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and classification in his household ; and even then he could not be always in all places at once. a man to have thirty children, and all his wives to be very obedient, and do their best to assist him in keeping good order, there is still a difference between him and the schoolmaster. The inan with thirty children will have a profession or occupation of some kind; whatever it may be, we suppose his profession not to be that of training children: the schoolmaster's profession is to train children. Why cannot the schoolmaster do that which it is his profession to do, because the father cannot do that which it is not his profession to do ? The father, if his only profession was to have thirty children, and to educate thein, inight, if he were a sensible man, do the thing very well. Much stress cannot be fairly laid on isolated cases within individual experience; but still, even in the present state of domestic discipline, is it a fact that large families are generally worse governed than small families? or is it a fact that a single child, or a couple of children generally turn out better than a large family? We doubt if this can be affirmed. It is a common remark that brothers do not agree very well at home; and whether the fault be in their parents, or wherever it lies, as things are at present, it is a common and a just complaint. Would not any schoolmaster rather have thirty boys, all of different families to govern, than thirty brothers from one family? In addition to all this, many single masters do govern thirty boys, and govern them on the whole very well, without blows, without harsh treatment, and on the whole with successful results. There is a school near London, consisting of about one hundred and thirty boys, taken from the worst part of society, young thieves and vaga
bonds, who are well governed by one man with an assistant: no system of fagging, legalized or winked at, exists here ; no blows are given ; but strict discipline is enforced, and kind words and behaviour are the reward of those who merit them. The appearance and manner of many of these boys are much superior to what we see in our inferior boarding schools. Cannot that be done in boarding schools, where the boys are generally of decent families, and pay a large sum for their education, which is done in a school where the boys have been corrupted before they come, and the means of which are limited to a few private subscriptions? In this school for vagrants (at Hackney Wick, near London) the boys are employed in labour for the greater part of the day: the corresponding thing for a large school is systematic exercise.
Lastly, “this government of the boys,” which is contended for, “ like every other government, requires to be watched, or it will surely be guilty of abuses.” This is a truth that we might guess without knowing practically what fagging is in schools; but there is an exception to the remark,--the government of the master does not require to be watched by the master, as the government of the boys requires to be watched by the master, and in this consists its superiority. But is this government of the boys watched in the way that it ought to be in schools? Is it likely that, where a master has a government of this description, established by long usage, and which saves him a great deal of labour out of school hours, he will take the trouble of superintending and watching this government, to do which effectually would be as much trouble as to govern on what we conceive to be right principles--a kind of government we fully admit, that will impose more labour on the master out
of school hours, than most masters at present underake? The explanation of the mode in which this government of the boys works, as given by a correspondent, (Letter of a Wykhamist, pp. 287, 288,) is certainly a favourable view of it, and we admit fully that a system of fagging, as he there explains it, is a very different thing from a system of fagging as generally understood. But unfortunately it is a very different thing from a system of fagging as it exists. We do not mean to question the accuracy of the statement there made, as applicable to the school (not there named) 10 which we suppose our correspondent to refer ; but we cannot consent to let this stand as a fair description of what is done in some other schools, in which the real working of the boys' government is very different from that described in the Letter of a Wykhamist, (p. 287,) and which many who will read these remarks know to be characterized by those brutal features which a wise, a benevolent, a conscientious master certainly could soften down, even without destroying the general character of the system itself.
We know that it will still be urged by many masters that it is impossible to govern a large number of boys in the way
that we have recommended; but we are not aware that
any sound objection can be made to it, except the number of masters that will be required. That this is not really felt to be an insuperable difficulty, we infer from the mode in which our correspondent has attempted to prove that it is so; we presume that the arguments urged on this head are the best that the case admits, and we leave it to any rson's calm consideration to give them all the weight that they deserve. But the principle of a proper classification of pupils will much diminish the difficulty, if any still remains; and after
all, suppose two additional masters, beyond the number now employed, are required for every hundred boys in a large school, is this any real obstacle? Are not the terms of these schools high enough to allow the additional expense, or even a much larger one ? When 801., 90l., or 1001. are paid in schools containing 100 or 200 boys, surely a total income of 10,000 to 20,0001. per annum is enough to furnish
every kind of instruction and superintendence that could be required. The 500 boys of Eton do not, on an average, pay less than 100 guineas per annum each ; surely an income of 50,0001. a-year is amply enough to provide a complete education for 500 boys; and the masters, after all, would find themselves carrying on a more lucrative trade than almost any other profession. If parents should begin to be convinced that something of the kind above suggested ought to be attempted, it may still be urged by the masters that their labour will be prodigiously increased, even if their staff is enlarged, and that their emoluments, as boarding-house keepers, may be somewhat diminished. More masters will undoubtedly be wanted, and all the masters will have their hands full: perhaps also they may not make quite so much money as they now do. They will not only have to teach in the school, but to be much with their pupils out of school : the wall of separation between teacher and pupil must be broken down. The teacher must learn, that as he exercises a vocation of higher importance than any in the community, a vocation that all good men honour and respect—one that parents will learn to estimate rightly when they see its duties discharged fully,—so he must submit to much labour, and must devote his life to live with those whom he educates. If VOL. I.
these conditions are too hard, let him abandon his occupation, or bring to it the zeal which ought to animate him who clothes himself with the respected title of the educator of youth, of those who in a few years will form the men of the country, and the strength or the weakness of a nation.*
It is to the endowed schools of this country that we ought to look for those models of discipline that shall be an example to other schools ; and yet, at the present day, while we find a few private schools conforming to the general system of these endowed schools (which they do merely in the character of preparatory schools for them, and under a certain influence called patronage), we see the most respectable private schools, and some of the new proprietary schools, adopting altogether a different system. This total want of unity, this anarchy in education, can only be remedied by the state placing all these establishments on a new footing, and providing them with a set of men well educated and trained to the profession of schoolmaster. At present, it is a mere chance whether a man becomes a master of a school or something else: if he is a man of ability and of honest intentions, a long experience makes him a good master,
* Where the terms of a school are low, and the numbers small, parents must be content with the kind of education which it is in the master's power to bestow. Where the terms are high, and the numbers are few or many, all may be done that is right to be done. All parents would do well to encourage the formation of large schools on reasonable terms : such schools are the schools for the middling and less wealthy classes of the country. By the union of a number of boys in such schools, they may obtain all the advantages of the best education at a cheap rate; and in no other way. Small, cheap schools cannot be good : large, cheap schools may be good. See some remarks which we formerly made on this subject, in the Journal of Education, No, XV., 6 Military and Naval Education."