The Educational Theory of Jean Jacques Rousseau

By William Boyd | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III THE DISCOURSE ON THE SCIENCES AND THE ARTS

1. Rousseau in Paris. --After the unhappy outcome of the educational venture with M. de Mably's sons, Rousseau returned once more to Madame de Warens; but the attempt to re-establish their old relationship proved a failure. After a few months of blackest melancholy, spent chiefly among his books, he resolved to make trial of his fortunes in Paris. His thoughts had been turned Parisward by his discovery of a new method of musical notation embodying the principle of the movable Doh of the modern Tonic Solfa.1 The discovery coming at this crisis led him to hope that he might win fame and fortune by bringing his system before the notice of the leaders of thought in the city. Behold him then in Paris in the autumn of 1741 at the age of twenty-nine with fifteen louis of silver, a comedy which had been written some years before, and his musical project, as his entire resources!

He was not long in discovering that fame and fortune were more difficult to win than he had imagined. The people to whom he went with letters of introduction from his late employer wished him well but could do nothing for him; and the musical system that was to make so great an impression on the world was damned

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1
In his system the musical notes were represented by figures.

-50-

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