MARK TWAIN ON HAZING
Calls West Point Cadets Who Indulge in It Cowards.
Special to The New York Times
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19. - Mark Twain, in an interview today, spoke about hazing at West Point, and denounced the practice as a brutal one and men who indulge in it as bullies and cowards. "Why," he said, "the fourth class man who is compelled to fight a man from the first class hasn't a show in the world, and it is not intended that he should. I have read the rules provided to prevent such practices, and they are wholly deficient, because one provision is omitted. I would make it the duty of a cadet to report to the authorities any case of hazing which came to his notice; make such reports a part of the vaunted West Point 'code of honor' and the beating of young boys by upper class men will be stopped.
"I am not opposed to fights among boys as a general thing. If they are conducted in a spirit of fairness, I think it makes boys manly, but I do oppose compelling a little fellow to fight some man big enough to whip two of him. When I was a boy, going to school down in the Mississippi Valley, we used to have our fights, and I remember one occasion on which I got soundly trounced, but we always matched boys as nearly of a size as possible, and there was none of the cowardly methods that seem to prevail at West Point."
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