DISCIPLINE IN THE CHILDREN'S HOUSE 381 always agitated and weeping over the frustration of his desperate efforts—that child is wasting his nervous energy, and his parents are suffering from an illusion when they believe that such a child should rest; just as it is an ignorant calumny to consider to be wicked that little man who is striving already to lay the foundation for his intellectual edifice. On the contrary, children are really resting ardently and happily when they are left iat liberty to displace and replace the geometrical plaques jof the plane insets offered to their better developed powers. They enjoy themselves in the most perfect mental peace, quite unaware tLat eye and hand are being initiated into the mysteries of a new language. Most of our children grow calm over their exercises; the nervous system rests. Then we say that these little ones are good and quiet; the external discipline so much sought after in ordinary schools is already far surpassed. But as a calm man and a disciplined man are not the same, so here the fact which reveals itself to the world in 'the calmress of the children is too physical a symptom, too partial and super- ficial, compared with the true discipline which is "being established within them. Often, and in this there exists another prejudice, we believe that in order to obtain a willing act from the child it is necessary to give him an order. We pretend that this is so, and we call such a pretence the * obedience of the child *. We find very small children particularly disobedient; also, their resistance when they are three or four years old is enough to drive us to despair and into giving up the attempt to obtain obedience. We extol to the children the value of obedience which, according to us, ought to be peculiar to childhood, an infantile virtue, just because we do not find it in children except with great difficulty. It is a very common illusion that one should seek with prayer or command, or with agitation, anything which is difficult or impossible to obtain. We ask for obedience from children; children ask for the moon.