February 24th, 1848 (Thursday)

February 24, 2010

Major Portman, a brother of Lord Portman’s, came in company with Mr Halse, bringing one of his sons, a little boy of 9 years old. I have mentioned some circumstances about this case. Subsequently, the parents became very anxious, to send him and a brother also, and after we had refused on the ground of their want of confidence, they protested that they felt every confidence. Major Portman much struck with the place, and Mr Halse with our progress.

Sewell came out with Messrs Marriott, of Exeter, Pattieson, undergraduate, son of the Judge, and a Mr Williams, fellow of King’s, Cambridge, who had been at Jerusalem with Bishop Alexander, but returned home, being dissatisfied with the Bishop’s proceedings. He is a very pleasing person.

Sewell mentioned a case which occurred at Winchester, even worse than that which appeared in the papers, about a boy who got a fever, in consequence of being forced to fag out at cricket beyond his strength, and died in the end. The case was this. A boy was deliberately thrown into the water, and taken out nearly lifeless; he was then thrown in again and drowned. There is something quite shocking in this. What a dreadful state of lawlessness must that School be in!

Mr Williams mentioned a rather different occurrence at Eton. Very lately a gentle, Christian-minded, boy was subjected to great persecution for daring to say his prayers. At length one day a group got round him at their accustomed work, teasing and bullying; whereupon he singled out the biggest of them all, and gave him a sound thrashing. The persecution thenceforth ceased, and some time afterwards some of these very boys came and begged him to pray for them. I scarcely ever heard any thing so grand.

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