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which you gain admittance by merely addressing a line to the librarian. Of the first class are the five grand Libraries of Paris, as follow:
170,000 de la Ville
42,000 de Mazarin
93,000 Besides manuscripts, these libraries are provided also with cabinets, maps, globes, &c. In the King's Library there is a pair of the largest astronomical globes I ever saw. They occupy part of two stories of the building, a floor being removed to make room for their enormous circumferences.
The following are among those libraries which I have mentioned as accessible by merely addressing a line to the librarian :
50,000 Cour de Cassation
Prefecture de Police
8,000 Ministère de la Justice Do. Depot Central de l'Artillerie 6,000 Ecole Royale des Mines Ditto
Ecole de Musique et de Declamation
5,000 Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées 4,000 Ministère de la Guerre Do. Musée Royale
3,000 Imprimerie Royale
2,000 Ministère de la Marine 1,500 Missions Etrangeres
1,200 Cabinet du Roi-des Avocats, &c.
All open without respect to persons, favour, or affection.
At the Bibliothèque du Roi, to which I chiefly resorted, any book might be had immediately by merely giving in its name to the librarian, or his sub., who are in constant attendance from ten till two o'clock; and you have a table to sit down at, furnished with implements for writing, where you may be as completely at your ease, and enjoy your abstraction as free from all noise and interruption, as if enclosed within your own study. I spent every day that I could find leisure, in this noble library; but could not divest myself of feeling some uncomfortable sense of obligation at receiving so many attentions, and being put in the way of so much solid enjoyment, while I recollected how little Englishmen have it in their power to return the compliment at home. In London there is no well-stored library open for consultation; the great portion being repositories of trashy novels, or merely ephemeral publications, and these are only accessible at a very high rate. The reason is, there
is such a rage for reading in clubs in London, that all the best books are collected there; so that it is not worth a bookseller's while to keep a library open for the few extra customers he might find for more recherché study.
By these various means of intellectual improvement, so bountifully supplied, the whole force of the public mind is drawn out; and the humblest aspirant after knowledge may have ample opportunities of turning his talents to account. Nor do these details apply exclusively to Paris : all the chief towns are provided, more or less, with the same description of intellectual resources. With respect to the peasantry, the number of schools spread over the country is so great, that it is rare to find any one so ignorant as to be unable to read and write. Besides, there are great numbers of lecturers, who instruct the farmers in the sciences connected with agriculture and rural economy. These lecturers are themselves farmers, and frequently form associations to carry on the laudable design of diffusing information in their vicinity; and in the towns
the better sort of mechanics and shopkeepers occasionally do the same.
The effect even of this mere intellectual discipline I cannot give in any other words so well, as those of a very intelligent French gentleman, to whom I feel myself greatly indebted for many acts of disinterested kindness, in procuring me information, or access to information, on the institutions of his country.
“ Never was there,” says Mons. Marie, “a higher respect paid to moral conduct in this country than at the present moment : all the relations of life are respectably filled. Mauvais ménage in any class is rarely heard of, in comparison of its frequency before the revolution ; so completely in error are those who represent the education of our lower orders as productive of vice and insubordination. Young persons now, instead of idling, as in former days, or turning to vicious courses, are occupied, as soon as they leave school, in contriving plans for their future maintenance. They eagerly look for some employment in which their education may be turned to account, and to