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THE MECHANISM OF WRITING                261

energy to one single object, that of moving his hand, lightly poised,
so that the fingers barely slip over the surface of a smooth or a
rough tablet. This effort to move the hand whilst holding it
lightly is accompanied by a sharpening of the tactile sensibility
of those fingers which will have to write some day. In this way
there is bsing perfected the most precious instrument of the
human will.


There is something underlying the ability to draw a figure;
it is the possibility of moving the hand with a purpose, of being
able to direct it in an exact manner. This power is a generic
property of the .hand, because it refers to the greater or lesser
possibility of co-ordinating movements.

Consider the exercise with the flat insets which consists in
touching exactly the outlines of the various geometrical figures and
their frames, using as a guide a wooden rim which helps the
unpractised hand to keep itself within the prescribed limits. In the
meantime the eye is growing accustomed to seeing and recognizing
the forms which the hand is touching.

This preparation, so remote and indirect, is a preparation of
the hand to write; it is not a preparation of writing; the two
preparations must not be confused with each other.


What we must now do is to make an analysis of the factors
of writing, using as illustrations things already mentioned.. Writing
consists of a complex set of difficulties which we can separate one
from the other, and which we can overcome one by one by different
exercises, and also at different moments and epochs in life. The
exercises for every factor, however, must be kept independent of
writing. Looking for an analogy in chemistry, we find that the