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of the head implies diffidence or languor. The head is averted in dislike or horror. It leans forward in attention.


The eyes are raised in prayer, They weep in sorrow. They burn in anger. They are downcast or averted in shame or grief. They are cast on vacancy in thought. They are cast in various directions in doubt and anxiety.


The placing of the hand on the head indicates pain or distress; on the eyes, shame or sorrow; on the lips, an injunction of silence; on the breast, an appeal to conscience. The hand is waved or flourished in joy or contempt. Both hands are held supine, or they are applied or clasped in prayer. Both are held prone in blessing. They are clasped or wrung in affliction. They are held forward and received in friendship.


The body, held erect, indicates steadiness and courage; thrown back, pride; stooping forward, condescension or compassion; bending, reverence or respect; prostrate, the utmost humility or abasement.


The firm position of the lower limbs signifies courage or obstinacy. Bended knees indicate timidity or weakness. The lower limbs advance in desire or courage. They retire in aversion or fear; start in terror; stamp in authority or anger; kneel in submission and prayer.

These are a few of the simple gestures which may be termed significant.




OPINIONS differ very widely respecting the nature and origin of these defects in the way of proper utterance. The varieties are also so numerous that scarcely two are to be found precisely alike. In some cases there is very little outward manifestation of

effort, while in others the efforts are just as painful to observe. It is, however, beyond our province to attempt any special description of the causes or manifestations. What we desire to do is to attempt to give a few general hints to those who may suffer from such impediments, and feel desirous of modifying their influence, or of overcoming the difficulties, which they place in the way of either successful speaking or correct reading.

In Chambers's Encyclopædia we are told that "Stammering is, in nearly every case, perfectly curable, as it seldom arises from organic defect." The means of cure must, however, often be continued for a length of time before the stammerer is free from the danger of a relapse. The best time for the cure is undoubtedly the earliest, before the habit has acquired full strength, and before the sufferer has endured the most grievous mortifications and drawbacks of the impediment. But the adult stammerer generally brings to the curative task' a higher appreciation of its importance, and a greater care and concentration of effort than the child is capable of; and these qualities almost compensate for the disadvantage of longestablished habit. With this, as with all habits, "prevention is better than cure;" and stammering would be easily and certainly prevented by timely advice, carried out with ordinary care in the nursery.

Dr. Hunt, the well-known author, in his work on Stammering, in answer to the question, "Is stammering or stuttering a disease?" says: "On this point my late father wrote thus:'I deny that stammering is a disease. It is an imperfection occasioned by organic, physical, or accidental causes-the want of some proper regulation, or use, not a disease-though the fruitful source of many diseases, some of which, by reaction, may be confounded with the original cause; such, for example, as palpitation of the heart, derangement of the nervous system, pulmonary affections, all inducing constitutional debility, both physical and mental, and frequently ending in premature death. These are the effects of stammering; but, therefore, to call a misapplication of the tongue, the jaws, the throat, or the breath, a disease, appears to me a ridiculous error.' Hence he observes again 'Most rational physicians now admit that discipline of the vocal and articulating organs, under an


experienced instructor, is the only means of overcoming impediments of speech."

Rightly to attempt the cure of this, it is needful first of all to ascertain the real cause from which it arises, inasmuch as upon this greatly depends the success or failure of any efforts to overcome it.

1. Sometimes it is acquired merely by imitation. If this is the case, then every effort should be made to arrest it at once, for habits become second nature if continued.

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2. At other times it proceeds from diffidence, fear, or embarrassment, giving rise to a morbid dread of not being successful when about to try to speak. This at times leads to an effort to speak faster than the vocal organs can assume the proper form for clear and distinct utterance.

3. More rarely it arises from a complete functional derangement or defect of the organs of speech, which are so distinctly marked or developed that medical skill may be absolutely needful to remove the impediment.

One who has given great attention to the whole subject says, when speaking of the probabilities of a cure, that it is most likely, if the stammerer has a cheerful disposition; is distinguished for energy of mind and decision of character; can appreciate the variations of pitch in song and speech, or has an ear for music and a taste for elocution. If, however, he is of a nervous temperament—subject to melancholy, irresolute of purpose, incapable of imitation of speaking and singing, the probabilities are unfavourable.

We are told that the celebrated orator Demosthenes corrected the habit of stammering and hesitation with which he was troubled by practising to speak with pebbles in his mouth. That his case was a bad one may be gathered from the remarks made by Plutarch where he says, "Demosthenes, in his first address to the people, was laughed at, and interrupted by their clamour, for the violence of his manner threw him into a confusion of periods and a distortion of his arguments. He had, besides, a weakness and a stammering in his voice, which caused such distraction in his discourse that it was difficult for the audience to understand him."

There is no doubt that in a great number of cases these affections operate through the medium of the mind, and may with

care and attention be overcome, or considerably modified. The first step in this direction is to inspire the sufferer with the confidence that it is possible to effect a cure, provided he is willing to render all the help he possibly can. Success, indeed, will mainly depend upon his individual exertion. To gain this, he must be prepared to work with a zeal that never tires, and an industry which never wearies. Others do it, and therefore he must try to hope that it is not only probable, but possible, he may do the same. Give up all thought of failure. Think only of success. Cultivate a cheerful and happy frame of mind, and engage in various athletic exercises which have the tendency to strengthen and invigorate the muscular powers. Stammerers should watch with great care that when they intend to speak it should be immediately after they have taken in breath by inspiration. To attempt to do so after expiration of the breath is just as absurd as to try to blow the fire with empty bellows. Cultivate the habit of keeping the lungs wellfilled, draw frequent breaths, speak distinctly, pause at once when any embarrassment is felt, and take a deep inspiration of breath before trying to speak again. Mrs. Siddons' first directions to her pupils may, with special emphasis, be given here "Take time." For if you will

"Learn to speak slow, all other graces
Will follow in their proper places."

The strength of this impediment of stammering, we are told, "lies in habit, in mismanagement of the breath and the organs of utterance, rendered habitual before the development of reason and observation; and the removal of the defect depends on the acquirement of voluntary control over the mechanical agents of speech; and perseverance in a discipline of systematic and guarded utterance rarely fails to remove the impediment and the fear which accompanies it."

If this be correct, then it follows that the evil can only be cured by the cultivation of the habit of correct speaking, and this can only be done by giving special attention to the study of the processes of speech, the relation of breathing to the articulate sounds, the position of the tongue and the other organs in moulding the outward stream of air, and the exercise

of every power which will aid in the development of the faculty of speech.

With regard to the cure of stammering, Dr. Carpenter also makes the following suggestions which are worth careful consideration. "One of the most important objects to be aimed at in the treatment of stammering consists in the prevention of all emotional disturbances in connection with the art of speech; and thus requires the exertion and direction of thought in the following modes:

"To reduce mental emotion by a daily, hourly habit of abstracting the mind from the subject of stammering both while speaking and at other times.

"To avoid exciting mental emotion by attempting unnecessarily to read or speak when the individual is conscious that he shall not be able to perform these actions without great distress.

"To clude mental emotion by taking advantage of any little artifice to escape from stammering, so long as the artifice continues to be a successful one."

STUTTERING. This is generally confused with stammering, but this is a mistake. Stuttering is confined or limited "to a loose and imperfect action of the organs of articulation, as distinguished from the irregularity of breathing and the convulsive and choking symptoms which invariably accompany stammering. In stuttering, the organs meet and rebound again and again in reiteration of syllables before words can be fully formed. When the organs are brought under control, and the effort of speech is transferred from the mouth to the throatwhere all voice is formed-the power of fluency is readily obtained."

LISPING. There is yet another defect to be named which in such cases needs attention. It consists of the substitution of the sound th for that of some other letter, but generally it is found to be put for s. In this way common words such as

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To overcome this, it is needful to impress upon those who are the subjects of this defect, that in forming the sound of th, they

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