The Krause letter succeeded the other and more important letter (to the Duke of Meiningen) by some few months. Its immediate outcome was a warm friendship between Krause and Froebel; the latter, with Middendorff as his companion, journeying to Goettingen to make the philosopher’s personal acquaintance, in the autumn of 1828. Long discussions on education took place at this interesting meeting, as we know from Leonhardi, Krause’s pupil. Krause made Froebel acquainted with the works of Comenius, amongst other things, and introduced him to the whole learned society of Goettingen, where he made a great, if a somewhat peculiar, impression.
PART OF FROEBEL’S LETTER TO KRAUSE, DATED KEILHAU, 24TH MARCH, 1828.
... You have enjoyed, without doubt, unusual good fortune in having pursued the strict path of culture. You have sailed by Charybdis without being swallowed up by Scylla. But my lot has been just the reverse.
As I have already told you in the beginning of this letter, I was very early impressed with the contradictions of life in word and deed—in fact, almost as soon as I was conscious of anything, living as a lonely child in a very narrowed and narrowing circle. A spirit of contemplation, of simplicity, and of childlike faith; a stern, sometimes cruel, self-repression; a carefully-fostered inward yearning after knowledge by causes and effects, together with an open-air life amidst Nature, especially amidst the world of plants, gradually freed my soul from the oppression of these contradictions. Thus, in my tenth and eleventh years, I came to dream of life as a connected whole without contradictions. Everywhere to find life, harmony, freedom from contradictions, and so to recognise with a keener and clearer perception the life-unity