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for the reasons already given, we do not consider that statement altogether trustworthy. We will take simply the admissions of the headmaster, and of boys on the foundation who, with something of that partial blindness which makes the lover see all perfections in a very ordinary face, consider the internal economy and administration of the college to be "the best you can have" -"in short, a system incapable of improvement." But it is at least so peculiar a system as to require a somewhat tedious explanation in order to be understood at all.
All who are elected as Queen's scholars go at once into college as "juniors;" their position in the school (which of course has been already gained during the year in which they have been non-foundationers) may be high or low; but as juniors they are fags, and in that position they remain for one year. The boy who is elected head of his remove into college has certain privileges and immunities which make his position very much better than that of his newly-elected fellows; so much so, that he is called the liberty-boy." The difference in his fortunate lot is fully expressed by the old classical formula in which, from time out of memory, they are received into the college community-" You be free (liber), all the rest be slaves (servi)."
The duties of a boy during his junior year in college are certainly such as to justify the term. He has, of course, all the ordinary fagging practised at other public schools, in the way of running on messages, fielding-out at cricket, &c. But besides this, he is expected to be a sort of walking storehouse of small provisions for his senior's ordinary wants. The contents of the pocket of his college waistcoat makes the uninitiated wonder what manner of waistcoat it may be. He is expected to carry in it, and to produce upon demand, two pieces of india-rubber, two
pieces of gutta-percha, ditto of sealing-wax, two pencils, two pieces of pen-string, two wedges, two knives, two dips (little round globular ink-bottles), and two dip-corks;" one witness (the complainant) adds to these, "an unlimited quantity of note-paper, small and large size, ditto ditto of quarterns (square pieces of paper), ditto ditto pens:' but another witness explains that these latter articles are carried, not in the pocket, but in a portfolio which he is obliged to take with him into school. These stores are not for his own use, but for the convenience of his seniors, who never carry the necessary supply upon their own proper persons, but call upon any junior who is at hand to supply the want of the moment. The senior allows his junior to procure in his name at the stationer's a certain supply of the necessary articles, which he then expects to be always forthcoming when wanted. But it is not only his "senior" who is his master, as would be the case in almost any other public school; he has practically two masters besides, in the boys of the second and third election (i. e. in their second and third year of college) to whom he is specially attached, and who can make similar demands upon him at any moment. The system may be more clearly understood by a few questions and answers from the Evidence :—
"3147. (Sir S. Northcote.) Instead of the senior keeping his own pen-knife, the third election his, and the second election his, the junior is supposed to keep them all, and to have them always second and third elections do not give produceable? Yes; sometimes the him theirs; but as a general rule they do. He is bound to produce them not only to his own senior, and to his own second election, but to any one? Yes. -Who may take them? Yes.-Supposing the boy to whom he gives the pen-knife, and who is not his own senior, does not return it to him, is that his loss? Yes. -He must get another? Yes.-Does that frequently happen? Yes, I daresay it does. Not very fre
* Mr Stewart, Evidence, 3352, 3353.
quently, I should think. -For how many is the boy to be supplied with paper? for his own senior only, or for the two senior elections? For anybody who calls for it."
Besides keeping up this travelling supply, he is expected to leave certain drawers in his bureau, in which his pen - knives, pens, and paper are contained, always open for his seniors' accommodation. About twice in every fortnight it comes to his turn to be "call;" he has then to get up (awaking himself as he can) about four o'clock during a considerable part of the year, to light the fire in chamber (first raking out the cinders from the grates), to call such of the seniors as desire it at any subsequent hour, and to repeat the call, if necessary, until those young gentlemen get up. He is even expected (at all events in theory) to be at half-a-dozen bedsides, on pain of punishment, at the same hour precisely. If any of the seniors get up at this early call for the purpose of reading (as is very frequently the case at Westminster), he is expected to provide for them a cup of tea or coffee at any hour between four and six; and for this purpose he has to keep a kettle boiling during that time. At six o'clock a second call relieves him of these duties; and it is not until half-past six that an individual called " College John" (who seems to have an easier time of it than any junior) makes his appearance on the scene, cleans boots and shoes, &c., but finds the lighting of the fires and the calling of the boys, which would have been a servant's work in any well-regulated school, already done for him. "The grates are never cleaned at all," except by the boy who is "call" raking out the cinders. The fags' duties during the day do not differ very materially from what might be required at any other public school. After locking up, as tea forms no part of the regular college meals-only supper at eight o'clock-the junior
has to make for his senior, as often as he may require it, which seems to be two or three times in the course of the evening, either tea or coffee as he may choose, to wash up his tea-things, and to perform any other services in the way of fetching and carrying which may be required.
The evidence of boys and masters alike proves that the constant interruptions to which a junior is liable at any and every moment during the evening, are a very serious hindrance even to a studious boy; and Dr Scott himself admits that a boy who is tempted to be idle, as most of them are, finds very considerable difficulty in doing his work." One boy in turn every evening has to light the gas, to keep the fire up, and to go round to collect any orders from the seniors (messages into the town, &c.) for "College John," who is in waiting at six o'clock for that purpose. There is a special form of words religiously observed on this and on several other occasions. The junior has to make proclamation in this style, and in no other: 'Any more orders? John is going off."
A young gentleman who, upon one occasion, thought proper to substitute the more refined announcement, "John is about to leave," got into considerable difficulties. "He was had into the upper election-room, and the seniors talked to him for a long time." It is to be hoped that the results of this lecture upon the preference due to simple Queen's English were not wasted; and one wishes that it were possible to summon some of our modern fine writers before the Westminster board of critics.
As a Westminster fag discharges most of the duties of " College John," so also in rotation he acts as college-porter. One boy each day is exempted from school-work for the purpose of keeping guard over the college during the absence of the others in school. He is called "monitor ostii," or more frequently known by the Greek term
"Monos." His duties are "to see that college is not entered by improper persons," and to answer any inquiries that may be made. The office is fully recognised by the head-master, who says, in the course of his examination, that he has sometimes to complain of the absence of Monos from his post.
"3507. (Mr Thompson.) There is no one to see whether he is in college or not? No. He is there alone? Yes. I have sometimes myself had to set Monos an imposition for being non inventus. Then you recognise the importance of the office? Unless there is some servant to watch, Monos must do so, or the property in the college might be swept off.-Might not Monos be swept away too? He never has been. I think Monos would make it heard,
and in that event I should certainly send down a senior to see what was the
This important office, however, is not intrusted to an ordinary junior, but is held in turn by the boys of the "second election" and the "liberty-boy."
This state of bondage (we are really using only the Westminster language) continues during the whole of the first year, when, from a "junior," a boy becomes one of the "second election." Not that his servitude ends here, but it assumes a different form, which is one of the peculiarities of the Westminster system. These second-election boys have,* as one of the Commissioners satirically puts it-and Dr Scott admits the position to be "quite correct"-"two vicarious duties which they performed-one was to be punished themselves for others occasionally, and the other was occasionally to punish for others." Their business, in short, is 'to see that the fags do their
seniors' work." They are expected to instruct these latter in all their duties (including the correct use of the English language) upon their first admission into college, and to insure their due performance afterwards. If anything goes wrong in this matter, the second election are responsible in their own persons. The Westminster system is that of the old nursery-rhyme, "The stick began to beat the dog, the dog began to worry the pig," &c., until the desired result is obtained by a series of stimulants. If a senior finds that his tea or coffee is not made to his taste, or that any other service has been neglected, he no more thinks of inquiring into the details of the junior's delinquency, and inflicting the necessary chastisement, than the mistress of an English house would think of getting up from her dinner-party and going down into the kitchen to box the scullion's ears for not boiling the potatoes. As one of the witnesses
himself a senior-very naïvely puts it before the Commissioners, "it would be a great bore for the senior to go into the under-election room to superintend; he might as well do everything himself." "Supposing," he adds, "that I had bad tea brought to me one night; I know it is bad, but it would be a great bore if I had to go and see that the fellow made it properly." course; so the senior either thrashes or reprimands, according to his own humour or the flagrancy of the case, his "second election"—the responsible minister; and the second election passes on the thrashing or the reprimand, en ricochet, to the offending junior. One of the Commissioners observes that this vicarious system is likely to be worse for the juniors than a direct government by
* Or rather had, for Dr Scott has now formally abolished the abuse. sent tense, in all cases, must be taken as referring to the state of things at the date of the inquiry. The head-master, in consequence of the facts brought to his knowledge, immediately issued written rules abolishing not only this delegated punishment, but all kicking, striking with rackets or cricket-stumps, &c., all fagging between eight and ten at night, and the supplying of pens and paper by the juniors.
+ Evidence, 3430.
Evidence, 3252, 3254.
their more legitimate masters-in their recollection—called " tanning fact, "to make the second election in way." "Way" was the washingmore severe than the seniors them- place, into which a junior, for what selves would be." But this the wit- was considered some grave failure ness is unwilling to admit; he in his duties, was taken by the thinks rather, that "if he got licked orders of his senior, made to put occasionally by the senior, it might one leg up on a sink, and in that teach him a little consideration for position kicked (with a short prehis junior perhaps.' We should paratory run) by his "second elecfancy, on the other hand, that the tion." It is due to the present licking would lose nothing in the generation of Westminster to say transmission. that the witnesses examined by the Commission decidedly reprobated the custom, and denied all complicity or knowledge of even the single instance which had occurred of such a punishment in their own time: but they admitted that such kicking was certainly the old idea supposed to be part of the punishment," and only remitted of late years because the seniors then in had power a general feeling against it. Dr Scott himself, who appears not to have known of the existence of such traditionary barbarity until Mr M——'s complaint was made, speaks of it "" atrocious; and he has isas sued a distinct edict (in which he appears to have been anticipated by the proper feeling of the seniors), that no such punishment shall take place in future. One or two more of what may be called (as compared with this "tanning in way") the pleasant eccentricities of Westminster discipline, and we have done with the subject. Lord Clarendon asks-availing himself of some of Mr M's revelations
The punishments to which a fag is liable for distinct neglect of duty have taken a very objectionable shape at Westminster, even assuming that cases of undue severity in their infliction may now be rare. It is not necessary to take our view of them from the account given by the complainant, Mr Mespecially as he admits that they were never so inflicted upon himself, and other witnesses deny having either seen or heard of such cases in their own experience. One of the seniors informs us that the common punishment was "buckhorsing."
"2980. (Lord Lyttelton.) That was boxing the ears, was it? Yes.- (Lord Clarendon.) Buckhorsing was rather severe, was it not? That depended upon circumstances. Of course, you could hurt a fellow very much, but not so much as with your fists.-But it was done several times, was it not, back
wards and forwards? It was not con
fined to one side. I got buckhorsed pretty often. It did not do me any permanent injury. Of course it stung at the time. Do you think that at that time you always deserved it? Sometimes I did, sometimes I did not."
“Tanning" is a severer punishment, inflicted with a stick or racket, or cricket-stump; but inflicted, according to the witnesses, only by monitors for offences against discipline:" if a boy drank too much, if he went out of bounds, or was smoking, or in a case of bullying, or anything of that sort."
there was one abominable process -admitted by all witnesses to be unjustifiable, and to have fallen into complete disuse, there having been only one instauce of it within
3014. Is there another form of punishment-hitting on the calves of the legs with a racket? Yes; or anywhere: not particularly about the calves of the legs. And with the top of the cap on the hand, laying the hand down on the table, and hitting with the sharp sides of the cap-is not that a punishment used? It is generally used by helps,' who are helping town-boys into college. Every town-boy, when he tries for college, has a help. This help has to see that he does a certain amount of work; and if he does not do it, he licks him occasionally, at discretion. If the help happens to be a second election or a junior, he is not allowed to use a racket or a stick, and therefore they lick them with a cap or a book.-(Mr Thomson.) Is it considered
absolutely necessary that they should lick them? If they cannot get them to do any work. (Sir S. Northcote.) Has the help any particular interest in get ting the boy whom he is helping into college? Yes; he gets £5 worth of books if he gets him in.-(Mr Thompson.) So that in fact it is the same motive which induces a jockey to flog his horse? Yes; or a schoolmaster to flog his pupils."
It will be observed that even a Royal Commissioner, when he condescends to joke with a witness, does not always get the best of it.
Much of the hardship of a junior's life at Westminster is a consequence of the insufficient staff of servants : this is fully admitted by the headmaster, Dr Scott, but it is a point which is not within his control: the college, being really a dependency of the collegiate church of St Peter, is subject, as to all its domestic arrangements, to the control of the Dean and Chapter; and although this body have of late years shown a spirit of greater liberality in the many improvements which have been made (especially during Dr Buckland's deanship), they have in former years been very grudging guardians to their scholars -regarding the school, as Dr Scott suggests may have been the case, "somewhat as a nuisance, which it was desirable to abate as much as possible." The Commissioners in their Report "invite the serious attention of the Dean and Chapter" to the manifest need of additional servants to relieve the juniors at least from the menial offices of lighting the fires and attending to
the gas. Something of the same kind of service is required from the fags at the Charter-House. The charge of keeping up the large school fires, day and night, devolves upon two juniors, called " fire-fags," who hold that office for a year.. Six times aday these two boys of twelve or thirteen have to lift and carry to the fire a large scuttle of coal, the size of which, compared with the powers of the little witness whom they examined, evidently astonish
ed the Commissioners. These fires, if carefully made up the last thing before going to bed, retain sufficient heat throughout the night to keep the water tolerably hot for the use of the upper boys in the morning. The seniors at the Charter-House appear to be somewhat luxurious in the matter of washing-in cute curanda plus æquo operata juventus— requiring hot water for this purpose, not only in the morning, but at dinner-time and tea-time also; and indulging upon each occasion in a dry towel, which the fag has some trouble to provide, having sometimes to purvey them by "cribbing" from other boys. They have also to brush their masters' clothes, wash their combs and brushes, and clean out the washing-basinsduties which plainly ought to be performed by servants. Sometimes, as the junior under examination expresses it," the water will not get hot, the boiler is not big enough,”; or other boys poke the fire and interfere with it, and the unlucky fire-fag gets a thrashing-a pretty severe one-for what is not his fault after all. The Charter-House fagging system owes something of its severity to the small number of the fags compared with their masters; there being only about twelve of the former (at the date of the Commissioners' inquiry) to some ten or eleven who have the right of fagging them. On the other hand, this right is (or should be) better guarded from individual abuse than is the case at most other schools, inasmuch as it does not follow, as a matter of course, from mere seniority of standing, but requires to be formally conferred by the head-master's act, if he is satisfied that a boy's general character will justify his being invested with it.
No boy can fag until he has received what are technically called his privileges;" and upon any proved abuse of power these would be at once withdrawn. It is fair to say that nothing in the evidence goes to show that "bullying" forms any cause of complaint at Charter