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ever you think necessary for the instruction of the people, and whatever you think should form the object of legislative measures, will have a great importance in my eyes, and I shall receive with the greatest pleasure everything you write on this subject."
And, again, on the 19th December, 1787, he writes:
I have read the fourth volume twice. From page 164 it is of the deepest interest, and develops views of great im. portance for all legislation affecting the masses. To carry out your ideas, the first thing to do would be to attempt to get Arner's views shared by the whole of the nobility, who are almost the only owners of property, that they might have both the inclination and courage to bring their children up in his spirit side by side with the country children, and be content to live on their estates."
In his reply of the 18th January, 1788, Pestalozzi says:
"A few statesmen and magistrates have indeed praised the fourth volume, but the mass of readers have found it very uninteresting from page 164..
"Education being the centre from which everything should start, the State should consider this the most important part of its work, and make everything else subordinate to it. If this matter is properly attended to, the private interests of sovereigns will be the more easily looked after, and the relations between the local and central authorities will be all the more satisfactory.
"Let us hope that those who are the leaders of humanity will soon arrive at the conviction that human progress and improvement is their chief, nay, their only concern. For my part, I am certain that sooner or later the difficulties in the way of such an education of the people as I desire will vanish, and that princes themselves will be the first to encourage it, and lend their assistance to those who are the most capable of directing it aright." 1
We have lately re-read the four volumes of Leonard and Gertrude, after a long interval, and have been much struck
We have borrowed these extracts from Pompée's interesting work, "Studies of the Life and Works of J. H. Pestalozzi." Paris, 1850.
by the richness, truth, and variety of the views which have been lying hidden there for ninety years. In the strength of Pestalozzi's convictions and in his deep sympathy with misfortune in any shape, lies the secret of the eloquence and real pathos of his writings. It may be said that his intellect borrows its breadth and sagacity from his heart, for it is his heart that fills him with such intelligent sympathy for the suffering, the weak, and needy.
It is worthy of notice that in this picture of the vices of a degraded people, complete as it is in other respects, Pestalozzi makes no mention of impurity. He is as silent about libertinism, and everything connected with it, as if his countrymen had been all saints, and nowhere will a single word be found which might not be read by anybody.
In the first volume a few lines have been replaced by dots, and the author explains in a note that this passage was suppressed because a child of ten on hearing it read aloud exclaimed that it was "very rude."
A French translation of the first volume of Leonard and Gertrude, by the Baroness de Guimps, was published at Geneva by J. J. Paschoud, in 1826, and a new edition was brought out a few years ago. It is much to be regretted that the three last volumes have not yet been translated.
Cotta's edition of the complete works published towards the end of Pestalozzi's life does not include the whole of the fourth volume of the first edition of Leonard and Gertrude, the reason being that the author wanted to revise the last part of it, make certain additions, and write a sixth part, an intention he did not live to carry out. In the recent edition published by Seyffarth, Leonard and Gertrude is in five parts, but the fifth part is merely a reproduction of the fourth volume, which appeared in 1787.
Whilst Pestalozzi was working at Leonard and Gertrude, he wrote four other works, which were published from 1781 to 1783, and of which we have not yet spoken, because we were unwilling to interrupt what we had to say about the book which made his literary reputation.
In 1779 a Society in Basle had offered a prize for the best essay on the following subject: How far is it advisable to set a limit to personal expense in a small free state where commerce is the foundation of prosperity? Twenty-eight essays were sent in, and the judges divided the prize be
tween a professor, named Meister, and Pestalozzi, who were both from Zurich, and were old schoolfellows. In 1781, Pestalozzi's essay, with two others, was published in pamphlet form by the Society that had given the prize.
In this paper Pestalozzi pronounces an absolute condemnation of sumptuary laws in general, for reasons which we need hardly reproduce, seeing that this question has long been settled, and has little interest for us to-day. At the same time he pleads forcibly for liberty in commerce and industry. He also deplores the increase of luxury, and suggests means by which it may be stopped. These means must be purely educational, for coercion, prohibition, and regulation could only do harm. In this way the question which had been proposed, and which at first sight seemed entirely foreign to Pestalozzi's work, brings him back to his favourite theme of education.
He would have education fill both heart and mind with such high aspirations that men should no longer be capable of finding pleasure in the refinements of material life. He would have the rich love the poor so well as to hesitate to flaunt before them pleasures which are not within their reach. He would have rulers and public bodies cease to set the example of ostentatious and useless expense.
The foregoing is but a poor summary of the chief ideas which make this essay, written before the second volume of Leonard and Gertrude, still interesting to us.
In 1782 Pestalozzi published Christopher and Eliza; My Second Book for the People. But this title deceived the public. They expected to find another story as graphic and interesting as the volume of Leonard and Gertrude that they had just read, whereas the new work was nothing but a commentary on the earlier one.
The aim of the author was to bring out and develop the lessons contained in the first volume, lessons which his readers had missed. He had chosen the form of a dialogue between Christopher and Eliza, a husband and wife who read a chapter of Leonard and Gertrude every evening in the presence of their son Fritz and their old servant Joost. In this way Pestalozzi directs attention to a number of important considerations, all bearing on the morals, comfort and happiness of the people.
But the reading of this book requires a more sustained
mental effort than most people are capable of, and even many who might have profited by it, but who began to read merely for the sake of amusement, soon abandoned the attempt.
Pestalozzi here made the same mistake that he often made, a mistake, indeed, which on more than one occasion proved fatal to his attempts to propagate his doctrine. The truths which he himself held, as it were, intuitively, seemed so simple and self-evident, that he could not understand how other minds could fail to grasp them, and never doubted that he would be able to spread them by writing popular books.
Christopher and Eliza did not succeed because both aim and form were bad. In matter, indeed, it was perhaps better than Leonard and Gertrude, being richer in important views on education and other social questions, many of which views are still of value to-day. But it was probably Pestalozzi's opinions in matters of this sort that hindered the success of his book amongst educated people, for such opinions must at that time have been very offensive to the upper classes. He points out, for instance, that the corruption of those who are ruled generally results from the corruption of their rulers, and that the vices of the poor are too often caused by the vices of the rich, ideas, we think, which no one would dare to condemn to-day so absolutely as was done ninety years ago.
It was after having failed to reach his end with Christopher and Eliza that Pestalozzi wrote the continuation of Leonard and Gertrude.
We must here mention a publication of Pestalozzi's on a question which had occupied his thoughts ever since he was quite a young man. He was still a law student in Zurich when two young girls of the Canton of Vaud were condemned to death for infanticide. The trial made a great stir throughout Switzerland, and Pestalozzi was both pained and indignant. At first he refused to believe in the possibility of such a crime against nature, but when upon inquiry he found that infanticide was not only possible, but frequent, he set himself to ascertain the causes which in civilized and Christian Europe led young women to commit crimes so monstrous as to be unheard of even amongst savage nations.
Accordingly, in 1780, after a long study of the question, he wrote a pamphlet, entitled, On Legislation and Infanti
cide; Facts and Fancies, Investigations and Portraits. The preface of the first edition, which was published in Frankfort and Leipsic in 1783, concludes thus:
"I have considered this subject for many years, and I am convinced that my view is the right one. But I know two things: in the first place, that I am weak and cannot see far; and, in the second, that truth, as men see it, is never entirely free from error, and that no road goes quite straight to its mark. And so I earnestly hope that what is false in my opinions, as well as what is true, may be made perfectly clear."
The title of this work is misleading, since the author only speaks of legislation to show the harm it has done, and its powerlessness to prevent immorality and the crimes to which immorality leads. He declares in a note that his object is to give an answer to the question: What are the best means for preventing infanticide? In his opinion these means are purely educational, educational that is in the widest sense, and he would have parents, teachers, clergymen, and magistrates lose no opportunity of using their influence to reform the manners, opinions, and conduct of people of all ages. The work is divided as follows:
2. General causes of infanticide, resulting from legislation and social relations.
3. Examination of special causes. Eight cases.
4. Results of this examination, corroborated by quotations from official records of trials for infanticide.
5. Means for prevention.
We shall soon have occasion to return to this work, for in the interval which elapsed between its composition in 1780, and its publication in 1783, much of it was printed in the pages of the Swiss News, a periodical started by Pestalozzi about this time, and of which we must now give some
At this period of his life, when no practical undertaking was any longer possible to him, Pestalozzi was indefatigably active with his pen, and always in the direction of his one great object, the improvement of the condition of the people