The New Student's Reference Work/Arnold, Thomas

82280The New Student's Reference Work — Arnold, Thomas

Arnold, Thomas, headmaster of Rugby, was born June 13, 1795, on the Isle of Wight. He studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and in 1815 was elected a fellow of Oriel College. As a boy he was shy and retiring, as a youth somewhat bold and unsettled in his opinions, but in this studies he took a high rank. The next few years were spent in fitting pupils for the university, in beginning his History of Rome and in the quiet study and thought which gave him those positive ideas of Christian belief and life which were strongly expressed in his later years. From this life he was called to be headmaster at Rugby, a position which made him famous as a teacher of boys. He had the tact to make himself both loved and feared. He made it a practice to believe his scholars. "If you say so, that is enough; of course, I believe your word." And so there grew up a feeling among the boys that it was a shame to tell him a lie. Once when he had sent away several boys, he said: "It is not necessary that this should be a school of three hundred, or one hundred or fifty boys; but it is necessary that it should be a school of Christian gentlemen." In 1841 he was made professor of modern history at Oxford, and he was just entering his enthusiasm upon his new duties, when he died suddenly, June 12, 1842. He was buried in Rugby chapel. His great work, the History of Rome, was broken off at the end of the second Punic War by his death. The story of his life has been told by one of his old pupils, Dean Stanley, in his Life and Correspondence of Arnold; but he will be best known as the schoolmaster in Tom Brown's Schooldays, by Thomas Hughes, another of his pupils.