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eration ; he took little sleep, and often passed the greater part of the night in writing or dictating ; mostly in a reclining posture, so as to afford rest and ease to his body, while his active mind refused to abandon itself to the arms of slumber. During the day he took much exercise in the open air, a practice which he continued to the most advanced period of his life. In the distribution of his time, and his general habits, he was not only irregular from indulgence, but positively impatient of all order and system. Matters of business he treated, or rather neglected, with the utmost indifference ; and if he ever learned the value of money, or appreciated the means of acquiring it, it was only because the want of it had impeded him repeatedly in the pursuit of the objects dearest to his heart.
His temper was cheerful ; his wit ready and pointed, but without sting. His conversation was at all times animated, but most so when he entered into explanations of his views; his lively gesticulation was then called in to assist his utterance, especially when he spoke French ; which not being familiar to him, he was constantly tormented by a vague consciousness of the inadequacy of his expressions to the ideas which he had in his mind. Such was the affability of his manner, that it was impossible long to feel like a stranger in his presence; while the native dignity diffused over his whole being, kept even the indiscreet at a respectful distance.
'He was an affectionate husband, and a kind father. The privations to which his enterprising spirit and his unbusinesslike habits exposed his family, cost him many a pang; and much of the gloom and bitterness which assailed him at different periods, and especially towards the close of his life, is to be attributed to the struggle of his domestic affections against the generous disinterestedness of his public character. His wedded life, although not one of uninterrupted felicity, was one of love persevering to the end ; and the monument erected over the grave of Mrs. Pestalozzi, under the shade of two fine walnut trees in his garden, became the favorite spot of his lonely musings when he could no longer share with her his secret joys and sorrows. He was less happy as a father; confirming by his example an observation frequently made, that men eminently successful in the education of youth generally, are not always so in that of their own offspring.' — pp. 87 - 89.
The general character of Pestalozzi may be easily inferred from the view we have given of the leading events of his life. We perceive the spirit of the man in all his purposes and undertakings. There was nothing mechanical in his plans or wishes, but it is always Pestalozzi himself that we
see, acting out some strong and original conception, which haunted his mind. Few men have moved more entirely in a path of their own, indebted for so little to the labors or suggestions of others, and enjoying so rarely the sympathy of congenial minds. In his early deprivations and struggles, in the zeal with which he devoted himself to his high vocation, in the prophet-like solemnity with which he denounces the evils and abuses of the times, and in the bright glimpses of a blessed future which passed before his eyes, he reminds us of the stern and lonely preacher of good things to come, who was sent as the voice crying in the wilderness. He seems, when uttering the deep tones of lamentation over the waste places of society and girding himself to go out singlehanded against its evils, almost like one conscious of a divine mission and clothed with strength from on high.
The secret of his character, however, we apprehend is to be found in his deep sympathy with human nature, and his lively perception of the abuses under which it had suffered. He entered more fully than most men have thought of doing, into the spirit of our Saviour, when he declared that we are all brethren, and that the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven is he who ministers to his brethren on earth. The sorrows and sufferings of his fellow-men were the occasion of intense suffering to himself; he wept with them as they wept; but, not permitting himself to indulge in the idle luxury of grief, he determined to ascertain the origin of the prevailing social evils, and to devise the means of their relief.
He succeeded in tracing many of these evils to their true source, - in the criminal neglect of the cultivation of the people. Yet he proposed no wild and turbulent schemes of reform. The acuteness of his mind was shown in his seeing so clearly the origin of the evils which he wished to correct; and his good sense, in urging a remedy, no more rapid and violent in its character, than the gradual but thorough education of the great mass of the people, who were involved in ignorance, and exposed to poverty, wretchedness, and crime. His measures were wisely selected, and pursued with indefatigable energy. His whole soul was alive and glowing with the zeal, which his cause inspired.
Nor was his perseverance less remarkable than his zeal. He met with uncommon discouragements through his whole career, - sufficient, we should suppose, to damp the most resolute spirit. For a long time, no one stood forth to help him. Many derided him as a visionary, and as mad. It was the common fashion to pour contempt on him and his plans. Yet he was not daunted. His spirit never failed. If it faltered for a moment, it was to recover with redoubled energy, In all his embarrassments and trials, in the deepest distress and sorrow, to the flouting skeptic and to the angry foe he could always say,
· Yet I argue not
Right onward. He was supported by his trust in Heaven, and the consciousness that his cause was the cause of God. No temptation could induce him to desert it. All worldly interests were as dust in the balance compared to it. And he lived to see many of his hopes fulfilled ; at least to witness the truth of his favorite plans fully verified.
No man was ever more truly disinterested than Pestalozzi. He literally forgot himself. Every thing within his power was consecrated to the people, whose cause he had embraced. To use his own expression, in poverty did he share his bread with them, and lived himself like a pauper, that he might teach paupers to live like men.' disinterestedness was united with a deep and pure vein of religious feeling He had made too thorough a study of human nature, not to be convinced of its religious capacities and religious destiny; and he was too full of the spirit of humanity himself, to be destitute of that which he regarded as its essential characteristic. He had no affinity with those superficial reformers who have sometimes proposed splendid schemes for the improvement of the human race, but have omitted, in their calculations, the very element in which the dignity and happiness of the human race consist.
With his great and various excellencies, Pestalozzi certainly had some rare defects. He by no means combined the qualities which form a well-balanced character. His mental structure, if we may so express it, seems to have been left unfinished. He possessed little practical judgment. In the common details of life, it was difficult for him to see things exactly as they are. His fancy often gave a coloring to ob
jects which did not belong to them. He labored under unhappy inequalities of temper, which, in the latter part of his life especially, impeded his usefulness. He suffered much, also, from his want of skill in affairs. He' was unable to carry through the plans, which he formed, according to his own conception. He was entirely destitute of what is called a talent for business. Profound as his knowledge was of the human heart, he was ignorant as a child of the ways of the world. He never succeeded in acquiring a particle of the serpent's wisdom. He perceived the importance of order and economy; he taught them to his pupils; but never could practise them himself. This was at the foundation of
many of his perplexities. Though his ideas were striking and original, there was often a singular confusion in them. His written style partakes of this character. He saw very far into the subjects which he contemplated; but was obscure, when called upon to express himself; he was at a loss when obliged to act.
It is stated by his biographer, as we have intimated, that, towards the close of his life, some shades passed over his character. As far as appears, however, these were not sufficient to darken the well-earned reputation of his whole life. It seems that he lost something of the simplicity of his character, and was guilty of a bearing towards his associates, which savored of presumption and vanity. In the conflicts which he endured, it is said, also, that he expressed his doubst as to some parts of his system, which, though afterwards recanted, were considered by his friends and disciples almost as sacrilege towards himself. After all, judging only from the facts stated in this volume, we are inclined to attribute every unpleasant circumstance in Pestalozzi's latter days to the growing weakness of a harassed and weary old age, rather than to any moral infirmity.
The two great distinctions of Pestalozzi's system for the improvement of society are, first, the importance it attaches to the general education of the people, and, secondly, the character of this education as the developement of the whole nature, and not the communication of knowledge to a passive recipient. The principles upon which this system rests, we suppose few among us would now call in question. The public mind, at least in our own country, and, to a great and increasing degree, in England, seems to be so generally impressed with their truth,
VOL. XI. - N.
S. VOL. VI. NO. III.
that we are apt to forget how much is due to Pestalozzi for bringing them into notice, and urging them upon the attention of the world. Yet when they were first proposed by him, with the simplicity and zeal which always accompany sincere conviction, they were spurned as not only visionary but dangerous. Many foresaw in them, as they thought, in their wisdom, the seeds of revolution, anarchy, and ruin. Others derided them as the weak and worthless speculations of a disordered intellect. He did not taste of death, however, until he saw the signal proofs of their triumph. Even amidst the ruin of his own institutions, he could witness the progress of his principles, gaining strength as they advanced, and going onward conquering and to conquer. It is to the extension of these principles, — which we regard as the great principles of human nature, under whatever form they are displayed, or by whatever name they are called, — that we look for great and beneficial changes in society. It is the spirit of these principles, which we trust will infuse new life into many of the old and decaying institutions of Europe, or supply their place with others better adapted to the wants of age
and the advancement of man. With respect to the manner of teaching adopted by Pestalozzi, it can considered only as a return to the dictates of nature and good sense. If it is regarded in the light of those short and easy methods, or sure guides’ to knowledge, with which some have attempted to pave over a royal road to wisdom, its character is entirely misunderstood. Pestalozzi was not the quack to think of any thing of the kind. He had no idea of the labor-saving machines of modern education, by which learning is to be had without paying the price. The very thing which Pestalozzi had most at heart, was to make the pupil something more than a learned parrot, - to make him a man, a thinking, well-principled, self-directing, independent man. He has, undoubtedly, been successful in defending these views of the objects of education; so much so, indeed, that with many they seem quite common-place; and have even been carried into execution in some instances, where the name of Pestalozzi himself is scarcely known. Still, we think it would be well, if more attention were paid to the philosophy of the system, so that teachers should not flatter themselves that they have caught its spirit, when they only imitate some of its mechanical details. For