Education: Old Schools

Jolly boating weather

With a hay harvest breeze;

Blades on the feather

Shade off the trees;

Swing, swing together

With your body between your knees.

—Eton Boating Song

For one jolly-boating-weather day last week, Britain's hard-pressed aristocracy forgot their troubles and the Labor Government, put on their fanciest duds, and turned out en masse on the broad banks of the Thames at Eton. They were there to celebrate the 500th birthday* of Britain's biggest, most snobbish and most influential public (i.e., private) school.

The afternoon began with cricket on the playing fields of Eton, but what everyone had come for was the historic "procession of boats," which lasted on...

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