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And we think this confirmed by his own observation, that old age is generally a cure, and that “old men, when inter

rogated on the causes of the amendment, generally attri“ bute it to their having become less hasty, or much more moderate and considerate, and in a much less hurry to « force out their ideas."*

The cerebral and mental cause of stammering explains the effects of education and the rational mode of cure.

Speech being the vehicle of ideas, and of no use but to convey them, it is obvious that one important condition in securing a distinct articulation is to have previously acquired distinct ideas. Idiots, having few ideas, never learn to speak. For the same reason, children ought not to be forced to speak in the way that is generally done. This ill-timed haste has the opposite effect, for the subjects of it speak later and with greater confusion; and the extreme attention that is paid to their every word, dispenses them from distinct articulation, and causes a bad pronunciation for their whole lives. This is remarked very often in children brought up in towns. They speak earlier, but much less distinctly, than those reared in the country. Learning by rote is held by Dr Voisin to be very pernicious, as it accustoms the child to negligent and unmeaning pronunciation in his repetition of the same words.

It is remarked, indeed, that those who are late of speaking never speak so distinctly as the others ; but here the effect is often mistaken for the cause, for the child is long of speaking only because his vocal organs are naturally embarrassed, and not because the latter are embarrassed from the want of speech. If the organs were not constitutionally impeded, why should any one child be longer of speaking than another ? The child that stammers has quite as much use for speaking as any other, and in general he is stimulated

• Dictionnaire de Médécine, tome üi. p. 344.

to an infinitely greater degree to exert his power of speech. Parents become uneasy, and, by their ill-judged efforts at hastening, often cause the very defect they seek to avoid.

From this view it will appear that the cure of stammering is to be looked for in removing the exciting causes, and in bringing the vocal muscles into harmonious action by determined and patient exercise. The opposite emotions, so generally productive of stammering, may, especially in early life, be gradually got rid of by a judicious moral treatment, -by directing the attention of the child to the existence of these emotions as causes,-by inspiring him with friendly confidence,-by exciting him resolutely to shun any attempt at pronunciation when he feels himself unable to master it, by his exercising himself when alone and free from'emotion, in talking and reading aloud and for a length of time, so as to habituate the muscles to simultaneous and systematic action ; and we may add, as a very effectual remedy, by increasing the natural difficulty in such a way us to require a strong and undivided mental effort to accomplish the utterance of a sound, and thereby add to the amount of nervous energy distributed to the organs of speech. The practice of Demosthenes is a most excellent example. He cured himself of inveterate stammering by filling his mouth with pebbles, and accustoming himself to recitations in that state. It required strong local action, and a concentrated attention, to emit a sound without choking himself, or allowing the pebbles to drop from his mouth; and this was precisely the natural remedy to apply to opposite and contending emotions and divided attention.

Demosthenes adopted the other most effectual part of the means of cure. He exercised himself alone, and free from distracting emotions, to such a degree that he constructed a subterraneous cabinet on purpose for perfect retirement, and sometimes passed two and three months withont ever leaving it, having previously shaven one half of his head, that he might not be able to appear in public when the temptation should come upon him. And the perfect success which attended this plan is universally known. His voice passed from a weak, uncertain, and unmanageable, to a full, powerful, and even melodious tone, and became so remarkably flexible as to accommodate itself with ease to the

very numerous and delicate inflections of the Greek tongue. But as a complete cure, or harmonious action of the vocal muscles, can be obtained only by the repetition of the muscular action till a habit or tendency to act becomes established, it is evident that perseverance is an essential element in its accomplishment, and that without this the temporary amendment obtained at first by the excitement consequent upon a trial of any means very soon disappears, and leaves the infirmity altogether unmitigated.

M. Itard, whom we have already mentioned, recommends very strongly, where it can be done, to force children to speak in a foreign language by giving them a foreign governess or tutor; and the propriety of this advice is very palpable when we consider that it requires a more powerful and concentrate ed effort to speak and to pronounce a foreign than a native tongue, and that it is precisely a strong, undivided, and longcontinued mental effort that is necessary to effect a cure.

M. Itard regards weakness in the muscles of the voice as the cause of stammering, and he has invented, and used with much success, a small forked instrument which he places under the tongue, in order to give them support. We approve highly of the practice, but think his explanation of its efficacy likely to lead to error. To us it

appears to serve the same purpose that the pebbles did in the mouth of the Grecian orator, viz. to solicit such an amount of nervous stimulus to the parts, and such an effort of attention as shall absorb the mind, and prevent its unity of purpose being divided by contrary emotions. And the proofs that this is the true source of the muscular debility are, that for all purposes except speaking, the movements of the lips and tongue are as powerful and as perfect as in any other indi. vidual, and that old age, which increases real debility, and which, therefore, ought to increase stammering if it arose from this cause, almost invariably cures it. We think it right to notice this mistake in principle, as, from M. Itard's well-merited reputation, his practice is likely to be followed ; and as 'every man will modify it according to his own lights, many, viewing it as a mere mechanical support, might do so in a wrong way, and produce mischief instead of benefit, and then blame him for misleading them.

It is scarcely necessary to add, that debility, in which this, in common with many other forms of nervous disease, often originates in the young, must be obviated by a due supply of nourishing food, country air, regular exercise, and last, though not least, by cheerful society, kindness, and encouragement. The use of Phrenology in enabling a stammerer to understand his own case, or a parent to direct the treatment of his child under this infirmity, is so obvious, that we reckon it unnecessary to dwell on it. By rendering the nature and modes of action of the mental powers clear and familiar, it aids us in removing every morbid affection of which the origin lies in them.




SEEING that no pretension of Phrenology has been more derided than its direct application to the affairs of life, without which it would be a barren and useless discovery, we cannot do more good to the cause than by publishing examples of its practical application. When the male convicts, 148 in number, were assembled for transportation on board the ship England in spring 1826, under the charge of Dr Thomson, a navy surgeon,* Mr De Ville was induced to go on board, and examine the whole gang overhead. The experiment was suggested by Mr Wardrop of London, whom we are pleased to see adding a manly avowal of the new science to his other claims to professional distinction, Dr Thomson was not previously acquainted with the subject. Mr De Ville furnished him with a distinct memorandum of the inferred character of each individual convict, and pointed out the manner in which the dispositions of each would probably appear in his general conduct on the passage. The desperadoes were all specifically noted, and a mode of treatment to prevent mischief suggested. One man in particular was noted as very dangerous, from his energy, ferocity, and talent for plots and profound dissimulation. His name was Robert Hughes.

The history of the voyage is minutely detailed in Dr Thomson's Journal, deposited in the Victualling-Office ;; and, by the politeness of Dr Weir of that office, we were, in compliance with our request, not only immediately presented with the Journal, but permitted to take extracts and publish them. From different parts of a log of above four months, we extracted all that concerned the conduct of the convicts, as follows:

Log and Proceedings of the Male Convict Ship England, during

a Voyage to New South Wales in 1826. 148 Convicts on Board.

9th May. Convicts disposed to be disorderly ; read to them my authority to punish ; and threatened to act upon it, if they did not conduct themselves in a more orderly manner.

16th — Same complaint--and difficulty to get them to keep their births and clothes clean.

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• This charge, for the sake of economy, is committed to navy surgeons who will undertake it; and it embraces the entire management as well as the me. dical treatment of convicts on the voyage.

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