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Our Little Swiss Cousin by Wade

That teacher's name was Pestalozzi


After

the feast games were played, and there were rides on the flying horses. You will laugh when you hear the name of one of the games. It is "Blind Cow." Carl is very fond of it. It is much like our "Blind Man's Buff." Carl and his friend Franz chose one corner of a large field. Marie, Franz's sister, and Freda, another little friend, were with them. They were soon joined by other children, and they had a lively game.

Carl was the cow oftener than any one else. He didn't care. It was great fun stumbling around with blinded eyes, and trying to catch the others. When they thought they were quite safe and out of reach, one of them was sure to laugh and show where he was. Then Carl would make a sudden spring, and catch the laugher.

Before the afternoon was over, the mayor spoke to the children about the kind teacher who had helped not only the Swiss, but children all over the world. That teacher's name was Pestalozzi. Carl knew the story well, but he loved to hear it over and over again.

More than a hundred years ago there was a good man who lived in Switzerland very near Carl's house. It was a time of war. Soldiers from other countries had chosen Switzerland for their battle-field. They took possession of the homes of the people. They destroyed their crops. They ate their supplies of food. The Swiss suffered greatly. After these enemies had gone away, they found themselves poor, and

many of them were starving.

Pestalozzi was not a rich man, but his heart was filled with pity. He went among the poor and gave them all he had. He was especially fond of the children. He cared for them as well as he could; he got them bread to eat and clothes to wear; best of all, he taught them and kept their minds busy. But at last his money was all spent. What could he do now?

He gathered the ragged, hungry boys around him. They had grown to love him, and were willing to do anything he directed. He showed them how to sew and spin and do many other kinds of work. They were soon able to earn enough money to support themselves and their school.

Pestalozzi did not teach in the way others did. He said:

"It is not enough for these children to study their lessons from books and then be whipped if they do not get them. They must see how real things are; they must study from objects. The living birds and flowers should help them. They must learn to shape things for themselves, and see as much as possible with their own eyes. Then they will love to study; they will enjoy their schools, and be happiest when there."

He set a new fashion for the world. His pupils learned so fast and well that other teachers came to watch and learn his ways. His fame spread to other countries, to England and America. They also copied his manner of teaching. Not only Swiss children, but those of different lands, began to enjoy their schools better. It all came about through the kind and loving work of Pestalozzi.

Carl has never known of a boy being whipped in his school. Such a punishment is seldom given in Switzerland. The teacher tries love and kindness first. If these fail, the boy is turned out of school. It is a terrible disgrace; it will follow the boy all his life, and he dreads it above everything.

After the mayor had spoken of Pestalozzi to the children, he bade them be proud of their schools and their school-buildings, which were finer than even the council-houses. He told them to be glad that all children of Switzerland, no matter how poor they were, could go to these schools and learn of the great world around them.

As he spoke, he could see in the faces of thousands of little ones that they were proud indeed.


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