Equality at Eton.


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Inquiries at Eton show that Lord Ossulston was there for one term some time ago. Lord Tankerville is reported to have said: “I do not want him (Lord Ossulston) to be a youngster with a title who has been kowtowed to by a sycophantic crowd of pseudo and would-be aristocrats, who lick the boots of our young noblemen at school in order that they may later walk into society under their protection.”

It was stated at Eton yesterday that every boy is on an equality so soon as he enters the school. A prince may have to fag for a merchant’s son, and there are too many Peers’ sons at Eton for any exceptions to be made.

A housemaster said: “Lord Ossulston’s mother is an American. American ladies do not understand the Eton system. No British father or mother objects to it. An English-boy would sooner be caned for offences than undergo other punishments such as writing out a hundred lines. The caning is done by the captain of the house, with the knowledge of the housemaster. In the cases of delicate or sensitive boys it is avoided as much as possible. Caning does a boy a world of good, as long as it is not too severe; and it is administered in quite a modified form at Eton. Fagging is also good tor a boy; it teaches him to do things and to learn the lesson of obedience.”

No preference to Lords.

An old Eton boy who is now staying at Eton said: “At Eton we learned that all men are equal. In selecting boys for the Eight or the Eleven preference is not give to a boy because he is a prince or a lord. If he has merit he will get his colours, but not otherwise. I know a member of the Royal Family who had to fag, and he was certainly caned, and he would have felt upset if he had been let off — he told me as much. Boys come from all over the world to Eton.”

There are several American boys at Eton. Birching is still done by the headmaster in extreme cases, but it is not so general as it used to be. The first term of boy’s life at Eton is naturally the hardest.