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too good to hope for: and the good thrashing ?” only answers difficulties in carrying out what that he “doesn't think it mattered." might seem so easy are much the The Winchester junior never had same in both cases : which is to be “a regular caning” from his senior the grammar adopted, and which –“ only about five cuts ;” and the recognised date for “ breaking- whether he ever had his ears boxed up” ? For nearly every school has in addition, he “forgets." He came here its own traditions, and will be straight to Winchester from home, loth to give way.
and rather funked when he went"
-“expected the fagging would be The character of the English harder;" but as to changing, even schoolboy comes out very favourably, if he could, from college into comupon the whole, from this inquiry. moners, whereitis“an easier life, but Of his manliness, truthfulness, and worse discipline," he has no wish at freedom from gross vice, there is all to do that. At Westminster, where not only the testimony of his pastors the fagging amongst the Queen's and masters both at school and at scholars is hardest of all the schools, the university, but this is confirm- one of the young witnesses says, ed incidentally by the tone of the “You very seldom see a Queen's evidence given by witnesses who scholar who does not like it better were either still at school or had than being a town-boy." just left it, in a manner which In spite of all the willing and is very pleasant to read. And unwilling revelations made to the although the character of public- Commissioners, and printed for our school life has very much softened instruction, the schoolboy remains, of late years—the change having in some of his ways and doings, the been greater, perhaps, in propor- same inexplicable being to the tion, than even the corresponding outer world as ever. Could any change in older society-there is one have imagined that it formed not much need to fear that the part of his code of minor morals modern schoolboy will degenerate not to be helped twice at dinner ! into a milksop ; a fall which we It is the tradition of some—we beshould lament at least as much as lieve most of the boarding houses any decline in scholarship. There at Harrow for the boys never to is very little flogging on the part have “more than one help,” in orof the masters, very little bullying der that “they may get the dinner from the bigger boys, and hardly over as fast as possible.” The eviany fighting amongst themselves— dence of one of the masters on this a fact which seems to have surpris- point has an amusing pathos about ed some of the Commissioners as it.* Complaints had been made much as it will many of our read- to him by letter that some of the ers. At Eton it is evidently voted younger boys (owing to this custom “ low;" and even at Westminster, of the house) did not get enough to where the tone is harder, it is “con- eat. He knew it to be no fault of sidered rather below the seniors.” his provision for them :But in spite of this march of peace " It was a kind of fashion they had principles, there is good reason to among themselves. They never will hope that the old "pluck" is at the be helped twice. I made a most urgent bottom still. The little Charter- appeal to them when I got this letter. House fag who was thrashed for I begged and entreated them to save the water not being hot enough me from the scandal of not allowing “about three times,” in a style
them to have a second help of meat, which Mr Commissioner Thompson,
but it produced no effect." having elicited the details, suggests We have been assured that the same to him must have been “a thorough fashion exists in some houses at Eton.
* See Harrow Evid., 961, 1698.
It is a curious contrast to the old hardly continue to exist long in days which many readers can re- these days, when once the light of member as well as Lord Clarendon, publicity is let in upon them; or if when, upon the faintest suspicion they still survive, the schools where of any tendency to put the boys they are permitted will have forfeitupon short commons, the ordered whatever popularity they may as went forth through the school for yet have enjoyed through the ignor-, “eating-up;' when every boy-more ance or indifference of parents. This especially if a fag- was expected inquiry has done for English fathers to do his duty in clearing the what they could not have done for tables of every eatable thing. Dr themselves : it has given them an Scott had heard of it at Westmin- insight into public school life which ster, where it was carried out in no individual could possibly have one instance with a fatal persever- gained, and subjected to a searching ance. “There is evidence,” he says, cross-examination witnesses who “of a boy eating himself to death, in would have been superbly silent order to clear the larder, in Good- to any parental query or remona nough's time.”
strance. It is hard to say whether The results of this Commission the willing or the unwilling deponwill be sufficiently important, if its ents have contributed the most valwork-honest and laborious as it uable information. Public schools has been-is duly recognised and have been hitherto very much what appreciated by those whom it more head-masters chose to make them : immediately concerns. Dr Temple strong in their ancient prestige, has stepped rather out of his way they wielded an authority which to anticipate, as a matter of course, was almost irresponsible: happily, that “in all probability the Ex- such appointments have been nearly amining Commission will be fol- always conferred upon men of high lowed by an Executive Commission principle as well as great ability, next year.” * Rugby does not re- and the trust has rarely been abused. quire it, and most other schools But the best and most energetic would protest against it; and the teacher cannot raise the general Head-master of Rugby, with all his standard of his school above the zeal for his own school, will hardly general demand of the customers wish to place himself in the posi- whom he has to satisfy. An oldtion of welcoming an interference fashioned dame into whose schoolon the part of Government which room the National Education Comhis brother masters repudiate. But missioner pushed his inquiries, deit will be the fault hereafter of fended her shortcomings by the those who have sons to educate, if honest remark, “It is but little these volumes of Reports and Evi- they pays, and it is but little I dence do not do their work effec- teaches 'em.” The exact ground tually without any aid from the of her defence certainly cannot be “Executive." They contain a guide taken by the masters to whom this to fathers which has been long Commission reaches; but they might wanted; and though the volumes very fairly excuse any deficiency in themselves look somewhat formid- their results by the reply—“ It is able, it is rather in appearance than but little we teach, but it is more reality. And they have been so than most parents require; the very largely commented upon and ex- dunces with whom you reproach us tracted from, that no one interested are the boys of whom their fathers in the subject need be at a loss to are proud; fine, manly, truthful, know at least where to find the in- gentlemanlike lads, who hate books formation he requires. Abuses— as their fathers did before them." and there are proved abuses—will “The education of boys at school,"
* Report to the Trustees,' &c., p. 41.
says Dr Temple in one of those pared and ignorant state in which able replies which are really essays boys are frequently sent to school," on education in themselves, “de- as one great impediment to the pends in reality on three things—on proper results of school-training; the influences of their homes ; on but they add a warning, which some the traditions of the school derived of those benevolent societies, which from the past; and on the adminis- supply so much good advice gratis tration of it at the present time. to the poor as to the management The first of these three is quite of their families, would do well to out of our reach, and yet it is have printed in an attractive type the most powerful of all."* If and circulated amongst their richer school-work is looked upon and neighbours :spoken of at home as at best a ne- “Of all the incitements to diligence cessary evil, it will be in vain for and good conduct which act upon the the master to try to put it before mind of a schoolboy, the most powerthem in the light of an interest and ful, generally speaking, is the wish to a duty; and until this is done suc- satisfy his parents; and his view of his cessfully, not all the Queen's Com- duty when at school will always depend missions or Acts of Parliament can
very much on the light in which he fees
that it is regarded at home. He knows do much to raise the intellectual
very well the estimation, be it high or standard of the English schoolboy. low, in which industry is held by his “ The schools of England will be parents. If their real object in sending good or bad according to the wishes him to a public school is merely or of the homes of England.” So chiefly that he should make advantagesays Mr Thring of Uppingham; + ous acquaintances and gain knowledge
of the world, this is likely to be no and the Royal Commissioners say
secret to him, and the home influence, much the same, in more circuitous
which ought to be the master's most and diplomatic language. They do efficacious auxiliary, becomes in such not only remark upon the “ill-pre- cases the greatest obstacle to progress."
MY LATEST VACATION EXCURSION,
WHEN a person of sedate and calamities of our solemn friend-a solemn walk in humble life-say rareness to the exhilaration of vica Quaker tradesman or a Methodist tory—that has driven the sedate parson-So far yields to the lusts of Germans to such fantastic tricks as the flesh, for once in his life, as to are ludicrous, even in the midst of get gloriously drunk, his vagaries the sanguinary horrors they recall. are generally of a most portentous To us accustomed to great victories, kind, calculated to arouse inextin- who, as each turns up, give it a guishable laughter both in the skil- hurrah and an illumination, and ful and unskilful. There is not then have done, waiting quietly for only the grotesqueness of the motley the next, the way in which Flensmoral antithesis, but there is an burg and Duppel have taken possesexaggeration of the phenomena of sion of, and penetrated into, the the vicious indulgence, which the heart and through every nerve of seasoned toper has long ceased to the German nature, is as wonexhibit, owing to a sort of practised derful a phenomenon as a stranger cunning which exercises a control can behold. The ring of battle
even over his excesses. It must pervades everything; it is in the · be something like the cause of the conversation, in the music, in the
* Answers, Appendix, p. 310.
+ 'Education and School,' p. 256.
newspapers, in the pamphlets, in them. Though under the empire, the chap-books, in the public enter which they sincerely revere, they tainments. You will see a shop- have entire freedom to follow their window stored with relics from national institutions and opinions. Sleswig - flattened bullets, frag- They are the true representatives ments of shells, lots of bayonets at this day of the ancient faith and sword - blades, mostly framed and noble simplicity of the Alpine or mounted on pedestals, with suit- mountaineers. The Swiss have able inscriptions. I daresay it lost a great deal of the best of their would be no bad speculation just original nature by rubbing with the now to export some old army stores world. They have made themselves to Germany. The booksellers' and showmen at home, and lackeyseveryprint-shop windows flare with en- where else. Servility, greed, and sanguined pictures, filled with the chicanery have thus corrupted them. horrors that delight the most bru- A great deal of this corruption is tal appetites. Most people are fa- the doing of British tourists, who miliar with the practice-naturally have now, for at least half a century, a gentle and pleasing one-of head- swarmed inveterately over the caning the sheets whereon letters are tons, but have not yet found their written with small engravings of way to the Salzkammergut, the spots rendered interesting; the Tyrol, and Styria. What keeps exile is perhaps thus reminded of them out of that district it is as his native home, or he sends to hard to say as why sheep will folthose dear to him there, a faint low the bell-wether. transcript of the scenes among Having seen a great deal of fine which he sojourns. By a horrible scenery in my day, I do not think travesty of this amiable practice, I have found any quite so charmGerman letter-paper is headed with ing as what I have just seen there. a large variety of the murderous The conditions under which one deeds of the war, highly coloured gets his first glimpse of new scenwith the ever-predominating red, ery become deeply associated with so that both the sender and the it in the mind. When I got first receiver of domestic and friendly among the outer spurs of these communings may have an addi- Alps, it was a lowering, sultry, tional opportunity of gloating over but hot afternoon, with occasional bleeding Denmark.
rumbles of thunder. Dark clouds Such considerations make the wandered about mysteriously, as dreary northern plain more than if they had serious business to usually oppressive, and one be- discuss with each other. These comes anxious to get up somewhere never allowed the mysteries of the into quietness and pure air. Ger- mountain-group to be entirely unmany, taking the word in its veiled, but they permitted glimpses wide sense, is a country infinitely of it here and there, enhanced in varied, and the vices of one ter- grandeur by their own presence ritory are not necessarily repeat- and the mysterious lights and shaed in another. There are virtues, dows they created. It seemed to and very beautiful virtues too, be a final consultation, for they where our prejudices do not teach walked off during the night to us to seek for them. I am not transact business elsewhere, and sure that I ever saw human nature left me with a few days of perfect in so amiable and attractive a form brightness at my disposal. I pitchas under the despotic rule of Aus- ed my tabernacle for a space at tria. The Tyrolese are handsome, Salzburg, and thence wandered at strong, brave, intelligent, just, and my will. It is a district where you kind. The fact is, that the huge don't require to go to see things ; despotism with which they are con- they come to you. What I mean nected does not socially touch is, that wherever you are you see beauty and sublimity, and so you hands; but I discovered that after need not hamper yourself by selec- the long voyage one would find tions.
himself on a desert of ashes some The variety is infinite. First, eighty miles from any fragment of the broken bank, rising right up scenery, with such difficulties in over your head, looks as if it had the way of locomotion that the tracome from Patterdale or the Tro- veller often occupies himself during sachs. Towering right over it is a the stoppage of the steamer in lookhigher top, as if Ben-Nevis — the ing about him in the not extensive long banks which stretch him to or varied town of Reikeiavik, and so broad a base being cut away- in keeping himself warm. An eye had been mounted on wheels, and to the more expressive features of pushed in behind. Then, over all, geology is of use in the choice of a are the majestic masses, bearing touring district. There are some heaps of eternal snow. These broad formations that never diverge from snowy bosoms, with the gentle tinge the heavy respectability of their of green on their glaciered edges, condition into shattered rocks. The how pure and sweet and innocent Loch Katrine district, for instance, they look when far away, and owes its variety and beauty to the steeped in sunshine! Who could prevalence of schist, which devel. think they were infested with ops itself in horny, twisted, eccenstorms and wild torrents, terrible tric forms. When we pass northicebergs that break and crush you ward, we come to a formation kinto pieces, deep chasms, roaring dred in supposed origin, but utterly torrents, avalanches, and the ele- different in picturesque effect-the ments of death in numberless fear- gneiss. Its propensity is to unduful forms! So near they seem, late in broad, low elevations and so smooth, so accessible, that I shallow hollows, and so the wanhave known a Cockney talk of derer who gets into it may find that taking a walk over the snowy there is no end of desolate, unexmountain as he would over Rich- pressive moorland before him. mond Hill, and feeling very much. There is a mistake in always aimastonished and aggrieved indeed ing at the highest ground in a mounwhen, after hours of toilsome walk- tain family. It is often little better ing, he found himself seemingly no than table-land, and frequently it is nearer to it. He was astonished in the outposts that deep clefts and enough when taken to the spot in abrupt precipices have been formed a legitimate way, and especially at out of shakings of the great mass. what first surprises every one on When there are so many thousand first beholding the glacier-its sin- feet to come and go upon as the gular dirtiness on the surface, in- Alps supply, you will get as much somuch that it may be compared sublimity as the eye can take in to London streets where the snow from the eccentricities of the minor has been trodden down by millions mountains. At Chamounix, though of blackened shoes after a thaw you are under the huge shoulders of has come.
Mont Blanc, you have a good deal To one who has a devotion for of climbing to get at the aiguilles mountain scenery, and has limited and precipices; and then, though leisure at his command to make their tops may be a great many his worship in, it is a great point thousand feet above the level of to get at a place where the scenery the sea, they are not so very far is accessible as well as grand. I above where you stand. remember once entertaining some In the district where I now am, thoughts of Iceland as the scene of on the other hand, precipices and a holiday trip. There are abun- spikes as lofty to the eye as dant riches, no doubt, there to re- anything you can see anywhere ward the explorer, with time on his come close round you—they start