“Enq: Well, but you cannot assert that of our great public schools, at any rate?
Theo: Not exactly, it is true. But though the form is different, the animating spirit is the same: untheosophical and unchristian, whether Eton and Harrow turn out scientists or divines and theologians.
Enq: Surely you don’t mean to call Eton and Harrow “commercial”?
Theo: No. Of course the classical system is above all things respectable, and in the present day is productive of some good. It still remain the favourite at our great public schools, where not only an intellectual, but also a social education is obtainable.
It is, therefore, of prime importance that the dull boys of aristocratic and wealthy parents should go to such schools to meet the rest of the young life of the “blood” and money classes.
But unfortunately there is a huge competition even for entrance; for the moneyed classes are increasing, and poor but clever boys seek to enter the public schools by the rich scholarships, both at the schools themselves and from them to the Universities.
Enq: According to this view, the wealthier “dullards” have to work even harder than their poorer fellows?
Theo: It is so. But, strange to say, the faithful of the cult of the “Survival of the fittest” do not practice their creed; for their whole exertion is to make the naturally unfit supplant the fit.
Thus, by bribes of large sums of money, they allure the best teachers from their natural pupils to mechanicalize their naturally unfit progeny into professions which they uselessly overcrowd.
Enq: And you attribute all this to what?
Theo: All this is owing to the perniciousness of a system which turns out goods to order, irrespective of the natural proclivities and talents of the youth. The poor little candidate for this progressive paradise of learning, comes almost straight from the nursery to the treadmill of a preparatory school for sons of gentlemen.
Here he is immediately seized upon by the workmen of the materio-intellectual factory, and crammed with Latin, French, and Greek Accidence, Dates and Tables, so that if he have any natural genius it is rapidly squeezed out of him by the rollers of what Carlyle has so well-called “dead vocables.””
H. P. Blavatsky