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fastened on to the richly clustered columns of the original building, so as to conceal their proportions-saints in exaggerated postures and violent action, suitable rather to the tableau of a pantomime than the decorations of a church, where everything should breathe the spirit of gravity and repose-seem to express, as far as rude materials can, the decay of all true church-feeling in the country. If opinions are ever written on wood and marble-if it be true, that the national religion more or less embodies itself in the shapes of religious edifices-one would be tempted to surmise, from the interior of Amiens Cathedral, that the Church of France was endeavouring to compensate for the loss of real devotion by theatrical glare and excitement. And yet this tendency is seen less offensively here than in many French churches. Has this unhealthy tone any part in producing the spirit of change and revolution? or, if not, does it form any moral check to that spirit? In days of trouble, and rebuke, and blasphemy, does the Church stand forth as the uncompromising example of constancy, staidness, and obedience? To this question, every reflecting Frenchman would answer, No: it swims with the stream; it blesses every succeeding form of government, and every mutable constitution; while it has an arrière pensée that must eventually embarrass them all. The Church is denationalized, because she is ultramontane. She opposes herself to the existing government, that she may gain by its fears. All this begets and fosters a temper which is unfavourable to quiet and unobtrusive piety. It brings in novel religious orders, novel services. It fills the churches with tinsel and trumpery; so that one constantly sees, heaped in the corners, defunct scenery and "properties" enough to stock a playhouse. It is not in the spirit of triumph or sarcasm I say this; it is to show what appears to me to be part of the moral anatomy of the revolutionary state of the country.

Our guide, on leaving the church and conducting us through several squares, informed us that one was built upon the site of a convent. In like manner, the public libraries and museums of France are frequently collected in the halls and refectories of convents. It may be that the nation has not yet recovered from the reaction which the wholesale dissolution of those vast institutions must have caused. Sixty years after a similar change had taken place in England, our forefathers were gathering up their energies for the fearful contest which ended in the martyrdom of King Charles the First. Many a voice, that now cries "Panem et circenses," would have been hushed in the deep gloom of those cloistered abodes. There is nothing now but the sword to repress the energy of the wild youth of France. There is not enough of manufactures, and still less of


But I must not indulge any longer in these desultory reflections; for we have arrived at the gate of a simple institutionthe Primary School of the Brothers of the Christian Doctrine. The door is opened by one of the brethren, a grave and thoughtful man; and we find four rooms within appropriated to elementary instruction.

The first is about twenty-five feet square, and contains nothing but rows of desks and forms placed opposite to each other; a chair, raised on a platform, for the master; a large black board, which seemed well used; a portrait of a venerable personage, who, as we were informed, was the founder of the order; some passages of Scripture, on framed sheets of paper, relating chiefly to moral duties; and four or five admonitions, of which the following may be taken as a specimen :


"Go home from school to your house without stopping in the streets, modestly, (modestement,) that is to say, without shouting or offending any one. On the contrary, if one molest or offend you, endure it for the love of JESUS CHRIST, and say within yourselves,-May God give you grace to repent, and pardon you as I pardon you. Celébrité."

On my asking our conductor if the Christian religion was prominently taught in his schools, his face lighted up with interest, and he immediately replied, "It is the very first and foremost thing that we diligently inculcate ;" and introduced me to a second apartment, where the same order of the benches and desks was observed, and some pictures, taken from Scripture and natural history, &c., were on the walls. Here again was the portrait of De la Salle. The third chamber was still better supplied with apparatus, and the fourth contained a fair collection of prints illustrating the orders of architecture, some designs for linear drawing, &c., &c., and-what I confess grieved me deeply an altar to the Blessed Virgin, decorated with artificial flowers, and the simple gifts of the children. In spite of my respect and affection for these self-denying and estimable men-who give themselves up, heart and soul, to teach the poor-I could not but say within myself:-" In these fables of the assumption, in the undue honours paid to the Virgin, is the beginning of sorrows." In the school is laid the foundation of future infidelity. Why are not these children taught to honour first and chiefest, as the fairest among ten thousand, as not only the best, but the sole and only mediator, Him who said,



BID THEM NOT." Brothers of the CHRISTIAN Doctrine, why do you obscure it with the dogma of Mariolatry?

Before leaving the Christian Brethren, I asked them how it was that their instruction was so much lost upon the bad boys

* De la Salle, whose biography will be found in No. 1 (Jan. 1847) of this publication.

of the large towns, many of whom they had probably educated in their schools. The brethren stated that the influence exercised upon the yet unformed minds of the youths in the manufactories and workshops was most deleterious; that it was there they learned vice and crime. To obviate the social and moral mischiefs into which they fell on leaving school, and to sustain their Christian principle at that most critical period of life-the period from thirteen to eighteen years-these good men had formed evening schools, in which they gave, as I understood, gratuitous instruction, adding thereto godly advice and admonition.

Bidding adieu to the worthy Brothers, and trusting that the Church schoolmasters of England would more than emulate them in painstaking industry and love of poor children, I proceeded to the Departmental Normal School, which is delightfully situate in the Boulevards of the city.

The building was not originally erected for its present purpose. It is to a certain extent provisional in its arrangements. The apartments of the resident director are small and incommodious. The refectory of the students is mean and ill-ventilated. They all sleep in one long room, without even a curtain to separate the beds, which are inconveniently crowded.

The young men, to whom we were introduced by the resident director, who was very polite and obliging, were modest and well-behaved. One large class was studying vocal music, under a master, who kept up the voices by the sound of a violin. Another class was occupied in writing some exercises on geography. The walls of the principal class-room were profusely adorned with geometrical diagrams, very neatly and boldly painted on the plaster; and in an adjoining apartment were two maps, similarly drawn, one of France and one of Europe, which were nothing to boast of. Amidst these geometrical figures was a crucifix, with a faded wreath of immortelle over it, and covered with dust. I am, perhaps, too prone to æsthetics, and draw a conclusion concerning the religious tone of the establishment from what many would call a trifling circumstance; but in a Roman Catholic country this fact did not impress me favourably. It was very different from the little altar of the Christian Brothers.

On further inquiry, I found that the year which is about to close had been very disadvantageous to public instruction. The excessive agitation which had reigned throughout the country, and filled so many hearts with dismay, had left no time to the authorities and to the fathers of families to exercise the influence which is absolutely essential to the success of education. The schoolmaster had been turned aside from his work by the distractions of the times, and in some instances had been engaged in that silliest of all silly occupations, the planting of

rootless sprigs of the upstart poplar, and calling them trees of liberty; while his pupils were helping to augment the general confusion.

This remark is chiefly true of the higher schools* of the country. The commercial schools have likewise suffered; and those for the poor and for infants, though of course in a less degree. In most of the departments the higher committees have ceased altogether to exercise any official functions, and the local committees, as a natural consequence, have remained inactive.

From what I can learn, the masters and pupils of the primary normal schools have been an honourable exception to the agitation around them, and have calmly pursued their daily tasks. The public examinations at the close of the session have been more satisfactory than usual. To these days of tumultuous effervescence they have felt that there was an on-coming tomorrow; and while they have satisfied their consciences by a close attention to their duties, they have been prepared for whatever might befall them.

In an ante-chamber of the normal school at Amiens is a small collection of materials for chemical lectures, and some. simple machines illustrative of mechanics and astronomy. The globes were very inferior to those usually sold at the depository of the National Society in London.

On inquiring what text-books were used in the primary and normal schools of France, my attention was directed to a long list authorized by the UNIVERSITY, and almost as extensive and multifarious as that published under the auspices of the Committee of Council on Education in England. It may be reduced under the general divisions of-I take them as they are given in the official list-pædagogy, moral and religious instruction, reading, writing, grammar, literature, geography, history, arithmetic, geometry, land-surveying, linear design, physical sciences, natural history, agriculture, astronomy, singing and music, living languages, various works on the construction of school buildings, management of committees, &c., old works (in which the New Testament, translated by Sacy, is mentioned without distinction of type or otherwise in the midst of a class which comprises the Fables of La Fontaine and the select works of Voltaire), works specially designed for "SALLES D'ASILE," ditto for Protestant schools, and ditto for Jewish schools.

Before commencing the analysis of this scheme of instruction, in connexion with my visits to the normal schools, I cannot forbear to offer some practical observations which it appears to suggest.

Much of the wild and restless spirit of modern France is to

* Enseignement supérieur.

be attributed to the want of a reverential attachment to the Holy Scriptures, as containing a complete revelation of the will of God. The Church of France, now thoroughly Romanized, both as to its theology and its politics, combines with the partizans of infidelity in disparaging the Bible. With the former it is not the rule of faith, and therefore with the latter not the rule of conduct. The French theologians quote the Bible as a book with which the people are not familiar, and it would appear from the usual practice of the Church of Rome that they practically debar their flocks from reading and understanding the inspired records. The poor priest at Birmingham, who lately took the English translation of the Scriptures by the tongs and burnt it, committed a political fault relatively to England, but not a crime in the eyes of the Church at large to which it was his misfortune to belong. It may be replied that the Puritans in the seventeenth century were just as revolutionary, with the Bible in the holster of their pistols. This surely is not a fair objection. Are not the cases essentially different?

This want of reverence for the Bible is partly the cause and partly the effect, of the manner in which foreign commentators have dealt with its awful contents. They have examined, quoted, and criticized them, not like the great Apostle of the Gentiles, who said, "WELL SPAKE THE HOLY GHOST BY THE MOUTH OF ESAIAS, THE PROPHET," but as mere human compositions. They have dilated on the close logic of one part, and the brilliant rhetoric of another, until the reader has quite lost sight of their solemn issues. The Germans are foremost in this dangerous occupation. We find some of their English imitators divaricating, to use a term of their own, between the word of God and the word of man in the New Testament. They explain away much, not to say all, to which the human mind most clings in hours of trial and peril, as mere anthropomorphisms. That very temptation of Adam, which brought death into the world, becomes, in their bold and sacrilegious hands, nothing but a myth. The natural consequence of all this is, that, in France, the Bible is viewed as a collection of grand efforts of human genius, and nothing more. As a Frenchman once said to a friend of my own, "Ah! this Saint Paul, this great St. Paul, I think he was on the whole superior to Jean Jacques." And when Frenchmen imagine that they have achieved any discovery by brilliant efforts of genius, they call it "a revelation." I have before me an Almanack, entitled "La Lunette des Donjon de VINCENNES; ALMANACH DEMOCRATIQUE ET SOCIAL DE L'AMI DU PEUPLE, pour 1849, par F. V. Raspail, REPRESENTANT DU PEUPLE." This abominable man is one of the apostles of modern Socialism, and is confined as a public pest in the fortification of Vincennes. Compromised in the

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