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ART. III. -EDUCATION; THE CHEVALIER PAULET

AND HIS SYSTEM.

EVERY establishment which has education for its object deserves the public attention : but when the principles and the discipline of an institution are blessed by good results, when an institution serves to prove how much the will of one man inspired by genuine charity can effect, any account of it becomes doubly interesting.

The Chevalier Paulet, born of an Irish family that had settled in France, served as a subaltern during the last years of the German war.—The obstacles to advancement however discouraged him, while the independence which an easy fortune promised, seduced him; and, although still young, he quitted the service upon the restoration of peace.

He passed some years at Paris in a whirlwind of frivolities, and his entire life might have rolled away in this careless inactivity, had not a fortunate circumstance developed the germs of the virtues which afterwards distinguished him.

He was hunting one day in the forest of Vincennes : and seeking shelter from a storm, he beheld a child of about eight years old lying in a ditch, in which the water was gradually rising, and from whence the child did not appear to have sufficient strength to withdraw itself. M. Paulet gave immediate and eager assistance, and finding the object of his care in a state of extreme weakness, had it taken to his own house at Paris. He learnt from the child that he was the son of an invalided soldier; that, after having lost his mother, he had lived by begging; that, not knowing where to go, and meeting with no aid, he had wandered for some time in the forest, where, up to the time of his being discovered, exhaustion had compelled him to remain in the situation in which M. Paulet had found him.

The condition of this miserable child deeply moved the compassion of his benefactor. He continued towards the boy every attention requisite for restoring his health, and had very soon the satisfaction of seeing it re-established; and as benefits create attachment towards their objects, this child, who was in other respects of a good disposition, became, on his convalescence, an object of lively interest to his protector. He kept him in his own house, made himself his teacher, and found in the success of his cares a charm which very soon gave him a disgust to dissipation, and to the life which he had hitherto led.

His pupil brought to him one day a comrade of his own, and supplicated M. Paulet to withdraw this child also from misery by taking him home. M. Paulet consented without hesitation, and soon afterwards extended the same kindness towards some miserable children of veteran soldiers.

He formed a plan for the education of his young pupils, and embraced the opportunity of recommencing his own, which his first vocation had rendered incomplete. The progress made by his pupils corresponded with his own zeal, and repaid his beneficence. He grew passionately fond of an employment which afforded him such pure enjoyment; his pupils became his children; all his other projects were subordinate to that of extending the benefits of his system. He retrenched all superfluities, and reduced his expenses within the limits of what was strictly necessary.

Fortune itself came to his assistance, by bringing him a large and unexpected inheritance. He made a vow to be poor all his life; he saw in this augmentation of riches only the means of giving extension to his plan, and from that time his house was metamorphosed into a school.

There he received by preference the children of poor soldiers. He had shared the miseries of the profession; he had often considered that the pay accorded to the defenders of their country is not in proportion to the evils they suffer, and the dangers they are exposed to. He had preserved a secret preference for military institutions; he was convinced by experience that a great number of individuals cannot be maintained together in order and regularity without a rigorous adherence to established rules. He preferred therefore the form of military discipline, and he hoped that by encouraging the usual fondness of children for the exterior of this profession, he should more easily obtain submission to those laws which they would themselves be charged with executing.

He formed simple and distinct laws for his little republic. He named the officers who were to become its chiefs : these chiefs formed a permanent council, charged with the entire executive power, and to whom he gave the privilege of electing its own members, and replacing them. He formed a policeguard which was to be relieved every day, whose functions were determined by express regulations; and, the impulse once given, he seemed to reduce his own functions to those of counsellor and friend.

He was able to deny himself every ostentatious enjoyment; he employed the strictest economy in order to effect a saving of money, and, that he might do much, he did all at a small

expense. By banishing from his house paid domestics, he removed the possibility of arbitrary command and passive obedience. He maintained his pupils in a state of mutual dependente, and taught them betimes that the performance of useful functions is not degrading.

Every subaltern officer was in turn charged with the ordinary details of the establishment under the inspection of another officer, who was himself to report to the council. The subaltern officer for the week received each day his provision-money for the market, and, assisted by him who was cook for the day, was charged with all necessary purchases for the family. Cleanliness, which has so direct an influence upon health, was rigorously exacted. He established among his pupils a reciprocal exchange of little services. Their toilet was simple, but, owing to the sustained attention of their benefactor, never was any negligence allowed to creep into its details.

M. Paulet had among the number of his pupils some children of poor gentlemen. Determined to give them an education which might restore to them the rank in society, from which they had fallen through misfortune, he felt that the principle of equality to which he desired to subject them must, however, be modified so as gradually to prepare these young people for the place they were to fill in society : but since any distinctions to be without danger should not be very obvious, he gave to them all the same uniform, made them eat at the same table, sleep in the same rooms, and compelled all without exception to preside in the kitchen in their turn.

M. Paulet gave to his plan of instruction all the extent of which it was susceptible in an establishment of this kind. The course of studies for gentlemen's sons consisted of three languages,

of geography, history, dancing, general literature, mathematics, drawing, music, and fencing. He took care to regulate their occupations according to the aptitude and probable destination of each individual. He did not lose sight of the importance of the useful arts and mechanical trades. He hoped to form men who would carry into society the brilliant advantages of a careful education, and the salutary example of a sound morality. He provided himself with all means of developing the genius of those who might show the germ of it, and he did not neglect to establish in his house a nursery of honest artisans.

He did not spare any thing in the commencement of his plan which might serve to organize the establishment in a manner the most favourable for its progress. He procured able masters and simplified the methods of instruction; he set up workshops

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of different kinds. Gradually there were formed within the institution, young men qualified to replace their teachers.

M. Paulet employed the talents of these for the profit of the community. This distinction redoubled their activity and zeal, and they augmented their own knowledge while they were teaching; the efforts of these pupils animated themselves, and this arrangement, valuable in respect to emulation, was still

so with regard to the economy which M. Paulet was obliged to practise.

This respectable man had the satisfaction of seeing his institution prosper. He succeeded in placing out advantageously some of his pupils. His pecuniary means increasing by family inheritance and by donations, he augmented in proportion the number of his pupils, amounting at this time to 193.*

In cases of competition for reception into his house, his choice was always guided by an enlightened beneficence, and if latterly he appeared to depart from that rule by receiving into his seminary some young persons from court, it was because he knew that to be useful it is necessary to be protected, and because at this period he had need of support for obtaining from the government a spacious locality, fit to receive his establishment, now become too considerable for its original seat.

In a great capital the multiplied visits of the curious could not fail to occasion his pupils much loss of time. M. Paulet guarded against this by appointing three hours per week for satisfying the eager desire of those who wished to be presented to him. The exterior of his house indicates the simplicity of the owner.

It is manifest, from the irregularity and incongruity of the buildings, that his plan has been extended little by little, and that the revenues have always been absorbed by useful and pressing claims.

A child of ten years old in a blue uniform, with a musket on his shoulder, stopped us at the carriage gate to inquire our business, and on our reply permitted us to enter.

M. Paulet received us in what he calls his saloon of arts, which is a room furnished with deal tables and straw seats. After a very polite and modest reception, he said to us, showing us the pictures and engravings with which the walls were adorned, “ All, Gentlemen, that you see here, is the work of our children.” He perceived by our surprise that we awaited an explanation, and he gave us the history of his school of design. He informed us that he had begun by taking a master, in order to prepare some of his pupils for the academy; that these pupils had, according to the custom of the house, given lessons to the beginners, and that from the time of their doing so his school had been of no further expense to him beyond what was requisite for materials. He added that he had sent to Rome two of his young people to perfect themselves in the art. He pointed out to us a large oil painting, which one of these two last pupils had composed and executed without assistance. It was the resurrection of the widow of Nain's son. He told us that an artist, whose curiosity had been awakened by the exhibition of the picture, had attempted to give advice to the boy, and to criticise the performance; that after some general observations, he remarked that the young man whom our Lord had recalled to life, stretched out his hands to his mother with too much action, that his look was too animated, that he was in fact too much alive for a person just resuscitated. "By the cares of a physician, I grant you," replied the youthful artist, “ but not when recovered by the will of God.” This response, full of genius, is remarkable for its justness, proceeding from a child thirteen years of age.

out 100 young men placed as apprentices to divers trades out of the house.

非 *

were besides

M. Paulet introduced us afterwards to his work rooms; these rooms are long, and are furnished with two rows of tables, which every morning replace the sleeping mattresses, the latter being removed to receptacles within the wall. We were struck with the silence and the order that reigned there. A sentinel, charged with police duty, walked gravely from one end to the other. Our arrival did not occasion the least distraction to any person. Every child appeared seriously engaged in his work. They were divided into little classes, which differed as to age, occupation, and number. Each class was presided over by a pupil charged with the office of instructor. In another hour we should have seen these little masters under the instruction (in other departments of learning) of those they were now teaching. This alternation of command and obedience, which varies their habitual state, secures reciprocal respect, forms the young people to gentleness and patience, and from the active superintendence of their adopted father, can never degenerate into a mischievous compromising ceremonial.

We have stated that the sons of gentlemen had privileges with respect to their studies. The children of common people who are intended for a mechanical profession learn only to read, write and cipher; but M. Paulet permits voluntary attempts of every kind. If he perceives in any one of them an ardent desire for information, any marked talent, or merely a rising

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