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by education. Eager to seize every opportunity of reaching his end, he was often working at several different subjects at the same time, and as what was written first was not always published first, it is sometimes hard to determine the exact chronological order of his works.
As the best means for making his views more widely known, Iselin had advised him to publish a newspaper. Accordingly, on the 3rd of January, 1782, there appeared a paper, consisting of sixteen duodecimo pages, with the title, the Swiss News This paper continued to appear every Thursday till the end of the year, and the whole of it forms two volumes, which are very rare and very little known.
The contents are of a most varied nature, including, amongst other things, short moral stories, dialogues, fables, and verse. But the variety is more apparent than real, for the author's favourite ideas are always recognizable, no matter what their dress. The farther he gets, the more clearly does he explain his plans of reform, so that the interest of his paper is continually increasing.
As early as the second number there is a fragment of the essay on infanticide, which, together with his other writings, attracted the attention of the most distinguished princes of the time. The Emperor Joseph II., for instance, and the Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany, both endeavoured to apply Pestalozzi's views to the improvement of the condition of their subjects, and particularly to the reform of penal legislation and of prison discipline, and with this object instructed their ministers to communicate with the author of Leonard and Gertrude.
Numbers 19 to 24 of the Swiss News contain a scheme for a penitentiary system so complete in every detail, that it might have been drawn up in the middle of the present century, and indeed might still be consulted with profit. The author supposes that a prince, whom he does not hesitate to call Duke Leopold, has consulted Arner (the lord of Bonal in Leonard and Gertrude), as to the best system of State prisons. Pestalozzi first gives the Duke's letter, and then Arner's reply, which is doubtless the same as that he made to the Grand Duke at the request of his Minister.
Unfortunately for the Grand Duchy. Leopold was soon called to replace Joseph II. on the throne of Austria, but he
had already done an immense amount of good, and there is every reason for thinking that the influence of Pestalozzi's ideas may be traced in the admirable institutions which for a long time placed Tuscany in the vanguard of civilization, and thanks to which the plains of the Arno are still culti vated by the flower of the Italian peasantry.
But it is education that occupies the chief place in the Swiss News. In very many things Pestalozzi still shows himself to be a disciple of Rousseau, though his popular and practical spirit, and the weight he attaches to moral and religious development already separate him widely from the Genevan philosopher. The quotations that follow will be a sufficient proof of this:
Volume ii., page 11. "Everything that raises humanity to purer pleasures is of use to man, who is certainly destined to develop all the powers which have been given him, and thus to rise to the height of whatever circumstances can favour and utilize this development."
Page 24. "In this state of things, rulers and teachers have only to guide the progress of the knowledge and pleasures of the century with all the power and wisdom they possess, in order that the people may lose nothing that is still good, may thoroughly understand their duty, and gladly do whatever enables them to live."
Page 157. "Why, oh men, do you serve God, if it is not to sanctify yourselves and free yourselves from sin, to which you are the more inclined the less you fear God and the less you serve Him. The service that you render to God preserves you from your greatest dangers. It is thus a service that you render to yourselves, and is only true in so far as it is useful."
Page 158. "Your God and Saviour seeks to lead you by victory over your passions to a wise knowledge of life, and by a wise knowledge of life to the worship of the invisible."
Page 159. "Love is the only real worship that man can offer to God, and the only source of real faith. Love alone leads man to life; without it the earth holds nothing but death and perdition. The man without love is without hope. He who is a slave to envy, hatred, and anger, falls into despair. A man's best powers forsake him if he love not his brother, and he cannot love his brother if he have no rever
ence for God. And thus the forgetfulness of God is a cause of weakness and death."
Page 167. "Oh, my country, may you be enabled to recognize that it is the domestic virtues which determine the happiness of a nation.”
Page 171. "On the throne and in the cottage man has an equal need of religion, and becomes the most wretched being on the earth if he forget God."
Page 173. "See what a mortal man is without God; he has nothing on earth because he hopes for nothing in heaven; whereas he who fears God has everything on earth because he hopes for everything in heaven."
Page 209. "The child at his mother's breast is the weakest and most dependent of human creatures, and yet he is already receiving the first moral impressions of love and gratitude."
Page 211. "Morality is nothing but a result of the development in the child of these first sentiments of love and gratitude.
"The first development of the child's powers should come from his participation in the work of his home, for this work is necessarily what the parents understand best, what most absorbs their attention, and what they are most competent to teach.
"But even if this were not so, work undertaken to supply real needs would be just as truly the surest foundation of a good education.
"To engage the attention of the child, to exercise his judgment, to open his heart to noble sentiments, is, I think, the chief end of education; and how can this end be reached so surely as by training the child as early as possible in the various daily duties of domestic life?
"Nothing makes a greater call on the attention than work in general, because without close attention no work can be well done; but this is especially true of work which children can do in a house, for it varies continually, and in a thousand ways, and compels them to fix their attention on a great number of different objects.
"Further, it is by doing all sorts of work at an early age that a man acquires a sound judgment; for if his work is to succeed, the different circumstances under which it has to be done must be thoroughly understood; nor can the child help
being struck by the fact that failure results from errors in judgment.
"Finally, work is also the best means of ennobling the heart of man, and of preparing him for all the domestic and social virtues. For, to teach a child obedience, unselfishness, and patience, I do not think anything can be better than work in which he engages regularly with the rest of the family.
As a general rule, art and books would not replace it in any way. The best story, the most touching picture the child finds in a book, is but a sort of dream for him, something unreal, and in a sense untrue; whereas what takes place before his eyes, in his own house, is associated with a thousand similar occurrences, with all his own experience as well as that of his parents and neighbours, and brings him without fail to a true knowledge of men, and develops in him a thoroughly observant mind."
We must now quote a passage from the Swiss News, in which we find the first trace of a thought that became the fundamental principle of Pestalozzi's method of education, the analogy, that is, between the development of the moral and intellectual man, and the physical development of the plant; in other words, the organism of education.
In volume i., page 407, we read:
"Summer evening! Who can describe thee, when thou comest at last, after a day of oppressive heat? Everything that breathes rejoices in thy freshness; everything that breathes has need of thee. The roe leaves his hiding-place in the forest to graze and breathe more freely in the open. The flocks, too, gambol with enjoyment in the cool pastures, and man, weary with the heat of the day, lies down till the
"Summer day! Teach this worm that crawls on the earth that the fruits of life are formed amid the heat and storms of our globe, but that to ripen, they have need of the gentle rains, the glittering dew, and the refreshing rest of night. Teach me, summer day, that man, formed from the dust of the earth, grows and ripens like the plant rooted in the soil."
One more quotation from the Swiss News and we have done. In a few lines towards the end of the introduction,
Pestalozzi paints one of the most touching and original features of his own character. He had been reproached with being still somewhat of a child, and he replies:
"I hope to remain so to the grave; it is so pleasant to be still a child, to believe, to trust, to love, to be sorry for your mistakes and folly, to be better and simpler than knaves and rogues, and at last, by their very wickedness, wiser. It is pleasant to think nothing but good of men, in spite of all you see and hear, to still believe in the human heart, even though you may be deceived every day, and to forgive the wise as well as the foolish of this world, when each, in his own way, would lead you astray."
The two volumes of the Swiss News are certainly one of the most remarkable productions of Pestalozzi's genius; the richness, originality, and independence of his thought, free as yet from all foreign influence, are there displayed in all their fulness.
We have said that the paper was chiefly concerned with education. At first sight this does not seem true, but the fact is that the author is considering the broad question of the general education of humanity in its relation to manners and customs, social systems and governments, and hence politics occupy a large share of his attention.
But Pestalozzi was asking for reforms, and reforms were distasteful to the educated portion of his readers. Amongst other things, he advocated the abolition of capital_punishment, a measure which, thanks to the Grand Duke Leopold, had already had good results in Tuscany, but for which Switzerland perhaps was not yet ready. However this may have been, subscribers began to fall off, and at the end of the first year the paper had to be discontinued.
With the fourth volume of Leonard and Gertrude, published in 1787, closes the first series of Pestalozzi's writings. Ten years of silence are about to follow, in the course of which the great French Revolution will be accomplished, giving a new phase to the literary activity of the philosopher of education. Let us pause, then, a moment, and examine the position he had now reached.
The starting-point of his work had been his pity for the poor. He had seen that the evil cannot be cured either