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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

CRITICAL CONSIDERATIONS                     17

if it is to work, because there is within it no breath of life. All
the very insignificant things like desire for decorations form the
artificial stimulus needed for his dry, dark journey; just so do we
give medals to scholars. The fear of missing promotion
hinders them from flight and binds them to monotonous and
assiduous labour, just as the fear of not passing into a higher class
forces the pupil to stick to his book. The censure of the superior
officer is exactly like the reproof of the teacher; the correction of
badly done letters is the equivalent of a bad mark on the badly
done exercise of the pupil.

If administrations do not adopt the excellent course which is
necessary for the greatness of the country, if corruption pene-
trates them with ease, it is because the greatness of the man has
been obliterated in the conscience of the clerk, his vision has
been restricted to the trifling matters which lie close to him and
which are considered by him as rewards or punishments. Power
allied with favouritism can do a great deal, because it acts on these
scholars of the State.

But the government of a country survives because the rectitude
of most of its employees is great enough to resist the corruption
of rewards and punishments, and this irresistible force of honesty
prevails. Thus life in social environment triumphs against every
cause of impoverishment and of death and marches on to new vic-
tories, and like the instinct of liberty it beats down all obstacles,,
going from victory to victory.

It is this grand, inner force of life, a force often latent and
unsuspected, which is the driving force of the world.

No man who has really done great, successful work has ever
done it because he was animated by the sole attraction of what
we comprehensively call a reward, or only by the fear of the evil
which we call punishment. If there were a war in which a great
army of giants were fighting with no other motive than the lust
for winning promotion, epaulettes or medals, or were merely
driven by the fear of being shot, and if they were opposed by a
handful of pigmies burning with love of their fatherland, the