ENGLISH AND FRENCH SCHOOLBOYS.-THEIR
CHARACTERISTICS.-THE QUALITIES OF THE ENGLISH
SCHOOL-BOY.-WHAT IS REQUIRED OF A MASTER
I have often been asked the question,
“Are English boys better or worse than French
Well, I believe the genus boy
to be pretty much the same all the world over.
Their characteristics do not show in the same way,
because educational systems are different.
Both English and French boys are particularly
keen in finding out the peculiarities of a master,
and taking his measure.
They are both inclined to bestow their
affection and respect on the man who is possessed
of moral and intellectual power; it is in their nature
to love and respect what is powerful, lofty, and good.
Boys are what masters make them.
Both English and French boys are lazy
if you give them a chance; both are industrious if
you give them inducements to work. They will not
come out of their shells unless you make it worth their
Both are as fond of holidays as any school-master
French boys are more united among
themselves, because their life would be intolerable
if close friendship did not spring up between them,
and help them to endure a secluded time of hardship
English boys are prouder, because
they are freer. Their pride is born of liberty
The former work more, the latter play more.
But comparisons are odious, especially
when made between characters studied under such different
What I can affirm is that a Frenchman
need not fear that English boys (such as I have known
at any rate) will take advantage of his shortcomings
as regards his pronunciation of the English language
to make his life uncomfortable. I have always
found English boys charitable and generous.
A Frenchman will experience no difficulty
in getting on with English schoolboys if his character
wins their respect, and his kindness their affection;
if he sympathizes with them in their difficulties;
if he deals with them firmly, but always in a spirit
of fair play, truth, and justice; if he is
“To their faults a little
And to their virtues very