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nifying nothing, any more than the different strokes of the pen which compose one of the Chinese characters.

From this view of the case it is evident that the perfect acquisition of the written language of his country, must, for a deaf mute, require even more time than the perfect acquisition of the written language of China for an European, since for the former, the number of arbitrary characters is much greater, and the difficulties of construction are certainly not less.

Those aware of the severe mental labor which the study of languages, like the Hebrew and Chinese, exacts for so many years, will cease to be surprised that, in most cases, after four or five years instruction the deaf mute is, with respect to the study of written language, but little advanced beyond that point at which the education of those who hear usually begins,-namely, that at which the meaning of unfamiliar words can be explained by other words previously known; and that very many can hardly be said to reach this point, at least so as to derive benefit from the dictionaries in

We need not therefore wonder that so many, after completing the period allowed them, and returning to the society of those litile qualified to aid or encourage them in intellectual pursuits, forget much that they may have learned in the school-room, and only retain so much knowledge of the simplest forms of language, as to hold necessary communication with those with whom they have to deal.

Yet even with this scanty knowledge of written language, the knowledge of facts, of causes, of principles, of family, social and moral relations, which every mute of ordinary intellect acquires by a residence of a few years in an institution for the deaf and dumb, is of incalculable value. It lifts him in the scale of being, giving him the sweet assurance that he is a man, a member of the same great family with those around him. A veil is lifted from the face of nature, and the curtain drawn aside that hid the once mysterious springs of human actions. The world is no longer to him bounded by the hills that close his own view. He sees the sun set, and knows he has gone to shine on other lands, to foster the growth of the tea and the coffen-tree,-to ripen the orange and the fig, -to light the path of the elephant-riding Asiatic through his tiger-haunted jungle, and to parch the desert where the Arab speeds from Oasis to Oasis, on his camel, gov.

and where the lordly lion dwells alone. When the desolation of winter is abroad on the earth, he looks forward with confidence to the return of a summer as bright, as warm, and as fruitful as the last, for the promise has been explained to him, that seed time and harvest shall not cease. He has been taught to shun the intoxicating draught which too many have put to the lips of the uneducated deaf and dumb; he has learned to respect habitually the rights of property, to set a sacred value on truth, and by their conduct in these respects, he knows whom among his fellow men to trust, and whom to distrust. With the world at large he can indeed hold but little intercourse, but with those familiar with his modes of expression, he establishes a dialect, partly of words and partly of signs, not only sufficient for all necessary purposes, enabling him to mingle in the social parties, and share in the social enjoyments of those of his own age. If he cannot understand the inflammatory appeals, and personal abuse of a party newspaper, he at least knows the most material facts in The history of his own country, and the structure of its ernment; he is aware why elections are held, and if he sides with a party merely because it is the side of his own best friends, he has a better motive of action than many can plead. If he does not hear, or seeing in writing, cannot fully appreciate the solemn words that bind man and woman together for life, at least he is fully sensible of the sacred nature of the relation, and is himself competent to enter, and often does enter into it. Though he may not comprehend the eloquent appeals made in behalf of missions, he has heard of missionaries sent to the heathen, and perhaps has even been personally acquainted with such. He knows why they were sent and by whom, and how they went, and can even point out on the map the country to which they have gone. If he cannot hear the public preaching of the word, or even feel the full force of the exhortations in tracts put into his hands, he knows why men meet one day in seven, and can often derive profit by meeting with his hearing neighbors, recalling to his own mind under the influence of the day, of the place and of the occasion, some exhortation delivered long before by his teacher in his own language of signs, some precept of the Saviour, or some scene from sacred history. Nay more, he not unfrequently obtains the assurance of meeting his fellowworshippers in that celestial home, where finally the predic

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tion of the prophet shall be more fully fulfilled than during the brief abode of the Messiah on earth, where in short, the deaf shall hear and the dumb shall sing.'

We have now briefly considered the actual degree of success attained by instructors of the deaf and dumb. Though the instances of eminent success, at least during the usual scanty period of instruction, have been rare, yet, compared with the lot of far greater numbers who remain uneducated, the condition of the educated mute, even of one who would be considered below the average of his class, is one of intellectual, social and moral elevation, and his means of enjoyment of a far higher kind, and more accessible. It remains to be considered whether the almost insuperable difficulties which obstruct his perfect acquisition of written language, cannot be so far removed that the ability to derive high gratification from the perusał of books, shall no longer be the rare exception instead of the general rule.

We have spoken of written language as peculiarly difficult of acquisition for the deaf and dumb. If they consider each word as a single complex character, they are forced to commit to memory several thousand radical characters; and if, as is perhaps more common, they look on a word as an arbitrary jumble of letters, the case is, as we shall hereafter explain, still worse.

But the difficulty of acquiring words in the first instance, great as it is, is by no means the only, or even the principal difficulty. The ability to employ, without sensible effort, the signs for ideas furnished by any language in our ordinary social intercourse, and in our private meditations, is necessary to a thorough acquaintance with that language. The deaf and dumb must not only laboriously commit to memory the words of a written language and its laws of construction, but they must be led to form a system of ideas corresponding to those words, and to employ either the images of those written words, or some other system of signs, parallel with, and readily convertible into the ordinary language of their countrymen, as the direct object and instrument of thought.

This faculty can in general only be acquired by the constant colloquial use of words, and such colloquial use implies a mode of exhibiting words in conversation more rapid and convenient than ordinary writing. Till it is acquired, written language must ever remain to this class of learners, a foreign language, whose phrases will, in general, be understood only by translation into their vernacular language of gestures. We shall first endeavor to put this principle in a clearer point of view, and then enquire what system of signs representing words, is most eligible, for we are firmly persuaded that, on the choice of such a system depends the question, whether the deaf and dumb may be, in any reasonable space of time, inducted into a perfect knowledge of written language.

To those whose language was acquired through the ear, words, whether they utter, hear, read, or merely think of them, are only variations of articulated sounds. Hence, most men find it difficult to appreciate correctly the peculiar circumstances of those, for whom this entire class of perceptions has no more existence than colors for a man born blind, and to whom, therefore, words in whatever manner they are presented, must belong to the class of visual, or that of tactile sensations. Whether in the case of a deaf mute who has been taught to articulate, the tactile sensations furnished by the contacts and motions of his own organs of speech constitute the material of words, or only recall the visible movements of those organs in another, or some other visible form of words, as in the case of the writer, those contacts and motions serving as representatives of sounds still remembered, though for many years unheard, is a question of much doubt. In either case, it is evident that to the deaf mute taught to articulate, words are very different from what they are to us. But there can be no doubt respecting the ordinary visible characters for words, whether composed of marks on paper, or of positions of the fingers. The one mode or the other may equally become to a deaf mute, the original forms of words, to which all other recognized forms of the same words will be referred. But in either case, words must he learned originally through the eye, and must therefore, ever belong to the class of visual perceptions.

Laura Bridgeman, the interesting pupil of the New Eng land Asylum for the blind, presents the only instance in which we cannot doubt that words are conceived solely as tactile sensations. Other deaf mutes who, after acquiring some knowledge of words, had become blind, have indeed learned to recognize those words by the sense of touch ; but the case just mentioned is believed to be the first in which an original knowledge of words has been acquired through this sense.

The radical difference just explained, between the deaf mute's perceptions of words and those of men in general, must be steadily kept in view as the clue to many of the views and arguments presented in the following pages. It will also make it clear why the case of those who acquired a language before becoming deaf, differs from that of the deaf and dumb from birth. To the former, words are precisely what they are to other men, and though unheard for many years, their tones will still linger in the mind's ear, with all their variations of rhythm, cadence, accent, and emphasis. Such, as has already been intimated, is the case of the present writer, and he can therefore speak on that point from his own experience.

The mental habits of the deaf and dumb from birth, also differ from our own in another point, requiring explanation.

Metaphysicians recognize two modes of conducting mental operations. We may recall directly our original perceptions of objects, and of their relations whether in space or time: or we may recall them by means of signs standing some as the representatives of individual objects, but the greater number as the representatives of classes, of attributes, of states, of changes, of actions, of the relations of time and place, of cause and effect, of general principles.

The first is styled the method of direct intuition. It is the mode in which the mind of an uneducated mute recalls, compares, and combines at will the objects of his knowledge.

So long as the mind busies itself with the images of sensible objects, whether contemplated singly, or which is more common, as forming part of a group; so long as it follows, as in a camera obscura, the changes of place, color, attitude, relative position, etc., of objects, --so long as it recalls directly its own simple emotions and judgments, by recalling objects or actions adapted to excité the former or exercise the latter,--so long it may, and, in certain circumstances, does dispense with signs of any description in conducting its operations.

Even when a deaf mute has carried the pantomime, the natural language by which he communicates his ideas to others, to a considerable degree of perfection, he still thinks, for the most part, by the direct intuition of ideas ;-because his pantomimic signs are either merely copies of the images in his own mind, as far as these are capable of being copied,

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