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In his biography of Schlegel, Mr. Robertson thus vindicates the Austrians from the charges of dulness and ignorance, at times so absurdly brought against them in this country

“ Without pretending," says he, "to any personal knowledge of that country, there are, however, a certain number of admitted and well-attested facts, which prove that however inferior in mental cultivation Austria may be to some other states of Catholic, as well as Protestant, Germany, she yet holds a distinguished place in literature and science. The very general diffusion of popular education in that country-the great success with which all the arts and sciences connected with industry are cultivated—the admirable organization of its medical board—the distinguished physicians, theoretical as well as practical, whom it has produced the great attention bestowed on strategy and the sciences subservient to itthe excellence to which the histrionic art has there attained the universal passion for music, and the unrivalled degree of perfection the art has there reached—the acknowledged superiority of the Quarterly Review of Vienna (the Wiener Jahrbücher)—lastly, the favour, countenance, and encouragement extended by the Austrian public to the oral lectures and published writings of the eminent literary characters, whether natives or foreigners, who for the last thirty years have thrown such a glory over their capital—all these incontrovertible facts, I say, prove this people to have reached an advanced stage of intellectual refinement. So far from finding among the Viennese that Baotian dulness, of which we sometimes hear them accused, A. W. Schlegel (and his testimony is impartial, for he is neither a native nor resident of Austria) confesses that he discovered in them great aptness of intelligence, a keen relish for the beauties of poetry, and much of the vivacity of the southern temperament."*

This vindication of the Austrians, by the above-named Catholic writer, is corroborated in every point by the concurrent testimony of distinguished Protestant travellers; and as we understand that in his book on Styria, which we have not yet perused, that very dogmatical personage, Captain Basil Hall, has repeated against Austria the accusation of ignorance, we deem it just and expedient to adduce their evidence.

So far back as the year 1793, the illustrious Protestant historian of Switzerland, John von Müller, after having made a tour through the archduchy of Austria, writes thus to a friend: “I know no country where the degree of enlightenment

Philosophy of

* See Memoir of Frederick von Schlegel, prefixed to his History,” p. 38 ; London, 1835.



among the peasantry, where the civilization, the prosperity, the joviality of character, have pleased me so much as in this, and have appeared so exactly what it ought to be. Observe, I speak of the archduchy; the other provinces I will see by

degrees." *

“ It has been the fate of Austria hitherto,” says the intelligent author of the Hand-Book for Travellers in Southern Germany, “to have been described almost exclusively by travellers, who have taken a prejudiced and one-sided view of her government and institutions, and who have not even done justice to the beauties of the country, the flourishing condition of her manufactures, the bravery and loyal spirit of her inhabitants, and the happy condition of the majority of the population. In stigmatizing the government as the most tyrannical of despotisms, they have overlooked the fact, that the subjects living under it, especially the lower orders, are the most contented and joyous in Europe, because actually the best off in worldly matters, the least taxed or oppressed by fiscal burthens of any kind. They have represented Austria as a land of darkness and ignorance, as the Bæotia of Europe, forgetting that education is more widely extended among the common people than in any other country of Europe, except Prussia, and this entirely by the government itself ; for the Austrian rulers turned their attention to this subject earlier than those of most other countries, and have been ceaselessly employed for the last century in establishing schools in every part of their dominions. The Englishman may learn with surprise, and no little shame, that the number of persons who can read, write, and understand the elements of arithmetic, is beyond comparison greater in the hereditary states of Austria, than in his own enlightened country, or in France."-p. 114.

This testimony as to popular education in Austria, is confirmed by the declaration of a writer who has bestowed considerable attention on the subject; and who has recently written a work on the state of the elementary and higher schools in Austria and Bohemia.

“ The Austrian system of popular education," says Dr. Kröger, the Protestant catechist of a public gymnasium in Hamburgh, "has reached a high pitch of excellence, and contains many admirable elements, whereof the exact use cannot fail to accomplish the object intended, and admits of a further development.”+

Dr. Hurter also bears witness to the excellent organization of the popular schools in Austria. He observes that the ordinances relative to the institution of schools, attendance of the children, and the subjects of instruction, are ample enough without trenching on the rights and conveniences of domestic life, whereby they are converted into instruments of intolerable tyranny to the parents, rather than of benefit to the children.*

* See vol. v. of Müller's works, p. 436. Letter, dated Vienna, 13th September 1793.

| Reise nach Böhmen und Oestreich, in besondere beziehung auf das niedere und höhere Unterrichts-wesen, vol. ii. p. 193 ; 1840.

If popular education in Austria is constituted on such an excellent basis, and is so widely diffused, the technical and mechanical schools which are established in all the great cities of the empire, and are designed for the instruction of those destined for trades, manufactures, and commerce, are equally deserving of admiration.

“ From its peculiar bent to the useful and the practical," says Dr. Kröger, “ the Austrian government has encouraged, cherished, and protected, with marked predilection, these technical schools ; so that it would not be easy to find in any other country more magnificent establishments, and a more systematic education for this purpose.”+

After stating that in a higher sort of these schools, called by the Germans Real-schulen, instruction is given in commercial science, in the laws of exchange, in book-keeping, in the history of art, in chemistry, in languages, according to the future destination of the pupils, Dr. Hurter justly observes:

“ It is certainly to these mostly very well-conducted establishments we must ascribe the fact, that in Austria arts, manufactures, trades, and whatever may be enumerated under this head, have attained to so high a pitch of perfection, and that able men are to be found in every branch of productive skill. The articles that issue from the workshops of the higher manufacturers combine utility with the utmost finish of execution, in a degree not anywhere surpassed. We need only look at the greater or smaller expositions of provincial industry ; we need only cast a glance at the warehouses of the drapers, who sell more particularly native stuffs ; or at the splendid shops of the silversmiths, jewellers, watchmakers, and the like, to convince ourselves of the truth of this assertion.” -Excursion to Vienna, vol. ii. p. 48.

The gymnasia, or public grammar academies of Austria, have not arrived at the same degree of excellence as the elementary, commercial, and mechanical schools. The same laudable attention, indeed, as Dr. Hurter testifies, is paid in all these establishments to religious education and the exercise

* Excursion to Vienna, vol. ii. p. 41. | Reise nach Oestreich und Böhmen, vol. ii.

of piety; the moral conduct of the students is superintended with the utmost vigilance; but too much time is allotted to recreation,* and some important parts of classical instruction are not adequately encouraged. Thus in the second class of humanities, if the student, who must at least be eighteen years of age, be required to devote ten hours a week to the study of Latin, he is not obliged to give more than two to that of Greek; a time evidently insufficient for the acquisition of that very difficult language. The Austrian gymnasia seem to have fallen into an error the reverse of the Prussian. In the latter the minds of the pupils are overloaded ; an adequate scope is not afforded to the free exercise of the mental powers, nor sufficient time allotted for bodily recreation. But in the former the indolence and carelessness inherent in youth are not sufficiently guarded against, and too great freedom is accorded to the natural inclination and taste of the pupil. The Bavarian public schools seem to have hit upon the happy medium between the remissness of the Austrian and the excessive severity of the Prussian method of instruction.*

* In these gymnasia there are but two hours in the forenoon, and two hours in the afternoon, devoted to instruction. The whole of Thursday and the half of Tuesday in every week are holidays. The long vacation exiends from 1st September to 3d November.

| It is really frightful to see the number and variety of subjects in which a Prussian student is examined prior to leaving the gymnasium, and to his matriculation in the University. The pupil, who is generally from nineteen to twenty years of age, has to undergo before the commissioners an examination that frequently lasts three whole days. He has, within a given number of hours, in the presence of the commissioners, to write two rhetorical essays in German and Latin, as also exercises in the French and Greek languages. He is then expected to translate at sight any passages given him in Cicero's Treatise de Oratore, and in one or more of his orations, in Virgil, in Horace's odes, and the Agricola or Germania of Tacitus. In Greek,--Homer's Hiad, Herodotus, some of Demosthenes' orations, one or two tragedies of a Greek dramatist, the Greek metrical system, and one of the easier treatises of Plato are the subjects of examination. Logic,-a summary history of philosophy, an analysis of the more celebrated metaphysical systems; mathematics,-including algebra, geometry, conic sections, and the differential calculus, natural history and mechanics, form successively the subjects of examination. Questions out of ancient and modern geography, ancient history, the history of the middle age and modern times, according to the compilations used in the schools, are then proposed to the pupil. Lastly, he is then questioned in religion, according to a larger philosophic catechism, and in Biblical history and Church history, according to the manuals in use. If he be designed for the Church, or intend to prosecute philosophy as a study, he is expected to know Hebrew grammar, and to be able to translate one chapter of Genesis from the original.

What will be the fruits of this system of education, which was first established in the Prussian dominions in the year 1819, time alone will be able to show. In the meantime, it may not be improper to observe that all the great writers and scholars, philosophers and naturalists of Germany were brought up under a less artificial system of education. Many distinguished German professors, and among others the celebrated Niebuhr, deprecated this system as alike injurious to a favourable development of the bodily and mental powers of the pupil

. The Prussian government, yielding somewhat to their remonstrances, has, without revoking the ordinance of 1819, so far modified its workings, as to leave to the choice of the pupil in the higher classes, whether he will make the classics, or the mathematics and the physical sciences, the principal subject of pursuit; and to subject him accordingly to a less strict examination in that study which he has made subordinate. It was high time, indeed, to make some such change, when parents complained that their children became sometimes, from excessive study, hypochondriacs at fourteen ; when an instance occurred of a youth having never once gone to bed for the whole month prior to his examination; and when, as a German gentleman has assured us, his own son, and other youths with whom he was acquainted, in the last year of their gymnasial studies, seldom could retire to rest before twelve or one o'clock, and then were compelled to rise at five in the morning. The system is yet much too harsh ; and further relaxations are expected.

The Austrian universities have a character quite distinct from those of the rest of Germany, and are alike devoid of many of their excellencies and exempt from their defects. In respect to academic discipline they have a decided superiority over the sister institutions in the other German states. In all of them duelling is a thing unknown. The Burschenschaft, the Tugend-Bund, and other secret societies of students, with their long beards, their fantastic dresses, their renowning, and the like, are equally unheard of; nor have the Austrian students ever been engaged in those political conspiracies, and revolutionary plots, wherein students of other German universities have often been deeply implicated.f

In regard to instruction the university of Vienna still asserts its ancient reputation in the faculty of medicine, in the exact sciences, and in the technical arts. From all parts of Germany students flock to Vienna, to avail themselves of the excellent medical instruction and medical establishments to be found in that capital. The technical instruction imparted in the mechanics' schools is here completed, and with what degree of success Hurter has already told us. The exact sciences are so well taught in the University, in the Polytechnic Institution, and in the Academy of Engineers, at Vienna, that Austria is now allowed to possess the most efficient and best informed corps of artillery officers, and civil and military engineers, in all Europe.

* Mr. Wyse, late member for Waterford, a high authority in matters of education, after a careful investigation of the Prussian and Bavarian gymnasia, gives, we understand, the preference to the latter. † See“ Hurter,” vol. ii. p. 57.

“The University of Vienna,” says the Hand-book, “is celebrated over the Continent, as a school of medicine."-p. 151.

§ Of the academy of engineers, where history, the classical and modern lan

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