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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

52                 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

baths, as for example, in various tenements the occupants go
according to turn, to wash their clothes in the fountain in the
court. This is a great convenience which invites the people to be
clean. These hot and cold baths within the house are a great
improvement upon the general public baths. In this way we make
possible to these people, at one and the same time, health and
refinement, opening not only to the sun, but to progress, those
dark habitations, once the vile caves of misery.

But in striving to realize its ideal of a semi-gratuitous main-
tenance of its buildings, the Association met with a difficulty in
regard to those children under school age, who must often be left
alone the entire day while their parents went out to work.   These
little ones, not being able to understand the educative motives
which taught their parents to respect the house, became ignorant
little vandals, defacing the walls and stairs.   And here we have
another reform, the  expense of which may be considered as
indirectly borne by the tenants as was the care of the building.
This reform may be considered as the most brilliant transformation
of a tax which progress and civilization have as yet devised.   The
" Children's House " is earned by the parents through the care of
the building.   Its expenses are met by the sum that the Associa-
tion would have otherwise been forced to spend upon repairs.
A wonderful climax, this, of moral benefits received: Within the
" Children's House," which belongs exclusively to those children
under school age, working mothers may safely leave their little
ones and may proceed with a feeling of great relief and freedom
to their own work.   But this benefit, like that of the care of the
house, is not conferred without a tax of care and good-will.   The
regulations posted on the walls announce it thus:

"The mothers are obliged to send their children to the
Children's House clean, and to co-operate with the directress in
the educational work."

Two obligations, namely the physical and moral care of their
pwn children. If the child shows through its conversation that
the educational work of the school is being undermined by the