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barbarian mixed with our refinement, a very fair share of quiet conscious superiority sometimes bordering upon arrogance, a somewhat exaggerated estimation of athletic sports and physical training, and an habitual reserve not to say coldness of manner. Then they have doubts about our educational system, or want of system, as they profanely call it, grave doubts as to whether we do not carry too far the art of composition in stone-dead languages and other double-acrostic'exercises ; as to whether we might not with advantage study a little more history, and a little more science, and indeed a little more of everything. But we cannot stop to notice these futile objections. What nation has not its prejudices ? I dare say we, in our heart of hearts, would think better of the Frenchman if he did not talk quite so fluently and quite so much nonsense about everything, if he was a little less ready with his pen, (I knew a boy of eleven who had written a poem longer than the Iliad) and a little stronger on his legs.
However it is of the French boy, out of whom in due course is formed the man, that I propose to treat. For the benefit of those who have not seen a French lycée, I will attempt a short description. After ringing the porter's bell and gaining admittance, you find yourself in a quadrangular yard surrounded on all sides by the school-building, chapel, dormitories, class-rooms, refectory, salles d'étude, etc. If you have the misfortune to be a boarder, it is here that you will have to pass the few hours of recreation which are allotted to you during the week (for there is but one half-holiday, and exit from your prison is subject to severe restrictions). It is not a very cheerful prospect for a mere visitor, but, if you enter this yard with the knowledge that you can only leave it and see the outer world once a week, your heart sinks within you—at least I know that mine did. Dismal however as the place is, you get to regard it in time as a kind of earthly paradise, for the average time that you spend in class-rooms and salles d'étude is about eleven hours, which does not leave much time for the recreations of the play-ground.
I do not intend to dwell at length upon the distribution of time and the nature of studies in a French lycée, as that is rather foreign to my subject, and those who care to go into the subject will find ample imformation in Mr. Matthew Arnold's Report to the Schools Enquiry Commissioners. Suffice it to say that the actual classes, at which the professors attend, are only four hours a day, viz., two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon—the remaining six or seven are spent in preparation in the salles d'étude, under the eye of the eternal usher,' as Mr. Arnold very properly calls him.
The boys rise at six and go to bed at nine in winter, and half an hour later in summer. Breakfast, consisting of a curious preparation called bread-soup, is at 8; dinner, a very slender affair, at 12; goûter, consisting of bread à discretion, at 4; and supper, a meal precisely similar to dinner, at 7.30 or 8. Bread is absolutely unlimited, so that one cannot positively starve, but the allowance of animal food is rather astonishing to an English appetite. In the cidergrowing countries of the North of France that beverage is generally adopted, but the quality is so poor that most boys prefer water. In Paris and the vine countries, wine of a very fair quality is supplied in limited quantities, and on the whole, the diet is far from stimulating, but, with sedentary habits, quite sufficient to preserve health.
The dormitories are very simple, the beds being arranged within three or four feet of each other, and not partitioned off as in most English schools. You hang your clothes on the corner of your bed, or put them on them on the bed to promote a little extra warmth: The eternal usher' or 'pion’ sleeps in the same room with the boys. With most French boys the chemise de nuit is an unknown article of dress, but the nightcap is almost universal. The dormitories are the favourite places for the expression of public opinion, i.e., dissatisfaction, and as dissatisfaction with our neighbours always vents itself in skilfully organized uproar, it is sometimes rather difficult to get to sleep.
The recreations in a French school are naturally very limited: prisoners' base, rounders, and a game known, I believe, to English boys as “cross-touch,' being the only approach to games of skill. On the other hand, every school has its gymnasium, at which attendance is compulsory, and considerable efficiency is attained in these exercises. Cricket would be an impossibility, even if it become popular, owing to the want of a turf-field to play in. Some of you are doubtless beginning to wonder what sort of a boy this can be, who neither plays cricket, racquets, or fives, who lives chiefly on bread, who spends eleven hours in real or simulated study, and who has one half-holiday per week, on which he is allowed to visit his friends or relations, provided he be accompanied by a nursery-maid or other suitable escort. Well, he is a strange being-there is no denying ---but it is wonderful how much good there is left in him. In the first place, he is, as a rule, a hard worker, thinking more of his studies than of anything else, devotedly attached to his professeur, though cordially hating his 'pion' and the college authorities. He is truthful and generous, and almost romantic in his friendships; his imagination is, perhaps, unduly developed, for he has plenty of time to build up ‘chateaux en Espagne.' In courage he is a lion, though he wants the coolness, perhaps the cold-bloodedness, which mark the English character. There is no reason for doubting the oft-repeated assertion that the French cannot stay' like the English. I have seen many fights between English and French boys, but I never remember seeing the Englishman beaten. This I state as a fact, not as throwing discredit upon the French character, but simply as illustrating the difference between the two. The Frenchman never refuses battle, but he has no notion of husbanding his strength, and throws his chances of success into one furious assault. That education can cure this defect, any one who has been in a 'salle d'armes' can easily testify. His anger is short and he bears no malice, but his temper is uncommonly short too. I remember being thrown down a flight of stone steps rather unceremoniously by a burly friend of mine, on some trifling dispute; but he wept profusely at the occurrence, and deplored the vivacity of his tempérament, and was my staunch protector from that day.
The French boy is the French man in miniature, minus the vices. In fact, he is never quite a boy, and how should he be ? He does everything under the eye of a kind of drill-sergeant, he marches to his meals, to his class, to his bed.-he marches twodeep' on the rare occasions when he goes outside the college gates. Wherever he is, he must look to his dressing,' and obey promptly the word of command. His intellect is too prematurely developed. But the worst part of his lot is the excessive confinement, the effect of which on his mercurial spirits manifests itself in a chronic state of insurrection against the college authorities. Of these, the greatest sufferers are, of course, the ushers or 'pions' as they are familiarly designated. Some of these men are worthy and highly respectable persons, occasionally young men working for a university degreebut, for the most part, they are a rough, uncultured, and unreliable set, often taken from the dregs of society, without any character or qualifications. They are rarely capable of the primary duty of keeping order in the school-room and dormitories; as to moral or intellectual influence that is not part of their business. On the other hand, their little escapades furnish the boys with the scandal necessary for keeping all communities in a healthy state of excitement. They rarely speak to the boys except to punish or warn. They are simply human machines, dull, harsh, and unsympathising. After all they are greatly to be pitied. Outcasts from society, and hated furiously by the boys whom they are hired to drive from one room to another, and to spy upon day and night, theirs must be a hard lot, and the wonder is that men can be found to accept such
a means of earning a bare subsistence. They are the unhappy scape-coats upon whom, from whatever cause, the wrath of the prisoners vents itself. Quidquid delirant reges plectuntur Achivi. If the dinner is unsatisfactory, if the school has been punished, if the weather confines them to the school-rooms, 'gueulons!' becomes the order of the day, and the place resounds with Pandemoniac howls, which have the effect of driving the poor 'pions' to the verge of madness. On great occasions a kind of parody of the Mar. seillaise is sung á tue-tête by the whole school; this is considered the acmé of revolutionary demonstration.
Corporal punishment is unknown in France; the punishments consists of impositions, which, however, may be bought off by good marks, piqué (standing in a corner of the room or play-ground), curtailing of food-a rather objectionable practice under the circumstances—and imprisonment in the school prison. The latter is really a severe punishment, the effect of solitary confinement on boys being very depressing ; but it is only resorted to in cases of extreme insubordination. We used to club together to make a prisoner's panier,' containing any little luxuries that would make the time pass more pleasantly, and a novel for the prisoner to read, this was ingeniously hoisted up to the prison window by means of a cord.
Most of what has been here said applies to all French lycées and colleges, though attempts at reform are now being made in some quarters, and it is to be hoped that the French Government will eventually open its eyes to the necessity of a thorough revisal of the condition of the 'interne.'
The Atps of Catullus.
Atys o'er the seas went riding, riding in a gallant bark,
Frenzied in its haste it took with snowy hands the timbrel light, Seized the trumpet of Cybelle, mother, for thy sacred rites: Shaking then with tender fingers o'er its head the hollow hide, Thus with trembling tones it chanted to its comrades all around.
Hasten, follow to the forests of the mountain, follow me, Wandering herds of queen Cybelle, Dindymena's wildered thralls, Ye who sailed away like exiles seeking shores of foreign lands, Ye whose deeds have been as mine are, ye who followed where I
led; Ho, my comrades, ye have stemmed the greedy surge and raging
sea, Ye have scorned and hated Venus, ye have all abjured your sex ; Let the frantic bliss of madness rouse to ecstasy your souls. Haste, away with all delaying, hasten all and follow me To the Phrygian goddess' dwelling, to the goddess' Phrygian grove : There the cymbal's voice is clashing 'mid the tinibrel's echoing din, There the Phrygian playing harshly pipes upon his bended reed, There the ivy-tressed Maenads dancing shake their locks with might, There they hold their rites in secret, there their piercing cries re
sound, And the goddess' sexless servants never resting ever stray, Thither, thither let us hasten, thither speed with frantic dance.' Scarcely had the sexless Atys ceased his chant, when all around Straight the band raise high the clamours, shrieking loud with
trembling tongues, Back the timbrel light reechoes, back the cymbals clash the sound. Swiftly to green Ida's forests haste the chorus' hurrying feet, With them frenzied, maddened, breathless, panting follows hard
the boy, Follows hard the moving timbrel, leading on through gloomy groves, Like the untamed heifer, leaving far behind the hated yoke. All the votaries hasten after, urging on the eager foot. So at length with weary travel came they to Cybelle's home, There they slumber, spent with toiling, tasting nought of Ceres' gift: Drowsy sleep with stealing languor shuts their eyes in deep repose, And, to balmy quiet yielding, raging madness left their souls.
Soon as ever then the sun, with golden face and radiant eyes, Sent his glance through crystal æther o'er hard lands and cruel seas, And with coursers fresh and eager chased the fleeting shades of
night, Straightway slumber fled from Atys, flying roused the languid boy, And the goddess Pasithea took him trembling to her arms. Thus, his raging frenzy banished, Atys after peaceful rest