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.286               THE DISCOVERY, OF THE CHILD

.stroke often forms an: insuperable difficulty, the parallelism between
.the component strokes being lost.                                   . , ,

On the contrary, our little ones, of their own accord, with
.marvellous certainty, write whole words with a single effort, keep-
ing the parallelism between the strokes perfect, and the distances
'between the various letters equal. More than one competent
visitor has exclaimed, " If I had not seen it, I would not have
"believed it."

Calligraphy, indeed after teaching, is needed to correct defects
.already acquired and fixed; it is extra work, heavy and long
because the child whilst looking at the model has to execute the
movement required to reproduce it, whilst between such a sensation
and such a movement there is no direct relationship.

Besides, penmanship is taught at an age when all defects have
been stabilized, and there has passed the physiological period in
which the muscular memory is particularly alert. One does not
speak of the fundamental error which makes calligraphy pursue
the same course of learning as writing from strokes and its

We prepare the child in a direct manner not only for writing,
but also for penmanship regarded in its two main attributes-
beauty of form (by touching beautiful letters) and freedom of
.execution (by exercises in filling in figures).