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128               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

the continuous and rigid control of the adult. They can scatter
themselves in a garden without damaging paths or flowers, can
run about in a meadow without tumbling down in wrong positions.
Dignity and graceful bearing, easy movement, are grfts superadded
to their patient and laborious fundamental acquisitions. Using a
word which translates the English idea, they are "controlled"
beings; and directly they become capable of controlling themselves-
they are freed from the control of others. Those who familiarize
themselves with the theoretical study of our method receive an
impression that in the beginning it runs contrary to the precon-
ception which they had formed of it—that the child is free to do
what he pleases. Instead, they begin to fear for this little one who
is supposed to be free, yet who is obliged in his walking to place
his feet exactly on a line, who is drilled into reducing his small
body to sheer immobility, who toils with the patience of a servant
and who analyses every movement. Only practical experience can
show him children who delight in immersing themselves in these
" sacrifices," and convince him that the needs of very small children
who in the course of development are fundamentally governed by
the need for being developed.


The exercises in equilibrium and analysis, by stabilizing the
body in its mechanism of equilibrium and accustoming the atten-
tion to follow every action, encourage perfection in the execution
of every act. The doings of everyday life divert the lively intelli-
gence of the child to the many actions which he carries out during
the day, and a reciprocal influence is the result; analysis helps
synthesis and its applications, and vice versa. The secret of per-
fection lies in repetition, and therefore in connecting up the exercises
with the usual doings of real life. If the child does not lay the
table for a company of people who really dine, if he has not at
his disposal real brushes to clean, and real carpets to clean
every time they are used, if he does not himself have to wash and