and it seems to be proper that a work which is the result of an expedition defrayed by the public treasury may be purchased at a price within the reach of those who are most desirous of obtaining it. As the maps and plates have already been engraved at the public expense, it is presumed that a very moderate sum will be sufficient to encourage the publication ; for each volume of the splendid edition which has been published may be printed with a good type in an octavo form of the same number of pages.

The Ethnological Society, from the nature of its pursuits, is naturally more anxious for the publication of the philological volume of the work, and particularly of that portion which relates to the Oregon Indians. It is stated that this does not exceed 160 pages, with only a small map and no other plate. is the intention of the society, if it meets with sufficient encouragement, to publish gradually a comparative vocabulary of all the Indian languages within the United States.

The vocabularies and philological information collected by Mr. Hale are necessary for that purpose, and the more valuable as nothing that could be relied on had as yet been obtained respecting the languages west of the Stony Mountains and south of Nootka. It is desirable, for the sake of the student, of the public Indian agents, and of the missionaries, that a complete collection may be found in the same work. Independent of the general republication of all the scientific volumes, the society is desirous to publish in its next volume that portion of Mr. Hale's work which relates to the Oregon Indians, and would be enabled to do it by a very small aid on the part of government.

All which is respectfully submitted in behalf and by order of the society.


New YORK, 21st January, 1847. SIR-I write at all times with difficulty, and the fluctuating state of my health occasionally compels me to cease attending to any business. The delay in answering your letter is due to this cause. It was not to the Historical Society of New York that I gave some account of the Academy of Geneva, but to a so-called "literary convention” connected with the establishment of our new university. I was unexpectedly called upon to give some account of that academy, which I did at once unprepared and very imperfectly. There was, I think, a publication of the transactions of that literary convention, which I have not or cannot find; and I doubt whether it contains that imperfect notice of the Geneva Academy, which I never committed to writing.

I have never read or seen any account of that academy. I was intimate in Mr. Senebier's family, he and one of my uncles having married sisters. He was a most worthy man, had much general knowledge, cultivated physical sciences as well as literature. Laborious, erudite, a most capital librarian, he had not a discriminating mind; and his Literary History of Geneva is universally admitted to be a failure. Yet in one respect the book is useful : it contains the most complete list in existence of the works of all the persons whose names he has introduced, and of all the works connected with the subject of his researches. I think, therefore, that to the time when he wrote (1786), the list he gives, in the beginning of his first volume, of the publications relating to the academy is complete. You will perceive that, with the exception of some ephemerous addresses or similar productions, all the published accounts of the academy belong to the sixteenth century. The fact is that in its organization and general outlines it had not, when I left Geneva, in 1780, been materially altered from the original institutions of its founder. Whatever may have been his defects and erroneous views, Calvin had at all events the learning of his age, and, however objectionable some of his religious doctrines, he was a sincere and zealous friend of knowledge and of its wide diffusion amongst the people. Of this he laid the foundation by making the whole education almost altogether gratuitous from the ABC to the time when the student had completed his theological or legal studies. But there was nothing remarkable or new in the organization or forms of the schools. These were on the same plan as colleges were then, and generally continue to be in the

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old seminaries of learning. The following sketch applies to the year 1780: I was graduated (as it would be called here) in 1779.

In the first place, besides the academy proper, there was a preparatory department intimately connected with it and under its control. This in Geneva was called “the College," and consisted of nine classes (each taught and governed by a regent, all under the immediate superintendence of an officer, generally a clergyman, called principal, and by virtue of his office a member of the academy in addition to its professors); the three lower of which, for reading, writing, and spelling, were not sufficient for the wants of the people, and had several succursales or substitutes in various parts of the city. But for that which was taught in the six upper classes (or in the academy) there were no other public schools but the college and the academy. In these six classes nothing whatever was taught but Latin and Greek, Latin thoroughly, Greek much neglected. Professor de Saussure used his best endeavors, about 1776, when rector of the academy, to improve the system of education in the college by adding some elementary instruction in history, geography, and natural science, but could not succeed, a great majority of his colleagues opposing him. It is specially in that respect that the original plan of Calvin (his rigid discipline and religious doctrines excepted) was within my own time adhered to. I must observe that a college for teaching Latin and logic had been founded in 1429 by a rich and patriotic citizen named Versonay. For this the new college was substituted, in 1559, on the repeated applications of Calvin, a new site selected, new buildings erected (still subsisting), and the whole new modelled the following year.

At the same time (1559), and under the same impulse and direction, the academy was instituted; but with the progress of science has since been vastly improved. At first there were but five professors, two of theology (Calvin and De Beze), one of Hebrew, one of Greek, and one of philosophy. The first professor of law was appointed in 1565; of belles-lettres (Casaubon) in 1582; of pure mathematics in 1632. The general organization from about the middle of the seventeenth century was as follows:


There were two distinct departments. The upper consisted of two faculties, that of divinity under four professors, two of theology, one of ecclesiastical history, and one of Oriental languages, or rather of Hebrew; and that of law under two professors, one of civil and one of natural law and the law of nations. The term of studies in each was four years, at the end of which they were respectively ordained, or admitted as advocates (lawyers). Almost every young man in independent circumstances, who had not a decided taste for natural sciences, studied law and was thus admitted. Very few ever practised; those who did, only during a few years: it was not a lucrative profession. From causes not connected with our subject, there was hardly any litigation in Geneva. (See Naville's “ Etat Civil de Genève.") I allude here to the fact of that general study of the law, because it is connected with the academy, and was one of the means through which knowledge and the habit of study were widely disseminated. Although Geneva has produced celebrated physicians (the Bonet, Butini, Tronchin), there was no medical school. The students went either to Montpellier or to Edinburgh; those intended to be surgeons, generally to Paris. The practising physicians were called the faculty of medicine. No student, whatever degree he might have obtained abroad, was permitted to practise in Geneva till after a severe examination by that faculty, of which he then became a member. Theodore Tronchin, pupil of Boerhaave, was admitted without examination, and the nominal title of professor of medicine bestowed on him.

The other department of the academy, which the scholars entered on leaving college, and from which, after four years' study, they entered, if they thought proper, one of the upper schools of divinity or law, corresponded exactly in its object and studies with our own colleges. The organization differed from, and was, in my humble opinion, not so good as, ours in America. It consisted of two auditoires (so called); the inferior for belles-lettres, the higher for philosophy; the length of study in each two years, and each consisting of two classes, which were taught together. Thus the boy who had just left college studied during his first year in the academy in common with

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the class next before him, and during his second year in common with those of the class next after him. You will at once perceive the inconvenience of that arrangement, which was still more injurious in the philosophical auditoire than in that of belles-lettres, and became fatal with respect to pure mathematics. For as it was impossible to teach the transcendent to a boy who was not acquainted with the elementary foundation, the result was that the instruction was in that respect purely elementary, and that the same course was repeated every year. Yet one benefit grew out of this. The elements of geometry and algebra were better taught, and, by being repeated twice, better inculcated, than perhaps anywhere else. Now, as the knowledge of the calculus is wanted only by the few, and that of the elements by everybody, it followed that in this way useful and necessary elementary knowledge was better inculcated and more extensively diffused. Another difference consisted in this:

The auditoire of belles lettres had but one regular professor, who taught two hours every day (Thursday excepted), and to him was generally added an honorary unpaid professor of history, who gave but irregular and occasional lectures. With that exception, nothing was taught in that auditoire but Latin and Greek, with due attention, however, not only to the language but also to literature. Nothing whatever foreign to those purposes was introduced, not the slightest preparatory instruction in mathematics or natural science. On the other hand, the study of the languages was altogether excluded in the auditoire of philosophy. Only, as all the lectures and examinations, save only those of pure mathematics, were in Latin, the habit of speaking fluently, but without any elegance, that language was preserved. In this auditoire there were three professors. The ten regular professors (four divinity, two law, three philosophy, one belles-lettres), the adjunct honorary professors, and the principal of the college constituted “the academy.” They had a “rector,” triannually appointed, and the immediate control of both the college and academy. In the annual distribution of medals or premiums amongst the scholars of the college, they examined the various compositions, &c., and designated the candidates for said prizes, generally twice as many

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