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9. If you always seek Divine guidance, your children will more willingly bo directed by you.

10. The more obedient you are to God, the more obedient will your children be to you; thus in his childhood the wise Solomon asked of the Lord "an obedient heart," in order to be able to judge and govern his people.

11. As soon as the master becomes lukewarm in communion with God, that lukewarmness will extend itself among his pupils.

12. That which forms a wall of separation between God and yourself, will be a source of evil to your children.

13. An example in which love does not form a chief feature, is but as the light of the moon; it is cold and feeble.

14. An example animated by an ardent and sincere love, shines like the sun ; it warms and invigorates.





No name is more indissolubly associated with the origin and successful establishment of agricultural schools for the poor, and for teachers of country schools, than that of Jacob Vehrli. Without his entire and self-. sacrificing devotion, sweet and attractive personal character and vast practical ability, it is altogether improbable that either Pestalozzi, by his desultory and distinctively unpractical labors, or Fellenberg, amongst the vast and varied operations necessary to carry forward his comprehensive and rather complicated plans, would ever have worked out this single problem of educational reform to its present state of triumphant and widely influential demonstration.

Jacob VEHRLI, was the son of a country schoolmaster in the Canton of Thurgoviæ; and was born in 1790. He was only seventeen, when his father, becoming profoundly interested in Fellenberg's enterprise at Hofwyl, entreated him to employ the youth in executing the projected plan of a school for the poor, two teachers having already failed in it. Fellenberg received him at first into his own family, but was so well satisfied with his character that before the end of a year, he placed him in the farmhouse where the school was to be established, with three pupils, fresh from mendicancy on the highways. Vehrli made himself the friend and associate of these young outcasts, lived on their vegetable diet, slept on straw beds as they did, and in a short time had both firmly established himself as a new and beloved parent and guide to the youths, and has securely founded the Vehrli School, or agricultural school for the poor, which was in fact, though not generally so considered, the chiefest and best beloved of the institutions at Hofwyl, as being that through which Fellenberg hoped to effect something toward the elevation of the masses of the Swiss population; and which is moreover now the only surviving portion of all the schools there.

Under the incomparable power of Vehrli's character and skillful management, the school gradually increased in numbers, stability and reputation, until it became necessary to employ assistants, and to subdivide it, by establishing, in 1827, the colony of Maykirch, with six pupils from the Vehrli School, under the charge of one of the older pupils. Within a few years this colony had built itself a complete house, with barns and offices, brought some fifteen acres under cultivation, and become a self-supporting institution.

* Often spelled Wehrli.


As the Vehrli School grew, a department, also part of the original design, including ultimately twenty pupils, was set apart for training teachers for the country schools.

Having remained at Hofwyl twenty-six years, Vehrli left the place, to become director of the school for country teachers at Kruitzlingen, on the Lake of Constance, where he yet remains, devoting a vigorous old age, and the treasures of a half century's experience, to the furtherance of the same noble and patriotic purposes for which his whole life has been given.

Amongst his pupils, Vehrli has always appeared as a kind and beloved elder brother, rather than as a person of superior authority or merely disciplinary power. His punishments were a private and affectionate admonition; a more public one, deprivation of society or meals or play; in the last resort, a light corporal infliction administered in private, some time after the fault, and with kind preparatory remonstrances; if these means failed, dismission was preferred to further compulsion. Love was the prevailing influence; faith in human capacity of improvement, and in the support of religion, the basis of all action ; and kindness, the principle of right, and desire of self-improvement and the good of others, the regulating and stimulating forces of the school. The course of education was calculated to prepare the pupils well and faithfully to fill the places allotted them, under the stringent classification of European society, as farmers and farm laborers, or as country school masters; a course too limited for absolute imitation in a country truly free, but of the very utmost excellence, so far as it was actually developed ; defective not in its kind, but in its scope. The children were received at about eight or nine years of age, and remained until eighteen or twenty; the latter portion of their stay being mainly in honorable fulfillment of their implied obligation to reimburse M. de Fellenberg, by the proceeds of their labor, for the expenses of maintaining them through their earlier and more helpless years. Many of them were picked up from the highways, from beggary and vagrancy and trained into well-behaved and useful men. They had each a sleepingroom, small and poor, such as a laboring man must expect to occupy, but neatly kept. The clothing was uniform; in summer of coarse linen, in winter of woolen; they were used to go bareheaded all the year, and barefooted in summer. The diet was simple; chiefly bread, vegetables, soup and milk, with meat once or twice a week, and wine (of Swiss home manufacture, and very nearly like ordinary cider) on three or four great occasions, such as the new year, the harvest home, and the birth-day of Vehrli, which latter was celebrated with remarable and touching demon. strations of love and gratitude from the pupils. The time devoted to farm labor was from ten hours to seventeen, (such an exertion being voluntary, and not allowed except in some urgent case,) in summer, and from seven to nine in winter. Instruction usually wholly occupied three or four hours in summer, and five or six in winter. But the whole life of the pupil was made an instruction, by the diligent use of every opportunity of conversation or intercourse; and subjects or questions were proposed for consideration

391 during working hours, to be discussed or answered at the general meeting in the evening. The course of instruction included reading, writing, arithmetic, mental and written, the elements of drawing, surveying, and mensuration, music and singing, and a general rudimentary training in natural history and philosophy, especially so far as the natural phenomena and productions of their daily life and immediate neighborhood furnished materials. Besides the field and home labor of the farm, they were also taught to perform all the ordinary household duties, and to sew enough to enable them to mend their own clothes. The stimulus of emulation or reward was diligently avoided; no commendation being used except the appearance of pleasure in the teacher, or the words, “That is right.” The reward for the efforts of the pupils was their satisfaction in attainment, in self-control, in self-respect, and in power of execution, and in doing good.

In his management of the school for teachers at Kruitzlingen, Vehrli has uniformly adhered to the same general principles. His long experience in training poor children enables him to train teachers for


chil. dren, with rare and singularly adapted skill. In some letters by K. G. Lessmuller, of Dresden, published in the Saxon Church Gazette, (1846, No. 8,) there is a characteristic, but casual view of Vehrli. “His pupils” says Lessmuller, "are not permitted to acquire habits of refinement which could not assist them in their future experience, but, aside from their special instruction in teaching, they are taught such other acquirements as may be useful, not only to the children under their charge, but to their parents also. Accordingly, they not only study the principles of agriculture, but are required to put their knowledge into practice in detail by the labor of their own hands, Vehrli and his wife setting the example. I myself found them both, with a company of pupils, in the latter part of the afternoon, busy at harvesting. In strengthening and hardening his own body, Vehrli serves as an excellent model for his pupils; and I had an opportunity of seeing for myself how thoroughly he has inured himself to the weather. At my departure he accompanied me during about four hours, to direct me in the road, through a pretty heavy rain, without any covering on his head, and as he maintained, without any risk of injuring his health."

The fifty years of Vehrli's labors have not been without fruit. Although the reform and elevation of the masses of the Swiss people has not been so great as he hoped for, it has been appreciable and important. Still, it is probable that the greatest result has been the general diffusion throughout Europe of his principles and practice in the establishment and management of schools of refuge and reform for the young. All the Swiss establishments, thirty or forty in number, with hardly an exception, follow the example of the Vehrli School, and of Kruitzlingen, in regard to the course of training and general design and management; and a large proportion of them are actually under the direction of Vehrli's former pupils. But this is not all. The example has been followed in Germany, France, and Engand. The training school at Battersea, Lady Byron's school at Ealing, the school at Beuggen, in Baden, the Rauhe Haus, at Hamburg; indeed, the large majority of all the modern European institutions for assisting or reforming vicious or unfortunate children, have been organized upon the basis of some of the distinctive features of Hofwyl, or Kruitzlingen.

Thus, the efforts of Vehrli may be considered as having attained, if not perfect success, yet a much greater measure of it than often falls to the lot of the benevolent worker for the good of his kind. He has set a standard of excellence already widely known, and every where approved, and so lofty that it will scarcely be raised, for the creation of a class of institutions already numerous, daily increasing in number, yet hardly having commenced their work, whose future influence in preventing and repressing vice and unhappiness throughout the whole civilized world, will be valuable beyond all computation.

We append several interesting notices of Vehrli and his school, by visitors every way competent to judge fairly of the value of his labors. We begin with a description by Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth

The normal school at Kruitzlingen is in tne summer palace of the former abbot of the convent of that name, on the shore of the Lake of Constance, about one mile from the gate of the city. The pupils are sent thither from the several communes of the canton, to be trained three years by Vehrli, before they take charge of the communal schools. Their expenses are borne in part by the commune, and partly by the council of the canton. We found ninety young men, apparently from eighteen to twenty-four or twenty-six years of age, in the school. Vehrli welcomed us with frankness and simpliciiy, which at once won our confidence. We joined him at his frugal meal. He pointed to the viands, which were coarse, and said, “I am a peasant's son. I wish to be no other than I am, the teacher of the sons of the peasantry. You are welcome to my meal: it is coarse and homely, but it is offered cordially.".

We sat down with him. " These potatoes,” he said, are our own. We won them from the earth, and therefore we need no dainties, for our appetite is gained by labor, and the fruit of our toil is always savory." This introduced the subject of industry. He told us all the pupils of the normal school labored daily some hours in a garden of several acres attached to the house, and that they performed all the domestic duty of the household. When we walked out with Vehrli, we found them in the garden digging, and carrying on other garden operations, with great assiduity. Others were sawing wood into logs, and chopping it into billets in the courl-yard. Some brought in sacks of potatoes on their backs, or baskets of recently gathered vegetables. Others labored in the domestic duties of the household.

After a while the bell rang, and immediately their out-door labors terminated, and they returned in an orderly manner, with all their implements, to the courtyard, where having deposited them, thrown off their frocks, and washed. they reassembled in their respective class-rooms.

We soon followed them. Here we listened to lessons in mathematics, proving that they were well-grounded in the elementary parts of that science. We saw them drawing from models with considerable skill and precision, and heard them instructed in the laws of perspective. We listened to a lecture on the code of the canton, and w instruction in the geography of Europe. We were informed that their instruction extended to the language of the canton, its construction and grammar, and especially to the history of Switzerland; arithmetic; mensuration; such a knowledge of natural philosophy and mechanics as might enable them to explain the chief phenomena of nature and the mechanical forces; some acquaintance with astronomy. They had continual lessons in pedagogy, or the theory of the art of teaching, which they practiced in the neighboring village school. We were assured that their instruction in the Holy Scriptures, and other religious knowledge, was a constant subject of solicitude.

The following extract from Vehrli's address at the first examination of the pupils, in 1837, will best explain the spirit that governs the seminary, and the

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