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great noise at the time, and was then confirmed by 1772. the Colonel.
Ætat. 63. On Saturday, April 11, he appointed me to come to him in the evening, when he should be at leisure to give me some assistance for the defence of Hastie, the schoolmaster of Campbelltown, for whom I was to appear in the House of Lords. When I came, I found him unwilling to exert himself. I pressed him to write down his thoughts upon the subject. He said, “ There's no occasion for my writing. I'll talk to you.” He was, however, at last prevailed on to dictate to me, while I wrote as follows:
“The charge is, that he has used immoderate and cruel correction. Correction, in itself, is not cruel; children, being not reasonable, can be governed only by fear. To impress this fear, is therefore one of the first duties of those who have the care of children. It is the duty of a parent; and has never been thought inconsistent with parental tenderness. It is the duty of a master, who is in his highest exaltation when he is loco parentis. Yet, as good things become evil by excess, correction, by being immoderate, may become cruel. But when is correction immoderate? When it is more frequent or more severe than is required ad monendum et docendum, for reformation and instruction. No severity is cruel which obstinacy makes necessary; for the greatest cruelty would be, to desist, and leave the scholar too careless for instruction, and too much hardened for reproof. Locke, in his treatise of Education, mentions a mother, with applause, who whipped an infant eight times before she had subdued it; for had she stopped at the seventh act of correction, her daughter, says he, would have been ruined. The degrees
1772. of obstinacy in young minds, are very different: as
different must be the degrees of persevering severity. Ætat. 63,
A stubborn scholar must be corrected till he is subdued. The discipline of a school is military. There must be either unbounded licence or absolute authority. The master, who punishes, not only consults the future happiness of him who is the immediate subject of correction, but he propagates obedience through the whole school; and establishes regularity by exemplary justice. The victorious obstinacy of a single boy would make his future endeavours of reformation or instruction totally ineffectual. Obstinacy, therefore, inust never be victorious. Yet, it is well known, that there sometimes occurs a sullen and hardy resolution, that laughs at all common punishment, and bids defiance to all common degrees of pain. Correction must be proportioned to occasions. The flexible will be reformed by gentle discipline, and the refractory must be subdued by barsher methods. The degrees of scholastick, as of military punishment, no stated rules can ascertain. It must be enforced till it overpowers temptation ; till stubbornness becomes flexible, and perverseness regular. Custom and reason have, indeed, set some bounds to scholastick penalties. The schoolmaster inflicts no capital punishments; nor enforces his edicts by either death or mutilation. The civil law has wisely determined, that a master who strikes at a scholar's eye shall be considered as criminal. But punishments, however severe, that produce no lasting evil, may
be just and reasonable, because they may be necessary. Such have been the punishments used by the respon- . dent. No scholar has gone from him either blind or lame, or with any of his limbs or powers injured or
impaired. They were irregular, and he punished 1772. them : they were obstinate, and he enforced his
Ætat. 63. punishment. But however provoked, he never exceeded the limits of moderation, for he inflicted nothing beyond present pain: and how much of that was required, no man is so little able to determine as those who have determined against himn :-the parents of the offenders.-It has been said, that he used unprecedented and improper instruments of correction. Of this accusation the meaning is not very easy to be found. No instrument of correction is more proper than another, but as it is better adapted to produce present pain without lasting mischief. Whatever were his instruments, no lasting mischief has ensued; and therefore, however unusual, in hands so cautious they were proper.-It has been objected, that the respondent admits the charge of cruelty, by producing no evidence to confute it. Let it be considered, that his scholars are either dispersed at large in the world, or continue to in. habit the place in which they were bred. Those who are dispersed cannot be found; those who remain are the sons of his prosecutors, and are not likely to support a man to whom their fathers are enemies. If it be supposed that the enmity of their fathers proves the justness of the charge, it must be considered how often experience shews us, that men who are angry on one ground will accuse on another; with how little kindness, in a town of low trade, a man who lives by learning is regarded; and how implicitly, where the inhabitants are not very rich, a rich man is hearkened to and followed. In a place like Campbelltown, it is easy for one of the principal inhabitants to make a party. It is easy for that party to heat themselves with imaginary griev
1772. ances. It is easy for them to oppress a man poorer
than themselves; and natural to assert the dignity of Ætat, 63.
riches, by persisting in oppression. The argument which attempts to prove the impropriety of restoring him to the school, by alledging that he has lost the confidence of the people, is not the subject of juridical consideration ; for he is to suffer, if he must suffer, not for their judgement, but for his own actions. It may be convenient for them to have another master ; but it is a convenience of their own making. It would be likewise convenient for him to find another school; but this convenience he cannot obtain.--The question is not what is now convenient, but what is generally right. If the people of Campbelltown be distressed by the restoration of the respondent, they are distressed only by their own fault; by turbulent passions and unreasonable desires ; by tyranny, which law has defeated, and by malice, which virtue has surmounted.”
“ This, Sir, (said he,) you are to turn in your mind, and make the best use of it you can in your speech."
Of our friend Goldsmith he said, “Sir, he is so much afraid of being unnoticed, that he often talks merely lest you should forget that he is in the company.” Boswell.
Yes, he stands forward.” JoĦNSON. " True, Sir; but if a man is to stand forward, he should wish to do it not in an aukward posture, not in rags, not so as that he shall only be exposed to ridicule." BOSWELL. “ For my part, I like very well to hear honest Goldsmith talk away carelessly." Johnson. “Why yes, Sir; but he should not like to hear himself."
On Tuesday April 14, the decree of the Court of Session in the Schoolmaster's cause was reversed in
the House of Lords, after a very eloquent speech by 1772. Lord Mansfield, who shewed himself an adept in
Ætat. 63. school discipline, but I thought was too rigourous towards my client. On the evening of the next day I supped with Dr. Johnson, at the Crown and Anchor tavern, in the Strand, in company with Mr. Langton and his brother-in-law, Lord Binning. I repeated a sentence of Lord Mansfield's speech, of which, by the aid of Mr. Longlands, the solicitor on the other side, who obligingly allowed me to compare his note with my own, I have a full copy : “ My Lords, severity is not the way to govern either boys or men.” (said Johnson,) it is the way to govern them. I know not whether it be the way to mend them.”
I talked of the recent expulsion of six students from the University of Oxford, who were methodists, and would not desist from publickly praying and exhorting. Johnson. “ Sir, that expulsion was extremely just and proper. What have they to do at an University, who are not willing to be taught, but will presume to teach? Where is religion to be learnt, but at an University ? Sir, they were examined, and found to be mighty ignorant fellows." Boswell. “ But, was it not hard, Sir, to expell them, for I am told they were good beings ?" JOHNSON. “ I believe they might be good beings; but they were not fit to be in the University of Oxford. A cow is a very good animal in the field ; but we turn her out of a garden.” Lord Elibank used to repeat this as an illustration uncommonly happy.
Desirous of calling Johnson forth to talk, and exercise his wit, though I should myself be the object of it, I resolutely ventured to undertake the defence of convivial indulgence in wine, though he was not to-night in the most genial humour. After urging