unand honour for intellectual work"; a profitable.” — Appendix, p. 314. system of discipline which, while main

Mr Evans thinks that this applies taining the noble and wholesome tradi

to tion of public schools that the abler

one

e-half, at least," of those and more industrious should command who leave the school. The remand govern the rest, still holds in re- edy which he would propose is the serve a maturer discretion to moderate adoption of the system generally excess, guide uncertainty, and also to known as bifurcation i.

e., support the legitimate exercise of power;

a classification of the boys, after a system of physical training which, while it distinguishes the strong, they have reached a certain 'standstrengthens the studious, and spares ing in the school, into two distinct the weak ; a religious cultivation which, departments; in one of which the although active, is not overstrained, but classical studies would be still conleaves something for solemn occasions tinued as at present, while in the to bring out : such are some of the gen; other mathematics, physical science, eral conditions which have presented modern languages, and history, themselves to notice during our investigation. They go far also, we think, to would, to a great extent, take their explain that public confidence which place. Such a system is actually the school has for many years possessed, at work, under various modificaand never since the days of Arnold in tions, at Marlborough, Cheltenham, larger measure than at the present mo

Wellington and King's Colleges, ment."

and we may have more to say of

it hereafter. But Dr Temple is The authorities of other schools which are doing their work honest

not in favour of introducing it at ly and ably may perhaps fairly take Rugby, which he thinks would lose exception to this elaborate panegy- by such an arrangement. He doubts

very much more than it would gain ric, as savouring rather of the advocate than the judicial inquirer ; better discipline, as far as mere men

whether the boys would get much but there is no reason to question tal discipline is concerned,” and is the facts upon which it is founded. Yet even this apparently perfect considerably in real cultivation.

"quite sure that they would lose very system does its work very imper- Even Mr Evans, in his examination, fectly. Such, at least, is the opin- admits that this second department ion of one of the ablest of its administrators, Mr Charles Evans ; education inferior to that given at

would, after all, give a kind of while the moral results of a Rugby

present.” No doubt of it; and education appear to him to be most satisfactory," he believes though it would meet the cases of

a few individual boys, the result in that “intellectually it is at once a

the large majority would be open success and a failure.”

to the same failure and disappointA large number of boys leave Rug. ment; real application would be as

[ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »