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"The Education of the Countryman in Lippe" (1789)

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For the same reason, he also carries out the grinding, baking of bread, and drying of fruit. Just as he, being an attentive administrator, pays attention to and keeps in motion the whole of his estate management, he must also be the first one in the morning and the last one in the evening, and he must inspect the work and farm implements before going to bed, so that, in case defects occur, they might be repaired in time, thus preventing any delay of work. The things a steward must observe in various relations of civic life as a subject, a serf, a person subject to rent and tithe, belong to the realm of political education. [ . . . ]

When reviewing the active and busy lifestyle of the countryman described, the politician will, if he combines the collected arrangements, realize how it is possible that in the earldom of Lippe, on this [ . . . ] district covering 25 German geographical miles [= approx. 530 imperial square miles], situated at 51 degrees latitude, 64,465 inhabitants, i.e. 2,578 persons per [German] square mile might eat their fill.

The moralist who knows that employment, work, and industriousness constitute the most reliable means to avoid excesses and vices will not be ill-disposed toward such a hardworking and industrious people, which is to be deemed in general a good and virtuous people, thus not refusing it the high regard that is due the virtuous person both in humble abodes and in palaces alike.

[ . . . ]

Source: Lippisches Intelligenzblatt (1789), pp. 5-7, 11-16, 18-19.

Reprinted in Jürgen Schlumbohm, ed., Kinderstuben, Wie Kinder zu Bauern, Bürgern, Aristokraten wurden 1700-1850 [Upbringing, How Children Became Farmers, Middle-Class Citizens, and Aristocrats 1700-1850]. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1983, pp. 81-87.

Translation: Erwin Fink

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