Nicolle, Charles-dominique

Nicolle, Charles-Dominique, a French educator of note, was born in Pissy-Poville Aug. 4, 1758. He commenced his studies in the College of Rouen, and came to Paris to finish them in the College of Sainte-Barbe, where he was professor and prefect when the Revolution broke out. Being then charged with the education of the son of M. de Choiseul-Gouffier, in 1790 Nicolle conducted this pupil to his father, ambassador from France to Constantinople. Three years after Nicolle went to St. Petersburg, and there founded a boarding-school, which soon attracted the children of the first noble families of that capital, and in the direction of which he was aided by other French ecclesiastics. particularly by the abbe Pierre Nicolas Salandre, who died vicar-general of Paris July 18, 1839. The duke de Richelieu, founder and governor of Odessa, called the abbe Nicolle to that city, who was then given by the emperor Alexander the title of visitor of all the Catholic churches of Southern Russia. Later Nicolle became the director of the Richelieu Lyceum, and he displayed an admirable devotion during a frightful pestilence which desolated Odessa in 1812. Certain business took him again to Paris in 1817, and Louis XVIII appointed him one of his honorary almoners. On his return to Russia, the abbe Nicolle was so much annoyed by the Russian clergy, jealous of his success, that he laid down his commission and returned to France, where he received in 1820 the title of member of the Royal Council of Public Instruction. Feb. 27, 1821, he became rector of the Academy of Paris, and co-operated with his brother in restoring a house of education destined to replace the ancient College of Sainte-Barbe, and which has become the College Rollin. The rectorship of abbe Nicolle furnishes a curious episode in the history of French public instruction. Nov. 18, 1822, he presided for the first time over the opening session of the medical faculty, where Desgenettes pronounced the funeral eulogy of Dr. Halld, an incumbent, like himself, of the medical chair. The students had never seen abbe Nicolle, whom, however, they knew by reputation as the particular friend of the duke de Richelieu, then very unpopular in his capacity of responsible minister. This agitated figure which they saw in the presidential chair, instead of the manly and fearless form of Cuvier, excited at first whisperings and murmurs. Where it was necessary to impress respect upon a hostile and almost seditious audience, the abbe flattered through weakness, promising his good will to this undisciplined crowd, who did not wish it, and who replied by furious clamors to the obsequious discourse which the rector timidly delivered. Desgenettes came afterwards, and, far from calming, only exasperated the malicious passions which animated the assembly. One phrase, in which the orator alluded to the Christian death of Prof. Halle, was awkwardly repeated by him three times, and, exaggerated by gestures, increased the exhibition of a scandalous dislike. No poor comedy was ever more hissed. A few days after, the School of Medicine was disbanded, and illustrious professors were forever excluded from it, with the exception of Desgenettes and Antoine Dubois, who entered it again after the Revolution of 1830. The office of rector having been suppressed in 1824, abbe Nicolle retained his position in the Royal Council of Public. Instructioni, and was permitted to retire Aug. 17,1830. He was an officer of the Legion of Honor after May, 1825, and became in 1827 honorary canon of Paris and vicargeneral of that diocese. He died in Soisy-sous-Enghien (Seine-et-Oise) Sept. 2, 1835. After his return to private life he occupied himself with writing his ideas upon education, and published them under the title of Plan d'education, ou projet d'un collige nouvelau (Paris, 1833, 8-o). See Frappaz, Vie de l'A bbe Nicolle (1857, 8vo); De Beaurepaire, Notice sur l'AbbeeNicolle (1859, 8vo).

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