376 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD his a reality. If he had filled the bucket he would perhaps have emptied it, to refill it many times until his ego was completely satisfied. In pursuit of this satisfaction, I had, a short time before, seen him with a rosy, smiling countenance: inward happiness, exercise and the sun constituted the three beams of light which were helping to build up that splendid life. This simple episode forms an illustration of what happens to children all over the world, to the best and the most dearly loved of them. They are not understood because the adult judges them by his own standard; he believes that the child is bent upon external projects, and in a friendly way helps him to attain them, whereas the child is dominated unconsciously by the need to develop him- self. For that reason he disparages what is done and loves what there is to be done. For instance, he prefers the act of dressing himself to the time when he sees himself dressed, even grandly; he likes the act of washing himself better than the comfort of feeling clean; he likes to build a house rather than to possess one. This is because what he has to do is to form life for himself, not just to enjoy it. In this formation exists his true and almost only enjoyment. That very beautiful baby of the Pincio is the symbol of it. He wanted to co-ordinate his voluntary movements, to exert his muscular energy in lifting things, to use his eyes in measuring distances, to use his intelligence in the reasoning needed for the work of filling his bucket, to develop his own will in deciding what should be done. Instead of that, some one who loved him, imagining that his desire was to possess stones, made him unhappy. Similar to this error, and of very common occurrence is the assumption that the object to be aimed at for the pupil is intel- lectual knowledge, and the teacher teaches children just as the mother or the nurse washes them and dresses them. Children, however, must acquire knowledge by their own activity according to the dictates of nature. But by leaving our children at liberty we have been able to follow them with great certainty along the paths in which their powers develop spontaneously.