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of attacking this dangerous beast, and if he thought to violate them with impunity. This severe observer of discipline would not hear him, nor suffer himself to be turned by the prayers of the knights, but sent him immediately to prison. He then convoked a council, where he represented to them that the order could not dispense with rigorously punishing a disobedience, more prejudicial to discipline than even the life of many serpents would have been to the beasts and inhabitants of this canton. The council ordered him to be deprived of the habit of the order. Gozon had the grief of seeing himself stripped of it, and he passed but a short space of time between his victory and his punishment, which he found more rigorous than death itself. But the grand master, after he had satisfied himself with the chastisement he had inflicted for the maintenance of discipline, returned to his quondam character, naturally soft and full of goodness. He restored him his habit, and loaded him
with favours. But they never equaled the sincere praises of a people who sovereignly disposes of glory, while princes, however powerful they may be, cannot dispose but of the honours and dignities of the state. They stuck the head of this serpent or crocodile upon one of the gates of the city, as a monument of the victory of Gozon. Monsieur Tévenot, in the relation of his voyages, reports that it was in the Isle of Rhodes even in his time, or at least its effigy; that he had seen it there; that it was much thicker and larger than that of a horse; that the mouth extended from ear to ear; had large teeth and eyes; that the nostrils were round; and that the skin appeared to be of a grayish white, probably on account of the dust which by a length of years was attached to it. By this occasion Gozon acquired great reputation, especially among the people of Rhodes, who looked on him as their deliverer.
An interesting Account of the Mode pursued by Fenelon, in educating the Duke of Burgundy, grandson of Louis XIV.
“THE Duke of Burgundy,” says M. de St. Simon, “ was, by nature, formidable, and in his earliest youth, ave cause for terrour. He was uneling and irritable, to the last excess, even against'inanimate objects. He was furiously impetuous, and incapable of enduring the least opposition, even of time and the elements, without bursting forth into such intemperate rage, that it was sometimes to be feared the very veins in his body would burst. This excess, I have frequently witnessed. His obstinacy was beyond all bounds; he was passionately addicted to every kind of pleasure; to the luxuries of the table; to the chace with extraordinary avidity; musick he delighted in with a sort of ecstacy; he was also
fond of play, but he could not endure to be conquered; and they who played with him ran much risk. In short, he was the prey of every passion and the slave of every pleasure; he was often ferocious and naturally inclined to cruelty. In his raillery he was unfeeling, employing the force of ridicule with a precision which completely overwhelmed the object; inordinately. proud, he looked upon men only as atoms with whom he had no sort of similarity whatever. Even the princes, his brothers, scarcely seemed, in his estimation, to form an intermediate link between himself and the rest of mankind, though it had always been studiously endeavoured to educate all three of them with perfect equality. But
the brilliancy of his mind and his penetration were at all times evident, and even in his moments of greatest violence. His replies created astonishment in all who heard them. His observations were never without justness, even in his most fierce an: ger; the most abstract branches of knowledge cost him little trouble to acquire; the extent and vigour of his mind were prodigious, and prevented him from steady and individual application.” Such was the prince who was confided to Fenelon. There was every thing to be feared from such a character, and every thing to be hoped from a soul possessing such energy. Let us hear, once more, St. Simon. “So much mind, and such power of mind, joined to such sensibility, and to such passions; every quality, in fact, partaking of such ardour, must, necessarily, have rendered his education 1.0 easy process. The duke de Beauviiliers, who was fully aware of its difficulties and its consequences, surpassed even himself in his application, his patience, and the variety of his remedies. Fenelon, Fleury, and the other persons connected with his education, were all brought into action; and they all, with one accord, acted under the instructions of the duke, whose plan, were it minutely detailed, would furnish a curious and interesting work. The
prodigy was, that, in a very short.
time, grace and devotion transformed him into quite another man, and changed such fearful vices into perfectly opposite virtues. From that abyss issued a prince, who was affable, mild, humane, moderate, patient, modest, humble, and austere towards himself; wholly occupied with his future obligations in life, which he felt to be great; and thinking only of uniting the duties of the son and the subject with those which he saw jin, scis destined afterwards to ful#1.” But what incessant vigilance, what art, what industry, what skill, what
variety in the means adopted, and what delicacy of observation must have concurred to produce such an extraordinary alteration in the character of a child, of a prince, and of an heir to a throne ! Nay, had not his tutors been the most virtuous of men; if their pupil, possessed as he was of such intellectual perspicacity, had discovered in them the smallest appearance of weakness or tergiversation, all their skill, all their care, and all their assiduity, would have been ineffectual. They were, in fact, less indebted for their success to their genius and their talents, than to their virtues and their dispositions. Fenelon soon perceived that that part of education which generally excited the greatest zeal in teachers, and the most self-love in parents, was what would give him the least trouble. He foresaw that his pupil, possessing from nature such rare gifts of mind, would make a rapid progress in every branch of knowledge; but the most difficult task would be to subdue that fiery soul which he possessed; to preserve all its noble and generous qualities, and to extirpate all its undue passions: to form, in fact, a new moral being; to form a prince, such as the genius of Fenelon had conceived, for the welfare of human nature. He wished, indeed, to realize upon the throne an ideal beauty of virtue, as the artists of antiquity endeavoured to impress upon their works that ideal beauty, which gave to the human form a celestial appearance. The ci;ild that was confided to the care of Fenelon was destined to reign; and Fenelon saw, in that child the whole of France awaiting its happiness or misery, from the success or failure of his endeavours. To obtain this success, he prescribed to himself no precise rule of action; he watched each moment, the dispositions of the young prince, and followed with a calm and patient attention, all the variations of his
intemperate nature, and always extracted the lesson from the fault itself.
Such an education consisted rather in action than in instruction. The pupil never could anticipate what was to be his lesson, because he could not anticipate what faults he might commit; and thus advice and censure became the necessary result of his own excesses.
They who wish to know the method which Fenelon adopted in educating his pupil, may read his Fables and Dialogues, which he wrote for him. Each of these fables, each of these dialogues, was composed at the very moment when the preceptor judged it necessary to remind his pupil of some fault which he had committed, and to inculcate, at the same time, the necessity and the means of amendment.
These fables and dialogues have been printed, but without any attention to a consecutive series. Such an attention, indeed, was not necessary. Fenelon composed them without order; and yet it would be easy to ascertain their chronology (so to speak) by comparing them with the gradual progress which age and instruction must have produced in the education of the duke of Burgundy. It is immediately discernible that these fables and dialogues relate only to a prince, and to a prince destined to ascend the throne. Every thing in them is made to connect itself with this almost exclusive object. The precision, the simplicity, and the perspicuity of some of these fables (which were probably the first that were written) evince that they were addressed to a child whose mind should not be overburthened, and to whom such things only should be presented as could easily be apprehended. Others possess a more elevated character; and they contain allusions to history and mythology, according as the young prince became better able to comprehend and apply them.
The fables which Fenelon wrote for the duke of Burgundy had, almost always, an allusion to some circumstance that had previously happened, and the impression of which, being yet fresh upon his mind, he could not mistake the application.— They formed a mirror in which he could not help beholding himself, and in which he sometimes appeared, in a manner little gratifying to his selflove. But, then, the tenderest wishes, the mildest hopes, were added to these humiliating pictures, lest the child should naturally imbibe an aversion to a species of instruction which merely recalled to him painful recollections, or which contained severe reproaches. It was thus, with such delicate propriety, and with such imperceptible advances, that Fenelon gradually rendered his pupil susceptible of the first dictates of reason and of the first lessons of virtue.
But it was not in the power of Fenelon to subdue, all at once, so imperious a character. It too often resisted the paternal hand which sought to restrain its impetuosity.
When the young prince broke forth into those violent excesses of passion, which were so habitual to him, the governour, the preceptor, the sub-preceptor, the gentlemen in waiting, and all the servants in the house, concerted together to preserve towards him the most profound silence. They avoided answering any of his questions; they waited upon him with averted looks; or, if they directed their eyes towards him, it was with an expression of fear, as if they dreaded to be in the company of a being who had degraded himself by bursts of rage which were incompatible with reason. They appeared to attend to him only from that kind of humiliating compassion which is shown towards persons who are insane. They merely performed those offices about him which seemed to be simply necessary for the preservation of his miserable existence. They took from him all his books and all his means of instruction, as if they would be henceforth useless to him, being reduced to such a deplorable state. They then left him to himself, to his own reflection, to his own regret, and to his own remorse. Struck with such an entire desertion, and the distressing solitude to which he was consigned, the penitent prince, convinced of his fault, was eager to fly, once more, to the indulgence and goodness of his preceptor. He threw himself at his feet, confessed his errours, and declared his firm resolution of avoiding them in future; and he watered with his tears the hands of Fenelon, who pressed him to his bosom with the tender affection of a father, compassionate, and always open to the repenting child. In those violent contests between an impetuous disposition and a premature reason, the young prince seemed distrustful of himself, and he summoned honour in aid to his promises. The originals of two contracts of honour which he placed in the hands of Fenelon, are yet extant. They are as follow:— “I promise, on the faith of a prince, to M. the abbé de Fenelon, to do immediately whatever he shall order me; and to obey him the moment he forbids me to do any thing. If I fail in this, I will consent to any kind of punishment and dishonour. IDone at Versailles, the 29th of November, 1689. (Signed) LOUIS, who promises again, to keep his word better. This 20th of September, I entreat M. de Fenelon to take care of it.” The prince, who subscribed to these engagements of honour, was only eight years old, and he already felt the force of those magick words, the faith of a firince, &c. Fenelon himself was not always secure from the exacerbations of his
pupil. We have an account of the manner in which he conducted himself on a very delicate occasion.* The effect which he deduced from it was a lesson to the duke of Burgundy, which no time could efface from his heart and mind. The conduct of Fenelon in this affair may serve as a model to all those who have to exercise the same functions towards the children of princes, and noblemen. Fenelon saw himself compelled to speak to his pupil with an authority, and even a severity, which the nature of his offence required; but the young prince replied: “No, no, sir: I know who you are, and who I am.” Fenelon answered not a word; he felt that the moment was not arrived, and that in the present disposition of his pupil, he would be unfit to listen to him. He appeared, therefore, to meditate in silence, and contented himself with showing how deeply he was hurt, by the seriousness and solemnity of his deportment. On the following morning, the duke of Burgundy was hardly awake when Fenelon entered his room. He would not wait until the usual hour of meeting, in order that every thing he had to say to him might appear more marked, and strike, more powerfully, the imagination of the young prince. Fenelon addressed him with a cold and respectful seriousness, very different from his usual mannel”. “I know not, sir,” said he to him, “whether you recollect what you said to me yesterday, that you knew who you were and who I am. It is my duty to inform you, that you are ignorant of both one and the other. You fancy, sir, I suppose, that you are greater than I am; some servants, no doubt, have told you so; but I, I do not fear to tell you, since you force me to it, that I am greater than you are. You will easily understand that I do not mean to speak of superiority of birth. You would regard that man as mad, who should aspire to any merit, because the rains of heaven had fertilized his field, and had not watered his neighbour's. But, you yourself would not be much wiser if you sought to derive any importance from your birth, which can add nothing to your personal merit. You cannot doubt that I am far above you in knowledge and in mind. You know nothing but what I have taught you; and what I have taught you is nothing compared to what I could have taught you. As to authority, you have none over me, but, on the contrary, I have an unbounded authority over you. This, you have often been told by the king, and the prince, your father. You think, perhaps, that I account myself happy, in being appointed to educate you; but undeceive yourself, sir; I undertake the office, only in obedience to the king’s commands, and to please your father; not for the laborious advantage of being your preceptor; and, in order to convince you of this, I am now come to conduct you to his majesty, and to beg of him to appoint you another tutor, whose endeavours, I hope, will be more successful than mine have been.” The duke of Burgundy, whom, a whole night, passed in painful reflections and self-reproach, added to the cold and formal deportment of Fenelon, had overwhelmed with grief, was astonished at this declaration. He loved Fenelon with all the tenderness of a son; and, besides, his own self-love, and a delicate deference towards publick opinion, made him immediately anticipate what would be thought of him, if a preceptor, of Fenelon's merit, should be forced to renounce his education. He burst into tears, while his sighs, his shame scarcely permitted him to utter these words: « Oh! sir; I am sincerely sorry for what passed yesterday; if you speak to the king I shall lose his friendship; . . . . . if you descrt Hae
* See Life of the Dauphin, father of Louis XV, by the abbé Proyart.
what will be thought of me? I promise, . . . . I promise you, that you shall be content with me; . . . . but promise me . . . .” Fenelon would promise nothing. He left him the whole day in a state of anxiety and uncertainty. It was not until he was well convinced of the sincerity of his repentance, that he appeared to yield to fresh supplications and to the entreaties of madame de Maintenon, whom he had persuaded to interfere in the business, in order to confer upon it more effect and solemnity. It was thus, by , continual observation, patience and care, that Fenelon was gradually enabled to subdue the violent dispositions of his pupil, and to calm his intemperate passions. To this important object both he, and M. de Bauvilliers, directed all their efforts, and they were amply rewarded by their success. The literary education of the duke of Burgundy caused but little trouble. The precocity of his intellect, and the brilliancy of his imagination, gave him an aptitude for acquiring whatever it was wished he should acquire. In looking over the papers which have passed into my hands, I could not behold, without emotion, all the different fragments in the hand writing of Fenelon, and of the duke of Burgundy, and which formed the first endeavours towards his literary instruction. At that time there were few elementary books of education, if we except some that had been produced by the Messieurs de Port-Royal, and Fenelon did not consider it as derogatory to his genius or to his situation, as preceptor, to draw up, with his own hands, such introductory works as were necessary. He even compiled a sort of dictionary of the Latin language, which exhibited the definitions of each word, and the degree of affinity which they had to the French word that was to be translated. And this dictionary he composed under the eyes of his