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CONCLUSIONS AND IMPRESSIONS 389
When they give proof of their respect by the most profound silence,
then we feel their behaviour as being touching enough to stir our
The Children's House seems to have a spiritual influence on
everybody. I have seen business men, men of high position, men
overburdened with heavy work, or full of a sense of their own
social importance, become serene, shake off some of the stiff
formality of their rank, become lost in pleasant forgetfulness of
themselves. It is the effect of the spectacle of the human mind
expanding in accordance with its true nature; it is this which makes
us call our little ones wonderful children, happy children, the
Infancy of a humanity developed further than our own.
I understand the great English poet Wordsworth, who, in love
with Nature, began to hear the mysterious voices of her colours
and of her silences and asked from her the secret of all life. At
last, as in a vision, the revelation came to him: the secret of all
Nature dwells in the heart of a little child.
He discloses for us the true meaning of the life which is found
In the soul of humanity. But that spirit which envelops us in
childhood is afterwards obscured because the "shades of the
prison-house begin to close upon the growing boy," and the man
sees the vision " die away and fade into the light of common day ".
Truly our social life is very often the gradual darkening and the
death of the natural life which is within us.