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             INFANT GARDENS.

SEVENTY or eighty years ago there was a
son born to the Pastor Froebel, who exercised
his calling in the village of Oberweissbach, in
the principality of Schwartzburg-Rudolstadt.
The son, who was called Frederick, proved to
be a child of unusually quick sensibilities,
keenly alive to all impressions, hurt by
discords of all kinds; by quarrelling of men,
women and children, by ill-assorted colours,
inharmonious sounds. He was, to a morbid
extent, capable of receiving delight from the
beauties of nature, and, as a very little boy,
would spend much of his time in studying
and enjoying, for their own sake, the lines and
angles in the gothic architecture of his father's
church. Who does not know what must be
the central point of all the happiness of such
a child? The voice of its mother is the
sweetest of sweet sounds, the face of its mother
is the fairest of fair sights, the loving touch of
her lip is the symbol to it of all pleasures of
the sense and of the soul. Against the thousand
shocks and terrors that are ready to
afflict a child too exquisitely sensitive, the
mother is the sole protectress, and her help is
all-sufficient. Frederick Froebel lost his
mother in the first years of his childhood, and
his youth was tortured with incessant craving
for a sympathy that was not to be found.

The Pastor Froebel was too busy to attend
to all the little fancies of his son. It was his
good practice to be the peaceful arbiter of the
disputes occurring in the village, and, as he
took his boy with him when he went out, he
made the child familiar with all the quarrels
of the parish. Thus were suggested, week after
week, comparisons between the harmony of
nature, and the spite and scandal current among
men. A dreamy, fervent love of God, a fanciful
boy's wish that he could make men quiet and
affectionate, took strong possession of young
Frederick, and grew with his advancing years.
He studied a good deal. Following out his
love of nature, he sought to become acquainted
with the sciences by which her ways and
aspects are explained: his contemplation of
the architecture of the village church ripened
into a thorough taste for mathematics, and he
enjoyed agricultural life practically, as a
worker on his father's land. At last he went
to Pestalozzi's school in Switzerland.

Then followed troublous times, and patriotic
war in Germany, where even poets fought
against the enemy with lyre and sword.
The quick instincts, and high, generous
impulses of Frederick Froebel were engaged at
once, and he went out to battle on behalf of
Fatherland in the ranks of the boldest; for
he was one of Lutzow's regimenta troop of
riders that earned by its daring an immortal
name. Their fame has even penetrated to
our English concert-rooms, where many a fair
English maiden has been made familiar with
the dare-devil patriots of which it was
composed, by the refrain of the German song in
honour of their prowessDas ist Lutzow's
fliegende, wilde Jagd. Having performed his
duty to his country in the ranks of its
defenders, Froebel fell back upon his love of
nature and his study of triangles, squares,
and cubes. He had made interest that placed
him in a position which, in many respects,
curiously satisfied his tastesthat of Inspector
to the Mineralogical Museum in Berlin. The
post was lucrative, its duties were agreeable
to him, but the object of his life's desire was
yet to be attained.

For, the unsatisfied cravings of his childhood
had borne fruit within him. He remembered
the quick feelings and perceptions, the
incessant nimbleness of mind proper to his
first years, and how he had been hemmed in.
and cramped for want of right encouragement
and sympathy. He remembered, too, the
ill-conditioned people whose disputes had been
made part of his experience, the dogged
children, cruel fathers, sullen husbands, angry
wives, quarrelsome neighbours; and surely he
did not err when he connected the two memories
together. How many men and women
go about pale-skinned and weak of limb,
because their physical health during infancy
and childhood was not established by judicious
management. It is just so, thought Froebel,
with our minds. There would be fewer
sullen, quarrelsome, dull-witted men or
women, if there were fewer children starved
or fed improperly in heart and brain. To
improve societyto make men and women
betterit is requisite to begin quite at the
beginning, and to secure for them a wholesome
education during infancy and childhood.
Strongly possessed with this idea, and feeling
that the usual methods of education, by