The New York Sunday Times has an interesting letter from its Paris correspondent, on the manners and customs of French students, from which we extract the following: "Students' private libraries are neither so large nor so varied in Paris as they are with us. The average Parisian student buys his books at second-hand in the old bookstores, or along the quays. . . . The Latin quarter is always represented by a Radical in the parliament, and most of the students are ardent Republicans. Unlike the students of Germany and the United States, the Parisian etudiant has no collection of songs. He sings 'Gaudeaumus,' it is true, and 'Lauriger Horatius,' but he has no songs that are French in the sense the song 'Was kommet denn von der Hoh' is German, and 'Upidee' is American. Nor has he secret societies. . . . The students of Paris have no press of their own. College journalism, though not unknown, has proved unsuccessful among them. The most long-lived of these short-lived productions appeared during a few months in 1879. This sheet was entitled Le Quartier Latin: Journal Humoristique, Litteraire et Scientifique, and it promised to be the 'organ of the wants and pleasures of the students.' Tales, madrigals, sonnets, anecdotes and jokes filled its columns; there was scarcely a serious bit of writing in it. Now, the young men with journalistic talent send their contributions to such papers as the Beaumarchais, the Jeune France and the Parnasse, but the quarter has no special literary organ that represents its interests and advocates its claims. . . . The slang of the Parisian student is a study. When he wishes to say that he has made a 'spurt,' or a 'rush,' or a 'flunk,' he calls upon words that would assuredly be distracting to the classic Corneille, were that old gentleman here to catch them. To the student, the Boulevard Saint Michel is the Boul Mich; his 'den' is his boite. . . . The Parisian students do not, to any great extent, indulge in rowing, athletics or gymnastics. Fencing is the exercise that seems to be most in vogue, while boxing has also made some headway among the youth of France. They are not walkers, nor horsemen, nor swimmers. The 'escholiers' of Paris, if not very enthusiastic athletes, are very enthusiastic dancers. To be convinced of this, you have but to go to the student ball, the 'Jardin de Bullier,' on a Monday or a Thursday night."
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May 06, 2017