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of grammar, he will help them over the stile, or put them into the right road.' Alas! no. Until this class of men was subjected to a very necessary reform, there was not one maître d'études in fifty who could do it if he would, or durst if he could. And even now it is not their business. But if any pupil, in the midst of his helpless bewilderment, makes a caricature, either with his pen or his own features, or mutters a word, even if it be the word he has been vainly looking for, then you will at once recognise the utility of his office. “So-and-so, you are making a noise. No, Sir.' 'A hundred verses.' • But I have made no noise, Sir.' · Two hundred verses.' Mais, Monsieur, je vous donne ma parole que~' "Three hundred verses. And so they go on capping verses, like two Virgilian shepherds, till Master Podevin's schoolfellow awakes from his helpless rage, and finds that he owes a thousand verses to outraged society, and that his play-hours, or rather play half-hours, his two-and-two promenade on Thursdays (the French substitute for a match at cricket), and his fortnightly Sunday at home, are gone till Christmas. Well, the Latin exercise is written, and the Latin version; and midday comes at last, and with it the dinner, of which repast we shall take no further notice than to say that it lasts some fiveand-thirty minutes, and then the boys in each réfectoire march out two-and-two into the court allotted to them for recreation. Here another officer appears upon the scene—the suppléant-who arrests all such as either the professor or the master of studies has placed on the detention list. The rest play till half-past one-nearly an hour! Not to weary the reader, we will describe the remainder of the day as follows: From 1:30 to 2:30, salle d'études ; learn by heart. From 2:30 to 4:30, classes held by the professors of history or arithmetic. From 4:30 to 5, dry bread and abondance (i.e. wine and water), under the name of goûter ; but the porter visits the different courts, and sells excellent cakes. From 5 to 8, salle d'études and written exercises. At 8 o'clock, bed; but in each dormitory the inexorable Pion still watches over his class; nor does his vigilance cease when he stretches his limbs in that close-drawn pavilion at the end of the room, for is there not a bull's-eye in the curtain ?

For eight years at least our young friend will have to go through this discipline; and as he possesses that admirable quality of his nation, impregnable good humour under privations, we have no doubt that he will submit himself to circumstances; that as he is very quick-witted, having no one to help him in his composition, he will learn to help himself; that he will distinguish himself in class, and obtain, on the recommendation of his professor, a long list of that most coveted article, l'exemption

du

du proviseur, concerning which, if our reader desires to know anything, we will state as briefly as possible, that it equals two exemptions of a censeur ; that it neutralises eight detentions, or one confinement on the Sunday for going home; and that twelve of them, or twenty-four of the censeurs, entitles the holder to a prize-book of the value of three or four francs. Of these he will have

many; but what will encourage him still more will be the special notice taken of him in the class. His exercise at all events will be looked over, and his progress will concern some one of the professors as a matter of personal interest ; but before we explain in what way, let us turn to a few of his class-fellows. There is one of an irregular, dreamy kind of talent, and with whom concentration on a given point is an impossibility unless there is some leading mind who shall continually attract him, and keep him to it. Here is another of delicate and sensitive organisation, to whose moral nature the very subjection to a discipline of coarse compulsion and distrust is an exquisite torture; here is a third ingeniously idle, whose expedients for escaping detection multiply with the watchfulness that surrounds him; and then, again, there are the boys of uncertain character, in whom the moral sense can only be called out by a wisely-graduated confidence, and by the fear of losing that esteem that they have been taught to value —boys in whom self-respect grows immediately out of the respect they have for others, which again grows out of affection. And last of all (for it would be moral cowardice to shrink from the mention of the class), there are the boys of low and sensual type, who more than any others require plenty of fresh air, plenty of violent exercise-in short, everything that shall keep the animal in wholesome activity, that the body and mind may be fatigued together.

As the above types include several very common varieties of the boy species, and as any institution ought to be for the benefit of the majority, we would fain ask, for which of these characters was this system invented? The boys requiring friendly help and encouragement are to those who can work by themselves as twenty to one; and yet you have eight hours of unassisted study to four of professional teaching, the greater part of which cannot but be bestowed on the clever boy.

The moral being of most of us is not that self-asserting and self-supporting thing which will flourish equally under all conditions, but is derived by contact with men of superior virtue, through familiar discourse. Was it for this purpose that they formerly picked up some distressed or unsuccessful student of medicine or law, some broken-down shopkeeper, or some of the hundred nondescripts presented by the starving classes of Paris, in order to confide to him so sacred and so perilous a task? Every here and there indeed a maître d'études might be found who would be admirably adapted for real wholesome superintendence. We mean the poor but energetic men who took the post for a few years in order to provide themselves with daily bread, whilst they were preparing for the profession by which they hoped eventually to live. As the new class of maîtres répétiteurs must be Bachelors of the University, and as they are generally taken from among the poor students of the several faculties, they are now far more respectable a body than they were ; but they are almost universally very young men; for after a certain term they rise to be inspectors of the courts—that is, inspectors of their own body. What good then can they do, having neither much learning, nor experience, nor discretionary power, nor any means of winning the respect and affection of their classes? They are in no sense whatever companions—we were going to say, of their pupils; but they are not their pupils, nor are these masters. They are machines for watching and making reports, and filling up the pigeon-holes of a cahier, and making little sand-hills in it over the fatter strokes of their calligraphy. Who that reads this account will not be amazed at such skilfully-organized mischief, and wonder what on earth can be the cause for regulations which, to our English prejudices, are simply revolting ? What, then, if we apply our former theory, and suppose that the authors and maintainers of the French system, being conscious of the excessive exuberance and impetuosity of the national character, have thought that the best mode of daunting this evil was by imitating as nearly as possible the discipline of a military prison. No doubt there is a great deal in youth that requires to be daunted, but it appears to us that the great test of practical wisdom in these matters is, that you should be able to control the excess without enfeebling the character; but in the French Lycée, from all that we hear, and from much that we have seen, not only is the character enfeebled, but the health along with it. We point to the hideous theme, and then turn from it to see our own boys at Eton or Rugby, toiling at the oar, or fielding out at cricket, or rushing to the front at football, and wish that we could invite those little, pale, bright-eyed lads in the képi and embroidered uniform to come and forget their Burnouf or their Rollin, and their other torturers dead and living, in a good international match,

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Those who are interested in education will desire to know on what matters these twelve hours a-day of the scholastic year are bestowed. There is religious instruction for an hour on

Thursday;

Thursday; and there are two lessons per week, of an hour each, for the modern languages, that is, for German and English, or Spanish or Italian, according to the nearest frontier of the town in which the Lycée is situated. History, geography, arithmetic, and drawing are also taught; but French, Latin, and Greek take up more than two-thirds of the whole time, until the pupil has reached the third class. It was here that the separation began, of those who were destined for the Bachot (which is the vulgar abbreviation) ès-Sciences from those who still continued their letters; but quite recently the separation has been deferred till the second class. During the ministry of M. Fortoul—we believe, in the year 1852-a new regulation was introduced, by which this bifurcation took place a year or two earlier, or in the fourth class. That minister seems to have had a strong belief in special education, and to have considered that, when once the general grammatical basis was laid, it was high time to cultivate the particular fitness of the boy, whether it was exhibited for language or for science. Unfortunately he overlooked one particular aptitude which develops itself quite as frequently as the rest, the aptitude for doing nothing. Those who up to fourteen years of age had undergone the daily drudgery of Greek and Latin, with just that amount of consciousness of what they were about, which made them look upon their studies as a prolonged nightmare, were glad to take sanctuary in the temple of science, not, however, to worship but merely to skulk. Still bent on helping out his own bifurcation, M. Fortoul endeavoured to make the career of science more inviting and easy by what is known in France as the scission of the scientific examination. 'A degree was thus attained piecemeal, a candidate presenting himself first in physics, and, when he had passed that ordeal, preparing himself in mathematics. No one can question the zeal which M. Fortoul put into his office. It went so far that he divided the two hours of the professor's class into so many exact portions, and prescribed, when the hearing lessons was to cease, how many minutes were to be spent in reviewing the exercises ; at what line of what author the Professor was to begin his construing; and where and when he was to leave off. It is even said that he was so proud of this triumph of minute legislation, that he would pull out his watch and say to his visitor, “I know the very thing that they are doing at this moment in all the Lycées of France.' A Professor, whose name we need not mention, but who was an ardent Imperialist, and was said to have been behind the scenes in December, 1851, was suddenly roused from his slumbers, at one o'clock in the morning, by a despatch

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from M. Fortoul, which, upon opening, he found to contain his immediate dismissal. The next day the Professor sought an audience of the Minister, and, upon being admitted, was informed that his removal was for an habitual neglect of instructions. So much Greek had been prescribed during the last three weeks, and none had been taught. The fact is, that a general whose son was in this gentleman's class, had said to M. Fortoul, at dinner the evening before, By the bye, have they suspended the Greek in such and such a form ? for my son has done none for the last three weeks. The dismissed Professor pointed out that it was entirely by following too strictly the Minister's directions that this gap had been caused. There had been two fêtes (a rare occurrence); and on a third occasion the boy himself had been absent. Had the Professor been independent he would not have allowed these gaps to have been all made at the expense of one subject; but he was bound by his instructions. In this way he satisfactorily explained his conduct, but he never regained his post. It is true that a Minister may err through excessive haste; but to confess and retrieve his error would be a deliberate and unpardonable act.

A reformer of a better stamp has appeared in the person of the present Minister, M. Duruy, who must be well known to many schoolmasters in England by the charming little manuals of Ancient and Modern History which he has written for junior classes. But M. Duruy is hampered by a Council of Instruction, composed, we believe, of about thirty-four members, many of whom are wedded to their own notions of reform, while some are steadily obstructive. He also depends upon the rectors, or chiefs of the Academic Centres' throughout France, for loyal co-operation with him in his schemes. One of his endeavours to improve education in France merits particular attention: it is the project for establishing on a more dignified footing what is called l'Enseignement Professionnel, which corresponds in some degree to that of the Real Schulen in Germany, and is intended to prepare lads for commercial and agricultural pursuits.

The circular in which he speaks of this project is replete with good sense, and some very interesting facts, which we will quote from one of his circulars on this subject :

Now, we have seen in our days the rise of a great manufacturing industry, and the formation of an unbounded wealth, which was formerly unknown. Distinct from landed property, there is now existing personal property of the value of from eighty to a hundred thousand millions, instead of the twenty-five to thirty thousand millions which composed our personal property in 1830. • France has now 150,000 manufactories, 1,500,000 workmen en

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