WRITTEN LANGUAGE 249 To every letter of the alphabet there corresponded a/picture painted by hand in water-colour, in which was reproduced in colour and size the cursive letter; and, close by, much smaller, was painted the same letter in small printed, character. In the picture were represented objects the name of which began with the letter in question; for example, for m there was mono (hand) and martello (hammer), for g, gatto (cat), etc. These pictures served to fix the sound of the letter in the memory. The pictures certainly do not represent a new idea, but they complete a whole which did not exist previously. The interesting part of my experiment was this, that after the movable letter had been superposed on the corresponding letter drawn on the cards on which they were grouped, I made the children trace the letters in imitation of cursive writing many times over. These exercises were then multiplied on the letters drawn simply on the cards; in this way the children succeeded in mastering the movements necessary for reproducing the forms of the graphic signs without writing. At that stage I was struck by an idea which had not entered my mind before: that in writing are employed two different kinds of movement, namely besides the already mentioned movement which reproduces the form there is that of handling, the instrument of writing. Indeed, when defective children had bscome expert in tracing all the letters of the alphabet according to their forms, they were not yet able to hold the pen in their hand. Holding and manipulating a rod with certainty needs a special muscular mechanism which is independent of the movements involved in writing; it is in fact contemporaneous with the movements necessary for tracing all the different letters of the alphabet. It is, therefore, a unique mechanism which ought to exist along with the motor memory of the separate graphic signs. There remained the preparation of the muscular mechanism for holding and manipulating the instrument of writing. That I tried to obtain by adding to what has already been described two other exercises. In the first, the letters were touched not only with the index finger of the right hand, as on the first occasion.