Page images
PDF
EPUB

in the organization, especially the want of encouragement for the masters, and the deficiency of fixed elementary books.

The population of the Prench empire being at this moment about thirty-four millions, there must be three millions of children under the age of twelve; and supposing that the sixth part of the parents can afford to pay liberally for the education, and that there be sixty scholars for each country school, more than forty-seven thousand teachers of both sexes will be required. The Commencement ought of course to be to teach the teachers, by instituting a grand foundation for needy and deserving young men, in order to qualify them for this office, which should be accompanied with a salary for life, only to be lost by notorious and scandalous misconduct. If, during the rage of innovation, the voice of reason could have been heard, the funds, revenues, and buildings of the ancient universities, would have been admirably adapted to this purpose; and the useless fellowships, and other sinecures, might have been supplanted by a most useful body of men, the future schoolmasters, who, after a residence of two years might have made room for others.

A moderate salary to the masters of the primary schools ought to be secured by a tax upon land and houses; but it is supposed that one half of the salary might be paid by such parents as are in tolerable circumstances, while the poorer class ought to pay nothing. This land. tax might be called the tax of instruction; and ought to be rendered perpetual as far as human foresight can penetrate into futurity.

But I forget Champagne, who

recommends public schools support. ed by beneficent societies. He justy observes, that before parocil schools were spread through the Highlands of Scotland, there wett frequent disturbances and rebelä-cs, which have ceased since the county became more enlightened. He pr poses that the tax upon bache on should be allotted to the public a struction; and that, of fifty the sand places of clerks, employed a the different offices under gover ment, one quarter should be s served for schoolmasters who ha performed that office during t years. But the chief object wo seem to be, that, by a moderate tas on land and houses, each par should support its own scu

master.

This practical writer also observes that there was too violent a tras tion between the primary and central schools, where the bay had only been taught to read write, and the four first rules (' arithmetic, was suddenly introdus to the ancient languages. This fect was chiefly owing to the be not having been taught gramm and orthography. Before the re lution there were three gradat the little schools, the college, universities; the instruction of to first being necessary to all ra that of the second for liberal p fessions; while the universities a tied men to become masters the selves. That the utility 이 secondary schools may apparent, he computes that in t French empire there are sixty sand officers in the land and service; fifty thousand agents clerks in the administration a finances; some thousand judges & professors; while there ought to

become m

[ocr errors]

br

1

at least twenty thousand masters of primary schools, not to speak of men of business, merchants, and artists, who ought to receive a liberal education. Of these a great part must necessarily belong to poor families, for the son of a rich man will not employ his time for such moderate salaries. It therefore becomes necessary that the colleges be encouraged by the government, and the three hundred and twenty colleges, formerly existing in France, were ill supplanted by one hundred and four central schools, one for each department. These schools were also objectionable, as each was to contain nine masters and a librarian; a number often ridiculously disproportioned to the little villages, which have become the chief places of the departments.

Champagne proposes that the central schools, or universities, should be restricted to the twentynine cities where there are tribunals of appeal; and that there be founded one hundred and fifty small colleges, each with five professors, in towns of the second order. This idea seems to have been in part adopted by the government, the secondary schools, or colleges, having been reestablished; while the lycées supply the place of the central schools or universities.

He afterwards proceeds to consider the plan of education, supposing that the boys leave the primary schools at the age of ten years, and remain at the secondary till the age of thirteen or fourteen. He proposes, as already mentioned, that there should be five professors in each secondary school, two for grammar, one for elements of history and the arts of composition; one for arithmetic and simple geometry, one for draw

ing.

The professors of grammar are chiefly for instruction in the French language, interspersed with elements of Latin and of geography. Herightly recommends that grammar be taught from the native tongue; and regards it as absurd to place abruptly the rudiments of Latin in the hands of children, to whom the words adverb, pronoun, verb, mood, number and case, are as unintelligible as the Latin itself, and the child is taught the unknown by the unknown; a great cause that so many educations totally fail: nay, perhaps, the more understanding a child has, the more he appears a dunce, because dulness may learn by perseverance, where intelligence is totally confounded by seeing the palpable darkness. This observation may explain why so many men of distinguished talents have appeared dunces in common schools.

After some observations upon the hours of labour employed by each professor, he recommends that a person skilled in natural history should accompany the boys in their walks, to give them some rudiments of botany and mineralogy, which might be useful to them on many occasions. His remarks on the central schools are also just and practical, but do not fall into my present design. The professorship of legislation is a truly singular title for a teacher of the laws of nations, and of the French laws. The academy of legislation existing at Paris, is liable to the same objection, and should be styled the academy of jurisprudence. There ought, as he observes, to be four professors, of natural laws, of ancient laws, of civil and French law: and he adds that there might even be a professor of the forms of procedure, which

might tend to prevent the avidity and cunning of some professional men. "Yet, amongst the ancients and the moderns, the wisest laws have not been able to prevent this evil, which re-appears under a thousand shapes. If the knowledge of the forms of procedure were generally spread; if all the tricks and turns of chicane were well known, and ceased to be the useful secret of knaves; no one would dare to use them: and, perhaps by means of this course, the gradual destruction might be operated of that chicane, which is the most dangerous malady of justice." Though there be schools for the education of lawyers and physicians, it is believed there are none especially dedicated to that of the clergy; and with the universities all degrees have expired. He justly praises the liberality of the ancient government, which, at the college of Louis the Great, educated six hundred boys, free of all expence, and founded the excellent military schools, which formed so many great men. The various universities also enjoyed very numerous free scholarships. He justly regrets the sale of the funds destined for these laudable purposes, and quotes, with deserved applause, the example of Washing ton, who bequeathed a great part of his wealth for the public instruction of his country. He proposes, therefore; 1. That such donations be authorized by law. 2. That small contributions be paid by those who have received their education in these seminaries. 3. That the

or six years purchase of the rest should be disposed of to administra tors, on condition of paying the price at the end of six years, whe the departments might be excite by the certainty of the pledge, contribute by gifts or loans to defray the expence.

He concludes with remarks up the rewards to be offered, in or to excite emutation; and rece mends that, after solemn examin tions, the most meritorious ef poor scholars should have an alios. ance of certain sums, in order prosecute their studies, or be place: at the public offices, where intrig and interest have too long supplaste: 1 merit, and states sometimes per by the ignorance of subalterns. B justly and somewhat boldly rearbates the military education ge by the ancient Greeks and Roma

Where what was called a repub was a handful of men, who kept u rest of the people in oppression slavery."

If this important subject of tional education have diffused itse to more length than was intence. it must be considered in apolo that some degree of minuteness ́| essential to its illustration: and was thought that the practical nions of an experienced master, country where an unprecedent revolution had authorized every es periment and innovation, deserve to be weighed with particular atte tion.

Vol. II.

government, actually in possession Luxury of Paris. From the Sam of eight millions of acres of woods, sold for a very trifling profit, should allot the whole, or a part, for this purpose. 4. That a part of the national lands, generally sold at five

An Englishman who has net sited Paris, wiH scarcely bel that the luxury of London cas

exceede

exceeded. But in fact the luxuries and opportunities at Paris are allowed, by all candid judges, infinitely to surpass those of the English capital, in the variety, and the cheap rates at which they may be procured. The superior dryness of the air also exhilarates the spirits, and gives a keener relish to many enjoyments.

The well known work, called “The Almanach des Gourmands," by Grimod de la Reyniere, may serve in some measure as a text book in treating of the luxuries of Paris. But it is in so many hands, that a few extracts, or rather remarks, suggested by its perusal, may suffice. That work, indeed, only embraces one branch of luxury, but a branch particularly cultivated by the new rich; whose cellars and larders are far better replenished than their libraries. This taste has become so general, that many book sellers have become traiteurs, and find the corporeal food far more profitable than the mental.

The old new year. the first of January, is still the season of little gifts, chiefly eatables and sweet. meats, for which last the Rue des Lombards is deservedly famous. The best beef at Paris is that of Auvergne and Cotentin, and the aloya, which seems to be the inner part of our sirloin, is regarded as the most chosen morsel; but the French custom of sticking such pieces with little morsels of lard, is to an English palate truly nauseous, and irreconcileable with any just principles of cookery, as it diminishes the juice, and injures the flavour of the meat. When M. Grimod supposes that beef-steaks form the chief dish of an English dinner, he shews a ridiculous ignoVOL. XLVIII.

rance of our customs. The best veal is that of Pontoise, not far from Paris; but as they are strangers to our mode of nourishing the animals, this food is regarded as of difficult or irregular digestion, nor can it ever be compared with English veal. Our author says, that the French calves are fed with cream and biscuits, which may account for this quality. The lamb is also so young, so insipid, so vapid, that it bears no resemblance to the delicate juices and flavour of the English. The mutton is from the Ardennes, but it is as rare as Welch mutton in London.

In general the mutton cannot be praised; and while the French import the Spanish breed on account of the wool, they ought also to import some other for the meat Nor does their pork seem equal to the English.

The game is, in general, superior to that of England; and the red partridge forms an elegant regale. The pheasant has become extremely rare, the pheasantries having been destroyed with the other marks of rank. The quails in the neighbourhood of Paris are excellent.

Young turkies, of the size of a large fowl, are very common, though somewhat higher in price; and poultry in general is about one third cheaper than in London, if bought in the large markets. Among the vegetables, spinach is particularly well cooked, and not diluted with water as in London. As the leaves take up much space, it is always sold at the green-shops simply boiled, and is afterwards cooked according to the fancy of the purchaser. The vinegar put into the sauce for cauliflower de. stroys its flavour; and in general a 3 T

mixture

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

mixture of the English and French modes of cookery would be the best. Boiled endive, rare with us, is a common and healthy dish at Paris, being mucilaginous, and agreeable to weak stomachs. But another usual dish, a partridge boiled with bacon and cabbage, seems an ab. surdity, the flavour being lost, and the whole nauseous to the English palate. Carrots are regarded as stomachic, and a bason of vermicelli soup, with grated carrot, is a famous breakfast. The French pastry is much celebrated, but many persons seem deservedly to prefer the English. Some have an aversion to the pigeons of Paris, because they are fed from mouth to mouth. The goose is left to the populace, being in general meagre and unsavoury; but the ducks are often excellent.

In the winter there is a sufficient supply of excellent fish, and turbot is sold by the pound. A rich farmer general, about to give a solemn dinner, sent his maitre d'hotel for fish, who reported that there was only a large turbot, for which a counsellor had paid two louis d'or. "Here," said the farmer-general, throwing four louis on the table, "" go and buy me the turbot and the counsellor." During the summer the fish is scarce and bad, and a large fortune might be made by bringing this article to Paris in ice. Fish-women carry about live carp in leathern vessels, suspended at their girdles these are dangerous to encounter, as any derangement of her fish-pond occasions a torrent of abuse; and sometimes a live carp serves as an instrument of manual exercise. A dish of gudgeons is a favourite food of a petite maitresse. The hams of Bayonne are excellent,

Mentz, though harder, are more savoury. The milk and eggs of Paris are superior to those of Lod. don. Of artichokes and strawber ries the season is prolonged by the art of the gardener, and both may be had at the end of September

M. Grimod has wittily observed, that thirteen form an unlucky num ber at table, when there is only food for twelve; and that the talling of the salt-seller is very unlucky, when it spoils a good dish. Yet he recommends as sacred another prejudice, that of paying a visit at the house where you are treated, some days after the dinner; as if the business of a forenoon could be neglected for such an idle cere mony. His parallel, vol. i. p. 225, between the pleasures of the table and those of love, gave some of fence to the Parisian belles, and he was obliged to soften it in a second edition.

Le dejeuner à la fourchette, fork-breakfast, is so called, because in eating meat you have occasion for a fork. Since the lateness of the dinner hour, and the disconti nuance of supper, this repast has become very common. It gene. rally consists of cold meats; but broiled fowls, kidneys, and sausages, are admitted with petit-pates. Dur ing the winter, oysters from the rock of Cencale, a public-house so called, and much celebrated for this article, form the usual introduction

The master and mistress of the house continue to carve, while it to be regretted that the German fashion is not introduced, of having the dishes carved by a servant at a side-table. The plateau which de corates the middle of the table, is often strewed with fine sand, of

and extremely mild; but those of rious colours, in compartments, and

deca

E

T

« EelmineJätka »