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public, Pestalozzi, in 1780, wrote the Evening Hour of a Hermit. This was his first educational work, and is by no means one of the least important, but it is very little known, and, like many others, is wanting in Cotta's edition of his writings. Published first by Iselin, in his Ephemerides, it was afterwards reprinted by Pestalozzi in a weekly educational paper he published, in 1807, and is to be found in Seyffarth's complete edition of his works.
The Evening Hour of a Hermit is a collection of short, pithy aphorisms, all bearing on the same subject, and forming, as a whole, a complete statement of the author's views as to the raising of the people by education. There are a hundred and eight of them, but we shall only quote those which seem to us the most important, taking advantage of the numbers prefixed by Seyffarth, to show their relative position in the work.
EVENING HOUR OF A HERMIT.
1. "Man, whether on a throne or in a cottage, is by nature always the same; but what is he? Why do not wise men tell us? Why do not the best minds find out what their own race really is? Does the peasant use oxen without learning to understand them? Does not the shepherd concern himself with the nature of his sheep?
2. "And you who employ men, who say that you govern them, and lead them, will you not take as much pains as the peasant for his oxen, the shepherd for his sheep? Is your wisdom the knowledge of your race? Is your goodness the enlightened goodness of shepherds of the people?
3. "What man is, what he needs, what raises or degrades him, what strengthens or weakens him, that should be known alike by the leaders of the people, and by the inmates of the humblest cottage.
8. "All the pure and beneficent powers of humanity are neither the products of art nor the results of chance. They are really a natural possession of every man. Their development is a universal human need.
10. "The infant whose hunger has been satisfied learns in this way the relations between its mother and itself; love and gratitude are awakened in its heart before their names strike its ear; the son who eats his father's bread, and warms
himself at his father's hearth, acquires in this natural manner the salutary knowledge of his filial duties.
12. "Man! in thyself, in the inward consciousness of thine own strength, is the instrument intended by Nature for thy development.
21. "The path of Nature, which develops the forces of humanity, must be easy and open to all; education, which brings true wisdom and peace of mind, must be simple and within everybody's reach.
22. "Nature develops all the forces of humanity by exercising them; they increase with use.
23. "The exercise of a man's faculties aud talents, to be profitable, must follow the course laid down by Nature for the education of humanity.
24. "This is why the man who, in simplicity and innocence, exercises his forces and faculties with order, calmness, and steady application, is naturally led to true human wisdom; whereas he who subverts the order of Nature, and thus breaks the due connection between the different branches of his knowledge, destroys in himself not only the true basis of knowledge, but the very need of such a basis, and becomes incapable of appreciating the advantages of truth.
25. "Thou who wouldst be a father to thy child, do not expect too much of him till his mind has been strengthened by practice in the things he can understand; and beware of harshness and constraint.
26. "When men are anxious to go too fast, and are not satisfied with Nature's method of development, they imperil their inward strength, and destroy the harmony and peace of their souls.
27. "When men rush into the labyrinth of words, formulas, and opinions, without having gained a progressive knowledge of the realities of life, their minds must develop on this one basis, and can have no other source of strength.
28. "The schools hastily substitute an artificial method of words for the truer method of Nature, which knows no hurry, and is content to wait. In this way a specious form of development is produced, hiding the want of real inward strength, but satisfying times like our own.
36. "Man! if thou seekest the truth in this natural order, thou wilt find it as thou hast need of it for thy position and for the career which is opening before thee.
40. "The pure sentiment of truth and wisdom is formed in the narrow circle of our personal relations, the circumstances which suggest our actions, and the powers we need to develop.
49. "The performance of acts which are contrary to our inward sense of right takes from us the power of recognising truth, and our principles and impressions lose in nobleness, simplicity, and purity.
50. "And thus all human wisdom rests on the strength of a heart that follows truth, and all human happiness on this feeling of simplicity and innocence.
60. "A man's domestic relations are the first and most important of his nature.
61. "A man works at his calling, and bears his share of the public burdens, that he may have undisturbed enjoyment of his home.
62. "Thus the education' which fits a man for his profession and position in the State must be made subordinate to that which is necessary for his domestic happiness.
63. "The home is the true basis of the education of humanity.
64. "It is the home that gives the best moral training, whether for private or public life.
A man's greatest need is the knowledge of God. 71. "The purest pleasures of his home do not always satisfy him.
72. "His weak, impressionable nature is powerless without God to endure constraint, suffering, and death.
94. "God is the Father of humanity, and His children are immortal.
135. 66 Sin is both the cause and effect of want of faith, and is an act opposed to what a man's inmost sense of good and evil tells him to be right.
168. "It is because humanity believes in God that I am contented in my humble dwelling.
175. "I base all liberty on justice, but I see no certainty of justice in the world so long as men are wanting in uprightness, piety, and love.
178. "The source of justice and of every other blessing in the world, the source of all brotherly love amongst men, lies in the great conception of religion that we are the children of God.
180. "That Man of God who, by His sufferings and death, restored to men the sense that God is their Father, is indeed the Saviour of the world. His teaching is justice itself, a simple philosophy of practical value for all, the revelation of God the Father to his erring children."
The Evening Hour does not seem to have aroused much attention; indeed, the great majority of people were incapable of appreciating its real merit. It was a more popular book, and one written in an easier and more agreeable style, that first gave Pestalozzi a literary reputation, and drew him out of his retirement.
About this time the Zurich Council, anxious to put things on a more modern footing, had drawn up certain regulations concerning the dress of the officials who maintained order in the town. To Pestalozzi, who was always strongly attached to old-fashioned simplicity, the change thus introduced seemed most ridiculous, and one day, in a humorous vein, he wrote a satire on the plan for "changing crooked, dirty, and unkempt guards into erect, clean, and tidy ones." He sent the paper to Zurich, to his friend Füssli the bookseller, whose brother the painter, happening to see it one day, was so struck by it that, after reading and re-reading it, he exclaimed, "To a man who can write like this, his pen is a fortune in itself!" This opinion, confirmed by other competent judges, gave great delight to Füssli, who repeated it to Pestalozzi, at the same time urging him to write. The solitary of Neuhof was little inclined to take the advice, believing himself quite incapable of ever succeeding as an author.
"For ten years," he said, "I have read nothing, and lived only with ignorant people. I could hardly write a sentence without a mistake." But at last he allowed himself to be persuaded. "I would even have made periwigs," he said afterwards, "to get bread for my wife and child."
He accordingly set to work to read Marmontel's Moral Tales, and had made as many as seven successive attempts to imitate this style of composition, without being at all satisfied with his work, when suddenly the idea occurred to him to draw a picture of the peasants he knew so well. He would faithfully paint their vices and their poverty, but he would also faithfully paint the elements of moral and physical regeneration that, in spite of all their degradation, they still
retained, and in this way he would still be working towards his favourite end.
This sudden conception was the saving of his work. From this time he wrote without trouble and without stopping, without even preparing a plan beforehand, and Leonard and Gertrude flowed from his pen in one unbroken stream. Too poor to buy paper, he wrote between the lines in an old account book, and in a few weeks the book was completed.
He then asked a friend to read it. The friend did So, and pronounced it interesting, but horribly incorrect, and "wanting in literary style." As he further offered to correct it for him, Pestalozzi gratefully accepted the offer; but when his MS. was returned, it was little more than a string of highsounding phrases, the peasants talking like pedants, and all the truth and naturalness having disappeared.
Pestalozzi naturally could not consent to publish the work thus disfigured, and in his embarrassment was on the point of giving up all idea of doing so, when another of his friends came to his rescue. This was Iselin, of Basle, who, understanding the real value and bearing of the manuscript, prepared it for the press by correcting the mistakes, and persuaded Decker, a bookseller in Berlin, to undertake its publication. The price Decker paid Pestalozzi was rather less than a shilling a page.
Leonard and Gertrude appeared in 1781; it was the first of the four volumes which afterwards formed the complete work. It had an immediate and immense success; most of the papers praised it, and extracts were inserted in many almanacs. The Agricultural Society at Berne ad
dressed a letter of congratulation to the author, with a gift of fifty florins, and a gold medal of the same value. On the medal was a crown of oak, with the words: Civi optimo.
Though Pestalozzi was now visited and made much of by numbers of distinguished people, he retained all his simplemindedness. It is even said that one day, having been invited out to dinner, and his host having sent his carriage for him, he made the footman sit in the carriage beside him. Charles de Bonstetten pressed him to come to his countryhouse to stay, and several other influential people made similar overtures to him, but he refused to leave Neuhof.
Leonard and Gertrude is but a simple story, though graphic and touching, of that village life which Pestalozzi