NATURE IN EDUCATION 159
circle, around a splendid red rose which had bloomed in the night; silent and calm, literally immersed in mute contemplation.
Third. The children are initiated into the virtue of patience and into confident expectation, which is a form of faith and of philosophy of life.
When the children put a seed into the ground, and wait until it fructifies, and see the first appearance of the shapeless plant, and wait for the growth and the transformations into flower and fruit, and see how some plants sprout sooner and some later, and how the deciduous plants have a rapid life, and the fruit-trees a slower growth, they end by acquiring a peaceful equilibrium of conscience, and absorb the first germs of that wisdom which so characterised the tillers of the soil in the time when they still kept their primitive simplicity.
Fourth. The children are inspired with a feeling for nature, which is maintained by the marvels of creation — that creation which rewards with a generosity not measured
[ by the labour of those who help it to evolve the life of its creatures.
Even while at the work, a sort of correspondence arises between the child's soul and the lives which are developed under his care. The child loves naturally the manifestations of life: Mrs. Latter tells us how easily little ones are interested even in earthworms and in the movement of the larvso of insects in manure, without feeling that horror which we, who have grown up isolated from nature, experience towards certain animals. It is well then, to develop this feeling of trust and confidence in living creatures, which is, moreover, a form of love, and of union with the universe.
But what most develops a feeling of nature is the cul-