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this difference,—the savage gives full and unrestrained gestural expression to his feelings and emotions,--his articulate language is often too limited and feeble to supply the place of gesture; whereas we, with our copious vocabulary, can dispense with it; and we not unfrequently use effort to check and suppress what, if we were speechless, would be our only resource, and what, therefore, it would be our great object, as social creatures, to cultivate and amplify.

Whenever we use gesture,—and use it we do, in spite of all our endeavours to curb nature,—we use it, for the most part, unconsciously; and therefore, to ourselves, it escapes notice. I wish this evening to invite your attention to some of the principal of these natural gestures, to show you what they really are ; and, by directing your special notice to what, when engaged in animated discourse, you yourselves do, to show you, by ocular proof, that you unconsciously employ the language of gesticulation to an extent you little suspect; in short, that you use the natural signs of the deaf and dumb, which, in fact, are no other than the natural signs of the whole human family.

[Here Professor Young exhibited various gesticulations and explained their meaning. It was specially noticed, that in all cases where feeling or emotion was expressed, the eye of the observer was steadily directed to the countenance, the manual signs being but auxiliary-natural, but subordinate.]

I think it has now been sufficiently shown that, by whatever agency man made his

appearance in the world, he came endowed with the ability to communicate with his fellows in a language intelligible to all, a language requiring no conventions to establish, no long and laborious efforts to construct, yet amply sufficient for the expression of all his physical wants, and for social intercourse respecting all the natural objects and circumstances with which he might be surrounded.

Now it must be remembered that, according to theories ancient and modern, the primitive race of mankind was a barbarous race,a race inferior even to the present natives of the Fiji Islands or of the interior of Australia : without speech it must have been so. It has been said that such a people could teach themselves articulate language, as well as they can teach themselves to make a fire. But the savage is driven by necessity to devise means for kindling a fire. What stern necessity is there to drive him to originate a spoken language, even supposing him to possess the ability ? What is there in his condition, at the present day, that would make him feel the want of articulate sounds, even if he were to lose the scanty vocabulary he now has,—the language of gesture being still preserved? In Major Long's expedition to the Rocky Mountains, there is an account of certain tribes of the aboriginal inhabitants of the country west of the Mississippi, who, though speaking different languages, readily communicate with one another in the common natural language of signs : many of these are described in Major Long's volumes, and, as might be expected, they closely agree with those employed by the deaf and dumb.

It may be said, however, that man, even in this primitive and barbarous condition, would instinctively know that the organs with which he was endowed all had their appropriate offices, and that he would not be man without an instinctive propensity to use them. This is true. But I submit, that previously to his having witnessed articulation in others, or exercised it himself, he would not be conscious that he possessed organs of speech, as such, at all. The larynx, the tongue, the palate, the teeth, and the lips, he would naturally employ for other and even more important purposes, at least for more importunate purposes. How is he to know that in addition to those offices these parts of his frame can, by certain mechanical adjustments, convert mere voice into an artificial system of intelligible sounds, conventionally to be employed to express thoughts, and actions, and things ? His throat is a channel for his food; his tongue and palate,the organs by which he tastes it; his teeth,—the instruments by which he masticates it; while his lips he employs in the act of drinking. Who, or what, is to tell him that these same organs could be employed, not only for the nourishment of his body, but also for the elevation and enlargement of his mind ? Is it likely, in the primitive low condition we are here contemplating him, that he would ever think of these ministers to his physical wants and enjoyments in connection with any intellectual or moral purposes; or of using them, with the view of supplanting his natural and significant language of signs by non-natural and non-significant utterances ?

There can be no doubt, on the hypothesis that speech was the gift of God to man, that there would have been what may be called a pleasurable instinctive propensity to speak, but this is very different from an instinctive propensity to invent speech ;-to invent that of which (if in his primitive condition he were without he would neither have felt the want, nor have known the value.

But if, in spite of these considerations, it be still maintained that savage man invented speech, I would ask,-How comes it that civilized man, when in danger of losing this precious treasure, instead of using every effort to prevent the threatened calamity, always feels a strong propensity to accelerate it ? Those who have the misfortune, after they are grown up, to lose their hearing, are always found inclined voluntarily to give up their speech also. They well know, since the avenue to the speech of others is now closed, that, without exercising their own, it will in time be lost and forgotten, and that they will inevitably lapse into permanent dumbness. They know this; and yet, by their willing neglect, they seem to say: “Well, let it go ;” and, in many instances, they do let it go, never to be recovered. I appeal to facts.

Most persons here have, no doubt, heard of Dr. Kitto, the author of “The Pictorial Bible," and other excellent works. He was totally deaf, having lost his hearing at the age of twelve years, by a fall from a ladder, at which period he was of course in full possession of articulate language. In his interesting book called “The Lost Senses” he gives this account of himself in the deaf state :

“Although I have no recollection of physical pain in the act of speaking, I felt the strongest possible indisposition to use my vocal organs. I seemed to labour under a moral disability which cannot be described by comparison with any disinclination which the reader can be supposed to have experienced. The disinclination which one feels to leave his warm bed on a frosty morning is nothing to that which I experienced against any exercise of the organs of speech. The force of this tendency to dumbness was so great, that for many years I habitually expressed myself to others in writing, even when not more than a few words were necessary ; and where this mode of intercourse could not be used, I avoiled occasion of speech, or heaved up a few monosyllables, or expressed my wish by a slight motion or gesture. In fact, I came to be generally considered as both deaf and dumb, excepting by the few who were acquainted with my real condition. I rejoiced in the protection which that impression afforded ; for nothing distressed me more than to be asked to speak : and from disuse having been superadded to the pre-existing causes, there seemed a strong probability of my eventually justifying the impression concerning my dumbness which was generally entertained. I now speak with considerable ease and freedom, and, in personal intercourse, never resort to any other than the oral mode of communication,"(The Lost Senses-Deafness, p. 19.)

This return to speech, however, was not voluntary, but coerced. Two friends who accompanied Dr. Kitto on his first visit to the Mediterranean, conspired, in conjunction with the captain, to disregard every word he said otherwise than orally

T

throughout the voyage. As no request was attended to, and no inquiry answered, which was presented in writing, he was thus driven again to speak.

I will mention another instance,—the case of an accomplished lady with whose writings many persons here are familiar. I allude to the late Mrs. Tonna, under which name, however, perhaps few will recognize the celebrated authoress I am adverting to,-“Charlotte Elizabeth.” The following interesting particulars respecting this lady were communicated to me by her husband, Mr. Tonna, shortly after her death, in a letter which I have the writer's permission to make public :

“Mrs. Tonna (Charlotte Elizabeth] lost her hearing at the age of nine or ten. It was entirely gone-I believe from a thickening of the membrane of the tympanum. No sound of any kind reached her, as a sound, although sbe was acutely sensitive to vibrations, whether conveyed through the air or through a solid medium. In this way the vibrations from an organ, or from the sounding-board of a piano-forte, gave her great pleasure ; and from her recollection of Handel's music, she took great delight in it ; and from the vibrations would recollect the sounds so familiar in her childish days. You will see some particulars of this in her · Personal Recollections.?

“On one occasion, at the age of twenty-two or twenty-three, a new country dance was played : the tune was called the 'Recovery,' the rhythm of which is very peculiar. She was as usual at her station, with her hand on the sounding-board, when some friends present expressed a doubt as to the possibility of her forming any idea of the tune. She sat down at once, and wrote a song, which I possess, most perfectly adapted to the tune in all its changes.

“There is a poem of hers beginning ‘No generous toil declining,' which it is quite difficult to read as poetry until informed that it was written to the tune of 'A rose-tree in full bearing,' and to that it is perfectly adapted. The poem is included in the volume of 'Posthumous Poems' about to be published, in which it will be plainly seen that most of her poems were written to mental tunes. All conversation was conveyed to her by the fingersspelling each word, without any attempt at shorthand, which she said always confused her. After repeating to her sermons and speeches from the most rapid Irish speakers, I have often been distressed at the apparent impossibility of her having understood me; for I felt that I had repeatedly rather indicated than completed the formation of each letter. Seeing my distress, she would often begin and give me every head of division of the sermon, together with the most striking passages, verbatim, as the orator had uttered them.

“We never divided the words, but spelt on the letters as fast as it was possible to form them on the fingers. When in society, I have been repeating to her a general conversation, and communicating the remarks made by each individual, her eye would incessantly range about the room, catch the expression of each speaker's face, and yet never lose a word of what was said. Strangers were amazed at seeing a smile on her face at the very instant that a humorous remark was being made. The power and quickness of her eye was truly surprising."

I have made this long quotation from Mr. Tonna's letter, because I thought that, apart from the general purposes of this address, many persons present might feel an interest in particulars, not generally known, respecting Charlotte Elizabeth. But my special object, in this extract, is to draw your attention to a passage in it further confirmatory of the fact I have already mentioned; namely, that people who lose their hearing are content to lose their speech too. The

passage

is this:-"We never divided the words, but spelt on the letters as fast as it was possible to form them on the fingers.” Now this lady still retained the faculty of speech: Instead of employing it, why should she, even when conversing with her own husband, habitually use the finger-language of the deaf and dumb ?

Dr. Kitto accounts for this repugnance to speak on the hypothesis that the loss of hearing is attended with injurious effects upon the organs of speech, from some mysterious sympathy between the two sets of organs,—the auditory and the vocal; the destruction of the former set occasioning a functional derangement of the latter, or of some of them. And I am amazed to find that so distinguished a physiologist as Professor Huxley, in his recent work on Man's Place in Nature favours the same view. It is a mistaken view. There is no necessity to resort to anatomical or physiological considerations to settle the doubt. Deaf-mutes, whether their deafness be congenital or the result of disease or accident in after-life, can all be taught to speak, unless there be a malformation of their organs of speech entirely independent of their deafness. I have witnessed hundreds of such persons taught to speak, -to pronounce all the vocal articulations that we utter, and with equal accuracy.

Of all these hundreds of deaf and dumb children, I never knew even one who had the slightest defect in his vocal organs. The records of the Royal Institution for the Deaf and Dumb at Paris also abundantly testify to the same fact, namely, that although the ear is paralyzed, the organs of speech remain unimpaired.

The propensity to silence on the part of those who, after long familiarity with the exercise of speech, have become deaf, arises, I am convinced, not from any functional impediment, but entirely from the changed character which, to the utterer, his speech assumes. To him, as to every hearing person, speech is the utterance of articulate sounds, and not mechanical actions merely of the organs of speech. These actions, however indispensable to speech, are executed almost uncon

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