Frederick enters the Warsaw lyceum.—Various
influences.—His father’s friends.—Rise of romanticism in polish
literature.—Frederick’s stay at Szafarnia during his first
school holidays.—His talent for improvisation.—His development
as A composer and pianist.—His public performances.—Publication
of op. I.—Early compositions.—His pianoforte style.
Frederick, who up to the age of fifteen was taught at home along with his father’s boarders, became in 1824 a pupil of the Warsaw Lyceum, a kind of high-school, the curriculum of which comprised Latin, Greek, modern languages, mathematics, history, &c. His education was so far advanced that he could at once enter the fourth class, and the liveliness of his parts, combined with application to work, enabled him to distinguish himself in the following years as a student and to carry off twice a prize. Polish history and literature are said to have been his favourite studies.
Liszt relates that Chopin was placed at an early age in one of the first colleges of Warsaw, “thanks to the generous and intelligent protection which Prince Anton Radziwill always bestowed upon the arts and upon young men of talent.” This statement, however, has met with a direct denial on the part of the Chopin family, and may, therefore, be considered as disposed of. But even without such a denial the statement would appear suspicious to all but those unacquainted with Nicholas Chopin’s position. Surely he must have been able to pay for his son’s schooling! Moreover, one would think that, as a professor at the Lyceum, he might even have got