READING 297 words one after the other; but reading can put ourselves into communication with the complex thoughts of others and this was not the case with our children. Such a brilliant achievement was awaiting our children in the future, a new source of surprise and delight. The book embodies logical language, not the mechanism of language; and for that reason, it cannot be understood by the child until he has mastered logical language. Between being able to read words and knowing the meaning of a book there may extend the same distance as between being able to pronounce a word and a speech. I therefore had the reading of the books postponed and waited. One day whilst we were talking together, four children got up together with an expression of joy and wrote on the black- board some sentences of this kind: *' How pleased I am when the garden is in bloom," It was a great and moving surprise for us. They had arrived spontaneously at composition, just as they had spontaneously written the first word. The mechanism was the same; and the result followed logically. Logical spoken language one day led up to a sudden outbreak into written language. I understood that the moment had arrived for going on to the writing of sentences, and I had recourse to the same means of writing on the blackboard. "Do you like me?" The children read this aloud slowly, were silent for a moment, and then shouted " Yes ". I went on to write: " Keep silent and be quite still." They read it almost in a shout, and directly they had finished reading, deep silence fell in the room, broken by the movement of some chairs which the children made in settling themselves. So there began between us communication through the medium of written language, which proved to be most interesting for the children. By degrees they discovered the great quality of writing, that it transmits thought. When I began to write they were eager in their haste to learn what I intended and to understand it without my pronouncing a single word.