Page 1


\ translated from the Frehch;.by;;f '








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

man's notions abopt chilidhood and family

and developed from the Middle Ages





cjferigeij tintes.

¡ .~

The The Times Times Literllf'Y Literary SUPPl.em!mt (London), Supplement (London),

reviewing the French French edition of Centuries edition of Centuries of reviewing the of Childhood Childhood in in 1960, called it it "a "a most most valuable valuable 1960, called and and important contribution ... its its insights important contribution... insights open new doors for intellectual excitement new doors for intellectual excitement open and and curiosity." curiosity." The theme book is theme of of this this extraordinary extraordinary book is the of the modem conception the emergence of the modern of emergence conception of family life and and the the modem modern image of the the nanafamily life image of ture of childhood ture of of children. children. The discovery discovery of childhood as of life, M. Aries shows, a distinct as a distinct phase of Aries is life, shows, is phase aa recent recent event. event. Until Until the the end end of of the the Middle Middle Ages, the child child was, almost as as soon soon as he was as he was was, almost Ages, the weaned, as a small adult, who minas a small minweaned, regarded adult, regarded gled, and played with worked, and gled, competed, competed, worked, played with mature mature adults. adults. Only did parents Only gradually gradually did parents begin of adults to encourage the separation begin to encourage the separation of adults and children, and a new family attitude, and a orichildren, family attitude, oriented ented around around the the child child and and his his education, education, appeared. appeared. M. Aries Aries traces traces this this metamorphosis through metamorphosis through the paintings the and diaries of four diaries of four centuries, the centuries, the paintings ~nd history of of games games and and skills, skills, and and the the developdevelophistory of schools schools and their curricula. curricula. Ironiment of and their Ironically, he finds that individualism, far from from he finds that individualism, far cally, triumphing in our time, has been held in in our has been held in time, triumphing check check by by the the family family and and that that the the increasing increasing power of of the the tightly tightly knit knit family family circle circle has has power been been gained gained at at the the expense expense of of the the open, open, richrichtextured communal society society of of earlier earlier times. times. textured But But if if the the emphasis emphasis on on the the child child and and the the home has has meant meant aa loss loss of of social social diversity, diversity, itit has has also also a provided a means for to escape the unmeans for men to the unprovided escape bearable bearable solitude solitude of of modern modem life. life. Though Centuries Centuries of of Childhood Childhood deals deals pripriThough marily with with the the family, family, the the child, child, and and the the marily school school in in pre-nineteenth-century pre-nineteenth-century France France and and England, itit isis undoubtedly undoubtedly destined destined to to have have England, (continued on on back backflap) fl4p) (continued JACKET DESIGN DESIGN BY BY ANITA ANITA KARL KARL JACKET

11/62 11/62








CHILDHOOD Social History History of of A Social Family Life Life Family Translated from from the the French French by by ROBERT BALDICK


New Alfred A. A. Knopf York: Alfred New York: Knopf 62 19 1962

Translated from from the the French French Translated la Ilk familiak sous SfJUJ Vancien I'andm la

L'Et!fant et tt L'Enfant




© 1960 1960 by ~ Librairie Librairie Plon, PIon, Paris Paris English version (S) 1962 1962 by by Jonathan Jonathan Cape Cape Ltd Ltd English version



A b 9c.







IS 15 33 33




137 137

01 III




176 176 89 1 l8p


V VI VI VII vii V1ll VIH

ISS 155

241 241

269 269 286 I S 3315

329 329



339 365 365 405 405


4II 411


19 4419





by Philippe Philippe de Reims Museum. Museum. (Photo de Champaigne, Bulloz.) (Photo Bulloz.) Champaigne, Reims by C£ Part I, Chap. III. Analysed by B. Dorival in the Catalogue Catalogue B. III. Dorival in the Cf. Part I, Chap. Analysed by of Philippe de Champaigne Exhibition Exhibition at at the the Orangerie, de Champaigne of the the Philippe Orangerie, Paris, 1952, No. 33 facing page page 64 No. Paris, 64 1952, 33 facing THE DUG DUC D'ANJOU D'ANJOU:AS AS A CIDLD CHILD by Arnoult. Cf. Part I, Chap. Part Arnoult. Cf. I, Chap. by

III, and 3 n. 3 and n.

65 65



by thieving beggar-boys beggar-boys Callot. Typical Typical thieving by Caliot.

65 65


by Holbein, Dresden. (Photo Alinari-Giraudon.) C£ Part I, Cf. Part Holbein, Dresden. by (Photo Alinari-Giraudon.) Chap. III; Part III, Chap. I, and n. 14 and n. Part III, Ill; 14 Chap. Chap. I,


96 96


by S. Leclerc, from figures contenant tous les les jeux, 1587. contenant tons from Trente-six Trente-six figures S. Leclerc, jeux, 1587. by C£ III, and n. 18; and Chap. IV and and n. Part I, IV Cf. Part I, Chap. HI, 18; Chap. Chap. IDS CHILD THE CRAFTSMAN AND HIS by Lagniei, from Les Proverbes. Proverbes. Note Note the the from Les by Lagniet,

97 97

little playpen playpen supporting supporting


97 97

the child the child THE VAN BERGHEM FAMILY, FAMILY, 1561 1561

by F. Floris. (Photo Bulloz.) Cf. Cf. Part I, Chap. Chap. IV; IV; Part Part III, Part I, F. Floris. III, (Photo Bulloz.) by Chap. I, and 23. Typical portrait showing a little and n. n. 23. little family portrait showing a Chap. I, Typical family 160 concert during dessert dessert 160 concert during THE TAVERN

by Lagniet. Lagniet. Little children are to be be seen here too, too, despite the evil Little children are to seen here evil by despite the haunts. C£ Part III, II, and and n. reputation of n. 47 of these these haunts. Cf. Part III, Chap. 47 reputation Chap. II,

161 161


by treated as as aa scene Stella. An allegory scene of family life. family life. by Stella. (winter) treated allegory (winter) III, Chap. I, and n. 31 Cf. Part Cf. Part III, Chap. I, and n. 31


THE WEDDING PROCESSION Stella. C£ Cf. Part by III, Chap. and n. n. Part III, by Stella. Chap. I, and I,

40 40

192 192


by Stradan. many such pictures dating dating from the sevenStradan. One of many such pictures the sevenby a teenth century, child III, Chap. teenth century, showing a child saying grace. Cf. Part Cf. Part I III, Chap. I showing saying grace.

192 192




from Les Les Heures Heures de fa Duchesse Duchesse de de Bourgogne, Bourgogne, Chantilly from de la Chantilly Museum. (Photos Giraudon.) Cf. Part I, Chap. IV, and n. II Museum. Part Cf. and n. n I, (Photos Giraudon.) Chap. IV,

Details Details

facing page page 193 193 facing A CLASS CLASS

by de Pas. Plate from Academia sine vita scho/astica, by Crispin Crispin de Pas. Plate from Academia sine vita scholastic^ Amheim, 1602. C£ Part II, Chap. Chap. III 1602. Cf. Ill Part II, Arnheim,

256 256


by Crispin de Pas. The The Parents Parents are are shown entrusting their boy to to de Pas. shown entrusting their boy by Crispin hand'. The The latter aa preceptor preceptor or to an or rather rather to an 'old is being given a 'old hand'. latter is being given a is taking some money of his his chicken, and the boy's father is and father out of some the chicken, taking money out boy's purse. In the background other schoolboys can be seen already on can In other be seen the schoolboys background already on purse. II, Chap. V and VI 256 their way. Cf. Part and VI their way. Cf. Part II, Chap. 256 A SCHOOL SIGN

(above): An evening for adults, adults. (below): school for (below): A evening school (above): Basle Museum. (Photos Basle little school for children. little school for children. Basle (Photos Basle Museum.) Museum.) C£ VII, and n. 331I 257 and n. Cf. Part Part II, II, Chap. 257 Chap. VII,

by Holbein, Holbein. by


Note the the age the pupils, pupils, who are wearing swords. of the swords. C£ Cf. Part Part II, Note are wearing II, age of Chap. VII, and 28 and n. n. 28 Chap. VII,

288 288


by From Les Les Proverbes. Proverbes. Showing which the familiarity by Lagniet. familiarity which Lagniet. Showing the existed between children children and servants. Cf. C£ Part existed between Part I, and servants. I, Chap. V; Chap. V; II 289 Part III, III, Chap. Part II 289 Chap. THE STEPS OF THE AGES OF LIFE LIFE

C£ Cf. Part Part I, I, Chap. Chap. II

289 289


by J. J. Steen, Amsterdam. (Photo Steen, Rijksmuseum. by (Photo HanfstaenglHanfstaenglRijksmuseum, Amsterdam. III, Chap. I, and n. 43 352 Giraudon.) C£ Part n. 43 352 Giraudon.) Cf. Part III, Chap. I, THE CARD-PLAYERS Children playing by Nain. (Photo playing games games of Le Nain. Giraudon.) Children by Le (Photo Giraudon.) chance. Cf. Cf. Part Chap. IV 353 chance. Part I. I, Chap. 353


by Nocret, Nocret, by

Versailles Museum. Museum. (Photo (Photo Giraudon.) Giraudon.) Cf. C£ Part Part I, I,





Reproduced Chap. II C Part Part I, I, Chap. II Reproduced by by Gaignia-es. Gaigniires. c£

facing page 384 facing page 384


Brussels. Chap. I, and n. 5; Part III, Brussels. (photo Cf. Part Part I, I, Chap. I, and n. 5; Part III, (Photo Bulloz.) Bulloz.) C£ 384 Chap. Chap. II 384 UTTLB LITTLE GIRL GIRL AT AT THE THE WINE-MERCHANT'S WINE-MERCHANT's Cf. Part Part m, C£ and u. n. 34 HI, Chap. I, and 34 Chap. I,

385 385



HIS book book on on the the family family under under the the ancien regime is is not the work work of of ancien regime not the aa specialist specialist in that period, but of a demographic historian who. in that of a but historian who, period, demographic struck by the original characteristics characteristics of of the modern family, felt the struck by the original the modern family, felt the need to go back into into aa more to discover the limits of this need to more distant distant past go back past to discover the limits of this originality. I make it clear from the start that there there is is no no question I must must it make clear from the start that originality. question here examination of society under the ancien regime. II a gratuitous of a of here of examination under the ancien gratuitous society regime. have explained elsewhere!1 difficult it was for me clearly to distinguish have explained elsewhere how difficult it was for clearly to distinguish the characteristics of of our our living present, except by means of the differences the characteristics of the means differences living present, except by which separate separate them the related related but never identical aspects of which them from from the but never identical aspects of the the past. Similarly I can tell the particular nature of a period in the past from I can the nature of a tell in the from past. Similarly particular period past the degree to which it to resemble resemble our present. This to which the degree it fails fails to our present. This dialectic dialectic of of past. and present can be fairly safely neglected by historians of 'short .and of can be 'short historians past present fairly safely neglected by periods',l2 but it must be used in the study of manners and feelings whose periods', but it must be used in the study of manners and feelings whose variations extend period'. This the case the family. a 'long variations extend over over a This is is the case with with the family, 'long period*. with day-long, day-long, lifelong relations between parents and between parents with relations and between between lifelong parents parents and and children. children. But have have we any right to of the the family? Is the the family But talk of a history to talk of a family any right history of family? Is than instinct is? It is possible a phenomenon phenomenon any more subject to history a is to than instinct is? It any more history subject possible to it is is not, not, and maintain that that the the family partakes of to argue and to of the that it to maintain the argue that family partakes immobility of species. It It is no doubt true that that since since the the beginning of the the species. is no doubt true immobility beginning of the the human race have built built homes homes and begot children, children, and it of race men have and begot and it can be be argued that within the great family types, monogamous and and can that within the family monogamous argued great types, comparison polygamous, historical differences are of litde little importance in historical differences are of polygamous, importance in comparison with the the huge huge mass mass of of what what remains unchanged. with remains unchanged. On the the other hand, the great demographic revolution in in the the West, other hand, the great West, demographic revolution from the eighteenth to the has revealed to us us considerconsiderfrom the twentieth century, revealed to the twentieth century, has eighteenth to able possibilities of of change hitherto .believed to be be invariable able possibilities in structures structures hitherto believed to invariable change in because they biological. The adoption measures because were biological. they were contraceptive measures adoption of contraceptive has brought about about both both quantitative and qualitative in the has brought the changes in qualitative changes quantitative and family. However it it is is not not so so_ much the the family as a is our a reality that is our reality ~t family. However family as ~I!hl~ct her~~_t:he an idea. will always as an idea. Tiue, True, men and women will jhe family always family as subject here_as go o;toving one~er: Will always always go having children, children, whether whether another, will go on go on having loving one numbers or give free free rein rein to instinct, and will will always they limit limit their to instinct, or give their numbers they always go go on guiding not the steps of those children. That is is not the question question at children. That at the first first steps of those guiding the these relations issue. The point is that that the the ideas about these relations may may be issue. entertained about ideas pltertained be point is dissimilar dissimilar at by lengthy periods of time. time. It It is is the at moments separated the lengthy periods separated by


10 10


of the the family family which which concerns concerns us us here, here, not not the the of description of manners or the nature of law. the nature of kw. description of manners or In what what direction direction isis this this idea idea evolving? evolving? In For aa long long time time itit was was believed believed that that the the family f~..Y _constituted ~ ancient ~.9~t constituted the For bas~ Q( our soc;i~, and that, starting in the eighteenth century. the the basis of our society, and that, starting in the eighteenth century, The progress oflibera1 individualism had ~cn, an.d ~_eak~~ j1. The history individualism had shaken and weakened i$. history progress of liberal of die the family family in in the the nineteenth nineteenth and and twentieth twentieth centuries centuries was was supposed supposed to to of of be that of a decadence: the frequency of divorces and the weakening of be that of a decadence: the frequency of divorces and the weakening marital and and paternal paternal authority authority were were seen seen as as so so many many signs signs of of its its decline. decline. marital The study of modem demographic phenomena led me to a completely a led to The study of modern demographic phenomena completely contrary conclusiotl. It seemed to me (and (and qualified qualified observers observers have have come contrary conclusion. It seemed to 8 that on the to share my conclusions)' the contrary ~ .~y occupied a the to share my conclusions) that on family occupied a contrary had tremendous place in our industrial societ!~, and that it had perhaps and that it tremendous place in our industrial societies, perhaps never before before exercised exercised so so much much influence influence over over the the human condition. condition. The never legal weakening proved only that that the the idea idea (and (and the the reality) reality) did did not not follow follow legal weakening proved only the same curve as the institution. Is not this disparity between living ideas the same curve as the institution. Is not this disparity between living ideas idea and legal structures one of the characteristics of our civilization? The idea and legal structures one of the characteristics of our civilization? I then of the family appeared to be one of the great forces of our time. I then our time. of the family appeared to be one of the great forces of it went on to to wonder, not whether whether it was on on the decline, but but whether whether it the decline, it was went on wonder, not had ever been as strong before, and even whether it had been in existence in existence had ever been as strong before, and even whether it had been out to find out for time. I looked back into past, to find our into our back looked I accordingly time. a long for a past, accordingly long whether not been been born born comparatively had not the family of the idea of die idea whether the recendy, comparatively recendy, family had to at from both both biology itself from freed itself had freed the family time when when the at a a time biology and law to family had become an occasion of emotion. The aim of expression, a theme theme of become aa value, value, a expression, an occasion of emotion. the idea idea of of to this on the of the the modernity this question to is to to reply this' book book is of this' modernity of question reply the the faJnily. family. to But references to of the the past, in the the documents documents of to discover. was II to how was Bui how discover, in past, references far removed things which were too ordinary. too commonplace. too far too too too were which commonplace, ordinary, things from to mention mention writers to for contemporary incident for memorable incident the memorable from the contemporary writers has them? of the. modern demographic rev9lution has revolution the of Our experience them? Our demographic experience revealed of the child's in this We in this silen.t.history~ of the child's role role the importance us the to us revealed to sUemJiistary. importance the of childhood childhood and the know idea of the idea between the is a a connection connection between there is that there know that this connection also that connection idea We were entided to suppose that this also to entided were the family. idea of of the suppose family. of the existed and the help the one with with the and to to estimate estimate one distant past, in a a more more distant existed in help of past, other. going to study them together. them to are is why we are other. That That is together. study why going as a a man man a child child except In unable to to depict artists were were unable tenth century. In the the tenth except as depict a century, artists of childhood to on of childhood to come from from that that ignorance did we we come How did scale. How on aa smaller smaller scale. ignorance in the nineteenth the of the family around the child in the nineteenth century? around the child of the the centring family century? centring of the die How to aa parallel evolution of evolution correspond this evolution does this far does How far parallel evolution correspond to die towards concept people _have of the fat.nily. the feeling they entertain towards it, of the entertain it, feeling they family, concept people jiave history of the idea history of the idea

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





AN of sixteenth or the seventeenth seventeenth century be astonished of the the sixteenth or the :AN would be astonished century would at the the exigencies with regard to civil status to which submit at to with civil status to we submit which exigencies regard As soon as our children start to talk, teach them quite naturally. children them As soon as our start to teach we talk, quite naturally. proud their name, their age and and their their parents' parents' name. are extremely their age name. We are their name, extremely proud when little asked how old he is, replies correcdy that he is two and old he little Paul, is, replies Paul, asked correctly that he is two and


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

16 16


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

17 17


is the husband's is his his coat coat of with the aetas is 1559. husband's side side is arms with of arms the inscription 1559. On the inscription aetas an. 27, and on the wife's side, the coat of arms of her family and the an. 27, and on the wife's side, the coat of arms of her family and the inscription lEtatis mec. 20.' These particulars sometimes take on the inscription JEtatis mec. 20* These particulars sometimes take on the appearance real epigraphic formula, as on the portrait by Martin de of a a real appearance of epigraphic formula, as on the portrait by Martin de Voos which depicts Antoon Anselme, an Antwerp magistrate, dated 1572, Voos dated 1572, which depicts Antoon Anselme, an Antwerp magistrate, his wife wife and their two husband and and wife are sitting on his and their two children. children. 56 The The husband wife are sitting on opposite sides of table, one holding the the boy boy and the other other the of a a table, one holding the girl. and the opposite sides girl. Between their heads, heads, at and in the middle of the canvas, there is Between their at the the top top and in the middle of the canvas, there is aa fme scroll, carefully ornamented, bearing the following inscription: fine scroll, carefully ornamented, bearing the following inscription: cot/cordi ae antonii anton;; anselmi anselmi et johannae Hooftmans Hoofimans feliciq je/iciq: progagini, progagini, Martino Martino concordi ae et johannae de Vos pictore, DD natus natus est est We ann MDXXXVI die febr uxor de Vos pictore, ilk ann die IX febr uxor ann ann decembr liberi /iberi aa lEgidius ann Augusti MDLV D XVI decembr JEgidius ann MDLXXV XXI Augusti Johanna ann septembr. ann MDLXVI XXVI septembr. Johanna These portraits were documents history, as These dated dated family of family as documents of family portraits were family history, photograph were to to be be three three or centuries later. later. The same albums were or four four centuries same photograph albums spiri~ governed the family record books, in which, apart from the spirit governed the family record books, in which, apart from the household domestic events were noted noted down, down, births household accounts, and deaths. deaths. events were births and accounts, domestic the family came together. It Here regard for accuracy and the idea a regard Here a for accuracy and the idea of of the came together. It family was not not so so much aa question of the individual's co-ordinates as of those of of of individual's as of those the co-ordinates question the members of the family: felt aa need need to to give give famIly life aa history history the members of the family: people family life people felt by dating it. curious passion for dating appeared not only in portraits it. Tlus This curious for in not by dating only passion dating appeared portraits but also also in belongings and furniture. In the seventeenth but in personal and furniture. In the seventeenth century personal belongings century it habit to or paint a date beds, coffers, it became became a a common habit to carve carve or date on on beds, chests, coffers, chests, paint a cupboards, spoons and ceremonial glasses. date corresponded to aa and The date ceremonial cupboards, spoons glasses. corresponded to solemn the family's history, generally a marriage. In certain in the solemn moment in a In certain family's history, generally marriage. regions -- Alsace, Alsace, Switzerland, Central Europe Europe -- furniture and Central furniture Austria and Switzerland, Austria regions from to the the nineteenth and particularly painted the seventeenth and from the seventeenth to nineteenth century, century, particularly painted furniture, was dated dated and inscribed with the names of of its its and also also frequently names inscribed with the furniture, was frequently joint owners. In I have noticed this inscription on a chest: a I have this chest: owners. In Thun noticed Museum joint inscription 'Hans - 1709 - Elizabeth Misler'. Misler'. Sometimes Sometimes only the initials of initials of 'Hans Bischof Bischof1709 -Elizabeth only the husband and and wife wife were were inscribed on either either side date of the side of the date of the husband of the the date, inscribed on date, the marriage. very common in France, and and disappeared disappeared in France, This custom became very custom became marriage. This only at the end of the nineteenth century: thus an official of the Musee des an the Musec des thus official of at the end nineteenth of the only century: Arts et Traditions found a piece of furniture in the Upper furniture in the a Arts et found Traditions Populaires Upper piece Populaires Loire bearing the the inscription: 1873 ]V.66 The inscription inscription of ages of Loire bearing ages or of inscription: 1873 LT JV. to the desire the aa date portrait or or an helped to answer the desire to give the to answer date on a a portrait an object give object helped family historical consistency. family greater consistency. greater historical the middle taste for while lasting lasting into into the middle ofthe the The taste for chronological inscription, while chronological inscription, nineteenth century at least among people in average circumstances, rapidly in nineteenth at least among people average circumstances, rapidly century to disappeared and court, it was obviously considered in town and court, where it obviously considered early early on to disappeared in :

18 18


be naive and provincial. From the middle ofthe seventeenth century, inscripbe naive and provincial. From the middle ofthe seventeenth century, inscriptions tended to disappear disappear from pictures (there were still a few to be found, from pictures tended to tions (there were still a few to be found, but only on on the the pictures pictures of working in or provinces). Fine Fine of painters in but only or for the provinces). for the painters working period furniture was signed, or, if it was dated, it was dated very discreetly. was if was furniture it it was dated or, dated, signed, very discreetly. period In of the importance which age had acquired in family epigraphy In spite spite of the importance which age had acquired in family epigraphy in the sixteenth in everyday usage remained in and usage sixteenth century, there remained in the custom and century, there everyday custom some curious survivals age when it was an and difficult an age of an it was an uncommon and difficult some curious survivals of thing to remember one's age exactly. I pointed out earlier that our little thing to remember one's age exactly. I pointed out earlier that our little Paul knows age as soon as he begins begins to to talk. talk. Sancho not as soon did not his age as he Paul knows his Panza did Sancho Panza how old his own daughter was, for all that he was extremely old his know exactly all he for that was was, extremely exactly daughter fond her: 'She may be be fifteen, two years years older older or younger, yet she of her: 'She may or two fond of or younger, fifteen, or yet she is as morning ... '77 This This is a case of of is as tall tall as as a a lance lance and and as as fresh fresh as as an an April is a case April morning aa man of the people. people. In In the even in the educated classes even in of the the sixteenth sixteenth century, the educated classes century, where habits habits of modem precision precision were were observed observed at earlier date, date, where of modern an earlier at an children age; but but an an extremely curious custom children doubtless doubtless knew their their age; curious custom extremely forbade them in in the name of good manners manners from it and the name of good from openly forbade them revealing it and openly revealing obliged them to answer questions about it with a certain reserve. them to answer When it with a about certain reserve. obliged questions the humanist and pedagogue Thomas Platter Platter tells the story story of of his his and pedagogue the Valais tells the Valais humanist life,e8 he he states great precision when and where he was born, yet and states with he was with great where life, born, yet precision considers himself obliged obliged to to wrap up the fact in prudent paraphrase: paraphrase: considers himself the fact in a a prudent wrap up 'To begin with, with, there is nothing vouch for for with with less less assurance than there is 'To begin can vouch assurance than nothing II can the exact date birth. it to to ask for the date date date of ask the the exact of my birth. When it occurred to to for occurred me my of my birth, birth, II was was told told that had come into the world in 1499, on of my that II had into the world in 1499, on Quinquagesima Sunday, just as tlle bells were ringing for Mass.' A Mass/ as die bells for were Quinquagesima Sunday, just ringing curious mixture of of uncertainty uncertainty and and precision. precision. This This reserve is an an habitual habitual reserve is curious mixture reserve, a souvenir of aa time time when nobody nobody ever ever knew aa date for certain. certain. souvenir of date for reserve, a What is is surprising surprising is that it have become become aa part part of manners, is that it should of good should have manners, good for this was was how one was supposed give one's one's age response to any to any in response for this one was to give age in supposed to inquiry. In Cordier's dialogues, two boys at school question each other each other In Cordier's at school inquiry. dialogues, boys question during the play-hour: old are are you?' 'Thirteen, so so II have have heard heard my during the play-hour: 'How old you?' 'Thirteen, my 99 mother say. say.'9 the habits of personal personal chronology chronology became became part part Even when the habits of mother of our way way of they did succeed in imposing themselves as aa themselves as of life, of our did not not succeed in imposing life, they positive attainment, and did not immediately dispel the old obscurity of old did the not obscurity of immediately dispel positive attainment, age, and the custom of obscuring one's age lingered on for time for some time the custom of one's age, obscuring age lingered in the observance of good good manners. manners. in the observance of *

. . .

* * * The''ages ages of life* life' occupy a considerable considerable place place in in the the pseudo-scientific pseudo-scientific The occupy a treatises of the the Middle Middle Ages. Ages. Their Their authors use aa terminology authors use terminology which



19 19

strikes us as verbal: childhood, puerility, adolescence, as purely strikes us childhood, puerility, adolescence, youth, purely verbal: youth, senility, old age -- each each word a different period of life. Since word signifying senility, old age signifying a different period of life. Since then have borrowed these words to denote borrowed some some of then we have of these ideas such words to denote abstract abstract ideas such as puerility or but these meanings were not contained in the first or senility, as puerility senility, but these meanings were not contained in the first The' ages', 'ages of life', or 'ages of man' corresponded in acceptations. acceptations. The 'ages', 'ages of life', or 'ages of man* corresponded in our ancestors' minds minds to to positive concepts, so well known, so often our ancestors' positive concepts, so well known, so often repeated and so commonplace that they passed from the realm of science repeated and so commonplace that they passed from the realm of science to that that of of everyday everyday experience. experience. It hard for for us us today today to the to is hard It is to appreciate appreciate the importance which the the concept of the' ages' had in ancient representations of the had in ancient 'ages' importance which representations concept of world. A man's man's 'age' was a scientific category of the same order the world. of the 'age' was a scientific category of die same order as or speed it formed as weight for our our contemporaries; of a formed part a system of weight or speed for part of system of contemporaries it physical description and explanation which went back to the Ionian which to and went back die Ionian description explanation physical philosophers of B.C., which compilers revived revived of the the sixth sixth century which medieval medieval compilers philosophers century B.C., in the writings of Byzantine Empire and which was still the writings of the and in the Byzantine which was still inspiring the Empire inspiring the first books of scientific vulgarization in the sixteenth century. first printed books of in the scientific sixteenth printed vulgarization century. ~ave no no intention trying to to determine formulation and W e have of trying its exact intention of determine its and We exact formulation its the history of science: all matters here is that should in the all that here its place in of that matters is that science we should history place realize to what what extent this science had become property, how realize to extent this science had become common property, 'far entered into mental habits and what it represented in it had entered and far its its concepts had into mental habits what concepts represented in everyday life. life. everyday We shall shall understand the problem better if if we glance glance through the 1556 understand the 1556 problem better dirough the 10 edition Le Gratld Proprihaire de utes choses. thirteenthof Le edition of Grand Propriltaire de to This was was aa thirteenthtoutes choses. 1o This century Latin compilation which itself itself repeated all the the data data of of the the writers writers century Latin repeated all compilation which of Empire. It was thought fit translate it into French and the Byzantine was to it French and of the It fit to translate into Byzantine Empire. thought to give give it circulation by means of printing. Le Grand Proprihaire to a greater circulation means of it a Le Grand by greater Proprittaire printing. de toutes is an encyclopedia, aa sort sort of Encyclopa:dia Britannica, Britannica, but but de an encyclopedia, of Encyclopaedia toutes choses choses is which is is not not analytical in concept and which attempts to render the in and which which to render the concept attempts analytical Nature and on physics, physics, metaphysics, metaphysics, essential unity of and God. essential unity of Nature God. A treatise treatise on natural history, history, human physiology physiology and and anatomy, hygiene, medicine and and hygiene, natural anatomy, medicine and astronomy, at the same time as theology. Twenty books deal with as deal widi the same time at books astronomy, theology. Twenty God, the angels, the elements, man and his body, diseases, the sky, the and the his the elements, God, the diseases, sky, the angels, body, weather, matter, air, water, fire, birds, etc. The last book is devoted to etc. last is devoted to book birds, fire, weather, matter, air, water, be found numbers and and measures. practical recipes recipes could also be could also in found in numbers measures. Certain Certain practical this book. book. A general idea emerged from it, a scientific idea which had a idea this from scientific which idea it, emerged general fundamental unity become extremely extremely commonplace, the idea of the the fundamental unity of of idea of become commonplace, the Nature, of the solidarity which exists between all the phenomena all exists between the of the which Nature, phenomena of solidarity Nature, phenomena which could not be distinguished from supernatural be not could which Nature, phenomena supernatural distinguished manifestations. The idea idea that that there there was was no opposition opposition between between the the natural natural manifestations. and the derived both from popular beliefs inherited from beliefs inherited the supernatural both from derived popular supernatural well as as paganism and from a science that was physical as well as theological. I that was from a science paganism physical theological. I ;




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





11 Fulgentius It in the Byzantine Empire in the sixth century.l1 It originated originated in the Byzantine Empire in the sixth century. Fulgentius found it hidden in the Aeneid: he saw in Aeneas's shipwreck the of found it hidden in the Aeneid: he saw in Aeneas's shipwreck the symbol symbol of

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

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seventy and according to others has no end until death .•• old old people people seventy and according to others has no end until death have not such good sense as they had, and talk nonsense in their old have not such good sense as they had, and talk nonsense in their old . . .

age •.• The The last last part part of of old old age age is is called called senies senies in in Latin, Latin, but but in in French French there is no separate word for it ••. The old man is always coughing old is there is no separate word for it ... always coughing and spitting spitting and and dirtying dirtying [we [we are are aa long long way way yet yet from from the the noble noble old old and man of Greuze and Romanticism] until he returns to the ashes and man of Greuze and Romanticism] until he returns to the ashes and dust from from which which he he was was taken. taken. dust Nowadays we may may consider consider this this jargon jargon empty empty and and verbose, verbose, but but it it had had Nowadays of astrology: astrology: it it aa meaning meaning for for those those who read read it, it, aa meaning meaning akin akin to to that that of called to mind the link which joined the destiny of to that of the of the that of man to the which mind link the called to destiny joined planets. The same sort of sidereal correspondence had had inspired inspired another another planets. The same sort of sidereal correspondence division into periods connected with the twelve signs of the zodiac, thus of the twelve with the connected division into periods zodiac, thus signs linking the ages of life with one of the most popular and moving themes and themes of most the moving popular linking the ages of life with one of the Middle Middle Ages: Ages: the the scenes of the the calendar. calendar. A fourteenth-century fourteenth-century scenes of of the poem, reprinted reprinted several times in in the the fifteenth fifteenth and and sixteenth sixteenth centuries, centuries, several times poem, 13 expounds this calendar of the ages :13 expounds this calendar of the ages: age

. . .

The years of life on on earth earth of life six years The first first six We to would compare, would to January compare, January is as For in that month month strength in that as rarc rare For strength is As from birth. birth. in a a child child six six years from As in years 14 u Or witness this thirteenth-century witness this thirteenth-century poem: poem: Of all behold, the first all the first behold, the months months the 15 11i January two-faced and cold. and cold. two-faced January Because its eyes two ways are Because its cast, ways are cast, eyes To face past. and the face the the future future and the past. Thus the child six summers old old Thus the child six Is is told. told. not worth all is Is not worth much when all But one care one must must take take every care every To see he is is fed fed good that he see that fare, good fare, For well life well he who does does not not start start life For he Will one can tell ..• ... one can tell Will finish finish badly, badly, When October winds do blow, October winds blow, Then aa man his his wheat wheat must sow To feed feed the the other other men on earth; earth; Thus a man of worth Thus must must act act a Who has has arrived arrived at at sixty sixty years: years: He must ears folk's ears must sow in in young young folk's Wisdom all all their their hearts hearts to to fill, fill, he will. And give if he will. give them charity charity if





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



24 24


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



25 25

clearly to certain modes of activity, defined sections sections corresponding dearly defined corresponding to certain modes of activity, of dress. The division of life physical types, social functions and styles physical types, social functions and styles of dress. The division of life into periods had the same fixity as the cycle of Nature Nature or the organization organization into periods had the same fixity as the cycle of or the of society. In spite of the constant evocation of old age and the of society. In spite of the constant evocation of old age and death, death, the ages of life remained good-natured, picturesque sketches, life remained character sketches, character good-natured, picturesque ages of silhouettes rather whimsical whimsical kind. kind. of a a rather silhouettes of

* * * Antiquo-medieval speculation speculation had had bequeathed to posterity posterity aa copious Antique-medieval bequeathed to copious terminology relating relating to to the of life. In the sixteenth century, when it it the ages terminology ages of life. In the sixteenth century, was proposed to to translate this terminology French, it it was was found that was proposed translate this into French, found that terminology into the French language, usage, had not as the French and consequently as many had not French usage, language, and consequently French many words at its Latin or or at least learned learned Latin. its disposal as words at had Latin at least Latin. The I556 1556 disposal as had translator Proprietaire de choses makes makes no bones bones about of Le Grand translator of Grand Propri&aire about de toutes toutes choses recognizing the 'It is more difficult in French than in Latin, the difficulty: recognizing difficulty: 'It is more difficult in French than in Latin, for in Latin Latin there there are are seven seven ages referred to by various various names, names, of which for in of which to by ages referred there are only three three in French: to wit, childhood, youth and old age.' are only in French: to wit, there and old childhood, youth age/ It will be noted that since youth signifies signifies the the prime prime of life, there no noted that It will be since youth of life, there is is no room for for adolescence. eighteenth century, adolescence was Until the adolescence. Until the eighteenth was Adolescence century, confused with childhood. In school Latin the puer and confused with childhood. In school Latin the word puer and the the word adolescens were used used indiscriminately. indiscriminately. Preserved Preserved in the Bibliothfeque Bibliotheque in the adolescent were Nationale are the catalogues of the the Jesuit College at Caen, a list of the Nationale are the catalogues of Jesuit College at Caen, a list of the 23 23 pupils' names accompanied by comments. boy of fifteen is is described names A boy of fifteen comments. described pupils' accompanied by in these these catalogues catalogues as bonus puer, puer, while while his young schoolmate thirteen in as bonus his young of thirteen schoolmate of is optimus adolescens. infant prodigies, admitted is called in a a book on infant admitted called optimus adolescens. Baillet, Baillet, in prodigies, that there were were no terms terms in in French French to pueri and and that there to distinguish between pueri distinguish between adolescentes.24 was virtually virtually only one word in use: enfant. in There was one adolescentes^ There use: only enfant. the Middle meaning of this word was was parparend of Middle Ages, the end of the the meaning of this At the Ages, the ticularly extensive. It be applied to both the putto (in the sixteenth the It could could be to both the sixteenth extensive. applied ticularly putto (in century the putti room, room, the the bedchamber bedchamber decorated decorated with with frescoes frescoes depicting depicting century theputti naked children, was referred referred to to as as 'the 'the children's and the the adolesnaked adoleschildren's room') children, was room') and cent, the big big lad lad who was a bad bad lad. sometimes also also a lad. The word enfant was sometimes cent, the enfant (' child')¡ in the Miracles Miracles de Notre-Dame26 was was used used in the fourteenth fourteenth and in the de Notre-Dame** in the ('child')* as valets, fifteenth as aa synonym valets, valeton, such as other words such fifteenth centuries centuries as valeton, synonym of other garfon,.fils ('valet', 'varlet', 'lad', 'son'): 'he was a valeton' be a valeton 'he was would be 'lad', 'varlet', 'son'): garfon,jils ('valet', the word translated today today as 'he was was aa good-looking lad' t but but the same could could translated as 'he lad', good-looking a child be used of both both aa young was be used handsome valeton') child ('he valeton') and a ('he was young man ('a ('a -Translator's note: In the following following discussion of terminology the wherever the discussion of translator's note: In the 25-32), wherever terminology (pp. (pp. 25-32), word 'child' 'child' or used, the the original original French has 'enfant* 'enfant' or or 'enfants*. 'enfants'. source has or 'children' French source is used, 'children* is

26 26



valeton, so so they they loved loved him him dearly dearly ... ..• ft valez valez grew grew up'). up'). Only Only one one word word aa valeton, kept this this very very ancient ancient ambiguity ambiguity down to to our our times, times, and and that that is is the the has kept word gars gars ('lad'), (,lad'), which which has has passed passed straight straight from from Old Old French French into into the the word


popular modern idiom in which popular modern idiom in which

it is is preserved. preserved. A strange strange child, child, this this bad bad it was 'so 'so perverse perverse and and wicked wicked that that he he would would not not learn learn aa trade trade or or who was behave as as was was fitting fitting in in childhood childhood ... ... he he kept kept company company with with greedy, greedy, idle idle behave folk who often often started started brawls brawls in in taverns taverns and and brothels, brothels, and and he he never never came came folk across aa woman by by herself herself without without raping raping her*. her'. Here Here is is another another child child of of across fifteen: 'Although 'Although he he was was aa fine, fine, handsome handsome son', son', he he refused refused to to go go riding riding fifteen: or to to have have anything anything to to do do with with girls. girls. His His father father thought thought that that it it was was out out or of shyness: shyness: "This 'This is is customary customary in in children.' children.' In In fact, fact, he he was was betrothed betrothed to to of the Virgin. Virgin. His His father father forced forced him into into marriage: marriage: 'The 'The child child became became very very the angry and struck him hard.' tried to his escape and suffered angry and struck him hard.' He tried to make his escape and suffered by falling falling downstairs. downstairs. The Virgin Virgin then then came for for him and and mortal injuries injuries by mortal said to to him: him: 'Dear 'Dear brother, brother, behold behold your your sweetheart.' sweetheart.' And: And: 'At 'At this this the the said to aa sixteenth-century sixteendl-century calendar calendar of of the the child heaved heaved aa sigh.' sigh.' According According to child ages, at twenty-four 'a 'a child is strong strong and brave', and 'this is is what what and 'this and brave', child is ages, at twenty-four 26 becomes of of children they are are eighteen.' eighteen. '28 children when they becomes The same same is is true true in in the the seventeenth seventeenth century. century. The report report of of an an episcopal episcopal The inquiry of 1667 states in one parish 'there is jeune enfans 'there is un un one that in states that of 1667 parish jeune enfans ['a ['a inquiry young child'] aged about fourteen in the year or so he has has been been or so he in the who fourteen about year young child'] aged living in the aforementioned place has has been children of both both been teaching teaching children living in the aforementioned place sexes write, by arrangement with the inhabitants of the of inhabitants the with the and write, read and to read sexes to by arrangement 27 aforementioned place. '27 aforementioned place.' In took place a change seventeenth century of the the seventeenth the course course of In the by which century a change took place by more dependent classes of society, the was maintained in the classes in the was maintained old usage the old society, dependent usage while appeared in the middle class, where the word in the middle the different usage a different while a class, usage appeared •'child' child' was duration of duration its modern meaning. The long to its was restricted restricted to long meaning. childhood the common idiom was due to to the the indifference indifference in idiom the as it it appeared in childhood as appeared with biological phenomena were regarded at the the time: time: which strictly with which regarded at strictly biological phenomena in nobody would have thought of seeing the end of childhood in puberty. childhood the of have would puberty. seeing thought nobody idea of dependence: the The idea the idea with the of childhood childhood was bound up idea of dependence: the up with were also words in vocabulary words sons', •'varlets' varlets' and in the the words also were and 'boys' words •'sons', vocabulary 'boys' of the leave childhood childhood only could leave subordination. One could of feudal feudal subordination. only by by leaving leaving the is or at lower degrees of dependence. That is state lower or at least least the the of dependence, state of dependence. degrees dependence, in a to indicate indicate in why the words associated with childhood would endure to a with childhood associated the words why familiar in the spoken language, men of humble rank whose in the familiar style, spoken language, style, submission for instance, remained absolute: others remained absolute: lackeys, to others submission to instance, journeymen lackeys, for journeymen a child necessarily and not child but 'little boy' (petit garfon) was not but soldiers. A 'little and soldiers. necessarily a boy' (petit garfon) or a foreman aa young servant, just as today an employer or a foreman will say of aa will as an today employer say young servant, just lad lad


27 27


worker of of twenty twenty to to twenty-five: twenty-five: 'He's 'He's aa good good lad/ lad.' Thus Thus in in 1549, 1549, one one worker of aa college, college, an an educational educational establishment, establishment, wrote wrote to to Badud, the the principal principal of Baduel,

of his his young young pupils pupils about about his his outfit outfit and and attendants: attendants: of 28 is all all that that he he will will need need for for his his personal personal service/ service.'18 , A little little boy boy is 'A At the the beginning beginning of of the the eighteenth eighteenth century, century, Fureti&re's Furetiere's dictionary dictionary gave gave At an explanation explanation of of the the usage: usage: ' "Child* "Child" is is also also aa term term. of of friendship friendship used used an to greet greet or or flatter flatter someone someone or or to to induce induce him to do do something. something. Thus Thus when when him to to one says says to to an an aged aged person: person: "Goodbye, "Goodbye, good good mother" mother" ['so long, grandone ['so long, grandma,' in in the the modern modern idiom] idiom] she she replies: replies: "Goodbye, "Goodbye, my my child" child" ['goodbye, [' goodbye, ma/

the father father of of one one the



she will will say say to to aa lackey: lackey: "Child, "Child, go go and and get get me this this or or that/' that." lad']. Or she


master will will say say to to his his men men when when setting setting them them to to work work: ""Come along, Come along, A master children, get get to to work." work." A captain captain will will say to his his soldiers: soldiers: "Courage, "Courage, children, say to :

fast.'" Front-line Front-line troops, troops, those those most most exposed to danger, children, stand fast/ children, stand exposed to danger, were called called 'the 'the lost lost children'. children'. were At the the same same time, time, but but in in families of gentle gentle birth, birth, where where dependence dependence At families of was.only a consequence of physical infirmity, the vocabulary of childhood of childhood a of the was-only consequence vocabulary physical infirmity, tended rather rather to to the the first age. Its became increasingly refer to first age. Its use use became to refer tended increasingly frequent frequent in the seventeenth seventeenth century: the expression 'little enfant) the 'little child' child' (petit in the (petit enfant) century: expression began to take on the meaning give it. usage had preferred on had we it. The older older take the to usage preferred give meaning began 'young enfant), and this expression had not been completely child' (jeune (jeune enfant), and this expression had not been completely 'young child' abandoned. Fontaine used it, and and again in aa translation of in 1714, translation of La Fontaine used it, abandoned. La 1714, in again in Erasmus, reference to girl' who was not yet five: five: a 'young was not a reference was a to a there was Erasmus, there yet 'young girl' 29 The word petit 'I young girl who has begun to talk.'119 has scarcely *I have have a a young petit scarcely begun to talk/ girl or meaning by the end of the a special one* had also acquired or 'little 'little one' had also acquired a special meaning by the end of the sixteenth even of the all the the pupils the 'little 'little schools', it referred referred to to all sixteenth century: schools', even pupils of century: it In England, the word 'petty' had those children. the In were no no longer children. those who were 'petty' had England, longer the as in French, and a text of 1627 on the subject of school school of a of the in and text as the same same meaning French, 1627 subject meaning 30 spoke of the 'lyttle petties', the smallest pupils. 80 spoke of the 'lytde petties', the smallest pupils. It and pedagogic all the the moral moral and and with with all with Port-Royal all with It was was above above all pedagogic Port-Royal and literature from Port-Royal (or drew its its inspiration literature which which drew gave Port-Royal (or which gave inspiration more expression to a need for moral discipline which was widely more general widely general expression to a need for moral discipline used to the terms terms used to felt that the too bore bore witness), felt and to which which Port-Royal and to witness), that Port-Royal too denote all modem: modern: Jacqueline and above above all became common and denote childhood childhood became Jacqueline middle Pascal's at Port-Royal were divided little ones'. divided into into 'little Pascal's pupils ones', 'middle pupils at Port-Royal were 31 'With regard to ones' ones'.SI the little she wrote, she little children,' the to ones' and 'With and 'big ones'. wrote, children/ regard 'big fed if 'they even more than all others must be taught and fed if possible be others must the all the than even more possible taught 'they at Port-Royal like of the little schools schools at like little little doves.' The regulations doves/ The Port-Royal regulations of the little little ones.'sz ones/ 32 People stated: the little Mass every to Mass stated: 'They do not not go People day, only only the every day, 'They do go to 33 spoke 'little angels'. souls' and 'little a new way 'little souls' in a of 'little angels',88 expressions expressions spoke in way of In her her which which foreshadowed the eighteenth foreshadowed the century and Romanticism. In eighteenth century 1 '





~s, Mlle Lheritier claimed to be addressing 'young minds', 'young ss, Mile Lh6ritier claimed to be addressing 'young minds', 'young >ple': 'These pictures pictures probably probably lead lead young people to reflections which "These to reflections which >ple young people 84 It can thus be seen that that seventeenth century feet reasoning.'" It can thus be seen that that seventeenth their reasoning/ feet their century lich have scorned scorned childhood, childhood, in fact brought into use seemed to to have ich seemed in fact brought into use )ressions phrases which which remain remain to to this this day in our Under sessions and and phrases our language. day in language. Under word 'child' 'child' in his dictionary, dictionary, Furetifcre Furetiere quoted proverbs which are in his are which quoted proverbs child, has been allowed to misl familiar to us: us: 'He is a a spoilt 'He is familiar to who has been allowed to mischild, spoilt lave without being punished. The fact is, there there are no longer any lave without fact is, are no being punished. longer any to have reason and cunning at an ldren, are beginning are to have for people reason and at an Idren, for people beginning cunning lyage.' 'Innocent as a new-born child.' as a new-born child.' 'Innocent ly age/ \11 the same, in its its attempts to talk talk about the French French about little Vll the little children, same, in children, the attempts to of the seventeenth century was hampered by the lack of words guage was the seventeenth of the lack of words century hampered by guage The same was true of English, distinguish them from bigger ones. from ones. same was true of bigger distinguish English, was also applied to to big big children. Lily's Latin ere the word 'baby' also applied ere the children. Lily's Latin 'baby' was mmar in English, which which was in use use from the beginning of in English, was in the beginning of the the sixsixr866, was intended intended for babes, all lytell nth century until until 1866, for 'all 'all lyte11 babes, tith century all lytell lytell rldren'.36 rldren'. 85 )n hand there were in in French French some expressions expressions which which seem there were other hand 3n the the other seem these was the word poupart. poupart. In In one refer very little little children. children. One of of these was the refer to to very one the Miracles de Notre-Dame there there was was aa 'little wanted to to feed de Notre-Dame son' who wanted the Miracles 'little son' feed the Infant Jesus. 'Tender-hearted Jesus, seeing the insistence icture Infant Jesus. of the 'Tender-hearted Jesus, icture of insistence Seeing the I good good will will of tlle little to and said: "Poupart, weep of the little child, to him and said: child, spoke spoke "Poupart, weep shall eat Witll me.'" But this poupart was more, for in days you in three shall eat with three days me.'" But this more, for you poupart was t really really what 'o/hat the French today would call a bebe: he was also referred the French a would call he was also bfbf: referred today as clergeon or 'little clerk', wore aa surplice and served at Mass: or 'little as a a clergeon clerk', wore surplice and served at Mass: had few letters and and would ere there were also little were also little children children who had ere there few letters would 36 In her have fed fed at breast than do divine service! '36 at their their mother's mother's breast her have than do In divine service!' of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the word , language of the seventeenth and the centuries language eighteenth 'part no longer longer denoted denoted aa child, but instead, in the the form poupon, poupon, what what child, but instead, in ipart the same name, but in the feminine: aa , French French today today still call by still call in the same but the feminine: name, by ,pee, or doll. or doll. \pte, ~rench was therefore therefore reduced reduced to to borrowing borrowing from from other other idioms idioms -- either either Drench was - words to or trade to denote eign languages or the slang used in school in or or trade denote the used school slang eign languages an interest henceforth going French that little in whom an to little child child in interest was henceforth French that going to talcen. This was was the the case case with with the which became became the the taken. This the Italian bambino which Italian bambino bambino Mme de de Sevigne used in in the the same sense a form of the :nch sense a inch bambin. of the also used Svigne also in the >venrral pitchoun, which she had doubtless learnt in the course of learnt course word she had doubtless )ven$al pitchoun, 37 Her cousin Coulanges, who did 37 ee of her stays stays with with the the Grignans. cousin did of her Coulanges, Grignans. 88 t like children but but spoke distrusted like children a great distrusted 'three-yeardeal, spoke of them a three-yeargreat deal,88 old word which in the I marmousets', marmousets', an old which in the popular popular idiom would become >










~ <DJF







'brats with with greasy greasy chins who put put aa finger finger in in every every dish*. People People marmots, 'brats also used slang terms from from school school Latin Latin or or from from sporting sporting and and military academies: aa little little jrater, aa cadet, and, and, when when there there were were several several of of them, them, academies:

military ftater, cadet, a populo populo or or petit petit peuple." peuple.'8 Lastly Lasdy the the use use of of diminutives diminutives became became quite quite a also used slang terms

common: fanfan fanfon isis to to be be found found in in the the letters letters of of Mme de de Svign S6vign6 and and common: of F&ielon. Fenelon. those of those

In time time these these words words In

would come come to to denote denote aa child child who was was still still small small would

but already already beginning beginning to to find find his his feet. feet. There There would would still still remain remain aa gap gap but where aa word word was was needed needed to to denote denote aa child child in in its its first first months months of of life life;; where

this gap gap would would not not be be filled filled until until the the nineteenth nineteenth century, century, when the the French would would borrow borrow from from the the English English the the word word 'baby', 'baby', which which in in the the French sixteenth and seventeenth seventeenth centuries centuries had had denoted children of of school school age. age. denoted children sixteenth and this

This borrowing was was the the last of the story: henceforth, with the This borrowing last stage stage of the story: henceforth, with the litde child child had had aa name. name. little

French word word bAt, bebe, the the very very French

* * * Even when aa vocabulary vocabulary relating relating to to infancy infancy appeared appeared and and expanded, Even when expanded, an remained between childhood and adolescence on the the one and on one an ambiguity between childhood adolescence remained ambiguity hand the category as youth on the other. People had no idea no idea the had as on other. hand and and the known People youth category of adolescence, and the idea time taking taking shape. a long idea was of what and the was a what we call call adolescence, long time shape. One can of it the eighteenth century in two characters in in characters -a glimpse of it in the can catch catch a eighteenth century glimpse as presented by Ch6rubin, and the other social, the one the conscript. one literary, conscript. literary, as presented by Cherubin, and the other social, In of puberty that was uppermost, and was the ambiguity of that In Cherubin it was was the Cherubin it uppermost, and ambiguity puberty the the effeminate boy just just emerging emerging from side of a boy of a the stress laid on effeminate side stress was was laid on the childhood. speaking, this was not a new thing: life social life since social childhood. Stricdy thing: since Strictly speaking, this was not a age, the full, round features of early adolescence, began at a very early of round features the at a adolescence, full, early began very early age, about the This is is the a feminine feminine appearance. of puberty, about the the age boys a gave boys appearance. This age of puberty, gave explanation of the ease with which men disguised themselves as women as themselves which of the ease with disguised explanation and sevenat the the beginning of the the sevennovels at and vice versa in in coundess countless baroque vice versa beginning of baroque novels - two teenth youths becoming friends when one was a girl in a friends one teenth century two girl in youths becoming century disguise, and so on; however credulous readers of adventure stories have stories have readers of adventure credulous and so however on; disguise, that there there always of probability the very been, the probability demands that always been, very minimum of a should and a girl. a beardless beardless boy resemblance between a should have have been some resemblance been some girl. boy at as a However, that resemblance was not presented at the time as a charactercharacterthe time not was that resemblance However, presented istic of age. with beardless men with istic of of adolescence, a characteristic characteristic of adolescence, a age. Those beardless lOft already behaved like fully like behaved ;oft features for they features were not adolescents were not adolescents for fully they already ~rown and giving orders. But in the feminine in Cherubin Ch&rubin the feminine men, fighting jrown men, fighting and giving orders. Lppearance it expressed child to to adult: adult: it transition from child was linked linked with the transition with the ippearance was expressed love. Lcondition a certain period, the period of budding love. the condition during a certain budding period during period, i

30 30


Cherubin was was not not destined destined to to have have any any successors. successors. On the the contrary, contrary, itit Chrubin was manly manly strength strength which, which, in in boys, boys, would would express express the the idea idea of ofadolescence, adolescence, was and the the adolescence adolescence was was foreshadowed foreshadowed in in the the eighteenth eighteenth century century by by the the and conscript. Witness the text of this recruiting poster dating from the end conscript. Witness the text of this recruiting poster dating from the end 40 It is addressed to 'shining youth' (brillante of the the eighteenth century. century.~ It is addressed to of shining youth* (brillante *


jeunesse): 'Those 'Those youths youths [jeunesgens] [jeunes gens] who wish wish to to share share in in the the reputation reputation which this this fine fine corps corps has has won for for itself itself can can apply apply to to M. M. d'Ambrun d' Ambrun ... â&#x20AC;˘.. which



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


31 31

old does not always represent it in the guise of a decrepit invalid: old old age age does not always represent it in the guise of a decrepit invalid: old age begins with the losing of one's hair and the wearing of a beard, and age begins with the losing of one's hair and the wearing of a beard, and as a is bald. aa handsome handsome old old man sometimes sometimes appears appears simply simply as a man who is bald. the case with the the old old man man in which is a This is the This is also a case with in Titian's Titian's concert, is also concert, which of the ages of life. But generally speaking, before the representation of the the of before life. But representation ages generally speaking, was regarded regarded as of eighteenth century the old man was as ridiculous. ridiculous. One of eighteenth century the old Rottou's characters to force his daughter daughter to accept aa quinquagenarian quinquagenarian: Rotrou's characters tries tries to to accept force his 'He hasn't aa tooth tooth in In the whole of Nature is only fifty, and He is of Nature in his his head. head. In the whole only fifty, and hasn't not aa man who doesn't was born born in the age of Saturn or there's not he was in the there's of Saturn doesn't think think he or age of the the Flood. which he walks, two two are the time time of on which the feet on are Flood. Of the the three he walks, three feet gouty. at every and are always having to be propped stumble at gouty. They They stumble every step step and are always having to be propped 41 up or picked up.'u in another ten years he will will look look like like this or ten And in another this sexasexapicked up.' years he up his stick, the little old coughs, genarian in Quinault: 'Bent over in his the little old man over 'Bent stick, Quinault: coughs, genarian spits, blows his nose, cracks jokes, and bores Isabelle with tales of the spits, blows his nose, cracks jokes, and bores Isabelle with tales of the 42 days.''' good o.ld days.' good o.ld Old France had little old age: it was the age of retirement, France had little respect for Old respect for old age: it was the age of retirement, whole man in in books, churchgoing and rambling talk. talk. The picture picture of and rambling of the the whole books, churchgoing that of younger man: man: the the sixteenth centuries was was that of a a younger the the and seventeenth sixteenth and seventeenth centuries at the top of steps of the ages. He was not aa young young officer in the the sash of the of the was not sash at the top the steps officer in ages. man, although although he would be be today. that second to that he would second man, today. He corresponded corresponded to ages, between between childhood and old old age, which in category in the childhood and the of the the ages, age, which category of was called youth. Furetiere, Furetiere, who still seventeenth still took called youth. took very seventeenth century very century was seriously the archaic problems of the division of life into periods, thought seriously the archaic problems of the division of life into periods, thought maturity; but but he he recognized recognized that that it up an intermediate of maturity; it was was concept of up an intermediate concept not current and admitted: 'Jurists see only one age in youth and maturity.' not current and admitted: 'Jurists see only one age in youth and maturity.' youth, as The seventeenth century recognized in this itself in this military as the the seventeenth century military youth, recognized itself its adolescents. twentieth century recognizes itself in twentieth century recognizes itself in its adolescents. has disappeared, disappeared, at spoken French, French, where the Today old at least least from spoken where the old age age has Today un vieux, 'an old fellow', has survived with a colloquial, expression has survived with a 'an old fellow', colloquial, expression un vieux, taken place place contemptuous patronizing significance. This evolution has taken evolution has or patronizing significance. This contemptuous or stages. First of all there was the venerable old man, the silverin old was the venerable the silverin two all there two stages. First of man, in precious wise Nestor, Nestor, the the patriarch patriarch rich rich in precious experience: haired the wise haired ancestor, ancestor, the experience: Greuze, Restif Restif de de la and the the whole nineteenth nineteenth the old old man of la Bretonne Bretonne and the of Greuze, was not yet very agile, but he was longer as decrepit as century. He no as but he not was longer decrepit as yet very agile, century. the the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There still remains still seventeenth centuries. There and remains the old sixteenth old man of of the this respect respect for old man in in the the received received ideas ideas of something the old the of the for the of this something of no has But the fact is this respect longer has any object, for present day. this is that that the fact But respect longer any object, for present day. the second the old has disappeared. in time, and old the has in our second stage, man is the our time, and this this is stage, disappeared. been replaced by â&#x20AC;˘'the the elderly elderly man' and and by by 'well-preserved He has has been ladies 'well-preserved ladies replaced by or gentlemen': is still still middle-class, but is but which is tending or a concept which is which a which middle-class, gentlemen' tending concept :



32 32


to become The technological idea of preservation is replacing to become popular. popular. The technological idea of preservation is replacing of old old age. the biological and moral idea the biological and moral idea of age.

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




EDIEVAL art art until until about about the the twelfth twelfth century century did did not not know childhood or or did did not not attempt attempt to to portray portray it. it. It It isis hard hard to to believe believe childhood or incapacity; incapacity; it it seems seems that this this neglect neglect was was due due to to incompetence incompetence or that


no place place for for childhood childhood in in the the medieval medieval more probable probable that that there there was was no more of the the twelfth twelfth century century provides provides us us with with aa world. An Ottoman Ottonian miniature miniature of world. of the deformation which an artist at that time would striking example striking example of the deformation which an artist at that time 1 l on children's bodies. The subject is the scene in the Gospels in inflict in the the is scene inflict on children's bodies. The subject Gospels in asks that that little little children children be be allowed allowed to to come to to Him. The which Jesus Jesus asks which

is clear: clear: parvuli. parvuli. Yet Yet the the miniaturist miniaturist has has grouped grouped around around Jesus Jesus is men, without without any any of of the the characteristics characteristics of of what are are obviously obviously eight eight men, what childhood; they they have have simply been depicted on a smaller scale. In a a a scale. In on smaller been childhood; depicted simply

Latin text text Latin

of the the late century the the three three children children brought brought French miniature miniature of late eleventh eleventh century French by St Nicholas are are also reduced to to aa smaller smaller scale than the the adults, adults, to life life by scale than St Nicholas also reduced to

or features. 22 A painter painter would would without any any other difference in in expression other difference without expression or features. not even hesitate to give the naked body of very few cases cases in the the very a child, not even hesitate to give the naked body of a child, in when it was exposed, the musculature of an adult: thus in a Psalter dating a in Psalter when it was exposed, the musculature of an adult: thus dating

from after thirteenth century, or early from the the late late twelfth twelfth or Ishmael, shortly shortly after century, Ishmael, early thirteenth 33 The thirteenth of a man. birth, has the abdominal and pectoral muscles thirteenth man. of a and muscles the abdominal has birth, pectoral century, although it showed more understanding in its its presentation of presentation understanding in century, although it showed 4 In St Louis's moralizing childhood, remained faithful to this method.' Louis's St this method. In to faithful remained childhood, moralizing Bible, are still still indicated indicated only but they are depicted children are often, but Bible, children only they are depicted more often, by in the life of Jacob, Isaac is shown sitting an episode their size. In an size. In sitting episode in die life of Jacob, Isaac is by their between little men who come fifteen little surrounded by his two between his two wives, wives, surrounded by some fifteen up their children. are their children. 65 When these are waists: tllese to the the grown-ups' the level of the level of up to grown-ups' waists: illuminator Job is rewarded for his faith and becomes rich once more, the illuminator Job is rewarded for his faith and becomes rich once more, the his good fortune by placing Job between an equal depicts between equal number of depicts his good fortune by placing Job cattle on the left and children on the right: the traditional picture the traditional the children cattle on the left and picture of right: in the the Book fecundity inseparable from wealth. In another illustration illustration in In another wealth. from fecundity inseparable size. in order of some children are lined up in order of size. lined ofJob, are some children up Job, in an the Sainte-Chapelle, In In the the thirteenth-century Sainte-Chapelle, in Gospel-book of the thirteenth-century Gospel-book the illustration Christ and one of the loaves and fishes, the loaves of the illustration of the miracle miracle of of the fishes, Christ a little man who comes up on either side little Apostles are shown standing side of a either are shown up Apostles standing 8 In the to the fishes. fishes.6 In the world of carried the child who carried to their their waists: the child no doubt doubt the waists no the thirteenili thirteenth century. the end of the to the Romanesque formulas, right century, up to right up Romanesque formulas, :

33 33


34 34


there are are no no children children characterized characterized by by aa special special expression expression but but only only men men there to be on a reduced scale. This refusal to accept child morphology in art is to be on a reduced scale. This refusal to accept child morphology in art is found too in most of the ancient civilizations. A fine Sardinian bronze fine Sardinian bronze found too in most of the ancient civilizations.


of the the ninth ninth century century B.C. B.C. shows shows aa sort sort of ofPiet~: mother holding holding in in her her Pieta: aa mother of 7 7 arms the the somewhat somewhat bulky bulky body body of of her her son. son. The The catalogue catalogue tells tells us: us: arms 'The little little masculine masculine figure figure could could also also be be aa child child which, which, in in accordance accordance 'The with the the formula formula adopted adopted in in ancient ancient times times by by other other peoples, peoples, had had been been with that represented as an adult.' Everything in fact would seem to suggest that to in would seem fact adult/ as an suggest Everything represented the realistic realistic representation representation of of children children or or the the idealization idealization of of childhood, childhood, its its the to Greek art. Little Eroses grace and rounded charms, was confined Eroses to Little art. Greek confined was rounded and charms, grace proliferated in in the the Hellenistic Hellenistic period, period, but but childhood childhood disappeared disappeared from proliferated

iconography together with the other Hellenistic themes, and Romanesque

and Romanesque iconography together with the other Hellenistic themes, art returned to that rejection of of the the special special features features of of childhood childhood which had already already characterized characterized the the periods periods of of antiquity antiquity before before Hellenism. Hellenism. had This is is no no mere mere coincidence. coincidence. Our Our starting-point starting-point in in this this study study is is aa world of This art returned to that rejection

pictorial representation in which childhood childhood is is unknown; unknown; literary literary hishisin which the have the same observation about the same observation the have made Mgr and epic, in which child prodigies behave with the courage physical the with behave child which in physical courage prodigies epic, strength of doughty warriors. This This undoubtedly undoubtedly means that that the the men of strength of doughty warriors. the tenth did not not dwell the image childhood, on the dwell on centuries did and eleventh eleventh centuries tenth and the image of childhood, It and that image had neither interest even reality for for them. It even nor interest nor had neither that that and that reality image that of in that suggests too that in realm of real not in and not simply real life, of realm the in the that too life, and simply suggests aesthetic childhood was transition which passed a period was a aesthetic transposition, passed period of transition transposition, childhood quickly. and which was just as quickly forgotten. as was which and quickly forgotten. just quickly little imps to the the little Such How do we get there to is our our starting-point. Such is imps get from there starting-point. in all ages in of of children of all our family of children the photographs to the of Versailles, Versailles, to family ages photographs albums? albums? to be found are to About children are a few of children few types thirteenth century, the thirteenth About the century, a types of which to be a little concept of childhood. the modern to the modem little closer closer to a to be which appear concept appear There depicted in the guise of aa very man, aa young the angel, is the There is young very young young man, angel, depicted in the guise 88 But how old is this this old is ulolescent: as Pere du Colombier remarks. remarks. du Colombier as Pere a clergeon, idolescent: a clergeon, various ages 'little were children of various who were children were The clergeons clerk'? The little clerk'? ages clergeons for holy destined for were destined :rained church and who were in church the responses make the to make rained to holy responses in no seminaries were orders, seminarists of a sort in a period when there were no seminaries there when in a of a sort seminarists orders, period was that existed, and ofschooling kind of the only in Latin, existed, was and when when schooling Latin, the schooling that only kind schooling in de reserved for future clerks. 'Here', says one of the Miracles de Notre-Dame, Miracles the of one clerks. future Notre-Dame, for reserved 'Here', says fed rather have have fed would rather 'there and would letters and had few who had few letters children who little children were little 'there were late that at time: at their mother's breast [but children were weaned very late at that time: weaned children were breast mother's their at very [but do divine divine than do Shakespeare's Juliet was still being breast-fed at at three) three] than Shakespeare's Juliet was still being breast-fed 9 The angel of Reims, to take one is a one service.'8 example. is a big boy rather of take to The service.' Reims, big boy rather example, angel pictorial representation torians such such as Calve as Mgr Calve torians



, J5 3S

than aachild, child, but but the theartists artists have havestressed stressed the theround, round, pretty, pretty, and andsomewhat somewhat than ofyouths youths barely bardy out out of ofchildhood. childhood. We have have already already effeminate features features of effeminate


come aa long long way way from from the the small-scale small-scale adults adults of ofthe the Ottoman Ottonian miniature. miniature. come

This type type of ofadolescent adolescent angel angd was was to to become become extremely extremely common common in in the the This was to to last last to to the the very very end end of ofthe the Italian Italian QuattroQuattrofourteenth century century and and was fourteenth cento: the the angels angels of of Fra Fra Angelico, Angelico, Botticelli Botticelli and and Ghirlandajo Ghirlandajo all all belong bdong cento: to it. it. to

The second second type type of of child child was was to to be be the the model modd and and ancestor ancestor of ofall all the the The of art: art: the the Infant Infant Jesus, Jesus, or or the the Infant Infant NotreNotrelittle children children in in the the history history of Dame, for for here here childhood childhood isis linked linked to to the the mystery mystery of of motherhood motherhood and and Dame, the Marian Marian cult cult. To To begin begin with, with, Jesus, Jesus, like like other other children, children, isis an an adult adult on on the reduced scale: scale: aa little little God-priest God-priest in in His His majesty, majesty, depicted depicted by by Theotokos. Theotokos. aa reduced The evolution evolution towards towards aa more more realistic realistic and and more more sentimental sentimental representarepresentaThe tion of of childhood childhood begins begins very very early early on on in in painting: painting: in in aa miniature miniature of of the the tion second half half of of the the twelfth twelfth century, century, Jesus Jesus is is shown wearing wearing aa thin, thin, almost almost second His arms arms round round His His mother's mother's neck, neck, transparent shift and standing with with His transparent shift and standing 10 With the nestling against her, cheek to cheekY) the Virgin's motherhood, cheek. motherhood, to cheek Virgin's nestling against her, of pictorial pictorial representation. representation. In In the the thirteenth thirteenth childhood enters enters the the world world of childhood 11 century it inspires other family scenes. In St Louis's moralizing Bible,1l St Louis's In scenes. other it moralizing Bible, family inspires century are shown surrounded by there are are various various family scenes in which parents are by there family scenes in which parents at the as their children with the same tender respect as on the rood-screen at tender same the with their children respect Chartres: thus in a picture of Moses and his family, husband and wife his of Moses a in Chartres: thus family, picture are are hands while the children men) surrounding them are children (little are holding (little men) surrounding holding hands while the stretching out their hands towards their mother. These cases, however, mother. their however, towards cases, hands their stretching out to the limited to remained of childhood childhood remained limited idea of the touching rare: the remained rare: touching idea Italianas is Jesus until the fourteenth century, when, as is well known, Italian. Infant known, fourteenth when, the Infant Jesus until century, it. art to spread and and devdop was to to hdp art was develop it. help to spread child. A third type of child appeared in the Gothic Gothic period: in the child period: the naked child. A third type of appeared than often More naked. The Infant Jesus was scarcely ever depicted naked. More often than not, not, ever was The Infant Jesus depicted scarcely in like other children of His age, He was chastely wrapped in swaddlingwas He His of swaddlinglike other children chastely wrapped age, the until the undressed until be undressed not be would not clothes He would dress. He or aa dress. shift or in aa shift clad in or clad clothes or Bibles in the of the Middle Ages. Those few miniatures in the moralizing Bibles end miniatures few Those moralizing end of the Middle Ages. in the of the case case of which children showed them fully dressed, except showed them except in which depicted fully dressed, depicted children was Solomon mothers the Innocents or the dead children whose mothers Solomon was judging. whose children dead judging. the Innocents or the into the introduce into the to introduce was to which was soul which of death ItIt was the soul and the death and the allegory was the allegory of in the world of forms the picture of childish nudity. Already in the preof childish prenudity. Already world of forms the picture features of of in which which many Byzantine iconography of the fifth century, the fifth many features century, in Byzantine iconography of bodies the of the their the future Romanesque art made their appearance, the bodies of the made the future Romanesque art appearance, than living bodies. smaller than were smaller dead scale. Corpses in scale. living bodies. dead were reduced in were reduced Corpses were scenes are half batde in the dead the the fliad in the Ambrosian Library the dead in the battle scenes are half In In the Iliad in the Ambrosian Library little



lll In living.12 In French French medieval medieval art art the the soul soul was was depicted depicted as aa little little child clri1d who was was naked naked and and usually usually sexless. sexless. The The Last Last Judgments Judgments as 13 The lead the the souls souls of of the the righteous righteous to to Abraham's Abraham's bosom bosom in in this this form. form. 18 The lead his mouth in a symbolic dying breathes the child out through the a child out in man breathes his mouth symbolic through dying representation of the soul's departure. This is also the entry of of the the representation of the soul's departure. This is also how the entry is depicted, depicted, whether whether it it isis aa case case of of aa holy, holy, miraculous miraculous soul into into the the world world is soul conception - the Angel of the Annunciation presenting the Virgin with aa conception the Angel of the Annunciation presenting the Virgin with l'naked child, child, Jesus's Jesus's soul soul 14 or aa case case of of aa perfectly perfectly natural natural conception: conception: -or naked a couple couple resting resting in in bed bed apparently apparently quite quite innocently, innocently, but but something something must must a have happened, happened, for for aa naked naked child child can can be be seen seen flying flying through through the the air air and and have entering the woman's moutll 'the creation of the soul by natural natural of the human soul mouth 'the creation woman's the by entering

the size size the

of the the of


15 means '.16 means'.

In the course course of of the the fourteenth fourteenth and and particularly particularly the the fifteenth fifteenth century, century, In the these medieval medieval types types would would develop develop further, further, but but in in the the direction already direction already these llave already already observed observed that tlIat the the indicated in the the thirteenth thirteenth century. century. We have indicated in


angel-cum-altar-boy would go on playing its part, without very angel-cum-altar-boy would go on playing its part, without very much the other change, painting of the fifteenth century. On the other in the die religious religious painting of the fifteenth century. change, in hand the theme of the Holy Holy Childhood never cease in would never cease developing of the Childhood would hand the theme developing in - its both and variety from the fourteenth century on and its popularity and the and from fourteenth on both scope century variety popularity scope fecundity bearing witness to the progress, in ilie collective consciousness, fecundity bearing witness to the progress, in the collective consciousness, of that idea idea of observer can can dIstinguish of childhood which only a keen keen observer childhood which of that distinguish only a in and which did not exist at all the in eleventh did not at all in the eleventh and exist thirteenth century which in the the thirteenth century century. In ilie group of Jesus and HIS mother, the artist the stress the and the of His the artist would stress In mother, century. group Jesus graceful, affectionate, naive aspects of early childhood: the child seeking child naive of the childhood affectionate, seeking aspects early graceful, its ready to kiss or caress her, the child playing breast or or getting its motlier's mother's breast getting ready to kiss or caress her, the child playing the child a leash, the child with fruit or a childhood games fruit or a bird bird on a traditional childhood the traditional leash, the games with eating its pap, the child being wrapped ill its Every in its swaddling-doilies. die child its swaddling-clothes. Every being wrapped eating pap, gesture tllat could be observed -- at least by somebody prepared to pay gesture that could be observed at least by somebody prepared to pay attention in pictorial form. to them them -- would henceforth be reproduced henceforth be attention to pictorial form. reproduced in These time to extend to time extend a long of sentinlental take a sentimental realism features of realism would would take These features long beyond iconography, which is scarcely surprising of religious frontiers of the frontiers beyond the religious iconography, which is scarcely surprising when one with landscape and genre that this this was was also the case also ilie case wimlandscape one remembers remembers tlIat genre painting. It none the less that me group Child of Virgin the that the less true true It remains remains none Virgin and child group of painting. changed the picture and became and more profane: in character character and became more and picture of profane: the changed in aa scene life. of everyday scene of life. everyday the painters Timidly then with with increasing at first, first, then painters of frequency, the increasing frequency, Timidly at all they turned religious childhood went beyond that of Jesus. First of all First to childhood of that they turned to religious beyond Jesus. the which inspired at least two new and popular least the childhood childhood of the the Virgin, at Virgin, popular inspired themes: in St the birth St Anne's Anne's the theme of the birth of the Virgin-people themes: the of the Virgin people in over bedroom fussing over the new-born child, bathing her, wrapping the her in in child, bathing her, wrapping her fussing :


37 '37

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




qualities (the taste for the picturesque anecdote anecdote developed developed in in the the fifteenth fifteenth

taste for the picturesque qualities (the

and sixteenth sixteenth centuries centuries and and coincided coincided with with the the appreciation appreciation of ofchildhood's childhood's and charms), and they delighted in stressing the presence of a child in aa group group in in the of a child and stressing presence they delighted charms), or aa crowd. crowd. Of these these two two ideas ideas one one now strikes strikes us us as as out out of ofdate, date, for for today, today, or as also also towards towards the the end end of of the the nineteenth nineteenth century, century, we tend tend to to separate separate the the as world of of children children from from that that of of adults; adults; the the other other foreshadows foreshadows the the modern modem world idea idea

of childhood. childhood. of

* * * The origins origins of of the the themes themes of of the the angel, angel, the the holy holy childhoods, childhoods, and and their their The subsequent iconographical developments date as far back as the thirteenth date as far back the as thirteenth subsequent iconographical developments century; two types of child portrayal appeared in in the the fifteenth fifteenth century; two new types of child portrayal appeared century: the portrait and the putta. The child. as have seen, was not not was The as we have and the the child, seen, putto. portrait century: missing from the Middle Ages, at least from the thirteenth century on, at from the least thirteenth Middle the from century on, Ages, missing but there there was was never never aa portrait portrait of of him, him. the the portrait portrait of of aa real real child, child. as as he he was was but at a certain certain moment moment of of his his life. life. at a 17 the child In the funeral funeral effigies effigies listed in the the Gaigni&res Gaignieres Collection, Collection,17 the child listed in In the appeared only at a very late date, in the sixteenth century Curiously in the sixteenth late a at date, century Curiously very appeared only not on his his own tomb tomb or that of enough, his first appearance was or that of his his was not enough, his first appearance parents but on that of his the tombs of the masters of of tombs of the masters his teachers. teachers. On the that of on but parents 18 As early as 18 Bologna, the teacher was shown surrounded by his pupi1s. was his As surrounded teacher the early as by pupils. Bologna, 1378, Cardinal de La Grange, the Bishop of Amiens, had the two princes had the of the two de La Cardinal Amiens, Bishop princes Grange, 1378, he .tutored portrayed at the ages of ten and seven on a 'handsome a 'handsome and often seven on at the hadvtutored he had ages portrayed 19 his cathedral. pillar' in a picture a child child of keeping No one thought cathedral. 19 Noone in his thought of keeping a picture of a pillar* if to manhood or had died in infancy. died or in to lived to to grow had either either lived child had if that that child grow infancy. In an unimportant childhood was simply first case, In the the first case, childhood phase of which simply an unimportant phase there that of the second case, of the in the the second to keep need to no need was no case, that there was record; in any record; keep any dead it was thought that the little thing which had disappeared so that the little it was dead child, child, disappeared so thing thought soon of remembrance: there were far too many far too of remembrance: there not worthy was not life was in life soon in many worthy children was problematical. survival was whose survival was, and children whose feeling was, general feeling problematical. The general in order for order to to keep children in that one one had had several several children time remained, a long for a remained, that keep long time de As late in Le Caquet de l'accouchie, just a few. in as the the seventeenth seventeenth century, late as As a few. Faccouchde, Caquet century, just we have a woman who has has at the bedside of a the bedside have aa neighbour, standing at neighbour, standing just given birth, the mother of five 'little brats', and calming her fears her fears 'little mother five the brats', calming just given birth, with to bother bother you, will 'Before they are old old enough words: 'Before these words: with these you will enough to you, you they are 80 have or perhaps all of them.'10 A strange consolation! or of them/ of them, all consolation! half of lost half have lost them, strange perhaps ,People could not to something attached to allow themselves to become too too attached not allow themselves to something (People could is the the reason for that as loss. This is reason for certain remarks a probable certain as a This remarks loss. was regarded that was probable regarded which shock our present-day sensibility, such as Montaigne's observation: as such our observation: shock which Montaigne's present-day sensibility,


.-39 39

'I three children their infancy, not without regret, but two or or three lost two children in in their have lost 'I have infancy, not without regret, but 81 on LOWson in Le I.e MalaJe MalaJe without great great sorrow',ll or Moliere's Moli&re's comment without comment on Louison in sorrow', or

imaginaire: 'The little girl doesn't count.' Most people probably felt, like

imaginaire: 'The litde girl doesn't count.' Most people probably felt, like Montaigne, that recognizable that children children had had 'neither 'neither mental mental activities activities nor nor recognizable Montaigne, 88 ss bodily shape'. shape'. Mme de de Sevigne records without without any sign of surprise of bodily Sevigne records surprise any sign a similar remark made by by Mme de when the latter fainted similar remark de Coetquen a on the latter fainted on Coetquen when receiving the news of her little daughter's death: 'She is greatly distressed receiving the news of her little daughter's death: 'She is greatly distressed

and that she will never again have one so pretty.' and says says that she will never again have one so pretty.' think today, that every child already' Nobody thought, thought, as as we ordinarily Nobody ordinarily think today, that every child already contained a man's personality. Too many many of mine die in man's personality. of them died. 'All 'All mine contained a them died. die in infancy', wrote Montaigne. This indifference was a direct and inevitable infancy', wrote Montaigne. This indifference was a direct and inevitable consequence the demography demography of of the the period. It lasted until the nineof the consequence of period. It lasted until the nineteenth century century in of the country, in so far as it was was compatible compatible in the of in the depths so far as it the teenth depths country, with Christianity, which the immortal soul in every that which respected the soul in immortal child that with Christianity, respected every child had been baptized. baptized. It is recorded that the people of Basque country It is recorded that the people of the the Basque had been country retained for for aa very the custom burying children that had of burying time the custom of had retained children that very long long time died without baptism baptism in in the the house, house, on the the garden. the threshold, or in in the died without threshold, or garden. Here may perhaps rites, of of ancient of sacrificial see a a survival sacrificial offerings, survival of ancient rites, Here we may perhaps see offerings, or rather it it may be that the child that had died too too soon was buried had died soon in in life that the child that life was or rather buried may be as bury a domestic pet, a cat or aa dog. almost as we today a a or much cat domestic almost anywhere, today bury pet, anywhere, dog. inadequately involved in life, was such unimportant little so in an unimportant little thing. so involved such an He was life, thing, inadequately that nobody nobody had fears that he might return after death to pester the return after that he death to had any fears that any might pester the living. It is to note that in the frontispiece to the Tabula in to note that the the It is interesting to Tabula frontispiece interesting living. Cebetis placed the the litde little children children in in aa sort marginal zone, sort of of marginal M6rian has has placed Cebetis Merian zone, between the earth have emerged and the life into which and have the life into which from which which they earth from between the they emerged they have not yet entered, and from which they are separated by a portico they have not yet entered, and from which they are separated by a portico bearing the inscription Introitus ad vitam. 13 This This feeling of indifference indifference feeling of inscription Introitus ad vitam. bearing the towards a too too fragile childhood is not really very far removed from the is far the not childhood towards a really very fragile callousness or Chinese Chinese societies practised the the societies which practised the Roman or of the callousness of exposure of new-born children. can understand the gulf which now understand the can We which children. new-born of gulf exposure separates our concept of childhood from that which existed before the that which existed before the separates our concept of childhood demographic revolution or its preceding stages. There is nothing about is about its or revolution nothing preceding stages. demographic this which should in the the us: it it was only natural should surprise this callousness callousness which only natural in surprise us: there are community conditions of the time. On the hand, there are grounds other hand, the other time. the of conditions grounds community for in the earliness of the idea of childhood, childhood, seeing that conconthe idea for surprise seeing that surprise in the earliness of and ditions were still unfavourable to to it. it. Statistically objectively ditions were still so so unfavourable Statistically objectively later. True, speaking, this idea should have appeared much later. there was the the True, there speaking, this idea should have appeared litde creatures, taste for for the the picturesque, picturesque, pleasing pleasing aspects aspects of the the little the idea idea of taste creatures, the be derived from the the charms charms of to be the the entertainment entertainment to the and the of childhood childhood and as ingenuous antics of infancy: 'puerile nonsense', as Montaigne said, in of Montaigne said, in ingenuous antics infancy: 'puerile nonsense',

40 4O


which we we adults adults take take an an interest interest 'for 'for our our amusement, amusement, like like monkeys'. mo"nkeys'. 2' which But this idea could quite easily go hand in hand with indifference towards But this idea could quite easily go hand in hand with indifference towards 24


essential, definitive defmitive personality personality of of the the child: child: the the immortal immortal soul. soul. The The the essential, new taste taste for for the the portrait portrait indicated indicated that that children childrenwere were emerging emerging from from the the new

anonymity in which their slender chance of ofsurvival survivalhad had maintained maintainedthem. them. in fact fact quite quite remarkable remarkable that that at at that that period period of ofdemographic demographic wastage wastage It isis in It aa child of anyone should have felt a desire to record and keep the likeness of child likeness and the record to desire a felt have should keep anyone of ofaa child child that that was was dead. dead. The The portrait portrait of the the that would would go go on on living living or or of that dead child child in in particular particular proves proves that that that that child child was was no no longer longer generally generally dead considered as as an an inevitable inevitable loss. loss. This This solicitous solicitous attitude attitude did did not not exclude exclude considered or eliminate the opposite attitude, that of Montaigne, the neighbour at or eliminate the opposite attitude, that of Montaigne, the neighbour at the mother's mother's bedside, bedside, and and Molire: Moliere: down down to to the the eighteenth eighteenth century century they they the coexisted. It It was was only only in in the the eighteenth eighteenth century, century, with with the the beginning beginning of of coexisted. idea the that Malthusianism and and the the extension extension of of contraceptive contraceptive practices, practices, that the idea Malthusianism of necessary necessary wastage wastage would would disappear. disappear. of The appearance appearance of of the the portrait portrait of of the the dead dead child child in in the the sixteenth sixteenth century century The of feelings. in the feelings. accordingly marked a very important in the history moment a marked history important very accordingly This portrait portrait was was aa funeral funeral effigy effigy to to begin begin with. with. The child child was not not at at first first This the show portrayed alone, alone, but but on on his his parents' parents' tomb. tomb. Gaignifcres's Gaignieres's records records the portrayed 25 feet. child by his his mother's side and very tiny, tiny, or else at his parents' parents' feet. 25 at his or else and very mother's side child by These tombs all back to sixteenth century: the sixteenth to the 1560. date back 1530* 1560. 1503, 1530, all date These tombs century: 1503, that of note that us note let us Among the interesting tombs in Westminster Abbey, let in Westminster tombs the Abbey, interesting Among 26 the in 1586. died in of Winchester, I586. 26 The recumbent Winchester, who died Marchioness of the Marchioness her tomb front of her the front figure qf the Marchioness isis life-size; life-size; represented represented on the figure of the Marchioness the tiny on the Marquess, husband the her husband are her scale are smaller scale tiny on aa smaller kneeling, and the Marquess, kneeling, from 1615 a tomb dating tomb Westminster too, At Westminster 1615 child. At dead child. too, on a of aa dead dating from tomb of in a a pair are represented to of Shrewsbury and Countess Countess of the Earl Earl and pair to 1620, represented in Shrewsbury are 1620, the at their their feet, of with their kneeling at little daughter their little feet, with recumbent figures, of recumbent kneeling daughter figures, who children who the children that the here that her It should be noted noted here in prayer. folded in hands folded her hands prayer. It should be is the whole whole family surround themselves: the dead themselves: not always are not dead are the dead surround the family is always dead time when the time at the when were at it were gathered round the as as if if it that family, of that heads of the heads round family, gathered are still still alive alive the the who are children who they breathed their last. But the children But beside beside the they breathed their last. is always an an there is sculptor has portrayed those who are dead; there are already who those dead; has always already portrayed sculptor hold aa cross cross in in and indication them: they are smaller and they hold are them: smaller to distinguish indication to they they distinguish or else else aa skull skull their on John Coke's tomb at 1639) or at Hoikham, tomb Coke's Holkham, on their hands hands (as 1639) John (as four boys are four there are and (on Cope of Ayley's tomb at Hambledon, tomb at Hambledon, 1633, 1633, there boys and (on Cope of Ayley's are holding one and one three around the dead parents, and one boy and one girl are and dead the around three girls girl boy holding parents, girls aa skull). skull). an extremely is an there is interAt des Augustins Musee des in the the Musee Toulouse in At Toulouse extremely interAugustins there 27 27 The volets Collection. are Du Mege Collection. The volets are esting triptych that comes from the the Du from comes that Mige esting triptych anonymity in which their slender chance


. 41 41

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

42 42


We would would draw draw attention attention to to one one detail detail here: here: in in the the foreground, foreground, at at Louis Louis

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


43 43

gathers together several children from the same family. This last is a gathers together several children from the same family. This last is a popular type of portrait. favoured by aa great many anonymous painters, of portrait, favoured by popular type great many anonymous painters, provincial art-galleries or in antique-shops. and often to be found found in to be in provincial and often art-galleries or in antique-shops. Henceforth every wanted portraits of its children, and portraits Henceforth wanted of its and portraits children, every family family portraits painted while they were still children. The custom originated in the while were still children. The custom they originated in the painted seventeenth and is with us. Photography took took over is still still with seventeenth century us. Photography over from from century and painting in the nineteenth century: the idea remained the same. in the nineteenth idea the die remained same. century: painting Before finishing with with the portraits, we must must mention mention the the pictures pictures of of Before finishing the portraits, children the plaques plaques placed placed in to record record the the making making children on ex-votos, in churches churches to ex-votos, the or prayer. There are some some in the museum ofpuy of a a prayer. There are in the of Puy Cathedral, or granting Cathedral, granting of and the Eighteenth Century Exhibition of 1958 Paris revealed revealed an an in Paris and the Exhibition of 1958 in Eighteenth Century astonishing portrait of a sick child which must also be an ex-voto. astonishing portrait of a sick child which must also be an ex-voto. Thus. although did not not greatly greatly change conditions did Thus, although demographic change demographic conditions between the the thirteenth centuries, and child and seventeenth and although seventeenth centuries, thirteenth and between although child mortality remained remained at very high high level, level, aa new sensibility granted thes6 at a a very sensibility granted these mortality fragile, threatened creatures a characteristic characteristic which world had had hitherto hitherto the world threatened creatures a which the fragile, failed to recognize recognize in them: as as if if it were only then that the common in them: it were that the failed to only then conscience discovered that the child's immortal. There too was was immortal. soul too There had discovered that the child's soul conscience had can be no no doubt the importance accorded to the child's personality to the accorded child's that the doubt that can be personality importance was linked the growing life and and manners. of Christianity manners. influence of linked with with the was Christianity on life growing influence This interest shown shown in in the the child child preceded preceded by by more than a century century the the than a This interest change in demographic conditions which can be roughly dated from dated can be from which conditions in roughly demographic change Jenner's great discovery. Correspondences such that of General de as that such as General de Jenner's great discovery. Correspondences 29 lll show Martange that certain families insisted at that time on having their time that their insisted at certain families that show having Martange children vaccinated; this this precaution against the a state of reveals a state of the smallpox children vaccinated; smallpox reveals precaution against mind which which must must have have favoured practices at at the the samej other hygienic favoured other mind same/ hygienic practices time. producing producing aa reduction the death-rate which was was counterbalanced counterbalanced death-rate which in the reduction in time, the of the birth-rate, birth-rate. v to an increasingly widespread control control to some an some extent y^ extent by increasingly widespread by

* * * the Middle Ages Another type of of child portraiture unknown to to the Ages is is the the child portraiture Another type

the end of the putto. the naked child. The putto putto made its the its appearance at appearance at the putto, the naked child.

fourteenth and obviously represented aa revival revival of the the Hellenistic Hellenistic fourteenth century century and obviously represented The theme of the the naked child was immediately immediately welcomed with naked child The theme of extraordinary enthusiasm. even in France, where Italian Italian art art was enenextraordinary enthusiasm, even in France, his Due countering a certain native resistance. The Duc de Berry, according to his resistance. a certain native Berry, according countering a room words inventories. had a 'children's room', in other a hung with other in a had 'children's room', hung inventories, tapestries decorated with putti. Van Marie MarIe wonders 'whether sometimes tapestries decorated with p uttL word "children" did not the scribes for the inventories did not use use the the word" children I t the scribes responsible responsible for the inventories

Eros. Eros.

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


â&#x20AC;˘ 45 45 .

putto's ornamental nudity to the child portrait. and this too was to take putto's ornamental nudity to the child portrait, and this too was to take pla.ce True. a few portraits of naked children in the the seventeenth seventeenth century. place in century. True, a few portraits of naked children are to be noted in the sixteenth century. are comparatively rare. are to be noted in the sixteenth century, but but they they are comparatively rare. One of the oldest is probably the child in Holbein's of the Meyer of the oldest is probably the child in Holbein's painting painting of the Meyer family who had died in infancy (1521). Them too, in one of had died in infancy (1521). Then too, in one of the in the halls halls in family Innsbruck Palace, there is a fresco in which Maria Theresa wanted Innsbruck Palace, there is a fresco in which Maria Theresa wanted to to gather a dead princess is all her her children: children: next next to to the the living, together all gather together living, a dead princess is portrayed draped state of nudity. in a a very very chastely portrayed in chastely draped state of nudity. 84 Philip II in a dedicatory In a picture In a Titian of of 1571 or 1575," 1571 or I575, picture by by Titian Philip II in a dedicatory gesture is shown holding out to Victory his son, the child child Ferdinand, son, the Ferdinand, who gesture is holding out to Victory his is putto, and is completely naked: he looks looks like like Titian's Titian's usual usual putto, and he he seems seems to to be be completely naked: he finding putti were at the situation situation extremely the putti often depicted were often finding the funny: the extremely funny: depicted at play. play. In In 1560 Veronese in in accordance with custom accordance with custom portrayed the CucinaCucina1560 Veronese portrayed the Fiacco the in front of the Fiacco family front of the Virgin and Child: Child: three three men, men, including family in Virgin and including the fathel', a one woman -- the the mother mother -- and and six six children. children. On the the far far right father, one right a woman is by the the picture: in half is almost almost cut cut in half by the edge of the she is is holding edge of picture: she holding aa naked naked child just as child in in her her arms arms just as the the Virgin is holding the a Child, a Virgin is holding the Holy Holy Child, resemblance the dress stressed by the fact fact that the woman is resemblance stressed that the is not not wearing the dress by the wearing of time. Pushed Pushed to one side side as as she she is, her time. to one she cannot cannot be the mother of her be the mother of of the the is, she 85 A midfamily: perhaps she youngest child. she is is the the wet-nurse wet-nurse of of the the youngest child. sli midfamily: perhaps sixteenth painting by the Dutchman P. P. }Ertsen sixteenth century a family: ^Ertsen shows shows a by the century painting family: the father, aa boy boy about about five, of four, and the mother sitting with a a girl the father, five, a girl of four, and the mother sitting with a 86 naked her lap. lap.86 in her naked child child in There have been other cases which more more extensive research to have been other cases which extensive research are sure sure to There are would bring to light, but but they were not numerous enough to create a not numerous to to light, create a would bring they were enough general taste. taste. general In the seventeenth seventeenth century, century, portrayals portrayals of of this this sort became more more sort became In the numerous and more typical: typical: witness witness the the portrait portrait at Helen at Munich of of Helen numerous and more Fourment carrying carrying her her naked naked son, is distinguished distinguished from from the the ordinary ordinary Fourment son, who is putto not only by the resemblance to his mother but also by a plumed to his mother but a also resemblance the not by plumed only by putto bonnet of of the the sort sort that that children children wore at at the the time. time. The youngest youngest of of bonnet Charles I's I's children children painted painted by by Van Dyck Dyck in in 1637 1637 is is shown next next to to his his Charles half covered covered by by the the linen linen on which which he he brothers and and sisters, sisters, naked, naked, and and half brothers has has been been laid. laid. 'When. in writes L. L. Hautecoeur, Hautecoeur. 'Le 'Le Brun portrays portrays the the banker banker in 1647: 'When, 1647,' writes and collector collector Jabach Jabach in in his his Rue Saint-Merri Saint-Merri house, house. he he shows us us this this and with his on powerful casually dressed, with his stockings pulled anyhow. man dressed, anyhow, stockings pulled powerful casually displaying his latest acquisition to to his his wife wife and son son ... â&#x20AC;˘.. his his other other children children displaying his latest acquisition the last-born, last-born, naked naked as as an an Infant Infant Jesus, Jesus. is is lying lying on aa cushion, cushion, are present: present: the are



and one one of ofhis his sisters sisters isis playing playing with withhim/ him.'87 The The litde littleJabach, Jabach. more more than than and the naked naked children children of of Holbein, Holbein. Veronese, Veronese, Titian, Titian, Van VanDyck and even even the Dyck and Rubens, has has exactly exacdy the the same same pose pose as as that that of ofthe the modern modern baby baby in in front front of of Rubens, 87

the studio studio photographer's photographer's camera. camera. Henceforth Henceforth the the nudity nudity of of the the little little the child was was to to be be aa convention convention of ofthe the genre, genre, and and all all the the little little children children who who child

had always always been been so so ceremoniously ceremoniously dressed dressed up up in in the the time time of ofLe Nain and and Le Nain had Philippe de de Champaigne Champaigne would would be be depicted depicted naked. naked. This This convention convention isis to to Philippe be found found both both in in the the work work of ofLargilliere, the painter painter of ofthe the upper upper middlemiddlethe be Largilliere, class, and in that of Mignard, the the court court painter: painter: the the Grand Grand Dauphin's Dauphin's class, and in that of Mignard, in the the painting by by Mignard Mignard in in the the Louvre, Louvre, isis lying lying naked naked youngest child, child, in painting youngest on aa cushion cushion by by his his mother, mother, just just like like the the litde littleJabach. Jabach. on

is completely completely naked, naked, as as in in Mignard's Mignard's portrait portrait of of the the 38 the Comte de de Toulouse, Toulouse,38 where where his his nudity nudity isis scarcely scarcely veiled veiled by by the loop loop of of Comte a ribbon ribbon which which has has come come undone undone for for the the occasion, occasion, or or in in Largillifcre's Largilliere's a 89 or else portrait of a child holding aa billhook; billhook ;39 he is is dressed dressed not not in in aa real real or else he portrait of a child holding at the the time time but but in in aa ntglige neglige costume similar similar to to the the clothes clothes generally generally worn at costume which fails fails to to cover cover his his nudity nudity and and indeed indeed often often reveals reveals it: it: witness witness the the which children's portraits portraits by by Belle Belle in in which which the the legs legs and feet feet are are bare, bare, or or children's shift. a but Mignard's Duc de Bourgogne, dressed in nothing but a flimsy shift. in nothing dressed de Due flimsy Bourgogne, Mignard's no need need to to follow further the the history history of this this theme, theme, which There follow any is no There is any further its conclusion conclusion by now had become conventional. found again at at its It can can be be found conventional. It become had now again by in albums and studio shop windows of yesterstudio photographers' and albums in the the family yestershop photographers' family - for for they the pose just for were day: babies baring their little for the bottoms little bottoms their babies they pose just baring day: - and little and little boys normally covered, swaddled or breeched or breeched swaddled boys covered, normally carefully carefully who were girls in nothing the occasion occasion in for the dressed for were dressed transparent pretty transparent nothing but aa pretty girls who shift. child whose likeness in a likeness was not preserved child not aa single was not There was shift. There preserved single a of the Renaissance: a nude directly inherited from the of the the putti from inherited nude study, putti study, directly taste (bourgeois collective taste remarkable in in the the collective of the the persistence remarkable example (bourgeois persistence example of ornamental. was as of a theme which was originally ornamental. which of a theme as lower-class) much as as much originally lower-class) on went on The rediscovered in fifteenth century, in the the fifteenth of antiquity, Eros of The Eros century, went antiquity, rediscovered and nineteenth and the nineteenth of as a model for the 'artistic of the serving 'artistic portraits' for the a model as portraits' serving twentieth centuries. twentieth centuries. Either the the child child Either


* * * to notice notice the failed to the have failed not have The will not the preceding of the reader of The reader pages will preceding pages the themes of themes of evolution in the importance of the seventeenth in the evolution of the of seventeenth century the of century importance of that children on childhood. that portraits of children on seventeenth century in the the seventeenth was in It was childhood. It portraits century in the the seventeenth was in It was seventeenth their and commonplace. numerous and became numerous own became their own commonplace. It older tended to plan much a much older genre, tended to century too that the family portrait, a the too that genre, plan family portrait, century


47' 47

itself around around the the child. child. This This concentration concentration on on die the child child isis particularly particularly striking in the Rubens family group in which the mother is holding the the is the mother in which in Rubens the holding family group striking 40 and by the the shoulder shoulder while while the the father father has has him him by by the the hand, hand,.a and in in the the child by child works of of Franz Franz Hals, Hals, Van VanDyck and Lebrun, Lebrun, whose whose children children kiss, kiss, cuddle cuddle works Dyck and and generally generally enliven enliven the the group group of ofserious serious adults adults with with their their games games or or their their and affection. The The baroque baroque painter painter depended depended on on them them to to give give his his group group affection. portrait the dynamism that it lacked. In In the the seventeenth seventeenth century century too, too, portrait the dynamism that it lacked. subject painting gave the child a place of honour, with countless countless with a of the child honour, place subject painting gave childhood scenes scenes of of aa conventional conventional character: character: the the reading reading lesson, lesson, in in childhood which the the theme theme of of the the Virgin's Virgin's lesson lesson survived survived in in lay lay form fonn from from the the which religious iconography of the the fourteenth fourteenth and and fifteenth fifteenth centuries, centuries, the the music music religious iconography of of boys boys and and girls girls reading, reading, drawing drawing and and playing. playing. One lesson, and and groups groups of lesson, could go go on on indefinitely indefinitely listing listing these these themes themes which which were were extremely extremely could common in in painting, painting, especially especially in in the the first first half half of of the the century, century, and and in in common the engraving later. Finally, as have seen, it was in the second half of the of half in second the it was as have we later. seen, Finally, engraving seventeenth century century that that nudity nudity became became an an essential essential convention convention in in child child seventeenth portraiture. doubt the discovery of childhood began in the thirteenth the thirteenth in of childhood the doubt No began discovery portraiture. fifteenth art in in the the fifteenth century, and its progress can be traced in the history of art century, and its progress can be traced in the history of its development became more and But the the evidence evidence of of its centuries. But sixteenth centuries. and sixteenth development became the sixteenth century and and plentiful and from the end of the sixteenth century end of from the and significant significant plentiful throughout the seventeenth. the seventeenth. throughout children's This in little little children's time in that time at that interest shown at the interest is confirmed confirmed by This is by the We have already noted, in chapter, habits in the the preceding have and 'jargon'. habits and noted, chapter, preceding already jargon*. how were given new names: bambins, pitchouns and fan/am. People names: were bambins, how they People andfanfans. pitchouns given they also picking up their and children's expressions their children's themselves by amused themselves also amused expressions up by picking nannies using their vocabulary, that their nannies is say, the vocabulary used by their used the is to to that their by vocabulary say, vocabulary, using the most when to them. It for literature, a rare rare thing It is is a literature, even of the when speaking thing for speaking to them. traces popular kind, to preserve traces children's Yet some such traces children's jargon. of traces of to kind, jargon. preserve popular will you further glory are Commedia: 'What further Divina Commedia: the Divina in the found in to be be found are to you glory will before you died before leave an aged flesh if had died had have if you than flesh than an leave if you have if you you aged you 1 in the the existed in stopped sayingpappo and dindi.'61 is The word existed bread. is bread. dindi.'* Pappo and Pappo stopped saying pappo in one one of the is to to be found in of Dante's time: French le papin. It time: Ie French language papln. It is language of Dante's of feeds the picture child who feeds little child Miracles 'the little of 'the that of de Notre-Dame, Miracles ae picture of Notre-Dame, that to Jesus in Our Lady's arms'. But is really confined to is the the word papin But arms'. in Our really papin Lady's Jesus of familiar the to childhood, or does it not rather belong to the familiar speech of everyday rather not it does everyday or speech belong childhood, other sixteenthsixteenthlike other life? de Notre-Dame, Miracles de Notre-Dame, like the Miracles as it it may, Be that that as life? Be may, the from childhood for taste for century texts, bears witness to a certain taste childhood painted from certain a to witness bears painted century texts, the seventeenth seventeenth before the are unusual life. are unusual before children's jargon to children's But references references to life. But jargon in abundance. abundance. found in be found to be are to century. In the seventeenth century they are century. In the seventeenth century they and Stella, Bouzonnet of prints To a collection by Bouzonnet and Stella, collection of a To take one example, take one prints by example, itself




42 this collection contains dated 1657 I657:0 a series series of of engravings engravings showing showing putti putt; thk collection contains a dated at play. play. There There is is nothing nothing original original about about the the drawings, drawings, but but the the captions, captions, at 1


written in in appalling appalling doggerel, doggerel, speak speak the jargon jargon of of infancy infancy and and also also written schoolboy slang, for the of infancy were still anything but clear at at of for the Emits were but clear still infancy anything schoolboy slang, putti playing playing with with hobby-horses hobby-horses is is entitled entitled the time. time. A plate plate showing showing putti the



'LeDada'. 'LeDada'.

Some putti putti are are playing playing at at dice. dice. Some One goes goes away, away, and and number number two two Consoles himself himself with with his his toutou. toutou. Consoles

The papin papin of of the the fourteenth fourteenth and and fifteenth fifteenth centuries centuries must must have have been been The of French bourgeois children, possibly dropped, at least from the speech of French the least from at children, bourgeois speech possibly dropped, because it it was was not not confined confined to to infancy. infancy. But But other other childish words had had childish words because appeared which are still in use today: toutou and dada. and toutou in use dada. are still which today: appeared Apart from from this this nursery nursery language, the putti putti also also use use school school slang slang or or the the language, the Apart slang of military academies. In the caption to a drawing of a sledge game a of to a In the academies. of drawing sledge game military caption slang the word word populo, populo, from Latin, is the same childish sense, is used. used. In In the same childish school Latin, from school the sense, Mme de would refer to Mme de Grignan's children as ce petit as refer to de children ce would de Sevigne petit Grignan's Sevigne peuple. One child shows exceptional skill is referred to as ce cadet, a as a skill is referred to ce shows who child cadet, exceptional peuple. term used in the academies academies where where young young gentlemen gentlemen at at the the beginning beginning of of in the term used the taught fencing, riding and war. and the the arts of war. arts of were taught seventeenth century the seventeenth fencing, riding century were we are told that children go and play tennis as Under and tennis as are told that children another picture, Under another play go picture, soon have campos: an academy expression, a military term, which a which an have soon as as they term, academy expression, military campos: they means to have be can be in everyday It was was widely used in leave'. It have leave'. means â&#x20AC;˘'to widely used everyday speech, speech, and can found Again, we are shown some children bathing children are de Sevigne. in Mme de found in bathing Sevigne. Again, and told that health of their camarades. of their camarades. are drinking to the the health the others others are that the are told and are drinking to This further than not date back further than did not date back or at at least least did was also also new or which was This term, term, which the was obviously of military origin (possibly it of was sixteenth century, late sixteenth the late obviously military origin (possibly it century, came mercenaries) and went or German-speaking Germans or the Germans from the came from German-speaking mercenaries) through be more or or less less it would always academies. Incidentally the academies. always be Incidentally it through the confined of the French middle class. It is is still still not class. It not middle of die the familiar familiar speech French to the confined to speech used the older word copain, lower-class speech, which prefers French lower-class in French used in copain, speech, which prefers the older from the medieval medieval compaing. from the compaing. But de Bergerac's In Cyrano the jargon of infancy. to the return to us return let us But let Cyrano de Bergerac's infancy. In jargon of kiss me, Le joue, Granger calls his his toutou: 'Come and kiss his son son his toutou: calls Le Pedant me, come Pidantjout, Granger in my toutou.' The word bonbon, which I suppose originated in nannies' nannies' I which toutou! bonbon, suppose originated my jargon, was admitted to everyday speech. And attempts were even made to admitted was attempts everyday speech. jargon, children to onomatopoeic renderings of the speech of children who had not the of to give speech give onomatopoeic renderings noises the yet learnt to talk. Thus Mme de Sevigne laboriously noted the noises made talk. learnt to de Svign laboriously yet de Grignan by to Mme de them to little daughter and her little Grignan who was daughter and reported reported them by her



49 49

48 then in Provence: 'She talks titota, tetita, y totata.'43 then in Provence: 'She talks most most amusingly: amusingly: titota, tetita, y totata/ Already, at the beginning of the century, Heroard, Louis XIII's doctor, the of XIII's at the Louis doctor, Already, beginning century, Heroard, diary his childish pronWlciation of had carefully carefully recorded recorded in in his had his diary his charge's charge's childish pronunciation of certain words: vela for voiti, voila, equivez for ecrivez, and so on. certain words: vela for equivez for dcrivez, and so on. When she she describes her little 'little darling', de describes her little daughter, her daughter, her 'little darling', Mme de Sevigne paints genre .pictures similar to those of Le Nain or Bosse, with with Le Nain or of similar to those Bosse, Sevigne paints genre pictures the pretty pretty affectation affectation oflate engravers and eighteenth and eighteenth the of late seventeenth-century seventeenth-century engravers daughter is dark-haired little little beauty. beauty. She century besides. 'Our is artists besides. She is is a a dark-haired Our daughter century artists very pretty pretty indeed. kisses, but she indeed. Here Here she she comes. comes. She She gives very gives me sticky sticky kisses, but she kisses me, recognizes me, me, she me, she never never screams.' she laughs at me, she screams/ 'She she recognizes 'She kisses me, she laughs at calls just plain Maman [instead of Bonne Maman].' 'I simply adore her. her. 'I adore calls me just simply plain Maman [instead of Bonne Maman].' is aa happy-go-lucky happy-go-lucky style now which which is is just just 1I have have had had her her hair hair cut: cut: it it is style made for for her. her. Her Her complexion, complexion, her her chest her little little body body are are admirable. admirable. and her chest and She and one she caresses, she slaps, she She does does a a hWldred different things: one different hundred and things: she caresses, she slaps, she makes the sign sign of the cross, begs pardon, pardon, she curtsy, she blows a curtsy, she blows she drops makes the of the she begs cross, she drops a aa kiss, kiss, she shrugs her her shoulders, shoulders, she strokes, she holds her her chin: she holds chin: she shrugs she dances, she strokes, dances, she 44 in aa word word she every particular. 1 her for hours on end.''' end/ her in in I watch for hours she is is pretty in watch every particular. pretty COWltless mothers and nannies had had already already felt the same way. But But not a not a felt the same way. Countless mothers and nannies single one had had admitted these feelings were worthy worthy of being expressed expressed of being that these admitted that single one feelings were correspond in an ambitious literary scenes childhood correspond of childhood in such These literary such an ambitious form. form. These scenes of of contemporary painting and engraving: each each reflected reflected to those those of to and engraving: genre painting contemporary genre the discovery of infancy, of the little child's body, habits and chatter. the discovery of infancy, of the little child's body, habits and chatter. *

III â&#x20AC;˘* III



Tr f


HE marked -- except marked indifference indifference shown IHE shown until until the the thirteenth thirteenth century century except

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




,51 ,5!

belongs to the world of appearance: he must the world of adults. adults. No doubt doubt it it is is just in belongs to just in appearance: he must be and school life prolongs the age of childhood; he still at and school be still at school, of life the but he school, childhood; but prolongs age will probably probably not not stay at school much longer but leave early in order to at to will school in much but leave order stay early longer he is is already wearing and whose life he mix with the men whose mix with the whose dress dress he and life he whose already wearing will be sharing in camp or court or commerce. But the two twins, will soon soon be sharing in camp or court or commerce. But the two twins, fondly holding each each other other by hand and the shoulder, shoulder, are are only the hand and the four fondly holding by the only four years nine months old: they are no longer dressed like adults but are nine months no dressed like but old: are adults are years they longer wearing a long robe, different from that worn by in that it opens a in different that worn that it from women wearing long robe, by opens is fastened fastened here with buttons, buttons, elsewhere with laces - it it in the front and is in the front and here with elsewhere with laces looks cassock. The same robe is to be found again in the like a a priest's same robe is to be found in looks like cassock. the priest's again of human life' life' by by Cebes. far removed as yet 'picture first age, not Cebes.1 The first 'picture of age, not far removed as yet from non-existence, non-existence, is naked; the the two two following are in swaddlingfrom is naked; following ages ages are in swaddlingclothes. The third, which must be about two years old and cannot yet old and cannot two must about clothes. The which be third, years yet stand by itself, is already wearing a robe, and can tell that it is is aa boy. and we a can tell that it stand by is robe, itself, boy. already wearing The fourth age, sitting astride its hobby-horse, is wearing the same long The fourth age, sitting astride its hobby-horse, is wearing the same long robe, buttoned down the middle in front cassock, as and opening buttoned the middle and like a a cassock, as front like robe, opening in with the the Habert Habert twins twins in the Philippe de Champaigne picture. This robe in the de This robe with Chatnpaigne picture. Philippe was by little boys throughout throughout the the seventeenth find it it seventeenth century. was worn by little boys century. We find again on the child Louis XIII, in countless portraits of French, English in child countless of on the Louis XIII, French, English portraits again and as late late as as the beginning of and as the beginning of the the eighteenth and Dutch Dutch children, children, and eighteenth - for century example, on the young de Bethisy painted by Belle about about on the for de Bethisy painted by Belle example, young century 22 In 1710. In this last picture the boy's robe is longer butroned down the is no last the robe the this buttoned ryio. boy's longer picture front, but it remains different from that of the girls and has no linen that of the it different from and has linen but remains front, girls accessories. accessories. The robe robe can be very very simple, like that child riding riding the the hobbythe child that of the can be The hobbysimple, like of life'. On the other hand it can be extremely horse in in the the 'picture of life'. the hand human other it can be horse extremely 'picture ornamental have aa train attached, like robe worn by by the like the the robe the young and have train attached, ornamental and young 33 Duc d'Aujou in the engraving by Arnoult. Arnoult. in the Due engraving by d'Anjou This robe in form of a cassock cassock was not not the the first of a first type of in the the form This robe type of clothing clothing of his his swaddling-band. swaddling-band. Let Let us us worn by by the the child he had had come out out of after he child after worn return to to Philippe Philippe de portrait of the Habert children. of the Habert children. de Champaigne's return Champaigne's portrait Fran~ois, is twenty-three twenty-three months months old, the youngest youngest child, old, and the child, who Francois, who is like isis eight months old, are both dressed exactly like their sister, that is say, their is to that dressed to say, both are months sister, old, exactly eight is like little women women: in in skirt, robe and apron. This is the dress the youngest This the of and dress robe the like little skirt, apron. youngest sixteenth century boys; it it had had become become customary in the the sixteenth to clothe clothe them them century to customary in boys; like like girls, who for part went on dressing like grown The women. their part for their like girls, grown dressing in the distinction between child still did not not exist exist in the case of women. adult still case of and adult child and distinction between dress which Erasmus gives us aa description description'4 of this this style which his his French French Erasmus style of dress gives us as which publisher in 1714 found easy to translate, as something still existed to still existed found in translate, 1714 something easy publisher a a are burdened in his day: day: 'They [children] are burdened with a vest, a pair of warm in his vest, pair 'They [children] :



stockings, a thick petticoat, and an outer garment which encumbers the stockings, a thick petticoat, and an outer garment which encumbers the shoulders the hips hips with with aa great great quantity quantity of of stuff pleats, and and the and they shoulders and and pleats, stuff and they are given to to understand this paraphernalia paraphernalia gives gives them them aa wonderful wonderful understand that that all all this are given air.' condemned this this fashion was new new in in his his time time and and fashion which air.' ~asmus \Erasmus condemned which was recom1ireiiCtei greater freedom for young bodies; his opinion carried recomBlSfidea greater freedom for young bodies; his opinion carried little the force of accepted usage, and it was the end of the force of little weight against weight against the accepted usage, and it was the end of the eighteenth century before children's dress became and looser and and before children's dress became lighter century eighteenth lighter and looser drawing by by Rubens Rubens65 shows us allowed greater freedom freedom of of movement. shows us allowed greater movement. A drawing aa little little boy's boy's outfit to that that described described by by Erasmus: the is still outfit which which is still similar similar to Erasmus: the open robe under under which which the can be walk the skirt skirt can seen. The The child child is is starting to be seen. starting to walk open robe and is being being held by braces braces hanging hanging behind behind him, him, which which were were known he is held by and he at the time time as In Heroard's diary, which allows us to as leading-strings. at the leading-strings. In Heroard's diary, which allows us to follow Louis XIII's XIII's childhood day by read in in the the entry for follow Louis childhood day day, we read by day, entry for June 28th, 1602 (Louis XIII was nine months old at the time): 'Leadingnine XIII months old at the was 28th, (Louis time): 'LeadingJune strings have been attached to his robe to teach him to walk.'66 The same strings have been attached to his robe to teach him to walk.' The same his sister wear aa robe resembling his: his: 'Madame Louis XIII did did not not like like his sister to to wear robe resembling Louis XIII his, and and he he sent her away out of jealousy.' arrived wearing aa robe robe just just like like his, of jealousy.' arrived wearing sent her out away As long as as boys wore this feminine costume, they were said to be fa this said to be A la wore feminine As long were costume, boys they bavette, or bib and tucker'. This This was was until the age of four or five. and tucker'. 'in a a bib of or five. or 'in until the four bavette, age Jean Rou, who was born in records in in his his memoirs that he was aa in 1638, was born he was memoirs that 1638, records Jean Rou, tl1at he was sent to Harcourt College accompanied precocious child and and that he was to child sent Harcourt precocious College accompanied by aa servant-girl: 'When II was was still still in bib and tucker, that that is to say, is to in a and tucker, a bib say, servant-girl: by before II had had donned the long long robe robe with a collar came before before the the donned the before collar that that came with a of breeches ... the only one accoutred in the manner I wearing ... I I of breeches I was was the in the manner one accoutred wearing only have just just described described [i.e. dressed like a girl], so that I like a new a I was was like a have dressed like so that [i.e. girl], phenomenon in that place, such had never never been been seen before.'?7 The The as had that place, such as seen before.' phenomenon in collar of the the robe robe was was aa man's man's collar. collar. Henceforth dictated rules of rules of collar of Henceforth custom custom dictated dress for children to their age: the bib and robe as by as worn children according to their and robe dress for the bib according by age: girls, then 'the long robe robe with with aa collar' collar' which which was was also as the the also known as then 'the long girls, jaquette or 'frock'. The regulations regulations of little school, parish school, or parish of of a a little school, or school, of jaquette or 'frock*. 1654 stated that on Sunday the children should be taken to church to to taken church stated on be to that the children should 1654 Sunday hear Mass after instruction, and and that the little little children after receiving that the children hear Mass receiving religious religious instruction, should not be be mixed up up with with the bigger ones, the short robes with the short robes with the the the bigger should not ones, 8 'The little in frocks shall be placed together.'8 long robes: in 'The little ones shall robes: ones frocks be long placed together.' ~- The diary diary of Louis XIII's XIII's childhood childhood which which Heroard Heroard kept kept every of Louis every day day shows how seriously children's dress was treated from that time on: that time it children's dress treated on: it was seriously the stages of the growth which transformed the child into made visible of the transformed the child visible the which into stages growth aa man. man. These These stages as it it were, rites which which had to to be be respected become, as were, rites stages had become, respected and which which Heroard carefully carefully recorded as matters importance. On of importance. matters of recorded as ruly 17th, leading-strings were were attached to the the Dauphin's attached to robe. He 1602, leading-strings iyth, 1602, fuly Dauphin's robe.



13 53

was to to wear wear them them for for over over two two years; years; at at the the age age of of three three years years two two was months, he was given 'the first robe without lea.ding-strings'. The child was he The child 'the first without robe months, given leading-strings'. was delighted, delighted, and and told told the the Captain Captain of of the the Guard: Guard: "Tan "Tan [note [note the the was imitation of of childhood childhood speech], speech], II haven't haven't any any leading-strings, leading-strings, II am going going imitation to walk walk by by myself/ myselC For For his his fourth fourth birthday birthday he he wore wore aa pair pair of of breeches breeches to his robe, robe, and and aa year year later, later, on on August August 7th, 1606, 1606, his his 'child's 'child's bonnet' bonnet' under his under was taken taken away away to to be be replaced replaced by by aa man's man's hat. hat. This This too too was was aa red-letter red-letter was day: 'Now that tha.t your your bonnet bonnet has has been been taken taken away, away, you you have have stopped stopped day: being a child, you have begun to become a man.' But six: days later, the a man.' But six a have to become being child, you days later, the begun him to put his bonnet on again. Queen ordered ordered his on him to bonnet Queen again. put January 8th, 8th, 1607: 'He asked asked when he he would would be be allowed allowed to to wear wear 1607: *He January breeches [instead of the robe]. de Montglat told him that it would him that it would de told breeches of the Mme Montglat [instead robe]. be when when he he was was eight.' eight.' be On June June 6th, when he he was was seven seven years years eight eight months months old, old, Heroard Heroard 6th, 1608, 1608, when recorded with with aa certain certain solemnity: solemnity: 'Today 'Today he he was was dressed in aa doublet doublet dressed in recorded of childhood childhood [i.e. the robe] and and brelx:hes, abandoned abandoned the the clothing clothing of the and brefeches, [i.e. robe] and took cloak were days, however, when he was made he took cloak and sword. There There were and sword.' days, however, to put on the robe robe again, again, just just as he had had been been made to to put put on the the bonnet bonnet as he on the to put this: in doublet and breeches 'he is again, but he hated 'he is very happy and and in breeches he doublet but hated this: very happy and again, joyful, and does not want to put on his robe.' It can be seen that fashion be seen that fashion It can on his robe.' and does not want to put joyful, in clothing is not just a frivolous matter. Here the connection between between connection Here the a matter. in frivolous is not clothing just dress is obvious. for is obvious. it stands stands for of what and the what it dress and the understanding understanding of



In who boarded boarded by robe over a robe over the week wore a In the the schools, the pupils schools, the by the pupils their breeches. Cordier's written at the end of the sixteenth of the end sixteenth at the written their breeches. Cordier's dialogues, dialogues, century, describe the awakening of a boarder: 'After waking up, II got got century, describe the awakening of a boarder: 'After waking up, my doublet out I took a stool, sat on a took my and sagathy, doublet and on my of bed, out of stool, I bed, II put my sagathy, II sat put on breeches fastened my took my both on, and pulled and stockings breeches and shoes, II fastened on, II took my my shoes, pulled both stockings and breeches doublet with laces, I tied my stockings with garters with tied I with doublet to my breeches to laces, garters above my stockings my I took the took my I combed my took my the knee, hair, I belt, I knee, II took my bonnet which II my hair, my belt, '* left the bedroom bedroom... I then arranged carefully, I put on my robe, and then I left the ..â&#x20AC;˘ '. I my robe, arranged carefully, put In of the seventeenth century: 'Imagine Francion Francion Paris at at the the beginning In Paris beginning of the seventeenth century: 'Imagine his of breeches out coming into the classroom with his coming out ofhis breeches his underpants with into the classroom underpants coming coming his arm, his on of his shoes, his robe all askew, and his portfolio under his all robe his arm, of his on top askew, shoes, portfolio top 10 to the nose trying to give a rotten apple to one and a on the nose to another.'lO a rap another/ and one to a to rotten rap apple give trying Fliche boardingthe La FlCche at the In century, the regulations at the eighteenth In the boardingeighteenth century, the regulations 'a boarder's robe' robe' include the pupil's outfit should include 'a boarder's school stated that should outfit the that stated school pupil's l11l which had to for two years. to last last for which had years. the girls, This to be be found among not to was not in dress dress was This di1ference difference in girls, who were among the their as they -dressed came out of their swaddlingsoon as as soon like little little women as dressed like swaddlingthey at if we look closely at pictures of seventeenth-century clothes. However, look if clothes. However, pictures closely seventeenth-century

54 54


children, that the feminine dress dress of of the the little boys as well as as as well the feminine see that shall see little boys children, we shall of the little little girls included a peculiar ornament which the women did not not a did included ornament the which of the peculiar girls wear: two broad ribbons fastened to the the robe robe behind behind each each shoulder shoulder and and fastened to broad ribbons wear: two hanging the back. These ribbons can be seen, for example, These on ribbons can the back. down be for seen, example, on hanging the Habert children on the the fourth fourth age in the from the children from the left, in the the Habert of the third of the third left, on age Tabula Cebetis (the child in a robe riding a hobby-horse), and on the Tabula Cebetis (the child in a robe riding a hobby-horse), and on the little ten-year-old girl on the early eighteenth-century ladder of the ages, little ten-year-old girl on the early eighteenth-century ladder of the ages, 'human misery or passions of of the the soul in all all its its ages.' The ribbons are or the the passions soul in 'human misery ages.' The ribbons are to be be found many child portraits, to Lancret and Boucher. in a a great child down to and Boucher. to found in Lancret portraits, great many They disappear at the end of the eighteenth century, at the time when end the at of the at the time They disappear eighteenth century, children's radically altered. one of the last portraits altered. Possibly was radically one dress was of the last children's dress Possibly portraits of child wearing wearing these ribbons down the the back back is that painted painted by these ribbons of a is that a child by Mme 12 It shows Gabrielle in 1788 and Victoire. Victoire. 12 for Mmes Adelaide Adelaide and Guiard in Gabrielle Guiard It shows 1788 for their Infante, who had had been dead some some thirty thirty years. years. Mme been dead their sister, sister, Mme Infante, Infante had had lived the age thirty-two, but but Mme Gabrielle Gabrielle Guiard of thirty-two, lived to Infante to the Guiard age of none the less portrayed portrayed her a child child with with her her nanny nanny -- the her as as a to the less desire to none the desire preserve the memory of a of thirty by showing her in her a of woman the of in her her memory thirty by showing preserve childhood reveals aa very very novel novel feeling feeling --and and this child is this child is wearing the childhood reveals wearing the ribbons down the the back back which were still about 1730, but which were still customary about ribbons 1730, but customary of fashion by the time the picture was painted. which had had gone out out of fashion the which the was time gone by picture painted. Thus in the and the eighteenth century these the seventeenth Thus in seventeenth century the early century and early eighteenth century these ribbons down the back had become sartorial indications of of childhood, had become the back sartorial indications ribbons childhood, for boys as as girls. Modem writers have not failed to be intrigued Modern as well well as writers for boys have be not failed to girls. intrigued by them. They have been mistaken for 'leading-strings' (braces for little have been mistaken for them. by They 'leading-strings' (braces for little 18 In the little children wloJ.o were were still their feet).13 in on still unsteady on children who their in the little museum In unsteady feet). Westminster Abbey, there there are a few mortuary effigies in which are a few mortuary in wax which Westminster Abbey, effigies represented the the dead dead person person and which were laid on top of of the the coffm and which were laid coffin on top represented during the funeral ceremony, a medieval practice which was continued the funeral a medieval was continued which during ceremony, practice in England England until until about about 1740. these effigies represents the little in of these 1740. One of effigies represents the little Marquess of Normanby, died at the age of three: he was dressed of who died he was at the dressed in in three: of Normanby, Marquess age aa yellow yellow silk under aa velvet velvet robe robe (the usual costume for little silk skirt skirt under little usual costume for (the children), he is of childhood. is wearing the flat ribbons ribbons of childhood. The catalogue children), and he wearing the flat catalogue describes these as as leading-strings, leading-strings, but but in in fact were cords cords describes these fact leading-strings leading-strings were which bore bore no resemblance to these these ribbons; an engraving by Guerard resemblance to an Guerard ribbons; engraving by illustrating 'manhood' shows us aa child which could a boy boy or or a a girl, shows us child which could be be a illustrating girl, dressed in aa robe, robe, wearing wearing aa Fontange Fontange hair hair style, and seen from behind: dressed in seen and from behind: style, between the two ribbons ribbons hanging hanging from from the the shoulders, one can between the can clearly shoulders, one clearly see the to help cord used used to see the cord help the to walk, walk, the the leading-string. leading-string.114' the child child to This analysis has has enabled enabled us us to pick out of dress This analysis to pick customs of dress confmed out certain certain customs confined that were generally to adopted at the end of the sixteenth the to childhood childhood that at end of the sixteenth generally adopted



century and preserved until the middle of the eighteenth century. These century and preserved until the middle of the eighteenth century. These customs distinguishing children's clothing and adult clothing' between children's customs distinguishing between clothing and adult clothing' reveal a new desire to put children on one side, to separate desire to reveal a a sort them by sort put children on one side, to separate them by a of what is the origin of this childhood unifonn? is of unifonn. uniform. But But what the origin of this childhood uniform? the Middle Middle Ages, Ages, of the The child's robe is is simply the child's robe of the coat of of the simply the long long coat twelfth and thirteenth centuries, before the revolution which in the case twelfth and thirteenth centuries, before the revolution which in the case of banished it in favour favour of the short and visible visible breeches, breeches. the the of men banished it in of the coat and short coat of our present-day masculine costume. Until the fourteenth ancestors ancestors of our present-day masculine costume. Until the fourteenth century everybody wore wore the or tunic; tunic; the the men's men's robe robe was was not the robe robe or not the the century everybody same as the women's often it was a shorter tunic, or else it same as the women's often it was a shorter tunic, or else it opened opened the peasants peasants in thirteenth-century calendars calendars it down the the front. in the the thirteenth-century front. On the it stops at the knee, while on the great and important it reaches to the feet. stops at the knee, while on the great and important it reaches to the feet. There was in a long long period long fitted in fact which men wore There was fact a wore aa long fitted during which period during costume, as opposed to the traditional draped costume of the or Greeks or costume, as opposed to the traditional draped costume of the Greeks Romans: this this continued continued the Gallic or fashions of the Gallic or Oriental the fashions of the Oriental barbarians barbarians Romans: which had been been added added to to the the Roman fashions during the first centuries fashions during the first which had centuries of unifonnly adopted adopted in the East East as as in West, and in the in the era. It It was was uniformly the West, and was was of our our era. of the Turkish style of dress as well. the origin the origin of the Turkish style of dress as well. In the century men abandoned abandoned the robe for short coat, the robe for the In the short fourteenth century the fourteenth coat, which was sometimes even tight-fitting, to the despair of moralists and sometimes even which was tight-fitting, to the despair of moralists and preachers who denounced the indecency indecency of of these these fashions, denounced the fashions, describing describing preachers them as signs signs of the times. times. In respectable people people of the In fact fact respectable of the the immorality them as immorality of went on wearing wearing the robe, whether whether they they were respectable respectable on account the robe, account of of went on their age age (old men are depicted wearing wearing the the robe the beginning beginning of robe until until the are depicted of their (old the seventeenth account of their station in life of their station in or on account life (magistrates, seventeenth century) the century) or (magistrates, statesmen, have never never given given up up wearing the long coat statesmen, churchmen). churchmen). Some have wearing the long coat and wear it judges, professors least on occasion occasion (barristers, it tod.ay, at and still still wear (barristers, judges, professors today, at least and priests). The priests, priests, incidentally, very near near to abandoning it, to abandoning and priests). it, incidentally, came very for the short coat had and when in had become generally in the the short coat for when when the generally accepted, accepted, and seventeenth its origins had been been completely completely scandal attending the scandal seventeenth century attending its origins century the cassock became too closely connected with his forgotten, the priest's too became his connected cassock with the closely priest's forgotten, ecclesiastical to be be in taste. A priest priest would change change out of in good out of function to ecclesiastical function good taste. to call on his his cassock to go into society, or even to call his bishop, just as an or as an into his cassock to society, bishop, just go 15 to appear at court. court. n officer would change uniform to appear at his uniform of his out of officer would change out least children Children too kept the long children of good family. at least of good Children too coat, at family. A long coat, kept the de Notre-Dame miniature in in the the fifteenth-century fifteenth-century Miracles Miracles de Notre-Dame shows aa family miniature family the father father is a short gathered round the mother's bed; the is wearing a coat, short mother's the round bed; coat, wearing gathered l16 I children are are dressed in long dressed in doublet breeches, but but the three children robes. the three robes. doublet and and breeches, long has a In the same same series the child the Infant Infant Jesus Jesus has a robe robe split down In the series the child feeding feeding the split the the side. side.



But most of the children painted by the artists of the QuattroBut in in Italy Italy most of the children painted by the artists of the Quattrocento breeches of adults. In France and cento are are wearing the tight-fitting wearing the tight-fitting breeches of adults. In France and Germany it that this fashion failed to it seems that this seems fashion failed to find find favour favour and and that that children children Germany were in the long coat. At the beginning of the sixteenth century the were kept the in coat. the At of the sixteenth kept long beginning century the habit rule: children were always dressed in the robe. habit became became aa general rule: children were dressed in the robe. general always German of the period show four-year-old children wearing the German tapestries tapestries of the period show four-year-old children wearing the 17 Some French engravings by Jean Leclerc on long in front. front.17 Some French engravings by Jean Leclerc on robe, open open in long robe, the of children's games over their of the subject children's show the the children children wearing, subject games show wearing, over their breeches, the robe robe buttoned buttoned down down the the front front which which became breeches, the became the the uniform uniform 18 1S of their their age. of age. The Bat children flat ribbons ribbons down the the back back which which likewise likewise distinguished distinguished children from had the same origins as the robe. in the from adults adults in the seventeenth seventeenth century had the same as the robe. century origins and robes Cloaks otten had sleeves which one Cloaks and robes in in the the sixteenth sixteenth century often had sleeves which one century could into or leave empty at will. In Leclerc's picture of children into or could slip leave at will. In Leclerc's of children slip empty picture playing at chucks, of these these sleeves sleeves can can be be seen seen to to be be fastened chucks, some of fastened only playing at only by women, liked the effect stitches. People of fashion, especially by aa few stitches. People of fashion, especially women, liked the effect these hanging of these their arms into them, with sleeves: they hanging sleeves: they stopped stopped putting putting their arms into them, with the which the result that the result that the sleeves sleeves became became useless useless ornaments. ornaments. Like Like organs organs which to function, have wasted away, lost the hollow inside have ceased ceased to wasted lost the hollow function, they inside into into they away, which the looked like two broad ribbons the arm fitted, flattened out, looked like two fitted, and, broad and, Battened ribbons out, fastened behind the the shoulders: ribbons of seventeenth fastened behind shoulders: the the children's children's ribbons the seventeenth of the and eighteenth centuries centuries were were all all that that remained remained of of the the false sleeves of the and eighteenth false sleeves of the sixteenth century. century. These These atrophied atrophied sleeves sleeves were were also also to to be be found found in in other other sixteenth clothes clothes of of aa popular popuIar or or aa ceremonial ceremonial nature: nature: the the peasant peasant cloak cloak which which the the friars Ignorantin~ friars adopted as their religious costume at the beginning of as their costume the at adopted Ignorantinp religious beginning of the the eighteenth eighteenth century, century, the the first first purely purely military military uniforms uniforms such such as as those those of ofthe the musketeers, musketeers, the the livery livery of ofvalets, valets, and and finally finally the the page's page's uniform uniform -- the the ceremonial uniform uniform of of the the children children and and young young boys boys of of noble noble birth birth who who ceremonial were were placed placed with with families families for for whom they they performed performed certain certain domestic domestic services. The The pages pages of of the the age age of of Louis Louis XUI xm wore wore baggy baggy breeches breeches in in the the services. and false sixteenth-century style and false sleeves. This page's uniform tended to sleeves. This uniform tended to sixteenth-century style page's become the the ceremonial ceremonial costume costume which which was was donned donned as as aa token token of ofhonour honour become and and respect: respect: in in an an engraving engraving by by Lepautre Lepautre some some boys boys in in an an archaic archaic page's page's uniform are shown shown serving serving Mass. Mass.19I1 But But these these ceremonial ceremonial costumes costumes were were uniform are somewhat somewhat rare, rare, whereas whereas the the flat Bat ribbon ribbon was was to to be be found found on on the the shoulders shoulders of ofall all the the children, children, whether whether boys boys or or girls, girls, in in families families of ofquality, quality, whether whether aristocratic aristocratic or or middle-class. middle-class. Thus Thus in in order order to to distinguish distinguish the the child child who who had had hitherto hitherto dressed dressed just just like like an an adult, adult, features features of of old-fashioned old-fashioned costumes costumes which which the the grown-ups grown-ups had had abandoned, abandoned, sometimes sometimes aa long long time time before, before, were were reserved reserved for for his his sole sole


'57 '57


use. coat and the false sleeves, use. This This was was the the case case with with the the robe robe or or long long coat and the false sleeves, also little chilc:lren still also with the bonnet with the bonnet worn worn by little children still in in their their swaddlingby swaddlingclothes: the bonnet was still in the the thirteenth clothes: in thirteenth century the bonnet was still the the noI1l1i1 normal century masculine their hair in position masculine headwear, which the the men men used used to to keep headwear, which keep their hair in position at as can can be at work, be seen seen from from the the calendars calendars of ofNotre-Dame work, as Notre-Dame d'Amiens. etc. d'Amiens, etc.

The used to wear The first children s costume costume was was the the costume costume which which everybody first children's everybody used to wear about before, and which henceforth they were the only ones a century about a and which were the only ones to to wear. wear. century before, henceforth they

It It was obviously out of the the question to invent invent a a costume costume out out of of nothing obviously out of question to nothing it was felt necessary to separate them in a visible manner for yet it for them, was felt to them, yet necessary separate them in a visible manner by means of their dress. They were accordingly given a costume of their dress. were a which by They accordingly given costume ofwhich the the tradition tradition had been been maintained maintained in in certain certain classes, but which which nobody classes, but nobody wore any childhood costume, which more. The adoption of aa special any more. adoption of special childhood costume, which became generalized throughout the upper classes as the classes as from from the the end end of of the the generalized throughout upper sixteenth marked a very important date in the formation of sixteenth century, a date in the formation of the the century, very important idea idea of childhood. childhood. We have to to remember the the importance which dress dress had had in in the the France France importance which of a large capital sum. People spent a great deal of old. old. It It often often represented a sum. a represented large capital People spent great deal on clothes, died they went to to the the trouble trouble of of drawing clothes, and when somebody somebody died they went drawing up an inventory of his or her wardrobe, as we would today only when an his or her as would wardrobe, up inventory today only when fur coats were were involved. was very very expensive, and attempts were fur coats involved. Dress Dress was expensive, and attempts were made by by means means of sumptuary laws to put a curb on luxury clothes, laws to a curb on sumptuary put luxury clothes, as to to their their which ruined ruined some and and allowed allowed others others to to mislead mislead the the gullible gullible as which life. Even more than than in our present-day present-day societybirth and and station station in in life. birth in our society where it it is is still still true true of of the the women, women, whose whose dress dress is is aa visible visible and and necessary necessary where sign of of aa couple's couple's prosperity prosperity or or the the importance importance of of their their social social position positionsign dress pin-pointed pin-pointed the the place place of of the the wearer wearer in in aa complex complex and and undisputed undisputed dress hierarchy: aa man wore the the costume costume of ofhis rank, and and the the etiquette etiquette books books his rank, hierarchy: laid great great emphasis emphasis on on the the impropriety impropriety of of dressing dressing in in any any other other way way laid than that that befitting befitting one's one's age age or or birth. birth. Every Every social social nuance nuance had had its its correcorrethan sponding sign sign in in clothing. clothing. At the the end end of of the the sixteenth sixteenth century, century, custom custom sponding that childhood, childhood, henceforth henceforth recognized recognized as as aa separate separate entity, entity, dictated that dictated should also also have have its its special special costume. costume. should

* * * Wehave haveseen seen that thatchildhood childhooddress dress originated originated in inan an archaism archaism: the the survival survival We of the the long long coat. coat. This This archaizing archaizing tendency tendency continued. continued. Towards Towards the the end end of of of the eighteenth eighteenth century, century, in in the the time time of ofLouis Louis XVI, XVI, little little boys boys were were dressed dressed the :


Lancret and and after the fashion of of the the previous previous century. century.

Louis XIII XIII or or Renaissance Renaissance collars. collars. The The children children painted painted by by Lancret in Louis Boucher are are often often dressed dressed Boucher

after the fashion

58 58


But two two other other tendencies tendencies were were to to influence influence the the development development of of But children's dress dress from from the the seventeenth seventeenth century century on. on. The The first first emphasized emphasized children's .fhe effeminate appearance of ofthe the little little boy. We have have seen seen earlier earlier in in this this ie effeminate boy.



work that that the the boy boy 'in 'in bib bib and and tucker', tucker', before before the the age age of of'the 'the robe robe with with work collar', wore wore the the same same robe robe and and skirt skirt as as aa girl. girl. This This effeminization effeminization of of aa collar', the little little boy, boy, which whichbecame became noticeable noticeable about about the the middle middle of ofthe the sixteenth sixteenth the the century, was at first a novelty and barely hinted at. For instance the upper instance For hinted at. and a first at was upper barely novelty century, part of of the the boy's boy's costume costume retained retained the the characteristics characteristics of ofmasculine masculine dress; dress; part but soon soon the the little little boy was was given the the lace lace collar collar of of the the little little girl, girl, which which but boy


was exactly exactly the the same same as as that that worn worn by by the the ladies. ladies. It It became became impossible impossible was offour four or or five, five, to distinguish distinguish aa little little boy boy from from aa little little girl girl before before the the age age of to and this this costume costume became became firmly firmly established established for for something something like like two two and centuries. About About 1770 1770 boys boys stopped stopped wearing wearing the the robe robe with with the the collar collar centuries. after four four or or five, five, but but until until they they reached reached that that age age they they were were dressed dressed like like after case until until the the end end of of the the nineteenth nineteenth little girls, and and this this would would be be the the case little girls,

century: this effeminate habit habit century: this effeminate

would be be dropped dropped only only after after the the First First would

World War, War, and and its its abandonment abandonment can can be be compared compared to to that that of the the World woman's corset corset as as symptomatic symptomatic of of the the revolution revolution in in dress dress corresponding corresponding woman's

to the the general general change change in in manners. manners. to It is interesting to note that that the the attempt attempt to to distinguish distinguish children children was to note is interesting It were generally confined to the boys: the little were distinguished only little girls the the to only confined distinguished girls boys: generally as if if childhood century, as by the in the the eighteenth abandoned in false sleeves, the false century, sleeves, abandoned eighteenth by

evidence provided separated girls from did boys. it did than it life less less than adult life from adult provided boys. The evidence separated girls the history by dress bears out the the of furnished by indications furnished other indications the other out bears history dress by by manners: were the first children. They began going to children. the first specialized were began going manners: boys They specialized boys sixteenth century kte sixteenth school numbers as as and the the late as the back far back as far numbers century in large school in large started in a small way of girls early seventeenth century. The education of The education girls started in a small way early seventeenth century. and developed de Maintenon Maintenon and only in the time of Fenelon and de Mme and Mme Fenelon of time the in developed only were the girls slowly and tardily. Without a proper educational system, the educational a Without girls were and system, proper tardily. slowly had as the confused age just as the boys had formerly an early at an women at the women formerly boys with the confused with early age just visible form, ofgiving been form, and nobody the men, with the confused with been confused men, and giving visible thought of nobody thought exist in in to was by means of dress, to a distinction which was beginning to exist reality which a distinction to reality of means beginning dress, by the girls. for but which still remained futile for the futile for the boys girls. for the boys but which still remained he made was he made to to the Why, in order to the boy from the man, was from man, the to distinguish order in boy distinguish Why, did woman? the from look like the girl who was not distinguished from the woman? Why did not was who the Why like look distinguished girl in which which people in a society in that and surprising novel and so novel people that costume, costume, so surprising in a society at least least to the the present started age, last almost to day, at almost last an early at an life at day, adult life started adult present early age, in manners manners the of until of this in spite of the changes in in this century, of the beginning until the changes spite century, beginning Here we we are are touching and of the period of ofchildhood? childhood? Here and the the prolongation touching prolongation of the period of its its consciousness a on' unexplored subject of a society's consciousness of of as yet the as on the society's yet unexplored subject


behaviour in in relation relation to to age age and and sex: sex: so so far far only only behaviour has been been studied. studied. has


its class-consciousness class-consciousness


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

60 60


in the the seventeenth seventeenth-- shapeless, shapeless, anachronistic anachronistic rags, rags, or or cast-offs cast-off's from from an an in old-clothesdealer. dealer.Here Herewe can cansee seethe thespontaneous spontaneousexpression expressionof ofaacollective collective old-clothes

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


~I 6j

workman's made of coarse blue cloth, have become the 'blue workman's dungarees, dungarees, made of coarse blue cloth, have become the 'blue jeans' which young people proudly wear as the visible sign of their jeans' which young people proudly wear as the visible sign of their adolescence. adolescence.

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




HANKS to to the the diary diary kept kept by by the the doctor doctor Heroard, Heroard, we can can imagine imagine was like at the beginning of the seventeenth what a child's life what a child's life was like at the beginning of the seventeenth century, what games he played, and to what stages of his physical THANKS century, what games he played, and to what stages of his physical and mental mental development development each each of of his his games games corresponded. corresponded. Although Although the the and was aa Dauphin Dauphin of of France, France, the future Louis Louis XIII, XIII, his his case case child concerned concerned was the future child remains typical typical for for all all that, that, for for at at Henri Henri IV's IV's court court the the royal royal children, remains children, legitimate or illegitimate, were treated in the same way as all aristocratic in the treated same as were aristocratic or illegitimate, way all legitimate was as yet no no real real difference difference between between the the King's King's children, and and there there was as yet children, palaces and the gentry's castles. Apart from the fact that he never went to from the castles. Apart that he to fact never went and the gentry's palaces college, as some of the aristocracy already did, young Louis XIII was was the Louis XIII of as some did, aristocracy already young college, Thus he brought up like like his he was was given and riding his companions. given fencing companions. Thus fencing and riding brought up lessons by by the the same who, in his academy, the in his instructor who, same instructor lessons academy, taught young taught the young de Pluvinel. The illustrations of de aristocracy the arts of war: aristocracy the arts of war: M. de Pluvinel. The illustrations of M. de Pluvinel's manual of horsemanship, the engravings of the fine fine engravings de Pas, of horsemanship, of C. C. de Pluvinel's manual Pas, . show the riding-school. of horseback at at the In the the second half of on horseback second half XIII on Louis XIII show Louis riding-school. In the seventeenth century the monarchical cult separated the little prince the at monarchical cult the little the seventeenth century prince at separated of noble an earlier age in infancy in fact from other mortals, even fact from in other even of noble in earlier an mortals, infancy age birth. birth. Louis XIII was born on on September His doctor, was born Louis XIII Heroard, doctor, Heroard, 2yth, 1601. His September 27th, 1 has us aa detailed his activities. of all all his writes that that at at record of activities. 1 Heroard Heroard writes detailed record has left left us seventeen the violin and sings at the same time'. Before and the time'. Before the violin at same he 'plays months he seventeen months 'plays sings that, to very a the usual little children, with the usual toys he had had played children, a that, he toys given given to very little played with hobby-horse, a windmill and a whippmg-top. But as early as seventeen as as seventeen and a But a windmill early whipping-top. hobby-horse, months violin had had not not yet his hands. into his hands. The violin was put a violin violin was months a yet won put into the fiddle fiddle played recognition as a noble instrument: it for it was still still the for the the a instrument: noble as played recognition dancing weddings and fetes. At the find him playing the same age at village age we find playing dancing at village weddings and fttes. mall: his shot shot and injured muffed his de 'The Dauphin, mall: 'The mall, muffed injured M. de Dauphin, playing playing mall, start playing cricket Longueville.' This is just as if an English boy were to to start playing cricket Longueville.' This is just as if an English boy or months. At twenty-two are of seventeen seventeen months. the age or golf at the twenty-two months we are age of golf at all sorts told sorts of of rhythms' with all to beat his tambourin beat his tambourin with told that he 'continues 'continues to that he rhythms':: every company had its He started drumbeat. its own drum and its its own drumbeat. had started to to every company the talk: are making him pronounce the syllables separately, before are before talk: 'They syllables separately, pronounce making 'They 'the Queen, saying in the words.' words/ The same month, month, August 1603, 'the Queen, going August 1603, going in saying the



63 63

had him him brought brought along along and and placed placed at at the the end end of of her her table. table. and paintings paintings of of the the sixteenth sixteenth and and seventeenth seventeenth centuries centuries often often show show and a child child at at table, table, perched perched in in aa little litde high-chair high-chair out out of of which which he he cannot cannot fall; fall; a it must must have have been been in in one one of of these these chairs chairs that that he he sat sat at at his his mother's mother's table, table. it to dinner, dinner, had to Prints Prints

like other children in other families. This This little litde fellow fellow is is barely barely two two years years find him him being being 'taken 'taken to to the the King's King's apartments apartments and and now we find dancing all sorts of dances to the music of a violin'. Again see to of all sorts of the music a dances violin*. see how we dancing Again early in life music and dancing were introduced into the education of the early in life music and dancing were introduced into the education of the little men of of this this period: period: this this explains explains the the frequency, frequency, in in the the families families of of little professionals, of what should call infant prodigies, such as the the such as of now call infant what we should prodigies, professionals, young Mozart; Mozart; such such cases cases would would become become rarer rarer and and at at the the same same time time seem seem young as familiarity familiarity with with music, music, even even in in its its elementary elementary or or more prodigious prodigious as more bastard forms, forms, grew grew less less common or or disappeared. disappeared. bastard The Dauphin Dauphin began began talking. talking. Heroard Heroard keeps keeps aa phonetic phonetic record record of his of his The chatter: 'Tell 'Tell Papa* Papa' for for 'I tell Papa', Papa'. equivez Iquivez for ecrivez. He was was for tcrivez. *I shall shall tell chatter: often given given aa whipping: whipping: 'Naughty, 'Naughty, whipped whipped (for refusing to to eat): often (for refusing eat): calming down, he asked for his dinner and dined.' 'Went off to his room, to his and dined/ his dinner off he asked for room, down, calming whipped.' Although Although he he screaming the top top of ofhis voice, and and was his voice, was soundly at the soundly whipped/ screaming at now mingled mingled with with adults, adults, playing, dancing and singing with them, he he and with them, singing playing, dancing still children's games. was two years months old seven months old when still played at years seven played at children's games. He was Sully presented him with 'a full of dolls'. full of 'a litde little carriage dolls'. him with carriage Sully presented He to see 'The soldiers are always see soldiers: 'The soldiers are of soldiers: the company liked the He liked glad to always glad company of him.' with a little 'He conducted little conducted cannon/ 'He little military a litde cannon.' with 'He played him/ 'He military played high collar actions a high first collar on him, the first de Marsan Marsan put his soldiers. soldiers. M. de with his actions with him, the put a he 'He played at military engageat he was was delighted.' and he ever worn, he had had ever worn, and military engageplayed delighted/ ments with his he played tennis as as well as that he well as too that lords/ We know too litde lords.' his little ments with played tennis mallhe still a cradle. On July 19th, 1604, when he was two a in cradle. still slept in he mall - yet ipth, 1604, July slept yet years nine months old, 'he his bed bed being with great saw his 'he saw being made with great joy, joy, was years nine months old, put to bed for the first He already knew the rudiments of the his rudiments of his time/ first time.' the for to bed already put 'teligion: at at he was shown the the host host and told told that that it it at the the Elevation, at Mass, Elevation, Mass, "religion: this was note in passing this expression, Ie Dieu. in le bon ban note Dieu. We might le bon bon Dieu. Dieu, was Ie passing expression, might which employed nowadays by priests and churchgoers, but is constantly which is churchgoers, but constantly employed nowadays by priests literature the ancien of literature of the ancien regime. in religious found in be found can be trace can no trace ofwhich which no religious regime. die seventeenth seventeenth century, We can the beginning at the that at here that see here can see century, when beginning of the it belonged to the language not very the was probably not of old, it the expression belonged to the very old, language of expression was probably to children. It contaminated children and nannies when talking to children. It contaminated nannies and of parents or of children or talking parents the eff'eminization the nineteenth century. effeminization the nineteenth in the adults in and, with the ofadults the language century, and, language of le bon bon Dieu Dieu little children. children. of the God of Jacob became Ie of little the of religion. Jacob religion, The out with those those could now talk, talk, and occasionally The Dauphin occasionally came out Dauphin could 'The King showed him the cheeky remarks which amuse grown-ups: him the amuse which remarks King grown-ups: cheeky like other children in other families.

old, yet yet old,




birch and asked him: him: "Who is is that that for?" answered angrily: "For and asked birch for?" He answered angrily: "For you." The King could not help laughing'. The could not help laughing'. King you." was three three years years old on Christmas he took took part part in in old when, He was Christmas Eve Eve 1604, when, on 1604, he the traditional festivities. supper he log being lit, Before supper he saw the Yule Yule log the traditional festivities. 'Before saw the lit, being he danced the coming coming of given some and and sang at the of Christmas.' some danced and Christmas/ He was was given and he sang at presents: a ball, and also some 'little baubles from Italy', including a presents: a ball, and also some little baubles from Italy', including a clockwork toys intended for the the Queen as for him. as much for intended as for him. clockwork pigeon, Queen as pigeon, toys During the winter evenings, when he was kept indoors, 'he amused he winter was the 'he amused indoors, During evenings, kept himself by by cutting paper with with scissors.' and dancing still occupied scissors/ Music Music and himself cutting paper occupied dancing still an important place place in in his his life. Heroard writes writes with with aa hint hint of an important life. Heroard of admiration: admiration: 'The Dauphin can can dance dances'. He remembered the ballets ballets which which dance all all the the dances*. 'The Dauphin remembered the he had in which which he he would would soon soon be taking part, part, if if indeed indeed he had and in he had seen seen and be taking he had not already begun doing so: 'Remembering a ballet performed a year a not already so: ballet a begun doing year Remembering performed ago he was was two two years old], he asked: "Why was the little [when he ago [when years old], he asked: "Why was the little Ram bare?'" played Cupid naked.' 'He danced the the galliard, the stark naked.' bare?"' 'He 'He played 'He danced Cupid stark galliard, the bourn~e.' He enjoyed playing Boileau's mandora and saraband, the old the old and bourree/ Boileau's mandora saraband, enjoyed playing singing tlle song Robin. He would would be four years years old old in in aa few be four of Robin. few days' days' song of singing die at least the names the different different strings of the lute. lute. time, he knew at and he least the names of of the of the time, and strings 'He played with with the the tips tips of his fingers his lips, saying: .. Here is the of his on his 'He played fingers on lips, saying: "Here is the acquaintance with with the the lute did not not prevent prevent him from bass.'" But his bass." his early lute did early acquaintance listening to the less aristocratic fiddles played at the wedding of one the to the of the the less fiddles at one of aristocratic listening played wedding of King's chefs or to a bagpipe player, one of the masons were to a one of were chefs or the masons who King's bagpipe player, 'repairing his fireplace': to him him for quite aa long long the 'Dauplun for quite listened to fireplace': the 'repairing his 'Dauphin listened *






bme. time'.

This was was the the time time when he he was was being being taught to read. read. At the age of three the age of three This taught to years five months 'he amused himself with a of characters from the the a book of characters 'he himself with five months years Bible: his his nanny nanny named the the letters letters and and he he "was was all/ Next he he knew them all.' Bible: taught Pibrac's Pibrac's quatrains, quatrains, aa collection collection of rules of of etiquette and morality of rules taught etiquette and morality which children children had to to recite recite from memory. memory. At the the age four, he was was which age of four, by aa clerk palace chapel called Dumont. given writing writing lessons lessons by clerk of of the the palace chapel called given 'He had his his writing-desk taken into into the write under to write under the dining-room 'He had writing-desk taken dining-room to Dumont's guidance, and said: "I putting my example and down "I said: am Dumont's my example and guidance, putting going to school.'" (The example was the handwriting he model which was the he to school/" handwriting (The example going had to copy.) copy.) 'He wrote wrote his example, following the impression impression made on his example, had to following the the paper, paper, and taking pleasure pleasure in in it/ it.' He started started the and followed it very well, followed it very well, taking learning Latin words. he was six a professional scribe took the scribe took When a words. he was six the Latin learning professional of the chapel clerk: 'He wrote his example. Beaugrand, the King's place the his of clerk: wrote the example. Beaugrand, place King's chapel scribe, to write/ write.' scribe, showed him how to He still played with some little little toys toys and aa dolls: 'He still played with He played played with dolls: German cabinet miniatures by Niimberg craftsmen]. cabinet [wooden miniatures made by Niirnberg craftsmen]. [wooden c



by Philippe Philippe de de Champaigne Champalgne by

GAMES, AND PASTIMES 65 HISTORY OF GAMES 65 de Lomenie Lomenie gave gave him him aa little little nobleman nobleman splendidly splendidly dressed dressed in in aa scented scented M. de collar ... He combed combed his his hair hair and and said: said: "I "I am going going to to marry marry him him to to collar... Madame's [his [his sister's] sister's] doll/" doll.'" He still still enjoyed enjoyed paper-cutting. paper-cutting. He had had Madame's stories read read to to him him too too: 'His nanny told told him him the the stories stories of of Renard Renard the the Fox, Fox, His nanny stories Dives and and Lazarus.' Lazarus.' 'In 'In bed, bed, he he was was being being told told the the stories stories of of Melusina. Melusina. Dives I told told him him that that they they were were fairy-stories fairy-stories and and not not true true stories/ stories.' (A (A remark remark I which already already foreshadows foreshadows modern modem educational educational practice.) practice.) Children Children were were which not the the only only ones ones to to listen listen to to these these stories: stories: they they were were also also told told to to adults adults at at not evening gatherings. gatherings. evening At the the same same time time as as he he played played with with dolls, dolls, this this child child of of four four or or five five At practised archery, played cards, chess (at six), and adult games such as and adult such as chess (at six), practised archery, played cards, games 'racket-ball', prisoners' prisoners' base base and and countless countless parlour parlour games. games. At At three, three, he he 'racket-ball', was already already playing playing at at crambo, crambo, aa game game common to to both both children children and and was young people. people. With the the pages pages of of the the King's King's Chamber, Chamber, who were were older older young than he he was, was, he he played played at at 'Do you like company?' 'He was the the master master like company?' 'He was 'Do you than of the game] and then, and he did not what [the leader and and he did not know what when of leader the now then, game] [the he had had to to say, say, he he asked; asked; he he played played these these games, games, such such as the game game of lighting of lighting as the he aa candle candle blindfold, blindfold, as as if he were fifteen years he was not not old/ when When he if he were fifteen years old.' playing with pages, he was playing with soldiers: 'He played various various soldiers: he was with with played playing pages, playing games, such as want your place", fiddle-de-dee, and as "I "I want fiddle-de-dee, hand-clapping, your place", hand-clapping, and games, such hide-and-seek, with some soldiers.' At the age of six he played trades trades and and of six he soldiers/ At the with hide-and-seek, played age and stories charades, parlour games games which which consisted stories of guessing trades and consisted of charades, parlour guessing trades that were were represented represented in in pantomime. These were also games played by also These were that games played by pantomime. adolescents and adults. adults. adolescents and To an Dauphin mixed with and took adults and took with adults the Dauphin an ever ever increasing extent, the increasing extent, part in their amusements. At the age of five 'he was taken to the meadow to the the of 'he was taken five age part in their amusements. behind the kennels kennels [at Fontainebleau] to the King's to see Bretons from the see Bretons behind the King's [at Fontainebleau] workshops wrestling.' 'Taken to join tlle King in the ballroom to the ballroom to see see the the to the in 'Taken join King workshops wrestling/ dogs fighting the bears and the bull.' 'He went to the covered tennistennisto the covered and the bull/ the bears dogs fighting court in the the court court ballets. ballets. all he he took took part race/ And above all a badger to see see a court to part in badger race.' At to the the King's a mask, half 'he 'he put and aa half of four four and At the the age mask, went to King's put on a age of apartments to dance a ballet, and then refused to take off his mask, not apartments to dance a ballet, and then refused to take off his mask, not wishing as a a 'Picardy dressed up often dressed be recognized.' to be 'Picardy chamberup as recognized/ He often wishing to 'After maid', or a girl (he was still boy's tunic). a still wearing a or a a shepherdess tunic). 'After maid', a boy's wearing girl (he shepherdess supper he watched some dancing to of a aa a certain certain Laforest', to the the songs some watched he Laforest', dancing songs supper soldier-choreographer farces. At the the the author author of some farces. also the was also soldier-choreographer who was a farce farce in in which age enthusiasm a without great watched without 'he watched of five five 'he great enthusiasm age of the the unfaithful Laforest the comic husband, the Baron de Montglat the unfaithful the comic Laforest played husband, Montglat played wife, her/ At the the age six 'he 'he danced seduced her.' the lover lover who seduced Indret the and Indret wife, and age of six of his in a as a man, in a doublet and breeches on top aa ballet, dressed doublet breeches as a dressed man, ballet, smartly top ofhis smartly *


c C

facing above: THE DUC DUG D'ANJOU D'ANJOU AS A CHILD facing above: . below: Callot below: THE THIEVES by by Callot

by Arnoult by Amoult

66 66


tunic.' â&#x20AC;˘'He He watched watched the of the magicians devised by the the the devils devised by tunic.' the ballet ballet of devils and and magicians Piedmontese Jean-Baptiste [another soldier-choreographer] danced by danced Picdmontesc Jean-Baptiste by [another soldier-choreographer] de Marsan's Marsan's command.' only ballets soldiers under M. de soldiers under ballets command/ He did did not not dance dance only and court dances, but also took part part in what we should and court call folkfolkalso took in what should now call dances, but dances. was five, he took took part part in in one which reminds reminds me of a of a dances. When he he was one which five, he Tyrolean dance which I once saw some lads in leather breeches perform dance in which I once saw some lads breeches leather Tyrolean perform in cafe: 'The 'The King's King's pages pages danced are in an "There are an Innsbruck Innsbruck cafe: danced the the branIe branle "There cabbages on Midsummer Day" and kicked each other in the bottom; he he on and kicked each in the other Midsummer bottom; cabbages Day" danced it and and did they did!' occasion he he was a did as as they as a danced it was dressed dressed as another occasion did!' On another girl for a play: 'When the farce was over, he took his robe off and for and a took robe off the was he his farce over, girl play: danced on Midsummer Day", kicking his comdanced "There "There are are cabbages cabbages on Midsummer Day", kicking his companions in the bottom. He liked this dance.' in the liked this dance.' bottom. panions Finally he joined the adults in the traditional festivities of of Christmas, he the adults in the traditional festivities Christmas, Finally joined Twelfth Night and it he lit the Midsummer and Midsummer lit the Midsummer Twelfth Night it was he who Midsummer Day; was Day; Day bonfire bonfire in the courtyard of the of Saint-Germain. the in the Saint-Germain. On the the Chateau Chateau of Day courtyard of eve Twelfth Night: Night: 'He the King for the first Everyone eve of of Twelfth was the for the first time. time. 'He was Everyone King shouted: King drinks! drinks!"" God's share is he who eats eats it pay to pay it has has to is left: shouted: "The King left: he God's share aa forfeit.' 'Taken to to the apartments, from which he watched the the forfeit.' 'Taken he watched the Queen's from which Queen's apartments, maypole being set up.' set maypole being up.' Things changed when he he was nearly seven: he abandoned abandoned his his childhood childhood was nearly seven: he changed when Things clothes to men; men; he he left left clothes and and henceforth henceforth his his education entrusted to education was was entrusted of ,'Mamonglas', Mamonglas', Mme de and came under the jurisdiction the de Montglas, and under came jurisdiction of Montglas, de Soubise. was made to persuade him to give up to him M. de to Soubise. An attempt was now give up attempt persuade the and in in particular particular to to stop playing with dolls: 'You of infancy, with dolls: the games games of infancy, and stop playing must stop' playing with these little toys [the German toys] and and playing must playing stop* playing with these little toys [the German toys] the wagoner: wagoner: you you are are aa big boy now, you are no longer a child.' a the child.' He are longer big boy now, you started learning the arts riding, shooting hunting. He played played games started and hunting. arts of of riding, games learning the shooting and of chance: 'He took part part in rafRe and and won aa turquoise.' turquoise.' It indeed of chance: It seems seems indeed a raffle 'He took in a that this age mark.ed aa stage it was was the the age that this of seven seven marked of some some importance: age age of importance: it stage of usually given in the moralistic and pedagogic literature of the seventeenth the seventeenth in and literature the moralistic usually given pedagogic century for starting starting school work. s2 But we should should as the the age school or or starting century as starting work. age for had beware of its importance. For all that he had stopped all that of exaggerating beware its For stopped exaggerating importance. the Dauphin playing, have stopped playing, with his dolls, dolls, the Dauphin or should should have with his playing, or stopped playing, went on leading the same same life as before: before: he he was was still whipping still given a life as given a whipping leading the all. from to time, time, and pastimes scarcely changed at all. went more at He went time to and his from time his pastimes scarcely changed a and more more to to the theatre, and nearly every day: a sign of the theatre, and was was soon soon going going nearly every day: sign of the importance of comedy, farce and ballet in our ancestors' frequent the in our ancestors' of and farce ballet frequent comedy, importance indoor and open-air into the to indoor and the great entertainments. 'He 'He went into great gallery gallery to open-air entertainments. watch the the King King tilting at the ring.' 'He listened to some naughty stories to stories at the listened 'He tilting naughty ring.' by others.' 'Played with some little little Clavette and and others.' in his his apartments by La Clavette apartments with 'Played in


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noblemen at at heads heads or or tails, tails, like like the the King, King, with with three three dice/ dice.' 'Played 'Played at at noblemen hide-and-seek' with with aa lieutenant lieutenant of of the the Light Light Horse. Horse. 'He 'He went went to to pky play hide-and-seek' tennis and and then then went went to to the the great great gallery gallery to to watch watch them them tilting tilting at at the the tennis

ring.' 'Dressed up and danced the Pantaloon.' ring/ 'Dressed up and danced the Pantaloon/

He was was nine nine years years old old He

now: 'After 'After supper, supper, he he went went to to the the Queen's Queen's apartments, apartments, pkyed played blindblindnow: man's buff, buff, and and made made the the Queen, Queen, the the princesses princesses and and the the ladies ladies pky play it it man's too.' 'He 'He played played "I "I sit sit down'" down'" and and the the usual usual parlour parlour games. games. 'After 'After too/ supper the King's nanny told him some stories, and he enjoyed this.' At supper the King's nanny told him some stories, and he enjoyed this/ At thirteen we find find him him still still playing playing hide-and-seek. hide-and-seek. thirteen Rather more more dolls dolls and and German German toys toys before before seven, seven, and and more hunting, hWlting. Rather riding, fencing fencing and and possibly possibly pkygoing playgoing after after seven; seven; the the change change was was


almost imperceptible imperceptible in in that that long long succession succession of of pastimes pastimes which which the the child child almost copied from the adults or shared with them. The novelist-cum-historian novelist-cum-historian The them. the or shared with from adults copied

Sorel would would write write aa treatise treatise on on parlour parlour games games intended intended for for adults. adults. But at at Sorel the age age of of three three Louis Louis XIII XIII was was playing playing crambo, crambo, and and at at six, six, trades trades and the charades, all all games which which occupied occupied an an important important place place in in Sorel's Sorel's Maison Maison charades, games

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



The same was of musical musical or or theatrical theatrical entertainments: entertainments: when he was true true of The same was Louis XIII was dancing the galliard, the saraband and the old the old the was XIII was three, Louis three, galliard, the saraband dancing bourrt~e, and taking part in the court ballets. At five, he was watching he was At the court ballets. in and five, watching bounce, taking part the and played the violin and the farces, comedies. He sang, at seven, and at seven, comedies. farces, and sang, and played the violin a lute. at a wrestling-match, a at the spectators of the in the front row of the front lute. He was was in wrestling-match, a spectators a or a bearfight, or a display by a tightrope ring-tilting contest, a bullfight a or a or a tightrope display by bearfight, bullfight ring-tilting contest, the that were the walker. he took part in festivals that collective festivals the great in the walker. Finally great collective Finally he took part religious and seasonal feast-days: Christmas, May Day, Midsummer seasonal and Christmas, May Day, feast-days: religious there Day seventeenth century the early in the that in It seems, ... It therefore, that century there seems, therefore, early seventeenth Day ... was games children's is today between children's there is as there division as strict division was not not such such aa strict games today and by adults. YOWlg and the same games. old played and old those played and those games. pkyed the played by adults. Young




no longer this polyvalency At of the seventeenth century this the beginning At the longer poly valency no beginning of the seventeenth century their games. with their familiar with applied to the very small children. We are are familiar We for, children. small to the games, for. very applied their made ever since the fifteenth century when the putti had made their appearance the the ever since fifteenth century appearance putti In at play. children at little children in cOWltless artists had had depicted in iconography, pky. In depicted little iconography, countless artists the bird the their pictures we can recognize the hobby-horse, the windmill, the bird the windmill, can their pictures we hobby-horse, recognize is obvious obvious that that It is dolls. It so often, on not so often, dolls. and sometimes, on aa leash leash ... and sometimes, though though not is entitled to entitled one Yet these dummies were reserved for little children. Yet one is to children. little for reserved these dummies were these had whether and true wonder whether this had always been true and whether these toys had been had this wonder whether toys always . . .

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not previously previously belonged to the world of adults. Some toys originated in not belonged to the world of adults. Some toys originated in that of emulation which induces to imitate adult processes, processes, induces children emulation which children to imitate adult that spirit of spirit while reducing them them to to their scale. This the case the hobbyThis is with the is the their own scale. case with while reducing hobbyhorse, time when the horse was the principal means transport and and the principal a time horse was means of of transport at a when the horse, at traction. the litde sails spinning round on the end of a stick stick of a on end the sails round the little traction. Similarly, Similarly, spinning could not be be anything but the imitation by children of a technique which, could not anything but the imitation by children of a technique which, unlike that that of horse, was was not not very very old: the windmill windmill technique of the old: the the horse, unlike technique introduced in the Middle Ages. The The same governs the of children of in the Middle Ages. reflex governs the children same reflex introduced today when they imitate a lorry or a car. But while the windmill has long has a or But the a car. while windmill when imitate long lorry they today ago from our countryside, the child's windmill is still on sale ago disappeared disappeared from our countryside, the child's windmill is still on sale in toyshops and market or stalls. Children form the most and market or fair-ground in toyshops fair-ground stalls. Children form the most conservative of human societies. societies. conservative of Other games seem seem to to have have some other origin than the desire to imitate some other Other games origin than the desire to imitate adults. child is is often depicted playing playing with with aa bird: bird: Louis Louis XIII XIII the child adults. Thus Thus the often depicted had a shrike shrike of fond; the reader himself may he was the himself of which was extremely reader had a which he fond; may extremely perhaps remember trying to tame a wounded crow crow in in his his childhood. childhood. perhaps remember trying to tame a The bird in in these these pictures pictures is is usually attached to a leash which the child is The bird usually attached to a leash which the child is holding in his hand. Sometimes it been just just aa wooden dummy. his hand. it may have in Sometimes dummy. holding may have been In case, judging by the iconographic evidence, the bird on aa leash leash In any the the bird evidence, any case, judging by iconographic would seem seem to to have have been been one of the the most historian The of toys. historian one of most common of would toys. of the religions religions of of Greece, Greece, Nilsson, Nilsson,33 tells that in in ancient as tells us us that ancient Greece, of the Greece, as indeed in modern modem Greece, it was customary during the first days of of first it the indeed in was Greece, days customary during March for boys to to make aa wooden swallow turning on aa pivot pivot and and for boys March swallow turning adorned with flowers. would then take it from house to house and to and house house then take it from adorned with flowers. They would They or its was not an individual toy be given'presents: given¡presents: here the bird individual but not an be here the its image was bird or toy but image an collective, seasonal in which youth took part took in in seasonal festivity which of a a collective, an element element of youth festivity part in the which its its age age group group assigned to it. eventually became an an to became the role role which it. What eventually assigned individual toy unconnected with the the community or the the calendar calendar and and individual toy unconnected with community or devoid of any social content, would appear to have been linked at flrst at devoid of been linked first social would have to content, any appear with traditional traditional ceremonies ceremonies which which brought brought together together children children and and with adolescents whom, in any case, there was clear distinction -between whom, in any no clear distinction adolescents -- between there was case, and adults. Nilsson also shows the see-saw and the which were which the swing, and adults. Nilsson also shows how the see-saw and swing, still be found found in in the the iconography of games and pastimes pastimes in in still frequently to games and frequently to be iconography of the eighteenth century, figure among the rites of one of the festivals of the rites festivals the the eighteenth century, figure among provided for in calendar: the Aiora, the the festival festival of youth. youth.'4 The boys in the the calendar: the Aiora, boys provided for used to jump jump on skins skins filled with wine wine and girls were swung swung backused to the girls backfilled with and the Nilsson sees the latter which can be wards and wards and forwards latter scene, forwards on swings; can be sees the scene, which swings Nilsson found on painted painted vases, as a fecundity rite. There was a close connection a as a There close rite. connection vases, fecundity between the the communal religious religious ceremony ceremony and the game which formed between and the formed game which its Later this lost its its essential essential rite. rite. Later this game its religious symbolism and its lost religious symbolism and its game ;



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

of the the doll doll and and miniature miniature toys toys leads leads us us to to similar similar hypohypoThe problem problem of The of the the toy, toy, and and collectors collectors of of dolls dolls and and toy toy miniatures, miniatures, theses. Historians of have always always had had considerable considerable difficulty difficulty in in separating separating the the doll, doll, the the child's child's have toy, from all the other images and statuettes which the sites of excavations of excavations sites the which statuettes and all the other from images toy, yield up in wellnigh industrial quantities and and which which more more often often than than not not yield up in wellnigh industrial quantities had aa religious religious significance: significance: objects objects of ofaa household household or or funerary funerary cult, cult, relics relics had from aa pilgrimage, pilgrimage, etc. etc. How many many times times have have we been been shown shown 'toys' 'toys' from which were were in in fact fact miniature miniature replicas replicas of of familar familar objects objects placed placed in in tombs? tombs? which I am am not not suggesting suggesting that that in in the the past past children children did did not not play play with with dolls dolls or or I use replicas of adult belongings. But they were not the only ones to use these to these ones the not were But adult of only they belongings. replicas replicas; what in in modern modem times times was was to to become become their their monopoly, monopoly, they they had replicas; what of the the doll doll to share share in in ancient ancient times, times, at at least least with with the the dead. dead. The ambiguity ambiguity of to even and the replica replica continued continued during the Middle Ages, lasting even longer in Middle the and the longer in Ages, lasting during of the instrument country districts: the doll was also the dangerous instrument the the also was doll the districts: dangerous country the people magician and the witch. This taste for representing in in miniature miniature the for representing people magician and the witch. This taste in resulted and of daily life, nowadays confined to little children, resulted in little to confined children, of and things daily life, nowadays things children. as to an designed as much to satisfy adults as to amuse children. adults to as and industry an art art and satisfy industry designed art of this art The cribs are one of the manifestations of this famous Neapolitan The famous Neapolitan cribs are one of the manifestations illusion. especially in Germany and Switzerland, possess and in Switzerland, The museums, illusion. The museums, especially possess Germany furniture which sets of furniture complicated collections of houses, interiors interiors and sets complicated collections of houses, familiar objects. reproduce on a small scale all of familiar details of the details all the they objects. Were they reproduce on a small scale It is is really dolls' houses, these little masterpieces of complex ingenuity? It little these dolls' ingenuity? houses, complex masterpieces really children: true adult art also by children: there was also appreciated was art was adult this popular that this true that appreciated by popular baubles'. 'Italian baubles'. or 'Italian aa considerable for 'German toys' France for in France demand in considerable demand toys' or its this industry, to this A single word was used in whether its refer to to refer in France France to used was word industry, single bibeloterie ('knickor adults: adults: bibeloterie products were designed for children or for children were ('knickdesigned products The evolution evolution a toy. also a old was was also knackery'). The bibelot or knick-knack ofold knick-knack of toy. The knackery'). The bibelot or on the the while of has robbed it its popular meaning, while on its childish, of it of childish, robbed has meaning, of language popular language miniature of miniature use of the use other restricted the has restricted ideas has of ideas the evolution evolution of other hand hand the became the knick-knack knick-knack became replicas to children. In nineteenth century the nineteenth In the century the replicas to children. it remained remained aa but it the showcase, or something for the drawing-room or the but showcase, the for drawing-room something of furniture furniture little piece model aa little sedan chair, little sedan chair, aa little familiar object: ofaa familiar piece of model of object: for aa child child intended for been intended never been had or piece of crockery, which had never which or aa tiny of crockery, tiny piece a middlemiddlecan recognize we can to with. In the taste a knick-knack we the knick-knack for the taste for the to play In recognize with. play house. the German German house. or the crib or Italian crib class art of the Italian of the of the the popular class survival survival of popular art theses. Historians



The society society of ofthe the ancien ancien regime regimeremained remained faithful faithful for for aa long long time time to to the the The little baubles baubles which which we we would would describe describe today today as as childish, childish, probably probably litde now fallen fallen for for good good and and all all within within the the domain domain of of because they have have now because they childhood. childhood.

In 1747 1747 we wefind fmd Barbier Barbier writing: writing: 'In 'In Paris Paris some some toys toys have have been been devised devised In

called puppets .... These little little figures figures represent represent Harlequin Harlequin and and Scaramouch Scaramouch . called puppets . These or else else bakers bakers [trades [trades and and crafts], crafts], shepherds shepherds and and shepshep[Italian comedy], comedy], or


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

any house without fmding them dangling from from every every mantelpiece. mantelpiece. any house without finding them dangling craze and the They are being bought to give to women and girls, and the craze has has and to women to are girls, give being bought They reached such such aa pitch pitch that that this this New Year Year all all the the shops shops are are full full of of them them ... reached The Duchesse Duchesse de de Chartres Chartres has has paid paid 1,500 1,500 livres livres for for one one painted painted by by The Boucher.' The The worthy worthy bibliophile bibliophile Jacob, Jacob, quoting quoting this this passage, passage, admits admits Boucher.' that in in his his day day nobody nobody would would dream dream of of getting getting up up to to such such childish childish that no practices: 'Society people, are too busy nowadays, longer too are much who longer nowadays, busy practices: 'Society people, the saw which idleness join in such crazes as in the good old days of idleness the of old in the as crazes in such days good join children/ to height of the fashion for puppets: leave baubles to children.' baubles leave we now for fashion the of puppets: height The puppet-show puppet-show appears appears to to have have been been another another manifestation manifestation of the the The illusion in in miniature miniature which produced produced the the knicksame popular art of illusion art of same popular the same knacks Naples. It It underwent the of Naples. cribs of the cribs and the of Germany knacks of Germany and evolution of early nineteenth-century Lyons was aa of the Guignol too: the evolution too: Lyons early nineteenth-century Guignol has character Guignol has while today adult theatre, but adult lower-class but of aa lower-class theatre, while character of Guignol today children. become reserved for for children. reserved of aa puppet-show name of the name become Pte puppet-show also explains No doubt ambiguity of children's games of children's this persistent doubt this explains games also persistent ambiguity the why, from the sixteenth until the beginning of the nineteenth the until sixteenth century the from beginning century why, fashion model. as a fashion century, the doll was used by the well-dressed woman as the well-dressed century, the doll was used by a friend friend to a to 1571 the Duchesse de Lorraine, wanting to give a present In de Duchesse the In 1571 Lorraine, wanting present to give too not some ... who had just had a baby, put in an order for' ... some dolls, not too big for an order dolls, in a had big load who baby, put just child of for the can and to four and six, the best dressed dolls you can find, for the child of dolls dressed find, the best and to four and up six, you up was The delivered*. the Duchess of Bavaria, who has recently been delivered'. The gift was been has who of gift Duchess the Bavaria, recently of the the Most of name! Most intended child's name! the child's in the sent in but was was sent the mother, for the intended for mother, but are which children's dolls in public and private collections are not children's toys, which are not are collections and in toys, dolls private public fashion dolls. but but fashion dolls. usually crude objects roughly treated by their owners, their owners, treated by usually crude objects roughly the taken by the its place being The doll eventually The fashion fashion doll place being taken by eventually disappeared, disappeared, its 5 of fashion drawing, largely thanks to the process oflithography.5 the to thanks fashion drawing, largely lithography. process with aa infantile speciality, an infantile toys had become an By speciality, with 1600, approximately, approximately, toys had become By 1600, have seen We few differences of detail with regard to present-day usage. We have seen to with detail of differences few present-day usage. regard with to used as well in connection with Louis XIII that boys as well as girls used to play with as that XIII Louis with connection in play girls boys between discrimination between dolls. modern discrimination the modern ofinfancy limits of the limits Within the dolls. Within infancy the . . .



, Jl 71


girls and boys was not so clearly defined: both sexes wore the same

girls and boys was not so clearly defined: both sexes wore die same clothes, the the same same robe. robe. There There was was probably probably some some connection connection between between the clothes,


infantile specialization in toys and and the the importance importance of of infancy infancy in in the the ideas ideas revealed by by iconography iconography and and dress dress since since the the end end of of the the Middle Middle Ages. Ages. revealed Childhood was was becoming becoming the the repository repository of of customs customs abandoned abandoned by by the the Childhood adults. adults. infantile specialization in toys

* * * In 1600 1600 the the specialization specialization of of games games and and pastimes pastimes did did not not extend extend beyond beyond In infancy; after the age of three or four it decreased and disappeared. From and decreased From after the of or four it three disappeared. infancy; age

then on the child played the same games as the adult, either with other children or with adults. adults. We know this this from from the the evidence evidence furnished furnished by by an an abundant abundant with

then on the child played the same games as the adult , either with other children or

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

by amusement amusement in in the the social social life life of of the the ancien ancien regime. regime. We have have already already by seen that from from his his earliest earliest years, years, Louis Louis XIII, XIII, as as well well as as playing playing with with dolls, dolls, seen that also played tennis tennis and and hockey, hockey, which which we nowadays nowadays consider consider as as games for also played games for adolescents or In an by Amoult of the late seventeenth seventeenth the late of an engraving Arnoult or adults. adults. In adolescents engraving by 6 century, can see children playing bowls: children of good family, century, we can see children playing bowls: children of good family, People had objection to to judging by by the the little little girl's girl's false had no objection false sleeves. sleeves. People judging allowing children to play card games and games of chance, and to play and to and of to card children chance, play games games play allowing for putti at at to the the subject devoted to Stella's engravings of Stella's for money. subject of putti money. One of engravings devoted 7 play gives a sympathetic picture of the child who has lost his money.? lost all all his has of the child a money. play gives sympathetic picture The of the seventeenth century often depicted The Caravagesque painters of the seventeenth century often depicted Caravagesque painters old bands excitedly the old next to to the ill fame: in taverns taverns of of ill fame: next soldiers gambling of soldiers bands of gambling excitedly in troopers one can see some very young boys. twelve years old or so, who old or twelve see one can so, years very young boys, troopers a seem S. Bourdon shows a enthusiastic gamblers. to be be enthusiastic seem to by S. painting by gamblers. A painting group of beggars standing round two children and watching them children round of watching beggars standing group for money playing dice. s8 The theme chance for of children children playing theme of money games of chance playing games playing dice. is to to obviously did not shock public opinion as yet, for the same theme is the for as shock did not yet, public opinion obviously be portraying neither old soldiers but old soldiers nor beggars neither found in in pictures be found beggars pictures portraying 9 Le characters.9 solemn characters. Le Nain's Nain's solemn children play. Conversely, to play used to adults used only children today only play. games which today play games Conversely, adults a A fourteenth-century ivory shows the frog-game: a young the shows sitting young man sitting frog-game: fourteenth-century ivory are hold of the the men and women who are on catch hold is trying to the ground on the trying to catch ground is 10 Adelaide de 10 pushing him around. Savoie's dating from de Savoie's book of hours, Adelaide him around. hours, dating pushing is largely illustrated the a calendar calendar which is contains a the late late fifteenth fifteenth century, krgely illustrated century, contains l character.l11 with of games, and are not not of aa knightly and games with pictures knightly character. games which are pictures of games, for the (To begin with, the calendars depicted trades and crafts, except for the trades the calendars crafts, except depicted (To begin with,


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month of May, which which was was reserved oflove. a court reserved for for a were then then of May, court of love. Games month Games were introduced more space: knightly sports such as and more and occupied more and introduced and space: knightly sports such as occupied more hunting, but also popular games.) One of these is is the one of these the faggot-game: hunting, but also popular games.) faggot-game: one person is the candle in the centre of a ring of couples in which in the centre of is playing the candle a in of which playing ring person couples is standing behind her cavalier and holding him tightly round each each lady lady is standing behind her cavalier and holding him tightly round the waist. waist. In part of calendar the the whole whole population population of the of the another part the calendar In another of the the village is having a snowball fight: and women, children and grownand a snowball men is children and women, fight: having village grownups. In an early sixteenth-century tapestry, some peasants and noblemen -ups. In an early sixteenth-century tapestry, some peasants and noblemen less convincingly shepherds -- are the latter more or or less dressed as as shepherds latter more are playing the convincingly dressed playing 12 12 hot cockles: no children. Several Dutch pictures pictures of the second Several Dutch there are are no children. second hot of the cockles: there half of the the seventeenth show people people playing hot cockles. also show seventeenth century In cockles. In half of century also playing hot one of them them aa few children appear, but they are mixed up with adults of few children one of appear, but they are mixed up with adults of all ages: one one woman is her head hidden in her apron and is standing with head hidden in her all ages: standing with her apron and 13 Louis XIII and his mother used 13 one held open behind her back. and behind her back. Louis XIII hand held his mother used one hand open to play play hide-and-seek hide-and-seek together. together. People People played played blind-man's blind-man's buff buff at the to at the 14 Grande Mademoiselle's home, the Hotel Hotel de Rambouillet. 14 de Rambouillet. An engraving Grande Mademoiselle's home, the engraving 15 by Lepautre shows that adult peasants also played this this game. game. 15 also played shows that adult peasants by Lepautre understand the the comment which his study the can accordingly which his of the One can accordingly understand study of of games and pastimes drew from the contemporary iconography of and drew from the games pastimes contemporary iconography historian Van Van Marle: 'As for games played by grown-ups, for the the games one cannot cannot Marie: 'As historian played by grown-ups, one honestly say that they were any less childish than those played by less childish that were than those any they played by honestly say not: they they were were the the same! children.'16 children.' 16 Of course course not: same!

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


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hundred years. hundred say that it had the same meaning. One can can scarcely years. One scarcely say that it had the same meaning. On the the other other hand, On the and amusements hand, games amusements extended extended far far beyond games and beyond the furtive moments moments we furtive formed one of the principal means we allow allow them: them: they formed one of the means they principal employed to feel united. to draw draw its its collective collective bonds bonds closer, employed by by aa society society to closer, to feel united. This was was true true of of nearly pastimes, but the social role This all games and and but the social role was was nearly all games pastimes, more obvious obvious in in the the great more took seasonal and and traditional traditional festivals. festivals. They took great seasonal They on fixed fixed dates place broadly dates of of the the calendar, and their their programmes, place on calendar, and programmes, broadly followed traditional speaking, They have been studied only by traditional patterns. have been studied speaking, followed patterns. They only by on folklore folklore or or popular expe-rts traditions, who give the impression that who the experts on that traditions, popular give impression were almost almost exclusively they In fact rural. In fact they concerned the die whole they were whole of of exclusively rural. they concerned of whose whose vitality society, they were a manifestation. Children children were a manifestation. Children society, of children vitality they adolescents -- took and adolescents footing with all the other took part in them them on on an an equal part in equal footing with all the other and more often than not played in them which members of society, and often than not society, played aa part part in them which for them by tradition. was reserved for 1 not of course propose to write tradition. I do do not of course by propose to write these festivals subject and certainly one of here a history festivals -- a a huge and history of these huge subject certainly one of in great in social history but a few examples will suffice to social but a few will suffice to give great importance importance history examples give the place an idea of the occupied in them by children. The relevant documenin them children. The relevant documenplace occupied by is extremely rich, had to tation is even if if little little recourse recourse is is had to the the predominantly extremely rich, even predominantly rural descriptions rural of folklore literature. An abundant iconography and folklore literature. abundant descriptions iconography and countless urban, countless urban, middle-class paintings are themselves to to middle-class paintings are sufficient sufficient in in themselves show the the importance importance of of these these festivals; festivals; people people took took pains pains to to depict depict them them and preserve preserve the the recollection recollection of of them them beyond beyond the the brief brief moment moment of of their their duration. duration. One of the the favourite favourite scenes scenes with with the the artists artists and and their their clients clients was was Twelfth Night, Night, probably probably the the greatest greatest festival festival of of the the year. year. In In Spain Spain it it has has this preserved this primacy which in France it has lost to Christmas. When which in France it has lost to Christmas. When preserved primacy Mme de de Sevigne, Sevigne, who was was then then staying staying in in her her chateau chateau at at Les Les Rochers, Rochers, learnt learnt that that aa grandson grandson had had been been born born to to her, her, she she wanted wanted her her servants servants to to share share her her joy, joy, and and in in order order to to show show Mme de de Grignan Grignan that that she she had had done done things fittingly, fittingly, she she wrote wrote to to her: her: 'I 'I gave gave my my servants servants as as much much food food and and things 17 drink drink as as on onTwelfth Twelfth Night/ Night.'17 miniature of ofAdelaide Adelaide de de Savoie's Savoie's book book of of AAminiature hours hours depicts depicts the the first first episode episode of ofthe the festival. festival.18ls This This was was at at the the end end of ofthe the fifteenth fifteenth century, century, but but the the rites rites remained remained unaltered unaltered for for aa long long time. time. Some Some men men and and women, women, friends friends and and relations, relations, are are gathered gathered together together round round the the table. One of ofthe the guests guests isis holding holding the the Twelfth-cake, Twelfth-cake, isis in in fact fact holding holding itit table. One on on end. end. A A child, child, between between five fIve and and seven seven years years old, old, isis hiding hiding under under the the table. hasplaced placed in inhis his hand handaasort sortof ofscroll scrollbearing bearing an aninscription inscription table. The Theartist artist has which has thus thus recorded recorded the themoment momentwhen, when, which begins beginswith with die theletters lettersPh. ph. He Hehas in in accordance accordance with with tradition, tradition, itit was was aa child child who who shared shared out out the the TwelfthTwelfthcake. )Vhole operation operation was was carried carried out out in in accordance accordance with with aa set set cake. The The ^yvhole

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

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


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but which which at at the the time time possessed possessed the the same same social social character: character: family family meals. meals. but It was was traditional traditional for for grace grace to to be be said said by by one one of ofthe the youngest youngest children children and and It for the the meal meal to to be be served served by by all all the the children children present: present: they they poured poured out out the the for dishes, carved carved the the meat... meat ... We We shall shall have have occasion occasion drinks, changed changed the the dishes,


to study study the the significance significance of ofthese these customs customs more more closely closely when when we we come come to to to

examine the the structure structure of ofthe the family. family.15 Let Let us usjust just note note here here how how common common examine was the the custom, custom, from from the the fourteenth fourteenth to to the the sixteenth sixteenth century, century, of ofentrusting entrusting was children with with aa special special role role in in the the ritual ritual accompanying accompanying family family and and social social children 25

gatherings, both ordinary and and extraordinary. extraordinary. Other festivals, festivals, though though still still concerning concerning the the entire entire community, community, gave gave Other of the active roles, and the other age groups looked youth the monopoly looked other and the active of the the roles, age groups monopoly youth on as as spectators. spectators. These These festivals festivals already already had had the the appearance appearance of of festivals festivals of of on childhood or or youth: youth: we we have have already already seen seen that that the the frontier frontier was was vague vague and and childhood ill-defined between between these these two two groups, groups, which which today today are are so so clearly clearly separated. separated. ill-defined In the the Middle Middle Ages, Ages, on on the the feast feast of of the the Holy Holy Innocents, Innocents, die the children children In occupied the church; one of them was elected bishop by his companions his elected was of them one the church; companions by bishop occupied and presided presided over over the the ceremony, ceremony, which which ended ended with with aa procession, procession, aa and 26 Still observed in collection and a banquet. banquet." the sixteenth sixteenth century century was was aa Still observed in the and a collection custom that on on the the morning moming of that day day adolescents should surprise their adolescents should of that custom that surprise their as the the expression friends give them whipping, or or as a whipping, them a to give order to in order in bed bed in friends in expression went, them the innocents'. order to to give 'in order went, 'in give them the innocents'. Shrove was apparendy the feast day of schoolchildren and was Shrove Tuesday apparently the feast day of schoolchildren Tuesday in youth. Fitz Stephen has described it in twdfth-century it in described has Fitz twelfth-century London in Stephen youth. at the the a pupil connecti9n was then then a Thomas Becket, hero Thomas his hero with his Becket, who was connection with pupil at their cathedral schoolchildren brought the schoolchildren 'All the Paul's: 'All of St St Paul's: school of cathedral school brought their 27 Cockfighting - still it fighting-cocks to their still popular where it master/ to their master.'27 popular Cockfighting fighting-cocks - was with survives, but intended for adults connected with youth and even connected was adults for intended but youth survives, with out by is borne borne out This is Middle Ages. in the the Middle school in with school fifteenth-century by aa fifteenth-century Ages. This a at a the text which lists payments due to the ferryman to due the lists the which from Dieppe text from ferryman at payments Dieppe one at Dieppe, certain 'The master who keeps the school at one cock, the school master cock, 'The certain crossing: Dieppe, keeps crossing: in the the town, and elsewhere in when or elsewhere school or at the the school held at are being town, and the games when the being held games are 28 fee.' this fee.'28 In for this carried for all of Dieppe shall carried In be shall be of other schoolboys the other all the schoolboys Dieppe cockLondon, according to Fitz Stephen, Shrove Tuesday began with cockShrove Fitz to began Tuesday London, according Stephen, 'In the the afternoon, the fighting, which went on all the morning. all through afternoon, the morning. 'In through the fighting, which went on for the the famous famous ball ball young people of the town went into outskirts for the outskirts into the town went of the young people horseback to to watch on horseback watch game ... The adults, relatives and notables came came on game... The adults, rektives and notables with them.' The the people's games and to become young again with them.' The and to become the young young again young people's games in aa collective collective action, ball brought together several communities in several communities ball game action, game brought together one another: another: 'The 'The setting either two parishes or or two two age against one groups against age groups setting either two parishes of the members ball is game which is Christmas Day by the members of on Christmas is played on a which is a ball game Day by played game game gatherings, both ordinary


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the this game is the guilds of Cairac in Auvergne [and elsewhere Cairac in of course]; guilds of Auvergne [and elsewhere of course]; this game is diversified that the married men are diversified and divided divided in in such such aa way that the married men on one one are on way side and the side the unmarried unmarried on the the other other side; and the the aforementioned aforementioned ball ball is is side; and carried another in carried from one one place to another another and and taken taken from from one one man man by in another place to by order to order and he who carries for that to win the the prize, carries it it best best has has the the prize prize, and he prize for that 29 day.'19 day/ At Avignon, the carnival was organized and in the the sixteenth sixteenth century, Avignon, in century, the carnival was organized and led by the abbot led the president of the guild of notaries' abbot of of attorneydom, the by the attorneydom, president of the guild of notaries' 80 these youth leaders were usually, at least in the and attorneys' these youth leaders were clerks; attorneys' clerks;30 usually, at least in the south of France, south coined by a to use use the the expression France, 'pleasure leaders', to 'pleasure leaders', expression coined by a modem oflove, king of attorneydom, modern scholar, and bore bore the the title tide of of prince of of scholar, and love, prince king attorneydom, or captain abbot or of youth, or abbot abbot of of the the guildsmen or children children of of the the captain of youth, or guildsmen or of town. At A vignon on carnival the students had the privilege carnival day the students had the Avignon day privilege of 31 The thrashing history of the whores unless unless a a ransom ransom was was paid. The of the thrashing Jews Jews and whores paid. history University tells us us that that on on January the Vice-Legate 20th, 1660, 1660, the University of Avignon Avignon tells January 20th, Vice-Legate fixed the fixed the amount of of this this ransom ransom at a crown at a crown aa whore. whore. The great youth were November. We festivals of of youth were those those of of May and November. great festivals May and know from Heroard Heroard that that Louis child went to the the Queen's Louis XllI XIII as as a a child went on on to Queen's to balcony to watch the maypole being set up. May Day came next watch the set came next to to balcony maypole being up. May Day of depicting Twelfth Night in in popularity popularity with the artists, were fond Twelfth Night with the fond of artists, who were depicting it as of the popular festivals. festivals. It It inspired countless paintings, it as one of the most most popular inspired countless paintings, engravings tapestries. Varagnac Varagnac has has recognized recognized the the theme theme in in die the engravings and tapestries. 32 Elsewhere the traditional Botticelli 'Primavera' 'Primavera' in in the the Uffizi Uffizi Gallery.3s Botticelli Elsewhere the traditional Gallery. of 1642 ceremonies are depicted depicted with with greater greater realism. realism. A tapestry tapestry of ceremonies are enables 1642 enables us to to see see what what aa village village or or small small market market town town looked looked like like on on May May Day Day us 33 in in the the seventeenth seventeenth century. century.33 are in in the the street. street. A middle-aged middle-aged couple couple We are and and an an old old man have have come out out of of one one of of the the houses houses and and are are standing standing on on their their doorstep doorstep waiting waiting to to greet greet aa group group of of girls girls coming coming towards towards them. them. first of of the the girls girls is is carrying carrying aa basket basket of of fruit fruit and and cakes. cakes. These These young young The first people go from door to door, and everyone gives them something to eat eat to and from door them door, people go everyone gives something to in return return for for their their good good wishes: wishes: the the house-to-house house-to-house collection collection was was one one of of in the essential essential elements elements of of the the festivals festivals of of youth. youth. In In the the foreground foreground some some the little boys, boys, who are are still still dressed dressed in in tunics, tunics, like like girls, girls, are are putting putting on on wreaths wreaths little of flowers flowers and and leaves leaves which which their their mothers mothers have have made for for them. them. In In other other of pictures the procession of young collectors has formed up behind a boy has the of collectors formed behind a pictures procession young up boy 84 who is is carrying carrying the the may-tree may-tree: this this isis the the case case in in aa Dutch painting painting of OfI700. i yoo. M group of of children children isis running running through through the the village village behind behind the the maymayThe group tree; the the Htde little children children are are wearing wearing wreaths wreaths of of flowers. flowers. The The grown-ups grown-ups tree; have come out out on on their their doorsteps doorsteps to to greet greet the the procession procession of of children. children. have The The may-tree may-tree isis sometimes sometimes represented represented symbolically symbolically by by aa pole pole wreathed wreathed :



86 But the may-tree or maypole does not concern us and flowers. and flowers. aa But the may-tree or maypole does not concern us here. Let Let us us simply note the collections taken by the the young young people people from here. note from the collections taken by simply of the children with flowers, which one must the the crowning the adults, and the the children one must of with which adults, and flowers, crowning associate with the implicit in vegetation, an an idea associate with the idea of rebirth rebirth implicit idea of in vegetation, idea symsymbolized too too by the tree tree which is carried carried through through the the streets then bolized and then which is streets and by the 86 88 These planted. wreaths of flowers became, perhaps a pastime for the the These of flowers a for wreaths became, planted. perhaps pastime children, the sign of their age group in pictorial representations. the of in their children, certainly age group certainly sign pictorial representations. In the portraits portraits of the time, time, both both of of individuals individuals and children are are In the of the and families, families, children shown wearing wearing garlands garlands of or foliage. Thus in the Nicolas Maes in Thus Maes of flowers flowers or the Nicolas foliage. picture two little in the first putting of two in Toulouse first girl is Toulouse Museum,S? little girls, Museum, 87 the picture of girls, girl is putting on wreath of with one hand, and the other hand is on a is taking a wreath other hand of flowers one hand, and with with the flowers with taking flowers basket which which her her. Another flowers from is holding out to her. from a a basket her sister sister is Another holding out to group of festivals festivals of was held held at the beginning beginning of and youth of of childhood at the childhood and group of youth was November. 'On the 4th and November],' writes the student the November. the 4th and 8th writes student 8th [of [of November]/ Platter the end the sixteenth was aa masquerade at the Platter at end of of the sixteenth century, 'there was called century, 'there masquerade called the masquerade of the cherubim. I too put on a mask and went to the a and Dr of too on mask went to the I cherubim. put masquerade 38 This was a masquerade for Sapota's house, where there was a ball.'38 for a ball/ This was a where there was house, Sapota's masquerade has completely young people, and not simply and not children. It It has completely disappeared disappeared young people, simply children. from by the proximity of of All All Souls' Day. Public Public from our our calendar, ousted by Souls' Day. the proximity calendar, ousted

in leaves in leaves

opinion refused to allow aa joyful joyful children's to follow follow so so to allow children's masquerade opinion refused masquerade to closely on such a solemn day but this festival has survived in North in on survived a this festival has North such solemn but day closely America under under the name of Hallowe'en. A little little later later on, on, Martinmas Martinmas was the name was America of Hallowe'en. the demonstrations confined confined to to the young and more particularly particularly and more of demonstrations the young the occasion occasion of perhaps to to schoolchildren. is Martinmas', Martinmas', we read read in in aa schoolchildren. 'Tomorrow 'Tomorrow is perhaps scholastic' dialogue of the early sixteenth century describing life in the in life of the the scholastic 'dialogue sixteenth early century describing 39 'We schoolboys reap a rich harvest on that day ... it schools on that of Leipzig. 39 harvest schools ofLeipzig. a rich day... it schoolboys reap is customary for the poor [schoolboys] to go from door to door collecting is door to door for the from to collecting customary poor [schoolboys] go money.' Here, as as with May Day, Day, we find house-to-house collections: collections with May find the the house-to-house money/ Here, aa practice practice which was sometimes a token token of of greeting greeting and sometimes and sometimes which was sometimes a genuine mendicity. has the impression of coming into contact with into contact with of has the One coming genuine mendicity. impression the last traces of a very old structure in which society was divided into divided into was the last traces of a in old structure which society very age groups; nothing remained of this but the custom of reserving for of custom the of this remained but reserving for age groups; nothing youth an essential part in certain great collective celebrations. Moreover celebrations. an essential in collective certain youth great part the ritual ritual of tended to or no distinction little or distinction the of these these celebrations to make little celebrations tended between children children and and adolescents; adolescents; this this relic relic of time when the the two age of a a time between age groups were treated treated as as one no longer longer entirely corresponded with with actual actual one no groups were entirely corresponded manners, be seen seventeenth-century habit habit of decorating decorating as may seen from the the seventeenth-century manners, as may be only the little children, the little boys still in tunics, with the flowers and the the in with flowers little and the little still tunics, children, only boys leaves which in in the the Middle adorned adolescents who leaves which adorned the calendars adolescents calendars of of the Middle Ages Ages had reached the age of love. love. reached the age of :


â&#x20AC;˘ 79 79


Whatever the the role role allocated allocated to to childhood childhood and and youth, youth, primordial primordial on on Whatever May Day, incidental on Twelfth Night, it always followed a traditional May Day, incidental on Twelfth Night, it always followed a traditional pattern and corresponded to the roles of a collective game which mobilized pattern and corresponded to the roles of a collective game which mobilized the whole whole of of society society and and brought brought all all age age groups groups together. together. the

* * * Other circumstances circumstances brought brought about about the the same same participation participation of of people people Other of various various ages ages in in aa single single communal communal celebration. celebration. Thus Thus from from the the fifteenth fifteenth of of the the to the the eighteenth eighteenth century, century, and and in in Germany Germany up up to to the the beginning beginning of to nineteenth century, century, countless countless subject subject pictures pictures -- painted, painted, engraved engraved and and nineteenth - represented the the family gathering in in which which parents and and children children woven represented

family gathering


formed aa little little chamber chamber orchestra orchestra and and accompanied accompanied aa singer. singer. This This was was formed often on on the the occasion occasion of of aa meal. meal. Sometimes the table table had had been been cleared. cleared. often Sometimes the Sometimes the the musical musical interlude interlude occurred occurred in in the the course course of of the the meal, meal, as as in in Sometimes the Dutch Dutch picture picture by by Lamen Lamen painted painted about about 1640: the company company are are at at the 1640: the table but but the the meal meal has been interrupted: the boy has been waiting at at has been the who table has been boy waiting interrupted: table one of the guests, standing with his back to the fire-place the with his back to has stopped; of the table has one fire-place stopped; guests, standing in one hand, is singing, no doubt aa drinking song, and with aa glass and another another with glass in one hand, is singing, no doubt drinking song,

40 has taken up his lute to accompany him.4.0 guest guest has taken up his lute to accompany him. We no no longer longer have have any the place which music, singing and and idea of of the music, singing place which any idea dancing used to occupy in everyday life. of an Introduction to to in author of an Introduction life. The author used to everyday occupy dancing Practical Music, published in 1597, tells how circumstances made a musician a in tells circumstances musician Practical Music* 1597, published of being ended, and music music 'But supper in company: was dining of him. him. He was ended, and supper being dining in company: 'But of books, to custom, being brought to the table, the mistress the the mistress of to to table, custom, books, according being brought according the me with a part, earnestly requesting me to sing: but but a to with the house house presented sing: part, earnestly requesting presented when, that II could could not, after many not, excuses, II protested when, after unfeignedly that protested unfeignedly many excuses, everyone began to wonder; yes, some whispered to others, demanding to to others, wonder; whispered demanding yes, everyone began 41 If the ability to sing a how II was or play an instrument instrument If the ability to sing a part was brought part or pky an up.' brought Up."l was rather more common in England than on the the than in Elizabethan Elizabethan more rather was perhaps England perhaps in France, Italy, Spain and Germany, Continent, in was also also widespread it was France, Continent, it Germany, Italy, Spain widespread in in spite tradition which, medieval tradition an old old medieval with an in accordance accordance with which, in changes spite of changes into the the in lasted into eighteenth lasted in taste and technical technical improvements, taste and eighteenth and improvements, to the the region. nineteenth or later later according sooner or out sooner nineteenth centuries, centuries, dying region. according to dying out Russia. It It It exists today except in Germany, Central Europe and Russia. in Central no longer It no exists Europe Germany, today except longer circles where middle-class was strong in those days in aristocratic and middle-class circles in aristocratic in those was very days very strong a in a themselves portrayed groups have themselves to have of people liked to taking part part in portrayed taking groups of people liked in too lower-class concert too in lower-class circles, among was strong It was music. It concert of of chamber chamber music. circles, among strong the bagpipe the peasants and even beggars, whose instruments instruments were the bagpipe or the peasants and even beggars, whose been raised to had the hurdy-gurdy, or else the fiddle, which had not yet been raised to the the or else fiddle, yet hurdy-gurdy,

80 80


dignity of the present-day violin. Children made made music music from from an an early early age. age. dignity of the present-day violin. Children Louis XIII XUI when when he he was was very very young young sang sang popular popular or or satirical satiricalsongs songs which which Louis bore no no resemblance resemblance to to the the children's children's songs songs of of the the past past two two centuries; centuries; bore he also also knew the the names names of ofthe the strings strings of ofthe lute. lute. Children Children took took part part in in all all he



the concerts concerts of ofchamber chamber music music depicted depicted in in the the iconography iconography of of old. old. They They the

ofpainting painting also played played among among themselves, themselves, and and itit became became aa commonplace commonplace of also

to depict depict to

them holding holding some some musical musical instrument: instrument: witness witness the the two two boys boys them 42 one of whom is accompanying on lute portrayed by Franz Hals,a on the lute the is of whom one Franz Hals, accompanying portrayed by his brother brother or or friend friend who who isis singing; singing; witness witness the the countless coundess children children his 43 In a picture by depicted playing the flute by Franz Hals Hals or or Le Le Nain. Nain.&8 In a picture by depicted playing the flute by Franz Brouwer, some some rather rather ragged ragged urchins urchins in in the the street street are are shown shown eagerly eagerly Brouwer, of out by a blind man straight out of aa listening to a hurdy-gurdy being played man a blind to a straight hurdy-gurdy being played by listening 44 court of of miracles: miracles: aa very very common theme theme in in the the seventeenth seventeenth century. century.M. court Dutch painting painting by by Vinckelbaons Vinckelbaons deserves deserves special special mention mention on account account A Dutch 46 As in of aa significant significant detail detail illustrating illustrating the the new attitude attitude to to childhood. childhood." in of of its its kind, kind, aa hurdy-gurdy hurdy-gurdy grinder grinder is is playing playing for for an an other paintings paintings of other audience of of children, children, and and the the scene scene has has been been captured captured just just as as the the children children audience of the the music. music. One of of them is is too too small small and has has are running running up up at the sound sound of at the are is running been left left behind behind by by the the rest, rest, so so his his father father has has picked picked him him up up and is been running after others so that the the child not miss the delighted miss anything: shall not child shall so that the others after the delighted anything: the child hands out towards the hurdy-gurdy. is holding his child is holding his hands out towards the hurdy-gurdy. The is to be seen in dancing. We have have already same precocity The same already observed precocity is to be seen in dancing. saraband and the that of three danced the galliard, the saraband the danced of three the age at the XIII at Louis XIII that Louis galliard, age 46 the a painting by Le Nain'6 and an engraving Nain Le a us compare Let us bourree. Let old bourree. the old engraving compare painting by 47 In Le Nain's painting we are little by Gueraid.47 shown a of lit de a round-dance round-dance are Le Nain's In Guerard. painting by a collar. collar. Two of the latter tunic with a girls and boys; one a tunic is still still wearing a of the latter is one and wearing boys; girls a to form a little hands and are holding them up have joined little girls have up high high to joined hands and are holding girls also is The Guerard engraving also bridge, and the round Guerard underneath. is passing underneath. round the and engraving passing bridge, the young depicts a round-dance, but are adults, dancers are the dancers but the adults, and one of the young depicts a round-dance, a women in the air skipping-rope. little girl with a a little like a the air like in women isis jumping skipping-rope. There girl jumping of the and that that of the dance and isis scarcely any difference between the the children's children's dance scarcely any difference between and in character adults. however, the adults' dance would change in character and dance would adults' the adults. Later, change Later, however, Abandoned by with the waltz, be finally, individual couple. the individual to the limited to be limited by couple. Abandoned finally, with the waltz, old collective collective the town and court, by middle-class and aristocracy alike, the old and middle-class alike, and town court, by aristocracy folkthe modem modern folkwhere the dances in the the country survive in districts, where would survive dances would country districts, of the round-dances lorists would discover them, and in the children's round-dances of the children's in the and discover lorists would them, out are nineteenth century: in both these forms they are dying out today. forms in both these nineteenth century: today. dying they was in those those days It separate dance and drama. drama. Dancing is impossible to It is days was Dancing in impossible to separate dance and than from ballet more of a collective activity and less clearly distinguished from ballet than less and a of collective more clearly distinguished activity in Heroard's seen in Heroard's have seen We have our in couples. ballroom dancing our modem modern ballroom couples. We dancing in


81 8l

diary'how liked dancing, ballet-dancing Louis XIII's XIII's contemporaries diary how much Louis contemporaries liked dancing, ballet-dancing and play-acting, genres which were still fairly closely linked: a man would which were still would play-acting, genres fairly closely linked: a playa part in a ballet as naturally as he would dance at a ball (the link a in a ballet as as he would dance at ball a play part naturally (the link between same word later split into two, between the the two words words is is significant: the the same into word later two, significant: split the There were ballets ball for the ball for amateurs amateurs and and the the ballet ballet for for professionals). professionals). There were ballets in colleges. At Louis in plays, in the even in the scholastic scholastic theatre theatre of of the the Jesuit plays, even Jesuit colleges. At Louis XIII's from the XIII's court, authors and and actors actors were were recruited recruited on on the the spot court, authors spot from the nobles nobles but but also also from from the the valets valets and and soldiers; children both both acted acted in in the the soldiers; children plays and attended the performances. attended the plays performances. Was this A passage this true true only of the the court? it was was common practice. court? No, No, it only of practice. passage from Sorel villages people had never given Sorel shows that in shows that in the the country had never country villages people given up up performing or to or less less comparable to old mystery die old plays more or performing plays comparable to the mystery plays plays or to the of Central Europe. 'I think that he [Ariste, the present-day Passion plays present-day Passion plays of Central Europe. 'I think that he [Ariste, who found actors boring] would have been delighted if he found professional actors professional boring] would have been delighted if he in a village performing the tragedy of could could have have seen seen as as I I have have all all the in a the boys boys village performing the tragedy of Dives higher than the roof-tops, on which a stage Dives on a than the on all the which all the characters characters stage higher roof-tops, walked times in pairs to show themselves off walked round seven or round seven or eight in times to themselves off before before eight pairs the began, like the little a clock ... I was fortunate the play like the little figures above a above clock... I was fortunate play began, figures enough the Story another occasion to see see the of the occasion to the Prodigal Son and and that that Story of enough on another Prodigal Son of and the of Nebuchadnezzar, and later later the the Loves Loves of of Medor and and Angelique, and the Nebuchadnezzar, and Ang6lique, Descent performed by actors of such into the of Radamont into the Underworld, Descent of actors of such Underworld, performed by 48 Sorel's speaker is being sarcastic; he did not really appreciate quality.'68 Sorel's speaker is being sarcastic; he did not really appreciate quality.' these popular popular entertainments. the text text and the setting were In most entertainments. In most cases cases the these and the setting were governed by oral tradition. In the Basque country this tradition was In oral tradition. the this tradition was Basque country governed by of the eighteenth established the plays plays disappeared. Towards the end the end of the established before before the disappeared. eighteenth century some 'Basque pastorals' were were written written and published, published, the the subjects of Basque pastorals century some subjects of 49 which came came from from the the romances romances of of chivalry chivalry and and the the Renaissance Renaissance pastorals. pastorals." which Like music music and and dancing, dancing, these these plays plays united united the the whole whole community community and and Like brought together the various age groups in both actors and audience. in various both the actors audience. age groups brought together '






We are are now going going to to see see what what was was the the traditional traditional moral moral attitude attitude vast majority majority accepted accepted towards these these popular popular games games and and pastimes. pastimes. The vast towards games indiscriminately indiscriminately and and without without any any reservations. reservations. At the the same time, time, aa games

powerful and and educated educated minority minority of of rigid rigid moralists moralists condemned nearly nearly all all powerful of them them out out of of hand hand and and roundly roundly denounced them as as immoral, immoral, allowing allowing of scarcely any exceptions. moral indifference indifference of the the majority majority and and the the moral scarcely any exceptions. The


of aa prudish prudish elite elite existed existed side side by by side side for for aa long long time, time. A intolerance of intolerance and of seventeenth course the the compromise was arrived at in the course the seventeenth eighteenth in at arrived was eighteenth compromise

82 82


centuries which which foreshadowed foreshadowed the the modern modern attitude attitude to to games, games, an .an attitude attitude centuries fundamentally different different from from the the old. old. ItIt concerns concerns us us here here because because itit also also


bears witness witness to to aa new new attitude attitude to to childhood: childhood: aa desire desire to to safeguard safeguard its its bears also to to educate educate it, it, by by forbidding forbidding itit to to play play games games hencehencemorality and and also morality

forth classified classified as as evil evil and and forth

by encouraging encouraging itit to to play play games games henceforth henceforth by recognized as good. as good. recognized The high high regard regard in in which which games games of of chance chance were were still still held held in in the the The seventeenth century century enables enables us us to to gauge gauge the the extent extent of of the the old old attitude attitude of of seventeenth moral indifference. indifference. Nowadays Nowadays we we regard regard games games of of chance chance as as suspect suspect and and moral dangerous, and the proceeds of of gambling gambling as as the the least least moral moral and and least least dangerous, and the proceeds an respectable of revenues. still play games of chance, but with an uneasy with but of still We chance, revenues. of uneasy games play respectable conscience. This This was was not not yet yet the the case case in in the the seventeenth seventeenth century: century: the the conscience. of moralization is the result of thoroughgoing process of moralization uneasy conscience of aa thoroughgoing result the is conscience process uneasy which made made the the nineteenth nineteenth century century aa society society of of' right-minded right-minded people*. people'. which La Fortune Fortune des des gens gens de de qualite quaNti et et des des gentilhommes gentilhommes particuliers pllrticuliers isis aa book of of La 6o advice to to young young noblemen noblemen on on how to to carve carve out out aa career career for for themselves. themselves. 50 advice The author, author, the the Marechal Marccha! de de Cailliere, Call1iere, certainly certainly has has nothing nothing of the the The him: he he has has written written an an edifying edifying bibliography bibliography trickster or or adventurer adventurer about about him trickster of the the works works of of Pere Pere Ange Ange de de Joyeuse, Joyeuse, the the Holy Holy Leaguer Leaguer monk; monk; he he is is aa of whatever. pious man man if a bigot; bigot; and he has has no no originality or talent whatever. or talent and he a if not not originality pious His current opinion among respectable observations accordingly His observations represent current opinion among respectable accordingly represent is for opinion in 1661, the date his book was published. date when his published. He is for ever opinion in 1661, the is latter is the latter if the putting young people on their against loose living; if loose their guard on living; guard against putting young people the of virtue, it of wealth, for one cannot possess for of the enemy is also also the it is wealth, of the enemy possess virtue, enemy enemy the occasions of pleasing the occasions sees the rake sees 'The young other: 'The the other: Without the one without the one pleasing young rake the brothel and the the brothel his him through the windows of the of the windows him his Master Master escape through escape these tavern.' reader, glancing through these commonThe twentieth-century reader, tavern.' The glancing through twentieth-century this find this to find is all the more surprised places with aa somewhat somewhat weary surprised to weary eye, eye, is all the places with chance. One of punctilious moralist discussing the social utility of games of chance. One of social the moralist games utility discussing punctilious of gentilhomme chapter is entitled: 'If abbreviation of Particulier [an 'If a a Particulier gentilhomme [an abbreviation chapter is entitled: minor words other in other particulier, as with the gens de qua lite, in words aa minor de the with as compared qualite, gens compared particulier, should nobleman circumstances] should play games less impoverished or less in more more or nobleman in games play impoverished circumstances] admits Marechal admits the Marechal of a matter of course: the course: of matter a is not It is notjust how?' It and how?' ofchance chance and just all forms forms of of condemn all that moralists, the the clergy, that the the professional expressly condemn clergy, expressly professional moralists, some embarrassauthor our gambling. This might be expected to cause our author some embarrasscause to be This expected might gambling. some length. He at some himself at ment, to explain himself it obliges him fact it in fact and in length. He ment, and obliges him to explain he endeavours to which remains which he endeavours to die laity, of the old attitude attitude of the old to the faithful to remains faithful laity, it can can that be more to prove justify on moral grounds: 'It impossible to that it be more It is is not not on moral prove impossible grounds justify circumstances... useful is accompanied by the itis ifit harmful if than harmful useful than necessary circumstances accompanied by the necessary a rich of man a for II maintain is for a man of quality is as as dangerous that gambling maintain that quality [i.e. [i.e. a rich dangerous gambling *




. . .




nobleman] as it is useful for a Particulier [i.e. an impoverished nobleman]. nobleman] as it is useful for a Particulier [i.e. an impoverished nobleman]. The one one risks risks aa great great deal deal because because he he isis extremely extremely rich, rich, and and the the other other risks risks The nothing because he is not, yet a Particulier can hope for as much from the the from as is much he a for Particulier can because not, yet hope nothing


luck of ofthe the game game as as aa great great lord/ lord.' The The one one has has everything everything to to lose, lose, the other other luck

everything to gain -- a curious moral distinction! everything to gain a curious moral distinction! But gambling, gambling, according according to to Cailli&re, Caillier-e, offers offers other other advantages advantages besides besides But financial profit: profit: 'I 'I have have always always held held that that the the love love of ofgambling gambling was was aa gift gift of of financial Nature whose whose utility utility I1 have have recognized/ recognized.' 'I 'I take take as as the the basis basis of of my my arguarguNature ment the the fact fact that that we we have have aa natural natural love love of of gambling/ gambling.' 'Games of skill skill Games of ment [which we should be more inclined to recommend today] are pleasant to are to recommend more inclined should be we today] pleasant to [which watch but but unsuitable unsuitable for for making making money/ money.' 'I 'I have have heard heard aa wise wise gambler gambler watch had made made aa considerable considerable fortune fortune out out of of gambling gambling say say that that he he had had who had found no no better better way way of ofturning turning gambling gambling into into an an art art than than that that of ofmastering mastering found his passion passion and and regarding regarding this this skill skill as as aa money-making money-making profession/ profession.' The his gambler should have no anxiety, for bad luck will not leave him at at aa loss loss -him leave will not bad luck for no have should anxiety, gambler a gambler gambler always always finds finds it it easier easier to to borrow borrow money money 'than 'than aa good good tradestradesa man'. 'What 'What is is more, more, this this skill skill gives gives the the Particulier Particulier admission to the the best best admission to man*. he how society, and a clever can turn this to good account ifhe if knows account to this turn can man and a clever good society, to use his his opportunities ... 1 who have have no revenue but a pack pack revenue but to use opportunities ... I know men of but who live live in luxury and magnificence in greater three dice, and three of cards cards and dice, but magnificence greater luxury than provincial lords no ready estates [but their great with their lords with than provincial ready money].' money]/ [but no great estates the advise the And Marecha! concludes with this advice: 'I 'I advise with this advice: concludes Marechal the worthy And the worthy his money man of chance to risk on them: to risk his chance of loves games and loves knows and man who who knows money games deal/ a great as can gain not risking is not he is to lose, little to has little he has as he lose, he gain a great deal.' risking much and can a is not simply a For of Pere Ange, the game of chance is chance the Pere of For the the biographer simply game Ange, biographer but a profession, a means of makmg one's pastime one's fortune fortune and extending of a means a but extending making profession, pastime one's -- a perfectly honourable honourable means. one's acquaintances acquaintances a perfectly Cailliere one of this Chevalier de Mere, of this opinion. one Mere, the only is not not the Caillire is opinion. The Chevalier only or the regarded in his as man of the world or man of breeding, a typical as a time in his time breeding, typical regarded 51 'I would du Monde: Monde: 61 'I expounds the same idea in his du Commerce Commerce du Suite du his Suite expounds the same idea in in it it effect when a man indulges point out too that gamblmg has effect in a good has a that too out indulges good gambling point means skilfully and with good grace: it means by which a man can obtain is the the it is with and by good grace: skilfully and princes company where gambling isis practised, admission to any princes admission to practised, and any company where gambling in it.' it/ He He to indulge were would bored if were unable to in if they bored be extremely often be indulge would often they extremely a turquoise won as a a child child won cites examples: Louis XIII (who as a XIII Louis turquoise some august cites some (who august examples: in gambling', relaxation in in Richelieu 'who found relaxation Mazarin, 'who found gambling', Mazarln, in aa lottery), lottery), Richelieu but did anything no Louis and 'the Queen his mother [who] no longer did but mother his 'the and anything longer Louis XIV, [who] XIV, Queen is it is one may merits one gamble and say her prayers'. 'Whatever merits have, it 'Whatever have, her may and prayers'. say gamble and without difficult reputation without entering high society and win aa great high society to win entering difficult to great reputation of sure means means of even aa sure It is is even admission. It gambling is an easy way of ofobtaining obtaining admission. gambling is an easy way *



enjoying good company without saying a word, especially if one plays enjoying good company without saying a word, especially if one plays like man of that is to say, avoiding 'eccentricity', 'caprice' is to of honour' a man like a honour* --that say, avoiding eccentricity', 'caprice* 'One must play like a of honour, honour, ready ready to and like to win or and superstition. must a man of win or One superstition. play lose whether one has or lost in one's expression or has one won or in lose without whether lost one's without showing showing expression or behaviour.' But But one one should should beware one's friends: try as we as beware of of ruining one's friends: behaviour.' try ruining it, 'we help harbouring grudge may talk ourselves ourselves out out of of it, 'we cannot cannot help a grudge to talk harbouring a may to against those have ruined us'. those have ruined us'. who against If games games of chance aroused no moral moral condemnation, there was no aroused no of chance was no If condemnation, there scenes, which which reason to to forbid forbid children play them: them: hence hence the the countless to play reason children to countless scenes, art handed down to to us, us, of children playing playing cards, cards, dice, backgammon, of children art has has handed dice, backgammon, etc. scholastic dialogues dialogues which used as both manuals of of used etc. The The scholastic which schoolboys as both manuals schoolboys etiquette and Latin glossaries sometimes gave recognition to games and Latin sometimes to of glossaries gave recognition games of etiquette chance as aa practice too common to be condemned if condoned. The if not too to be condemned not The condoned. chance as practice Spaniard Vives confines himself to giving a few rules in the interests of to a rules in himself few the interests of confines Vives giving Spaniard moderation: thus thus he he says says when one one should with (one with should gamble, whom moderation: gamble, (one should persons), at what games, stake at what avoid unruly for what what stake stake (,the should avoid games, for ('the stake unruly persons), should not be be aa trifle, since this this is is ridiculous ndiculous and worth playing playing for, and not should not not worth trifle, since for, nor should be so high that it troubles the mind mind before before tlle game begins'), begins '), so high the game it be that it troubles the nor should it 62 'in what manner', manner', as as aa good gambler, that and for long. 52 that is is to 'in what to say, say, and for how long. good gambler, Even in which afforded the best opportunities for raising in the the colleges, afforded the for which best Even colleges, opportunities raising moral standards, playing for money continued continued for for aa long of in spite for money moral time, in standards, playing long time, spite of the repugnance which the pedagogues pedagogues felt it. At At the the beginning beginning of the repugnance felt for for it. of the the which the eighteenth the regulations at Troyes of the the Oratorian Oratorian College century the eighteenth century College at regulations of Troyes stated: 'There shall be no no playing for money, unless it very is for shall be for unless it is for small stated: 'There very small money, playing sums permission.' The modern university teacher quoted and by who sums and modern teacher university by permission.' quoted by customs so far this text this in 1880, far removed from the text in somewhat shocked shocked by customs so from the 1880, somewhat educational of his time, added: 'This was practically tantamount his of added: educational principles 'This was tantamount time, principles practically 53 to permitting playing playing for money.'63 for money.' to permitting As late or so, so, there there was undisguised gambling heavy betting and heavy late as as 1830 As was undisguised 1830 or gambling and betting in the the English English public public schools. schools. The author of Tom Brown Brown'ss Schooldays Schooldays in author of describes the betting betting fever fever which the Derby Derby aroused that time time among at that describes the aroused at which the among 54 the boys boys at Arnold's reforms would later rid the English rid later the the at Rugby;64 Dr Arnold's reforms would Rugby; English schools of practices practices several the seventeenth seventeenth century century to several centuries old. From the schools of centuries old. to of the present present day a somewhat complex moral attitude towards games towards the attitude a moral games of day complex chance has evolved: as the gained ground that gambling that chance has evolved: as the opinion was a a gambling was opinion gained ground dangerous passion, a serious vice, then custom tended to change some of tended to a serious then custom of vice, change dangerous passion, the gambling games to reduce reduce the element of which the gambling in order of chance order to the element chance -- which games in favour of the the mental mental skill and intellectual intellectual efforts efforts of still still remained in favour remained -- in skill and of the the gambler, so that certain card or chess games less liable to the so that certain card became or less chess liable to the gambler, games censure applied to principle of the game of chance. chance. censure applied to the the principle of the game of *



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

86 86


forms the sport, the parlour game, the game of chance - had an forms --the sport, the parlour game, the game of chance -had an importance which they have lost lost in in our our society but which which they have technological society but which importance 58 they still have today in certain primitive or archaic societies. liS Yet Yet to to this or this in certain still have archaic societies. today primitive they passion which affected all and conditions, the Church opposed an affected all ages and which the Church conditions, ages passion opposed an absolute disapproval, and with the the Church, Church, laymen laymen enamoured and with of order order absolute disapproval, enamoured of who were were also to tame what was was still wild populapopulaand also eager and discipline tame what still a a wild eager to discipline tion, to to civilize civilize what what was was still a primitive primitive way of life. still a of life. tion, way The medieval medieval Church games in in all their forms, also condemned condemned games all their The Church also forms, especially in the communities of scholarship clerks which were to become of clerks in the which were to communities become scholarship especially the and universities of the ancien regime. can obtain some the colleges colleges and universities of the ancien regime. We can obtain some idea of of this from the statutes of these communities. Reading these the statutes of idea this intransigence from communities. Reading intransigence them, the the English English historian historian of the medieval medieval universities, universities, J. Rashdall, was of the was Rashdall, them, J. by the the general proscription of all the refusal to admit that struck of all pastimes, the to that refusal admit struck by general proscription pastimes, there pastimes, in whose pupils pupils for in schools be any innocent pastimes, schools whose for the the there might might be any innocent 50 They condemned most part were were none the less aged from from ten fifteen. /l9 ten to to fifteen. less aged none the condemned most part They the immorality immorality of games of chance, the the indecency indecency of the of games of chance, of parlour the parlour games, games, the of physical sports, which in point theatre and dancing, and the brutality and the of which in theatre and dancing, brutality physical sports, point of often did into brawls. brawls. The statutes the colleges were fact often did degenerate of the of fact statutes of degenerate into colleges were for recreation as drawn up in a way way as such a to limit as in such as to limit the the opportunities drawn up for recreation opportunities much as as the the risks Afortiori, the ban was strict and binding risks of the of delinquency. A ban was and strict fortiori, binding delinquency. on the religious, who were were forbidden by an Council of forbidden by of the Sens on the religious, an edict the Council of Sens edict of of to play play tennis, in their shirts (it is true that in the in their is that in the of 1485 shirts true tennis, especially 1485 to especially (it fifteenth a without a doublet or robe, and with his breeches a a doublet or and his breeches fifteenth century man without with robe, century undone, was was practically practically naked). has the that the the Church, the impression undone, Church, naked). One has impression that incapable as yet of controlling a laity given up to riotous amusements, a of as to riotous amusements, yet controlling laity given up incapable by forbidding them to play any any games set to safeguard its clerics out to clerics by to play set out forbidding them safeguard its games whatever, thus a fantastic contrast in ways of life if ban a thus establishing contrast in fantastic of life if the the ban whatever, establishing ways is what the regulations had really been been observed. observed. Here, Here, for is for example, the what of had really example, regulations of Narbonne College had to say about its scholars' pastimes in 1379: to about had scholars' its in 1379: College say pastimes 'Nobody play tennis tennis or or hockey other dangerous the house house is is to to play or other in the hockey or 'Nobody in dangerous games [insultuosos], under under pain pain of of aa fme play fine of of six six deniers; is to to play deniers; nobody nobody is games [insultuosos], or any other games played for money, or indulge in table amusedice, other for or in table or amusedice, money, indulge any games played ments [comessationes: blow-outs], blow-outs], under under pain pain of aa fine fme of ten sous.' often sous.' Games ments [comessationes: Is there never to be any relaxation and are put the same level. to are on the level. Is never be and guzzling there put any relaxation guzzling then? 'Scholars 'Scholars may may only only join join occasionally occasionally and at rare intervals intervals [what at rare then? [what precautions, quickly they they must must have been swept have been but how quickly for the the aside, for precautions, but swept aside, words opened the door to all forbidden excesses!] in respectable or in to words the door all the the forbidden respectable or opened excesses!] recreational [but which, seeing that even tennis was forbidden? recreational games tennis even was that forbidden? games [but which, seeing Perhaps parlour parlour games?], games?], staking staking aa pint pint of wine or or else on else some fruit, and on fruit, and Perhaps >6 such games are played not habitually habitually [sine [sine mora] mora].'60 condition that such games are played quietly quietly and not condition that .


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At Seez Seez College College in in 1477: 1477: 'We 'We decree decree that that nobody nobody shall shall play play dice, dice, or or At other evil or forbidden games, or even recognized games such as tennis, as such or even forbidden tennis, or evil other recognized games games, especially in the common places [i.e. the the cloister cloister and and the the common-room common-room especially in the common places [i.e. used as a refectory], and that if such games are played elsewhere it shall shall be be it elsewhere are and such that if as a used played games refectory], 91 In the Bull of Cardinal d'Amboise infrequently [non nimis continue ].'61 d' Amboise that that of Bull Cardinal the In nimis continue].' infrequently [non founded Montaigu Montaigu College College in in 1501 1501 one one chapter chapter isis entitled: entitled: De De exercitio exercitio founded 62 2 What is understood by that? The corporali. The text begins with a somewhat a somewhat with text that? is understood What begins by corporali* ambiguous statement: 'Physical exercise seems to be oflittle little use use when when itit isis ambiguous statement: 'Physical exercise seems to be of combined with with spiritual spiritual studies studies and and religious religious exercises; exercises; on on the the other other hand, hand, combined it greatly greatly develops develops the the health health when when itit isis indulged indulged in in alternately alternately with with it theoretical and and scientific scientific studies/ studies.' But But by by 'physical 'physical exercises' exercises' the the author author theoretical means not not so so much much games games as as manual manual work work (as (as opposed opposed to to intellectual intellectual means thus work), and he gives pride of place to domestic tasks, thus recognizing domestic to of tasks, he and recognizing place gives pride work), their value value as as aa form form of of relaxation: relaxation: work in in the the kitchen, kitchen, cleaning, cleaning, serving serving their at table. table. 'In 'In all all the the above above exercises exercises [i.e. [i.e. these these domestic domestic tasks] tasks] it it must never never at be forgotten forgotten that that one one should should work work as as hard hard and and as as speedily speedily as as possible/ possible.' be Games come come along along only only after after the the tasks tasks have have been been completed, completed, and with with Games considerable reservations! reservations! 'When the the Father Father [the [the head head of of the the community] community] considerable considers that the the minds minds wearied wearied by by work and and study study need need the the relaxation relaxation considers that afforded by recreations, [indu(gebit].' Certain Certain games these [indulgebit]. tolerate these he will will tolerate games afforded by recreations, he are neither neither are decent games which are tiring decent the common places, in the tiring allowed in are allowed games places, scholarstudents: nor At Montaigu, there were two groups of students: scholarwere there At nor dangerous. groups Montaigu, dangerous. the pauperes, called the ship boys who, as in other other foundations, as in foundations, were called pauperes, and ship boys who, boarders for board and lodging. The two groups lived apart and for board who paid apart groups boarders who lodging. paid the scholars scholars must not that the from stipulate that The regulations another. The one another. from one stipulate regulations play so often or for so the boarders, as the so long boarders, no doubt because they they were long as play so often or for harder. therefore under to better and therefore had to work harder. and be better pupils to be an obligation under an pupils obligation in 1452, Paris in ofParis The the University of 1452, decrees inspired by inspired by decrees reforming The decrees reforming the University tradiall the tradimaintain all what a modem desire maintain for discipline, desire for modern a was already discipline, what was already their allow their not allow will not 'The masters tional the colleges] masters [of colleges] will tional severity: [of the severity: 'The and immodest immoral and immodest dance immoral to dance students, at trade festivals or elsewhere, to students, at trade festivals or elsewhere, But without aa robe]. dances, or to wear indecent lay coats [short coats, without coats coats, indecent robe]. But wear or to [short lay dances, and a relaxation as and enjoyably, they will allow them to decently and to play enjoyably, as a relaxation and play decently they will allow them of course in the allow them, not allow just recreation after will not them, in the course of work/ 'They after work.' 'They will just recreation 83 This house/ to house from house to house.'63 This to go or to these to drink in the town town or go from these festivals, festivals, to drink in the collections, ban by collections, door-to-door greetings, the door-to-door accompanied by at the aimed at ban isis aimed greetings, accompanied festivals. seasonal festivals. the seasonal which people during the to young conceded to during tradition conceded people which tradition young in in Paxis in the situation situation in Paris sums up In Vivfcs sums his scholastic scholastic dialogues, up the ofhis In one one of dialogues, Vives no the terms: 'Among the in the following terms: students, no 'Among the students, sixteenth century the sixteenth century in the following but masters' permission, the masters' with other with the but be played can be permission, tennis can than tennis other game than played 9


88 88


sometimes play cards and chess, the little children the students students secretly sometimes the secretly play cards and chess, the little children 64 In fact the students, play garignons, and the naughtiest boys play dice.'" the and naughtiest boys play dice/ In fact the students, play garignons, like other boys, made no bones about visiting taverns and brothels, like other boys, made no bones about visiting taverns and brothels, Yet the strictness of the regulations was playing dice and going and dice dancing. Yet the strictness of the regulations was going dancing. playing their inefficacy, the authorities showing never modified modified in in the the light light of of their never inefScacy, the authorities showing the modem mind, which which is is more more aa stubbornness astonishing to to the modern stubbornness quite mind, quite astonishing than principle. concerned than concerned about about efficacy principle. efficacy Magistrates, police officers and jurists, all enamoured of order and Magistrates, police officers and jurists, all enamoured of order and good administration, discipline and authority, gave their support to the discipline and authority, gave their support to the good administration, schoolmasters For centuries end, an an uninterrupted uninterrupted on end, centuries on and churchmen. churchmen. For schoolmasters and succession was published published forbidding forbidding the the admission of students students admission of succession of of decrees decrees was of this kind were still the to Decrees were still appearing in of this kind Decrees to gaming-rooms. appearing in the gaming-rooms. eighteenth century; witness this edict issued by the Lieutenant-General issued the this edict Lieutenant-General witness by eighteenth century; of Police of Moulins on on March 27th, 1752, of which which aa copy intended for for of Police of Moulins March 2yth, 1752, of copy intended public display is the Musee des Arts et Traditions Populaires: 'It is et 'It is in the Muse des Arts Traditions is kept in Populaires: public display kept forbidden tennis-courts and billiard-rooms to to allow and billiard-rooms allow of tennis-courts forbidden for for the the masters masters of students to play play during hours, and masters of and for the masters of school hours, for the and servants servants to students and during school bowling and skittle alleys to allow students and servants to play at any to and servants to at skittle allow students and any alleys play bowling time.' The reader reader will have noted the linking of servants with students: noted the servants with students: time/ The will have linking of they were often often of the same gave similar similar grounds for fcaring their same age and gave of the age and grounds for fearing their they were high spirits and lack of self-control. Bowls and skittles, nowadays quiet and of lack Bowls and self-control. skittles, nowadays quiet high spirits pastimes, used to inspire so many brawls that in the sixteenth and sevenpastimes, used to inspire so many brawls that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries centuries the the police police magistrates sometimes banned them completely, teenth magistrates sometimes banned them completely, trying to extend to the whole of society which the the churchchurchextend to the whole of the restrictions to restrictions which society the trying to impose impose on clerics and these champions champions of of and students. Thus these wanted to students. Thus men wanted on clerics social discipline to all intents intents and purposes classified classified games among quasi to all and purposes social discipline games among quasi criminal prostitution, which which could be such as as drunkenness drunkenness and and prostitution, could be criminal activities activities such tolerated pinch, but but which had to to be the slightest sign of a pinch, forbidden at at the at a which had be forbidden tolerated at slightest sign of excess. excess. This attitude modified in in the the course of outright condemnation was was modified course of of This attitude of outright condemnation the however, largely owing to the influence of the to the influence the of seventeenth century, the seventeenth however, century, largely owing Jesuits. humanists of of the the Renaissance, their anti-scholastic reaction, in their anti-scholastic reaction, The humanists Renaissance, in Jesuits. of games. But it was the had noted the educational possibilities of But noted the it was the had already educational games. already possibilities Jesuit colleges which gradually induced the authorities to assume a more to assume a induced the authorities which gradually Jesuit colleges tolerant attitude towards games. Fathers realized realized from the the start that attitude towards start that tolerant games. The Fathers it was neither neither possible possible nor nor even to suppress suppress them them or or to to make it even desirable desirable to them dependent occasional, precarious precarious and and shameful shameful permission. permission. They They dependent on occasional, to proposed to assimilate them, to introduce officially into their them assimilate to introduce into their them, proposed officially curricula and regulations, on condition that they chose and controlled chose curricula and that and controlled condition regulations, they them. Brought under discipline in this this way, those pastimes which were them. Brought were way, those pastimes which discipline in


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deemed and recommended, and were deemed to to be be wholesome wholesome were were accepted accepted and recommended, and were henceforth study. henceforth regarded as means means of of education education no no less less respectable than regarded as respectable than study. Not only of dancing, but there no more more talk talk of of the the immorality of only was there immorality dancing, but dancing harmonizing the movements of in school, because by the movements of school, because dancing was taught taught in by harmonizing the body it eliminated the a boy a good bearing, eliminated awkwardness awkwardness and and gave a a body it gave boy good bearing, 'a moralists 'a fine fine air', air'. Similarly play-acting, which the seventeenth-century Similarly play-acting, which the seventeenth-century moralists condemned out school. The Jesuits began with out of of hand, found its its way into into school. The hand, found way Jesuits began with Latin dialogues Latin then went on to French plays on sacred subjects, then went on to French dialogues on sacred subjects, plays on profane was allowed, despite the opposition was the allowed, profane subjects. subjects. Even ballet-dancing ballet-dancing despite opposition of the writes Pere the authorities authorities of of the the Company: 'The taste taste for for dancing', Company: 'The dancing', writes Pre de Dainville, of the Roi 'so pronounced the contemporaries Dainville, 'so pronounced among among the contemporaries of the Roi Soleil, over in 1669 was to to found found the the Academie Academic dela dela Danse, Soleil, who in 1669 was Danse, prevailed prevailed over the a single the edicts edicts of of the the Fathers Fathers General. General. After After 1650 there was was scarcely a 1650 there scarcely single tragedy did not not have have a a ballet ballet in in the the interval.'65 interval.' 65 tragedy which did An album of engravings scenes of de Pas, dated 1602, Pas, dated 1602, depicts by Crispin engravings by Crispin de depicts scenes of school'life The class-rooms and the library are school "life 'in a Batavian 'in a Batavian college'. The class-rooms and the college*. library are 66 66 shown to to us, us, but lesson, a game of tennis and a ball game. but so so is is a a dancing a of tennis and a ball lesson, dancing game game. A new attitude attitude had had thus thus made its its appearance: education had adopted appearance: education had adopted games which it hitherto forbidden or else tolerated as aa lesser it had had hitherto forbidden or else tolerated as lesser evil. evil. games The Jesuits Jesuits published published Latin treatises on on gymnastics giving the rules of the Latin treatises the rules of the gymnastics giving The need for physical exercise was admitted to an recommended games. for need exercise was admitted to an games. physical ever greater extent. extent. Fenelon Fenelon wrote: wrote: 'The games which which children children like like best best ever greater 'The games are those in in which which die the body body is is in in motion; motion; they they are are happy happy provided provided they they are those can change change position.' position.' The The doctors doctors of of the the eighteenth eighteenth century, century, taking taking as as can their inspiration inspiration the the old old 'exercise 'exercise games' games' in in the the Jesuits' Jesuits' Latin Latin treatises, treatises, their 67 In the of bodily bodily hygiene: hygiene: physical physical culture. culture,6? elaborated aa new technique teclmique of elaborated In the Traite de de l' Education education des des enfants enfants of of 1722, 1722, by by de de Crousaz, Crousaz, aa professor professor of of Traitl philosophy and mathematics at Lausanne, read: 'While it is growing, at we it is and read: 'While mathematics Lausanne, growing, philosophy it is is essential essential for for the the human body body to to be be greatly greatly agitated agitated ... ... II consider consider it games affording exercise to be preferable to all others.' Tissot's to be all others.' Tissot's to exercise preferable games affording Gymnastique medica Ie et chirurgicale recommends physical games as the the recommends et midicale chirurgicale physical games as Gymnastique best exercises: exercises: 'They 'They exercise exercise all all the the parts parts of of the the body body at at the the same same time time ... best quite apart from the fact that the action of the the lungs lungs isis constantly constantly stimustimuquite apart from the fact that the action of calls of of the the players.' players.' lated by by the the shouts shouts and and calls lated ofthe the eighteenth eighteenth century, century, games games found found another anotherjustification, justification, At the the close close of At this time time patriotic patriotic: they they prepared prepared aa man for for war. war. This This was was the the time time when this the training training of of aa soldier soldier became became what what was was virtually virtually aa scientific scientific technique, technique, the the time time too too which which saw saw the the birth birth of of modern modem nationalism. nationalism. A link link was was the established between between the the educational educational games games of of the the Jesuits, Jesuits, the the gymnastics gymnastics established of the the doctors, doctors, the the training training of of the the soldier soldier and and the the demands demands of of patriotism. patriotism. of I*

. . .




the Consulate there appeared appeared aa Gymnastique Je la Jeunesse, ou the Consulate there Gymnastiaue de la Jeunesse, ou Traite eUmentaire desjeux Jes jeux d'exercices J' exercices consiJeres sous le Ie rapport Je leur utilite Traitt tUmentaire considMs sous rapport de leur utilitf physique et morale. The authors, authors, Duvivier Duvivier and J:tuffret, stated bluntly that that and Jauffret, stated bluntly physique et morale. Under Under

military drill military drill

is 'the drill which has been been the the basis basis of from the 'the drill which has of gymnastics gymnastics from the is particularly particularly suitable for the the period period is suitable for [the year XI] and the country in which are writing'. 'Dedicated in [the year XI] and the country in which we are writing'. 'Dedicated in advance to the by the the nature of condie common defence defence by and spirit of our our conadvance to nature and spirit stitution, our children are soldiers before they they are are born/ born.' 'Everything children are soldiers before stitution, our 'Everything military breathes something great and noble which raises a above military breathes something great and noble which raises a man above himselÂŁ' himself/ Thus, under the the successive influence of the humanist humanist pedagogues, pedagogues, the of the the successive influence Thus, under doctors of the the Enlightenment Enlightenment and and the the first come from doctors of first nationalists, have come from nationalists, we have the violent violent and games of the Middle Ages to gymnastics and and suspect the suspect games of the Middle Ages to gymnastics and military training, from popular from to gymnastic tussles to societies. military training, popular tussles gymnastic societies. is

beginning of time and which beginning of time and which

* * * This evolution evolution was was dictated by considerations considerations of health and dictated by and This of morality, morality, health common weal. weal. A parallel parallel evolution divided up up according to age and to evolution divided according age and rank games which were originally common to the whole of society. rank which the of were to whole society. originally games the the

In his history history of of classical classical literature literature Daniel Daniel Momet wrote of parlour In his of parlour Mornet wrote games: the young people of the middle classes of my generation the of the of middle classes 'When games: my generation young people [Mornet was born born in in 1878] played "parlour the matintes matinees at the [Mornet was "parlour games" games" at 1878] played Jansantes of families, they they rarely suspected that these games, more of their their families, that these dansantes games, more rarely suspected of high numerous and than in their time, had been the delight in and complex than their of numerous had been the time, complex delight high 68 Much earlier than that in society two hundred and fifty years before.'68 and than in hundred earlier that before/ two fifty years society fact. the fifteenth-century book of hours of the Duchesse de Bourgogne of In the book of the de hours Duchesse fact. In fifteenth-century Bourgogne an example lady is is sitting sitting with with aa basket a 'paper a lady have an of a basket in in we have 'paper game': game': a example of 69 At the 69 her lap in which some young people are putting slips of paper. in are of her At which the lap young people paper. putting slips end of the the Middle Middle Ages Ages 'selling games' were very fashionable. 'A lady end of 'selling games' were very fashionable. 'A lady would would give give aa lady the name of a gentleman or a a gentleman of would give lady the gentleman would give a gentleman or some flower and the other had to respond immediately and and the other to or object, and flower or respond immediately object, without moment's hesitation hesitation with a compliment a rhymed or a with a a moment's without a rhymed epigram.' compliment or epigram/ It is the the modern modern editor editor of de Pisan's Pisan's poetry poetry whom we have have to of Christine to It is Christine de - Christine thank for this description of the rules of the game de Pisan de thank of of Christine for this the rules the Pisan game description wrote seventy seventy epigrams games'. 70 70 This This procedure procedure doubtless wrote for 'selling doubtless epigrams for 'selling games'. originated in courtly manners. It then passed into popular song also into in manners. It then originated courtly popular song and also passed into children's the game of crambo which, as we have seen, into children's games: as the have of which, seen, games: game amused Louis Louis XIII the age three. But But it it was kept kept up by adults or at the XIII at too by adults or up too age of three. youths had left far behind. nineteenth-century sheet of had who left childhood childhood far A behind. of sheet youths nineteenth-century


.91 pi .

,'tuppence-coloured' tuppence-coloured' pictures but it bears the still shows shows the the same same games, pictures still games, but it bears the title 'Games title' Games of that fashion was dropping them, and ofold', which suggests that old', which fashion was suggests dropping them, and that they that or childish hot cockles, the were becoming either provincial or childish hot they were becoming either cockles, the provincial whistle game, whistle hide-and-seek, forfeits, sweet in the the water-jug, sweet game, the knife in hide-and-seek, forfeits, water-jug, the^knife knight, the love-pot, blind-man's buff, the little little man man who doesn't buff, the doesn't laugh, knight, blind-man's laugh, the love-pot, the sulker, the stool the stool of of repentance, the kiss kiss under sulker, the under the the chandelier, the cradle cradle repentance, the chandelier, the of love. love. Some would become children's of while others would retain children's games, while others would retain games, the ambiguous the far from from innocent innocent character character which which had had previously ambiguous and far previously earned them the the condemnation earned condemnation of of the the moralists, even the the more more tolerant tolerant moralists, even moralists moralists such such as as Erasmus.71 Erasmus. 71 Sorel's Maison Sorel's Jeux enables Maison des enables us us to to study this evolution evolution at at an an interesting desjeux study this interesting 72 Sorel makes a disin the the first stage, first half half of of the the seventeenth seventeenth century.72 Sorel makes a disstage, in century. tinction of tinction between parlour of exercise' exercise' and and 'games parlour games, games, 'games 'games of 'games of chance'. common to sort of person, chance'. The last last two, he observes, are 'common to every sort of two, he observes, are' every person, for the vulgar being valets as as much as as by masters ..â&#x20AC;˘ ... as as easy being played played by by valets by masters easy for the vulgar and the die ignorant as for for the the clever clever and and the the learned'. learned'. Parlour Parlour games on the the ignorant as games on other of wit and conversation'. In principle 'they can other hand are are 'games of wit and conversation'. In can 'games principle 'they bred on civility and gallantry, quick at appeal to persons of quality, appeal only only to persons of quality, bred on civility and gallantry, quick at repartee knowledge and judgment, and and full full of of knowledge and judgment, and cannot cannot repartee and speeches, speeches, and be played by opinion: this is what what he be played others. This This at at least least is is Sorel's Sorel's opinion: this is he would would by others.' like parlour games to be. In fact, at this time parlour games were also like parlour to be. In at this time were also fact, games parlour games popular with children and people of humble birth, 'the vulgar and the with children and of humble 'the and the birth, popular people vulgar ignorant'. Sorel has to admit this. 'To begin with, shall consider the Sorel has to admit this. 'To we shall consider the with, ignorant'. begin children's games games ... .. , There There are are some some which which are are exercises' exercises' -hockey, - hockey, children's 'trying to to spinning the the top, top, ladders, ladders, ball, ball, battledore battledore and and shuttlecock, shuttlecock, and and 'trying spinning catch one one another another with with one's one's eyes eyes open open or or blindfolded'. blindfolded'. But But 'there 'there are are catch others which which depend depend rather rather more more on on the the mind', mind', and and he he cites cites as as an an example example others the 'rhymed 'rhymed dialogues', dialogues', Christine Christine de de Pisan's Pisan's 'selling 'selling games', games', which which still still the guesses at at the the origins origins of of these these amused grown-ups grown-ups and and children children alike. alike. Sorel Sorel guesses amused games: 'These children's games games in in which which there there are are aa few few rhymed rhymed words words These children's games (crambo, for instance) are usually couched in very old and very simple for are couched in old and usually instance) very (crambo, very simple words, and and these these are are taken taken from from some some history history or or romance romance of of olden olden days, days, words, which shows shows how people people amused amused themselves themselves in in the the past past by by means means of of aa which of what what had had happened happened to to knights knights or or to to ladies ladies of of high high naive imitation imitation of naive degree.' degree.' Sorel finally finally observes observes that that in in the the lower lower classes classes these these children's children's games games are are Sorel by adults, adults, an an observation observation of of great great interest interest and and importance importance for for also played played by also us: 'As 'As these these are are children's children's games, games, they they also also serve serve for for rustic rustic persons persons whose whose us: not more more advanced advanced than than children's children's in in this this respect.' respect.' Yet Yet at at the the minds are are not minds Sorel has admit of the seventeenth century Sorel has to admit that 'sometimes beginning to that of the seventeenth 'sometimes century beginning '



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persons of quite high rank rank could could play play these these games games for for recreation', recreation', and and persons of quite high public opinion sees nothing wrong in this: these 'mixed' games, those in those this: these 'mixed' sees wrong games, nothing public opinion

common to to all all ages ages and and conditions, conditions, 'are 'are deemed deemed respectable respectable on on account account common of the the good good use use to to which which they they have have always always been been put'. put'. 'There 'There are are certain certain of kinds of of games games in in which which the the mind mind isis not not very very active, active, so so that that the the very very kinds young can play them, although it is true that aged and very serious is it and serious true that can them, very although aged play young persons also engage in them on occasion.' But But some some people people -- Ariste Ariste in in persons also engage in them on occasion/ Sorel's Maison Maison des Jeux, for for instance instance - consider consider these these pastimes of of children children Sorel's desjeux,


and villeins villeins unworthy unworthy of of aa respectable respectable man. man. Sorel's Sorel's speaker speaker isis reluctant reluctant to to and ban them them so so completely: completely: 'Even 'Even those those which which seem seem lowly lowly can can be be elevated elevated ban by giving giving them them aa different different application application from from the the first, first, which which II have have by

described so so that that described

it can can be be used used as as aa model.' model.' And he he then then tries tries to to raise raise the the it intellectual level of of the the parlour parlour games games played played indoors. indoors. Truth Truth to to tell, tell, the the modern reader, reader, after after studying studying Sorel's Sorel's description description of of the the game game of of mora moramodern in which which the the leader leader raises raises one, one, two two or or three three fingers, fingers, and and the the company company have have in to repeat repeat the the same same gesture gesture immediately immediately -- finds finds it it hard hard to to see see in in what what to respect mora is more elevated and and intelligent intelligent than than crambo, crambo, which which Sorel Sorel respect mora is more elevated dismisses as as fit for children. But he finds it even more surprising that that it even more But he finds for children. fit only dismisses surprising only a novelist novelist and and historian historian such as Sorel should devote devote aa monumental monumental work Sorel should such as a of these these pastimes; pastimes; here fact we have to the description description and and revision have here in in fact revision of to the further proof of importance which which games games occupied occupied in in the preoccuthe preoccuthe importance of the further proof pations of the society of of old. old. pations of the society Thus between the the distinction was was made between a distinction seventeenth century in the die seventeenth Thus in century a games. of adults and noblemen and the of children and yokels. and of children and the games and noblemen adults of yokels. games games The in Middle Ages. back to to the the Middle an old old one, was an distinction was The distinction one, dating Ages. But in dating back the from the twelfth century to be precise, it it applied only to to to twelfth be the from Middle Ages, the Middle century applied only precise, Ages, certain few in number and distinctive in character: the courtly certain games, games, few in number and distinctive in character: the courtly games. Before that, before the final constitution of the the idea idea of of nobility, nobility, games. Before that, before the final constitution of games were common to their rank. Certain games rank. Certain their whatever to all all people, whatever were games people, games I and Henri II II did did not retained for a long time: Fran~ois I not Franois time: for a their universality retained their long universality regard wrestling as beneath them, and Henri II to in ball games to join in ball II used used and Henri as beneath them, join games regard wrestling in the something the next next have been been accepted would no longer which would accepted in longer have something which at the the court of century. Richelieu vaulted in like Tristan at court of King like Tristan in his his gallery vaulted Richelieu King gallery century. Mark, traditional games these traditional tennis. But these Louis XIV played while Louis Mark, while games were played tennis. to in the the eighteenth in their turn in their turn be dropped to be century by by people people of quality. quality. eighteenth century dropped in reserved for As certain games had been been reserved for certain twelfth century, as the the twelfth back as far back As far games century, 73 73 a nobility and specifically for adults. Thus while wrestling was a common while for adults. and wrestling nobility specifically sport, the tournament and Villeins were and the the ring were knightly games. Villeins knightly games. ring were sport, the tournament denied and no children, even of noble noble birth, to tournaments, and admission to denied admission children, birth, tournaments, the first in them: for what was perhaps the first time, were in for to take take part them: allowed to were allowed time, perhaps part intellectual level


.93 ,93

tradition to participate in tradition forbade forbade children, and at at the the same same time time villeins, children, and villeins, to participate in collective collective games. The result result was was that that the the children children amused amused themselves themselves by games. The by imitating the forbidden forbidden tournaments: tournaments the the calendar calendar of ofthe the Grimani Grimani breviary imitating the breviary us some shows us some grotesque shows children's tournaments, in which which one one participant tournaments, in grotesque children's participant isis^thought _thought to astride to be be the the future future Charles Charles V, with the the children children sitting V, with sitting astride barrels barrels instead instead of of horses. horses. This marked the This the beginning of the the idea idea that that noblemen noblemen should should avoid avoid beginning of mixing among them: an idea which villeins and taking their sport an them: idea which mixing with villeins taking their sport among did not succeed did in imposing succeed in itself everywhere, at least until until the the eighteenth imposing itself everywhere, at least eighteenth the nobility as a class with a social function century, as a class with a social function century, when the nobility disappeared disappeared and was replaced the bourgeoisie. In the the sixteenth sixteenth and and at at the the beginning replaced by by the bourgeoisie. In beginning the seventeenth seventeenth century, of the documents bear a great century, a great many many iconographic iconographic documents bear witness to witness to the the mixing of the the classes classes at at the the seasonal seasonal festivals. festivals. In In one one of of mixing of 74 a sixteenththe dialogues the Balthazar Castiglione,7' in The The Courtier Courtier by Balthazar a sixteenthdialogues in by Castiglione, century the subject arouses various classic translated translated into into every century classic every language, language, the subject arouses various opinions: Pallavicino, we do 'In our our land land of of Lombardy, do not not hold hold opinions: 'In Lombardy, says says Pallavicino, this opinion this only with other noblemen]. the courtier courtier should should play with other opinion [that [that the play only noblemen]. Thus there there are are several several noblemen noblemen who at at festival-time festival-time dance dance all all day in day in the sun sun with the the peasants, and with them at throwing the bar, the peasants, and play with them at the bar, play throwing wrestling, running and vaulting, and I see no harm in this.' A few of and and I see no in harm this.' few of wrestling, running vaulting, those present protest; protest; they they concede concede that that at at aa pinch pinch aa nobleman nobleman may may those present play with with peasants, peasants, but but only if he he can can 'win the day' day' with with no no obvious 'win the obvious play only if effort: he must must be be 'practically 'practically sure sure of of winning'. winning'. 'If 'If there there is is anything effort: he anything which is is too too ugly ugly and and shameful shameful for for words, words, it it is is die the sight sight of of aa nobleman nobleman which being defeated defeated by by aa peasant, peasant, especially especially in in wrestling.' wrestling.' The The sporting sporting spirit spirit being did not not exist exist at at that that time, time, except except in in knightly knightly games, games, and and then then in in aa did different form form inspired inspired by by the the feudal feudal concept concept of of honour. honour. different At die the end end of of the the sixteenth sixteenth century century the the tournament tournament died died out. out. Other Other At games took its place in the gatherings of young noblemen at court, and in its the took of noblemen at and court, games gatherings young place in the the classes classes in in military military training training at at the the academies academies where, where, during during the the first first in half of of the the seventeenth seventeenth century, century, noblemen noblemen were were given given instruction instruction in in half riding and the use of arms. There was the quintain: the player, on horseThere was the the on horseand of arms. the use quintain: player, riding of the the living living target target back, tilted tilted at at aa wooden wooden target, target, which which took took the the place place of back, ofthe the old old tournaments, tournaments, aa Turk's Turk's head. head. And And there there was was the the ring: ring: the the player player of had to to unhook unhook aa ring ring as as he he rode rode past. past. In In the the book book by by Pluvinel, Pluvinel, the the principal principal had of one one of of these these academies, academies, an an engraving engraving by by Crispin Crispin de de Pas Pas shows shows Louis Louis of xm asas aa child child tilting tilting at at the the quintain. quintain.757& The The author author writes writes of of the the quintain quintain XIII was something something between between 'the 'the ferocious ferocious pleasure pleasure of ofbreaking breaking aa lance lance that itit was that with an an adversary adversary [the [the tournament] tournament] and and the the gende gentle pastime pastime of of tilting tilting the the with student Felix so the Platter medical ring'. At Montpellier in the 15505, so the medical student Felix Platter in the At 15505, ring'. Montpellier :


94 94

tells us, us, â&#x20AC;˘On June June yth 7th the the nobility nobility played played at tilting the the ring; the horses were at tilting tells ring the horses were richly caparisoned, covered with cloths and decked with plumes of all richly caparisoned, covered with cloths and decked with plumes of all colours.'76 Heroard, in in his his diary of Louis XIII's childhood, makes frequent colours.' 78 Heroard, diary of Louis Kill's childhood, makes frequent mention of ring-tilting contests at the the Louvre Louvre and and Saint-Germain. 'The mention of ring-tilting contests at Saint-Germain. 'The practice of tilting at the ring is engaged in every day', observes the practice of tilting at the ring is engaged in every day', observes the specialist Pluvinel. The quintain and the ring, as games reserved for the for the specialist Pluvinel. The quintain and the ring, as games reserved nobility, took the place of the tournaments and knightly games of the nobility, took the place of the tournaments and knightly games of the did not not disappear Middle Ages. Ages. But then what to them? Middle But then what happened them? They disappear happened to They did completely might imagine; but nowadays nowadays you you will not find them as one one might will not find them imagine; but completely as on the sports grounds of upper-class districts but at the fair, where you on the sports grounds of upper-class districts but at the fair, where you can at Turks' Turks' heads and where where the the children, children, on the wooden heads and still shoot shoot at on the can still horses of of the the roundabouts, roundabouts, can tilt at ring. This is what what remains of still tilt at the the ring. This is remains of can still horses the knightly tournaments of the Middle Ages: children's games and and tournaments of the Middle the children's knightly Ages: games popular amusements. amusements. popular There is lack of of other evolution which which gradually of this is no no lack other examples this evolution There gradually examples of of old into the repository of childish and popular transfers the games and of old the of childish into transfers the popular games repository games. Take the hoop for instance. In the late Middle Ages the hoop was the for In the late Middle the Take instance. hoop was hoop Ages games. not aa children's children's monopoly. In a sixteenth-century tapestry can see see a can In we not monopoly. sixteenth-century tapestry adolescents with hoops; one of them is just about to start his his start one of about to with is adolescents playing them hoops; just playing 77 In a woodcut by Jean Leclerc dating from the late 77 rolling with a stick. the late a In a from with stick. woodcut Leclerc by Jean dating rolling sixteenth century century there there are are some big children who, not content with some quite sixteenth quite big children who, not content with bowling their their hoops hoops along, along, are jumping through them as as if if they are jumping they were through them bowling 78 The hoop was used for acrobatics, difficult 78 playing with a skipping-rope. difficult a was for used with acrobatics, hoop skipping-rope. playing figures on occasion. It was familiar enough to young people, and old and old familiar on occasion. It was to enough young people, figures as that at A vignon in enough too, to be used in traditional dances such in in be at Avignon used traditional as that to dances such too, enough 1596 described for us by the Swiss student Felix Platter: on Shrove Shrove us Platter: for the Swiss student Felix described 1596 by Tuesday, young men gathered gathered together, wearing masks masks and and of young together, wearing Tuesday, groups groups of as pilgrims, pilgrims, peasants, peasants, seamen, seamen, Italians, Alsatians, or dressed or dressed as Alsatians, Italians, Spaniards, Spaniards, women, and and escorted by musicians. musicians. â&#x20AC;˘*In In the the evening evening they danced in the in the danced escorted by women, they street the dance dance of of the the hoops, hoops, in in which which many youths and of the and girls street the girls of the many youths nobility took part, dressed in white and covered with jewels. Each person Each in and with dressed white covered took person jewels. part, nobility he danced. danced. They went into the held aa white-and-gold white-and-gold hoop hoop in in the the air into the as he air as held They went see them from close close to. It was was wonderful wonderful to to inn followed them them to to see to. It inn where where II followed see passing backwards backwards and under those those rings, bending and and forwards forwards under see them them passing rings, bending to the the straightening up and and passing passing one one another another in in time, time, to the sound of the straightening up the repertory instruments.' Dances of of this this kind are still be found in in the repertory of kind are still to to be instruments/ Dances villages in the Basque country. country. the Basque villages in By the end of the seventeenth century it it seems in the the towns towns the the that in seems that of the end the seventeenth By century hoop had been left to the children: an engraving by Merian shows us aa Marian us left to the had been an shows children: engraving by hoop his hoop hoop as little children the whole of little child bowling bowling his the as little whole little child children would during during '



95 95

the century and and part part of of the the twentieth. being the the playplaythe nineteenth nineteenth century twentieth. 79 From From being thing of all and an an accessory used in dancing and acrobatics, the all ages, and thing of ages, accessory used in dancing and acrobatics, the hoop be confmed to smaller and smaller children until it would gradually hoop would gradually be confined to smaller and smaller children until it was fmally abandoned illustrating once again the truth that, was finally abandoned altogether, altogether, illustrating once again the truth that, in order to retain the favour children, aa toy toy must must have have some in order to retain the favour of of children, some connection connection with world of with the the world of adults. adults. We saw the beginning beginning of this chapter that Louis XIII as a child was saw at at the of this chapter that Louis XIII as a child was told M6lusine, fairy-stories. But these stories were told stories, the stories stories of of Melusine, stories, the fairy-stories. But these stories were also intended for 'Mme de Sevigne', observes M. E. also intended for grown-ups. de observes M. E. Storer, Storer, Sevigne', grown-ups. the the fashion fashion for at the end of the seventeenth the historian historian of of the for fairy-stories fairy-stories at the end of the seventeenth 80 Though amused by M. de century, 'was brought brought up de on fairy-tales.'80 century, 'was up on fairy-tales.' Though amused by Coulanges's witticisms about about aa certain certain Cuverdon, she did respond to to did not not respond Cuverdon, she Coulanges's witticisms 'for fear a toad toad might jump up at her face to punish her for her them 'for fear that her for that a at face to her her punish might jump up ingratitude'. Here she was referring to a fable by the troubadour Gauthier ingratitude*. Here she was referring to a fable by the troubadour Gauthier de had been been handed handed down by tradition. de Coiney which had Coincy which by tradition. On August August 6th, writing: 'Mme de de de Sevigne fi11 ^ Mme de 6th, 1677, 1677, we fmd Sevigne writing: Coulanges ... was kind enough to tell us the stories with which the ladies the ladies kind tell stories with which was to us the Coulanges enough of amused: this is known as them. So us she coddled coddled us of Versailles this is as coddling So she Versailles are are amused: coddling them. and told us us about a green island on which a princess was brought up a was who and told island on which about a brought up green princess was lovelier It was the fairies who breathed breathed on her her all the all the was lovelier than than the the day. day. It was the fairies This story went on for a good hour.' know too that Colbert time too that Colbert for a hour/ We on time ... This went story good 'in leisure moments employed to to tell tell him had servants 'in his servants specially his leisure moments had specially employed 81 stories very similar to fairy-tales'. 81 stories very similar to fairy-tales'. However, half of the century, people began began to to consider consider of the in the second half the second However, in century, people these stories too simple, while at the same time a sort interest was of interest was a sort of new at same time the while these stories too simple, taken in in them them which which tended tended to make aa fashionable genre out of oral oral fashionable literary to make taken literary genre out naive, traditional traditional character. recitations taste found expression This taste character. This of a a naive, recitations of expression both in publications intended for children, children, at at least least in principle, such such in principle, intended for both in publications as Perrault's tales, tales, and works meant meant for for grown-ups, serious works in more serious as Perrault's and in grown-ups, evolution from which children and the orders were excluded. The evolution were excluded. lower orders the lower children and from which This above. described of recalls that of the parlour game described above. This the of that of the recalls the fairy-story parlour game fairy-story old fairies, is Mme de Murat speaking to the modern fairies: 'The old fairies: modern to the fairies, your is de Murat your speaking very frivolous frivolous creatures compared to to you. you. Their Their predecessors, now seem creatures compared seem very predecessors, amuse only occupations were menial and childish, and could only servant-girls could and menial were childish, servant-girls occupations and only interest was in sweeping out the the house, house, putting in sweeping interest was and nannies. nannies. Their Their only putting them and the children on stew, doing the washing, rocking the children sending to on the the the stew, sending washing, rocking doing thousand a sleep, milking the cows, churning the butter, and a thousand other the butter, the cows, churning sleep, milking trivialities of that kind kind ... That is why why nothing nothing remains remains to to us us today of That is of that trivialities today of but their activities but fairy-tales... fairy-tales ... They were nothing but beggar-girls ... their activities but beggar-girls... nothing They But you, my my ladies modern fairies], have have taken aa new road. road. You busy busy ladies [the But you, [the modern fairies], . . .

. . .

. . .



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

and wealth wealth to to the the poor.' poor.' and

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

times my my nanny nanny or or my my love love told told me this this story story at at night night beside beside the the fire; fire; all all times I am doing doing is is adding adding aa little little embroidery. embroidery. You may may well well think think it it surprising ... that these tales, incredible though they are, should have been that incredible should have been these tales, are, surprising though they handed down to to us us from from century century to to century century without without anyone anyone taking taking the the handed trouble to to write write them them down. down. They They are are not not easy easy to to believe, believe, but but as as long long as as trouble there are are children children in in this this world, world, mothers mothers and and grandmothers, grandmothers, they they will will be be there remembered.' remembered/ People began began to to consolidate consolidate aa tradition tradition which which had had hitherto lutherto been been oral: oral: People certain tales tales 'which had been been told told me when II was was aa child ... have have been been child... certain 'which had put on paper by ingenious pens within the last few years'. Mlle Lhcritier the Mile Lheritier within last few on years'. put paper by ingenious pens thought that that the the sources were very very old: old: 'Tradition tells me that that the the Tradition tells sources were thought of Provence invented Finette a long time troubadours a time invented Finette or story-tellers of Provence troubadours or long story-tellers before Abelard Abelard or de Champagne produced the famous Thibaud de or the famous Comte Thibaud before Champagne produced their romances.' Thus Thus the the story became aa literary to their romances.' literary genre approximating to genre approximatmg story became the philosophical tale, or else affecting an old-fashioned style, like Mlle Mile like or an old-fashioned else affecting the philosophical tale, style, Lheritier's work: work: 'You 'You must that the the best best stories stories we have have are those are those must admit admit that Lheritier's which the style and simplicity of our nannies.' of nannies.' and our most closely the which imitate imitate most simplicity closely style At the story becoming aa the seventeenth while the At tJ:1e the end end of of the seventeenth century, story was becoming century, while new form recitation of of stories stories was oral recitation the oral of serious serious written written literature, form of literature, the being abandoned by the very people for whom the fashion of the written of the fashion written the for the abandoned very being by people story was intended. Colbert and Mme de to the the stories stories listened to de Sevigne Sevigne listened story was intended. Colbert and as somewhich fact as the fact of stressing and nobody told them them and were told which were stressing the nobody thought thought of thing like reading recreation like the ordinary; it was was aa commonplace out of of the reading ordinary; it commonplace recreation thing out aa detective today. In 1771, however, this was no longer the case, this In detective story case, 1771, however, longer the story today. and stories of the the in good the old, and among adults in old, half-forgotten half-forgotten stories society the good society among adults oral of a curiosity of an archaeological an a of the object oral tradition tradition were sometimes the were sometimes curiosity archaeological object or in folklore interest in folklore and modern interest the modem or ethnological nature foreshadowing foreshadowing the ethnological nature slang. We find the Duchesse de Choiseul writing to Mme du Deffand to de the Duchesse Choiseul find writing slang. all day. that are all all to him all 'is having fairy-stories read that Choiseul Choiseul 'is day. We are having fairy-stories read to reading just as as present-day as probable them now. now. We fwd find them them just present-day history.' history/ reading them probable as This after a a political This was was as as if if one of our our twentieth-century one of statesmen, after political twentieth-century statesmen, defeat, started reading Tintin or Mickey Mouse in his retirement. The in his retirement. started Tintin or defeat, reading Mickey Duchesse and wrote two stories; she adopted she de Choiseul Duchesse de wrote Choiseul was tempted, and stories; adopted tempted, the the beginning tone of of the the philosophical the tone if we judge tale, if by the judge by beginning of Le philosophical tale, I

. . .



by Holbein by Holbein

.A citeurs aux etteurs, toilette aux A lala toilette, ,

croull': quelque place ,(fez neece, c crmiuequelquc place aflcz ncccc, la fo(fccce, i 10. A beaux oltouf, ioucnc ?t cftcufs joilcnc foflccce, Plus ils sea vont fur J. la gL1cc griller: Plus vonc Cur ilss'cu ghee gcillcr:


amres leux.

C{ oc autres icux.

Ou bien (otluenc Ie mannoll(ec ii, b,i(cm, Oubienfouucnclc marrtioufctilsbaifcnr, lit copcnd"nc[Qu, Ie, aucres (0 fe plai(ent lesaucrcs Etccpcndanctous plaifcnc Au ieu Jc CIoce, a~ lieu de {olUmeillcr, Auicudccroccjawlicudcfommcillcr.

V. V.


9'] 97


Prince sent me to sleep Prince enchant': enchante: '''Sweet Sweet Margot, in my Margot, you you who in my study study sent me to sleep or tell me some with or woke me up with pretty some sublime sublime story up with pretty fairy-tales, fairy-tales, tell story with "nothing which II can can entertain entertain the the company." said Margot, "No," said company." "No," Margot, "nothing sublime. sublime. All All that that men need need is is fairy-stories.'" fairy-stories."' According to another anecdote of a lady in a moment to another anecdote of the the same same period, According period, a lady in a moment of boredom experienced the same curiosity as the Choiseuls. She for the same as the Choiseuls. She rang experienced curiosity rang for her of Pierre de Provence and the fair her maid and asked asked for for the the story of Pierre de and the fair Provence story Maguelonne, today but for be completely Maguelonne, which would be completely forgotten forgotten today but for Brahms's astonished maid had to Brahms's admirable admirable Lieder. Lieder. 'The 'The astonished maid had to be be asked asked three three times order with obvious contempt; however, times over, heard this this strange order with obvious over, and heard strange contempt; however, she she had to to obey; she went down to to the the kitchen kitchen and and came came back back with with the the obey; she pamphlet, scarlet/ pamphlet, blushing blushing scarlet.' There were in especially at Troyes, who in in fact fact certain certain publishers, in the the publishers, especially at Troyes, eighteenth for the rural issued printed editions of of fairy-stories eighteenth century century issued printed editions fairy-stories for the rural public learnt to to read read and and whom they reached by means of of public who had learnt they reached by means hawkers: (known as the Bibliotheque Bleue or hawkers: But these these publications as the Bleue the or the publications (known Bibliotheque 'blue 'blue tales' tales' because because they were printed on blue blue paper) owed nothing the to the they were printed on paper) owed nothing to literary they transcribed, fashion of of the the late late seventeenth seventeenth century; as faithfaithtranscribed, as literary fashion century; they fully permit, the as the the inevitable inevitable evolution of taste evolution of taste would would permit, the old old stories of stories of fully as the the oral oral tradition. tradition. A 1784 of the the Bibliotheque Bleue contains, 1784 publication contains, publication of Bibliotheque Bleue as as well well as as the the story of Pierre Pierre de de Provence Provence and and the fair Maguelonne, the the fair story of Maguelonne, the stories sons, Perrault's tales of Robert Ie stories of le Diable and the the four four Aymon Diable and Perrault's tales and and sons, Aymon those Aulnay. those of of MIle Mile de de la la Force and Mme d' Force and d'Aulnay. the Bibliotheque Bibliotheque Bleue, Bleue, there Apart from from the the books books of of the there were still were still Apart occasional to while the long winter evenings, occasional story-tellers while away and also also story-tellers to away the long winter evenings, and professional the heirs of the reciters, singers and jongleurs of professional story-tellers, story-tellers, the heirs of the reciters, singers and jongleurs of old. the paintings and engravings the seventeenth and eighteenth old. In of the In the and seventeenth and engravings of paintings eighteenth of the early nineteenth century, centuries, and the picturesque lithographs of the nineteenth the picturesque centuries, and early lithographs century, the story-teller story-teller or or charlatan charlatan is is aa popular popular subject. subject.S82! The charlatan charlatan is is shown the perched on on aa platform, platform, telling telling his his story story and and pointing pointing with with aa stick stick to to the the perched text written written on aa big big board board which aa companion companion is is holding holding up up in in the the air air so so text that the the audience audience can can read read while while they they listen. provincial towns towns the the In some provincial listen. In that lower middle-class middle-class had sometimes kept kept this this pastime pastime alive. alive. A memorialist memorialist lower had sometimes tells us us that that at at Troyes, Troyes, towards towards the the end end of the the eighteenth eighteenth century, century, the the men tells of the the town town would would gather gather together, together, in in winter winter in in the the taverns, taverns, in in summer of 'in the the gardens gardens where, where, taking taking off off their their wigs, wigs, they they would put put on their their litde lime 'in 88 This was called a caps'.88 cotterie. 'Each cotterie cotterie had at at least least one one storystoryie. 'Each This was called a cotter caps'. teller on on whom each each person person modelled modelled his his talent/ talent.' The memorialist memorialist recalls recalls teller one of of the the story-tellers, story-tellers, an an old old butcher. butcher. 'Two days days II spent spent with with him him when one I was was aa child child were were given given up up to to stories stories whose charm, charm, effect effect and naivety naivety I D

facing above: above: A GAME OF CHUCKS by by S. S. Leclerc Leclerc facing below: THE CRAFTSMAN AND HIS IDS CHILD by by Lagniet Lagniet . below:



could scarcely scarcdy be, be, II will will not not say say rendered, rendered, but but appreciated appreciated by by the the present present could generation. '

generation/ Thus the the old old stories stories which which everyone everyone listened listened to to in in the the time time of of Colbert Colbert Thus

and Mme Mme de de Sevigne S6vignc were were gradually gradually abandoned, abandoned, first first by by the the nobility nobility and and and then by by the the bourgeoisie, bourgeoisie, to to the the children children and and the the country-dwellers. country-dwellers. The The then latter in in their their turn tum abandoned abandoned them them when when the the newspaper newspaper took took the the place place of of latter the Bibliotheque Bibliotheque Bleue; Bleue; the the children children then then the

not for for long, long, for for children's children's reading reading not evolution as as games games and and manners. manners. evolution

became their their last last public, public, but but became is at at present present undergoing undergoing the the same same


Tennis used used to to be be one one of of the the most most common games; games; of of all all the the physical physical Tennis games, it was the one which the moralists of the late Middle Ages tolerated tolerated the late Middle of moralists the which one the was it Ages games, with the the least least repugnance: repugnance: it it was was the the most most popular popular game, game, common to to all all with of society, society, to to kings kings and and villeins villeins alike, alike, for for several several centuries. centuries. But ranks of ranks towards the the end end of of the the seventeenth seventeenth century century there there was was aa swift swift decline decline in in the the towards of tennis with the nobility. In Paris in 1657 there were one popularity in there were one Paris In the with of tennis 1657 nobility. popularity hundred and and fourteen fourteen tennis-courts; tennis-courts; in in 1700, in spite spite of of the the growth growth of of the the hundred 1700, in population, their number had fallen to ten; in the nineteenth century there there the nineteenth to in fallen had number their ten; century population, were only only two two left, left, one one in the Rue Mazarine Mazarine and and the the other the terrace terrace other on the in the were 84 of the Tuileries, it was was still to be be found in ipoo. I900. M In seventeenth In the the seventeenth found in still to where it of the Tiiileries, where century, according to Jusserand, the the historian historian of of games pastimes, games and pastimes, century, according to Jusserand, Louis for tennis. tennis. Though enthusiasm for of enthusiasm lack of marked lack shown aa marked had shown XIV had Louis XIV Though the the child child (even the peasant this game, abandoned this adult abandoned the well-bred well-bred adult (even peasant and the game, the the¡ remained faithful to rounders different forms forms of rounders it in in different to it well-bred child) the well-bred child) remained faithful or or battledore and it lasted in the lasted the Basque and shuttlecock; or pdQta shuttlecock; in country it Basque country pelata or battledore of grand or little until forms or little chistera. chistera. of forms in the the improved revival in its revival until its grand improved late seventeenth seventeenth century by Merian dating from the An the late An engraving century engraving by Merian dating the adults: the shows that has brought together children and adults: children has that a ball ball game us a shows us brought together game 86 80 that time the ball game, ball up in the picture. But at that time the ball at the in blown is being blown ball is game, picture. up being rough in nature, was already suspect to to experts good experts on etiquette etiquette and good rough in nature, was already suspect it. manners. and Shakespeare Thomas Elyot manners. Thomas against it. Shakespeare warned noblemen against Elyot and to it. According to England forbade his to it. du Cange, James I his son to play son forbade I of of According Cange, play England James each player kicks only peasants played it: ball which each a kind kind of ball 'The chole, it: 'The chole, a player kicks only peasants played in the our played by the peasants in our hard in a a game used in is still still used which is and which hard and peasants game played by as late as the ninefor provinces.' A game played in for example, as late as the ninein Brittany A example, Brittany game played provinces/ into the the midst midst of of would throw into teenth 'The lord of the manor would teenth century: century: 'The lord of the from the men different cantons the crowd a ball full of bran which the men from the different cantons the bran which of full ball a the crowd was aa child child [the author When II was would to snatch from one another another ... When from one would try [the author try to snatch a his ventilator 1749] I saw a man break his leg jumping through a ventilator was born in a man break saw I in born was leg jumping through 1749] and courage, to the ball. These games fostered fostered physical but, to get strength and courage, but, physical strength get the ball. These games as I have already said, they were dangerous.' were as I have already said, they dangerous/ . . .


,99 ,99

other â&#x20AC;˘'games Many games of like this into the province ofexercise' exercise* were were to to pass Many other pass like this into the province and the children and of of children the lower lower classes. classes. Mall, for instance, of which which Mme Mme de de Mall, for instance, of in aa letter wrote in Sevigne letter of of 1685 to her her son-in-law: 'I have son-in-law: 'I have had had two two Sevign wrote 1685 to of mall mall with with the the players games Les Rochers]. Oh, my dear Count, games of players [at [at Les Rochers]. Oh, my dear Count, of 1I keep of you and the grace and the with which which you hit the the ball. ball. 1 I wish wish keep thinking thinking you grace with you hit 86 All these games of bowls, skittles such a you ~ such a fine alley at Grignan.'88 fine at ted All these of skittles you alley bowls, Grignan.' games and and the bourgeoisie, were and croquet, abandoned by the nobility croquet, abandoned by the nobility and the bourgeoisie, were in the the nineteenth relegated for adults, to the nineteenth century to the the country relegated in century to country for adults, to the nursery for children. for children. nursery The survival hitherto survival among children and and the the lower lower classes classes of of games among children games hitherto to the the whole community common to is responsible for the preis likewise likewise for the community responsible preservation of one of the servation types of amusement in former the most most widespread of in amusement former widespread types times: fancy times: century, novels dress. From the the sixteenth sixteenth to to the the eighteenth fancy dress. eighteenth century, novels full of stories were full girls, princesses as stories of disguise -- boys disguised as as disguise boys disguised girls, princesses as shepherdesses, and so on. Literature reflected a taste which found so on. Literature reflected a taste which found exexshepherdesses, pression at every opportunity provided by the seasonal or occasional at the seasonal or occasional pression every opportunity provided by festivals: Twelfth Night, Shrove festivals: the November November festivals. festivals. For For Night, Shrove Tuesday, Tuesday, the aa long it was customary, especially among women, to wear wear aa mask mask long time it customary, especially among women, to to painted in to go out. The well-born well-born were fond fond of of having their portraits go out. having their portraits painted in their costumes. After the eighteenth century, their favourite favourite fancy-dress costumes. After the fancy-dress eighteenth century, fancyfancydress festivals became rarer rarer and discreet in society; the dress festivals and more discreet in good the good society; carnival became became aa lower-class lower-class amusement amusement and and even even crossed the seas seas to to carnival crossed the America. Today, Today, with with few few exceptions, children are the only ones who put America. children are the exceptions, only ones put masks at at carnival carnival time time and and dress dress up up for for fun. fun. on masks

* * * In every every case case the the same same evolution evolution takes takes place place with with repetitious repetitious monotony. monotony. In At first first the the same games games were common to to all all ages ages and and all all classes. classes. The The phenomenon which needs to be emphasized is the abandonment of these needs to be emphasized is the abandonment of these phenomenon games by by the the adults adults of ofthe the upper upper classes classes and and their their survival survival among among both both the the games lower classes classes and and the the children children of ofthe the upper upper classes. classes. It It isis true true that that in in England England lower the upper upper classes classes have have not not abandoned abandoned the the old old games games as as they they have have in in the France, but but they they have have completely completely transformed transformed them, them. and and itit isis in in ununFrance, recognizable modern modem forms forms that that the the games games have have been been adopted adopted by by the the recognizable middle-class middle-class sportsman. sportsman. It isis important important to to note note that that the the old old community community of ofgames games was was destroyed destroyed It at one one and and the the same same time time between between children children and and adults, adults, between between lower lower at class and and middle middle class. class. This This coincidence coincidence enables enables us us to to glimpse glimpse already already aa class connection between between the the idea idea of ofchildhood childhood and and the the idea idea of ofclass. class. connection



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

century. century. Louis XIII XIII was not yet yet one laughed uproariously was not Louis one year old: 'He 'He laughed year old: uproariously when his nanny waggled waggled his his cock her fingers.' An amusing trick which which the the his nanny cock with with her amusing trick fingers.' 'he shouted "Hey, there!" and pulled child Calling a page, and child soon a 'he there!" soon copied. shouted pulled "Hey, copied. Calling page, up robe, showing his cock.' his robe, him his cock/ up his showing him notes Heroard, 'he He was was one 'he made one year 'In high old: 'In year old: high spirits,' spirits,' notes Heroard, everybody all. Similarly his cock.' This amused them all. kiss his cock.' This amused them Similarly everyone everyone everybody kiss considered two visitors, and de Bonieres Bonieres and his behaviour a certain considered his behaviour towards certain de towards two visitors, a his highly amusing: 'He laughed at him, lifted up his robe his daughter, daughter, highly amusing: 'He laughed at him, lifted up his robe and for then, to his his daughter, and showed his cock, even more showed him him his but even more so so to then, cock, but daughter, for his little laugh, he shook the whole of his holding it and giving his body of the whole and his shook it he little body holding giving laugh, up to child took took care care to and down.' this so the child down.' They that the so funny up and They thought funny that thought this repeat a gesture which had been such a success; in the presence of a 'little a of 'little in the a had such a which been success; presence repeat gesture lady', 'he lifted up his coat, and showed her his cock with such fervour lady', 'he lifted up his coat, and showed her his cock with such fervour that to show it to her.' it to her.' back to his back he was that he on his was quite beside himselÂŁ himself. He lay lay on quite beside the When he over a year old he was engaged to the Infanta of Infanta to he was a he was was just old over engaged just year Spain; to him what this and he underunderthis meant, his attendants attendants explained to what meant, Spain; his explained stood well. 'They asked him: "Where is Infanta's is the the Infanta's stood them them fairly fairly well. 'They asked him: darling?" hand on his his hand his cock.' cock.' darling?" He put put his During or saw his first reluctance or first three three years any rductance years nobody During his nobody showed any any harm in jokingly touching the child's sexual parts. 'The Marquise sexual 'The in child's the any parts. Marquise jokingly touching [de his nanny his coat; he got to lay often put her hand hand under under his coat; he lay [de Vemeuil] got his nanny to Verneuil] often put her his with him, putting her hand under his him on her her bed bed where she her under she played with him, putting played 100


,101 IOI


'Mme de de Verncuil Verneuil wanted wanted to to play play with with him him and and took took hold hold of of 'Mme his nipples; he pushed her away, saying: "Let go, let go, go away." his nipples; he pushed her away, saying: "Let go, let go, go away." his nipples, nipples, because because his his nanny nanny He would would not not allow allow the the Marquise Marquise to to touch touch his He him: "Monsieur, "Monsieur, never never let let anybody anybody touch touch your your nipples, nipples, or or had told told him: had your cock, or they will cut it off." remembered this.' Again: 'When your cock, or they will cut it off." He remembered this.' Again: When he got got up, up, he he would would not not take take his his shirt shirt and and said said: "Not "Not my my shirt, shirt, II want want to to he all some milk from my cock." held out our hands, and he give you he held out our and cock." We all some milk from hands, my give you pretended to give us all some milk, saying: "Pss, pss," and only then pretended to give us all some milk, saying: "Pss, pss," and only then agreeing to take his shirt.' agreeing to take his shirt/ was aa common joke, joke, repeated repeated time time and and again, again, to to say say to to him: him: It was It "'he replied: replied: "Hey, "Hey, here hereit is!" 'Monsieur, you you haven't haven't got got aa cock/ cock.' Then Then 'he it is! 'Monsieur, fOlger.' These jokes were not limited laughing and lifting it up with one were not These limited one with it and jokes finger/ lifting up laughing or to to women of of easy easy virtue virtue such such to the the servants, servants, or or to to brainless brainless youths, youths, or to as the the King's King's mistress. mistress. The The Queen, Queen, his his mother, mother, made the the same same sort sort of of as joke: 'The Queen, touching his cock, said: "Son, I holding your am I said: his 'The "Son, cock, your holding Queen, touching joke: is this this passage: passage: 'He 'He was was undressed undressed and and spout.''' Even more astonishing is spout."' Even more astonishing sister], and they were placed naked in bed with the Madame too too [his in with the naked bed were and Madame placed they [his sister], kissed and twittered and gave great amusement to the King, where they the to amusement and and twittered kissed where gave great they King, asked him: "Son, where is the Infanta's bundle?" King. The King He the Infanta's bundle?" is where him: asked The "Son, King King. is no bone in it, Papa." Then, as it was showed it to "There as it in is bone "There to him, showed it Then, it, him, saying: Papa." saying: slightly distended, he he added: added: "There is now, now, there is sometimes.'" sometimes/" there is "There is slightly distended, to see up The first erections: erections: 'Waking see his his first in fact, was amused, Court was The Court fact, to amused, in 'Waking up at o'clock, he called MIle Bethouzay and said to her: "Zezai, my to her: said and Mile he called "Zezai, at eight o'clock, my Bethouzay eight it goes cock he raised raised and down." down." And he see how it like a a drawbridge; is like cock is up and goes up drawbridge; see it it/ lowered it.' and lowered it and of four, By the age to the the Queen's 'he was taken to was taken of the four, 'he Queen's apartments, apartments, where age By bed and said to him: "Monsieur, Mme de said to bed the Queen's him the showed him "Monsieur, de Guise Guise showed Queen's asked were made." He replied: "With Mamma?'" 'He asked this Mamma?" made." were is where where you this is replied: you ' h b d "Wh . tha?" "Th" th I ". hi "is the s nanny s us an : at 1S t. at, came e rep y, IS one is that?" "What husband: his "That," reply, nanny's of silk stockings." "And those? " [after the manner of parlour-game the those?" silk of my parlour-game [after stockings." my of?" are they questions] "Those are breeches." "What are are my they made on" my breeches." questions] "Those is inside?" inside?" "Velvet." "What is "I "I a cod-piece." is a "That is that?" "That "And that?" "Velvet." "And cod-piece." don't is it it for?" for?" don't Monsieur." "Why, a cock. Who is "I don't know, a cock. know, Monsieur." don't know, know, "Why, Monsieur." for Madame Doundoun [his Monsieur." "Why, nanny]/" [his nanny].''' "Why, for a very de 'He stood between the legs of Mme de Montglat of the 'He stood between very governess, a Montglat [his [his governess, legs did not seem to be dignified, highly respectable woman, who however did woman, dignified, highly respectable all these these jokes put out -- any more than Heroard was -- by jokes which we by all put out any more than Heroard at Madame "Look said: would consider insufferable today]. The King said: "Look at insufferable would consider King today]. birth." she has just given birth." He went straight de Montglat's son: she has de Montglat's son: away straight away just given and stood between the Queen's legs.' and stood between the Queen's legs/ coat.' coat/




102 IO2


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


. 103 103 ,

of rare occurrence. marriage of girl of was still a rare of a occurrence. The The marriage of a a girl of thirteen thirteen was still very very common. common. is no no reason to believe that the moral climate was any There There is reason to believe that the moral climate was different any diJferent in whether of of nobles nobles or practice of in other other families, or commoners; the practice of families, whether commoners; the associating children with the sexual ribaldries of adults formed part of associating children with the sexual ribaldries of adults formed part of contemporary manners. In Pascal's family, Jacqueline Pascal at die the age In Pascal's Pascal at family, Jacqueline contemporary manners. age of was writing a poem about the Queen's pregnancy. a twelve was about the of twelve Queen's writing poem pregnancy. his memoirs of life a medical medical student the end Thomas Platter, Platter, in in his life as as a Thomas student at memoirs of at the end of century, writes: played this this the sixteenth a child sixteenth century, met a child who played of the 'I once once met writes: 'I trick a girl's aiguillette when she married, so that her husband a she so trick [knotting that her husband when married, [knotting girl's aiguillette became on his parents' maidservant. She begged him to break became impotent] impotent] on his parents' maidservant. She begged him to break the spell by undoing the aiguillette. agreed and the bridegroom, the spell by undoing the aiguillette. He agreed and the bridegroom, recovering his potency, was immediately cured.' Pere de cured.' his Pre de Dainville, was the Dainville, the immediately recovering potency, historim of of the of Jesus and of humanist pedagogics, also writes: and of humanist the Society of also historian writes: Society pedagogics, Jesus 'The respect due children was was then then [in the sixteenth century] completely due to to children 'The respect [in the sixteenth century] completely unknown. was permitted permitted in their presence: presence: coarse in their coarse language, unknown. Everything Everything was language, scabrous had heard everything had heard and seen and situations; seen scabrous actions actions and situations; they they everything and everything.'J everything.'* This lack with regard to children us: raise our children surprises of reserve reserve with This lack of surprises us: we raise our regard to eyebrows at the outspoken talk. but even at the bold gestures, the at but even more the bold talk the at gestures, the outspoken eyebrows physical contacts, about which it to imagine what a modem is easy to it is a about what which modern contacts, easy imagine physical psycho-analyst would say. The psycho-analyst psycho-analyst would would be be wrong. wrong. The The psycho-analyst would say. attitude to sex, itself, varies according to environment, varies according to environment, and doubtless doubtless sex sex itself, attitude to sex, and and to period period and Nowadays the and mentality. the and consequently mentality. Nowadays according to consequently according physical contacts described by Heroard would strike us as bordering on Heroard strike us as would described contacts by bordering on physical sexual perversion and nobody would would dare to indulge in them publicly. in dare to and nobody them sexual perversion indulge publicly. This was not not the the case beginning of the seventeenth of the seventeenth century. at the the beginning There case at This was century. There is of ISII depicting a holy family: St Anne's behaviour a St Anne's behaviour of is an an engraving 1511 depicting holy family: engraving strikes us as is pushing the child's thighs she is as if if odd -- she as extremely strikes us pushing the child's thighs apart apart as extremely odd she wanted to to get at its privy parts and tickle them. It be a mistake and would be a tickle them. It mistake its at she wanted privy parts get to see this as ribaldry.33 of ribaldry. as a a piece to see this piece of The practice practice of playing with with children's children's privy privy parts parts formed part a of playing part of a in widespread tradition, which is still operative in Moslem circles. These still circles. is These which operative widespread tradition, have remained aloof aloof not not only progress but but also also from the scientific progress the from scientific have remained only from later which great moral reformation, at first Christian, later secular, disciplined first at moral Christian, secular, reformation, disciplined great eighteenth-century and particularly nineteendi-century society in eighteenth-century and particularly nineteenth-century society in find features England and France. in Moslem society features which strike strike Thus in France. Thus society we fmd England and us as peculiar but but which the worthy worthy Heroard would not not have have found so so us as peculiar which the a novel entitled surprising. Witness this passage from a novel entitled The Statue of Salt. Statue from Salt. this Witness of passage surprising. is a a curious The author author is Tunisian Jew, his book is curious Albert Memmi, and his is a a Tunisian Jew, Albert

104 104


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



. IO5 lOS

This twentieth-century twentieth-century scene scene surely surely enables enables us us to to understand understand better better the the This seventeenth century century before before the the moral moral reformation. reformation. We should should avoid avoid seventeenth anachronisms, such such as as the the explanation explanation by by Mme de de Sevign^'s Sevigne's latest latest editor editor anachronisms,



that the the baroque baroque excesses excesses of ofher her mother mother love love were were due due to to incest. incest. All All that that that was involved involved was was aa game game whose whose scabrous scabrous nature nature we we should should beware beware of of was exaggerating: there was nothing more scabrous about it than there is is there than it scabrous about was there more nothing exaggerating: about the the racy racy stories stories men men tell tell each each other other nowadays. nowadays. about

This semi-innocence, semi-innocence, which which strikes strikes us us as as corrupt corrupt or or naive, naive, explains explains the the This popularity of the theme of the urinating child as from the fifteenth the fifteenth from as child the of theme the of urinating popularity century. The theme is treated in the illustrations of of books books of of hours hours and and century. The theme is treated in the illustrations in church church pictures. pictures. In In the the calendars calendars in in the the Hennessy Hennessy book book of of hours hours44 and and in the Grimani Grimani breviary, breviary,55 dating dating from from the the early early sixteenth sixteenth century, century, aa winter winter the month isis represented represented by by the the snow-covered snow-covered village; village; the the door door of of one one month house isis open, open, and and the the woman of of the the house house can can be be seen seen spinning, spinning, the the man house warming himself by the fire; the child is in full view, urinating on to to the the warming himself by the fire; the child is in full view, urinating snow in in front front of of the the door. door. snow Flemish''Ecce Ecce homo' homo' by by P. P. Pietersz, Pietersz,66 doubtless doubtless intended intended for for aa church, church, A Flemish shows quite aa few children in in the the crowd crowd of of onlookers: onlookers: one one mother is is few children shows quite have a that he can holding her child above the heads of the so that can a so crowd of the the heads above child her holding the doorposts. better view. view. Some quick-witted boys boys are doorposts. A are shinning Some quick-witted better up the shinning up the child urinating, held mother. The magistrates his mother. held by seen urinating, be seen can be child can magistrates of the by his in their their in the High Court of Toulouse, when they heard in the chapel heard Mass in of Court Toulouse, chapel they High distracted by own could have attention distracted their attention have had their of Justice, Palace of own Palace by aa Justice, could the story similar them aa great before them had before scene. They story similar scene. depicting the triptych depicting great triptych They had 7 On the of the Baptist. centre volet was shown preaching. the Baptist volet the centre the the ofJohn preaching. Baptist Baptist. John There in the the crowd; child; children in were children There were crowd; aa woman was suckling suckling her child; the magistrates, there up a tree; a little away, facing the a a little way a was aa boy tree; there was magistrates, facing away, way boy up child up his robe and urinating. and robe his was holding child was urinating. holding up in crowd scenes, The with which one children in finds children one fmds scenes, and the The frequency frequency with which child repetition of certain themes (the child being breast-fed, the child child breast-fed, themes certain of being (the repetition clear are clear sixteenth urinating) in the fifteenth the sixteenth century, are the and especially fifteenth and in the century, especially urinating) of a new and special interest. signs interest. and a new of special signs ofreligious scene of one scene It time one this time at this that at too that is noteworthy iconography It is religious iconography noteworthy too in almost almost is depicted in scene is This scene recurs the Circumcision. This Circumcision. the depicted recurs frequently: frequently: in the the of the the Virgin Presentation of the Presentation surgical detail. in in that the fact that in fact seems It seems detail. It Virgin surgical and sevensevensixteenth and in the the sixteenth treated in Temple and the Circumcision were were treated Circumcision the and Temple of festivals of the only teenth childhood: the of childhood: festivals of as festivals centuries as teenth centuries religious festivals only religious In the the Communion. In. First Communion. of the the First childhood celebration of solemn celebration the solemn before the childhood before see an an early can see parish church of Saint-Nicolas we we can seventeenth-century early seventeenth-century parish church of Saint-Nicolas of painting which comes from the of Saint-Martin-des-Champs. the Abbey from comes which Saint-Martin-des-Champs. Abbey painting

106 IO6


The scene of the the Circumcision scene of Circumcision is is surrounded surrounded by crowd of of children, children, by aa crowd some others climbing the pillars to of them with some of with their their parents, others the parents, climbing pillars to get a better view. For us, surely, there is something strange, almost a better view. For there is almost us, get surely, something strange, shocking, about the the choice of the the Circumcision choice of Circumcision as as a a festival festival of of childhood, childhood, shocking, about depicted in the midst of children. Shocking for us, perhaps, in the midst of children. for for but not not for us, perhaps, but depicted Shocking aa present-day Moslem or for a man of the sixteenth or early seventeenth or for a of the sixteenth or seventeenth present-day early century. century. Not only admittedly of were children children associated associated with with an an operation, only were operation, admittedly of aa religious nature, on the male sexual organ, but gestures and physical the male sexual but nature, religious organ, gestures and physical contacts and publicly allowed which were forbidden as contacts were were freely and allowed which were forbidden as soon soon freely publicly as of puberty, or in other words was practically as the the child child reached the age reached the of or in other words was age puberty, practically adult. child under adult. There There were were two reasons reasons for for this. In the this. In the first first place the place the child under the the age of puberty was believed believed to to be be unaware unaware of of or or indifferent to sex. indifferent to sex. age of puberty was Thus gestures and allusions had no meaning for him; they became purely and allusions had for became him; they gestures meaning purely gratuitous Secondly, the idea did not and lost lost their their sexual sexual significance. gratuitous and significance. Secondly, the idea did not yet devoid of that references exist that references to to sexual sexual matters, even when virtually matters, even yet exist virtually devoid of dubious meanings, could either in fact or dubious meanings, could soil soil childish childish innocence, either in fact or in the in the innocence, opinion people had of it: this innocence really existed. had of it: nobody thought that that this innocence existed. opinion people nobody thought really

* * * Such Such

at least was was the the general general opinion: opinion: it it was was no no longer longer that that of the of the and pedagogues, pedagogues, or or at at least least of of the the better better ones, innovators and innovators who ones, found little little support support for for their their ideas. ideas. Their Their retrospective retrospective importance importance is is due due found to the the fact fact that that in in the the long long run run they they managed managed to to win win acceptance acceptance for for their their to ideas -- which which are are ours ours too. too. ideas This current current of of ideas ideas can can be be traced traced back back to to the the iiffceenth. ~ century, century, aa This period it was strong enough to bring about a change in the the was when it to a about period strong enough bring change in traditional discipline discipline of of the the schools. schoo1s.88 Qerson (k.r!.~ was was then then its its principal principal traditional his ideas ideas on on the the question question with with great great clarity, clarity, representative. He expressed expressed his representative. showing himself to be an excellent observer, for his period, of childhood an himself to be excellent for his of childhood observer, showing period, and and its its sexual sexual practices. practices. This This study study of of the the sexual sexual manners manners of of childhood, childhood, and the the importance importance which which he he attributed attributed to to them them by by devoting devoting aa treatise treatise to to and them, De confessione eonJessione mollicei, mollieei,1/9 reveal reveal aa novel novel attitude: attitude: this this attitude attitude can can be be them, compared to to the the indications indications we have have already already noted noted in in iconography iconography and and compared dress dress as as showing showing aa new interest interest in in childhood. childhood. Gerson Gerson studies studies the the sexual sexual behaviour behaviour of of children children for for the the benefit benefit of of confessors, to to help help the the latter latter to to arouse arouse aa feeling feeling of of guilt guilt in in the the hearts hearts of of confessors, their their little little penitents penitents (between (between ten ten and and twelve twelve years years of of age). age). He knows knows that that masturbation masturbation and and erection erection without without ejaculation ejaculation are are general general practices: practices: at least

moralists moralists



107 IO7

if denies all masturbation then if someone someone is questioned and denies all experience of questioned and experience of masturbation then is

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






108 IO8


does not not dare dare to to say more more than than 'it 'it would would be be aa good good thing', thing', for for itit was was aa does say general practice to to put put all all the the children children of of aa family family together together when when they they general practice

were not not sleeping sleeping with with aa valet, valet, aa maidservant maidservant or or relatives. relatives.10 were In the the regulations regulations which which he he drew drew up up for for the the school school of ofNotre-Dame-deNotre-Dame-deIn 10

he tries tries to to isolate isolate the the children, children, to to keep keep them them under under the the constant constant he supervision of the master: this is the spirit of the new discipline which we we of the new is the which this master: of the spirit discipline supervision l1 The shall study study in in aa later later chapter. chapter.11 The singing singing master master must must not not teach teach shall cantiienas dissolutas dissolutas impudicasque, impudicasque, and and the the boys boys must must report report any any of of their their cantilenas classmates who who isis guilty guilty of of misbehaviour misbehaviour or or immodesty immodesty (punishable (punishable mismisclassmates demeanours include include speaking spealcinggallicum instead of Latin swearing, lying, of instead Latin demeanours swearing, lying, gallicum cursing, dawdling in in bed, bed, missing missing the the Hours, Hours, and and chattering chattering in in church). church). cursing, dawdling night-light must must be be kept kept burning burning in in the the dormitory: dormitory: 'as 'as much out out of of A night-light devotion to to the the image image of of Our Our Lady Lady as as for for the the natural natural functions, functions, and and so so devotion that they they perform perform in in the the light light the the only only acts acts which which can can and and must must be be seen*. seen'. that child may may change change beds beds during during the the night: night: he he must must stay stay with with the the comNo child panion he has been given. Conventicula, vel vel sodetates societates ad ad partem partem extra extra alias alias panion he has been given. Conventicula, are not allowed allowed either either by by day day or or night. night. Every Every care care is is taken, taken, in to in fact, fact, to are not of the that avoid special friendships and dangerous company, especially that of the and avoid special friendships dangerous company, especially servants: must be be forbidden forbidden to to engage engage in any familiarity in any servants must 'The servants servants: 'The familiarity capellani, the church with not excepting the clerks, the the church staff staff the the not clerks, the children, with the children, capellani excepting [there is certain absence they must not speak to the the to must not trust here]: of trust absence of a certain is a speak here] they [there children except when the Masters are present.' Children not on the the not Children are Masters the when children except present/ foundation are not to be allowed to mix with the schoolboys, even to to with the to be allowed to not are foundation schoolboys, 'so study w~th them (except by special permission of the Superior), 'so the them with Superior), (except by special permission study that the example others habits from the bad habits contract bad do not not contract children do our children that our example of others'. life in the This is all quite new: it must not be imagined that life in the school was that school not be must it new all is This imagined quite time really like it like and how much time it was like later what see later what shall see this. We shall like this. really far and strict discipline. GgsO!l obtain strict to obtain needed to was needed effort was and effort discipline. Qerson was far ahead for the the are of the institutions of his time. His regulations are interesting His his time. of of the institutions interesting for regulations such formulated moral ideal which they reveal, which had not been formulated with such not which moral ideal which they reveal, Portthe Jesuits, clarity before, and ideal of the the ideal to become the was to and which which was Jesuits, of Portclarity before, all the moralists of the Brothers of Christian Doctrine, and of all the moralists Royal, Christian of Doctrine, Royal, of the Brothers and seventeenth century. of the the seventeenth strict pedagogues and strict century. pedagogues of more easygoing, for were more In the pedagogues sixteenth century the sixteenth In the easygoing, for pedagogues were century the bounds. We know this all that they took care not to overstep certain bounds. We know this certain not to care all that they took overstep which they learnt from which from the schoolboys, for the written for books written from books they learnt schoolboys, from the treatises on reading, writing, Latin vocabulary, and finally etiquette; the treatises on and finally etiquette; reading, writing, Latin vocabulary, the lesson to make more etiquette and the conversations which, to make the lesson more lifelike, conversations and the lifelike, which, etiquette master. These and aa master. These dialogues involved or aa schoolboy several schoolboys involved several schoolboy and dialogues schoolboys or In Vives's find we find life. In Viv&s's dialogues are school life. on school documents on excellent documents are excellent dialogues we Paris Paris






109 I0p



certain passages passages which which would would not not have have been been to to Gerson's Gerson's taste taste but but which which certain is the more shameful part: the part in front were traditional: 'Which were traditional: 'Which is the more shameful part: the part in front [note the discreet euphemism] or the hole in the arse?' 'Both parts are [note the discreet euphemism] or the hole in the arse?' 'Both parts are because of of its its unpleasantness, unpleasantness, and and the the extremely improper, improper, the the behind behind because extremely 12 because of of lechery lechery and and dishonour/ dishonour .'12 other part part because other The coarsest coarsest jokes, jokes, as as well well as as topics topics of of anything anything but but educational educational value, value, The

13 these dialogues. dialogues. In In Charles Charles Hoole's Hoole's English English dialogues dialogues13 are to to be be found found in in these are have aa number number of of quarrels: quarrels: one one takes takes place place in in aa tavern tavern - and and taverns taverns we have

far less less respectable respectable places places than than the the modern modern public public at that time time were were far is aa lengthy lengthy argument argument about about which which inn inn sells sells the the best best beer. beer. is in Vives, Vives, aa certain certain modesty modesty isis observed: observed: 'The 'The third third However, even even in However, fmger is called the shameful one. Why?' 'The master has said that he finger is called the shameful one. Why?' 'The master has said that he he does does not not want want to to give give itit because because it it is is dirty dirty knows the the reason, reason, but but that that he knows press the the matter, matter, for Jor itit isis unseemly unseemly for Jor aa and unpleasant; tmpleasant; however, however, do do not not press and child of of good good character character to to ask ask about about such such unpleasant unpleasant things! thi1Jgs.' This This is is quite quite child was so so natural natural that that even even later later on on the the remarkable for for the the time. time. Broad Broad talk talk was remarkable to children children and and strictest reformers would would introduce introduce into into their their sermons sermons to strictest reformers seem shocking today. Thus Thus in students comparisons which which would would seem in 1653 students comparisons 1653 shocking today. we find fmd the the Jesuit Jesuit Father Father Lebrun Lebrun exhorting exhorting the the 'noble 'noble boarders boarders of of we Clermont College' to to avoid gluttony: 'They their fastidious about about their are fastidious avoid gluttony: Clermont College' 'They are praegnantes mulierculae.'l& food, food, tanquam tanquam praegnantes mulierculae^ But towards obvious a much more obvious sixteenth century end of of the the sixteenth the end But towards the century a ideas were to carry weight change took place: certain pedagogues, whose to were whose ideas certain took carry weight pedagogues, place: change their concepts and scruples on and and in imposing their succeed in would succeed and who would concepts scruples imposing others, books any indecent books to be be given children to allow children to allow refused to others, refused any longer. longer. given indecent the classics for of providing expurgated editions The editions of of the classics for idea originated The idea originated of providing expurgated stage, which may be the a very was a This was children. This of children. the use use of may stage, very important important This attitude as the ~eginning of respect for childhood. This attitude regarded for of childhood. the as marking respect marking Beginning regarded in France France and was and Protestants, Catholics and T?oth Catholics found among be fotmd Protestants, in was to to be among both to children England. Until then nobody had hesitated to give children Terence to to hesitated had then Until give nobody England. their removed him from their read, a classic. classic. The Jesuits was a for he he was read, for Jesuits 15 In England the edition by curriculum. an expurgated used an schools used In England the schools curriculum.15 by expurgated edition - Brinsley in 1674 Cornelius in 1592 and reprinted in in 1674 Cornelius Schonaeus, 1592 Schonaeus, published Brinsley reprinted published 16 recommends manual.16 schoolmaster's manual. his schoolmaster's in his it in recommends it conversations (1564), The Cordier's conversations used Cordier's schools used Protestant schools French Protestant The French (1564), which of the conversations of Erasmus, Vives, Mosellanus, conversations the Vives, Erasmus, of Mosellanus, the place which took took the place 17 desire to to avoid any etc. a new decorum, reveal a decorum, aa desire etc.17 They any word or They reveal indecent. The most offensive or indecent. expression which might be considered offensive considered be which might expression that uses of paper the uses about the a joke is a that is is allowed allowed is 'schoolboy paper', paper', paper - 'schoolboy joke about one a parlour in a 'envelope paper', 'blotting paper' in game. Finally one boy Finally boy parlour game. 'envelope paper', 'blotting paper' at that

house. There There house.

lIO 110


gives the answer: 'paper used for wiping your the other but the other guesses gives up up but guesses the answer: 'paper used for wiping your bottom bottom in in the the privy'. innocent concession concession to to the the traditional traditional jokes. privy*. An innocent jokes. Cordier could be 'put into anybody's hands'. In case, his Cordier really could be into In any hands'. really 'put anybody's any case, his dialogues dialogues by a in conjunction were used used in with some some religious dialogues were conjunction with religious dialogues by a certain S. Castellion. certain S. Castellion. expurgated edition of Port-Royal in its its turn turn produced Port-Royal in produced aa heavily heavily expurgated edition of Terence: Terence made very decent while changing very little. 18 Terence: Comedies Comedies of Terence made decent while of very changing very little. As for colleges introduced new for modesty of behaviour, the Jesuit behaviour, the modesty of Jesuit colleges introduced new precautions, duly recorded in the regulations, regarding the adminisrecorded in the precautions, duly regulations, regarding the administration punishment. It was laid down that of corporal tration of It was laid that the the breeches breeches of of corporal punishment. the 'whatever the boy's the victims, were not to be not to be removed, 'whatever the victims, adolescentum, adolescentum, were removed, boy's rank rank or or age' of the the skin skin was was to to be be exposed as was was necessary age*.. Just Just enough enough of exposed as necessary 19 to to inflict inflict the die punishment, but not not more: more: non non amplius. punishment, but amplius. A great: in manners manners took took place in the the course course of of the the seventeenth seventeenth ~* great change change in place in century. The least of the liberties permitted at the court of Henri least of the liberties at the court of Henri IV IV century. permitted would not Mme de Maintenon with the King's have been not have been allowed allowed by de Maintenon with the by King's children, or illegitimate, than they would have have been been children, legitimate legitimate or illegitimate, any any more than they would in was no a case of a few isolated in the of the the free-thinkers. the homes of It was free-thinkers. It no longer a case of a few isolated longer moralists which manifested manifested itself itself of a moralists like like Gerson, but of a great Gerson, but great movement which on all all sides, not only in a rich moral and pedagogic literature but also in in not a rich moral and literature also but in sides, only pedagogic devotional practices and and aa new religious religious iconography. iconography. devotional practices essential concept concept had had won acceptance: acceptance: that that of of the the i!!nocence of, An essential innocence of/ childhood. was already already to to be be found found in Montaigne, for all that that he he had had It was childhood. It in Montaigne, for all few illusions illusions about about the the chastity chastity of of young young students: hundred schoolboys schoolboys few students: 'A A hundred 2* have catight caught the the pox pox before before getting getting to to Aristotle's Aristotle's lesson, lesson, On Temperance.' Temperance.'2o have But he also tells an anecdote which reveals a different attitude: an he also tells anecdote But which reveals a different attitude: Albuquerque, 'in 'in great great danger danger of of shipwreck, shipwreck, took took aa young young boy boy on on his his Albuquerque, shoulders, so that in their association in danger his innocence would serve in their association in danger his innocence would serve shoulders, so that him as as aa surety surety and and aa recommendation recommendation to to obtain obtain God's God's favour favour and and bring bring 21 him safely to land'.21 A hundred years later, the idea of the innocence hundred years later, the idea of the innocence him safely to land'. of childhood childhood had had become aa commonplace. commonplace. Witness Witness the the caption caption to to an an of engraving by by F. F. Gurard Guerard showing showing children's children's toys toys (dolls (dolls and and drums): drums): engraving the age age of of innocence, innocence, to to which which we must must all all return return in in order order to to â&#x20AC;˘This isis the 'This enjoy the the happiness happiness to to come which which isis our our hope hope on earth; earth; the the age age when when enjoy one can can forgive forgive anything, anything, the the age age when hatred hatred isis unknown, unknown, when when one notlling can can cause cause distress; distress; the the golden golden age age of of human life, life, the the age age which which nothing defies Hell, Hell, the the age age when when life life isis easy easy and and death death holds holds no terrors, terrors, the the age age defies to which which the the heavens heavens are are open. open. Let Let tender tender and and gentle gentle respect respect be be shown shown to to to these young young plants plants of of the the Church. Church. Heaven Heaven isis full full of of anger anger for for whosoever whosoever these 22 scandalizes them.' them.'22 scandalizes 4



What aa long long way way we have have come come to to reach reach this this point! point! It It can can be be traced traced What by means of an abundant literature, a few works of which we shall shall now by means of an abundant literature, a few works of which examine. examine. L' Honneste gargon, garfon, described described as as 'the art of of instructing instructing the the nobility nobility in in the art L'Honneste virtue, learning and all the exercises suitable to its rank', and published virtue, learning and all the exercises suitable to its rank', and published 28 is a good example. The author had by M. M. de de Grenaille Grenaille of of Chatauniers, Chatauniers,23 is a good example. The author had by already written L' Honneste fille. The interest in education, in 'the already written L'Honneste filk. The interest in education, in 'the institution of of childhood', childhood', is is worthy worthy of of note. note. The The author author knows knows that that he he is is institution not the the only only writer writer on on the the subject subject and and apologizes apologizes in in his his foreword: foreword: 'I â&#x20AC;˘I do do not 24 in dealing not believe believe that that II am encroaching encroaching on on M. Faret's Faret's province province" in dealing not with aa subject subject on on which which he he has has only only touched, touched, and and in in speaking speaking of of the the with those 'whom 'Whom he he has has depicted depicted in in their their finished finished condition condition ... education of those education of Here II lead lead the the Boy Boy from from early infancy as far as youth. I deal first with his Here early infancy as far as youth. I deal first with his birth and and then then with with his his education; education; II polish polish his his mind mind and his manners manners at at and his birth the same time; II instruct instruct him him in in both both religion religion and and the the proprieties, proprieties, so so that that same time; the he .shall be neither neither impious impious nor nor superstitious.' superstitious.' Treatises Treatises on on etiquette he .shall be etiquette were already in print which which were were simply simply manuals savoir-vivre, books books of savoir-vivre, manuals of in print were already on good manners, manners, and and they to enjoy enjoy widespread widespread favour favour until until continued to on good they continued the early nineteenth nineteenth century. century. In addition to to these books which In addition these etiquette books which the early etiquette were meant meant for children, in the early early seventeenth a pedagogic in the seventeenth century for children, were century a pedagogic literature for the use of teachers came came into being. Although Although it into being. it and teachers of parents the use literature for parents and referred was something and Erasmus, it was new. So So Plutarch and to Quintilian, referred to Erasmus, it Quintilian, Plutarch something new. new M. de those to defend defend himself himself against called upon feels called de Grenaille Grenaille feels that M. new that against those upon to who the education for as a a practical a subject and not not a of youth matter and education of see the who see youth as practical matter subject for aa book. ... but there is and so so on on... but there is something else, is Quintilian, There is book. 'There Quintilian, and something else, and has a special seriousness ... Since for a a Christian Since the the Lord seriousness for Christian... the subject and the subject has a special of to Him, not believe that any innocents to believe that little innocents summons little Lords summons Him, II do not of Lords any of His has the right to repulse them, nor that men should show to nor that should has the them, His subjects repulse right subjects in doing reluctance that in so they are simply educate them, to educate them, seeing reluctance to doing so seeing that they are simply imitating the angels.' The to of angels with children children was to The comparison angels with comparison of imitating the angels.' in the the 'It is said said that that an angel It is become of edification. edification. â&#x20AC;˘ theme of become aa common theme angel in the other but on the other hand he took shape of a child enlightened St St Augustine, Augustine, but shape of a child enlightened in his to his works we pleasure in communicating his wisdom to children, and in his children, in communicating pleasure as others others for for the the greatest find as well well as for them as intended for treatises intended find treatises greatest a directive directive for for his his son. son. theologians.' He cites who wrote a St Louis, cites St Louis, theologians.' for children.' children.' Richelieu, â&#x20AC;˘'Cardinal Cardinal Bellarmin that a catechism catechism for wrote a Bellarmin wrote Richelieu, ''that to the smallest as well well as instruction great prince of the Church, gave instruction to the smallest as as of the Church, gave great prince counsel Montaigne too, whom one hardly expected to to the greatest'. too, to the counsel to hardly expected greatest'. Montaigne concern about bad teachers. find teachers, especiin such such good find in especicompany, showed concern good company, ally pedants. ally pedants. '

. . .


II2 112


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


II3 113

romances affording proof, in romances of of chivalry behaved like like true true knights, chivalry behaved knights, affording proof, in

M. and good sense of children. He M. de de Grenaille's Grenaille's eyes, of the the courage eyes, of courage and good sense of children. He

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

II4 114


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


IIS 115

regulations we have Jacqueline Pascal for the the children children at at Port-Royal regulations for Port-Royal we have Jacqueline Pascal on the children, must writing: close watch watch must must be be kept on the and they writing: 'A close children, and kept they must never be left never are ill in good health.' left alone alone anywhere, whether they are ill or in or health/ anywhere, whether they good 'this constant But 'this and with a constant supervision should be be exercised exercised gently supervision should gently and with a certain trustfulness certain trustfulness calculated calculated to to make make them them think think that that one one loves loves then& then$> that it it is is only to and that their company that one is with them. their one that is with This them. This. only to enjoy enjoy company 30 than fear it.'30 makes them love love this this supervision rather rather than fear it/ supervision This principle This universal, but it was carried out to the was absolutely principle was absolutely universal, but it was carried out to the letter only in the letter boarding-schools, the Jesuit in the the schools schools at at Port-Royal only in Jesuit boarding-schools, in Port-Royal in some private and in in other words it affected only a in other words it affected private boarding-schools; boarding-schools; only a small number of small rich children. The object was to avoid the promisof very rich children. The to was avoid the very object promisthe colleges, cuity though which for for a a long time had load a a bad bad reputation, cuity of the colleges, which long time reputation, though - thanks as long in in not as France to the Jesuits as in England. Coustel France thanks to the as in Coustel long Jesuits England. writes: [the writes: 'As 'As soon soon as as the the young set foot in that foot in that sort sort of of place young people people set place [the college], they rapidly lose that innocence, that simplicity, that modesty lose that that that innocence, they college], rapidly simplicity, modesty to God and which hitherto hitherto made them them so so pleasing and to men.' 81 There to men.'31 There was was pleasing to aa general reluctance to entrust a child to a single tutor: the extreme reluctance to a entrust child a to tutor: the extreme general single sociability was opposed to this was held held that of manners manners was this solution. solution. It It was that the the sociability of opposed to child to get to know people and converse with them from an child ought to to and converse with them from an ought get people early; this was very important, even more necessary than Latin. It this was even more than Latin. It early age; very important, necessary was better better 'to put five or two in a 'to put five or or six six children children with with a a good man or in two a good private house', an idea which Erasmus had already put forward. an idea had which Erasmus forward. house', private already put second principle principle was was that that children children must must not not be be pampered pampered and and The second be accustomed accustomed to to strict discipline early early in in life: life: 'Do not tell tell me that that must be must strict discipline 'Do not they are are only only children children and and that that one one must must be be patient patient with with them. them. For For the the they effects of of concupiscence concupiscence appear appear only only too too clearly dearly at at this this age.' age.' This This was was aa effects the''coddling' coddling' of of children children under under eight, eight, and and against against the the reaction against against the reaction opinion that they were too small to it worth-while finding fault make small it that were too to worth-while fault they opinion finding with them. them. Courtin's Courtin's manual manual of of etiquette etiquette of of 1671 1671 explains explains at at some some length: length: with 'These little little people people are are allowed allowed to to amuse amuse themselves themselves without without anyone anyone 'These troubling to see whether they are behaving well or badly; they are or are well to see whether behaving badly; they are they troubling permitted to do as they please; nothing is forbidden them; they laugh is forbidden as to do them; they laugh they please; nothing permitted they ought ought to to cry, cry, they they cry cry when they they ought ought to to laugh, laugh, they they talk talk when they they ought ought to to be be silent, silent, and and they they are are mute when good good manners manners when they require them them to to reply. reply. It It isis cruelty cruelty to to allow allow them to to go go on living living in in this this require will are be way. The parents say that they are bigger they will be corrected. when corrected. that The they bigger they way. parents say it not not be be better better to to deal deal with with them them in in such such aa way way that that there there was was Would it 82 nothing to correct?'32 to correct?' nothing was modesty. modesty. At At Port-Royal: Port-Royal: 'As 'As soon soon as as they they The third third principle principle was The have retired retired for for the the night night the the girls' girls' beds beds are are faithfully faithfully inspected inspected to to see see if if have



and also to see if they are properly they are lying with fitting modesty, covered up in winter/ 38 A real propaganda campaign was launched to 1

habit of sleeping several to a bed. The same try to eradicate the age-old advice was repeated all the way through the seventeenth century. Bhd it, for instance, in La Civilite chrttienne by St Jean-Baptiste de La





which was





Above all, one must not, unless published in 1713 is a reservation which nobody would dream of :

intended for children, but at that introducing nowadays into a book time books intended for children were not read only by children], go to

bed in the presence of a person of the opposite sex, this being utterly It is even less permissible for persons contrary to prudence and decency. of different sexes to sleep in the same bed, even in the case of very young of the same sex to sleep children, for it is not fitting for even persons These are two things which St Francis of Sales especially together.





must teach


when going

de Chantal with regard to children.' And:

their children to conceal their bodies

from one

to bed/

on decency was to be found again in the matter of Teach them to read books in which purity conversation: and reading are combined/ 'When they and wholesome of language subject-matter be to them allow do not start writing, given examples full of unseemly 34 We are a from the outspoken talk of the here long way expressions/ the even amused which child Louis XIII, worthy Heroard. Naturally were banned, and adults too and theatre-going novel-reading, dancing A close check was distractions. in these were 'advised




against indulging

recommended on songs, an important and necessary precaution in a was so popular: 'Take particular care to prevent society where music 85 But the old songs were not from learning modern songs/ your children known everywhere and are which the 'Of rated any more highly: songs to talk... there are start as as soon to children which are taught they and calumnies, slanders horrible most of the full are not scarcely any which sacred the neither which satires persons of and which are not biting spare the sovereigns nor those of the magistrates, nor those of the most innocent and pious persons/ These songs were described as expressing 'dissolute 86 and as being 'full of indecent expressions'. passions' St Jean-Baptiste

de La



this mistrust

of entertainments: 37

puppet-show [than a must theatrical performance]/ 'A respectable person regard entertainand ments of this sort with nothing but contempt parents must never allow their children to attend them/ P&ys, balls, dances, and the 'more 'It is

no more seemly

for a Christian to attend a

. . .



ordinary entertainments' provided by jugglers, mountebanks and tightrope walkers' were forbidden. Only educational games, that is to say,

games which had been integrated in the educational system, were all other games were and remained suspect. Another recommendation recurs frequently in this pedagogic literature, with its insistence on 'modesty': a warning not to leave children in the company of servants. This is a recommendation which went against an Leave them as little as possible with absolutely universal practice: servants, and especially with lackeys [' servants' had a wider significance then than it has now, and included what we would call companions]. These persons, in order to insinuate themselves into children's good graces, usually tell them nothing but nonsense and fill them with a love of gambling, amusement and vanity/ 38 permitted;


Again, in the eighteenth century, we have the future Cardinal de Bernis recalling his childhood -he was born in 1715: 'Nothing is more

dangerous for the morals and perhaps also for the health than to leave children too long in the care of the servants.' 'People take liberties with a

man! z * This last sentence in discussing clearly refers to the mentality which we have analysed above the court of Henri IV and the scene between the Moslem boy and the child

which they would not

risk with

a young

in the lower Djerban in Tunis in the twentieth century. It still existed classes, but it was no longer tolerated in enlightened circles. The stress laid by the moralists on die need to separate children from the varied world of 'the servants' shows how well aware they were of the dangers of children and servants (the servants presented by this promiscuity

themselves were often very young). The fourth principle was simply another application of this insistence on decency and 'modesty': the old familiarity must be abandoned and its place taken

manners and language, even in great moderation of This policy took the form of war on the use of the familiar



everyday tu form. In the

little Jansenist college of Le Chesnay: 'They had been so accustomed to treat each other with respect that they never used the tu form of address, nor were they ever known to make the slightest remark which they might have considered likely to offend certain of their


companions.' A 1671 manual of etiquette recognizes that good manners call for the vous form, but it has to make some concessions to the old French usage this it does with a certain embarrassment: 'One normally says vous, and one must not say tu to anybody, unless it is to a little child and you are much older and it is customary for even the most polite and well-bred



persons to speak thus. However, fathers with their children up to a certain age (in France until they are emancipated), masters with their and others in similar positions of authority, seem, according to pupils,


usage, to be allowed to say tu



For close friends too,

when they are conversing together, it is customary in certain places for them 41 to say tu and toi; in other places people are more reserved and civilized/ Even

in the

Baptiste de La




where the children were younger, St Jeantu form of address:

forbade the masters to use the

'They must speak to the children with reserve, never saying tu or toi, which would be showing too much familiarity/ It is certain that under this pressure the use of vous became more widespread. From Colonel Gerard's memoirs one learns with surprise that at the end of the eighteenth century a couple of soldiers, one aged twenty-five and the other twenty-three, could actually say vous to one another. And Colonel Gerard himself could use the vous form without feeling ridiculous.



de Maintenon's Saint-Cyr, the young ladies were told to tu and toi, and adopting manners contrary to the pro-

avoid 'saying 42


'One must never adapt

oneself to children

by means of them to

childish language or manners; on the contrary, one must raise one's own level by always talking reasonably to them/

Already, in the second half of the sixteenth century, the schoolboys in Cordier's dialogues were saying vous in the French text, whereas they naturally said tu in Latin. In fact, the campaign for greater seriousness would triumph only in the nineteenth century, in spite of die contrary evolution of child welfare

and more L.Wylie, France,

liberal, realistic



An American professor

of French,

year 1950-1 in a village in the south of the seriousness with which the masters at the

spent his sabbatical

was astonished by

and the parents, who were peasants, American attitude struck him as enormous: 'Every step in the child's development seems to depend on 'The child is now the development of what people call its raison... considered to be raisonnable, and it is expected to remain raisonnable.' This raison, this self-control and this seriousness, which are required of the French child at an early age, while he is working for his certificate of study, and which are no longer known in the United States, are the final result of the campaign launched at the end of the sixteenth century by monks and moralists. It should be added that this state of mind is beginning to disappear from the French town: it remains only in the country, where the American observer met it.

primary school treated their children.


their pupils,

contrast with the










and reason.

two kinds of

childish innocence resulted in

behaviour towards childhood:








against pollution,

the sexuality tolerated if not approved of it by developing character

and secondly, strengthening



see a contradiction here, for


the one


preserved and on the other hand it is made older than its years; but the contradiction exists only for us of the twentieth century. The association of childhood with primitivism and irrationalism or pre-



logicism characterizes our contemporary concept of childhood. This concept made its appearance in P^ousseau, but it belongs to twentieth-

century history.

It is

only very recently that

of psychologists, pedagogues,

passed from the theories and psycho-analysts into



it is this concept which Professor Wylie used as a standard of comparison by which to gauge that other attitude which he discovered in a village in the Vaucluse, and in which we can recognize the survival of another concept of childhood, a different and older concept, which was born in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and which became

public opinion;

general and popular from the seventeenth century on. In this concept, which seems old to us in relation to our contemporary the Middle Ages, the ideas mentality, but which was new in relation to ' of innocence and reason were not opposed to one another. Si puer prout decet, vixit\ is translated into

'If the child has lived like a

In this

new moral

French in a manual of etiquette of 1671


climate, a

from books

whole pedagogic

for adults




literature for children 44

It is extremely with the countless manuals of etiquette produced from the sixteenth century on, to distinguish between those intended for adults and those intended for children. This ambiguity is due to factors con-

as distinct




nected with the structure of the family and the relationship between the last part of this study. of etiquette or took over manuals new Fathers published Jesuit same way as they expurgated the classical writers existing manuals, in the witness Bienstance de la to treatises on or their

are examined in the family and society, which




of the Society


hommes^ written in the early i6oos for the boarders ofJesus at Pont4-Mousson and La Fleche. The Regies de la

conversation entre


bienstance et de la civilitf chrttienne for the use

schools of St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle

of the Christian boys'

was published in 1713 and reprinted



through the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth: this was a work for a long time and its influence on manners was probably considerable. However, even this work was not yet addressed directly all


and openly to

of advice were intended rather for was a book from which children learned how to read, which provided examples of handwriting, which taught them how to behave, and which they learned off by heart), or even for adults children. Certain pieces

parents (for all that


inadequately versed in good manners. This ambiguity was dispelled in the



of the manuals of

etiquette published in the second half of the eighteenth century. Here for instance is a 'simple and decent' manual of 1761: 'For the instruction of

children, containing at the beginning the way to learn to read, pronounce and write correctly, newly revised [for all the manuals claimed to be new

of the old manuals by Cordier, Erasmus or della Casa: it was a and any new ideas were cast in an old form, whence the continuation of certain notions which had undoubtedly gone out of fashion] and enlarged at the end with a fine Treatise on orthography. Drawn up by a Missionary with precepts and instructions for the education of Youth/ 48 The tone of the book is new; the author addresses himself specifically to children and writes in a sentimental style: 'This book will not be useless to you, dear children, it will teach you Note, none the less, dear children... 'Dear child, whom I regard as a child of God and as a brother of Jesus Christ, begin early in life to look for the good... I intend to teach you the rules of a decent Christian.' 'As soon as you rise in the morning, make the sign of the cross/ 'If you are in the bedchamber of your Father and Mother, bid them good morning/ At school: 'Do not be disagreeable to your schoolfellows... 'Do not talk in school/ 'Do not use the words tu and toi too often/ But this sweetness, this very eighteenth-century tenderness does not detract in any way from the ideal of character, logic and dignity which the author is trying to instil into the child: 'Dear children, do not be among those who talk incessantly and who do not give others time to say what they think/ 'Keep your promises; that is the duty of a man of honour/ The spirit is still that of the seventeenth century, but the manner is already that of the editions

traditional genre,

. . .



nineteenth: 'Dear children/






clearly distinguished

of the adult. There still remained some strange survivals from the old indifference to the matter of age. For a long time Latin, and even Greek, had been that

taught to children in couplets wrongly attributed to Cato. The pseudoCato is quoted in Le Roman de la Rose. This practice continued throughout



the seventeenth century at least, and there was still an edition of Cato's couplets in existence in 1802. But the spirit of these extremely crude moral

recommendations is the spirit of the Byzantine Empire and the Middle Ages, which were totally devoid of the delicacy of Gerson, Cordier, the Jesuits, Port-Royal, and in fact of seventeenth-century opinion as a whole. 47 Thus children continued to be given maxims of this kind to translate: 'Do not believe your wife when she complains about your servants, for the wife often detests those

'Do not attempt

who love

the husband/



to discover the designs of Providence by means 'Flee the wife who seeks to rule virtue of her wizardry/ by dowry; not retain her if she becomes unbearable', etc.

of do

True, at the end of the sixteenth century these lessons in morality had been judged inadequate, and children were given Pibrac's quatrains, written at that time in a more Christian, more edifying and more modern spirit. But Pibrac's quatrains did not replace the pseudo-Cato; they simply joined him until the beginning of the nineteenth century: the last editions still contained both texts. The pseudo-Cato and Pibrac then

sank together into oblivion.

Corresponding to teenth century, a



evolution of the idea of childhood in the seven-

tendency appeared in religious devotion and



the beginning of die seventeenth century, religious painting, engraving and sculpture gave considerable importance to representation

of the Infant Jesus, by himself, no longer with the Virgin or as one of the Holy Family. As can be seen from the Van Dyck at Dresden, the Infant Jesus is usually shown in a symbolic attitude: He has His foot on the serpent, is leaning on a globe, is holding a cross in the left hand, and with the other hand is giving a blessing. This dominating child is also shown standing erect over the doorways of certain churches (the Dalbade in Toulouse for instance). A special devotion was now offered to the Holy Childhood. It had been prepared for, in religious iconography at least,




the pictures of the Holy Family, the Presentation and the Circumof the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. But in the seventeenth

was given a different emphasis. The subject has been thoroughly explored. All that I would do here is to stress the connection which was immediately established between this devotion to the Holy Childhood and the great development of interest in childhood, of the provision century




of little schools and colleges, and of educational theory. Juilly College was dedicated by Cardinal de B&ulle to the mystery of die Infant Jesus. 48 In her regulations for the little girl boarders at Port-Royal, Jacqueline Pascal inserted two prayers, one of which was also 'in honour of the 49 mystery of the Childhood of Jesus Christ'. It deserves to be quoted here: 'Be like new-born children . . Grant, Lord, that we may always .


be children in our simplicity and innocence, as people of the world are always children in their ignorance and weakness. [Here we find once more the two aspects of the concept of childhood in the seventeenth century, the innocence which has to be preserved, and the ignorance or weakness which has to be suppressed or modified.] Give us a holy childhood, which the course of the years may never take from us, and

from which we may never pass into the old age of old Adam, or into the is sin; but which may make us increasingly new creatures in

death that

and lead us to His glorious immortality/ the Carmelite convent at Beaune, Marguerite du SaintSacrement, was well known for her devotion to the Holy Childhood. Nicolas Rolland, the founder of several little schools at the end of the

Jesus Christ


nun of

seventeenth century, made a pilgrimage to her tomb. 60 On this occasion the prioress of the convent gave him 'a statue of the Infant Jesus which the venerable Sister Marguerite used to honour with her prayers'. The teaching institutes dedicated themselves to the Holy Childhood, as did Cardinal de Bundle's Oratorian colleges: in 1685 Pre Barr


the Statuts Jesus.

Reglements of the Christian charity schools of the Holy Infant Dames de Saint-Maur, the paragon of the teaching orders,



assumed the adopted by

official title: Institute

of the Holy Infant Jesus. The first seal of the Christian Schools, the

the Institution of the Brothers

Ignorantine Friars, showed the Infant Jesus being led by St Joseph. The moral and pedagogic literature of the seventeenth century frequently quotes those passages in the Gospel in which Jesus speaks of children. In L'Honneste garfon: 'Since the Lord of Lords summons little children to Him, I cannot see that any of His subjects has die right to 61 them.' The which Pascal inserts in her reject prayer Jacqueline regula-

of Port-Royal paraphrases expressions used by new-born children... Unless you become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.' And the end of this prayer recalls an episode in the Gospel which was to obtain new favour in the tions for the children




seventeenth century: 'Lord, permit us to be among those children whom you summon to you, whom you allow to approach you, and from whose

mouths you draw your





The scene in question, in which Jesus asks little children to be allowed come to Him, was not absolutely unknown in the iconography of former times; we have already had occasion to mention that Ottoman miniature in which children are depicted as adults, but on a smaller scale, to

62 gathered around Christ. Pictures of this scene are also to be found in the

moralizing Bibles of the thirteenth century, but they are fairly rare and are treated as commonplace illustrations, devoid of any real fervour or

On the other hand, from the end of the sixteenth century on, this scene recurs frequently, especially in engraving, and it is obvious that it corresponds to a new and special form of devotion. This can be



well is

from a study of a fine print by Stradan, whose engravings, as is known, were an inspiration to the artists of his time. 58 The subject

given by the caption: 'Jesus parvulis

eis* .





A woman




oblatis imposuit


et benedixit

presenting her children naked putti to

and children are waiting

their turn. It

that the child here



the children were alone with Christ.



mother; in the medieval to in the letter of the text, a text closer which were conformity pictures, which did not appeal sufficiently to the artists' imagination to prompt to embellish


accompanied by


Here the


not separated from his family: an indication of the fresh importance assumed by the family in the general sensibility. A Dutch painting of is

1620 shows the same scene. 54 Christ



on the ground,

middle of a crowd of children pressing round Him. mothers' arms. Others,


theme of putti fighting was a


in the

are in their

are naked, are playing or fighting (the one at the time), or crying and


shouting. The bigger children are more reserved, and have their hands folded in prayer. Christ's expression is smiling and attentive: that

mixture of tenderness and amusement which grown-ups of modern times, and the nineteenth century in particular, assume when speaking to children.



holding one hand above one of the





bless another child running towards Him. This scene raising the other to became extremely popular: the engraving was probably given to

children as a devotional picture, just as they would later be given First Communion pictures. The catalogue of an exhibition at Tours in 1947

devoted to the child in the


mentions an eighteenth-century engraving on




Henceforth there was a religion for children, and one new devotion was to all intents and purposes reserved for them: that of the guardian angel. 'I men are




accompanied by

read in L'Honneste gargon, 'that although all which minister to them in

these blessed spirits



order to help them to make themselves fit to receive the inheritance of it seems that Jesus Christ granted only to children the privilege


of having guardian angels. It is not that we do not share this privilege; 66 but manhood derives it from childhood/ For their part, he explains, the angels prefer the 'suppleness' of children to the 'rebellious character of men'. And Fleury in his 1686 treatise on studies maintains that 'the for the excellent reason that they Gospel forbids us to despise children 57 have blessed angels to guard them.' The soul guided by an angel, and of a child or a youth, became a familiar feature of depicted in the form iconography in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There religious are countless examples, for instance a in a flared skirt




which a



being defended by an angel, a rather effeminate boy of

thirteen or fourteen, against the Devil, a middle-aged man who is 58 The angel is holding his shield between the child in wait for him.

lying and the middle-aged man, providing an unexpected illustration of this sentence in L'Honnestegarfon: 'God possesses the first age, but the Devil in many persons the best parts of old age as well as of the age possesses which the Apostle calls accomplished.' The old theme of Tobias led by the angel would henceforth symbolize the soul-child and its guide, the guardian angel. Witness the fine painting by Tournier shown in London and Paris in 1958, and the engraving by

Abraham child,

Bosse. 59 In an engraving by Mariette the angel is showing the 60 it leads, other angels carrying the cross in the sky.


the guardian angel and the soul-child was used in the decoration of baptismal fonts. I have come across an example in a baroque church in the south of Germany, the church of the Cross at Donauworth.

The theme of

surmounted by a globe with the serpent wound somewhat effeminate young man, the soul-child. This depiction is not simply a symbolic repreis guiding sentation of the soul in the traditional form of the child (incidentally, it




of the font




the globe, the angel, a

is a curiously medieval idea to use the child as the symbol of the soul), but an illustration of a devotion peculiar to childhood and derived from

the sacrament of baptism: the guardian angel. of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries The



also that


the child paragons. The historian of the Jesuit college of La Flche recounts from the annals of the Congregation of La Fleche for 1722 the

born on January ipth, i657. 61 In 1671, edifying life of Guillaume Ruffin, at the age of fourteen, he was in the third class. He belonged of course to the Congregation (a pious society confined to the good pupils and dedicated to the Virgin: it still exists, I believe, in the Jesuit colleges).


used to


the sick and he gave alms to the poor. In 1674 he had first year in the philosophy class (there were two at


nearly finished his

he fell ill. The Virgin appeared to him twice. He was of the date of his death, 'the day of the feast of my good Mother', the feast of the Assumption. While reading this text I found myself unable to banish a recollection of my own childhood, in a Jesuit college where some of the boys undertook a campaign for the canonization of a little pupil who had died some years before in the odour of sanctity, at least so his family maintained. It was quite easy to attain sanctity in a short schoolboy's life, and that without any exceptional prodigies or particular precocity: on the contrary, by means of the mere application of the childish virtues, by the mere preservation of one's initial innocence. This was the case with St Louis of Gonzaga, often cited in seventeenth-century works dealing with the problems of education. Apart from the lives of little saints, schoolchildren were given as of full-grown subjects of edification accounts of the childhood years saints - or else of their remorse at their misspent youth. In the annals of the Jesuit college of Aix for 1634 we read: 'Our young people did not fail to have their sermons twice a week in Lent. It was Pere de Barry, that time) when told in advance

the Rector,


addressed the aforesaid exhortations to them, taking as deeds of the saints in their youth.' The previous

his subject the heroic

Lent, in 1633, 'he had taken as his subject St Augustine's regrets for his 62

youth.' In the Middle Ages there were no religious festivals of childhood, often pagan rather than apart from the great seasonal festivals which were Christian.


die fifteenth century on, as

we have

already seen,


and depicted certain episodes, such as the Presentation of the Virgin in die midst of a throng of children, the Circumcision, particularly more than were usually present in the crowds of the Middle Ages


Old Testament festivals, for all that they of childhood in religious iconography, could no

or the Renaissance. But these

had become longer play


this role in religious life, especially in the

refined religious


of seventeenth-century France. First Communion gradually became the which it still is today, even where the great religious festival of childhood, Christian observance is no longer practised regularly. First Communion has also taken the place of the old folklore festivals. Perhaps it owes its continuation, in spite of the de-Christianization of the modern world, the child's individual festival, celebrated collectively in private, within die family the most in particularly have disappeared most rapidly. which those are collective festivals to the fact that

it is

church but more




The the

increasingly solemn celebration of First Communion was due in place to the greater attention given, especially at Port-Royal, to


the necessary conditions for the proper reception of the Eucharist. It seems probable that previously children took communion without any special preparation, much as they started going to Mass, and probably quite early in life, judging by the general precocity of manners and the

mingling of children and adults in everyday life. Jacqueline Pascal, in her regulations for the children of Port-Royal, stresses die necessity of carefully gauging the moral and spiritual capacity of children before allowing

them to take communion, and of preparing diem for it a long time ahead: 'Young children, and especially those who are mischievous, frivolous or wedded to some considerable defect, must not be allowed to take communion. They must be made to wait until God has effected some change in them, six


it is

wise to wait a long time, a year for instance or at least if their actions are followed up. For I have never

months, to see

regretted making children wait: on the contrary, this has always served to advance in virtue those who were already well disposed and to bring about a recognition of their unreadiness in those who were not. One

many precautions where First Communion is concerned: for often on that first one/ 63 Communion was delayed at Port-Royal until after Confirmation:

cannot take too

the rest depend



'When we

who have not been Communion either, we

are given children

have not made

their First

Confirmation, so that being filled with the better prepared to receive His Sacred Body/ after

confirmed... if they usually defer




of Jesus, they are

By die eighteenth century, First Communion had become an organized ceremony in the convents and colleges. Colonel Gerard recalls for us in 64 He was his memoirs his recollections of a difficult First Communion. born in 1766, one of six children in a poor family. Left an orphan, he worked as a servant from the age of ten until the curate of his parish, taking an interest in him, sent him to the Abbey of Saint-Avit where he had become assistant chaplain. The first chaplain was a Jesuit who took a dislike to the boy. He must have been about fifteen when he was - to the First Communion: 'admitted* - this was the current expression


had been decided




The day


my First Communion at the same

was playing with the farm dog before, to the N., pass by. "Have you forgotten," Jesuit, happened he exclaimed, "that it is tomorrow you are due to receive Our Lord's time as several hoarders.


when M. de

Body and Blood?" The Abbess would not be

sent for


and informed

taking part in the ceremony next day...


that I

Three months


doing penance

... I









was ordered to take communion every Sunday and Holy Day.* First Communion had become the ceremony which it has remained. As early as the middle of the eighteenth century it was customary to commemorate the occasion with an inscription on a devotional picture. At Versailles in 1931 an engraving was exhibited showing St Francis of Assisi. 65 On the back was written: *To certify the First Communion made by Francois Bernard, on April 26th, 1767, Low Sunday, in the parish of Saint-Sebastien of Marly. Barail, parish priest of Saint-S6bastien.' This was a certificate inspired by the official documents of the Catholic


Church. All that remained to be done





add to the solemnity of the was done in the

prescribing a special costume, and this

nineteenth century.

The First Communion ceremony was the most visible manifestation of the idea of childhood between the seventeenth and the late nineteenth century: it celebrated at one and the same time the two contradictory aspects of that idea, the innocence of childhood on the one hand and on the other its rational appreciation of the sacred mysteries.







medieval society the idea of childhood did not

exist; this


not to

were neglected, forsaken or despised. The idea of childhood is not to be confused with affection for children: it corresponds to an awareness of the particular nature of childhood, that particular nature which distinguishes the child from the adult, even the young adult. In medieval society this awareness was lacking. That is why, as soon as the child could live without the constant solicitude of his mother, his nanny or his cradle-rocker, he belonged to adult society. That adult society now strikes us as ratheifpuerile^no doubt this is largely a matter of its mental age, but it is also due to its physical age, because it was partly made up of children and youths. Language did not give the suggest that children


word 'child* much as we

the restricted





today: people said 'child'

say 'lad' in everyday speech. The absence of definition to every sort of social activity games, crafts, arms. There is

extended not a single collective picture of the times in which children are not to be :

found, nestling singly or in pairs in the trousse hung round women's 1 necks, or urinating in a corner, or playing their part in a traditional or as apprentices in a workshop, or as pages serving a knight, etc. who was too fragile as yet to take part in the life of adults 'did not count': this is the expression used by Moliere, who simply bears witness to the survival in the seventeenth century of a very old


-The infant

attitude of mind. Argan in Le malade imaginaire has two daughters, one of marriageable age and little Louisoii who is just beginning to talk and walk. It is generally known that he is threatening to put his elder daughter in a convent to stop her philandering. His brother asks him: 'How is it, Brother, that rich as you are and having only one daughter, for I dont 2 count the little one, you can talk of putting her in a convent?' The little one did not count because she could disappear.

The quotation from Moliere shows the continuance of the archaic But this survival, for all that it was stubborn, was the fourteenth From century on, there had been a tendency precarious. attitude to childhood.






to express in art, iconography and religion (in the cult of the dead) the personality which children were seen to possess, and the poetic, familiar have followed the significance attributed to their special nature.


evolution of the putto and the child portrait. And we have seen that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the child or infant - at least in - was the upper classes of society given a special costume which marked him out from the adults. This specialization of the dress of children and

of little boys, in a society in which clothes and outward appearances had considerable importance, bears witness to the changa which had taken place in the general attitude towards children: they counted much more than Argan's brother imagined. In fact, Le malade imaginaire, which seems as hard on little children as do certain remarks by La Fontaine, contains a whole conversation between and little especially


Louison: 'Look at me, will you!' 'What is it, papa?' 'Here!' 'What?' 'Haven't you anything to tell me?' 'If you wish, I can tell you, to amuse you, -the story of the Ass's Skin, or else the fable of the Fox and the

Crow which I was taught not so long ago.' A new concept of childhood had appeared, in which the child, on account of his sweetness, simplicity and drollery, became a source of amusement and relaxation for the adult. To begin with, the attitude was held by women, women whose task it was to look after children - mothers and nannies. In the sixteenthcentury edition of Le Grand Proprittaire de toutes choses we are told about the nanny: 'She rejoices when the child is happy, and feels sorry for the child


when he

she picks him up when he falls, she binds him when and she washes and cleans him when he is dirty.' 3 She up and teaches him to talk: 'She pronounces the words

is ill;

tosses about,

brings the child as if she had a stammer, to teach

him to talk better and more rapidly him in her hands, then on her shoulder, then on her lap, to play with him when he cries she chews the child's meat for him when he has no teeth so that he can swallow profitably and without danger; she plays with the child to make him sleep and she binds his limbs to keep them straight so that he has no stiffness in his body, and she bathes and anoints him to nourish his flesh... Thomas More dwells on the . . .

she carries



of the schoolboy being sent to school by his mother: 'When the boy will not rise in time for her, but lies still abed and slugg, and when he is up, weepeth because he hath lien so long, fearing to be beaten subject little

at school for his late

early days, and he

thither, she telleth him then that it is but come time enough, and biddeth him: "Go, good



I warrant thee, I have sent to thy master myself, take thy bread and butter with thee, thou shalt not be beaten at all."' Thus she sends him off




not to burst into tears at the idea of leaving her at home, but she does not get to the bottom of the trouble and the late arrival will be well and truly beaten when he gets to school. 4 Children's little antics must always have seemed touching to mothers, nannies and cradle-rockers, but their reactions formed part of the huge domain of unexpressed feelings. Henceforth people would no longer hesitate to recognize the pleasure they got from watching children's sufficiently reassured


a certain affectation,

her granddaughter: discovery of the










caresses it 6



how much

de Sevigne admitting, not time she spends playing with

reading the story of Christopher Columbus's

entertaining me greatly; but your do so love her ... she strokes your in such an amusing way that I have to kiss her


daughter entertains



and 'coddling* them.




even more.


have been playing with your daughter for an hour she delightful/ And, as if she were afraid of some infection, *I

adds, with a levity which surprises us, for the death of a child is something serious for us and nothing to joke about: 'I do not want her to die/ For, as we have seen from Moliere, this first appreciation of childhood went with a certain indifference, or rather with the indifference that was


us 'coddling* attitude towards children is even better known to the critical reactions it provoked at the end of the sixteenth century

The by and

found particularly in the seventeenth century. Peevish persons insufferable the attention paid to children. Montaigne bristles: *I cannot 1

abide that passion for caressing new-born children, which have neither

nor recognizable bodily shape by which to make themand I have never willingly suffered them to be fed in my presence/ He cannot accept the idea of loving children Tor our amusement, like monkeys', or taking pleasure in their 'frolickings, games and mental


selves lovable,

6 infantile nonsense'.

this state of mind, a century later, is to be seen 7 de Sevigne's cousin. He was obviously exasperated Couknges, by the way his friends and relatives fussed over their children, for he

Another example of



composed a song dedicated

to 'fathers of families', urging

to eat with adults. spoil their offspring or allow them to this feeling of exasperation note that It is important

them not was




to the indifferent 'coddling', and even more foreign than 'coddling* attitude of people in the Middle Ages. It was precisely to the presence of children that Montaigne and Coulanges, like Mme de Sevigne, were and Coulanges hypersensitive; it should be pointed out that Montaigne as

TWO CONCEPTS OP CHILDHOOD 13! were more modern than Mme de S6vign in so far as they considered it THE


necessary to keep children apart from adults. They held that it was no longer desirable that children should mingle with adults, especially at table; no doubt because if they did they were 'spoiled* and became



seventeenth-century moralists and pedagogues shared the dislike

by Montaigne and Coulanges for 'coddling'. Thus the austere Fleury, his treatise on studies, speaks very much like Montaigne: 'When litde



children are caught in a trap, when they say something foolish, drawing a correct inference from an irrelevant principle which has been given to them, people burst out laughing, rejoice at tricked them, or kiss




they had worked out the correct answer. It is as if the poor children had been made only to amuse the adults, like little 8 dogs or little monkeys/ caress

as if

The author of

Galatte, the manual of etiquette commonly used in the best colleges, those of the Jesuits, speaks like Coulanges: 'Those persons are greatly at fault who never talk of but their wives, their


litde children


their nannies.

Just listen to this...

'" 9

"My little son made me laugh so much!

M. d'Argonne, in his treatise on education, L'ducation deMonsieur de Moncade (1690), likewise complains that people take an interest in very small children only for the sake of their 'caresses' and 'antics'; too many parents 'value their children only in so far as they derive pleasure


entertainment from them*.

important to remember that at the end of the seventeenth century coddling* was not practised only by people of quality, who, in fact, were beginning to disdain it. Its presence in the lower classes was noted It is *


and denounced. J.-B. de La Salle in his Conduite des holes chrfriennes (1720) of the poor are particularly ill-mannered because

states that the children '

they do just as they please, their parents paying no attention to them, in an idolatrous manner: what the children want,

even treating them they want too/

In the moralists and pedagogues of the seventeenth century,



special nature no longer found in and amusement expression 'coddling , but in psychological interest and moral solicitude. The child was no longer regarded as amusing or

that fondness for childhood





Every man must be conscious of that insipidity of childhood disgusts the sane mind; that coarseness of youth which finds pleasure in scarcely anything but material objects and which is only a very crude sketch of die man of thought/ Thus Balthazar Gratien in agreeable:




Discrete, a treatise on education published in 1646 which was still 10 being translated into French in I723. *Only time can cure a person of childhood and youth, which are truly ages of imperfection in every


To be understood, these opinions need to be put back in their temporal context and compared with the other texts of the period. They have been interpreted by some historians as showing ignorance of respect/

childhood, but in fact they mark the beginning of a serious and realistic concept of childhood. For they do not suggest that people should accept the levity of childhood: that was the old mistake. In order to correct the

behaviour of children, people must






and the

century and the seventeenth century are full of comments, on child psychology. 11 The authors show a great solicitude texts

of the

late sixteenth

for childreh,

who are seen as witnesses to baptismal innocence, comparable

to the angels, and close to Christ who loved them. But this interest calls for the development in them of a faculty of reasoning which is still fragile, a

determined attempt to turn them into thinking men and good The tone is sometimes grim, the emphasis being laid on as opposed to the laxity and facility of contemporary manners; is not always the case. There is even humour in Jacqueline

Christians. strictness



and undisguised tenderness. In the texts published towards the end of the century, an attempt is made to reconcile sweetness and reason. Thus the Abbe Goussault, a counsellor at the High Court, writes in Le Portrait fune honn&efemme: 'Familiarizing oneself with one's children, getting them to talk about all manner of things, treating them as sensible people and winning them over with sweetness, is an infallible secret for doing what one wants with them. They are young plants which need tending and watering frequently: a few words of advice offered at the right moment, a few marks of friendship and affection given now and then, touch them and bind them. A few caresses, a few little presents, a few words of cordiality and trust make an impression on their minds, and they are few in number that resist these sweet and easy methods of 12 making them persons of honour and probity.' Pascal,

The first concept of childhood - characterized by 'coddling' -had made its appearance in the family circle, in the company of little children. The second, on the contrary, sprang from a source outside the family: churchmen or gentlemen of the robe, few in number before the sixteenth century, and a far greater number of moralists in the seventeenth century,





rational manners. They too had become alive eager to ensure disciplined, were to the formerly neglected phenomenon of childhood, but they as charming toys, for they saw them as children to regard unwilling creatures of God who needed to be both safeguarded and reformed. fragile

This concept in its turn passed into family life. In the eighteenth century, we find those two elements in the family, a new element: concern about hygiene and physical together with

Care of the body was not ignored by seventeenth-century and pedagogues. People nursed the sick devotedly (at the same to unmask malingerers), but any interest



time taking every precaution


in healthy bodies

had a moral purpose behind it: a delicate body - all the vices in fact!

encouraged luxury, sloth, concupiscence idea General de Martange's correspondence with his wife gives us some de Mme after a of a family's private life and preoccupations about century shows He 13 in 1754. Martange was born in 1722 and married Sevigne.

in everything concerning his children's life, from 'coddling* great interest to education; he watches closely over their health and even their hygiene. to do with children and family life has become a matter




but his presence a central place in the has taken the child very existence are of concern:

worthy of attention. Not only the family.

child's future






impossible to grasp the particular nature of school life in the past, at the end of the ancien regime, without some idea of what



was like in the Middle Ages. No doubt the humanist Renaissance has had greater influence than the Middle Ages on curricula

as on culture, in the upper regions of knowledge and the transmission of knowledge. But the schoolboy's life, in school and out of school, depended for a long time - until the beginning of the nineteenth century - on habits contracted in the Middle Ages. These habits depended on a whole

system which it is difficult for modern man to visualize, because for a long time medievalists have studied the organization of the universities and the movement of philosophical ideas in university society rather than the conditions of life in the school and


environment. 1

There is a way ofunderstanding the medieval school


first of all

by getting

to know its origins, but also by discovering what it has become in the course of history, for at bottom a phenomenon is characterized not so much by its

origins as by the chain of other phenomena which Only then shall we be able to distinguish some life

in the


has directly determined.

of the

Middle Ages which can help to shed



of school

on our


The origins are well known. There is some controversy as to whether, in Italy, certain law schools and certain private schools dated back to antiquity. It is known that in Byzantium the ancient system had continued Marrou has shown, had triumph of Christianity, even in theocratic Byzantium. 2 The heir of a Hellenistic tradition, it was characterized by stages more or less comparable to our stages of primary, secondary, and higher education. But in the Gallo-Roman eyrie the educational institutions and techniques of the Byzantine Empire had completely disappeared. It is of no importance to us here if certain Latin subjects and authors, unknown to the Middle Ages, were later reintroduced into without interruption. This system, retained





secular character after the

curricula: they did not determine the composition of the school. In this between the ancient school and the respect, there was a radical break

medieval school. The latter came into existence to of ecclesiastical recruiting. 137

satisfy the





the HellenPreviously the Church had entrusted the secular school of a of its education the with literary education literary pupils, type


which was indispensable for the acquisition of sacred knowledge in a learned religion - as Christianity, the religion of the Book and its patristic commentaries, had rapidly become. After the fifth century, the Church

would no longer depend on

that traditional institution,

which had been

of the ancient culture and ruined by the decadence of the urban way of life (for the ancient school belonged to and did not exist in the country). But the exercise of the priestthe

dragged down

in the collapse




called for a

minimum of knowledge: knowledge which one

call literary (the liturgical texts

might which one might

of the divine


and knowledge

the computation of Easter) or this knowledge, the celebration of

call scientific (such as

(such as plain-song). Without Mass and the distribution of the sacraments would become impossible and religious life would become arid. It was therefore necessary for the the bishops (sometimes, in certain countries clergy and particularly


such as England and Ireland, the monasteries) to organize the instruction of the young clerks themselves. This instruction, contrary to the ancient tradition, was given in the church itself: for a long time the habit remained of saying, 'ajuventute in ista ecclesia nutritus - in gremio sancte matris ecclesie enutritus'* and the Church signified not only a society a\> annis puerilibus

but a place, the porch of a church or its cloister. 4 This instruction was therefore essentially professional or technical.

M. Majrrou calls it 'choir-school education'. The pupils learned what they needed to know in order to say and sing the offices, namely the Psalms and the Canonic Hours, in Latin of course, the Latin of the manuscripts which these texts had been established. Thus this instruction was to the memory, like the instruction predominantly oral and addressed in Moslem countries anyone who Koran schools in the at present given has heard the alternating recitation of the verses of the Koran in the great in


not only as mosque at Kairwan will have an idea of the medieval school, it was in its distant sixth-century origins, but as it would remain, at least at its elementary level, for centuries. The pupils all chanted in unison the phrase spoken by the teacher, and they went on repeating the same exercise until they had learnt it by heart. The priests could recite nearly Henceforth reading was no all the prayers in the office from memory. longer an indispensable tool of learning. memory in the event of forgetfulness.

It It

only served to aid their only allowed them to

6 and not to discover something 'recognize' what they already knew that the result with the new, importance of reading was greatly reduced.




This extremely specialized instruction was given in the cathedral churches, under the supervision of the bishops, for the clerks of their households. It soon passed into the hands of their auxiliaries, who kter

became their rivals: the canons of the chapter. But the councils of the Middle Ages also laid an obligation on the priests of the new country churches to train their successors - that is to to teach them the



Psalms, the Canonical Hours and plain-song. For the parish priests were not appointed as they are today by the bishop, but by a patron, and the cathedral school did not necessarily provide incumbents for the rural parishes. Here we can see the distant origins of the country school, an institution


to the ancient world.

In so far as rural education existed in these early times, it remained at this elementary level. But, at least in the Carolingian period, the cathedral


went beyond

these limits,


it is

the cathedral school



the original cell of our entire scholastic system in the West. The teaching of the Psalms and plain-song continued, the 'choir-school* aspect scolasticus, was were added, and subjects these were none other than the Latin artes liberates, inherited from Hellenistic culture and brought back to Gaul from Italy, where they had probably never stopped being taught in some private schools, and from England or Ireland, where the tradition had been preserved in

remained, and often the canon in charge of the school, the also

the choirmaster.

However, some new

the monasteries. Henceforth in the medieval schools the teaching of the

Psalms and plain-song would be complemented by that of the arts - the trivium (grammar, rhetoric, dialectics) and the quadrivium (geometry,

- and arithmetic, astronomy, music) finally by that of theology, that is to say, of the Scriptures and canon law. As a result the canon in charge of the school sometimes called in the help of assistants: one for the elementary work -the Psalter -and others for certain subjects such as branches of the arts or theology or law. But this multiplication of masters was not universal, and probably took place only in a few schools which acquired a considerable reputation and began to attract teachers or students, sometimes from distant parts, as was the case at Chartxes or Paris. In all probability most of the cathedral schools existed for a long time with one or two masters teaching most of the subjects, or at least the arts. But by the twelfth century they were no longer sufficient. The chapters were obliged to authorize other churches to main-

They had to allow teaching by private masters, on condition that they authorized them, and the reluctance they showed in agreeing to of an association this arrangement resulted in the formation

tain schools.




and pupik directed against them, namely the university. Little by little, in the course of the twelfth century, a network of schools was established, some of them famous and giving rise in a few cases to universities, the others

more modest.

A final phenomenon,

the specialization of theology and law, gave the its definitive form. Theology ceased to be

medieval educational system

taught in the same schools as the


This led to a remarkable system of

to last until the nineteenth century: from the specialization thirteenth century on, there was separate instruction in the arts, which in the university towns gave its name to a Faculty - the Faculty of Arts and which, like a propaedeutic, prepared pupils for admission to the

which was

civil law and medicine. The higher schools: theology, canon law, universities of the thirteenth century finally established this hierarchy of knowledge. They generally consisted of at least two Faculties: a Faculty

of Arts and one or more higher Faculties (in Paris, for example, theology and canon law) they were never confined to the Faculty of Arts alone. For the arts were not sufficient in themselves and merely prepared the way for a different sort of education. The influence of the universities ;

concerns us here in so far as

between the



the one


helped to effect a complete separation

hand and theology and law on the



specialized subjects tended, in fact, to be concentrated not unnaturally in university towns inhabited by famous the other teachers and the students attracted by the latter's prestige.

Instruction in the higher,


hand, the

relieved of parasitic subjects such as theology and law, too were taught by certificated masters of the universities,


though they were not always absorbed by the universities; arts schools were set there was no up wherever the latter existed, and even in places where to multiply at the end of tended doubtless schools and these university, the Middle Ages.

was that instruction in the arts, both inside the universities obedience here of the was out, given all over the country, under the and covering in its of the there the of there abbot, again bishop, chapter,




curricula Latin (including the Psalter), but not theology, canon or civil law, or medicine. It is this instruction in the arts, in the definitive form



took in the thirteenth century, which concerns us here.

There is a hiatus between the ancient school and the medieval school, but without any interruption, by means of imperceptible alterations,

we pass



to our present educational system. The the two of seems a priori a monstrous anachronism, systems comparison but this apparently unthinkable comparison is in fact inevitable. are struck first of all by the differences. The medieval school was confined to the tonsured, to the clerics and the religious. From the end of the Middle Ages it extended its teaching to ever wider sections of the a population. However, up to the mid-eighteenth century, it remained Latin institution, and when it became French (when the use of the


the medieval school


vernacular ceased to be punished), centre of


secondary curricula.



retained the study of Latin in the we have to look

this characteristic

further back than those periods which practised a deliberate cult of Roman Antiquity; we have to look to the Middle Ages, when Latin





For centuries


the language of the clerks and their professional schools. was taught as a living language rather than as a cultural as necessary to the clerk as to the man of law and the

language, a language administrator. that




was only at the beginning of the eighteenth century function as an element of general education became

predominant. A second difference between medieval and modern education is the absence of primary education in the earlier period. Primary education as we understand it today is neither a technical education nor an education in general culture. It teaches reading, writing, use of the mother tongue, and what it is essential to know in order to be able to get along in life, whatever one's trade or station. But in the Middle Ages and at the and empirical knowledge was beginning of modern times this elementary not taught in school: it was acquired at home or in apprenticeship to a 6 trade. The usefulness of the school began with Latin, and it stopped at the level of Latin studies necessary for the purpose to which the pupil intended to put them. The incumbent of a country parish could be the liturgical texts by heart; a future attorney had satisfied with


to be

more demanding. True,

the medieval school provided elementary

- the Latin of the Psalter from which pupils were - and no doubt this instruction formed the inspiration for taught reading modern primary education at the beginning of the seventeenth century, 7 as we shall see later. But the Psalter represented only the rudiments of instruction in Latin

the Latin school. school', the




it was transferred to the French of the 'little of it changed and it became something entirely



and the were Faculties of Theology, Law and Medicine,

third difference: the lack of higher education in letters

sciences. Admittedly there




have continued to the present day under the same names. But was nothing in medieval France to be compared with either higher education in the Hellenistic world, which was essentially scientific, rhetorical and philosophical in character, or the Faculties of Letters and the Sciences which were born at the beginning of the nineteenth century with the Napoleonic university. This is a surprising gap when one considers the importance of philosophy in the intellectual life of the Middle Ages. The discovery of the unknown works of Aristotle and the




in separate instruction in great Thomist synthesis should have resulted the liberal arts and theology. In fact, ethics and metaphysics assumed

such an important position in the curricula that parts of the arts were absorbed by philosophy. Thus the old dialectics of the triviurn disthe trivium from appeared in favour of logic, which permanently ousted scholastic terminology; and logic then became synonymous with coexist with

or whether

this philosophy would question then was whether forms of grammar, the and with rudimentary grammar,




would break away




form of higher education.

In this respect education developed differently in France and England. In England, the Latin schools became affiliated to the universities; the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge were markedly different from the other, non-university Latin schools. It became customary to begin the could be, for instance, study of the arts at the nearest Latin school which

the cathedral school of St Paul's in London. Later these schools,


schools in France, just like the Latin

would be




was only on leaving the grammar school, at about fourteen, young Englishman was sent to Oxford or Cambridge. The

schools'. It

that the

difference in age corresponded to a difference in curricula: philosophy sciences were reserved for the universities, in principle at least, for the distinction was not really strictly observed until the eighteenth

and the

First of all because century. In reality the borderline was much vaguer. in the university colleges, apart from philosophy, the pupils also had to had already studied at study all over again the precepts and authors they

school, in accordance with the principle




medieval pedagogy. Then again,


and sixteenth centuries


of repetition dear

sometimes happened in the

that logic

was read

in the


a long time in dispute such as rhetoric, which Brinsley claimed for the universities although it was on the curriculum of the grammar schools and stayed there. The


The place of certain subjects remained for

seventeenth century. argument was still going on at the beginning of the with what was in accordance were However, things finally arranged




already ancient usage: the grammar schools prepared pupils for the and the universities had the monopoly of the instruction in


philosophy which was regarded as the necessary complement of the ordinary studies, before admission to the specialities of law, theology or medicine. Philosophy then became the embryo of a higher cultural education in the modern sense. The same evolution occurred in Germany. 8 In France,


the other hand, die schools of



(pupils studying

the arts) attached to the universities did not succeed in distinguishing themselves, either by their recruitment or by their curricula, from the

schools of



artists' in

other towns which did not give birth to universities.

in thirteenth-century Paris, in the Paris of St Thomas's time, conditions could have developed in the same way as at Oxford and


Cambridge. The Parisian schools were who had already been taught


the twelfth century,

it is

attracting from distant parts in other schools. Already, in

recorded that once they had reached the age

of -puberty the better students used to leave their schools to go to 9 However, these schools, Chartres, Tournai, Orleans and Bologna. did the not famous than more rest, teaching young boys, stop though

and it did not become customary for diem to take in only students who had already received a preliminary education, as it did at Oxford and Cambridge. In Pans, this state of affairs may have been due to the presence of a far bigger native population than that of the little English towns, so that the schools had to satisfy the requirements not only of a foreign clientele, similar to that of the present Faculties in France, but also of a local clientele like that of the colleges or lyces. However that may be, philosophy was not separated from grammar and its rudiments; accordingly the curriculum was the same in the schools of the university towns as in those of the non-university towns, provided that the latter were sufficiently important. The consequences are still perceptible today. Philosophy remained on the curriculum of the grammar schools, and when, after the fourteenth of century, education was divided into parts according to the difficulty the subject and the age of the pupil, philosophy was pushed to the very end of the cycle of Latinity; it formed the subject-matter of the last two classes under the name of logic and physic - which were to become the modern philosophy classes. The logics and physics classes of the sixteenth century corresponded both to the English university colleges and to the the Sciences in France. The existence present-day Faculties of Letters and of a second baccalaureate in France today is due to the fact that in France

philosophy has not detached



the rest of the


In England,




never contrary, there is no second baccalaureate because there was in the English or never in instruction physics, logic any philosophy, any grammar schools.

on the

England became part of university education was absorbed by what became secondary education. Thus the creation by Napoleon of a Faculty of Letters was not based on any French tradition, and the inspiration for it had to be sought in foreign, and particularly



in France

German, models. That



in France,


has not

become customary


as the necessary regard university education in Letters and the Sciences of the nineteenth century, end the At education. a to good complement the social equivalent in France of Oxford or Cambridge was not the Sorbonne but Louis-le-Grand or Stanislas or else a Jesuit college. Nowa*



it is



cole des Sciences Politiques, the

Sciences Po',

the comparison of medieval education with our own has out differences. By difference I mean the impossibility

chiefly brought for us of finding in the

one the origins of the other: thus neither our

descended from the primary nor our university education is directly medieval system. But in French secondary education in the nineteenth when that century and at the beginning of the twentieth century, education was


culmination of the

predominantly Latin, liberal arts


can recognize the natural arts had been

of the Middle Ages. The

at two points: under the considerably modified in the interval, notably humanist influence of the sixteenth century, when the classical Latin authors were substituted for the authors of the Byzantine Empire, and

in the 'eighteenth century, when the use of French was introduced into the schools together with a few new scientific ideas. But they still remained was still used. True, the recognizable, and their traditional terminology word 'artist', as applied to students, went out of use after the sixteenth century, although it remained in the administrative, non-spoken language

to denote the Faculty of Arts, as opposed to the other higher Faculties. But the expressions which served, almost to the present day, to denote

the principal divisions of secondary education or of what became education - still belong to the traditional vocabulary of the

secondary arts.

During the




of the ancien regime and

in the nine-

teenth century too, the normal cycle was divided in the following way: or humanities grammar classes up to the third form, then the fifth form class,

then the sixth form or rhetoric

Grammar and former

rhetoric are

dialectics, raised to


then logic and finally physics.

two branches of the old trivium. Logic is the a more philosophical than oratorical level by

the Aristotelian renaissance of the Middle Ages. Physics


simply the



former quadrivium. The humanities represent the contribution of the humanist thought of the sixteenth century, effected by the Jesuits in

and physics were replaced by of philosophy and mathematics. The mere enumeration of the names of these classes, from the sixteenth century to the present day, summarizes the entire history of the Latin school: the original trivium and quadrivium, the philosophical deposits of the Middle Ages, the humanistic contribution of the Renaissance, and the

particular. In the nineteenth century, logic




modernization of the old logic and physics into the modern philosophy and mathematics. The stages are clearly defined, but they are the stages

of a


can trace it back from the modern French which brought secondary education into a closer relationship with primary and technical education) to the college of the ancien regime and from the college to the medieval Latin school which taught 'grammar and the arts'. This does not mean that in the Middle Ages the teaching of the arts corresponded to the teaching of the arts in the modern French secondary school, but simply that it was the starting-point of the development which resulted in our secondary single evolution.

lycee (before the reforms


We both

have tried to


origins and

situate the

medieval school by linking







posterity. go on to consider certain features

familiar to us, let us



up with

rather it




concerned with our study of the relationship between the ages: the lack of gradation in the curricula according to difficulty of the subject-matter, the simultaneity with which the subjects were taught, the mixing of the ages,

and the


of the





Nobody thought of having a graduated system of education, in which the subjects for study would be distributed according to difficulty, The most striking example is that of grammar. regard grammar as we have done ever since the fifteenth

beginning with the

Today we century the




an elementary

more elementary


and a




and the further


advance in time,

becomes. But in ancient times grammar was a science at that, corresponding rather to our modern it

The Middle Ages

from ancient times this concept of of the trivium; advanced of it beneath them. Thus study John of


grammar, which was one of students did not consider the

the branches



Salisbury, in the twelfth century, attended classes in grammar for three years, between the ages of sixteen and twenty. Students read over and

over again the Commentarium grammaticorum libri XVII by Priscian, a fifth-century Latin grammarian. In 1215 the University of Paris issued a decree stipulating that in the arts schools one of Priscian's books should be



Later Priscian was replaced by Alexandre de Villedieu's Doctrinale pueromm, a thirteenth-century work of twelve chapters: the declensions, the eteroclites or irregularities, the degrees of comparison, the articles or the genders, the preterites and supines, the studied for at least


and abnormal verbs, the four types of verb, transitive, inand long syllables, stress and figures of speech. The Doctrinal would be the manual of grammar until the end of the fifteenth century, when it would be replaced in France by Despautere's manual, which was scarcely any easier but defective

transitive or reciprocal constructions, short syllables


at least, for the first time, described itself as a



rather than a scientific summa. also what was taught just after reading or at the same time, to boys of ten. No doubt they did not begin with Priscian or the Doctrinal. Their first book was Donat,

grammar was

This scientific

from the that



to say the It



octo partibus orationis by Donat, a fourth-century called Donatus minor to distinguish it from other

grammarian. books by Donat, or else Ars minor, which suggests that it was an elementary work, but an elementary work which formed part of the general study of the arts. Later on, Donat became synonymous with the rudinients of

grammar: when one knew

one's Donat,

one could find

way about. Certain private masters had been given permission the chapter to teach Donat but not other authors. one's


manuscripts Donat is followed by extracts from Priscian, one would have thought to be an author for more advanced students. At the beginning of the eleventh century, the Anglo-Saxon Aelfric wrote a Latin dialogue with a juxtalinear translation intended for beginners at the Donat level; he accompanied this with Excerptiones de In



Prisciano minore vel majore, a sort




of condensation or anthology of Donat

take another document,


find a

Donat included


Bologna student's luggage stolen in 1393, and this work is mentioned next to a Doctrinal and a Boethius (an author who dealt with dialectics, music, the quadrivium) as if a little French grammar the inventory of a


were found today among the schoolbooks of a boy in the philosophy class. Thus grammar was at once a science and a rudimentary subject, studied by both the big clerk aged from fifteen to twenty and the little




of ten. And it was always the same grammar, with examples from same authors of the Byzantine Empire. 11 Another example of the lack of gradation is provided by John of Salisbury's cycle of studies in the middle of the twelfth century. John of Salisbury was born about 1 137. He arrived in Paris at the age of fourteen. By this time he had already received a primary education: the Psalter, Donat, and a smattering of the liberal arts. He came to Paris to complete his education at the feet of famous masters. These could be, as in the thirteenth century, specialists in certain branches of the arts - one master teaching grammar, another rhetoric, a third dialectics or logic and a fourth the quadrivium - but this was not always the case. Generally speaking, the same master taught all the arts, laying special emphasis on a favourite discipline. Thus in the sixteenth century Odon de Tournai, who was in charge of two hundred pupils, taught all the arts, although 'praecipue tamen in dialectica eminebat And if, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, in Paris and the university towns, the most famous of the clerk




masters sometimes specialized to a certain extent, this specialization tended to diminish later on. On his arrival in Paris, the fourteen-year-old

John of Salisbury did not address himself first of all to a grammar master. He took a course of dialectics - that is to say, he spent most of his time studying the commentaries on Aristotle's Organon by Boethius and Porphyrus. He remained on this course for two years, but when he returned after a long absence, he found the same classmates under the same master, still doing these exercises in dialectics which by that time he considered useless but which none the less offered sufficient interest to retain a faithful public for about five years at a time. Thus in the thirteenth century it was still a common thing for a student to linger over the study of one of the liberal arts. Dialectics did not distract John of Salisbury from grammar, which he had no intention of neglecting, for



he had begun

his studies in Paris





for three years, until he was about twenty, providing another example of the medieval antiquity of grammar, at once a rudimentary to


subject studies.

of the

and a



At twenty, John of Salisbury went ahead with his who went through the whole cycle

enrolled with a master



over again (ab eo [Richard I'fiveque] relegf) the quadrivium, that is to say the sciences, of which he was Then he went ignorant (et inaudita quaedam ad quadrivium pertinentia). to rhetoric, with which he was already familiar (relegi quoque arts all

taught him still




and finished with logic, in which he resumed acquaintance which he had already studied in dialectics.

Aristotle's Organon,




After that he in his turn taught the arts, to earn his living, and when he returned to the schools, it was in a higher Faculty, in order to study

of Salisbury had not theology. During his long years as an 'artist', John followed any plan, and there is no sign of any gradation in his studies: dialectics, grammar, review of the trivium, the quadrivium, review of The order could have been entirely different: it does not rhetoric, logic.

his correspond to any traditional succession. Every master arranged and one at and masters his to taught preferences, programme according the same time subjects which general opinion placed on the same level

and importance. 12 However, the reform of the University of Paris in 1366 by Cardinal de Saint-Marc and Cardinal de Saint-Martin showed signs of a tendency in favour of a gradation of the curricula, a tendency very foreign to the



reform of 1215 by Robert de Coupon. 13 This text gives the programme of the university examinations. First of all, for the determination the future baccalaureate, the requirements were: (i) grammar -sint in grammatica - veterem artem et Doctrinale et Graecismum audiverint\



totam, to wit Aristotle's

Organon and

also his


logic anima. For the licencia

docendi: physics and Aristotle's scientific treatises, de generatione et corruptione, de caelo et mundo, parva naturalia. For the mastership of arts Aristotle's :

and Meteors. Here one might be tempted to see the elements of a the system of gradation: grammar and logic which together occupied the arts curriculum, the quadrivium and moral philosophy. in biggest place But this gradation remained very vague, for it left grammar and logic Ethics

same level: what we really have here is a classification correspondof examinamore to systematic teaching, to a better planned system ing tions designed to impose subjects for the licentiate's degree and the



for the baccamastership which were not also required of the candidate Moreover this distribution of the various subjects between the


three examinations prejudged neither their difficulty - for the Organon or the De Anima were no easier than the Physics or the Ethics - nor the would be taught, for the dates of the examinations order in which


for the baccalaureate, the licentiate's degree and the mastership came closer together until they concurred at the beginning of modern times,





and purposes they became

different formalities

of one

and the same examination. 14 Simultaneity

grammar and logic, were not ranked in a progressive order. However, if the subjects were not graduated in order of difficulty,


arts, at least

MEDIEVAL SCHOLARS YOUNG AND OLD they could have been distributed



each could have been taught to

the pupil at a different time. In fact this distribution became inevitable in the twelfth- and thirteenth-century schools, such as those attended in the arts: but Salisbury, which gave advanced instruction that in France this hierarchy of the arts schools changed fairly

by John of

we know

quickly. It was compromised children of the town, and also

by the junior clientele made up of the by the tendency to cut short the duration

of the course of studies. John of Salisbury's university career lasted twelve years, and to these we must add the five or six years at his first school which preceded them. His companions in the dialectics this there


also a contrary tendency, to


But as early as which the same John of

remained in that branch of study for nearly ten


the Metalogicon, directed against Salisbury bears witness in a treatise called those who wanted to cut short the duration of the course of studies, and 15 Three years even, so he maintains, reduce it to two or three years. instead of ten or twelve! John of Salisbury heaps contempt on these and Cornificius, the it was they who eventually triumphed, people. Yet to us as the precursor of modern education, object of his derision, appears characterized as far back as die fifteenth century by a shorter cycle than that of the Middle Ages. None the less it was a case of anticipation, and

the Middle Ages retained a long cycle of studies which can be explained of clerks who were often by the fact that education was the monopoly

in no hurry to settle down. It was shortened when already beneficed and the Latin school began drawing more of its pupils from the laity. But even then the long cycle of studies remained for a long time as a model. The humanists, for all that they were so hostile to medieval pedagogy,

to extend a long way into life, thought that an ideal education ought of which they could distinguish beyond childhood and adolescence neither the age limits nor the existential character. short the duration of the course of studies was to The effect of still


rob the university schools (which were already attended by beginners from the town) of their character as institutions of complementary

more or less specialists. The education, provided by masters who were invaded at course of studies at these schools was cut short at the top and became the bottom. The result was that the university schools rapidly had always been. of the non-university arts schools polyvalent, as most The same master taught all the arts (like the modern primary-school Some of these or at least logic, the quadrivium. teacher),



which did not belong

for a long time the object


to the basic grammar-logic cycle, were course in Paris: ethics was still a special




taught separately in the kte fifteenth century,

charge of the course. arts

when Standonc was



complained, incidentally, that the bachelors of were no longer taking it. Between 1492 and 1517 it was finally 16

suppressed. Even in the case


these distinct


special lessons, instruction


remained simultaneous, in accordance with the tradition which we find described in the reform of the University of Paris in 1215 by Robert de Coupon, and which was wholly in keeping with the spirit of medieval pedagogy. From this text we learn that the arts were divided into two cycles: one given in the scolae ordinariae grammar and logic, in other words Priscian and the Organon and the other ad cursum. In these cursariae, the pupils studied rhetoric,

the quadrivilia (physics



music from Boethius, etc.), but also a grammatical treatise, Donat's Barbarismum (whereas the De octo partibus formed part of the ordinary cycle) and finally a sort of optional subject: ethics. To the first cycle belonged the basic disciplines, and the reformer of 1215 saw to it that they were not extended too far. The second cycle consisted of the

complementary another:






did not follow one


the contrary, they were, in effect, taught simultaneously: the ordinary classes were held on weekdays, while the cursariae were

given only on holidays, which were, of course, frequent. It was as if the time-tables had been arranged so that the same pupils could follow both cycles at the same time. It can now be seen why the Bologna student possessed both a Donat and a Boethius. The older students were distinguished from the new not by the subjects they studied they were the

same - but by the number of times they had repeated them. Moreover the scarcity of manuscript books, and the need to rely on memory above all, also made this wearisome repetition inevitable. The mixing of the ages and the liberty of the students The lack of gradation of the curricula, the simultaneity of the teaching, the oral method of repetition: the features of this pedagogy have to be kept in




are to understand the astonishing demographic

of the medieval school. At what age did the medieval child






point the

answer given by the historians varies, because, when the historians are French, it is not clear whether they are talking about the elementary school or about the higher school as it existed only in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. If, on the other hand, they are English, then we have a better idea of what they are talking about, because in England the




between elementary schools and higher schools providing

instruction in the arts survived the thirteenth century and has lasted down to the present day. But even in what appear to be the clearest cases an

ambiguity remains. In the fourteenth century, in England, Chaucer in 'The Prioress's Tale* depicts a little schoolboy: 'Now among the children there was a widow's son, a litde cleric seven years of age who was accustomed to 17 go to school every day/ He was precocious for his time. In Paris, in 1339, at the Ave Maria College, the youngest pupils were eight years 1* old. 18 Boys entered Winchester College between eight and seventeen.

The age given by Adamson, the English educational historian, seems to have been the usual one: from nine to twelve. It can be assumed that on the average it was at about the age of ten that the little cleric began his Psalter. It should be noted that at that age, nowadays, he would be or five years at a entering the first form and would already have four - more if he had been to nursery school. The behind him school primary

medieval cleric was four or five years behind the boy of our own and those four or five years represented at that time a much longer day, than today. So the medieval child started period, comparatively speaking, school fairly late. How long did he stay there? Here again, we must be careful to distinguish one period from another. Until the twelfth century have stayed on much after thirteen approximately, a pupil can scarcely or fourteen, the age of puberty. Then, in the twelfth and thirteenth a centuries, with die university movement, it became customary to have little

the elementary school finished long cycle of studies which started where and, taking the student at thirteen or fourteen, accompanied him to about the age of twenty. This would be the English system: until fourteen, the as it was later called, and the elementary school or the grammar school, after which the student to fourteen from eighteen, university college or spent a period reading law. in



two stages did not survive Paris university schools must have had a proover fourteen who raised the average age-level,

In France the teaching of the arts in thirteenth century.



portion of pupils aged students attracted by the

fame of the city's masters. But these same schools did not succeed in in took younger beginners, since they undoubtedly as complementary schools which pupils could themselves establishing enter only after receiving a preliminary education. That was the great difference between them and the English schools. The students often in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, so stayed at school a long time that the long cycle of studies, lasting to the age of twenty and beyond,



became customary; there is reason to think that the teaching of the arts and retained many masters: famous teachers preferred the arts to law and theology because they were more remunerative - their arts courses were better attended, and attended for a longer period by adults. We know on the other hand that from the fourteenth century on the


masters taught the liberal arts only while waiting for something better. Soon they were no longer, as in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries,

Anselm or Abelard, but occasional teachers same time as they were studying for examinations in the higher Faculties: theology, law or medicine. And this latter formula carried the day until the Jesuits restored to the teaching body a prestige which was, however, very relative; the masters in the Jesuit colleges were more often than not students in the higher Faculties who earned their living by teaching, just as students in the Faculties of Letters and the Sciences now give private lessons or teach in private schools. This drop in the quality of the teaching body suggests a change in the composition of the classes. It corresponded in fact to the transition from the long cycle to a shorter cycle, to the shortening of the course of studies. As the average age of the pupils dropped, the master giving eminent



taught the



arts at the

instruction in the arts stopped being a scholar or a thinker, a dialectician or logician famed for the originality of his thought, and became a pedagogue, a pedant, a mere labourer treated with scant respect. This

evolution started at the end of the Middle Ages with the victory of a programme that ended when the student was

shorter cycle of studies, a





should beware of giving

this speculation

about ages

more importance than it deserves. No doubt we are introducing into this analysis a totally modern concept, namely that of the correspondence between age and studies - a concept foreign to the Middle Ages. It is only very rarely that one comes across a precise reference in a text to the pupils' ages. When, despite the opposition of the chapters, the private schools multiplied and threatened the monopoly of the cathedral schools, the canons in self-defence tried to set limits to their rivals' activity. These were never age limits. The canons confined themselves to


forbidding the private schools to teach anything more advanced than Donat, which was synonymous with elementary grammar. And this absence of any reference to age continued for a very long time the lack may be noted very often in the seventeenth-century moralists. The lodging contracts something like articles of apprenticeship by which families fixed the terms of accommodation of their schoolboy sons :

MEDIEVAL SCHOLAtS YOUNG AND OLD rarely mention the boy's age, as if that as a general rule the




it were of no know importance. youngest pupils were about ten years old. But

their contemporaries paid little attention to their age, and considered it perfectly natural too for an adult who was anxious to learn to join a class of children, for it was the subject being taught that mattered. An adult could listen to the work of Donat at the same time as a



was studying the Organon. In the medieval school

all the ages were mixed together in the same At that time the school did not have huge buildings at its The master installed himself in the cloister after it of

classroom. disposal. parasitic



But later on,

as the

or else in the church or at the church door. of authorized schools increased, he sometimes



when he was short of money, and Thomas occasionally shows a touch of contempt for these impoverished creatures who speak coram pueris in angulis'. Generally die master contented himself with a street corner St


hired a room, a schola at a fee which, incidentally, was fixed by regulation in the university towns; and in Paris these schools were concentrated in




Rue du

Fouarre: vicus straminis. These schools were, of

course, independent of one another. The floor was strewn with straw, and the pupils sat on the floor. In the fourteenth century a few benches

were provided, although

innovation encountered some opposition come to him, as a shopkeeper waits for customers. Sometimes one master would entice away the pupils of another. In this classroom boys and men of all ages were at first.



the master waited for students to

gathered together, from ten years of age to twenty or more. 'I saw the 21 students in the school', wrote Robert of Salisbury in the twelfth century. *

Their numbers were great [there could have been two hundred or more].

saw there men of diverse ages: pueros, adolescentes, juvenes, senes* - that to say, all the ages of life, for there was no word to denote an adult and one went straight (romjuvenes to senes. I


In die fifteenth century


find the masters in Pierre Michault's

young and the old who made with up pupils open minds, whether you be old or young, mature or green... 'And this school, with a great multitude of pupils, was reading the chapter on constructions [in the Doctrinal by Doctrinal addressing themselves to both the their public: 22



Alexandre de Villedieu, Priscian's successor and Despautere's predecessor].' How could things be otherwise, seeing that there was no gradation of the curricula, and that the older students had simply repeated

more often what the younger pupils had heard only once ? The mixing of the ages continued out of school. The solitary





and with only one building at his on the everyday life of his pupils; they escaped from his authority as soon as lessons were over. Now, to begin with, this authority, the master's for was the only one they recognized. 'Old or young, mature or green', they were left to their own devices. A very few lived with their parents. Others lived in lodgings, either with the master himself or with a priest or a canon, on terms arranged in a contract similar to articles of apprenticeship. These pupils were the most closely supervised or at least the most closely watched; they belonged to a household, to the family of the clerk to whom they had been entrusted, and here there was a sort of compromise between the education by apprenticeship and academic education of the modern type. This was the only form of boarding-school. Most of the pupils lived where they could, in private lodgings, several to a room. And here too, old and young were mingled together initiatory traditions bound the younger pupils closely to their elders. This mingling of the sometimes helped by an






position to keep a check



ages surprises us today if it does not actually shock us but at the time people were so indifferent to it that they did not notice it, as is the way with very familiar things. How could they be expected to notice the :

mixing of the ages when they were so indifferent to the very fact of age? As soon as he started going to school, the child immediately entered the world of adults. This confusion, so innocent that it went unnoticed, was one of the most characteristic features of medieval society and one of the most enduring features too. At the end of the Middle Ages, we can make out the first signs of a contrary evolution which would result in our present very conscious differentiation of the ages. But until the end of the ancien regime at least, something of the medieval state of mind would remain. Its resistance to other factors of mental transformation marks it as a fundamental attitude to life, common to a long succession of generations.






of the pontifical reformers of the University of Paris and (of 1215 1366) spoke only of the school: the room in which, twice a day for die ordinary lessons and on free days for the the master who had lured it gathered his pupils lessons, extraordinary and read or commented on the authors prescribed custom. together texts




reformers' intervention

traditional curricula


was limited

to enforcing observance

of the

fairness in the examinations. In 1452 another

reformation took place, carried out by Cardinal d'Estouteville: this was 1 the last time pontifical authority was exerted by its legate. The next reformation of the University of Paris was the work of Henri IV and his officers, in


and established the conditions of education

mid-eighteenth century. The reformation of 1452 bears witness to a that

of the

earlier period. In this text,


some new

until the

very different from

made their Some new characters


appearance: collegium, pedagogium, domus artistorum. take the place of the former master: magister

prindpalis, pedagogus, regens.

document, the Faculty of Arts was now composed of domus artistorum, entities which had been unknown or collegia, pedagogia, had gone unmentioned in the older texts. The institutions referred to in

According to


all the teaching of the arts, and the Cardinal was legislating them alone, addressing himself directly to the magistri principales, who had become the chief cogs in the educational machine. This new organization had come into being between the reformations of the thirteenth and

these terms did


fourteenth centuries and the reformation of 1452 the old-type schools, the cathedral school or the school in the Rue du Fouarre, was replaced :


the college or the pedagogica. Cardinal d'Estouteville speaks of diem as of institutions so familiar that it does not occur to him to mention their

though they were, or to compare them with the previous Yet his system. contemporaries were well aware of the importance the in university life and occasionally they provided an had assumed college indication of it. Thus in 1445 the University of Paris, in an address to the admitted that it now resided almost iota - in its origins, recent





and that it would have perished in the recent troubles -during the Hundred Years War - if it had not been safely established inside these colleges.* 155



In the sixteenth century, tienne Pasquier gave a precise description of transformation, which had taken place just over a hundred years before. He began by reviewing the places where the students were given this

of the colleges. The disorderliness of medieval education shocked him: at that time 'studies were in a jumble ... the rooms on one side were leased to students and on the their lessons before the introduction

other to whores, so that under the same roof there was a school of learning 8 together with a school of whoring/ Pasquier expressed surprise that 'at

was no more discipline than that, and that the University of Paris had none the less acquired such a high reputation*. His comments show to what extent medieval freedom was no longer understood or tolerated: freedom for the graduate master to teach where he liked, as he liked; freedom for the pupil to live free of supervision outside school hours. People now saw nothing in the old state of affairs but licence and anarchy. Revulsion had brought about 'the institution of the colleges which put a new complexion on things'. According to Pasquier, the institution took place in two stages. First of all, 'certain lords and particularly ecclesiastics decided to build houses in this University, which were called colleges, for the benefit of the poor students whom they wanted to be lodged therein under the name of Scholars, and to be fed and taught at the expense of the revenue set aside for this purpose*. Next, well-to-do families got into the habit of sending their sons to these colleges for scholars, which had acquired a good reputation for discipline, and thus came to desert the 'jumble' in the Rue du Fouarre: 'The in discipline kept by these poor Scholarship Students who were confined the colleges was considered so good that the majority of fathers and mothers, sending their children to study in Paris, also wanted them to lodge in the colleges in order to avoid debauchery.' Thus with the institution of the college appeared a feeling unknown to the Middle Ages and which would go on growing in strength until the end of the nineteenth century revulsion at the idea of the mingling of the ages. Henceforth schoolboys would tend to be separated from adults and submitted that time there


to a discipline peculiar to their condition, for the good reputation of the poor scholars was chiefly due to their 'confinement' (delusion). Incidentally,


should beware of taking

pendence enjoyed








the inde-

would alarm

present-day parents! However, they were none the less submitted to a supervision, or rather an attempted supervision, such as their thirteenth-

century predecessors had never known.


important stage had been passed. The transition from the free






school of the Middle Ages to the disciplined college of the fifteenth

century was the sign of a parallel movement in the world of feelings: expressed a new attitude to childhood and youth.




century onwards, started


in the hospices from the end of the twelfth as homes for poor students. Thus in 11 80 an

Englishman back from Jerusalem took a place in the Hotel-Dieu in which to house eighteen poor students maintained by an endowment. 4 This was the origin of the College des Dix-huit which in 1231, when the old Hotel-Dieu was destroyed, installed itself in an independent house. Later the College des Dix-huit was combined with Louis-le-Grand. Starting as a hostel, the college soon became an institution for scholars


a prelate or an abbot would give a university an endowment to maintain a few poor students from his diocese or native land, specifying the way in

which the fund was

to be applied.

college with a permanent financial


installation in premises

bigger than the limited


The endowment provided the made possible its

basis: in particular it


number of

to our eyes often seem far seemed to require.


to this permanence, the institutions for scholars absorbed all arts, which continued to be given in them until the

the teaching of the

home for scholars was still a long way from the of the ancien regime. However, it came closer to it in die course college of the thirteenth century with the institutes founded by the mendicant orders for their members at the universities. According to the English historian Rashdall, the regular college may have done a great deal to Revolution. This

such as suggest the idea of secular foundations of a more organic nature, as the far As of thirteenth middle the in the to century. appear began arts were concerned, they increased in number at the beginning of the it was no longer just a question of of living in a university town: means providing poor a way of life which would shield on them to it was also impose proposed them against secular temptations, and they were submitted to a community life inspired by monastic practices and governed by perpetual

fourteenth century.


then on

students with the

For example they were compelled to take their meals together, and sometimes to remain silent at table or to take part in exercises of devotion and piety. According to their statutes, which are extremely least about administration and moral and social precise and detailed, at conduct, these communities governed themselves under the distant and statutes.




of the founder or of the person he had nominated to They were managed in a very democratic fashion by one of the older scholars chosen by his fellows, usually from among the theology students. Thus these foundations rescued the poor students, who otherwise had to live on charity, from the poverty and promiscuity of hospices and casual lodgings, and installed them within the bounds of an organized community with its own revenue, regulations and hierarchy. We can, of course, recognize in these communities the origins of the type of ineffectual control

succeed him.


which would

However, they

later characterize the scholastic


lacked three of the specific features of the modern place, they were simply hostels or lodging-houses,


college. In the first

and no instruction was given


them the :


to the traditional schools, the schools in the


Rue du

for their lessons

Fouarre. Secondly,

number of scholars, whereas and eighteenth centuries had a large academic population: it was a difference between a few dozen scholars and several hundred or even several thousand pupils. Finally, the system of self-government in these communities remained a long way these communities contained only a small the colleges of the sixteenth, seventeenth

from the

authoritarian discipline

which was imposed

after the fifteenth


But now let us consider the stages by which the transition was made from the scholars' college of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries to the college providing a 'full course' -the college in which there were masters to give lessons - of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

In the course of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the real exercise of education passed from the traditional schools of the Rue du Fouarre to the colleges which had begun as mere hostels for scholarship boys. The transfer started with the younger pupils, for whom it was made possible by the beginning of a gradation within the liberal arts in favour of grammar. There was a feeling - which began, rather timidly, towards the end of the thirteenth century - that grammar was a subject for beginners which ought to be finished with before starting on philosophy.

For a long time academic jargon, in its stereotyped formulas, would go on combining grammar with logic. In the statutes of the choir-school of 6 Notre-Dame, Gerson

stipulated that the children were to be instructed although we know that this was a grammar

in grammaticalibus et logicalibus

school of the



In fact the term most


used would be






parva logicalia. The statutes of Seez College in 1450 stated that the scholars should already have received instruction in grammaticalibus et in summulis et

parvis logicalibus*


can sense here the authorities' difficulty in

accepting a gradation which had been hitherto unknown. Yet henceforth the tendency would be towards the specialization of grammar. In 1315 Navarre College, the most important of the Paris colleges before Louisle-Grand, was, according to




divided into three

7 quite separate groups under the authority of three different masters. One group consisted of theologians, the second of logicians, the third of

group was directed by a grammaticus of good by a submagister, and he was given the task of instructing the children in primitivis scientiae grammaticae - grammar here being regarded and taught as an elementary subject. Thus, early in the fourteenth century, in Navarre College, there was an independent grammarians. This


character and morals, assisted

school. Similarly in England, at Winchester (1379), next to a students of law, of the arts (logicians) and of theology, William of college of Wykeham founded a 'grammar school' with seventy scholarships. 8 In the text of Cardinal d'Estouteville's reformation of 1452, the and their place in a new gradation of specialization of the grammarians


is very clearly specified. The reformer forbids the masters to allow their pupils to attend the logicaks lectiones if they have not been in grammar and prosody (in arte metrificandi). sufficiently instructed

the curricula

to the formation of a school for beginners, Specialization in grammar led the Latin grammar school. In the allegorical iconography of the fifteenth

century, arts,


It is

of all

grammar is depicted with younger is armed with a whip or a birch.

children than are the other

probable that the lessons in elementary

in private schools in the vicinity




same masters

ized to teach the Donat.


of the

grammar were given


universities or the cathedral

whom the canons or die universities authorstatute

of the University of Paris of 1276

in grammaticalibus et logicalibus prohibited lessons in locis privatis, except 9 to understand parvis logicalibus). These schools would are we which (by instruction only in the rudiments of grammar. and would not

grow They would pedagogicas

give take their place in the Parisian university system to become or halls, which Cardinal d'Estouteville distinguishes from

the colleges or foundations for scholars. Thus we have Maltre Guilkume Verlet's pedagogica for instance, where parvi scholares, tanquam in collegia,

These pedagogicas were private, unendowed grammar schools, his assistants and a number of day-boys. Only these consisting of a master, aluntur.


had no statutory







'pedagogica' had changed its meaning, and no longer denoted a school in which lessons of residence which gave no instruction but provided, sent its pupils for lessons in another college. This was because by the sixteenth century the pedagogica had joined an endowed college, intro-




in the sixteenth century it but a hall were


ducing the provide


complete course* of teaching to

introduction of the teaching of

place in


if it

did not already




into the colleges took

different ways.

Generally speaking, the masters at private pedagogicas were senior scholars from the colleges, and they lived in the colleges. The grammar school therefore became a sort of annex of the college, for which no In Cardinal Lemoine College, provision was made in the statutes.

founded in 1315, part of the premises was leased to a scholar who held 11 In this case, then, a college of scholars who were given no tuition was juxtaposed with a pedagogica providing tuition and installed in the college itself. The principal of the pedagogica assumed such importance in the life of the college that he laid claim to the office of Grand Master and used every possible means to obtain recognition of his as the result of arbitration, the authority. But it was only in 1647 that, classes there.


Grand Master of the College was



until the

end of his

of the college'. This is one days' in 'the principality and pedagogica of a fusion the of private pedagogica with an endowed college example which thereafter provided a 'complete course* of tuition.

Another case which was probably similar was that of Harcourt 12 Some seventeenth-century documents indicate that tuition in College.

grammar was given there in the fourteenth century. According to an audited inventory of 1434-50, one of the college buildings was assigned to the school of the 'grammatists'. Some of the college's senior scholars kept the grammar school. -a It could also happen that a free pedagogica pedagogica without - became a as the result of an endowment resources college statutory


or the foundation of a scholarship. Sainte-Barbe is an example of this. About 1450 a grammar teacher at Navarre College, M. Lenormant, in a building which he together with his brother, founded a pedagogica 13 a college scholar - for the of instance another the for purpose: bought

masters, principals, etc., were scholars on the same grounds as the students - who ran a was worried about the private school. But Navarre College who Navarre and the governed the community theologians competition raised difficulties. They tried to compel the Lenormant brothers to sleep





in the college, in accordance with the statutes, so as to prevent them their pupils - which shows, incidentally, that these

from supervising pedagogicas were

also boarding-schools.

But the Lenormant brothers

succeeded in keeping their independence. The pedagogica carried on a precarious existence, like that of a church school in present-day France, until 1576, when an endowment of fifty scholarships by the King of Portugal gave it the same stability as an endowed college. *

was not always the private pedagogica that introduced the complete course' of tuition to the college. The statutes of certain fourteenth14 century colleges suggest that they provided tuition from the start. a and that a Thus the statutes of Navarre College stipulate grammaticus It

submagister arc to instruct the junior es in primitives scicntiae grammaticae. Similarly the statutes of Dormans-Beauvais College, founded in 1370

for the scholars of the district of

Dormaiis (twelve

in 1370, twenty-four

in 1373), state that a master and an assistant master are to 'initiate die 15 children in at least the elements of grammar'.

Tuition was therefore introduced into the communities of scholars by the grammarians, the parv i scholares. This tuition depended on a gradation of the curricula which itself corresponded to a differentiation of the ages:

schoolboy was the first to be distinguished from the heteroclite academic population of tlie medieval university. the


Instruction in philosophy and the sciences cannot have moved into the grammar did. In 1456 we still find references colleges as early as tuition


to 'regents' or form-masters taking their pupils to logic classes in the Rue du Fouarre: rcgens habens proprios scolares quos continue ducat ad 16

There must have been a vicum straminis et quibus legat libros logicales. and part of the fifteenth century period in die late fourteenth century was still taught in the schools in the Rue du Fouarre, while when logic instruction in



grammar was limited to the colleges and pedagogicas. continued in England, with the first things, as we know, schools and the second cycle in the cycle m the grammar



on the other hand, the logicians joined university colleges. In France, lessons were already the in the grammarians colleges where private the logic lessons of the traditional schools, to beginning

which were with only

supplement with only the monopoly of the quadrivium, and soon



At Cardinal Lemoine


we can

find traces of the beginnings of p

facing above: :





17 In the 1320 statutes - which make no mention of the logic tuition. grammarians, pupils of the private pedagogica attached to the college it

two scholars who are masters of arts are to give lessons in two scholars who need not be masters are to give extralogic, The difference in grade between the tutors is interesting. lessons. ordinary The more highly qualified man taught logic, which seems to suggest that his tuition tended to be more comprehensive; on the other hand, the reader in physics and ethics was exempted from being a master of arts, doubtless because he had to take his pupils to receive tuition from the accredited masters of the Rue du Fouarre. Already we can see here


stated that



the outline of a complete cycle of the arts. At Navarre College, the logicians were grouped in a separate section, under the direction of a magister in artibus: 18 at this time in logico and in

had become synonymous. The statutes stipulated that no logician classes in the Rue du Fouarre before his determinance. Therefore tuition in logic must have been given in the college itself, until determinance, while tuition in physics and ethics was still confined to die Rue du Fouarre and was reserved for bachelors who were candidates for the mastership. Another example is provided by Seez It was College, a little foundation of six scholars dating from 14.27 intended for boys of fifteen or over who had been at a grammar school: artibus

should attend the

nullus recipiatur nisi sufficienter fuerit in grammaticalibus eruditus, et in summulis

This parvis logicalibus.

was a


from the time when

little grambe no There could kept apart. question of providing tuition on the spot for such a small number of scholars. Were they to go then to the classes in the Rue du Fouarre? Not directly. They were first of all to go every day to the nearest college: aedat with paedagogium satis prope (in this text 'pedagogica' is synonymous


marians and big logicians were


and the founder uses the two words indiscriminately). But this must have been comparatively crowded, did not entirely which college, take the place of the schools in the Rue du Fouarre. It was assumed that the scholars' education would be sufficient to allow them to attend the classes in the Rue du Fouarre: adeo quod ad vicum straminis eumdem ad audiendum libros sufficienter sit doctus. However, if they went ad vicum, it was not alone and independently, but with their schoolmates from the under the supervision of their principal, in college, cum sociis pedagogii, accordance with the custom of the college juxta morem bursariorum dicti would attend the ordinary classes, the ethics classes on collegii. They and the disputations. No doubt private lessons and disputations holidays, in the held also were college. 'college',






These examples enable us to understand how the teaching of logic was transferred to the colleges. First of all there were only private lessons, which did not take the place of the classes to which the pupils were taken under the supervision of their form-masters; then the tuition in logic was given in the college itself. The pupils still went to the Rue du Fouarre for certain disputations or for the classes in ethics which in disappeared

their turn at the


beginning of the sixteenth century. transfer took place all the more easily in that

of the




also taught in the

Rue du


was the senior

Fouarre: in 1452

Cardinal d'Estouteville asked the form-masters of the colleges to go to the Rue du Fouarre to their lessons as usual at the stated times. A give text of 1456 mentions form-masters who not took their pupils to only the Rue du Fouarre but also lectured to them on the books. 20 logic

Despite the objections of the traditionalists, there would come a time when the form-masters would consider it simpler to stay in college to give all their lessons there, thus avoiding excursions which provided the occasion for squabbles and brawls. tienne Pasquier has left us an excellent account of this evolution which installed in the colleges of Paris the teaching first of grammar, then of philosophy. He remembers that when the colleges were first founded the scholars attended the classes of the traditional schools:


rendezvous was at the great Schools in the Rue du He recalls that though tuition was gradually transferred to the the Rue du Fouarre still retained a certain activity: 'Neither then

their general

Fouarre/ colleges,

[under the reign of Charles V] nor for a long time afterwards were the which were given in the great Schools in the Rue

lessons discontinued


Fouarre, especially in philosophy in order to become a Master of He recognizes that the transfer has begun with the youngest pupils


and with the subject-matter that will henceforth be called the humanities: But as the lessons in Humanities had gradually moved into the colleges, those in Philosophy did the same, something of which Cardinal d'Estouteville complained in his reformation of our University there *

. . .

being nothing Master of Arts

left to is still

us of this ancient institution save that the cap 21 given there/


Thus in France the grammarians, that is to say the youngest pupils aged from eight to fifteen at die most, did not remain segregated from the philosophers, aged about fifteen. The latter were soon installed in the as the age groups were concerned, colleges, with the grammarians. As far the situation obtaining in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries seemed to have been restored, at least in the case of the shorter cycle of studies, that



of John of Salisbury's Cornificius. However, if it had been restored, it had also been turned upside down. By that I mean that in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, children of ten and boys of fifteen were mixed up with adults; in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, children and adolescents continued to study together but were separated from adults. This separation of the ages existed only in the colleges. In the society of the same period, a boy aged between thirteen and fifteen was already a full-grown man and shared in the life of his elders, without causing any this state of affairs was to continue for a long time. Thus surprise. And the college was out of step with society, and at the same time ahead of it,

and would gradually encourage a new sensibility. The separation of the ages, in the colleges, combined in one and the same group children of about ten and adolescents of fifteen or so. Cardinal all the arts students together in the regimen die better to distinguish schoolboys from adults, it were puerorum even of the necessary to exaggerate the puerility of their characters, can see here the origins of a tendency which oldest among them.


- as




would become habitual for pedagogues and of



one of the essential but not before

their professional psychology. Eventually,

die nineteenth century, it would spread to the parents. True, in the nineteenth century, when it triumphed, this tendency would also corre-

spond to a secret desire to postpone the dreaded triumph of puberty. Any such idea of sexual morality was completely foreign to the reformers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

But the

desire to treat

Very young children does not always spring the contrary it precedes puritanical impulse. as


from a it: it

modern idea of distinguishing which they had become confused.

a manifestation of the in

all pupils sexual taboo, a

seems in

fact to


the ages in a society

now given in institutions which had originally been of residence: income from endowments or payment for simply board and lodging assured them of revenue and consequently of stability and permanence. What is more, the boarding-school system benefited from community life, from a discipline inspired by the example of the owed their success of course regular orders. The colleges and pedagogicas Tuition was halls

boarding-school was did not correspond to eminendy the sociological conditions of the time. Educational historians used to to




suitable for a small


if the

number of clerks,





attribute excessive importance to

written documents which have



misled by the fact that the only to us - the college statutes -

come down

describe a boarding-school system, and that the only institutions which have survived stem from boarding-schools: the colleges for scholars. In fact, the boarding-school system merely gave the institution a financial and structural basis. The number of boarders remained absurdly small: particularly the number of scholars, the only one we know for certain.

At Navarre,

was provision for only twenty scholarships in in arts and grammar, thirty twenty in theology. At Dormans-Beauvais, in in 1373. At Harcourt College, twenty-eight in grammar twenty-four arts and twelve in in 1311. At Winchester, seventy in grammar in 1304, there


other colleges there were only about a dozen scholarships and sometimes fewer than that. Admittedly the principals and form-masters in 1375.


their private boarders, but they could not take in more than they could accommodate. These figures are insignificant in relation to the mass of Parisian students. Are we to suppose that the day-boys remained faithful to the masters


of the Rue du Fouarre? No, they too made their way to the colleges and pedagogicas, and with their numbers swamped the boarders on the foundation and the principal's boarders. The colleges, which were in which masters originally boarding-schools, became huge day-schools lived where of who numbers immense they could, and in pupils taught which the boarders were reduced to an insignificant privileged minority. The statutes of Dormans-Beauvais College give us an idea of the boarders and the day-boys in I373. 22 There respective positions of the were twenty-five scholarships financed by the foundation, and others often happened that these scholarships, intended for over at a price by well-to-do beneficiaries, who taken were poor pupils, held diem as they would a living, without receiving any tuition from the also provided for other boarders apart from the college. But the statutes

were added

later. It


If some good and respectable students, strangers to the college, wish to live in the college at their own expense with our scholars, under the authority of the Masters [it will be noticed that there is no according to the custom of certain Paris colleges, question of tuition] we give permission for them to be admitted on condition that their admission does not inconvenience in any way the titular scholars, does


. . .

not deprive them of their room, does not interfere with their usual way of life, and does not prejudice in any way the general order of the house.' Dormans-Beauvais was a college for grammarians, but its boarders could also study law or theology. All that was asked of them was that



they should be students, and even this was not required of the priests: 'These extraneous students must pursue studies in theology, law, logic, or grammar, or else they must be priests, and in that case they must celebrate Mass from time to time in chapel/ The statutes went on to fix the cost of their board and lodging and stipulated that they were to submit to the college regulations and in particular to eat at the common table. Thus they were not necessarily young boys wishing to attend the classes in

of the

grammar and




and moral advantages of case must have been for most of the boarders were advanced students, or to share in the material

community. Indeed

this sort

who lodged in the college as present-day students in Paris in Universitaire. Living in the college, they would perhaps the Cite lodge attend the Sorbonne classes, for example, the classes in the Faculty of beneficiaries

at any time have been a great many of them: were eighteen, including one Benedictine monk. The college still remained a community governed by a rule, and it was still regarded in that light at the beginning of the sixteenth century in 23 thefamilia pauperum studentium of Standonc at Montaigu. It took some time for this original, pseudo-religious character to be finally effaced. However, another article of the Dormans-Beauvais statutes authorized the extension of the college's tuition to day-boys. This does not mean that the founder had the definite intention of providing tuition for all and sundry, as the Jesuits were to try to do in the late sixteenth century. He was merely authorizing the masters of the junior scholars, who were themselves senior scholars, to admit to their classes pupils who were not members of the college, and to charge them a fee: 'We also gladly permit the masters and assistant masters, present and to come [who taught in the college] to undertake the instruction of any good children who present themselves, and to admit them to our scholars' classes, on condition that these children stay in the college only during the day, and that they do not detract from the cleanliness of the house.' Thus these outside were forbidden to live in the college. Far from pupils from a boarding-school for grammarians, die tendency was rather to creating reduce the number of grammarian boarders to the schokrs, and to exclude in the college. This pupils from outside by preventing them from living reasons of for doubtless was attitude discipline, in order adopted strange to preserve the clerical character of the community. In reality this prohibition was not strictly obeyed. A certain number of pupils were lodged with their form-masters, and these form-masters also lived in the college. Accordingly, boarders, masters and scholars inevitably lived together.

Theology. There cannot in 1496, there






The same confusion

existed at Navarre, where furthermore some of the took their meals in the college and became day-boarders. In day-boys 1459, as a consequence of the inevitable incidents which punctuated the life of these societies of young people, a royal commission decided that

no longer being respected and that the life was being disturbed. Their attitude educational institution was like that of the reformers

the founder's intentions were tranquillity

of the community's

with regard to this of a religious community: another consequence of the ambiguous nature of the college. The commissioners therefore tried to exclude the formmasters' pupils from the college by forbidding the masters to lodge them with the scholars: this implies that previously boarders and scholars lived together. Similarly they confined partial board to those who lodged in

the college or in the neighbouring house: a house which must have been hired by a master for his boarders. This idea of separating the scholars

from the other


an idea which

we find

again in the statutes of the

poor students of Standonc at Montaigu, more or less disappeared from France, in the face of the massive invasion of the day-boys, who were soon to be

numbered not

in dozens but in

hundreds and then thousands.

attending the senior scholars' classes, they became the principal element of the academic population of the colleges: they swamped the colleges, which, from the end of the fifteenth

Tolerated at

first as pupils,


century at least, became to all intents and purposes big day-schools. It was the day-boys who, together with the provision of full teaching facilities, gave the college, once a scholars' foundation, the character of a


educational establishment.

Henceforth the college embraced the whole scholastic population in the arts. Where it did not exist, in the non-university towns, the big cathedral school of the Middle Ages changed to follow its example, and it in the foundations they created in the fifteenth city magistrates copied and sixteenth centuries. This in fact was the time when academic education

ceased to be limited to cultured clerical habit of



families got into the

at least a sending their children to a college for




a deal of the monastic development of the day-boy system removed great and which would be the which had inspired college's origins






authoritarian discipline.

This crowd of day-boys could just as well have simply attended the form-masters' classes and taken no part in the life of the college. These



would have retained in college the same freedom that had once enjoyed in the schools. This was in fact what happened: to the end of the sixteenth century there were students elders

their first


about the 'martinets' or 'old fogies' (galoches) who, as Pasquier puts it, 'go to the classes of one Regent or another as the fancy takes them'. This is how Buchanan describes their entrance into a classroom: noisy

*Here come the bands of idlers that the town has sent us; their arrival is heralded by the clatter of their hobnailed pattens. They come in and open ears as intelligent as those with which Marsyas listened to Apollo. They are annoyed at not having seen notices of the classes at the posted up

street corners [the reaction

of a big student, such


still be met with in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries], furious that the lesson is not being devoted to Alexandras Doctrinal [Alexandra de Villedieu], and shocked by a master who does not read out of a bulky book loaded with marginal glosses [they are wedded to tradition and of the



new methods of the humanist

up and go off

in an uproar to Montaigu or some of those sanctuaries scented with the 24 perfume of white beet.' These gyrovagous students did not disappear




completely until the early seventeenth century. However, in the fifteenth centuries, though there might be some left, perhaps even

and sixteenth

good many, they were no longer accepted by public opinion. The university authorities tried to suppress them or discipline them, either by keeping a check on their lodgings or by forbidding them to change masters in the course of the year. These prohibitions were anything but



new, repetition tended to confirm their ineffectiveness. They would not be obeyed until public opinion refused to tolerate such independence on the part of the students. The authorities then took to their

compelling the students, that is to say the day-boys, not only to attend the classes but also to take part in all the activities. college

We have seen that the scholars of Seez used to go to the nearest college.


They could have gone there simply for classes or private lessons. But the statutes insisted that they be present in the college and given tuition all the omni die. This custom became established through day: everywhere, because the superiority of the college, in the eyes of parents and pedagogues alike, lay above all in the regulations which governed it. Thus Gerson, one of the first modern educationalists, stated explicitly when he was reorganizing the grammar school of Notre-Dame de Paris: 'Above we want the children to have regulations sicut habent communiter in - that is to domibus in the not but in all the all



say, only colleges schools. Submission to collective regulations had

become an






The rules formulated in the early fourteenth century by the founders of the scholars* communities no longer satisfied the strict requirements of fifteenth-century pedagogues such as Gerson. The older statutes, which for a long time were copied and essential educational principle.

reproduced, fixed the details of the administration, the number and the duration of the scholarships: at Cardinal Lemoine, eight years for the artists

and ten for the theologians. The statutes

also prescribed the appoint-

ment of the

dignitaries: at Navarre, the three masters of the grammarians, logicians and theologians were elected by an electoral college composed of student delegates (three grammarians, six artists and six at Seez the bursar was elected for one or two years by the whole community. Also arranged by the statutes was the administration of the chapel and the household, and particularly of the stewardship, an office which was not permanently entrusted to one person, but which each scholar in turn occupied for a week - he was called the praepositus handing over the keys and accounts to the scholar who succeeded him. These statutes endeavoured to regulate the life of the scholars and to sanction it with a penal code: it was forbidden to go drinking in taverns


or to



places of


repute; forbidden to sleep out, to

play noisy games, to sing; and forbidden to bring


a din, to


into college 'unless [states a reservation at Harcourt] they are so respectably escorted that the Prior of the house and the scholars are convinced that no evil

suspicion can result*.

At Seez

was even

have carnal knowledge of a woman who might have been brought into the college on the pretext of providing water or lighting fires. It was forbidden to go out without it

explicitly forbidden to

nisi causa lectionis, sermonis (the sermon was a method of like the lesson, especially for the theologians), aut praeposlturae instruction,

good (i.e.


on an errand

for the steward or the bursar).


was forbidden


damage the kitchen utensils or the property of the community, parti*let nobody deposit cularly the library of manuscripts. At Harcourt, refuse at the foot of the walls of the house, but only in the place provided for that purpose.' At Narbonne, it was forbidden to throw straw or hay * into the latrines. All members of the college' or of the 'household* were

urged to dress decently, especially for mealtimes: they were to take care not to go barefoot, not to stay in rags, and not to put on short or indecent

Above all -and this was the essential principle on which the whole of this code of behaviour was based - they were to live together in friendship, amicaliter, and consequently to respect the customs of the meals in common clothes.

community life,


always being punctual,



not bringing in guests too often, and never bringing in women, even if they were respectable. At Narbonne: 'There shall be no separate table in die house, and all are to eat in the same room/ Horseplay was to be avoided and respect was to be shown to the senior scholars and graduates. None of these regulations had any reference to the scholar's academic condition, except for an occasional mention of the obligation to speak Latin at table - when silence was not imposed. None of these regulations studies. Moreover they were inspired by religious which applied to adults, and therefore by their very nature and children. If, in the they made no distinction between grown men

concerned the scholar's constitutions

thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, they represented a considerable advance on the almost unlimited freedom of the student population, by as monks, they remained too egalitarian, treating the students more or less

too inadequately hierarchized for the needs of the fifteenth century.


were therefore modified by custom and given a more authoritarian bias: a chain of command was established. The lectores had at first been regarded

whom certain statutes admittedly urged the scholars to respect, but who were often treated to a copious meal, or more economically to a drink: the drink of friendship, potum atnicabilem, is what the official charter as friends,

of Harcourt College



Henceforth the gap between the teacher and

would widen. The oldest schoolmate would become the formmaster who would govern his people with cane or birch. Similarly the a bursar chosen by his college would no longer be administered simply by inter pares. It would also be governed from above by a a primus peers, would have the 'principality*. This master chose his formprincipal, who

his pupils

masters and supervised them, while they in turn supervised and punished their pupils.

The new regulations, such as those ofdiefamilia pauperum studentium at Montaigu in 1501, were no longer content with fixing the general 26 conditions of the college's life. They went into die details of everyday life


as the habits


a daily routine. Standonc even gave a timeto night, with as much precision the time allowed. And this precision, which strikes us

carefully laid

table for the

whole day, from morning of

only approximate, with obvious gaps here and there, was quite remarkable and almost revolutionary for the time. It introduced a new concern for time, and enmeshed the pupil in a network of obligations as

was was a lesson until Mass at movements were governed by

which covered the whole day and reduced fixed at about


four o'clock.


six o'clock: the text informs us that these



his initiative. Reveille


Standonc describes the order of assembly:


the bell rang,

A the pupik






went down adpMica loca, to the classrooms. The form-master The monitors assisting him inspected the pupils and made a

note of any absentees and delinquents. Everything here is provided for with a strictness unknown to the old statutes. After Mass, from about eight to ten, there was a lesson, the big morning lesson (it was customary to have one big lesson in the morning and another in the afternoon). At eleven o'clock the community gathered together in the refectory for dinner.


three o'clock the big afternoon lesson began and

went on


six o'clock.

A The

was in force at Sainte-Barbe at the same period. of the ancien regime kept to roughly the same system until

similar time-table


the Revolution.

from regulations laying down and a way of life to regulations of the day was to be occupied, from a collegiate administration to an authoritarian system, from a community of masters and pupils to the strict government of pupils by masters. This separation of masters and pupils, this progress made by the on the first spirit of authority, conflicted with the old traditions based statutes. But the evolution corresponded to the general movement of society, which was carrying it towards the political forms of absolutism that were taking shape in the fifteenth century, in the time of Louis XI, Commines and Macliiavelli. It would reach its final consummation when the masters were recruited from a religious community and were thus naturally separated from their pupils, and when the government of the college coincided with the government of the masters' religious community, a fortiori if this teaching order was particularly concerned to develop the spirit of obedience and gave the age-old principles of of semi-military efficiency. discipline a new character This development took place with the Jesuits, at the end of the sixteenth century, and their ratio studiorum, the rule governing their colleges, marks the culmination of the evolution towards an authoritarian system and the not so complete segregation of the young though the segregation was as it would be in die nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In these last years of the sixteenth century, an important stage was reached. The success of the Jesuit colleges was due to the same factor that ensured the success of the scholars' communities in the early fourteenth century: the existence of a rule, the Jesuits' rule being the stricter and more effective of the two. Just as the first colleges had taken over the This is the way the change took place the basic principles of a code of behaviour dictating the manner in which every part

tuition given


the schools, the Jesuit colleges absorbed the middle-class



and even the lower-class clientele, and their success, due to the strictness of their discipline, threatened the colleges of the university, where respect for the old statutes, even when they had been improved on in practice, maintained an excessive liberty which was now regarded as licence. As a result, in order to fight against the victorious competition of the the University of Paris reformed itself in the first years of the Jesuits, 27 The object of this reformation was to give all seventeenth century. the old colleges of the university the principles of order and discipline which parents admired in the Jesuit colleges and no longer found to a sufficient degree, to a degree corresponding to the new exigencies of French manners, in the university. These leges et instituta in usum academiae of the

were a plagiarization regulations adopted in the Jesuit colleges, just as the latter were the result of an evolution of which Standonc's statute at Montaigu or the statute of the Freres de la

et Universitatis parisiensis

marked one of the stages. With this document the Paris colleges received what their statutes had failed to give them: a code of studies and a code of discipline, un rlglement de discipline. We find in the this new and significant expression, which made its appearance Vie


at Liege


seventeenth century, applied to the College de Bourgogne in 1680. code of regulations for this college had been drawn up in 1624. previous 28 In these regulations of i624 certain paragraphs still recall the particularfor instance it is stipulated istic spirit of the old fourteenth-century statutes has no right to appoint the porter without the agreethat the :


ment of the first chaplain of scholars



'as co-administrator',

or even of the


true that the college had only higher classes in logic and not so easy to suppress what remained of the traditions

was handed down from the thirteenth century, and it took time for the reformation of 1598 to penetrate the old-established colleges in which a good the habit of regarding scholarmany abuses had taken root: for example as saleable pensions. As much time, in fact, as it took for the spirit physics). It


of the Council of Trent to penetrate the religious communities, at the serious monastic upheavals. We must regard the text of 1624 as price of of introducing into the reformation of this particular college, a means of the University of the college the spirit of the 1598 laws and statutes were these encountering. Paris and overcoming the opposition which in order and suppressing It was aimed simply at putting the college for it was certain abuses. This reformation must have been successful, of discipline* which followed -though not until 1680 -by a 'code a time-table which was established a strict time-table for the boarders, similar to that in force at Montaigu or at Cardinal Lemoine, and very





which we is

also find in the late sixteenth century in the Jesuit colleges. It interesting to note that, in the matter of school hours, the code of

simply refers to the practice adopted in the colleges of the University of Paris ever since 1598, thus affording proof that it was now the general rule: School will begin at the same times as the University/



The 1598 reformation

thus prescribed for the colleges, whatever their or their statutes, a scholastic code and a time-table. This does not origins mean that it violated the old statutes, which remained in force despite their antiquity,

but which contained no detailed provisions such

university authorities ratio



as the

down - on

studiomm. In other words the

the pattern of the Jesuits' reformation 1598 completed the

by adding to them a code of discipline. The 1598 text briefly recapitulates the traditional prescriptions - the ban on swearing, on fighting, the meals at the common table, and so


on -without dwelling on them.

It then tackles the real questions of and the immobilization of the of the system punishments, discipline: in his master to avoid a order is no free to who change longer pupil, all it lays down regulations regarding the order of the intermediate examinations, the times for recreation, the studies,

punishment. Above

supervision of pupils in school and out of school, the checking of attendances, the principal's authority, the curricula and the time-tables: six hours' tuition every day in the classrooms - in auditoriis, three in the

morning, three in the afternoon. In addition, every day at ten o'clock in the morning and at five o'clock in die afternoon there was an exercise in disputation or versification. Every Saturday there was a recapitulation and die weekly presentation of the marks to die principal. Both in the Jesuit colleges and in the old-established, newly reformed a formula had now been perfected, a formula colleges of the university, which would remain unchanged for nearly two centuries, to be copied by other teaching communities such as the Oratorians. This was the

of the ancien regime, an institution still further removed from than from the French colleges of the fourteenth century it is the direct ancestor, of which of die and day, present lycces colleges in of obvious differences (particularly the absence of the boardingcollege

first scholars'


school system). The final establishment of a code of discipline completed an evolution which led from the medieval school, a mere classroom, to the modern college, a complex institution, designed not only for the tuition but also for the supervision and care of youth.



with a This evolution of the educational institution is bound up evolution of the concepts of age and childhood. To begin with, parallel

had no difficulty in accepting the mixing of the ages. public opinion of all in favour Later occurred a certain revulsion in this respect, first first to be of the youngest children. The grammarians were the the for special attention; subsequently, the older pupils, distinguished some of the physicians and all the artists, even though the age logicians, the of them would have allowed them, out of school, to carry out already to to apply them, functions reserved for adults. Yet there was no attempt of in order to distinguish them from adults, a genuinely juvenile system that All follow. no example to education, of which indeed there was secular life, a was intended was to protect them from the temptations of The their morals. pedagogues life which many clerks led too : to safeguard monastic therefore took as their model the spirit of the thirteenth-century the retained which foundations of the Dominicans and the Franciscans, reclusion of the monastic tradition while abandoning enclosure, principles of the cenobitism of old. Admittedly the students


and all that remained the period were not bound by any vow. But they were submitted during communities. new of their studies to the way of life peculiar to these set apart from the rest of was student of this to life, youth Thanks way the which remained faithful to the mixing of the ages, as also to society,

the classes. Such was the mixing of the sexes and century.


Later, the object

monastic that a

situation in the fourteenth



of this



cleric led a

way of life,

first it

half-way between secular



had been regarded as a means of ensuring life. It now assumed an intrinsic value,


even for and became the necessary condition of a good education, fourteenth idea was foreign to the concepts of the early layman. The of the in 1452 we find Cardinal d'Estouteville speaking century. But and the moral responsibilities of the masters in charge regimen puerorum of 'forming' the pupil as much as of instructing matter a of souls. It was to submit schoolchildren was it thought necessary him, which was why a

but made more to a strict discipline: the traditional college discipline, now became an instrument for authoritarian and hierarchical. The college in general. the education of children and youth in the sixteenth, fifteenth the in century and still more At the same time, recruitment. its composed of a Formerly the college altered and enlarged its doors to an increasing it opened small minority of scholarly clerics, the middle class, but number of laymen, chiefly from the nobility and social institution: essential an became thus It also from lower-class families.





the college with a separate teaching large classes, in which the educated

staff, a strict code of discipline, and people of every generation under the

ancien regime received their schooling. In the opinion of pedagogues, monks and magistrates, the college constituted a massive age group, ranging from pupils of eight or nine to those of fifteen or over, who were submitted to different laws from those adults. parents,





THE ORIGINS OF THE SCHOOL CLASS the everyday language of our contemporaries, at least of those connected with secondary education, public or private, the class or


the essential unit


A man


characterizes the situation

does not say that his son

of the child

a college or lycee, he is in the fifth form. this being too vague a statement: he says that The children themselves refer to their place in their everyday world

or youth.


which they belong. There

the class to

nowadays, and

it is

so familiar that





no more

familiar notion

tend to think that

it is



old notion, as old as the college itself and secondary education as a whole. But this structure, without which it is hard to imagine school



back no further than the sixteenth or

century, and did not assume seventeenth.




until the

late fifteenth

beginning of the

No doubt the ancients were not completely ignorant of the distribution The word


which was adopted in various of influence, was taken by the humanists from Quintilian-;?er05 in classes distribuere - and those

of pupils

in classes.

countries, and particularly






class' itself,

in the Jesuit sphere


origins; witness ftaenne Pasquier,



of education writes of the 'class*: 'Word used by book of his Institutio with regard to Pupils.' 1 However, in the ancient school, division into classes remained a superficial disciplinary practice. H. L Marrou wrote a bulky volume on the in ancient times without mentioning classes once history of education proof enough that they scarcely counted in the structure of the school. his brief history

Quintilian in the first

Moreover, the few which might have existed in Quintilian's time disthe principles of simultaneity and appeared in the Middle Ages, when in constant resulted mixing and prevented any attempt at repetition to age or capacity. separating children according cell of the school structure, presents the constituent Today the class, certain precise characteristics which are entirely familiar: it corresponds to a stage in the progressive acquisition of knowledge (to a curriculum), to an average age from which every attempt is made not to depart, to a for each age physical, spatial unit,

premises (and the very


group and subject group has its special denotes both the container and the







and to a period of time, an annual period at the end of which complement changes. The extremely close connection between the age of the pupils and the organic structure which gathers them together gives each year a personality of its own: the child has the same age as his class, and each class acquires from its curriculum, its classroom and its master a distinctive complexion. The result is a striking differentiation between age groups which are really quite close together. The child changes his age every year at the same time as he changes his class. In the past, the span of life and childhood was not cut up into such thin slices. The school class has thus become a determining factor in the process of differentiating the ages of childhood and early adolescence. Where it does not exist, or where it is reduced to a vague division with no structural value, as is still often the case in the primary school and consequently in the lower classes of society, the ages have kept a great deal of their former uncertainty. Hence the importance of the school class for our subject. We have to consider how it developed from medieval vagueness to the strictness of the modern concept, how and when the school class acquired its presentcontents), the class's

day appearance of an


The reformation of

the University of Paris of 1452

by Cardinal

d'Estouteville, so important for the study of the colleges and pedagogicas, does not mean that they ignored the existence of classes. This silence




considered to


unknown; but pedagogues though

useless to








institutions such as the college,

record details of pedagogical practice and a fortiori,

impose and codify them.



than a century later the

ance, not in 1539 since Thurot, but

modern word





have been in the habit of repeating ever 1519, in the letter from Erasmus to Justin

as historians

as early as

2 which the humanist described St Paul's School in London: and the first classis every class, he wrote, had sixteen pupils quaeque in his class occupied a little seat which dominated the rest qui in sua classe. The idea had preceded the word by a long margin, and it was was established. At the end of already familiar when the terminology the sixteenth century, in the Jesuits' ratio studiorum and the leges et statuta of Paris, the cycle of classes had acquired its present-day of the

Jonas in

University The evolution had therefore taken place during die fifteenth




century, and at the beginning of the sixteenth century, in the colleges providing a full course of tuition.

Like the complete course of tuition, the class originated in the grammar is why the enumeration of the classes began with the

schools: that

rhetoric class (the first class in France, the seventh form in England), while the classes in philosophy, logic and physics remained outside this



the beginning of the fifteenth century, the grammaticus and his he had one, gave instruction together on the same premises

assistant, if

dozen or several hundred children, all mingled together in of the difference in their ages. In the course of the fifteenth century

to several spite

new distinguishing principle appeared. The heterogeneous body remained in a single room under the common supervision of the masters, but it was broken up into groups according to the extent of the pupils' knowledge, and the masters got into the habit of addressing each of a

these groups separately. This pedagogic practice was the result of the - from the simultaneous passage an incomplete passage pedagogy of

medieval tradition to the progressive pedagogy which would carry the day. The order of this division, as yet in a very embryonic stage, was dictated

by the

succession of the chapters in the Donat or in Alexandre basis of all instruction in grammar. An

de Villedieu's Doctrinal, the Italian



gives us an idea of how a school was organized contract entered into between the town of Treviso

document of 1444

at that time.



schoolmaster fixes the scale of remuneration for the

can be seen that





remuneration varies according to the pupil's degree

of attainment. The document provides for four categories. The first goes from the Table (i.e. the alphabet) to the beginning of the Donat: this is elementary stuff, and worth half a ducat. The second goes from the beginning of the Donat, or of grammar, to the beginning of the Articles: first four chapters of the Doctrinal - the declensions, the

these are the

degrees of comparison, the genders, and the demonstrative and possessive - and this category is worth a ducat. The third category, which adjectives brings in a ducat and a half, finishes grammar.

worth two


fourth category,

devoted to

or rhetoric. This text ducats, stylistic exercises division to us the it fixes the schoolmaster's because only explains pay. Cardinal d'Estouteville's silence with regard to the class can therefore is

be explained by the fact that in a document on the general aspects of discipline he could not be expected to go into die details of salaries.





can which must have already become traditional, of our cycle of classes. There is a connection between the four categories at Treviso and those class curricula which we know, such as Melanchthon's at Basle4 and Baduel's at Nimes 5 in the first third of the sixteenth century, or again, at the end of the same century, the curricula adopted by Narbonne College in Paris when it started a complete course of tuition in I599. 6 The first category at Treviso corresponded to the lowest of the four classes at Basle, to the sixth at Nimes. In 1599 at Narbonne College the youngest pupils already knew the rudiments of grammar, or were In this division,

see the distant origins

supposed to know them. The second category at Treviso corresponded to the fifth at Nimes, the sixth at Narbonne: in half a century, the rudiments had been pushed

back beyond the sixth



third category at Treviso corresponded to the two intermediary classes at Basle, to the fourth and third at Nimes, and to the fifth, fourth

and third



Finally, the last category at Treviso corresponded to the highest class at Basle, to the second and first at Nimes, and to the first at Narbonne,

where, curiously enough, the second was missing.

between the subdivision of the from it. The subdivision was entirely empirical and depended on the master, even if certain traditions were beginning to impose themselves. For a long time to come, this uncertainty would continue, and the curricula and the order of the classes would vary from one college to the next: thus at Guyenne and Navarre there was a proliferation of little classes, and at Narbonne there was no second class. In the last years of the sixteenth century, a Montpellier student visiting Tournon would write from the college: 'It has about 7 that the class became the eight classes/ About! It was only gradually constituent element of a regular cycle, adopted by schools over the whole area of Western civilization. First of all it had to receive a name of its




Treviso school and the






own. In 1466, in his Doctrinal du Temps Present, Michault gives a descripof the school, no doubt touched up for the purposes of his allegory, but based on reality. He has no name, or at least no French name, to tion

with pupils' surrounding each a class: 'in this parquet the cases master's chair, and the parquet clearly second this in are declined', 'the regent parquet'. However, in 1477 we in a sense which might well used lectio find the Latin expression being ubi lectio contra lectionem clericorum in be that of the school class: prato

denote the 'parquet of 8


benches is



180 insurgere solebat*

This does not appear to be a case of one college


school against school. peting with another, lectio had imposed itself on Parisian usage. In the word the 1501 By 10 statutes of the new Montaigu College it denoted an organic unit. behaved best These statutes stipulated that in every lectio one of the caeteros suae lectionis. A head monitor should be pupils should supervise artium lectione, which incidentally means that the the chosen arts

suprema by themselves, logic and physics, were divided, at least at Montaigu,




statutes also tell us that





own excitator.

Montaigu College was divided into lectiones, although some detail, do not specify their number or composition. The drafters of statutes no longer passed over Thus

it is

clear that

the statutes,


fix the time-table in

in silence the division into a





referred to




familiar idea.

The word lectio would soon be dropped in France in favour of the modern term 'class'. We have already seen this term being used by was introduced by the humanists who were fond of terms that borrowing from die ancients (in this case from Quintilian) were unknown in medieval Latin. Protestant humanists such as Baduel


in 1519. It

and Sturm, founders of model colleges, used it in their turn, and their texts of 1538 and 1539 are generally regarded as the first examples of the modern use of the word 'class' in the sense of a school class. The Jesuits and the University of Paris were to adopt it in their turn. Thus the fifteenth-century


became the

After being equipped with a

late sixteenth-century class.

name of its own,

the class

would go on



be recognized by the pedagogical theoreticians as the essential of any educational organization. For example, Baduel's biographer Gaufres has analysed the prospectus which Baduel published in 1538 for the establishment at Nimes of a 'college, school and university in all the faculties

11 In of the Grammars and die Arts alone'.



Baduel points out that the division into classes is indispensable for the of the school: hitherto 'everything had been mixed proper organization and confused/ Henceforth, 'the school will be divided into various


of the pupils/ At the same according to the age and development time Sturm was introducing this system to Strasbourg; the system was in force in the Paris colleges and in the houses of the Freres de la






which Standonc of Saint-Jerome de Liege, from

Montaigu and Sturm of Strasbourg hailed. However, Baduel did not consider that this system could be applied the rhetoric class, he writes, the beyond the teaching of grammar. After




lessons and initiates himself in the higher pupil 'attends the public sciences and the arts', in accordance with the humanist idea that study was no longer reserved for youth but could be prolonged kte into life. divided into Therefore, 'his studies are less organized and cease to be studies between distinction find the same different classes/ pursued in




curriculum pursued in lectures in Sturm's to the four here there are six classes correspondbg

and 12


grammar, the humanities


and the rhetoric

at Strasclasses in

(Baduel had the same away in the fourth


in fact his pupils started straight

plan in theory, but 'After that,' writes Sturm, 'the second



reserved for public

humanities fashion] and the first for theology.' after the It will be noticed that Sturm does not use the numbering has continued which and Paris in used rhetoric class which was already lessons [lectures after the

be used in France to the present day. Like Baduel and the humanists, Sturm made a distinction between the fifteen or so, classes reserved for the school population up to the age of and open lectures of form in the instruction, and the public to



left like this, it is

probable that only the

would have remained, subjects taught the seventh form or with schooling stopped

rhetoric class. Pere de

to adults. If things

had been

as in

in class

England, where

to logic, Dainville rightly maintains that the extension of the class system who French the of work die was Jesuits physics and sometimes theology their revived colleagues, scholasticism a alive to Spanish wanted by keep

from humanist criticism. half of the sixteenth century, the modern French second Thus, sixth or fifth class to the first class, completed by the from cycle going at the end of an evolution of about philosophy, was finally established, and so to save


in the


hundred and

fifty years.

For a long time die

Italian school retained die

form described

in the

sixteenth century mid-fifteenth century contract at Treviso. As late as the at Venice, a of establishment the college Rapinius, in his advice regarding 1* If to children, adolescents and adults. merely assigned separate places a subdivision of single in other schools the class, from being the mere who master the to thanks was that unit, auditorium, became an organic

was in charge of it.

At first



two of them, one was


had one or two masters.

When there were

other the submagister called the grammaticus, and the


182 (in

English the high master and the usher). Often the submagister had to


after the

youngest and the most ignorant pupils, to

whom he taught

the rudiments of grammar, while the grammaticus kept die higher range of schooling for himself. However, this specialization did not go far, and

did not represent the whole of the


masters' responsibilities. In the

fifteenth century, in the cathedral school of Paris, Gerson, for all that he seemed to recognize that the two masters specialized respectively in

grammar and mission: ambo

singing, none the less charged them with a collective 1 ordinent horas diurnas et nocturnas. *


John Colet's school, the cathedral school of St Paul's in London, gives some idea of the way in which the master and his assistant were led to share the cksses between them. We know this school from different texts, in particular from the letter from Erasmus to Justin Jonas quoted above. We know too that this school took in one hundred and fifty-three free pupils. According to Erasmus they were divided into three classes. The first was reserved for the beginners, whom Erasmus compares to catechimens - as yet they did not really form part of the school. They were entrusted to the chaplain. We know of other cases where it was the porter who taught the rudiments of grammar: for instance at Gray in 15 The second class was in the care of the usher: Erasmus calls him I583. the hypodidascalus, a word taken from Cicero's letters. The third was reserved for the master, whom Erasmus calls the Superior. Thus the two masters whom we found in charge of the grammar school when it came into being in the fourteenth century had arrogated two classes to themselves. A little extra teaching had been allotted to the chaplain, whose office already existed, as in all teaching communities, and thus the need to create a third master's post had been avoided. us

The English grammar schools in fact hesitated for a long tune to number of masters. In 1560 there were still only two masters at Eton - the master and the usher - who shared between them not two classes but two groups of several classes. The usher's lower school conincrease the

sisted of the first three forms, the master's upper school of die fifth, sixth and seventh forms a survival of the first period of the history of the school cycle, with its division into two parts, outmoded by the multiplication of classes in the sixteenth century. The fourth form, the last grammar class, corresponding to the third class in France, had lessons now from the master, now from the usher, in any case probably in the same room. The master entrusted each individual form to a monitor chosen from the :

pupils in that form. In France the specialization

of the masters and the increase

in their




numbers began much earlier, at least in the more important schools. This can be seen from a study of Pire Michault's Doctrinal du Temps Present, a work published in I466. 18 We have already seen that the Doctrinale puerorum was the grammar used in the Middle Ages. From the thirteenth century on, moralists gave the classic form of the Doctrinal to allegorical manuals, 'breviaries' of etiquette or 'good living* or plain didactic Simples Gens, Doctrinal de la Messe, Doctrinal des Chambriers ou de Noblesse, Gerson's Donatus moralisatus, treatises (Doctrinal de Nature, Doctrinal de


In his Doctrinal du Temps Present, Michault imagines two schools, that Falsity and that of Virtue, in which instruction is given on

of Vice or



the school of Falsity has twelve masters



masters as

there are chapters in Alexandre de Villedieu's Doctrinal and months in the year), and each master symbolizes a vice: Boasting, Vainglory, Rapine,

While we cannot take an


allegorical description

of this

sort literally,

we must

assume a basic likeness without which the allegory would have been incomprehensible. In this school 'there were thirteen masters; to wit a rector general and twelve subalterns.' Obviously we have a round dozen here simply to make possible twelve moral discourses. Moreover the school of Virtue has the more usual number of four masters. What


all here is the hierarchy of the rector and the which we have already seen in the almost contemporary document to which we have often referred: Cardinal d'Estouteville's reformation of the University of Paris. Here in fact we have a college

should note above


or a pedagogica with



authoritarian hierarchy.

of 1539, the curriculum for Sturm's gymnasium at Strasbourg, tells how it was found necessary at Saint-Jerome de Liege, to impose the had hitherto been free. 17 Originally authority of a rector on masters who 'each master tried to attract the pupils, teaching not what was best but text

what gave the more pleasure, and consulting not so much the students' minds as their tastes.' These masters 'read from authors above the age of their pupils,

even when these readings could prove harmful to morals An authority accordingly had to be imposed on these

and judgment'.


studies placed


his control.'

drawand had a already

in order to counter these

'It excessively independent masters: backs that a rector was appointed, and


the lessons, exercises

But the school of Falsity

rector in 1466.

In this school every master had his own class or lectio: 'At the door was a Porter who scarcely glanced at those who entered ... At the there was a parquet of little benches filled with pupils. foot of there





And at the top of the pillar there hung a board describing the subject which was being read in that spot/ In the humbler schools, a single master looked after several classes, as at Eton in the sixteenth century. Even in the seventeenth century, when the class system had been finally established, in the school in the little town of Belley 18 three masters shared the six traditional classes between them: one taking the rhetoric and humanities classes, another the fourth and third, another the fifth and sixth. Curiously enough, these three masters were not under a higher authority, but formed as it were three associated schools, financed by grants from three different sources the tutorial prebend, the town magistrate and the provincial States. But in France, from the end of the sixteenth century on, the principle of a master to every class was generally recognized - even if this sometimes meant that not all the classes were in one college, if it was not big at the end of the enough. The principle was so thoroughly recognized which was introduced at that time had that a sixteenth :



be forbidden: the practice of having not one master for several classes but two masters for one class; in other words the same class was sometimes entrusted to two masters, one for die morning lesson, the other for


19 As early as 1539 we find Sturm insisting in his the evening lesson. curriculum that the first six classes at Strasbourg (corresponding to the to die rhetoric class) must have only one master cycle from the sixth class he gives permission for recourse to the authority hand other the apiece.


of several

the subjects specialists for

on taught in the public lectures

philosophy and theology.



now had



It still

lacked one feature which


our present-day schools: special premises. bring For a long time the masters and their lectiones were gathered together in a room, which was called the schola. There was only one teaching it

closer to the class in

single in each school,

and people used the same word for both room and later with the class. This was die case in Pfere Michault's school of Falsity: 'The school was inordinately big and there were twelve pillars down the length of it/ The pupils sat around their master 'at the foot of each pillar'. The school of Virtue was 'round', as


institution, as

they would

would be later, 'and there were four big chairs there... the school, like a quadrangle/ were which placed against the walls of School was a single round St Paul's to Erasmus, In London, according St Paul's School






floor in tiers on which the pupils sat. Erasmus explains that arrangement was designed to prevent beds and tables being

room, with a this circular

which were doubtless current in the divided into four parts - that is to say the three classrooms and a sort of chapel with an altar by curtains which could be opened or drawn at will: a sign of a penchant for isolation which did not go as far as complete separation. The custom of setting up an altar in the classroom lasted a long time: it was still observed in the eighteenth century in the little college at Mauriac described by Marmontel. At Eton in 1517 there was still only one schoolroom. About the same time the Swiss Thomas Platter was leading the vagabond life of a mendicant student in Germany. He stopped for some time at a grammar school in Breslau (there was one in each parish). He slept in the schoolroom with the youngest of his companions, which was doubtless what John Colet of St Paul's wished to prevent. This is Platter's description of installed in the corners, practices

schools of the time. This

room was

St Elizabeth's School: 'Nine baccalaurii gave their lessons there at the same hour and in the same room/ With nine baccalaurii we are not far from the twelve masters in the school of Falsity it is easy to imagine the din there must have been. 20 In England, the school kept this form for a long time. In 1612 John 1 Brinsley in his Ludus Litterarius* a sort of schoolmaster's manual, reserved the right of punishment for the master; the usher was not to mete out punishment himself, unless he taught 'in a place separate from 22 As late as 1894 Max that of the master', which was rarely the case. Leclerc saw some English schools consisting of a single room occupied :

master's rostrum and, in the four corners, the assistant masters'

by the





Pere Michault's school of Virtue in 1466.

early on to give each be that as early as 1501 the lectiones at well may premises. Montaigu had their own rooms. The 1501 regulations state that after breakfast in the common refectory the pupils must return to the scholae:


in Paris

class its





and Liege


was endeavoured very


definitely in the plural


refers to the classrooms.

memoir of I538 23 on

die plan to establish a gymnasium at of the discusses separate classrooms, and the curious provision Strasbourg raises show at least that the question was a topical he which objections one. 'It is better', he writes, 'to gather the classes together in a single


over several. It would be senseless, if one had place than to disperse them ten sheep, to assign a shepherd and a field to each sheep, when a single meadow is sufficient. It would be just as senseless to entrust to several isolated masters the pupils


a single master can teach

. . .




force to the example of together pupils in large numbers gives greater Unless an excessive desire to learn . the to learning, greater opportunity multitude of children necessitates the provision of more than one room, instruction must be given in one room only.' . .

In the institutions of the Freres de la Vie



at Liege, Deventer,

Zwolle and Wesel, only one room is provided for all the classes.' Sturm continues: 'When I was at Liege, a dispute arose between the masters and some of them started teaching separately. If this practice had been continued, it would have been the end of the famous gymnasium of Saintdid in fact result in the established Jdr6me.' This show of independence order of the classes and their curricula being overthrown by the emulation between the masters and their endeavours to attract a more learned audience. 'The old order


finally restored',






simply to the curricula of the classes, or know whether the classes were also reinstalled in a single room. from another source that in spite of his preferences Sturm finally had

not told whether

this refers


at Strasbourg. In 1540 separate classrooms task of founding a school at Basle. He



was given the


to Strasbourg to study Sturm's school, which was regarded as something of a model establishreturn to Basle, I divided the pupils into four separate ment 'On


four classes of Melanchthon], whereas hitherto, in view of the small number of pupils, they were all kept in the downstairs room, classes [the

the only one

which was


The provision of separate rooms forced



for each class

would seem

to have been

by the increase in the school population: at there were over two hundred pupils in each class and the the schools

Louis-le-Grand were of

classes in the big colleges such the end of the eighteenth century. Litde as

this size until

by little the disciplinarian less crowded premises became apparent; there was little of advantages or no mention of the matter in texts and theoretical writings, but the of having separate rooms became an established custom in the


seventeenth century. At the end of the sixteenth century, in Cordier's tells the rector: Master, there is nobody in the sixth dialogues, a pupil *

'What's that? Where is MaJtre Philippe?' 'He is ill in bed.' 'Tell - that is to the master of the second class to send one of his people' say


one of his older pupils. 24 This conversation shows that the various classes were installed in separate rooms. Similarly, in Francion's time, the word 'class' began to be used for the room. In the Oratorian schools, where the

room there

was called the 'chamber', a choicer word than 'class', same tendency to use one term to denote place, curriculum

in question









In both the Jesuit colleges and the University of Paris the

separation of the




last stage

had become an accomplished

has finally brought us




way from



audience of the Middle Ages to the modern class. Starting at least at the beginning of the fifteenth century, the school population was divided

of equivalent capacity, but under the same master and in a single (a transitional formula to which Italy remained faithful for a long time). Then, in the course of the fifteenth century, a particular master was allotted to each of these groups, though they were still kept within the same four walls, an arrangement which was still to be found in England in the second half of the nineteenth century. Finally, on an initiative originating in Flanders and Paris, the classes and their masters were isolated in special rooms, which resulted in the present-day structure of the class. We have here a change corresponding to a desire, new as into groups


yet, to adapt the master's teaching to the student's level. The desire to bring education within the pupil's understanding was in direct opposition

not only to the medieval methods of simultaneity or repetition, but also to humanist pedagogy which made no distinction between child and

man and

(a preparation for life) and culture (an from life). The separation of the classes therefore revealed a of the special nature of childhood or youth and of the idea

confused schooling

acquisition realization

youth a variety of categories existed. The creation of the hierarchized college in the fourteenth century had rescued schoolchildren from the hotchpotch in which, in the outside world, the that within that childhood or

ages were

mixed up. The



classes in the sixteenth


established subdivisions within that school population. What then were these categories, roughed out sometimes for reasons

of expediency, which at first bore no relation to what would later be expected from them in the way of order, discipline and educational Baduel in 1538 saw in the efficacity? Were they age groups? Admittedly out of a means class system pupils according to 'their age and sharing same the In period Thomas Platter, at the end of a development*. a Schlestadt school which was attended by to went vagabond youth, nine hundred disdpuli at once. He already considered it not entirely normal that his ignorance should thrust him at the age of eighteen among

a lot of children: he




the need to record the incident as an

entered the school,







could not even read



was eighteen years old. I took my place in the midst of the hen in the midst of her chickens.' However, we should beware of being misled by isolated anecdotes. Age and development sometimes but not always coincided, and when they did not, people were only slightly surprised, often not at all. They still paid much greater attention to development than to age. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the class had not yet attained the demographic homogeneity which it has possessed ever since the end of the nineteenth century although it was constantly drawing nearer to that homogeneity. School classes had come into existence to separate students according to their capacities and the difficulty of the subject-matter, not Donat, yet little


children, like a

to separate students according to their ages. The new penchant for and division -which characterized the birth of modern conscious-

analysis ness in

its most intellectual zone, namely pedagogics inspired in its turn further distinctions and divisions. The desire to separate the ages

was only gradually recognized, and separation asserted as a principle, separation had already been established in practice after lengthy empirical experiments. And this leads us to make a closer study of schoolchildren's ages and their relation to the class structure.





know from personal experience, if we recall our schooldays, the importance which a difference of a few years had in our know how we set our schoolmates' childhood and youth.



class, which was our only standard of comparison; our understanding of childhood or youth or adolescence depended on an academic hierarchy, first a succession of classes, then the

ages against the average age of our


from secondary to higher education. I had these distinctions in I was collecting the documentary material for this chapter

mind while on

First among these sources pupils' ages before the nineteenth century. are the memorialists' recollections of their childhood and schooldays, the

If one or other of these writings in which they were perhaps most sincere. writers should be not entirely typical of the great majority of people, then

a few




perspective and to observe

will enable us to put


in his proper

certain overall developments.

was born in 1499 in a village in the Valais. 1 He was one of a large family (one of those nurseries of Swiss mercenaries from which the armies of Europe were recruited: two of his brothers died in battle). After the father died, leaving the mother penniless, the children soon left home. At the age of six, Thomas, who had not yet been attracted by camp At the age of eight, he was still a life, was keeping a relative's goats. in the on summer, and in winter on a mattress hay goatherd: 'Sleeping full of fleas and even lice, such is the common lot of the little herdsmen whom the peasants send up into the mountain solitudes.' Seeing him in our modern perspective, we imagine him permanently committed to manual occupations. And yet, when he was nine and a half, his mother, who dreamt of making a priest of him, entrusted him to one of her the rudiments of relatives, himself a priest, who was to teach him did not one if give up hope of a grammar. It was not indispensable, even as one had got as soon scholastic career, to go to school straight away,



of mother or nanny at the age of five or six. People accepted the idea of a pre-school period which sometimes postponed die acquisition of the rudiments until after the age of ten. School was^ not yet regarded it was still confused with ways unambiguously as a preparation for life:





of life which we


now tend to postpone until after school, with apprentice-

the age at ship for instance. Consequently remained indefinite for a long time.

Thomas he used to

left this


brutal master:

me by


the ears and


a child started school

master used to beat



off the ground/ through the village. He lift


horribly; cousin of

had already happened to pass endless attended the schools at Ulm and Munich and was living the roving life of the medieval student. When he left on another scholastic journey he took with him young Thomas, who must have been about ten years old and had learnt nothing from his priest except to sing the Salve. For Thomas this was the beginning of a long vagabondage often years or so, and Alsace, which took him through the schools of Germany, Switzerland to the age of twenty. Never staying long in one place, he travelled across Silesia and Saxony, stopping at Halle, Dresden and Breslau. At Breslau, 'we first of all attended the school of the Holy Cross, near the cathedral;



but having heard that there were some Swiss in the next parish, St Latin schools. At St Elizabeth's, we went there/ These were, of course,


where nine bachelors taught in the same room, only the or else a monitor chosen from the pupils) (one of the masters,


a printed Terence.




others copied


at his dictation,


'expounded*. Thomas and

next 'construed', and finally Dresden, and settled down in Munich. of this vagabondage the cousin took it into his head to

his cousin left Breslau, returned to


After five years return to the places

we had not seen for five years and we

travelled to the

Munich. There Thomas, who with his fifteen years had acquired a spirit of independence, left his cousin and went off by himself. Going by way of Passau, Ulm and Constance, he arrived at Ziirich, where for a few months he went round asking older students him lessons - but all in vain: 'I did not study at all/ Setting off to Valais'.

They then went back



once more, he landed up

at Schlestadt


his studies

took a more

serious turn; Johannes Sapidus admitted him to his school, a prosperous establishment where 'there were up to nine hundred discipuli [not as a scholar gipsy had taught Thomas separated into classes]/ Long years he could not read. 'When I entered the of the at eighteen age nothing:

could not even read Donat, yet I was eighteen years old. I took my place in the midst of the little children, like a hen in the midst of her at Schlestadt, doubtless because he did not chickens/ Yet he did not




have the means to

live there.

He then returned to his native Valais, by

doing ten years before



do what he should have begun

learn the rudiments at a



THE *trm 'There


found a



. . .










writing and I know not the ABC in one day/ At the


My other aunt's son taught me

age of nineteen, at the end of his long schooling, we find him learning to read and write. It is true that before being able to read he knew the Donat

by heart: one of the last survivals of a time when more important than communication by writing.


returned to Ziirich, where 'rumour had

who was


oral transmission


that a schoolmaster


be very learned, but very strict': Myconius, Pater Myconius, whose pupil, boarder and even disciple he became. Thomas Platter, who had waited until he was nineteen before learning to read, was arrived...


said to

conquered by humanism and displayed a monstrous appetite for two or three years he learned Latin, and Greek and Hebrew

erudition. In

After giving private lessons in his turn, he was then able to open a school in his native Valais. When he was in his forties, he was offered as well.

the rectorship of an important school in Basle, the new system of separate classes.

where he was

to introduce

Thomas Platter's student life in the early sixteenth century takes us back to the Middle Ages, with studies at countless schools where results were of no account, classes did not exist and curricula were not arranged in any order.

The essential part of Thomas's store of knowledge was accumulated two years of a cycle of ten years or so, between the ages of

in the last

eighteen and twenty, after eight years which may seem sterile to our modern eyes, but during which the illiterate youth had kept coming up in accordance with the against the subjects of the trivium, taught orally

old customs. his active life

We must note above all that Thomas Platter did not begin with school - he was a goatherd until the age of nine - that in the company of older or younger companions, with

he was constantly

no age





grafted itself easily

on to


old medieval stock of knowledge: as we have observed several times, humanism, for all that it introduced new methods of learning and


authors, maintained the long-drawn, simultaneous teaching system

of the Middle Ages. emphasizes the archaic nature of school life in the German-speaking countries; it does not, however, represent the typical


Platter's case

student's life in France.

Le Fivre d'Ormesson belonged to the following generation: he was born in 1525 of a father who was a clerk in the record office of the High Court, and a mother who was the daughter of an attorney in the Audit Office. 1 He had two brothers and three sisters, who all died except Olivier



He lost his father when he was five. At the age of went to Navarre College. In France, the medieval schools of the type Thomas Platter went to in Germany were to be found only in small provincial towns, and they taught only the rudiments of Latin. Colleges teaching a wider range of subjects had taken their place and were attracting an ever greater number of pupils. In Paris, until Louis-le-Grand was founded, Navarre College was patronized by the children of the upper nobility and even of royal blood. However, the Le Fevre family was not rich, and the widow could not afford to keep her two children at school. They had to start work early in life: 'They were both taken away [from school] after three years, for want of the means to maintain them there.' Thus Olivier stayed at school only from the age of eight or nine to the age of eleven. At eleven 'he was lodged with an attorney in the for his brother Nicolas.

eight, Olivier

Audit Office to learn to write [that is to say to 'write to perfection', to write deeds, die equivalent of typing today] and to earn his living'. He then became clerk to the Treasurer of the Dauphin, the future Henri II,

who In

helped him and



family in their careers.



Platter's schooling saw the prolonged cycle of the was also a cleric; like die humanist later on, he scholar


considered that study formed a notable part of his active life, and did not reduce it to the educational function of a preparation for that life: it did not separate the child from the adult. Olivier Le Fevre's cycle had an entirely different significance. In his day

was no longer reserved for the lengthy studies of clerks or was becoming an instrument of education which preceded and prepared for the pupil's entry into active life. However, it had not yet become a substitute for the other method of education which had been that employed by laymen before they had taken to going to college, an the college



institution hitherto reserved for the clerks: apprenticeship. Until the end of the Middle Ages, and in many cases afterwards too, in

order to obtain initiation in a trade of any sort whatever - whether that of courtier, soldier, administrator, merchant or workman -a boy did not

amass the knowledge necessary to ply that trade before entering it, but threw himself into it; he then acquired the necessary knowledge through everyday practice, from living and working with adults who were already fully trained. Thus Olivier was 'lodged with an attorney in the Audit Office to learn to write' and no doubt to count as well.

When academic instruction was extended to laymen, apprenticeship ceased to be a noble function and was gradually driven back towards the mechanical trades - the manual occupations - to the point where, in our facing above:









day, the development of technical and professional training, slow and tardy though it has been, is reducing it still further to a relic or a stage of practical instruction. But this replacement of apprenticeship by academic instruction, in the upper and middle classes of society, was not

Children began by spending two or three years at school, the big classes still being reserved for Latin careers such as the Church or the law. This stay at school did not dispense a boy from serving his apprenticeship between about twelve and fifteen in the at first universal.

in the

little classes,

writing professions which were the qualification for work in law. Little by little, the school cycle lengthened at the expense of the period of apprenticeship.

The noble

which remained faithful the longest to the the profession of arms. The military paintings was apprenticeship system of the seventeenth century depicted young boys, whom we should describe as children, in the midst of rascally-looking old soldiers. As late as the end of the seventeenth century, it often happened that a young nobleman, destined for the service, would spend only two or three years at school. Thus Claude de Bonneval, born in 1675, entered a Jesuit college 3 at the age of nine. He left at eleven - at the same age as Olivier Le Fevre a century earlier to sign on as a marine in the King's Navy. At the age of thirteen he was a sub-lieutenant. Similarly Chevert, born in 1695, joined the service at die age of eleven, as his memorial tablet at Saint-Eustache reminds us. The creation of academies in the seventeenth century, and more especially of army schools in the eighteenth century, would the disappearance of these soldiers of eleven and gradually bring about twelve from camp life. In the nineteenth century, the university and the profession

of instruction even further. big schools would extend die period Another calling, which nowadays stands half-way between trade and also maintained the practices of apprenticeship for the liberal

professions, a long time pharmaceutics. In the eighteenth century the pharmaceutical of fourteen, and his contract was for four apprentice started at the age studied have to had enough grammar to be able to read a years. But he :

Latin prescription: consequently he had already attended the little classes of a college. His schooling was still wedged in between his early childhood and the beginning of an apprenticeship which plunged him into the world

of adults. In the nineteenth century this sort of apprenticeship still existed: Claude Bernard began his at the age of thirteen. the prolongation of the school cycle had Generally speaking, however, almost eliminated the apprenticeship by the late eighteenth century: after to working classes, excluded from the Latin colleges G

that time only the

facing above: BLIND


below : THE PAPER




which they were


admitted at the end of the ancien regime, continued

to practise apprenticeship. The school career of Henri de

Mesmes was

also a short cycle, 4 but not case : the latter was an example

for the same reasons as in Olivier Le Kvre's of the coexistence of college and apprenticeship. Henri de Mesmes did not serve an apprenticeship, but he was typical of certain cases of precocity. He was born in 1532, the son of a lawyer. 'My father gave me as a tutor J. Maludan, a disciple of Dorat's and a learned man, chosen for the innocence of his life, and of an age suitable for the guidance of my youth ... he relinquished his post only when I started my career/ In other words he stayed with Henri de Mesmes until he was eighteen. A tutor at that time was not responsible for all his charge's tuition: he was not a

substitute for school. During the first few years, from five to seven or nine years of age, he taught his charge reading and the rudiments of

grammar. When his pupil started school, the tutor accompanied him to school, where he served him as a private coach, while he too studied on his own account, possibly with his young master's valets. Thus in the regulations for the boards at the college of La Fleche, it is laid down that the pupils' famuli must be of an age and education to enter the fourth class.


So Henri de Mesmes started school with his tutor and his brother: was sent to the College de Bourgogne in the year 1542.' He was then about ten years old, and he went straight into the third class, the last of 'I

the grammar classes, leaving out the lower classes. After the third class, he skipped the second and entered the first: 'Then I did one year, no less, in the first class.' This course does not seem to have been unusual at the 6 time: it was also that of Nicolas de Beauvais-Nangis. The latter, born in 1582, was twelve years old when he entered Navarre College at the beginning of 1595. 'I entered the third class, where I remained until St

went from Easter when I went up into the first class, where I remained until the month of May 1596, when the plague infected the aforesaid and I was college, brought back to where I studied under a tutor.' Nangis philosophy Thus, at the end of a year in the first class Henri de Mesmes finished a schooling which had lasted no more than eighteen months. At the age of twelve he had finished with the arts: however, though he had completed his schooling in a hurry, it was not in order to enter an attorney's office

R6my's Day [October 2nd, 1595: generally to St Rmy's Day or from St Remy's Day

the pupil

to Easter],

any sooner; he had been quick, thanks to his natural precocity and to his tutor's coaching. These cases of child prodigies were very common



and seventeenth centuries. Pere Ange de Joyeuse entered the rhetoric class at the age of ten, though admittedly 'to the astonishment of his masters', to quote his biographer Cailliere. 7 Baillet in 1688 also speaks of children who 'by the age of twelve or thirteen had completed the ordinary course of college studies by means of extraordinary between the




make it possible to start one's active career at the usual age, and to catch up with youths who had not been to school. But in the sixteenth and the early seventeenth century, it also enabled little This precocity could

prodigies to pursue advanced studies over a long period. This was the case with Henri de Mesmes: after his eighteen months at school, he set off at the age of twelve, still with his brother and his tutor, to enter the Faculty of Law at Toulouse (civil law was not taught in Paris), where they spent six years of hard study: 'After that, having taken our degrees as Doctors of Civil and Canon Law, we took the road for home.' He was eighteen years old, and he was now appointed to a post as counsellor to the Board of Excise because I was so young that I would not have been admitted anywhere else'. Of eight years of study, two had been devoted to grammar and the arts, the rest to law. Cases of this type were to become rare in the seventeenth century, not only because precocity would strike public opinion as an anomaly, but also because the higher branches of study would disappear in favour of *

the college's classes, which would take over the whole cycle of instruction and thus take a young man up to the threshold of his future career. In the mid-sixteenth century, the Faculties of Law still enjoyed their old - indeed this was their - and a continuous series of greatest period as a necessity in higher education: a student could easily skip a class or else spend only one semester in a ckss. The curriculum came to an end in fact at the end of the semester. Students

prestige classes

had not yet been accepted

were moved up to the next class either at Easter or on St Rmy's Day, that to say at the end of every semester. In reality school started twice a year, it has on the above dates - whereas ever since the nineteenth


century once a year, in October. This custom of arranging the curricula in semesters continued until the end of the ancien regime. 9 It was provided for in Henri IV's reformation started only

of the University of Paris. In England, it was still in force in the midnineteenth century: the author of Tom Brown's Schooldays reckons in halfyears what we count in annual classes. Even then the system of half-yearly promotions favoured a certain precocity. But this was no longer the precocity of the sixteenth century, which can be explained by the same

Ip6 pre-scholastic spirit



which I mentioned with regard


to apprenticeship. in die mid-sixteenth recent very cases either to a few years of study or to a

should not forget that schooling was


century and restricted in many few people or classes. Outside school, in the

army camps, in the offices of or in the courts where administrators, lawyers politics and diplomacy were conducted by grandees or statesmen, and in the workshops where crafts-

men plied their trades, boys between the ages often and fourteen mixed with adults in everyday life and above all in the fellowship of a common occupation. Some of them could show a precocious skill without causing excessive surprise to technicians used to cultivating professional values without regard to age: the precocity of an apprentice was accordingly barely distinguishable from other natural inequalities, such as the exceptional skill of an adult. In these psychological conditions, the precocity of a schoolboy did not seem any more extraordinary than the skill of a little artisan, the agility and courage of a child acrobat, or the virtuosity of a

young musician. The school had not yet

established a sufficient distinction

between its pupils and the rest of the child population. These performances would no longer be tolerated once they were regarded as infractions of the special nature of childhood, and that special nature would be recognized in middle-class schoolchildren before it was extended to the children of the lower classes.

With the future Marechal de Bassompierre, in the late sixteenth century, approach the normal modern cycle.


Btissompierre was born in 1579. He stayed at home until he was twelve, except for five months when his mother was away and he was entrusted to an aunt who was an abbess. In the course of this period of education at

home he learnt to read and write, 'and then the Rudiments', with a tutor who was joined in 1588 by 'two young men called Clinchamps and de la Motte, the former to teach us to write well

to [that is to say 'writing

Clinchamps being a 'scribe'] and the latter to teach us dancing, 10 This prolongation to the age of twelve of lute-playing and music'. education at home was not exceptional, but the moralists of the sixteenth


and seventeenth centuries condemned it because they feared the promiscuity of the servants, from whom the tutor was not very clearly distinguished, a fortiori when the child was left with the women of the house: 'How reprehensible', wrote the Jansenist Coustel in 1687, 'is the cruel and foolish affection of certain parents who think that they are doing a great deal for their children by leaving them until the age of twelve or thirteen in the arms and the often rather indecent embraces of nannies and







governesses/ However, except in the case of the King's children, nobody ever considered extending this home education beyond twelve or thirteen:

everybody went to school. At the age of twelve, Bassompierre went to the Jesuit college at Freiburg


Breisgau, accompanied by his brother, the tutor, the writing-master and the dancing-master. They entered the third class. For a child of good birth and average wealth, twelve years old was a normal age for the third class. However, the murder of the dancing-master by the tutor reduced the Bassompierres* stay in the third class to five months, and sent the boys back home, 'whence the same year [1592] my mother took us to the Jesuit college at Pont-i-Mousson to continue our studies there. We stayed only six weeks in the third class [they had thus spent a complete semester in die third and could regard it as finished], then spent the holidays with the family at Harouel. On our return we went up into the second class where we spent a year/ In 1593 'we went up to the first class*. The next often year, after the holidays, 'we returned to the same class'. Boys were made to stay a second year in the same class, not so much because they were weak as in order to prolong their schooling. Here we have evidence

of a


new attitude to

schooling, a tendency to leave the child or the young school a long time; whatever the division of the classes, and


were now quite distinct, progress through these than the length of the pupil's stay at school. Bassompierre's second year in the first class was interrupted at the beginning of Lent by a tour of Germany and Austria. At that time people

despite the fact that they classes


thought that value;


travel, especially in


Germany and Italy, had great educational by their parents' correspondents,

noblemen, entertained

learned other languages and were initiated in the life of courtiers, diplomats or soldiers: this was another aspect of apprenticeship. On his return from Germany, Bassompierre was about sixteen: 'We

came back

to continue our studies [at Pont-i-Mousson] until October, when we had reached the De anima: the Philo-

leaving the Physics class

sophy year/ Many pupils left school before the philosophy class, which was generally reserved for future lawyers and churchmen. Next, Bassomhe calls a 'course', whose purpose I cannot quite pierre did something have been a sort of substitute for advanced studies, in It to seems grasp. of Civil Law, Canon Law and Medicine: 'And Faculties of the place

we had

another seven months of the course to do, I started same time [i.e. with a tutor] the Institutes of the Law of I spent one hour in class, another hour on cases [Justinian], on which on one hour and of the on hour one conscience, Hippocrates, aphorisms


studying at the



and politics/ He thus provided himself with a smattering of law and medicine, as well as scholastic philosophy. 'I continued for the rest of that year, 1595, and the course beginning of the year 1596. Aristotle's ethics


finished at Easter/

This gives


very roughly: 1591-2: 12-13 years old, third



13-14 years old, second ckss.


1593-4: 14-15 years old, first class. 1595-6" 16-17 years old, physics and logic.


points to note here are the late entry into the third class, the continuity of the classes, and the repetition of the first class. The relation

between ages and


approximates to a pattern sufficiently


in the seventeenth century for Sorel to adopt it for one of his characters, Dorilas, who is in the rhetoric class from fourteen to sixteen. 11


find a similar cycle and the same ages in the case of Andre Le Fevre 12 d'Ormesson, the son of that Olivier whom we met earlier. In the year 1586, when he was ten years old: 'I was sent to Cardinal Lemoine College under M. Le Dieu, a native of Picardy, the master of my class, with seven




who were


M. Le

already there/ During the siege of Paris 'our us'. Thus the Le Fvres

Dieu' had not 'the means to feed

were not boarders

in the college,

which probably housed only its

but boarded with one of the masters It

was unusual




perhaps lived in the college.

and lodging itself. His master, Maitre Jard, followed him,

for a college to provide board

entered the seventh


was the custom at that time, into the sixth and the fifth: it is probable was a subdivision of the sixth, and possible that the seventh and the sixth were held together with the fifth, in the same room. In the fourth class he had a new master he went under M. Seguin who has since been doctor to Queen Anne of Austria'. M. Seguin was a schoolmaster while he was pursuing his medical studies grammarschool masters were often recruited from students in the Faculties of Law, Theology and Medicine. Andr6 was in the fourth class in 1589. This means that he had moved up one class a year from the seventh. 'The siege of Paris took place... and my father took us away from school' (because their master could not feed them). He kept his two sons at home until October 1590, 'when I went with my brother to Navarre College, under as

that the seventh



M. Raquin', third

in 'the first class'.

and the second. In


therefore apparently skipped the they skipped only the third, for there was no


PUPIL'S AGE second

class at

Navarre - but there must have been two firsts. That at one can put on the following sentence: 'The

least is the interpretation

year 1591 beginning in October, M. Gauthier, who has since become a doctor of theology, took tine first and the later first for the second year/ So

Navarre there were two first classes, which presumably corresponded and the rhetoric class in other colleges. What is in is that Andre spent a second year in the first class, and certain, any case, that this seemed quite normal. 'In October 1592 I went to study in the Logic class at the Jesuit college under Pfere Gaspard Seguiran, who has since become an excellent preacher and confessor to King Louis XIII.' With the class in logic, Andr6 completed the arts cycle between sixteen and* seventeen. There then began for him, as for Henri de Mesmes, a lengthy period of law studies: first 'on the Institutes [of Justinian] under M. Marsibus [probably private lessons] and after that at the Universities at Orleans, under M. le docteur Luillier, the Dean and the most learned of all doctors in Orleans, until September 1595, then with M. Leclerc, doctor of Law, until my admission by the Grand Council, which took place on December lyth, 1598.' Andre had six years of law studies in all, the same time as was taken by Henri de Mesmes. This cycle of studies can, therefore, be summarized as follows at

to the humanities class



10 years old, seventh


ii years old, sixth class.



12 years old, fifth class. 13 years old, fourth class.


14 years old,


15 years old, first class.


first class.

16 years old, logic class. 1592: 1593-8: 17-22 years old, law studies. If


except the omission of the third



have here a normal

seven years at cycle: the sixth class at eleven, the rhetoric class at fifteen, school and six years studying law, before starting professional


The cases we come across from the seventeenth century on are,

generally a certain precocity, tend to speaking, of a normal character and, despite approach the classic pattern established in the nineteenth century.

Descartes had an education that


entirely 'scholastic'






know school were not supplemented by university studies. that Descartes entered the Jesuit college at La Flche in 1604, starting in the sixth class at the age of eight, that in May 1610 he was in his first year classes at



in the philosophy class, and that he finished his schooling in August 1612, end of his third year in the philosophy class: he was then fifteen years old.

at the

Thus he covered in five years, between 1604 and 1609, the cycle which went from the sixth class to the philosophy class: to do this he must either have skipped a class or covered two classes in two semesters. Eight years old was fairly young for the sixth class, but in every sixth or fifth there were a few pupils of eight or nine. A twelve-year-old in the rhetoric class was beginning to be a rarity, but we shall come across another case.

The period spent in the philosophy class here was three years, a period corresponding to a degree course at a university: it is easy to see how the college in France absorbed not only the grammar school but also the arts school which in England gave rise to a higher education distinct from and complementary to the grammar schools. In France the college came to offer tuition of every kind, sometimes even in theology: the young Jesuits at that time had no separate noviciate and did their three years of philosophy and their theology at school (none the less the Sorbonne, the name of the Paris Faculty of Theology, remained active until the end of the ancien regime). The importance attributed to the tuition given after the rhetoric class coincided with the decline of the when Faculties, higher it did not actually contribute to that decline, as in the case of the arts.


good academic education could be obtained by a long stay at school, particularly in the philosophy classes: these were in fact confined to a small number of pupils who specialized in philosophy and theology.

long school career (eight years) therefore consisted of a pseudo-secondary education of five years, up to the rhetoric class, and D'escartes's

a pseudo-higher education of three years. Eventually the normal school of cycle, corresponding to our secondary education, would annex a

year philosophy. The complete cycle would then go up to the logic class, while a few specialists, future churchmen or 'intellectuals', would extend it for


or, in exceptional cases,



Let us interrupt the chronological sequence of our biographical examples to compare with Descartes's case another case which also illustrates the disproportionate place assumed by the college in the education even of 'men of law': that of Charles Perrault, the author of

the fairy-stories. 18

Charles Perrault, like Descartes, was a good pupil. He was born in 'My mother went to the trouble of trying to teach me to read, after



which I was sent to Beauvais College at the age of eight and a half [the same age as Descartes, and in the same sixth class]. There I received all







schooling, as did

all my brothers, without a single one of us ever being A whipped/ noteworthy fact, which must have been exceptional. 'I was

put in the sixth class before I could read.' In this model family, in which the father used to teach his son Latin after supper, a boy of eight and a half

had not yet learnt to read! But the sixth was in fact an elementary class, sometimes divided into two on account of the number of pupils who were put into it just to learn reading, writing and the rudiments of grammar, and in this case a seventh class was formed which was taught in the same room. About Charles Perrault's schooling all we know is his age and class when he started school, and his age when he left, between seventeen and eighteen, at the end of his second year in the philosophy class. If we count a year for each class, we see that he has at least one year too many and probably two, whereas there was one year missing from Descartes's cycle. Charles Perrault must have stayed an extra year in one or two classes,

We shall

thus extending the average cycle by a year for each class. was the general rule. Charles Perrault did not go

see later that this


the second year in the philosophy class, for he did not intend to enter the Church. He wanted to read law, but it did not occur to him to go to a


Faculty to study under one of its masters as Mesmes did at Toulouse Ormesson at Orleans about 1593 the times had changed. For

in 1545 or


three years he took private lessons in law in accordance with the custom of the times: the Law Faculties had declined, with the result that would-be

lawyers and magistrates studied the Institutes at home with a private tutor, presenting themselves at the Faculties only to obtain their diplomas, for the examination had become merely a tiresome, ridiculous


'I went to obtain my two friends, one of whom was to become vicar-

formality. In July 1651, writes Charles Perrault,



Orleans with

general of Sens/




arrived at ten o'clock at night and did not waste a they arrived, they knocked at the door of the school:

They as

who came to the window to talk to us, on being told what we asked us if we had our money ready/ This was enough to get wanted, the three doctors out of bed, and they arrived 'with their nightcaps under their mortar-boards'. 'I imagine that the sound of our money being 'A


counted out behind us while they were questioning us helped to make them consider our answers better than they were/ The next day, after going round the town looking at its famous monuments, like the statue

of Joan of Arc, they went back to Paris: Charles Perrault, at the age of twenty-three, was a qualified advocate. The coincidence between the decline of the higher Faculties and the




time colleges cannot have been accidental. At less technical and people was instruction becoming specialist from the ideal of omniscience of the late Middle Ages a

of the


when even

were moving away and humanism, the college had become the only means of education, and the tendency was to prolong the schooling there rather than to supplement it,

except with private lessons.

cases of rapid, precocious studies of the sixteenth-century older than did not disappear completely. Bussy was only a few years type Charles Perrault. 'When I was nine years old, my father sent us, my elder 14 brother and me, with a tutor to the Jesuit college at Autun/ Bussy does


class he started school. By tutor we must understand a and somewhat poorer companion. 'A little later [at the time of the war on the Huguenots in Languedoc] ... my father took my elder brother away from the college, where he was making much progress, and made him an ensign in his Company': the boy must have been about twelve, the same age as Bonneval and Chevert when they joined the army. This is another case of a brief stay at school before the direct apprenticeson of a family was not given a better ship of camp life. The eldest education than the rest; on the contrary, seeing that he was destined for the army, his schooling was cut short. One of my younger brothers, who was destined to become a Chevalier of Malta, was sent to join me. I quite studies and my masters were very pleased with me. However, liked

not say in what rather older



elder the fighting having moved from Languedoc to Piedmont, brother died of the plague at Brigueras and by his death left me the eldest


of the house/

At this point the family had to move to Paris, 'as much to settle a lawsuit as for anything else*. 'My brother the Chevalier and I were, father and mother in a lodging taken for the therefore, living with


year in the



started in the second class


such a good



we went to the Jesuit college of when I was only eleven, and I was

Harpe, whence

classical scholar that at the age

of twelve


was considered good

move up

into the Philosophy class without going through the enough Rhetoric class/ He did only the logic year: At the end of Logic year, been ordered to form his regiment again, gave me the father, to




having of the


company, and instead of






he had therefore already Physics [the second year of philosophy which in 1634 to the siege of La Motte in Lorraine with that sent me begun], as several of his brotherregiment/ He was thirteen years old, the same age officers. But he had covered the whole scholastic cycle except for the rhetoric class, which he had skipped thanks to the lead he had gained in the

THE PUPIL second

class. Later,





pupils would no longer skip the rhetoric class, which a very important, and sometimes the terminal, class.

would have become



we have a normal 16 of studies. But in his case a new postvery precocious cycle though scholastic institution, the academy, made its appearance, an institution which was to assume considerable importance for the seventeenth-century nobility. His position as a prince of the blood did not disqualify him for a the

d'Enghien, the future Grand Conde,


college education, for only the King's children received all their education at home; boys from the greatest families in the land went to school,

of Clermont which, in the seventeenth took the of Navarre century, place College, where the high nobility had particularly to the Jesuit college

hitherto received their schooling. Conde, born in 1621, started studying Latin at the age of five with a tutor. At the age of eight he entered the Jesuit college at Bourges, but in

the fourth


and a term behind his


whom he caught up with


the same age Descartes and Perrault were in the sixth class. His easily. masters recognized his merits: *A pupil in the second Grammar class in the fourth class], it is wonderful to see with what diligence [i.e. and assiduity he takes part in the exercises in construing, composition and diction. In the daily concertations [contests between the two halves of a class] it is he who inspires the rest.' He covered the normal cycle at the rate of a class a year, which brought him to the rhetoric class at the age of eleven (the same age as P&re Ange de Joyeuse in the sixteenth century), and to the physics class at thirteen: he spent six years at school and went through every class from the fourth to

the second philosophy class. In August 1635 he left the college: he was fourteen. Like Charles Perrault, he then studied law with a tutor. This young prince accepted the tuition provided in school, but he shunned the higher Faculties and substituted private lessons for them. At the same time as law, he took lessons in mathematics (a subject which was virtually untaught in school)

from a master who was an army

engineer, in order to prepare for his Academy for the

admission at the age of fifteen to Pluvinel's 'Royal

Young Nobility'. The academy was in character:




and semi-military of the seventeenth century, two-thirds of that century. It fulfilled a need which institution, semi-scholastic

institution characteristic

particularly of the first had not existed before.

In the sixteenth century, after a complete or


often an abbreviated



to make schooling, a young man went to a university only if he intended his career in law, the Church or medicine. And we know that the

of Law later went into a decline. If he wanted to follow any other he went straight away, as an apprentice, into an army company, into a noble house, or into commerce. Apart from the college, which was the growing in prestige, and a specialist university which was partially on Faculties career,

decline, there

One of

was nothing


but apprenticeship.

of apprenticeship,

especially in noble families, sent the boys to stay with other families, particularly abroad: then the formula of the stay with friends was gradually superseded by that of the

these traditions

in the case of Bassompierre). People came to (as as a complementary education in subjects ignored tour abroad the regard at school and in the Faculties. Certain of these arts or techniques had

tour abroad with a tutor

hitherto been taught at home and formed part of the traditional domestic education given to pages and squires: dancing (more important than it is instruments such as the lute was more widetoday), music (the playing of in the late nineteenth century), riding and than that of the

piano spread various sports. But other subjects, among those studied abroad, began to and sometimes scientific character: first of all, acquire a more didactic

modern languages - Italian and

but also Spanish, great cultural languages,

German, probably because mercenaries were recruited in the Germanit was to the interest of a future officer to speak speaking countries and the language; then geography and contemporary history, indispensable soldier as also for the ambitious courtier; and finally subjects for the mathematics, or 'fortifications' as it was called, a necessary subject at a time when warfare was becoming increasingly scientific. These tours abroad were very costly, and at a time when the nobility's income was tending

to diminish they could not satisfy a

a practical, non-Latin education.

growing need


The academy satisfied this need for a post-

between school and active

life, for young noblemen, future for not officers, whose families exclusively) (though could not afford to finance a stay abroad. This institution originated in Paris, in the second half of the sixteenth Nicolas de Beauvais-Nangis writes of his father: 'Antoine de

scholastic education,

and above



Brichantcau, aged between eleven and twelve, was sent to Lisieux College in the year 1564 [the class is not specified], where he stayed until the

of the year 1567 and the Battle of Saint-Denis, when, being considered strong and brave enough to bear arms, he was sent to the Paris where he was trained for nearly a year.' Nicolas de Beauvais-



Nangis himself finished

his schooling at the

age of


His father

THE PUPIL him go





of Amiens; he wanted him to complete had reached the age of the traditional tour abroad. 'At the beginning of 1598, my father kept me with him for a time in Paris, where I began to accustom myself to the sight of companies of troops, and the following April I started training in Paris [i.e. at an academy], where I stayed until the end of September.' 'My father had intended to send me to Italy, for at that time young men were sent there to be trained'; but the journey was too expensive and the stay at the 16 academy took its place. The most famous of these establishments was Pluvinel's academy, founded in 1 594. A contemporary wrote of it in these terms 17 The whole of France is infinitely grateful to M. de Pluvinel who, with incredible refused to let

to the siege

his education first. Nicolas



generosity, has devoutly offered himself to the nobility to serve as a ladder and stepping-stone to the loftiest and most glorious things.' The college was never confined to the nobility; it was open to all classes. The academy,

however, was thought of as the province of the nobility, at a time when the nobles were becoming aware of their importance in military affairs and citing this importance as a justification of special privileges. The academy was the first of those institutes for young noblemen which Richelieu imagined and which the eighteenth century created. It provided the inspiration for Mme de Maintenon's ideas about the education of girls.

The contemporary account continues: 'He [Pluvinel] deprives us of the occasion of rushing off to Italy, where we go to buy at fantastic and whence we return with expense the mere shadow of good manners, the substance of vice.'

One notes a new interest, unknown in the sixteenth which were exposed to conAt Pluvinel's academy the pupils were was the author of a treatise on horseman-

century, in safeguarding adolescent morals, siderable

danger on

these journeys.

taught horsemanship (Pluvinel

de Pas), fencing, mathematics, fortifications, ship, illustrated by Crispin and social accomplishments such as painting, dancing and lute-playing.

our author discovered another advantage in the academy which strikes us as rather curious and shows that the modern idea of a complete


itself on the upper classes as a secondary education had not yet imposed the academy] as early as ten admitted be can [to necessity: 'Young lords and must not cannot or eleven, whereas they go to Italy until they are

seventeen or eighteen/ This means that the young nobleman could make do with one or two of the lower classes at school and then go straight into to be educated, whereas before he had been obliged either to the


continue futile scholastic studies until he was old enough to travel, or else


2O6 throw himself straight


fact reluctant to




life at

about eleven. People were in

send children too soon in

The academy made

after their schooling



either into the

army or

possible to keep children under control over, by means of a discipline inspired by it

regulations. The period spent at the academy was an intermediary period between schoolboy life and adult life: the beginning of a recognition of adolescence. The academy was not an exclusively French phenomenon. The scholastic

and military

continued existence of a higher education, at the universities of Oxford

and Cambridge, where boys went from their grammar schools, would seem to have prevented the academy from developing in England. But educational historians such as


an important role in Germany, giving education whose

think that the academy played

rise to certain institutions

of higher


character led to their being used as models for the university reforms of the nineteenth century, in both England and France. In France, the academies did not have the same enduring influence, all that they met no competition in the country's decadent higher education: once again it was the college which partially absorbed them, in the form of military preparatory schools in the eighteenth century,


while at the same time more highly specialized schools for officers and engineers were laying the foundations of the cole Polytechnique and the Staff College.

The academies occupied a very important place in French society in the seventeenth century. The Abbe Michel de Marolles owed it to himself not to leave them out of his description of Paris of 1677; he devoted a whole chapter to them, written in doggerel like the rest of the book, and entitled: * Academies for horsemanship and other decent occupations for the young 19


This note of moral concern

is to be found in other contemporary texts, 20 Nouveau Journal de Conversation published in 1675 example 'In the seminaries, one learns not only how to serve God but also how to govern morals [the author is comparing the first seminaries with the first academies] in the academies, one learns not only how to handle a horse, but also how to curb one's passions.' The need for moral discipline had been the original reason for the founding of the colleges and had inspired their authoritarian regulations in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Soon, especially with the Jesuits, moral education became one of the principal objects of school life, even more important than instruction.

in Bary's






was spreading


in the seventeenth century to post-scholastic such as the academies, to the young noblemen whom their

THE PUPIL no longer dared of court and camp. parents

to turn loose





without any preparation in the world

the academies were some of royal foundation: the schools for shared out between the two Stables, the Hunt, the Chamber and pages, the Chapel. 21 The best known and the most popular with the nobility


were the two


The Great

Stable consisted

of a




tutors, a preceptor, a chaplain, a bursar, and masters to teach fencing,

riding, dancing, drill, writing (that 'writing to perfection*




to be confused with ordinary writing), mathematics and drawing. In his Maison desjeux, Sorel tells the story of Dorilas. 22 Dorilas covered

the complete course of classical studies at school: 'I was classes called the humanities when I decided that to "arrive"


in those

was the most human of occupations/ Dorilas lacked the precocity of the Grand Conde, who started logic at the age of twelve: when he was studying the humanities he must have been fourteen, and at that time a boy of that age could understand the full significance of Ovid's Art of Love, which was taught with the aid of a whip: 'They whipped us when we missed a syllable/ In the rhetoric class Dorilas learnt 'the art of persuading by means of eloquence', then, at the age of sixteen he 'went up into the philosophy class* this was probably a more usual age than the very precocious cases we have met with in our biographical examples. 'When I had completed my course of philosophy at the age of seventeen, it was considered that I knew more than enough to be a soldier, like my father, who wanted me to follow the same profession/ He could in fact have extended his stay at school with a year of physics, but he 'knew more than enough': people went on saying, in conversation and books, that a college education was no use to future soldiers, but often they acted as if this were no longer the ;


and allowed

their children to




the classes, including the



philosophy 'I was taken away from college and sent to a boarding-school, a house where I learnt fencing, dancing, lute-playing and mathematics', and also This was a modern education, and it is easy to understand why languages.

should have resulted in the teaching in the vernacular of new ideas, foreign to the traditional arts. 'And every morning I went to a riding-school to learn horsemanship/ This boarding-school had a and so on, but it had no riding-school. fencing-master, a music-master




Thus besides the great academies there were 'boarding-schools' which were less comprehensive, more modest and less expensive, like the one in this story.

This shows




was considered

in the seventeenth century



of the go through an academy or a 'house* same sort. Even Antoine Arnauld, despite an already pronounced taste for literature and theology, spent six months at Pluvinel's academy. When Mme de Sevign wanted to emphasize a young man's chances of de Locmaria success, she wrote that he had 'just left the Academy': M. 'can set all the courtiers at defiance and confound them, upon my word.

for youths of good family to


He has an income of sixty thousand livres, and has just left the Academy/ the Sciences Po' Nowadays we would say in France that he had just left and in England that he had just come down from Oxford or Cambridge. '


de S6vign6 described a quarrel between the Prince d'Harcourt and La Feuillade, a silly quarrel between overgrown threw a plate at his head; the other schoolboys: 'Thereupon the Prince threw a knife at him; neither hit the target. They were parted and made to embrace. In the evening they spoke to each other at the Louvre as if de Sevign<? added: 'If you have ever nothing had happened/ And Mme seen how academists who have campos behave, you will know what this The word 'academist' had become generally familiar. quarrel was like/ also used the expression 'to have and her Mme de In another letter



which would seem to have been borrowed from academy or used currently army slang; similarly barrack-room words are nowadays 9



in middle-class conversation.

He stayed go back to the career of the future Grand Conde. *I have begun tracing fortificamonths: sixteen for academy tions on paper... I have finished studying proportional compasses and mensuration and started on fortifications. I am also studying the map of But



at Pluvinel's

the world/

He left the academy at the age of sixteen to



his post as

Governor of Burgundy; at nineteen he married Richelieu's niece, who was only thirteen. He had covered the whole of the scholastic cycle from the two years in the philosophy class which the fourth class up, including

he had complemented with private lessons in law and over a year at an was in the first class: an excepacademy. He was only eleven when he tional

example of precocity.

the Edict of Nantes was in force, the Protestant academies were to the Catholic colleges: the only difference was that somesimilar very times - not always - philosophy was dropped in favour of theological



24 the whole, the cycle of instruction (intended for future pastors). classes remained the same. Here are two examples of Protestant schooling.

taken from an entry in the Marquis d'Asson's journal, quoted 25 Waddington in a note in his edition of Rou's memoirs: *I began my

The by

first is





of eight under the eyes of my late father. A few accompanied my three elder brothers to Saumur; I was so years have been between eight and ten] that it was thought fit must young [he to send our governess with me until bedtime so that the separation should be less of a wrench, and she went to bed with me as usual. I was soon studies before the age later, I

ready for the second


[presumably the humanities

class: it


seem that the Protestant academies had a different system of numbering], where I remained for three years under the learned M. Lefebvre.' We have already come across similar cases of a long stay in one class, which seems to have been a 'I

way of compensating

went up into the third


for an over-precocious start. Next finished schooling extremely


class. I

young' -presumably between thirteen and fourteen. He did not study the end of 1668, philosophy, but went to an academy for the nobility: At to trained/ be the Paris to I went from the Academy college *

The second

Protestant example



another remarkable case of precocity: 26 quickly that at the age after


. .


of four


of Jean



and was able to read a chapter of the Bible *I

learnt to read so easily


This rapid progress resulted in

being sent to school

and age of five, in the care of a maidservant who took me there back every morning and evening.' The school was Harcourt College, where he was regarded as something of a phenomenon, for he had few schoolmates as young as he was, and it was more usual to be accompanied by a tutor, a sort of big schoolfellow, than by a maidservant. But Jean Rou, unlike his richer friends, never had a tutor. When he was a little older he at Harcourt with private coaching which he supplemented the classes shared with a few friends: he joined 'three or four young pupils' at the house of one of them, Lecoq, the son of a counsellor at the High Court, at the

for lessons

from a coach.

In 1652 he was sent to the Protestant college of Saumur. The principal, the pastor of the town, put him in the first class fourteen years old and in :

he had had to begin with; he was two in the same class. What is more, at de Conde Prince the than older years fourteen he was considered too young as yet to go into the philosophy the

first class,

he had

lost the lead

end of the year when it was usual to go up into the his master made him spend another year in the But philosophy first class, 'seeing that I was so young for studies which he considered Descartes had gone a beyond my understanding'. Yet few years before, class. 'I


at the


into the philosophy class at that age.


can see here a depreciation of

the modern schoolboy precocity which foreshadows

attitude. After his




philosophy studies, Jean Rou took his diplomas as bachelor and doctor of arts (at that time the two of diplomas were taken together as two the

same examination), something which was no longer done

parts unless one

intended to enter a higher Faculty such as theology or medicine. to a study by a Jesuit Father who obtained access to die Society's we are familiar with the school careers of the Grand Conde's son and grandson who were both pupils of the Jesuits. 26 His son, born in 1643,



started Despautere - Latin grammar -at the age of seven. 'He quotes Cato [Pseudo-Cato, a fourth-century author taken up by the Middle Ages which attributed his maxims to the Elder Cato] and Latin maxims, and

since reading Galatte [a manual of etiquette used in the Jesuit colleges] he notices all the offences against the proprieties which are committed/ Thus his tutor informs his father of his and progress. 'He composes

very prettily,


you wish he

will write to


terminology with Cicero's, standing of Latin/



occasionally in Latin; when I compare see that he already has a good under-

There is nothing very surprising about this familiarity with Latin shown by a child of seven; at that time Latin was learnt like a modern language, in conversation, and French parents gave their child a Latin tutor just as not long ago they entrusted him to an English or a German nanny. This was in the medieval tradition of oral culture: over a century before, in his

advice to

Queen Catherine on bringing up Mary Tudor, Vives had

suggested surrounding the


same age who spoke Latin; 27

eight-year-old with companions of the

to obtain the best results,


would have been

better to start a year earlier, at the age of seven Enghien's age. The same method was being used at the end of the sixteenth century in Calvin's Geneva, where Cordier was teaching. 28 Cordier has tion

between two


us this conversa-


'How old is your brother?' 'Five years old/ 'Five years old? But he already speaks Latin!' 'Why does that surprise you? We always have a pedagogue at home who is learned and diligent. He teaches us to speak Latin all the time and we never say anything in French. Indeed we do not dare speak to our father except in Latin/ [The speaker is twelve years old.] 'Then you never speak French?'

'Only and at certain times when she summons us to her presence/ 'What do you do with the family?' [By the family he means the whole group of friends, clients, servants, and so on]. 'We scarcely speak at all to the rest of the family, and then only incidentally, yet some of the servants speak to us in Latin/ [He is presumably with

my mother,






referring not so much to servants as to what we would call 'companions'. But there were some valets who had accompanied their little Latin without too much - which shows, difficulty incidentally, that people were not too about the particular quality of this Latin. But let us return to the conversation between our two boys]. 'But what about the chambermaids?' 'If it ever happens that we have to speak to them, then we speak French, as we do with our mother/ 'Oh, how lucky you are to be taught so well!'

masters to school and could muster a

Thus, however remarkable Conde's achievement in Latin may seem, it was not exceptional and its equivalent was to be found in other milieux than that of the princes of the blood, although the teaching of Latin as a living tongue by means of conversation must have started growing rarer; it would cease altogether at the end of the seventeenth century. At the age of nine, young Conde* entered Bordeaux College, starting in the fourth class (this was at the time of the Fronde), leaving almost immediately to follow his father into exile in Namur. In December 1653 he entered the Jesuit college in Namur and was placed in the third The third was the biggest class in the school: ninety-seven pupils out of a total of four to five hundred. At the end of the year, the young prince class.

was placed seventh out of the ninety-seven pupils in his class. From the third class, Conde went up into the humanities class in 1654, into the rhetoric class in 1655. The University of Louvain did not allow the Jesuits of Namur to teach philosophy in their college (another example of the ambiguous character of the philosophy class, which

combined subjects belonging to higher education with what was to become secondary education). However, the difficulty was overcome by the philosophy course at Antwerp to the theologians ostensibly confining of the Society, in other words to the future priests. The prince took this course too; he was thirteen years old. On this course he spent his logic and physics years,

which he

finished a


older than his father.

9 years old, fourth class. 10 1653-4: years old, third class.



1654-5: ii years old, second class. 1655-6: 12 years old, first class. 1656-7: 13 years old, logic


1657-8: 14 years old, physics




of the annual system of promotion


worthy of note.



His son, the Due de Bouillon, was seven years old in 1675 when he was taken away from the women who had been looking after him and given tutors 'in the interior of his home". The Conde family was to two Jesuit faithful to the Society

of Jesus. At the age of eight he entered Clermont into what might have been called the sixth class, seeing College, going that it preceded the fifth, but which had no number: 'a room in which to those children who were not fit to be put in a instruction was given

to be taught to read and write. Then he followed the at the rate of a class a year: cycle of classical studies


Many had

8 years old, sixth





10 years old, fourth

1679-80: ii years old, third 1680-1



first class.

13 years old,


14 years old, logic




12 years old, second

1681-2: :


years old, fifth class.


15 years old, physics class.

In the course of these three successive generations, each Conde finished his schooling a year later than his father. Conde entered the rhetoric class at eleven, his son at twelve, his grandson at thirteen. In this family which



studies seriously and completed them at an early age, of each successive generation began and left school at

the pupil


sees that

an older age.

Henceforth the cycle of classes became more regular and approached the classic pattern of modern secondary education in France. For the will suffice: one aristocratic, one eighteenth century, three examples

more popular and rural in character. Cardinal de Bernis was born in 1715. In his memoirs, he describes his childhood in the rosiest colours, with that easy conscience which is typical middle-class and the last


his time:



distinctive feature

lived in the country,




his father, a

mind was



former captain, had retired

because he had not been able to obtain a cavalry regiment. Between the five or six tutors his family had engaged ages of seven and ten, he used up for him: here we should note the development, compared with the seventeenth century, of education at was a medical student who soon left

home with him


a tutor.



go and take degrees

tutor in the

He was followed by a seminarist who on the boy: 'This pious eccentric was dispenances

Faculty of Medicine in Paris'. inflicted incredible

missed, and


the domination of three or four passed successively under

THE PUPIL other tutors

who were





either ignorant, brutal or licentious

. . .


being more mischievous than birch/


other boys, I spent three years under the he reached the age of ten he was sent to the Barnabites'

college, at Bourg-Saint-Ande*ol in Vivarais, a little provincial college

where he spent four years. At twelve he was tonsured (that was the usual his age, when a boy was destined for the Church). At the same time elder brother, who was destined for the army and was probably about fifteen,

joined 'the King's pages

in accordance with the tradition

entered the Stable] to be trained', of the academies, which were on the



At the age of fourteen, Bernis reached the end of the grammar or humanities classes at Bourg-Saint-Andeol. Either the college had no rhetoric class or the Bernis family wanted to give the boy a more Parisian education; in any case, they sent him to Louis-le-Grand: 'I arrived at the August 1729. I expected to enter the rhetoric class after did not the holidays; the prefect, having examined capabilities, consider me worthy of entering the third class [the tuition given by the

in Jesuit college


Barnabites of Vivarais must have seemed very inadequate to the Fathers of the Society]. amour-propre was wounded by this judgment;



started studying so intensively, giving up hours of sleep, and reading and two months moonlight, that after two months [presumably

writing by in the third

I was allowed to be examined for the rhetoric class, and class] was admitted to that class without any difficulty.' He adds: 'My amourachievement on my part: I arrived in propre was responsible for another Paris with a southern accent; my schoolmates' ragging made me get rid of



in less than three months.'

finished his year in the rhetoric class with a Latin discourse on the over philosophy. 'This discourse enjoyed a great superiority of eloquence of schism between the rhetoricians and the kind a caused and success discourse. I asked permission to to made was reply philosophers. a worsening of this dispute, Father the but Principal, fearing reply,




condemned me to silence. This quarrel finished with an exchange of blows. The philosophers were superior in strength, but not in numbers.'


half of the eighteenth century, the class had educational unit, and the schoolboys were well the organic

this time,




aware of it. Bernis does not say whether he studied philosophy for one or two that on two, because he was a cleric. He says only years


to the Saint-Sulpice seminary, where his leaving school he sought entry Church was becoming particular about the not candidature was accepted:



the recruiting of priests, as a result of the increasing numbers of seminaries. Seminaries were coming to be regarded as the essential preparation for the ecclesiastical state.

Our second example of schooling in the eighteenth century is taken from the provincial middle class. 80 Grosley was born at Troyes in 1718 into a family of lawyers: his father was an advocate, his mother the daughter of a municipal magistrate. As soon as he was out of infancy, his grandmother took charge of his education, but in practice it was the old *

family housekeeper

who looked after him. At that time,

as schoolmaster,

had an old housekeeper/ 'Although she could not read [she must have guessed, or rather remembered from the shape and order of the letters, the sense of familiar Biblical stories], it was she who taught me to read, from the Bible/ Next, 'I went to learn the rudiments of Latin from an old schooltutor and preceptor


master': a former governor of the General Hospital of Paris who, on retiring to Troyes, had opened a little Latin school there. It seems that

few in number at the beginning of the seventeenth had century, subsequently multiplied. This preparation made it possible - classes which, moreover, the lowest classes in the to these Latin schools,



sometimes did not


Thanks to


old schoolmaster's tuition,


entered college at the age of seven, starting in the fifth class.' The college in question was the Oratory at Troyes, which we know rather better than

most, thanks to the preservation of







At the Oratory, Grosley followed the now regular cycle of a class a year But he spent an extra year in two classes, first the

as far as the rhetoric class.

rhetoric class, then the logic class (he does not mention the physics class). 'I had spent an extra year in the rhetoric class... I was unsatisfactory in

Logic' (on account of poor teaching). 'I spent another year in this class under Pre Verdier, who enabled me to maintain my thesis at the end of the year.' This maintaining of a thesis at the end of one's philosophy studies - not to be confused with the examinations for the baccalaureate

and the doctorate in


infrequent formalities at that

which had become mere formalities, and the last survival of the medieval

represented 'determination': the maintaining of the thesis consecrated the end of college studies for the better pupils.

Grosley 's cycle was another extremely precocious cycle, for in 1729 he entered the rhetoric class at the same age as the Prince de Cond nearly a century





years old, fifth class.

8 years old, fourth class.

9 years old, third class. 10 years old, second class. 11 years old, rhetoric class.

12 years old, rhetoric

class repeated.


13 years old, logic 14 years old, logic class repeated.


the Oratory at the age of fifteen after eight years of classical



With Marmontel we enter a rural world, which the memorialist often covers with a varnish of sentimentality after the fashion of Greuze or Restif de la Bretonne: 'Oh, what a present Heaven gives us when it gives

us kind parents - and an eighty-year-old grandmother sipping her wine 81 beside the fire and remembering the good old days'. Marmontel, born in 1723, was the son of a village tradesman. 'I had '



little convent of nuns who were friendly with my of birth who for a time had lived in lady gentle long retirement in this house of refuge, had had the kindness to take me in

learnt to read in a

mother ... hand...






to a school kept

by a


from the


of charge and from inclination, had dedicated himself to the instruction of children/ This was obviously a little Latin school of the sort



which young Grosley went to

in Troyes; but

Marmontel presumably

stayed there longer, for he did not go to college until he was eleven. His father had no Latin and could see no advantage in learning it. But his *

mother was eager

that her eldest son at least should

go to




something modern or

already 'nineteenth-century' about this case of a mother's influence at home and her role in the children's education and social progress, a province which had so far been exclusively paternal. is

Marmontel's father gave in to

his wife's insistence,

and took


son on

crupper to Mauriac. The boy was eleven years old when he started school, in the fourth class of the Jesuit college in the town; twelve his horse's

years old in the third and thirteen in the second; he reached the rhetoric He then had to leave Mauriac College after some incident

class at fourteen.


his master,


studies', in other

did his



we find him as a 'master of Clermont College in Paris, where he seventeen he had finished his education.

after various adventures

words a coach,

years' philosophy; at

last in this series


of biographies


a late eighteenth-century case




taken from the provincial middle class which conveys the atmosphere of the last years of the ancien regime.

born in a little town on the Loire, possibly BeauJacques Lablee was married to a gency, between 1765 and 1772** His father, a sexagenarian his young woman of twenty-seven, ran a wine business. Jacques spent in the care of a housekeeper who taught him years with his brothers, to read from a Psalter: 'At the age of six, I was started on the study of first

Latin. Until then, church

books were the only books I had read/ He spent of Latin tuition had become

six years in a little Latin school: this first stage

general in the eighteenth century. At the age of twelve 'I was sent as a boarder to the seminary of native town.' In this seminary, not less than five miles from






destined for holy orders. Here, in the years 1775 pupils were necessarily to 1780, we already have an example of the 'little seminary' which was to occupy an important place in the secondary education of the early nineteenth century and rival the colleges and lycees of the new educational

system. class at the seminary: coming from a Latin he was not afraid, he tells us, of the competition from his classmates. However he took a dislike to Latin, in which his masters 'wanted to initiate us to the exclusion of everything else'. There was a preference at that time for a more modern education. He even boasts of his incom-

Labile started in the fourth


the second class, I could not construe or translate petence: 'Having reached authors Latin except by laboriously consulting my dictionary.' (Does my this mean that other pupils translated at sight?) He left the seminary at the class. 'I was fifteen years old when I studied rhetoric at Vendome... The next year I entered the seminary of O. He was expelled for giving his master's [Orleans?] to study philosophy.' favourite a thrashing and that was the end of his studies.

end of the second the Oratory at

Because they are recorded in memoirs, the cases we have just been rather out of the ordinary: the considering are, if not exceptional, at least are therefore dealing with his memoirs. not write does man ordinary nature. brilliant a of sometimes of social successes, examples


Taken in succession, starting in the sixteenth century, they enable us to follow the regularization of the school cycle. In the case of Thomas did Platter, the German-Swiss, in the early 15005, the division into classes not exist, and therefore neither did promotion from one class to the next.



In sixteenth-century France the succession of classes existed but

not observed at the



Boys passed

quite naturally

from the


third to

or from the fourth to die

first, or else started school kte, like in the third class. The Bassompierre college had not yet entirely replaced the old traditions of apprenticeship. In the seventeenth century, though these irregularities continued here and there, they became much rarer; the regular rhythm of a class a first,


became the general rule. A class was only very rarely skipped, and it often that a an extra in one of die higher classes, happened pupil spent year the rhetoric because there a tendency to was class, particularly prolong the at school: the with its classic period college cycle was beginning to take the place of the old forms of education by apprenticeship, at least in nonmanual occupations. At the same time as the system of promotion from class to class was a sort of between the various being regularized, hierarchy academic institutions was established: from the little Latin schools to the lowest classes


classes in the

small-town colleges, to the



-the humanities and sometimes the

colleges, to the rhetoric class or the sole reservation that the small-town


rhetoric classes (in the big - with the years of philosophy)

colleges tried to keep their pupils and to provide a complete education like the rest. 88 Finally, in the seventeenth century, with the academies, a post-scholastic

education was created, at least for the young nobility. However, it did not survive in the eighteenth century. And since the Faculties of Law declined and were replaced by private lessons for would-be lawyers, the college remained the only general institution of collective education, the sole

and youth. the of we have discussed ages pupils vary a good deal over this of two hundred the period years. However, pupils are always precocious, not only from our modern point of view, but in comparison with the setting for a differentiated childhood


contemporary average, as we shall see shortly. We have come across pupils in the rhetoric class aged between ten and fourteen or fifteen: not a single one was over fifteen. Yet fifteen was the theoretical age given by English

from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century for leaving school and entering the university. writers


The biographical examples analysed above characterize certain aspects of childhood and youthful manners, and many of their features can be generalized. However, they give a false impression of the age structure of



and of the correspondence between ages and -a point of capital importance they need to be corrected by documents from another source providing statistics of a more average character: the registers in which the headmasters and masters of the colleges listed their pupils according to age and class. These are fairly rare. Pre de Dainville has published registers, unfortunately, two in an important study, 'Effectifs des colleges et scolarits aux XVIIe 84 the registers for the 1618-20 period of the Jesuit et XVIIIe siecles': and CMlons that for 1638 for the Oratorian college of Troyes of college 85 had Carre already used at the end of the last century). Finally the (which Manuscripts Department of the Bibliothque Nationale has two registers for 1677 and 1692 from the Jesuit college of Caen, noted by Pre de Rochemonteix in his monograph on the Henri IV College at La Fl&che. 86 These samples provide us with the material for four soundings which extend almost the whole length of the seventeenth century. Let us examine first of all the demographic characteristics which remained constant in the seventeenth century. We shall be struck as soon as we look at these figures by the difference between the ages in these statistical samples and the ages of the biographical cases analysed above. All our young memorialists reached the rhetoric class between eleven and fourteen. Here the school population is situated at a higher age: there are no rhetoricians of eleven or twelve. There are only two of thirteen and three of fourteen; 91 per cent of the rhetoricians are over fourteen. In the the precocity of our memorialists is seen to be an light of this comparison, exceptional phenomenon. It is none the less significant for all that. It is as if precocity were a characteristic of brilliant careers, of social successes. It seems too to correspond to a sort of scholastic ideal of the late sixteenth century, since the age of our memorialists is the minimum age laid down 37 by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits of 1586: the rhetoric class at eleven, like Pere de Joyeuse or the Grand Conde. In the second half of the seventeenth century the phenomenon of precocity seemed sufficiently remarkable, sufficiently characteristic of the most striking successes, to become a subject of study for the moralists. the colleges





their classes,

point at least

This was the case with the book by Baillet, Les Enfants devenus cffebres par leurs ttudes?* and that by Pere Niceron, Les Homines illustres." Baillet similar to those we have listed. There was a who dedicated Melanchthon, comedy to Reuchlin at thirteen, 'qualified

records a

as a

number of progresses

bachelor at fourteen and

Pierre de

Lamoignon, born


a doctor at seventeen'. There

in 1555: 'His father

carriage for the journey to Italy


he was only



provided him with

fifteen at the time'


- and




Ages of the pupils


Caen College

Ages of the pupils


Caen College




Ages of the pupils (according to


CMlons (1618-20)

Pre de



Ays of the pupils at (according to



Troyes (1638-9)

Pre dc





consequently eleven or twelve


when he was

in the rhetoric class, Justus Cologne at the age of

his studies at the Jesuit college at

Lipsius completed fourteen. Pieresc also left the Jesuits at fourteen after completing his to fence, studies; at fifteen he went to an academy *to learn


and dance'. Then there was the young rhetorician of thirteen or fourteen, a student at Toulouse, who wrote a general historical treatise. 'worked with such According to Pere Niceron, Raymond Merille his studies at the age of fifteen and rapidity that he had completed embarked on the Law when he was sixteen'. Franois de Clugny, born in 1637, 'entered the rhetoric class at the age of thirteen and at fourteen ride

studied philosophy at the Oratory*. There is a phrase of Baillet's which conveys very well the idea people had of precocity at school in 1688 he refers to children who 'by twelve or thirteen had done with the ordinary college course by means of extra:

this was the result of talent, as in the case of ordinary activity'. Whether a superiDescartes, or of forcing, as with the Condcs, precocity implied


which opened

among had


the average run




to a great career.

of schoolboys,








if it



common among people who

we remember that easy to understand if in the late sixteenth century - many of the who had completed a full

- and often still were not occupied by people course of studies but by people who had simply served an apprenticeship, sometimes combined with a brief stay of one or two years at a college. There could not be any excessive difference of age at the start in a period in careers connected with the army, old age and when, originally

posts at court

particularly before forty, and when the duration of active incapacity began very early, at life was very short indeed. Only pupils who had finished their studies a very early age could compete with the 'apprentices'. Consequently if, as we shall see later on, there occurred a relative ageing of die school affected die humbler classes most of all, population, this ageing process while on the other hand the medieval habits of precocity were maintained

longest in court


reveal an Though they include few cases of precocity, our registers class at Troyes, the overfourth the In old of number pupils. impressive cent of a total exceeding a hundred, conjuring eighteens represent 5 per of a class in which young men up a strange sight for our modern eyes sat with children between eleven and between nineteen and


CMlons, the proportion of over-eighteens reaches 20 per cent, including five aged twenty, three aged twenty-one, and two aged twenty-three. Similarly the ages of seventeen and eighteen thirteen! In the third class at







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


him from sending

his children to college.

Let us consider simply the

of age given by the author. Mer entered the Jesuit college at Poitiers when he was about nine or ten. He left at the age of twenty-two after a stay of twelve years or so, starting in the sixth or the fifth class.




This stay implies an average of nearly two years in every class, and we that time and again he had to spend another year or another

must assume

semester in the same


We have come across several instances of this

the memorialists, and also in the case of Descartes. In these was not always regarded as spending another year in the same class a sanction: and Mer tells us himself that he was considered a good pupil sort



'At the age of seventeen I used to hear people saying: "There is an excellent young man. I should like my son to be like him.'" Generally for the average duration speaking, it was considered perfectly legitimate of a college education to be over seven or eight years, depending on



started in the sixth or the fifth class,

and including two


devenus cttebrespar leurs tiudes, philosophy. Baillet in his book, Les Enfants in this respect: 'This is what the French of definition this practice gives

of Paris and the other French system and practice of the University now: a course in the Humanities [in the widest colleges have been until

grammar and rhetoric] and a course in Philosophy the entire occupation of our young people for nine constitute generally or ten years' in other words, from one to three years longer than the sense, including

Some of

the twenty-year-old rhetoricians in our catalogues must have been pupils who were kept on at school at the the best education. a request of parents who considered long schooling There must have been a third category of old pupils, in addition to that of the tardy vocation and that of die extended schooling. Among the

duration of annual


the lower grammar classes twenty-year-old rhetoricians some had entered when they were about fifteen or sixteen, and were not necessarily destined for the Church. They usually reached the rhetoric class when they were

over twenty. At Caen, 7 per cent of the pupils in the sixteen, the

fifth class


age when most

their schooling. pupils in the 19305 finished social class produced these adolescents who started


can guess which school at such a late age. The sculptor Girardon's father was a brassfounder. 41 This artisan wanted his son, who was born in 1625, to be an the same sort of ambition as the modern attorney, showing exactly wants his son to be a schoolmaster or an who miner or worker railway about this comparison: despite anachronistic is There nothing engineer. of time since the end of the seventeenth century, it has not the

kpse class by means of a post a changed either the desire to gain entry to higher which confers middle-class or noble standing, or the means of this ascension, namely schooling. What has changed is the age limit of this an ambitious father will try to get his son into a schooling.


secondary school

at the start. If he waits

too long, he will be too


for a

THE boy who has passed There


rtrfclL S

normal age




not allowed to enter the

225 lyce*e.

therefore a legal or traditional age limit in our contemporary society, beyond which admission to the lower classes in a secondary school is


impossible. The idea of an age limit

eighteenth centuries.






in the seventeenth


age of sixteen that Girardon's father sent school in the sixth class, at a time when the

at the

his son (born in 1625) to start rudiments were still taught in the sixth and certain pupils learnt to read in that class. Probably young Girardon could already read and write, some-

from the Psalter by an old priest in a French school, but we cannot be certain and it is not indispensable for us to assume this. may quite reasonably suppose that he did not wait until he entered the sixth class at the age of sixteen to make himself useful:

thing he could have been taught little


he probably helped

his father or another artisan in the

workshop and

served his apprenticeship. Serving a manual apprenticeship until sixteen did not pledge his future, since at that age he could start his schooling again with the rudiments of grammar: an old medieval habit which we

have come across in the case of Thomas Platter in the early sixteenth there is today century. At that time there was much more elasticity than in the organization of life, even though that life was shorter and the various ages were crowded closer together. If Girardon had stayed at school, he would have reached the rhetoric class when he was about have twenty. Some of the pupils among the old ones in our registers must been in

this position.

In fact he


school at the end of his year in the sixth

class to apprentice himself to a carpenter; the two cases must have been common - that of pupils who continued their schooling, and that of late

Girardon who spent only one or two years at school before or resuming an apprenticeship. starting It is easy to understand why the living conditions of the time made it

starters like

to send their children to college early impossible for artisans and labourers in life: they had to wait until the boy was old enough to manage by

himself in the town, away from the family, with almost no resources now and then on market-day: at a except for a little food brought along tenderer age he would have had to be provided with better lodgings and attention. But public opinion given greater (and consequently costlier) did not oppose this delay in starting school.

than the cases of Although they seem more common and widespread are not recorded in our registers, the cases which precocious schooling, of tardy or extended schooling represent only a small proportion of the


226 total school population.

Let us



examine the ages nearest

to the


average Let us note




the variations in

numbers from one

class to

another. Generally a drop in numbers is registered after the fifth class, and another after the third, due to the departure of pupils of passage such as Bonneval or Girardon. Sometimes there is a rise in the first ckss (Caen, 1677), caused classes.

by the


of pupils from other schools without higher

The oscillations due to departures would be even more pronounced

were not offset by the entry into classes all the way up the school of of all pupils ages, for admission was not restricted as it is nowadays to the bottom class. In these circumstances, it is easy to see why there was not one predominant age in each class, but several.

if they

is no age group representing number of pupils in the class. Five

In the fifth class at Chalons in 1618 there

more than 20 per

cent of the total

groups going from ten to fourteen are close together: 10 years old: 16 per cent. 11 years old: 15 per cent. 12 years old: 17 per cent. 13 years old: 12 per cent. 14 years old: 15 per cent.

Apart from the spread of the


we can


note a drop between two

successive age groups: the thirteen-year-olds in relation to the twelveyear-olds and the fourteen-year-olds. These characteristics are to be found

everywhere: not only is there a considerable distance in every class between the extreme ages (eight and eighteen, nine and nineteen), but the demographic kernel is made up of four or five more or less equal age groups.


the other hand, this astonishing heterogeneity in the

population of each class is offset by the minute difference between the various classes: the same ages are to be found, with very slight variations,

To consider again Chalons in 1618, the fourteen-year-old group constitutes 15 per cent of the fifth class, 13 per cent of the fourth, 11 per cent of the third, 4 per cent of the second. In each of these four classes there is an appreciable proportion of pupils of fourteen, fifteen and sixteen. While the class had established itself in the sixteenth century as the

in all the classes.

structural unit

of the

college, as a basic

element of differentiation between

a pupil's years of study, the connection between age and class very vague or loose.











Between the beginning of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century, the demographic structure of the school class changed completely, and we are now going to try to discover the

of this evolution, even though it would be rash to make any dogmatic judgments on the basis of a documentation which is not only scanty but above all irregular and spasmodic. For the seventeenth century we used the registers of Chalons for 1618-20, of Troyes for 1638-9, and of Caen for 1677 and 1692. For the eighteenth century we shall be using a very incomplete document: the register of the pupils at Louis-le-Grand, which after the departure of the Jesuits had become a boarding-school and an institution for scholarship boys. Its drawback is that it does not always give both the pupil's age and the class in which he started school, when it is the coincidence of these two indications which interests us. This source has already been used by Dupont-Ferrier in his monograph on Louis-lesignificance

Grand. 42

The second document we

are going to

add to the

series is

much more

precise: the register of the pupils at Sainte-Barbe in Paris, in the first years of the nineteenth century. 48 After a good many changes Sainte-Barbe had


a boarding-school which either sent its pupils to attend classes at a lyce*e or else gave them tuition on the premises, in what is called 'internal classes'. The Sainte-Barbe registers are kept in the Seine Archives. They consist

of lists of pupils, divided into


with one paper for each pupil

on which are entered his marks for the year, and copies of the letters in which the masters reported to the parents on their pupils' progress and behaviour. Unfortunately we do not have the pupils' ages for the first years of the century:

nobody bothered

to record them. Later, though, the I have chosen the

school authorities took care not to leave them out. school year 1816-17.

The following table and the corresponding graphs enable us to compare the proportions of the various ages in the classes scaled

up to a


of one


One change can be seen straight away: the disappearance between the seventeenth century and the nineteenth century of the extremely precocious and the extremely tardy cases. The indications of precocity diminish fairly soon and fairly quickly. The proportion of nine-year-olds in the fifth class, of ten-year-olds in the and of eleven-year-olds in the third drops sharply between Chilons in 1618 and Troyes in 1638. Then it remains roughly constant until the end of the seventeenth century. The ten-year-olds in the fifth class go from 16 per cent at Chalons to 6 per cent at Troyes, and they stay




6 per cent and 8 per cent at Caen in 1677 and 1692. The eleven-year-olds about 15 per cent of the class throughout the seventeenth century. In the register of admissions to Louis-le-Grand for the 1760 to 1770, there are very few cases of precocity I have noted at

in the fifth class represent



of thirteen and a half in the second class. Among the in die fifth class whose age is given, the youngest is school pupils starting thirteen years old. The drop in precocity which one suspected occurred in the course of the eighteenth century is confirmed by the figures for only one

case, a child

1816-17 at Sainte-Barbe. The ten-year-olds in the fifth class, who still 8 per cent in 1692, disappear completely in 1816; the eleven-yearolds in the fifth go from 15 per cent in die seventeenth century to only

came to

4 per cent

in 1816.

struck Baillet as 'strange* in 1688 that there should be children who had 'done with' their schooling by twelve or thirteen. Strange but rather It


On the other hand, at die beginning of the nineteenth century

precocity was regarded with


masters at Sainte-Barbe took care to avoid promoting pupils who were too young for their classes. Thus of a pupil in the sixth class aged eleven years seven months, whose father wanted him to go up into the rise fifth, we find the masters writing: 'We consider that such a rapid


have a solid sixth rather than prejudice his progress. Let us a mediocre fifth/ Another pupil, at thirteen and a half, was among the

would gravely

youngest in a third

class in

which 85 per cent of the boys were fourteen,

i per cent aged thirteen). The masters (as against only did not appreciate his childish high spirits in the midst of classmates who were two or three years older (and our modern experience tells us that at the age of thirteen a difference of two or three years counts a great deal)


and sixteen


'He rather likes the quarrels and little civil wars between pupils, interfering in matters which do not concern him and trying to turn private arguments into public disputes. He likes fighting and boxing: this is unworthy of a big boy.'

With regard to somehow got into

a pupil aged thirteen years ten months who had the second class, the masters write: 'The extreme

of this pupil ... the habit of chattering [do not mark him out for his age, he should have been kept in the this] ... judging by third class.' This pupil would spend another year in the second. The masters hesitated to promote a pupil aged fourteen and a half from the third class to the second: 'The third is a sufficiendy advanced class,




such as

one comes closer to the end of the school year; judgment is especially as called for, and the imagination begins to pky its part. The youth of this pupil


Ages of the pupils

at Sainte-Barbe



THB means




that his faculties cannot be sufficiently developed?





be recognized that there was a close connection between age, capacity and school class, and it would be considered inadvisable to modify this connection, especially in favour of children

who were too young.

If the child prodigies disappeared in the course of the eighteenth century, the old laggards had a harder time of it. They were still accepted without


when precocity was already regarded with The category of pupils between nineteen and twenty-one

hesitation at a time


remained, at least in the second class and the rhetoric class, throughout the ancien regime. True, their presence in the grammar classes was considered rather more exceptional: the proliferation of little Latin schools in out-of-

the-way rural areas had helped to reduce the overcrowding of the lower classes of those colleges which provided a complete course of tuition. But these colleges recovered their contingent of twenty-year-olds in the second class or the rhetoric


The second class at Caen in 1677 included


registers of admissions to of the eighteenth century, there is not a great difference to be recorded in this respect; high ages continue to be

19 per cent

were over nineteen. In the

Louis-le-Grand in the second half


eighteen, twenty, twenty-three in the rhetoric class; eighteen, nineteen, twenty in the second class; eighteen, nineteen in the third class;


the beginning of the nineteenth century, when people were giving considerable thought to the problems of education, in connection with the reorganization of secondary teaching and religious education, the specialists remembered the old collegians who

seventeen in the fourth


had peopled the somewhat variegated classes of the ancien regime. Thus the Abbe Liautard, 44 the founder of Stanislas, wrote in 1829 in a memoir on 'public education in France' 'A college is not an Academy. We must take care not to repeat the folly of the old University of Paris which, in :

order to compete

more easily with the Jesuits

able expense pupils of in the rhetoric class/

The Abbe



twenty-five in the sixth class

at consider-

and forty-year-olds

Liautard's irritation proves that at the beginning of the this mixing of the ages was no longer tolerated. The

nineteenth century old laggards disappeared completely from the grammar classes at SainteBarbe. few isolated cases, aged nineteen or twenty at the most, remained in the second and first classes. But that could also be put down


to a modification of the curricula for the rhetoric



that time there



was no longer any


of a philosophy

class at

Sainte-Barbe, and



in the rhetoric class that the older pupils supplemented Latin or French rhetoric with lessons in logic, at the same time as they were preparing for

the entrance examination to either the

Law School or the Polytechnic. Be

may, the masters at Sainte-Barbe had no patience with these bearded, loud-mouthed pupils, who brought into the college the free and easy ways of young men. This is what they thought of a humanist aged eighteen years three months: 'Whatever his age may be, his youth is premature. His beard makes him look out ofplace on the college benches, and his language, which is all too often indiscreet and licentious, shows signs of worldly emancipation/ This pupil would leave school. We do not know the age of another humanist of 1807, but we find his masters that as


writing of him: 'This pupil is rather old in his studies/ As a result there could be no question of allowing him to go up into the rhetoric class: 'I beg you, Monsieur/ his master wrote to his father, 'to let me know what

of life you mean him to occupy, what your wishes and intentions not allow him to waste time in study!' The heyday of the old college boys was over: that of the university student was soon station

are... His age does

to begin.



the age structure of the classes was modified. and our sources may be, a comparison of spasmodic imperfect the curves of the percentages of age per class reveals certain interesting

Let us





thing to strike us is the difference in speed between the seventeenth-century curves and those of 1816-17. I^t us consider for a moment the seventeenth-century curves: we find them indicating first

phenomena we have already noted. They present two common characteristics:

the general spread of the curve and the positioning of several It is in the fifth class that the spread is most pronounced: in


the four seventeenth-century cases considered, five ages go beyond 10 per cent. This means that in the four seventeenth-century fifths, the bulk of the class is aged between ten and fifteen, the under-tens and the

of the total. Except in of the other classes are curve remains the curves the where flat, 1618, very not spread out to the same extent: notably in the humanities of 1638 and 1677, where three ages-instead of five in the fifth-go beyond 10 per cent. One might conclude in favour of a certain demographic concentration in over-fifteens representing less than 10 per cent

the higher classes if another phenomenon did not sometimes contradict this: the high proportion of older pupils aged between eighteen and twenty.





The admissions registers at Louis-le-Grand suggest that the spread of the ages was also maintained in the eighteenth century. Pupils are between thirteen and sixteen in the fifth and the fourth, between thirteen and eighteen in the third, between thirteen and nineteen in the second, and between fifteen and twenty-three in the rhetoric class. In these very spread-out curves, the positions of the maxima are very revealing. Sometimes it happens that there is as it were no maximum that :


the extreme case in 1618 in the

When apparent:




of all, and regions. Thus

different years at the


fourth and third


are very pronounced, several features become the coincidence between the maxima of the curves of all

the curves of the fifth class culminate

age of twelve, while those of the third


culminate at the age of

fifteen, incidentally coming to a sharper point. This statistical maximum approaches the age which will become the average age of the class in the

nineteenth century: it indicates a tendency of the future rather than a characteristic of the present, as happens more often than is generally

supposed with so-called average It



like those


maxima of different curves do not coincide, classes: the maxima of the fourth-class curves go

that the

happen of the fourth


thirteen in 1692 to seventeen in 1638 (not counting the peculiarly flat curve of 1618 which has three maxima: ten, fourteen and eighteen). This means that from one time to another, or from one region to another,

the largest fraction of a fourth class - more than 20 per cent of the class can vary between thirteen and seventeen.


In the higher classes, in the third, second and first, another phenomenon it often happens that out of appears: the splitting up of the maxima. True, three successive ages, the one in the middle varies: the irregularity of admissions, due to economic conditions, and indifference to the connection

between age and class, are sufficient to account for this undulation of the upper section of the curve. But here I am referring to a more distinctive phenomenon. We have already noticed that the curves of the third and the higher classes were more pointed than those of the lower classes. But this is true only of that part of the curves corresponding to the ages from thirteen or fourteen to seventeen or eighteen.


one on its way down, producing a rise towards a second maximum of eighteen, nineteen or twenty. This second maximum corresponds to a new intake, different from that of the annual promotions, and quite considerable: the intake of schools. tardy pupils, who had sometimes come from other Latin Let us turn now to the Sainte-Barbe curves for 1816-17; to what extent another curve often continues the




do they differ from those of the seventeenth century, whose characteristics, or so at least we suppose, remained roughly the same in the eighteenth century? Generally speaking, are


seems at

more pointed and go


glance that the Sainte-Barbe curves words that the ages around the

higher, in other

of pupils. represent a larger proportion of the total number in the fifth class, three ages go beyond 20 per cent as compared with a single age in the seventeenth century. In the third, second and first

maximum Thus

two or even



three ages

go beyond 25 per cent whereas no age The population extends over a

this level in the seventeenth century.

smaller number of years and tends to concentrate around a characteristic age.

However, this rise and this regularization of the nineteenth-century curves are not equally pronounced for every age. In the fifth and fourth classes, they still have a bell-like shape which retains something of the In the fourth class, there are spread-out appearance of the ancien regime. almost as many pupils of seventeen as of twelve. In the fifth class, four ages

each represent over 15 per cent of the


that the

more than 80 per second



only from the third class predominate in the third class,

total. It is


cent of the pupils are fourteen, fifteen or sixteen; in the and seventeen.


Thus at the dawn of the nineteenth century, the correspondence between age and class reached its full rigour only in the higher classes. This would not be the case for long. But I do not think I am mistaken in the situation is reversed: suggesting that in the mid-twentieth century the pupils in the sixth class set off at a fairly homogeneous age, imposed by between the candidates for admission to a secondary the


school, while failures in school examinations and in the baccalaureate set-backs and result in more pronounced age differences in the


final classes.

must be admitted that even in the lower classes the masters mixing of the ages, although they could not entirely eliminate to create a new section of it. In 1816 they announced that they intended the sixth class which would be reserved for the laggards, who had their younger classmates: 'We are going previously been mixed up with



disliked this

form a backward sixth ... to give these pupils special tuition correspond... a class composed almost entirely of ing to their needs and capabilities in their studies although advanced in age/ backward are children who very


A final question faces us now. We have just seen that at the beginning of the nineteenth century the population of each





around a specific age. Does the characteristic age which was fixed at that time represent a rejuvenation or an ageing, either in comparison with the traditions of the ancien regime or in comparison with the the early twentieth century? of usage



Generally speaking, the class curves for 1816 cut across the curves of the ancien regime in such a way as to leave the lowest and highest ages outside their scope. They tend to bring their maxima (which are very pointed) close to the flatter, gentler maxima of the ancien regime. It is as if the

average ages of the ancien regime, which were not particularly characteristic at their time and which only a fairly abstract statistical analysis could determine, became the predominant, specific ages at the beginning of the nineteenth century. However, this phenomenon of the coincidence

of the old maxima and the new did not occur to an equal degree in the lower and higher classes. We have noticed that in the lower classes in the seventeenth century the maxima were often split up and always hard to distinguish from a gentle curve. The 1816 curves are more pointed but are further down than those of the seventeenth century, and their maxima correspond to the lower maxima of the seventeenth century. Let us take the fifth

an example. The fourteen-year-olds in the fifth classes of the seventeenth century represent only 12 to 16 per cent of a younger population, which culminates at the age of twelve. In 1816, the

classes as

twelve-year-olds are still at the top, seeing that they reach 30 per cent, but the fourteen-year-olds remain almost as numerous and reach 28 per cent.

The same is


of the fourth


We must therefore recognize, in


with first




maximum of fifteen. classes,

an increase in

the average ages in comparison with the ancien regime. This demographic composition gives us twelve to fourteen for the fifth class


thirteen to fifteen for the fourth class,

fourteen and fifteen in each of the



with a




fifteen-year-olds of

would normally enter the first class at eighteen, and all being well would become bachelors at nineteen and would get through their the fifth class

such as these must seem philosophy or their mathematics at twenty. Ages advanced to our contemporaries too, at least to those who, like the author of this book, finished their secondary schooling before 1940, for I believe that a new ageing process has since taken place, due this time to the the baccalaureate examination, competition which has transformed devalued though it is, into a sort of contest. But rivalry of this sort was as was to the nineteenth century and the foreign to the ancien regime as it early twentieth century

- at

least to this degree.

Study of the ages in the



conclude in favour of an ageing at the in comparison with the seventeenth nineteenth of the century beginning late nineteenth-early twentieth century. the and century



classes thus enables us to


consider the Sainte-Barbe



find that this ageing

the third class. In the curves from the third class to the process stops with maxima of 1816 coincide with the first first, the extremely pronounced maxima of the seventeenth century (the second maxima of the seventeenth century disappear with the category of the old pupils aged twenty

or over, which they depict in graphic form). This situation gives us: the third class, sixteen and seventeen in the fourteen-^een-sixteen in those of the second, and sixteen-seventeen in the first ages very close to nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

These data have a certain value. It is not certain that they were very either the school population or of the mentality of the representative of whose time; we must not forget that Sainte-Barbe was a boarding-school

numbers dropped sharply

in the higher classes.

On the other hand, a good

in the early school ages at Sainte-Barbe, the masters, in their reports

many indications suggest that the ageing noticeable

was often maintained. Even to their pupils' parents, revealed a mental attitude in favour of a certain have know that they were definitely hostile to precocity. ageing. the disliked also seen that like all the pedagogues of their time they



On the other hand, they displayed whom we would nowadays consider too

classes of grown men. presence in their


marked preference

for pupils

the second class we find them eighteen-year-old in at his studies, in which he is doing well/ And of his writing: 'Excellent classmate of seventeen and a half we are told: 'It must be remembered


Of an

he was put in a class for which he was too young and too weak* too seventeen and a half! young for the second class at that

Here we have a sixteen-year-old in the fifth class. His masters consider he has risen too fast: 'Always an interesting pupil ... His papa wanted his son to skip a class; we complied with his request [with a bad grace]. What happened? When he entered the fifth he lacked the necessary This we find astonishing: today we maturity to live up to this class/ would say either that he is incapable or that he must make up for lost time and rise quickly. But the masters at Sainte-Barbe approved of pupils' spending another in a class: they often recommended this, and if certain parents put up that


resistance to the idea, many anticipated the intentions: 'Congratulations on the decision to make him pedagogues' in the rhetoric class/ Pupils spent extra years in the spend another year

what was already a modern




higher classes above all, and this was even recommended. In 1807 (a year which the Sainte-Barbe registers do not give any ages) it was recorded


crowded with from military to academic jargon].' Nowadays a critical view would be taken of the standard of a secondary-school class in which old pupils were in such a majority. The opposite opinion was held in 1807: 'This strengthens it [the rhetoric class] with experienced pupils.' But these 'veterans' of the lycee, not being boarders at Sainte-Barbe, do not appear in our statistics. However, some of the veterans showed signs of weariness, and their worthy master had to admit that this weariness might be justified: 'The pupil shows a certain reluctance to spend a third year in the rhetoric class. We consider that this would in fact be a waste of precious time for him, since he has nothing more to learn in this part of the school.' The presence of these advanced - or retarded - pupils accounts for the trouble which conscription caused in the lycees and colleges, as national service would today if students were not usually deferred. There was still a certain confusion between two notions which would henceforth be quite distinct: that of the schoolboy and that of the student. It is true that in the early nineteenth century the universities did not yet attract a large number of students, and post-scholastic education was almost as neglected as under the ancien regime. Only later, at the end of the nineteenth century, did preparation for the licentiate's degree or the doctorate of the Faculties of Law and Medicine, which had become the essential qualification for a career in the liberal professions, compel pupils to cut short the duration of at Sainte-Barbe that 'the rhetoric class

veterans [note the


of the \jcit


'veteran', transferred at this time

their secondary studies.


if the ages

of the higher

classes at

Sainte-Barbe were not

advanced as those of the lower classes would lead us to expect, this cannot be put down to the masters' policy. On the contrary, the masters tended rather to let their pupils grow old at school, and the masters' mentality seems to have matched the spirit of their time. as

Other documents show that people were aware that pupils' ages in the third of the nineteenth century were more advanced, at least in comthe same century. Witness F. Bouquet's parison with the second half of recollections of his childhood and of his schooldays at Rouen lycee


about iSso: 46 'At that time pupils

started in the sixth class

two or


their thirteenth year', in other words years later than today, before reaching 'The thirteen. between twelve and complete course of study ended at

about nineteen or twenty [which would correspond to the maxima of fifteen in the fourth class at Sainte-Barbe]. A bachelor aged under sixteen




would have been a phenomenon which would not have occurred to anybody/ This ageing may account for the mutinies which became fairly common in the first half of the nineteenth century, coinciding moreover stiffening of discipline and an extension of the boarding system. therefore seems that the disappearance of the excessively precocious cases of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and of the ex-

with a It

(up to the end of the eighteenth century), of the school populations around ages a to concentration corresponded which were higher than both the average ages of die ancien regime and cessively

retarded cases

the typical ages of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

From these analyses, we can deduce some salient points. The precocity of certain cases in the sixteenth and early centuries struck us as a survival

of the practice



medieval schools, but

of the general customs of apprenticeship, in which the ages were mixed and a premature skill caused no more surprise than the exceptional nature of certain gifts; we also noticed that the more brilliant careers, those of our memorialists, were characterized by a certain precocity, and this precocity remained for some time an attribute of success. However, also

to admire child prodigies, in the course of the public opinion soon ceased the latest. The dislike of precocity marks the first at eighteenth century

breach in the lack of differentiation between children's ages. The educawhich eliminated children who were too young, however tional policy

might be -by refusing to admit them, or more often by in the lowest classes, or again by making them spend two them putting same class - reveals a new distinction between an extended in the years gifted they

mid-seventeenth century, people tended infancy and school age. Until the to stop infancy at the age of five or six, when a boy would leave his his nanny or the servant-girls; at the age of seven he could go to even start in the fifth class. Later on, school age, or at least the and college was postponed until the child of age entry into the three grammar classes, was nine or ten. It was therefore the first ten years which were pushed clear of college life. The result was that an infancy lasting until nine or ten


was separated from a period at school beginning at that age. The reason most commonly advanced to justify the postponement of admission to school was the weakness, 'imbecility* or incapacity of little children. It was rarely the danger incurred by their innocence, or at least this danger, when it was recognized, was not limited to infancy.





of precocity therefore marks the differentiation by the infancy extended to the age often. But if infancy was segregated in this way, the old mixing of the ages continued in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for the rest of the dislike

college of a

first section:

school population, with children between ten and fourteen, adolescents between fifteen and eighteen, and young men between nineteen and classes. Up to the end of the eighteenth of century, nobody thought separating them. Even at the beginning of the nineteenth century, although the grown men, the 'bearded ones' of over twenty, were excluded for good, the presence of backward adolescents in college aroused no opposition, and the promiscuity of widely

twenty-five studying in the same

separated age groups did not shock people, provided that the youngest boys were not exposed to it. Indeed nobody felt the need to distinguish

childhood beyond the age of twelve or thirteen from adolescence or in the youth. These two age categories still remained confused: only later nineteenth century would they be separated, thanks to the spread of further education in the middle classes, Under the First Empire, even conscription,

break up


which was easy for the middle classes to avoid, did not long age-span in which our modern distinctions were not

yet recognized. It will be noticed that the tradition of not distinguishing between childhood and adolescence, a tradition which disappeared in die middle classes in the course

in the



of the nineteenth century,

where there



no secondary


today in France


Most primary

schools remain faithful to the old practice of simultaneous tuition. Once he has obtained his school-leaving certificate, if he does not go to a technical school or an apprenticeship centre, the young artisan goes which still ignores scholastic age straight into the working world

And there he will be able to pick his friends from a far wider the very restricted span of the lycee class. Late childthan age group and early maturity are not opposed as they are in adolescence hood,


middle-class society, conditioned


the habits of secondary and higher


This period of childhood and adolescence was distinguished thanks to the steady though tardy establishment of a connection between age and school class. For a long time, in the sixteenth and even in the seventeenth The regularization of the century, this connection remained very vague. annual cycle of promotions, the habit of making all the pupils go through series of classes instead of only a few, and the requirements the

complete of a new system of teaching adapted to


more 'homogeneous


24O classes, resulted at

the beginning of the nineteenth century in an increasbetween age and class. The masters then got

ingly close correspondence into the habit of making

up their classes to fit in with their pupils' ages. The age groups which had hitherto been confused began to split up in so far as they corresponded to different classes, for since the end of the had been recognized as a structural unit. But living cells, the middle class would not attach the the slightest differences in age between its children,

sixteenth century the class

for the college





does to

and would share

in this respect the comparative indifference displayed

lower-class society.


THE PROGRESS OF DISCIPLINE of the University of Aix at the beginning of the century enable us to witness the initiation of a 'novice', or of what we would now call a freshman. The admission of a new student was an important occasion: in every 'nation* a promoter was appointed annually to organize it. The freshman had both to pay a statutes



tax and to offer a banquet to some of his companions and masters; the promoter and the rector - who at that time was a student -

beadle, the

also attended the banquet. If risk

of purging


tried to


his noviciate in studio, in the


obligation he ran the

schoolroom, 'with a book


his behind in accordance with custom and tradition', and no doubt with other torments which the document fails to mention. 1 After the meal the purge of the freshman took place which turned


2 Germany, according to R. F. Seybolt and Rashdall, the freshman was washed, confessed and dressed, in a sort of crossing-the-line ceremony. At Aix every guest, starting with the promoter armed with a frying-pan, gave not more than three blows supra anum aut femora bejonarum: the ladies present could obtain a mitigation of the penalty. The official document obviously tries to tone down the ragging which often must have been more brutal than this and accompanied by licentious scenes. Certain universities, such as that of Vienna, went so far as to forbid practices known for their violence and immorality: the statutes mention debts, extortions, wounds and blows inflicted on freshmen. Similarly the 1379 statutes of Narbonne 4 College forbid the scholars to exact anything from the noviter intrentibus contrary to the honour or good of the college, or to indulge in 'vicious practices or other indecencies which they would be forbidden to reveal'. This ban almost certainly remained a dead letter: the vow of silence which the older pupils imposed on the newcomers is proof enough of the secret character of the initiation, and one is reminded of other customs of the same sort, like those of the Templars (assuming that there was a basis of truth in the confessions extorted from them at

into a full-blown student. In 8

their trial).


of the corporation of law students at Avignon in 1441, Fournier, mention these initiatory customs, the repugnance







which the




for them,

and the students'


association responsible for this initiation. This association had a religious character:

was dedicated to St councillors Sebastian, and it was on St Sebastian's Day that the priors and were elected. It was not an old society, or rather it was obviously a new it

and reformed version of an association which, according to the religious authorities of Avignon, had deviated from its traditional mission. The remarks in fact on the laziness and lack of preamble to the document the members of the studium generate at Avignon; they discipline among are accused in particular of no longer praying for the dead, of believing and, on the occasion of the that the voluptates corporales bring happiness, admission of novices or purge of freshmen, of repeatedly indulging in 'forbidden acts of an unimaginable nature*. The new association would thus seem to have been an instrument of reform. However, at least as far the statutes were not as one can by the authorities but were



fixed freely and unanimously by all the members of the student body: here we may recognize the democratic methods of medieval societies and

of peace; this had been common practice in the confused society of the Middle Ages, and only a few traces of it remained in the fifteenth century. and his councillors, who Every year the students elected the prior formed a sort of court of arbitration, and two promoters, whose essential function was to summon the society's members to students' funerals and their insistence

on unanimity

as the sole guarantee

of freshmen. to maintain the peace among its members both had corporation and supervise their behaviour. Nobody was to speak ill of his brother, but each was to try to correct by gentle methods anyone he knew had to organize the admission



sinned. If he did not succeed he

to refer the matter secretly to the would be expelled from the

last resort the black sheep prior; in the The members' principal duties were to confraternity by a majority vote. student who died at the university, to visit sick attend the funeral of

friends, to inquire


any on such occasions

after the state


their soul,

and to

the corpus domini.


the conditions for a

prior Regulations drawn up by freshman wishing to enter the corporation: no novice would be admitted ad purgationem suae infectionis and allowed to take die venerable tide of studens unless he presented himself with due humility and deference before the prior and his deputy and paid them sixgrossi for his admission to the the noblemen or beneficed clergyThe rich, that is to laid




men, were to pay more:


of poverty would be examined by the




Then the freshmen would be allowed to take his oath and would be received: volumus jocose et this benigne. What are we to understand prior.


joyous admission? The regulations contain a long paragraph which tries to persuade the members that the payment of dues takes the place of the traditional banquets which spelt ruination for body and soul. The cost useless banquet, superflue cene, would be paid to the confraternity

of the

honour of God and the patron saint. However, do not seem to have convinced the students. The for the

these arguments

prior admits, albeit

with a bad grace, that they 'prefer the belly to the mind', but in that case he insists that he or his deputy should be present at the banquet to safeguard the society's morals and avoid vidorum macula. In particular he stipulates that the freshmen are not to bring along any courtesans, lest the society's members be turned into pimps.


see here a tendency to substitute an admission fee in money or in kind for the banquets and ragging which used to accompany the freshman's purge. But nobody thought of reducing the importance of the actual principle of the initiation: the admission of the new students was

one of the chief responsibilities of the promoters of the confraternity of St Sebastian. There are other college statutes which recognize the importance of the admission ceremony while at the same time condemning ragging and excessive fines. The 1311 statutes of Harcourt College

stipulate: 'No newly arrived scholar shall give an admission banquet, either in his room or in the refectory/ 6 The tradition of the of wine


common was not socius only one mug of wine, drunk


abandoned, however: 'He may give each and that wine must be at the current price/

hard to believe that the celebration always stopped mug of wine.

It is

In the 1427 statutes of Seez College


after the regulation

read that for his joyous entry

into the college, the student shall not be forced to pay more than twenty sous but shall instead pay 'according to his rank'. 7 The oath and the rule

of secrecy remain, but the secrecy here applies not to the events and gestures of the initiation ceremony but to the life of the community the pupil is going to enter. He takes an oath to observe the statutes and 'not to reveal to any outside person [nulli extraneo] the secrets of the college*. He becomes the de novo receptus. His oath is recorded in writing and signed. He then presents the community with two tables-cloths, in which it is difficult not to see a symbol of the traditional banquet. The documents we are quoting speak of drinking bouts and initiation rites at

a time

(the moralists


enlightened ecclesiastical circles

condemned them

and theologians have probably always condemned them,



and being tainted with paganism and vice, but without success) succeeded to some extent in curbing or suppressing them. However, the or else, as at Avignon, their eagerness they showed in forbidding them, as

was to resigned tolerance, shows how attached the student population far back into the past and still corresponded in the dated which practices fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to a state of mind which is difficult to


be a mistake to compare these admission on freshmen in a modern university. They were something very different and profound, bound up with the very structure of society. A. Varagnac has shown the survival in country districts under the ancien regime and up to the triumph of the agricultural revolution in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of an organization of collective life in age groups: a very old organization which can be 8 found in the Homeric world as also in the Negro societies of Africa. imagine today. rites


in fact

to the ragging inflicted

Entry into the adult world called for an initiation. Speaking more one had to undergo a sort of operation of generally, to enter a society a religious character, sometimes magical and always ritualistic, which

changed the very being of the novice, naturalized him and thus joined to his brothers with an inseparable bond. This was the case with the student-bodies and probably also with the trade guilds, and what remained of their customs in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries must have dated back to the Middle Ages at least. This operation consisted first of



of a drinking bout,

a potacio as

it is

called in the texts concerning the

9 then of violent ragging, sometimes guilds quoted by E. Coornaert, and The sexual orgies. ragging broke the former man, and by


by humiliating him placed him at the mercy of his conquerors; he was tamed and henceforth belonged irrevocably to the community which had mastered him in this fashion. At the same time he became his meal in common: henceforth the society which he had been admitted was not a utilitarian association but a friends. This fraternity would be renewed by fraternity, a society of communion rites, by collective meals and drinking bouts. periodical For students, one of the principal opportunities for drinking was the 'determinance'. In his reformation of the University of Paris in the fifteenth century, Cardinal d'Estouteville shows the revulsion he feels, but does not dare to forbid such established customs, and confines himself to preaching moderation: 'The determinants must not offer and only to banquets, unless it be with moderation and temperance, sodi and to their masters. 10 Masters and pupils, often of roughly the same the same fraternity. age, drank round the same table: they belonged to torturers' brother, thanks to the






showed no repugnance for these convivial Robert de Coupon in his reformation of the university had not dared to ban their banquets: he merely stipulated should be confined 'to some companions and friends, but few that


theologians themselves

habits. In the thirteenth century



number'. 11

of a freshman or the Apart from great events such as the purge 'determinate', there were a great many occasions, if not for a convivio, at least for a potacio.

The importance

attributed to the


of wine

drunk together can be seen from the constitutions of the

colleges for tradition required the kctores to Harcourt At College, scholarship boys. 12 and the 1311 statutes accepted this tradition: treat their pupils to drinks 'For the honour of the college we wish the pupils of the house to show deference to the lectores... The latter, at the beginning and end of their classes,




the they wish, offer their fellow pupils


of friendship

no guest receives more than one mug/ [potum amicabilem], provided that In many cases, the peccadilloes of everyday collective life in the colleges at Cornwall College in 1380, pupils did not stop shouting, laughing or playing during mealtimes were

were sanctioned by a round of drinks:







13 to those companions who are present'. Similarly was forbidden to wear long pointed shoes under pain of a pint of wine. The associations of scholars which tried to cut down or to suppress

distributed it

be drunk

of ordinary [mediocris] wine which among the Cistercian College in Paris, pupils who spoke in any other than Latin had to buy a pint of wine, 'which shall be

fined 'a



the traditional banquets forced the

forbidding them


to take their meals in

to eat separately in their

rooms: the meal in

consecrated the friendship which was supposed to unite the



members of

the group.

of these student-bodies recall those of the proother associations studied by E. Coornaert in an or economic fessional, u the excellent article on the medieval guilds importance of the compotacio, of the oath of friendship and peace taken between the brothers, of attendance at members' funerals, and of the performance of religious





Our modern minds

are puzzled because they refuse to accept the

which are nowadays carefully separated: the mixing of ways of life and friends), the private way of life (leisure life of intimate way (family of life (devotional activities), or the the and amusement), religious way who share the same profession those of life (meetings corporate way of

with the object of learning it or exploiting it or defending it). Modem man is divided between a professional life and a family life which are




often in competition with each other, and

all the rest is regarded as of and cultural activities, and even more secondary importance: religious so rest and amusement; meetings with friends for a meal or drinks are considered as a mere relaxation, necessary to the organism like food which can be hurriedly swallowed, but not to be counted as part of the serious business of living - an extra, a luxury, which a man does not neglect, true, but whose importance he does not admit though he is not actually ashamed of it. But in the Middle Ages all these social activities, which are today individualized and repressed, occupied an essential position in collective life. It does not matter to us that they had a religious origin in Mediterranean or Germanic rites of an orgiastic nature. What matters is that at that time people could not imagine a society that was - maintained the not cemented of a


public recognition




meal and the potacio, and sometimes sealed with intoxication. This rite was valued not only because it afforded sensual pleasure - men have never ceased to appreciate the joys of a good binge among friends! but because this pleasure was transcended and became the perceptible, physical sign of a religious and legal engagement, of a sworn contract on which the whole of collective life rested, just as it rests today on our institutions of private and public law. The modern way of life is the result of the divorce between elements which had formerly been united: friendship, religion, profession. It is also the result of the suppression of some of them, such as friendship and religion, and of the development of another element to which the Middle Ages attributed only secondary importance: the family. The medieval student corporations bore no relation to our ideas on the organization of human societies, especially for children and youths. They were not authoritarian: no leader could impose a decision -a

was generally taken by the community as a whole, on a majority sometimes vote, unanimously. They were not democratic or egalitarian either, for they comprised certain privileges, differences between graduates, differences between old students and new. They were built on decision

personal relationships, on friendship between the members, rather than on a utilitarian aim. The idea of authority, or rather of the delegation of authority, the modern idea of a disciplinary code for which agents of authority are instructed to enforce respect, remained foreign to them. However, we should be wrong to deduce from the absence of the

modern in a state

of hierarchy and authority that medieval pupils lived of anarchy. On the contrary, they belonged to these communities


which constituted the


of the



their time.





place of the relationship of master and pupil, chief and subordinate, there were bonds of a different nature, less judicial, closer to real life, but just as strong and just as valid in the eyes of the public: the relationship of old hand and greenhorn, bacchant and bejaune. On this subject we have an extremely full and detailed document of the early sixteenth century, which I have already quoted with regard to 15 It may be pupils' ages the biography of the Swiss, Thomas Platter. objected that it deals with German manners, but if these were different at the time from French manners, this was simply because they were comparatively old-fashioned. In all probability, a hundred years earlier the differences were less pronounced, and Thomas Platter's description must be valid not only for Germany in the early sixteenth century but for a large part of the Western world in the fifteenth century. We have seen how at the age of nine Thomas Platter learnt to sing the Salve from a village priest. One of his first cousins, Paulus, who was a 'student at Ulm and Munich, then came to spend a few days with his him about family. Thomas had a good reputation: 'My friends spoke to me and suggested that he should take me to the German schools.' Paulus agreed, and thus was born the association between the greenhorn Thomas and the old hand Paulus. The former supported the latter, who in return I gave Paulus my protected him. 'We set off. I had to start begging. :


money with takings. People gave often lived by begging, the greenhorn



grace.' Students at that


begging for the old hand. The two companions went through Lucerne and arrived at Zurich, where Paulus

was due


meet some

Germany. 'During






whom he

was going

to travel across

kept on begging and earned almost enough I went into a tavern [we must remember

to support Paulus, for when that at this time the tavern was a place of ill repute, frequented by thieves but a young lad of nineteen could none the less do his and prostitutes,

turn there]

people enjoyed hearing


talk the




of mortifying something.' But there was also the risk willingly gave a ruffian who was staying in the same house at Zurich as experiences: the band of students 'offered me a six-kreutzer piece if I would allow bare skin'. The game was worth the candle: 'I me on him to




finally agreed.

me horribly*


seized me, threw me across a chair and beat and then took back his six kreutzers. there for eight or nine weeks, the band of students

He promptly . .

After loitering

set off for Misnia.

'There were eight or nine of

horns [Schutzen] and the

of the greenhorns.




old hands.


us, to

wit three green-

was the youngest and


could no longer drag myself along,



248 cousin Paulus

would walk behind me, armed with a stick or a pike, my bare legs, for I had no breeches [he was therefore

and would beat

dressed in just a shirt and underpants, and perhaps not even underpants] pair of shoes.' But he kept on walking all the same, whereas

and only a bad

but for Paulus he would have fallen by the wayside; admittedly Paulus would then have lost his bread-winner. There were a few minor incidents :


his big companions saying easy it was to catch geese in Misnia, he tried his luck with the first goose he saw, and felled it with a stone, but only just managed to escape the vengeance

when Thomas heard

of the

'Coming to the village, the peasants found our old hands and asked them for the price of the goose/ The two sides came


at the inn


to an agreement.

were not allowed

the old hands rejoined us [for the greenhorns

they laughingly asked what had

inside the inn],

apologized for doing something which I had thought was happened. allowed by the customs of the country: they replied that I had been in too much of a hurry/ When they stopped for the night, the old hands I

slept together in


an inn room, and the greenhorns in the stable. came to write down these stories of vagabond

the time he


had become a schoolmaster and a respected humanist, and he tells them with ill-concealed pleasure. At Neuburg, 'those of us greenhorns who could sing went round the town singing; I for my part



some begging/ In this fashion they arrived at Halle in Saxony: we went to St Ulrich's school. But our old hands treated us so harshly that some of us plotted with my cousin Paulus to escape/ Here he did



probably referring to the old hands at St Ulrich's


ragged the

newcomers, young and old alike, little Thomas as well as big Paulus. The band left Halle and made for Dresden. At Dresden they went to school for a while: 'The school building was full of vermin which we could hear swarming about in the straw/ But it seems that the masters were not very good, and they set off again, this time for Breslau. They

had a hard time on the road nobody would take in the vagabond students and people set their dogs on them. At Breslau there were seven schools, corresponding to the seven parishes of the town, and each parish was private territory: 'No student would dream of going outside his parish to sing in the street, for if he did :

the greenhorns

would come running up shouting "Ad

and there would be a



several thousand students at Breslau





idem, ad idem",

that at times there





were that

twenty or thirty years or even longer, thanks fed them. *In the evening I often made five or

stayed at school for

to the greenhorns

It is said


journeys to bring the day's takings to


old hands,




stayed in

the school/ 'In winter the greenhorns slept


the old hands in cells/

wagered any time



would be



the floor of the schoolroom, and

shared the same vermin:


able to catch three insects at once

could have




wished/ In summer, greenhorns and old hands slept out in the open, in the cemetery. If it rained they went back into the school. After a period at Breslau, the eight friends returned to Dresden. For the I

split up into two groups, one for catching geese and the other for picking swedes and onions. 'The youngest of us were sent to had agreed to Neumark, the nearest town, to beg for bread and salt.

journey the band


meet in the evening near the town gates where we intended to camp. But the inhabitants had no sooner seen the fire we had lit than they started firing at us. Luckily nobody was hit/ In spite of everything, the band managed to reach Dresden. There the old hands came to an arrangement with the schoolmaster - who must have been of about the same age ~ to exploit the pupils. The master does not seem to have been in charge of the pupils, but one of them die schoolmaster and our old hands sent us goosereports: 'At Dresden We one caught two geese which the old hands and the day hunting schoolmaster ate at a farewell meal/ Platter does not tell us whether the . . .

greenhorns were allowed to eat the crumbs. The band left Dresden and set off for Niirnberg and then Munich, where it settled down. Paulus and I lodged with a soap manufacturer '

. . .



helped with


soapmaking more than



. . .



went to the school in Our Lady's parish, and so did I, but not so frequently, since I had to sing in the streets to earn enough for our keep/ This went on until the two cousins were thrown out because Paulus had been rather too familiar with the maidservant. Then, after five years of wandering around the schools of Germany, Paulus suddenly felt homesick: 'My old hand then took it into his head to go back to the country from which we had been absent for five years, and we returned to the Valais/ Thomas fifteen, and Paulus over twenty. They did not stay set off again, taking with them, like Thomas but long in the village, another five years before, young boy, one Hildebrand 'who was the

must have been about

and therefore born to be a scholar! All three, under Paulus's command, went to Ulm. Thomas had acquired considerable skill in begging, 'so that the old hands did not give me time to go to the result that I could school, preferring to use me for their profit, with were not even read'. He and Hildebrand supposed to give the old hands

son of a




their takings. But Hildebrand sometimes kept back some of his money to buy food: 'Our old hands would follow him in the street and


him eating; or else they would force him to rinse his mouth and a dish full of water; they could then see whether he had been into spit him on to a bed, put a cushion If they caught him out, they threw eating. catch

over his face to muffle

his cries,

and beat him cruelly

until they



Thus the older student was a leader, doing what he wished with the also young ones who kept him alive and whom he exploited, though rather maintaining them by force in a society which, or them, protecting however harsh it may have been, provided them with a setting and, by its very existence, defended them against the solitary adventure. The formation of bands of boys in which the younger ones recognize the their brutality, or perhaps because of authority of the older ones despite in our contemporary societies: it has been a particular it, still


16 But in the medieval association of in the United States. object of study old hands and greenhorns there was something else: parents did not

child often or so to the hazards of the road and foreign towns; him to an older and therefore more experienced student, entrusted they who was better equipped for a dangerous life. The authority of the

abandon a

child's father was then delegated to this older student. Consequently, however much he might abuse it, his authority was recognized not only - but also by public opinion. And public by his subjects or his victims tolerate the breaking of this bond of subjection not would opinion between the greenhorn and the old hand, least of all if it was broken by It seems in fact to have been the only form of subjection the


which enabled the physical

child to avoid anarchy, vagabondage,

This can be seen from escape.

moral and



first failed. It



took place

account of his two attempts at A member of the Fugger

at Breslau.

in the little beggar he saw wandering through the family took an interest He offered to take him in. Did Thomas accept straight away? No,


was not free. He went to Paulus and asked him for permission to him for the Fugger house. Paulus refused to give him this permission. have brought you abroad and I mean to take you back to your family,'

for he

leave *I



and such indeed must have been the sense of responsibility these

hulking brutes felt for their young drudges. The second attempt succeeded: Thomas was older -he must have been over fifteen - and obedience was becoming irksome to him. The scene was Munich. Thomas was no longer living with his old hand but

THE PROGRESS OF DISCIPLINE with a kindly butcher's wife.

One Sunday


after vespers,


Paulus stopped

to see me any more. Take care or you'll get a beating.' At his age, with his voice breaking and his talents as a street-singer on the wane, Thomas was no


in the street: 'Greenhorn,' he said,

longer of authority,


'you don't

much use to his old hand. But the which the greenhorn's departure had

this threat,

Thomas decided







asserting his

naught. Worried nothing to his kindly

set at


landlady: 'I did not dare tell her about my intentions, for she might have given me away' She would have given him away, despite the fact that she disapproved of Paulus's cruelty, because it would have probably

immoral to break so brutally a bond which was recognized and necessary. 'I therefore left Munich, feeling sad at heart, either at abandoning my cousin whom I had accompanied in his numerous and distant peregrinations, but who had always been brutal towards me, or at leaving the butcher's wife who had been so kind to me.' For his part Paulus 'had often told my companions and me that if one of us escaped, he would catch him wherever he might go*. True enough, at Freisingen he was told that Paulus was on his track and had arrived in the struck her as as legitimate

town. 'Your old hand from Munich horns told him

at the school.


here looking for you,' the green-

He fled to Ulm, where Paulus followed him:

'He had therefore pursued me a distance of eighteen miles.' At Ziirich, where he took refuge, a messenger from Paulus came to see him: his fellow-countryman Hildebrand, the boy who used to be thrashed because he spent part of his takings on food. 'A few months had gone by [at from Munich to Zurich] when Paulus sent his greenhorn Hildebrand


to say that he forgave me: I refused and stayed had stopped ordering him to return - and thus recognized his emancipation! Thomas would continue to lead the vagabond life of a student, but alone: if the opportunity offered itself, he would



come back and

at Zurich.' Paulus

services requisition the

of a few greenhorns.

fifteenth century the student was not submitted to an to a scholastic hierarchy. But this extra-corporate disciplinary authority, resources. Either he lived near did not mean that he was left to his

Thus before the


a school at his

he had been apprenticed a school

or else he lived with another family to whom with a contract stipulating that he should go to

own home,

- a Latin school of



then entered those associations,

which by means of pious or joyous corporations or confraternities,




bouts or banquets, nourished practices, by religious worship, drinking the feeling of their community of life. Or else the young pupil followed the older student, sharing his life in good fortune and bad, and often, in return, being beaten and exploited. In either case the student belonged to a society or to a band of friends in which a sometimes brutal but none the less real

comradeship governed




much more

than did

the school and his master, and, because it was recognized by public opinion, had a moral value. From the end of the Middle Ages, this system of comradeship aroused growing opposition in influential circles, and the system went on deterior-

of being disorderly and ating steadily until it finally gave the impression anarchical. In its absence, schoolboys and students were organized on


of authoritarian hierarchy. Admittedly this evolution was not peculiar to childhood it extended to the whole of society, and the establishment of monarchical absolutism was one aspect of it. But at school it produced - or followed - a change parallel to the concept of childhood which is of particular interest to us. principles





going to follow the progress of these




They originally manifested themselves in a reluctance to tolerate the students' traditional customs of comradeship and self-government. Indeed




these customs, especially at the

end of the Middle

and limit them when they Ages, except through texts which criticize cannot ban them. This disapproval appeared quite early on in Church circles: we find it in Robert de Coupon's thirteenth-century reformation of the University of Paris. These churchmen represented an outlook a technical, technocratic attitude, a Cartesian foreign to their times: of love a order, regularity, classification, hierarchy, organization. spirit, Their first success consisted in relegating to the domain of minor pastimes


communal customs which medieval man regarded as an essential life. Even at the beginning of the seventeenth century, certain

part of his

indications bore witness to their long survival, in spite of the hostility of of the authorities as a whole. the and,


generally speaking,

of the town of La Fleche had to take into account the walls of a large student population attracted by the within their presence were taken (as they are today in garrison Jesuit college; special measures towns or prohibited areas), specifying a certain number of prohibitions -





forbidding prostitutes to reside in the town, tavern-keepers to serve students, students to carry arms, etc. Among these prohibitions we find: 'The aforesaid students are forbidden to elect any duke, attorney, or

High Court of Dijon forbade the form any assembly or monopoly among themselves, or to 17 elect an abbot, prior or any other leader and supporter of debauchery*. It was the whole traditional corporate organization, even that of the 18 'nations* which was still allowed elsewhere, that was condemned here. At the same time, the reformation of the University of Paris by Henri IV and all forms of compotado. finally abolished the traditional banquets As early as the fifteenth century, at the same time as they fought against leader

of a

nation.' Similarly in 1623 the

students 'to




of corporate



reformers and

of childhood and enlightened organizers tried to spread a new concept its education. Gerson and Cardinal d'Estoutcville are of this state of mind. In Cardinal d'Estouteville's opinion, children belong to an etas infirma 19 hi his view requires 'greater discipline and stricter principles'. the schoolmasters, the principales, are no longer the first among their


comrades. They are distinct from the infirmi in their charge. Their duty does not consist solely in communicating knowledge, as elders instructing

young companions; they must


and above

minds, inculcate virtues, educate as well did not appear so explicitly in the earlier




their pupils'

instruct. This preoccupation


These pedagogues are responsible for their charges' souls: monetnus omncs et singulos pedagogos presentes et futures... ut sic intendant regimini et scolarium. It is a matter of conscience for suorum domesticorum


to choose their colleagues, the other masters and submonitores, et doctos; to use their powers of punishment judiciously vires bonos, graves for this is a matter of the salvation of souls, without



culpable indulgence,


are responsible before God: ne eorum damnationem. ideas appear at the same time: the notion of the weakness

which they

Two new

of childhood and the concept of the moral responsibility of the masters. The disciplinary system which they postulate could not take root in the old medieval school, where the master took no interest in his pupils' conduct out of class - or if he did, it was not in his capacity as a leader, but as an elder, in die context of the corporations or confraternities and thirteenth century, when a student was their festivities. In the early

was informed and went to identify him, to remove him from the provost's jurisdiction and enable him to benefit 20 However, in 1289, every student had from the arrested in Paris, his master

university's privileges. on the matricula

to be registered

of his master.




Then, in the fourteenth century, it became necessary to belong to a The organization of these nations' was the first attempt a systematic regimentation of the students. It resembled the spontaneous *


nation' as well. at

of students and had the same corporate structure; in all was originally just a corporation of students from the same probability region: community of origin was keenly felt, and some college statutes must be separated, for fear stipulate that students from the same region of brawls between ethnic groups. The attorney of a nation was elected associations


like the principal

of an association of



gradually acquired a

authoritarian character, however. In the early fifteenth century he wielded disciplinary powers, at least in theory, over his nation. The reformation of 1452 ratified the attorneys' right of search and punishment


in the colleges

and pedagogicas of the University of Paris.

the efforts of the reformers, the corporate nature of the Despite medieval nation did not lend itself to this concentration of power in the all

hands of


elected attorneys.

The new


would be introduced

by means of the already modern organization of the colleges and and the masters pedagogicas providing full tuition, where the principal were ceasing to be prim/ inter pares to become the repositories of a superior and hierarchical government of the authority. It was the authoritarian rather

from the fifteenth century, would establishment and development of an increasingly colleges which, as


possible the




This system was distinguished by three principal characteristics: constant supervision, informing raised to the level of an institution and a principle of government, and the extended application of corporal


of Navarre College 21 Already in 1315 the statutes of the grammar school laid down the principle that no puer (it was probably the child of about ten who was meant) should go out alone. If there was an urgent reason lectio or a sermon outside the college) and if neither of the two masters (a

could accompany him, they were to give the boy a good companion, bonum puerum sodum, of dependable character, to accompany him. And for fear that they were to take care to change this companion frequently, the two boys should plot some turpefactum together. The same pre-



to be

found in Gerson's Doctrina pro pueris ecdesiae parisiensis, choir-school. One of the two masters must

the regulations for a




accompany and watch the children: 'Both at school and outside, wherever 2* they may happen to go.' This supervision was doubtless monastic in origin. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it must have been confined to the grammar schools, the youngest pupils: student freedom preserved the older ones from it. But in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it became one of the essential principles of education. The Jesuits laid great stress on the need for vigilance on the part of the masters, particularly in the regulations for their boarding-schools. At La Fleche, at the time fixed for the pupils to relieve themselves, 'one of the masters shall stand downstairs in the

boarders' latrines and shall not retire until


the boarders have left/ 23


doubt the old principle of supervision had never before been so systemit incumbent on atically applied, and the authors of the regulations felt them to justify it: *Do not complain, gentlemen, if a great many masters and other people never let you out of their sight. This eternal vigilance is 24 However, it cannot have been very embarrassing but it is necessary/ efficient in the huge day-schools of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which sometimes numbered several hundred pupils. That is one of the reasons why the pedagogues of Port-Royal criticized the big colleges and fewer preferred smaller schools, in which the masters, entrusted with of schools the little pupils, could watch them more closely. However, the where Port-Royal were exceptions, and costly exceptions too, a general rule, a single master had pupils' parents paid very high fees. As

huge classes. He could not exercise the constant supervision of some of required of him, even in school, without enlisting the help in modern the assumed the his own pupils. Whence college importance by informing, which had been unknown in the Middle Ages. At Our Lady's School, Gerson made it the little grammarian's duty to report the schoolmate (suum socium) whom he caught speaking French to look after

cursing, offending against decency or in bed the morning, missing the recitation of the modesty, dawdling 25 in church. If he failed to report his schoolor canonical hours, talking had if he as committed the offences himself. be he would mate, punished in this way to the level of a principle seemed the only raised Informing way for die masters to control every moment of the lives of their pupils, (Gallicum),


swearing, in

who were

henceforth regarded


incapable of behaving themselves: the duty of watching and

The authorities soon stopped imposing infirmi. reporting on all and sundry, however. From duty was confined

the sixteenth century on,

to certain pupils chosen by the masters to help them. Hitherto the pupils of a school had been more or less governed by




comrades whom they had elected. It was still pupils who carried out the in the college, but henceforth they held their physical and moral duties

from the master whose delegates they were. Their authority was sanctioned by their right to inform, failing the to the masters. This was the monitor right to punish, which was confined

authority from above,


monitor was called the excitator. 26 There was a single -a excitator publicus, chosen from the last arts class philosophy student - and as many the dormitories toured and boarders the who woke exdtatores particulars as there were classes. Elsewhere he was called the custos or the asinus. Thomas Platter was a 27 'It is the custom [in England] in custos at Myconius's school at Zurich.

At Montaigu


28 At or asini... to supervise the pupils/ to excitator the Eton in 1560, every form had its custos, similar particulars at Montaigu. The masters also chose eighteen praepositores from among the bigger pupils: four had to find out who was absent from the single schoolroom; four supervised the dormitory, two the services in the one the movements in the hall; two were responsible for the

the schools to appoint






the paying boarders

housework and

who were

not scholars, and one for


cleaning. At Geneva, in Cordier's college, they were called observers or nomen80 Cordier cites as a model in his And die good pupil, clators. the observer to was by reporting the troublehelp supposed dialogues, makers: 'We dined in the room, sitting quietly and making no murmur




I heard laughing foolishly I gently reproved those I told the observer about those or in vain paid frolicking; speaking no attention to warning so that he should take note of them . The

or noise;





master walked up and down the middle of the room, holding a book and to take note of those who played the fool frequently telling the observer While we were finishing dinner, die last bell was rung, each of us picked the register of each up his books, and we went into the common room, class was read out according to custom, those who were present answered to their name, I answered too, and the absentees were recorded on the . . .

nomenclators' registers/ At the end of the week the observers gave the list of delinquents to the master who judged and punished. In the eighteenth century, at the Jesuit college at Mauriac which Marmontel attended, the first in the class was die 'censor': his special task was supervising the class in the master's absence, during what would later be called preparation. The principle of informing and the monitorial system were considered

facing above:

A CLASS by Crispin de Pas

oanftuitrip grlflirn troiwni uno jn<. bfUarff brr t)at)n-otr tuttf temitl


-tow itlrrr



urn riu 5imJi4m ion

in norfi



>ftl)tr bir

ftmsra kafant

uiir griupElisj* jft


a! tira

nnlrtrrDfruorail'fwi brgnffrn

won im

rai grunlir



rr raag


m Urn nrifa R% tiinrin.ttHlJjw'p





nod) i)ra



ind imfr ra ftrrr vui



to be so effective that in the early eighteenth century St Jeaii-Baptiste dc La Salle, despite his distrust of certain practices current in his time -

corporal punishment for instance adopted them without hesitation and without any qualms of conscience. In his rules for Christian schools, 31 discipline



based on informing. 'As the master cannot see what is Brother Director [who

in the street outside the school, the

supervised the pupils' movements] shall order certain pupils to notice in the following streets, especially those where there are

what happens

faithful report of what they have without speaking, or they will must notice However, be punished or given some penance to perform for having spoken/ Inside the little school, Inspectors' are instructed to report what they have seen to the master 'in private and in a whisper*. The inspector in his turn is to be spied on by two 'supervisors' unknown to him: 'There shall be supervisors in every district and large street who shall observe what

a great noticed.



and to give a

the pupils

happens and promptly report it to the master.' are a long way here from the modern dislike of 'sneaking' which is shared by masters and pupils. And yet even then many pupils must have detested this duty which opposed them to their companions, though



their opinion troubling the pedagogues' conscience. In Cordier's dialogues a master calls out: 'Hey, Martin, go and bring me five public observers whom I appointed yesterday for this month [they were

apparently changed every month].' '

However much

The master then

preaches this


proud and ignorant may consider this duty [of observer] to be vile and abject, you may none the less be sure that your office is honourable and holy.' 32






Linked with the system of supervision and informing was an increasingly strict penal code, based on corporal punishment. In the associations and colleges of the Middle Ages, and as late as the fourteenth century (sometimes

punishments for



but only rarely), the statutes laid


members who did not observe them or whose way of

something to be desired. These punishments consisted of either a round of drinks or else a fine (which could also contribute to improve the meal). The statutes included a scale of charges. We have already seen cases where a mug of wine had to be bought for the culprit's companions. Cases of pecuniary punishments are common: at Seez in 1425 (a late date), the juvenes were forbidden to go out alone, except in certain life left


facing: A

SCHOOL SIGN by Holbein;



Mow: A

evening school for adults


school for children



under pain of a fine of four deniers. 38 At Navarre College, if a boy spent a night out he was fined two and a half sous. At Harcourt College in 1311, the pupils were forbidden to go drinking in a tavern under pain cases,

of a


of six

deniers. 84

The severest punishment was


of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a evolution of was to substitute corporal punishment manners far-reaching for fines, an evolution parallel to that which established the absolute in the course


authority of the college principal, and introduced informing, the monitorial system and the principle of constant supervision.

Corporal punishment could be imprisonment in a cell; there was a prison cell at Montaigu, but this was something of an exception. Generally

was a whipping the birch became the mark of the schoolof the grammar-school master, the symbol of the in which the master henceforth held his pupils and consequently subjection of the subjection into which the child had fallen: infirtnus. To the end of speaking,






the fourteenth century, references to corporal punishment are extremely rare: and then there was nothing humiliating about corporal punishment it accorded with the monastic austerities depicted in the moralBibles or those with which the on themselves, as in saints inflicted izing the scene in the life of St Louis where the King is being scourged. From the fifteenth century on, the whip takes on a degrading, brutal character,


and becomes increasingly common. At first the birch was prescribed for the parvuli, the little grammarians. Gecson states that the master must 'threaten the children with the birch' so that 'for their sins the children know that they will be beaten with the birch', but only with the birch and 'not with rulers or other instruments of chastisement likely to cause dangerous injury'. 35 An early fifteenthcentury miniature depicts a punishment being inflicted: the victim, a boy thirteen, with his breeches undone just as far as is necessary,

of twelve or is

lying across a schoolmate's back, with another pupil holding his legs 36 Certain statutes of the early raising the birch to strike.

and the master

sixteenth century specify that the traditional fines are not applicable to the parv uli - e.g. at Tours College, 1540: 'These pecuniary punishments

do not concern the parvuli instead of these pecuniary punishments, we wish them to be birched for the same offence, but with moderation and without injuring them.' 37 A century earlier, no doubt, nobody would \

have thought of adding a qualification of this sort. Similarly the birch was substituted for fines in the punishment of die poorer pupils, even those

above the age of the parvuli, whereas their richer companions continued to be punished with fines. These poor pupils were sometimes the college





for a long time were recruited from among the less for example, it was not until the seventeenth schoolboys: prosperous the at that Beauvais College stopped being picked from porter century a regular servant. 88 They could also be the scholars and became among servants,

the personal servants of richer schoolmates. According to Rashdall, the of the University of Vienna and of Queen's College, Oxford,


limited the birch to the poor pupils, though it is impossible to say whether 89 this was because they were regarded as insolvent or simply as inferior. their lay servants with the birch. In the late Middle feudal tradition submitted the villeins to corporal punishments Ages, as late as the seventeenth century still unknown in the public courts, and

The monks punished

made it the duty of the master to chastise his servants: we Moliere and La Fontaine what this chastisement consisted Stick. One has the feeling that the same evolution introduced

the moralists

know from of- Jack

the birch into both the schools and the penal code: under the ancien to which the courts sentenced rfegime it became one of the punishments



In the course of the fifteenth century, the birch was used for the the early sixteenth punishment of acts of violence. At Montaigu in fines or a diet of bread and century venial offences were punished with water, but anyone who laid violent hands on a thing or a person was or even expelled. 40 To begin with, scourged or imprisoned in the cell, neither parvuli nor poor were given corporal punishment pupils who were

only in cases of violence. But soon all these limitations disappeared. By the sixteenth century the birch had taken the place of the traditional pecuniary punishments, which had fallen into disuse, or which were revived simply for form's sake, out

of respect for the old texts. Corporal punishment had become the 'scholastic punishment' par excellence: it was by this name that it was referred to euphemistically. It was no longer practised only on the very of acts of violence. Henceforth it was young, the poor, and those guilty even the most advanced. That is the to all offences and all ages,


As the English historian Rashdall has fourteenth century found the underof the the beginning pointed out, while the end a to did not who college, a free gentleman, belong graduate, of the fifteenth century left him a mere schoolboy not so much in 41 to a Germany as in Paris and at Oxford. He was schoolboy subjected essential point




this evolution.





adds that grammarian. Rashdall



of the colleges which brought about this revolution in its zenith in the sixteenth century. university discipline, which reached

the development




According to the same author, the 1509 statutes of Brasenose College, Oxford, were the first in England to reduce the arts student to the level of the little grammar-school boy; in the university colleges, tutors could order undergraduates to be whipped like grammar-school boys elsewhere.

Cambridge fixed eighteen as the age at which corporal was replaced by fines. Wolsey's statutes at Cardinal College punishment Caius's statutes at



age limit to twenty.

from the beginning of the sixteenth century, the birch was an enthusiasm which exceeded the provisions of the statutes. with applied Such at least was the case under Standonc-at Montaigu, 42 where the In France,

statutes did

not explicitly prescribe the susceptio disciplinae except as a for acts of violence. But contemporaries tell us that Standonc

punishment 'had those he caught out whipped, and pupils guilty of serious offences were stripped in front of the whole community and beaten until they bled'.

Also in the sixteenth century, writers would often recall with some memories of their captive childhood. Montaigne's recollections


known, and should be linked with what we know about 43 Montaigu. About 1560, Thomas Tusser told how: are well

From Powles


went, to Aeton sent

To learne straightwayes the Latin phraise Where fiftie three stripes given to mee at once



of the same period refer to school as a 'place of almost the same expression as Montaigne. This execution', using was to not confined schoolboys: 1'Estoile tells how one day in brutality two had hundred pages and lackeys whipped at the 'the to 1583 King up

Other English



[note the familiarity between the pages, who were and the valets] because they had imitated the procession of the penitents in the lower hall of the Louvre.' 45 In the seventeenth century this repressive ardour cooled down some-


in Paris

courtiers' sons,

what. But the birch (applied in public,

at least in the Jesuit colleges, by a corrector - one of the older pupils appointed for this purpose, because the ratio did not allow the Fathers to punish offenders with their own

hands) remained the scholastic punishment, inflicted on one and all without regard to differences in age. The records of the time are full of

examples of young people between sixteen and twenty who were sentenced to a whipping, and, generally speaking, we know only the

of recalcitrant offenders. At Aix-en-Provence in 1646 a philosopher and a humanist were both given a whipping. 46 At Orleans in 1672 a




who stirred up his class against the master of the birch -a mild punishment. In 1634 at 47 Dijon pupils in the logic class were given the same punishment. The Jesuits' ratio specifies the conditions in which punishment was to be meted out. The 1624 regulations of the College de Bourgogne, a school restricted to scholars already versed in grammar, and capable of being instructed in logic and philosophy', threaten them with 'deprivation of their allotment [the old with or fine] corporal punishment'. As late as the seventeenth century, Marmontel left the rhetoric class at Mauriac 48 College to escape from the corrector. twenty-year-old rhetorician

was given three



The history of discipline from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century enables us to make two important points. First,

a humiliating disciplinary system - whipping at the master's and spying for the master's benefit -was substituted for a


corporate form of association which remained the same for both young pupils and other adults. Admittedly this evolution was not peculiar to childhood, and in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries corporal punishment became widespread at the same time as an authoritarian,

concept of society. Even so, there between the discipline applied to children and that applied to adults, a difference which did not exist to the same degree in the Middle Ages. Among the adults, not all were subjected to corporal punishment people of quality escaped it, and the way in which



remained an

in a



essential difference


the social classes. On the other discipline was applied helped to distinguish hand all children and youths, whatever their rank, were subjected to the same disciplinary system and were liable to be birched. This does not mean that there were no class distinctions in the scholastic world. They existed there as elsewhere, and they were just as pronounced. But the degrading character of corporal punishment for high-born adults did not prevent them from applying it to their children. It even became a feature

of the new attitude to childhood.

The second phenomenon


by our



the extension of

the use of the birch to pupils of all ages: confined at first to the youngest children, it was extended after the sixteenth century to the whole school

which often approached and sometimes passed the age of to diminish the distinctions twenty. There was therefore a tendency to between childhood and adolescence, push adolescence back towards




childhood by subjecting it to an identical discipline. Inside the school world, the adolescent was separated from the adult and confused with the child, with whom he shared the humiliation of corporal punishment,

meted out to villeins. Thus a childhood prolonged into an adolescence from which it was The barely distinguished was characterized by deliberate humiliation. whole of childhood, that of all classes of society, was subjected to the degrading discipline imposed on the villeins. The concept of the separate nature of childhood, of its difference from the world of adults, began with the elementary concept of its weakness, which brought it down to the chastisement

the level of the lowest social strata.

insistence on humiliating childhood, to mark it out and improve diminished in the course of the eighteenth century, and the history

The it,

of school

follow the evolution discipline enables us to

of the collective

conscience in this respect. It is interesting to compare the ways in which the change occurred in England and France. The starting-point in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

was the same: absolute power for

the master, informing and corporal punishment. Starting in the eighteenth in the two countries, century, the situation would alter in different ways

which determined its evolution

despite the similarity of the moral principles In France, public opinion showed a dislike for the scholastic system of a dislike which led to the suppression of the system about 1763, .



the authorities took advantage of die condemnation of the Jesuits

to reorganize the school system. The historian of the Brothers

of Christian Doctrine, H. Rigault, of the first little schools (the model for for one the regulations quotes those of St Jean-Baptiste de La Salle), at Moulins, at the beginning of the 49

eighteenth century.


regulations give instructions


the adminis-

of the birch: the child must be beaten harder if he screams. Why? His cries stir up the neighbourhood: 'The children begin to enjoy it and scream loudly in the hope that this will exempt them from the punishment, and this is why the people who live near the schools and those tration

and imagine that those who are passing by in the street make a great fuss serious are chastised injury/ Rigault sees here an admission suffering being that already at the beginning of the eighteenth century, there were a *

good many opponents of this system of brutal repression/ St Jeanone of them. He did not ban the birch, but he Baptiste de La Salle was


did not


weakness. For the birch





'The birch


used only out of bad temper or

a servile punishment,







which degrades the soul for


usual effect


to harden/ 50

Thus the servile and degrading character of corporal was no longer regarded as suitable for the weakness of punishment childhood. The idea began to spread that childhood was not a servile age, and that it did not deserve to be methodically humiliated. This revulsion, aroused here by the punishment of little schoolboys, became even more pronounced in regard to older pupils. Little by little it became customary not to whip rhetoricians any more. In 1748, at Schlestadt in Alsace, eight schoolboys violated the Jewish cemetery. At the mayor's request, the rector sentenced them to the poena scholastica. Rather than submit to it in public, in accordance with the customary

public ritual, they


the college.



watch would have brought them back by


the officers of the

force, but




sorry for them, appealed to the rector on their behalf and secured a mitigation of their punishment: the culprits would not be whipped. At about the same time, at Mauriac College, where Marmontel was a pupil, felt

the prefect still sent his charges to the corrector for punishment; 51 but certain masters no longer agreed with this practice. One laid down the principle that rhetoricians should not be whipped. This was Rollin's view too. When, in 1762, after the suppression of the Jesuits, Louis-le-Grand was turned into a sort of model college,

corporal punishment was abolished; the 1769 regulations give the reason same reason that Jean-Baptiste de La Salle advanced:

for this change, the

52 Nearly everywhere in France, the they 'degrade and do not correct'. traditional poena scholastica was abandoned, never to be revived. At Vendome College in 1770, 'the master was dismissed for using the ferule

on the

At the






the old practices of informing were dropped. Already schools at Port-Royal and Jansenist tradition avoided them.

same time


methods. 64



college of Sainte-Barbe adopted Port-Royal's suppressed corporal punishment, the medieval principles


of emulation adopted by the hated Jesuits, and the institution of the observer. What is more, at the weekly meeting of the masters at which they fixed punishments, a 'champion* of the pupils was present and defended his schoolmates.




entirely different spirit appears here. It after 1763, and on the whole French

on Louis-le-Grand

educational system. The abolition of the observers brought about a reformation of the




Without their monitors, the masters could not remain so few in number. If the schools in the Jansenist tradition dispensed with little monitors, it was because they adopted the costly formula of the teaching body.

schools of Port-Royal: eight or ten children to one master, a luxury formula. In the colleges the teaching staff was increased and hierarchized examination was created in 1766 for this purpose, and at the :


bottom of the ladder the pupil monitors were replaced by assistant masters. This was the origin of the usher, sometimes called the master the


of conduct'. 65 reformation of the disciplinary system simply correspond in the world of childhood to the progress of liberal ideas? That explanation would be both too simple and too general. For if the birch was dropped



it was adopted by the army, where corporal punishment, the Great's army but also from those of the Frederick from copied sanction. Probably the discipline in the Georges, became a systematic first industrial workshops too was fairly grim, even without corporal

by the


punishment. relaxation of the old scholastic discipline corresponded to someelse: to a new orientation of the concept of childhood, which was

The thing

with the idea of the weakness of childhood and no for its humiliation. Henceforth it was a longer recognized the need in the child an adult sense of responsibility and question of awakening was not so much opposed to the adult (although he dignity. The child was clearly distinguished from the adult in everyday life) as prepared for could not be carried out brutally and at one adult life. This

no longer



called for careful, gradual conditioning. This



concept of education which would triumph

was the new

m the nineteenth century.

In England this concept of education appeared much later. In its educational records, the eighteenth century in England appears as a

became increasingly common. period of violence and brutality. 'Flogging' historian of Winchester College, H. Cook, in the the to According seventeenth century pupils were flogged only on Saturday, 'the bloody 66 Later they were flogged every day. George III, meeting a boy day'. from Eton in the course of a walk near Windsor, asked him: 'Well, well,

my boy, when were you flogged last, eh, eh?'

mixed up

his lists

It is

said that Keates,

beginning of the nineteenth century, one flogging day, and whipped the boys who turned

the headmaster of


at the



so free with their hands had



should be added that these masters

who were


always on

fearful ruffians to deal with,

the verge of revolt. Stories of the time give an impression of reformatories where the most brutal punishments could not succeed in taming youths

addicted to the foulest vices. There was a great deal of this punishment in the French colleges of the sixteenth century, but the reforms carried

Oratorians and the universities made possible the of a application discipline of violence and humiliation within very moderate limits during the seventeenth century. Nothing of the sort happened in England: Tom Browns Schooldays gives one some idea of the

out by the

Jesuits, the

conditions obtaining at Rugby in the early nineteenth century. A reformation was called for: it came at the end of the first third of the nineteenth century, and



carried out

by Thomas Arnold,

the headmaster


Rugby. This reformation was inspired by the same principles as the French

reformation of the 17605; the idea of awakening the man in the child. But the English schools did not adopt a single one of the French methods.

The English

schools preserved the old discipline - corporal punishment

and the monitorial system, which had been abolished they


managed retained,






in France - but

completely. For example, if the birch as a punishment but above all as an

was no longer simply

instrument of education, an opportunity for the boy being flogged to exercise self-control, the


duty of the English gendeman.

in dissociating Similarly, the English educational reformers succeeded the practices of informing from the monitorial system. Contrary to the opinion of certain English historians, anxious to stress the novelty of the

reforms instituted in the 18308, the monitors of the nineteenth century were no different from the praepositores of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

But they no longer had a duty

to inform



schoolmates -

the practice could not be tolerated in a young gentleman. Curiously after the larger schools enough, the smaller schools, which were affected

Tom Brown's time to had which already disappeared at Rugby. But if encourage informing, continued to act as assistants the monitors had they stopped informing, to what was still a very small teaching body. It was felt in fact that this of command could foster a sense of authority and its early by

the educational reformation, continued in


However, how could he assert was deprived of the sanction which consisted in reporting them to the masters? This is why he was of direct punishment which former granted in compensation a right leader of men. responsibilities in a future his authority over his schoolmates if he



him to have. Henceforth the monitor himself on any schoolmate he caught out, and the punishment

usage had never allowed inflicted a flogging

was covered by the There is no need that in


hierarchy. to pursue this comparison any further. as in France, despite the different methods

countries, the changes in the scholastic discipline of a new attitude to childhood.


tried to








can see

of the two

the appearance

the liberalism of the scholastic

system in the eighteenth century was the product of a new concept of childhood. One might imagine that this liberalism, the liberalism of a


with the general ideas of the time, would have on and spreading gone growing. But in fact nothing of the sort happened, and by the early nineteenth century scholastic discipline had abandoned like Rollin, in tune

the liberal tradition obtaining at the end of the ancien regime and even during the revolutionary period, in order to adopt regimental methods and

a barrack-room style which were to last a long time, almost to the end of the century. As is well known, Napoleon I felt strongly on the need to

impose on secondary education the principles of exactness and sub-

ordination derived from military discipline principles which, incidentally, were probably better observed under the Empire in the lycees than in :

the army! It was thought at the time that military discipline had special educational virtues, and this idea, after 'many vicissitudes, whose history

Raoul Girardet has recorded, would reappear in France in the opinions of right-wing circles in the late nineteenth century, just as it was being abandoned by the official pedagogues. Without discipline,' Napoleon *

extremely difficult to organize with any precision the and policing of the establishment.' The result was that government habits were introduced into French school life which remained unknown in England, and which in France were not confined to the creations of the Napoleonic educational system. In spite of the dislike felt by the ecclesiastical hierarchy for this militarization, institutions of religious origin, such as the little seminaries, adopted certain of these habits: the use used to say,

'it is

of the whistle, moving about in squares, lining up in columns, and solitary confinement, for nobody dared to revive the corporal



inflicted before 1763.

At Louis-le-Grand, resisted

the regimental character of the disciplinary system every change of regime and opinion; protests from the pupils





at times to mutiny, until at last in 1890 new regulations abolished the prison-cell and the Napoleonic system which had lasted nearly a century. As Dupont-Ferrier, the historian of Louis-le-Grand, remarks, the school then reverted to the situation under Rollin in the

eighteenth century.

The liberalism of the eighteenth century was therefore offset by a contrary influence, which obtained a partial triumph, and which imposed a semi-military condition on the school population. This tendency cannot be attributed to It went back

entirely Napoleon. distant source: during the whole of the second half of the eighteenth century, one can trace the rise of the military idea, at the

in fact to a

same time entirely


as that



of the

liberal idea, inside


then, the only institutions


This was something

which had

left their

mark on

the school had been ecclesiastical, and even monastic. The military had been the last to submit to the complete and of school classes, regular cycle and in the seventeenth century the post-scholastic academies had had to

be created for them to colleges.



the gap

after the suppression

left by the classical instruction of the of the Jesuits, part of the educational

system, systematically reorganized, copied the methods of the military schools founded at the same period, and education as a whole took on

something of a military character.

The Jesuit

college at

Tournon became

a military school (like that at


Fleche) under the Oratorians. Here we can recognize a strange mixture of a Rollinesque liberalism and a Bonapartist militarism. The pupils were drilled in of offenders had to a wear sort of twenty-four squads



and were kept in detention. Those pupils who, at the end of the year, were admitted to the cole Militaire - an ancestor of the modern Saint-Cyr - were given a hat with a cockade and a uniform. Others were immediately posted to regiments. 57 This tendency was not

fatigue dress

confined to public institutions with foundation revenue such as Tournon. For instance, at Rouen after 1762, some new private schools were


whose pupils were dressed in a uniform which was no longer the clerical robe of the poor scholars of the seventeenth century, but an imitation of the uniform worn by army officers they were taught less Latin too and more 'modern* and mathematics. The old ;




masters deplored these changes. In the opinion of one of them, quoted by Beaurepaire, 'this sumptuous education amounts to nothing more than

giving the children a sort of military uniform, putting them under arms,


68 drilling all these youngsters indiscriminately/

Thus, long before the Napoleonic lycee, the French school, or at



268 that

which corresponded

military character. This

to the present-day secondary school, took on a change doubtless corresponded to the position

which the army was beginning to assume in society, which it was to lose in France at the Restoration, only to resume it after an interval of half a century under the Second Empire, and which it has never lost in central Europe. Officer status tended at this time to become confused with the concept of nobility: army uniform became the official dress of kings and princes, as E. G. Leonard has shown. In these circumstances it was natural that the education of boys of good family should take on a military character. Even in the English public schools, which managed to resist this change, new names were used to denote the hierarchy of the monitors - names such as captain and corporal this was obviously a fundamental tendency of the sensibility of the time. There was something else too, more relevant to the ages of life. The new interest shown in the officer and the soldier brought about a vague but definite correlation between early adolescence and the typical soldier. The conscript was no longer the rascally and often prematurely aged trooper of seventeenthcentury Dutch and Spanish paintings; he became the handsome young :

soldier depicted

by Watteau.

The medieval school made no distinction between the child and the adult. The college at the beginning of modern times had merged adolescence and childhood in the same scholastic system. In the eighteenth century, the officer and the soldier were to introduce into sensibility the


notion of adolescence: a Cherubin in uniform, but a more virile Cherubin. This notion of adolescence was to bring about a major transformation of education: the pedagogues henceforth attributed a moral value to

uniform and discipline. in school, resulted in an



emphasis on

of the adolescent and the


characteristics such as toughness


and which henceforth were virility which had hitherto been neglected valued for themselves. A new concept had appeared, though as yet in embryonic form, a concept distinct from that of childhood the concept :

of adolescence.






ODAY we know only three categories of education: individual education by tutors (which was more common in the bourgeois nineteenth century), and two types of collective education, the

day-school and the boarding-school.

One might

imagine that individual tuition was bound to have been

the society of the ancien regime, whose aristocratic make-up and isolated country residences would have favoured it. This was not

adopted by the case.


that the idea did



on the contrary,



to be

found in pedagogical literature from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century, from Erasmus to Rousseau, in texts which constantly presented individual tuition as the best of educations. However, it sometimes happened that the authors of these theoretical discussions preferred small tutorial classes of ten pupils at the most to individual tuition. Small tutorial classes were held for a very short period in the little schools of Port-Royal and

later at Saintc-Barbe.

In fact this literature, rich though it was, had no influence on either manners or institutions. Some modern historians, not realizing that no

connection existed between attribute

more importance



and actual

to Erasmus, Rabelais or



Port-Royal than to

the Jesuits or the Oratonans! Under the ancien regime, until the midat home stopped before the age of eighteenth century at least, education

only boys in France who did not go to such as the Condes went to college, blood of the college. Even princes institution educational which was the only open to all. to common parlance, but in the True, the word belonged ten, except for the King's sons, the



and seventeenth centuries it was not taken to mean a master who took the place of school and thus spared his pupil the promiscuity and discipline that went with school life. The word 'preceptor* was used sixteenth


two senses. The preceptor could be an

the same (the valet was of chosen by rich parents foster-brother) pupil's their children to school where he shared their life and older


the age, and was sometimes to

accompany and watched over them, protected them, helped them. He did


not take the place of school, but supplemented 269



in particular offered




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

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




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


. . .

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

in 1589,

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

took special care college, uses 'preceptor' as a synonym

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

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


hours of teaching which they studies


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

for the distinction

not the same


it is

boarding-school as

we know


rarely existed: in the Jesuit colleges, the

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

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

the Society, those


called auditores.


we know from

Sorel that at Lisieux

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


lines as



and a galoche. 6

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




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

took the pkce of the


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

goodbye to his parents. He is given his lunch-basket: 'a piece of bread with some butter on it or some dried figs or raisins'. Then he sets off for school. Sometimes he is given some little errands to run; thus he stops to ask an old woman he meets: *How much do you pay for your cherries ? She replies We buy them at six deniers a pound but why do you want to know?' And he answers: 'Because my sister told me to buy some this morning/ He dawdles on the embankment and plays at hopscotch and cards, with the result that he arrives late, when his 6

child going to say




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

had dinner

at half past eight/

'Why do you

have dinner so early?*

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


the court/ 'But can't your

mother give you your dinner before your

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

father returns?'

'Of course, but




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


In the living conditions of the ancien regime, this category of pupils than a minority. The school Jiving at home could not represent more was not recruited only in the towns where the schools were

population to be found:

the country, and many pupils, it was largely drawn from clerics or nobles, lived too far the of or lords villeins, manor, villagers away to return home at night and to make the journey to school and back


foot every day. Consequently a great


pupils lived

away from






or servants, or in college premises, as boarders

on the


day-boys. those who lived


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


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


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

each: 'Most of the scholars


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

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

communal life of the At Louis-le-Grand


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


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




It is this


population that concerns



lived in the college buildings, apart



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


show how envied they were:





going to go into

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


I shall

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

the master s table'

personal hygiene: 'Can't

you want



go out?' 'What

go home


'To go home.' 'What!

cannot have been

again?' (Home there so easily, yet far


away, for a

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

clothes cleaned tomorrow.'

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

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

him up with





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


little valet,




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


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



principal's their time-table

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



imposed on

and all



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




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

for a

venience/ 12 In Geneva College, which Cordier describes, 18 apart from the master's boarders there were the 'tenants who hired rooms in college where they ate. Sometimes several tenants occupied one room; they attended the 1

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

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


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


. .

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

boarded by their pedagogues', 14 and Cordier the domestic pupils, lodged with the masters. 'Master,' says one of Cordier's pupils to the principal, 'there is nobody in the sixth class.' 'What's that! Where is Master know? Did one of his domestic Philip?' 'He is ill in bed.' 'How do you

come and tell you?' The masters who lived in


this was the college had private boarders: which the English public schools have kept to this day. We know from Sorel what the boarding-house of one of these masters was like. Francion's father wanted to send him to college: 'And since the colleges in our part of the country [Brittany] were not to his liking,

'tutorial system'

of my mother's complaints, having business in Paris, he took