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expensive operations are, of course, not possible for the poor; all they can hope for is to have a small piece of land to culti vate, the produce of which will provide for their household wants, and perhaps leave them something to sell. He therefore teaches his children hardly anything but the cultivation of vegetables, in which he finds that they take a great interest; afterwards, having seen how much can be got out of the land by steady and intelligent labour, they will be eager to have some of their own.
Pestalozzi then comes to the religious question. We will here give his own words:
"What a terrible responsibility for the director, who, should he let the children forget their God, their Father, their Saviour, or fail to implant in them the faith in God's revelation, which is our only support in trouble and the hope of the eternal life to which we are called, will surely be made to account for his neglect of these young souls! The director should be, as it were, a father to the children; their progress in application and in wisdom should cause him a father's joy; the daily improvement in their powers, their minds and hearts should raise his own character, and so be his reward; if this were not so, the work would not be worth his trouble and would profit him nothing."
Third letter, to the same.
Neuhof, March 19th, 1777. Pestalozzi here gives an account of the results of his experiment for the past three years; from which he concludes that success in his enterprise is not at all impossible. For instance, it is possible to make the work of the children pay for their maintenance; for the amount both of earnings and expenses has entirely justified his calculations.
It is possible to encourage their growth and keep them strong and well on a very plain and inexpensive diet, for they eat hardly anything but vegetable food; and though they work hard, they are very robust; the strongest go about in summer bareheaded and without shoes or stockings. (Jacobli, the director's only son, is treated in the same way.)
It is possible in a very short time not only to make them moderately good workers, but at the same time to teach them all that it is most necessary for them to know.
But there have been unforeseen difficulties:
1st. There are some children so accustomed to a vagrant life that they cannot be induced to give it up.
2nd. There are some parents so ungrateful and unnatural that they will sacrifice the welfare and future of their children for the smallest immediate advantage; they come to Neuhof and entice them away the very moment they see that they are clean, in good health, well clothed, and in a position to earn something.
The past year has been a hard one for the establishment; Mrs. Pestalozzi has been seriously ill nearly the whole time. In spite of the greatest attention to cleanliness, several children have suffered from an infectious skin disease. There have also been twenty-four cases of measles in the house, all ending happily, however. Finally the crops have suffered three times from hail storms.
But Pestalozzi is not discouraged; he will never forsake the work, nor will his wife. But he thinks it can never prosper, or meet with complete success, unless, by formal agreements with the parents and by the help of the authorities, it is made impossible for any child to be taken away from the establishment before his full time is up.
A few words on the most degraded portion of humanity. An appeal to the charitable to come to its assistance.
Neuhof, September 18th, 1777.
In this paper Pestalozzi gives a detailed account of a dozen of these poor children. They came to him in a state of such degradation as to excite almost as much fear as compassion; they seemed absolutely incapable of doing anything but harm either to society, their families, or themselves.
Many of them, however, were very intelligent, and nearly all have improved very much already, and are beginning to work well enough to earn their own living. Judging from his experience, Pestalozzi thinks that even the weakest and most feeble-minded ones may be saved.
But the director must be a father to them, no other relationship being really efficacious and salutary in this sort of education.
The children must remain in the establishment five or six years, and must be kept from the influence of their real
parents, whenever such influence is unmistakably pernicious. Pestalozzi has now thirty-six children in his house; this number will be increased next spring, and the financial position of the establishment will be thereby improved.
Educational Establishment for poor children at Neuhof, in Aargau. (Undated.)
This is a report addressed by Pestalozzi to the supporters of his undertaking, in which he explains his plans and the difficulties that are still to be overcome, and begs them to continue their support, and to have the establishment inspected by competent persons.
The household numbers fifty, including the masters, workmen, and servants necessary for the proper education and training of the children and the proper cultivation of the land.
The experience gained at Neuhof shows clearly that it is absolutely necessary to attach some conditions to the admission of pupils, and Pestalozzi feels compelled to say that in future he will receive no child without a formal agreement with the parents. Town children he will not admit at all, unless very young, for they are a constant source of trouble. Pestalozzi ends by repeating his determination to devote himself entirely to this work.
Then follows a statement by the Berne Agricultural Society, in which the Society declares that, having had the establishment at Neuhof examined by well-known and competent men, it has every confidence that Pestalozzi will make it succeed, and is glad to be able to commend it to the attention of the public.
Then comes a note by Iselin, who corroborates the Society's statement, and offers to receive any donations for the Neuhof establishment, and forward them to Pestalozzi.
Authentic account of Mr. Pestalozzi's Educational Establishment for poor children at Neuhof, near Birr, in the year 1778.
This was a pamphlet published by the before-mentioned Society, containing first a preface by the Society, which is almost word for word the same as the statement we have just summarized, and then an account by Pestalozzi himself, signed: "J. H. Pestalozze, Neuhof, February 26th, 1778.”
This new account is little more than a repetition of the others. At the end, Pestalozzi announces that he has received some sixty pounds in donations, thanks his benefactors, and begs the public to continue their support.
But the special interest of this pamphlet is that it contains a detailed account of each of the thirty-seven pupils. As these details take us to the heart of the matter, and teach us more than any number of generalizations, we shall give them word for word:
"I have to-day in my establishment the following children:
"1. Barbara Brunner, of Esch (Zurich), 17; admitted three years ago in a state of utter ignorance, but very intelligent. Now she spins, reads, and writes fairly well, likes singing, is principally engaged in the kitchen.
"2. Frena Hirt, 15;
"Frena has a weak chest; she spins well, is beginning to v sew and write nicely. I am pleased with her character. Maria is younger and stronger, is quick at everything, especially figures, and spins remarkably well; she is quite strong enough for any work suited to her age.
"4. Anna Vogt, 19;
two sisters, from Mandach.
"L They came to me three years ago, terribly neglected in body and mind; they had spent their lives in begging. We have had enormous trouble to make them in the least degree orderly, truthful, and active. The ignorance of the elder, and the depth of degradation to which she had sunk are scarcely credible. She is still idle, but her heart seems to have been touched. She still feels the effect of her miserable childhood, and suffers from swollen feet and other ailments; she is absolutely incapable of out-door work.
"The younger sister is intelligent and robust, but I tremble at her determined opposition to all good influences. Lately, however, I have seen, I fancy, some very slight traces of improvement. She spins fairly well, and can do any sort of work either in the house or the fields.
"6. Henri Vogt, of Mandach, 11; has been here three years; can weave, is beginning to write, works hard at French and arithmetic, is exact and careful in all he does; but he
seems cunning and deceitful, suspicious and greedy; has good health.
"7. Anneli Vogt, of Mandach, 11, daughter of Jacob Vogt; likes work, spins well, sings prettily, is apt at figures, is strong and useful out of doors as well as in the house; has been here three years.
"8. Jacob Vogt, her brother, 9; here three years. He is subject to occasional attacks of colic, one of the results of his wretched childhood. He is stubborn and very idle.
"9. Jacob Eichemberger, of Brunegg, 13; was induced to run away six months ago, but came back after a long absence. He seems to have a good disposition; he is intelligent, strong and useful in the fields; he is attentive, a good weaver, and is beginning to write fairly well.
"10. Lisbeth Renold, of Brunegg, 10; when admitted a year and a half ago she was so weak from want of proper food that she could hardly walk; has made great progress; enjoys good health now, and is very intelligent, but there is little hope of her ever being strong enough for work in the fields. She spins well and diligently.
"11. David Rudolf, of Zurzach, 15; here a year and a half; weaves well, has a good disposition, writes well, and takes pains with arithmetic and French.
"12. Leonzi Hediger, of Endingen, near Baden (Aargau), 14; has been here three years. He is a healthy boy, strong and accustomed to working in the fields; the best weaver in the house; is beginning to write a little, and likes French. He is quick at everything, but ill-mannered and uncouth.
"13. Francisca Hediger, his sister, 16; here three years; she spins, sews, and cooks equally well; she has all the qualities of a thoughtful, obedient, intelligent, and honest
"14. Marianne Hediger, "15. Maria Hediger,
two sisters; both healthy, active and capable of house-work or field-work.
"16. Friedly Mynth, of Bussy, near Aubonne, lived afterwards at Worblauffen, 10; has been here six months; she is very weak, and incapable of real work, but is clever in drawing, and has very artistic tastes. Inclined to fun; does nothing but draw.
"17. Susan Mynth, her sister, 9: healthy, very diligent and active, takes pleasure in her studies.