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fit objects of the most unremitting care, and the most simple and patient instruction.
The whole of this burden devolved upon Pestalozzi, who from a wish to economize his funds, in order to extend the benefit of the institution to the greatest possible number of children, and from the impossibility of meeting with teachers whose views were at all analagous to his own, provided no other assistance than that of a housekeeper. The task was not in itself an easy one, but it was rendered still more difficult by the interference of the parents, whose general feeling of dislike and distrust against Pestalozzi as a protestant, and an agent of the Helvetic government, rendered them the more disposed to indulge in those whims and caprices by which teachers of all classes are so frequently impeded in the discharge of their duties, but most of all those who have no other interests to serve than those of their pupils. Mothers who supported themselves by open beggary from door to door, would, upon visiting the establishment, find some cause of discontent, and take their children away, because “they would be no worse off at home.” Upon Sundays especially, the fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, cousins, and other relations of various degrees, made their appearance, and taking the children apart in some corner of the house, or in the street, elicited complaints of every kind, and either took the children with them, or left them discontented and peevish. Many were brought to the asylum with no other intention than to have them clothed, which being done, they were removed at the first opportunity, and often without an ostensible reason. Others required to be paid for leaving their children, to compensate for the diminished produce of their beggary. Others again wanted to make a regular bargain, for how many days in the week they should have a right to take them out on begging errands; and their proposal being rejected, they went away indignantly, declaring, that unless their terms were acceded to, they would fetch away the children
DISCIPLINE OF THE IOUSE.
in a couple of days, a threat which some of them actually made good. Several months passed away in this constant fluctuation of pupils, which rendered the adoption of any settled plan of discipline or instruction utterly impossible.
Unfavorable as all these circumstances were to the success of the establishment designed by the Helvetic government, they were perhaps the most favorable under which Pestalozzi could have been placed for those higher purposes for which he was destined by Providence; and the convent of the Ursulines at Stantz, which as an orphan asylum ceased to exist before the expiration of a twelvemonth, will live for ever in the history of the human mind, as the school in which one of the most eminent instruments of God for the education of our species, was taught those important principles which he was called to discover and to promulgate. The first benefit which Pestalozzi derived from the hard necessity of his position, was, that he saw himself stripped of all the ordinary props of authority, and in a manner compelled to rely upon the power of love in the child's heart as the only source of obedience. The parents, as we have seen, did not even affect to support him; so far from feeling any moral obligation towards him, they treated him with contempt as a mean hireling, who, if he had been able to make a livelihood in any other way, would never have undertaken the charge of their children. This feeling, instilled into the hearts of the pupils, and supported by their natural indisposition to order and submission, established from the beginning a decided hostility between Pestalozzi and the children, which by harsh treatment and violent measures would only have been increased, so as to produce irrevocable alienation. The adoption of any of those crafty systems of rewards and punishments, by which the external subduing of every foul and unclean spirit has been elsewhere accomplished, was, under the cirumstances of the case, entirely out of the question, even if Pestalozzi had been capable of making himself head policeman in his school. The only means, therefore, by which it was possible for him.
to gain any ascendancy over his pupils, was an all-forbearing kindness. He felt himself unable, it is true, entirely to dispense with coercive means, or even with corporeal chastisement; but it must not be forgotten that his inflictions were not those of a pedantic despot, who considers them an essential part of a system of performances through which it is his duty to go, but those of a loving and sympathising father, who was as much, if not more than the child himself, distressed by the necessity of having recourse to such
Accordingly, they produced not upon the children that hardening effect which punishment generally has; and one fact particularly is on record, in which the result seemed to justify his proceedings. One of the children who had gained most upon his affections, ventured, in the hope of indulgence, to utter threats against a schoolfellow, and was severely chastised. The poor boy was quite disconsolate, and having continued weeping for a considerable time, took the first opportunity of Pestalozzi's leaving the room, to ask forgiveness of the child whom he had offended, and to thank him for having laid the complaint, of which his punishment was the immediate consequence. Such facts, however, far from convincing Pestalozzi of the necessity or the propriety of punishment, on the contrary proved to his mind the extraordinary power of love, which, if it be once established as the basis of the relation between teacher and child, penetrates the heart of the latter even when the former assumes for a moment the character of wrath, the measure of his forbearance being exhausted by an excessive offence. Indeed, from the manner in which he expressed himself subsequently on this subject, there can be no doubt, that if he had entered his career at Stantz with all those feelings and sentiments with which he left it, punishments of any kind would have been applied by him much more rarely, if not entirely dispensed with.
While Pestalozzi was thus in matters of discipline reduced to the primary motive of all virtue, he learned, in the attempt of instructing his children, the art of returning to
SIMPLICITY OF INSTRUCTION.
the simplest elements of all knowledge. He was entirely unprovided with books or any other means of instruction ; and, in the absence of both material and machinery, he could not even have recourse to the pursuits of industry for filling up part of the time. The whole of his school apparatus consisted of himself and his pupils; and he was, therefore, compelled to investigate what means these would afford him for the accomplishment of his end. The result was, that he abstracted entirely from those artificial elements of instruction which are contained in books; and directed his whole attention towards the natural elements, which are deposited in the child's mind. He taught numbers instead of ciphers, living sounds instead of dead characters, deeds of faith and love instead of abstruse creeds, substances instead of shadows, realities instead of signs. He led the intellect of his children to the discovery of truths which, in the nature of.nthings, they could never forget, instead of burdening their memory with the recollection of words which, likewise, in the nature of things, they could never understand. Instead of building up a dead. mind, and a dead heart, on the ground of the dead letter, he drew forth life to the mind, and life to the heart, from the fountain of life within ; and thus established a new art of education, in which to follow him requires, on the part of the teacher, not a change of system, but a change of state.
It is interesting to see, from Pestalozzi's own account, how deeply he was still entangled, even at this advanced period of his life, in the trammels which are imposed upon the mind, from the very moment of birth, by the present unnatural state of education ; and nothing can afford more decided evidence of its baneful effects than the long protracted bondage in which it kept a man who had begun to struggle for his emancipation, before his enslavement was completed. He acknowledged himself that, deeply impressed as he was, long before his going to Stantz, with the insufficiency not only of the prevailing systems of the day, but even of his own experiments at Neuhof, yet, if necessity
had not forced him out of all his old ways, he should hardly have come to that childlike state of mind, in which it was possible for him freely and willingly to follow the path of nature. But he found himself in a position in which he had no opportunity of proposing to himself any scheme of his own, nor of choosing his own course; he was obliged, without taking thought for to-morrow, to do every day the best he could with the means which Providence had placed in his hands. There is no period, either in his previous career, or in the subsequent pursuit of his newly discovered principles, when he was so truly independent, not only of external influence, but even of himself, as we find him at Stantz, and it is thither we must follow him, if we wish to know him thoroughly.
There, in the midst of his children, he forgot that there was any world besides his asylum. And as their circle was an universe to him, so was he to them all in all. morning to night he was the centre of their existence. To him they owed every comfort and every enjoyment; and whatever hardships they had to endure, he was their fellowsufferer. He partook of their meals, and slept among them. In the evening he prayed with them, before they went to bed; and from his conversation they dropped into the arms of slumber. At the first dawn of light it was his voice that called them to the light of the rising sun, and to the praise of their heavenly father. All day he stood amongst them, teaching the ignorant, and assisting the helpless; encouraging the weak, and admonishing the transgressor.
His hand was daily with them, joined in theirs; his eye, beaming with benevolence, rested on theirs. He wept when they wept, and rejoiced when they rejoiced. He was to them a father, and they were to him as children.
Such love could not fail to win their hearts; the most savage and the most obstinate could not resist its soothing influence. Discontent and peevishness ceased; and a number of between seventy and eighty children, whose dispositions had been far from kind, and their habits any thing but do