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Title: Education in The Home, The Kindergarten, and The Primary School
Author: Peabody, Elizabeth P. (Palmer), 1804-1894
Language: English
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Kindergarten Teachers.











    "Come, let us live _with_ our children."--FRŒBEL.



AMONG those who in the last twenty years have helped to spread a
knowledge of the educational principles of Froebel beyond the limits of
his native country, Miss Elizabeth Peabody's name deserves to be
specially remembered. It is mainly owing to her enthusiastic efforts
that the value of the Kindergarten was early recognised in the United
States, and that its first American promoters were encouraged to
maintain, amid many difficulties, a standard of real efficiency for the
teachers of Froebel's system. Miss Peabody had long occupied herself,
theoretically and practically, with educational subjects. Not satisfied
by merely intellectual methods of instruction, and impatient of the
superficiality which was too often approved, she made it her great aim
to train character, and, by a simultaneous development of children's
mental capacities and of their moral nature, to prepare them for the
responsible duties of life. It was not surprising that when Miss
Peabody, holding such views of education, came in contact with the ideas
and the work of Froebel, she at once experienced the delight always
attached to the discovery that the problems exercising our own minds
have been successfully solved by some one who has started from
principles such as ours, and who has cultivated the same ideal. She
found that Froebel had carried into practice that very kind of training
of which she had realized the immense importance, and that he had placed
in a clear light truths which she had already more dimly perceived.
Eager to inform herself about the new system, Miss Peabody travelled, in
1868, to Europe, on purpose to visit in Germany the Kindergartens
established by Froebel, who was no longer living, and by his best
pupils. On her return to America, she devoted herself for many years to
the introduction and improvement of Kindergartens and of training
institutions, and to enlightening, by her writings and addresses,
mothers and educators respecting the value and simplicity of Froebel's
methods. Miss Peabody has the satisfaction of witnessing a good measure
of success from her generous exertions, in the increasing number of
advocates of the Kindergarten in America, in its adoption as a first
department of many State primary schools, and in the numerous private
and charity Kindergartens founded from North to South, and from New York
to San Francisco. Advanced now in years, this warm-hearted lady is
engaged in other lines of philanthropic work, but she retains, and still
manifests, her earnest interest in the educational progress which she
has laboured so actively to secure.

Ever since Miss Peabody's zeal was kindled for Froebel's ideal as to
young children's education, her help and criticism have been sought by
the trainers of Kindergarten students in America, and by all who, with
serious purpose, have thus worked for the movement. Hence she has often
delivered lectures at the opening of the session at Normal Colleges, and
on other occasions when she saw an opportunity of exercising influence
in favour of rational principles of education. This book, which appeared
only lately at Boston, consists of a few of such lectures. It is now,
with Miss Peabody's consent, published in England, where many parents
and teachers will be glad to profit by the author's wise and loving
study of little children, and her sympathetic insight into Froebel's
methods for their development. During the last few years various
thoughtful writers on education have drawn attention here to the subject
of infant management, and it is remarkable how widely the principles of
Froebel and Pestalozzi are now recognised and accepted. But books are
still greatly needed which, especially addressed to those who have
charge of children, urge in a convincing manner how essential it is
that the first few years should be rightly guided, and indicate certain
defined educational aims. I think that Miss Peabody's lectures are
likely to prove very useful in this direction. Though her readers will
perhaps contest some of her psychological deductions, they cannot fail
to be impressed and benefited by the high tone of her reasoning, by her
evidently tender and reverent love of children, and by her excellent
suggestions in regard to their harmonious development.

Amongst its other merits, this book tends to correct the still too
prevalent notion, that the Kindergarten is a peculiar--an almost
magical--institution, which provides a sure remedy for children's
imperfections, apart from their home conditions. Doubtless, in the case
of poor neglected little ones, the contrast between their treatment at
the Kindergarten and their ordinary experience, is necessarily striking
and decided, because the parents are careless and ignorant. But
Froebel's view of the Kindergarten was, that it should be a
supplementary help to the loving and judicious mother, who, owing to her
many household and other duties, might be unable to give, through the
whole day, to her younger children the regular attention which their
awakening faculties need. It was to be a portion of the home pattern and
web of training, not a patch of a new texture. He saw that a child
requires to have about it, as Miss Peabody says, "love and thought in
practical operation," and this not now and then, but always. And as the
mother may have at times to transfer her children to the charge of
others, he organised the Kindergarten--a higher nursery, under refined
and motherly influences, for those that have passed out of babyhood.
There, on the same principles as at home, they may be gently tended for
two or three hours of the day, and developed in body, mind, and
character. Froebel's object also was to provide companionship for these
children, adapted to their age and attainments, which could only be done
by including some from outside the family circle. But again, he desired
to give the opportunity to inexperienced mothers of observing the
patient and resourceful guidance carried out by even young teachers, who
had been trained to study children, and had learnt how to occupy them
suitably. Here we see another link with the home. Now Miss Peabody
entered so much into Froebel's ideas that she helps to remove the
Kindergarten out of its supposed exceptional sphere, and to show that
the teachers represent temporarily the mother, doing that which the
mother also aims, or ought to aim, at doing, for the children's good.

These Lectures are also useful in presenting a high ideal of
Kindergarten teaching. Miss Peabody sees that the work of educating
requires special qualifications in those who undertake it, and that such
as are not fitted for it, had better take up a different career. At the
same time placing, as always, character above intellect, she considers
that most women, whose religious and moral nature is well cultivated,
and who take pains to develop their mental powers, may hope for success
in devoting themselves to the training of young children. Her writings
are calculated to inspire the teacher with hearty zest for her labour,
and yet with an abiding feeling that even years of practice leave her
far behind her ever advancing standard. Miss Peabody encourages no
exaggerated estimate of Froebel's thoughts and methods. She freely
recognises that he gained many truths from fellow-students of children's
nature and faculties; but she claims for him the originality which
belongs to those who with unselfish aims bestow close attention on a
subject of deep human interest. To teachers, therefore, as well as to
all who love children, she says--and with this quotation I will close my
few introductory remarks--"You will not be wise if you do not look out
of Froebel's window."

                                            E. A. MANNING.



WHOEVER proposes to become a kindergartner according to the idea of
Frœbel, must at once dismiss from her mind the notion that it requires
less ability and culture to educate children of three, than those of ten
or fifteen years of age. It demands more; for, is it not plain that to
superintend and guide accurately the _formation_ of the human
understanding itself, requires a finer ability and a profounder insight
than to listen to recitations from books ever so learned and scientific?
To form the human understanding is a work of time, demanding a knowledge
of the laws of thought, will, and feeling, in their interaction upon the
threshold of consciousness, which can be acquired only by the study of
children themselves in their every act of life--a study to be pursued in
the spirit that reveals what Jesus Christ _meant_, when he said: "He
that receiveth a little child in my name, receiveth _me, and Him that
sent me_;" "Woe unto him who offends one of these little ones, for their
spirits behold the face of my Father who is in heaven."

Not till children who have been themselves educated according to
Frœbel's principles, grow up, will there be found any adult persons who
can keep kindergartens without devoting themselves to a special study of
child-nature in the spirit of devout humility. For we are all suffering
the ignorance and injury inevitable from having begun our own lives in
the confusions of accidental and disorderly impressions, without having
had the clue of reason put into our hands by that human providence of
education, which, to be true, must reflect point by point the Divine
Providence, that according to the revelations of history is educating
the whole race, and which may find hints for its procedure in observing
the spontaneous play of children fresh from the hands of the Creator.

The education of children by a genial training of their spontaneous
playful activities to the production of order and beauty within the
humble sphere of childish fancy and affection, was a fresh idea with
Frœbel; but, like every universal idea, it was not absolutely new in the
world. Plato says, in his great book on _Laws_:--

"Play has the mightiest influence on the maintenance and non-maintenance
of laws; and if children's plays are conducted according to laws and
rules, and they always pursue their amusements in conformity with order,
while finding pleasure therein, it need not be feared that when they are
grown up they will break laws whose objects are more serious."

And again, in his _Republic_, he says:--

"From their earliest years, the plays of children ought to be subject to
strict laws. For if their plays, and those who mingle with them, are
arbitrary and lawless, how can they become virtuous men, law-abiding and
obedient? On the contrary, when children are early trained to submit to
laws in their plays, love for these laws enters into their souls with
the music accompanying them, and helps their development."

You will observe Plato's association of music with the laws that are to
regulate play. Music, with the Greeks, had indeed a broader meaning than
attaches to the word with us, who confine it to that subtle expression
of the sense of law and harmony which is made in the element of sound,
and addressed to the imagination through the ear. All knowledge and art
inspired by the sacred Nine, they named _music_. Singing was no more
music than dancing, drawing, the harmonizing of colors, plastic art,
poetry, and science, which is nothing less than thinking according to
the rhythmic laws of nature. To learn to commune with the Muses,
daughters of Memory and Jove, who were led by the god Apollo,
symbolizing the moral harmony of the universe, and expressing the mind
of the Father of gods and men, by oracle, was learning _music_ or how to
live divinely; a process which may commence before children leave the
nursery, if their plays are regulated according to artistic principles.

It is common to speak of the Greeks, as if they were of exceptional
organization. I think their organization was only exceptional, because
it was more carefully treated in infancy than ours is apt to be. I do
not believe that in Greece, or anywhere in the world, there were ever
more beautiful little children than there are in America; and the beauty
would not be so transient as it unquestionably is with us, if truly
cultivated persons took our children in hand from babyhood for the care
of their bodies and minds, instead of leaving this work to the most
ignorant class of the community, such as the general run of the servants
who have the education of them during their earliest infancy. Even many
parents who take care of their own children do not make it an object to
study physiology or psychology, and seem to think that there is nothing
in little children which requires special study, except indeed at the
very first, when the child is put into the mother's arms more helpless
than the lowest form of animal life (for the very insect is endowed by
nature, as the child is not, with enough absolute knowledge--we call it
instinct--to fulfil its small circle of relations without help of its
parents). It seems mysterious, at first sight, that the child, whose
duty and whose destiny it is to have dominion over nature, should be
endowed least of all creatures with any absolute knowledge of it. But
the mystery is solved when we consider that the happiness which is
distinctively human, is only to be found in the discovery and enjoyment
of ever-widening relations to our kind, with the fulfilment of the
duties belonging to them. It is the absolute helplessness of the human
infant which challenges the maternal instinct to rush to his rescue,
lest he should die at once. And to continue to study his manifestations
of pleasure and discontent with obedient respectfulness, is the
perfection of the maternal nursing. But when the child has got on so far
as to know the simplest uses of its own body, and especially after it
has learned enough words to express its simplest wants and sensations,
even parents seem to think it can get on by itself, so that children
from about two to five years of age are left to self-education, as it
were; this virtual abandonment being crossed by a capricious and
arbitrary handling of them--mind and body--on the part of those around
them, which is even worse than the neglect; for when are children more
unable, than between three and five years old, to guide their own
thoughts and action? How would a garden of flowers fare, to be planted,
and then left to grow with so little scientific care taken by the
gardener, as is bestowed upon children between one and five years old?

Frœbel, in the very word kindergarten, proclaimed that gospel for
children which holds within it the promise of the coming of the kingdom,
in which God's will is to be done on earth as it is in heaven--a
consummation which we daily pray for with our lips, but do not do the
first thing to bring about, by educating our children in the way of
order, which is no less earth's than "heaven's first law," and makes
earth heaven so far as it is fulfilled.

A kindergarten means a guarded company of children, who are to be
treated as a gardener treats his plants; that is, in the first place,
studied to see what they are, and what conditions they require for the
fullest and most beautiful growth; in the second place, put into or
supplied with these conditions, with as little handling of their
individuality as possible, but with an unceasing genial and provident
care to remove all obstructions, and favor all the circumstances of
growth. It is because they are living organisms that they are to be
_cultivated_--not _drilled_ (which is a process only appropriate to
insensate stone).

I think there is perhaps no better way of making apparent what this
kindergartning is, which makes such an importunate demand on your
consideration, than to tell you how the idea germinated and grew in the
mind of Frœbel himself; for thus we shall see that it would be
unreasonable to expect that it could be improvised by every teacher; but
that here, as elsewhere in human life, God has sent into the world a
gifted person to guide his fellows, according to the law enunciated by
St. John in the 38th verse of the 4th chapter of his Gospel.

We have the materials of this history on Frœbel's own authority, in an
autobiographical letter that he wrote to the Duke of Meiningen, whose
interest in him was excited by an incident so characteristic of Frœbel,
that I will relate it. Having heard of a cruel and stupid opposition
made to the ardent educator by the unthinking officials of a region
where he was making a martyr of himself, the duke made inquiries, which
resulted in his offering him the situation of head-tutor to his only
son. But Frœbel astonished him with a refusal of the place, sending the
duke word that it would be impossible to educate, in a perfect manner, a
child so isolated by conventional rank and circumstances that he must
inevitably conceive himself to be intrinsically superior to other
children. The duke was so much struck that a poor man, struggling with
every difficulty, should refuse one of the highest posts in a royal
household, with all its emoluments, from a purely conscientious scruple
of this kind, that his curiosity was piqued. He sent for Frœbel, and
they had a conversation upon the principles and spirit of a truly human
education, by which Frœbel convinced him that a noble moral development
was indispensable to a truly intellectual one, so that the duke was
actually persuaded to send his son as an equal with other boys to a
neighboring school. One day, some little time after, the boy came home
_roaring_, on account of a beating he had received from one of his
playmates. The duke, in a transport of rage, asked the name of the
offender, and said that he should be immediately expelled from the
school. Then was Frœbel's advice justified. The young prince dried his
tears, refused to tell the boy's name, and declared that "the beating
was all fair!" It is quite consistent with these facts, that the duke
should ask Frœbel how his idea grew in his mind. Frœbel's answer is
still extant. I have not been able to get the original text, but I can
give you the substance of it, as it was given to me.

Friedrich Frœbel was the son of a laborious pastor of seven villages in
Thuringia. He lost his mother before his remembrance, and fell into the
care of hard-worked domestic servants, with no light upon his infant
life except what came from the love and sympathy of two older brothers,
who cherished him when they were at home from boarding-school. The
parsonage was in the shadow of the church, and into it no ray of
sunshine ever came; and the child was kept drearily in the house. He
tells of seeing workmen building a part of the church that had become
dilapidated, and how he longed to imitate them; and traces to this
desire of employing the time that hung so heavily on his hands, his
discovery of the building instinct, so universal in childhood, and which
he thought should always have simple materials afforded it with which to
express itself. At last his father married again, and at first the
stepmother petted the young child of her husband, and awakened in him a
hope of a satisfying love, which he reciprocated with all the energies
of his long-starved heart. But when the merely instinctive woman had a
child of her own, a certain jealousy arose in her, and she repulsed poor
little Friedrich, and "no longer"--as he pathetically remarks--"called
him _thou_," (du) which is an endearing expression in German, but _he_
(er), which has a rough association. It is plain that the child was
endowed with an immense sensibility to, or more than ordinary
presentiment of the Divine Order of Nature, and with the extreme
tendency to reflection always involved in this gift. As he was so poorly
developed physically, he became in his joyless early life perhaps
morbidly nervous. Disappointed in his timid efforts to please, all the
sweet bells of his nature were jangled, and he was miserable--he knew
not why. He says he always found himself doing the wrong thing--the too
much, or the too little--and was complained of to his father, who
treated him as a naughty boy. But sometimes the pastor took him out of
his stepmother's way, to accompany himself in his parochial visits, in
which Frœbel says he seemed continually to be settling family quarrels.
This made on the child's mind an impression of things that was rather
ludicrously expressed, when he one day asked of his oldest brother, who
happened to come home from boarding-school, why it was that God had not
made people all men, or all women, so that there should not be so much
quarrelling in the world. In order to divert him from such premature
consideration of social questions, the posed elder brother undertook to
teach him botany according to the sexual system, revealing to him the
law of contrasts conciliated with each other for the production of
harmony and beauty. The child was delighted with what he was shown; but
still his exceptionally moral genius importunately asked, why may not
human differences be thus harmonized, to produce happiness and goodness?
The presentiment of the great truth which was felt in his heart, though
not yet caught by his mind, was signalized by another anecdote that he
tells of himself. There was a rumor among the peasants of North Germany
(it was about the year 1792) that the world was coming to an end; but
Frœbel declares that he could not make himself feel alarmed. He says he
was sure it could not be true, because the will of God had not yet been
brought about in human life. This extraordinary reflection of a child of
ten years old was preceded, probably, by a happy change that came over
him in consequence of the visit of his maternal uncle to his father's
house; who, seeing that the child was not happy, invited him to go home
with him to live with his grandmother. His uncle's house was bright and
sunny, and he was received by his grandmother with joy and tenderness.
Immediately the freedom of the fields was given him, provided only that
he should come home punctually to the meals. He soon became so healthy
and happy, that his uncle put him into a day school in the neighborhood,
to the child's great delight. The school was opened, the first day he
went into it, with a little sermon of the master's upon the text: "Seek
first the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, and all other things
shall be added unto you." It must have been a wise and good discourse,
for it left a life-long impression upon the mind of the little Frœbel.
There was a law then, for human beings as well as for plants; human
beings might consciously realize in happiness and virtue, the harmony
and beauty unconsciously manifested by the vegetable world. For God was
the Ever-present Friend and Lawgiver! He tells the duke how happy he
felt himself in his new circumstances and opportunities, and blessed
with this inspiring faith. After school, he went out to play with his
schoolmates; but, alas! poor starveling of nature as he was, he found he
could not play with his athletic companions, and had to sit on one side
and look on; and then and there he distinctly came to a conclusion,
which is a first principle of the kindergarten, that every child should
have free exercise of his limbs in play, in order to get entire command
of all the physical strength and agility they are capable of.

After a few years of this happy home and school life, which he
continually reflected upon in contrast with what he had suffered for so
many years, the good grandmother died, and he was sent back to his
stepmother. The question now came up, whether he should study for the
university, where his brothers had gone; but the stepmother, in the
interest of her younger child, opposed his father's spending the money,
and he went to a farmer to learn practical agriculture. But he was
physically so incompetent to the labor of a farm life, that it did not
pay; and being sent home by the farmer, he was finally apprenticed to a
forester, where he found genial occupation in wood-lore, and in studying
geometry for the purpose of surveying. Here he became a thorough and
ardent mathematician. But his friend the forester died, or was removed,
which brought this occupation to a premature close. At that moment,
however, a maternal relation died, and left him a little money, so that
he went to the University of Jena, where he devoted himself principally
to the physical sciences; and by and by we find him curator of the
Mineralogical Museum of Berlin. Here he made a great impression on the
mind of a young lady who frequented the museum, by the "sermons" that he
found "in stones," for he read them out to her, showing that in
inorganic nature, so called, could be traced not only laws of decay,
that threw into stronger light those laws of life that he had learned to
see in vegetation, but those of crystallization. Everywhere he read
God's revelation of the processes of life and death, which also make
human development and happiness, or its deterioration and misery.

The trumpet call of patriotism, to rescue Germany from French despotism,
made by the good Queen Louise of Prussia, called him from these peaceful
studies to partake in the great national act of delivering his country;
and he obeyed it by volunteering his service. Though his regiment was
never called into battle, he always rejoiced in the effects upon himself
of learning the military drill, as well as in the life-long friendships
he made in camp. After the war was over, a legacy received at the death
of his uncle Hoffman gave him the means to enter an architect's office, to
which he had a great attraction. He was boarding at Frankfort-on-the-Main,
where Middendorf and other of his late military friends were boarding,
who had just engaged themselves as teachers in the city, waiting to
perfect this arrangement. It was a moment when there was a great
uprising of education in Germany, and that system was beginning to
germinate, which has turned out to make Prussia the effective power in
Europe that she has lately proved herself to be; and whose first
principle is, that the primary is the most important stage of education.
In connection with this general movement, there was about to be
established a new school in Frankfort; and Grüner, its principal, who
was one of the boarders, talked over with Frœbel and the others the new
plan. Whatever Frœbel said was so striking and vital, that Grüner at
last exclaimed: "Plainly this is your vocation! Give up the
architecture, and come in with us, and help to build men." Strange to
say, though Frœbel had all his life been meditating upon the secret of
human education, this was the first time it occurred to him to make it
his own business. The more he thought of Grüner's suggestion, the more
he liked it; and the issue was, that he took one of the younger classes
in the new school. Immediately afterwards he wrote to his brother that
at last he had found his element--he "felt like a bird in air, a fish in
water." But the teachers were hampered in their action by the
proprietors of the school; and after a season Grüner said to Frœbel,
"You should lead; not be led. I release you from your engagement. Set up
independently, and carry out your own ideas unhindered."

When his purpose of leaving was known, one of the parents who patronized
the school, gave him his two sons to educate, just as he should think
best; and because he now heard of Pestalozzi, he took them to Yverdun,
where he remained as pupil with them, for a season. But he was not quite
satisfied with Pestalozzi's methods. He saw there was a process to be
attended to, anterior to the observation of objects; namely, to employ
and discipline the activity of children yet too young to attend except
to what they are themselves doing. Education was to begin, as he saw, in
doing, and thence proceed to knowing. In returning from Yverdun, his
elder brother, and his younger brother's widow, offered him their
children to add to the two young Frankforters; and the widow offered,
besides, a small house that she owned in Keilhau, if he would fit it up.
He and Middendorf and another friend united together and accepted this
offer; and, with their own hands repaired the house, living in the
outbuildings meanwhile and subsisting on rations most carefully
economized. They then, for one thing, went to work on the land, which
they taught the children to cultivate, and deduced their lessons out of
the objects into which they were putting their life and labor. To these
six children three cultivated men devoted themselves; and Frœbel also
wrote to the lady that used to study with him in the Mineralogical
Museum of Berlin, and she took her fortune, and left her rank, to help
the poor schoolmaster in his life work, as the most devoted of wives.

Working on the land was not all that they did. They began with it,
because the children of the city had been rather starved of the
gratification of that instinct to work in the earth, which very soon
appears in all children--though, as Frœbel says, it will die out by
being left uncultivated. He found that his pupils had been already
injured by their artificial city life, and in many ways they had things
to unlearn. It was not a perfectly easy thing to determine how much
liberty to give to individual tendencies that had been exaggerated by
the reactions of disorder, or of an artificial order. Frœbel thought the
educator should give full play to all that is universal in human nature
without pampering human idiosyncrasy, to do which was the vicious point
of Rousseau's system that Frœbel has happily avoided. It was natural
that he should first bring before his pupils the processes of vegetable
growth, because it was in observing them that he had himself first found
the laws of God. But he was older than any child in the kindergarten
when he learned that lesson. Observation of anything outward is not the
first thing in human development, but exertion of powers from within,
which provokes the reaction of the outward and makes it known.

I cannot follow out, in this introductory lecture, all his studies of
the nature of man in these children, and all his experiments of
cultivation. But I hope to do so in those which follow. The school
founded in Keilhau exists to this day; but Frœbel ever found himself
going back till at last he came to the infant in the mother's arms. Then
he went into the huts of the peasantry to observe the mother's
instinctive ways, reason upon them, purify them of her individual
caprices and selfishness, and eliminate everything inconsistent with the
divine idea and method of procedure, indicated by the instinct to the
intelligence. He did not confine himself to Keilhau, where Middendorf
steadily lived, though always keeping in relation with it; but went at
times to other places, and once, for a year or two, left all, to go to
the University of Göttingen to study philology. There he made himself
acquainted with Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit, studying out those laws of
mind exemplified in the formation and decay of languages. For it was the
secret of a perfect development that he sought, and how to keep his
pupils at the height they "were competent to gain." After half a century
of the study of childhood in the living subject, and elaboration of the
means of discipline, he settled in his old age into the conviction, that
the most important period of human education was before the child was
seven years old. And his last years were spent in preparing teachers
for kindergartens at Rudolstadt and at Hamburg--which he did by teaching
before them as well as by lecturing to them. Now it is what he
discovered and elaborated, and has left, not in logical formulas, though
he has certainly stated principles in words and embodied them in songs,
but in processes of work and play, that is to be taught in our training
schools. It took a Newton to discover gravitation and other principles
of nature, but men without genius can comprehend and apply these
principles, which they could not, like him, discover. So it took a
Frœbel's genius to discover the first principles of education, and his
sensibility to apply them without mistake; but intelligent and heartful
young women can learn them and apply them, if--and only if--they will
study devoutly and faithfully what he has taught; and in doing so they
will find themselves--_not_ becoming artificial, but more profoundly
natural than ever; for the true educational process is but the mother's
instinct and method, clearly understood in all its bearings, and acted
out. To be a kindergartner is the perfect development of womanliness--a
working with God at the very fountain of artistic and intellectual power
and moral character. It is therefore the highest finish that can be
given to a woman's education, to be educated for a kindergartner; and it
is from the most advanced classes of high and normal schools, public and
private, that the pupils of our training schools should come, and from
the most refined circles of private life--remembering that these are not
identical with wealthy and fashionable ones, for in the latter we often
find the vulgar and coarse. The refinement of feeling and thought which
is always attended with gentle and courteous manners is a religious
quality, that not seldom glorifies humble homes whose inmates escape the
sometimes hardening effect of poverty by "seeing Him who is invisible,"
while those "the imagination of whose hearts are evil continually," and
even the merely frivolous, betray that they have "faculties that they
have never used" though they dwell in palaces.

Ever since the normal teaching of kindergartners was begun in America,
in 1868, letters have been received from teachers, already at work in
the old routine of primary instruction, asking for knowledge of the
plays and occupations invented by Frœbel; in order that, by means of
them, they may give such prestige to their infant schools as the name of
kindergarten may. But this superficial, inappreciative use of Frœbel's
processes, is as fatal to his reform as was _judaizing_ to the primitive
Christian Church. Frœbel's method is a radical change of direction. It
changes the educator's point of view. Instead of looking down upon the
child, the kindergartner must clear her mind of all foregone arbitrary
conclusions, and humbly look up to the innocent soul, which in its turn
sees nothing but the face of the Father in heaven--(for thus Christ
explains children's being "of the kingdom of heaven"). This is difficult
for her to do, because--not seldom--a shadow has fallen on the original
innocence of the children confided to her care, from those human beings
in relation to them, who have not done for them what every human being
needs by reason of the essential dependence of individuals upon their

The child is doubtless an embryo angel; but no less certainly a possible
devil. If the immortal will, impassioned by the heart, which never rests
permanently satisfied till the mind recognizes God, be puzzled, it may
be turned in a wrong direction by what it meets, and then the
manifestation will be ugly and more or less hateful. Evil is the
inevitable effect of an ignorant, disorderly action of the will; of its
not adopting the laws of order, by which God creates the universe, and
of which the universe is the unconscious exponent. But knowledge of the
laws of order must come to guide the will, from outside the child's
conscious individuality, _through the human providence of education_,
in which the heavenly Father veils His infinite power, in order that the
child may be free to make the choice of good, that shall lift him from
the state, of merely instinctive being, into that union of Love and
Thought, which characterizes a spirit _creative_, _i.e._, causing

Perhaps you will say that if human influence must embody Divine
Providence, in order to educate, then children never will be educated.
Well! Except in one instance I admit that children never have been
educated up to the ideal standard. But the one instance of the perfectly
Divine Son of the perfectly holy Mother; and the partial successes of
such fitful good education as history and tradition report, forbid us to
despair of making human education a worthy image of Divine Providence.
_To despair of this_ is want of the proper action of human free

The first qualification of the true kindergartner, then, is Faith, which
can be based only on the abiding conviction that God is with us "_to
will and to do_," if we will only have the courage to take for granted
that if _we are willing_, He will make of us divine guides to others.
That He is calling them to be so, whoever feels a strong love of
children, sympathy with their life, and sensibility to their beauty, may
have a reasonable assurance; and that such as shall faithfully qualify
themselves for the work will not fail of the divine help. But observe my
proviso. Their love must not be a passing emotion, grounded on the
children's superficial beauty. It must be a love that involves patience,
that can stand the manifestation of ugly temper, and perverse will, and
never lose sight of the embryo angel that wears for the moment the
devilish mask. In children, evil is actual, but always superficial and
temporary, if the educator does not become party to it by losing her own
temper and idea. Also she must have resources by means of a cultivated
understanding and imagination, to command the child's imagination and

It may be said that everybody cannot have, at will, imagination and
culture. This is true; but such persons should not undertake to keep a
kindergarten. Let them do something else; keep shop, cultivate
vegetables, work the sewing machine; even keep those schools for older
children, in which books are the main teachers. There are multitudes of
things to be done; the greatest variety of functions to be performed in
human life. But of all things to do, the cultivation of human beings at
that period of life when they are utterly at the mercy of those who
teach them, is the most sacred. Why rush into that, impelled by any
motive below the highest?

On the other hand, I do not wish to produce any artificial
sentimentality on this subject. It is my belief that the average woman
is sufficiently gifted by nature to make a good kindergartner, if she
will give her nature fair play, by cultivating religious and moral
sentiment; and will take pains to develop her intellect by the study of
nature's laws in at least one department of science--that of vegetable
physiology for instance, the materials of which are everywhere. One who
_could not_ be educated to become a kindergartner, should never dare to
become a mother; for she would not know even how to choose the
assistance necessary to her for the work that ought to be done for every
child by somebody. While I would discourage, and if possible effectually
frighten every one from professing kindergartning who is morally
disqualified by sordid aims, or by making it a means to another end than
itself, I welcome the young and ardent to this beautiful womanly work,
which, to do well, requires of them to do the very best thing for their
own intellect and heart, and which, more certainly than anything else,
will give them the secret of Power and Beauty.

It was my privilege, a year or two since, to pass a week in one of the
schools of the feeble-minded; and I there saw six women, some of them
quite young girls, devoted to the terrible work of waking up Will and
Perception in those poor prisoners of mal-organization, so many of them
frightful to look upon. They were doing their work under the strongest
sense of humanity and religion. It would have been impossible to do it
at all, as they were doing it, had they had no other inspiration than
the pay they were receiving. The main reward was in their having some
success in waking up the mind. In their countenances something angelic
was dawning; and this was not my fancy merely, for I heard the same
remark made again and again, by persons who went there as I did. I do
not think one of these women wished to leave the good work; and if
acting on a mind-cherishing principle was so interesting, and productive
of such reactive effects, in such sad circumstances, how much more may
be expected from working upon children fairly gifted! The charm of the
sadder work was, that, like kindergartning, it stimulated to profound
study of the laws of mental nature, in order to work reverently among
them, instead of arbitrarily, in defiance or irreverence of them. To do
this made these women feel that they were working with God; and this
made them practical saints. But why cannot we believe that God is
present, and acting with us, and wooing us to act with Himself, in the
joyous paradise of life, as well as in chambers of disease, and among
the wretched? Is He not the God of the living and joyful, as well as of
the dying and sad? Why is the church-yard only a grave-yard? Why should
it not always be a kindergarten?

One of the pleasantest observations that I made of the kindergartens of
Germany--and I went to the very best ones, those kept by the
kindergartners whom Frœbel had trained--was the happy absorption of the
teachers in the children; their sympathy with them; the utter
companionship between them. I never saw a punishment; I never heard a
Don't (or its German equivalent); but when anything went wrong, there
was always a pause, and sometimes questions were asked; and all seemed
to wait till the inward guide had been brought out into consciousness
(whether the thing in hand was social action or artistic work). Perhaps
it might be harder work to govern American children. Their vivacious
temperament, their lively energies, need "conscious law" as a curb,
rather than as a spur. But all the more is it necessary for the American
kindergartner to vivify the invisible guide; she should present order to
the mind, by her genial questioning and conversation over the work in
hand, rather than exert an arbitrary power which might stimulate the
reaction of obstinacy or the subterfuges of cunning. To _govern_ is not
the whole thing. The question is _how_ we govern; whether we so govern
as to make a cringing slave, a cunning hypocrite, or an intelligent,
law-abiding, self-respecting, _willing_ servant of God. I have seen a
magnetic teacher produce a marvellous obedience, and apparent order, by
his imposing presence and keen satire. He imagined that he governed by
moral power; but as soon as he was out of the schoolroom, the children
were the victims of their own impulses, to which seemed given a stronger
spring by the enforced repression. There is no order which is more than
skin deep, unless it be the free, glad obedience of the child to a law,
which he perceives to be creative because it enables him to do something
real. Nothing short of the union of love and thought can produce
spiritual power, _i.e._, creativeness. It is only spiritual power that
inaugurates order--the Eternal Beauty may be inaugurated in childhood
and among childish toys.

There is reason, on their own account, why we want our pupils, in this
art of kindergartning, to be in their disposition and circumstances
above merely pecuniary motive for entering on the work; and that is,
because it will be long before the work will pay much in money. I need
not adduce any other proof of this than our experience in Boston; where,
for four years, the rarely gifted, thoroughly educated, religiously
devoted Alma Kriege poured out her young energies on classes of less
than a score of children; bringing her a pittance so small that she had
to fill up the rest of her hours, which ought to have been given to
recreation and culture, with other work, in order to pay for rent and
necessary bread. Our rich and cultivated people will not forego a little
more upholstery than is necessary, or a style of dress that makes the
laundry bill--to say nothing of the mantua-maker's and milliner's--larger
than the school bill, in order to give the required remuneration to the
kindergartner for spending herself on their children in exhausting study
and labor. But the truth is, people do not really believe that anything
better can be done for children than to kill the time between the
mother's arms and the season when they are to be taught to read; and so
this precious interval, when the habits of thought and affection are
forming, is given up to be filled by chance, risking life-long
difficulties for the child.

Now, what is to reform this state of things? Nothing but the
self-sacrificing work of kindergartners, who, for the sake of
enlightening these benighted parents, will do their work faithfully,
steadily refusing to undertake the care of those whom their parents will
not trust to Frœbel's system. The refusal will not seldom force the
truth on the parents--who, when they know it, will be glad to know it. I
do not say to any particular person, it is your duty to wear yourself
out and half starve, for the sake of keeping a kindergarten. It is only
you who are sufficiently free from other obligations, to give yourselves
the privilege and luxury of working with God, on the paradisaical ground
of childhood, who should enter this field. If you can make it your
object to study how to avoid offending those who are beholding the face
of the Father in heaven, by not hindering, but bringing them to Christ,
which means helping them to grow as He did, in grace as in stature, and
in favor with God and man, till like Him they become redeemers of their
brethren from bondage, and can help to make earth the kingdom of
heaven; then you may hope, in your day and generation, to initiate
kindergartning, and make the way smooth for those that follow. When the
true thing is initiated, it will pay even in money; for parents will see
that it is invaluable.

It is twenty-two years since Frœbel died. He had made a band of
kindergartners, and set them at work. They all began with small
pecuniary reward. It was at first a starving business. In Europe it is
more difficult than it is here, to induce women of culture and position
to undertake any work which is paid for with money. Frœbel's genius had
overcome this prejudice in a few instances. The ladies of one wealthy
family in Hamburg became his pupils, one of whom introduced it into
England, though under some great disadvantages. The Baroness
Marenholtz-Bülow is the most important person inspired by Frœbel; and
the circumstances of her introduction to him are even picturesque. Being
in feeble health, she went into an obscure village for rest and
retirement; and one day asked the woman with whom she boarded, if
anything interesting was going on among the villagers. The woman replied
that there was "one queer thing, a natural fool who played about among
the children, who followed him, and were very much taken up with him."
The Baroness hardly heeded this singular assertion; but some time after,
being abroad for exercise, she saw a white-haired man under a tree, with
a group of children around him; and, thinking this might be the "natural
fool," she drew near, and was soon arrested by what she heard, and
joined the little throng herself. Subsequent interviews with Frœbel--for
it was he--made a new era in her life, and she corresponded with him
closely till his death. She has since been his chief apostle. After
years of earnest work, with tongue and pen, she succeeded in getting rid
of the injunction against his schools, made by the Prussian Government,
which was jealous of what claimed to be an improvement on their
world-renowned Reform. Since this injunction was taken off, she has
worked, by means of a normal school which she helped to found in Berlin,
in which she lectured gratuitously many years, fighting earnestly
against just such deteriorations of the system as have already begun to
appear in this country. Some of the pseudo-kindergartens use the plays
and occupations there, as here, in the most superficial way. When
children work by patterns, or are shown--instead of being told in
words--how to do things, they merely imitate, with as little
accompaniment of intellectual action as a monkey; and neither the mind
nor the character will be developed, but rather dissipated and weakened.
Others, especially in this country, use the plays in the intervals
between lessons or reading,--which, being taught before the mind has
been regularly developed by success in doing things, and before the
meaning of words has been learned in an adequate manner, are confused
with a chaos of unrelated particulars, that it will take years of
self-education, by and by, to grow out of; and, in short, only a few
vigorous natures fortunately situated ever surmount the difficulty.

But the work of the Baroness has not been in vain; and she writes in a
late letter that a government decree has just been made in Austria,
ordering that all the children between four and six years of age should
be sent to kindergartens; and that every normal school must give
kindergarten training, and every teacher, whether of that or the
following stages of education, must be made acquainted with Frœbel's
principles and practices. This great step is the final result of the
agitation of the subject for the last few years in Europe, which began
in the first Philosophers' Congress at Prague, in 1867. The dying out of
the teachers instructed by Frœbel himself was manifestly producing a
deteriorating effect in the quality of kindergartners; and his most
intelligent and devoted disciples proposed to the Congress an effort for
the revival of his science and art in its pristine purity and power.

It is most desirable that such falsification and deterioration do not
get ahead in America. But there is impending danger of it, and it can
only be prevented by establishing and keeping up adequate
training-schools, and so informing public opinion, that it shall not be
tolerated in the community to call by the sacred name of kindergarten
anything short of it. There will necessarily be infant schools of an
inferior quality for a long time, because it will take time to make
common an adequate education in the art of kindergartning; but let such
be _called_ play-schools. _Pretenders_ in this profession should be
frowned upon by all good people, as pretenders in the clerical
profession are. They do more harm than bad clergymen can, because the
subjects of their teaching are more helpless and undefended, and can do
nothing for themselves.

The experience I have had in my apostolate in this cause, has brought me
to the conclusion that in America the best way to proceed is, to induce
the public authorities to have kindergartning taught in the State and
city normal schools, and to open public kindergartens as fast as there
are adequate teachers for them.

Everything depends on the quality of the first kindergartners we
train--their spiritual, moral and intellectual quality--which must be
such as to operate in two ways: first, to do for the children the right
thing; secondly, to educate the community to require it done as a
general thing. Many characteristics of America give great encouragement.
We are not dragged back, as they are in Europe, by old customs, whose
roots are intertwined with the heart-strings of inherited sentiment. Our
patriotic hearts fasten themselves on the great future that our fathers
died to inaugurate. We must justify their ideal of universal equality,
by an equal education, an equal opportunity for development of all our
people. "The spirit that makes all things new," as the heart of
childhood craves, and its hand is eager to enact, is "_every_ word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God," to make alive the human heart.
Therefore we leave behind us--more and more--those conventions of the
Old World that have made even the great work of educating rank as
inferior to that which wields the sword of war. Some people groan at
seeing how the growing facilities of getting money, which our
institutions give to every man and woman of energy, is effacing the old
distinctions of rank. But if our Culture may be made universal, by
employing part of this money in making public education adequate, what
ground will be left for _distinction of rank_? What pretext for
exclusion will there be, when there are none rude and uncultivated to be
excluded? That any distinction of ranks came among the children of God
is incidental to free agency. Children know nothing of them--till we
profane their golden age of innocence by revealing them. (Appendix, Note



IT is my object to inspire, if I can, an enthusiasm for educating
children strictly on Frœbel's method, and no other; and I wish to
justify myself by giving reasons for this; for I know that, at first
sight, Americans start back from putting faith in any leader;
immediately exclaiming, that they must be free to follow the light of
their own minds.

This sounds large and liberal, certainly; and no one sees the danger of
yielding to any individual authority more than I do; but it is certain
that nothing may make us so narrow, as a bigoted adherence to the rule
of following the light of our own mind condignly. The light of our own
individual mind may be darkness; it must, in any case, be that of a
farthing candle, compared with Eternal Reason, "the light that lighteth
every man that cometh into the world." The question is, do we
distinguish between that greater light and our own idiosyncrasy, with a
becoming and discriminating humility? I once heard a lady, whose name
was Gurley, say to a witty gentleman, that she believed "in the total
depravity of human nature from the experience of her own heart." Ah! but
that is not quite fair, he replied, "for how do you know what is human
nature and what is Gurleyism?" Here is tersely suggested the danger of
the individualistic philosophy, which has developed itself into a new
kind of bigotry in these later days, not less denunciatory in its
_animus_ than any other; and which shuts up its votaries in a dungeon
from the light of Universal experience. I acknowledge the legitimacy of
the philosophy of individualism, as a protest against the glittering
generality which theological philosophy had become, at the time when it
arose; and as affirmation that God makes every man separately an eye,
and if he would see into the Infinite Over-soul, he must look with it
out of his own window. But this is only the way to begin to search for
truth. If he is not self-intoxicated, every man soon learns that his
window does not command the whole horizon, that God not only has given a
window to him, but to every other man; that we are all free to look out
of each others' windows, some being higher up in the tower of the common
humanity than our own, commanding wider views; in fine that it is with
_all_ the sons of man that "wisdom dwells," and they must
inter-communicate with mutual reverence if they would know her well.
Frœbel had not been so wise, had he not, with reverent humility, sought
what God says immediately to mothers and babes. You will not be wise if
you do not look out of Frœbel's window.

The story I told you, in my last lecture, of the growth of Frœbel's mind
from his boyhood, suggested the fact that the common motherly instinct,
purified of individual passion and caprice, and, understanding itself as
the presence of the Living God overshadowing her, is the social
atmosphere necessary to be breathed by every child who is to grow in
wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Frœbel learned this primal fact or truth, first negatively, as it were,
by lacking it in his own childish experience; and he verified it
positively afterwards, by studying the method of unsophisticated
mothers, at that earliest period of their children's lives, when, in
order to keep them alive merely, the nurse must take the rule of her
nursing from the needs which her heart divines, aided by the nursling's
own expression of want and content--its tears and smiles.

Let us then determine first, as he did, the nursery art, which is
preliminary to that of the Kindergarten.

By the primal miracle (_i.e._, wonder working) of nature, the mother
finds in her arms a fellow-being, who has an immeasurable susceptibility
of suffering, and an immeasurable desire of enjoyment, and an equally
immeasurable force intent on compassing this desire, already in
activity, but with no knowledge at all of the material conditions in
which he is placed, to which he is subject, and by which he is limited
in the exercise of this immense nature.

As I have said before, every form of animal existence _but_ the human,
is endowed with some absolute knowledge, enabling it to fulfil its
limited sphere of relationship as unerringly as the magnetized needle
turns to the pole, and, even with more or less of enjoyment; yet with no
forethought. But the knowledge that is to guide the blind will of the
human being, even to escape death in the first hour of its bodily life,
exists substantially outside of its own individuality in the mother, or
whoever supplies the mother's place.

And throughout the existence of the human being, the forethought that is
to enable him to appreciate his ever multiplying relations with his own
kind, and which grows wider and sweeter as he fulfils the duties they
involve, is essentially outside of himself as a mere individual; being
found first in those who are in relation with him in the family,
afterwards in social, national, cosmopolitan relationship; till at last
he realizes himself to be in sonship with God, in whom all humanity,
nations, families, individuals, "live and move and have their being."
There is no absolute isolation or independency possible for a spiritual
being. This is a truth involved in the very meaning of the word spirit,
and revealed to every family on earth, by the ever recurring fact of the
child born into the arms of a love that emparadises both parties, on
which he lives more or less a pensioner throughout his whole existence,
so far as he lives humanly, finding fullness of life at last in the
clear vision and conscious communion of an Infinite Father, who has been
revealing Himself all along, in the love of parent and child, brother
and sister, husband and wife, friend, fellow-citizen and fellow-man.
Christ said, that little children see the Father face to face, but
surely not with the eyes of the body or of the understanding! They see
him with the heart. And is it not true, that we never quite forget the
child's vision in turning our eyes on lower things? for what but
remembrance of our Heavenly Father's face is hope, "that springs eternal
in the human breast?" What but this remembrance are the ideals of
beauty, that haunt the savage and the sage? the sense of law that gives
us our moral dignity, and in the saddest case, what but this are the
pangs of remorse, in which, as Emerson has sung in his wonderful sphinx
song, "lurks the joy that is sweetest?"

Frœbel has authority with me, because, in this great faith, making
himself a little child, he received little children in the name (that
is, as germinating forms) of the Divine humanity, with a simple
sincerity, such as few seem to have done since Jesus claimed little
children as the pure elements of the kingdom he came to establish on
earth; and exhorted that, as they were such, they should be brought to
him as the motherly instinct prompted, and declared that they were not
to be forbidden (that is, hindered as all false education hinders.)

As an American then, and more--as a human being, I acknowledge no
authority except the union of love and thought in practical operation.
But whenever I see this union in any one, to a greater degree than I
have it in myself, I bow before that person, and _feel_ (which is the
subtlest kind of knowing) that I am larger wiser, freer, more effective
for good, by following and obeying him as a master for the time being.

Therefore, after the study I have made of Frœbel, and of the method with
little children that he was fifty years discovering and elaborating into
practical processes, whose _rationale_ and creative influence I
perceive; I feel, as it were, _Divinely authorized_ to present him to
you as an authority which you can reverently trust; and so be delivered
from the uncertainties of your own narrow and crude notions,
inexperienced and ignorant as you undoubtedly are, however talented.

It is quite necessary for me to say, and for you to accept this now, or
our short time together will be wasted. There is a time for criticism
undoubtedly, and nothing is true that can not make itself good against
"honest doubt." But as Sterne has said, "of all the cants that are
canted in this canting world, though the cant of hypocrisy may be the
worst, the cant of criticism is the most provoking. I would go fifty
miles on foot to kiss the hand of that man, whose generous heart will
give up the reins into his author's hands, for the time being, and let
him lead him where he will." I am quoting from memory, and may forget
the exact words; but the idea is, that the mood of self-surrendering
reverence is the mood for profitable study, for it is to "become a
little child," which Christ told his disciples was the condition of any
one's becoming the greatest in the kingdom of Divine Truth.

Let us begin, then, with reverently considering the new born child, as
Frœbel did; for that is to be "the light of all our seeing."

A child is a living soul, from the very first; not a mere animal force,
but a person, open to God on one side by his heart, which appreciates
love, and on the other side to be opened to nature, by the reaction upon
his sensibility of those beauteous forms of things that are the analysis
of God's creative wisdom; and which, therefore, gives him a growing
understanding, whereby his mere active force shall be elevated into a
rational, productive will. For heart and will are, at first, blind to
outward things and therefore inefficient, until the understanding shall
be developed according to the order of nature.

But during this process of its development, adult wisdom must supply the
place of the child's wisdom, which is not, as yet, grown; that is--an
educator must point out the way, genially, not peremptorily; for in
following the educator's indications, the child must still act in a
measure from himself. As he is irrefragably free, he will not always
obey; he will try other paths--perhaps the contrary one--by way of
testing whether he has life in himself. But unless he shall go a right
way, he will accomplish nothing satisfactory and reproductive; and it is
Frœbel's idea to give him something to do, within the possible sphere of
his affection and fancy, which shall be an opportunity of his making an
experience of success, that shall stimulate him to desire, and thereby
make him receptive of the guidance of creative law, which is the only
true object for the obedience of a spiritual being.

To the new born child, his own body is the whole universe; and the first
impression he gets of it seems to come from his need of nutriment. But
it is the mother, not the child, that responds to this want, by
presenting food to the organ of taste, and producing a pleasurable
impression which arouses the soul to _intend itself_ into the organ,
which is developed to receive impression more and more perfectly, by the
child's seeking for a repetition of the pleasure. For a time, whatever
uneasiness a child feels, he attempts to remove by the exercise of this
organ, through which he has gained his first pleasant impression of
objective nature. Therefore is it, that his lips and tongue become his
first means of examining the outward world into which he has been
projected by his Creator.

The ear seems to be the next organ of which the child becomes conscious,
or through which he receives impressions of personal pleasure and pain;
and here it is noticeable, that _rhythmical_ sound seems, from the very
first, to give most pleasure; and is wonderfully effective to soothe the
nerves, and remove uneasiness. All mothers and nurses sing to babies,
as well as rock them, (which is _rhythmical_ motion,) and this pleasant
impression on the ear diverts the child from intending himself
exclusively into the organ of tasting. He now stretches himself into his
ears, whose powers are developed by gently exercising their function of

The child seems to taste and hear, before he begins to see anything more
definite than the difference between light and darkness. By and by a
salient point of light, it may be the light of a candle, catches and
fixes his eye, and gives a distinct visual impression, which is
evidently pleasurable, for the child's eye follows the light, showing
that the soul intends itself into the organ of sight. Soon after, gay
colors fix its gaze and evidently give pleasure. The eye for color is
developed gradually, like the ear for music, by exercise, which being
pleasurable becomes spontaneous.

The whole body is the organ of touch; but as the hands are made
convenient for grasping, to which the infant has an instinctive
tendency, and the tips of the fingers are especially handy for touching,
they become, by the intension of the mind into them, the special organ
for examining things by touch, and getting impressions of qualities
obvious to no other sense. When, as it sometimes happens, by
malformation or maltreatment of them, the eyes fail to perform their
functions, it is wonderful how much more the soul intends itself into
the special organs of touch, developing them to such a degree, that a
cultivated blind person seems almost to see with the tips of the
fingers. This fact proves what I have been trying to impress on your
minds, that the soul which spontaneously desires and wills enjoyment,
takes possession and becomes conscious of its organs of sensuous
perception, partly by an original impulse, given to it by the Creator,
and partly, (which I want you especially to observe,) by the genial,
sympathetic, intelligent, careful co-working of the mother and nurse;
who, by what we call nursery play, gives a needed help to the child to
accomplish this feat in a healthy and pleasurable manner. And we shall
be better convinced of the virtue of this nursery play, if we consider
the case of the neglected children of the very poor, so pathetically
described by Charles Lamb. See essays on Popular Fallacies, No. 12.

Madame Marenholtz-Bülow has happily remarked, in her preface to Jacob's
Manual, _Le jardin des Enfans_, that "to develop and train the senses is
not to pamper them." The organs of tasting and smelling do not require
so much exercise by the duplicate action of the mother, as those of
seeing and hearing. The former have for their end to build up the body;
the latter to lead the child's mind out of the body, to that part of
nature which connects him with other persons. The functions of both are
equally worthy; but those of the latter belong to the child as a social
and intellectual being. It is the mother's office to temper the
exercises of each sense, so that they may limit and balance each other.
And in order to limit those which are building up the body, so that they
shall not absorb the child, the action of the others must be helped out.
"Our bodies feel--where'er they be--against or with our will;" but to
see and hear all that children can, requires exertion of will and this
is coaxed out by the sympathetic action of others. Yet the functions of
tasting or smelling are not to be banned. The Creator has made them
delightful; and if others do their proper part, their exercise will
never become harmful. To enjoy tasting and smelling is no less innocent
than to enjoy seeing and hearing. There is no function of mind or body
but may be performed Divinely. Milton shows insight into this truth by
making Raphael sit and eat at table with man in Paradise; and he says
some wonderful things upon the point, which will bear much study. And
have we not in sacred tradition a symbol, still more venerable, of the
truth, that the fire of spirit burns without consuming, and may
transform the body without leaving visible residue? There are in Brown's
philosophy (which does not penetrate into _all_ the mysteries of the
rational soul and immortal spirit) some very instructive chapters on the
social and moral relations of the grosser senses, (as taste, smell and
touch are sometimes called.) It is the part of rational education to
understand all these things thoroughly, and adjust the spontaneous
activities by subordinating them to the end of a harmonious and
beneficent social life. The Lord's Supper may be made to illustrate this
general human duty.

There is doubtless marked difference in the original energy of life, in
different children. Young--but not too young, happy, healthy, loving
parents, have the most vigorous, lively and harmoniously organized
children; but in all cases, the impulse of life must be met and
cherished by the tender, attractive, inspiring force of motherly love;
which with caressing tone and invoking smile, peers into the infant's
eyes, and importunately calls forth the new person, who, as her
instinctive motherly faith and love assure her, is there; and whom she
yearns to make conscious of himself in self-enjoyment. The time comes
when the little body has become so far subject to the new soul, that an
answering smile of recognition signalizes the arrival upon the shores of
mortal being of "that light which never was on sea or land," another
immortal intelligence! It is only the smile of the intelligent human
face, that can call forth this smile of the child in the first instance;
but let this glad mutual recognition of souls take place once, and both
parties will seek to repeat the delight, again and again. Few persons,
indeed, get so chilled by the sufferings and disappointments, and so
hardened by the crimes of human life, but on the sight of a little
child, they are impelled to invoke this answering smile by making
themselves, for the moment, little children again; seeking and finding
that communion with our kind which is the Alpha and Omega of life.

Do not say that I am wandering, fancifully, from the serious work which
we are upon: I am only beginning at the beginning. We can only
understand the child, and what we are to do for it in the Kindergarten,
by understanding the first stage of its being--the pre-intellectual one
in the nursery. The body is the first garden in which God plants the
human soul, "to dress and to keep it." The loving mother is the first
gardener of the human flower. Good nursing is the first word of Frœbel's
gospel of child-culture.

The process of taking possession of the organs, that I have just
described, is never performed perfectly unless children are nursed
genially. If bitter and disagreeable things are presented to the organ
of the taste, they are rejected with the whole force of a will, which is
too blind in its ignorance to find the thing it wants, but vindicates
its irrefragable freedom of choice by uttering cries of fright, pain and
anger, as it shrinks back, instead of throwing itself forward into
nature. If the cruel thing is repeated, the nerves are paralyzed, or at
least rendered morbid, especially when rude untender handling outrages
the sense of touch. When rough and discordant sounds assail the ear, or
too sharply salient a light, the eye, these organs will be injured, and
may be rendered useless for life. The neglected and maltreated child is
dull of sense, and lifeless, or morbidly impulsive, possibly savagely
cruel and cunning, in sheer self-defence. The pure element and first
condition of perfect growth, is the joy that responds to the electric
touch of love.

Underlying and outmeasuring all this delicate development of the organs
of the five senses, is the whole body's instinct of motion, which is the
primal action of will. The perfectly healthy body of a little child,
when it is awake, is always in motion--more or less intentionally. When
asleep, there is the circulation of the blood, and pulsation of the
solids of the body, corresponding to the act of breathing, which is
involuntary; and any interruption of these produces disease--their
suspension, death. But the motion which makes the limbs agile, and the
whole body elastic, and gradually to become an obedient servant, is
voluntary, intentional, and can be helped by that sympathetic action of
others, which we call _playing with the child_. Frœbel's rich
suggestions on this play are contained in his mother's cossetting songs;
and I am glad to tell you that two English ladies, a poet and a
musician, have translated and set to music this unique book; and that
just now it has been published by Wilkie, Wood & Co., in London. It
suggests all kinds of little gymnastics of the hands, fingers, feet,
toes and legs, for these are the child's first play things; and also the
first symbols of intelligent communication, giving the core and
significance to all languages.[1]

I think that a baby never _begins_ to play, in the first instance, but
responds to the mother and nurse's play, and learns thereby its various
members and their powers and uses; and when at last it jumps, runs,
walks by itself, which it cannot begin to do without the help of others,
it is prepared to say _I_, with a clear sense of individuality.

In analyzing the process of a child's learning to walk, we see most
clearly the characteristic difference between the human person and the
animals below man in the scale of relation. The little chicken runs
about of itself, as soon as it is out of the shell; but the human child,
even after all its limbs are grown, and though he has been moving
himself on all fours by means of the floor, and supporting himself by
means of the furniture to which he clings, _does not walk_. He will only
stand alone, unsupported, when he sees that there are guarding arms
round about him, all ready to catch him if he should fall. He seems to
know instinctively, that all the force of the earth's gravitation is
against him. He does not know that he may balance it by his personal
power. His body weighs upon his soul like a mountain, precisely because
he is intelligent of it as an object, loves it as a means of pleasure,
and dreads its power of giving pain to him. The little darling stands,
perhaps between the knees of his father, whose arms are round about him;
the mother opens her loving arms to receive him, and calls him to her
embrace; the way is short between, and three steps will be sufficient,
but where is the courageous faith to say to this mountain of a body, "be
removed to another place?" It is not in himself; he cannot produce it
any more than he can take himself up by his own ears. It is in the
mother; for it is she, not he, who has the knowledge of the yet
unexerted power which is flowing into the child from the Creator. Only
by the electric touch of her faith in him does his faith in himself
flash out in answer to her look and voice of cheer, and he rushes to her
arms. It is the doing of the deed which gives to himself the knowledge
of the power that is in him. He repeats it again and again, seeming to
wish to be more and more certain of his being the cause of so great
effect. Thus cause and effect are discriminated, and "to him that hath"
a sense of individuality, "shall be given," forevermore, a growing power
over the body, to which no measure can be stated. Even on the vulgar
plane of the professional tumbler, a man's power over his body seems,
sometimes, to be absolute and miraculous. But the annals of heroism and
martyrdom are full of facts that go to prove to all who consider them
profoundly, that the immaterial soul is sovereign, when, by recognizing
all its relations, it subjects the individual to the universal, and
becomes thereby entirely spiritual, (which is man reciprocating with
God; becoming more and more conscious forever.[2])

From what has been said of the soul's taking possession of the body and
its several organs, by exercising the functions of tasting, hearing,
seeing, smelling, touching, grasping, moving the limbs, and at last
taking up the whole body into itself in the act of walking, we see that
it is all done, even the last, by virtue of the social nature.

Frœbel took his clue from this fact, a primal one, and never let it go,
and it is of the greatest importance that it be understood clearly, that
conscious individuality, which gives the sense of free personality, the
starting point, as it were, of intelligent will, is perfectly consistent
with and even dependent on the simultaneous development of the social
principle in all its purity and power.

We see a sad negative proof of this, in asylums for infants abandoned by
their mothers, or given up by them through stress of poverty. There is
one of these in New York city, into which are received poor little
things in the first weeks of their existence. Every thing is done for
their bodily comfort which the general human kindness can devise. They
have clean warm cradles and clothes, good milk, in short everything but
that caressing motherly play, which goes from the personal heart to the
personal heart. That is one thing general charity cannot supply; it is
the personal gift of God to the mother for her child, and none but she
can be the sufficient medium of it, and therefore, undoubtedly it is,
that almost all new-born children in foundling hospitals die; or, if
they survive, are found to be feeble-minded or idiotic. They seem to
sink into their animal natures, and belie the legend man written on
their brows, showing none of that beautiful fearlessness and courageous
affectionateness that characterise the heartily welcomed, healthy,
well-cared-for human infant. On the contrary, they show a dreary apathy,
morbid fearfulness, or a belligerent self-defence, anticipative of other
forms of the cruel neglect which has been their dreary experience.

Taking a hint from observations of this kind, together with the bitter
experiences of his own childhood, Frœbel supplied to the mother or nurse
some playthings for the baby, which might continue to improve the
various organs of its body, by making the exercise of their functions a
social delight.

What is called the first gift, he proposes should be used in the nursery
first. It consists of six soft balls, not too large to be grasped by a
little hand, and the use of which in the nursery, is suggested by a
little first book for mothers, that has been translated from Jacob's _Le
jardin des Enfans_.[3] I think it is important for the Kindergartner to
know what Frœbel thought could be done for the development of the infant
in the nursery, since if it has not been done there, she must contrive
to remedy the evil in the Kindergarten. You will bear with me,
therefore, if I go quite into the minutiæ of this matter. It will open
your eyes to observe delicately, as Frœbel did.

He proposed that the red ball should be first presented. He had observed
that a bright light concentrated, as in a candle, first excited the
organ of sight and stimulated its action. Hence he inferred that a
bright color would do the same, a neutral tint would not be seen at all
probably. The red ball is not quite so salient and exciting as the light
of a candle, but on that account it can be gazed at longer, without
producing a painful re-action. The child will have a pleasure in
grasping it, and will probably carry it to his lips; but as it is
woolen, it will not be especially agreeable to the delicate organ of
taste. It will all the more be looked at therefore, and give the
impression of red. Frœbel proposes that it shall be called the red ball,
in order that the impression of the word _red_ on the ear, shall blend
in memory with the impression of the color on the eye. As long as the
child seems amused with the red ball, he would not have another color
introduced, because he thought it took time for the eye to get a clear
and strong impression of one color, and this should be done before it
was tried with a contrasted impression. But by and by the blue ball, as
the greatest contrast, may be given and named; and all the little plays
suggested in the mother's book be repeated with the blue ball; and then
the yellow ball should be given with its name; and then the three be
given together, and the baby be asked to choose the blue, or red, or
yellow one. By attaching a string to them, and whirling them, or letting
the infant do so, it is surprising how long the child will amuse itself
with these balls, and what pleasure colors alone give, especially when
combined with motion.

The secondary colors may afterwards be added to the treasury for the
eye, with the same carefulness to secure completeness and distinctness
of impression; and to associate the color with the word that names it;
for language, the special organ of social communion, should be
addressed to the child from the first, though its complete attainment
and use is the crown of all education.

Smiles and sounds, proceeding out of the mouth, are the first languages,
and begin to fix the little child's eyes and attention upon the mouth of
the mother, from which issue the tones that are sweetest to hear, and
especially when in musical cadence. But the child understands the words
addressed to him long before he himself begins to articulate; for
language is no function of the individual, but only of the consciously
social being, yearning to find himself in another.

There is a reciprocal communication between infants and adults that
precedes the difficult act of articulation. This we call the natural
language, and it is common to all nations, being mutually intelligible,
as is proved by deaf mutes from remote countries who understand each
other at once. But this natural language has a very narrow scope. It
serves to communicate instinctive wants of body and heart, but does not
serve the fine purposes of intellectual communication, nor minister any
considerable intellectual development. These signs are very general,
while every word in its origin has represented a particular object in
nature. In analyzing any language, we find that the names given to the
body and its members, and to the actions and facts of life, without
which no human society can exist, are the nucleus or central words that
characterize it, and from which the whole national rhetoric is derived.
Hence there is a value for the mind in associating the words and action
of even such a little play as "here we go up, up, up, and here we go
down, down, down, and here we go backwards and forwards, and here we go
round, round, round," with other rhymes and plays of an analogous
character that are found wherever there are mothers and children.

We have observed that the moment of first accomplishing the feat of
running alone, seemed to be that of the child's beginning to realize
himself to be a person, but that even, in this act, he was dependent
upon his mother; that his bodily independence was the gift of her faith
in that within him, which is essentially superior to the body and can
command it as instrumentality. To make it instrumentality is, more and
more, a delight to the child, in which his mother sympathises; and by
this sympathy aids him. All his plays involve exercise of the power of
commanding his body. As soon as a child can move it from place to place,
his desire to exercise power on nature outside of himself increases, and
he is prompted to measure strength with other children. If children were
mere individuals they would merely quarrel, as Hobbes says; but being
social beings also, they tend to unite forces and aid one another to
compass desired ends. By so doing, they rise to a greater sense of life,
and brotherly love is evolved. But in the development of the social
life, the more developed and cultivated elder must come in, to keep both
parties steady to some object outside of themselves, which it takes
their union to reach. Children can be taught to play together, by
engaging their powers of imitation, and addressing their fancy. Every
mother knows, that in the first opening of children's social life, their
bodily energies are stimulated to such a degree, that it is quite as
much as she or one nurse can do, to tend two or three children together;
and by the time they are three years old, the family nursery becomes too
narrow a sphere for them. It is then that they are to be received into a
Kindergarten, whose very numbers will check the energy of activity a
little, by presenting a greater variety of objects to be contemplated;
and because social action must be orderly and rhythmical, in order to be
agreeable. This, a properly prepared Kindergartner knows, and by her
sympathetic influence and power over the childish imagination, she will
bring gradually all the laws of the child's being to the conscious
understanding, beginning with this rhythmical one at the center.

The movement plays which Frœbel invented, express, in dramatic form,
some simple fact of nature or some childish fancy, for which he gives,
as accompaniment, a descriptive song set to a simple melody. The
children learn both to recite and to sing the words of the song, and
then the movements of the play. To them the whole reason for the play
seems to be the delight it gives, the exhilaration of body, the
amusement of mind. But the Kindergartner knows that it serves higher
ends, and that it is at least always a lesson in order, enabling them to
begin to enact upon earth "Heaven's first law."

Do not say I am making too solemn a matter of these movement plays, to
the Kindergartner. Unless she remembers that this very serious aim
underlies every play which she conducts, she will not do justice to the
children. Law or order is one and the same thing with beauty; and play
is hindrance if it is not beautiful. When she insists upon the children
governing themselves, so far as to keep their proper places in relation
to each other; to forbear exerting undue force, and to seek to give the
necessary aid to others by exerting sufficient force, the beautiful
result justifies her will to the minds of the children, and commands
their ready obedience. She must call forth by addressing the sense of
personal responsibility in each child; and this, if done tenderly and
with faith, it is by no means difficult to do. The reward to the
children is instant in the success of the play, and therefore not
thought of as reward of merit. It is a form of obedience that really
elevates the little one higher in the scale of being as an individual,
without danger of the re-action of pride and self-conceit; for self is
swallowed up in social joy.

When I was in Germany, I went, as I believe I told you, to those
Kindergartens, which were taught by Frœbel's own pupils, and I found
that in these the movement plays were the most prominent feature of the
practice. More than one was played in the course of the three or four
hours, and especially when the session was as much as four hours. It was
done in a very exact though not constrained manner, and much stress
seemed to be laid upon every part. The singing was not done by three or
four, but all the children were encouraged to sing. Often the little
timider ones were called on to repeat the rhyme alone, without singing
it, and then to sing it alone with the teacher. Thus the stronger and
abler were exercised (as they must be so much in real life) in waiting,
sympathetically, for the weaker. A great deal of care was also exercised
in regard to the form and character of the play itself. Those of
Frœbel's own suggestion and invention were the preferred ones. They
consisted in imitating, in rather a free and fanciful manner, the
actions of the gentler animals, hares and rabbits, fishes, bees and
birds. There were plays in which children impersonated animals,
evidently for the purpose of awakening their sympathies and eliciting
their kindness towards them. Many of the labors of human beings, common
mechanics, such as cooperage, the work of the farmer, that of the
miller, trundling the wheelbarrow, sawing wood, &c., were put into form
by simple rhymes. The children sometimes personated machinery, sometimes
great natural movements. In one instance I saw the solar system
performed by a company of children that had been in the Kindergarten
four years, but none of them were over seven years old. Mere movement is
in itself so delightful and salutary for children that a very little
action of the imitative or fanciful power is necessary, just to take the
rudeness out of bodily exercise without destroying its exhilaration.

My Kindergarten Guide, the revised edition of which is published by E.
Steiger, of New York, contains some of the principal plays, set to
Frœbel's own music. I would gladly have printed all that Madame Ronge
published in her Guide, which is out of print, but for the expense.

But it is by no means merely a moral discipline that is aimed at in the
Kindergarten, as you will see when the bearings upon their habits of
thought, of all that the children do, are pointed out to you, in the
various occupations, which are sedentary sports, though the moral
discipline is the paramount idea, and never must be lost sight of one
moment by the Kindergartner. We mean by moral discipline, exercising the
children to _act_ to the end of making _others_ happy, rather than of
merely enjoying _themselves_. If the individual enjoyment is not a
social enjoyment, it is disorderly and vitiating. But the individual is
lifted into the higher order for which he is created, by merely
enjoying, whenever his enjoyment is _social_. I am of course speaking of
that season of life under seven years of age, when the mind is yet
undeveloped to the comprehension of humanity as a whole; when the good,
the true and the beautiful are nothing as abstractions, and can only be
realized to their experience and brought within the sphere of their
senses, by being embodied in persons whom they love, reverence or trust.
The words _good_, _beautiful_, _kind_, _true_, get their meaning for
children by their intercourse with such persons. Specific knowledge of
God cannot be opened up in them by any words, unless these words have
first got their meaning by being associated with human beings who bear
traces that they can appreciate of His ineffable perfections. To liken
God's love to the mother's love, brings home a conception of it to
children, for _hers_ they realize every day.

The connecting link between the nursery and Kindergarten is the First
Gift of Frœbel's series, being used in both. The nursery use will have
taught the names of the six colors, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and
purple, and made it a favorite play thing. It is all the better if the
child has had no other playthings prepared for him. He has doubtless
used the chairs, footstools, and whatever else he could lay his hands
on, to embody his childish fancies; and it is to be hoped he has been
allowed to play out of doors with the earth, and has made mud pies to
his heart's content--not tormented with any sense of the--at his
age--artificial duty of keeping his clothes clean. That duty is to be
reserved for the Kindergarten age, and will come duly, by proper
development of the mental powers.

In the Kindergarten, the ball-plays are to become more skillful, and the
teacher must see that the child learns to throw the ball so that it may
bound back into his own hands; so that it may bound into the hands of
another who is in such position as to catch its reflex motion. The
children must learn to toss it up and catch it again themselves. When
standing in two rows they can throw it back and forwards to each other.
When standing in a circle, the balls may be made to circulate with
rapidity, passing from hand to hand, the children singing the
accompanying song.

"Who'll buy my eggs?" is a good play to exercise them in counting. And
all these movement plays with the ball are admirable for exercising the
body, giving it agility, grace of movement, precision of eye and touch.
These things will accrue all the more surely if it is kept play, and no
constraining sense of duty is called on. As most of these plays are not
solitary, they become the occasion for children's learning to adjust
themselves to each other, and the teacher must watch that hilarity do
not become violence or rudeness to each other, but furtherance of one
another's fun; and occasionally, in enforcing this harmony, a child must
be removed from the play, and made to stand in a corner alone, or even
outside the room, till the desire of rejoining his companions shall
quicken him to be sufficiently considerate of them to make pleasant play
possible. All children in playing together learn justice and social
graces, more or less, because they find that without fair play their
sport is spoilt; but this play must be supervised by the Kindergartner,
in order that there may not be injustice, selfishness and quarreling. A
Kindergartner, who is not a martinet, and who is herself a good
play-fellow, will magnetize the children, and inspire such general good
will that unpleasantness will be foreclosed in a great measure; but a
company of children are generally of such variety of temperament and
different degrees of bodily strength, have so often come from such
inadequate nursery life, that the regulating Kindergartner has a good
deal to do to prevent discords and secure their kindness to each other,
and the reasonable little self-sacrifices of common courtesy. But she
will find a word is often enough; the question, Is that right? Would you
like to have any one else do so? It is sometimes necessary to bring all
the play to a full stop, in order to bring the common conscience to
pronounce upon the fairness of what some one is doing. I would suggest
that the question be asked not of the class, but of the individual
culprit, whether what is being done wrong, is right or wrong? The child,
with the eyes of the class upon him, will generally be eager to confess
and reform, because the moral sense is quite as strong as self-love, and
especially when re-inforced by the presence of others. It is not worth
while to make too much of little faults, and the first indication of
turning to the right must be accepted; the child is grateful for being
believed in and trusted, and the wrong doing is a superficial thing; the
moral sentiment is the substantial being of the child.

Of all the materials used in Kindergarten, the colored balls are most
purely _playthings_; and there are none of the plays so liable to be
riotous as the ball plays. There is the greatest difficulty in keeping
children from being _too_ noisy, and it is not wise to make too much of
a point of it. The ball seems a thing of life. It is very difficult for
them to get good command of it. It excites them to run after it; and
shouts and laughter are irrepressible. But there are reasonable limits.
The Kindergartner, in conversation before hand, should make them see
that they may get too noisy, and tire each other, and she will easily
induce them to agree to stop short when she shall ring the bell, and be
willing to stand still while she counts twenty-five, or watches the
second hand of her watch go around a quarter, a half, or a whole minute,
as may be agreed upon. This can be made a part of the play, and to pause
and be perfectly still in this way, will give them some conception of
the length of a minute, and teach self-command, as well as make a
pleasant variety.

The ball plays should always be accompanied and alternated, in the
Kindergarten, with conversations upon the ball, naming the colors,
telling which are primary, which secondary, and illustrating the
difference by giving them pieces of glass of pure carmine, blue and
yellow, and letting them put two upon each other, and hold them towards
the window, and so realize the combinations of the secondary colors. Ask
them, afterwards, to tell what colors make orange, or purple, or green;
and what color connects the orange and green; or the purple and orange,
or the green and purple.

One of the other exercises, on the day of using the First Gift may be
sewing with the colored threads on the cards; and the colors may be
arranged so as to illustrate the connections, &c., just learned. The use
of the First Gift need only be once a week. It will then be a fresh
pleasure every time during the whole of the Kindergarten course, even if
it should last three years. After the children have become perfectly
familiar with the primary and secondary colors, their combinations and
connections, the lessons on colors may be varied, by telling them that
tints of the primary colors and of the secondary colors, are made by
adding white to them; and shades of them, (which will, of course, be
darker,) by adding black to them. This may be illustrated by flowers, as
may various combinations of colors. A very little child, whom it was
hard to train even to the hilarious and gay plays, and whose attention
could not easily be fixed, surprised a teacher one day by his aptitude
in detecting what color had been mixed with red to make a very glorious
pink in a phlox. This child liked to sew, but was very impatient of
putting his needle into any special holes. It proved to be the pleasure
of handling the colored yarns, and he was always eager to change them
and form new combinations. It may not be irrelevant to say here, in
regard to ball playing, from which I have digressed to colors, that the
ball is the last plaything of men as well as the first with children.

The object teaching upon the ball is strictly inexhaustible. Children
learn practically, by means of it, the laws of motion. Beware of any
strictly scientific teaching of these laws _in terms_. You may make
children familiar with the phenomena of the laws of incidence and
reflection, by simply telling them that if they strike the ball straight
against the wall opposite, it will bound straight back to them, and then
ask them whether it returns to them when they strike it in a slanting
direction. By and by this knowledge can be used to give meaning to a
scientific expression. It is a first principle that the object, motion,
or action, should precede the _word_ that names them. This is Frœbel's
uniform method, and the reason is, that when the scientific study does
come, it shall be substantial mental life, and not mere superficial
talk. It is the laws of _things_ that are the laws of _thought_; and
thought must precede all attempt at logic, or logic will be deceptive,
not reasonable. Most erroneous speculation has its roots in mistakes
about words, which it is fatal to divorce from what they express of
nature, or to use without taking in their full meaning.

In the easy mood of mind that attends the lively play of childhood,
impressions are made clearly; and it should be the care of the educator
to have all the child's notions associated with significant words, as
can only be done by his becoming their companion in the play, and
talking about it, as children always incline to do. It is half the
pleasure of their play, to represent it in words, as they are playing.
In the nursery, the mothers play with the child, and all her dealings
with it, are expressed in words that are important lessons in language;
and together with language, we give a lesson in manners, by first
trotting a child gently, and then jouncingly, to the words, "This is the
way the gentle folks go, this is the way the gentle folks go; and this
is the way the country folks go, this is the way the country folks
go--bouncing and jouncing and jumping so." To describe what they are
doing in little rhymes when playing ball, makes it a mental as well as
physical play of faculty, and Frœbel published a hundred little rhymes,
and the music for as many ball plays.

It is not an unimportant lesson for children to learn, that the same
things seem different in different circumstances. The fact that white
light is composed of different colored rays can be illustrated by giving
the children prisms to hold up in the sunshine; and by calling their
attention to the splendid colors of the sky at sunset and sunrise, when
the clouds act as prisms, and to the rainbow. Children of the
Kindergarten age, will be so much engaged with the beautiful phenomenon,
they will not be likely to ask questions as to how the light is
separated by the prism and clouds; they will rest in the fact. But if,
by chance, analytic reflection has supervened, and they do, then a large
ball on which all the six colors are arranged in lines meridian-wise, to
which a string is attached at one pole, or both poles, can be given
them, and they be told to whirl it very swiftly. This will present the
phenomenon of the merging of the colors to the eye by motion, so that
the ball looks whitish from which you can proceed to speak of light as
being composed of multitudinous little balls, of the colors of the
rainbow, in motion, and so looking white.

If some uncommon little investigator should persist to ask why things
seem to be other than they are, he must be plainly told, that the reason
is in something about his eyes, which he cannot understand now, but will
learn by and by, when he goes to school and learns _optics_.

Children are only to be _entertained_ in the Kindergarten, with the
facts of nature that develop the organs of perception, but a skillful
teacher who reads Tyndall's charming books and the photographic
journals, may bring into the later years of the Kindergarten period many
pretty phenomena of light and colors, which shall increase the stock of
facts, on which the scientific mind, when it shall be developed, may
work, or which the future painter may make use of in his art.

When Allston painted his great picture of Uriel, whose background was
the sun, he thought out carefully the means of producing the dazzling
effect, and drew lines of all the rainbow colors in their order, side by
side, after having put on his canvass a ground of the three primary
colors mixed. When the picture was first exhibited at Somerset House,
the effect was dazzling, and it was bought at once by Lord Egremont, in
a transport of delight; and for twice the sum the artist put upon it,
that is, six hundred guineas. I do not know whether time may not have
dimmed its brilliancy, since paint is of the earth, earthy; but to paint
the sun at high noon, and have it a success, even for a short time, is a
great feat; and art, in this instance, took counsel of science
deliberately, according to the artist's confession. But perfect sensuous
impressions of color and its combinations, were the basis of both the
science and the art.

This lecture is getting too long, and I will close by saying, that the
First Gift has, for its most important office, to develop the organ of
sight, which grows by seeing. Colors arouse _intentional_ seeing by the
delightful impression they make. I believe that _color-blindness_,
(which our army examinations have proved to be as common as _want of ear
for music_,) may be cured by intentional exercise of the organ of sight
in a systematic way; just as _ear for music_ may be developed in those
who are not born with it. Lowell Mason proved, by years of experiment in
the public schools, that the musical ear may be formed, in all cases, by
beginning gently with little children, giving graduated exercises, so
agreeable to them as to arouse their will to _try to hear_, in order to

That you may receive a sufficiently strong impression of the fact, that
the organs of perception actually grow by exercise _with intention_, I
will relate to you a fact that came under my own observation.

A young friend of mine became a pupil of Mr. Agassiz, who gave him,
among his first exercises, two fish scales to look at through a very
powerful microscope, asking him to find out and tell all their
differences. At first they appeared exactly alike, but on peering
through the microscope, all the time that he dared to use his eyes, for
a month, he found them full of differences; and he afterwards said, that
"it was the best month's work he ever did, to form _the scientific eye_
which could detect differences ever after, _at a glance_," and proved to
him an invaluable talent, and gave him exceptional authority with


[1] An American translation has been published by Lee & Shepard, Boston.

[2] Since this lecture was written and delivered in Boston, I have
received from Europe a French version of the Baroness Crombrugghe's
translation of Frœbel's _Education of Man_, and find that the first
chapters analyze the first and second stages of development so much, in
the way that I have done, that it gives me, on the one hand, confidence
in myself as a true interpreter of Frœbel, and on the other, new
confidence in Frœbel as a scientific observer and recorder of what I
have been accused of founding on a merely sentimental knowledge. But
scientific knowledge, or that gained by the exercise of the
understanding, and sentimental knowledge, or what is gained by the
intuitions of the heart, must necessarily correspond if the
understanding is sound and the heart has been kept diligently to the
issues of life. Mr. Emerson calls the intellect sensibility, and there
is a fine meaning in this. Is there not analogous instruction in calling
the heart apprehension? What are love, justice, beauty, &c., but
apprehensions of the primal relations established by God? Can the
understanding have sensibility to them, unless apprehension of them
exists from the beginning?

In the June, July and August numbers of the _Kindergarten Messenger_,
for 1874, will be found translations of the first chapters of Frœbel's
book, above mentioned. I began in February to print the translation of
the introduction, which will be finished in the May number, and then
will follow the first chapter, entitled "The Nursling," and in the
following numbers the subsequent chapters, on the child's development
during the Kindergarten era. This work of Frœbel's was published at an
earlier period of his career than 1840, when he began to devote himself
almost entirely to the first stage of education, which, as he grew
older, he felt to be the most important, because it enfolds the germs of
all later developments.

[3] It is sold for ten cents by Hammett, publisher, in Brattle street,



SINCE the kindergartner is to receive the child from the nursery, and
half of the work in the kindergarten is what ought to have been done in
the nursery, I will give another lecture upon what Frœbel thought the
nursery ought to do for religious nurture; since, if it has not been
done in the nursery, it must be done in the kindergarten.

We have seen that the soul takes possession of the organs of sense
gradually, by tasting, hearing, seeing, smelling, and touching that
which is agreeable; and that the continuous exercise of the organs
develops them up to a certain though indefinite limit to finer
susceptibility of impression. We have seen that by exercising the limbs,
the soul takes possession of them in particular and in general. Thus the
nursery plays, improvised instinctively by all mothers, Frœbel has
enlarged, describing in his _Mother's Book_ various duplicate movements
of the limbs, especially of the hands, that, with the accompanying
songs, have for their end, besides physical health, to make the mind
discriminate various parts of the body and know their several forms and
functions. This is the beginning of human education.

"Patty-cake" teaches a child that he has hands and fingers; "This little
pig goes to market, this one stays at home," that he has toes. It is the
child's own body that first furnishes the objects of his attention to be
associated with words. From the beginning it is the instinct of the
maternal nurse to talk to the child, which attracts him to observe the
organs of speech; and this prompts the sympathetic use of his own
organs. Speech is a function distinctively human, which, beginning in
the nursery, is carried on carefully in the kindergarten, creating the
sphere of the intellectual life; for words support the operation of

From all that I said of the _modus operandi_ of the child's taking
possession of his body in the nursery period, you see that childish
action is involved in the mother's action. It is _her_ wisdom, such as
it may be, which must be the guide of the child's will, as it is brought
gradually out of the blindness of ignorance; and it is she, not the
child, who is responsible for the perfection of this part of the child's

And is not this, on the whole, the common sense of mankind? Does any
sane person hold a baby, up to three years old, and often, indeed, much
later, responsible for the state of its temper, or for the rightfulness
of its action?

Nevertheless, the child is a moral person all this time, and it is of
the last importance to his subsequent moral life whether or not his
temper has been kept sweet, and his action according to law, or
discordant. Discordant action must have a bad reactionary effect upon
the temper, and interrupt or retard the growth of the several organs of
sense and of motion. Hence the mother or nurse must not neglect to use
her power wisely as well as gently to prevent these evils, by duplicate
movements that are rhythmic, and calculated to bring about some end that
the child's mind may easily grasp.

It is instinctive with every one, as soon as he begins to play with a
child, whether it be reasonable or not, to talk to it about its being
good or bad, although a little child cannot be good or bad, but only
orderly or disorderly; and there is no little danger to his moral and
spiritual future in anticipating by our words the workings of his
conscience before it has the conditions for its development. One of
these conditions is such a sense of individuality as enables the child
to say "I," with which it presently combines such perception of
relationship to others as will say, "I ought,"--a phrase that occurs in
all languages, and means something very different from "I will." It is
of the greatest importance to keep this distinction in mind, for an
imposed or artificial conscience almost certainly forecloses the natural
or inspired conscience,--a truth largely illustrated by the history both
of families and of nations, from which we learn that periods of
corruption and wild license invariably follow periods of extreme
restraint and asceticism. And all conscientious action and moral
judgment in children also presupposes _thinking_, which is a process
that does not begin until after much repetition of impressions, being a
reflective act, which associates impressions with specific things and
actions (as the etymology of the word suggests). Mere reception of
impressions is passive; but to compare impressions of difference or
similarity (which individualizes _things_) is _active_. Therefore
thinking and putting thoughts into words includes comparison and
inference, and really _produces_ the human understanding, which we do
not bring into the world with us, as we do our heart and will. Before
there is a possibility of conscience or any moral judgment properly so
called, the child's affections (or feeling of relation with other
persons) must be cultivated by the mother's genial care, directing
mental activity towards fellow-beings, instead of leaving the heart to
turn back and stagnate upon self. The more impressible a child is, the
more important is the mother's or kindergartner's providential care of
his affections during this irresponsible, pre-intellectual period of his

I think the most frightfully selfish beings I have ever known were
endowed with great natural sensibility, which was left to concentrate
upon self, because the claims made by the sensibility of others were not
early enough presented to the imagination of their hearts. By the growth
of personal affections, the individual intensifies the feeling of
individuality, which first comes to him by his having taken such
possession of his body as enabled him to run alone; and this growth,
whether intentionally directed towards that combination of his soul and
body, which he begins to call himself or "I," or directed toward others,
to whom he clings at first as part of himself (their embrace of him
being necessary to his comfort), is cherished by the duplicate action of
the mother. She moulds his heart in her heart, as she has moulded his
bodily activity by her care and cheering sympathy, when helping out the
power of his limbs in walking and manipulation. She half creates the
child's generous and devout affections, if she is herself faithful to
their proper objects, starting him on the way of a brotherly humanity
and a filial adoration of the common Father, long before the
understanding has completely discerned the objects of these human and
divine affections, which must be blended in order to continue vital and
pure. But the moral and religious is the most delicate region of the
child's life, the _holy of holies_, into which "fools incontinently
rush, though angels fear to tread." She can only be the mother of the
soul as well as of the body of her child, on condition of being herself
rich in love of others and in piety to God.

Frœbel suggests this in the introductory poems of _Die Mutter Spiele und
Kose Lieder_. The first five of these are the mother's communings with
herself upon the emotions that arise in her heart, as she nurses her
baby in her arms, and realizes that to her and her husband has been sent
a living witness of the "very present God," who is the author of their
being, and has united them by a love that makes that being a blessing to
themselves, which they are bound to extend beyond themselves. The rhymed
introduction of the several little child-songs that follow are
suggestions to her of the meaning of her instincts, and of the bearing
on the development of the child's heart and mind of the little
gymnastics described. And just as she could not be the educator of her
child into his individual body if she were a paralytic herself, so, if
she be not affectionate and generous herself, she cannot educate him
into the social body of which he is a living member; nor unless she
loves God herself, can she inspire him to recognize the Parental Spirit
of whom we are (as heathen poet and Christian apostle alike aver) the
veritable children. "We are the offspring of God," said St. Paul,
quoting from the Greek poet Aratus in the Sermon on Mars' Hill, which is
a model of all reformatory instruction, whether religious or secular. I
think all true instruction, proceeding from the known to the unknown, is
both secular and religious, on the principle that to those who have the
seed, can be given the increase.

In the first of these mother-songs of Frœbel, the mother finds that the
baby she holds in her arms, though another than herself, is in a certain
sense one with herself; thus is unveiled (revealed) to her the Divine
Fountain of Being, the Person of Persons, from whom she and her little
one have severally come; and her feelings of wonder and gratitude awaken
the sense of responsibility to make her child grow conscious as she is
of the common Father,--and thankful as she is for life in such close
relation with herself,--who is the first form in which God reveals
Himself to the child; for when he first looks away from his body so far
as to perceive that his mother is another than himself, she fills the
whole sphere of his perception!

Rousseau affirms that every child, if left to its own natural growth,
would think its mother was its creator. And William Godwin in his
_Enquirer_ (or some volume of his writings) has quite an eloquent paper,
setting forth that the natural religion of a child is to worship its
earthly parents. I have made some observations and had a personal
experience which makes me doubt this, though I do not doubt that the
characteristics of parents nearly always determine the character of the
child's religion. But the question of who is his own creator does not
naturally come up to a child, even when he begins to ask who made the
things about him. His own consciousness is of "being increate," and when
brought to know that his body grows old and must die, the fear that this
causes is because he imaginatively associates his undying self, which is
a "presence not to be put by" with the perishing body. What the soul, by
virtue of its inherent immortality, fears and hates, is loneliness,
absolute isolation! And when we think of the body, which we identify
with ourselves from the moment that we have taken it up and walked by
its instrumentality, as put away alone in the ground, the undying person
that the soul is, shudders, and can only be comforted by learning to
conceive itself wholly detached from the decay, and housed within the
bosom of Him who is the Alpha and Omega of our life; of Him whom we have
learnt to know with the spirit and understanding also, by the process of
living in human relations. For we know ourselves as individuals first by
means of the body, and we know ourselves as a component part of the
social whole of humanity by means of genial intercourse with our
kindred, it being revealed to us that we are substantially social, as
well as distinctly individual, by our instinctive horror of separation
from them. Later in life only, there are pleasures of solitude for those
few who by imaginative act make nature populous with personifications,
and consequently the refracting atmosphere of the Divine Personality.
The baby that finds itself alone cries for and is comforted by the
embrace which restores the sense of union with its mother. Seldom is a
baby in such a wretched state of feeling that a tender embrace and kiss
will not completely comfort it.

What a proof it is that God is _Love_, that the very embrace that
symbolizes to the baby's heart the sense of human companionship, gives
its mind that impression of objective nature which is the first momentum
of the human understanding! The gentle pressure of one sensitive body
upon another produces counter-pressure, a resistance that is positively
pleasurable, whereby the impenetrability of matter becomes a delightful
instead of a frightful revelation to the mind of the Immutable Reality
of the loving Creator, as the complement of our own changeful
individuality! It is the first syllable of that word (or speech of God)
made intelligible by the various qualities and forms of matter, the
Truth which He is forever addressing to man. How gracious it is, that He
should so inextricably mingle the first impression of matter with that
perception of the _otherness_ of person that makes Love possible! Thus
love and the sense of individuality are correlative creations and twin
births. Later, the sense of individuality becomes a positive self-love
(which in its healthy degree is innocent), and the perception of
_otherness of person_, with whom it is delightful to be in free union,
becomes the basis of the self-forgetting generosity of mankind. These
opposite principles are at first mere and perhaps equal sources of
satisfaction, having no moral character whatever. Afterwards, they
become respectively hard selfishness or a weak and base servility, or
they may rise into a majestic self-respect, and that sublimest love
which is to make the human race, as a whole, the _image of God_, not
only king over material nature, but one with the perfect Son of Man,
also Son of God, who, with a humility and dignity equally venerable, is
able to say, "I and my Father are One!"

But you will say that I am getting quite beyond the nursery.

In the earlier years, the growth of the religious life is merely
germinal. And as it is involved within the mothers at the beginning, it
must be cherished _sympathetically_ by her removing all occasion for
self-care and self-defence, and thus prevent the sense of individuality
from degenerating through fear into inordinate self-will and self-love.
The child should be treated with unvarying tenderness and consideration,
without having his senses pampered into morbid excess by
over-indulgence, but above all things, never wounding nor frightening
his heart, nor repressing the simple and healthy expression of his
feelings and thoughts. For enforced repression tends to produce ugly
temper, baseness, or subtlety, according to the child's temperament,
which is also in imperfect social harmony, if not absolutely
quarrelsome. It must be her work, therefore, not only to complete the
child's organic education, but to take him, as it were, into her own
affectionate spirit by using the methods which Frœbel has suggested to
the mother for the discipline of her infants. (I use this word
_discipline_ in its true sense of teaching; not in the sense of
_punishment_. That the word _discipline_ should ever have come to mean
punishment is a severe commentary on the ideas and modes of education
that have hitherto prevailed in Christendom.)

The kindergartner, as well as the mother, must be thoroughly grounded in
the faith that God has done His part in the original endowment of
children; and that He is truly present with her, helping her to remedy
the effects of the mother's shortcomings. She will certainly succeed in
her work if she studies His laws with an earnest purpose to carry them
out, first in the government of herself, and then in leading the
children to self-government. Wordsworth in his _Ode to Duty_, sings:--

          "There are who ask not if Thine eye
           Be on them, who, in love and truth,
           Where no misgiving is, rely
           Upon the genial sense of youth.
           _Glad hearts!_ without reproach or blot,
           Who do Thy work, and know it not!
           And blest are they who in the main
           This happy faith still entertain,
           Live in the spirit of this creed,
           Yet find another strength according to their _need_.
           May joy be theirs while life shall last,
           And _Thou_, if they should totter, teach them to stand fast."

Little children certainly, of all persons, are oftenest found in this
condition when

          "Love is an unerring light,
           And joy its own security."

And that "other strength," which must come by reflection on and study of
the unfolding nature of the child in the felt presence of the Inspirer
of Duty, will certainly be needed by the kindergartner who will receive
children not always from the hands of natural and faithful mothers, but
of uncultured servant-maids. (It is but justice to the latter to say
that there are occasionally found among the Irish nurses those who could
teach many mothers. The Irish nature is not altogether bad material for
the production of good motherly nurses; but it must not be left _wild_;
it needs a great deal of discipline; and I hope the time may come when
schools for the education of children's nurses, such as Frœbel
established in Hamburg, which still exist, may be founded in all our
cities.) Though I think the education of _mothers_ is still more
important and the first thing to aim at, as it would render nursery
maids comparatively unnecessary. It is so short a period of a mother's
life when she _has_ young children, and the book of nature which these
few years open to her _is so rich_, that, for her own being's sake as
well as for the children's, it seems to me a terrible loss for her to
delegate her maternal cares to others during the nursery period. On the
other hand, when the age for the kindergarten comes, the mother needs to
be relieved of the increasing care; and children, in their turn, need
other influences than can be had in a family, especially in families
where parents have work to do outside of their homes. It is, indeed, "a
consummation devoutly to be wished," that the time may come when labor
may be so organized that no mothers may be obliged to leave their
children's souls uncared for in order to get the wherewithal to sustain
their bodies.

The deepest reason why a child should be taken care of in its earliest
infancy _by its mother_ rather than by a person comparatively
uninterested in its personality, is this, that _only_ a mother can
respect a child's personality sufficiently. All others regard the child
for its manifested qualities; but with the mother, it is the child
itself that she loves, quite irrespective of any qualities that he
manifests. Phenomenally, a little child is a complex of self-assertion
and generosity (or a desire for union with its kind); a desire or a
feeling of finiteness in strange contrast with that instinct to "have
dominion" which gives vitality to self-assertion. We call this primal
desire for union his heart, and this primal self-assertion his will. The
will expresses itself in efforts to change its environments, putting
what is at rest in motion, knocking down, tearing up, because it does
not yet know how to put in order, or to change things artistically. The
child acts without external motive,--doing things merely because it
_can_. Even after a child is old enough to think and talk, and has done
some act for which you see no reason or motive, when you ask him why he
did it, he not unfrequently will say, "_because_." I remember when I was
a child of six or seven, that I would give this answer with a perfect
sense of satisfaction that it was _an answer_; and when it would
sometimes be said, "_because_ is no reason," or "_because_ is an old
woman's reason," I recollect my feeling of surprise. I seemed to myself
to have given the most substantial reason. The word meant to me a great
deal. And I now think I was truly philosophical in this, for I affirmed
the primal truth, that a self-determining person in spontaneous action,
if only of some instinct, is a first _cause_[4]--an _absolute cause_--to
the extent of consciousness. It was an intuition.

Now to retain the sense of this causal personality is at the root of
all stability of character, all nobleness of manifestation. But
self-assertion in an ignorant child is more apt than otherwise to be
disorderly, discordant, and perhaps destructive; it therefore provokes
resistance in the unthinking, but challenges the thoughtful to give
guidance. It is of life-and-death importance to the child whether this
force shall meet mere hard resistance, which shall utterly crush it or
increase it by reaction, or whether it shall meet with a genial
sympathetic guidance to which it will voluntarily and gladly surrender
itself. A mother _loves_ this little ignorant force of self-will and
wants it to have free course. She cannot help desiring to have her child
have its own way. She does not want it to be opposed by others. She
will, as far as possible, further or humor it, as we say. And when she
finds it necessary to control it, she will try to do it by awakening the
child's affectionateness, and so captivating its fancy as to make it
feel it is doing as it likes, though it be something different from what
it was impelled to do at first; in short, she inspires him to will the
better thing, and so educates the blind instinct of self-assertion into
a harmonizing and beneficent power, and preserves the child's dignity
and nobleness instead of crushing its personality. We hear of "breaking
the child's will." A child's will should never be broken, but opened up
into harmony with God's will through a lower harmony with the will of
its loving and loved mother or kindergartner. But a mother will be more
sure than any one else to bring about this result, because she acts from
an impulse of the heart deeper than all thought, while the kindergartner
by thought must cultivate in herself the impulse.

There are those who deprecate motherly indulgence as if it were the
greatest evil. Doubtless it will become a great evil if it be not
properly subordinated to the wisdom which appreciates the divinity of
order, or if it is alternated with capricious severities; in short, if
the indulgence proceeds from indolence or self-love instead of love of
the child. The indulgence that really comes from the last is a
recognition (unconscious, it may be) of the divine possibilities of the
child,--a spark of the divine creativeness! Of the two evils, extreme
indulgence is not so deadly a mistake as extreme severity. Indulged
children return from afar. The prodigal of the Gospel story may have
been over-indulged, perhaps, in being allowed to take his portion of
goods, and go off by himself, out of the reach of his father's counsel
and authority, and left to his own uneducated self-will. But the sinner,
when he _came to himself_ (observe that expression), recognized the
self-forgetting, fatherly love in that very indulgence; and it was the
immeasurableness of that love that revived his self-respect and hope,
and saved him; for the hope was not disappointed. Love giveth,
"upbraiding not."

The one fatal thing is to wound the child's heart. It is better to give
up the point of controlling its will to righteousness for the moment,
than to do that; and a parent is the least likely of all persons to
wound his child's heart.

When nothing can be done without wounding, the parent who trusts his own
heart will leave the rebel to the consequences which God holds in his
gracious hands for the final salvation of every one of his children.

Besides, to _choose_ to give up one's own will is the only complete and
salutary giving up, enabling the soul to mount up spiritually like the
eagle and renew its strength. There are families in which the act of
disobedience is absolutely unknown, in earlier or in later life; where
there is no necessity for uttered commands, because expressed wishes are
enough. The most perfect, if not the only real, obedience I have ever
seen, has been that of strong men to an unexacting, tender mother.

This is a subject on which I feel very strongly, for it seems to me that
the greatest social disorders that exist in the nations among which the
"order that reigns in Warsaw"[5] is foremost, is the consequence of
_unreasoning obedience_ to wills _not_ infinitely wise and good. The
worth and duty of obedience is precisely in ratio with the validity of
the command; and a command is valid only so far as it is inspired by a
disinterested and proper respect for the being who is commanded.
Children should only obey their parents, _in the Lord_; and parents
should never "provoke their children to wrath."

I may be told that the important element of self-assertion (which gives
strength to character) may be weakened by being always disarmed, and
killed by the mother's sympathy; and that to provoke it into conscious
strength, direct antagonism is necessary. But the best antagonism is
that quiet, inevitable one, that comes from the inexorableness of
material nature which the child must needs feel, the more disorderly he
is, but which he sees is insensate and impersonal; whose antagonism,
therefore, does not grieve his heart, and disappoint his hope as human
oppression does, making him sad or bitter, but stimulates his mind to
conquer and subdue it, or develops a dignified patience. The appointed
domain for kingly man is not the brotherhood, but material nature; and
gradually he is to learn that nature's inexorable laws are the
expression of a Supreme Personality as benignant as it is august, who
takes up His human child into Himself, not without his concurring will;
for mankind mounts on the nature which he gradually subdues into a
stepping-stone, by knowledge, and the use of it. The mother must
remember that though the first, she is not the only instrumentality by
which the Divine Providence works. The time comes when she is compelled
to deliver her cherished darling up to other influences; when the child
bursts out of the nursery, not only self-asserting and affectionate,
but putting forth energies, and seeking satisfaction of sensibilities
that cannot be met within that narrow precinct.

The kindergarten must, then, succeed by complementing the nursery; and
the child begin to take his place in the company of his equals, to learn
his place in their companionship, and still later to learn wider social
relations and their involved duties. No nursery, therefore, not even a
perfect one, can supersede the necessity of a kindergarten, where
children shall come into cognizance of the moral laws which are to
restrain and guide their self-assertion, and quicken and enlarge their
social affections, leading them to self-denials for the sake of
opportunities for themselves of useful and creative art, beneficence,
and heroism.

The time for transition from the nursery to the kindergarten is
definitely indicated by two facts. Firstly, Divine Providence has so
arranged general family events that every mother must give up having the
child live, as it were, entirely within _her_ life, because she has
other children to nurse, or other social duties to do. And, secondly,
every child's growth in bodily strength and conscious individuality
makes him too strong a force of will for so narrow a scope of relation
as is afforded by one family. While hitherto, to be outside of the
single family influence was an evil, it would now be an evil to confine
the child entirely to it, narrowing his heart and mind, and deforming
his character. He needs to be brought into relation with equals who have
other personal characteristics, other relations with nature and the
human race than his own family. The instinct of the growing child, at
this period, to get out of doors to play with other children, is
unmistakable. To check it vexes or depresses him. In getting possession,
first of his body, and then of his personal and social consciousness, he
has become an object to himself, and feels himself a power among other
powers affecting each other. But he is still more or less consciously a
prisoner (if not a slave) of nature, by reason of his ignorance of the
laws of the universe,--_that body_ outside of his own body,--which he is
destined, in alliance with others, to take possession of, by action
_upon_ and _within_ it, giving him knowledge of it, and enabling him to
make it into instrumentality for the expression and embodiment of great
ideas and a noble will.

All government worthy of the name begins in self-government, a free
subordination of the individual in order to form the social whole.
Subordination is something higher than subjection. We subject mere
animals; intelligent moral agents must be subordinated. It is still the
mother's part rather to inspire; the kindergartner's part is to
subordinate, not to check childish, spontaneous talk, though, of course,
it must be regulated so far as not to let the children interrupt each
other _impolitely_, and to keep it to some main subject. Some
kindergartners begin the session by asking each in turn what is
interesting to him. Mrs. Kraus-Boelte generally receives each one as he
or she comes in. They go to her for the morning kiss, and have something
to say, in which she expresses due sympathy, and later recurs to and
connects with what others say, and thus produces general conversation.
Mrs. Van Kirk is very happy in her introductory conversations.

In playing with the gifts, the teacher dictates certain movements and
arrangements, for the purpose of the children's getting into the habit
of listening and quickly catching the directions given; and the children
should be encouraged to follow _her words_ in what they do, rather than
to imitate each other. In their spontaneous work they often make a new
symmetrical form, which is really beautiful; and then it is well to call
on the child to direct his companions how to make it; for children
delight in the dignity of _directing_, and learn to be very precise in
the use of all the words expressing relation of all kinds,--prepositions,
adjectives, and adverbs,--_precisely_ as well as nouns and verbs.
Language does not merely transfer the outward inward, but soon begins to
transfer the inward outward. Love, and other sentiments of the soul,
good and bad, are named, as well as sensible objects. Even the
instinctive search after proximate causes leads children to infer the
substantiality of _wind_ and the other invisible forms of matter; and
the spiritual senses inherent in the "Me," which is the most essential
of all substances, verifies the ideal world to children, as truly as the
bodily senses verify the material world, and even _more so_; for
children live in God before they _exist_ out of God. The Italian
philosopher Gioberti says that the soul is a _spiritual activity_; that
is, it sees God as the first act of its life. God says, "_Be thou_" and
the soul--before it is put into the sleep of nature (the deep sleep that
came upon Adam)--looks back and says, "_Thou art_." We have the memory
of this primeval vision, and act in our sense of holiness (wholeness?),
right, justice, pure love from the uncalculating delight of loving, the
ideals of beauty, and the sense of accountability to God and man, which
forever haunt us, sometimes giving us pain, as _remorse_, whose sting is
in the comparison of our outward manifested self with our inward sense
of "being increate" (as Milton expresses it). It is this supernatural
pre-intellectual _soul_ which distinguishes man from the animal
creation, and is symbolized by his form, which looks upward to the
symbol of infinity made by the sky, with which the human being
instinctively _communes_, and towards which the child wants to fly,--and
delights in and loves the birds, beyond all other forms of animal life,
because they _can_ fly. Gioberti goes on, in his psychology, to say that
when the soul, which has recognized its Divine Source as the first act
of its life, is put to sleep in nature, it is gradually waked up by the
individual forms of nature, which are so many syllables of the Divine
Word that are echoed in human words, which describe matter and its
evolutions; then the understanding begins, and (which is the point I
want you to observe especially at this moment) the words of even a very
young child soon bring to its understanding spiritual realities. And it
is the office of education to see that the relations of things,--the
laws of order among things,--the adjustment of external cause and
effect, be _accurately worded_; and especially that the _spiritual_
consciousness gets a happy symbolization; that is, that the best words
are used to _do justice_ to the Ideas of God and the sentiments of the
heart of man.

A materialistic educator (or no less a mere dogmatist in religion, who
does not see that the logical formulas and abstract terms of scientific
theology cannot possibly _wake up_ the primeval vision) may do an all
but infinite mischief to the character and heart, by the words he uses
in talking to children; and the theologian a greater mischief than the
materialist, because the forms and evolutions of matter are, as I have
said, _syllables of the Word_ that was in the beginning with God and, in
a certain sense, _God_, while the abstractions of the human mind are the
refuse of finite spirit, infinitely superficial, mere limitations of
thought which become stumbling-blocks to the mind when not used as
stepping-stones to new outlooks, or rather, inlooks. Never should
children be talked to in the language of theological science, but wholly
in imaginative symbolization, and the symbols should be chosen with
great care, and we should be on our guard against rousing the faculty of
abstraction which is a sleeping danger in the nature, whose premature
development is injurious in strict proportion to ignorance and
sensitiveness. The symbols of the spiritual should be human because
human consciousness involves substance outside the physical, and,
therefore, did the Word which had not been comprehended in its creation
of "everything which it had made," though "without it nothing was made,"
take flesh and dwell among us, in order that we might apprehend the
glory of God and perfection of man with our whole nature. That it would
do so, was the insight of the Hebrew genius, whenever by worthy
soul-action the law-giver, king, and whoever entered into "the liberty
of prophesying" was raised to the height of his nature. Now a child is
"on its being's height," "mighty prophet," "seer blest,"

          "On whom those truths do rest
           That we are toiling all our lives to find,"

and therefore a child can supply a substantial meaning to any name for
God adequate to awaken the living echo of the soul that

          "Cometh from afar
           Trailing clouds of glory from God,"

whose voice sent it forth, as Gioberti says, "to suffer and to be for a
season on earth."

I hope you follow me in my thought, for I think I am looking into the
child, which is the thing that ought to be done if one undertakes to
teach it. That the child really knows God before God is even named to
him is not a speculative theory with me but a fact of my experience. It
is one of my earliest remembrances, that I was sitting in the lap of a
young lady, whose name and countenance I have forgotten, who was
caressing me, and calling me sweet, beautiful, darling, etc., when all
at once she seized me into a closer embrace and exclaimed, rather than
asked, Who made you?

I remember my pleased surprise at the question, that I feel very sure
had never been addressed to my consciousness before. At once a Face
arose to my imagination,--only a Face and head,--close to me, and
looking upon me with the most benignant smile, in which the kindness
rather predominated over the intelligence; but it looked at me as if
meaning, "Yes, I made you, as you know very well." I was so thoroughly
satisfied, that I replied to the question decisively, "A man."

The lady said to another who sat near us, "Only think! this great girl
does not know who made her!"

I remember I was no less sure of my knowledge, notwithstanding she said
this. Though it was the first time I had thought God and given the name
"man" to the thought, it seemed not new to me. I had felt God before.

I _was_ a rather large girl, more than four years old, as I know from
the fact that we were living in a certain house, to which we went on my
fourth birthday. My next recollection is of going into a room of this
house, where my mother was sitting, working at an embroidery frame that
hung against the wall. I went up to her and said, "Mamma, Eliza asked me
who made me, and I told her a man, and she said he didn't!" I stated
this reply as a grievance and outrage.

Since I came to the age of reflection, I have always regretted the
conversation that followed. It was not judicious, and seems to me a
little out of character for my mother, who was of strong religious
sentiment and quick imagination, and all other conversation on religious
subjects that I remember of hers was very good. She was rather thrown
off her guard by my unexpected theology and lost her presence of mind. I
was her oldest child, and she had waited to see some enquiry raised
before speaking on the subject. I had seemed more stupid than I was, for
I belong by nature rather to the reflective than perceptive class, and
so had very little language. At this distance of time I cannot, of
course, remember the details of the conversation, but I came out of it
with another image of God in my mind, conveying not half so much of the
truth as did that kind Face, close up to mine, and seeming to be so
wholly occupied with His creature. The new image was of an old man,
sitting away up on the clouds, dressed in a black silk gown and cocked
hat, the costume of our old Puritan minister. He was looking down upon
the earth, and spying round among the children to see who was doing
wrong, in order to punish offenders by touching them with a long rod he
held in his hand, thus exposing them to everybody's censure. Of course
my mother said no such thing to me, but what she did say, by subtle
associations with the words she used, gave me this image, which I need
not say rather checked than promoted my spiritual advancement.

This experience has been of value to me as a teacher since, for it has
effectually saved me from being didactic and dogmatic in my religious
teaching of children. The Socratic method is the true way of bringing
into the definite conscious thought God's revelation of Himself to the
soul. That image of authority and power to punish did not, I think,
help, but rather puzzled my moral sense of which I was already
conscious. For I remember that I used to muse very much in my childhood
upon the mental phenomenon of feeling myself to be two persons. I was
clearly conscious of an inward conversation on all occasions of a
question of right and wrong, when a higher and lower law distinctly
uttered themselves. The lower self often prevailed by the argument that
the thing to be done was _transient_, I would do it only this _once_,
and never again; and often I thus sinned against the very present God,
which I think I might not have done so presumptuously, had I associated
the thought of this strange other me with that kind face of Love Divine.
When later in life I did learn that the remonstrating voice was
unquestionably God, because He is the Love that I saw in my childish
vision, the war between self-love and conscience ceased. But this was
not till a great body of death had been accumulated, which I have never
shuffled off except in moments of hope.

But to take up the thread of my discourse again. I would very earnestly
say that the Socratic or conversational method is the only way of
bringing into a child's definite consciousness God's revelation of
Himself to souls. But this requires a mutual understanding of words,
and if we are careful, we may produce this in the kindergarten.

Frœbel intimates that a general impression of there being an invisible
Friend and Protector may be given by the baby's seeing the mother in the
attitude of devotion, and he would have recognition of God called forth
by her naming the unseen Father at moments when the child's heart is
overflowing with joy and love, or seeking to know where some beautiful
thing comes from. The child feels already at such times the presence of
the Infinite Cause, the Infinite Source of joy and goodness, and the
name of Heavenly Father given to this presence will not be an empty
vocable. Using with the name of Father the word "our," with which the
Lord's Prayer begins, suggests that He is the Father of all alike, and
all human beings will thus be united together with Him in the child's

This idea of one personal but comprehensive Being, the centre of the
social organization, is a quickening of the immortal personality, which
has a date in time no less certainly than the quickening of the body,
and is our sense of identity.[7]


[4] See Hazard's _Man a Creative First Cause_. A book published since
this lecture was first given.

[5] "Order reigns in Warsaw" was the form of words in which the
subjugation of the Poles to Russians in 1849 was announced in France.

[6] See Frederic Denison Maurice's book on the Lord's Prayer, published
by Hurd & Houghton.

[7] See Appendix, note A.



IN my last lecture I spoke of the ideal nursery; for only there,
hitherto, has the divine method of education ever been completely
carried out, the unquestionable teacher there being _the child_,
"trailing clouds of glory from God who is our home"; its sweet content
and inspiring smile indicating when its nurse is treating it aright;
while all that is wrong, whether proceeding from mere ignorance or
selfish wilfulness on the part of the adult, is indicated by its cries
of fright and anger, which it behooves her to heed.

How is it that, with the spectacle forever before our eyes of the mother
and infant, mutually emparadised in child's play (that mutually
educating communion of trust and love, by which the child is put into
gradual possession of his body, and joyous consciousness of his
individuality),--how is it, I say, that we find education has lost its
_ideal_, and as soon as the child leaves the nursery for the schoolroom,
an antagonism has begun, "with its blessedness at strife," and which
leaves us all such scarred and bewildered creatures as we find ourselves
to be, as soon as we come to reflect?

But I must remember that what we have to speak of especially is the
kindergarten, which follows hard upon the nursery.

When the child's growing activities begin to require a larger social
sphere than the nursery,--_i.e._, at about three years old,--it was
Frœbel's plan to gather the children of several families into what he
called a "Child Garden," and to extend the nursery law of _cherishing_
(which is the dealing with living organisms that children are), by
exercising them for several hours of every day in rehearsing in plays,
in the first place, all the sweet charities of life. This employs their
physical forces, and makes them experimentally know that human happiness
and goodness are social and generous.

For the so-called "movement plays" are social exercises, gently calling
out moral sentiments, as well as intellectual powers. They can only be
beautiful and enjoyable when they give mutual pleasure; and this
involves that mutual reference and kind consideration of each other
which leave no room for selfish feeling or action. Moral education is
the alpha and omega of a kindergarten, but it cannot be given by
precept. To _do_ the will of God,--_i.e._, to obey the moral
law,--"doing to others as we would have others do to us," _even in
play_, is the only way for children to know vitally the doctrine of
moral life.

Frœbel has suggested a variety of these movement plays, all of them
conceived with the greatest care as to their intellectual as well as
moral effect. They always have a fanciful aim, within the scope of the
child's knowledge and affection, and to play them begins to develop the
understanding also.

A gentle intellectual exercise, involved in learning by rote, reciting,
and singing the songs that direct the plays, takes the rudeness out and
puts intelligence into that exhilaration of the animal spirits which
healthy children crave, and prevents it from exhausting the body or
disordering the mind; the joyous association of the children with each
other aiding this effect. In the sedentary plays, which are called
"occupations," and in which the child is genially drawn into producing
symmetrical effects to the eye, by making things (albeit only little
toys) which begin their artistic life, Frœbel has had equal regard to
the moral as to the intellectual influences. When the child has gone
beyond the age in which he is satisfied with making transient forms and
gathering the materials back into boxes, and desires to make something
that will last, a legitimate sense of property arises. He feels that
what he has made is _his own_, for the thought and work which he knows
that he has put into it are his own. Frœbel, therefore, would have him,
before he begins to _make_ anything, pause and appropriate it
intentionally to some object of his love, reverence, or pity. This will
check the otherwise rampant propensity to hoard, and prevent the
passions of avarice, vanity, and jealousy from making their appearance.
In our common school life, the pride of _showing off_ their powers, and
excelling others, is regularly cultivated in children by competition, as
a stimulus to industry. But this is as unnecessary as it is deleterious.
For disinterested desire to confer pleasure, and express gratitude and
love of others, is found by experience to be a surer stimulus to
industry than the baser passions, and has the additional value of
cultivating positive sweetness and active benevolence. It is desirable,
and really produces the greatest practical humility, for children to
regard themselves as embryo powers of beneficence, learning to do the
Heavenly Father's business from the beginning, like the child Jesus.
Then may they grow "in favor with God and men," as they grow "in
stature," and all their knowledge will prove a divine wisdom unto the
salvation of others and themselves. To go into a truly ordered and well
governed child-garden, and see all the little children busy making
things for the Christmas tree, or for birthday and new year's gifts, for
all the friends they know or fancy, we shall see sufficient proofs that
love is the truest quickener of industry, and love-inspired industry the
true sweetener of the disposition and temper.

Moreover, such industry is the special desideratum to temper the spirit
of the present age, which is so keen and energetic that it hurries our
young men into pursuits in their amusements which take on the character
of gambling; and hence gambling in business, gambling in politics, where
even human beings, instead of being regarded as _brothers to be kept_,
are used as dice, to be recklessly thrown in our game. The only
preventive or cure for this passion for gambling is industry, and the
only industry that is attractive is artistic; and why should not all
industry become artistic, now that the great cosmic forces are suborned,
by our advancing civilization, as the legitimate slaves of men, to do
all the hard work for men? I have already set forth this view of the
subject in the _Plea for Frœbel's Kindergarten as the Primary
Art-School_, which I appended to Cardinal Wiseman's lecture on the
relation of the arts of design with the arts of production (which I
published in 1869, under the title of _The Artist and the Artisan
Identified,--the Proper Object of American Education_).

Before I leave these general remarks for more specific explanation of
Frœbel's method of intellectual development, I would make one more
observation. It is in the social and moral character of the kindergarten
that Frœbel has shown himself so much superior to Rousseau, whose method
was to cultivate individualities exclusively, the teacher pretending to
know no more than the child, but taking his idiosyncrasy for his only
guide in discovery and invention. In the first place, Rousseau's method
has been found an impracticable one, for it requires a separate teacher
for every child; and in the only instance, perhaps, in which it was ever
carried out with perfect fidelity, that of Maria Edgeworth's eldest
brother (we have in her memoirs of her father all the facts), the
ultimate effect was to make a monstrosity. He was utterly strange, so
odd and unsocial, nobody but his father, who educated him, could have
any practicable relation with him. He might be said to be
conscientiously unsocial, and therefore immoral; and, though not
ungifted, he was an utter failure in human life. We see similar effects
produced measurably, in all cases where the main object is to cultivate
the individual rather than the universal characteristics of humanity.
Frœbel was tender, and gave freedom to individualities, but he took
great care not to _pamper_ them. They are the results of the free-will,
irrefragable, and will take care of themselves sufficiently, if not
cruelly snubbed, but tenderly respected.

What is to be _intentionally_ cultivated in earliest infancy, are the
_general_ affections and faculties, which relate us to our kind,
insuring _common_ sense and _common_ conscience with a reasonable
self-respect. Therefore, what is done in the kindergarten is necessary
for all children, their idiosyncrasies being left free to play on the
surface and give variety and piquancy to life, freedom and dignity to
the individual.

All minds seem to be divided into two classes. In one class, the primal
tendency is to observe single objects; and these are the so-called smart
children, interesting the spectator by their vivacity and precocity. In
the other class, children seem to be dull in sense, unobserving, but
dreamy, as if they had an over-mastering _presentiment_ of that
connection of things which binds them into wholes. It has been remarked
that this latter class turns out the great men,--the poets, the
philosophers, the inventors, high artists, great statesmen, and
law-givers,--while the precocious children disappoint expectation;
probably because they have accumulated such a chaos of single
impressions of disconnected things, that it quite overwhelms the
classifying and generalizing powers of the intellect. Frœbel's method
equally meets the respective wants of both these classes of minds,
supplying by specific culture the _other_ side of their practical
endowment. By its discipline of production, it gives the lively and
restless ones the wand of the Fairy-Order, in discovering to them the
connections of things, and the conditions as well as laws of
organization; while for those of the dreamy, poetic, philosophic
temperament, it sharpens the senses to individual things, supplying the
definite and sensuous impressions, and suggesting the corresponding
words that enable them to give an account of their own thinking, and
illustrate to others the struggling ideal; which, like conscience and
the love of order and rhythm, is perhaps the yet persistent vision of
that Heavenly Father's face, which Jesus Christ has told us we are
created beholding.

Jesus evidently is quoting a familiar proverb, when he says "for their
angels behold the face of my Father who is in heaven." Does it not refer
to the Persian mythology current in Judea after the captivity? However
neglected and eclipsed, that primeval vision can never be quite lost. It
persists in the love of order and beauty; in the desire to be loved
_infinitely_; in hope "that springs eternal in the human breast"; in the
ideals of imagination, that haunt both the savage and the sage, and, at
worst, in _remorse_, in which, as Emerson says, "there is a certain
_sweetness_," whether it be gentle as in what the Quakers call "the
reproof of truth," or felt as the reproachful strivings within us of our
neglected infinite nature.

This brings me to speak of Frœbel's superiority to Pestalozzi. The
kindergarten is not mainly _object-teaching_, though of course a
constant object-teaching is _involved_; all the materials of their work
and all the surroundings of the children become objects of examination
in their individualities of form, size, number, etc., and in their
possible connections with each other and with the _child_. If Frœbel
proposes to give the fruits of the tree of _life_, before he gives those
of the tree of knowledge, it is only that the latter may prove, _not a
curse_, but a blessing. The world's history and the present state of
civilization in the foremost nations of the world shows us that
knowledge may be _a power_ without being _a good_ (a snakish subtlety
not Divine Wisdom). It begins to be realized in Europe as well as in
America, that Frœbel's idea of education, in making _character_ the
first thing, and knowledge the _hand-maiden_ of goodness, is the
desideratum of the age, and promise of the millennium.

I should like to read you some letters of eminent men in France,
addressed to Frœbel's most earnest disciple and apostle, the Baroness
Marenholtz-Bülow, which I have translated from the appendix of her _Work
in Relation to Education_ (see Appendix, Note B).

In an address to the school committee of Boston in 1868 I gave the call
addressed in 1867 by the Philosophers' Congress in Prague to the
convention of teachers in Berlin, and the call of the latter to the
second convention of this congress at Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1869. The
burden of all these papers is the paramount necessity of religious and
moral education, begun in earliest infancy, in order that the modern
intellectual activity may not land us in licentious vices and heartless
atheism, _our nearest dangers_. They all accept Frœbel's method of
education by work and experience (beginning with the work and experience
of the child of three years old) as the first condition of the
regeneration of the human race.

It is the office of the kindergartner to awaken the intellect, which the
child does not bring into the world, like its heart and will,
full-grown. The infant suffers and enjoys as keenly, and wills as
energetically, at first as ever in its life, but apparently begins and
lives for some time, unconscious of a world without as a _not me_. It is
purely subjective, _i.e._, feeling its material environment to be a part
of itself. As Emerson says:--

          "The babe, by its mother,
             Lies bathed in joy;
           Glide its hours uncounted;
             The sun is its toy!
           Shines the peace of all being,
             Without cloud, in its eyes;
           And the sum of the world
             In soft miniature lies!"

Only by intentional help of those around the child can it grow into
individual consciousness of its relations with nature in that order
which produces the sound intellect. For the intellect is a growth in
time, that carries on the nursery exercises of the limbs and affections
by the movement plays, and adds those sedentary plays with the series of
gifts, which are symbols of all nature in miniature, that objective
revelation of God to which the receptive mind answers by thoughts.
Thinking is that reaction of the individual mind upon nature which, when
it is put into words, produces progressively an image of God, which is
the human mind.

The kindergartner's conversation with the children upon their playthings
is therefore her most important and delicate work, and one which she
cannot do instinctively, but only if she scientifically understands the
child on the one hand, and nature in some department on the other. It is
impossible in this lecture, perhaps, to demonstrate my meaning. By
following out Frœbel's own method of playing with the gifts, as
suggested in Mrs. Kraus-Boelte's guide or in _The Florence Handbook_,
the whole process of the formation of the human understanding by the
order of objective nature will become patent, and enable the
kindergartner to avoid any great mistakes in her guidance of the
children's minds, which guidance should always be tentative, and
respectful, to say the least, of their freedom to will. Then we shall
have not mechanical work, but orderly, creative work from the children,
whose spontaneity is not to be choked; but when it seems to be going in
a wrong direction, interrogatively guided. Like Ariel, she must do her
spiriting gently, lest she violate the legitimate individuality, and we
have Caliban instead of the germ of Prospero.

I here pause to display two kinds of work actually done by children
under seven years of age at Frau Marquadt's kindergarten in Dresden.
They enable me to show that those sedentary plays, with which Frœbel
would have children amused, must needs develop and educate the
perceptive faculty and understanding in a substantial manner; for these
things were done without patterns, and therefore from _thought_,--the
thought being sometimes suggested by the dictation of the
child-gardener, requiring of the child only one single act of
reflection. But much of this work was invented by the children
themselves, their wildest fancies being controlled to produce symmetry,
by following the one rhythmical law of always making an opposite to
everything they do. After showing and explaining the _modus operandi_ of
the work exhibited, I went on to say:--

I believe nobody disputes, after they see what kindergarten is, that it
is the gospel of salvation for children. The exercises put them into
complete possession, not only of their limbs, especially the
characteristic limb of man, the hand, just when they are the most
flexible, and therefore most easily trained; and of their organs of
sense (by which they gradually make the universe their instrumentality),
but also of _accurate speech_, enabling them to express their
impressions of individual things, as well as of what they _do_ with
things and in the order of its doing. Thus they are prepared for
entering upon more abstract subjects, by means of books and schools of
instruction. A child well "gardened" and exercised in the intelligent
use of his mother tongue enters upon the process of learning to read,
for instance, with all the more advantage from being accustomed to hear
and use language with precision and fluency; and is ready to learn to
cipher all the more quickly, because of the concrete arithmetic and
geometry he has mastered experimentally with the playthings and in the
occupations, all his habits of delicate observation and nice calculation
formed by the embroidery and other fanciful work giving the basis for
intelligent classifications. Even the few years of experience of some
genuine kindergartens in this country has already proved this. I can
give an instance in detail of the almost miraculous rapidity with which
a class of seven-year-old children learned to read in the primer called
_After Kindergarten--What?_ (Note C, in Appendix.) All the time given to
"child-gardening" is therefore more than saved at the next stage, when
instruction begins. Other advantages accruing are incalculable, for the
children themselves have become intelligent and conscientious
co-operators with their elders, instead of passive receivers or
antagonists. When Miss Youmans' _First Lessons in Botany_ (a book made
to teach botany in nature on Prof. Henslow's method) was introduced into
the New York primary schools, with great expectations of a brilliant
success, it was found that the children did not take hold as expected of
this science of observation. "I see now," said Miss Youmans to me, "the
indispensableness of kindergartens to develop the faculties; more than
half the children are intellectually demoralized by neglect or
injudicious teaching before they are seven years old." Everything,
however, depends upon the single-minded self-devotion and affectionate
character of the kindergartner, and it is obvious that her education
must be as special as that of a teacher of instrumental and vocal music;
for as little as music can be taught by the ear, or drawing by the eye,
without studying the underlying principles of harmony and symmetry, can
kindergartning be taught empirically. Its foundation is in both a
scientific and sympathetic study and understanding of the child's
perceptive powers and the material world. Not merely what is to be
taught, as is the case with a university professor, but the free-willing
and deep-feeling beings that are to be taught must be studied generally
and individually above all things else. Hence, there must be special
schools for teaching child-gardening, or a special department made in
the already existing normal schools.

The burden of thinking out the steps of procedure in the schoolroom is
too great a one to be laid on the teacher who has to exercise the
general care. It must all be at the tongue's tip and fingers' ends
beforehand. It took Frœbel a lifetime, with all his genius and wisdom,
to discover all the steps of this order of exercises, in correspondence
with the true evolution of the faculties; but "one man dies, and other
men enter into the fruits of his labors." Besides, it is as cruel to
study the philosophy of education at the expense of the living
children's minds, as it would be to study anatomy and medicine at the
expense of their living bodies. All kindergartners should observe and
practise for awhile under the direction and criticism of those who are
already experts and adepts; and the latter should be careful that their
assistants try no rash experiments, but at first reverently observe
successful work. It is the highest interest of all teachers to learn
this method, because it develops themselves. It not only makes the best
mothers, but the most perfectly accomplished women. It is entering into
the secret of creation and redemption, which is the flower and fruit of
human culture.[8]

When people ask me if kindergartning is not a method especially adapted
to German children, I reply that it seems to me to encounter as great
obstacles in that nationality as in any other. It is not a _national_
method, but the _human_ method; and I would remark in this place that it
strikes me as especially desirable for Irish children. The natural
predominance in them of fancy needs the check of accurate perception,
associated with accurate expression; accurate perception, first, of the
individuality of objects, their form, size, color, direction, their
mutual resemblances and contrasts, and the no less accurate perception
of their relations to each other and to the child. These things can only
be made objects of perception by children's being accustomed to _make_
things, which employ the activities that otherwise will play at random
and divert their attention from the matter in hand. In my observations
of Irish servants, I am struck with their never seeming to see what is
before their eyes, or to hear what is said to them, on account of the
predominance of their creative faculties. Accurate perception of the
things children play with, and successful manipulation of them to
produce effects, would also help them to moral integrity; for order
moralizes just in proportion as disorder demoralizes. Successful action
cures idle dissipation, while unsuccessful efforts discourage and
paralyze industry. Frœbel wishes the child to be started at something he
can certainly accomplish, though perhaps not without direction in words.
When the child sees an effect produced by himself, he will repeat it
until he can produce the effect without direction, and, if asked, will
be delighted to show another child how he has done it. It is a necessary
step to put his action into words, and raises it from mere mechanical
into intellectual work; from Chinese imitation into European and
American invention. By and by, when he has learned a little steadiness
of attention by doing successfully what pleases his fancy, he will make
some motion of his own, and proceed according to the law of symmetry
(whose virtue he has learned) to discover and make new forms of beauty
and use; but he should still be carefully overlooked, and saved, by
timely suggestions, from making mistakes. These suggestions he will
crave and not resist, _if they are not peremptory_, but are put in the
form of a question, which seems to respect his power to choose, which is
his _personality_, the image of God within him. In proceeding in this
way, both teacher and child are led more and more to realize that there
is a mysterious third Being present, who is neither the teacher nor the
child, but in whom they meet, through whom they communicate, and who
gives the law they both must respect; that there is, in short, One "in
whom they live and move and have their being"; that is the God who
"worketh in them to will and to do"; that He enables them to create
beauty, not at random, but with a certain freedom which is not
lawlessness. He is the Creator of the Beauty they do not make, and of
the Good they love, and gives the Laws which they obey, and in obeying
become powers of good and inventors of beauty; for the laws of order are
truly God's thought revealed to their thought. To be active powers of
good and beauty is to be religious, and also to be free from
superstition; to love God instead of being afraid of Him; to make their
lives a reasonable service, and thus become free from priestcraft and
spiritual tyranny. Inefficiency, still more than ignorance, is the
mother of fetich worship, and reduces man to slavery; and to be
surrounded by natural and artistic beauty does not cultivate the mind,
unless it is already an active power. Reverie is not thinking. But the
mind can only become active by the electric touch of a sympathetic mind
which is already in motion. It is the destiny of men to become one in
that same sense that the Divine Father and Son are one. God has made
human communion a moral necessity, and does nothing for man, except by
the instrumentality of man. "By man came death, by man also cometh the
resurrection from the dead." In short, education, that "mysterious
communion of wisdom and innocence," is presupposed in reasonable
religion. I once heard an eloquent man, who was speaking of education,
say, "The Archangel is born upon earth; we may know him by the many
difficulties that he has found and surmounted, and his consequent power
to educate; for _education_ is the highest function of humanity in earth
and heaven, cementing the links of the chain of love which binds us all
to one another and to God." We are always either educating or hindering
the development of our fellow-creatures; we are always being uplifted or
being dragged down by our fellow-creatures. Education is always mutual.
The child teaches his parents (as Gœthe has said) what his parents
omitted to teach him. Every child is a new thought of God, whose
individuality is significant and interesting to others, though it is his
own limitation; and to appreciate a child's individuality is the
advantage the teacher gets in exchange for the general laws which he
leads the child to appreciate. It is this variety of individuals that
makes the work of education fascinating, and takes from it all wearisome
monotony. Those persons who feel that education is wearisome work have
not learned the secret of it. I have never seen a good kindergartner who
was not as fond of the work as a painter of his painting, a sculptor of
his modelling. Teachers who are not conscious of learning from their
pupils, may be pretty sure they teach them very little.

It is because kindergartning is this true education, which is mutual
delight to the adult and the child, that I have faith it will prevail,
and its prevalence is my hope for humanity. By the infinite mercy of
God, no human being is hopeless of redemption into God's perfect image
at last; but humanity will not be redeemed as a whole,--will not become
the image of God, or live the life of God,--until little children are
suffered to go unto Christ while they are yet of the kingdom of heaven,
and are blessed from the first and continually, by those who shall take
them in their arms to bless them. Those are only perfect kindergartners
who are "hidden in Christ," receiving every child in his name, and
humbly learning of them the secrets of greatness in the kingdom of
heaven, which is to be established on earth. Kindergartning is not a
craft, it is a religion; not an avocation, but a vocation from on High.


[8] For details of manipulating the gifts and occupations, see _The
Florence Handbook_, published by Milton Bradley; or Mrs. Kraus-Bœlte's
_Manual in Eight Parts_, which is being published by Steiger.



TEACHING, which in the common sense of the word is the suggestion of
thoughts by words, is not the kindergartner's special work, but the _a
priori_ process of drawing out into the individual consciousness of a
child those latent powers whose free activity gives him conscious
relations, first, with his kind; secondly, with material nature,
including his own body; and, thirdly, with God. He is unconsciously in
this threefold relation already, but to become conscious of these
relations severally, in his own growth builds up the human
understanding, which is not born with him like his sensibility and force
of will. The human understanding, a creation in time of the free will,
creates language as the element of a life not shared with animals; an
intellectual life using the symbolism of nature as a means of
intercommunication, and which is correspondent and bearing a relation to
its creator, man, similar to the relation of the material universe to
God, being in both instances an image, as in a mirror, of what is
necessary and immutable in the self-consciousness, though without entity
itself. Hence, as the material universe expresses the wisdom of God,
human languages express the imperfect wisdom of man. Language is the
element in which the intellectual nature makes a sphere wherein to live
and move and have its being. What breath is to the material body, making
man alive in nature, language is to the social body, making it alive in

A word is both spiritual and material, being an articulate form of the
voice which, as Gœthe has happily said, is the nearest spiritual of our
bodily powers, taking significance from the articulating organs, which
are symbolical, like everything else in material nature, which, as I
said before, is but an image, as reflected in a mirror, without absolute
entity, but bearing witness of an entity progressively apprehended by
the finite spirits of men, who are the children of the Infinite Spirit
inheriting creative power forevermore.

The _in_articulate sound of the voice is the scream of pain or the shout
of joy, mutually intelligible to all human hearts; and this aerial basis
of language continues to be more or less intelligible to all souls, when
modulated as in poetry into melody and rhythm by emotion and character.
The first human language was, perhaps, music of the deepest character,
of which phase there is historic trace in the spoken Chinese, which has
been perishing for ages on the lips of a nation whose origin is lost in
the depths of antiquity. This spoken language is monosyllabic, and even
the initial consonant often only a semivowel, while the whole word takes
its significance from the _tone_ of the vowel; thus _lu_ in a low tone
would have one meaning, LU in the tone of a musical third another
meaning, and so on as the tone ascends through the octave. The inception
of such a language implies an original equipoise of a brain not yet
despoiled of its first vigor through moral delinquency which is incident
to the freedom to will of a finite spirit, and consequently the Chinese
language was inevitably lost. It would be interesting to enquire if
those rare individuals among the Chinese who are expert in the spoken
Chinese, are not of finest musical temperament.

Not till after thinking had begun could articulation by the organs of
speech begin. Thinking is the free individual act which associates the
mind's activity and the sensibility of the heart with material things,
and must precede the use of words.

A time comes to every intelligent child when it wonders how words
should express thoughts. Victorious analysis has never yet penetrated
the whole mystery of language to the complete satisfaction of men,
though I think philologists and metaphysicians are on the way to it, and
have reached some fundamental facts. For instance, that _in_significant
sounds and articulations could not make significant words, and that
vocal sounds (vowels) get their meaning from feeling, while
articulations get theirs from the symbolism of the organs of speech.

The organs of speech are, first, the throat,--as the guttural organ is
called in English because through it we take our food and send forth our
voice,--is _out of sight_, _covered up_, _hidden_, the _central_ point
where the voice starts; secondly, the lips, which are obvious, movable,
parallel; thirdly, our teeth, against which the voice strikes, are hard,
stiff, and dead in comparison with the flexible lips, and the tongue
which connects all together, the voice rolling over it and hardly
articulated. Hence the hard _c_ and _g_, and the rough aspirate _h_ are
factors in all words signifying the beginning of self-originating motion
(observe _go_ and _kick_, or _cause to go_), the causal, the central,
covered, hidden; while the labials, _p_, _b_, _f_, _v_, are factors in
all words expressing obviously moving phenomena; and the dentals, _d_,
_t_, _s_, _z_, found in words expressive of stiff, hard, dead phenomena
(the word _death_ is all but identical with the word _teeth_);
separation and number being expressed by _s_ and _z_, which are made by
throwing the vocal breath out between the separated teeth. The liquids
_r_ and _l_, _r_ being also a factor of words expressing indefinite
beginning, (as _original_, _auroral_, _arise_, etc.) are made by the
voice moving over the tongue more or less energetically, to express
movements whose difference of energy is exemplified in the words _fry_
and _fly_, _grow_ and _glow_, _M_ closes the lips without preventing the
continuous sound of the voice from being heard; and _n_, negating
limitation by throwing the breath (or voice) out at the nose, symbolize
respectively the positive and negative aspects of Infinity.

Of course I am giving only a hint in order to define what I mean when I
say significant words are not made out of insignificant sounds, and that
articulated sounds get their meaning from the symbolism of the organs of

The historical origin of language is lost in the depths of antiquity,
when the human race was yet in that equipoise of mind, heart, and
self-activity, which in the process of evolution is only progressively
recovered by the free agent, it being the office of education to restore

The infant (that is, the _non-speaking_ child) in vision of the Eternal,
only gradually becomes aware of the succession of time. For, as Mr.
Emerson sings in his Sphinx song,--

          "The babe by its mother
           Lies bathed in joy,
           _Glide its hours uncounted_."

And Wordsworth says of "the little child,--"

          "On whom those truths do rest,
           That we are toiling all our lives to find;"

          "By the vision splendid
           The youth is still attended;"


          "Shades of the prison-house begin to close
           Upon the growing boy,
           Yet he beholds the light and whence it flows;
           He sees it in his joy:
           At length the man perceives it die away,
           And fade into the light of common day."

But this fall from the Ideal is not what Calvinistic theology declares
it to be, reprobation either intellectual or spiritual!

          "Oh, joy that in our embers
           Is something that doth live,
           That nature yet remembers
           What was so fugitive."

True education shall lead out the imprisoned spirit, growingly conscious
of individuality, by means of the symbolism of the prison-house itself
which is that correlation of necessary forces we call the material

The material universe, as I have already said, is the symbolization of
everything in God except his creativeness which is the spiritual essence
that he shares with Humanity, his only-begotten Son. It is the body of
God, and human language is the body of individualized Humanity, whose
imperfections correspond with its various partial developments and
short-comings. And it is ever growing towards perfection in the form of
poetry, bearing witness to the creativeness (or genius) of man
forevermore. As breath is to the material body, keeping men alive in
nature, so language is to the social body, keeping individuals alive in
history and literature; and as the material universe is symbolical of
God's wisdom, so the echoes of the universe tossed from the lips of men
are symbolic images of the wisdom of man. Language, in short, being of
both natures, spiritual and material, makes an elemental sphere for the
intellectual life, beyond the material; in short, makes a metaphysical
world, in which the finite and infinite spirits commune with other
finite spirits and with the Infinite One; for by words every minutest
shade of individual consciousness may be communicated from one finite
mind to another, making not only an immortal communion of men possible,
but a communion of God and Humanity also that shall have no end. Heaven
and earth pass away, but the Word of the Lord endureth forever.

But I must not be tempted into philosophizing farther upon language at
present, precisely because it takes us into the deepest mysteries of
speculative thought, and our business with it now is practical, and
concerns the nursery and kindergarten processes of culture.

Looking at it superficially, speech is an imitative art, and so far as
our experience goes, is always taught by elders to the young generation
empirically. This teaching of the mother-tongue in the nursery is an
immensely important thing, because it carries on the development of the
understanding towards the fulness of Reason (which is seeing particular
things in their proportionate relation to the whole).

In the whole course of a child's education, nothing is done which so
much involves the totality of his activity as his learning to talk. For
to talk presupposes observation, discrimination, memory, fancy,
understanding. The first three (observation, discrimination, and memory)
are nearly passive reactions from sensuous impressions. But fancy and
understanding are creative acts of the human spirit, almost defying
analysis. In fancy, the mind acts quite reckless and even defiant of
nature's laws and order. In understanding, it observes and uses them
subjectively. That children delight in using words to name things in the
order of nature, and to express qualities and relations in connection,
making an echo-picture within of what they see without, is not so
wonderful as the exaltation of delight produced by a story which is, as
it were, triumphant over nature's laws, and reckless of its order; and
the shocks of laughter with which they catch at a grotesque and
impossible combination of images made in their fancy by means of words.
The predominance of fanciful talk to children which seems to be
instinctive with all peoples, everywhere, is an indication that fancy is
as legitimate an activity as understanding, to say the least. It seems
to me to be an evidence of our being begotten directly by the creative
spirit, sons of a divine Father, who is the complex of Infinite Love,
Infinite Wisdom, and Infinite Power, of which our human feeling, power
of thinking, and executive ability are the shadow, or rather a living

Both fancy and understanding are developed in time by words. We all know
how children are waked up and delighted by Mother Goose absurdities,
and still more by fairy stories that seem to set at naught the facts and
override the laws of nature. It is a stubborn fact, of which
materialistic positivists afford us no explanation, and which I commend
to the consideration of Mr. Mansell, and whoever else talks of the
limitations of religious thought. And I think it will be found that
children who are talked to by Mother Goose and fairy-story tellers learn
to talk more quickly than others, and have more vivacity of mind
generally, with a power of entering into the minds of others
commensurate with their sensibility, and justifying the human sympathies
which are often a burden to the unimaginative, who are nevertheless
kind. A great deal of the misunderstanding of others which causes
unnecessary pain and social bitterness, checking generous furtherance of
one another's good purposes, arises from want of saliency of
imagination, preventing us from being able to put ourselves in another's
place. And of course it is not without the highest reason that the
Father of our Spirits has given fancy the advantage of the first start
in our mental process. That fancy precedes understanding in our
psychological history cannot be denied by any nice observer. I have
known some parents who would not use Mother Goose or fairy stories with
their children, but substituted therefor amusing experiments in
physics,--the metamorphosis of insects and the classification of plants
according to their differences. Their children became scientific when
they grew up, were fine mathematicians, and were interested in
mechanical inventions and natural history; but took comparatively little
interest in political and moral problems, though not at all wanting in
the social and patriotic affections, which also characterized their
parents, who were themselves brought up on the imaginative system not
well modified by studies of nature's phenomena, which was probably the
reason of their strong reaction from the imaginative method.

But I have known as intimately some other parents who made predominant,
perhaps extreme use of Mother Goose and fairy literature. Their children
much earlier and more completely got command of all the resources of
language, had a tendency to art, especially literary art, in their own
activity, and were earlier interested in human history, and all
varieties of human experience reflected in the literature of nations;
but perhaps were slower in attaining practical ability for life's
labors. Each direction of education has its advantages and disadvantages
in the religious relation, and I think it is the better way to mingle
them, especially at the early period of the kindergarten, where the
objective point is to cultivate the understanding, which needs that we
should appreciate the facts and order of external nature as the exponent
of God's wisdom. This will chasten and give substantiality to the
creative action of the human fancy, which is never to be snubbed, but
gently entreated to be reasonable, or we shall have Caliban instead of
Ariel or Prospero, as I have said before.

I cannot find out whether Frœbel has anywhere expressed himself
distinctly on this point. There are certainly no grotesque images and no
fairy stories in the mother's prattle with her children over pictures,
and in the out-door walks which are suggested in the _Mütterspiele und
Köse-Lieder_; but children are led to recognize the poetical symbolism
of nature, and its invisible and impalpable substances and forces; the
invisible forces of air, heat, and light are used to lead them out from
the world of matter towards the more substantial spiritual world where
the soul meets and communes with God, the omnipresent Spirit to be
apprehended only by the spirit within us, whose organs are ideas.[9]

In the kindergarten, as in the nursery, children learn language by using
it empirically. To utilize their love of talking as they play is what is
first to be done by the kindergartner. The things seen and done give a
clear definition and precise significance to the words used, which
become the stepping-stones of the mind, by which it mounts up from the
sensuous ground of the understanding into the heaven of invention and
imaginative art, plastic and heroic; and thence to communion with God.
But before children are put to reading, before proceeding from things
through thoughts, and from spiritual experiences through ideas to their
vocal signs, and from vocal signs to their written or printed
representations, it is wise to consider the signs themselves. I do not
mean to go deeply into etymologies or anything that is abstract. It is
not doing so, for instance, to ask children what is the difference
between the words _see_ and _look_. (Can you see without looking? Can
you look without seeing?) It gives precision to the understanding to
discriminate what are often called synonymes, but which seldom mean
precisely the same thing, unless, in our _potpourri_ of a language they
are mere translations, as for instance _morsel_ and _bit_, respective
derivatives from the Latin _morsum_ and the English _bitten_. The little
English-speaking child should not be troubled with the derivation of
_morsel_, but is pleased to be called to notice that of _bit_. We must
be guided here by Frœbel's rule of proceeding from the known to the
unknown, and not endeavor to plunge children into the unknown without a

That children understand and use figurative language readily, shows that
without going out of their childish world we can define symbolic
expression to some degree, and this is a means of regulating fancy. But
I must take another opportunity to speak of the method of doing
this.[10] I can now only affirm that unless children could signify by
words not merely their impressions of material things and their
correlations, but their feelings and thoughts, it would be impossible
for the religious education to be begun in the nursery, or to be
carried on in the kindergarten, as Frœbel proposes it shall be.

It is only by naming to the child his own intuition of creative being or
cause, or rather by leading the child to name it, that the understanding
is started upon the religious thinking which is necessary to keep pure
from superstition his religious feeling, while his blind sense of God is
changing from an undefined intuition of the heart into a definite
thought of the mind, which change Frœbel would have take place very
early. But this is the most delicate region of consciousness to enter,
and we must take great care that we do not profane instead of
consecrating the process by what we do and say. Words that are adequate
and living names for the spiritual intuition of a very present God,
generate spiritual thoughts in natural relation with them. And this
reminds me of a circumstance in the mental history of Laura Bridgeman,
illustrative of what I mean.

This poor child was deprived, when two years old, of her sight and
hearing, and partially of taste and smell, by the scarlet fever, which
left her but one avenue of knowledge of material things,--the sense of
touch. But through that the practical benevolence of Dr. Howe won a way
to her imprisoned spirit, and opened communication of thought with her
by means of words; and she even learned to read in the raised type for
the blind. The whole story is immensely interesting and important to any
teacher. She had been taught enough of the properties of matter to be
able to work on and with _things_, and moral science could be taught her
through her own and others' activity; but how was she to be taught about
God and spiritual things? Dr. Howe reserved to himself to speak to her
of God, forbidding all others to do so, and watched for his opportunity.

My sister Sophia went over to the asylum to model Laura's bust, and one
day asked her teacher (who was with her always) to translate into spoken
words the conversation that she saw was passing between them by means
of the hand language. Very soon occurred the following:--

_Laura._ I want to go to walk.

_Teacher._ You cannot go to-day, because it rains.

_Laura._ Who makes it rain?

Instead of making a direct reply, the teacher went on to explain how
moisture exhaled from the earth by the action of the sun, and was
collected in masses which were called clouds, and when the clouds were
so full as to be heavier than the air, it fell to the earth in drops of

Laura said, reverently, "God is very full."

The teacher was startled, and said, "Who told you about God?"

_Laura._ No one told me. The Doctor is going to tell me about him when I
know more words. But I think about God all times.

The teacher said to my sister, "This is very important," and went to
tell the Doctor, who was a good deal moved, but found himself at
somewhat of a loss. That evening he came to a little gathering at our
house to talk about it. He said that nearly a year before, if not
longer, Laura had come upon the word _God_ in her reading, and
immediately stopped and asked the meaning of the word. According to his
directions, she was then sent to him, and he was so anxious not to do
any harm, especially not to frighten her with the idea of Infinite Power
(which is the main element of our conception of God, even eighteen
hundred years after Christ's manifestation of Infinite _Love_), that he
was embarrassed, and said to her that she did not yet know other words
enough to explain the word _God_, but when she had learned more words,
he would tell her, and meanwhile he wished she would not ask any one
else. But now he was pondering what was the best way to proceed. I
suggested that perhaps Laura could teach him more than he could teach
her about God, and asked what was the sentence in which she had found
the word. But this he had never known. It was then suggested that
probably the word had explained itself, for no sentence could possibly
contain the word, not even in an exclamation, that would not suggest to
such a perfectly clear thinking mind as Laura had always shown, the fact
of supreme love or wisdom. The company present proved this by trying to
make sentences. I do not know what he finally concluded to do or say to
Laura. I think certainly that the true way would have been to have drawn
her out, and according to what she said or seemed to need, to have
shaped whatever teaching he had to give, taking great care not to negate
any of her positive assertions; for we could not doubt that God was
manifesting himself to the imagination of her heart, if not yet in the
forms of the human understanding.

If I had known how to use the hand language, I would have solicited the
privilege of going to learn what this hermit soul could have told me
before it was darkened by our traditional theology, which did not
originate in children,--

          "On whom those truths do rest
           That we are toiling all our lives to find,"

but in the minds of old sinners who had lost the original purity of soul
that "sees God." "I think about God all times!" How interesting it would
be to know exactly what she thought! That it was nothing terrific or
painful was evident from her habitual mood, which was even joyous. So
careful had the Doctor been to educate every bodily and mental activity,
that she had none of that discouragement, inelasticity, and indolence of
mind, which comes of want of success in childish effort. A genial,
educating assistance was always around her, but careful not to weaken
her by doing anything for her that she could learn to do for herself.
Obstacles, therefore, only stimulated her efforts, and so delightful was
her sense of overcoming them, that, for instance, she would laugh
exultingly when sewing if her thread became knotted, or if in anything
she was doing there was some little difficulty to be surmounted. Her
faith in herself seemed never to have been broken; but she rested on the
fulcrum of Infinite God, in whom she "lives and moves and has her

The only thing we ought to do in the religious nurture of childhood is
to _preserve_ this faith which comes from the child's seeing God even
more clearly and certainly than it can see outward things. See to it
that you use language so as more clearly to define and not to blot out
the divine vision, as old Dr. Barnard's cocked hat and black silk gown
and seat in the clouds eclipsed the sweet face with which my Creator
seemed to own me as his child, as I told you in my last lecture.

Another mistake that was made in my religious education was during a
visit that I made to a great-aunt when I was five years old, and was
taught to say the Lord's prayer by the servant who put me to bed. I got
the idea that some unknown evil might happen to me in my sleep if I did
not do this, and was also told that God would be displeased with me if I
thought about anything else when I was saying it. But I was
involuntarily conscious of having my mind full of images, while the
words of the prayer were empty vocables. In order to prevent the
intruding thoughts, I would try to rush through the words quickly, going
back to the beginning over and over again. But this artificial duty was
not associated with the instruction of my mother, who was in general
very happy in what she said to me about God, dwelling on his goodness,
referring to it everything delightful, making Sunday a day of quiet but
constant enjoyment, letting us paint, and cut paper, with other little
amusements, devoting herself to making us happy, while the rest of the
week she was busy; for she kept a large school, and Sunday was, as she
often said, her only and blessed day of rest. Long after, at a time of
religious controversy and so-called revival, I was immensely aided by
hearing my mother say to a young aunt of mine who affirmed that St.
Paul, in saying that we must pray without ceasing was fanatically
unreasonable: "Yes, if praying meant saying over prayers; but spiritual
prayers mean a devotional attitude of mind towards God which we can have
whatever we are doing."

This sentence seemed to pour light into a shady place.

"Don't you _say prayers_, mama?" I said to her when aunt was gone.

"Not when I am alone," she said; "for God sees my thoughts and feelings,
and knows that I love him, and always want his help."

My mother had nothing of the martinet about her. She took it for granted
that upon the whole we wanted to do what was right. She was not apt to
give the worst, but the best interpretation to doubtful phenomena. She
believed that to treat a child with generous confidence invoked
generosity and truthfulness, and what was better than all the rest, she
did not _talk down_ to her children, but rather drew them up to her own
mental and moral level; and interlarded stories from Spenser's _Faerie
Queen_ and the Scriptures with stories of the kind and noble deeds of
real people around us. (See Appendix.)

Her religion was moral inspiration to herself and consolation for all
calamity, and always very naturally expressed. She more than corrected
her first mistake and inadequate talk with me about my Creator, by
telling me the story of the Pilgrim Fathers, when I was yet so very
young that my fancy clothed her words with grotesque images, but on the
whole did better justice to the _spirit_ of the emigration and the
ultimate results it has worked out for the world than the exact facts
that transpired in history. What I gained from my self-created mythology
was that my ancestors knew themselves to be God's children, whom neither
tyrannizing king nor priest had any right to prevent from going to him
in prayer first hand, and that in order to do his will as their
consciences understood it, they left home and country and all the
comforts of civilization, and trusted themselves in a frail vessel to be
driven over a stormy ocean by the winds, at imminent peril from the
waves below, which would have swallowed them up, had not God, who loved
them, approved what they were doing, guided the ship (by a power
stronger than the wind, for it was his love) through the narrow opening
of Plymouth Harbor to the rock where I still seem to see them streaming
along, a procession of fair women in white robes as _sisters_ (for so I
had interpreted the word _ancestors_, who strangely enough were all
named _Ann_). I still seem to see these holy women kneel down in the
snow under the trees of the forest, and thank God for their safety from
the perils of the sea; and then go to work in the sense of his very
present help, and gather sticks to make a fire, and build shelters from
the weather with the branches of the trees. Among these rude buildings
my mother took pains to tell me that they built a schoolhouse where all
the children were to be taught to read the Bible.

There is nothing for which I thank my mother and my God more than for
this grand impression of all-inspiring love to God, and of
all-conquering duty to posterity, thus made on my childish imagination,
and its association with the idea of personal freedom and independent
action. It never could have been made except by one who herself had
faith in God, and believed that he had made all men free to come to him,
and also that the mother was his first appointed mouthpiece. The
fanciful images which were the effect of the shortcomings of my
ignorance did not hide the vital truths which I was as open to accept
then as now; namely, that God is my Father, the Father of all souls,
from whom no one has a right to shut off another.

That first schoolhouse, which I fancied that I saw the "Ann Sisters"
building, taught me as no mere words ever could have done, that it was
the most acceptable service to God to educate all his children to know
him and his works. That first idea of human duty I have never outgrown,
but still believe universal education is the true culture of the
American people, the reasonable service they owe to him who called them
out of the Old World to be a nation of individuals. There was nothing
fatal, therefore, in that first false notion of God (which I received
for a time), though it was for a time more of an evil to me than it
would have been to a child less subjective, or of more lively perception
of things without. Liveliness of perception brings so many things before
the mind, and so stimulates its volatility, that it undoubtedly prevents
the stereotyping of many a single impression and fancy that does
injustice to spiritual truths; and false impressions, unless strongly
associated with terror or some other morbid sensibility, do not take
hold of a child so strongly as the images that are consistent with the
eternal laws of mental evolution, such, for instance, as that human face
divine with which I had instantaneously clothed my intuition of God, and
which, notwithstanding its temporary eclipse, has haunted me all my

It is very encouraging to the educator to know that the innocent soul of
childhood has so much more affinity with truth than with falsehood,
because the best and most careful educator cannot sequestrate children
entirely from false impressions. But what finds no echo in the spirit
passes off, unless the mind is shocked into passivity by fear or pain.
When the soul is active, it has a certain superiority to passive
impressions, and makes use of them as materials for imaginative
production. It is, therefore, desirable to keep children employed in
gentle activity which has successful results, and happy in the midst of
attractive natural surroundings, by which God is working with us in the
same purpose of educating the child, allowing us to be his partners, as
it were, in this work, because it educates us. It is not uncommon to
hear persons say that they would like to begin life all over again with
the knowledge they have gained from their life-experience. This we can
all do if we will in imagination really _live with our children_, as
Frœbel says, whose motto explains what Christ meant when he bids us to
be converted and become little children.


[9] _Idea_ is a word I always use in the sense of _insight_, as Plato
uses it, rather than in the sense of _notion_, as Locke uses it.

[10] See note A in Appendix, and the Record of a School.




I SAID in my last lecture that had I possessed the power to talk in
Laura Bridgeman's hand, I should have begged Dr. Howe to let me have
some conversation with her after she said that she "thought about God
all times"; not that I felt that I could teach her, but that I might
learn what God had taught her concerning Himself. It was a wonderful
chance for a most important psychological observation of the innocent
mind of childhood, and would have afforded, doubtless, a luminous
illustration of the truth that the human soul is also a divine
personality justifying the method initiated by Frœbel of conversing with
the children in the Socratic manner.

But already in my lifetime I had had an opportunity for psychological
observation, made under circumstances perhaps still more favorable for
getting evidence of the importance of a very early recognition of the
Heavenly Father's name in the formation in a healthy manner of the human
understanding and the development of the reason, verifying the
declaration which Frœbel has made the corner-stone of his system;
namely, that though a child is the extreme opposite of God, contrasting
as effect to cause, as absolute want to infinite supply, all these terms
are connected--_conciliated_--into unity, by Love and Thought, which
must recognize each other, and whose loss of equal companionship is a

          "Grief, past all balsam and relief,"

as Mr. Emerson has sung.

I have somewhere, very careful memoranda, made at the time, which I have
unfortunately mislaid, but I will present from present recollection as
well as I can the whole psychological observation, though I am aware
that I shall leave out many little things said and done which were
perhaps not unimportant links in the chain.

Before I begin, I will observe that I tell it to the class to show the
difference between talking to and conversing with children, and to
illustrate several truths.

First, There is an innate Idea, not as a thought but as a feeling, given
to every child, of an all-embracing Love (named by Jesus, Father), one
in substance with the deepest consciousness of self;

Second, That this Idea becomes a child's personal and individual
perception only when he has a realizable name for it;

Third, That such a name is not an empty vocable, a mere movement of air,
but a sign, to which the intuition of his heart gives vital meaning;

Fourth, That an adequate name for GOD is the axis of the intellect, and
the revolution of thought around it gives perfect globular form and
solidity to the mind, balancing the centripetal force of individual
self-assertion with the centripetal force of a Divine Love,
comprehending all Being. Before GOD was named to and by this child of
whom I am about to speak, you will see that he was a dreary little chaos
"without form and void." After he had learned to utter intelligently the
name of a Heavenly Father he was what I am going to tell you.

But first I must tell you how I had this opportunity and privilege of
being the first person to name GOD to this child when he was four and a
half years old. He was the son of a most conscientious mother whose
early orphan life had been saddened with religious terrors. Her earliest
recollection, as she told me, having been the death-bed, and
immediately after, the burial of her mother, whom she saw, when she was
too young to comprehend death, shut up in a coffin and put into the
ground; and she remembered how her agonizing cries at what seemed the
frightful cruelty, were peremptorily hushed, with the declaration of the
person taking care of her, that GOD who made the heavens and the earth
willed it to be so and would punish her if she did not acquiesce. Little
did the thoughtless and heartless person who thus dealt with the
distressed little heart think, how disastrously she was emasculating the
word GOD of good by associating it with such an image of ruthless power
divorced from tenderness, as she unheedingly did. It was not till long
years after that her imagination was cleared of the frightful falsehood;
and when she came to have a child of her own, her governing thought was
to keep him ignorant of the fact of death, and the name of GOD, until he
should be old enough to understand them, as she said. She was a person
of deep feeling, upright and benevolent, but her imagination, probably
by reason of this life-long depression, was of feeble wing, and she was
taciturn. In consequence, her child, though most tenderly cared for as
to his body, was starved in mind and spirit. His face continued to be an
infant's countenance, and he was strangely without that childish
joyousness called animal spirits, and grew more and more peevish as he
grew older; for he was sequestered to the society of his silent mother,
who would not even be read to in his presence, lest, as she said, some
chance word which he could not understand should excite some fear.

Suddenly a hemorrhage of the lungs brought this mother to death's door.
She had been, for a few years before her marriage, my pupil in my own
house, and she used to say she owed to me all the happy views she had of
God and Heaven, as well as of human life and death, and I was sent for
in this extremity as a mother to a child.

Since her marriage she had lived in a city distant from me, and I had
seen her but little. Her child was so very timid I had made no
acquaintance with him in transient interviews, and of me he had no
impression but of one little story that I had told him six months before
when I met him at the house of her husband's parents. This story I had
half invented to explain a picture in the "Story without an end," that I
was showing to him. (See Appendix.)

When I came to the mother's bedside, she told me it was best for her to
die, because she was utterly baffled in all her efforts to bring up her
child. She went on to describe her timid methods; she said she feared he
was _non compos_, for he made no progress. Among many phenomena, she
mentioned that when she gave him playthings, he immediately broke them
to pieces, and when she tried to prevent this, by endeavoring to make
him understand their uses and construction, he would look drearily into
her face and say, rather than ask, "What for?" He seemed deficient in
will, without impulse, for, though flowers seemed rather to please him,
if she took him into the garden and told him he might gather them, he
would stand still, and helplessly cry; and she had to command him to do
everything, even to play, before he would attempt it. He acted like an
automaton. Moreover, he had no sensibility, and expressed no affection.

Just at this point of her dismal story her chamber door was opened by
the nurse, with this great boy in her arms. He had his mother's
beautiful large brow and deep eyes, but with no speculation in them, and
his whole figure was lifeless and so languid that the arms that had been
about the nurse's neck, slowly lost their curve when she put him down on
his feet. But his look rested on me, who, with an inviting smile and
gesture, held out my hand. Immediately the large eyes filled with
intelligent light, and with a cry of joy he sprang towards me, climbed
up into my lap, clasped his arms round my neck, nestled upon my bosom,
and looking up with a joyful expression of confidence said,
"Story--little boy--drop of water!" It was, as I have said, about half a
year before, that I had lured him to me as he held off in timidity, by
offering to show him the picture where the child, in the "Story without
an end" is represented beside the brook, looking at a drop of water
hanging from a leaf, "telling the little boy a story," as I said, to
which he had answered "Story!" and I had gone on and invented a free
paraphrase of the story given in the book, adapted to his infantile
capacity, and when I had finished, he said, "Story again!" and I
repeated it again and again, so imperative was his "story again!" and
now he again said "Story," with a confiding pressure, as he leaned on me
then, gazing at the picture on the book in my lap, giving me the
conviction that he understood me. It was really, as I found
subsequently, the only rational words that had ever been addressed to
the child's imagination.

"This does not look like want of sensibility, or _mens non compos_," I
said to the mother. "I never saw anything like it before," she said, all
tears. The ensuing silence was immediately broken by the child's
imperative repetition of the word "story!" I was too much affected by
the mother's emotion to remember or invent any story, but it was an
early, warm spring day and the windows were open. The house stood on a
bluff of the Merrimac, within sight of the Rapids; and the sound of the
rushing waters came in upon our silence. I said, cheerfully, "Do you
hear the water running?" to which he responded with a joyful "yes! what
does it run for?" "Oh, because it is glad," I replied, and again he
responded with a joyful and satisfied "yes," and after a moment asked,
"Where is it running to?" "Oh, into the ocean, where all the rest of the
waters are!" and again an emphatic "yes" expressed his satisfaction.
Perhaps he remembered that in the story I had told him of a drop of
water it had ended with the drop falling off the leaf, and running away
with its brothers and sisters, and falling into the ocean, out of which
the sun had originally taken it. At any rate, he not only repeated his
yes with the emphasis of satisfaction, but seemed to be thoughtful. I
said, "Do you ever look out of the window and see the sun shine on the
water, and all the little sparkles of light in the water?" "Yes," said
he, joyfully, "what makes the sun shine on the water?" "Oh," said I, "it
is because the sun loves the water." "Yes," said he, and began to
embrace me in the most energetic manner.

It was too much for the poor mother, who absolutely wept aloud, whether
with joy or sorrow she could not tell, as she afterwards said.

The sound of her weeping attracted his attention, and he sat up in my
lap and turned his large eyes upon her as she lay in bed, and then upon
me, with a look of concern and appeal. "See," said I, "poor mother. She
is sick and sorry. She wants me to tell _her_ a story, and won't you get
down and go into the nursery and let me tell dear mother a story to make
her feel better? Then I will come to you and tell you one."

With a cheerful "yes" he immediately got down and went into the nursery,
but stopped at the door to say:--

"When you have told mother a story, won't you come right in and tell me

I said to the mother, "You see, my dear friend, that the child has mind
enough, heart enough, and a moral nature. He can understand and feel
sympathy; feels the symbolism of nature; and can obey a self-denying
motive. No fatal harm has been done after all by your delay, but he
needs now to know he has a Heavenly Father, fully to manifest all the
powers of a human being. You must allow me to give him that name for the
Love he feels within and without."

"Not quite yet," said she, "not until you come to stay, because he would
ask me questions that I should not know how to answer. Children ask
such terrible questions. I am afraid as soon as you name the Invisible
GOD, he will be frightened. Don't you know M. D. was afraid to stay in a
room alone because of the omnipresence of GOD, which seemed to be an
unimaginable horror to her?"

"I do not wonder," I replied. "Omnipresence of GOD! What was there in a
child's experience to interpret this Latin abstraction? I think it would
have been quite another thing, considering who her earthly father was,
had she been told that our Heavenly Father was all about her though she
could not see Him with her eyes, but could feel Him giving her love and
joy. I cannot but wonder that anybody around her should have talked to
her in such abstractions."

"I am so unready in expression," she persisted, "and can so poorly
express my thoughts and feelings, I am sure I should only do mischief if
I should try to answer his questions, and I am sure he will go on asking
them, for his mind seemed to wake up at once as soon as you began to
talk to him. How different was that 'yes' from the dreary 'what for?'
with which he always received the very best explanations that I could
make of the things he played with. That 'what for?' was not an enquiry
of intelligence, but an expression of utter want of perception, with no
interest to hear a reply. It is best for him that I should die; then I
shall ask his father to give him to you to bring up. Nobody ought to
have children but people of genius!"

"No, no," said I; "it does not require genius to talk with children, but
only simplicity of heart trusted in. I interested him and gained a
response, not because of genius, for I have none, but because I believe
in him, and in myself, whose happiness is in loving, and that GOD has
created us to love and commune with one another and Him. You have said
yourself that he seemed to love flowers, though he was afraid to gather
them, and that he loved to hear the street musicians. Beauty and music
touch his sensibility. By saying that the waters run because they are
glad, and the sun shines on and makes things beautiful because he loves
them, I put his own conscious life into the music of waters and the
light of the sun. He recognized the meaning of gladness and love because
he himself felt glad and loving, which made a pre-existent possibility
of recognizing the love and joy of the Creator that shine in those
natural objects, because they are GOD'S own words of love addressed to
His own image, who is capable of love and joy and knowledge of Him. If
we talk to children in instinctive faith, they understand us. You have
not done so because of your early misfortune that saddened your heart
and took away your instinctive courage. Faith is the proper act of the
heart (courage, you know, is a synonym of heartiness); the heart goes
before the understanding in the process of life. Without heart one can
do no justice to children in talking with them; with it, we awaken their
minds and nurture their souls, and all our mistakes will be of small
account beside the positive advantage of setting their minds in joyful
motion 'amidst this mighty sum of things forever speaking.'"

"When you come to stay," was her rejoinder, "you can say to him what you
please, for then you will be here to take care of his mind and answer
his questions."

This was all I could gain at that moment, and I left her, to go to the
child, who had several times opened the door and looked at me wistfully,
with a silent appeal which was all the more proof of his quickened
intelligence that he did not tease. His own desire to have a story had
interpreted to him his mother's need.

I have very little power of inventing a story, and to his demand for one
I responded by taking from the bookshelves Miss Edgeworth's first story
of Frank, and began to read to him of Frank's making a noise on the
table and the conversation between him and his mother that ensued. But
this did not suit my little one's mood, which was a little exalted by
his delight at seeing me, and having had his imagination touched by the
beautiful language of nature that I had made intelligible to him. He
pulled the book away, and asked me to tell him a story "out of your own
self," as he said.

Thus urged, I began: "Once there was a little worm about as long as the
nail of my thumb, and no larger round than a big darning-needle. This
little worm lived in a little house that he had made for himself in the
ground, just big enough to hold him, when he rolled himself up like a
little ball with his head sticking out. There were no windows nor doors
in his house, but one on top, which was his door to go in at, and his
window to look out of. When he had made this house he was tired and
crawled into it and curled himself up and went to sleep, and slept all
night. In the morning the sun rose and spread his beams all over the
world, and one of the bright sunbeams shone into the window of the
little worm's house and touched his eyes and waked him, and he popped up
his head and looked out and saw it was very pleasant in the garden, and
he thought he would go out. He squirmed himself up out of his hole, and
because he had no feet he crept along the garden path. The warm beams of
the sun put their arms all round his cold, little body and made it warm
as could be, and the sunbeam went into his little mites of eyes, and
filled him all full of light, and the songs of the birds went into his
little mites of ears and filled him all up with music, and the sweet
smell of hundreds of flowers went up that little mite of a nose and
filled him up with their perfumes. And so that little worm went creeping
along as glad as he could be that he was alive.

"Now in the house that stood in that garden lived a little boy about
four years old; and when the morning came, the sunbeams had gone into
the window of his nursery and waked him, and he was washed and dressed
and had his breakfast of bread and milk, and then his mama took him to
the door that led down the steps of the piazza into the garden, and
told him he might go down the path and have a good run to make himself
warm. So down he ran. But now if that little boy should put his strong
foot on that dear little worm, it would break him all to pieces--"

"Oh, he shall not, he must not!" cried the child in a spasm of distress.
"Aunt Lizzie, don't let him break the dear little worm to pieces!"

"No indeed," said I, "that little boy would not not do such a cruel
thing for the world! He saw the little worm creeping along, so glad to
be alive, and he ran on the other side of the path; and the little worm
nibbled a little blade of grass, and drank a little dew for his
breakfast, and then he felt tired, and went creeping back, full of good
food, to the little hole that was his home, and curled himself up like a
little ball and went to sleep."

"Now tell me that story all over again!" said the child.

I did so more than once at his entreaty, and always when I came to the
possible catastrophe of crushing the worm, the same terror seemed to
seize him, and he would cry out:--

"Oh, he must not, he shall not!" and I always tranquillized him again,
and gratified his sense of justice by my assurance of the little boy's
consideration of the little worm's right to his life and happiness.

Of course, I told his mother of the effect of this story, and the
evidence it gave of the child's sound moral nature and innate sense of
justice. And I begged her to let me lose no time in referring to the
presence of the Heavenly Father, that the intuition of his heart might
become the possession of his mind. I said I did not believe that he
would ask any question. He would suppose that I alone knew, for, as I
observed to her, he had never for the whole six months referred to the
little boy with the drop of water, and yet had vividly remembered the
whole story, as his greeting me had shown, and I had the proof of it,
for I had just told it to him again at his request. I told her if I
proved to be mistaken, and he should ask her any question she could not
answer to her own satisfaction, she could say she would write to me and
ask me, and I felt sure he would wait. But I told her I believed what I
was thinking of saying to him would keep his thoughts busy while I was
gone (for I was going only for a week to prepare for a stay with her for
an indefinite time). At last I gained her consent, and the child was put
into my bed, that I might have the conversation the first thing in the

When I awoke, I found him awake, close by me, and his great eyes seemed
to devour me.

"How long you did sleep!" said he; "I have been seeing you sleep."

Said I, "What do you see with?"

"My eyes," he replied, and to the questions, What do you hear, smell,
taste, touch with? he made the appropriate answers.

"But what do you _love_ with?" I asked.

He jumped up upon his knees and crossed his arms on his breast, paused a
moment wonderingly, and then exclaimed, "With my arms!" and throwing his
arms round my neck, hugged me. I was taken a little aback, but in a
moment said:--

"Have you a great deal of love?"

"Oh, a great deal, a great deal!" he exclaimed.

"Where is it? where do you keep it?" said I.

He started up again on his knees, again crossed his arms upon his
breast, and said, "Where do I?"

Placing my hand on his heart, I said, "Is it not in there?"

His whole expression was affirmative, he looked delighted, but did not

"Are you good?" said I.

"Sometimes," he said.

"What are you when you are not good?"

"I cry."

He had evidently been told it was naughty to cry.

I said, "Why are you not good all the time?"

"Why ain't I?" said he, after a moment's pause.

"Oh," said I, "I think you have not goodness enough to be good with all
the time."

He looked assent, delighted and earnest. I answered his unuttered
feeling with the question,--

"Should you like to have goodness enough to be good with all the time?"

"How can I?"

"Oh," said I, "you have a good friend who has a whole sky full of
goodness. He gave you all the goodness and love you have in there (I
touched his breast), and will give you more and more if you want him to,
always and always, enough to be good with all the time."

He looked perfectly blest, did not speak, but laid himself down close by
me, took my arm and put it over him, and said, as he nestled up to me,--

"Talk to me some more."

I went on: "Your good friend gives you all your joy to be glad with, and
all your love and goodness. They always go together. And now listen to
me: the next time you are going to cry (I used his own practical
expression instead of saying the next time you are naughty), stop and
think. I have a good friend who has a whole sky full of goodness and he
will give me goodness enough to be good with all the time, and I guess
you will not cry." He responded only with huggings and kissings and
exclamations of "I love you a whole sky full," and as I did not want to
overdo or say anything to mar the impression I had made, I took
advantage of a noise I heard, to change the subject, and said:--

"What is that noise?"

He jumped out of bed, went to the window, and said:--

"It is the carpenters making a house," and after a pause, asked, "Who
made all the other houses?"

"Carpenters," said I; "don't you see they make houses out of boards?"

"Who made the boards?"

"The boards are made out of trees. People cut down the trees, and then
they saw them up into great logs, and then they split up the logs and
smooth them out into pieces we call boards."

"Who made the trees?" said he.

I understood very well where the tyrannizing unity of his personality
was leading his understanding, but did not wish, just then, to risk
giving outward form or connection to his thought of the Divine Cause, so
I said:--

"The trees grow out of the ground; don't you see old trees and young
trees and little baby trees growing out of the ground?"

For this information he did not give me that hearty "_yes_" with which
he had received my communication of spiritual facts, but came back to
bed again. I persisted, however, in talking playful nonsense for half an
hour, until his nurse came to take him up to dress him. As soon as she
appeared at the door, he started up on his knees again, crossed his arms
over his breast, and in a loud, joyful voice cried out:--

"Mrs. Doyle! I have a good friend up in the sky who has a whole sky full
of goodness, and he will give me as much goodness as I want to be good
with _all the time_," emphasizing the last three words.

The nurse, a good-hearted Roman Catholic, who, like all the servants,
had been forbidden to talk to the child about GOD or any kindred
subject, looked at me startled, yet gratified, and said:--

"What will his mother say?"

I replied, "His mother will be very glad; she only wanted to wait till
she thought he could understand. But I have told him enough for the
present; don't talk to him about it; but if he says anything to you,
come and tell me."

"Yes," said she, "and I thank GOD you have come to teach the poor child

I then said to her aside, "His mother is very anxious lest he be
frightened; for she was frightened about GOD and death when she was a
little child, and has suffered from it all her life long. She has been a
double orphan ever since she can remember."

I said this to her for several reasons: one was my extreme desire to see
what the one simple truth would do for the child, and this was the
reason I gave _good friend_ for GOD's name. Of course, the mother craved
to know exactly what had passed on this important occasion, and was
immensely relieved and gratified at what I told her, and wanted it all
to be written down; and thus it happened that I made memoranda of this
and subsequent conversations, and even of those held in her presence,
for they continued to be no less interesting than they began.

Observe these points in the child's speech to the nurse: he interpolated
the words _up in the sky_. I had given no place to the good friend,
though I had said he had a whole sky full of goodness and love; and the
sky being the glorious symbol of unboundedness, elevation, purity, and
power to the human imagination, in all nations and times, as is proved
by the earliest idolaters who worshipped the heavens, and the host of
stars, and verifying the more spiritual conceptions of the Hebrew
Psalmist, and of Job, who did not confound (nor did this child) the sign
with the Living GOD who created it to signify His Being. Another thing:
Observe it was not even as the giver of love and joy, but as the giver
of _goodness_ that the Person of Persons had seized the imagination of
the child so powerfully. It was wonderful to see that very day, the
effect upon his understanding of this conversation. The night before,
when I told him the story of the little worm, I found his vocabulary so
small that I could give my imagination a very narrow scope. But in the
course of the day (in which, for the first time in his life) he talked
incessantly, asking innumerable questions about his _good friend_, he
seemed to have no difficulty in talking. I am very sorry I have not my
written memoranda, because I should like to tell you everything in
order; but I remember he wanted to know how his _good friend_ "looked."
I replied by asking him, "How does love look?" He laughed, and said,
"Love does not look, but feels." "Well," said I, "so your good friend
does not look, but feels. Don't you feel him now, putting love and
goodness into you?" He laughed assent, and said, "Where is he?"

"Wherever love and goodness are," said I; "in you, in me, and in mother,
in everybody who _loves_." I was encouraged to believe he would
comprehend this language, unimaginable and inconceivable as such truth
is to the mere understanding, for I had in my remembrance a conversation
I once overheard between two children, one five and the other not three
years old, at which I had not ceased to wonder since I heard it. I was
sitting drawing with their mother in a recess of a room that hid us from
the children's sight, when our attention was diverted by hearing the
younger one say:--

"Can GOD see me now, when I am all wrapped up in this shawl?"

The elder one replied very earnestly, "O yes! GOD can see everybody,

"But I don't see how He can see me when I am all wrapped up in this
shawl. It is dark," persisted the little three-year-old. There was a
pause, when Eliza, in a very anxious voice, said:--

"Amelia, can you see mama in your eye?" (She meant imagination.)

Amelia replied after a moment, "Yes, I can see mama in my eye, just how
she looks."

"Well," said Eliza, "I suppose that is the way GOD sees everything,
because He knows everything."

I cannot conceive a more perfect proof that the soul of a child is a
"sparkle of GOD," and its mind the intuition of the eternal reason--its
image, than was given by this original illustration of the truth of
truths made by a child of five years old. The mother made an exclamation
of wonder, and said:--

"I am sure I never could have given so profound an answer as that," and
I continue to think it the most wonderful thing I ever heard of so young
a child's saying, and had I not heard it myself, I doubt if I could have
believed it was said. But it has given me courage to think that children
might have very early a definite conception of the invisible GOD without
materializing it.

The omnipresence and invisibility of GOD were mysteries that attracted
my little pupil's mind and taxed it, but did not distress nor perplex
it. Of the reality of GOD's being, the intimacy of his own relations
with Him, he never seemed to have a doubt; his delight in the thought of
Him was boundless. At the end of the first day he said a thing which
struck his parents with astonishment. The evening of the day on which I
arrived, his father had made tea for me in the parlor, and as the child
did not want to leave me a moment, he was set up at the table in his
high-chair opposite me, to eat his bread and milk with us. While the
father talked of one thing and another, the child's eye and mine
occasionally met, and he would immediately make some gesture of
lovingness and an inarticulate sound, ee ee ee! At last his father
checked him with the words "Don't make those silly noises, Foster!" I
interposed, and playfully said:--

"Now please don't come between me and Foster. I understand his silly
noises and just what he means to say to me. How can you expect he will
talk any sense when you have never given him any help to think?" The
father laughed at my "transcendentalism," as he called it. But the
second night, when we were all again in the same relative position, the
demeanor of the child was wholly changed; he sat silently eating as if
wrapped in thought. By and by he said in a very decided tone, "Some
things live, and some things only keep."

With a look of astonishment his father exclaimed, "What an extraordinary
generalization!" "The consequence," said I, "of being talked to as if he
were a rational being one day!"

The next day I went to Boston for a day or two, to make arrangements for
returning to stay an indefinite time, which was such a disappointment to
the poor little thing that he screamed in the most passionate manner, so
that his mother could no longer doubt his sensibility or will. He was so
angry with the stage-coachman who took me away, that his father had
great difficulty in persuading him that he was not a bad man, but, on
the contrary, a kind one, whom Aunt Lizzie had asked to come to take her
to the railroad. At last he somewhat reluctantly agreed that he might be
a good man.

"But I shall never like him," he said, and left his father, to go and
caress his mother, who was weeping, as he divined, with the same regret
as his own, and he was apparently comforted by her saying, that she,
too, was sorry Aunt Lizzie had to go away for a little while, but she
had promised to come back in a day or two and stay all summer.

It turned out as I had surmised, that he had asked no questions while I
was gone, and had said very little except to wonder that I stayed so
long, though I was gone only two days.

When I came back I had immediate evidence that he had been thinking
while I was gone, and to some purpose. You remember that on that first
morning of our conversation, he had asked me who made the trees, and I
had said, "The trees grow out of the ground," which did not seem to give
him the satisfaction that my reference of his emotions, sensibilities,
and thoughts, to an invisible personality had given him. Now, as soon as
the embraces of welcome and expressions of joy had subsided a little, he
burst into the subject which had so possessed his mind, and with a sort
of triumphant air, as if he was sure of a satisfactory response, he

"What did our good friend want the trees to grow out cf the ground for?"

I said, "Do you think the trees are pretty? Do you like to look at

"Yes, I think they are beautiful."

"Well," said I, "I guess that was one reason; you know he loves us all,
and so he likes to please us. Do you like to please those you love?"

"Yes!" and a passionate embrace and kiss was the expressive reply.

I then went on to call his attention to the fruits that grow on some of
the trees, and which serve us with delicious food, and the uses of wood
to build houses with, etc. This conversation naturally introduced other
kindred subjects of inquiry as to why our good friend had arranged
things so and so. The tyrannizing instinct of his own mind, of which he
had become conscious through the exercise of it, that my naming of the
Spirit Father had so happily started, had made objective to him the
Unity of all life, and he was sure that the good friend was at the
bottom of everything outward as well as inward, even trifles; for I one
day heard him say, as he was lying on the floor at play, "Heavenly
Father, I wish you would not let my leg feel so cold." This was later
on, in the winter time, however.

I cannot sufficiently regret that I have lost my original memoranda.
They were transcribed from notes that his mother made, who was watching
every word said, with the most intense interest. She always had pencil
and paper at her side, because the danger of hemorrhage caused her to
avoid speaking. She wrote down with care the very words, as if they
were, as indeed they were, a divine Revelation. Whatever he accepted or
expressed with joy, she felt was true, knowing as well as she did the
past emptiness of his understanding, and the dreariness of his feeling
as an individual. But I can perhaps remember enough to show you the
method I took, which was truly the very method of conversation that
Frœbel proposes we should have with children, prompted by the Wisdom of
love, which so profoundly respects its object that it gives it
opportunity to be itself by not obtruding. The reason that we do not get
the lesson that childhood can give us is that we thrust our finite minds
between the child and the Divine, instead of limiting ourselves to
putting the child into the point of view to see for itself what of
course though essentially one, is perhaps of different aspect to each. I
made it a point to be very quiet, and to exhibit no surprise at his
questions or mistakes, but to lead him by my questions to the answers,
and the corrections of mistakes which must needs arise from
one-sidedness. The entire respect with which I listened to what he said
gave him complete possession of and confidence in his own mind. One
laugh at any incongruity he uttered (as Dr. Seguin would tell you) would
have shut him up perhaps forever. How often children's thinking is thus
nipped in the bud!

The circumstances in this instance were favorable to real conversation.
In addition to my love of psychological observation in general, and my
love and interest in this child in particular, was that which I felt in
the mother, whose own childhood had been so shadowed by her human
environment that it had not taught her what only childhood can teach
with its uneclipsed vision of the Father's face, of which Christ speaks
and warns the adult not to offend (or, as the revised version translates
it, _cause to stumble_). On her account, as well as on my own and the
child's, I was careful not to put my thoughts into his head, but merely
lead him to the standpoint from which he could see the truth for
himself. It is because these conditions made for once an opportunity for
a genuine conversation between intuitive childhood and such maturity of
experience as I had attained, realizing Frœbel's ideal of the
conversation of the kindergarten, that I am desirous to give it to you
as a hint of how you should proceed--though, of course, you would
probably never have so exceptional an opportunity; because the children
that come to you will generally have minds already misty with
half-defined ideas of GOD, received from the vague, half-defined minds
of the imperfectly educated adults, conveyed to the children either in
that careless or dogmatic manner in which they are usually talked to,
not with.

Another advantage I had with this child was, that besides the arrested
development arising from his mother's timid plan with him, he inherited
from both parents, and perhaps from remoter ancestry, an individuality
of mind that was not at all imaginative; which did not, however, exclude
him from spiritual truth, for that is not the work of imagination, but
is discerned by the spiritual sense, being as objective as what is
discerned by the five senses (a transcendental objective, not a material
one). The respectful interest with which I treated him gave him a happy
confidence in his own thought, which was my opportunity for observing
the natural order of mental development. In short, the conversation we
had was a genuine one as between equals, unless, indeed, he was the
superior in giving to me the divine laws of the spiritual order. He
often surprised me by his next question, and was so disarmed of all fear
by my consideration and tenderness, that he revealed that which is
always the individual's secret, and I gained as much as he did by the
conversations, and certainly I gained certainty in what was previously
only conjecture on my part. I was sometimes obliged to say I did not
know, and remember his asking me with surprise, "Don't you know
everything?" "Oh, no!" said I. "Only our good friend knows everything
and gives us our thoughts all the time. Doesn't he give new thoughts to
you every day?"

"Yes, he gives me a great many new thoughts all the time," he replied
with animation. On another occasion, when I had become perfectly
exhausted in answering his questions, I said to him:--

"I am very tired, but I will answer that question, provided you will not
ask me another before dinner."

As he walked away he said, "Oh, I wish I had asked another question
instead of that!"

"Well," said I, "what? Perhaps I will answer that one."

Turning back, he said eagerly, "Will our good friend answer all my
questions when I go into the sky?"

I said, "Yes, every one; for he knows everything, and can never be

The expression of complete satisfaction with which he went away from me
was most expressive.

You will observe his expression of "when I go into the sky," and
consider it together with the words that he interpolated saying, "I have
a good friend up in the sky," in repeating to Mrs. Doyle that first
morning when I had told him that his good friend who gave him thoughts,
and joy, and goodness, and love, had a sky full of goodness. The sky is
the natural symbol of the unbounded and infinite and the essentially
spiritual, and the conception of GOD into which I had led him, and which
I named his good friend, pervaded all space.

The subsequent questions of how GOD looked, and upon His whereabouts,
and the conversation on this, by identifying Him with the Love that he
felt within himself, had revealed to him _Immortality_ before he had
defined mortality.

The GOD he felt within him in his conscious Love and without him in all
manifestations of beauty and power, gave him assurance that he would be
sometime wherever GOD was. I have lost the connection and place in the
narrative of another conversation I had with him on the omnipresence of
GOD. He often had said his thoughts were in his head, and his feelings
were in his bosom. One day he was sitting in my lap close to a table,
with his feet bare, and I put my hand under the table and pinched his
toe. He said:--

"What are you pinching my toe for?"

I said, "How do you know I pinched your toe? you cannot see what I am
doing under the table."

"I think you pinched my toe, because I felt it."

"I thought all your thoughts were in your head, and all your feelings in
your bosom, not in your toes."

"My feelings are all over my body," said he; "and when you pinched my
toe, the feeling ran right into my head and turned into a thought."

"So you see," said I, "that you live all over your body and in any part
of it, just as your Heavenly Father lives all over the world and in
everything at once."

"Yes," said he, "I did not know how that was before."

The date of this conversation was some weeks, perhaps months, from the
beginning of our intercourse, as I know from the use of the word
_Heavenly Father_, which came after a time to take the place of _good
friend_, and it was preceded by some other conversations. He was always
overflowing with expressions of love to me. When I gave him anything, he
would embrace me, and I would ask, "Which do you love best, me or the
thing given?" (an apple perhaps, or whatever it might be). He would
always say, "You, you." Once he said, "I love you more than all the
apples in the world." Once when he was kissing my hand, I said, "Which
do you love best, me or my hand?"

"I love both," he said.

I persisted, and said, "Supposing my hand was cut off, would you love me
as well?"

"I should love you a great deal more," said he, energetically; "for it
would hurt you so to have your poor hand cut off. Would it not hurt you

"I suppose it would, but by and by it would get well and what I want to
know is, whether you would love me as well without my hand as with it?"

He still declared he should love me more. I then said, "So you see my
hand is not me. It is only one of the things the Heavenly Father gave me
to make things with, and He gave me my feet to walk with, and eyes to
see with; but my eyes and ears and tongue are not me; and if I should
lose them all, still I would be all of myself, and you could love me?"

"Yes," said he; "but I don't want you to lose any of those things, for I
love them all together."

My object in these conversations was to see if he would separate in
thought the finite material body from the conscious soul or _himself_,
as I preferred to say, for to speak of one's self as a _soul_ makes what
is essentially subjective as objective as we desire to make the body,
the use of which is to reveal to others the feelings and thoughts of the
individual that otherwise the finite apprehension could not seize. I was
endeavoring to prepare him to minister to his mother, when I could
persuade her to let him know the fact of death, by appreciating and
defining that crisis of life as a step onward into the deep
consciousness of immortality, which I believed would lift her out of the
abyss into which her own consciousness seemed to fall at the utterance
of the word, in spite of all the intellectual views of immortality which
she had for many years cultivated, but which somehow did not meet her
exigency, when she felt herself on the brink of the separation of body
and mind. No intellectual process can give what the faith of childhood
has in its own immortality of which those who had the care of her
infancy had robbed her.

It was delightful to see how she enjoyed the child who had long been a
burden to her. She wanted him in her presence all the time with his
playthings, and to hear all our conversation, and that I should tell
her what we said in the little time that he could not be with her. She
declared that she never had known what the enjoyment of life was till
she had it in her sympathy with him. All the pleasures of intellect, and
also of personal affections of the happiest kind, were pale beside the
joy of this child--in his communion with GOD, who was in all his
thoughts, and had taken him from his dreariness and growing peevishness,
into that joy of childhood which Ruskin speaks of as so entirely out of
proportion to the occasions of its expression, and which still had no
painful excitement in it, but was simply a spontaneous outflow, not only
quickening his thoughts but informing his affections with generosity and
gratitude. The self that lost all sense of boundary, in its joy in the
unbounded, spread out to embrace all about it. He said one thing to me
which will, I think, explain to you what I mean. Of course, I was the
first person on whom the flood of his heart poured itself out, though he
did not stop with me, but also expressed his love to all with whom he
came into near or remote relation. When saying to me how much he loved
me, what a skyful of love he had for me, I said, "Yes, darling, I know
you love me as much as you can," he replied scornfully, "I love you a
great deal more than I can!" Was not that a wonderful expression of the
immortal essence of his love,--of Love Divine?

Without its being suggested to him to thank others for kindnesses, he
did so without a single exception. He would be taken to drive in the
carriage with his mother, and standing at the window, would shout with
delight at the things he saw on the way, and when he got home would
often run back to the gate to say, "Thank you, horsey!" and all his
habits of timidity were forgotten when the street musicians came by, and
he was allowed to take out pennies to them. Callers at the house, from
whom he used to shrink when they would have spoken to him, were in
wonder at his hospitable welcome and fearless but intelligent
interpositions in the conversation, which they thought indicated
precocity instead of backwardness. The length, breadth, and depth of all
the words Christ let fall in the last part of his life, of which I had
had some insight before, became doubly intelligible to me. I saw into
the beauty and meaning of mankind's being created in successive
generations, and I was thus prepared to enter into and appreciate
Frœbel's ideas and methods, with which I did not become acquainted till
a quarter of a century later.

I want you to observe that in what I did there was simply the
spontaneous wisdom of love--love, not fondness, not desire of
reciprocation, but self-forgetting and reverent of its object. Only this
gives the creative method, or is the essence of creativeness, whether
human or divine.

You remember, in the memoir of Frœbel with which I began this course of
lectures, it was said that he posed his elder brother with his
questionings of GOD's wisdom in the arrangement of the social sphere.
Unable to answer him, the instinct of his love led him to divert the
child's attention into a department of nature where apparent discords
were seen to be harmonized for the production of beauty and use, that
the poor little perplexed and bewildered child might enjoy himself
legitimately. He gave him the clue to the labyrinth and the strength to
conquer the Minotaur. He had no idea of educating, but only of
comforting. Thus, unconscious of any theory of education, he solved the
problem practically, first for the child Frœbel himself, later for
mankind to whom the man Frœbel has revealed it with such ample
illustrations as to make an era in human history that, as we hope, shall
retrieve the past. Childhood understood, leading in the promised
millennium of peace on earth and good will among men, will make mankind
forget the Babel confusion of its first experimenting, and enter into
the mutual understanding of the Pentecostal miracle.




IN our little F.'s case, as it became perfectly plain to his mother that
he conceived clearly of God's embracing unbounded space as well as time
in His Infinite Essence, she became desirous of knowing how he would
receive the fact of death, so painfully and prematurely forced upon her
own soul,--whether his mind would leap the gulf in which hers seemed to
sink at the utterance of the word.

But the difficulty for him seemed to be to conceive of death at all. I
tried to approach the subject in such a manner that he should have the
initiative, as it were, in any conversation upon it. There was a poor
old man who occasionally passed the house in the clothes of a pauper,
supporting his steps with a stick. One day when he did so, F. asked me,
"What makes men old?" and before I had time to answer, added, "Mary [the
name of a former servant] used to say _many days_, when I asked her. Do
many days make men old?"

"Yes," said I, "just as many days make your clothes and shoes old. That
old man has walked on his poor old legs so long that they are quite worn
out, and he has looked so long with his eyes that they are dim, and
listened so long with his ears that they have grown dull, and his back
has grown weak, and his whole body is so worn out that it will not do
what his thoughts tell it to do, as your little fresh legs and eyes and
ears and as your whole body does."

He received this intimation quietly, but raised no question as to the
ultimate result; and as often as the old man walked by, he would ask the
same question and receive the same answer.

At last I took down from the book-closet Mrs. Trimmer's story of the
robins and read it to him, and he became very much interested in the
little nest and its inhabitants. After a while, the children in the
story had birds of their own in a cage, which they took care of
assiduously, but at length on one occasion went away and left them for
many days uncared for, so that they died; I read right on through the
page on which it was told that on going to the cage when they came home,
they found the birds lying on their backs with their beaks wide open,
stark dead! I paused in my reading, and he repeated, "stark dead! what
do those words mean? What was the matter with the birds?" I laid the
book down, and said, "You know that some things live, and some things
only keep." "Yes," said he. I continued, "You know that living beings
feel pain or pleasure, one or the other, all the time, and that things
that only keep do not feel at all."

"Yes," said he.

"Well, things that live and feel--living beings--always eat and drink;
they continue to live by eating and drinking, and God tells them to eat
by making it pleasant for them to taste things. Now these little birds
lived by eating and drinking, and if they had been free, they would have
found food and drink somewhere in the world; but those children had shut
them up in a cage; and when they were so thoughtless as to go away and
forget the birds that they had undertaken to take care of, the little
birds grew hungry, and you know it is not pleasant to feel even a little
hungry, but they grew hungrier and hungrier till their poor little
bodies were as full of pain as they could be. Now our Heavenly Father
could not possibly have them suffer so much pain, and so He told them
to come to Him, and their life went right out of their bodies, and then
their bodies were just like everything else that only keeps; they could
feel no more pain."

"What a dear, dear, dear Heavenly Father it is!" said the child; "what
nice ways He has about everything!"

"Yes," said I, "He has the ways of love."

He asked no questions at this time, nor made any generalization. I took
up the book, and read on about the children's burying the bodies of the
birds, etc.

Thus the death of the body was first presented to his imagination as
only a relief from pain of the life that inhabited it. He was immensely
interested, and the subject became the most common topic of

There were some books in the house which had pictures of hunts, and one
was of a stag-hunt, the stag at bay, the dogs seizing him, the huntsmen
firing. These books had been carefully kept from him. I now took them
down, and showed them to him, interested him in the timid stag running
for its life, and its ingenious devices to elude the dogs by swimming
across streams, and at last when the dogs had seized it, or the huntsman
fired the cruel shot which tore the breast or side of the poor beast,
the final release, God's call of the life to Himself! At which the child
would utter exclamations of delight: that final escape was _the best of

This story was so interesting, it absorbed his attention, and he did not
generalize. But it took its place among the good deeds of God's love,
that when life became too painful in the body it was taken away to enjoy
itself with God.

His mother, in whose presence were all the conversations, was intensely
interested; but still as he did not think of human death, she hardly
felt that he had conceived the idea.

I told him about the metamorphoses of insects, and their depositing
their life in eggs as soon as they were born. When the old man came by,
as he did nearly every day, we commented on the wearing out of his
body, but he did not think of death as a relief for him.

At last one day it happened that stretching out of the window for some
purpose, he nearly lost his balance, and it was only by my timely
seizing him that he escaped falling out. I said, "F., what if you had
fallen out on those rocks and been broken all to pieces!" He shrieked
with horror, "I don't want to! I don't want to!" "But what if you had!"
said I, calmly. "You came very near it. What should you have done?"
"What could I?" he screamed. "What could I do, all broken to pieces!"
"Why, don't you think," said I, smiling, "that your Heavenly Father
would have taken you right into His own bosom?"

A heavenly smile spread over his face and a look of perfect satisfaction
and acquiescence, and he said after a moment's pause, "I forgot my
Heavenly Father. Oh, what a dear, dear, dear Heavenly Father He is!"
Then, after another moment, he said in a distressed voice, "But must I
be broken all to pieces when I go to the Heavenly Father?"

"Oh, dear, no!" said I; "but when we are broken all to pieces, or
starved, or are very sick, He takes us; but generally people grow to be
old like the old man, and all their bodies get worn out, and they get
very tired and kind of go to sleep, and the Heavenly Father takes them,
so they do not wake up again in their old bodies, which are buried as
the children buried the bodies of the robins."

He expressed himself very happy, and asked a great many questions, and
it seemed as if he had already known of the fact of death. At all
events, he now accepted it as the common destiny, without any painful
feeling, and it seemed to give new realization to his mother's feeling
that her own was indeed nothing but a morbid feeling, and that normal
nature did not shrink from death. The subsequent questions were
innumerable. I read to him Krummacher's parable of the caterpillar and
butterfly in the garden of Thirza, after the death of Abel, as it was
paraphrased by Mr. Alcott when he read it in his school, in which I was
assisting him at the very time that I was called away to the child's
mother. And it was the study I had made of childhood in his school which
had enabled me to pursue with so much confidence the method I took with
the child, though it was in my own childhood I conceived the plan; and I
remember speaking of it to Dr. Channing in 1824, and how much interested
he was in the idea, though he told me that in his own case he was
indebted to the symbolism of nature, especially the ocean seen from the
beach at Newport, for clearing his mind of the effects of the teaching
and preaching which he had heard. These grand objects, and later the
beauty of some manifestations he had seen of love giving courage and
power to the weak, kindled his ideal, and gave form and substance to his
consciousness of God.

For a time there was nothing but delight expressed in the fact of death,
the relief from all suffering, the enlargement of life and joy and new
knowledge of God and His ways. At last a little incident showed him the
shadow which attends death in this world.

We often went to call on the family of the physician who attended his
mother. One day when we went, the Doctor, who was very fond of F., took
him into his lap while I was playing with the baby in his mother's arms.
They always called it "baby." I said to Mrs. D., "Has not baby any
name?" The mother replied, "His name is Edward." F. looked up at the
Doctor with a bright, joyous expression, and said, "Where is your other
Edward?" The Doctor's face changed instantaneously; he clasped the child
close to him, and said, "Oh, he has gone to his Heavenly Father," with a
burst of grief. F. stretched himself back, looked into the agitated
face, and said with a look of the greatest concern, "Are you sorry that
he has gone to the Heavenly Father?" "Oh, very, very sorry," said the
poor father. "Should not you be sorry if he should take away your dear
mother?" and putting the child down, he immediately left the room. Mrs.
D. said, "The Doctor has never got over the death of that child, and we
never name him in his presence."

I immediately left the house, and we walked some distance in silence,
and as I found F. did not incline to speak, I said, "F., did the Doctor
look glad when you spoke to him about his other Edward?" He pressed
himself close up to me, and said eagerly, "No, no! he looked very sorry.
What made him sorry? Did he not like to have his other Edward with the
Heavenly Father?" "Oh, yes! he liked that, but then he wanted to have
him in his own arms. You see he cannot see him now, and he wants to kiss
him." "Yes," said F., "he hugged me!" I continued: "You see, the Doctor
is very strong and well, and I suppose he will live in his body a good
many years, and he has Mrs. D. and Julia and the rest, but he wants that
other Edward, too, every day of his life." F. replied sympathizingly,
"He was large, and white, and bright, and when I go into the sky, I
shall look all over to see where he is." I said, after a little while,
"Shall you say anything more to the Doctor about his other Edward?" "No,
indeed!" said he. "I never shall say another word about him. Do you
think I want to make the poor Doctor sorry?" I told his mother, when I
got home, of the whole affair, and we agreed that it was well he should
see the sad side of death for the survivors.

It was soon a question with F. how we were to live without the body, and
he asked me. I told him I did not know exactly how it was to be, but I
supposed God would let new eyes, ears, and whatever limbs we should
need, grow out of us, made of the finest stuff like air, which we could
not see because it was so delicate, or even feel, as we did the air when
it moved, but which souls could use just as they pleased. He said, "I
have seen some pictures of souls that had gone out of their bodies, and
I did not know before what they were." Surprised, I asked him how they
looked. He said, "They were nothing but heads with wings."

The delightful thing was to see the effect of all this earnest prattle
upon the mother; and one day, after I had returned from a visit to a
friend in the town, she told me she had had a conversation with F. on
her own approaching death that was very satisfactory.

She said she had his bread and milk put on a little table opposite her
easy-chair, and when he was happily engaged, she said, "F., I think our
Heavenly Father will soon take me to Himself." He looked up with an
expression of great feeling, and said tenderly: "Do you? Then you will
get rid of that poor, sick body, and your cough;" and he added
presently, "Perhaps he will give you _wings_!" She said nothing could be
likened to the impression of peace and sweetness which these simple
words made upon her. Soon after, he said, "But what will be done with
your poor old body?" (She said he spoke as if it was of not much
importance.) She replied, "Your father and Aunt Lizzy will take it to
Cambridge in a carriage, and put it into the ground; and the grass will
grow over the place, and sometimes you can come to the place; and I
guess I shall look out of heaven and see you." But in a few minutes he
began to cry, and said, "I want to go with you into the sky." She said,
"Oh, you have a nice little body, which gives you a great deal of
pleasure, and you must stay here with poor, dear father! What would he
do when he has no wife any longer, without his little boy to make him
happy, and take care of him when he grows old?" After a little more of
such remonstrance he said, "Well, I will stay with him!" It was curious
that in talking with me he never referred to this subject of his
mother's approaching death, which evidently had touched him tenderly,
and I did not introduce the subject.

It was also a curious circumstance, that after this matter of death
was, as it were, settled satisfactorily, and the mind of his mother
freed from all trouble on the point, _the love of this life_, to which
she had hitherto been more than indifferent, sprang up in her with great
energy, and she proposed to break up the house, and go to Florida for
cure! Her husband and I could not share the hope, but we could not but
sympathize in the new joy in life, that she seemed to have received from
her now happy child, with whom she had learnt _to live_ in the spirit.
Things were so arranged that she made her husband's father's house,
about thirty miles distant, the first goal of her journey. She reached
with great fatigue this first stage, and stopped to rest, and never
mentioned Florida afterwards. She breathed on another year, during which
time I only saw her in weekly visits, having returned to Mr. Alcott's
school in Boston. Her disease was not very painful, but so lingering
that every trace of her former beauty was lost in the ghastly

There were in the house two little cousins, younger than F., taken care
of exclusively by a very sweet mother, and this gave him the most
desirable social intercourse and play that took the place of our
discourses at the right moment, and called into action very sweet traits
of character. My weekly visit of a day or two was a great affair to the
children. I told them stories, innumerable variations of _The Story
without an End_, and of _Pilgrim's Progress_, modified to their infant
minds. I always repeated the stories in precisely the same words (which
is a great point in telling stories to children, and impresses them on
the memory), and they became very familiar with the ends of my
paragraphs, and would take them from my lips, and repeat them as a
chorus. Thus when I had got Pilgrim laid away in the upper chamber of
the House Beautiful, whose white draperies I minutely described, they
would all interrupt me, and sing out, "And the name of that chamber was
Peace." So of the last words of other paragraphs that I purposely made

The substantial character of the child's piety and sense of immortality,
which I have described as bubbling up at the name _Heavenly_ Father,
spoken at the right time, and in the right way, was exhibited
unmistakably in his after life, and began to express itself at once in
his association with his little cousins, which proved a very timely
thing for him, bringing out his moral character by means of what he
constantly did to make them happy, and keep them good, but he never said
anything to them about the Heavenly Father. That subject seemed reserved
for me.

It was amusing to see how fatherly he was to the little one, and he
continued this fatherly manner all his after life to all the children
with whom he came in contact, and even during his childhood it was
singularly unmixed with any tyranny or managing spirit. He would play as
they wanted to with them. He seemed to be drawn to children because he
could so easily understand their innocence, and make them happy by his
companionship, and because he enjoyed _them_.

All his subsequent life he exhibited an exquisite sensibility to beauty,
which he continued to accept as the Creator's _smile of consent_; the
_very good_ pronounced on everything which He had made. In the last part
of his mother's life, she became so frightfully emaciated, that it was
evidently painful for him to look at her; but he _said_ nothing about
it; and it was sweet to see the delicacy with which he tried to conceal
this pain from _her_, when he was admitted into the room to see her,
which, at length, came to be only in the middle of the day, when she was
seated in an easy-chair, with a broad white footstool at her feet. He
would come into the room, looking on the floor, and seat himself on the
footstool, with his back partly turned to her, and, drawing down her
hands, cover them with kisses: he refused, as it were, to recognize her,
under that ghastly mask, which, however, did not shut off from his
_remembrance_, her former loveliness; for, as soon as she was really
dead, and he began to think of her _in heaven_, she became his standard
of beauty. During the little more than a year that he continued under my
care, "_not_ so beautiful as my mother," or "_as_ beautiful as my
mother" were words very frequently in his mouth. As she approached her
death, she was so careful lest he should have any of the _shock_ which
her own mother's death gave to her, that she readily consented that he
should go for the last few days with the other children to stay with a
kind neighbor. He was therefore not present at her death; neither was I.
It was an event greatly longed for by herself, at last, and its
approach, which she knew before any one else discerned any special
change, seemed to gladden her. Her last breath was peaceful; her last
words, "Give my love to F."

I told him of the event the morning after the funeral, from which I
returned with his father, in the dusk of the evening, calling for the
child to go home and sleep with me, which he always was delighted to do.
He was put to bed in the room where his mother had died, and I went in
with him, to explain her absence, if he should notice it. But he was
tired, and so occupied with my presence, he did _not_,--not even when he
woke in the morning. At last, I said to him, "Do you see what room we
are in?" He rose up and looked around, and said, "Why, it is my mother's
chamber! Where is my mother?" I paused a moment to see if he would
divine the truth, and then said, "The dear Heavenly Father has taken her
at last!" He fell back on the pillow, with a single exclamation of _not
painful wonder_, and a countenance sublime with the mingled expression
of awe, love, and joyful satisfaction. The fact of her absent body
seemed to be a more palpable proof of the truth of her deathless soul,
than even her form and word, which had represented it to his senses. He
was "silent, as we grow when feeling most," as if he realized that he
was in the presence of the "substance of things hoped for, the evidence
of things unseen." You may be sure I respected this sacred silence,
which seemed to me to last several minutes, but possibly it was only
_one_. At last he said gently, "Was the window open?" I replied, "I
don't know; I only know our Heavenly Father, who is everywhere, you
know, took her to himself. He does not mind about windows, you know."
"_No, indeed!_ I know that very well," he said, with a little laugh (as
if he wondered at his momentary lapse of thought). Soon he asked, "Did
He give her a new body right away?" "I do not know anything more about
that than _you_ do," I replied; "I only know He will do better things
for her than we can think of." "Do you think," said he, "that she looks
beautiful as she used to?" but, before I could reply, he suddenly added,
"I want to _go_ to my mother. I want to see her _now_," and began to

I kissed him, and began gently to recall the conversation that she had
had with him the day she told him she expected soon to leave him; and,
after a while, he said spontaneously, as he had done when he talked with
her he "would stay with his father to comfort him for the loss of her."
His father told me afterwards, that when he saw _him_, he went over the
same ground again, beginning with saying that he wanted to go to her;
but when his father represented to him how solitary he should be with no
wife or son to show their love to him, F. closed the conversation with
the words, "Well, I will stay with you till I grow up" (as if it was
quite within his option to do so or not).

Very soon after this I took him away with me to Salem, where he remained
in our family for a year or more, I think. My father's family were
living at the corner of an old burial ground, two sides of the house
being bordered by it. The day we arrived we went directly to my sister
Sophia's room, which looked out upon this burial ground. He was
immediately attracted to the window by the trees, and exclaimed
joyfully, "Oh, Aunt Lizzy, what a beautiful green garden this is! What
are those things?" (referring to the tomb stones.) I replied: "That
green garden is where people lay away, underground, the _poor old
worn-out dead bodies_ of their friends, who are with our Father in
Heaven, and those things are called tombstones; they are put there with
the names carved on them of the persons whose bodies are buried in those
spots." He at once seemed greatly interested and pleased, and became
still more so after he had seen some burials; his emotions of joy at the
thought of the enfranchised spirits entering on their heavenly life,
being tempered with tender sympathy for the bereaved friends in their
mourning-robes, whom he sometimes saw weeping at the earthly parting. He
was always very anxious to know how the buried ones had died, from what
particular sickness or danger they had escaped; and one day when my
sister Mary came back from a walk, he joyfully told her that he had
found out another way in which souls went to heaven. She, of course,
asked him, "What way?" and he said, "Why, sometimes ships that go to sea
are driven by the wind against some rocks and broken to pieces, and all
the men's bodies are drowned, and they go to heaven through the water."
Another time, he ran to her in great excitement, and said: "Oh, Aunt
Mary! I saw a little baby's body buried in the green garden; some
carriages came, and there was a hole dug already, and people got out of
the carriages, and one man had a little box in his arms in which the
baby's body was; and they put some ropes around it, and let it down; and
then they filled up the hole with the dirt, and I saw the little baby
fly up, fly up, fly up!" and he accompanied the words with a circular
gesture of his arm. Whether the subjective conception was so vivid, that
it reproduced itself to his imagination in an objective form, as the
Sistine Madonna is said to have done to Raphael; or it was what is
called "a spiritual manifestation"; it was evidently a reality to him,
and no comment was made, except that my sister said, "_I never saw a
soul fly up_."

I should say here that this child was not imaginative, and we never saw
in him the smallest untruthfulness in speech or act, nor tendency to
exaggeration. In this he resembled both his parents. Afterwards, he
became something of a scientist, and studied medicine for his
profession. He was a good classical scholar in college, and before his
early death, had completed in manuscript the history of one of the
mechanical arts. I think he was not of a visionary temperament. (See
Appendix E.)

His life with us in Salem was perfectly delightful. He had no faults,
though a certain pertinacity (which was an expression of inherited
firmness of character) sometimes required a little disciplinary
conversation, nothing more. I never knew of his being subjected to any
punishment, or requiring any, in all his childhood. He had not the usual
impetuosity of children; perhaps the effect of his early depression of

My sister Mary had a day-school in the house, made up of children
between six and twelve years of age; he was allowed to have his
playthings in the school-room, and loved to listen to her oral
instruction of the children in natural history and science, especially
in the stories that she told or read to them about human beings, in whom
he was always more interested than in animals. I taught him how to read
by the word method in _The Story without an End_, a slower and more
laborious way both for him and me than the mixed method detailed in my
_Kindergarten Guide_, of which I have lately published a primer under
the title of _After Kindergarten, what?_

But had I then known of Frœbel's method of employing childish play,
organized by the adult with single aim to intellectual development, I
should not have taught him to read so early, but something more
profitable; I then shared what Professor Agassiz called "_the American
insanity_ of teaching children to read before they have learned the
things signified by words," which he, like Frœbel, believed would
produce habits of mind positively injurious, dropping a veil between the
observer and nature, preventing all freshness of thought, and destroying
the mind's elasticity and _originality_. But I had not (at that time)
presumed to question the time-honored tradition, that _the beginning of
education_ was _learning to read_.

When, later, my studies with a great philologist gave me a little light
upon the subject, and showed me that English had the misfortune to be
written by an inadequate alphabet, whose result was to confuse the
phonography entirely, by obscuring the original principle of having but
one letter for one sound, and a letter for every different sound, I
realized the positive disadvantage of children's being forced through a
process which baffles all their natural instincts of classification; and
it was then I invented a method of separating English words into
classes, the phonographic ones to be first made familiar, and the
exceptions classified. Yet I could not be insensible to the
unnaturalness of beginning with spending so much of the time of very
young children upon this work of the _imperfect mind of man_, as
languages are, rather than on the works of Infinite Wisdom. I was
therefore well prepared to accept Frœbel's method of first sharpening
the senses by examination of things that charm children, and of
developing the understanding by first making things according to the
laws which constitute the mind, and then naming them in all perceptible
relations. First let us form a mind which can apprehend nature as the
standard of truth, before we undertake to _in_form it with what embodies
the confusions and errors of men; as, for instance, in a considerable
degree the written English language does. For language stands in the
same relation to man as nature does in relation to God. The eternal word
of Truth makes _things_ before it is made flesh. The confusion of
tongues was the inevitable consequence of the fall of man out of that
communion with God in which children are born, and our written language
is an image of this confusion, especially the English, whose so-called
orthography is the most anomalous of all languages; and the acquisition,
therefore, ought to be postponed, at least until the understanding is
fairly developed by some recognition of so much of the Word of God as is
alive in the things we see and can handle. The time comes when the
children can understand that exceptions prove the rule, and then those
irregularities and anomalies of English writing may be made even
entertaining lessons to children; because if its laws and rules are
apprehended first, there is something amusing to them in contradictions
of law that so many words seem to be. It is the pleasure in the
grotesque; children enjoy the _funny_, as they call it, but it is a
different enjoyment from that of the beautiful, and the latter is the
highest element for human activity. A predominance of the _funny_ even
demoralizes intellectually as well as morally, but it has its own
subordinate place in healthy child life.

My little friend had a slate and pencil, and immediately inclined to
draw from real objects, but we did not know how to give him any other
help than to guess at what were the things he was trying to represent.
If we could not guess, I remember he would blush, and go away, saying he
would "_fix it a little_." I had the instinct that he could only be
effectually encouraged by success, and I would endeavor to divine what
he meant, by looking to see what were the surrounding objects when I saw
him drawing, and would point out to him with congratulation any part in
which he had at all succeeded, letting the rest go. But without adequate
and legitimate guidance he necessarily became discouraged with his
failures. What children do not succeed in, becomes distasteful to them,
and they turn their attention from what has disappointed them, and thus
their natural tastes die, or are starved out. As they have no knowledge
of materials, nor judgment in using them, they undertake _the
impossible_, and being baffled, lose courage to undertake the possible.
So young artists accumulate difficulties by their unwise choice of
subjects, not realizing the limitations of their own powers. It is the
part of the educated kindergartner to supply this want of judgment and
analysis until the pupil catches the secret of gradualism and the law of
opposites. Frœbel's plan of giving the squared slate and paper to ensure
straightness of line in children's drawing is like the leading strings
by which the mother helps the child to develop his limbs for walking,
which cannot be done without his own personal effort. So Frœbel's plan
of having the kindergartner suggest a symmetrical drawing of lines in
opposites, vivifies the sense of symmetry into a thought, whence springs
a plan of making still another symmetry. For by suggesting opposites,
and then the connecting of them, the child delightedly sees orderly
forms that grow under his hands, and feels that he is acting from his
own individual personality (which _he is_, though the thought was
suggested by the words of another). What he _does_ gives him confidence
in his own mind, whose fanciful movement suggests other symmetries; for
though fancy is a spontaneous play of the free will among impressions
passively received, it is amenable to the laws whose exponents are
presented to it by nature's works and human suggestion.

F. liked to watch my sister Sophia at her drawing and painting, but its
very perfection discouraged efforts on his own part. It is bad not to
_do_ really at once what we conceive of ideally. It was only in the
moral and religious sphere that we really lived with him, and he was
properly educated by us. We always answered all his questions about what
we were doing, and how, and why (I wish now I had asked him more

My sister Sophia had a rare talent for talking with children, whose
purity and innocence she comprehended by a sympathetic intuition, and to
whose imagination her Christian faith gave ample scope, for it was
hampered by no human creeds. We had a circle of acquaintances who were
only too much inclined to pet him, and who, knowing something of the
history of his mind, liked to talk with him. His mother had been very
much beloved by this circle, and I used to tell him that _for her_ sake,
they cared for and attended to _him_, which interested him immensely,
and perhaps prevented his considering himself as a person of too much
importance comparatively. He would talk of going to see his "MOTHER'S
FRIENDS." If new persons spoke to him kindly, he would ask me
immediately if they knew and loved his mother; at all events, the
element of personal EGOTISM did not appear, and the affection he at
first poured out on me, now freely flowed out in every direction. I
remember his saying to me, one day, with an accent of great
self-gratulation, "I think I have a great many friends," and in a moment
after added, "my mother was so beautiful!" (as if that were the reason
of it). A young husband and wife became inmates of our house, and
brought a beautiful infant. This was a perennial fountain of delight to
F. The singular beauty of the little one was a constant subject of
observation. One day he was looking at her, as she lay on her mother's
lap, and presently he burst out, "Oh, Ellen, your little bright eyes are
shining themselves into a _sun_!" He was equally delighted with the
musical sound of her crowing. His ear for sounds was fastidiously
delicate. One day my mother was in the garden, looking at some wild
flowers which had been brought to her for transplanting. As she looked
at them she said to F., "Run into the house, and get my--" He
interrupted her eagerly with, "Don't say that ugly _word_! I know what
you mean," and he ran into the house, and brought back Bigelow's _Plants
around Boston_ (_Bigelow_ was the ugly word). But let me hasten from
these details, to redeem my promise of telling you how _prayer_ became a
thought of his mind, and his spontaneous practice.

It was very early a question of great interest to his mother, and also
to me, whether prayer _would_ become spontaneous with him; that is,
whether he would think of speaking to God _in human words_. His intense
realization of God's _presence_ seemed to be a cause of his _not_ doing
so, and I feared to put GOD _at a distance_ by suggesting what, in
ordinary cases, is a means of bringing Him near. If prayer be defined as
a communion of the finite and Infinite, as personal as that of
_children_ with earthly parents, _his_ whole conscious life was a
prayer; for truly God was in all his thoughts from the day he first
accepted Him so joyfully as the Substance and Giver of _goodness and
love_, which involved to the natural logic of his innocent mind the
corollary that He was the Giver of everything outward, as well as
inward, which gave him any happiness. I did not dare to meddle with the
natural evolution of thought in so happy an instance, but watched to
learn the true method of life of the little child, as Christ suggested
to his disciples to do. One day when his grandmother, who was at the
house on a visit, dropped her needle, she called to F., "Come, and look
with _your little sharp eyes_ for my needle." He did so, with his usual
alacrity in service, and soon found it. Then he ran to me, and said,
"When I go into the sky, I shall thank my good Friend for giving me such
sharp eyes." I said, "What do you wait so long for?" He gave me a glance
of recognition, as it were, and laughed (as if he had been convicted of
saying something silly); but he said no more _then_. From that moment,
however, he often came to me to say, "When I go into the sky, I shall
thank my Heavenly Father for giving me" this or that; and I would always
answer him as before, "Why do you _wait_?" which would always bring out
the same complete expression of satisfaction on his face, showing that
he loved to renew the occasion for my uniform reply, "Why do you wait
_till then_?"

On one of these occasions he turned from me, and said very tenderly, "_I
thank you, God_." One day, after he went to Salem, he had been suffering
from a bad earache, and my sister had relieved it by putting a little
tuft of cotton dipped in arnica into his ear. Then she asked him to go
to the window and look out into "the green garden," and she took up a
pencil to draw. Very soon he began, "GOD, I thank you for making this
green garden to put away the dead bodies _in_. GOD, I thank you for
making these beautiful trees grow out of the ground. GOD, I thank you
for making all the pretty wild flowers grow." He paused between each
complete sentence, and my sister, having a pencil in her hand, wrote
down his words till she had covered a sheet of letter paper with his
thanksgivings; for he went on naming everything he could think of; and
it was quite wonderful to hear the minuteness of his grateful
appreciation of life.

One sentence was: "I thank you, GOD, for making medicine to put into my
ear when it aches." He also thanked GOD for his father, and his father's
letters to him, for his mother in heaven, for many friends whom he
loved, naming them. I hope that sometime I shall find my sister's paper,
which I have mislaid with the other memoranda of this interesting
psychological observation. The pauses between the thanksgivings became
longer and longer, and at last, after one for which he seemed to have
searched his inmost mind, in despair of finding anything else, he closed
with, "My dear GOD, I love you very much."

You will observe that in all this spontaneous act of devotion, there was
no _petition_. In the fulness of his happy life, and, as I think, in the
faith that God was giving him everything needful, and more, he never
thought of _asking_ for anything.

Temptation to wrong-doing had not yet revealed the need that the
progressing spirit always feels of _more_ goodness and love, which I had
taken care to represent that God gave whenever the soul acknowledged to
itself its need and aspired for more of this, its vital substance. For
it is my opinion that prayer should always be for spiritual good only,
in order that our religion should be pure from self-seeking, and
generously self-forgetting in its aspirations for perfection.

A little while after this incident, my sister was reading to him, and
came to a sentence in which were the words "morning and evening prayer."
He immediately stopped her and asked her, "What does that mean, that
word _prayer_?" She said, "Many grown up people, when they wake in the
morning, and find that God has taken care of them in the night when they
could not take care of themselves, and given them a new day after their
good sleep, feel very thankful, and love to tell God so, just as you did
the other day when you thanked God for so many things; and besides,
remembering that there are a good many things they ought to do, and that
He gives _the love and goodness_, they like to ask Him beforehand to
give them what they shall need _to be good with_ when the time comes to
want it; and at night, after they have got through the day, they like to
thank Him for all the joys of the day, and they ask Him to take care of
them through the night that is coming, when they shall be asleep and
cannot take care of themselves; and this loving talk with God is called
the morning and evening prayer." I think she added that when she was
little she used to say, when she was going to bed:--

          "Now I lay me down to sleep;
           I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
           If I should die before I wake,
           I pray the Lord my soul to take;"

and that was her evening prayer. "I think it is a very good way," said
he, "and I mean to do so this very night when I go to bed." And it was
true that when he went to bed, he remembered and made a similar
thanksgiving to his former one in kind, and closed with this little
verse. And again in the morning he began the first thing to thank God
for the new day, etc. Nor did he forget afterwards, night and morning,
to give thanks and utter prayers spontaneously, and seemed to enjoy it.

One morning he waked me with his loud singing, and as soon as I opened
my eyes, said to me, "Aunt Lizzy, I am _singing_ my morning prayer." I
said, "There was a wonderful little shepherd boy once, whose name was
David, who loved God as you do, and who always sang his prayers."
Immediately he wanted to know all about him, and I told him the story of
David in his childhood and up to the time he was sent for to sing to
King Saul; and I ended with saying that I would read to him some of
David's _psalms_ (as these sung prayers were called); and this I did,
and the eloquence of the sweet singer of Israel seemed to vivify his
idea of the Heavenly Father, and of His connection with the soul within
us all and the world without. Especially I tried on him the effect of
the Psalm beginning, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God,"
whose rhythm had charmed my own childhood, even before I fully
comprehended it; and he liked to hear it, too. Before this, I had read
considerably from the Bible to him, for he had one day said that he
wondered how the world began to be in the first place, and I had said:
"_Yes_, everybody wonders about that. But there is a book (pointing to
the Bible) where one of the first men told about how it seemed to him,
and I will read it to you." So I opened the book and began the first
chapter of Genesis, without introductory comment. When I came to the
words "_And there was light_," he sprang up and shouted, "Directly when
He said 'Let there be light,' there _was_ light _directly_!"

I wished Longinus could have heard the confirmation of his great
criticism. Immediately he ran into my father's study, which was across
the entry, and burst out, "Dr. Peabody, when it was all dark and there
was nothing made, God said, '_Let there be light, and there was light_'
directly! directly!" This was not enough; he ran to find my mother and
sister, and again repeated the simply sublime words.

Then he came back to me to hear the rest, and I finished the chapter
which he wanted me to read to him again and again, day after day. I read
afterwards the parable of Jotham, which he liked to hear very much. I
cannot help thinking how much more I might have made of that very
parable for his moral culture had I then known of Frœbel's _gospel of
work_. I can hardly bear to think how stupid I was; the effect of not
having had the kindergarten education myself.

But he was too soon taken away from my observation, not without my
acquiescence, however; for it was to go to his father, who, I thought,
needed his companionship. And as it was at a distance that he lived,
and, as afterwards my own life was full of vicissitude for many years, I
lost the run of him entirely. There was a mutual misunderstanding
between his father and me, for several years, from his thinking I wanted
to be free from the care of him, and I thinking he did not desire my
personal influence on him, and we were both mistaken, as we found out
afterwards. When he went to Harvard College, he came to see me, and the
interview was very interesting. He had a sweet, though it had become a
dim, remembrance of a happy time with us, succeeded, as he told me, by a
_lack-love_ experience of years of a dark, gloomy time at a
boarding-school, to which he was sent when he was eight years old,
because, as he said, his grandmother thought he ought not to be living
with his solitary father at a hotel. But the boarding-school proved more
than a heart solitude, as the boys were rough and cruel to him in their
unguided play. While he was with me, on the occasion of this call, it
happened that my sister Sophia's children came into the room where we
were. They had a very vivid idea of him from their mother, she having
often spoken of him to them, and telling them of his joy in learning he
had a Heavenly Father, when he had never thought or been told of it.
When I said to them, "This is F.," one of them said, "Is this F.? I
thought he was a little boy," looking at him wonderingly, surprised to
see a grown-up man. I told him they were well acquainted with his
childhood. It touched him very much, and the conversation that ensued
touching on several things I have told, brought back the old time more
distinctively, and he said he should often come to recall it by my help,
and to learn more of his mother, whose beautiful face haunted his
dreams. But just afterwards I left Boston for some years, and did not
see him again until after his return from Vienna, where he went after
leaving college, and remained till he had completed his medical studies.
I promised then to show him his mother's letters to me, written in her
girlhood, and to tell him how much the early experience of his own
childhood had ministered to her a heavenly consolation. But again
inexorable circumstances interfered. He became a practising physician in
Worcester, and I went to Concord to live, and we procrastinated a
promised visit until at last Death mocked our slow affections. I saw him
last wrapped in the flag of his country, for when the war broke out in
1861, nothing would do but he must go to it; and he went as one of the
surgeons of the 15th Regiment, which was terribly cut up. For a year and
a half he did an incredible amount of work, for he would always have his
hospital on the field of battle, and the 15th was in a great many
battles, and left but few survivors, most of whom are maimed or halt. He
took care of those wounded ones who could not be taken from the
battle-field, wrote letters for them, and never took a furlough, as
every other officer and surgeon did. In the last letter that he wrote to
his father, he said that this year and a half was in one sense the
happiest time of his life; for it was the only time when he seemed to be
of any use. He was killed at last, walking up through the main street of
Fredericksburg, Virginia, in the van of the regiment, as was his wont,
and his death was instantaneous. His patriotism and his bravery were
the fruits of his piety. Every year his father and I met to decorate his
grave until his father's death in 1883-4. He is buried at Mt. Auburn by
his mother's side, whose body was removed from the tomb in the old
burial ground of Cambridge. I have a photograph of him taken at the same
age as his mother when she died,--thirty-one years. It was the year
before he went to the war, a drooping head, pensive as if marked for
early death. But when I saw him dead, his brow was lifted, his whole
countenance had become grand and heroic, and it was plain that he had
found his ideal vocation. His funeral was celebrated in the city of
Worcester with military honors, the wounded soldiers of his regiment
following the hearse in carriages, and the sidewalks of the city
thronged with the multitude of spectators. A discourse upon the text,
"No man can do more than lay down his life for his friends," was
pronounced over him at the church, and the beautiful hymn sung, "Nearer
my God to Thee," which seemed to me the most appropriate conceivable,
though he had never been far from Him, after he knew a name for Him.

After the funeral his father's relatives and friends gathered together,
and we talked of him. I told my recollections of his childhood, and all
of them expressed the feeling that the life he had led was in perfect
harmony with such an early acquaintance made with the Heavenly Father.



FRŒBEL speaks of the child as a trinity, meaning a unity in threefold
relation (with God, with man, and with nature), and says that education,
to be perfect, or even healthy, must help him to be conscious of all
these relations _at once_, in order to ensure the equipoise of heart and
intellect with his spiritual power (or freedom to will), in which
inheres his just self-respect and natural religion.

Nature (that is, the material universe, as I have said before) is God's
expression of mathematical and all correlative laws, the apprehension of
which builds up the intellect of the individual who, through his sense
perceptions, on which he reflects and generalizes, gains _knowledge_ of
his surroundings, beginning with that part of nature which is within his
own skin.

It was the grand intuition of Oken which has been splendidly illustrated
by Dr. J. Garth Wilkinson in his _Human Body in its Connections with
Man_, that the human body is the metropolis of material nature, in which
may be found in _vital order_ all the elements of the material universe
which are, outside of the human body, in a more or less chaotic state.
This development of the individual intellect needs more or less aid from
the human environment, simultaneously with that nurture of the _heart_
which means man's conscious relation to man. But though morality, which
is the performance of man's duty to man, is not religion, which is man's
consciousness of relation to God, it leads to it inversely, because it
shows the heart its need of a Father of us all, in order to be happy.
All three processes, the intellectual, the moral, and the religious,
must go on together, to make a perfect education, for in proportion as
integral education is wanting in those about the child, his intellect
will be starved, confused, or darkened with error; and immorality and
irreligion will more or less transpire in the individual.

Frœbel perfectly realized the deficiency of this integral education to
be the cause of all the evil that is the present experience of mankind,
in spite of Church and State and the optimism which in form of hope
"springs eternal in the human breast" (for the pessimist is the
exception, not the rule among men, the great mass of whom are pursuing
some ideal aim, even though it be a low one, their moral sentiment
having been perverted and their religion having become a superstitious
idolatry either of material forms or of logical formulas).

The system of education which Frœbel discovered, or invented, in
consequence of realizing this, is what we are endeavoring to learn and
apply, that we may bring out of the moral chaos around us the lost
equipoise of the threefold nature in our children, by ourselves plunging
into infant life in imagination and realizing its innocent heart and
unfallen spiritual state, watching it in its own attempts to understand
and use its material surroundings and its human environment, to the end
of guiding it by our own experience and matured knowledge, from the
errors and misfortunes it inevitably falls into if left to its own
ignorant experimenting unrevised.

The playthings and means of occupation Frœbel invented are to develop
the intellect, and are a perfect miniature of nature, and to use them in
playing with the child is an art and a science that the kindergartner
must add to her moral affections and religion, which are also her
indispensable qualifications.

I wish to say this very emphatically, all the more because this part of
your education (the art and science that develop the intellect) is not
my part of your training course, but the moral and religious nurture;
and therefore I must leave the exhaustive analysis of the gifts in their
relation to the unfolding intellect as well as of the "schools of work"
(as the series of embroideries, foldings, drawings, weavings, pea-work,
etc., are called, and which require your study the whole year) to your
accomplished trainers to do justice to.

But before I turn to my specific department, I would say that this
intellectual part of the training, which it was the special genius of
Frœbel to discover, is of equal importance; for it is the duty of man to
worship God with the _mind_, as well as with the _heart_ and _might_,
though that is a part of the great commandment, which seems to have been
systematically overlooked by many of the churches, if not virtually

To worship God _with the mind_ means to develop the intellect; as to
worship Him with the _heart_ keeps pure the moral sentiments and
quickens moral action; and to worship Him with the _might_ lifts the
will, quickened by the heart and enlightened by the mind into oneness
with the Holy Spirit, more and more forever. And here let me recall to
you what I said of Frœbel's authority in my second lecture, and beware
of deviating from the path he has pointed out (he was nearly fifty years
in inventing his technique); and be very careful about adding to his
_Gifts_ or _Schools of Work_, though I would not have you mechanical
followers. There will be legitimate outgrowths of his method. He
himself, in one of his _Pedagogies_, published after his death by
Wichard Lange, has suggested a "school of drawing" upon _the curve_,
which Miss Marwedel has developed, leading the child naturally through
vegetable formation; and Mr. Edward A. Spring, the sculptor, has also
suggested and partly carried some children through animal forms, from
the worm to the "human face divine"; and we hope both these "schools"
may be published and used. In the musical line, also, in which Frœbel
was personally rather deficient, Mr. Daniel Bachellor, now of
Philadelphia, has suggested a series of exercises by means of the
correspondence of tones and colors, that makes the children as creative
in the discovery of melodies, as they are of the harmonies of color in
their weaving and painting.

There is unquestionably danger that the kindergartner may degenerate
into mechanical imitation and rote-work in this part of her guidance of
the children, nevertheless in some of the charity kindergartens I have
seen there was danger of doing injustice to the technique.

       *       *       *       *       *

On this last day of communion with you on the Frœbel education, I would
like to speak with some comprehensiveness and particularity on the
subject of religious nurture. Mark me, I say religious _nurture_, not
religious teaching. The religion that integrates human education is not
to be taught. It is the primeval consciousness of filial relation to
GOD, who alone can reveal Himself; for human language has no adequate
expression of GOD, founded as it is on the material universe, which is
the finite opposite of Creative Being. Every individual child is a
momentum of GOD's creativeness which the human Providence of education
must take as its _datum_. Only childhood symbolizes GOD as "the sum of
all being," realizing itself in joy incommensurable. Ruskin has happily
said the joy of childhood is out of all proportion to the occasions that
call forth its expression, and in order to make GOD the central
conscious truth of the child's intellect, we must give the name father
or mother to GOD, which is intelligible to the heart, and which will
identify its filial aspiration with the parental bounty, as another, yet
the same.

But what I want you to observe is, that language being limited in
meaning by its origin in material nature, you should talk about GOD as
little as possible, after having given Him the name that will excite the
child's worshipful aspiration, and limit yourselves carefully to
regulating moral manifestations, leading children to act kindly,
generously, truthfully, in your own assured faith that GOD is present to
inspire the truth, generosity, and loving _will_ that is practically
prayed for with _good resolution_. (Good resolutions are the special
prayers of faith, as children should be taught expressly.)

Kindergartners cannot carry out this course quite irrespective of the
theory of human nature declared in their creeds. But the heart is
generally larger than the creed, as was once strikingly evidenced to me
by Louisa Frankenberg, a dear, devout old German kindergartner, who had
learned the art of kindergartning from Frœbel himself, in the very
beginning of his own experimenting; but she was such a bigot to the
Lutheran Church that she could not theoretically admit as a Christian
any one who did not swear by its dogma of total depravity. Yet I
remember hearing her exclaim, "Oh, Frœbel's method is so beautiful!
because the affectionate plays and innocent occupations take the
children entirely away from the depravity of their hearts." She said
this with a gush of love and faith that showed how much the unbounded
human heart is beyond being totally eclipsed by shadows cast by the
limited human intellect. It is neither feeling or thinking, but
righteous doing, that gives us victory.[11]

The child in the first era of his life has no individual consciousness
of separation from GOD, and for a certain time it is obvious to all
observers that this august unconsciousness even prevents the immediate
development of an intellectual conception of him. The child in its
infancy (infant, you remember, means _not speaking_) does not see nature
as object, but feels it also to be himself, and hence he has no
language, for language is the expression of his intellect. Hence the
infant's sublime unconsciousness of danger and absolute fearlessness,
and its impulse to spring upward out of its mother's arms, the laws of
gravity notwithstanding! It stands, as Wordsworth has sung,--

  "Glorious in the might of heaven-born freedom on its being's height,"

and only gradually do

  "Shades of the prison-house begin to close around the growing boy."

For, as the same poet has it in that ode which is as much inspired as
anything in the sacred oracles of the Hebrew or the Christian:--

              "Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
          Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
          And even with something of a mother's mind,
                  And no unworthy aim,
          The homely nurse doth all she can
          To make her foster-child, her innate man,
              Forget the glories he hath known
                  And that Imperial Palace whence he came.

       *       *       *       *       *

              Hence, in a season of calm weather,
          Though inland far we be,
          Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
              Which brought us hither;
              Can in a moment travel thither,
          And see the children sport upon the shore,
          And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore."

The "not unworthy aim" of the "humble nurse" is to give the child the
sense of "having life in himself" as an individual free agent, so that
he may come into intellectual consciousness of the laws of GOD by going
counter to them, which reveals to him that he is separating from GOD in
his activity. This separation is _sin_, which is a short word for
separation, and the first step in the development of individuality, and
therefore pardonable, because it is finite.

Now the true religious nurture is to keep the child in the mood of
ineffable joy in which he was created, while he is evolving his sense of
individuality and free agency by experimenting freely, but more or less
painfully, so that he shall not lose sight of the central Sun, to which
everything he is slowly learning through his senses and his reflection
is related; and this must be begun by giving a name to the central Sun
that shall express the character of his inmost consciousness of joy and
love, which is his vision of GOD, and needs to be recognized as GOD in
the understanding.

In the Old Testament we see that it is the _name_ of the Lord which is
set forth as the only means of escaping that idolatry which is
destructive of progressive spiritual religion. The name of the Lord, or
Ruler, with the Hebrews was JEHOVAH, a word made up of the three tenses
of the substantive verb _to be_, "was, is, and shall be," and which
Philo, the Alexandrian Jewish philosopher, translates THE ETERNAL. It
was understood by the worshippers to be the ineffable Creative Reality,
so that when they came to the word in their sacred ritual they did not
speak it, but reverently bowed their heads in a moment's silence, or
paraphrased it, THE LORD GOD.

But Jesus, the bright, consummate flower of the Hebrew race, used the
name Father (_my_ and _our_ Father), which you may observe was original
with him. That word expressed the whole of his theology. He made no
disquisitions on GOD'S being, but simply recognized the vital relation
of mankind to its Creator by this word, which any child who has come to
see that he and his mother are two can understand and will love.

Frœbel has proved by his nursery method that the child shall get _this
idea_ and name of GOD from his mother; and at all events when children
come to the kindergarten they will generally already have heard some
name for GOD, adequate or inadequate. Now all you have to do--but that
is a great deal, indeed the greatest thing--is not to cloud the child's
intuitive knowledge of GOD by your inadequate words as was done in the
case of M. D., who was afraid of the omnipresence of GOD, as I mentioned
in my narrative of F. H., and in the case of his unfortunate mother at
her mother's funeral. In the case of little F. the mistake was not to
have given any name before his sense perceptions had made "a prison
house for the growing boy." But you have seen how the shades were
dispelled by my taking it for granted with him that a Heavenly Father
existed, which he joyfully accepted at once, for I knew that

          "In the embers was something that did live,
           And Nature yet remembers
           What was so fugitive."

The naming of GOD in the kindergarten should be in music, which is the
natural language of spirituality (or aspiration), lifting the soul above
the cold level of the intellect that cognizes the correlations of the
natural universe. Frœbel finds support of his faith in the efficacy of
song, that puts devout expression into the works of nature, in the
historical fact that the civilizing literature of all nations begins in
religious hymns. The different characteristics and the different
destinies of nations are seen in germ in the national songs, which are
in large degree and sometimes exclusively addressed to _the Powers
above_. The Li-king of the Chinese, the Rig Veda of the old Aryans, the
Puranas of the Hindus, the Garthas of the Iranians, the recently
discovered early poetry of the Egyptians, and even the magical formulas
of the Babylonians, all express with more or less exaltation of spirit
the primeval intuition of Supreme Being, and use the particulars of
material nature as words of GOD pointing to that unity of all life that
is the music of the spheres. Is it not heard in the voice of the healthy
infant, which is the most exquisite music on earth, and later seen in
the pictures made by the imagination before language that is coined by
the human understanding has introduced prosaic, that is, analytic
definitions, and drawn the human individual away from feeding its heart
on the fruits of the Tree of Life (which are music and poetry) to the
fruits of the tree of knowledge, which are evil as well as good. The
kindergarten exercises should begin and end with spiritual songs and
hymns; indeed, they should come in any time at the call of the children,
who, it will be found, will oftener call for hymns of praise than for
any other songs.

The hymns of the kindergarten repertory should be entirely free from all
that is didactic and denominationally doctrinal. Their object is not to
teach any science, whether intellectual, moral, or theological; but to
express childish joy in existence, or quicken the original childish
faith, which in all ages and nations has expressed itself in music and
the dance. Nor should the singing of hymns in kindergarten be ever
perfunctory or a thing of course. A good kindergartner begins the day
with bringing all the children into company for preliminary
conversation, and asking each in turn what is in his mind; or the class
as a whole may be asked some general question, perhaps about the
weather, which always has something beneficial that can be brought to
the attention; then they could be asked, "Could you have made this
weather? Who made it? and would you not like to thank the Heavenly
Father for it?" Something similar to this should precede all the hymns
to rouse their sense of free activity, and prevent routine, and then
they will sing with the heart and understanding also. I remember going
one day into a kindergarten with Mr. Alcott when such a preliminary
conversation was going on, which was followed by this song of the
weather, the children making the illustrative gesticulations with their
arms. They began with the weather of the day, and continued with several
varieties, for it is not often the whole song is sung at one time. The
intense delight of the children when themselves personifying the
weather, poured itself out in the chorus, which they had first learned
to sing with a will,--

          "Wonderful, Lord, are all thy works,
              Wheresoever falling.
           All, their various voices raise;
           Speaking forth their Maker's praise
              Wheresoever falling."

(See Appendix, Note F.)

Mr. Alcott, with his eyes full of tears, turned to me, and said, "This
must have an immense influence upon character." In religious
conversation children have the advantage of us in their as yet
uneclipsed original vision of GOD, and we have an advantage of them in
knowledge of outside things and the adaptation of means to ends. By this
knowledge of ours we can generally guide them to accomplish their
purposes when they are such as will really give them pleasure and do no
harm to any one else. They get our knowledge by confidingly doing as we
direct, and a confidence in the method which brings about the results
they have instinctively foreseen. We save their minds from getting lost
or bewildered in the chaos of particulars by winning their attention to
the orderly connections of things, and leading them to realize how they
connect little things in order to make larger things, and how opposites
are connected in the world around about them. To recognize their own
little plans and open their eyes to GOD's methods and plans; and because
they cause new effects, they realize that all effects have causes, and
in the last analysis realize one personal cause. They must believe in
themselves as a preliminary to believing in GOD. Let them with things
create order; and you will have influence with them in proportion to
their feeling that you respect their free will, and divine in a genial
way what they want; and this you can do if you inform yourself of what
is _universal_ in human desire, keeping your eyes open to what
modifications _their_ individuality suggests; and it is your cognizance
of these individualities which makes your part of the enjoyment. If
there are no two leaves alike, much more are there no two human
individuals precisely alike, and human intercourse is made refreshing by
these various individualities playing over the surface of the universal
race-consciousness. If you respect the individuality of a child, and let
it have fair play, you gain its confidence. Nothing is so delightful as
to feel oneself understood. It is much more delightful than to be
admired. But to give a child's individuality fair play in a company of
children, you must open children's eyes to one another's
individualities, and you will find that if you suggest their respecting
each other's rights in the plays, there is something within them that
will justify you. The consciousness of individuality is the correlated
opposite to the conscience of universality. Justice is an intuition. The
opposite poles of a human being are self-assertion or personal
consciousness on the one side, and generosity or _race_ consciousness on
the other.

We have seen that the maternal instinct, which the kindergartner is to
make her own by cultivating it, cherishes the indispensable innocent
self-assertion (which is only changed into selfishness by lack of that
social cherishing which keeps generosity wide awake to balance
self-assertion). We must sympathize with the play instincts of the
child, so that it may get knowledge of its body in its parts and its
powers of locomotion, manipulation and speech, giving self-respect to
the consciousness of power, while the simultaneous knowledge of
limitation is prevented from becoming fear by experience of the
motherly providence, which is the first comprehensible form of that love
which in due time calls forth ideal worship of the Infinite GOD, if GOD
has been adequately named in natural sympathetic conversation with an
earnest self-persuasion but without sanctimonious affectation. Unless
you have unaffected spontaneity of faith yourselves, you should not dare
to talk about GOD to the child.

The religious nurture which Frœbel proposes therefore consists simply in
so living with children as to preserve their primeval joy by tenderly
and reverently respecting it, as that human instinct prompts which is in
the highest power in the mother. Sympathetic tenderness is the first of
all means for moral culture. The child's faith in GOD must be cherished
into self-reliance. There is a self-distrust that is really a distrust
of GOD, and no harm we can do a child is so great as to lead it to doubt
its own spontaneity. The common religious teacher--even a conscientious
mother--sometimes does this, and so far from nurturing the child's
conscious union with GOD, starts a morbid self-consciousness, the
opposite of religious peace. In order not to make this mistake, let the
mother and kindergartner read and ponder Frœbel's _Mother Love_ and
_Cossetting Songs_.[12]

If you ask me what aid the moral culture derives from the religious
nurture, I reply, the name Heavenly Father, given to the inmost
consciousness, keeps the heart happy and the will self-respecting, by
preventing those indefinite fears, incident to a sense of helplessness,
which engenders selfishness. Hope and Faith are correlatives, and
conscious or necessary means of goodness (which is enacted thereby),
not agonies of will in the absence of this support. In the majority of
cases moral discouragement is the secret of children's naughtiness; and,
as Dr. Channing used to say, "there is nothing fatal to child or man but
discouragement," which often exists close beside manifestations of pride
and self-will.

When I kept school, in my earlier life, I became the confidante of many
cases of wrong-doing and conscious wrong feeling. Sometimes the
confidentialness was altogether spontaneous on the part of the children,
and in other cases I took the initiative, drawing out the confidence, by
intervening on occasion to console and help, especially when I saw that
the sensibility had been wounded, or there was moral puzzle. And my
experience and observation in this line justified the faith in which I
began to keep school; viz., that children are all _but perfectly_ good,
in all cases, and are never so grateful for anything else, when they
find themselves naughty, as for spiritual and moral help, given as _God
gives_, "upbraiding not."

When they are not grateful for moral help, it is the fault or mistake of
the grown-up counsellor. Even in the worst cases I always took it for
granted that nevertheless they loved goodness better than the naughty
self which for the hour had got the victory over the better self.
Spiritual being, whether finite or infinite, is only to be discerned by
aspiring faith. Yet I do not think it right or wise to suggest to little
children that _their_ wrong-doings, which are more weaknesses than
presumptions, are _sins against God_. Children can comprehend their
relations to each other, and the violation of each other's rights to
happiness, and can be easily led to sympathize with the pain or
inconvenience of those they make suffer, which touches their sense of
justice and generosity; they can appreciate wrong and its consequences
to their equals and to themselves in the _present life_. But GOD is too
great to be injured by them; and to bring GOD to their imagination as
personally angry with them, overwhelms thought, and annihilates all
sense of responsibility, with all self-respect. Children can comprehend
perfectly that wrong-doing, in particular cases, is an injury to
themselves, as well as a harm to their neighbor; also that they forfeit,
for the time being, their privilege of being, as it were, in partnership
with GOD in making others happy, as well as being companions with Him in
making things grow; and an occasional hint of this, when they are very
happy and successful, is well. But to suggest that they are forfeiting
this privilege of divine companionship and partnership, is quite painful
enough, be this forfeiture ever so partial. Old sinners are to be
disciplined, perhaps, by that love of GOD which speaks in the thunder,
the earthquake, and fire, breaking through the crust of selfish habit to
awaken attention to the still, small voice of conscience, in which alone
the Lord is _in person_. But the naughty child, at his worst, needs only
to think of God as sorry for him, and "waiting to be gracious," like the
father of the prodigal son.

I can illustrate this by anecdotes of a child to whose moral life I was
obliged to call in the aid of the religious sentiment, and even of the
specific Christian revelation of pardon for all past wrong repented. It
was the case of a very sensitive child of nine years of age, whose
mother was gifted with the finest imagination and moral instincts, but
was married to a cold, Dombey-like husband, whom she unfortunately
thought superior to herself, whom she idealized, and endeavored to make
her children satisfactory to his worldly ideal. The result in their
characters was more or less disastrous to each, ending with the suicide
of one. This child's conscience of the duty of satisfying both parents I
soon found to be abnormal; and her sense of her father's contempt for
her intellect, and her mother's painstaking that she should satisfy him,
so worked on her sensibility that it suspended her reasoning powers; and
no matter what it was she failed in, whether in missing an answer to a
question in arithmetic, or in failure of good temper when tormented,
she fell into despair. I endeavored to show her that a mistake in any
school exercise was no crime, but only made an occasion for her learning
more thoroughly the thing in hand, and to show her that, unless she had
fortitude to bear failures, and courage and hope to overcome them, I
could not help her out of them; and I never rebuked any naughty
manifestation of a moral character of any one in her presence, but she
would burst into tears, and tell me how much naughtier she was. One
Monday morning I asked my children, as I was wont to do, if there was
anything interesting that they had heard at church or Sunday-school the
day before, when, almost with a shriek, she cried out, "Oh, don't ask me
that." I said gently, "Come with me into my chamber," which she did,
crying all the while. "Mr. Greenwood preached about the prayers, and he
said we should not look about the church, or think of anything else,
while the service was being read; and I always do, and I can't help it,
because I am so bad." I took her into my arms, and said, "It is a sure
proof that you are not bad, that you are so distressed at the thought of
doing wrong. Bad people do not care, and so they grow worse and worse;
but your conscience seems to forget the Heavenly Father, who did not
give it to you to discourage you, but to help you to see what way you
must not go, and to remind you that He is close by to help your good
resolution, which is the prayer of your will."

"But I read in a hymn that GOD sets down everything we do wrong in a
book; and at the judgment day He will read it all out to the assembled
universe. I told a lie once."

"Did you?" said I, tenderly. "Tell me all about how you came to." "I
cannot," said she, "because then I should have to tell something bad
about somebody else, which I must not." "How long ago was it?" "It was
when we were living at ----." I saw by this that it was several years

She had a little brother, of whom she was very fond. I took hold of a
locket that she wore about her neck, that contained the hair of the lady
for whom she was named, and the memory of whose great virtues had been
impressed on her imagination, and said:--

"What if Edward should take this locket and break it, and take out the
hair and throw it in the fire?" With a great deal of energy she said:--

"He never would do such a naughty thing."

"He might do it without being naughty; he would not know that you never
could get any more of Miss ----'s hair; and he would do it from innocent
curiosity--and what if he should do it, what would you do?"

"Why, I should tell him he was a very naughty boy, meddling with other
people's things, and that he had done something that he could never make
up, for there was no more of that hair."

"Well," said I, "and I suppose you would say that, very likely crying,
and if he seeing that he had given you such pain, should begin to cry,
and should cry all the rest of the day, and cry himself to sleep, and
when he waked in the morning should begin to cry again, and should cry
all day for weeks--what would you do?"

"Why, I should tell him I was sorry to lose my locket, but I could bear
it, and he must forget about it, for he did not know what a mischief he
was doing, and I should take him out to walk, and amuse him, and do
everything to make him forget it."

"Why should you do all this?"

"Because I love him," she said.

"Do you believe you love him better than GOD loves you?"

With a look of surprise, she said, "Does GOD love us the same way we

"There is but one kind of love," I said, "and I really think He would
like to have you forget that _lie_ you told so long ago, without
thinking how wrong it was, because you were thinking of something else,
just as Edward was only thinking he wanted to see what was under the
glass of the locket."

She looked at me wistfully.

"Did you ever read about Jesus Christ in the New Testament?" said I.

"Yes, and I hate to."


"Because you know everybody says we must be like Him, and He never did
anything wrong, and I cannot be like Him, for I do wrong of all
kinds--beside that _lie_, and you know how cross I am."

"O," said I, "I do not wonder you feel discouraged if you think that you
must be as good as Jesus Christ right away, to begin with; but Jesus
Christ came into the world to say a word that is the most important word
in the New Testament, and if He had not said it, He would have done us
more harm than good with His perfect example, discouraging us entirely."

"What was that word?" she asked, with the most eager interest.

"_Pardon_," said I, "for all past wrong-doing that you are sorry for."

"Oh, Miss Peabody, I never thought of the meaning of that word before."

"Yes, darling," said I, "and that is the reason of all your trouble. Now
think of it always; and thank GOD that He sent Jesus to say it. That
_lie_ of yours GOD has pardoned long ago, just as you would have
pardoned little Edward. We all do wrong things when we are children, and
learn by doing them not to do them again. Now from to-day begin all your
life over again. When you miss in your lessons, instead of crying, just
let it go, and ask me to help you try again. So in making other
mistakes, and when you feel cross, which comes in your case because you
are so easily discouraged,--for that makes you have dyspepsia,--just
forget it as soon as possible and go and do something pleasant, and
think that GOD loves you, and only lets you do wrong to show you that
you need to be getting wisdom all the time, and you will grow stronger
continually, and the older you grow, the better you will understand."

I never knew a moral crisis in any child's life so marked as this was.
She had a very hard path in life to walk and suffered much, but she
never again lost the hope by which we live, and at length, full of
years, joined "the Choir Invisible," from which commanding standpoint
she doubtless sees the end from the beginning, and how GOD's redeeming
Providence completes His creation of a free agent. What I insist upon
is, that a child should never be left to doubt, but should always be
helped to feel _sure_ that GOD is loving him better than he loves
himself; is sorry far more than angry with him when he has done wrong,
and therefore it is that He will not let him succeed in doing wrong, but
has so arranged things that the wrong always gets checked; that GOD is
especially good precisely because He "makes the ways of the transgressor
hard." Never let the Infinite Power appear to the naughty child's
imagination as punishing, but only as encouraging, inspiring, helping!
It is recorded as characteristic of the highest manifestation of GOD and
Educator of man, who appeared to His most spiritual disciple as the
"Eternal Word made flesh," that He did not "quench the smoking flax or
bruise the broken reed," but distilled upon humanity--especially in its
flowering stage--the gentle dews of blessing,--taking little children in
His arms to bless them.

You may ask, But what if a child proves in some instances incorrigible
to the method of love? What shall we do then? I think it will be
sufficient to ask any _Christian_, What did Jesus do when the Jews
proved insensible and incorrigible to his long-suffering, brotherly
love, making it the occasion of their own capital crime? Did he abandon
the method of love when they nailed him to the cross, or even doubt it?
Let us dwell on this a little. Was it not the special trial of Jesus
Christ's human life, the last temptation through which he was
constrained by his apparent failure of accomplishing the work of
redeeming Israel, by leading them of their own selves to judge and do
what is right to cry out, My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me? For
instead of their _coming to him_ to get the waters of life he offered,
they had made it the very act of their _religion_ to murder him as a
blasphemer. I ask, Did he, even then, exchange his method of _forbearing
love for cursing_? Did he not, _even then_, hold fast to the principle
of brotherliness by commending his spirit (which was his work) into the
hands of the Father, with the words: "Forgive them, for _they know not
what they do_"; showing that he felt that this ignorance was infinitely
more pitiable than his own apparently forgotten bodily agonies? And, in
this great _humane_ act of forbearance, and _divine_ act of faith did he
not reveal in its fulness the loving character of God, whom he had
always called _Father_, and with whom he proved himself _one_ by this
very token, which converted the Jewish thief and the Roman centurion on
the spot; and which, step by step, is slowly but surely (by inspiring
his disciples with the same spirit and method of dealing with their
fellow-beings) _converting the world_? The moment of despair of an
immediate spiritual good we are trying to do, is often the moment of our
doing a higher and greater good.

As Jesus resigned his own finite will, as the son of David, which was
fixed on bringing the Jewish nation to fulfil its national mission of
"_blessing_ all the families of the earth," which he understood to be
the motive inspiration of Abraham's emigration from Babylonian
civilization into the wilderness; and as he accepted the will of his
Father, which seemed to be that the privilege to do this patriotic duty
was not granted to him as he had grown up thinking, _the will was
lifted_, and he found himself doing _more_--becoming the Saviour, not of
the _nation_ of the Jews merely, _but of all men_, and so sat down on
the right hand of GOD. For he proved himself to the _heart of all
humanity_, GOD's Son, _loving_, not for the sake of men's
_reciprocation_ and appreciation of himself, but for the sake of _the
salvation_ of humanity. Therefore Christ's method is the one for every
man and woman on all planes of activity, however humble. I have heard
more than one mother say, that when they had tried every method they
knew of to influence their child to give up some wrong object on which
the irrefragable free will was bent, and all tender and violent measures
had failed, the _irrepressible_ tears of their despairing love had most
unexpectedly melted the hardness of self-will at _once_, and _effected
the cure_. LOVE, _when it is understood_, is _irresistible_. Our sacred
oracles teach us that the origin of evil is in a doubt of GOD's love. In
Eden it was a suspicion that He had some selfish ends in forbidding even
one thing in a world of free gifts.

The conquest of evil, on the other hand, they represent, was in Jesus
Christ's trusting _God's love_, in a lost world, amidst the physical
agonies of his cross, and the moral anguish of a disappointment of the
grandest aim that ever one born of woman had set to himself for his
life-work. In faithfully trying to do the lesser good just at hand, he
developed the power to _save all men from their sins; not merely his own

To the training class of kindergartners I would say, _your_ special work
is rather to _prevent_, than to conquer sin, in the objects of your
care; therefore you should, in your own imagination, associate yourself
with _God creating_, first leading children to realize that all He has
made is _very good_ and must be kept so, which is giving the religious

That great word of Frœbel, _man is a creative_ being, has said in the
world of education, whether religious, moral, or intellectual, "Let
there be light," and is never to be forgotten in its uttermost meaning.

In this truth you will find an infinite resource of hope and successful
energy. You may think that you apprehend and accept the scope of this
pregnant word, because you do not reject it as a proposition; but
partial knowledge is often deluding, and _not doubting_ is far from
_efficient conviction_, which a comprehensive and penetrating
understanding of a principle gives. Let me illustrate this illusion of
thinking we comprehend when we do not, by some of Frœbel's gifts.

Think of the four last gifts of Frœbel in their wholeness of form, _as
cubes_. When these cubes are uncovered and you recognize them as eight,
or twenty-seven, or thirty-six wooden, solid, six-sided, eight-cornered,
twelve-edged units, and see the relations of their properties in nature,
it may seem to you as if you exhaustively knew the cube; but you do not
if you have omitted to notice one property inherent in it, more
important because pregnant with more consequences than any other
property,--I mean its _divisibility_ by means of which its possible
transformations are innumerable, every transformation presenting the
symmetry of the original in a new variety of beauty, so that if you will
give to a child one of these divisible cubes and suggest to him the clue
of the law of connecting contrasts, which is the law of all production,
he will never tire (except physically) of making the new combinations,
and seeking through each and all, that sense of a _whole_ which was the
first impression. It is by reason of its divisibility, that the cube can
be transformed infinitely. Now you may conceive the nature of man as a
whole, and observe a great many of his attributes, and yet not see the
greatest,--_his creativeness_, whose consequences are infinite.

Educational science has, in fact, generally omitted to do this in the
past, and treated a child according to the attributes it recognized;
but, because before Frœbel's day man had not been recognized by the
reflective mind as a creative being, it had not been realized that he
can be transformed, or transform himself as well as his surroundings,
infinitely, ever producing something _new_, and hence that there may be,
in the lapse of ages, as much variety in human production as there is in
God's workings in the Universe.

It is, in short, because education has not hitherto conceived of man as
_creative_, that there has been so much dead uniformity and lifeless
repetition on the plane of humanity; and that a general characteristic
of educational systems hitherto has been a mechanical running of the
human being into certain fixed moulds, not only irrespective of
individual tendencies, but antagonistic to the universal creative
impulse, which is the profoundest characteristic of man, and which, not
being understood, has, in a great measure, proved only a source of
disorder, and given a bad name with people of genius to educational art
(although it is the highest of all the high arts), its material, if you
will forgive the verbal ambiguity, being living spirit.

Richard Wagner has said that "were it not for education, all men would
be geniuses, for they are endowed at birth with the passionate pursuit
of the new, needing only liberty and opportunity for self-direction."

_Liberty and opportunity!_ There could not be a better description of
Frœbel's principle and method of education.

To give liberty and opportunity to the creative principle of the child
is just the work you have to do; but observe, this is not to leave him
to the caprices of an uneducated will. There is neither _liberty_ nor
_opportunity in that_!

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty," _moral_ as well as
political; and before the child is old enough to appreciate this, and
_be vigilant for himself_, the educator must do so _for him_, genially,
but firmly intervening to secure to his mind that _pause before action_
on the moral, the artistic, and intellectual plane, that the Friends
recognize to be necessary before acting on the spiritual plane.

The ways of caprice are multitudinous,--the way of life is _one_ for
each individual, and is pointed out to the _pausing_ attentive mind by
the Father, who speaks to us, within, forever; but whose voice can only
be heard when listened to by _intention_; even on the intellectual
plane, we do not let the will go storming on, without the guidance of
law, which is the voice of the very present Creator heard in the silence
of _reflection_ on perceived facts and truths.

There is a right and a wrong way of doing everything,--_always_. The
right way will always produce a thing of use or of beauty, whose
reaction on the mind of the producer _cultivates_ his mind, or _grows
the human understanding_; but this right way is only to be discovered in
that pause between impulse and action which is the characteristic
discrimination of man from all other animals, and must be _secured for
the child_ by the care of his educators--even when he is only playing,
or the play will tire instead of exhilarate.

Hence it is not _enough_, though it is indispensable, to guide
children's activity while it is still irreflective to spontaneously make
forms of beauty and use with its playthings and materials of occupation;
but after they have made something, you are to make them stop and look
back (not every time, but often), and _go over in thought_, and put into
words, what they have done, and lead them to observe all the properties
and relations of the thing that are obvious to the childish sense; and
when you have thus secured an impression of the means by which order is
attained, you have given an experimental knowledge of there being a
spiritual order; that is, a world of individual laws and a law-giver
independent of human will and meant to lift it into the divine. Those of
you who are _Friends_ will agree with me that human beings can manifest
no _spiritual_ beauty or moral power, except so far as they listen to
the Shepherd of souls in the holy pause of the hours of worship, a
voice always suggesting loving activity. And cannot you see, that no
artistic production, no intellectual work, is possible without
listening, in the pause of reflection for the word of the law of beauty
or use, that the Creator of the intellect gives? and which makes art and
science the worship of GOD _with the mind_?

The most important, the crowning work of the kindergartner, is to secure
to the child this moment of reflection in the midst of his play and work
on all planes of life; and you do so by sympathetically playing with him
and gently guiding his unthinking, impulsive activity, and asking him
what he has done and is _going to do_, and not letting him do anything
till he seeks to do the symmetrical or, at least, the useful thing. It
is not every movement that will produce the satisfactory result. It is
thus that the child learns that there is a greater mind than his own, or
even than his teacher's mind, present with him guiding the intellect,
for artistic principles flow into the mind from an Eternal source, _no
less_ than do moral and spiritual principles. In short, the true method
of the intellect is the perpetual _gift_ of a very present GOD, as much
as the true method of the heart and soul.

Man, then, in the last analysis, is a creative being; and the Frœbel
education has for its final object, to give him the dominion over
everything in the earth; put all the cosmic forces into his hands,--as
well as to bring him into the communion of love with his fellows; thus
lifting his whole nature to the height of sitting down with our Elder
brother on the throne, with the Universal Father.

You should keep this great idea before you, and it will enable you to
_use the technique_ that you have been learning, with a certain freedom
as well as fidelity, guiding these playful exercises in such an order as
you may find agreeable and salutary for them; and to check caprice, you
must insist that, in these appointed times, they do the appointed
things, OR DO NOTHING, for they will generally conclude to do the thing
in hand, rather than DO NOTHING while all their companions are doing
their work; and when they are doing nothing, they will have time for
reflection, and to hear the inward voice of law, with the opportunity
voluntarily to accept it. Thus does GOD give to all his children "to
have life in themselves," and to bring out their whole likeness to
Himself, which proves that they are not his bond slaves,--like the lower
animals,--but SONS. If there are not in the universe two leaves that are
alike, still less are there two souls that are alike. But leaves and
souls, after all, are alike in more than they are different. You can
provide action for all the instincts that children have in common, and
create a common consciousness to a certain extent, which is the _common
sense_; but what is peculiar to each, and makes the independent
individual, is his _own secret_, and you can only help THAT to flower
and fruitage by giving him the conditions of free, _independent action_,
opening the inward eye and sharpening the inward ear for communication
with Him who alone can adequately guide the will to the satisfaction of
all the sensibilities of the heart, and the powers of intellect, and all
the creative energies: but the religious and moral principles I shall
endeavor to _define_ are _general_, not peculiar to, but inclusive of,
the kindergarten plan of education. To have these principles clear and
disengaged from the accidental associations of the various denominations
of the church, all of which (and also with many of those outside of any
visible church) _unite in that faith in God_, and that _disinterested
love of humanity_, which was historically enacted on earth by Jesus
Christ, and _into_ which every child born on the earth should be brought
before he is old enough to appreciate those _intellectual_ distinctions
which make different _creeds_; because then the kindergartner will be
able to meet children on the high plane of life where their _angels_
(does not that mean their spiritual instincts or ideals?) behold the
face of the Father, and only then will the kindergartner practically
enter into Frœbel's method of _living with the children_, and communing
with their innocence.

I see a great deal of this practical application in the kindergartens
kept by the well-trained kindergartners; and especially when they are
_mothers_, who unquestionably make the best kindergartners (other things
being equal), because it is easier for mothers to _divine_ the
consciousness of their children. In the opening hour of the
kindergarten, when the kindergartner interchanges the songs and hymns
which the children choose, or at least agree to, with real free
conversation, in which each child has a chance to tell what is uppermost
in his little mind, the very most important work of the kindergartner is
done. It has been my privilege to listen to much of this in the
kindergartens kept severally by the mothers, who make the children feel
that they are interested in whatever they say, however apparently
trivial is the subject, and who answer genially, connecting it with
something else, and so organizing the reflective powers of the children,
that everything they think is seen to be a part of the process of moral,
religious, and even intellectual growth.

The possibility of doing this will prove to any one who has any heart
and imagination that it is no mere poetic phrase, but a profound
spiritual truth, that "Heaven lies about us in our infancy," that
children do "come from GOD who is their home, trailing clouds of glory,"
and for a time

                "are still attended
          By the vision splendid,"

although too often

          "The man beholds it die away,
           And fade into the light of common day."

Of course _all_ the opening conversation need not be on the moral and
religious planes, but some of it should lead into explanations of
nature and of the common life of this work-day world, improving
dexterity and common sense; but one can hardly talk with children about
anything, in a genuine way, that does not bring out of them some
religious or moral expression. I think it is in connection with these
conversations to which the children furnish by their spontaneous
confidences the vital points, round which the thoughts of the whole
little company shall revolve, that the teacher can connect her own

For such genuine conversation the necessary prerequisite on the part of
the teacher is a real faith in children's being the _breath of God_ in
their Essence.

Then she will not have any _will-work_ of her own, but listen to hear
what the child is attending to, be it nothing but a bit of string,
which, of course, must have a certain length that can be measured, and
with which other things may be measured, and which is made of material
that has passed perhaps through the hands of many manufacturers, and
which in its elements at least was a growth of nature, all whose works
bear witness to the being of GOD; for GOD's throne may be reached from
the ground of childish play as certainly and readily as from many a
pulpit and cathedral, if not more so.

A child whose affection for his companions and for the personages of a
story told by the kindergartner, and who sees the connection of some
little playful or other experience that he tells as his story for the
morning, is _engaged in a service of God_, more vitally bearing on his
growth in grace than any mere repetition of prayers. A play bringing out
little kindnesses, sweet courtesies, gentle self-adjustments to his
companions, the asking and giving of forgiveness for little
discourtesies or grave wrong-doings, brings the child nearer GOD than
any spoken words of worship can, the joy attending such innocent
sweetness being the proof of the vital union of his soul with a very
present GOD.

So the work of the good Samaritan, though he was doubtless _thinking_
only of the _individual_ he was comforting, and not at all of God, was
recognized by Christ as a _real act of worship_; for it was the
fulfilment of the second commandment _like unto the first_.

The time will come, I confidently believe, when all religionists of
whatever denomination will recognize that the favorite doctrines and
formalities which distinguish them from each other are a mere
superficial crust of that true spiritual life which is to be lived when
the grown-up shall all become as little children, who feel that,

          "In their work and in their play,
           God is with them all the day."

In speaking of the ceremonies of the Temple worship, which Moses made
symbolical of all the virtues of life, moral and religious, but which in
Paul's day had fallen into such a _mere_ ritual that this great Apostle
said that the _Holy Ghost was not bodily exercise_, but a hopeful,
faithful _charity of thought_, _feeling_, _and deed_; and this is what
children can be guided into from the beginning, provided the
kindergartner knows how to converse and play _with_ them instead of
talking to them and coercing them _ever so kindly_ into acting out _her_
will. The play of childhood is the most genuine and intense life that is
lived, body, heart, and will _conspiring_ entirely; and it is by
respecting the child's _will_ and _heart_ that you really help instead
of _hindering_ this unification of his threefold nature, which
corresponds to the Trinity of the Supreme Being and prevents _that_ from
becoming a bewildering tritheism in his conception.

A child cannot be _just_ unless he is _loving_, nor attain the freedom
of moral dignity unless he asserts himself; and there is no way to
nurture this self-respect except to express respect to him, by being as
courteous to him as you are to any adult, always asking him to explain
himself and his own motives, when he seems to be in the wrong, before
you condemn him.

I think I have gained some of the deepest insights I have ever had into
_Divine Truth_, by discovering what was the motive thought of some
child, who did what seemed inexplicable, till he told me, or I had
divined, his secret reason.

It is not mothers alone who can charm out of children their secret, as
those know who have seen some maiden kindergartners talk _with_ their
pupils in the opening exercises; but those who are not mothers will
always do well to observe carefully those who are. On the other hand,
mothers have to guard themselves against exaggerating their own
children's natures _comparatively_. I have known some of the best
mothers in the world _do that_, so as to be practically of bad influence
over children not their own.

Mothers who would be and can be the best kindergartners should therefore
none the less study Frœbel's science carefully and humbly.

_All_ children are alike in having the _threefold nature_. I wish I had
time to tell of a hundred kindergarten experiences that have come under
my observation, in which the respectful, genial kindergartner has
assisted in some moral development, whose occasion was very trivial to
the superficial observer.

Herein lies the importance of prefacing the school with the
kindergarten, that in it all the virtues and Christian graces can be
unconsciously practised on the plane of play, which is the moral
gymnasium of mankind.

This is the meaning of Solomon's wise saying, "Train up a child in the
way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." But
the nature, which is the image of the Divine Nature, cannot be
_mechanically_, but must be morally and spiritually, trained; that is,
addressed and treated as free agency.

The salutation of the Brahmin to his youthful son, no less than to his
equal in age, is "to the divinity which is in you I do homage." This is
one of the gleams of light from the lost Paradise in which man was
created, and to which we hope the kindergarten is to more than restore
the race, when it shall have become the universally applied principle of
culture for human beings. (See Appendix, Note F.)


[11] See George Macdonald's _Vicar's Daughter_.

[12] This unique book was the text-book Frœbel used in his
training-school. Its profound meaning, and how it points to the divine
philosophy of the instinctive play, that is the first phenomenon of
human life with mother and child, some of you have heard Miss Blow and
Miss Fisher luminously explain in a course of lectures much longer than
mine, and which I hope they may be persuaded to publish in book form.



WE speak of the necessity of studying childhood; we call children living
books of nature, and say that we cannot succeed in educating them (which
is putting them into a harmonious activity of all their powers), without
knowledge, such as a musical performer has of his instrument, of these
"harps of a thousand strings."

This fundamental knowledge of children is not chiefly a discrimination
of their individualities; though observation of these will be made by a
consummate kindergartner; it is a knowledge of what is universal in
children, essential to the constitution of human beings.

Frœbel never wrote out, in systematic form, the psychology which
underlies and gives the rational ground to all the details of his
method. But there are pregnant sentences in all his writings, and in his
sayings handed down by tradition, which give such insights, that it can
be divined with some completeness.

We propose to give such glimpses as occur to us from time to time--not
always in our own words, but as often as we can in Frœbel's, and also in
the words of other thinkers, whose guesses at this kind of truth light
up their writings on many subjects.

We must, in the first place, attend to one important fact; there is, in
the experience of childhood, somewhat pre-existent to all impressions
made by the universe, and consequently to all operations of the
understanding--perceiving, comparing, judging--for these are
intentional acts of the pre-existent soul breathed into his body and
bidden to "have dominion."--_Genesis 1._

What is this pre-existent soul, this mysterious depth of personality?

Washington Allston, in his posthumous lectures on Art, has finely said:
"Man does not live by science; he feels, acts, and judges right in a
thousand things, without the consciousness of any rule by which he so
feels, acts, and judges. Happily for him, he has a surer guide than
human science in that _unknown power within him_, without which he had
been without any knowledge." Again, he speaks of "those intuitive
powers, which are above and beyond both the understanding and the
senses; which, nevertheless, are so far from precluding knowledge, as,
on the contrary, to require--as their effective condition--the widest
intimacy with things external, without which their very existence must
remain unknown."

He does not, however, merely assert this pre-existence of the soul to
the understanding, but speaks of the evidence of it that we all can
appreciate. "Suppose," he says, "we analyze a certain combination of
sounds and colors, so as to ascertain the exact relative qualities of
the one, and the collocation of the other, and then compare them, what
possible resemblance can the understanding perceive between these sounds
and colors? And yet a something within us responds to both--a _similar
emotion_. And so it is with a thousand things, nay, with myriads of
objects, that have no other affinity but with that mysterious harmony,
which began with our being, which slept with our infancy, and which
their presence only seems to have awakened. If we cannot go back to our
own childhood, we may see its illustration in those about us who are now
in that unsophisticated state. Look at them in the fields, among the
birds and flowers; their happy faces speak the harmony within them; the
divine instrument which these objects have touched, gives them a joy,
which perhaps only childhood, in its first fresh consciousness, can
know, yet what do children _understand_ of the theory of colors, or
musical quantities?"

That this mysterious power, this feeling soul, is the _human_
characteristic, is suggested in another paragraph of these lectures.
"What, for instance, can we suppose to be the effect of the purple haze
of a summer sunset on the cows or sheep, or even on the more delicate
inhabitants of the air? From what we know of their habits, we cannot
suppose more than the mere physical enjoyment of its genial temperature?
But how is it with the man, whom we shall suppose an object in the same
scene, stretched on the same bank with the ruminating cattle, and
basking in the same light that flickers from the skimming birds? Does he
feel nothing more than the genial warmth?"--Vol. I. p. 84.

This feeling of beauty, this power which appreciates harmony, this
creative unity, in fine, this æsthetic soul, distinct from and above the
understanding (which certain philosophers seem to think is all of man,
over and above his body), is not all of the soul,--but the moral and
even merely social sentiment has the same pre-existence. Allston bears
witness to this also. He says: "With respect to Truth and Goodness,
whose pre-existent ideas, being living constituents of an immortal
spirit, need but the slightest breath of some _outward condition_ of the
true and good--a simple problem or a kind act--to awaken them, as it
were, from their unconscious sleep.... We may venture to assert that no
philosopher, however ingenious, could communicate to a child the
abstract idea of Right, had the child nothing beyond or above the
understanding. He might, indeed, be taught, like inferior animals,--a
dog, for instance,--that if he took certain forbidden things, he would
be punished, and thus do right through _fear_. Still he would desire the
forbidden thing belonging to another, nor could he conceive why he
should not appropriate to himself--and thus allay his appetite--what
was another's, could he do so undetected; nor attain to any higher
notion of Right than that of the strongest. But the child _has_
something higher than the mere power of apprehending consequences
(external?). The simplest exposition, whether of right or wrong, is
instantly responded to by something within him, which, thus awakened,
becomes to him a living voice, and the good and the true must
thenceforth answer its call. We do not say that these ideas of Beauty,
Truth, and Goodness will, strictly speaking, always act. Though
indestructible, they may be banished for a time by the perverted Will,
and mockeries of the brain, like the fume-born phantoms from the
witches' cauldron in Macbeth, may take their places and assume their
functions. We have examples of this in every age, and perhaps in none
more startling than the present. But we mean only that they cannot be
(absolutely?) forgotten; nay, they are but too often recalled with
unwelcome distinctness....

"From the dim present, then, we would appeal to that fresher time, ere
the young spirit had shrunk from the overbearing pride of the
(vitiated?) understanding, and confidently ask, if the emotions we then
felt from the Beautiful, the True, and the Good, did not seem, in some
way, to refer to a common origin? And we would also ask, if it was
frequent that the influence from one was singly felt? if it did not
rather bring with it, however remotely, a sense of something--though
widely differing,--yet still akin to it? when we have basked in the
beauty of a summer sunset, was there nothing in the sky, that spoke to
the soul of Truth and Goodness? And when the opening intellect first
received the truth of the great law of gravitation, and felt itself
mounting through the profound of space, to travel with the planets in
their unerring rounds,--did never then the kindred ideas of Goodness and
Beauty chime in, as it were, with the fabled music (not fabled to the
soul), which led you on as one entranced? And again, when, in the
passive quiet of your moral nature, so predisposed, in youth, to all
things genial, you have looked around on this marvellous, ever-teeming
earth, ever teeming alike for mind and body, and have felt upon you the
flow, as from ten thousand streams of innocent enjoyment, did you not
then almost hear them shout in confluence, and almost see them gushing
upwards, as if they would prove their _unity_ in one harmonious

It is of the last consequence that the kindergartner should take into
her mind that this æsthetic soul exists in children as a primary fact;
for, unless she believes in it, she will not respect it, and take
advantage of it in what she does for them. It is to be respected and
brought out into the understanding of children, by means of the
beautiful things which she leads them to do and make, and with which she
surrounds them; for, as Allston says, this consciousness "requires as
its effective condition, the widest intimacy with things external." When
children are continually in squalid surroundings, these seem at length
to strike in and paralyze the spontaneous action of the æsthetic being,
who is pre-existent to consciousness of the power which compares and
judges and makes up a theory of colors. And, as has been shown, this
feeling of beauty, this power of appreciating harmony and unity, this
æsthetic nature, distinct from and above the understanding, which some
people idly think to be all of man beside his body, is not all of the
soul, for the moral sentiment has the same pre-existence.

We have brought together these paragraphs taken from Allston's lectures
on Art, for the consideration of practical kindergartners, all the more
confidently, because they were not written as theory of education, but
were parts of a practical inquiry after the standard of judgment for
pictorial and plastic artists and the spectator of their works. He
sought to deliver them from the benumbing effect of inadequate
science,--for science must always be inadequate, as Newton so forcibly
expressed, when he defined it "gathering a few pebbles on the shores of
the infinite ocean of truth." The object of the lecturer was what the
kindergartner's first object should be,--to awaken the self-respect of
the eternal soul within us all, making the life of our individuality--our
personality--which, in its mysterious depth and independent
pre-existence to the finite understanding, is the image of the Divine
Personality, whose spoken word is the material universe, but clothed in
flesh becomes MAN. It is no part of the kindergartner's duty to
give--she can only awaken--the feelings of harmony, beauty, unity, and
conscience. She is to present the right order of proceeding, in all that
the child shall do, thereby assisting him to form his own understanding
so that his bodily organization may be properly developed; to let in
upon his soul _nature_ in its beauteous forms and order, and his
fellow-creatures, in their legitimate claims upon him. Then he shall
come forth from the sleep of unconscious infancy, into a progressive
consciousness of all his relations, with the blessings and duties that
belong to them. This forming of the understanding, this marrying of
finite thought to infinite love, is Frœbel's Education; and cannot be
accomplished, unless the kindergartner clearly sees what God has done
for the child absolutely, and what for an ineffable purpose,--most
gracious to the human race,--He has left to be done by human providence,
whether of the mother or kindergartner, or some other fellow-creature.

It makes a heaven-wide difference whether the soul of a child is
regarded as a piece of blank paper to be written upon, or as a living
power, to be quickened by sympathy, to be educated by truth.


WE have spoken of the evidences of the æsthetic being found in the
mysterious depths of human personality, pre-existent to the individual
understanding (which is a growth in time); and that, without there were
this æsthetic being, underlying all _individual_ consciousness, there
would be no standard of human virtue or art.

This æsthetic person has also (previous to the development of the
understanding, which makes the synthesis of himself and nature) an
impulsive force, instinct with the desire to change his conditions. Man
does not appear in the world merely as sensibility to enjoyment and
suffering; but as veritable force, as well, whose action must produce an
effect either orderly or disorderly.

The material universe is composed of forces, limiting in a measure
personal force. All material forces are uniform and necessary and
correlative in their action, which is impressed upon them from without
themselves. Man alone is self-active, and may clash with the other
forces to his own pain, and he will often do so, until by knowledge of
them he can harmonize with them, and make them his own instrumentality
to satisfy his æsthetic nature. We call this self-activity of man, which
is in such vital union with his sensibility, the human will, and it
makes the personal life of every one to learn this self-activity of his,
in its differences from and relations to all other forces, as he can
only do perfectly by keeping in intellectual and sympathetic social
relation with other æsthetic persons. In every individual case, he finds
himself in these relations with fellow-beings who have more or less of
the knowledge he has not; and some of them have all the responsibility
of his actions until he has begun to know himself in discrimination from
the material universe and its fixed relations and laws, which serve as a
fulcrum for his own effective action among them. The one central unity
whose æsthetic being and will are inclusive of himself and fellow-beings
as subject, on the one hand, and of the material universe as object, on
the other, is God.

The absoluteness of man as a force, is no less certain because he is
finite and not omnipotent. God is the omnipotent maker of the material
universe, but man is not absolutely made; he is a cause, that is,
_created to make_, if we may credit the ancient prophet, whose hymn of
creation is the most wonderful expression of human genius, unless it be
surpassed by the proem of St. John's Gospel, which is a correspondent
poem, with God for its theme instead of man and nature.

It was not till the embryo man had become, in one instance at least, the
fully developed man, that this hymn of the Creator was possible. God's
word (revelation of himself) was in the world, embodied in the things
made from the beginning; but until it was embodied in a man, free to
will, it was truth in the form of law only (_regulative_), not yet in
the completer form of love (_creative_). In short, before St. John could
sing that divine song, he must have seen God in a man, full of grace and
truth, dwelling among men as a fellow-man, and overflowing with a power
at once sympathetic and causal.

God created man, male and female (that is, giving and receiving
equally), to be keepers of each other, and to educate each other. They
may tempt and fail each other by presumption as Eve, and want of
self-respect as Adam, are represented to have done, at the beginning; or
may save and redeem one another, as the cherished son of Mary
historically did in a measure, and is doing forevermore, by inspiring
all who know him, to educate and redeem each other.

In coming into relation with infant man, to educate him, it is
indispensable to appreciate his freedom of willing, which is a primeval
fact, as much as his susceptibility of suffering and enjoyment. The
educator ought to embody God in a measure, and treat the will of the
child that is to be educated, on the same grand system of respecting
individual freedom, as must needs flow from Infinite love. Let him
clothe law in love, and instead of rousing fear of opposition, awaken
the hope of becoming a beauty-creating and man-blessing power.

This is the _rationale_ of Frœbel's method of government. He assumes
that the child is--not to be made by education a sensibility, but--an
infinite sensibility already, and to be vivified into individual
consciousness thereof, by the knowledge of nature to which you are to
give him the clue;--not to be made by your government of him, a power of
creating effects, but already an immeasurable power of creating effects
(that is, causal)--which you are to make him feel responsible for, by
helping him to get experimental knowledge of the laws that obtain in
God's creation.

For it is knowledge of laws that is the first thing attainable--not
knowledge of objects. A child's senses are the avenues of the knowledge
of objects; his self-activity is the avenue of the knowledge of laws. He
must have experimental knowledge of laws before he can begin to have
knowledge of objects, because his impulsive activity is the means of
developing his organs of sense, by which he becomes capable of receiving
impressions from objects of nature; and his own effective action
produces the objects outside of his organs which first command his
interested attention, and rouse his powers of analysis, or by which his
powers of analysis are roused through your educating intervention.

It is the maternal nursing of body and mind which educates the free
force within to produce transient effects, and finally objects,
agreeable to the sensibility. Even before the will is educated to
causality, it exerts itself, because exertion is agreeable to human
sensibility; but when left uneducated, the will brings about effects
that prove disagreeable ultimately, if not immediately, to the æsthetic
being, paralyzing it more or less, if the organization be feeble; and
perverting it when it is strong; in either case, whether crushing or
exasperating it, producing selfishness, the germ of all evil.

Thus evil begins in the social sphere, in the disorderly action or in
the neglect of those who have in charge the æsthetic free force of the
child, compelling it to revolve on its own axis in a vain endeavor to
obtain the satisfaction of its æsthetic nature, which it ought to obtain
through the generous cherishing action of others' love, carrying it
round the central sun in human companionship. The soul instinctively
expects love, and to do so, and to act out love intentionally, is its
salvation, its eternal life. There is no signature of immortality so
sure as the immeasurable craving for love on the one hand, and the
immeasurable impulse to love on the other hand, which characterizes man;
for the satisfaction of the craving is no greater joy than the
satisfaction of loving.

It is because death _seems_ the cessation of relation with our kind,
that it is the king of terrors. When the disease or decay of the body
curtails relations and makes us solitary, or incapable of enjoying
relations, death is not dreaded, but craved as relief. To whomever it
seems the beginning of wider relations, it is hailed as the revealing
angel of God. Isolation is the horror of horrors. It was one of the
primal intuitions that "it is not good for man to be alone." The nurse
should remember this, and not leave the baby to feel lonely. Every
mother and real nurse knows that when the baby begins to be uneasy and
gives a cry of dissatisfaction,--to come near with a smile, to make
one's presence felt by a caressing tone, or to take the infant in their
arms, will comfort it, bringing back the joyful sense of life--a word
which signifies active relation;--and, in its highest sense, spiritual
relation. _Life_, _love_, and _liberty_ are identical words in their
radical elements. There is no love without liberty, nor fulness of life
without love.

The liberty of man, or his freedom to will, though it gives him the
power to dash himself against antagonizing law, is the proof of infinite
love to man in the Creator,--a love which must needs outmeasure all the
evil he can do himself or others; for evil provokes others' love for our
victims, and is self-limited, by reason of the pain it brings, sooner or
later, on him who does it, and the desire for infinite love which it
defines and stimulates.

Man and nature are the contrasts which God connects and harmonizes. He
presents nature to the mind as immutable law, but before the
understanding is formed to apprehend law, He emparadises the child in
the love of the mother. In short, the human race embodies love to the
soul, before the universe (which embodies law) is yet apprehended. The
heart that apprehends love, is older than the mind which apprehends law;
and it is because it is so, that man _feels free_. When man becomes mere
law to man, instead of love, he feels he is enslaved.

These are the most practical truths for the kindergartner. If these
propositions are truths (and their evidence is the explanation they give
of the mysteries of sin and redemption, both of which are unquestionable
facts of human history, according to the testimony of all nations), then
let her see to it, that in her relation with the children of her charge,
she never so presents the law, as to obscure the love, which it is the
primal duty of men to embody and manifest to each other.

But, on the other hand, do not keep back the law; for the law, too, is
one expression of the Creator's being. What is law? It is the order of
the beauteous forms of things, which, when appreciated as God's order,
becomes a stepping stone to his throne. For God proposes to share his
throne with us, if we may trust another primeval intuition of the human
mind, viz., that God commands man, male and female, that is, men in
equal social relation, to "have dominion" over all creation, below man.

The human being not only craves liberty and love instinctively, but law
also; he "feels the weight of chance desires," and "longs for a repose
that ever is the same." This is the _rationale_ of Frœbel's method in
the occupations; he suggests the child's action, sometimes by
interrogation merely, instead of directing it peremptorily. He asks the
child, when he has done one thing, what is the opposite? which itself
suggests the combination of opposites, that immediately produces a
symmetrical effect. The child enjoys the symmetry all the more, if he
feels as if he personally produced it. This is the secret of his love of
repetition. He wants to see if by the same means he can again produce
the same effect. He does the thing again and again, till he feels that
he does it all of himself. He does not want you to help him even with
your words (and you never should help him _except_ with words). If a
child acts from a suggestion, he feels free,--but if he produces the
same effect, or a similar effect, without your suggestion, he has a
still more self-respecting sense of power; and his will becomes more
consciously free the more he chooses to put on the harness of order.

The kindergartner will sometimes have a child put under her care whose
will has been exasperated by arbitrary and capricious treatment, or who
has been made to act against his inclination till he has reacted, out of
pure _contrariness_, as we say. This contrariness proves that he has
been outraged; perhaps in some instances the effect has been produced by
not feeding his mind with knowledge of law. The very violence of the
evil may show that he is an exceptionally fine child, with an enormous
sense of power that he does not know what to do with because the proper
educational influence has failed him. In other cases obstinacy may be a
reaction against the vicious will of another, who, instead of offering
him the bread of law, has presented to him the stone of his own
stumbling. It is indispensable to give the child law, as well as love;
but when you are doubtful whether you can genially suggest the law,--at
all events express the love; and never substitute for the law your own
will. The law which produces a good or beautiful effect, is God's will;
your will is not creative of the child's will like God's; its best
effect is to stimulate the antagonism of the child's, when the latter is
feeble, which it sometimes is by reason of physical mal-organization, or
by having been crushed by overbearing management, or vitiated by selfish

I may be told that if Frœbel's education is wholly of a genial, coaxing
character, it fails of being an image of the Divine Providence, which is
an alternation of attractions and antagonisms, speaking now in the music
of nature, and now in thunders and lightnings, not only cherishing the
heart with love, but stimulating the will with law; and be warned not to
enervate the character, by producing an æsthetic luxury of sentiment, by
which the personal being shall stagnate in the worst kind of
selfishness--the passive kind. This objection might be pertinent, if the
kindergarten were to be protracted beyond the era to which Frœbel limits
it. Certainly the time comes, when the finite will should be
antagonized, if need be, by the law of universal humanity. The purest,
most loving, most disinterested will known to human history, recognized
that there might be a _wiser_ will, not to be doubted as still more
loving; and said, "Not my will, but Thine be done,"--"Into Thy hands I
commend my spirit" (my free causal power). But let the kindergartner
remember she is not infinitely wise and good, and beware of enacting the
sovereign judge. There is no doubt that an exclusively cherishing
tenderness should be the law of the nursery, with no antagonism
whatever, because at that age it is a wise self-assertion which we wish
to develop. We therefore act _for_ the infant, having secured his acting
_with_ us by our genial encouragement. But this is no argument for
continuing to act for him, when he can act with consciousness of an
individual life. We must not prolong babyhood into the kindergarten; or,
at least, we must begin to engraft personal consciousness upon it, by
_playing_ little antagonisms merely. And so, it is no argument against
the play of kindergarten that it does mature men. Let the children play
with complete earnestness, but, as Plato says, "according to laws," and
they will all the more likely seek laws when they come into wider

The development of the consciousness of man is serial. In the nursery we
coax the child to exercise the various muscles by playfully duplicating
their action; we make him _make believe_ walk, impressing his senses, as
it were, with the whole operation as an object. The child first
experiences the pleasure of movement, then desires to move for the sake
of renewing this pleasure; then enjoys your helping him to do what he
has not yet the bodily strength and skill to accomplish; and finally
wills to take up his body and make his first independent step. This is
the first crisis in the history of his individuality, and every mother
knows it is the cheer of her magnetizing faith that enables him to pass
through it. He then repeats the action intentionally, simply because he
can; enjoying the exertion he makes all the more if, by your care, he
has not begun to walk too soon and experienced the pain of numerous
falls, from want of guardian arms and supporting hands. Such pains
disturb and haunt his fancy, and dishearten him. Courage and serene joy
give strength and enterprise to activity.

The nursery and kindergarten education are the preliminary processes
which foreshadow all the processes of the Divine Providence. Therefore,
even in the nursery we _play_ antagonizing processes. We heighten the
child's enjoyment by making him conscious of isolation a moment, to
restore, as it were, with a shout, the delightful sense of relation; for
the baby likes to have a handkerchief thrown over his head unexpectedly,
and suddenly withdrawn again and again. So we sometimes pretend to let
him fall, and just when he is about to cry with alarm, catch him again
and kiss him.

Frœbel in his nursery plays has several of this nature; and as children
grow older they play antagonisms spontaneously, which are beneficial
just so far as they elicit the consciousness of individual power; but
are harmful if, proceeding too far, they show its limitations painfully,
and make the child feel himself a victim.

In the kindergarten season various sensibilities are manifest that have
not shown themselves in the nursery, and which are premonitions of the
destined dominion over material nature, which at first so much dominates
the child, and would destroy his body if you did not intervene with your
loving care. These are to be mothered in the kindergartner's heart till
they become conscious desires, informing and directing his will, which
is encouraged and strengthened--if it is never superseded by your
will--until he shall begin to realize his personal responsibility. Then,
as he took his body into his own keeping when he began to run alone, so
now he will take his character into his own hands to educate, and he
will do it all the more certainly and energetically, if he feels you to
be an all-helping, all-cherishing, all-inspiring friend, which you must
needs be if you are open to feel and wise to know God's love to you, in
making you His vicegerent to give glimpses, at least, of the
immeasurable love of God, in giving the inexorable laws of nature, for
the fulcrum of the power that He pours into His children in the form of
will; and which obeys Him just in proportion as it keeps its freedom to
alter and alter and alter, till there is no longer any evil to be
conscious of, and men shall have got the dominion over nature, which
consists in using it for all generous purposes, in a universal mutual
understanding with one another. To be in the progressive attainment of
this high destiny, is the growing happiness of man; a happiness which
must ever have in it that element of _victory_, which distinguishes the
eternal life of Christ from the nirwana of Buddha.


WE have been asked by one of the students of Frœbel's art and science,
what books we should recommend to help her to a fuller knowledge of the
subjects on which we gave a few hints in our first and second paper of

In reply, we would first say, that it is a needed preparation for any
study of books on intellectual and moral philosophy, to look back on our
own moral history and mental experience, and ask ourselves what was the
process of our moral growth, and the circumstances of the formation of
our opinions; that is, what action of our relatives, guardians, and
companions, had the best--and what the worst--practical effects upon our
characters; what aided and what hindered us? Every fault in our
characters has its history, having generally originated in the action of
others upon us; sometimes their intentional action, which may have been
merely mistaken, or may have been wilfully selfish and malignant; and
sometimes an influence unconsciously exerted. On the other hand, much of
our life that has blest ourselves and others, can be referred to
spontaneous manifestations of others, having no special reference to
ourselves; generous sentiments uttered in felicitous words, generous
acts recorded in history, or done in the privacy of domestic life; great
truths bodied forth in imaginative poetry, over which our young hearts
mused till the fire burned.

This empirical knowledge of the great nature which we share, is a living
nucleus that will give vital meaning to any true words with which
scientific treatises on the mind are written; and a power to judge
whether the writer is talking about facts of life, or mere abstractions,
out of which have died all spiritual substance, leaving only "a heap of
empty boxes." In no department of study are we more liable to take words
for things than in this. Abstraction is the source of all the false
philosophy and theology which has distracted the world. Generalizations
are of no aid--but a delusion and a snare--unless the mental and moral
phenomena, from which they are derived, have been the writer's
experiences, personal or sympathetic. Such experiences are as
substantial as material things, to say the least; and even they do not
do justice to the whole truth, which is--if we may so express it--the
vital experience of God. Hence is the Living Word to which human
abstractions can never do justice; being, indeed, but the refuse of
thought, "a weight to be laid aside" and forgotten, like a work done, as
we stretch forward to the prize of truth, which is our "high calling."

In Book II. chapter vii. of Campbell's _Philosophy of Rhetoric_, there
is a section headed, "Why is it that nonsense so often escapes being
detected, both by the writer and reader?" It explains with great
perspicuity the uses and abuses of our faculty of abstraction, which is
not a spiritual, but merely an intellectual faculty. I would commend
this essay (and indeed, for several reasons, the whole book) to a
student of intellectual philosophy. A great deal may be learned upon
this subject, also, from an Essay on Language, printed a second time
with some other papers, by Phillips & Sampson, Boston, in 1857, and
probably still to be found in old bookstores, if it be not reprinted by
its author, R. L. Hazard.

On the subject of my second paper of _Glimpses_ the same author has
written two books, one published by D. Appleton, in New York, in 1864,
_The Freedom of the Mind in Willing; or, Every Being that wills, a
Creative First Cause_; and in 1869, Lee & Shepard, Boston, published, as
supplement, _Two Letters on Causation and Freedom in Willing, addressed
to John Stuart Mill, with an Appendix on the Existence of Matter, and
our Notions of Infinite Space_.[13]


IF the spontaneous will of man, and its heart with its latent love,
hope, and sense of beauty and justice, are without date,

                        "An eye among the blind,
          That deaf and silent reads the eternal deep,
          Haunted forever by the eternal mind,"

yet there is no doubt that the human understanding, as well as the body,
begins in time, and gradually identifies the individual for
communication with other individuals of its kind. The beginning of the
human understanding is in the impressions of an environing universe,
against which the sensibility reacts, and by this activity develops the
organs of sense, which are the connection of those two great contrasts,
the soul and the outward universe. For perceptions of sense are the
instrumentality by which the will vivifies the heart, so disposing the
particulars of the surrounding universe as to give the definite form of
_thoughts_ to consciousness. The human being has no absolute knowledge
like the lower animals, who are passive instrumentality of God to
certain finite ends below the plane of spirituality. Created for the
infinite ends of intelligence, and free communion with one another and
God, men need to become conscious of the whole process of their own
being, and do so by a gradual conversation with God, who is forever
saying, by the universe, which is his speech, I AM. And here education
begins its offices, by helping man to reply THOU ART, which he does by
his legitimate art. But no one man can utter the _thou art_ of humanity
adequately. It takes all humanity forever and ever to do so; and it does
not do so but just so far as the men who compose it are in mutual
understanding and communion with each other. Therefore each child must
be taken by the hand by those already conscious, and led to realize his
own consciousness by learning that of his fellows.

In the action and reaction of the individual with his special
environment, he comes to distinguish himself from that which gives him
pleasure and pain, and he will be attracted to the former, and repelled
from the latter; and thus come to discriminate outward things from each
other. The observation and discrimination of the particulars of nature
is _thinking_. Sensuous impressions are the raw material of thoughts,
but discrimination and classification of things according to their
similarities, is the _operation_ of thought.

Education has an office in both the accumulation of sensuous impressions
and the operation of thinking. The mother and nurse of each child must
so order the objects about him, that his organs shall be properly
impressed, and not overtaxed, because only so can they grow to be a good
instrumentality for receiving even more delicate impressions. A tender
sympathy for the unconscious little one, who is gradually coming to
identify himself, and love,--such as only a mother can have in the
greatest perfection,--are the special qualifications of the educator at
this stage. Such a knowledge of nature's laws and order, as may enable
the educator to lead the child's activity according to law and order,
can alone help the child to reproduce, on his finite plane, an image of
God's creative action. The educator who should succeed the nurse is the
kindergartner, who, without lacking the sympathetic affection of the
nurse, must add a knowledge of nature both material and spiritual, so
that she may bring these opposites into their right connection with each

She will therefore lead the child to _produce_ something that shall
serve as a ground for the operation of thinking. Instead of letting the
blind will spend its energy in wild and aimless motion, she will present
a desirable aim to attain, which will produce an effect that shall
satisfy the heart, and produce an object that shall engage the
attention, and stimulate to a reproduction of it, until it is thoroughly
known, not only in its natural properties, but in the law of its being,
which was the child's own method of producing the thing.

The genesis of the understanding, then, is, first, sensuous impression,
which, reproducing itself intentionally, becomes, secondly, perception;
and, thirdly, an adapting of means to ends, and thereby rising into
judgment and knowledge. To get understanding precedes getting knowledge,
which is the special work of the understanding when it is developed.

There is another faculty of the individual, besides understanding, and
which is to be discriminated from it--fancy. Vivid and clear sensuous
impressions are the foundation of fancy, as well as of understanding.
But the will, acting among these impressions in a wild and sovereign
way, is fancy; while the will arranging impressions according to the
order of nature, is understanding. Frœbel has provided for the
development of the understanding the occupations, as he calls the
regular _production_ of forms, transient and permanent. Nothing can be
produced which satisfies the æsthetic sense, except by following the
laws of creation. To analyze these productions will give experimental
understanding of those laws. In superintending the occupations, the
kindergartner must, therefore, see that the child does things in the
right order, and gives an account of what he does in the right words;
for words, the first works of human art, have a great deal to do with
the development of the understanding, lifting man into a sphere above
that of the mere animal. After a thing is made, or an effect produced
and named, it must be made a subject for analysis; and it can easily be
made so, because children's attention is easily conciliated to what they
themselves have done or produced. Putting their own action into a thing,
makes it interesting to them; and they can make an exhaustive analysis
of it, because, in addition to its appearances, they know the law of its
being, which was their own method, and the cause of its being, which was
their own _motive_. From analyzing their own works, children can, in due
time, be led to analyze works of nature. And here the kindergartner has
great room for the exercise of judgment, in the selection of suitable

Frœbel advised that objects for lessons should be taken from the
vegetable creation; and that children should be interested in planting
seeds and watching growth, becoming acquainted with its general
conditions, observing which are within the scope of their own powers to
provide, and which are beyond human power; thus leading the
understanding through nature, outward and inward, to God.

If we see that the work done is artistic, and that the objects of nature
analyzed are beautiful, this culture of the understanding may refine and
elevate the taste, and beautify the fancy.

For the fancy is to be carefully cherished by the kindergartner. It is
not amenable to direct influence perhaps, but not beyond an indirect
influence. The soundness of the understanding is conducive to a
beautiful play of fancy, which is a peculiarly human faculty; for we
have not a particle of evidence that any animal below man has this kind
of thinking, which delights in transcending the facts of nature in its
creations, and sometimes sets the laws of nature at defiance. But we
must defer to another paper the many things we have to say in regard to
the imagination and its culture.


WE have given a few hints by way of answering the questions on
psychology, which must come up, to be considered by a kindergartner who
is intent on understanding the "harp of a thousand strings," from which
it is her duty to bring out the music.

We have found that the human being comes into the world with an æsthetic
nature, which is to be vivified by the presentation of the beauties of
nature and art, in such a way as to insure reaction of the will in
creations of fancy; for only so can sensibility to beauty be prevented
from degenerating into sensuality. If the fancy remains wholly
subjective, it loses its childish health and leads astray. It should
have objective embodiment in song, dance, and artistic manipulation of
some sort. Now, artistic manipulation of any kind necessitates the
examination of natural elements and the discovery of the laws of
production, which are, of course, identical with the organic laws of
nature that bear witness to an intelligent Creator.

To excite the human understanding to appreciate names, and classify
things for _use_ and giving pleasure, it is necessary to present things
to children gradually, first singly, and then in simple rhythmical
combinations, so that they may have time to find themselves personally,
and not be overwhelmed with a multitude of impressions. A real lover of
children will quickly find out that they like to take time "playing with
things," as they call it; and that there is a special pleasure in
discovering differences in things; that a new distinct perception of any
relation of things delights the child, as the discovery of a principle
delights the adult mind. The fanciful plays of the kindergarten, whether
sedentary or moving, cultivate the imagination, the understanding, and
the physical powers in harmony, and more than this, they cultivate the
heart and conscience, because the moving plays have for their
indispensable condition numbers of their equals, and everything they
make is intended for others. The presentation of persons, as having the
same needs and desires of enjoyment as themselves, proves sufficient to
call into consciousness the heart and conscience, just as immediately
and inevitably as the presentation of nature and art calls into activity
the understanding and imagination.

Because nature and human kind are so _vast_ that, as a whole they daunt
the young mind, even to the point of checking its growth, it is
necessary that some one, who has had time to analyze it in some degree,
should call attention to points; and it is the consummate art of
education to know what points to touch, so that the mind shall make out
the octave; for, unless it does so, it will not act to purpose. As
exercise of the limbs is necessary to physical development, and the act
of perceiving, understanding, and fancying, with actual manipulation of
nature, is necessary to intellectual development; so is kindness and
justice acted out, to the development of the social and moral nature or

But there is something else in man than relations to external nature and
fellow-man. This self-determining being, who moves, perceives,
understands, fancies, loves, and feels moral responsibility to the race
in which he finds himself a living member, is only consciously happy
when he is magnanimous, which he can only be, if he feels himself a free
power in the bosom of infinite love; in short, a son of the Father of
all men! "We are the offspring of God" is the inspiration alike of
heathen poet and Christian apostle.

As the psychological condition of the human love which is man's social
happiness, is that sense of individual want and imperfection which
stimulates the will to seek the mother and brother; so the psychological
condition of the piety which makes man's beatitude, is the sense of
social imperfection, in respect both to moral purity and happiness,
stimulating the will to seek a Father of all spirits. The more we love,
the more we feel the need of God. But is God nothing but "an infinite
sigh at the bottom of the heart," as Feuerbach, the holiest of infidels,
sadly says? or, as in thinking, we discover the entity we name I; so in
loving, do we not discover God, or rather does not God reveal Himself to
us, as Essential Substance? Wordsworth declares that

          "Serene will be our days and bright,
             And happy will our nature be,
           When love is an unerring light,
             And joy its own security;
           And blest are they, who in the main,
           This faith even now do entertain,
           Live in the spirit of this creed,
           Yet find _another strength_ according to their need."

"That other strength" is to be found, as he had already sung in that
same great song, in Duty--"daughter of the voice of God,"

                              "Victory and Law
          When empty terrors overawe;
          From vain temptations doth set free,
          And calms the weary strife of frail humanity!"

Conscience, then, is the soul's witness, first of the relation of the
individual to the human race; and ultimately, of the relation of the
human race to God; and it must be inspired with knowledge of the sonship
of the human race to the Universal Father, or human life is bottomless
despair. But with that knowledge which God must give (since man cannot
reach it with his own understanding) he shall be able, even on the
cross, to love the most ignorant brother infinitely; and infinitely to
trust that the Father of all will justify his spirit in acting


[13] In the first of these last two books, Mr. Hazard has made an
examination of Edwards on the Will, and the only satisfactory reply to
his argument for Necessity ever made. Very early in life, the task of
answering Edwards was given him, by the late William E. Channing, D.D.,
who read his first edition of _Language_, and was so much struck with
the metaphysical genius displayed in it, that he sought out the
anonymous author on purpose to make this suggestion. He found him a
clerk in his father's great manufactory, to whose business he afterwards
succeeded, and he was engaged in it until he was an old man. All his
books are a proof that _business_ may be as good a disciplinarian of the
higher intellect as scholastic education, to say the least.



IN 1872 the first training school for kindergartners was founded in
England by the Manchester Kindergarten Assoc.

To the prospectus is subjoined the following statement:--

The aim of the kindergarten system of training, intended for young
children up to the age of seven, when school-teaching _proper_ should
begin, is to prepare for all subsequent education. A short examination
of the system will show that it is in idea far superior to any other
method of early training, while experience proves that its pupils acquit
themselves well even under plans most dissimilar. The theory of the
kindergarten is that every exertion of the faculties, whether of body or
mind, will be healthful and pleasurable, so long as such exertion takes
place without compulsion, without appeal to selfish motives, with no
more than necessary restraint. The experience of parents and teachers
may be appealed to as proving that children enjoy their employments
most, and learn best, when associated in numbers.

The kindergarten, therefore, gathers children together in numbers, which
vary with class and other circumstances, and proceeds to exercise, on a
plan most carefully reasoned out, all limbs and muscles of the body by
marching, gymnastics, and regulated games; to practise all the senses,
and tastes that depend directly upon the senses, by drawing, singing,
modelling in clay, and many most beautiful "occupations," which in
addition arouse invention--one of the highest human faculties. The
intellectual powers, being in a rudimentary condition, are less directly
called into action; but the faculties of number and form, along with
skill of hand, are so developed that the learning of "the three R's"
becomes incredibly easy. Above all, good feeling is exercised and evil
feeling checked, by happy social life, in which the tender plants of the
kindergarten see that each one's happiness depends upon all, and that of
all on each.

Sedulous attention is paid to the effect of each employment upon
children of different temperaments. Sanitary conditions are most
carefully observed, and unflagging interest is secured by frequent
changes of occupation.

Wherever the kindergarten has been fairly tried, its results have been
lively enjoyment by the little pupils of their "school" hours, and
readiness to receive not as drudgery, but with delight, all
opportunities of acquiring knowledge. This readiness, it is believed,
would less often change into a hatred of lessons, if the subsequent
school-teaching did not too commonly despise those indications of
natural taste and fitness which Frœbel, in his system, has carefully
interpreted and obeyed. The kindergartens for the poor, already
established at Queen Street, Salford, and in the Workpeople's Hall,
Pendleton,--where visitors are at all times most heartily
welcomed,--will convince any one that this system is able to give a
truly humanizing and religious training to children of the least favored
class, gathered in large numbers even out of very neglected homes. By
inspecting these schools also, intelligent persons will form an idea of
the ingenuity and beauty of the processes by which this natural and
simple training is effected. Thus too will be understood, that the
kindergarten system, which in relation to its pupils is the simplest and
easiest possible because it travels along, not athwart, their natural
tastes, is, as respects its professors, very far removed indeed from
every-day facility and _rule of thumb_. It demands in those who aspire
to teach, a sincere love of children and an earnest devotion to duties
which bring much pleasure when well performed, and it demands besides
that they be willing to give up sufficient time and labor to become
thoroughly instructed in the principles, and sufficiently practised in
the use, of a machinery which, while beautifully simple in idea, is
complicated in detail. A great and increasing demand for teachers
thoroughly trained in this system exists, as well for families as for
kindergarten schools proper, and for infant schools commonly so called.
To supply this demand is the purpose of the training school.


_Letter from Michelet to the Baroness Marenholtz von Bülow._

                                                    MARCH 27, 1859.

By a stroke of genius Frœbel has found what the wise men of all times
have sought in vain,--the solution of the problem of human education.
And again: Your first explanation made it clear to me that Frœbel has
laid the necessary basis for a new education for the present and future.
Frœbel looks at human beings in a new light, and finds the means to
develop them according to natural laws, as heretofore has never been
done. I am your most faithful advocate, and speak constantly with
friends and acquaintances about this great work that you have
undertaken. Several journalists and writers will mention it in their
papers. Dispose of all my power to aid you. The ambassador of Hayti,
Monsieur Ardoin, minister of instruction, is ready to return to Port au
Prince, and wishes to make your acquaintance. He will come to see you
to-morrow. For the inhabitants of that island, in process of
reorganization, Frœbel's method may do a great deal. I have asked
several persons to aid in this work. Niffner and Dolfus are writing, at
present, a great work on education, and will be happy to give a place to
your cause. I send you a letter for Isodore Cohen; you must see him.
You, personally, can do more than all speeches, recommendations, and
writings together. I shall come to you shortly to hear more about
Frœbel. I would like to have a comparison drawn between him and
Pestalozzi. Your written communications interest me highly. Let me have
some German works about Frœbel. I read German and know how to guess at
incomprehensible things. I would like to know about the continuation of
his method for more advanced years, especially for girls, and await
impatiently the appearance of your manual. The more I investigate the
heads of children of different ages, the more important Frœbel's method
appears to me, as it begins in early childhood, when the most important
changes in the brain take place. All my sympathies are with your work.

_Letter from the Abbe Miraud, author of voluminous works, one of them
being "La Democratic et la Catholicisme."_

                                                         JULY, 1858.

We have to fulfil a great mission in common. I shall be most happy to
procure for Frœbel's theory, _which I accept fully_, a hearing. To
appreciate this theory in all its grandeur, richness, and utility, the
shade of pantheism it seems to contain is no hindrance to me; it seems
inseparable from the German mind. I accept the obligation to work for
the ideas of Frœbel according to my ability, of course within the limits
of orthodox Catholicism, to which I am devoted from faith and reason.
You must certainly go with me to Rome, that we may work together there.
If you resolve to do so, I will meet you at Orleans. You would find in
Rome a good opportunity for _propaganda_. My friends there would aid us,
but without your presence nothing can be done. Italy needs a
regeneration by education. Let us work where the most rapid diffusion is

_Mons. A. Guyard, a Parisian author writes:_

                                                      JUNE 14, 1857.

The more I hear you about Frœbel's method, the more my interest
increases, and the deeper my conviction becomes that by this means a
basis is laid for a new education for the salvation of humanity. Accept
my warmest and most sincere wishes for the propagation of Frœbel's
method. He is great, perhaps the greatest philosopher of our time, and
has found in you what all philosophers need, that is, a woman who
understands him, who clothes him with flesh and blood, and makes him
alive. I think, I believe, indeed, that an idea in order to bear fruit,
must have a father and a mother. Hitherto, all ideas have had only
fathers. As Frœbel's ideas are so likely to find mothers, they will have
an immense success. When the ideas of the future have become alive in
devoted women, the face of the world will be changed.

          _Lamarche of Paris, philanthropist and writer on
          social and religious subjects, after listening to
          the lectures upon Frœbel given by Madam Marenholtz
          in Paris, wrote  on:_--

                                              PARIS, March 4, 1856.

Your last lecture has unmistakably shown that Frœbel's method, in a
religious point of view, surpasses everything that has hitherto been
done in education. And this is the main point from which a method of
education is to be judged for its aim is to awaken love to God and
man--the foundation upon which Christianity rests. Education has
hitherto done little to awaken this love of man in the young soul, from
which all piety flows. This is the reason we find so much skepticism and
indifference in human society, and which is the source of most of the
existing misery, and of the want of order and lawfulness. These sad
results are the condemnations of those methods of education that
suppress the human faculties, or force them into wrong channels, or
arbitrarily superimpose something instead of aiding free development. It
is the sad mistake of our moralists who, without faith in a Heavenly
Father, do not understand human nature, and replace _revealed_ religion
with human tenets.... Frœbel has found the missing truth, in first
awakening the child's senses and capacities by the simplest means, and
making him feel in nature the loving Creator, before he taxes his
intellect with religious dogmas, which are beyond the intellect of
childhood, and only confuse it. To lead it through the love of God, the
Heavenly Father of us all, to the love of the neighbor, by acting and
doing, is the natural and simple way which Frœbel has pointed out, and
we shall owe it to him, if before our children are four or five years
old, before they can read books, they learn the great law of humanity,
_Love to God and the neighbor_.

Again: Frœbel's discovery, or invention, furnishes the means to follow
the natural order of all development for human beings, by which alone
they will come to the knowledge of, and at last to union with, their
Heavenly Father. This is the way which Christianity prescribed eighteen
hundred years ago, but into which education has not understood how to
lead us, because it has put statutes instead of actual experience, and
has not let the study of nature, as the work of God, _precede_ statutes.
Frœbel leads education again into the path intended by GOD, which, in
the course of universal development, will lead to the happiness of the
individual, as well as of the whole of society. In the human being
itself are the rich mines, the development of which our false modes of
education have hitherto made impossible. May mothers have faith in GOD,
the Heavenly Father of their children, and that he has given them the
capacity for good, which will crush the head of the serpent, and bring
the kingdom of God upon earth.


In the second part of my _Guide to Kindergarten and Moral Training of
Infancy_, published by E. Steiger, 25 Park Place, New York, is an
account of how I actually first began to teach to read on this method,
that may be of practical aid to one teaching _After Kindergarten--what?_
The first kindergartner who tried the method, in the course of the first
half-hour led her children to write on their slates (in imitation of
what she wrote on the blackboard, letter by letter, giving the power,
not the name, of each as she wrote) words enough to involve the whole
alphabet; namely, _cars_, _go_, _bells_, _sing_, _dizzy_, _old_, _hen_,
_fixes_, _vest_, _jelly_, _jars_, _puss_, _kitty_. The words were in a
column, and after they were written, the children recognized each word,
pronouncing it right when she pointed to it on the blackboard. But she
was surprised the next day to find they remembered every one, and they
had so clear an idea of the correspondence of the letters and sounds,
that, long before they had finished writing at her dictation the words
of the first vocabulary, they read at sight any word of it, no matter
how many syllables it had. In fact, at the end of the first week she
wrote and asked me for the groups of exceptions, and, beginning with the
smallest group, which is most exceptional, in a few weeks they could all

But I would not advise this rapid acquisition of the whole language in
so short a time. It is better to pause on the meaning of the words,--not
asking them to define them by other words, but asking them to make
sentences in which they put the word, which will show whether or not
they understand its meaning. A great deal more than mere pronunciation
may be taught children while learning to read.


History of Printing, an unfinished manuscript of which he found in the
Antiquarian Library of Worcester.


The story, as I paraphrased it, was this. The drop of water speaks,
"Once I lived with hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of brothers and
sisters, in the great ocean. There we all took hold of hands, and played
with each other; and the winds played with us, and took us up on their
backs, making us into little waves and great waves. But sometimes, when
the winds were not there, we would spread ourselves out smooth like a
looking-glass, and look up into the sky; and the moon and the stars
would look down upon us, and the ocean would look just like the sky.

"And we wanted to go up into the sky; and so, when the sun sent down his
sunbeams, and the moon sent down her moonbeams, and the stars sent down
their starbeams, some of us would jump up on their backs, and ride up
into the sky. But soon they would be tired of us, and shake us off; and
down we fell, and then we would catch hold of hands, and make ourselves
into clouds; and when the clouds got to be so heavy that the air could
not hold them up, we would let go of hands, and fall down in drops of
rain. But sometimes the clouds would stay up, and sail round; and one
day the cloud that I was in, bumped up against a mountain, and we all
fell out, down into the little holes of the mountain, and I soon found I
was alone in the dark; but I saw a light a little ways off, and so I ran
along and came to the light, which was outside the mountain. And as I
stood there, I saw a great many of my sisters and brothers standing at
just such holes as I was looking out of; and when we saw each other, we
burst out laughing, and ran to each other, and took hold of hands, and
made a little brook that ran down the sides of the mountain into a
meadow full of flowers; and we ran about the meadow, watering the roots
of all the flowers to make them grow, for we wanted to do as much good
as we could; and then we thought we would run on, and see if we could
not find our old home in the ocean, where we left hundreds of brothers
and sisters; but as I got rather tired, I thought I would stop and rest
awhile on this flower-leaf. But now I am rested. So good by; I will jump
off, and run home as fast as I can with the rest."

This story I had to tell over and over again at the time, which I did in
the same words; and now, when I again repeated it in the same words, he
liked to hear it over and over again, looking at the picture in the book
while I told it.


I here insert the version of the Lord's Prayer and the _Song of the
Weather_, which have been found so effective in the religious nurture,
and which, if used in the simple, unsanctimonious manner I have so
earnestly suggested, will preclude the necessity of talking to the
children in prose. These songs explain themselves to the child's heart
and imagination.

          OUR FATHER, who in Heaven art,
            Thy name we dearly love;
          We'd do thy will with all our heart,
            As done in heaven above.
          Give us this day our daily bread,
            Forgive the wrong we do,
          And we'll not mind when treated ill,
            That we may be like you.
          Help us avoid temptation's snare;
            Deliver us from evil ways;
          For thine's the kingdom and the power,
            All glory and all praise.


          THIS is the way the snow comes down,
              Softly, softly falling.
          God, he giveth his snow like wool,
          Fair, and white, and beautiful.
          This is the way the snow comes down,
              Softly, softly falling.


          Wonderful, Lord, are all thy works,
              Wheresoever falling;
          All their various voices raise,
          Speaking forth their Maker's praise.
          Wonderful, Lord, are all thy works,
              Wheresoever falling.

          This is the way the rain comes down,
              Swiftly, swiftly falling;
          So he sendeth his welcome rain.
          On the field, and hill, and plain,
          This is the way the rain comes down,
              Swiftly, swiftly falling.

          (_Repeat the chorus._)

          This is the way the frost comes down,
              Widely, widely falling;
          So it spreadeth all through the night,
          Shining, cold, and pure, and bright,
          This is the way the frost comes down,
              Widely, widely falling.


          This is the way the hail comes down,
              Loudly, loudly falling;
          So it flieth beneath the cloud,
          Swift, and strong, and wild, and loud,
          This is the way the hail comes down,
              Loudly, loudly falling.


          This is the way the cloud comes down,
              Darkly, darkly falling;
          So it covers the shining blue,
          Till no ray can glisten through,
          This is the way the cloud comes down,
              Darkly, darkly falling.


          This is the way sunshine comes down,
              Sweetly, sweetly falling;
          So it chaseth the cloud away,
          So it waketh the lovely day,
          This is the way sunshine comes down,
              Sweetly, sweetly falling.


          This is the way rainbow comes round,
              Brightly, brightly falling;
          So it smileth across the sky,
          Making fair the heavens on high,
          This is the way rainbow comes down,
              Brightly, brightly falling.


          Wonderful, Lord, are all thy works,
              Wheresoever falling;
          All their various voices raise,
          Speaking forth their Maker's praise.
          Wonderful, Lord, are all thy works,
              Wheresoever falling.

(The appropriate gesture is spreading the arms, and, when it is the rain
or the hail, the children enjoy making the patter on the table,--gently
for the rain, and louder for the hail.)

  Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frome, and London.


Manchester Kindergarten Association

Beg to Announce that the


Meet in the AFTERNOON at

Thorney Abbey, Alexandra Park, Manchester,

For THEORETICAL instruction in the following subjects:--

  Drawing                                     J. CLEGG, Esq.
  Music                                       MISS WICHERN.
  Theory and Application of the Kindergarten
        System                                MISS SNELL.
  Physiology and Laws of Health               MISS CLEGHORN.
  Science of Education                        W. H. HERFORD, Esq., B.A.
  Natural History and Physiography            F. J. WEBB, Esq.
  Elements of Geometry                        MISS SNELL.
  Botany                                      MISS HERFORD.

=Practical Instruction is afforded at the Model Kindergarten in the


    THE WHOLE COURSE (per Term of Ten Weeks) 5 GUINEAS.
    SEPARATE CLASSES (per term of Ten Hours) 2½ GUINEAS.

_Students are expected to take the whole Course of Two Years; when
withdrawal before the end of the course is necessary a Term's notice is


    WEEKLY BOARDERS              33    "          "

=Satisfactory References Required.=

Froebel Society,





    Rev. Canon DANIEL, M.A.
    J. G. FITCH, Esq., H.M. _Inspector of Training Colleges._
    Prof. G. CAREY FOSTER, B.A.
    Dr. J. H. GLADSTONE, F.R.S.
    Lady GOLDSMID.
    Mrs. W. GREY.
    Fräulein HEERWART.
    Prof. MEIKLEJOHN, M.A.
    Rev. R. H. QUICK, M.A.


          Miss M. E. BAILEY.
          Miss BAKER.
          Miss BELCHER.
          Rev. A. BOURNE.
          Hon. Mrs. BUXTON.
          E. COOKE, Esq.
          Miss S. CROMBIE.
          Mrs. FIELDEN.
          Miss FRANKS.
          Mrs. GREEN.
          Mrs. LAW.
          Miss E. LORD.
          Miss LYSCHINSKA.
          Miss E. A. MANNING.
          Mme. MICHAELIS.
          H. K. MOORE, Esq., B.Mus., B.A.
          J. S. PHILLPOTTS, Esq.
          Miss KATE PHILLIPS.
          Mrs. ROMANES.
          Rev. T. W. SHARPE, H.M.I.S.
          Miss SIM.
          F. STORR, Esq., B.A.
          Miss KATE THORNBURY.
          Miss WARD.

Hon. Treasurer:

          A. R. PRICE, Esq.

Hon. Secretary:

          C. G. MONTEFIORE, Esq.


          Miss BAYLEY.

The Froebel Society

WAS formed in 1874 for the purpose of promoting co-operation among those
engaged in Kindergarten work, of spreading the knowledge and practice of
the system, and of maintaining a high standard of efficiency among
Kindergarten Teachers.

       *       *       *       *       *


Will be held in London in the month of July, for the Higher and (this
year only) for the Elementary Certificate. In December next there will
be an Examination for the Elementary Certificate only.

Under certain conditions the Council are prepared to hold the
Examinations at local centres.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Registry for Kindergarten Teachers

Has been opened at the Office of the Society. A small fee is charged to
those who apply.

       *       *       *       *       *

Arrangements have been made by the Council for the INSPECTION AND
REGISTRATION OF KINDERGARTENS upon certain conditions.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Calendar of the Froebel Society, price 1/-,

Contains the Syllabus for the Examinations, and the Examination Papers
of 1886.

       *       *       *       *       *

Further information can be obtained from the Secretary, at the Office of
the Society,


       *       *       *       *       *

The Office is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., except on Thursdays.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

In the introduction and last two pages which use an ornamental font in
the original, Frœbel is presented without the oe-ligature. This was

Book uses both "Mütterspiele und Köse-Lieder" and "Die Mutter Spiele und
Kose Lieder" for Frœbel's work: "Mutter- und Kose-Lieder." Also
referenced as " _Mother Love_ and _Cossetting Songs_."

Mrs. Kraus-Boelte is spelled without an oe-ligature except in a single
footnote where a ligature was used.

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page 32, "Bulow" changed to "Bülow" (Marenholtz-Bülow has happily

Page 42, word "it" removed from text. Original read: (forth by
addressing it the)

Page 44, "her's" changed to "hers" (for _hers_ they realize)

Page 50, "combinanations" changed to "combinations" (color and its

Page 50, "develope" changed to "develop" (office, to develop)

Page 209, "beuause" changed to "because" (of it, because, in addition)

Page 223-224, the word "Chorus" sometimes appeared in parentheses and
sometimes did not. This was retained.

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