Infomotions, Inc.The Modern Regime, Volume 2 / Taine, Hippolyte, 1828-1893

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Title:  The Modern Regime, Volume 2
Title:  The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 6

Author:  Hippolyte A. Taine

April, 2001  [Etext #2582]
[Most recently updated December 15, 2002]

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The Modern Regime, Volume 2
The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 6
by Hippolyte A. Taine^M 

BOOK FIFTH.  The Church.




BOOK SIXTH. Public instruction.



CHAPTER III. Evolution between 1814 and 1890.


After Taine's death in March 1893, his nephew André Chevrillon
arranged his last manuscripts on the Church and Education for
publication and wrote the following introduction which also tells us
much about Taine and his works

PREFACE   By André Chevrillon.

"To treat of the Church, the School, and the Family, describe the
modern milieu and note the facilities and obstacles which a society
like our own encounters in this milieu, such was the program of the
last[1] section of the "Origins of Contemporary France." The preceding
volume is a continuation of the first part of this program; after the
commune and the department, after local societies, the author was to
study moral and intellectual bodies in France as organized by
Napoleon. This study completed, this last step taken, he was about to
reach the summit. He was about to view France as a whole, to
comprehend it no longer through a detail of its organs, in a state of
formation, but its actual existence; no longer isolated, but plunged,
along with other occidental nations, into the modern milieu,
experiencing with them the effects of one general cause which changed
the physical and intellectual condition of men; which dissolved
sentiments formerly grouping them together, more or less capable at
length of adapting themselves to new circumstances and of organizing
according to a new type suited to the coming age that now opens before

  Only a part of this last volume was written, that which relates to
the Church and to public instruction. Death intervened and suddenly
arrested the pen. M. Taine, at this moment, was about completing his
analysis of subordinate societies in France. - For those who have
followed him thus far it is already clear that the great defect of the
French community is the fragmentation of the individuals, who
isolated, dwindling, and prostrate at the feet of the all-powerful
State, who, due to  remote historical causes, and yet more so by
modern legislation, have been made incapable of "spontaneously
grouping around a common interest." Very probably - and of this we may
judge by two sketches of a plan, undoubtedly provisional, but the
ideas of which were long settled in his mind - M. Taine would have
first described this legislation and defined its principles and
general characteristics. He meant to show it more and more systematic,
deliberately hostile to collective enterprise, considering secondary
bodies not as "distinct, special organs," endowed with a life of their
own, "maintained and stimulated by private initiation," but as agents
of the State "which fashions them after a common pattern, imposes on
them their form and prescribes their work." - This done, this defect
pointed out, the author was to enumerate the consequences flowing from
it, the social body entirely changed, "not only in its proportions but
in its innermost texture," every tendency weakened by which
individuals form groups that are to last longer than themselves, each
man reduced to his own self, the egoistic instinct enhanced while the
social instinct wastes away for want of nourishment, his daily
imagination solely concerned with life-long aims, incapacitated for
politics as he is "lacking spheres of action in which he may train
himself according to his experiences and faculties", his mind
weakening in idleness and boredom or in a thirst for pleasure and
personal success, - in short, an organic impoverishment of all
faculties of cohesion, leading to the destruction of the natural
centers of grouping and, consequently, to political instability.[2]

  One association of special import remains, the most spontaneous, the
deepest rooted, so old that all others derive from it, so essential
that in any attack upon it we see even the substance of the social
body decaying and diminishing. On the nature of the Family; on its
profound physiological origins; on its necessary role in the
prolongation and "perpetuation of the individual" by affording him
"the sole remedy for death"; on its primitive constitution among men
of our own race; on its historic organization and development "around
the family home"; on the necessity of its subsistence and continuance
in order to insure the duration of this home; on its other needs, M.
Taine, with his knowledge of man and of his history, had given a good
deal of thought to fundamental ideas analogous to those which he has
consecrated to the classic spirit, to the origin of honor and
conscience, to the essence of local society, so many stones, as it
were, shaped by him from time to time and deeply implanted as the
foundations of his criticism of institutions. Having set forth the
proper character and permanent wants of the Family he was able to
study the legislation affecting it, and, first, "the Jacobin laws on
marriage, divorce, paternal authority and on the compulsory public
education of children; next, the Napoleonic laws, those which still
govern us, the Civil Code" with that portion of it in which the
equality and leveling spirit is preserved, along with "its tendency to
regard property as a means of enjoyment" instead of the starting-point
and support of "an enduring institution." - Having exposed the system,
M. Taine meant to consider its effects, those of surrounding
institutions, and to describe the French family as it now exists. He
had first studied the "tendency to marriage"; he had considered the
motives which, in general, weaken or fortify it, and appreciated those
now absent and now active in France. According to him, "the healthy
ideal of every young man is to found a family, a house of infinite
duration, to create and to rule." Why in modern France does he give
his thoughts to "pleasure and of excelling in his career"? Why does he
regard marriage "without enthusiasm, as a last measure, as a
'settling-down,' and not as a beginning, the commencement of a
veritable career, subordinating all others to it and regarding these,
pecuniary and professional, as auxiliary and as means?" - After the
tendency to marriage, "the tendency to paternity." How does the
shrunken family come to live only for itself? In what way, in default
of other interests, - homestead, domain, workshop, lasting local
undertakings, - how does the heart, now deprived of its food by the
lack of invisible posterity, fall back on affection for visible
progeny?[3] In a country where there are few openings, where careers
are overcrowded, what are the effects of this paididolatry[4], and, to
sum up in one phrase, in what way does the French system of to-day
tend to develop the most fatal of results, the decline in the birth

Here the study of institutions on a grand scale terminated. Formerly,
M. Taine had contemplated a completion of his labors by a description
of contemporary France, the product of origins scrutinized by him and
of which he had traced the formation. Having disengaged his factors he
meant to combine them, to show them united and acting in concert, all
centering on the great actual facts which dominate the rest and which
determine the order and structure of modern society. As he had given a
picture of old France he aimed to portray France as it now is, with
its various groups, - village, small town and large city, - with its
categories of men, peasants, workmen, bourgeois, functionaries and
capitalists; with the forces that impel each class along, their
passions, their ideas, their desires. Besides the numerical statistics
of person he meant to have set forth the moral statistics of souls.
According to him, psychological conditions exist which render the
social activity of men possible or impossible. And, especially, "in a
given society, there is always a psychological state which provokes
the state of that society." It was his aim to seek out in the novel,
in poetry, in the arts since 1820, that is to say in all works that
throw light on the various and successive kinds of the reigning ideal
- in philosophy, in religion, in industry, in all branches of French
action and thought - the signs of the psychological tendencies of
modern Frenchman in this or that social condition. What would this
book have been? M. Taine had sketched it out so far back, he had
abandoned it for so long a time and never alluded to it, that nothing
remains by which we can form any idea of it. But, in this undertaking
demanding so much science, so much intuition, so much experience of
accurate observation, of general views and precise generalization - in
this vast study requiring such profound knowledge, not alone of France
but of societies offering points of comparison with her, we may be
certain that the author of Notes sur Paris, Notes sur l'Angleterre, of
the Ancien Régime, the critic accustomed to interpret civilizations,
literature and works of art, the thinker, in fine, who, to prepare
himself for the greatest tasks he undertook, traveled five times over
France, studying its life with the eyes of an artist, in the light of
history and of psychology, ever preceding his philosophic study with
visual investigation, would have been equal to the task.[5]

 Already for several years, M. Taine, aware that his time was short,
had narrowed the limits of the work he was engaged upon. But what his
work lost in breadth and in richness of detail it would have gained in
depth and in power. All his master ideas would have been found in it,
foreshortened and concentrated. Always seeking in this or that group
of them what he called his generators, intellectual and moral as well
as political, he would have described all those which explain the
French group. Unfortunately, here again the elements are wanting which
allow one to foreshadow what this final analysis and last construction
might have been. M. Taine did not write in anticipation. Long before
taking the pen in hand he had derived his most significant facts and
formed his plan. He carried them in his brain where they fell into
order of themselves. Ten lines of notes, a few memoranda of
conversations - faint reflections, to us around him, of the great
inward light - are all that enable one to attempt an indication of the
few leading conceptions were to complete "Les Origines de la France

"Le Milieu Moderne", was to have been the title of the last book. The
question here is how to discover the great characteristics of the
period into which European societies entered and about were to live.
Rising to a higher point of view than that to which he had confined
himself in studying France, M. Taine regarded its metamorphosis as a
case of transformation as general as the passage of the Cité antique
over to the Roman Empire over to the feudal State. Now, as formerly,
this transformation is the effect of a "change in the intellectual and
physical condition of men"; that is to say, in other words, in the
environment that surrounds them. Such is the advent of a new
geological period, of a glacial period, for example, or, more
precisely, "the very slow and then accelerated upheaval of a
continent, forcing the submarine species which breathe by gills to
transform themselves into species which breathe by lungs." It is
impossible to divine in what sense this adaptation takes place if we
do not comprehend the event, that is to say if we do not perceive its
starting-point and the innate force which produces it. According to
Taine, this force, in the present case, is the progress the increasing
authority of positive, verifiable science. What a definition he would
have given of science and its essence! What a tableau of its progress,
the man whose thought was matured at the moment when the scientific
spirit entered into history and literature; who breathed it in his
youth with the fervid and sacred enthusiasm of a poet seeing the world
grow brighter and intelligible to him, and who, at the age of twenty-
five, demanded of it a method and introduced this into criticism and
psychology in order to give these new life - the mechanical equivalent
of heat, natural selection, spectroscopic analysis, the theory of the
microbes, recent discoveries in physics and the constitution of
matter, research into historic origins, psychological explanation of
texts, extension of oriental researches, discoveries of prehistoric
conditions, comparative study of barbaric communities - every grand
idea of the century to which he has himself contributed, all those by
which science embraces a larger and larger portion of the universe, he
saw them containing the same essence; all combining to change the
conception of the world and substitute another, coherent and logical
in the best minds, but then confused and disfigured as it slowly
descends to the level of the crowd. - He would have described this
decent, the gradual diffusion, the growing power of the new Idea, the
active ferment which it contains after the manner of a dogma,
beneficent or pernicious according to the minds in which it lodges,
capable of arming men and of driving them on to pure destruction when
not fully comprehended, and capable of reorganizing them if they can
grasp its veritable meaning.

Its first effects are simply destructive, for, through Darwinism,
through experimental psychology, through the physiology of the brain,
through biblical exegesis, through the comparative study of savage
communities and their moral systems, the new concepts at first shocks
the religious idea which it tends to replace; even, with the half-
cultivated and in the minds of novices, it tends to pure negation, to
hostility against existing religions. To every social gathering around
the religious idea that explains and sustains it, what a disturbance
in the secular system formed by the co-ordination and mutual
adaptation of laws, customs, morality, and institutions! What a
rupture of the inward equilibrium which maintains man passive and
tranquil! The consequent mental agitation will lead to agitation,
impulsion, ambitions, lassitude, despondency, and disorder in all the
sentiments which had thus far maintained every species of society, the
family, the commune, the Church, free association and the State! -
Now, along with the immediate effects of science on the intellectual
habits of men consider the effects of its application to their
material condition; at first, their increased well-being, their power
increased, then the rupture of the ties that bind them to their
birthplace, the concentration of masses of workmen in the towns to
which they are attracted by great and rapid industrial development,
the influx of new ideas, of every species of information, the gradual
decline of the old hereditary prejudices of caste and parish which act
automatically as instincts, and are useful as instincts to the small
groups in which the individual is born and in which he lives. How
could such a profound change in the condition of humanity fail to
undermine everywhere the order of things which group men together? Why
should not the new milieu at once attack all ancient forms of society?
For, at the moment of its establishment, there exists in Europe a
general form of society manifest through features in common; a
monarchy - hereditary royalty, dynastic but frequently limited, at
least in fact, - a privileged nobility performing military service as
a special function, a clergy organized as a Church, proprietary and
more or less privileged, local or special bodies also proprietary -
provinces, communes, universities, brotherhoods, corporations - laws
and customs which base the family on paternal authority, perpetuating
it on the natal soil and by social rank; in brief, institutions which
modern ideas disturb in every direction, the first effect of which is,
while developing the spirit of doubt and investigation, to break down
subordination to the king, to the gentleman, to the noble, and, in
general, to dissolve society founded on heredity. Such phenomena are
already observable everywhere, the ruin of feeble corporations by the
state, its constant tendency to interference, to the absorption of
every special service and the descent of power into the hands of a
numerical majority. - What plan, then, governs these societies in the
way of reorganization, and, since they all belong to a common type,
what are the common resources and difficulties of adaptation? On what
lines must the metamorphosis be effected in order to arrive at a
viable creations? And, abandoning the general problem in order to
return to contemporary France, grown up and organized under our own
eyes, how does the great modern event affect it? How does "this common
factor combine with special factors, permanent and temporary," belong
to our system? With the French, whose hereditary spirit and character
are easily defined, in this society founded on Napoleonic institutions
moved by our "administrative mechanism," what are the peculiar
tendencies of a leveling democracy which seeks immediate
establishment? Among the maladies which are special with us - feeble
birth-rate, political instability, absence of local life, slow
industrial and commercial development, despondency and pessimism - can
an aptitude for transformation which we do not possess be
distinguished in the sense demanded by the new milieu ? The knowledge
we have of our origins, of our psychology, of our present
constitution, of our circumstances, what hopes are warranted?

M. Taine could not have replied to all these questions. If, twenty
years ago, on the morrow after our disasters, just as we once more set
about a new organization, putting aside literature, art, and
philosophy, noble contemplation and pure speculation, abandoning works
already projected, he gave himself up to the technical study of law,
political economy and administrative history; if, for twenty years, he
secluded himself and devoted himself to his task - at what a cost of
prolonged effort, with what a strain his mental faculties, with what
weariness and often with what dissatisfaction! - if he shortened his
life, it was to discharge what he deemed a duty to that suffering
France which he loved with tender and silent passion, the duty of
aiding in her cure by establishing the general diagnosis which a
philosopher-historian was warranted in presenting after a profound
study of its vital constitution. The examination finished, he felt
that he had a right to offer the diagnosis. Not that his modesty
permitted him to foretell the future or to dictate reforms. When his
opinion was asked in relation to any reform he generally declined
giving it. "I am merely a consulting physician," he would reply; "I do
not possess sufficient details on that particular question - I am not
sufficiently familiar with circumstances which vary from day to day."
In effect, according to him, there is no general principle from which
one can deduce a series of reforms. On the contrary, his first
recommendation would have been not to try to find simple solutions in
political and social matters, but to proceed by experiments, according
to temperaments, and accepting the irregular and the incomplete. - One
becomes resigned to this course by a study of history and by acquiring
"the sense of surrounding facts and developments." Here do we find the
general remedy for the destructive effects produced by the brusque
progress of science, and she herself furnishes this remedy, when, from
the hasty and the theoretical, she becomes experimental and builds on
the observation of facts and their relations. "Through psychological
narration, through the analysis of psychological conditions which have
produced, maintained, or modified this or that institution, we may
find a partial solution to each question of reform," gradually
discovering laws and establishing the general conditions that render
possible or impossible any given project. When constituted and then
developed, reorganized, respected and applied to human affairs, the
sciences of humanity may become a new instrument of power and
civilization, and, just as the natural sciences have taught us to
derive profit from physical forces, they may teach us to benefit by
moral forces. M. Taine believed that the French were very well
qualified for this order of study: if any other people possess
superior mental faculties in respect of memory or a better knowledge
of philology, he thought we had in our favor a superiority of the
psychological sense.

Except for such beneficial generalities which may provide general
hygienic guidelines, could M. Taine have suggested immediate remedies?
It is scarcely probable. In any even, he was not a partisan for hasty
decentralization. When, under the influence of a bad system, an
organization has contracted a vice that reaches its vital organs, the
following treatment nearly becomes mandatory;[6] in any event, no
sudden modification of it must be thought of; all that can be done is
to lessen its pernicious effect by resorting to make-shift or short
term measures. Taking advantage of unforeseen circumstances, using
great circumspection, noting favorable symptoms that had impressed him
- for example a certain new birth of the spirit of association under
the Third Republic - leaving to political authorities the care "of
adjusting means" to the diversity and mobility of things, we may
believe that M. Taine would have confined himself to indicating in
what sense we could, with prudence, lay our course. To do this, it
sufficed for him to sum up his diagnosis and lay down the conditions
of duration and progress. In a matter of such vital import nobody can
speak for him. Accordingly, if the conclusion is not written, whoever
knows how to read his thought may divine it. The work, such as it is,
is finished; it already contains his ideas in full; the intelligent
eye has only to follow them and to note their consequences and
       André Chevrillon
Menthon, St-Bernard, October, 1893.

BOOK FIFTH.  The Church.


I. Napoleon's Objectives.

Centralization and moral institutions - Object of the State in
absorbing Churches. - Their influence on civil society.

After the centralizing and invading State has taken hold of local
societies there is nothing left for it but to cast its net over moral
societies[7], and this second haul is more important than the first
one; for, if local societies are based on the proximity of physical
bodies and habitations, the latter are formed out of the accord which
exists between minds and souls; in possessing these, the hold is no
longer on the outside but on the inside of man, his thought, his will;
the incentive within is laid hold of, and this directly; then only can
he be fully mastered, and disposed of at discretion. To this end, the
main purpose of the conquering State is the possession of the
Churches; alongside as well as outside of itself, these are the great
powers of the nation; not only does their domain differ from its own
but, again it is vaster and lies deeper. Beyond the temporal patrimony
and the small fragment of human history which the eyes of the flesh
perceive, they embrace and present to mental vision the whole world
and its first cause, the total ordinance of things, the infinite
perspective of a past eternity and that of an eternity to come.
Underneath the corporeal and intermittent actions which civil power
prescribes and regulates, they govern the imagination, the conscience
and the affections, the whole inward being, that mute, persistent
effort of which our visible acts are simply the incomplete expressions
and rare outbursts. Indeed, even when they set limits to these,
voluntarily, conscientiously, there is no limit; in vain do they
proclaim, if Christian, that their kingdom is not of this world;
nevertheless, it is, since they belong to it; masters of dogma and of
morals, they teach and command in it. In their all-embracing
conception of divine and human things, the State, like a chapter in a
book, has its place and their teachings in this chapter are for it of
capital importance. For, here do they write out its rights and duties,
the rights and duties of its subjects, a more or less perfect plan of
civil order. This plan, avowed or dissimulated, towards which they
incline the preferences of the faithful, issues at length,
spontaneously and invincible from their doctrine, like a plant from
its seed, to vegetate in temporal society, flower and fructify therein
and send its roots deeper down for the purpose of shattering or of
consolidating civil and political institutions. The influence of a
Church on the family and on education, on the use of wealth or of
authority, on the spirit of obedience or of revolt, on habits of
initiation or of inertia, of enjoyment or of abstention, of charity or
of egoism, on the entire current train of daily practice and of
dominant impulses, in every branch of private or public life, is
immense, and constitutes a distinct and permanent social force of the
highest order. Every political calculation is unsound if it is omitted
or treated as something of no consequence, and the head of a State is
bound to comprehend the nature of it if he would estimate its

II. Napoleon's opinions and methods.

Napoleon's opinions on religion and religious belief. - His motives in
preferring established and positive religions. - Difficulty in
defining the limit between spiritual and temporal authority. - Except
in Catholic countries, both united in one hand. - Impossible to effect
this union in France arbitrarily. - Napoleon's way of attaining this
end by another process. - His intention of overcoming spiritual
authority through temporal interests.

This is what Napoleon does. As usual with him, in order to see deeper
into others, he begins by examining himself:

"To say from whence I came, what I am, or where I am going, is above
my comprehension. I am the watch that runs, but unconscious of

These questions, which we are unable to answer,

"drive us onward to religion; we rush forward to welcome her, for that
is our natural tendency. But knowledge comes and we stop short.
Instruction and history, you see, are the great enemies of religion,
disfigured by the imperfections of humanity. . . . I once had faith.
But when I came to know something, as soon as I began to reason, which
happened early, at the age of thirteen, my faith staggered and became

This double personal conviction is in the back-ground of his thinking,
when he drafted the Concordat:

 "It will be said that I am a papist.[9] I am nothing. In Egypt I was
a Moslem; here I shall be a Catholic, for the good of the people. I do
not believe in religions. The idea of a God!" (And then, pointing
upward:) "Who made all that?"

Imagination has already decorated this great name with its legends.
Let us content ourselves with those already existing; "the
restlessness of man" is such that he cannot do without them; in
default of those already made he would fashion others, haphazard, and
still more strange. The positive religions keep man from going astray;
it is these which render the supernatural definite and precise;[10]
"he had better catch it there than pick it up at Mademoiselle
Lenormand's, or with some fortune-teller or a passing charlatan." An
established religion

"is a kind of vaccination which, in satisfying our love of the
marvelous, protects us against quacks and sorcerers;[11]the priests
are far better than the Cagliostros, Kants, and the rest of the German

In sum illuminism and metaphysics,[12] speculative inventions of the
brain or of a contagious overexcitement of the nervous system, all
these illusions of gullible men, are basically unhealthy, and, in
general, anti-social. Nevertheless, since they are part of human
nature, let us accept them like so many streams tumbling down a slope,
but on condition that they remain in their own beds and that they have
many but no new ones and never one bed alone for itself.

 "I do not want a dominant religion, nor the establishment of new
ones. The Catholic, Reformed, and Lutheran systems, established by the
Concordat, are sufficient."[13]

Their direction and force are intelligible, and their irruptions can
be guarded against. Moreover, the present inclinations and
configurations of the human soil favor them; the child follows the
road marked out by the parent, and the man follows the road marked out
when a child.

 "Listen,[14] last Sunday, here at Malmaison, while strolling alone in
the solitude enjoying the repose of nature, my ear suddenly caught the
sound of the church-bell at Rueil. I was moved, so strong is the force
of early habits and education! I said to myself, What an impression
this must make on simple, credulous people!"

 Let us gratify them; let us give back these bells and the rest to the
Catholics. After all, the general effect of Christianity is

"As far as I am concerned,[15] I do not see in it the mystery of the
incarnation, but the mystery of social order, the association of
religion with paradise, an idea of equality which keeps the rich from
being massacred by the poor."

"Society[16] could not exist without an inequality of fortunes, and an
inequality of fortunes without religion.[17]  A man dying of
starvation alongside of one who has abundance would not yield to this
difference unless he had some authority which assured him that God so
orders it that there must be both poor and rich in the world, but that
in the future, and throughout eternity, the portion of each will be

Alongside of the repressive police exercised by the State there is a
preventive police exercised by the Church. The clergy, in its cassock,
is an additional spiritual gendarmerie, much more efficient than the
temporal gendarmerie in its stout boots, while the essential thing is
to make both keep step together in concert.

Between the two domains, between that which belongs to civil authority
and that which belongs to religious authority, is there any line of

 "I look in vain[19] where to place it; its existence is purely
chimerical. I see only clouds, obscurities, difficulties. The civil
government condemns a criminal to death; the priest gives him
absolution and offers him paradise."

In relation to this act, both powers operate publicly in an inverse
sense on the same individual, one with the guillotine and the other
with a pardon. As these authorities may clash with each other, let us
prevent conflicts and leave no undefined frontier; let us trace this
out beforehand; let us indicate what our part is and not allow the
Church to encroach on the State. - The Church rally wants all; it is
the accessory which she concedes to us, while she appropriates the
principal to herself.

 "Mark the insolence of the priests[20] who, in sharing authority with
what they call the temporal power, reserve to themselves all action on
the mind, the noblest part of man, and take it on themselves to reduce
my part merely to physical action. They retain the soul and fling me
the corpse!"

In antiquity, things were much better done, and are still better done
now in Moslem countries.

"In the Roman republic,[21] the senate was the interpreter of heaven,
and this was the incentive of the force and strength of that
government. In Turkey, and throughout the Orient, the Koran serves as
both a civil and religious bible. Only in Christianity do we find the
pontificate distinct from the civil government."

And even this has occurred only in one branch of Christianity.
Everywhere, except in Catholic countries,

"in England,[22] in Russia, in the northern monarchies, in one part of
Germany, the legal union of the two powers, the religious control in
the hands of the sovereign, 'is an accomplished fact.' One cannot
govern without it; otherwise, the repose, dignity, and independence of
a nation are disturbed at every moment."

It is a pity that "the difficulty[23] cannot be overcome as with Henry
VIII. in England. The head of the French government would then, by
legislative statute, be the supreme head of the French Church."

Unfortunately, this is repugnant to France. Napoleon often tries to
bring it about, but is satisfied that in this matter "he would never
obtain national cooperation"; once embarked," fully engaged in the
enterprise, "the nation would have abandoned him." Unable to take this
road, he takes another, which leads to the same result. As he himself
afterwards states, this result "was, for a long time and always, the
object of his wishes and mediations. . . . It is not his aim[24] to
change the faith of his people; he respects spiritual objects and
wants to rule them without meddling with them; his aim is to make
these square with his views, with his policy, but only through the
influence of temporal concerns." That spiritual authority should
remain intact; that it should operate on its own speculative domain,
that it to say, on dogmas, and on its practical domain, namely, on the
sacraments and on worship; that is should be sovereign on this limited
territory, Napoleon admits, for such is the fact. We have only to open
our eyes to see it; right or wrong, spiritual authority on this
distinct domain is recognized sovereign, obeyed, effective through the
persistent, verified loyalty of believers. It cannot be done away with
by supposing it non-existent; on the contrary, a competent statesman
will maintain it in order to make use of it and apply it to civil
purposes. Like an engineer who comes across a prolific spring near his
factory, he will not try to dry it up, nor let the water be dispersed
and lost; he has no idea of letting it remain inactive; on the
contrary, he collects it, digs channels for it, directs and economizes
the flow, and renders the water serviceable in his workshops. In the
Catholic Church, the authority to be won and utilized is that of the
clergy over believers and that of the sovereign pontiff over the

 "You will see," exclaimed Bonaparte, while negotiating the Concordat,
"how I will turn the priests to account, and, first of all, the

III. Dealing with the Pope.

Services which he obliges the Pope to render. - Resignation or
dismissal of the old bishops. - End of the constitutional Church. -
Right of appointing bishops and of sanctioning curés given to the
First Consul.

"Had no Pope existed," he says again,[26] "it would have been
necessary to create him for the occasion, in the same way that the
Roman consuls appointed a dictator for difficult circumstances." Only
such a dictator could effect the coup d'état which the First Consul
needed, in order to constitute the head of the new government a patron
of the Catholic Church, to bring independent or refractory priests
under subjection, to sever the canonical cord which bound the French
clergy to its exiled superiors and to the old order of things, "to
break the last thread by which the Bourbons still communicated with
the country." "Fifty émigré[27] bishops in the pay of England now lead
the French clergy. Their influence must be got rid of, and to do this
the authority of the Pope is essential; he can dismiss or make them
resign."  Should any of them prove obstinate and unwilling to descend
from their thrones, their refusal brings them into discredit, and they
are "designated[28] as rebels who prefer the things of this world,
their terrestrial interests to the interests of heaven and the cause
of God." The great body of the clergy along with their flocks will
abandon them ; they will soon be forgotten, like old sprouts
transplanted whose roots have been cut off; they will die abroad, one
by one, while the successor, who is now in office, will find no
difficulty in rallying the obedient around him, for, being Catholic,
his parishioners are so many sheep, docile, taken with externals,
impressionable, and ready to follow the pastoral croisier, provided it
bears the ancient trademark, consists of the same material, is of the
same form, conferred from on high and sent from Rome.  The bishops
having once been consecrated by the Pope, nobody save a Gregory or
some antiquarian canonist will dispute their jurisdiction.

The ecclesiastical ground is thus cleared through the interposition of
the Pope.  The three groups of authorities thereon which contend with
each other for the possession of consciences[29] - the refugee bishops
in England, the apostolic vicars, and the constitutional clergy -
disappear, and now the cleared ground can be built on.  "The Catholic
religion being declared[30] that of the majority of the French people,
its services must now be regulated.  The First Consul nominates fifty
bishops whom the Pope consecrates. These appoint the curés, and the
state pays their salaries. The latter may be sworn, while the priests
who do not submit are sent out of the country.  Those who preach
against the government are handed over to their superiors for
punishment.  The Pope confirms the sale of clerical possessions; he
consecrates the Republic."  The faithful no longer regard it askance.
They feel that they are not only tolerated, but protected by it, and
they are grateful.[31]  The people recover their churches, their
curés, the forms of worship to which they are almost instinctively
accustomed, the ceremonial which, to their imagination, belongs to
every important act of their lives, the solemn rites of marriage,
baptism, burial, and other sacramental offices. - Henceforth mass is
said every Sunday in each village, and the peasants enjoy their
processions on Corpus-Christi day, when their crops are blessed.  A
great public want is satisfied.  Discontent subsides, ill-will dies
out, the government has fewer enemies; its enemies, again, lose their
best weapon, and, at the same time, it acquires an admirable one, the
right of appointing bishops and of sanctioning the curés. By virtue of
the Concordat and by order of the Pope, not only, in 1801, do all
former spiritual authorities cease to exist, but again, after 1801,
all new titularies, with the Pope's assent, chosen, accepted, managed,
disciplined,[32] and paid by the First Consul, are, in fact, his
creatures, and become his functionaries.-

IV. The Pope, Napoleon's employee.

Other services expected of the Pope. - Coronation of Napoleon at
Notre-Dame. - Napoleonic theory of the Empire and the Holy See. - The
Pope a feudatory and subject of the Emperor. - The pope installed as a
functionary at Paris, and arch-chancellor on spiritual matters. -
Effect of this for Italy.

Over and above this positive and real service obtained from the
sovereign pontiff, he awaits others yet more important and undefined,
and principally his future coronation in Notre Dame.  Already, during
the negotiations for the Concordat, La Fayette had observed to him
with a smile:[33] "You want the holy oil dropped on your head"; to
which he made no contradictory answer.  On the contrary, he replied,
and probably too with a smile: "We shall see! We shall see!"  Thus
does he think ahead, and his ideas extend beyond that which a man
belonging to the ancient régime could imagine or divine, even to the
reconstruction of the empire of the west as this existed in the year
800. "I am not Louis XIV.'s successor," he soon declares,[34] "but of
Charlemagne. . . . I am Charlemagne, because, like Charlemagne, I
unite the French crown to that of the Lombards, and my empire borders
on the Orient."  In this conception, which a remote history furnishes
to his boundless ambition, the terrible antiquitarian finds the
gigantic and suitable framework, the potent, specious terms, and all
the verbal reasons he requires. Under Napoleon, the successor of
Charlemagne, the Pope can be only a vassal: "Your Holiness is the
sovereign of Rome, but I am its emperor," the legitimate suzerain.
"Provided with "fiefs and counties" by this suzerain, the Pope owes
him political fealty and military aid; failing in this, the endowment,
which is conditional, lapses and his confiscated estates return to the
imperial domain to which they have never ceased to belong.[35] Through
this reasoning and this threat, through the rudest and most adroit
moral and physical pressure, the most insidious and most persevering,
through spoliation, begun, continued and completed by the abduction,
captivity and sequestration of the Holy Father himself, he undertakes
the subjection of the spiritual power: not only must the Pope be like
any other individual in the empire,[36] subject by his residence to
territorial laws, and hence to the government and the gendarmerie, but
again he must come within the administrative lines; he will no longer
enjoy the right of refusing canonical investiture to bishops appointed
by the emperor,[37] "he will, on his coronation, swear not to take any
measures against the four propositions of the Gallican Church,"[38] he
will become a grand functionary, a sort of arch-chancellor like
Cambacérès and Lebrun, the arch chancellor of the Catholic cult. -
Undoubtedly, he resists and is obstinate, but he is not immortal, and
if he does not yield, his successor will: it suffices to choose one
that is manageable, and to this end things work in the next conclave.

 "With my influence and our forces in Italy," Napoleon says
afterwards,[39] "I did not despair, sooner or later, by one means or
another, of obtaining for myself the control of the Pope, and,
thenceforward, what an influence, what a lever on the opinion of the
rest of the world!"

"Had I returned victorious from Moscow, I intended to exalt the Pope
beyond measure, to surround him with pomp and deference.  I would have
brought him to no longer regretting his temporality; I would have made
him an idol.  He would have lived alongside of me.  Paris would have
become the capital of Christendom, and I would have governed the
religious world the same as the political world. . . . I would have
had my religious as well as legislative sessions; my councils would
have represented Christianity; the Popes would have been merely their
presidents.  I would have opened and closed these assemblies,
sanctioned and published their decrees, as was done by Constantine and
Charlemagne."  In 1809, the restoration of the great Carlovingian and
Roman edifice had begun; its physical foundations were laid.  By
virtue of a decree,[40] "the expenses of the Sacred College and of the
Propaganda were declared imperial."  The Pope, like the new dukes and
marshals, was endowed with a landed income on "property in different
parts of the empire, two millions of rural revenue free of all
taxation.  "Necessarily" the Pope must have two palaces, one at Paris
and the other at Rome.  He is already nearly fully installed in Paris,
his person being all that was lacking.  On arriving from
Fontainebleau, two hours off, he would find everything belonging to
his office; "the papers[41] of the missions and the archives of Rome
were already there."  "The Hôtel Dieu was entirely given up to the
departments of the court of Rome. The district around Notre Dame and
the Ile Saint-Louis was to be the headquarters of Christendom!" Rome,
the second center of Christendom, and the second residence of the
Pope, is declared[42] "an imperial and free city, the second city of
the empire"; a prince of the empire, or other grand dignitary, is to
reside there and "hold the court of the emperor."  "After their
coronation in the cathedral of Notre Dame at Paris, the emperors" will
go to Italy before the tenth year of their reign, and be "crowned in
the church of St. Peter at Rome."  The heir to the imperial throne
"will bear the title and receive the honors of the King of Rome."
Observe the substantial features of this chimerical construction.
Napoleon, far more Italian than French, Italian by race, instinct,
imagination, and souvenirs, considers in his plan the future of Italy,
and, on casting up the final accounts of his reign, we find that the
net profit is for Italy and the net loss is for France.  "Napoleon
wanted to create the Italian kingdom over again,[43] combining
Piedmont, Tuscany, etc., in one united independent nation, bounded by
the Alps and the sea. . . . This was to be the immortal trophy erected
in his honor. . . . He awaited impatiently the birth of a second son
that he might take him to Rome, crown him King of Italy and proclaim
the independence of the great peninsula under the regency of Prince
Eugene."  Since Theodoric and the Lombard kings, it is the Pope who,
in preserving his temporal sovereignty and spiritual omnipotence, has
maintained the sub-divisions of Italy; let this obstacle be removed
and Italy will once more become a nation. Napoleon prepares the way,
and constitutes it beforehand by restoring the Pope to his primitive
condition, by withdrawing from him his temporal sovereignty and
limiting his spiritual omnipotence, by reducing him to the position of
managing director of Catholic consciences and head minister of the
principal cult authorized in the empire.

V. State domination of all religion.

Services which Napoleon desires or expects from the French clergy. -
His Roman idea of civil power. - Development of this conception by the
jurists. - Every religious association must be authorized. - Legal
statutes which fix the doctrine and discipline of the four authorized
Churches. - Legal organization of the Catholic Church. - Its doctrine
and discipline to be that of the old Gallican Church. - New situation
of the French Church and new rôle of civil power. - It sets aside its
ancient obligations. - It retains and augments its regalian rights. -
The Church of France before 1789 and after 1802. - Increased
preponderance and complete dominion of the civil power.

In carrying out this plan, he will use the French clergy in mastering
the Pope, as the Pope has been made use of in mastering the French
clergy. To this end, before completing the Concordat and decreeing the
Organic Articles, he orders for himself a small library, consisting of
books on ecclesiastical law.  The Latin works of Bossuet are
translated for him, and he has drawn up an exposition of the Gallican
parliamentary doctrine.  The first thing is to go down to the roots of
the subject, which he does with extraordinary facility, and then,
recasting and shaping all theories to suit himself, he arrives at an
original, individual conception, at once coherent, precise, and
practical; one which covers the ground and which he applies alike to
all churches, Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, and even Jewish, to every
religious community now existing and in time to come. His master-idea
is that of the Roman legists and of ancient imperial jurisprudence;
here, as elsewhere, the modern Caesar goes back beyond his Christian
predecessors to Constantine, and farther still, to Trajan and
Augustus.[44] So long as belief remains silent and solitary, confined
within the limits of individual conscience, it is free, and the State
has nothing to do with it. But let it transgress these limits, address
the public, bring people together in crowds for a common purpose,
manifest itself openly, it is subject to  control; forms of worship,
ceremonies, preaching, instruction and propaganda, the donations it
calls forth, the assemblies it convenes, the organization and
maintenance of the bodies it engenders, all the positive applications
of the inward reverie, are temporal works.  In this sense, they form a
province of the public domain, and come within the competency of the
government, of the administration and of the courts. The State has a
right to interdict, to tolerate, or to authorize them, and always to
give them proper direction. Sole and universal proprietor of the
outward realm in which single consciences may communicate with each
other, it intervenes, step by step, either to trace or to bar the way;
the road they follow passes over its ground and belongs to it; its
watch, accordingly, over their proceedings is, and should be, daily;
and it maintains this watch for its own advantage, for the advantage
of civil and political interests, in such a way that concern for the
other world may be serviceable and not prejudicial to matters which
belong to this one. In short, and as a summary, the First Consul says,
in a private conversation:

"The people want a religion, and this religion should be in the hands
of the government!"[45]

On this theme, his jurists, old parliamentarians or conventionalists,
his ministers and counselors, Gallicans or Jacobins, his spokesmen in
the legislative assembly or the tribunate, all imbued with Roman law
or with the Contrat Social are capital megaphones for proclaiming the
omnipotence of the State in polished sentences.  "The unity of public
power and its universality," says Portalis,[46] "are a necessary
consequence of its independence."  "Public power must be self-
sufficient; it is nothing if not all..." Public power cannot tolerate
rivals; it cannot allow other powers to establish themselves alongside
of it without its consent, perhaps to sap and weaken it.  " The
authority of a State might become precarious if men on its territory
exercise great influence over minds and consciences, unless these men
belong to it, at least in some relation."  It is careless "if it
remains unfamiliar or indifferent to the form and the constitution of
the government which proposes to govern souls," if it admits that the
limits within which the faith and obedience of believers "can be made
or altered without its support, if it has not, in its legally
recognized and avowed superiors, guarantees of the fidelity of
inferiors."  Such was the rule in France for the Catholic cult
previous to 1789, and such is to be the rule, after 1801, for all
authorized cults.  If the State authorizes them, it is "to direct such
important institutions with a view to the greatest public utility."
Solely because it is favorable to "their doctrine and their
discipline" it means to maintain these intact and prevent "their
ministers from corrupting the doctrine entrusted to their teaching, or
from arbitrarily throwing off the yoke of discipline, to the great
prejudice of individuals and the State."[47] Hence, in the legal
statute by which a Church is incorporated and realizes what she is, it
states in precise terms what it exacts or permits her to be;
henceforward she shall be this or that and so remain; her dogmas and
her canons, her hierarchy and her internal regime, her territorial
subdivisions and circumscriptions, her regular or casual sources of
income, her teachings and her liturgy are definite things and fixed
limitations.  No ecclesiastical assembly, Protestant, Catholic, or
Israelite, shall formulate or publish any doctrinal or disciplinary
decision without the government's approbation.[48] No ecclesiastical
assembly, Protestant, Catholic, or Israelite, shall be held without
the approval of the government.  All sacerdotal authorities, bishops
and curés, pastors and ministers of both Protestant confessions,
consistorial inspectors and presidents of the Augsbourg Confession,
notables of each Israelite circumscription, members of each Israelite
consistory, members of the central Israelite consistory, rabbis and
grand-rabbis, shall be appointed or accepted by the government and
paid by it through an executory" decision of its prefects.  All the
professors of Protestant or Catholic seminaries shall be appointed and
paid by the government.  Whatever the seminary, whether Protestant or
Catholic, its establishment, its regulations, its internal management,
the object and spirit of its studies, shall be submitted to the
approval of the government.  In each cult, a distinct, formulated,
official doctrine shall govern the teaching, preaching, and public or
special instruction of every kind; this, for the Israelite cult, is"
the doctrine expressed by the decisions of the grand Sanhedrin";[49]
for the two Protestant cults, the doctrine of the Confession of
Augsbourg, taught in the two seminaries of the East, and the doctrine
of the Reformed Church taught in the Genevan seminary;[50] for the
Catholic cult, the maxims of the Gallican Church, the declaration, in
1682, of the assembly of the clergy[51] and the four famous
propositions depriving the Pope of any authority over sovereigns in
temporal matters, subordinating the Pope to ecumenical councils in
ecclesiastical and spiritual concerns, and which, in the government of
the French Church, limit the authority of the Pope to ancient usages
or canons inherited by that Church and accepted by the State.

In this way, the ascendancy of the State, in ecclesiastical matters,
increases beyond all measure and remains without any counterpoise.
Instead of one Church, it maintains four, while the principal one, the
Catholic, comprising 33 million followers, and more dependent than
under the old monarchy, loses the privileges which once limited or
compensated it for its subjection. - Formerly the prince was its
temporal head, on condition that he should be its exterior arm, that
it should have the monopoly of education and the censorship of books,
that he should use his strong arm against heretics, schismatics and
free-thinkers. Of all these obligations which kings accepted, the new
sovereign frees himself, and yet, with the Holy See, he holds on to
the same prerogatives and, with the Church, the same rights as his
predecessors. He is just as minutely dictatorial as formerly with
regard to the details of worship. Sometimes he fixes the fees and
perquisites of the priests for administering the sacraments: "This
charge is a purely civil and temporal operation, since it resolves
itself into a levy of so many pence on the citizen. Bishops and
priests should not be allowed to decide here.[52] The government alone
must remain the arbiter between the priest who receives and the person
who pays." Sometimes, he intervenes in the publication of plenary
indulgence: "It is essential[53] that indulgences should not be
awarded for causes which might be contrary to public order or to the
welfare of the country; the political magistrate is equally interested
in knowing what the authority is that grants indulgences; if its title
to act is legal, to what persons indulgences are granted, what persons
are entrusted with their distribution, and what persons are to fix the
term and duration of extraordinary prayers." - Thus bound and held by
the State, the Church is simply one of its appendices, for its own
free roots by which, in this close embrace, it still vegetates and
keeps erect have all been cut off short; torn from the soil and
grafted on the State, they derive their sap and their roots from the
civil powers. Before 1789, the clergy formed a distinct order in
temporal society and, above all others, a body possessing property and
exempt from taxes, a tax-payer apart which, represented in periodical
assemblies, negotiated every five years with the King himself, granted
him subsidies and, in exchange for this "disinterested gift," secured
for itself concessions or confirmations of immunities, prerogatives
and favors. Today, it is merely a collection of ordinary individuals
and subjects, even less than that - an administrative staff similar to
that of the university, of the magistrature, of the treasury, and of
the woods and forests, even more closely watched and bridled, with
more detailed precautions and stricter interdictions. Before 1789, the
curés and other second-class officials were, for the most part,
selected and installed without the prince's intervention, sometimes by
the bishop of the diocese or a neighboring abbé, sometimes by
independent collators, by the titular himself,[54] by a lay patron or
a chapter, by a commune, by an indultaire, by the pope, while the
salary of each titular, large or small, was his private property, the
annual product of a piece of land or of some indebtedness attached to
his office and which he administered. Nowadays, every incumbent, from
the cardinal-archbishop down to a canon, cantonal curé, and director
or teacher in a seminary, is appointed or accepted by the civil power
to which he swears fidelity. His salary, set down in the budget, is
simply that of a public employee, so many francs and centimes for
which he comes monthly to the office of the treasury paymaster, along
with others of his colleagues who are employed by the State in non-
Catholic cults, together with others, his quasi-colleagues, whom the
State employs in the university, in the magistrature, in the
gendarmerie, and in the police.[55]  Such, in all branches of social
life, is the universal and final effect of the Revolution. In the
Church, as elsewhere, it has extended the interference and
preponderance of the State, not inadvertently but intentionally, not
accidentally but on principle.[56]  "The Constituent" (Assembly), says
Siméon, "had rightly recognized that, religion being one of the oldest
and most powerful means of government, it was necessary to bring it
more than it had been under the control of the government." Hence, the
civil constitution of the clergy; "its only mistake was not to
reconcile itself with the Pope." At present, thanks to the agreement
between Pope and government (Napoleon, First Consul), the new régime
completes the work of the ancient régime and, in the Church as
elsewhere, the domination of the centralizing State is complete.

VI. Napoleon Executes the Concordat.

Reasons for suppressing the regular clergy. - Authorized religious
associations. - The authorization revocable.

These are the grand lines of the new ecclesiastical establishment, and
the general connections by which the Catholic Church, like an
apartment in a building, finds itself included in and incorporated
with the State.  It need not disconnect itself under the pretext of
making itself more complete; there it is, built and finished; it
cannot add to or go beyond this; no collateral and supplementary
constructions are requisite which, through their independence, would
derange the architectural whole, no monastic congregations, no body of
regular clergy; the secular clergy suffices. "Never[57] has it been
contested that the public power had the right to dissolve arbitrary
institutions which do not insist on the essence of religion and which
are judged suspicious or troublesome to the State."  As a principle,
all religious communities should be judged in this way; for they are
spontaneous bodies; they form their own organization, and without the
aid of the State, through the free will of their members; they live
apart, according to the proper and peculiar statute which they adopt,
outside of lay society, alongside of the established Church, under
distinct chiefs chosen by themselves, sometimes under foreign ones,
all more or less independent, all, through interest and by instinct,
gathered around the Holy See, which, against diocesan authority and
episcopal jurisdiction, serves them as protector. Formerly, the
monks[58] formed the Pope's militia; they recognized no other
sovereign, and thus were they more to be feared by governments than
the secular clergy. The latter, without them, "would never have caused
embarrassment;" henceforth there will be no other body.[59] "I want
bishops, curés, vicars, and that's all!  Religious communities have
been allowed to re-establish themselves against my instructions; - I
am informed that, at Beauvais, the Jesuits have formed establishments
under the name of the Fathers of Faith.  It should not be allowed " -
and he prohibits it by decree.[60]  He dissolves "all associations
formed under the pretext of religion and unauthorized." He decides
that, in future, "no aggregation or association of men or of women
shall be formed under pretext of religion unless formally authorized;"
he enjoins the prosecuting attorneys of his courts "to prosecute even
by extra proceedings all persons of both sexes who directly or
indirectly violate this decree."  He reserves to himself, however, the
faculty of authorizing communities by which he can profit, and, in
fact, he authorizes several of these as instruments which society
needs, or which are useful to the State, especially nursing or
teaching sisters of charity,[61] the brethren of Christian
schools,[62] and, first in rank, the Lazarists and the Fathers of
foreign missions.[63]  "These monks," he says,[64]  will be of great
service in Asia, in Africa, and in America. I will send them to
procure information on the state of the country.  Their robe protects
them, while it is a cover to political and commercial designs. . . . I
will allow them a capital to start with of 15,000 francs rental. . . .
They cost little, are respected by savages, and, having no official
character, can not compromise the government."  Moreover, "religious
zeal leads them to undertake work and to face perils which are beyond
the strength of a civil agent." - Of course, as they are "secret
diplomatic agents," the government must keep them in hand and direct
them. Consequently, "their superior must no longer reside in Rome, but
at Paris."  The same precaution is taken with reference to other
congregations, which, in teaching or in charity, become regular
auxiliaries of the lay power.  "The general-superior of the Sisters of
Charity will live in Paris[65]; the entire body will then be in the
hands of the government."  As to the brethren of the Christian
schools, Napoleon absorbs these in his university.[66]  "They must be
licensed by the grand-master,[67] who will certify to their internal
regulations, accept their oaths, prescribe a special costume, and
superintend their schools." Observe the exigencies of the government
at this point, its measures for controlling the religious orders
authorized by it.  Abbé Hanon,[68] the common superior of the Sisters
of Saint-Vincent de Paul, having refused to place Madame Lœtitia
(Napoleon's mother) at the head of the council of the order, is
carried off at night and shut up at Fenestrelles,[69] while the
Sisters, who, following the instructions of their founder, refuse to
recognize a superior appointed by the civil power, are treated in the
same manner as formerly the nuns of Port-Royal.[70]

"It is time to put an end to this scandal of the Sisters of Charity in
rebellion against their superiors.  It is my intention to suppress all
the houses which, in twenty-four hours after the notice you give them,
do not return to subordination.  You will replace the houses
suppressed, not by Sisters of the same order, but by those of another
order of charity.  The Sisters at Paris will lose their influence,
which will be a good thing."

Whatever the communities may be, the authorization by which they
organize is merely a favor, and every favor granted may be withdrawn.

"I will have no more missions of any kind.[71]  I established
missionaries in Paris and gave them a house: I cancel it all.  I am
content with religion at home; I do not care to spread it abroad. . .
. I make you responsible if (in a month from this) on the first of
October there are any missions or congregations still existing in
France." -

Thus does the regular clergy live, under a revocable title, by
toleration, despotically, suspended by a thread which, perhaps to-
morrow, may be cut at the masters pleasure.


System to which the regular clergy is subject. - Restoration and
application of Gallican doctrines. - Gallicanism and submission of the
new ecclesiastical staff. - Measures taken to insure the obedience of
the existing clergy and that of the clergy in the future. -
Seminaries. - Small number of these allowed. - Conditions granted to
them. - Proceedings against suspicious teachers and undisciplined

The secular clergy remains, better protected, it seems, and by a less
precarious statute, for this statute is an international and
diplomatic act, a solemn and bilateral treaty which binds the French
government, not only to itself but to another government, to an
independent sovereign and the recognized head of the whole Catholic
Church. - Consequently, it is of prime importance to rebuild and raise
higher the barriers which, in ancient France, separated the secular
clergy from the Pope, the customs and regulations which constituted
the Gallican Church a province apart in the Church universal, the
ecclesiastic franchises and servitudes which restricted the Pope's
jurisdiction in order that the jurisdiction of the king might be
extended.  All these servitudes to the advantage of the lay sovereign,
and all these franchises to the prejudice of the ecclesiastic
sovereign, are maintained and increased by the new statute.  By virtue
of the Concordat and by consent of the Pope, the First Consul acquires
the same rights and privileges in relation to the Holy See as the old
government,"[72] that is to say the same exclusive right to nominate
future French cardinals and to have as many as before in the sacred
college, the same right to exclude in the sacred conclave, the same
faculty of being the unique dispenser in France of high ecclesiastical
places and the prerogative of appointing all the bishops and
archbishops on French territory.  And better still, by virtue of the
Organic Articles and in spite of the Pope's remonstrances, he
interposes, as with the former kings, his authority, his Council of
State and his tribunals between the Holy See and the faithful.  " No
bull, brief, rescript, decree . . . of the court of Rome, even when
bearing only on individuals, shall be received, published, printed or
otherwise executed without permission of the government. No person,
bearing the title of apostolic nuncio, legate, vicar or commissioner,
. . . shall, without the same authorization, exercise on the French
soil or elsewhere any function in relation to the interests of the
Gallican Church. . . . All  cases  of  complaint by ecclesiastical
superiors and other persons shall be brought before the Council of
State."[73]   Every minister of a cult[74] who shall have carried on a
correspondence with a foreign court on religious matters or questions
without having previously informed the Minister of Worship and
obtained his sanction shall, for this act alone, be subject to a
penalty of from one hundred to five hundred francs and imprisonment
during a term of from one month to two years.   Every communication
from high to low and from low to high between the French Church and
its Roman head, cut off at will, intervention by a veto or by approval
of all acts of pontifical authority, to be the legal and recognized
head of the national clergy,[75] to become for this clergy an
assistant, collateral, and lay Pope - such was the pretension of the
old government, and such, in effect, is the sense, the juridical
bearing, of the Gallican maxims.[76] Napoleon pro-claims them anew,
while the edict of 1682, by which Louis XIV. applied them with
precision, rigor and minuteness, "is declared the general law of the

There are no opponents to this doctrine, or this use of it, in France.
Napoleon counts on not encountering any, and especially among his
prelates.  Gallican before 1789, the whole clergy were more or less so
through education and tradition, through interest and through pride;
now, the survivors of this clergy are those who provide the new
ecclesiastical staff, and, of the two distinct groups from which it is
recruited, neither is predisposed by its antecedents to become
ultramontane.  Some among these, who have emigrated, partisans of the
ancient régime, find no difficulty in thus returning to old habits and
doctrines, the authoritative protectorate of the State over the
Church, the interference of the Emperor substituted for that of the
King, and Napoleon, in this as in other respects, the legitimate, or
legitimated, successor of the Bourbons.  The others, who have sworn to
the civil constitution of the clergy, the schismatics, the impenitent
and, in spite of the Pope, reintegrated by the First Consul in the
Church,[78] are ill-disposed towards the Pope, their principal
adversary, and well-disposed towards the First Consul, their unique
patron.  Hence, "the heads[79] of the Catholic clergy, that is to say,
the bishops and grand-vicars, . . . are attached to the government;"
they are "enlightened" people, and can be made to listen to reason.

 "But we have three or four thousand curés or vicars, the progeny of
ignorance and dangerous through their fanaticism and their passions."

If these and their superiors show any undisciplined tendencies, the
curb must be tightly drawn. Fournier, a priest, having reflected on
the government from his pulpit in Saint-Roch, is arrested by the
police, put in Bicêtre as mad,[80] and the First Consul replies to the
Paris clergy who claim his release "in a well-drawn-up petition,":

"I wanted[81] to prove to you, when I put my cap on the wrong side
out, that priests must obey the civil power."

Now and then, a rude stroke of this sort sets an example and keeps the
intractable on the right path who would otherwise be tempted to leave
it.  At Bayonne, concerning a clerical epistle in which an ill-
sounding phrase occurs, "the grand-vicar who drew it up is sent to
Pignerol for ten years, and I think that the bishop is exiled."[82]

At Séez, when constitutional priests are in disfavor, the bishop is
compelled to resign on the instant, while Abbé Langlois, his principal
counsellor, taken by the gendarmes, led to Paris from police station
to police station, is shut up in La Force, in secret confinement, with
straw for a bed, during fourteen days, then imprisoned in Vincennes
for nine months, so that, finally, seized with paralysis, he is
transferred to an insane retreat, where he remains a prisoner up to
the end of the reign.

Let us provide for the future as well as for the present, and, beyond
the present clergy, let us train the future clergy. The seminaries
will answer this purpose:  " Public ones must be organized[83] so that
there may be no clandestine seminaries, such as formerly existed in
the departments of Calvados, Morbihan and many others; . . . the
formation of young priests must not be left to ignorance and
fanaticism." -  "Catholic schools need the surveillance of the
government."  - There is to be one of these in each metropolitan
district, and "this special school must be in the hands of the
authorities."  - "The directors and teachers shall be appointed by the
First Consul"; men will be placed there who are "cultivated, devoted
to the government and friendly to toleration; they will not confine
themselves to teaching theology, but will add to this a sort of
philosophy and correct worldliness."  - A future curé, a priest who
controls laymen and belongs to his century, must not be a monk
belonging to the other world, but a man of this world, able to adapt
himself to it, do his duty in it with propriety and discretion, accept
the legal establishment of which he is a part, not damn his Protestant
neighbors, Jews or freethinkers too openly, be a useful member of
temporal society and a loyal subject of the civil power; let him be a
Catholic and pious, but within just limits; he shall not be an
ultramontanist or a bigot. - Precautions are taken to this effect.  No
seminarist may become subdeacon without the consent of the government,
and the list of ordinations each year, sent to him at Paris by the
bishop, is returned, cut down to the strictly necessary.[84]  From the
very beginning, and in express terms,[85] Napoleon has reserved all
curacies and vicarages for "ecclesiastics pensioned by virtue of the
laws of the Constituent Assembly."  Not only, through this confusion
between pension and salary, does he lighten a pecuniary burden, but he
greatly prefers old priests to young ones; many of them have been
constitutionnels, and all are imbued with Gallicanism; it is he who
has brought them back from exile or saved them from oppression, and
they are grateful for it; having suffered long and patiently, they are
weary, they must have grown wiser, and they will be manageable.
Moreover, he has precise information about each one; their past
conduct is a guarantee of their future conduct; he never chooses one
of them with his eyes shut. On the contrary, the candidates for
ordination are strangers, the government which accepts them knows
nothing about them except that, at the age when the fever of growth or
of the imagination takes a fixed form, they have been subject for five
years to a theological education and to a cloistral life.  The chances
are that, with them, the feverishness of youth will end in the heat of
conviction and in the prejudices of inexperience; in this event, the
government which exempts them from the conscription to admit them in
the Church exchanges a good military recruit for a bad ecclesiastical
recruit ; in place of a servant it creates an opponent. Hence, during
the fifteen years of his reign, Napoleon authorizes only six thousand
new ordinations,[86] in all four hundred per annum, one hundred for
each diocese or six or seven per annum.  Meanwhile, by his university
decrees, he lets lay daylight into clerical enclosures[87] and shuts
the door of all ecclesiastical dignities to suspicious priests.[88]
For more security, in every diocese in which "the principles of the
bishop" do not give him full satisfaction, he prohibits all
ordination, nomination, promotion, or favor whatever.  "I have
stricken off[89] all demands relating to the bishoprics of Saint-
Brieuc, Bordeaux, Ghent, Tournay, Troyes and the Maritime Alps. . . .
My intention is that you do not, for these dioceses, propose to me any
exemption of service for conscripts, no nominations for scholarships,
for curacies, or for canonries.  You will send in a report on the
dioceses which it would be well to strike with this ban."  Towards the
end, the Gallicism of Bossuet no longer suffices for him; he allowed
it to be taught at Saint-Sulpice, and M. Emery, director of this
institution, was the priest in France whom he esteemed the most and
most willingly consulted; but a pupil's imprudent letter had been just
intercepted, and, accordingly, the spirit of that association is a bad
one.  An order of expulsion of the director is issued and the
installation in his place of a new one "day after to-morrow," as well
as new administrators of whom none shall be Sulpician.[90]  "Take
measures to have this congregation dissolved.  I will have no
Sulpicians in the seminary of Paris.[91]  Let me know the seminaries
that are served by Sulpicians in order that they too may be sent away
from these seminaries."[92] - And let the seminarists who have been
badly taught by their masters take heed not to practice in their own
behalf the false doctrines which the State proscribes; especially, let
them never undertake, as they do in Belgium, to disobey the civil
power in deference to the Pope and their bishop.  At Tournay,[93] all
those over eighteen years of age are sent to Magdebourg; at Ghent, the
very young or those not fit for military service are put in Saint-
Pelagie; the rest, two hundred and thirty-six in number, including
forty deacons or sub-deacons, incorporated in an artillery brigade,
set out for Wesel, a country of marshes and fevers, where fifty of
them soon die of epidemics and contagion. - There is ever the same
terminal procedure; to Abbé d'Astros, suspected of having received and
kept a letter of the Pope, Napoleon, with threats, gave him this
ecclesiastical watchword:

 "I have heard that the liberties of the Gallican Church are being
taught: but for all that, I wear the sword, so watch out! "

So behind all his institutions one discovers the military sanction,
the arbitrary punishment, physical constraint, the sword ready to
strike; involuntarily, the eyes anticipates the flash of the blade,
and the flesh is feels in advance the rigid incision of the steel.

VIII. Administrative Control.

Changes in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. - Motives for subordinating
the lesser clergy. - The displacement of assistant priests. - Increase
of episcopal authority. - Hold of Napoleon over the bishops.

Thus is a conquered country treated.  He is, in relation to the
Church, as in a conquered country.[94]  Like Westphalia or Holland,
she is a naturally independent country which he has annexed by treaty,
which he has been able to include but not absorb in his empire, and
which remains invincibly distinct.  The temporal sovereign, in a
spiritual society, especially such a sovereign as he is, - nominally
Catholic, scarcely Christian, at best a deist and from time to time as
it suits, - will never be other than an external suzerain and a
foreign prince.  To become and remain master in such an annexed
country it is always advisable to exhibit the sword.  Nevertheless, it
would not be wise to strike incessantly; the blade, used too often,
would wear out; it is better to utilize the constitution of the annex,
rule over it indirectly, not by an administrative bureau (régie), but
by a protectorate, in which all indigenous authorities can be employed
and be made responsible for the necessary rigors.  Now, by virtue of
the indigenous constitution, the governors of the Catholic annex - all
designated beforehand by their suitable and indelible character, all
tonsured, robed in black, celibates and speaking Latin - form two
orders, unequal in dignity and in number; one inferior, comprising
myriads of curés and vicars, and the other superior, comprising some
dozens of prelates.

Let us turn this ready-made hierarchy to account; and, the better to
use it, let us tighten the strings. In agreement with the upper clergy
and the Pope, we will increase the subjection of the lower clergy; we
will govern the inferiors through the superiors; whoever has the head
has the body; it is much easier to handle sixty bishops and
archbishops than forty thousand vicars and curés; in this particular
we need not undertake to restore primitive discipline; we must not be
either antiquaries or Gallicans.  Let us be careful not to give back
to the second-class clergy the independence and stability they enjoyed
before 1789, the canonical guarantees which protected them against
episcopal despotism, the institution of competition, the rights
conferred by theological grades, the bestowal of the best places on
the wisest, the appeal to the diocesan court in case of disgrace, the
opposing plea before the officialité,  the permanent tie by which the
titular curé, once planted in his parish, took root there for life,
and believed himself bound to his local community like Jesus Christ to
the universal Church, indissolubly, through a sort of mystic marriage.
"The number of curés," says Napoleon,[95] "must be reduced as much as
possible, and the number of assistants (desservans) multiplied who can
be changed at will," not only transferable to another parish, but
revocable from day to day, without formalities or delay, without
appeal or pleading in any court whatsoever. Henceforth, the sole
irremovable curés are the four thousand; the rest, under the name of
succursalists, numbering thirty thousand,[96] are ecclesiastical
clerks, surrendered to the discretionary power of the bishop.  The
bishop alone appoints, places and displaces all belonging to his
diocese at his pleasure, and with a nod, he transfers the most
competent from the best to the worst post, from the large borough or
small town, where he was born and has lived at ease near his family,
to some wretched parish in this or that village buried in the woods or
lost on a mountain, without income or presbytery; and still better, he
cuts down his wages, he withdraws the State salary of five hundred
francs, he turns him out of the lodgings allowed him by the commune,
on foot on the highway, with no viaticum, even temporary, excluded
from ecclesiastical ministries, without respect, demeaned, a vagabond
in the great lay world whose ways are unknown to him and whose careers
are closed to him.  Henceforth, and forever, bread is taken out of his
mouth; if he has it to-day, it is lacking on the morrow.  Now, every
three months, the list of succursalists at five hundred francs drawn
up by the bishop, must be countersigned by the prefect. In his upper
cabinet, near the mantelpiece on which the visiting-cards of every
considerable personage in the department are displayed, facing the
emperor's bust, the two delegates of the emperor, his two responsible
and judicial managers, the two superintended overseers of the
conscription, confer together on the ecclesiastical staff of the
department. In this as in other matters, they are and feel themselves
kept in check from on high, curbed and forced, willingly or not, to
come to some agreement. Compulsory collaborators by institution, each
an auxiliary of the other in the maintenance of public order, they
read over article by article the list of appointments of their common
subordinates; should any name have bad notes, should any succursalist
be marked as noisy, undesirable, or suspect,  should there be any
unfavorable report by the mayor, gendarmerie or upper police, the
prefect, about to sign, lays down his pen, quotes his instructions and
demands of the bishop against the delinquent some repressive measure,
either destitution, suspension or displacement, removal to an inferior
parish, or, at least, a comminatory reprimand, while the bishop, whom
the prefect may denounce to the minister, does not refuse to the
prefect this act of complacency.

 Some months after the publication of the Concordat,[97] Mademoiselle
Chameron, an opera-dancer, dies, and her friends bear her remains to
the church of Saint-Roch for internment. They are refused admittance,
and the curé, very rigid, "in a fit of ill-humor," orders the doors of
the church to be shut; a crowd gathers around, shouts and launches
threats at the curé; an actor makes a speech to appease the tumult,
and finally the coffin is borne off to the church of Les Filles-Saint-
Thomas, where the assistant priest, "familiar with the moral of the
gospel," performs the funeral service. Incidents of this kind disturb
the tranquility of the streets and denote a relaxation of
administrative discipline. Consequently the government, doctor in
theology and canon law, intervenes and calls the ecclesiastical
superior to account. The first Consul, in an article in the Moniteur,
haughtily gives the clergy their instructions and explains the course
that will be pursued against them by his prelates. "The Archbishop of
Paris orders the curé of Saint-Roch into retirement for three months,
in order that he may bear in mind the injunction of Jesus Christ to
pray for one's enemies, and, made sensible of his duties by
meditation, may become aware that these superstitious customs . . . ,
which degrade religion by their absurdities, have been done away with
by the Concordat and the law of Germinal 18." From now on all priests
and curés are prudent, circumspect, obedient, and reserved,[98]
because their spiritual superiors are so as well, and could not be
otherwise. Each prelate, posted in his diocese, is maintained there in
isolation; a watch is kept on his correspondence; he may communicate
with the Pope only through the Minister of Worship; he has no right to
act in concert with his colleagues; all the general assemblies of the
clergy, all metropolitan councils, all annual synods are suppressed.
The Church of France has ceased to exist as one corps, while its
members, carefully detached from each other and from their Roman head,
are no longer united, but juxtaposed. Confined to a circumscription,
like the prefect, the bishop himself is simply an ecclesiastical
prefect, a little less uncertain of his tenure of office; undoubtedly,
his removal will not be effected by order, but he can be forced to
send in his resignation. Thus, in his case, as well as for the
prefect, his first care will be not to excite displeasure, and the
next one, to please. To stand well at court, with the minister and
with the sovereign, is a positive command, not only on personal
grounds, but for the sake of Catholic interests. To obtain
scholarships for the pupils of his seminary,[99] to appoint the
teachers and the director that suits him, to insure the acceptance of
his canons, cantonal curés, and candidates for the priesthood, to
exempt his sub-deacons from military service, to establish and to
defray the expenses of the chapels of his diocese, to provide parishes
with the indispensable priest, with regular services and the
sacraments, requires favors, which favors cannot be enjoyed without an
affectation of obedience and zeal and, more important still, devotion.
Moreover, he is only a human being. If Napoleon has selected him, it
is on account of his intelligence, knowing what he is about, open to
human motives, not too rigid and of too easy conscience; in the eyes
of the master, the first quality is an obedient personality attached
to his system and person.[100]  Moreover, with his candidates, he has
always taken into consideration the hold they give him through their
weaknesses, vanity and needs, their ostentatious ways and expenditure,
their love of money, titles and precedence, their ambition, desire for
promotion, enjoyment of credit, and right of obtaining places for
protégés and relations. He avails himself of all these advantages and
finds that they answer his purpose. With the exception of three or
four saints, like Monsignor d'Aviau[101] or Monsignor Dessolles, who
he has inadvertently put into the episcopate, the bishops are content
to be barons, and the archbishops counts. They are glad to rank higher
and higher in the Legion of Honor; they loudly assert, in praise of
the new order of things, the honors and dignities it confers on these
or those prelates who have become members of the legislative corps or
been made senators.[102]  Many of them receive secret pay for secret
services, pecuniary incentives in the shape of this or that amount in
ready money. In sum, Napoleon has judged accurately; with hesitation
and remorse, nearly the whole of his episcopal staff, Italian and
French, 66 prelates out of 80, are open to "temporal influences". They
yield to seductions and threats; they accept or submit, even in
spiritual matters, to his positive ascendancy.[103]

Moreover, among these dignitaries, nearly all of whom are blameless,
or, at least, who behave well and are generally honorable,
Napoleon[104] finds a few whose servility is perfect, unscrupulous
individuals ready for anything that an absolute prince could desire,
like Bishops Bernier and De Pancemont, one accepting a reward of
30,000 francs and the other the sum of 50,000 francs[105] for the vile
part they have played in the negotiations for the Concordat; a
miserly, brutal cynic like Maury, archbishop of Paris, or an
intriguing, mercenary skeptic like De Pradt, archbishop of Malines; or
an old imbecile, falling on his knees before the civil power, like
Rousseau, bishop of Orleans, who writes a pastoral letter declaring
that the Pope is as free in his Savona prison as on his throne at
Rome. After 1806,[106] Napoleon, that he may control men of greater
suppleness, prefers to take his prelates from old noble families - the
frequenters of Versailles, who regard the episcopate as a gift
bestowed by the prince and not by the Pope, a lay favor reserved for
younger sons, a present made by the sovereign to those around his
person, on the understood condition that the partisan courtier who is
promoted shall remain a courtier of the master. Henceforth nearly all
his episcopal recruits are derived from "members of the old noble
stock." "Only these," says Napoleon, "know how to serve well."

IX. The Imperial Catechism

Political use of the episcopacy. - The imperial catechism. - Pastoral

From the first year the effect arrived at is better than could be
expected. "Look at the clergy,"[107] said the First Consul to
Roederer; "every day shows that in spite of themselves their devotion
to the government is increasing, and much beyond their anticipation.
Have you seen the pastoral declaration of Boisgelin, archbishop of
Tours? . . . He says that the actual government is the legitimate
government, that God disposes of thrones and kings as he pleases and
that he adopts the chiefs whom the people prefer. Your yourself could
not have said that better." But notwithstanding that this is said in
the pastoral letter, it is again said in the catechism. No
ecclesiastical publication is more important: all Catholic children
are to learn this by heart, for the phrases they recite will be firmly
fixed in their memories. Bossuet's catechism is good enough, but it
may be improved, - there is nothing that time, reflection, emulation,
and administrative zeal cannot render perfect! Bossuet teaches
children "to respect all superiors, pastors, kings, magistrates, and
the rest." "But these generalities," says Portalis,[108] "no longer
suffice. They do not give the proper tendency to the subject's
submission. The object is to center the popular conscience on the
person of Your Majesty." Accordingly, let us be precise, make
appointments and secure support.

The imperial catechism, a great deal more explicit than the royal
catechism, adds significant development to the old one, along with
extra motives:

 "We specially owe to our Emperor, Napoleon the First, love, respect,
obedience, fidelity, military service, and tributes ordained for the
preservation of the empire and his throne. . . For God has raised him
up for us in times of peril that he might restore public worship and
the holy religion of our fathers and be its protector."

Every boy and girl in each parish recite this to the vicar or curé
after vespers in their tiny voices as a commandment of God and of the
Church, as a supplementary article of the creed. Meanwhile the
officiating priest in the pulpit gravely comments on this article,
already clear enough, at every morning or evening service;[109] by
order, he preaches in behalf of the conscription and declares that it
is a sin to try to escape from it, to be refractory; by order, again,
he reads the army bulletins giving accounts of the latest victories;
always by order, he reads the last pastoral letter of his bishop, a
document authorized, inspired and corrected by the police. Not only
are the bishops obliged to submit their pastoral letters and public
instructions to the censorship; not only by way of precaution, are
they forbidden to print anything except on the prefecture presses, but
again, for still greater security, the bureau of public worship is
constantly advising them what they must say. First and foremost, they
must laud the Emperor. But in what terms, and with what epithets,
without indiscretion or mistake, in order not to meddle with politics,
not to appear as a party managed from above, not to pass for
megaphones, is not explained, and is therefore a difficult matter.
"You must praise the Emperor more in your pastoral letters," said
Réal, prefect of police, to a new bishop. "Tell me in what measure."
"I do not know," was the reply. Since the measure cannot be
prescribed, it must be ample enough. There is no difficulty as regards
other articles. - On every occasion the Paris offices take care to
furnish each bishop with a ready-made draft of his forthcoming
pastoral letter - the canvas on which the customary flowers of
ecclesiastical amplification are to be embroidered. It differs
according to time and place. In La Vendée and in the west, the
prelates are to stigmatize "the odious machinations of perfidious
Albion," and explain to the faithful the persecutions to which the
English subject the Irish Catholics. When Russia is the enemy, the
pastoral letter must dwell on her being schismatic; also on the
Russian misunderstanding of the supremacy of the Pope. Inasmuch as
bishops are functionaries of the empire, their utterances and their
acts belong to the Emperor. Consequently he makes use of them against
all enemies, against each rival, rebel or adversary, against the
Bourbons, against the English and the Russians, and, finally, against
the Pope.

X. The Council of 1811. - The Concordat of 1813.

Similar to the Russian expedition, this is the great and last throw of
the dice, the decisive and most important of his ecclesiastical
undertakings, as the other is in political and military affairs.  Just
as, under his leadership, he forces by constraint and, under his lead,
a coalition of the political and military powers of his Europe against
the Czar, - Austria, Prussia, the Confederation of the Rhine, Holland,
Switzerland, the kingdom of Italy, Naples, and even Spain, - so does
he by constraint and under his lead coalesce all the spiritual
authorities of his empire against the Pope. He summons a council,
consisting of eighty-four bishops that are available in Italy and in
France. He takes it upon himself to drill them, and he makes them
march. To state what influences he uses would require a volume[110] -
theological and canonical arguments, appeals to Gallican souvenirs and
Jansenist rancors, eloquence and sophisms, preparatory maneuvers,
secret intrigues, public acting, private solicitations, steady
intimidation, successful pressures, thirteen cardinals exiled and
deprived of their insignia, two other cardinals confined in Vincennes,
nineteen Italian bishops conveyed to France under escort, without
bread or clothes. Fifty priests of Parma, fifty of Plaisance, besides
one hundred other Italian priests, sent away or confined in Corsica.
All congregations of men in France - Saint-Lazare, Mission, Christian
Doctrine, Saint-Sulpice - dissolved and suppressed. Three bishops of
the council seized in bed at daylight, put into a cell and kept in
close confinement, forced to resign and to promise in writing not to
carry on correspondence with their dioceses; arrest of their adherents
in their dioceses; the Ghent seminarists turned into soldiers, and,
with knapsack on their backs, leaving for the army; professors at
Ghent, the canons of Tournay, and other Belgian priests shut up in the
citadels of Bouillon, Ham and Pierre-Chatel.[111] Near the end, the
council suddenly dissolved because scruples arise, because it does not
yield at once to the pressure brought to bear on it, because its mass
constitutes its firmness, because men standing close together, side by
side, stand all the longer.  "Our wine in the cask is not good," said
Cardinal Maury; "you will find that it will be better in bottles."
Accordingly, to make it ready for bottling, it must be filtered and
clarified, so as to get rid of the bad elements which disturb it and
cause fermentation.  Many Opponents are in prison, many have retired
from their dioceses, while the rest are brought to Paris and cunningly
worked upon, each member in turn, apart and confined, téte-à-téte with
the Minister of Worship, until all, one by one, are brought to sign
the formula of adhesion. On the strength of this, the council, purged
and prepared, is summoned afresh to give its vote sitting or standing,
in one unique session; through a remnant of virtue it inserts a
suspensive clause in the decree, apparently a reservation,[112] but
the decree is passed as ordered.  Like the foreign regiment in an army
corps which, enlisted, forced into line, and goaded on with a sharp
sword, serves, in spite of itself, against its legitimate prince,
unwilling to march forward to the attack, meaning at the last moment
to fire in the air, so does it finally march and fire its volley

Napoleon, on the other hand, treats the Pope in the same fashion, and
with like skill and brutality. As with the Russian campaign, he has
prepared himself for it long beforehand.  At the outset there is an
alliance, and he concedes great advantages to the Pope as to the Czar,
which will remain to them after his fall; but these concessions are
made only with a mental reservation, with the instinctive feeling and
predetermination to profit by the alliance, even to making an
independent sovereign whom he recognizes as his equal, his subordinate
and a tool; hence, quarrels and war.  This time also, in the
expedition against the Pope, his strategy is admirable, - the entire
ecclesiastical territory studied beforehand, the objective point
selected,[113] all disposable forces employed and directed by fixed
marches to where the victory is to be decisive, the conquest extended
and the seat of the final dominion established; the successive and
simultaneous use of every kind of means - cunning, violence, seduction
and terror. Calculation of the weariness, anxiety and despair of the
adversary; at first menaces and constant disputes, and then flashes of
lightning and multiplied claps of thunder, every species of brutality
that force can command; the States of the Church invaded in times of
peace, Rome surprised and occupied by soldiers, the Pope besieged in
the Quirinal, in a year the Quirinal taken by a nocturnal assault, the
Pope seized and carried off by post to Savona and there confined as a
prisoner of state almost in cellular seclusion,[114] subject to the
entreaties and manoeuvres of an adroit prefect who works upon him, of
the physician who is a paid spy, of the servile bishops who are sent
thither, alone with his con-science, contending with inquisitors
relieving each other, subject to moral tortures as subtile and as keen
as old-time physical tortures, to tortures so steady and persistent
that he sinks, loses his head, "no longer sleeps and scarcely speaks,"
falling into a senile condition and even more than senile condition,
"a state of mental alienation."[115]  Then, on issuing from this, the
poor old man is again beset; finally, after waiting patiently for
three years, he is once more brusquely conducted at night, secretly
and incognito, over the entire road, with no repose or pity though
ill, except stopping once in a snow-storm at the hospice on Mount
Cenis, where he comes near dying; put back after twenty-four hours in
his carriage, bent double by suffering and in constant pain; jolting
over the pavement of the grand highway until almost dead and landed at
Fontainebleau, where Napoleon wishes to have him ready at hand to work
upon. "Indeed," he himself says, "he is a lamb, an excellent, worthy
man whom I esteem and am very fond of."[116]

An improvised tête-a-tête may probably prove effective with this
gentle, candid and tender spirit.  Pius VII., who had never known ill-
will, might be won by kindly treatment, by an air of filial respect,
by caresses; he may feel the personal ascendency of Napoleon, the
prestige of his presence and conversation, the invasion of his genius.
Inexhaustible in arguments, matchless in the adaptation of ideas to
circumstances, the most amiable and most imperious of interlocutors,
stentorian and mild, tragic and comic by turns, the most eloquent of
sophists and the most irresistible of fascinators, as soon as he meets
a man face to face, he wins him, conquers him, and obtains the
mastery.[117] In effect, after seeing the Pope for six days, Napoleon
obtains by persuasion what he could not obtain afar by constraint.
Pius VII. signs the new Concordat in good faith, himself unaware that,
on regaining his freedom and surrounded by his cardinals, who inform
him on the political situation, he will emerge from his bewilderment,
be attacked by his conscience, and, through his office, publicly
accuse himself, humbly repent, and in two months withdraw his

Such, after 1812 and 1813, is the duration of Napoleon's triumphs and
the ephemeral result of his greatest military and ecclesiastical
achievements - Moskow, Lutzen, Bautzen and Dresden, the Council of
1811 and the Concordat of 1813. Whatever the vastness of his genius
may be, however strong his will, however successful his attacks, his
success against nations and churches never is, and never can be, other
than temporary.  Great historical and moral forces elude his grasp.
In vain does he strike, for their downfall gives them new life, and
they rise beneath the blow.  With Catholic institutions,[118] as with
other powers, not only do his efforts remain sterile, but what he
accomplishes remains inverse to the end he has in view.  He aims to
subjugate the Pope, and he led the Pope on to omnipotence  He aims at
the maintenance and strength of the Gallican spirit among the French
clergy, and yet brings them under the rule of the ultramontane
spirit.[119]  With extraordinary energy and tenacity, with all his
power, which was enormous, through the systematic and constant
application of diverse and extreme measures, he labored for fifteen
years to rend the ties of the Catholic hierarchy, take it to pieces,
and, in sum, the final result of all is to tie them faster and hasten
its completion.



[1]  Se preface to "The Modern Régime," Vol. I.

[2] On some of the ideas above indicated see "The Modern Régime," Vol.
I. p.120.

[3] An allusion to Malthusianism, practiced by many heads of families
in France. M. Taine would probably have shown this practice contrary
to national welfare. -Tr.

[4] Idolizing of children. (SR.)

[5] Cf. "Les carnets de voyage."

[6]  On this idea see Volume I of "The Modern Régime," page 332, to
the end of the chapter. (Ed. Laff. II. pp. 592 to 605).

[7] Today this would probably be the media especially television.

[8] Memorial, IV.,259 (June 7 and 8, 1816); V., 323 (Aug. 17, 1816).

[9]  Thibaudeau, p. 152 (Prairial 21, year X.

[10] Idem, IV.,259, (June 7 and 8, 1816). - Pelet de la Lozere,
"Opinions de Napoléon au conseil d'état," p 223, (March 4, 1806).

[11] "Discours, rapports et travaux sur le Concordat de 1801," by
Portalis (published by Fréderick Portalis), p.10. - In his speech on
the organization of cults (Germinal 15, year X), Portalis, although a
good Catholic, adopts the same idea, because he is a legist and one of
the ancient Régime. "Religions, even false, have this advantage, that
they are an obstacle to the introduction of arbitrary doctrines.
Individuals have a center of faith; governments have no fear of dogmas
once known and which do not change. Superstition, so to say, is
regulated, circumscribed and kept within bounds which it cannot, or
dare not, go outside of."

[12] Thibaudeau, p. 151 (Prairial 21, year X). "The First Consul
combated at length the different systems of the philosophy on cults,
natural religions, deism, etc. All that according to him, was mere

[13]  Pelet de la Lozère, p. 208 (May 22, 1804).

[14]  Thibaudeau, p. 152 (Prairial 21, year X).

[15] Pelet de la Lozère, p, 223 (March 4, 1806).

[16] Roederer, "Oevres complètes," III., 334 (Aug. 18, 1800).

[17] What impression could this have made on Lenin? Could he not have
felt: "Perhaps Napoleon's logic was good at that time but now with
electricity, the steam engine and modern industrialism it will be
possible to do  without the efficiency of capitalism and hence with
its inequalities and egoism? If so then we can recreate the equality
dreamt of by Babeuf, Robespierre, Saint Just and the other ancient

[18] Ref.: "Where some people are very wealthy and others have
nothing, the result will either be extreme democracy or absolute
oligarchy, and despotism will come from either of these excesses."
Aristotle. (SR.)

[19]  Pelet de la Lozère, p. 205 (February 11, 1804).

[20]  Ibid., p. 201.

[21] Pelet de la Lozère, p. 206, (Feb. 11, 1804).

[22] Mémorial, V., 323 (Aug. 17, 1816).

[23]  Pelet de la Lozère, p 201.

[24] Mémorial, V., 353 (Aug. 17, 1816). Notes on "Les Quatre
Concordants," by M. de Pradt (Correspondence of Napoleon I., xxx.,

[25]  Bourrienne, "Mémoires," V., 232.

[26]  Notes on "Les Quatre Concordats," by M. de Pradt (Correspondence
of  Napoleon I., XXX., 638 and 639).

[27]  Thibaudeau, p. 152 (Prairial 21, year X).

[28] Notes on "Les Quatre Concordats," by M. de Pradt (correspondence,
XXX., 638).

[29] Count Boulay de La Meurthe, "Négotiations du concordat." (Extract
from the correspondant," 1882, on the religious state of France in
November, 1800, and particularly on, the condition of the
constitutional church, the latter being very poor, disunited, with no
credit and no future.) The writer estimates the number of active
priests at 8000, of which 2000 are constitutionnels and 6000 orthodox.

[30] Thibaudeau, p.152.

[31] Thibaudeau, p. 154 (words of the First consul) "What makes the
government liked is its respect for worship. . . . The priests must be
connected with the government."

[32] Ibid., p.154: "Is it not better to organize worship and
discipline the priests rather than let things go on as they are?"

[33] La Fayette, "Mémoires, II., 200. ("Mes rapports avec le Premier

[34] D'Haussonville, "l'Église romaine et la Premier Empire," II.. 78
and 101. Napoleon's letters to Cardinal Fesch, Jan. 7, 1806; to the
Pope, Feb.22, 1806 and to cardinal Fesch, of the same date. "His
Holiness will have the same consideration for me in temporal matters
as I have for him in spiritual matters. . . . My enemies will be his
enemies." - "Tell people (in Rome) that I am Charlemagne, the sword of
the church, their emperor; that I must be treated the same; that they
should not know that there was a Russian empire. . . . If the Pope
does not accept my conditions, I shall reduce him to the condition he
was in before Charlemagne."

[35] Decree, May 17, 1809. "Whereas, when Charlemagne, emperor of the
French, and out august predecessor, donated several counties to the
bishops of Rome, he gave them only under the title of fiefs and for
the welfare of his own states, and as by the said donation Rome did
not thereby cease to form part of his empire, . . . the states of the
Pope are now reunited to the French empire."

[36] Sénatus-consulte, Feb. 17, 1810, title II., article XII.  " Any
foreign sovereignty is incompatible with the exercise of any spiritual
sovereignty within the empire."

[37] D'Haussonville, ibid., IV.,344. (Decree of the National Council,
Aug. 5, 1811. - Concordat of Fontainebleau, Jan. 25, 1813, article 14.
- Decree on the execution of this Concordat, March 23, 1813, art. 4.)

[38] Sénatus-consulte, Feb.17, 1810, articles 13 and 14.

[39] Mémorial, Aug.17, 1816.

[40] Sénatus-consulte, Feb.17, 1810.

[41] Notes by Napoleon on the "Les Quatre Concordats de M. de Pradt"
(correspondence, XXX., 550). Lanfrey, "Histoire de Napoléon," V., 214.
(Along with the Vatican archives, there were brought to Paris the
tiara and other insignia or ornaments of Pontifical dignity.)

[42] Sénatus-consulte, Feb. 17, 1810.

[43] Notes by Napoleon on "Les Quatre Concordats" (Correspondence,
XXX., 548).

[44] Cf. Roman laws on the Collegia illicita, the first source of
which is the Roman conception of religion, the political and practical
use of augurs, auspices and sacred fowls. - It is interesting to trace
the long life and survivorship of this important idea from antiquity
down to the present day; it reappears in the Concordat and in the
Organic Articles of 1801, and still later in the late decrees
dissolving unauthorized communities and closing the convents of men. -
French jurists, and in particular Napoleon's jurists, are profoundly
imbued with the Roman idea. Portalis, in his exposition of the motives
for establishing metropolitan seminaries (March 14, 1804), supports
the decree with Roman law. "The Roman laws," he says, "place every
thing concerning the cult in the class of matters which belong
essentially to public rights."

[45] Thibaudeau, p.152.

[46] "Discours, rapports et travaux sur le Concordat de 1801," by
Portalis, p.87 (on the Organic Articles), p.29 (on the organization of
cults). "The ministers of religion must not pretend to share in or
limit public power. . . . Religious affairs have always been classed
by the different national codes among matters belonging to the upper
police department of the State. .  . The political magistrate may and
should intervene in everything which concerns the outward
administration of sacred matters. . . . In France, the government has
always presided, in a more or less direct way, over the direction of
ecclesiastical affairs."

[47] "Discours, rapports, etc.," by Portalis, p. 31. - Ibid., p.143:
"To sum up: The Church possesses only a purely spiritual authority;
the sovereigns, in their capacity of political magistrates, regulate
temporal and mixed questions with entire independence, and, as
protectors, they have even the right to see to the execution of canons
and to repress, even in spiritual matters, the infractions of

[48] Articles Organiques. 1st. Catholic cult, articles 3, 4, 23, 24,
35, 39, 44, 62. 2nd. Protestant cults, articles 4, 5, 11, 14, 22, 26,
30, 31, 32, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43. - Israelite cult, decree of March
17, 1808, articles 4, 8, 9, 16, 23. Decree of execution, samedate,
articles 2 to 7.

[49] Decree of March 17, 1808, articles 12, 21.

[50] Articles Organiques (Protestant cults), 12 and 13.

[51] Articles Organiques (Catholic cult), 24. Teachers selected for
the seminaries "will subscribe the declaration made by the clergy of
France in 1682; they will submit to teaching the doctrine therein set

[52]  "Dsicours, rapports, etc," by Portalis, p. 101.

[53]  Ibid,  p. 378.

[54] Abbé Sicard, "Les Dispensateurs des bénéfices ecclésiastiques"
(in the "Correspondant," Sep.10, 1889, p.883). A benefice was then a
sort of patrimony which the titulary, old or ill, often handed over to
one of his relatives. "A canonist of the eighteenth century says that
the resignation carried with it one third of the income."

[55] "Souvenirs", by Pasquier (Etienne-Dennis, duc), Librarie Plon,
Paris 1893. Vol. I. p. 415. : "The nomination of  Cardinal Maury as
arch-bishop of Paris was published on the same day that I had been
appointed prefect of police. The new arch-bishop had made too much
noise in the past for him not to have become known to me.  He was as
happy with his appointment as I was unhappy with mine. I met him in
the chateau Fontainebleau and I have ever since been haunted by the
noisy expression of his happiness. He constantly repeated this
sentence: "The Emperor has just satisfied the two greatest
requirements of his capital. With a good police and a good clergy he
can always be sure of public order, since an arch-bishop is also a
prefect of the police."

[56] Report of Siméon to the tribunat on presenting to it the
Concordat and Organic Articles, Germinal 17, year X. - Henceforth "the
ministers of all cults will be subject to the influence of the
government which appoints or confirms them, to which they are bound by
the most sacred promises, and which holds them in its dependence by
their salaries."

[57] "Discours, rapports, etc.," by Portalis, p. 40. - Emile Ollivier,
"Nouveau manuel de droit ecclésiastique," P.193. (Reply by Portalis to
the protests of the Holy See, Sep. 22, 1803.) Before 1789 Portalis
writes: "The spectacle presented by the monks was not very edifying. .
. . The legislature having decided that religious vows could not be
taken up to twenty-one years of age, . . . this measure keeps novices
away; the monastic orders, sapped by the state of morals and by time,
could obtain no recruits; they languished in a state of inertia and of
disfavor which was worse than annihilation. . . . The era for monastic
institutions had passed."

[58] Pelet de la Lozère, p.146. (Words of Napoleon, March 11, 1806.)

[59] Pelet de la Lozère, p.207 (May 22, 1804).

[60] Decree of Messidor 3, year XII (June 22, 1804). - Letter of
Napoleon to the King of Naples, April 14, 1807, on the suppression of
convents at Naples: "You know that I don't like monks, as I have
uprooted them everywhere." To his sister Elisa, May 17, 1806: "Keep on
and suppress the convents."

[61] "État des congrégations, communantés et associations
religieuses," drawn up in execution of article 12 of the law of Dec.
12, 1876 (Imprimerie nationale, 1878): 1st. congregations of women
with a general superior, nurses and teachers, authorized from Prairial
28, year XI, to January 13, 1813, total, 42; 2nd. communities of women
without a general superior, nurses and teachers, authorized from April
9, 1806, to Sept. 28, 1813, total, 205.

[62] Ibid., Brethren of the Christian Schools, namely, of Saint Yon,
authorized March 17, 1808.

[63] Ibid., congregation of the Mission of Saint-Lazare, authorized
Prairial 17, year XI. -  Congregation of the Seminary of Foreign
Missions, authorized Germinal 2, year XIII.

[64] Pelet de la Lozère, p.208 (May 22, 1804).

[65] Pelet de la Lozère, P.209

[66] Decree of March 17, 1808, article 109.

[67] Alexis Chevalier, "Les Frères des écoles chrétiennes après la
Révolution," p. 93. (Report by Portalis approved by the First consul,
Frimaire to, year XII.) "Henceforth," says Portalis, "the superior-
general at Rome abandons all inspection of the Christian Brothers. In
France, it is understood that the Brothers will have a superior
general resident at Lyons."

[68] D'Haussonville, V., p. 148.

[69] Fortress in the Italian Alps. (SR.)

[70] D'Haussonville, V., p. 148. Letter of Napoleon to the Minister of
Worship, March 3, 1811 (omitted in the published correspondence).

[71] Ibid., IV.,p.133. (Letter by Napoleon, Sep. 2, 1809, omitted in
the "Correspondence.")

[72] Concordat, articles 4, 5, 16.

[73] Articles Organiques, I., pp. 2, 6.

[74] Code pénal, decree of Feb. 16-20, 1810, article 207.

[75] Napoleon's own expressions: "I may regard myself as the head of
the Catholic ministry, since the Pope has crowned me." (Pelet de la
Lozère, p. 210, July 17, 1806.)  - Note the word crowned (sacré).
Napoleon, as well as former kings, considers himself as clothed with
ecclesiastical dignity.

[76] On the sense and bearing of Gallican maxims cf. the whole of the
answer by Portalis to Cardinal Caprara. (Émile Ollivier, "Nouveau
manuel de droit ecclésiastique," p.150.)

[77] Decree of Feb.25, 1810. (The edict of Louis XIV. is attached to
it.) Prohibition to teach or write "anything opposed to the doctrine
contained" in the declaration of the French clergy. Every professor of
theology must sign  and submit to teaching the doctrine therein set
forth." - In establishments where there are several professors "one of
them will be annually directed to teach the said doctrine."  - In
colleges where there is but one professor "he will be obliged to teach
it one of three consecutive years." - The professors are required to
hand in to the competent authority " their minutes dictated to the
pupils." - None of them can be "licensed, whether in theology or in
canon law, nor graduated as doctor, without having maintained the said
doctrine in one of his theses."

[78] Cf.,  for details, d'Haussonville, I., p.200 et seq.

[79] Pelet de la Lozère, p. 205.  (Words of Napoleon, Feb. 4, 1804.)

[80]  A procedure used by Stalin and copied by all his satellite
states. (SR.)

[81] Thibaudeau, p.157 (Messidor 2, year X).

[82] Roederer, III., pp. 535, 567.

[83] Pelet de la Lozère, p.203. (Napoleon's words, Feb. 4, 1804.) -
Law of March 14, 1804.

[84] Cf. "Letters of Mgr. Claude Simon, bishop of Grenoble, April 18,
1809, and October 6, 1811."

[85] Articles Organiques, p.68.

[86] Bercastel and Henrion, "Histoire générale de l'Église," XIII.,
p.32. (Speech by M. Roux-Laborie, deputy in 1816.) - At the present
day, the ordinations oscillate between 1200 and 1700 per annum.

[87] Decree of November 15, 1811, articles 28, 29, 32. " On and after
July 1, 1812, all secondary ecclesiastical schools (small seminaries)
which may not be situated in towns possessing a lycée or college shall
be closed. No secondary ecclesiastical school shall be placed in the
country. In all places where there are ecclesiastical schools the
pupils of these schools shall pursue their studies in the lycée or
college classes."

[88] "Correspondence of Napoleon (notes for the Minister of Worship),
July 30, 1806." In order to be curé of the first class, chanoin,
vicar-general or bishop one must henceforth be bachelor, licencié,
doctor in the university grades, "which the university may refuse in
case the candidate shall be known to entertain ultramontane ideas or
ideas dangerous to authority."

[89] D'Haussonville, V., p.144 et seq. (Letter of Napoleon to the
Minister of Worship, Oct.22, 1811, omitted in the "correspondence.")
The letter ends with these words: "This mode of working must be kept

[90] "Histoire de M. Emery," by Abbé Elie Méric, II., p. 374. The
order of expulsion (June 13, 1810) ends with these words: "Immediate
possession is to be taken of the house which might belong to some
domain and which, at least in this case, could be considered as public
property, since it might belong to a congregation. If it is found to
be private property belonging to M. Emery or to any other person, the
rents might first be paid and then afterwards it might be required,
save indemnity, as useful for the public service."  This shows in full
the administrative and fiscal spirit of the French State, its heavy
hand being always ready to fall imperiously on every private
individual and on all private property.

[91] Letter of Napoleon, Oct. 8, 1811.

[92] Ibid. Nov. 22, 1811.

[93] D'Haussonville, V., p.282. (Letter of Napoleon, Aug. 14, 1813,
omitted in the correspondence.") - " Mémoires" du Chancelier Pasquier,
II. pp. 88-91.

[94] Roederer, III., p.430 (Germinal 19, year X): "The legate was
received today in the consular palace; in making his speech, he
trembled like a leaf."

[95] Pelet de la Lozère, p.206 (May 22, 1804).

[96] Decrees of May 31, 1804, Dec.26, 1804, and Sep.30. 1807, with the
list of succursals by departments. - Besides the succursalists paid by
the State, there were vicars not less dependent on the bishop and
maintained by allowances from the communes or by private donations.
(Bercastel et Henrion, XIII., p.32, speech by M. Roux-Laborie in the
chamber of Deputies, 1816.) "In his re-composition of the Church of
France the usurper established 12,000 vicars dependent on alms, and it
will not surprise you that, instead of 12,000, there were only 5000
who were courageous enough to die of starvation or implore public
charity. . . . Thus are 4000 country churches without worship or

[97]  Thibaudeau, p. 166, and article of Brumaire 30, in the Moniteur.

[98]  Roederer, III., p. 479 et seq. (Report on the Senatorerie of
Caen.) The priests everywhere feel that they are watched and set
aside. "Most of those I encounter exclaim, Poor curé, an unfortunate
curé. The functionaries are devoted to the Emperor as their sole
support against the nobles, whom they dread, and against the priests,
whom they slightly esteem. . . .  The military, the judges, the
administrators when alluding to the priests or to religion merely
smile; the priests, on the other hand, express very little confidence
in the functionaries."

[99]  Decreee of Sept. 30, 1804 (with allotment of 800 scholarships
and 1600 demi-scholarships to each diocesan seminary). These will be
allowed us on being presented by the bishops.

[100]  D'Haussonville, II., p. 227.

[101]  Idem. IV. Order of arrest of M. d'Avian, archbishop of
Bordeaux, as one of the opponents of the Council (July 11, 1811).
Savary himself, Minister of Justice, raises objections. "Sire, do
nothing with M. d'Avian. He is a saint and we shall have everybody
against us."

[102]  Idem.,  IV. p. 58. Address of the ecclesiastical commission
enumerating the favors granted to religion, "the legion of Honor,
conferred on many prelates, the titles of baron and count assigned to
bishops and archbishops of the Empire, the admission of several of
these to the legislative assembly and senate."

[103]  D'Haussonville, IV.,p. 366. (Last session of the national
council, August 5, 1811.)

[104] Reading this, as Lenin must have done, could he help but dream
of the day, when he could become head of a state, head of a foreign
service, of a secret police force and hence be able to subvert the
entire world including the religious organizations, the political
parties, diplomatic services not to speak of international
organizations in New York or Brussels. (SR.)

[105]  Idem.,  I., pp. 203-205.

[106]  Idem.,  p. 228. Cf. the "Almanach impérial de 1806-1814." -
Lanfrey, "Histoire de Napoléon,"V., p. 208.  The Prince de Rohan, head
chaplain, writes in a request he makes, The great Napoleon is my
tutelary divinity. On the margin of this request Napoleon attaches the
following decision: "The Duc de Frioul will pay to the head chaplain
12,000 francs, - tax on receipts of the theatres."  (Feb. 15, 1810.)
Another example of the same type is M. Roquelaure, archbishop of
Malines, who addresses Josephine with a little ancient-régime speech,
at once episcopal and gallant. The First Consul, therefore, makes him
Member of the Institute. (Bourrienne, V., p. 130.) This archbishop, in
the administration of  his diocese, zealously applies the policy of
the First Consul. "We have seen him suspend from his functions a
priest who had exhorted a dying man to restore ecclesiastical property
which he had taken." ("Dictionnaire biographique," published at
Leipsic by Eymery, 1806, 1808.)

[107]  Roederer, III., p. 459 (December 30, 1802).

[108]  D'Haussonville, II., 257. (Report by Portalis to the Emperor,
Feb. 13, 1806.) - Idem., II., 226.

[109] D'Haussonville, II., 237, 239, 272. - Pelet de la Lozère, 201:
"At other times Napoleon praised the priests, wanted their services,
largely attributing the departure of conscripts and the submission of
the people to their influence." - Idem, 173 (May 20, 1806, words of
Napoleon): "The Catholic priests behave very well and are of great
service. It is owing to them that the conscription this year has been
better than in former years. . . No branch of the State speaks so well
of the government."

[110] D'Haussonville, III,  IV.,and V., passim.

[111] Mémoires," by the Chancelier Pasquier, IV.,358.

[112] D'Haussonville, IV.,366 (last phrase of the text): "A deputation
of six bishops will go and beg His Holiness to confirm this decree."

[113] To an ordinary reader, even Catholic, if not versed !in canon
law, Napoleon's exactions seem mediocre and even acceptable; they
reduce themselves down to fixing a delay and seeming to add to the
competency of councils and the authority of bishops. (D'Haussonville,
IV.,366, session of the council, Aug. 5, 1811, propositions adopted
and decree. Cf. the Concordat of Fontainebleau, Jan. 25, 1813, article

[114] Comte D'Haussonville, IV.,121 and following pages. (Letters of
the prefect, M. de Chabrol, letters of Napoleon not inserted in the
"Correspondence," narration of Dr. Claraz.) 6000 francs, a present to
the bishop of Savona, 12,000 francs salary to Dr. Porta, the Pope's
physician. " Dr. Porta," writes the prefect, "seems disposed to serve
us indirectly with all his power. . . . Efforts are made to affect the
Pope either by all who approach him or by all the means in our power."

[115] Ibid. (Letters of M. de Chabrol, May 14 and 30, 1811.) "The Pope
has fallen into a state of stupor. . . . The physician fears a case of
hypochondria; . . . his health and reason are affected." Then, in a
few days: "The state of mental alienation has passed."

[116] Mémorial (Aug.17, 1816).

[117] D'Haussonville, V., 244. Later, the Pope keeps silent about his
interviews with Napoleon. "He simply lets it be understood that the
emperor spoke to him haughtily and contemptuously, even treating him
as an ignoramus in ecclesiastical matters." - Napoleon met him with
open arms and embraced him, calling him his father. (Thiers, XV.,
295.) - It is probable that the best literary portrayal of these tête-
à-tête conversations is the imaginary scene in "Grandeurs et
Servitudes Militaires," by Alfred de Vigny.

[118] Comte Chaptal, "Notes": "No, in the course of sixteen years of a
stormy government, Bonaparte never met with so much resistance and
never suffered so many disappointments as were caused by his quarrel
with the Pope. There is no event in his life which more alienated the
people as his proceedings and conduct towards the Pope."

[119] Ultramontanism; a set of doctrines establishing the pope's
absolute authority.


I. The Catholic System.

The effects of the system. - Completion of the ecclesiastical
hierarchy. - Omnipotence of the Pope in the Church. - Influence of the
French Concordat and other precedents from 1801 to 1870. - Why the
clergy becomes ultramontane. - The dogma of Infallibility.

In 1801, at Rome, pending the negotiations for the Concordat, when
Pius VII. still hesitated about the deposition in mass of the
survivors of the ancient French episcopacy, clear-sighted observers
already remarked, "Let this Concordat which the First Consul desires
be completed,[1] and you will see, on its ratification, its immense
importance and the power it will give to Rome over the episcopacy
throughout the universe." - In effect, through this "extraordinary,
nearly unexampled" act of authority, and certainly unequaled "in the
history of the Church,"[2] the ultramontane theory, contested up to
this time, maintained in the speculative region of abstract formulae,
comes down to solid ground, into practical and lasting use. Willingly
or not, "the Pope acts as if universal bishop;" urged and constrained
by the lay power, attached to a dictatorship,[3] he entered upon it
and so installed himself, and, ten years later, Napoleon, who had
impelled him on, regretted that he had done so. Warned by his Gallican
jurists, he saw the ecclesiastical import of his work; but it was too
late to retreat - the decisive step had been taken. - For, in fact,
the Pope had deprived all the chieftains of a great church of their
thrones, "his colleagues and co-bishops,"[4] successors of the
apostles under the same title as himself, members "of the same order
and stamped " with the same "character," eighty-five legitimate
incumbents[5] and, still better, as admitted by himself, blameless,
worthy, persecuted because they had obeyed him, banished from France
on account of their unwillingness to quit the Roman Church. He had
ordered them to resign; he had withdrawn apostolic powers from the
thirteen who had refused to tender their resignations; to all, even to
those who refused, he had appointed their successors.  He assigned to
the new titularies dioceses of a new pattern and, to justify novelties
of such gravity,[6] he could allege no other reasons than
circumstances, the exigencies of lay power, and the welfare of the
Church. After that the Gallicans themselves, unless accepting the risk
of a schism and of separating forever from the Holy See, were obliged
to allow the Pope above and beyond the ordinary powers exercised by
him within the old limits of canons and of custom, an extraordinary
power unlimited by any canon or by any custom,[7] a plenary and
absolute authority, a right above all other rights, by virtue of
which, in cases determined by himself, he provided in a discretionary
way for all Catholic interests, of which he thus becomes the supreme
judge, the sole interpreter and the court of last appeal.  An
indestructible precedent was set up; it was the great corner-stone in
the support of the modern Church edifice; on this definitive
foundation all other stones were to be superposed, one by one.  In
1801, Pius VII., under the pressure of the reigning Napoleon, had
obliged the prelates of the old régime, sullied by a monarchical
origin and suspected of zeal for the dethroned Bourbons, to abandon
their seats.  In 1816, under the pressure of the re-established
Bourbons, the same Pius VII. obliged Fesch, cardinal-archbishop of
Lyons, and uncle of the fallen Napoleon, to abandon his seat.
Bercastel et Henrion, XIII, 192. Cardinal Fesch having been banished
from France by the law of January 12, 1816, "the Pope no longer
regarded the person of the cardinal, but the diocese that had to be
saved at any cost, by virtue of the principle salus populi suprema
lex. Consequently, he prohibited the cardinal from "exercising
episcopal jurisdiction in his metropolitan church, and constituted M.
de Bernis administrator of that church, spiritually as well as
temporally, notwithstanding all constitutions decreed even by the
general councils, the apostolic ordinances, privileges, etc."  In both
cases the situation was similar, and, in the latter as in the former
case, motives of the same order warranted the same use of the same

But the situation, in being prolonged, multiplied, for the Church, the
number of urgent cases, and, for the sovereign pontiff the number of
cases of intervention.  Since 1789, the entire civil order of things,
constitutional, political, social and territorial, had become
singularly unstable, not only in France but in Europe, not only on the
old continent but likewise on the new one.  Sovereign states by
hundreds sunk under the strokes and counter-strokes, indefinitely
propagated and enforced by the philosophy of the eighteenth century
and of the French Revolution; others, by dozens, arose in their place,
and, in these, different dynasties succeeded each other; here,
Catholic populations falling under the rule of a schismatic or
Protestant prince ; there, this or that Catholic country, for fifteen
years included in a mixed state, detached from it and constituted
apart.  In Protestant America, the Catholics, increased to millions,
formed new communities in Catholic America, the colonies had become
independent; almost everywhere in America and in Europe the maxims of
government and of public opinion had changed.  Now, after each of
these changes, some initiative, some direction, some authority was
necessary, in order to reconcile ecclesiastical with lay institutions;
the Pope was on hand, and on each occasion he establishes this
concord.[8]  At one time, by a diplomatic act analogous to the French
Concordat of 1801, he negotiates with the sovereign of the country -
Bavaria, Wurtemburg, Prussia, Austria, Spain, Portugal, the two
Sicilies, the Netherlands, Belgium and Russia.  Again, owing to the
tolerant liberalism, or to the Constitutional indifference of the lay
government, he alone prescribes, notably in Holland, in Ireland, in
England, in Canada, and in the United States, a division of the
country into ecclesiastical districts, the erection of new bishoprics,
and the lasting regulation of the hierarchy, the discipline, the means
of support and the recruiting of the clergy.  Again, when sovereignty
is in dispute, as after the emancipation of the Spanish colonies, he
does without it, in spite of the opposition of the mother-country,
and, "without putting himself in relation with the new governments,[9]
he, acting for himself, "that he may put an end to the widowhood of
the Churches," appoints bishops, assigns them a provisional régime in
anticipation of the epoch when, in concert with better founded
governments, he will decree their definitive régime.  In this way, all
the great existing churches of the Catholic universe are the work of
the Pope, his latest work, his own creation attested by a positive act
of contiguous date, and of which the souvenir is vivid: he has not
recognized them - he has made them; he has given them their external
form and their internal structure; no one of them can look within
itself without finding in its laws the fresh imprint of the sovereign
hand which has fashioned it; none of them can assert or even believe
itself legitimate without declaring the superior authority to be
legitimate which has just endowed it with life and being. The last
step, the greatest of all, above the terrestrial and practical order
of things, in speculative theology, in the revelation of the
supernatural, in the definition of things that are divine: the Pope,
the better to prove his autocracy, in 1854, decrees, solely, of his
own accord, a new dogma, the immaculate conception of the Virgin, and
he is careful to note that he does it without the concurrence of the
bishops; they were on hand, but they neither deliberated nor

Thus arise durable powers, spiritual or temporal, little by little,
through the uninterrupted and uncontested series of their acts; from
1791 to 1870 all ecclesiastical precedents, one added to another,
became consolidated, one through the other and through their mass;
story after story, steadily ascending and converging to raise the Pope
higher still, until at last, on the summit of the edifice, the Holy
See becomes the keystone of the arch, the omnipotence of fact being
completed by omnipotence of right.

Meanwhile Catholic opinion came to the aid of pontifical opinion, and,
in France, the clergy spontaneously became ultramontane because there
was no longer any motive for remaining Gallican. Since the Revolution,
the Concordat and the Organic Articles, all the sources which
maintained in it a national as well as particularist spirit, had dried
up; in ceased being a distinct, proprietary and favored body; its
members are no longer leagued together by the community of a temporal
interest, by the need of defending their privileges, by the faculty of
acting in concert, by the right of holding periodical assemblies; they
are no longer, as formerly, attached to the civil power by great
social and legal advantages, by their honorable priority in lay
society, by their immunities from taxation, by the presence and
influence of their bishops in the provincial parliaments, by the noble
origin and magnificent endowments of nearly all their prelates, by the
repressive support which the secular arm lent to the church against
dissenters and free-thinkers, by the immemorial legislation and
customs which, erecting Catholicism into a State religion, imposed the
Catholic faith on the monarch, not alone in his quality of a private
individual and to fix his personal belief, but again in his quality of
public magistrate, to influence his policy and to share in his
government. This last article is capital, and out of its abrogation
the rest follows: at this turn of the road the French clergy is thrown
off the Gallican track, every step it takes after this being on the
way to Rome. For, according to Catholic doctrine, outside of the Roman
Church there is no salvation; to enter it, to rest in it, to be led by
it is the highest interest and first duty of man; it is the unique and
infallible guide; all acts that it condemns are culpable, and not only
private acts, but likewise all public acts; the sovereign who commits
them may, as an individual, be Catholic by profession and even loyal
at heart; but, as a ruler, he is disloyal, he has lost his semi-
ecclesiastic character, he has ceased to be "the exterior bishop," he
is not worthy to command a clerical body. Henceforth, the Christian
conscience no longer bows down before him with love and respect;
nothing remains to him for support but social prudence; and again is
it with resignation, because the Church commands obedience to the
authorities, and the same Church commands disobedience to these
authorities when, abusing their power, they encroach on its rights.

Now, ten years ago, the State had done nothing else, and, to the old
Concordat which was not good, it had just substituted a Concordat that
was worse.  This new alliance, concluded by it with the Church in
1802, is not a religious marriage, the solemn sacrament by which, at
Rheims, she and the King promised to live together and in harmony in
the same faith, but a simple civil contract, more precisely the legal
regulation of a lasting and deliberate divorce. - In a paroxysm of
despotism the State has stripped the Church of its possessions and
turned it out of doors, without clothes or bread, to beg on the
highways; next, in a fit of rage, its aim was to kill it outright, and
it did partially strangle it.  Recovering its reason, but having
ceased to be Catholic, it has forced the signature of a pact which is
repugnant, and which reduces their moral union to physical
cohabitation.  Willingly or not, the two contracting parties are to
continue living together in the same domicile, since that is the only
one they possess; but, as there is incompatibility of humor, they will
do well to live apart. To this end, the State assigns a small,
distinct lodging to the Church and allows her a meager supply of food;
this done, it fancies that it may cry quits; and, worse still, it
imagines that she is always its subject, and still pretends to the
same authority over her; the State is determined to retain all rights
conferred upon it by the old marriage, and these rights it exercises
and adds to.  Meanwhile, it admits into the same lodging three other
Churches which it subjects to the same régime: that makes four mess-
rooms to be maintained and which it watches, supports and utilizes the
best it can for the temporal advantage of the household.  There is
nothing more odious to the Catholic Church than this advertised,
practical polygamy, this subvention granted indifferently to all
cults, this patronage in common, more insulting than abandonment, this
equal treatment[11] which places the pulpit of truth and the pulpits
of falsehood, the ministry of salvation and the ministries of
perdition, on the same footing.  Nothing is more serviceable for
alienating a Catholic clergy, for making it consider civil power as
foreign, usurping, or even inimical, for detaching the Gallican Church
from its French center, for driving it back towards its Roman center
and for handing it over to the Pope.

Henceforth, the latter is the unique center, the sole surviving head
of the Church, inseparable from it because he is naturally its head
and because it is naturally his body; and all the more because this
mutual tie has been strengthened by trials.  Head and body have been
struck together, by the same hands, and each on the other's account.
The Pope has suffered like the Church, along with and for it. Pius
VI., dethroned and borne off by the Directory, died in prison at
Valence; Pius VII., dethroned and carried off by Napoleon, is
confined, sequestered and outraged for four years in France, while all
generous hearts take sides with the oppressed against his oppressors.
Moreover, his dispossession adds to his prestige: it can no longer be
claimed that territorial interests prevail with him over Catholic
interests; therefore, according as his temporal power diminishes his
spiritual power expands, to such an extent that, in the end, after
three-quarters of a century, just at the moment when the former is to
fall to the ground the latter is to rise above the clouds; through the
effacement of his human character his superhuman character becomes
declared; the more the sovereign prince disappears, the more does the
sovereign pontiff assert himself.  The clergy, despoiled like him of
its hereditary patrimony and confined like him to its sacerdotal
office, exposed to the same dangers, menaced by the same enemies,
rallies around him the same as an army around its general; inferiors
and superiors, they are all priests alike and are nothing else, with a
clearer and clearer conscience of the solidarity which binds them
together and subordinates the inferiors to the superiors.  From one
ecclesiastical generation to another,[12] the number of the
refractory, of the intractable and of independents, rigorists or the
lax, goes on decreasing, some, conscientious Jansenists, hardened and
sectarians of the "Little Church," others, semi-philosophers, tolerant
and liberal, both inheriting too narrow convictions or too broad
opinions for maintaining themselves and spreading in the newly founded
society (milieu).[13]  They die out, one by one, while their doctrines
fall into discredit and then into oblivion.  A new spirit animates the
new clergy, and, after 1808, Napoleon remarks of it, " It does not
complain of the old one, and is even satisfied with it; but, he says,
they are bringing up new priests in a sombre fanatical doctrine: there
is nothing Gallican in the youthful clergy,"[14] no sympathy for the
civil power.  After Napoleon, and on getting out of his terrible
hands, the Catholics have good reasons for their repugnance to his
theology; it has put too many Catholics in jail, the most eminent in
rank, in holiness, bishops and cardinals, including the Pope.
Gallican maxims are dishonored by the use Napoleon has made of them.
Canon law, in public instruction and in the seminaries (of the
Catholics), ends insensibly in unlooked-for conclusions ; texts and
arguments opposed to the Pope's authority seem weaker and weaker;
texts and arguments favorable to the Pope's authority seem stronger
and stronger;[15] the doctors most deferred to are no longer Gerson
and Bossuet, but Bellarmin and Suarez; flaws are discovered in the
decrees of the council of Constance; the Declaration of the clergy of
France in 1682 is found to contain errors condemned and open to
condemnation.[16] After 1819, M. de Maistre, a powerful logician,
matchless herald and superb champion, in his book on "The Pope,"
justifies, prepares and announces the coming constitution of the
Church. - Step by step, the assent of Catholic community is won or
mastered;[17] on approaching 1870, it is nearly universal; after 1870,
it is wholly so and could not be otherwise; whoever refuses to submit
is excluded from the community and excludes himself from it, for he
denies a dogma which it professes, a revealed dogma, an article of
faith which the Pope and the council have just decreed. Thenceforward,
the Pope, in his magisterial pulpit, in the eyes of every man who is
and wants to remain Catholic, is infallible; when he gives his
decision on faith or on morals, Jesus Christ himself speaks by his
mouth, and his definitions of doctrine are "irrefutable," "they are so
of themselves, they alone, through their own virtue, and not by virtue
of the Church's consent."[18] For the same reason, his authority is
absolute, not only in matters which concern faith and morals, but
again in matters which concern the discipline and government of the
Church."[19]  His judgment may be resorted to in every ecclesiastical
case; nobody is allowed to question his verdict; "nobody is allowed to
appeal to the future oecumenical council;"[20]  He has not only "a
priority by right, an office of inspection and of direction; he holds
again priority of jurisdiction, a full and supreme power of
jurisdiction over the universal Church, . . . ", "the total plenitude
of this supreme power," not indirectly and extraordinarily, but
"directly and ordinarily, over all churches and over each one of them,
over all pastors and all believers, over each believer and each of the
pastors." -  Read this in the Latin: each word, through its ancient
root and through its historic vegetation, contributes to strengthening
the despotic and Roman sense of the text; the language of the people
which invented and practiced dictatorship had to be employed for the
affirmation of dictatorship with that precision and that copiousness,
with that excess of energy and of conviction.

II. The Bishops and their new Situation.

The bishop in his diocese. - Change of situation and rôle. -
Depreciation of other local authorities. - Diminution of other
ecclesiastical authorities. - Decline of the chapter and the
jurisdiction. - The bishop alone dispenses rigors and favors. - Use of
displacement. - Second-class clergy subject to military discipline. -
Why it submits to this.

The change brought about in the condition and role of the bishop was
not less grave. Along with the court noblesse and great ecclesiastical
property, we see the prelate of the old régime disappearing by
degrees, the younger son of a noble family, promoted by favor and very
young, endowed with a large income and much more a man of the world
than of the Church. In 1789, out of 134 bishops or archbishops, only 5
were of plebeian origin; in 1889, out of 90 bishops or archbishops
there are only 4 of them nobles;[21] previous to the Revolution, the
titular of an Episcopal see enjoyed, on the average, a revenue of
100,000 francs; at the present day, he receives only a salary of from
10,000 to 15,000 francs.[22] In place of the grand seignior, an
amiable and magnificent host, given to display and to entertaining the
best company, keeping an open table in his diocese when he happens to
be there, but generally absent, an habitué of Paris or a courtier at
Versailles, we see another stepping forward to take his seat He is
bearing the same title, is a personage whose habits and origins are
different, a resident administrator, much less ornamental but much
more active and governing, provided with a more ample jurisdiction,
with more absolute authority and wielding more effective influence.
The final effect of the Revolution in relation to the bishop is the
same as in relation to the Pope, and in the French diocese, as in the
universal Church, the modern régime sets up a central, extraordinary,
enormous power of which the ancient regime knew nothing.

Formerly, the bishop encountered around him, on the spot, equals and
rivals, bodies of men or individuals, as independent and powerful as
himself, irremovable, owners of estates, dispensers of offices and of
favors, local authorities by legal sanction, permanent patrons of a
permanent class of dependents. In his own cathedral, his metropolitan
chapter was, like himself, a collator of benefice; elsewhere, other
chapters were so likewise and knew how to maintain their rights
against his supremacy. In each body of regular clergy, every grand
abbot or prior, every noble abbess was, like himself, a sort of
sovereign prince. The territorial seignior and justiciary on his own
domain, was through the partial survival of the old wholly secular
feudal order equally sovereign. Likewise sovereign, was, for its part,
the parliament of the province, with its rights of registry and of
remonstrance, with its administrative attributes and interference,
with its train of loyal auxiliaries and subordinates, from the judges
of the presidencies and bailiwicks down to the corporations of
advocates, prosecutors and other members of the bar.[23] The
parliamentarians of the district capital (chef-lieu) , purchasers and
owners of their offices, magistrates from father to son, much
wealthier and much prouder than nowadays, were, in their old
hereditary mansions, the real chiefs of the province, its constant
representatives on the spot, its popular defenders against ministerial
and royal absolutism. All these powers, which once counterbalanced
episcopal power, have disappeared. Restricted to their judicial
office, the tribunals have ceased to be political authorities and
moderators of the central government: in the town and department, the
mayor and general councilors, appointed or elected for a certain time,
enjoy only temporary credit; the prefect, the military commandant, the
rector, the treasurer-general are merely passing strangers. The local
circumscription, for a century, is an exterior post where individuals
live together in contact but not associated; no longer does any
intimate, lasting and strong bond exist between them; nothing remains
of the old province but a population of inhabitants, a given number of
private persons under unstable functionaries. The bishop alone has
maintained himself intact and erect, a dignitary for life, the
conductor, by title and in fact, of a good many persons, the
stationary and patient undertaker of a great service, the unique
general and undisputed commander of a special militia which, through
conscience and professions, gathers close around him and, every
morning, awaits his orders. Because in his essence, he is a governor
of souls. Revolution and centralization have not encroached on his
ecclesiastical prerogative. Thanks to this indelible quality he has
been able to endure the suppression of the others; these have come
back to him of themselves and with others added, comprising local
superiority, real importance and local ascendancy; including the
various honorable appellations which, under the ancient régime,
denoted his rank and preeminence; at the present day, under the modern
régime, they are no longer in use for a layman and even for a minister
of state; after 1802, one of the articles of the Organic Laws,[24]
interdicts them to bishops and archbishops; they are "allowed to add
to their name only the title of citizen  and monsieur." But
practically, except in the official almanac, everybody addresses a
prelate as  "my lord," and in the clergy, among believers, in writing
or in speaking to him, he is called "your Grace," under the republic
as under the monarchy.

Thus, in this provincial soil where other powers have lost their
roots, not only has he kept his, but he has extended them and much
farther; he has grown beyond all measure and now the whole
ecclesiastical territory belongs to him. Formerly, on this territory,
many portions of it, and quite large ones, were enclosures set apart,
reserves that an immemorial wall prevented him from entering.  It was
not he who, in a great majority of cases, conferred livings and
offices; it was not he who, in more than one-half of them, appointed
to vacant curacies.  At Besançon,[25]  among 1500 benefices and
livings, he once conferred less than 100 of them, while his
metropolitan chapter appointed as many curés as himself; at Arras, he
appointed only 47 curés and his chapter 66; at Saint-Omer, among the
collators of curacies he ranked only third, after the abbey of Saint-
Martin and after the chapter of the cathedral.  At Troyes, he could
dispose only of 197 curacies out of 372; at Boulogne, out of 180, he
had only 80, and this again because the chapter voluntarily abandoned
to him 16.  Naturally, the eyes of all candidates turned towards the
collator; and, among the highest and most lucrative places, those
which gave the least trouble and afforded the most satisfaction, all
sinecures, ranks, simple benefices and large urban curacies,
probendaries and canonicates, most of the offices, titles, and incomes
that might tempt human ambition, were in the hands, not of the bishop,
but of the king or of the Pope, of an abbot or prior, of an abbess, or
of a certain university,[26] of this or that cathedral or college-body,
of a lay seignior, of a patentee, or of an indultaire, and often of the
titulary himself. Thus, the hold of the bishop on his clercs was feeble;
he did not hold them through the hope of a favor.  And, on the other
hand, he had still less hold on them, no hold at all, through fear of
losing favor.  They might displease him almost with impunity; his
faculty for punishment was much more restricted than his means of
recompense.  His subordinates could find shelter and refuge against
his displeasure, and even against his hostility. In the first place,
and as a principle, a titulary, whether ecclesiastic or secular, owned
his office and hence was irremovable; they themselves, plain vicar-
curates, the humble desservans[27]  of a rural parish, had acquired
this privilege through the declarations of 1726 and 1731.[28]
Moreover, in case of interdiction, suspension or of censure, a titulary
could always recur to the courts against episcopal judgment and any
other, against all encroachment on spiritual or temporal prerogatives,
or on those which were useful or honorary belonging to his charge.

These courts were of two kinds, one ecclesiastical and the other
secular, and in each an appeal could be made from a lower to a higher
court, from the diocesan official to the metropolitan official, and
from the présidial to the parliament, with a complete judicial staff,
judge, assessors, public ministry, prosecutors, advocates and clerks,
restricted to the observing of all judicial formalities, authentic
papers, citations of witnesses and challenges of testimony,
interrogatories and pleadings, allegation of canons, laws and
precedents, presence of the defendant, opposing arguments, delays in
procedure, publicity and scandal.  Before the slow march and
inconveniences of such a trial, the bishop often avoided giving
judgment, and all the more because his verdicts, even when confirmed
by the ecclesiastical court, might be warded off or rendered
ineffective by the lay tribunal; for, from the former to the latter,
there was an appeal under writ of error, and the latter, a jealous
rival of the former, was ill-disposed towards the sacerdotal
authorities;[29] besides, in the latter case, far more than in the
former, the bishop found confronting him not merely the more or less
legal right of his own party, but again the allies and patrons of his
party, corporations and individuals who, according to an accepted
usage, interfered through their solicitations with the judges and
openly placed their credit at the service of their protégé.  With so
many spokes in the wheels, the working of an administrative machine
was difficult; to give it effective motion, it required the steady
pressure, the constant starting, the watchful and persistent efforts
of a laborious, energetic, and callous hand, while, under the ancient
régime, the delicate white hands of a gentleman-prelate were ill-
adapted to this rude business; they were too nicely washed, too soft.
To manage personally and on the spot a provincial, complicated and
rusty machine, always creaking and groaning, to give one's self up to
it, to urge and adjust twenty local wheels, to put up with knocks and
splashes, to become a business man, that is to say a hard worker -
nothing was less desirable for a grand seignior of that epoch.  In the
Church as in the State, he made the most of his rank; he collected and
enjoyed its fruits, that is to say money, honors and gratifications,
and, among these gratifications, the principal one, leisure; hence, he
abandoned every special duty, the daily manipulation of men and
things, the practical direction, all effective government, to his
ecclesiastical or lay intendants, to subordinates whom he scarcely
looked after and who, at his own house, on his own domain, replaced
him as fixed residents.  The bishop, in his own diocese, left the
administration in the hands of his canons and grand-vicars; "the
official decided without his meddling."[30]  The machine thus worked
alone and by itself, with very few shocks, in the old rut established
by routine; he helped it along only by the influence he exercised at
Paris and Versailles, by recommendations to the ministers in reality,
he was merely the remote and worldly representative of his
ecclesiastical principality at court and in the drawing-room.[31]
When, from time to time, he made his appearance there, the bells were
rung; deputations from all bodies hurried to his antechambers; each
authority in turn, and according to the order of precedence, paid him
its little compliment, which compliment he graciously returned and
then, the homage being over, he distributed among them benedictions
and smiles.  After this, with equal dignity and still more graciously
throughout his sojourn, he invited the most eligible to his table and,
in his episcopal palace or in his country-house, he treated them as
guests. This done, he had performed his duty; the rest was left to his
secretaries, ecclesiastical officials and clerks, men of the bureaux,
specialists and "plodders."  "Did you read my pastoral letter?" said a
bishop to Piron.  And Piron, who was very outspoken, dared reply,
"Yes, my lord.  And yourself?"

Under the modern régime, this suzerain for show, negligent and
intermittent, is succeeded by an active sovereign whose reign is
personal and constant; the limited and easy monarchy of the diocese is
converted into an universal and absolute monarchy.  When the bishop,
once invested and consecrated, enters the choir of his cathedral to
the reverberations of the organ, lighted with wax candles amidst
clouds of incense, and seats himself in solemn pomp[32] "on his
throne," he is a prince who takes possession of his government, which
possession is not nominal or partial, but real and complete.  He holds
in his hand "the splendid cross which the priests of his diocese have
presented to him," in witness of and symbolizing their voluntary,
eager and full obedience; and this pastoral baton is larger than the
old one.  In the ecclesiastical herd, no head browses at a distance or
under cover; high or low, all are within reach, all eyes are turned
towards the episcopal crook; at a sign made by the crook, and
according to the signal, each head forthwith stands, advances or
recedes: it knows too well that the shepherd's hands are free and that
it is subject to its will.  Napoleon, in his reconstruction of the
diocese, made additions to only one of the diocesan powers, that of
the bishop; he suffered the others to remain low down, on the ground.
The delays, complications and frictions of a divided government were
repugnant to him; he had no taste for and no comprehension of any but
a concentrated government; he found it convenient to deal with but one
man, a prefect of the spiritual order, as pliable as his colleague of
the temporal order, a mitered grand functionary - such was the bishop
in his eyes.  This is the reason why he did not oblige him to surround
himself with constitutional and moderating authorities; he did not
restore the ancient bishop's court and the ancient chapter; he allowed
his prelates themselves to pen the new diocesan statute. - Naturally,
in the division of powers, the bishop reserved the best part to
himself, the entire substance, and, to limit his local omnipotence,
there remained simply lay authority. But, in practice, the shackles by
which the civil government kept him in its dependence, broke or became
relaxed one by one.  Among the Organic Articles, almost all of them
which subjected or repressed the bishop fell into discredit or into
desuetude. Meanwhile, those which authorized and exalted the bishop
remained in vigor and maintained their effect.  Consequently,
Napoleon's calculation, in relation to the bishop or in relation to
the Pope, proved erroneous. He wanted to unite in one person two
incompatible characters, to convert the dignitaries of the Church into
dignitaries of the State, to make functionaries out of potentates.
The functionary insensibly disappeared; the potentate alone subsisted
and still subsists.

At the present day, conformably to the statute of 1802, the cathedral
chapter,[33] except in case of one interim, is a lifeless and still-
born body, a vain simulachre; it is always, by title or on paper, the
Catholic "senate," the bishop's obligatory "council";[34] but he takes
his councillors where he pleases, outside of the chapter, if that
suits him, and he is free not to take any of them, " to govern alone,
to do all himself." It is he who appoints to all offices, to the five
or six hundred offices of his diocese; he is the universal collator of
these and, nine times out of ten, the sole collator; excepting eight
or nine canonships and the thirty or forty cantonal curacies, which
the government must approve, he alone makes appointments and without
any person's concurrence.  Thus, in the way of favors, his clerical
body has nothing to expect from anybody but himself. - And, on the
other hand, they no longer enjoy any protection against his harshness;
the hand which punishes is still less restrained than that which
rewards; like the cathedral chapter, the ecclesiastical tribunal has
lost its consistency and independence, its efficiency; nothing remains
of the ancient bishop's court but an appearance and a name.[35]

At one time, the bishop in person is himself the whole court; he
deliberates only with himself and decides ex informata conscientia
without a trial, without advice, and, if he chooses, in his own
cabinet with closed doors, in private according to facts, the value of
which he alone estimates, and through motives of which he is the sole
appreciator. At another time, the presiding magistrate is one of his
grand-vicars, his revocable delegate, his confidential man, his
megaphone, in short, another self, and this official acts without the
restraint of ancient regulations, of a fixed and understood procedure
beforehand, of a series of judicial formalities, of verifications and
the presence of witnesses, of the delays and all other legal
precautions which guard the judge against prejudice, haste, error, and
ignorance and without which justice always risks becoming injustice.
In both cases, the head over which the sentence is suspended lacks
guarantees, and, once pronounced, this sentence is definitive.  For,
on appeal to the court of the metropolitan bishop, it is always
confirmed;[36] the bishops support each other, and, let the appellant
be right or wrong, the appeal is in itself a bad mark against him: he
did not submit at once, he stood out against reproof, he was lacking
in humility, he has set an example of insubordination, and this alone
is a grave fault. There remains the recourse to Rome; but Rome is far
off,[37] and, while maintaining her superior jurisdiction, she does
not willingly cancel an episcopal verdict; she treats prelates with
respect, she is careful of her lieutenant-generals, her collectors of
Saint Peter's pence.  As to the lay tribunals, these have declared
themselves incompetent,[38] and the new canon law teaches that never,
"under the pretext of a writ of error, may a priest make an appeal to
the secular magistrate";[39] through this appeal, "he derogates from
the authority and liberty of the Church and is liable to the gravest
censures;" he betrays his order.

Such is now, for the lower clergy, ecclesiastical law, and likewise
secular law, both agreeing together in not affording him protection;
add to this change in the jurisprudence which concerns him a no less
divisive change in the jurisprudence which concerns him a no less
decisive change in the titles which place and qualify him. Before
1789, there were in France 36,000 curés entitled irremovable; at the
present day, there are only 3,425; before 1789, there were only 2500
curés entirely removable, while to-day there are 34,042;[40] all of
the latter, appointed by the bishop without the approbation of the
civil powers, are removable at his discretion; their parochial
ministry is simply a provisional commission; they may be placed
elsewhere, passing from one precarious curacy to another no less
precarious. "At Valence,[41] Mgr. Chartrousse, in one month
transferred 150 priests from one parish to another. In 1835, in the
diocese of Valence, 35 transfers were sent out by the same mail." No
assistant-priest, however long in his parish, feels that he is at home
there, on his own domain, for the rest of his life; he is merely there
in garrison, about the same as lay functionaries and with less
security, even when irreproachable. For he may be transplanted, not
alone for spiritual reasons, but likewise for political reasons. He
has not grown less worthy, but the municipal council or the mayor have
taken a dislike to his person; consequently to tranquilize things, he
is displaced. Far better, he had become worthy and is on good terms
with the municipal council and the mayor; wherever he has lived he has
known how to mollify these, and consequently "he is removed from
parish to parish,[42] chosen expressly to be put into those where
there are troublesome, wrangling, malevolent, and impious mayors." It
is for the good of the service and in the interest of the Church. The
bishop subordinates persons to this superior interest. The legislation
of 1801 and 1802 has conferred full powers upon him and he exercises
them; among the many grips by which he holds his clergy the strongest
is the power of removal, and he uses it. Into all civil or
ecclesiastical institutions Napoleon, directly or by counterstrokes,
has injected his spirit, the military spirit; hence the authoritative
régime, still more firmly established in the Church than in the State,
because that is the essence of the Catholic institution; far from
being relaxed in this, it has become stricter; at present it is
avowed, proclaimed, and even made canonical; the bishop, in our days,
in fact as in law, is a general of division, and, in law as in fact,
his curés are simply sergeants or corporals.[43]  Command, from such a
lofty grade falls direct, with extraordinary force, on grades so low,
and, at the first stroke, is followed by passive obedience. Discipline
in a diocese is as perfect as in an army corps, and the prelates
publicly take pride in it. "It is an insult," said Cardinal de
Bonnechose to the Senate,[44] "to suppose that we are not masters in
our own house, that we cannot direct our clergy, and that it is the
clergy which directs us. . . There is no general within its walls who
would accept the reproach that could not compel the obedience of his
soldiers. Each of us has command of a regiment, and the regiment

III. The new Bishop.

Change in the habits and ways of the bishop. - His origin, age,
capability, mode of living, labor, initiative, undertakings, and moral
and social ascendancy. [45]

In order to make troops march, a staff, even a croisier, is not
enough; to compulsory subordination voluntary subordination must be
added; therefore, legal authority in the chief should be accompanied
with moral authority; otherwise he will not be loyally supported and
to the end. In 1789, this was not the case with the bishop; on two
occasions, and at two critical moments, the clergy of the inferior
order formed a separate band, at first at the elections, by selecting
for deputies curés and not prelates, and next in the national
assembly, by abandoning the prelates to unite with the Third Estate.
The intimate hold of the chief on his men was relaxed or broken.  His
ascendency over them was no longer sufficiently great; they no longer
had confidence in him.  His subordinates had come to regard him as he
was, a privileged individual, sprung from a another stock and
furnished by a class apart, bishop by right of birth, without a
prolonged apprenticeship, having rendered no services, without tests
of merit, almost an interloper in the body of his clergy, a Church
parasite accustomed to spending the revenues of his diocese away from
his diocese, idle and ostentatious, often a shameless gallant or
obnoxious hunter, disposed to be a philosopher and free-thinker, and
who lacked two qualifications for a leader of Christian priests:
first, ecclesiastical deportment, and next, and very often, Christian

All these gaps in and discrepancies of episcopal character, all these
differences and distances (which existed before 1789), between the
origins, interests, habits, and manners of the lower and the upper
clergy, all these inequalities and irregularities which alienated
inferiors from the superior, have disappeared; the modern régime has
leveled the wall of separation established by the ancient régime
between the bishop and his priests. At the present day he is, like
them, a plebeian, of common extraction, and sometimes very low, one
being the son of a village shoemaker, another the natural son of a
poor workwoman, both being men of feeling and never blushing at their
humble origin, openly tender and respectful to their mothers, - a
certain bishop lodging his mother, formerly a servant, in his
episcopal palace and giving her the first seat at his table among the
most honored and noblest of his guests.[47]  He is "one of fortune's
officers," that is to say, a meritorious and old officer.[48]
According the "Almanac" of 1889, the three youngest are from forty-
seven to forty-nine years of age; all the others are fifty and over;
among the latter, three fourths of them are over sixty. As a general
rule, a priest cannot become a bishop short of twenty or twenty-five
years' service in lower or average grades; he must have remained in
each grade a longer or shorter period, in turn vicar, curé, vicar-
general, canon, head of a seminary, sometimes coadjutor, and almost
always have distinguished himself in some office, either as preacher
or catechist, professor or administrator, canonist or theologian. His
full competence cannot be contested, and he enjoys a right to exact
full obedience; he has himself rendered it up to his consecration; "he
boasts of it," and the example he proposes to his priests is the one
he has himself given.[49]  On the other hand, his moderate way of
living excites but little envy; it is about like that of a general of
division, or of a prefect, or of a high civil functionary who, lacking
personal fortune, has nothing but his salary to live on. He does not
display, as formerly, confessionals lined with satin, kitchen utensil
of massive silver, hunting accoutrements, a hierarchical staff of
major-domos, ushers, valets, and liveried lackeys, stables and
carriages, lay grand-seigniors, vassals of his suzerainty and figuring
at his consecration, a princely ceremonial of parade and homage, a
pompous show of receptions and of hospitalities. There is nothing but
what is necessary, the indispensable instruments of his office: an
ordinary carriage for his episcopal journeys and town visits, three or
four domestics for manual service, three or four secretaries for
official writings, some old mansion or other, cheaply repaired and
refurnished without ostentation, its rooms and bureaus being those of
an administrator, business man, and responsible head of a numerous
staff; in effect, he is responsible for a good many subordinates, he
has a good deal to attend to; he works himself, looking after the
whole and in detail, keeping classified files by means of a
chronological and systematic collection,[50] like the general director
of a vast company; if he enjoys greater honors, he is subject to
greater exigencies; assuredly, his predecessors under the ancient
régime, delicate Epicureans, would not have wished for such a life;
they would not have considered the benefit worth the effort.

Even when old, he draws on his energies; he officiates, he preaches,
he presides at long ceremonies, he ordains seminarians, he confirms
thousands of children,[51] he visits one after another the parishes in
his diocese; often, at the end of his administration, he has visited
them all and many times. Meanwhile, shut up in his episcopal cabinet,
he is constantly inspecting these four or five hundred parishes; he
reads or listens to reports, informs himself on the number of
communicants, on what is required in worship, on the financial state
of the fabrique, on the attitude of the inhabitants, on the good or
bad dispositions of municipal counselors and mayors, on the local
cause of dissension and conflict, on the conduct and character of the
curé or vicar; each resident ecclesiastic needs guidance or
maintenance between intemperate zeal and inert lukewarmness, evenly
balanced according as parishes and circumstances vary, but always in a
way to prevent false steps, to turn aside mistakes, to humor opinion,
to stop scandals. For the entire life of the clergyman, not only his
public life but again his personal, domestic, private life, belongs to
and concerns the Church:[52] there must be no evil reports, even
without foundation, on his account; if these occur, the bishop summons
him to headquarters, warns him, admonishes him, and, without
unburdening himself by handing the matter over to a responsible
tribunal, he alone passes judgment after personally conducting the
investigations, suffering the worries, and carrying out the painful,
painstaking labor always attendant on direct absolute power. Likewise,
in relation to his upper and his lower seminary: here are two
indispensable nurseries of which he is the head gardener, attentive to
filling annual vacancies and seeking proper subjects for these
throughout his diocese, ever verifying and cultivating their
vocations; he confers scholarships; he dictates rules and regulations;
appoints and dismisses, displaces and procures as he pleases, the
director and professors; he takes them, if he chooses, out of his
diocese or out of the body of regular clergy; he prescribes a doctrine
to them, methods, ways of thinking and teaching, and he keeps his eye,
beyond his present or future priests, on three or four hundred monks
and on fourteen hundred nuns.

As to the monks, so long as they remain inside their dwellings, in
company together and at home, he has nothing to say to them; but, when
they come to preach, confess, officiate or teach in public on his
ground, they fall under his jurisdiction; in concert with their
superior and with the Pope, he has rights over them and he uses them.
They are now his auxiliaries assigned to or summoned by him, available
troops and a reinforcement, so many chosen companies expressly ready,
each with its own discipline, its particular uniform, its special
weapon, and who bring to him in following a campaign under his orders,
distinct aptitudes and a livelier zeal. He needs them[53] in order to
make up for the insufficiency of his local clergy in arousing the
spirit of devotion in his parishes and in enforcing sound doctrine in
his seminaries.  Now, between these two forces a common understanding
is difficult; the former, adjuncts and flying about, march in front;
the latter, holding the ground and stationary, look upon the new-
comers as usurpers who lessen both their popularity and their fees; a
bishop must possess great tact as well as energy to impose on both
bodies of this clergy, if not an intimate union, at least mutual aid
and a collaboration without conflict. - As to the nuns,[54] he is
their ordinary, the sole arbiter, overseer and ruler over all these
cloistered lives; he receives their vows, and renders them free of
them; it is he who, after due inquiry and examination, authorizes each
entrance into the community or a return to society, at first each
admission or novitiate, and next each profession of faith or
assumption of the veil, every dismissal or departure of a nun, every
claim that one makes, every grave act of severity or decision on the
part of the superior. He approves of, or appoints, the confessor of
the establishment; he maintains seclusion in it, he draws tighter or
relaxes the observances; he himself enters its doors by privilege of
his office, and, with his own eyes, he inspects its régime, spiritual
and temporal, through a right of control which extends from the
direction of souls to the administration of property.

To so many obligatory matters he adds others which are voluntary, not
alone works of piety, those relating to worship, propaganda, diocesan
missions, catechizing adults, brotherhoods for perpetual adoration,
meetings for the uninterrupted recital of the rosary, Peter's pence,
seminary funds, Catholic journals and reviews-but, again, institutions
for charity and education.[55]   In the way of charity, he founds or
supports twenty different kinds, sixty in one diocese alone, general
and special services, infant nurseries, clubs, asylums, lodging-
houses, patronages, societies for helping and placing the poor, for
the sick at home and in the hospitals, for suckling infants, for the
deaf and dumb, for the blind, for old men, for orphans, for repentant
prostitutes, for prisoners, for soldiers in garrison, for workmen,
apprentices, youths, and quantities of others.  In the way of
education, there are yet more of them - works which the Catholic
chiefs have most at heart; without these, it is impossible in modern
society to preserve the faith in each new generation.  Hence, at each
turning-point of political history, we see the bishops benefiting by
the toleration or warding off the intolerance of the teaching State,
competing with it, erecting alongside of its public schools free
schools of its own, directed or served by priests or religious
brotherhoods; - after the suppression of the university monopoly in
1850, more than one hundred colleges[56] for secondary education;
after the favorable law of 1875, four or five provincial faculties or
universities for superior instruction after the hostile laws of 1882,
many thousands of parochial schools for primary instruction.

Foundation and support, all this is expensive.  The bishop requires a
great deal of money, especially since the State, become ill-disposed,
cuts off clerical resources as much as possible, no longer maintains
scholarships in the seminaries, deprives suspicious desservans of
their small stipends, eats into the salaries of the prelates, throws
obstacles in the way of communal liberalities, taxes and over taxes
the congregations, so that, not merely through the diminution of its
allowances it relieves itself at the expense of the Church, but again,
through the increase of its imposts, it burdens the Church for its own
advantage.  The episcopacy obtains all necessary funds through
collections in the churches and at domiciles, through the gifts and
subscriptions of the faithful; and, every year, it needs millions,
apart from the budget appropriation, for its faculties and
universities in which it installs largely paid professors, for the
construction, location and arrangement of its countless buildings, for
the expenses of its minor schools, for the support of its ten thousand
seminarists, for the general out-lay on so many charitable
institutions; and it is the bishop who, their principal promoter, must
provide for this, all the more because he has often taken it upon
himself in advance, and made himself responsible for it by either a
written or verbal promise.  He responds to all these engagements; he
has funds on hand at the maturity of each contract.  In 1883, the
bishop of Nancy, in need of one hundred thousand francs to build a
school-house with a work-room attached to it, mentions this to a
number of persons assembled in his drawing-room; one of these puts his
hand in his pocket and gives him ten thousand francs, and others
subscribe on the spot to the amount of seventy-four thousand
francs.[57] Cardinal Mathieu, during his administration, archbishop of
Besançon, thus collects and expends four millions.  Lately, Cardinal
Lavigerie, to whom the budget allows fifteen thousand francs per
annum, wrote that he had spent eighteen hundred thousand francs and
had incurred no debt.[58] - Through this initiative and this
ascendancy the bishop becomes a central social rallying-point; there
is no other in the provinces, nothing but so many disjointed lives,
juxtaposed and kept together in an artificial circle prescribed from
above; so that a good many of these, and of most consideration,
gravitate to and group themselves, especially since 1830, around this
last permanent center and form a part of its body; he is the sole
germinating, vivifying, intact center that still agglutinates
scattered wills and suitably organizes them.  Naturally, class and
party interests incorporate themselves additionally along with the
Catholic interest which he represents, and his ecclesiastical
authority becomes a political influence; besides his secular and
regular clergy, over and beyond the two thousand five hundred
exemplary or directorial lives which he controls, we see behind him an
indefinite multitude of lay adhesions and devotedness.  Consequently,
every government must take him into their calculations, and all the
more because his colleagues stand by him; the episcopacy, banded
together, remains erect in face of the omnipotent State, under the
July monarchy as claimants of free instruction and under the second
empire in support of the temporal power of the Pope. - In this
militant attitude, the figure of the bishop is fully unveiled; the
titular champion of an infallible Church, himself a believer and
submissive; his voice is extraordinarily proud and defiant;[59] in his
own eyes, he is the unique depository of truth and morality; in the
eyes of his followers, he becomes a superhuman personage, a prophet of
salvation or of destruction, the annunciator of divine judgments, the
dispenser of celestial anger or of celestial pardon; he rises to the
clouds in an apotheosis of glory; with women especially, this
veneration grows into enthusiasm and degenerates into idolatry.
Towards the end of the second empire an eminent French bishop, on a
steamboat on Lake Leman, taking a roll of bread from his pocket,
seated himself alongside of two ladies and ate it, handing each of
them a piece of it.  One of them, bowing reverently, replied to him,
"At your hands, my lord, this is almost the holy communion!"[60]

IV. The subordinate clergy.

The subordinates. - The secular clergy. - Its derivation and how
recruited. - How prepared and led. - The lower seminary. - The higher
seminary. - Monthly lectures and annual retreat. - The Exercitia. -
The Manreze du Prêtre. - The curé in his parish. - His rôle a
difficult one. - His patience and correct conduct.

A clergy submissive in mind and feeling, long prepared by its
condition and education for faith and obedience, acts under the sway
of this sovereign and consecrated hand.[61] Among the 40,000 curés and
desservans "more than 35,000 belong to the laboring class of workmen
and peasants,"[62] not the first class of peasants, but the second
class, the poorer families earning their daily bread and often with a
good many children.  Under the pressure of the ambient atmosphere and
of the modern régime, the others keep back their sons, retaining them
for the world and denying them to the Church; ambition, even low down
on the scale, has developed itself and changed its object. No longer
do they aspire for their sons to become a curé but a school master, a
railroad employee, or a commercial clerk.[63]  It was necessary to go
descend further, a lower stratum has to be attained, in order to
extract from it the priests that are lacking.

Undoubtedly, at this depth, the extraction was more expensive; the
family cannot afford to pay for the child's ecclesiastic cal
education; the State, moreover, after 1830, no longer gives anything
to the lower seminary, nor to the large one after 1885.[64]  The
expenses of these schools must be borne by the faithful in the shape
of donations and legacies; to this end, the bishop orders collections
in the churches in Lent and encourages his diocesans to found
scholarships. The outlay for the support and education, nearly gratis,
of a future priest between the ages of twelve and twenty-four is very
great; in the lower seminary alone it costs from forty to fifty
thousand francs over and above the net receipts;[65] facing such an
annual deficit, the bishop, who is responsible for the undertaking, is
greatly concerned and sometimes extremely anxious. To make amends, and
as compensation, the extraction is surer; the long process by which a
child is withdrawn and instructed for the priesthood goes on and is
finished with less uncertainty.  Neither the light nor the murmur of
the century finds its way to these low depths; nobody
ever reads the newspaper, even the penny paper; vocations can here
shape themselves and become fixed like crystals, intact and rigid, and
all of a piece; they are better protected than in the upper layers,
less exposed to mundane infiltrations; they run less risk of being
disturbed or thwarted by curiosity, reason and skepticism, by modern
ideas; the outside world and family surroundings do not, as elsewhere,
interfere with their silent internal workings.[66]   When the choir-
boy comes home after the service, when the seminarian returns to his
parents in his vacations, he does not here en-counter so many
disintegrating influences, various kinds of information, free and easy
talk, comparisons between careers, concern about advancement, habits
of comfort, maternal solicitude, the shrugs of the shoulder and the
half-smile of the strong-minded neighbor. Stone upon stone and each
stone in its place, his faith builds up and becomes complete without
any incoherency in its structure, with no incongruity in the
materials, without any hidden imbalance.  He has been taken in hand
before his twelfth year, when very young; his curé, who has been
instructed from above to secure suitable subjects, has singled him out
in the catechism class and again at the ceremony of confirmation;[67]
he is found to have a pious tendency and a taste for sacred
ceremonies, a suitable demeanor, a mild disposition, complacency, and
is inclined to study; he is a docile and well-behaved child; whether
an acolyte at the altar or in the sacristy, he tries to fold the
chasuble properly; all his genuflexions are correct, they do not worry
him, he has no trouble in standing still, he is not excited and
diverted, like the others, by the eruptions of animal spirits and
rustic coarseness.  If his rude brain is open to cultivation, if
grammar and Latin can take root in it, the curé or the vicar at once
take charge of him; he studies under them, gratis or
nearly so, until he has completed the sixth or the seventh grade, and
then he enters the lower seminary.[68]

This is a school apart, a boarding-house of picked youths, an enclosed
hot-house intended for the preservation and development of special
vocations.  None of these schools existed previous to 1789; at the
present day(in 1885), they number 86 in France, and all the pupils are
to become future priests.  No foreign plants, no future laymen, are
admitted into this preparatory nursery;[69] for experience has shown
that if the lower seminary is mixed it no longer attains its
ecclesiastical purpose; "it habitually turns over to the upper
seminary only the bottom of the classes; those at the top seek
fortune elsewhere". But if, on the contrary, "the lower seminaries
are kept pure, the entire rhetoric[70] class continues on into the
upper seminary; not only do they obtain the bottom of the classes
but the top." - The culture, in this second nursery, which is prolonged
during five years, becomes extreme, wholly special; it was less so
under the ancient régime, even at Saint-Sulpice; there were cracks in
the glass letting in currents of air; the archbishop's nephews and the
younger sons of nobles predestined for Church dignities had introduced
into it the laxity and liberties which were then the privileges of the
episcopacy. During the vacations,[71] fairy scenes and pastorals were
performed there with costumes and dances, "The Enthronement of the
Great Mogul," and the "Shepherds in Chains"; the seminarians took
great care of their hair; a first-class hair-dresser came and waited
on them; the doors were not regularly shut: the youthful Talleyrand
knew how to get out into the city and begin or continue his
gallantries.[72] From and after the Concordat, stricter discipline
in the new seminaries had become monastic; these are practical
schools, not for knowledge, but for training, the object being much
less to make learned men than believing priests; education takes
precedence of instruction and intellectual exercises are made
subordinate to spiritual exercises[73] - mass every day and five
visits to the Saint-Sacrament, with one minute to half-hour prayer
stations; rosaries of sixty-three paters and aves, litanies, the
angelus, loud and whispered prayers, special self-examinations,
meditation on the knees, edifying readings in common, silence
until one o'clock in the afternoon, silence at meals and the
listening to an edifying discourse, frequent communions, weekly
confessions, general confession at New-year's, one day of retreat
at the end of every month after the vacations and before the
collation of each of the four orders, eight days of retirement
during which a suspension of all study, morning and evening
sermons, spiritual readings, meditations, orisons and other services
from hour to hour;[74]  in short, the daily and systematic application
of a wise and steadily perfected method, the most serviceable for
fortifying faith, exalting the imagination, giving direction and
impulse to the will, analogous to that of a military school, Saint-Cyr
or Saumur, to such an extent that its corporeal and mental imprint
is indelible, and that by the way in which he thinks, talks, smiles,
bows and stands in your presence we at once recognize a former pupil
of Saint-Sulpice as we do a former pupil of Saumur and of Saint-Cyr.
Thus graduated, an ordained and consecrated priest, first a vicar and
then a curé desservant, the discipline which has bound and fashioned
him still keeps him erect and presenting arms.  Besides his duties in
church and his ministrations in the homes of his parishioners, besides
masses, vespers, sermons, catechisings, confessions, communions,
baptisms, marriages, extreme unctions, funerals, visiting the sick and
suffering, he has his personal and private exercises: at first, his
breviary, the reading of which demands each day an hour and a half, no
practical duty being so necessary. Lamennais obtained a dispensation
from it, and hence his lapses and fall.[75]  Let no one object that
such a recitation soon becomes mechanical[76]; the prayers, phrases
and words which it buries deep in the mind, even wandering,
necessarily become fixed inhabitants in it, and hence occult and
stirring powers banded together which encompass the intellect and lay
siege to the will, which, in the subterranean regions of the soul,
gradually extend or fortify their silent occupation of the place,
which insensibly operate on the man without his being aware of it, and
which, at critical moments, unexpectedly rise up to steady his
footsteps or to save him from temptation.  Add to this antique custom
two modern institutions which contribute to the same end.  The first
one is the monthly conference, which brings together the desservans
curés at the residence of the oldest curé in the canton; each has
prepared a study on some theme furnished by the bishopric, some
question of dogma, morality or religious history, which he reads aloud
and discusses with his brethren under the presidency and direction of
the oldest curé, who gives his final decision; this keeps theoretical
knowledge and ecclesiastical erudition fresh in the minds of both
reader and hearers.  The other institution, almost universal nowadays,
is the annual retreat which the priests in the diocese pass in the
large seminary of the principal town.  The plan of it was traced by
Saint Ignatius; his Exercitia is still to-day the manual in use, the
text of which is literally,[77] or very nearly, followed.[78]   The
object is to reconstitute the supernatural world in the soul, for, in
general, it evaporates, becomes effaced, and ceases to be palpable
under the pressure of the natural world.  Even the faithful pay very
little attention to it, while their vague conception of it ends in
becoming a mere verbal belief; it is essential to give them back the
positive sensation, the contact and feeling.  To this end, a man
retires to a suitable place, where what he does actively or passively
is hourly determined for him in advance - attendance at chapel or at
preaching, telling his beads, litanies, orisons aloud, orisons in his
own breast, repeated self-examination, confession and the rest - in
short, an uninterrupted series of diversified and convergent
ceremonies which, by calculated degrees, drive out terrestrial
preoccupations and overcome him with spiritual impressions;
immediately around him, impressions of the same kind followed by the
contagion of example, mutual fervor, common expectation, involuntary
emulation, and that overstrained eagerness which creates its object;
with all the more certainty that the individual himself works on
himself, in silence, five hours a day, according to the prescriptions
of a profound psychology, in order that his bare conception may take
upon itself body and substance. What-ever may be the subject of his
meditations, he repeats it twice the same day, and each time he begins
by "creating the scene," the Nativity or the Passion, the Day of
Judgment or Hell; he converts the remote and undefined story, the dry,
abstract dogma, into a detailed and figured representation; he dwells
on it, he evokes in turn the images furnished by the five senses,
visual, audible, tactile, olfactory, and even gustatory; he groups
them together, and in the evening he animates them afresh in order
that he may find them more intense when he awakes the next morning. He
thus obtains the complete, precise, almost physical spectacle of his
aspirations; he reaches the alibi, that mental transposition, that
reversal of the points of view in which the order of certainties
becomes inverted, in which substantial objects seem to be vain
phantoms and the mystic world a world of substantial reality.[79]  -
According to persons and circumstances, the theme for meditation
differs, and the retreat is prolonged for a shorter or longer period.
For laymen, it generally lasts for three days only; for the Brethren
of the Christian Schools it is eight days annually, and when, at the
age of twenty-eight, they take their vows in perpetuity, it lasts
thirty days:  for the secular priests, it lasts a little less than a
week, while the theme on which their meditations are concentrated is
the supernatural character of the priest.  The priest who is confessor
and ministrant of the Eucharist, the priest who is the savior and
restorer, the priest who is pastor, preacher and administrator - such
are the subjects on which their imagination, assisted and directed,
must work in order to compose the cordial which has to support them
for the entire year. None is more potent; that which the Puritans
drank at an American camp-meeting or at a Scotch revival was stronger
but of less enduring effect.[80]

Two different cordials, one reinforcing the other, are mixed together
in this drink, both being of high flavor and so rank as to burn an
ordinary mouth. On the one hand, with the freedom of language and the
boldness of deduction characteristic of the method, the sentiment of
the priest's dignity is exalted. What is the priest? "He is, between
God who is in heaven and the man who tries to find him on earth, a
being, God and man, who brings these nearer by his symbolizing
both.[81] .  . I do not flatter you with pious hyperboles in calling
you gods; this is not a rhetorical falsehood. . . . You are creators
similar to Mary in her cooperation in the Incarnation. . . . You are
creators like God in time. . . . You are creators like God in
eternity.  Our creation on our part, our daily creation, is nothing
less than the Word made flesh itself. . . . God may create other
worlds, he cannot so order it that any act under the sun can be
greater than your sacrifice; for, at this moment, he reposes in your
hands all that he has and all that he is. . . . I am not a little
lower than the cherubim and seraphim in the government of the world, I
am far above them; they are only the Servants of God, we are his
coadjutors. . . . The angels, who behold the vast riches passing
through our hands daily, are amazed at our prerogative. . . . I
fulfill three sublime functions in relation to the god of our altars -
I cause him to descend, I administer his body, I am his custodian. . .
. Jesus dwells under your lock and key; his hours of reception begin
and end through you, he does not move without your permission, he
gives no benediction without your assistance, he bestows nothing
except at your hands, and his dependence is so dear to him that, for
eighteen hundred years, he has not left the Church for one moment to
lose himself on the glory of his Father." - On the other hand, they
are made to drink in full draughts the sentiment of subordination,
which they imbibe to their very marrow.[82]  "Ecclesiastical obedience
is . . . a love of dependence, a violation of judgment. . . . Would
you know what it is as to the extent of sacrifice?  A voluntary death,
the sepulcher of the will, says Saint Climaque. . . . There is a sort
of real presence infused into those who command us. . . ."  Let us be
careful not to fall "into the crafty opposition of liberal
Catholicism. . . .  Liberalism, in its consequences, is social
atheism. . . . Unity, in Roman faith, is not sufficient; let us labor
together in the unity of the Roman spirit; for that, let us always
judge Rome with the optimism of affection. . . . Each new dogmatic
definition produces its own advantages: that of the Immaculate
Conception has given us Lourdes and its truly œcumenical wonders."

Nothing of all this is too much, and, in the face of the exigencies of
modern times, it scarcely suffices.  Now that society has become
incredulous, indifferent or, at the least, secular, the priest must
possess the two intense and master ideas which support a soldier
abroad among insurgents or barbarians, one being the conviction that
he is of a species and essence apart, infinitely superior to the
common herd; and the other is the thought that he belongs to his flag,
to his chiefs, especially to the commanding general, and that he has
given himself up entirely to prompt obedience, to obeying every order
issued without question or doubt.[83]  Thus, in that parish where the
permanent curé was once installed, especially in the rural
districts,[84] the legal and popular governor of all souls, his
successor, the removable desservant, is merely a resident bailiff, a
sentry in his box, at the opening of a road which the public at large
no longer travel.  From time to time he hails you!  But scarcely any
one listens to him.  Nine out of ten men pass at a distance, along a
newer, more convenient and broader road. They either nod to him afar
off or give him the go-by. Some are even ill-disposed, watching him or
denouncing him to the ecclesiastic or lay authorities on which he
depends. He is expected to make his orders respected and yet not
hated, to be zealous and yet not importunate, to act and yet not
efface himself: he succeeds pretty often, thanks to the preparation
just described, and, in his rural sentry-box, patient, resigned,
obeying his orders, he mounts guard lonely and in solitude, a guard
which, for the past fifteen years, (from 1870-1885) is disturbed and
anxious and becoming singularly difficult.


[1] Artaud, "Histoire de Pie VII., I., 167.

[2] Comte d'Haussonville, "L'Église romaine et le premier Empire,
IV.,378, 415. (Instructions for the ecclesiastical commission of
1811.) "The Pope exercised the authority of universal bishop at the
time of the re-establishment of the cult in France.... The Pope, under
the warrant of an extraordinary and unique case in the Church, acted,
after the Concordat, as if he had absolute power over the bishops."
(Speech by Bigot de Préameneu, Minister of Worship, at the national
council, June 20, 1811.) This act was almost universal in the history
of the church, and the court of Rome started from this sort of
extraordinary act, passed by it at the request of the sovereign, in
order to enforce its ideas of arbitrary rule over the bishops."

[3] So stated by Napoleon.

[4] Bossuet, "Œuvres complètes, XXXII., 415. (Defensio declarationis
cleri gallicani, lib. VIII, caput 14). - "Episcopos, licet papœ divino
jure subditos, ejusdem esse ordinis, ejusdem caracteris, sive, ut
loquitur Hieronymus, ejusdem meriti, ejusdem, sacerdotii, collegasque
et coepiscopos appelari constat, scitumque illud Bernardi ad Eugenium
papam: Non es dominus episcoporum, sed unus ex illis."

[5] Comte Boulay (de la Meurthe), "les Négociations du Concordat," p.
35. - There were 50 vacancies in 135 dioceses, owing to the death of
their incumbents.

[6] Bercastel and Henrion, XIII., 43. (Observations of Abbé Emery on
the Concordat.) " None of the past Popes, not even those who have
extended their authority the farthest, have been able to carry such
heavy, authoritative blows out, as those struck at this time by Pius

[7] Prœlectiones juris canonici habitœ in seminario Sancti Sulpitii,
1867 (Par l'abbé Icard), I., 138. "Sancti canones passim memorant
distinctionem duplicis potestatis quâ utitur sanctus pontifex: unam
appelant ordinariam, aliam absolutam, vel plenitudinem potestatis. . .
. Pontifex potestate ordinaria utitur, quando juris positivi
dispositionem retinet. . . . Potestatem extraordinariam exserit,
quando jus humanum non servat, ut si jus ipsum auferat, si 1egibus
conciliorum deroget, privilegia acquisita immutet. . . . Plenitudo
potestatis nullis publici juris regulis est limitata." - Ibid., I ,

[8] Principal Concordats: with Bavaria, 1817; with Prussia, 1821; with
Wurtemburg, Baden, Nassau, the two Hesses, 1821; with Hanover, 1824;
with the Netherlands, 1827 ; with Russia, 1847 ; with Austria, 1855 ;
with Spain, 1851 ; with the two Sicilies, 1818; with Tuscany, 1851;
with Portugal (for the patronat of the Indies and of China), 1857;
with Costa Rica, 1852; Guatemala, 1853; Haiti, 1860; Honduras 1861;
Ecuador, Venezuela, Nicaragua and San Salvador, 1862.

[9] Bercastel et Henrion, XIII, 524.

[10] Adstantibus non judicantibus." - One of the prelates assembled at
the Vatican, Nov. 20, 1854, observed that if the Pope decided on the
definition of the Immaculate Conception. . . this decision would
furnish a practical demonstration . . . of the infallibility with
which Jesus Christ had invested his vicar on earth." (Émile Ollivier,
"L'Église et l'État au concile du Vatican, I., 313.)

[11] Bercastel et Henrion, XIII., 105. (Circular of Pius VII.,
February 25, 1808.) "It is said that all cults should be free and
publicly exercised; but we have thrown this article out as opposed to
the canons and to the councils, to the catholic religion." - Ibid.,
(Pius VII. to the Italian bishops on the French system, May 22, 1808.)
"This system of indifferentism, which supposes no religion, is that
which is most injurious and most opposed to the Catholic apostolic and
Roman religion, which, because it is divine, is necessarily sole and
unique and, on that very account, cannot ally itself with any other."
- Cf. the "Syllabus" and the encyclical letter "Quanta Cura"of
December 8, 1864.

[12] Sauzay, "Histoire de la persecution révolutionnaire dans le
departement du Doubs," X., 720-773. (List in detail of the entire
staff of the diocese of Besançon, in 1801 and in 1822, under
Archbishop Lecoz, a former assermenté. -  During the Empire, and
especially after 1806, this mixed clergy keeps refining itself. A
large number, moreover, of assermentés do not return to the Church.
They are not disposed to retract, and many of them enter into the new
university. For example ("Vie du Cardinal Bonnechose," by M. Besson,
I., 24), the principal teachers in the Roman college in 1815-1816 were
a former Capuchin, a former Oratorian and three assermentés priests.
One of these, M. Nicolas Bignon, docteur ès lettres, professor of
grammar in the year IV at the Ecole Centrale, then professor of
rhetoric at the Lycée and member of the Roman Academy, "lived as a
philosopher, not as a Christian and still less as a priest."
Naturally, he is dismissed in 1816. After that date, the purging goes
on increasing against all ecclesiastics suspected of having
compromised with the Revolution, either liberals or Jansenists. Cf.
the "Mémoires de l'abbé Babou, évêque nommé de Séez," on the
difficulties encountered by a too Gallican bishop and on the
bitterness towards him of the local aristocracy of his diocese.

[13]  Cf. the "Mémoires de l'abbé Babou, évêque nommé de Séez," on the
difficulties encountered by a too Gallican bishop and on the
bitterness towards him of the local aristocracy of his diocese.

[14] " Mémorial," July 31, 1816.

[15] Both systems, set forth with rare impartiality and clearness, may
be found in "L'Église et l'Etat au concile du Vatican," by Émile
Ollivier, I., chs. II. and III.

[16] Bercastel et Henrion, XIII., p. 14. (Letter of M. d'Avian,
archbishop of Bordeaux, October 28, 1815.) "A dozen consecutive Popes
do not cease, for more than one hundred and thirty years, improving
that famous Declaration of 1682."

[17] Ernile Olliver, ibid., I. 315-319. (Declarations of the French
provincial councils and of foreign national and provincial councils
before 1870.) - Cf. M. de Montalembert, "Des Intérets Catholiques,"
1852, ch. II. and VI. "The ultramontane doctrine is the only true one.
The great Count de Maistre's ideas in his treatise on the Pope have
become commonplace for all Catholic youth." - Letter of Mgr. Guibert,
February 22, 1853. "Gallicanism no longer exists." - "Diary in
France," by Chris. Wordsworth, D.D., 1845. "There are not two bishops
in France who are not ultramontane, that is to say devoted to the
interests of the Roman See."

[18] "Constitutio dogmatica prima de Ecclesia Christi," July 18, 1870.
"Ejusmodi romani pontificis definitiones ex sese, non ex consensu
Ecclesiœ irreformabiles esse." (ch. IV.)

[19] Ibid., ch. III. "Si quis dixerit romanum pontificem habere
tantummodo officium inspectionis vel directionis, non autem plenam et
supremam potestatem juridictionis in universam Ecclesiam, non solum in
rebus quœ ad fidem et mores, sed etiam in iis quœ ad disciplinam et
regimen Ecclesiœ per totum orbem diffusœ pertinent; aut etiam habere
tantum potiores partes, non vero totam plenitudinem hujus supremœ
potestatis, aut hanc ejus potestatem non esse ordinariam et
immediatam. . ."

[20] Ibid., ch. III. "Aberrant a recto veritatis tramite qui affirmant
licere ab judiciis Romanorum pontificum ad œcumenicum concilium,
tanquam ad auctoritatem romano pontifice superiorem, appellare."

[21] "Almanach national de 1889." (Among these four, one only belongs
to a historic family, Mgr. de Deux-Brézé of Moulins.)

[22] See "The Ancient Régime," pp. 65, 120, 150, 292. (Ed. Laffont I.
pp. 53-43, 92-93, 218,219.)

[23] Cf. the history of the parliaments of Grenoble and Rennes on the
approach of the Revolution.  Remark the fidelity of all their judicial
subordinates in 1788 and 1789, and the provincial power of the league
thus formed.

[24] Article 12.

[25] "The Revolution," Vol. I. - Abbé Sicard, "Les Dispensateurs des
bénéfices ecclésiastiques avant 1789." ("Correspondant" of Sep. 10,
1889, pp. 887, 892, 893.) Grosley, "Mémoires pour servir l'histoire de
Troyes," II , pp. 35, 45.

[26] Abée Elie Méric, "Le Clergé sous l'ancien régime," I., p. 26.
(Ten universities conferred letters of appointment on their
graduates.) - Abbé Sicard, "Les Dispensateurs," etc., p 876. -352
parliamentarians of Paris had an indult, that is to say, the right of
obliging collators and church patrons to bestow the first vacant
benefice either on himself or on one of his children, relations or
friends. Turgot gave his  indult  to his friend Abbé Morellet, who
consequently obtained (in June 1788) the priory of Thimer, with 16,000
livres revenue and a handsome house.  - Ibid., p.887.  "The bias of
the Pope, ecclesiastical or lay patrons, licensed parties,
indultaires, graduates, the so frequent use of resignations,
permutations, pensions, left to the bishop, who is now undisputed
master of his diocesan appointments, but very few situations to
bestow." - Grosley, " Mémoires, etc.," II., p.35. "The tithes followed
collations. Nearly all our ecclesiastical collators are at the same
time large tithe-owners."

[27] An inferior class of priests, generally assigned to poor

[28] Abbé Elie Méric, ibid., p.448.

[29] Abbé Elie Méric, ibid., pp 392~4O3. (Details in support.)

[30] Abbé Richandeau, "De l'ancienne et de la nouvelle discipline de
l'Église en France," p. 281. - Cf. Abbé Elie Méric, ibid., ch.  II  .
(On the justice and judges of the church.)

[31] Mercur, "Tableau de Paris," IV.,chap. 345. "The flock no longer
recognize the brow of their pastor and regard him as nothing but an
opulent man, enjoying himself in the capital and giving himself very
little trouble about it."

[32] "Le Monde" of Novem. 9, 1890. (Details, according to the
Montpellier newspapers, of the ceremony which had just taken place in
the cathedral of that town for the remission of the pallium to Mgr.
Roverié de Cabrières.

[33] "Encyclopedie théologique," by Abbé Migne, ix., p.465. (M. Emery,
"Des Nouveaux chapitres cathédraux," p.238.) "The custom in France at
present, of common law, is that the bishops govern their dioceses
without the participation of any chapter. They simply call to their
council those they deem proper, and choose from these their chapter
and cathedral councillors."

[34] Ibid., id.: "Notwithstanding these fine titles, the members of
the chapter take no part in the government during the life of the
bishop; all depends on this prelate, who can do everything himself,
or, if he needs assistants, he may take them outside of the chapter."
- Ibid., p. 445. Since 1802, in France, "the titular canons are
appointed by the bishop and afterwards by the government, which gives
them a salary. It is only the shadow of the canonical organization, of
which, however, they possess all the canonical rights."

[35] Abbé André, "Exposition de quelques principes fondamentaux de
droit Canonique," p.187 (citing on this subject one of the documents
of Mgr. Sibour, then bishop of Digne). - " Since the Concordat of
1801, the absence of all fixed procedure in the trial of priests has
left nothing for the accused to depend on but the conscience and
intelligence of the bishop. The bishop, accordingly, has been, in law,
as in fact, the sole pastor and judge of his clergy, and, except in
rare cases, no external limit has been put to the exercise of his
spiritual authority."

[36] Émile Ollivier, "L'Église et l'État au concile du Vatican," p
517. - Abbé André, ibid., PP.17, 19, 30, 280. (Various instances,
particularly the appeal of a rural curé, Feb. 8, 1866.) "The
metropolitan (bishop) first remarked that he could not bring himself
to condemn his suffragan." Next (Feb.20, 1866), judgment confirmed by
the metropolitan court, declaring "that no reason exists for declaring
exaggerated and open to reform the penalty of depriving the rector of
the parish of X- of his title, a title purely conferred by and
revocable at the will of the bishop."

[37] Émile Ollivier, ibid., II.,517, 516. - Abbé André, ibid., p.241.
"During the first half of the nineteenth century no appeal could be
had from the Church of France to Rome."

[38] Émile Ollivier, ibid., I. p. 286. - Abbé André, ibid., p.242:
"From 1803 to 1854 thirty-eight appeals under writ of error (were
presented) to the Council of State by priests accused. . . . Not one
of the thirty-eight appeals was admitted."

[39] Prœlectiones juris canonici habitœ in seminario Sancti Sulpicii,
III., p.146.

[40] Émile Ollivier, ibid., I., 136.

[41] Id., ibid., I., p. 285. (According to Abbé Denys, "Études sur
l'administration de l'Église," p. 211.) - Cf. Abbé André, ibid., and
"L'Etat actuel du clergé en France par les frères Allignol" (1839). -
This last work, written by two assistant-curés, well shows, article by
article, the effects of the Concordat and the enormous distance which
separates the clergy of to-day from the old clergy. The modifications
and additions which comport with this exposition are indicated by Abbé
Richandeau, director of the Blois Seminary, in his book, "De
l'ancienne et de la nouvelle discipline de l'Eglise en France" (1842).
Besides this, the above exposition, as well as what follows, is
derived from, in addition to printed documents, personal observations,
much oral information, and numerous manuscript letters.

[42] "Manreze du prêtre," by the R. P. Caussette, vicar-general of
Toulouse, 1879., V.  II.,p.523. (As stated by the Abbé Dubois, an
experienced missionary. He adds that these priests, "transferred to
difficult posts, are always on good terms with their mayors, . . .
triumph over obstacles, and maintain peace.") - Ibid., I., p.312. "I
do not know whether the well-informed consciences of our lords the
bishops have made any mistakes, but what pardons have they not
granted! what scandals have they not suppressed! what reputations have
they not preserved! what a misfortune if you have to do with a court
instead of with a father! For the court acquits and does not pardon. .
. . And your bishop may not only employ the mercy of forgiveness, but,
again, that of secrecy. How reap the advantages of this paternal
system by calumniating it!"

[43] Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup," by Abbé Lagrange, II.,p.43: "Mgr.
Dupanloup believed that pastoral removal was very favorable, not to
say necessary, to the good administration of a diocese, to the proper
management of parishes, even to the honor of priests and the Church,
considering the difficulties of the times we live in. Irremovability
was instituted for fortunate times and countries in which the people
fulfilled all their duties and in which the sacerdotal ministry could
not be otherwise than a simple ministry of conservation; at the
present day it is a ministry of conquest and of apostleship. The
bishop, accordingly, must dispose of his priests as he thinks them fit
for this work, according to their zeal and to their possible success
in a country which has to be converted." Against the official
character and publicity of its judgments " it is important that it
should not make out of a misfortune which is reparable a scandal that
nothing can repair."

[44] "Moniteur," session of March 11, 1865.

[45] In the following Taine describes the centralization and
improvement of the Church administration which probably made many
socialist readers believe that the same kind of improvements easily
could be introduced into private enterprise at the same time making
them more determined to exclude children from the old families from
all kinds of leadership in the coming socialist state.

[46] "The Ancient Régime," pp. 65, 120, 150, 292. "Memoires inédits de
Madame de ....." (I am not allowed to give the author's name). The
type in high relief of one of these prelates a few years before the
Revolution may here be found. He was bishop of Narbonne, with an
income of 800,000 livres derived from the possessions of the clergy.
He passed a fortnight every other year at Narbonne, and then for six
weeks he presided with ability and propriety over the provincial
parliament at Montpellier. But during the other twenty-two months he
gave no thought to any parliamentary business or to his diocese, and
lived at Haute Fontaine with his niece, Madame de Rothe, of whom he
was the lover. Madame de Dillon, his grand-niece, and the Prince de
Guémenée, the lover of Madame de Dillon, lived in the same château.
The proprieties of deportment were great enough, but language there
was more than free, so much so that the Marquise d'Osmond, on a visit,
"was embarrassed even to shedding tears. . . . On Sunday, out of
respect to the character of the master of the house, they went to
Mass; but nobody carried a prayer-book; it was always some gay and
often scandalous book, which was left lying about in the tribune of
the château, open to those who cleaned the room, for their edification
as they pleased."

[47] "Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup," by Abbé Lagrange. - " Histoire du
Cardinal Pie, évêque de Poitiers," by Mgr. Bannard.

[48] One could imagine the impression this text would have made on
Lenin and his plans to create an elite communist party once he should
take the power he dreamt of. (SR.)

[49] "Moniteur," session of March 14, 1865, speech of Cardinal de
Bonnechose: "I exact full obedience, because I myself, like those
among you who belong to the army or navy, have always taken pride in
thus rendering it to my chiefs, to my superiors."

[50]  "Histoire du cardinal Pie," by M. Bannard, II.,p.690. M. Pie
left six large volumes in which, for thirty years, he recorded his
episcopal acts, uninterruptedly, until his last illness.

[51] Ibid., II., p.135 : "In the year 1860 he had confirmed 11,586
belonging to his diocese; in 1861 he confirmed 11,845." - "Vie de Mgr.
Dupanloup," by Abbé La Grange, I II  ., p. 19. (Letter to his clergy,
1863.) He enumerates what he had done in his diocese: "The parochial
retraites which have amounted to nearly one hundred; the perpetual
adoration of the Holy Sacrament established in all the parishes;
confirmation, not alone in the cantonal town but in the smallest
villages and always preceded by the mission; the canonical visit made
annually in each parish, partly by the archdeacon, partly by the dean,
and partly by the bishop; . . . the vicarships doubled; life in common
established among the parochial clergy; sisters of charity for schools
and the sick multiplied in the diocese and spread on all sides;
augmentation of everything concerning ecclesiastical studies, the
number of small and large seminaries being largely increased;
examinations of young priests; ecclesiastical lectures; grades
organized and raised; churches and rectories everywhere rebuilt or
'repaired; a great diocesan work in helping poor parishes and, to
sustain it, the diocesan lottery and fair of the ladies of Orleans;
finally, retraites and communions for men established, and also in
other important towns and parishes of the diocese." (P. 46.) (Letter
of January 26, 1846, prescribing in each parish the exact holding of
the status animarum, which status is his criterion for placing a
curé.) "The État  de Pâques in his parish must always be known while
he is in it, before withdrawing him and placing him elsewhere."

[52] The drafters of the charter of the United Nations Staff Rules had
the same idea in mind when writing Regulation 1.2: "Staff members are
subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by
him to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations. They
are responsible to him in the exercise of their functions. The whole
time of staff members shall be at the disposal of the Secretary-
General. The Secretary-General shall establish a normal working week."
The disciplinary means of which the bishops disposed are, however,
lacking in the United Nations secretariat. (SR.)

[53] "Moniteur," session of March 14 1865. (Speech of Cardinal de
Bonnechose.) "What would we do without our monks, Jesuits, Dominicans,
Carmelites, etc., to preach at Advent and during Lent, and act as
missionaries in the country? The (parochial) clergy is not numerous
enough to do this daily work."

[54] Prœlectiones juris canonici,  II., 305 and following pages.

[55] "La Charité à Nancy," by Abbé Girard, 1890, I. vol. - "La Charité
à Angers," by Léon Cosnier, 1890, 2 vols. - "Manuel des oeuvres et
institutions charitable à Paris," by Lacour, I vol. - "Les
Congrégations religieuses en France," by Émile Keller, 1880, 1 vol,

[56] "Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup," I., 506 (1853). "More than one hundred
free ecclesiastical establishments for secondary education have been
founded since the law of 1850." - " Statistique de l'enseignement
secondaire." In 1865, there were 276 free ecclesiastical schools for
secondary instruction with 34,897 pupils, of which 23.549 were
boarders and 11,348 day-scholars.  In 1876, there were 390 with 46,816
pupils, of which 33,092 were boarders and 13,724 day-scholars.

[57] "La Charité à Nancy," by Abbé Girard, p.87. - "Vie du Cardinal
by Mgr. Besson, 2 vols.

[58] December, 1890.

[59] Cf., in the above-mentioned biographies, the public and political
discourses of the leading prelates, especially those of M. Mathieu (of
Besançon), M. Dupanloup (of Orleans), Mgr. de Bonnechose (of Rouen),
and particularly Mgr. Pie (of Poitiers).

[60] A fact told me by a lady, an eye-witness. In the seventeenth
century it is probable that Fénelon or Bossuet would have regarded
such a response as extravagant and even sacrilegious.

[61] Imagine the impression this might have had on ambitious men
dreaming of establishing their own faithful parties. (SR.)

[62] Abbé Elie Méric, in the "Correspondant" of January 10, 1890, p.

[63] "De 1'État actuel du clergé en France" (1839), p.248, by the
brothers Allignol. Careers of every kind are too crowded; "only the
ecclesiastical is in want of subjects; willing youths are the only
ones wanted and none are found." This is due, say these authors, to
the profession of assistant-priest being too gloomy -eight years of
preparatory study five years in the seminary, 800 francs of pay with
the risk of losing it any day, poor extras, a life-servitude, no
retiring pension, etc. - "Le Grand Péril de L'Église en France," by
Abbé Bougaud (4th ed., 1879), pp 2-23. - "Lettre Circulaire" (No. 53)
of Mgr. Thiebaut, archbishop of Rouen, 1890, p.618.

[64] There is a gradual suppression of the subvention in 1877 and 1853
and a final one in 1885.

[65] Abbé Bougaud, Ibid., p. 118, etc. - The lower seminary contains
about 200 or 250 pupils. Scarcely one of these pays full board. They
pay on the average from 100 to 200 frs. per head, while their
maintenance costs 400 francs. - The instructors who are priests get
600 francs a year. Those who are not priests get 300 francs, which
adds 12,000 francs to the expenses and brings the total deficit up to
42,000 or 52,000 francs.

[66] Somewhat like television where he who controls this media
controls the minds of the people. (SR.)

[67] Circular letter (No. 53) of M. Léon, archbishop of Rouen (1890),
p. 618 and following pages.

[68]  Had Hitler and Lenin read this, which is likely, then they would
have fashion their youth party programmes accordingly!! Kthe Catholic
faith in France today (in 1999) is nearly extinguished with only 14
seminaries and only a few hundred young men yearly entering

[69] Abbé Bougaud, ibid., p. 135. (Opinion of the archbishop of Aix,
Ibid., p. 38.)  "I know a lower seminary in which a class en quatrième
(8th grade US.) of 44 pupils furnished only 4 priests, 40 having
dropped out on the way. . . . I have been informed that a large
college in Paris, conducted by priests and containing 400 pupils,
turned out in ten years but one of an ecclesiastical calling." -
"Moniteur," March, 14, 1865. (Speech in the Senate by Cardinal
Bonnechose.) "With us, discipline begins at an early age, first in the
lower seminary and then in the upper seminary. . . . Other nations
envy us our seminaries. They have not succeeded in establishing any
like them. They cannot keep pupils so long; their pupils enter their
seminaries only as day scholars."

[70] Old-fashioned name for the 11th grade in a French high school.

[71] "Histoire de M. Emery," by Abbé Elie Méric, I., 15, 17. "From
1786 onwards,  plays written by the 'les philosophes," by the
'Robertuis' and the Laon community; they were excluded from the great
seminary where they ought never to have been admitted." This reform
was effected by the new director, M. Emery, and met with such
opposition that it almost cost him his life.

[72] M. de Talleyrand, "Mémoires," vol. i. (Concerning one of his
gallantries.) "The superiors might have had some Suspicion, . . . but
Abbé couturier had shown them how to shut their eyes. He had taught
them not to reprove a young seminarist whom they believed destined to
a high position, who might become coadjutor at Rheims, perhaps a
cardinal, perhaps minister, minister de la feuille - who knows?"

[73] "Diary in France," by Christopher Wordsworth, D.D. 1845.
(Weakness of the course of study at Saint-Sulpice.) "There is no
regular course of lectures on ecclesiastical history." - There is
still at the present day no special course of Greek for learning to
read the New Testament in the original. - "Le clergé français en 1890"
(by an anonymous ecclesiastic), pp.24-38. "High and substantial
service is lacking with us. . . . For a long time, the candidates for
the episcopacy are exempt by a papal bull from the title of doctor." -
In the seminary there are discussions in barbarous Latin, antiquated
subjects, with the spouting of disjointed bits of text: "They have not
learned how to think.   . . Their science is good for mothing; they
have no means or methods even for learning. . . . The Testament of
Christ is what they are most ignorant of. . . . A priest who devotes
himself to study is regarded either as a pure speculator unfit for the
government, or with an ambition which nothing can satisfy, or again an
odd, ill-humored, ill-balanced person; we live under the empire of
this stupid prejudice, . . . We have archeologists, assyriologists,
geologists, philologists and other one-sided savants. The
philosophers, theologians, historians, and canonists have become

[74] "Journal d'un voyage en France," by Th. W. Allies, 1845, p.38.
(Table of daily exercises in Saint-Sulpice furnished by Abbé Caron,
former secretary to the archbishop of Paris.) - Cf. in "Volupté," by
Saint-Beuve, the same table furnished by Lacordaire.

[75] "Manreze du prêtre," by the Rev. Father Caussette, I., 82.

[76] Ibid., I., 48. "Out of 360 meditations made by a priest during
the year, 300 of them are arid." We have the testimony of Abbé
d'Astros on the efficacy of prayers committed to memory, who was in
prison for three years under the first empire and without any books.
"I knew the psalms by heart and, thanks to this converse with God,
which escaped the jailor, I was never troubled by boredom."

[77] As with the "Frères des Écoles Chrétiennes," whose society has
the most members.

[78] "Manreze du prêtre," by the Rev. Father Caussette, I., 9. The
Manreze is the grotto where Saint Ignatius found the plan of his
Exercitia and the three ways by which a man succeeds in detaching
himself from the world, "the purgative, the illuminative and the
unitive." The author says that he has brought all to the second way,
as the most suitable for priests. He himself preached pastoral
retreats everywhere in France, his book being a collection of rules
for retreats of this kind.

[79] Someone who, like me, have lived through the attempted Communist
conquest of the world, in Eastern Europe, in China, Korea, Vietnam and
other conquered territories, the terrible experiences of those
imprisoned in re-education camps, come to mind. Did Lenin have Taine
translated? Did Lenin and Stalin use this description of catholic
brainwashing as their model? We might never find out. (SR.)

[80] One of these enduring effects is the intense faith of the
prelates, who in the 18th century believed so little. At the present
day, not made bishops until about fifty years of age, thirty of which
have been passed in exercises of this description, their piety has
taken the Roman, positive, practical turn which terminates in
devotions properly so called. M. Emery, the reformer of Saint-Sulpice,
gave the impulsion in this sense. ("Histoire de M. Emery,"  by Abbé
Elie Méric, p. 115 etc.) M. Emery addressed the seminarians thus: "Do
you think that, if we pray to the Holy Virgin sixty times a day to aid
us at the hour of death, she will desert us at the last moment? " - "
He led us into the chapel, which he had decked with reliquaries. . . .
He made the tour of it, kissing in turn each reliquary with respect
and love, and when he found one of them out of reach for this homage,
he said to us, 'Since we cannot kiss that one, let us accord it our
profoundest reverence!' . . . And we all three kneeled before the
reliquary." - Among other episcopal lives, that of Cardipal Pie,
bishop of Poitiers, presents the order of devotion in high relief.
("Histoire du cardinal Pie," by M. Bannard, II.,348 and passim.) There
was a statuette of the Virgin on his bureau. After his death, a
quantity of paper scraps, in Latin or French, written and placed there
by him-were found, dedicating this or that action, journey or
undertaking under the special patronage of the Virgin or St. Joseph.
He also possessed a statuette of Our Lady of Lourdes which never was
out of his sight, day or night. "One day, having gone out of his
palace, he suddenly returned, having forgotten something - he had
neglected to kiss the feet of his Heavenly Mother." - Cf. "Vie de Mgr.
Dupanloup,"   Abbé Lagrange, I., 524.  " During his mother's illness,
he multiplied the novenas, visited every altar, made vows, burnt
candles, for not only had he devotion, but devotions. . . On the 2d
of January, 1849, there was fresh alarm; thereupon, a novena at Saint-
Geneviève and a vow - no longer the chaplet, but the rosary. Then, as
the fête of Saint François de Sales drew near a new novena to this
great Savoyard saint; prayers to the Virgin in Saint-Sulpice; to the
faithful Virgin; to the most wise Virgin, everywhere."

[81] "Manreze du prêtre," I., 27, 29, 30, 31, 35, 91, 92, 244, 246,
247, 268.

[82] Ibid. I., 279, 281, 301, 307, 308, 319.

[83]  Just like the believing faithful 20th century international
revolutionary Marxist-communist. (SR.)

[84] "Le clergé française en 1890" (by an anonymous ecclesiastic), p.
72.  (On the smaller parishes.) "The task of the curé here is
thankless if he is zealous, too easy if he has no zeal. In any event,
he is an isolated man, with no resources whatever, tempted by all the
demons of solitude and inactivity." -  Ibid.,,92. "Our authority among
the common classes as well as among thinking people is held in check;
the human mind is to-day fully emancipated and society secularized." -
Ibid., 15.  "Indifference seems to have retired from the summits of
the nation only to descend to the lower strata. . . . In France, the
priest is the more liked the less he is seen; to efface himself, to
disappear is what is first and most often demanded of him. The clergy
and the nation live together side by side, scarcely in contact,
through certain actions in life, and never intermingling."


I. The regular clergy.

The regular clergy. - Difference in the condition of the two clergies.
- The three vows. - Rules. - Life in common. - Object of the system. -
Violent suppression of the institution and its abuses in 1790. -
Spontaneous revival of the institution free of its abuses after 1800.
- Democratic and republican character of monastic constitutions. -
Vegetation of the old stock and multiplication of new plants, - Number
of monks and nuns. -  Proportion of these numbers to the total
population in 1789 and 1878. - Predominance of the organizations for
labor and charity. - How formed and extended. - Social instinct and
contact with the mystic world.

HOWEVER correct the life of a secular priest may be, he stills belongs
to his century.  Like a layman, he has his own domicile and fireside,
his parsonage in the country with a garden, or an apartment in town -
in any event, his own home and household, a servant or housekeeper,
who is often either his mother or a sister; in short, a suitable
enclosure set apart, where he can enjoy his domestic and private life
free of the encroachments on his public and ecclesiastical life,
analogous to that of a lay functionary or a bachelor of steady habits.
In effect, his expenses and income, his comforts and discomforts are
about the same.  His condition, his salary,[1] his table, clothes and
furniture, his out-of-door ways and habits, give him rank in the
village alongside of the schoolteacher and postmaster; in the large
borough or small town, alongside of the justice of the peace and
college professor; in the large towns, side by side with the head of a
bureau or a chief of division; at Paris, in certain parishes,
alongside of the prefect of police and the prefect of the Seine.[2]
Even in the humblest curacy, he regulates his budget monthly, spending
his money without consulting anybody.  When not on duty, his time is
his own.  He can dine out, order for himself at home a special dish,
allow himself delicacies.  If he does not possess every comfort, he
has most of them, and thus, like a lay functionary, he may if he
chooses get ahead in the world, obtain promotion to a better curacy,
become irremovable, be appointed canon and sometimes mount upward,
very high, to the topmost rank.  Society has a hold on him through all
these worldly purposes; he is too much mixed up with it to detach
himself from it entirely; very often his spiritual life droops or
proves abortive under so many terrestrial preoccupations. - If the
Christian desires to arrive at the alibi and dwell in the life beyond,
another system of existence is essential for him, entailing a
protection against two temptations, that is to say the abandonment of
two dangerous liberties, one consisting in the power by which, being
an owner of property, he disposes as he likes of what belongs to him,
and the other consisting in the power by which, being master of his
acts, he arranges as he pleases his daily occupations. To this end, in
addition to the vow of chastity also taken by the secular priest, the
members of religious orders also take two other distinct and precise
vows.  By the vow of poverty he (or she) renounces all property
whatever, at least that which is fully and completely his own,[3]  the
arbitrary use of possessions, the enjoyment of what belongs to him
personally, which vow leads him to live like a poor man, to endure
privations, to labor, and beyond this, even to fasting, to
mortifications, to counteracting and deadening in himself all those
instincts by which man rebels against bodily suffering and aims at
physical well being.  By the vow of obedience he (or she) gives
himself up entirely to a double authority: one, in writing, which is
discipline, and the other a living being, consisting of the superior
whose business it is to interpret, apply and enforce the rule.  Except
in unheard-of cases, where the superior's injunctions might be
expressly and directly opposed to the letter of this rule,[4] he
interdicts himself from examining, even in his own breast, the
motives, propriety and occasion of the act prescribed to him; he has
alienated in advance future determinations by entirely abandoning
self-government; hence-forth, his internal motor is outside of himself
and in another person. Consequently, the unforeseen and spontaneous
initiative of free will disappears in his conduct to give way to a
predetermined, obligatory and fixed command, to a system (cadre) which
envelops him and binds together in its rigid compartments the entire
substance and details of his life, anticipating the distribution of
his time for a year, week by week, and for every day, hour by hour,
defining imperatively and circumstantially all action or inaction,
physical or mental, all work and all leisure, silence and speech,
prayers and readings, abstinences and meditations, solitude and
companionship, hours for rising and retiring, meals, quantity and
quality of food, attitudes, greetings, manners, tone and forms of
language and, still better, mute thoughts and the deepest sentiments.
Moreover, through the periodical repetition of the same acts at the
same hours, lie confines himself to a cycle of habits which are
forces, and which keep growing since they are ever turning the inward
balance on the same side through the ever-increasing weight of his
entire past.  Through eating and lodging together, through a communion
of prayer, through incessant contact with other brethren of the same
religious observances, through the precaution taken to join with him
one companion when he goes out and two companions when he lodges
elsewhere, through his visits to and fro to the head establishment, he
lives in a circle of souls strained to the same extent, by the same
processes, to the same end as himself, and whose visible zeal
maintains his own. - Grace, in this state of things, abounds.  Such is
the term bestowed on the silent and steady, or startling and brusque,
emotion by which the Christian enters into communication with the
invisible world, an aspiration and a hope, a presentiment and a
divination, and even often a distinct perception.  Evidently, this
grace is not far off, almost within reach of the souls which, from the
tenor of their whole life, strive to attain it.  They have closed
themselves off on the earthly side, therefore, these can no longer
look or breathe otherwise than heavenward.

At the end of the eighteenth century, the monastic institution no
longer produced this effect; deformed, weakened and discredited
through its abuses, especially in the convents of males, and then
violently overthrown by the Revolution, it seemed to be dead.  But, at
the beginning of the nineteenth century, behold it springing up again
spontaneously, in one direct, new, strong and active jet and higher
than the old one, free of the excrescences, rottenness and parasites
which, under the ancient régime, disfigured and discolored it.  No
more compulsory vows, no "frocked" younger sons "to make an elder," no
girls immured from infancy, kept in the convent throughout their
youth, led on, urged, and then driven into a corner and forced into
the final engagement on becoming of age; no more aristocratic
institutions, no Order of Malta and chapters of men or of women in
which noble families find careers and a receptacle for their
supernumerary children. No more of those false and counterfeit
vocations the real motive of which was, sometimes pride of race and
the determination not to lose a social standing, sometimes the animal
attractions of physical comfort, indolence and idleness. No more lazy
and opulent monks, occupied, like the Carthusians of Val Saint-Pierre,
in overeating, stupefied by digestion and routine, or, like the
Bernardines of Granselve[5] turning their building into a worldly
rendezvous for jovial hospitality and themselves taking part, foremost
in rank, in prolonged and frequent parties, balls, plays and hunting-
parties; in diversions and gallantries which the annual fête of Saint
Bernard, through a singular dissonance, excited and consecrated.  No
more over-wealthy superiors, usufructuaries of a vast abbatial
revenue, suzerain and landlord seigniors, with the train, luxury and
customs of their condition, with four-horse carriages, liveries,
officials, antechamber, court, chancellorship and ministers of
justice, obliging their monks to address them as "my lord," as lax as
any ordinary layman, well fitted to cause scandal in their order by
their liberties and to set an example of depravity.  No more lay
intrusions, commendatory abbés or priors, interlopers, and imposed
from above; no more legislative and administrative interferences[6] in
order to bind monks and nuns down to their vows, to disqualify them
and deprive them almost of citizenship, to exclude them from common
rights, to withhold from them rights of inheritance and testamentary
rights, from receiving or making donations, depriving them in advance
of the means of subsistence, to confine them by force in their
convents and set the patrol on their track, and, on trying to escape,
to furnish their superior with secular help and keep down
insubordination by physical constraint.  Nothing of this subsists
after the great destruction of 1790. Under the modern régime, if any
one enters and remains in a convent it is because the convent is more
agreeable to him than the world outside; there is no other motive no
pressure or hindrance of an inferior or different kind, no direct or
indirect, no domestic or legal constraint, no ambition, vanity and
innate or acquired indolence, no certainty of finding satisfaction for
a coarse and concentrated sensuality. That which now operates is the
awakened and persistent vocation; the man or the woman who takes vows
and keeps them, enters upon and adheres to his or her engagement only
through a spontaneous act deliberately and constantly renewed through
their own free will.

Thus purified, the monastic institution recovers its normal form,
which is the republican and democratic form, while the impracticable
Utopia which the philosophers of the eighteenth century wanted to
impose on lay society now becomes the effective régime under which the
religious communities are going to live.  In all of them, the
governors are elected by the governed; whether the suffrage is
universal or qualified, one vote is as good as another; votes are
counted by heads, and, at stated intervals, the sovereign majority
uses its right anew; with the Carmelites, it is every three years and
to elect by secret ballot, not alone one authority but all the
authorities, the prior, the sub-prior and the three clavières.[7] -
Once elected, the chief, in conformity with his mandate, remains a
mandatory, that is to say a laborer assigned a certain work, and not a
privileged person enjoying a gratification.  His dignity  is not a
dispensation, but an additional burden; along with the duties of his
office, he subjects himself to an observance of the rules - having
become a general, he is no better off than the simple soldier; he
rises as early and his daily life is no better; his cell is as bare
and his personal support not more expensive.  He who commands ten
thousand others lives as poorly, under the same strict instructions,
with as few conveniences and with less leisure than the meanest
brother.[8] Over and above the austerities of ordinary discipline this
or that superior imposed on himself additional mortifications which
were so great as to astonish as well as edify his monks.  Such is the
ideal State of the theorist, a Spartan republic, and for all,
including the chiefs, an equal ration of the same black broth.  There
is another resemblance, still more profound.  At the base of this
republic lies the corner-stone designed in anticipation by Rousseau,
then hewn and employed, well or ill, in the constitutions or
plébiscites of the Revolution, the Consulate and the Empire, to serve
as the foundation of the complete edifice.  This stone is a primitive
and solemn agreement by all concerned, a social contract, a pact
proposed by the legislator and accepted by the citizens; except that,
in the monastic pact, the will of the acceptors is unanimous, earnest,
serious, deliberate and permanent, while, in the political pact, it is
not so; thus, whilst the latter contract is a theoretical fiction, the
former is an actual verity.

For, in the small religious cité, all precautions are taken to have
the future citizen know for what and how far he engages himself.  The
copy of the rules which is handed to him in advance explains to him
the future use of each day and of each hour, the detail in full of the
régime to which he is to subject himself.  Besides this, to forestall
any illusion and haste on his part he is required to make trial of the
confinement and discipline; he realizes through personal, sensible and
prolonged experience what he must undergo; before assuming the habit,
he must serve a novitiate of at least one year and without
interruption. Simple vows sometimes precede the more solemn vows; with
the Jesuits, several novitiates, each lasting two or three years,
overlie and succeed each other.  Elsewhere, the perpetual engagement
is taken only after several temporary engagements; up to the age of
twenty-five the "Fréres des Ecoles Chrétiennes" take their vows for a
year; at twenty-five for three years; only at twenty-eight do they
take them for life.  Certainly, after such trials, the postulant is
fully informed; nevertheless, his superiors contribute what they know.
They have watched him day after day; deep down under his superficial,
actual and declared disposition they define his profound, latent, and
future intention; if they deem this insufficient or doubtful, they
adjourn or prevent the final profession: "My child, wait-your vocation
is not yet determined," or  "My friend, you were not made for the
convent, return to the world!" - Never was a social contract signed
more knowingly, after greater reflection on what choice to make, after
such deliberate study: the conditions of human association demanded by
the revolutionary theory are all fulfilled and the dream of the
Jacobins is realized.  But not where they planned it:  through a
strange contrast, and which seems ironical in history, this day-dream
of speculative reason has produced nothing in the lay order of things
but elaborate plans on paper,  a deceptive and dangerous Declaration
of (human) Rights, appeals to insurrection or to a dictatorship:
incoherent or still-born organizations, in short, abortions or
monsters; in the religious order of things, it adds to the living
world thousands of living creatures of indefinite viability.  So that,
among the effects of the French revolution, one of the principal and
most enduring is the restoration of monastic institutions....

From the Consulate down to the present day they can everywhere be seen
sprouting and growing.  Early, new sprouts shoot out and cover the old
trunks of which the revolutionary axe had cut off the branches.  In
1800, "the re-establishment of a corporation shocked current
ideas."[9] But the able administrators of the Consulate required
volunteer women for service in their hospitals.  In Paris, Chaptal,
the minister, comes across a lady superior whom he formerly knew and
enjoins her to gather together ten or a dozen of her surviving
companions; he installs them in the rue Vieux-Colombier, in a building
belonging to the hospitals, and which he furnishes for forty novices;
at Lyons, he notices that the "Sisters" of the general hospital were
obliged, that they might perform their duties, to wear a lay dress; he
authorizes them to resume their costume and their crosses; he allows
them two thousand francs to purchase necessaries, and, when they have
donned their old uniform, he presents them to the First Consul.  Such
is the first sprout, very small and very feeble, that appears in the
institution of Saint-Vincent de Paule at Paris and in that of Saint-
Charles at Lyons.  In our days[10](around 1885), the congregation of
Saint-Charles, besides the parent-house at Lyons, has 102 others with
2,226 nuns, and the congregation of Saint-Vincent de Paule, besides
the parent-house at Paris, has 88 others with 9,130 nuns.  Often, the
new vegetation on the trunk amputated by the Revolution is much richer
than on the old one; in 1789, the institution of the "Fréres des
Ecoles Chrétiennes" had 800 members; in 1845, there were 4,000; in
1878, 9,818; on the 31st of December, 1888, there were 12,245.  In
1789, it counted 126 houses; in 1888, there were 1,286. - Meanwhile,
alongside of the old plantations, a large number of independent germs,
new species and varieties, spring up spontaneously, each with its own
aim, rules and special denomination. On Good Friday, April 6, 1792, at
the very date of the decree of the Legislative Assembly abolishing all
religious communities,[11] one is born, that of the "Sœurs de la
Retraite Chrétienne," at Fontenelle, and, from year to year, similar
plants constantly and suddenly spring out of the ground for a century.
The list is too long to be counted; a large official volume of more
than four hundred pages is filled with the mere statement of their
names, localities and statistics. - This volume, published in 1878,
divides religious institutions into two groups.  We find in the first
one, comprising the legally authorized societies, at first 5
congregations of men possessing 224 establishments with 2,418 members,
and 23 associations of men with 20,341 members and supplying 3,086
schools; next, 259 congregations of women and 644 communities which
possess 3,196 establishments, supplying 16,478 schools and counting
113,750 members.  In the second group, comprising unauthorized
societies, we find 384 establishments of men with 7,444 members, and
602 establishments of women with 14,003 members, - in all, in both
groups, 30,287 brethren and 127,753 sisters.  Considering the total
population, the proportion of brethren in 1789 and in our day is about
the same; it is their spirit which has changed; at the present day,
all desire to remain in their profession, while in 1789 two-thirds
wanted to withdraw from it.  As to the proportion of Sisters, it has
increased beyond all calculation.[12]  Out of 10,000 women in the
population, there were, in 1789, 28 Sisters; in 1866, 45; in 1878,

Carmelites, Clarisses, Filles du Cœur de Jésus, Réparatrices, Sœurs du
Saint-Sacrament, Visitandines, Franciscaines, Benedictines and others
like these, about 4000 nuns or sisters, are contemplatists. The
Carthusians, Cistercians, Trappists, and some others, about 1800 monks
and brethren who, for the most part, till the ground, do not impose
labor on themselves other than as an accessory exercise; their first
and principal object is prayer, meditation and worship; they, too,
devote their lives to contemplation on the other world and not to the
service of this one.  But all the others, more than 28,000 men and
more than 123,000 women, are benefactors by institution and voluntary
laborers, choosing to devote themselves to dangerous, revolting, and
at least ungrateful services - missions among savages and barbarians,
care of the sick, of idiots, of the insane, of the infirm, of the
incurable, the support of poor old men or of abandoned children;
countless charitable and educational works, primary schools, orphan
asylums, houses of refuge and prisons, and all gratuitously or at the
lowest wages through a reduction of bodily necessities to the lowest
point, and of the personal expenditure of each brother or sister.[14]
Evidently, with these men and with these women, the ordinary balance
of motives which prompt people is reversed; in the inward balance of
the scale it is no longer selfishness which prevails against altruism,
but the love of others which prevails against selfishness. - Let us
look at one of their institutions just at the moment of its formation
and see how the preponderance passes over from the egoistic to the
social instinct.  The first thing we always find at the origin of the
enterprise is compassion; a few kind hearts have been moved at the
aspect of misery, degradation and misconduct; souls or bodies were in
distress and there was danger of shipwreck; three or four saviors have
come to the rescue. At Rouen, in 1818, it is a poor girl who, by
advice of her curé, brings together a few of her friends in her
garret; during the day they study in a class and at night they work
for their living; today, under the title of "Sœurs du Sacré-Cœur de
Jésus," they number 800.  Elsewhere, at Laval, the founder of the
House of Refuge for poor repentants is a plain ironing-girl who began
her " House" by charitably harboring two prostitutes; these brought
others, and there are now a hundred of similar institutions. Most
frequently, the founder is the desservant or vicar of the place, who,
moved by local misery, fancies at first that he is doing only local
work. Thus, there is born in 1806 at Rouissé-sur-Loire the
congregation of "La Providence," which now has 918 "Sisters," in 193
houses; in 1817, at Lovallat, the association of "Les Petits-Frères de
Marie," which numbers to-day 3600 brethren; in 1840, at Saint-Servan,
the institution of "Les Petites-Sœurs des Pauvres," who now number
2685, and, with no other help but alms-giving, feed and care for, in
their 158 houses, 20,000 old men, of which 13,000 live in their 93
domiciles in France; they take their meals after the inmates, and eat
only what they leave; they are prohibited from accepting any endowment
whatever; by virtue of their rules they are and remain mendicants, at
first, and especially, in behalf of their old men, and afterwards and
as accessory, in their own behalf.  Note the circumstances of the
undertaking and the condition of the founders - they were two village
work-women, young girls between sixteen and eighteen for whom the
vicar of the parish had written short regulations (une petite règle);
on Sunday, together in the cleft of a rock on the seaside, they
studied and meditated over this little summary manual, performed the
prescribed devotions, this or that prayer or orison at certain hours,
saying their beads, the station in the church, self-examination and
other ceremonies of which the daily repetition deposits and
strengthens the supernatural mental conception.  Such, over and above
natural pity, is the superadded weight which fixes the unstable will
and maintains the soul permanently in a state of abnegation. - At
Paris, in the two halls of the Prefecture of Police, where prostitutes
and female thieves remain for a day or two in provisional confinement,
the " Sisters '' of  "Marie-Joseph," obliged by their vows to live
constantly in this sewer always full of human dregs, sometimes feel
their heart failing them; fortunately, a little chapel is arranged for
them in one corner where they retire to pray, and in a few minutes
they return with their store of courage and gentleness again revived.
- Father Etienne, superior of the "Lazarists" and of the " Filles de
Saint-Vincent de Paule," with the authority of long experience, very
justly observed to some foreign visitors,[15] "I have given you the
details of our life, but I have not told you the secret of it.  This
secret, here it is - it is Jesus Christ, known, loved, and served in
the Eucharist."

II. Evolution of the Catholic Church.

The mystic faculty. - Its sources and works. - Evangelical
Christianity. - Its moral object and social effect. - Roman
Christianity. - Development of the Christian idea in the West. -
Influence of the Roman language and law. - Roman conception of the
State. - Roman conception of the Church.

In the thirteenth century, to the communicant on his knees about to
receive the sacrament, the Host often faded out of sight; it
disappeared, and, in its place, appeared an infant or the radiant
features of the Savior and, according to the Church doctors, this was
not an illusion but an illumination.[16] The veil had lifted, and the
soul found itself face to face with its object, Jesus Christ present
in Eucharist. This was second sight, infinitely superior in certainty
and reach to the former, a direct, full view granted by grace from
above, a supernatural view. - By this example, which is an extreme
case, we comprehend in what faith consists. It is an extraordinary
faculty operating alongside of and often in conjunction with our
natural faculties; over and above things as our observation naturally
presents them to us, it reveals to us a beyond, a majestic, grandiose
world, the only one truly real and of which ours is but the temporary
veil. In the depths of the soul, much below the superficial crust of
which we have any conscience,[17] impressions have accumulated like
subterranean waters. There, under the surging heat of innate
instincts, a living spring has burst forth, growing and bubbling in
the obscurity; let a shock or a fissure intervene and it suddenly
sprouts up and forces its way above the surface; the man who has this
within him and in whom it overflows is amazed at the inundation and no
longer recognizes himself; the visible field of his conscience is
completely changed and renewed; in place of his former and vacillating
and scattered thoughts he finds an irresistible and coherent belief, a
precise conception, and intense picture, a passionate affirmation,
sometimes even positive perceptions of a species apart and which come
to him not from without but from within, not alone mere mental
suggestions, like the dialogues of the "Imitation" and the
"intellectual locutions" of the mystics, but veritable physical
sensations like the details of the visions of Saint Theresa, the
articulate voices of Joan of Arc and the bodily stigmata of Saint

In the first century, this beyond discovered by the mystic faculty was
the kingdom of God, opposed to the kingdoms of this world;[18] these
kingdoms, in the eyes of those who revealed them, were worthless;
through the keen insight of the moral and social instinct, these
large, generous and simple hearts had divined the internal defect of
all the societies or States of the century. Egoism in these was too
great; there was in them a lack of charity,[19] the faculty of loving
another equally with one's self, and thus of loving, not only a few,
but all men, whoever they might be, simply because they were men, and
especially the meek, the humble and the poor; in other words, the
voluntary repression of the appetites by which the individual makes of
himself a center and subordinates other lives to himself, the
renunciation of "the lusts of the flesh, of the eyes and of vanity,
the insolence of wealth and luxury, of force and of power."[20] -
Opposed to and in contrast with this human order of things, the idea
of a divine order of things was born and developed itself - a Heavenly
Father, his reign in heaven, and very soon, perhaps on the morrow, his
reign here below; his son descending to the earth to establish his
reign and dying on the cross for the salvation of men; after him, his
Spirits, sent by him, the inward breath which animates his disciples
and continues his work; all men brethren and beloved children of the
same common father; here and there spontaneous groups who have learned
"these good tidings" and propagated them; small scattered communities
which live in the expectation of an ideal order of things and yet, by
anticipation, realizing it from this time forth; "All[21] were of one
heart and one soul, . . . for as many as were possessors of lands or
houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold
and laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made
unto every man according as he had need," all happy in being together,
in mutual love and in feeling themselves regenerate or pure.

Here is to be found in the soul a new regulator and motor, and
moreover a powerful organ, appropriate and effective, obtained through
internal recasting and metamorphosis, like the wings with which an
insect is provided after its transformation. In every living organism,
necessity, through tentative effort and selections, thus produces the
possible and requisite organ. In India, five hundred years before our
era, it was Buddhism; in Arabia, six hundred years after our era, it
was Islam; in our western societies it is Christianity. At the present
day, after eighteen centuries on both continents, from the Ural to the
Rocky Mountains, amongst Russian moujiks and American settlers, it
works as formerly with the fishermen of Galilee and in the same way,
in such a way as to substitute for the love of self the love of
others; neither in substance nor in use has any change taken place;
under its Greek, Catholic or Protestant envelope, it is still, for
four hundred millions of human beings, the spiritual means, the great,
indispensable pair of wings by which man rises upward above himself,
above his groveling existence and his limited horizons, leading him on
through patience, hope and resignation to serenity, and beyond to
temperance, purity, goodness, and self-devotion and self-sacrifice.
Always and everywhere, for the past eighteen hundred years, as soon as
these wings grow feeble or give way, public and private morals
degenerate. In Italy, during the Renaissance, in England under the
restoration, in France under the Convention and Directory, man becomes
as pagan as in the first century; the same causes render him the same
as in the times of Augustus and Tiberius, that is to say voluptuous
and cruel: he abuses himself and victimizes others; a brutal,
calculating egoism resumes its ascendancy, depravity and sensuality
spread, and society becomes a den of cut-throats and a brothel.[22]

After contemplating this spectacle near by, we can value the
contribution to modern societies of Christianity, how much modesty,
gentleness and humanity it has introduced into them, how it maintains
integrity, good faith and justice. Neither philosophic reason,
artistic or literary culture, or even feudal, military or chivalric
honor, nor any administration or government can replace it. There is
nothing else to restrain our natal bent, nothing to arrest the
insensible, steady, down-hill course of our species with the whole of
its original burden, ever retrograding towards the abyss. Whatever its
present envelope may be, the old Gospel still serves as the best
auxiliary of the social instinct.

Among its three contemporary forms, that which groups together the
most men, about 180 millions of believers, is Catholicism, in other
words, Roman Christianity, which two words, comprising a definition,
contain a history.  At the origin, on the birth of the Christian
principle, it expressed itself at first in Hebrew, the language of
prophets and of seers; afterwards, and very soon, in Greek, the
language of the dialecticians and philosophers; at last, and very
late, in Latin, the language of the jurisconsults and statesmen; then
come the successive stages of dogma.  All the evangelical and
apostolic texts, written in Greek, all the metaphysical
speculations,23 also in Greek, which served as commentary on these,
reached the western Latins only through translations.  Now, in
metaphysics, Latin poorly translates the Greek[24]; it lacks both the
terms and the ideas; what the Orient says, the Occident only half
comprehends; it accepts this without dispute and confidently holds it
as truth.[25]  At length in its turn, in the fourth century, when,
after Theodosius, the Occident breaks loose from the Orient, it
intervenes, and it intervenes with its language, that is to say with
the provision of ideas and words which its culture provided; it
likewise had its instruments of precision, not those of Plato and
Aristotle, but others, as special, forged by Ulpian, Gaius and twenty
generations of jurists through the original invention and immemorial
labor of Roman genius.  "To say what is law," to impose rules of
conduct on men, is, in abridged form, the entire practical work of the
Roman people; to write this law out, to formulate and coordinate these
rules, is, in abridged form, its entire scientific work, and with the
Romans in the third, fourth and fifth centuries, during the decadence
of other studies, the science of law was still in full force and
vigor.[26]   Hence, when the Occidentals undertook the interpretation
of texts and the elaboration of the Creed it was with the habits and
faculties of jurisconsults, with the preoccupations and mental
reservations of statesmen, with the mental and verbal instruments
which they found suitable. In those days, the Greek doctors, in
conflict with the monophysites and monothelites, brought out the
theory of the divine essence; at the same date, the Latin doctors,
opposing the Pelagians, Semi-Pelagians and Donatists, founded the
theory of human obligation.[27]  Obligation, said the Roman jurists,
is a  lien of law" by which we are held to doing or suffering
something to free us from indebtedness. Out of this juridical
conception, which is a masterpiece of Roman jurisprudence, issued, as
with a bud full of sap, the new development of the Creed. - On the one
hand, we are obligated towards God, for, in relation to him, we are,
in legal terms, insolvent debtors, heirs of an infinite debt,
incapable of paying it and of satisfying our creditor except through
the interpostion of a superhuman third person[28] who assumes our
indebtedness as his own; still more precisely, we are delinquents,
guilty from birth and by inheritance, condemned en masse and then
pardoned en masse, but in such a way that this pardon, a pure favor,
not warranted by any merit of our own, always remains continual and
revocable at will; that, for a few only, it is or becomes plenary and
lasting, that no one amongst us can be sure of obtaining it, and that
its award, determined beforehand on high, forever remains for us a
State secret.  Hence the prolonged controversies on Predestination,
Free-will and Original Sin, and the profound investigations on man
before, during and after the Fall.  Hence, also, the accepted
solutions, not very conclusive and, if one pleases, contradictory, but
practical, average and well calculated for maintaining mankind in
faith and obedience, under the ecclesiastical and dogmatic government
which, alone, is authorized to lead man on in the way of salvation.

On the other hand, we are obligated to the Church, for she is a cité,
the city of God, and, following the Roman definition, the cité is not
an abstract term, a collective term, but a real, positive existence,
"the commonwealth " (chose publique), that is to say a distinct entity
consisting of generations which succeed each other in it, of infinite
duration and of a superior kind, divine or nearly so, which does not
belong to individuals but to which they belong, an organized body,
with special form and structure, based on traditions, constituted by
laws and ruled by a government.  The absolute authority of the
community over its members and the despotic leadership of the
community by its chiefs - such is the Roman notion of the State and,
for much stronger reasons, of the Church.  She, thus, is a militant,
conquering, governing Rome, predestined to universal empire, a
legitimate sovereign like the other one, but with a better title, for
she derives hers from God. It is God who, from the beginning, has
preconceived and prepared her, who has bodied her forth in the Old
Testament and announced her through the prophets; it is the Son of God
who has built her up, who, to all eternity, will never fail to
maintain and guide her steps, who, through his constant inspiration,
ever remains present in her and active through her.  He has committed
to her his revelation.  She alone, expressly delegated by Christ,
possesses second sight, the knowledge of the invisible, the
comprehension of the ideal order of things as its Founder prescribed
and instituted, and hence, accordingly, the custodianship and
interpretation of the Scriptures, the right of framing dogmas and
injunctions, of teaching and commanding, of reigning over souls and
intellects, of fashioning belief and morals.  Henceforth, the mystic
faculty is to be confined within dikes.  At bottom, this is the
faculty for conceiving of the ideal, to obtain a vision of it, to have
faith in this vision and to act upon it; the more precious it is the
greater the necessity of its being under control.  To preserve it from
itself, to put it on guard against the arbitrariness and diversity of
individual opinions, to prevent unrestrained digression, theoretically
or practically, either on the side of laxity or of rigor, requires a
government. - That this is a legacy of ancient Rome the Catholic
Church does not dispute.  She styles herself the Roman Church.  She
still writes and prays in Latin.  Rome is always her capital; the
title of her chief is that which formerly designated the head of the
pagan cult; after 1378 all the Popes except five, and since 1523 all,
have been Italians; at the present day, thirty-five out of sixty-four
cardinals are likewise Italians. The Roman stamp becomes still more
evident on comparing the millions of Christians who are Catholics with
the millions of Christians who are not.  Among the primitive
annexations and ulterior acquisitions of the Roman Church, several
have separated from her, those of the countries whose Greek, Slavic
and Germanic populations never spoke Latin and whose language is not
derived from the Latin.  Poland and Ireland are alone, or nearly so,
the only countries which have remained loyal, because, with these, the
Catholic faith, under the long pressure of public calamities, has
become incorporated with national sentiment.  Elsewhere the Roman
deposit is non-existent or too thin.  On the contrary, all the
populations that were once Latinized have at bottom remained Catholic;
four centuries of imperial rule and of Roman assimilation have
deposited in them of layers of habits, ideas and sentiments which
endure.[29]  To measure the influence of this historic layer it is
sufficient to note that three elements compose it, all three
contemporary, of the same origin and of the same thickness, a Roman
language, the civil law of Rome, and Roman Christianity; each of these
elements, through its consistence, indicates the consistence of the

Hence the profound and established characteristics by which the
Catholic branch now distinguishes itself from the other two issuing
from the same Christian trunk. With the Protestants, the Bible, which
is the Word of God, is the sole spiritual authority; all the others,
the Doctors, Fathers, tradition, Popes and Councils, are human and,
accordingly, fallible; in fact, these have repeatedly and gravely
erred.[30]  The Bible, however, is a text which each reader reads with
his own eyes, more or less enlightened and sensitive, with eyes which,
in Luther's time, possessed the light and sensibility of the sixteenth
century, and which, at the present time, read with the sensibility and
light of the nineteenth century; so that, according to epochs and
groups, the interpretation may vary, while authority, if not as
regards the text, or at least its meaning, belongs wholly to the
individual.  With the Greeks and Slavs, as with the Catholics, it
belongs only to the Church, that is to say to the heads of the Church,
the successors of the apostles. But with the Greeks and Slavs, since
the ninth century, the Church had decreed no new dogmas; according to
her, revelation had stopped; the creed was finished, final and
complete, and there was nothing to do but to maintain it. - On the
contrary, with the Catholics, after as before that date, the creed
never ceased developing itself, always becoming more precise, and
revelation kept on; the last thirteen councils were inspired like the
first seven, while the first one, in which Saint Peter at Jerusalem
figured, enjoyed no more prerogatives than the last one convoked by
Pius IX. at the Vatican.  The Church is not "a frozen corpse,"[31]
but a living body, led by an always active brain which pursues its
work not only in this world but likewise in the next world, at first
to define it and next to describe it and assign places in it; only
yesterday she added two articles of faith to the creed, the immaculate
conception of the Virgin and the infallibility of the Pope; she
conferred ultra-terrestrial titles; she declared Saint Joseph patron
of the universal Church; she canonized Saint Labre; she elevated Saint
François de Sales to the rank of Doctor.  But she is as conservative
as she is active.  She retracts nothing of her past, never rescinding
any of her ancient decrees; only, with the explanations, commentaries
and deductions of the jurist, she fastens these links closer together,
forms an uninterrupted chain of them extending from the present time
back to the New Testament and, beyond, through the Old Testament, to
the origins of the world, in such a way as to coordinate around
herself the entire universe and all history.  Revelations and
prescriptions, the doctrine thus built up is a colossal work, as
comprehensive as it is precise, analogous to the Digest but much more
vast; for, besides canon law and moral theology, she includes dogmatic
theology, that is to say, besides the theory of the visible world, the
theory of the invisible world and its three regions, the geography of
Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, immense territories of which our earth
is merely the vestibule, unknown territories inaccessible to sense and
reason, but whose confines, entrances, issues and subdivisions, the
inhabitants and all that concerns them, their faculties and their
communications, are defined, as on Peutinger's map and in the Notitia
imperii romani, with extraordinary clearness, minutia and exactitude,
through a combination of the positive spirit and the mystic spirit and
by theologians who are at once Christians and administrators.  In this
relation, examine the "Somme" of Saint Thomas.  Still at the present
day his order, the Dominican, furnishes at Rome those who are
consulted on matters of dogma; or rather, in order to abridge and
transcribe scholastic formula into perceptible images, read the
"Divine Comedy "by Dante.[32]  It is probable that this description,
as far as imagination goes, is still to-day the most exact as well as
most highly-colored presentation of the human and divine world as the
Catholic Church conceives it. She has charge of its keys and reigns
and governs in it.  The prestige of such a government over multitudes
of minds and souls, susceptible to discipline, without personal
initiative, and in need of firm and systematic guidance, is supreme.
It is equal to or superior to that of the ancient roman State with its
120 million subjects. Outside of the Empire all seemed to these souls
anarchy or barbarism; the same impression exists with the Catholics in
relation to their Church. Whether spiritual or temporal, an authority
is more likely to be approved and venerated when, always visible and
everywhere present, it is neither arbitrary nor capricious, but
orderly, restrained by texts, traditions, legislation and
jurisprudence, derived from above and from a superhuman source,
consecrated by antiquity and by the continuity, coherence and grandeur
of its work, in short, by that character which the Latin tongue is
alone capable of expressing and which it terms majesty.

Among the acts which religious authority prescribes to its subjects,
there are some which it imposes in its own name - rites, outward
ceremonies and other observances - of which the principal ones, in the
Catholic catechism, form a sequence to the "commandments of God," and
which are entitled the "commandments of the Church." - With the
Protestants, where Church authority is almost gone, rites have almost
disappeared; considered in themselves, they have ceased to be regarded
as obligatory or meritorious; the most important ones, the Eucharist
itself, have been retained only as commemorative or as symbolic; the
rest, fasts, abstinences, pilgrimages, the worship of saints and the
Virgin, relics of the cross, words committed to memory, genuflections
and kneeling before images or altars, have been pronounced vain; in
the way of positive injunctions none remain but the reading of the
Bible, while duty in outward demonstration of piety is reduced to
piety within, to the moral virtues, to truthfulness, probity,
temperance and steadfastness, to the energetic determination to
observe the watchword received by man in two forms and which he finds
in two concordant examples, in the Scriptures as interpreted by his
conscience, and in his conscience as enlightened by the Scriptures.
As another consequence, the Protestant priest has ceased to be a
delegate from on high, the indispensable mediator between man and God,
alone qualified to give absolution and to administer the rites by
which salvation is obtained; he is simply a man, graver, more learned,
more pious and more exemplary than other men, but, like the others,
married, father of a family and entering into civil life, in short a
semi-layman.  The laymen whom he leads owe him deference, not
obedience; he issues no orders; he sentences nobody; speaking from the
rostrum to a gathering is his principal, almost unique, office, and
the sole purpose of this is instruction or an exhortation. - With the
Greeks and Slaves, with whom the authority of the Church is merely of
a preservative nature, all the observances of the twelfth century have
subsisted, as rigorously in Russia as in Asia Minor or in Greece,
although fasting and Lents, which Southern stomachs can put up with,
are unhealthy for the temperaments of the North. Here, likewise, these
observances have assumed capital importance.  The active sap,
withdrawn from theology and the clergy, flows nowhere else; these, in
an almost paralyzed religion, constitute almost the sole vivifying
organ, as vigorous and often more so, than ecclesiastical authority;
in the seventeenth century, under the patriarch Nicon, thousands of
"old believers," on account of slight rectifications of the liturgy,
the alteration of a letter in the Russian translation of the name of
Jesus, and the sign of the cross made by three instead of two fingers,
separated themselves and, to-day, these dissenters, multiplied by
their sects, count by millions.  Defined by custom, every rite is
sacred, immutable, and, when exactly fulfilled, sufficient in itself
and efficacious; the priest who utters the words and makes the motions
is only one piece in the mechanism, one of the instruments requisite
for a magic incantation; after his instrumentation, he falls back into
his human negativity; he is nothing more than an employee paid for his
ministration. And this ministration is not exalted in him by an
extraordinary and visible renunciation, by perpetual celibacy, by
continence promised and kept; he is married,[33] father of a family,
needy, obliged to shear his flock to support himself and those
belonging to him, and therefore is of little consideration; he is
without moral ascendancy; he is not the pastor who is obeyed, but the
official who is made use of.

The role of the priest in the Catholic Church is quite different.
Through her theory of rites she confers on him incomparable dignity
and real personal power. - According to this theory, observances and
ceremonies possess intrinsic and peculiar virtue; undoubtedly, these
require some mental base, which is found in earnest piety; but earnest
piety independent of these is not enough; it lacks its final
consequence, its praiseworthy completion or "satisfaction,"[34] the
positive act by which we atone for our sins to God and demonstrate our
obedience to the Church.[35]  It is the Church, the living interpreter
of God's will, which prescribes these rites; she is then the mistress
of these and not the servant; she is empowered to adapt their details
and forms to necessities and circumstances, to lighten or simplify
them according to time and place, to establish the communion in one
shape, to substitute the Host in place of bread, to lessen the number
and rigor of the ancient Lents, to determine the effects of diverse
pious works, to apply, ascribe and transfer their salutary effects, to
assign proper value and reward to each devotional act, to measure the
merit derived from them, the sins they efface and the pardons these
obtain not only in this world but in the next one. By virtue of her
administrative habits, and with the precision of a bookkeeper, she
casts up her accounts of indulgences and notes on the margin the
conditions for obtaining them, - a certain prayer repeated so many
times on certain days and what for, so many days less in the great
penitentiary into which every Christian, however pious, is almost sure
to get on dying, this or that diminution of the penalty incurred, and
the faculty, if the penitent rejects this deduction for himself, of
bestowing the benefit on another. By virtue of her authoritative
habits and the better to affirm her sovereignty, she regards as
capital sins the omission of the rites and ceremonies she commands, -
"not going to mass on Sunday or on fête-days;[36] eating meat on
Friday or Saturday unnecessarily;" not confessing and communing at
Easter, a mortal sin which "deprives one of the grace of God and
merits eternal punishment" as well as "to slay and to steal something
of value." For all these crimes, unforgivable in themselves, there is
but one pardon, the absolution given by the priest, that is to say,
confession beforehand, itself being one of the observances to which we
are bound by strict obligation and at the very least once a year.

Through this office the Catholic priest rises above human conditions
to an immeasurable height; for, in the confessional, he exercises
supreme power, that which God is to exercise at the Last Judgment, the
formidable power of punishing or remitting sins, of judgment or of
absolution, and, if he intervenes on the death-bed, the faculty of
consigning the impenitent or repentant soul to an eternity of rewards
or to an eternity of damnation.[37]  No creature, terrestrial or
celestial, not even the highest of archangels, or St. Joseph or the
Virgin,[38] possesses this veritably divine prerogative. He alone
holds it through exclusive delegation, by virtue of a special
sacrament, the order which assigns to him the privilege of conferring
five others, and which endows him for life with a character apart,
ineffaceable and supernatural. - To render himself worthy of it, he
has taken a vow of chastity, he undertakes to root out from his flesh
and his heart the consequences of sex; he debars himself from marriage
and paternity; through isolation, he escapes all family influences,
curiosities and indiscretions; he belongs wholly to his office. He has
prepared himself for it long beforehand, he has studied moral theology
together with casuistry and become a criminal jurist; and his sentence
is not a vague pardon bestowed on penitents after having admitted in
general terms that they are sinners. He is bound to weigh the gravity
of their errors and the strength of their repentance, to know the
facts and details of the fall and the number of relapses, the
aggravating or extenuating circumstances, and, therefore, to
interrogate in order to sound the soul to its depths. If some souls
are timorous, they surrender themselves to him spontaneously and, more
than this, they have recourse to him outside of his tribunal; he marks
out for them the path they must follow, he guides them at every turn;
he interferes daily, he becomes a director as was said in the
seventeenth century, the titular and permanent director of one or of
many lives.[39]  This is still the case at the present day, and
especially for women and for all nuns; the central conception around
which all Roman ideas turn, the conception of the imperium and of
government, has here found its perfect accomplishment and attained to
its final outermost limits.

There are now of these spiritual governors about 180,000, installed in
the five regions of the world, each assigned to the leadership of
about 1000 souls and as special guardian of a distinct flock, all
ordained by bishops instituted by the Pope, he being absolute monarch
and declared such by the latest council. In the new Rome as in the
ancient Rome, authority has gradually become concentrated until it has
centered in and is entrusted wholly to the hands of one man. Romulus,
the Alban shepherd, was succeeded by Cœsar Augustus, Constantine or
Theodosius, whose official title was "Your Eternal," "Your Divine,"
and who pronounced their decrees "immutable oracles." Peter, the
fisherman of Galilee, was succeeded by infallible pontiffs whose
official title is "Your Holiness," and whose decrees, for every
Catholic, are "immutable oracles" in fact as in law, not
hyperbolically, but in the full sense of the words expressed by exact
terms. The imperial institution has thus formed itself anew; it has
simply transferred itself from one domain to another; only, in passing
from the temporal order of things to the spiritual order, it has
become firmer and stronger, for it has guarded against two defects
which weakened its antique model. - One the one hand, it has provided
for the transmission of supreme power; in old Rome, they did not know
how to regulate this; hence, when an interregnum occurred, the many
violent competitors, the fierce conflicts, the brutalities, all the
usurpations of force, all the calamities of anarchy. In Catholic Rome,
the election of the sovereign pontiff belongs definitively to a
college of prelates[40] who vote according to established formalities;
these elect the new pope by a majority of two-thirds, and, for more
than four centuries, not one of these elections has been contested;
between each defunct pope and his elected successor, the transfer of
universal obedience has been prompt and unhesitating and, during as
after the interregnum, no schism in the Church has occurred. - On the
other hand, in the legal title of Cœsar Augustus there was a defect.
According to Roman law, he was only the representative of the people;
the community had delegated all its rights incorporate to him; but in
it alone was omnipotence vested. According to canon law, omnipotence
was vested solely in God; it is not the Catholic community which
possesses this and delegates it to the Pope;[41] his rights accrue to
him from another and higher source.[42] He is not the elect of the
people, but the interpreter, vicar and representative of Jesus Christ.

III. The Church today.

Existing Catholicism and its distinctive traits. - Authority, its
prestige and supports. - Rites, the priest, the Pope. - The Catholic
Church and the modern State. - Difficulties in France born out of
their respective constitutions. -

Such is the Catholic Church of to-day, a State constructed after the
type of the old Roman empire, independent and autonomous, monarchical
and centralized, with a domain not of territory but of souls and
therefore international, under an absolute and cosmopolite sovereign
whose subjects are simultaneously subjects of other non-religious
rulers. Hence, for the Catholic Church a situation apart in every
country, more difficult than for Greek, Slavic or Protestant churches;
these difficulties vary in each country according to the character of
the State and with the form which the Catholic Church has received in
them.[43]  In France, since the Concordat, these difficulties are of
greater gravity than elsewhere.

When, in 1802, the Church initially received her French form, this was
a complete systematic organization, after a general and regular plan,
according to which she formed only one compartment of the whole.
Napoleon, by his Concordat, organic articles and ulterior decrees, in
conformity with the ideas of the century and the principles of the
Constituent Assembly, desired to render the clergy of all kinds, and
especially the Catholic clergy, one of the subdivisions of his
administrative staff, a corps of functionaries, mere agents assigned
to religious interests as formerly to civil matters and therefore
manageable and revocable. This they all were, in fact, including the
bishops, since they at once tendered their resignations at his order.
Still, at the present day all, except the bishops, are in this
situation, having lost the ownership of their places and the
independence of their lives, through the maintenance of the consular
and imperial institutions, through removal, through the destruction of
the canonical and civil guarantees which formerly protected the lower
clergy, through the suppression of the officialité; through the
reduction of chapters to the state of vague shadows, through the
rupture or laxity of the local and moral tie which once attached every
member of the clergy to a piece of land, to an organized body, to a
territory, to a flock, and through the lack of ecclesiastical
endowment, through the reduction of every ecclesiastic, even a
dignitary, to the humble and precarious condition of a salaried

A régime of this kind institutes in the body subject to it an almost
universal dependence, and hence entire submission, passive obedience,
and the stooping, prostrate attitude of the individual no longer able
to stand upright on his own feet.[45]  The clergy to which it is
applied cannot fail to be managed from above, which is the case with
this one, through its bishops, the Pope's lieutenant-generals, who
give the countersign to all of them.  Once instituted by the Pope,
each bishop is the governor for life of a French province and all-
powerful in his circumscription we have seen to what height his moral
and social authority has risen, how he has exercised his command, how
he has kept his clergy under discipline and available, in what class
of society he has found his recruits, through what drill and what
enthusiasm every priest, including himself, is now a practiced soldier
and kept in check; how this army of occupation, distributed in 90
regiments and composed of 50,000 resident priests, is completed by
special bodies of troops subject to still stricter discipline, by
monastic corporations, by four or five thousand religious
institutions, nearly all of them given to labor and benevolence; how,
to the subordination and correct deportment of the secular clergy is
added the enthusiasm and zeal of the regular clergy, the entire
devotion, the wonderful self-denial of 30,000 monks and of 120,000
nuns; how this vast body, animated by one spirit, marches steadily
along with all its lay supporters towards one end. This purpose,
forever the same, is the maintenance of its dominion over all the
souls that it has won over, and the conquest of all the souls over
which it has not yet established its domination.

Nothing could be more antipathetic to the French State. Built up like
the Church, after the Roman model, it is likewise authoritative and
absorbent. In the eyes of Napoleon, all these priests appointed or
sanctioned by him, who have sworn allegiance to him, whom he pays
annually or quarterly, belong to him in a double sense, first under
the title of subjects, and next under the title of clerks. His
successors are still inclined to regard them in the same light; in
their hands the State is ever what he made it, that is to say a
monopolizer, convinced that its rights are illimitable and that its
interference everywhere is legitimate, accustomed to governing all it
can and leaving to individuals only the smallest portion of
themselves, hostile to all bodies that might interpose between them
and it, distrustful and ill-disposed towards all groups capable of
collective action and spontaneous initiation, especially as concerns
proprietary bodies.  A self-constituted daily overseer, a legal
guardian, a perpetual and minute director of moral societies as of
local societies, usurper of their domains, undertaker or regulator of
education and of charitable enterprises, the State is ever in
inevitable conflict with the Church. The latter, of all moral
societies, is the most active; she does not let herself be enslaved
like the others, her soul is in her own keeping; her faith, her
organization, her hierarchy and her code are all her own.  Against the
rights of the State based on human reason, she claims rights founded
on divine revelation, and, in self-defense, she justly finds in the
French clergy, as the State organized it in 1802, the best disciplined
militia, the best classified, the most capable of operating together
under one countersign and of marching in military fashion under the
impulsion that its ecclesiastical leaders choose to give it.

Elsewhere, the conflict is less permanent and less sharp the two
conditions which aggravate it and maintain it in France are, one or
both, wanting.  In other European countries, the Church has not the
French form imposed upon it and the difficulties are less; in the
United States of America, not only has it not undergone the French
transformation, but the State, liberal in principle, interdicts itself
against interventions like those of the French State and the
difficulties are almost null.  Evidently, if there was any desire to
attenuate or to prevent the conflict it would be through the first or
the last of these two policies.  The French State, however,
institutionally and traditionally, always invasive, is ever tempted to
take the contrary course.[46] - At one time, as during the last years
of the Restoration and the first years of the second Empire, it allies
itself with the Church; each power helps the other in its domination,
and in concert together they undertake to control the en tire man. In
this case, the two centralizations, one ecclesiastic and the other
secular, both increasing and prodigiously augmented for a century,
work together to overpower the individual.  He is watched, followed
up, seized, handled severely, and constrained even in his innermost
being; he can no longer breathe the atmosphere around him; we can well
remember the oppression which, after 1823 and after 1852, bore down on
every independent character and on every free intellect. - At another
time, as under the first and the third Republic, the State sees in the
Church a rival and an adversary; consequently, it persecutes or
worries it and we of to-day see with our own eyes how a governing
minority, steadily, for a long time, gives offence to a governed
majority where it is most sensitive; how it breaks up congregations of
men and drives free citizens from their homes whose only fault is a
desire to live, pray and labor in common; how it expels nuns and monks
from hospitals and schools, with what detriment to the hospital and to
the sick, to the school and to the children, and against what
unwillingness and what discontent on the part of physicians and
fathers of families, and at what bungling waste of public money, at
what a gratuitous overburdening of taxation already too great.

IV. Contrasting Vistas.

Other difficulties of the French system. - New and scientific
conception of the world. - How opposed to the Catholic conception. -
How it is propagated. - How the other is defended. - Losses and gains
of the Catholic Church. - Its narrow and broad domains. - Effects of
Catholic and French systems on Christian sentiment in France. -
Increased among the clergy and diminished in society.

Other disadvantages of the French system are still worse. - In (the
nineteenth) century, an extraordinary event occurs. Already about the
middle of the preceding century, the discoveries of scientists,
coordinated by the philosophers, had afforded the sketch in full of a
great picture, still in course of execution and advancing towards
completion, a picture of the physical and moral universe. In this
sketch the point of sight was fixed, the perspective designed, the
various distances marked out, the principal groups drawn, and its
outlines were so correct that those who have since continued the work
have little to add but to give precision to these and fill them
up.[47] In their hands, from Herschel and Laplace, from Volta, Cuvier,
Ampère, Fresnel and Faraday to Darwin and Pasteur, Burnouf, Mommsen
and Renan, the blanks on the canvas have been covered, the relief of
the figures shown and new features added in the sense of the old ones,
thus completing it without changing in any sense the expression of the
whole, but, on the contrary, in such a way as to consolidate,
strengthen and perfect the master-conception which, purposely or not,
had imposed itself on the original painters, all, predecessors and
successors, working from nature and constantly inviting a comparison
between the painting and the model. - And, for one hundred years, this
picture, so interesting, so magnificent, and the accuracy of which is
so well guaranteed, instead of being kept private and seen only by
select visitors, as in the eighteenth century, is publicly exposed and
daily contemplated by an ever-increasing crowd. Through the practical
application of the same scientific discoveries, owing to increased
facilities for travel and intercommunication, to abundance of
information, to the multitude and cheapness of books and newspapers,
to the diffusion of primary instruction, the number of visitors has
increased enormously.[48]  Not only has curiosity been aroused among
the workmen in towns, but also with the peasants formerly plodding
along in the routine of their daily labor, confined to their circle of
six leagues in circumference. This or that small daily journal treats
of divine and human things for a million of subscribers and probably
for three millions of readers. - Of course, out of a hundred visitors,
ninety of them are not capable of comprehending the sense of the
picture; they give it only a cursory glance; moreover, their eyes are
not properly educated for it, and they are unable to grasp masses and
seize proportions. Their attention is generally arrested by a detail
which they interpret in a wrong way, and the mental image they carry
away is merely a fragment or a caricature; basically, if they have
come to see a magisterial work, it is most of all due to vanity and so
that his spectacle, which some of them enjoy, should not remain the
privileged of a few. Nevertheless, however imperfect and confused
their impressions, however false and ill-founded their judgments, they
have learned something important and one true idea of their visit
remains with them: of the various pictures of the world not one is
painted by the imagination but from nature.[49]

Now, between this picture and that which the Catholic Church presents
to them, the difference is enormous. Even with rude intellects, or
minds otherwise occupied, if the dissimilarity is not clearly
perceived it is vaguely felt; in default of scientific notions, the
simple hearsay caught on the wing, and which seem to have flickered
through the mind like a flash of light over a hard rock, still
subsists there in a latent state, amalgamating and agglutinating into
a solid block until at length they form a massive, refractory
sentiment utterly opposed to faith. - With the Protestant, the
opposition is neither extreme nor definitive.  His faith, which the
Scriptures give him for his guidance, leads him to read the Scriptures
in the original text and, hence, to read with profit, to call to his
aid whatever verifies and explains an ancient text, linguistics,
philology, criticism, psychology, combined with general and particular
history; thus does faith lay hold on science as an auxiliary.
According to diverse souls, the role of the auxiliary is more or less
ample it may accordingly adapt itself to the faculties and needs of
each soul, and hence extend itself indefinitely, and already do we see
ahead the time when the two collaborators, enlightened faith and
respectful science, will together paint the same picture, or each
separately paint the same picture twice in two different frames. -
With the Slavs and Greeks, faith, like the Church and the rite, is a
national thing; creed forms one body with the country, and there is
less disposition to dispute it; besides, it is not irksome; it is
simply a hereditary relic, a domestic memorial, a family icon, a
summary product of an exhausted art no longer well understood and
which has ceased to produce.  It is rather sketched out than
completed, not one feature having been added to it since the tenth
century; for eight hundred years this picture has remained in one of
the back chambers of the memory, covered with cobwebs as ancient as
itself, badly lighted and rarely visited; everybody knows that it is
there and it is spoken of with veneration; nobody would like to get
rid of it, but it is not daily before the eyes so that it may be
compared with the scientific picture. - Just the reverse with the
Catholic picture.  Each century, for eight hundred years, has applied
the brush to this picture; still, at the present time we see it grow
under our eyes, acquiring a stronger relief, deeper color, a more
vigorous harmony, an ever more fixed and striking expression.  - To
the articles of belief which constitute the creed for the Greek and
Slavic church, thirteen subsequent Catholic councils have added to it
many others, while the two principal dogmas decreed by the last two
councils, Transubstantiation by the council of Trent and the
Infallibility of the Pope by that of the Vatican, are just those the
best calculated to hinder forever any reconciliation between science
and faith.

Thus, for Catholic nations, the dissimilarity, instead of diminishing,
is aggravated; both pictures, one painted by faith and the other by
science, become more and more dissimilar, while the profound
contradiction inherent in the two conceptions becomes glaring through
their very development, each developing itself apart and both in a
counter-sense, one through dogmatic verdicts and through the
strengthening of discipline and the other by ever-increasing
discoveries and by useful applications, each adding daily to its
authority, one by precious inventions and the other by good works,
each being recognized for what it is, one as the leading instructor of
positive truths and the other as the leading instructor of sound
morality. That is why we find a combat in each Catholic breast as to
which of the two concepts is to be accepted as guide. To every sincere
mind and to one capable of entertaining both, each is irreducible to
the other.  To the vulgar mind, unable to combine both in thought,
they exist side by side and clash with each other only occasionally
when action demands a choice. Many intelligent, cultivated people, and
even savants, especially specialists, avoid confronting them, one
being the support of their reason and the other the guardian of their
conscience; between them, in order to prevent any possible conflict,
they interpose in advance a wall of separation,  a compartment
partition,[50]" which prevents them from meeting and clashing.
Others, at length, clever or not too clear-sighted politicians, try to
force their agreement, either by assigning to each its domain and in
prohibiting mutual access, or by uniting both domains through the
semblance of bridges, by imitation stairways, and other illusory
communications which the phantasmagoria of human eloquence can always
establish between incompatible things and which procure for man, if
not the acquisition of a truth, at least a pleasure in the play of
words. The ascendancy of the Catholic faith over these uncertain,
inconsequent, tormented souls is more or less weak or strong according
to time, place, circumstance, individuals and groups; in the larger
group it has diminished, while it has increased in the smaller one.

The latter comprises the regular and secular clergy with its
approximate recruits and its small body of supporters; never was it so
exemplary and so fervent; the monastic institution in particular never
flourished so spontaneously and more usefully.  Nowhere in Europe are
more missionaries formed, so many "brethren" for small schools, so
many volunteers, male and female, in the service of the poor, the
sick, the infirm and of children, such vast communities of women
freely devoting their lives to teaching and to charity.[51]  Life in
common, under uniform and strict rules, to a people like the French,
more capable than any other of enthusiasm and of emulation, of
generosity and of discipline, naturally prone to equality, sociable
and predisposed to fraternity through the need of companionship,
sober, moreover, and laborious, a life in common is no more
distasteful in the convent than in the barracks, nor in an
ecclesiastical army more than in a lay army, while France, always
Gallic, affords as ready a hold nowadays to the Roman system as in the
time of Augustus.  When this system obtains a hold on a soul it keeps
its hold, and the belief it imposes becomes the principal guest, the
sovereign occupant of the intellect. Faith, in this occupied
territory, no longer allows her title to be questioned; she condemns
doubt as a sin, she interdicts investigation as a temptation, she
presents the peril of un belief as a mortal danger, she enrolls
conscience in her service against any possible revolt of reason.  At
the same time that she guards herself against attacks, she strengthens
her possession; to this end, the rites she prescribes are efficient,
and their efficiency, multiplicity and convergence - confession and
communion, retreats, spiritual exercises, abstinences, and ceremonies
of every kind, the worship of saints and of the Virgin, of relics and
images, orisons on the lips and from the heart, faithful attendance on
the services and the exact fulfillment of daily duties - all attest

Through its latest acquisitions and the turn it now takes, Catholic
faith buries itself in and penetrates down to the very depths of the
sensitive and tried souls which it has preserved from foreign
influences; for it supplies to this chosen flock the aliment it most
needs and which it loves the best.  Below the metaphysical, abstract
Trinity, of which two of the three persons are out of reach of the
imagination, she has set up an historical Trinity whose personages are
all perceptible to the senses, Mary, Joseph and Jesus.  The Virgin,
since the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, has risen to an
extraordinary height; her spouse accompanies her in her
exaltation;[52] between them stands their son, child or man, which
forms the Holy Family.[53]   No worship is more natural and more
engaging to chaste celibates in whose brain a pure, vague vision is
always present, the reverie of a family constituted without the
intervention of sex.  No system of worship furnishes so many precise
objects for adoration, all the acts and occurrences, the emotions and
thoughts of three adorable lives from birth to death and in the
beyond, down to the present day.  Most of the religious institutions
founded within the past eighty years devote themselves to meditation
on one of these lives considered at some one point of incident or of
character, either purity, charity, compassion or justice, conception,
nativity or infancy, presence in the Temple, at Nazareth, at Bethany,
or on Calvary, the passion, the agony, the assumption or apparition
under this or that circumstance or place, and the rest.  There are now
in France, under the name and patronage of Saint Joseph alone, one
hundred and seventeen congregations and communities of women.  Among
so many appellations, consisting of special watchwords designating and
summing up the particular preferences of a devout group, one name is
significant there are seventy-nine congregations or communities of
women which have devoted themselves to the heart of Mary or of Jesus
or to both together.[54]  In this way, besides the narrow devotion
which is attached to the corporeal emblem, a tender piety pursues and
attains its supreme end, the mute converse of the soul, not with the
dim Infinite, the indifferent Almighty who acts through general laws,
but with a person, a divine person clothed with the vesture of
humanity and who has not discarded it, who has lived, suffered and
loved, who still loves, who, in glory above, welcomes there the
effusions of his faithful souls and who returns love for love.

All this is incomprehensible, bizarre or even repulsive to the public
at large, and still more so to the vulgar.  It sees in religion only
what is very plain, a government; and in France, it has already had
enough of government temporally; add a complementary one on the
spiritual side and that will be more and too much.  Alongside of the
tax-collector and the gendarme in uniform, the peasant, the workman
and the common citizen encounter the curé in his cassock who, in the
name of the Church, as with the other two in the name of the State,
gives him orders and subjects him to rules and regulations.  Now every
rule is annoying and the latter more than the others; one is rid of
the tax-collector after paying the tax, and of the gendarme when no
act is committed against the law; the curé is much more exacting; he
interferes in domestic life and in private matters and assumes to
govern man entirely.  He admonishes his parishioners in the
confessional and from the pulpit, he lords it over them even in their
inmost being, and his injunctions bind them in every act, even at
home, around the fireside, at table and in bed, comprising their
moments of repose and relaxation, even hours of leisure and in the
tavern.  Villagers, after listening to a sermon against the tavern and
drunkenness, murmur and are heard to exclaim: "Why does he meddle with
our affairs?  Let him say his mass and leave us alone." They need him
for baptism, marriage and burial, but their affairs do not concern
him.  Moreover, among the observances he prescribes, many are
inconvenient, tasteless or disagreeable - fasting, Lent, a passive
part in a Latin mass, prolonged services, ceremonies of which the
details are all insignificant, but of which the symbolic meaning is
to-day of no account to people in attendance; add to all this the
mechanical recitation of the Pater and of the Ave, genuflections and
crossing one's self, and especially obligatory confession at specified
dates. Nowadays the worker and the peasant manage without these
constraints.  In many villages, there is nobody at high mass on
Sundays but women, and often, in small numbers, one or two troops of
children led by the clerical instructor and by the "Sister," with a
few old men; the great majority of the men remain outside, under the
porch and on the square before the church chatting with each other
about the crops, on local news and on the weather.

In the eighteenth century, when a curé was obliged to report to the
"intendant " the number of inhabitants of his parish, he had only to
count his communicants at the Easter service; their number was about
that of the adult and valid population, say one half or two fifths of
the sum total.[55]  Now, at Paris, out of two millions of Catholics
who are of age, about one hundred thousand perform this strict duty,
aware of its being strict and the imperative prescription of which is
stamped in their memory by a rhyme which they have learned in their
infancy;[56] out of one hundred persons, this is equal to five
communicants, of which four are women and one is a man, in other
words, about one woman out of twelve or thirteen and one man out of
fifty.  In the provinces,[57] and especially in the country, there is
good reason for doubling and even tripling these figures; in the
latter case, the most favorable one and, without any doubt, the
rarest, the proportion of professed Christians is that of one to four
among women and one man out of twelve.  Evidently, with the others who
make not attend Church regularly, with the three women and the eleven
other men, their faith is only verbal; if they are still Catholics, it
is on the outside and not within.

Besides this separation from the main body and this indifference,
other signs denote disaffection and even hostility. - In Paris, at the
height of the Revolution, in May and June  1793, the shopkeepers,
artisans and market-women, the whole of the common people, were still
religious,[58] "kneeling in the street" when the Host passed by, and
before the relics of Saint Leu carried along in ceremonial procession,
passionately fond of his worship, and suddenly melted, "ashamed,
repentant and with tears in their eyes, when, inadvertently, their
Jacobin rulers tolerated the publicity of a procession.  Nowadays,
among the craftsmen, shopkeepers and lower class of employees, there
is nothing more unpopular than the Catholic Church. Twice, under the
Restoration and the second Empire, she has joined hands with a
repressive government, while its clergy has seemed to be not merely an
efficient organ but, again, the central promoter of all repression. -
Hence, accumulated bitterness that still survives.  After 1830, the
archbishopric of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois is sacked; in 1871 the
archbishop and other ecclesiastical hostages are murdered. For two
years after 1830 a priest in his cassock dared not show himself in
public;[59] he ran the risk of being insulted in the streets; since
1871, the majority of the Parisian electors, through the interposition
of the Municipal Council which they elect over and over again,
persists in driving "Brethren" and "Sisters" from the schools and
hospitals in order to put laymen in their places and pay twice as much
for work not done as well.[60]  - In the beginning, antipathy was
confined to the clergy; through contamination, it reached the
doctrine, to include the faith, the entire Catholicism and even
Christianity itself.  Under the Restoration, it was called, in
provocative language, the priest party, and under the second Empire,
the clericals. Afterwards, confronting the Church and under a contrary
name, the anti-clerical league was formed by its adversaries, a sort
of negative church which possessed, or tried to, its own dogmas and
rites, its own assemblies and discipline:  and for lack of something
better, it has its own fanaticism, that of aversion; on the word being
given, it marches, rank and file, against the other, its enemy, and
manifests, if not its belief, at least its unbelief in refusing or in
avoiding the ministration of the priest. In Paris, twenty funerals out
of a hundred, purely civil, are not held in a church; out of one
hundred marriages, twenty-five, purely civil, are not blessed by the
Church; twenty-four infants out of a hundred are not baptized.[61]

And, from Paris to the provinces, both sentiment and example are
propagated.  For sixteen years, in our parliaments elected by
universal suffrage, the majority maintains that party in power which
wages war against the Church; which, systematically and on principle,
is and remains hostile to the Catholic religion; which has its own
religion for which it claims dominion; which is possessed by a
doctrinal spirit, and, in the direction of intellects and souls, aims
at substituting this new spirit for the old one; which, as far as it
can, withdraws from the old one its influence, or its share in
education and in charity; which breaks up the congregations of men,
and overtaxes congregations of women; which enrolls seminarians in the
army, and deprives suspect  curés of their salaries; in short, which,
through its acts collectively and in practice, proclaims itself anti-
Catholic.  Many of its acts certainly displease the peasant.  He would
prefer to retain the teaching "brother" in the public school and the
"sister" in the hospital as nurse or as teacher in the school; both
would cost less, and he is used to their dark dresses and their white
caps; moreover, he is not ill-disposed towards his resident curé, who
is a "good fellow."  Nevertheless, in sum, the rule of the curé is not
to his taste; he does not wish to have him back, and he distrusts
priests, especially the aspect of their allies who now consist of the
upper bourgeoisie and the nobles.  Hence, out of ten million electors,
five or six millions, entertaining partial dislikes and mute
reservations, continue to vote, at least provisionally, for anti-
Christian radicals.  All this shows that, through an insensible and
slow reaction, the great rural mass, following the example of the
great urban mass, is again becoming pagan[62]; for one hundred years
the wheel turns in this sense, without stopping, and this is serious,
still more serious for the nation than for the Church.

In France, the inner Christianity, has, for all that, through the dual
effect of its Catholic and French envelope, grown warmer among the
clergy especially among the regular clergy, but is has cooled off
among the people and it is especially here that it is needed.

Post Scriptum:
Taine died in 1893 not long after having written this. Much has
happened since and the struggle between "Lay Republicans" and the
Catholic Church has continued. In "QUID 2000," a French popular
reference manual containing on page 515 some notes on the evolution of
the Catholic religion in France, we can read the following:

"1899-11-11 the police occupies l'Assomption, 6, rue François Ier. The
Augustin brothers are accused in court for breaking the law forbidding
unauthorized assemblies. .. 1900 Thomas, mayor of Kremlin-Bicêtre,
forbids the wearing of the ecclesiastical costume in his town. This
example is followed by others..." Reading further we may learn that
later in 1901 to 1904 the various Catholic orders are forbidden or
dissolved and most French Church property seized.  In 1905 a law
decreeing a separation between the State and the Church is narrowly
and bitterly voted and a struggle between France and the Pope begins
... Between 1914 and 1918 25 000 priests and seminarians are mobilized
and app. 5000 among them fall. This disarms many of the Church's
enemies and in 1920 funds are appropriated for the re-establishment of
the French embassy to the Pope in Rome. etc. etc. Today the Catholic
religion is tolerated more or less in the same manner as Judaism,
Islam etc. (SR.)


[1] The Budget of 1881.  17,010 desservans of small parishes have 900
francs per annum; 4500 have 1000 francs; 9492, sixty years of age and
over, have from 1100 to 1300 francs. 2521 curés of the second class
have from 1200 to 1300 francs; 850 curés of the first class, or rated
the same, have from 1500 to 1600 francs; 65 archiprêtre curés have
1600 francs, that of Paris 2400 francs; 709 canons have from 1600 to
2400 francs; 193 vicars-general have from 2500 to 4000 francs. -Abbé
Bougaud, "le Grand Péril," etc., p.23. In the diocese of Orleans,
which may be taken as an average type, fees, comprising the receipts
for masses, are from 250 to 300 francs per annum, which brings the
salary of an ordinary desservant up to about 1200 francs.

[2] The fees, etc., of the curé of the Madeleine are estimated at
about 40,000 francs a year. The prefect of police has 40,000 francs a
year, and the prefect of the Seine, 50,000 francs.

[3] Prælectiones juris canonici, II., 264-267.

[4] Ibid.,  II., 268.

[5] "The Ancient Régime," pp. 119, 147. (Ed. Laffont I. pp. 92, 115.)
(On the "Chartreuse" of Val Saint-Pierre, read the details given by
Merlon de Thionville in his "Mémoires.")

[6] Prœlectiones juris canonici, II.,205. (Edict of Louis XIII., 1629,
art. 9.)

[7] The following are other instances.  With the "Filles de Saint-
Vincent de Paule," the superior of the "Prètres de la Mission"
proposes two names and all the Sisters present choose one or the other
by a plurality of votes. Local superiors are designated by the Council
of Sisters who always reside at the principal establishment. - With
the "Frères des Écoles Chrétiennes," assembled at the call of the
assistants in function, a general chapter meets at Paris, 27 rue
Oudinot. This chapter, elected by all professed members belonging to
the order, comprises 15 directors of the leading houses and 15 of the
older brethren who have been at least fifteen years in profession.
Besides these 30, the assistants in function, or who have resigned,
and the visitors of the houses form, by right, a part of the chapter
which comprises 72  members. This chapter elects the general superior
for ten years. He is again eligible; he appoints for three years the
directors of houses, and he can prolong or replace them. With the
Carthusians, the superior-general is elected by the professed brethren
of the Grande Chartreuse who happen to be on hand when the vacancy
occurs.  They vote by sealed ballots unsigned, under the presidency of
two priors without a vote.

[8] The reader may call to mind the portrait of Brother Philippe by
Horace Vernet. For details of the terrible mortifications inflicted on
himself by Lacordaire see his life by Father Chocarne. "Every sort of
mortification which the saints prized, hair-cloth jackets of penance,
scourges, whips of every kind and form, he knew of and used. . . . He
scourged himself daily and often several times during the day. During
Lent and especially on Good Friday he literally scored and flayed
himself alive."

[9] Notes (unpublished) by Count Chaptal.

[10]  "État des congrégations, communantés et associations
religieuses, autorisées et non-autorisées, dressé en execution"
according to article 12, law of Dec. 28, 1876. (Imprimerie nationale,
1878) -  "L'Institut des frères des écoles chrétiennes," by Eugène
Rendu (1882), p. 10. - Th. W. Allies, "Journal d'un voyage en France,
p.81. (Conversation with Brother Philippe, July i6, 1845.) -
"Statistique de I'nstitut des Frères des Ecoles Chrétiennes," Dec.31,
1888. (Drawn up by the head establishment.) Out of the 121 houses of
1789, there were 117 of these in France and 4 in the colonies. Out of
the 1,286 houses of 1888, there are 1,010 in France and in the
colonies. The other 276 are in other countries.

[11] Émile Keller, "Les Congrégations religieuses en France" (1880),
preface, xxIII., xvIII., and p. 492.

[12] In 1789, 37,000 Sisters; in 1866, 86,000 Sisters ("Statistique de
la France," 1866); in 1878, 127,753 Sisters ("État des congrégations,"

[13] .  (But today, around 1990, there are only 5 nuns per 10,000
inhabitants. SR.)

[14] Émile Keller, ibid., passim.  - In many communities of men and of
women the personal expenses of each member are not over 300 francs per
annum; with the Trappists at Devielle this is the maximum. - If the
value of the useful labor performed by these 160,000 monks and nuns be
estimated at 1000 francs per head, which is below the real figures,
the total is 160 millions per annum; estimate the expenses of each
monk or nun at 500 francs per head and the total is 80 millions a
year. The net gain to the public is 80 millions per annum.

[15] "La Charité à Nancy," by Abbé Girard, p. 245. - The same judgment
is confirmed by the Rev. T. W. Allies, in a "Journal d'un voyage en
France," 1848, p. 291. "The dogma of the real presence is the centre
of the whole religious life of the Church (Catholic):  it is the
secret support of the priest in his mission, so painful and so filled
with abnegation. It is by this that the religious orders are

[16] This question is examined by St. Thomas in his Summa Theologica.

[17] For the past twenty years, owing to the researches of
psychologists and physiologists, we have begun to know something of
the subterranean regions of the mind and the latent processes taking
place there. The storing, the residue and unconscious combination of
images, the spontaneous and automatic transformation of images into
sensations, the composition, disassociations and splitting into dual
personalities of the ego, the alternate or simultaneous coexistence of
two, or more than two, distinct persons in the same individual, the
suggestions accomplished later and at fixed dates, the chock of the
return from the inside to the outside, and the physical effect on the
nervous extremities of the mental sensations, all these late
discoveries have resulted in a new conception of mind, and psychology,
thus renewed, throws a sharp light on history.

[18] See in "Herodiade," by Flaubert, the depicting of these "kingdoms
of the world or of the century," as they appeared to Palestinian eyes
in the first century. For the first four centuries we must consider,
confronting the Church, by way of contrast and in full relief, the
pagan and Roman world, the life of the day, especially in the baths,
at the circus, in the theatre, the gratuitous supplies of food, of
physical enjoyments and of spectacles to the idle populace of the
towns, the excesses of public and private luxury, the enormity of
unproductive expenditure, and all this in a society which, without our
machines, supported itself by hand-labor; next, the scantiness and
dearness of available capital, a legal rate of interest at twelve per
cent, the latifundia, the oberati, the oppression of the working
classes, the diminution of free laborers, the exhaustion of slaves,
depopulation and impoverishment, at the end the colon attached to his
glebe, the workman to his tool, the curiale to his curie, the
administrative interference of the centralized State, its fiscal
exigencies, all that it sucked out of the social body, and the more
strenuously inasmuch as there was less to be sucked out of it. Against
these sensual habits and customs and this economic system the Church
has preserved its primitive aversion, especially on two points, in
relation to the theatre and to loaning money at interest.

[19] See St. Paul's epistle to the Romans, ch. I., 26 to 32; also the
First Epistle to the Corinthians, ch. XIII.

[20] The First Epistle of John, II. 16.

[21] Acts of the Apostles, ch. IV.,32, 34 and 35.

[22] I cannot help but conclude that the two world wars, started by
Christian Governments, led to socialism and religious decay. How large
a role television played in removing the need for clerical guidance
and comfort is hard to determine, the fact is that the Churches in
Europe stand mostly empty and Taine's description fits rather will on
today's society. (SR.)

[23] Saint Athanasius, the principal founder of Christian metaphysics,
did not know Latin and learned it with great difficulty at Rome when
he came to defend his doctrine. On the other hand, the principal
founder of western theology, Saint Augustin, had only an imperfect
knowledge of Greek.

[24] For example, the three words which are essential and technical in
metaphysical speculations on the divine essence,  have no real equivalent
in Latin, while the words by which an attempt is made to render these
terms, verbum, substantia, persona, are very inexact.  Persona and
substantia, in Tertullian, are already used in their Roman sense, which
is always juridical and special.

[25] Sir Henry Sumner Maine, "Ancient Law," p. 354. The following is
profound in a remarkable degree: " Greek metaphysical literature
contained the sole stock of words and ideas out of which the human
mind could provide itself with the means of engaging in the profound
controversies as to the Divine Persons, the Divine Substance, and the
Divine Natures. The Latin language and the meager Latin philosophy
were quite unequal to the undertaking, and accordingly the western or
Latin-speaking provinces of the Empire adopted the conclusions of the
East without disputing or reviewing them."

[26] Maine, "Ancient Law," p.357  "The difference between the two
theological systems is accounted for by the fact that, in passing from
the East to the West, theological speculation had passed from a
climate of Greek metaphysics to a climate of Roman law." Out of this
arose the Western controversies on the subject of Free-will and Divine
Providence.  "The problem of Free-will arises when we contemplate a
metaphysical conception under a legal aspect."

[27] Ibid. "The nature of Sin and its transmission by inheritance; the
debt owed by man and its vicarious satisfaction; the necessity and
sufficiency of the Atonement; above all the apparent antagonism
between Free-will and the Divine Providence-these were the points
which the West began to debate as ardently as ever the East had
discussed the articles of its more special creed." This juridical
fashion of conceiving theology appears in the works of the oldest
Latin theologians, Tertullian and Saint Cyprian.

[28] Ibid. Among the technical notions borrowed from law and here used
in Latin theology we may cite "the Roman penal system, the Roman
theory of the obligations established by Contract or Delict," the
intercession or act by which one assumes the obligation contracted by
another, "the Roman view of Debts and of the modes of incurring,
extinguishing and transmitting them, the Roman notion of the
continuance of individual existence by Universal Succession,"

[29] Cf. Fustel de Coulanges, "La Gaule Romaine," p.96 and following
pages, on the rapidity, facility and depth of the transformation by
which Gaul became Latinized.

[30] The Church of England, in its confession of faith, makes this
express declaration.

[31] As called by Joseph de Maistre, referring to the Greek church.

[32] Duke Sermoneta-Gaetani has shown in his geographic map of the
"Divine Comedy" the exact correspondence of this poem with the "Somme"
by Saint Thomas.  - It was already said of Dante in the middle ages,
Theologus Dantes nullius dogmatis expers.

[33] Cf. "L'Empire des tsars et les Russes," by Anatole Leroy-
Beaulieu, vol. III., entire, on the characteristics of the Russian

[34] Bossuet, ed. Deforis, VI., 169. The Meaux catechism (reproduced,
with some additions, in the catechism adopted by Napoleon). "What
works are deemed satisfactory?" -  "Works unpleasant to us imposed by
the priest as a penance." - "Repeat some of them." - "Alms-giving,
fastings, austerities, privations of what is naturally agreeable,
prayers, spiritual readings."

[35]  Ibid. "Why is confession ordained?" -  "To humble the sinner. .
. " - "Why again?" - "To submit one's self to the power of the Keys
and to the judgment of the priests who have the power to punish and
remit sins."

[36] Bossuet, ibid., Catéchisme de Meaux, VI., 140-142.

[37]  "Manreze du prêtre," by Father Caussette, I., 37. "Do you see
that young man of twenty-five who will soon traverse the sanctuary to
find the sinners awaiting him? It is the God of this earth who
sanctifies him. . . Were Jesus Christ to descend into the confessional
he would say, Ego te  absolvo. He is going to say with the same
authority, Ego te absolvo. Now this is an act of the supreme power; it
is greater, says Saint Augustin, than the creation of heaven and
earth." - T. W. Allies, " Journal d'un voyage en France," 1845, p.97.
"Confession is the chain which binds all Christian life."

[38] "Manreze du prêtre," I., 36. "The Mother of God has undoubtedly
more credit than you, but she has less authority. Undoubtedly, she
accords favors, but she has not given one single absolution."

[39] Could one imagine that Stalin, that that apostate former student
expelled from the Tiflis Theological Seminary, would, on reading
Taine's text, have conceived the idea of having communist
missionaries, directed by the KGB in Moscow, direct an army of agents
inside the capitalist world? (SR.)

[40] Like a central committee of the communist party? (SR.)

[41] Prœ1ectiones juris canonici, I., 101. "The power entrusted to St.
Peter and the apostles is wholly independent of the community of

[42] Here Lenin pretended to install the Proletariat and announced its
(his own) dictatorship. (SR.)

[43] Here we have a clear model for an International Communist Party,
tasked with the creation of a visible organization whenever this is
possible, but with an invisible structure of missionaries, recruiters,
controllers, policemen and agents, since any bourgeois state must,
once it discovers the party's true aims, forbid it and drive it
underground. To the Christian dream of an eternal life in heaven or
hell, the communist movement has its promise of a millenary on earth
contrasted by the immediate annihilation of any traitor or dangerous
opponent. (SR.)

[44] "Cours alphabétique et méthodique du droit canon," by Abbé André,
and "Histoire générale de Église, vol. XIII., by Bercastel et Henrion.
The reader will find in these two works an exposition of the diverse
statutes of the Catholic Church in other countries. Each of these
statutes differs from ours in one or several important articles; the
fixed, or even territorial, endowment of the clergy, the nomination to
the episcopate by the chapter, or by the clergy of the diocese, or by
the bishops of the province, public competition for curacies,
irremovability, participation of the chapter in the government of the
diocese, restoration of the officialité; return to the prescriptions
of the Council of Trent  (Cf. especially the Concordats between the
Holy See and Prussia, Bavaria, Wurtemberg, Baden, the two Hesses,
Belgium, Austria, Spain, and the statutes accepted or established by
the Holy See in Ireland and the United States.)

[45] The brothers Allignol, "De l'État actuel du clergé en France,"
p.248. "The mind of the desservant is no longer his own. Let him
beware of any personal sentiment or opinion! . . . He must cease being
himself and must lose, it may be said, his personality." -  Ibid.,
preface, XIX. " Both of us, placed in remotes country parishes, . . .
are in a position to know the clergy of the second class well, to
which, for twenty years, we belong."

[46] The principal means of action of the State is the right of
appointing bishops. The Pope, however, installs them; consequently,
the Minister of Worship must have an understanding beforehand with the
nuncio, which obliges it to nominate candidates irreproachable in
doctrine and morals, but it avoids nominating ecclesiastics that are
eminent, enterprising or energetic; once installed and not removable,
they would cause trouble. Such, for example, was M. Pie, bishop of
Poitiers, nominated by M. de Falloux in the time of the Prince-
President, and so annoying during the Empire; in order to keep him in
check, M. Levert, the cleverest and most adroit prefect, had to be
sent to Poitiers; for many years they waged the most desperate war
under proper formalities, each playing against the other the shrewdest
and most disagreeable tricks. Finally, M. Levert, who had lost a
daughter and was denounced from the pulpit, was obliged, on account of
his wife's feelings, to leave the place. (This happened to my own
knowledge, as between 1852 and 1867 I visited Poitiers five times.) At
the present day, the Catholics complain that the government nominates
none but mediocre men for bishops and accepts none others for cantonal
curés. (Today, in 1999, we can look back on a century of quarrelling,
even war, between Rome and Paris with the separation of the Catholic
Church and the State in 1905, sequestration of all church property,
impoverishment of the clergy, interdiction of the different orders,
papal bulls, ending in 1914 when the State had to concentrate all
effort towards winning the war. Today the church is allowed to operate
but its influence is much reduced as it the case for all the religions
since the advent of the consumer society with television etc. SR.)

[47] "The Ancient Régime," pp 171, 181, 182. (Ed. Laffont I., p. 129
to 139.)

[48] M. de Vitrolles, "' Mémoires," I., 15. (This passage was written
in 1847.) "Under the Empire, readers were to those of the present day
as one to a thousand. Newspapers, in very small number, scarcely
obtained circulation. The public informed itself about victories, as
well as the conscription, in the articles of the 'Moniteur,' posted by
the prefects." - From 1847 to 1891, we all know by our own experience
that the number of readers has augmented prodigiously.

[49] I wonder what Taine would have said of television, that system
which allows its producers to make all mankind believe that the lies
and figments of the imaginations put in front of them show the true
and real world as it is. (SR.)

[50] An expression by Renan in relation to Abbé Lehir, an accomplished
professor of Hebrew.

[51] Th. W. Allies, rector of Launton, "Journal d'un voyage en
France," p.245. (A speech by Father Ravignan, August 3, 1848) "What
nation in the Roman church is more prominent at the present day for
its missionary labors? France, by far. There are ten French
missionaries to one Italian." Several French congregations, especially
the "Petites Soeurs des Pauvres" and the "Frères des Écoles
Chrétiennes," are so zealous and so numerous that they overflow
outside of France and have many establishments abroad.

[52] "Manreze du prêtre, by Father Caussette, II.,419: "Now that I
have placed one of your hands in those of Mary let me place the other
in those of Saint Joseph. . . . Joseph, whose prayers in heaven are
what commands to Jesus were on earth. Oh, what a sublime patron, and
what powerful patronage! . . . Joseph, associated in the glory of
divine paternity; .  . Joseph, who counts twenty-three kings among his
ancestors!" Along with the month of the year devoted to the adoration
of Mary, there is another consecrated to Saint Joseph.

[53] "État des congrégations," etc. (1876). Eleven congregations or
communities of women are devoted to the Holy Family and nineteen
others to the Child-Jesus or to the Infancy of Jesus.

[54] One of these bears the title of "Augustines de l'intérieur de
Marie  and another is devoted to the "Cœuragonisant de Jésus."

[55] At Bourron (Seine-et-Marne), in 1789, which had 600 inhabitants,
the number of communicants at Easter amounted to 300; at the present
day, out of 1200 inhabitants there are 94

[56] Th. W. Allies, "Journal d'un voyage en France," III., p. 18: "M.
Dufresne (July 1845) tells us that out of 1,000,000 inhabitants in
Paris 300,000 attend mass and 50,000 are practising Christians." - (A
conversation with Abbé Petitot, curé of Saint-Louis d'Antin, July
7.1847.) "2,000,000 out of 32,000,000 French are really Christians and
go to confession." - At the present day (April 1890) an eminent and
well-informed ecclesiastic writes: "I estimate the number of those who
observe Easter at Paris at about 100,000." - "The number of professing
Christians varies a great deal according to parishes: Madeleine, 4,500
out of 29,000 inhabitants; Saint Augustin, 6,500 out of 29,000; Saint
Eustache, 1,750 out of 20,000; Bellancourt, 500 out of 10,000;
Grenelle, 1,500 out of 47,500; and Belleville, 1,500 out of 60,000

[57] Abbé Bougaud, "Le Grand Péril," etc., p.44 : "I know a bishop
who, on reaching his diocese, tried to ascertain how many of the
400,000 souls entrusted to his keeping performed their Easter duties.
He found 37,000. At the present day, owing to twenty years of effort,
this number reaches 55,000. Thus, more than 300,000 are practically
unbelievers." - "Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup," by Abbé Lagrange, I., 5'.
(Pastoral letter by Mgr. Dupanloup, 1851.) "He considers that he is
answerable to God for nearly 350,000 souls, of which 200,000 at least
do not fulfill their Easter duties; scarcely 45,000 perform this great

[58]  "The Revolution," II.,390. (Ed. Laff. I., p. 177.)

[59] Th.-W. Allies, "Journal," etc., p.240 (Aug. 2, 1848, conversation
with Abbé Petitot):" In 1830, the priests were obliged for two years
to abandon wearing their costume in the street, and only recovered
their popularity by their devotion to the sick at the time of the
cholera." - In 1848, they had won back respect and sympathy;  " the
people came and begged them to bless their liberty-poles." - Abbé
Petitot adds: "The church gains ground every day, but rather among the
upper than the lower classes."

[60] Émile Keller, "Les Congrégations," etc., p.362 (with the figures
in relation to Schools). - "Débats" of April 27, 1890 (with the
figures in relation to hospitals. Deaths increased in the eighteen
secularized hospitals at the rate of four per cent).

[61] Fournier de Flaix, "Journal de la Société de Statistique," number
for Sep. 1890, p.260. (According to registers kept in the
archiepiscopal archives in Paris) -  "Compte-rendu des operations du
Conseil d'administration des pompes funèbres à Paris" (1889): funerals
wholly civil in 1882, 19.33 per cent; in 1888, 19.04 per cent; in
1889, 18.63 per cent. - " Atlas de statistique municipale." ("Débats"
of July 10, 1890:) The poorer the arrondissement, the greater the
number of civil funerals; Ménilmontant wins hands down, one third of
the funerals here being civil.

[62] Abbé Joseph Roux (curé at first of Saint-Silvain, near Tulle, and
then in a small town of Corrèze), "Pensées," p. 132 (1886): "There is
always something of the pagan in the peasant. He is original sin in
all its brutish simplicity." -  " The peasant passed from paganism to
Christianity mostly through miracles; he would go back at less cost
from Christianity to paganism. . . . It is only lately that a monster
exists, the impious peasant. . . . The rustic, in spite of school-
teachers, even in spite of the curés, believes in sorcerers and in
sorcery the same as the Gauls and Romans." -  Therefore the means
employed against him are wholly external. ("Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup," by
Abbé Lagrange, pastoral notes of Mgr. Dupanloup, I., 64.) "What has
proved of most use to you in behalf of religion in your diocese during
the last fifteen years? Is it through this - is it through that? No,
it is through medals and crosses. Whatever is given to these good
people affords them pleasure; they like to have presents of Our Lord
and the Blessed Virgin. These objects, with them, stand for religion.
A father who comes with his child in his arms to receive the medal
will not die without confessing himself." - The reader will find on
the clergy and peasantry in the south of France details and pictures
taken from life in the novels of Ferdinand Fabre ("L'abbé Tigrane,"
"les Courbezons," "Lucifer,," "Barnabé," "Mon Oncle Célestin,"
"Xavière," "Ma Vocation").

BOOK SIXTH. Public instruction.



Public instruction and its three effects. - Influences of the master,
of the pupils on each other, and of discipline. - Case in which all
three tend towards producing a particular type of man.

AT fixed intervals a man, in a room, gathers around him children,
youths, a group of young people, ten, twenty, thirty or more; he talks
to them for one or two hours and they listen to him.  They sit
alongside of each other, look in each other's faces, touch each
other's elbows, feel that they are class-mates, of the same age and
occupied with the same tasks. They form a society and in two ways, one
with another and all with the master.  Hence they live under a
statute: every society has one of its own, spontaneous or imposed on
it; as soon as men, little or big, come together in any number, in a
drawing-room, in a café, in the street, they find themselves subject
to a local charter, a sort of code which prescribes to them, or
interdicts a certain sort of conduct.  And so with the school:
positive rules along with many tacit rules are here observed and these
form a mould which stamps on minds and souls a lasting imprint.
Whatever a public lesson may be, whatever its object, secular or
ecclesiastic, whether its subject-matter is religious or scientific,
from the bottom to the top of the scale, from the primary school and
the catechism up to the great seminary, in upper schools and in the
faculties, we find in abridgment the academic institution.  Of all
social engines, it is probably the most powerful and the most
efficient; for it exercises three kinds of influence on the young
lives it enfolds and directs, one through the teacher, another through
the fellow students and the last through rules and regulations.

On the one hand, the master, considered a scholar, teaches with
authority and the pupils, who feel that they are ignorant, learn with
confidence. - On the other hand, outside of his family and the
domestic circle, the student finds in his group of comrades a new,
different and complete world which has its own ways and customs, its
own sense of honor and its own vices, its own view of things (esprit
de corps), in which independent and spontaneous judgments arise,
precocious and haphazard presentiments, expressions of opinion on all
things human and divine.  It is in this environment that he begins to
think for himself, in contact with others like himself and his equals,
in contact with their ideas, much more intelligible and acceptable to
him than those of mature men, and therefore much more persuasive,
contagious and exciting; these form for him the ambient, penetrating
atmosphere in which his thought arises, grows and shapes itself; he
here adopts his way of looking at the great society of adults of which
he is soon to become a member, his first notions of justice and
injustice, and hence an anticipated attitude of respect or of
rebellion, in short, a prejudice which, according as the spirit of the
group is reasonable or unreasonable, is either sound or unsound,
social or antisocial. - Finally, the discipline of the school has its
effect.  Whatever its rules and regulations may be, whether liberal or
despotic, lax or strict, monastic, military or worldly, whether a
boarding or a day school, mixed or exclusive, in town or in country,
with predominance of gymnastic training or intellectual efforts, with
the mind given to the study of things or to the study of words, the
pupil enters into a ready-made setting. According to the diversities
of this setting or framework he practices different exercises; he
contracts different habits; he is developed or stunted physically or
morally, in one sense or in a contrary sense.  Hence, just as the
system is good or bad, he becomes more or less capable or incapable of
bodily or mental effort, of reflection, of invention, of taking the
initiative, of starting an enterprise, of subordinating himself to a
given purpose, of willing, persistent association, that is to say, in
sum, of playing an active and useful part on the stage of the world he
is about to enter upon.  Observe that this apprenticeship in common,
sitting on benches according to certain regulations and under a
master, lasts six, ten, fifteen years and often twenty; that girls are
not exempt from it; that not one boy out of a hundred is educated to
the end at home by a private teacher; that, in secondary and even in
superior instruction, the school wheel turns uniformly and without
stopping ten hours a day if the scholar boards outside, and twenty-
four hours a day if he boards within; that at this age the human clay
is soft, that it has not yet received its shape, that no acquired and
resistant form yet protects it from the potter's hand, against the
weight of the turning-wheel, against the friction of other morsels of
clay kneaded alongside of it, against the three pressures, constant
and prolonged, which compose public education.

Evidently, there is here an enormous force, especially if the three
pressures, instead of opposing each other, as often happens, combine
and converge towards the production of a certain finished type of man;
if, from infancy to youth and from youth to adult age, the successive
stages of preparation are superposed in such a way as to stamp the
adopted type deeper and with more exactness; if all the influences and
operations that impress it, near or far, great or small, internal or
external, form together a coherent, defined, applicable and applied
system.  Let the State undertake its fabrication and application, let
it monopolize public education, let it become its regulator, director
and contractor, let it set up and work its machine throughout the
length and breadth of the land, let it, through moral authority and
legal constraint, force the new generation to enter therein - it will
find twenty years later in these minors who have become major, the
kind and number of ideas it aimed to provide, the extent, limit and
form of mind it approves of, and the moral and social prejudice that
suits its purposes.

II. Napoleon's Educational Instruments.

Napoleon's aim. - University monopoly. - Revival and multitude of
private schools. - Napoleon regards them unfavorably. - His motives. -
Private enterprises compete with public enterprise. - Measures against
them. - Previous authorization necessary and optional suppression of
them. - Taxes on free education in favor of the university. - Decree
of November, 1811. - Limitation of secondary teaching in private
schools. - How the university takes away their pupils. - Day-schools
as prescribed. - Number of boarders limited. - Measures for the
restriction or assimilation of ecclesiastical schools. - Recruits
forcibly obtained in prominent and ill-disposed families. - Napoleon
the sole educator in his empire.

Such is the aim of Napoleon:[1]

 "In the establishment of an educational corps," he says to
himself,[2] "my principal aim is to secure the means for directing
political and moral opinions."

Still more precisely, he counts on the new institution to set up and
keep open for inspection a universal and complete police registry.
"This registry must be organized in such a way as to keep notes on
each child after age of nine years."[3] Having seized adults he wants
to seize children also, watch and shape future Frenchmen in advance;
brought up by him, in his hands or in sight, they become ready-made a
assistants, docile subjects and more docile than their parents.[4]
Amongst the latter, there are still to many unsubmissive and
refractory spirits, too many royalists and too many republicans;
domestic traditions from family to family contradict each other or
vary, and children grow up in their homes only to clash with each
other in society afterwards. Let us anticipate this conflict; let us
prepare them for concord; all brought up in the same fashion, they
will some day or other find themselves unanimous,[5]  not only
apparently, as nowadays through fear or force, but in fact and
fundamentally, through inveterate habit and by previous adaptation of
imagination and affection. Otherwise, "there will be no stable
political state" in France;[6] "so long as one grows up without
knowing whether to be a republican or monarchist, Catholic or
irreligious, the State will never form a nation; it will rest on
uncertain and vague foundations; it will be constantly exposed to
disorder and change." - Consequently, he assigns to himself the
monopoly of public instruction; he alone is to enjoy the right to
manufacture and sell this just like salt and tobacco; "public
instruction, throughout the Empire, is entrusted exclusively to the
university. No school, no establishment for instruction whatever,"
superior, secondary, primary, special, general, collateral, secular or
ecclesiastic, "may be organized outside of the imperial university and
without the authorization of its chief."[7]

Every factory of educational commodities within these boundaries and
operating under this direction is of two sorts. Some of them, in the
best places, interconnected and skillfully grouped, are national units
founded by the government, or at its command, by the communes, -
faculties, lycées, colleges, and small communal schools; others,
isolated and scattered about, are private institutions founded by
individuals, such as boarding-schools and institutions for secondary
instruction, small free schools. The former, State undertakings,
ruled, managed, supported and turned to account by it, according to
the plan prescribed by it and for the object it has proposed, are
simply a prolongation of itself; it is the State which operates in
them and which, directly and entirely, acts through them: they enjoy
therefore all its favor and the others all its disfavor. The latter,
during the Consulate, revived or sprung up by hundreds, in all
directions, spontaneously, under the pressure of necessity, and
because the young need instruction as they need clothes, but
haphazard, as required according to demand and supply, without any
superior or common regulation - nothing being more antipathetic to the
governmental genius of Napoleon:

"It is impossible,"[8] he says, "to remain longer as we are, since
everybody can start an education shop the same as a cloth shop"

and furnish as he pleases, or as his customers please, this or that
piece of stuff, even of poor quality, and of this or that fashion,
even extravagant or out of date: hence so many different dresses, and
a horrible medley. One good obligatory coat, of stout cloth and
suitable cut, a uniform for which the public authority supplies the
pattern, is what should go on the back of every child, youth or young
man; private individuals who undertake this matter are mistrusted
beforehand. Even when obedient, they are only half-docile; they take
their own course and have their own preferences, they follow their own
taste or that of parents. Every private enterprise, simply because it
exists and thrives, constitutes a more or less independent and
dissenting group, Napoleon, on learning that Sainte-Barbe, restored
under the direction of M. de Lanneau, had five hundred inmates,
exclaims:[9] "How does it happen that an ordinary private individual
has so many in his house?" The Emperor almost seems jealous; it seems
as if he had just discovered a rival in one corner of his university
domain; this man is an usurper on the domain of the sovereign; he has
constituted himself a centre; he has collected around him clients and
a platoon; now, as Louis XIV. said, the State must have no "platoons
apart." Since M. de Lanneau has talent and is successful, let him
enter the official ranks and become a functionary. Napoleon at once
means to get hold of him, his house and his pupils, and orders M. de
Fontaines, Grand-Master of the University, to negotiate the affair; M.
de Lanneau will be suitably compensated; Sainte-Barbe will be formed
into a lycée, and M. de Lanneau shall be put at the head of it. Let it
be noted that he is not an opponent, an irregular: M. de Fontaines
himself praises his teaching, his excellent mind, his perfect
exactitude, and calls him the universitarian of the university. But he
does not belong to it, he stands aloof and stays at home, he is not
disposed to become a mere cog-wheel in the imperial manufactory.
Therefore, whether he is aware of it or not, he does it harm and all
the more according to his prosperity; his full house empties the
lycées; the more pupils he has the less they have. Private enterprises
in their essence enter into competition with public enterprise.

For this reason, if tolerated by the latter, it is reluctantly and
because nothing else can be done; there are too many of them; the
money and the means to replace them at one stroke would be wanting.
Moreover, with instruction, the consumers, as with other supplies and
commodities, naturally dislike monopoly; they must be gradually
brought to it; resignation must come to them through habit. The State,
accordingly, may allow private enterprises to exist, at least for the
time being. But, on condition of their being kept in the strictest
dependence, of its arrogating to itself the right over them of life
and death, of reducing them to the state of tributaries and branches,
of utilizing them, of transforming their native and injurious rivalry
into a fruitful and forced collaboration. Not only must private
schools obtain from the State its express consent to be born, for lack
of which they are closed and their principals punished,[10] but again,
even when licensed, they live subject to the good-will of the Grand-
Master, who can and must close them as soon as he recognizes in them
"grave abuses and principles contrary to those professed by the
University." Meanwhile, the University supports itself with their
funds; since it alone has the right to teach, it may profit by this
right, concede for money the faculty of teaching or of being taught
alongside of it, oblige every head of an institution to pay so much
for himself and so much for each of his pupils; in sum, here as
elsewhere, in derogation of the university blockade, as with the
continental blockade, the state sells licenses to certain parties. So
true is this that, even with superior instruction, when nobody
competes with it, it sells them: every graduate who gives a course of
lectures on literature or on science must pay beforehand, for the
year, 75 francs at Paris and 50 francs in the provinces. Every
graduate who begin to lecture on law or medicine must pay beforehand
150 francs at Paris and 100 francs in the provinces.[11]   There is
the same annual duty on the directors of secondary schools, boarding-
schools and private institutions.  Moreover, to obtain the
indispensable license, the master of a boarding-school at Paris must
pay 300 francs, and in a province 200 francs; the principal of an
institution in Paris pays 600 francs, and in the provinces 400 francs;
besides that, this license, always revocable, is granted only for ten
years; at the end of the ten years the titular must obtain a renewal
and pay the tax anew.  As to his pupils, of whatever kind, boarding
scholars, day scholars, or even gratis,[12] the University levies on
each a tax equal to the twentieth of the cost of full board; the
director himself of the establishment is the one who fixes and levies
the tax; he is the responsible collector of it, book-keeper and the
debtor. Let him not forget to declare exactly the terms of his school
and the number of his pupils; otherwise, there is investigation,
verification, condemnation, restitution, fine, censure, and the
possible closing of his establishment.

Regulations, stricter and stricter, tighten the cord around his neck
and, in 1811, the rigid articles of the last decree draw so tight as
to insure certain strangling at short date. Napoleon counts on
that.[13]  For his lycées, especially at the start, have not
succeeded; they have failed to obtain the confidence of families;[14]
the discipline is too military, the education is not sufficiently
paternal, the principals and professors are only indifferent
functionaries, more or less egoist or worldly. Only former subaltern
officers, rude and foul-mouthed, serve as superintendents and
assistant-teachers. The holders of State scholarships bring with them
"habits fashioned out of a bad education," or by the ignorance of
almost no education at all,[15] so that "for a child that is well born
and well brought up," their companionship is lopsided and their
contact as harmful as it is repulsive.  Consequently, the lycées
during the first years,[16] solely filled with the few holders of
scholarships, remain deserted or scarcely occupied, whilst "the élite
of the young crowd into more or less expensive private schools."

This élite of which the University is thus robbed must be got back.
Since the young do not attend the lycée because they like it, they
must come through necessity; to this end, other issues are rendered
difficult and several are entirely barred; and better still, all those
that are tolerated are made to converge to one sole central outlet, a
university establishment, in such a way that the director of each
private school, changed from a rival into a purveyor, serves the
university instead of injuring it and gives it pupils instead of
taking them away.  In the first place, his high standard of
instruction is limited;[17] even in the country and in the towns that
have neither lycée nor college, he must teach nothing above a fixed
degree; if he is the principal of an institution, this degree must not
go beyond the class of the humanities; he must leave to the faculties
of the State their domain intact, differential calculus, astronomy,
geology, natural history and superior literature. If he is the master
of a boarding-school, this degree must not extend beyond grammar
classes, nor the first elements of geometry and arithmetic; he must
leave to State lycées and colleges their domain intact, the humanities
properly so called, superior lectures and means of secondary
instruction. - In the second place, in the towns possessing a lycée or
college, he must teach at home only what the University leaves
untaught;[18] he is not deprived, indeed, of the younger boys; he may
still instruct and keep them; but he must conduct all his pupils over
ten years of age to the college or lycée, where they will regularly
follow the classes as day-scholars. Consequently, daily and twice a
day, he marches them to and fro between his house and the university
establishment; before going, in the intermission, and after the class
is dismissed he examines them in the lesson they have received out of
his house; apart from that, he lodges and feeds them, his office being
reduced to this.  He is nothing beyond a watched and serviceable
auxiliary, a subaltern, a University tutor and "coach," a sort of
unpaid, or rather paying, schoolmaster and innkeeper in its employ.

All this does not yet suffice.  Not only does the State recruit its
day-scholars in his establishment but it takes from him his boarding-
scholars.  "On and after the first of November 1812,[19] the heads of
institutions and the masters of boarding-schools shall receive no
resident pupils in their houses above the age of nine years, until the
lycée or college, established in the same town or place where there is
a lycée, shall have as many boarders as it can take."  This complement
shall be 300 boarders per lycée; there are to be "80 lycées in full
operation "during the year 1812, and 100 in the course of the year
1813, so that, at this last date, the total of the complement
demanded, without counting that of the colleges, amounts to 30,000
boarding-scholars.  Such is the enormous levy of the State on the crop
of boarding-school pupils.  It evidently seizes the entire crop in
advance; private establishments, after it, can only glean, and through
tolerance. In reality, the decree forbids them to receive boarding-
scholars; henceforth, the University will have the monopoly of them.

The proceedings against the small seminaries, more energetic
competitors, are still more vigorous.  "There shall be but one
secondary ecclesiastical school in each department; the Grand-Master
will designate those that are to be maintained; the others are to be
closed. None of them shall be in the country.   All those not situated
in a town provided with a lycée or with a college shall be closed.
All the buildings and furniture belonging to the ecclesiastic schools
not retained shall be seized and confiscated for the benefit of the
University.  "In all places where ecclesiastical schools exist, the
pupils of these schools shall be taken to the lycée or college and
join its classes."  Finally, "all these schools shall be under the
control of the University; they must be organized only by her; their
prospectus and their regulations must be drawn up by the council of
the University at the suggestion of the Grand Master.  The teaching
must be done only by members of the University at the disposition of
the Grand Master." In like manner, in the lay schools, at Sainte-Barbe
for example,[20] every professor, private tutor, or even common
superintendent, must be provided with a special authorization by the
University. Staff and discipline, the spirit and matter of the
teaching, every detail of study and recreation,[21] all are imposed,
conducted and restrained in these so-called free establishments;
whatever they may be, ecclesiastic or secular, not only does the
University surround and hamper them, but again it absorbs and
assimilates them; it does not even leave them any external distinctive
appearance.  It is true that, in the small seminaries, the exercises
begin at the ringing of a bell, and the pupils wear an ecclesiastic
dress; but the priest's gown, adopted by the State that adopts the
Church, is still a State uniform.  In the other private
establishments, the uniform is that which it imposes, the lay uniform,
belonging to colleges and lycées "under penalty of being closed ";
while, in addition, there is the drum, the demeanor, the habits, ways
and regularity of the barracks.  All initiative, all invention, all
diversity, every professional or local adaptation is abolished.[22]
M. de Lanneau thus wrote[23]: "I am nothing but a sergeant-major of
languid and mangled classes . . .  to the tap of a drum and under
military colors."

Against the encroachments of this institutional university there is no
longer neither public nor  private shelter, since even domestic
education at home, is not respected.  In 1808,[24] "among the old and
wealthy families which are not in the system," Napoleon selects ten
from each department and fifty at Paris of which the sons from sixteen
to eighteen must be compelled to go to Saint-Cyr and, on leaving it,
into the army as second lieutenants.[25] In 1813, he adds 10,000 more
of them, many of whom are the sons of Conventionalists or Vendéans,
who, under the title of guards of honor, are to form a corps apart and
who are at once trained in the barracks.  All the more necessary is
the subjection to this Napoleonic education of the sons of important
and refractory families, everywhere numerous in the annexed countries.
Already in  1802, Fourcroy had explained in a report to the
legislative corps the political and social utility of the future
University.[26] Napoleon, at his discretion, may recruit and select
scholars among his recent subjects; only, it is not in a lycée that he
places them, but in a still more military school, at La Fléche, of
which the pupils are all sons of officers and, so to say, children of
the army.  Towards the end of 1812, he orders the Roman prince
Patrizzi to send his two sons to this school, one seventeen years of
age and the other thirteen[27]; and, to be sure of them, he has them
taken from their home and brought there by gendarmes.  Along with
these, 90 other Italians of high rank are counted at La Fléche, the
Dorias, the Paliavicinis, the Alfieris, with 120 young men of the
Illyrian provinces, others again furnished by the countries of the
Rhine confederation, in all 360 inmates at 800 per annum.  The parents
might often accompany or follow their children and establish
themselves within reach of them.  This privilege was not granted to
Prince Patrizzi; he was stopped on the road at Marseilles and kept
there. - In this way, through the skilful combination of legislative
prescriptions with arbitrary appointments, Napoleon becomes in fact,
directly or indirectly, the sole head-schoolmaster of all Frenchmen
old or newcomers, the unique and universal educator in his empire.

III. Napoleon's machinery.

His machinery. - The educating body. - How its member s come to
realize their union. - Hierarchy of rank. - How ambition and amour-
propre are gratified. - The monastic principle of celibacy. - The
monastic and military principle of obedience. - Obligations contracted
and discipline enforced. - The École Normale and recruits for the
future university.

To effect this purpose, he requires a good instrument, some great
human machine which designed, put together and set up by himself,
henceforth works alone and of its own accord, without deviating or
breaking down, conformably to his instructions and always under his
eye, but without the necessity of his lending a hand and personally
interfering in its predetermined and calculated movement. The finest
engines of this sort are the religious orders, masterpieces of the
Catholic, Roman and governmental mind, all managed from above
according to fixed rules in view of a definite object, so many kinds
of intelligent automatons, alone capable of working indefinitely
without loss of energy, with persistency, uniformity and precision, at
the minimum of cost and the maximum of effect, and this through the
simple play of their internal mechanism which, fully regulated
beforehand, adapts them completely and ready-made to this special
service, to the social operations which a recognized authority and a
superior intelligence have assigned to them as their function. -
Nothing could be better suited to the social instinct of Napoleon, to
his imagination, his taste, his political policy and his plans, and on
this point he loftily proclaims his preferences.

 "I know," says he to the Council of State, "that the Jesuits, as
regards instruction, have left a very great void. I do not want to
restore them, nor any other body that has its sovereign at Rome."[28]

Nevertheless, one is necessary. "As for myself, I would rather confide
public education to a religious order than leave it as it is to-day,"
which means free and abandoned to private individuals. "But I want
neither one nor the other." Two conditions are requisite for the new
establishment. First of all,

"I want a corporation because a corporation never dies";

it alone, through its perpetuity, maintains teaching in the way marked
out for it, brings up "according to fixed principles" successive
generations, thus assuring the stability of the political State, and
"inspires youth with a spirit and opinions in conformity with the new
laws of the empire." And this corporation must be secular. Its members
are to be State and not Church "Jesuits";[29] they must belong to the
Emperor and not to the Pope, and will form, in the hands of the
government, a civil militia composed of "ten thousand persons,"
administrators and professors of every degree, comprehending
schoolmasters, an organized, coherent and lasting militia

As it must be secular, there must be no hold on it through dogma or
faith, paradise or hell, no spiritual incitements; consequently,
temporal means are to be employed, not less effective, when one knows
how to manage them, - self-esteem, pride, (amour propre), competition,
imagination, ambition, magnificent hopes and vague dreams of unlimited
promotion, in short, the means and motives already maintaining the
temper and zeal of the army. "The educational corps must copy the
classification of military grades; "an order of promotion," a
hierarchy of places is to be instituted; no one will attain superior
rank without having passed through the inferior; "no one can become a
principal without having been a teacher, nor professor in the higher
classes without having taught in the lower ones." - And, on the other
hand, the highest places will be within reach of all; "the young, who
devoted themselves to teaching, will enjoy the perspective of rising
from one grade to another, up to the highest dignities of the State."
Authority, importance, titles, large salaries, pre-eminence,
precedence, - these are to exist in the University as in other public
careers and furnish the wherewithal for the most magnificent
dreams.[30] "The feet of this great body[31] will be on the college
benches and its head in the senate." Its chief, the Grand-Master,
unique of his species, less restricted, with freer hands than the
ministers themselves, is to be one of the principal personages of the
empire; his greatness will exalt the condition and feeling of his
subordinates. In the provinces, on every festive occasion or at every
public ceremony, people will take pride in seeing their rector or
principal in official costume seated alongside of the general or
prefect in full uniform.[32]

The consideration awarded to their chief will reflect on them; they
will enjoy it along with him; they will say to themselves that they
too, like him and those under him, all together, form an élite; by
degrees, they will feel that they are all one body; they will acquire
the spirit of the association and attach themselves to the University,
the same as a soldier to his regiment or like a monk to his brethren
in a monastery.

Thus, as in a monastic order, one must join the University by "going
into the orders."[33] -  "I want," says Napoleon, "some solemnity
attached to this act. My purpose is that the members of the corps of
instruction should contract, not as formerly, a religious engagement,
but a civil engagement before a notary, or before the justice of the
peace, or prefect, or other (officer). . . . They will espouse
education the same as their forerunners espoused the Church, with this
difference, that the marriage will not be as sacred, as
indissoluble.[34]. . . They will engage themselves for three, six, or
nine years, and not resign without giving notice a certain number of
years beforehand." To heighten the resemblance, "the principle of
celibacy must be established, in this sense, that a man consecrated to
teaching shall not marry until after having passed through the first
stages of his career; "for example, "the schoolmasters shall not marry
before the age of twenty-five or thirty years, after having obtained a
salary of three or four thousand francs and economized something."
But, at bottom, marriage, a family, private life, all natural and
normal matters in the great world of society, are causes of trouble
and weakness in a corps where individuals, to be good organs, must
give themselves up wholly and without reserve. "In future,[35] not
only must schoolmasters, but, again, the principals and censors of the
lycées, and the principals and rulers of the colleges, be restricted
to celibacy and a life in common." - The last complementary and
significant trait, which gives to the secular institution the aspect
of a convent, is this: "No woman shall have a lodging in, or be
admitted into, the lycées and colleges."

Now, let us add to the monastic principle of celibacy the monastic and
military principle of obedience; the latter, in Napoleon's eyes, is
fundamental and the basis of the others; this principle being
accepted, a veritable corporation exists; members are ruled by one
head and command becomes effective.[36]  "There will be," says
Napoleon, "a corps of instructors, if all the principals, censors and
professors have one or several chiefs, the same as the Jesuits had
their general and their provincial," like the soldiers of a regiment
with their colonel and captain. The indispensable link is found;
individuals, in this way, keep together, for they are held by
authorities, under one regulation. As with a volunteer in a regiment,
or a monk who enters a convent, the members of the University will
accept its total régime in advance, present and future, wholly and in
detail, and will subject themselves under oath. "They are to take an
engagement[37] to faithfully observe the statutes and regulations of
the University. They must promise obedience to the Grand-Master in
everything ordered by him for the service of the Emperor, and for the
advantage of education. They must engage not to quit the educational
corps and abandon their functions before having obtained the Grand-
Master's consent. They are to accept no other public or private
salaried function without the authentic permission of the Grand-
Master. They are bound to give notice to the Grand-Master and his
officers of whatever comes to their knowledge that is opposed to the
doctrine and principles of the educational corps in the establishments
for public instruction." There are many other obligations, indefinite
or precise,[38] of which the sanction is not only moral, but, again,
legal, all notable and lasting, an entire surrender of the person who
suffers more or less profoundly at having accepted them, and whose
compulsory resignation must be assured by the fear of punishment.
"Care must be taken[39] to insure severe discipline everywhere: the
professors themselves are to be subject in certain cases to the
penalty of arrest; they will lose no more consideration on this
account than the colonels who are punished in the same manner."[40] It
is the least of all penalties; there are others of greater and greater
gravity,[41] "the reprimand in presence of an academical board,
censure in presence of the University board, transfer to an inferior
office, suspension with or without entire or partial deprivation of
salary, half-pay or put on the retired list, or stricken off the
University roll," and, in the latter case, "rendered incapable of
obtaining employment in any other public administration." -  "Every
member of the University[42] who shall fail to conform to the
subordination established by the statutes and regulations, or in
respect due to superiors, shall be reprimanded, censured or suspended
from his functions according to the gravity of the case." In no case
may he withdraw of his own accord, resign at will, and voluntarily
return to private life; he is bound to obtain beforehand the Grand-
Master's assent; and, if the latter refuses this, he must renew his
application three times, every two months, with the formalities, the
delays and the importunacy of a long procedure; failing in which, he
is not only stricken from the rolls, but again "condemned to a
confinement proportioned to the gravity of the circumstances," and
which may last a year.

A system of things ending in a prison is not attractive, and is
established only after great resistance. "We were under the
necessity," says the superior council,[43] "of taking candidates as
they could be found, differing infinitely in methods, principles and
sentiments, accustomed to almost unlimited pardon or, at least, to
being governed by the caprices of parents and nearly all disliking the
régime attempted to be enforced on them." Moreover, through this
intervention of the State, "the local authorities find one of their
most cherished prerogatives wrested from them." In sum, "the masters
detested the new duties imposed on them; the administrators and
bishops protested against the appointments not made at their
suggestion; fathers of families complained of the new taxes they had
to pay. It is said that the University is known only by its imposts
and by its forced regulations; again, in 1811, most of its masters are
incompetent, or intractable, and of a bad spirit. - There is still
another reason for tightening the cord that binds them into a
corporation. "The absolute subordination of every individual belonging
to the University is its first necessity; without discipline and
without obedience, no University could exist. This obedience must be
prompt, and, in grave cases, where recourse must be had to the
authority of the government, obedience must always be provisional."
But, on this incurably refractory staff, pressure is not enough; it
has grown old and hardened; the true remedy, therefore, consists in
replacing it with a younger one, more manageable, expressly shaped and
wrought out in a special school, which will be for the University what
Fontainebleau is for the army, what the grand seminaries are for the
clergy, a nursery of subjects carefully selected and fashioned

Such is the object of the "École Normale."[44] Young students enter it
at the age of seventeen and bind themselves to remain in the
University at least ten years.[45] Young students enter it at the age
of seventeen (for a period of 3 years) and bind themselves afterwards
to remain in the University at least ten years. It is a boarding-
school and they are obliged to live in common: "individual exits are
not allowed," while "the exits in common . . . in uniform . . . can be
made only under the direction and conduct of superintendent masters. .
. . These superintendents inspect the pupils during their studies and
recreations, on rising and on going to bed and during the night. . .
No pupil is allowed to pass the hours set aside for recreation in his
own room without permission of the superintendent. No pupil is allowed
to enter the hall of another division without the permission of two
superintendents. . . . The director of studies must examine the books
of the pupils whenever he deems it necessary, and as often as once a
month." Every hour of the day has its prescribed task; all exercises,
including religious observances, are prescribed, each in time and
place, with a detail and meticulousness, as if purposely to close all
possible issues to personal initiation and everywhere substitute
mechanical uniformity for individual diversities. "The principal
duties of the pupils are respect for religion, attachment to the
sovereign and the government, steady application, constant regularity,
docility and submission to superiors; whoever fails in these duties is
punished according to the gravity of the offense."[46]  -  In
1812,[47] the Normal School is still a small one, scarcely housed,
lodged in the upper stories of the lycée Louis le Grand, and composed
of forty pupils and four masters.  But Napoleon has its eyes on it and
is kept informed of what goes on in it.  He does not approve of the
comments on the "Dialogue de Sylla et d'Eucrate," by Montesquieu, on
the "Éloge de Marc Aurèle," by Thomas, on the "Annales" of Tacitus:
"Let the young read Caesar's commentaries. . . Corneille, Bossuet, are
the masters worth having; these, under the full sail of obedience,
enter into the established order of things of their time; they
strengthen it, they illustrate it," they are the literary coadjutors
of public authority.  Let the spirit of the Normal School conform to
that of these great men.  The University establishment is the
original, central workshop which forges, finishes and supplies the
finest pieces, the best wheels.  Just now the workshop is incomplete,
poorly fitted out, poorly directed and still rudimentary; but it is to
be enlarged and completed and made to turn out more and better work.
For the time being, it produces only what is needed to fill the annual
vacancies in the lycées and in the colleges. Nevertheless, the first
decree states that it is "intended to receive as many as three hundred
youths."[48]  The production of this number will fill all vacancies,
however great they may be, and fill them with products of superior and
authentic quality.  These human products thus manufactured by the
State in its own shop, these school instruments which the State stamps
with its own mark, the State naturally prefers. It imposes them on its
various branches; it puts them by order into its lycées and colleges;
at last, it accepts no others; not only does it confer on itself the
monopoly of teaching, but again the preparation of the masters who
teach.  In 1813,[49] a circular announces that "the number of places
that chance to fall vacant from year to year, in the various
University establishments, sensibly diminishes according as the
organization of the teaching body becomes more complete and regular in
its operation, as order and discipline are established, and as
education becomes graduated and proportionate to diverse localities.
The moment has thus arrived for declaring that the Normal School is
henceforth the only road by which to enter upon the career of public
instruction; it will suffice for all the needs of the service."

VI. Objects and sentiments.

Object of the educational corps and adaptation of youth to the
established order of things. - Sentiments required of children and
adults. - Passive acceptance of these rules. - Extent and details of
school regulations. - Emulation and the desire to be at the head. -
Constant competition and annual distribution of prizes.

What is the object of this service? - Previous to the Revolution, when
directed by, or under the supervision of, the Church, its great object
was the maintenance and strengthening of the faith of the young.
Successor of the old kings, the new ruler underlines[50] among "the
bases of education," "the precepts of the Catholic religion," and this
phrase he writes himself with a marked intention; when first drawn up,
the Council of State had written the Christian religion; Napoleon
himself, in the definitive and public decree, substitutes the
narrowest term for the broadest.[51]  In this particular, he is
politic, taking one step more on the road on which he has entered
through the Concordat, desiring to conciliate Rome and the French
clergy by seeming to give religion the highest place. - But it is only
a place for show, similar to that which he assigns to ecclesiastical
dignitaries in public ceremonies and on the roll of precedence.  He
does not concern himself with reanimating or even preserving earnest
belief: far from that:

"it should be so arranged," he says,[52] " that young people may be
neither too bigoted nor too incredulous: they should be adapted to the
state of the nation and of society."

 All that can be demanded of them is external deference, personal
attendance on the ceremonies of worship, a brief prayer in Latin
muttered in haste at the beginning and end of each lesson,[53] in
short, acts like those of raising one's hat or other public marks of
respect, such as the official attitudes imposed by a government,
author of the Concordat, on its military and civil staff. They
likewise, the lyceans and the collegians, are to belong to it and do
already, Napoleon thus forming his adult staff out of his juvenile

In fact, it is for himself that he works, for himself alone, and not
at all for the Church whose ascendancy would prejudice his own; much
better, in private conversation, he declares that he had wished to
supplant it:  his object in forming the University is first and
especially "to take education out of the hands of the priests.[54]
They consider this world only as a vehicle for transportation to the
other," and Napoleon wants "the vehicle filled with good soldiers for
his armies," good functionaries for his administrations, and good,
zealous subjects for his service. - And, thereupon, in the decree
which organizes the University, and following after this phrase
written for effect, he states the real and fundamental truth.

"All the schools belonging to the University shall take for the basis
of their teaching loyalty to the Emperor, to the imperial monarchy to
which the happiness of the people is confided and to the Napoleonic
dynasty which preserves the unity of France and of all liberal ideas
proclaimed by the Constitutions."

In other terms, the object is to plant civil faith in the breasts of
children, boys and young men, to make them believe in the beauty,
goodness and excellence of the established order of things, to
predispose their minds and hearts in favor of the system, to adapt
them to this system,[55] to the concentration of authority and to the
centralization of services, to uniformity and to "falling into line"
(encadrement), to equality in obeying, to competition, to enthusiasm,
in short, to the spirit of the reign, to the combinations of the
comprehensive and calculating mind which, claiming for itself and
appropriating for its own use the entire field of human action, sets
up its sign-posts everywhere, its barriers, its rectilinear
compartments, lays out and arranges its racecourses, brings together
and introduces the runners, urges them on, stimulates them at each
stage, reduces their soul to the fixed determination of getting ahead
fast and far, leaving to the individual but one motive for living,
that of the desire to figure in the foremost rank in the career where,
now by choice and now through force, he finds himself enclosed and

For this purpose, two sentiments are essential with adults and
therefore with children:

The first is the passive acceptance of a prescribed regulation, and
nowhere does a rule applied from above bind and direct the whole life
by such precise and multiplied injunctions as under the University
régime.  School life is circumscribed and marked out according to a
rigid, unique system, the same for all the colleges and lycées of the
Empire, according to an imperative and detailed plan which foresees
and prescribes everything even to the minutest point, labor and rest
of mind and of body, material and method of instruction, class-books,
passages to translate or to recite, a list of fifteen hundred volumes
for each library with a prohibition against introducing another volume
into it without the Grand-Master's permission, hours, duration,
application and sessions of classes, of studies, of recreations and of
promenades causing the premeditated stifling of native curiosity, of
spontaneous inquiry, of inventive and personal originality, both with
the masters and still more, with the scholars. This to such an extent
that one day, under the second Empire, a minister, drawing out his
watch, could exclaim with satisfaction,

"At this very time, in such a class, all the scholars of the Empire
are studying a certain page in Virgil."

Well -informed, judicious, impartial and even kindly-disposed
foreigners,[57] on seeing this mechanism which everywhere substitutes
for the initiative from below the compression and impetus from above,
are very much surprised. "The law means that the young shall never for
one moment be left to themselves; the children are under their
masters' eyes all day" and all night.  Every step outside of the
regulations is a false one and always arrested by the ever-present
authority.  And, in cases of infraction, punishments are severe;
"according to the gravity of the case,[58] the pupils will be punished
by confinement from three days to three months in the lycée or
college, in some place assigned to that purpose; if fathers, mothers
or guardians object to these measures, the pupil must be sent home and
can no longer enter any other college or lycée belonging to the
university, which, as an effect of university monopoly, thereafter
deprives him of instruction, unless his parents are wealthy enough to
employ a professor at home.  "Everything that can be effected by rigid
discipline is thus obtained[59] and better, perhaps, in France than in
any other country," for if, on leaving the lycée, young people have
lost a will of their own, they have acquired "a love of and habits of
subordination and punctuality" which are lacking elsewhere.

Meanwhile, on this narrow and strictly defined road, whilst the
regulation supports them, emulation pushes them on.  In this respect,
the new university corps, which, according to Napoleon himself, must
be a company of "lay Jesuits," resumes to its advantage the double
process which its forerunners, the former Jesuits, had so well
employed in education. On the one hand, constant direction and
incessant watchfulness; on the other hand, the appeal to amour-propre
and to the excitements of parades before the public.  If the pupil
works hard, it is not for the purpose of learning and knowing, but to
be the first in his class; the object is not to develop in him the
need of truthfulness and the love of knowledge, but his memory, taste
and literary talent; at best, the logical faculty of arrangement and
deduction, but especially the desire to surpass his rivals, to
distinguish himself, to shine, at first in the little public of his
companions, and next, at the end of the year, before the great public
of grown-up men.  Hence, the weekly compositions, the register of
ranks and names, every place being numbered and proclaimed; hence,
those annual and solemn awards of prizes in each lycée and at the
grand competition of all lycées, along with the pomp, music,
decoration, speeches and attendance of distinguished personages.  The
German observer testifies to the powerful effect of a ceremony of this

"One might think one's self at the play, so theatrical was it;"

and he notices the oratorical tone of the speakers, "the fire of their
declamation," the communication of emotion, the applause of the
public, the prolonged shouts, the ardent expression of the pupils
obtaining the prizes, their sparkling eyes, their blushes, the joy and
the tears of the parents.  Undoubtedly, the system has its defects;
very few of the pupils can expect to obtain the first place; others
lack the spur and are moreover neglected by the master.  But the élite
make extraordinary efforts and, with this, there is success.  "During
the war times," says again another German, "I lodged a good many
French officers who knew one half of Virgil and Horace by heart."
Similarly, in mathematics, young people of eighteen, pupils of the
Polytechnic School, understand very well the differential and integral
calculus, and, according to the testimony of an Englishman,[61] "they
know it better than many of the English professors."

V. Military preparation and the cult of the Emperor.

This general preparation is specified and directed by Napoleon as a
policy, and, as he specially needs soldiers, the school, in his hands,
becomes the vestibule of the barracks.  Right away the institution
received a military turn and spirit, and this form, which is essential
to him, becomes more and more restricted.  In 1805, during four
months,[62] Fourcroy, ordered by the Emperor, visits the new lycées
"with an inspector of reviews and a captain or adjutant-major, who
everywhere gives instruction in drill and discipline."  The young have
been already broke in; "almost everywhere," he says on his return, "I
saw young people without a murmur or reflection obey even younger and
weaker corporals and sergeants who had been raised to a merited rank
through their good behavior and progress.   He himself, although a
liberal, finds reasons which justify to the legislative body this
unpopular practice;[63] he replies to the objections and alarm of the
parents "that it is favorable to order, without which there are no
good studies," and moreover " it accustoms the pupils to carrying and
using arms, which shortens their work and accelerates their promotion
on being summoned by the conscription to the service of the State."
The tap of the drum, the attitude in presenting arms, marching at
command, uniform, gold lace, and all that, in 1811, becomes
obligatory, not only for the lycées and colleges, but again, and under
the penalty of being closed, for private institutions.[64] At the end
of the Empire, there were in the departments which composed old France
76,000 scholars studying under this system of stimulation and
constraint.  "Our masters," as a former pupil is to say later on,
"resembled captain-instructors, our study-rooms mess - rooms, our
recreations drills, and our examinations reviews."[65]  The whole
tendency of the school inclines it towards the military and merges
therein on the studies being completed - sometimes, even, it flows
into it before the term is over.  After 1806,[66] the anticipated
conscriptions take youths from the benches of the philosophy and
rhetoric classes.  After 1808, ministerial circulars[67] demand of the
lycées boys (des enfants de bonne volonté), scholars of eighteen and
nineteen who "know how to manœuvre," so that they may at once be made
under-officers or second-lieutenants; and these the lycées furnish
without any difficulty by hundreds. In this way, the beardless
volunteer entering upon the career one or two years sooner, but
gaining by this one or two grades in rank. - "Thus," says a
principal[68] of one of the colleges, "the brain of the French boy is
full of the soldier.  As far as knowledge goes there is but little
hope of it, at least under existing circumstances.   In the schools,
says another witness of the reign,[69] "the young refuse to learn
anything but mathematics and a knowledge of arms.  I can recall many
examples of young lads of ten or twelve years who daily entreated
their father and mother to let them go with Napoleon." - In those
days, the military profession is evidently the first of all, almost
the only one.  Every civilian is a pékin, that is to say an inferior,
and is treated as such.[70]  At the door of the theatre, the officer
breaks the line of those who are waiting to get their tickets and, as
a right, takes one under the nose of those who came before him; they
let him pass, go in, and they wait.  In the café, where the newspapers
are read in common, he lays hold of them as if through a requisition
and uses them as he pleases in the face of the patient bourgeois.

The central idea of this glorification of the army, be it understood,
is the worship of Napoleon, the supreme, unique, absolute sovereign of
the army and all the rest, while the prestige of this name is as
great, as carefully maintained, in the school as in the army.  At the
start, he put his own free scholars (boursiers) into the lycées and
colleges, about 3000 boys[71] whom he supports and brings up at his
own expense, for his own advantage, destined to become his creatures,
and who form the uppermost layer of the school population; about one
hundred and fifty of these scholarships to each lycée, first occupants
of the lycée and still for a long time more numerous than their paying
comrades, all of a more or less needy family, sons of soldiers and
functionaries who live on the Emperor and rely on him only, all
accustomed from infancy to regard the Emperor as the arbiter of their
destiny, the special, generous and all-powerful patron who, having
taken charge of them now, will also take charge of them in the future.
A figure of this kind  fills and occupies the entire field of their
imagination; whatever grandeur it already possesses it here becomes
still more grand, colossal and superhuman.  At the beginning their
enthusiasm gave the pitch to their co-disciples;[72] the institution,
through its mechanism, labors to keep this up, and the administrators
or professors, by order or through zeal, use all their efforts to make
the sonorous and ringing chord vibrate with all the more energy.
After 1811, even in a private institution,[73] "the victories of the
Emperor form almost the only subject on which the imagination of the
pupils is allowed to exercise itself."  After 1807,[74]  at Louis le
Grand, the prize compositions are those on the recent victory of Jena.
"Our masters themselves," says Alfred de Vigny, "unceasingly read to
us the bulletins of the Grande Armée, while cries of Vive l'Empereur
interrupted Virgil and Plato."  In sum, write many witnesses,[75]
Bonaparte desired to bestow on French youths the organization of the
"Mamelukes," and he nearly succeeded.  More exactly and in his own
words, "His Majesty[76] desired to realize in a State of forty
millions of inhabitants what had been done in Sparta and in Athens.  -
" But," he is to say later, "I only half succeeded.  That was one of
my finest conceptions";[77] M. de Fontanes and the other university
men did not comprehend this or want to comprehend it.  Napoleon
himself could give only a moment of attention to his school work, his
halting-spells between two campaigns;[78] in his absence, "they
spoiled for him his best ideas"; "his executants "never perfectly
carried out his intentions.  "He scolded, and they bowed to the storm,
but not the less continued on in the usual way."  Fourcroy kept too
much of the Revolution in mind, and Fontanes too much of the ancient
régime; the former was too much a man of science, and the latter too
much a man of letters; with such capacities they laid too great stress
on intellectual culture and too little on discipline of the feelings.
In education, literature and science are "secondary " matters; the
essential thing is training, an early, methodical, prolonged,
irresistible training which, through the convergence of every means -
lessons, examples and habits - inculcates "principles," and lastingly
impresses on young souls "the national doctrine," a sort of social and
political catechism, the first article of which commands fanatical
docility, passionate devotion, and the total surrender of one's self
to the Emperor.[79]



[1] (and obviously the aim of all other dictatorships. (SR.))

[2] Pelet de la Lozère, 161. (Speech by Napoleon to the Council of
State, March 11, 1806.)

[3] Our last son entered the French School system at the age of 5 in
1984 and his school record followed him from school to school until he
left 13 years later with his terminal exam, the Baccalaureat. (SR.)

[4] What a wonderful procedure, it was to be copied and used by all
the dominant rulers of the 20th century. Taine's book is, however, not
to be let into immature hands, so no wonder it was hardly ever
referred to by those who had profited by it. (SR.)

[5] A. de Beauchamp, Recueil des lois et réglements sur l'enseignement
supérior, 4 vol. ( (Rapport of Fourcroy to the Corps Législatif, May
6, 1806.) "How important it is . . . that the mode of education
admitted to be the best should add to this advantage, that of being
uniform for the whole Empire, teaching the same knowledge, inculcating
the same principles on individuals who must live together in the same
society, forming in some way but one body, possessing but one mind,
and all contributing to the public good through unanimity of sentiment
and action."

[6]  Pelet de la Lozère, 154.

[7] A. de Beauchamp, ibid. (Decree of March 7, 1808.) - Special and
collateral schools which teach subjects not taught in the lycées, for
example the living languages, which are confined to filling a gap, and
do not compete with the lycées, are subject to previous authorization
and to university pay.

[8]  Pelet de la Lozère, p. 170. (Session of the Council of State,
March 20, 1806).

[9] Quicherat, "Histoire de Sainte-Barbe," III., 125.

[10] A. de Beauchamp, ibid. (Decrees of March 17, 1808, arts 103 and
105, of Sep. 17, 1808, arts. 2 and 3 of Novem. 15, 1801, arts. 54, 55
and 56.) "Should any one publicly teach and keep a school without the
Grand-Master's consent, he will be officially prosecuted by our
imperial judges, who will close the school. . . . He will be brought
before the criminal court and condemned to a fine of from one hundred
to two hundred francs, without prejudice to greater penalties, should
he be found guilty of having directed instruction in a way contrary to
order and to the public interest." - Ibid., art. 57. (On the closing
of schools provided with prescribed authority.)

[11] A. de Beauchamp, ibid. (Decree of Sep. 17, 1808, arts. 27, 28,
29, 30, and act passed April 7, 1809.)

[12] Id., ibid. (Decrees of March 17, 1808, art. 134; of Sep. 17,
1808, arts. 25 and 26; of Nov.15, 1811, art. 63).

[13] Ambroise Rendu, "Essai sur l'instruction publique," 4 vols.,
1819, I., 221. (Notice to M. de Fontanes, March 24, 1808. "The
university undertakes all public institutions, and must strive to have
as few private institutions as possible.

[14] Eugène Rendu, "Ambroise Rendu et l'Université de France" (1861),
pp.25, 26. (Letter of the Emperor to Fourcroy, Floreal 3, year XIII,
ordering him to inspect the lycées and Report of Fourcroy at the end
of four months.) "In general, the drum. the drill and military
discipline keep the parents in most of the towns from sending their
children to the lycée. . . . Advantage is taken of this measure to
make parents believe that the Emperor wants only to make soldiers."
Ibid. (Note of M. de Champagny, Minister of the Interior, written a
few months later.) "A large half of the heads (of the lycée) or
professors is, from a moral point of view, completely indifferent. One
quarter, by their talk, their conduct, their reputation, exhibit the
most dangerous character in the eyes of the youths.  . . The greatest
fault of the principals is their lack of religious spirit, religious
zeal. . . . There are not more than two or three lycees in which this
may be seen. Hence the removal of the children by the parents which is
attributed to political prejudices; hence the rarity of paying pupils;
hence the discredit of the lycées. In this respect opinion is

[15]  "Histoire du Collége Louis le Grand," by Esmond, emeritus
censor, 1845, p.267 "Who were the assistant-teachers? Retired
subaltern officers who preserved the coarseness of the camp and knew
of no virtue but passive obedience. . . . The age at which
scholarships were given was not fixed, the Emperor's choice often
falling on boys of fifteen or sixteen, who presented themselves with
habits already formed out of a bad education and so ignorant that one
was obliged to assign them to the lowest classes, along with
children." - Fabry, "Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de
l'instruction publique depuis 1789," I., 391. "The kernel of boarding-
scholars, (holders of scholarships) was furnished by the Prytanée.
Profound corruption, to which the military régime gives an appearance
of regularity, a cool impiety which conforms to the outward ceremonies
of religion as to the movements of a drill, . . .  steady tradition
has transmitted this spirit to all the pupils that have succeeded each
other for twelve years."

[16] Fabry, ibid., vol. II.,12, and vol. III., 399.

[17] Decree of Nov.15, 1811, articles 15, 16, 22.

[18] Quicherat, ibid., III.. 93 to 105. - Up to 1809, owing to M. de
Fontane's toleration, M. de Lanneau could keep one half of his pupils
in his house under the name of pupils in preparatory classes, or for
the lectures in French or on commerce; nevertheless, he was obliged to
renounce teaching philosophy.  In 1810, he is ordered to send all his
scholars to the lycée within three months. There were at this date 400
scholars in Sainte-Barbe.

[19] Decree of Nov.15, 1811, articles 1, 4, 5, 9, 17 to 19 and 24 to
32. - " Procès-verbaux des séances du conseil de l'Université
impériale." (Manuscripts in the archives of the Ministry of Public
Instruction, furnished by M. A. de Beauchamp), session of March 12,
1811, note of the Emperor communicated by the Grand-Master. "His
Majesty requires that the following arrangement be added to the decree
presented to him: Wherever there is a lycée, the Grand-Master will
order private institutions to be closed until the lycée has all the
boarders it can contain." The personal intervention of Napoleon is
here evident; the decree starts with him; he wished it at once more
rigorous, more decidedly arbitrary and prohibitive.

[20] Quicherat, ibid., III.,95-105. - Ibid., 126. After the decree of
November 15, 1811, threatening circulars follow each other for fifteen
months and always to hold fast or annoy the heads of institutions or
private schools. Even in the smallest boarding-schools, the school
exercises must be announced by the drum and the uniform worn under
penalty of being shut up

[21] Ibid., III., 42. - At Sainte-Barbe, before 1808, there were
various sports favoring agility and flexibility of the body, such as
running races, etc. All that is suppressed by the imperial University;
it does not admit that anything can be done better or otherwise than
by itself.

[22] Decree of March 17, 1808, article 38. Among "the bases of
teaching," the legislator prescribes "obedience to the statutes the
object of which is the uniformity of instruction."

[23] Quicherat, III., 128.

[24] " The Modern Régime," I., 164.

[25] See, for a comprehension of the full effect of this forced
education, "Les Mécontens" by Mérimée, the rôle of Lieutenant Marquis
Edward de Naugis.

[26] "Recueil," by A. de Beauchamp; Report by Fourcroy, April 20,
1802: "The populations which have become united with France and which,
speaking a different language and accustomed to foreign institutions,
need to abandon old habits and refashion themselves on those of their
new country, cannot find at home the essential means for giving their
sons the instruction, the manners and the character which should
amalgamate them with Frenchmen. What destiny could be more
advantageous for them and, at the same time, what a resource for the
government, which desires nothing so much as to attach new citizens to

[27] "Journal d'un déténu de 1807 à 1814" (I vol., 1828, in English),
p.167. (An account given by Charles Choderlos de Laclos, who was then
at La Flèche.

[28] Pelet de la Lozère, ibid., pp.162, 163.167. (Speeches by Napoleon
to the Council of State, sessions of Feb. 10, March 1, 11 and 20,
April 7, and May 21 and 29, 1806.)

[29] Napoleon himself said this: "I want a corporation, not of Jesuits
whose sovereign is in Rome, but Jesuits who have no other ambition but
to be useful and no other interest but the public interest."

[30] This intention is formally expressed in the law. (Decree of March
17, 1808, art. 30.) "Immediately after the formation of the imperial
university, the order of rank shall be followed in the appointment of
functionaries, and no one can be assigned a place who has not passed
through the lowest. The situations will then afford a career which
offers to knowledge and good behavior the hope of reaching the highest
position in the imperial university."

[31] Pelet de la Lozère, ibid.

[32] "Procès-verbaux des séances du conseil de l'Université. " (In
manuscript.) Memoir of February 1, 1811, on the means for developing
the spirit of the corporation in the University. In this memoir,
communicated to the Emperor, the above motive is alleged.

[33] Pelet de la Lozère.

[34] I can imagine the effect this description of Napoleon's genius
and inventive spirit must have had on Lenin when he lived and studied
in Paris and forged his plans for a communist state, a world
revolution, an annihilation of the existing order and the creation of
a new (and better) one. (SR.)

[35] Decree of March 17, 1808, arts. 101, 102.

[36]  In any pre-revolutionary society, authority must be undermined,
women introduced whenever it can lessen the efficiency of the
organization. But once the revolution has won, then  Lenin's dictum
about entrusting men of administrative talent with the full authority
of the dictatorship of the proletariat is to be followed. As Taine was
translated into German, Hitler is likely, directly or indirectly to
have studied Napoleon. Hitler's "führerprincip" a principle which gave
the Nazi society its terrible efficiency was probably the result.

[37] Decree of March 20, 1808, articles 40-46.

[38] For example, act of March 31, 1812, On leaves of absence. - Cf.
the regulations of April 8, 1810, for the " École de la Maternité,
titres ix, x and xi). In this strict and special instance we see
plainly what Napoleon meant by "the police" of a school.

[39]  Pelet de la Lozère, Ibid.

[40] It seems to me probable that an aspiring revolutionary like
Hitler, Lenin, Stalin or Trotsky) would attempt to copy Napoleon's
once he had successfully taken power inside first the party and later
the state. To enhance the dissolution of a democracy the opposite
system, that is tenure irrespective of performance, the right to operate
militant trade unions and to conduct strikes, would be demanded for all government employees. (SR.)

[41]  Decree of March 17, 1808, articles 47 and 48.

[42] Decree of Nov. 15, 1811, articles 66 and 69.

[43] Procès-verbaux et papiers du conseil supérior de l'Université (in
manuscript).- (Two memoirs submitted to the Emperor, Feb. 1, 1811, on
the means of strengthening the discipline and spirit of the body in
the University.) - The memoir requests that the sentences of the
university authorities be executable on the simple exequatur of the
courts; it is important to diminish the intervention of tribunals and
prefects, to cut short appeals and pleadings; the University must have
full powers and full jurisdiction on its domain, collect taxes from
its taxpayers, and repress all infractions of those amenable to its
jurisdiction. (Please not the exequatur is a French ordnance by which
the courts gives a decision by a third party or an umpire executory
force. SR.)

[44]  "Statut sur l'administration, l'ensignement et la police de
l'École normale, " March 30, 1810, title II, articles 20-23.

[45] Taine entered in L'Ecole Normale in October 1848, first in his
year, having written an essay in philosophy (in Latin) with the title:
Si animus cum corpore extinguitur, quid sit Deus? Quid homo? Quid
societas? Quid philosophia? (If the soul dies with the body what
happens to God? Man? Society? Philosophy?) And an essay in French
imagining that he was Voltaire writing to his English friend Cedeville
pretending to give his impressions on England. When he had arrived on
30 October 1848 Taine wrote to Cornélis de Witt: "Here I am in the
convent and prisoner for three years." (SR.)

[46] I note, however, that the École Normale Superior produced Taine,
and it seemed to have had the same effect upon him as by boarding
school and its similar regime upon me, namely of making me informed
and rebellious. I have also noted that the most uninteresting and smug
young people I have met have followed school systems like that of the
United States where no great effort is demanded but the peer pressure
helps to produce ignorant, self-satisfied students. (SR.)

[47] Villemain, "Souvenirs contemporaines," vol. I., 137-156. ("Une
visite à l'École normale en 1812," Napoleon's own words to M. de
Narbonne.) "Tacitus is a dissatisfied senator, an Auteuil grumbler,
who revenges himself, pen in hand, in his cabinet. His is the spite of
the aristocrat and philosopher both at once.. . . Marcus Aurelius is a
sort of Joseph II., and, in much larger proportions, a philanthropist
and sectarian in commerce with the sophists and ideologues of his
time, flattering them and imitating them. . . . I like Diocletian
better." - ". . . Public education lies in the future and in the
duration of my work after I am gone."

[48] Decree of March 17, 1808, art. 110 and the following.

[49] Circular of Nov. 13, 1813.

[50] Decree of March 17, 1808, article 38.

[51] Pelet de la Lozere, ibid., 158.

[52] Id., ibid., 168.  (Session of March 20, 1806.)

[53] Hermann Niemeyer, "Beobactungen auf einer Deportation-Reise nach
Frankreich im J. 1807 (Halle, 1824), II.,353. - Fabry, " Mémoires pour
servir à l'histoire de l'instruction publique," III., 120.  (Documents
and testimony of pupils showing that religion in the lycées is only
ceremonial practice.) - Id., Riancey, "Histoire de l'instruction
publique," II.,378. (Reports of nine chaplains in the royal colleges
in 1830 proving that the same spirit prevailed throughout the
Restoration: "A boy sent to one of these establishments containing 400
pupils for the term of eight years has only eight or ten chances
favoring the preservation of his faith; all the others are against
him, that is to say, out of four hundred chances, three hundred and
ninety risk his being a man with no religion."

[54] Fabry, ibid., III., 175. (Napoleon's own words to a member of his
council.) - Pelet de la Lozère, ibid., 161: "I do not want priests
meddling with public education." - 167: "The establishment of a
teaching corps will be a guarantee against the re-establishment of
monks. Without that they would some day come back."

[55] Fabry, ibid, III., 120. (Abstract of the system of lycées by a
pupil who passed many years in two lycées.) Terms for board 900
francs, insufficiency of food and clothing, crowded lectures and
dormitories, too many pupils in each class, profits of the principal
who lives well, gives one grand dinner a week to thirty persons,
deprives the dormitory, already too narrow, of space for a billiard-
table, and takes for his own use a terrace planted with fine trees.
The censor, the steward, the chaplain, the sub-director do the same,
although to a less degree. The masters are likewise as poorly fed as
the scholars. The punishments are severe, no paternal remonstrance or
guidance, the under-masters maltreated on applying the rules, despised
by their superiors and without any influence on their pupils. -
"Libertinage, idleness self-interest animated all breasts, there being
no tie of friendship uniting either the masters to the scholars nor
the pupils amongst themselves."

[56] Finding myself in charge of a numerous staff of technicians,
artisans, operators and workers hired by the United Nations to serve a
military mission in Lebanon I was faced with motivating everyone, not
only when they would become eligible for promotion, but also during
the daily humdrum existence. I one day coined the phrase that
"everyone wants to be important" and tried to make them feel so by
insisting that all tasks, even the most humble had to be done well. I
gave preference to seniority by giving the most senior man the chance
to prove himself once a higher post fell vacant. (SR.)

[57] Hermann Niemeyer, "Beobachtungen," etc., II.,350. "A very worthy
man, professor in one of the royal colleges, said to me: 'What
backward steps we have been obliged to take! How all the pleasure of
teaching, all the love for our art, has been taken away from us by
this constraint!'"

[58] Id., ibid.,  II.,339.  -  "Decree of November 15, 1811 art. 17.

[59] Id., ibid., II.,353.

[60] Hermann Niemeyer, ibid., 366, and following pages.  On the
character, advantages and defects of the system, this testimony of an
eye-witness is very instructive and forms an almost complete picture.
The subjects taught are reduced to Latin and mathematics; there is
scarcely any Greek, and none of the modern languages, hardly a tinge
of history and the natural sciences, while philology is null; that
which a pupil must know of the classics is their "contents and their
spirit" (Geist und Inhalt). - Cf. Guizot, "Essai sur l'histoire et
l'état actuel de l'instruction publique," 1816, p.103.

[61] "Travels in France during the Years 1814 and 1815" (Edinburgh,
1816), vol. I., p. 152.

[62] "Ambroise Rendu et 1'Université de France," by E. Rendu (1861),
pp. 25 and 26. (Letter of the Emperor, Floréal 3, year XIII, and
report by Fourcroy.)

[63] "Recueil," etc., by de Beauchamp, I., 151. (Report to the Corps
Législatif  by Fourcroy, May 6, 1806.)

[64] "Procès-verbaux et papiers" (manuscripts) of the superior council
of the University, session of March 12, 1811, note by the Emperor
communicated by the Grand-Master: "The Grand-Master will direct that
in all boarding-schools and institutions which may come into
existence, the pupils shall wear a uniform, and that everything shall
go on as in the lycées according to military discipline." In the
decree in conformity with this, of Nov. 15, 1811, the word military
was omitted, probably because it seemed too crude; but it shows the
thought behind it, the veritable desire of Napoleon. - Quicherat,"
Histoire de Sainte-Barbe," III., 126. The decree was enforced "even in
the smallest boarding-schools."

[65] Testimony of Alfred de Vigny in "Grandeur et Servitude
militaires."  Same impression of Alfred de Musset in his "Confession
d'un enfant du siècle."

[66] Quicherat, ibid., p.126.

[67]  "The Modern Régime," I. (Laff. I. p. 550.)

[68] Hermann Niemeyer, ibid., I., 153.

[69]  "Travels in France," etc., II.,123. (Testimony of a French
gentleman.) "The rapid destruction of population in France caused
constant promotions, and the army became the career which offered the
most chances. It was a profession for which no education was necessary
and to which all had access. There, Bonaparte never allowed merit to
go unrecognized."

[70] Véron,  " Mémoires d'un bourgeois de Paris, " I., 127 (year

[71] Guizot, ibid., pp.59 and 61. - Fabry, "Mémoires pour servir à
l'histoire de l'instruction publique," III., 102. (On the families of
these favorites and on the means made use of to obtain these
scholarships.) - Jourdain, "le Budget de l'instruction publique
(1857), p. 144. - In 1809, in the 36 1ycées, there are 9,068 pupils,
boarding and day scholars, of whom 4,199 are boursiers. In 1811, there
are 10,926 pupils, of whom 4,008 are boursiers. In 1813, there are
14,992 pupils, of whom 3,500 are boursiers. At the same epoch, in
private establishments, there are 30,000 pupils.

[72] Fabry, ibid., II.,391 (1819). (On the peopling of the lycées and
colleges.) "The first nucleus of the boarders was furnished by the
Prytanée. . . . Tradition has steadily transmitted this spirit to all
the pupils that succeeded each other for the first twelve years." -
Ibid., III., 112  "The institution of lycees tends to creating a race
inimical to repose, eager and ambitious, foreign to the domestic
affections and of a military and adventurous spirit."

[73] Quicherat, ibid., III., 126.

[74] Hermann Niemeyer, ibid., II.,350.

[75] Fabry, ibid., III., 109-112.

[76] Ambroise Rendu, "Essai sur l'instruction publique," (1819), I.,
221. (Letter of Napoleon to M. de Fontanes, March 24, 1808.)

[77] "Mémorial," June 17, 1816.

[78] Pelet de la Lozère, ibid., 154, 157, 159.

[79]  "Mémorial," June 17, 1816. "This conception of the University by
Napoleon must be taken with another, of more vast proportions, which
he sets forth in the same conversation and which clearly shows his
complete plan. He desired "the military classing of the nation," that
is to say five successive conscriptions, one above the other. The
first, that of children and boys by means of the University; the
second, that of ordinary conscripts yearly and effected by the drawing
by lot; the third, fourth and fifth provided by three standards of
national guard, the first one comprising young unmarried men and held
to frontier service, the second comprising men of middle age, married
and to serve only in the department, and the third comprising aged men
to be employed only in the defense of towns - in all, through these
three classes, two millions of classified men, enrolled and armed,
each with his post assigned him in case of invasion. "In 1810 or 1811
up to fifteen or twenty drafts of this" proposal "was read to the
council of State. The Emperor, who laid great stress on it, frequently
came back to it." We see the place of the University in his edifice:
from ten to sixty years, his universal conscription was to take,
first, children, then adults, and, with healthy persons, the semi-
invalids, as, for instance, Cambacérès, the arch-chancellor, gross,
impotent, and, of all men, the least military. "There is Cambacérès,"
says Napoleon, "who must be ready to shoulder his gun if danger makes
it necessary. . . . Then you will have a nation sticking together like
lime and sand, able to defy time and man."  There is constant
repugnance to this by the whole Council of State, "marked disfavor,
mute and inert opposition. . . . Each member trembled at seeing
himself classed, transported abroad," and, under pretext of internal
defense, used for foreign wars. "The Emperor, absorbed with other
projects, saw this plan vanish."


I. Primary Instruction.

Primary instruction. - Additional and special restrictions on the
teacher. - Ecclesiastical supervision. - Napoleon's motives. -
Limitation of primary instruction. - Ignorantin monks preferred. - The
imperial catechism.

SUCH is secondary education, his most personal, most elaborate, most
complete work; the other two stories of the educational system, under
and over, built in a more summary fashion, are adapted to the middle
story and form, the three together, a regular monument, of which the
architect has skillfully balanced the proportions, distributed the
rooms, calculated the service and designed the facade and scenic

"Napoleon," says a contemporary adversary,[1] "familiar with power
only in its most absolute form, military despotism, tried to partition
France in two categories, one composed of the masses, destined to fill
the ranks of his vast army, and disposed, through the brutishness
which he was willing to maintain; to passive obedience and fanatical
devotion; the other, more refined by reason of its wealth, was to lead
the former according to the views of the chief who equally dominated
both, for which purpose it was to be formed in schools where, trained
for a servile and, so to say, mechanical submission, it would acquire
relative knowledge, especially in the art of war and with regard to a
wholly material administration; after this, vanity and self-interest
were to attach it to his person and identify it, in some way with his
system of government."

Lighten this gloomy picture one degree and it is true.[2]  As to
primary instruction, there was no State appropriation, no credit
inscribed on the budget, no aid in money, save 25,000 francs, allotted
in 1812, to the novices of the Frères Ignorantins and of which they
received but 4,500 francs;[3] the sole mark of favor accorded to the
small schools is an exemption from the dues of the University.[4]  His
councillors, with their habits of fiscal logic, proposed to exact this
tax here as elsewhere; a shrewd politician, he thinks that its
collection would prove odious and he is bound not to let his
popularity suffer among villagers and common people; it is 200,000
francs a year which he abstains from taking from them; but here his
liberalities in behalf of primary instruction stop.  Let parents and
the communes take this burden on themselves, pay its expenses, seek
out and hire the teacher, and provide for a necessity which is local
and almost domestic.  The government, which invites them to do this,
will simply furnish the plan, that is to say, a set of rules,
prescriptions and restrictions.

At first, there is the authorization of the prefect, guardian of the
commune, who, having invited the commune to found a school, has
himself, through a circular, given instructions to this end, and who
now interferes in the contract between the municipal council and the
teacher, to approve of or to rectify its clauses - the name of the
employee, duration of his engagement, hours and seasons for his
classes, subjects to be taught, the sum total and conditions of his
pay in money or in kind; the school grant must be paid by the commune,
the school tax by the pupils, the petty fees which help pay the
teacher's living expenses and which he gets from accessory offices
such as mayor's clerk, clock-winder, sexton, bell-ringer and chorister
in the church[5]  - At the same time, and in addition, there is the
authorization of the rector; for the small as well as the average or
larger schools are included in the University;[6]  the new master
becomes a member of the teaching body, binds himself and belongs to it
by oath, takes upon himself its obligations and submissions, comes
under the special jurisdiction of the university authorities, and is
inspected, directed and controlled by them in his class and outside of
his class. - The last supervision, still more searching and active,
which close by, incessantly and on the spot, hovers over all small
schools by order and spontaneously, is the ecclesiastical supervision.
A circular of the Grand-Master, M. de Fontanes,[7] requests the
bishops to instruct "messieurs les curés of their diocese to send in
detailed notes on their parish schoolmasters;"  "when these notes are
returned," he says, "please address them to me with your remarks on
them; according to these indications I will approve of the instructor
who merits your suffrage and he will receive the diploma authorizing
him to continue in his functions.  Whoever fails to present these
guarantees will not receive a diploma and I shall take care to replace
him with another man whom you may judge to be the most capable."[8]

If Napoleon thus places his small schools under ecclesiastical
oversight, it is not merely to conciliate the clergy by giving it the
lead of the majority of souls, all the uncultivated souls, but
because, for his own interests, he does not want the mass of the
people to think and reason too much for themselves.

 "The Academy inspectors,"[9] says the decree of 1811, "will see that
the masters of the primary schools do not carry their teaching beyond
reading, writing and arithmetic."

Beyond this limit, should the instructor teach a few of the children
the first elements of Latin or geometry, geography or history, his
school becomes secondary; it is then ranked as a boarding-school,
while its pupils are subjected to the university recompense, military
drill, uniform, and all the above specified exigencies; and yet more -
it must no longer exist and is officially closed.  A peasant who
reads, writes and ciphers and who remains a peasant need know no more,
and, to be a good soldier, he need not know as much; moreover, that is
enough, and more too, to enable him to become an under and even a
superior officer. Take, for instance, Captain Coignet, whose memoirs
we have, who, to be appointed a second-lieutenant, had to learn to
write and who could never write other than a large hand, like young
beginners. - The best masters for such limited instruction are the
Brethren of the Christian Schools and these, against the advice of his
counselors, Napoleon supports:

 "If they are obliged," he says,  by their vows to refrain from other
knowledge than reading, writing and the elements of arithmetic, . . .
it is that they may be better adapted to their destiny."[10]   "In
comprising them in the University, they become connected with the
civil order of things and the danger of their independence is

Henceforth, "they no longer have a stranger or a foreigner for their
chief."  "The superior-general at Rome has renounced all inspection
over them; it is understood that in France their superior-general will
reside at Lyons."[11] The latter, with his monks, fall into the hands
of the government and come under the authority of the Grand-Master.
Such a corporation, with the head of it in one's power, is a perfect
instrument, the surest, the most exact, always to be relied on and
which never acts on one side of, or beyond, the limits marked out for
it.  Nothing pleases Napoleon more, who,

* in the civil order of things, wants to be Pope;
* who builds up his State, as the Pope his Church, on old Roman
* who, to govern from above, allies himself with ecclesiastical
* who, like Catholic authorities, requires drilled executants and
regimental maneuvers, only to be found in organized and special bodies
of men.[12]

The general inspectors of the University give to each rector the
following instructions as a watchword  "Wherever the Brethren of the
Christian Schools can be found, they shall," for primary teaching, "be
preferred to all others."[13]  Thus, to the three classes of subjects
taught, a fourth must be added, one not mentioned by the legislator in
his law, but which Napoleon admits, which the rectors and prefects
recommend or authorize, and which is always inscribed in the contract
made between the commune and the instructor.  The latter, whether
layman or 'frère ignorantin,' engages to teach, besides "reading,
writing and decimal arithmetic," "the catechism adopted by the
Empire."  Consequently, as the first communion (of the pupil) draws
near, he is careful, for at least two years, to have his scholars
learn the consecrated text by heart, and to recite this text aloud on
their benches, article by article; in this way, his school becomes a
branch of the Church and, hence, like the Church, a reigning
instrumentality.  For, in the catechism adopted for the Empire, there
is one phrase carefully thought out, full and precise in its meaning,
in which Napoleon has concentrated the quintessence of his political
and social doctrine and formulated the imperative belief assigned by
him as the object of education.  The seven or eight hundred thousand
children of the lower schools recite this potent phrase to the teacher
before reciting it to the priest :

"We especially owe to Napoleon I., our Emperor, love, respect,
obedience, fidelity, military service, and the dues (tributs)
prescribed for the preservation and defense of the Empire and the
throne. . . . For it is he whom God has raised up in times of
difficulty, to restore public worship and the holy religion of our
forefathers, and to be its protector."[14]

II. Higher Education.

Superior instruction. - Characters and conditions of scientific
universities. - Motives for opposition to them. - In what respect
adverse to the French system. - How he replaces them. - Extent of
secondary instruction. - Meets all wants in the new social order of
things. - The careers it leads to. -  Special schools. - Napoleon
requires them professional and practical. - The law school.

Superior instruction, the most important of all, remains. For, in this
third and last stage of education, the minds and opinions of young
people from eighteen to twenty-four years of age are fully formed. It
is then that, already free and nearly ripe, these future occupants of
busy careers, just entering into practical life, shape their first
general ideas, their still hazy and half-poetic views of things, their
premature and foregone conclusions respecting man, nature, society and
the great interests of humanity.

If we want them to arrive at sound conclusions, a good many scales
must be prepared for them, and these scales must be substantial,
convergent, each with its own rungs of the ladder superposed, each
with an indication of its total scope, each expressly designating the
absent, doubtful, provisional or simply future and possible rungs,
because they are in course of formation or on trial.[15] -
Consequently, these must all be got together in a designated place, in
adjacent buildings, not alone the body of professors, the spokes-men
of science, but collections, laboratories and libraries which
constitute the instruments. Moreover, besides  ordinary  and  regular
courses of lectures, there  must  be  lecture halls where, at
appointed hours, every enterprising, knowledgeable person with
something to say may speak to those who would like to listen.  Thus, a
sort of oral encyclopedia is organized, an universal exposition of
human knowledge, a permanent exposition constantly renewed and open,
to which its visitors, provided with a certificate of average
instruction as an entrance ticket, will see with their own eyes,
besides established science that which is under of formation, besides
discoveries and proofs the way of discovering and proving, namely the
method, history and general progress, the place of each science in its
group, and of this group its place in the general whole.  Owing to the
extreme diversity of subjects taught there will be room and occupation
for the extreme diversity of intelligences. Young minds can choose for
themselves their own career, mount as high as their strength allows,
climb up the tree of knowledge each on his own side, with his own
ladder, in his own way, now passing from the branches to the trunk and
again from the trunk to the branches, now from a remote bough to the
principal branch and from that again back to the trunk.

And more than this, thanks to the co-ordination of lessons well
classified, there is, for each course of lectures, the means for
arriving at full details in all particulars; the young students can
talk amongst themselves and learn from each other, the student of
moral science from the student of the natural sciences, the latter
from the student of the chemical or physical sciences, and another
from the student of the mathematical sciences. Bearing still better
fruit, the student, in each of these four circumscriptions, derives
information from his co-disciples lodged right and left in the nearest
compartments, the jurist from the historian, from the economist, from
the philologist, and reciprocally, in such a way as to profit by their
impressions and suggestions, and enable them to profit by his.  He
must have no other object in view for three years, no rank to obtain,
no examination to undergo, no competition for which to make
preparations, no outward pressure, no collateral preoccupation, no
positive, urgent and personal interest to interfere with, turn aside
or stifle pure curiosity.  He pays something out of his own pocket for
each course of lectures he attends; for this reason, he makes the best
choice he can, follows it up to the end, takes notes, and comes there,
not to seek phrases and distraction, but actualities and instruction,
and get full value for his money.  It is assumed that knowledge is an
object of exchange, foodstuffs stockpiled and delivered by the
masters; the student who takes delivery is concerned that it is of
superior quality, genuine and nutritious; the masters, undoubtedly,
through amour-propre and conscience, try to furnish it this; but it is
up to the student himself to fetch it, just what he wants, in this
particular storehouse rather than in others, from this or that
lecture-stand, official or not.  To impart and to acquire knowledge
for itself and for it alone, without subordinating this end to another
distinct and predominant end, to direct minds towards this object and
in this way, under the promptings and restraints of supply and demand,
to open up the largest field and the freest career to the faculties,
to labor, to the preferences of the thinking individual, master or
disciple, - such is (or ought to be) the spirit of the institution.
And, evidently, in order that it may be effective according to this
spirit, it needs an independent, appropriate body, that is to say,
autonomous, sheltered against the interference of the State, of the
Church, of the commune, of the province, and of all general or local
powers, provided with rules and regulations, made a legal, civil
personage, with the right to buy, sell and contract obligations, in
short proprietorship.

This is no chimerical plan, the work of a speculative, calculating
imagination, which appears well and remains on paper.  All the
universities of the middle ages were organized according to this type.
It found life and activity everywhere and for a long time; the twenty-
two universities in France previous to the Revolution, although
disfigured, stunted and desiccated, preserved many of its features,
certain visible externals, and, in 1811,[16] Cuvier, who had just
inspected the universities of lower Germany, describes it as he found
it, on the spot, confined to superior instruction, but finished and
complete, adapted to modern requirements, in full vigor and in full

There is no room in the France to which Cuvier returns for
institutions of this stamp; they are excluded from it by the social
system which has prevailed. - First of all, public law, as the
Revolution and Napoleon comprehended it and enacted it, is hostile to
them;[17] for it sets up the principle that in a State there must be
no special corporations permanent, under their own control, supported
by mort main property, acting in their own right and conducting a
public service for their own benefit, especially if this service is
that of teaching; for the State has taken this charge upon itself,
reserved it for itself and assumed the monopoly of it; hence, the
unique and comprehensive university founded by it, and which excludes
free, local and numerous universities. Thus, in its essence, it is the
self-teaching State and not self-teaching science; thus defined, the
two types are contradictory; not only are the two bodies different,
but again the two spirits are incompatible; each has an aim of its
own, which is not the aim of the other.  In a special sense, the use
to which the Emperor assigns his university is contrary to the aim of
the German universities; it is founded for his own advantage, that he
may possess "the means for shaping moral and political opinions." With
this object in view it would be wrong for him to allow several
establishments within reach of students in which they would be
directed by science alone; it is certain that, in many points, the
direction here given to youth would poorly square with the rigid,
uniform, narrow lines in which Napoleon wishes to confine them.
Schools of this kind would get to be centers of opposition; young men
thus fashioned would become dissenters; they would gladly hold
personal, independent opinions alongside, or outside, of "the national
doctrine," outside of Napoleonic and civil orthodoxy; and worse still,
they would believe in their opinions.  Having studied seriously and at
first sources, the jurist, the theologian, the philosopher, the
historian, the philologist, the economist might perhaps cherish the
dangerous pretension of considering himself competent even in social
matters; being a Frenchman, he would talk with assurance and
indiscretion; he would be much more troublesome than a German; it
would soon be necessary to send him to Bicêtre or to the Temple.[18] -
In the present state of things, with the exigencies of the reign, and
even in the interests of the young themselves, it is essential that
superior instruction should be neither encyclopedic nor very profound.

Were this a defect, Frenchmen would not perceive it; they are
accustomed to it.  Already, before 1789, the classes in the humanities
were generally completed by the lesson in philosophy. In this course
logic, morals and metaphysics were taught. Here the young persons
handled, adjusted, and knocked about more or less adroitly the formula
on God, nature, the soul and science they had learned by rote. Less
scholastic, abridged, and made easy, this verbal exercise has been
maintained in the lycées.[19]  Under the new régime, as well as under
the old one, a string of abstract terms, which the professor thought
he could explain and which the pupil thought he understood, involves
young minds in a maze of high, speculative conceptions, beyond their
reach and far beyond their experience, education and years.  Because
pupils play with words, they suppose that they grasp and master ideas,
which fancy deprives them of any desire to obtain them. Consequently,
in the great French establishment, young people hardly remark the lack
of veritable Universities; a liberal, broad spirit of inquiry is not
aroused in them; they do not regret their inability to have covered
the cycle of varied research and critical investigation, the long and
painful road which alone surely leads to profound general conceptions,
those grand ideas which are verifiable and solidly based. -  And, on
the other hand, their quick, summary mode of preparation suffices for
the positive and appreciable needs of the new society. The problem is
to fill the gaps made in it by the Revolution and to provide the
annual and indispensable quota of educated youth. Now, after as before
the Revolution, this is understood as being all who have passed
through the entire series of classes; under the system, subject to the
drill in Latin and mathematics. The young men have here acquired the
habit of using clear, connected ideas, a taste for close reasoning,
the art of condensing a phrase or a paragraph, an aptitude for
attending to the daily business of a worldly, civil life, especially
the faculty of carrying on a discussion, of writing a good letter,
even the talent for composing a good report or memorial.[20]  A young
man with these skills, some scraps of natural philosophy, and with
still briefer notions of geography and history, has all the general,
preliminary culture he needs, all the information he requires for
aspiring to one of the careers called liberal. The choice rests with
himself; he will be what he wants to be, or what he is able to be -
professor, engineer, physician, member of the bar, an administrator or
a functionary.  In each of his qualifications he renders an important
service to the public, he exercises an honorable profession; let him
be competent and expert, that concerns society.  But that alone is all
that society cares about; it is not essential that it should find in
him additionally an erudite or a philosopher.

* Let him be competent and worthy of confidence in his particular

* let him know how to teach classes or frame a course of lectures, how
to build a bridge, a bastion, an edifice, how to cure a disease,
perform an amputation, draw up a contract, manage a case in court, and
give judgment;

* let the State, for greater public convenience, organize, check, and
certify this special capacity,

* let it verify this by examinations and diploma,

* let it make of this a sort of coin of current value, duly minted and
of proper standard;

* let this be protected against counterfeits, not only by its
preferences but again by its prohibitions, by the penalties it enacts
against the illegal practice of pharmacy and of medicine, by the
obligations it imposes on magistrates, lawyers and ministerial
officials not to act until obtaining this or that grade, -

such is what the interest of society demands and what it may exact.
According to this principle, the State creates special schools, (today
in 1998 called Grande Ecoles[21]),  and, through the indirect monopoly
which it possesses, it fills them with listeners; henceforth, these
are to furnish the youth of France with superior education.[22]

From the start, Napoleon, as logician, with his usual lucidity and
precision, lays it down that they shall be strictly practical and
professional.  "Make professors (régents) for me," said he one day in
connection with the Ecole normale, "and not littérateurs, wits or
seekers or inventors in any branch of knowledge."  In like manner says
he again,[23]

"I do not approve of the regulation requiring a man to be bachelor
(bachelier) in the sciences before he can be a bachelor in the medical
faculty; medicine is not an exact and positive science, but a science
of guess and observation. I should place more confidence in a doctor
who had not studied the exact sciences than in one who possessed them.
I preferred M. Corvisart to M. Hallé, because M. Hallé belongs to the
Institute.  M. Corvisart does not even know what two equal triangles
are.  The medical student should not be diverted from hospital
practice, from dissections and studies relating to his trade."

There is the same subordination of science to the professions, the
same concern for immediate or near application, the same utilitarian
tendency to aim at a public function or a private career, the same
contraction of studies in the law school, in that order of truths of
which Montesquieu, a Frenchman, fifty years before, had first seized
the entire body, marked the connections and delineated the chart.  At
issue are the laws and the "spirit of laws,"  unwritten or written, by
which diverse human societies live, of whatever form, extent and kind,
-the State, commune, Church, school, army, agricultural or industrial
workshop, tribe or family. These, existing or fossilized, are
realities, open to observation like plants or animals. One may, the
same as with animals and plants, observe them, describe them, compare
them together, follow their history from first to last, study their
organization, classify them in natural groups, disengage the
distinctive and dominant characteristics in each, note its ambient
surroundings and ascertain the internal or external conditions, or
"necessary relationships," which determine its failure or its bloom.
For men who live together in society and in a State, no study is so
important; it alone can furnish them with a clear, demonstrable idea
of what society and the State are; and it is in the law schools that
this capital idea must be sought by an educated student body.  If they
do not find it there, they invent one to suit themselves.  As 1789
drew near, the antiquated, poor, barren, teaching of law, fallen into
contempt and almost null,[24] offered no sound, accredited doctrine
which could impose itself on young minds, fill their empty minds and
prevent the intrusion of utopic dreams.  And intrude it did: in the
shape of Rousseau's anti-social Utopia, in his anarchical and despotic
Social Contract. To hinder it from returning, the best thing to do was
not to repeat the same mistake, not to leave the lodging empty, to
install in it a fixed occupant beforehand, and to see that this fixed
occupant, which is science, may at all times represent its title of
legitimate proprietor, its method analogous to that of the natural
sciences, its studies of detail from life and in the texts, its
restricted inductions, its concordant verifications, its progressive
discoveries. This in order that, confronting every chance system and
without these titles, minds may of themselves shut their doors, or
only open them provisionally, and always with a care to make the
intruder present his letters of credit: here we have the social
service rendered by the instruction in Law as given in the German
mode, as Cuvier had just described it.  Before  1789, in the
University of Strasbourg, in France, it was thus given; but, in this
condition and to this extent, it is not suitable under the new régime,
and still less than under the old one.

Napoleon, in his preparation of jurists, wants executants and not
critics; his faculties must furnish him with men able to apply and not
to give opinions on his laws. Hence, in the teaching of the law, as he
prescribes it, there must be nothing of history, of political economy
or of comparative law; there must be no exposition of foreign
legislation, of feudal or custom law, or of canon law; no account of
the transformations which governed public and private law in Rome down
to the Digest[25] and, after that, in France, down to the recent
codes. But nothing on remote origins, on successive forms and the
diverse and ever-changing conditions of labor, property and the
family; nothing which, through the law, exposes to view and brings us
in contact with the social body to which it is applied. That is to
say, this or that active and human group, with its habits, prejudices,
instincts, dangers and necessities; nothing but two dry, rigid codes,
like two aerolites fallen from the sky ready-made and all of a piece
at an interval of fourteen centuries. At first, the Institutes,[26]
"by cutting out[27] what is not applicable to our legislation and
replacing these matters by a comparison with much finer laws scattered
through other books of Roman law," similar to the classes in the
humanities, where Latin literature is reduced to the finest passages
of the classic authors. Next, the French code, with the comments on it
due to the decisions of the court of appeals and the court of
cassation.[28]  All the courses of lectures of the school shall be
obligatory and arranged as a whole, or tacked on to each other in a
compulsory order; each step the student takes shall be counted,
measured and verified every three months by a certificate, and each
year by an examination; at these examinations there shall be no
optional matters, no estimate of collateral studies or those of
complimentary or superior importance.  The student finds no attraction
or benefit in studies outside of the programme, and, in this programme
he finds only official texts, explained by the bill of fare, one by
one, with subtlety, and patched together as well as may be by means of
distinctions and interpretations, so as to provide the understood
solution in ordinary cases and a plausible solution in disputed cases,
in other terms, a system of casuistry.[29]

And this is just the education which suits the future practitioner.
As a celebrated professor of the second Empire says,[30] "our young
graduates need a system of instruction which enables them to pass
without perplexity or discouragement from the school to the halls of
justice;" to have the 2281 articles of the civil code at their
fingers' ends, also the rest, hundreds and thousands of them, of the
other four codes; to find at once in relation to each case the set of
pertinent articles, the general rule, neither too broad nor too
narrow, which fits the particular case in question. As for law taken
in itself and as a whole, they have none of that clear, full
conception of it to which a comprehensive and curious mind aspires.
"I know nothing of the civil code," said another professor, older and
in closer proximity with the primitive institution, "I teach only the
Code Napoléon."  Accordingly, with his clear-sightedness and his
practical and graphic imagination, Napoleon could perceive in advance
the future and certain products of his machine, the magistrates in
their bonnets, seated or standing in their court-rooms, with the
lawyers in their robes facing them pleading, and, farther on, the
great consumers of stamped papers in their bureaus encumbered with
files of documents with the attorneys and notaries engaged in drawing
them up; elsewhere, prefects, sub-prefects, prefect councilors,
government commissioners and other officials, all at work and doing
pretty well, all of them useful organs but mere organs of the law.
The chances were small, fewer than under the ancient régime, for an
erudite and independent thinker, a Montesquieu, to issue from that

III. On Science, Reason and Truth.

Crowning point of the university edifice. - Faith based on criticism.
- How it binds men together and forms a lay Church. - Social power of
this Church. - Scientific and literary authorities. - How Napoleon
enrolls them. - The Institute, an appendage of the State.

Everywhere else, the direction and reach of superior instruction are
similar.  In the Faculties of Science and Literature, much more than
in the Faculties of Medicine and of Law, the principal employment of
the professors is the awarding of grades. - They likewise confer the
titles of bachelor, licentiate and doctor; but the future bachelor is
not prepared by them; the lycée furnishes him for the examination,
fresh from its benches; they have then no audience but future
licentiates, that is to say a few schoolmasters and a licentiate at
long intervals who wants to become a doctor in order to mount upward
into the university hierarchy. Besides these, occasional amateurs,
nearly all of ripe age, who wish to freshen their classic souvenirs,
and idlers who want to kill time, fill the lecture-room.  To prevent
empty benches the lecture course becomes a conférence d'Athenée, which
is pleasant enough or sufficiently general to interest or, at least,
not to repel people of society.[31]  Two establishments remain for
teaching true science to the workers who wish to acquire it; who, in
the widespread wreck of the ancient régime have alone survived in the
Museum of Natural History, with its thirteen chairs, and the College
of France, with nineteen.  But here, too, the audience is sparse,
mixed, disunited and unsatisfactory; the lectures being public and
free, everybody enters the room and leaves as he pleases during the
lecture.  Many of the attendants are idlers who seek distraction in
the tone and gestures of the professors, or birds of passage who come
there to warm themselves in winter and to sleep in summer.
Nevertheless, two or three foreigners and half a dozen Frenchmen
thoroughly learn Arabic or zoology from Silvestre de Sacy, Cuvier or
Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.  That answers the purpose; they are quite
enough, and, elsewhere too in the other branches of knowledge.  All
that is required is a small élite of special and eminent men - about
one hundred and fifty in France in the various sciences,32 and, behind
them, provisionally, two or three hundred others, their possible
successors, competent and designated beforehand by their works and
celebrity to fill the gaps made by death in the titular staff as these
occur.  The latter, representatives of science and of literature,
provide the indispensable adornment of the modern State. But, in
addition to this, they are the depositaries of a new force, which more
and more becomes the principal guide, the influential regulator and
even the innermost motor of human action.  Now, in a centralized
State, no important force must be left to itself; Napoleon is not a
man to tolerate the independence of this one, allowing it to act apart
and outside of limitations; he knows how to utilize it and turn it to
his own advantage.  He has already grasped another force of the same
order but more ancient, and, in the same way, and with equal skill, he
also takes hold of the new one.

In effect, alongside of religious authority, based on divine
revelation and belonging to the clergy, there is now a lay authority
founded on human reason, which is exercised by scientists, erudites,
scholars and philosophers.  They too, in their way, form a clergy,
since they frame creeds and teach a faith; only, their preparatory and
dominant disposition is not trust and a docile mind, but distrust and
the need of critical examination.  With them, nearly every source of
belief is suspicious.  At bottom, among the ways of acquiring
knowledge, they accept but two, the most direct, the simplest, the
best tested, and again on condition that one proves the other, the
type of the first being that process of reasoning by which we show
that two and two make four, and the second that experience by which we
demonstrate that heat above a certain degree melts ice, and that cold
below a certain degree freezes water.  This is the sole process that
is convincing; all others, less and less sure in proportion as they
diverge from it, possess only a secondary, provisional and contestable
value, that which it confers on them after verification and check. -
Let us accordingly avail ourselves of this one, and not of another, to
express, restrain or suspend our judgment.  So long as the intellect
uses it and only it, or its analogues, to affirm, set aside or doubt,
it is called reason, and the truths thus obtained are definitive
acquisitions.  Acquired one by one, the truths thus obtained have for
a long time remained scattered, in the shape of fragments; only
isolated sciences have existed or bits of science. About the middle of
the eighteenth century these separate parts became united and have
formed one body, a coherent system. Out of this, formerly called
philosophy, that is to say a view of nature as a whole, consisting of
perfect order on lasting foundations, a sort of universal network
which, suddenly enlarged, stretches beyond the physical world to the
moral world, taking in man and men, their faculties and their
passions, their individual and their collective works, various human
societies, their history, customs and institutions, their codes and
governments, their religions, languages, literatures and fine arts,
their agriculture, industries, property, the family and the rest.[33]
Then also, in each natural whole the simultaneous or successive parts
are connected together; a knowledge of their mutual ties is important,
and, in the spiritual order of things, one accomplishes this, as in
the material order, through scientific distrust, through critical
examination, by credible experimentation and process.[34]

Undoubtedly, in  1789, the work in common on this ground had resulted
only in false conceptions; but this is because instead of credible
processes another hasty, plausible, popular, risky and deceptive
method was applied.  People wanted to go fast, conveniently, directly,
and, for guide, accepted unreason under the name of reason.  Now, in
the light of disastrous experience, there was a return to the narrow,
stony, long and painful road which alone leads, both, in speculation,
to truth and, in practice, to salvation. - Besides, this second
conclusion, like the first one, was due to recent experience.
Henceforth it was evident that, in political and social matters, ideas
quickly descend from speculation to practice.  When anybody talks to
me about stones, plants, animals and the stars I must, to listen, be
interested in these; if anybody talks to me about man and society, it
suffices that I am a man and a member of that society; for then it
concerns myself, my nearest, daily, most sensitive and dearest
interests; by virtue of being a tax-payer and a subject, a citizen and
an elector, a property-owner or a proletarian, a consumer or a
producer, a free-thinker or a Catholic, a father, son or husband, the
doctrine is addressed to me; to affect me it has only to be within
reach, through interpreters and others that promulgate it. -  This
office appertains to writers great or small, particularly to the
educated who possess wit, imagination or eloquence, a pleasing style,
the art of finding readers or of making themselves understood.  Owing
to their interposition, a doctrine wrought out by the specialist or
thinker in his study, spreads around through the novel, the theatre
and the lecture-room, by pamphlets, the newspaper, dictionaries,
manuals and conversation, and, finally, by teaching itself.  It thus
enters all houses, knocks at the door of each intellect, and,
according as it works its way more or less forcibly, contributes more
or less effectively to make or unmake the ideas and sentiments that
adapt it to the social order of things in which it is comprised.

In this respect it acts like positive religions; in its way and on
many accounts, it is one of them.  In the first place, like religion,
it is a living, principal, inexhaustible fountain-head, a high central
reservoir of active and directing belief. If the public reservoir is
not filled by an intermittent flow, by sudden freshets, by obscure
infiltrations of the mystic faculty, it is regularly and openly fed by
the constant contributions of the normal faculties.  On the other
hand, confronting faith, by the side of that beneficent divination
which, answering the demands of conscience and the emotions, fashions
the ideal world and makes the real world conform to this, it poses the
testing process which, analyzing the past and the present, disengages
possible laws and the probabilities of the future.  Doctrine likewise
has its dogmas, many definitive and others in the way of becoming so,
and hence a full and complete conception of things, vast enough and
clear enough, in spite of what it lacks, to take in at once nature and
humanity.  It, too, gathers its faithful in a great church, believers
and semi believers, who, consequently or inconsequently, accept its
authority in whole or in part, listen to its preachers, revere its
doctors, and deferentially await the decisions of its councils.  Wide-
spread, still uncertain and lax under a wavering hierarchy, the new
Church, for a hundred years past, is steadily in the way of
consolidation, of progressive ascendancy and of indefinite extension.
Its conquests are constantly increasing; sooner or later, it will be
the first of social powers.  Even for the chief of an army, even for
the head of a State, even to Napoleon, it is well to become one of its
great dignitaries; the second title, in modern society, adds a
prestige to the first one: " Salary of His Majesty the Emperor and
King as member of the Institute, 1500 francs;" thus begins his civil
list, in the enumeration of receipts. Already in Egypt, intentionally
and for effect, he heads his proclamations with "Bonaparte, commander-
in chief, member of the Institute."  "I am sure," he says, "that the
lowest drummer will comprehend it!"

Such a body, enjoying such credit, cannot remain independent.
Napoleon is not content to be one of its members.  He wants to hold it
in his grasp, have it at his own disposition, and use it the same as a
member or, at least, contrive to get effective control of it.  He has
reserved to himself an equally powerful one in the old Catholic
Church; he has reserved to himself like equivalents in the young lay
Church; and, in both cases, he limits them, and subjects them to all
the restrictions which a living body can support.  In relation to
science and religion he might repeat word for word his utterances in
relation to religion and to faith.  "Napoleon has no desire to change
the belief of his populations; he respects spiritual matters; he
wishes simply to dominate  them without touching them, without
meddling with them; all he desires is to make them square with his
views, with his policy, but through the influence of temporalities."
To this end, he negotiated with the Pope, reconstructed, as he wanted
it, the Church of France, appointed bishops, restrained and directed
the canonical authorities.  To this end, he settles matters with the
literary and scientific authorities, gets them together in a large
hall, gives them arm-chairs to sit in, gives by-laws to their groups,
a purpose and a rank in the State, in brief, he adopts, remakes, and
completes the "National Institute" of France.[35]

IV. Napoleon's stranglehold on science.

Hold of the government on the members of the Institute. - How he curbs
and keeps them down. - Circle in which lay power may act. - Favor and
freedom of the mathematical, physical and natural sciences. - Disfavor
and restrictions on the moral sciences. - Suppression of the class of
moral and political sciences. - They belong to the State, included in
the imperial domain of the Emperor. - Measures against Ideology,
philosophic or historic study of Law, Political Economy and
Statistics. - Monopoly of History.

    This "National Institute," is the Government's tool and an
appendage of the State. This is in conformity with the traditions of
the old monarchy and with the plans, sketched out and decreed by the
revolutionary assemblies,[36] in conformity with the immemorial
principle of French law which enlarges the interference of the central
power, not only in relation to public instruction but to science,
literature and the fine arts.  It is the State which has produced and
shaped it, which has given to it its title, which assigns it its
object, its location, its subdivisions, its dependencies, its
correspondences, its mode of recruitment, which prescribes its labors,
its reports, its quarterly and annual sessions, which gives it
employment and defrays its expenses.  Its members receive a salary,
and "the subjects elected[37] must be confirmed by the First Consul."
Moreover, Napoleon has only to utter a word to insure votes for the
candidate whom he approves of, or to blackball the candidate whom he
dislikes. Even when confirmed by the head of the State, an election
can be cancelled by his successor; in 1816,[38] Monge, Carnot, Guyton
de Morveau, Grégoire, Garat, David and others, sanctioned by long
possession and by recognized merit, are to be stricken off the list.
By the same sovereign right, the State admits and excludes them, the
right of the creator over his creation, and, without pushing his right
as far as that, Napoleon uses it.

He holds the members of his Institute in check with singular rigidity,
even when, outside of the Institute and as private individuals, they
fail to observe in their writings the proper rules imposed on every
public body.  The rod falls heavily on Jérôme de Lalande, the
mathematician and astronomer who continues the work of Montucla,
publicly and in a humiliating way, the blow being given by his
colleagues who are thus delegated for the purpose.  "A member of the
Institute," says the imperial note,[39] "well known for his
attainments, but now fallen into an infantile state, is not wise
enough to keep his mouth shut, and tries to have himself talked about,
at one time by advertisements unworthy of his old reputation as well
as of the body to which he belongs, and again by openly professing
atheism, the great enemy of all social organization."  Consequently,
the presidents and secretaries of the Institute, summoned by the
minister, notify the Institute "that it must send to M. de Lalande and
enjoin him not to print anything, not cast a shadow in his old age
over what he has done in his vigorous days to obtain the esteem of
savants."  M. de Chateaubriand, in the draft for his admission
address, alluding to the revolutionary role of his predecessor, Marie
Chénier, observed that he could eulogize him only as the man of
letters,[40] and, in the reception committee, six out of twelve
academicians had accepted the draft.  Thereupon, Fontanes, one of the
twelve, prudently abstains from going to Saint-Cloud.  M. de Ségur,
however, president of the committee, he goes.  In the evening, at the
coucher, Napoleon advances to him before the whole court and, in that
terrifying tone of voice which, even today, vibrates from the dead
lines of the silent page,

"Sir," says he to him, "do the literary people really desire to set
France ablaze? . . . How dare the Academy speak of regicides? . . . I
ought to put you and M. de Fontanes, as Councillor of State and Grand-
Master, in Vincennes. . . . You preside over the second division of
the Institute. I order you to inform it that I will not allow politics
at its sessions. . . . If the class disobeys I will put an end to it
as an objectionable club!"

Thus warned, the members of the Institute remain within the circle
traced out for them and, for many, the circle is sufficiently large.
Let the first division of the Institute, in the mathematical, physical
and natural sciences, Lagrange, Laplace, Legendre, Carnot, Biot,
Monge, Cassini, Lalande, Burckardt and Arago, Poisson, Berthollet,
Gay-Lussac, Guyton de Morveau, Vauquelin, Thénard and Haüy, Duhamel,
Lamarck, Jussieu, Mirbel, Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire and Cuvier, pursue
their researches; let Delambre and Cuvier, in their quarterly reports,
sum up and announce discoveries; let, in the second division of the
Institute, Volney, Destutt de Tracy, Andrieux, Picard, Lemercier and
Chateaubriand, if the latter desires to take part in its sittings,
give dissertations on language, grammar, rhetoric, rules of style and
of taste; let, in the third division of the Institute, Sylvestre de
Sacy publish his Arabic grammar; let Langlés continue his Persian,
Indian and Tartar studies; let Quatremère de Quincy, explaining the
structure of the great chryselephantine statues, reproduce
conjecturally the surface of ivory and the internal framework of the
Olympian Jupiter; let D'Ansse de Villoison discover in Venice the
commentary of the Alexandrian critics on Homer; let Larcher,
Boissonade, Clavier, alongside of Coraÿ publish their editions of the
old Greek authors -  all this causes no trouble, and all is for the
honor of the government.  Their credit reflects on the avowed
promoter, the official patron and responsible director of science,
erudition and talent therefore, in his own interest, he favors and
rewards them. Laurent de Jussieu and Cuvier are titular councillors of
the University, Delambre is its treasurer, and Fontanes its Grand-
Master.  Delille, Boissonade and Royer-Collard and Guizot teach in the
faculty of letters; Biot, Poisson, Gay-Lussac, Haüy, Thénard,
Brongniart, Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire in the faculty of the sciences;
Monge, Berthollet, Fourier, Andrieux in the Ecole Polytechnique;
Pinel, Vauquelin, Jussieu, Richerand, Dupuytren in the Ecole de
Médecine. Fourcroy is councillor of State, Laplace and Chaptal, after
having been ministers, become senators; in 1813, there are twenty-
three members of the Institute in the Senate; the zoologist Lacépede
is grand-chancellor of the Legion of Honor; while fifty-six members of
the Institute, decorated with an imperial title, are chevaliers,
barons, dukes, and even princes.[41] - This is even one more lien,
admirably serving to bind them to the government more firmly and to
in-corporate them more and more in the system.  In effect, they now
derive their importance and their living from the system and the
government; having become dignitaries and functionaries they possess a
password in this twofold capacity; henceforth, they will do well to
look upward to the master before expressing a thought and to know how
far the password allows them to think.

In this respect, the First Consul's intentions are clear from the very
first day:  In his reconstruction of the Institute[42] he has
suppressed "the division of moral and political sciences," and
consequently the first four sections of this division, "analysis of
sensations and ideas, moral science, social science and legislation,
and political economy." He thus cuts off the main branch with its four
distinct branches, and what he keeps or tolerates he trims and grafts
or fastens on to another branch of the third class, that of the
erudites and antiquaries. The latter may very well occupy themselves
with political and moral sciences but only "in their relations with
history," and especially with ancient history.  General conclusions,
applicable theories, on account of their generality, to late events
and to the actual situation are unnecessary; even as applied to the
State in the abstract, and in the cold forms of speculative
discussion, they are forbidden.  The First Consul, on the strength of
this, in connection with "Dernières vues de politique et de finances,
published by Necker, has set forth his exact rule and his threatening

 "Can you imagine," says he to Roederer, "that any man, since I became
head of the State, could propose three sorts of government for France?
Never shall the daughter of M. Necker come back to Paris!"

She would then get to be a distinct center of political opinion while
only one is necessary, that of the First Consul in his Council of
State.  Again, this council itself is only half competent and at best

 "You yourselves do not know what government is.[43] You have no idea
of it.  I am the only one, owing to my position, that can know what a
government is."

On this sphere, and everywhere on its undefined perimeter, afar, as
far away as his piercing eye can penetrate, no independent way of
thinking must be conceived or, especially, published.

In particular, the foremost and guiding science of the analysis of the
human understanding, pursued according to the methods and after the
examples furnished by Locke, Hume, Condillac and Destutt de Tracy,
ideology is forbidden.

 "It is owing to ideology," he says,[44] "to that metaphysical
obscurity which, employing its subtleties in trying to get at first
causes, seeks to base the legislation of a people on that foundation,
instead of appropriating laws to a knowledge of the human heart and
the lessons of history, that all the misfortunes of our beautiful
France must be attributed."

In 1806, M. de Tracy, unable to print his "Commentaire sur l'Esprit
des Lois" in France, sends it to the president of the United States,
Jefferson, who translates it into English, publishes it anonymously,
and has it taught in his schools.[45]  About the same date, the
republication of the "Traité d'économie-politique" of J. -B. Say is
prohibited, the first edition of which, published in 1804, was soon
exhausted.[46] In 1808, all publications of local and general
statistics, formerly incited and directed by Chaptal, were interrupted
and stopped; Napoleon always demands figures, but he keeps them for
himself; if divulged they would prove inconvenient, and henceforth
they become State secrets. The same precautions and the same rigor are
extended to books on law, even technical, and against a "Précis
historique du droit Romain."  "This work," says the censorship, "might
give rise to a comparison between the progress of authority under
Augustus and that going on under the reign of Napoleon, in such a way
as to produce a bad effect on public opinion."[47]   In effect,
nothing is more dangerous than history, for it is composed, not of
general propositions that are unintelligible except to the meditative,
but of particular facts accessible and interesting to the first one
that comes along.

For this reason, not only the science of sensations and of ideas,
philosophic law and comparative law, politics and moral law, the
science of wealth and statistics, but again, and especially, the
history of France, is a State affair, an object of government; for no
object affects the government more nearly; no study contributes so
much towards strengthening or weakening the ideas and impressions
which shape public opinion for or against him.[48] It is not
sufficient to superintend this history, to suppress it if need be, to
prevent it from being a poor one; it must again be ordered, inspired
and manufactured, that it may be a good one.

 "There is no work more important.[49] . . . I do not count the
expense in this regard. It is even my intention to make the minister
ensure that this work is under my protection.."

Above all, the attitude of the authors who write should be made sure
of.  "Not only must this work be entrusted to authors of real talent,
but again to attached men, who will present facts in this true light
and prepare healthy instruction by bringing history down to the year
VIII." But this instruction can be healthy only through a series of
preliminary and convergent judgments, insinuating into all minds the
final approval and well-founded admiration of the existing régime.
Accordingly, the historian  must feel at each line" the defects of the
ancient régime, "the influence of the court of Rome, of confessional
tickets, of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, of the ridiculous
marriage of Louis XIV. with Madame de Maintenon, the perpetual
disorder in the finances, the pretensions of the parliament, the want
of rules and leadership in the administration,  . . in such a way that
one breathes on reaching the epoch when one enjoys the benefits of
that which is due to the unity of the laws, administration and
territory."  The constant feebleness of the government under Louis
XIV, even, under Louis XV. and Louis XVI., "should inspire the need of
sustaining the newly accomplished work and its acquired
preponderance."  On the 18th of Brumaire (19-11-1799), France came
into port; the Revolution must be spoken of only as a final, fatal and
inevitable tempest.[50]  "When that work, well done and written in a
right direction, appears, nobody will have the will or the patience to
write another, especially when, far from being encouraged by the
police, one will be discouraged by it."  In this way, the government
which, in relation to the young, has awarded to itself the monopoly of
teaching, awards to itself in relation to adults, the monopoly of

V. On Censorship under Napoleon.

Measures against writers so called and popularizers. - Censorship,
control of theaters, publications and printing. - Extent and
minuteness of the repression. - Persistency in direction and
impulsion. - The logical completeness and beauty of the whole system
his final object. - How he accomplishes his own destruction.

If Napoleon in this manner takes precautions against those who think,
it is only because their thoughts, should they be written down, might
reach the public,[51] and only the sovereign alone has the right to
talk in public. Between writer and readers, every communication is
intercepted beforehand by a triple and quadruple line of defenses
through which a long, tortuous and narrow wicket is the only passage,
and where the manuscript, like a bundle of suspicious goods, is
overhauled and repeatedly verified after having obtained its free
certificate and its permit of circulation.  Napoleon declares "the
printing-office[52] to be an arsenal which must not be within the
reach of everybody. . .  It is very important for me that only those
be allowed to print who have the confidence of the government. A man
who addresses the public in print is like the man who speaks in public
in an assembly, and certainly no one can dispute the sovereign's right
to prevent the first comer from haranguing the public." - On the
strength of this, he makes publishing a privileged, authorized and
regulated office of the State.  The writer, consequently, before
reaching the public, must previously undergo the scrutiny of the
printer and bookseller, who, both responsible, sworn and patented,
will take good care not to risk their patent, the loss of their daily
bread, ruin, and, besides this, a fine and imprisonment. - In the
second place, the printer, the bookseller and the author are obliged
to place the manuscript or, by way of toleration, the work as it goes
through the press, in the hands of the official censors;[53] the
latter read it and make their weekly report to the general director of
publications; they indicate the good or bad spirit of the work, the
"unsuitable or forbidden passages according to circumstances," the
intended, involuntary or merely possible allusions; they exact the
necessary suppressions, rectifications and additions.  The publisher
obeys, the printers furnish proofs, and the author has submitted; his
proceedings and attendance in the bureaux are at end.  He thinks
himself safe in port, but he is not.

Through an express reservation, the director-general always has the
right to suppress works, "even after they have been examined, printed
and authorized to appear." In addition to this, the minister of the
police,[54] who, above the director-general, likewise has his
censorship bureau, may, in his own right, place seals on the sheets
already printed, destroy the plates and forms in the printing-office,
send a thousand copies of the "Germany" by Madame de Staël to the
paper-mill, "take measures to see that not a sheet remains," demand of
the author his manuscript, recover from the author's friends the two
copies he has lent to them, and take back from the director-general
himself the two copies for his service locked up in a drawer in his
cabinet. - Two years before this, Napoleon said to Auguste de

"Your mother is not bad.  She has intelligence, a good deal of
intelligence.  But she is unaccustomed to any kind of discipline.  She
would not be six months in Paris before I should be obliged to put her
in the Temple or at Bicêtre.  I should be sorry to do this, because it
would make a noise and that would injure me in public Opinion."

It makes but little difference whether she abstains from talking
politics: "people talk politics in talking about literature, the fine
arts and morality, about everything in the world; women should busy
themselves with their knitting," and men keep silent or, if they do
talk, let it be on a given subject and in the sense prescribed.

Of course, the inspection of publications is still more rigorous and
more repressive, more exacting and more persistent. - At the theatre,
where the assembled spectators become enthusiastic through the quick
contagion of their sensibilities, the police cut out of the
"Heraclius" of Corneille and the "Athalie" of Racine[56] from twelve
to twenty-five consecutive lines and patch up the broken passages as
carefully as possible with lines or parts of lines of their own. - On
the periodical press, on the newspaper which has acquired a body of
readers and which exercises an influence and groups its subscribers
according to an opinion, if not political, at least philosophic and
literary, there is a compression which goes even as far as utter ruin.
From the beginning of the Consulate,[57] sixty out of seventy-three
political journals are suppressed; in 1811, the thirteen that still
existed are reduced to four and the editors-in-chief are appointed by
the minister of police.  The property of these journals, on the other
hand, is confiscated, while the Emperor, who had taken it, concedes
it, one third to his police and the other two thirds to people of the
court or littérateurs who are his functionaries or his creatures.
Under this always aggravated system the newspapers, from year to year,
become so barren that the police, to interest and amuse the public,
contrive a pen warfare in their columns between one amateur of French
music and one of Italian music.

Books, almost as rigorously kept within bounds, are mutilated or
prevented from appearing.[58]  Chateaubriand is forbidden to reprint
his "Essay on Revolutions," published in London under the Directory.
In "L'Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem" he is compelled to cut out "a
good deal of declamation on courts, courtiers and certain features
calculated to excite misplaced allusions."  The censorship interdicts
the " Dernier des Abencerrages," where" it finds too warm an interest
in the Spanish cause."  One must read the entire register to see it at
work and in detail, to feel the sinister and grotesque minutia with
which it pursues and destroys, not alone among great or petty writers
but, again, among compilers and insignificant abbreviators, in a
translation, in a dictionary, in a manual, in an almanac, not only
ideas but suggestions, echoes, semblances and oversights in thinking,
the possibilities of awakening reflection and comparison :

* every souvenir of the ancient régime, this or that mention of Kléber
or Moreau, or a particular conversation of Sully and Henry IV.;

*  "a game of loto,[59] which familiarizes youth with the history of
their country," but which says too much about "the family of the
grand-dauphin of Louis XVI. and his aunts";

* the general work of the reveries of Cagliostro and of M. Henri de
Saint-Mesmin, very laudatory of the Emperor, excellent "for filling
the soul of Frenchmen with his presence, but which must leave out
three awkward comparisons that might be detected by the malevolent or
the foolish;"

*  the "translation into French verse of several of David's psalms,"
which are not dangerous in Latin but which, in French, have the defect
of a possible application, through coincidence and prophecy, to the
Church as suffering, and to religion as persecuted;

and quantities of other literary insects hatched in the depths of
publication, nearly all ephemeral, crawling and imperceptible, but
which the censor, through zeal and his trade, considers as fearsome
dragons whose heads must be smashed or their teeth extracted.

After the next brood they prove inoffensive, and, better still, are
useful, especially the almanacs,[60] "in rectifying on various points
the people's attitudes. It will probably be possible after 1812 to
control their composition, and they are filled with anecdotes, songs
and stories adapted to the maintenance of patriotism and of devotion
to the sacred person of His Majesty and to the Napoleonic dynasty." -
To this end, the police likewise improves, orders and pays for
dramatic or lyric productions of all kinds, cantatas, ballets,
impromptus, vaudevilles, comedies, grand-operas, comic operas, a
hundred and seventy-six works in one day, composed for the birth of
the King of Rome and paid for in rewards to the sum of 88,400 francs.
Let the administration look to this beforehand so as to raise up
talent and have it bear good fruit. "Complaints are made because we
have no literature;[61] it is the fault of the minister of the
interior. Napoleon personally and in the height of a campaign
interposes in theatrical matters.  Whether far away in Prussia or at
home in France, he leads tragic authors by the hand, Raynouard,
Legouvé, Luce de Lancival; he listens to the first reading of the
"Mort d'Henri IV." and the "États de Blois."  He gives to Gardel, a
ballet-composer, "a fine theme in the Return of Ulysses."  He explains
to authors how dramatic effect should, in their hands, become a
political lesson; for lack of anything better, and waiting for these
to comprehend it, he uses the theatre the same as a tribune for the
reading to the spectators of his bulletins of the grand army.

On the other hand, in the daily newspapers, he is his own advocate,
the most vehement, the haughtiest, the most powerful of polemics. For
a long time, in the "Moniteur," he himself dictates articles which are
known by his style. After Austerlitz, he has no time to do this, but
he inspires them all and they are prepared under his orders.  In the
"Moniteur" and other gazettes, it is his voice which, directly or by
his spokesmen, reaches the public; it alone prevails and one may
divine what it utters!  The official acclaim of every group or
authority in the State again swell the one great, constant, triumphant
adulatory hymn which, with its insistence, unanimity and violent
sonorities, tends to bewilder all minds, deaden consciences and
pervert the judgment.

"Were it open to doubt," says a member of the tribunate,[62] "whether
heaven or chance gives sovereigns on earth, would it not be evident
for us that we owe our Emperor to some divinity?"

Another of the choir then takes up the theme in a minor key and thus
sings the victory of Austerlitz:

 "Europe, threatened by a new invasion of the barbarians, owes its
safety to the genius of another Charles Martel."

 Similar cantatas follow, intoned in the senate and lower house by
Lacépède, Pérignon and Garat, and then, in each diocese, by the
bishops, some of whom, in their pastoral letters, raise themselves up
to the technical considerations of military art, and, the better to
praise the Emperor, explain to their parishioners the admirable
combinations of his strategic genius.

And truly, his strategy is admirable, lately against Catholic ideas
and now against the secular mind.  First of all, he has extended,
selected and defined his field of operations, and here is his
objective point, fixed by himself:

 "On public affairs, which are my affairs in political, social and
moral matters, on history, and especially on actual history, recent
and modern, nobody of the present generation is to give any thought
but myself and, in the next generation, everybody will follow my

  The monopoly of education therefore belongs to him. He has
introduced military uniforms, discipline and spirit into all the
public and private secondary educational establishments. He has
reduced and subjected the ecclesiastical superintendence of primary
education to the minimum. He has removed the last vestige of regional,
encyclopedic and autonomous universities and substituted for these
special and professional schools, He has rendered veritable superior
instruction abortive and stifled all spontaneous and disinterested
curiosity in youth. -  Meanwhile ascending to the source of secular
knowledge, he has brought the Institute under his influence.  On this
government tool he has effected the necessary cuts, appropriated the
credit to himself and imposed his favor or disfavor on the masters of
science and literature. Then, descending from the source to the
canals, constructing dams, arranging channels, applying his
constraints and impulsions, he has subjected science and literature to
his police, to his censorship and to his control of publishing and
printing. He has taken possession of all the media - theatres,
newspapers, books, pulpits and tribunes. He has organized all these
into one vast industry which he watches over and directs, a factory of
public attitudes which works unceasingly and in his hands to the
glorification of his system, reign and person.[64]  Again here, he is
found equal and similar to himself, a stern conqueror making the most
of his conquest to the last extreme, a shrewd operator as meticulous
as he is shrewd, as resourceful as he is consequent, incomparable in
adapting means to ends, unscrupulous in carrying them out,[65] fully
satisfied that, through the constant physical pressure of universal
and crushing dread, all resistance would be overcome. He is
maintaining and prolonging the struggle with colossal forces, but
against a historic and natural force lying beyond his grasp, lately
against belief founded on religious instinct and on tradition, and now
against evidence engendered by realities and by the agency of the
testing process. Consequently, obliged to forbid the testing process,
to falsify things, to disfigure the reality, to deny the evidence, to
lie daily and each day more outrageously,[66] to accumulate glaring
acts so as to impose silence, to arouse by this silence and by these
lies[67]  the attention and perspicacity of the public, to transform
almost mute whispers into sounding words and insufficient eulogies
into open protestations. In short, weakened by his own success and
condemned beforehand to succumb under his victories, to disappear
after a short triumph, Napoleon will leave intact and erect the
indestructible rival (science and knowledge) whom he would like to
crush as an adversary but turn to account as an instrument.[68]



[1] Lamennais, "Du Progrès de la Révolution," p.163.

[2] Any socialist or social-nationalist leader would undoubtedly have
been impressed by Napoleon's ability to control and dominate his
admiring people and do their best to copy his methods. (SR.)

[3]  "The Modern Régime," I., 247.

[4] Pelet de la Lozère, p. 159.

[5] Maggiolo, "Les Écoles en Lorraine avant et aprés 1789," 3rd part,
p.22 and following pages. (Details on the foundation or the revival of
primary schools in four departments after 1802.) Sometimes, the master
is the one who taught before 1789, and his salary is always the same
as at that time; I estimate that, in a village of an average size, he
might earn in all between 500 and 600 francs a year; his situation
improves slowly and remains humble and wretched down to the law of
1833. - There are no normal schools for the education of primary
instructors except one at Strasbourg established in 1811 by the
prefect, and the promise of another after the return from Elba, April
27, 1815. Hence the teaching staff is of poor quality, picked up here
and there haphazard. But, as the small schools satisfy a felt want,
they increase. In 1815, there are more than 22,000, about as many as
in 1789; in the four departments examined by M. Maggiolo there are
almost as many as there are communes. - Nevertheless, elsewhere, "in
certain departments, it is not rare to find twenty or thirty communes
in one arrondissement with only one schoolmaster. . . . One who can
read and write is consulted by his neighbors the same as a doctor." -
("Ambroise Rendu," by E. Rendu, p.107, Report of 1817.)

[6] Decree of May 1, 1802, articles 2, 4 and 5. - Decree of March 17,
1808, articles 5, 8 and 117.

[7] E. Rendu, Ibid., pp.39 and 41

[8] Id., ibid., 41. (Answers of approval of the bishops, letter of the
archbishop of Bordeaux, May 29, 1808.) "There are only too many
schools whose instructors neither give lessons nor set examples of
Catholicism or even of Christianity. It is very desirable that these
wicked men should not be allowed to teach."

[9] Decree of Nov. 15, 1911, article 192. - Cf. the decree of March
17, 1808, article 6. "The small primary schools are those where one
learns to read, write and cipher." -Ibid., § 3, article 5, definition
of boarding-schools and secondary communal schools. This definition is
rendered still more precise in the decree of Nov.15, 1811, article 16.

[10] Pelet de la Lozère, ibid. 175. (Words of Napoleon before the
Council of State, May 21, 180.)

[11] Alexis Chevalier, "Les Frères des éco1es chrétiennes pendant la
Révolution, " 93. (Report by Portalis approved by the First Consul,
Frimaire 10, year XII.)

[12] Like in the socialist and national-socialist parties and trade
unions  which were to dominate the Western democracies throughout the
20th century. (SR.)

[13] "Ambroise Rendu," by E. Rendu, P.42.

[14] D'Haussonville, "L'Église romaine et le premier Empire," II.,257,
266. (Report of Portalis to the Emperor, Feb. 13, 1806.)

[15]  Here Taine describes what today is often named as being the "
state of the art. " (SR.)

[16] Cuvier, "Rapport sur l'instruction publique dans les nouveaux
départements de la basse Allemagne, fait en exécution du décret du 13
novembre 1810," pp. 4-8. "The principle and aim of each university is
to have courses of lectures on every branch of human knowledge if
there are any pupils who desire this. . . No professor can hinder his
colleague from treating the same subjects as himself; most of their
increase depends on the remuneration of the pupils which excites the
greatest emulation in their work." - The university, generally, is in
some small town; the student has no society but that of his comrades
and his professors; again, the university has jurisdiction over him
and itself exercises its rights of oversight and police. "Living in
their families, with no public amusements, with no distractions, the
middle-class Germans, especially in North Germany, regard reading,
study and meditation as their chief pleasures and main necessity; they
study to learn rather than to prepare themselves for a lucrative
profession.. . . .The theologian scrutinizes even to their roots the
truth of morality and of natural theology. As to positive religion he
wishes to know its history and will study in the original tongue
sacred writings and all the languages relating to it that may throw
light on it; he desires to possess the details of Church history and
become acquainted with the usages of one century after another and the
motives of the changes which took place. - The law student is not
content with a knowledge of the code of his country ; in his studies
everything must be related to the general principles of natural and
political laws. He must know the history of rights at all epochs, and,
consequently, he has need of the political history of nations; he must
be familiar with the various European constitutions, and be able to
read the diplomas and charters of all ages; the complex German
legislation obliges him, and will for a long time, to know the canon
laws of both religious, of feudal and public law, as well as of civil
and criminal law; and if the means of verifying at its sources all
that is taught to him are not afforded to him, he regards instruction
as cut short and insufficient."

[17] Louis Liard, " L'Enseignement supérieur en France, " pp.307-309

[18] Two prisons at the time.(SR.)

[19] Comte Chaptal, "Notes." - Chaptal, a bright scholar, studied in
his philosophy class at Rodez under M. Laguerbe, a highly esteemed
professor. "Everything was confined to unintelligible discussions on
metaphysics and to the puerile subtleties of logic." This lasted two
years. Public discussions by the pupils were held three or four hours
long; the bishop, the noblesse, the full chapter attended at these
scholastic game-cock fights. Chaptal acquired a few correct notions of
geometry, algebra and the planetary system, but outside of that, he
says, "I got nothing out of it but a great facility in speaking Latin
and a passion for caviling."

[20] Useful qualities for an administrator, anytime anywhere. (SR.)

[21] The Grande Ecoles today in 1998 produce first of all a special
type of engineer, a general engineer, specialist in nothing but highly
trained in mathematics, physics and chemistry. This education is
found, either in Ecole Centrale, mainly providing private enterprise
with engineers, and Polytechnique, mainly providing the State with
engineers. Specialist engineers, in construction, chemistry,
electronics, electricity etc. are produced by a few dozens prestigious
engineering or commercial schools which admit the students who have
completed 2 or 3 years of preparatory school and successfully competed
for the more popular schools. The special schools Taine talks about
are the precursors of a great many of the schools available in France
today. The principle of admission by concurs is still in use and
produce engineers who are able and willing to work hard, engineers who
are competent but often a bit proud and overly sure of themselves.

[22] Louis Liard, "Universités et Facultés," pp. 1-12.

[23] Pelet de la Lozère, 176 (Session of the Council of State, May 21,

[24] Liard, "L'Enseignement supérieur en France,"   71, 73. "In the
law schools, say the memorials of 1789, there is not the fiftieth part
of the pupils who attend the professors' lectures." -  Fourcroy, "
Exposé des motifs de la loi concernant les Ecoles de droit," March 13,
1804. "In the old law faculties the studies were of no account,
inexact and rare, the lectures being neglected or not attended. Notes
were bought instead of being taken. Candidates were received so easily
that the examinations no longer deserved their name. Bachelor's
degrees and others were titles bought without study or trouble." - Cf
the "Mémoires " of Brissot and the "Souvenirs of d'Audifret-Pasquier,"
both of them law students before 1789. - M. Léo de Savigny, in his
recent work, "Die französischen Rechts facultäten" (p.74 et seq.)
refers to other authorities not less decisive.

[25] Reference is made to the synopsis of the Justitian code of civil
and other Roman laws. (SR.)

[26] Treaty of law written Roman jurists under Justitian in 533. (SR.)

[27] Decree of March 19, 1807, articles 42, 45.

[28] The French Supreme Court. (SR.)

[29] Courcelle-Seneuil, "Préparation à l'étude du droit " (1887), pp.
5, 6 (on the teaching of law by the Faculty of Paris).

[30] Léo de Savigny, ibid., p. 161.

[31] Bréa1, "Quelques mots sur l'instruction publique" (1892), pp.
327, 341. - Liard, "Universités et Facultés," p.13 et seq.

[32] Act of Jan.23, 1803, for the organization of the Institute.

[33] Voltaire's "Essai sur les mœurs" is of 1756; "L'Esprit des Lois"
by Montesquieu also, in 1754, and his "Traité des Sensations." The
"Emile" of Rousseau is of 1762; the "Traité de la formation mécanique
des langues," by de Brosses, is of 1765; the "Physiocratie" by Quesnay
appeared in 1768, and the "Encyclopédie" between 1750 and 1765.

[34] On the equal value of the testing process in moral and physical
sciences, David Hume, in 1737, stated the matter decisively in his
"Essay on Human Nature." Since that time, and particularly since the
"Compte-rendu" by Necker, but especially in our time, statistics have
shown that the near or remote determining motives of human action are
powers (Grandeurs) expressed by figures, interdependent, and which
warrant, here as elsewhere, precise and numerical foresight.

[35] What an impression Taine's description of Napoleon's set-up must
have had on Hitler, Lenin and, possibly Stalin and their successors.

[36] Cf. Liard, "L'Enseignement supérieur en France," vol. I., in
full. - Also the law of Brumaire 3, year Iv. (Oct.25, 1795), on the
primitive organization of the Institute.

[37] Decree of Jan. 23, 1803.

[38] Decree of March 21, 1816

[39] "Corréspondance de Napoléon," letters to M. de Champagny, Dec.13,
1805, and Jan. 3, 1806. "I see with pleasure the promise made by M. de
Lalande and what passed on that occasion."

[40] De Ségur, "Mémoires," III., 457. - " M. de Chateaubriand composed
his address with a good deal of skill; he evidently did not wish to
offend any of his colleagues without even excepting Napoleon. He
lauded with great eloquence the fame of the Emperor and exalted the
grandeur of republican sentiments." In explanation of and excusing his
silence and omissions regarding his regicide predecessor, he likened
Chénier to Milton and remarked that, for forty years, the same silence
had been observed in England with reference to Milton.

[41] Edmond Leblanc, "Napoléon 1ere et ses institutions civiles eL
administratives," pp. 225-233.  -  Annuaire de 1'Institut for 1813

[42] Law of Oct. 25, 1795, and act of Jan. 23, 1803.

[43] Rœderer, III., 548. - Id., III., 332 (Aug. 2, 1801).

[44] Welschinger," La Censure sous le premier Empire," p.440. (Speech
by Napoleon to the Council of State, Dec.20, 1812.) - Merlet, "Tableau
de la littérature française de 1800 à 1815," I., 128. M. Royer-Collard
had just given his first lecture at the Sorbonne to an audience of
three hundred persons against the philosophy of Locke and Condillac
(1811). Napoleon, having read the lecture, says on the following day
to Talleyrand: "Do you know, Monsieur le Grand-Electeur, that a new
and very important philosophy is appearing in my University . . .
which may well rid us entirely of the ideologists by killing them on
the spot with reason? " - Royer-Collard, on being informed of this
eulogium, remarked to some of his friends: "The Emperor is mistaken.
Descartes is more disobedient to despotism than Locke."

[45] Mignet, "Notices et Portraits." (Eulogy of M. de Tracy.)

[46] J.-B. Say, "Traité d'économie-politique," 2d ed., 1814 (Notice).
"The press was no longer free. Every exact presentation of things
received the censure of a government founded on a lie."

[47] Welschinger, p. 160 (Jan. 24, 1810). - Villemain, "Souvenirs
contemporains," vol. I., p. 180. After 1812, "it is literally exact to
state that every emission of written ideas, every historical mention,
even the most remote and most foreign, became a daring and suspicious
matter." - (Journal of Sir John Malcolm, Aug. 4, 1815, visit to
Langlès, the orientalist, editor of Chardin, to which he has added
notes, one of which is on the mission to Persia of Sir John Malcolm)
"He at first said to me that he had followed another author:
afterwards he excused himself by alleging the system of Bonaparte,
whose censors, he said, not only cut out certain passages, but added
others which they believed helped along his plans."

[48]  Reading this Lenin and others like him undoubtedly would agree
with Napoleon and therefore liberally fund plans to place agents and
controllers in all the Universities in the World hence ensuring
politically correct attitudes. (SR.)

[49] Merlet, ibid. (According to the papers of M. de Fontanes, II.

[50] Id., Ibid. "Care must be taken to avoid all reaction in speaking
of the Revolution. No man could oppose it. Blame belongs neither to
those who have perished nor to those who survived it. It was not in
any individual might to change the elements and foresee events born
out of the nature of things."

[51] Villemain, Ibid., I., 145. (Words of M. de Narbonne on leaving
Napoleon after several interviews with him in 1812.) "The Emperor, so
powerful, 50 victorious is disturbed by only one thing in this world
and that is by people who talk, and, in default of these, by those who
think. And yet he seems to like them or, at least, cannot do without

[52] Welschinger, ibid., p.30. (Session of the Council of State,
Dec.12, 1809)

[53] Welschinger, ibid., pp.31, 33, 175, 190. (Decree of Feb.5, 1810.)
- "Revue Critique," Sep. 1870. (Weekly bulletin of the general
direction of publicauons for the last three months of 1810 and the
first three months of 1814, published by Charles Thursot.)

[54] Collection of laws and decrees, vol. XII., p.170.  " When the
censors shall have examined a work and allowed the publication of it,
the publishers shall be authorized to have it printed. But the
minister of the police shall still have the right to suppress it
entirely if he thinks proper." - Welschinger, ibid., pp. 346-374.

[55] Welschinger, ibid., pp. 173, 175.

[56] Id., ibid., pp. 223, 231, 233. (The copy of "Athalie" with the
erasures of the police still exists in the prompter's library of the
Théâtre Français.) - Id., ibid., p 244. (Letter of the secretary-
general of the police to the weekly managers of the Théâtre Français,
Feb. 1, 1809, In relation to the "Mort d'Hector," by Luce de
Lancival.) " Messieurs, His Excellency, the minister-senator, has
expressly charged me to request the suppression of the following lines
on the stage -  'Hector':  Déposez un moment ce fer toujours
vainqueur,Cher Hector, et craignez de laisser le bonheur."

[57] Welschinger, ibid., p. 13.  (Act of Jan. 17, 1800.) - 117, 118.
(Acts of Feb. 18, 1811, and Sep. 17, 1813.) - 119, 129. (No indemnity
for legitimate owners. The decree of confiscation states in principle
that the ownership of journals can become property only by virtue of
an express concession made by the sovereign, that this concession was
not made to the actual founders and proprietors and that their claim
is null.)

[58] Id.. ibid., pp.196, 201.

[59] "Revue critique," ibid., pp.142, 146, 149.

[60] Welschinger, ibid., p. 251.

[61] "Corréspondance de Napoléon Iere." (Letter of the Emperor to
Cambacérès, Nov.21, 1806.) - Letters to Fouché, Oct.25 and Dec. 31,
1806.) - Welschinger, ibid., pp.236, 244.

[62] "Moniteur," Jan. I, 1806. (Tribunate, session of Nivôse 9, year
XIV., speeches of MM. Albisson and Gillet. - Senate, speeches of MM.
Pérignon, Garat, de Lacépède.) - In the following numbers we find
municipal addresses, letters of bishops and the odes of poets in the
same strain. - In the way of official enthusiasm take the following
two fine examples.  ("Debats," March 29, 1811.) "The Paris municipal
council deliberated on the vote of a pension for life of 10,000 francs
in favor of M. de Govers, His Majesty's second page, for bringing to
the Hôtel de Ville the joyful news of the birth of the King of Rome. .
. . Everybody was charmed with his grace and presence of mind." -
Faber, "Notices sur l'intérieur de France," p.25. "I know of a
tolerably large town which could not light its lamps in 1804, on
account of having sent its mayor to Paris at the expense of the
commune to see Bonaparte crowned."

[63]  Taine here explains the method which was to be copied by all the
totalitarian leaders of the 20th century, especially by the ever
present communist-socialist-revolutionary organizations and their more
or less hidden leaders. (SR.)

[64] Lenin, Stalin and their successors must all have found this idea
interesting and did also proceed to put much of the media in the world
under their control. (SR.)

[65] Faber, ibid., p. 32 (1807). "I saw one day a physician, an honest
man, unexpectedly denounced for having stated in a social gathering in
the town some observations on the medical system under the existing
government. The denunciator, a French employee, was the physician's
friend and denounced him because he was afraid of being denounced
himself." - Count Chaptal, "Notes." Enumeration of the police forces
which control and complete each other. "Besides the minister and the
prefect of police Napoleon had three directors-general residing at
Paris and also in superintendence of the departments; . . besides,
commissioners-general of police in all the large towns and special
commissioners in all others; moreover, the gendarmerie, which daily
transmitted a bulletin of the situation all over France to the
inspector-general; again, reports of his aids and generals, of his
guard on supplementary police, the most dangerous of all to persons
about the court and to the principal agents of the administration;
finally, several special police-bodies to render to him an account of
what passed among savants, tradesmen and soldiers. All this
correspondence reached him at Moscow as at the Tuileries."

[66] Faber, ibid. (1807), p.35. "Lying, systematically organized,
forming the basis of government and consecrated in public acts,.. .
the abjuring of all truth, of all personal conviction, is the
characteristic of the administrators as presenting to view the acts,
sentiments and ideas of the government, which makes use of them for
scenic effect in the pieces it gives on the theatre of the world. . .
. The administrators do not believe a word they say, nor those

[67] The following two confidential police reports show, among many
others, the sentiments of the public and the usefulness of repressive
measures. (Archives nationales, F.7, 3016, Report of the commissioner-
general of Marseilles for the second quarter of 1808.) "Events in
Spain have largely fixed, and essentially fixed, attention. In vain
would the attentive observer like to conceal the truth on this point;
the fact is that the Spanish revolution is unfavorably looked upon. It
was at first thought that the legitimate heir would succeed to Charles
IV.  The way in which people have been undeceived has given the public
a direction quite opposite to the devoted ideas of His Majesty the
Emperor. . . No generous soul. . . rises to the level of the great
continental cause." - Ibid. (Report for the second quarter of 1809.)
"I have posted observers in the public grounds. . . . As a result of
these measures, of this constant vigilance, of the care I have taken
to summon before me the heads of public establishments when I have
ascertained that the slightest word has been spoken, I attain the end
proposed. But I am assured that if the fear of the upper police did
not restrain the disturbers, the brawlers, they would publicly express
an opinion contrary to the principles of the government. . . . Public
opinion is daily going down. There is great misery and consternation.
Murmurs are not openly heard, but discontent exists among citizens
generally. . . . The continental war. the naval warfare, events in
Rome, Spain and Germany, the absolute cessation of trade, the
conscription, the droits unis. . . are all so many motives of
corruption of the public mind.  Priests and devotees, merchants and
proprietors, artisans, workmen, the people in fine, everybody is
discontented. . . . In general, they are insensible to the continental
victories. All classes of citizens are much more sensitive to the
levies of the conscription than to the successes which come from

[68] There is here, 100 years later, a message for us about the
enormous force which, under the name of politically correct, is
haunting our media, our universities and our political life. (SR.)

CHAPTER III. Evolution between 1814 and 1890.

I. Evolution of the Napoleonic machine.

History of the Napoleonic machine. - The first of its two arms,
operating on adults, is dislocated and breaks. - The second, which
operates on youth, works intact until 1850. - Why it remains intact. -
Motives of governors. - Motives of the governed.

AFTER him, the springs of his machine relax; and so do, naturally, the
two groups controlled by the machine. The first, that of adult men,
frees itself the most and the soonest: during the following half
century, we see the preventive or repressive censorship of books,
journals and theatres, every special instrument that gags free speech,
relaxing its hold, breaking down bit by bit and at last tumbling to
the ground. Even when again set up and persistently and brutally
applied, old legal muzzles are never to become as serviceable as
before. No government will undertake, like that of Napoleon, to stop
at once all outlets of written thought; some will always remain more
or less open.  Even during the rigorous years of the Restoration and
of the second Empire the stifling process is to diminish; mouths open
and there is some way of public expression, at least in books and
likewise through the press, provided one speaks discreetly and
moderately in cool and general terms and in a low, even tone of voice.
Here, the imperial machine, too aggressive, soon broke down;
immediately, the iron arm by which it held adults seemed insupportable
to them and they were able more and more to bend, push it away or
break it.  Today, in 1890, nothing remains of it but its fragments;
for twenty years it has ceased to work and its parts, even, are
utterly useless.

But, to the contrary, in the other direction, in the second group, on
children, on boys, on young men, the second arm, intact down to 1850,
then shortened but soon strengthened, more energetic and more
effective than ever, maintained its hold almost entirely.

Undoubtedly, after 1814, its mechanism is less rigid, its application
less strict, its employment less universal, its operation less severe;
it gives less offence and does not hurt as much.  For example, after
the first Restoration,[1] the decree of 1811 against the smaller
seminaries is repealed. They are handed back to the bishops, resume
their ecclesiastical character and return to the special and normal
road out of which Napoleon forced them to march.  The drum, the drill
and other exercises too evidently Napoleonic disappear almost
immediately in the private and public establishments devoted to common
instruction. The school system ceases to be a military apprenticeship
and the college is no longer a preparatory annex for the barracks.
Soon and for many years, Guizot, Cousin, and Villemain brilliantly
hold the chairs at Sorbonne university and teach the highest subjects
of philosophy, literature and history admired by attentive and
sympathetic audiences. Later, under the monarchy of July, the
Institute, mutilated by the First Consul, restores and completes
itself. It becomes once more united with the suspect division of  the
Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, which after the Consulate,
had been missing.  In 1833, a minister, Guizot, provides, through a
law which has become an institution, for the regular maintenance, the
obligatory appropriation, the certain recruitment, and for the quality
and universality of primary instruction. At the same time, during
eighteen years, the university administration, moderating its pressure
or smoothing its sharp points, operates at the three stages of
instruction in tolerant or liberal hands, with all the caution
compatible with its organization. It does so in such a way as to do a
great deal of good without much harm, by half-satisfying the majority
which, in its entirety, is semi-believer, semi-freethinker, by not
seriously offending anybody except the Catholic clergy and that
unyielding minority which, through doctrinal principle or through
religious zeal, assigns to education as a directing end and supreme
object, the definitive cultivation, rooting and flowering of faith.
But, in law as well as in fact, the University of 1808 still subsists;
it has kept its rights, it levies its taxes, it exercises its
jurisdiction and enjoys its monopoly.

In the early days of the Restoration, in 1814, the government
maintained it only provisionally. It promised everything, radical
reform and full liberty. It announced that, through its efforts, "the
forms and direction of the education of children should be restored to
the authority of fathers and mothers, tutors and families."[2]  Simply
a prospectus and an advertisement by the new pedagogue who installs
himself and thus, by soothing words, tries to conciliate parents.
After a partial sketch and an ordinance quickly repealed,[3] the
rulers discover that the University of Napoleon is a very good
reigning tool, much better than that of which they had the management
previous to 1789, much easier handled and more serviceable.  It is the
same with all social tools sketched out and half-fashioned by the
Revolution and completed and set a-going by the Consulate and the
Empire; each is constructed "by reason,"  "according to principles,"
and therefore its mechanism is simple; its pieces all fit into each
other with precision; they transmit throughout exactly the impulsion
received and thus operate at one stroke, with uniformity,
instantaneously, with certitude, oil all parts of the territory; the
lever which starts the machine is central and, throughout its various
services, the new rulers hold this lever in hand.  Apropos of local
administration, the Duc d'Angoulême said in 1815,[4]  "We prefer the
departments to the provinces." In like manner, the government of the
restored monarchy prefers the imperial University, sole, unique,
coherent, disciplined and centralized, to the old provincial
universities, the old scattered, scholastic institution, diverse,
superintended rather than governed, to every school establishment more
or less independent and spontaneous.

In the first place, it gains thereby a vast staff of salaried
dependents, the entire teaching staff,[5] on which it has a hold
through its favors or the reverse through ambition and the desire for
promotion, through fear of dismissal and concern for daily bread. At
first, 22,000 primary teachers, thousands of professors, directors,
censors, principals, regents and subordinates in the 36 lycées, 368
colleges and 1255 institutions and boarding-schools. After this, many
hundreds of notable individuals, all the leading personages of each
university circumscription, the administrators of 28 academies, the
professors of the 23 literary faculties, of the 10 faculties of the
sciences, of the 9 faculties of law, and of the 3 faculties of
medicine. Add to these, the savants of the Collège de France and École
Polytechnique, every establishment devoted to high, speculative or
practical instruction: these are highest in repute and the most
influential; here the heads of science and of literature are found.
Through them and their seconds or followers of every degree, in the
faculties, lycées, colleges, minor seminaries, institutions, boarding
schools, and small schools, beliefs or opinions can be imposed on, or
suggested to, 2000 law students, 4000 medical students, 81,000
thousand pupils in secondary education and 700,000 scholars in the
primary department.  Let us retain and make use of this admirable
tool, but let us apply it to our own purposes and utilize it for our
service.[6]   Thus far, under the Republic and the Empire, its
designers, more or less Jacobin, have moved it as they thought best,
and therefore moved it to the "left".  Let us now move, as it suits
us, to the " right."[7]  All that is necessary is to turn it in
another direction and for good; henceforth," the basis of education88]
shall be religion, monarchy, legitimacy and the charter."

To this end, we, the dominant party, use our legal rights. In the
place of bad wheels we put good ones.  We purify our staff.  We do not
appoint or leave in place any but safe men.  At the end of six years,
nearly all the rectors,  proviseurs and professors of philosophy, many
other professors and a number of the censors,[9] are all priests.  At
the Sorbonne, M. Cousin has been silenced and M. Guizot replaced by M.
Durosoir.  At the Collège de France we have dismissed Tissot and we do
not accept M. Magendie. We "suppress"  in block the Faculty of
Medicine in order that, on reorganizing it, our hands may be free and
eleven professors with bad notes be got rid of, among others Pinel,
Dubois, de Jussieu, Desgenettes, Pelletan and Vauquelin.  We suppress
another center of insalubrities, the upper École Normale, and, for the
recruitment of our educational body, we institute[10] at the principal
seat of each academy a sort of university novitiate where the pupils,
few in number, expressly selected, prepared from their infancy, will
imbibe deeper and more firmly retain the sound doctrines suitable to
their future condition.

We let the small seminaries multiply and fill up until they comprise
50,000 pupils.  It is the bishop who founds them; no educator or
inspector of education is so worthy of confidence.  Therefore, we
confer upon him "in all that concerns religion,"[11] the duty "of
visiting them himself, or delegating his vicars-general to visit
them," the faculty "of suggesting to the, royal council of public
instruction the measures which he deems necessary."  At the top of the
hierarchy sits a Grand-Master with the powers and title of M. de
Fontanes and with an additional title, member of the cabinet and
minister of public instruction, M. de Freyssinous, bishop of
Hermopolis,[12] and, in difficult cases, this bishop, placed between
his Catholic conscience and the positive articles of the legal
statute, " sacrifices the law" to his conscience.[13] - This is the
advantage which can be taken from the tool of public education.  After
1850, it is to be used in the same way and in the same sense; after
1796, and later after 1875, it was made to work as vigorously in the
opposite direction.  Whatever the rulers may be, whether monarchists,
imperialists or republicans, they are the masters who use it for their
own advantage; for this reason, even when resolved not to abuse the
instrument, they keep it intact; they reserve the use of it for
themselves,[14] and pretty hard blows are necessary to sever or relax
the firm hold which they have on the central lever.

Except for these excesses and especially after they finish, when the
government, from 1828 to 1848, ceases to be sectarian, and the normal
play of the institution is no longer corrupted by political
interference, the governed accept the University in block, just as
their rulers maintain it: they also have motives of their own, the
same as for submitting to other tools of Napoleonic centralization. -
And first of all, as a departmental and communal institution, the
university institution operates wholly alone; it exacts little or no
collaboration on the part of those interested; it relieves them of any
effort, dispute or care, which is pleasant.  Like the local
administration, which, without their help or with scarcely any,
provides them with bridges, roads, canals, cleanliness, salubrity and
precautions against contagious diseases, the scholastic
administration, without making any demand on their indolence, puts its
full service, the local and central apparatus of primary, secondary,
superior and special instruction, its staff and material, furniture
and buildings, masters and schedules, examinations and grades, rules
and discipline, expenditure and receipts, all at its disposition.  As
at the door of a table d'hôte, they are told,

"Come in and take a seat.  We offer you the dishes you like best and
in the most convenient order.  Don't trouble yourself about the
waiters or the kitchen; a grand central society, an intelligent and
beneficent agency, presiding at Paris takes charge of this and
relieves you of it.  Pass your plate, and eat; that is all you need
care about.  Besides, the charge is very small."[15]

In effect, here as elsewhere, Napoleon has introduced his rigid
economical habits, exact accounts and timely or disguised tax-
levies.[16]  A few additional centimes among a good many others
inserted by his own order in the local budget, a few imperceptible
millions among several hundreds of other millions in the enormous sum
of the central budget, constitute the resources which defray the
expenses of public education.  Not only does the quota of each
taxpayer for this purpose remain insignificant, but it disappears in
the sum total of which it is only an item that he does not notice. -
The parents, for the instruction of a child, do not pay out of their
pockets directly, with the consciousness of a distinct service
rendered them and which they indemnify,[17] but 12, 10, 3, or even 2
francs a year; again, through the increasing extension of gratis
instruction, a fifth, then a third,[18] and later one half of them are
exempt from this charge.

For secondary instruction, at the college or the lycée, they take out
of their purses annually only 40 or 50 francs; and, if their son is a
boarder, these few francs mingle in with others forming the total sum
paid for him during the year, about 700 francs,[19] which is a small
sum for defraying the expenses, not only of instruction, but, again,
for the support of the lad in lodging, food, washing, light, fire and
the rest.  The parents, at this rate, feel that they are not making a
bad bargain; they are not undergoing extortion, the State not acting
like a rapacious contractor.  And better yet, it is often a paternal
creditor, distributing, as it does, three or four thousand
scholarships.  If their son obtains one of these, their annual debt is
remitted to them and the entire university provision of instruction
and support is given to them gratis.  In the Faculties, the payment of
fees for entrance, examinations, grades and diplomas is not
surprising, for the certificates or parchments they receive in
exchange for their money are, for the young man, so many positive
acquisitions which smooth the way to a career and serve as valuable
stock which confers upon him social rank. Besides, the entrance to
these Faculties is free and gratuitous, as well as in all other
establishments for superior instruction.  Whoever chooses and when he
chooses may attend without paying a cent.

Thus constituted, the University seems to the public as a liberal,
democratic, humanitarian institution and yet economical, expending
very little.  Its administrators and professors, even the best of
them, receive only a small salary - 6000 francs at the Muséum and the
Collége de France,[20] 7500 at the Sorbonne, 5000 in the provincial
Faculties, 4000 or 3000 in the lycées, 2000, 1500 and 1200 in the
communal colleges - just enough to live on.  The highest functionaries
live in a very modest way; each keeps body and soul together on a
small salary which he earns by moderate work, without notable increase
or decrease, in the expectation of gradual promotion or of a sure
pension at the end.  There is no waste, the accounts being well kept;
there are no sinecures, even in the libraries; no unfair treatment or
notorious scandals.  Envy, notions of equality scarcely exist; there
are enough situations for petty ambitions and average merit, while
there is scarcely any place for great ambitions or great merit.
Eminent men serve the State and the public cheaply for a living
salary, a higher rank in the Legion of Honor, sometimes for a seat in
the Institute, or for European fame in connection with a university,
with no other recompense than the satisfaction of working according to
conscience[21] and of winning the esteem of twenty or thirty competent
judges who, in France or abroad, are capable of appreciating their
labor at its just value.[22]

The last reason for accepting or tolerating the University; its work
at home, or in its surroundings, develops gradually and more or less
broadly according to necessities. - In 1815, there were 22,000 primary
schools of every kind; in 1829,[23] 30,000; and in 1850, 63,000.  In
1815, 737,000 children were taught in them; in 1829, 1,357,000; and in
1850, 3,787,000.  In 1815, there was only one normal school for the
education of primary teachers; in 1850, there are 78.  Consequently,
whilst in 1827, 42 out of 100 conscripts could read, there were in
1877, 85; whilst in 1820, 34 out of 100 women could write their names
on the marriage contract, in 1879 there are 70. - Similarly, in the
lycées and colleges, the University which, in 1815, turned out 37,000
youths, turns out 54,000 in 1848, and 64,000 in 1865;[24] many
branches of study, especially history,[25] are introduced into
secondary instruction and bear good fruit. - Even in superior
instruction which, through organization, remains languid, for parade,
or in a rut, there are ameliorations; the State adds chairs to its
Paris establishments and founds new Faculties in the provinces.  In
sum, an inquisitive mind capable of self-direction can, at least in
Paris, acquire full information and obtain a comprehensive education
on all subjects by turning the diverse university institutions to
account. - If there are very serious objections to the system, for
example, regarding the boarding part of it (internat), the fathers who
had been subject to it accept it for their sons. If there were very
great defects in it, for example, the lack of veritable universities,
the public which had not been abroad and ignores history did not
perceive them.  In vain does M. Cousin, in relation to public
instruction in Germany, in his eloquent report of 1834, as formerly
Cuvier in his discreet report of 1811, point out this defect; in vain
does M. Guizot, the minister, propose to remove it:

 "I did not find," says he,[26] "any strong public opinion which
induced me to carry out any general and urgent measure in higher
instruction.  In the matter of superior instruction the public, at
this time, . . . was not interested in any great idea, or prompted by
any impatient want. . . . Higher education as it was organized and
given, sufficed for the practical needs of society, which regarded it
with a mixture of satisfaction and indifference."

In the matter of education, not only at this third stage but again for
the first two stages, public opinion so far as aims, results, methods
and limitations is concerned, was apathetic. That wonderful science
which, in the eighteenth century, with Jean-Jacques, Condillac,
Valentin, Hally, Abbé de l'Epée and so many others, sent forth such
powerful and fruitful jets, had dried up and died out; transplanted to
Switzerland and Germany, pedagogy yet lives but it is dead on its
native soil.[27]  There is no longer in France any persistent research
nor are there any fecund theories on the aims, means, methods, degrees
and forms of mental and moral culture, no doctrine in process of
formation and application, no controversies, no dictionaries and
special manuals, not one well-informed and important Review, and no
public lectures. Now an experimental science is simply the summing-up
of many diverse experiences, freely attempted, freely discussed and
verified. Through the forced results of the university monopoly there
are no actual universities: among other results of the Napoleonic
institution, one could after 1808 note, the decadence of pedagogy and
foresee its early demise.  Neither parents, nor masters nor the young
cared anything about it; outside of the system in which they live they
imagine nothing; they are accustomed to it the same as to the house in
which they dwell.  They may grumble sometimes at the arrangement of
the rooms, the low stories and narrow staircases, against bad
lighting, ventilation and want of cleanliness, against the exactions
of the proprietor and concierge; but, as for transforming the
building, arranging it otherwise, reconstructing it in whole or in
part, they never think of it.  For, in the first place, they have no
plan; and next, the house is too large and its parts too well united;
through its mass and size it maintains itself and would still remain
indefinitely if, all at once, in 1848, an unforeseen earthquake had
not made breaches in its walls.

II. Educational monopoly of Church and State.

Law of 1850 and freedom of instruction. - Its apparent object and real
effects. - Alliance of Church and State. - The real monopoly. -
Ecclesiastical control of the University until 1859. - Gradual rupture
of the Alliance. - The University again becomes secular. - Lay and
clerical interests. - Separation and satisfaction of both interests
down to 1876. - Peculiarity of this system. - State motives for taking
the upper hand. - Parents, in fact, have no choice between two
monopolies. - Original and forced decline of private institutions. -
Their ruin complete after 1850 owing to the too-powerful and double
competition of Church and State. - The Church and the State sole
surviving educators. - Interested and doctrinal direction of the two
educational systems. - Increasing divergence in both directions. -
Their effect on youth.

The day after the 24th of February 1848,[28]  M. Cousin, meeting M. de
Remusat on the quay Voltaire, raised his arms towards heaven and

 "Let us hurry and fall on our knees in front of the bishops - they
alone can save us now!"

While M. Thiers, with equal vivacity, in the parliamentary committee
exclaimed: "Cousin, Cousin, do you comprehend the lesson we have
received? Abbé Dupanloup is right."[29]  Hence the new law.[30]   M.
Beugnot, who presented it, clearly explains its aims and object : the
Government "must assemble the moral forces of the country and unite
them with each other to combat with and overthrow the common enemy,"
the anti-social party, "which, victorious, would have no mercy on
anybody," neither on the University nor on the Church.  Consequently,
the University abandons its monopoly: the State is no longer the sole
purveyor of public instruction; private schools and associations may
teach as they please. The government  will no longer inspect their
"education," but only "morality, hygiene, and salubrity;"[31] -  they
are out of its jurisdiction and exempt from its taxes.  Therefore, the
government establishments and free establishments will no longer be
dangerous adversaries, but "useful co-operators;"  they will owe and
give to each other "good advice and good examples;" it will maintain
for both "an equal interest;"  henceforth, its University "will be
merely an institution supported by it to quicken competition and make
this bear good fruit," and, to this end, it comes to an understanding
with its principal competitor, the Church.

But in this coalition of the two powers it is the Church which has the
best of it, takes the upper hand and points out the way.  For, not
only does she profit by the liberty decreed, and profit by it almost
alone, founding in twenty years afterwards nearly one hundred
ecclesiastical colleges and putting the Ignorantin brethren everywhere
in the primary schools; but, again, by virtue of the law,[32] she
places four bishops or archbishops in the superior council of the
University; by virtue of the law, she puts into each departmental
academic council the bishop of the diocese and a priest selected by
him; moreover, through her credit with the central government she
enjoys all the administrative favors.  In short, from above and close
at hand, she leads, keeps in check, and governs the lay University
and, from 1849 to 1859, the priestly domination and interference, the
bickering, the repressions, the dismissals,[33] the cases of disgrace,
are a revival of the system which, from 1821 to 1828, had already been
severe.  As under the Restoration, the Church had joined hands with
the State to administrate the school-machine in concert with it; but,
under the Restoration, she reserves to herself the upper hand, and it
is she who works the machine rather than the State. In sum, under the
name, the show, and the theoretical proclamation of liberty for all,
the University monopoly is reorganized, if not by law, at least in
fact, and in favor of the Church.

Towards 1859, and after the war in Italy, regarding the Pope and the
temporal power, the hands which were joined now let go and then
separate; there is a dissolution of partnership; their interests cease
to agree. Two words are coined, both predestined to great fortune, on
the one side the "secular" interest and on the other side the
"clerical" interest; henceforth, the government no longer subordinates
the former to the latter and, under the ministry of M. Duruy, the
direction of the University becomes frankly secular.  Consequently,
the entire educational system, in gross and in its principal features,
is to resemble, until 1876, that of the of July.[34]  For sixteen
years, the two great teaching powers, the spiritual and the temporal,
unable to do better, are to support each other but act apart, each on
its own ground and each in its own way; only the Church no longer acts
through the toleration and gracious permission of the University, but
through the legal abolition of the monopoly and by virtue of a written
law.  The whole composes a passable régime, less oppressive than those
that preceded it; in any event, the two millions of devout Catholics
who consider unbelief as a terrible evil, the fathers and mothers who
subordinate instruction to education,[35] and desire above all things
to preserve the faith of their children up to adult age, now find in
the ecclesiastical establishments well-run hothouses and protected
against  draughts of modernity.  One urgent need of the first
order,[36] legitimate, deeply felt by many men and especially by
women, has received satisfaction; parents who do not experience this
want, place their children in the lycées; in 1865, in the smaller
seminaries and other ecclesiastical schools there are 54,000 pupils
and in the State colleges and 1ycées 64,000,[37] which two bodies
balance each other.

But even that is a danger.  For, naturally, the teaching State finds
with regret that its clients diminish; it does not view the rival
favorably which takes away so many of its pupils.  Naturally also, in
case of an electoral struggle, the Church favors the party which
favors it, the effect of which is to expose it to ill-will and, in
case of political defeat, to hostilities.  Now, the chances are, that,
should hostile rulers, in this case, attempt to strike it in its most
vulnerable point, that of teaching, they might set aside liberty, and
even toleration, and adopt the school machine of Napoleon in order to
restore it as best they could, enlarge it, derive from it for their
own profit and against the Church, whatever could be got out of it, to
use with all their power according to the principles and intentions of
the Convention and the Directory.  Thus, the compromise accepted by
Church and State is simply a provisional truce; to-morrow, this truce
will be broken; the fatal French prejudice which erects the State into
a national educator is ever present; after a partial and brief
slackening of its energy, it will try to recover its ascendancy and
recommence its ravages. - And, on the other hand, even under this
régime, more liberal than its predecessor, real liberty is much
restricted; instead of one monopoly, there are two.  Between two kinds
of establishments, one secular, resembling a barracks, and the other
ecclesiastical, resembling a seminary or convent, parents may choose
and that is all.  Ordinarily, if they prefer one, it is not because
they consider it good, but because, in their opinion, the other is
worse, while there is no third one at hand, built after a different
type, with its own independent and special character, adapting itself
to their tastes and accommodating itself to their necessities.

In the early years of the century there were thousands of secondary
schools of every kind and degree, everywhere born or reborn,
spontaneous, local, raised up through the mutual understanding of
parents and masters, and, consequently, subject to this understanding,
diverse, flexible, dependent on the law of supply and demand,
competitive, each careful to keep its own patrons, each compelled,
like every other private enterprise, to adjust its working to the
views and faculties of its clients.  It is very probable that, if
these had been allowed to exist, if the new legislator had not been
radically hostile to permanent corporations, endowments, and mortmain
titles; if, through the jealous intervention of his Council of State
and the enormous levies of his fiscal system, the government had not
discouraged free associations and the free donations to which they
might have been entitled, the best of these secondary schools would
have survived: those which might have been able to adapt themselves to
their surroundings would have had the most vitality; according to a
well-known law, they would have prospered in branching off, each in
its own sense and in its own way. - Now, at this date, after the
demolitions of the Revolution, all pedagogic roads were open and, at
each of their starting-points, the runners were ready, not merely the
secular but, again, independent ecclesiastics, liberal Gallicans,
surviving Jansenists, constitutional priests, enlightened monks, some
of them philosophers and half-secular in mind or even at heart, using
Port-Royal manuals, Rollin's "Traité des Études " and Condillac's
"Cours d'Etudes," the best-tried and most fecund methods of
instruction, all the traditions of the seventeenth century from
Arnauld to Lancelot and all the novelties of the eighteenth century
from Locke to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, all wide-awake or aroused by the
demands of the public and by this unique opportunity and eager to do
and to do well.  In the provinces[38] as at Paris, people were
seeking, trying and groping.  There was room and encouragement for
original, sporadic and multiple invention, for schools proportionate
with and suited to various and changing necessities, Latin,
mathematical or mixed schools, some for theoretical science and others
for practical apprenticeship, these commercial and those industrial,
from the lowest standpoint of technical and rapid preparation up to
the loftiest summits of speculative and prolonged study.

On this school world in the way of formation, Napoleon has riveted his
uniformity, the rigorous apparatus of his university, his unique
system, narrow, inflexible, applied from above. We have seen with what
restrictions, with what insistence, with what convergence of means,
what prohibitions, what taxes, what application of the university
monopoly, and with what systematic hostility to private
establishments! - In the towns, and by force, they become branches of
the lycée and imitate its classes; in this way Sainte-Barbe is allowed
to subsist at Paris and, until the abolition of the monopoly, the
principal establishments of Paris, Massin, Jauffrey, Bellaguet,
existed only on this condition, that of becoming auxiliaries,
subordinates and innkeepers for lycée day-scholars; such is still the
case to-day for the lycées Bossuet and Gerson.  In the way of
education and instruction the little that an institution thus reduced
can preserve of originality and of pedagogic virtue is of no account.
- In the country, the Oratoriens who have repurchased Juilly are
obliged,[39] in order to establish a free and durable school of
"Christian and national education," to turn aside the civil law which
interdicts trusts and organize themselves into a "Tontine Society" and
thus present their disinterested enterprise in the light of an
industrial and commercial speculation, that of a lucrative and well-
attended boarding school.  Still at the present day similar fictions
have to be resorted to for the establishment and duration of like

Naturally, under this prohibitive régime, private establishments are
born with difficulty; and afterwards, absorbed, mutilated and
strangled, they find no less difficulty in keeping alive and thus
degenerate, decline and succumb one by one.  And yet, in 1815, not
counting the 41 small seminaries with their 5000 scholars, there still
remained 1,225 private schools, with 39,000 scholars, confronting the
36 lycées and 368 communal colleges which, together, had only 37,000
scholars.  Of these 1,255 private schools there are only 825 in 1854,
622 in 1865, 494 in 1876, and, finally, in 1887, 302 with 20,174
scholars; on the other hand, the State establishments have 89,000
schools, and those of the Church amount to 73,000.  It is only after
1850 that the decadence of secular and private institutions is
precipitated; in effect, instead of one competitor, they have two, the
second as formidable as the first one, both enjoying unlimited credit,
possessors of immense capital and determined to spend money without
calculation, the State, on one side abstracting millions from the
pockets of the taxpayers and, on the other side, the Church deriving
its millions from the purses of the faithful: the struggle between
isolated individuals and these two great organized powers who give
instruction at a discount or gratis is too unequal.[41]

Such is the actual and final effect of the first Napoleonic monopoly:
the enterprise of the State has, by a counter-stroke, incited the
enterprise of the clergy; both now complete the ruin of the others,
private, different in kind and independent, which, supported wholly by
family approbation, have no other object in view than to render
families content.  On the contrary, along with this purpose, the two
survivors have another object, each its own, a superior and doctrinal
object, due to its own particular interest and antagonism to the
opposite interest; it is in view of this object, in view of a
political or religious purpose, that each in its own domicile directs
education and instruction like Napoleon, each inculcates on, or
insinuates into, young minds its social and moral opinions which are
clear-cut and become cutting.  Now, the majority of parents, who
prefer peace to war, desire that their children should entertain
moderate and not bellicose opinions.  They would like to see them
respectful and intelligent, and nothing more.  But neither of the two
rival institutions thus limits itself; each works beyond and
aside,[42] and when the father, at the end of July,[43] goes for his
son at the ecclesiastical college or secular institution, he risks
finding in the young man of seventeen the militant prejudices, the
hasty and violent conclusions and the uncompromising rigidity of
either a "laïcisant" or a "clérical."

III. Internal Vices

The internal vices of the system. - Barrack or convent discipline of
the boarding-school. - Number and proportions of scholars in State and
Church establishments. - Starting point of the French boarding-school.
- The school community viewed not as a distinct organ of the State but
as a mechanism wielded by the State. - Effects of these two
conceptions. - Why the boarding-school entered into and strengthened
ecclesiastical establishments. - Effects of the boarding-school on the
young man. - Gaps in his experience, errors of judgment, no education
of his will. - The evil aggravated by the French system of special and
higher schools.

Meanwhile, the innate vices of the primitive system have lasted and,
and, among others, the worst of all, the internat[44] under the
discipline of barracks or convent, while the university, through its
priority and supremacy, in contact with or contiguously, has
communicated this discipline at first to its subordinates, and
afterward to its rivals. - In 1887,[45] in the State lycées and
colleges, there are more than 39,000 boarding-schools (internes)
while, in the ecclesiastic establishments, it is worse: out of 50,000
pupils there, over 27,000 are internes, to which must be added the
23,000 pupils of the small seminaries, properly so called, nearly all
of them boarders; in a total of 163,000 pupils we find 89,000
internes.[46]  Thus, to secure secondary instruction, more than one-
half of the youth of France undergo the internat, ecclesiastic or
secular. This is peculiar to France, and is due to the way in which
Napoleon, in 1806, seized on and perverted all school enterprises.[47]

Before 1789, in France, this enterprise, although largely trammeled
and impeded by the State and the Church, was not violated in principle
nor perverted in essence; still at the present day, in Germany, in
England, in the United States, it exists and is developed in
accordance with its nature. It is admitted to be a private
enterprise,[48] the collective and spontaneous work of several
associates voluntarily bound together, old founders, actual and future
benefactors, masters and parents and even scholars,[49] each in his
place and function, under a statute and according to tradition, in
such a way as to continue functioning indefinitely, in order to
provide, like a gas company on its own responsibility, at its own risk
and expense, a provider of services for those who want it; in other
terms, the school enterprise must, like any other undertaking, render
acceptable what it offers thereby satisfying the needs of its clients.
- Naturally, it adapts itself to these needs; its directors and those
concerned do what is necessary. With hands free, and grouped around an
important interest evidently for a common purpose, mutually bound and
veritable associates not only legally but in feeling, devoted to a
local enterprise and local residents for many years, often even for
life, they strive not to offend the profound repugnance of the young
and of families. They therefore make the necessary arrangements
internally and with the parents.[50]

That is why, outside of France, the French internat, so artificial, so
forced, so exaggerated, is almost unknown. In Germany, out of one
hundred pupils in the gymnases, which correspond to our lycées, there
are scarcely ten boarders lodged and fed in the gymnase; the rest,
even when their parents do not live near by, remain day-scholars,
private guests in the families that harbor them, often at a very low
price and which take the place of the absent family. No boarders are
found in them except in a few gymnases like Pforta and by virtue of an
ancient endowment. The number, however, by virtue of the same
endowment, is limited; they dine, in groups of eight or ten,[51] at
the same table with the professors lodged like themselves in the
establishment, while they enjoy for a playground a vast domain of
woods, fields and meadow. - The same in England, at Harrow, Eton and
Rugby. Each professor, here, is keeper of a boarding-house; he has
ten, twenty and thirty boys under his roof, eating at his table or at
a table the head of which is some lady of the house. Thus, the youth
goes from the family into the school, without painful or sudden
contrast, and remains under a system of things which suits his age and
which is a continuation, only enlarged, of domestic life.[52]

The French college or lycée is quite the opposite. It operates against
the true spirit of the school, and has done so for eighty years being
an enterprise of the State, a local extension of a central enterprise,
one of the hundred branches of the great State university trunk,
possessing no roots of its own and with a directing or teaching staff
composed of functionaries similar to others, that is to say
transferable,[53] restless and preoccupied with promotion, their
principal motive for doing well being the hope of a higher rank and of
getting a better situation. This almost separate them in advance from
the establishment in which they labor and,[54] besides that, they are
led, pushed on, and restrained from above, each in his own particular
sphere and in his limited duty. The principal (proviseur) is confined
to his administrative position and the professor to his class,
expressly forbidden to leave it. No professor  is "under any pretext
to receive in his house as boarders or day-scholars more than ten
pupils."[55]  No woman is allowed to lodge inside the lycée or college
walls, all, - proviseur, censor, cashier, chaplain, head-masters and
assistants, fitted by art or force to each other like cog-wheels, with
no deep sympathy, with no moral tie, without collective interests, a
cleverly designed machine which, in general, works accurately and
smoothly, but with no soul because, to have a soul, it is of prime
necessity to have a living body. As a machine constructed at Paris
according to a unique pattern and superposed on people and things from
Perpignan to Douai and from Rochelle to Besançon, it does not adapt
itself to the requirements of the public; it subjects its public to
the exigencies, rigidity and uniformity of its play and structure.
Now, as it acts mechanically only, through outward pressure, the human
material on which it operates must be passive, composed, not of
diverse persons, but of units all alike; its pupils must be for it
merely numbers and names. - Owing to this our internats, those huge
stone boxes set up and isolated in each large town, those lycées
parceled out to hold three hundred, four hundred, even eight hundred
boarders, with immense dormitories, refectories and playgrounds,
recitation-rooms full to overflowing, and, for eight or ten years, for
one half of our children and youths, an anti-social unnatural system
apart, strict confinement, no going out except to march in couples
under the eyes of a sub-teacher who maintains order in the ranks,
promiscuity and life in common, exact and minute regularity under
equal discipline and constant constraint in order to eat, sleep,
study, play, promenade and the rest, - in short, COMMUNISM.

From the University this system is propagated among its rivals. In
conferring grades and passing examinations, it arranges and
overburdens the school program of study; hence, it incites in others
what it practices at home, the over-training of youth, and a
factitious, hot-house education. On the other hand, the internat is,
for those who decide on that, less troublesome than the day-
school;[56] also, the more numerous the boarders in any one
establishment, the less the expense; thus, in order to exist in the
face of the university establishments, there must be internats and
internats that are full. Ecclesiastical establishments willingly
resign themselves to all this; they are even inclined that way; the
Jesuits were the first ones, under the old monarchy, who introduced
cloistered and crowded boarding-houses. In its essence, the Catholic
church, like the French State, is a Roman institution, still more
exclusive and more governmental, resolved to seize, hold on to, direct
and control man entirely, and, first of all, the child, head and
heart, opinions and impressions, in order to stamp in him and
lastingly the definitive and salutary forms which are for him the
first condition of salvation. Consequently, the ecclesiastical cage is
more strict in its confinement than the secular cage; if the bars are
not so strong and not so rough, the grating, finer and more yielding,
is more secure, closer and better maintained; they do not allow any
holes or relaxation of the meshes; the precautions against worldly and
family interference, against the mistakes and caprices of individual
effort, are innumerable, and form a double or even triple network.
For, to school discipline is added religious discipline, no less
compulsory, just as rigid and more constant - daily pious exercises,
ordinary devotions and extraordinary ceremonies, spiritual guidance,
influence of the confessional and the example and behavior of a staff
kept together around the same work by the same faith. The closer the
atmosphere, the more powerful the action; the chances are that the
latter will prove decisive on the child sequestered, sheltered and
brought up in a retort, and that its intellect, faith
and ideas, carefully cultivated, pruned and always under direction,
will exactly reproduce the model aimed at. - For this reason, in 1876,
33,000 out of 46,000 pupils belonging to the 309 ecclesiastical
establishments of secondary instruction, are internes,[57] and the
Catholic authorities admit that, in the 86 small seminaries, no day-
scholars, no future lay persons, are necessary.

This conclusion is perhaps reasonable in relation to the 23,000 pupils
of the small seminaries, and for the 10,000 pupils in the great
seminaries; it is perhaps reasonable also for the future military
officers formed by the State at La Flèche, Saint-Cyr, Saumur, and on
the Borda.[58]  Whether future soldiers or future priests, their
education fits them for the life they are to lead; what they are to
become as adults, they already are as youths and children; the
internat, under a convent discipline or that of the barracks,
qualifies them beforehand for their profession. Since they must
possess the spirit of it they must contract its habits. Having
accepted the form of their pursuit they more easily accept its
constraints and all the more that the constraints of the regiment will
be less for the young officer who recently was at Saint-Cyr, and for
the young ministrant in the rural parish  who recently was in the
great seminary. - It is quite the reverse for the 75,000 other
internes of public or private establishments, ecclesiastic or secular,
for the future engineers, doctors, architects, notaries, attorneys,
advocates and other men of the law, functionaries, land-owners, chiefs
and assistants in industry, agriculture and commerce. For them the
internat affords precisely the opposite education required for a
secular and civil career. These carry away from the prolonged internat
a sufficient supply of Latin or of mathematics; but they are lacking
in two acquisitions of capital import: they have been deprived of two
indispensable experiences. On entering society the young man is
ignorant of its two principal personages, man and woman, as they are
and as he is about to meet them in society. He has no idea of them, or
rather he has only a preconceived, arbitrary and false conception of
them. - He has not dined, commonly, with a lady, head of the house,
along with her daughters and often with other ladies; their tone of
voice, their deportment at table, their toilette, their greater
reserve, the attentions they receive, the air of politeness all
around, have not impressed on his imagination the faintest lines of an
exact notion; hence, there is something wanting in him in relation to
how he should demean himself; he does not know how to address them,
feels uncomfortable in their presence; they are strange beings to him,
new, of an unknown species. - In a like situation, at table in the
evening, he has never heard men conversing together: he has not
gathered in the thousand bits of information which a young growing
mind derives from general conversation:

* about careers in life, competition, business, money, the domestic
fireside and expenses;

* about the cost of living which should always depend on income;

* about the gain which nearly always indicates the current rates of
labor and of the social subjection one undergoes;

* about the pressing, powerful, personal interests which are soon to
seize him by the collar and perhaps by the throat;

* about the constant effort required the incessant calculation, the
daily struggle which, in modern society, makes up the life of an
ordinary man.

All means of obtaining knowledge have been denied him, the contact
with living and diverse men, the images which the sensations of his
eyes and ears might have stamped on his brain. These images constitute
the sole materials of a correct, healthy conception; through them,
spontaneously and gradually, without too many deceptions or shocks, he
might have figured social life to himself, such as it is, its
conditions, difficulties, and its opportunities: he has neither the
sentiment of it nor even a premonition. In all matters, that which we
call common sense is never but an involuntary latent summary, the
lasting, substantial and salutary depot left in our minds after many
direct impressions. With reference to social life, he has been
deprived of all these direct impressions and the precious depot has
never been formed in him.- e He has scarcely ever conversed with his
professors; their talk with him has been about impersonal and abstract
matters, languages, literature and mathematics. He has spoken but
little with his teachers, except to contest an injunction or grumble
aloud against reproof. Of real conversation, the acquisition and
exchange of ideas, he has enjoyed none, except with his comrades: if,
like him, all are internes, they can communicate to each other only
their ignorance. If day-scholars are admitted, they are active
smugglers or willing agents who bring into the house and circulate
forbidden books and obscene journals, along with the filthy
provocative and foul atmosphere of the streets. - Now, with excitement
of this kind or in this manner, the brains of these captives, as
puberty comes on and deliverance draws near, work actively and we know
in what sense[59] and in what counter-sense, how remote from
observable and positive truth, how their imagination pictures society,
man and woman, under what simple and coarse appearances, with what
inadequacy and presumption, what appetites of liberated serfs and
juvenile barbarians, how, as concerns women, their precocious and
turbid dreams first become brutal and cynical,[60] how, as concerns
men, their unballasted and precipitous thought easily becomes
chimerical and revolutionary.[61] The downhill road is steep on the
bad side, so that, to put on the brake and stop, then to remount the
hill, the young man who takes the management of his life into his own
hands, must know how to use his own will and persevere to the end.

But a faculty is developed only by exercise, and the French internat
is the engine the most effective for hindering the exercise of this
one. - The youth, from the first to the last day of his internat, has
never been able to deliberate on, choose and decide what he should do
at any one hour of his schooldays; except to idle away time in study-
hours, and pay no attention at recitations, he could not exercise his
will. Nearly every act, especially his outward attitudes, postures,
immobility, silence, drill and promenades in rank, is only obedience
to orders. He has lived like a horse in harness, between the shafts of
his cart; this cart itself, kept straight by its two wheels, must not
leave the rectilinear ruts hollowed out and traced for it along the
road; it is impossible for the horse to turn aside. Besides, every
morning he is harnessed at the same hour, and every evening he is
unharnessed at the same hour; every day, at other hours, he has to
rest and take his ration of hay and oats. He has never been under the
necessity of thinking about all this, nor of looking ahead or on
either side; from one end of the year to the other, he has simply had
to pull along guided by the bridle or urged by the whip, his principal
motives being only of two kinds: on the one hand more or less hard
guidance and urgings, and on the other hand his recalcitrance,
laziness and fatigue; he has been obliged to choose between the two.
For eight or ten years, his initiative is reduced to that - no other
employment of his free will. The education of his free will is thus
rudimentary or nonexistent.

On the strength of this our (French) system supposes that it is
complete and perfect. We cast the bridle on the young man's neck and
hand him over to his own government. We admit that, by extraordinary
grace, the scholar has suddenly become a man; that he is capable of
prescribing and following his own orders; that he has accustomed
himself to weighing the near and remote consequences of his acts, of
imputing them to himself, of believing himself responsible for them;
that his conscience, suddenly emancipated, and his reason, suddenly
adult, will march straight on athwart temptations and immediately
recover from slips. Consequently, he is set free with an allowance in
some great city; he registers himself under some Faculty and becomes
one among ten thousand other students on the sidewalks of Paris. -
Now, in France, there is no university police force to step in, as at
Bonn or Göttingen, at Oxford or Cambridge, to watch his conduct and
punish him in the domicile and in public places. At the schools of
medicine, Law, Pharmacy, Fine-Arts, Charters, and Oriental Languages,
at the Sorbonne and at the École Centrale, his emancipation is sudden
and complete. When he goes from secondary education to superior
education he does not, as in England and in Germany, pass from
restricted liberty to one less restricted, but from a monastic
discipline to compete independence. In a furnished room, in the
promiscuity and incognito of a common hotel, scarcely out of college,
the novice of twenty years finds at hand the innumerable temptations
of the streets, the taverns, the bars, public balls, obscene
publications, chance acquaintances, and the liaisons of the gutter.
Against all this his previous education has disarmed him. Instead of
creating a moral force within him, the long and strict internat has
maintained moral debility. He yields to opportunity, to example; he
goes with the current, he floats without a rudder, he lets himself
drift. As far as hygiene, or money, or sex, is concerned, his mistakes
and his follies, great or small, are almost inevitable, while it is an
average chance if, during his three, four or five years of full
license, he does not become entirely corrupt.

IV. Cramming and Exams Compared to Apprenticeship

Another vice of the system. - Starting-point of superior instruction
in France. - Substitution of special State schools for free
encyclopedic universities. - Effect of this substitution. -
Examinations and competitions. - Intense, forced and artificial
culture. - How it reaches an extreme. - Excess and prolongation of
theoretical studies. - Insufficiency and tardiness of practical
apprenticeship. - Comparison of this system with others, between
France before 1789 and England and the United States. - Lost forces. -
Mistaken use and excessive expenditure of mental energy. - The entire
body of youth condemned to it after 1889.

Let us now consider another effect of the primitive institution, not
less pernicious. On leaving the lycée after the philosophy class, the
system supposes that a general education is fully obtained; there is
not question of a second one, ulterior and superior, that of
universities. In place of these encyclopedic universities, of which
the object is free teaching and the free progress of knowledge, it
establishes special State schools, separate from each other, each
confined to a distinct branch, each with a view to create, verify and
proclaim a useful capacity, each devoted to leading a young man along,
step by step, through a series of studies and tests up to the title or
final diploma which qualifies him for his profession, a diploma that
is indispensable or, at least, very useful since, without it, in many
cases, one has no right to practice his profession and which, thanks
to it, in all cases, enables one to enter on a career with favor and
credit, in fair rank, and considerably promoted. -  On entering most
careers called liberal, a first diploma is exacted, that of bachelor
of arts, or bachelor of sciences, sometimes both, the acquisition of
which is now a serious matter for all French youth, a daily and
painful preoccupation. To this end, when about sixteen, the young man
works, or, rather, is worked upon. For one or two years, he submits to
a forced culture, not in view of learning and of knowing, but to
answer questions well at an examination, or tolerably well, and to
obtain a certificate, on proof or on semblance of proof, that he has
received a complete classical education. - Next after this, at the
medical or law school, during the four prescribed years, sixteen
graduated inscriptions, four or five superposed examinations, two or
three terminal verifications, oblige him to furnish the same proof, or
semblance of proof, to verify, as each year comes round, his
assimilation of the lessons of the year, and thus attest that, at the
end of his studies, he possesses about the entire scope and diversity
of knowledge to which he is restricted.

In the schools where the number of pupils is limited, this culture,
carried still farther, becomes intense and constant. In the École
Centrale and in the commercial or agronomic schools, in the
Polytechnique or Normale, he is there all day and all night, - he is
housed in a barracks. - And the pressure on him is twofold - the
pressure of examinations and that of competition. On entering, on
leaving, and during his stay there, not only at the end of each year
but every six or three months, often every six weeks, and even every
fortnight, he is rated according to his compositions, exercises and
interrogatories, getting so many marks for his partial value, so many
for his total value and according to these figures, classed at a
certain rank among his comrades who are his rivals. To descend on the
scale would be disadvantageous and humiliating; to ascend on the scale
is advantageous and glorious. Driven by this motive, so strong in
France, his principal aim is to go up or, at least, not to go down; he
devotes all his energy to this; he expends none of it on either side
or beyond; he allows himself no diversion, he abstains from taking any
initiative; his restrained curiosity never ventures outside of the
circle traced for him; he absorbs only what he is taught and in the
order in which it is taught; he fills himself to the brim, but only to
disgorge at the examination and not to retain and hold on to; he runs
the risk of choking and when relieved, of remaining empty. Such is the
régime of our Grande Ecoles. They are systematic, energetic and
prolonged system of gardening; the State, the gardener-in-chief,
receiving or selecting plants which it undertakes to turn out
profitably, each of its kind. To this end, it separates the species,
and ranges each apart on a bed of earth; and here, all day long, it
digs, weeds, rakes, waters, adds one manure after another, applies its
powerful heating apparatus and accelerates the growth and ripening of
the fruit. On certain beds it plants are kept under glass throughout
the year; in this way it maintains them in a steady, artificial
atmosphere, forcing them to more largely imbibe the nutritive liquids
with which it floods the ground, thus causing them to swell and become
hypertrophied, so as to produce fruits or vegetables for show, and
which it exposes and which bring it credit; for all these productions
look well, many of them superb, while their size seems to attest their
excellence; they are weighted beforehand and the official labels with
which they are decorated announce the authentic weight.

During the first quarter, and even the first half, of the (19th)
century, the system remained almost unobjectionable; it had not yet
pushed things to excess. Down to 1850 and later, all that was demanded
of the young, in their examinations and competitions, was much less
the extent and minutia of knowledge than proofs of intelligence and
the promise of capacity: in a literary direction, the main object was
to verify whether the candidate, familiar with the classics, could
write Latin correctly and French tolerably well; in the sciences, if
he could, without help, accurately and promptly solve a problem; if,
again unaided, he could readily and accurately to the end, state a
long series of theorems and equations without divergence or faltering;
in sum, the object of the test was to verify in him the presence and
degree of the mathematical or literary faculty. - But, since the
beginning of the century, the old subdivided sciences and the new
consolidated sciences have multiplied their discoveries and,
necessarily, all discoveries end in finding their way into public
instruction. In Germany, for them to become installed and obtain
chairs, encyclopedic universities are found, in which free teaching,
pliant and many-sided, rises of itself to the level of knowledge.[62]
With us, for lack of universities, they have had only special
schools[63]; here only could a place be found for them and professors
obtained. Henceforth, the peculiar character of these schools has
changed: they have ceased to be strictly special and veritably
professional. - Each school, being an individuality, has developed
apart and on its own account; its aim has been to install and furnish
under its own roof all the general, collateral, accessory and
ornamental studies which, far or near, could be of service to its own
pupils. No longer content with turning out competent and practical
men, it has conceived a superior type, the ideal model of the
engineer, physician, jurist, professor or architect. To produce this
extraordinary and desirable professional, it has designed some
excessively difficult impressive lectures.[64] To be able to make use
of these, it has given the young man the opportunity not only to
acquire abstract, multiple, technical knowledge, and information, but
also the complementary culture and lofty general ideas, which render
the specialist a true savant and a man of a very broad mind.

To this end, it has appealed to the State. The State, the contractor
for public instruction, the founder of every new professional chair,
appoints the occupant, pays the salary and, when in funds, is not ill-
disposed, for it thus gains a good reputation, an increase of granting
power and a new functionary. Such is the why and wherefore, in each
school, of the multiplication of professorships: schools of law, of
medicine, of pharmacy, of charters, of fine arts, polytechnic, normal,
central, agronomic and commercial schools, each becoming, or tending
to become, a sort of university on a small scale, bringing together
within its walls the totality of teachings which, if the student
profits by them, renders him in his profession an accomplished
personage. Naturally, to secure attendance at these lectures, the
school, in concert with the State, adds to the exigencies of its
examinations, and soon, for the average of intellects and for health,
the burden imposed by it becomes too heavy. Particularly, in the
schools to which admission is gained only through competitions the
extra load is still more burdensome, owing to the greater crowd
striving to pass; there are now five, seven and even eleven candidates
for one place.[65]  With this crowd, it has been found necessary to
raise and multiply the barriers, urge the competitors to jump over
them, and to open the door only to those who jump the highest and in
the greatest number. There is no other way to make a selection among
them without incurring the charge of despotism and nepotism. It is
their business to have sturdy legs and make the best of them, then to
submit to methodical training, to practice and train all year and for
several years in succession, in order to pass the final test, without
thinking of any but the barriers in front of them on the race-course
at the appointed date, and which they must spring over to get ahead of
their rivals.

At the present day[66], after the complete course of classical
studies, four years in school no longer suffice for obtaining the
degrees of a doctor in medicine or doctor in law. Five or six years
are necessary. Two years are necessary between the baccalauréat ès-
lettres and the various licenses ès-lettres or sciences, and from
these to the corresponding aggrégations two, three years, and often
more. Three years of preparatory studies in mathematics and of
desperate application lead the young man to the threshold of the École
Polytechnique; after that, after two years in school and of no less
sustained effort, the future engineer passes three not less laborious
years at the École des Ponts et Chaussées or des Mines, which amounts
to eight years of professional preparation.[67]  Elsewhere, in the
other schools, it is the same thing with more or less excess. Observe
how days and hours are spent during this long period.[68]  The young
men have attended lecture-courses, masticated and re-masticated
manuals, abbreviated abridgments, learned by heart mementos and
formulae, stored their memories with a vast multitude of generalities
and details. Every sort of preliminary information, all the
theoretical knowledge which, even indirectly, may serve them in their
future profession or which is of service in neighboring professions,
are classified in their brains, ready to come forth at the first call,
and, as proved by the examination, disposable at a minute; they
possess them, but nothing otherwise or beyond. Their education has all
tended to one side; they have undergone no practical apprenticeship.
Never have they taken an active part in or lent a hand to any
professional undertaking either as collaborators or assistants.

* The future professor, a new aggrégé at twenty-four years of age, who
issues from the École Normale, has not yet taught a class, except for
a fortnight in a Paris lycée.

* The future engineer who, at twenty-four or twenty-five years of age
leaves the École Centrale, or the École des Ponts, or École des Mines,
has never assisted in the working of a mine, in the heating of a blast
furnace, in the piercing of a tunnel, in the laying-out of a dike, of
a bridge or of a roadway. He is ignorant of the cost and has never
commanded a squad of workmen.

* If the future advocate or magistrate to be has put up with being a
notary's or lawyer's clerk, he will at twenty-five years of age, even
if he is a doctor of law with his insignia of three "white balls,"
know nothing of the business; he merely knows his codes; he has never
examined pleadings, conducted a case, drawn up an act or liquidated an

* From eighteen to thirty, the future architect who competes for a
prix de Rome may stay in the École des Beaux-Arts, draw plan after
plan there, and then, if he obtains the prix, pass five years at Rome,
make designs without end, multiply plans and restorations on paper,
and at last, at thirty-five years of age, return to Paris with the
highest titles, architect of the government, and with the aspiration
to erect edifices without having taken even a second or third part in
the actual construction of one single house. -

None of these men so full of knowledge know their trade and each, at
this late hour, is expected to act as an expert, improvising,[69] in
haste and too fast, encountering many drawbacks at his own expense and
at the expense of others, along with serious risks for the first tasks
he undertakes.

Before 1789, says a witness of both the ancient and the modern régime,
[70] young Frenchmen did not thus pass their early life. Instead of
dancing attendance so long on the threshold of a career, they were
inducted into it very early in life and at once began the race. With
very light baggage and readily obtained "they entered the army at
sixteen, and even fifteen years of age, at fourteen in the navy, and a
little later in special branches, artillery or engineering. In the
magistracy, at nineteen, the son of a conseiller-maître in parliament
was made a conseiller-adjoint without a vote until he reached twenty-
five; meanwhile, he was busy, active and sometimes was made a reporter
of a case. No less precocious were the admissions to the Cour des
Comptes, to the Cour des Aides, to inferior jurisdictions and into the
bureaus of all the financial administrations." Here, as elsewhere, if
any rank in law was exacted the delay that ensured was not apparent;
the Faculty examinations were only for forms sake; for a sum of money,
and after a more or less grave ceremonial, a needed diploma was
obtained almost without study.[71] - Accordingly, it was not in
school, but in the profession, that professional instruction was
acquired; strictly speaking, the young man for six or seven years,
instead of being a student was an apprentice, that is to say a working
novice under several master-workmen, in their workshop, working along
with them and learning by doing, which is the best way of obtaining
instruction. Struggling with the difficulties of the work he at once
became aware of his incompetence;[72] he became modest and was
attentive; with his masters, he kept silent, and listened, which is
the only way to understand. If he was intelligent he himself
discovered what he lacked; as he found this out he felt the need of
supplying what he needed; he sought, set his wits to work, and made
choice of the various means; freely and self-initiating he helped
himself in his general or special education. If he read books, it was
not resignedly and for a recitation, but with avidity and to
comprehend them. If he followed lecture-courses it was not because he
was obliged to, but voluntarily, because he was interested and because
he profited by it. - Chancellor Pasquier was magistrate at seventeen
(in 1784), attended at the lycée the lectures of Garat, La Harpe,
Fourcroy and Duparcieux and, daily, at table or in the evening,
listened to his father and his friends discussing matters which, in
the morning, had been argued in the Palais de Justice or in the Grand-
Chambre. He imbibed a taste for his profession. Along with two or
three prominent advocates and other young magistrates like himself, he
inscribed his name for lectures at the house of the first president of
the first court of inquiry. Meanwhile, he went every evening into
society; he saw there with his own eyes the ways and interests of men
and women. On the other hand, at the Palais de Justice, a conseiller-
écoutant he sat for five years, alongside of the conseiller-juges
and often, the reporter of a case, he gave his opinion. After such
a novitiate, he was competent to form a judgment in civil or criminal
cases with experience, competency and authority. From the age of
twenty-five, he was prepared for and capable of serious duties. He
had only to live and perfect himself to become an administrator, deputy
or minister, a dignitary as we see under the first Empire, under the
Restoration, under the July monarchy, that is to say the best informed, well-balanced, judicious political character and, at length, the man of highest consideration of his epoch.[73]

Such is also the process which, still at the present day (1890), in
England and in America secures future ability in the various
professions. In the hospital, in the mine, in factories, with the
architect, with the lawyer, the pupil, taken very young, goes through
his apprenticeship and subsequent stages about the same as a clerk
with us in an office or an art-student in the studio. Preliminarily
and before entering it, he has attended some general seminary lecture
which serves him as a ready-made basis for the observations he is
about to make. Meanwhile, there are very often technical courses
within reach, which he may attend at his leisure in order to give
shape to his daily experiences as these happen to accumulate. Under a
régime of this stamp practical capacity grows and develops of itself,
just to that degree which the faculties of the pupil warrant, and in
the direction which his future aims require, through the special work
to which he wishes for the time being to adapt himself. In this way,
in England and in the United States, the young man soon succeeds in
developing all he is good for. From the age of twenty-five and much
sooner, if the substance and bottom are not wanting, he is not only a
useful subordinate, but again a spontaneous creator, not merely a
wheel but besides this a motor force. In France, where the inverse
process has prevailed and become more and more Chinese at each
generation, the total of the force lost is immense.

The most productive period of human life extends from fifteen or
sixteen up to twenty-five or twenty-six; here are seven or eight years
of growing energy and of constant production, buds, flowers and fruit;
during this period the young man sketches out his original ideas. But,
that these ideas may be born in him, sprout, and flourish they must,
at this age, profit by the stimulating or repressive influence of the
atmosphere in which they are to live later on; here only are they
formed in their natural and normal environment; their germs depend for
their growth on the innumerable impressions due to the young man's
sensations, daily, in the workshop, in the mine, in the court-room, in
the studio, on the scaffolding of a building, in the hospital, on
seeing tools, materials and operations, in talking with clients and
workmen, in doing work, good or bad, costly or remunerative; such are
the minute and special perceptions of the eyes and the ears, of touch
and even smell which, involuntarily gathered in and silently
elaborated, work together in him and suggest, sooner or later, this or
that new combination, economy, perfection or invention.[74]  The young
Frenchman, just at this fecund age, is deprived of all these precious
contacts, of all these assimilating and indispensable elements. During
seven or eight years, he is shut up in school, remote from the direct
and personal experience which might have given him an exact and
vivifying notion of men and things, and of the various ways of
handling them. All this time his inventive faculties are deliberately
sterilized; he can be nothing but a passive recipient; whatever he
might have produced under the other system he cannot produce under
this one; the balance of debit and credit is utter loss. - Meanwhile,
the cost has been great. Whilst the apprentice, the clerk busy with
his papers in his office, the interne with his apron standing by the
bedside of the patient in the hospital, pays by his services, at first
for his instruction, then for his breakfast, and ends in gaining
something besides, at least his pocket-money, the student under the
Faculty, or the pupil in a special school is educated and lives at the
expense of his family or of the State; he gives back in exchange not
work that is useful to mankind, none that is worth anything on the
market; his actual consumption is not compensated for by his actual
production. Undoubtedly, he cherishes the hope that some day or other
he will obtain compensation, that we will refund later and largely
both capital and interest, and all the advances made; in other words,
his future services are discounted and, as far as he is concerned, he
speculates on a long credit. -  It remains to be seen whether the
speculation is a good one; whether, at last, the receipts will cover
the expenses, in short, what will be the net or average returns on the
man thus fashioned.[75]

Now, among the forces expended, the most important to take into
account is the time and attention of the pupil, the sum of his
efforts, this or that quantity of mental energy; he has only a limited
provision of this, and, not only is the proportion of this which the
system consumes excessive, but, again, the application of it which the
system enforces is not remunerative. The provision is exhausted and by
a wrong use of it, with scarcely any profit. - In our lycées, the
pupil sits at his task more than eleven hours a day; in a certain
ecclesiastical college it is twelve hours, and, from the age of twelve
years, through the necessity of being first in competition as well as
for securing the greatest number of admissions through various
examinations. - At the end of this secondary education there is a
graduated scale of successive test, and first the baccalauréat. Fifty
out of one hundred candidates fail and the examiners are
indulgent.[76]  This proves, first of all, that the rejected have
profited by their studies; but it likewise proves that the program of
the examination is not adapted to the general run of minds, nor to the
native faculties of the human majority; that many young men capable of
learning by the opposite method learn nothing by this one; that
education, such as it is, with the kind and greatness of the mental
labor it imposes, with its abstract and theoretical style, is beyond
the capacity of the average mind. - Particularly, during the last year
of classical studies, the pupils have had to follow the philosophy
lectures: in the time of M. Laromiquière, this might be useful to
them; in the time of M. Cousin, the course, so far, did but little
harm; at the present day, impregnated with neo-Kantism, it injects
into minds of eighteen, seventeen, and even sixteen years, a
metaphysical muddle as cumbersome as the scholasticism of the
fourteenth century, terribly indigestible and unhealthy for the
stomachs of novices; the swallow even to bursting and throw it off at
the examination just as it comes, entirely raw for lack of the
capacity to assimilate it. - Often, after failure at the baccalauréat,
or on entering the preparatory or Grande Écoles, the young people go
into, or are put into, what they call "a box" or an "oven" a
preparatory internat, similar to the boxes in which silkworms are
raised and to the ovens where the eggs are hatched. In more exact
language it is a mechanical "gaveuse"[77] in which they are daily
crammed; through this constant, forced feeding, their real knowledge
is not increased, nor their mental vigor; they are superficially
fattened and, at the end of the year, or in eighteen months, they
present themselves on the appointed day, with the artificial and
momentary volume they need for that day, with the bulk, surface,
polish and all the requisite externals, because these externals are
the only ones that the examination verifies and imposes.[78]  Less
harshly, but in the same manner and with the same object, operate the
special education services which, inside our colleges and lycées,
prepare young men for the École de Saint-Cyr and for the polytechnic,
naval, central, normal, agricultural, commercial and forestry schools;
in these too, the studies are cramming machines which prepare the
pupil for examination purposes. In the like manner, above secondary
education, all our special schools are public cramming machines;[79]
alongside of them are private schools advertised and puffed in the
newspapers and by posters of the walls, preparing young men for the
license degree in Law and for the third or fourth examinations in
Medicine. Some day or other, others will probably exist to prepare
them for Treasury inspectors, for the "Cour des Comptes," for
diplomacy, by competition, the same as for the medical profession, for
a hospital surgeon and for aggregation in law, medicine, letters or

Undoubtedly, some minds, very active and very robust, withstand this
régime; all they have been made to swallow is absorbed and digested.
After leaving school and having passed through all grades they
preserve the faculty of learning, investigating and inventing intact,
and compose the small élite of scholars, litterateurs, artists,
engineers and physicians who, in the international exposition of
superior talent, maintain France in its ancient rank.[80]  - But the
rest, in very great majority, nine out of ten at least, have lost
their time and trouble, many years of their life and years that are
useful, important and even decisive: take at once one-half or two-
thirds of those who present themselves at the examinations, I mean the
rejected, and then, among the admitted who get diplomas, another half
or two-thirds that is to say, the overworked. Too much has been
required of them by exacting that, on such a day, seated or before the
blackboard, for two entire hours, they should be living repertories of
all human knowledge; in effect, such they are, or nearly so, that day,
for two hours; but, a month later, they are so no longer; they could
not undergo the same examination; their acquisitions, too numerous and
too burdensome, constantly drop of their minds and they make no new
ones. Their mental vigor has given way, the fecund sap has dried up;
the finished man appears, often a finished man content to be put away,
to be married, and plod along indefinitely in the same circle,
entrenched in his restricted vocation and doing his duty, but nothing
more. Such are the average returns - assuredly, the profits do not
make up for the expenses. In England and in America where, as before
1789 in France, the inverse method is followed, the returns are equal
or superior,[81] and they are obtained with greater facility, with
more certainty, at an age less tardy, without imposing such great and
unhealthy efforts on the young man, such large expenditure by the
State, and such long delays and sacrifices on families.[82]

Now, in the four Faculties of Law, Medicine, Science and Letters,
there are this year 22,000 students; add to these the pupils of the
special schools and those who study with the hope of entering them, in
all probably 30,000. But there is no need of counting them; since the
suppression of the one-year voluntariat, the entire body of youths
capable of study, who wish to remain only one year in barracks and not
remain there to get brutalized during three years, flocks to the
benches of the lycée or to those of a Faculty.[83] The sole object of
the young man is not, as before, to reach the baccalauréat; it is
essential that he should be admitted, after a competition, into one of
the special schools, or obtain the highest grades or diplomas in one
of the Faculties; in all cases he is bound to successfully undergo
difficult and multiplied examinations. At present time (1890), there
is no place in France for an education in the inverse sense, nor for
any other of a different type. Henceforth, no young man, without
condemning himself to three years of barrack life, can travel at an
early age for any length of time, or form his mind at home by free and
original studies, stay in Germany and follow speculative studies in
the universities, or go to England or to America to derive practical
instruction from factory or farm. Captured by our system, he is forced
to surrender himself to the mechanical routine which fills his mind
with fictitious tools, with useless and cumbersome acquisitions that
impose on him in exchange an exorbitant expenditure of mental energy
and which is very like to convert him into a mandarin.

V. Public instruction in 1890.

Public instruction since 1870. - Agreement between the Napoleonic and
Jacobin conception. - Extension and aggravation of the system. - The
deductive process of the Jacobin mind. - Its consequences. - In
superior and in secondary instruction. - In primary instruction. -
Gratuitous, obligatory and secular instruction.

Such is the singular and final result brought about by the institution
of the year X  (or 1801), due to the intervention of the grossly
leveling Jacobin spirit.[84] Indeed, since 1871, and especially since
1879, this spirit, through Napoleonic forms, has given breath, impulse
and direction, and these forms suit it. On the principle that
education belongs to the State, Napoleon and the old Jacobins were in
accord; what he in fact established they had proclaimed as a dogma;
hence the structure of his university-organisation was not
objectionable to them; on the contrary, it conformed to their
instincts. Hence, the reason why the new Jacobins, inheritors of both
instinct and dogma, immediately adopted the existing system; none was
more convenient, better calculated to meet their views, better adapted
in advance to do their work. Consequently, under the third
Republic,[85] as under anterior governments, the school machinery
continues to turn and grind in the same rut. Through the same working
of its mechanism, under the same impulse of its unique and central
motor, conforming to the same Napoleonic and Jacobin idea of the
teaching State, it is a formidable concept which, more intrusive every
year, more widely and more rigorously applied, more and more excludes
the opposite concept. This would be the remission of education to
those interested in it, to those who possess rights, to parents, to
free and private enterprises which depend only on personal exertions
and on families, to permanent, special, local corporations,
proprietary and organized under status, governed, managed, and
supported by themselves. On this model, a few men of intelligence and
sensibility, enlightened by what is accomplished abroad, try to
organize regional universities in our great academic centers. The
State might, perhaps, allow, if not the enterprise itself, then at
least something like it, but nothing more. Through its right of public
administration, through the powers of its Council of State, through
its fiscal legislation, through the immemorial prejudices of its
jurists, through the routine of its bureaus, it is hostile to a
corporate personality. Never can such a project be considered a
veritable civil personage; if the State consents to endow a group of
individuals with civil powers, it is always on condition that they be
subject to its narrow tutelage and be treated as minors and children.
- Besides, these universities, even of age, are to remain as they are,
so many dispensaries of diplomas. They are no longer to serve as an
intellectual refuge, an oasis at the end of secondary instruction, a
station for three or four years for free curiosity and disinterested
self-culture. Since the abolition of the volontariat for one year, a
young Frenchman no longer enjoys the leisure to cultivate himself in
this way; free curiosity is interdicted; he is too much harassed by a
too positive interest, by the necessity of obtaining grades and
diplomas, by the preoccupations of examinations, by the limitations of
age; he has no time to lose in experiments, in mental excursions, in
pure speculations. Henceforth, our system allows him only the régime
to which we see him subject, namely the rush, the puffing and blowing,
the gallop without stopping on a race-course, the perilous jumps at
regular distances over previously arranged and numbered obstacles.
Instead of being restricted and attenuated, the disadvantages of the
Napoleonic institution spread and grow worse, and this is due to the
way in which our rulers comprehend it, the original, hereditary way of
the Jacobin spirit.

When Napoleon built his University he did it as a statesman and a man
of business, with the foresight of a contractor and a practical man,
calculating outlay and receipts, means and resources, so as to produce
at once and with the least expense, the military and civil tools which
he lacked and of which he always had too few because he consumed too
many: to this precise, definite purpose he subjected and subordinated
all the rest, including the theory of the educational State; she was
for him simply a résumé, a formula, a setting. On the contrary, for
the old Jacobins, she was an axiom, a principle, an article in the
Social Contract; by this contract, the State had charge of public
education; it had the right and its duty was to undertake this and
manage it. The principle being laid down, as convinced theorists and
blindly following the deductive method, the derived consequences from
it and rushed ahead, with eyes shut, into practical operation, with as
much haste as vigor, without concerning themselves with the nature of
human materials, of surrounding realities, of available resources, of
collateral effects, nor of the total and final effect. Likewise with
the new Jacobins of the present day, according to them, since
instruction is a good thing,[86] the broader and deeper it is the
better; since broad and deep instruction is very good, the State
should, with all its energy and by every means in its power, inculcate
it on the greatest possible number of children, boys and adolescents.
Such, henceforth, is the word of command from on high, transmitted
down to the three stages of superior, secondary and primary

Consequently, from 1876 to 1890,[88] the State expends for superior
instruction, in buildings alone, 99,000,000 francs. Formerly, the
receipts of the Faculties about covered their expenses; at the present
day, the State allows them annually 6,000,000 francs more than their
receipts. It has founded and supports 221 new (professional) chairs,
168 complementary courses of lectures, 129 conférences and, to supply
the attendants, it provides, since 1877,  300 scholarships for those
preparing for the license and, since 1881, 200 scholarships for those
preparing for the aggrégation. Similarly, in secondary instruction,
instead of 81 lycées in 1876, it has 100 in 1887[89]; instead of 3,820
scholarships in 1876, it distributes, in 1887, 10,528; instead of
2,200,000 francs expended for this branch of instruction in 1857, it
expends 18,000,000 in 1889. - This overload of teaching caused
overloaded exams: it was necessary to include more science than in the
past to curriculum of the grades delivered and determined by the
State. "This was what was then done whenever possible."[90]
Naturally, and through contagion, the obligation of possessing more
knowledge descended to secondary instruction. In effect, after this
date, we see neo-Kantian philosophy descending like hail from the
highest metaphysical ether down upon the pupils in the terminal class
of the lycées, to the lasting injury of the seventeen-year old brains.
Again, after this date, we see in the class of special mathematics[91]
an abundance of complicated, confusing problems so that, today, the
candidate for the Polytechnic School must, to gain admission, expound
theorems that were only mastered by his father after he got there. -
Hence, "boxes" and "ovens", private internats, the preparatory secular
or ecclesiastical schools and other "scholastic cramming-machines";
hence, the prolonged mechanical effort to introduce into each
intellectual sponge all the scientific fluid it can contain, even to
saturation, and maintain it in this extreme state of perfection if
only for two hours during an examination, after which it may rapidly
subside and shrink. Hence, that mistaken use, that inordinate
expenditure, that precocious waste of mental energy, and that entire
pernicious system which overburden for a substantial period the young,
not for their advantage, but, on reaching maturity, to their
intellectual detriment.

To reach the uncultivated masses, to address popular intellect and
imagination, one must use absolute, simple slogans. In the matter of
primary instruction, the simplest and most absolute slogan is that
which promises and offers it to all children, boys and girls, not
merely universal, but again, complete and gratuitous. To this end,
from 1878 to 1891,[92] the State has expended for school buildings and
installations 582,000,000 francs; for salaries and other expenses it
furnished the latter year 131,000,000. Somebody pays for all this, and
it is the tax-payer, and by force; aided by gendarmes, the collector
puts his hand forcibly into all pockets, even those containing only
sous, and withdraws these millions. Gratuitous instruction sounds well
and seems to designate a veritable gift, a present from the great
vague personage called the State, and whom the general public dimly
sees on the distant horizon as a superior, independent being, and
hence a possible benefactor. In reality, his presents are made with
our money, while his generosity consists in the fine name with which
he here gilds his fiscal exactions, a new constraint added to so many
others which he imposes on us and which we endure.[93]  - Besides,
through instinct and tradition, the State is naturally inclined to
multiply constraints, and this time there is no concealment. From six
to thirteen years of age, primary instruction becomes obligatory.[94]
The father is required to prove that his children receive it, if not
at the public school at least in a private school or at home. During
these seven years it continues, and ten months are devoted to it each
year. The school takes and keeps the child three hours in the morning
and three hours in the afternoon; it pours into these little heads all
that is possible in such a length of time, all that they can hold and
more too, - spelling, syntax, grammatical and logical analysis, rules
of composition and of style, history, geography, arithmetic, geometry,
drawing, notions of literature, politics, law, and finally a complete
moral system, "civic morality."

It is obviously very useful for every adult to be able to read, write
and reckon. Who, then, can criticize a Government because it insists
that all children be taught these basic skills? But for the same
reason and on the same principle, provision could be made for
swimming-schools in every village and town on the sea-coast, or on the
streams and rivers; every boy should be obliged to learn how to swim.
- That it may be useful for every boy and girl in the United States to
pass through the entire system of primary instruction is peculiar to
the United States and is comprehensible in an extensive and new
country where multiplied and diverse pursuits present themselves on
all sides;[95] where every career may lead to the highest pinnacle;
where a rail-splitter may become president of the republic; where the
adult often changes his career and, to afford him the means for
improvising a competency at each change, he must possess the elements
of every kind of knowledge; where the wife, being for the man an
object of luxury, does not use her arms in the fields and scarcely
ever uses her hands in the household.[96] - It is not the same in
France. Nine out of ten pupils in the primary school are sons or
daughters of peasants or of workmen and will remain in the condition
of their parents; the girl, adult, will do washing and cooking all her
life at home or abroad; the son, adult, confined to his occupation
will work all his life in a shop or on his own or another's field.
Between this destiny of the adult and the plenitude of his primary
instruction, the disproportion is enormous; it is evident that his
education does not prepare him for the life he has to lead; but for
another life, less monotonous, under less restraint, more cerebral,
and of which a faint glimpse disgusts him with his own;[97] at least,
it will disgust him for a long time and frequently, until the day
comes when his school acquisitions, wholly superficial, shall have
evaporated in contact with the ambient atmosphere and no longer appear
to him other than empty phrases; in France, for an ordinary peasant or
workman, so much the better if this day comes early.[98]

At the very least, three quarters of these acquisitions are for him
superfluous. He derives no advantage from them, neither for inward
satisfaction or for getting ahead in the world; and yet they must all
be gone through with. In vain would the father of a family like to
curtail his children's mental stores to useful knowledge, to reading,
writing and arithmetic, to giving to these just the necessary time, at
the right season, three months for two or three winters, to keep his
twelve-year-old daughter at home to help her mother and take care of
the other children, to keep his boy of ten years for pasturing cattle
or for goading on the oxen at the plow.[99] In relation to his
children and their interests as well as for his own necessities, he is
suspect, he is not a good judge; the State has more light and better
intentions than he has. Consequently, the State has the right to
constrain him and in fact, from above, from Paris, the State does
this. Legislators, as formerly in 1793, have acted according to
Jacobin procedure, as despotic theorists. They have formed in their
minds a uniform, universal, simple type, that of a child from six to
thirteen years as they want to see it, without adjusting the
instruction they impose on it to its prospective condition, making
abstraction of his positive and personal interest, of his near and
certain future, setting the father aside, the natural judge and
competent measurer of the education suitable to his son and daughter,
the sole authorized arbiter for determining the quality, duration,
circumstances and counterpoise of the mental and moral manipulation to
which these young lives, inseparable from his own, are going to be
subject away from home. - Never, since the Revolution, has the State
so vigorously affirmed its omnipotence, nor pushed in encroachments on
and intrusion into the proper domain of the individual so far, even to
the very center of domestic life. Note that in 1793 and 1794 the plans
of Lepelletier de Saint-Fargeau and of Saint-Just remained on paper;
the latter for ten years have been in practical operation.[100]

At bottom, the Jacobin is a sectarian, propagator of his own faith,
and hostile to the faith of others. Instead of admitting that that
people's conceptions are different and rejoicing that there are so
many of them, each adapted to the human group which believes in it,
and essential to believers to help them along, he admits but one, his
own, and he uses power to force it upon adherents. He also has his own
creed, his catechism, his imperative formula, and he imposes them. -
Henceforth,[101] education shall be not only free and obligatory but
again secular and nothing but secular. Thus far, the great majority of
parents, most of the fathers and all of the mothers, were desirous
that it should at the same time be religious. Without speaking of
professing Christians, many heads of families, even lukewarm,
indifferent or skeptical, judge that this mixture of the two is better
for children, and especially for girls. According to them, knowledge
and faith should not enter into these young minds separate, but
combined and as one aliment; at least, in the particular case in which
they were concerned, this, in their view, was better for the child,
for themselves, for the internal discipline of the household, for good
order at home for which they were responsible, for the maintenance of
respect, and for the preservation of morals. For this reason, the
municipal councils, previous to the laws of 1882 and 1886, still free
to choose instruction and teachers as they pleased, often entrusted
their school to the Christian Brethren or Sisters under contract for a
number of years, at a fixed price, and all the more willingly because
this price was very low.[102]  Hence, in 1886, there were in the
public schools 10,029 teachers of the Christian Brethren and 39,125 of
the Sisters. Now, since 1886, the law insists that public instruction
shall be not only secular, but that lay teachers only shall teach; the
communal schools, in particular, shall be all secularized, and, to
complete this operation, the legislator fixes the term of delay; after
that, no member of a congregation, monk or nun, shall teach in any
public school.

Meanwhile, each year, by virtue of the law, the communal schools are
secularized by hundreds, by fair means or foul; although this is by
right a local matter, the municipal councils are not consulted; the
heads of families have no voice in this private, domestic interest
which touches them to the quick, and such a sensitive point. And
likewise, in the cost of the operation their part is officially
imposed them; at the present day,[103] in the sum-total of 131,000,000
francs which primary instruction costs annually, the communes
contribute 50,000,000 francs; from 1878 to 1891, in the sum-total of
582,000,000 francs expended on school buildings, they contributed
312,000,000 francs. - If certain parents are not pleased with this
system they have only to subscribe amongst themselves, build a private
school at their own expense, and support Christian Brothers or Sisters
in these as teachers. That is their affair; they will not pay one cent
less to the commune, to the department or to the State, so that their
tax will be double and they will pay twice, first for the primary
instruction which they dislike, and next for the primary instruction
which suits them. - Thousands of private schools are founded on these
conditions. In 1887,[104] these had 1,091,810 pupils, about one fifth
of all children inscribed in all the primary schools. Thus one fifth
of the parents do not want the secular system for their children; at
least, they prefer the other when the other is offered to them; but,
to offer it to them, very large donations, a multitude of voluntary
subscriptions, are necessary. The distrust and aversion which this
system, imposed from above excites can be measured by the number of
parents and children and by the greatness of the donations and
subscriptions. Note, moreover, that in many of the other communes, in
all places where the resources, the common understanding and the
generosity of individual founders and donators are not sufficient, the
parents, even distrustful and hostile, are now constrained to send
their children to the school which is repugnant to them. - In order to
be more precise, imagine an official and daily journal entitled
Secular journal, obligatory and gratuitous for children from six to
thirteen, founded and supported by the State, at an average cost of
582,000,000 francs to set it agoing, and 131,0000,000 francs of annual
expenditure, the whole taken from the purses of taxpayers, willingly
or not; take it for granted that the 6,000,000 children, girls and
boys, from six to thirteen, are forced subscribers to this journal,
that they get it every day except Sundays, that, every day, they are
bound to read the paper for six hours. The State, through toleration,
allows the parents who do not like the official sheet to take another
which suits them; but, that another may be within reach, it is
necessary that local benefactors, associated together and taxed by
themselves, should be willing to establish and support it; otherwise,
the father of a family is constrained to read the secular journal to
his children, which he deems badly composed and marred by
superfluities and shortcomings, in brief edited in an objectionable
spirit. Such is the way in which the Jacobin State respects the
liberty of the individual.

On the other hand, through this operation, it has extended and
fortified itself; it has multiplied the institutions it directs and
the persons whom it controls. To direct, inspect, augment and diffuse
its primary instruction, the State has maintained 173 normal schools
for teachers, male and female, 736 schools and courses of lectures in
primary, superior and professional instruction, 66,784 elementary
schools, 3,597 maternal schools, and about 115,000 functionaries, men
and women.[105]  Through these 115,000 officials, representatives and
megaphones, Secular Reason, which is enthroned at Paris, sends its
voice even to the smallest and most remote villages. It is this
Reason, as our rulers define it, with the inclinations, limitations
and prejudices they have need of, the near-sighted and half-
domesticated grand-daughter of that other formidable sightless, brutal
and mad grandmother, who, in 1793 and 1794, sat under the same name
and in the same place. With less of violence and blundering, but by
virtue of the same instinct and with the same one-sidedness, the
latter employs the same propaganda. She too wants to seize the new
generations, and through her programs and manuals, her insinuations
and summaries of the Ancient Régime, the Revolution and the Empire, by
her perceptions of recent or contemporary matters, through her
formulae and suggestions in relation to moral, social and political
affairs, it is of her and she alone, that she preaches and glorifies.

VI. Summary.

Total and actual effect of the system. - Increasing unsuitableness
between early education and adult life. - Change for the worse in the
mental and moral balance of contemporary youth.

In this manner does the education by the State end. (in 1890) When a
matter is taken out of the hands of those who are concerned and handed
over to a third and differently motivated party, it cannot end well;
sooner or later, this basic defect will dominate and lead to
unexpected results. In this case a growing disparity between education
and life. On the three levels of instruction, infancy, adolescence and
youth, the actual theoretical and direct instruction is extended and
overloaded with the examination, the grade, the diploma and the
certificate in view only. To this end any and all means is used;
through the application of an unnatural and anti-social system
competition, through excessive delay in practical apprenticeship,
through the internat, through artificial stimulation and mechanical
cramming, and through overwork. There is no consideration of the
future, of the adult epoch and the duties of the complete man. The
real world in which the young man is about to enter, the state of
society to which he must adapt or resign himself, the human struggle
in which he must defend himself or keep erect is left out. For this
new life he is neither armed, equipped, drilled and hardened. That
solid common sense, that determination and those steady nerves,
indispensable tools in life, are not dispensed by our schools; quite
the contrary; far from qualifying him for his approaching independence
the schools disqualify him for it. Accordingly, his entrance into the
world and his first steps on the field of practical life are generally
a series of painful failures; as a consequence he remains bruised,
often for a long time, offended sometimes permanently crippled. This
is a rude and dangerous ordeal; the moral and mental balance is
altered and risks never being restored; his illusions vanish too
suddenly and too completely. His deceptions have been too great and
his disappointment too severe. Sometimes, among close friends,
embittered and worn out like himself, he is tempted to tell us:

"Through your education you have led us to believe, or you have let us
believe, that the world is made in a certain fashion. You have
deceived us. It is much uglier, more dull, dirtier, sadder and harder,
at least in our opinion and to our imagination: you judge us as
overexcited and disordered; if so, it is your fault. For this reason,
we curse and scoff at your world and reject your pretended truths
which, for us, are lies, including those elementary and primordial
verities which you declare are evident to common sense, and on which
you base your laws, your institutions, your society, your philosophy,
your sciences and your arts."

This is what our contemporary youth, through their tastes, opinions,
vague desires in letters, arts and life, have loudly proclaimed for
the past fifteen years.[106] (Written in 1890.)


It is only fair to the French to note that they have, since the law
called Debré in 1959 allowed the Catholic schools to operate freely
with teachers paid by the state provided they,

* use qualified teachers,

* have a contract with the government submitting to inspection of
their buildings etc.,

* submit to government study programs,

* regular accepted hours etc.  (SR.)



[1] Ordinance of Oct. 4, 1814.

[2] Liard, "L'Enseignement supérieur pendant la Restauration." (Rev.
des deux Mondes, number for Feb.15, 1892.) Decree of April 8, 1814.

[3] Ordinance of April 17, 1815 (to suppress the university pay and
separate the sole University into seventeen regional universities.)
This ordinance, dating from the last days of the first Restoration, is
repealed the first days of the second Restoration, Aug. 15, 1815.

[4] "The Modern Régime,"  p.316. (Laff. II 581-582.)

[5] Basset, censor of studies in the Charlemagne college, "Coup d'œil
général sur l'Éducation et l'Instruction publique en France" (1816),
p. 21. (State of the University in 1815.)

[6] Today, in year 2000, the educational machinery in France employs
more than 1 million teachers and, as all children are in school from
the age of 3 to at least 16 years of age, there are more than 12
million children and students under the tutelage of the state. (SR.)

[7] Political party terms.

[8] Ordinance of Feb.21, 1821, article 13, and Report by M. de
Corbières: " The youth clamour for a religious and moral direction. .
. . The religious direction belongs by right to the highest pastors:
it is proper to ask from them for these establishments (the university
colleges) for constant supervision and to legally call on them to
suggest all measures that they may deem necessary."

[9]  Liard, "L'Enseignement supérieur," 840 (Speech by Benjamin
Constant in the Chamber of Députés, May 18th, 1827).

[10] Ordinances of Novem. 21, 1822, article I, and Feb. 2, 1823,
article II.

[11] Ordinances of Sep. 6, 1822, and of Feb. 21st, 1821, title VI,
with report by M. de Corbières.

[12] Liard, ibid., p. 840. (Circular addressed to the rectors by
Monseigneur Freyssinous immediately after his installation:) "In
summoning a man of sacerdotal character to the head of public
instruction, His Majesty has made all France well aware of his great
desire to have the youth of his kingdom brought up in monarchical and
religious sentiments. . . . Whoever has the misfortune to live without
religion, or not to be devoted to the reigning family, ought to be
sensible of what he lacks in becoming a worthy instructor of youth. He
is to be pitied and is even culpable." - "Ambroise Rendu," by Eug.
Rendu, p. III (circular to rectors in 1817). "Make it known to the MM.
the bishops and to all ecclesiastics that, in the work of education,
you are simply auxiliaries, and that the object of primary instruction
is above all to fortify religious instruction."

[13] De Riancey, "Histoire de l'instruction publique," II.,312.
(Apropos of the lectures by Guizot and Cousin, stopped by Mgr. de
Freyssinous:) " He did not believe that a Protestant and a philosopher
could treat the most delicate questions of history and science with
impartiality, and through a fatal effect of the monopoly he found
himself placed between his conscience and the law. On this occasion he
sacrificed the law."

[14] Liard, ibid., p.837. After 1820, "a series of measures are passed
which, little by little, give back its primitive constitution to the
University and even end in incorporating it more closely with power
than under the Empire.

[15] Here Taine describes the very principle of democratic government
in a welfare state. "Do not worry, demand and we supply, the rich will
pay!!!"  Taine understood and foresaw the riches which the industrial
society could be made to produce but neither he nor anyone else could
foresee that Human Rights should include central heating, housing,
running hot and cold water, television, free health care, a car and
worldwide tourism..(SR.)

[16] See "The Modern Régime," I., pp.183, 202.

[17] Maggiolo, "des Ecoles en Lorraine." (Details on several communal
schools.) 3rd part, pp. 9-50. - Cf. Jourdain, "le Budget de
l'Instruction publique," 1857, passim. (Appropriation by the State for
primary instruction in 1829, 100,000 francs; in 1832, 1,000,000
francs; in 1847, 2,400,000 francs; - for secondary instruction, in
1830, 920,000 francs; in 1848, 1,500,000 francs; in 1854, 1,549,241
francs. (The towns support their own communal colleges.) - Liard, "
Universités et Facultés," p. II.  In 1829, the budget of Faculties
does not reach 1,000,000 francs; in 1848, it is 2,876,000 francs.

[18] Law of Floreal 11, year X, article 4. - " Rapport sur la
statistique comparée de l'enseignement primaire,"  1880, vol. II.,p.
133; - 31 per cent of the pupils in the public schools were
gratuitously admitted in 1837; 57 per cent in 1876-77. The
congregationists admit about two thirds of their scholars gratuitously
and one third for pay.

[19] Cf. Jourdain, Ibid., pp. 22, 143, 161.

[20] Cf. Jourdain, Ibid., p.287. (The fixed salary and examination-
fees are included in the above figures.) In 1850, the regular salary
of the professor in the Paris Medical Faculty is reduced from 7000 to
6000 francs. In 1849, the maximum of all the salaries of the Law
professors is limited to 12,000 francs.

[21] Read, among other biographies, "Ambroise Rendu," by Eug. Rendu.

[22]  This, in France, lasted until the Communists in 1946 insisted as
a price for their participation in governing France that the right to
strike for civil servants be inserted in the French Constitution. In
this way Stalin was sure to trouble France a great deal. (SR.)

[23] "Rapport sur la statistique comparée de l'enseignement primaire,"
1880, vol. II.,pp.8, 110, 206. - Law of March 15, 1850, "Exposé des
motifs," by M. Beugnot.

[24] "Revue des Deux Mondes," number of Aug.15, 1869, pp. 909, 911.
(Article by M. Boissier.)

[25] Act of Nov. 9, 1818.  (Down to 1850 and after, the University so
arranged its teaching (in high school) as not to come in conflict with
the clergy on the debatable grounds of history. For example, at the
end of the 8th grade the history of the Roman Empire after Augustus
was rapidly passed over and then, in the 9th grade, they began again
with the invasion of the barbarians. The origins of Christianity and
the entire primitive history of the Christian Church were thus
avoided. For the same reason, modern history ended in 1789.

[26] M. Guizot," Mémoires," vol. II.

[27] An eminent university personage, a political character and man of
the world, said to me in 1850: "Pedagogy does not exist. There are
only personal methods which each finds out for himself and eloquent
phrases for effect on the public."- - Bréal, "Quelques mots sur
l'instruction publique" (1872), p. 300: " France produces more works
on sericiculture than on the direction of colleges; rules and a few
works already ancient suffice for us."

[28]  On this day the monarchy of King Louis-Phillippe collapsed and
the Republic was declared. (SR.)

[29] "L'Église et l'État sous la monarchie de juillet," by Thureau-
Dangin, 481-483.

[30] Law of March 15, 1850 (Report by M. Beugnot).

[31] Law of March 15, 1850, art. 21.

[32] Law of March 15, 1850, article 21.

[33]  "Ambroise Rendu et l'Université de France," by E. Rendu, p.128
(January, 1850). The discretionary power given to the prefects to
punish "the promoters of socialism" among the teachers in the primary
schools. -  Six hundred and eleven teachers revoked. -  There was no
less repression and oppression in the secondary and higher departments
of instruction.

[34] Kingdom of July, (Louis-Philippe from 1830 to 24-2-1848.) (SR.)

[35] De Riancey, ibid., II..,  476. (Words of M. Saint-Marc Girardin.)
"We instruct, we do not bring up (children); we cultivate and develop
the mind, not the heart." - Similar evidence, as for instance that of
M. Dubois, director of the Ecole Normale and of M. Guizot, minister of
public instruction. " Education is not up to the level of
instruction." (Exposition of the intent of the law of 1836.)

[36] De Riancey, ibid., II., 401, 475. - Thureau-Dangin, ibid., 145
and 146. - (Words of a fervent Catholic, M. de Montalembert,on the
trial of the Free School, Sept.29, 1831.) "It is with a heart still
distressed with these souvenirs (personal) that I here declare that,
were I a father, I would rather see my children crawl their whole life
in ignorance and idleness than expose them to the horrible risk I ran
myself of obtaining a little knowledge at the cost of their father's
faith, at the price of everything that is pure and fresh in their soul
and of honor and virtue in their breast." -  (Testimony of a zealous
Protestant, M. de Gasparin.)  "Religious education does not really
exist in the colleges. I remember with horror how I was on finishing
my national education. Were we good citizens? I do not know. But it is
certain that we were not Christians."  -  Testimony of a free-thinker,
Sainte-Beuve.) "In mass, the professors of the University, without
being hostile to religion, are not religious. The pupils feel this,
and they leave this atmosphere, not fed on irreligion, but
indifferent. . . . One goes away from the University but little of a

[37] Boissier, ibid., p.712

[38] In my youth, I was able to talk with some of those who lived
during the Consulate. All agreed in opinion. One, an admirer of
Condillac and founder of a boarding-school, had written for his pupils
a number of small elementary treatises, which I still possess.

[39] Charles Hamel, " Histoire de Juilly," pp. 413, 419 (1818).  -
Ibid., 532, 665 (April 15, 1846.) The Tontine Association replaced by
a limited association (40 years) with a capital of 500,000 francs in
1000 shares of 500 francs each, etc.

[40] For example, "Monge," the "École Alsacienne," the "École libre
des Sciences Politiques." Competent jurists recommend the founders of
a private school to organize it under the form of a commercial
association, with profit for its aim and not the public good. If the
founders of the school wish to maintain the free management of it they
must avoid declaring it "of public utility."

[41] The "École Alsacienne" has been supported for some years mainly
by a subsidy of 40,000 francs allotted by the State.  This year the
State furnishes, "Monge" and "Sainte-Barbe" with subsidies of 130,000
and 150,000 francs, without which they would become bankrupt and close
their doors.  The State probably thus supports them so as to have a
field of pedagogic experiences alongside of its lycées, or to prevent
their being bought by some Catholic corporation.

[42] Even when the masters are conciliatory or reserved the two
institutions face each other and the pupils are aware of the
antagonism; hence, they turn a cold shoulder to the pupils, education
and ideas of the rival institution. In 1852, and on four circular
journeys from 1863 to 1866, I was able to observe these sentiments
which are now very manifest.

[43] The period of the annual school examinations in France. - Tr.

[44] This word means something more than an ordinary "boarding-
school," as the reader will see by the text, and is therefore retained
as untranslatable. - Tr.

[45] Expositione universelle of 1889, "Rapport du jury," group II.,
1st part, P.492. -  Documents collected in the bureaus of public
instruction for 1887. (To the internes here enumerated must be added
those of private secular establishments, 8958 out of 20,174 pupils.) -
Bréal, "Excursions pedagogiques,"  pp.293, 298.

[46] All these figures are today in 1998, 100 years later, no longer
valid, they are only included in order to understand Taine's insights
into human nature and education in general. In 1994-5 there were, in
the State lycées and colleges over 4 millions students and only those
whose parents live too far from the schools, or some 9%, are boarders.

[47] Today, in 1998, the number of pupils living on French school
premises amount to approximatively 10%, mostly because the parents
live too far away from the school. (SR.)

[48] Bréal, ibid., pp. 10, 13. Id., "Quelques mots sur l'instruction
publique," p. 286. "The internat is nearly unknown in Germany. . . .
The director (of the gymnase) informs parents where families can be
found willing to receive boarders and he must satisfy himself that
their hospitality is unobjectionable. . . . In the new gymnases there
is no room for boarders."  -  Demogeot et Montucci, "Rapport sur
l'enseignement secondaire en Angleterre et en Ecosse," 1865.  -  (I
venture also to refer the reader to my "Notes sur l'Angleterre," for a
description of Harrow-on-the-Hill and another school at Oxford, made
on the spot.)

[49] Taine, "Notes sur l'Angleterre," P.139. The pupils of the
superior class (sixth form), especially the first fifteen of the class
(monitors), the first pupil in particular, have to maintain order,
insure respect for the rules and, taking it all together, take the
place of our maitres d'étude.

[50] Bréal, "Quelques mots, etc.," pp.281, 282. The same in France,
"before the Revolution, . . . except in two or three large
establishments in Paris, the number of pupils was generally
sufficiently limited. . . . At Port-Royal the number of boarders was
never over fifty at one time." - " Before 1764, most of the colleges
were day-schools with from 15 to 8o pupils," besides the scholarships.
and peasant boarders, not very numerous. - "An army of boarders,
comprising more than one half of our bourgeois class, under a drill
regulated and overlooked by the State, buildings holding from seven to
eight hundred boarders - such is what one would vainly try to find
anywhere else, and which is essentially peculiar to contemporary

[51] Bréal, ibid., 287, id., " Excursions pedagogiques," p. 10.  "I
took part (with these pupils) in a supper full of gayety in the room
of the celebrated Latinist, Corssen, and I remember the thought that
passed through my mind when recurring to the meal we silently partook
of at Metz, two hundred of us, under the eye of the censor and general
superintendent, and menaced with punishment, in our cold, monastic

[52] Even though Taine had visited Eton and other English schools, he
appears to have a somewhat rosy picture of life inside these
institutions. I have been 9 years to a similar school and can assure
the reader that the headmaster's wife is no suitable substitute for a
real mother and her table does not replace one's own home. The rector
of my school once stated that boarding schools should only be resorted
to when one could not remain at home. It was my impression that this
school had two effects upon me: the first that I wanted, in spite of
good grades, to stop my studies and get a job and the second that I
became, like Taine, an opponent to the system. Later on in life I
should come to appreciate all the useful things like languages,
literature, math and physics which I had learned in this well-
organized school. I also came to understand that much worse than harsh
discipline is no discipline and no learning at all, something which
happened to my children when they attended, for one year only, the
American School in Bangkok. (SR.)

[53] Pelet de la Lozère, " Opinions de Napoleon au Conseil d'État,"
p.172. (Session of April 7, 1807:) "The professors are to be
transferred from place to place in the Empire according to necessity."
-   Decree of May 1, 1802, article 21 : "The three functionaries in
charge of the administration and the professors of the 1ycées may be
transferred from the weakest to the strongest lycées and from inferior
to superior places according to the talent and zeal they show in their

[54] A splendid description which also fits the international civil
servants working for the United Nations. I know this because I was one
for 32 years of my life. I suspect it also fits members of the police
forces, secret or not. (SR.)

[55] Act of Jan. 11, 1811. -  Decree of March 17, 1808,  articles 101
and 102.

[56] Boissier ("Revue du Deux Mondes," Aug. 15, 1869, p. 919): "The
externe lycées cost and the interne lycées bring in."

[57] "Statistique de l'enseigncnient secondaire" (46,816 pupils, of
which 33,092 internes and 13,724 externes). - Abbé Bougaud, "Le Grand
Péril de l'Eglise du France," p. 135. - "Moniteur," March 14, 1865,
Speech of Cardinal Bonnechose in the Senate.

[58] Name of the navy school-ship at Brest. - TR.

[59] Bréal, "Quelques mots, etc.," p. 308: "We need not be surprised
that our children, once out of the college, resemble horses just let
loose, kicking at every barrier and committing all sorts of capers.
The age of reason has been artificially retarded for them five or six

[60] On the tone and turn of conversation among boys in school on this
subject in the upper classes and even earlier, I can do no more than
appeal to the souvenirs of the reader. - Likewise, on another danger
of the internat, not less serious, which cannot be mentioned. (Here
Taine undoubtedly refers to homosexuality. (SR.))

[61] Bréal, "Excursions pédagogiques," pp. 326, 327. (Testimony of two
university graduates.) "The great college virtue is comradeship, which
comprises a bond of union among the pupils and hatred of the master."
(Bessot:) "Punishment irritates those who undergo it and engenders
punishment. The pupils become wearied: they fall into a state of mute
irritability coupled with contempt for the system itself and for those
who apply it. Unruliness furnishes them with the means of avenging
themselves or at least to relax their nerves; they commit disorders
whenever they can commit them with impunity. . . . The interdiction of
an act by authority is sufficient to excite the glory of committing
it." (A. Adam, "Notes sur l'administration du'un lycée.") - Two
independent and original minds have recounted their impressions on
this subject, one, Maxime Du Camp, who passed through the lycée
system, and the other, George Sand, who would not tolerate if for her
son. (Maxime Du Camp, "Souvenirs littéraires," and George Sand,
"Histoire de ma vie.")

[62] All this was in 1890, a long time ago, and if there was much to
learn then, how much do we not have to learn now? It helped, however,
to reduce the curriculum, that Latin and Greek was removed from middle
and senior high school programs and that international Socialism
through the Politically Correct movement, either forbade or rewrote
history, art and literature. In science, however, the young engineers
and scientists have a lot more to learn today and that in all branches
of science and especially in electronics. (SR.)

[63] The so-called "Grandes Ecoles" which exist today and which
continue to form the French administrative, commercial and scientific
elite. They cannot be done away with since the French universities
have become accessible for an ever increasing number of students since
nearly 50% of the population pass their "bac" or final high school
exam. The level of this exam has decreased year after year and only
the preparatory schools for the Grande Ecoles continue to insist on
verifying diligence and attention. (SR.)

[64] Taine expresses this in the following manner: "elle a imaginé
quantité de cours surérogatoires et de luxe, .." (SR.)

[65] This year (1892) 1750 candidates were entered or 240 vacancies in
the École Polytechnique, 230 for 30 places in the École des Beaux-Arts
(section of Architecture) and 266 for 24 places in the École Normale
(section of Literature).

[66] 1890.

[67] In France  today, in 2000, there are still preparatory schools
which, in two or three years after their baccalaureat, prepare the
young applicants for the various competetive entrance examinations to
the "Grande Ecoles". 4000 specially selected students vie annually
with each other for the 400 places in the École Polytechnique. (SR.)

[68] I was once, writes Taine, an examiner for admission to a large
special school and speak from experience.. Taine was well placed to
know about the system since he was first in the competetive entrance
exam (concours) to the École Normale Superior, and had also passed all
his other studies with great brilliance. (SR.)

[69] A practical apprenticeship in the Faculty of Medicine is less
retarded; the future doctors, after the third year of their studies,
enter a hospital for two years, ten months of each year or 284 days of
service, including an "obstetrical stage" of one months. Later, on
competing for the title of physician or surgeon in the hospitals and
for the aggrégation of the Faculty, the theoretical preparation is as
onerous as that of other careers.

[70] "Souvenirs" by Chancellor Pasquier. (Written in 1843). (Étienne
Dennis Pasquier (Paris 1767-- † id. 1862) was a high official under
Napoleon, and President of the upper house under Louis-Phillippe and
author of "L'Histoire de mon temps", published posthumously in 1893.
Librarie Plon,  Paris 1893. On page 16 and 17 in volume I  he fully
confirms Taine's views. (SR.)

[71] Idem., Nobody attended the Lectures of the Law faculty of Paris,
except sworn writers who took down the professor's dictation and sold
copies of it. "These were nearly all supported by arguments
communicated beforehand. . . At Bourges, everything was got through
within five or six months at most."

[72] Souvenirs" by Chancellor Pasquier, vol. I. p. 17. Nowadays, "the
young man who enters the world at twenty-two, twenty-three or twenty-
four years of age, thinks that he has nothing more to learn; he
commonly starts with absolute confidence in himself and profound
disdain for whoever does not share in the ideas and opinions that he
has adopted. Full of confidence in his own force, taking himself at
his own value, he is governed by one single thought, that of
displaying this force and this estimate himself immediately so as to
demonstrate what he is worth." This must have been written around
1830. (SR.)

[73]  This last quality is given by Sainte-Beuve.

[74] Dunoyer, "De la liberté du travail" (1845), II.,119. The
extraordinary progress of England in the mechanical arts, according to
English engineers, "depends much less on the theoretical knowledge of
scholars than on the practical skill of the workmen who always succeed
better in overcoming difficulties than cultivated minds." For example,
Watt, Stephenson, Arkwright, Crampton and, in France, Jacquart.

[75]  Today, in year 2000, the socialist revolutionaries have, through
the Human Rights activities broken the chain between the generations,
forbidden the parents, the teachers and the supervisors to correct and
discipline their children and apprentices. The French educational
system, perfectly equal, still survives and is probably the best in
existence since it insists on teaching the students even if a lot of
the curriculum is a dead loss. The final product is still a useful
citizen and functionary, something which make France tick. (SR.)

[76] Bréal, "Quelques mots," etc.,, p. 336. (He quotes M. Cournot, a
former rector, inspector-general, etc.:) "The Faculties know that they
would be subject to warnings on the part of the authorities as well as
to comparisons and regrettable desertions on the part of the pupils if
the proportion between candidates and admissions did not vary between
45 and 50%. .. When the proportion of postponements reaches between 50
and 555 the examiners admit with groans, considering the hard times,
candidates of which they would reject at least one half their hands
were not tied." (This was 100 years ago, today less than 30% on the
average, but more than 70% in certain bad areas, fail their
Baccalauréat. The curriculum has, however, been lightened so that
about 50% of the population may end up passing their baccalauréat.
Democracy oblige. (SR.))

[77] A machine for the forced feeding of ducks and geese to make their
liver grow to excessive proportions.

[78] An old professor, after thirty years of service, observed to me
by way of summing up: "One half, at least, of our pupils are not
fitted to receive the instruction we give them."

[79] Lately, the director of one of these schools remarked with great
satisfaction and still greater naïveté : "This school is superior to
all others of its kind in Europe, for nowhere else is what we teach
taught in the same number of years."

[80] But what if Taine was mistaken? What if he, like so many other
highly talented and intelligent men, took his own superb intelligence
and imagination for granted? What if the talent of such men is
inherited? We know from identical twins how many of our
particularities have been given to us at birth. What if most men are
lazy and especially intellectually so, what if we can only be made to
learn and think when under great stress, the stress introduced by fear
of dismissal or hope of promotion or riches? Then the French system is
perhaps hard, perhaps expensive but certainly useful in producing the
great number of hardworking and competent and passively obedient
supervisors and civil servants that any large organization needs.

[819  "Souvenirs", by Pasquier (Etienne-Dennis, duc), chancelier de
France. in VI volumes, Librarie Plon,  Paris 1893. Although pupils
were admitted in the preparatory Schools very early, "our navy,
engineer and artillery officers were justly esteemed the best
instructed in Europe, as able practically as theoretically; the
position occupied by artillery and engineer officers from 1792 in the
French army sufficiently attests this truth. And yet they did not know
one tenth of those who now issue from the preparatory schools. Vauban
himself would have been unable to undergo the examination for
admission into the Polytechnic School." There is then in our system "a
luxury of science, very fine in itself, but which is not necessary to
insure good service on land or at sea." The same in civil careers,
with the bar, in the magistracy, in the administration and even in
literature and the sciences. The proof of this is found in the men of
great talent who, after 1789, were prominent in the Constituent
Assembly. In the new-born University there was not one half of the
demand for attainments as is now exacted. There is nothing like our
over-loaded baccalauréat, and yet there issued from it Villemain,
Cousin, Hugo, Lamartine, etc. No École Polytechnique existed, and yet
at the end of the eighteenth century in France, we find the richest
constellation of savants, Lagrange, Laplace, Monge, Fourcroy,
Lavoisier, Berthollet, Haüy, and others. (Since the date of these
souvenirs (1843) the defects in the French system have gotten worse.

[82] In England and in the United States the architect and engineer
produce more than we do with greater pliancy, fertility, originality
and boldness of invention, with a practical capacity at least equal
and without having passed six, eight or ten years in purely
theoretical studies. - Cf. Des Rousiers, "La Vie Américaine," p. 619:
"Our polytechnicians are scientific erudites. . . . The American
engineer is not omniscient as they were, he is special." "But, in his
specialty he has profound knowledge; he is always trying to make it
more perfect by additions, and he does more than the polytechnician to
advance his science" or his art. (Since Taine noted this times have
changed; I once put my 3 older sons into the American school in
Bangkok (in 1972), and not only did they not learn anything during
their year there, they actually lost some of their reading and writing
skills and I had to remove them as soon as I could. (SR.)).

[83] In 1889 a law called Freycinet, France introduced 3 years of
military service for all young men. Students and married men were,
subject to certain conditions, released after one year of service.

[84] To facilitate his or her comprehension the reader might replace
the word Jacobin with the expression Socialist, Marxist,  national-
socialist or Communist since they are all heirs to the heritage left
by the French Revolutionaries. (SR.)

[85]  IIIrd Republique lasted from 14-9-1870 until 13-7-1940. (SR.)

[86] Instruction is good, not in itself, but through the good it does,
and especially to those who possess or acquire it. If, simply by
raising his finger, a man could enable every French man or woman to
read Virgil readily and demonstrate Newton's binomial theory, this man
would be dangerous and ought to have his hands tied; for, should he
inadvertently raise his finger, manual labor would be repugnant and,
in a year or two, become almost impossible in France.

[87] And so it happened. After the second world war, when
international Marxism became installed its agents throughout the
Western world, compulsory, unified education was pushed from the age
of 14 to 16 and a majority of young remained in school till after
their 18th birthday , an education which successfully made them
believe that the attitudes and values they were taught were the only
valid ones. (SR.)

[88]  Liard, " Universités et Facultés," p. 39 and following pages. -
" Rapport sur la statistique comparée de l'instruction," vol. II.
(1888). -  "Exposition universelle de 1889" ("Rapport du jury," groupe
II., part I., p.492.)

[89] In 1994 there were in France 1389 public and 841 private lycées

[90] Liard, ibid.,  p. 77.

[91] Also called the preparatory classes, the so-called math-sup and
math-spe of the preparatory schools attached to the state lycées and
attended by selected 18-20 year-old students. (SR.)

[92] These figures were obtained in the bureaux of the direction of
primary instruction. - The sum-total of 582,000,000 francs is composed
of 241,000,000, furnished directly by the State, 28,000,000 furnished
by the departments, and 312,000, 000 furnished by the communes. The
communes and departments being, in France, appendices of the State,
subscribe only with its permission and under its impulsion. Hence the
three contributions furnish only one. - Cf. Turlin, "Organisation
financière et budget de l'Instruction primaire," p. 61. (In this
study, the accounts are otherwise made up. Certain expenses being
provided for by annuities are carried into the annual expenditure:)
"From June 1, 1878, to Dec. 31, 1887, expenses of first installation,
528 millions; ordinary expenses in 1887, 173 millions."

[93]  Law of June 16, 1881 (on gratuitous education).

[94] Law of March 28, 1882 (on obligatory education).

[95] National temperament must here be taken into consideration as
well as social outlets. Instruction out of proportion with and
superior to condition works differently with different nations. For
the German adult it is rather soothing and a derivative; with the
adult Frenchman it is especially an irritant or even an explosive.

[96] It might be interesting to note what Mark Twain wrote on India
education about the same period when Taine wrote this text:

 ""apparently, then, the colleges of India were doing what our high
schools have long been doing - richly over-supplying the market for
highly educated service; and thereby doing a damage to the scholar,
and through him to the country.

 At home I once made a speech deploring the injuries inflicted by the
High School in making handicrafts distasteful to boys who would have
been willing to make a living at trades and agriculture if they had
but had the good luck to stop with the common school. But I made no
converts. Not one, in a community overrun with educated idlers who
were above following their fathers' mechanical trades, yet could find
no market for their book-knowledge."

[97] Among the pupils who receive this primary instruction the most
intelligent, who study hardest, push on and pass an examination by
which they obtain the certificate that qualifies them for elementary
teaching. The consequences are as follows. Comparative table of annual
vacancies in the various services of the prefecture of the Seine and
of the candidates registered for these places. ("Débats," Sep. 16,
1890:) Vacancies for teachers, 42; number of registered candidates,
1,847. Vacancies for female teachers, 54; number of candidates, 7,139.
- 7,085 of these young women, educated and with certificates, and who
cannot get these places, must be content to marry some workman, or
become housemaids, and are tempted to become lorettes. (From the
church of Notre Dame de Lorette in Paris in the neighborhood of which
many young, pretty women of easy virtue were to be found. (SR.))

[98] Taine wrote this when compulsory education in France kept the
children in school until their 13th  year. Today in year 2000 they
must stay until they are 16 years old but more often continue until
they are 19 - 23 years old. (SR.)

[99] In certain cases, the school commission may grant exemptions. But
there art two or three parties in each commune, and the father of a
family must stand well with the dominant party to obtain them.

[100]  After the second world war the world, helped by the United
Nations, have pushed obligatory education further and further, and the
number of dissatisfied youth have consequently increased and
increased. (SR.)

[101] Law of March 28, 1882, and Oct. 30, 1886.

[102]  "Journal des Débats," Sep. 1, 1891. Report of the Commission on
Statistics: "In 1878-9 the number of congregationist schools was
23,625 with 2,301,943 pupils."

[103]  Bureaux of the direction of public instruction, budget of 1892.

[104] "Exposition universelle" of 1889.  "Rapport général," by M.
Alfred Picard, p. 367. At the same date, the number of pupils in the
public schools was 4,500,119. - "Journal des Débats," Sep. 12, 1891,
Report of the commission of statistics. "From 1878-79 to 1889-90,
5,063 public congregationist schools are transformed into secular
schools or suppressed; at the time of their transformation they
enumerated in all 648,824 pupils. - Following upon this
secularization, 2,839 private congregationist schools are opened as
competitors and count in 1889-90, 354,473 pupils." - In ten years
public secular instruction gains 12,229 schools and 973,380 pupils;
public congregationist instruction loses 5,218 schools and 550,639
pupils.  On the other hand, private congregationist instruction gains
3,790 schools and 413,979 pupils."

[105] Turlin, ibid, p. 61. (M. Turlin enumerates "104,765
functionaries," to which must be added the teaching, administrative
and auxiliary staff of teachers of the 173 normal schools and their
3000 pupils, all gratuitous). (In 1994 there were 247 000 primary
school teachers (instituteurs) in public schools in France. Taine
could not foresee that the French schools and universities should
become an enormous industry, the number of teachers and universities
multiplied by ten and the number of government functionaries
multiplied by 20 and that the annual 50 000 vacancies should find more
than a million candidates, the young overeducated persons dreaming of
becoming functionaries and hence "safe" for life.  (SR.))

[106] In this respect, very instructive indications may be found in
the autobiography of Jules Valès, "l'Enfant," "le Bachelier,' and
"l´Insurge'."  Since 1871, not only in literature do the successful
works of men of talent but, again, the abortive attempts of impotent
innovators and blasted half-talents, converge to this point."

End of The Modern Regime, Volume 2
End of The Origins of Contemporary France


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