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spirit, that wounded pride had something to do with the determination taken by his colleagues and himself, and that their clear duty was to remain and suffer.
Certain children of the neighbourhood, of families in needy circumstances, that is, had formerly been received gratuitously into Pestalozzi's establishment, where they had in time become under-masters. These men, with a few newcomers, now did their best to replace the masters who had left; the teaching, however, suffered considerably. Niederer and Krusi were almost the only good masters that remained with Schmidt, but soon even their position became almost unbearable. Krusi, simple-minded and modest, gentle and affectionate, groaned in secret, but suffered everything without complaining. Niederer, on the other hand, could not submit to this new state of things, and was continually at strife with Schmidt, the animosity between them becoming more and more violent every day.
Meanwhile the financial position of the institute was going from bad to worse. At the pressing solicitation of Jullien, some experienced and honourable merchants of the town had consented to come once a week to examine the books and accounts; but their obliging intervention could only confirm the existence of the evil, not cure it. In that year of rain and floods, there was a dearth in the country, and food had risen considerably in price. Pestalozzi decided therefore to raise the school-fees; but even then he could not meet the increased expenditure, although the number of his pupils was rapidly falling off.
It was at this juncture that Schmidt conceived the idea of publishing, by subscription, a new edition of Pestalozzi's works, as a means of raising the money of which the institute stood so much in need. To this scheme he easily induced the old man to consent.
We must here point out that the views of Schmidt and Pestalozzi as to the destination of the funds to be yielded by the subscription were not quite the same.
Schmidt wanted money to repair the finances of the institute and secure its position, not only in the immediate future, but even after Pestalozzi's death. The latter, on the other hand, looked forward chiefly to at last finding himself in a position to found and establish on a proper basis that school for the poor which had been the dream
of his whole life, a desire with which Schmidt had little or no sympathy. As our history proceeds, this divergence of views will stand out more and more clearly.
In the month of March, 1817, Pestalozzi issued an appeal asking for subscribers to the complete edition of his works. In this appeal he sets forth his position in a very touching manner. After a long life of toil and sacrifice, he is in danger of seeing the fruit of his labours lost for humanity; he has undertaken much beyond his strength, but he now intends to turn his experience to the profit of the one aim of his life, the raising of the people. At the same time he speaks of his institute as of a work which no longer belongs to him, but which ought to last in the interests of humanity. Thus the destination of the proceeds of the subscription is left so vague as to admit of all sorts of interpretations. But everything concerning the conditions of sale and collection of subscriptions is settled in a most business-like manner, and all friends, schools, and governments are entreated in the most pressing terms to subscribe and find subscribers.
Niederer and Krusi refused to recognize the author of this appeal in the noble Pestalozzi; they felt that it was Schmidt's work, and that the old man could not put his name to it without dishonour. But their opposition was in vain, and the appeal was published. It was then that they resolved to leave their benefactor, him whom they called their father,1 and the old man was left alone with the master he had chosen. From that day the ruin of the institute was complete.
1 Krusi had imperative reasons for leaving the institute, for he had been married some years previously, and his modest emoluments did not suffice to keep his family. He now set up a boarding-school at Yverdun for a living.
DEATH-AGONY OF THE INSTITUTE.
Despair of Pestalozzi on seeing himself forsaken by Niederer and Krusi. He goes away ill to the Jura Mountains. Negotiations with Fellenberg for securing quiet independence for Pestalozzi fall through. Success of the subscription for Pestalozzi's works. His discourse of the 12th of January, 1818. Foundation of a pauper-school at Clendy. Its success. It is soon made part of the institute at the Castle. Gottlieb Pestalozzi returns to Yverdun and marries Schmidt's sister. Pestalozzi quarrels with the Yverdun municipality. He and Schmidt at law with Niederer. The Vaudese Government intervenes, and brings about a settlement. "Views on industry, education, and politics, in connection with the state of our country before and after the Revolution," by Pestalozzi. Fall of the institute. Schmidt expelled from the canton by the Government. Pestalozzi goes with him.
WE must give this title to that long period of seven years, during which Pestalozzi's institute still existed at the castle of Yverdun, although little more than the shadow of what it had been.
Henceforth Pestalozzi is entirely in Schmidt's hands, whom he regards not merely as a son who has sacrificed all to come to the aid of his father, and to whom he owes eternal gratitude, but as a saviour, who is alone capable of sustaining him, and whose daily support has become indispensable. He thus thinks himself compelled to do everything to please him, espouses all his quarrels, and, at his bidding, repels all his own old friends, and even refuses to take the hands stretched out to save him.
These unhappy years were further troubled by disputes and law-suits. Niederer and Schmidt first attacked one another in pamphlets and newspapers, and then brought actions for calumny, in which, unfortunately, since he ac
cepted the responsibility of all Schmidt's actions, Pestalozzi himself had to appear. The unfortunate controversy produced an impression on the public mind that was unfavourable even to Niederer, and far more so to Schmidt. Some biographers have even gone so far as to credit certain unproved statements about them, which we, however, believe to be slanders, and will not repeat, preferring to confine ourselves to authenticated facts. These two colleagues of Pestalozzi were associated with his work too long, and rendered the cause of education too many services, for us to remember errors committed under the influence of passion.
Whilst Pestalozzi thus seemed to follow Schmidt blindly, and showed himself more than ever incapable of the administration and direction of a large institute, his genius for philosophical investigation, and his enthusiastic devotion to the cause of the poor and weak of this world were as great
In this latter respect his views were not in harmony with Schmidt's, and in this one point he never ceased to struggle with the man who, in other matters, was his absolute master, often, as we shall see, coming off victorious. We shall see him steadily working at the development and improvement of his doctrine, deluding himself with the illusions of a young man, zealously reorganizing and planning new foundations, and, at the very moment when all that remained of his practical work was about to crumble under his feet, opening and successfully conducting a new school for the poor.
For the sake of characterizing the period which is the subject of this chapter, we have been obliged to anticipate somewhat; we must now take up the thread of events.
After the departure of Blochmann and his German colleagues in 1816, a few good masters still remained with Schmidt, Niederer, and Krusi. Among the number were Boniface, who is already known to us; Stern, who taught Latin and Greek well, and who afterwards became the director of the Gymnasium at Stuttgart; Knusert, who had left the French army in 1814, after the peace, and had resumed his duties in Pestalozzi's establishment, where, amongst other things, he looked after the military drill; and Hagnauer, a talented young Swiss, who was subsequently appointed to the cantonal school of Aarau.
We have said that the masters who had left had been
replaced by young men who were not always very highly qualified; we must, however, make an exception in favour of one particularly able teacher, who at this critical period proved to be of very great help to Pestalozzi. This was Lange, a man of good education and manners, and though kind and gentle, of great firmness of character. He spoke French well, and conducted morning prayers in that language for pupils ignorant of German.
But when in the spring of 1817 Niederer and Krusi decided that they must leave Pestalozzi, the masters just mentioned were not long before they followed their example.
The appeal for subscribers to Pestalozzi's works, the appeal, that is, that had brought about the rupture, was published in the last days of March, 1817; but it appears that Niederer and Krusi had made up their minds as early as the 14th of the month, for on that day they had asked the municipality for a certificate of good conduct during their residence at Yverdun, either because they thought such a document was necessary before they could live in the town apart from Pestalozzi, or else because they were afraid of Schmidt's attacks. Naef, director of the institute for deaf mutes, made a similar demand the same day, although his position was already quite independent of Pestalozzi's institute.
On the 5th of July, 1817, Pestalozzi obtained a promise from the municipality that the gratuitous enjoyment of the Castle should be continued for five years after his death to such persons as he would appoint to succeed him.
Some days after that, he asked to be allowed to rent, for purposes of cultivation, a field of some four or five acres just outside the town, and requested further that the lease might hold good after his death, like that of the Castle. This fresh request was also granted by the municipality.
The reader already sees the object of these requests; it will be made still clearer to him as we proceed.
Meanwhile Pestalozzi had refused to believe himself really forsaken by Niederer and Krusi, nor were his eyes opened until he received a rather harsh letter from Niederer, telling him that his old coadjutors would keep themselves aloof so long as he chose to retain Schmidt.
The old man's grief and anger knew no bounds; at times he was almost beside himself, and it was feared that his