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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

56                THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

The "Children's House" marks still another triumph; it is
the first step towards the socialization of the house. The inmates
find under their own roof the convenience of being able to leave
their little ones in a place, not only safe, but where they have every
advantage.

And let it be remembered that all the mothers in the tenement
may enjoy this privilege, going away to their work with easy minds.
Until the present time only one class in society might have this
advantage. Rich women were able to go about their various
occupations and amusements, leaving their children in the hands
of a nurse or a governess. Today the women of the people who
live in these remodelled houses may say, like the great lady,
" I have-left my son with the governess and the nurse." More than
this, they may add, like the princess of the blood, " And the house
physician. watches over them and directs their sane and sturdy
growth." These women, like the most advanced class of English
and American mothers, possess a " Biographical Chart," which,
filled for the mother by the directress and the doctor, gives her the
most practical knowledge, of her child's growth and condition.

We are all familiar with the ordinary advantages of the social
transformation of the general environment. For example, the
collective use of railway carriages, of street lights, of the telephone,
all these are great advantages. The enormous production of useful
articles, brought about by industrial progress, makes possible for
all to have clean clothes, carpets, curtains, table delicacies, better
table-ware, etc. The giving of such benefits generally tends to leave
social caste. All this we have seen in its reality. But the social-
izing of persons is new. That the collectivity shall benefit from
the services of the servant, the nurse, the teacher—this is a modern
ideal.

We have in the ** Children's Houses " a demonstration of this
ideal which is unique in Italy or elsewhere. Its significance is
most profound, for it corresponds to a need of the times. We can
no longer say that the convenience of leaving their children takes
away from the mother a natural social duty of first importance,