Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/218

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204
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

it commands, with alluring prospects of fame and fortune, the services of men of genius and learning. Those who enter it from choice succeed or fail quickly. It is a life of activity, a work where energy and intelligence are essential qualifications, and honor and honesty are certain of reward. There is no enduring place in the profession for hypocrisy, indolence, or mediocrity.

 
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VALUE OF THE STUDY OF ART.
By GEORGES PERROT.
Georges Perrot is one of the leading art writers and teachers of France. Born in 1832, not far from Paris, he was graduated from the École Normale about 1855, and was then for three years at the French School at Athens. From his return to the present day he has occupied, with honor and distinction, many positions in the world of letters. At present he is a member of the Institut, an officer of the Légion d'Honneur, a professor à la Faculté des Lettres de Paris, and the director of the École Normale Supérieure. He is best known to scholars outside of France by the magnificent work on the History of Art in Antiquity, which he is writing, assisted by Charles Chipiez, architecte du gouvernement, and of which seven superb quartos have already appeared. (Hachette et Cie.) In 1891, by a decree of the Minister of Public Instruction, the study of the history of the fine arts was introduced into a section of the studies pursued at the lycées. In an article in the Revue des Deux Mondes, July 15, 1899, Perrot pleads for an increase of the time assigned to the study and for its introduction into other parts of the curriculum.
I have translated those pages of the article which are of general interest as a contribution to a subject which is deservedly attracting the attention of American institutions of learning. D. Cady Eaton.
 

WRITTEN and spoken language, the language of which the signs are words, is not the only language which man uses to convey his ideas. There is also the language of forms, which, with no less clearness and force, conveys the conceptions of the intellect and the sentiments of the heart. We study the history and the literature of bygone people for the purpose of acquiring a better knowledge of ourselves, and this knowledge is secured by becoming conscious of the different states of mind, to use a modern expression, through which our ancestors have passed. Even the most elementary and the most remote of these successive conditions are, unconsciously perhaps, represented in the depths of our being by beliefs and customs for which the present order and progress of civilization can not account.[1]

  1. The highest education consists in the presentation and in the acceptance of the purest ideas and the highest ideals of all ages, whether they be presented in written or spoken words, in songs of voices or sounds of instruments, in plastic forms or glowing pictures, in humble lives or glorious actions. The well-educated man should be the product and the epitome of the best thoughts and sentiments the world has produced, for he carries the responsibility of past centuries.