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Upwards of four hundred acres have since been added to the property; but the buildings upon it have increased in a far more than proportionate degree. There are now, to give an idea of these en largements in a few words, above two hundred apartments, and nearly eight hundred windows in the various structures of Hofwyl; and the history connected with them will afford a striking instance of what may be achieved by a considerate perseverance.
In August, 1828, very unexpectedly to myself, I became, through the kindness of M. Fellenberg, an inmate of one of these buildings, which had been recently erected for the accommodation of some of the professors, and of the relatives of the pupils who might occasionally visit the institution. M. Fellenberg, also, without loss of time, introduced me to an American gentleman, who had made a long stay at his little colony; and as this gentleman's pursuits and sentiments corresponded in the main with my own, he could very cordially, as he did most readily, assist me in my researches, by pointing out what was worthy of primary attention.
Undertakings similar to those of M. Fellenberg, in which an enterprising adventurer or a sanguine theorist may embark, men will be apt to regard with an eye of suspicion, till they can discern that their projectors have earned some title to confidence. Before, therefore, endeavouring to describe the excellencies of M. Fellenberg's mode of education, it may be well to glance, both at the causes of his entering upon his present line of labours, and at the difficulties with which he has had to contend. the full extent of the latter, he alone may be aware; but connected with the former, there is one circumstance in the history of his early days, which confirms the observation that during the maternal education CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 339.
of infancy those impressions have been often received or strengthened, which, in their developments, have rendered remarkable characters superior to their contemporaries. Fellenberg's tender and feeling mother, who possibly might have been encouraged in her practice by having discovered in him peculiar indications of benevolence of disposition, accustomed him, when a child, to pray, that he might always be the friend of the ignorant and the wretched.
His father, whose loss the family had to deplore in 1801, was a senator of the republic of Berne, and was a man devoted to the interests of his country, and of hu manity. After those vicissitudes in the affairs of Switzerland which followed the French Revolution, he retired from public life, and passed his last days at Hofwyl. The first years of his son's manhood witnessed the political storms of the tempestuous era that closed the last century. In France there was an utter dislocation of the ties which had preserved society in order; surrounding nations were heaving with convulsive throes; and novel opinions, some of which were pregnant with mischief, and some with good, were about to superinduce changes in the civilized states of continental Europe. Though then a young man, M. Fellenberg bore a prominent part in the ineffectual measures that were taken to secure the independence of his native soil. Just before its freedom expired, and as its spoliation commenced, he was at Lucerne, striving to awaken to a sense of the common ruin, the can. tons which, through the intrigues. of France, seemed on the eve of a defection, at a moment when her menaces loudly called for cordiality and concert, among the various members of a federative body. An address which he delivered to the sovereign council of Lucerne, whilst employed in this struggle of patriotX
ism, produced the sensation he desired to create. It was decreed that the military force of the canton should march for the protection of the frontier; that a levy en masse should forthwith take place; and further, that these decisions should be communicated to the other cantons, with an earnest solicitation that similar plans should be acted upon throughout Switzerland. Having thus satisfactorily fulfilled his object, on the receipt of intelligence which immediately came to hand, of the advance of the French against Berne, he prepared to hasten thither, to perform his duties as an officer in its army. In passing on his road, through the district of Entlibach, in the canton of Lucerne, he stopped to accelerate the organization of the levy en masse, and to point to its chiefs the dangers that menaced their liberties. This levy, quickly collected in a country where every male had been used to arms, was soon on its march with him towards Berne; and it had already arrived on the territories of that canton, when he and his associates were informed that its capital had been surprised and taken (5th March, 1798) by the generals Brune and Schauenburg. A number of fugitives who met his detachment at this crisis, spread amongst the soldiers the report that the Bernese had been betrayed by their leaders, who, fearing to lose their possessions, sought to insure their safety, by succumbing to the French. That this report was not without some foundation is not improbable, as in the councils of Berne, faction greatly prevailed; but be that as it may, he had nearly fallen a victim in consequence of the rumour; for, as he urged an advance, and checked the flight of the fugitives, they, in return, pretended he was of the number of the traitors who, to secure their own interests, conducted the people to butchery. The levy was seduced by these assertions, its march was impeded,
and the French commissary Mengo, who had an intimation of his zeal, put a price upon his head. He was speedily delivered up, put in irons, and it was with the greatest difficulty that his friends were able to extricate him from the perils that threatened his existence, and to obtain for him an escape into Germany.
The events of these unhappy days are replete with instruction. They may at least teach the Swiss that they have to fear the arts of finesse, and the want of united and well combined efforts, more than military prowess. Next to an insular situation, a citadel of rocks is the greatest security *. Mountaineers are robust, agile, and adventurous; and had the devotion of those of the small district of Nidwalden, where, on the theatre of a battle, fought the 9th of September, 1798 +, the corpses of one hundred and two women and twenty-five children were left, been general; and had a firmly cemented bond of union subsisted amongst the inhabitants of the cities and the peasants of the Alps; if Switzerland could not eventually have been wholly free, the calamities and horrors attending a pillage of money and effects, amounting in worth to little less than
one hundred millions of
francs*, might not have been undergone. Nor would the feelings and good sense of the people have been galled by the publication of French official rodomontades, concocted in the chambers of tyranny and ambition, pompously announcing to the vanquished, that their subjugation was the generous work of their friends and liberators.
M. Fellenberg, after remaining awhile an exile in Germany, was able to return to Berne with safety, and was afterwards deputed, with some other persons, to proceed to Paris, in order to protest against the violences committed by the French agents. Success so far attended this mission, that the recal of Rapinat and his harpies was obtained. That notorious robber had shamelessly declared, that he styled himself emphatically what his name imported, and would be known by his rapine as long as he lived to own it. It now only remained for M. Fellenberg to return home; and to put into execution the plan which he had conceived at Paris, of employing his future days in a useful sequestration from the political world, except so far as he might be called upon, as a member of the sovereign council of Berne, to assist in its deliberations.
(To be continued.)
CAMBRIDGE PRIZE QUESTIONS.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
IN your Number for May 1828 (p. 318), I took the liberty of animadverting upon one of the Cambridge prize-questions for that year, which was so worded as to throw a doubt upon the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews. I am unwilling again to find fault, but one of the subjects of the prizes for the
• One writer, M. Mallet-du-Pan reckons the total of the spoils of Switzerland to be one hundred and twenty millions of francs.
Latin essay by undergraduates for the present year, appears to me objectionable: "Quæ sit forma IloAreas ad Grecia renascentis statum optime accommodata." This question, which is occupying the serious attention of the most profound statesmen of Europe; which is being discussed in parliament, and in our political journals, with an anxiety equal to its high importance; which involves many deep questions of diplomatic policy; and the very discussion of which presupposes an intimate knowledge of the relations of Greece and Turkey, of Russia and Austria, and in short of the whole history and prospects of modern Europe, is to be set at rest in a Latin theme by a Cambridge undergraduate. It is surely injudicious to propose such a question as an academical thesis; though it would be an admirable topic for the Union Club. If the Cambridge undergraduate has been duly attending to his mathematical studies, and not wholly neglecting classics and theology, it is impossible he can be acquainted with the mass of facts which relate to the question on which he is to decide. He may indeed retail what he has been fortunate enough to read of the comparative merits and demerits of various forms of government; and give out the regular scholastic aphorisms concerning monarchies, oligarchies, and republics: and all this I admit is right enough in its way; but it will not decide what is the best form for modern "regenerated Greece." His classics will be lost upon him; for the Morea is not— except in the map-the Peloponnesus; the seven years' war is not the twenty-seven years' war; Navarino is not Salamis or Ægospotamos; Constantinople is not Athens; nor is either Lycurgus or Solon likely to be listened to by the framers of the intended Greek constitution. The question is wholly political, and the youthful aspirant has to decide between Russia and Turkey; France
and Austria; the Duke of Wellington and Lord Holland; Prince Leopold and the Count d'Istria; and what young man in statu pupillari has the necessary information to enable him to do this, and to enlighten the statesmen of Europe by his labours? It is a topic of pending interest, and, to be discussed to any purpose, it cannot be discussed abstractedly; and what is worse, neither can the merits of the essay be decided abstractedly, as the most candid judge must inevitably be influenced by his own political opinions in estimating the arguments of the candidate. When I was an undergraduate, for I am one of the old school, such questions were carefully avoided by our judicious seniors; otherwise we might have had the merits of the French Revolution and the claims of Fox and Pitt introduced among us, and have turned our peaceful groves of science into debating clubs and bear gardens.
THE WORLD'S AGE.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
"Some drill and bore
This is admirable wit and satire; but wit and satire are not argument; and were they all that the Christian could offer to an infidel geologist, they would not greatly bestead his cause. Happily more solid argument is within reach.
Cowper evidently alludes to the story told in Brydone's tour in Sicily of the Abbé Recupero's draw-well. Brydone says that the Abbé discovered in a well several strata of lavas, with rich vegetable mould to a considerable thickness between them, which, allowing two thousand years for each layer of mould to accumulate, makes the world much older than Moses describes it. Another pit at Jaci was still more ominous; so that Brydone says, in a flippant sceptical manner, that the Abbé "could not in conscience make his mountain so young as the Prophet Moses makes the world." He adds, with disgraceful scurrility," the bishop, who is strenuously orthodox, for it is an excellent see, has warned the Abbé to be on his guard." It would seem probable that the fact was furnished by the worthy Abbé, who never dreamed of the sceptical inference which Brydone foisted upon it. The statement, however, soon obtained currency; and the only answer made to it was either in substance that of Cowper, or an attempt to shew that lava becomes decomposed, and forms "vegetable mould " in a much shorter time than the Abbé's calculations on known volcanic eruptions seemed to indicate. Thus stood the facts and reasonings of the case till within the last few X. X. X. years; certainly not in a way satis
I may be wrong in the view which I have taken; and if so, I shall be glad to be corrected: my only object is to deprecate the entrance into our universities of any thing that is not academical; above all, of political questions; questions for the hissings or shoutings of rival partizans, questions most interesting and important, but not to be decided by juvenile cleverness, or even by the study of books, but requiring much knowledge of the living world and the actual bearings of political relationship. Many of the Cambridge prize-questions are very appropriate and interesting, and the essays highly valuable. I was gratified to see side by side with the thesis I have animadverted upon, another (the Hulsean) on a subject of great importance at the present moment, when Neology is making insidious strides among us : "The futility of attempts to represent the miracles recorded in Scripture as effects produced in the ordinary course of nature."
factory to the mind of a Christian philosopher.
But happily the case has been recently cleared up, as may in time all alleged physical facts which contradict Divine revelation. Dr. Daubeny of Oxford, having visited the spot in his elaborate researches into volcanic phenomena, found that the aforesaid alleged "beds of ve"beds of vegetable mould," the product of long and slow decomposition, were in truth neither more nor less than beds of ferruginous tuff, formed probably at the very same time as the lava itself. There is not the slightest evidence that decomposition had taken place in any one layer between the dates of the successive eruptions; for which, therefore, the shortest interval would suffice. It was a remarkable circumstance, as Dr. Daubeny observes in his lectures, that the alleged fact should have been known and commented upon for thirty years, without any person thinking it worth while to inquire whether it was well founded. So easily are sceptical objections thrown out; so readily are they entertained; and so little care is taken to confute them.
SCRIPTURE NOT INTENDED TO
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
THE remarks which have appeared in your volumes on both sides relative to Geology, have at least corroborated one truth; namely, that a scriptural allusion to a reputed popular fact is not of necessity to be viewed as intended to teach the truth of the fact; the moral being the same whether the popular belief be true or false. In the matter of geology, where the facts are not fully understood, an obstinate writer may not unplausibly cling to his prejudices, and refuse to receive such a fair interpretation
of the sacred text, as is necessary to shew the harmony between the word of God and his works. But in matters of more familiar occurrence, the necessity for the rule above laid down is apparent, as the point is more easily ascertainable. For example, I some time since heard a very excellent discourse preached in a large Episcopal chapel, from that beautiful and instructive passage,-"Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise; which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest." The preacher, being a good divine but an indifferent naturalist, gave us several pretty fables about ants depositing heaps of corn for their winter's sustenance; turning his illustrations indeed to the best possible moral, of working while it is called to-day, seeking the Lord while he may be found, and calling upon him while he is near. But every naturalist knows, that the idea of ants heaping up a winter grainery, is merely a popular opinion, not born out by facts. It might be currently believed when Solomon wrote; as it has continued to be believed much later; but its truth or falsehood was not necessary to the argument of the inspired writer. The illustration was apt, easily understood, and generally received, and that was sufficient; for Solomon was not lecturing upon science, but instructing men in lessons of spiritual and heavenly wisdom. Besides, it may be doubt. ful whether Solomon is speaking of ants, and not of some other insect that does store up corn for the winter; for Solomon was an emi nent naturalist, as well as an inspired writer. In addition to all which, this matter of storing up corn does not of necessity follow from the text at all, but is rather the inference of the commentator; for all that Solomon says is, that the ant is careful to seek ber food at the proper season. On any of these