\ translated from the Frehch;.by;;f







This brilliantly imaginative and seminal book offers an fntire! of manners. It tells '-K(^^esjfe new contribution to the

man's notions abopt chilidhood and family




and developed from the Middle Ages



The Times

Literary Supplement (London),

reviewing the French edition of Centuries of

Childhood in 1960, called it "a most valuable and important contribution ... its insights

open new doors for intellectual excitement and curiosity." The theme of this extraordinary book is the emergence of the modern conception of family life and the modern image of the na-

The discovery of childhood phase of life, M. Aries shows, is a recent event. Until the end of the Middle Ages, the child was, almost as soon as he was
ture of children.
as a distinct

weaned, regarded as a small adult, who mincompeted, worked, and played with mature adults. Only gradually did parents

begin to encourage the separation of adults and children, and a new family attitude, oriented around the child and his education,
appeared. M. Aries traces this metamorphosis through the paintings and diaries of four centuries, the
history of games and skills, and the development of schools and their curricula. Ironi-

he finds that individualism, far from triumphing in our time, has been held in check by the family and that the increasing power of the tightly knit family circle has been gained at the expense of the open, richcally,



society of earlier times.

But if the emphasis on the child and the home has meant a loss of social diversity, it has also a means for men to escape the unprovided
bearable solitude of



Centuries of Childhood deals primarily with the family, the child, and the school in pre-nineteenth-century France and



it is

undoubtedly destined to have (continued on back flap)


63-0621*6 392.3 Aries Centuries of childhood








History of

Family Life



the French




York: Alfred A.



Translated from the French et la viefamiliale sous Vancien regime 1960 by Librairie Plon, Paris 1962 by Jonathan Cape Ltd English version
























269 286









Part I. Part III. Cf. Chap. Chap. IV 97 THE CRAFTSMAN AND HIS CHILD by Lagniet. from Cf. Little children are to be seen here too. showing a child saying grace. Chap. 18. One of many such pictures dating from the seventeenth century. and n. and n. HI. 47 161 AN EVENING BY THE by Stella. 1952. I. from Les Proverbes. II. Typical thieving beggar-boys 65 BURGOMASTER MAYER AND HIS FAMILY by Holbein. Chap. and n. 1561 by F. IV. and n. Chap. 14 96 A GAME OF CHUCKS by S. despite the evil reputation of these haunts. (Photo Alinari-Giraudon. Leclerc. Typical family portrait concert during dessert and Chap. Chap. (Photo Bulloz. (Photo Bulloz.ILLUSTRATIONS THE CHILDREN OF HENRI-LOUIS HABERT DE MONTMORT by Philippe de Champaigne. Part III. THE THIEVES Cf. 40 192 GRACE Stradan. and Chap. Part I. Trente-six figures contenant tons les jeux. Floris. Part III. Chap.) Cf. Dresden. 33 facing page 64 THE DUG D'ANJOU AS A CHILD by Arnoult. Part I. III. I. Part I.) Cf. Paris. and n. 23. Reims Museum. n. Chap. Cf. Cf. showing a little 160 THE TAVERN by Lagniet. Part III. Ill. Chap. 1587. No. Dorival in the Catalogue of the Philippe de Champaigne Exhibition at the Orangerie. I. Chap. I 192 . Cf. 31 161 THE WEDDING PROCESSION by by Stella. Analysed by B. Part III.) Cf. Part III. 3 65 by Callot. An allegory (winter) treated as a scene of family I. Note the the child little playpen supporting 97 THE VAN BERGHEM FAMILY. Ill. and n. Part I. FIRE life.

Chap. Ill sine vita scholastic^ Arnheim. Chap.) Duchesse de Bourgogne. Basle II. Part I. Steen. . Cf. (Photo Giraudon. Part I. Part SETTING OFF FOR SCHOOL 256 by Crispin de Pas. Cf. on 256 V A SCHOOL SIGN by Holbein. and n. Cf. and n. Part II. Chap. Chap. Versailles Museum.) Cf. (Photo HanfstaenglGiraudon.) Cf. 1602. IV THE ROYAL FAMILY 353 by Nocret. and n. 43 by J. Chap. Cf. IV. Museum. Cf. From Les Proverbes. The Parents are shown entrusting their boy to a preceptor or rather to an 'old hand'. Part I.ILLUSTRATIONS BLIND MAN'S BUFF and THE PAPER GAME Details 7 from Les Heures de la Museum. Chantilly Cf. Part II. Part I.) Children playing games of chance. Plate II. VII. the age of the pupils. n facing page 193 A CLASS by Crispin de Pas. II 289 LIFE THE STEPS OF THE AGES OF Cf. Amsterdam.) Cf. 28 288 CHILD PLAYING WITH YOUNG VALET Lagniet. VII. V. by Part III. from Academia Chap. Part III. little (above): An evening school for adults. (Photo Giraudon. (below): A 257 school for children. The latter is being given a chicken. (Photos Basle Museum. I. Part Chap. 352 THE CARD-PLAYERS by Le Nain. Chap. who are wearing swords. 31 THE MASTER SCRIBE*S CLASS Note Chap. (Photos Giraudon. Part I. and the boy's father is taking some money out of his purse. In the background other schoolboys can be seen already and VI their way. Chap. I 289 THE FEAST OF ST NICHOLAS Rijksmuseum. Showing the familiarity which existed between children and servants. and n.

8 ILLUSTRATIONS TOMB Gaigniires. I.) Cf. CHILD'S Reproduced by C Part I. Brussels. and n. (Photo Bulloz. II facing page 384 ANTOON ANSELME AND Chap. 384 LITTLE GIRL AT THE WINE-MERCHANT's Cf. I HIS FAMILY I. Part III. Chap. Chap. and n. Part HI. I. 5. Part Chap. 34 385 .

question here of a gratuitous examination of society under the ancien regime. historical differences are of little importance in comparison with the huge mass of what remains unchanged. with day-long. the great demographic revolution in the West. The point is that the ideas entertained about these relations may be the dissimilar at moments separated by lengthy periods of time. a But have we any right to talk of a history of the family? Is the family phenomenon any more subject to history than instinct is? It is possible to argue that it is not. felt the I THIS limits of this from the start that there is no originality. go on loving one another. struck by the original characteristics of the modern family. except by means of the differences which separate them from the related but never identical aspects of the past. The adoption of contraceptive measures has brought about both quantitative and qualitative changes in the family. That is not the question at issue. This is the case with the family.and present can be fairly safely neglected by historians of 'short 2 periods'. It is no doubt true that since the beginning of the human race men have built homes and begot children. whether they limit their numbers or give free rein to instinct. It is . On the other hand. and will always go on guiding the first steps of those children. Similarly I can tell the particular nature of a period in the past from the degree to which it fails to resemble our present. has revealed to us considerable possibilities of change in structures hitherto believed to be invariable because they were biological. will always go the family as a reality that is our men and women will always on having children. lifelong relations between parents and between parents and children. but it must be used in the study of manners and feelings whose need to go back into a more distant past to discover the must make it clear variations extend over a 'long period*.INTRODUCTION book on the family under the ancien regime is not the work of a specialist in that period. I have explained elsewhere1 how difficult it was for me clearly to distinguish the characteristics of our living present. However it is not so much subject here_as jhe family as an idea. and to maintain that the family partakes of the immobility of the species. and it can be argued that within the great family types. but of a demographic historian who. This dialectic of past . from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. monogamous and polygamous. True.

Is not this disparity between living ideas and legal structures one of the characteristics of our civilization? The idea of the family appeared to be one of the great forces of our time. an occasion of emotion. concept people jiave far does this evolution of the family around the child . Bui how was I to discover. I then went on to wonder. in the documents of the past. not whether it was on the decline. and to estimate one with the help of the idea other. family. to find out whether die idea of the family had not been born comparatively recendy. know that there is a connection between the idea of childhood and the We were entided to suppose that this connection also of the family. It seemed to me (and qualified 8 a conclusions) that on the contrary the family occupied had and that it tremendous place in our industrial societies. too far removed things which were too ordinary. The to share my legal weakening proved only that the idea (and the reality) did not follow the same curve as the institution. We That is why we are going to study them together. here. In the tenth century. not the is this idea evolving? For a long time it was believed that the family constituted the ancient basis of our society. and that. The aim of this' book is to reply to this question on the modernity of the idea of the family. at a time when the family had freed itself from both biology and law to become a value. I accordingly looked back into our past. perhaps never before exercised so much influence over the human condition. existed in a more distant past. The history progress of liberal of die family in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was supposed to be that of a decadence: the frequency of divorces and the weakening of marital and paternal authority were seen as so many signs of its decline. starting in the eighteenth century.10 history of the idea description In what direction INTRODUCTION of the family which concerns us of manners or the nature of kw. How the centring How in the nineteenth century? a to parallel evolution of die correspond die of the feeling they entertain towards it. a theme of expression. but whether it had ever been as strong before. artists were unable to depict a child except as a man did we come from that ignorance of childhood to on a smaller scale. the individualism had shaken and weakened i$. references to too commonplace. The study of modern demographic phenomena led me to a completely observers have come contrary conclusion. from the memorable incident for contemporary writers to mention them? Our experience of the modern demographic revolution has revealed to us the importance of the child's role in this sUemJiistary. and even whether it had been in existence for a long time.

questions take us to the very heart for we are standing on those frontiers of biology and sociology from whichi mankind derives its hidden strength.INTRODUCTION II the value they attribute to it? It will be no surprise to the reader if these of the great problems of civilization. .




In the Middle Ages the Christian name had been considered too imprecise a description. In time the latter might well not disappear but be reserved for private life. surname to that of tradition. and it had been found necessary to complete it with a surname. age is still quite an obscure notion. the age. a registration number which will double his own name. comes from another world. the numerical character. the year of his birth. a half. something which is not so important that one cannot forget it. together with his Social Security card. There are. a place name in many cases. Our civic personality is already more precisely expressed by the co-ordinates of our birth than by our surname. that of precise figures. asked how old he is. At the same he and indeed rather than being Paul time as being Paul will be a number. some are 15 . while a registration number in which the date of birth would be one of the elements would take its place for civic purposes. every document he he form fills in -and heaven knows there are enough of signs. replies correctly that he is two and We feel in fact that it is a matter of importance that little Paul should get this right: what would become of him if he forgot his age? In the African bush.THE AGES OF LIFE A how :AN of the sixteenth or the seventeenth century would be astonished at the exigencies with regard to civil status to which we submit quite naturally. A day will come when every citizen will have his registration number. which we draw up ourselves. We could anyone forget the exact date of his birth. and the month of that year. we teach them are extremely proud their name. Belonging to very different species. their age and their parents' name. Little Paul will give his age and when he he will soon become Paul of Form starts his first job he will be given. and which do not call for the inscription of our date of birth. every remember more in the future. however. But in our technical civilization. As soon as our children start to talk. The Christian name belongs to the world of fancy. which will begin with his sex. the those and there will be at school. a quantity legally measurable to within a few hours. when little Paul. The age. when he has to it for almost every application he makes. And no wit has become advisable to add a further detail. some acts which commit us to a serious degree. In our day our registration practices partake at the same time of all worlds.

Each portraits go bears same date. painted -aged thirty-three.and sixteenth-century memoirs which I have consulted in order to collect a few examples of the status of scholars. The husband has one hand on his hip and is The two children are playing at resting the other on their feet. 1439. which is accordingly given twice over the portrait triutn an(n)orum together with the age of both husband and wife: thus the two pictures by Pourbus of Jan Fernaguut and his wife Adrienne de Buc bear the same indication: Anno domini 1551. depicted with their two little children. this order. 1 it is to find at the beginning of the story the author's age or and place of birth. Sometimes indeed the age becomes an object of special attention. On many sixteenth-century .16 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD commercial documents. and the others are But they were all devised in ancient times. It is generally agreed that it was only in the eighteenth century that the parish priests began keeping their registers with the exactness. recording of births in parish registers was imposed on the priests of France by Franois I. It is inscribed on portraits as an additional sign of individualization. which had already been prescribed by the authority of the councils. It sometimes happens too that the portraits of husband and wife are painted together on the same canvas. those who had a college education. this reference is rarely to be found but it exists either on not uncommon his date . Very often these sixteenth-century in pairs: one for the wife. with Altatis suae 29 in the man's case and 3 19 in the woman's. the other for the husband. At the top: co(n}iux m(eu)s Joha(nn)es me Margaretha . 2 On the portraits of famous people. like the Van Gindertaelens attributed to Pourbus. had to be accepted by people who for a long time remained hostile to the rigour of abstract accounting. in the beginning religious sixteenth century. before the rigour of modern identification had been introduced into our way of life. Van Eyck. bills of exchange or cheques. that is to say. which a modern state requires of its registrars. the canvas or on the old frame of family portraits. his wife's shoulder. The wills. Bruges). The date . but to be respected. exactness and authenticity. with die more educated social strata.what meticulous accuracy: my husband c(om)plevit an(n)o 1439. The personal importance of the idea of age must have grown in proportion as and civic reformers imposed it in documentary form. In the fifteenth. or the attempted exactness.in his twentyportraits one may find inscriptions like ALtatis suae 29 ninth year -with the date of the painting ANDNI 1551 (portrait by Pourbus of Jan Fernaguut. court portraits. linked with family of the oldest examples is the admirable portrait of One symbols. 17 Junii me and the bottom: on at JEtas mea triginta June lyth.

In the seventeenth century became a common habit to carve or paint a date on beds. Sometimes only the initials of husband and wife were inscribed on either side of the date.1709 -Elizabeth Misler'. which depicts Antoon Anselme. as photograph albums were to be three or four centuries later. 6 The inscription of ages or of a date on a portrait or an object helped to answer the desire to give the family greater historical consistency. coffers.THE AGES OF LIFE is 17 1559. On the husband's side is his coat of arms with the inscription aetas and on the wife's side. The taste for chronological inscription. one holding the boy and the other the girl. births and deaths. bearing the following inscription: concordi ae antonii anselmi et johannae Hooftmans feliciq : progagini. chests. domestic events were noted down. and disappeared only at the end of the nineteenth century: thus an official of the Musec des Arts et Traditions Populaires found a piece of furniture in the Upper Loire bearing the inscription: 1873 LT JV. This curious passion for dating appeared not only in portraits but also in personal belongings and furniture. This custom became very common in France. Martino de Vos pictore. 5 The husband and wife are sitting on opposite sides of a table. generally a marriage. in which. spoons and ceremonial glasses. an Antwerp magistrate. inscription JEtatis mec. DD natus MDLV D XVI decembr est ilk liberi ann MDXXXVI die IX febr uxor ann Augusti a JEgidius ann MDLXXV XXI Johanna ann MDLXVI XXVI septembr. of arms of her family and the sometimes take on the appearance of a real epigraphic formula. while lasting into the middle ofthe nineteenth century at least among people in average circumstances. as on the portrait by Martin de Voos dated 1572. The same governed the family record books. his wife and their two children. 27. spirit Here a regard for accuracy and the idea of the family came together. These dated family portraits were documents of family history. where it was obviously considered early on to . and particularly painted furniture. It was not so much a question of the individual's co-ordinates as of those of the members of the family: people felt a need to give family life a history by dating it it. the date of the marriage. 20* These particulars Between their heads. apart from the household accounts. was dated and also frequently inscribed with the names of its joint owners. In certain regions Alsace. the coat an. at the top and in the middle of the canvas. Austria and Central Europe furniture from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. there is a fine scroll. rapidly disappeared in town and court. carefully ornamented. Switzerland. In Thun Museum I have noticed this inscription on a chest: 'Hans Bischof. The date corresponded to a solemn moment in the family's history. cupboards.

there is nothing I can vouch for with less assurance than life. I pointed out earlier that our little Paul knows his age as soon as he begins to talk. . yet she 7 an April morning This is a case of a man of the people. for this was how one was supposed to give one's age in response to any of birth. on my as die bells were ringing for Mass/ A Quinquagesima Sunday. but only on the pictures of painters working in or for the provinces). . 8 the exact date of my birth. Sancho Panza did not some know exactly how old his own daughter was. In Cordier's dialogues. or two years older or younger. for all that he was extremely fond of her: 'She may be fifteen. 99 Even when life.18 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD be naive and provincial. Their authors use a terminology which . there remained in everyday custom and usage curious survivals of an age when it was an uncommon and difficult thing to remember one's age exactly. in the observance of good manners. or. it was dated very discreetly. In spite of the importance which age had acquired in family epigraphy in the sixteenth century. In the sixteenth century. children doubtless knew their age. Fine period furniture was signed. I was told that inquiry. yet considers himself obliged to wrap up the fact in a prudent paraphrase: 'To begin with. When I it occurred to me to ask for the date had come into the world in 1499. two boys at school question each other during the play-hour: 'How old are you?' 'Thirteen. so I have heard my mother say. but an extremely curious custom forbade them in the name of good manners from openly revealing it and is as tall as a lance and * as fresh as . inscriptions tended to disappear from pictures (there were still a few to be found. When the Valais humanist and pedagogue Thomas Platter tells the story of his he states with great precision when and where he was born. of our way of the habits of personal chronology became part they did not succeed in imposing themselves as a positive attainment. a souvenir of a time when nobody ever knew a date for certain. From the middle ofthe seventeenth century. This reserve is an habitual reserve. What is surprising is that it should have become a part of good manners. just curious mixture of uncertainty and precision. and did not immediately dispel the old obscurity of and the custom of obscuring one's age lingered on for some time age. obliged them to answer questions about it with a certain reserve. if it was dated. even in the educated classes where habits of modern precision were observed at an earlier date. The 'ages treatises of life* occupy a considerable place in the pseudo-scientific of the Middle Ages.

A general idea emerged from it. and astronomy. puerility. It is hard for us today to appreciate the importance which the concept of the 'ages' had in ancient representations of the world. air. old age . how far its concepts had entered into mental habits and what it represented in : everyday edition life. birds. so often repeated and so commonplace that they passed from the realm of science to that of everyday experience. matter. of the solidarity which exists between all the phenomena of Nature. Certain practical recipes could also be found in this book. It was thought fit to translate it into French and to give it a greater circulation by means of printing. at the same time as theology. so well known. Twenty books deal widi God. We shall understand the problem better if we glance dirough the of Le Grand 10 This Propriltaire de toutes choses. or 'ages of man* corresponded in our ancestors' minds to positive concepts. We have no intention of trying to determine its exact formulation and its place in the history of science all that matters here is that we should realize to what extent this science had become common property. The 'ages'.THE AGES^ OF LIFE strikes senility. The last book is devoted to numbers and measures. the weather. 'ages of life'. The idea that there was no opposition between the natural and the supernatural derived both from popular beliefs inherited from paganism and from a science that was physical as well as theological. man and his body. natural history. physical description and explanation philosophers of the sixth century B. etc. youth.C. 1556 was a thirteenthall the data of the writers Latin which itself century repeated compilation of the Byzantine Empire. A treatise on physics. but which is essential not analytical in concept and which attempts to render the unity of Nature and God. fire. the idea of the fundamental unity of Nature. A man's 'age' was a scientific category of die same order as weight or speed for our contemporaries it formed part of a system of . water. human physiology and anatomy. the elements. medicine and hygiene. a sort of Encyclopaedia Britannica.. I .each word signifying a different period of life. adolescence. a scientific idea which had become extremely commonplace. as puerility but these meanings were not contained in the first acceptations. Le Grand Proprittaire de toutes choses is an encyclopedia. diseases. metaphysics. the angels. in the writings first of the which went back to die Ionian which medieval compilers revived Byzantine Empire and which was still inspiring the printed books of scientific vulgarization in the sixteenth century. the sky. Since then we have borrowed some of these words to denote abstract ideas such or senility. 19 us as purely verbal: childhood. phenomena which could not be distinguished from supernatural manifestations.

We find it difficult today to imagine this tremendous concept of a massive world in which nothing could be distinguished but a few correspondences. in accord with the universal system of correspondences. the planets and their commonplaces: astrological significance. There is no escape from this causality except through magic or miracles. did not go back to the great period of ancient science. and the number of the seasons: the figure 4. single rigorous law A one and the same time the movement of the planets. The correspondence of numbers seemed to be one of the keys to this profound solidarity. in sixth-century Ionia the . and the symbolism of numbers. over the centuries these correspondences had slipped from the realm of science into that of popular mythology. which was destined to become extremely popular. This concept. without order the world: none of the categories of the cosmos upsetting possesses a sufficient autonomy. Science had made it possible to formulate the latter and to define the categories which they linked together. with the result that astrology makes it possible to discover the personal effects of this universal determinism. the number of man's temperaments. as Le Grand Proprittaire postulates. The concept of the ages of life was also one of the common ways of understanding human biology. the symbolism of numbers was a commonplace theme in religious speculations. The concepts born had gradually been adopted by the ordinary mentality. As late as the middle of the seventeenth century. categories of antiquo-medieval science had become the elements. and in magic practices. in descriptions of physics and natural history.20 THE IDEA OP CHILDHOOD am must be held responsible inclined to think that this rigorous concept of the unity of Nature for the delay in scientific development. the governs vegetative cycle of the seasons. Given a certain degree of solidarity between the phenomena of Nature. there was a correspondence between the number of the elements. and the destiny of a man. the ancients or the Scriptures. however. the human body and its humours. Knowledge of Nature is limited to the study of the of the relations governing phenomena by means of a single causality . the practice of astrology was sufficiently widespread for the at sceptical Molire to choose it as a butt for his raillery in Les Amants magnifiques. For example. it is impossible to intervene without setting off a chain reaction.a knowledge which can foresee but cannot modify. the connections between the elements. and nothing can be done in the face of universal determinism. the temperaments. much more than the authority of tradition. We cannot exert any influence on an element of Nature unless we are agreed that it can be adequately isolated.

Fulgentius found it hidden in the Aeneid: he saw in Aeneas's shipwreck the symbol of II man's birth in the midst of the storms of existence. Here the ages correspond to the planets. says Isidore. After this age follows old age.] Afterwards follows youth. as Isidore says. And it was probably even less tardy at a time when work at a tender age mobilized the resources of the constitution earlier on. He interpreted Cantos and III as the image of childhood hungering for fabulous tales. . This age is called adolescence because the person is big enough to beget children.. is Afterwards follows senectitude.THE AGES OF LIFE { 21 It 11 originated in the Byzantine Empire in the sixth century. which is called adolescence. and this age lasts until forty-five according to Isidore. and so on. which is as good as saying not talking.. which occupies the central position among the ages. even before twenty-eight. to the size allotted to And him by Nature. 12 There are countless medieval texts on this theme. Le Grand Proprittaire de toutes choses deals with the ages in its sixth book. and this age fourteen. . and in this age that called an infant. which ends according to Constantine in his viaticum in the twentyfirst and it year. because the person grows in this age [Yet growth is over before thirty or thirty-five. although the person in this age is in his greatest strength. or until fifty according to others. according to Aristotle. An Arabian fresco of the eighth century already represented the ages of life. it is called pueritia person lasts till is still and Constantine. and there are seven of them: The begins first age is childhood is when the is child which born is when the teeth are planted. for its teeth are not yet well arranged or firmly implanted. vigour from natural heat. and this age born and lasts until seven. but according to Isidore it lasts till twenty-eight can go on till thirty or thirty-five. and Isidore calls it gravity. After infancy comes the second and is given this name because in this age the like the pupil in the eye. and in this age the person is not old. as Isidore says. In this age the limbs are soft and able to grow and receive strength and . according to Isidore. This age is called youth because of the strength in the person to help himself and others. which according to some lasts until . which half-way between youth and old age. because in this age it cannot talk well or form its words perfectly. but he has passed his youth. because the person is grave in his habits and bearing. as Isidore says age . Afterwards follows the third age.

13 expounds this calendar of the ages: The first six years of life on earth We to January would compare. man of worth Who has arrived at sixty years: He must sow in young folk's ears Wisdom all their hearts to fill. Or witness this thirteenth-century Of all the poem: months the first behold. . .. but in French . cast.22 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD . thus and moving themes linking the ages of life with one of the most popular of the Middle Ages: the scenes of the calendar. a meaning akin to that of astrology: it called to planets. To feed the other act a Thus must men on earth. And give them charity if he will. mind the link which joined the destiny of man to that of the The same sort of sidereal correspondence had inspired another division into periods connected with the twelve signs of the zodiac. Then a man his wheat must sow Will finish badly. For he who does not start life well one can tell . word for it . old people seventy and according to others has no end until death have not such good sense as they had... . . For in that month strength is as rare As in a child six years from 14 birth.. A fourteenth-century poem. Because its eyes two ways are To face the future and the past. The last part of old age is called senies in Latin. and talk nonsense in their old age . Thus the child six summers old Is not worth much when all is told. But one must take every care To see that he is fed good fare. reprinted several times in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 15 January two-faced and cold. When October winds do blow. The old man is always coughing and dirtying [we are a long way yet from the noble old man of Greuze and Romanticism] until he returns to the ashes and dust from which he was taken. but it had read it. there is no separate and spitting Nowadays we may a meaning for those who consider this jargon empty and verbose.

quatuor ages humorum (the temperaments). which we look for in the news items of the papers. they can be recognized on 20 no less than in a fresco of the Eremitani capitals in the Palace of the Doges of this the age of toys: children playing with a hobbyhorse. a doll. For the man of old. Further on: hora tertia: puericia secunda aetas -the master of the vineyard can be seen putting his hand on the shoulder of a young some illuminated twelfth-century The sculptor has tried to represent capitals in the baptistery at Parma. Philippe de Novare spoke of the 'four times of aetatum. we come up against great difficulties of interpretation. Then the age of school: the at First Padua. But it was above all in the fourteenth century that the essential characteristics iconography became fixed and remained virtually unchanged until the eighteenth century. a continuity inscribed in the general and abstract order of things grasp the fact that this terminology. resting beside his mattock: senectus. sometimes amusing of life.' Life in this case is a drama.THE AGES OP LIFE 23 the same nature is the correspondence established between the life and the other 'fours': consensus of quatuor elementorum. as a situation in society. outside biology and sociology. 19 man who is is holding an animal and a bill-hook. and sometimes sad continuity of the ages cyclical. for in those periods of heavy mortality few men were privileged to live through all these ages. They are to be found for instance on at one and the same time the parable of the master of the vineyard and the labourers of the eleventh hour. In the first scene one can see the master of the vineyard laying his hand on a child's head. expressed * ' * rather than in real experience. on the contrary. or about which we say: That's lifelike. something which has no name. And these speculations 18 Of went on recurring in text after text up to the sixteenth century. quatuor anni temporum et quatuor vitae About 1265. Yet we say Such is life! to express at once our resignation and our conviction that there is. or birds on leashes. which rescues us from everyday boredom. and the symbol of the ages of life. but which stirs us. which seems so which were scientific at the time and also corresponded to a popular and commonplace idea of life. ideas futile to us We must try to now. 17 namely four periods of twenty years each. and underneath an of the child: prima aetas saeculi: primum inscription points out the allegory humane: infancia. a windmill. The popularity of the 'ages of life' made the theme one of the most common in profane iconography. The last of the labourers sexta aetas. Here again. because today we no longer have this idea of life: we see life chiefly as a biological phenomenon. 21 of all . man's age'. it was the inevitable.

in which the costumes never changed and remained those of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries even when the print was produced in the nineteenth.with their rosaries. The ages of life did not correspond simply to biological phases but also to social functions. First Communion is still appearance. Finally. and the churchgoers . They were called the steps of the ages'. more commonplace type. and the Maytime wedding festivities or hunt of the calendars. the schoolboy pen-tray. stood the skeleton of Death. 22 figures The and repetition in the midst of these pictures. in popular imagery learning an old man's in prints These identical attributes form of fourteerlth-century art are to be found in almost of a more popular. as under the arch of a bridge. the scholars with their books or their astrolabes. a court of love.24 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD spin. science or learning . the girls learning to Next die ages of love or of courtly and knightly sports: feasting.the most curious of all these . the handsome couple. * which lasted with very few changes from the sixteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century. and the man at arms. But unlike the dances of death. armed with his scythe. In the centre of this double staircase. boys learning to read or carrying book and pen-tray. Next the ages of war and chivalry: a man bearing arms. and often standing on steps going up on the and going down on the right. we know that there is were some very young lawyers. the costumes have stopped being in fashion or have remained true to the fashions of old. sitting at his desk by the fire. now an officer wearing the sash of command or carrying a banner. the sedentary ages: those of the men of law. but trade. the steps of the ages dressed their characters after the fashion of the day: in die last of the nineteenthages left century prints. with the young man sometimes holding a may-bush in one hand as a sign of the feasts of adolescence and spring. fostered the idea of a life cut into . the men of law are still equipped with their procedure- bags. able for that: the child The enduring quality of the symbols costumes can be seen making their is all the more remark- carrying book and there riding his hobby-horse. pinned to die wall next to the calendar of everyday objects. on the downward slope. Here the theme of the ages merged with that of death.the old bearded scholar dressed in old- fashioned clothes. and it is probably no accident that these two themes were among the most popular: prints depicting the steps of the ages and the dances of death went on recapitulating until the beginning of the nineteenth century an iconography established in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. because they depicted a row of figures representing the various from birth to death. boys and girls walking together.

picturesque sketches. is that there the end of the Middle Ages. childhood. it was found that the French language. Until the eighteenth century. while his young schoolmate of thirteen words at its translator called optimus adolescens. and consequently French usage. in a book on infant prodigies. It could be applied to both the putto (in the sixteenth At century theputti room. Baillet. had not as many disposal as had Latin or at least learned Latin.jils ('valet'. there is no room for adolescence. In spite life ages of Antique-medieval speculation had bequeathed to posterity a copious terminology relating to the ages of life. but the same word could be used of both a young man ('a handsome valeton') and a child ('he was word translator's note: In the following discussion of terminology (pp. in these catalogues as bonus puer. The division of life into periods had the same fixity as the cycle of Nature or the organization of the constant evocation of old age and death. garfon. Adolescence was confused with childhood. character silhouettes of a rather whimsical kind. social functions and styles of dress. physical types. of which there are only three in French: to wit. 'lad'. 'varlet'. the big lad who was sometimes also a bad lad. the meaning of this word was particularly extensive. for in Latin there are seven ages referred to by various names. Preserved in the Bibliothfeque Nationale are the catalogues of the Jesuit College at Caen. In the sixteenth century. the remained good-natured. when it was proposed to translate this terminology into French. . youth and old age/ It will be noted that since youth signifies the prime of life. of society.THE AGJB$ OF LIFE . wherever the 'child' or 'children* is used. admitted were no terms in French to distinguish between pueri and adolescentes^ There was virtually only one word in use: enfant. 25-32). 25 dearly defined sections corresponding to certain modes of activity. 'son'): 'he was a valeton would be translated today as 'he was a good-looking lad'. the original French source has 'enfant* or 'enfants*. was referred to as 'the children's room') and the adolescent. The 1556 of Le Grand Propri&aire de toutes choses makes no bones about recognizing the difficulty: 'It is more difficult in French than in Latin. In school Latin the word puer and the word adolescent were used indiscriminately. valeton. a list of the 23 A boy of fifteen is described pupils' names accompanied by comments. The word enfant ('child')* in the Miracles de Notre-Dame** was used in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries as a synonym of other words such as valets. the bedchamber decorated with frescoes depicting naked children.

which has passed straight from Old French into the popular modern idiom in which lad it is preserved.. ft valez grew up')...' In the course of the seventeenth century a change took place by which the old usage was maintained in the more dependent classes of society. just as today an employer or a foreman will say of a . His father forced him into marriage: 'The child became very angry and struck him hard. journeymen soldiers. in the spoken language. where the word 'child' was as restricted to it its childhood appeared in the modern meaning. he refused to go riding or to have anything to do with His father thought that it was out girls.' In fact. The long duration of common idiom was due to the indifference were regarded at the time: strictly biological phenomena of childhood in puberty. Only one word has kept this very ancient ambiguity down to our times. by arrangement with the inhabitants of the aforementioned 27 place.' in one parish 'there is un jeune enfans ['a inquiry of 1667 states that who in the year or so he has been fourteen about young child'] aged has been teaching children of both living in the aforementioned place sexes to read and write.' He tried to make his escape and suffered mortal injuries by falling downstairs. One could leave childhood only by leaving the state of dependence. and 'this is what becomes of children when they are eighteen. of shyness: "This is customary in children.' 26 The same is true in the seventeenth century. and that is the word gars ('lad'). he kept would not learn a trade or company with greedy. A 'little boy' (petit garfon) was not necessarily a child but young servant. while a different usage appeared in the middle class. handsome son'. 'varlets' and 'boys' were also words in the vocabulary with which of feudal subordination. and he never came across a woman by herself without raping her*. or at least the lower degrees of dependence. he was betrothed to the Virgin. That is why the words associated with childhood would endure to indicate in a familiar style. so they loved him dearly . behold your sweetheart. this bad who was behave folk 'so perverse and wicked that he as was fitting in childhood .26 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD a valeton. for instance. men of humble rank whose and a submission to others remained absolute: lackeys. The Virgin then came for him and said to him: 'Dear brother.. the end of have would seeing thought nobody The idea of childhood was bound up with the idea of dependence: the words 'sons'. at According to a sixteenth-century calendar of the twenty-four 'a child is strong and brave'.' And: 'At this the ages. The report of an episcopal child heaved a sigh. idle who often started brawls in taverns and brothels. Here is another child of fifteen: 'Although he was a fine. A strange child.

those most exposed to danger. wrote to the father of one of his young pupils about his outfit and attendants: 'A little boy is all that he will need for his personal service/ 28 At the beginning of the eighteenth century. one Baduel. even those who were no longer children. in a translation of Erasmus. and again in 1714. and fed if possible 'they even more than all the others must be taught like little doves/ The regulations of the little schools at Port-Royal 32 stated: 'They do not go to Mass every day. good mother" ['so long. the vocabulary of childhood tended rather to refer to the first age. Its use became increasingly frequent the in the seventeenth century: At the expression 'little child' (petit enfant) began to take on the meaning we give it. The older usage had preferred 'young child' (jeune enfant). Fureti&re's dictionary gave an explanation of the usage: "Child* is also a term of friendship used to greet or flatter someone or to induce him to do something. A she will say to a lackey: "Child. which foreshadowed the eighteenth century and Romanticism. It was above all with Port-Royal and with all the moral and pedagogic literature which drew its inspiration from Port-Royal (or which gave more general expression to a need for moral discipline which was widely the and to which Port-Royal too bore witness). the word 'petty' had same meaning as in French. were called 'the lost children'. Thus when one says to an aged person: "Goodbye. but in families of gentle birth. same time. and a text of 1627 on the subject of school 30 spoke of the 'lytde petties'. grandma/ in the modern idiom] she replies: "Goodbye. the smallest pupils. middle felt ones' and 'big ones'. and this expression had not been completely abandoned. In her . that the terms used to denote childhood became common and above all modern: Jacqueline * ' Pascal's pupils at Port-Royal were divided into little ones'. Or master will say to his 1 ' A children. an educational establishment. only the little ones/ People 33 expressions spoke in a new way of 'little souls' and 'little angels'. there was a reference to a 'young girl' who was not yet five: 29 *I have a young girl who has scarcely begun to talk/ The word petit or 'little one* had also acquired a special meaning by the end of the sixteenth century: it referred to all the pupils of the 'little schools'. get to work. * 1 lad']. the principal of a college. In England. La Fontaine used it. 27 worker of twenty to twenty-five: 'He's a good lad/ Thus in 1549. where dependence a was-only consequence of physical infirmity. stand fast/ Front-line troops.THE AGES OF LIFE . my child" ['goodbye. 31 'With regard to the little children/ she wrote." captain will say to his soldiers: "Courage. children. go and get me this or that/' " men when setting them to work : Come along.

in the form poupon. but in the feminine: a the Miracles de expressions which seem the word poupart. The same was true of English. the French guage of the seventeenth century was hampered by the lack of words distinguish them from bigger ones. who quoted proverbs which are has been allowed to mis- lave without being punished. Furetifcre familiar to us: 'He is a spoilt child. One of these was Notre-Dame there was a 'little of the Infant Jesus. wore a surplice and served at Mass: ere there were also little children who had few letters and would her have fed at their mother's breast than do divine service!' 36 In language of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the word no longer denoted a child. de Svigne also used in the same sense a form of the Mme )ven$al e t l she had doubtless learnt in the course of 37 with the Her cousin Coulanges. This was the case with the Italian bambino which became the inch bambin. Drench was therefore reduced to borrowing from other idioms . all lytell rldren'. which of her ' . ere the word 'baby' was also applied to big children. or doll.18 ss. 'young > "These pictures probably lead young people to reflections which >ple feet their reasoning/ 84 It can thus be seen that that seventeenth century ich seemed to have scorned childhood. in fact brought into use sessions and phrases which remain to this day in our language. an old word which in the popular idiom would become word pitchoun. spoke to him and said: "Poupart. 'Tender-hearted Jesus. which was in use from the beginning of the sixtith century until 1866. but instead. Seeing the insistence good will of the little child. Under word I 'child' in his dictionary. Lily's Latin mmar in English. who did stays Grignans. THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD : Mile Lh6ritier claimed to be addressing 'young minds'.'" But this poupart was really what the French today would call a bfbf: he was also referred as a clergeon or 'little clerk'. like children but spoke of them a great deal. what ipart French today still call by the same name. for people are beginning to have reason and no longer any cunning at an ly age/ 'Innocent as a new-born child.either eign languages or the slang used in school or trade words to denote French that little child in whom an interest was henceforth going to taken. In one son' who wanted to feed icture I t 1 \pte. weep more. was intended for the other 'all lytell babes. 88 distrusted three-yearmarmousets'. for in three days you shall eat with me. in its attempts to talk about little children. The fact is.' Vll the same. there are Idren. 85 3n hand little there were in French some refer to very children.

But in Ch&rubin the feminine ippearance was linked with the transition from child to adult: it expressed condition during a certain period. that resemblance was not presented at the time as a characteristic of adolescence. 'brats with greasy chins who put a finger in every dish*. with the had a name. gave boys a feminine appearance. and so on. i . this This borrowing was the last stage little French word bAt. the full. Even when a vocabulary relating to infancy appeared and expanded. Those beardless men with . 2p marmots. the very minimum of probability demands that there should have been some resemblance between a beardless boy and a girl. and the other social. when the French would borrow from the English the word 'baby'. gap would not be filled until the nineteenth century. People had no idea of what we call adolescence. which in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had denoted children of school age. fighting and giving orders. about the age of puberty. as presented by Cherubin. and. when there were several of them. a cadet. round features of early adolescence. the period of budding love. a characteristic of age.oft features were not adolescents for they already behaved like fully jrown men. however credulous always been. However. a populo or petit peuple.two youths becoming friends when one was a girl in readers of adventure stories have disguise.THE AGES also used slang terms <DJF LIFE . This is the explanation of the ease with which men disguised themselves as women and vice versa in countless baroque novels at the beginning of the seventeenth century . in two characters of it in the One can catch a glimpse eighteenth century one literary. and the idea was a long time taking shape. There would still remain a gap where a word was needed to denote a child in its first months of life . In Cherubin it was the ambiguity of puberty that was uppermost. Strictly speaking. In time these words would come to denote a child who was still small but already beginning to find his feet. the very child of the story: henceforth. an ambiguity remained between childhood and adolescence on the one hand and the category known as youth on the other. this was not a new thing: since social life began at a very early age." Lastly the use of diminutives became quite de Svign and common: fanfan is to be found in the letters of Mme those of F&ielon. and the stress was laid on the effeminate side of a boy just emerging from childhood. the conscript. People from school Latin or from sporting and military academies: a little jrater.

and this feeling was to be found in all the belligerent countries. was to become one of the most prominent types values. This evolution has been accompanied by a parallel but contrary evolution of old age. in the years was to enter Wagnerian Germany around 1900. and period. d'Ambrun . the century of adolescence. Henceforth marriage. however. They [the recruiters] will reward those who bring them some upstanding Siegfried: men [beaux homtnes]. 40 It is addressed to shining youth* (brillante jeunesse) 'Those youths [jeunesgens] who wish to share in the reputation : * which this fine corps has 9 won for itself can apply to M. which had ceased to be a 'settling down'. it was manly strength which. adolescence expanded: it encroached upon childhood in one direction. would express the idea of adolescence. A like interest had been evidenced in the Romantic to a single age group. and inquiries were made by such writers as Massis and Henriot. spontaneity and joie make the adolescent the hero of our twentieth in century. in boys.30 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD Chrubin was not destined to have any successors. after the end of the First World War. dictating its to it early and linger in it as long as possible. Youth gave the impression of secretly possessing new values capable of reviving an aged and sclerosed society. The 'youth' which at this time was adolescence soon became a literary theme and a subject of concern for moralists and politicians. naturism. Moreover the iconography of We . The awareness of youth began by being a feeling common to ex-servicemen. and the adolescence was foreshadowed in the eighteenth century by the conscript. in which the troops at the front were solidly opposed to the older generations in the rear. its appetites and its customs. period the married adolescent of our time. maturity in the other.. know that old age started early in the society We of the who are familiar with such examples as MoH&re's old men. On the contrary. past. Thus our to a a has from period which was ignorant of adolescence passed society now want to come We is the favourite in adolescence which age. What made its appearance France at a later date. but not with such specific reference moreover it had been limited to literature and the readers of that literature. would not put an end to it: Passos. People began wondering seriously what youth was thinking. Witness the text of this recruiting poster dating from the end of the eighteenth century. even in the America of Dos From that point. to be still appear young to our eyes. The first typical adolescent of modern times was Wagner's the music of the first Siegfried expressed for time that combination of de vivre which was to (provisional) purity.. Awareness of youth became a general phenomenon. physical strength.

contemptuous or patronizing significance. between childhood and old age. two are gouty. Furetiere.' officer in the sash at the The seventeenth century recognized itself in this military youth. They stumble at every step and are always having to be propped 41 up or picked up. 'an old fellow'. and bores Isabelle with tales of the little respect for old age: it was the age of retirement. but which is tending : . books. the little old man coughs. This is the case with the old man in Titian's concert. who still took very seriously the archaic problems of the division of life into periods. He was not a young man. But the fact is that this respect no longer has any object. the wise Nestor. the silver- haired ancestor. which is also a representation of the ages of life. This evolution has taken place in two stages. and losing age begins a handsome old man sometimes appears simply as a man who is bald. blows his nose. and this is the second stage. although he would be today. for in our time. He was not yet very agile.' Old France had 42 top of the steps of the ages. In the whole of Nature there's not a man who doesn't think he was born in the age of Saturn or the time of the Flood. as the twentieth century recognizes itself in its adolescents. but he was no longer as decrepit as man of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. which in the seventeenth century was called youth. the patriarch rich in precious experience: the old man of Greuze. the old man has disappeared. has survived with a colloquial. but he recognized that it was not current and admitted: 'Jurists see only one age in youth and maturity.THE AGES OF old age does not always represent LIFE 31 it in the guise of a decrepit invalid: old the with of hair one's and the wearing of a beard. Today old age has disappeared.ld days. He corresponded to that second category of the ages. Of the three feet on which he walks. spits. Restif de la Bretonne and the whole nineteenth century. churchgoing and rambling talk.' And in another ten years he will look like this sexagenarian in Quinault: 'Bent over his stick. before the eighteenth century the old man was regarded as ridiculous. cracks jokes. where the expression un vieux. First of all there was the venerable old man. But generally speaking. One of Rotrou's characters tries to force his daughter to accept a quinquagenarian : 4 He is only fifty. and hasn't a tooth in his head. The picture of the whole man in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was that of a younger man: the good o. thought up an intermediate concept of maturity. He has been replaced by 'the elderly man' and by 'well-preserved ladies or gentlemen' a concept which is still middle-class. There still remains something of this respect for the old man in the received ideas of the the old present day. at least from spoken French.

Prolongation of the average life-span brought into existence tracts of life to which the scholars of the Byzantine Empire and the Middle Ages had given names even though they had not existed for the generality. to variations The denote new realities the last phase of a long familiar and theme. childhood of the nineteerrthf adolescence of the twentieth. Thus the absence of adolescence and the contempt for old age on the one hand. \\G J^^^ from one century to another bear witness to the naive which interpretation public opinion has given. : . there corresponded a privileged age and a particular division of human life: 'youth* is the privileged age of the seventeenth century. of its demographic structure. in each and every period. to every period of history. : now forgotten when life is short. is replacing the biological and moral idea of old It is as if.at least as a degradation . In the following pages. and the modern language has borrowed these old terms. and on the other hand the disappearance of old age . in comparison with the preference given to 'youth' in the period under examination (pre-nineteenth century). In the course In periods of this study we must never forget to what extent this representation of childhood remains relative.32 to THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD popular. become The technological idea of preservation age. express society's reactions to the duration of life. when it could not always form an objective idea of it. that of the 'ages of life'. the idea of a privileged age is even more than in our period of longevity. we important shall pay particular attention to the indications of childhood. which were originally purely theoretical. That time was not one of children or of adolescents or of old men it was a period of young men.and the introduction of adolescence.

In the thirteenth-century Gospel-book of the Sainte-Chapelle. but they are still indicated only by their size. 4 In St Louis's moralizing Bible. Isaac is shown sitting his two wives. from the late twelfth or early thirteenth century. right up to the end of the thirteenth century. the an equal number of depicts his good fortune by placing Job between the traditional the on children cattle on the left and picture of right: illustration in the Book In another wealth. An Ottoman miniature of the twelfth century provides us with a striking example of the deformation which an artist at that time would 1 inflict on children's bodies. from fecundity inseparable of Job. Christ and one of the Apostles are shown standing on either side of a little man who comes up 8 to their waists no doubt the child who carried the fishes. in the very few cases when it was exposed. In the world of Romanesque formulas. In an episode in die life of Jacob. some children are lined up in order of size. In a French miniature of the late eleventh century the three children brought is clear: parvuli. remained in its presentation of method. The Latin text what Yet the miniaturist has grouped around Jesus men. between : 33 B . without any of the characteristics of childhood. it seems MEDIEVAL more probable that there was no place for childhood in the medieval world. are obviously eight to life without any other difference in expression or features. 3 The thirteenth has birth.THE DISCOVERY OF CHILDHOOD art until about the twelfth century did not know childhood or did not attempt to portray it. 2 A painter would not even hesitate to give the naked body of a child. they have simply been depicted on a smaller scale. in an illustration of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. It is hard to believe that this neglect was due to incompetence or incapacity. surrounded by some fifteen little men who come 5 up to the level of the grown-ups' waists: these are their children. Ishmael. the musculature of an adult: thus in a Psalter dating by St Nicholas are also reduced to a smaller scale than the adults. children are depicted more often. century. When illuminator Job is rewarded for his faith and becomes rich once more. shortly after the abdominal and pectoral muscles of a man. although it showed more understanding faithful to this childhood. The subject is the scene in the Gospels in which Jesus asks that little children be allowed to come to Him.

the men of that means This warriors. in that that and image had neither interest nor even reality for them. and not simply in that of suggests too that in aesthetic transposition. was reserved for future clerks.34 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD there are no children characterized by a special expression but only men on a reduced scale. But how old is this little clerk'? The clergeons were children of various ages who were There rained to make orders. as Pere du Colombier remarks.C. had been in fact would seem to suggest that represented as an adult/ Everything the realistic representation of children or the idealization of childhood. a few types of children are to be found to be a little closer to the modem concept of childhood.' Reims. This is no mere coincidence. quickly and which was just Such is our starting-point. How do we get from there to the little imps of Versailles. A fine Sardinian bronze of the ninth century B. It the realm of real life. a young 8 idolescent: a clergeon. Little Eroses grace and rounded charms. shows a sort of Pieta: a mother holding in her 7 arms the somewhat bulky body of her son. the only kind of schooling that existed. says one of the Miracles de Notre-Dame. seminarists the responses in church and who were destined for holy of a sort in a period when there were no seminaries and when schooling in Latin. is a big boy rather angel . of the special features of childhood which had already characterized the periods of antiquity before Hellenism. childhood was a period of transition which passed as quickly forgotten. example. 'there were little children who had few letters and would rather have fed at their mother's breast [but children were weaned very late at that time: at three] than do divine Shakespeare's Juliet was still being breast-fed 9 one of take to The service. in accordance with the formula adopted in ancient times by other peoples. its was confined to Greek art. in the Hellenistic period. of undoubtedly doughty strength the tenth and eleventh centuries did not dwell on the image of childhood. depicted in the guise of a very young man. literary hishave made the same observation about the Mgr and physical child which in prodigies behave with the courage epic. Our starting-point in this study is a world of art returned to that rejection pictorial representation Calve torians such as which childhood is unknown. 'Here'. but childhood disappeared from proliferated and Romanesque iconography together with the other Hellenistic themes. which appear is the angel. to the photographs of children of all ages in our family albums? About the thirteenth century. The catalogue tells us: 'The little masculine figure could also be a child which. This refusal to accept child morphology in art is to be found too in most of the ancient civilizations.

husband and wife are holding hands while the children (little men) surrounding them are towards their mother. world of forms the Corpses In the Iliad in the Ambrosian Library the dead in the batde scenes are half . to Botticelli and Ghirlandajo all belong to it. The second type of child was little be the model and ancestor of all the children in the history of art: the Infant Jesus. Already in the prepicture fifth century. These cases. Italian- third type of child appeared in the Gothic period: the naked child. God-priest in His majesty. This type of adolescent angel was to become extremely common in the fourteenth century and was to last to the very end of the Italian Quattrocento: the angels We of Fra Angelico. like other children of His age. but the artists . stretching out their hands remained limited to the the remained rare: touching idea of childhood Infant Jesus until the fourteenth century.THE DISCOVERY Of CHILDHOOD than a child. He was chastely wrapped in swaddlingundressed until the clothes or clad in a shift or a dress. as is well known. come a long way from the small-scale adults of the Ottoman miniature. depicted by evolution towards a more realistic and more sentimental representation of childhood begins very early on in painting: in a miniature of the second half of the twelfth century. thirteenth childhood enters the world of representation. is an adult on the Marian cult To begin Theotokos. the Innocents or the dead children whose mothers Solomon into the introduce to was which soul the and of death It was the allegory of childish nudity. for here childhood is linked to the mystery of motherhood and with. dead were reduced in scale. More often than not. except in the case of was judging. however. transparent shift and standing cheek. J5 have stressed the round. Those few miniatures in the moralizing Bibles which depicted children showed them fully dressed. inspires other family there are various family scenes in which parents are shown surrounded by their children with the same tender respect as on the rood-screen at Chartres: thus in a picture of Moses and his family. 10 With the Virgin's motherhood. In the a reduced scale: a little The century it pictorial 11 scenes. Jesus. when. In St Louis's moralizing Bible. to cheek nestling against her. pretty. like other children. The Infant Jesus was scarcely ever depicted naked. art was to help to spread and develop it. the bodies of the made the future Romanesque art were smaller than living bodies. or the Infant NotreDame. Jesus is shown wearing a thin. in which many features of the Byzantine iconography of their appearance. He would not be A end of the Middle Ages. and somewhat have already effeminate features of youths barely out of childhood. almost with His arms round His mother's neck.

hand the theme of the Holy Childhood would never cease developing in angel-cum-altar-boy would go on playing On both scope and variety from the fourteenth century on - its popularity and in the witness to the collective consciousness. These features of sentimental realism would take a long time to extend beyond the frontiers of religious iconography. miraculous conception - the Angel of the Annunciation presenting the Virgin with a naked 14 -or a case of a perfectly natural conception: child. fecundity bearing of that idea of childhood which only a keen observer can distinguish in the thirteenth century and which did not exist at all in the eleventh century. change. the child its eating pap. progress. We its part. whether it is a case of a holy. these medieval types would develop further. This is also how the entry soul into the world is depicted.would henceforth be reproduced in pictorial form. then with increasing frequency. also the case with landscape and genre true that the group of Virgin and Child became more and more profane: the picture of was less Timidly at first. Every gesture that could be observed at least by somebody prepared to pay attention to them . First of all they turned to the childhood of the Virgin. The Last Judgments 18 The lead the souls of the righteous to Abraham's bosom in this form. 15 In the course of the fourteenth and particularly the fifteenth century. In the group of Jesus and His mother. It that this remains none the changed in character and a scene of everyday life. the painters of religious childhood went beyond that of Jesus. naive aspects of early childhood the child seeking : its mother's breast or getting ready to kiss or caress her. the a child out in man breathes his mouth symbolic through dying of the representation of the soul's departure. the artist would stress the graceful. for a naked child can be seen flying through the air and entering the woman's mouth 'the creation of the human soul by natural means'. but something must have happened. affectionate. die child being wrapped in its swaddling-clothes.people in St Anne's fussing over the new-born child. Jesus's soul a couple resting in bed apparently quite innocently. which inspired at least two new and popular bedroom themes: the theme of the birth of the Virgin . the child playing the traditional childhood games with fruit or a bird on a leash. bathing her.36 the size THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD of the 12 living. as a little child who was In French medieval art the soul was depicted naked and usually sexless. wrapping her in . without very much the other of the fifteenth in die religious painting century. but in the direction already have already observed that the indicated in the thirteenth century. which is scarcely surprising when one remembers painting.

to the religious practices of childhood. or the child at school. presenting more and more scenes of childhood. It continued up to the seventeenth century and its development can be followed in painting. a lay iconography itself in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. but very definitely 'spotlighted' in his mother's arms. or following liturgical cisions . senses. painters were sport brought together both children for its graceful or picturesque childhood of fond depicting particularly this suggests the . which generally speaking started with the fourteenth century. listening to sermons. who were often adults. children mingled with adults and life. any gathering for the purpose of work. And in everyday following ideas: first. the child with his playmates. both principal and secondary. secondly. We some length Let us merely note here that the child became one of the characters most frequently found in these anecdotal paintings: the child with his family. or holding her hand or playing or even piddling. reading Virgin following the words Virgin's in a Anne. Genre painting was this From developing at this time by means of the transformation of a conven- tional allegorical of Nature: ages of iconography inspired by the antique-medieval concept life. rites such as presentations or circumthe child serving as an apprentice to a goldsmith or a painter or some other craftsman. Subject pictures and anecdotal paintings began to take the place of static representations of shall have cause to deal with this evolution at symbolic characters. crowd. the child in a 16 later on. We religious iconography of childhood. those in the Miracles de Notre-Dame. Mary Zebedee and Mary Salome. such as book held by St St John. A completely new iconography thus came into existence. elements. This detached eventually was not yet the portrayal of the child on its own. but in a great many cases there were children among the characters depicted.THE DISCOVERY OF CHILDHOOD '37 swaddling-clothes and showing her to her mother and the theme of the a with the education: lesson. the Infant Jesus 's playmate. St James. with or without their mothers. an old and popular theme which went back to the fourteenth century and would go on inspiring subject paintings up to the nineteenth century. These subject paintings were not as a general rule devoted to the exclusive portrayal of childhood. relaxation or and adults. and taking care to gather together in similar groups these holy children. tapestry and with regard shall in any case have occasion to return to it sculpture. the child among the crowds watching miracles or martyrdoms. coincided with a profusion of priors' tales and legends. seasons. Then came other holy childhoods: those of and the children of the holy women. This iconography.

his first appearance on that of his teachers. childhood was simply an unimportant phase of which Gaigni&res Collection. Cardinal de La Grange. missing from the Middle Ages. we tend to separate the world of children from that of adults. or perhaps all of them/ A strange consolation! not allow themselves to become too attached to something (People could that was regarded as a probable loss. The general feeling was. and their date as far back as the thirteenth subsequent iconographical developments of child new two portrayal appeared in the fifteenth types century. 1378. Curiously was not on his own tomb or that of his enough. the Bishop of Amiens. just a few. of the themes of the angel. This is the reason for certain remarks which shock our present-day sensibility. you will 80 have lost half of them. for today. was not putto. standing at the bedside of a woman who has the mother of five 'little brats'. pillar* if that child had either lived to grow to manhood or had died in infancy. Of these two ideas one now strikes us as out of date. in the second case. as also towards the end of the nineteenth century. and for a long time remained. and calming her fears just given birth. that one had several children in order to keep As late as the seventeenth century. in Le Caquet de Faccouchde. 38 THE IDEA OP CHILDHOOD anecdote developed in the fifteenth taste for the picturesque qualities (the and sixteenth centuries and coincided with the appreciation of childhood's in a group charms). the Bologna. the portrait of a real child. that of the child. the holy childhoods. it was thought that the little thing which had disappeared so soon in life was not worthy of remembrance: there were far too many children whose survival was problematical. in the sixteenth century late a at date. such as Montaigne's observation: . but there was never a portrait of him. as he was at a certain moment of his life. as we have seen. we have a neighbour. had the two princes he hadvtutored portrayed at the ages often and seven on a 'handsome 19 No one thought of keeping a picture of a child in his cathedral.. The and the the child. and they delighted in stressing the presence of a child or a crowd. On the tombs of the masters of parents but 18 As early as teacher was shown surrounded by his pupils. the other foreshadows the modern idea of childhood. very appeared only In the funeral in the effigies listed 17 the child was no need to keep any record. In the first case. there dead with these words: 'Before they are old enough to bother you. portrait century: The origins at least from the thirteenth century on.

' Most people probably felt. Cebetis M6rian has placed the litde children in a sort of marginal zone. On the other hand. He was such an unimportant little thing. the idea of the charms of childhood and the entertainment to be derived from the ingenuous antics of infancy: 'puerile nonsense'. We can now understand the gulf which from that which existed before the separates our concept of childhood its or revolution preceding stages. 81 or Moli&re's comment on Louison in Le MalaJe imaginaire: 'The litde girl doesn't count. between the earth from which they have emerged and the life into which that fears that It is nobody had any they have not yet entered. There is nothing about demographic this callousness which should surprise us: it was only natural in the towards a too community conditions of the time. this idea should have appeared taste for the picturesque. Statistically and objectively much later. and from which they are separated by a portico This feeling of indifference bearing the inscription Introitus ad vitam. so inadequately involved in life. there was the speaking. True. on the threshold. much as we today bury a domestic pet. that children had 'neither mental activities nor recognizable 88 bodily shape'. like Montaigne. he might return after death to pester the to note that in the frontispiece to the Tabula interesting living. not without regret. It lasted until the nineteenth century in the depths of the country. may be that the child that had died too soon in life was buried almost anywhere. in . 'All mine die in wrote Montaigne.' Nobody thought. Mme de Sevigne records without any sign of surprise a similar remark made by Mme de Coetquen when the latter fainted on receiving the news of her little daughter's death: 'She is greatly distressed and says that she will never again have one so pretty. of sacrificial offerings. as we ordinarily think today. as Montaigne said. seeing that conditions were still so unfavourable to it. in so far as it was compatible with Christianity. Here we may perhaps or rather it died without baptism in the house. pleasing aspects of the litde creatures. which respected the immortal soul in every child that had been baptized. but without great sorrow'. It is recorded that the people of the Basque country retained for a very long time the custom of burying children that had infancy'. a cat or a dog. or in the garden. Too many of them died. see a survival of ancient rites. This indifference was a direct and inevitable consequence of the demography of the period. callousness is not really very far removed from the fragile childhood of the Roman or Chinese societies which practised the exposure of new-born children.THE DISCOVERY &P CHILDHOOD -39 'I have lost two or three children in their infancy. that every child already contained a man's personality. there are grounds for surprise in the earliness of the idea of childhood.

the neighbour at the mother's bedside. all date back to the sixteenth century: 1503. 25 child by his mother's side and very tiny. is life-size. or else at his parents' feet. with the beginning of Malthusianism and the extension of contraceptive practices. and Hambledon. kneeling. It was only in the eighteenth century. let us note that of the interesting tombs Among 26 The recumbent the Marchioness of Winchester. as if it were at the time when gathered they breathed their last. At Westminster too. there is always an sculptor has portrayed indication to distinguish them: they are smaller and they hold a cross in Coke's tomb at Holkham. 1530* 1560. like monkeys'. The new taste for the portrait indicated that children were emerging from the of survival had maintained them. The appearance of the portrait of the dead child in the sixteenth century moment in the history of feelings. 27 The volets are a skull). her hands folded in prayer. in Westminster Abbey.4O THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD 24 which we adults take an interest 'for our amusement. there are four boys and one boy and one girl are holding des Augustins there is an extremely interDu Mige Collection. At Toulouse in the Musee esting triptych that comes from the . But beside the children who are still alive the those who are already dead. and the tiny tomb of a dead child. represented on the front of her tomb Marchioness the of figure on a smaller scale are her husband the Marquess. It is in fact quite remarkable that at that period of demographic wastage likeness of a child anyone should have felt a desire to record and keep the that would go on living or of a child that was dead. who died in I586. definitive personality of the child: the immortal soul. with their little daughter kneeling at their feet. But this idea could quite easily go hand in hand with indifference towards the essential. that the idea of necessary wastage would disappear. that of Montaigne. 1633. This solicitous attitude did not exclude or eliminate the opposite attitude. the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury are represented in a pair of recumbent figures. and Molire: down to the eighteenth century they coexisted. accordingly marked a very important was a funeral effigy to begin with. Gaignifcres's records show the portrayed alone. on a tomb dating from 1615 These tombs to 1620. It should be noted here that the children who surround the dead are not always dead themselves: the whole family is round the heads of that family. 1639) or else a skull on their hands (as John (on Cope of Ayley's tomb at three girls around the dead parents. The child was not at first This portrait but on his parents' tomb. The portrait of the anonymity in which their slender chance dead child in particular proves that that child was no longer generally considered as an inevitable loss.

five girls. Here in fact we have a custom which became widespread in the sixteenth century and remained so until the mid-nineteenth century. their painters. She has been of youngest if she had gone on living. two A and girl three. at an earlier age. green brocaded in gold. Versailles six people in the picture three had died in 1526: wife and her two boys. four as the as given her place in the family group just she has been portrayed at the age five. under five years of age: a dress and pinafore and a big bonnet with feathers. This is the case with the Meyer family which Holbein portrayed in 1526 at the Virgin's feet.THE DISCOVERY OF CHILDHOOD 41 dated 1610. remain unknown or obscure. the father is German which shown in the foreground with two full-grown sons behind him and then a scarcely distinguishable bunch of six boys crowded together. aged one. in a portrait from the second half of the sixteenth century. These family groups are naive. of five has the same size and dress three. this painting is famous because the King and least . and kept in Bregenz Museum. churches one can still see a great many pictures of this kind are in fact family portraits. But the eldest one. together with their ages. monotonous works without It is a style. a husband and wife. aged one. are depicted on their knees. but and when she died. On either side of a 'Descent from the Cross* the donors. has the children's ages recorded on the banderoles: three boys. princes are half-naked the men at . and in the sixteenth century the donor had himself portrayed with his whole family. In St Sebastian's in Niirnberg. two. On the walls and pillars of beside them in was a pious custom his best clothes. lie their models. Both are sixty-three. dated 1560. one of whom were dead at Louis the Museum has a picture by Nocret portraying the families of XIV and his brother. clumsy. different matter when the donor has obtained the services of a celebrated painter: in such instances art historians have carried out the research required to identify the figures in a famous painting. similar picture. who is shown naked. This woman of sixty-three girl's cannot possibly have a child of five.like gods of Olympus. We know that of the first Jacob Meyer's the age often and the other. It is clearly a dead child. Surely these must be dead children. The child is dressed in bright. no doubt an only son whose memory the old couple treasured and whom they wanted to show It in the old days to present churches with a picture or a stained-glass window. Next to the man there is a child. hiding behind each other so that some of them are barely visible. wearing what was then the fashion for very little children. rich colours. which throw into relief the severity of the donors' black clothes.

Philippe de Champeriod: Rubens. painted by well-to-do bourgeois such as those depicted by Le Nain or Philippe de Apart from these mortuary from their parents Champaigne. of children shown effigies. 28 and others. ut in Rosula prae-propero Regia personality: Christi Rosario reflorescat. the family with the religious section of the presentation portrait. at the had parted company beginning of the sixteenth century. There are countless examples among the leading painters of the Le Nain. Charles I's children by Van Dyck or that of James II's children by of great lords.the lace of her swaddlingclothes and her bonnet . them he had portrayed fully dressed on their tombs at Westminster. On the other hand. in a dress and bonnet. like the child in the Toulouse 'Descent from When within the two years of 1606 and 1607 James I lost two when she was three days old and the other at two years of one daughters. just as a century earlier. The child is shown in the costume peculiar to his age. as in the picture of little of these Some princes. at Louis Nocret has placed a framed picture showing two little children who had died in infancy. Now the child is all alone (see Philippe de Champaigne's work at Grenoble). the other from 1608. it is clear that it had become customary to preserve by means of the painter's art the of this period the ephemeral appearance of childhood. Henceforth he would be depicted by himself and for himself: this was the great novelty of the seventeenth century. The inscription on the tomb gives a good idea of the the Cross*. The child would be one of its favourite models. as used to be the custom for adults. Sometimes there is an inscription giving the child's name and age. portraits a rarity until the end of the sixteenth were separately the century: witness the painting of the Dauphin. such as the three children Largilli&re. painters portray paigne. Van Dyck.42 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD We would draw attention to one detail here: in the foreground. age. Charles Orlando. Franz Hals. now the painter . In the portraits child parted company with the family. and he gave instructions that the younger should be shown lying in an alabaster cradle in which all the accessories . by Maltre de Moulins. they became very common at the beginning of the seventeenth century. 1584. child with a definite pious feeling which endowed this three-day-old Fato decerpta.should be faithfully reproduced to create the illusion of reality. parentibus erepta. another instance of the pious regard felt for children who had died at an early age. the offspring of the eldest whom is wearing a sword. Van Dyck. others. as the end of the sixteenth century Gaigniires's records note as early some tombs bearing effigies of children on their own: one dates from XIV's feet.

THE DISCOVERY gathers together several children t>JP CHILDHOOD 43 from the same family. Correspondences 29 insisted at that time on having their certain families that show Martange mind which must have favoured to children vaccinated. the naked child. Photography took over from painting in the nineteenth century: the idea remained die same. The custom originated in the seventeenth century and is still with us. y^ Another type of child portraiture unknown to the Middle Ages is the made its appearance at the end of the putto. inventories. This interest shown in the child preceded by more than a century the change in demographic conditions which can be roughly dated from such as that of General de Jenner's great discovery. failed to recognize in them: as if it were only then that the common conscience had discovered that the child's soul too was immortal. The putto fourteenth century and obviously represented a revival of the Hellenistic Eros. There can be no doubt that the importance accorded to the child's personality was linked with the growing influence of Christianity on life and manners. Before finishing with the portraits. even in France. popular type by a great many anonymous painters. the plaques placed in churches to record the making or granting of a prayer. this precaution against the smallpox reveals a state of other hygienic practices at the same/ time. and the Eighteenth Century Exhibition of 1958 in Paris revealed an astonishing portrait of a sick child which must also be an ex-voto. Thus. decorated with uttL Van Marie wonders 'whether sometimes tapestries p the scribes responsible for the inventories did not use the word "children" . although demographic conditions did not greatly change between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries. The theme of the naked child was immediately welcomed with where Italian art was enextraordinary enthusiasm. de Berry. and often to be found in provincial art-galleries or in antique-shops. producing a reduction in the death-rate which was counterbalanced some extent by an increasingly widespread control of the birth-rate. and portraits painted while they were still children. This last is a of favoured portrait. The Due a room hung with words other in a had 'children's room'. a new sensibility granted these threatened creatures a characteristic which the world had hitherto fragile. Henceforth every family wanted portraits of its children. There are some in the museum of Puy Cathedral. and although child mortality remained at a very high level. we must mention the pictures of children on ex-votos. according to his countering a certain native resistance.

the child in either the putto was never a real. The seventeenth century showed no sign of tiring of it. even when he was very small. something broad surge of interest in childhood. with one exception the adolescent a little still naked (the guardian angel) the angel would no longer be to be seen in Botticelli's paintings: he too had become Eros. or an .a holy child. or they are shown wearing the dress of their age and station. The putto's nudity spread even to Jesus and the other holy children. The taste the taste for classical nudity. in order to satisfy post-tridentine modesty. taking care not to give Jesus too many clothes: He was shown with His mother undoing His swaddling-clothes. in the nudity of the mythological and ornamental child. these putti who so often adorned the of tapestries in the second half of the fifteenth century/ 80 In the sixteenth century the putto invaded the world of painting and became an ornamental motif which was repeated ad nauseam. Titian in witness the 'Triumph of Venus' in the particular used or rather abused it: Prado. his nudity was concealed behind clouds. But it lasted much longer and it affected the whole of ornamental art: witness Versailles or the ceiling of the Villa Borghese in Hopital des Innocents that its it 82 The taste for child Rome. Henceforth. was reluctant to adopt this complete nudity. But the children in fifteenth and sixteenth century portraits are never. or a symbol of the soul.44 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD foliage to denote these semi-pagan angels. Either they are wrapped in the swaddling-clothes even else when 83 they are portrayed kneeling in prayer. Religious art succumbed to them. where the putti still kept the old name of marmousets. P&re du Colombier has already pointed out with regard to the paintings by Lucca della Robbia in the If the artist a little was impossible to portray childhood without nudity was obviously linked with nudity. historic angelic being fifteenth or the sixteenth century. whether in Rome. Nobody could visualize the historic child. and remained in force for a long time. for the putto corresponded to something far deeper than which can be ascribed only to a Like the medieval child . mists and veils. even if. stressing the general taste for classical nudity which had even begun to affect modern portraiture. naked children. this distinction The final phase of child iconography was to be the application of the . or scarcely ever. in Naples. he simply made it more discreet. This is all the more remarkable in that theme of the putto originated and developed at the same time as the child portrait. or at Versailles. thanks to the transformation of the medieval angel-cum-altar-boy into a putto. 31 or His shoulders and His legs were uncovered.

True. one woman right a is almost cut in half by the edge of the picture: she is holding a naked child in her arms just as the Virgin is holding the Holy Child. Pushed family: perhaps she to is one side as she is. there is a fresco in which Maria Theresa wanted to gather together all her children: next to the living. ^Ertsen shows a family: the father.. she cannot be the mother of the the wet-nurse of the youngest child. Hautecoeur. present: . who is distinguished from the ordinary to his mother but also by a plumed putto not only by the resemblance bonnet of the sort that children wore at the time. including the . In 1560 Veronese in accordance with custom portrayed the CucinaFiacco family in front of the Virgin and Child: three men. but they are rare. a resemblance stressed by the fact that the woman is not wearing the dress woman of her time. a dead princess is portrayed in a very chastely draped state of nudity. in one of the halls in Innsbruck Palace. On the far father. In the seventeenth century. with his stockings pulled on anyhow. and he seems to be finding the situation extremely funny: the putti were often depicted at play. who completely naked: he looks like Titian's usual putto.' writes L. naked. 84 Philip gesture is is shown holding out to Victory his son. and half covered by the linen on which he has been laid. 'When..and six children. 45 ornamental nudity to the child and this too was to take place in the seventeenth century. a boy about five. Then too. comparatively One of the oldest is probably the child in Holbein's painting of the Meyer family who had died in infancy (1521).the mother . and powerful in 1647. to his wife and son . portrayals of this sort became more numerous and more typical: witness the portrait at Munich of Helen Fourment carrying her naked son. 85 midsixteenth century painting by the Dutchman P. he shows us this man casually dressed. The youngest of Charles I's children painted by Van Dyck in 1637 is shown next to his brothers and sisters. his other children displaying his latest acquisition are the last-born. and the mother sitting with a A naked child in her lap. In a picture by Titian of 1571 or I575. but they were not numerous enough to create a general taste. a few portraits of naked children are to be noted in the sixteenth century.THE DISCOVERY putto's O* CHILDHOOD portrait. a girl of four. 86 There are sure to have been other cases which more extensive research would bring to light. 'Le collector Jabach in his Rue Brun portrays the banker Saint-Merri house. . is lying on a cushion. II in a dedicatory the child Ferdinand. naked as an Infant Jesus.

in the fifteenth century. youngest on a cushion by his mother. went on antiquity. which found again at its conclusion by now had become conventional. Van Dyck and even Rubens. has exactly the same pose as that of the modern baby in front of the studio photographer's camera. in the painting by Mignard in the Louvre. swaddled or breeched and little boys who were dressed for the occasion in nothing but a pretty transparent girls shift. 38 where his nudity is scarcely veiled by the loop of a ribbon portrait which has come undone for the occasion. is lying naked child. their reader of the preceding pages will not have failed to notice the of the seventeenth century in the evolution of the themes of It was in the seventeenth century that portraits of children on own became numerous and commonplace. Henceforth the nudity of the little child was to be a convention of the genre. rediscovered 'artistic portraits' of the nineteenth and for the a model as serving twentieth centuries. Veronese. The Eros of The importance childhood.for little bottoms just for the pose they were day: babies baring their and normally carefully covered. This convention is to be found both in the work of Largilliere. as in Mignard's portrait of the Comte de Toulouse. It can be in the family albums and studio photographers' shop windows of yester. Mignard's Due de Bourgogne. tended to plan century too that the family portrait. or children's portraits by dressed in nothing but a flimsy shift. Titian. Either the child is completely naked. or in Largillifcre's 89 of a child holding a billhook. and in that of Mignard. There was not a single child whose likeness was not preserved in a nude as inherited from the putti of the Renaissance: a study. There is no need to follow any further the history of this theme. It was in the seventeenth a much older genre. more than the naked children of Holbein. the painter of the upper middlethe court painter: the Grand Dauphin's class. . directly remarkable example of the persistence in the collective taste (bourgeois much as lower-class) of a theme which was originally ornamental. just like the litde Jabach.46 THE IDEA OP CHILDHOOD 87 and one of his sisters is playing with him/ The litde Jabach. and all the little children who been so ceremoniously dressed up in the time of Le Nain and had always Philippe de Champaigne would be depicted naked. or else he is dressed not in a real costume similar to the clothes generally worn at the time but in a ntglige which fails to cover his nudity and indeed often reveals it: witness the Belle in which the legs and feet are bare.

the vocabulary used by their nannies when It is a rare thing for literature. The baroque painter depended on them to give his group portrait the dynamism that it lacked.THE DISCOVERY itself *0P CHILDHOOD is 47 particularly around the child. People also amused themselves by picking up their children's expressions and using their vocabulary. Lady's of everyday childhood. in the preceding chapter. even of the most speaking to them. that of 'the Jesus in little child who feeds the picture of is the word papin really confined to But arms'. Van Dyck and Lebrun. drawing and playing. bears witness to a certain taste for childhood painted from to children's jargon are unusual before the seventeenth in abundance. cuddle and generally enliven the group of serious adults with their games or their affection. We have already noted. how they were given new names: bambins. that is to say. This is confirmed by the interest * shown at that time in little children's habits and jargon*. It is to be found in one of the Miracles de Notre-Dame. texts. especially in the first half of the century. One could go on indefinitely listing these themes which were extremely common engraving in painting. To take one But references example. of children's jargon. Yet some such traces to kind. The word existed in the stopped saying pappo French language of Dante's time: le papln. it was in the second half of the seventeenth century that nudity became an essential convention in child No doubt the discovery of childhood began in the thirteenth portraiture.'*1 Pappo is bread. century life. seventeenth In the century they are to be found century. as we have seen. preserve traces popular are to be found in the Divina have if you leave an aged flesh than if Commedia: 'What further glory will you you had died before you had and dindi. This concentration on die child is holding the striking in the Rubens family group in which the mother 40 and in the child by the shoulder while the father has him by the hand. or does it not rather belong to the familiar speech the Miracles de Notre-Dame. . a place of honour. and in later. the music religious iconography of and groups of boys and girls reading. whose children kiss. like other sixteenthlife? Be that as it Our may. Finally. works of Franz Hals. in which the theme of lesson. But the evidence of its development became more plentiful and significant from the end of the sixteenth century and throughout the seventeenth. with countless subject painting gave the child childhood scenes of a conventional character: the reading lesson. art in the fifteenth century. a collection of prints by Bouzonnet and Stella. In the seventeenth century too. pitchouns andfanfans. the Virgin's lesson survived in lay form from the the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. and its progress can be traced in the history of and sixteenth centuries.

One child Mme a term used in the academies where young gentlemen at the beginning of the seventeenth century were taught fencing. Granger calls his son his toutou: 'Come and kiss me. is used. possibly dropped. written in appalling doggerel. which means 'to have leave'. It was widely used in everyday speech. Again. But let us return to the jargon of infancy. but the captions. This term. A plate showing putti playing with hobby-horses is entitled 'LeDada'. But other childish words had at least appeared which are still in use today: toutou and dada. we are told that children go and play tennis as as they have campos: an academy expression. 42 1 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD thk collection contains a is series of engravings showing putti nothing original about the drawings. because it was not confined to infancy. riding and the arts of war. speak the jargon of infancy and also schoolboy slang. which I suppose originated in nannies' were even made jargon. In the caption to the word populo. Thus Mme de Svign laboriously noted the noises made by her little daughter and reported them to Mme de Grignan who was . Incidentally it would always be more or less confined to the familiar speech of die French middle class. from school Latin. de Sevigne would refer to Mme de Grignan's children who shows exceptional skill is referred to as peuple. In Cyrano de Bergerac's Le Pidantjout. Under another picture. from the medieval compaing.48 dated 1657 at play. for the Emits of infancy were still anything but clear at There the time. was admitted to everyday speech. which was also new or at least did not date back further than the late sixteenth century. Some putti are playing at dice. It is still not used in French lower-class speech. was obviously of military origin (possibly it came from the Germans or German-speaking mercenaries) and went soon through the academies. the putti also use school slang or the a drawing of a sledge game slang of military academies. and can be found in Mme de Sevigne. Apart from this nursery language. which prefers the older word copain. and number two Consoles himself with his toutou. And attempts to give onomatopoeic renderings of the speech of children who had not yet learnt to talk. we are shown some children bathing and are told that the others are drinking to the health of their camarades. a military term. as ce petit ce cadet. come my toutou! The word bonbon. In the same childish sense. The papin of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries must have been from the speech of French bourgeois children. One goes away.

habits and chatter. equivez for dcrivez. her Mme Our daughter is a dark-haired little beauty. had carefully recorded in his diary his charge's childish pronunciation of certain words: vela for voiti. she dances. she slaps. little and so on. she strokes. Her a happy-go-lucky style now which is just complexion. Heroard. * calls I me just plain Maman [instead it is of Bonne Maman]. But not a single one had admitted that these feelings were worthy of being expressed in such an ambitious form. Louis XIII's doctor.' 'I simply adore her. These literary scenes of childhood correspond to those of contemporary genre painting and engraving: each reflected the discovery of infancy. her chest and her little body are admirable. she begs pardon. at the beginning of the century. she holds her chin: she is pretty in every particular. she drops a curtsy. de 'little darling'. y totata/ 48 Already. in a word she shrugs her shoulders. Here she comes.THE DISCOVERY O^ CHILDHOOD 49 then in Provence: 'She talks most amusingly: titota. She gives me sticky kisses. she recognizes me. I watch her for hours on end/ 44 felt Countless mothers and nannies had already the same way. of the little child's body. tetita. She is very pretty indeed. Sevigne paints genre pictures the pretty affectation of late seventeenth-century engravers and eighteenth she describes her When daughter. she makes the sign of the cross. she century artists besides. She does a hundred and one different things: she caresses. she blows a kiss. have had her hair cut: made for her. she laughs at me. but she never screams/ 'She kisses me. . with Le Nain or of similar to those Bosse.

the eldest of whom is ten years of age and the youngest eight months old. We find it difficult to imagine this confusion. are tending to take the place of the clothes which were the distinguishing marks of childhood in the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. if the period 1900 to 1920 still prolonged kte into adolescence the special features of a form of dress confined to childhood. of the seven 50 . urging me to be patient. This painting is of great interest for our subject because the artist has inscribed die exact age. of each of his models. the essential point: henceforth he had an outfit reserved which set him apart from the adults. Nothing in medieval dress distinguished the child from the adult. we who for so many years wore knickerbockers. in Reims children of the Habert family. in the circumstances of real life. adolescence has spread upstream as well as downstream. in appearance at least. adopted by both adolescents and children. the child. taking care only to maintain the of the differences in the social hierarchy. In the seventeenth century. As soon as the child abandoned his swaddling-band .he was dressed tightly round his body in babyhood just like the other men and women of his class. whether noble or middle-class. The eldest.visible vestiary signs grown-up. and sports clothes.* III * CHILDREN'S DRESS f r indifference shown until the thirteenth century except where the infant Virgin was concerned . In my generation we came out of knickerbockers at the end of the fifth year at school: my parents. or at least the child of quality. Be that as it may. however. to the nearest month.the band of cloth that was wound . childhood was distinguished from manhood. the now shameful insignia of retarded infancy. This for his age group. the Middle Ages I dressed every age indiscriminately. This can be seen child portraits painted at the from the first glance at any of the numerous beginning of the seventeenth century. Let us consider the fine painting by Philippe de Champaigne. he Museum. wrapped in his cloak. is already dressed like a litde man. quoted the case of an uncle of mine who was a general and who had gone up to the military academy in knickerbockers! Nowadays. ceased to be dressed like the is IHE marked .to the characterspecial istics of childhood does not appear simply in the world of pictures: the dress of the period shows to what extent. at ten.

in child countless of on the Louis XIII. girls and has no linen We accessories. Let us return to Philippe de Champaigne's portrait of the Habert children. simple. who is twenty-three months old. elsewhere with laces . and school life prolongs the age of childhood. itself. and the youngest child. The robe can be very horse in the 'picture of human life'. and apron. a pair of warm boys. are : like little women in skirt. that is to say. it remains different from that of the but front. who is eight months old. is with the Habert twins in the Philippe de Chatnpaigne picture. is naked. stand which must be about two years old and cannot yet by already wearing a robe. are only four years nine months old: they are no longer dressed like adults but are wearing a long robe. 3 This robe in the form of a cassock was not the first type of clothing worn by the child after he had come out of his swaddling-band. But the two twins. as The third. like the robe worn by the young Due d'Anjou in the engraving by Arnoult. in his day: 'They [children] are burdened with a vest. This is the dress of the youngest had become customary in the sixteenth century to clothe them who for their part went on dressing like grown women. buttoned down the middle and opening in front like a cassock. and as late as the beginning of the eighteenth century for example. robe both dressed exactly like their sister. The same robe is to be found again in the 1 'picture of human life' by Cebes. not far removed as yet from non-existence. different from that worn by women in that it opens in the front and is fastened here with buttons.5! be still at world of adults. sitting astride its hobby-horse.CHILDREN belongs to the S DRESS . No doubt it is just in appearance: he must school. it like girls. on the young de Bethisy painted by Belle about 2 In this last picture the boy's robe is no longer buttoned down the ryio. is wearing the same long robe. but he will probably not stay at school much longer but leave early in order to mix with the men whose dress he is already wearing and whose life he will soon be sharing in camp or court or commerce. The distinction between child and adult still did not exist in the case of women. French. .it looks like a priest's cassock. the two following ages are in swaddlingclothes. English portraits again and Dutch children. The fourth age. Erasmus gives us a description4 of this style of dress which his French as something which still existed publisher in 1714 found easy to translate. and we can tell that it is a boy. The first age. This robe find it was worn by little boys throughout the seventeenth century. fondly holding each other by the hand and the shoulder. Francois. like that of the child riding the hobbythe other hand it can be extremely On ornamental and have a train attached.

which allows us to a little boy's outfit follow Louis XIII's childhood day by day. and that the little children should not be mixed up with the bigger ones.' The diary of Louis XIII's childhood which Heroard kept every day shows how seriously children's dress was treated from that time on: it made visible the stages of the growth which transformed the child into a man. a thick petticoat. I was the only one accoutred in the manner I have just described [i. they were said to be A la bavette. rites which had to be respected and which Heroard carefully recorded as matters of importance. that is to say..' \Erasmus condemned this fashion which was new his it in his time and recomBlSfidea greater freedom for young bodies.' As long as boys wore this feminine costume. He Louis XIII did not like his sister to arrived wearing a robe just like his. which were known at the time as leading-strings. and opinion carried was the end of the eighteenth century before children's dress became lighter and looser and 6 allowed greater freedom of movement.' The collar of the robe was a man's collar.' The same wear a robe resembling his: 'Madame and he sent her away out ofjealousy. leading-strings were attached to the Dauphin's robe. In Heroard's diary. records in his memoirs that he was a precocious child and that he was sent to Harcourt College accompanied by a servant-girl: 'When I was still in a bib and tucker. The regulations of a little school. This was until the age of four or five.. The child is starting to walk robe which open and he is being held by braces hanging behind him. 1602. before I had donned the long robe with a collar that came before the wearing of breeches .52 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD and an outer garment which encumbers the stockings. dressed like a girl]. Jean Rou. Henceforth custom dictated rules of dress for children according to their age: the bib and robe as worn by then 'the long robe with a collar' which was also known as the girls. little weight against the force of accepted usage. the short robes with the 8 long robes: 'The little ones in frocks shall be placed together. who was born in 1638. such as had never been seen before. as it were. or 'in a bib and tucker'. 1602 (Louis XIII was nine months old at the time): 'Leading6 strings have been attached to his robe to teach him to walk. shoulders and the hips with a great quantity of stuff and pleats. jaquette or 'frock*. and they are given to understand that all this paraphernalia gives them a wonderful air. drawing by Rubens shows us A which is still similar to that described by Erasmus: the under the skirt can be seen. of 1654 stated that on Sunday the children should be taken to church to hear Mass after receiving religious instruction. . or parish school. so that I was like a new 7 phenomenon in that place. On fuly iyth. we read in the entry for June 28th. These stages had become.e.

describe the awakening of a boarder: 'After waking up. in clothing is not just a frivolous matter. and a year later. There were days. I tied my stockings with garters above took my belt. The child was delighted. I took shoes. Mme de Montglat told him that it would be when he was eight. I haven't any leading-strings. doublet and sagathy. 1 In the schools. Here the connection between dress and the understanding of what it stands for is obvious... Cordier's dialogues. when he was seven years eight months old. his 'child's bonnet' was taken away to be replaced by a man's hat. but he hated this: in doublet and breeches It can be seen that fashion on his robe. you have stopped being a child. This too was a red-letter day: 'Now that your bonnet has been taken away.e. I took my bonnet which I I arranged carefully. little among the girls. at the age of three years two months. I sat on a stool. and his portfolio under his arm. abandoned the clothing of childhood [i. the regulations at the La Fliche boardingschool stated that the pupil's outfit should include 'a boarder's robe' which had to last for two years. I am going to walk by myself/ For his fourth birthday he wore a pair of breeches under his robe. 1606. put on my robe. I fastened my my my my '* breeches to the knee. he was given 'the first robe without leading-strings'. 10 to one and a rap on the nose to another/ trying to give a rotten apple In the eighteenth century. In Paris at the beginning of the seventeenth century: 'Imagine Francion of his breeches coming into the classroom with his underpants coming out on top of his shoes.CHILDREN was to S i>RESS 53 wear them for over two years. if we look closely at pictures of seventeenth-century . I combed my hair. and told the Captain of the Guard: "Tan [note the imitation of childhood speech]. however.' On June 6th. I took out of bed. 11 This difference in dress was not to be found dressed like clothes. the Queen ordered him to put his bonnet on again. who were women as soon as they came out of their swaddlingHowever. his robe all askew. written at the boarded by the week wore a robe over end of the sixteenth I got century. Heroard recorded with a certain solemnity: 'Today he was dressed in a doublet and brefeches. you have begun to become a man.' But six days later. I my doublet with laces. and then I left the bedroom. I put on breeches and stockings and pulled both on. when he was made to put on the robe again. the pupils who their breeches. 1607: *He asked when he would be allowed to wear breeches [instead of the robe].' and does not want to put joyful. 1608. just as he had been made to put on the bonnet 'he is very happy and again. January 8th. the robe] and took cloak and sword. on August 7th.

but in fact leading-strings were cords which bore no resemblance to these ribbons. on the fourth age in the hanging down the third of the Habert children little Tabula Cebetis (the child in a robe riding a hobby-horse). at the time when was radically altered. one can clearly children's dress see the cord used to help the child to walk.the desire to preserve the memory of a woman of thirty by showing her in her childhood reveals a very novel feeling -and this child is wearing the ribbons down the back which were still customary about 1730. on from the left. dressed in a robe. who died at the age of three: he was dressed in a yellow silk skirt under a velvet robe (the usual costume for little children).54 children. They disappear at the end of the eighteenth century. 12 It shows their sister. there are a few mortuary effigies in wax which represented the dead person and which were laid on top of the coffin during the funeral ceremony. THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD we shall see that the feminine dress of the little boys as well as of the little girls wear: two included a peculiar ornament which the women did not broad ribbons fastened to the robe behind each shoulder and the back. and seen from behind: between the two ribbons hanging from the shoulders. They have been mistaken for 'leading-strings' (braces for little children who were still unsteady on their feet). wearing a Fontange hair style. an engraving by Guerard illustrating 'manhood' shows us a child which could be a boy or a girl. Modern writers have not failed to be intrigued by them. and he is wearing the flat ribbons of childhood. and on the ten-year-old girl on the early eighteenth-century ladder of the ages. the leading-string. One of these effigies represents the little Marquess of Normanby. Thus in the seventeenth century and the early eighteenth century these ribbons down the back had become sartorial indications of childhood. but which had gone out of fashion by the time the picture was painted. The catalogue describes these as leading-strings. who had been dead some thirty years. Mme Infante. These ribbons can be seen. 'human misery or the passions of the soul in all its ages.' The ribbons are to be found in a great many child portraits. Possibly one of the last portraits of a child wearing these ribbons down the back is that painted by Mme Gabrielle Guiard in 1788 for Mmes Adelaide and Victoire. for example. 18 In the little museum in Westminster Abbey. 14 This analysis has enabled us to pick out certain customs of dress confined to childhood that were generally adopted at the end of the sixteenth . a medieval practice which was continued in England until about 1740. down to Lancret and Boucher. but Mme Gabrielle Guiard none the less portrayed her as a child with her nanny . for boys as well as girls. Mme Infante had lived to the age of thirty-two.

But what The of child's robe is to separate them by a sort the origin of this childhood uniform? simply the long coat of the Middle Ages. at least priests). The priests. describing them as signs of the immorality of the times. A priest would change out of his cassock to officer go would change into society. the priest's cassock ecclesiastical function to be in good taste. and was the origin of the Turkish style of dress as well. gathered round the mother's bed. miniature in the fifteenth-century Miracles de Notre-Dame shows a family the father is wearing a short coat. and when in the seventeenth century the scandal attending its origins had been completely became too closely connected with his forgotten. of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. incidentally. It was uniformly adopted in the East as in the West. or else it opened ancestors down the front. to the despair of moralists and preachers who denounced the indecency of these fashions. statesmen. at least children of good family. There was in fact a long period during which men wore a long fitted costume. churchmen). had become generally accepted. the peasants in the thirteenth-century calendars it stops at the knee. A . which was sometimes even tight-fitting. professors came very near to abandoning it.often it was a shorter tunic. just as an out of his uniform to appear at court. In fact respectable people went on wearing the robe. but the three children are dressed in long robes. Until the fourteenth century everybody wore the robe or tunic.iptES$ 35 middle of the eighteenth century. In the fourteenth century men abandoned the robe for the short coat. judges. These customs distinguishing between children's clothing and adult clothing' new desire to put children on one side. or even to call on his bishop. Some have never given up wearing the long coat their age (old and and for still wear it today. before the revolution which in the case men banished it in favour of the short coat and visible breeches. the men's robe was not the same as the women's . is of uniform. while on the great and important it reaches to the feet. 15 Children too kept the long coat. the of our present-day masculine costume. when the short coat on occasion (barristers. doublet and breeches.CHILDREN'S century and preserved reveal a until the . as On Romans: this opposed to the traditional draped costume of the Greeks or continued the fashions of the Gallic or Oriental barbarians which had been added to the Roman fashions during the first centuries of our era. whether they were respectable on account of men are depicted wearing the robe until the beginning of the seventeenth century) or on account of their station in life (magistrates. 16 In the same series the child feeding the Infant Jesus has a robe split down the side.

But Some French engravings by Jean Leclerc on the subject of children's games show the children wearing. and. from likewise distinguished children adults in the seventeenth century had the same origins as the robe. Cloaks and robes in the sixteenth century often had sleeves which one The flat ribbons down the back which could slip into or leave playing at chucks. sometimes a long time before. of all the children. lost the hollow inside into which the arm fitted. flattened out. in families of quality. 19 But these ceremonial costumes were somewhat rare. empty at will. These atrophied sleeves were also to be found in other clothes of a popular or a ceremonial nature: the peasant cloak which the Ignorantinp friars adopted as their religious costume at the beginning of the eighteenth century. the robe buttoned down the front which became the uniform of their 18 age. over their breeches. with the result that the sleeves became useless ornaments. of these hanging organs have ceased to function. This page's uniform tended to become the ceremonial costume which was donned as a token of honour and respect: in an engraving by Lepautre some boys in an archaic page's uniform are shown serving Mass.5<5 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD in Italy most of the children painted by the artists of the Quattrowearing the tight-fitting breeches of adults. At the beginning of the sixteenth century the habit became a general rule: children were always dressed in the robe. were reserved for his sole in order to distinguish the child like Thus an adult. open in front. they wasted away. especially women. and finally the page's uniform . The pages of the age of Louis XUI wore baggy breeches in the sixteenth-century style and false sleeves. In France and Germany it seems that this fashion failed to find favour and that children were kept in the long coat. features . whether boys or aristocratic or middle-class. the livery of valets. In Leclerc's some of these sleeves can be seen picture of children to be fastened only by a few People of fashion. liked the effect sleeves: they stopped putting their arms into them. whereas the flat ribbon was to be found on the shoulders girls. whether who had hitherto dressed just of old-fashioned costumes which the grown-ups had abandoned. looked like two broad ribbons fastened behind the shoulders: the children's ribbons of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were all that remained of the false sleeves of the sixteenth century. German tapestries of the period show four-year-old children wearing the cento are 17 long robe.the ceremonial uniform of the children and young boys of noble birth who were placed with families for whom they performed certain domestic services. the first purely military uniforms such as those of the musketeers. Like which stitches.

At the end of the sixteenth century. yet it work. It on the importance which dress had in the France often represented a large capital sum. People spent a great deal clothes. should also have its special costume. custom fur coats dictated that childhood. as we would today only when were involved. as can be seen from the calendars of Notre-Dame d'Amiens. Even more than in our present-day society where it is still true of the women. also with the bonnet worn by little children still in their swaddlingclothes: in the thirteenth century the bonnet was still the normal masculine headwear. which the men used to keep their hair in use. whose dress is a visible and necessary sign of a couple's prosperity or the importance of their social position dress pin-pointed the place of the wearer in a complex and undisputed hierarchy: a man wore the costume of his rank. The children Boucher are often dressed after the fashion painted by Lancret and of the previous century. We have to remember of old. It was obviously out of the question to invent a costume out of for them. but which nobody wore any more. We have seen that childhood dress originated in an archaism the survival of the long coat. Dress was very expensive. and when somebody died they went to the trouble of drawing up an inventory of his or her wardrobe. in the time of Louis XVI. Towards the end of the eighteenth century. henceforth recognized as a separate entity. marked a very important date in the formation of the felt was necessary to separate them in a visible by means of their dress.CHILDREN'S DRESS 4 '57 This was the case with the robe or long coat and the false sleeves. and which henceforth they were the only ones to wear. little boys were dressed : in Louis XIII or Renaissance collars. This archaizing tendency continued. which became generalized throughout the upper classes as from the end of the sixteenth century. and the etiquette books laid great emphasis on the impropriety of dressing in any other way than that befitting one's age or birth. . idea of childhood. position at everybody about a century before. The adoption of a special childhood costume. Every social nuance had its corresponding sign in clothing. etc. The first children s costume was the costume which used to wear nothing manner They were accordingly given a costume of which the tradition had been maintained in certain classes. which ruined some and allowed others to mislead the gullible as to their birth and station in life. and attempts were made by means of sumptuary laws to put a curb on luxury clothes.

Mme was beginning to exist in reality by means of dress. before the age of 'the robe with We work the a collar'. which became noticeable and barely hinted at. slowly confused with the women at an early age just as the boys had formerly been confused with the men. The evidence provided separated girls out the other indications furnished by the history of bears dress by children. This effeminization of about the middle of the sixteenth boy. de Maintenon and developed and only in the time of Fenelon educational a Without and system. to a distinction which for the boys but which still remained futile for the girls. For instance the upper century. which was but soon the little boy given was exactly the same as that worn by the ladies. It became impossible to distinguish a little boy from a little girl before the age of four or five. About 1770 boys stopped wearing the robe with the collar after four or five. was at first a novelty the characteristics of masculine dress. but until they reached that age they were dressed like and this would be the case until the end of the nineteenth little girls. The first emphasized have seen earlier in this effeminate appearance of the little boy. and this costume became firmly established for something like two centuries. and the prolongation of the period of childhood? Here we are touching on the as yet unexplored subject of a society's consciousness of its started adult life at until the . as if childhood by from adult life less than it did boys. and woman's corset as its would be dropped only after the First abandonment can be compared to that of the in dress corresponding symptomatic of the revolution to the general change in manners. in order to distinguish the boy from the man. They began going to were the first manners: boys specialized school in large numbers as far back as the kte sixteenth century and the The education of girls started in a small way early seventeenth century. so novel and surprising in a society in which people an early age. retained costume of the boy's part the lace collar of the little girl. at least in spite of the changes in manners beginning of this century. little wore the same robe and skirt as a girl. that the boy 'in bib and tucker'. was It is interesting to note that the attempt to distinguish children to the boys: the little girls were distinguished only confined generally the false sleeves. last almost to the present day. and nobody thought of giving visible form.58 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD children's dress ie But two other tendencies were to influence the development of from the seventeenth century on. the girls were proper tardily. habit century: this effeminate World War. abandoned in the eighteenth century. was he made to Why. woman? the from not was who the Why did like look distinguished girl that costume.

) Thus the man of the people was dressed like the man of the world a few decades earlier. In the course result of the eighteenth century this evolution came to a stop. according to the rapidity with which the local gentry followed the prevailing fashions.CHILDREN'S DRESS behaviour in relation to age and sex: so far only has been studied. the men wearing a more distinctive costume. It is noteworthy that in the eighteenth century the dress lower class in the big cities stopped being the beggarly costume of the it was . at the started end of the eighteenth century. The time-lag varied from one region to another. just as today the lower- a second-hand car. and In the seventeenth century there was no distinctive lower-class costume a fortiori no regional costumes. probably in the taste for originated fancy dress. which. in the streets of Louis XIlTs Paris he wore the plumed bonnet which had been fashionable in the sixteenth century. The was a second-hand costume. led the children of middle-class families to adopt features of lower-class or working dress. wearing fifteenth-century coifs. At the of certain regions . The poor wore the clothes which lower-class costume class car is 20 they were given or which they bought from old-clothes dealers. and military (the military jacket and buttons). etc. lower-class (the trousers). namely the trousers at that time of the workman's smock in the the were which equivalent nineteenth century and the dungarees of today: the sign of a class and a function. In the great lower-class suburbs. its '59 class-consciousness like archaizing and effeminizing. the women still were instance for the Rhine. and also of a revival of interest in the had become dialects as the result of the proregional languages which differences in dress due to variations in the time and of French) gress which the fashions of town and court took to reach different parts of the country. before the age of the sans-culottes. taste for new histories regionalism (it was the period of the great regional of Brittany. (The comparison between the costume of the past* and the car of the present day is not as artificial as it may seem: the car has inherited the social significance which dress used to have. as of a moral estrangement between the rich and the poor and Regional dress originated in both a also a physical separation.along beginning of the eighteenth century.. would forestall masculine fashion and wear trousers as early as the reign of Louis XVI. while the women wore the hood favoured by ladies of the same period. Here the child Another tendency. Provence. The costume worn by the well-dressed child in the period of Louis XVI was at once archaic (the Renaissance collar).

This happened all the more had always been thought amusing to give children characteristics of lower-class dress. The English had given them up. for uniform which was to spread to adults in the nineteenth century. from an old-clothes dealer. characteristic. The newly the middle classes. such as the convict's cap. The silhouette caught the people's fancy. to give him a more casual costume. sailor-boy century to the present day. thanks to the trousers of lower class and navy. something there from then on seaports. It was also inspired. and to little boys of was rapidly adopted by the children of of all in the private boarding-schools. which had become more numerous since the expulsion of the Jesuits and which often prepared boys for military academies and military careers. sailors and also by the inhabitants of they were commonly worn by Danes and Scandinavians. In our own easily in that it of good family a few engravings days we have seen a transfer of dress which offers certain resemblances to the adoption of trousers by die boys of Louis XVI's time: the . anachronistic rags. who henceforth refused to wear other people's cast-offs. when the uniform became court or ceremonial dress. Trousers. which the revolutionaries with or labourer's. Thus was a kind of artisan's uniform: trousers. Apparently at the same time they spread to the lower classes in the suburbs of the big cities. Flemings. The latter Rhinelanders. The adoption of trousers for children was due in part to this new taste unfashionable or over-childish robe and the over-ceremonious breeches.60 in the seventeenth THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD or cast-offs shapeless. and adults took to dressing their or naval uniform: thus was created boys in a costume inspired by military fashion which has lasted from the end of the eighteenth the created uniform first good family. Here we can see the spontaneous expression of a collective like an awakening of class-consciousness. a costume which the suburban lower-class would The boy was thus spared both the henceforth wear with a kind of pride. They they had worn them as had become the uniform of the naval forces when the better-organized had regulated the dress of their ships' crews. were still collections although states if we judge by wearing trousers in the seventeenth century. had for a long time been an long breeches reaching down article of seamen's dress. 21 far back as the twelfth century. to the feet. of the clothes of that period. by the desire to free the child from the constraint of his traditional dress. peasant's their classical tastes called the Phrygian bonnet: one of Bonnard's 22 shows us a child wearing a cap of this kind. something it had never been before the Revolution. no doubt. While they might appear in Italian comedy.

. to the specialized We adults: they the old were never depicted in robes or false sleeves. while the girls persisted much longer in the traditional way of life which confused them with the adults: we shall have cause to notice more than once this delay on the part of the women in adopting the visible forms of the essentially masculine civilization of modern times. those who played on the village greens. If we confine our attention to the evidence afforded by dress. went on wearing the same clothes as like an adult. 6j workman's dungarees. when the child was dressed familiar today. in dress or in work or in play. in the city streets.MESS jeans' which adolescence. The idea of childhood profited the boys first of all. in the craftsmen's workshops. What is certain is that it occurred solely in middle-class or aristocratic families. The children of the lower classes. we must conclude that the particularization of children was limited for a long time to boys. the offspring of the peasants and the artisans. They kept up way of life which made no distinction between children and adults. in the tavern taprooms and in the kitchens of great houses. have become the 'blue young people proudly wear as the visible sign of their We have come from the sixteenth century. made of coarse blue cloth.CHILDREN'S . childhood costume with which we are have already pointed out that this change affected boys more than girls.

August 1603. He started to a noble instrument: 'They are making him pronounce the syllables separately. Before that.IV A MODEST CONTRIBUTION TO THE HISTORY OF GAMES AND PASTIMES by the doctor Heroard. in his academy. even of noble birth. and to what stages of his physical and mental development each of his games corresponded. he had played with the usual toys given to very little children. Although the child concerned was a Dauphin of France.' This is just as if an English boy At months. a windmill and a whipping-top. we can imagine was like at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Louis XIII was born on September 2yth. playing mall. In the second half of children.from other mortals. 'the Queen. for at Henri IV's court the royal children. 1601. his case to the diary kept what a child's life THANKS remains typical for all that. At the same age we find him playing mall: 'The Dauphin. going in talk: 62 . de Pluvinel. de Pas. Apart from the fact that he never went to palaces of the aristocracy already did. show Louis XIII on horseback at the riding-school. legitimate or illegitimate. before saying the words/ The same month. what games he played. Thus he was given fencing and riding brought up lessons by the same instructor who. his like companions. the fine engravings of C. de Pluvinel's manual of horsemanship. of seventeen or golf at the age twenty-two months we are told that he 'continues to beat his tambourin with all sorts of rhythms': every company had its own drum and its own drumbeat. were treated in the same way as all aristocratic and there was as yet no real difference between the King's and the gentry's castles. young Louis XIII was as some college. The illustrations of M. the seventeenth century the monarchical cult separated the little prince at an earlier age . muffed his shot and injured M. Heroard. His doctor. a hobby-horse. But as early as seventeen months a violin as was put into his hands. it The violin had not yet won was still the fiddle played for the recognition dancing at village weddings and fttes. de were to start playing cricket Longueville. the future Louis XIII. has left us a detailed record of all his activities. taught the young aristocracy the arts of war: M.in infancy in fact . 1 Heroard writes that at seventeen months he 'plays the violin and sings at the same time'.

the first he had ever worn. whipped (for refusing to eat): calming down. he still played at children's games. equivez for tcrivez. and paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries often show a child at table. in the families of of what we should now call infant prodigies. On July ipth. dancing and singing with them. he asked for his dinner and dined/ 'Went off to his room. It contaminated ofadults in the nineteenth century. bastard forms. Heroard keeps chatter: 'Tell Papa* for *I shall tell Papa'.HISTORY OF GAMES AND PASTIMES to dinner. de Marsan put a high collar on him. young more prodigious as familiarity with music.yet he still slept in a cradle. even in its elementary or professionals. and he was delighted/ 'He played at military engagements with his litde lords/ We know too that he played tennis as well as mall . We can see here that at the beginning of die seventeenth century. the God of Jacob became le bon Dieu of little children. le ban Dieu. had Prints 63 him brought along and placed at the end of her table. when he was two 'he saw his bed being made with great joy. like other children in other families. Again we see how find him being life men of music and dancing were introduced into the education of the this period: this explains the frequency. it must have been in one of these chairs that he sat at his mother's table. was years nine months old. The Dauphin could now talk. He was two years seven months old when full of dolls'. he was shown the host and told that it actions with his soldiers. perched in a little high-chair out of which he cannot fall. and was soundly whipped/ Although he now mingled with adults. but of which no trace can be found in religious literature of the ancien regime. 1604. a phonetic record of his talking. screaming at the top of his voice. was le bon Dieu. yet now we all dancing early in little This little fellow is barely two years 'taken to the King's apartments and sorts of dances to the music of a violin*. first time/ He already knew the rudiments of his the for to bed put at Mass. at the Elevation. grew less common or disappeared. He was often given a whipping: 'Naughty. and occasionally came out with those 'The King showed him the cheeky remarks which amuse grown-ups: . it belonged to the language of children or of parents and nannies when talking to children. We might note in passing this expression. such as the such cases would become rarer and at the same time seem Mozart. with the effeminization the language of religion. which is constantly employed nowadays by priests and churchgoers. and. old. when the expression was probably not very old. playing. Sully presented him with 'a little carriage He liked the company of soldiers: 'The soldiers are always glad to see him/ 'He played with a litde cannon/ 'He conducted little military The Dauphin began "religion: M.

Before supper he saw the Yule log being lit. 'Dauphin listened to him for quite a long the age of three This was the time when he was being taught to read. and he danced and sang at the coming of Christmas/ He was given some presents: a ball. if indeed he had not already begun doing so: Remembering a ballet performed a year ago [when he was two years old]. When he was six a professional scribe took the place of the chapel clerk: 'He wrote his example. facing : THE CHILDREN OF HENRI-LOUIS HABERT DE MONTMORT by Philippe de Champaigne . and said: "I am putting down my example and going to school/" (The example was the handwriting model which he had to copy. During the winter evenings.) 'He wrote his example. He was three years old when. and followed it very well." The King could not help laughing'. on Christmas Eve 1604. He would be four years old in a few days' time. and he knew at least the names of the different strings of the lute. he asked: "Why was the little Ram bare?"' 'He played Cupid stark naked. saying: "Here is the bass. the King's scribe. He remembered the ballets which he had seen and in which he would soon be taking part. 'he amused himself by cutting paper with scissors/ Music and dancing still occupied an important place in his life. toys intended as much for the Queen as for him. the saraband. when he was kept indoors. following the impression made on the paper. a collection of rules of etiquette and morality which children had to recite from memory.' 'He danced the galliard. 'He had his writing-desk taken into the dining-room to write under Dumont's guidance. At the age of four. he took part in the traditional festivities. and also some little baubles from Italy'. one of the masons who were * * * * 'repairing his fireplace': the time'. the old bourree/ He enjoyed playing Boileau's mandora and singing die song of Robin." But his early acquaintance with the lute did not prevent him from listening to the less aristocratic fiddles played at the wedding of one of the King's chefs or to a bagpipe player.64 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD birch and asked him: "Who is that for?" He answered angrily: "For you. including a clockwork pigeon. 'He played with the tips of his fingers on his lips. At years five months 'he amused himself with a book of characters from the Bible: his nanny named the letters and he knew them all/ Next he "was taught Pibrac's quatrains. he was given writing lessons by a clerk of the palace chapel called Dumont. showed him how still He German to write/ c played with dolls: He played with some little toys and a cabinet [wooden miniatures made by Niirnberg craftsmen]. taking pleasure in it/ He started learning Latin words. Beaugrand. Heroard writes with a hint of admiration: 'The Dauphin can dance all the dances*.


M. de Lomenie gave him


nobleman splendidly dressed in a scented and said: "I am going to marry him to Madame's [his sister's] doll/" He still enjoyed paper-cutting. He had His nanny told him the stories of Renard the Fox, stories read to him too Dives and Lazarus.' 'In bed, he was being told the stories of Melusina. I told him that they were fairy-stories and not true stories/ (A remark which already foreshadows modern educational practice.) Children were not the only ones to listen to these stories: they were also told to adults at

He combed

his hair


he played with dolls, this child of four or five practised archery, played cards, chess (at six), and adult games such as 'racket-ball', prisoners' base and countless parlour games. At three, he was already playing at crambo, a game common to both children and young people. With the pages of the King's Chamber, who were older than he was, he played at 'Do you like company?' 'He was the master [the leader of the game] now and then, and when he did not know what he had to say, he asked; he played these games, such as the game of lighting a candle blindfold, as if he were fifteen years old/ When he was not playing with pages, he was playing with soldiers: 'He played various games, such as "I want your place", fiddle-de-dee, hand-clapping, and hide-and-seek, with some soldiers/ At the age of six he played trades and charades, parlour games which consisted of guessing trades and stories that were represented in pantomime. These were also games played by

evening gatherings. At the same time

and adults. an ever increasing extent, the Dauphin mixed with adults and took part in their amusements. At the age of five 'he was taken to the meadow behind the kennels [at Fontainebleau] to see Bretons from the King's workshops wrestling/ 'Taken to join the King in the ballroom to see the dogs fighting the bears and the bull/ 'He went to the covered tenniscourt to see a badger race/ And above all he took part in the court ballets. At the age of four and a half 'he put on a mask, went to the King's apartments to dance a ballet, and then refused to take off his mask, not wishing to be recognized/ He often dressed up as a 'Picardy chamberadolescents


was still wearing a boy's tunic). 'After girl (he to the songs of a certain Laforest', a some watched he dancing supper soldier-choreographer who was also the author of some farces. At the age of five 'he watched without great enthusiasm a farce in which Laforest played the comic husband, the Baron de Montglat the unfaithful wife, and Indret the lover who seduced her/ At the age of six 'he danced a ballet, smartly dressed as a man, in a doublet and breeches on top of his
maid', a shepherdess or a

facing above: below:




tunic.' 'He watched the ballet of the devils and magicians devised by the Picdmontesc Jean-Baptiste [another soldier-choreographer] danced by soldiers under M. de Marsan's command/ He did not dance only ballets and court dances, but also took part in what we should now call folkdances. When he was five, he took part in one which reminds me of a

Tyrolean dance which I once saw some lads in leather breeches perform in an Innsbruck cafe: 'The King's pages danced the branle "There are cabbages on Midsummer Day" and kicked each other in the bottom; he



and did


they did!'


another occasion he was dressed as a

girl for a play:


the farce

was over, he took


robe off and

danced "There are cabbages on Midsummer Day", kicking panions in the bottom. He liked this dance.'


Finally he joined the adults in the traditional festivities of Christmas, Twelfth Night and Midsummer Day; it was he who lit the Midsummer Day bonfire in the courtyard of the Chateau of Saint-Germain. On the eve of Twelfth Night: 'He was the King for the first time. Everyone " shouted: "The King drinks! God's share is left: he who eats it has to pay a forfeit.' 'Taken to the Queen's apartments, from which he watched the

maypole being set up.' Things changed when he was nearly seven: he abandoned his childhood clothes and henceforth his education was entrusted to men; he left 'Mamonglas', Mme de Montglas, and came under the jurisdiction of M. de Soubise. An attempt was now made to persuade him to give up the games of infancy, and in particular to stop playing with dolls: 'You must stop* playing with these little toys [the German toys] and playing the wagoner: you are a big boy now, you are no longer a child.' He started learning the arts of riding, shooting and hunting. He played games of chance: 'He took part in a raffle and won a turquoise.' It seems indeed that this age of seven marked a stage of some importance: it was the age usually given in the moralistic and pedagogic literature of the seventeenth 2 century as the age for starting school or starting work. But we should beware of exaggerating its importance. For all that he had stopped playing, or should have stopped playing, with his dolls, the Dauphin went on leading the same life as before: he was still given a whipping from time to time, and his pastimes scarcely changed at all. He went more and more to the theatre, and was soon going nearly every day: a sign of the importance of comedy, farce and ballet in our ancestors' frequent indoor and open-air entertainments. 'He went into the great gallery to watch the King tilting at the ring.' 'He listened to some naughty stories by La Clavette and others.' 'Played in his apartments with some little



at heads or tails, like the King, with three dice/ 'Played at hide-and-seek' with a lieutenant of the Light Horse. 'He went to pky tennis and then went to the great gallery to watch them tilting at the ring/ 'Dressed up and danced the Pantaloon/ He was nine years old


'After supper, he went to the Queen's apartments, pkyed blindbuff, and made the Queen, the princesses and the ladies pky it

sit down'" and the usual parlour games. 'After he enjoyed this/ At and the told him some stories, King's nanny supper thirteen we find him still playing hide-and-seek. Rather more dolls and German toys before seven, and more hunting,

too/ 'He played "I


fencing and possibly


after seven;

the change was

almost imperceptible in that long succession of pastimes which the child copied from the adults or shared with them. The novelist-cum-historian
Sorel would write a treatise on parlour games intended for adults. But at the age of three Louis XIII was playing crambo, and at six, trades and which occupied an important place in Sorel's Maison charades, all


he won a prize in a desjeux. At five he was playing cards. At eight a game of chance in which fortunes used to change hands.



true of musical or theatrical entertainments: when he was dancing the galliard, the saraband and the old XIII Louis three, he was watching and bounce, taking part in the court ballets. At five, violin and the the and He comedies. at and seven, farces, played sang,

The same was

row of the spectators at a wrestling-match, a or a display by a tightrope a bullfight or a bearfight, ring-tilting contest, walker. Finally he took part in the great collective festivals that were the



in the front



... It

was not and those played by

Day, Midsummer feast-days: Christmas, seventeenth the in that century there seems, therefore, early such a strict division as there is today between children's games
and seasonal



Young and



the same games.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century


poly valency no longer

are familiar with their games, for, small children. applied to the very had made their appearance the when the ever since fifteenth century putti in countless artists had depicted little children at pky. In



their pictures we can recognize the hobby-horse, the windmill, the bird on a leash . . . and sometimes, though not so often, dolls. It is obvious that

dummies were reserved for little children. Yet one is entitled to wonder whether this had always been true and whether these toys had



not previously belonged to the world of adults. Some toys originated in that spirit of emulation which induces children to imitate adult processes,
while reducing them to their own scale. This is the case with the hobbyhorse, at a time when the horse was the principal means of transport and
traction. Similarly, the little sails spinning round on the end of a stick could not be anything but the imitation by children of a technique which, unlike that of the horse, was not very old: the windmill technique

introduced in the Middle Ages. The same reflex governs the children of today when they imitate a lorry or a car. But while the windmill has long
in toyshops

ago disappeared from our countryside, the child's windmill is still on sale and market or fair-ground stalls. Children form the most conservative of human societies. Other games seem to have some other origin than the desire to imitate

adults. Thus the child is often depicted playing with a bird: Louis XIII had a shrike of which he was extremely fond; the reader himself may perhaps remember trying to tame a wounded crow in his childhood. The bird in these pictures is usually attached to a leash which the child is holding in his hand. Sometimes it may have been just a wooden dummy.

would seem
of the

In any case, judging by the iconographic evidence, the bird on a leash to have been one of the most common of toys. The historian
3 religions of Greece, Nilsson, tells us that in ancient Greece, as indeed in modern Greece, it was customary during the first days of


for boys to make a wooden swallow turning on a pivot and adorned with flowers. They would then take it from house to house and

be given'presents: here the bird or


image was not an individual toy but

an element of a
the role


collective, seasonal festivity in which youth took part in its age group assigned to it. What eventually became an

individual toy unconnected with the

community or

the calendar and

devoid of any social content, would appear to have been linked at first with traditional ceremonies which brought together children and adolescents - between whom, in any case, there was no clear distinction still

and adults. Nilsson also shows how the see-saw and the swing, which were frequently to be found in the iconography of games and pastimes in the eighteenth century, figure among the rites of one of the festivals 4 provided for in the calendar: the Aiora, the festival of youth. The boys used to jump on skins filled with wine and the girls were swung backwards and forwards on swings Nilsson sees the latter scene, which can be found on painted vases, as a fecundity rite. There was a close connection between the communal religious ceremony and the game which formed its essential rite. Later this game lost its religious symbolism and its




character to become at once profane and individual. In the of becoming profane and individual, it was increasingly confined process to children, whose repertory of games became the repository of collective demonstrations which were henceforth abandoned by adult society and


The problem of the
theses. Historians


of the

and miniature toys leads us to similar hypotoy, and collectors of dolls and toy miniatures,
the doll, the child's difficulty in separating

have always had considerable



the other images



which the


of excavations

and which more often than not yield up in wellnigh industrial quantities had a religious significance: objects of a household or funerary cult, relics

from a pilgrimage, etc. How many times have we been shown 'toys' which were in fact miniature replicas of familar objects placed in tombs?

not suggesting that in the past children did not play with dolls or adult belongings. But they were not the only ones to use these replicas of










monopoly, they had

to share in ancient times, at least with the dead. The ambiguity of the doll and the replica continued during the Middle Ages, lasting even longer in

the doll was also the dangerous instrument of the This taste for representing in miniature the people witch. and the magician and things of daily life, nowadays confined to little children, resulted in an art and industry designed as much to satisfy adults as to amuse children. The famous Neapolitan cribs are one of the manifestations of this art of illusion. The museums, especially in Germany and Switzerland, possess collections of houses, interiors and sets of furniture which




reproduce on a small

scale all the details of familiar objects. they It is of little these dolls' ingenuity? houses, complex masterpieces really adult art was also appreciated by children: there was true that this


popular a considerable demand in France for 'German toys' or 'Italian baubles'. word was used in France to refer to this industry, whether its



for children or adults: bibeloterie ('knickproducts were designed The bibelot or knick-knack of old was also a toy. The evolution knackery'). of language has robbed it of its childish, popular meaning, while on the other hand the evolution of ideas has restricted the use of miniature

In the nineteenth century the knick-knack became replicas to children. but it remained a the for drawing-room or the showcase, something

model of a

familiar object: a little sedan chair, a little piece of furniture or a tiny piece of crockery, which had never been intended for a child to play with. In the taste for the knick-knack we can recognize a middlehouse. class survival of the popular art of the Italian crib or the German


of the ancien regime remained
faithful for a



long time to the

litde baubles


because they have childhood.
In 1747

we would describe today now fallen for good and all
'In Paris

probably within the domain of
toys have been devised

as childish,

we find Barbier writing:
. . .


called puppets



and Scaramouch figures represent Harlequin

comedy], or

else bakers [trades



shepherds and shep-

herdesses [the taste for rustic fancy-dress]. These ridiculous things have taken the fancy of Parisian society to such an extent that one cannot go


from every mantelpiece. any house without finding them dangling and the craze has and to women to are girls, give being bought They reached such a pitch that this New Year all the shops are full of them The Duchesse de Chartres has paid 1,500 livres for one painted by
. . .

that in his

practices: 'Society people, in the good old days of idleness which saw the join in such crazes as baubles to children/ for fashion the of puppets: now we leave height The puppet-show appears to have been another manifestation of the same popular art of illusion in miniature which produced the knickknacks of Germany and the cribs of Naples. It underwent the same

The worthy bibliophile Jacob, quoting this passage, admits to such childish day nobody would dream of getting up who are much too busy nowadays, no longer

evolution too: the Guignol of early nineteenth-century Lyons was a character of a lower-class but adult theatre, while today Guignol has



name of a puppet-show
this persistent

reserved for children.

why, from the

ambiguity of children's games also explains sixteenth century until the beginning of the nineteenth the well-dressed woman as a fashion model. century, the doll was used by de Duchesse the In 1571 Lorraine, wanting to give a present to a friend



who load just had a

not too big baby, put in an order for ... some dolls, and up to four and six, the best dressed dolls you can find, for the child of
the Duchess of Bavaria,



intended for the mother, but
dolls in public

has recently been delivered*. The gift was was sent in the child's name! Most of the

not children's toys, which are their owners, but fashion dolls. treated by usually crude objects roughly taken by the its The fashion doll eventually disappeared, place being

and private

collections are

fashion drawing, largely thanks to the process of lithography.


had become an infantile speciality, with a We have seen with detail of few regard to present-day usage. to play with used as well as that XIII Louis with connection in girls boys between discrimination modern the of limits the dolls. Within infancy


1600, approximately, toys





and boys was not so clearly defined: both sexes wore die same same robe. There was probably some connection between the infantile specialization in toys and the importance of infancy in the ideas revealed by iconography and dress since the end of the Middle Ages. Childhood was becoming the repository of customs abandoned by the
clothes, the

In 1600 the specialization of games and pastimes did not extend beyond infancy; after the age of three or four it decreased and disappeared. From
then on the child played the same games as the adult , either with other children or

with adults.

We know this from the evidence furnished by an abundant

iconography, for from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century artists delighted in showing people at play: an indication of the place occupied

have already in the social life of the ancien regime. seen that from his earliest years, Louis XIII, as well as playing with dolls, also played tennis and hockey, which we nowadays consider as games for

by amusement

adolescents or adults. In an engraving by Arnoult of the late seventeenth 6 century, we can see children playing bowls: children of good family,

judging by the

little girl's false sleeves. People had no objection to to play card games and games of chance, and to play children allowing for money. One of Stella's engravings devoted to the subject of putti at
7 play gives a sympathetic picture of the child who has lost all his money. The Caravagesque painters of the seventeenth century often depicted bands of soldiers gambling excitedly in taverns of ill fame: next to the old

old or so, who troopers one can see some very young boys, twelve years S. Bourdon shows a seem to be enthusiastic gamblers. painting by of beggars standing round two children and watching them



8 for money playing dice. The theme of children playing games of chance is to same theme the for as shock did not yet, public opinion obviously be found in pictures portraying neither old soldiers nor beggars but

Le Nain's solemn




children play. Conversely, adults used to play games which today only a the shows young man sitting frog-game: fourteenth-century ivory on the ground is trying to catch hold of the men and women who are
10 from pushing him around. Adelaide de Savoie's book of hours, dating the late fifteenth century, contains a calendar which is krgely illustrated

11 with pictures of games, and games which are not of a knightly character. for the (To begin with, the calendars depicted trades and crafts, except


reserved for a court of love.

month of May, which was

Games were then

introduced and occupied more and more space: knightly sports such as hunting, but also popular games.) One of these is the faggot-game: one

person is playing the candle in the centre of a ring of couples in which each lady is standing behind her cavalier and holding him tightly round the waist. In another part of the calendar the whole population of the

having a snowball fight:

men and women,

children and


ups. In an early sixteenth-century tapestry, some peasants and noblemen are playing the latter more or less convincingly dressed as shepherds
hot cockles: there are no children. 12 Several Dutch pictures of the second half of the seventeenth century also show people playing hot cockles. In

one of them a few children appear, but they are mixed up with adults of all ages: one woman is standing with her head hidden in her apron and one hand held open behind her back. 13 Louis XIII and his mother used
to play hide-and-seek together. People played blind-man's buff at the

Grande Mademoiselle's home, the Hotel de Rambouillet. 14 An engraving 15 by Lepautre shows that adult peasants also played this game. One can accordingly understand the comment which his study of the iconography of games and pastimes drew from the contemporary historian Van Marie: 'As for the games played by grown-ups, one cannot honestly say that they were any less childish than those played by children.' 16 Of course not: they were the same!

Children also took part, in their allotted place
groups, in seasonal festivities


the other age

which regularly brought together the whole the To realize community. importance of games and festivities in the is hard for us of old society today, when for countryman and city-dweller alike there is only a very narrow margin between a laborious, hypertrophied professional activity and a demanding, exclusive family vocation. The whole of political and social literature, faithfully mirroring contemporary opinion, deals with living and working conditions; trade unionism which safeguards real earnings, and insurance which reduces the risk of sickness and unemployment - such are the principal achievements of the lower classes, or at least the achievements most apparent in public opinion, literature and political debate. In the society of old, work did not take up so much time during the day and did not have so much importance in the public mind: it did not have the existential value which we have given it for something like a

are gathered table. to feel united. I do not of course propose to write festivals a huge subject and certainly one of great importance in social history but a few examples will suffice to give an idea of the place occupied in them by children.73 can scarcely say that it had the same meaning. They took place on fixed dates of the calendar. One of the guests is holding the Twelfth-cake. gave my drink as on Twelfth Night/ 17 A miniature of Adelaide de Savoie's book of hours depicts the first episode of the festival. probably the greatest festival of the year. and their programmes. middle-class are sufficient in themselves to paintings An show the importance of these festivals. equal footing members of society. and preserve the One of the favourite scenes with the artists and their clients was Twelfth Night. followed traditional patterns.HISTORY OF GAMES' AND PASTIMES hundred years. The artist has in his hand a sort of scroll bearing an inscription placed which begins with die letters Ph. 18 This was at the end of the fifteenth century. she wanted her servants to share her joy. He has thus recorded the moment when. broadly speaking. In Spain it has this which in France it has lost to Christmas. in accordance with tradition. of whose vitality they were a manifestation. even if little recourse is had to the predominantly rural descriptions of folklore literature. and more often than not played a part in them which was reserved for them by tradition. learnt that a grandson had been born to her. and in order to show Mme de Grignan that she had done she to wrote her: 'I servants as much food and things fittingly. The ^yvhole operation was carried out in accordance with a set . who give the impression that they were almost exclusively rural. In fact they concerned die whole of society. people took pains to depict them recollection of them beyond the brief moment of their duration. it was a child who shared out the Twelfth- A between five cake. games and amusements extended far beyond the furtive moments we allow them: they formed one of the principal means employed by a society to draw its collective bonds closer. When preserved primacy Mme de Sevigne. This was true of nearly all games and pastimes. The relevant documen- here a history of these - tation is extremely rich. but the social role was more obvious in the great seasonal and traditional festivals. abundant iconography and countless urban. who was then staying in her chateau at Les Rochers. . Children . on end. friends and relations. but the rites remained unaltered for a long time. table. together round the in fact holding and seven years old. They have been studied only by experts on folklore or popular traditions. is hiding under the child.children and adolescents . is Some it men and women.took part in them on an with all the other One On the other hand.

that the future Louis XIII. Another child. He cannot stand on his two of this feet yet. . festival lost its religious character. else. then aged six. this alms-offering became an obligation for the king to pay a forfeit or give another cake. but that is of little importance here. good evening gathering around the king. of the seventeenth century all probability based on this custom. too young as yet to play this role. is drinking. but to the other guests. according to tradition. 'Phaebe. tradition which has been maintained down to the present day. When the of the cake and . the picture of a less burlesque and more truthful realism. jester. but the jester's costume is to be found in other pictures of this familiar scene.74 formula. Then one of the guests cut a piece called out to the child. the frontispiece of a book 19 a entitled Critique sur la loterie shows the lots being drawn by a child. the famous Jordaens draw is picture in the Louvre is well known. but he has to be allowed to join in the festivities with everybody One of the guests is dressed as a jester. is perched in one of those enclosed high-chairs which were still very widely used. One of the pieces was reserved for the poor. . They are all assembled round the table. Domine (whence the letters Ph in the miniature). and the guest who ate it had to give them alms. A child is taking his hat off to him probably the child who a little earlier had shared out the pieces of the Twelfth-cake. 20 gives us a very by Metsu. an old man. The king. of people of all ages and probably all conditions. And so it went on. The second and supreme episode of the festival is the toast drunk to the guest who has found the traditional bean in his portion of the cake and has thus become the 'bean king': 'The king drinks/ The Flemish and Dutch painters were particularly fond of this theme. A picture by Steen of 1668 It bean. . The of this part by the child implies his presence in the midst of the playing adults during the long hours of the Twelfth Night vigil. not to the poor. Let us simply note the role which tradition allotted to the child in the in the official lotteries The procedure adopted was in Twelfth Night ritual. The lottery carried out in the same way as the Twelfth Night draw. the seventeenth century loved fancy dress and the most grotesque of costumes were appropriate on this occasion. For example. THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD ' The child hid under the table. but the subject is also treated by a idea great many other Northern painters. 'was the king for the first time'. and the child replied by giving the name of the guest to be served. the servants mingling with their masters. and it is clear that it formed part of the ritual: the king's was of course perfectly possible for one of the children to find the Thus Heroard noted in his entry for January 5th. 1607 (the festivities were held on the eve of Epiphany).

An engraving by Mazot of 1641 shows the procession of the singers of the star: two men. Throughout this festival we can see children taking an active part in the traditional ceremonies. a band of mummers is knocking at the door. . he drops a pinch of salt at one end of the hearth. a musician (usually a fiddler). . Heroard tells us that Louis XIII. Tradition allotted this child a well-defined role he carried the candle of the kings. A big log is laid across the fire-dogs. and an old woman is tenderly giving him a glass of wine to drink. which will soon be opened to them.. Led by the jester. The same is true of Christmas Eve. the household gathers together. He played a like role on occasions which were less exceptional . . together with some breadcrumbs and a of wine glass pinch of salt. The youngest in his right hand. In the street. and once again a child. in accordance with the ritual described for us in the late sixteenth century by the German-Swiss Thomas Platter when he was studying medicine at Montpellier. 22 Thanks to a painted fan of the early eighteenth century. at the age of three.. In the hall. which lasted until morning. 23 we can follow this procession as it makes its way to a neighbouring house. In France it was * in a variety of colours: Mme de Sevigne once said of a woman that she was dressed in as many colours as the candle of the kings'.. Some of the guests can be seen to be wearing fancy dress. The latter wearing a paper crown. sometimes they have a label attached to their headgear which fixes their part in the play. All heads are bared and the child begins to intone the sign of the cross. the toast to the king is being drunk and the queen is being crowned. and danced and sang at the coming of Christmas'. 75 the coronation of the painter's youngest son. are preserved after the ceremony. The embers. of the Son . In the name and so on. Here again the child plays one of the essential roles laid down by tradition. a woman playing a guitar. When child takes a it has caught. In Holland : it seems that it was black.that was what they were called in France . Then began the third episode. The hall of the house has been cut open vertically as in the scenery in mystery plays and fifteenth-century paintings. at the other end of the hearth which are supposed to have a beneficial quality.. 24 He was spending Christinas at Uzes. In the name of the Father .went round the neighbourhood begging for food and fuel. and a "child holding the candle of the kings. The 'fool' takes command of a little expedition composed of a few mummers. so as to show both the interior of the hall and the street behind the door. he has been perched on a bench as on a throne. Perhaps it was he on this occasion who threw salt or wine on the Yule log. 'watched the Yule log being lit.HISTORY OF GAMES AND PASTIMES commemorates 21 is . the 'singers of the star' . while in his left hand he holds a lighted taper.

or as the expression order to give them the innocents'. and 28 In the other schoolboys of Dieppe shall be carried for this fee.. changed the dishes. game. still master/ 27 - where it with school in the Middle Ages. ill-defined friends in custom that on the morning of that day adolescents should surprise their bed in order to give them a whipping. 'in went. die children was elected bishop by his companions occupied the church. We shall have occasion was traditional for grace to be said to study the significance of these customs more closely when we come to 25 examine the structure of the family. These festivals already had the appearance of festivals of we have already seen that the frontier was vague and childhood or Other festivals. or two age groups against one another: 'The setting either two parishes ball game is a game which is played on Christmas Day by the members of . all fighting. gave monopoly of the active roles.was connected with youth and even adults for intended but survives.. of entrusting children with a special role in the ritual accompanying family and social and extraordinary. a 26 Still observed in the sixteenth century was a collection and a banquet.' The ball game brought together several communities in a collective action. Fitz Stephen has described connection with his hero Thomas Becket.' with cockShrove Fitz to began Tuesday London. the young people's games and to become young again with them. gatherings. carved the meat. on the feast of the Holy Innocents. but which at the time possessed the same It by one of the youngest children and for the meal to be served by all the children present: they poured out the drinks. Let us just note here how common was the custom. which today are so clearly separated. This is borne out by a fifteenth-century text from Dieppe which lists the payments due to the ferryman at a 'The master who keeps the school at Dieppe. certain crossing: when the games are being held at the school or elsewhere in the town. which went on all through the morning.j6 THE IDEA OP CHILDHOOD social character: family meals. which ended with a procession. and the other age groups looked on as spectators. the for the famous ball young people of the town went into the outskirts horseback to watch on came notables and rektives The adults. according Stephen. In the Middle Ages. both ordinary youth the though still concerning the entire community. Shrove Tuesday was apparently the feast day of schoolchildren and it in twelfth-century London in youth. 'In the afternoon. from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century.. one cock. who was then a pupil at the cathedral school of St Paul's: 'All the schoolchildren brought their popular Cockfighting fighting-cocks to their . youth: between these two groups. one of them and presided over the ceremony..

and the aforementioned ball is from one place to another and taken from one man by another in order to win the prize.HISTORY OF GAMES AND PASTIMES the guilds of Cairac in Auvergne [and elsewhere of course]. abbot or captain of youth. 'pleasure leaders'. and everyone gives them something to eat in return for their good wishes: the house-to-house collection was one of the essential elements of the festivals of youth. at least in the south of France. are putting on wreaths of flowers and leaves which their mothers have made for them. In other pictures the procession of young collectors has formed up behind a boy who is carrying the may-tree this is the case in a Dutch painting of i yoo. to use the expression coined by a modern scholar. the Vice-Legate amount of this ransom at a crown a whore. girls young people go from door to door. who are still dressed in tunics. and bore the tide of prince of love. The history of the University of Avignon tells us that on January 20th. Elsewhere the traditional A tapestry of 1642 enables A what a village or small market town looked like on May Day in the seventeenth century. These : The may-tree is sometimes represented symbolically by a pole wreathed . middle-aged couple and an old man have come out of one of the houses and are standing on us to see We coming towards them. The great festivals of youth were those of May and November. May Day came next to Twelfth Night in popularity with the artists. 1660. The grown-ups have come out on their doorsteps to greet the procession of children. Varagnac has recognized the theme in die fixed the Botticelli 'Primavera' in the Uffizi Gallery. We know from Heroard that Louis XIII as a child went on to the Queen's balcony to watch the maypole being set up. 84 The group of children is running through the village behind the maytree.77 game is on one and the unmarried on the other side. like girls. 33 are in the street. who were fond of depicting it as one of the most popular festivals. the Htde children are wearing wreaths of flowers. and he who carries it best has the prize for that carried 29 day/ led At Avignon. 32 ceremonies are depicted with greater realism. 80 these youth leaders were usually. the carnival was organized and by the abbot of attorneydom. and engravings tapestries. the president of the guild of notaries' and attorneys' clerks. this diversified and divided in such a way that the married men are side . It inspired countless paintings. In the foreground some little boys. king of attorneydom. or abbot of the guildsmen or children of the town. in the sixteenth century. At Avignon on carnival day the students had the of privilege 31 thrashing Jews and whores unless a ransom was paid. girls their doorstep waiting to greet a first group of The of the is carrying a basket of fruit and cakes.

'Tomorrow perhaps scholastic 'dialogue of the early sixteenth century describing life in the the occasion of demonstrations confined to the schools of Leipzig. children are shown wearing garlands of flowers or foliage. it is customary for the poor [schoolboys] to go from door to door collecting May Day. we find the house-to-house collections which was sometimes a token of greeting and sometimes genuine mendicity. money/ Here. the little boys still in tunics. this relic of a time when the two age groups were treated as one no longer entirely corresponded with actual manners. on a wreath of flowers with one hand. Moreover the ritual of these celebrations tended to make little or no distinction between children and adolescents. 'On the 4th and 8th [of November]/ writes the student Platter at the end of the sixteenth century. both of individuals and families.78 in leaves THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD and flowers. with the flowers and leaves which in the calendars of the Middle Ages adorned adolescents who had reached the age of love.. Let us simply note the collections taken by the young people from the adults. 39 'We schoolboys reap a rich harvest on that day.but this festival has survived in North closely on such a solemn day America under the name of Hallowe'en. which one must associate with the idea of rebirth implicit in vegetation. and with the other hand is taking flowers from a basket which her sister is holding out to her. A little later on. perhaps a pastime for the planted. I too put on a mask and went to Dr 38 This was a masquerade for Sapota's house. we read in a schoolchildren. 'there was a masquerade called the masquerade of the cherubim. and the crowning of the children with flowers. In the portraits of the time. certainly the sign of their age group in pictorial representations. Martinmas was young and more particularly to is Martinmas'. Thus in the Nicolas Maes 87 the first girl is putting picture of two little girls. simply from our calendar. children. 86 But the may-tree or maypole does not concern us here. ousted by the proximity of All Souls' Day. an idea symbolized too by the tree which is carried through the streets and then 86 These wreaths of flowers became. Another group of festivals of childhood and youth was held at the beginning of November. It young people. nothing remained of this but the custom of reserving for youth an essential part in certain great collective celebrations. Public opinion refused to allow a joyful children's masquerade to follow so . as with : a practice . One has the impression of coming into contact with the last traces of a very old structure in which society was divided into age groups. in Toulouse Museum.. as may be seen from the seventeenth-century habit of decorating only the little children. where there was a ball/ has completely disappeared and not children.

after many to excuses. The author of an Introduction to We Practical Music* published in 1597. protested unfeignedly that I could not. yes. primordial on Day. earnestly requesting me to sing: but of him. it always followed a traditional pattern and corresponded to the roles of a collective game which mobilized the whole of society and brought all age groups together. Sometimes the table had been cleared. and music books. . in He was dining when. among instruments were the bagpipe or the peasants and even beggars. incidental on Twelfth Night. lasted into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. in spite of changes in taste and technical improvements. Italy. dying out sooner or later according to the region. with an old medieval tradition which. tells how circumstances made a musician company: 'But supper being ended. It It no longer exists today except in Germany. Thus from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. according to custom.' 41 If the ability to sing a part or pky an instrument was perhaps rather more common in Elizabethan England than on the Continent. the mistress of the house presented me with a part. Spain and Germany. standing with his back to the fire-place with a glass in one hand. as in the Dutch picture by Lamen painted about 1640: the company are at table but the meal has been interrupted: the boy who has been waiting at table has stopped. May Other circumstances brought about the same participation of people of various ages in a single communal celebration. no doubt a drinking song. and another 40 guest has taken up his lute to accompany him. whose had not yet been raised to the which the or else fiddle. being brought to the table. It was strong too in lower-class circles. is singing. it was in accordance also widespread in France. I everyone began wonder.painted. countless subject pictures . engraved and and children in which woven the represented family gathering parents formed a little chamber orchestra and accompanied a singer. and Russia. This was often on the occasion of a meal. some whispered to others. Central Europe was very strong in those days in aristocratic and middle-class circles where in a groups of people liked to have themselves portrayed taking part concert of chamber music. demanding how I was brought up. 79 role allocated to childhood and youth. and in Germany up to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Sometimes the musical interlude occurred in the course of the meal. hurdy-gurdy. no longer have any idea of the place which music. one of the guests.HISTORY OF GAMBS AND PASTIMES Whatever the . singing and dancing used to occupy in everyday life.

In a picture by depicted playing Brouwer. and in the children's round-dances of the finally. nineteenth century: in both these forms they are dying out today. one of whom also played to depict his brother or friend who is singing. Two and boys. the adults' dance would change in character and 47 by Guerard. As in of its kind. and the scene has been captured just as the children are running up at the sound of the music. depicts women is jumping in the air like a little girl with a skipping-rope. Children took part in all the concerts of chamber music depicted in the iconography of old. Children very young sang popular or satirical songs which bore no resemblance to the children's songs of the past two centuries. Abandoned by and town court. We have already observed that Louis XIII at the age of three danced the galliard. one of the latter is still wearing girls and are hands have little holding them up high to form a joined girls The Guerard engraving also underneath.80 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD made music from an early age. by middle-class and aristocracy alike. There the children's dance and that of the is scarcely any difference between adults. however. precocity is The same to be seen in dancing. Let us compare a painting by Le Nain and an engraving In Le Nain's painting we are shown a round-dance of little a tunic with a collar. Dancing in those days was more of a collective activity and less clearly distinguished from ballet than have seen in Heroard's in couples. 44 A Dutch painting by Vinckelbaons deserves special mention on account 46 of a significant detail illustrating the new attitude to childhood. is round the and passing bridge. he also knew the names of the strings of the lute. the saraband and 46 the old bourree. and it became a commonplace of painting them holding some musical instrument: witness the two boys 42 is accompanying on the lute portrayed by Franz Hals. after the others so that the child shall so his father has picked him up and is running not miss anything: the delighted holding his hands out towards the hurdy-gurdy. witness the countless children 43 the flute by Franz Hals or Le Nain. It is impossible to separate dance and drama. Later. some rather ragged urchins in the street are shown eagerly listening to a of a hurdy-gurdy being played by a blind man straight out common theme in the seventeenth century. our modern ballroom dancing We . a hurdy-gurdy grinder is playing for an other court of miracles: a very paintings audience of children. One of them is too small and has been left behind by the child is rest. and one of the young are dancers the but a adults. where the modern folkwould dances discover lorists would them. the old collective survive in the country districts. They Louis XIII when he was among themselves. be limited to the individual couple. round-dance. with the waltz. dignity of the present-day violin.

even in the scholastic theatre of the Jesuit colleges. a We powerful and educated minority of rigid moralists condemned nearly all of them out of hand and roundly denounced them as immoral. There were ballets in plays.' these popular entertainments. and the Descent of Radamont into the Underworld. The vast majority accepted games indiscriminately and without any reservations. Was this true only of the court? No. and later the Loves of Medor and Ang6lique. allowing moral indifference of the majority and the scarcely any exceptions. In the Basque country this tradition was Towards the end of the eighteenth and published. these plays united the whole community and brought together the various age groups in both actors and audience. I was fortunate enough on another occasion to see the Story of the Prodigal Son and that of Nebuchadnezzar.HISTORY OF GAME^ AND PASTIMES diary 8l how much Louis XIII's contemporaries liked dancing. genres which were still fairly closely linked: a man would play a part in a ballet as naturally as he would dance at a ball (the link between the two words is significant: the same word later split into two. compromise was arrived at in the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth A . the subjects of were written some Basque pastorals century which came from the romances of chivalry and the Renaissance pastorals. In most cases the text and the setting were governed by oral tradition. the ball for amateurs and the ballet for professionals). established before the plays disappeared. performed by actors of such 48 Sorel's speaker is being sarcastic. 49 Like music and dancing.. children both acted in the plays and attended the performances. A passage from Sorel shows that in the country villages people had never given up comparable to die old mystery plays or to 'I think that he [Ariste. it was common practice. he did not really appreciate quality. who found professional actors boring] would have been delighted if he could have seen as I have all the boys in a village performing the tragedy of Dives on a stage higher than the roof-tops. the play began. The intolerance of a prudish elite existed side by side for a long time. At the same time. on which all the characters walked round seven or eight times in pairs to show themselves off before less performing plays more or the present-day Passion plays of Central Europe. ' ' are now going to see what was the traditional moral attitude towards these popular games and pastimes. At Louis XIII's court. like the little figures above a clock. authors and actors were recruited on the spot from the nobles but also from the valets and soldiers.. ballet-dancing and play-acting.

and he has no originality or talent whatever. is all the more surprised to find this with places the social utility of games of chance. on their guard against loose living. certainly has nothing about him he has written an edifying bibliography of the works of Pere Ange de Joyeuse. in The high regard moral indifference. pious man if not His observations accordingly represent current opinion date opinion in 1661. of still We chance. but with an uneasy revenues. the clergy. he is a a bigot.e. One moralist tavern. the Marechal de Cailliere. its morality and also to educate by forbidding it it forth classified as evil and by encouraging to games henceplay games henceforth to play still recognized as good. 50 The trickster or adventurer of the author. glancing through these commona somewhat weary eye. if the latter is putting young people the enemy of virtue. the among published. in other particulier. This might be expected some length. of games play respectable conscience.' punctilious chapter is entitled: as discussing 'If a Particulier [an abbreviation of gentilhomme words a minor compared with the gens de qualite. . . which games of chance were held in the seventeenth century enables us to gauge the extent of the old attitude of Nowadays we regard games of chance as suspect and as the least moral and least the and proceeds of gambling dangerous. for one cannot possess the one Without the other: 'The young rake sees the occasions of pleasing his when his book was He respectable is for ever Master escape him through the windows of the brothel and the The twentieth-century reader. a rich . He him to it fact in and ment. . nobleman in more or less impoverished circumstances] should play games of chance and how?' It is not just a matter of course: the Marechal admits that the moralists. it is also the enemy of wealth. which he endeavours to on moral grounds It is not impossible to prove that it can be more ' : justify useful than I harmful if it is maintain that gambling is accompanied by the necessary circumstances as dangerous for a man of quality [i.82 centuries THE IDEA OP CHILDHOOD which foreshadowed the modern attitude to games. the Holy Leaguer monk. explain himself at obliges remains faithful to the old attitude of die laity. It concerns bears witness to a new attitude to childhood: a desire to safeguard it. This was not yet the case in the seventeenth century: the of moralization uneasy conscience is the result of a thoroughgoing process which made the nineteenth century a society of right-minded people*. expressly condemn all forms of professional to cause our author some embarrassgambling. an attitude us here because it also fundamentally different from the old. et des gentilhommes particuliers is a book of de La Fortune des * gens qualite advice to young noblemen on how : to carve out a career for themselves.

. and a clever man can to use his opportunities . one's man who knows and he has little loves as to lose. -a honourable means. he is perfectly acquaintances Caillire is not the only one of this opinion. this skill gives the Particulier admission to the best turn this to good account if he knows how society. Richelieu 'who found relaxation in gambling'. but who live in greater luxury and magnificence than provincial lords with their great estates [but no ready money]/ And the worthy Marechal concludes with this advice: 'I advise the games of chance to risk his money on them: not risking much and can gain a great deal/ For the biographer of Pere Ange. would often be extremely bored if they were unable to indulge in it/ He cites some august examples: Louis XIII (who as a child won a turquoise in a lottery). way . regarded in his time as a typical 51 'I would the same idea in his Suite du Commerce du Monde: expounds skilfully has a good effect when a man indulges in it point out too that gambling and with good grace: it is the means by which a man can obtain princes admission to any company where gambling is practised. The Chevalier de Mere. I know men who have no revenue but a pack of cards and three dice. Louis XIV. the game of chance is not simply a a means of making one's fortune and extending pastime but a profession. Mazarin.83 nobleman] as it is useful for a Particulier [i. an impoverished nobleman]. yet a Particulier can hope for as much from the luck of the game as a great lord/ The one has everything to lose. man of the world or man of breeding..a curious moral distinction! the other everything to gain financial profit: 'I But gambling.HISTORY OF GAMES AND PASTIMES . The one risks a great deal because he is extremely rich.e. for bad luck will not a gambler always finds it easier to borrow money 'than a good tradesman*. and the other risks nothing because he is not. It is even a sure means of prayers'. it is without entering high society and great reputation of obtaining admission. . offers other advantages besides have always held that the love of gambling was a gift of Nature whose utility I have recognized/ 'I take as the basis of my argument the fact that we have a natural love of gambling/ Games of skill * [which we should be more inclined to recommend today] are pleasant to watch but unsuitable for making money/ 'I have heard a wise gambler who had made a considerable fortune out of gambling say that he had found no better way of turning gambling into an art than that of mastering his passion and regarding this skill as a money-making profession/ The leave him at a loss gambler should have no anxiety. and 'the Queen his mother [who] no longer did anything but and gamble and say her difficult to win a an easy gambling is 'Whatever merits one may have. according to Cailli&re. 'What is more.

at what games.' The modern university teacher who quoted this text in 1880. which afforded the best opportunities for raising in spite moral standards. One must play like a man of honour. nor should it be so high that it troubles the mind before the game begins'). backgammon. as a good gambler.84 enjoying good like a THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD company without ' saying a word. added: 'This was practically tantamount to permitting playing for money. . The author of Tom Brown s Schooldays describes the betting fever which the Derby aroused at that time among the boys at Rugby. 54 Dr Arnold's reforms would later rid the English schools of practices several centuries old.in favour of the mental skill and intellectual efforts of the gambler. 'we cannot help harbouring a grudge against those who have ruined If games of chance aroused us'. ready to win or lose without showing whether one has won or lost in one's expression or behaviour. and for how long. dice. with whom (one should avoid unruly persons). The Spaniard Vives confines himself to giving a few rules in the interests of etiquette and Latin moderation: thus he says when one should gamble. etc. for what stake ('the stake should not be a trifle. avoiding eccentricity'. since this is ridiculous and not worth playing for. no moral condemnation. that is to say. 52 Even in the colleges. of children playing cards. From the seventeenth century to the present day a somewhat complex moral attitude towards games of chance has evolved: as the opinion gained ground that gambling was a dangerous passion. The scholastic dialogues which schoolboys used as both manuals of glossaries sometimes gave recognition to games of chance as a practice too common to be condemned if not condoned. unless it is for very small sums and by permission. there was no reason to forbid children to play them: hence the countless scenes. which art has handed down to us. a serious vice. playing for money continued for a long time. somewhat shocked by customs so far removed from the educational principles of his time.' 53 As late as 1830 or so. 'caprice* and superstition. 'in what manner'.which still remained . then custom tended to change some of the gambling games in order to reduce the element of chance . so that certain card or chess games became less liable to the censure applied to the principle of the game of chance. especially if one plays * man of honour* -that is to say. there was undisguised gambling and heavy betting in the English public schools. At the beginning of the eighteenth century the regulations of the Oratorian College at Troyes stated: 'There shall be no playing for money. of the repugnance which the pedagogues felt for it.' But one should beware of ruining one's friends: try as we may to talk ourselves out of it.

games in all their various . her sister's biographer. In all probability the this round-dance as disapprovingly as Mre Angelique de Saint-Jean had looked on the dances of the nuns of Maubuisson and the monks of Pontoise: different times have different ideas about what is profane. was still alive in the advocates of the Trent reforms looked on eighteenth. nuns themselves danced on occasion without scandalizing public opinion. 'when the weather was Prioress used to take the fine. when often the monks of Saint-Martin de Pontoise. At Auxerre every new canon marked his elevation by presenting the parishioners with a ball which was then used for a great community game. Cognet tells us. The festivities at Auxerre began with the singing of the Victimae laudes Paschai: and ended with a round danced by all the canons together. beside the ponds by the Paris road. quoting M&re Angelique de Saint-Jean. Certainly these religious persons had easy consciences.too worldly. 56 This game was always played between two sides. but they did not have the same shocking effect on public opinion that would be produced today by monks and nuns dancing together clasped in each other's arms as the modern style of dancing demands. in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Dances would acquire in the seventeenth century did not have the sexual character they much later.HISTORY OF GAMES AND PASTIMES . and it cannot be denied that they did not correspond with the spirit of monastic life. It was not particularly edifying but not necessarily scandalous . who live near by. There were traditional observances too which allowed for dances of clerics on certain occasions. the community for a walk a good way from the * Abbey. The historians tell us that this custom. have seen that dancing occupied an important in life of both the place everyday children and adults. after vespers had been finished with. M. Our present-day morality to find this less ought We know that monks and shocking than the general practice of gambling. and this as naturally as one would do something nobody would dream of criticizing. at least before the We communities.85 Another pastime underwent a different evolution: dancing. There were even some professional and trade dances: in Biscay there were in which the latter carried their charges in special dances for wet-nurses 57 In the society their arms.' 55 These round-dances of monks and nuns aroused the indignation of Mere Angelique de Saint-Jean. *On summer days'. which went back to the fourteenth century. either bachelors against married men or parish against parish. would come and dance with these rtuns. We know what life was like at Maubuisson Abbey when seventeenth-century movement to reform the religious M&re Angelique Arnauld arrived there at the beginning of the seventeenth century to reform it. if anything. of the ancien regime.

seeing that even tennis was forbidden? Perhaps parlour games?]. the ban was strict and binding on the religious. and the brutality of physical sports. the indecency of parlour games. Reading them. and with his breeches undone. or indulge in table amusements [comessationes: blow-outs]. J. and on condition that such games are played quietly and not habitually [sine mora] >6 . to civilize what was still a primitive way of life. was struck by the general proscription of all pastimes. under pain of a fine of six deniers.86 forms -the still THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD the parlour game. in schools whose pupils for the most part were none the less aged from ten to fifteen. A fortiori. 50 They condemned the immorality of games of chance. thus establishing a fantastic contrast in ways of life . and with the Church. under pain of a fine often sous. Is there never to be any relaxation had then? 'Scholars precautions. for example. especially in their shirts (it is true that in the fifteenth century a man without a doublet or robe. . The medieval Church also condemned games in all their forms. especially in the communities of scholarship clerks which were to become the colleges and universities of the ancien regime. was practically naked). the refusal to admit that there might be any innocent pastimes. The statutes of the colleges were drawn up in such a way as to limit the opportunities for recreation as much as the risks of delinquency. for the words opened the door to all the forbidden excesses!] in respectable or recreational games [but which. is what the regulations of Narbonne College had to say about its scholars' pastimes in 1379: 'Nobody in the house is to play tennis or hockey or other dangerous games [insultuosos]. 58 Yet to this sport. or any other games played for money. the English historian of the medieval universities. the absolute disapproval. importance which they have they passion which affected all ages and conditions. which in point of fact often did degenerate into brawls. staking a pint of wine or else some fruit. Here. set incapable as yet of controlling a laity given up to riotous amusements.' Games and guzzling are put on the same level. Rashdall. who were forbidden by an edict of the Council of Sens of 1485 to play tennis. out to safeguard its clerics by forbidding them to play any games whatever. the game of chance -had an lost in our technological society but which have today in certain primitive or archaic societies. laymen Church opposed an enamoured of order and discipline who were also eager to tame what was still a wild population. but may only join occasionally and at how quickly they must have been rare intervals [what swept aside. the theatre and dancing.if the ban really been observed. nobody is to play dice. We can obtain some idea of this intransigence from the statutes of these communities. One has the impression that the Church.

or to festivals. and with considerable reservations! 'When the Father [the head of the community] considers that the minds wearied by work and study need the relaxation theoretical 9 afforded by recreations. there were two groups of students: scholaras in other foundations. their value as a form of relaxation: work in the kitchen. accompanied by collections. and that if such games are played elsewhere it shall be used 91 Bull of Cardinal d'Amboise that infrequently [non nimis continue]. on it is indulged in alternately with and scientific studies/ But by 'physical exercises' the author means not so much games as manual work (as opposed to intellectual thus recognizing work). The two groups lived apart the scholars must not from one another. boarders who paid for board and lodging. But ban is aimed at the door-to-door greetings. cleaning. the University of Paris in 1452. in the just recreation 83 This house/ to house to drink in the town or to go from these dances. common places [i. the cloister and the common-room a refectory]. without a robe].' In the founded Montaigu College in 1501 one chapter 2 is entitled: De exercitio text The that? is understood What begins with a somewhat by corporali* to be of little use when it is seems exercise statement: 'Physical ambiguous combined with spiritual studies and it greatly develops the health when the other hand. which tradition conceded to young people during the seasonal festivals. decrees inspired by The decrees reforming a what was already tional severity: modern 'The desire for discipline. were called the pauperes. Certain games are allowed in the common places. at trade festivals or elsewhere. decent games which are neither tiring nor dangerous. but other game than tennis can be played with the . and he gives pride of place to domestic tasks. The stipulate that regulations so long as the boarders. in Paxis in In one of his scholastic dialogues. no doubt because they were play so often or for under an obligation to be better pupils and therefore had to work harder. serving at table. and ship boys who.e. maintain all the tradithe colleges] will not allow their masters [of to students.HISTORY OF GAMES AND PASTIMES At Seez College other evil especially in the as 87 in 1477: 'We decree that nobody shall play dice. wear indecent lay coats [short them to play decently and enjoyably.e. he will tolerate these [indulgebit]. no the sixteenth century in the following terms: 'Among masters' permission. At Montaigu. religious exercises. these domestic tasks] it must never be forgotten that one should work as hard and as speedily as possible/ Games come along only after the tasks have been completed. or or forbidden games. dance immoral and immodest coats. or even recognized games such as tennis. as a relaxation and allow will they course of after work/ 'They will not allow them. Vivfcs sums up the situation the students. 'In all the above exercises [i.

Thus these champions of social discipline to all intents and purposes classified games among quasi criminal activities such as drunkenness and prostitution. which had to be forbidden at the slightest sign of This attitude of outright condemnation was modified in the course of the seventeenth century. an uninterrupted succession of decrees was published forbidding the admission of students to gaming-rooms. Yet the strictness of the regulations was never modified in the light of their inefScacy. but excess. like other boys. all enamoured of order and good administration. those pastimes which were . But it was the to assume a more Jesuit colleges which gradually induced the authorities tolerant attitude towards games. which is more concerned about efficacy than principle. made no bones about visiting taverns and brothels. playing dice and going dancing. police officers and jurists. in their anti-scholastic reaction. used to inspire so many brawls that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the police magistrates sometimes banned them completely. and for the masters of bowling and skittle alleys to allow students and servants to play at any time/ The reader will have noted the linking of servants with students: they were often of the same age and gave similar grounds for fearing their high spirits and lack of self-control. the authorities showing a stubbornness quite astonishing to the modern mind. Bowls and skittles. Brought under discipline in this way. however.88 THE IDEA OP CHILDHOOD sometimes the students secretly play cards and chess. Magistrates. The Fathers realized from the start that it was neither possible nor even desirable to suppress them or to make them dependent on occasional. to introduce them officially into their curricula and regulations. For centuries on end. which could be tolerated at a pinch. had already noted the educational possibilities of games. trying to extend to the whole of society the restrictions which the church- men wanted to impose on clerics and students. and the naughtiest boys play dice/ In fact the students. Jesuits. precarious and shameful permission. largely owing to the influence of the The humanists of the Renaissance. of which a copy intended for public display is kept in the Muse des Arts et Traditions Populaires: 'It is forbidden for the masters of tennis-courts and billiard-rooms to allow students and servants to play during school hours. witness this edict issued by the Lieutenant-General of Police of Moulins on March 2yth. They proposed to assimilate them. 1752. the little children 64 play garignons. on condition that they chose and controlled them. Decrees of this kind were still appearing in the eighteenth century. discipline and authority. nowadays quiet pastimes. gave their support to the schoolmasters and churchmen.

a game of tennis and a ball game.. the time too which saw the birth of modern nationalism. I essential for the human body to to be greatly agitated all consider Tissot's games affording exercise be preferable to others. . games found another justification.HISTORY OF GAMES AND PASTIMES .' An album of engravings by Crispin de Pas. it is we read: de Crousaz. taking their inspiration the old 'exercise as elaborated a Traitl de I* new technique of games' in the Jesuits' Latin treatises. by philosophy and mathematics at Lausanne.' At the close of the eighteenth century. . and were henceforth regarded as means of education no less respectable than study. despite the opposition of the authorities of the Company: 'The taste for dancing'. but so is games which it had hitherto forbidden or else tolerated as a lesser evil..89 deemed to be wholesome were accepted and recommended. by the shouts and calls of the players. Similarly play-acting. attitude had thus made its appearance: education had adopted us. a professor of 'While it is growing. Even ballet-dancing was allowed. The Jesuits published Latin treatises on gymnastics giving the rules of the recommended games. writes Pre de Dainville. because by harmonizing the movements of the body it 'a fine air'. this time patriotic they prepared a man for war. In the Education des enfants of 1722. eliminated awkwardness and gave a boy a good bearing. Not only was there no more talk of the immorality of dancing. who in 1669 was to found the Academic dela Danse. . the lungs is constantly stimuquite apart from the fact that the action of . but dancing was taught in school. 'so pronounced among the contemporaries of the Roi Soleil. which the seventeenth-century moralists Latin dialogues condemned out of hand. prevailed over the edicts of the Fathers General.' The doctors of the eighteenth century. shown to A new The class-rooms and the library are 66 a dancing lesson. they are happy provided they can change position. the gymnastics of the doctors. dated 1602. Fenelon wrote: 'The games which children like best are those in which die body is in motion. found its way into school.' Gymnastique midicale et chirurgicale recommends physical games as the best exercises: 'They exercise all the parts of the body at the same time . After 1650 there was scarcely a single 65 tragedy which did not have a ballet in the interval. then went on to French plays on profane subjects. A link was lated : established between the educational games of the Jesuits. This was the time when the training of a soldier became what was virtually a scientific technique. The Jesuits began with on sacred subjects. 67 bodily hygiene: physical culture. depicts scenes of school "life 'in a Batavian college*. The need for physical exercise was admitted to an ever greater extent. the training of the soldier and the demands of patriotism.

as we have seen. 69 At the end of the Middle Ages 'selling games' were very fashionable. Duvivier and Jauffret. ou Traitt tUmentaire desjeux d'exercices considMs sous le rapport de leur utilitf physique et morale. 'Dedicated in himself/ Thus. health and common weal. we have come from of the Middle games Ages to gymnastics and tussles to from popular gymnastic societies. our children are soldiers before they are born/ 'Everything military breathes something great and noble which raises a man above particularly suitable for the period the country in which we are writing'. had been the delight of high 68 Much earlier than that in society two hundred and fifty years before/ fact. But it was kept up too by adults or 'selling youths who had left childhood far behind. the In his history of classical literature Daniel Mornet wrote of parlour games: 'When the young people of the middle classes of generation [Mornet was born in 1878] played "parlour games" at the matintes my dansantes of their families. It then originated courtly passed into popular song and also into children's games: the game of crambo which. more numerous and complex than in their time. stated bluntly that military drill is Under 'the drill which has been the is basis of gymnastics from the beginning of time and which [the year XI] and advance to die common defence by the nature and spirit of our constitution. the doctors of the Enlightenment and the first nationalists. A nineteenth-century sheet of . amused Louis XIII at the age of three. under the successive influence of the humanist pedagogues. A parallel evolution divided up according to age and rank games which were originally common to the whole of society.Christine de Pisan thank for this of the rules of the description game wrote seventy epigrams for 70 games'. This procedure doubtless in manners. the violent and suspect military training. In the fifteenth-century book of hours of the Duchesse de Bourgogne we have an example of a 'paper game': a lady is sitting with a basket in her lap in which some young people are putting slips of paper. 'A lady would give a gentleman or a gentleman would give a lady the name of some flower or object.9O THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD the Consulate there appeared a Gymnastiaue de la Jeunesse. The authors. they rarely suspected that these games. and the other had to respond immediately and without a moment's hesitation with a compliment or a rhymed epigram/ It is the modern editor of Christine de Pisan's poetry whom we have to . This evolution was dictated by considerations of morality.

the sulker. popular people Sorel has to admit this. battledore and shuttlecock. Sorel's Maison desjeux enables us to study stage. In fact. pi that still shows the same games. even the more tolerant moralists such as Erasmus. while others would the ambiguous and far from innocent character which had retain previously earned them the condemnation of the moralists. The last two. begin children's games . and he cites as an example the 'rhymed dialogues'. and cannot be played by others.' Sorel finally observes that in the lower classes these children's games are also played by adults. Christine de Pisan's 'selling games'. spinning the top. and full of knowledge and judgment.. 72 Sorel makes a distinction between parlour games. the love-pot. which still amused grown-ups and children alike. and they were becoming either provincial or childish . which suggests that fashion was dropping them. Some would become children's games. the cradle of love.. the stool of repentance. as easy for the vulgar and die ignorant as for the clever and the learned'. the kiss under the chandelier. the whistle game.. This at least is Sorel's opinion: this is what he would like parlour games to be. and these are taken from some history or romance of olden days. ball. blind-man's buff.' Yet at the beginning of the seventeenth century Sorel has to admit that 'sometimes . 'To we shall consider the with. ignorant'. the little man who doesn't laugh. 'games of exercise' and 'games of chance'.. But 'there are others which depend rather more on the mind'. for instance) are usually couched in very old and very simple words. an observation of great interest and importance for us: 'As these are children's games.HISTORY OF GAMES AND PASTIMES 'tuppence-coloured' pictures title . ladders. at this time parlour games were also with children and of humble 'the vulgar and the birth. which shows how people amused themselves in the past by means of a naive imitation of what had happened to knights or to ladies of high ' ' : degree. bred on civility and gallantry. Sorel guesses at the origins of these games These children's games in which there are a few rhymed words (crambo. sweet the^knife knight. 71 this evolution at an interesting of the seventeenth century. he observes. they also serve for rustic persons whose minds are not more advanced than children's in this respect. in the water-jug. quick at repartee and speeches. are 'common to every sort of person. In principle 'they can appeal only to persons of quality. in the first half being played by valets as much as by masters . hide-and-seek. and 'trying to catch one another with one's eyes open or blindfolded'.hot cockles. Parlour games on the other hand are 'games of wit and conversation'. forfeits. There are some which are exercises' -hockey. but it bears the 'Games of old'.

Richelieu vaulted in his gallery like Tristan traditional these But tennis. those nothing public opinion common to all ages and conditions. before the final constitution of to all people. even of noble birth. 'are deemed respectable on account of the good use to which they have always been put'. games. Sorel's speaker is reluctant to ban them so completely: 'Even those which seem lowly can be elevated by giving them a different application from the first. and persons of quite high sees wrong in this: these 'mixed' games. Before that. games were played be dropped in their turn in the eighteenth century by people of quality. . which I have described so that intellectual level it can be used as a model. so that the very young can play them.' And he then tries to raise the of the parlour games played indoors. Truth to tell. dating back to the Middle Ages. whatever their rank.Ariste in persons also engage in them on occasion/ of children for instance consider these Sorel's Maison desjeux. certain games had been reserved for 73 was a common nobility and specifically for adults. certain games. Thus while wrestling to As sport. the tournament and the ring were knightly games. far back as the twelfth century. were allowed to take part in them: for what was perhaps the first time. here in fact we have further proof of the importance which games occupied in the preoccuof old.finds it hard to see in what and intelligent than crambo. Villeins were denied admission to tournaments. pastimes and villeins unworthy of a respectable man. and the company have to repeat the same gesture immediately . XIV Louis while Mark. The distinction was an old one. the modern reader. which Sorel respect mora is more elevated dismisses as fit only for children. in the next something which would no longer have been accepted the Middle Ages. and no children. at the court of King century. 'There are certain kinds of games in which the mind is not very active. Certain games common were games retained their universality for a long time: Franois I and Henri II did not and Henri II used to join in ball games regard wrestling as beneath them. pations of the society Thus in die seventeenth century a distinction was made between the games of adults and noblemen and the games of children and yokels. it applied only to few in number and distinctive in character: the courtly the idea of nobility. after studying Sorel's description of the game of mora in which the leader raises one. But in to the description from the twelfth century to be precise. two or three fingers. But he finds it even more surprising that a novelist and historian such as Sorel should devote a monumental work and revision of these pastimes.92 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD rank could play these games for recreation'. although it is true that aged and very serious But some people .

In the book by Pluvinel. running vaulting. This marked the beginning of the idea that noblemen should avoid villeins and taking their sport among them: an idea which did not succeed in imposing itself everywhere. except in knightly games. 'If there is anything which is too ugly and shameful for words. and in the classes in military training at the academies where. they concede that at a pinch a nobleman may play with peasants. At Montpellier in the 15505. when the nobility disappeared as a class with a social function mixing with and was replaced by the bourgeoisie. 75 The author writes of the quintain that it was something between 'the ferocious pleasure of breaking a lance with an adversary [the tournament] and the gende pastime of tilting the back. those present protest. so the medical student Felix Platter . it is die sight of a nobleman being defeated by a peasant. collective games. In the sixteenth and at the beginning of the seventeenth century. during the first half of the seventeenth century. on horse- wooden target. the principal of one of these academies. Other games took its place in the gatherings of young noblemen at court. There was the quintain: the player. Thus there are several noblemen who at festival-time dance all in century day the sun with the peasants. an engraving by Crispin de Pas shows Louis XIII as a child tilting at the quintain. which took the place of the living target of the old tournaments. we do not hold this opinion [that the courtier should play only with other noblemen].93 The result and at the same time villeins. especially in wrestling. and and I see no harm in this. In one of 74 the dialogues in The Courtier by Balthazar a sixteenthCastiglione. tilted at a ring'.' A few of wrestling. a great many iconographic documents bear witness to the mixing of the classes at the seasonal festivals. And there was the ring: the player had to unhook a ring as he rode past. and then in a different form inspired by the feudal concept of honour. and play with them at throwing the bar. with the children sitting astride of horses. in which one participant is^thought to be the future Charles V. the subject arouses various opinions: 'In our land of Lombardy. classic translated into every language. noblemen were given instruction in riding and the use of arms. . but only if he can 'win the day' with no obvious effort: he must be 'practically sure of winning'. to participate in was that the children amused themselves by : imitating the forbidden tournaments the calendar of the Grimani breviary shows us some grotesque barrels instead children's tournaments. a Turk's head. says Pallavicino.' The sporting spirit did not exist at that time. at least until the eighteenth century. At die end of the sixteenth century the tournament died out.HISTORY OF GAMES AND PASTIMES tradition forbade children.

makes frequent mention of ring-tilting contests at the Louvre and Saint-Germain. difficult quite big children on occasion. where you grounds sports can still shoot at Turks' heads and where the children. The one might imagine. held a white-and-gold hoop in the air as he danced. June yth the nobility played at tilting the ring the horses were richly caparisoned. to the sound of the them instruments/ Dances of this kind are villages in the By the end still to be found in the repertory of Basque country. Italians. not content with jumping through them as if they were The hoop was used for acrobatics. but nowadays you will not find them of upper-class districts but at the fair. of the seventeenth century it seems that in the towns the left to the children: an engraving by Marian shows us a had been hoop little child bowling his hoop as little children would during the whole of . or women.94 ' THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD tells us. dressed in white and covered with jewels. in his diary of Louis Kill's childhood. observes the quintain and the ring. It was wonderful to see passing backwards and forwards under those rings. They went into the inn where I followed them to see them from close to. seamen.' 78 Heroard. *In the evening they danced in the street the nobility took dance of the hoops. This is what remains of completely as on the the knightly tournaments of the Middle Ages: children's games and popular amusements. can still tilt at the ring. covered with cloths and decked with plumes of all colours. took the place of the tournaments and knightly games of the Middle Ages. wearing masks and dressed as pilgrims. In a sixteenth-century tapestry we can see adolescents playing with hoops. But then what happened to them? They did not disappear practice of tilting at the ring specialist Pluvinel. and old enough too. bending and straightening up and passing one another in time. In the late Middle Ages the hoop was not a children's monopoly. one of them is just about to start his 77 In a woodcut by Jean Leclerc dating from the late rolling with a stick. There is no lack of other examples of this evolution which gradually transfers the games of old into the repository of childish and popular games. 'The . peasants. Take the hoop for instance. on the wooden horses of the roundabouts. was familiar enough to young people. are It 78 playing with a skipping-rope. and escorted by musicians. sixteenth century there are some bowling figures their hoops along. Alsatians. who. as games reserved for the nobility. Spaniards. in which many youths and girls of the Each person part. On is engaged in every day'. groups of young men gathered together. to be used in traditional dances such as that at 1596 described for us by the Swiss student Felix Platter: Avignon in on Shrove Tuesday.



the nineteenth century and part of the twentieth. From being the plaything of all ages, and an accessory used in dancing and acrobatics, the

hoop would gradually be confined was finally abandoned altogether,

and smaller children until it illustrating once again the truth that, in order to retain the favour of children, a toy must have some connection with the world of adults. We saw at the beginning of this chapter that Louis XIII as a child was told stories, the stories of Melusine, fairy-stories. But these stories were
to smaller

grown-ups. 'Mme de Sevigne', observes M. E. Storer, the historian of the fashion for fairy-stories at the end of the seventeenth
also intended for
80 century, 'was brought up on fairy-tales.' Though amused by M. de Coulanges's witticisms about a certain Cuverdon, she did not respond to



might jump up at her face to punish her for her Here she was referring to a fable by the troubadour Gauthier de Coincy which had been handed down by tradition. On August 6th, 1677, we fi11^ Mme de Sevigne writing: 'Mme de was kind enough to tell us the stories with which the ladies Coulanges of Versailles are amused: this is known as coddling them. So she coddled us and told us about a green island on which a princess was brought up who was lovelier than the day. It was the fairies who breathed on her all the time This story went on for a good hour/ We know too that Colbert 'in his leisure moments had servants specially employed to tell him
'for fear that a toad
. . . . . .

81 very similar to fairy-tales'. However, in the second half of the century, people began to consider these stories too simple, while at the same time a new sort of interest was taken in them which tended to make a fashionable literary genre out of oral



of a naive,

traditional character. This taste

found expression

both in publications intended for children, at least in principle, such as Perrault's tales, and in more serious works meant for grown-ups, from which children and the lower orders were excluded. The evolution

of the

fairy-story recalls that

Mme de Murat speaking to

of the parlour game described above. This the modern fairies: 'The old fairies, your

now seem very frivolous creatures compared to you. Their menial and childish, and could amuse only servant-girls were occupations and nannies. Their only interest was in sweeping out the house, putting on the stew, doing the washing, rocking the children and sending them to the butter, and a thousand other sleep, milking the cows, churning That is why nothing remains to us today of trivialities of that kind
. . .

their activities



But you,


ladies [the

They were nothing but beggar-girls... modern fairies], have taken a new road. You busy



yourselves only with great things, of which the least important are to give wit to those who have none, beauty to the ugly, eloquence to the ignorant,

and wealth to the poor.'

But some authors continued to appreciate the flavour of the old stories, which they had listened to in the past, and sought rather to preserve it. Mile Lheritier introduces her stories in the following way: 'A hundred

my nanny or my love told me this story at night beside the fire;
. . .


doing adding a little embroidery. You may well think it that these tales, incredible though they are, should have been surprising handed down to us from century to century without anyone taking the


trouble to write

them down. They are not easy to believe, but as long as there are children in this world, mothers and grandmothers, they will be

People began to consolidate a tradition which had hitherto been oral: 'which had been told me when I was a child... have been on put paper by ingenious pens within the last few years'. Mile Lheritier
certain tales

thought that the sources were very old: Tradition tells me that the troubadours or story-tellers of Provence invented Finette a long time before Abelard or the famous Comte Thibaud de Champagne produced
their romances.'


Thus the



a literary genre approximating to

or else affecting an old-fashioned style, like Mile Lheritier's work: 'You must admit that the best stories we have are those
the philosophical

which imitate most closely the style and simplicity of our nannies.' At the end of the seventeenth century, while the story was becoming a new form of serious written literature, the oral recitation of stories was being abandoned by the very people for whom the fashion of the written story was intended. Colbert and Mme de Sevigne listened to the stories which were told them and nobody thought of stressing the fact as something out of the ordinary; it was a commonplace recreation like reading a detective story today. In 1771, however, this was no longer the case, and among adults in good society the old, half-forgotten stories of the oral tradition were sometimes the object of a curiosity of an archaeological or ethnological nature foreshadowing the modern interest in folklore and Mme du Deffand slang. We find the Duchesse de Choiseul writing to
are all that Choiseul 'is having fairy-stories read to him all day. find them just as probable as present-day history/ reading them now. This was as if one of our twentieth-century statesmen, after a political defeat, started reading Tintin or Mickey Mouse in his retirement. The Duchesse de Choiseul was tempted, and wrote two stories; she adopted



the tone of the philosophical

tale, if

we judge by

the beginning of





by Holbein








oc autres icux.


c crmiuequelquc place aflcz ncccc, beaux cftcufs ioucnc i la foflccce,

Oubienfouucnclc marrtioufctilsbaifcnr,
Etccpcndanctous lesaucrcs fe plaifcnc Auicudccroccjawlicudcfommcillcr.

Plus ilss'cu vonc fur




Prince enchante:


Sweet Margot, you who in my study sent me to sleep or woke me up with pretty fairy-tales, tell me some sublime story with which I can entertain the company." "No," said Margot, "nothing sublime. All that men need is fairy-stories."' According to another anecdote of the same period, a lady in a moment of boredom experienced the same curiosity as the Choiseuls. She rang for her maid and asked for the story of Pierre de Provence and the fair Maguelonne, which would be completely forgotten today but for Brahms's admirable Lieder. 'The astonished maid had to be asked three times over, and heard this strange order with obvious contempt; however, she had to obey; she went down to the kitchen and came back with the
pamphlet, blushing scarlet/


There were in fact certain publishers, especially at Troyes, who in the eighteenth century issued printed editions of fairy-stories for the rural public who had learnt to read and whom they reached by means of
hawkers: But these publications (known as the Bibliotheque Bleue or the 'blue tales' because they were printed on blue paper) owed nothing to the literary fashion of the late seventeenth century; they transcribed, as faithfully as the inevitable evolution of taste would permit, the old stories of
1784 publication of the Bibliotheque Bleue contains, well as the story of Pierre de Provence and the fair Maguelonne, the stories of Robert le Diable and the four Aymon sons, Perrault's tales and
the oral tradition.


those of Mile de la Force and

Mme d'Aulnay.

Apart from the books of the Bibliotheque Bleue, there were still occasional story-tellers to while away the long winter evenings, and also professional story-tellers, the heirs of the reciters, singers and jongleurs of old. In the paintings and engravings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the picturesque lithographs of the early nineteenth century,
the story-teller or charlatan is a popular subject. 82 The charlatan is shown perched on a platform, telling his story and pointing with a stick to the text written on a big board which a companion is holding up in the air so
that the audience can read while they listen. In some provincial towns the memorialist lower middle-class had sometimes kept this pastime alive.


us that at Troyes, towards the end of the eighteenth century, the men of the town would gather together, in winter in the taverns, in summer

'in the gardens


where, taking off their wigs, they would put on their litde This was called a cotter ie. 'Each cotterie had at least one storyon whom each person modelled his talent/ The memorialist recalls


one of the story-tellers, an old butcher. 'Two days I spent with him when was a child were given up to stories whose charm, effect and naivety D

facing above: below:

could scarcely be,

will not say rendered, but appreciated

by the present

generation/ Thus the old stories which everyone listened to in the time of Colbert de Sevigne were gradually abandoned, first by the nobility and and


then by the bourgeoisie, to the children and the country-dwellers. The latter in their turn abandoned them when the newspaper took the place of the Bibliotheque Bleue; the children then became their last public, but not for long, for children's reading is at present undergoing the same evolution as games and manners.

Tennis used to be one of the most


games; of all the physical

of the late Middle Ages tolerated games, was the one which the moralists with the least repugnance: it was the most popular game, common to all ranks of society, to kings and villeins alike, for several centuries. But towards the end of the seventeenth century there was a swift decline in the the nobility. In Paris in 1657 there were one popularity of tennis with hundred and fourteen tennis-courts; in 1700, in spite of the growth of the had fallen to ten; in the nineteenth century there population, their number were only two left, one in the Rue Mazarine and the other on the terrace 84 of the Tiiileries, where it was still to be found in ipoo. In the seventeenth the historian of games and pastimes, century, according to Jusserand,

XIV had shown



lack of enthusiasm for tennis.


the well-bred adult abandoned this game, the peasant and the child (even the well-bred child) remained faithful to it in different forms of rounders

or pelata or battledore and shuttlecock; in the Basque country until its revival in the improved forms of grand or little chistera.




shows us a

from the late seventeenth century engraving by Merian dating ball game that has brought together children and adults: the 86 But at that time the ball game, being blown up in the picture.

to experts on etiquette and good rough in nature, was already suspect manners. Thomas Elyot and Shakespeare warned noblemen against it. his son to play it. According to du Cange, James I of England forbade it: 'The chole, a kind of ball which each player kicks only peasants played hard and which is still used in a game played by the peasants in our



game played

in Brittany for example, as late as the nine-

teenth century: 'The lord of the manor would throw into the midst of the crowd a ball full of bran which the men from the different cantons When I was a child [the author would try to snatch from one another
. . .

was born in 1749] I saw a man break his leg jumping through a ventilator to get the ball. These games fostered physical strength and courage, but, as I have already said, they were dangerous/



Many other 'games of exercise* were to pass like this into the province of children and the lower classes. Mall, for instance, of which Mme de Sevign wrote in a letter of 1685 to her son-in-law: 'I have had two games of mall with the players [at Les Rochers]. Oh, my dear Count, I keep thinking of hit the ball. I wish you and the grace with which

you ted such

86 a fine alley at Grignan.' All these games of bowls, skittles and croquet, abandoned by the nobility and the bourgeoisie, were in the nineteenth to the for adults, to the relegated century


nursery for children.
children and the lower classes of games hitherto whole community is likewise responsible for the preservation of one of the most widespread types of amusement in former




to the

times: fancy dress.


the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, novels







boys disguised

as girls, princesses as

shepherdesses, and so on. Literature

reflected a taste

which found ex-

every opportunity provided by Twelfth Night, Shrove Tuesday, the November festivals. For a long time it was customary, especially among women, to wear a mask to go out. The well-born were fond of having their portraits painted in

pression at

the seasonal or occasional

their favourite fancy-dress costumes. After the eighteenth century, fancydress festivals became rarer and more discreet in good society; the


became a lower-class amusement and even crossed the seas to America. Today, with few exceptions, children are the only ones who put on masks at carnival time and dress up for fun.

In every case the same evolution takes place with repetitious monotony. At first the same games were common to all ages and all classes. The

phenomenon which needs to be emphasized is the abandonment of these games by the adults of the upper classes and their survival among both the
lower classes and the children of the upper classes. It is true that in England the upper classes have not abandoned the old games as they have in France, but they have completely transformed them, and it is in unrecognizable modern forms that the games have been adopted by the
middle-class sportsman. It is important to note that the old

community of games was destroyed one and the same time between children and adults, between lower class and middle class. This coincidence enables us to glimpse already a connection between the idea of childhood and the idea of class.



of the unwritten laws of contemporary morality, the and best respected of all, requires adults to avoid any reference, above all any humorous reference, to sexual matters in the presence of children. This notion was entirely foreign to the society of old. The modern reader of the diary in which Henri IV's physician, Heroard, recorded the details of the young Louis Kill's life is astonished by the liberties which people took with children, by the coarseness of the jokes they made, and by the indecency of gestures made in public which shocked nobody and which were regarded as perfectly natural. 1 No other document can give us a better idea of the non-existence of the modern idea of childhood at the beginning of the seventeenth


Louis XIII was not yet one year old: 'He laughed uproariously when nanny waggled his cock with her fingers.' An amusing trick which the

child soon copied. Calling a page, 'he shouted

"Hey, there!" and pulled


his robe,

showing him
kiss his



He was

one year old: 'In high
cock.' This

notes Heroard, 'he


amused them

considered his behaviour towards
his daughter,


Similarly everyone visitors, a certain de Bonieres and

highly amusing: 'He laughed at him, lifted up his robe and showed him his cock, but even more so to his daughter, for then,
it and giving his little laugh, he shook the whole of his body and down.' up They thought this so funny that the child took care to a repeat gesture which had been such a success; in the presence of a 'little lady', 'he lifted up his coat, and showed her his cock with such fervour that he was quite beside himself. He lay on his back to show it to her.' When he was just over a year old he was engaged to the Infanta of Spain; his attendants explained to him what this meant, and he understood them fairly well. 'They asked him: "Where is the Infanta's darling?" He put his hand on his cock.' During his first three years nobody showed any reluctance or saw any harm in jokingly touching the child's sexual parts. 'The Marquise [de Verneuil] often put her hand under his coat; he got his nanny to lay him on her bed where she played with him, putting her hand under his





de Verncuil wanted to play with him and took hold of he pushed her away, saying: "Let go, let go, go away." He would not allow the Marquise to touch his nipples, because his nanny had told him: "Monsieur, never let anybody touch your nipples, or
his nipples;


your cock, or they will cut it off." He remembered this.' Again: When he got up, he would not take his shirt and said "Not my shirt, I want to held out our hands, and he give you all some milk from my cock." We us all some milk, to give saying: "Pss, pss," and only then pretended


agreeing to take his shirt/ It was a common joke, repeated time and again, to say to him: "'Monsieur, you haven't got a cock/ Then 'he replied: "Hey, here it is!

were not limited laughing and lifting it up with one finger/ These jokes to the servants, or to brainless youths, or to women of easy virtue such as the King's mistress. The Queen, his mother, made the same sort of
said: "Son, joke: 'The Queen, touching his cock,


holding your


Even more



this passage:

'He was undressed and


and they were placed naked in bed with the and twittered and gave great amusement to the kissed where they King, him: asked The "Son, where is the Infanta's bundle?" He King King. showed it to him, saying: "There is no bone in it, Papa." Then, as it was he added: "There is now, there is sometimes/" slightly distended, The Court was amused, in fact, to see his first erections: 'Waking up at eight o'clock, he called Mile Bethouzay and said to her: "Zezai, my cock is like a drawbridge; see how it goes up and down." And he raised
[his sister],

and lowered it/ By the age of four, 'he was taken to the Queen's apartments, where Mme de Guise showed him the Queen's bed and said to him: "Monsieur, this is where you were made." He replied: "With Mamma?" 'He asked his nanny's husband: "What is that?" "That," came the reply, "is one of my silk stockings." "And those?" [after the manner of parlour-game "Those are my breeches." "What are they made of?"




that?" "That


don't know, Monsieur."




Who "Why, Madame Doundoun [his nanny]/"

a cod-piece." "What is inside?" "I is it for?" "I don't know, a cock.

'He stood between the

of Mme de Montglat


dignified, highly respectable

woman, who however
The King

governess, a very did not seem to be

was - by put out any more than Heroard

these jokes

which we


consider insufferable today].



de Montglat's son: she has just given birth." and stood between the Queen's legs/

He went


which he did His nanny asked him: "What have you seen of Mercier 's?" He replied calmly: "I have seen her arse. these tardy scruples of decency are to be attributed to the beginnings of a reformation of manners. people stopped talking about his sexual parts. When he was asked how children were born. and put on his robe and went to the Queen's bedchamber at where he was put to bed beside the Queen his wife. a sign of. however. according to what he about sleeping told us. who were sometimes married. . he was still put indignant and noted in the margin of his diary: insignis impudentia. 'after playing with Mile Mercier. Louis XIII had nothing more By to learn. Ventelet in And Mme de Montglat's bed between her and her husband. the and moral restoration which took in the seventeenth religious place was as if education was held to be of no value before the of manhood. . like Moli&re's Agns. M.' fists) After 1608 this kind ofjoke disappeared: he had become a little man the fateful of seven . toyed with her toes and the upper part of her legs. for it was at the age of fourteen years two months that he was century. next to his bed (his servants. he would reply. age age taught decency in language and behaviour. approach the time he was fourteen.' On another occasion.IO2 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD he was between five and six. scolded if. moreover. at a quarter past ten he returned after for an hour and performing twice. 'through the ear'. 'He played with her.and at this he had to be before. . Heroard waxed him when he 'showed his cock to the little when he awoke in the morning.' The marriage of a boy of fourteen was perhaps becoming something presence of the . He asked for his slippers eight o'clock. After the ceremony he 'retired and had supper in bed at a quarter to seven. Mile Mercier. Education scarcely began before the age of seven. one of his chambermaids who had stayed up late the night When was still in bed one morning. attaining Mme de Montgkt girl*. he called me [Heroard] and told me that Mercier had a private as big as that (showing me his two and that there was water inside. de Gramont and a few young lords told him some broad stories to encourage him. he arrived with his cock all red. It put almost by force into his wife's bed. while he started talking more about other people's. in the Queen his mother. and told his nanny to go and get some birch twigs so that he could beat her." "What else have you seen?" He replied calmly and without laughing that he had seen her private. The boy of ten was forced to behave with a modesty which nobody had thought of expecting of the boy of five. slept in his bedroom and do not appear to have allowed his presence to embarrass them).

Everything was permitted in their presence: coarse language. She begged him to break the spell by undoing the aiguillette. reason to believe that the moral climate was any different whether of nobles or commoners. There is an engraving of 1511 depicting a holy family: St Anne's behaviour the child's as if odd . The practice eighteenth-century and particularly nineteenth-century society in England and France. The psycho-analyst would be wrong. the physical contacts. the practice of associating children with the sexual ribaldries of adults formed part of contemporary manners. which disciplined great moral reformation. These widespread tradition. 103 of thirteen was still very common. There is no in other families. Thomas Platter. which is still operative have remained aloof not only from scientific progress but also from the later secular. at first Christian. writes: 'I once met a child who played this trick [knotting a girl's aiguillette when she married. It would be a mistake of playing with children's privy parts formed part of a in Moslem circles. the historian of the Society of Jesus and of humanist pedagogics. varies according to environment. Albert Memmi. they had heard everything and seen everything. This was not the case at the beginning of the seventeenth century.she is strikes us as extremely pushing thighs apart she wanted to get at its privy parts and tickle them. The marriage of a girl .' Pre de Dainville. and his book is a curious . about which it is easy to imagine what a modern psycho-analyst would say. 3 to see this as a piece of ribaldry.'* This lack of reserve with regard to children surprises us: we raise our eyebrows at the outspoken talk but even more at the bold gestures. recovering his potency. was immediately cured. He agreed and the bridegroom. Thus in Moslem society we find features which strike us as peculiar but which the worthy Heroard would not have found so from a novel entitled The Statue of Salt. and doubtless sex itself. Nowadays the physical contacts described by Heroard would strike us as bordering on sexual perversion and nobody would dare to indulge in them publicly. in his memoirs of life as a medical student at the end of the sixteenth century. scabrous actions and situations. and consequently according to period and mentality. In Pascal's family. Witness this passage The author is a Tunisian Jew. Jacqueline Pascal at die age of twelve was writing a poem about the Queen's pregnancy. so that her husband became impotent] on his parents' maidservant.PROM IMMODEST? TO INNOCENCE of a rare occurrence. also writes: 'The respect due to children was then [in the sixteenth century] completely unknown. surprising. The attitude to sex.

attributed to die child by the educated Memmi who is aware of recent discoveries as to early sexual awakening in children. got your tongue?" grocer "No. on my left a Djerban to market. The father. The father roared with laughter. provoked by other people. "I'll ten francs for it.. "he hasn't been circumcised yet." as I can: a thousand francs!" expression of greediness. "Two and a half. shouted.. revulsion and inquisitive complicity. "Has the cat the asked the child.' . grateful and flattered. "How old are you?*' the grocer asked the child. on his The child face. in former times people believed that before puberty children had no sexual feelings] monstrous provocation. "You still say no?" he repeated. but he will be soon. the your Djerban went on. reassured him and smiled at the Djerban." talk "Ah!" said the grocer. I had taken part in it in my time. a tiny little boy with a miniature tarboosh and henna grocer on his way hands. and the same offer had already been made to him. I too [the Jewish child] was familiar with this scene. He smiled at the child. "Come now. He looked at his it was a permissible game [our italics]." replied the father. "And I'll throw in a bag of sweets as well! "No!" "I'll go as "No!" The Djerban assumed an " say no? That's your last word?" the Djerban to be angry. Our watched the traditional scene with complaisant neighbours approval." said the Djerban. with the same feelings of shame and desire.104 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD document on people who traditional Tunisian society and the mentality of the young are semi-Westernized. He obviously knew what the grocer meant. He about to the child. affected by the warmth and peace inside the tram. " sell me little. pretending "No!" Thereupon the grown-up threw himself upon the child. The Djerban. The hero of the novel is describing a scene in the tram taking 'In front him to school in Tunis: of me were a Moslem and his son. his hand tried to fight him brutally rummaging inside off with his fists. stirred in his seat." said the "No. while our neighbours smiled broadly. "No! No!" high give you fifty francs for it. who smiled back with his eyes and looked at his father. a terrible expression "No! No!" "You still the child's fly. and also revulsion at this father. The child's eyes shone with the pleasure of incipient virility [a modern feeling. His father smiled: "I'll give you child. with a basket between his legs and a his on pencil behind his ear." replied the father. "Will you sell me had found something to your little animal?" "No!" said the child angrily. the Djerban was convulsed with amuse- ment.

and the themes (the child being breast-fed. de Sevign^'s latest editor anachronisms. which painting parish church . a little way away. and the Circumcision were treated in the sixteenth and seven- Temple teenth centuries as festivals of childhood: the only religious festivals of childhood before the solemn celebration of the First Communion. his magistrates by A Mass High Court of Toulouse. such as the explanation by We Mme was involved was about the racy that the baroque excesses of her mother love were a game whose scabrous nature due to incest. 4 in church pictures. the man house is open. on to the warming himself by the fire. a child was holding up his robe and urinating. explains the child as from the fifteenth popularity of the theme of the urinating The theme is treated in the illustrations of books of hours and century. held the doorposts. All that we should beware of it scabrous about exaggerating: there was nothing more stories men tell each other nowadays. when they heard in the chapel in their Palace of Justice. This scene is depicted in almost in the It seems in fact that the Presentation of the Virgin surgical detail. Pietersz. In the of Saint-Nicolas we can see an early seventeenth-century comes from the Abbey of Saint-Martin-des-Champs. the door of one and the woman of the house can be seen spinning. are clear signs John Baptist. the of own There were children in the crowd. It is noteworthy too that at this time one scene of religious iconography recurs frequently: the Circumcision. dating from the early sixteenth century. the child is in full view. 6 doubtless intended for a church. could have had their attention distracted by a similar scene. which strikes us as corrupt or naive. a winter month is represented by the snow-covered village. A Flemish 'Ecce homo' by P. They had before them a great triptych depicting the story 7 On the centre volet the Baptist was shown preaching. a woman was suckling her child. than there is This semi-innocence. there was a boy up a tree. shows quite a few children in the crowd of onlookers: one mother is crowd so that he can have a holding her child above the heads of the better view. IO5 This twentieth-century scene surely enables us to understand better the should avoid seventeenth century before the moral reformation. Some child can be seen urinating.FROM IMMODESTY TO INNOCENCE . facing the magistrates. The frequency with which one finds children in crowd scenes. quick-witted boys are shinning up of the The mother. urinating) of a new and special interest. In the calendars in the Hennessy book of hours and 5 the Grimani breviary. the child repetition of certain in the fifteenth and especially the sixteenth century. urinating snow in front of the door.

IO6 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD The scene of the Circumcision is surrounded by a crowd of children. showing himself to be an excellent observer. reveal a novel attitude: this attitude can be have already noted in iconography and compared dress as showing a new interest in childhood. but not for a present-day Moslem or for a man of the sixteenth or early seventeenth century. yet exist that references to sexual matters. This study of the sexual manners of childhood. for his period. about the choice of the Circumcision as a festival of childhood. they became purely gratuitous and lost their sexual significance. some of them with their parents. but gestures and physical contacts were freely and publicly allowed which were forbidden as soon reached the age of puberty. century. surely. the idea did not as the child adult. a period when it was strong enough to bring about a change in the traditional discipline of the schools. innovators who found little support for their ideas. on the male sexual organ. and the importance which he attributed to them by devoting a treatise to Such at least moralists them. Thus gestures and allusions had no meaning for him. Shocking for us. of childhood and its sexual practices. This current of ideas can be traced back to the iiffceenth. He knows that masturbation and erection without ejaculation are general practices: to the indications we . to help the latter to arouse a feeling of guilt in the hearts of their little penitents (between ten and twelve years of age). admittedly of a religious nature. 8 Qerson was then its principal representative. He expressed his ideas on the question with great clarity. others climbing the pillars to get a better view. Their retrospective importance is due to the fact that in the long run they managed to win acceptance for their ideas . De 9 confessione mollicei.which are ours too. Gerson studies the sexual behaviour of children for the benefit of confessors. when opinion people had of it: nobody thought that this innocence really existed. could soil childish virtually devoid of either in fact or in the innocence. depicted in the midst of children. Secondly. For us. was the general opinion: it was no longer that of the and pedagogues. In the first place the child under the age of puberty was believed to be unaware of or indifferent to sex. or in other words was practically There were two reasons for this. or at least of the better ones. Not only were children associated with an operation. even dubious meanings. perhaps. there is something strange. almost shocking.

but also by changing the way in which children are brought up. even of puellae> juvenes should the same sex. The child. the originality of which is obvious we of what has been said above. which regards masturbation as an inevitable stage of premature sexuality. 'even is questioned and denies all experience of masturbation then For Gerson. people that it 'would be a good thing' to separate children at night . at the same age. IO7 someone is he lying. Louis XIII.but he . What is more. and warns his readersf to beware 'a people to touch each other prava et societaliatibus perversis ubi colloquia 9 . or look at each other figerent oculi in eorum decore. and if he instance in confession (this demand needs to be emphasized. even his son. One should speak decently to them.FROM IMMODESTY TO INNOCENCE if . has taken away the child's virginity even more than if the child. using only One should see that when playing together they do each other. Thepeccaturn mollicei. not kiss : promiscuity between children and adults. if. by behaving differently towards them. according to Gerson. danger? How is childhood to be safe- guarded against this By the confessor's advice. saw no harm in caresses). does not feel any sense of guilt to ' begin with: sicut Sentiunt it is ibi quemdam pruritum incognitum ibi et se is turn stat erectio and they think that permissible that se fricent pruritus inest* This in aliis locis dum corruption: ex conuptione naturae. because of the child's age. not sleep in the same bed as older people. touch each other with their bare hands. it borders on sodomy. who sees it as the result of the scholastic confinement of the boarding-school. We have seen that at the it still existed at the frolics end of the sixteenth century.he recalls the case cited by St Jerome of a boy of nine who begot a child . it has not been accompanied by pollution .. than are the sarcastic remarks of the novelist Sorel. gestus impudid fiunt in lecto absque dormitione Gerson returns to the topic in a sermon against lechery for the fourth Sunday of Advent: the child must prevent others from touching him or has failed to do so. Later on. but knowledge of in the light are already quite close to an objective the child's behaviour. this is a very serious matter. One should guard against any chaste expressions. We palpent a consequence of original are still a long way from the idea et se tractent of childish innocence. had gone with a woman'.. justified Gerson's prudence of nearly two hundred years before. cohabitation in the same bed was a widespread practice then in all classes of society. Gerson forbids in nudo. he must report this in every kissing him. he suggests generally speaking. because. at least in bed: pueri capaces dolt. Gerson's judgment is closer to modern teaching. French court: Henri IV's with brought to his bed together with his sister.

of Christian Doctrine. We shall see later what it was like and how much time of moral to obtain strict discipline. Latin vocabulary. Qerson was far ahead his time. life in the school was that not be must it new all is This imagined quite : really and effort like this. in fact. These dialogues are excellent documents on school life. In Viv&s's dialogues we find . for ideal all that they took care not to overstep certain bounds. missing the Hours. are not allowed either by day or night. No child may change beds during the night: he must stay with the comvel sodetates ad partem extra alias panion he has been given. Every care is taken. which had not been formulated with such and which was to become the ideal of the Jesuits. for it was a the children of a family together when they 10 were not sleeping with a valet. the etiquette involved several schoolboys or a schoolboy and a master. His regulations are interesting for the of the institutions was needed which they reveal. and of all the moralists Royal. in bed. the capellani 9 the church staff a certain absence of trust here] they must not speak to the [there is children except when the Masters are present/ Children not on the foundation are not to be allowed to mix with the schoolboys. the treatises on reading. lying.instead of Latin . to make the lesson more lifelike. of Portclarity before. dawdling A night-light must be kept burning in the dormitory: 'as much out of devotion to the image of Our Lady as for the natural functions. of the Brothers of the seventeenth century. The demeanours include speaking gallicum . a maidservant or relatives. cursing. conversations and the which. to keep them under the constant to put general practice master: this supervision of the shall is the spirit of the new discipline which we singing master must not teach cantilenas dissolutas impudicasque. not excepting the clerks. In the regulations which he drew up for the school of Notre-Dame-deParis he tries to isolate the children. Conventicula. and the boys must report any of their classmates who is guilty of misbehaviour or immodesty (punishable mis- 11 study in a later chapter. and so that they perform in the light the only acts which can and must be seen*. and strict pedagogues In the sixteenth century the pedagogues were more easygoing. even to : of the Superior). from which they learnt and finally etiquette. and chattering in church). for We know this from books written schoolboys. to avoid friendships and dangerous company. writing. especially that of the special servants: 'The servants must be forbidden to engage in any familiarity with the children.IO8 THE IDEA OP CHILDHOOD more than all 'it does not dare to say would be a good thing'. 'so study with them (except by special permission the habits from bad contract do not children that our example of others '.swearing.

Finally one boy . even in Vives. are to be found in these dialogues. 17 Protestant schools used Cordier's conversations (1564). place of the conversations a desire to avoid any word or new a reveal decorum. However. for he was a classic. in France and to give children Terence to England.'schoolboy paper'. Mosellanus. and the other part because of lechery and dishonour/ 12 The coarsest jokes. Broad talk was so natural that even later on the strictest reformers would introduce into their sermons to children and students comparisons which would seem shocking today. Until then nobody had hesitated read.FROM IMMODESTY TO INNOCENCE I0p - certain passages which would not have been to Gerson's taste but which were traditional: 'Which is the more shameful part: the part in front [note the discreet euphemism] or the hole in the arse?' 'Both parts are extremely improper. which may be as marking the Beginning of respect for childhood. refused to allow children to be given indecent books any longer. published in 1592 and reprinted in 1674 Brinsley recommends it in his schoolmaster's manual. as well as topics of anything but educational value. 'blotting paper' - in a parlour game. The idea originated of providing expurgated editions of the classics for regarded the use of children. expression that is of Erasmus. however. 15 In England the schools used an expurgated edition by Cornelius Schonaeus. 16 The French which took the etc. The most which might allowed is a joke about the uses of paper . They be considered offensive or indecent. whose ideas were to carry weight and who would succeed in imposing their concepts and scruples on others. tanquam praegnantes mulierculae^ But towards the end of the sixteenth century a much more obvious change took place: certain pedagogues. There far less respectable places than the modern public a lengthy argument about which inn sells the best beer. but that he does not want to give it because it is dirty and unpleasant. This was a very important stage. for it is unseemly for a of good character to ask about such unpleasant things! This is quite remarkable for the time. 'envelope paper'. do not press the matter. In Charles Hoole's English dialogues 13 we have a number of quarrels: one takes place in a tavern . Why?' 'The master has said that he at that time were is knows child the reason. The Jesuits removed him from their curriculum. Vives. Thus in 1653 we find the Jesuit Father Lebrun exhorting the 'noble boarders of Clermont College' to avoid gluttony: 'They are fastidious about their food. This attitude was to be found among T?oth Catholics and Protestants.and taverns house. a certain modesty is observed: 'The third finger is called the shameful one. the behind because of its unpleasantness.

the golden age of human life. the Jesuit colleges introduced new precautions. were not to be removed. On Temperance. but of a great movement which manifested itself on all sides. concept had won acceptance: that of the innocence of/ childhood. A hundred years later. It was laid down that the breeches of the victims. Heaven is full of anger for whosoever 22 scandalizes them. but not more: non amplius. 'in great danger of shipwreck. An Port-Royal in its turn produced a heavily expurgated edition of Terence: Comedies of Terence made very decent while changing very little. It was no longer a case of a few isolated Mme moralists like Gerson. Just enough of the skin was to be exposed as was necessary to inflict die punishment. adolescentum. 'whatever the boy's rank or age*. It was already to be found in Montaigne. bring the idea of the innocence engraving by of childhood had become a commonplace. In any case. Castellion. Witness the caption to an F. regarding the administration of corporal punishment. not only in a rich moral and pedagogic literature but also in devotional practices and a new religious iconography. so that in their association in danger his innocence would serve him as a surety and a recommendation to obtain God's favour and him 21 safely to land'.' 2* But he also tells an anecdote which reveals a different attitude: Albuquerque. for all that he had few illusions about the chastity of young students: A hundred schoolboys have catight the pox before getting to Aristotle's lesson. the age when one can forgive anything. Cordier really could be 'put into anybody's hands'. the age which life is easy and death holds no terrors. the age are open. duly recorded in the regulations. when nothing can cause distress. to which we must all return in order to enjoy the happiness to come which is our hope on earth. Let tender and gentle respect be shown to these young plants of the Church. 19 * great change in manners took place in the course of the seventeenth The least of the liberties at the court of Henri IV century. the age when to which the heavens . Gurard showing children's toys (dolls and drums): 'This is the age of innocence. legitimate illegitimate.110 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD guesses the answer: 'paper used for wiping your innocent concession to the traditional jokes. took a young boy on his essential 4 An shoulders. any in the homes of the free-thinkers. gives up but the other bottom in the privy*. permitted A would not have been allowed by de Maintenon with the King's or more than they would have been children.' defies Hell. his in were used with some dialogues conjunction religious dialogues by a certain S. the age when hatred is unknown. As for modesty of behaviour.

and in speaking of the education of those 'whom he has depicted in their finished condition .. and in his works we pleasure find treatises intended for them as well as others for the greatest He cites St Louis. The interest in education. learning as and all the exercises of Chatauniers. in 'the institution of childhood'. 'Cardinal Bellarmin wrote a catechism for children. Plutarch and Erasmus. 28 de M. bad good company. Grenaille by the art of instructing the nobility in suitable to its rank'. The author knows that he is not the only writer on the subject and apologizes in his foreword: 'I do not believe that I am encroaching on M. but there is something else. I deal first with his birth and then with his education. it was something new.' Richelieu. I do not believe that any of His subjects has the right to repulse them. whom one hardly expected to find in such ally pedants. books on good manners.. de Grenaille feels called upon to defend himself against those who see the education * a book.' Treatises on etiquette were already in print which were simply manuals of savoir-vivre. showed concern about teachers. by means of an abundant examine. 'It is said that an angel in the a child enlightened St Augustine. in the early seventeenth century a pedagogic of parents and teachers came into being. has a special seriousness for a Christian. and they continued to enjoy widespread favour until the early nineteenth century. In addition to these etiquette books which were meant literature for the use for children.' The comparison of angels with children was to imitating become a theologians. Although it referred to Quintilian.shall be neither impious nor superstitious. described virtue. So new that M. is worthy of note. who wrote a directive for his son. 'that instruction to the smallest as well as great prince of the Church. I instruct him in both religion and the proprieties. seeing that in doing so they are simply the angels.FROM IMMODESTY TO INNOCENCE What a long III way we have come literature. especi- . but on the other hand he took of shape in communicating his wisdom to children. to reach this point! It can be traced a few works of which we shall now ' L'Honneste gargon. . Montaigne too. Since the Lord is little innocents to Him. and so on. nor that men should show reluctance to educate them... Here I lead the Boy from early infancy as far as youth. I polish his mind and his manners at the same time. so that he . The author had already written L'Honneste filk. . Faret's province 24 in dealing with a subject on which he has only touched. and published is a good example. There and the subject of Lords summons of youth as a practical matter and not a subject for Quintilian. gave counsel to the greatest'.' common theme of edification.

together with child'. For the author of L* Honneste gar$on. 'I can show too that in our own days the Faith has had its child martyrs as in past ages. This stress laid on the contemptible side of childhood may have been a consequence of the classical spirit and its M. but it was above all a reaction against the importance which the child had assumed in the family and the idea of the family. Hitherto they had tended to ignore childhood. And those French boys whose praises Nauclerus has sung. drawn from French medieval history: 'I must not forget the courage of children'. he points out. On the other hand who there are the holy children: the Holy Innocents. and when childhood was already beginning to remind adults of their schooldays. the antipathy to children shown by solemn or peevish spirits is evidence of the importance. In reality. 'her A woman little age of twelve. on reason. at a time when the colleges were becoming more numerous and better attended. We know that the children in the medieval verse-chronicles and . was sometimes interpreted as a token of the humiliation accepted by Christ in adopting not only the human condition but the state of childhood: thereby putting himself on a lower level than the first Adam. which was insistence attributed to childhood.112 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD de Grenaille continues: 'It must not be imagined that when one one is childhood of of always speaking something weak. With it went the contempt which that society of men of the open air and men of the world felt for the professor. in their eyes the excessive importance. the 'pedant'. This. showed greater courage than grown men/ died at the same stake as Dom Carlo Spinola. and the little Jew of St Gregory of tried to Tours whose father burn him in an oven because he had turned Christian. The history of Japan tells of a little Louis at the who. as a transitional period soon finished with and of no importance. That feeling of irritation with childishness thus arose which is the modern reverse of the idea of childhood. going consider contemptible is positively illustrious/ It was in fact at this time that people did talk of the weakness and imbecility of childhood. which shows that 'God draws his praises from the mouths of the author piles up the examples afforded by the holy children of the two Testaments. according to St Bernard. and who took the cross to the number of twenty thousand in the time of Pope Innocent III to go and deliver Jerusalem from the hands of the infidels/ The children's crusade. the child martyrs refused to worship the idols. adding a further example. childhood is illustrious on account of Christ's childhood. the college regent. on the speaks here that a I am to show condition which certain people contrary.

'Read in the romances of chivalry what the Rinaldos. exemplified of all by Saint-Cyran. However disagreeable and humiliating people of merit for it who never might find it. The explanation is of immodesty and sensuality in a child embarrasses Grenaille. as more old-fashioned than Gerson. de Grenaille called its 'illustrious nature'. would not allow children to be prevented from coming to Him. the wife of the Emperor Conrad. to all the rest?' 'Who favours older people more than children? those other knights are said to have done: legend does not attribute grants that little Achilles/ 'After that. in order to do honour to the innocence in them and the Holy Ghost which inhabits them/ 26 M. familiar with psycho-analysis. as being an argument used by those who consider childhood to be 'silly' and 'corrupt'. de new attitude was to be found again at Port-Royal. in Grenaille's eyes. and as he was aware of the importance of die care and education of youth. can anyone deny that the first is indeed age comparable. the true reflection of divine purity.PROM IMMODESTY TO INNOCENCE M. who commanded us not to despise or neglect them. His Jansenist biographers all tell us of the lofty idea he had of childhood and of the respect due to children: 'He admired the Son of God. and who finally spoke of them in terms so favourable and so astonishing that they are capable of dumbfounding those who scandalize the little ones. and which pkced education kissed . that the very idea M. de Saint-Cyran always showed children a kindness which amounted to a sort of respect. would dare to say that God He favours them on account of their innocence. but which associated its weakness with its innocence. de 113 romances of chivalry behaved like true knights. who This first and blessed them. de Saint-Cyran was 'very enlightened' and 'far from approving these worldly maxims [contempt for pedagogues]. affording proof. Accordingly M. in the most august functions of His ministry. and in this respect the worthy nobleman of 1642 strikes the modern reader. he none the less employed persons to felt that they had any right complain/ The result was the formation of that moral concept which insisted on the weakness of childhood rather than on what M. the Tancreds and all more to them in a single fight than true History often preferable. he regarded it in a totally different light. He cites the case of a child who himself the of the appointed champion Empress. of the and courage good sense of children. which comes close to impeccability/ They have neither passions nor vices: 'Their lives seem to be most reasonable at a time when they seem least capable of using their reason/ there is Obviously no mention here of the peccatum mollicei. against 'a famous gladiator'. who.

all the apertures of the "cage must be closed . colleges.' Beyond the child one will lord'.' This is not a case of isolated observations but of a real doctrine children others is so important that when generally accepted by Jesuits as by Oratorians or Jansenists which partly accounts for the profusion of educational institutions. which is nothing but weakness and infirmity of either This concept dominates late what Coustel wrote in his rules body or mind. 'As far as possible. then be able to see 'the good magistrate'.114 in the front rank THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD of man's obligations. seventeenth-century literature.. in the regulations for the little boarders of Port-Royal. according to Varet. it cannot be denied that there is no apparent reason for holding it in high esteem. little schools and special establishments. 'the good priest'.. In the . children Royal had become increasingly familiar with child psychology. and against the reverse of this last feeling. A few bars will beleft open to allow the child to live and to enjoy good health. are the dwelling-place of Jesus Christ. but it was never really put into practice until the seventeenth century. by which time the logic of it was obvious to the public at large and not simply to a handful of monks and 'pedants'. few general principles that A commonplaces must never be left alone. to our 28 personal pleasures. this is what is done with nightingales to make them sing and with parrots to teach them to talk. 'the education of children is one of the most important things in the world. 'the great But above all it must be remembered that children's souls. the contempt of the man of reason.' 29 This was done with a certain subtlety. writes: 'Looking after them on we are bound to prefer that duty to all obedience imposes it on us. For example. But one changes one's opinion if one looks into the future and acts in the light of Faith. against an excessively affectionate and selfish attitude which turned the child into a plaything for adults and encouraged his caprices.' That is why. and the evolution of school life in the direction of stricter discipline. This is for the education of children on the need to love children and to overcome the repugnance which they arouse in thinking men: 26 'If one considers the child's exterior.' 27 And Jacqueline Pascal. still possessed of their baptismal innocence. for both the Jesuit colleges and the schools at Port- cited as in the literature were deduced from this doctrine were of the time. even if these are of a spiritual nature. and what is more. 'God sets us an example by commanding Angels to accompany all their errands. This principle dated back to the fifteenth century and originated in monastic experience. It reacted at one and the same time against indifference towards childhood. without ever leaving them.

they laugh when when they ought to cry. and must writing: 'A close watch must be never be left and that it is only to enjoy their company that one is with them. It is cruelty to allow them to go on living in this will be corrected. which for a long time load a bad reputation. that modesty college]. but letter it was carried out to the at Port-Royal and in some private boarding-schools. in the schools writes: 'As soon as the young people set foot in that sort of place [the lose that innocence. The to was avoid the object promiscuity of the colleges. The way. For the clearly at this age. that simplicity. this was very important. whether they are ill or in good health/ But 'this constant supervision should be exercised gently and with a certain trustfulness calculated to make them think that one loves then$> regulations for the children at Port-Royal we have Jacqueline Pascal on the children. they rapidly which hitherto made them so pleasing to God and to men. though not as long in France . At Port-Royal: 'As soon as they retired for the night the girls' beds are faithfully inspected to see if . This makes them love this supervision rather than fear it/ 30 This principle was absolutely universal. they cry they ought to be silent.as in England. and against the opinion that they were too small to make it worth-while finding fault with them. an idea The second which Erasmus had already put forward. It was held that the ought to get to know people and converse with them from an early age. in other words it affected only a small number of very rich children.thanks to the Jesuits . Courtin's manual of etiquette of 1671 explains at some length: 'These little people are allowed to amuse themselves without anyone troubling to see whether they are behaving well or badly. It was better 'to put five or six children with a good man or two in a child private house'. even more necessary than Latin.FROM IMMODESTY JO INNOCENCE 115 kept they alone anywhere.' 81 There was a general reluctance to entrust a child to a single tutor: the extreme sociability of manners was opposed to this solution. principle was that children must not be pampered and to strict discipline early in life: 'Do not tell me that and that one must be patient with them. nothing is forbidden them. Coustel only in the Jesuit boarding-schools.' This must be accustomed effects they are only children of concupiscence appear only too was a reaction against the 'coddling' of children under eight. they are permitted to do as they please. they talk and they are mute when good manners them to reply. parents say that when they are bigger they Would it not be better to deal with them in such a way that there was require 82 nothing to correct?' The have third principle was modesty. when they ought to laugh.

Bhd it. this being utterly It is even less permissible for persons contrary to prudence and decency. The same try to eradicate the age-old advice was repeated all the way through the seventeenth century. balls. which was married first one is [this Above all. given examples full of unseemly 34 We are a from the outspoken talk of the here long way expressions/ the even amused which child Louis XIII.. unless published in 1713 is a reservation which nobody would dream of : * intended for children. passions' St Jean-Baptiste 'It is de La Salle maintained this mistrust of entertainments: 37 puppet-show [than a must theatrical performance]/ 'A respectable person regard entertainand ments of this sort with nothing but contempt parents must never allow their children to attend them/ P&ys. and adults too and theatre-going novel-reading. an important and necessary precaution in a was so popular: 'Take particular care to prevent society where music 85 But the old songs were not from learning modern songs/ your children known everywhere and are which the 'Of rated any more highly: songs to talk. nor those of the most innocent and pious persons/ These songs were described as expressing 'dissolute 86 and as being 'full of indecent expressions'. recommended 'Parents to Mme de Chantal with regard to children. . dancing A close check was distractions. one must not.. go to bed in the presence of a person of the opposite sex.' And: must teach their children to conceal their bodies from one another when going to bed/ * on decency was to be found again in the matter of Teach them to read books in which purity conversation: and reading are combined/ 'When they and wholesome of language subject-matter be to them allow do not start writing. in these were 'advised The insistence against indulging recommended on songs.Il6 1 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD and also to see if they are properly they are lying with fitting modesty. . even in the case of very young of the same sex to sleep children. dances. there are start as as soon to children which are taught they and calumnies. of different sexes to sleep in the same bed. Naturally were banned. slanders horrible most of the full are not scarcely any which sacred the neither which satires persons of and which are not biting spare the sovereigns nor those of the magistrates. and the 'more no more seemly for a Christian to attend a . for it is not fitting for even persons These are two things which St Francis of Sales especially together. covered up in winter/ 38 A real propaganda campaign was launched to habit of sleeping several to a bed. in La Civilite chrttienne by St Jean-Baptiste de La We Salle. for instance. but at that introducing nowadays into a book time books intended for children were not read only by children]. worthy Heroard. .

with its insistence on 'modesty': a warning not to leave children in the company of servants. amusement and vanity/ 38 permitted. but it was no longer tolerated in enlightened circles. In the life. games which had been integrated in the educational system. in the eighteenth century.' 'People take liberties with a man! z * This last sentence in discussing clearly refers to the mentality which we have analysed above the court of Henri IV and the scene between the Moslem boy and the child which they would not risk with a young in the lower Djerban in Tunis in the twentieth century. and especially with lackeys [' servants' had a wider significance then than it has now. we have the future Cardinal de Bernis recalling his childhood -he was born in 1715: 'Nothing is more dangerous for the morals and perhaps also for the health than to leave children too long in the care of the servants. that is to say. It still existed classes.' A 1671 manual of etiquette recognizes that good manners call for the vous form. The fourth principle was simply another application of this insistence on decency and 'modesty': the old familiarity must be abandoned and its place taken by everyday tu form.FROM IMMODESTY TO INNOCENCE llj ordinary entertainments' provided by jugglers. Another recommendation recurs frequently in this pedagogic literature. The stress laid by the moralists on die need to separate children from the varied world of 'the servants' shows how well aware they were of the dangers of children and servants (the servants presented by this promiscuity themselves were often very young). unless it is to a little child and you are much older and it is customary for even the most polite and well-bred . mountebanks and tightrope walkers' were forbidden. and included what we would call companions]. * Again. This is a recommendation which went against an Leave them as little as possible with absolutely universal practice: servants. nor were they ever known to make the slightest remark which they might have considered likely to offend certain of their 40 companions. These persons. Only educational games. in order to insinuate themselves into children's good graces. even in great moderation of This policy took the form of war on the use of the familiar little Jansenist college of Le Chesnay: 'They had been so accustomed to treat each other with respect that they never used the tu form of address. manners and language. and one must not say tu to anybody. usually tell them nothing but nonsense and fill them with a love of gambling. but it has to make some concessions to the old French usage this it does with a certain embarrassment: 'One normally says vous. were all other games were and remained suspect.

And Colonel Gerard himself could use the vous form without feeling ridiculous.. could actually say vous to one another. the campaign for greater seriousness would triumph only in the nineteenth century. It should be added that this state of mind is beginning to disappear from the French town: it remains only in the country. when they are conversing together. it is customary in certain places for them 41 to say tu and toi. An American professor of French.Il8 THE IDEA OP CHILDHOOD persons to speak thus. in spite of die contrary evolution of child welfare and more L. are the final result of the campaign launched at the end of the sixteenth century by monks and moralists. on the contrary. who spent his sabbatical was astonished by year 1950-1 in a village in the south of the seriousness with which the masters at the primary school treated their children. realistic pedagogics. and the parents. masters with their and others in similar positions of authority. St Jeantu form of address: 'They must speak to the children with reserve. France. who were peasants. which would be showing too much familiarity/ It is certain that under this pressure the use of vous became more widespread. In fact. considered to be raisonnable. At Mme 42 avoid 'saying prieties'. American attitude struck him as enormous: 'Every step in the child's development seems to depend on 'The child is now the development of what people call its raison. this self-control and this seriousness. the young ladies were told to tu and toi. liberal. Baptiste de La Salle forbade the masters to use the where the children were younger. which are required of the French child at an early age. never saying tu or toi. and adopting manners contrary to the prooneself to children 'One must never adapt childish language or manners. and which are no longer known in the United States. where the American observer met it. The contrast with the ' .. and it is expected to remain raisonnable. common usage. in other places people are more reserved and civilized/ Even in the little schools. de Maintenon's Saint-Cyr. one aged twenty-five and the other twenty-three. For close friends too. according to pupils. seem. fathers with their children up to a certain age (in France until they are emancipated).' This raison. to be allowed to say tu and tot. while he is working for his certificate of study. the schoolboys in Cordier's dialogues were saying vous in the French text.Wylie. their pupils. However. whereas they naturally said tu in Latin. From Colonel Gerard's memoirs one learns with surprise that at the end of the eighteenth century a couple of soldiers. in the second half of the sixteenth century. one must raise one's own level by always talking reasonably to them/ by means of them to Already.

and particularly by among adults. which seems old to us in relation to our contemporary the Middle Ages. in the witness Bienstance de la to treatises on or their are examined in the family and society. and reason. childhood is We and secondly. but which was new in relation to ' of innocence and reason were not opposed to one another. for on the one hand preserved and on the other hand it is made older than its years. which The gave patronage les gymnastics: conversation entre of the Society hommes^ written in the early i6oos for the boarders ofJesus at Pont4-Mousson and La Fleche. nected with the structure of the family and the relationship between the last part of this study.. public opinion. This ambiguity is due to factors conits from books for adults made appearance.. vixit\ is translated into French in a manual of etiquette of 1671 as: 'If the child has lived like a man. pedagogues. a whole pedagogic literature for children 44 as distinct difficult.FROM IMMODESTY TO INNOCENCE idea lip attitude of childish innocence resulted in firstly. the ideas mentality. passed from the theories and psycho-analysts into it is this concept which Professor Wylie used as a standard of comparison by which to gauge that other attitude which he discovered in a village in the Vaucluse. It is extremely with the countless manuals of etiquette produced from the sixteenth century on. of etiquette or took over manuals new Fathers published Jesuit same way as they expurgated the classical writers existing manuals. Si puer prout decet. It is only very recently that psychiatrists it of psychologists. In this concept. but the contradiction exists only for us of the twentieth century. The association of childhood with primitivism and irrationalism or pre- logicism characterizes our contemporary concept of childhood. >43 In this new moral climate. This concept made its appearance in P^ousseau. The Regies de la of the Christian boys' bienstance et de la civilitf chrttienne for the use schools of St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle was published in 1713 and reprinted . a different and older concept. and in which we can recognize the survival of another concept of childhood. strengthening the sexuality tolerated if not approved of it by developing character may see a contradiction here. which was born in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and which became general and popular from the seventeenth century on. but it belongs to twentieth- century history. by life. two kinds of it and behaviour towards childhood: safeguarding against pollution. to distinguish between those intended for adults and those intended for children.

I intend to teach you the rules of a decent Christian. Certain pieces it inadequately versed in good manners. ' ' nineteenth: 'Dear children/ The child's province is clearly distinguished from of the adult. containing at the beginning the way to learn to read. This ambiguity was dispelled in the new editions of the manuals of etiquette published in the second half of the eighteenth century. whence the continuation of certain notions which had undoubtedly gone out of fashion] and enlarged at the end with a fine Treatise on orthography. For a long time Latin. which provided examples of handwriting.. newly revised [for all the manuals claimed to be new of the old manuals by Cordier. none the less. . There still remained some strange survivals from the old indifference to the matter of age... it will teach you Note. and which they learned off by heart). even this work was not yet addressed directly classic and openly to parents (for all that of advice were intended rather for was a book from which children learned how to read.' 'As soon as you rise in the morning. pronounce and write correctly. dear children. and even Greek. Here for instance is a 'simple and decent' manual of 1761: 'For the instruction of children. the author addresses himself specifically to children and writes in a sentimental style: 'This book will not be useless to you. this very eighteenth-century tenderness does not detract in any way from the ideal of character. Drawn up by a Missionary with precepts and instructions for the education of Youth/ 48 The tone of the book is new. . The pseudoCato is quoted in Le Roman de la Rose. or even for adults children.. which taught them how to behave. . that is the duty of a man of honour/ The spirit is still that of the seventeenth century. do not be among those who talk incessantly and who do not give others time to say what they think/ 'Keep your promises. However. begin early in life to look for the good. had been that taught to children in couplets wrongly attributed to Cato.. but the manner is already that of the editions traditional genre.120 all THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD through the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth: this was a work for a long time and its influence on manners was probably considerable. make the sign of the cross/ 'If you are in the bedchamber of your Father and Mother. 'Dear child.. dear children. This practice continued throughout . bid them good morning/ At school: 'Do not be disagreeable to your schoolfellows. 'Do not talk in school/ 'Do not use the words tu and toi too often/ But this sweetness. whom I regard as a child of God and as a brother of Jesus Christ. Erasmus or della Casa: it was a and any new ideas were cast in an old form. logic and dignity which the author is trying to instil into the child: 'Dear children.

etc. the Jesuits. more edifying and more modern spirit. is leaning on a globe. engraving and sculpture gave considerable importance to representation From of the Infant Jesus. a this evolution of the idea of childhood in the seven- new tendency appeared in religious devotion and iconography. and with the other hand is giving a blessing. Port-Royal. Corresponding to teenth century. But in the seventeenth it was given a different emphasis. 'Do not attempt of do True. The subject has been thoroughly explored. 47 Thus children continued to be given maxims of this kind to translate: 'Do not believe your wife when she complains about your servants. This dominating child is also shown standing erect over the doorways of certain churches (the Dalbade in Toulouse for instance). is holding a cross in the left hand. Cordier. in religious iconography at least. written at that time in a more Christian. they simply joined him until the beginning of the nineteenth century: the last editions still contained both texts. and in fact of seventeenth-century opinion as a whole. But Pibrac's quatrains did not replace the pseudo-Cato. The pseudo-Cato and Pibrac then sank together into oblivion. at the end of the sixteenth century these lessons in morality had been judged inadequate.FROM IMMODESTlf .TO INNOCENCE 121 the seventeenth century at least. But the spirit of these extremely crude moral recommendations is the spirit of the Byzantine Empire and the Middle Ages. the beginning of die seventeenth century. by himself. A special devotion was now offered to the Holy Childhood. As can be seen from the Van Dyck at Dresden. and there was still an edition of Cato's couplets in existence in 1802. the Infant Jesus is usually shown in a symbolic attitude: He has His foot on the serpent. which were totally devoid of the delicacy of Gerson. by all cision the pictures of the Holy Family. of the provision century . All that I would do here is to stress the connection which was immediately established between this devotion to the Holy Childhood and the great development of interest in childhood. and children were given Pibrac's quatrains. for the wife often detests those who love the husband/ Or else: to discover the designs of Providence by means 'Flee the wife who seeks to rule virtue of her wizardry/ by dowry. no longer with the Virgin or as one of the Holy Family. religious painting. It had been prepared for. the Presentation and the Circumof the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. not retain her if she becomes unbearable'.

The teaching institutes dedicated themselves to the Holy Childhood. was well known for her devotion to the Holy Childhood. Unless you become like children. Jacqueline Pascal inserted two prayers. and death that from which we may never pass into the old age of old Adam. which the course of the years may never take from us. the Ignorantine Friars. permit us to be among those children whom you summon to you. you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Juilly College was dedicated by Cardinal de B&ulle to the mystery of die Infant Jesus.122 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD of little schools and colleges. [Here we find once more the two aspects of the concept of childhood in the seventeenth century. Marguerite du SaintSacrement. and the ignorance or weakness which has to be suppressed or modified. et registered The Reglements of the Christian charity schools of the Holy Infant Dames de Saint-Maur.. as did Cardinal de Bundle's Oratorian colleges: in 1685 Pre Barr the Statuts Jesus. The moral and pedagogic literature of the seventeenth century frequently quotes those passages in the Gospel in which Jesus speaks of children. official title: Institute assumed the adopted by the Institution of the Brothers of the Holy Infant Jesus. but which may make us increasingly new creatures in Jesus Christ and lead us to His glorious immortality/ the Carmelite convent at Beaune. and of educational theory. the paragon of the teaching orders. Lord. and from whose mouths you draw your praises. It deserves to be quoted here: 'Be like new-born children .' . that we may always . as people of the world are always children in their ignorance and weakness. Nicolas Rolland. The first seal of the Christian Schools. the innocence which has to be preserved. the founder of several little schools at the end of the A nun of seventeenth century. one of which was also 'in honour of the 49 mystery of the Childhood of Jesus Christ'.. made a pilgrimage to her tomb. O be children in our simplicity and innocence.' The which Pascal inserts in her reject prayer Jacqueline regula- of Port-Royal paraphrases expressions used by new-born children.' And the end of this prayer recalls an episode in the Gospel which was to obtain new favour in the tions for the children Christ: 'Be like seventeenth century: 'Lord. showed the Infant Jesus being led by St Joseph. whom you allow to approach you. or into the is sin. In L'Honneste garfon: 'Since the Lord of Lords summons little children to Him. . Grant.] Give us a holy childhood. I cannot see that any of His subjects has die right to 61 them. 48 In her regulations for the little girl boarders at Port-Royal. 60 On this occasion the prioress of the convent gave him 'a statue of the Infant Jesus which the venerable Sister Marguerite used to honour with her prayers'.

and is bless another child running towards Him. This scene raising the other to became extremely popular: the engraving was probably given to children as a devotional picture. but on a smaller scale. and the nineteenth century in particular. are playing or fighting (the one at the time). Pictures of this scene are also to be found in the moralizing Bibles of the thirteenth century. this scene recurs frequently. 'I men are would add'. but they are fairly rare and are treated as commonplace illustrations. whose engravings. This can be seen well is from a study of a fine print by Stradan. and it is obvious that it corresponds to a new and special form of devotion. Christ's expression is smiling and attentive: that mixture of tenderness and amusement which grown-ups of modern times. and one new devotion was to all intents and purposes reserved for them: that of the guardian angel. 54 Christ mothers' arms. Some are in their who theme of putti fighting was a common are naked. as is known. Henceforth there was a religion for children. The bigger children are more reserved. we have already had occasion to mention that Ottoman miniature in which children are depicted as adults. On the other hand. Others. 123 The scene in question. 58 The subject oblatis imposuit given by the caption: 'Jesus parvulis Jesus is manus et benedixit eis* . in the middle of a crowd of children pressing round Him. just as they would later be given First Communion pictures. in the medieval to in the letter of the text. from the end of the sixteenth century on. other women and children are waiting accompanied by his significant that the child here mother. The catalogue of an exhibition at Tours in 1947 devoted to the child in the art mentions an eighteenth-century engraving on same 56 subject. seated. in which Jesus asks little children to be allowed come to Him. A woman is is presenting her children naked putti to their turn. 'that although all which minister to them in .FROM IMMODESTY* TO INNOCENCE to . we accompanied by these blessed spirits read in L'Honneste gargon. were an inspiration to the artists of his time. devoid of any real fervour or significance. or crying and shouting. assume when speaking to children. and have their hands folded in prayer. was not absolutely unknown in the iconography of former times. the children were alone with Christ. is squatting on the ground. A Dutch painting of 1620 shows the same scene. 62 gathered around Christ. which did not appeal sufficiently to the artists' imagination to prompt them is to embellish it. Here the child not separated from his family: an indication of the fresh importance assumed by the family in the general sensibility. a text closer which were conformity pictures. He is holding one hand above one of the little heads. especially in engraving. It is Him.

at the age of fourteen. he was in the third class. order to help them to make themselves fit to receive the inheritance of it seems that Jesus Christ granted only to children the privilege of having guardian angels. and the engraving by thirteen or fourteen. . and of a child or a youth. whom Bosse. Witness the fine painting by Tournier shown in London and Paris in 1958.' The old theme of Tobias led by the angel would henceforth symbolize the soul-child and its guide. a is a curiously medieval idea to use the child as the symbol of the soul). the guardian angel. 59 In an engraving by Mariette the angel is showing the 60 it leads. in the Jesuit colleges). The historian of the Jesuit college of La Flche recounts from the annals of the Congregation of La Fleche for 1722 the born on January ipth. a rather effeminate boy of lying and the middle-aged man. against the Devil. the guardian angel and the soul-child was used in the decoration of baptismal fonts. became a familiar feature of depicted in the form iconography in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. it The lid of the font is around it. for instance a in a flared skirt is Dominiquin in which a little child being defended by an angel.124 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD salvation. he explains. I believe. i657. He belonged of course to the Congregation (a pious society confined to the good pupils and dedicated to the Virgin: it still exists.' The soul guided by an angel. but an illustration of a devotion peculiar to childhood and derived from the sacrament of baptism: the guardian angel. of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries The period was also that of the child paragons. providing an unexpected illustration of this sentence in L'Honnestegarfon: 'God possesses the first age. the angels prefer the 'suppleness' of children to the 'rebellious character of men'. 66 but manhood derives it from childhood/ For their part. And Fleury in his 1686 treatise on studies maintains that 'the for the excellent reason that they Gospel forbids us to despise children 57 have blessed angels to guard them. the angel. It is not that we do not share this privilege. On the globe. other angels carrying the cross in the sky. This depiction is not simply a symbolic repreis guiding sentation of the soul in the traditional form of the child (incidentally. I have come across an example in a baroque church in the south of Germany. Abraham child. edifying life of Guillaume Ruffin. the church of the Cross at Donauworth. 61 In 1671. the soul-child. There religious are countless examples. a middle-aged man who is 58 The angel is holding his shield between the child in wait for him. The theme of surmounted by a globe with the serpent wound somewhat effeminate young man. but the Devil in many persons the best parts of old age as well as of the age possesses which the Apostle calls accomplished.

schoolchildren were given as of full-grown subjects of edification accounts of the childhood years saints . But these had become longer play festivals Old Testament festivals. even where the great religious festival of childhood. and that without any exceptional prodigies or particular precocity: on the contrary. Apart from the lives of little saints. especially in the of seventeenth-century France.' In the Middle Ages there were no religious festivals of childhood. in a Jesuit college where some of the boys undertook a campaign for the canonization of a little pupil who had died some years before in the odour of sanctity. which those are collective festivals to the fact that it is church but more : . could no refined religious life this role in religious life. who his subject the heroic 62 addressed the aforesaid exhortations to them. by the mere preservation of one's initial innocence. the child's individual festival. particularly more than were usually present in the crowds of the Middle Ages many or the Renaissance. 'he had taken as his subject St Augustine's regrets for his youth. the feast of the Assumption. often cited in seventeenth-century works dealing with the problems of education.FROM IMMODEST^ TO INNOCENCE He used to visit 125 nearly finished his that time) when told in advance the sick and he gave alms to the poor. in spite of the de-Christianization of the modern world. In 1674 he had first year in the philosophy class (there were two at he fell ill. He was of the date of his death. in 1633. First Communion gradually became the which it still is today.' The previous Lent.or else of their remorse at their misspent youth. 'the day of the feast of my good Mother'. the Circumcision. This was the case with St Louis of Gonzaga. such as the Presentation of the Virgin in die midst of a throng of children. It was Pere de Barry. Christian observance is no longer practised regularly. It was quite easy to attain sanctity in a short schoolboy's life. From die fifteenth century on. celebrated collectively in private. The Virgin appeared to him twice. Perhaps it owes its continuation. taking as deeds of the saints in their youth. within die family the most in particularly have disappeared most rapidly. In the annals of the Jesuit college of Aix for 1634 we read: 'Our young people did not fail to have their sermons twice a week in Lent. First Communion has also taken the place of the old folklore festivals. as we have already seen. often pagan rather than apart from the great seasonal festivals which were Christian. for all that they of childhood in religious iconography. by means of the mere application of the childish virtues. While reading this text I found myself unable to banish a recollection of my own childhood. the Rector. at least so his family maintained. artists and depicted certain episodes.

we confirmed. Left an orphan. "Have you forgotten. he worked as a servant from the age of ten until the curate of his parish.. six and it is months.. stresses die necessity of carefully gauging the moral and spiritual capacity of children before allowing them to take communion. to see wise to wait a long time. Jacqueline Pascal. Colonel Gerard recalls for us in 64 He was his memoirs his recollections of a difficult First Communion. much as they started going to Mass. must not be allowed to take communion. one of six children in a poor family. they are By die eighteenth century. judging by the general precocity of manners and the mingling of children and adults in everyday life. and especially those who are mischievous. taking an interest in him.. First Communion had become an organized ceremony in the convents and colleges." Jesuit. born in 1766. so that being filled with the better prepared to receive His Sacred Body/ spirit of Jesus. He must have been about fifteen when he was .to the First Communion: 'admitted* . Three months . and of preparing diem for it a long time ahead: 'Young children.126 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD increasingly solemn celebration of First Communion was due in place to the greater attention given. happened he exclaimed. de Body and Blood?" The Abbess would not be sent for me and informed me that I taking part in the ceremony next day. to The the first the necessary conditions for the proper reception of the Eucharist. to the N. if they usually defer it until Confirmation. The day when M. especially at Port-Royal. pass by. They must be made to wait until God has effected some change in them. For I have never regretted making children wait: on the contrary. frivolous or wedded to some considerable defect. and probably quite early in life. The first chaplain was a Jesuit who took a dislike to the boy. a year for instance or at least if their actions are followed up. One cannot take too all the rest depend First many precautions where First Communion is concerned: for often on that first one/ 63 Communion was delayed at Port-Royal until after Confirmation: are given children their First 'When we after have not made who have not been Communion either.. "that it is tomorrow you are due to receive Our Lord's time as several hoarders. sent him to the Abbey of Saint-Avit where he had become assistant chaplain. It seems probable that previously children took communion without any special preparation. in her regulations for the children of Port-Royal.this was the current expression 'It had been decided that I should make I my First Communion at the same was playing with the farm dog before. this has always served to advance in virtue those who were already well disposed and to bring about a recognition of their unreadiness in those who were not..

Barail. parish priest of Saint-S6bastien.FROM IMMODESTY. The First Communion ceremony was the most visible manifestation of the idea of childhood between the seventeenth and the late nineteenth century: it celebrated at one and the same time the two contradictory aspects of that idea. TO INNOCENCE after I 12? doing penance . and this add to the solemnity of the was done in the nineteenth century. in the parish of Saint-Sebastien of Marly.. the innocence of childhood on the one hand and on the other its rational appreciation of the sacred mysteries.' This was a certificate inspired by the official documents of the Catholic Church. After my second. Low Sunday. 1767.* First Communion had become the ceremony which it has remained. 65 On the back was written: *To certify the First Communion made by Francois Bernard. As early as the middle of the eighteenth century it was customary to commemorate the occasion with an inscription on a devotional picture. All that remained to be done was to occasion by prescribing a special costume. At Versailles in 1931 an engraving was exhibited showing St Francis of Assisi. was ordered to take communion every Sunday and Holy Day.. . on April 26th. I made my First Communion.

you can talk of putting her in a convent?' The little one did not count because she could disappear. for I dont 2 count the little one. nestling singly or in pairs in the trousse hung round women's 1 necks. etc. who simply bears witness to the survival in the seventeenth century of a very old -The infant attitude of mind. forsaken or despised. attitude to childhood. there had been a tendency precarious. or as pages serving a knight. The quotation from Moliere shows the continuance of the archaic But this survival. because it was partly made up of children and youths. or as apprentices in a workshop. Language did not give the suggest that children word 'child* much as we the restricted meaning we give it today: people said 'child' extended not a single collective picture of the times in which children are not to be : say 'lad' in everyday speech. It is generally known that he is threatening to put his elder daughter in a convent to stop her philandering. There is found. 128 . Brother. one of marriageable age and little Louisoii who is just beginning to talk and walk. but it is also due to its physical age. crafts. his nanny or his cradle-rocker. The idea of childhood is not to be confused with affection for children: it corresponds to an awareness of the particular nature of childhood. for all that it was stubborn. arms.* CONCLUSION o THE TWO CONCEPTS OF CHILDHOOD exist. His brother asks him: 'How is it. as soon as the child could live without the constant solicitude of his mother. or playing their part in a traditional festival. who was too fragile as yet to take part in the life of adults 'did not count': this is the expression used by Moliere. even the young adult. this is medieval society the idea of childhood did not not to IN were neglected. that particular nature which distinguishes the child from the adult. Argan in Le malade imaginaire has two daughters. The absence of definition to every sort of social activity games. That adult society now strikes us as ratheifpuerile^no doubt this is largely a matter of its mental age. or urinating in a corner. was the fourteenth From century on. In medieval society this awareness was lacking. he belonged to adult society. That is why. that rich as you are and having only one daughter.

good I warrant thee. he tosses about.' 3 She up and teaches him to talk: 'She pronounces the words .' A new concept of childhood had appeared. in which the child. take thy bread and butter with thee. but lies still abed and slugg. We evolution of the putto and the child portrait. which seems as hard on little children as do certain remarks by La Fontaine.. then on her shoulder. and when he is up. she plays with the child to make him sleep and she binds his limbs to keep them straight so that he has no stiffness in his body. him to talk better and more rapidly him in her hands. simplicity and drollery. Le malade imaginaire. . thou shalt not be beaten at all. on account of his sweetness. and biddeth him: "Go. iconography and religion (in the cult of the dead) the personality which children were seen to possess. contains a whole conversation between and little especially Argan Louison: 'Look at me. and he shall thither. she telleth him then that it is but come time enough. . fearing to be beaten subject little at school for his late coming early days. Thomas More dwells on the . became a source of amusement and relaxation for the adult. and she bathes and anoints him to nourish his flesh.. I can tell you. to amuse you. -the story of the Ass's Skin.at least in . in a society in which clothes and outward appearances had considerable importance. weepeth because he hath lien so long. women whose task it was to look after children . she binds him when and she washes and cleans him when he is dirty."' Thus she sends him off son.was the upper classes of society given a special costume which marked him out from the adults. or else the fable of the Fox and the Crow which I was taught not so long ago. will you!' 'What is it. and feels sorry for the child when he is ill. In the sixteenthcentury edition of Le Grand Proprittaire de toutes choses we are told about the nanny: 'She rejoices when the child is happy. to teach she carries she picks him up when he falls.THE TWO CONCEPTS OF CHILDHOOD 129 to express in art. brings the child as if she had a stammer. papa?' 'Here!' 'What?' 'Haven't you anything to tell me?' 'If you wish. then on her lap. To begin with. ' of the schoolboy being sent to school by his mother: 'When the boy will not rise in time for her. the attitude was held by women. I have sent to thy master myself. And we have seen that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the child or infant . bears witness to the changa which had taken place in the general attitude towards children: they counted much more than Argan's brother imagined. to play with him when he cries she chews the child's meat for him when he has no teeth so that he can swallow profitably and without danger. familiar have followed the significance attributed to their special nature. .mothers and nannies. In fact. and the poetic. This specialization of the dress of children and of little boys.

it should be pointed out that Montaigne . as if she were afraid of some infection. I away/ now. Montaigne bristles: *I cannot 1 abide that passion for caressing new-born children. were and Coulanges hypersensitive. It was precisely to the presence of children that Montaigne and Coulanges. by the way his friends and relatives fussed over their children. as we have seen from Moliere. The by and us 'coddling* attitude towards children is even better known to the critical reactions it provoked at the end of the sixteenth century found particularly in the seventeenth century. this state of mind. this first appreciation of childhood went with a certain indifference. for the death of a child is something serious for us and nothing to joke about: 'I do not want her to die/ For. is to be seen 7 de Sevigne's cousin. but their reactions formed part of the huge domain of unexpressed feelings. with a levity which surprises us. a certain affectation. nannies and cradle-rockers.130 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD not to burst into tears at the idea of leaving her at home. games and mental activities selves lovable. spoil their offspring or allow them to this feeling of exasperation note that It is important as novel to the indifferent 'coddling'. like monkeys'.. not time she spends playing with her granddaughter: discovery of the am reading the story of Christopher Columbus's Indies. Henceforth people would no longer hesitate to recognize the pleasure they got from watching children's sufficiently reassured antics and 'coddling* them. she strokes your in such an amusing way that I have to kiss her which even more. He was obviously exasperated Couknges. a century later. *I adds. like Mme de Sevigne. or taking pleasure in their 'frolickings. and even more foreign than 'coddling* attitude of people in the Middle Ages. which have neither nor recognizable bodily shape by which to make themand I have never willingly suffered them to be fed in my presence/ He cannot accept the idea of loving children Tor our amusement. 4 Children's little antics must always have seemed touching to mothers. urging them not was as to to eat with adults. she have been playing with your daughter for an hour she delightful/ And. Peevish persons insufferable the attention paid to children. 6 infantile nonsense'. or rather with the indifference that was traditional.. for he Another example of in Mme composed a song dedicated to 'fathers of families'. but your do so love her . 'I We find Mme without how much is de Sevigne admitting. but she does not get to the bottom of the trouble and the late arrival will be well and truly beaten when he gets to school. daughter entertains portrait straight me and is caresses it 6 entertaining me greatly.

that coarseness of youth which finds pleasure in scarcely anything but material objects and which is only a very crude sketch of die man of thought/ Thus Balthazar Gratien in agreeable: * which . likewise complains that people take an interest in very small children only for the sake of their 'caresses' and 'antics'. It is as if the poor children had been made only to amuse the adults. were beginning to disdain it. The felt seventeenth-century moralists and pedagogues shared the dislike in by Montaigne and Coulanges for 'coddling'. that fondness for childhood even treating them they want too/ we see special nature no longer found in and amusement expression 'coddling . speaks like Coulanges: 'Those persons are greatly at fault who never talk of but their wives. the manual of etiquette commonly used in the best colleges. his treatise on studies. in his treatise on education. '" 9 "My little son made me laugh so much! M. They held that it was no longer desirable that children should mingle with adults. who. d'Argonne. when they say something foolish. their parents paying no attention to them. people burst out laughing. especially at table. J. important to remember that at the end of the seventeenth century coddling* was not practised only by people of quality. L'ducation deMonsieur de Moncade (1690). too many parents 'value their children only in so far as they derive pleasure and entertainment from them*. no doubt because if they did they were 'spoiled* and became ill-mannered. necessary to keep children apart from adults..TWO CONCEPTS OP CHILDHOOD 13! were more modern than Mme de S6vign in so far as they considered it THE . those of the Jesuits. or kiss having they had worked out the correct answer. drawing a correct inference from an irrelevant principle which has been given to them. Its presence in the lower classes was noted It is * this states that the children ' and denounced. In the moralists and pedagogues of the seventeenth century. The child was no longer regarded as amusing or and its 1 Every man must be conscious of that insipidity of childhood disgusts the sane mind. Thus the austere Fleury. but in psychological interest and moral solicitude. speaks very much like Montaigne: 'When litde children are caught in a trap. in an idolatrous manner: what the children want. their The author of anything litde children and their nannies. in fact. de La Salle in his Conduite des holes chrfriennes (1720) of the poor are particularly ill-mannered because they do just as they please.. Just listen to this.-B. like little 8 dogs or little monkeys/ caress as if and them Galatte. rejoice at tricked them.

In order to correct the behaviour of children. For they do not suggest that people should accept the levity of childhood: that was the old mistake. writes in Le Portrait fune honn&efemme: 'Familiarizing oneself with one's children. and the century and the seventeenth century are full of comments. and they are few in number that resist these sweet and easy methods of 12 making them persons of honour and probity. touch them and bind them. the emphasis being laid on as opposed to the laxity and facility of contemporary manners. in the company of little children. but in fact they mark the beginning of a serious and realistic concept of childhood. an attempt is made to reconcile sweetness and reason. sprang from a source outside the family: churchmen or gentlemen of the robe. In the texts published towards the end of the century. these opinions need to be put back in their temporal context and compared with the other texts of the period. strictness but this determined attempt to turn them into thinking men and good The tone is sometimes grim. treating them as sensible people and winning them over with sweetness. .characterized by 'coddling' -had made its appearance in the family circle. The first concept of childhood . A few caresses. getting them to talk about all manner of things. They are young plants which need tending and watering frequently: a few words of advice offered at the right moment. There is even humour in Jacqueline and undisguised tenderness. a few little presents. 11 The authors show a great solicitude of the late sixteenth for childreh. a few marks of friendship and affection given now and then. few in number before the sixteenth century. Thus the Abbe Goussault. comparable to the angels. The second. who are seen as witnesses to baptismal innocence. a counsellor at the High Court. *Only time can cure a person of childhood and youth. But this interest calls for the development in them of a faculty of reasoning which is still fragile. They have been interpreted by some historians as showing ignorance of respect/ childhood. which are truly ages of imperfection in every To be understood. and a far greater number of moralists in the seventeenth century. a treatise on education published in 1646 which was still 10 being translated into French in I723.' Pascal.132 THE IDEA OF CHILDHOOD El Discrete. is an infallible secret for doing what one wants with them. is not always the case. on child psychology. people must texts first of all understand it. a Christians. on the contrary. and close to Christ who loved them. a few words of cordiality and trust make an impression on their minds.

concupiscence idea General de Martange's correspondence with his wife gives us some de Mme after a of a family's private life and preoccupations about century shows He 13 in 1754. In the eighteenth century. but any interest shown in healthy bodies encouraged luxury. Not only the family. he watches closely over their health and even their hygiene.THE TWO CONCEPTS OF CHILDHOOD 133 rational manners. to do with children and family life has become a matter had a moral purpose behind it: a delicate body .all the vices in fact! Everything worthy of attention. People nursed the sick devotedly (at the same to unmask malingerers). sloth. but they as charming toys. but his presence a central place in the has taken the child very existence are of concern: child's future and his . moralists time taking every precaution Care of the body was not ignored by seventeenth-century and pedagogues. were to the formerly neglected phenomenon of childhood. for they saw them as children to regard unwilling creatures of God who needed to be both safeguarded and reformed. in everything concerning his children's life. a new element: concern about hygiene and physical together with health. we find those two elements in the family. fragile This concept in its turn passed into family life. Martange was born in 1722 and married Sevigne. from 'coddling* great interest to education. They too had become alive eager to ensure disciplined.




I. without some idea of what was like in the Middle Ages. unknown to the Middle Ages. were later reintroduced into without interruption. had triumph of Christianity. No doubt the humanist Renaissance has had greater influence than the Middle Ages on curricula as on culture. It is of no importance to us here if certain Latin subjects and authors.on habits contracted in the Middle Ages. in school and out of school. and higher education. There is some controversy as to whether. retained its as H. 1 : There is a way ofunderstanding the medieval school first of all by getting to know its origins. it was characterized by stages more or less comparable to our stages of primary. because for a long time medievalists have studied the organization of the universities and the movement of philosophical ideas in university society rather than the conditions of life in the school and its environment. for at bottom a phenomenon is characterized not so much by its origins as by the chain of other phenomena which Only then shall we be able to distinguish some life it has directly determined. depended for a long time . These habits depended on a whole system which it is difficult for modern man to visualize. In this between the ancient school and the respect. 2 The heir of a Hellenistic tradition. in the upper regions of knowledge and the transmission of knowledge. But in the Gallo-Roman eyrie the educational institutions and techniques of the Byzantine Empire had completely disappeared. but also by discovering what it has become in the course of history. secondary. But the schoolboy's life. even in theocratic Byzantium.MEDIEVAL SCHOLARS YOUNG AND OLD is even IT education impossible to grasp the particular nature of school life in the past.until the beginning of the nineteenth century . It is known that in Byzantium the ancient system had continued Marrou has shown. secular character after the curricula: they did not determine the composition of the school. features of the light of school subject. This system. in the Middle Ages which can help to shed on our The origins are well known. certain law schools and certain private schools dated back to antiquity. in Italy. The latter came into existence to of ecclesiastical recruiting. 137 satisfy the requirements . there was a radical break medieval school. at the end of the ancien regime.

Majrrou calls it 'choir-school education'. the Latin of the manuscripts which these texts had been established. longer an indispensable tool of learning. But the exercise of the priestthe in the collapse still hood called for a minimum of knowledge: knowledge which one of the divine office) might which one might artistic call literary (the liturgical texts and knowledge call scientific (such as (such as plain-song). M. in Latin of course. and they went on repeating the same exercise until they had learnt it by heart. It It only served to aid their only allowed them to 6 and not to discover something 'recognize' what they already knew that the result with the new. The priests could recite nearly Henceforth reading was no all the prayers in the office from memory. it was in its distant sixth-century origins. the religion of the Book and its patristic commentaries. Thus this instruction was to the memory.138 SCHOLASTIC LIFE istic the HellenPreviously the Church had entrusted the secular school of a of its education the with literary education literary pupils. memory in the event of forgetfulness. importance of reading was greatly reduced. This instruction. 4 This instruction was therefore essentially professional or technical.as Christianity. The pupils all chanted in unison the phrase spoken by the teacher. namely the Psalms and the Canonic Hours. the Church would no longer depend on dragged down city that traditional institution. in certain countries clergy and particularly the computation of Easter) or this knowledge. which had been of the ancient culture and ruined by the decadence of the urban way of life (for the ancient school belonged to and did not exist in the country). but as it would remain.in gremio sancte matris ecclesie enutritus'* and the Church signified not only a society a\> annis puerilibus but a place. at least at its elementary level. After the fifth century. . The pupils learned what they needed to know in order to say and sing the offices. for centuries. type which was indispensable for the acquisition of sacred knowledge in a learned religion . the monasteries) to organize the instruction of the young clerks themselves. like the instruction predominantly oral and addressed in Moslem countries anyone who Koran schools in the at present given has heard the alternating recitation of the verses of the Koran in the great in : not only as mosque at Kairwan will have an idea of the medieval school. was given in the church itself: for a long time the habit remained of saying. had rapidly become. 'ajuventute in ista ecclesia nutritus . the celebration of such as England and Ireland. contrary to the ancient tradition. Without Mass and the distribution of the sacraments would become impossible and religious life would become arid. the porch of a church or its cloister. It was therefore necessary for the the bishops (sometimes.

and the cathedral school did not necessarily provide incumbents for the rural parishes. The chapters were obliged to authorize other churches to maintain schools. music) finally by that of theology. the cathedral school went beyond these limits. Psalms. the Canonical Hours and plain-song. where the tradition had been preserved in remained. However. The teaching of the Psalms and plain-song continued. 139 This extremely specialized instruction was given in the cathedral churches. or at least the arts. But the councils of the Middle Ages also laid an obligation on the priests of the new country churches to train their successors . some new the monasteries. As a result the canon in charge of the school sometimes called in the help of assistants: one for the elementary work -the Psalter -and others for certain subjects such as branches of the arts or theology or law. and from England or Ireland.and arithmetic. They had to allow teaching by private masters. an institution unknown to the ancient world. who kter early became their rivals: the canons of the chapter. and it is the cathedral school which is the original cell of our entire scholastic system in the West.that is to to teach them the say. where they had probably never stopped being taught in some private schools. was were added. In so far as rural education existed in these early times. inherited from Hellenistic culture and brought back to Gaul from Italy. rhetoric. under the supervision of the bishops. for the clerks of their households. astronomy. It soon passed into the hands of their auxiliaries. it remained at this elementary level. Henceforth in the medieval schools the teaching of the Psalms and plain-song would be complemented by that of the arts . the the choirmaster. But. In all probability most of the cathedral schools existed for a long time with one or two masters teaching most of the subjects. at least in the Carolingian period. and the reluctance they showed in agreeing to of an association this arrangement resulted in the formation . that is to say. of the Scriptures and canon law. as was the case at Chartxes or Paris. on condition that they authorized them. But this multiplication of masters was not universal. For the parish priests were not appointed as they are today by the bishop. sometimes from distant parts. dialectics) and the quadrivium (geometry. and subjects these were none other than the Latin artes liberates. But by the twelfth century they were no longer sufficient.MEDIEVAL SCHOLARS YOUNG AND OID . Here we can see the distant origins of the country school. but by a patron. and often the canon in charge of the school. and probably took place only in a few schools which acquired a considerable reputation and began to attract teachers or students. .the trivium (grammar. the 'choir-school* aspect also scolasticus.

again bishop. more On hand. there was separate instruction in the arts. prepared pupils for admission to the which was civil law and medicine. For the arts were not sufficient in themselves and merely prepared the way for a different sort of education. . under the and covering in its of the there the of there abbot. in the course of the twelfth century. The influence of the universities . though they were not always absorbed by the universities. chapter. by means of imperceptible alterations. or medicine. They generally consisted of at least two Faculties: a Faculty of Arts and one or more higher Faculties (in Paris. between the arts on the one hand and theology and law on the specialized subjects tended. the others more modest. gave the its definitive form. theology and canon law) they were never confined to the Faculty of Arts alone. both inside the universities obedience here of the was out. which concerns us here. given all over the country. The result curricula Latin (including the Psalter). The higher schools: theology. for example. Instruction in the higher. but without any interruption. to be concentrated not unnaturally in university towns inhabited by famous the other teachers and the students attracted by the latter's prestige. universities of the thirteenth century finally established this hierarchy of knowledge.140 SCHOLASTIC LIFE and pupik directed against them. in the definitive form which it took in the thirteenth century. namely the university. but not theology. the specialization of theology and law. too were taught by certificated masters of the universities. and even in places where to multiply at the end of tended doubtless schools and these university. arts schools were set there was no up wherever the latter existed. the arts. which in the university towns gave its name to a Faculty . Little by little. in fact. It is this instruction in the arts. the Middle Ages. and was that instruction in the arts. we pass There is a hiatus between the ancient school and the medieval school. some of them famous and giving rise in a few cases to universities. canon or civil law. like a propaedeutic. medieval educational system taught in the same schools as the This led to a remarkable system of to last until the nineteenth century: from the specialization thirteenth century on. a network of schools was established. canon law. Theology ceased to be arts. A final phenomenon. concerns us here in so far as it helped to effect a complete separation other. relieved of parasitic subjects such as theology and law.the Faculty of Arts and which.

The medieval school was confined to the tonsured. But the Psalter represented only the rudiments of instruction in Latin the Latin school. that its language. are struck first of all by the differences. centre of its it secondary curricula. a future attorney had satisfied with learning to be more demanding. From the end of the Middle Ages it extended its teaching to ever wider sections of the a population. Admittedly there and the were Faculties of Theology. For this characteristic retained the study of Latin in the we have to look further back than those periods which practised a deliberate cult of Roman Antiquity. whatever one's trade or station. when Latin was first of all it For centuries administrator. systems comparison but this apparently unthinkable comparison is in fact inevitable. the medieval school provided elementary . it remained Latin institution. But in the Middle Ages and at the and empirical knowledge was beginning of modern times this elementary not taught in school: it was acquired at home or in apprenticeship to a 6 trade. and what it is essential to know in order to be able to get along in life. Law and Medicine. The the two of seems a priori a monstrous anachronism. the different. When spirit whole it was transferred to the French of the 'little of it changed and it became something entirely The third difference: the lack of higher education in letters sciences. use of the mother tongue. and it stopped at the level of Latin studies necessary for the purpose to which the pupil intended to put them. writing. we have to look to the Middle Ages.MEDIEVAL SCHOL^BS YOUNG AND OLD from the medieval school 141 to our present educational system. was taught as a living language rather than as a cultural as necessary to the clerk as to the man of law and the modern was only at the beginning of the eighteenth century function as an element of general education became predominant. a language It the language of the clerks and their professional schools.and no doubt this instruction formed the inspiration for taught reading modern primary education at the beginning of the seventeenth century. up to the mid-eighteenth century. It teaches reading. A second difference between medieval and modern education is the absence of primary education in the earlier period. 7 as we shall see later. The incumbent of a country parish could be the liturgical texts by heart. school'. True.the Latin of the Psalter from which pupils were . and when it became French (when the use of the We vernacular ceased to be punished). However. to the clerics and the religious. Primary education as we understand it today is neither a technical education nor an education in general culture. . The usefulness of the school began with Latin.

for the distinction was not really strictly observed until the eighteenth and the First of all because century. This is a surprising gap when one considers the importance of philosophy in the intellectual life of the Middle Ages. Later these schools. In fact. The difference in age corresponded to a difference in curricula: philosophy sciences were reserved for the universities. which was essentially scientific. just like the Latin would be called 'grammar schools'. In this respect education developed differently in France and England. a long time in dispute such as rhetoric. ethics and metaphysics assumed such an important position in the curricula that parts of the arts were absorbed by philosophy.142 SCHOLASTIC LIFE have continued to the present day under the same names. the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge were markedly different from the other. or the Faculties of Letters and the Sciences which were born at the beginning of the nineteenth century with the Napoleonic university. and logic then became synonymous with philosophy. things finally arranged . in accordance with the principle it of repetition dear in the medieval pedagogy. the pupils also had to had already studied at study all over again the precepts and authors they the to grammar school. It that the was only on leaving the grammar school. But was nothing in medieval France to be compared with either higher education in the Hellenistic world. the and with rudimentary grammar. which were schools in France. It became customary to begin the could be. The discovery of the unknown works of Aristotle and the and these there in separate instruction in great Thomist synthesis should have resulted the liberal arts and theology. in the university colleges. study of the arts at the nearest Latin school which the cathedral school of St Paul's in London. In reality the borderline was much vaguer. in principle at least. which permanently ousted scholastic terminology. Thus the old dialectics of the triviurn disthe trivium from appeared in favour of logic. apart from philosophy. for instance. argument was still going on at the beginning of the with what was in accordance were However. non-university Latin schools. at about fourteen. rhetorical and philosophical in character. Then again. The The place of certain subjects remained for seventeenth century. young Englishman was sent to Oxford or Cambridge. or whether would break away to become a form of higher education. the Latin schools became affiliated to the universities. sometimes happened in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that logic was read grammar schools. In England. coexist with The it this philosophy would question then was whether forms of grammar. which Brinsley claimed for the universities although it was on the curriculum of the grammar schools and stayed there.

this state of affairs may have been due to the presence of a far bigger native population than that of the little English towns. education was divided into parts according to the difficulty the subject and the age of the pupil. so that the schools had to satisfy the requirements not only of a foreign clientele.MEDIEVAL SCHOLARS YOUNG AND OLD universities. However that may be. No in thirteenth-century Paris. In England. The existence present-day Faculties of Letters and of a second baccalaureate in France today is due to the fact that in France philosophy has not detached itself from the rest of the arts. conditions could have developed in the same way as at Oxford and doubt students Cambridge. philosophy was pushed to the very end of the cycle of Latinity. it is attracting from distant parts in other schools. 8 In France. accordingly the curriculum was the same in the schools of the university towns as in those of the non-university towns. philosophy was not separated from grammar and its rudiments. Philosophy then became the embryo of a higher cultural education in the modern sense. Already. Tournai. 143 already ancient usage: the grammar schools prepared pupils for the and the universities had the monopoly of the instruction in philosophy which was regarded as the necessary complement of the ordinary studies. . either by their recruitment or by their curricula. Chartres. In Pans. Orleans and Bologna. die schools of * artists' (pupils studying the arts) attached to the universities did not succeed in distinguishing themselves. after the fourteenth of century. similar to that of the present Faculties in France. did the not famous than more rest. on the other hand. in recorded that once they had reached the age of -puberty the better students used to leave their schools to go to 9 However. The Parisian schools were who had already been taught the twelfth century. but also of a local clientele like that of the colleges or lyces. The logics and physics classes of the sixteenth century corresponded both to the English university colleges and to the the Sciences in France. from the schools of * artists' in other towns which did not give birth to universities. The consequences are still perceptible today. these schools. Philosophy remained on the curriculum of the grammar schools. theology or medicine. provided that the latter were sufficiently important. in the Paris of St Thomas's time. it formed the subject-matter of the last two classes under the name of logic and physic . and when. The same evolution occurred in Germany. stop though and it did not become customary for diem to take in only students who had already received a preliminary education. as it did at Oxford and Cambridge.which were to become the modern philosophy classes. before admission to the specialities of law. . teaching young boys.

and their traditional terminology word 'artist'. the recognizable. education was still predominantly Latin. on the England became part of university education was absorbed by what became secondary education. So far. chiefly brought for us of finding in the the comparison of medieval education with our own has out differences. liberal arts we culmination of the of the Middle Ages. the Sciences Po'. when the classical Latin authors were substituted for the authors of the Byzantine Empire. then the sixth form or rhetoric rhetoric are dialectics. and the inspiration for it had to be sought in foreign. Grammar and former two branches of the old trivium. True.144 SCHOLASTIC LIFE never contrary. as opposed to the other higher Faculties. any grammar schools. then logic and finally physics. end the At education. the principal divisions of secondary education or of what became education . as applied to students. The can recognize the natural arts had been at two points: under the considerably modified in the interval. almost to the present day. But they still remained was still used. models. when the use of French was introduced into the schools together with a few new scientific ideas. the normal cycle was divided in the following way: or humanities grammar classes up to the third form. although it remained in the administrative. By difference I mean the impossibility one the origins of the other: thus neither our descended from the primary nor our university education is directly medieval system. to denote secondary arts. Thus the creation by Napoleon of a Faculty of Letters was not based on any French tradition. raised to class. in France. a to good complement the social equivalent in France of Oxford or Cambridge was not the Sorbonne but Louis-le-Grand or Stanislas or else a Jesuit college. But in French secondary education in the nineteenth when that century and at the beginning of the twentieth century. it has not become customary to as the necessary regard university education in Letters and the Sciences of the nineteenth century. Logic is the a more philosophical than oratorical level by is the Aristotelian renaissance of the Middle Ages.still belong to the traditional vocabulary of the During the last two centuries of the ancien regime and in the nine- teenth century too. notably humanist influence of the sixteenth century. then the fifth form class. That is why. But the expressions which served. Physics simply the . logic any philosophy. there is no second baccalaureate because there was in the English or never in instruction physics. non-spoken language to denote the Faculty of Arts. and in the 'eighteenth century. went out of use after the sixteenth century. and particularly What in in France German. Nowa* days it is the cole des Sciences Politiques.

beginning with the Today we century the science. - as an elementary it subject. summarizes the entire history of the Latin school: the original trivium and quadrivium. which was one of students did not consider the from ancient times this concept of of the trivium. and the liberty of the pupils. In the nineteenth century. But in ancient times grammar was a science at that. from the sixteenth century to the present day. and the the present-day classes modernization of the old logic and physics into the modern philosophy and mathematics. advanced of it beneath them. The mere enumeration of the names of these classes. and the further we advance in time. the simultaneity with which the subjects were taught. We both have tried to origins and situate the its medieval school by linking it up with its familiar to us. effected by the Jesuits in particular. YOUNG AND OLD 145 former quadrivium. The humanities represent the contribution of the humanist thought of the sixteenth century. but simply that it was the starting-point of the development which resulted in our secondary single evolution. The Middle Ages grammar. The stages are clearly defined. the humanistic contribution of the Renaissance. The most striking example is that of grammar. logic and physics were replaced by of philosophy and mathematics. let us posterity. The lack ofgradation Nobody thought of having a graduated system of education. the philosophical deposits of the Middle Ages. in which the subjects for study would be distributed according to difficulty. Thus study John of the branches . more elementary and a difficult becomes. corresponding rather to our modern inherited philology.MEDIEVAL SCHOLARS. the mixing of the ages. but they are the stages lycee (before the reforms can trace it back from the modern French which brought secondary education into a closer relationship with primary and technical education) to the college of the ancien regime and from the college to the medieval Latin school which taught 'grammar and the arts'. regard grammar as we have done ever since the fifteenth easiest. This does not mean that in the Middle Ages the teaching of the arts corresponded to the teaching of the arts in the modern French secondary school. of a We education. go on to consider certain features Now that it has become of rather it more are which concerned with our study of the relationship between the ages: the lack of gradation in the curricula according to difficulty of the subject-matter.

the Anglo-Saxon Aelfric wrote a Latin dialogue with a juxtalinear translation intended for beginners at the Donat level. also what was taught just after reading or at the same time. one would have thought to be an author for more advanced students. when it would be replaced in France by Despautere's manual. which suggests that it was an elementary work. transitive. music. the degrees of comparison. Their first book was Donat. a sort of condensation or anthology of Donat and Priscian. described itself as a pedagogic initiation rather than a scientific summa. the four types of verb. In by manuscripts Donat is followed by extracts from Priscian. a fifth-century Latin grammarian. Thus grammar was at once a science and a rudimentary subject. the studied for at least years. short syllables which at least. the preterites and supines. stress and figures of speech. he accompanied this with Excerptiones de many whom Prisciano minore vel majore. which was scarcely any easier but defective transitive or reciprocal constructions. a fourth-century called Donatus minor to distinguish it from other grammar: when one knew one's Donat.146 SCHOLASTIC LIFE Salisbury. the quadrivium) as if a little French grammar the inventory of a : were found today among the schoolbooks of a boy in the philosophy class. In 1215 the University of Paris issued a decree stipulating that in the arts schools one of Priscian's books should be Later Priscian was replaced by Alexandre de Villedieu's Doctrinale pueromm. two 10 and abnormal verbs. To take another document. Later on. to say the It De grammarian. attended classes in grammar for three years. No doubt they did not begin with Priscian or the Doctrinal. for the first time. to boys of ten. in the twelfth century. a thirteenth-century work of twelve chapters: the declensions. the articles or the genders. the eteroclites or irregularities. one could find way about. Students read over and over again the Commentarium grammaticorum libri XVII by Priscian. Certain private masters had been given permission the chapter to teach Donat but not other authors. Donat became synonymous with the rudinients of one's was octo partibus orationis by Donat. or else Ars minor. books by Donat. The Doctrinal would be the manual of grammar until the end of the fifteenth century. but an elementary work which formed part of the general study of the arts. inand long syllables. At the beginning of the eleventh century. between the ages of sixteen and twenty. and this work is mentioned next to a Doctrinal and a Boethius (an author who dealt with dialectics. This scientific grammar was from the that is Psalter. studied by both the big clerk aged from fifteen to twenty and the little . we find a Donat included in Bologna student's luggage stolen in 1393.

John of Salisbury went ahead with his who went through the whole cycle cuncta of the taught him still on over again (ab eo [Richard I'fiveque] relegf) the quadrivium. By this time he had already received a primary education: the Psalter. and a smattering of the liberal arts. that is to say the sciences. He returned for three years. in Paris and the university towns. the same master taught all the arts. another rhetoric. providing another example of the medieval antiquity of grammar. still doing these exercises in dialectics which by that time he considered useless but which none the less offered sufficient interest to retain a faithful public for about five years at a time. These could be. at once a rudimentary subject studies. He took a course of dialectics . who was in charge of two hundred pupils.that is to say. for to all it that he had begun his studies in Paris with dialectics. Thus in the thirteenth century it was still a common thing for a student to linger over the study of one of the liberal arts. the fourteen-year-old John of Salisbury did not address himself first of all to a grammar master. And it was always the same grammar. Generally speaking. 11 Another example of the lack of gradation is provided by John of Salisbury's cycle of studies in the middle of the twelfth century. he found the same classmates under the same master.but this was not always the case. a third dialectics or logic and a fourth the quadrivium . He arrived in Paris at the age of fourteen. He enrolled with a master At twenty.one master teaching grammar. with Aristotle's Organon. Dialectics did not distract John of Salisbury from grammar. although 'praecipue tamen in dialectica eminebat And if. masters sometimes specialized to a certain extent. taught all the arts. until he was about twenty. in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. and finished with logic. he spent most of his time studying the commentaries on Aristotle's Organon by Boethius and Porphyrus. with which he was already familiar (relegi quoque arts all and rhetoricam). of which he was Then he went ignorant (et inaudita quaedam ad quadrivium pertinentia). . He remained on this course for two years. 147 of ten. specialists in certain branches of the arts . to rhetoric. in which he resumed acquaintance which he had already studied in dialectics. with examples from same authors of the Byzantine Empire. laying special emphasis on a favourite discipline. the most famous of the the 9 . which he had no intention of neglecting. and a science.MEDIEVAL SCHOLARS YOUNG AND OLD clerk . Donat. but when he returned after a long absence. Thus in the sixteenth century Odon de Tournai. He came to Paris to complete his education at the feet of famous masters. as in the thirteenth century. John of Salisbury was born about 1 137. On his arrival in Paris. this specialization tended to diminish later on.

reform of 1215 by Robert de Coupon. programme according the same time subjects which general opinion placed on the same level of and importance. if the subjects were not graduated in order of difficulty. grammar. to earn his living. review of the trivium. However. During his long years as an 'artist'. for it left grammar and logic Ethics same level: what we really have here is a classification correspondof examinamore to systematic teaching. Here one might be tempted to see the elements of a the system of gradation: grammar and logic which together occupied the arts curriculum. 13 This text gives the programme of the university examinations. in order to study of Salisbury had not theology. for the determination the future baccalaureate.for the Organon or the De Anima were no easier than the Physics or the Ethics . at least . for the dates of the examinations order in which they for the baccalaureate. parva naturalia.nor the would be taught. were not ranked in a progressive order. de generatione et corruptione. For the licencia docendi: physics and Aristotle's scientific treatises. to wit Aristotle's Organon and also his De logic anima. Every master arranged and one at and masters his to taught preferences.148 SCHOLASTIC LIFE After that he in his turn taught the arts. For the mastership of arts Aristotle's : and Meteors. logic. a tendency very foreign to the difficulty edocti. his correspond to any traditional succession. it was in a higher Faculty. First of all. the requirements were: (i) grammar -sint in grammatica . review of The order could have been entirely different: it does not rhetoric. 12 However. the quadrivium and moral philosophy. the licentiate's degree and the mastership came closer together until they concurred at the beginning of modern times. John followed any plan. when to all intents and purposes they became different formalities of one and the same examination.veterem artem et Doctrinale et Graecismum audiverint\ (2) totam. de caelo et mundo. and there is no sign of any gradation in his studies: dialectics. the quadrivium. to a better planned system ing tions designed to impose subjects for the licentiate's degree and the on the laureate. and when he returned to the schools. the reform of the University of Paris in 1366 by Cardinal de Saint-Marc and Cardinal de Saint-Martin showed signs of a tendency in favour of a gradation of the curricula. in biggest place But this gradation remained very vague. for the baccamastership which were not also required of the candidate Moreover this distribution of the various subjects between the three examinations prejudged neither their difficulty . 14 Simultaneity grammar and logic. The arts.

thought that an ideal education ought of which they could distinguish beyond childhood and adolescence neither the age limits nor the existential character. It was shortened when already beneficed and the Latin school began drawing more of its pupils from the laity. None the less it was a case of anticipation. to extend a long way into life. for all that they were so hostile to medieval pedagogy. such as those attended by John of we know in the arts: but Salisbury. The humanists. were course in Paris: ethics was still a special . John of Salisbury's university career lasted twelve years. Yet to us as the precursor of modern education. instead of ten or twelve! John of Salisbury heaps contempt on these and Cornificius. which gave advanced instruction that in France this hierarchy of the arts schools changed fairly quickly. directed against Salisbury bears witness in a treatise called those who wanted to cut short the duration of the course of studies. of subjects. object of his derision. so he maintains. the quadrivium. appears characterized as far back as die fifteenth century by a shorter cycle than that of the Middle Ages. of the non-university arts schools polyvalent.MEDIEVAL SCHOLARS YOUNG AND OLD they could have been distributed i. and 15 Three years even. short the duration of the course of studies was to The effect of still cutting rob the university schools (which were already attended by beginners from the town) of their character as institutions of complementary more or less specialists. provided by masters who were invaded at course of studies at these schools was cut short at the top and became the bottom.and thirteenth-century schools. as most The same master taught all the arts (like the modern primary-school Some of these or at least logic. to But as early as which the same John of years. 149 each could have been taught to the pupil at a different time. and also by the junior clientele made up of the by the tendency to cut short the duration of the course of studies. grammar. But even then the long cycle of studies remained for a long time as a model. His companions in the dialectics class remained in that branch of study for nearly ten this there was also a contrary tendency. which did not belong for a long time the object to the basic grammar-logic cycle. It was compromised children of the town. reduce it to two or three years. and the Middle Ages retained a long cycle of studies which can be explained of clerks who were often by the fact that education was the monopoly in no hurry to settle down. The result was that the university schools rapidly had always been. people.e. In fact this distribution became inevitable in the twelfth. The education. the Metalogicon. teacher). the it was they who eventually triumphed. and to these we must add the five or six years at his first school which preceded them.

and the need to rely on memory above all. the oral method of repetition: the features of this pedagogy have to be kept in structure mind if we are to understand the astonishing demographic start of the medieval school.ISO SCHOLASTIC LIFE taught separately in the kte fifteenth century. they were. but also a grammatical treatise. on the other hand. Donat's Barbarismum (whereas the De octo partibus formed part of the ordinary cycle) and finally a sort of optional subject: ethics. To the first cycle belonged the basic disciplines. The older students were distinguished from the new not by the subjects they studied they were the same . The second cycle consisted of the complementary another: subjects. incidentally. If. in accordance with the tradition which we find described in the reform of the University of Paris in 1215 by Robert de Coupon. and the reformer of 1215 saw to it that they were not extended too far. in other words Priscian and the Organon and the other ad cursum. while the cursariae were on given only on holidays. when Standonc was in charge of the course. when the historians are French.). At what age did the medieval child school? On this point the answer given by the historians varies. music from Boethius. From this text we learn that the arts were divided into two cycles: one given in the scolae ordinariae grammar and logic. that the bachelors of were no longer taking it. Even in the case of these distinct and special lessons. instruction still remained simultaneous. arts 16 complained. because in England the . they are English. the pupils studied rhetoric. in effect. because. Moreover the scarcity of manuscript books. frequent. and which was wholly in keeping with the spirit of medieval pedagogy. then we have a better idea of what they are talking about. it is not clear whether they are talking about the elementary school or about the higher school as it existed only in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It was as if the time-tables had been arranged so that the same pupils could follow both cycles at the same time. also made this wearisome repetition inevitable. But these two cycles did not follow one the contrary.but by the number of times they had repeated them. In these cursariae. the quadrivilia (physics from Aristotle. the simultaneity of the teaching. etc. which were. The mixing of the ages and the liberty of the students The lack of gradation of the curricula. It can now be seen why the Bologna student possessed both a Donat and a Boethius. taught simultaneously: the ordinary classes were held on weekdays. of course. Between 1492 and 1517 it was finally He suppressed.

since they undoubtedly as complementary schools which pupils could themselves establishing enter only after receiving a preliminary education. The students often in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. so stayed at school a long time that the long cycle of studies. university college or spent a period reading law. lasting to the age of twenty and beyond. the youngest pupils were eight years 1* old. It should be noted that at that age. in specialized theology In France the teaching of the arts in thirteenth century. Until the twelfth century have stayed on much after thirteen approximately. In Paris. in the twelfth and thirteenth a centuries. he would be or five years at a entering the first form and would already have four . comparatively speaking. That was the great difference between them and the English schools. Chaucer in 'The Prioress's Tale* depicts a little schoolboy: 'Now among the children there was a widow's son. . But even in what appear to be the clearest cases an ambiguity remains. in England. it became customary to have little the elementary school finished long cycle of studies which started where and. the English educational historian. the as it was later called. than today. accompanied him to about the age of twenty. So the medieval child started period. This would be the English system: until fourteen. the age of puberty. taking the student at thirteen or fourteen. The behind him school primary medieval cleric was four or five years behind the boy of our own and those four or five years represented at that time a much longer day. and the elementary school or the grammar school. The age given by Adamson.MEDIEVAL SCHOLARS YOUNG AND OLD distinction * 15! between elementary schools and higher schools providing instruction in the arts survived the thirteenth century and has lasted down to the present day. seems to have been the usual one: from nine to twelve. In the fourteenth century. The portion of pupils aged students attracted by the two stages did not survive Paris university schools must have had a proover fourteen who raised the average age-level.more if he had been to nursery school. nowadays. with die university movement. How long did he stay there? Here again. in 1339. a pupil can scarcely or fourteen. at the Ave Maria College. But these same schools did not succeed in in took younger beginners. school fairly late. the fame of the city's masters. It can be assumed that on the average it was at about the age of ten that the little cleric began his Psalter. a litde cleric seven years of age who was accustomed to 17 go to school every day/ He was precocious for his time. we must be careful to distinguish one period from another. after which the student to fourteen from eighteen. 18 Boys entered Winchester College between eight and seventeen. Then.

a evolution started at the end of the Middle Ages with the victory of a programme that ended when the student was fifteen. and attended for a longer period by adults. These were never age limits. the master giving eminent specialists such as who taught the arts at the instruction in the arts stopped being a scholar or a thinker. a dialectician or logician famed for the originality of his thought. law or medicine. as in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. about However. And this latter formula carried the day until the Jesuits restored to the teaching body a prestige which was. Anselm or Abelard. No doubt we are introducing into this analysis a totally modern concept. but occasional teachers same time as they were studying for examinations in the higher Faculties: theology. and became a pedagogue. The lodging contracts something like articles of apprenticeship by which families fixed the terms of accommodation of their schoolboy sons : .their arts courses were better attended. limits the canons in self-defence tried to set limits to their rivals' activity.152 SCHOLASTIC LIFE attracted became customary. to the shortening of the course of studies.a concept foreign to the Middle Ages. the private schools multiplied and threatened the monopoly of the cathedral schools. there is reason to think that the teaching of the arts and retained many masters: famous teachers preferred the arts to law and theology because they were more remunerative . however. The canons confined themselves to forbidding the private schools to teach anything more advanced than Donat. Soon they were no longer. And this absence of any reference to age continued for a very long time the lack may be noted very often in the seventeenth-century moralists. a mere labourer treated with scant respect. despite the opposition of the chapters. a pedant. As the average age of the pupils dropped. It corresponded in fact to the transition from the long cycle to a shorter cycle. namely that of the correspondence between age and studies . we should beware of giving this speculation about ages more importance than it deserves. just as students in the Faculties of Letters and the Sciences now give private lessons or teach in private schools. the masters in the Jesuit colleges were more often than not students in the higher Faculties who earned their living by teaching. very relative. which was synonymous with elementary grammar. When. We know on the other hand that from the fourteenth century on the masters taught the liberal arts only while waiting for something better. It is only very rarely that one comes across a precise reference in a text to the pupils' ages. This drop in the quality of the teaching body suggests a change in the composition of the classes. This shorter cycle of studies.

seeing that there was no gradation of the curricula. But We their contemporaries paid little attention to their age. An adult could listen to the work of Donat at the same time as a precocious boy was studying the Organon. from ten years of age to twenty or more. St number or else in the church or at the church door. These schools were. 153 it were of no know importance. The solitary master. Sometimes one master would entice away the pupils of another. whether you be old or young. senes* . he sometimes when he was short of money. and that the older students had simply repeated more often what the younger pupils had heard only once ? The mixing of the ages continued out of school. as if that as a general rule the . mature or green. In the fourteenth century a few benches innovation encountered some opposition come to him. Generally die master contented himself with a street corner ' hired a room. * Their numbers were great [there could have been two hundred or more]. 'I saw the 21 students in the school'. saw there men of diverse ages: pueros. of course. adolescentes. and in Paris these schools were concentrated in one street. In the medieval school classroom. . disposal. I is In die fifteenth century their public: 22 we find the masters in Pierre Michault's young and the old who made with up pupils open minds. In this classroom boys and men of all ages were this were provided. a schola at a fee which. for there was no word to denote an adult and one went straight (romjuvenes to senes. of authorized schools increased. and considered it perfectly natural too for an adult who was anxious to learn to join a class of children.' How could things be otherwise. 'And this school. Then the master waited for students to gathered together. as a shopkeeper waits for customers. The floor was strewn with straw. parasitic all the ages were mixed together in the same At that time the school did not have huge buildings at its The master installed himself in the cloister after it of clearing commercial as the activity. But later on. for it was the subject being taught that mattered. the Rue du Fouarre: vicus straminis.. Priscian's successor and Despautere's predecessor]. youngest pupils were about ten years old. although at first.MEDIEVAL SCHOLAtS YOUNG AND OLD rarely mention the boy's age.. incidentally. juvenes. all the ages of life. with a great multitude of pupils. and Thomas occasionally shows a touch of contempt for these impoverished creatures who speak coram pueris in angulis'. was fixed by regulation in the university towns.that to say. wrote Robert of Salisbury in the twelfth century. was reading the chapter on constructions [in the Doctrinal by Doctrinal addressing themselves to both the 'Good ' Alexandre de Villedieu. and the pupils sat on the floor. independent of one another.

. . This mingling of the disposal. something of the medieval state of mind would remain. Most of the pupils lived where they could. and here there was a sort of compromise between the education by apprenticeship and academic education of the modern type. But until the end of the ancien regime at least. old and young were mingled together initiatory traditions bound the younger pupils closely to their elders. How could they be expected to notice the : mixing of the ages when they were so indifferent to the very fact of age? As soon as he started going to school. as is the way with very familiar things. was one of the most characteristic features of medieval society and one of the most enduring features too. These pupils were the most closely supervised or at least the most closely watched. the child immediately entered the world of adults. to the family of the clerk to whom they had been entrusted. this authority. ages surprises us today if it does not actually shock us but at the time people were so indifferent to it that they did not notice it. This confusion. they were left to their own devices. to begin with. At the end of the Middle Ages. the master's for was the only one they recognized.154 sometimes helped by an SCHOLASTIC assistant. in private lodgings. A very few lived with their parents. Now. on terms arranged in a contract similar to articles of apprenticeship. common to a long succession of generations. they escaped from his authority as soon as lessons were over. several to a room. either with the master himself or with a priest or a canon. was in no position to keep a check . Others lived in lodgings. 'Old or young. mature or green'. we can make out the first signs of a contrary evolution which would result in our present very conscious differentiation of the ages. they belonged to a household. And here too. so innocent that it went unnoticed. This was the only form of boarding-school. LIFE and with only one building at his on the everyday life of his pupils. Its resistance to other factors of mental transformation marks it as a fundamental attitude to life.

in its origins. twice a day for die ordinary lessons and on free days for the the master who had lured it gathered his pupils lessons. who had become the chief cogs in the educational machine. This new organization had come into being between the reformations of the thirteenth and these terms did for fourteenth centuries and the reformation of 1452 the old-type schools. though they were. some new expressions appearance: collegium. The institutions referred to in According to this all the teaching of the arts. The reformation of 1452 bears witness to a that spirit very different from of the earlier period. the cathedral school or the school in the Rue du Fouarre. domus artistorum. addressing himself directly to the magistri principales. in 1598.if it had not been safely established inside these colleges. document. or to compare them with the previous Yet his system. Thus in 1445 the University of Paris. and the Cardinal was legislating them alone. recent entirely quasi colleges. In 1452 another reformation took place. pedagogus. pedagogia. extraordinary and read or commented on the authors prescribed custom. entities which had been unknown or collegia.* II A texts NEW INSTITUTION: THE COLLEGE THE The of the pontifical reformers of the University of Paris and (of 1215 1366) spoke only of the school: the room in which. take the place of the former master: magister made their Some new characters prindpalis.* 155 . together by reformers' intervention was limited to enforcing observance of the traditional curricula and fairness in the examinations. and established the conditions of education until the mid-eighteenth century. carried out by Cardinal d'Estouteville: this was 1 the last time pontifical authority was exerted by its legate. in an address to the admitted that it now resided almost iota . was replaced : by the college or the pedagogica. The next reformation of the University of Paris was the work of Henri IV and his officers. the Faculty of Arts was now composed of domus artistorum. and that it would have perished in the recent troubles -during the Hundred Years War . In this text. regens. had gone unmentioned in the older texts. pedagogium. Cardinal d'Estouteville speaks of diem as of institutions so familiar that it does not occur to him to mention their King. contemporaries were well aware of the importance the in university life and occasionally they provided an had assumed college indication of it.

for the benefit of the poor students whom they wanted to be lodged therein under the name of Scholars. for the good reputation of the poor scholars was chiefly due to their 'confinement' (delusion). which were called colleges. the rooms on one side were leased to students and on the their lessons before the introduction other to whores. sending their children to study in Paris. Revulsion had brought about 'the institution of the colleges which put a new complexion on things'. 'certain lords and particularly ecclesiastics decided to build houses in this University. The transition from the free . and to be fed and taught at the expense of the revenue set aside for this purpose*. or rather an attempted supervision. He began by reviewing the places where the students were given this of the colleges. such as their thirteenth- century predecessors had never known. Henceforth schoolboys would tend to be separated from adults and submitted that time there : to a discipline peculiar to their condition. so that under the same roof there was a school of learning 8 together with a school of whoring/ Pasquier expressed surprise that 'at was no more discipline than that. First of all.156 SCHOLASTIC LIFE In the sixteenth century. the institution took place in two stages. Next. freedom for the pupil to live free of supervision outside school hours.. also wanted them to lodge in the colleges in order to avoid debauchery. An important stage had been passed. and that the University of Paris had none the less acquired such a high reputation*.. According to Pasquier. which had taken place just over a hundred years before. which had acquired a good reputation for discipline. People now saw nothing in the old state of affairs but licence and anarchy. we should beware of taking this word literally: the inde- pendence enjoyed by Pasquier's 'confined' students would alarm present-day parents! However. as he liked. well-to-do families got into the habit of sending their sons to these colleges for scholars. His comments show to what extent medieval freedom was no longer understood or tolerated: freedom for the graduate master to teach where he liked.' Thus with the institution of the college appeared a feeling unknown to the Middle Ages and which would go on growing in strength until the end of the nineteenth century revulsion at the idea of the mingling of the ages. Incidentally. The disorderliness of medieval education shocked him: at that time 'studies were in a jumble . and thus came to desert the 'jumble' in the Rue du Fouarre: 'The in discipline kept by these poor Scholarship Students who were confined the colleges was considered so good that the majority of fathers and mothers. tienne Pasquier gave a precise description of transformation. they were none the less submitted to a supervision.

started in the hospices from the end of the twelfth as homes for poor students. and sometimes to remain silent at table or to take part in exercises of devotion and piety. which continued to be given in them until the home for scholars was still a long way from the of the ancien regime. it came closer to it in die course college of the thirteenth century with the institutes founded by the mendicant orders for their members at the universities. installed itself in an independent house. According to their statutes. founded century onwards. when the old Hotel-Dieu was destroyed.A NEW INSTITUTION: THE COLLEGE . According to the English historian Rashdall. the regular college may have done a great deal to Revolution. permanent installation in premises which bigger than the limited number of beneficiaries Thanks the teaching of the to this permanence. the institutions for scholars absorbed all arts. it The colleges. This such as suggest the idea of secular foundations of a more organic nature. the college soon became an institution for scholars : a prelate or an abbot would give a university an endowment to maintain a few poor students from his diocese or native land. 157 school of the Middle Ages to the disciplined college of the fifteenth century was the sign of a parallel movement in the world of feelings: expressed a new attitude to childhood and youth. Later the College des Dix-huit was combined with Louis-le-Grand. they increased in number at the beginning of the it was no longer just a question of of living in a university town: means providing poor a way of life which would shield on them to it was also impose proposed them against secular temptations. at conduct. which are extremely least about administration and moral and social precise and detailed. However. as the far As of thirteenth middle the in the to century. . college with a permanent financial basis: in particular it The endowment provided the made possible its to our eyes often seem far seemed to require. 4 This was the origin of the College des Dix-huit which in 1231. these communities governed themselves under the distant and statutes. Thus in 11 80 an Englishman back from Jerusalem took a place in the Hotel-Dieu in which to house eighteen poor students maintained by an endowment. specifying the way in which the fund was to be applied. From then on students with the For example they were compelled to take their meals together. Starting as a hostel. appear began arts were concerned. and they were submitted to a community life inspired by monastic practices and governed by perpetual fourteenth century.

Gerson in grammaticalibus et logicalibus stipulated that the children were to be instructed although we know that this was a grammar school of the new sort. who otherwise had to live on charity.which began. In the statutes of the choir-school of 6 Notre-Dame. There was a feeling . in and no instruction was given them the : scholars went for their lessons to the traditional schools. of course. seventeenth Rue du Fouarre. In the course of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. for whom it was made possible by the beginning of a gradation within the liberal arts in favour of grammar. society which would still later characterize the scholastic environment. recognize in these communities the origins of the type of succeed him. the system of self-government in these communities remained a long way from the century. For a long time academic jargon. The transfer started with the younger pupils. the schools in the these communities contained only a small the colleges of the sixteenth. However. rather timidly. and installed them within the bounds of an organized community with its own revenue. they college. from the poverty and promiscuity of hospices and casual lodgings.of the sixteenth. whereas and eighteenth centuries had a large academic population: it was a difference between a few dozen scholars and several hundred or even several thousand pupils. In the first lacked three of the specific features of the modern place. Finally. seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.that grammar was a subject for beginners which ought to be finished with before starting on philosophy. We can. usually from among the theology students. would go on combining grammar with logic. Secondly. Thus these foundations rescued the poor students. regulations and hierarchy. the real exercise of education passed from the traditional schools of the Rue du Fouarre to the colleges which had begun as mere hostels for scholarship boys. authoritarian discipline which was imposed after the fifteenth But now let us consider the stages by which the transition was made from the scholars' college of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries to the college providing a 'full course' -the college in which there were masters to give lessons .158 ineffectual control SCHOLASTIC LIFE of the founder or of the person he had nominated to They were managed in a very democratic fashion by one of the older scholars chosen by his fellows. they were simply hostels or lodging-houses. in its stereotyped formulas. number of scholars. towards the end of the thirteenth century . In fact the term most commonly used would be .

the and their place in a new gradation of specialization of the grammarians grammar the curricula is very clearly specified. of the children than are the other It is probable that the lessons in elementary grammar were given first of all in private schools in the vicinity universities or the cathedral schools. 159 parva logicalia. The reformer forbids the masters to allow their pupils to attend the logicaks lectiones if they have not been in grammar and prosody (in arte metrificandi). in Navarre College. sufficiently instructed to the formation of a school for beginners. the most important of the Paris colleges before Louisle-Grand. by the same masters whom the canons or die universities authorstatute ized to teach the Donat. of the arts (logicians) and of theology. Yet henceforth the tendency would be towards the specialization of grammar. One group consisted of theologians. This last character and morals. at Winchester (1379). except 9 to understand parvis logicalibus). . arts. Thus we have Maltre Guilkume Verlet's pedagogica for instance. institutions had no statutory existence. divided into three 7 quite separate groups under the authority of three different masters.A NEW INSTITUTION: THE COLLEGE . Specialization in grammar led the Latin grammar school. there was an independent grammarians. tanquam in collegia. assisted school. The statutes of Seez College in 1450 stated that the scholars should already have received instruction in grammaticalibus et in summulis et parvis logicalibus* One can sense here the authorities' difficulty in accepting a gradation which had been hitherto unknown.grammar here being regarded and taught as an elementary subject. 8 In the text of Cardinal d'Estouteville's reformation of 1452. where parvi scholares. was. early in the fourteenth century. according to its foundation statutes. A of the University of Paris of 1276 grow They would pedagogicas in grammaticalibus et logicalibus prohibited lessons in locis privatis. the second of logicians. and would not give take their place in the Parisian university system to become or halls. and grammar is depicted with younger is armed with a whip or a birch. the third of group was directed by a grammaticus of good by a submagister. aluntur. which Cardinal d'Estouteville distinguishes from the colleges or foundations for scholars. Thus. and he was given the task of instructing the children in primitivis scientiae grammaticae . Similarly in England. next to a students of law. Only these consisting of a master. These schools would are we which (by instruction only in the rudiments of grammar. William of college of Wykeham founded a 'grammar school' with seventy scholarships. his assistants and a number of day-boys. In 1315 Navarre College. These pedagogicas were private. In the allegorical iconography of the fifteenth century. unendowed grammar schools.

-a It could also happen that a free pedagogica pedagogica without . But Navarre College who Navarre and the governed the community theologians competition raised difficulties. and they lived in the colleges.became a as the result of an endowment resources college statutory any or the foundation of a scholarship. This is one days' in 'the principality and pedagogica of a fusion the of private pedagogica with an endowed college example which thereafter provided a 'complete course* of tuition. But it was only in 1647 that. ' Grand Master of the College was finally confirmed until the end of his of the college'. one of the college buildings was assigned to the school of the 'grammatists'. etc. intro- A century the word in the sixteenth century it but a hall were * ducing the provide it. sent its pupils for lessons in another college. a college of scholars who were given no tuition was juxtaposed with a pedagogica providing tuition and installed in the college itself. They tried to compel the Lenormant brothers to sleep . classes there. provision was made in the statutes. complete course* of teaching to it if it did not already The introduction of the teaching of grammar into the colleges took place in very different ways. Some of the college's senior scholars kept the grammar school. Generally speaking. founded a pedagogica 13 a college scholar . Lenormant.who ran a was worried about the private school. and no longer denoted a school in which lessons of residence which gave no instruction but provided. part of the premises was leased to a scholar who held 11 In this case. 1IFE 'pedagogica' had changed its meaning.160 SCHOLASTIC later. Sainte-Barbe is an example of this. The grammar school therefore became a sort of annex of the college. the authority. principals. Another case which was probably similar was that of Harcourt 12 Some seventeenth-century documents indicate that tuition in College. According to an audited inventory of 1434-50. then. This was because by the sixteenth century the pedagogica had joined an endowed college. in a building which he together with his brother. About 1450 a grammar teacher at Navarre College. M. the masters at private pedagogicas were senior scholars from the colleges. founded in 1315. The principal of the pedagogica assumed such importance in the life of the college that he laid claim to the office of Grand Master and used every possible means to obtain recognition of his as the result of arbitration. for which no In Cardinal Lemoine College..for the of instance another the for purpose: bought masters. were scholars on the same grounds as the students . grammar was given there in the fourteenth century.



was not always the private pedagogica that introduced the complete course' of tuition to the college. like that of a church school in present-day France. and soon College.A NEW INSTITUTION: THE COLLEGE 161 from supervising pedagogicas were in the college. as we know. At Cardinal Lemoine we can find traces of the beginnings of p facing above: : THE TAVERN by Lagniet AN EVENING BY THE FIRE by Stella . The pedagogica carried on a precarious existence. while when logic instruction in 16 This state of educational grammar was limited to the colleges and pedagogicas. This tuition depended on a gradation of the curricula which itself corresponded to a differentiation of the ages: schoolboy was the first to be distinguished from the heteroclite academic population of tlie medieval university. In 1456 we still find references colleges as early as tuition m to 'regents' or form-masters taking their pupils to logic classes in the Rue du Fouarre: rcgens habens proprios scolares quos continue ducat ad There must have been a vicum straminis et quibus legat libros logicales. founded in 1370 for the scholars of the district of Dormaiis (twelve in 1370. In France. a and that a Thus the statutes of Navarre College stipulate grammaticus It * submagister arc to instruct the junior es in primitives scicntiae grammaticae. continued in England.which shows. twenty-four in 1373). until 1576. the little Instruction in philosophy and the sciences cannot have moved into the grammar did. schools and the second cycle in the cycle m the grammar on the other hand. The statutes of certain fourteenth14 century colleges suggest that they provided tuition from the start. so as to prevent them their pupils . when an endowment of fifty scholarships by the King of Portugal gave it the same stability as an endowed college. that these also boarding-schools. lessons were already the in the grammarians colleges where private the logic lessons of the traditional schools. incidentally. the logicians joined university colleges. with the first things. to beginning which were with only left supplement with only the monopoly of the quadrivium. But the Lenormant brothers succeeded in keeping their independence. the parv i scholares. in accordance with the statutes. ethics. Similarly the statutes of Dormans-Beauvais College. state that a master and an assistant master are to 'initiate die 15 children in at least the elements of grammar'. and part of the fifteenth century period in die late fourteenth century was still taught in the schools in the Rue du Fouarre. Tuition was therefore introduced into the communities of scholars by the grammarians.

accordance with the custom of the college juxta morem bursariorum dicti would attend the ordinary classes. Therefore tuition in logic must have been given in the college itself. the reader in physics and ethics was exempted from being a master of arts. Another example is provided by Seez It was College. 'college'. which seems to suggest that his tuition tended to be more comprehensive. until determinance. The difference in grade between the tutors is interesting.27 intended for boys of fifteen or over who had been at a grammar school: artibus should attend the nullus recipiatur nisi sufficienter fuerit in grammaticalibus eruditus. did not entirely which college. It was assumed that the scholars' education would be sufficient to allow them to attend the classes in the Rue du Fouarre: adeo quod ad vicum straminis eumdem ad audiendum libros sufficienter sit doctus. : .162 SCHOLASTIC LIFE 17 In the 1320 statutes . grammarians. lessons. cum sociis pedagogii. but with their schoolmates from the under the supervision of their principal. question of providing tuition on the spot for such a small number of scholars. Already we can see here stated that and that the outline of a complete cycle of the arts. However. ordinary The more highly qualified man taught logic. No doubt private lessons and disputations holidays. in college. They and the disputations. the logicians were grouped in a separate section. if they went ad vicum. was a survival from the time when marians and big logicians were still and the founder uses the two words indiscriminately). a little foundation of six scholars dating from 14. under the direction of a magister in artibus: 18 at this time in logico and in had become synonymous. But this must have been comparatively crowded. doubtless because he had to take his pupils to receive tuition from the accredited masters of the Rue du Fouarre. Were they to go then to the classes in the Rue du Fouarre? Not directly. et in summulis little grambe no There could kept apart. the ethics classes on collegii.which make no mention of the logic tuition. pupils of the private pedagogica attached to the college it is two scholars who are masters of arts are to give lessons in two scholars who need not be masters are to give extralogic. The statutes stipulated that no logician classes in the Rue du Fouarre before his determinance. They were first of all to go every day to the nearest college: aedat with paedagogium satis prope (in this text 'pedagogica' is synonymous et This parvis logicalibus. while tuition in physics and ethics was still confined to die Rue du Fouarre and was reserved for bachelors who were candidates for the mastership. on the other hand. in the held also were college. At Navarre College. take the place of the schools in the Rue du Fouarre. it was not alone and independently.

colleges. something of which Cardinal d'Estouteville complained in his reformation of our University there * . tienne Pasquier has left us an excellent account of this evolution which installed in the colleges of Paris the teaching first of grammar. The latter were soon installed in the as the age groups were concerned. 20 logic Despite the objections of the traditionalists. . A give text of 1456 mentions form-masters who not took their pupils to only the Rue du Fouarre but also lectured to them on the books. . then the tuition in logic was given in the college itself. those in Philosophy did the same. that . He remembers that when the colleges were first founded the scholars attended the classes of the traditional schools: 'When their general Fouarre/ colleges. First of all there were only private lessons. thus avoiding excursions which provided the occasion for squabbles and brawls. rendezvous was at the great Schools in the Rue du He recalls that though tuition was gradually transferred to the the Rue du Fouarre still retained a certain activity: 'Neither then lessons discontinued [under the reign of Charles V] nor for a long time afterwards were the which were given in the great Schools in the Rue Fouarre. there would come a time when the form-masters would consider it simpler to stay in college to give all their lessons there. especially in philosophy in order to become a Master of He recognizes that the transfer has begun with the youngest pupils du Arts. which did not take the place of the classes to which the pupils were taken under the supervision of their form-masters. at least in the case of the shorter cycle of studies. that is to say the youngest pupils aged from eight to fifteen at die most. with the grammarians. As far the situation obtaining in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries seemed to have been restored. did not remain segregated from the philosophers.A NEW INSTITUTION: THE COLLEGE 163 These examples enable us to understand how the teaching of logic was transferred to the colleges. then of philosophy. The pupils still went to the Rue du Fouarre for certain disputations or for the classes in ethics which in disappeared their turn at the The beginning of the sixteenth century. transfer took place all the more easily in that it was the senior scholars of the colleges who also taught in the Rue du Fouarre: in 1452 Cardinal d'Estouteville asked the form-masters of the colleges to go to the Rue du Fouarre to their lessons as usual at the stated times.' and with the subject-matter that will henceforth be called the humanities: But as the lessons in Humanities had gradually moved into the colleges. being nothing Master of Arts left to is still us of this ancient institution save that the cap 21 given there/ of Thus in France the grammarians. aged about fifteen.

Any such idea of sexual morality was completely foreign to the reformers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. it would spread to the parents. By that I mean that in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. this tendency would also corre- spond to a secret desire to postpone the dreaded triumph of puberty. Eventually. the boarding-school system benefited from community life. The separation of the ages. it had also been turned upside down. one of the essential but not before die nineteenth century. children of ten and boys of fifteen were mixed up with adults.as if.164 SCHOLASTIC LIFE of John of Salisbury's Cornificius. it . when it triumphed. and at the same time ahead of it. can see here the origins of a tendency which oldest among them. in the nineteenth century. However. In the society of the same period. from a it: it all pupils sexual taboo. if it had been restored. and would gradually encourage a new sensibility. a boy aged between thirteen and fifteen was already a full-grown man and shared in the life of his elders. without causing any this state of affairs was to continue for a long time. if the suitable for a small number of clerks. Cardinal all the arts students together in the regimen die better to distinguish schoolboys from adults. it were puerorum even of the necessary to exaggerate the puerility of their characters. as But the desire to treat Very young children does not always spring the contrary it precedes puritanical impulse. However. Thus surprise. in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Educational historians used to to their residential character. What is more. d'Estouteville grouped . The colleges and pedagogicas Tuition was halls boarding-school was did not correspond to eminendy the sociological conditions of the time. a On seems in fact to be a manifestation of the in modern idea of distinguishing which they had become confused. True. combined in one and the same group children of about ten and adolescents of fifteen or so. We would become habitual for pedagogues and features constitute of their professional psychology. children and adolescents continued to study together but were separated from adults. And the college was out of step with society. the ages in a society now given in institutions which had originally been of residence: income from endowments or payment for simply board and lodging assured them of revenue and consequently of stability and permanence. This separation of the ages existed only in the colleges. in the colleges. from a discipline inspired by the example of the owed their success of course regular orders.

seventy in grammar in 1304. . question of tuition] we give permission for them to be admitted on condition that their admission does not inconvenience in any way the titular scholars. It scholars: If some good and respectable students. At Winchester. was provision for only twenty scholarships in in arts and grammar. In fact. wish to live in the college at their own expense with our scholars. The colleges. and that the only institutions which have survived stem from boarding-schools: the colleges for scholars. * not deprive them of their room.A NEW INSTITUTION: THE COLLEGE it. who taken were poor pupils. and others often happened that these scholarships. in in 1373. theology other colleges there were only about a dozen scholarships and sometimes fewer than that. All that was asked of them was that . under the authority of the Masters [it will be noticed that there is no according to the custom of certain Paris colleges. At Harcourt College. The statutes of Dormans-Beauvais College give us an idea of the boarders and the day-boys in I373. 22 There respective positions of the were twenty-five scholarships financed by the foundation. These figures are insignificant in relation to the mass of Parisian students. there At Navarre. became huge day-schools lived where of who numbers immense they could. But the statutes were added later. they too made their way to the colleges and pedagogicas. and in pupils taught which the boarders were reduced to an insignificant privileged minority. does . the only one we know for certain. At had their private boarders. but they could not take in more than they could accommodate. but its boarders could also study law or theology. 165 attribute excessive importance to written documents which have come down misled by the fact that the only to us . Are we to suppose that the day-boys remained faithful to the masters of the Rue du Fouarre? No.the college statutes - describe a boarding-school system. strangers to the college. The number of boarders remained absurdly small: particularly the number of scholars. without receiving any tuition from the also provided for other boarders apart from the college. which were in which masters originally boarding-schools. the boarding-school system merely gave the institution a financial and structural basis. thirty twenty in theology. held diem as they would a living. . Admittedly the principals and form-masters in 1375. twenty-eight in grammar twenty-four arts and twelve in in 1311. and does not prejudice in any way the general order of the house. At Dormans-Beauvais. and with their numbers swamped the boarders on the foundation and the principal's boarders.' Dormans-Beauvais was a college for grammarians. does not interfere with their usual way of life. intended for over at a price by well-to-do beneficiaries.

A certain number of pupils were lodged with their form-masters. in order adopted strange to preserve the clerical character of the community. pseudo-religious character to be finally effaced. to admit to their classes pupils who were not members of the college. This does not mean that the founder had the definite intention of providing tuition for all and sundry. In reality this prohibition was not strictly obeyed. . who were themselves senior scholars. present and to come [who taught in the college] to undertake the instruction of any good children who present themselves. and even this was not required of the priests: 'These extraneous students must pursue studies in theology. He was merely authorizing the masters of the junior scholars. This pupils from outside by preventing them from living reasons of for doubtless was attitude discipline. law. and to admit them to our scholars' classes. Living in the college. and it was still regarded in that light at the beginning of the sixteenth century in 23 thefamilia pauperum studentium of Standonc at Montaigu. and to exclude in the college.' Thus these outside were forbidden to live in the college. the classes in the Faculty of beneficiaries Theology.166 SCHOLASTIC LIFE they should be students. and in that case they must celebrate Mass from time to time in chapel/ The statutes went on to fix the cost of their board and lodging and stipulated that they were to submit to the college regulations and in particular to eat at the common table. or else they must be priests. Accordingly. and to charge them a fee: 'We also gladly permit the masters and assistant masters. However. they would perhaps the Cite lodge attend the Sorbonne classes. there at any time have been a great many of them: were eighteen. The college still remained a community governed by a rule. There cannot in 1496. another article of the Dormans-Beauvais statutes authorized the extension of the college's tuition to day-boys. boarders. as the Jesuits were to try to do in the late sixteenth century. of the scholars' extremely and moral advantages of case must have been for most of the boarders were advanced students. or to share in the material this sort community. for example. Thus they were not necessarily young boys wishing to attend the classes in grammar and rare. on condition that these children stay in the college only during the day. and that they do not detract from the cleanliness of the house. It took some time for this original. logic. masters and scholars inevitably lived together. Far from pupils from a boarding-school for grammarians. and these form-masters also lived in the college. or grammar. including one Benedictine monk. die tendency was rather to creating reduce the number of grammarian boarders to the schokrs. Indeed who lodged in the college as present-day students in Paris in Universitaire.

The commissioners therefore tried to exclude the formmasters' pupils from the college by forbidding the masters to lodge them with the scholars: this implies that previously boarders and scholars lived together. in the non-university towns. from the end of the fifteenth first as pupils. together with the provision of full teaching facilities. completely century at least.A NEW INSTITUTION: THE COLLEGE . and families got into the at least a sending their children to a college for few years. Tolerated at attending the senior scholars' classes. Similarly they confined partial board to those who lodged in no longer being respected and that the life was being disturbed. an idea which we find again in the statutes of the poor students of Standonc at Montaigu. the character of a modern educational establishment. more or less disappeared from France. where furthermore some of the took their meals in the college and became day-boarders. These . gave the college. 167 The same confusion existed at Navarre. once a scholars' foundation. This idea of separating the scholars from the other pupils. a royal commission decided that the founder's intentions were tranquillity of the community's with regard to this of a religious community: another consequence of the ambiguous nature of the college. This crowd of day-boys could just as well have simply attended the form-masters' classes and taken no part in the life of the college. who were soon to be numbered not in dozens but in hundreds and then thousands. which. and it in the foundations they created in the fifteenth city magistrates copied and sixteenth centuries. This in fact was the time when academic education ceased to be limited to cultured clerical habit of circles. in the face of the massive invasion of the day-boys. It was the day-boys who. In day-boys 1459. Henceforth the college embraced the whole scholastic population in the arts. the big cathedral school of the Middle Ages changed to follow its example. they became the principal element of the academic population of the colleges: they swamped the colleges. as a consequence of the inevitable incidents which punctuated the life of these societies of young people. The spirit a deal of the monastic development of the day-boy system removed great and which would be the which had inspired college's origins replaced by a more authoritarian discipline. Where it did not exist. became to all intents and purposes big day-schools. Their attitude educational institution was like that of the reformers the college or in the neighbouring house: a house which must have been hired by a master for his boarders.

But the statutes insisted that they be present in the college and given tuition all the omni die. in the fifteenth centuries.' These gyrovagous students did not disappear masters]. their arrival is heralded by the clatter of their hobnailed pattens. that is to say the day-boys. stated explicitly when he was reorganizing the grammar school of Notre-Dame de Paris: 'Above we want the children to have regulations sicut habent communiter in . such as would suspicious new methods of the humanist in an uproar to Montaigu or some of those sanctuaries scented with the 24 perfume of white beet. lay above all in the regulations which governed it. 'go to the classes of one Regent or another as the fancy takes them'. not only to attend the classes but also to take part in all the activities. This custom became established through day: everywhere. though there might be some left. Thus Gerson. These prohibitions were anything but and their new. and shocked by a master who does not read out of a bulky book loaded with marginal glosses [they are wedded to tradition and of the street corners [the reaction of a big student. furious that the lesson is not being devoted to Alexandras Doctrinal [Alexandra de Villedieu].that is to domibus in the not but in all the all paedagorum' grammar say. 25 They could have gone there simply for classes or private lessons. They would not be obeyed until public opinion refused to tolerate such independence on the part of the students. Submission to collective regulations had become an . because the superiority of the college. They come in and open ears as intelligent as those with which Marsyas listened to Apollo. However. perhaps even good many. only colleges schools. college We have seen that the scholars of Seez used to go to the nearest college. they were no longer accepted by public opinion. The university authorities tried to suppress them or discipline them. either by keeping a check on their lodgings or by forbidding them to change masters in the course of the year. in the eyes of parents and pedagogues alike. as Pasquier puts it. They are annoyed at not having seen notices of the classes at the posted up still be met with in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries]. one of the first modern educationalists. repetition tended to confirm their ineffectiveness. This was in fact what happened: to the end of the sixteenth century there were complaints about the 'martinets' or 'old fogies' (galoches) who. This is how Buchanan describes their entrance into a classroom: noisy *Here come the bands of idlers that the town has sent us.SCHOLASTIC students elders LIFE their first would have retained in college the same freedom that had once enjoyed in the schools. They get up and go off and sixteenth a completely until the early seventeenth century. The authorities then took to compelling the students.

logicians and theologians were elected by an electoral college composed of student delegates (three grammarians.A NEW INSTITUTION: THE COLLEGE . The older statutes. . It was forbidden to go out without it At Seez was even explicitly forbidden to good (i. These statutes endeavoured to regulate the life of the scholars and to sanction it with a penal code: it was forbidden to go drinking in taverns ment of the theologians) . to make a din. to sing. It was forbidden to damage the kitchen utensils or the property of the community. have carnal knowledge of a woman who might have been brought into the college on the pretext of providing water or lighting fires. Also arranged by the statutes was the administration of the chapel and the household. sermonis (the sermon was a method of like the lesson.' At Narbonne. six artists and six at Seez the bursar was elected for one or two years by the whole community. to play noisy games. especially always being punctual. The statutes also prescribed the appoint- dignitaries: at Navarre. but which each scholar in turn occupied for a week . it was forbidden to throw straw or hay * into the latrines. especially for mealtimes: they were to take care not to go barefoot. nisi causa lectionis. aut praeposlturae instruction. the number and the duration of the scholarships: at Cardinal Lemoine. fixed the details of the administration.e. eight years for the artists and ten for the theologians. and consequently to respect the customs of the meals in common clothes. All members of the college' or of the 'household* were urged to dress decently. an office which was not permanently entrusted to one person. or to visit places of ill repute. 169 The rules formulated in the early fourteenth century by the founders of the scholars* communities no longer satisfied the strict requirements of fifteenth-century pedagogues such as Gerson.they were to live together in friendship. amicaliter. especially for the theologians). parti*let nobody deposit cularly the library of manuscripts. reproduced. reason: on an errand for the steward or the bursar). refuse at the foot of the walls of the house. At Harcourt. the three masters of the grammarians. and forbidden to bring into college 'unless [states a reservation at Harcourt] they are so respectably escorted that the Prior of the house and the scholars are convinced that no evil women suspicion can result*. but only in the place provided for that purpose. and not to put on short or indecent community life. and particularly of the stewardship. forbidden to sleep out. not to stay in rags.he was called the praepositus handing over the keys and accounts to the scholar who succeeded him. which for a long time were copied and essential educational principle. Above all -and this was the essential principle on which the whole of this code of behaviour was based .

but who were often treated to a copious meal. treating the students more or less too inadequately hierarchized for the needs of the fifteenth century. while they in turn supervised and punished their pupils. which strikes us down only approximate. Then there six o'clock: the text informs us that these was was a lesson until Mass at movements were governed by his initiative. They were therefore modified by custom and given a more authoritarian bias: a chain of command was established. Reveille a bell. of Harcourt College his pupils calls it. or more economically to a drink: the drink of friendship. even if they were respectable. It would also be governed from above by a a primus peers. they represented a considerable advance on the almost unlimited freedom of the student population. with obvious gaps here and there. and never bringing in women. Standonc even gave a timeto night. potum atnicabilem. . Similarly the a bursar chosen by his college would no longer be administered simply by inter pares. None of these regulations studies. with as much precision the time allowed. in the they made no distinction between grown men concerned the scholar's constitutions thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. and enmeshed the pupil in a network of obligations as which covered the whole day and reduced fixed at about (circa) four o'clock. It introduced a new concern for time.I7O SCHOLASTIC LIFE not bringing in guests too often. such as those ofdiefamilia pauperum studentium at Montaigu in 1501. was quite remarkable and almost revolutionary for the time. The new regulations. They went into die details of everyday life and carefully laid table for the as the habits whole day. The oldest schoolmate would become the formmaster who would govern his people with cane or birch. who masters and supervised them. by as monks. and all are to eat in the same room/ Horseplay was to be avoided and respect was to be shown to the senior scholars and graduates. And this precision. Standonc describes the order of assembly: when the bell rang. were no longer content with fixing the general 26 conditions of the college's life. and therefore by their very nature and children. is what the official charter as friends. would have the 'principality*.when silence was not imposed. The lectores had at first been regarded whom certain statutes admittedly urged the scholars to respect. None of these regulations had any reference to the scholar's academic condition. except for an occasional mention of the obligation to speak Latin at table . If. they remained too egalitarian. Moreover they were inspired by religious which applied to adults. At Narbonne: 'There shall be no separate table in die house. from morning of a daily routine. Henceforth the gap between the teacher and would widen. This master chose his formprincipal.

from a community of masters and pupils to the strict government of pupils by masters. At eleven o'clock the community gathered together in the refectory for dinner. to the classrooms. the Jesuits' rule being the stricter and more effective of the two. The success of the Jesuit colleges was due to the same factor that ensured the success of the scholars' communities in the early fourteenth century: the existence of a rule. discipline a new character This development took place with the Jesuits. from regulations laying down and a way of life to regulations of the day was to be occupied. this progress made by the on the first spirit of authority. After Mass. from about eight to ten. from a collegiate administration to an authoritarian system. the rule governing their colleges. Everything here is provided for with a strictness unknown to the old statutes. The form-master The monitors assisting him inspected the pupils and made a note of any absentees and delinquents. conflicted with the old traditions based statutes. and when the government of the college coincided with the government of the masters' religious community. and their ratio studiorum. a fortiori if this teaching order was particularly concerned to develop the spirit of obedience and gave the age-old principles of of semi-military efficiency.A the pupik NEW INSTITtTTION: THE COLLEGE IJI came in. It would reach its final consummation when the masters were recruited from a religious community and were thus naturally separated from their pupils. But the evolution corresponded to the general movement of society. In these last years of the sixteenth century. Just as the first colleges had taken over the This is the way the change took place the basic principles of a code of behaviour dictating the manner in which every part tuition given by the schools. an important stage was reached. A The similar time-table colleges was in force at Sainte-Barbe at the same period. there was a lesson. the Jesuit colleges absorbed the middle-class . which was carrying it towards the political forms of absolutism that were taking shape in the fifteenth century. went down adpMica loca. of the ancien regime kept to roughly the same system until the Revolution. At three o'clock the big afternoon lesson began and went on till six o'clock. in the time of Louis XI. marks the culmination of the evolution towards an authoritarian system and the not so complete segregation of the young though the segregation was as it would be in die nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. at the end of the sixteenth century. Commines and Macliiavelli. This separation of masters and pupils. the big morning lesson (it was customary to have one big lesson in the morning and another in the afternoon).

similar to that in force at Montaigu or at Cardinal Lemoine. in fact. applied to the College de Bourgogne in 1680. It (it is 'as co-administrator'. As a result. These leges et instituta in usum academiae et Universitatis parisiensis were a plagiarization regulations adopted in the Jesuit colleges. to a degree corresponding to the new exigencies of French manners. previous 28 In these regulations of i624 certain paragraphs still recall the particularfor instance it is stipulated istic spirit of the old fourteenth-century statutes has no right to appoint the porter without the agreethat the : A principal ment of the first chaplain of scholars physics). threatened the colleges of the university. and their success. This reformation must have been successful. of discipline* which followed -though not until 1680 -by a 'code a time-table which was established a strict time-table for the boarders. We find in the this new and significant expression. at the serious monastic upheavals. maintained an excessive liberty which was now regarded as licence.172 SCHOLASTIC LIFE and even the lower-class clientele. We must regard the text of 1624 as price of of introducing into the reformation of this particular college. even when they had been improved on in practice. just as the latter were the result of an evolution of which Standonc's statute at Montaigu or the statute of the Freres de la of the marked one of the stages. With this document the Paris colleges received what their statutes had failed to give them: a code of studies and a code of discipline. and it took time for the reformation of 1598 to penetrate the old-established colleges in which a good the habit of regarding scholarmany abuses had taken root: for example as saleable pensions. in the university. a means of the University of the college the spirit of the 1598 laws and statutes were these encountering. and very . 27 The object of this reformation was to give all seventeenth century. Paris and overcoming the opposition which in order and suppressing It was aimed simply at putting the college for it was certain abuses. as it took for the spirit true that the college had only higher classes in logic and not so easy to suppress what remained of the traditions of the Council of Trent to penetrate the religious communities. where respect for the old statutes. in order to fight against the victorious competition of the the University of Paris reformed itself in the first years of the Jesuits. code of regulations for this college had been drawn up in 1624. un rlglement de discipline. due to the strictness of their discipline. As much time. or even of the community ships was handed down from the thirteenth century. the old colleges of the university the principles of order and discipline which parents admired in the Jesuit colleges and no longer found to a sufficient degree. which made its appearance Vie Commune at Liege seventeenth century.

three in the afternoon. which would remain unchanged for nearly two centuries. to the modern college. designed not only for the tuition but also for the supervision and care of youth. This does not origins mean that it violated the old statutes. This was the of the ancien regime. all it lays down regulations regarding the order of the intermediate examinations. It interesting to note that. In other words the the pattern of the Jesuits' reformation 1598 completed the statutes by adding to them a code of discipline. present lycces colleges in of obvious differences (particularly the absence of the boardingcollege first scholars' spite school system). a complex institution. In addition. an institution still further removed from than from the French colleges of the fourteenth century it is the direct ancestor. three in the morning. the times for recreation. the code of discipline simply refers to the practice adopted in the colleges of the University of Paris ever since 1598. every day at ten o'clock in the morning and at five o'clock in die afternoon there was an exercise in disputation or versification. on fighting. on -without dwelling on them. but which contained no detailed provisions such as the university authorities ratio now laid down . to be copied by other teaching communities such as the Oratorians. punishment. newly reformed a formula had now been perfected. a mere classroom. of which of die and day. discipline: in his master to avoid a order is no free to who change longer pupil.in auditoriis. a formula colleges of the university. the curricula and the time-tables: six hours' tuition every day in the classrooms .A which we is NEW INSTITimON: THE COLLEGE . the principal's authority. thus affording proof that it was now the general rule: School will begin at the same times as the University/ * The 1598 reformation thus prescribed for the colleges. in the matter of school hours. and so It then tackles the real questions of and the immobilization of the of the system punishments. The 1598 text briefly recapitulates the traditional prescriptions . 173 also find in the late sixteenth century in the Jesuit colleges. Both in the Jesuit colleges and in the old-established. Every Saturday there was a recapitulation and die weekly presentation of the marks to die principal.on studiomm. the meals at the common table. whatever their or their statutes. . which remained in force despite their antiquity. a scholastic code and a time-table.the ban on swearing. the checking of attendances. The final establishment of a code of discipline completed an evolution which led from the medieval school. Above supervision of pupils in school and out of school. the studies.

decent half-way between secular lite and monastic that a life. no example to education. public opinion of all in favour Later occurred a certain revulsion in this respect. but number of laymen. the middle class. principles of the cenobitism of old. Later. out of school. youth Thanks way the which remained faithful to the mixing of the ages. which was why a young cleric led a had been regarded as a means of ensuring life. fifteenth the in century and still more At the same time. Such was the mixing of the sexes and century. first first to be of the youngest children. the older pupils. It now assumed an intrinsic value. The grammarians were the the for special attention. . The college in general. the object situation in the fourteenth . as also to society. new of their studies to the way of life peculiar to these set apart from the rest of was student of this to life. chiefly from the nobility and social institution: essential an became thus It also from lower-class families. subsequently. a genuinely juvenile system that All follow.SCHOLASTIC LIFE with a This evolution of the educational institution is bound up evolution of the concepts of age and childhood. The of the in 1452 we find Cardinal d'Estouteville speaking century. reclusion of the monastic tradition while abandoning enclosure. But and the moral responsibilities of the masters in charge regimen puerorum of 'forming' the pupil as much as of instructing matter a of souls. of this way of life. Yet there was no attempt of in order to distinguish them from adults. the education of children and youth in the sixteenth. its composed of a Formerly the college altered and enlarged its doors to an increasing it opened small minority of scholarly clerics. fourteenth idea was foreign to the concepts of the early layman. parallel had no difficulty in accepting the mixing of the ages. a was intended was to protect them from the temptations of The their morals. It was to submit schoolchildren was it thought necessary him. altered. now became an instrument for authoritarian and hierarchical. Admittedly the students Me and all that remained the period were not bound by any vow. even though the age logicians. distinguished some of the physicians and all the artists. At first it even for and became the necessary condition of a good education. To begin with. to carry out already to to apply them. recruitment. the of them would have allowed them. the classes. pedagogues life which many clerks led too : to safeguard monastic therefore took as their model the spirit of the thirteenth-century the retained which foundations of the Dominicans and the Franciscans. But they were submitted during communities. but made more to a strict discipline: the traditional college discipline. functions reserved for adults. of which indeed there was secular life.

ranging from pupils of eight or nine to those of fifteen or over. the college constituted a massive age group. parents. in which the educated ancien regime received their schooling. monks and magistrates. who were submitted to different laws from those adults. a strict code of discipline. In the opinion of pedagogues.A NEW INSTlftrriON: THE COLLEGE' 175 the college with a separate teaching large classes. staff. and people of every generation under the governing .

The word * in the Jesuit sphere authors who used it knew its origins. There it is is no more familiar notion it is nowadays. at least of those connected with secondary education. separating children according cell of the school structure. to an average age from which every attempt is made not to depart. this being too vague a statement: he says that The children themselves refer to their place in their everyday world or youth. his brief history Quintilian in the first Moreover. and did not assume seventeenth. without which it is hard to imagine school life. spatial unit.and those in classes. in the ancient school.* III 4 THE ORIGINS OF THE SCHOOL CLASS the everyday language of our contemporaries. and particularly which was adopted in various of influence. witness ftaenne Pasquier. who in of education writes of the 'class*: 'Word used by book of his Institutio with regard to Pupils. dates back no further than the sixteenth or its late fifteenth century. L Marrou wrote a bulky volume on the in ancient times without mentioning classes once history of education proof enough that they scarcely counted in the structure of the school. A man does not say that his son at by the class to which they belong. certain precise characteristics which are entirely familiar: it corresponds to a stage in the progressive acquisition of knowledge (to a curriculum). and so familiar that we tend to think that a very old notion. H. division into classes remained a superficial disciplinary practice. the few which might have existed in Quintilian's time disthe principles of simultaneity and appeared in the Middle Ages. class' itself. presents the constituent Today the class. But this structure.?er05 in classes distribuere . final form until the beginning of the No doubt the ancients were not completely ignorant of the distribution of pupils countries. public or private. was taken by the humanists from Quintilian-. he is in the fifth form. the class or is IN form the essential unit which characterizes the situation is of the child a college or lycee.' 1 However. when in constant resulted mixing and prevented any attempt at repetition to age or capacity. premises (and the very word 'class* group and subject group has its special denotes both the container and the 176 . to a for each age physical. as old as the college itself and secondary education as a whole.

the span of life and childhood was not cut up into such thin slices. not in 1539 since Thurot. considered to it useless to record details of pedagogical practice and a fortiori. The reformation of the University of Paris of 1452 by Cardinal d'Estouteville. the ages have kept a great deal of their former uncertainty. The extremely close connection between the age of the pupils and the organic structure which gathers them together gives each year a personality of its own: the child has the same age as his class. does not mean that they ignored the existence of classes. as is still often the case in the primary school and consequently in the lower classes of society. The child changes his age every year at the same time as he changes his class. its classroom and its master a distinctive complexion. an annual period at the end of which complement changes. so important for the study of the colleges and pedagogicas. and it was was established. We have to consider how it developed from medieval vagueness to the strictness of the modern concept. in the letter from Erasmus to Justin Jonas in 2 which the humanist described St Paul's School in London: and the first classis every class. but as early as have been in the habit of repeating ever 1519. and each class acquires from its curriculum. The result is a striking differentiation between age groups which are really quite close together. the cycle of classes had acquired its present-day of the periodicity. in the Jesuits' ratio studiorum and the leges et statuta of Paris. But less than a century later the as historians modern word 'class' made its appear- ance. with new institutions such as the college. Hence the importance of the school class for our subject. had sixteen pupils quaeque in his class occupied a little seat which dominated the rest qui in sua classe. University The evolution had therefore taken place during die fifteenth . The idea had preceded the word by a long margin. but pedagogues though familiar as well-informed as Cardinal d'Estouteville. In the past. The school class has thus become a determining factor in the process of differentiating the ages of childhood and early adolescence. how and when the school class acquired its presentday appearance of an age-class. the class's * TBtE SCHOOL CLASS and to a period of time. impose and codify them. or where it is reduced to a vague division with no structural value. Where it does not exist. This silence were entirely unknown. At the end of already familiar when the terminology the sixteenth century. he wrote.THE ORIGINS Of contents).

stylistic exercises division to us the it fixes the schoolmaster's because only explains pay.the declensions. in the colleges providing a full course of tuition. The fourth category. was dictated by the de Villedieu's Doctrinal. and worth half a ducat. and the demonstrative and possessive .from the simultaneous passage an incomplete passage pedagogy of medieval tradition to the progressive pedagogy which would carry the day.e. but it was broken up into groups according to the extent of the pupils' knowledge. The first goes from the Table (i. The third category.and this category is worth a ducat. to the beginning of the Articles: first four chapters of the Doctrinal . as yet in a very embryonic stage. the grammaticus and his he had one. The order of this division. This text ducats. An gives us an idea of how a school was organized contract entered into between the town of Treviso latter. the degrees of comparison. while the classes in philosophy. the seventh form in England). the genders. the alphabet) to the beginning of the Donat: this is elementary stuff. or of grammar. The second goes from the these are the beginning of the Donat. finishes grammar. The and its schoolmaster fixes the scale of remuneration for the this and it can be seen that remuneration varies according to the pupil's degree of attainment. the class originated in the grammar is why the enumeration of the classes began with the rhetoric class (the first class in France. . and the masters got into the habit of addressing each of a these groups separately. logic and physics remained outside this reckoning. At assistant. The document provides for four categories. gave instruction together on the same premises to several spite dozen or several hundred children. if the beginning of the fifteenth century. all mingled together in of the difference in their ages. the Italian succession of the chapters in the Donat or in Alexandre basis of all instruction in grammar. worth two or rhetoric. This pedagogic practice was the result of the . In the course of the fifteenth century new distinguishing principle appeared.178 SCHOLASTIC LIFE century. schools: that Like the complete course of tuition. Cardinal d'Estouteville's silence with regard to the class can therefore is devoted to also be explained by the fact that in a document on the general aspects of discipline he could not be expected to go into die details of salaries. The heterogeneous body remained in a single room under the common supervision of the masters. which adjectives brings in a ducat and a half. and at the beginning of the sixteenth century. document of 1444 3 at that time.

no doubt touched up for the purposes of his allegory. In the last years of the sixteenth century. of our cycle of classes. see the distant origins 179 can which must have already become traditional. and to the fifth. adopted by schools over the whole area of Western civilization. in his Doctrinal du Temps Present. the rudiments had been pushed back beyond the sixth class. to the sixth at Nimes. and the curricula and the order of the classes would vary from one college to the next: thus at Guyenne and Navarre there was a proliferation of little classes. The subdivision was entirely empirical and depended on the master. Finally. 6 The first category at Treviso corresponded to the lowest of the four classes at Basle. and the parquet clearly second this in are declined'. or again. even if certain traditions were beginning to impose themselves. but based on reality. this uncertainty would continue.THE ORIGINS Of* THE SCHOOL CLASS' In this division. the sixth at Narbonne: in half a century. curiously enough. However. and to the first at Narbonne. For a long time to come. In 1466. a Montpellier student visiting Tournon would write from the college: 'It has about 7 that the class became the eight classes/ About! It was only gradually constituent element of a regular cycle. the curricula adopted by Narbonne College in Paris when it started a complete course of tuition in I599. or at least no French name. First of all it had to receive a name of its However. There is a connection between the four categories at Treviso and those class curricula which we know. to tion denote the 'parquet of 8 with pupils' surrounding each a class: 'in this parquet the cases master's chair. In 1599 at Narbonne College the youngest pupils already knew the rudiments of grammar. Treviso school and the between the subdivision of the from it. to the second and first at Nimes. at the end of the same century. the second was missing. 'the regent parquet'. He has no name. such as Melanchthon's at Basle4 and Baduel's at Nimes 5 in the first third of the sixteenth century. fourth The and third at Narbonne. or were we supposed to know them. The second category at Treviso corresponded to the fifth at Nimes. to the fourth and third at Nimes. in 1477 we in a sense which might well used lectio find the Latin expression being ubi lectio contra lectionem clericorum in be that of the school class: prato little benches is filled . Michault gives a descripof the school. and at Narbonne there was no second class. where. there was a difference classes which resulted own. the last category at Treviso corresponded to the highest class at Basle. third category at Treviso corresponded to the two intermediary classes at Basle.

logic and physics. lectiones. Protestant humanists such as Baduel Erasmus in 1519. The Jesuits and the University of Paris were to adopt it in their turn. Montaigu College was divided into lectiones. which fix the time-table in in silence the division into a lectiones: they now referred to it as to commonplace. element this prospectus Baduel points out that the division into classes is indispensable for the of the school: hitherto 'everything had been mixed proper organization and confused/ Henceforth. However. he writes. behaved best These statutes stipulated that in every lectio one of the caeteros suae lectionis. do not specify their number or composition. the system was in force in the Paris colleges and in the houses of the Freres de la already Vie Commune. familiar idea. 'the school will be divided into various up classes of the pupils/ At the same according to the age and development time Sturm was introducing this system to Strasbourg. which incidentally means that the the chosen arts suprema by themselves. The word lectio would soon be dropped in France in favour of the modern term 'class'. For example. school and university in all the faculties 11 In of the Grammars and die Arts alone'. A head monitor should be pupils should supervise artium lectione. founders of model colleges. After being equipped with a name of its own. lectio had imposed itself on Parisian usage. peting with another. Baduel did not consider that this system could be applied the rhetoric class. Thus the fifteenth-century lectio became the late sixteenth-century class. at which Standonc of Saint-Jerome de Liege. In the word the 1501 By 10 statutes of the new Montaigu College it denoted an organic unit.180 insurgere solebat* SCHOLASTIC LIFE This does not appear to be a case of one college com- school against school. We have already seen this term being used by was introduced by the humanists who were fond of terms that borrowing from die ancients (in this case from Quintilian) were unknown in medieval Latin. from Montaigu and Sturm of Strasbourg hailed. After . although some detail. at least at Montaigu. were divided. the beyond the teaching of grammar. The drafters of statutes no longer passed over Thus clear that the statutes. It and Sturm. Baduel's biographer Gaufres has analysed the prospectus which Baduel published in 1538 for the establishment at Nimes of a 'college. the class would go on to be recognized by the pedagogical theoreticians as the essential of any educational organization. and their texts of 1538 and 1539 are generally regarded as the first examples of the modern use of the word 'class' in the sense of a school class. it is into The statutes also tell us that each lectio had its own excitator. used it in their turn.

As late as the at Venice. Like Baduel and the humanists. classes reserved for the school population up to the age of and open lectures of form in the instruction. For a long time die Italian school retained die form described in the sixteenth century mid-fifteenth century contract at Treviso. sixth or fifth class to the first class. At first the grammar schools had one or two masters. subjects taught the seventh form or with schooling stopped in class England. became an organic was in charge of it. half of the sixteenth century. but 'After that. and the . Pere de to logic. 'the second in fact his pupils started straight is (Baduel had the same away in the fourth reserved for public humanities fashion] and the first for theology. Dainville rightly maintains that the extension of the class system who French the of work die was Jesuits physics and sometimes theology their revived colleagues. in his advice regarding 1* If to children. merely assigned separate places a subdivision of single in other schools the class. in accordance with the humanist idea that study was no longer reserved for youth but could be prolonged kte into life. was finally established. Sturm made a distinction between the fifteen or so. it is probable that only the as in would have remained.THE ORIGINS ol *THB SCHOOL CLASS ' l8l lessons and initiates himself in the higher pupil 'attends the public sciences and the arts'. and the rhetoric class plan in theory. and so to save it in the a hundred and fifty years. divided into Therefore. a of establishment the college Rapinius. where rhetoric class.' writes Sturm. adolescents and adults.' after the It will be noticed that Sturm does not use the numbering has continued which and Paris in used rhetoric class which was already lessons [lectures after the be used in France to the present day. one was other the submagister called the grammaticus. 'his studies are less organized and cease to be studies between distinction find the same different classes/ pursued in We classes and 12 bourg: curriculum pursued in lectures in Sturm's to the four here there are six classes correspondbg studies class at Strasclasses in grammar. and the public to higher given to adults. the modern French second Thus. scholasticism a alive to Spanish wanted by keep from humanist criticism. If things had been left like this. When there were two of them. completed by the from cycle going at the end of an evolution of about philosophy. auditorium. from being the mere who master the to thanks was that unit. the humanities class).

who shared between them not two classes but two groups of several classes. Gerson. outmoded by the multiplication of classes in the sixteenth century. in any case probably in the same room. whom Erasmus calls the Superior. in particular from the letter from Erasmus to Justin Jonas quoted above. The first was reserved for the beginners. while the grammaticus kept die higher range of schooling for himself. had lessons now from the master. The third was reserved for the master. According to Erasmus they were divided into three classes.as yet they did not really form part of the school. whose office already existed. this specialization did not go far. us The English grammar schools in fact hesitated for a long tune to number of masters. the hypodidascalus. now from the usher. The fourth form. whom Erasmus compares to catechimens .the master and the usher . and thus the need to create a third master's post had been avoided. corresponding to the third class in France. We know too that this school took in one hundred and fifty-three free pupils. in the cathedral school of Paris. A little extra teaching had been allotted to the chaplain. They were entrusted to the chaplain. gives some idea of the way in which the master and his assistant were led to share the cksses between them. We know of other cases where it was the porter who taught the rudiments of grammar: for instance at Gray in 15 The second class was in the care of the usher: Erasmus calls him I583. In France the specialization of the masters and the increase in their . as in all teaching communities. In 1560 there were still only two masters at Eton . a word taken from Cicero's letters. In the fifteenth century. with its division into two parts. for all that he seemed to recognize that the two masters specialized respectively in grammar and mission: ambo taliter singing. sixth and seventh forms a survival of the first period of the history of the school cycle. to English the high master and the usher). Thus the two masters whom we found in charge of the grammar school when it came into being in the fourteenth century had arrogated two classes to themselves. the last grammar class. * John Colet's school. We know this school from different texts. The master entrusted each individual form to a monitor chosen from the : pupils in that form. Often the submagister had to after the look whom he taught the rudiments of grammar.182 (in SCHOLASTIC LIFE youngest and the most ignorant pupils. the cathedral school of St Paul's in London. the master's upper school of die fifth. none the less charged them with a collective 1 ordinent horas diurnas et nocturnas. However. The usher's lower school conincrease the sisted of the first three forms. and did not represent the whole of the two masters' responsibilities.

Gerson's Donatus moralisatus. a work published in I466.THE ORIGINS OF* f HE SCHOOL CLASS > 183 numbers began much earlier. Doctrinal de etc. exercises studies placed under his control. treatises (Doctrinal de Nature. This can be seen from a study of Pire Michault's Doctrinal du Temps Present. Doctrinal de la Messe. 'breviaries' of etiquette or 'good living* or plain didactic Simples Gens. Vainglory.. tells how it was found necessary at Saint-Jerome de Liege. foot of there every pillar . In his Doctrinal du Temps Present. and consulting not so much the students' minds as their tastes. In this school every master had his own class or lectio: 'At the door was a Porter who scarcely glanced at those who entered . From the thirteenth century on. the curriculum for Sturm's gymnasium at Strasbourg. in which instruction is given on Thus the school of Falsity has twelve masters (as many masters as there are chapters in Alexandre de Villedieu's Doctrinal and months in the year)..' These masters 'read from authors above the age of their pupils. etc. Doctrinal des Chambriers ou de Noblesse. What we must we all here is the hierarchy of the rector and the which we have already seen in the almost contemporary document to which we have often referred: Cardinal d'Estouteville's reformation of the University of Paris. Here in fact we have a college should note above master. assume a basic likeness without which the allegory would have been incomprehensible. and judgment'. moralists gave the classic form of the Doctrinal to allegorical manuals. Moreover the school of Virtue has the more usual number of four masters.' But the school of Falsity drawand had a already rector in 1466.). 17 Originally authority of a rector on masters who 'each master tried to attract the pupils. that Falsity and that of Virtue. at least in the more important schools. even when these readings could prove harmful to morals An authority accordingly had to be imposed on these 'It excessively independent masters: backs that a rector was appointed. and was in order to counter these all the lessons. teaching not what was best but text A what gave the more pleasure. In this school 'there were thirteen masters. or a pedagogica with its authoritarian hierarchy. of 1539. Rapine. and each master symbolizes a vice: Boasting.' Obviously we have a round dozen here simply to make possible twelve moral discourses. Michault imagines two schools. 18 We have already seen that the Doctrinale puerorum was the grammar used in the Middle Ages. to impose the had hitherto been free. While we cannot take an allegorical description of this sort literally. At the there was a parquet of little benches filled with pupils. of Vice or life. to wit a rector general and twelve subalterns.

. which was called the schola. On of several the subjects specialists for on taught in the public lectures philosophy and theology. according St Paul's School . The school of Virtue was 'round'. if it was not big at the end of the enough. when the class system had been finally established. a single master looked after several classes. one for die morning lesson. like a quadrangle/ were which placed against the walls of School was a single round St Paul's to Erasmus. the school. another the fourth and third. as and people used the same word for both room and later with the class. but formed as it were three associated schools. Curiously enough.184 SCHOLASTIC LIFE And at the top of the pillar there hung a board describing the subject which was being read in that spot/ In the humbler schools. In London. another the fifth and sixth. curriculum that the first six classes at Strasbourg (corresponding to the to die rhetoric class) must have only one master cycle from the sixth class he gives permission for recourse to the authority hand other the apiece. But in France. This was die case in Pfere Michault's school of Falsity: 'The school was inordinately big and there were twelve pillars down the length of it/ The pupils sat around their master 'at the foot of each pillar'. It still lacked one feature which would our present-day schools: special premises. in other words the same class was sometimes entrusted to two masters.even if this sometimes meant that not all the classes were in one college. these three masters were not under a higher authority. from the end of the sixteenth century on. would be later. bring For a long time the masters and their lectiones were gathered together in a room. The principle was so thoroughly recognized which was introduced at that time had that a sixteenth : century practice to be forbidden: the practice of having not one master for several classes but two masters for one class. There was only one teaching it closer to the class in room institution.. the town magistrate and the provincial States. as they would single in each school. 'and there were four big chairs there. as at Eton in the sixteenth century. in the school in the little town of Belley 18 three masters shared the six traditional classes between them: one taking the rhetoric and humanities classes. the other for 19 As early as 1539 we find Sturm insisting in his the evening lesson. the principle of a master to every class was generally recognized . The class now had its master. Even in the seventeenth century. financed by grants from three different sources the tutorial prebend.

. the usher was not to mete out punishment himself.that is to say the three classrooms and a sort of chapel with an altar by curtains which could be opened or drawn at will: a sign of a penchant for isolation which did not go as far as complete separation. practices schools of the time. He stopped for some time at a grammar school in Breslau (there was one in each parish). to assign a shepherd and a field to each sheep. with a this circular OF' THE SCHOOL CLASS - 185 floor in tiers on which the pupils sat. in the four corners. In 1612 John 1 Brinsley in his Ludus Litterarius* a sort of schoolmaster's manual. It would be senseless. and the curious provision Strasbourg raises show at least that the question was a topical he which objections one. Erasmus explains that arrangement was designed to prevent beds and tables being which were doubtless current in the divided into four parts . reserved the right of punishment for the master. Montaigu had their own rooms. the school kept this form for a long time. unless he taught 'in a place separate from 22 As late as 1894 Max that of the master'. he writes. Leclerc saw some English schools consisting of a single room occupied : by the master's rostrum and. die plan to establish a gymnasium at of the discusses separate classrooms.THE ORIGINS room. . it early on to give each be that as early as 1501 the lectiones at well may premises. The custom of setting up an altar in the classroom lasted a long time: it was still observed in the eighteenth century in the little college at Mauriac described by Marmontel. which was rarely the case. This room was St Elizabeth's School: 'Nine baccalaurii gave their lessons there at the same hour and in the same room/ With nine baccalaurii we are not far from the twelve masters in the school of Falsity it is easy to imagine the din there must have been. He slept in the schoolroom with the youngest of his companions. 'to gather the classes together in a single Sturm's memoir of I538 23 on over several. 'It is better'. At Eton in 1517 there was still only one schoolroom. the assistant masters' platforms - very like Pere Michault's school of Virtue in 1466. if one had place than to disperse them ten sheep. 20 In England. when a single meadow is sufficient. It would be just as senseless to entrust to several isolated masters the pupils which a single master can teach . About the same time the Swiss Thomas Platter was leading the vagabond life of a mendicant student in Germany. This is Platter's description of installed in the corners. The 1501 regulations state that after breakfast in the common refectory the pupils must return to the scholae: But in Paris and Liege It was endeavoured very class its own the word is definitely in the plural and refers to the classrooms. which was doubtless what John Colet of St Paul's wished to prevent. Bringing .

instruction must be given in one room only. only one room is provided for all the classes.' . Zwolle and Wesel. 'The old order was finally restored'.' The provision of separate rooms forced for each class would seem to have been upon Saint-Jerome by the increase in the school population: at there were over two hundred pupils in each class and the the schools as practice by little the disciplinarian less crowded premises became apparent. which was regarded as something of a model establishreturn to Basle. but the of having separate rooms became an established custom in the * classes in the big colleges such the end of the eighteenth century. He Thomas went Platter was given the to Strasbourg to study Sturm's school. Deventer. in Francion's time.that is to the master of the second class to send one of his people' say one of his older pupils. curriculum . whereas hitherto.' This show of independence order of the classes and their curricula being overthrown by the emulation between the masters and their endeavours to attract a more learned audience. I divided the pupils into four separate ment 'On my four classes of Melanchthon].' 'What's that? Where is MaJtre Philippe?' 'He is ill in bed. * at Liege. classes [the the only one which was heated. they were all kept in the downstairs room. Similarly. there is nobody in the sixth dialogues. .Ig6 SCHOLASTIC LIFE force to the example of together pupils in large numbers gives greater Unless an excessive desire to learn . 24 This conversation shows that the various classes were installed in separate rooms. In the Oratorian schools. the to learning. it would have been the end of the famous gymnasium of Saintdid in fact result in the established Jdr6me. a dispute arose between the masters and some of them started teaching separately. same tendency to use one term to denote place. the word 'class' began to be used for the room. greater opportunity multitude of children necessitates the provision of more than one room. If this practice had been continued. or know whether the classes were also reinstalled in a single room. but we are simply to the curricula of the classes.' 'Tell . In the institutions of the Freres de la Vie Commune. a choicer word than 'class'. there was little of advantages or no mention of the matter in texts and theoretical writings. where the room there in question was the was called the 'chamber'. a pupil class. from another source that in spite of his preferences Sturm finally had not told whether this refers We at Strasbourg. Sturm says.' Sturm continues: 'When I was at Liege. in Cordier's tells the rector: Master. At the end of the sixteenth century. Litde Louis-le-Grand were of this size until seventeenth century. in view of the small number of pupils. In 1540 separate classrooms task of founding a school at Basle.

The creation of the hierarchized college in the fourteenth century had rescued schoolchildren from the hotchpotch in which. in the course of the fifteenth century. at the end of a development*. an arrangement which was still to be found in England in the second half of the nineteenth century. The institution of classes in the sixteenth century established subdivisions within that school population. a Schlestadt school which was attended by to went vagabond youth. The desire to bring education within the pupil's understanding was in direct opposition not only to the medieval methods of simultaneity or repetition. which resulted in the present-day structure of the class. but also to humanist pedagogy which made no distinction between child and man and confused schooling acquisition realization (a preparation for life) and culture (an from life). Finally. though they were still kept within the same four walls. He already considered it not entirely normal that his ignorance should thrust him at the age of eighteen among a lot of children: he felt the need to record the incident as an I anomaly - 'When I entered the school. discipline and educational Baduel in 1538 saw in the efficacity? Were they age groups? Admittedly out of a means class system pupils according to 'their age and sharing same the In period Thomas Platter. I could not even read . We have here a change corresponding to a desire. roughed out sometimes for reasons of expediency. This last stage has finally brought us all the way from the mixed audience of the Middle Ages to the modern class. In both the Jesuit colleges and the University of Paris the classes separation of the had become an accomplished fact. knew nothing. the school population was divided of equivalent capacity.THE ORIGINS and 25 CMP -THE SCHOOL CLASS . nine hundred disdpuli at once. on an initiative originating in Flanders and Paris. Then. which at first bore no relation to what would later be expected from them in the way of order. but under the same master and in a single (a transitional formula to which Italy remained faithful for a long time). 187 pupils. a particular master was allotted to each of these groups. new as into groups room yet. in the outside world. the that within that childhood or ages were mixed up. the classes and their masters were isolated in special rooms. to adapt the master's teaching to the student's level. Starting at least at the beginning of the fifteenth century. The separation of the classes therefore revealed a of the special nature of childhood or youth and of the idea youth a variety of categories existed. What then were these categories.

often not at all. we should beware of being misled by isolated anecdotes. when . not children. They still paid much greater attention to development than to age. The desire to separate the ages was only gradually recognized. people were only slightly surprised. At the beginning of the seventeenth century. School classes had come into existence to separate students according to their capacities and the difficulty of the subject-matter. And this leads us to make a closer study of schoolchildren's ages and their relation to the class structure. separation had already been established in practice after lengthy empirical experiments. the class had not yet attained the demographic homogeneity which it has possessed ever since the end of the nineteenth century although it was constantly drawing nearer to that homogeneity. I took my place in the midst of the hen in the midst of her chickens. like a analysis ness in to separate students according to their ages.188 Donat. and separation asserted as a principle. The new penchant for and division -which characterized the birth of modern conscious- its most intellectual zone.' However. Age and development sometimes but not always coincided. yet little I SCHOLASTIC LIFE was eighteen years old. namely pedagogics inspired in its turn further distinctions and divisions. and when they did not.

then the mind while on from secondary to higher education. our understanding of childhood or youth or adolescence depended on an academic hierarchy. and in winter on a mattress hay goatherd: 'Sleeping full of fleas and even lice. if we recall our schooldays. then a few more general statistics will enable us to put him in his proper perspective and to observe certain overall developments. his mother. the importance which a difference of a few years had in our know how we set our schoolmates' childhood and youth. writers should be not entirely typical of the great majority of people. I had these distinctions in I was collecting the documentary material for this chapter First among these sources pupils' ages before the nineteenth century.THE PUPIL'S AGE WE passage know from personal experience. he was still a life. himself a priest. was born in 1499 in a village in the Valais. who had not yet been attracted by camp At the age of eight. we imagine him permanently committed to manual occupations. the If one or other of these writings in which they were perhaps most sincere. 1 He was one of a large family (one of those nurseries of Swiss mercenaries from which the armies of Europe were recruited: two of his brothers died in battle). Thomas Platter free of mother or nanny at the age of five or six. was keeping a relative's goats. who was to teach him did not one if give up hope of a grammar. such is the common lot of the little herdsmen whom the peasants send up into the mountain solitudes. After the father died. It was not indispensable. first a succession of classes. People accepted the idea of a pre-school period which sometimes postponed die acquisition of the rudiments until after the age of ten. At the age of six. the children soon left home. which was our only standard of comparison. even as one had got as soon scholastic career. And yet. when he was nine and a half. Thomas. leaving the mother penniless. who dreamt of making a priest of him. to go to school straight away. We ages against the average age of our class. School was^ not yet regarded it was still confused with ways unambiguously as a preparation for life: 189 . are the memorialists' recollections of their childhood and schooldays. entrusted him to one of her the rudiments of relatives.' Seeing him in our modern perspective. in the on summer.

pr-acceptor where nine bachelors taught in the same room. which took him through the schools of Germany. Consequently remained indefinite for a long time. Never staying long in one place. cousin of but having heard that there were some Swiss in the next parish. Thomas Platter's off the ground/ through the village. yet I was eighteen years old. of course. we went there/ These were. left his cousin and went off by himself. Thomas and we had not seen for five years and we to travelled to the Munich. who with his fifteen years had acquired a spirit of independence. only the or else a monitor chosen from the pupils) (one of the masters. At Breslau. of this vagabondage the cousin took it into his head to ' 'expounded*. possessed a printed Terence. who must have been about ten years old and had learnt nothing from his priest except to sing the Salve. He then returned to his native Valais. For Thomas this was the beginning of a long vagabondage often years or so. he travelled across Silesia and Saxony. He me A horribly. Elizabeth's. where for a few months he went round asking older students him lessons . he landed up at Schlestadt where his studies took a more serious turn. returned to After five years return to the places Valais'. he arrived at Ziirich. There Thomas.190 SCHOLASTIC LIFE of life which we now tend to postpone until after school. like a hen in the midst of her at Schlestadt. I took my place in the midst of the little children. Switzerland to the age of twenty. At St Elizabeth's. Ulm and Constance. 'When I entered the of the at eighteen age nothing: school could not even read Donat. The others copied it at his dictation. doubtless because he did not chickens/ Yet he did not I stay have the means to live there. with apprenticewhich a child started school the age at ship for instance. St Latin schools. stopping at Halle. Thomas he used to left this brutal master: 'My lift master used to beat me seize me by the ears and had already happened to pass endless attended the schools at Ulm and Munich and was living the roving life of the medieval student. by doing ten years before to do what he should have begun little -to learn the rudiments at a school: . his cousin left Breslau. Going by way of Passau. then 'distinguished*. Dresden and Breslau.but all in vain: 'I did not study at all/ Setting off to They then went back give once more. a prosperous establishment where 'there were up to nine hundred discipuli [not as a scholar gipsy had taught Thomas separated into classes]/ Long years he could not read. and settled down in Munich. next 'construed'. and finally Dresden. 'we first of all attended the school of the Holy Cross. near the cathedral. When he left on another scholastic journey he took with him young Thomas. and Alsace. Johannes Sapidus admitted him to his school.

and that humanism grafted itself easily on to his old medieval stock of knowledge: as we have observed several times. classes did not exist and curricula were not arranged in any order. said to who was now erudition. boarder and even disciple he became. 1 He had two brothers and three sisters. after eight years which may seem sterile to our modern eyes. priest who taught me what else My other aunt's son taught me writing and I know not the ABC in one day/ At the age of nineteen. . who all died except Olivier . who had waited until he was nineteen before learning to read. the new system of separate classes. at the end of his long schooling. maintained the long-drawn. however. he was offered the rectorship of an important school in Basle. we find him learning to read and write. It is true that before being able to read he knew the Donat by heart: one of the last survivals of a time when more important than communication by writing. in the last The essential part of Thomas's store of knowledge was accumulated two years of a cycle of ten years or so. Thomas Platter. Pater Myconius. he was then able to open a school in his native Valais. with he was constantly no age distinctions.he was a goatherd until the age of nine . whose pupil. where he was to introduce Thomas Platter's student life in the early sixteenth century takes us back to the Middle Ages. with studies at countless schools where results were of no account.. and Greek and Hebrew After giving private lessons in his turn. When he was in his forties. taught orally old customs. between the ages of eighteen and twenty.. conquered by humanism and displayed a monstrous appetite for two or three years he learned Latin. Le Fivre d'Ormesson belonged to the following generation: he was born in 1525 of a father who was a clerk in the record office of the High Court. humanism. was arrived. In as well. . represent the typical Thomas student's life in France. his active life We must note above all that Thomas Platter did not begin with school . where 'rumour had it that a schoolmaster be very learned. oral transmission was had He returned to Ziirich. emphasizes the archaic nature of school life in the German-speaking countries. it does not.that in the company of older or younger companions. but very strict': Myconius. for all that it introduced new methods of learning and new authors.THE *trm 'There I s AGE a little ' 191 found a . simultaneous teaching system Platter's case of the Middle Ages. but during which the illiterate youth had kept coming up in accordance with the against the subjects of the trivium. and a mother who was the daughter of an attorney in the Audit Office.

like die humanist later on. merchant or workman -a boy did not amass the knowledge necessary to ply that trade before entering it. it had not yet become a substitute for the other method of education which had been that employed by laymen before they had taken to going to college. However. Thus Olivier was 'lodged with an attorney in the Audit Office to learn to write' and no doubt to count as well. He then became clerk to the Treasurer of the Dauphin. SCHOLASTIC LIFE He lost his father when he was five. However. Olivier Audit Office to learn to write [that is to say to 'write to perfection'. and they taught only the rudiments of Latin. until Louis-le-Grand was founded. Olivier Le Fevre's cycle had an entirely different significance.to the point where. At the age of went to Navarre College. who In helped him and his family in their careers. and the widow could not afford to keep her two children at school. Navarre College was patronized by the children of the upper nobility and even of royal blood. he then acquired the necessary knowledge through everyday practice. for want of the means to maintain them there. In Paris. It institution hitherto reserved for the clerks: apprenticeship. In France. the medieval schools of the type Thomas Platter went to in Germany were to be found only in small provincial towns. the future Henri II.192 for his brother Nicolas. apprenticeship ceased to be a noble function and was gradually driven back towards the mechanical trades .' Thus Olivier stayed at school only from the age of eight or nine to the age of eleven. Until the end of the Middle Ages. an the college humanists. They had to start work early in life: 'They were both taken away [from school] after three years. to write deeds. in order to obtain initiation in a trade of any sort whatever .whether that of courtier. and in many cases afterwards too. administrator. from living and working with adults who were already fully trained. Colleges teaching a wider range of subjects had taken their place and were attracting an ever greater number of pupils. At eleven 'he was lodged with an attorney in the eight. he scholar we who considered that study formed a notable part of his active life.the manual occupations . When academic instruction was extended to laymen. and did not reduce it to the educational function of a preparation for that life: it did not separate the child from the adult. the Le Fevre family was not rich. In his day was no longer reserved for the lengthy studies of clerks or was becoming an instrument of education which preceded and prepared for the pupil's entry into active life. but threw himself into it. die equivalent of typing today] and to earn his living'. in our facing above: Mow: THE WEDDING PROCESSION by GRACE by Stradan Stella . soldier. Thomas medieval Platter's schooling saw the prolonged cycle of the was also a cleric.



born in 1695. it often happened that a young nobleman. big schools would extend die period Another calling. and his contract was for four apprentice started at the age studied have to had enough grammar to be able to read a years. in the little classes. As late as the end of the seventeenth century. His schooling was still wedged in between his early childhood and the beginning of an apprenticeship which plunged him into the world of adults.THE PUPIL S AGE 193 own day. born in 1675. In the nineteenth century. whom we should describe as children. In the eighteenth century the pharmaceutical of fourteen. But this replacement of apprenticeship by academic instruction. the school cycle lengthened at the expense of the period of apprenticeship. The military paintings was apprenticeship system of the seventeenth century depicted young boys. the prolongation of the school cycle had Generally speaking. destined for the service. Little by little. would spend only two or three years at school. But he : of instruction even further. is reducing it still further to a relic or a stage of practical instruction. as his memorial tablet at Saint-Eustache reminds us. in the upper and middle classes of society. would the disappearance of these soldiers of eleven and gradually bring about twelve from camp life.at the same age as Olivier Le Fevre a century earlier to sign on as a marine in the King's Navy. which remained faithful the longest to the the profession of arms. joined the service at die age of eleven. which nowadays stands half-way between trade and also maintained the practices of apprenticeship for the liberal Latin prescription: consequently he had already attended the little classes of a college. excluded from the Latin colleges G MAN'S BUFF facing above: BLIND below : THE PAPER GAME . In the nineteenth century this sort of apprenticeship still existed: Claude Bernard began his at the age of thirteen. Thus Claude de Bonneval. At the age of thirteen he was a sub-lieutenant. the big classes still being reserved for Latin careers such as the Church or the law. This stay at school did not dispense a boy from serving his apprenticeship between about twelve and fifteen in the at first universal. and more especially of army schools in the eighteenth century. was not Children began by spending two or three years at school. entered a Jesuit college 3 at the age of nine. the university and the profession The noble professions. that time only the almost eliminated the apprenticeship by the late eighteenth century: after to working classes. He left at eleven . writing professions which were the qualification for work in law. a long time pharmaceutics. The creation of academies in the seventeenth century. Similarly Chevert. the development of technical and professional training. in the midst of rascally-looking old soldiers. slow and tardy though it has been. however.

After the third class. the son of a lawyer. where he served him as a private coach. he had been quick. it was not in order to enter an attorney's office R6my's Day [October 2nd. thanks to his natural precocity and to his tutor's coaching. and of an age suitable for the guidance of my youth . 1595: generally to St Rmy's Day or from St Remy's Day the pupil to Easter]. was twelve years old when he entered Navarre College at the beginning of 1595. born in 1582. at the end of a year in the first class Henri de Mesmes finished a schooling which had lasted no more than eighteen months. 'My father gave me as a tutor J. he relinquished his post only when I started my career/ In other words he stayed with Henri de Mesmes until he was eighteen. he taught his charge reading and the rudiments of grammar. Maludan. in the first class. the tutor accompanied him to school. a disciple of Dorat's and a learned man. brought back to where I studied under a tutor.' He was then about ten years old. but he was typical of certain cases of precocity. chosen for the innocence of his life. When his pupil started school. while he too studied on his own account. The latter. At the age of twelve he had finished with the arts: however. 5 So Henri de Mesmes started school with his tutor and his brother: was sent to the College de Bourgogne in the year 1542. when the plague infected the aforesaid and I was college.. where I remained until St went from Easter when I went up into the first class. leaving out the lower classes. no less. from five to seven or nine years of age. possibly with his young master's valets.. The school career of Henri de Mesmes was for the same reasons as in Olivier Le Kvre's of the coexistence of college and apprenticeship. Henri de Mesmes did not serve an apprenticeship. and he went straight into the third class.' Nangis philosophy Thus. continued to practise apprenticeship. he skipped the second and entered the first: 'Then I did one year. During the first few years. 'I entered the third class. These cases of child prodigies were very common . A tutor at that time was not responsible for all his charge's tuition: he was not a also a short cycle.' This course does not seem to have been unusual at the 6 time: it was also that of Nicolas de Beauvais-Nangis. the last of 'I the grammar classes. He was born in 1532. 4 but not case : the latter was an example substitute for school. though he had completed his schooling in a hurry. Thus in the regulations for the boards at the college of La Fleche.194 SCHOLASTIC LIFE still which they were admitted at the end of the ancien regime. where I remained until the month of May 1596. it is laid down that the pupils' famuli must be of an age and education to enter the fourth class. any sooner.

the Faculties of Law still enjoyed their old . it has on the above dates . and he was now appointed to a post as counsellor to the Board of Excise because I was so young that I would not have been admitted anywhere else'. which would take over the whole cycle of instruction and thus take a young man up to the threshold of his future career. But in the sixteenth and the early seventeenth century. In England. Of eight years of study. though admittedly 'to the astonishment of his masters'. not only because precocity would strike public opinion as an anomaly. which can be explained by the same . having taken our degrees as Doctors of Civil and Canon Law. This was the case with Henri de Mesmes: after his eighteen months at school. we took the road for home. 9 It was provided for in Henri IV's reformation started only of the University of Paris.whereas ever since the nineteenth century once a year. But this was no longer the precocity of the sixteenth century.indeed this was their . to enter the Faculty of Law at Toulouse (civil law was not taught in Paris). 7 Baillet in 1688 also speaks of children who 'by the age of twelve or thirteen had completed the ordinary course of college studies by means of extraordinary 8 activity'. where they spent six years of hard study: 'After that. to quote his biographer Cailliere.' He was eighteen years old. it was still in force in the midnineteenth century: the author of Tom Brown's Schooldays reckons in halfyears what we count in annual classes. that to say at the end of every semester. it also enabled little This precocity could prodigies to pursue advanced studies over a long period. and to catch up with youths who had not been to school. still with his brother and his tutor.and a continuous series of greatest period as a necessity in higher education: a student could easily skip a class or else spend only one semester in a ckss. he set off at the age of twelve. Even then the system of half-yearly promotions favoured a certain precocity. In the mid-sixteenth century. the rest to law. In reality school started twice a year. two had been devoted to grammar and the arts. in October. but also because the higher branches of study would disappear in favour of * the college's classes.THE lUPILs AGE between the fifteenth 195 and seventeenth centuries. This custom of arranging the curricula in semesters continued until the end of the ancien regime. Pere Ange de Joyeuse entered the rhetoric class at the age of ten. Cases of this type were to become rare in the seventeenth century. make it possible to start one's active career at the usual age. Students prestige classes had not yet been accepted is were moved up to the next class either at Easter or on St Rmy's Day. The curriculum came to an end in fact at the end of the semester.

we With the future Marechal de Bassompierre. Btissompierre was born in 1579. in the offices of or in the courts where administrators. In these psychological conditions. in the to apprenticeship. with a tutor who was joined in 1588 by 'two young men called Clinchamps and de la Motte. to [that is to say 'writing Clinchamps being a 'scribe'] and the latter to teach us dancing. in the late sixteenth century. 'and then the Rudiments'. boys between the ages often and fourteen mixed with adults in everyday life and above all in the fellowship of a common occupation. Outside school. the agility and courage of a child acrobat.Ip6 pre-scholastic spirit SCHOLASTIC still LIFE which I mentioned with regard should not forget that schooling was century and restricted in many few people or classes. from whom the tutor was not very clearly distinguished. education at home was not exceptional. The school had not yet established a sufficient distinction between its pupils and the rest of the child population. approach the normal modern cycle. 10 This prolongation to the age of twelve of lute-playing and music'. He stayed at home until he was twelve. In the course of this period of education at home he learnt to read and write. and that special nature would be recognized in middle-class schoolchildren before it was extended to the children of the lower classes. such as the exceptional skill of an adult. but the moralists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries condemned it because they feared the promiscuity of the servants. the former to teach us to write well perfection'. 'is the cruel and foolish affection of certain parents who think that they are doing a great deal for their children by leaving them until the age of twelve or thirteen in the arms and the often rather indecent embraces of nannies and . except for five months when his mother was away and he was entrusted to an aunt who was an abbess. or the virtuosity of a young musician. and in the workshops where crafts- men plied their trades. in die mid-sixteenth recent very cases either to a few years of study or to a We army camps. a fortiori when the child was left with the women of the house: 'How reprehensible'. the precocity of a schoolboy did not seem any more extraordinary than the skill of a little artisan. wrote the Jansenist Coustel in 1687. These performances would no longer be tolerated once they were regarded as infractions of the special nature of childhood. Some of them could show a precocious skill without causing excessive surprise to technicians used to cultivating professional values without regard to age: the precocity of an apprentice was accordingly barely distinguishable from other natural inequalities. lawyers politics and diplomacy were conducted by grandees or statesmen.

Boys were made to stay a second year in the same class. Canon Law and Medicine: 'And Faculties of the place because studying at the another seven months of the course to do.e. travel. learned other languages and were initiated in the life of courtiers. Here we have evidence im of a new attitude to at man schooling. had great educational by their parents' correspondents. except in the case of the King's children. in It to seems grasp. At the age of twelve. and less despite the fact that they classes were now quite distinct. twelve years old was a normal age for the third class. whose purpose I cannot quite pierre did something have been a sort of substitute for advanced studies. 197 governesses/ However. We stayed only six weeks in the third class [they had thus spent a complete semester in die third and could regard it as finished]. which was generally reserved for future lawyers and churchmen. diplomats or soldiers: this was another aspect of apprenticeship. entertained Germany and Italy. another hour on cases [Justinian]. the tutor. At that time people mattered thought that value. Bassompierre went to the Jesuit college at Freiburg Breisgau. then spent the holidays with the family at Harouel. The next often year. On his return from Germany. Bassomhe calls a 'course'. not so much because they were weak as in order to prolong their schooling. Hippocrates. Next. the murder of the dancing-master by the tutor reduced the Bassompierres* stay in the third class to five months. especially in young noblemen. Bassompierre's second year in the first class was interrupted at the beginning of Lent by a tour of Germany and Austria. when we had reached the De anima: the Philo- sophy year/ Many pupils left school before the philosophy class. the writing-master and the dancing-master. accompanied by his brother. whatever the division of the classes. aphorisms we had . and sent the boys back home. However. Bassompierre was about sixteen: 'We came back leaving the Physics class to continue our studies [at Pont-i-Mousson] until October. They entered the third class. on which on one hour and of the on hour one conscience. 'whence the same year [1592] my mother took us to the Jesuit college at Pont-i-Mousson to continue our studies there. For a child of good birth and average wealth. progress through these than the length of the pupil's stay at school. I started same time [i. with a tutor] the Institutes of the Law of I spent one hour in class. after the holidays. a tendency to leave the child or the young school a long time. 'we returned to the same class'. of Civil Law. On our return we went up into the second class where we spent a year/ In 1593 'we went up to the first class*.THE PtfPIL S AGE . nobody ever considered extending this home education beyond twelve or thirteen: everybody went to school.

1595. and the repetition of the first class. second ckss. Le Dieu' had not 'the means to feed in the college. His master. Seguin who has since been doctor to Queen Anne of Austria'. the son of that Olivier whom we met earlier. the continuity of the classes.SCHOLASTIC Aristotle's ethics LIFE and politics/ He thus provided himself with a smattering of law and medicine. 1595-6" 16-17 years old. 'I continued for the rest of that year. as well as scholastic philosophy.. into the sixth and the fifth: it is probable was a subdivision of the sixth. fact and the second. was unusual for a college to provide board class. Andr as entered the seventh and lodging itself. a native of Picardy. followed him. for there was no They . under that the seventh ' : M. very roughly: 1591-2: 12-13 years old. 1592-3 : 13-14 years old. in the same room. My finished at Easter/ This gives us. 'The siege of Paris took place. and my father took us away from school' (because their master could not feed them). In the fourth class he had a new master he went under M. Dorilas. In therefore apparently skipped the they skipped only the third. Thus the Le Fvres were not boarders It which probably housed only its scholars.. 1593-4: 14-15 years old. Le Dieu. who is in the rhetoric class from fourteen to sixteen. This means that he had moved up one class a year from the seventh. third in 'the first class'. 11 find a similar cycle and the same ages in the case of Andre Le Fevre 12 d'Ormesson. Theology and Medicine. was the custom at that time. Raquin'. already there/ During the siege of Paris 'our us'. 'when I went with my brother to Navarre College. Seguin was a schoolmaster while he was pursuing his medical studies grammarschool masters were often recruited from students in the Faculties of Law. In the year 1586. and the course beginning of the year 1596. He kept his two sons at home until October 1590. the master of my class. but boarded with one of the masters - who perhaps lived in the college. Maitre Jard. third class. and possible that the seventh and the sixth were held together with the fifth. when he was ten years old: 'I was sent to Cardinal Lemoine College under M. with seven We of my cousins who were master M. Andr6 was in the fourth class in 1589. physics and logic. points to note here are the late entry into the third class. first class. M. The relation The between ages and classes approximates to a pattern sufficiently common in the seventeenth century for Sorel to adopt it for one of his characters.

'In October 1592 I went to study in the Logic class at the Jesuit college under Pfere Gaspard Seguiran. law studies. If we except the omission of the third class. That at one can put on the following sentence: 'The year 1591 beginning in October. as for Henri de Mesmes. which took place on December lyth. that Descartes entered the Jesuit college at La Flche in 1604.PUPIL'S AGE second class at least is the interpretation Navarre . 15 years old. then with M. that this seemed quite normal. fourth class. until September 1595. 16 years old. 14 years old. 1589: 1590: 1591: 12 years old. who has since become a doctor of theology.but there must have been two firsts. and certain. we have here a normal life. that in May 1610 he was in his first year We . Andr6 completed the arts cycle between sixteen and* seventeen. first class. ii years old. M. Gauthier. the rhetoric class at fifteen. Marsibus [probably private lessons] and after that at the Universities at Orleans. despite approach the classic pattern established in the nineteenth century. therefore. of a normal character and. Leclerc. who has since become an excellent preacher and confessor to King Louis XIII. 1592: 1593-8: 17-22 years old. the Dean and the most learned of all doctors in Orleans. first class. This cycle of studies can. The cases we come across from the seventeenth century on are. le docteur Luillier. school and six years studying law. the same time as was taken by Henri de Mesmes. sixth class. until my admission by the Grand Council. took tine first and the later first for the second year/ So Navarre there were two first classes. 13 years old. tend to speaking. which presumably corresponded and the rhetoric class in other colleges. starting in the sixth class at the age of eight. seven years at cycle: the sixth class at eleven. doctor of Law.' With the class in logic. under M. a lengthy period of law studies: first 'on the Institutes [of Justinian] under M. before starting professional generally a certain precocity. the know school were not supplemented by university studies. fifth class. any case. 1598. be summarized as follows at to the humanities class : 1586: 1587: 1588: 10 years old. logic class. Descartes had an education that classes at was entirely 'scholastic' - that is. What is in is that Andre spent a second year in the first class. seventh class. There then began for him.' Andre had six years of law studies in all.

Thus he covered in five years.2OO SCHOLASTIC LIFE at the in the philosophy class. up to the rhetoric class. like Descartes. remained active until the end of the ancien regime). Eventually the normal school of cycle. would extend it for a pseudo-higher education of three years. Eight years old was fairly young for the sixth class. and in the same sixth class]. In France the college came to offer tuition of every kind. The period spent in the philosophy class here was three years. while a few specialists. He was born in 'My mother went to the trouble of trying to teach me to read. future churchmen or 'intellectuals'. as in the case of the arts. was a good pupil. The complete cycle would then go up to the logic class. between 1604 and 1609. Let us interrupt the chronological sequence of our biographical examples to compare with Descartes's case another case which also illustrates the disproportionate place assumed by the college in the education even of 'men of law': that of Charles Perrault. 18 1628 Charles Perrault. A long school career (eight years) therefore consisted of a pseudo-secondary education of five years. in exceptional cases. the author of the fairy-stories. end of his third year in the philosophy class: he was then fifteen years old. good academic education could be obtained by a long stay at school. sometimes even in theology: the young Jesuits at that time had no separate noviciate and did their three years of philosophy and their theology at school (none the less the Sorbonne. the cycle which went from the sixth class to the philosophy class: to do this he must either have skipped a class or covered two classes in two semesters. two years. higher it did not actually contribute to that decline. particularly in the philosophy classes: these were in fact confined to a small number of pupils who specialized in philosophy and theology. would annex a one or. and that he finished his schooling in August 1612. but we shall come across another case. The importance attributed to the tuition given after the rhetoric class coincided with the decline of the when Faculties. There I received all my . a period corresponding to a degree course at a university: it is easy to see how the college in France absorbed not only the grammar school but also the arts school which in England gave rise to a higher education distinct from and complementary to the grammar schools. and D'escartes's year philosophy. after : which I was sent to Beauvais College at the age of eight and a half [the same age as Descartes. but in every sixth or fifth there were a few pupils of eight or nine. A twelve-year-old in the rhetoric class was beginning to be a rarity. the name of the Paris Faculty of Theology. corresponding to our secondary education.

THE PUPIL schooling. for he did not intend to enter the Church. writing and the rudiments of grammar. after going round the town looking at its famous monuments. one of whom was to become vicar- general of Sens/ They as minute. as did S AGE . lawyers and magistrates studied the Institutes at home with a private tutor. Charles Perrault did not go We shall beyond the second year in the philosophy class. writes Charles Perrault. was the general rule. He wanted to read law. as soon arrived at ten o'clock at night and did not waste a they arrived. on being told what we asked us if we had our money ready/ This was enough to get wanted. diplomas at Orleans with 'I went to obtain my two friends. presenting themselves at the Faculties only to obtain their diplomas.' In this model family. without a single one of us ever being A whipped/ noteworthy fact. 'I imagine that the sound of our money being 'A valet counted out behind us while they were questioning us helped to make them consider our answers better than they were/ The next day. sometimes divided into two on account of the number of pupils who were put into it just to learn reading. 'I was put in the sixth class before I could read. If we count a year for each class. they went back to Paris: Charles Perrault. but it did not occur to him to go to a Law in 1545 or Faculty to study under one of its masters as Mesmes did at Toulouse Ormesson at Orleans about 1593 the times had changed. was a qualified advocate. For : three years he took private lessons in law in accordance with the custom of the times: the Law Faculties had declined. with the result that would-be jurists. which must have been exceptional. at the age of twenty-three. they knocked at the door of the school: who came to the window to talk to us. and in this case a seventh class was formed which was taught in the same room. at the end of his second year in the philosophy class. in which the father used to teach his son Latin after supper. the three doctors out of bed. and his age when he left. About Charles Perrault's schooling all we know is his age and class when he started school. 201 all my brothers. between seventeen and eighteen. like the statue of Joan of Arc. for the examination had become merely a tiresome. see later that this thus extending the average cycle by a year for each class. Charles Perrault must have stayed an extra year in one or two classes. and they arrived 'with their nightcaps under their mortar-boards'. a boy of eight and a half had not yet learnt to read! But the sixth was in fact an elementary class. The coincidence between the decline of the higher Faculties and the . we see that he has at least one year too many and probably two. In July 1651. whereas there was one year missing from Descartes's cycle. ridiculous formality.

But he had covered the whole scholastic cycle except for the rhetoric class. 'as much to settle a lawsuit as for anything else*. on the contrary. This is another case of a brief stay at school before the direct apprenticeson of a family was not given a better ship of camp life. was sent to join me. and made him an ensign in his Company': the boy must have been about twelve. However. class he started school. cases of rapid. where he was making much progress. his schooling was cut short. which he had skipped thanks to the lead he had gained in the . the college had become the only means of education. time colleges cannot have been accidental. move up having of the my my command first company. 'My brother the Chevalier and I were. the same age officers. whence Clermont. seeing that he was destined for the army. Bussy was only a few years type Charles Perrault. liked not say in what rather older ' my elder the fighting having moved from Languedoc to Piedmont. my father sent us. and I was of twelve * such a good classical scholar that at the age I was considered good into the Philosophy class without going through the enough Rhetoric class/ He did only the logic year: At the end of Logic year.. living with my year in the Rue de la Harpe. precocious studies of the sixteenth-century older than did not disappear completely. The eldest education than the rest.. to I started in the second class we went to the Jesuit college of when I was only eleven. I quite studies and my masters were very pleased with me. At less technical and people was instruction becoming specialist from the ideal of omniscience of the late Middle Ages of the a except with private lessons. and the tendency was to prolong the schooling there rather than to supplement it. my elder 14 brother and me. father and mother in a lodging taken for the therefore. gave me the father. and instead of letting me finish my he had therefore already Physics [the second year of philosophy which in 1634 to the siege of La Motte in Lorraine with that sent me begun]. who was destined to become a Chevalier of Malta. my father took my elder brother away from the college. as several of his brotherregiment/ He was thirteen years old.202 SCHOLASTIC LIFE prestige growing when even were moving away and humanism. One of my younger brothers. the same age as Bonneval and Chevert when they joined the army. 'A little later [at the time of the war on the Huguenots in Languedoc] . been ordered to form his regiment again. with a tutor to the Jesuit college at Autun/ Bussy does However. brother died of the plague at Brigueras and by his death left me the eldest my of the house/ At this point the family had to move to Paris. 'When I was nine years old. By tutor we must understand a and somewhat poorer companion.

two-thirds of that century. of Clermont which. At the same time as law. and to the physics class at thirteen: he spent six years at school and went through every class from the fourth to At the second philosophy class. place College. which a very important. In the daily concertations [contests between the two halves of a class] it is he who inspires the rest. born in 1621. whom he caught up with the same age Descartes and Perrault were in the sixth class. This young prince accepted the tuition provided in school. and semi-military of the seventeenth century. Like Charles Perrault. and sometimes the terminal. in the seventeenth took the of Navarre century. after a complete or more often an abbreviated . At the age of eight he entered the Jesuit college at Bourges. S AGE . it is wonderful to see with what diligence [i. Conde. semi-scholastic new In the sixteenth century. the academy. for only the King's children received all their education at home. His easily. where the high nobility had particularly to the Jesuit college hitherto received their schooling. Later.e. His position as a prince of the blood did not disqualify him for a the With Due d'Enghien. The academy was in character: a an institution characteristic particularly of the first had not existed before. which brought him to the rhetoric class at the age of eleven (the same age as P&re Ange de Joyeuse in the sixteenth century).THE PUPIL second class. It fulfilled a need which institution.' He covered the normal cycle at the rate of a class a year. but he shunned the higher Faculties and substituted private lessons for them. class. still college education. and assiduity he takes part in the exercises in construing. 203 would have become pupils would no longer skip the rhetoric class. the future Grand Conde. started studying Latin at the age of five with a tutor. composition and diction. made its appearance. he took lessons in mathematics (a subject which was virtually untaught in school) from a master who was an army admission at the age of fifteen to Pluvinel's 'Royal engineer. masters recognized his merits: *A pupil in the second Grammar class in the fourth class]. boys from the greatest families in the land went to school. But in his case a new postvery precocious cycle though scholastic institution. an institution which was to assume considerable importance for the seventeenth-century nobility. he then studied law with a tutor. we have a normal 16 of studies. but in the fourth class and a term behind his classmates. in order to prepare for his Academy for the Young Nobility'. In August 1635 he left the college: he was fourteen.

This institution originated in Paris. indispensable soldier as also for the ambitious courtier. a young man went to a university only if he intended his career in law. was sent to Lisieux College in the year 1564 [the class is not specified]. and at a time when the nobility's income was tending scholastic education. particularly abroad: then the formula of the stay with friends was gradually superseded by that of the One of these traditions of apprenticeship. among those studied abroad. a necessary subject at a time when warfare was becoming increasingly scientific. non-Latin education. great cultural languages. into an army company. Apart from the college. for young noblemen. he was sent to the Paris where he was trained for nearly a year. there was nothing left but apprenticeship. when. began to and sometimes scientific character: first of all. These tours abroad were very costly. German. probably because mercenaries were recruited in the Germanit was to the interest of a future officer to speak speaking countries and the language. sent the boys to stay with other families. whose families exclusively) (though could not afford to finance a stay abroad. into a noble house. aged between eleven and twelve. And we know that the of Law later went into a decline.' Nicolas de Beauvaishis schooling at the Nangis himself finished age of fifteen. decline. But other subjects. and finally subjects for the mathematics. Certain of these arts or techniques had tour abroad with a tutor hitherto been taught at home and formed part of the traditional domestic education given to pages and squires: dancing (more important than it is instruments such as the lute was more widetoday). especially in noble families. acquire a more didactic modern languages . If he wanted to follow any other he went straight away. music (the playing of in the late nineteenth century). or 'fortifications' as it was called. to diminish they could not satisfy a growing need for a practical. riding and than that of the piano spread various sports. The academy satisfied this need for a post- life. then geography and contemporary history. as an apprentice. Brichantcau. being considered strong and brave enough to bear arms. the Church or medicine. where he stayed until the troubles Academy of the year 1567 and the Battle of Saint-Denis.Italian and but also Spanish.204 SCHOLASTIC LIFE to make schooling. which was the growing in prestige. in the case of Bassompierre). future for not officers. or into commerce. and a specialist university which was partially on Faculties career. in the second half of the sixteenth Nicolas de Beauvais-Nangis writes of his father: 'Antoine de between school and active and above all century. People came to (as as a complementary education in subjects ignored tour abroad the regard at school and in the Faculties. His father .

de Pluvinel who. for at that time young men were sent there to be trained'. Nicolas ' : him go generosity. The academy was the first of those institutes for young noblemen which Richelieu imagined and which the eighteenth century created. unknown in the sixteenth which were exposed to conAt Pluvinel's academy the pupils were was the author of a treatise on horseman- century. illustrated by Crispin and social accomplishments such as painting. whereas before he had been obliged either to the academy continue futile scholastic studies until he was old enough to travel. The most famous of these establishments was Pluvinel's academy.e.THE PUPIL refused to let S AGE . 2O5 of Amiens. The academy. however. has devoutly offered himself to the nobility to serve as a ladder and stepping-stone to the loftiest and most glorious things. It provided the inspiration for Mme de Maintenon's ideas about the education of girls. The contemporary account continues: 'He [Pluvinel] deprives us of the occasion of rushing off to Italy. fencing. A contemporary wrote of it in these terms 17 The whole of France is infinitely grateful to M. ship. it was open to all classes. where I began to accustom myself to the sight of companies of troops. 'At the beginning of 1598.' One notes a new interest. or else . the substance of vice. with incredible to the siege his education first. but the journey was too expensive and the stay at the 16 academy took its place. at an academy]. my father kept me with him for a time in Paris. where we go to buy at fantastic and whence we return with expense the mere shadow of good manners. was thought of as the province of the nobility. founded in 1 594. whereas they go to Italy until they are seventeen or eighteen/ This means that the young nobleman could make do with one or two of the lower classes at school and then go straight into to be educated. And our author discovered another advantage in the academy which strikes us as rather curious and shows that the modern idea of a complete itself on the upper classes as a secondary education had not yet imposed the academy] as early as ten admitted be can [to necessity: 'Young lords and must not cannot or eleven.' The college was never confined to the nobility. dancing and lute-playing. where I stayed until the end of September. fortifications. and the following April I started training in Paris [i. taught horsemanship (Pluvinel de Pas). he wanted him to complete had reached the age of the traditional tour abroad. in safeguarding adolescent morals. mathematics. at a time when the nobles were becoming aware of their importance in military affairs and citing this importance as a justification of special privileges.' 'My father had intended to send me to Italy. siderable danger on these journeys.

20 Nouveau Journal de Conversation published in 1675 example 'In the seminaries. to the young noblemen whom their . one learns not only how to handle a horse.' The need for moral discipline had been the original reason for the founding of the colleges and had inspired their authoritarian regulations in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. People were in life fact reluctant to send children too soon in it either into the army or abroad. The academy was not an exclusively French phenomenon. in the form of military preparatory schools in the eighteenth century. The Abbe Michel de Marolles owed it to himself not to leave them out of his description of Paris of 1677. the academies did not have the same enduring influence. would seem to have prevented the academy from developing in England. at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. for all that they met no competition in the country's decadent higher education: once again it was the college which partially absorbed them. by means of a discipline inspired by regulations. giving education whose rise to certain institutions of higher character led to their being used as models for the university reforms of the nineteenth century. The academy made was and military after their schooling possible to keep children under control over. where boys went from their grammar schools. written in doggerel like the rest of the book. he devoted a whole chapter to them. especially with the Jesuits. The scholastic continued existence of a higher education. But educational historians such as Adamson18 think that the academy played an important role in Germany. Soon. The period spent at the academy was an intermediary period between schoolboy life and adult life: the beginning of a recognition of adolescence. Now it was spreading institutions in the seventeenth century to post-scholastic such as the academies.2O6 to SCHOLASTIC LIFE into throw himself straight camp life at about eleven. in both England and France. but also how to curb one's passions. and entitled: * Academies for horsemanship and other decent occupations for the young 19 nobility'. This note of moral concern in Bary's for : . even more important than instruction. moral education became one of the principal objects of school life. The academies occupied a very important place in French society in the seventeenth century. is to be found in other contemporary texts. In France. one learns not only how to serve God but also how to govern morals [the author is comparing the first seminaries with the first academies] in the academies. modern while at the same time more highly specialized schools for officers and engineers were laying the foundations of the cole Polytechnique and the Staff College.

and also This was a modern education. 'When I had completed my course of philosophy at the age of seventeen. more modest and less expensive. 207 without any preparation in the world the academies were some of royal foundation: the schools for shared out between the two Stables. a music-master Germany it Thus besides the great academies there were 'boarding-schools' which were less comprehensive. parents to turn loose S AGE . a house where I learnt fencing. then. that a college education was no use to future soldiers. it was considered that I knew more than enough to be a soldier. but often they acted as if this were no longer the . a chaplain. Sorel tells the story of Dorilas. dancing. the Chapel. writing (that 'writing to perfection* which is not to be confused with ordinary writing). the Hunt. but he 'knew more than enough': people went on saying. their children to go to all the classes. at the age of sixteen he 'went up into the philosophy class* this was probably a more usual age than the very precocious cases we have met with in our biographical examples. fencing-master. mathematics and drawing. and it is easy to understand why languages. dancing. In his Maison desjeux. who started logic at the age of twelve: when he was studying the humanities he must have been fourteen. a bursar. This shows how essential it was considered in the seventeenth century . drill. case and allowed class. like my father. lute-playing and mathematics'.THE PUPIL no longer dared of court and camp. but it had no riding-school. including the first philosophy 'I was taken away from college and sent to a boarding-school. who wanted me to follow the same profession/ He could in fact have extended his stay at school with a year of physics. The Great Stable consisted of a tutor. the Chamber and pages. two assistant tutors. and at that time a boy of that age could understand the full significance of Ovid's Art of Love. 22 Dorilas covered the complete course of classical studies at school: 'I was classes called the humanities when I decided that to "arrive" still in those was the most human of occupations/ Dorilas lacked the precocity of the Grand Conde. and masters to teach fencing. in conversation and books. like the one in this story. in should have resulted in the teaching in the vernacular of new ideas. 21 The best known and the most popular with the nobility Among were the two Stables. foreign to the traditional arts. which was taught with the aid of a whip: 'They whipped us when we missed a syllable/ In the rhetoric class Dorilas learnt 'the art of persuading by means of eloquence'. 'And every morning I went to a riding-school to learn horsemanship/ This boarding-school had a and so on. riding. a preceptor.

They were parted and made to embrace. He stayed go back to the career of the future Grand Conde. classes remained the same. at nineteen he married Richelieu's niece. including he had complemented with private lessons in law and over a year at an was in the first class: an excepacademy. the Protestant academies were to the Catholic colleges: the only difference was that somesimilar very times .208 SCHOLASTIC LIFE for youths of good family to of the go through an academy or a 'house* same sort. neither hit the target. upon my word. ' 28 de S6vign6 described a quarrel between the Prince d'Harcourt and La Feuillade. 'can set all the courtiers at defiance and confound them. spent six months at Pluvinel's academy. I am also studying the map of But let us at Pluvinel's the world/ He left the academy at the age of sixteen to take up his post as Governor of Burgundy. Here are two examples of Protestant schooling. the cycle of instruction (intended for future pastors). a silly quarrel between overgrown threw a plate at his head. quoted 25 Waddington in a note in his edition of Rou's memoirs: *I began my first is .philosophy was dropped in favour of theological While 24 the whole. He has an income of sixty thousand livres. you will know what this The word 'academist' had become generally familiar. in middle-class conversation. Even Antoine Arnauld.. When Mme de Sevign wanted to emphasize a young man's chances of de Locmaria success. she wrote that he had 'just left the Academy': M. similarly barrack-room words are nowadays 9 . I have finished studying proportional compasses and mensuration and started on fortifications. the other schoolboys: 'Thereupon the Prince threw a knife at him. On The by taken from an entry in the Marquis d'Asson's journal. and has just left the Academy/ the Sciences Po' Nowadays we would say in France that he had just left and in England that he had just come down from Oxford or Cambridge. He had covered the whole of the scholastic cycle from the two years in the philosophy class which the fourth class up. the Edict of Nantes was in force. *I have begun tracing fortificamonths: sixteen for academy tions on paper. He was only eleven when he tional example of precocity. quarrel was like/ also used the expression 'to have and her Mme de In another letter Mme Sevigne correspondents campos which would seem to have been borrowed from academy or used currently army slang.not always .. who was only thirteen. In the evening they spoke to each other at the Louvre as if de Sevign<? added: 'If you have ever nothing had happened/ And Mme seen how academists who have campos behave. despite an already pronounced taste for literature and theology.

. Lefebvre. he was two in the same class. 'I was at the class. the son of a counsellor at the High Court. A few accompanied my three elder brothers to Saumur. . We can see here a depreciation of attitude. where I remained for three years under the learned M. I was soon ready for the second class [presumably the humanities class: it would seem that the Protestant academies had a different system of numbering]. But Jean Rou. : In 1652 he was sent to the Protestant college of Saumur. he had lost the lead end of the year when it was usual to go up into the his master made him spend another year in the But philosophy first class. After his the modern schoolboy precocity which foreshadows . Next finished schooling extremely my young' -presumably between thirteen and fourteen. Lecoq. What is more. When he was a little older he at Harcourt with private coaching which he supplemented the classes shared with a few friends: he joined 'three or four young pupils' at the house of one of them. unlike his richer friends. He did not study the end of 1668. put him in the first class fourteen years old and in he had had to begin with. than by a maidservant. the pastor of the town. I S AGE 20p of eight under the eyes of my late father. philosophy. a sort of big schoolfellow. never had a tutor. The principal.' into the philosophy class at that age. I for an over-precocious start. where he was regarded as something of a phenomenon.THE PUPIL studies before the age later. in the care of a maidservant who took me there back every morning and evening. and she went to bed with me as usual. for he had few schoolmates as young as he was. at the for lessons from a coach. Yet few years before. I was so years have been between eight and ten] that it was thought fit must young [he to send our governess with me until bedtime so that the separation should be less of a wrench. 'seeing that I was so young for studies which he considered Descartes had gone a beyond my understanding'. another remarkable case of precocity: 26 quickly that at the age after of four I and was able to read a chapter of the Bible learnt to read so easily supper . but went to an academy for the nobility: At to trained/ be the Paris to I went from the Academy college * The second Protestant example is that *I of Jean Rou (1638-1711).' We have already come across similar cases of a long stay in one class. This rapid progress resulted in my being sent to school and age of five. class.' The school was Harcourt College. which seems to have been a 'I way of compensating [rhetoric] went up into the third class. and it was more usual to be accompanied by a tutor. at de Conde Prince the than older years fourteen he was considered too young as yet to go into the philosophy the first class.

Thanks archives.] 'Then you never speak French?' 'Only and at certain times when she summons us to her presence/ 'What do you do with the family?' [By the family he means the whole group of friends. Vives had little suggested surrounding the eight-year-old with companions of the it same age who spoke Latin. born in 1643.Latin grammar -at the age of seven. at that time Latin was learnt like a modern language. 27 to obtain the best results. when I compare see that he already has a good under- There is nothing very surprising about this familiarity with Latin shown by a child of seven. 'He composes very prettily. 'He quotes Cato [Pseudo-Cato. and then only incidentally. servants. He teaches us to speak Latin all the time and we never say anything in French. 28 Cordier has tion left us this conversa- between two pupils: 'How old is your brother?' 'Five years old/ 'Five years old? But he already speaks Latin!' 'Why does that surprise you? We always have a pedagogue at home who is learned and diligent. 'We scarcely speak at all to the rest of the family. in his advice to Queen Catherine on bringing up Mary Tudor. Indeed we do not dare speak to our father except in Latin/ [The speaker is twelve years old. clients. standing of Latin/ occasionally in Latin.210 SCHOLASTIC LIFE philosophy studies. yet some of the servants speak to us in Latin/ [He is presumably with my mother. . 26 His son. started Despautere . something which was no longer done parts unless one intended to enter a higher Faculty such as theology or medicine. if you wish he will write to you I his terminology with Cicero's. and so on]. a fourth-century author taken up by the Middle Ages which attributed his maxims to the Elder Cato] and Latin maxims. This was in the medieval tradition of oral culture: over a century before. would have been better to start a year earlier. to a study by a Jesuit Father who obtained access to die Society's we are familiar with the school careers of the Grand Conde's son and grandson who were both pupils of the Jesuits. and since reading Galatte [a manual of etiquette used in the Jesuit colleges] he notices all the offences against the proprieties which are committed/ Thus his tutor informs his father of his and progress. at the age of seven Enghien's age. and French parents gave their child a Latin tutor just as not long ago they entrusted him to an English or a German nanny. The same method was being used at the end of the sixteenth century in Calvin's Geneva. Jean Rou took his diplomas as bachelor and doctor of arts (at that time the two of diplomas were taken together as two the same examination). where Cordier was teaching. in conversation.

first class. logic class. At the age of nine. however remarkable Conde's achievement in Latin may seem. how lucky you are to be taught so well!' Thus. the difficulty was overcome by the philosophy course at Antwerp to the theologians ostensibly confining of the Society. it was not exceptional and its equivalent was to be found in other milieux than that of the princes of the blood. leaving almost immediately to follow his father into exile in Namur. The prince took this course too. 'But what about the chambermaids?' 'If it ever happens that we have to speak to them. then we speak French. young Conde* entered Bordeaux College. The regularity of the annual system of promotion is worthy of note. in other words to the future priests. However. he was thirteen years old. At the end of the year. that people were not too about the particular quality of this Latin. From the third class. third class. it would cease altogether at the end of the seventeenth century.which shows. In December 1653 he entered the Jesuit college in Namur and was placed in the third The third was the biggest class in the school: ninety-seven pupils out of a total of four to five hundred. although the teaching of Latin as a living tongue by means of conversation must have started growing rarer. But there were some valets who had accompanied their masters to school and could muster a little Latin without too much . Conde went up into the humanities class in 1654. 10 1653-4: years old. : 1654-5: ii years old. second class. . the young prince class. into the rhetoric class in 1655. as we do with our mother/ 'Oh.THE PUPIL S AGE - 211 referring not so much to servants as to what we would call 'companions'. 1656-7: 13 years old. fourth class. On this course he spent his logic and physics years. But let us return to the conversation between our two boys]. 1652-3 9 years old. which combined subjects belonging to higher education with what was to become secondary education). physics class. which he finished a little older than his father. was placed seventh out of the ninety-seven pupils in his class. 1657-8: 14 years old. 1655-6: 12 years old. The University of Louvain did not allow the Jesuits of Namur to teach philosophy in their college (another example of the ambiguous character of the philosophy class. starting in the fourth class (this was at the time of the Fronde). difficulty incidentally.

Then he followed the at the rate of a class a year: cycle of classical studies Many had 1676-7: 1677-8: 8 years old. In this family which took its the pupil studies seriously and completed them at an early age. one eighteenth century. each Conde finished his schooling a year later than his father. third 1680-1 : class. The Conde family was to two Jesuit faithful to the Society of Jesus. Conde entered the rhetoric class at eleven. physics class. At the age of eight he entered Clermont into what might have been called the sixth class. but which had no number: 'a room in which to those children who were not fit to be put in a instruction was given class*. where his father. a former captain. three examples more popular and rural in character. compared with the seventeenth century. 1681-2: first class. sixth class. he used up for him: here we should note the development. fourth 12 years old. second 13 years old. 1682-3 : 14 years old. Cardinal de Bernis was born in 1715. fifth class. logic class. class. going that it preceded the fifth. with that easy conscience which is typical middle-class and the last of his time: 29 'The distinctive feature of my mind was reflection/ He lived in the country. 1678-9: 10 years old. In the course of these three successive generations. his son at twelve. and I the domination of three or four passed successively under . was seven years old in 1675 when he was taken away from the women who had been looking after him and given tutors 'in the interior of his home". Between the five or six tutors his family had engaged ages of seven and ten. Henceforth the cycle of classes became more regular and approached the classic pattern of modern secondary education in France. The first tutor in the go and take degrees He was followed by a seminarist who on the boy: 'This pious eccentric was dispenances missed. 9 years old. had retired because he had not been able to obtain a cavalry regiment. class. his grandson at thirteen. of education at was a medical student who soon left Faculty of Medicine in Paris'. seeing College. In his memoirs. he describes his childhood in the rosiest colours. For the will suffice: one aristocratic. of each successive generation began and left school at one sees that an older age. 1683-4: 15 years old. the Due de Bouillon.212 SCHOLASTIC LIFE His son. inflicted incredible home with him 'to a tutor. to be taught to read and write. 1679-80: ii years old.

He A my condemned me to silence. a worsening of this dispute. Bernis does not say whether he studied philosophy for one or two that on two. they sent him to Louis-le-Grand: 'I arrived at the in Jesuit college August 1729. He says only years to the Saint-Sulpice seminary. . fearing reply. when a boy was destined for the Church).' He adds: 'My amourachievement on my part: I arrived in propre was responsible for another Paris with a southern accent. 'This discourse enjoyed a great superiority of eloquence of schism between the rhetoricians and the kind a caused and success discourse. who was destined for the army and was probably about fifteen.' By this time.' finished his year in the rhetoric class with a Latin discourse on the over philosophy. The philosophers were superior in strength. consider me worthy of entering the third class [the tuition given by the my Barnabites of Vivarais must have seemed very inadequate to the Fathers of the Society]. my schoolmates' ragging made me get rid of writing by in the third I started studying so intensively. the class had educational unit.e. because he was a cleric. I spent three years under the he reached the age of ten he was sent to the Barnabites' college. become half of the eighteenth century. At twelve he was tonsured (that was the usual his age. and reading and two months moonlight. in any case. amour-propre was wounded by this judgment. of the academies. the prefect. Father the but Principal. Either the college had no rhetoric class or the Bernis family wanted to give the boy a more Parisian education. having examined capabilities. who were either ignorant. in accordance with the tradition decline. My I I was allowed to be examined for the rhetoric class. joined 'the King's pages [i. that after two months [presumably it in less than three months. but not in numbers. I expected to enter the rhetoric class after did not the holidays.THE PUPIL other tutors S AGE < 213 . which were on the At the age of fourteen. where his leaving school he sought entry Church was becoming particular about the not candidature was accepted: probably . I asked permission to to made was reply philosophers. giving up hours of sleep. a little provincial college where he spent four years. and the schoolboys were well the organic the first aware of it. At the same time elder brother. at Bourg-Saint-Ande*ol in Vivarais. and class] was admitted to that class without any difficulty. brutal or licentious Without being more mischievous than birch/ When other boys. Bernis reached the end of the grammar or humanities classes at Bourg-Saint-Andeol. entered the Stable] to be trained'. This quarrel finished with an exchange of blows. .

had opened a little Latin school there. Our second example of schooling in the eighteenth century is taken from the provincial middle class. At that time. as a result of the increasing numbers of seminaries. moreover. the lowest classes in the to these Latin schools.' This maintaining of a thesis at the end of one's philosophy studies .not to be confused with the examinations for the baccalaureate and the doctorate in arts. the sense of familiar Biblical stories]. his mother the daughter of a municipal magistrate. Grosley followed the now regular cycle of a class a year But he spent an extra year in two classes. and the last survival of the medieval Grosley 's cycle was another extremely precocious cycle. from the Bible/ Next. I * as schoolmaster. on retiring to Troyes. This preparation made it possible . but in practice it was the old family housekeeper tutor and preceptor who looked after him.' The college in question was the Oratory at Troyes. starting in the fifth class. Thanks to old schoolmaster's tuition. had an old housekeeper/ 'Although she could not read [she must have guessed. subsequently multiplied. 'I spent another year in this class under Pre Verdier. its archives.214 SCHOLASTIC LIFE the recruiting of priests. 80 Grosley was born at Troyes in 1718 into a family of lawyers: his father was an advocate. As soon as he was out of infancy. for in 1729 he entered the rhetoric class at the same age as the Prince de Cond nearly a century earlier: . It seems that few in number at the beginning of the seventeenth had century. Seminaries were coming to be regarded as the essential preparation for the ecclesiastical state. his grandmother took charge of his education. and particularly its as far as the rhetoric class. which we know rather better than most.classes which. which had become mere formalities. I was unsatisfactory in Logic' (on account of poor teaching). 'I had spent an extra year in the rhetoric class.. 'I entered college at the age of seven.. it was she who taught me to read. then the logic class (he does not mention the physics class). infrequent formalities at that represented 'determination': the maintaining of the thesis consecrated the end of college studies for the better pupils. first the rhetoric class. skip colleges this sometimes did not exist. 'I went to learn the rudiments of Latin from an old schoolmaster': a former governor of the General Hospital of Paris who. At the Oratory. thanks to the preservation of registers. who enabled me to maintain my thesis at the end of the year. or rather remembered from the shape and order of the letters.

logic class repeated. hand. had dedicated himself to the instruction of children/ This was obviously a little Latin school of the sort who. for he did not go to college until he was eleven. logic 14 years old. 8 years old. rhetoric class. had had the kindness to take me in learnt to read in a mother . class. what a present Heaven gives us when it gives little convent of nuns who were friendly with my of birth who for a time had lived in lady gentle long retirement in this house of refuge. born in 1723. fourth class. 215 9 years old. 12 years old. twelve class at fourteen. 10 years old. where he seventeen he had finished his education. third class. . he reached the rhetoric He then had to leave Mauriac College after some incident his master. His father had no Latin and could see no advantage in learning it. in other words a coach. which the memorialist often covers with a varnish of sentimentality after the fashion of Greuze or Restif de la Bretonne: 'Oh. years old in the third and thirteen in the second... But his mother was eager is * that her eldest son at least should go to college' : there already 'nineteenth-century' about this case of a mother's influence at home and her role in the children's education and social progress. He left the Oratory at the age of fifteen after eight years of classical studies. is The last in this series of biographies a late eighteenth-century case . us kind parents . Marmontel. 13 years old.. 'I had ' ' ! With Marmontel we enter a rural world. A From there I went to a school kept by a priest from the city of charge and from inclination. a province which had so far been exclusively paternal. fifth class. 11 years old. free which young Grosley went to in Troyes.THE PUPIL'S AGE 7 years old. second class. and took his son on crupper to Mauriac. something modern or Marmontel's father gave in to his horse's his wife's insistence. The boy was eleven years old when he started school.and an eighty-year-old grandmother sipping her wine 81 beside the fire and remembering the good old days'. in the fourth class of the Jesuit college in the town. but Marmontel presumably stayed there longer. was the son of a village tradesman.. with and after various adventures at studies'. at we find him as a 'master of Clermont College in Paris. did his two years' philosophy. rhetoric class repeated.

church six years in a little Latin school: this first stage books were the only books I had read/ He spent of Latin tuition had become general in the eighteenth century. between 1765 and 1772** His father. . Jacques spent in the care of a housekeeper who taught him years with his brothers. In the case of Thomas did Platter. and therefore neither did promotion from one class to the next.. The next year I entered the seminary of O.' (Does my this mean that other pupils translated at sight?) He left the seminary at the end of the second the Oratory at class. not write does man ordinary nature. a sexagenarian his young woman of twenty-seven.' In this seminary.' favourite a thrashing and that was the end of his studies. the division into classes not exist. At the age of twelve 'I was sent as a boarder to the seminary of native town. brilliant a of sometimes of social successes. Because they are recorded in memoirs. Until then. 'I was fifteen years old when I studied rhetoric at Vendome. if not exceptional. we already have an example of the 'little seminary' which was to occupy an important place in the secondary education of the early nineteenth century and rival the colleges and lycees of the new educational system. in the years 1775 pupils were necessarily to 1780. Here. of the competition from his classmates. class at the seminary: coming from a Latin he was not afraid.216 SCHOLASTIC LIFE taken from the provincial middle class which conveys the atmosphere of the last years of the ancien regime. in which his masters 'wanted to initiate us to the exclusion of everything else'. the German-Swiss.. There was a preference at that time for a more modern education. not less than five miles from Me all . the cases we have just been rather out of the ordinary: the considering are. possibly BeauJacques Lablee was married to a gency. ran a wine business. He was expelled for giving his master's [Orleans?] to study philosophy. my the destined for holy orders. the second class. he tells us. However he took a dislike to Latin. I could not construe or translate petence: 'Having reached authors Latin except by laboriously consulting my dictionary. born in a little town on the Loire. in the early 15005. He even boasts of his incom- Labile started in the fourth school. I was started on the study of first Latin. at least are therefore dealing with his memoirs. starting in the sixteenth century. to read from a Psalter: 'At the age of six. they enable us to follow the regularization of the school cycle. examples We Taken in succession.

with the academies.with the years of philosophy) education was created. at least for the young nobility. However. 88 Finally. and it often that a an extra in one of die higher classes. the regular rhythm of a class a or from the fourth to die year grammar classes in the small-town colleges. In the seventeenth century. to the last grammar -the humanities and sometimes the colleges tried to keep their pupils and to provide a complete education like the rest. particularly prolong the at school: the with its classic period college cycle was beginning to take the place of the old forms of education by apprenticeship. like in the third class. a post-scholastic colleges. hierarchy academic institutions was established: from the little Latin schools to the lowest classes first. or else started school kte. However. the of we have discussed ages pupils vary a good deal over this of two hundred the period years. happened pupil spent year the rhetoric because there a tendency to was class. At the same time as the system of promotion from class to class was a sort of between the various being regularized. to the rhetoric class or the sole reservation that the small-town two rhetoric classes (in the big . the sole and youth. 2iy was In sixteenth-century France the succession of classes existed but all strictly. they became much rarer. but in comparison with the setting for a differentiated childhood The contemporary average. And since the Faculties of Law declined and were replaced by private lessons for would-be lawyers. However. We have come across pupils in the rhetoric class aged between ten and fourteen or fifteen: not a single one was over fifteen. in the seventeenth century. the college remained the only general institution of collective education. as we shall see shortly. and many of their features can be generalized. writers grammar The biographical examples analysed above characterize certain aspects of childhood and youthful manners. they give a false impression of the age structure of . Boys passed quite naturally from the third to became the general rule. pupils are always precocious.THE PUPIL'S AGE not observed at the first. Yet fifteen was the theoretical age given by English from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century for leaving school and entering the university. The Bassompierre college had not yet entirely replaced the old traditions of apprenticeship. not only from our modern point of view. it did not survive in the eighteenth century. at least in nonmanual occupations. A class was only very rarely skipped. though these irregularities continued here and there.

There was a who dedicated Melanchthon. It is none the less significant for all that. exceptional phenomenon. unfortunately.. since the age of our memorialists is the minimum age laid down 37 by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits of 1586: the rhetoric class at eleven. It seems too to correspond to a sort of scholastic ideal of the late sixteenth century. Les Homines illustres. There are only two of thirteen and three of fourteen. 91 per cent of the rhetoricians are over fourteen. two in an important study. Pre de Dainville has published registers. provided him with a carriage for the journey to Italy he was only fifteen at the time' . to become a subject of study for the moralists. It is as if precocity were a characteristic of brilliant careers. On this point at least This was the case with the book by Baillet. These are fairly rare.. 'qualified number of progresses as a bachelor at fourteen and as a doctor at seventeen'. Let us examine first of all the demographic characteristics which remained constant in the seventeenth century. We shall be struck as soon as we look at these figures by the difference between the ages in these statistical samples and the ages of the biographical cases analysed above. Finally the (which Manuscripts Department of the Bibliothque Nationale has two registers for 1677 and 1692 from the Jesuit college of Caen.and . 86 These samples provide us with the material for four soundings which extend almost the whole length of the seventeenth century. of social successes. There was also Pierre de Lamoignon. 'Effectifs des colleges et scolarits aux XVIIe 84 the registers for the 1618-20 period of the Jesuit et XVIIIe siecles': and CMlons that for 1638 for the Oratorian college of Troyes of college 85 had Carre already used at the end of the last century). classes. sufficiently characteristic of the most striking successes. comedy to Reuchlin at thirteen. In the second half of the seventeenth century the phenomenon of precocity seemed sufficiently remarkable. like Pere de Joyeuse or the Grand Conde. born in 1555: 'His father . Les Enfants devenus cffebres par leurs ttudes?* and that by Pere Niceron. noted by Pre de Rochemonteix in his monograph on the Henri IV College at La Fl&che. Here the school population is situated at a higher age: there are no rhetoricians of eleven or twelve. and of the correspondence between ages and -a point of capital importance they need to be corrected by documents from another source providing statistics of a more average character: the registers in which the headmasters and masters of the colleges listed their pupils according to age and class.2l8 the colleges SCHOLASTIC LIFE and their classes. In the the precocity of our memorialists is seen to be an light of this comparison." Baillet records a similar to those we have listed. All our young memorialists reached the rhetoric class between eleven and fourteen.

THE PUPIL S AGE Caen College 219 Ages of the pupils at Ages of the pupils at Caen College .

220 SCHOLASTIC LIFE CMlons (1618-20) Dainville) Ages of the pupils (according to at Pre de .

THE BUJIL S AGE 221 Ays of the pupils at (according to Troyes (1638-9) Pre dc DainvUlc) .

our registers class at Troyes. Then there was the young rhetorician of thirteen or fourteen. at fifteen he went to an academy *to learn his studies at the Jesuit college at philosophy and dance'. and two aged twenty-three. conjuring eighteens represent 5 per of a class in which young men up a strange sight for our modern eyes sat with children between eleven and between nineteen and twenty-four CMlons. Only pupils who had finished their studies a very early age could compete with the 'apprentices'. if it was rare among had the average run of schoolboys. Consequently if. 'entered the rhetoric class at the age of thirteen and at fourteen ride studied philosophy at the Oratory*. three aged twenty-one. this ageing process while on the other hand the medieval habits of precocity were maintained longest in court circles. born in 1637.many of the who had completed a full particularly before forty. the overfourth the In old of number pupils. as with the Condcs. impressive cent of a total exceeding a hundred. at life was very short indeed. studies. reveal an Though they include few cases of precocity.222 SCHOLASTIC LIFE in the rhetoric class. the proportion of over-eighteens reaches 20 per cent. there occurred a relative ageing of die school affected die humbler classes most of all. as we shall see later on. old age and when. Similarly the ages of seventeen and eighteen thirteen! In the third class at . who wrote a general historical treatise. originally we remember that easy to understand if in the late sixteenth century . it That is why. Franois de Clugny. sometimes combined with a brief stay of one or two years at a college. Justus Cologne at the age of consequently eleven or twelve when he was Lipsius completed fourteen. a student at Toulouse. Whether a superiDescartes. the way is to a great career. Raymond Merille his studies at the age of fifteen and rapidity that he had completed embarked on the Law when he was sixteen'. There is a phrase of Baillet's which conveys very well the idea people had of precocity at school in 1688 he refers to children who 'by twelve or thirteen had done with the ordinary college course by means of extra: this was the result of talent. population. and when the duration of active incapacity began very early. or of forcing. precocity implied ority which opened 'arrived'. There could not be any excessive difference of age at the start in a period in careers connected with the army. including five aged twenty. was common among people who And this posts at court .and often still were not occupied by people course of studies but by people who had simply served an apprenticeship. as in the case of ordinary activity'. Pieresc also left the Jesuits at fourteen after completing his to fence. 'worked with such According to Pere Niceron.

He was born in 1607. ascribed his lack of success in various ventures to his until I ignorance of the humanities. This high proportion of old pupils in nearly every class from the fifth up to the first is the basic anomaly which separates the college of the ancien regime from our typical present-day secondary school. Let us consider simply the of age given by the author. and himself on court town. young monks from near-by abbeys who came to learn Latin in order to embark on the study of theology. which was 40 It is known that the Chevalier de Mere probably not exceptional. because I had a father who. . 223 were spread out over all the classes. Who were these old pupils? The oldest. and after I had left school. according to Pere de Dainville. the ages between ten and fifteen tend to be concentrated in the grammar classes. starting in the sixth or the fifth class.. Our modern sensibility is revolted by this mixing of students and schoolboys. He left at the age of twenty-two after a stay of twelve years or so. I discovered from experience that apart from Latin. Though he could not be described as a great success. This revulsion was foreign to the seventeenth century. The Chevalier de Mer is an example of a pupil who was old because his education was prolonged. and which did not prevent . not having studied in his [although he was a nobleman: an example of a direct apprenticeship station in life]. were usually people tardily taking up a vocation. imposed as the arbiter of good manners. which I was glad to know. at the beginning of Louis XV's reign. But these young men of twenty were not always those who were late in preparing for a vocation. On the other hand. everything I had been to me but was positively harmful. he was not a complete failure either. conversation and etiquette. Nobody hesitated to mix this tardy evening-school clientele with the mass of children pursuing their normal school studies. This obliged him to leave me at school was twenty-two.' We taught was not only of no use need not pay any attention to this criticism of school education.THE PtfPIL S AGE . criticism made by every seventeenth-century gentleman. and even to die first half at least of the eighteenth. At Caen in 1677 we find as many pupils of eighteen in the fourth class as in the second (but the fourth class is three times as large as the second) at Troyes. Mer entered the Jesuit college at Poitiers when he was about nine or ten. : him from sending indications his children to college. more pupils of eighteen in the fourth and the third than in the second and the first. of young boys and adolescents in the same class. He puts into the mouth of one of his characters a reference to his own youth. in which he condemns the disadvantages of an excessively long schooling 'In the past I studied more than I would have wished.

of time since the end of the seventeenth century. We have come across several instances of this the memorialists. to be an the same sort of ambition as the modern attorney. 'At the age of seventeen I used to hear people saying: "There is an excellent young man. or the means of this ascension.224 SCHOLASTIC LIFE must assume sort This stay implies an average of nearly two years in every class. If he waits too long. for a . who was born in 1625. At Caen. and were not necessarily destined for the Church. pupils in the 19305 finished social class produced these adolescents who started kpse class by means of a post a changed either the desire to gain entry to higher which confers middle-class or noble standing. 41 This artisan wanted his son. he will be too late. What has changed is the age limit of this an ambitious father will try to get his son into a schooling. I should like my son to be like him. Nowadays secondary school at the start. philosophy. They usually reached the rhetoric class when they were over twenty. a request of parents who considered long schooling There must have been a third category of old pupils. the fifth class were age when most can guess which school at such a late age. including the twenty-year-old rhetoricians in our catalogues must have been pupils who were kept on at school at the the best education. and we that time and again he had to spend another year or another semester in the same class. Les Enfants in this respect: 'This is what the French of definition this practice gives of Paris and the other French system and practice of the University now: a course in the Humanities [in the widest colleges have been until grammar and rhetoric] and a course in Philosophy the entire occupation of our young people for nine constitute generally or ten years' in other words. Among the duration of annual classes. it has not the We their schooling. Some of the lower grammar classes twenty-year-old rhetoricians some had entered when they were about fifteen or sixteen. 7 per cent of the pupils in the sixteen. In these was not always regarded as spending another year in the same class a sanction: and Mer tells us himself that he was considered a good pupil among cases.'" Generally for the average duration speaking. and including two years' devenus cttebrespar leurs tiudes. The sculptor Girardon's father was a brassfounder. in addition to that of the tardy vocation and that of die extended schooling. namely schooling. Baillet in his book. and also in the case of Descartes. it was considered perfectly legitimate of a college education to be over seven or eight years. from one to three years longer than the sense. showing exactly wants his son to be a schoolmaster or an who miner or worker railway about this comparison: despite anachronistic is There nothing engineer. depending on whether it started in the sixth or the fifth class.

some- age of sixteen that Girardon's father sent school in the sixth class. starting It is easy to understand why the living conditions of the time made it to send their children to college early impossible for artisans and labourers in life: they had to wait until the boy was old enough to manage by himself in the town. In fact he left school at the end of his year in the sixth class to apprentice himself to a carpenter. beyond which admission to the lower classes in a secondary school is impossible. at a time when the thing he could have been taught little from the Psalter by an old priest in a French school. away from the family. The idea of an age limit It was entirely unknown in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. even though that life was shorter and the various ages were crowded closer together. Some of the pupils among the old ones in our registers must been in this position. the cases which precocious schooling. with almost no resources now and then on market-day: at a except for a little food brought along tenderer age he would have had to be provided with better lodgings and attention. the normal age not allowed to enter the therefore a legal or traditional age limit in our contemporary society.that of pupils who continued their schooling. since at that age he could start his schooling again with the rudiments of grammar: an old medieval habit which we have come across in the case of Thomas Platter in the early sixteenth there is today century. of tardy or extended schooling represent only a small proportion of the .THE boy who has passed There is rtrfclL S is AGE ' 225 lyce*e. he would have reached the rhetoric class when he was about have twenty. was at the his son (born in 1625) to start rudiments were still taught in the sixth and certain pupils learnt to read in that class. At that time there was much more elasticity than in the organization of life. Serving a manual apprenticeship until sixteen did not pledge his future. than the cases of Although they seem more common and widespread are not recorded in our registers. But public opinion given greater (and consequently costlier) did not oppose this delay in starting school. and that of late starters like Girardon who spent only one or two years at school before or resuming an apprenticeship. Probably young Girardon could already read and write. If Girardon had stayed at school. may quite reasonably suppose that he did not wait until he entered the sixth class at the age of sixteen to make himself useful: We he probably helped his father or another artisan in the workshop and served his apprenticeship. but we cannot be certain and it is not indispensable for us to assume this. the two cases must have been common .

in all the classes. These characteristics are to be found everywhere: not only is there a considerable distance in every class between the extreme ages (eight and eighteen. due to the departure of pupils of passage such as Bonneval or Girardon. we can also note a drop between two successive age groups: the thirteen-year-olds in relation to the twelveyear-olds and the fourteen-year-olds.226 total school population. In each of these four classes there is an appreciable proportion of pupils of fourteen. but several. caused classes. the fourteen-year-old group constitutes 15 per cent of the fifth class. it is easy to see why there was not one predominant age in each class. Five groups going from ten to fourteen are close together: 10 years old: 16 per cent. 12 years old: 17 per cent. and another after the third. fifteen and sixteen. remained * * * . SCHOLASTIC Let us LIFE to the now examine the ages nearest average Let us note cases. 4 per cent of the second. this astonishing heterogeneity in the population of each class is offset by the minute difference between the various classes: the same ages are to be found. for admission was not restricted as it is nowadays to the bottom class. While the class had established itself in the sixteenth century as the structural unit of the college. In these circumstances. 14 years old: 15 per cent. 1677). 11 years old: 15 per cent. as a basic element of differentiation between still a pupil's years of study. nine and nineteen). In the fifth class at Chalons in 1618 there more than 20 per cent of the total is no age group representing number of pupils in the class. by the arrival of pupils from other schools without higher The oscillations due to departures would be even more pronounced if they were not offset by the entry into classes all the way up the school of of all pupils ages. the connection between age and class very vague or loose. first of all the variations in numbers from one class to another. Generally a drop in numbers is registered after the fifth class. but the demographic kernel is made up of four or five more or less equal age groups. To consider again Chalons in 1618. 13 years old: 12 per cent. Apart from the spread of the ages. On the other hand. Sometimes there is a rise in the first ckss (Caen. with very slight variations. 11 per cent of the third. 13 per cent of the fourth.

and we are now going to try to discover the of this evolution. the demographic structure of the school class changed completely. The ten-year-olds in the fifth class go from 16 per cent at Chalons to 6 per cent at Troyes. divided into classes. in the first years of the nineteenth century. For the eighteenth century we shall be using a very incomplete document: the register of the pupils at Louis-le-Grand. of Troyes for 1638-9. the I have chosen the The following table and the corresponding graphs enable us to compare the proportions of the various ages in the classes scaled up to a total of one hundred. One change can be seen straight away: the disappearance between the seventeenth century and the nineteenth century of the extremely precocious and the extremely tardy cases. Then it remains roughly constant until the end of the seventeenth century. This source has already been used by Dupont-Ferrier in his monograph on Louis-lesignificance Grand. 42 The second document we are going to add to the series is much more precise: the register of the pupils at Sainte-Barbe in Paris. The Sainte-Barbe registers are kept in the Seine Archives. Its drawback is that it does not always give both the pupil's age and the class in which he started school. 48 After a good many changes Sainte-Barbe had a boarding-school which either sent its pupils to attend classes at a lyce*e or else gave them tuition on the premises. They consist become of lists of pupils. when it is the coincidence of these two indications which interests us. in what is called 'internal classes'. even though it would be rash to make any dogmatic judgments on the basis of a documentation which is not only scanty but above all irregular and spasmodic. Unfortunately we do not have the pupils' ages for the first years of the century: nobody bothered school authorities took care not to leave them out. with one paper for each pupil on which are entered his marks for the year. of ten-year-olds in the fourth. and copies of the letters in which the masters reported to the parents on their pupils' progress and behaviour. though. to record them. and of Caen for 1677 and 1692. The proportion of nine-year-olds in the fifth class.THE PtJfcll/S AGE ' 227 Between the beginning of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century. which after the departure of the Jesuits had become a boarding-school and an institution for scholarship boys. and of eleven-year-olds in the third drops sharply between Chilons in 1618 and Troyes in 1638. Later. school year 1816-17. The indications of precocity diminish fairly soon and fairly quickly. and they stay . For the seventeenth century we used the registers of Chalons for 1618-20.

i per cent aged thirteen). judgment is especially as called for. The ten-year-olds in the fifth class. and the imagination begins to pky its part. He likes fighting and boxing: this is unworthy of a big boy. a child 1816-17 at Sainte-Barbe. The youth of this pupil . Thus of a pupil in the sixth class aged eleven years seven months..228 at SCHOLASTIC LIFE 6 per cent and 8 per cent at Caen in 1677 and 1692. the masters write: 'The extreme of this pupil . the eleven-yearolds in the fifth go from 15 per cent in die seventeenth century to only came to 4 per cent It in 1816. at thirteen and a half. whose father wanted him to go up into the rise fifth. The drop in precocity which one suspected occurred in the course of the eighteenth century is confirmed by the figures for only one case. On the other hand. The eleven-year-olds about 15 per cent of the class throughout the seventeenth century. Let us a mediocre fifth/ Another pupil. the habit of chattering [do not mark him out for his age. The masters (as against only did not appreciate his childish high spirits in the midst of classmates who were two or three years older (and our modern experience tells us that at the age of thirteen a difference of two or three years counts a great deal) and sixteen : 'He rather likes the quarrels and little civil wars between pupils. struck Baillet as 'strange* in 1688 that there should be children who had 'done with' their schooling by twelve or thirteen. Strange but rather admirable. a class such as one comes closer to the end of the school year.. at die beginning of the nineteenth century suspicion. there are very few cases of precocity I have noted in the fifth class represent years : of thirteen and a half in the second class. In the register of admissions to Louis-le-Grand for the 1760 to 1770. The masters hesitated to promote a pupil aged fourteen and a half from the third class to the second: 'The third is a sufficiendy advanced class. was among the class in youngest in a third fifteen which 85 per cent of the boys were fourteen.' This pupil would spend another year in the second. we find the masters writing: 'We consider that such a rapid The would gravely have a solid sixth rather than prejudice his progress. disappear completely in 1816.. precocity was regarded with masters at Sainte-Barbe took care to avoid promoting pupils who were too young for their classes.. who still 8 per cent in 1692. Among the in die fifth class whose age is given. interfering in matters which do not concern him and trying to turn private arguments into public disputes. judging by third class. the youngest is school pupils starting thirteen years old.' With regard to somehow got into frivolity a pupil aged thirteen years ten months who had the second class. he should have been kept in the this] .

THE'^UPIL'S AGE 229 Ages of the pupils at Sainte-Barbe (1816-17) .


At had peopled the somewhat variegated classes of the ancien regime. 44 the founder of Stanislas. in : order to compete more easily with the Jesuits [?]. would be recognized that there was a close connection between age. They were still accepted without any hesitation at a time suspicion. In the common: eighteen. The A to a modification of the curricula for the rhetoric class. throughout the ancien regime. when precocity was already regarded with The category of pupils between nineteen and twenty-one remained. At that time there . aged nineteen or twenty at the most. high ages continue to be who were over nineteen. maintained at consider- able expense pupils of in the rhetoric class/ twenty-five in the sixth class and forty-year-olds The Abbe nineteenth century old laggards disappeared completely from the grammar classes at SainteBarbe. If the child prodigies disappeared in the course of the eighteenth century. twenty in the second class. nineteen. twenty-three in the rhetoric class. few isolated cases. eighteen. True. wrote in 1829 in a memoir on 'public education in France' 'A college is not an Academy. But that could also be put down Liautard's irritation proves that at the beginning of the this mixing of the ages was no longer tolerated. the specialists remembered the old collegians who class. nineteen in the third class. The second class at Caen in 1677 included Louis-le-Grand in the second half registers of admissions to of the eighteenth century. especially in favour of children who were too young. the old laggards had a harder time of it. in connection with the reorganization of secondary teaching and religious education. there is not a great difference to be recorded in this respect.THB means ftJPII/S AGE ' 231 it that his faculties cannot be sufficiently developed? Henceforth. remained in the second and first classes. twenty. capacity and school class. at least in the second class and the rhetoric class. We must take care not to repeat the folly of the old University of Paris which. their presence in the grammar classes was considered rather more exceptional: the proliferation of little Latin schools in out-of- the-way rural areas had helped to reduce the overcrowding of the lower classes of those colleges which provided a complete course of tuition. and it would be considered inadvisable to modify this connection. eighteen. But these colleges recovered their contingent of twenty-year-olds in the second class or the rhetoric 19 per cent class. when people were giving considerable thought to the problems of education. Thus the Abbe Liautard. seventeen in the fourth the beginning of the nineteenth century.

the under-tens and the of the total. One might conclude in favour of a certain demographic concentration in over-fifteens representing less than 10 per cent the higher classes if another phenomenon did not sometimes contradict this: the high proportion of older pupils aged between eighteen and twenty. and his language. the masters at Sainte-Barbe had no patience with these bearded. thing to strike us is the difference in speed between the seventeenth-century curves and those of 1816-17. and it was in the rhetoric class that the older pupils supplemented Latin or French rhetoric with lessons in logic. This is what they thought of a humanist aged eighteen years three months: 'Whatever his age may be. very not spread out to the same extent: notably in the humanities of 1638 and 1677. Except in of the other classes are curve remains the curves the where flat. They present two common characteristics: maxima. a comparison of spasmodic imperfect the curves of the percentages of age per class reveals certain interesting Let us now see how tendencies. This means that in the four seventeenth-century fifths.. 1618. . His beard makes him look out ofplace on the college benches. However the age structure of the classes was modified. and our sources may be. which is all too often indiscreet and licentious. his youth is premature. We do not know the age of another humanist of 1807. at the same time as they were preparing for the entrance examination to either the that as it Law School or the Polytechnic. shows signs of worldly emancipation/ This pupil would leave school. I^t us consider for a moment the seventeenth-century curves: we find them indicating first The phenomena we have already noted. loud-mouthed pupils. the general spread of the curve and the positioning of several It is in the fifth class that the spread is most pronounced: in the four seventeenth-century cases considered. who brought into the college the free and easy ways of young men.232 SCHOLASTIC LIFE trace was no longer any of a philosophy class at Sainte-Barbe. 'to let me know what of life you mean him to occupy. the bulk of the class is aged between ten and fifteen. Monsieur/ his master wrote to his father. where three ages-instead of five in the fifth-go beyond 10 per cent.. Be may. but we find his masters writing of him: 'This pupil is rather old in his studies/ As a result there could be no question of allowing him to go up into the rhetoric class: 'I beg you. five ages go beyond 10 per cent. what your wishes and intentions not allow him to waste time in study!' The heyday of the old college boys was over: that of the university student was soon station are. His age does to begin.

to what extent another curve often continues the first . This means that from one time to another. and between fifteen and twenty-three in the rhetoric class. between thirteen and eighteen in the third. We have already noticed that the curves of the third and the higher classes were more pointed than those of the lower classes. This statistical maximum approaches the age which will become the average age of the class in the nineteenth century: it indicates a tendency of the future rather than a characteristic of the present. This second maximum corresponds to a new intake. several features become the coincidence between the maxima of the curves of all the curves of the fifth class culminate class age of twelve. Thus are very pronounced.THE frtTPIL S AGE 233 The admissions registers at Louis-le-Grand suggest that the spread of the ages was also maintained in the eighteenth century. as happens more often than is generally supposed with so-called average It cases. due to economic conditions. tardy pupils. may also like those happen of the fourth that the maxima of different curves do not coincide. But here I am referring to a more distinctive phenomenon. between thirteen and nineteen in the second. When apparent: at the the first maxima different years of all. three successive ages. from the largest fraction of a fourth class . incidentally coming to a sharper point. different from that of the annual promotions.more than 20 per cent of the class can vary between thirteen and seventeen. second and first. Sometimes it happens that there is as it were no maximum that : is the extreme case in 1618 in the fifth. In these very spread-out curves. while those of the third culminate at the age of fifteen. nineteen or twenty. fourth and third classes. are sufficient to account for this undulation of the upper section of the curve. the one in the middle varies: the irregularity of admissions. or from one region to another. and indifference to the connection between age and class. Now one on its way down. another phenomenon it often happens that out of appears: the splitting up of the maxima. and regions. fourteen and eighteen). - In the higher classes. who had sometimes come from other Latin Let us turn now to the Sainte-Barbe curves for 1816-17. in the third. and quite considerable: the intake of schools. producing a rise towards a second maximum of eighteen. the positions of the maxima are very revealing. classes: the maxima of the fourth-class curves go thirteen in 1692 to seventeen in 1638 (not counting the peculiarly flat curve of 1618 which has three maxima: ten. But this is true only of that part of the curves corresponding to the ages from thirteen or fourteen to seventeen or eighteen. True. Pupils are between thirteen and sixteen in the fifth and the fourth.

the correspondence between age and class reached its full rigour only in the higher classes. However. they still have a bell-like shape which retains something of the In the fourth class. four ages each represent over 15 per cent of the total. go beyond 25 per cent whereas no age The population extends over a smaller number of years and tends to concentrate around a characteristic age.. But I do not think I am mistaken in the situation is reversed: suggesting that in the mid-twentieth century the pupils in the sixth class set off at a fairly homogeneous age. sixteen cent of the pupils are fourteen. whose characteristics. a class composed almost entirely of ing to their needs and capabilities in their studies although advanced in age/ backward are children who very A final question faces us now. in the and seventeen. In the fifth and fourth classes.234 SCHOLASTIC LIFE do they differ from those of the seventeenth century. In the fifth class. two or even three ages reached this level in the seventeenth century. imposed by between the candidates for admission to a secondary the competition produce school. three ages go beyond 20 per cent as compared with a single age in the seventeenth century. who had their younger classmates: 'We are going previously been mixed up with However... It is upwards second that the modern characteristics only from the third class predominate in the third class. second and first maximum Thus classes. fifteen or sixteen. more than 80 per class. must be admitted that even in the lower classes the masters mixing of the ages.. We have just seen that at the beginning of the nineteenth century the population of each class concentrated . although they could not entirely eliminate to create a new section of it. it disliked this to form a backward sixth . are it seems at first more pointed and go higher. This would not be the case for long. to give these pupils special tuition correspond. represent a larger proportion of the total number in the fifth class. In the third. in other glance that the Sainte-Barbe curves words that the ages around the of pupils. this rise and this regularization of the nineteenth-century curves are not equally pronounced for every age. while failures in school examinations and in the baccalaureate set-backs and result in more pronounced age differences in the final classes. remained roughly the same in the eighteenth century? Generally speaking. In 1816 they announced that they intended the sixth class which would be reserved for the laggards. Thus at the dawn of the nineteenth century. almost as many pupils of seventeen as of twelve. there are spread-out appearance of the ancien regime. or so at least we suppose.

due this time to the the baccalaureate examination. The 1816 curves are more pointed but are further down than those of the seventeenth century. seeing that they reach 30 per cent. Ages advanced to our contemporaries too. Let us take the fifth classes as an example. became the predominant. In 1816. into a sort of contest. This demographic composition gives us twelve to fourteen for the fifth and thirteen to fifteen for the fourth class. the class curves for 1816 cut across the curves of the ancien regime in such a way as to leave the lowest and highest ages outside their scope.at least to this degree. at least to those who. which were not particularly characteristic at their time and which only a fairly abstract statistical analysis could determine. They tend to bring their maxima (which are very pointed) close to the flatter. the twelve-year-olds are still at the top. Does the characteristic age which was fixed at that time represent a rejuvenation or an ageing. either in comparison with the traditions of the ancien regime or in comparison with the the early twentieth century? of usage vague stricter Generally speaking. with a maximum of fourteen and fifteen in each of the the fifth class two classes. classes. We must therefore recognize. The fourteen-year-olds in the fifth classes of the seventeenth century represent only 12 to 16 per cent of a younger population. but the fourteen-year-olds remain almost as numerous and reach 28 per cent. finished their secondary schooling before 1940. in class the grammar an increase in the average ages in comparison with the ancien regime. and their maxima correspond to the lower maxima of the seventeenth century. It is as if the average ages of the ancien regime.THE 'PUPIL'S AGE 235 around a specific age. However. and all being well would become bachelors at nineteen and would get through their such as these must seem philosophy or their mathematics at twenty. which culminates at the age of twelve. gentler maxima of the ancien regime. We have noticed that in the lower classes in the seventeenth century the maxima were often split up and always hard to distinguish from a gentle curve. But rivalry of this sort was as was to the nineteenth century and the foreign to the ancien regime as it early twentieth century . The fifteen-year-olds of would normally enter the first class at eighteen. this phenomenon of the coincidence of the old maxima and the new did not occur to an equal degree in the lower and higher classes. specific ages at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The same is true of the fourth class. like the author of this book. for I believe that a new ageing process has since taken place. competition which has transformed devalued though it is. with first its 1816 maximum of fifteen. Study of the ages in the .

These data have a certain value. we find that this ageing the third class. which they depict in graphic form). It is not certain that they were very either the school population or of the mentality of the representative of whose time. we must not forget that Sainte-Barbe was a boarding-school numbers dropped sharply in the higher classes. His papa wanted his son to skip a class. in their reports We We classes of grown men. But the masters at Sainte-Barbe approved of pupils' spending another in a class: they often recommended this. His masters consider he has risen too fast: 'Always an interesting pupil . we complied with his request [with a bad grace]. revealed a mental attitude in favour of a certain have know that they were definitely hostile to precocity. In the curves from the third class to the process stops with maxima of 1816 coincide with the first first. the and century If we consider the Sainte-Barbe statistics. Even to their pupils' parents. sixteen and seventeen in the fourteen-^een-sixteen in those of the second. What happened? When he entered the fifth he lacked the necessary This we find astonishing: today we maturity to live up to this class/ would say either that he is incapable or that he must make up for lost time and rise quickly. in which he is doing well/ And of his writing: 'Excellent classmate of seventeen and a half we are told: 'It must be remembered marked preference for pupils On the other hand.236 lower SCHOLASTIC LIFE classes thus enables us to conclude in favour of an ageing at the in comparison with the seventeenth nineteenth of the century beginning late nineteenth-early twentieth century. On the other hand. ageing. the disliked also seen that like all the pedagogues of their time they in the early school ages at Sainte-Barbe. Of an he was put in a class for which he was too young and too weak* too seventeen and a half! young for the second class at that Here we have a sixteen-year-old in the fifth class. the extremely pronounced maxima of the seventeenth century (the second maxima of the seventeenth century disappear with the category of the old pupils aged twenty or over. This situation gives us: the third class. many anticipated the intentions: 'Congratulations on the decision to make him pedagogues' in the rhetoric class/ Pupils spent extra years in the spend another year . they displayed whom we would nowadays consider too backward.. and if certain parents put up that year what was already a modern resistance to the idea. and sixteen-seventeen in the first ages very close to nineteenth and twentieth centuries.. a good many indications suggest that the ageing noticeable was often maintained. the masters. presence in their a the second class we find them eighteen-year-old in at his studies.

The opposite opinion was held in 1807: 'This strengthens it [the rhetoric class] with experienced pupils. Witness F. On the contrary. which had become the essential qualification for a career in the liberal professions. and their worthy master had to admit that this weariness might be justified: 'The pupil shows a certain reluctance to spend a third year in the rhetoric class. and the masters' mentality seems to have matched the spirit of their time. did preparation for the licentiate's degree or the doctorate of the Faculties of Law and Medicine. as if the ages of the higher classes at Sainte-Barbe were not advanced as those of the lower classes would lead us to expect. at least in comthe same century. between twelve and complete course of study ended at about nineteen or twenty [which would correspond to the maxima of fifteen in the fourth class at Sainte-Barbe].pupils accounts for the trouble which conscription caused in the lycees and colleges. since he has nothing more to learn in this part of the school. and this was even recommended. before reaching 'The thirteen. this cannot be put down to the masters' policy. Bouquet's parison with the second half of recollections of his childhood and of his schooldays at Rouen lycee about iSso: 46 'At that time pupils started in the sixth class two or three their thirteenth year'. compel pupils to cut short the duration of at Sainte-Barbe that 'the rhetoric class of the \jcit is veterans [note the word 'veteran'. Only later. A bachelor aged under sixteen . Consequently. first Other documents show that people were aware that pupils' ages in the third of the nineteenth century were more advanced. as national service would today if students were not usually deferred. We consider that this would in fact be a waste of precious time for him. not being boarders at Sainte-Barbe. However. at the end of the nineteenth century. There was still a certain confusion between two notions which would henceforth be quite distinct: that of the schoolboy and that of the student. It is true that in the early nineteenth century the universities did not yet attract a large number of students.THE 'PUPIL'S AGE for ' 2J7 higher classes above all.' Nowadays a critical view would be taken of the standard of a secondary-school class in which old pupils were in such a majority. In 1807 (a year which the Sainte-Barbe registers do not give any ages) it was recorded crowded with from military to academic jargon]. some of the veterans showed signs of weariness. do not appear in our statistics.or retarded . and post-scholastic education was almost as neglected as under the ancien regime.' But these 'veterans' of the lycee. the masters tended rather to let their pupils grow old at school.' The presence of these advanced . transferred at this time their secondary studies. in other words years later than today.

those of our memorialists. or at least the and college was postponed until the child of age entry into the three grammar classes. people tended infancy and school age. in the course of the public opinion soon ceased the latest. The educawhich eliminated children who were too young. It was rarely the danger incurred by their innocence.reveals a new distinction between an extended in the years gifted they mid-seventeenth century. and of the ex- with a It (up to the end of the eighteenth century). and this precocity remained for some time an attribute of success. was nine or ten. to admire child prodigies. From these analyses. . in which the ages were mixed and a premature skill caused no more surprise than the exceptional nature of certain gifts. The precocity of certain cases in the sixteenth and early centuries struck us as a survival also seventeenth of the practice in medieval schools. was not limited to infancy. but of the general customs of apprenticeship. or at least this danger. coinciding moreover stiffening of discipline and an extension of the boarding system. was separated from a period at school beginning at that age. The result was that an infancy lasting until nine or ten mother. It was therefore the first ten years which were pushed clear of college life. Until the to stop infancy at the age of five or six. However. Later on. at the age of seven he could go to even start in the fifth class. or more often by in the lowest classes. school age. we can deduce some salient points. or again by making them spend two them putting same class . The reason most commonly advanced to justify the postponement of admission to school was the weakness. when it was recognized. The dislike of precocity marks the first at eighteenth century breach in the lack of differentiation between children's ages.238 SCHOLASTIC LIFE would have been a phenomenon which would not have occurred to anybody/ This ageing may account for the mutinies which became fairly common in the first half of the nineteenth century. we also noticed that the more brilliant careers. 'imbecility* or incapacity of little children. therefore seems that the disappearance of the excessively precocious cases of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. when a boy would leave his his nanny or the servant-girls. of the school populations around ages a to concentration corresponded which were higher than both the average ages of die ancien regime and cessively retarded cases the typical ages of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. however tional policy might be -by refusing to admit them. were characterized by a certain precocity.

the habit of making all the pupils go through series of classes instead of only a few. the presence of backward adolescents in college aroused no opposition. Once he has obtained his school-leaving certificate. the young artisan goes which still ignores scholastic age straight into the working world distinctions. Indeed nobody felt the need to distinguish childhood beyond the age of twelve or thirteen from adolescence or in the youth. It will be noticed that the tradition of not distinguishing between childhood and adolescence. And there he will be able to pick his friends from a far wider the very restricted span of the lycee class. adolescents between fifteen and eighteen. thanks to the spread of further education in the middle classes. were excluded for good. conditioned by the habits of secondary and higher education. although the grown men. Late childthan age group and early maturity are not opposed as they are in adolescence hood. even conscription. But if infancy was segregated in this way. the old mixing of the ages continued in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for the rest of the first section: school population. middle-class society. and the promiscuity of widely twenty-five studying in the same separated age groups did not shock people. with children between ten and fourteen. in the sixteenth and even in the seventeenth The regularization of the century. provided that the youngest boys were not exposed to it. Most primary schools remain faithful to the old practice of simultaneous tuition. a tradition which disappeared in die middle classes in the course of the nineteenth century. break up this which was easy for the middle classes to avoid.THE PUPIL The dislike S AGE 239 college of a of precocity therefore marks the differentiation by the infancy extended to the age often. These two age categories still remained confused: only later nineteenth century would they be separated. Under the First Empire. and the requirements the complete of a new system of teaching adapted to smaller. this connection remained very vague. if he does not go to a technical school or an apprenticeship centre. and young men between nineteen and classes. annual cycle of promotions. This period of childhood and adolescence was distinguished thanks to the steady though tardy establishment of a connection between age and school class. For a long time. the 'bearded ones' of over twenty. did not long age-span in which our modern distinctions were not yet recognized. Even at the beginning of the nineteenth century. nobody thought separating them. Up to the end of the eighteenth of century. more 'homogeneous . still exists today in France in the lower classes where there is no secondary education.

and would share in this respect the comparative indifference displayed by lower-class society. The masters then got up their classes to fit in with their pupils' ages. for since the end of the sixteenth century the class ingly close correspondence into the habit of making for the college and its importance it does to had been recognized as a structural unit.24O classes. The age groups which had hitherto been confused began to split up in so far as they corresponded to different classes. the middle class would not attach the the slightest differences in age between its children. resulted at SCHOLASTIC LIFE the beginning of the nineteenth century in an increasbetween age and class. But living cells. .

went so far as to forbid practices known for their violence and immorality: the statutes mention debts. confessed and dressed. The statutes published by of the corporation of law students at Avignon in 1441. the repugnance 241 . in the schoolroom. Similarly the 1379 statutes of Narbonne 4 College forbid the scholars to exact anything from the noviter intrentibus contrary to the honour or good of the college. 1 After the meal the purge of the freshman took place which turned 2 Germany. or of what we would now call a freshman. F. the promoter and the rector . wounds and blows inflicted on freshmen.THE PROGRESS OF DISCIPLINE of the University of Aix at the beginning of the century enable us to witness the initiation of a 'novice'. the freshman was washed. like those of the Templars (assuming that there was a basis of truth in the confessions extorted from them at him into a full-blown student. or to indulge in 'vicious practices or other indecencies which they would be forbidden to reveal'. the tax and to offer a banquet to some of his companions and masters. 'with a book on his behind in accordance with custom and tradition'. gave not more than three blows supra anum aut femora bejonarum: the ladies present could obtain a mitigation of the penalty. This ban almost certainly remained a dead letter: the vow of silence which the older pupils imposed on the newcomers is proof enough of the secret character of the initiation. starting with the promoter armed with a frying-pan. Fournier. such as that of Vienna. extortions. If risk he tried to avoid this obligation he ran the of purging his noviciate in studio. and no doubt with other torments which the document fails to mention. In 8 their trial). At Aix every guest. Certain universities. The admission of a new student was an important occasion: in every 'nation* a promoter was appointed annually to organize it.who at that time was a student - also attended the banquet. in a sort of crossing-the-line ceremony. The freshman had both to pay a statutes THE fifteenth beadle. The official document obviously tries to tone down the ragging which often must have been more brutal than this and accompanied by licentious scenes. Seybolt and Rashdall. mention these initiatory customs. and one is reminded of other customs of the same sort. according to R.

or rather it was obviously a new it and reformed version of an association which. laid prior Regulations drawn up by freshman wishing to enter the corporation: no novice would be admitted ad purgationem suae infectionis and allowed to take die venerable tide of studens unless he presented himself with due humility and deference before the prior and his deputy and paid them sixgrossi for his admission to the the noblemen or beneficed clergyThe rich. whose essential function was to summon the society's members to students' funerals and their insistence on unanimity as the sole guarantee of freshmen. Nobody was to speak ill of his brother. The remarks in fact on the laziness and lack of preamble to the document the members of the studium generate at Avignon. student who died at the university. This association had a religious character: was dedicated to St councillors Sebastian. The new association would thus seem to have been an instrument of reform. If he did not succeed he was last resort the black sheep prior. and his councillors. of believing and. they discipline among are accused in particular of no longer praying for the dead. to maintain the peace among its members both had corporation and supervise their behaviour. It was not an old society. and only a few traces of it remained in the fifteenth century. who Every year the students elected the prior formed a sort of court of arbitration. and to accompany the corpus domini. to visit sick attend the funeral of to refer the matter secretly to the would be expelled from the friends. and the students' association responsible for this initiation. down the conditions for a say men. at least as far the statutes were not as one can by the authorities but were see. and it was on St Sebastian's Day that the priors and were elected. but each was to try to correct by gentle methods anyone he knew had to organize the admission The sinned. of repeatedly indulging in 'forbidden acts of an unimaginable nature*. had deviated from its traditional mission.242 SCHOLASTIC LIFE ecclesiastical which the authorities felt 5 for them. that is to confraternity. to inquire any on such occasions the after the state of their soul. imposed fixed freely and unanimously by all the members of the student body: here we may recognize the democratic methods of medieval societies and of peace. were to pay more: cases of poverty would be examined by the . admission of novices or purge of freshmen. on the occasion of the that the voluptates corporales bring happiness. in the The members' principal duties were to confraternity by a majority vote. according to the religious authorities of Avignon. and two promoters. this had been common practice in the confused society of the Middle Ages. However.

in which it is difficult not to see a symbol of the traditional banquet. ' 24. The cost useless banquet. lest the society's members be turned into pimps. would be paid to the confraternity honour of God and the patron saint. He becomes the de novo receptus.3 Then the freshmen would be allowed to take his oath and would be received: volumus jocose et this benigne. either in his room or in the refectory/ 6 The tradition of the of wine mug common was not socius only one mug of wine. In the 1427 statutes of Seez College we read that for his joyous entry into the college. His oath is recorded in writing and signed. that they 'prefer the belly to the mind'. see here a tendency to substitute an admission fee in money or in kind for the banquets and ragging which used to accompany the freshman's purge. In particular he stipulates that the freshmen are not to bring along any courtesans. . drunk in It is abandoned. He then presents the community with two tables-cloths. He takes an oath to observe the statutes and 'not to reveal to any outside person [nulli extraneo] the secrets of the college*. albeit with a bad grace. but the secrecy here applies not to the events and gestures of the initiation ceremony but to the life of the community the pupil is going to enter. There are other college statutes which recognize the importance of the admission ceremony while at the same time condemning ragging and excessive fines. The for the these arguments prior admits. The documents we are quoting speak of drinking bouts and initiation rites at a time when enlightened ecclesiastical circles condemned them (the moralists and theologians have probably always condemned them. 7 The oath and the rule of secrecy remain. The 1311 statutes of Harcourt College stipulate: 'No newly arrived scholar shall give an admission banquet. but in that case he insists that he or his deputy should be present at the banquet to safeguard the society's morals and avoid vidorum macula. the student shall not be forced to pay more than twenty sous but shall instead pay 'according to his rank'. But nobody thought of reducing the importance of the actual principle of the initiation: the admission of the new students was We one of the chief responsibilities of the promoters of the confraternity of St Sebastian. do not seem to have convinced the students.THE PROGRESS OP DISCIPLINE prior. However. superflue cene. What are we to understand by joyous admission? The regulations contain a long paragraph which tries to persuade the members that the payment of dues takes the place of the of the traditional banquets which spelt ruination for body and soul. however: 'He may give each and that wine must be at the current price/ after the regulation hard to believe that the celebration always stopped mug of wine.

10 Masters and pupils. a society of communion rites. They were something very different and profound. Speaking more one had to undergo a sort of operation of generally. In his reformation of the University of Paris in the fifteenth century. At the same time he became his meal in common: henceforth the society which he had been admitted was not a utilitarian association but a friends. often of roughly the same the same fraternity. sometimes guilds quoted by E. This operation consisted first of all of a drinking bout. Varagnac has shown the survival in country districts under the ancien regime and up to the triumph of the agricultural revolution in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of an organization of collective life in age groups: a very old organization which can be 8 found in the Homeric world as also in the Negro societies of Africa. A. the or else. This fraternity would be renewed by fraternity. a potacio as it is called in the texts concerning the accompanied 9 then of violent ragging. naturalized him and thus joined to his brothers with an inseparable bond. and The sexual orgies. and confines himself to preaching moderation: 'The determinants must not offer and only to banquets. bound up with the very structure of society. one of the principal opportunities for drinking was the 'determinance'. was to resigned tolerance. thanks to the to * . sometimes magical and always ritualistic.244 as SCHOLASTIC LIFE and being tainted with paganism and vice. However. Cardinal d'Estouteville shows the revulsion he feels. periodical For students. This was the case with the student-bodies and probably also with the trade guilds. but without success) succeeded to some extent in curbing or suppressing them. rites It would in fact to the ragging inflicted Entry into the adult world called for an initiation. ragging broke the former man. by collective meals and drinking bouts. imagine today. which him changed the very being of the novice. shows how attached the student population far back into the past and still corresponded in the dated which practices fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to a state of mind which is difficult to be a mistake to compare these admission on freshmen in a modern university. as at Avignon. unless it be with moderation and temperance. but does not dare to forbid such established customs. he was tamed and henceforth belonged irrevocably to the community which had mastered him in this fashion. drank round the same table: they belonged to torturers' brother. their eagerness they showed in forbidding them. Coornaert. sodi and to their masters. age. and what remained of their customs in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries must have dated back to the Middle Ages at least. and by by humiliating him placed him at the mercy of his conquerors. to enter a society a religious character.

and of the performance of religious The characteristics : duties. at the beginning and end of their classes. 'which shall be shall illico [sic] be drunk distributed 13 to those companions who are present'. laughing or playing during mealtimes were fined 'a friends'. 12 and the 1311 statutes accepted this tradition: treat their pupils to drinks 'For the honour of the college we wish the pupils of the house to show deference to the lectores. The associations of scholars which tried to cut down or to suppress the traditional banquets forced the socii to take their meals in common. there were a great many occasions. The importance attributed to the mug of wine colleges for tradition required the kctores to Harcourt At College. 11 of a freshman or the Apart from great events such as the purge 'determinate'. offer their fellow pupils mug of friendship ' no guest receives more than one mug/ [potum amicabilem]. Modem man is divided between a professional life and a family life which are . drunk together can be seen from the constitutions of the may. to eat separately in their rooms: the meal in common consecrated the friendship which was supposed to unite the members of of these student-bodies recall those of the proother associations studied by E. of the oath of friendship and peace taken between the brothers. the private way of life (leisure life of intimate way (family of life (devotional activities). In the thirteenth century . or the the and amusement). of attendance at members' funerals.. at least for a potacio. scholarship boys. The latter. if the they wish. 245 showed no repugnance for these convivial Robert de Coupon in his reformation of the university had not dared to ban their banquets: he merely stipulated should be confined 'to some companions and friends. Our modern minds are puzzled because they refuse to accept the which are nowadays carefully separated: the mixing of ways of life and friends). mug At language it of ordinary [mediocris] wine which among the Cistercian College in Paris. the peccadilloes of everyday collective life in the colleges were sanctioned by a round of drinks: who at Cornwall College in 1380. forbidding them the group. Coornaert in an or economic fessional. pupils who spoke in any other than Latin had to buy a pint of wine. provided that In many cases. but few that they in number'. pupils did not stop shouting. if not for a convivio. u the excellent article on the medieval guilds importance of the compotacio. Similarly was forbidden to wear long pointed shoes under pain of a pint of wine. religious way who share the same profession those of life (meetings corporate way of with the object of learning it or exploiting it or defending it).THE PROGWBSS OF DISCIPLINE The theologians themselves habits..

But in the Middle Ages all these social activities. but not to be counted as part of the serious business of living . and sometimes sealed with intoxication.maintained the not cemented of a often in competition with each other. occupied an essential position in collective life. necessary to the organism like food which can be hurriedly swallowed. and of the development of another element to which the Middle Ages attributed only secondary importance: the family. On the contrary. They were not democratic or egalitarian either. It does not matter to us that they had a religious origin in Mediterranean or Germanic rites of an orgiastic nature. They were built on decision personal relationships.men have never ceased to appreciate the joys of a good binge among friends! but because this pleasure was transcended and became the perceptible. profession. It is also the result of the suppression of some of them. but whose importance he does not admit though he is not actually ashamed of it. The idea of authority. meetings with friends for a meal or drinks are considered as a mere relaxation. and by public recognition friendship by meal and the potacio. which a man does not neglect. differences between graduates. such as friendship and religion. This rite was valued not only because it afforded sensual pleasure . rather than on a utilitarian aim. The modern way of life is the result of the divorce between elements which had formerly been united: friendship. remained foreign to them. They were not authoritarian: no leader could impose a decision -a common was generally taken by the community as a whole. true. physical sign of a religious and legal engagement. unanimously. for they comprised certain privileges. especially for children and youths. What matters is that at that time people could not imagine a society that was . of a sworn contract on which the whole of collective life rested. on friendship between the members. a luxury. However. they belonged to these communities structure which constituted the of the societies of their time. Thus in . we should be wrong to deduce from the absence of the modern in a state principle of hierarchy and authority that medieval pupils lived of anarchy. the modern idea of a disciplinary code for which agents of authority are instructed to enforce respect. which are today individualized and repressed. differences between old students and new. or rather of the delegation of authority. just as it rests today on our institutions of private and public law. and even more secondary importance: religious so rest and amusement. religion. The medieval student corporations bore no relation to our ideas on the organization of human societies.246 SCHOLASTIC LIFE all the rest is regarded as of and cultural activities.an extra. on a majority sometimes vote.

' But there was also the risk willingly gave a ruffian who was staying in the same house at Zurich as experiences: the band of students 'offered me a six-kreutzer piece if I would allow bare skin'. The two companions went through Lucerne and arrived at Zurich. bacchant and bejaune. closer to real life. kept on begging and earned almost enough I went into a tavern [we must remember turn there] people enjoyed hearing me talk the Valais dialect and of mortifying something. the band of students my set off for Misnia. this was simply because they were comparatively old-fashioned.' Paulus agreed. . my . Paulus. He promptly . Thomas Platter. 'We set off. People gave often lived by begging. : money with takings. and Thomas Platter's description must be valid not only for Germany in the early sixteenth century but for a large part of the Western world in the fifteenth century. 'There were eight or nine of rest I us. After loitering seized me. for when that at this time the tavern was a place of ill repute. objected that it deals with German manners. there for eight or nine weeks. The former supported the latter. One of his first cousins. who in return I gave Paulus my protected him. frequented by thieves but a young lad of nineteen could none the less do his and prostitutes.THE PROGRESS OF DISCIPLINE 247 place of the relationship of master and pupil. there were bonds of a different nature. which I have already quoted with regard to 15 It may be pupils' ages the biography of the Swiss.' Students at that time begging for the old hand. threw me across a chair and beat and then took back his six kreutzers. to wit three greensmallest horns [Schutzen] and the old hands. the greenhorn was due to me a good grace. 'During time I to support Paulus. The game was worth the candle: 'I me on him to me whip finally agreed. a hundred years earlier the differences were less pronounced. who was a 'student at Ulm and Munich. then came to spend a few days with his him about family. I had to start begging. chief and subordinate. and thus was born the association between the greenhorn Thomas and the old hand Paulus. I was the youngest and of the greenhorns. but just as strong and just as valid in the eyes of the public: the relationship of old hand and greenhorn. In all probability. We have seen how at the age of nine Thomas Platter learnt to sing the Salve from a village priest. me horribly* . but if these were different at the time from French manners. On this subject we have an extremely full and detailed document of the early sixteenth century. less judicial. When could no longer drag myself along. Thomas had a good reputation: 'My friends spoke to me and suggested that he should take me to the German schools. where Paulus meet some this friends with whom he was going to travel across Germany.

had become a schoolmaster and a respected humanist. corresponding to the seven parishes of the town. *In the evening I often made five or . the old hands slept together in By the time he Platter an inn room. and the greenhorns in the stable. and each parish was private territory: 'No student would dream of going outside his parish to sing in the street. little Thomas as well as big Paulus. allowed by the customs of the country: they replied that I had been in too much of a hurry/ When they stopped for the night. the peasants found our old hands and asked them for the price of the goose/ The two sides came to an agreement. this time for Breslau. thanks fed them. ad idem". they laughingly asked what had apologized for doing something which I had thought was happened. he tried his luck with the first goose he saw. for if he did : the greenhorns would come running up shouting "Ad terrible idem. armed with a stick or a pike. came to write down these stories of vagabond life. and there would be a brawl/ It is said all that at times there were that several thousand students at Breslau who lived on charity. 'those of us greenhorns who could sing went round the town singing. They had a hard time on the road nobody would take in the vagabond students and people set their dogs on them. At Breslau there were seven schools. and some stayed at school for to the greenhorns who twenty or thirty years or even longer. but only just managed to escape the vengeance when Thomas heard how of the peasants.248 cousin Paulus SCHOLASTIC LIFE would walk behind me. and they set off again. I for my part Thomas some begging/ In this fashion they arrived at Halle in Saxony: we went to St Ulrich's school. young and old alike. There were a few minor incidents : his big companions saying easy it was to catch geese in Misnia. At Neuburg. But our old hands treated us so harshly that some of us plotted with my cousin Paulus to escape/ Here he did 'There is probably referring to the old hands at St Ulrich's who ragged the newcomers. and he tells them with ill-concealed pleasure. for I had no breeches [he was therefore and would beat and only a bad dressed in just a shirt and underpants. At Dresden they went to school for a while: 'The school building was full of vermin which we could hear swarming about in the straw/ But it seems that the masters were not very good. admittedly Paulus would then have lost his bread-winner. at the inn 'Coming to the village.' But he kept on walking all the same. and felled it with a stone. my bare legs. and perhaps not even underpants] pair of shoes. whereas but for Paulus he would have fallen by the wayside. 'When the old hands rejoined us [for the greenhorns were not allowed I inside the inn]. The band left Halle and made for Dresden.

who must have been of about the same age ~ to exploit the pupils. 'The youngest of us were sent to had agreed to Neumark. . For the I wagered any time that I would be able to catch three insects at once on my chest journey the band split up into two groups. another five years before. one Hildebrand 'who was the must have been about son of a and therefore born to be a scholar! All three. and we returned to the Valais/ Thomas fifteen. where it settled down. . Thomas had acquired considerable skill in begging. preferring to use me for their profit. greenhorns and old hands slept out in the open. He and Hildebrand supposed to give the old hands priest' . the nearest town. . who the school/ 'In winter the greenhorns slept on the floor of the schoolroom. But the inhabitants had no sooner seen the fire we had lit than they started firing at us. and so did I. The band left Dresden and set off for Niirnberg and then Munich. one for catching geese and the other for picking swedes and onions. . They did not stay set off again. Luckily nobody was hit/ In spite of everything. The master does not seem to have been in charge of the pupils. and Paulus over twenty. . in the cemetery. Paulus suddenly felt homesick: 'My old hand then took it into his head to go back to the country from which we had been absent for five years. after five years of wandering around the schools of Germany. 'so that the old hands did not give me time to go to the result that I could school. We meet in the evening near the town gates where we intended to camp. taking with them. but one of them die schoolmaster and our old hands sent us goosereports: 'At Dresden We one caught two geese which the old hands and the day hunting schoolmaster ate at a farewell meal/ Platter does not tell us whether the . There the old hands came to an arrangement with the schoolmaster . greenhorns were allowed to eat the crumbs. with were not even read'. Paulus and I lodged with a soap manufacturer ' . young boy. but not so frequently.THE PROGRESS OF DISCIPLINE six ' 249 stayed in journeys to bring the day's takings to my old hands. under Paulus's command. My cousin went to the school in Our Lady's parish. If it rained they went back into the school. to beg for bread and salt. the band managed to reach Dresden. went to Ulm. like Thomas but long in the village. . whom I helped with his soapmaking more than I studied . Then. since I had to sing in the streets to earn enough for our keep/ This went on until the two cousins were thrown out because Paulus had been rather too familiar with the maidservant. and 'I the old hands in cells/ But all shared the same vermin: could have wished/ In summer. the eight friends returned to Dresden. After a period at Breslau.

defended them against the solitary adventure. Paulus refused to give him this permission. his authority was recognized not only . he and such indeed must have been the sense of responsibility these hulking brutes felt for their young drudges. and beat him cruelly until they were Thus the older student was a leader. Did Thomas accept straight away? No. by its very existence. have brought you abroad and I mean to take you back to your family. least of all if it was broken by It seems in fact to have been the only form of subjection the greenhorn. which enabled the physical distress. Consequently. doing what he wished with the also young ones who kept him alive and whom he exploited. moral and This can be seen from escape. entrusted they who was better equipped for a dangerous life.250 all SCHOLASTIC LIFE their takings. or else they would force him to rinse his mouth and a dish full of water. The scene was Munich. though rather maintaining them by force in a society which.' said.and obedience was becoming irksome to him. But Hildebrand sometimes kept back some of his money to buy food: 'Our old hands would follow him in the street and him eating. however much he might abuse it. still happens 16 But in the medieval association of in the United States. It took place at Breslau. they threw eating. catch over his face to muffle exhausted/ his cries. Thomas was no longer living with his old hand but . for he leave *I was not free. He went to Paulus and asked him for permission to him for the Fugger house. or them. protecting however harsh it may have been. The authority of the child's father was then delegated to this older student. account of his two attempts at A member of the Fugger streets. Thomas Platter's The first failed. child to avoid anarchy. they could then see whether he had been into spit him on to a bed. The formation of bands of boys in which the younger ones recognize the their brutality. object of study old hands and greenhorns there was something else: parents did not abandon a child often or so to the hazards of the road and foreign towns. or perhaps because of authority of the older ones despite in our contemporary societies: it has been a particular it. And public by his subjects or his victims tolerate the breaking of this bond of subjection not would opinion between the greenhorn and the old hand. in the little beggar he saw wandering through the family took an interest He offered to take him in. him to an older and therefore more experienced student. provided them with a setting and. The second attempt succeeded: Thomas was older -he must have been over fifteen . put a cushion If they caught him out.but also by public opinion. vagabondage.

'you don't come longer of authority.' At his age.' For his part Paulus 'had often told my companions and me that if one of us escaped. or at leaving the butcher's wife who had been so kind to me. but alone: if the opportunity offered itself. Either he lived near did not mean that he was left to his Thus before the own a school at his own home. Paulus stopped to see me any more. 'Your old hand from Munich horns told him at the school. for she might have given me away' She would have given him away.' At Ziirich. despite the fact that she disapproved of Paulus's cruelty. but who had always been brutal towards me. . he would catch him wherever he might go*. But this extra-corporate disciplinary authority. . True enough. where Paulus followed him: 'He had therefore pursued me a distance of eighteen miles. 'I therefore left Munich. with his voice breaking and his talents as a street-singer on the wane. because it would have probably immoral to break so brutally a bond which was recognized and necessary. much use to his old hand. a messenger from Paulus came to see him: his fellow-countryman Hildebrand. where he took refuge.' he said. Thomas was no him in the street: 'Greenhorn. ' 251 One Sunday after vespers.a Latin school of He then entered those associations. is here looking for you.THE PROGRESS OF DISCIPLINE with a kindly butcher's wife. feeling sad at heart. resources. either at abandoning my cousin whom I had accompanied in his numerous and distant peregrinations. Worried nothing to his kindly landlady: 'I did not dare tell her about my intentions. Take care or you'll get a beating. 'A few months had gone by [at from Munich to Zurich] when Paulus sent his greenhorn Hildebrand ask at Zurich. at Freisingen he was told that Paulus was on his track and had arrived in the struck her as as legitimate town. fifteenth century the student was not submitted to an to a scholastic hierarchy. he had been apprenticed a school or else he lived with another family to whom with a contract stipulating that he should go to course. He said naught.' the green- He fled to Ulm. But the which the greenhorn's departure had Thomas decided to flee. which by means of pious or joyous corporations or confraternities. latter was asserting his set at by this threat. the boy who used to be thrashed because he spent part of his takings on food.' Paulus to say that he forgave me: I refused and stayed had stopped ordering him to return . he would me to come back and services requisition the of a few greenhorns.and thus recognized his emancipation! Thomas would continue to lead the vagabond life of a student.

spirit. the and. and often. special measures towns or prohibited areas). schoolboys and students were organized on new of authoritarian hierarchy. They originally manifested themselves in a reluctance to tolerate the students' traditional customs of comradeship and self-government. But at school it produced . hierarchy. certain generally speaking. organization. Indeed we scarcely know these customs. classification. this system of comradeship aroused growing opposition in influential circles.or followed . Admittedly this evolution was not peculiar to childhood it extended to the whole of society. in return. In either case the student belonged to a society or to a band of friends in which a sometimes brutal but none the less real comradeship governed his everyday life. especially at the end of the Middle and limit them when they Ages. technocratic attitude. This disapproval appeared quite early on in Church circles: we find it in Robert de Coupon's thirteenth-century reformation of the University of Paris.a change parallel to the concept of childhood which is of particular interest to us. indications bore witness to their long survival. because it was recognized by public opinion. From the end of the Middle Ages. being beaten and exploited. These churchmen represented an outlook a technical. Their first success consisted in relegating to the domain of minor pastimes those part of his communal customs which medieval man regarded as an essential life. principles : We are now going to follow the progress of these new disciplinary principles. nourished practices. Or else the young pupil followed the older student.252 SCHOLASTIC LIFE bouts or banquets. In its absence. sharing his life in good fortune and bad. and. in spite of the hostility of of the authorities as a whole. pedagogues authorities of the town of La Fleche had to take into account the walls of a large student population attracted by the within their presence were taken (as they are today in garrison Jesuit college. specifying a certain number of prohibitions - The . and the system went on deterior- of being disorderly and ating steadily until it finally gave the impression anarchical. drinking the feeling of their community of life. Even at the beginning of the seventeenth century. except through texts which criticize cannot ban them. and the establishment of monarchical absolutism was one aspect of it. regularity. much more than did the school and his master. had a moral value. by religious worship. a Cartesian foreign to their times: of love a order.

graves for this is a matter of the salvation of souls. children belong to an etas infirma which 19 hi his view requires 'greater discipline and stricter principles'. finally abolished the traditional banquets As early as the fifteenth century. every student had from the arrested in Paris. educate as well did not appear so explicitly in the earlier instruct. attorney. these reformers and of childhood and enlightened organizers tried to spread a new concept its education. tavern-keepers to serve students. for which they Two new are responsible before God: ne eorum damnationem. they must also and above as all mould their pupils' minds. on the matricula of his master. in 1289. At the same time. Their duty does not consist solely in communicating knowledge. It is a matter of conscience for suorum domesticorum pueromm to choose their colleagues. in die context of the corporations or confraternities and thirteenth century. as elders instructing young companions. to remove him from the provost's jurisdiction and enable him to benefit 20 However. In Cardinal d'Estouteville's opinion. his master to be registered university's privileges. the schoolmasters. These pedagogues are responsible for their charges' souls: monetnus omncs et singulos pedagogos presentes et futures.THE PROGRESS OF DISCIPLINE 253 forbidding prostitutes to reside in the town. the principales. are no longer the first among their comrades. but as an elder. ut sic intendant regimini et scolarium. to use their powers of punishment judiciously vires bonos. It was the whole traditional corporate organization. Gerson and Cardinal d'Estoutcville are of this state of mind. when a student was their festivities. . or to 17 elect an abbot. They are distinct from the infirmi in their charge. The disciplinary system which they postulate could not take root in the old medieval school. etc. prior or any other leader and supporter of debauchery*. ideas appear at the same time: the notion of the weakness of childhood and the concept of the moral responsibility of the masters. et doctos. without them : culpable indulgence..' Similarly in 1623 the the student traditions of corporate solidarity. This preoccupation texts. it was not in his capacity as a leader. at the same time as they fought against leader of a nation.or if he did. where the master took no interest in his pupils' conduct out of class . the reformation of the University of Paris by Henri IV and all forms of compotado. or students 'to High Court of Dijon forbade the form any assembly or monopoly among themselves. In the early was informed and went to identify him. the other masters and submonitores. Among these prohibitions we find: 'The aforesaid students are forbidden to elect any duke. that was condemned here. students to carry arms. even that of the 18 'nations* which was still allowed elsewhere.. inculcate virtues.

254 * SCHOLASTIC LIFE nation' as well. in all was originally just a corporation of students from the same probability region: community of origin was keenly felt. however. to accompany him. in the fourteenth century. over his nation. And for fear that they were to take care to change this companion frequently. at Then. The same pre- occupation is to be the regulations for a found in Gerson's Doctrina pro pueris ecdesiae parisiensis. of Navarre College 21 Already in 1315 the statutes of the grammar school laid down the principle that no puer (it was probably the child of about ten who was meant) should go out alone. He gradually acquired a authoritarian character. for fear stipulate that students from the same region of brawls between ethnic groups. informing raised to the level of an institution and a principle of government. at least in theory. bonum puerum sodum. as make strict possible the disciplinary system. would establishment and development of an increasingly colleges which. choir-school. If there was an urgent reason lectio or a sermon outside the college) and if neither of the two masters (a could accompany him. This system was distinguished by three principal characteristics: constant supervision. and some college statutes must be separated. it became necessary to belong to a The organization of these nations' was the first attempt a systematic regimentation of the students. the corporate nature of the Despite medieval nation did not lend itself to this concentration of power in the hands of rather its elected attorneys. the two boys should plot some turpefactum together. the efforts of the reformers. where the principal were ceasing to be prim/ inter pares to become the repositories of a superior and hierarchical government of the authority. of dependable character. It resembled the spontaneous * of students and had the same corporate structure. One of the two masters must . In the early fifteenth century he wielded disciplinary powers. The reformation of 1452 ratified the attorneys' right of search and punishment more in the colleges all and pedagogicas of the University of Paris. The attorney of a nation was elected associations it like the principal of an association of scholars. The new discipline would be introduced by means of the already modern organization of the colleges and and the masters pedagogicas providing full tuition. It was the authoritarian from the fifteenth century. they were to give the boy a good companion. and the extended application of corporal punishment.

which sometimes numbered several hundred pupils. be he would mate. lying. it must have been confined to the grammar schools. Gerson made it the little grammarian's duty to report the schoolmate (suum socium) whom he caught speaking French to look after cursing. As huge classes. That is one of the reasons why the pedagogues of Port-Royal criticized the big colleges and fewer preferred smaller schools. But in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it became one of the essential principles of education.' This supervision was doubtless monastic in origin. He could not exercise the constant supervision of some of required of him. offending against decency or in bed the morning. talking had if he as committed the offences himself. if a great many masters and other people never let you out of their sight. in which the masters. the where Port-Royal were exceptions. a general rule. particularly in the regulations for their boarding-schools. reporting on all and sundry. missing the recitation of the modesty. entrusted with of schools the little pupils. swearing. 'one of the masters shall stand downstairs in the boarders' latrines and shall not retire until all the boarders have left/ 23 No doubt the old principle of supervision had never before been so systemit incumbent on atically applied. Hitherto the pupils of a school had been more or less governed by duty was confined . The Jesuits laid great stress on the need for vigilance on the part of the masters. punished in this way to the level of a principle seemed the only raised Informing way for die masters to control every moment of the lives of their pupils. however. to certain pupils chosen by the masters to help them. could watch them more closely. Whence college importance by informing. gentlemen. which had been unknown in the Middle Ages. at the time fixed for the pupils to relieve themselves. dawdling 25 in church. If he failed to report his schoolor canonical hours.THE PROGRESS OF DISCIPLINE < 255 accompany and watch the children: 'Both at school and outside. the youngest pupils: student freedom preserved the older ones from it. At La Fleche. it cannot have been very embarrassing but it is necessary/ efficient in the huge day-schools of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. even in school. and the authors of the regulations felt them to justify it: *Do not complain. This eternal vigilance is 24 However. However. At Our Lady's School. a single master had pupils' parents paid very high fees. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. without enlisting the help in modern the assumed the his own pupils. (Gallicum). in who were henceforth regarded as The authorities soon stopped imposing infirmi. wherever 2* they may happen to go. From this incapable of behaving themselves: the duty of watching and the sixteenth century on. and costly exceptions too.

. chosen from the last arts class philosophy student . holding a book and to take note of those who played the fool frequently telling the observer While we were finishing dinner. In the eighteenth century. the first in the class was die 'censor': his special task was supervising the class in the master's absence. nomenclators' registers/ At the end of the week the observers gave the list of delinquents to the master who judged and punished. oppidani. At Geneva.and as many the dormitories toured and boarders the who woke exdtatores particulars as there were classes. Thomas Platter was a 27 'It is the custom [in England] in custos at Myconius's school at Zurich. . and we went into the common room. and the absentees were recorded on the . failing the to the masters. the paying boarders 29 who were not scholars. Their authority was sanctioned by their right to inform.e. at the Jesuit college at Mauriac which Marmontel attended. master walked up and down the middle of the room. four supervised the dormitory. they were called observers or nomen80 Cordier cites as a model in his And die good pupil. in Cordier's college. The principle of informing and the monitorial system were considered facing above: A CLASS by Crispin de Pas . which was confined system. speaking no attention to warning so that he should take note of them . sitting quietly and making no murmur housework and whom I heard laughing foolishly I gently reproved those I told the observer about those or in vain paid frolicking. At Montaigu this 28 At or asini. It was still pupils who carried out the in the college. during what would later be called preparation. similar particulars at Montaigu. Elsewhere he was called the custos or the asinus. two the services in the one the movements in the hall. The or noise. clators. 26 There was a single -a excitator publicus. my . two were responsible for the the schools to appoint custodies chapel. from the master whose delegates they were. whom or who . monitor was called the excitator. die last bell was rung. I answered too.. but henceforth they held their physical and moral duties authority from above. .256 SCHOLASTIC LIFE comrades whom they had elected. every form had its custos. i. each of us picked the register of each up his books. This was the monitor right to punish. and one for the cleaning. The masters also chose eighteen praepositores from among the bigger pupils: four had to find out who was absent from the single schoolroom. those who were present answered to their name. makers: 'We dined in the room. the observer to was by reporting the troublehelp supposed dialogues. to supervise the pupils/ to excitator the Eton in 1560. class was read out according to custom.


ourtj -tow itlrrr Ira oanftuitrip grlflirn troiwni uno jn<. bfUarff brr t)at)n-otr tuttf temitl to urn riu 5imJi4m ion >ftl)tr bir ftmsra kafant ind imfr ra ftrrr vui in norfi 0m fajmiaftm uiir griupElisj* jft toio fllrr: a! tira nnlrtrrDfruorail'fwi brgnffrn rai grunlir . ^ tiiiril rr raag USB won im m Urn nrifa R% tiinrin.ttHlJjw'p nod) i)ra i Mraftouiura' uni rarrttui .

the juvenes were forbidden to go out alone. though We without their opinion troubling the pedagogues' conscience. you may none the less be sure that your office is honourable and holy.THE PROGRESS OF DISCIPLINE 257 to be so effective that in the early eighteenth century St Jeaii-Baptiste dc La Salle. 'As the master cannot see what is Brother Director [who what happens a great noticed. In the associations and colleges of the Middle Ages.' are a long way here from the modern dislike of 'sneaking' which is shared by masters and pupils. Martin. above: An Mow: A evening school for adults school for children little . supervised the pupils' movements] shall order certain pupils to notice in the following streets. The inspector in his turn is to be spied on by two 'supervisors' unknown to him: 'There shall be supervisors in every district and large street who shall observe what many pupils. go and bring me five public observers whom I appointed yesterday for this month [they were apparently changed every month]. We have already seen cases where a mug of wine had to be bought for the culprit's companions. especially those where there are faithful report of what they have without speaking. based on corporal punishment.' The master then preaches this little proud and ignorant may consider this duty [of observer] to be vile and abject. and as late as the fourteenth century (sometimes later still. These punishments consisted of either a round of drinks or else a fine (which could also contribute to improve the meal). the based on informing. except in certain i facing: A SCHOOL SIGN by Holbein. or they will must notice However. In his rules for Christian schools. despite his distrust of certain practices current in his time - corporal punishment for instance adopted them without hesitation and without any qualms of conscience. the statutes laid down punishments for life left members who did not observe them or whose way of something to be desired. The statutes included a scale of charges. be punished or given some penance to perform for having spoken/ Inside the little school. In Cordier's dialogues a master calls out: 'Hey. Inspectors' are instructed to report what they have seen to the master 'in private and in a whisper*. And yet even then many pupils must have detested this duty which opposed them to their companions. and to give a the pupils happens and promptly report it to the master.' 32 sermon to them ' : However much the Linked with the system of supervision and informing was an increasingly strict penal code. 31 discipline is happening in the street outside the school. but only rarely). Cases of pecuniary punishments are common: at Seez in 1425 (a late date).

but with moderation and without injuring them. lying across a schoolmate's back. but this was something of an exception. an evolution parallel to that which established the absolute However. the whip takes on a degrading. references to corporal punishment are extremely rare: and then there was nothing humiliating about corporal punishment it accorded with the monastic austerities depicted in the moralBibles or those with which the on themselves. because and becomes increasingly common. at Tours College. the monitorial system and the principle of constant supervision.258 cases. the symbol of the in which the master henceforth held his pupils and consequently subjection of the subjection into which the child had fallen: infirtnus. Gecson states that the master must 'threaten the children with the birch' so that 'for their sins the children know that they will be beaten with the birch'. Corporal punishment could be imprisonment in a cell. with his breeches undone just as far as is necessary. it : master.g. with another pupil holding his legs 36 Certain statutes of the early raising the birch to strike. These poor pupils were sometimes the college . 84 The severest punishment was expulsion. At first the birch was prescribed for the parvuli. SCHOLASTIC LIFE under pain of a fine of four deniers. the pupils were forbidden to go drinking in a tavern under pain of a fine of six deniers. at least the fourteenth century. no doubt. but only with the birch and 'not with rulers or other instruments of chastisement likely to cause dangerous injury'. nobody would \ have thought of adding a qualification of this sort. there was a prison cell at Montaigu. At Harcourt College in 1311. as in saints inflicted izing the scene in the life of St Louis where the King is being scourged. 1540: 'These pecuniary punishments do not concern the parvuli instead of these pecuniary punishments. and introduced informing. To the end of speaking. we wish them to be birched for the same offence. in the course authority of the college principal. even those above the age of the parvuli. brutal character. of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.e. Similarly the birch was substituted for fines in the punishment of die poorer pupils.' 37 A century earlier. a boy thirteen. if a boy spent a night out he was fined two and a half sous. 35 An early fifteenthof twelve or is century miniature depicts a punishment being inflicted: the victim. whereas their richer companions continued to be punished with fines. and the master sixteenth century specify that the traditional fines are not applicable to the parv uli . the little grammarians. Generally was a whipping the birch became the mark of the schoolof the grammar-school master. a evolution of was to substitute corporal punishment manners far-reaching for fines. From the fifteenth century on. 38 At Navarre College.

it was not until the seventeenth schoolboys: prosperous the at that Beauvais College stopped being picked from porter century a regular servant. In the late Middle feudal tradition submitted the villeins to corporal punishments Ages. In the course of the fifteenth century. belong graduate. 88 They could also be the scholars and became among statutes who the personal servants of richer schoolmates. 40 To begin with. At Montaigu in fines or a diet of bread and century venial offences were punished with water. university discipline. but anyone who laid violent hands on a thing or a person was or even expelled.Jack made it the duty of the master to chastise his servants: we Moliere and La Fontaine what this chastisement consisted Stick. while the end a to did not who college. It was no longer practised only on the very of acts of violence. the of the University of Vienna and of Queen's College. According to Rashdall. though it is impossible to say whether 89 this was because they were regarded as insolvent or simply as inferior. or which were revived simply for form's sake. their lay servants with the birch. By the sixteenth century the birch had taken the place of the traditional pecuniary punishments. As the English historian Rashdall has fourteenth century found the underof the the beginning pointed out. and those guilty even the most advanced.THE PROGRESS OF DISCIPLINE servants. the poor. a free gentleman. neither parvuli nor poor were given corporal punishment pupils who were only in cases of violence. which reached . limited the birch to the poor pupils. Corporal punishment had become the 'scholastic punishment' par excellence: it was by this name that it was referred to euphemistically. and The monks punished the moralists know from of. He was schoolboy subjected essential point of this evolution. the same discipline as the little adds that grammarian. the birch was used for the the early sixteenth punishment of acts of violence. Henceforth it was young. of the fifteenth century left him a mere schoolboy not so much in 41 to a Germany as in Paris and at Oxford. as late as the seventeenth century still unknown in the public courts. Rashdall it was the development of the colleges which brought about this revolution in its zenith in the sixteenth century. Oxford. scourged or imprisoned in the cell. which had fallen into disuse. One has the feeling that the same evolution introduced the birch into both the schools and the penal code: under the ancien to which the courts sentenced rfegime it became one of the punishments poor offenders. out of respect for the old texts. But soon all these limitations disappeared. ' 259 for a long time were recruited from among the less for example. That is the to all offences and all applied ages.

' 45 In the seventeenth century this repressive ardour cooled down somein Paris what. tutors could order undergraduates to be whipped like grammar-school boys elsewhere. Wolsey's statutes at Cardinal College punishment Caius's statutes at took this age limit to twenty. the birch was an enthusiasm which exceeded the provisions of the statutes. inflicted on one and all without regard to differences in age. Thomas Tusser told how: are well From Powles I went. generally speaking. [note the familiarity between the pages.one of the older pupils appointed for this purpose. But the birch (applied in public. Cambridge fixed eighteen as the age at which corporal was replaced by fines.26O SCHOLASTIC LIFE According to the same author. statutes did punishment 'had those he caught out whipped. Oxford. This execution'. in the university colleges. But contemporaries tell us that Standonc bitterness Also in the sixteenth century. and should be linked with what we know about 43 Montaigu. not explicitly prescribe the susceptio disciplinae except as a for acts of violence. were the first in England to reduce the arts student to the level of the little grammar-school boy. and pupils guilty of serious offences were stripped in front of the whole community and beaten until they bled'. from the beginning of the sixteenth century. writers would often recall with some memories of their captive childhood. the 1509 statutes of Brasenose College. with applied Such at least was the case under Standonc-at Montaigu. at least in the Jesuit colleges. by a corrector . to Aeton sent I To learne straightwayes the Latin phraise Where fiftie three stripes given to mee at once Other English 44 had. of the same period refer to school as a 'place of almost the same expression as Montaigne. we know only the cases of recalcitrant offenders. About 1560. who were and the valets] because they had imitated the procession of the penitents in the lower hall of the Louvre. 46 At Orleans in 1672 a . and. At Aix-en-Provence in 1646 a philosopher and a humanist were both given a whipping. The records of the time are full of examples of young people between sixteen and twenty who were sentenced to a whipping. 42 where the In France. using was to not confined schoolboys: 1'Estoile tells how one day in brutality two had hundred pages and lackeys whipped at the 'the to 1583 King up texts Louvre courtiers' sons. Montaigne's recollections known. because the ratio did not allow the Fathers to punish offenders with their own hands) remained the scholastic punishment.

As late as the seventeenth century. and capable of being instructed in logic and philosophy'. there between the discipline applied to children and that applied to adults. In 1634 at 47 Dijon pupils in the logic class were given the same punishment. They existed there as elsewhere. This does not mean that there were no class distinctions in the scholastic world. It even became a feature of the new attitude to childhood. a school restricted to scholars already versed in grammar. discretion a humiliating disciplinary system . Even so. a difference which did not exist to the same degree in the Middle Ages. it was extended after the sixteenth century to the whole school population. First. The Jesuits' ratio specifies the conditions in which punishment was to be meted out. which often approached and sometimes passed the age of to diminish the distinctions twenty. and the way in which - in a word. hierarchical concept of society. push adolescence back towards . not all were subjected to corporal punishment people of quality escaped it. was given three * The history of discipline from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century enables us to make two important points. absolutist remained an essential difference : the social classes.whipping at the master's and spying for the master's benefit -was substituted for a corporate form of association which remained the same for both young pupils and other adults. and in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries corporal punishment became widespread at the same time as an authoritarian. The 1624 regulations of the College de Bourgogne. But the degrading character of corporal punishment for high-born adults did not prevent them from applying it to their children. threaten them with 'deprivation of their allotment [the old with or fine] corporal punishment'. were subjected to the same disciplinary system and were liable to be birched.THE PROGRESS OP DISCIPLINE twenty-year-old rhetorician strokes 26l who stirred up his class against the master of the birch -a mild punishment. Among the adults. and they were just as pronounced. Marmontel left the rhetoric class at Mauriac 48 College to escape from the corrector. There was therefore a tendency to between childhood and adolescence. Admittedly this evolution was not peculiar to childhood. On the other discipline was applied helped to distinguish hand all children and youths. whatever their rank. The second phenomenon revealed by our analysis is the extension of the use of the birch to pupils of all ages: confined at first to the youngest children.

. Inside the school world. Starting in the eighteenth in the two countries. of the first little schools (the model for for one the regulations quotes those of St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle). but he Baptiste de La Salle was . at the beginning of the 49 eighteenth century. with whom he shared the humiliation of corporal punishment. informing and corporal punishment. at Moulins. Rigault. It is interesting to compare the ways in which the change occurred in England and France. The concept of the separate nature of childhood.262 SCHOLASTIC LIFE childhood by subjecting it to an identical discipline. to mark it out and improve diminished in the course of the eighteenth century. He did not ban the birch. there were a * good many opponents of this system of brutal repression/ St Jeanone of them. insistence on humiliating childhood. and the history of school follow the evolution discipline enables us to of the collective conscience in this respect. when the authorities took advantage of die condemnation of the Jesuits to reorganize the school system. was subjected to the degrading discipline imposed on the villeins. the situation would alter in different ways despite the similarity of the moral principles In France. and this is why the people who live near the schools and those and imagine that those who are passing by in the street make a great fuss serious are chastised injury/ Rigault sees here an admission suffering being that already at the beginning of the eighteenth century. H. tration The regulations give instructions on the adminis- of the birch: the child must be beaten harder if he screams. whole of childhood. The historian of the Brothers of Christian Doctrine. The it. that of all classes of society. The starting-point in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was the same: absolute power for the master. Why? His cries stir up the neighbourhood: 'The children begin to enjoy it and scream loudly in the hope that this will exempt them from the punishment. century. began with the elementary concept of its weakness. which brought it down to the chastisement the level of the lowest social strata. Thus a childhood prolonged into an adolescence from which it was The barely distinguished was characterized by deliberate humiliation. which determined its evolution discipline. meted out to villeins. the adolescent was separated from the adult and confused with the child. of its difference from the world of adults. public opinion showed a dislike for the scholastic system of a dislike which led to the suppression of the system about 1763.

What is more. and the institution of the observer. 64 college of Sainte-Barbe adopted Port-Royal's suppressed corporal punishment. the they 'degrade and do not correct'. the prefect still sent his charges to the corrector for punishment. At Vendome College in 1770. Rather than submit to it in public. When. usual effect is Thus the servile and degrading character of corporal was no longer regarded as suitable for the weakness of punishment childhood. in 1762.' 63 At the the same time the little the old practices of informing were dropped. at Schlestadt in Alsace. the rector sentenced them to the poena scholastica. Louis-le-Grand was turned into a sort of model college. Little by little it became customary not to whip rhetoricians any more. and that it did not deserve to be methodically humiliated. 'the master was dismissed for using the ferule on the rhetoricians. where Marmontel was a pupil. if which degrades the soul for its even when corrects. the medieval principles new of emulation adopted by the hated Jesuits. at Mauriac College. at the weekly meeting of the masters at which they fixed punishments. the 1769 regulations give the reason same reason that Jean-Baptiste de La Salle advanced: 52 Nearly everywhere in France. This was Rollin's view too. An imposed itself on Louis-le-Grand entirely different spirit appears here. In 1748. It methods. the officers of the watch would have brought them back by force. eight schoolboys violated the Jewish cemetery. Already schools at Port-Royal and Jansenist tradition avoided them. About 1700. For the birch a servile punishment. never to be revived. This revulsion. traditional poena scholastica was abandoned. and on the whole French educational system. At the mayor's request. but now the mayor sorry for them. for this change. 51 but certain masters no longer agreed with this practice. after the suppression of the Jesuits. appealed to the rector on their behalf and secured a mitigation of their punishment: the culprits would not be whipped. a 'champion* of the pupils was present and defended his schoolmates. The idea began to spread that childhood was not a servile age. It after 1763. in accordance with the customary to harden/ 50 public ritual. the corporal punishment was abolished. At about the same time. One laid down the principle that rhetoricians should not be whipped. A century earlier.THE PROG&J^S OF DISCIPLINE did not 263 recommend it it: 'The birch is is used only out of bad temper or weakness. The abolition of the observers brought about a reformation of the . they felt left the college. indeed it corrects. became even more pronounced in regard to older pupils. aroused here by the punishment of little schoolboys.

264 teaching body. In England this concept of education appeared much later. punishment. For if the birch was dropped Did this it was adopted by the army. my boy. eh?' Eton at the his lists It is said that Keates. The child was clearly distinguished from the adult in everyday life) as prepared for could not be carried out brutally and at one adult life. Cook. 'Flogging' historian of Winchester College. This was the origin of the usher. Probably the discipline in the Georges. This was the new concept of education which would triumph m the nineteenth century. the headmaster of mixed up beginning of the nineteenth century. George III. one flogging day. which was associated with the idea of the weakness of childhood and no for its humiliation. sometimes called the master the * of conduct'. and whipped the boys who turned . a luxury formula. when were you flogged last. became a systematic first industrial workshops too was fairly grim. from Eton in the course of a walk near Windsor. SCHOLASTIC LIFE Without their monitors. the eighteenth century in England appears as a became increasingly common. 65 reformation of the disciplinary system simply correspond in the world of childhood to the progress of liberal ideas? That explanation would be both too simple and too general. where corporal punishment. 'the bloody 66 Later they were flogged every day. period of violence and brutality. This no longer preparation stroke. meeting a boy day'. It called for careful. the Great's army but also from those of the Frederick from copied sanction. it was because they adopted the costly formula of the schools of Port-Royal: eight or ten children to one master. asked him: 'Well. well. The thing relaxation of the old scholastic discipline corresponded to someelse: to a new orientation of the concept of childhood. In the colleges the teaching staff was increased and hierarchized examination was created in 1766 for this purpose. In its educational records. H. the masters could not remain so few in number. Henceforth it was a longer recognized the need in the child an adult sense of responsibility and question of awakening was not so much opposed to the adult (although he dignity. and at the : agrtgation bottom of the ladder the pupil monitors were replaced by assistant masters. gradual conditioning. even without corporal by the colleges. eh. If the schools in the Jansenist tradition dispensed with little monitors. in the the to According seventeenth century pupils were flogged only on Saturday.

the headmaster of Rugby. in dissociating Similarly. which were affected experience However.corporal punishment in France . A reformation was called for: it came at the end of the first third of the nineteenth century. the idea of awakening the man in the child. if the birch as a punishment but above all as an instrument of education. an opportunity for the boy being flogged to exercise self-control. and it was carried out by Thomas Arnold. anxious to stress the novelty of the reforms instituted in the 18308. 265 should be added that these masters who were always on so free with their hands had some fearful ruffians to deal with. The English they schools preserved the old discipline . There was a great deal of this punishment in the French colleges of the sixteenth century. Contrary to the opinion of certain English historians. but the reforms carried Oratorians and the universities made possible the of a application discipline of violence and humiliation within very moderate limits during the seventeenth century. But they no longer had a duty to inform on their schoolmates - Tom Brown's time to had which already disappeared at Rugby. It was felt in fact that this of command could foster a sense of authority and its early by the educational reformation. Curiously after the larger schools enough. This reformation was inspired by the same principles as the French reformation of the 17605. it change its spirit was was no longer simply first completely.THE PROGRJBSS OF DISCIPLINE up for Holy Communion. how could he assert was deprived of the sanction which consisted in reporting them to the masters? This is why he was of direct punishment which former granted in compensation a right leader of men. the smaller schools. the verge of revolt. For example. Stories of the time give an impression of reformatories where the most brutal punishments could not succeed in taming youths addicted to the foulest vices. It . continued in the practice could not be tolerated in a young gentleman. the English educational reformers succeeded the practices of informing from the monitorial system. to what was still a very small teaching body. responsibilities in a future his authority over his schoolmates if he . the monitors of the nineteenth century were no different from the praepositores of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. continued to act as assistants the monitors had they stopped informing. But the English schools did not adopt a single one of the French methods. the conditions obtaining at Rugby in the early nineteenth century. But if encourage informing. the duty of the English gendeman.but to and the monitorial system. which had been abolished managed retained. Nothing of the sort happened in England: Tom Browns Schooldays gives one some idea of the out by the Jesuits.

moving about in squares. after 'many vicissitudes. and the punishment was covered by the There is no need that in England hierarchy. in tune man the liberal tradition obtaining at the end of the ancien regime and even during the revolutionary period. the regimental character of the disciplinary system every change of regime and opinion. to pursue this comparison any further. despite the different methods We can see of the two countries. were probably better observed under the Empire in the lycees than in the army! It was thought at the time that military discipline had special educational virtues. marked the appearance I tried to show a little earlier how the liberalism of the scholastic system in the eighteenth century was the product of a new concept of childhood. almost to the end of the century. incidentally.266 usage had never allowed inflicted a flogging SCHOLASTIC LIFE him to have. One might imagine that this liberalism. Without discipline. protests from the pupils . But in fact nothing of the sort happened. the liberalism of a with the general ideas of the time. Napoleon I felt strongly on the need to impose on secondary education the principles of exactness and sub: ordination derived from military discipline principles which. In spite of the dislike felt by the ecclesiastical hierarchy for this militarization. and by the early nineteenth century scholastic discipline had abandoned like Rollin. in order to adopt regimental methods and a barrack-room style which were to last a long time. and which in France were not confined to the creations of the Napoleonic educational system. the changes in the scholastic discipline of a new attitude to childhood. As is well known.' The result was that government habits were introduced into French school life which remained unknown in England. for nobody dared to revive the corporal punishments resisted inflicted before 1763. 'it is sometimes of the whistle. just as it was being abandoned by the official pedagogues. lining up in columns. as in France. whose history Raoul Girardet has recorded. and solitary confinement. such as the little seminaries. and this idea. institutions of religious origin. would have on and spreading gone growing. would reappear in France in the opinions of right-wing circles in the late nineteenth century. At Louis-le-Grand.' Napoleon * extremely difficult to organize with any precision the and policing of the establishment. adopted certain of these habits: the use used to say. Henceforth the monitor himself on any schoolmate he caught out.

regular cycle and in the seventeenth century the post-scholastic academies had had to be created for them to colleges. at Rouen after 1762. homespun fatigue dress and were kept in detention. This tendency cannot be attributed to It went back in fact to a entirely Napoleon. but an imitation of the uniform worn by army officers they were taught less Latin too and more 'modern* and mathematics. and 68 drilling all these youngsters indiscriminately/ Thus. and education as a whole took on something of a military character. Those pupils who. were admitted to the cole Militaire . and which imposed a semi-military condition on the school population. The pupils were drilled in of offenders had to a wear sort of twenty-four squads . remarks. distant source: during the whole of the second half of the eighteenth century. long before the Napoleonic lycee.THE PROGRESS OF DISCIPLINE amounted < 267 at times to mutiny. This was something left their new: then. systematically reorganized. at the more same time entirely as that till of the liberal idea. part of the educational system. The liberalism of the eighteenth century was therefore offset by a contrary influence. which obtained a partial triumph. Here we can recognize a strange mixture of a Rollinesque liberalism and a Bonapartist militarism. The Jesuit college at Tournon became a military school (like that at La Fleche) under the Oratorians. For instance. Others were immediately posted to regiments. The military had been the last to submit to the complete and of school classes. 'this sumptuous education amounts to nothing more than giving the children a sort of military uniform. In the opinion of one of them. quoted by Beaurepaire. the school then reverted to the situation under Rollin in the eighteenth century. some new private schools were opened whose pupils were dressed in a uniform which was no longer the clerical robe of the poor scholars of the seventeenth century. inside school life.an ancestor of the modern Saint-Cyr . copied the methods of the military schools founded at the same period. at the end of the year.were given a hat with a cockade and a uniform. putting them under arms. one can trace the rise of the military idea. As Dupont-Ferrier. until at last in 1890 new regulations abolished the prison-cell and the Napoleonic system which had lasted nearly a century. or at least . The old . and even monastic. the historian of Louis-le-Grand. the only institutions which had mark on the school had been ecclesiastical. 57 This tendency was not confined to public institutions with foundation revenue such as Tournon. fill the gap But after the suppression left by the classical instruction of the of the Jesuits. geography masters deplored these changes. subjects history. the French school.

names such as captain and corporal this was obviously a fundamental tendency of the sensibility of the time. the officer and the soldier were to introduce into sensibility the new notion of adolescence: a Cherubin in uniform. This notion of adolescence was to bring about a major transformation of education: the pedagogues henceforth attributed a moral value to uniform and discipline. Even in the English public schools.268 that SCHOLASTIC LIFE to the present-day secondary school. Officer status tended at this time to become confused with the concept of nobility: army uniform became the official dress of kings and princes. he became the handsome young : soldier depicted by Watteau. The medieval school made no distinction between the child and the adult. only to resume it after an interval of half a century under the Second Empire. but a more virile Cherubin. In the eighteenth century. This which the army was beginning to assume in society. . and which it has never lost in central Europe. The new interest shown in the officer and the soldier brought about a vague but definite correlation between early adolescence and the typical soldier. took on a change doubtless corresponded to the position which corresponded military character. The college at the beginning of modern times had merged adolescence and childhood in the same scholastic system. resulted in an The correlation of the adolescent and the soldier. more relevant to the ages of life. though as yet in embryonic form. in school. G. which managed to resist this change. a concept distinct from that of childhood the concept : of adolescence. In these circumstances it was natural that the education of boys of good family should take on a military character. which it was to lose in France at the Restoration. emphasis on characteristics such as toughness and and which henceforth were virility which had hitherto been neglected valued for themselves. new names were used to denote the hierarchy of the monitors . The conscript was no longer the rascally and often prematurely aged trooper of seventeenthcentury Dutch and Spanish paintings. There was something else too. as E. Leonard has shown. A new concept had appeared.

helped them. and two types of collective education. until the midat home stopped before the age of eighteenth century at least. accompany and watched over them. the society of the ancien regime. The word 'preceptor* was used sixteenth in two senses. it sometimes happened that the authors of these theoretical discussions preferred small tutorial classes of ten pupils at the most to individual tuition.> VI * FROM DAY-SCHOOL TO BOARDING-SCHOOL T ODAY we know only three categories of education: individual education by tutors (which was more common in the bourgeois nineteenth century). Small tutorial classes were held for a very short period in the little schools of Port-Royal and later at Saintc-Barbe. Some modern historians. not realizing that no connection existed between attribute this literature and actual practice. education only boys in France who did not go to such as the Condes went to college. to common parlance. the word belonged ten. He did it the same (the valet was of chosen by rich parents foster-brother) pupil's their children to school where he shared their life and older companion not take the place of school. it was to be found in pedagogical literature from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century. except for the King's sons. However. rich though it was. In fact this literature. but in the True. but supplemented 269 and in particular offered . from Erasmus to Rousseau. in texts which constantly presented individual tuition as the best of educations. and was sometimes to studies. protected them. the imagine that individual tuition was bound to have been day-school and the boarding-school. the * preceptor' and seventeenth centuries it was not taken to mean a master who took the place of school and thus spared his pupil the promiscuity and discipline that went with school life. whose aristocratic make-up and isolated country residences would have favoured it. The preceptor could be an the age. One might adopted by the case. blood of the college. This was not Not that the idea did not exist: on the contrary. had no influence on either manners or institutions. Rabelais or Port-Royal than to the Jesuits or the Oratonans! Under the ancien regime. Even princes institution educational which was the only open to all. often more importance to Erasmus.




protection against the physical or moral clangers which remained in school life as a result of the many survivals of medieval liberty. An

engraving by Crispin de Pas of the early seventeenth century shows us the child, accompanied by his preceptor, taking leave of his family: they are about to set off, their double bags slung over their shoulders, leaving
the family standing at the door; along the road they are going to take, other boys - with or without preceptors - are heading in a group towards





'My father', says H. de Mesmes, born in 1532, 'gave me as a preceptor Maludan, a disciple of Dorat's, a learned man chosen for the innocence of his life and of a suitable age to guide my youth until I was able to govern myself as he did ... He left his post only when I started my career with him and my younger brother ... I was sent to the College de Bourgogne.' 2 Similarly, the future Marechal de Bassompierre, born
. . .

in 1589,

was accompanied to Freiburg College by a preceptor, a dancing master and a writing-master - not counting the valets. 8 But the same name, 'preceptor', was given to a college master to

whom children were entrusted as boarders. At the College des Grassins, according to Lomenie de Brienne, born in 1636, 'my brother and I had as master, and preceptor as well, M. Le Haulx, the vice-principal of the
took special care college, uses 'preceptor' as a synonym


of our education.' 4 In his Francion, Sorel of 'master': 'Preceptors are people who


hours of teaching which they

almost from the plough to the rostrum, servants who use a few owe their master to pursue their own


for the distinction
it is

not the same

between day-boys and boarders, that too was today. Generally speaking, it can be said that the

boarding-school as

we know

rarely existed: in the Jesuit colleges, the

pupils whose life was most like that of our boarders were called convictores. The concept of the day-school was clearer and more widespread, because it corresponded to the most common practice. However, the

the Society, those

terminology varied. Jn the Jesuit colleges externi denoted pupils outside who were not scholastici; the day-boys or non-residents


called auditores.


we know from

Sorel that at Lisieux

College the term 'day-boy' (externe) was already used as a synonym of the old term 'old fogy' (galoche): the same pupil is mentioned within a


lines as



and a galoche. 6

In fact, instead of the clearly defined categories of present-day education - boarder and day-boy there existed a whole range of ways of life which I shall now try to distinguish and classify. It should then be possible

to see



took the pkce of the

the classic boarding-school system of the nineteenth century earlier formulas.

simplest, but probably also the rarest, case was that of the family living fairly close to a Latin school or a college. Vives's dialogues show us the scene: the maidservant helping the child to get dressed, and the


child going to say

goodbye to his parents. He is given his lunch-basket: 'a piece of bread with some butter on it or some dried figs or raisins'. Then he sets off for school. Sometimes he is given some little errands to run; thus he stops to ask an old woman he meets: *How much do you pay for your cherries ? She replies We buy them at six deniers a pound but why do you want to know?' And he answers: 'Because my sister told me to buy some this morning/ He dawdles on the embankment and plays at hopscotch and cards, with the result that he arrives late, when his



schoolmates have already finished eating. 'Child/ says the master, 'by the time you arrive, everyone has already had supper/ In Cordier's dialogues, we have this conversation between two boys:

had dinner

at half past eight/

'Why do you

have dinner so early?*


nearly always have dinner at that hour in summer. How about you?' 'We never have dinner before half past ten, or even eleven/ 'Why not earlier?' 'We have to wait for my father to get back from

the court/ 'But can't your
father returns?'

mother give you your dinner before your

father prefers me to wait for him/ In another of Cordier's dialogues we have a pupil greeting his master: did 'Good day to you, master/ 'And to you, dear little Stephanio.

'Of course, but




morning?' 'Just before four o'clock, master/ 'You get you get up woke you up?' 'My brother/ 'Did you say your too early. up as soon 'As my brother had combed my hair, I said my prayers/ prayers?'


In the living conditions of the ancien regime, this category of pupils than a minority. The school Jiving at home could not represent more was not recruited only in the towns where the schools were
the country, and many pupils, it was largely drawn from clerics or nobles, lived too far the of or lords villeins, manor, villagers away to return home at night and to make the journey to school and back

population to be found:


foot every day. Consequently a great


pupils lived

away from




on the

or servants, or in college premises, as boarders


on the college premises were some for the college had made provision right from the start: the scholars. They were called the pauperes at Montaigu in the sixteenth century, and also at


day-boys. those who lived


Louis-le-Grand in the seventeenth. But soon the foundation scholarships were put to a different use. Either wealthy families as a result of their influence monopolized them (this happened in the English public schools, into nurseries for young gentlemen), turning foundations for poor scholars or else they were bought as offices, even by people who were not students, and notably by clerics who were thus able to enjoy the advantages of conducted by the High Court into Autun college life. In 1652 an inquiry scholars' association had become a middle-class the that revealed College 8 for about two hundred livres Scholarships were sold


each: 'Most of the scholars

do not fulfil their obligations either in chapel or in schoolroom... and spend years without attending a single class/ their studies, or were supposed to have completed had

completed them. Newcomers paid an entry-fee to scholars relinquishing their and scholar, has said that when he scholarships: 'Master Paul, priest
obtained his scholarship the person who had held it before him extorted which were paid to the principal.' In these sixty crowns from him, circumstances the scholars could not be regarded as pupils: this was which did not provide a full course of true of those
colleges particularly tuition and whose pupils had (in principle) to attend the classes at another


did. They gave the impression of being the principal's college which his subordinates, in so far as they took part in the than rather peers

- when it was a Jesuit - the terms of foundation were strictly observed and the pauperes college were given the same treatment as the boarders: that is to say, the same treatment as the richer pupils, the same statute thus covering the richest and the However, the pauperes were distinguished from the other
in the seventeenth century

communal life of the At Louis-le-Grand



boarders by their dress, a dull grey cassock.
scholars represented only an insignificant minority, whose importance lay only in the college statutes, which were originally drawn up for them alone. As we have seen, the colleges later recruited a much bigger



It is this

population that concerns


defines as scholars, was the bigger group of 'boarders', whom Pasquier 9 of the the with or 'those who board with the master* college. principal




lived in the college buildings, apart



Cordier's texts


show how envied they were:




going to go into

college', says a pupil who therefore must be living out of school, coming in only for classes. 'What, to live in college?' 'Not to live there as a tenant and non-resident [two other ways of living in the college buildings


I shall

the master s table'

analyse later] but as a companion of yours and a boarder at The master's wife looks after their clothes and their

personal hygiene: 'Can't

go out?' 'What


'To go home.' 'What!

you want


go home

enough for him not to return go a but in as boarder). 'My mother told my every night college stay brother and me to go home today so that the chambermaid could clean our clothes/ 'Why? Have you got lice on you?' 'Yes, a lot.' 'Why didn't you tell my wife?' 'We didn't dare.' 'As if she would have minded! She has a chambermaid whose principal function is to keep you clean, and well you know it. But you are pleased to have this excuse for going to see your mother. You shall stay at school. I shall have your
child to be able to
clothes cleaned tomorrow.'

again?' (Home there so easily, yet far

cannot have been

away, for a

In 1549 Baduel, the rector and founder of Mimes College, wrote to Seguier of Toulouse about his son: 'If you send me your son, I shall bring

him up with

commensals or boarders/ 11 He explained that consequently there was no need for a preceptor to accompany him: 'I do not know what companions [the preceptor was regarded as a companion rather than a master] or servants you are thinking of sending with him.






little valet,



enough for everything to do with his personal service often a foster-brother]. The rest, that is to say his education our concern/ The master assumed full responsibility for him.

This category of boarder in the principal's house was still to be found old-established colleges in the seventeenth century. But in the in




founded by new teaching orders such as the Jesuits or the Oratorians, the status of the boarders altered. It lost its character of a The boarders were no personal relationship between pupil and principal. but the college's, subject to a statute which laid the
principal's their time-table

their movements, quite apart from the the pupils, including the day-boys. This but was system foreshadowed that of the modern boarding-school unusual at the time, being confined to a few privileged persons. The were not satisfied with a bed in a dormitory richer or better-born




imposed on



their own. This was the case with Conde. It they were given a room of was also the case with this relative of the Archbishop of Aix mentioned in the records of Aix College for 1731 'His Grace the Archbishop asked

for a



room in college for the young Comte cTAgout, his sister's son, with a prefect [i.e. a preceptor chosen from among the college masters] and a valet. Master Cachard is to be the prefect. It was impossible not to give His Grace the first two rooms in the masters' gallery. But we had to have reasons as essential as those which we had to put ourselves to this incon-

venience/ 12
In Geneva College, which Cordier describes, 18 apart from the master's boarders there were the 'tenants who hired rooms in college where they ate. Sometimes several tenants occupied one room; they attended the

classes, but were not subject to the discipline reserved for the master's boarders. 'The master caught us drinking on the sly,' says one of Cordier's * Where?' asks another. 'In Fluviaus's room.' 'Why did you pupils.


drinking together?' 'Those two are not boarders at our table. They had brought some delicacies from their house which I wish they
. .


schoolmates], after supper to this dinner today.' and the tenants, the college buildings also Finally, besides the boarders tienne Pasquier calls the cameristes, 'who are housed those whom

. And lost on the way seeing that I teach them sometimes [in these very big classes, certain pupils acted as unpaid tutors to their when I have the time to spare, they invited me last night

boarded by their pedagogues', 14 and Cordier the domestic pupils, lodged with the masters. 'Master,' says one of Cordier's pupils to the principal, 'there is nobody in the sixth class.' 'What's that! Where is Master know? Did one of his domestic Philip?' 'He is ill in bed.' 'How do you
this was the college had private boarders: which the English public schools have kept to this day. We know from Sorel what the boarding-house of one of these masters was like. Francion's father wanted to send him to college: 'And since the colleges in our part of the country [Brittany] were not to his liking,

come and tell you?' The masters who lived in

'tutorial system'

in spite


of my mother's complaints, having business in Paris, he took me and put me to board with a master at Lisieux College whom someone had recommended to him* -a man called Le Heurteur. 'My master was an impossibly proud and impertinent young man. He insisted on being called Hortensius', in the Roman fashion. He lived with his

whose front door gave on to the college courtyard, while another door gave on to the street. He 'acted as master in a few classes'. Some of the college's inmates enjoyed the status of scholar, but
valet in a house

was not the case with Hortensius. His pupils, eight lodged in rooms or 'chambers'. Hortensius kept back 'the



greater part

we were


of our boarding allowance and fed us on scraps'. 'For our first two meals at the mercy of a spiteful valet who, so as not to give us our out went for a on his master's instructions, just when they walk, pittance,

were ordered,

so that that


should be saved and


should have to

wait until dinner-time, when we could not complain ... 15 Like the principal's 'boarders', these domestic pupils* were subject to the college's discipline and its comparative claustration. 'At that time,'
says Francion, 'I was more closely confined than a monk in his cloister, and had to present myself for divine service, a meal or a lesson at the sound of the bell, which governed everything/


boarders, tenants, cameristes or servants


lived in college, in


buildings and under

constant discipline,

formed only a small



the school population. The great majority lived neither at home nor in college: they were in lodgings. 'Apart from these [the boarders and live in town and go 'cameristes]? says Pasquier, there are also pupils who

whim takes them ... the We have seen that and the others galoches.' young the term galoche is also used by Sorel as a synonym of day-boy it was to fall into disuse in the course of the seventeenth century. Cordier calls these day-boys non-residents orforains. Sorel's Francion also speaks of 'one of
to hear the lessons of one master or another as the



call martinets


my friends who is a town pupil', a pupil living in town.
This category, easily the biggest and the most characteristic of the school population as a whole, corresponded roughly to our modern day-boys, except for the fact that they lived in lodgings and not at home. Some made do with a little room in which they lived by themselves: they


well have been the unhappiest of all. One of Cordier's boys comwake up in time: his landlord, a merchant and plains of being unable to

an old friend of his father's, had already gone out; the chambermaid was absent-minded; and his landlady, 'from early in the morning, when she is always busy with the children or thinking about household gets

He is alone and friendless. 'I cannot study as I would like on account of the great multitude of merchants who come to this house and make a noise all day.' His room is 'so close to the stairs that a cat cannot
'there is go up and down without my hearing some noise'. What more, is stored/ His father does not merchandise the where is a warehouse great 'because he has never been to school and understand his

up, matters'.

complaints consequently cannot understand how people study'. either several to a room or Generally speaking, pupils lodged together, in the same lodging-house. In 1605, Canon Jacques de Baune writes in his




were seven hundred pupils at Tournon, most of them from near-by provinces, but from the most distant 16 They were nearly all in lodgings: 'In the house where I lodged parts.' there were twenty of us* - twenty clerics, future prelates and canons, all very hard to please. 'Alexandre wanted me to give him some fish, and I had not had any.' The system of living in lodgings lasted until the last years of the ancien regime and sometimes a little longer. In 1734 Marmontel arrived at Mauriac to enter the fourth class in the Jesuit college: 'In accordance with the custom of the college, I was lodged with a worthy artisan of the town'. 17 There was a 'discipline exercised by die pupils on themselves*. 'The rooms brought together pupils from different classes, and among them the authority of age and talent brought order and discipline to both studies and manners.' 'We worked together round the same table.' The landlord provided lodging and heating, but only part of the food.
nobles, not only
. . .

Cordier's school closed down to allow the pupils to go to the money which their parents would send them and collect shopping by means of people passing through the town. Are there many of you wanting to go out?' asks the master. 'Nearly all of us.' 'Why is that?' 'It is market-day today and consequently all of us want to buy something.' 'Go back to the market,' one pupil tells another. 'What, at this hour? There was such a crowd at the butcher's that I could scarcely get to his stall.' 'What sort of meat have you brought us for tomorrow?' Marmontel tells us: 'My father... left me at Mauriac with ^Similarly, my bundle and enough food for a week' a loaf of rye bread, a cheese, a piece of bacon, a dozen pears. It was the week's provisions that the parents renewed every market-day; Marmontel adds that with these provisions 'our landlady did our cooking for us.' The schoolboys watched carefully over their little stock of food. Their landlord, who tried now and then to take a little for himself, had his trouble for nothing. The boys knew how much everything cost. One of these lodging-house keepers, in Larivey's comedy, Les fecoliers, says: 'Most of those schoolboys were so stingy that you could no more swindle them than you could shear an egg. I have had some in my house who would even lock up a piece of bread that was left over from their dinner and supper.' As late as the beginning of the nineteenth century, in the Somme district where there remained a few Latin schools in the country, the boys used to arrive with a week's food in their besaces or double bags: 18 they were known as the besaciers.

On market-days,

The only systems
in force


under the ancien regime were therefore

either the 'tutorial system* or the day-school with board and lodging in a private lodging-house. The only thing which was like our modern

boarding-school, the status of the convictl of the Jesuits or the Oratorians, remained exceptional; it was accepted by the college pedagogues only

with the

greatest reluctance,


in order to avoid displeasing

cratic clientele anxious to protect its progeny school life. The Jesuits never tried to increase the

an aristofrom the promiscuity of number of their boarders:

the day-school system remained their ideal. The social climate was unfavourable in any case to a complete incarceration conditions of supply, transport and hygiene were all against the concentration of boarders in a single building and the overall main:

tenance of a large population. great deal was made of the risks of for the pupils, of very different and also and of brawls riots, epidemics,


were rough, violent and headstrong. authoritarian tendency and the strengthening of discipline reduced the schoolboy 's liberty and produced a stricter control of his private life. But it is worth noting that this evolution did not start with the Jesuits' convicti and develop as an extension of that boarding-school system.


The modern boarding-school has a different origin: the steady transformation of the pedagogicas into private boarding-schools subject to a
discipline similar to that of the colleges. have seen that most of the pupils at colleges

were in private these day-boys ceased to escape from time when a came lodging-houses; have the college's authority, which soon extended to their landlords.



absolute already noted an evolution in the sixteenth century towards be exercised could not this But schoolmaster. for the power power
efficiently if

most schoolboys enjoyed unlimited freedom outside school and church. The principals and masters accordingly tried to reduce this freedom by keeping a check on the lodging-house keepers who put up their pupils in town. Moreover their right to do this was recognized by the civic and ecclesiastical authorities: a Cardinal, the reformer of the and in the seventeenth University of Paris, 141 the fifteenth century; the for courts the good order of towns ensuring responsible century, with colleges. It was in the interest of the lodging-house keepers themselves to accept this control which guaranteed the respectability of their houses and thus assured them of high-class lodgers. The principals and
masters were led to favour certain lodging-house keepers, particularly board and lodging but also acted priests who no longer merely provided

as tutors to their boarders

and exacted from them, under the threat of the

birch, respect for scholastic discipline.



Canon Jacques de Baune boarded

Tournon with


'pedagogue', house keeper

lodging-house keeper. put us up we were twenty lazy/ rascally pupils', addicted to 'childish tricks' and even to 'taking wing'. The students


calls his

'For the lodging-


often slept out and sometimes plundered the pedagogue's wardrobe. His final resource was the birch: 'He who will not study in obedience to the
birch.' A pedagogue who wields mere lodging-house keeper. At La Fleche in the early seventeenth century, it was recognized that the rector and the prefect of the Jesuit College had the right to inspect the pedagogicas, and they visited them personally. An edict issued by the seneschalsy lieutenant compels the 'lodging-house keepers and preceptors' (note the word 'preceptors') of die town to report their boarders' names within three days of their arrival, not only to the - this would have been a - but to police formality presidial clerk the prefect of the college. 20 The lodging-house keeper thus became the master of a private boarding-school, of a pedagogica as it was called in the early seventeenth century, who sent his pupils to the classes and religious services of the college, and the rest of the time kept an eye on their studies and their morals. In Pere de Rochemonteix's monograph on La Fleche College we find an account of one of these pedagogicas the account tells the story of an

word, will do so in obedience to the
the birch

no longer



the note

John Callaghan, on him in the Port-Royal necrology. Coming from Quimper College, he entered the second class at La Fleche. As he had no money, the Fathers paid him a small salary for his work as sweeper and corrector*


for his Jansenist activities thanks to

wages, a cassock and a cloak for filling the aforementioned office of corrector, and his food with the other servants
'eighteen livres in silver as

of the aforementioned college'. He continued his studies after leaving the philosophy class and attended classes in theology in 1630. He was still given bread and soup at the college. What is more, a priest who took in boarders at a widow's house 'also gave him food out of charity and put him at the right end of the table*. This text is interesting in that it reveals a certain degree of specialization the owner of the house and the master of the pedagogica were not the same person. The priest had hired the widow's house in order to receive schoolboys in it, provide them with regukr meals and supervise their studies. Some of these boys lodged in


same house: 'A


Moreau, a schoolboy,

who lodged in the same

The certain private persons who were married and who had hired wellventilated houses with gardens in the suburbs of Paris. the canon cantor (choirmaster) at Notre-Dame. Here we can see one of the origins of the boarding-schools or institutes which developed in the eighteenth century: boarding-schools which sent their pupils to the classes of a college. the religious orders.FROM DAY-SCHOOL TO BOARDING-SCHQOL house. for all that regarded as a professional teacher. and by virtue of this he was 'patron. the master-scribes. another type of 21 Claude Joly was private boarding-school reserved for younger boys. judge and director of the grammar schools or little schools of the city and suburbs of Paris'. priest. to permission ' lodge district masters [masters of the 'little gladly granted their requests. He became the boarder (or sometimes the half-boarder. He therefore had to defend the rights of the chapter and cantorship against all who threatened them: the university. Claude Joly admits the truth of the accusation: 'The cantors of the Church in Paris. not because they lacked the rights but because they lacked the means [their is houses were too . two but took their meals with the priest and attended his lessons.' 'The schools aa which depended on the cantor] could not take in boarders. having been asked some sixty years ago (about 1610) by the defence. was was a career. published in 1678. is at once an indictment and a speech for university. he became in 1633 master of the Le Mans. From being the master La Fleche. colleges. Claude Joly's Traiti historique des fcoles Episcopates et eccUsiastiques tells us that there was. This type of boarding-school was a college annex open to all ages. Nor was he the rare rich convictus of the Jesuit college. at least in seventeenth-century Paris. and that why they considered that an establish- ment of this small] sort would be convenient for many people of quality with care. The schoolboy was no longer the martinet or the galoche of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. to give them children in those houses in order to teach them.' Others lodged elsewhere. and lived in a garret in the house of some artisan or merchant) of a pedagogica which provided discipline and coaching. that is to say the Faculty of Arts or its in fact had accused the cantor of infringing their monopoly. half his bed. for young children who were delicate and still needed a woman's . It of a boarding-school at novices at an abbey at ' he was not a master at a college. On his departure he suggested to CaUaghan that he should leave him his schoolboys to give him the means of subsistence'. the parish priests. lent 279 him [CaUaghan] This of them at a butcher's. office His treatise. when he was not rich enough to pay for full board and lodging.

followed by at name .280 SCHOLASTIC LIFE the parents could not send them to the university colleges children would be spoilt by living they were afraid that their valets/ which reason although at who 'The baptismal innocence of these little children. an exceptionally high figure for the time. 'As Paris has grown by almost a third in the past fifty years. and the licensed schools which taught the younger children themselves. They provided elementary education up class. their children aged between ten and thirteen lodged in the country. outside the university. up to the fourth class. At Vendome . all boarders. Thus the community of the Gillotins. It : so these two types happened that in the course of the eighteenth century of establishment came together and complemented one another. the number of licensed schools has also rightly been There were therefore two sorts of boarding-school the pedagogicas which sent their pupils to classes in the colleges. the Institution Savoure. These establishments were called 'Pension' or the founder's 'Institution'. however careful and be. numbered -just before it was broken up for its Jansenist leanings in 1730 -one hundred and sixty who went to the classes held at Le Plessis College. founded -its in 1729 by two masters at Sainte-Barbe: boarders went to the classes Dormans-Beauvais College and later to those at Lisieux College.' large. to the fourth they sent their pupils to classes at a a full course of tuition. because they are almost all of an age in these schools. These private boarding-schools existed all to the present day. would be safer here than with the bigger schoolboys of the University colleges. which rented some of class. under closer supervision than that provided in the colleges where the numbers were too increased. * home with had been licensed by the cantor. pupils. after the fourth die buildings of Sainte-Barbe College. giving additional coaching college providing themselves. and one which can the adoption at Sainte-Barbe of the system of small be explained by tutorial classes instituted at Port-Royal. Private 'institutions'. These one hundred and sixty pupils were in the charge of twenty-five masters. because the rival establishments and demanded their Faculty of Arts regarded them as to the parents' desire to have existence their owed They suppression.' vigilant the principals and masters may These boarding-schools were called licensed schools'.for example. came into existence and took in boarders of all ages. over France. or else 'little colleges'. under 24 This practice has continued the supervision of a 'master of behaviour'.

On the other hand. For a long time alike had recommended constant supervision of Jesuits and Jansenists unable to apply this principle or to impose it been had but they pupils. of a more modern character. after the expulsion of the Jesuits. By classes the institutions: colleges where pupils simply attended mentary and the private boarding-schools which as a rule did not hold classes. together with the individual tuition made famous by Rousseau's mile. The paradox is only apparent: both to satisfy the same conviction of the types of education were designed moral necessity for a more suitable setting for childhood. . Jacques Lablee.. but provided a complete course of tuition. Thus find Rollin writing: 'It is an eminently wise rule.' These private boarding-schools grew in number. These two types corresponded to two contrary concepts of education. college the question which attributed a of lodging. on a public opinion still attached to old habits of liberty. When Louis-le-Grand was reorganized Jesuits. 'the vehicle between the masters at Sainte-Barbe and the The correspondence .. we went to the .' several colleges. Thus in the late eighteenth century there was a relatively extensive boarding-school arisen on the fringe of the great traditional can say that there were two types of compleone large. However. Masters took advantage of the uncertain situation resulting from the closing of the colleges or the change in their administration to open boarding-schools: these boarding-schools no longer simply followed and supplemented the classes of the colleges.FROM DAY-SCHO01 TO BOARDING-SCHOOL 28l in 1775. then a fifteen-year-old rhetorician at the Oratory. and it had schools. if not of anarchy. the internment of the child and the one of young man far from the world and his own family was considered the ideal forms of education. 27 considered. . intended to prepare pupils for entry into the new military schools. from the end of the eighteenth century on. the moral we and educational value of seclusion had been generally recognized. suppression of the the day-boy a model college after the was system was abolished. Individual tuition and the boarding-school became part of French life together. it seems. established in 26 not to let die boarders out on Sundays and holidays. which did not trouble itself with system. and the private boarding-school to a new moral value to the boarding-school system. to quote Dupont-Ferrier. a good fellow with too easygoing There were sixty of us boarders. 25 classes in college. a character and over-fond of wine Like other pupils belonging to various boarding-schools. for it as of insubordination'. the to the spirit of the Renaissance. spirit In the early nineteenth century. was 'boarded with Monsieur Favin .

The custom.' To the father of a pupil in the third class: 'Holidays in the first year at college. benefited the bigger pupils. for whom. Bonaire knows that long holidays are that age. The master expressed his disapproval: 'We would point out to the family that he is setting a bad example to schoolmates by abusing his facilities as a day-boy. But in 1800 the college no longer had the same connections with country life that the primary school retained far into the nineteenth century and even beyond.282 pupils' parents gives us SCHOLASTIC LIFE some idea of the preference shown for the in the early years of the nineteenth century.' The very clearly how for Louis-le-Grand published by Dupont-Ferrier show the boarding-school system developed during the first half of the nineteenth century: 30 . if he followed the example of another boy in the eighth class. this complete seclusion and our Parents were also recommended to extend this 'complete seclusion' to the holidays. in Cordier's dialogues a pupil who recounts his recollections of the wine-harvest. 29 The masters at Sainte-Barbe set father of a child unsuitable at strike out to cut them down. which took no account of fatigue and aimed the summer. In 1816 they wrote to the of nine: 'M. who obtained longer holidays than the younger boys. he wrote enthusiastically. Holidays meant an interruption of school work and a period of idleness. families used to mobilize all their members for the work that had to be done in particularly the wine-harvest. his For that boy will now be able to 'gain considerable advantage from special attention'. 28 boarding-school system In 1807 one family wanted to keep its son at home. and they soon became objects of suspicion in the pedagogues' eyes. they are me as dangerous statistics not traditional at this college or in the pupils' interests. 'his family has decided to make the necessary sacrifices in order that he may become a boarder'. the master suggested. although he was in the eighth class at Sainte-Barbe.' It would be better. Possibly the origin of school holidays is in fact to be seen in this periodical mobilization. and is there at ensuring maximum efficiency. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

This dislike of the boarding-school system . the boarding-school system went into a decline in the second half of the nineteenth century. The number of day-boys rose from cent in 1861 to 31 per cent in 14 per cent in 1861 to 69 per cent in 1908. They remained in fact attached to the eighteenth. The richer families retained a certain nostalgia for the boarding-school for some time. in other Taine to write these tion. This was the situation which inspired 15 per cent. represented over 80 per cent of the total number of pupils. The day-boys were reduced to a small minority. The reason was that in France the boarding-school Grandes no longer credited with the moral and humane influence was system which eighteenth-century pedagogues had attributed to it. boarders in lyc&s. in other words to over two-thirds of the total. It was accepted. The number of boarders at lycees also dropped. The number of boarders sent from pensions to attend lycee classes dropped to almost insignificant proportions. should live apart from adults. was necessary for reasons of distance. but it was no longer chosen. In France.and nineteenth-century concept of the supervision of childhood: children. It was resorted to only when it or preparation for advanced education. favouring not so much the state lycee as the private school.' late eighteenth England of the public The English public schools became this circumstance distinguished them and exclusively boarding-schools.FROM DAY-SCHOOL TO BOARDING-SCHOOL Up 283 to 1870. which were attended by day-boys from the surrounding district. But this was an out-dated phenomenon which soon disappeared: in France. boarding-schools of the English public school type failed to take root. between 10 and words the exact opposite of the situation in the of the ancien colleges regime. more than or ecclesiastical bitter lines: 'In order to receive a secondary educahalf the boys in France have to endure seclusion in lay boarding-schools. monastic discipline. from the grammar schools. often a religious school. or in pensions which sent their pupils to classes in lyces. The number of boarders dropped from 82 per 1908. The in the statistics for Louis-le-Grand distinguished change can be clearly shown above. in their opinion. schools. And it should be remembered that the proportion of boarders was bound to be higher at Louis-le-Grand than elsewhere. as were the French colleges. family difficulties. on account of the considerable number of boys from the provinces in the classes preparing for entry into the coles. seclusion under military or This extension of the boarding-school system in the century and early nineteenth century was in fact a general be found in Frederick the Great's Prussia as in the to phenomenon. under a special discipline.

Still less did they regard claustration as an end in itself. French seminaries no and made no attempt social type. with a situation in which the boarding-school was unknown. this particular development. even in the interests of their education. which was to be less found in the Napoleonic lyces and than in the English public schools. An authoritarian and hierarchical discipline was established it and after that it was decided that and reach the schoolboy where he spent most of in the college. Soon masters and parents decided that this freedom was excessive. to The honnete impose upon their pupils the features of an ideal homme of the seventeenth century was not a scholastic creation. Tlie latter taught a culture that was at once humanistic and Christian. every seventeenth-century writer. something in fact which had from which the little previously been expected not so much from school as from the society the child and the young man had not been excluded. free of all authority. was unknown to the pedagogues of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This particular concern. The development of the boarding-school system after the end of the eighteenth century bears witness to a different concept of childhood and its place in society. Even in the seventeenth-century pedagogicas for boarders. under the supervision of the prefects and principals of colleges.284 SCHOLASTIC LIFE did not in anyway imply a return to the moral conditions of the sixteenthand seventeenth-century day-school. Henceforth there would be an attempt to separate . and schoolboys lived in lodgings. at first fairly lax in character. The French family would no longer agree to be separated from its children. Henceforth a child's schooling was expected to provide more than preparation for adult life: the moulding of a type of individual (the gentleman in the English public schools). story-teller or moralist depicted One became was the usual the contrary. The child would stay at home longer than before. should extend further his time. an honnete homme in spite of one's schooling .at least that On boast! Consequently the pedagogues felt no need to push discipline beyond the minimum necessary to quell the traditional turbulence of schoolboys and students. whether paternal or academic: hardly anything in their way of life distinguished them from We have come then to the end of We started unmarried adults. there remained a great deal of the free and easy attitude of the preceding centuries. The result was a boarding-school system outside the college. him as the opposite of a college pedant.

If economic or social circumstances bring about a relaxation of family control. die society in which all the ages were mingled together. world of the boarding-school. that probably what happening today. its special characteristics in favour of a new . The family was substituted for the school as the predominant moral setting (and this just as the school was beginning to play an increasingly important part in professional education). This was the triumph of demo- graphic Malthusianism. The central concern of the individual family was its own children. with childhood losing some of age group: adolescence. childhood and youth may escape from the isolation in which they are enclosed is by a tradition going is back at least to the eighteenth century.FROM DAY-SCHO(5L TO BOARDING-SCHOOL 285 childhood from the other ages of society: it would be considered important at least in the middle class to shut childhood off in a world apart. but it turned it in the direction of family life. it was called to mould children on the pattern of an ideal human type. The school was substituted for upon The change which occurred in the school population at the end of the nineteenth century in favour of the day-boys did not interrupt this tendency to set children apart.

2 However.' 'This child. sitting with his little book in front of him.e. did not appear until the seventeenth century. while others the great majority would remain at an elementary level. According to Joly. The cantor Joly. Some consisted of a single master who taught both singing and the rudiments. instruction of youth'. We can imagine what these little Latin schools were like. namely to sing and to read as 3 children do in their tender years. corresponding to 'little school* or 'petty school' in English. one of whom taught singing and the rudiments of grammar while the other taught the liberal arts. Many in the fifteenth century consisted of two masters. to the old form'. going back to the sixteenth century at the earliest. and a crowd of children of Christian birth used to come here who from year to year learnt at school what was usually taught there. writing his defence of schoolmasters in 1678. 'Now'. 'contrary school'. Some would blossom out into colleges and universities.' That is to say. The term petite hole. thanks to 'The Prioress's Tale' by Chaucer: 'The little school for Christians was held at the far end of the street. all there was in fact was a Latin school. and also incorrect. these Latin schools were not all of the same nature.* VII * THE 'LITTLE SCHOOLS' UNTIL the seventeenth century. was learning his ABC when he suddenly heard the children were reading singing of the Alma Redemptoris which other 286 from . Chaucer continues. primary education) with the university and the lower classes in college with the secondary education). the 'school for the (i. In the Middle Ages and until the sixteenth century at least.e. there was no term for elementary education in everyday French. 'among was a widow's son.* maintained that the expression was recent. and before learning to read not certain that they even learnt to read well) they learnt the in unison (as is still done liturgical prayers by heart. by repeating them (it is in rabbinical or these children there Koran schools). the children learnt to read from the Psalter or a book of hours. the grammar school. and Joly took advantage of the vagueness of this terminology to contrast what would become the 'little schools' (i. who was seven years old and little usually came to school every day. the correct term was 'grammar But we know that the grammar school also tended to be confused college.

their antiphonaries.'



One can picture the scene: some of the children to the others spell, learning learning to sing. The child 'made so bold as to come nearer and nearer [to those who were singing] and listened to
the words, and to the notes as well, until he knew the first verse by heart. He did not know what the Latin meant, for he was very young.' He

asked an older schoolmate to translate

it for him, but without success. cannot explain it to you,' the other replied, 'I am learning singing but have little grammar.' Nowadays we would say, 'little Latin'.


can therefore regard these schools not


primary schools, since

they were intended mainly for choirboys, but as the beginnings of the Latin school or grammar school. However, the cathedral chapters, which held the monopoly of school teaching, gave permission from the fourteenth century on for singing and the rudiments to be taught outside their own schools - which were grammar schools of a more complete character. It was recognized that the teachers in these other schools should stop at the Donat. Thus at Chartres in 1325: 'Roger, Rector of the schools of Saint-Jean-en-Valle, was warned at a capitular meeting, by virtue of the privileges of the Church in Chartres, that he was

forbidden to instruct children, in his house or elsewhere, except only in the great schools of Chartres [in majoribus scolis], which lie within the or book-learning jurisdiction of the Chancellor of Chartres, in books

which go beyond the Donat.' 4 After repeating his offence, he was excommunicated, and he paid a fine and 'promised that in the future, in scolis suis, he would not teach children after the day they began to know their Donat or their parts of speech, sed eos ducet ad majores scolas In any case, it was not long before the restrictions imposed carnutenses the cathedral chapters were flouted and these little schools developed by in such a way as to form other Latin schools similar to grammar schools: it was the city magistrate of Chartres who, in agreement with the bishop and against die wishes of the chancellor, decided in 1564 to merge all these schools into a single college. However, some of these private schools scarcely went any further than the Donat and seem to have been

nothing more than


Latin schools.

Rouen was prosecuted by the cathedral his which right to teach the Donat, a right restricted challenged chapter 6 to die masters of the capitular school. Thus in the sixteenth century nothing but Latin schools existed; but these schools were not all at the same level of development. This situation lasted until the end of the ancien regime. We have a document of 1678
In 1451 the priest of a parish in
in the department of giving the 'state of the colleges

Lower Guienne'.*






colleges covered the complete cycle


studies :


held classes only in philosophy Perigueux, and theology (the Jacobin school at Saintes), or else in the rudiments, grammar, die humanities, but not rhetoric (Saint-Macaire), or finally in the rudiments and first two classes in grammar (the Doctrinarians of

Agen, Condom, Dax. Others

of La Reole, and the Carmelites of Langon). how these schools of unequal development formed as it were geographical constellations and gravitated round a college providing the full course of tuition. Thus in our historical perspective, the school whose pupils learned to read Latin and sing the Psalter does not appear as the prototype of the modern primary school, but rather as the basic cell of a network of Latin schools which taught first the rudiments, then the rudiments and grammar, then grammar and the humanities, and finally the complete cycle up to rhetoric, and then up to ethics and logic. It is none the less true that as early as the fifteenth
Cadillac, the Benedictines

Pere de Dainville has shown

century there were some elementary Latin schools which, if they had not taken on additional classes, must have merged with the little schools which came into being towards the end of the sixteenth century.

We know that m the second half of the seventeenth century there were
over France 'little schools' in which we can undoubtedly see the origins of the modern primary school. In Pans, the canon cantor of Notre-Dame was 'patron, judge and director of the little schools of the town, city, university and suburbs of Paris'. He gave (or sold) 'licences to hold school' to masters and mistresses, widi the proviso (which was rarely observed) that die masters shall not receive girls in their schools, nor the

mistresses boys in theirs.' 7 Just as the masters of the Paris colleges

were under the



the university, the schoolmasters were under the jurisdiction of the cantor of Notre-Dame, who held audience every Thursday. The cantor's

defended the



of the schoolmasters, avoided
in each district in proportion

competition by

fixing the

number of schools

to the density of population and by fixing the time-tables of the classes. In country districts the master was elected by the village community, to be approved by the bishop and in the eighteenth of the province. 'Most of die schools we the administrator century by have been able to trace [the oldest ones]', observes the Abbe Allain,

whose choice had

'belong to the


quarter of the sixteenth century.


are nearly all





contemporaneous with the councils which were held in various provinces to put into effect the decrees of the Council of Trent/ 8 The same was true of England, where the Elizabethan laws provided for a master to 9 teach the 'pettyes' of each village. A new method of tuition and a new type of school personnel had been established by the last years of the sixteenth century.



this tuition consist


We know the answer from a whole

scholastic literature

down curricula and


the mid-seventeenth century, kid teaching methods. This literature bears witness to the in the question and to the lack of precedents.




for instance L'Escole paroissiale, ou la maniere de bien instruire les un prestre d'une paroisse de Paris, published 10 This handbook, abridged form in I685. written in French (the statutes of the and the colleges university were
enfants dans les petites escoles par in 1654 and reissued in an


couched in Latin), deals with discipline as well as material conditions and curricula: one has an impression of established traditions which the reforms of St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle at the end of the century would improve without changing their nature.
In 1705 in fact there appeared
tions for the Brothers' schools,

La Conduite des 6coles chretiennes, instrucwhich still carried weight in the late

nineteenth century. 11 The few chapters dealing with the tuition in the little schools reveal its various origins. First of all there is the influence of the Latin school, at its most elementary level: before Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, nobody thought of teaching children to read French straight away. According to the 1654-85 instructions, the child learnt to read and spell in Latin - Church Latin - and the prayers of the liturgy the Magnificat, the Nunc dimittis, the Salve Regina, 'the responses in Mass', the Offices of Our Lady, the Holy Cross and the Holy Ghost, some of the penitential psalms, the Office for the Dead, 'vespers for the whole week', and the

diocese. And the author insists on the necessity of starting with Latin: Before going on to French reading', the pupils are to 'read Latin in all sorts of books'. There was therefore no difference between this tuition and that given in Chaucer's school, or in the sixth class of the The idea was still that of a colleges. choirboy's education. It was not until St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle came along that France abandoned this tradition which confused book-learning and the Latin language, whether liturgical or humanistic, and instituted tuition in French. Even so, La

hymns of the

Conduite des

in Latin after the

provided for classes devoted to reading French reading lessons. For a long time singing remained as important as Latin, and for the K
coles chr&iennes still

facing above:


same reason:


it enabled the pupils to make the necessary liturgical responses. Consequently the rudiments master was often referred to as the master of music, as at Gerson's cathedral school in Paris and Colet's in

'vulgarized* the study of etiquette. shall be examining elsewhere in greater detail the historical significance of the etiquette books. 12 Here let us simply say that they were manuals of good manners: how to behave in society and at

London, where there were two masters, one for singing who also taught the rudiments, and the other for grammar. In England the little schools were also called 'song schools'. Besides singing and the rudiments - subjects taken from the old Latin - the curriculum of the little school included school but now


of children to God and their parents, the proprieties and Christian and worldly'. 13 L'Escok paroissiale stipulates that after the Latin lesson the 'French reading' shall be done from manuals of etiquette. These manuals were not unknown in the Latin colleges. One edition of Galatte was intended for the pupils of the Jesuit college at Ponttable, all the duties


good manners, both



etiquette, like history

and geography or music and

dancing, was regarded as a subject outside the curriculum taught in class. In the little schools, on the contrary, etiquette occupied an important

went to the trouble of giving his pupils manual of etiquette, which put all the previous manuals out of fashion and went through an incredible number of editions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In his Conduite des cples Jean-Baptiste de La Salle wrote: 'When the pupils are all able to read French perfectly and are in die third standard in Latin [there were grades or standards in reading, writing and Latin], they shall be taught to write, and they are to be taught to read from the book ofcivihtdchr&ienne. This book contains all the duties children owe God and their parents and the rules of good behaviour both Christian and social. It is printed in Gothic characters, which are more difficult to read than French characters/ Certain manuals were also printed in several columns, each column being composed in different characters: gothic, roman, italic and manuscript. The manual of etiquette was therefore at once a reading book, an 'example* of handwriting and a handbook of good manners. The manual of etiquette, foreign though it was to the medieval scholastic tradition, also had a distant ancestry: tuition in the proprieties, oral to begin with, later written, and sometimes versified, was almost the

and Jean-Baptiste de La




chr&ienne, or Christian


only tuition given to the non-cleric, the future knight, in his apprenticeshall in fact see that, next to scholastic ship in life and good manners.


tuition, there


in the

Middle Ages an apprenticeship, a period





which the child left his home and was sent to another house, where he had to learn the manners (or the trade) of the head of the family. The Latin school, restricted to clerics, did not monopolize all the forms of cultural communication. There was a lay culture, a view of life, with its rules, its morality, its refinements or 'courtesies', which was acquired by an example and through the cohabitation of children and adults: of literature the environment good apprenticeship. In this courtly lay manners was born: hints which were first oral, then written down, and and which were passed around for the benefit of the finally

young pages and


of the household. 14


the Latin school

was tempted to make use of spread to middle-class and noble circles, it the manual of etiquette. But the pedagogues never, either in Montaigne's time or in that of the Chevalier de Mere*, abandoned their conviction that


meant for good manners, which college tuition was 'pedantic' and not or in the academies, if not in home at ought to be learnt elsewhere, was perhaps the Jesuits - whence one of the the

only exception reasons for their succeess. Etiquette was neglected in the universities and from the sphere of domestic and colleges; on the other hand it moved

of the family apprenticeship to the curriculum

became one of the most important

thus seen to

little schools, where it and family apprenDomestic subjects. have been the second source of the primary

the pupil has learnt 'to read According to L'Escole paroissiak, when well from the manual of etiquette', he is to become a 'scribe' and learn how to write. But at this point the author seems a little embarrassed. By

time meant, as writing, people at that

we do

today, a means of


also regarded as a technique or an 'art'. municating thought; but it was This art was not supposed to be taught in school: it was the monopoly of of master-scribes. The author of VEscole paroissiale recognizes the


admits that his pupils will not be able to perfect their writing at school but will have to address themselves afterwards to the master-scribes, must be the 'famous writing-masters'. All the same, he argues, they


after the first 'examples', they must practise taught to write usefully: leases... so as to school copying out 'forms of receipt, bonds, farming them in the affairs of the age'. This utilitarian point of view did not fail out as rivals of the master-scribes. It bore no resemblance to

to the

mark them more disinterested, loftier preoccupations of the Latin school. At the Latin school, no stress was laid upon the quality of the pupils' writing.



it was understood of course, that one had to be able to write though for so very pressing be that this obligation had not been considered



long: in the Middle Ages there was nothing extraordinary about a lay culture nurtured on reading aloud, recitation and music, in which

writing was uncommon and largely restricted to clerics. And even clerics before the invention of printing and doubtless also on account of the


and high cost of paper - resorted to memory more often than we would nowadays: it was necessary to learn things by heart, and writing seemed a suspicious means of avoiding this effort. The theology student was not allowed to have a Bible during his first year, and the master was forbidden to use notes during his class. That way one could be certain that he knew his subject. Admittedly the use of writing spread quickly with the development of printing and the manufacturing of paper on a large scale, making possible more industrial work. In the iconography of the sixteenth century, the schoolboy is often depicted with an inkpot in his hand. However, even when it had become normal and indispensable, writing did not immediately play an important role in Latin studies at school. As late as 1596, Coote in The English Schoolmaster 15 complained of grammar-school pupils who wrote badly. Teaching remained predominantly oral (hence the importance of the monitors who went over lessons with the class). However, it became customary to take notes during classes and sermons, and writing tended to become
a form of shorthand. In England in the mid-seventeenth century there were indeed some shorthand manuals, such as J. Everardt's Epitome of 16 It was a corrupt form of handwriting, which itself comStenographic. and several varieties: so on. round, slanting, prised In the little schools writing was no longer regarded simply as an instrument of literary or legal knowledge; it was already a profession, or the basis of a profession. This semi-technical education was introduced with the greatest care, for the schoolmasters were afraid of opposition from the master-scribes and had uneasy consciences. The pupils began by learning to write in different characters. We have seen that the manuals of etiquette were often composed in several characters: the usual characters employed in printing - gothic, roman and italic - and also 'handwritten letters' which in typographic jargon were also known as 'etiquette letters' or caracteres de civilitt. The complete and perfect knowledge of all the various scripts was anything but general. La Conduite des fecoles chrltiennes considers it necessary to expect it of the masters: 'Every master of the writing-class must be able to read all sorts of

handwritten documents.' The Brothers encouraged their pupils to study
all the different varieties of handwriting: 'When the pupils are in the fourth standard of round writing or are beginning the third standard of



or slanting writing, they are to be taught how to read handwritten papers diswas not that writing parchments called registers.' It can be seen tinguished from reading scripts, even rare or difficult scripts. Similarly
the reading

of scripts was not confused with the reading of the printed

characters in current use. Starting with the easiest scripts, pupils were to * be taught to read handwriting of increasing difficulty until they are able

to read the


difficult scripts it is possible to


However, Jean-Baptiste de La
had provided for an



bolder and

more adventurous

than his predecessors in the teaching of handwriting. L'Escole paroissiale

hope Yet Jean-Baptiste de La Salle does not hesitate to teach the complete curriculum of the scribes in his schools. We have seen that the examples of writing given to the schoolboys to copy were business forms: receipts, bonds and so on. It was proposed to 'school them in the affairs of the age'. Thus writing was always linked with arithmetic, known in France as lejet because of ihejetons or counters without which it was impossible to calculate correctly. The art of the jet

initiation only. To perfect their writing, pupils referred to the master-scribes, the 'famous writing-masters', in the

of mollifying the


essential to 'the practices



of the

age', if

only because


enabled one to find one's bearings in a complicated monetary system: with the aid ofjetons, says L'Escole paroissiale, the pupils are to be taught

to grasp the relationship between livres, sols and deniers. In La Conduite coles chrttiennes, arithmetic is introduced as a means of solving

everyday financial problems:

To do




he will begin with

Such are the three elements which formed the curriculum of the little schools in French towns in the seventeenth century: reading and singing, and arithmetic. To varying degrees they were also to etiquette, writing be found in the little schools in the country, which grew in number

Thus during the seventeenth century.
1759, 'the

at Castillon,

near Bordeaux, in

listened community gathered together in due order', to^its was it that decided and vacant school the necessary 'to attorney declare a schoolmaster who would be able to teach reading, obtain


There was a candidate for the writing, arithmetic and book-keeping'. of Bordeaux'. The aldermaster-scribe sworn *a a certain Laroche, post: men and jurats (the notables of the community) satisfied themselves as to his orthodoxy and morals and, 'having seen his writing and questioned him about the rules of arithmetic and about book-keeping', decided that
he was a suitable person to fill the post, 'subject to the approval of His Grace the Archbishop and His Lordship the Administrator'. On the

. like to us today as craftsmen. 18 arranged/ And taught to read nearly everywhere. Similarly in 1737 the inhabitants of Macau in M6doc asked the Archbishop of Bordeaux to dismiss the local schoolmaster: 'Every day people present themselves who are infinitely more capable than he is of teaching writing. at school as well as at home. and in Paris their guild was under the authority of the Chitelet. He was honoured during Mass: the 1685 Assembly of the Clergy had decided that 'schoolmasters dressed in their surplices should be incensed in church and should be honoured before the laymen and even the lords of parishes/ As late as 1847. notes of hand and other such documents'. teachers. of the little school were to be found We know where singing and reading came from at home). in other The schoolmaster also acted as choirmaster in the village church: this was the singing element of the little school. . outside the little schools or the Latin schools. arithmetic and the reading of bonds/ 17 Thus the village schoolmaster had to be both a book-keeper and a also the paleographer.294 SCHOLASTIC LIFE other hand. tuition in writing and arithmetic was provided. all the other trade guilds. in a village in the Lower Pyrenees in 1689. They were not under the jurisdiction and control of chapter or university. the first test was in singing. in the eighteenth century usually Jean-Baptiste de La Salle's. Monsieur le Recteur. (the Latin school). Just as today the village schoolmaster in France is clerk to the parish council. a candidate for a similar post was rejected because he was incapable of deciphering the village charters. by the public scribes or scriveners. They called themselves 'experts in the verifica- of deeds. children were from a manual of etiquette. village and the inspector reported to the rector: 'The ladies of the made their choice at once. Thus the three constituent factors in the country schools. crying: "It's thattun we want!" voice "Thattun" may not have the most education. contracts. when the inhabitants of a village in the Oise gathered together to choose their schoolmaster from ten candidates. and etiquette too (the education provided But what about writing and arithmetic? In the middle of the seventeenth century. at that rime he was the notary to the com- munity and sometimes even attorney and lieutenant of justice. words half police-officer and half justice of the peace. accountants and valuers. is how the matter is usually . They were not They appear but primarily copyists. but he has the loudest and that. 19 They were commonly known as 'verifiers': verifiers of deeds (because of handwriting) and of accounts (because they they could read all kinds tion .

charters. sometimes because of relationships. the extension of the printed paper (Le Moniteur and Le Journal officiel started publication in the late eighteenth century) and by the politicoof the 1789 Revolution. one had to have recourse to the scribe. It demanded considerable manual skill. but * also to write to perfection 80 Calligraphy was an art. I should have been trained 21 to become nothing less than a perfect master-scribe/ Writing was the as the late sixteenth-century English work: such manuals of subject 1 .were still legally binding and still governed public and private often ceased to be intelligible. which rescinded the old judicial upheaval started again from scratch. for it comprised the to corresponded the deciphering of manuscripts which had become illegible.THE 'LITTLE SCHOOLS' 295 could count and calculate). The master-scribe who could draw up present-day documents was also able to read and This function would be rendered obsolete by 'verify* those of the past. in a script which was documents: the research country intelligible to the general populace. At Rouen. They undertook to Verify accounts and equivalents . He tells us in his memoirs: *I had so supple a hand and fingers so agile that if it had not been decided to make a scholar of me. We must try to appreciate how important copying was before the invention of the typewriter: clerks not only had to be able to write like everyone else. an art inherited from the old manuscript copyists of the era before the invention of as Jean Rou has testified. the scribes were also accountants. skill of an expert paleographer today. true writing. even if one could write oneself. fair writing: as used different The scribe scripts for different purposes. Their 'science of writing* corresponded to what we ask of typewriting: the transcribing of texts in the most legible manner possible. they bore the title of 'masters and guardians of the noble art and science of writing and arithmetic. Finally They were conversant with and foreign exchange* and also with all 'book-keeping by double entry the systems of weights and measures whose variety made the establishing of a delicate matter. etc. . but above all on account of the writing. just delight. They the language. expert verifiers in the city and suburbs of Rouen'.** the printer uses different characters. This work was not the gratuitous result of a historian: many ancient documents . either as the of a change in script or because of the use of symbols and abbreviations which had fallen into disuse. printing. when it was a question of drawing a document which had to be unambiguous and whose material up This 'science of writing' also presentation had to follow certain rules. contracts. About 1643 he was a precocious pupil at Harcourt College. the Pen's excellency or the Secretary's Swift writing.

under of 'die forbade any sign display . the master-scribes. This recourse to an outside specialist sometimes caused irritation. A young court could take lessons in writing as in languages or dancing or the non-scholastic arts: the future Marechal de Bassompierre arrived at school in 1591 with a retinue which included. Mme Les Rochers a priest who was skilled in the use ofjetons and therefore a good accountant: 'I had a great surprise this morning in the abb6's study. had made a merchants and administrators. Charles Hoole. It was not given to everyone de Svign for one was delighted to find at to be able to do sums. at least. On another front. 'signs and arithmetic: they had to kept respectable schools of writing in front of their houses which shall list the names of the They stood up for their rights against all the schoolmasters. In 1661 an edict of the High Court forbade the schoolmasters 'to put more than 26 The three lines in the examples which they gave to their pupils'. The High the title of mathematician'. that I livres. in which time commonly everyone may learn to write legibly*. principle was bothered about not this had subtle Salle La de that seen Jean-Baptiste distinction We and made no bones about teaching his pupils the writing were the official monopoly of the scribes: but in Paris the which styles 27 scribes brought an action against him and won their case. hang rivals. organized into recognized corporations. In the towns. with the aid of his counters which are very good and accurate.2p6 SCHOLASTIC LIFE calculations' just as they 'verified scripts'. Nor were these skills confined to minor noble intending to make his career in the army or at posts. and take upon country. which go about the the names of scriveners. in Paris. that he may constantly come and continue with them about a month or six weeks together every year. and do oft-times very much hurt in the places where they come. that is to say. in his book The Petty School. some 'so-called mathematicians' were also Court recognized their monopoly and competing with them. We discovered. recorded that one grammar school used to 'entertain an honest and skilful penman.' 25 These itinerant scribes had a bad reputation. a writing-master. Clerks able and calculate with the aid of counters were needed in the offices of lawyers. the latter have that they could teach writing but not calligraphy. 'the schools may Brinsley maintained that be freed from having any need of the scriveners. apart from his preceptor and his dancing-master. were Among those under die jurisdiction of the cantor of Notre-Dame.000 to 'write to perfection* expected to instruct others in his art. sciences which they profess'.' 28 The master-scribe was also profit of 530. 24 About 1600. and if a good manual were used. which go under them to teach to write.

which are now considered to be were for a complementary. 'proprietor of the Lion de daughter. this diversity was not without its dangers for the virtue of any girls who should join the class. long time regarded as independent subjects to be taught separately. school of the writing-master would therefore seem to have been a technical school teaching a craft which still owed something to manual skill.' Yet the utility of writing and arithmetic was not disputed by the who in 1606 paid forty sous a month to 'Saint-Germain. and they were attended by adolescents as well as little children. but spelling and not reading.* The best solution would have been teaching for the schoolmasters to teach reading but not writing. practice. but it is necessary for them to be in a safe place above suspicion. He wanted the scribes to be forbidden to teach girls.THE 'tltTLE SCHOOLS* The division of labour between schoolmasters and scribes was a difficult problem. curious engraving of the early eighteenth century shows a writing lesson in progress: some big fellows are present. with a common but contested zone between them for spelling. which the magistrates to whom it was submitted found impossible to solve. and he expatiated on 'the danger of putting girls with big boys. which was in its unfixed It incidentally early. The scribes' reply to Joly's suggested some who prohibitions was: 'It is necessary for girls to be able to read. 'any Scribe teaching his pupils to read from these texts and books can that he is them may have printed books or texts must not on they any account teach reading/ But printed say that 'the scribes to teach spelling. suggest The A by families who either belonged or aspired to the nobility. and the master-scribes writing but not reading. Thus an edict of the High Court issued in 1661 states as Claude Joly points out in his defence of the little schools. and there are are capable of learning to write to perfection and who should not be deprived of that advantage.' To which Joly retorted like Moli&re's Chrysale: 'It is not necessary for girls to be able to write to perfection. can be seen that reading and writing. one being associated with literary and religious the other with the manual arts and commercial culture. The number of youths seems and the greater ages more mixed than in even the heterogeneous lower 28 classes of the colleges. and some of them are would which that this form of tuition was not wearing swords. Dijon sergeant . teaching writing and arithmetic for three months' to his or by a certain Lemonier. for Schoolmaster. These schools had two interesting features: they taught girls as well as boys. as those who go to the Master Scribes usually are*. stage. despised in If we are to believe die censorious canon Claude Joly. It is case any certainly no infants' class.

pages . It comprises and the art of spelling. some twenty pages of examples of writing. 29 Hitherto there had been no schooling for girls: they stayed the women of the house or else in a convent. at least in England and Germany. with of explanations of the difficult words vocabulary. who got a priest to give his daughter lessons in arithmetic. It is also supposed to allow craftsmen of little or no education to keep school. and religious orders such as the Ursulines devoted themselves at 1 home with to it. prayers and Psalms.). nor even to educated readers. two two pages of arithmetic. And he describes in a few words these humble workshop schools: 'Thou mayest sit on thy shop-board. without in the first half of the but religious instruction. people began to feel some concern about their education. shopkeepers. eighteen pages thirty-nine pages on the alphabet on the catechism. a useful art whether in home life or in the running of a business: seventeenth-century usage allotted women an important role in the administration of the estate and the supervision of certain incomes (notably income in kind: poultry. One can understand why thoughful and that hotel-keeper of Dijon should have wanted their daughters to how to use a pen and counters. five pages on chronology. seamsters. It went through twenty-six editions between 1596 and 1656. fathers such as that sergeant etc. The scribes' schools were a particular instance of a practice current in other crafts. either because they were thought to have a gift for writing. Coote declares that his book is addressed to 'such men and women of trade as tailors. . and early seventeenth English educational literature of the late sixteenth learn workshop schools. or in order that they should learn how to keep accounts. and such others as have undertaken the charge of teaching others'. In fact it was linked to an education different from that of the Latin schools and anterior to that of the little French schools: the manual education given by craftsmen to their apprentices.SCHOLASTIC LIFE France at Dijon in 1648. In 1596 Edmund Coote published The English Schoolmaster* a manual of seventy-nine in that it was not pages in English. eggs. But let us note here above all else the almost adult nature of the instruction given by the master-scribes. not Latin. and also be made to use the same aptly themselves'. weavers. which was remarkable addressed to professional pedagogues.'the unskilful of what It is destined for self-teachers of all ages age so ever '-who after reading it 'may easily both understand any hard centuries sometimes refers to these sermons or elsewhere English words. receiving any seventeenth century. and phrases. However. which they shall in Scriptures. The scribes proposed to give them a real technical education. hear or read.

burgesses. both boys lighted by candles. doubtless instruction for merchants' sons using the vernacular. whether boys or girls.' On As in the case of Coote's readers. for a reasonable fee. Here. from the fourteenth century on. women or girls'. and who does not know a single letter. Whoever you may be.or even some adult companions in the same craft and teach them a few elements of reading. but besides this Latin instruction in the arts there were some scholae puerorum which. and doubtless writing draughtsmanship. an artisan would sometimes gather some apprentices around him . children. 81 The to read and write inscription on this sign reads: *He who wishes to learn German by the quickest method. And if anyone is so foolish that he does not manage to learn it. artisans. while a girl is holding the candle for him At Bologna there were the usual grammar masters. will pay every term as is customary. draughtsmanship was replaced by arithmetic. is informed that here he will be able to learn all that he needs to know of writing and reading. In the commercial towns. This impromptu schoolmaster could earn a little extra money in this way. he who comes here will be the other hand. with the master and his boys on the left. in the foreground. without leaving his work. the mistress and her girls on the right. round the master's table. I shall have taught him gratis and for nothing and he shall not instruction. after thou hast once made this little book familiar to thee/ Thus we can see that. It to his school. Gerard Dou has depicted a school of this sort: the schoolroom is and some big children of twelve or more.probably they are studying draughtsmanship with draughtsmanship. labourers.THE 'tlTTLB SCHOOLS* 299 at thy books or thy needle. formed only part of the clientele of these masters: 'of what age so ever'.and on the other side a class for children. for the keeping of accounts. labourers. write or 82 draw. women or girls. was quite distinct from the Latin school young man drawing. artisans. and at the same time satisfy a need for rudi- mentary He might even be tempted to devote all his time was for a school of this sort that at Basle in 1516 Holbein painted a sign showing on one side an evening class the master and his adult pupils . for draughtsmanship was even more important than reading or writing for certain crafts: joinery and carpentry for instance. provided practical . education added to the ABC. children. and never hinder any work to hear thy scholars. and this tuition. a and pointing to something . Many were adolescents or adults who plied their trade during the day and came in the evening to ask the master to teach them to read. said Coote. and whatever your needs. owe me anything. and Holbein: 'burgesses. we have an element of technical together. on the are and girls. faithfully instructed little boys and little girls. gathered is left.

' The principle of education for adults continued to be maintained in France for some time elsewhere than in the late scribes' schools. in official documents the master called himself magister de abaco (and not de artibus or and grammatical). drawing and architecture. Thus at Castillon in 1759 a sworn master-scribe from Bordeaux was appointed. for the principal origin of the little schools. and he had to be able to read charters and old manuscripts and draw up official reports. de la in Chetardye. The other elements singing and the Psalter master-scribes. and algebra and the abacus schools. But this academy went into a decline and gave rise to few imitations. The big boys were not supposed to be older than twenty. education of a professional and technical character. with the occasional exception of big cities like Paris where the cantor was inclined to be pretentious and insist on university degrees. which was also valid for the earlier years of the nineteenth century and the whole of the eighteenth: 'Children cannot be sent to school before the age of seven or eight . The pupils were no longer adolescents or adults: they were children between the ages of seven and twelve. Thus in the seventeenth century the parish priest of Saint-Sulpice.were added later. 84 The same phenomenon was to be found in German towns such as Hamburg and Brunswick.. the essential feature of the little schools of the seventeenth the workshop schools of the century. he conceived finding ways of contributing to the education the idea of founding a Sunday school for young people whom the necessity of earning their living kept busy all the week. Moreover. probably not before the beginning of the seventeenth century.** It is known that at Florence in 1338 grammar in in six logic were taught in four Latin schools. the were taught geometry. leaving them only Sunday and holidays on which to go to school. they are sent to work. And we must probably look to nobility taken from the Latin schools. the masters of the little schools were often recruited from the scribes.. Adult education. which distinguished them from sixteenth century and from those of the master-scribes. widespread pupils . this school was handed over in 1699 to St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle and his new congregation. In addition to reading. set out to found a Sunday school for the poor: 'Skilled of the poor. was not so much their curricula as the pupils' ages. In 1*833 an inspector made this observation. 35 It is easy to see why the schoolmaster was also the village attorney. and in France in the schools run this by the education for adults.' 86 Called the Christian Academy. writing and arithmetic. At the age of eleven or twelve. : However.3<X> SCHOLASTIC LIFE which an important place was given to arithmetic. and etiquette from the houses of the . M.

From the mid-seventeenth century to the present day. In the same spirit. this proliferation of the lower college classes. the average age of the college boy has steadily decreased. and and sixteenth centuries. they disliked the idea of teaching the rudiments. 89 88 The to enter a class are given instruction'. the ratio studiorum of 1599. the Jesuits wanted to start with the fifth class and have only three grammar classes. In most of their colleges the a sixth class in which the ABC and the rudiments Jesuits had to put up with were taught. the other an influence linked with the great religious current of the Reformation and aimed at providing a suitable background for poor children. In the late seventeenth century. And as greater homogeneity was demanded of each class. Like other education writers of the time. In their plan. there were at this time a seventh class and a sort of eighth which was referred to as 'a room in which those who in are not fit cantor Joly complained of local schoolmaster. Brinsley wrote in 1627 in his Lucius Litterarius that it struck him as absurd that the grammar schools should be troubled with a class learning the ABC. for example. the beginners' class had to be split up several times and lower classes created. a general influence. down to the kindergarten and the nursery school of modern times. But the longed-for separation of the rudimentary classes and the grammar classes never became effective. which set apart the younger ages and tended to isolate the elementary stage of education. 301 century. which were already called sevenths and eighths: these were the bottom classes of the presentday secondary school. which he saw an encroachment by the He university on the rights of die and eighth classes which 'seventh the deplored . its How adults did the transition take place from the technical instruction for of Coote. Henceforth an age group ranging from five-to-seven to ten-to-eleven would be marked out from the rest of childhood. and 'such that it was humiliating 87 for the masters to teach such things to little petties'. The phenomenon of the specialization of the ages and the particularization of childhood can be seen here much more clearly than in the age structure of the Latin college. going further and further back.THE in the fifteenth MXTLE SCHOOLS . Holbein and the master-scribes to that of the little schools of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? Under two influences: one. At La Flche. disappeared in the seventeenth place was taken by an education confined to children. extra sixths were created in the colleges and even gave rise to weaker classes.

the boarding-schools. in what we recognize as those pensions which also took in boarders and which we studied in the chapter on who were often older boys. candidate's family had to fill up a printed form which. An eleven-year-old: 'He is a Is he A 9 lessons at a neighbouring pension. and has never left the paternal house as yet..' nine-year-old: 'He is studying in Beauge 9 in pensions. It The same was true also of the regarded as a preparatory stage. learning the rudiments of Latin. In Paris itself. included the following questions: 'Can the child read The or write?. an elementary stage came into existence. pensions who were delicate education in Paris. In the sixteenth century. had the idea of taking the when they were grouped beginners a sixth class. in the paternal house and is sent every day to take being brought up What is his present occupation?. being brought up 40 The candidates were in the Paternal House. With the lower classes in die colleges. it was a lumber-room class in which no attempt in together was made to measure their efforts. Another nine-year-old: 'He is educated was He College. These schools were intended for impoverished nobles. SCHOLASTIC LIFE in certain colleges in which the children outside the are taught to for 'children of tender years town were reserved and needed to remain with womenfolk*.3O2 have been formed read'. His father and mother cannot keep him in this pension. who acted as a sort of director of primary Apart from these lower classes. especially huge by establishments.. These were the 'little colleges of licence-holders' authorized by the cantor. beginners who risked being swamped in their lower classes. apart from the usual details. nearly half-boarder at Tours. instruction to young day-boys. that is to say clandestine schools unauthorized by either the university or the cantor: their masters 'coach pupils who go to the college classes'. An eleven-year-old: since 'He is studying in a pension at Rethel where he has been 9 March I5th. A nine-year-old: 'Was brought months has been in a up in the paternal house and for the past eighteen 9 private pension. Joly calls these of services the coaching private employed * schools hedge-schools'. Besides the boarders. This type of education would enjoy considerable success in the eighteenth century.. nobody had yet out of the first grammar classes. and with the private pensions. was little . in a pension or a college?' all nine or ten. the in numbers the colleges.. This was no longer true after the end of the sixteenth century. There is an interesting pensions gave document which shows that these pensions were very well patronized in the late eighteenth century: the dossiers of the candidates for the military schools in 1790. Here are a few cases.

' 4* Some founders even taught reading . In the late sixteenth century a new and France. the ABC and the abacus. or. which were now regarded as necessary for the exercise of any trade. preferably in his view. to replace the classes in the lower According to Claude Joly. by means of edicts as ineffective as they were frequent against vagabondage. indicative of their numbers or rather of the extent to which were aware of their existence. In this way it was hoped to make pious. A curriculum was soon evolved. immorality by means of administrative and police measures such as the English Poor Laws. and incidentally had failed to eliminate the other establishments competing with them.THE 'LITTLE SCHOOLS' schools - 303 which were colleges. the fourth the colleges: they were anterior to and not concurrent with the college. read and cast accounts. providing for tuition in the vernacular based on the catechism. trying. and is varied later on in accordance with the pupils' vocations and aptitudes. and intended for children who could not follow the Latin cycle. In those piety in France and England it was felt circles most affected by the and writing. Let us now consider the second influence little and development of the idea appeared in England the religious feeling common to both the Reformation affected the origins schools. In England. In the art * as and the Counterwell as the literature of Western Europe in people that picaresque age. and so put them forth to prentice. the founder of one school explained: 'We have a great number of poor people in our parish who are not able to keep their children at grammar. and finally and this is what concerns us here . even a manual job. We are still a long way here from the nineteenthdid not century concept of a primary stage from which pupils necessarily graduate to the secondary school. laziness and many. and at the same time of the education of poor children. serious workers out of what had been depraved adventurers. But we are even further from the more contemporary idea of an education that is unique and general to begin with.by means new that the children in question should be given the religious instruction hitherto reserved in practice for the choirboys of the Latin school. the little schools prepared class in their pupils for entry into the fifth. an idea which had originated in which Reformation. But we are desirous to have them taught the principles of Christian Religion and to write. down-and-outs' occupied an important place. Their picturesque appearance appealed to but others set out to combat their poverty. at least in the towns.

at the height of the period of pious humanism. gave the regulations attention!.namely and a manual trade. .. Writers. to their schookcosts them nothing at all. produce these swarms of beggars which are so much trouble to us . take your pens. boys and start ready.. 'charity schools' born in built all over France. This preoccupation 'pettyes*. of Paris say that it is a right attached to their office their even it that is and duty to give instruction to their parishioners. and that consequently they can keep with the of the that It goes without saying regard worthy priests charity 'The priests . reading and writing. priests took to founding free schook for the poor in their parishes greatly to the because they did not come under his jurisof Claude indignation diction: Joly. as professed and taught in the Church of England' and 'some other things which are useful in their station in life' . In France. despite the difference in religion. show them.' their motives in these words: 'Every day we see idlers and vagabonds in how to do anything but eat and drink the who. to give them instruction in decency girls. 48 and morality and reading and writing'. At Moulins and Lyons. At Autun. not 44 1637.' In Paris.. knowing and bring poor children into the world. in some cases arithmetic. . a streets. get for his schools a military character: 'Readers. the same thing happened In 1543 the city council of Rouen decided on the in the same spirit. so that morality and reading and writing [these things service at an earlier age and in for shall be means this prepared they by a more manner'. similar faith inspired three priests who explained writing..304 tried to SCHOLASTIC LIFE make the Latin schook a in 1612. and to an active and stamp out campaign to bring education to the lower classes immortality and poverty: thus in the for late seventeenth century the Society Knowledge founded a great many charity Promoting schools in which poor children were given 'knowledge and practice of the Christian religion. Thus we find one such founder urging his master and gave rise to schools in which the classical humanities were more or less abandoned in favour of the 'modern* curriculum. both subject agreeable from the age of five. at least for the ushers to try to teach arithmetic to their pupils. Christian schook would put an end 45 to this state of affairs. little more utilitarian. of the poor that 'in order to train children from childhood in went together]. Christian 42 spinning or cobbling. especially to those who showed greater aptitude for trade than for study. Throughout the eighteenth or 'charitable schools for the poor' were century. school as as well children fathers. >46 Peoplegave money generously . they should 'take in beggar-children. Charles Dermia.

In 'uffffLB SCHOOLS* . though neglected for a long time in this respect. set apart children we began by distinguishing a tendency to their between five and group them in special eighth. In 1680. The girls.THE for the schools. were not forgotten. 305 schools. this being the best and most dependable method of ensuring that youth is always well instructed in its faith and brought up in the fear of God. In 1685 Pre Barre founded the Institute of the Infant Jesus. on which the reformation of our parishes depends/ 47 Henceforth. In the preceding analyses.witness the Bishop of Ch&lons's synodical instructions of 1662: 'Take a sum of money every year from the building fund to help to have a schoolmaster in places where there is none on account of the poverty of the inhabitants. One might elders and eleven. the nucleus of a system of elementary education. If you yourself can make some contribution to the schoolmaster's keep. we then followed the current of religious aposdeship which resulted in the foundation of deduce from this that primary charity schools for the poor. the Brothers of the Christian Schools. a hosier was employed to teach two to hundred knitting pupils. not for reasons of opportunism or propaganda. providing the schools of the parish of Saint-Sulpice with masters from community. and for a long time to come. primary education was endowed with principles which hardly changed at all until the mid-nineteenth his century. In the country. St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle gave his support to the charitable priests of Paris who aroused the indignation of the cantor of Notro-Dame. which served as a model for the teaching orders. but because professional lay education was recognized as having a high moral value. In 1646. to separate them from classes . the bishops urged their parish priests to pursue this course . Louise Bellange brought some of these together forty poor girls of the parish of Saint-Eustache. Then again. give preference to that charity rather than to others which are neither so necessary nor so urgent. and especially for the most famous of them all. religious education would be linked with utilitarian lay instruction. New religious orders devoted their energies to this end: thus the Ursulines 'make it their profession to keep public schools for day-girls as well as for boarders'. With him. in the Saint-Sulpice schools. In a word. neglect nothing that depends on your zeal to secure the installation of a schoolmaster in your parish. the children also learnt a trade.the seventh and the .

to the loss of the traditional schools.where the teaching must have been done by masters of done religious brotherhood. But the charity schools did the middle of monopoly not give rise to an education reserved for the lower classes. it hierarchy in which all children opposed to secondary class.. ^was that she did not know how poor they were'. In given no reply save another school he found 'over two hundred girls.306 education. as education.' free. rich and poor alike. wealth necessarily asserted itself by No filth and no rags: greatly to his indignation. It is proverbial that wants it. neither dirty surrounding jurisdiction] is districts nor in rags which is why all the girls' schools in the the cantor's [which were not free and were under : Thus the charity everybody a schools . or lower middle-class clientele which middle-class a after hankered also were taking away from them and orders the or the priests religious well We which Abraham Bosse has depicted in his engravings. religious to this charitable origin the accordingly tempted to attribute lower-class character which primary education has retained from the late One is the present day: far from being one step in a eighteenth century to climbed at least the first steps together. was the result schools for poor children. of a primary-school inspector. are at present deserted. Such was no doubt the original aim of the reformers down to St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle. In the promoter was something 'did not find the filth and the rags of the charity schools the promoter the priests say that they are composed*. the objection seventeenth century.. the charity schools were no sooner founded than they attracted a well-to-do clientele of craftsmen. most of them well dressed. in so far as it SCHOLASTIC LIFE existed in the modern sense in the seventeenth of these two influences and was limited to charity century. when something who than the layinspired greater confidence masters of the as district schools . 'visiting a girls' school in the Faubourg Saint-Germain in June 1675. even those outside his jurisdiction. the promoter. Claude Joly 48 He would have tolerated the existence of charity offers us proof of this. merchants and burgesses.attracted children from well-to-do homes can also see from this that the district schools as poor children. poor beggar-children of whom and his There was no conferred real poverty without rags at a time when the authority in dress. found only cleanliness there. The cantor had the right to visit all schools. was that this was no longer the case at die end of the But his strikes us as a specifically lower-class education. and having complained of this to the Mistress. According to him. schools at a pinch if they had been confined to little beggar-children. The accusations of unfair competition levelled at the Brothers of .

often brought system. in the house of an artisan who was often paid in kind. in the humblest conditions. The master received other sources of the traditional fees direct from his pupils. century or at least the nineteenth century: the difference between a society in which people were carefully ranked but were mixed up in a common and a society which is egalitarian but in which the classes are kept scribes tell exactly the space. way for far less than it would cost a boarder at a modern Iyc6e. were not even exacted with any where the 'In the opposed to the Jesuit colleges] the fees ordinary colleges [as their fees every month to the master. in a sentence which reveals a great deal about the manners of the rime: them in separate 'They distinguish the latter [the burgesses] by putting offends our at school and rich of This segregation poor places and seats. the ancestor of the present-day secondary lower classes. but rather because of free instruction and the day-school The day-school system enabled a pupil to live in lodgings. in fact the scholarships later intended were colleges which were sold like offices. which pupils attending classes were called upon to pay. know that the college. also drew some of its pupils from the for scholarship boys. .THE 'LITTLE SCHOOLS' St Jean-Baptiste 307 de La Salle by the district schoolmasters and the master- same story. the pupils payments made by whom he lodged in his home. The syndic of the master-scribes that the Brothers 'take in not complain in a factum of June 7th. Originally the school. in which they are established.' it which the But modern sensibility. In principle the university colleges were not free. 1704. merchants and craftsmen'. always strictness. He lived all week on the food which relatives or neighbours a child could be kept at school In that him on market-day. Charles Sorel writes: modest. And they add. to are also repugnant great twentieth the of that and the seventeenth of that the two societies. but also the only the poor of the parishes 4* children of worthy burgesses. and he had or the income: either a foundation scholarship if he was a senior scholar. It was therefore not became We privileges that the poor gained admission to the always by means of scholarships Latin school. implies and the spatial proximity same benches on the if not room die same within familiarity inevitable between difference the have we here And us. However. apart in separate spaces. there are pupils of good family pay and who none the less almost as many day-boys who come without paying these poor boys die attend the master's lessons without anyone denying as cruel to combe derive from them it would just advantage they may at night with the street as for a man walking along plain of these things from enjoying the same a lighted torch to want to prevent the passers-by .

52 The Oratorians retained the principle of a small tuition fee. The proportion of artisans and labourers varied according to circumstances between 20 per cent and cent and 62 per cent of the 35 per cent (mainly artisans) 'between 48 per were drawn from the lower class or the lower in the . When appointed Marmontel entered Mauriac College. and worse than sharpers'. examination of the register of the Jesuit college at Ch&lons-sur-Marne. One of that if among some 'good young men'. in Le Mans at sometimes give the father's occupation: coliers (1601). The register of the for manual others but or the army commerce. while 87 a third has 'left school to become a cobbler'. eleven pupils out of forty-one in the physics class 54 results of an statistical Pere de Dainville has published the artisans. many pupils spent only classes of the colleges. the future sculptor. to college in the hope of making an lower-class pupils . college pupils 55 And we should note that this middle-class. but one has become a joiner.though of him. his father envisaged a stay of only . It was already given light/ 61 The University of Paris officially instituted it in lyip. many are 'the children of poor artisans. However. who have come from the dregs of the lower classes. The recruitment from ambitions on the part the lower class often corresponded to social of the parents: thus a brass-founder. proportions probably was a big college: higher which were limited to grammar classes.J08 SCHOLASTIC LIFE 50 The tendency was towards free education. the by Jesuits. with nothing of the 63 The scholar about them save the name.' existed in the Latin schools. rhetoric and philosophy classes if they were not attended by students destined for the Church or the Bar. large proportion of these attorney it is A minor gauge the proportion exactly later became officials and founded middle-class families: their or treasury police impossible to is existence therefore implies a greater social mobility than generally a few years in the lower supposed. sent his son. Young Girardon dishis father by apprenticing himself to a wood-carver. another has 'gone back to his father's kitchen'.' trades. 'the experience of a considerable number of years proves that most provincial colleges would be obliged to abolish their second. for the years between 1618 and 1736. Girardon. declares the characters in Larivey's play. some departures in the for reasons the at Oratorian Troyes gives college middle of the school course: several have joined the army. have scarcely covered half their studies Nearly all the other children 56 Some abandoned them for before they abandon them for good. Les these students (for he takes in students as lodgers) there are college registers were the sons of 1668. According to a text of 1789.

But at this time neither colleges nor schools drew their pupils exclusively from social class. and the counter shall be his school/ At the same time Guyton de Moreau wrote: artisans in the 'It is customary for nearly all the to send their children to college. it for. the existence An edict of 1626 reveals of similar customs in the colleges f the University of Paris: the colleges separated the boarders from the day-boys. at the beginning of this century. rashionable Sunday Masses. the laymen from the clerics (domesticos ab externis a laicis t sacerdotes}> but also the sons of good family from the poor students who acted as college servants (famulos ab ingenuis). consequently as in the little schools. it was the same spirit which It denied access to secondary education to inspired the Enlightenment. Henceforth it was considered that education should be confined to the rich. society ladies would send their servants to church to keep the best seats for them at the up their father's trade.. situation obtaining in the nineteenth century. Their growth bears witness to the special interest shown henceforth in the younger schoolchildren.. The whole of society would suffer from the lack of an adequate kbour force and from the presence of an excessive number of unproductive citizens. of them. In the same way. and he was reluctant to rhetoric class: 'That is ' 309 let him stay at school after the him with a rich enough of studying and Latin. town Most of those who go take to college leave before completing their studies in order to 959 One can imagine the medley of ranks. I have a post for 68 merchant. seventh and eighth classes in the colleges. But. if it were extended to the would turn them against manual kbour and make social misfits poor. and and of clothes manners. they were new spirit unable to survive a radical transformation of manners. one These colleges full of lower-class pupils were to disappear.. the children of good family were separated from the rank and file: in the Jesuit colleges.** The little schools developed in the course of the seventeenth century at the same time as the sixth. who had been somewhat neglected. A which created the appeared in the course of the eighteenth century.. the young nobles sent their famuli or valets on ahead to keep the special seats which were reserved for them.THE 'LITTLE SCHOOLS' a few years. just for a few years and with the intention of taking them away again after a certain time. to be found in these classes. the children of the lower classes. This opinion was the expression in an economist's terms .

and hence of providing the country with a good kbour force. write and count. ought to be closed to peasants.310 SCHOLASTIC LIFE of an instinctive dislike of the mixing of the social classes at school. the eighteenth century. workers and servants. the author of a treatise on highways and bridges: 'It has become fashionable not to engage any servant who cannot read. it is not 61 surprising that there are none left for marriage or agriculture/ In 1763. Here is the opinion of a technologist. which sees the school as the means taken by modern revolutionary ideas to reach the lower classes and undermine the authority of established fortunes. like secondary education . magistrates or administrators] or lackeys. far from going down. . not in the monks any more. too many academies. clerks [invoicing clerks in the offices of merchants. nowadays the multitude of There have never been books prevents one from becoming a scholar . like those of Marivaux or Beaumarchais! 'With all the labourers' children becoming monks. too many colleges. labourers little and artisans send their children to the colleges in the towns where it costs very they have muddled their way through studies to live. was increasing]. and there was a great deal of of educational questions. so many students in a country where everyone complains of depopulation fact the population. but in the civil servants]. they take refuge in the cloister. or they become officers of the kw [this was obviously the commonest way of climbing the social kdder]. Even the [in classes lower want to study. lawyers.' Apparently people preferred educated servants. All this discussion gave rise to a mass' of literature on the reform of education. But it was already the theme of social conservatism in the nineteenth century and colonial conservatism in the twentieth. of turning them into servants and workers. . The time of this retrogression. In the past it was difficult to become a scholar because of the dearth of books. and when which have taught them little to despise their father's trade [this was not always the case]. in his opinion. the public felt concerned as going to take their place. in the ecclesiastical state [becoming the 'unpro- ductive citizens' which the liberal conservatives of the nineteenth century would see. is particularly indicative of a profound structural change.' The Latin school. It was the exact opposite of the opinion held by the seventeenth-century reformers. who saw in education the only possible means of instilling a sense of morality into the down-and-outs. The notorious La Chalotais expounded the ideas of the philosophers in his Essais d*Education nationale ou to who was discussion 2 plan d'&udespour lajeunesse* In his opinion there were too many schools: 'Surely there are too many scribes [master-scribes who ran schools]. after the departure of the Jesuits.

which we remarked on earlier in connection with the workshop schools of the late sixteenth century]. the two months of holidays: "Send your children to college/" 'How are we to stop this flood of education which is submerging so many who We cottages. education? same to the same the for in life. farm the land need agricultural workers and not tonsured clerics/ 'The lower classes should be guided. I can should be common to all men: religion. came along to finish everything off They teach reading and writing to people who should have learnt nothing but how to draw and how to handle a plane and a file. three see subjects of instruction which only perform in society. and introintriguers. Cardinal of the same station not all are who are in his memoirs: 'Why children. by means of which one hopes Would it . began to be studies continue to classical Fourth tional reforms of the Republic: like should I dominate secondary education. for would be instance. depopulating so villages. although it is true that progress powerless first half of the nineteenth century. hamlets. with die educaconsideration into taken the time.] everyone to be educated function he is due to to the in relation and according to his station. not educated: they are not worthy to be educated/ 'I consider it essential that there should be ignorant find Verkc writing in 1759 in the same spirit: beggars on earth/ towns and villages echo with this cry during market 'Cottages. and unhappy people of all sorts. envious. frequently expressed at another two hundred years in France. also known as the Ignorantines. The public good requires that the knowledge of the lower classes La I Chalotais: extend no further than their occupations/ Voltaire congratulated ** 'Thank you for condemning the education of labourers. subjected many not be better to teach arithmetic to a merchant's son. LITTLE SCHOOLS 311 But La little Chalotais into the schools: went further and would not even allow them 'The Brothers of Christian Doctrine. but who now no longer want to [note the association between draughtsmanship and manual skill. and the opposition illiteracy associated here with the themes work and manual education between these recriminations proved But the of anti-clericalism Enlightenment. angry and condition?' 64 Here we can recognize into class confusion every ducing .THE later on. nor destined jobs.the need for ignorance and of social conservatism themes essential the to manual the lower classes to confine kbour. the school attendance dropped during the modern idea of adapting a also there time At the same appeared de Bernis wrote or trade his future to child's studies profession. of of the in the face education. They are the rivals and successors of the Jesuits. than to teach him to write Greek and Latin verse? [It these before ideas. producing so many charlatans.

' say hygiene]. making 'Going age a career for myself. become the mark of middle-class The classes to current of opinion which condemned the admission of the lower education in general and to the Latin school in particular. but they have never discouraged French parents from giving their children a classical education. Jacques Lablee finished I had to think of of writes: He seventeen. the early nineteenth century the lower classes were expelled from the Latin colleges by the development of the boarding-school system . the college would become exclusively middle-class. position filled. the study of the laws. Having class pupils.' His father had left the army to manage a wine business. children from the surrounding countryside who lived in lodgings on food brought to them on market-days. they their pupils from the town and neighbourhood and from an . he goes on. In England. and finally medicine [we should 65 by means of which one hopes to preserve one's health. difficult and obscure where all the talk is of money and the apprenticeships in classes of men means of making it. they enter a have a job lawyer's office or a business house at an early age.which . and they which soon becomes lucrative or leads them to a settled position. a parallel evolution gave rise to the so-called public schools. which pupils for very by low fees steady disappearance took in besaciers. People began to think that the cycle of Latin studies retarded a young man too much and put him in a position of inferiority vis-i-vis his rivals when they had begun at an earlier age to serve an apprenticeship in their at the his philosophy class profession or station in life.and of the the was restricted to the richer primary and secondary little country colleges. 'Those children who do not go to college are the luckiest. once this education had status.' 66 Sensible observations. These pupils could not hope to go to the big where life was more expensive. by means of which one defends one's own property and that of others.312 SCHOLASTIC LIFE to attain salvation. either arrive too late and find every or else have 'no taste for long. Originally there was no distinction between the public schools and the other grammar schools or endowed schools. resulted in a social specialization of types of instruction from which the In stages of present-day education are derived. They are in a better position than the rest to decide their lot. where the colleges in the great urban areas. The latter were day-schools drew with only a few places for boarders who were scholarship boys.' The oldest college students. medieval tradition of lodging students had disappeared and where the school authorities no longer tolerated day-boys who were free from both rid itself of its lowerparental control and academic supervision. perhaps. home.

so different even in his physical make-up from the Englishman of the eighteenth or early nineteenth century.THE 'LITTLE SCHOOLS' extensive social field. nineteenth-century gentleman. this would satisfy the objections of respectable families to mixing their offspring with . The result was that what had been a virtually unrestricted secondary education became a class monopoly. 313 Towards the end of the eighteenth century. the new middle class. was a product of the public schools. Arnold at Rugby (1828-42). in the nineteenth century and gave function aristocratic character: as a dam contemporaries appreciated their to hold back the flood-waters of democracy. as was the case in France. the phenomenon remained basically the same: a change from day-schools with a regional recruitment to boarding-schools with a more extensive and sometimes national recruitment. the little schools were reserved for the lower classes. It was then that some of these grammar schools decided to specialize in the education of and became young gentlemen boarding-schools whose recruitment ceased to be regional in character and extended to the whole country: the public schools. alarmed classes. the gentry showed a certain reluctance to send its sons to the nearest grammar school. from a varied social make-up to a limited aristocratic or middle-class recruitment. Experiments such as the Dominican college of Saint-Elme at Arcachon. founded a public school of own This aristocratic specialization was peculiar to England: no French college (even the Jesuit colleges) could be compared to the English public schools. The old grammar schools which remained faithful to the ancient day-school traditions. sent its sons to it to learn the manners school grew as codified The by reforming pedagogues such as public schools moulded English society it its born in the Industrial of a modern gentleman. the symbol of a social stratum and the means of its selection. which were henceforth debarred from the secondary schools. aristocratic clientele. among other reasons. which was also attended by children from poorer homes. deprived of their rich. were too limited in their scope and sometimes failed completely. However. gradually dropped the of Latin and either disappeared teaching completely or became indisfrom the little tinguishable elementary schools. or the Protestant school of Les Roches. as also from Mr Pickwick. Conversely. if the evolutionary mechanism differed in France and England. The prestige of the public steadily. and the at the progress his Duke of Wellington. Revolution. being made by the lower to help defend the English The gentleman. In 1820 we find a primary inspector recommending the adoption of the methods of 'mutual education* because.

the specialization of two middle types of education. On from their elders. a connection between these two my phenomena. the other for the the one hand the children were separated classes and the aristocracy. both in the little schools and in the lower classes of the colleges. . the coexistence of the social classes in a had been quite natural in the seventeenth century. from a sending their children to a school with paupers/ 67 little over a century before. There exists. the other hand the rich were separated from the in opinion. in the eighteenth century. then. In this chapter we have studied two phenomena: first. the demographic specialization of the ages from five-toseven to ten-to-eleven. in the seventeenth century. one for the lower classes. on poor. which single space.314 lower-class children: SCHOLASTIC 'By adopting two rooms at once. expressed was no longer tolerated. a single master can particularly two adjoining rooms. We only obstacle which prevents many parents where they would be mixed up are a long way from Joly's point of view. They were the manifestations of a general tendency towards was not unconnected distinguishing and separating: a tendency which with the Cartesian revolution of clear ideas. this LIFE easily look after and this would raise the method.

can best be seen in the children and young people.' 8 It is hard to imagine a rule of that sort in our present- day colleges or lycees! The youngest children. ratio studiorum provided weapons being placed in handed a and back to the pupil when for in return safe custody receipt. until the beginning of the nineteenth century in England. who will keep them in a place chosen for that purpose. for their disarmament The Jesuits' college. the disciplinary regulations of the College de on entering the Bourgogne repeated this rule: 'Neither firearms nor swords are to be retained in pupils' rooms and those who possess such weapons must hand them over to the Principal. a sort of islet of archaism. world. but not as true as it would be of the children.* VIII * THE ROUGHNESS OF SCHOOLCHILDREN 1 88 1 the historian Carr6 expressed astonishment on studying the records of the Oratorian college at Troyes in the seventeenth century: 'The reports on some of the pupils are deplorable. medieval characteristics which were already partly effaced in the adult a pupil at a have studied the progress in school and other academic of a modern concept of childhood: we have seen how a minority wedded to ideas of order. that of the seventeenth century and our own. 315 . who for a very long time retained archaic. clarity and authority tried to introduce into society by means of education a new way of life opposed to the anarchical impulsiveness of the old manners. The difference in manners between the two societies. at once examining magistrates and police superintendents] with some sergeants Chastelet. from the age of five. In 1680. he went out. his public attorney at the how and the commissioners [examining commissioners. but the latter held out for a long time and remained until the end of the seventeenth century in France. This minority exerted pressure from the outside on the world of childhood. and I doubt whether IN modern lyce could merit reports of that sort/ 1 The remark would certainly be true of the young adults. could already wear a sword. institutions We Schoolchildren used to be armed. It was later to become the focus of the modernization of society. which was not simply for ornament or *on Shrove Monday this month [in 1588] prestige: L'Estoile tells the King sent the civil and criminal lieutenant.

and since this licence was harmful. quarrels and the High Court at Dijon went on repeating the same prohibition. broadminded part: authorities charged with maintaining order were in their attitude.316 SCHOLASTIC LIFE to the University of Paris to disarm the students who during the Saint8 Germain fair had gone there armed to behave insolently. before going be a dangerous character: in beaten by his pupils 1661. forbidding the pupils to wear Court of Dijon: 'Since the majority of the the issued The judicial authorities 1675. even not as kte as 1753. forbidding 'all students to carry in the classrooms of the house of sticks. The carnival at that rime was a festival of youth in which the whole it was accompanied by great gaiety and great took pupils population disorderliness. but also on account of the 5 For a long time brawls which often resulted from it. High by for the robe [but we know young people of the city. Take for instance the one staged by the of the Jesuit college of La Fl&he one carnival day in 1646. not only on account of the scandal it caused the public. precaution the traditional master of ceremonies and organizer of the carnival celebrations. poena some of the . They considered that scholastica. at Beaune. the magistrate of La Flfcche had taken the abbot or prior of youth: of forbidding the election of a king.. and several other persons unfit to wear a sword. as if the regulation had not become out of date. and mutinies were common and violent. the records of the Oratorian college at Troyes who was threatening to run his master through igladio minatus est praeceptori* of towns with colleges were for ever swords: witness this edict of March 20th.. The atmosphere was all the more electric that year in that older pupils of the college had had to suffer the humiliating a public flogging by the corrector.' And much later. an Oratorian Father was soundly and the High Court of Dijon had to extend to other offensive weapons the ban already applied to the sword. if ' effective. stakes and other offensive weapons the aforementioned Priests of the Oratory*. none the less wore one wherever they went. in pupil mention a 1709. like the authorities in Moslem countries at The the end of Ramadan. Even when he had deposited his sword still into the college. However. The masters often had to cope with real armed revolts. although destined now that there was really less difference between gentlemen of the robe and gentlemen of the sword than historians had thought: they came from the same families] and still at school [in the rhetoric or logic classes]. the schoolboy could in the armoury. It will be seen that this was a far more serious affair than the minor demonstrations of young schoolboys or even older students nowadays.

driving back the pupils who came out when the threatened to take an ugly turn if the Fathers refused to lose face and release their prisoner. stood in the avenues. The brawl then changed in character and turned into a riot: 'This made the others angrier than before. They too go to the classrooms. Unfortunately one of the mutineers held his ground: 'Instead of retreating like the other rebels in the troop.. they entered would have their companion back willy-nilly. They went to the armourers and provided themselves with weapons. black-jacks.' In spite of this invasion. sticks. At La Fl&che. not only with with halberds and above all with muskets: they had the superiority of fire-power a sortie which nearly won muskets inspired on their side. In the morning they the oldest the night under arms among them were forced their way into the college: 'When morning the college under arms. we imagine this state of mind. armed with swords. The Brothers locked managed to capture one of the mutineers who had drawn his sword and him up.THE ROUGHNESS . but also of weapons. . on the evening of Shrove Tuesday. tried to force him to sur- render it . But neither the Fathers nor the Brothers were taken off their guard: these monks knew what they were up against and defended themselves energetically. 'They spent and laid siege to all the doors of the college by which it could be handed over [in the morning] to justice/ One can imagine the excitement of this Shrove Tuesday vigil.' 6 Here we recognize the state of nerves which is still characteristic of Arab crowds.0F SCHOOLCHILDREN 317 they had been dishonoured and were plotting revenge. who had sided with their schoolmates. and they armed their servants. As ill-luck would have it. repeating their threats that they came. The school records of the time are full of stories of pupils who had been punished and who took their revenge by beating up their masters. the bolt of the musket was released . The Jesuits' servants then attempted them a bloodless victory: the sight of the a healthy mistrust. and which an orgy of killing and looting. the Fathers and their obedient pupils got ready to follow the usual routine of a peaceful day: 'The rebels. introduced one of their number into the college disguised as a woman. and hurling himself on the man and his weapon. he advanced on the servant who was holding the musket with its muzzle pointing upwards [there may well have been only one musket!].The who lived in the pedagogicas and in lodgings approved by the principal: can easily turn a ourselves find it trivial incident into difficult to those in the philosophy classes.' The affair had their stock sticks. increasingly those involved were day-boys at the college students were armed: . and that they would capture a Jesuit or a boarder by way of reprisal.. who had to send for the police. . the day-boys. bell rang to and stones.

the logicians barricaded themselves inside the college. different very from the traditional festivities. At Rugby. at Die. but for political reasons: the boys were demonthe Jesuits. and ? climbed out of the windows of the fourth classroom. In 1818 two companies of troops with fixed bayonets 10 had to be called in to suppress a rising of the pupils. Mutinies. when they did not make do with the traditional fireworks. there would be some demonstrations in the lycees in the first half of the nineteenth century. threw the benches in the second classroom out of the window. One has the impression that a disciplinary system but only then. at Orleans. In England. far from decreasing in number and finally disappearing. only politics would produce disorders apart which generally remained within the limits of the student rag. school mutinies would stop at the end of the In France the finally great seventeenth century. This was a strating for or against Poland. became increasingly frequent and violent in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. passing between the skin and the flesh of the belly without entering a vital organ. fired pistol-shots.318 SCHOLASTIC LIFE in this struggle and the musket went off. hoisted the red flag. the masters and the pupils of the other classes from entering. the schools did not enjoy this period of remission in the eighteenth century. 'informed that the logic students of the college of this city of Dijon have withdrawn without die permission of the rectors and masters. in curbing the already over a century old succeeded then. and finally striking the thighbone. the set fire to their books and desks and withdrew to an island which pupils . In 1633 the court. The eighteenth century was a period of calm. Sometimes their swords. and are forcibly and violently preventing their companions from entering the aforementioned college'. on the other hand. ordered them to return to school and instructed 7 the mayor to help the masters to punish the rebels. At Winchester. There was indiscipline and rebellion everywhere. tore up die books.' These school mutinies did not always turn into armed riots: they sometimes took the form of strikes and picketing. twenty-year-old rhetorician stirred up 9 The pupils of the Protestant academies were no more law-abiding: in prevented 1649. Henceforth. and so on. a 8 his classmates against their master. against state of mind. akin to that of modern times. the bullet going through the master's cassock [a master had intervened in the fight] which was caught between the barrel of the musket and the student's belly. scandalindeed they would attack passers-by with izing the public. turbulence of youth. fouled the rostra in the first and third classrooms. In 1672. in the late the boys occupied the school for two days and eighteenth century.

it was decided to put a stop to this. The preceptors sometimes set their charges an example in this respect. a schoolboy was apparently 14 In 1513. asked: 'Have In England. The captain. knocked down part of the wall. on Corpus Christi Day. floggings and mutinies. especially as after school they would sometimes start 'Some of our the neighbours. the passers-by fighting in front of the college. and the trouble- makers had to be taken by force. killed La Motte.of the sixth form seceded and left the school. the In France. the schoolboys of killed with a stone.THE ROUGHNESS OF SCHOOLCHILDREN had to be taken by assault 319 by the army. you had any mutinies lately. who in 1591 entered the third class at the college of Freiburg-im-Breisgau together with his brother. to prevent the boys from going hunting: the latter. Mutiny had become one of the typical and picturesque aspects of the idea contemporaries had of school life.' 11 The annals of Aix College for 1634 record: pupils having been so unruly as to fight and quarrel. our preceptor. In 1783 there was a revolt against the headmaster. meeting some Eton boys at Windsor. in the course of a brawl between schoolboys from Saint-Nicolas and some workmen.the good pupils . scandalizing and the other pupils/ 12 These brawls after school must have been frequent occurrences: Pre de Dainville quotes 'quarrels outside and fights with stones and other weapons which take place [at Avignon] between the to the Jesuit schools in that town and those who go to the master-scribes and other masters and pedagogues: fights which children who go distract them from their studies and in which they risk being wounded unto death'. Thus the future Mar&hal de Bassompierre. and joking with them about the two main features of their life. who used to teach us dancing. In 1768 the praepostors or monitors . Saint-Nicolas had laid claim to their place in the procession with the aid of sticks and swords. eh?' last important mutiny occurred at Marlborough as late as 1851. one of the forms that violence took was the duel. when the last one ended with the flogging of eighty boys: order was then restored. after pelting their master with rotten eggs. tried to arrest them and pursued them right into the chapel where they had taken refuge. even challenging one another to duels. In 1818 the school authorities brought forward the time when the gate was locked. There were similar incidents at Eton. writes in his memoirs: 'We spent only five months there because Grouet. in the same town. eh. King George III. during the first half of" the seventeenth century. At Eton there was none after 1832. 13 In 1572. with rooms pillaged and windows broken. . mad with anger.

These fights changed in the early nineteenth century into wrestling or boxing matches. 'went to the classrooms of the philosophy. duel without having the opportunity to show any sign of contrition.' same way by a surgeon and had died pupil in the third class. as did the collective battles and third class had been killed in the A the mutinies one has the impression that the turbulent. There were four of them who fought. In 1646: 'One of our pupils a nobleman from Sisteron and a metaphysician. noble and villein alike. before the reform of the public : schools: Thomas Hughes shows us some of these in Tom Brown s Schooldays. after summoning there a great many of the little boys of die fourth and fifth [whose tender years afforded them no protection against this contagion of violence]. to strengthen a right of sanctuary in which he had no great confidence.32O SCHOLASTIC LIFE One of them. At Aix the rector. 17 These duels were common occurrences. unruly population of the schools had finally been tamed. grew less frequent and practically disappeared during the second half of the seventeenth century. Louis Legendre. During the same period. It was at nine o'clock in the morning. another pupil in the conveniently afterwards. 15 the Aix annals. violence was also prevalent among adults: Richelieu too banned duelling. and the Rector informed before President du Chaine' . youths or . very common at the time of the League and the Fronde. and they had spent the night together in the Carthusians' barn. The captain cuffed him but did not dare to snatch the chalice from him. But in England the school records of the eighteenth century still mention cases of violence half-way between ragging and duelling: a pupil called Cottel was expelled laesionem enormem Philippe Ly$ crudeliter et saepessime .in other words for 'bullying'. born in 1655. 16 'there was a great fight between the Philosophy class and the Humanities class. to all its ranks. was killed in a [at Aix]. children. and to all its ages. two of whom were not students. alarmed at their frequency. not one of the older boys. state* boys imprisoned handing them over to the college corrector. and there he pointed out to them the evil in duelling and forbade them 18 to indulge in duelling under pain of severe penalties'. in order to be able to fight more few months before. had taken the chalice and held it in his hand. A just as un-Christian a death. which was decimating his nobility. In France these private battles. humanities and third classes. rhetoric. tells us in his memoirs that one of his brothers died 'from a sword-thrust when he tried to separate two students who were fighting'. respected by the masters.who had a few of the 'Then'. The spirit of violence spread to the whole of society. other like gangs of boys after Villages and trade guilds fought each school.

statesmen and moralists who. 'Now and then/ comes the reply. only too well. I made by the authorities: first the drinking students hide/ *I suppose you often go with them/ says his companion. then they flatly prohibited it.THE ROUGHNESS OF SCHOOLCHILDREN . for all * that he knows his lodgers keeper or 'host'. would rather go with a . But a deeply rooted habit could not be changed immediately for all that. 19 in the neighbouring taverns. were still upholding the medieval traditions of Pantagruelian tippling in the early nineteenth century. the boys simply did their drinking out of school. and college statutes recognized the mug of wine as a forfeit for minor offences and accepted it as a symbol of initiation and brotherhood. after first which he helped rooms. This spirit of violence went with considerable licence with regard to wine and women. if pupils drank hard in their rooms. trying to regulate it in order to avoid not dare to suppress it. a sort of adventurer after the fashion of Villon. apart from the great currents of contemporary manners. The only ones to escape its influence were the little group of churchmen. if I were a woman. it was secretly'. set in Cologne we have a schoolboy saying to another: 'Come with me. their English counterparts. with 'A hundred scholars'. Les fecoliers. schoolboys drank heavily. 32! adults. Montaigne tells us. and if the culprits were caught they knew what to expect. In the sixteenth * its abuse. In the Middle Ages. 'when I have some money/ At Pont-4-Mousson. They codified a custom. or again. to carry four of his punch companions head- back to their In the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries public opinion regarded the student as a libertine and the terror of fathers and husbands. In Schottenius's dialogues. at least in the university colleges. declares with a I hint of envy: As for me. held his own the down his only by pouring waistcoat. at the beginning of the eighteenth century: vino dediti cauponam olent. bibere doctiores quam studere. Ruskin. thanks to a more efficient disci- plinary system. It is to note the interesting they regulated drinking. 20 In the records of the Oratorian at know where college Troyes. the lodging-house all the risks that that implied: 'have caught the pox before boys read Aristotle young! In Nicolas. 21 If French students became more sober in the eighteenth century. were painstakingly building the social structure of the world to come. at his first supper-party at Christ Church. at least in France and Geneva: according to Cordier. a drunken rhetorician killed one of his schoolmates. since they did century. 22 And getting to their Aristotle lesson/ Larivey's comedy. progress in 1524-5. drinking was officially prohibited in school.

but nothing in their everyday life entirely distinguished them from the smaller boys. Between their classes and their pedagogicas or authorized to meet women: this was the lodgings. Here. 28 one hundred and obviously went deeper than mere friendship. (the boy supplemented this hot soup He did not waste time. for the mothers rooms. a girl of fourteen who helped him to force the lock of the nearest hotel. in the school. he's the pearl of mankind. according to certain statutes noted by Rashdall. would think he was referring to the students what A high spirits!' Anyone of Murger's Vie de Bohttne or Flaubert's Education sentimentale. What sweet words. the College de Bourgogne. Francion does not attempt to disguise the fact that he had to wait until he left school before losing his innocence with an ugly old woman he had an inn. big schoolboys perhaps.' . and his association with his host's 'chambermaid'. The 1379 statutes of however pupils to invite any woman. of another of is the characters. 24 Was that expensive? Narbonne College forbade the Ift their colleges the Jesuits demanded the strictest morality: Pere Lainez exhorted his pupils to 'abstain from the pleasures of the flesh'. when absolutely necessary. pending the installation At of a room for this 26 purpose. and even father Paris has then they are none too safe. ah! student than with the most splendid courtiers in France. what gracious manners. except Conversation may be had with other women. in the chapel. and provision was met at century made for a room reserved for this kind of visitor who could not go any further: the parlour. pupils had few opportunities claustration which would henceforth characterize sexual of the beginning of the medieval foundations had never college life and which the statutes been able to impose completely. but the lodgers of Nicolas were ordinary schoolboys. under pain of a fine of five dinner lunch or to respectable. Larivey's complaint years fifty of an inconveniently beautiful daughter: 'It seems to me that been put in such a plight by these libertines and fairground hunters [the students] that chickens have to be kept cooped up. the later. In 1460 at Dijon a labourer's son. sous. It was understood in the seventeenth that women were received only in the chapel.' And yet the time was past when the authorities waited for the third repetition of the offence before expelling the scholar who had introduced a woman into his college or pedagogica. 'women shall not enter the college disciplinary regulations of gentlemen who may ask to see them.322 SCHOLASTIC LIFE student. was lodged in the house vineyard owner 'who provided him with nothing but bed and soup' with his own personal provisions). according to the of 1680. who was studying at the of a Dijon school and was aged about seventeen.

This is why. the library. School Marmontel when late century. 80 In this way lodged in the town from no were measures out. scenes inside the college.' records bear witness.THE ROUGHNESS. clearly separated of French schoolboys a stricter discipline from by the students who enjoyed the same complete freedom as adults. 29 Tavern-keepers. sharpers and students ah prohibitions. In 1602 Crispin de Pas published a series of too. like a cross between a tavern looks in a which place merry gathering and a brothel. it it was forbidden to go out after eight o'clock. on the contrary.vitiorum omnium lacritnos si noveris.pravitatem illius scholae . where men and youths are drinking with women to the sound of music. It seems possible that the regulations of the civil authorities at La Flche were not very strictly observed. Similarly at Tournon. towns with big colleges were Thus at La Fleche in 1625 prostitution subject to special police supervision. Impudentia et arrogantiafamosus. vis poteris 21 continerc-faex colluvies et sentina. was more nor strictly controlled than it was elsewhere: 'Neither women evil and scandalous reputation' could approach . This scene. has something modern about it. as if it were in advance of its time. These longer necessary at Mauriac in the sleeping went to school there. frequented by women of easy virtue. and one might imagine oneself in the courtyard of a twentieth-century boys' school into which a girl had wandered by mistake: 'Our schoolmates hissed and whistled at the girls and women they saw entering the courtyard of our 26 But this strict morality encountered a resistance to which the college. At Troyes. In of morals continued in the England. had a curfew: at nine o'clock at night all Finally these college towns the inhabitants had to lock their doors. was hoped to prevent schoolboys who eighteenth life in the nineteenth century. described by Sorel. at the And at Caen in 1677: Ejectus ob impudentia (admittedly 2* age of eighteen). Here we school. various sports such as ball- but a games. 1 despite see not only the departure for engravings depicting school life. or tennis. vagabonds. the social graces represented by a dancing lesson. in the seventeenth century.in principle girls of within seven miles of the town. OF SCHOOLCHILDREN 323 Henceforth woman was the intruder. in the same period (1612). college as early as the end of the first half of the seventeenth century. the old freedom until the reforms the schools eighteenth century throughout public had become much closer to that quieter. gambling-den at least forbidden to put students up or to proprietors and hotel-keepers were take them in as lodgers: the tavern was still a place of ill repute. already . we find these observations: Sunt suspectis aut pravissimis moribus . soldiers. ridiculed by a masculine community which desired her and excluded her at the same time.

lived more often than not on market every week by relatives or neighbours. we would go and beg for some beer in the beer-houses after supper/ ' Thomas. for the inhabitants fired at as they lit their camp-fires. In England as in 1760 it was possible to write. on the were There eight companions. S1 Schoolboys. The little band of students.' At Neuburg could sing went singing round the town. should be added. at least among the second and third to be given alms/ 'You will be hard put to it to beat me. people enjoyed hearing me talk the Valais dialect. training the it in stealing and youngest boys for begging. and which led a and vagabond life from one town to the next.' says his friend. The bands of scholars exploited this state of mind to the full. that a public-schoolboy France did in Montaigne *had practised more vices by the age of sixteen than anyone else would have heard of by sixty '. is But they also lived by begging. if not among the first. greenhorns and old hands. 'As soon as boys. at sixteenth-century Germany. lived either by thieving in the country. In sixteenth-century Germany there abundant evidence on this point. one for hunting geese. Begging by children was tolerated. Begging occupies an honourable place Mass is over/ says Laurent. and 'those of us greenhorns who gladly gave me something.324 SCHOLASTIC LIFE of the years 183050. to which Thomas Platter belonged. two centuries earlier. 'I shall run so fast to the rich people's door that I shall be. 'As for the youngest of us. scrounging. Thomas Platter tried to earn his living by me aside: I had the deep singing in the streets of Zurich: 'People pushed voice of an old hand/ 82 The practice of begging in childhood was so generally accepted. while the oldest specialized Thomas with Platter. the nearest town. Schoolboys describes in his in their lives. or by the begging of the and the roads on scrounging and taverns: 'When I went greenhorns who went singing in the streets into a tavern. was a very skilful beggar. . Dresden Road: they split up into several groups. for bread and salt/ we were sent to Neumark. in the summer. for my part I did some begging/ 'In the evening I often made five or six journeys to bring our old hands who stayed in school my takings for the day/ Sometimes. even approved by public opinion. another for picking swedes and onions in the fields and gardens. At about the age of nineteen. to beg They had no luck them over the town walls as soon whose voices were beginning to break no longer had any success. that Mosellanus between Leipzig schoolpedology. This is a collection of conversations least in it that day. as we food brought to the local have already said.

' And again: 'Who's coming into the country with me? We'll go begging ifor eggs in accordance with the old custom. what of it?' 'We scholars reap a rich harvest that day. an indispensable part of the scholar's income. and then it is customary for the poor to go from door to door to be given alms. In 1877 in the second class at the Kreuzschule in Dresden: he was fourteen years old. 84 'What are you doing with that stick?' 'Tomorrow we are going to go begging from door to door.' 'Begging for what?' *A little piece of pork or a *I little loaf of rye bread. quote Mosellanus once more: 'Tomorrow is St Martin's Day. St Blaise was the patron saint of children and cattle in Germany. partly out of shame and partly because he does not think the game is worth the candle: 'Is there anything more degrading than hanging around farms for the sake of nine or ten eggs?' 'But how am I to appease my hunger?' 'Here in town you can at least husband your time. roads: they would stop the passers-by groups along the neighbouring them some money in return for a little salt .' Another German dialogue of the same period as Schottenius's describes the same customs at Cologne.' His friend refuses. adds that in his day.THE ROUGHNESS OF SCHOOLCHILDREN 'We shall see/ 38 These alms. children in the priest used to bless go from door to door one October day. In later times it is have been allowed to get very far. Yet he United States cannot have looked like a wretched little beggar-boy. asking travellers he met on the way for alms.' 'Where St Blaise does that custom come from?' in church. 85 he set off on foot. alimentary One may incidentally wonder if begging by children was not tolerated the young Wagner was longer in Germany than anywhere else. I hope to collect enough to get me through the winter without too much hardship. the bread and salt. On his feast day. the pupils used to go out in and force them salt give used to sprinkle over the freshmen. unlikely that he would would be a hitch-hiker.the to . The English historian of Eton 86 sees here something half-way between robbery and mendicity. also had a traditional character I and were associated with customs dating back to ancient times. Nowadays he In England the traditions of the public schools preserve the memory of these begging customs. Massebiau. on the day of the reception and initiation of the new boys or 'freshmen'. in 1878. Even in our own time. At Eton.' 'Well.' The historian of these dialogues. holding a pig's remember seeing a statue of head stuck on the end of a stick. as he had no money. people give us more to eat than usual. First of all. asking for little a relic of customs which once corresponded to die and sweets: presents children needs of living at some distance from their homes. He wanted to go to see his mother in Dresden.

Boys found it an easy matter to play truant from Mathurin Cordier's school. fifty-one pupils in the humanities class left school in the middle of the year. Then it was seen as a sign of indiscipline on the part of the pupils. . it was only with the greatest difficulty that the school authorities got rid of certain habits. Another has lost his breeches. But it would take a long time before greater regularity in school attendance could be achieved. or more often who wanted to escape a punishment. Provided with a better environment. no short. there no mention of begging at all. vagabond customs which were more deeply rooted in other countries. However. The 1598 reformation of the University of Paris would seem to have got the better of it. the inveterate legacy of an easygoing past: thus pupils who were tired of a certain course. At Caen in 1677. these lazy children sit dozing and thinking of their pleasures. tight-fitting clothes. while yet another is looking at his foot which is poking through a hole in his shoe/ 87 The educational reformers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries punished pupils who neglected their appearance: they must have been more successful than the founders of colleges in the late Middle Ages. even in the sixteenth-century texts. an invitation to an unpleasant rivalry between the masters. as is shown by this fragment of dialogue between two friends. if not suppressed. who required their scholars to dress in a way which was no longer fashionable: no shoes with pointed toes. Yet the population of the Paris schools was still extremely free and easy in the sixteenth century.326 SCHOLASTIC LIFE In France. The humanist Buchanan describes a classroom in the early sixteenth century in these is terms: 'While the master shouts himself hoarse. without waiting for it to end. the schoolboy behaved better. one of whom is absconding: 'When are you coming back to school?' 'I don't know. on the other hand. We have already drawn attention to the silence of French documents on the subject of student japes: mendicity would seem to have been linked with japes and rags in student manners. The disciplinary system of the colleges and pedagogicas in France must have limited. Respect in the colleges and even in the pensions or pedagogicas for a stricter system of discipline brought about the disappearance of the bohemian martinet. and from then on war was waged on this floating population. used to change masters without obtaining the permission of either their family or the university. One boy who is absent has paid one of his companions to answer in his place.' 'Why aren't you telling your father?' 'Do you think I care about him?' The records for the seventeenth century still reveal a goodly number of premature departures without permission. For a long time this was regarded as a right they possessed.

Here we can see links whose importance we can only guess at. pigerritnus antefinem diebus obfuit sine causa Sine causa 15 antefinem diebus agens a domi -15 cum esset in urbe.and men. both of whom were the heirs of a time when was limited not even to the cleric but to the elegance of speech and dress moral new adult. A canon of Dijon. obfuit. Worthy citizens with landed property mistrusted all equally. the eighteenth century the schoolboy had been more or less tamed. who characters in Larivey's comedy likens certain schoolboys to the outsiders live on the fringe of civilized society: 'I do not regard them as schoolboys but . and set him apart: the concept of the well-bred child. which in modern French slang denotes an adult. a meaning who stays away from school.as if he were speaking of a gang of thugs. A concept was to distinguish the child. where the word 'truant' normally refers to a child scholastic Latin trutanus ('vagabond'). and which disappeared only in the nineteenth century with die spread of the boarding-school system or the extension of the child's stay at home.THE ROUGHNESS OF SCHOOLCHILDREN some because they 327 refused to be punished (ejectus media anno quod debitas families had sent for them. The very word from the truand. seu effugit et malus. living without law and without appetite' 'free men' meant something like tramps or truands. plague in English. valets incompatible with our ideas of childhood barely tolerate them in adults in the lower sixteenth and seventeenth same picaresque world as centuries. for punishments were inflicted for these unauthorized absences. In the sign soldiers. Saepe abiit. Obiit proprio motu (at the age of fifteen). It still retains this scholars. or at courtly least the schoolboy. people situated schoolboys in the and beggars.these reader will have been surprised as by the unseemliness of manners: they strike us and early adolescence. speaking of the gilded youth of the town (which included the son of the President of the High Court) and of its departure in 1592 'to go to the Universities of the Law at Toulouse'. as the and we of a mental age the wrong side of maturity. called it vermin: 'We are well rid of that 88 One of the vermin' . . which must have been frequent. The modern . subire non voluerit)> others because their paenas to others them unable more. classes. It needed the pressure of the pedagogues to separate the schoolboy from the bohemian adult. comes as free word applied chiefly to vagabond school of the society in the past. which lasted as long as the daydespite certain habits of independence By school system or the custom of living in lodgings. between scholastic terminology and popular slang. simply on an impulse: support any being ne paenas absentiae daret.

The old medieval unruliness was abandoned first the hooligan. thanks to the public schools. the of all by mark of children. In France this well-bred child litde bourgeois. it was formed in the sevenknow that it was the product of the We reforming opinions of an elite of thinkers and moralists who occupied high positions in Church or State. last of all by the lower last classes : today it remains heir of the old vagabonds.328 It SCHOLASTIC LIFE teenth century. . scarcely existed in the sixteenth century. and which a threatened aristoistics of the lower classes. to defend itself against the progress of democracy. of the beggars and outlaws. a social type unknown before the nineteenth century. In cracy would create. The well-bred child would be preserved from the roughness and immorality which would become the special character- would be the he would be the England gentleman.

was centuries 3*9 . We find the educational questions. which was widely held. and without any thought of morality or education. the child was immediately absorbed into the world of adults this concept of a brief childhood lasted for a long time in the lower classes. to the fifteenth-century reformers of the University of Paris.* CONCLUSION SCHOOL AND THE DURATION OF CHILDHOOD WE held to have studied the beginnings and development of two views of childhood. funny little creature with whom people played affectionately but with liberty. According to the first. the child would have remained simply the poupart or bambino. priests and moralists. our teenth century and indeed already in the late eighteenth century by conscription and later by military service. never was distinguished in the nineclearly defined under the ancien regime. and consequently of the duty of adults to safeguard the former and strengthen the latter. heirs of a tradition going back to Gerson. obsessed with of both the modern concept of little childhood and the modern concept of schooling. Childhood was extended beyond the years when the man still walked on a leading-string* or spoke his 'jargon'. duced between the period of the robe with a collar and the period of the * recognized adult: the stage of the school. The moralists and pedagogues of the seventeenth century. The schoolboy or scholar or student -the terms were used interchangeably until the nineteenth century of the sixteenth. if not indeed with licence. f children were creatures to~be coddled* and childhood was last hardly beyond infancy. But for their influence. to the founders of colleges in the late Middle Ages. thus adolescence. at the origins same men. Once he had passed the age of five or seven. when an intermediary rare and henceforth more and more common. the second. which expressed the realization of the innocence and the weakness of childhood. : succeeded in imposing their considered concept of a long childhood thanks to the success of the educational institutions and practices which ( they guided and supervised. in The age groups societies are organized around institutions. was introhitherto stage. was confined for a long time to a small minority of lawyers. the sweet. of the college. seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was to a what the conscript of the nineteenth and twentieth childhood long to adolescence.

Nothing it did not regard the education of children as Latin school for this function of moral and medieval the predisposed it social education. Gerson^ the organizers of the colleges and . spreading education over the whole value to childhood or youth. young or old' as Michault's Doctrinal put it. the practice under and to recall. without giving special As a result they exerted only a slight influence on die structure of the historians. and how the various ages division into We separate regular remained mixed up within each class. remained in school Until the eighteenth century at least. and their role has been grossly exaggerated by literary fifteenth of the reformers century. children. to remember it century for the oldest pedagogues. It is important to note that the humanists of the Renaissance shared it with their enemies. common parlance. they confused education with culture. to say that someone was of school age did not necesthat that person was a child. That which a to mean the limit beyond he pupil is how we must forget advice given interpret the as sets husband Sancho off by Theresa Panza to her on an expedition with Don Quixote: 'Do not me or your children. it is Remember that our Sanchico is is already fifteen and that is time for him to go to school if it agreed that his uncle the priest 1 a churchman of him/ People went going to make of looking to school when they could. and cksses. Like the pedagogues of the Middle Ages. as of technical school for the instruction of clerics. contrary after the Revolution. This indifference shown by the school to the education of children was not characteristic simply of old-fashioned conservatives. on at of keeping old pupils disappear for good the nineteenth century. until not would It school. the ancien regime to condemn in order it. the traditional schoolmen. the magisterial rostrum. Thus it welcomed equally and indifferently at the foot of adults. for school age could also be taken sarily mean had small hope of success. a great deal of this mentality have seen how tardy was the life and manners. necessity. * was a sort youths.330 SCHOLASTIC this LIFE not immediately demographic function of the school was for a long time the school the On a contrary. a span of human life. because its essential aim. throughout arthings in the remain would of it traces Sufficient eighteenth influences. This way in seventeenth the spite of continued century. recognized remained indifferent to the separation and distinction of the ages. school. very early or very late. The medieval school was not intended for children: However. the precocious and the backward. The real innovators were the scholastic Cardinal d'Estouteville. with children between ten and In thirteen sitting next to adolescents between fifteen and twenty.

tells this anecdote: *Despraux has been with Gourville to see M. GfTTeonard points out. the old habits of precocity remained Ages. it remained the monopoly of one sex. "I be very good when it reaches its majority. what do you think of "Your Royal Highness. I have taken a husband five times at the church porch. WitOicm we see the appearance of an awareness of the special nature of childhood. Because the oldest to look at his le Prince. many years passed before it became an institution specially intended for children. At the end of Louis XTV's Mme reign there were fourteen-year-old lieutenants in the army. it disprecocity in the eighteenth century among the officers. or who spent only one Middle or two years there. This. was decidedly interested in military matters. thanks to God whose life is eternal. and finally and above all the^uitSj the Oratorians and the Jansenists in the seventeenth century. Chevert joined the army at the age of eleven. 8 him soldier in it isn't eighteen. and the desire to devise a method suited to that psychology." said Despr&mx. le Prince. Since the age of twelve.precocity. for a very long time. -birth. think it will army. went school. by Women The result was that in their lives the habits of precocity and a brief childhood remained unchanged from the Middle Ages to the seventeenth century. who entered the appeared a more or less complete schooling. this for a long time in the rank and file. The college under the ancien regime thus retained characteristics of its ancestor. avoided the academy. Not everybody. E. who. But at the end of the sixteenth ' .SCHOOL AND DERATION OF CHILDHOOD 33! pedagogicas. and went straight into active service in the army.' Thus one of Chaucer's wometi in the fourteenth century."' men in the seventeenth century. If schooling in the seventeenth century was not yet the monopoly of were excluded one class. "Well.* de Svigne.was also to be found in the ranks. In her famous account of Turenne's death in 1675 the Mar&hal of his de Svigne mentions the presence beside fourteen-year-old nephew. the Latin cathedral school. schooling did not necessarily go with good Many young nobles ignored the college. as Mme M. le Prince sent it?" asked M. by any means. In the seventeenth century. to a college or even to a as in the little Among those who never went to a college. The concept of a very short childhood held good. knowledge of chi!4 psychology. sometimes prolonged after army only to both officers and Common would continue training in special military schools.

There was talk of marrying off her other sister. Moreover. and where they performed pious exercises and were given exclusively religious instruction. . for not resisting a caress which someone gave her*. . had herself been married at the age of fourteen. The person who wrote these lines.' They the habit of entrusting girls to convents which were not intended for education. and this 'It is considered perfectly permissible girls! to the guidance of ignorant or indiscreet girls willy-nilly mothers. girls little women: a precocity due in part to an upbringing which already in life like grown-ups. Apart from education. . and only the little girl's a stop to this project. the little girl who. Catherine Lemaltre. shows the high opinion people have of of books. nothing. a girl of twenty. How many How much money is spent on the printing on methods of teaching foreign languages. and in shaping and joining letters of the were virtually illiterate. Fenelon complains of this ignorance He admits that considerable trouble is taken over boys: 'The greatest domestic apprenticeship. was a child of six*. on choosing to professors 1 . Anne. the end of the century provide a model institution of a At Mme de Maintenon's Saint-Cyr would for girls. But the abandon girl see women of wit and manners unable to pronounce what they read: . we find Catherine Marion marrying Antoine Arnauld at the age And she was sufficiently mistress of the house to give 'a slap to first chambermaid.332 century SCHOLASTIC LIFE o thirteen. at the age of twelve. but he even put off his marriage until he had seen the entry into religion of the his marriage to my youngest of the family. 'At the age of taught girls to behave very early ten. who this work of a wife and mother. when sister Anne was being discussed. The suitor was in no hurry religious vocation put her and was fond of the family for. In families in the deliberately made her do this to train her since that was to be her station in life/ no girls were given virtually where the boys went to college. that little girl's mind was so developed that she ran the whole house for Mme Arnauld. It is shameful but common to 'Teach a the education of boys. modern type who entered it between the ages of seven and twelve and left when they were about . At the most an were engagement of four to six years. to ky experts have taken pains masters and colleges there are! down rules in this respect. People got into alphabet when writing. so Catherine Lemaitre tells us. They are even more at fault in their spelling. on scientific research. either they hesitate or they read in a sing-song voice . they learned as a general phenomenon. 'not only did he delay marrying until she [Anne] had made her profession. by the age often.' 4 The result was that women could scarcely read and write: to read and write correctly.

The authorities were led to increase the hitherto restricted extended from the colleges lodged. in the Jesuits' ratio. but it tended to force parents ttf respect the complete school cycle. Discipline to the private pensions where the schoolboys of The numbers of boarders. the college tended to devote itself essentially to the education of youth. but it would operate with a time-lag of about two centuries. From the fifteenth century on. organic discithe violence of an authority regarded with scant pline. Complaints about the little co-educational schools and the the Ursulines indicate a general tendency in favour of feminine of teaching education. and in the abundant pedagogical literature of Port- Royal. The need for discipline was recognized: a steady. This discipline character foreshadowing not only took the form of better supervision inside school. and especially in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The lawyers knew that called for a strong hand. religious normale.but it would be comparatively long (though not as long as in the Middle Ages). spirit it was not so much an instrument of coercion as an instrument of moral and it was adopted not only for its efficiency. because it was the necessary condition of work in common. despite the persistence of the medieval attitude of indifference to age. was gradually discipline. night and day alike. The essential difference between the medieval school and the college lies modern in the introduction itself.SCHOOL AND DURATION OF CHILDHO9D 6 333 twenty. little seminary. In spite of the survival of certain archaic features. very different from the unruly society under their jurisdiction respect.that is to say it admittedly become a matter for children encroach as in the Middle Ages or the Renaissance on would no longer . and which we recognize today. It originated in ecclesiastical or religious discipline. and constantly in operation. hole or college the ancien regime a modern would give the college under discipline the present-day secondary school. though generally without any masters tended to subject the schoolboy to an ever stricter control in which parents. spiritual improvement. and the ideal institution of the nineteenth century would be a boarding-school. but also because of its intrinsic moral and ascetic value. The pedagogues would at least in theory. increasingly came to see the education. was adapt it to a system of supervising children which. whether lycee. but school discipline was born of a very different and tradition. Schooling would and youths . from the end of the seventeenth best conditions for a good century on. and sometimes to the town success in practice. principles which were found. People would no longer be content with spending a adult life . drawing its inspiration from the psychological in Cordier.

until the eighteenth century. The poor schools were invaded by children of the lower middle class. The school population. would have varied according to the vocation. The child would be subjected for the duration of his schooling to an increasingly strict and effective Discipline. True. and this discipline separated the child liberty entire duration enjoyed by the adult. which resulted in the foundation of the Brothers of the CKristian Schools. including two or three years of philosophy corresponding to the modern at stopped of the seventeenth century: the colleges and Latin schools spread a circular network around a big college providing a full course of tuition. both for impoverished or hurried nobles and for humble folk anxious to give their children a smattering of Latin. and artisans and peasants who did. by colleges Things could have developed in such a way that the French educational system would have been based on a single school: after all. and the density of this network diminished towards the periphery. on the other hand. artisans or soldiers. the rest. That was in fact the situation about the middle . the ancien regime knew only one school. in accordance with immemorial custom. But. of the school On the one hand there was the school population. went straight into adult life as soon as they could walk and talk. would have earlier stage. as the lower classes in the little artisans and were peasants. as closely as it The movement does today to the contour of the of educational apostleship in the late seven- teenth century. the length of the school cycle. and they could be worse educated. This division did not correspond to social conditions. as we have seen. secondary and higher. The school cycle at the end of the eighteenth century was fairly similar to that in the nineteenth century: four or five years at least. at a time when the college gave almost all the types of instruction which we nowadays label primary. Girls of good family were no better educated than girls of the lower classes. who suffered it from the Thus childhood was extended by almost the cycle. lawyers and churchmen. did not correspond nearly social classes. there were nobles who never went to school.334 year or SCHOLASTIC LIFE two at school as was often still the practice in the early seventeenth century. only lawyers and churchmen would have completed the full course. was not confined to the poor. for girls of the people sometimes learnt to 'write to perfection* as a trade. on the other there were those who. School attendance would have extended socially and geographically. It consisted of a host of schools which contained only the lower classes of the school an university course. the nucleus of the school population consisted of future burgesses.

Richelieu. these precursors. But in the eighteenth century their prejudice was adopted by those enlightened ' ' . nor intend to follow it to the end. despite their halt eminent reputations. Perhaps one of the reasons for this social specialization is in fact to be found in the technical requirements of a long education. of affairs did not last. It was they. Secondary education is a long business. could neither follow through. and Colbert after him. of children in special institutions devised for that education systematic were disturbed at the extent of their soon some of them purpose. and in both France and England followed the two it needed the social revolutions which to prolong it. demand the life. on account of life. accept very game for the rules of an enclosed community. their parents' profession. whether it is a school or a religious body. or their spread into the country. This 335 may seem social diversity of the practice differed less Consequently the basic attitudes. once it was firmly established as part of possible to tolerate the coexistence of not determined pupils right from the start to go on to the to all the rules of the end. Very success . did not differ much more. reason and learning.a sociological success of which they were not always aware. Once the long cycle had been was no longer any room for those who. talked to deaf ears: they could do nothing to the progress of the colleges. according surprising many features of everyday life. But there was another cause of this evolution: the action of those men of authority. as we have pointed out. like when one considers the rigidity and under the ancien regime: educational hierarchy to rank than according to function. expressed fears of an overabundance of intellectuals and a shortage of manual labour: an old theme which generations of middle-class conservatives have handed down to our own day. Primary education remained a short affair for a very long time. and after the eighteenth century the was replaced by a dual educational system in which each This state single school branch corresponds not to an age group. or their financial it circumthrough.SCHOOL AND DURATION OF CHILDHOpD cycle. it World Wars modern was no longer who were same total established. abandonment as gambling. who wanted to found a model academy in the Utopian city he intended to build at Richelieu. In the seventeenth century. there their station in stances. who realized the and the moral and social importance of the special nature of childhood. but to a social class: the Iyc6e or the college for the middle class (secondary and the school for education) the lower class (primary education). whom we have already found at the origin of all the great changes in manners between the Middle Ages and modern times.

We know too that the concept of childhood found its expression in these same circles of enlightened bourgeois Greuze and read mile and Pamela. Some of them. in this respect. There accordingly a remarkable synchronism between the modern age group and the social group: both originated at the same time.336 people SCHOLASTIC LIFE respects appear as their successors. But the old ways of life who most modern admired have survived almost until the present day in the lower classes. eighteenth century. under the influence of the for child labour in the textile industry. and to condemn the lower classes to an inferior. type dorcet. clerics or who in many intellectuals could have dreamt of before. exclusively practical. these men of the to their numbers and their connections.to confine to a single social class the privilege of the long classical education. influence public opinion to an extent which no group ofjurists.the middle class. remained faithful to the idea as But most of them proposed - soon as the Jesuits of instruction. may even ask ourselves whether. had been expelled . such as Con- of universal education open to all. which have not been subjected for so long a period to the influence of the school. in the late and in the same milieu . . there was not a retrogression first half of the nineteenth century. The whole complexion of life was changed by is the differences in the educational treatment of the middle-class and the lower-class child. could thanks Enlightenment. Child labour retained this characteristic of medieval society: the precocity of the entry into adult We during the demand life.



One of the most crafts linked we have had We know that the Middle ideas of symbols Ages in the West were fond of linking by means behind external hidden whose secret connections. It continued and even developed in the Middle Ages. It is as if a man's private life were first may seem debatable whether one IT of all and above all his trade. However. of such scenes in the mortuary iconography of Roman Africa. It is significant that it was their craft or trade which for a long time struck people as their foremost activity. but without deforming the truth. seeing that the distinction between sacred and profane was so slight.PICTURES OF THE FAMILY can speak of a profane iconography Middle Ages before the fourteenth century. 2 The theme consequently dates back far into the past. if not die complete absence. the result is a sort of academic art without any roots in everyday life. The archaeologists have been struck by the rarity. To use an anachronistic expression. The importance accorded to the trade or craft in medieval iconography is a sign of the sentimental value that was put on it. even if the latter could accept it. in the cathedral calendars. 339 . this was a point of view that was linked with the mortuary cult of the GalloRoman epoch. whose importance 8 occasion to recognize in connection with the 'ages of life'. even if he liked it. The archaeologists have shown us that the Gauls in the Roman era were fond of depicting scenes of their working life on their mortuary bas1 reliefs. that the 'profane* iconography of the Middle Ages consists above all of this subject of crafts. broadly speaking. among the profane contributions is one theme whose frequency and popularity are highly significant: the theme of tradesuancL crafts (metiers). The man of today would not choose his trade. appearances. No doubt this seems perfectly natural to modern historians. one may say. This liking for the subject of trades and crafts is to be found nowhere else. and with the social and learned concept of the world in the Middle Ages. popular representations of trades and them with that other theme. But have they asked themselves how many people today would prefer to forget their trade and would choose to leave some other image of themselves ? People have tried in vain to inject a little lyricism into die functional aspects of contemporary life. the seasons. to propose in the as a subject for artists.

but the pictures of leisure moments vary between peasant and noble. board. only person warming round the fire. while the peasant is still shivering outside in the is no sitting snow-covered yard. is warming his hands and feet. works and days. except that sometimes a young shown standing behind his master who is eating at table. Grimani). . summer's day (Hennessy. They linked the various crafts to the seasons. as on the walls of Senlis. at Reims. The traditional established in the twelfth century. Her husband brings her back in a wheelbarrow with the wine-flask she has brought him. She is also shown accompanying the knights in the chase. It is the peasants who are shown working. as they did the ages of life or the elements. In the Hours of the Due de Berry. in Paris. the calendars of the cathedrals and the books of hours. and her lover in a walled garden (Charles d'Angouleme). and pigs. the period of rest. She takes drinks to the harvesters as they rest on a hot woman Angoul&ne). On the other. in the month of February. at Amiens. the lady of courtly love or the mistress o the house. The peasant the men with fields in the works She more frequently. the great tasks of the countryman: hay. This is the significance of the calendars in stone and glass. very iconography of the twelve months of the year was much as we can find it at Saint- Denis. but beside at her spinning-wheel (Charles is quietly working of the court of love: the lady the theme In April appears d'Angoul&ne). at Chartres. corn. (Berry. sitting in front of the hearth. the peasant Paris or Amiens. at Senlis. First of all we see woman appear. house are already of the women Three himself. revealing significant tendencies as it develops. The knights and . In any case it is an evocation of the man is youth taking part in the Maytime festivities. On the one hand. February belongs to the villein who is shown coming in from gathering wood and peasant resting in die midst hurriedly sitting down of flowers or a by the fire. etc. wine and the vineyards. the longer. May is either a young noble setting off for the chase and getting his falcon ready. . We see this iconography evolving in the books of hours until the sixteenth century. The person depicted is always a man. that of the winter and the spring.340 they wished to THE FAMILY emphasize. Elsewhere the scene shows a winter evening at home: the man. In these scenes is valet (as at Saint-Denis) always alone. But even the noble lady does not remain the idle and somewhat imaginary heroine of the April his him wife gardens or the horsewoman of the Maytime festivities: she also superin- recurs tends the work in the April garden (Turin). never a woman . seen sitting at a groaning January (Twelfth Night) belongs to the noble.

strictly speaking. the more their work the family among peasants. and the the imaginary couple of courtly love. In the fifteenth being of rustic inspiration. in the day's work. conversation. These are not. At the same time the street appears in the calendars. setting of work protected tennis. But the artist feels the need to no longer simply of the men and women depict the collaboration of the married couple. the nobles mingle with the peasants and wine-harvesters (as in the The further cherry-picking scene in the Turin Hours). often especially in the sixteenth century. The artists. one finds the lord's and joining in their games. Just the lady of the Turin Book of Hours busied herself with her garden. the calendar scenes. family scenes: the children are still missing in the fifteenth century. professional activity. But here it is taking place in the street. was not playing of private life. the street was the setting for commercial and entertainments as also for gossiping. is The man no longer alone. absent-minded housewives: here was to recur all the we recognize the theme of the little pickpockets which way through picaresque genre-painting in the seven- looking teenth century. True. Wife couple and family join in the man's work and live beside him. Outside private life. As in modern Arab towns.PICTURES Of THE FAMILY ladies are as 341 no longer isolated in the noble pleasures of April or May. 4 Another scene in the same calendar shows the return from the market: a woman has stopped to talk to her neighbour who is out of the window. However. . and the neighbours have come to their doors to watch. some men are sitting resting on a bench. familiar the life. indoors or out in the fields. The street was it takes on a paralready a familiar theme in medieval iconography: in the admirable views of the bridges of ticularly expressive animation Paris in the thirteenth-century manuscript of the life of St Denis. neglected the street took its place in the calendars. like the Arab street today. and games. Elsewhere (the calendar of the Hours of Adelaide de Savoie) we are at the market: some little street-arabs are cutting the purse-strings of busy. November and December traditional sacrifice in the Turin Hours are illustrated by the of the pig. There are a great rustic scenes in many sixteenth-century tapestries showing these their children are picking grapes is which the masters and or supervising the corn-harvest. with a hitherto unknown attention to homely details. it was an extension of that opposed to the intimacy and social relations. of the house. the months of century. which for a long time was ignored by artists. it for a long time. private of the village wrestling and by a screen. everything happened in the street. supervising one goes in time. and watching the boys medieval This street.

a new character came on the scene in the calendars: the child. if not more. traditional games: the bean-game on Twelfth Night. they having their fling: one can sense the artist's liking for them. The calendar of the Hours of Adelaide de Savoie consists chiefly of a description of a wide variety of games. in the same manuscript they are depicted snowballing one another. which had become a common subject in the iconography of the time: the child piddling through the open door. between parishes. games common to all. wrestling. In the fields. Finally. They can also be caught sight of at the market in the Hours of Adelaide de Savoie. football. and swimming (Grimani). In the last Flemish heckling preacher being of the sixteenth are manuscripts century. games invaded the calendar scenes: knightly games such as tournaments (Turin. water-jousting. It may well be that this private life took place as much in the street as in the house. putto In these Hours of Hennessy and Grimani. And the child is in the same position as the Manneken-Pis. before pursuing it into the house. games of skill.342 THE FAMILY in their comparatively tardy attempts at depicting private life. hockey. a musical boating party (Hennessy). between age groups. However. and festival pastimes such as dancing round the maypole. the children are shown skating and aping the grown-ups' tournaments (one of the children is .witness the picture of St John the Baptist in the Muse des Augustins at Toulouse (a picture which used to hang in 6 the chapel of the High Court of the town). with the peasant hurrying home to join his womenfolk by the fire. they have added another figure: the child. Together with the street. parlour games. dancing on May Day. or a certain of Titian's. Hennessy). the in church and thrown out. snowballing. would begin by capturing it in the street. especially in the Miracles de Notre-Dame. in the January scene which I have described above. The calendars of Hennessy's and Grimani's Hours have imitated fairly closely the snow-covered village in the Tr&s Riches Heures du Due de Berry. This theme of the Manneken-Pis was to be found everywhere . there are no children to be seen with the women. as if that ancient form of iconography had been reluctant to accept this latecomer. But he had remained absent from the calendars. In other manuscripts we are shown a cross-bow contest (Hennessy). as from the sixteenth centujy. between neighbours. We know that in those days games were not simply pastimes but a form of participation in the community or the group: games were played between members of a 6 family. He was already frequently depicted in the iconography of the sixteenth century. Only a few are shown waiting at table during the January banquets.

riding a barrel instead of a horse . and plifies this type: naked man and a fully-dressed peasant girl playing the flute. and another is kneeling to take something is at once a family portrait. This it did by merging with the symbolism of another traditional allegory: the ages of life. which thousands were painted . of a kind of in this period in the Netherlands. in the course of the sixteenth century. It is illustrated by a wood- cut depicting neither the steps of the ages nor the three or four ages shown separately. but two of them of form in die survived of the two. on On in the form of a child. 7 new These successive pictures of the months of the year therefore introduced characters: the woman. A Titian painting exemin the foreground a it shows two sleeping putti. However.and an old man. toutes choses. and the public opinion remained faithful to an individualistic concept of the which separately. The artists. ages: the same individual was depicted at the various stages of his destiny. this iconography of the months underwent a final transformation of great significance for our subject: it took on a family character. the three or four ages of life are depicted century. Nobody thought of bringing them together within a single family whose different generations would symbolize the ages of life.and skating. but simply a family gathering. In the course of the sixteenth century. the more representing the ages of life. In the Hortulus anitnae. and in the in his hands. the neighbours and friends. for familiar if not yet precisely 'family* life. Italy. a new idea had the duration of life by the hierarchy of the appeared which symbolized occasion to quote Le Grand Proprittaire de had have We already family.PICTURES OF THE FAMILY 343 supposed to be the young Charles the Fifth). they are playing at courts of love and also at tournaments . 8 background a bent old man who sits with a death's-head The same subject would be treated by Van Dyck in the seventeenth 9 In these compositions. and finally the child. the old medieval text translated into French and printed in I556. There were several ways of took the lead: one. engravings and showed the popular ages going down the steps of a pyramid rising from birth to maturity.often a couple . one of his sons is standing on his is left. his father This giving to him. The father is sitting with a little child on his knees. some representation of the three ages of life adolescents . they expressed. in accordance with the iconographic tradition. 10 The sixth book deals with the ages. The great painters scorned to copy the other hand they frequently adopted the this naive composition. His wife is standing on his right. In the Munich Hours they are having a snowball fight. and then to old age and death. And the child was associated with a hitherto unknown desire for homeliness.

birds and balls: more commonplace themes. with one additional detail which is the servants beside the parents. but here in the context new. and a family subject such as painters and engravers would produce in large numbers in die seventeenth century. that of premature death. Then the couple are bed. but more surprising in view of the 12 precocity of the subject. It is It was not entirely unknown in the late Middle Ages. In the picture for July we see the family gathered as in the together contemporary engraving of Le Grand Propri&taire. This is already the family portrait such as that in Le Grand Propri&aire. for the child has died. iconographic The story of the marriage begins as the story of a family but ends with a different theme. The third face shows the moment when one of the two rite holds a which has survived in the entitled to kiss. At the Musee Saint-Raimond at Toulouse. for coins played a part in the marital and at the baptismal customs. they are lying naked in the marriage born the father and mother hold between them. but themes which enable capital in its us to place the marriage context. This theme was destined to achieve the most extraordinary popularity. in swaddling-clothes. in the The life -a eight sides of this capital tell a story familiar theme in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. the father is praying. .a Oriental liturgy. as the treated in a remarkable fashion on a capital. of a family. Each parent is holding the child by a shoulder and a hand. Toesca puts it at the end of the fourteenth century. whom wrapped people. known n loggias of the ducal palace in Venice. Then the young woman is dressed in a formal dress on which little metal discs have been sewn: ornaments First we perhaps. the story takes a dramatic turn: the family is in mourning. Their the time of their engagement and clothes look simpler than at wedding they have become serious : own who dress severely or in an old-fashioned style. not without importance: the presence of The father and mother are in the middle. Venturi dates it about 1424 . who pose for their portrait. A child is the fourth face. which seems more probable in view of the style and dress. On wedding ceremony crown over the other's head . France and Germany. which is something have the engagement. he is stretched out on his bed with his hands folded. one can see the fragments of a calendar which the costumes enable us to place in the second half of the sixteenth century. The seventh face brings together the whole family. Other capitals near this one are adorned with naked putti playing with fruit. But with the eighth face. or possibly coins. illustrating the fragility of marriage capital.344 THE FAMILY England. The mother is wiping away her tears with one hand and touching the child's arm with the other.

PICTURES QP THE FAMILY 345 The father is holding his son by the hand and the mother her daughter. surrounded by a united family and doubtless leaving them a well-managed a new concept: the concept of the family. for the sexes are separated as in the . The last sacraments have been brought to him.the men. sickness. especially in the tapestries of the period. but the painter has chosen to depict not the actual harvesting but the delivery of the harvest to the master. capital in the Palace of the Doges. August remains the month of die harvest. fathers portraits of donors and sons. The parents and their children are at table. the next generation which will continue the family. Behind her. the beloved child. the death of the good man. His wife is kneeling at the foot of the bed. a young woman on her knees is weeping. another traditional theme. of a type to be found today. with a is traditional iconography. The calendar illustrates . But that death takes too soon. a task which he would not in any way consider humiliating. Thus this calendar likens the succession of the months of the year to that of the ages of life. October: the family meal. commonplace which belongs to a December: the whole family is gathered together in the bedroom around the bed in which the father is dying. the women. Things follow a father more estate. In the background we can see a little child: no doubt the grandson. and also that of the patriarch in the midst of his family. This scene is connected common in the sixteenth with an iconography which was very century. but it depicts the ages of life in the form of the story of a family: the youth of its founders. The doctor. their maturity with their children. natural course: it is the who dies at the end of a full life. mothers and daughters. The valet is standing on the men's side. on the other. perched on a high chair which brings him up to the made for children of his age. A young man is standing with a taper in his hand. November: the father is old and ill. possibly a relative given the task of waiting at table. so ill that the doctor has been called in. where country gentlemen are shown supervising their peasants or joining in their games. the maidservant on the women's. gesture examining the urinal. and a death which is both the good death. The story on this calendar begins like that of the family on the marriage it is not the son. old age. who has some money in his hand and is about to give it to the peasants. on one side. A a napkin is serving the meal: possibly with boy smallest child is The still level of the table: a chair specially a valet.

they hesitate. they become increasingly common. The gospel-writer. At first he is rare. the army is encamped round the tent in which the King is resting. or lying in bed. armies manoeuvre. accompany tumblers or pilgrims along the road. 13 In the illustrations to the text of Terence in the Palace of and spinning in their rooms with are not always by themselves. We We fourteenth century. open-air scenes became more common and more significant as a result of the invention of perspective and the fashion for landscape painting: a lady receives her knight in a walled garden. The theme of death appears too The theme of child-birth makes : death in the bedchamber. but finally he in a is shown room where there are shelves lined with books : we have come from the gospel-writer to the author in his room.346 THE FAMILY The appearance of the theme of the family in the iconography of the months was not an isolated incident. with the dying The growing practice of fighting for his life. When. the Doges. or in the open air. knights meet in tournaments. the and artists set out to illustrate particular anecdotes incidents. The profane iconography of the Middle Ages is an open-air iconography. Maidservants. We go over bridges into these towns. the chase passes through fields and forests. placed in front of an ordinary ornamental curtain. women working We its appearance. and heavily laden boats sailing downsee games being played. becomes a scribe it his desk. rooms corresponds to a depicting man new . interior scenes are therefore extremely But from that century on. freed from Romano-Byzantine symbolism. Love scenes and conversations are henceforth set in the enclosed space of a room. passing stalls at which goldsmiths are working. or in public places such as churches. with a quill and an erasing-knife in his hand. In Gothic art. and their naivety turns into clumsiness: they never achieve anything like the virtuosity of the anecdotal painters of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. armies lay siege to cities. in the thirteenth or stream. Before the fifteenth century. We see wafer-vendors passing by. scenes depicted by artists were set either in an indeterminate space. princes enter and leave fortified towns to the acclamations of the people and burgesses. ladies meet to bathe in a garden pool. to Froissart writing a dedication in a book. A massive evolution was to carry the whole iconography of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in this direction. hitherto placed in a timeless setting. there are their maidservants. old women and midwives shown bustling round St Anne's bed. the birth of the Virgin are the providing pretext. To begin with. shown kitchens and inn rooms. still in the open air.

religious family: . in the sixteenth and above particularly in Western painting and engraving all in the seventeenth century: Dutch and Flemish painting and French inconsistent engraving show the extraordinary strength of this hitherto or neglected concept. fifteenth in the course of the century. emotional tendency henceforth directed towards the intimacy of private Exterior scenes do not disappear . until the great aesthetic revolution which banishes the subject painting from art. There is no counting the number of group-paintings and seventeenth centuries. the female saint on the of assumed by the devotion to patron saints. they bring along the whole are died have dead: wives and children who given a place living and the the other the on the one side are the man and his sons. OP THE FAMILY 347 life. If we look through collections of prints and paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Private life. typify genre painting during the whole of thrust into the background in the Middle Ages. gouaches and lasts through the nineteenth century eighteenth century in painting. however. This movement being struck by the positive flood of pictures in the first half of the seventeenth century in is at its painting height in France. in the world of the down-and-outs. the male saint on the women's. In France it continues during the second half of the seventeenth gories: that and painted fans. More often than not it is the men's reduced to the patron saints of the parents. the alone. and they its existence. we cannot help of families. each with the daughters of her bed. Soon. but during the whole century and beyond in Holland. with family portraits beginning of some floor donors who have themselves depicted on the ground at first. can see these a family gathered together. This copious illustration of private life can be divided into two cate- of drinking and whoring on the fringe of society. that of jamily Hfe.a category which does not concern us here .PICTURES. in the sixteenth But most of them show Some are portraits of guilds and corporations. in taverns and bivouacs. who appear as protectors a of family here we can see a sign of a private devotion the illustration people. in the We picture. They are discreet religious scene. reappears in the century in engravings. with gypsies shady and vagabonds . On wife or wives. invades iconography. their of family.they develop into the landscape but interior scenes become more common and more original. It is worth noting importance side.and its other face. and as a sign of their piety. The storey occupied by the donors spreads at the same time as it fills scene which soon becomes to the detriment of the with an and almost an hors-d'oeuvre.

who died in 1596. is little On . the stained-glass windows of the Montmorency family at Montfort- L'Amaury. that of Sir Richard for Pecksall. surrounded by their eight daughters. are now in the regimental museums of Germany and Germanspeaking Switzerland. an older type of gift. The family portrait is also a sort of ex-voto. it strikes us as a cheaper form of the donor's stained-glass window. assassinated in 1628. The Norrises (1601) are kneeling in the midst of their six sons. often naive and clumsy. or the pictures hung as ex-votos on the pillars and walls of German churches (several are still in position in the churches of Niirnberg). who died in 1586. Many other paintings. accident or illness. 15 At Holkham. gathered around the deceased: the children. shown lying side by side.his figures either side of the recumbent statue of Margaret Stuart. This phase of the portrait of donors and their families can be illustrated with countless examples from the sixteenth century: for instance. her husband watches. husband and wife are represented as recumbent figures in the midst of their children. Many English tombs of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries show the whole family the insistence in bas-relief or in the round. In 1634 the Duchess of Buckingham had a tomb erected for her husband. but the miraculous event which has saved an individual or a member of a family from shipwreck. with four daughters sculpted on the base of the monument. nations to this form of religious family portrait intended for churches. Sir John and Lady Puckering. Abbey: all on including represented between his two wives. who died in 1571 and instance. he is represented on a reduced scale. with a tiny child's are tomb beside him. Germany or Italy. Montmorency and couen. like the cult is THE FAMILY of the guardian angel. on his knees.348 character. Marchioness of Winchester. living and dead. English mortuary sculpture in the Elizabethan era offers another example of the family portrait intended as a form of devotion. is extremely are still to be found in Westminster of these tombs Several striking. although this latter devotion of a more personal character more closely linked with childhood. are her sons and daughters. who died in 1578. there are twenty-one little figures on the tomb of John . Holbein's pictures of families are faithful to this 14 It seems that the Germans remained attached longer than other style. But it should be added that this sculpture is an isolated phenomenon and is neither as frequent nor as commonplace in France. not the family gathering of the living and the dead. Over the tomb of another recumbent figure. and it points the way to the more anecdotal and picturesque ex-votos of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. that of Winifred. which depict.

18 Sebastian Leers has himself painted holding his wife by the hand. a middle-aged man with a grey beard. on his little sister's is repeating the same gesture shoulder. The ex-voto tradition still present in a picture by Titian -an old painted about 1560: the male members of the Cornaro family man.PICTURES. with Titian. its on the centre volet. Pourbus together. But in the sixteenth century the famity floor iti portrait rid itself of its religious function. These family portraits are extremely common. Even Grand To Propri&aire when they are rather more lifelike. are grouped around an altar.and six shape and colour are indications of age) children. The need is felt to fix the present condition of that family. but above all else immense progress made by the concept of the family. 16 At the Victoria and Albert Museum is a 1628 triptych showing beard (the beard. and this secularization of the portrait is undoubtedly a most important phenomenon the family contemplates itself in the home of one of its members. with those who are the tomb of Cope d'Ayley at Hambledon (1633). In a painting by his wife's shoulder. 19 In a painting by Titian three bearded men are standing around a one of the two children . 17 These pictures are as common as renders the reveals the progress it individual portraits. banishing the religious picture. lined up as in the portraits dead holding a cross in their hands. Lebrun and Tournier. On aspects of the family portrait. so that it form as a little pious either disappeared completely or lingered picture hanging on the wall at the is on in token back of the painting. and no useful purpose would be served by recording them all. one boy and one girl are holding death's-heads. the four boys and three girls are standing in front of their kneeling parents. Perhaps it does. in France with Le Nain. of whom the youngest is playing with a dog. begin with. the members of the family as in the donors' pictures or in the engravings of the ages of life in Le or the miniature in the Musee Saint-Raimond. From the sixteenth to the early eighteenth century they must have been a little boy and a little girl other volets. It was as if the ground the donors' pictures had invaded the entire canvas. pF THE FAMILY 349 of donors. a young man with a black . sometimes also recalling the memory of the dead by means of a picture or an inscription on the wall. Pordenone and Veronese. are arranged rather stiffly. These German and English monuments prolong what are still medieval Coke (1639). It has often been said that the portrait of individualism. and the parents on the two no longer intended for churches: they are meant to adorn private homes. They are to be found in Flanders as well as in Italy. they pose in a solemn attitude intended to underline the bond joining them his left the husband is resting hand on P. at their feet. in England and Holland with Van Dyck.

But under the influence of the Dutch in particular. This the case with the Pordenone family in the Borghese gallery . In the seventeenth century. men gathered round the the woman taking a cauldron off the it is difficult brother. The family posing for the artist. About die middle of the sixteenth century.who provides the only bright note in the midst of their black costumes . childhood is suggested by what we should call a nursery: a baby in a cradle. of the calendars. The other ckssical allegories were altered in the same We way. a moment in its everyday to life: the fire. on the left. the other figures standing. 20 However. remained in French art until the early eighteenth century at least. a schoolboy with his book tucked under his arm. who is in the centre of the composition.350 child THE FAMILY . watched over by an attentive sister. the old medieval of family life without regard for have already seen yvliat happened in the case iconographic tradition. the ages of life become pretexts for pictures of family life. many of these portraits make little or no attempt to give life to their characters: the members of the family are juxtaposed. the family portrait was often treated as a subject painting: the concert after the meal is one of the favourite as in themes of Dutch painters.the father. and two younger boys. but they do not join in any common action. with Tournier and Largilliere. probably one of the married children with husband or wife. and that meals often ended with a concert or were interrupted by a song. Henceforth the family was depicted snapshot. a child in a robe who is .and one of them is pointing at the child. Or the family may have stopped eating in order to make music: we know that this is no painter's trick. In an Abraham Bosse engraving of the four ages of man. the mother and seven children 21 . artists began to depict the family around a table laden with fruit: the Van Berchaun family painted by Floris in 1561. two very stylish adolescents and (stylishness is a sign of male adolescence: it disappears with age gravity). with varying degrees of affectation. at a fire. During the first allegories are also treated as illustrations half of the seventeenth century. on the right is a couple.and again with the Pembroke family 22 as painted by Van Dyck: the Earl and Countess are seated. 28 Henceforth tell a family portrait a girl feeding her little from a subject painting depicting family life. and sometimes linked together by gestures expressing their is reciprocal feelings. or the Anselme family painted by Martin de Voos in 1577.

The sense of in an early seventeenth-century Dutch treatment of the five senses. but it was new time and its expression cannot but astonish us. were weaned very we see the mistress maid- of the house.one of whom doll. his wife is rocking a baby in swaddling-clothes and watching another child in a robe. with her keys and her servant. the wharf and the ships. at the This attitude does not surprise us in the twentieth century. Humbelot treats the same theme in another picture. where he depicts a young woman showing her breast to a child who has climbed up behind her: we must remember late. late seventeenth Guerard takes up the same theme. is coming in with a basket of foodstuffs. The caption gives the tone and stresses the spirit of this iconography: 'Happy is he who obeys the laws of Heaven and devotes the best years of his life to serving God. The father -a younger man than in the Humbelot-Huart engraving -is pointing out of the window at the port. and of the miniature in the Musee Saintalways family life. Inside the room. a young servant. is commonplace scene of the mother one of the four elements by a picture Abraham Bosse also symbolizes . The is Raimond at Manhood Toulouse. a scene similar to that in a great many portraits and which was often repeated in both French engraving and Dutch painting. the source of his fortune. near the table on which he does century an engraving by his accounts and on which his purse. who has probably been to their country house. The represented by the henceforth 27 wiping the naked child's bottom. his family and his 25 King/ Here the family is put on the same level as God and the King.PICTURED pF THE FAMILY kept on his feet by a sort of play-pen on wheels (a 35! very common device between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries). father is doing his accounts. a rich merchant whose premises are piled with bales of merchandise. Manhood is illustrated by a meal which has brought the whole family together around the table. a boy with a paper windmill. some counters and an abacus are to be seen. 24 In the F. at his side his wife is attending to their little daughter. pen in hand. this that in the seventeenth century children time in another Guerard engraving. Or else. 26 children. Humbelot-Huart has not gathered the family round the dining-table but in the office of the father. This is the spirit of the engraving of the ages in Le Grand Propri&aire of the mid-sixteenth century. with the help of his son who is standing behind him. a little girl with her . and two bigger boys has thrown his hat and cloak on the floor getting ready to fight. smell. giving orders to a other allegories are also depicted by family scenes.

and at the end of the century by Le Camus century by (at the wine merchant's). not in its painting or style of course. An original iconography has been born. The concept of the family is its basic inspiration. tossing fruit to him of the house. we have an evening by the fire instead of manhood or the third age of life. A little child of about two is standing on a chair. a nanny is holding a child in a robe. an inspiration very different from that of the old allegories. It would be a simple matter to draw up a list of the subjects repeated ad nauseam: the mother watching over the . around the hearth.352 THE FAMILY life: of family in a garden. the child in the cradle. The action is centred on the child. We forget the allegory of the seasons and of winter when we look at Stella's picture of an evening by the fire. padded hat which was normally worn at that time at the age when a child was not too steady on his feet. His wife is hushing the two depicts peasant 33 painting. a common one in Dutch also treated by French engravers . showing them their father. A woman (the maidservant?) is holding him up with one hand and with the other is offering a glass of THE FEAST OF ST NICHOLAS facing: . the child's parents. 82 or the child going shopping. with tiptoe in order to see his little brother or his little sister standing on him. we have a family gathering. was children. the modern subject painting began with the illustration of traditional medieval allegories. This last subject. and on the other. to protect him if he fell. the children playing or being washed. the women spinning and plaiting rushes. but in its sentimental inspiration. who is resting and must not be awakened: this is already a Greuze. he is wearing the round. are playfully Even the Beatitudes give rise to evocations of family life: with Bonnart-Sandrart the Fifth Beatitude has become a mother's forgiveness of her children. Broadly speaking. a forgiveness which she confirms by offering them sweets 28 : this is already the sentimental family spirit of the nineteenth century. commonplace operation and moreover one which was not confined children: to Samuel Pepys submitted to 31 it). between the old theme and its new expression. gazing at him tenderly from the door .the fruits of the earth. with the men having supper on the one side of the big room. the mother picking the lice out of her child's hair (an extremely . the child in the kitchen or the store-room with a valet or a maidservant. A painting by Le Nain tired a who has fallen asleep. and the father is sitting drinking. But the distance is too great child in the cradle 29 or feeding it at her breast 30 the woman washing the child.in the middle of the Abraham Bosse (at the pastrycook's). In a picture by Peter de Hooch34 the family is gathered together for breakfast. Instead of winter.



'the family in the tenth century was to M facing above: below: THE CARD-PLAYERS by Le Main THE ROYAL FAMILY by Nocret . The family contained. one particular expression of . line. members who with a method of possession known as frereche or The frereche grouped around property of their own. is general concept only one form. family. who had no the parents those of their children together with nephews and bachelor cousins. The interest taken in childhood. among the lived together. which we have analysed at the beginning of this book. this more An analysis family was of iconography leads us to conclude that the concept of the that it unknown in the Middle Ages. the story of the relations between line and family is more in the Macon complicated than that. In their opinion. the meaning of his anecdote. in accordance fraternitas. gave traditional nineteenth-century theories on the great patriarchal family. It is tempting to compare this hypothesis with the observations of the historians of medieval society. there was not so much a distinction as an opposition between the family and the line.PICTURES OF THE FAMILY wine to another 353 (the mother?) dipping a biscuit in it. at the end of the Middle Ages. This tendency to joint possession in the family. which thus emerges in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. from the ninth century to the In the Frank state. though weakening of the other. The basic idea of the historians of law and society is that the ties of blood composed not one but two groups. several elements. the progress of the one resulting in a or mesnie. writes Duby. It has been traced by Georges Duby thirteenth century inclusive. 35 country. a tendency which rise to the scarcely ever lasted more than a couple of generations. at least it never embraced a whole in the nobility. centuries. In reality. The modern conjugal family is thus considered to be the consequence of an evolution which. is inseparable from the concept of childhood. and the line which extended its solidarity to all the descendants of a single ancestor.that of the family. and sixteenth and that it reached its originated in the fifteenth full expression in the seventeenth century. She to is the to sodden the biscuit give going parrot to amuse the child. and sometimes several households: these lived on an estate which they had been reluctant to divide. and the entertainment of the child in the midst of the family whose unity he is woman who thereby ensures is The concept of the the painter's real subject. is supposed to have weakened the line and the tendency to joint possession. distinct though concentric: the family or mesnie which can be compared with our modern conjugal family.

the company of his friends and neighappearances a cell.' At the same time. 'Too independent. lineal solidarity and joint possession developed as the result of the dissolution of the State: 'After the year 1000. and under the ancestor's authority. if he so wished. we can note an advance made by joint ownership. the lineal redemption. was also extended more often than not to the children. buying and selling separately without the other being able to interfere.' Joint ownership often continued after the It is necessary to death of the parents try to imagine what a knight's house was like in those days.' The frereche rarely lasted beyond the second generation. the village community. the new division of powers obliged men to group themselves together more closely/ The tightening of the ties of blood which took place then satisfied a desire for protection. like those other forms of human relationship and subjection: the vassal homage. ten or twenty masters. conjugal : bours to that of his relatives/ However. prevented from obtaining any advance on their inheritance: 'There was a prolonged integration into the family home. the whose cohesion was sometimes prolonged for a little while after the death of the parents. the knights sought refuge in lineal solidarity. but even after the divisio of the estate. in the tenth century. the seigniory. two or three couples with the children. This is because they were useless the peaceful organs of the old Frank state were still strong enough to allow a freeman to live an independent life and to prefer. and the canon uncle who dropped in now and then and who was looking after the career of some Joint ownership who were ' : nephew.354 all THE FAMILY community reduced to its simplest expression. in thefrereches. in a single "court". Duby assumes that the peasant family did not experience this tightening of the ties of blood to the same extent because the peasants had filled in a different way from the nobles the vacuum left by had immediately taken the place of that of the public the dissolution of the Frank state: the seignior's tutelage authorities. which could already be called the noble family. of descendants destitute of all personal wealth and of all economic independence. gathering together on a single domain. the brothers and the unmarried sisters. This description applies above all to the knightly family. But the ties were very loose. and the . It was period which saw the institution of joint ownership of the goods of husband and wife. husband and wife had managed their own property. and ill protected against certain dangers. in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in the Macon this country. the line retained a collective right over the divided estate: the laudatio parentum.

now restricted of line was the exciting the forces of feeling and imagination. But this obscurity is understandable. which became inheritance and its much The rarer. the power of the wife steadily diminished. capable only That is why so many romances of chivalry treat of it. the family is the first refuge in which the threatened individual takes shelter when the authority of the State weakens. One has the impression that ofthefrereche. as a integrity. in everyday life by of paternal authority the group of the father and Duby concludes: 'In fact. It took the place of joint ownership.PICTURES* OF THE FAMILY village . However. The new forms of monetary economy. We know too that from the end of the Middle Ages on. The village community was to the peasants what the line was to the nobles.this would seem indeed to be a purely theoretical view . in the nobility. are loosened. brought about a tightening of lineal solidarity and the abandonment ofjoint ownership. The restricted an obscure life which has family community. It is not so much a question of a progressive substitution of the family for the line . 355 community had soon provided the peasants with a framework of organization and defence superior to the family. now extended to the whole line or to the members to the couple. It was also in the thirteenth century. the frequency of financial transactions. the extension of personalty.as of the loosening or tightening of the ties of blood. had the historians. there was no return to the loose links of the tenth-century family. in the Macon country. The history of lineage is a succession of contractions and relaxations whose rhythm follows the modifications of the political order/ The contrast between the family and the line is less marked in Duby's writing than in that of other legal historians. of the attention escaped In the domain of feeling. In the course of the thirteenth century. and at the same time the increase in the authority of the prince (whether he was a Capetian king or the head of a large principality) and in public security. the family did not count as much as the line. that the law of primogeniture spread among the families of the nobility. The conjugal family became independent once more. substitution for joint ownership and the joint estate as a sign of the recognition of the importance both means of safeguarding the of the law of primogeniture of husband and wife can be seen and of the place assumed children. The father in the eleventh maintained and even increased the authority which he had been given and twelfth centuries by the need to maintain the integrity of the undivided estate. . the situation changed again. on the other hand. But as soon as political institutions afford him adequate off the constraint of the family and the ties of blood shakes he guarantees.

We shall now see what importance the Church attributed to it. the history of which is well known. The line was never gathered together within a small space. sort who is finally established as a of domestic monarch.. This development authority insanity. It was not to be compared with the Serbian Zadrouga. Petiot: 36 'Starting in the fourteenth century. in so far as it was the unconscious and spontaneous work of custom. the basis of the State. It was very different from the concept of the family such as we have seen it in the iconography of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. and the solidarity ties which the Church of blood may well have been repugnant to it. In France. Finally. It became the social cell. we see a slow and steady deterioration of the wife's position in the household. The legal historians recognize that there are no traces of any great peaceful communities in France before the fifteenth century. was a specifically lay attitude distrusted or ignored. The process. The medieval between its glorification of the line. undoubtedly reveals a manners and conditions Henceforth a value was attributed to the family which had previously been attributed to the line. or rather it recognized it only in exceptional the holy king (but the king was consecrated). we see the modern family taking shape. and his wife and children were more rigorously subject to it. The pagan naturalism of the coronation liturgy.. She loses the right to take the place of the husband in his absence or sixteenth century. Moreover the Middle Ages did not know the modern sanctification cases: principle of the of lay life. has been clearly summarized by M. it is significant that it made no mention of that heredity in the members. the good knight . where it accepted the heredity of the kings. ' monarchy. its honour. the foundation of the change in social . But from the fourteenth century on. It extended to the ties of blood without regard to the emotions engendered by cohabitation and intimacy. in the strengthens the powers of the husband. . the married woman is so that any acts she performs without the a disability placed under husband or the of her law are null and void.' 'While lineal ties weakened. . the husband's authority in the home became stronger. This dual movement.' 'Royal legislation from the sixteenth century on took care to strengthen the father's power with regard to the marriage of his children. around a single courtyard.356 THE FAMILY One might say that the concept of the line was the only concept of a family character known to the Middle Ages.

modern was concept is common piety. Admittedly the priests did not go to the lengths of condemning marriage and the family after the fashion of the Cathars contract. In the quiet of the cloister.that the Church' recognized the possibility of sanctification outside the religious vocation. or the seventeenth century. For layman religious of the family. Whatever the theological point of view. The cult of the patron saints became a family cult. For a natural institution so closely linked with the flesh as the family was to become the object of a cult. with the example of the gentlemen of Port-Royal and more generally of all the laymen engaged in religious. but they showed suspicion and distrust of anything to do with the flesh. must have shared die opinion of Chaucer's priest that marriage was a concession to the weakness of the flesh. he could atone for the faults of his profane past. threatened a man in his temporal activities. In fact it simply made the union legitimate. it was a common practice to offer as an ex-voto a picture of the patron saints of husband and wife. sexual union. ceased to be a sin. The first sign of this piety. It was not until the end of the sixteenth century. the sin of usury. became an object of Piety may the family with the cult of the patron saint. What is more. in the practice of one's profession. but that was all. spiritual and mystical activities . of the south of France. unlike the medieval concept of the line. when blessed by marriage. in the new way of depicting a marriage or a The . as yet seen in the practice begun by donors of religious be to very discreet. the other great sin of the laity. considering their flocks. theological. the time of St Franois de Sales' s Philothfa. most priests. if we are to go by the sculptured representations of it. especially in the seventeenth century. 37 It did not cleanse sexuality of its essential impurity. The progress of the concept the followed the of rehabilitation parallel paths. donors grouped their families or stained-glass windows -the pictures also be discerned in the later custom of associating around them. The sacrament of marriage could have ennobled the conjugal union and given it a spiritual value. In the sixteenth century. did not take place inside the church. this rehabilitation of the lay condition of the family and of the necessary. It was not in lay life that man could attain to holiness. For a long time marriage remained simply a The ceremony. surrounded by the parents themselves and their children. as also to the family. influence of the concept of the family is also to be seen. but in front of the porch.PICTURE* X)F THE FAMILY . The only way by which the layman could make sure of salvation was to leave the world completely and enter religious life. 357 (but the knight had been initiated after what had become a religious ceremony).

Instead. 41 with all the ladies present covering would be wrong to interpret this taste for social or traditional festivities. Or else they depicted traditional customs which are harder to identify. in the midst of her bridesmaids. or neighbours calling on the young mother. on the tympanum of the church 88 door. except in the case of kings and princes. as in the picture by Molenaer of a woman holding a child in the midst their heads It with of great ribaldry. one can see a sculpted representation of a husband beating his wife! In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. from which licentiousness was not absent any more than it was from the language of respectable people. when it came to depicting a christening. Finally. Take for instance the marriage of King Cosius and Queen Sabineda in life of St Catherine. artists preferred the Similarly. 40 Albums of engravings of clothes of the late sixteenth or the early seventeenth century often show the bride or bridegroom with bridesmaids or groomsmen: at that time the wedding-dress became more not yet the white uniform worn from the ninespecific (though it was teenth century to the present day). as it took place at the church door. In a picture by Molinier the ceremony is over and the procession is Elsewhere we leaving the church: on the left is the groom with his groomsmen. with a boy playing the flute. where behind the priest. with a bagpipe playing and a little girl throwing coins in front of the bride. social character of . as a sign of religious indifference: the stress was simply laid on the family.358 christening. Care was taken to present these details as characteristic of the manners of a certain region. the miniaturists used to depict the religious ceremony itself. on the right is the bride wearing a wreath (but not yet in white: the colour of love was still red. as for the priest's vestments). the first night of the newly-married pair. all the licentious little scenes of folklore entered iconography e. chose to treat the incidental. family aspects of the wedding. traditional gatherings at home: the guests having a drink on their return from the church. THE FAMILY At the end of the Middle Ages. followed by a group of 39 children. with relatives. where the priest is shown folding his stole round the hands of the newly-married couple. their dresses.g. at Cana' in the Louvre) we have have the wedding procession: thus wedding Stella shows us the bride on her father's arm. at least in certain details. the marriage ceremony was no longer artists depicted. friends and neighbours gathered round the bride and groom. With Gerard David ('The Wedding the feast. or the marriage of Philip of Macedonia depicted by the same Guillaume Vrelant in the story of King the Alexander. on her way to the church outside which the groom is waiting.

put in front of the fire on Christmas Eve? This is no longer a great collective festival. when it suffered from the competition of Twelfth Night. of the great collective mingling with adults. In the northern where the family themes were extremely widespread. societies. Steen catches the moment when the parents are helping the children to find the toys which they have hidden all over the house for them. in festivities: life tinder the ancien regime. the whole of a heterogeneous society was gathered together on these occasions. one might almost say the only. There are some shoes lying shoes about: perhaps it was already customary to hide toys in shoes. Some A young boy manuscript texts of the fifteenth century. 'courtesy' had demanded that in the absence of a priest. But the festival pictured we have shown the part played in them by children. in some countries. with the same modern feeling for childhood and the its due to the family character which St Nicholas has won Steen's painting the feast of St Nicholas it: family. 42 We have already had occasion to stress the importance.PICTURES OP THE FAMILY the occasion rather than countries its . Nowathe biggest. on the contrary. a should bless the table at the beginning of a meal. Furnivall . those which children of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some of the children have already found their toys. has become Christmas days. but a quiet family celebration. Some little girls are holding dolls. by Steen is no longer one of those festivals of youth. But the extraordinary success enjoyed by Christmas in contemporary industrial which feel an increasing dislike for the great collective festivals. for childhood in the family. in which the children behaved rather like slaves on the day of the Saturnalia. the grown-ups have organized the occasion to entertain the children: it is the feast of St Nicholas. new theme illustrates in even more significant fashion the religious constituent of the concept of the family: the theme of grace. For a long time past. in which they played a part fixed by tradition in the company of adults. 359 sacramental character. J. and consequently on the family is continued by a concentration of the around the children. family Family feasts became children's feasts. Here. following shortly after it. a highly significant painting by Steen shows us the new family interpretation of folklore or traditional piety. common to believers and unbelievers alike. Others are carrying buckets full of toys. published by F. is association with the feast of shows us that in seventeenthwas already celebrated as the century Holland feast of 'Santa Glaus' or 'Father Christmas' is celebrated in Western countries today. feast in the year. the ancestor of 'Santa Glaus*. It was not this concentration as important as this under the ancien regime. and happy to be together.

360 in a collection called THE FAMILY The Babees Boofe. 48 It is a portrait distinguish. his hands folded. But the engraver has caught the moment when a little boy in a robe. 'it is a true and excellent courtesy 45 company and then say grace/ And in Les Regies de la bienstance et de la cwilitt chrfrienne of St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle: 'When there is a child present. if there are any. The prayer was bow to the said by a little child. is saying grace: with their heads uncovered and their hands folded. and in verse/ Thus it was no longer a young boy in the company but the smallest child in the house who was given the honour of saying grace. and an open door reveals the kitchen beyond. We can see here a sign 47 of the added attention given to childhood in the sixteenth is what but really important is that the child should be associated century. A maidservant is bringing in a dish. with the principal family prayer. revised editions. Take the engraving by of a family at table. briefly. 'the way to behave given instruct the child to say grace authority to do so by a priest or lord. allotted the places. to the youngest of the company'.and without any hesitation if The manuals of etiquette allot the task of saying grace. 48 lay down very strict rules for behaviour at table. An engraving by Abraham Bosse shows the same scene in a Protestant 49 Antoine Le Nain depicts a woman and three children at table: family. the father. but to the youngest. . a bearded man with a traveller's staff in his hand.'the conventions of the at table' table'. In this respect extracts f^om manuals of etiquette are less revealing than iconography. is standing. the saying of grace becomes one of the most common themes of the new iconography which we have tried to Merian for example. From the end of the sixteenth century on. is looking affectionately at the child who. in their absence. faithful to what is already an old convention: the father and mother sitting in two armchairs. The mother. quaintly. Lebrun treats the subject in the old-fashioned style. for a long time the only prayer recited in common by the whole family gathered together. . he is often instructed to perform this function' 46 Vives in his dialogues describes a big meal: 'The (that of saying grace). as was his right. thus of the sixteenth century a mid-eighteenth century edition still stipulates that the duty of blessing the table 'falls to the ecclesiastics.' we to read in La civilite nouvelle of 1671. which is maintained in later. their five children around them. 44 'Once he has finished serving the meal. who is seated. with a Holy Family. his hands folded in the rest of the family are listening to the prayer prayer. The table is laid. master of the house. one of the boys 60 is standing saying grace. resting his arms on his mother's knees. not to any of the children at table. Mathurin Cordier's manual establishes this rule. or.

and finally. 55 relieve himself. who and a younger man. they recognized a new and the concept of the family (the gathering at table). The etiquette manuals mention the morning prayer the boarders (in the colleges said it 54 together after washing). it took the place of public worship to such an extent that after the restoration of liberty.PICTURES OF THE FAMILY is . and also the two by children who are remaining standing: the is smaller. are seated. says Jean-Baptiste de La Salle. In a similar picture by Heemskerck. especially after the revocation century found caricature it difficult to bring back to public worship people who had become accustomed to make do with family prayers. 'must not go to bed before bidding their father and mother goodnight. Worship conducted proportions of the Edict of Nantes. Hogarth's famous shows that in the eighteenth century the evening prayer said in common . This picture obtained wide circulation as a devotional image. having undressed. has folded his hands. are all at table. 361 reciting the prayer. lie down in bed to sleep. aged between 52 two and three. again that we meet in the eighteenth century. . Formerly there had been no private religious worship. girl repeating the It is the same theme in Chardin's famous Artists were fond of depicting the scene of a child saying grace because significance in this hitherto commonplace prayer.a prayer which gathered together around the father of the conventional and commonfamily his relatives and servants had become families followed an almost that It seems Catholic probable place. They lay greater stress They on the children's duties to their parents (the oldest rulfcs of courtesy of the fifteenth century did not speak of children's duties to their parents but to their masters). In a picture by Steen. and saying grace. two old men. bid his parents and masters goodnight. The mother is serving him.' Courtin's manual of etiquette of 1671 brings the child's evening to a close in this way: 'He shall recite his lessons. already say less about the evening prayer. which had long since been dropped person the French middle class. Grace had become the model for the family prayer. 51 It is only to be expected that we should find this theme in seventeenth- century Dutch painting. the father is the only an seated: old country custom. 'Children'. the concept of childhood (the smallest child). who is standing. as well as a woman who is is sitting with her hands folded: next to her a little 53 prayer which she is reading on her mother's lips. The iconographic theme evoked and associated in a synthesis three emotional forces: piety. the pastors of the late eighteenth privately by each family developed to considerable in Protestant circles: in France.

Thus the traditional iconography same influence that increased paternal authority: St role in it which was still his in the plays the minor 56 altered under the Joseph no longer fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. popularized by Sarrabat's engraving: grace was it also a picture was immediately recognized that this scene of the saying of of the Holy Family. and and shadow. He appears in the foreground. and in the workshop the family at that other working hours. as the head of the family. in another picture of the Holy Family at table. it belongs to the down.' Or there is the 'The Holy Family on the road'.362 that parallel course. St Joseph. Head of the family at table during mealtimes. comments mile Male. this scene Jesus on his was a common subject for Murillo and Guido Reni as well. public nor entirely We described just now Lebrun's 'B6n6dicit6'. St Joseph and the Infant Jesus'. both equally popular at the time because both same concept. keeps wits about him: the picture of his death resembles that of the father's death so often used in illustrations of the good death. The other holy families inspire the same feeling. In the sixteenth century in particular. in which the neck looks as 67 theme which Male calls Infant Jesus is between Mary and Joseph. THE FAMILY they too felt the need for a piety which was neither individual: a family piety. Sometimes St Joseph's authority Joseph during dramatic in his carpenter's workshop. lending deep light St Joseph is giving a drink to the Infant Jesus. which was likewise given wide circulation by engraving. who with a napkin round his good as gold. same iconography of the new family. Lebrun's picture belongs to series of pictures. artists were fond of showing Christ's contemporaries . Tapie has pointed out: 'It was glorified the without a shadow of doubt the very principle of the family which was two linked with this to regard homage to the Holy Family/ Every family was urged the Holy Family as its model. St Joseph and the Infant Jesus. L. 'are having their contrast between a is evening meal: a candle on the table creating startling the scene an appearance of mystery. 'The Virgin. the moment when death strikes him his becoming the patron saint of the good death. showing the prayer and meal of the Virgin. helped by Jesus. is to be noted in many scenes: in a picture by a 58 seventeenth century he is carrying the Infant the of Neapolitan painter arms and thus occupies the centre of the picture. As V. St Joseph is still head of is shown working 59 moment in family life.

and each carrying one of the Virgin's symbols listed in her litanies (star of the sea. of the old man waiting of his children. and their two children are with them. Jeanmaire in Greece of non-family structures such as age groups. 60 This group frequently bathing. and others. One of like the scene. He is seen from behind. The Venetian painter Carlo Loth treats the blessing of Joseph by Jacob Subjects in the ages of life. holy parents and children. St James the Elder and Zebediah. This link is heavily stressed in the Mary Salome. Adam and Eve are standing in the courtyard of their house. 62 We find the same theme in the convent of San Martino in Naples. crawling about on the ground.PICTURES OF THE FAMILY as children all 363 playing together. are holding hands. On the side walls. The theme is obviously linked with the concept of childhood and the decoraconcept of the family. all very decently dressed. although the latter doubtless did not play the primordial part in early times which Fustel de Coulanges and his has noted what are still important relics contemporaries attributed to it. at notably in a fine wood-carving of the early seventeenth century baroque of the Lady Chapel in the Franciscan church at Lucerne.). The ceiling is adorned with little angels. Eve is spinning (just as the Virgin sometimes sews). But this learned intention is hidden behind a scene which evokes the now consecrated joys of family life. from the Old Testament are also used to illustrate this devotion. Adam is digging (just as Joseph works wood). M. hiding behind a tree so as not to disturb these antics. The concept is new but not the family. It is doubtless the children one can discover a theological intention in this family of the heralds the coming of the 'second Adam'. The ethnologists have shown the importance of age . Christ. etc. who Thus iconography enables us to follow the rise of a new concept: the concept of the family. the three recurs. 61 But it is Adam's family above all which has been treated on the pattern of a holy family. surrounded by their animals and their children Cain and Abel. and generally enjoying themselves. on a ceiling of a later date. probably the early eighteenth century. St John the Evangelist and tion Notre-Dame La Grande at Poitiers. true that 'first Adam*. very common for death in the midst is is feeding at his mother's breast. A German tapestry of great charm shows Marys surrounded by their children. In a painting by Veronese. Adam. who are frolicking about. who is smaller. This decoration is dated 1723. all life-size. the other. is looking on.

and of clan communities among the ourselves unconsciously impressed by the part the our society for several centuries. It may be that the (and not simply Biblical. THE FAMILY American among the Africans. she depicts two persons astonishing pains taken by Nature the portrait of a and face a in single body. the integrity of an inheritance. This concept is closely linked to that of childhood. his treatise on marriage was reissued in the eighteenth century the too admire cannot 'One written: had greatly that work in which he in this respect. a 63 What counted most of all was the emotion great-uncle or a great-aunt/ aroused by the child. thus stressing the importance of children that idea bond. . Similarly we must admit the the iconographic blossoming which after the fifteenth and significance of of obscurity: sixteenth the century followed this long period especially the birth and development of the concept of the family. the living image of his parents. of the Germanic invasions. Sometimes can also discover the likeness of a grandfather or a grandmother.364 groups natives. But the did not awaken feelings strong enough to family existed in silence: it artist. and the wife that of her husband. that of the parents and children. yet it would family was weakened at the time a be vain to deny the existence of family life in the Middle Ages. It has less and less to do with problems such as the honour of a line. the husband recognizes single one his wife in his children. In the seventeenth century people thought that parents and the St Joseph resembled his adopted son. Erasmus had already had the very modern family united the family and that their physical resemblance produced this close union. or the age and permanence of a from the unique relationship between the name: it springs simply their children. and are we not in family has played to attribute to it an almost to exaggerate its scope and even tempted absolute sort of historical authority? Yet there is no doubt that the family Are not we was constantly maintained and reinforced by influences at once Semitic in my opinion) and Roman. This powerful concept was formed around the conjugal family. We must recognize the importance of this silence: or inspire poet not much value was placed on the family.

At a later numerous articles of apprenticeship hiring children to masters prove how It is of placing children in other families. widespread was the custom sometimes specifically stated that the master must 'teach' the child 365 . own/ The Italian considers this custom cruel. both males and females. he rich however fate. binding them generally for another seven or nine years [i. which suggests that it was unknown or had been forgotten in his country. may be. to hard service in the houses of other people. 1 taken from an account of England by an Italian. for everyone. others. until they are between fourteen and eighteen]. He insinuates that the his children because they thought that in that English took in other people's better service than they would from their own obtain would way they In fact the explanation which the English themselves gave to offspring. It is new importseventeenth can be in the same period important changes significant that noted in the family's attitude to the child. 'The want of 'affection in the English is strongly manifested towards their children. receives those of strangers into the houses he. sends away his children into in whilst of return. when the boys leave the care of the womenfolk to go to school or to enter after the adult world]. 8 two young sons to the eldest of his three brothers. as the attitude towards the child changed. the Italian observer was probably the real one * : In order that their children might This learn better manners/ Ages. And and during that time they perform all and few are born who are exempted from this the most menial offices. Thus way of life was probably common in the West during the Middle a twelfth-century Micon knight called Guigonet. they put them out.II FROM THE MEDIEVAL FAMILY TO THE MODERN FAMILY T HE preceding analysis of iconography has shown us the ance assumed by the family in the sixteenth and centuries. so did the family itself. whose family Georges entrusted his date. at least in England. for It is having kept them at home till they arrive at the age of seven or nine seven is given as die age years at the utmost [in the old French authors. these are called apprentices. Duby was able to describe from a study of his will. An Italian text of the late fifteenth century gives us an extremely thought-provoking impression of the medieval family.e.

listing in a mnemonic verse form the rules for a good servant.that of service. ambiguity secretary-companion.which has remained in modern English with the word 'waiter'. the very young man . It to a child. sharing professional . In this apprenticeship we see a custom common to all classes of between the valet and the superior society. but a period of an intermediary stage. and Louis XIII as a child would say . The child did not stop at the frontiers of a profession. and so on. the knowledge.meant life with which it was the in case sharing private any expression was by means of domestic service that the master transmitted and not his child but another man's. serviteurs'. poems The word 'valet' meant a young boy. make beds. man of the Middle Ages would nothing in them but slight variations on a basic idea . or even to go to school and learn Latin.and the servant. all the more so in that at that time and for a long time afterwards there were no frontiers between a secretary's duties: and life -an anachronistic professional and private life. we find it difficult to decide whether the child has been placed as an apprentice (in the modern meaning of the word). In the fifteenth century there was an entire literature in the vernacular. brought no degradation and aroused no repugnance. or as a servant. and this practice general form of education. experience. As a general rule. to live there and start their life there. practical he was supposed to possess. The English collections of didactic which taught manners to the servants were called 'babees books'. with or without a contract. We have noted an ambiguity existed between the child . accompany his master. 8 But these are exceptional cases. Children were not kept at home: they were sent to another house. Looking at these contracts without first of all ridding ourselves of our modern habits of thought.or A similar confused. this servant must know how to wait at table. apprenticeship. But this domestic service goes with what we would nowadays call 4 One of it is not a permanent condition. the principal duty of a child entrusted to a master is to 'serve him well and truly'. Thus domestic service was confused with apprenticeship as a very learnt by practice. these poems is entitled in French: 'Regime pour tous The English equivalent is 'way ting servant'. and a much wider meaning was given to this idea than that which it took on later. or to learn the good manners of a knight. True. The only type of service which people could think of for a long time. and human worth which All education was carried out by means of apprenticeship.366 THE FAMILY and 'show him the details of his merchandise* or that he must 'send him to school'. or a trade. We should be foolish to press the point: and a our see distinctions are anachronistic. or as a boarder. domestic service. French or English.

To boys of good families . in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. part they For the poorer students it was replaced by college scholarships: we have seen that these foundations were the origin of the colleges of the ancien regime. whose servants apprentices. 5 This fifteenth-century manuscript is illustrated by some very fine miniatures. In fact. as it is today. the Latin school. his index finger . it still fell to the service. sometimes of a much education as school. one of the most popular : books of the eighteenth century. There were cases where apprenticeship lost its empirical character and took a more pedagogical form. which was intended solely for clerics. the school. a big child. with a cleric.and not to the paid servants . shall call apprentices It was a survival from the time when all domestic services were performed indiscriminately by children whom we and by paid help who were probably also very The distinction between these two categories was established very young. has his right arm raised. a nobleman so his dress indicates. was as cleric's Service became. people began to establish distinctions within domestic between subordinate services and nobler offices. or whether he had and no hope of ever becoming a master.to wait at table. appear well-bred it was not enough. Even the clerics who were sent to school were often lodged. There was no room for the school in this transmission by direct apprenticeship from one generation to another. The word garden denoted both young man and a young servant in the language of sixteenth. his position for a limited period in order to share in the family's life thus initiate himself into adult life. It would be a mistake to describe medieval education in terms of the school: this would be to make a rule of an exception. The general rule for everybody was apprenticeship. Even when. The servant was a child. Until the eighteenth century. to know how to behave at table: one also had to know how to wait at table. One of them shows an actual class: the master.FROM THE MEDIEVAL TO MODERN FAMILY in 367 an outburst of affection that he would a very like to be 'Papa's little valet'. where pupils were to him who wishes to learn taught 'the manners and conditions necessary to be a good hunter'.and seventeenth-century France: the French have kept it to summon caft waiters. a priest. whether he was occupying gradually. like the other a prelate. A curious example of technical tuition in a book that describes originating in a traditional apprenticeship is given schools of hunting at the court of Gaston Phoebus. waiting at table occupied an important place in the manuals of etiquette and treatises on good manners a whole chapter in Jean-Baptiste de La Salle's Cwiliti chr&ienne. gives the impression of being an isolated and special case.

the instrument of correction. and also wherever they amused themselves.developed from an apprenticeship which had already been organized on a scholastic pattern.tuition in writing for instance . boys who are not very tall. reality. for the affection they felt for them. A 'How to halloo and sound the horn*. In his left hand he is waving a the indisputable sign of professorial authority. However. than for the contribution those children could make to the common task. children were mingled with adults. Everyday life constantly and adults in trade and craft. fencing and courtly manners. up. even if he later returned to it when he had grown that time was unable to nourish a children. fourteen. children and adults which we have seen so often in the course of this study. These were things learnt by practice.the village. even in the classes of the colleges. It may be that certain forms of technical education . the child soon escaped from his own family.368 levelled stick. or General del Vastone's in the great Titian in the Prado. but the : In short. are reading the big scrolls which they are holding heart: this is in their hands and which they have to learn by a school like huntsmen are looking on. In this way they learnt the art of living from everyday contact. We know workshops with older comcases of soldiers of 7 page holding the Due de Lesdiguires's gauntlet. Three pupils. are not very old either their heads do not come up to their masters' shoulders. the 'courtor the 'house' of the lord and master where these poor people spent yard* . In these circumstances. where one would have expected to find distribution of the ages. it corresponded to nothing more than the material installation of the couple in the midst of a bigger environment . Stradan's engravings of a more homogeneous trades and panions. the farm. these cases remained exceptional. as in the case of children brought together 6 the little apprentice mixing the painter's colours. and those carrying Adolf de Wignacourt's helmet in the Caravaggio in the Louvre. wherever people worked. Thus the family at existential attitude between profound that the parents did not love but they cared about them less for themselves. rather than a sentimental. In the background. The family was a moral and social. crafts show The same was little us children in the true of the army. In the case of very poor families. This did not mean and parents their children. THE FAMILY -a gesture punctuating a speech. Generally speaking. some old similar scene shows a lesson in horn-blowing: This explains the mingling of participation of children in adult life. The social groups corresponded to vertical partitions which brought together different age groups. transmission from one generation to the next was ensured by the everyday any other. like riding. even in taverns of ill repute.

although in the seventeenth century the advantages and many people held that education at home education were disputed under a tutor was preferable. TO MODERN FAMILY more time than have a in their their 369 home of own homes (and own but rather led sometimes they did not even a vagabond life) . Starting in the fifteenth century. them even temporarily to the of school for apprenticeship likewise reflects a rapprochement between parents and children. of progress from childhood to manhood. Henceforth. And yet the essential event is quite obvious: the school education. to avoid abandoning care of another family. a determination to train it to resist adult temptations. He lived in a master's house or in a private lodging-house. and where there sentimental concept of the family was inspired lineal relationships was wealth and ambition. Some schoolboys. did complicity . scarcely distinguished by either contemporary observers or later historians. visits planned with the of the mothers. from well-to-do homes. The child was not as a general rule a boarder in college. But it also corresponded to a desire watch more closely over their children. the reality and the idea of the family were to change: a slow and profound revolution. the masters even had to tightened: according intervene to prevent too many visits to the family. The latter live constantly with his parents: he left them for a distant did not as on the part of the parents to to stay nearer to them. The school ceased to be confined to clerics and became the normal instrument of social initiation.FROM THE MEPJ&VAI. education became increasingly a matter for the school. to a concern to isolate youth from the corrupt world of adults. among the prosperous. The substitution yet of a college school. The ties between the schoolboy and his family had to Cordier's dialogues. the family was identified with the prosperity of the estate. which had hitherto been distinct. This evolution corresponded to the pedagogues' desire for moral severity. Money and food were brought to him on market-days. The family scarcely had a sentimental existence at all among the poor. on the contrary. between the concept of the family and the concept of childhood. the by that which the old had produced. the honour of the name. children lived in families other than their own. The family centred itself on the child. We have seen how in the Middle Ages children's education was ensured by apprenticeship to adults. and difficult to extension of recognize. and that after the age of seven. But the schoolboy's separation was not of the same character and did not last as long as that of the apprentice.

Efforts such as those eighteenth and early nineteenth made by Mme de Maintenon and Fenelon would have an exemplary value. there was established no philosophy class) and a system of a few humanities colleges (with a few Latin schools (with just grammar classes). In any case the separation as Pfere sizes de Dainville has shown. most of Apart from a few who were sent to a them were brought up at home. 'little schools' or convents. closer to ours. comprising the The A satisfied both the desire for a theoretical multiplication of schools of apprenticeship and the old the education to replace practical forms home as long as possible. 8 a dense network of schools of various was created. and the supervision of the child's studies when he entirely returned different home and originated at the same of habit the as at least or as the time educating children at school. general at night. The greater number of in the bigger colleges. near children their to of desire keep parents which bears witness to a major transformation of the phenomenon the child. schooling was extended first of all to the middle the great families of the nobility and the range of the hierarchy of classes: . It will be no surprise to the reader to discover that this pheno- menon occurred during the same period in which we have seen a family and their children. which continued to be brought up in accordance Girls at first did not go to school. The not become common until the would extension of schooling to girls centuries. of with the old practices apprenticeship. neighbour's or a relative's. In the early seventeenth century. had no effect on a vast proportion of the child population. more be could significant Nothing more and more schools in order found to the city magistrates. The educational treatises in choice of duties the teenth century laid great stress on the parents' college and preceptor. helped by to bring them closer to the pupils' homes. classes for the Latin schools provided pupils higher this at alarm Certain contemporaries expressed proliferation of schools. or of the sevenby a valet. iconography emerge and develop around the couple True. number of which was rendered inevitable by the small not be tolerated for long by the parents. In the case of the boys. as if the The sentimental climate was now modern family school. would colleges than the effort made by the parents. this extension of schooling. Around a college providing a full course of tuition and full a concentric range of classes.37O not set THE FAMILY offalone: they were accompanied by a preceptor. an older boy. often a foster-brother. so important in its effects on the formation of the concept of the family. and its life became identified family: the latter fell back upon with the increasingly sentimental relationship between parents and children.

is about 10 There is 'the equality which must be maintained among children'. starting in the second half of the seventeenth century. De f education des enfants. studies also The tours of Italy and Germany made by young nobles at the end of their stemmed from the old tradition: they went to foreign courts or houses to learn languages. it was repugnant to a new concept of equal rights to it family affection. providing pages for grandees and apprentices for artisans. and which was threatened by the greater mobility of wealth. The survival of the social ladder did by means of its tion. This was the concept of a family as a society in is the habit of thinking only of the establishment order of their birth or by the qualities of their person them because they served the family's 'pleased' . In fact. and benefices. the apprenticeship system would continue down to our own times. This is shown very clearly in connection with the old custom which allowed one child in a family to be favoured at the expense of his brothers. apprenticeship system at the two extremities of the not prevent its decline it was the school which triumphed increased numbers. by prolonging and extending school The moral problems of the family now appeared in a very different light. 9 to avoid the dangerous division of an estate whose unity was no longer protected by the practices of joint ownership and lineal solidarity. moral authority. It would appear that this custom was established in the thirteenth century. its greater number of classes and its . built on a scholastic foundawas now solidly established. Our modern civilization. and time would steadily consolidate it. was accompanied by a profane use of ecclesiastical * One chapter in Varet's treatise. [They future better than the rest. The privilege of the child favoured by its primogeniture or by its parents' choice was the basis of family society from the end of the Middle to the seventeenth century. In the working class. when it gave place to the academies : another example of the substitution for practical education of a more specialized and theoretical tuition. This custom fell into disuse in the seventeenth century. but not during the eighteenth century. good manners. noble sports.FROM THE MEDIBVAL TO MODERN FAMILY 371 artisan class remained faithful to the old system of apprenticeship. life. generally the eldest son. and that of those who by the please them most. was inequitable. in their view. another regrettable practice which has become common among the faithful and which is no less prejudicial to the fairness which parents owe their children. moralists and Ages it educational theorists disputed the legitimacy of this practice.

that parents 'may have more love for certain of their children'. as a 'house'. sacrifice the others them on the matter and Fathers do not love their without seeing whether they have a vocation sons equally and introduce distinctions where Nature put none/ For all his indignation Goussault none the less admits. be able to add to the glory and lustre of the family as much as they would The eldest son will not be able to hold and keep the posts and offices which they are trying to obtain for him. He recognizes the right of parents to have certain preferences: 'It is not that parents are wrong to love those children most who are the most virtuous and who have more good qualities than the others. as a concession to the common opinion. But I sees fit to employ all sorts maintain that distinction it may be dangerous to make too great a show of in his Portrait this and this preference/ The Abbe Goussault. What have some who. in his 9 11 Regies de I Education des enfants. even injustice. to be tied up with the permanence of which seemed widespread practice the family. if his brothers and sisters enjoy the same advantages as he. 12 is more >ne's estate to the eldest not only great vanity in giving the better part of son of the family.372 THE FAMILY part. as we know. they will not which personal feeling played no if they share their property equally wish. They must therefore be rendered incapable of challenging this right of his. . and he of verbal precautions in condemning an old.] People are afraid that among all their children. They must be sent into monasteries against their will and sacrificed early in life to the interests of the one who is destined for the world and its vanity/ It is interesting that the indignation aroused by false vocations and the privileges granted to the eldest son is of disputing totally absent when marriage is involved: there is no question parental authority in this field. to maintain him in splendour there is name. even in the nobility.' Here we see the beginning of a feeling before the law and which. displays a certain embarrassment. had which would result in equality already become widespread in the late eighteenth century. the ashes. The text quoted above expresses a definite opinion. tenement: 'There ind eternalize his is fun honnfte homme of i692. . but 'this love is a fire which they must keep hidden underneath them up in monasteries without consulting . But Coustel. the younger and shut sons done to be treated like this?' 'There are establish certain sons in order to beyond their means. The efforts made in the early nineteenth century to restore the privileges of the eldest son encountered invincible repugnance on the part of the public : very few fathers. . used the right which they enjoyed by law to favour one of their children.

are 'Perils which result only too often be may exposed to various dangers: which married masters are obliged to allow between from the familiarity the youths they are teaching and their wives. and all the other appurtenances the married master replies in these terms: 'The this combing children in their their hair. they preferred the concept of a 'house'. Let the Commissioners reflect. People now tended to attribute a new value to the affection between parents and children. u novelty and moral significance were underlined by Masters were allowed to marry at that time. and in seeing women and girls of marriage/ cradles and swaddling-clothes. The defeated candidate. Here we to develop in a will note that the concept of equality among children was able new moral and emotional climate. but married masters were forbidden to hold university offices. dressing. a real realized that the concept had no place.FROM THE MEDIEVAL TO MODERN FAMILY Fourcassie cites a letter failure 373 from Vill&e in which the latter deplores this of his policy and prophesies the end of the family. To last argument aforementioned du Boulay talks as if he had just come from the village . referred to the lawyer lists in a memoir the still Privy Du Boulay's reasons for upholding the celibacy of the teaching profession. considered this sentimental foundation too fragile. These observations might usefully be related to a phenomenon whose a lawsuit in i67?. adjusting their clothes. they had also at the bottom of this new the law of primogeniture. even less among They prevent home the day-boys. 18 In reality this bears witness to the respect for equality among the children of a family the modern sentito 'house* a as move viewed from the family gradual mental view of the family. the boarders they take in at cannot it. daughters and maidservants. The theorists of the early nineteenth century. in which private feelings of childhood was ancien regime. if they in schoolboys seeing on the one hand the indecency involved please. on the other hand their books and and and women of clothes the than among on girls. and the virtue of these boys explains. In 1677 * married master was elected dean of the Tribe of Paris. a clerk of the court called du Bouky. and often all together. restore to tried That is family spirit. why they thus overthrowing the entire tradition of the religious moralists of the business company. Masters. writing desks. Villele among them. thanks to a greater intimacy between parents and children. he in the habit of taking in boarders. appealed against the election and the matter was Council.

This custom would seem to have developed during the seventeenth century. One can understand why mothers resorted to wet-nurses. when it was denounced by educational moralists who. THE FAMILY where he was born For everybody knows that where there are women living there are rooms for them where they dress in complete privacy [privacy that was probably fairly recent. of both die nobility and the middle class. did people get into the habit of putting them out to nurse in the country? Probably this comparatively recent custom can be interpreted as a protective measure . there are none to be seen in these Paris houses: 'Everybody knows that children arc put out to nurse in some neighbouring village so that there are as few cradles and swaddling-clothes to be seen in the house of a married master as in the aforementioned du Boulay's office/ custom of putting children out to common in urban circles such as those of the masters.1 hesitate as yet to call it a hygienic precaution to be linked with the other phenomena in which we have recognized a special solicitude for children. must have called for considerable skill and patience. Why then. In fact. But what wet-nurses? At first. in order to best treatment for the time.' As for children in the cradle. Using cow's milk was the poor man's fate. went on putting their children . . but very old.374 . since one of the plaintiffs could pretend ignorance of it. especially in lower middle-class families such as those of the college masters. It seems that in the rich families of the sixteenth and the early seventeenth century. despite the propaganda of the philosophers. long before Rousseau. can find nothing more expressive than the admission that he was brought up on cow's milk. and which were used as feeding-bottles. describe the abject poverty of his childhood in the early sixteenth century. The hygienic conditions obtaining on the farms which provided the milk made this repugnance understandable. they were probably servants recruited from the neighbourhood. and confined to big towns] and other rooms for the schoolboys. Moreover it was far from easy to give it to a child: the peculiar receptacles which are on display in the Musee de la Facult de Pharmacie in Paris. But their opinion rested only on traditions going back to Quintilian. and the foster-child stayed in the house with the other children. the babies were kept at home. . It could not hope to prevail over a practice which was doubtless based on experience and which was considered the texts These seem to indicate that the nurse 'in some neighbouring village* was that it was not One has only to consider the difficulties involved in feeding a baby if the mother's milk ran dry. well-to-do parents. The humanist Thomas Platter. urged mothers to feed their children themselves.

the more these communities monopolized not only his time but his mind. of domesticity. she stayed in the little children. then the concept of family feeling took the place of the other concepts of loyalty and service and became predominant or even exclusive. . which was family An equilibrium was incompatible with it. neighbours and relatives did not weigh so heavily on him. pleasure or prayer. remained virtually intact. a significant change took place in the meantime: the wet-nurse was moved kept their instead of the child. We Let us now the survival of a study the resistance of the centrifugal forces. on the other hand. and their replacement by little strangers. after the institution of the school. it left the social influences intact. Seventeenth- The historians have already stressed the survival late into the seventeenth of relationships which had previously been neglected. The story outlined here strikes one as that of the triumph of the modern family over other types of human relationship which hindered its development. For a long time the conditions of everyday life did not allow the essential withdrawal by the household from the outside world. The more man lived in the street or in communities dedicated to work. have seen in the preceding pages the rise of these centripetal forces. The competing century society in France was little men mixed with the made up of graded clienteles in which the 16 The formation of these groups called greatest. If. the general sociability of old. century monarchical centralization achieved by Richelieu and Louis XIV was more political than social. established in the seventeenth century between the centrifugal or social forces and the centripetal or family forces which was not destined to survive the progress of domesticity. This house and the parents was a phenomenon comparable to the substitution of the day-school for the boarding-school. that is to say until the progress of hygiene and aseptic methods made it safe to use animal milk. But the return of the children. and the emotional consequences of this to create the modern tightening of the family bonds were still not enough and its strong inner life. stubborn sociability. One of the great obstacles was doubtless the departure of the children when they were sent away to serve their apprenticeship. However. The progress of the concept of the family followed the progress of private life.FROM THE MEDICAL TO MODERN FAMILY 375 out to nurse until the end of the nineteenth century. If it succeeded in crushing the political powers with the crown. his relations with fellow-workers.

detracts from a man's reputation. all'. Or again. to quote lying boast (this La nor not civilitt nouvelle of 1671 19 : 'You will remember that the first rule is never to bring up frivolous matters difficult subjects among great and learned persons. etc. Material success. any were to better one's position by skilful use of this network of relations. Castiglione: 'I Hence the importance of conversation. That was how Balthazar Castiglione's courtier saw it in the sixteenth 17 'This is in my opinion the most fitting way of paying court century: for a nobleman living at a princely court. social as and exchanges. heard one another and met one another nearly every day.376 for a THE FAMILY whole network of daily contacts. on one's bearing during conversations. according to should again be particularly glad to hear about the manner of living and conversing with men and women: something which strikes me as most important in view of the fact that at court most of one's time -and not just at court. Domestic. a friendship century further than most. but 'one plausible. conventions and collective amusements were not separate activities conversations. All the etiquette manuals of is spent doing that' the seventeenth century insist on the importance of conversation. talk to Do among persons who cannot understand them as sores. meetings life more than professional life. . detail. which was performed 16 of everybody and to the satisfaction of The art of succeeding was the art of being agreeable in society. and they are today. infirmities.' A 'It seems to me that there whom he must maintain constant and close relations. and that is his choice of the friends with praise of others. To make a success of life was not to make a fortune. One must avoid the was the time of Corneille's Menteur). or at least that was of secondary it was above all to win a more honourable standing in a importance. household or excessively personal subjects must be avoided. on the need to know the art of conversation. involving an unimaginable number of calls. separate relations with the whole of the group into which one had been born. .' friendship in the whole of seventeenthwhich was a social relationship carried A to great place was given literature. When the French translator of Laurens Gracian (1645) suggested that the future 'Hero' should find an emploi he did not mean what we would now call a good job. society whose members all saw one another. of such melancholy things your company . 18 The recommendations in these manuals go into incredible Conversation must observe the proprieties. . private life and social The main thing was to maintain social functions. by which he may render perfect service in all reasonable matters in order to acquire the favour of some in sight and the man's future depended entirely on his is another thing which adds to or 'reputation'.

It is remarkable that this state of mind should have endured in a society in which the development of the school indicated the progress of a very different mentality. which is simply a sort of exchange of amour-propre. . Do not attempt to correct the . mothers and dancing or singing. The insistence on good manners and sociability was not new. . de Grenaille puts the problem in these terms: 'For my part. we are naturally led to seek it out and win it for ourselves . In L'Honneste garfori** home was problem was not as M. the bedside book 'In some nations. Nicole would kter express himself .. one must 'arrange one's opportunities' and 'endear oneself to others'.. in which we try to attract the love of others by showing them affection ourselves.' Galatte makes it quite clear that knowing how to converse is a virtue:*1 'I shall with what I consider necessary to learn to be thought well-bred begin and agreeably tactful when conversing with others. . We That is the basis of human courtesy. several of whom lived in the vicinity of Port-Royal. they say that he has not read Galatte. As for the Jansenists. of the seventeenth century: in similar terms in his essay 'De la civilit6 chretienne': 22 'The love of others being so necessary to support us. the for it had already been discussed topical as it appeared. I do not . . This ambiguity between traditional sociability and modern schooling was clearly perceived by contemporary observers. and particularly by the moralist pedagogues. . and in which writing did not yet occupy an important place in everyday life. . 'The closeness of their union [that of respectable people] does not depend simply on these spiritual ties but also on those other human cords which preserve it* -propriety and the art of living in society. in order . when people see a man commit some discourtesy. something which however is a virtue or something very like a virtue/ Galatle was used in the Jesuit colleges. war and death give your opinion unless it is asked for . To tell the truth. If one lives in to attract their affection. especially as that is lords We must remember that this art of conversation was not a minor art like Do not speak before thinking what you intend to say/ the duty of fathers. all of them examined the question whether private education at Nearly better than public education at school. . Sorel commented on Galatte. faults of . trials. context of their own time and circumstances. it went back to a very old concept of society in which communications were ensured less by school than by apprenticeship.' Good manners are to charity what pious gestures are to devotion. .FROM THE MEDIEVAL TO MODERN FAMILY 377 Do not recount your dreams Do not prisons. the world. . . moralist the but pedagogues discussed the problem in the by Quintilian. love or we pretend to love others. others.

' most which serious shortcoming of the college is the segrega- separates them from their natural social environ- ment. has blessed with is all its favours. or else it retards his development by keeping him away from adults. I will however venture to say that the Colleges are rather inexpensive Academies want for the public than necessary institutions for the nobility/ They 'make it for the poor as well as the rich to acquire those treasures of the possible mind which only persons of great wealth could possess in the past. they dangerous freedom [because they are not subjected to a constraint harmful to their self-confidence/ And M. and he cannot learn that in a place where people think more of dead than with the living. This would still be the opinion. I consider that private tuition is better than public. de Grenaille disapproves strongly of the 'Even if a child is not scandalized by his prolongation of childhood: less learn a great deal of childish nonsense the none he will schoolmates. in 1661. the tion of children. being unable to afford to keep masters at home. nor criticize the organization of the Colleges. There children who. M. This seem/ Public education it by no means a new opinion. which so many wise men have praised . that is to say with books than living with the we have the real reason for all this criticism: the dislike Here with men/ for school felt by those who remained more or less faithful to the old education by apprenticeship. bold though may was despised because it was held that the schools were in the hands of common in literature. de Grenaille adds this comment which reveals a nostalgic regret for the time when children were not set apart from adults: *They are not treated as others/ The school either risks corrupting the child by in the same putting way him in evil company.. a type of education which plunged the child and left it to society to train him to play his part straight into society immediately. The great development of the school did nothing to diminish the contempt felt for the schoolmaster. and it will be as difficult to cleanse him of the defilement of college life as to protect him from its vices/ Finally. But for those whom Fortune.. like Nature. are many consider themselves extremely fortunate to be maintained at public free of charge knowledge which previously had expense and to be given to be bought. School discipline was considered to be too strict. He needs to learn early in life how to behave in society as well as in the study. twenty years later. pedants: this opinion was and also most certainly in public opinion. of Marshal . There were other reasons for disliking the school.378 THE FAMILY to offend antiquity with modern opinions. *J ust as [ at home] children are not accorded never left the company of adults]. which he will later find it hard to forget. at least after Montaigne.

it hides in the alcoves of Ladies. In his Regies de Education des enfants (1687). Finally they are exposed the servants. and to the lewd talk and foolish remarks of foreign lackeys either foreseen or avoided/ who cannot always be kept away from them*. hitherto neglected and scarcely appreciated by their contemporaries.. in the homes of Princes and grandees.FROM THE MEDIEVAL TO MODERN FAMILY de Cailli&re. and it does not despise merchants. 'They unconsciously instruct themselves in life and in the behaviour of civilized people/ But there 'It is difficult easily' by mixing the duties of social are certain disadvantages: to maintain regular hours for study. the Abb6 Bordelon was of the same opinion: 'Teach children more for the world than through the school/ 26 It can be seen that throughout the seventeenth century there was a current of opinion which was hostile to the school. Time and again we come . had not fully realized the role which the school would play. and its doctrines are conversation and experience/ Conversation and familiarity with society have 'often made good men without any help from Letters. this better if to say/ At the The moralists. which they recognized. and those of education at home. Coustel submits problem to are brought up (this the too is and weighs the pros and cons. because mealtimes on which they depend cannot be fixed because of business and because of calls which are received which often cannot be The children also risk being excessively spoilt to the 'complaisant flattery of their by parents. . but which shows us how to employ both. . Some. They pour useful to us than all the university pedants out more good sense in one hour than we could read in a library in three days. in society. another sort of knowledge which teaches us how to use which speaks neither Greek nor Latin. the parents watch more closely over their health a new preoccupation). It is to be found in the Palaces . in the training of children. We shall be able to understand school was. The movements and the expression of the face have a charm which lends weight to what the tongue has end of the century.. we remember what a recent phenomenon the who had understood the importance of still education. 26 If children at home. tried to reconcile the advantages of the school. and conversations are living studies which are not a whit inferior to those of books . and they 'learn good manners more close analysis.. particularly those associated with Port-Royal. it delights in the company of soldiers.. It has prudence as a guide. . labourers. The world is a great book which teaches us something every moment. 24 'It is is 379 not enough to be versed in the knowledge taught at school. and had already played. or artisans. Habitual conversation with two or in the three wits can be more world . . there it.

They enjoy the of emulation: 'The pupils acquire a praiseworthy boldness in and this is speaking in public without going pale at the sight of others. the moralist pedagogues are rather reticent on the subject of the college. It is known that the were too big. 'little schools' . Theorists do not always give the truest picture of their times. In is to their studies as classes Coustel's opinion 'the excessive number of pupils it is to their morals. de Grenaille admits that parents are 'forced to send their children to college.' 'Private education' increases shyness. there was such a demand for college education that the classes were seriously overcrowded. benefits classes But the colleges also have certain disadvantages. when in fact. In everyday life . It will be noticed that the advantages which the colleges are recognized as possessing have very little to do with tuition. they are social in character.' What we as much an obstacle know about crowded and the unruliness of schoolboys enables us to understand Cordier's in this sort of place. Yet this opposition was no aberration.famous but ephemeral.' There was a solution to the problem which had already been proposed by Erasmus: 'to put five or six children with a good man or two in a have seen that this formula was adopted by Portprivate house'. as we have seen. With a few exceptions. "As soon as young children set foot start losing that innocence. Thus M. it can be explained by the retained in spite of the people were better able importance which social apprenticeship still progress of scholastic education. preferring them to be in a classroom than in a kitchen'. We An historian who confined himself to their testimony could legitimately conclude that public opinion was hostile to scholastic forms of education.380 across this THE FAMILY problem of the dreaded promiscuity of the servants. sometimes containing over a hundred pupils. in his time. that simplicity and that modesty which hitherto made them so pleasing to God and men alike. children 'make useful friendships in them which often last until the end of their days'. 'civil' as they would have been called at the time. 27 Coustel recognizes that in any case the question is of a theoretical character because. essential for those who are destined to hold high office. every boy was sent to college: 'The practice is to put them in colleges/ usually employed for the education of children These institutions have their advantages. even the school's worst enemies recognized that this was a powerful argument in its favour. they anxiety. It was also famous in the Royal founded in the late in numerous the private pensions which were adopted seventeenth century and in the course of the eighteenth.

When you have taken a morsel of food out of your mouth.' In French there was the book Comment se Stans puer ad mensam. The word 'civil* was roughly synonymous with our modern word The word civility* would thus correspond to what we call * 'good manners'. English. . In the Middle Ages they were also addressed to women. The sources fall into three very old categories. Do not roll up your cloth. civility was the practical knowledge which it was necessary to have in order to live in society and which could not be acquired at school: what we call etiquette. how to answer and wash your hands questions. . clerics as well as 'courtesy'. people who could read Latin as well as people who could understand only the vernacular. Keep your trencher straight in These practical Do not doze at table Do not belch front of . before dinner. Italian and even Latin. Many of these were written in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in French.. . . In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. * 381 civility'.. . how to kneel before one's master. Do not rub your hands on your arms table. Le Roman de la Rose is in it recommends women to wear a sort of corset part a treatise on courtesy: advice on their toilet. recommendations were usually presented in the form of couplets.. and must not spit or do anything unclean in front of the guests. civility already existed The origins of the manuals when schools the older name of were confined to clerics. Under of civility which were so common in the sixteenth are somewhat complex. kept . . Do not pick your teeth with the point Do not spit at of your knife . The later manuals of etiquette did not mention women. . They were intended for everybody. ' you . . The 'social*. their or bones metal) and gives them (without intimate hygiene. .FROM THE MEDIIWAL TO MODERN FAMILY than the educational theorists to reconcile schooling and one did not exclude the other. how to say grace before a meal... . and the care of the 'house of Venus' which had to be well shaven.. . how to greet people. were books for 29 children or youths: in English they were known as the 'babees books'. but in fact it meant much more. He who waits at table must be clean. For these tenir a table\ in Latin.. 'Wash your hands . Do not sit down until you are invited to do so . or manuals of etiquette and seventeenth centuries laymen.. 'Cut your finger-nails fairly frequently.. do not put it back on the plate . They taught how to speak correctly.. . First of all the 'treatises of courtesy*. In Italian there was a manual called 26 This manual included such directions as: Zinquanta cortesie da Tavola.

And it teaches him to refrain from mean actions. that the lover must become versed in the arts and sciences in order to please his mistress. one's friends. as also in conversation or behaviour at table all this pell-mell and on the same level.382 as if their role in life THE FAMILY had diminished at the end of the Middle Ages and the times. to teach his children a trade. rules of morality and arts of love were all . and to bestow his affections in one quarter only. Francesco de love manuals of the sixteenth century. Andre le Barberini's Document! d'amore. all the and of women affections for the companions of a winning recipes life in which one is never alone. But where we see the pressure of trivial social conventions in these writings. one's servants. not to practise soothsaying and magic. to avoid he is desire of gluttony (especially when it was accompanied by the 'shameful not to be a complaisant husband. but always in the midst of a large. exacting society. to choose his wife well. not to worry if not to on to not count legacies. wife's lord to greet people correctly and acknowledge their greetings. of modern beginning The second source of the manuals of etiquette can be seen in the rules of morality contained in a collection of late Latin adages attributed in the Middle Ages to Cato the Elder. his own decently. social conformity and what is not done in all spheres . to conceal his defects (for better than an evil reputation). not to indulge in slander. that the husband is and master (this would change later). to restrain dissimulation is anger against his servants. not to talk about or worry about his dreams. old of fun make not to men. that he must not scold her or try to read her letters or discover her secrets. Treatises on courtesy. to distrust women (including be afraid of death.in one's relations with one's wife. These recommendations combine what we should now consider common- and crude common sense: what is done place morality. to be These are generous. somebody in the company starts whispering (and not to imagine in such cases that his being discussed). our ancestors recognized the commandments of life in common. The third source of the manuals of etiquette consisted of the writings on the arts of pleasing or the arts of love: Ovid's Ars amoris. Le Roman de la Rose is a typical not his example. not to talk smart and clean. love').' Cato's distichs were used for several centuries: they were still being 30 They tell the reader how to live reprinted in the eighteenth century. It tells the reader to avoid jealousy. to guard his tongue. to avoid arrogance. Le Roman de la Rose cites them as a reference: 'This is also Cato's opinion if you remember his book. the guardians of real values. wife). the Chapelain's De amore. gay and merry and coarsely. etc. Cato's distichs.

Antoine de Courtin and finally Jean-Baptiste de La Salle. a life which was spent well as the in human contacts and conversation. They were accordingly printed in different characters . each column in a different type: French and Latin of course. gothic manuscript in the printing of this type of book and which caracteres de dvilitt. with the first lessons in reading and writing. Moreover the text was sometimes printed in several languages. although advanced in years. Children were taught to read and write from manuals of etiquette. Perhaps the most notable names are those of Cordier. The result was two genres. in vertical columns. are none the insufficiently versed in the courtesies and proprieties which have to be observed in society' 81 Thus in Grimoux's painting in the Mus6e des . The manuals of etiquette in fact taught modern and German (never and no languages which were not taught in college. This complex and abundant medieval literature changed in the sixteenth century and became much simpler. which founded the genre. whose Ragles de la biense'ance et de la dvilite chr&ienne was reprinted an infinite number of times in the eighteenth and even in the the courtiers' or treatises early nineteenth century. The manual of etiquette was not many existed in a complicated typographical range: not only roman. die only conceivable life outside the cloister. but also Italian. But these books were not by any means intended solely for children. they should be associated with the tuition of little children. Spanish English. The fact that these manuals and only were therefore called were intended for an educational purpose resulted in their being given a picturesque typographical appearance. similar in nature but different in form: die 'civili ties' or manuals of and activities as on the art of succeeding in life. Circumstances extension of (the schooling) dictated that. All the later manuals. were inspired by Erasmus or slavishly copied him. Antoine de Courtin's manual was addressed 'not only to persons with children but also to those less who. a school book. and although they contained rules of behaviour which were both unsuitable to be taught in school and difficult to teach. the serious games. a language which at that time had a limited audience cultural value). but it satisfied a more need than the old courtesy treatises or die sayings of the pseudo-Cato.FROM THE MEDIEVAL TO MODERN FAMI'LY 383 intended to achieve the same result: to initiate the young man (and sometimes the lady) in social life. although these manuals were not intended for school use. and there were a great many of them. italic but also the characters which were used characters.as characters as strictly educational * etiquette. The first manual of etiquette was that by Erasmus.

and in which everyone had to take special care to behave properly: not to eat too quickly. We kept all their facing above: CHILD'S below : TOMB ANTOON ANSELME AND HIS FAMILY . or rubbing stones or pieces of iron attention to excrement on * together' (another finger-joints or to manual of etiquette urges people not to crack their noise when coughing or sneezing). One should avoid yawning.in which everyone's role was minutely defined. and suitable for those who take pleasure not only in the Latin tongue but also in the vernacular tongues which at present enjoy greater favour'. nor draw the roads. It tells the reader that 'to put one's hand on a part of one's body in public is anything but commendable'. to behave adult world. reached an extraordinarily wide public in the first half of the seventeenth century. and when the latter were plunged straight into society. gurgling. since it was given to them at the start. 32 Galatee. One should avoid offending other people's senses by 'grinding one's teeth. or included adult matters. keeping one's mouth open or looking at one's make too much find here the old precepts on table manners. originally composed in Italian by J. just as the Stans puer ad mensam of the fifteenth century condemned the habit of scratching in society. not to put handkerchief. Galatde teaches its readers how to behave and converse in society. such as clearly make out the caracteres de The how They contained both advice to children on and moral recommendations which we would consider unintelligible to children. nor get people to smell stinking things'. Like the other manuals.384 Augustins at Toulouse THE FAMILY we have an adolescent girl reading a tiviliti.which it has practically ceased to be today . Galat&e. whistling. de La Case and since rendered into French. the meal was still a social rite . The Jesuits had adopted it: an edition of 1617 was specially intended for the boarders of the Society of Jesus at La Fl&che and the boarders of the same Society's college at Pont-aMousson. which importance until the end of the eighteenth century. book in which we can subjects dealt with in these manuals were not always intended for children: they often to treat one's wife and servants. they had plenty of time to assimilate all this knowledge. Latin. One * We functions. should not dress or undress in public when performing one's natural nor wash ostentatiously immediately afterwards. is described as 'a treatise essential for the education of young people in all the manners and customs approved by people of honour and virtue. One of them. These manuals were considerably influenced by the habits of a period when there were no restrictions on the readingmatter made available to children. They went straight into the to how how grow old gracefully. have often had occasion to refer to the manuals of etiquette. German and Spanish'.



Editions of manuals of etiquette continued to appear from the sixteenth to* the eighteenth century. with good behaviour. the founder of an educational institute. social in places children] to perform other natural functions anywhere except where one cannot be seen. this is only spitting. carefully repeating in his turn the traditional recommendations of the manuals of etiquette: 'Take special care to see that there is no vermin or smells. One should always behave in a dignified manner with the servants (certain proud creatures 'are constantly scolding their servants and rebuking them and keep their entire family in perpetual tribulation'). burdened with cares and responsibilities. table-manners. 'It is shameful to seem tolerable in the case of labourers or peasants. like the preceding manuals. not to pick one's teeth.' 'It is unseemly to strike a blow with one's N facing: LITTLE GIRL AT THE WINE-MBRCHANT'S . to spit in a discreet fashion'. shows the importance that was attributed to subjects which have now become trivial. the Canon of Reims. People of book had the feeling that there were no unimportant things in That is why there was nothing astonishing about Jean-Baptiste de La Salle. and in the street (where one's walk should be neither too quick nor too slow and where one should never stare at passers-by). these precautions are most important with regard to children.' There is a long discourse on ways of to have dirty. Admittedly it was a matter of educating a boorish rural population. One should not ask for writing-paper or a chamberpot when a meal is ready and one's hands are washed.' 'When one needs to urinate. since the institution of schools. hair. in this sphere as in any other. One should not be shy or familiar or melancholy.PROM THE MEDIEVAL TO MODERN FAMILY one's elbows possible 385 on if it and the table. Ragles de la biensdance et de la civilite chr&ienne. and it is wrong [even for earlier times life. filthy hands. street-traffic and military service. and the discipline of good manners was more necessary than in our present-day society where people are more subject to all sorts of public authorities and police controls: the State has taken the place of good manners in the training of the individual. One should always give in to the company's wishes. That by JeanBaptiste de La Salle. clothes. had as much success in the eighteenth century as those by Erasmus and Cordier or as Galatte in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. should have taken the trouble to draw up a treatise which deals. The fact that a pious pedagogue. The explains how one should dress: 'A man must make every effort to approximate as closely as he can to the style of dress of the other citizens and allow himself to be guided by custom/ Any eccentricity. all very similar one to the other. is a sign of lise-soci&4. not to 'spit as far as is absolutely necessary. etc. one should always retire to some secluded spot. without ever imposing one's own..

etiquette. 'The sweet and orderly behaviour of children. to serve the meal and to clear the table. should be content with his lot. These arts were the essential subject-matter of The Courtier. a few centuries earlier. and indeed of a whole literature. Jean-Baptiste that the school had not yet monopolized all the functions of instruction. M. and good manners indeed are a main part of good education. It was to last until the middle of the seventeenth century. to lay the table. because this speaketh to every one that the child is well taught though perhaps he learn but little. an heroic ideal in which one can recognize the spirit of the Renaissance.' 83 The enormous number of manuals of The Courtier In the early seventeenth century people still talked about 'knowing 9 in the original Italian. Great attention was still paid to those good manners which. just as : Spanish. Is it not true that noblemen are endowed by nature with an air in their degradation? Children of majesty which commands respect even of the nobility seem to command even in . new editions and from Erasmus to de La Salle and beyond. Ambition was considered a virtue. translated from the translation). shows adaptations. of books such as Laurens Gracian's He'ros... or for a young man's clothes to be more ornate than an old man's.de Grenaille. This eagerness to rise in the world was not seen as an appetite for pleasure and comfort but as an ideal calling for strict discipline and unflinching determination. Nobody. he should constantly think of bettering it.386 THE FAMILY hand when playing with someone/ 'One should not shake one's legs.' wrote an English pedagogue in the seventeenth century. had been the essential features of apprenticeship. it was felt. nor cross them/ The reader is also told how to dress: 'It is unseemly for a child to be dressed like a man. of Faret's L'Honn&te Homme. 85 This subject can be reduced to two basic ideas: ambition and reputation. tasks specially reserved for children and youths. which Daniel Mornet has studied. Le Courtisan in French (II Cortegiano they could say of a man that he had read his Galatte?* Balthazar Castiglione's The Courtier created a genre (just as Erasmus created the prototype of the manuals of etiquette) the genre of the arts of pleasing and succeeding.' And of course there is the usual long chapter on 'the way to cut and serve meat'. 'addeth more credit to a school than due and constant teaching. nor move them playfully. knows the importance of noble birth: 'I should like the honneste garfon to be born into some noble family. It finds ingenuous expression in a passage in L'Honne$tegarfonThc author.

had to be constantly maintained by new exploits and new displays of skill: 'Greatness must be renewed. let every man know you but no man understand you. In short. writes Faret in L'Honnfre Homme. increases as the result of a 'generous ambition*. conceal his faults ill-gotten riches. he will try to become a count. Intellectual or technical competence and moral worth were not envisaged. How was this 'elevation* to be achieved? There was only one way: fame and reputation. die great infinite. and the infinite more/ 'Virtue'. great only by a man had to be prepared to use To secure this favour and this even friendship. This is because the latter sometimes neglect everything whereas the former neglect nothing/ And who M. you who aspire to greatness. Thanks to this art. but they were included in the approval which consecrated a man as 'famous* and 'likeable*. which reveals the moral value attributed to ambition. and applause resuscitated/ the and the of the favour of means friendship of one's peers. whereas commoners who are sometimes placed of authority seem to be receiving orders when they give them/ But another social concept is is no less important in the author's eyes: nobility a 'divine quality this honour* -and raise the titles which upholds courage and virtue and not a vain and it quality is acquired by virtue or reputation. all so essentially the aim of who is wish to obtain consideration sullied it at there and disguised. Dissimulation was permissible: *Oh. de Grenaille accords his admiration to these brave achievements: the honneste gargon should 'realize that his nobility will be more honourable if he acquires it by merit than if he had it by birth/ This is a curious text. coming from an honourable family. to and to simulate qualities. man whose passion works only to win fame. find themselves in only a very lowly or very mediocre position should strive to rise by means of skill and to conquer nature by means of industry/ 'There are more men of lowly birth who become great than great men maintain themselves in the same position.FROM THE MEDIEVAX TO MODERN FAMILY 387 in a position subjection. the mediocre will seem 'is great. The honneste garfon will of his house: 'If he is born a mere nobleman he will want to become a baron. however. if he is a marquess. he will press the rights which Nature lias given him as far as Fortune will allow/ 'Those who. 88 each tries Court that although everyone to give the impression that he purity/ possesses chances to speak to the courtier only once in his in all its This was understandable: 'A life man who if will go away pleased he with him and will say things about him which he would never say 39 had seen the depths of his soul/ . not that they were overlooked. 37 Success could be obtained reputation reborn. This approval.

He . art In order to 'acquire people's love'. and on his school dialogues. social influences. This was a manual based on that written by Cordier. and sociability. the greatest perfection revolting/ In the second half of the seventeenth century. the genres born of * ' Erasmus's changes. who was a schoolmaster. civility and Castiglione's courtier underwent some significant * ' time The Renaissance ideal of ambition and elevation disappeared at the same as the courtier was replaced by the honnfae homme and the court by was no longer considered in society. either to bow to the master or to greet his companions. their regime would be reduced to a more fragile and less opulent worldHness. the finest achievement is dead. and they recalled established practices which had not hitherto been written down but which had none the less been respected and sincere. on such subjects as the behaviour of 41 the schoolboy. which the Chevalier Mer to fortune and prestige. a man needed 'tact'. remained extremely dense and powerful. but they gradually lost moral content and ceased to be a virtue. there was a whole chapter on 'the way in which the child must behave at school*. This was the scarcely an evolution which would gather speed in the perceptible beginning of nineteenth and centuries: the coherent sociability of the ancien eighteenth them. It taught that the child should take off his hat on entering the school. However. this evolution was only hinted at. A a distinguished mediocrity. And here we come back to civility. to the of living in society: 'Without 40 it. to the exclusion of adults. to etiquette. It good taste to aspire too obviously new ideal appeared. was to cultivate throughout his work: the search for the happy mean. for all that it was less heroic and less exemplary. 'a beautiful a perfect life'. they explained how a well-bred man should behave. Like their distant models in the Middle Ages. The manuals of etiquette remained for a long time descriptions of good manners which were intended for children as well as for adults in so far as members of either group had not yet learnt them. This concept did not reduce the weight of but it no longer attributed the same moral value to Good manners remained just as necessary. the manuals of etiquette retained their traditional appearance. but they gave more and more place the to educational advice and to recommendations addressed simply to children. In a manual published in iy6i. during the second half of the seventeenth century.388 THE FAMILY soul. In the second half of the seventeenth century.

both for reasons of propriety and in order to be able to find his clothes in any emergency which might arise.' In the evening. he should be washed and caressed. he should lie down in bed to sleep. It told how hood. he should sleep neither on his back nor on but on his side [a piece of medieval medical advice]. theft or falsehood. with the choice of a trade. and so on. * arranged and entirely covered. after undressing.' the enlarged scope of the traditional manuals was too narrow to the new educational preoccupations. the parents should examine his conscience: 'If the child has lived like a man*. or else he should learn at home what he will have to recite before his master. This was a consequence of the development of the school. which were simply records of established practice. and with the difficult problems also with masters.' his belly. and he should not sleep without a shirt. ticularly Even in I666. they from spirit. 43 Coustel's presented in the form of advice to parents: Varet's in 1687. parsatisfy in the Port-Royal entourage. If correct him by making fun of him he h