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CHAP. X

The use of secrets by children is full of interest. Small boys put The Use of their arms around one another's necks and whisper in the ear, prethe Secret

tending to tell something that the others shall not know. This exalts to Dilate the Selt the selves of those that hear the secrets and at the same time shrinks

up the onlooker and Aushes him with envy. Such an act calls for a countermove in the same direction. The other boys get together and tell secrets among themselves and make extravagant claims that their secrets are much more worthy of knowing. Girls do this, too, but it does not seem to bear the same marks of genuineness and naiveté. It has always seemed as if it were more fun to be a boy than to be a girl, just for the reason that the conduct of boys is less conventional and their activity is more varied. To tell another a secret is a way of coming en rapport with him de novo and telling a secret serves very well as a fresh beginning after a miff has been declared off. The secret serves to re-establish the relation of friendship. The suspicion lies close that where the fraternity boys of the university do not feel sure of their girls, they tell the girls the fraternity secrets as a way of strengthening the desired relationship. To tell one a secret is a mark of confidence and respect. Young people of the lower classes of society who associate much together give up a large part of their conversation to noisy claims about secrets or what they know that someone else does not; they make veiled references to past good times and to other times in which things transpired that would be a terrible humiliation if told. Each one tries to get a secret with every other and then to make noisy claims about keeping it from all the rest. Servant girls with their company at the back door indulge in this kind of conversation, making veiled references to secrets most of the time. With them social life is always a sharp contest among personalities in which severe thrusts are given and countered just as severely.10

To the same end young people invent“ dog-Latin " and other lingoes. They are prized less as a vehicle for secrets than as a

means of triumphing over the puzzled listener. The "I"

Many of the games of childhood, such as “Needle's Eye," in Games

"Drop the Handkerchief,” and “ Virginia Reel,” owe their charm to their giving each in turn an opportunity to be the chief actor. In the flushed cheeks and glistening eyes of the child that is “ it," one remarks the intoxication resulting from feeling the “I” glorified. While it revels in its golden moment of initiative and self-display, the rest find their compensation in the pleasure of marching, dancing, or singing in concert.

10 The Journal of Pedagogy, Vol. XIX, pp. 35-36.

To shrink or put down the selves of others gives much the same

CHAP. I satisfaction as to exalt one's own self. It is, after all, the margin Tactics

Aiming to of superiority between one's self and another's self which feeds Shrink

Another's one's sense of importance. In the teasing, badgering, and hector- soll ing of small children, red-haired girls, cross-eyed or hare-lipped boys, peddlers, outlanders, and Chinamen, the object is not always the infliction of pain; it may be the exalting one's self-importance by mortifying and depreciating another. The delight of " taking down" one who is throwing us into the shade is very evident. Schoolboys on the playground “ take it out ” of “ teacher's pet,” be patter the best-dressed child, and pursue the prize pupil, chanting some incantation rhyme built about his name. Girls try to take down the girl all the boys are fond of and the uncouth lads join to humiliate the boy that the girls favor. In the same way young men who are boon companions are on the watch to "get something" on one of their number. Playing tricks and " practiral" jokes is a favorite means of getting the laugh on” anosher, i.e., shrinking him. Hazing and fagging pleasantly enliven the self-feeling of older schoolboys. The ordeals of initiation ar pused by some fraternal orders give the lodge members the pleasure of making a worthy fellow-citizen a laughingstock, while the victim later salves his wounded pride in watching other inmates "ride the goat." Games like “ Prisoners' Base," " Blindman's Buff," " I Spy," are built on the plan of shrinking the play

une at a time. The child who is "it" feels smalled and wins back his self-respect only by catching another, who in turn beCumes "it."

Then there are the tactics of self-protection designed to prevent or turn aside a thrust at one's self, and the tactics of self-recovery aning to expand the self after a humiliating experience. Thus e savage, who mainly identifies his personality with his name, is careful to keep secret his true name. The child called a name waris off the blow with the incantation:

Sticks and stones
May break my bones
But names can never hurt me.

There is the same caution about one's image. Once I tried in 725 to find a Bedouin who would let himself be sketched; each 12:ed lest in some mysterious way I should gain a hold on him.

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CHAP.1 Catlin had to use all the arts of diplomacy in order to get his

Indian chiefs to sit for their portrait. Nature peoples have a like

horror of being photographed. Tactics for For fear of a rebuff one refrains from the direct question, but Protecting One's Solf supposes,” or “wonders,” queries to the ceiling, or ends a state

ment with a rising inflection. An invitation is couched in the negative statement: “You would n't care to ...?" or is conveyed by a lifting of the eyebrow or a pointing of the thumb. A request takes the form of a hint. One answers an embarrassing question with a shrug or a grimace which, while expressing enough, cannot be quoted. Refusal is met with “I don't care," or " Like as not I'm better off without it." Repartee parries gibe and the innuendo is turned by irony. The use of that doubleedged weapon, the apology, gives scope for great dexterity in exalting one's self or putting the other in the wrong. Some adults in associating with children assume an affected speech in order to keep their personalities from being sucked down to the child's level. The children soon see through this and will have

nothing to do with one who “ talks down ” to them. How There

It would be rash then to assume that wherever people come toMay Be Fellowship gether to enjoy one another's company there is affection. BragWithout a Spark of garts must have listeners, skinflints will have their cronies. The LOVE

self-conceited by no means resign themselves to solitude. The utterly selfish mental invalid may be an utter cormorant for sympathy. In such cases the individual foregathers with others not from love but to gain a sounding-board for his “I,” to exalt his own self by bringing under or exploiting other selves. Many egoists of the purest water are on the constant lookout for sympathizers, admirers, or satellites. In a pinch such vampires can find satisfaction even in one another, for each endures the plaint or brag of the others for the sake of having attention when his

turn comes to blow the trumpet. Traits of Egotic As

Egoistic society apes the manners and amenities of good-will sociation

association, but its hollowness shows in a variety of ways. Under velvet endearments women stretch their claws and scratch like cats. Each lady of an exploitive social circle keeps books, as it were, and will not set out cake when she is hostess if the others have been serving only wafers; or if she offers cake it is to triumph over the rest. Stingy beldames calculate it costs less to attract company by spiced gossip than by spiced refreshments

Roistering egoists watch that no one skips his turn to stand treat. CHAP. I Cronies who are not good fellows show their yellowness when one of them falls into trouble. Then he is given to understand that no one cares to see his long face or listen to his tale of woe. For such fair-weather friendship the refrain is, “ If you 're out of health or money you need n't come around.”

MANNERS It is the role of good manners to sweeten social intercourse by Manners a deleting or refining the struggle among the “ I's." The well-bred for Harmo. refrain from such irritants as conspicuousness in dress, loudness Dizing the of speech, boasting, self-display, monopoly of the conversation, of Differ

ent Egos controversy, rudeness, the humiliating of others. The best manDers call for the constant subordination of the claims of one's self to the claims of the selves of others. When all in a circle act up to this standard, association becomes in the highest degree enjoyable provided that real congeniality exists. In the best circles of our South the harmonization of the demands of different egos has become a fine art. The way in which a well-bred Southerner :!1 let the conversation take any direction you seem to wish, alnays playing up to your lead and suppressing his own preference, reveals the secret of the oft-noted "charm” of southern society. In eighteenth-century France the higher social class developed manners of a suavity before unknown and the spread of here over the world has put many peoples in debt to the French. Throughout Spanish America one finds diffused an older, unselfsh, but less sympathetic, manner that grew up among the hidalgos of Spain

The percolation down among the people of the manners Courtesy wht out in a leisure class is a very important step in sociali- sary Stop zach. Politeness is, to be sure, a poor substitute for good-will zation 2. ! respect for the rights of others, but where these traits do not et exit it is most valuable. Its function is not to sweeten the rosion of kinsfolk, friends, or lodge-brothers but to lessen the chung between strangers, colleagues, or rivals. Wherever, as

Suuth America, good manners have become the heritage of a: clases, even peons, muleteers and deckhands, the contacts of se give rise to sew quarrels and brawls. Good manners canrre, cf course, do away with such hostility as arises from conect of interests; but they go far to prevent troubles which have

CHAP, I their origin in the naive assertion of the “I” in human inter

course.

THE MIRRORED SELF

Effects of

The disturbing state of mind we term “ self-consciousness" is Our Con. sciousness rather our consciousness of others; of others, however, as noticof Onlooking ing and appraising one's self. For many children the first exOthers

periences of figuring in the minds of another are extremely upsetting. Some unable to bear an unfamiliar eye cover the face or hide themselves. Under the stranger's gaze the bashful child blushes, makes random movements, twists its body, pulls at its clothing, puts its finger in its mouth, or bites its nails. Muscular co-ordination goes by the board, so that it drops or spills things, stumbles over trifling objects, and finds its hands and feet become alien. It may giggle, laugh nervously, stammer, or even lose voice and word memory. In stage fright the symptoms match closely those of extreme fear. Even the experienced speaker finds discomfort in the “cold” or “unsympathetic " stare.

However, if closer acquaintance reveals a kindly attitude in others, children cease to shrink from their attention and even begin to court it. “In the youngest children,” say Hall and Smith, 11 ". showing off ' seems to be the simple, openly expressed desire for recognition and sympathy, the step in the extension of the consciousness of self which naturally succeeds the baby's development of self through the investigation of the limits of its

own body." Infantile "Showing

The desire to play a star part in other people's minds develops 00" much earlier than is commonly supposed. “The child,” says

Professor Cooley, “ appropriates the visible actions of his parent or nurse, over which he finds he has some control, in quite the same way as he appropriates one of his own members or a plaything, and he will try to do things with this new possession, just as he does with his hand or his rattle. A girl six months old will attempt in the most evident and deliberate manner to attract at, tention to herself, to set going by her actions some of those movements of other persons that she has appropriated."

The human looking-g'ass in which the infant sees its little I 11 Pedagogical Seminary, Vol. X, p. 160.

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