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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

EDUCATION IN MOVEMENT   '               119

little one of two and a half will be able to carry the bread, whilst
the child of four and a half will manage to carry the pan of hot
soup. The importance of the work does not concern the children;
they are satisfied when they have given the maximum of which
they are capable, and when they do not see themselves excluded
from the possibilities which the surroundings offer for doing some-
thing. The most favoured work offers the greatest scope to
each of them. They possess a kind of inward ambition which is
directed in bringing into full play the * talents * which God has
given to them, as in the Gospel parable; and when they do succeed
in it, they attract the liveliest interest of many admirers. The
children when invited to table do not think only of eating; they
love this splendid chance of showing their inner powers and often
their fine feelings (as in waiting for companions, in saying their
prayers). They waste no time, and they know how to take
advantage of opportunities. Look at this minute waiter, covered
up in his white apron, as he stands there thoughtfully before the
table on which he has just spread the table-cloth so carefully, and
thinks over the number of the guests, and then about the best
arrangement of the places which presently will have to be laid.
That laughing baby who pours the water into the glasses so slowly,
guiding her hand so that the bottle shall not touch the edge of the
glass and shall not let the last drop of water fall on the table-cloth!
Moving swiftly and gaily there arrives a band of little serving-
maids, each one carrying a pile of plates, the crockery for every
separate table. It is satisfaction which has given lightness to these
bodies and stimulated them like music.

PRECISION

Anyone who comes much into contact with these children
finds out .that underlying the active force which directs them to
carry out certain practical matters, there exists a secret of success;
it is the precision, the exactitude with which the acts must be done.
The.obvious aim of pouring into a.glass interests them much less