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of the elder and more advanced for the comfort, the guidance, the welfare, and the edification of their younger brethren.' Another requirement is, that the prefects should give true and exact information to the authorities, whenever they are called upon, and as often as there shall be occasion, respecting the morals and conversation (i. e. the manner of life) of those who are placed under them ; in order that any such who are not doing well, or who are falling off in good, and virtuous, and industrious habits, may be corrected. The seniors are made responsible for the careful, christian superintendence, for the dutiful behaviour, and for the studious habits of the junior boys, for their moral and religious progress, and therefore for their obedience in all things great and small. Any deviation from these requirements by one entrusted with this authority is severely punished; and the masters exercise a strict surveillance over this class, that they may not be tempted to overstep their duty, or to neglect it-both for their own sakes, and for the sake of the younger boys who might be injured by their misbehaviour. The statutes do not prescribe or recognise the performance of personal services by the junior towards the senior boys. These are the result of an inveterate tradition.'
Against this system there did exist great prejudices in some quarters, and simply because the question was one upon which the generality of people had no means of forming a correct judgment— their judgment being influenced solely by the abuses which now nearly cease to exist, or at least are greatly diminished in the English schools. The good effects of the system can only be known to those who are intimately conversant with it. The benefits resulting from it, in some particulars, are well pointed out by Mr Wordsworth in one of his Winchester sermons. * 'It has been often remarked, and remarked truly, that the senior boys at a public school have more power, and, if more power, then more scope for the exercise of humility, than they will ever enjoy again. Many have confessed, in after life, that they were never such great men as when they were boys at a public school. And if any one should object to this, that such a state of things is in itself an abuse, and ought to be abolished, we are prepared what to answer. If any one should ask, is it not a perversion of education, to place so much power in the hands of those who are yet but mere youths? I should say, No. I should
* Christian Boyhood, vol. ii-pp. 222 and 223.
answer that a man scarcely older than some who are to be found now, and at all times, among our ranks, was thought and proved to be old enough to direct the affairs of this country at the most critical period of her history; that if England could commit her destinies to William Pitt at the age of twenty-three, and that if he, a mere stripling as he was, was yet found able to wield the forces of all this mighty empire, and to subdue and to chastise her enemies, surely we do no wrong in allowing such power as we do-power even to punish the gross offender, the enemy of our social state-to the hands of boys; rather, we are bound to give them this experience, and so to educate and to arm them for such great occasions as that to which I have refered. No! better far is it to teach you that you have this power, and that you ought to have it, in order that we may teach you to exercise it aright; to exercise it, that is, with all humility, with all forbearance, with the zeal and affectionateness of youth, with the prudence and circumspection of old age, with the tenderness of an elder brother, watchful over the faults and condescending to the weakness of his younger charge; for the protection and for the benefit of all who are placed within your reach.'
It is quite clear, then, that while prefects are of great use in maintaining discipline, and are the means of creating a respect for moral and intellectual excellence, the advantages which they confer must greatly depend on the vigilance of the heads of the institution. They must be supported in the just and lawful exercise of the powers intrusted to them, and its abuse be marked by the strongest feelings of indignation, or, if necessary, severer punishment. They must be made to feel that they are fellow-workers with the Masters in training up the younger boys in habits of industry and obedience, and in the higher principles of religious conduct. The great care with which Mr Wordsworth watched over this class at Winchester, to make them promotive of the best interests of that institution, is a guarantee that in Trinity College the same care and vigilance will make them helpers together with himself and the other masters, in raising up a generation of men who may hereafter be the ornaments of their country. Those whom he has appointed to this office he took great pains to impress with a sense of their solemn responsibility; and his unwearied exertions in this duty at Winchester may be seen from an inspection of his sermons and lectures already quoted. We would particularly refer to the discourse commencing at p. 341, vol. 1st, from which our space will not permit us to quote.
From the events which have occurred, Mr Wordsworth may not be considered by some the fittest judge, in this question, of what is best for the interests of a great public school. Turning from his judgment, therefore, we shall ascertain that of another distinguished man, of very different principles, who had ample opportunities of forming a correct opinion-we mean Dr Arnold of Rugby. Low as we estimate his opinion on most subjects, and deeply as we regret the wide-spread mischief which his principles have wrought, we think on this subject he may be safely quoted. At page 88-101 of the edition before us, his biographer gives us his opinions on this very question. The responsibility of checking bad practices without the intervention of the masters,-the occasional settlement of difficult cases of school government, the subjection of brute force to some kind of order, involved in the maintenance of such an authority, had been more or less produced under the old system, both at Rugby and elsewhere. But his zeal in its defence, and his confident reliance upon it as the keystone of his whole government, were eminently characteristic of himself. * * * The power which was most strongly condemned, of personal chastisement vested in the prepostors [prefects] over those who resisted their authority, he firmly maintained as essential to the general support of the good order of the place; and there was no obloquy which he would not undergo in the protection of a boy who had, by due exercise of this discipline, made himself obnoxious to the school, the parents, or the public.'
The following letter to one of the assistant masters expresses his mode of meeting the attacks to which he was exposed on the two subjects of the authority of prefects, and the power of dismissing boys to whom the system of a public school was not adapted :—' I do not choose to discuss the thickness of prepostors' sticks, or the greater or less blackness of a boy's bruises, for the amusement of all the readers of the newspapers; nor do I care in the slightest degree about the attacks, if the masters themselves treat them with indifference. If they appear to mind them, or to fear their effect on the school, the apprehension in this, as in many other instances, will be likely to verify itself. For my own part, I confess that I will not condescend to justify the school against attacks, when I believe that it is going on not only not ill, but positively well. Were it really otherwise, I think I should be as sensitive as any one, and very soon give up the But these attacks are merely what I bargained for, so far
as they relate to my conduct in the school, because they are directed against points on which my "ideas" were fixed before I came to Rugby, and are only more fixed now: e. g., that is, that the authority of the Sixth Form is essential to the good of the school, and is to be upheld through all obstacles from within and from without; and that sending away boys is a necessary and regular part of a good system, not as a punishment to one, but as a protection to others. Undoubtedly it would be a better system if there was no evil; but evil being unavoidable, we are not a jail to keep it in, but a place of education, where we must cast it out, to prevent its taint from spreading. Meanwhile let us mind our own work, and try to perfect the execution of "our own ideas," and we shall have enough to do, and enough always to hinder us from being satisfied with ourselves; but when we are attacked we have some right to answer with Scipio, who, scorning to reply to a charge of corruption, said, "Hoc die cum Hanibale bene et feliciter pugnavi,”—we have done enough good and undone enough evil, to allow us to hold our assailants cheap.'
Major Sharp's accusation arose out of a regulation which was worded thus: Hockey sticks are not to be brought into the private study-room, but to be put away and kept in the tool-shed; and not to be carried about' (which had been the practice), 'except when used for the game. Only the prefects are allowed to have sticks in the private study-room, for the purpose (if needful) of keeping order, but not to carry them about.' As the latter part of this regulation has, we believe, been abandoned, we need not stop to examine its propriety. In the exercise of all authority, some power of correction is necessary to ensure obedience; and it will hardly be questioned, that if boys may rightly be intrusted with the one, they may with the other also. Were the power arbitrary, this might not be allowed; but when they are made to feel that they act under a heavy responsibility, and are themselves liable to severe punishment for an abuse of power, there is little risk of their exceeding the proper limits. They are intrusted with the power, that they may learn to exercise it aright, both for the good of the community with which, for the time, they are connected, and for the formation in themselves of a habit and character, which may have a beneficial tendency on their after life.
Every one knows, that among undisciplined boys, the strong are apt to usurp an unjust and tyrannical power over the weak,
practice very prejudical to both, for the powerful thus learn to be overbearing, and often cruel, while the weaker, unable to resist by force, silently nurture a spirit of revenge, and grow up with tempers soured, and moral feelings greatly blunted. All this mischief is avoided by adopting the system which we have been discussing, and which, under good management, may be an useful lesson to both parties. Obedience is the most difficult task which man has to learn, and if not acquired betimes, it is feared, never will. There are few parents who would not wish their children to learn this lesson; and fewer still, who would not prefer that their sons should be corrected by those having due authority, and acting under a feeling of responsibility, rather than be maltreated by the lawless hands of the stronger. In the latter case, they frequently grow up disobedient, for their submission has not been acquired as a principle, and when strong enough they will throw it off, and be ready to exercise a similar tyranny upon others. This is the fruitful cause of that insubordination, disobedience to parents, rebellion in the State, and want of submission to spiritual pastors and masters, so prevalent in this evil generation. We know parents who earnestly wish that they could recall the past, and place their sons, who, through an ill-regulated education, have become. vicious and ungovernable, under such a system as that now pursued at Trinity College. Happily this privilege is now attainable. There is not one parent, who has committed his son to the Warden's care with that confidence which is indispensably necessary for the due discharge of such an office and relationship,' who is not more than satisfied with the progress, and marked improvement in character and conduct, which his child has made. All express, in the warmest terms, their gratitude to the Warden, and their indignation at the annoyance which he has received in the discharge of his duty, and agree with Mr Sandford in considering Mr Wordsworth's acceptance of the office as a blessing to Scotland.'
Against even such an excellent system it was not surprising, that some of the boys should rebel, according to that spirit of evil which subsists in all, until subdued by better principle. But had not the offenders been supported in their disobedience by a power from without, the punishment of the first act intended to undermine the authority of the prefects would have restored order. And indeed, since the unruly were removed, the system has proceeded in the most quiet and satisfactory manner. In conclusion, we cannot help feelingly avowing our belief, that the Scottish Church owes the good