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of all work for the general benefit of the school; and this remark specially applies to the hours when the boys on the foundation are shut up at night. At this time the fags receive the orders from their superiors who may want such things as pies, meat, porter, &c. The fags carry the numerous messages to the door, which is locked, on the outside of which stands a servant, who receives all the orders and brings what is wanted from the cook-shop or other place. This service may seem a small matter on the part of the juniors, and, as our correspondent would say, contributes to give thein a certain “helpfulness and independence;" but when we consider the number and variety of the orders, the danger of confounding some or forgetting others, with the additional risk of the servant on the outside making some blunder, and that the fags are liable to be thrashed, and most certainly are thrashed, if all the good things, of which they have no chance of partaking, do not come duly to hand-it will appear that this is really a hard and odious servitude. But it would be endless to describe all the confusion, bullying, and tyranny, that are the necessary consequence of a large number of boys of various ages being all shut up in one room without the superintendence of a master.
Still the great objection to the fagging system is not the services required of the juniors, nor the abuse of the power which the elders exercise: we are led to the consideration of the main objection by what we have just stated; and the main objection is briefly this: The system brings the older and the junior boys too much in contact, considering the difference of age and of physical and intellectual development. This truth, which is of the highest importance, is admitted to a certain extent
by the regulations of some private schools in England, but more so in some on the continent. We shall briefly explain this matter : various considerations (some of them incident to the present state of society) prevent a complete exposition in this place.
The relationship between men and boys must not be confounded with that between older and younger boys. Men have learned by experience that they must regard public opinion, and, if they cannot entirely govern their passions, they feel the necessity, at least, of concealing their actions, and of using caution in their expressions, not only before men, but more particularly before boys, who are quick to observe and ready to report. Boys do not observe the same decencies towards one another when they are thrown together in large numbers: their actions and their words are often without reserve: their society is not the world, but a small part of it; they know that they are not men, nor subject to the strict rules of man's society: a certain degree of licence will prevail among them in the best regulated schools. Now as to many matters, we can readily admit that if boys were all mixed together, and allowed to form their system of morality, some good principles might be established. Lying, for instance, might (except in certain cases, allowed by the positive morality of the school) be generally despised, a feeling of courage might be generally diffused, and other similar qualities, though in no case do we admit that these principles would be free from considerable alloy, if the boys were entirely left to themselves; and the reasons for these principles would not be the right ones. But as to other matters, we should have different principles established among the
boys, and some of a pernicious character. The nature of the sexual relations is a subject that occupies the youthful mind from very early years, and is a neverfailing topic of curiosity and inquiry. In schools this curiosity is encouraged and stimulated by the union of a number of boys; and especially, if those of a tender age are much with those who are older, are they exposed to this evil. The common results of this promiscuous intercourse, which are obscene language, coarse jests, and other things of the kind, are not the chief evil consequences: a prurient disposition is often formed at an early age, which becomes a source of great trouble to the person himself and to many others too. For this, among other reasons, the intercourse between the older and younger boys should be very much restricted during the play hours, but during the hours of sleep it should be absolutely prevented. Every school is a dangerous place in which a number of boys are put in the same room at night without a proper superintendent. But what must we say of those public schools where forty or fifty or more boys, of all ages, are shut up all night in a large room without any superintendence of any kind ? Does it require a particular acquaintance with this or that school in order to enable us to say that the consequences must be pernicious, that the boundaries of decency are often violated, that the passions are stimulated by indecent stories and other means to a high degree, long before the physical development of the body would have made the sexual passion really felt? It is not nècessary to know such places to say that such must be the consequences; but should it be said that a person is not qualified to write on such a subject without this
peculiar information, then we add that we know that such are the consequences of this impure and disgrace. ful system,
We still hope that those who are better qualified to treat this branch of the subject will not, from false delicacy, shrink from the task. Facts are abundantly known to some physicians who have had extensive opportunities of attending to certain mental disorders, the consequences of certain physical derangements; and no nobler object could be proposed to them than to show how those passions, which, when under due control, contribute so largely to human happiness, may not become, through the inattention and ignorance of the guardians of youth, the poison and the bane of their existence. The fundamental principle of correction, as to this matter, is the superintendence of the boys both by day and night, and the total separation of the younger from the elder in the sleeping-rooms. Many considerations besides these would be required to develope this matter fully; but in the active, systematic exercises of the gymnastic, and the strict, yet not severe, discipline of the school, the means for carrying out this principle would be found. A daily proper portion of bodily fatigue is the antidote to all wandering of the thoughts and dwelling on improper objects. In our schools many healthy boys take exercise enough of their own accord, and would often be better for taking less; but there are always some who are little inclined to indulge in athletic exercises, and these are they who specially require the encouragement and the direction of the master of gymnastic. A weakly and sickly frame is more liable to some of the evils at which we have hinted than a robust
and muscular body. The value of gymnastic in such cases cannot be estimated too highly.
We have said that the fagging system brings the older and younger boys too much into contact; to which it may be objected, that the fagging system has a tendency to separate the older from the younger boys: and this objection is a truth, but let us see if it consists with what we have said. The fagging system does separate boys into distinct classes ; it does separate older from younger boys. The older boys have a circle of enjoyments peculiarly their own: within this circle there is no sympathy of any kind between the senior and the junior boys. The junior boys are not qualified by age, or in any other way, to participate either in the proper amusements and pleasures of the older boys, or in the improper amusements and pleasures of these boys. This, then, is a good reason why they should, to a great degree, be kept apart from them. But by the fagging system the junior boys are broughtinto contact with the senior boys, not as participators in their pleasures, but as ministers to their pleasures, their wants, and their caprices: they are brought into contact with them exactly under the circumstances which are most disadvantageous to both parties. The nature of this relationship (supposing the senior to abuse his power and to set a bad example, which no person can deny does often occur) is not unlike the relationship between a dissolute man and his servant. The bad inaster and the man are, we all know, as much separated as any two beings can be in one point of view; while in another point of view they are brought into very close con• tact. There are no sympathies common to the two which tend to improve either : there are abundance of