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nental establishments where the art had disappeared which is now become in England a trading mystery.
But we most cordially hate such schools ;' they are, too often, composed of second rate imitators who, generally, copy to the life the weak, the useless or the absurd parts of the systems sanctioned by the master:' the Braidwood school is by no means exempt from this defect. Mr. Braidwood very successfully taught bis pupils the use of a written and manual alphabet, and, through that natural medium, stored their minds with a large portion of various and useful information. In an evil hour, however, he clogged his plan with the unnecessary and cumbersome appendage of teaching them utterance. As might have been anticipated, “the school' immediately fasteñied upon the appendage, as containing the essence of the plan, and through the medium of their encyclopedias, their annual reports and their harangues to periodical meetings of subscribers, succeeded but too well in persuading the public that the science which they profess is a profitable and indispensable craft.' Observe, they say, the progress which children make in our asylums where they are, invariably, taught to speak! Speech, therefore, must be the cause and instrument of the progress which has been made in instructing them.' Admirable logicians! Observe the progress which children make in establishments where they are, invariably, taught the art of carving in woodcarving in wood must, therefore, be the efficient cause of their mental improvement.
But the application of the labour of the instructor, and of the time of the pupil to an useless purpose, is far from being the worst consequence which results from this practice. It is attended with the much more serious effect of prolonging the deception which, to a great extent, has already imposed upon the public, namely, that the art of instructing the deaf and dumb is to be acquired only by an initiation into its mysteries under the direction of those who have been long and intimately conversant with its details. Whatever foundation may exist for such an opinion with reference to utterance, we are firmly convinced that to teach the deaf and dumb the use and application of written characters and manual signs is a simple and easy process
of every intelligent mother who can write, and which may be completed under the superintendence of any ordinary schoolmaster, who will patiently devote a small share of his attention to the undertaking, We may even assert, without the least fear of overstating the facility, that there is scarcely a nursery-maid, that can read, who may not, in a few hours, be instructed how to teach them, by the aid of a few alphabetical counters, the written characters which représent every visible object.
The use of a manual alphabet, an acquisition of the bigbest importance to the deaf and dumb, for the purpose of abridging their medium of communication, must, necessarils, be deferred to a later period. As soon, however, as the inteilect bas been sufficiently expanded to comprehend its nature it may easily be acquired under the direction of any instructor acquainted with its use: asd every person connected with an individual destitute of the auditory sense should be able to converse with bim by means of the hands and fingers. When these foundations have been well laid, the instructor may advance a step farther, and explain the signification of that class of expressions which describes the actions of the body or the feelings of the mind. To walk, to eat, to sleep, to laugh, to cry are expressions which they will instantly comprehend, if the teacher only observe Hamlet's advice to the players, and suit the action to the word.' The principal obstacle to the comprehension of abstract ideas will then bave been removed; and experience sufficiently proves that the difficulty attending this part of their education appears much greater in speculation than it is found in practice.
To those who are still incredulous and feel an interest in the subject, we earnestly recommend the account which Mr. Arrowsmith gives of the plan adopted in educating his brother. And to render their conviction more certain let them try the plan which he details. There are few neighbourhoods in which, vofortunately, a subject may not be found for such a purpose. Let him be regularly sent to any village school with other children. Let bim be treated, in all respects, like them, and we yenture to predict that it will be even impossible to prevent him from acquiring the knowledge of a medium which may enable him to converse with his youthful associates. The mind is fully as active and vigorous in the one as it is in the other; and the curiosity of a deaf and dumb child, being strongly excited by the objects which attract his attention he can hardly fail to devise some means of obtaining from his companions the information wbich he wishes to procure.
We are perfectly convinced that the deaf and dumb might be admitted, with peculiar advantages, into seminaries in which children who hear and speak receive their instruction. The efforts wbich would be made by the latter class of pupils to explain their ideas to their less -fortunate associates would, in the end, prove bighly beneficial even to themselves. It is well known that children frequently acquire a knowledge of words without comprehending the ideas of wbich they are representatives. A .constant association with the deaf and dumb, would impose upon them the necessity of acquiring a precise conception of the words which they used, for the purpose of making them intelligible to their young companjons.
The advantages which would, inevitably, result from this admixture would be, therefore, mutual and would much more than counter balance any imaginary excess of skill which a teacher who confines himself to the sole instruction of the deaf and dumb may be supposed to possess. The admission of deaf and dumb pupils into establishments now exclusively devoted to the reception of those who can hear and speak, could, by no possibility, retard the progress of the latter, while it would greatly facilitate the instruction of the former, Were the intercourse of the deaf and dumb to be confined, in after-life, to persons labouring under a similar misfor, tune, separate establishments for their education would be recom, mended by reasons much more cogent than any which can be urged in their favour while it is remembered that, when they leave these institutions, they must converse principally, if not exclusively, with persons who hear and speak.
The deaf and dumb acquire, by long practice, an astonishing readiness to understand a person speaking to them, by observing the motion of his lips. Bishop Burnet, in one of his letters, mentions the case of a daughter of Mr. Goddy, minister of St. Gervais, in Geneva. “At two years old,' he says, “it was perceived that she had lost her hearing, and ever since, though she hears great poises, yet hears nothing of wbat is said to ber ; but by observing the motion of the lips and mouths of others, she acquired so many words, that out of these she has formed a sort of jargon in which she can bold conversation, whole days, with those who can speak her language. She knows nothing of what is said to her, unless she sees the motion of their lips that speak to her: one thing will appear
strangest part of the whole narrative. Sbe has a sister with whom she has practised her language more than with any body else, and in the night, by laying her hands on her sister's mouth, she can perceive by that what she says, and so can discourse with her in the dark The case of this
young person affords a striking proof of the ex. treme perfection which one of the senses may attain when it becomes the sole organ of communication, and the whole attention of the individual becomes, consequently, directed towards its improvement. It is an universal law of nature that every muscular power increases in proportion to the degree of exertion to which it has been applied. The brawny arms of the blacksmith, the powerful neck of the porter, supply us with conclusive evidence of this fact. The observation is no less correct when made of the senses. The length of range which a constant and necessary habit of looking out for distant objects gives to the visual powers of the sailor; the discrimination and nicety of sight which the search for game gives to the poacher, the gamekeeper, or even the well trained esquire, are perfections for which we shall look, in vain, in the weaver or grocer. In blind people, the touch acquires a degree of fineness and perfection which, we are assured, enables them to distinguish colours; and the olfactory nerves of some persons are rendered, by use, so efficient as to enable them without difficulty to resolve the rankest compound of villanous smell' into the simples of which it is composed.
If it be then a fact, established by uniform experience, that, by closely attending to the motion of the lips of those who address them, the deaf and dumb are enabled to make out, with precision, every word which is uttered; if, as in the justance mentioned by Bishop Burnet, practice renders them capable of distinguishing, by the eye, every syllable of the words spoken to them, it is evident that ihe greatest attention should be paid to a branch of instruction which they will find in the highest degree useful. As far as relates to the conception of the notions of others, it is an effective and almost a complete substitute for the sense of hearing. It is also undeniable that Institutions open for the exclusive instruction of such pupils are not the most favourable situations in which their capacity may be acquired and improved. This invaluable faculty can be cultivated to the best advantage only in seminaries where they are educated along with others, who hear; as it is the result of a minute and constant attention to the motion of the lips of those who speak
This subject, highly interesting to every member of society, prefers peculiar claims to the attention of those who are, professionally, engaged in educating the young. With little additional trouble they may derive considerable emolument from adding the deaf and dumb to the pupils whom they already instruct. If parents were once convinced that they possess, at their own doors, establishments in which these unfortunate children may receive all the advantages of regular instruction, even with more facility than thay can be taught at the most celebrated seminaries, opened exclusively for the reception of the deaf and dumb, it would relieve their minds from the intense anxiety and regret
which must be excited by the necessity of sending them, during their most helpless infancy, to places far removed from personal inspection.
The expensive character of these establishments places them beyond the reach of a large portion of those who are destitute of hearing. We believe our calculation to be rather under than above the real amount, if we state the average annual charge for each pupil at one hundred pounds. If it should be estimated at only one half of that sum, it would, practically, be found as effectual a bar to the general education of deaf and dumb children as an annual expenditure of five times that amount. If some mea
sures be not, therefore, taken to educate these children at our ordinary schools, a deficiency of pecuniary means will, for ever, deprive them of the benefits arising from systematic instruction.
The asylum established, in 1807, in the Kent Road, provides for the gratuitous education of two hundred deaf and dumb orphans and paupers; but the periodical applicants for admission greatly exceed the number which can actually be received. In a report, issued, in July, 1820, by the committee appointed for managing this establishment, the subscribers are informed that the admissions, on the average, have amounted to between forty and fifty, within each year; yet the applications have much increased. At the election, in January, 1820, a list of ninety-five candidates was presented to the governors, out of which they were under the painful necessity of electing only twenty-five, though all seemed to have powerful, if not equal, claims to their notice. An examination of this Report will show that a defect in the organs of hearing is a misfortune of much more frequent occurrence than it is generally imagined to be. From a statement given by the committee, the public will learn with surprize that among those who have applied to this charitable institution for relief are to be found twenty-four families, which contain no fewer than eighty-seven children deaf and dumb. We shall extract some of their names. William Coleman, with eleven children, of whom five are deaf and dumb. David Thomson, with ten children, five deaf and dumb. George Franklin, with 'eight children, five deaf and dumb. Silas Vokins, with seven children, five deaf and dumb. Fourteen families, with three children, in each, deaf and dumb.
The greater number of the successful applicants for admission into this asylum are natives of the metropolis, or of the adjoining counties. The difficulty and uncertainty of securing admission to an establishment in which the vacancies are so few when compared with the number of candidates, prevent the very numerous cases of deafness among the poor, resident at a distance, from attracting any attention. Their friends and neighbours, having been taught to believe that no endeavours, for that purpose, can prove successful, make no attempt to alleviate their calamity. A large proportion of these unfortunate objects are thus, for ever, excluded from the advantages of regular instruction.
Experience too frequently shows, that injudicious charity injures even the object which excites it; and with every feeling of respect for the motives which actuate the patrons and supporters of the institution in the Kent Road, we must be allowed to express a strong doubt, whether it be consistent with the maxims of sound policy, that children who, in after-life, must maintain themselves by manual exertion, should receive their edu