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remedy for its present pitiful condition in Rousseau's lofty ideas. The ideal system of liberty, also, to which Rousseau imparted fresh animation, increased in me the visionary desire for a more extended sphere of activity, in which I might promote the welfare and happiness of the people. Juvenile ideas as to what it was necessary and possible to do in this respect in my native town, induced me to abandon the clerical profession, to which I had formerly leaned, and for which I had been destined, and caused the thought to spring up within me, that it might be possible, by the study of law, to find a career that would be likely to procure for me, sooner or later, the opportunity and means of exerting an active influence on the civil condition of my native town, and even of my native land.”
One writer (Henning) says that Pestalozzi once told him that his heart was so filled, in his youth, with enthusiasm for patriotism and zeal for the rights of the oppressed, that he earnestly strove to think out any and every means of deliverance for the poor and downtrodden; and so desperate was he for something effectual to be done, that he might easily have become persuaded that the killing of despots was no murder. Fortunately he was content to try more sensible and successful methods.
No doubt his resolve to forego the ministry was, to some extent at least, due to the fact that on his appearance as a candidate he was unable to say the Lord's Prayer correctly, and broke down three times in his sermon. In his study of law he seems to have followed the characteristic bent of his mind and character, and was more concerned to learn of the principles and methods of good government than the way to win cases.
This is shown by an essay on the constitution of Sparta and a translation of some of Demosthenes' orations, which he published at the time; and which also show his thoroughness in research and his proficiency in classical learning.
The more he got to know of the highest ideals of those principles of freedom and justice which should control individual and national life, the more clearly he saw the shortcomings and evils of the life around him. He saw that the education and training, both at school and in practical life, of those who filled the highest offices-judges, ministers and public officials of all kinds were quite unsuited to fit them for their work; and that the corruption and fraud which arose chiefly from their incompetence degraded and despoiled the common people. He expressed his views in an essay on the relation which education ought to bear to the various professions and callings. This was published
while he was still a student at law.
He appears to have written a good deal on various subjects dealing with law and politics; and he also collected extensive materials for a book on the history of law and politics in Switzerland. Hard and unremitting study, and the mental stress of his intellectual struggles proved too much for his constitution, already impaired by the excessive demands he had made upon it by reason of the zeal and intensity with which he took up and carried out his ideas. Among other things he had thrown himself whole-heartedly into the general enthusiasm of the reformers for the revival of agriculture as a means for the salvation of the poor, and the remedy for all evils. Stirred by the teachings of Bodmer and the writings of Rousseau, many of the best students in
the college learnt farming and practised the simple life. Writing to a friend, in the autumn of 1765, Bodmer says of them: "they have already learned to mow, and to bear heat, perspiration and rain with the peasants".
Pestalozzi is said to have practised vegetarianism; to have slept, unclothed, on the floor of his room; and even to have whipped himself till he bled, to fit himself to undergo any suffering that might be necessary. Little wonder that he became seriously ill, and exhausted in body and mind.
THE BEGINNING OF HIS LIFE-WORK.
ADVISED by his doctor to give up study for a time and to recuperate in the country; and inspired by Rousseau to return to the life of nature; Pestalozzi renounced the study of books for ever, committed all his manuscripts to the flames, and took to farming. He went to Kirchberg, in the canton of Bern, and apprenticed himself to a farmer named Tschiffeli, a man who had a great reputation for his knowledge and skill in farming, and for his keen interest in the welfare of the farm workers. An out-door life, healthy and regular work, the quiet and calm of country life, peaceful meditation, and intercourse with nature and men of simple habits, soon restored him to sound health and to that childlike simplicity of thought and conduct which had distinguished him as a boy. From Tschiffeli he learnt much. "I had come to him," he says, "a political visionary, though with many profound and correct attainments, views and prospects in political matters; and I went away from him just as great an agricultural visionary, though with many enlarged and correct ideas and intentions in regard to agriculture. My stay with him only had this effect: that the gigantic views in relation to my exertions were awakened within me afresh by his agricultural plans, which, though difficult of execution,
and in part impracticable, were bold and extensive; and that at the same time they caused me, in my thoughtlessness as to the means of carrying them out, to fall into a callousness the consequences of which contributed in a decisive manner to the pecuniary embarrassment into which I was plunged the very first years of my rural life."
In 1767, at the age of twenty-two, he resolved to start a farm for himself. With a small legacy from his father and some capital advanced by a banker in Zurich, he bought about 100 acres of waste land near Birrfeld, in the canton of Argovie, not far from Zurich, and began to cultivate vegetables and madder. He called his place Neuhof, i.e., new farm. Two years later he married Anna Schulthess, a woman beautiful alike in character and person, and one who for fifty years adorned his triumphs as worthily as she bore his misfortunes heroically.
During the year 1770 a son was born to them. This they esteemed the highest possible blessing, and the greatest possible responsibility. Pestalozzi appears to have tried to follow out Rousseau's ideas in the education of his boy, Jacobli; and he kept a diary of his and the child's progress. Herein we see the first definite beginnings and developments of Pestalozzi's theories of education. A few extracts will show the general character and tendency of his efforts :
"Jan. 27, 1774.-I drew his attention to some water which ran swiftly down a decline. He was delighted. I walked a little lower down, and he followed me, saying to the water: 'Wait a minute: I shall come back soon'. Shortly afterwards I took him to the bank of the same stream again; and he exclaimed;