214 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
grown people. They almost ceased to breathe. I rose. " Go out quietly, quietly," I said, " walk on the tips of your toes and make no noise." Following them I said, " And yet I still hear some sounds, but she, the baby, walks with me and makes no sound. She goes out silently! " The children smiled. They understood the truth and the jest of my words. I went to the open window, and placed the baby in the arms of the mother who stood watching us.
The little one seemed to have left behind her a subtle charm which enveloped the souls of the children. Indeed, there is in nature nothing more sweet than the silent breathing of a new-born babe. There is an indescribable majesty about this human life which in repose and silence gathers strength and newness of life. Compared to this, Wordsworth's description of the silent peace of nature seems to lose its force, " What calm, what quiet! The one sound the drip of the suspended oar." The children, too, felt the poetry and beauty in the peaceful silence of a newborn human life.