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moral sense, which with the child is the gen-
eralization of what he has done and what is
done to hrm.

" On the 20th of July he came to a place
of the house where he had been punished the
preceding week because he had soiled it, and
without further provocation he said at once
that anyone who soiled the room gets a Ship-

This tendency to apply to others the law to
which the child is subjected, is confirmed
by one of my own recollections. I had been
asked to look for a few minutes after an in-
fant in the kitchen, in order to prevent it
from touching any of the dishes which were

40 Perez's Translation of

on the stove. I was holding the child on
my knees: I wanted to see what was in one
of the pots and lifted the cover ; the child
jumped immediately to the floor and in the
tone of command said: " Don't touch this, it
is for supper." I had been'told to look after
the child, but it was the child that looked
after me.

Twenty-fourth Month. The progress here
noted in regard to memory and association of
ideas seems of little importance to me: it con-
sists of the words for duck and potato, pro-
nounced spontaneously at the si^ht of those
objects. The following observation is of
higher value for it shows " how in a small
brain, several ideas can arise and arrange
themselves in a series, by its own power.
The child had heard the story that a storm
had killed a little girl: the expression of the
face of the one who told this had made a
deep impression on him so that at the nexk
opportunity he tried to relate it, in words
interspersed with changes of facial expres-
sion which could not indeed be understood

Tiedemann's Essay on Infancy. 41

except by those who were present during the
first narration."*

At the end of this month the child seemed
to become attached more and more to his
little sister and to w a little dog, two objects
formerly indifferent to him. " I can under-
stand that his sister may have called forth
jealousy first; but I am astonished that a
child of this age and even younger should
not have interested himself in an animal
from the very beginning.

From two years to two years and a half,
he used cunning to be brought closer to the
table where he could reach some eatables
with his hands. He pretended that it was

* This is the germ of dramatic memory. Mr. Egger de-
scribes the first appearance of it in his son at the age of
eight months. He " knew and recalled to his mind very well
some persons he used to see in his walks in the Luxembourg
Gardens, a nurse for instance and the child with her. He
walked away from us one day, pronouncing fairly well the
names of the gardens, of the nurse and the child. He went to
the adjoining room as if he were saying good day to those
two persons and then came back to tell us in the same sim-
ple manner of what he had done." There* is in this, we may
say, the first germ of the drama. But in order to explain
this tendency of which we find equivalents in the gambols
of animals we must go back to primitive ages whose prin-
cipal phases of evolution the child for some reason or other
is said to reproduce, by Mr. Egger as well as by Mr. Taine.

42 Perez's Translation of

necessary for him, for some reason, to be
seated on his high chair from which he could
reach what was on the table. Tiedemann
sees in this, signs of reflection and reasoning
which, he erroneously says, are 'not found
in animals. " The child was in the habit
of calling his sister ' silly' when she did
not do what he wanted. Thus," says Tiede-
mann, "his self -love manifested itself already
in the comparison of others with himself."
Is it not just as probable that the child had
no exact idea of the meaning of the word,
and that he repeated it mechanically to in-
dicate his dissatisfaction, imitating thai
which had been used toward him ?

"'The child did not want his sister to sit
in his chair or to put on any of his things ;
he called that his business." "Some vague
idea of property had thus arisen in him."
But although the child would not allow any-
one to touch what was his own, he took what
belonged to bis sister quite readily.

" He admired himself and wanted to be ad-
mired in his attitudes or his new dresses.
Even as early as the time of the birth of his
sister he manifested signs of discontent; he

Tiedemann's Essay on Infancy. 43

tried to strike her when she was in her moth-
er's lap or in his own bed because it was disa-
greeable to him to see anything taken from
him which he had enjoyed exclusive posses-
sion of for a long time." This observation,
which is in every way correct, applies not
only to this present age, but still more to
the following age. A child three years old
talked always about wishing to have a broth-
er, and how he would love him. When a
brother had been born, and when the child
saw him absorb the attention and caresses of
his parents, he became extremely jealous.
He told his mother : " Mamma, won't little
Lulu die soon ?"*

At the same time Tiedemann noticed a
fact which may be compared with a trait of
similar kind related by Darwin, and which
formed a valuable hint for reading the soul
of the child. " He had been forbidden sev-
eral times to touch any of the eatables except

* It must be remembered that the child who here uses
the word die, as he does many others, has no idea of
death. I suppose that the child who thus speaks of his little
brother simply repeats, parrot-like, an expression which he
has heard. For the child of Mr. Taine the idea of death did
not extend beyond that of a broken head, for when his doll's
head had become broken he was told it was dead.

44 Perez's Translation of

what had been given to him expressly, but
this prohibition had not deterred him very
much. He had taken a little piece of sugar
without having been seen ; he stole into a
corner where he could not be observed ; his
absence attracted attention ; he was hunted
after and found eating the sugar. Animals,
when they once have been beaten, run away
with their prey on account of the associa-
tion of ideas, because they recall the chas-
tisement. But this could not be the reason
here, for he had never been punished. It
must have been owing altogether to the re-
flection that he could eat the sugar if he was
not observed, and that if he was seen the
sugar would be taken away from him \"

When the child had mistaken a cloud for a
rainbow, he was told that this was not a
rainbow, and he replied : "Rainbow sleeps
now." A watch was held close to his ear,
and as soon as he heard it tick, he exclaimed
that Fripon (a little dog) was shut up in
it. These are but the imitations of exam-
ples given to the child, or that which be-
longs to the child himself in them is based
everywhere on superficial reasoning and

Tiedemann's Essay on Infancy. 45

When the child did not see the sun in the sky
he said, "It has gone to bed; to-morrow it will
get up and drink tea and eat a piece of bread
and butter/' All these judgments, says Tie-
demann, arise in the child's reflections: but
were they not rather the free developments
of a judgment which had been taught : that
the sun went to bed ? The child's anthro-
pomorphism is, I believe, to a great extent
the work of education and the result of our
metaphorical language.

At the age of two and a half years the
moral sense of the child is fairly developed.
" The child took in consideration the praise
and blame of other persons without distinc-
tion. When he believed he had done some-
thing good, he would say: ' People will say,
what a good boy/ When he was naughty
and was told * Our neighbor sees it/ he would
stop at once." We regret that our judicious
observer has not thought it proper to gather
a greater number of observations in regard to
the development of the moral sense in the
child, which is both important and little
known. But even the best observer leaves
much for others to observe, and the exam-

46 Tiedemann's Essay on Infancy.-

pies and observations narrated by Tiedemann
belong to those which waken and sustain


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Online LibraryDietrich TiedemannTiedemann's Record of infant-life → online text (page 3 of 3)