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thought endowed with fenses more refined and exquisite, than nature ever meant to give them; their nerves are susceptible in the extreme, and they ere of constitutions so irritable, that the very •winds of hea'Jcn must not be allowed to to vi/it t^tir face too roughly. 1 have studied ths female favourite with some attention, and I am not yet able to discover any one of its good qualities; I do not perceive the merit of such exquisite fibres, nor have I observed that the slenderest strings are apt to produce the sweetest sounds, When applied to instruments of harmony; I presume the female heart should be such an harmonious instrument, when touched by the parent, the friend, the husband; but how can these expect a concert of sweet sounds to be excited from a thing, which is liable to be janed and put out of tune by every breath of air ? It may be kept in its case, like an old-falhioned virginal, which no body knows, or even wi/hes to know, how to touch: it can never be brought to bear its part in a family con«:?rt, but must hang by the wall, or at best be a solo instrument for the remainder os its days.
Ba'hfulness, when it is attached to modesty, will be regarded with the eye of candour and cheated with the smile of encouragement; but bafhfulness is a hireling, and is sometimes discovered in the livery of pride, oftentimes in the caft-ost" trappings of affectation ) pedantry is very apt to bring it into company, and fly, secret consciouseess Will frequently blush because it under' Jiandi. I do not fay I have much to lay to its charge, for it is not apt to be troublesome in polite societies, nor do I commonly meet it even in the youngest of the female sex. There is a great deal of blushing, I Confess, in all the circles of line ladies, but then It is lo universal a blush, and withal so permanent, that I am far from imputing it always to bafhfulness, when the cheeks of the fair arc tinged with roses. However, the' it is sometimes an im
postor, and for that reasort may deserve to be dismissed, I cannot help havirg a consideration for one, that has in past times been the handmaid of beauty, and therefore as merit has takeij modesty into her service, I would reCommend to ignorance to put bafhfulness into full pay and employment.
Politeness is a charming propensity, and I would wish the fine ladies to indulge it, if it were only by way of contrast between themselves, and the fine gentlemen they consort with. I do not think it is altogether becoming for a lady to plant herself in the centie ot* a circle with her back to the fire, and expect every body to be warmed by the contemplation of her figure or the reflection of her countenance; at the fame time, I am free to Confess it an attitude, by which the man of high breeding is conspicuously distinguished, and is charming to behold, when set off with the proper accompaniments of leather breeches, tight boots, and a jockey waistcoat* I will not deny, however, but I have seen this practised by ladies, who have acquitted themselves with great spirit on the occasion ; but then it cannot be done without certain male accoutrements, and presupposes a slouched hat, half-boots, short waistcoat, and riding dress, not to omit broad metal buttons with great letters engraved on them, or the signature of seme hunt, with the indispensable appendages of two long dangling watch-chains, which serve to maik the double value people of fashion put upon their time, and also shew the encouragement bestowed upon the arts: with these implements the work may be done even by a female artist, but it is an art I wilh no young lady to study, and I hope the present professors will take no more pupils, whilst the academies of Humphries and Mendoza are kept open for accompaniments, which I think upon the whole are altogether as becoming. Politeness, as I conceive, consists in putting people at their ease in your company, s i ancj and being at your ease in thcir's; modern practice, I am aft aid, is apt to misplace this process, for I observe *very body in salhionable life polite enough to study their own ease, but I do not see much attention paid to that part of the rule which ought to be first observed: it is well calculated for those who are adepts in it, but if ever such an out-of-the-way thing as a modest person comes within its reach,
312 Account of a Remarkalle Establishment o/*Education at Paris.
the aukward novice is sure to be distressed, and whilst every body about him seems reposing on a bed of down, he alone is picktrted upon a scat os thorns: till this lhall be reformed tv the l.idies, who profess to understand politeness, I snail turn back to my redbook of forty years ago, to fee what relicts of the old court are yet amongst us, and take the mothers for my models in preference to their daughters. (jiftter.'
An Account os a Remarkable Establishment '/"Education at Paris*.
Maxima debetnr puero rrvtrcntix. Juv.
YOUR theories are good, but impracticable.—This is the answer which every man who proposes a new plan of education must expect. He is sent away without examination, as a mere schemer, and blind practice still follows the old beaten path, conducted therein by another blind being, called Custom.
The plan here detailed will not give room for this continual objection. It is not a romance that is now presented to amuse the public; it is the history of an institution which actually exists at Paris. There is a good /ketch of it in the journal of Geneva, of December 1787. But the Chevalier Pauiet has enabled the writer of this to examine and verify every thing: he has recounted to him the progress of his thoughts on education: and it is from the Chevalier's own relation that the following particulars are faithfully recited.
This gentleman, born of an Irish family settled in France, served in the French army during the latter part of the German war. He quitted it at the Peace, and lived in Paris in the midst of society, where he soon experienced, that amusements do not form happiness. He might nevertheless have continued to spend his life in dissipation, had not a fortunate circumstance drawn forth both his virtues and his talents.
As he was hunting in the forest of Vincennes, he was /truck with the cries of a child. He sought and feund him in the bottom of a ditch, in which the water wa3 accumulating from all sides. The poor child restored to life, tdld his story to his benefactor. Son of an invalid, and an oiphan by the death of his mother, being left alone on the highway, he had subsisted on the generosity of travellers. Illness had prevent -1 him during two days from coming out of the forest, and he had fallen into this ditch, which he had not strength to quit.
The Chevalier, from this moment, adopted and took the greatest care of him, and made it his pleasure to become his instructor.—After a few weeks, his ward, with tears in his eyes, brought him two children of his own age, who were beggars and hungry. Having been the companions of his adversity, he wished them to participate in his good fortune, and he had promised them that his fiiend would also be theirs. "But I cannot (said the Chevalier) take them, I am not rich enough. Are you willing to /hare with them what I give you ) your cloathes and your meals i" The child accepted the proposition with joy, and the Chevalier, satisfied with the trul he had made, scrupled not to increase his family. He now becomes the 6ther to three children; and as the delire of doing good is augmented by doing it, he took in more orphans of the neighbourhood, among whom he equally divided his care and his bounty—Growing more and more eager for such benevolent employments, he knew no other pleasure. Each day he retrenched some superfluity of his own expences, and was astonished to find how easy it is to become truly rich, by reducing one's self to that alone which is necessary. But all his economy could do, did not satisfy his wishes. Fortune, however, soon seconded his designs. Hearing that a considerable inheritance had fallen to him, he made a vow os poverty. His plan, till then bounded by his circumstances, extended itself successively to two hundred children, whom he chose from the class of poor soldiers, or of gentlemen of no fortune, to whom he intends that education should restore that which distress had taken away. There are besides these, one hundred of his pupils, who serve apprenticeships to different trades; and he reserves room also for twenty-four young persons, to be able to encourage those who are recommended to him for talents and good behaviour.
Account of a Remarkable Establis/mient os Education at Paris. 323 324 Account os a Remarkable EJlahliJhtimst os Education et Paris.
This seminary, founded by the beneficence and cares of one man, is excellent in its detail with respect to order, instruction, and morality.
The Chevalier Paulet, though he gives his young people a civil education, yet has preferred a military form, either fioin a remaining partiality for his first profession, or from the opinion that young people, being easily captivated by the dazzling appearance of a military life, can better submit to the strict discipline it imposes. Besides, he was well aware of the defects of the common schools, and has avoided them as nauch as the difficulties with which he is surrounded have permitted. 1. T'he pupils govern themselves. They are formed into divisions of forty, each of which has its.captain; and
there are besides, a major, a commander, &c. These officers are members of a permanent council, which, meeting every bight in public, hears ail reports, judges faults, and keeps a register.—The internal police is intrusted to a guard, which is daily relieved. A centiy at the door alone has power to open and shut it. All the particulars of their administration are regulated by articles, which form the code of the commonwealth. When any new question arises, or when an appeal is made, the council addresses itself to their wise Mentor, who gives bis} advice, but never constrains, seeming rather to follow than guide them. He has thus often had reason to be surprized at the good sense of these children; who being accustomed to make use of their intellects, know how to examine the different sides of a question, and divest themselves of all partiality to pronounce a sentence that gains universal applause.—He has not admitted those servile and arbitrary punishments, of which the last inconvenience is, that children disregard them, either through custom or false pride, and whose severity must be in* creased t» preserve their effect. He has rejected the mistaken notion of those masters, who have found no better expedient than to condemn young people to an excess of labour, in order to punish them. In his house the guilty are condemned to idleness: standing fixed against a wall, they are subjected to a state of inaction, which is continued in proportion to their faults. If the crime is great, the party is deprived of his uniform; and one may easily perceive how much the desire of regaining it is conducive to the fulfilling of the necessary condition.
2. The care of instrutling is partly given to the pupils themselves. The Chevalier having made choice of able masters, and had the art of simplifying all methods of instruction, has by degrees acquired scholars capable of giving lesions to beginners. Nothing
cut can be more interesting than to fee, in a large hall, several different classes, each of which occupies a table, over which presides a young master, who exercises his utmost attention to prepare the members of it for palling into the hands of the professors. The young director cannot, however, grow too proud of his place ; for when he leaves the table where he fat as master, he. goes to another in quality of a scholar; perhaps under one ofhis juniors, whom he had just before superintended.— The Chevalier related with pleasure, that the under drawing-master, a youth often years old, giving an account of those under his care, said of one of them, " I think we (hall never be able to do any thing with him; and I am afraid he will turn out ill in life." This anecdote is related, amongst others of the fame kind, to shew that the children attach themselves to the institution, and consider their honouf as interested in its success.—They are instructed in languages, history, literature, geography, mathematics, drawing, music, fencing, and dancing. Care is taken to communicate learning to them gradually ; and, as ostentation is of no account, they are not in a hurry to acquire learning only for show. He rather prefers leaving their minds long on the fame study, that they may the better imbibe it; and his method of employing the more able, to assist the less able, is also very proper to make that enter into the judgment, which most mastets only place in the memory.
3. The Chevalier Paulet derives an advantage from his situation which cannot belong to every schoolmaster. Being at liberty to apply his pupils to the profession for which they seem most fit, "he is not afraid of being desired to make a mathematician of one whom nature has designed for some mechanic employment. The caprices of pa« rents do not here frustrate the intentions of nature. It is true that gentlemen's sons are qualified for study,
while the children whom he intends for trade, only lenrn reading, writing, and accompts. But the Chevalier stops no body in the full exertion of their talents; and having acquired, by a long observation, the art of seeing the extent of a child's genius, and of perceiving their turn of mind, in spite of their inconstancy, his success is incredible.—A boy, twelve years old, the son of a soldier, read to us a pastoral of his own composition in thsee languages; and die purity of the Latin and French gave us a good opinion cf the German. Many of them are goed translators, and some speak English tolerably well. A youth of fourteen had himself the charge os a class of geometry; and read to us, at die fame time, a dissertation on Horace and Boileau, which shewed wit and judgment. Two of his pupils have been sent to Rome, to perfect themselves in painting: the apartments are ornamented with their drawings. The Chevalier pointed out a picture to us, which one of them had finished without assistance ; it is the resurrection of the son of the widow of Nairn. A celebrated artist of Paris, after having much praised it, wished to make some observations to the young composer: the looks of the young man who was restored, appeared to him too anima* ted. "The hand (said he) is stretched towards his mother with too much action; he is too much alive for a man that is coming out of the grave."—< "In my opinion (answeted the young artist) Jesus did not raise him as a physician, but as a God." He was thirteen years old.-^The Chevalier has seen extraordinary talents for music display themselves, by a like liberty given to the natural disposition. One of his teachers on the violin, aged fifteen years, has made an opera, which he fays manifests genius : and we heard a concerto on the harp, a sonata on the harpsichord, and very agreeable symphonies 5 the composers of which were amongst the performers. It would be iinpciible impossible for those who had not seen the musicians, to guess their age.—A [Tcsiiicnt of the Parliament or Bour- deaux, who was visiting this institution, it is laid, was so much (truck with the abilities of a scholar os sourteen, in instructing his class, that he asked him of the Chevalier, to make him tutor to his son, of eight years o'd. The double employment of learning and of teaching, must certainly raise in this school a seminary of good masters.
Account of a Remarkable Establishment ^"Education at Paris. 315
When the intended additions shall be completed, and when the Chevalter has in his house three or sour hundred people chiefly intended for the arts, with workshops and good artists, one cannot doubt but that, in a short time, he will form ;ible persons of every description.—Always intent on consulting nature, he watches the fiist emotions of curiosity in a pupil, at the sight of the arts with which he is surrounded. Should a young novice be uneasy and agitated at the sight of a machine of which he wants to discover the principles, his sagacious patron fees a path pointed out; and, accustoming his fingers to the pencil, and his head to calculation, continually offers him new models, and engages him either to follow them, or to exercise his own invention.—In the mean time, all the arts being assembled in his house, the artists gain an universal knowledge, and improve by the light they reflect on one another. Other artists, in general, arc not well acquainted even with their own profession, from being confined to that alone.
4. The care os morals is attended to, as well as the culture of the mind. "I cannot (fays the Chevalier) make distinguished characters of all my scholars, but they may all become honest people. Very different this, from those modern philosophers who make a practice of separating morals from religion, that they may the easier destroy them one after the other: the Chevalier makes it his study to unite them. He
had composed a catechism, as plain as possible, with the doctrine he had to inculcate; and conceiving it absurd to give for trial to the capacity of a child that which requires the reason of a man, he had resolved that this pan of instruction Ihould be the last, and the best taken care of: but he has received so many representations, and knows so well the officious zeal of bigotry io calumniating the most innocent intentions, that lie has again made uso of the common catechism, and teaches it to children. But, in spite of the clamour of some of the cietjjy, he has protestants in his house; and, as they are educated in the fame manner as the Roman catholics, toleration is not so much in question with them as a true unanimity.
We have seen how much the intent of this institution is conducive to the spreading of principles of equity, of moderation, and of mildness, among them; and to the inculcating mutual love. But the Chevalier explained the intention of several regulations of less importance, which tended to prevent vice, and to produce their effect without shewing their design. He takes off from his vigilance the appearance of distrust, and contrives some probable reason which hinders curiosity from being gratified at the expence of morals. Experience has (hewn him, that the most efficacious method of surmounting the dangerous effervescence of puberty, consisted in violtnt exercises; which, by fatiguing the body, quiet the imagination; and, by furnishing innocent public recreation for youth, save them'from the dangers of solitude and idleness.— Each hour has its employment; even walking has its rules: and, as all the motions arc accompanied with martial music, a beat of the drum is sufficient to assemble all the young people that are dispersed, and to bring them to their colours. This discipl.ne has not the inconvenience of the authority of masters, which they are iuou accustomed