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natural objects of this action are the causes of our irritation. Between men and men these feelings are checked by a knowledge that, if exercised unreasonably by any person, they will call forth the feelings in others which we name anger and resentment, without which corresponding feelings the first would run riot, and society could not exist. These antagonist principles are the elements of order in society; they produce mutual caution as to giving just cause of offence, lest anger and resentment should be excited. We are so constituted that we resist wrong, and endeavour to get reparation for injury ; it is one end of society to help us in getting this reparation, and with this view the law fixes the mode in which reparation must be obtained.
As between boys and men, the case is different. Usage has given to men a power over boys which it has not given to men over men ; and this power, as it is proportionally greater, and under comparatively little control, requires the greater caution in its exercise. But it is proposed to exercise this power occasionally (what the occasions proposed are, we do not know-' for faults of young boys' is the vague term that is used, Letter, p. 284)-it is proposed to use the power occasionally in inflicting blows on boys, from whom the same consequences cannot be apprehended as from men, and therefore a great part of the wholesome restraint above alluded to in the case of men and men, is here wanting. It is to be used by men who neither by education nor in any other way have any superiority over other men in controlling their passions; it is to be used by schoolmasters not trained to their business. It is certain then that it will often be used ill; it is a power that would be used ill by any man, whether school
master or not. And the longer a man has been accustomed to inflict blows, the readier will he be to inflict them, and the more careless in discriminating the occasions for their application. A wise man is very cautious about inflicting a blow, especially on one from whom no resistance is apprehended ; a wise master is cautious how he gives a blow to a slave who must submit ; for experience tells us all, that our passions of all kinds grow stronger by indulgence, and that it is dangerous to exercise a power that may be used without fear of resistance. These arguments go to prove that it is very difficult indeed to inflict blows on boys, under any circumstances, without displaying passion, without exceeding the bounds of propriety which we ourselves acknowledge, and without forfeiting the respect of our pupils, and thus losing the strongest instrument of government in a school—the desire of the boys to obtain the approbation of the master. So great, we say, is this risk, that all men, particularly those of an irritable tempera: ment, will probably lose much more authority by beating boys, even occasionally, than they would by abstaining from it altogether; and to those who are conscious of such infirmities of temper, we strongly recommend total abstinence from blows, which will infallibly set them on finding some substitute.
If, as is admitted (Letter, p. 284), “the amount of corporal punishment inflicted may be reduced to something very inconsiderable, it seems very difficult to find a reason why the little that remains need be kept. If it is good for anything, why part with any of it?-if it is not good, get rid of the remainder, for you will not say that having substituted the force of moral motives' for a large part of what was once flogging, you reserve
the right of a bit of flogging to fall back upon when you are hard pressed for other means. In fact, we do not understand the way in which the flogging argument is put by our correspondent, though we have read it with much attention. Whether the application of a little of the reserved right would help us or not we will not venture to say.
The writer of the article on Winchester School asserts that 'corporal punishment is degrading: the author of ihe Letter asserts this expression to originate in a proud notion of personal independence, which is neither reasonable nor Christian, but essentially barbarian.' (Letter, p. 281.) It is not important to settle this point, which we leave as it stands. But it is important to see clearly what are the invariable principles of our nature, which remain the same whether names do so or not. Blows inflicted by a master under the mere influence of passion, as they often are and must be, blows inflicted when the boy who receives them and his fellows too know they are not merited, even according to the blow-giving code, will be accompanied with a sense of injury, and the boy will feel resentment.* thing be more absurd than to say that this feeling is wrong (we do not say that our correspondent says so), or that the boy should submit with all humility to the unjust correction of his superior in age ? He feels resentment, and he cannot help feeling it: no teaching or preaching can eradicate this feeling ; we presume, therefore, that the feeling is that kind of feeling which is necessary, and we pronounce it good. From the moment that a blow is given unjustly to a boy, all the natural feeling of respect and regard for his master * See Bishop Butler's excellent discourse on Resentment.
disappears, and it is impossible that any good can be done after. Whether what we have stated is an imaginary case, we appeal to some who may read this article. A prudent governor, either of boys or men, will be cautious never to put himself in a situation in which he runs the risk of losing the natural respect paid to superiors in age and station.
If space allowed, we should insist still further on this topic, believing that as a general rule blows will be inflicted under the influence of passion, and that they do raise in the minds of boys a feeling of resentment, which are very sufficient reasons for not inflicting blows at all. As to a system of blows, which shall be the best possible system of blows, well regulated, strictly defined, enforced with all due solemnity, in number and degree varying with the offence, at certain intervals after all chance of passion in the master is over, and never felt by the boy to be undeserved—why all this supposes the efficacy and necessity of the blow to be entirely done away with, for it resolves itself into the ultimate principle of all school government and of all good society, the approbation and good opinion of those who are wiser and better than ourselves. When the matter is brought to this point the offence committed, no anger or passion exhibited on the part of the master, but a firm resolution to punish, and no one to say that punishment is not deserved—when the matter is brought. to this point, and the time for the punishment is come, will a blow add to the efficacy of the punishment ? Suppose the punishment to be the disapprobation of the master, expressed either in private or public, as the case may be, accompanied with such personal restraint, or temporary separation from the other pupils as may be
judged proper, will a blow add to the severity or efficacy of this punishment, or take from it? We believe that the expressed disapprobation of the master, if the boys value his approbation or disapprobation, will inflict more pain, and pain of a kind to work good, than any blows in any way administered. If we have not said enough on the subject of beating, we refer our readers to Locke, in his · Essay on Education,' in whose remarks they will find all, or nearly all, that need te said about it, which is here omitted, because it cannot be said better. Locke allows of beating, though unwillingly, in one case,
We have not touched on the effects which a practice of flogging, particularly under a passionate master, must have on the boys with respect to their intercourse with one another. A little reflection will show that the effects must be bad,
Young persons, as a general rule, readily imitate the conduct of those around them ; they do as their elders do, think as they think, and in all respects repeat what they see and hear. This circumstance, this fundamental law of our moral organization, like all other general laws, may produce good or ill. Among the poor, the bad example of many parents, their ignorance, their want of cleanly and decent habits, their intemperance, and other vices, are a great obstacle to a reform in this part of society, because bad habits are in a perpetual course of transmission from one generation to another. The same remark applies to many rich parents: their extravagant and irregular way of living, their slavish devotion to established modes whatever they may be, their profound submission to all above, and their intolerable arrogance to those whom they suppose beneath them,