OBSERVATIONS ON PREJUDICES 215 combinations of forms. There is enormous difficulty in embracing with the eye the complicated shape of a cupboard; the child ought to recognize in it an analogy of form, not an identity. On the other hand he will recognize the geometrical forms perfectly represented in all the windows, doors, surfaces of the solid domestic objects, the pictures which adorn the walls, the walls themselves, the floors, the tiles of the floor. In this way the knowledge presented to him in the flat insets will be for him a kind of magic key for the interpretation of ail the surroundings, and he will be able to give himself the consoling illusion that he knows the secrets of the world. I once took with me for a walk on the Pincian Hill a boy from an elementary school who was studying geometrical drawing and was familiar with the analysis of flat geometrical figures. When we reached the lofty terrace from which one looks down on the Piazza del Popolo and the wide expanse of the city, I said to him: " See how all man's work forms a great collection of geometrical figures." Very plain to be seen were the rectangles, ellipses, triangles, semicircles, which perforated and adorned in a hundred different ways the gray rectangular facades of the buildings. Such widespread uniformity seemed to prove the limitation of human intelligence. In contrast, in a neighbouring plot, grass and flowers displayed in supreme degree the infinite variety of Nature's forms. The child had never made these observations; he had studied the angles, the sides and the construction of the geometrical figures drawn, without thinking of anything else, and feeling only bored by the dull work which he had to do. At first he laughed at the idea of man piling up geometrical figures, then he grew interested and gazed for a long time; I saw in his face a keen expression of thought. To the right of the Ponte Margherita a building was in the process of construction, and the body of it consisted of rectangles* " How hard they are working," I said, alluding to the workmen. Then we went to the grass-plot, and remained silent for a time looking at the grass which grew spontaneously. " It is beautiful,"