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Saviour of mankind interfered would he escape punishment. Upon this a beautiful white dove is said to have alighted on the tomb, and, by bending its head and fluttering its wings, as if in the attitude of supplication, disarmed the schoolmaster's anger, and made him fall on his knees and beg forgiveness. St. Ermenilda was in the same way the patroness of the Ely school-boys. Some boys had fled to her shrine for protection, but the schoolmaster dragged them from their place of refuge, and flogged them to his heart's content (rusque ad animi satietatem verberat). The following night the saint appeared to him, and completely paralyzed his limbs; and their use was not restored until his pupils had carried him to the shrine as a repentant sinner.
Tusser, in his rude rhymes, complains of the severity of the scholastic disci. pline in his day. He says,
• From Paul's I went to Eton, sent
To learn straight ways the Latin phrase;
At once I had,
To me, poor lad!' In those days it would appear that boys were flogged, not for any offense, or omission, or unwillingness, or incapacity to learn, but upon the abstract theory that they ought to be flogged. Erasmus bears witness that this was the principle upon which he was flogged. He was a favorite with his master, who had good hopes of his disposition and abilities, but flogged him to see how he could bear the pain, the result being that the Rod nearly spoiled the child: his health and spirits were broken by it, and he began to dislike his studies. He describes, without naming, another schoolmaster who was of a similar disposition. This is thought to be Colet, Dean of St. Paul's, who, although he delighted in children, and was a good man, thought no discipline could be too severe in his school; and whenever he dined there, one or two boys were served up to be flogged by way of dessert. On one of these flogging occasions, when Erasmus was present, he called up a meek gentle boy of ten years old, who had lately been earnestly commended to his care by a tender mother-ordered him to be flogged for some pretended fault, and saw him flogged till the victim was fainting under the scourge: 'not that he deserved this,' said the dean to Erasmus, while it was going on, but it was fit to humble him.'
Most of the schools of England have their stories of flogging, and of masters who were proficient in the art. To many of them the words of Crabbe's schoolmaster were quite applicable-
“Students,' he said, 'like horses on the road,
To make him study, let him see he must.'
'He beeinge one day whippinge a boy, his breeches beeinge doune, and he ready to inflict punishment uppon him, out of his insultinge humour, he stood pausinge a wbile over his breech; and there a merry conceit taking him, he sayd, “I aske ye banes of matrymony between this boy, his buttockes, of such a parish, on y® one side, and Lady Burch of ye parish, on the otherside ; and if any man can shew any lawfull cause why you should not be ioyned together, let y speake, for yio is ye last time of askinge!" A good sturdy boy and of a quick conceyt stood up and sayd, “Master, I forbid ye banes!" The master takinge this in dudgeon sayd, “ Yea, sirrah, and why so ?" The boy answered, “Because all partyes are not agreed," whereat the master likinge that witty aunswer, spared the one's fault and the others pésumption.' The same story is related of Dr. Busby of Westminister, whose name has passed into a proverb for scholastic severity. His rod, he used to say, was the sieve which sisted the wheat of scholarship from the chaff. It is related of him and one of his scholars, that during the doctor's absence from his study the boy found some plums in it, which he began to eat. First, however, he waggishly cried out, 'I publish the banns of matrimony between my mouth and these plums; if any here present know just cause or impediment why they should not be united, you are to declare it, or hereafter hold your peace.' The doctor having overheard the proclamation, determined to chastise for it, but said nothing till next morning; when, causing the boy to be brought up and disposed for punishment, he grasped the well-known instrument, and said, 'I publish the banns of matrimony between this rod and this boy; if any of you know just cause or impediment why they should not be united, you are to declare it.' The boy himself called out 'I forbid the banns. "For what cause ?' inquired the doctor. 'Because,' said the boy, 'the parties are not agreed.' The doctor enjoyed the validity of the objection, and the boy escaped.
Some of Busby's successors were not far behind him in the severity of discipline. Dr. Vincent's rule nearly equaled ‘Busby's awful reign.' Of him it is recorded that he was not satisfied with the regulation punishment, but boxed the boy's ears and pinched them in addition. Coleman protested against this, saying that a pedagogue was privileged to make a pupil red in the proper place, but had no right to squeeze him black and blue with his fingers. During Vincent's mastership the older boys started a periodical called The Flagellant, which 80 roused Vincent's wrath that he began an action against the publisher, and Southey, who wrote an article caricaturing the doctor, came forward and avowed the authorship, and had to leave the school in consequence.
The boys of Westminster once administered the discipline of the school'on Curll the bookseller. Pope mentions in one of his letters that Mr. Edmund Curll was exercised in a blanket and whipped at Westminster School by the boys. He had incurred the resentment of the Westminster scholars thus :-In 1716, Robert South, prebendary of Westminster School, died. At his funeral a Latin oration was pronounced over the body by Mr. John Barber, then captain of the King's Scholars, Westminster. Curll, by some means, obtained and printed a copy of the oration without the author's consent, and the boys determined to take vengeance. Under pretense of giving him a correct copy, they decoyed him into the Dean's yard, and what followed is stated by the St. James' Post :-'Being, on Thursday last, fortunately nabbed within the limits of the Dean's Yard by the King's Scholars, there he met with a college salutation; for he was first presented with the ceremony of the blanket, in which, when the skeleton had been well shook, he was carried in triumph to the school: and, after receiving a grammatical construction for his false concords, he was reconducted to the Dean's Yard, and, on his knees asking pardon of the aforesaid Mr. Barber for his offense, he was kicked out of the yard and left to the huzzas of the rabble. The incident was commemorated in a pamphlet entitled 'Neck or Nothing,' with the unfortunate Curll figuring prominently in a series of tableaux, first being presented with the ceremony of the blanket,' then stretched on a table undergoing a flagellation on the breech, and lastly, on his kuees between two files of Westminster scholars, asking pardon of Mr. Barber.
The rod in use at Winchester School is not of birch, but is composed of four apple-tree twigs, set in a wooden handle, and provided by two juniors who hold the office of rod-makers under the orders of the Prefect of Hall. The invention of this instrument is ascribed to Dr. John Baker, who was warden of the school for thirty-three years, from 1454-87. The mode of application was specially prescribed. The delinquent knelt down to the block or bench, and two boys 'took him up'—that is, removed the shirt between the waistband of his trousers and his waistcoat--and then the master inflicted four cuts called a 'scrubbing,' or six cuts called a 'bibling,' on which occasion the Bible clerk introduced the victim. Queen Elizabeth visited Winchester in 1570. Her Majesty asked a young scholar if he had ever made acquaintance with the celebrated Winton Rod, and he replied, with more readiness than was to be expected, by an apt quotation from Virgil:
'Infandum, Regina, jubes renovare dolorem.' "Great Queen, what you command me to relate
Renews the sad remembrance of our fute.'-DRYDEN. Shrewsbury School, about the beginning of the present century, was presided over by a great flogger, in the person of Dr. Butler. The whippings which he administered with his left hand are not yet forgotten. At this school there was a small room lighted by one narrow loophole, a receptacle for the flogging block and birch, where delinquents were confined. It was called the Blackhole, or sometimes 'Rowe's Hole,' from a youth who is said to have been a very regular occupant.
Dr. Parr deserves mention in the annals of school flagellation. He had a firm belief in the utility of the birch. At his school in Norwich there was usually a flogging levee before the classes were dismissed. His rod-maker was a man who had been sentenced to be hanged, but had been cut down and resuscitated by the surgeons; and from the hands of this amiable character, ac. cording to the account of a pupil, Parr 'used to receive the birches with a complacent expression of countenance.' Another pupil speaks feelingly of the lightning of his eye, the thunder of his voice, and the weight of his arm.' One of the under masters told him one day that a certain pupil appeared to show signs of genius. 'Say you so?' said Parr, 'then begin to flog him to-morrow morning.'
Flogging went on briskly at Rugby in Dr. James's time, about 1780; and there was, in addition, plenty of caning on the hand. During the mastership of Dr. Wooll in 1813, a memorable scene occurred. One day the wliole of the lower fourth class, except the boy who was up at lesson by the master's side, rushed out before the usual time. The matter was at once reported to the doctor, who sent notice that every boy in the form was to be flogged at three o'clock, before the third lesson commenced. A few minutes before that hour the rod-bearer made his appearance, and preparations for the doleful ceremony were soon made. Punctually at the time Dr. Wooll entered the class-room, and calling for the list, began with the head boy, and went regularly through the thirty-eight, including, unfortunately, the boy who had not run out with the rest. The whole thirty-eight were finished off in a quarter of an liour. The late Lord Lyttelton was being shown by Dr. Wooll the room at Rugby in which the flogging was usually inflicted. What motto would be appropriate ?' asked the doctor. “Great cry and little wool,' replied the other, looking at the diminutive form of the master,
The following note to a letter written by Mrs. Piozzi to Sir James Fellowes, from Bath, 30th March, 1819, is curious:~'I had met Mr. Wickens a few days before at Mrs. Piozzi's. As we were brother Rugbeans, the conversation took place about the mode of punishing the boys in Dr. James's time, when Mrs. Piozzi related the story of Vandyke, who, when a boy, first evinced his genius in a remarkable manner, by painting the exact likeness of the master upon the person of a school-fellow about to be flogged, which so astonished and amused the pedagogue that he burst out a laughing, and excused the boy the punishment that awaited him.'
An anecdote, illustrative of how boys took their birch long ago, is given in The Guide to Eton:'-Sir Henry B- n, some seventy years since (at which period collegers always held down boys who were being flogged), calmly looked up at his two supporters, who were still holding him down, instead of releasing him, though his flogging was over, and said, 'Gentlemen of the black robe, I believe the ceremony is over.'
Birching is a time honored practice at Eton. We say is, because, on the appointment of the last new head master, the Rev. Mr. Hornby, he was presented by the captain of the school, in the name of his fellows, with an elegant birch rod, tied with a blue riband. The usual rod at Eton consisted of three long birchen twigs (no branches), bound with a string for about a quarter of their length, and a charge of half a guinea for birch was made in every boy's bill, whether he was flogged or not. Dr. Keate was among the most remarkable of the Eton floggers. He was celebrated for the celerity with which he dispatched those who were down in the 'bill’or flogging list. According to the Eton boys' code of propriety, there was not the least disgrace attached to a flogging; there might indeed be some reproach in never having tasted birch, to avoid which lads have been known to get themselves flogged on purpose. A few years ago, a youth of eighteen years of age was condemned to be flogged for smoking, but, acting on his father's orders, he refused to take his punishment, for which contumacy he was dismissed from the school. In the olden time, that ill-omened day, Friday, was the only flogging day at Eton.
or Keate's flogging exploits one very good story is told. On one occasion when a confirmation was to be held for the school, each master was requested to make out a list of the candidates in his own form. A master wrote down the names on the first piece of paper which came to land, which happened unluckily to be one of the slips of well known size and shape, used as flogging bills, and sent up regularly with the names of delinquents for execution. The list being put into Keate's hands without explanation, he sent for the boys in the regular course, and, in spite of all protestations on their part, pointing to the master's siguature to the fatal "bill,' he flogged them all.
Another day, a culprit who was due for punishment could not be found, and the doctor who was kept waiting on the scene of action, but a namesake of the missing one happened to pass the door: he was at once seized by Keate's orders, and brought to the block as a vicarious sacrifice. Absence from roll-call was punished by flogging. Keate had imposed on one division an additional rollcall as a punishment. They held a consultation, and resolved that none of them should attend. The doctor came and found himself alone. He had just left a dinner party at his own house. He collected bis assistants, and waited until the whole division was brought into his presence. He then went to work and flogged them all-about eighty-and returned to his guests as placid and agreeable as usual.
Only one instance is on record of a condemned culprit having escaped the birch of Dr. Keate. A boy who had got into trouble was looking forward to his first flogging with considerable nervousness. Some mischievous school-fellows recommended a preparation of gall-nuts as an infallible recipe for making the surface to which it was applied insensible to pain. The result was one of those cases better imagined than described. It was impossible for the boy to put in an appearance before the doctor in that state; and a strictly private conversation with his tutor ended in that gentleman's waiting upon Keate, in order to explain the impossibility of the impending operation being performed without great risk to the gravity of both head master and attendant collegers: a pæna' of some hundred lines was therefore accepted in commutation.
*Among the many good stories told of “Old Keate," says the Saturday Review, 'perhaps the best is that of the boy who called on him to take leave. * You seem to know me very well," said the great head master; "but I have no remembrance of ever having seen your face before." "You were better acquainted, sir, with my other end," was the unblushing reply.' A similar anecdote has been versified as follows:
An old Etonian once met Keate abroad,
b a re so very much the same.' A hundred years since, and, indeed, up till within a quarter of a century ago, the punishments at Christ's Ilospital were heavy and frequent. The monitors or heads of wards had a license to chastise their inferiors, which they used freely. Writing of them, Charles Lamb says: 'I have been called out of my bed, and waked for the purpose, in the coldest winter nights-and this not once, but night after night-in my shirt, to receive the discipline of a leathern thong, with cleven other sufferers, because it pleased my callow overseer, when there had been any talking heard after we were gone to bed, to make the six last