46 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
say, the work of this great man, with the same freshness of spirit with which he received the inheritance of the work and ideas of his master Itard. For ten years I not only made practical experiments according to their methods, but through reverent meditation absorbed the works of these noble and consecrated men, who have left to humanity most vital proof of their obscure heroism.
Thus my ten years of work may in a sense be considered as a summing up of the forty years of work done by Itard and Seguin. Viewed in this light, fifty years of active work preceded and prepared for this apparently brief trial of only two years, and I feel that I am not wrong in saying that these experiments represent the successive work of three physicians, who from Itard to me show in a greater or less degree the first steps along the path of psychiatry.
As definite factors in the civilisation of the people, the " Children's Houses " deserve a separate volume. They have, in fact, solved so many of the social and pedagogic problems in ways which have seemed to be Utopian, that they are a part of that modern transformation of the home which must most surely be realised before many years have passed. In this way they touch directly the most important side of the social question — that which deals with the intimate or home life of the people.
It is enough here to reproduce the inaugural discourse delivered by me on the occasion of the opening of the second " Children's House " in Rome, and to present the rules and regulations * which I arranged in accordance with the wishes of Signor Talamo.
It will be noticed that the club to which I refer, and the dispensary which is also an out-patients' institution for medical and surgical treatment (all such institutions be-* See page 70.