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18 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD
victory would smile on the latter. When heroism is absent
from any work rewards and punishments will be able to do no
more than complete the work of destruction, permeating it with
All victories and all human progress are dependent on the
strength which comes from within.
Thus a young student may become a great doctor if he is
inspired by the spirit of his vocation; but if he is influenced only
by the hope of a legacy, or of a good match, or of any external
.advantage whatever, he will never become a true teacher and a
.great doctor, and the world will not move far ahead as the result
of his work. If the rewards and punishments of the school
.and of ordinary life are essential to making a youth work up to
-a university degree, then it would be better that such an individual
does not become a doctor. Everyone possesses some special
tent, some latent vocation—modest, perhaps, but yet useful.
Rewards may divert the vocational impulse into the false path
of vanity, and in this way there may be disturbed or destroyed
some human activity.
We are always repeating that the world is making progress,
.and that man must be urged to strive after progress. But progress
is founded on new things which lie hidden, and most frequently
upon things already in existence which are improved or perfected;
.and they not being visible are not prized, but often bring pioneers
What a calamity it would be if poems were written solely
from a desire to win laurels on the Canipidoglio!* It would be
better that the vision should remain buried in the mind of the poet,
and that the muse of poetry should disappear. Poetry must be
born in the mind of the poet when he is not thinking either of reward
or of himself; and if he does win laurels, let him not grow vain.
There exists also an exterior reward for man. When the orator
sees the faces of his listeners becoming charged with emotion, he
1 The Capital Hill in Rome where in the days of the Roman Empire and
in the Renaissance poets-laureate were created.