Friedrich Froebel

Letters to the Friend of Children and Humanity

translated by Johannes Froebel-Parker, from the German "Mein Lieber Herr Froebel!, Briefe an der Kinder und Menschenfreund"
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Rudolstadt, August 24, 1848

Esteemed Mr. Froebel,

The building blocks caused our Otto much joy. First of all, he placed all eight close together on their long, narrow edge. He called it "The Long Table" at which the ladies and gentlemen of the school ate with us. He showed correctly the seating arrangement for eleven people, minus one. When he became tired and had to bid goodnight to the blocks, he clutched the little box and kissed it. He added the following to his usual evening prayer.

"Dear God, thank you for the winter and the summer and the blocks."

The cardboard paper cover made it difficult for him to pack them up. I therefore have taken it out of the little box. Otto carefully put away the "blocks' coat," so that they could easily find it again "when it was cold or when they had to travel along to Schwarzburg."

Please forgive the goings-on of this mother, esteemed friend. I only want to give you an idea of my child's joy with this box of blocks. It is not a loud joy, nonetheless it is deeply felt in his heart. Let yourself be convinced thereof.

Pauline Hauthal, nee Greiner was the wife of an official at the Court of the Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. She strove to promote Froebel's endeavors. JFP

read the German text in "Mein Lieber Herr Froebel!, Briefe an der Kinder und Menschenfreund" Berlin (DDR): Verlag Volk und Wissen, 1990

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