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A Collegiate Scandal.

The boys of Nelson College—which is always regarded as occupying the premier position among the educational establishments of New Zealand—seem destined to make themselves famous in more ways than one. A few weeks ago the colony was amused by reading a political manifesto from these young gentlemen, which was as edifying as it was original. More recently, however, a number of young scapegraces at the College have distinguished themselves in a manner that is neither original nor edifying. The story is now generally current, and in many instances has been circulated in a very exaggerated form, so that there can be no harm in stating what we believe to be the real facts of the case. From what we learn, it appears that some sixteen of the boys are concerned in the esclandre, which consists briefly in their having committed petty peculations in the shops of various tradesmen in the city. The thefts appear to have been committed in a very systematic manner, some of the boys entering the shop and engaging the shopkeeper in conversation, while other abstracted articles from the counter or window. Indeed it is said that they even went so far as to attempt to dispose afterwards of the goods so obtained. While every allowance should be made for the pranks of boyhood, promoted rather by a love of fun than by any criminal intention, it was felt that the offence in this case was too serious to be lightly passed over. Accordingly six of the ringleaders were promptly expelled, while the others were sentenced to a whipping, the terrors of which were aggravated by the fact that they were not told when it was to be inflicted. The policy of this plan was shown by the fact, so it is stated, that some of the boys asked that they might have a “ double allowance ” provided that it was inflicted at once. The affair has naturally caused a good deal of comment, the more so from the position in society held by the parents of some of the boys.

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A Collegiate Scandal. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 22, 15 November 1879

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