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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

DISCIPLINE IN THE CHILDREN'S HOUSE        375

having conquered himself, in finding himself in a world from which
he was supposed to be debarred, enveloped by the silent conside-
ration of one who guides him without showing it—such effort
increases his strength.

This * multiplication of strength' is a way of saying that it
may be analyzed physiologically into the development of organs
by reasonable use, the improvement of the blood supply, the
renewal of the substance of the tissues—all these are factors which
favour the development of the body and ensure physical health.

The spirit assists in the growth of the body; the heart, the
nerves, the muscles, will all develop better in their several ways,
because there is only one way.

One might say the same about the intellectual development
of the child: child mentality, characteristically unregulated, yet
pursues its own purposes, suffering sometimes from neglect and
too often from general persecution.

Once in the public gardens of the Pincio in Rome I saw a
child of about a year and a half, very beautiful, brimming over
with laughter; he had an empty bucket and a small spade and he
was busy collecting pebbles from the path to fill the bucket. Near
him sat a superior-looking nurse, one who might be expected to
bestow affectionate and intelligent care on the child. It was time
to go away, and the maid patiently begged the child to leave his
work and let himself be put into his carriage. All her exhortations
having had no effect on the eager little worker, she herself filled
the pail with gravel, then placed baby and bucket in the carriage,
quite convinced that she had pleased him. The child's loud cries,
the expression of protest against violence and injustice which his
little face bore struck me forcibly. What a weight of resentment
filled that young heart! The little one did not want to have his pail
full of gravel; he wanted the exercise involved in filling it, in which
he would be responding to the call made by his vigorous organism.
The end pursued by the child was his internal growth, not the
external matter of getting a pailful of stones. His apparently very
close connection with the outside world was illusory; that need of