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Written by Maisy
(10/21/2006 2:51 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Public vs. Private Education, penned by Barbara
I've often wondered if JA clad Robert Ferrars in this belief that Edward's private education was his downfall because under Mr. Pratt's tutelage, Edward would never have learned to "come to heel," as he no doubt would have in a public institution such as Robert's Westminster School.
From what I've read about the place, it was known for dispensing severe discipline. (IIRC, there's something about Pope writing a poem that skewered Westminster's head master and his ruthless discipline practices at the school.)
Robert disapproves of Edward's choice to avoid the cutting edge of style. Edward doesn't go in for all the trappings of the fashionable set, such as driving a barouche, rubbing elbows with the right people, or choosing a "smart" career.
I wonder if Robert means that Edward would have been more obliging and dutiful -- both as a son and as a compliant member of his class -- if he had been beaten into submission during his education?
Or perhaps Robert simply must expound on the evils of private education because Mrs. Ferrars did not do the same for him. :-)
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