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Eighteen years of poverty and distress.

benefit; but Pestalozzi remained in the house. settled in 1780.

This was

§ 20. We have now come to the most gloomy period in Pestalozzi's history, a period of eighteen years, and those the best years in a man's life, which Pestalozzi spent in great distress from poverty without and doubt and despondency within. When he got into difficulties, his friends, he tells us, loved him without hope: "in the whole surrounding district it was everywhere said that I was a lost man, that nothing more could be done for me." "In his only too elegant country house," we are told, "he often wanted money, bread, fuel, to protect himself against hunger and cold." "Eighteen years!—what a time for a soul like his to wait! History passes lightly over such a period. Ten, twenty, thirty years-it makes but a cipher difference if nothing great happens in them. But with what agony must he have seen day after day, year after year gliding by, who in his fervent soul longed to labour for the good of mankind and yet looked in vain for the opportunity !" (Palmer.)

§ 21. But he who was always ready to sacrifice himself for others now found someone, and that a stranger, ready to make a great sacrifice for him. A servant, named Elizabeth Naef, heard of the disaster and distress at Neuhof, and her master having just died she resolved to go to the rescue. At first Pestalozzi refused her help. He did not wish her to share the poverty of his household, and he felt himself out of sympathy with her "evangelical" form of piety. But Elizabeth declared she had come to stay, and when Pestalozzi found he could not shake her determination he consented, saying, "Well, you will find after all that God is in our house also."

§ 22. To this pious sensible but illiterate peasant woman

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Gertrude to the rescue. P.'s religion.

She was

Pestalozzi was fond of tracing many of his ideas. the original of his Gertrude, and it was of her he wrote: "God's sun pursues its path from morning to evening; yet your eye detects no movement, your ear no sound. Even when it goes down, you know that it will rise again and continue to ripen the fruits of the earth. Extreme as it may seem, I am not ashamed to say that this is an image of Gertrude as of every woman who makes her house a temple of the living God and wins heaven for her husband and children." (Leonard and Gertrude). She was invaluable at Neuhof and restored comfort to the household. In after years she managed the establishment at Yverdun and married one of the Krüsis who were Pestalozzi's assistants.

§ 23. Writing of the gloomy years at Neuhof Pestalozzi afterwards said; "My head was grey, yet I was still a child. With a heart in which all the foundations of life were shaken, I still pursued in those stormy times my favourite object, but my way was one of prejudice, of passion and of error." But with Pestalozzi self-depreciation had "almost grown the habit of his soul," and in his writings at Neuhof at this period we find no traces of this prejudice, passion and error from which he supposes himself to have suffered. He certainly did not abandon his love of humanity; and in his sacrifice for it he sought a religious basis. In these Neuhof days he wrote: "Christ teaches us by His example and doctrine to sacrifice not only our possessions but ourselves for the good of others, and shews us that nothing we have received is absolutely ours but is merely entrusted to us by God to be piously employed in the service of charity." (Quoted by Guimps. R's trans. 72.) Whatever were his doubts and difficulties, he never swerved from pursuing the great object of his life, and nothing could cloud his

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P. turns author. "E. H. of Hermit."

mind as to the true method of attaining that object. As he afterwards wrote to Gessner (Wie Gertrud u.s.w.), "Even while I was the sport of men who condemned me I never lost sight for a moment of the object I had in view, which was the removal of the causes of the misery that I saw on all sides of me. My strength too kept on increasing, and my own misfortunes taught me valuable truths. I knew the people as no one else did. What deceived no one else always deceived me, but what deceived everybody else deceived me no longer. . . My own sufferings have enabled me to understand the sufferings of the people and their causes as no man without suffering can understand them. I suffered what the people suffered and saw them as no one else saw them; and strange as it may seem, I was never more profoundly convinced of the fundamental truths on which I had based my undertaking than when I saw that I had failed." (R's. Guimps 74.)

§ 24. Pestalozzi still had a few friends who did not despise the dreamer of dreams. Among them was the editor of the Ephemerides, Iselin. This friend encouraged him to write, and there soon appeared in the Ephemerides a series of reflexions under the title of "The Evening Hour of a Hermit." Not many editors would have printed these aphorisms, and they attracted little or no attention at the time, but they have proved worth attending to. fruit of Pestalozzi's past years, they are," says Raumer, "at the same time the seed-corn of the years that were to come, the plan and key to his action in pedagogy. The drawing of the architect of genius contains his work, even though the architect himself has not skill enough to carry out his own design." (Quoted by Otto Fischer)*


In these aphorisms Pestalozzi states the main principles at work in

P.'s belief.

§ 25. What was the connexion between Pestalozzi's belief at this season and complete belief in dogmatic Christianity? The question is one that will always be asked and can never, I think, be fully answered. In the days his own mind; but this bare statement is not well suited to communicate these principles to the minds of others. For most readers the aphorisms have as little attraction as the enunciations, say, of a book of Euclid would have for those who knew no geometry. But as his future life was guided by the principles he has formulated in this paper it seems necessary for us to bear some of these in mind.

What he mainly insists upon is that all wise guidance must proceed from a knowledge of the nature of the creature to be guided; further that there is a simple wisdom which must direct the course of all men. "The path of Nature," says he, "which brings out the powers of men must be open and plain; and human education to true peace-giving wisdom must be simple and available for all. Nature brings out all men's powers by practice, and their increase springs from use." The powers of children should be strengthened by exercise on what is close at hand; and this should be done without hardness or pressure. A forced and rigid sequence in instruction is not Nature's method, says he : this would make men one-sided, and truth would not penetrate freely and softly into their whole being. The pure feeling for truth grows in a small area; and human wisdom must be grounded on a perception of our closest relationships, and must show itself in skilled management of our nearest concerns. Everything we do against our consciousness of right weakens our perception of truth and disturbs the purity of our fundamental conceptions and experiences. On this account all wisdom of man rests in the strength of a good heart that follows after truth, and all the blessing of man in the sense of simplicity and innocence. Peace of mind must be the outcome of right training. To get out of his surroundings all he needs for life and enjoyment, to be patient, painstaking, and in every difficulty trustful in the love of the Heavenly Father, this comes of a man's true education to wisdom. Nothing concerns the human race so closely and intimately as-God. "God a. Father of thy household, as source of thy blessing-God as thy Father; in this belief thou findest rest and strength and wisdom, which no violence nor the grave itself can overthrow." Belief in God which is a part of our nature, like

The "Hermit" a Christian.

preceding the French Revolution it was a proof of wisdom to "Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt, and cling to Faith," even though the Faith were "beyond the forms of Faith" (see Tennyson's Ancient Sage). But Pestalozzi did far more than this. He traced all virtue and strength in the people to belief in the Fatherhood of God; and he saw in unbelief the severance of all the bonds of society. The "Hermit" does not indeed use, the phrases common among "evangelical" Christians, but that he was indeed a Christian is established not only by the general tone of his aphorisms but still more clearly by his last words: "The Man of God, who with his sufferings and death has restored to humanity the lost feeling of the child's disposition towards God is the Redeemer of the world; he is the sacrificed Priest of the Lord; he is the Mediator between God and God-forgetting mankind. His teaching is pure justice, educating philosophy of the people; it is the revelation of God the Father to the lost race of his children."

§ 26. The "Evening Hour" remaining almost unnoticed, Pestalozzi's friends urged him to write something in a more popular form. So he set to work on a tale which should depict the life of the peasantry and shew the causes of their

the sense of right and wrong and the feeling we can never quench of what is just and unjust, must be made the foundation in educating the human race. The subject of that belief is that God is the Father of men, men are the children of God. To this divine relationship Pes. talozzi refers all human relationships as those of parent and child, of ruler and subject. The priest is appointed to declare the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men.

The only text I have seen is that reprinted by Raumer (Gesch. d. Päd.). From Otto Fischer (Wichtigste Pädagogen), I learn that this is the edition of 1807, which differs, at least by omission, from the original of 1780.

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