68 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
Thus the tendency will be to change the tenement houses, which have been places of vice and peril, into centres of education, of refinement, of comfort. This will be helped if, besides the schools for the children, there may grow up also clubs and reading-rooms for the inhabitants, especially for the men, who will find there a way to pass the evening pleasantly and decently. The tenement-club, as possible and as useful in all social classes as is the " Children's House," will do much toward closing the gambling-houses and saloons to the great moral advantage of the people. And I believe that the Association of Good Building will before long establish such clubs in its reformed tenements here in the (Quarter of San Lorenzo; clubs where the tenants may find newspapers and books, and where they may hear simple and helpful lectures.
We are, then, very far from the dreaded dissolution of the home and of the family, through the fact that woman has been forced by changed social and economic conditions to give her time and strength to remunerative work. The home itself assumes the gentle feminine attributes of the domestic housewife. The day may come when the tenant, having given to the proprietor of the house a certain sum, shall receive in exchange whatever is necessary to the comfort of life; in other words, the administration shall become the' steward of the family.
The house, thus considered, tends to assume in its evolution a significance more exalted than even the English word " home" expresses. It does not consist of walls alone, though these walls be the pure and shining guardians of that intimacy which is the sacred symbol of the family. The home shall become more than this. It lives! It has a soul. It may be said to embrace its inmates with the