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Education, And Case Of Appeal
by [?]

[Footnote 8:
Indeed an Etonian must in consistency condemn either the Latin or the Greek grammar of Eton. For, where is the Greek ‘Propria quae maribus‘–‘Quae genus‘–and ‘As in praesenti‘? Either the Greek grammar is defective, or the Latin redundant. We are surprised that it has never struck the patrons of these three beautiful Idylls, that all the anomalies of the Greek language are left to be collected from practice. ]

REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS.–It has already been mentioned that corporal punishments are entirely abolished;[9] and upon the same principle all such disgrace as ‘would destroy self-respect.’ ‘Expulsion even has been resorted to, rather than a boy should be submitted to treatment which might lead himself and his school-fellows to forget that he was a gentleman.’ In this we think the Experimentalist very wise: and precisely upon this ground it was that Mr. Coleridge in his lectures at the Royal Institution attacked Mr. Lancaster’s system, which deviated from the Madras system chiefly in the complexity of the details, and by pressing so cruelly in its punishments upon the principle of shame. ‘Public disgrace’ (as the Experimentalist alleges, p. 83) ‘is painful exactly in proportion to the good feeling of the offender:’ and thus the good are more heavily punished than the bad. Confinement, and certain disabilities, are the severest punishments: but the former is ‘as rare as possible; both because it is attended with unavoidable disgrace’ (but what punishment is wholly free from this objection?) ‘and because, unlike labour, it is pain without any utility’ (p. 183). The ordinary punishments therefore consist in the forfeiture of rewards, which are certain counters obtained by various kinds of merit. These are of two classes, penal (so called from being received as forfeits) and premial, which are obtained by a higher degree of merit, and have higher powers attached to them. Premial counters will purchase holidays, and will also purchase rank (which on this system is of great importance). A conflict is thus created between pleasure and ambition, which generally terminates in favour of the latter: ‘a boy of fourteen, although constantly in the possession of marks sufficient to obtain a holiday per week, has bought but three-quarters of a day’s relaxation during the whole of the last year. The same boy purchased his place on the list by a sacrifice of marks sufficient to have obtained for him twenty-six half-holidays.’ The purchase of rank, the reader must remember, is no way objectionable–considering the means by which the purchase-money is obtained. One chief means is by study during the hours of leisure–i. e. by voluntary labour: this is treated of (rather out of its place) in Chap. VII., which ought to be considered as belonging to the first part of the work, viz. to the exposition of the system. Voluntary labour took its rise from the necessity of furnishing those boys, who had no chance of obtaining rank through their talents, with some other means of distinguishing themselves: this is accomplished in two modes: first, by giving rewards for industry exerted out of school hours, and receiving these rewards as the price of rank; making no other stipulation than one, in addition to its being ‘tolerably well executed’–viz. that it shall be in a state of completion. The Experimentalist comments justly at p. 187, on ‘the mental dissipation in which persons of talent often indulge’ as being ‘destructive beyond what can readily be imagined’ and as leading to ‘a life of shreds and patches.’ ‘We take care’ (says he) ‘to reward no boy for fragments, whatever may be their excellence. We know nothing of his exertions until they come before us in a state of completion.’ Hence, besides gaining the ‘habit of finishing’ in early youth, the boy has an interest also in gaining the habit of measuring his own powers: for he knows ‘that he can receive neither fame nor profit by instalments;’ and therefore ‘undertakes nothing which he has not a rational hope of accomplishing.'[10] A second mode of preventing rank from being monopolised by talents is by flinging the school into various arrangements, one of which is founded on ‘propriety of manners and general good conduct.’