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Kruesi joins him.
nigh hopeless struggle against the most frightful poverty. For thirty years I have had to forego many of the barest necessaries of life, and have had to shun the society of my fellow-men from sheer lack of decent clothes. Many and many a time have I gone without a dinner and eaten in bitterness a dry crust of bread on the road at a time when even the poorest were seated round a table. All this I have suffered and am still suffering to-day, and with no other object than the realization of my plans for helping the poor" (R.'s Guimps, 189). It was clear that he could not help others till he himself got help; and he now did get just the help he wanted, an assistant who though a schoolmaster was, strange to say, perfectly ready to learn, and to throw himself into carrying out another man's ideas. This was Hermann Kruesi, a man twenty-five years old, who from the age of 18 had been master of the village school at Gais in Appenzell. In consequence of the war between the French and Austrians, Appenzell was now reduced to a state of famine, and bands of children were sent off to other cantons to escape starvation. Fischer, a friend of Pestalozzi's, and himself an educationist taught by Salzmann (supra 289), wrote from Burgdorf to the pastor of Gais, offering to get thirty children taken in by the people of Burgdorf, and asking that they might be sent with some one who would look after them in the day-time and teach them. In answer to this invitation Kruesi, after a week's march, entered Burgdorf with a troop of little ones. The children were drawn up in an open place, and benevolent people chose which they would adopt. Kruesi was taken into the Castle which the Government had made over partly to Fischer, partly to Pestalozzi. In it Kruesi opened a day. school. Fischer soon afterwards died; and Pestalozzi
The Burgdorf Institute.
proposed to Kruesi, who had become entirely converted to his views, that they should unite and together carry on the school in the Castle. By a decree of 23rd July, 1800, the Executive Council granted to Pestalozzi the gratuitous use of as much of the Castle and garden as he needed, and thus was established Pestalozzi's celebrated Institute at Burgdorf.
§ 58. Very soon Kruesi enlisted other helpers who had read Leonard and Gertrude, viz., Tobler and Buss, and this is his account of the party: "Our society thus consisted of four very different men. the founder, whose chief reputation was that of a dreamy writer, incapable in practical life, and three young men, one [Tobler] a private tutor whose youth had been much neglected, who had begun to study late, and whose pedagogic efforts had never produced the results his character and talents seemed to promise; another [Buss], a bookbinder, who devoted his leisure to singing and drawing; and a third [Kruesi himself], a village schoolmaster who carried out the duties of his office as best he could without having been in any way prepared for them. Those who looked on this group of men, scarce one of them with a home of his own, naturally formed but a small opinion of their capabilities. And yet our work succeeded, and won the public confidence beyond the expectations of those who knew us, and even beyond our own" (R.'s Guimps, 304).
§ 59. With assistance from the Government there was added to the united schools of Pestalozzi and Kruesi a training class for teachers; and elementary teachers were sent to spend a month at Burgdorf and learn of Pestalozzi, as years afterwards they were sent to the same town to learn of Froebel. This Institute opened in January, 1801,
Success of the Burgdorf Institute.
In it was
and had nearly three years of complete success. carried out Pestalozzi's notion that there should be "no gulf between the home and the school." On one occasion a parent visiting the establishment exclaimed, "Why, this is not a school but a family!" and Pestalozzi declared that this was the highest praise he could give it. The bond which united them all, both teachers and scholars, was love of "Father Pestalozzi." Want of space kept the number of children below a hundred, and these enjoyed great freedom and worked away without rewards and almost without punishments. Both public reports and private speak very highly of the results. In June, 1802, the President of the Council of Public Education in Bern declares: "Pestalozzi has discovered the real and universal laws of all elementary teaching." A visitor, Charles Victor von Bonstetten, writes: "The children know little, but what they know, they know well. . . They are very happy and evidently take great pleasure in their lessons, which says a great deal for the method. As it will be long before there is another Pestalozzi, I fear that the rich harvest his discovery seems to promise will be reserved for future ages."
The success of the method was specially conspicuous in arithmetic. A Nürnberg merchant who came prejudiced against Pestalozzi was much impressed and has acknowledged: "I was amazed when I saw these children treating the most complicated calculations of fractions as the simplest thing in the world."
60. Up to this point Pestalozzi may be said to have gained by the disposition to "reform" or revolutionise everything, which had prevailed in Switzerland since 1798. But from the reaction which now set in he suffered more than he had gained. Switzerland sent deputies to Paris to
Pestalozzi and Napoleon I.
discuss under the direction of the First Consul Bonaparte what should be their future form of Government. Among these deputies Pestalozzl was elected, and he set off thinking more of the future of the schools than of the future of the Government. At Paris he asked for an interview with Bonaparte, but destruction being in his opinion a much higher art than instruction, the First Consul said he could not be bothered about questions of A, B, C. He, however, deputed Monge to hear what Pestalozzi had to say, but the mathematician seems to have agreed with some English authorities that "there was nothing in Pestalozzi." "* On his return to Switzerland Pestalozzi was asked by Buss, "Did you see Bonaparte ?" "No," replied Pestalozzi, "I did not see Bonaparte and Bonaparte did not see me." His presumption in thus putting himself on an equality with the great conqueror seems to have taken away the breath of his contemporaries: but "the whirligig of time brings in his revenges," and before the close of the century Europe already thinks more in amount, and immeasurably more in respect, of Pestalozzi than of Bonaparte.
§ 61. As a result of the reaction the Government of United Switzerland ceased to exist, and the Cantons were restored. This destroyed Pestalozzi's hopes of Government support, and even turned his Institute out of doors The
* Years afterwards Napoleon, though he could not foresee Sedan, got a notion that after all there was something in Pestalozzi; and that the aim of the system was to put the freedom and development of the individual in the place of the mechanical routine of the old schools, which tended to produce a mass of dull uniformity. With this aim, as Guimps says, Napoleon was quite out of sympathy, and whenever the subject was mentioned he would say, "The Pestalozzians are Jesuits"; thus very inaccurately expressing an accurate notion that there was more in them than could be understood at the first glance.
Fellenberg. P. goes to Yverdun.
Castle of Burgdorf was at once demanded for the Prefect of the District; but Pestalozzi was offered an old convent at Münchenbuchsee near Bern, and thither he was forced to migrate.
§ 62. Close to Münchenbuchsee was Hofwyl where was the agricultural institution of Emmanuel Fellenberg. Fellenberg and Pestalozzi were old friends and correspondents, and as they had much regard for each other and Fellenberg was as great in administration as Pestalozzi in ideas, there seemed a chance of their benefiting by cooperation; but this could not be. The teachers desired that the administration should be put into the hands of Fellenberg, and this was done accordingly, "not without my consent," says Pestalozzi, "but to my profound mortification." He could not work with this "man of iron," as he calls Fellenberg; so he left Münchenbuchsee and accepting one of several invitations he settled in the Castle of Yverdun near the lake of Neuchatel. Within a twelvemonth he was followed by his old assistants, who had found government by Fellenberg less to their taste than no-government by Pestalozzi.
§ 63. Thus arose the most celebrated Institute of which we read in the history of education. For some years its success seemed prodigious. Teachers came from all quarters, many of them sent by the Governments of the countries to which they belonged, that they might get initiated into the Pestalozzian system. Children too were sent from great distances, some of them being intrusted to Pestalozzi, some of them living with their own tutor in Yverdun and only attending the Institute during the day. The wave of enthusiasm for the new ideas seemed to carry everything before it; but there is nothing stable in a wave, and when