Popular Science Monthly/Volume 72/January 1908/The Institute of France and Other Learned Scientific Societies
|THE INSTITUTE OF FRANCE AND OTHER LEARNED SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES|
Great Educational Institutions in Paris, Literary and Scientific
The College of France
One of the more noted of these institutions is the College of France. This college has filled a large place in French history, and contributed not a little to French culture. It is as flourishing to-day as ever. Its history is interesting. In 1529, yielding to the desire of William Bude, provost of the merchants, a scholar as well as a merchant, and especially fond of Greek, Francis I. began the college by founding two chairs, one for Greek and one for Hebrew. Fearing heresy if such studies as these were encouraged, or even permitted, Noel Buda, syndic of the theological faculty of the University of Paris, sought to dissuade the king from his purpose. In this he signally failed. In 1530 a second chair was added for Hebrew, a second for Greek also and one for mathematics. Not long after this instructors were provided in Latin eloquence, philosophy and medicine. Poor Buda's cup was full. But he was powerless. Charles IX. established a chair of surgery, Henri III. one for Arabic, while Henri IV. added chairs for botany and astronomy and completed, as he thought, the work which Francis I. had so wisely begun. At that time there were about 500 students in the college. Its work, always excellent, remained essentially the same for many years. August 1619, the year the Pilgrims were preparing to leave Holland for America, Louis XIII. laid the corner-stone of a new building, and enriched the course of study by founding fellowships of common law and Syriac. Louis XV. introduced the study of
French literature. Strange to say the leaders of the Revolution did not interfere with the work of the professors of the college, but even increased their pay. They changed the name Royal to National, but otherwise approved and favored the institution. This fact alone is sufficient to indicate the place which it was filling and the affection the people had for it.
It was one of the few institutions in which every one seemed to have confidence. Napoleon added a chair for Turkish, Louis XVIII. one for Sanscrit and one for Chinese. In 1874 a chair was established for instruction in political economy. Since that time other chairs have been added, till it is now possible in this college to receive instruction from competent men in well-nigh every branch of learning.
This college is peculiar in the liberties it grants its students. There are no examinations, no diplomas, no degrees. One listens to such professors as one wishes, comes and goes as one likes. There are no registrations. The more famous the lecturer and the more popular the subject, the larger the audience. Few, save specialists, care for the lectures on Hebrew or Chinese. Those on French literature are the most popular. The largest of the nine lecture halls is then crowded. Women are always present. Those on Latin literature are fairly well attended, as are those on the middle ages, those on esthetics, those on the history of art and those on morals. It was on this last topic that Michelet delivered his famous course and was heard each succeeding year with increased interest. Yet this college with its forty professors, while affording the very best advantages for those earnest and faithful students who are able to appreciate the value of its lectures, is not well suited to the wants of young men and young women who care less for hard work than for personal pleasure. There are two semesters, the first beginning the first week in December, the second the week after Easter. Vacation begins between July 20 and July 30.
The University of Paris
A very different institution is the University of Paris, which, with the colleges grouped around it, like the Navarre and the Sorbonne, has been in the front rank of European universities since the end of the twelfth century. It became prominent, indeed, about the year 1170. It grew out of the schools connected with the churches of Nôtre Dame, St. Geneviève and St. Victor, and for some years the chancellor of Nôtre Dame claimed the right, as the quasi head of the university, to grant its licenses. A charter for a corporation with special privileges was given by Philip Augustus in 1200, and seven years later the students of the university were allowed an ecclesiastical trial. By 1229 the contests between townsmen and students had become so frequent and so bitter that many of the latter went over to Oxford, where they remained for two years, or till the decision of Pope Gregory IX. so favored the students that they felt it safe to return to Paris. It was in this university that William of Champeaux and Abélard taught. Early in its history there were the four faculties of theology, law, medicine and the arts. In the department of the arts there were as many students as in the other three departments of the university combined. Hence in the "congregation," or board of control, the masters of the arts department had four votes, while each of the other departments had but one each. About 1250, Thomas Aquinas, Alexander Hales and Saint Bonaventura were members of the theological faculty. Their refusal to take the oath of allegiance to the university, on the ground that their obligations were to the church, was the beginning of legislation which continued for seven years and ended only with the decision of the Pope that mendicants, or members of orders in the church, should have the same right to teach in the university as the regular masters. The outcome of this struggle was the establishment of several colleges which were grouped around the university, but were in a measure independent of it.
The university was at the height of its fame in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Students flocked to it from every part of Europe. By order of Napoleon it was made in 1808 a part of the University of France, and deprived of the rights it had enjoyed as an independent institution. Since 1898, when the law of 1896 under which fifteen universities in France were recognized and made substantially autonomous, it has regained a good deal of its former authority, although the universities are still to a certain extent under the control of the minister of public instruction. But the government, while providing for the support of the professors, no longer provides new buildings for the universities, equips laboratories, or buys books for the libraries. For these increasing needs, local gifts are expected. In the larger cities these have not failed. The increase in attendance, therefore, has been in the universities belonging to the larger cities. There were in the University of Paris in 1904 nearly 13,000 students. It is now one of the best equipped universities in the world. Its professors are among the most famous in the world. The opportunities it furnishes for study are not surpassed by any university in Germany.
The Sorbonne, one of the most noted colleges in existence, was founded by Robert de Sorbon, chaplain of Louis IX., October 21, 1250. His object was to provide for the support of poor young men while in training for service in the church. Although the students had been divided into four nations, Picardy, France, Normandy, England, in the hope and belief that they would aid each other through this closer fellowship, poverty was still pressing. Such a college as the Sorbonne seemed to be needed. For a long time only poor students were admitted to its hospitality, and although the fare it furnished was luxurious in comparison with that which the young men had previously enjoyed, it was scant enough to justify the title the college received of "pauperrima domus." During the reign of Louis 100 scholars were lodged in it. They paid nothing. The house which the king made over to his chaplain for the college once belonged to Jean d'Orléans, and on its site with some additional space the present agnificent buildings stand.
Students in the Sorbonne have always been compelled to work. Even in the thirteenth century three severe examinations were required before one could obtain a bachelor's degree. In order to obtain the right to teach or to be known as doctor, at least ten years' study was necessary. Many theses were written, and their authors subjected to many tests of scholarship. The final examination occupied an entire day, beginning at 6 a.m. and closing at 6 p.m. There was no intermission for food, drink or exercise. Twenty wranglers, relieving each other every half hour, conducted the examination. They made it as difficult as possible and did all in their power to confuse the student.
In 1274 the Sorbonne provided courses in the humanities and philosophy as well as in theology. Its faculty has always been very conservative. It pronounced judgment against Jeanne d'Arc, condemned Luther and reform of every sort, and opposed the philosophy of Descartes. Since the revolution there has been no theological faculty. Instruction has been confined to literature and science. There are schools of law and medicine in the vicinity. The literary and scientific faculties of the university are installed in the buildings of the Sorbonne. Here also are the libraries, both of the university and of the college, numbering altogether about 300,000 volumes.
In 1821 the professors of the university complained that their laboratories were too small and their examination rooms inadequate and dark. It was in this year that the schools of the Sorbonne, which had been closed by the revolution, were reopened. Its property had been taken by the state in 1801. Renting it for a time, the state finally turned it into a lodging house for artists, sculptors, painters, architects and men of letters.The complaints of the university brought up the question as to the ownership of the property. Was its title in the state or in the university? Legislation was protracted, but a decision rendered in 1852 gave the property to the university. Meanwhile the university faculties continued to ask for more room. There must be, they said, new laboratories for the proper study of chemistry, zoology and physics.
In it are installed the faculties of mathematics and natural history, as well as those of literature. Here are their class-rooms and about forty of their laboratories. Other laboratories are in the museum, or in the Jardin des Plantes, the medical school.
The Sorbonne is now a practical school for advanced students. It has been defined as a complex of historical and philological seminaries of scientific mathematical institutes which owe their existence to the initiative of Minister Duruy in 1838, and are designed to supplement the theoretical instruction of the university with experiments and a visible demonstration of the truth of principles laid down in textbooks or set forth in the lectures of professors.
The Sorbonne furnishes only a few lectures which are free and open to the public. These are given by men of note not connected with the university, and are on topics of commanding interest either in literature or in science. It is needless to add that these lectures attract many listeners. The training in the Sorbonne is better than ever and is worthy its history and its fame.
The Museum of Natural History
Another of the institutions which is an honor to Paris and to the French people is the Museum of Natural History, or the Jardin des Plantes. It attracts visitors from every part of the world and arranges many profitable courses of study. It was known at first as the Jardin des Plantes, but after the revolution as the Museum of Natural History.
Begun in 1633 as a royal garden, its design was to furnish better opportunities for the study of pharmacy and to preserve rare specimens of flowers and herbs. The garden was in reality founded by the two physicians, Herouard and Guy de la Brosse, in the time of Louis XIII. There was a garden of apothecaries in Paris in the fifteenth century. But one far more extensive than any yet known was desired, one in which botany could be studied with advantage to medical science. The king favored the proposal of Herouard and de la Brosse as early as 1626, but as the faculty of the university opposed it, nothing was done till 1633. The garden was placed under the charge of la Brosse as superintendent, with Herouard as assistant. The latter soon died and his place was taken by Charles Barnard. Salaries were small, yet sufficient to support life. Three demonstrators and an operator in botany were appointed and a small sum of money was set aside for purchases and the payment of extra help. The garden was to contain a sample of all simple and compound drugs. It consisted of twenty-four acres and was situated in the faubourg of St. Victor.
To this garden la Brosse gave his life. He laid out the grounds, planted herbs and trees, formed collections and organized courses of study in botany, chemistry, natural history and astronomy. By 1640 there were 2,560 specimens of plants for examination, all of them valuable. Under Vallot, the successor of la Brosse, the garden suffered, but under the direction of Fagan, a nephew of la Brosse and the chief physician of Louis XIV., it improved. Things went from bad to worse under Chiroc, who cared for nothing but anatomy, but under Dufoy, a real lover of nature, there was a change for the better. He made Buffon his successor, who, from 1739 to 1788 was at the head of affairs and whose ideas of what the garden should be were largely realized. Cuvier followed him. Cuvier came to the garden a poor boy, well educated in the classics, mathematics and literature, but supremely fond of natural history. He was soon made a professor. He studied comparative anatomy and through his contributions to this branch of knowledge gained great honor. He was a professor in the College of France, a member of the French Academy, of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres, and of nearly all the learned societies in the world. But he permitted neither honors nor requests from any source whatever, to interrupt his favorite studies. His modest home was in the garden itself, and during his lifetime was the meeting place of most of the more famous scientists of Europe. The house, covered with vines and adorned with a bust, is preserved, and marked as the house of Cuvier.
Through the influence of Bernardine do St. Pierre the convention added a menagerie to the garden, a building for the Library and other uses, and completed the amphitheater. In the hall of design provision was made for the study of animals and flowers. Although open to both sexes, the lectures, in botany especially, were more popular with young women than with young men. The menagerie, formed by Louis XIV. and installed in the park at Versailles, amounted to little in the time of Louis XV., and in 1795, when given over to St. Pierre, it was an insignificant affair. Under skilful and intelligent management it grew rapidly. At present it contains more than 1,200 different animals, whose food alone is a very large item of expense. Milne-Edwards was for many years at the head of this menagerie and by his management added very much to its usefulness and its fame. He was succeeded by his equally famous son. The museum is a place for study as well as for the casual examination of attractive specimens. There are two semesters each year, and the courses are so arranged as to parallel those of the College of France and the Sorbonne. The same professors do not teach in successive semesters. Each one of them devotes a portion of the year to research. A special advantage in the instruction given here is that pupils are shown the objects described, and are taught to observe and describe for themselves.
There is a course in which the characteristics of annelids, molluscs and zoophytes are described, another in which attention is directed to the organization, habits, changes and classification of insects, spiders, crustacea, another in which the organization of animals, the physiology and classification of fishes are studied and in which conferences are given on reptiles. In fact, provision is made for instruction in almost every branch of natural history. In the galleries of the museum the rarest specimens are found.
Perhaps the schools of botany are the most important connected with the museum. These were organized by Brogniart, though it is true that the botanical school is older even than the Jardin des Plantes. Women in good King Henry's time had a love for flowers and studied them as well as they could. Jean Robin, a gardener of repute, dealt in choice flowers. He brought some precious seeds and roots from Holland which he refused to sell at any price. Guy Patin failed to obtain them even by stratagem. But la Brosse succeeded where others could not, for he employed Robin's son as a demonstrator in the garden, and thus persuaded the father to part with some of his precious possessions. There are two courses in botany, both under the care of able and eminent men. The garden is so arranged that it is easy even for a visitor to learn the names and species of the plants and flowers which it contains. Instruction is given in paleontology with special reference to the fossils of later geological epochs. There is a course in vegetable physiology as applied to agriculture, one in general physiology, one in physics, one in chemistry and one which was introduced by Cuvier in 1795, in comparative pathology, anatomy and anthropology.
The new zoological galleries, begun in 1882 and opened to the public for use in 1889, were during his life under the care of de Quatrefages.
The museums of geology and mineralogy are very large and complete. In the building in which they are found are the library, the herbarium and the orangery. The museum celebrated its hundredth birthday in 1896. Its treasures are nearly all accessible to the public, although there seems to be a love for destruction on the part of the public against which constant watchfulness is necessary. Eminent as the professors in the museum are in the scientific world, they devote themselves so completely to their studies that in Paris many of their names are unknown.
It was to meet the wants of members of the Academy of Sciences, as well as to take the lead in every form of scientific work, that Colbert with the approval of Louis XIV. laid, in 1666, the foundation of what has proved to be one of the best observatories in Europe. A good deal of astronomical work had been done in the previous century: at Cassell, and at Unranienberg, where Tycho Brahe had been stationed and where his observatory late in the century was destroyed by the fury of the people and he himself compelled to flee to Germany for protection. During this century nearly all the observatories were private property and were poorly equipped. In the next century greater interest was taken in astronomy and many of the superstitions connected with its study had passed away.
It was quite natural that Colbert, who was determined that if possible Paris should be the scientific as well as the literary center of Europe, should persuade the king to make generous provision for an observatory and to invite the most eminent astronomers living to make Paris their home. Jeán Dominique Cassini was brought from Italy and with him were associated Frenchmen hardly less eminent than he, Philippe de la Hire and the Abbé Picard.
The observatory was on St. Jacques street over the catacombs, some of which were utilized as laboratories and as lunettes, an object glass being placed at one end and an eye glass at the other. An interesting account has come down to us of a visit of the king to the observatory on May 21, 1682. He was received with becoming honor, and the working of the instruments, in which he seemed deeply interested, was carefully explained to him by Cassini and his associates. The site which members of the Academy of Sciences had selected, June 21, 1667, was an attractive one. It was in the midst of gardens and yet commanded the entire horizon. An attempt was made at that time to fix the meridian line, but this was done more accurately by James Cassini, son of J. D. Cassini, in 1733. Imperfect as were their instruments, large sums of money were expended on them, and excellent work was done. The principal marvels of the heavens were discovered, the sun's rotation on itself, the revolution of Mars, Venus and Jupiter, the nebulæ, variable stars, four of Saturn's satellites and the division of his ring. Cassini's atlas of the heavens of sixty-two pages or plates was graciously accepted by the king as a gift from the astronomer. Huyghens of Holland succeeded Cassini as director of the observatory and he was followed by Roemer, the Dane, who discovered the velocity of light. Although after the death of Colbert in 1683 the resources of the observatory were diminished, the astronomers continued their work and by their discoveries brought fame to the nation. After 1689 and for many years, it is said, their salaries were only one third of what they had been in the time of Colbert.
The work of the astronomers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has sometimes been treated as of small importance. But it was as good as the means for the study of the heavens permitted. The French astronomers, according to the testimony of Airy of England, did the best work in the world. Their efforts to measure accurately a degree of the meridian attracted universal notice. In this work the Abbé Picard was prominent. J. D. Cassini, his son James, Philippe de la Hire and a few others visited India and America to secure favorable observations. In 1755 Godin, Bougner and la Condaminer went to Peru, Maupertuis and Clairvant to Laponie, le Maurier and the Abbé de la Caillet to the Cape of Good Hope. The transit of Venus in 1761 was observed with great care. The abbé Chappe d'Auteroche went to Tobolsk, Francis Cassini de Maury to Venice, and Pingré to the island of Rodriguez. Observations were also made at San José, California. In 1769 other observations of the transit were made, but war with the English prevented some that might have been very valuable.
In 1770 the condition of the observatory was discouraging. Reports were to the effect that it was dangerous to occupy the buildings. The ministers of Louis XVI. aided J. D. Cassini de Thury in his work. But perfect instruments and promised repairs of the buildings were insufficient to persuade Cassini to remain in Paris after the Revolution and the decree of 1791. In June of this year the convention turned over all the observatories of France to the Bureau of Longitude. Under the influence and direction of such men as Laplace, Delambre, Legendre, Lagrange, Michain, Arago, Bouvard and his son, Mathieu and Mauduis the observatory regained its former reputation and even added to it. Still, as late as 1832, the astronomers found it neither altogether safe nor comfortable to live in the quarters provided for them.
Since that time the government has been generous. The republic has not been behind the kings in providing the observatory with resources. Its directors have been men of the highest standing in their department, and the work which has been done has been of the utmost importance, unsurpassed by that of any observatory in the world. Equipments are now as good as can anywhere be found. The new building is entirely of stone. The new telescope has an aperture of 1 m. 7', Its weight is 10,000 kilograms. For twenty years improvements in buildings and apparatus have constantly been made. It is not probable that the observatory will be moved from Paris, although the site is not the best that could be obtained for all kinds of work. But as there are other observatories in France so that observations which can not be taken in Paris can be taken elsewhere, removal is
not essential, perhaps not desirable. The establishment for the study of astrophysics is at Meudon and is under the direction of Jansen. Its work is of the highest order.
The Pasteur Institut
Though not altogether a school for scientific research, the Pasteur Institute is one of the most interesting and instructive establishments in Paris. As it is the outgrowth of the energy, skill and devotion of one man, it is fitting that considerable space should be given to his history. Louis Pasteur, the son of a tanner, was born December 27, 1822, at Dole, in the Jura. He began his studies in the college of Arbois. His father, an old soldier, was anxious that his son should be a professor in a communal college. The young man took a course in philosophy at Besançon, where at eighteen he began to teach. Three years later he had prepared himself for the normal school, but delayed entrance till 1844, in order that he might enter with higher rank. In the normal school he specialized in chemistry, under Balard and De Lafosse of that school, and under Dumas of the Sorbonne. The Sorbonne made him doctor of science in 1847. Leaving the normal school in 1848, he accepted a professorship of physics in the Lycée of Dijon, where he gained fame by his researches into the structure of crystals. In 1854 he was made professor of chemistry at Strasbourg, dean of the
faculty of science of Lille in 1854, director of studies in the normal school in 1857, professor of geology, physics and chemistry in the school of fine arts in 1865, professor of chemistry in the Sorbonne in 1867. These dates indicate the rapidity of bis promotion and the nature of his activity. For several years prior to his appointment to a professorship in the Sorbonne, he had studied infusoria and had reached conclusions directly opposed to those held by Pouchet, the director of the Museum of Natural History, at Rouen. Pasteur was confident that infusoria were from germs, or microbes, and that they fixed themselves in substances where they could obtain nourishment. As early as 1854 he had discovered the ferment lactique, which causes milk to sour. He studied also what was called the ferment of butter, wine and vinegar, and soon found out a way by which wine could be turned into vinegar with great rapidity. The silk industry in the south of France having been threatened with destruction, a commission was appointed, with Dumas of the Sorbonne at its head, to study conditions, and if possible report a remedy. Dumas sent Pasteur to Arlois, where he remained most of the time from 1865 to 1868. The difficulty was found in the papillons and was easily remedied. For some reason not given, he returned in 1871 to Bonn the diploma for a professorship which had been granted him in 1868. From this time he began to turn his knowledge to practical use. Honors came from all quarters. In 1869 he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Society, London. In 1856 he had received the Rumford medal, in 1861 the Jenner prize and in 1874 the Copley medal. In 1872 the London Society of Arts offered him the Albert medal and in 1883 the University of Oxford made him doctor of science. Money also came to him with the expectation that it would be used in the increase of practical knowledge. In recognition of what he had done in saving the silk industry, through the minister of agriculture, Austria-Hungary gave him in 1868 10,000 florins, about $5,000. The Academy of Sciences in Paris received him into membership in 1862, and in 1875 the Academy of Medicine, although he was not a physician, made him a free associate member. The same year a prize of 12,000 francs was given him for his services in promoting industry, and in 1874 the French government voted him a pension of 12,000 francs. In 1881 he was received into the French Academy as one of the Immortals. As early as 1868 he was a commander of the Legion of Honor and was pushed forward as rapidly as possible for the reception of the Grand Cross. Such astonishing recognition could not come except for what the public, as well as scientific men, deemed good reasons. These reasons were his services for humanity. For Pasteur was one of the men whose nature compels them to make practical use of whatever knowledge they gain, whether from books or from experiment. Though men of science had long known something of his ability, his lecture in 1868 on the madness which follows the bite of dogs afflicted with rabies first brought him to the notice of the public. Yet he did not begin the systematic study of rabies till about 1880. He had already found a vaccine for the cure of chicken cholera, and the suggestion had come to him that perhaps the bite of mad dogs might be cured in the same way. Up to 1880 his laboratory had been in the normal school. But in view of what seemed natural to expect from him the municipal council gave him the use of the old garden belonging to the Collège Rollin, where he kept and experimented upon sick sheep, horses, chickens affected with cholera, mad dogs and guinea-pigs. At the end of five years of study and experiment he was satisfied that his remedies would prove effective for animals, but was skeptical as to their efficacy with men. While in doubt a boy of nine by the name of Meister, from Alsace, was brought to him for treatment. He had been bitten eleven times, and his case was thought hopeless. Drs. Vulpian and Graucher advised Pasteur to try his remedies on him. He might live. He would die unless something was done for him. At about the same time the boy Jupille, who had shown such bravery that the academy had voted-him one of its prizes for "Vertu," came to him. Both were cured. Great popular enthusiasm followed. People who had been bitten by mad dogs and who had thought there could be no help for them came every day to the rue d'Ulm where Pasteur was at work. In 1886, of nineteen Russian peasants, several of whom had been bitten in the head, fifteen were cured. Quarters soon became too small. Confident in his remedies, and in himself, Pasteur now appealed to the public for money for a new site, larger buildings and opportunity for more extensive experiments. More than 3,000,000 francs were contributed. The new building, which was very plain, was put up at Vaugrinau, and opened November 11, 1888, with great éclat. The president of the republic was there and with him some of the most distinguished men of the day.
More than one hundred persons every day are inoculated with the healing vaccine. The course of treatment occupies about eighteen
days. Those bitten about the bead are the most difficult to cure. Yet with all the drawbacks not more than five cases out of every fifteen hundred prove fatal. It is natural that the French people should look upon Pasteur as one of their greatest men and as worthy of the highest honor. It is for this reason that they have responded so freely with their gifts when additional means have been required for the work of the institute. Since Pasteur's death his work has gone forward successfully. One of his pupils, Dr. Roux, has discovered a vaccine which is said to be an almost sure cure for croup and diphtheria. Other physicians are seeking through experiment and special study new and better methods of treating what has hitherto been regarded as fatal disease. It is needless to add that Pasteur's remedy for rabies is now made use of in every civilized country.
The great buildings of the institute are used chiefly for its patients, yet in connection with them places are found for those who wish to study its methods and watch its experiments. A special course of study covering several months is open to all who wish to take it, though those who do take it are expected to pay a small sum for tuition and to meet their personal expenses. Perhaps no establishment in the world has contributed more to the sum total of human happiness than the Pasteur Institute, which is even now only in the beginning of its career.
The Normal School
This article must close with a few words concerning the normal school which is one of the most prominent educational institutions of Paris, and indeed of the country. The normal school, as its name implies, is for the training of teachers, perhaps it would be better to say for professors in the lyceums, the colleges and the universities not only of Paris, but of France.
Normal schools are of two classes, elementary and higher. The elementary were first established, though not without considerable opposition. At present no one can teach without a certificate from one of them. Instruction is free for those who are accepted as candidates for teachers; oftentimes board and lodging are furnished. From the elementary normal schools, which are the most numerous and of which at least one is found in every department of France, come the men and the women who train the children who are in the primary schools of the nation. The state meets the expense of running these elementary training schools, but the departments are required to provide buildings and the necessary equipments for them.
The higher normal school was organized in 1795. By a decree of November 10, 1903, which went into effect a year later, it was made a part of the University of Paris. The instruction furnished by the university is open to members of the Paris school, to whom many other special advantages are granted. Candidates for entrance into this school are limited in number and are received only after a severe examination. None are received who are under eighteen or over twenty-four years of age. The course extends through three years, and is scientific or literary, as the student at his entrance desires. In consideration of the provision made for his support while in the school, he promises to teach at least ten years after graduation, or to refund the cost of his training. This training is practical as well as theoretical. Each pupil is called upon during his course to exercise his skill as a teacher in giving lessons to his fellow students, and is required to spend some weeks in one of the secondary schools of Paris. Probably there are no schools in the world where more care is taken in the training of teachers than in France and no one of the higher normal schools has done, or is doing, better work than that in Paris. In it some of the ablest men of France have been trained.