The Young Lady, Smolny! As before the revolution was brought up by noble maidens

The Young Lady, Smolny! As before the revolution was brought up by noble maidens

Army routines, humiliating punishments, cold, uncomfortable clothes and training program high school — this was the Smolny Institute for noble maidens.

In may 1764 the Empress Catherine II signed a decree, which is believed to have made a real revolution in the sphere of Russian education. That day was founded the Imperial educational society for noble maidens. Later became the Smolny Institute.

The magic of this name is now stunning. To say about any character: “She graduated from the Smolny” means to raise man to an unattainable height. Still — the best, the most privileged institution. That confirms and founder of the Smolny Institute, the Ekaterina II in a letter to Voltaire: “These girls exceeded our expectations; they manage wonderfully, and all agree that they are the same kind, how much enriched useful for the society with knowledge, and with this connects the most irreproachable morals. We educate them so that they could decorate the family that will come, we don’t want them to do neither Cutesy nor coquettes, but helpful and able to educate their own children and to take care about my house”.

Lower class

In other words, created and maintained the impression that the Smolny produced young ladies, combining the qualities of an ideal wife and good housewife. Of course, highly educated.

And here lies the trap. It gets the word “Institute” — it seems to many that if so, then the education there given the highest. Actually no. Smolny program, originally designed for 12 years of schooling, then 9, and then 7 was equivalent to a gymnasium. That is, the Smolny Institute, despite the big name, gave their graduates an education above the average.

And other times slightly lower. So, in the mid-nineteenth century, suddenly discovered that the elite graduates of the maidens, to put it mildly, not shining with knowledge. The case was called to fix a leading Russian educator Konstantin Ushinsky. First check Smolny taken, showed the following.

A complete failure on the part of the Russian language proficiency. His study began with the so-called “middle age” — of course girls from 12 to 15 years. “Early age”, that is girls from 9 to 12 years, the Russian language was not involved at all — only studied French and German.

However, “studied” — more loudly.

More than half of “smolyanka” are unable to read and translate even half a page of German text — and this is after 3 years of lessons.

With literature the case was even worse. The names of Pushkin, Lermontov, and Gogol didn’t say “noble maidens” almost nothing. As it turned out, the teachers considered their works to be “harmful and dangerous to the younger girls” and have confined themselves to vague retellings. The most piquant detail — the Institute was not the library. So even if someone of the students were interested in the same Pushkin, this would equate to a violation of internal regulations. With all the ensuing consequences.

Stand up! Attention!

And the routine was strict, if not cruel. Rise at six in the morning. If anyone hesitated — he tore the blanket. Prayer, bathing, dining. Everywhere I go system, both on the parade ground. Here memories of the graduate of the Smolny Elizabeth Vodovozova: “Wherever we moved, we were soldiers — silent slender column. In the canteen there and back was built eight times, for an hour spent going for walks and to Church.”

Wildly uncomfortable clothing, which is why it is accepted to admire. Yes, from everything beautiful. Junior dresses in coffee, medium — blue, seniors — white, all with white aprons. But dresses, moreover, that shook and rubbed and warmed. And it was needed almost the whole year in the premises of the Institute was a cold: “most of all he was given to feel when we had to undress to go to bed. A shirt with a collar, to the cut that she often slipped from the shoulders, without night blouse, which were only permitted in urgent cases and at the request of the doctor, we rushed to bed. But two sheets and a light blanket threadbare with age pile little protection against cold bedrooms, which winter in the morning was not more than eight degrees.”

And — punishment. No, no, no, no rods. Corporal punishment to the noble maidens were not applied. However, other than used possible the whole spectrum.

For swearing and Sass ward put on his neck a huge cardboard red tongue, which, depending on the severity of the offense, was supposed to wear from one day to weeks.

For the negligent or Vice versa — slightly dashing military haircut, as well as for carelessly patched clothes, a stain on the hand or apron to the dress pinned wearing of stockings as a sign of shame.

If men closed institutions like a Church school could leave without lunch, in Smolny, it was considered inhumane. Food as such is not deprived. However, it was not allowed to sit at the table. In General, there was standing. But Woe to the one who would dare to do so — behind the scenes it was considered a terrible sin, a sure sign of fallen women.

Do not touch!

Not all of it was good and part Economics. Nikolai Gogol perfectly described the result of a “noble education”, leaving forever the Madame Manilov from Dead souls. It is, of course, was not raised in the Smolny. But in a guest house which was arranged exactly according to the patterns of the best female educational institutions in the country.

“Why, for example, it is foolish and to no avail, is preparing in the kitchen? why pretty empty in the pantry? why the thief stole? why are dishonest and drunkards servants? why all the servants are asleep unmerciful way and poveznice the rest of the time? But all these things are low, and manilow brought up well… the Three main subject form the basis of human virtues: the French language is necessary for the happiness of family life, piano, for the pleasant moments wife, and, finally, the economic part: the knitting of purses and other surprises.”

Questions really reasonable. But addressing them should not Mrs. the Manilova, and mentors. First of all the teachers in the Smolny Institute, which all take an example. They are also the lessons of Economics are treated: “By the time we got to the kitchen was already neatly laid out on tables prepared by the cook meat, vegetables, dough and spices. The cook graciously allowed us something to slice or chop, and then again took things into their own hands: to the plate neither of us was allowed”.