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remarkable phenomena of our nature, Schools ; and for the Abolition of the and the kindest dispensations of Provi- African Slave-trade. derice, that the ambition of great minds Of all these, however, there has been has something in it to counteract these none more interesting than those which evils; that they have ever chiefly re- are renewing upon the earth, one of the
garded the glory which should come most delightful scenes which distinguishafter them; and derived their highes ed the Saviour's advent; which are unexcitements from anticipating those stopping the ears of the deaf, and causing praises which they well knew must never the tongue of the dumb to sing. The reach beyond the warm precincts of the Report, of which we have prefixed the cheerful day.”
title, gives a brief history of The origin of Such ambition, however, is no ordi- the first institution for the Instruction of nary passion, Something like it has, no the Deaf and Dumb which our country doubt, often given a feverish dream to has had the honour of founding. “ About many a poet, who has soon been driven, two years since," says the Report, 4 seby the influence of a malignant star," to veral persons met in this city (Hartford) the ordinary day-light occupations of his and appointed a committee to solicit fellow-mortals. And something very unlike funds to enable Mr. Gallaudet to visit it has made a thousand schemers believe Europe, for the purpose of qualifying that their inventions would bring them himself to become an instructor of the as near to the remotest posterity, as that deaf and dumb. The generous prompof the immortal Galileo brought the hea- titude with which means were furnished, vens to the earth. The genuine passion put it in his power to embark soon after of which we have been speaking, such as for England. Not meeting with a satisthat of Bacon and Mansfield, has been factory reception at the London -Asylum, known to few; and has always been he went to Edinburgh. Here new obstaallied to a lofty and a prophetic genius. cles arose from an obligation which had, But there have been many men of humble been imposed upon the institution in that powers who, nevertheless, possessing ta- city, not to instruct teachers in the art lents so decidedly original as to lead them for a number of years; thus rendering out of the common track, and such strong unavailing the friendly desire of its benepractical sense as would guide them in a volent instructor, and the kind wishes of route of. useful discovery, and turn their its generous patron.” observations to the best account, have We very well know that almost all been compelled, by the discouragements good things under the sun have their atof indifference, prejudice, and interest, to tendant evils ; and that whenever the abandon their pursuits. We have not liberality of the government or of society. time, nor does it come within the limits has secured a proprietorship in invenof our design, to inquire minutely into the tions, it has too frequently been followed causes which within a short time have, by those abuses which render monopoly to a very extraordinary extent, increased odious. The policy of generally allowthe patronage of practical sense, and of ing monopolies of this sort cannot be useful labours. There are two, how- doubted, because they furnish stimulus ever, too remarkable to be overlooked. and support to the most productive and The boundaries of the republic of letters most useful species of labour. But there have recently been a good deal enlarged; are cases where the government should the love of reading has grown upon the extend its patronage to invention or dispeople: through the medium of litera- covery without the permission of monoture, a very considerable intercourse has poly, and where society without forgetbeen brought about between them and ting the rewards which belong to the one, men of science, and thus, at least, every should deny all toleration to the other. thing new, which concerns the advance. That art, which, passing hy the hopeless ment of knowledge, or the substantial and appalling obstructions that occupied improvement of our condition, is sub- the principal avenue to the human mind, jected to general observation. Another, has been able to open a communication and perhaps the greatest which exists, is with it by a path of its own, ought to be to be found in the formation of numerous considered sacred to humanity, and as the societies for the promotion of almost property of the human species. Besides, every object of general utility. Among the inconsiderable improvements, which them will be immediately, 'recollected this art has received in England, could those for the encouragement of litera- hardly be considered as giving a title ture; Bible and Missionary Societies; those to its exclusive use. We would not for the extension of the Lancastrian indulge any harshness upon a subject
which calls up so many emotions which hearing acquire language ; and then let us forbid it, but we cannot entirely suppress see whether the process of teaching the the feelings of sorrow and disgust which deaf is not precisely the same in princiwe have felt at the narrowness of that ple. The first words which children learn jealous policy which shut its doors on this are the names of sensible objects; they mission of mercy, as if it could coin the then pass on to those which express qualidisappointed hopes, and the broken hearts ties, relations, actions, and bodily sensaof fathers, and mothers, of brothers and tions, and which in them are pretty much sisters.
the same thing as those of the mind. The But to go on with the report.-After words expressing these ideas will be these repeated disappointments and dis- nouns, verbs and adjectives. All these couragements, in which, however, let us ideas may be and are communicated by behold a providential hand, Mr. Gallaudet signs, or actions, or by reference to visideparted for Paris, where he met with a ble objects. Pronouns, participles, and courteous and favourable reception from adverbs are substantially the same parts the Abbe Sicard, and soon commenced his of speech with those first named. Concourse of lessons in the establishment junctions and prepositions whether they over which that celebrated instructor are or are not either verhs in disguise, or presides. An arrangement made with Mr. parts of verbs, or only signs of tenses Laurent Clerc, himself deaf and dumb, and cases; being mere servants, are alone of the professors in the institution of ways known by their livery, or in plain Paris, and well known in Europe as a language being used only to quality, most intelligent pupil of his illustrious connect, diminish or enlarge, are easily master, enabled Mr. Gallaudet to return taught by the same means which are emto his native country, with this valuable ployed to explain the more important assistant, much sooner than had been ex- members of a sentence. We have got pected.
thus far in the progress of teaching lan“ The establishment was opened on the guage, and by the help of one word more 15th of April, and it already contains up- besides those thus already acquired, for wards of twenty pupils whose names are the purpose of expressing affirmation or subjoined to this report.”
negation, viz. is, we shall have made conThere are probably many persons who siderable progress in the acquisition of will take some interest even in the slight language. The idea conveyed by this account which our very limited observa- word, whether expressed by letters or an tion will enable us to give of the princi- arbitrary sign, would soon be acquired. ples of that wonderful system of educa- Thus får we find no difficulties in our Lion which is little less to its subjects than way. Let us now see how children aca new creation. Its immediate object is quire general ideas, and those which renot so much to putthe pupil in possession of late solely to the mind by means of lanthe treasures of knowledge, as to give him guage. As to the former, we know there the key by which they may be unlocked. are great names in support of the theory We are very apt to confound these two that they can only be acquired by lanthings, because language is of no use but guage; but it is not necessary for us to exto express ideas, and we cannot be said amine that question. Let us consider to be acquainted with it but as we know the mode in which both these classes of the meaning of its words. It will be use- ideas are acquired or communicated by ful, however, to keep in view that the language, in the order in which they are primary object in the institution of the above stated. A single instance of the deaf and dumb is to teach them lan- mode of acquiring each will suffice. A guage.
child pointing to a pigeon, inquires what A perfect knowledge of the mode in it is, the answer is, a bird. His only idea which the deaf and dumb, or indeed any thus far is that the pigeon which he sees other persons, acquire a language would is called a bird, he asks the same quesshow us its complete analysis, and there- tion with regard to a swallow, a robin, a by explain to us the whole philosophy of wren, a humming-bird, and receives the grammar, and would also give us a pretty same answer. He would now perhaps satisfactory account of the mode by which apply the generic term to all birds of the we aequire general ideas, and by which smaller class, but it would certainly evince language has ihe power of communicat- a want of discrimination if he should aping those which relate exclusively to ply the term to an Ostrich. It will be the inind. In order to render the sub- readily seen that a want of discrimination ject as simple as possible, let us first consi- assists children in acquiring general ideas, der how those who have the sense of and in every case they gain them at last by a variety of applications of the same visible objects, qualities, and actions, to term. The facility of the acquisition will those which belong principally or exclu-depend upon the fregnency of the oppor- sively to the mind, it seems evident that tunities for noticing the various uses of they can be made to understand the latter the term. A child old enough to talk only by signs, or by the help of analogies who should visit a museum could hardly drawn from sensible objects, or actions, avoid acquiring as correct an idea of the in the manner which we have above word “bird” as any philologist possesses. stated. Some may suppose that these
To communicate ideas which relate ex- analogies must be principally concealed clusively to the mind is more difficult, be- from those who do not understand the cause there can be no direct reference to derivation or origin of the words whose external objects. There can in the nature meaning is to be learned. Nevertheless, of things be but three modes by which they are explained to the learner by those these ideas can be communicated, by who do understand them, by the aid of signs, hy referring to external objects, or the same analogies which gave them by words. It is by the latter mode, birth, or by others which are similar. through the medium of analogy, that their There is a mode by which the meaning communication is most frequently made, of words of the kind we are now conand with this we are now more particu- sidering is not unfrequently acquired, and larly concerned. When we wish to ex- perhaps, after we have made some propress any passion, power, sentiment, or gress in our education, more frequently idea which relates to the mind, we resort than in any other way; which may seem to the name of some action which usually to contradict our theory. By the freaccompanies its exercise or expression ; quent recurrence of the same words under or to that of some sensible quality or cir- different connexions, we ordinarily learn cumstance, which we suppose possesses its meaning; and in much the same mansome analogy to the thing we wish to com- ner as that by which we acquire a knowmunicate. Hence it is that there are few, ledge of general terms. But it should be and we believe no words in any language, recollected, that we have an immense which, though now employed exclusively number of words differing only in very to express the operations of the mind, or slight shades thought-and that in ideas relating solely to it, were not origin- every instance of learning words in the ally derived in some way or other from way just stated, we do it by their resemobjects of sense. This assertion will, blance to others which we bave learned probably, meet with a very plump denial before, or by their standing in a connexion from a great many of our readers, and which suggests their meaning upon the they will be immediately satisfied of its principle above stated. inaccuracy by calling to mind a great The instruction of the deaf and dumb many words which they cannot perceive proceeds upon the same general princito have had such an origin. The farther ples. As soon as they have learned to they examine, however, the easier they write the alphabet, they are taught to will find it to trace words to this source, make the signs of visible objects, and to and they will soon begin to suspect that write down their names. Many of these the principal difficulty lies in their imper, signs are so simple and so expressive, that fect acquaintance with their language and they are common to almost all the deaf its parent tongues. In a great majority and dumb. They are so prone, however, of instances, words which are employed to derive their signs from accidental assoto express ideas relating to the mind, re- ciations, and thus render their language tain also their original use. Wesay hard- worse than provincial, that the greatest ness and tenderness of heart, vigour of judgment is required at the very beginmind, fertility of inventior, richness of ning to abstract from their signs every fancy, &c. We speak of force, power, thing accidental, and select those of the purity, invention, grandeur, as qualities or most general use-and the greatest paattributes of mind. There is another tience is necessary in fixing in the meclass expressive of ideas purely intellec- mory of the pupils, such a multitude of tual, such as comparison, bringing toge- fleeting images. From noups, verbs, and ther-inaagination, from forming images adjectives, they proceed to the less im-deliberation, from weighing, or putting portant parts of speech by the same in scales--sincerily, from sine cera, with- means. As signs are generally less defi. out wax-openness, from intrusting a nite than words, they proceed to the ar. friend with a letter without putting a seal quisition of general terms perhaps with to it. Now as children advance in their more facility than we do. They have progress of language from the names of now arrived at that boundary which se
parates the world of sense from that of more vague and much more dificult to go mind, and to the Abbé de l'Epée was re- at, than those expressed by words. served the immortal honour of conducting W. Irave bui one rerpark inore to make them beyond it. To him they owe it that on this subject, and that is, that aecordthey are brought within reach of the richest ing to the present system of teachung the blessings and must exalted distinctions of deaf and dumb, signs are not laid aside as their species. Indeed, we had al sost we should suppose they would be, to a said, that to him under God they owe it, considerable extent, after a pretty extenthat they even belong to that species, for sive acquaintance with language was acany other purpose than that of exercising quired, but they express by signs erery the nost tender and painful interest. thing which, we can by words--for 'in
We'think, after what we have already stance, the most difficult modes and said, that our readers by pursuing the tenses of verbs. We, mention this to train of thought which we have merely show that the business which the teachers suggested, will
, without much farther undertake is herculean task-one assistance from us, learn how the educa- which requires a very long and patient tion of the deaf and dumb is completed. training, and very high qualifications of In one respect their instruction is precise- character. ly similar to that of other persons. Signs There is another inquiry connected are the only language addressed to in- with this very interesting subject, in which fants, and we believe they afterwards ac- we hope our readers will be willing to quire the meaning of a great many words join us. We most cordially invite to aeby a reference to the actions which ex- company us all those whose partialities press the same ideas. The first object is and prepossessions, if any they have, are to get the idea into the mind; when that is of little weight when balanced against effected, it is as easy for the dumb to learn the paramount interests of the objects of to express it by a sign, or by written cha- this novel charity. racters, as for those who can speak to do We are aware that it may be said, that it by a word. The difference is, that there is no stinted field for this new intelsigns afford a' much less convenient and lectual culture—that there are scope and more imperfect medium for the commu- objects enough for the labours of the Innication of ideas than words. There are stitution at Hartford, and for one in this many cases, however, where the expres- city or elsewhere in this state; that it sions of passion and feeling by signs are would be wiser for the opulent and the so decidedly marked, that the general liberal of this metropolis to reserve their idea involved in them is immediately ac- patronage for objects more immediately quired and readily communicated. The within their sphere and under their inlanguage of signs is in many cases, too, spection ; and that there is no propriety more precise than that of words, which in transferring to Connecticut the exare often vague, they being used in a va- clusive honour of an establishment supricty of senses. The dumb would learn ported in part, at least, by the munilimuch sooner to express with precision cence of New-York. the fondness of the heart and that of the These suggestions are of a nature polips, by placing the hand on the one or pular and seductive, and with many more the other, than a child with the sense of of a similar kind will doubtless bourged hearing would learn the various applica- by some with an honest conviction of tions of that much honoured and much their justice, by many from a narrow feelabused word, "love." Every idea which ing of jealousy, and by the great nunis communicated to a deaf and dumb per- ber of objectors as the most plausible exson, must first be conveyed by signs-ascuse for withholding their subscriptions. we have above remarked, there is no A superficial view of the subject might great difficulty in teaching him afterwards indeed lead to the result, that there are to express it by written words. If the objects enough for two, or even more idea be purely intellectual, he must ne- institutions of this description, and the cessarily resort to those external objects multiplicity of them would only create and actions, which are supposed to hear a generous and beneficial emulation. The some resemblance to the act of the mind, number of the deaf and dumb, in the state or the thought which he wishes to ex- of Connecticut has, we believe, been aspress. The sprcific difference between certained with a considerable degree of teaching these ideas to him and a person accuracy, and found to amount to nuerly possessed, of hearing, is, that the analo- one hundred. If the population of the state gies supplied by signs are generally much of Connecticut be supposed at present
to amount to three hundred thousand, this is an entire generation. . According that of the United States to 10,000,000, to the common computation a generation which cannot be far from the truth, it lasts thirty years; and therefore if it be will follow, that if the state of Connecti- supposed that all who are now fit subeut be in this respect a fair sample of the jects of education have received the inUnion, the latter contains 3,533 of those struction designed to be bestowed upon anfortunate persons; and it will be argued, them, it will follow that the new cases with great truth, that this is a number annually occurring will be but a thirtieth much too large for a single school, cer- part of that number, or one hundred and tainly, upon any plan at present proposed eleven. For the reason we have already to the public. But it is to be remember- mentioned but a small proportion of even ed, that this is the total number through these would ever be presented to an instiout the Union, including persons of every tution, certainly not more than a single description--the aged, infants, slaves, and well endowed seminary would be able to persons in entire obscurity and extreme receive. indigence, and the greater part of them But upon a subject of this nature if any at distances very remote_from any one analogous facts are to be found, they are point of the Union. In Europe, we be- to most minds more satisfactory than arlieve, that none except between the ages gument. Ifwe are correctly informed (and of eight, and thirty, are admitted to the we derive our information from sources sehools, and certainly no great advantage which we consider liable to no quescould be proposed from the admission tion) there are in England but two public of others. This limitation would at once schools of this description, one in London exclude more than one half of the total containing 200 pupils, and one in Birmingnumber. Of those which remain, all but ham of about 30. Besides these there a small proportion would be deprived by are 2 private establishments, one in and the single circumstance of poverty from one near the city of London, both of participating in the benefits of this partial which do not instruct more than eighteen charity, for let it be remembered it is but scholars. In Scotland there is single partial. Public munificence hath not yet establishment at Edinburgh of about 50 been such as to afford any prospect that pupils. In France there are two princithe dispensers of this charity will be able pal schools, one at Paris of about 100, to furnish to the pupils much, if any thing, and one at Bourdeaux, the number of in addition to the requisite buildings and which we have not ascertained, but it is instruction. All other expences must be probably less. There are also four or defrayed by their friends; and it will be five other establishments which in point easy to perceive that the want of the pre- of numbers are comparatively inconsiliminary means necessary to their remo- derable. val to the place of instruction, will be an We do hope that upon a subject of this obstacle, and it is to be feared, in most in- sort we shall hear of no narrow local stances, an insurmountable bar to those jealousies. If there must be rivalry, let who do not reside in its vicinity. These it be a generous emulation who shall exconsiderations are probably enough to tend most widely the sphere of this beneshow, that in the present state of this coun- ficence, and not a petty wrangle as to the try, and of the aids which can reasonably place of its local application. New-York be anticipated for an object of this nature, already so proud and rich in her institua single institution will, at present, be suf- tions can afford to yield something to less ficient to receive and disburse all the do- favoured cities. Let us imitate, nay, let nations of public or private charity; they us surpass the liberality of the citizens of are certainly enough to convince every Albany, Salem, and Boston. They did not, fair mind, that it would be unwise to withhold their charity because the insticrect two rival seminaries so nearly in the tution was not at their own doors. The neighbourhood of each other, as Hartford city of Hartford has acquired a fair preand this city. Every cort should be ference by the priority of the exertions of exerted, not to divide, but to concentrate. her citizens. Let us aid and not thwart One serninary will be able to employ all them in this good work. We have the accomplished teachers whom it will enough other titles to distinction. Magbe possible to procure.
nanimity is the part of greatness. There is another consideration upon We regret very much that our limits this subject which did not suggest itself forbid our doing justice to the well writto us in the proper place, and which ten aòd highly interesting sermon of Mr. seems nearly decisive. We have esti- Gallaudet, preached at the opening of mated the whole number of the deaf and the Asylum. We wish for the honour of dumb in the United States at 3,333, but the country, that more of our sermonizers