Imatges de pàgina

This was not exposing the younger boys, according to Arnold's view, to abuse from their seniors. He writes as follows:

It is important to distinguish such acts of oppression as belong properly to the system of fagging, from such as arise merely from superior physical force, and consequently exist as much, I believe, a thousand times more, in those schools where there is no legal fagging. For instance, your correspondent* complains of the tyranny practiced at Winchester at bed-time, "tossing in the blanket, tying toes, bolstering, &c." These, indeed, are most odious practices, but what have they to do with fagging? I have known them to exist at private schools, where there was no fagging, to a degree of intolerable cruelty. In college, at Winchester, where there were two or three præfects in every chamber, 1 scarcely remember them to have been practiced at all during the period of which I can speak from my own experience. And this is natural; for the boys who delight in this petty tyranny are very rarely to be found amongst the oldest in a school, and still less amongst those who have raised themselves to the highest rank in it; they are either middle-aged boys, from fourteen to sixteen, or such older boys as never distinguish themselves for any good, and who, never rising high in the school, are by a system of fagging, and by that only, restrained from abusing their size and strength in tyranny. Other abuses which your correspondent mentions, such as toasting, lighting fires, &c., arise so far from a system of fagging, that this system, when ill-regulated, allows a certain well-defined class of boys to exact services which otherwise would be exaeted merely by the strongest. But I said, what every one must be aware of, that the government of boys, like every other government, requires to be watched, or it will surely be guilty of abuses. Those menial offices, which were exacted from the juniors at Winchester, were only required of them because the attendance of servants was so exceedingly insufficient, and the accommodations of the boys in many particulars so greatly neglected. If you do not provide servants to clean the boys' shoes, to supply them with water of a morning, or to wait on them at their meals, undoubtedly the more powerful among them, whether the power be natural or artificial, will get these things done for them by the weaker; but supply the proper attendance, and all this ceases immediately. There will remain many miscellaneous services, such as watching for balls at cricket or fives, carrying messages, &c., which servants undoubtedly can not be expected always to perform, and which yet belong to that general authority vested in the boys of the highest form. They belong to that general authority, and are therefore now claimed as rightfully due; but if there were no such anthority, they would be claimed by the stronger from the weaker. For I assume it as a certain fact, that if you have two or three hundred boys living with one another as a distinct society, there will be some to command, as in all other societies, and others to obey; the only difference is, that the present system first of all puts the power into the best hands; and, secondly, by recognizing it as legal, is far better able to limit its exercise and to prevent its abuses, than it could be if the whole were a mere irregular dominion of the stronger over the weaker.-Miscellaneous Works, pp. 374, 375.

In the same article from which the preceding defence of fagging has been extracted, Arnold explains his retention of flogging.

The total abandonment of corporeal punishment for the faults of young boys appears to me not only uncalled for, but absolutely to be deprecated. It is of course most desirable that all punishment should be superseded by the force of moral motives; and up to a certain point this is practicable. All endeavors so to dispense with flogging are the wisdom and the duty of a schoolmaster; and by these means the amount of corporeal punishment inflicted may be, and in fact has been, in more than one instance, reduced to something very inconsiderable. But it is one thing to get rid of punishment by lessening the amount of faults, and another to say, that even if the faults are committed, the punishment ought not to be inflicted. Now it is folly to expect that faults will never occur; and it is very essential toward impressing on a boy's mind the natural imperfectness and subordination of his condition, that his faults and the state of his character being different from what they are in after life, so the nature of his punishment should

• of the Journal of Education, for which Arnold was writing.

be different also, lest by any means he should unite the pride and self-importance of manhood with a boy's moral carelessness and low notions of moral responsibility.

The beau-ideal of school discipline, with regard to young boys, would appear to be this; that whilst corporeal punishment was retained on principle as fitly answering to, and marking the naturally inferior state of, boyhood, morally and intellectually, and therefore as conveying no peculiar degradation to persons in such a state, we should cherish and encourage to the utmost all attempts made by the several boys as individuals to escape from the natural punishment of their age by rising above its naturally low tone of principle. While we told them that, as being boys, they were not degraded by being punished as boys, we should tell thern also, that in proportion as we saw them trying to anticipate their age morally, So we should delight to anticipate it also in our treatment of them personally; that every approach to the steadiness of principle shown in manhood should be considered as giving a claim to the respectability of manhood ; that we should be delighted to forget the inferiority of their age, as they labored to lessen their moral and intellectual inferiority. This would be a discipline truly generous and wise, in one word, truly Christian ; making an increase of dignity the certain consequence of increased virtuous effort, but giving no countenance to that barbarian pride which claims the treatment of a freeman and an equal, while it cherishes all the carelessness, the folly, and the low and selfish principle of a slave. -Miscellaneous Works, pp. 368, 369.

"Flogging, therefore, for the younger part, he retained,” says Arnold's biographer, “but it was confined to moral offenses such as lying, drinking, and habitual idleness, while his aversion to inflicting it rendered it still less frequent in practice than it would have been according to the rule he had laid down for it."

One of Arnold's pupils, from whom we have gladly quoted already, describes the visit of three of the younger boys, “late for locking-up," to the study of the head-master. It is so true a picture of Arnold's dealings with his pupils, that we transcribe it, as a corrective of the ideas suggested by our recent extracts.

" That's the library door," said East in a whisper, pushing Tom forward. The sound of merry voices and laughter came from within, and his first hesitating knock was unanswered.. But at the second, the doctor's voice said " Come in, and Tom turned the handle, and he, with the others behind him, sidled into the room.

The doctor looked up from his task ; he was working away with a great chisel at the bottom of a boy's sailing boat, the lines of which he was no doubt fashioning on the model of one of Nicias' galleys. Round him stood three or four children; the candles burnt brightly on a large table at the further end, covered with books and papers, and a great fire threw a ruddy glow over the rest of the room. All looked so kindly and homely and comfortable, that the boys took heart in a moment, and Tom advanced from behind the shelter of the great sofa. The doctor nodded to the children, who went out, casting curious and amused glances at the three young scarecrows.

“Well, my little fellows," began the doctor, drawing himself up, with his back to the fire, the chisel in one hand and his coat-tails in the other, and his eye twinkling as he looked them over; "what makes you so late ?"

“Please, sir, we've been out Big-side Hare-and-hounds, and lost our way." “Hah! you couldn't keep up, I suppose ?

“Well, sir," said East, stepping out, and not liking that the doctor should think lightly of his running powers," we got round Barby all right, but then—"

" Why, what a state you're in, my boy," interrupted the doctor, as the pitiful condition of East's garments was fully revealed to him.

“That's the fall I got, sir, in the road, said East, looking down at himself; "the Old Pig came by "

“ The what ?" said the doctor.

"The Oxford coach, sir,” explained Hall.
* Hah! yes, the Regulator," said the doctor.
“And I tumbled on my face, trying to get up behind," went on East.
“ You're not hurt, I hope," said the doctor.
" Oh no, sir."

“Well, now, run ap stairs, all three of you, and get clean things on, and then tell the housekeeper to give you some tea. You're too young to try such long runs. Let Warner know I've seen you. Good night."

“Good night, sir." And away scuttled the three boys in high glee. School Days at Rugby, pp. 168, 169.

There was one reform in the way of discipline, on which Arnold was resolved from the outset. It was the introduction, as far as possible, of the principle on which he had acted in his private instruction at Laleham, with regard to the admission and retention of pupils. How far he carried this out, in relation to the admission of boys to Rugby, is not altogether clear in his writings, or in the writings concerning him. But we are told, again and again, that he would never retain a pupil whose stay in the school he cotisidered inadvisable for the pupil himself, or for his fellow pupils. It was not merely expulsion for serious offenses ; this existed at Rugby before Arnold's time. His reform consisted in removing a boy on grounds hitherto considered objectionable, but not so much so as to permit his dismissal; what others would have done, had they been bold enough or earnest enough, Arnold did, -here was his reform. It might be a case where the interests of the boy removed, were alone considered ; it being deemed desirable, simply on his own account, that he should be educated under different influences. Or it might be for the sake of the school, or of two or three in it, that some boy, whether guilty or not of great wrong doing, was dismissed, in contradiction of all precedent, before Arnold made precedents of his own. He did not pursue this system without exciting remonstrance, and more than remonstrance; but he persisted, declaring that "till a man learns that the first, second and third duty of a schoolmaster, is to get rid of unpromising subjects, a great public school will never be what it might, and what it ought to be.”

It would be doing great injustice to Arnold to pass by the relations between him and his assistant teachers. One of his noblest reforms was to raise the position of the under masters from that of little better than menials to that of trusted and honored associates in instruction. He increased their salaries, exalted their services; establishing an altogether new connection between them and the boys under their charge, and giving them all the credit that they deserved, never engrossing it for himself, but rather rejoicing when it was so entirely theirs, that boys came, as he thought, to receive their instructions rather than his own. “I am more and more thankful,” is

the language attributed to one of them, “every day of my life, that I came here to be under him.” “I think,” he wrote himself, “ I have a right to look rather high for the man whom I fis upon, (for a vacant mastership,) and it is my great object to get here a society of intelligent, gentlemanly, and active men, who may permanently keep up the character of the school.” Admirable as Arnold was in many respects, he was in none more admirable than in this consideration for his assistants; in none, certainly, was he more different from the great majority of principals, who, if they really regard their subordinates in any other light than that of instruments to promote their own interest, do themselves gross injustice. Simple policy ought to teach them better; simple honesty ought to open their hands and their hearts in favor of those whom they are wont so much to wrong.

With this, we close our all too rapid sketches of Arnold as the head-master of Rugby school. But our account of him as a teacher is by no means complete. Rugby was not the solitary sphere of his exertions in behalf of education. If it had been, his labors in it might have been, nay, would have been, less effective than they were; an activity like his would have been wasted rather than concentrated, by being pent up within a single channel.

It was about midway in his Rugby career that he was offered by government a fellowship in the Senate of the London University. His acceptance of the office was shortly followed by a notice of his intention to propose that the examinations for degrees should include the Scriptures. Without this, he maintained the University would have no claim to be called a Christian institution. But with it, others maintained, the charter of the University which provides for the admission of all denominations, will be violated; the institution will at once become sectarian. Arnold did not give way; but on a point of so much moment, he must speak for himself:

I have no wish to have Degrees in Divinity conferred by the London University or to have a Theological Faculty : I am quite content with Degrees in Arts. But then let us understand what Arts are.

If Arts mean merely logic, or grammar, or arithmetic, or natural science, then of course a degree in Arts implies nothing whatever as to a man's moral judgment or principles. But open the definition a little farther,-include poetry, or history, or moral philosophy,and you encroach unavoidably on the domain of moral education, and moral education can not be separated from religious education, unless people have the old superstitious notion of religion, either that it relates to rites and ceremonies, or to certain abstract and unpractical truths. But, meaning by Religion what the Gospel teaches one to mean by it, it is nothing more nor less than a system directing and influencing our conduct, principles, and feelings, and professing to do this with sovereign authority, and most efficacious influence. If then I enter on the domain of moral knowledge, I am thereby on the domain of religious knowledge, and the only question is, what religion am I to follow? If I take no notice of the authority and influences of Christianity, I unavoidably take a view of man's life and principles from which they are excluded, that is, a view which acknowledges some other authority and influence, it may

be of some other religion, or of some philosophy, or of mere common opinion or instinct ;-but, in any case, I have one of the many views of life and conduct, which it was the very purpose of Christ's coming into the world to exclude. And how can any Christian man lend himself to the propagating or sanctioning a system of moral knowledge which assumes that Christ's law is not our rule, nor Vis promises our motive of action ? This, then, is my principle, that moral studies not based on Christianity must be unchristian, and therefore are such, as I can take no part in.

On the other hand, I allow as fully as you can do, that the University should include Christians of every denomination without the slightest distinction. The differences between Christian and Christian are not moral differences, except accidentally ; and that is what I meant in that passage in the Church Reform Pamphlet which you, in common with many others, have taken in a sense which I should wholly disclaim. An Unitarian, as such, is a Christian ; that is, if a man follows Christ's law and believes His words according to his conscientious sense of their meaning, he is a Christian ; and, though I may think he understands Christ's words amiss, yet that is a question of interpretation, and no more ; the purpose of his heart and mind is to obey and be guided by Christ, and there fore he is a Christian. But I believe,-if I err as to the matter of fact I shall greatly rejoice,-that Upitarianism happens to contain many persons who are only Unitarians negatively, as not being Trinitarians; and I question whether these follow Christ with enough of sincerity and obedience to entitle them to be called Christians.

Then comes the question of practicability. Here undoubtedly, I am met at a disadvantage, because the whole tendency of the last century, and of mens' minds now, is to shun all notions of comprehension ; and as the knot was once cut by persecution, so it is to be cut now by toleration and omission.

But it is an experiment undoubtedly worth trying, whether for the sake of upholding the Christian character of our University, we ought not to venture on ground, new indeed in England, just at present, but which is of the very essence of true Christianity. With all Christians except Roman Catholics the course is plain, namely to examine every candidate for a Degree in one of the Gospels and one of the Epistles out of the Greek Testament. I would ask of every man the previous question, “ To what denomination of Christians do you belong ?” and according to his answer, I would specially avoid touching on those points, on which I as a Churchman differed from him. I should probably say to him aloud, if the examination were public, “Now I know that you and I differ on such and such points, and therefore I shall not touch on them ; but we have a great deal more on which we agree, and therefore I may ask you so and so." With the Roman Catholics there might be a difficulty, because they might possibly object to being examined by heretics, or in the Scriptures; but if so, where would be the difficulty of adding a Catholic to the number of Fellows, on purpose for this object; or where would be the difficulty of requiring from the candidate, being a Catholic, a certificate of proficiency in religious knowledge from his own Priest or Bishop ?-Life and Correspondence, pp. 304, 305.

Some months after the date of this letter, Arnold carried a resolution through the University Senate, “ That, as a general rule, the candidates for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts, shall pass an examination, either in one of the four Gospels or the Acts of the Apostles, in the original Greek, and also in Scripture History.” This, though a partial examination in the Scriptures, and one that was to be held only “ as a general rule,” excited such opposition, both from dissenters and from the government, that it was repealed in two months' time, its place being taken by a resolution to the effect that candidates for degrees might, if they thought proper, pass an examination "in the the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, and in the Greek text of the New, and in Scripture History." Not long afterward, Arnold, having

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