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and second strokes were allowed to be given with impunity; but the offended saint stiffened the arm which was raised to inflict a third, and it was not until the master had implored forgiveness of the boy, and the boy had become his mediator with the defunct and beatified bishop, that the use of the limb was restored. Another miracle, which it would require a very different degree of credulity to believe, but which undoubtedly exemplifies the temper in which scholastic punishment was administered, is also related by Capgrave, in the legend of the same saint. The culprit ran to his shrine, calling upon him for help; and the master is represented as declaring in reply to these appeals, that, even if Christ himself were to interfere in his behalf, the boy should not escape unpunished. A dove, beautifully white, is said instantly to have alighted upon the tomb, and by bending its head, and fluttering its wings, as if in the attitude of supplication, to have disarmed the repentant pedagogue of his wrath, and made him fall upon his knees, and supplicate forgiveness for his own impiety. The friendly relation which St. Adrian held to the scholars of Canterbury was filled by Queen St. Ermenilda, at Ely. “Do you imagine that St. Ermenilda is always to be your patroness, when you have done wrong?” said the schoolmaster, as he forced some of the boys from their place of refuge, and flogged them to his heart's content (usque ad animi satictatem verberavit ;) but, in the ensuing night, the insulted saint appeared to him, and compressed his hands and feet more tightly than if she had fastened them with manacles and fetters: all power of motion was instantly taken from the contracted parts, till the boys, of whom it was now his turn to pray for forgiveness, had forgiven him; and then, being carried as a penitent supplicant to the shrine, he was restored to the use of his limbs. In such miracles, the manners of the times are as truly represented, as in the drawings with which the manuscript of an old romance is illustrated.
It is one of the best things recorded of Archbishop Anselm, - a man not otherwise remarkable for meekness of mind, or gentleness in his course of life, — that he perceived the folly as well as the barbarity of this servile discipline, and remonstrated against it. A certain abbot, talking with him one day of the affairs of the mon
astery (Canterbury is very likely to have been the scene), asked him what could be done with the boys who were bred up there. “ They are perverse," he said, " and incorrigible: we never cease beating them day and night, and yet they are always worse than they were before.” “What,” replied Anselm,“ do you never cease beating them ? And what sort of persons do they turn out to be, when they are grown up ?” “Stupid and brutal,” said the abbot. “ Then," answered Anselm,“ how well have you bestowed all your pains in education, when you have educated human beings so as to make brutes of them !” — “ But what else can we do?” said the abbot, abashed at the rebuke, and yet not made sensible that he had proceeded upon a wrong system. “We use all means for compelling them to learn, and yet they make no proficiency.” — “For compelling them?” repeated Anselm. “Tell me, I pray you, Sir Abbot, if you planted a young tree in your garden, and were presently to shut it up so closely on every side that it could powhere push out its branches, what sort of a sapling would it prove to be, when, at a year's end, you came to set it free? Truly a worthless one, with crooked and intertangled boughs; and this from no fault, except your own, in having so unreason. ably cramped it. Certes, it is just thus that ye are doing with your schoolboys. They have been planted as an oblation in the garden of the Church, that they may grow there, and bring forth fruit unto God. But you keep them under a perpetual constraint, by fear, by threats and stripes, so that they are not allowed to enjoy any liberty. And therefore they who suffer under this injudicious oppression acquire such evil thoughts and desires, which grow up like thorns in their mind; and these they feed and cherish, till they have acquired such strength as to resist obstinately every means which you can possibly administer for correcting them. Hence it results, that because they never perceived in you anything of love, anything of compassion, anything of benevolence or kindness towards them, they can have no belief afterward of any. thing good in you, but are persuaded that whatever you did proceeded from hatred and malice; and the miserable consequence is that, as they grow in years, their dispositions being thus contorted, and rendered prone to evil, suspicion and hatred grow with their growth. Having themselves never been trained by any one in true
charity, they never can look upon others but with a downcast brow, and an eye askant.” It was the best sermon that ever Anselm preached, - one that entitles him to a far more honorable and endearing remembrance than anything which is recorded of him in the civil and ecclesiastical history of England. “For God's sake," he pursued, “ tell me why it is that you treat them in this spirit of annoyance ? Are they not human beings ? are they not your fellow creatures ? Would you that they should do unto you as ye do unto them, if your relative situations were changed, and ye were what they are? But admit that your intention is to form them to good manners by blows and stripes, did you ever know a goldsmith form a plate of gold or silver into a goodly shape only by hammering it? I think not, indeed! But how then? To the end that he may bring his plate into the form desired, he, with his instrument, gently presses it, and taps it gently and carefully, and with gentle touches smooths and shapes it; and so must ye, if ye desire to accomplish your boys in good learning, bestow upon them the alleviation and the aid of paternal compassion and kindness, as well as the use of stripes." The abbot was not yet convinced, but maintained his cause like a sturdy disciplinarian. “What alleviation ?” he asked; “what aid ? ” — “We endeavor to force grave and good manners upon them.” “ Bene quidem," answered Anselm. “ Bread, and any kind of solid food, is good and wholesome for those who are able to eat it; but take an infant from the breast, and give it him instead of his natural food, and you will see him choked by it, rather than comforted and delighted : I need not tell you why. But hold you this for a truth, that, as there is for the weak body and the strong their appropriate food, so is there for the weak and the strong mind. The strong mind delighteth in and is nourished by solid meat, — to wit, by patience in tribulation, by not coveting other men's goods, by turning one cheek to him that smites the other, by praying for his enemies, by loving those that hate him; but he that is yet feeble in the service of God needs to be fed with milk, as a suckling, — that is to say, with gentleness, with benignity, with pity, with cheerful encouragement, with charitable forbearance, and so forth. Adapt ye yourselves thus to the strong and to the weak; and by God's grace ye will, as far as in you lies, bring them all to the service of God.” It is to the credit of the abbot that he no longer resisted the force of this unanswerable reasoning, but groaned and said, “Verily we have erred, and the light of discretion bath not shone in us !” And, falling at Anselm's feet, he confessed his fault, and entreated pardon for the past, and promised amendment for the future.
This was a day to be marked with a white stone by the boys of that convent, so long, it may be hoped, as the abbot lived, and as the archbishop's lecture was remembered there. But this would not be long; for severity belongs to the spirit of monastic discipline, and nothing is so liable to be abused as power: this is seen in mobs as much as in military despotism; in planters, drovers and ship captains as well as in Eastern sultans or Roman emperors; in the great school-boy who is the tyrant of his fellows as in Orbilius and the long line of his successors in the same profession. When Almanzor exclaims, in the bombasted heroics of Dryden's tragedy, and Drawcansir repeats after him, in well-deserved burlesque, “I can do all this because I dare," the well-known line expresses what is the actual feeling of those who, finding themselves possessed of power over their fellow animals or their fellow men, abuse that power, because they are under no human responsibility for its abuse, or are so far removed from responsibility that they think they may defy it. To what an extent the cruelty of scholastic discipline was carried in the middle ages, and at the restoration of letters, may seem scarce credible in these days of improved humanity; for, God be praised, there is this improvement, however much we may have worsened and are worsening in certain other points. Most readers are acquainted with the complaint of poor Thomas Tusser, the unlucky, but good, honest, industrious, lively, pleasant author of our own homely Georgics :--
“ From Paul's I went, to Eton sent,
To learn straightways the Latin phrase,
At once I had;
To me, poor lad!”
Such severity, were it inflicted in these days, would deservedly bring infamy and ruin upon the inflicter; and yet this was mild, in comparison to the barbarities described by Ravisius Textor, who, in the early part of the same century, was Rector of the University of Paris...
As the low condition of poor children left them wholly at the mercy of their monastic teachers, so the inordinate power which thus originated was checked when the sons of wealthy tradesmen and of the gentry and higher orders began to receive a scholastic education. Still, there remained incentives to an undue severity; and these arose partly from a mistaken principle, and partly from the imperfect state in which the art of tuition then was, and long continued to be, - even, indeed (though not without many and gradual improvements), to our own days. Little did King Solomon apprehend, when his unfortunate saying concerning the rod fell from his lips, that it would occasion more havoc among birch trees than was made among the cedars for the building of his temple, and his house of the forest of Lebanon! Many is the phlebotomist who with this text in his mouth has taken the rod in hand, when he, himself, for ill teaching or ill temper, or both, has deserved it far more than the poor boy who, whether slow of comprehension, or stupefied by terror, has stood untrussed and trembling before him. But the theory that severity was indispensably required had been formed to justify the practice, as theories never will be wanting in support of any practice, however preposterous and unjust, — and then the practice must be continued to support the theory! Boys were flogged, not for any offence which they had committed, not for anything which they had done or left undone, not for incapacity of learning or unwillingness to learn; but upon the abstract principle that they ought to be flogged,
—and that, upon the authority of the wisest of men, the child would be spoiled if the rod were spared! “Quam multa felicissima ingenia perdant isti carnifices," says Erasmus, " indocti — sed doctrina persuasione tumidi — morosi, vinolenti, truces, et rel animi gratiâ cædunt ; nimirum ingenio tam truculento, ut ex alieno criciatu capiant voluptatem. Hoc genus hominum lanios aut carnifices esse decuit, non