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severe, and it was the middle of January before the first children were admitted.
At the same time there was much distress and suffering in the country, as is evident from the following extract from an official report made by the sub-prefect Truttman:
"The distress of the inhabitants of the Stanz district is indescribable; it increases every day, and affects more or less everybody. The many poor people whose former benefactors have lost all means of helping them have nothing to live upon beyond what they receive from the Government, and the alms which are sent to them from other cantons. Their sufferings in this extreme and prolonged cold are inexpressible; their small stock of potatoes is frozen, and they have no other food; there is already much sickness among them."
At last, on the 14th of January, 1799, Truttman wrote to Rengger:
"To-day the first children have been received into the orphanage. May God bless our good Government for this beneficent work. I look forward to the best results from it. It was not without deep emotion that I saw these poor ragged creatures rescued at last from their unhappy condition, and admitted into an establishment where their education and future independence will be properly provided for.”
A few days later the numbers had reached fifty. Never did an educational institution open under such unfavourable conditions. So important was it to come at once to the rescue of these unfortunate children that they were admitted before the buildings were ready. There was nothing really habitable but one small room; all the others were full of plaster and rubbish; even the kitchen was not yet in order. The children, who were covered with sores and vermin, brought with them not only diseases, but deplorable habits and inveterate vices. To manage this household, to watch over the cleanliness, health, and education of these children, Pestalozzi was alone with one woman-servant.
We have before our eyes the first list of the children that Pestalozzi drew up and sent to the Directory, in which he mentions twenty-nine boys and sixteen girls. We will copy a few of the names, with the observations that accompany them:
"1. Jacob Baggenstoss, fifteen, of Stanzstad; father dead, mother living; good health, little capacity; can do nothing else but spin cotton; accustomed to begging.
"2. Francis Joseph Businger, fourteen, of Stanz; father living, mother dead; good health, good capacity, and goorl manners; does not know his A B C, can spin cotton; very poor.
"3. Gaspard Joseph Waser, eleven, of Stanzstad; father living, mother dead; healthy, good capacity, but wild and ill-mannered; does not know his A B C; cannot spin; accustomed to begging.
"4. Charles, brother of the above, ten; same manners and same antecedents as his brother.
"26. Mathias Odermatt, eight, of Stanz; father killed, mother living; deformed and sickly, weak and idle, knows nothing; poor.
"27. Joseph Kueffer, nine, of Stanz; non-burgess; parents living; healthy, fair capacity, is beginning to spell, cannot spin; poor.
"28. Gaspard Stieer, eight, of Stanz; father killed, mother living; bad health, more than average capacity, unwilling to learn, is beginning the A B C, can spin; very poor.
"29. "Jacob Adacher, seven, of Kirsiten; father killed, mother living; healthy, timid, knows nothing; very poor.
"1. Anna Josephine Amstad, fifteen, of Stanz; father dead, mother living; healthy, fair capacity, is beginning to read, and can spin; extremely poor.
"2. Clara Waser, twelve, of Stanzstad; father living, mother dead; healthy, fair capacity, fond of study, does not know her A B C, can spin; accustomed to begging.
"3. Josephine Rieter, thirteen, of Stanz; father and mother both dead; healthy, average capacity, is beginning to read, can spin; extremely poor.
"4. Anna Maria Beutschgi, eleven, of Stanz; father banished, mother dead; healthy, exceedingly neglected, knows nothing, very bad habits; very poor.
"15. Barbara Spillmater, ten, of Stanz; father dead, mother living; healthy, good capacity, knows nothing, good habits; poor.
"16. Catherine Aieer, five, of Stanz; father killed, mother living; healthy, good capacity, knows nothing; poor."
In spite of all these obstacles, and in spite of the little practical ability of the director, the success was immediate, almost miraculous.
Scarcely a month had passed when Truttman, in his report to the minister Rengger, dated the 11th of February, 1799, wrote as follows:
"The poor-house is doing well. Pestalozzi works night and day. There are now seventy-two children in the establishment, though not more than fifty can stay all night, as there are not enough beds. It is astonishing to see how active this indefatigable man is, and how much progress his pupils have made in so short a time. They are now eager for instruction. In a few years the State will certainly be more than repaid for the sacrifices it is making for this useful institution. I hope the good nuns may soon go to heaven, or to some other convent."
This testimony is confirmed by the report that Businger made to the Directory in the same week, which runs as follows:
"The poor-house has started, and is going on well. More than seventy children have already been received, and every day brings more applications for admission. Citizen Pestalozzi works incessantly for the progress of the establishment, and it is hardly credible how far he has been able to bring his work in so short a time."
Pestalozzi, then, had surmounted the internal obstacles, those, that is, which he could attack directly, but there were others outside which compromised the final success of his work. These obstacles were, on the one hand, the distrust, ill-will, and even open opposition of the district he had come to help; on the other, the unsound opinions of men who were thought to be competent, but who, accustomed to the old educational tracks, and misunderstanding Pestalozzi's thought, condemned him the moment he deviated from the pattern on which they themselves were formed.
The people of Lower Unterwalden detested the unitary Government which had been the cause of their late mis
fortunes, and were convinced that it was only looking after their children for the purpose of winning them over to this new and hated Constitution. They were, besides, entirely and exclusively Catholic; never had a Protestant held the smallest office amongst them, much less an educational one, and in the eyes of most of them, the poor children, by being put under the care of the heretic Pestalozzi, were in danger of losing their souls.
At the same time the work of this man was like no other work of the same sort, because it consisted in putting into practice a new idea, and often necessitated the adoption of methods which were the direct opposite of those hitherto in use. For instance, Pestalozzi worked without any settled plan, without any apparent order, and without dividing his children into classes. He was constantly with them, giving proof of his affection for them in everything he did and watching to take advantage of the slightest manifestation of their faculties, powers, and good impulses, like a gardener who, in tending a young tree, waits for its shoots to appear before deciding how to train them. That is why he had not asked for help, and indeed no one could have been of much use to him, an experienced teacher least of all. At first he had neither books nor school material, nor did he ask for any, wishing nothing for his children, beyond the simple necessaries of life, but contact with himself and with Nature.
The system of which we have just given such an imperfect sketch, is set forth clearly and completely in the letter on his stay at Stanz, written by Pestalozzi to his friend Gessner. Our readers will find this letter farther on, for its account of its author's doctrine makes it of great importance. We have felt it better not to interrupt our account of the Stanz asylum, an account, it must be added, which is entirely based on official documents; but what we have just said as to Pestalozzi's method, was necessary for the understanding of the various judgments expressed about him while he was engaged in the work.
Visitors to the establishment, for instance, often saw nothing but disorder and confusion, with an entire absence, as it seemed, of all serious instruction.
At the same time the poor-committee, who felt that their chief duty was to put the children in the way of earning something as soon as possible, complained that time was
being lost, and calculated the profit that might have been made by the manufacture of silk, an industry, however, for which there were absolutely no appliances.
The sub-prefect Truttman, a capable and well-meaning man. also failed to understand Pestalozzi's thought, and the higher end he had in view, being deceived by appearances. In his report to the minister, dated the 25th of March, 1799, he wrote as follows:
"I must tell you frankly that the appointment of a bursar, the classification of the children, both for instruction and manual work, the installation of the necessary superintendents and masters, can no longer be put off without danger to this useful institution. If I were not confined to my room by a swollen foot, I should come to Lucerne to-morrow to speak freely to you about this important matter. I admire the zeal of citizen Pestalozzi, and his indefatigable activity in his work, and he certainly deserves our gratitude; but I foresee that he will be incapable of carrying out his ideas, and of giving the enterprise the carefully ordered development which is necessary for its success. Indeed, without a new organization, which shall take into consideration all the various needs of the establishment, it cannot succeed. This excellent man has both firmness and gentleness, but unfortunately he often uses them at the wrong time. I have frequently spoken with him on the subject. I begged him even to go to Zurich, to study in detail the organization of the poor-school in that town, with a view to copying it, as far as possible, in Stanz. He accordingly went, but I do not look for any satisfactory result from his visit, because his idea is to do everything himself, without any plan, and without any other aid than that of the children themselves. The establishment needs a larger staff. But where are helpers to be found? I beg of you, citizen minister, for the honour of the Government, and for the public good, to lay this matter to heart, and find a remedy before the evil is too great."
But the Directory would not allow Pestalozzi to be interfered with, and left him complete liberty of action. He was not happy, however, but suffered terribly, both from the hostility of the district where he had expected to find