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a serious deduction in the case of ex-scholars, preference will certainly come to be given to men of lower academic distinction, who will, however, be free for higher development in the exercise of their calling. We may anticipate a new terror in the interview of the selected candidates'; for we shall find the inquisitive member of the board putting questions after this pattern : 'I note that you held scholarships continuously during your school and college career : what was the total amount you have so received? Do you intend to refund it or any part of it? What arrangements do you propose to make to pay off this debt? Will you do so from your salary here, or have you private means? Do you think that with so small an income you can reasonably develop your talents in our college?' From this to the routine phrase in advertisements of vacancies, 'No ex-scholars need apply,' is but a small step. On the other hand, is it likely that rectors who need curates, established doctors who seek assistants, and especially teaching bodies, will raise the standard rates of pay to meet this new call on their young men? I fear not. And in the case of education, the only likely source from which the teaching fund could be augmented is that very scholarship fund whose increase the refundable scholarship is intended to effect ! Instead of the surplus going to raise the salaries of eminent professors to the level of those of business men, it would now serve to enable the younger ones to return their scholarship earnings without detriment; and we should practically be at the same point from which we started.
What is the purpose of scholarships? We glanced at it earlier ; but I think that the best short staternent is that they serve to enrich the life of a country by providing training for those who are best fitted to receive it; they enrich not only the intellectual but the material life of the country by bringing into the learned and scientific professions those who will do best work in them. Every man worthy of the name feels bound to justify his position in the world to himself and to others. The man of money contributes willingly of his means to charities, public and private, and to various social objects, far more than the State takes from him for public purposes by taxation; and, what is more, he does it cheerfully and without grumbling : this fact was the justification of Auberon Herbert's plea for voluntary taxation. The ex-scholar justifies his existence by his worldly success, for the world profits by fine work well done. Why should we risk marring this work for the sake of recovering that money which has been forthcoming in the past, and will be forthcoming in the future, from the enlightened man of means? I have known most intimately not only scholars but private beneficiaries; and their general feeling is that on them lies the strongest obligation
to give help of every kind to those who start from their own old stepping-off place, so that these in turn may rival or surpass their own success in the service of man. If once we make the actual money debt of definite amount the accepted obligation, if its integral repayment become a standard duty, we have an end to this ennobling and generous conception. Shall we not demoralise and sour the beneficiary who is never in a position to discharge this debt, by telling him that he should regard himself as a sort of bankrupt? He may be a great and inspiring trainer of men; he may add to the value of life by his researches like Faraday, like Leonard Hill of our own day; instead of giving of his best freely and generously to the world, as these did, he must sell his goods to the highest bidder or incur the reproach of willing, acquiescent insolvency. The evil will be proportionate to the moral value of the man whom it affects. The self-indulgent will always claim that the appointed time' when circumstances permit' is not yet reached. The man who has repaid the money integrally will be tempted to think that the servitude to the endowment he has undergone for the repayment not only clears his pecuniary and moral debt, but leaves him with a big credit balance against humanity, and gives him the right to a good selfish time of his
On the other hand, under present conditions and ideals, we find on all sides those who not only fulfil to the utmost, by their trained work and personality, their labours and their influence, what I have suggested the ideals of the ex-scholar should be; but who, further, having or having gained great riches, devote much of them to various purposes of the Alma Mater, without ever a thought that it absolves them from the filial debt, which they still proclaim with affectionate pride.
AN OLD BOY'S IMPRESSION OF THE
FOURTH OF JUNE AT ETON
I SUPPOSE that when a savage dresses himself up with paint and feathers on some state occasion he is only obeying the same ineradicable instinct of human nature which prompts the custom of the Freemason to don aprons and ribbons, the parson to assume bright robes, and the judge to retain the historic costume of a cardinal of the Middle Ages, to whose office he in a measure succeeds. We are accustomed to see women dressed in bright colours, but fashion, as well as climate, has enjoined a comparatively dull hue for male attire ; nevertheless, there are times when the quiet and retiring man rushes with a wild joy into the bravery of fancy dress. Gorgeous theatrical mounting of plays and the recent rage for pageants are instances of this instinct for make-believe by means of costume, and we are still children to whom the fascination of finery is enduring.
There used to be few fancy-dress balls for which some Old Etonian would not ransack cupboard and drawer and produce a dusty old Fourth of June hat, prink the flowers, and furbish up the gold lace border, send the gay shirt and white ducks to the wash, and probably let out the waistband of the latter with a sigh; then he would squeeze his shoulders into the jacket, and step forth a decorative Jack Tar for the delectation of the ladies. His brass or gold sleeve-links were engraved with the crossed oars, the 'E.A.' denoting Eton Aquatics, and the Royal Crown which tradition tells that George the Fourth gave members of the Boats exclusive permission to wear, and it is probable that the turnout was not the least effective at the dance. You cannot glorify a soldier--the glitter of his full-dress uniform is part of his stock-in-trade, and as important as the man-millinery of a High Church curate; but that of an A.B.
sailor of old time takes kindly to a little artistic decoration. There are few dresses more becoming to a good-looking, wellbuilt young man than the Fourth of June uniform of the Defiance. There is something about this sailor's costume which conveys the suggestion of perennial youth; perhaps it is in the short jacket and white linen, or perhaps the association may be traced to the nursery.
Montem, that carnival of costume and highway robbery, in which 'salt' was demanded from the casual wayfarer-tradition runs that the King was stopped on Windsor Bridge and ‘salt' peremptorily, but respectfully, requested, and that he goodhumouredly responded to the tune of five pounds—Montem, I say, has long since become historical. Election Saturday, a similar institution to the ‘Fourth,' was abolished in 1871 ; let us then cling to the one festival in which Eton may dress herself up and go a-maying. Even the sober dignity of Sixth Form is not exempt from the tyranny of the tailor, for they have to don knee breeches, wherein to spout their speeches to the Provost, Headmaster, and the assembled multitude in Upper School, As a preparation for this ordeal in my time the services of Frank Tarver as coach were usually reverted to; he was the mentor in matters dramatic, and indeed it would not have been a bad thing if the whole school had partaken of his teaching in rhetoric and elocution. How many Etonians have been pitchforked into the world, to fill important positions in which the art of speechmaking is essential, without a notion of how to stand and face an audience, how to manage the voice, or how to emphasise a phrase with an appropriate gesture? Even the art of reading aloud is neglected, and I have heard the noblest passages of Scripture so murdered by parsons at the lectern that it was well-nigh impossible to follow with an open Bible, and this from the lack of a few simple lessons in elocution. There are few men who have never had occasion to make a speech in public; and, seeing that oratory is seldom a matter of instinct or heredity, at least in England, why should not a simple training in elocution be a necessary part of public school teaching ?
Outside ‘Pop,' our only training was the House Debate, and that consisted of speeches delivered in jerky sentences across the table of the Boys' Library of a Saturday night; this helped us in a measure to think on our feet, but gave us no facility in addressing a large audience. Our very juvenile debates ran somewhat on the following lines. We preserved all the outward decorum of a deliberative assembly, in which our chairman was always addressed as 'Mr. President.' He would first call on Mr. Brown to open the debate on, say, the character of Napoleon. Brown would then rise with modest dignity, drawing from his pocket some notes hastily compiled from Erckmann-Chatrian and other historic works, and deliver his opinion interspersed with copious pauses filled in with 'Let me see,' 'What was I going to say?' Then Smith would interpolate 'Up Guards and at 'em! Spit it out old man; don't be shy,' which would draw down the retort of 'Shut up, you
ass; how can I speak if you interrupt?' Then the President would rap on the table with a paper-knife. 'Order, gentlemen! Mr. Smith, you will have your turn presently.' He could always keep order by threatening to call on you to speak. Smith, who had not intended to speak at all, would then seize on a piece of broadrule' paper and scribble down some notes for the coming ordeal, while Brown dilated on the curses of conscription till he wound up with, “I don't think I can add any more.' * Hear, hear!' from the rest of the House. Then Mr. Jones, the clever one, hot from Carlyle, would rise and expatiate on the 'unutterable chaos' produced in Europe by Napoleonic ambition, and plaintively allude to childless mothers and the sacrifice of human life; even the average stature of the Gallic race had been permanently reduced by these bloody wars. This would produce a protest. 'Was the hon. member in order in using such language?' Jones was never at a loss.
'I was simply using the term in its epexegetical sense.' Only a few, and they but dimly, had any notion of what ‘epexegetical' meant, but we were always impressed with the mental agility of Jones. Generally Napoleon would be pretty roughly handled till Robinson rose, who always differed from everyone. He had no patience with people who ran down the Army-he was going into the Army himself—all countries had become great by warlike means.
Look at Rome. Napoleon was a great man because he had nearly conquered the world, he had rebuilt Paris, codified the law, &c.; in short, he was quite a decent sort of chap.
Then Smith, who thought he had been forgotten during the speeches of Jones and Robinson, would be called upon by the President, in spite of 'Beastly shame! All right, I'll not forget this,' muttered in an undertone. He would rise and spread out his broadrule paper. 'Let me see, do I agree with Mr. Jones? Oh yes, I do. He said,' &c., &c. His intention was to disagree with most of the speeches because he thought it more clever to disagree; but, after sitting on the fence and hanging on to his speech like grim death, he usually ended by agreeing with everyone with glorious inconsistency because he had forgotten to put down the objections he intended to make. Smith fully prepared was a strange performance, but Smith unprepared was like Blondin without his pole.
Such was the only training in elocution which we had in the 'seventies. When, therefore, we assembled in Upper School to see the great impassive swells in the Sixth Form, clad in dress coats and knee breeches, declaiming fragments of the classics before an array of dignitaries with the fervent gesticulations and vivacity of old stagers, we recognised with astonish