Nikolai Karamzin about education abroad


The Frenchman, who has lived long in Russia and returned to his homeland, published from there to Moscow newspapers, near Paris, he started a boarding school for young Russian noblemen and invites parents to send him out of Russian children by their education, promising to teach them all the necessary, Especially as Russian language! Tenacious in solitude, I do not know what others think about this ad. I think it's more funny than annoying: for I am confident that our nobles will not want to take advantage of the benevolent suggestion of Mr. NN flighty French — have been and will be.

Condescending people largely excused their carelessness. Otherwise, they like the parents in our Fatherland had no way to bring up children and recklessly could remove them from themselves, to forget their sacred duty, and to entrust the fate of young hearts alien, unknown person? We are ready to pay the French or other foreigners for the lessons in their own languages, which are necessary for the noble Russians and serve it as a means of education: we have the money! But we also have a reason. We know the first and most holy law of nature that the mother and father should form a morality of their children, which is the main part of education, and we know that everyone has to grow in his own country and in advance to get used to its climate, customs and character of the inhabitants, lifestyle and government and we know that in Russia one can become a good Russian — and to us, to the state of happiness, no one must neither French nor English!

Suppose that in some of the summer a young man, already prepared for thorough reasoning goes to foreign lands to learn the European nations, compare their physical and marital status to ours, feel and even most of their superiority in so many ways! I do not fear for him: the heart of the young men leave our tenderest feelings of his subjects, it will tend to us from afar under the clear skies of southern Europe, he says, is good, but my Russian family, friends, comrades of my childhood! It will be much surprised, much to praise, but do not fall for any of the country over the Fatherland. A person may sometimes hate the land in which he lived for a long time, but always, always love the one in which was brought up: the true [love] is important for fathers of families and understandable for any reason! Impressions youth constitute the main jewel of the soul, they are just more polite to us, just as the easiest spring flower pleases us more than a lush summer roses. A place that reminds the person first action of the heart and mind it will be for him a pleasant place in the world. If the father will send his ten year old son for five or six years in a foreign land, the land will be for someone else's son homeland: it would give him the first moral, strong feelings, and the very nature of his tie to her sweet, unbreakable bond. The age of the boy is the development of morality and soul, from 10 to 15 years will decide the fate of our life and sensitivity.

When the wise man rides a long time in some land, he tries to find out in advance of its customs, if not the case, then at least the imagination gets used to it, knowing that unaccustomed to the way of thinking and living of the people with whom we should be daily, produces for many of our major trouble. And my son, who is determined to live and die in Russia, will go to form his life in France? He ought to know Russian, with whom he had one civilian and moral happiness: and I will send it to the French. Assuming all the European nations closer together for some time with each other character, but the difference is still high and will remain in the properties, customs and morals, taking place on the climate, form of government, the fate of our ancestors and other reasons, have not yet exposition of philosophers.

Mr. NN, founder of the Paris guesthouse, tell us: "You have to agree that a person is more important citizen: a person can be better educated in France than in Russia." The first is true, the second did not agree. We have, thank God! not barbarians, we have all the means of education, which can only be found in France, and here and there one is taught by one authors and books. Sam French language can be in Petersburg or Moscow to learn as well as in Paris, we assume that is not so good, but some of his most perfect shades awarded for a moral and political damage outlandish parenting? Natural language is more important for us French, and Mr. NN, despite his gracious promise, our children will not learn to speak in Paris so well in Russian, they will learn here. Pets him at 6 or 7 years of returning to Russia, would caterwaul our barbaric their sentences, they would have told us, "We speak your language, and we know the math, we present our fellow citizens respect" 1. A fellow citizens would call them fools, ignorant, ill-mannered people, for who does not know his natural language, that is, of course, badly brought up, even though he knew by heart, and all the books of the Brahmins, they would sim polugallam: "Why did you come to us? Why not stay in France? We do not recognize your own countrymen, you are not worthy to be called Russian, who take pride in the language of Sviatoslav, Vladimir and Pozharsky, Peter the Great. You do not have a homeland: for even the most Frenchmen, despite the fact that you are giving to feel perfectly silent E, the French did not recognize you! .. "And the good-natured parents, depriving themselves of the ineffable pleasure of seeing the face and soul of cute kids blossoming beauty and physical moral, rather than well-bred people would see them in French monkeys or parrots that he named them all the actors of Paris, and were not able to say with a sense of the sacred name of Russia, father, mother, and fellow citizens!

But I like the glorious knight Don Quixote, tilting at windmills, mistaking them for giants. Of course, none of prudent nobles, Russian did not think to send their children to boarding school to Mr. NN, over which, no doubt, and the French are laughing.

Journal Europe. — 1802. — № 2

See also: Russian Westernism is a phenomenon of the Asian soul

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