The World’s Greatest Books — Volume 10 — Lives and Letters

By | July 16, 2019

The World's Greatest Books — Volume 10 — Lives and Letters

This very feeling led him to catch with eagerness at every means by which the trial might be shortened or alleviated. He believed that the change from childhood to manhood might be hastened without prematurely exhausting the faculties of body and mind; and it was on this principle that he chiefly acted. He desired the boys to cultivate true manliness as the only step to something higher. He treated them as gentlemen, and appealed and trusted to their common sense and conscience.

Lying to the masters he made a grave offence. He placed implicit confidence in a boy’s assertion, and then, if a falsehood were discovered, punished it severely. In the higher forms any attempt at further proof of an assertion was immediately checked. “If you say so, that is quite enough; of course, I believe your word”; and there grew up in consequence a general feeling that “it was a shame to tell Arnold a lie: he always believed you”. Few scenes can be recorded more characteristic of him than when, in consequence of a disturbance, he had been obliged to send away several boys, and when, in the midst of the general spirit of discontent which this excited, he stood in his place before the assembled school and said, “It is not necessary that this should be a school of three hundred, or one hundred, or of fifty boys; but it is necessary that it should be a school of Christian gentlemen”.

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