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Notwithstanding the antipathy acquired by most perfons during childhood to all fpecies of lizards (efts, or esks, as they are ufually called) it is certain that they are amongst the most harmi lefs and inofenfive of all animals. I have frequently put my finger into their mouths, and have endeavoured to fcratch the skin with their teeth, thefe, however, are fo thort, that they would fcarcely lacerate the tender fkin of a bird. Their fharp pointed tongue is formidable only in appearance, for it is perfectly foft: the rapidity with which the lizards dart it out, and again retract it, whenever they are alarmed, is an instinctive action intended no doubt to operate upon the fears of their enemies; and thus to contribute towards the fafety of thefe, otherwife, de encclefs creatures.
March 26. The ground ivy, (gleroma hederacea) barren firawberry, (fragaria fierilis) dogs viokt, (viela canina) and marsh marigold (caltha palustris) ate in flower.
A twelve-rayed fea Star (aflereas pappola) was this day found on the fea-beach.
The fun thining unufually bright on this day, I, for the first time, obferved feveral individuals of the faffron yellow butte fly (papil o rbameri) flitting about in the fhady lanes.
It has been remarked that the appearance of butterflies is, on account of the extreme deli. cacy of the animals, the fureft fign of fpring. This is certainly the cafe when they are feen in any confiderable numbers: but it is well known that individuals of feveral of the fpecies occafionally revive from their torpidity and fly about in warm days even during the depth of winter.
March 31. A greater (potted wood picker was this day sent to me.
April 7. Roach and dace begin to iwim about, and feed at the furface of the rivers. The old jalmon, after spawning up the rivers, have for fome weeks paft been coming down to the fea. In the funny days they may occafionally be feen, in a very weak and emaciated state, balking themselves on the thallows.
In feveral of the rocks neit there are young ones.
April 9. The cowflip is in flower; and the bramble has put forth its first leaves.
April 13. Walking along the bank of the river, I this day obferved the bones of a pike, and the body of a large cel, which had been dragged out of the water by an otter. Upon enquiry I found that two otters were killed in the neighbourhood not long ago. April 15. The black frail (limax ater) appears.
Obfervations on the State of the Weather, from the 24th of March to the 24th of April, 1807, inclufive, Two Miles N.W. of St. Paul's,
The quantity of rain fallen during the last two months is equal to about two inches in depth.
Although the thermometer has been fix days at 60° or 610, ftill the average height for the whole month is only 4474, which is about equal to the mean heights for the fame period the last two years, but in April, 1802, the average heat was nearly 529. The mean height of
the Larometer is 29-90.
Between the 30th of March and the 19th of the prefent month, we had much fevere wea ther, and everal very heavy falls of fnow; on the 13th the ice was in fome places much more than half an inch in thickness.
The wind has been variable. On the cold days it came chiefly from the N N.E. and on the others it was S.S.W. On ieveral days it changed to every point between fun-rife and fun-let
WE are defired, by an old Correfpondent, to flate that, as no authenticated inftance of the existence of a single mad dog, or any cafe of hydrophobia, has yet been published, notwithfranding many thoufands of dogs were destroyed during the late alarm, he wishes to receive in formation of any fuch inftances, if there were any, through the medium of the Monthly Mas guzine.
JUNE 1, 1807.
[5 of VOL. 23.
*As long as thofe who write are ambitious of making Converes, and of giving to their Opinions a Maximum of Influence and Celebrity, the most extensively circulated Mifcellany will repay with the greatek Effect the * Curiosity of those who sead either for Amusement or Inftruction." JOHNSON,
For the Monthly Magazine. ON THE STATE OF THE EDUCATION OF THE DEAF AND DUMB THROUGHOUT
F the art of instructing the deaf and dumb of our species to converse with their fellow creatures cannot be traced to times of very remote antiquity, a position I by no means propose to lay down, it is, however, one which must not be ranked among the discoveries that belong in principe to the present age. We know of works upon the subject of teaching the deaf and dumb to think and write, and to learn useful arts, so early as the beginning of the seventeenth century. I shall instance one in Italian, by Signor Affinate, printed in 1606; and another in Spanish, by Don Juan Pablo Bouet, printed in 1620. These two books are generally reputed to be the oldest upon the subject extant. We have, besides, the Surdus loquens of Doctor Amman, a Swiss physician, who taught several deaf-dumb children to speak in Amsterdam above a hundred years ago, and his de Loquela, the former printed in 1692, the latter in 1700. In addition to these documents of what has been before our day, we have proofs that a very few years after the publication of the Italian and Spanish works just mentioned, and before Dr. Amman began to instruct any person whatever, some Englishmen of great learning and ingenuity conceived the extensive and astonishing idea of teaching the deaf-dumb to understand the conversation of others by sight, and to speak themselves; an invention calculated to afford to them a complete participation in the same means of developement and expansion of the mind, enjoyed by the rest of mankind. The faculty of speech was thenceforward made known to those who seemed for ever excluded from its advantages; and the art has been practised, with the intermission of some very short intervals, in some part of Great Britain ever since.
The principles that led to the first idea MONTHLY MAG., No. 157,
of teaching those persons to speak who are dumb only in consequence of their being deaf (or the deaf-dumb, as I shall call them, to contradistinguish them from those who are both dumb and deaf by nature), are very simple.
Hearing is the universal medium of intercourse among men; it is also the medium by which men learn to express their thoughts to one another by sounds, that is, to speak. Hearing excites the child to make exertions for producing sounds like those which he learns to understand, day after day, as the usual signals of thought and will among men. Hearing is at the same time the criterion by which a child judges every sound, and regulates his first attempts to mould and exercise his organs in the way that produces sounds like those uttered by the persons about him. The deprivation of hearing from the period of infancy, whether accidental or constitutional, being almost without an exception accompanied with absence of speech, it became the received opinion, that where the sense of hearing was not to be excited, it was impossible for a person so circumstanced to understand oral discourse, much more to pronounce intelligible sounds.
The sense of sceing, however, is very acute; and as our sense of hearing is always observed to be stronger and more accurate in the dark, because then all our powers of attention are concentered upon that one method of perception, so with the deaf, their sense of seeing is generally quicker than ours, because better exercised, and their attention is not divided with a sense so powerful as that of hearing. If, then, ordinary persons can take notice of the variety of changes the muscles of the face undergo in pronouncing any set of articulate sounds whatever; and we admit (what it is impos sible to deny) that sounds which are distinct, must have been produced by distinct motions; it follows, to the comprehension of every one, that the acute and well-exercised sight of a deaf person,
whose attention is all bestowed to that one point, may gradually learn to distinguish the motions exhibited on the countenance in pronouncing each word: and that he may at length succeed in making the very same motions; which, if they be exactly the same, and produced in the same manner, cannot fail of being accompanied with the very words uttered by other people.
Our neighbours, the French, who are in general too little inclined to allow the credit due to the inventive spirit of this country, or too much disposed to claim it for themselves, dispute with us the palm of superior genius and humanity, in respect to the unfortunate dumb and deaf. Their governments, since the foundation laid by their munificent Bourbons, have certainly done much to attract the attention of the universe,and claim the principal merit among sovereigns anxious to ease the unfortunate of the oppressive weight of evil. Europe looks with admiration to the progress of the schools of De l'Epée and Sicard in which the mode of instructing is by a language not intelligible to the generality of men; the glory of the English is, that they first, in spite of seeming impossibility, taught to operate in favour of the speechless, the last of miracles, to impart to them the gift of tongues; and that here the bounty of individuals keeps pace with the munificence of princes.
The celebrated Sir Kenelm Digby, an author of the beginning of the seventeenth century (from 1630 to 1660), gives an account of a deaf-dumb young man who was taught to know what was spoken to him.
Dr. Wallis, in the Philosophical Transactions, Nos. 61, and 245, gives a very minute description of the method by which he taught one deaf and dumb pupil to write, and general notions upon the manner in which he instructed another, a deaf-dumb person, to speak. The first, a Mr. Daniel Whalley, was taught by the doctor to understand the English language mentally, and to become such a proficient in writing, that he could express his own thoughts readily upon paper, and comprehend what was written to him by other persons; the second was Mr. Alexander Pophani, brother-in-law to the Earl of Oxford.
It is remarkable, that, notwithstanding instances so conchisive as these, and all which had been done in Italy, in Spain,
and in Holland, as well as England, it did not begin to be universally admitted that those who were born deaf were not likewise destitute of the powers of reason, until the contrary was demonstrated in France by the Abbé de l'Epée. The progress which had been made in other countries, however satisfactory in most instances, was but partial, and seemed, after some time, to be lost in obscurity. The consequence was, that many minds, endued with the brightest natural quali ties, remained neglected, and confounded with the hopeless ideot. The success of De l'Epée fortunately drew the attention of princes, and crowned heads have since deemed the topic not beneath their glory to notice. Several establishments are now formed in various parts of Europe under the immediate patronage, and at the expence, of the monarchs. The example was set by France Germany followed: Italy and Spain, which gave birth to the first essays upon this curious subject, have joined in the benevolent undertaking; in England the contributions of private persons support a considerable institution; and Denmark and Russia either have, or are preparing to carry into cllect, complete systems of national education for the deaf and dumb on the most extensive scale.
Upon a subject so intimately connected with philological and liberal knowledge, and peculiarly interesting to the mind either of curiosity or benevo lence, it may be acceptable to many readers to know what has been done in the various institutions of this nature now in being, where they are established, and by whom. A sketch of the various methods practised in those institutions, will enable the enquiring mind to judge of their comparative advantages, and, if the heart or genius prompt, to contribute to the extension of the blessing.
The method usually practised in the instruction of the deaf and dumb, is to shew them the thing meant to be expressed, and at the same time repeat the sign or gesture which is to be thence forward understood between the pupil and his instructor as representing it. Then, passing from things evident to the senses, to things intellectual, the mas ter, by gestures, corresponding motions of the countenance, and the approximis tion of such ideas as the pupil may have already conceived, proceeds to contra distinguish and give a separate gesturename to each of the sensations, emotions, passions, and operations of the mind;
and, in due order, to qualities and things ideal, as long, length, broad, breadth, time, space, immortality, &c.
Every person who has been present at the representation of a good pantomime, has had an opportunity of witnessing, that appropriate gestures are capable of conveying almost the precise idea of the person who uses them, to the minds of others. The language of gesture is expressive, and it is natural. Its first principles are the same in all countries, and require no instruction. By it the stranger in a foreign country makes known his wants, and understands the intentions of those who approach him. It is the method imparted by heaven, to open a communication among the nations separated since the confusion of tongues. Even the English, whose countenances, of all others, are the most placid and immoveable in conversation, and who are remarked for accompanying their discourse with fewer gestures than any other people, even the English make occasional use of the universal gesticulations for coming, going, threatening, inviting, complimenting, noticing, commanding silence, bidding farewell, assenting, denying, &c. By carrying this language to its natural extent; chusing new and distinct signs for ideas that in themselves are distinct; and successively substituting the written 'word for the gesticulated sign, until the use of both, as signs for the thing or thought, becomes equally familiar; the deaf and dumb have been, and still are, most usually instructed; such an education comprising properly the arts of conversing by manual signs and by writing.
In addition to the pantomimic method of conversing by gestures, and that of corresponding by the written letters in use among the rest of the nation to which the pupil belongs, a method has been adopted of easier acquirement than the former, to persons already acquainted with orthography, and of much convenience where neither of the other methods can be practised. I allude to a literal language on the fingers, for which there are various schemes, most of which have been tried with some success. The faculties of a human being gain strength from any kind of exercise, however tedious; or imperfect, as these methods, compared with speech, must ever be; and since it is certain that a deaf and dumb person, like any other human being endued with reasoning powers, wants but a set of distinct sigus to unravel the chaos
within his own mind, and pursue any train of thought which does not depend upon results too abstruse for his unassisted comprehension, it is equally certain that, if we communicate to him a certain set of signs, however incomplete and slow in the execution, he will make a progress of some kind proportioned to the helps he has received. None of these methods, however, can possibly obviate the principal deficiency which they leave still untouched, viz. that of being able to make a 'ready interchange of thoughts with any individual of the nation in which the pupils are to pass their lives. The languages of pantomime, of letters on the fingers, and of writing, assist, and are undoubtedly useful in a high degree; a correspondence is indeed effected by them, and they lead to the cultivation of the pupil's mind; but none of them restore him to a participation in the cheerful, easy converse, from which his want of hearing has severed him: and, without the power of speaking or understanding oral speech, he still remains solitary in the midst of his friends and of the world.
There are seldom more than one or two among the whole number of any deaf-dumb child's relations, that will take the trouble to learn the meaning and connection of his simplest gestures. They guess as well as they can at the purport of his mode of expressing himself; and in so many incongruous ways as their own minds happen to be variously organised, do they contrive gestures to convey to him their own meaning.
The language of gesticulated signs, therefore, although to a certain degree it may be a help in the initiative instruction, falls short of the purpose of exactness, and writing also falls short of the purpose of speedy communication, two objects which are sufficiently answered by speech alone. The most complete system of gesticulation that can be taught the deaf and dumb, is as foreign a language to those with whom a person in that condition may have afterwards to live, and as difficult to comprehend, as the least intelligible of his own original and peculiar signs.
I have not heard of any persons who took the pains to attain a competent knowledge of such a manner of expressing thought, except the professors and pupils alone; nor is it reasonable to presume that many others would quit their ordinary and important occupations, for a study in itself infinitely complex, without being impelled either by strong ne3 G 2
cessity, or the hope of obtaining a recompence in some degree proportioned to the previous fatigue of attending it. Those unhappy persons who are incurably dumb (that is, who want, or are irremediably defective in, the organs requisite to produce articulated sound) have certainly no other resource to express what passes within them: : yet even they, if their sense of seeing be not as defective as their hearing, may be taught to read upon, and understand from, the lips of others, every thing that is said in their presence
The most numerous class of dumb persons, are those who are destitute of speech only in consequence of their being desti tute of the sense of hearing, which excites other men to speak; and not from any defect in the organs of speech, with which they are in most cases as well provided as the generality of mankind. This class of dumb persons is what I designate by the name of the deaf-dumb; and they would have learned to speak from their cradle, if they had not been likewise destitute of the proper instruction to observe and imitate the motions used in speaking; which, in their effects, viz. the variety of sounds, are rendered so perceptible to all who hear. Every individual of this class is capable of being instructed, not only to read the motions of the faces of others as quick as another can hear, but also to produce within his or her own mouth those very sounds with which the motions observed are accompanied.
We have upon record instances sufficient of the exertions of nature in some of these forlorn individuals, to suggest, without any other proof, the possibility of bringing this theory to the same degree of perfection as the system of instructing how to carry on a conversation by the aid of bearing. It is here worthy of remark, that the efforts of nature are to be observed in all and the very same stages through which art will have to follow.
It is presumable that in all ages the dumb have not been destitute of as many signs to express their wants or wishes, as they could in that state be supposed to have had perceptions; for this species of language is not denied even to the brutes. It is also presumable that dumb persons have always been able to invent for themselves, and that they have always made use of, some particular signs to intimate how far they understood the ineaning, gestures, looks, and actions of other
people, and the events passing around them: for this is what we see every untutored dumb person do of himself, and with the greater significance in proportion to his greater degree of intellect. This is the initiative stage of instruction.
The famous French professors, the Abbés de l'Epée and Sicard, have founded their system of instruction for the deaf and dumb upon this natural language of signs. By giving the full extent to the inferences that may be drawn from the simple observations just mentioned, they have filled all Europe with the echo of their praise; a praise which every friend of humanity who has had an opportunity of contemplating their success with all its consequences, will say is most justly merited.
In the Philosophical Transactions, No. 312,* there is an account given on the authority of Mr. Waller, the then secretary to the Royal Society, of a brother and sister, natives of the town in which Mr. Waller was born, and both aged about fifty, who, although they had been deaf from their childhood, yet notwithstanding, by observing the motions of a person's lips and face while speaking, understood every thing the person said, and returned proper answers. The pronunciation of this man and woman, although somewhat uncouth from want of being regulated by the ear, was perfectly intelligible.
There is another instance of the exertions of nature in what I shall call the second and third stages of the instruction of the deaf and dunib, related by Bishop Burnet, in the case of a daughter of the Reverend Mr. Goddy, a clergyman of Geneva. The young lady was first observed to have lost her hearing when a child of about two years old; and never afterwards, although she retained some faculty of perceiving when the air was agi tated by very loud noises, could hear a sin gle sound of what was spoken. By atten tive observation of the mouth and lips of persons speaking, she rendered herself able to understand all that was said in her sight; and moreover, by imitating the motions of their mouths, collected a sufficient number of words to form a jar gon of her own; in which she could bold a conversation with her friends, and the whose attention and ingenuity were ca pable of supplying her lapses and defi ciencies. With the approach of dark her conversation ceased, until candles Abridgment.