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an end, though the work in hand is not completed. Mankind, that I have loved so well, will, with grateful acknowledgment of my efforts, complete my task. But it will also see in you, friends and brothers, the first and worthiest labourers in this reform. You will therefore remain my sons, and not fail that posterity for which I have lived. It is this hope that consoles me, when I see that the work I have neither time nor strength to finish, rudely torn from my hands by the natural course of events, is really mine no longer. But it is still in God's hands. O friends, be true, and fail not!"
In the words which Pestalozzi now addresses to his wife, we find the confirmation of a fact hitherto unverified, namely, that the old man, after neglecting money matters all his life, nevertheless took certain necessary precautions to secure for his wife, and after her for his grandchild Gottlieb, a sum of money representing the increased value of the Neuhof estate, which was all that remained of the fortune she had brought him.
His words were as follows:
"I now address myself to you, faithful companion of my life! Do not take as indifference the calmness with which I regard my fate; it is God who gives it me.
The year just gone first brought me this peace, the present year will complete it. The past year has also been blessed for you, my dear and noble wife, for your health has been restored. God permits you, then, to see the end I have so nearly reached; joy shall still be yours, for you have deserved it! You have indeed suffered much for my sake in the times of struggle and preparation which have been so unduly prolonged in my life; you have greatly feared for the future of our grandson, compromised by my fault. But God, who fashions our lives, has witnessed your agony; His Fatherly hand has sent you an unexpected succour; our dear child is saved, so that, in this respect too, we may go down to the grave in peace. Our child will be your heir. As for me, I shall die poor, as I have always intended. To devote myself and my all to my work has been, as you know, my only desire. But God is good, dearest! May our faith in
Him remain unshaken!"
After this, Pestalozzi addresses himself first to his own children, then to the young girls of the neighbouring institute, then to the directress, Mrs. Kuster, and her chief assistant, Miss Rosette Kasthoffer. He speaks to them all of his gratitude and trust, and to all utters words of encouragement. He finally concludes by invoking God's blessing upon everybody, including his absent friends, for the year which has just begun.
year, 1812, begun under such happy auspices, was soon to bring Pestalozzi a fresh trial—a painful, serious and long illness.
One day, as he was walking up and down Mrs. Krusi's room, preoccupied and restless, as was his wont, having taken up a knitting-needle to scratch his ear, he suddenly knocked against the high earthenware stove with such force that the needle was driven into his head. According to the doctor who attended him, and who was amazed beyond measure that such an old man should recover from so severe an accident, the needle must have penetrated, not the tympanum, but the bony part of the ear.
His recovery, however, was very slow. For a long time he was confined to his bed, and suffered much pain. He could not bear the slightest noise, and for four months his life was despaired of. At times he thought he was dying, and seemed glad; at other times he would say, "I should like to live a little longer, for I have still much to do." His convalescence was long and painful. But the old man could not give up work, and even in the midst of his sufferings, and when parched by fever, he continued to dictate to one of his assistants, for he never ceased to occupy himself with the elaboration of his "method." When he was well enough to be placed on a sofa, he began to write a little himself he also put into execution a project which had occupied his mind for some time past.
He considered the best means of teaching a foreign language to be that which Nature employs in teaching a child to speak its mother-tongue, that is to say, constant practice in the spoken language. It was thus that, with the addition of a little grammar, the Germans at Yverdun learned French, and the French German, with complete success. Pestalozzi thereupon asked himself if it would not be possible to employ similar means to teach a dead
language, and he resolved to try the experiment. Every day some six or seven children who had not yet begun Latin, amongst them the writer of these lines, were brought to his couch.
Pestalozzi had with much care selected from Caesar's Commentaries a number of short passages and isolated phrases, all bearing on the same subject, and nearly all containing the same words; with these selections he had, in his illegible hand, filled several sheets. As we stood by the couch, where he lay weak and suffering, he would give us a phrase, which we all had to repeat until we knew it by heart; he would then explain the different words, and point out some of the changes they undergo when it is required to modify the sense of the sentence. In this way the study of syntax and accidence went hand in hand. We were
soon able to make certain changes for ourselves, and construct sentences of such elements as were known to us; that is to say, with a very limited vocabulary, and a very narrow range of subjects, we spoke Latin like Cæsar!
These lessons were continued during the whole period of the old man's convalescence, but after that they were dropped. We have never been able to ascertain whether Pestalozzi gave them up because he was not satisfied with the success of the experiment, or merely because he was carried away by new ideas.
At the beginning of 1813, Niederer married Miss Kasthoffer, and Pestalozzi made over to them the girls' school, which had been originally established in a large house near the Castle, where it remained for the next twenty-five years. Mrs. Kuster thus saw herself supplanted by her headassistant, to whom she resigned her position without the least complaint. The establishment certainly profited by the change, and, owing to the unusual capacity of Mrs. Niederer, enjoyed a very long period of prosperity.
The finances of the institute were at this time in a very unsatisfactory condition. Since 1810 the number of the pupils had been falling off, but that of the masters steadily increasing. Young men came from far and near to learn the method, and on the understanding that they would afterwards do their best to spread it, were admitted by Pestalozzi for nothing. The old man's credulity in this respect was unbounded. He refused nobody, and received
all sorts of unfit persons into the institute, sometimes even deliberately dishonest people, who, after staying a few months, made off, leaving debts behind them which Pestalozzi felt it his duty to pay. The mode of life was simple, it is true, and the faithful Lisbeth Krusi did her best as housekeeper; but in her desire that there should be no stint, she fell into the opposite extreme, with the result that there was much waste. The printing press, too, cost a great deal of money, especially now that the polemical publications were so frequent. The effect of all this was already making itself felt, as we have said, though the final financial disaster did not come till afterwards.
After the departure of Schmidt, Ramsauer became Pestalozzi's favourite, and did for the practical application of the "method" very much what Niederer did for the theory. It is to be regretted that at this time Ramsauer could not, or would not, take in hand the administration of the finances of the establishment; had he done so, he might perhaps have saved the institute. But he confined his activity to his relations with the pupils, and to the improvement of the system of instruction in the elementary branches.
Mechanical and perspective drawing, in which he excelled, were his favourite subjects; it is to him that we owe the rational and graduated course which made it possible to introduce that particular branch of teaching into the primary schools. Very often foreigners, who were passing through the country, would beg for a collection of his models to take home to their respective countries, and thus his practical method spread in all directions. It was almost the same collection as that afterwards published in Paris by Boniface and Rivail.
Ramsauer's own account of his relations with Pestalozzi is as follows:
"It was not at all rare in summer to see foreigners at the Castle four or five times a day, who interrupted our lessons, and expected us to explain our method. During the years 1812, 1813, and 1814, in addition to my ordinary occupations, I so often had to give the necessary explanations in a very loud voice, that my chest suffered. When, at last, I was quite ill, Pestalozzi reproached himself with being the cause; he knew he had worked me too much, and was
anxious to nurse me himself, as a father would nurse his child. But he was more incapable and awkward than I could have believed possible if I had not seen him.
"The hardest time I spent with Pestalozzi was from 1812 to 1815, when I so often had to write in his room from two to six in the morning. Even when I retired to bed as late as eleven or twelve, I was expected to be at his bedside by two. If I was a few minutes late, he would impatiently jump out of bed, both winter and summer, and with very little clothing on, cross the courtyard, and, going through the boys' dormitories, call me in a way that was not always polite. But when I was punctual, or even when I made my appearance after being called, he would express his approval by embracing me, and then get back into bed and begin his dictation. But it was very difficult to write down what he said, for he not only spoke very indistinctly (he always had the end of the sheet in his mouth), but generally changed the form of his sentences two or three times. When
Pestalozzi was talking, people were often obliged to guess at what he meant from the expression of his face, his speech being so much slower than his thought. In the same way his secretary often had to guess at his words from the tone of his voice. My task then, if interesting, was difficult, and I sometimes felt a certain pity for the old man, though without losing any of my love and respect.
"During the years 1812, 1813, and 1814, the period when Pestalozzi's friendliness and confidence in me were most marked, he used to send for me every day after dinner to take coffee or liqueur in Mrs. Pestalozzi's room, or in that of his faithful housekeeper, Mrs. Krusi. On those occasions he was generally very gay and full of wit; and his wit was often brilliant, for whatever he did, he did thoroughly, giving himself up entirely to the feelings of the moment. In the same half-hour he would be extremely happy and extremely miserable, gentle and caressing or serious and severe; he did nothing without enthusiasm.
"But, happily or unhappily, he soon forgot; and so there is little sequence in the history of his life. Nor did he profit much by his experiences. Even in our study of pedagogics, he would not allow us to make use of the experience of other times or other countries; we were to read nothing, but discover everything for ourselves. Hence the whole