« PoprzedniaDalej »
humain, in the provinces. If a young person
is ambitious of acquiring the elements of science, he must not look to the central schools for assistance, but he must work at home, and employ masters, who are to be found in abundance, and who will do him justice, though they wear no silk scarfs, and are not members of the National Institute. When he shall have completed his courses, then he may attend the lectures of any of those professors who give public lectures in any of the schools which I shall now proceed to enumerate ; and here I feel it incumbent on me to recommend them most strenuously to the attention of every person who visits Paris with a view to instruction. The professors are all men well chosen, adepts in the sciences which they are appointed to teach, and justly celebrated throughout Europe for their profound researches into the respective sciences which they have cultivated.
I begin with the Geographical school under the direction of M. Riche Prony, member of the National Institute, in the class of Mechanical Arts. In this school, the science of Geography is well taught, theoretically and experimentally, and the mode of drawing maps and plans seientifically explained. Twenty pupils are admitted upon this establishment, with salaries, after they have completed their studies at the Polytechnic school.
The school of Roads and Bridges, is also under the direction of M. Prony. This very useful intitution was founded by Trudaine, during the monarchy, and contains a valuable collection of models. Thirty-six Polytechnicans are received into this school, with an annual stipend of eight hundred and forty livres. Le Sage, of the class of Natural History and Mineralogy in the National Institute, is the superintendant.
The school of Naval Architecture, is also an institution of the old monarchy. Fifteen hundred livres is the annual salary allotted to each Polytechnican admitted here. Filtz, is the mathematical professor, Pomet the professor of Naval Architecture; La Place, (encore un membre de l'Institut) of the class of Geometry in the Institute, is the examiner; and Borda and Dudin are the directors. There are several beautiful models and plans in the collection of this school.
The school of Medicine, contains above a thousand students, twenty professors, a modeller in wax, and a designer. Thouret and Sue *, Desessartz and Sabatir are the most distinguished lecturers. This large and extensive building merits the name of a Museum, as it is filled with a vast collection of anatomical preparations and chirurgical instruments, a large library, amphitheatre, and laboratorv.
* M. Sue possesses also a very beautiful private Anatomical Museum. VOL. II. c
The school of Pharmacy, is attended by most of the students in the former; it has a botanic garden, in which lectures are delivered in pharmacy, natural history and chemistry, by several of the professors from the school of Medicine. These two institutions ought to be united.
The Mineral school, containing a more beautiful, rich, and extensive collection of minerals, than is to be met with in all the cabinets of the world united together, is magnificence itself. The minerals alone completely fill six capacious apartments; and they are arranged with such astonishing nicety, judgment, and elegance, that they command the highest raptures of admiration. The decorations of the rooms are uncommonly splendid, displaying the utmost refinement of delicacy and taste. Besides minerals, there are a multitude of designs, plans of pits and mines, and models of every kind of machinery employed in working them. Twenty pupils are admitted into this excellent establishment, with considerable salaries *. Vauquelin of the class of Chemistry in the National Institute, is the Inspector of the Laboratory, and the learned Abbé Hauy, is the superintendant of the Minerals, and is now occupied on a large work upon the subject of Mineralogy. The lecture-room is a model of beauty and elegance;
* These appointments may be compared to the Fellowships at our Universities, though they are not so well paid.
and the brilliancy of the Minerals gives it the air of an hall of Diamonds. Nothing can exceed the splendour of the stair-case leading to it, or the happy disposition and beauty of the whole edifice. This place is also appropriated to the National Mint.
Amidst the various species of minerals in this collection, it is extraordinary that it has not been enriched by different specimens of our Derbyshire spar. I believe these are the only deficiencies in the whole cabinet; and yet no measures have been taken to supply them. The mineralogists of Paris have even gone so far as to express their ignorance concerning them. No one can doubt the profound knowledge of M. Hauy in this branch of science, but he has been shewn specimens which were wholly new to him.
Mr. Mawe, of Derby, who has established in Tavistock-street, London, a very large repository for all kinds of English minerals, particularly those extracted from the mines of Derbyshire, and who has devoted many years to the study of mineralogy, is now in this capital, endeavouring, if possible, to introduce the British spar, as an article of commerce.
His exhibition has attracted the attention of the learned and the curious, but he has not hitherto found much encouragement. He assured me, that the French mineralogists were startled at some of the articles which he produced. C 2
From this circumstance, I am inclined to think, he will finally succeed in his adventure *.
The college of France, in the Place de Cambrai, has survived the storms of the Revolution, and still maintains its ancient reputation. It has seventeen professors, who are men of the greatest merit and celebrity in the republic of letters. Lalande, one of the ablest astronomers in Europe, is the professor of Astronomy; La Croix, the most profound geometrician in the world, is professor of Mathematics; and our estimable friend, De la Metherie, is professor of Natural History. The
* Since my return to England, Mr. Mawe lias informed me, that he has completely failed in his object. He was repeatedly with De la Metherie and M. Hauy, who expressed the greatest anxiety for the introduction of the British minerals into France. The latter went so far as to solicit the government to permit their importation. Mr. Mawe applied also to Chaptal, the Minister of the Interior, and who, as a scientific man, could not oppose so rational a proposition. However, after having expended several months in waiting attendance, and in solicitations, he received a letter from M. Chaptal, (which I have seen) stating, that he was at liberty to do any thing conformably to the laws of France; which was as much as telling him to betake himself home; because the laws of France do not admit the importation of any wrought articles from England. Indeed, Mr. Mawe was afterwards told, that he might import as large a quantity of the unwrought materials as he thought convenient, but that they must be positively wrought by Frenchmen. As this amounted to an absolute prohibition, he returned to England immediately.