lEL/MTlOPSMBF BETWEEN TB1E sfiPBEiQ/^iTEP /SP& mmt LlTEl/^TUMl IBiflMTE BY zuzmmn maEKisei RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE KINDERGARTEN AND GREAT LITERATURE BY ELIZABETH HARRISON NUMBER TWO DANTE PUBLISHED BY Chicago Kinbekgarten Collegk 10 Van Buren Street CHICAGO copyright, 1s93, By Elizabeth Harrison. Ei)i fLafttjsttif ^PtrsB DONNELLEY & SONS CO., CHICAGO RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE KINDERGARTEN AND GREAT LITERATURE. No. II — DANTE, ' ' Of what possible use can that mystical, mediaeval poet be to us? We are nineteenth century think- ers! " exclaimed my friend, one day. My reply was : "As kindergartners are we not students of human nature? Has the man who taught the whole Christian world the true and awful meaning of sin, of sorrow, and of redemption, nothing to teach usf As the defenders and protectors of childhood, let us keep always in 3 4 DANTE. mind the meaning of the word "education." Most people have altogether too narrow a view of the subject. Rightly understood, it be- comes the chief word of the English language. It means to draw out, or develop the child physically, men- tally and morally. It stops not with knowledge of text-books, nor is it merely the accumulation of facts, valuable and indispensable as such accumulations are. Its real aim is character-b2iilding. Great yet glorious is the task set before us ! We are to change these young, unformed beings into strong and noble men and women — the world's greatest need. No dreamy enthusiasm, no painstaking, con- scientious, but blind, effort will fit us DANTE. 5 for the work. We need insight, and the serene ivisdom and itnf altering jitdgment which come from insight alone. Let us remember always that we are to strive to comprehend the influ- ence of environment. We are to understand the evolution of charac- ter; we are to know the relationships of life ; we are to feel as the most vital thing in life the Fatherhood of God, the sonship of man. Our work is not simply the mastering of the gifts, games, occupations, songs and stories of the kindergarten. These are but tools in our hands. Our real work is to fit ourselves by the broad- est and highest culture the world can give us to "think God's thoughts after Him," that we may understand 6 DANTE. His highest creation — a little child — and thus help and not hinder the sublime unfolding. How can we fill our souls more deeply with this true enthusiasm than by the study of the prophets and seers of the race? Let us turn to Dante. We feel at once the art-atmosphere which he has created, and its effect here, as elsewhere, is to lead us away from temporary things to eternal things. Is there no lesson in this for the bare and ugly walls of our school-rooms of to-day? Is there no suggestion in it for the improvement of the silly, triv- ial elementary readers which we put before the hungry child-mind ? All true art has the element of the eter- nal, the universal, in it. This is why Dante's types and images have stood DANTE. 7 for ages. They are not merely re- flections of his time, but of all time. There are eternal pictures which we can place before our children. There are eternal stories which we can give to them. Truth, deep living truth, can be told in no other way so effect- ually as in an art form. What do we find to aid us in the study of character development ? Or, rather, what do we not find ? The soul, not of a man, but of man seems to have been searched. Slowly and solemnly and with bowed head he leads us downward, past the way- ward, shallow souls whose lives have been spent in frivolous pursuits. They had never learned to care for the great things of life, and now they are punished by the little things, gad- O DANTE. flies and gnats torment them, and their chief occupation in eternity is to chase back and forth after a flag blown by the wind. We stop for a moment to hsten, in gentle pity, to the sad but tender voice of Francesca da Rimini as she tells the mournful story of her fall. But that one mo- ment's pause has for six hundred years made the heart of every reader soften towards those whom love has led astray. It was the Christ-voice echoing through Dante. On down we go. No service of Dresden china nor ghtter of cut glass saves the glutton from being- revealed to us in all his gross swinishness. No accumulation of millions, to be clutched by means of family name even after the grave has closed over DANTE. 9 the gatherer of the pile, hides from us the robbery which the deluded soul has committed against his own divine nature. No lavish coach and four, nor Parisian costumes, nor glit- ter of jewels, covers up the miserable and petty selfishness of the spend- thrift. There each soul stands naked. The clothing of earth has been torn from its limbs.* The an- gry, the sullen, the disbeliever in a spiritual life, the murderer, the sui- cide, the blasphemer, the seducer, the flatterer, the abuser of sacred trusts, the soothsayers, the barterers of public office, the hypocrites, the thieves, the evil counselors, the breeders of discord, the counterfeit- ers, the liars, the traitors, all are there . No court of justice can now lO DANTE, be bribed, no legislature bought up. The light of eternity is turned tipon the deeds of Time, and all external covering of excuses, all calling of things by polite names, is done away with. The scales fall from our eyes. We stand and look upon the human soul as God looks upon it. And in- voluntarily we cry out, "Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable sinners!" Never before nor since has such a picture gallery of spiritual portraits been presented to the world, with lurid background changing to suit each picture. The monsters and demons serve to intensify the loath- someness and hideous nature of the distorted soul, which, made in the image of God, has chosen to become a devil — all this terrible revelation DANTE. 1 1 of sin and suffering and sickening horrors is but to teach us that it is man's yV"*?^ will which makes a hell, and not God's wrath. Wonderful truth, which the church has not yet fully grasped! It is needed daily by each one of us, not for ourselves alone, but that we may feel the great and solemn duty of training the child to choose the right or to be will- ing to suffer the result of choosing the wrong. Such insight as Dante gives in this terrible poem nerves the weakest, most yielding mother-heart to be true in her love for the child intrusted to her, and to teach him, by not shielding him from the conse- quences of his deed, that wrong-do- ing must alway bring suffering. This leads us to the study of the 1 2 DANTE. Purgatory, where we see men of all degrees, learning through weary and painful toil, just this lesson — to bear patiently and bravely, aye, even joy- fully, the consequences of their own evil deeds, until through effort and suffering they are prepared to see the angel of God's mercy standing ready to lift them up to a higher plane, or to listen to his heavenly voice calling to them along what new path the climbing must be made. No wonder we hear paeans of praise as the beat- itudes are chanted with a meaning never before felt. Is not Dante showing us that the human soul has so much of the divine in it that it must help the Great Divine in its own salvation? The truth comes to us with increased significance that DAISTE ]3 character-bitilding is part of religion, that as we teach the child to expand his lungs and make them strong and as capacious as possible that they may take into themselves larger and still larger quantities of life-giving oxygen, so the discipline and the training of the will increase and en- large the soul's capacity in order that more and more of divine grace may flow in to enrich and purify the life. Is there nothing for us to learn in all this? Does this give us no insight in our training of the child ? Does not such a revelation of the slow and oftentimes painful development of character give us courage to perse- vere in this invisible part of our work which so few outside people appre- ciate? Is not the law of all will- 14 DANTE. growth here written out for all time? Man must, to the utmost extent of his abihty, undo the wrong done; with the most tremendous effort of which he is capable must he strive to do the right deed. Then Divine grace stands ready to help him. With this thought in mind what think you of the usual " I'm sorry! " as sufficient atonement for the child's misconduct? When we turn to Dante for the portrayal of the ethical world we find that it would be impossible to understand him at all if we did not keep always in mind man's relation- ship to man. That whole, wonder- ful sweep down into the abyss of sin, and the rise up to the summit of the Mount of Purification, is based on DANTE. 15 the gradation of sin as measured by man's relationship to society. Per- sonal sins, no matter how disgusting and loathsome, are not placed by the poet in as low a circle as sins which disturb the ethical life of society. Without this institutional gauge by which to measure the ex- tent of a sin, how could we reconcile the putting of a barterer of public office for private gain below the sen- sualist or glutton? In the toilsome journey up the purgatorial mountain we find that those sins zvliich separate maji from his felloio man are the first which vnist be purged aivay. Slowly and with painful eflort does the repent- ant soul learn to acknowledge the l6 DANTE. brotherhood of mankind, upon which bur ethical world is founded. It seems almost a waste of time to point out the value of this insight to a kindergartner. Does it not teach that the first duty in the upbuilding of the child's character is to lead him into that atmosphere of participation and sympathetic helpfulness in which all virtues flourish and all vice withers? Does it not lead her to avoid all showing off of the cle\er child, by means of which pride is fostered ? Does it not guard her against injudicious comparison and praise, because they cause envy to spring up in the young heart ? Does it not help her to work ever toward a spirit of industry in her young brood, knowing, as she now does, that DANTE. 17 sloth is one of the great separators of a soul from its fellows? A hundred such clear and helpful warnings it brings to her. Of the lessons to be learned from the Paradiso I dare not speak. The glory of its environment, the exultant rejoicings of the redeemed spirits, the tender and mystical relationship of the soul to its Maker which the Paradiso portrays, is but felt by me in a dim way, not comprehended. It always leaves me with the impres- sion that God is great and good, and the nearer man gets to him the hap- pier he is. I leave this part of the poem to be interpreted and applied to our work by a deeper soul than mine. The Vision of Dante A Story for Little Children and a Talk for Their Mothers. By Elizabeth Harrison. Illustrated bt WALTER CRANE. "The Vision of Dante" is a story of Dante's vision told to children by that queen of story tellers, Elizabeth Harrison, Principal of the Chicago Kindergarten College. It is a most valuable addition to Dante literature — for a whole literature has grown up as the centuries have passed, since that great world genius passed to the higher life, more than six hundred years ago. Great scholars have written and philosophized and speculated upon the Divine Co?nedy all these ages, throw- ing scarce a ray of light upon the poem, which is a veiled book to the million; but here in Chicago a woman has told a story to little children, and lo ! the whole is bathed in a soft light that reveals the purpose of the poem, and at her call the "buried secret" comes forth from the Tomb this Easter Tide, to tell us as always the one truth that " Love is the fulfilling of the Law." This book is beautifully illustrated by Walter Crane. — The Parthenon. " The destiny of ?iations lies in the hands of ivomen.'''' — Frieurich Froebel. Chicago Kindergarten College lo Van Buren St., Chicago, III. FOR MOTHERS, TEACHERS AND NURSES. Mrs. J. N. Crouse, Director. Elizabeth Harrison, Principal. The work of the CoUege is divided into the following departments: TEACHERS' DEPARTMENT Central Classes. — Freshmen, Junior, Senior, Norma Branch Classes. MOTHERS' DEPARTMENT Central Classes.— Local Branch Classes. Distant Branch Classes. NURSES' DEPARTMENT LITERARY DEPARTMENT PHILANTHROPIC DEPARTMENT SPECIAL LECTURE COURSES PUBLICATION DEPARTMENT In the Teachers' Department the work of the Central Classes includes a three rears' course, wliicli is supplemented by a distinct Normal covirse for those who desire to fit themselves .for Training Teachers. Branch classes include a one 3'ear's course. The riothers' Department also includes a three years' course, and is composed of three classes. The Literary Department includes lectures on Great Literature and studies in tlie same. These lectures and studies lead up to and culminate each year in a Literary School, which con- sists of ten lectures given by the most eminent scholars in literature. College Re=opens October 3, 1893. Organized under the name of Kindergarten Training Class in 1885. Re-organized under the name of Chicago Kindergarten College in 1890. Registration in 1885. Registration in 1802-3. Teachers, . .51 Teachers, . . 101 Mothers, . . • Jl_ I Mothers, . . . 453 Total, . "■f Total, . 557 Total No. Students enrolled, 465 ) 'r„i.„i r> :„t,.^i.:„„ o qst Total No. Mothers enrolled, 2.-522 \ Total Registration, 2,987 Kindergartens supervised by the College in 1892-1893, . 47 For Ciirriculums and AJ>/>lication Bia?tks, address Chicago Kindergarten College, Art Institute BIdg., 10 Van Buren St., CHICAGO, ILL. BOOKS AND BOOKLETS PUBLISHED BY THE CHICAGO KINDERGARTEN COLLEGE. A Study of Child Nature. By Elizabeth Harrison. The book Is printed on laid paper, neatly bound in cloth, with gilt top. Price Jl.OO net. The Vision of Dante. By Elizabeth Harrison. Illustrated by Walter Crane. A story for children. This book is printed on Windsor hand-made paper, beautifully bound. Price $2.50 net. SERIES No. I. The Life of Friedrich Wilhelm Frobel. By Frau Frobel. Price 25 cents. The Kindergarten. By Susan L. Blow. Price 25 cents. The Value of the Kindergarten Study. By Elizabeth Harrison. Delivered Oct 1, lt>90. The opening lecture ol a three years' course for mothers, in connection with the Mother's Department of the Chi- cago Kindergarten College. Price 25 cents. The Kindergarten as an Influence in Modern Civilization. By Elizabeth Harrison. Opening lecture before the Mothers' Depart- ment, Oct , 1891. Price 25 cents. SERIES No. 2. Story of Christopher CoLUMiiUs. By Elizabeth Harrison. Price 10 cents. The Kindergarten and lis Opportunities for Women. By Mrs. J. N. Crouse. A paper read before the Federation of Clubs in Chi- cago, May 13, 1S92 Price 20 cents. The Root of the Temperance Question, from a Kindergarten Standpoint. By Elizabeth Harrison. Price 20 cents. The Educational Value of Toys. From " A Study of Child Nature." By Elizabeth Harrison. Price 20 cents. The Legend of the Christ Child. Adapted from the German, by Elizabeth Harrison. Price 20 cents. SERIES No. 3. Kindergarten Tales and Talks : 1. Friedrich Froebel. By Elizabeth Harrison. Price 10 cents. 2. The Caterpillar and Butterfly. Adapted by Elizabeth Harrison. Price 10 cents. 3. Science Lessons. By Elizabeth Harrison. Price 10 cents. 4. Story of the Raindrop. Adapted by Elizabeth Harrison. Price 10 cents. A List of Books for Mothers. Recommended by Elizabeth Harri- son, Price 10 cents. A List of Books for Children. Recommended by Elizabeth Harri- son. Price 10 cents. A List of Toys. Classified for Children of different ages, ranging from one to six years of age, by the Mothers' Department of the College. Price 10 cents. A Valuable Series of Five World's Fair Studies. By Denton J. Snider. Beginning with "The Four Domes," and ending with "Mid- way Plaisance." Price, 15 cents or Series 60 cents Suggestions for the Study of Great Literature; (1) Homer, (2) Dante, (3) Shakespeare, and (4) Goethe (.not yet ready). By Elizabeth Harrison. Price 20 cents each. Special Discounts to the Trade, Schools and Sunday Schools. All orders should be sent to the Chicago Kindergarten College, 10 Van Buren St., Chicago, 111., or to leading booksellers. PRESS NOTICES "CHILD NATURE," BY ELIZABETH HARRISON. This book might be characterized as an ilhiniined text of Froebel's thought. The lectures show a mental grasp which is truly remarkable.— Chicago Inter Ocean. The whole book is so valuable an aid to either mothers or teachers that we wish every training school in the land might be in possession of the thoughts it contains.— Friends Intelligencer and Journal, Philadelphia. This modest little book is full of deep insight and helpful suggestions. It is at once simple and philosophical.— Denver Times. Every aspiring teacher and earnest mother would seek to possess this little book if she knew how much of help and inspiration it contains.— Public School Journal, Bloomington, 111. The book is invaluable.— American Farmer. It is no ordinary work, but one which should be read over and over again. Miss Harrison has made the subject a profound and successful study for many years.— Democrat, Davenport, Iowa. All mothers who read the book, even though they know nothing of Froebel, will find there practical and truly philosophical thoughts of great helpfulness to them, as tliey strive to develop their children in the best way, physically, men- tally and morally. We are sure that all thoughtful persons will arise from the reading of tliis book with a conviction that there is a real "science of mother- hood." We iiiost heartily wish that this little book of Miss Harrison's might find a place in every home, and that Christian kindergartens might be established in every part of the land.— The Standard, Chicago. We have come to the conclusion after reading this excellent book that the mother is father to the man, rather tlian the father. * * * « This book is a valuable contribution to the study of children, and deserves a place by the side of Preyer and Fe?-ea.— School Journal, New York. The author has had large experience in the education of the very young, and is in full sympathy with the most advanced educational views.— N. V. Tribune. The volume is an admirable study of the art of training children, and of the means and methods the parent or teacher possesses of approaching and touching the springs of motive. The moral and religious ideas of the book are sound.— The Independence, N. Y. If every woman could be led to take instruction from this publication, there would be fewer weary hands and heads among the mothers of America. Espe- cially helpful and interesting are the chapters devoted to the training of the mus- cles, affections, the will, and that upon right and wrong punishments.— Bee, Omaha, Neb. One of the most helpful and intelligent books which has appeared, touching the training of young ciiildren. * * * The chapters which make up this volume were given as talks to mothers and teachers. They have, therefore, a directness of statement and a practical turn at every stage, which they might have missed had they been addressed to an imaginary, instead of a real audience. —Christian Union, New York. The book is at once profound and popular, systematically arranged, and en- livened with illustrative anecdote, drawn from her own large experience with all phases of child character. Her book shows not only an ample acquaintance with life, but also with literature as well. The author claims that the study of child culture should be placed upon the broad basis of a science, and her book demon- strates the justice of her claim. Sunday School Times, Philadelphia. Miss Willard writes :— It is the ablest work on the most significant subject that has yet come to my table. It is truly philosophical. * * * * I remember with what eagerness mother was wont to read and study every book that came into her hands relative to the training of children, but she never had a book like this, and, much as I owe to her, I can but think it would have been better for me if one so earnest as she was, had known by heart, as she surely would have done, had it come under her observation, the 207 pages of this marvelous little treatise.— Union Signal, Chicago. 111.