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ly not with his usual accuracy. Ingulphus, the famous abbot of Crowland, who flourished in the time of Edward the Confessor, speaks of his being brought up at Westminster-school : this is indisputable authority of its antiquity. In the account, however, which I propose to give of this illustrious seminary, I do not intend losing myself in any antiquarian research, but to dwell with, I hope, a pardonable minuteness on the modern form of its institution, and the present established mode of its education... I shall therefore divide the matter of my consideration into five heads—1. Of the masters-2. Of those who are called the town, boys.-3. Of the king's scholars—4. Of the books read, and the method of instruction—5, and lastly, Of the vacations and expenses of education at this seminary.
: This establishment has at present two masters and six ushers. They are supported partly by the funds of the school, and partly by what is paid by the town-boys, the king's scholars, having their education, as far as respects any gratuity to the masters, free of all expense. I should first have premised, that, for distinction's sake, there is an upper and a lower school ; there is no separation between them otherwise than a bar, which runs across the middle of a very large room, in which all the boys meet together. From this bar a curtain formerly depended, as the division between the two schools, but, at present, there is no other distinction than that of the forms. There are seven forms or classes : The lower school contains three ; they are as follow : the first or petty, the second, and the two thirds, both making one form together. A
west MINs rer-school.
form is divided into two parts, the under and upper parts; the boys remain six months in each. From the under part to the upper part of a form, the removal is of course; but, when a boy is to pass onward from a lower form to a higher, he is said to “to stand out for his remove,” and is examined as to his sufficiency by the head master, in the books which have been readin the form he is about to leave. Eyery form has its usher, except the
upper third in the lower school,
where the under master presides, and the sixth and seventh in the upper school, which are under the superintendence of the head master. Every boy in the under school pays to the under master three guineas a year, two to the upper master, and a guinea to the usher of his form. Every boy in the upper school pays five guineas yearly to the upper master, and a guinea to the usher of his form ; and, should he leave school in the sixth or seventh form, he presents the master with ten guineas, if a town-boy. A king's scholar, when he leaves, presents the same sum to the upper master, and half as much to the under master ; but this is merely optional, though never omitted. From these sources the salaries of the two masters are derived, with what is appropriated to them by the funds of the establishment. They have both handsome houses belonging to their office, and are required to give their attendance in school every day in the week, Sunday excepted; but there is a whole holiday on every saint's day, and day of Par: ticular commemoration, and a half holiday every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It must not, however, be hastily concluded, that the boys are consequently idle from these numerous holidays; the con: trary is the case : they are burthened with a very heavy exercise on every half holiday, Tuesday excepted, which they are required to produce in the morning afterwards. And I can assure my reader, to escape this exercise, they would freely go without their half holiday. The hours, therefore, which many, inflamed with an ignorant rancour against publick schools, have supposed devoted to idleness and play, are, in reality, the most busy and instructive of any The whole af. ternoon of the half holiday is spent in labouwing the exercise for the next morning, which is first done in a foul book, and thence copied on a half sheet of paper, and presented to the usher, or master, before breakfast on the ensuing day. It is for want of examination that publick schools are accused of idleness. The ushers, as I have before said, are paid partly out of the fands, which are not, however, sufficient for their support; they have a guinea, therefore, yearly from every boy in the form to which they belong; and, as all the boarding houses must necessarily have an usher to keep peace and order among the boys, he obtains the same sum from each belonging to the house where he himself resides; and has besides many other ways of augmenting his salary. The ushers are generally clergymen, and all at present, I believe, are handsomely provided with church livings, or are fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge. They are men of extensive learning and high respectability, and, without Jessening their authority, live on the most friendly terms with the boys. 2d. I come next to consider the town boys. I must define them by negatives. They are such as are not king's scholars, who are inde
age issued, and whence most of *
* †, pendent of the foundation, and who may be admitted of dismissed at the master's pleasure." They either belong to boarding-houses, or, if their friends reside near, live at their own homes, and then, except in school hours, are not subject to the jurisdiction of the masters or the ushers, which the boys' who live in the boarding-houses are: In every respect these day boys have the same advantages of education with the rest, and may pass through the school, and obtain alf its profits for the moderate sum of six guineas per annum ! These boys are held in equal respectability with the others; there is no difference that I know of ; and many of the opulent families who reside all the year in London, prefer sending their children in this manner.—Never after this let us hear of the expense of a publick school education in Great-Brio tain. " ... * *
3. I now come to the king's scholars. This foundation is very different from that of any other school. They are forty in number, and are supplied by an annual election from the town boys. Thus every king's scholar must necessarily have been a town boy, though no town boy, unless chosen, can be a king's scholar. The foundation draws to itself, as a centre, all the talents, the industry, and respectability of the whole school. It is where every father wishes to see his son ; where greater attention is paid both to their morals and learning, since the superintendence over them is necessarily omore strict. It is where the sons of the first families in the kingdom have been educated ; where a Busby trained up his scholars ; whence Cowley, Dryden, Smith, Halifax, and all the illustrious men of that those of the firesent have imbibed the early seeds of education. Interest forms no part of their introduction into the college. It is open to talents alone, and a fair competition once a year, takes place between the boys who are candidates for the foundation. They generally stand out, as it is termed, from the fifth form, and commence their competition about two months previous to the time, when the seniour boys on the foundation are preparing for their election to Oxford or to Cambridge. A great number contend for admission, and about eight, or more, according to the vacancies, are admitted. The king’s scholars wear caps and gowns to distinguish them, are never above the age of fourteen when admitted ; they remain four years on the establishment, and then are either elected students of Christ Church, Oxford, or are chosen to Cambridge, where they mostly succeed to a fellowship. The king's scholars live in what is called the dormitory, but whether from caprice, pride, or I know not what, do not choose to receive all the profits of the foundation, but are content to dine in the college hall only, and have their other meals from the boarding-houses, of which they are termed half-boarders. Thus the education, as a king's scholar, is very little cheaper, though, on many accounts, much to be preferred. The dean and sub-dean of Christ Church attend once a-year, at Whitsuntide, to take their equal portion of the seniour candidates for election, as do likewise the master of Trinity, and some fellows. They have their choice alternately, but as it is esteemed more advantageous for the boys to be students of Christ Church, the Cambridge electors always wave their
right of claim, and accept of those,' whom the dean of Christ Church, who bestows the studentships, does not elect to his own college. The election to Oxford is always a mere matter of interest, superiority of talents is totally out of the question. But the boys who are studious and prudent, may improve the advantages of an election to Cambridge to an equal, and sometimes superiour profit. 4. I come now to my last consideration, the books read, and the method of instruction pursued throughout the school. I have already mentioned the division of the under school into three forms, one of which I shall call a double Jörm, namely the third, it consisting of two distinct forms, and each being divided into an upper and lower part, as with the rest of the single forms. In the petty or first form, are taught the rudiments of Latin grammar. In the second, the boys are taught to construe Esop, Phaedrus, and turn some sacred exercises into Latin. In the under third, begins their first instruction in prosody. They here commence their verse exercise, a species of education, with some so much the subject of censure, with others of applause, in all our publick schools. The boys read Ovid's Tristia, and Metamorphoses ; Cornelius Nepos is their prose author. They turn the Psalms, and sacred exercises, into Latin verse, on Thursdays, and Saturdays, first beginning with what are called nonsense verses, and making them approach, as fast as they are able, to an union of sense and metre. In the upper third,where the under master presides, the same course of discipline is, for the most part, pursued; the exercises being oilly enly longer, and required to be more correct. The upper school is divided into four forms ; the fourth, the fifth, the shell, the sixth, or the upper part of it, which is called the seventh, generally filled by the seniour king's scholars. In the fourth, are read Virgil, Caesar's Commentaries, and the Greek Testament, with the Greek grammar, not taught in any of the under forms. On Thursdays, the boys turn Martial’s Epigrams into long and short verses, and on Saturdays, do a verse exercise from the Bible with the rest of the upper school. In the fifth, are read the same books, with the addition of the Greek epigrammatists, some part of Homer and Sallust. On Monday, a Latin theme, on Wednesday, an English one, or an abridgment from some prose author is read in the form ; on Thursdays, they turn the odes of Horace into another metre, generally into hexameters and pentameters; on Saturdays, Bibleexercise throughout the school. In the shell, the same course is pursued;except, that the onlyGreek author read, is Homer. In the sixth and seventh, where the head master presides, the higher Greek and Latin authors are all read– such as Sophocles, Euripides, Demosthenes, sometimes Æschylus: Horace, Juvenal, Cicero, Livy, Sallust, &e. It would be tedious to run over all the books, and the different times when they are introduced ; it will be sufficient to add, that a boy who has passed through the sixth form will find no difficulty in any Latin or Greek author whatever. Here the verse exercises are carried to the highest perfection, and a boy will produce, for his Saturday's Bible exercise, an alcaick ode, or thirty or forty, sometimes a hundred hexameter Vol. III. No. 12. 4 I
verses, of the most flowing melody, and frequently of no little poetical elevation. The Greek Testament is read in Easter week, and Grotius", with copious comments by the master, to infuse proper religious sentiments, on every Monday morning.t 5. I now come to my last consideration. The vacations are three times a-year. Three weeks at Christmas, when the king's scholars perform one of Terence's plays ; the same portion of time at Whitsuntide, and five weeks at Bartholomewtide. It must be confessed, there is here no waste of time ; the boys being, moreover, employed in long repetitions, and holiday tasks, during the vacation. The expenses of the boardinghouses are generally from thirty to thirty-five guineas per annum, and the utmost sum paid to the masters is seven guineas. I will now venture to assert, that no man can educate his son at a private school in so moderate a manner, particularly if he be sent to Westminster as a dayscholar. I have now made mention of all that occurs to me. I should certainly, however, not have resisted this opportunity of dwelling on the strict and most exemplary mode of religious education pursued at Westminster, but that I can refer my readers to a much better account of it in the late Vindication of the Dean of WestminSter. T. L.
* Grotius merely serves a peg. The master takes this opportunity of discussing the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, and well-grounding the boys in them.
f The upper boys, in their turns, speak publickly in the school on every Friday, sometimes in Latin, often in Greek, more frequently from the English poets.
For the Monthly Anthology.
TO THE MEMORY OF GEN. HENRY KNOX.
WITH all of nature's gift, and fortune's claim,
Yet wert thou blest. Ere age with chill delay