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332               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

then of threatening. Then I groan in a pitiful, tearful voice:
"But why do you not kiss me, why do you not come?*' And
^every voice is raised in a shout, whilst the shining eyes are almost
-weeping with delight and laughter: "Zero is nothing, zero is
nothing!" "Ah! yes," I say, smiling peacefully, "then all come
-here at once." They throw themselves on me.


When   the  children know the written numbers  and their
numerical meaning, I make them do the following exercise.

I have various slips of paper on each of which is printed, or
-even written by hand, a number, from 0 to 9. (I often make use
of the slips from block calendars, cutting off the upper and lower
margins on which words are printed, and choosing, if possible,
red numbers.) I fold the slips, put them into a box, and have a
draw made. The child takes out a slip, carries it to his place,
looks at it stealthily, folds it again to hide the secret. Then, one
"by one, or even in groups, the children possessing tickets (they
-are naturally the oldest, those who can read the figures), come up to
the teacher's big table where objects are heaped together in piles—
small cubes, Froebel's bricks, my tables for exercises in the baric
sense; each one takes the quantity of objects which correspond
to the number drawn. The number itself has remained at the
child's place, the slip folded up as holding a mystery. The child,
therefore, has to remember his number, not only during the time
when he is moving among his companions to come to the table,
but also whilst he is collecting his pieces, counting them one by
-one. The teacher has an opportunity for making interesting
individual observations on the memory for numbers.

When the child has collected up his pieces, he places thexn
in double file on. the bench at his place. If the number is uneven
he places at the bottom and half way between the last two,
the uneven piece. The arrangement of the nine numbers is
Jike this: