My Time At Rugby (1869-74) -- By: Henry Hayman
BSac 57:225 (Jan 1900) p. 95
My Time At Rugby (1869-74)
From what was said in my previous article,1 it will be manifest, that on the soundness of loyalty in the School-house depended largely the diffusion of the same feeling in the School at large; and that, to insure that loyalty, the two School-house tutors must be of the same mind with the Headmaster and the conduits of his influence,—each, in fact, an alter ego to him. This the two gentlemen in question were obviously incapable of being. They had joined the league of the disaffected and cast in their lot with the opposition. If I had the power to dismiss both of them, the best course would have been to do so at once. But the senior of the two was a “foundation” master, and claimed to be only removable by the trustees who had appointed myself. I have stated the fatal weakness in their position, owing to their being a moribund body, expecting dissolution in two years’ time, which disinclined them to any energetic action, and in particular to this exercise of their authority.
This being so, it seemed inadvisable to remove at once and summarily the junior only. Besides, after the pacific offer I had held out, I felt bound in honor to give it time to work, although with less and less hope of any acceptance of it. On the contrary, I had little doubt that before
BSac 57:225 (Jan 1900) p. 96
long the junior tutor would give me some fresh ground, personal and tangible, for declaring his retention impossible; so I waited, and took the risk of a School-house outbreak, for indeed I had still less doubt that my own relations with the boys would strengthen my position as time went on. I was therefore no whit surprised one morning to hear that the gentleman in question addressed one of his pupils in my own House as follows: “If I was on speaking terms with the Headmaster, I should send you up for punishment.” I invite all who read to ponder the import of these words as between teacher and boy taught; and to regard them only as a sample of the total absence of reticence, in short of the outspoken avowal of disaffection and disloyalty, by one who claimed to be my most confidential agent, with which I was now confronted. That gentleman received his dismissal not long afterwards. At once the volleys of the hostile press opened afresh upon me, charging me with dismissing a well-deserving colleague “without assigning any reason, true or false.”
Later in the same year a parent known to the other House tutor came to Rugby, and inquired of him about the differences between the staff and myself; and, on receiving his version of them, at once dropped the project of sending a boy to Rugby. I know this from t...
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