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remarkable among all others for the munificent and truly liberal spirit that presides over it.

The principal literary characters now living are, Bonstetten of Bern, Sismondi, Chateauvieux, and De Candolle at Geneva, Zschokke at Aarau, Bernouilli at Basle, Hottinger at Zurich. It is remarkable that Switzerland has produced few poets, notwithstanding the beauties of its scenery and the romantic recollections of its early history. Gessner, Lavater, Bodmer, Haller, and De Salis form, we believe, the whole list. Of artists Basle has produced Holbein, Zurich, Fuessli; the canton of Ticino has sustained in this particular the reputation of the influence of an Italian sky, and has produced distinguished architects, painters, and sculptors. Schaffhausen has produced a good historian, John Muller.

The art of oratory has been as yet but little cultivated in Switzerland. One reason may be, that until last year the legislative assemblies of all, except the pure democratic cantons, debated with closed doors, and even the sittings of the federal diet itself were not public, The landsgemeinde, or comitia of the little democracies, are composed in general of people too rude and uninformed to afford a field for oratory. Even trials in many cantons were not public until the changes which took place last year. No statement of the budget was laid before the public. These few anomalies of an old republican country, to which others might be added, serve to show that the name of republic, and the absence of a monarch and a titled nobility, are not always certain means of ensuring freedom and security to the individuals.


THE subject of this article is, in several points of view, one of peculiar interest. It is matter of delight to the philanthropist, that those whom nature seems to have deprived of one of the greatest privileges of humanity, can be brought to enjoy the comforts and advantages of mental cultivation in almost an equal degree with their more fortunate fellowcreatures. But this is not all. The processes employed in the instruction of the deaf and dumb have opened new views, which may be made useful in the education of those who can hear and speak; so much so, that every one who is engaged in the oral communication of knowledge to the young, should make himself acquainted with the other methods which have

succeeded, where the common one is impossible, and should learn the true connexion between the spoken word and the idea, in the school where the second is taught without the assistance of the first.

The art to which we allude is of comparatively modern. date. In the east, from which so many of our institutions are derived, we find that those who labour under any defect, whether of reason or speech, have always been objects of veneration, as the peculiar care of the Creator, and it is therefore not surprising that these privileged beings should have continued in the uninterrupted possession of their valuable birthright. But in the west, a prejudice worse than the superstition just mentioned, seems to have decided from a very early period, that it was impossible to better the condition of those whom a natural defect had deprived of the power of hearing. The code of Justinian implies this in declaring that those born deaf and dumb shall not have power to make any will or disposition of property, or to free a slave; which surely would not have been found in so admirable and enlightened a law of property, had it not been presumed that the deaf and dumb were altogether incapable of receiving such instruction as would give the sense of right and wrong, or prudential views of personal interest. Under the feudal law the deprivation of political privileges was carried still further. Theologians have argued from the Bible, and philosophers from their conceptions of mental organization, the impracticability of conveying knowledge otherwise than by speech. It would have appeared desirable in our day to decide the dispute by an appeal to experiment; but the warning history of the controversy about live and dead fish was not then known, we presume, for we find no attempt made to instruct the deaf and dumb till the middle of the nineteenth century, when Pedro de Ponce, a Benedictine of Oña, a Spaniard, who died in 1584, succeeded in teaching several children born deaf, to write, and even to speak. The celebrated Cardan* had before this period expressed himself as follows: Writing is associated with speech, and speech with thought; but written characters and ideas may be connected together without the intervention of sounds, as in hieroglyphic characters.' It does not appear that Cardan carried his notion further; had he done so he might perhaps have been called the father of the art.

As it is our wish rather to excite instructors to examine a peculiar and useful branch of their art than to trace its history, or examine into the relative merits of different

*De Utilitate ex adversis capienda. Lib. ii., cap. 7.

systems, we confine ourselves principally to the explanation of those of the Abbés de l'Epée and Sicard, who may be called the originators of the method which has, within the last forty years, produced such successful results. To those who would know more of the subject generally, we recommend the work of M. Degerando*, which, in spite of much prolixity and repetition, must be deemed a valuable addition to our knowledge on this subject. There is also the work of M. Neumann†, which we have not seen, but which is highly spoken of by M. Degerando.

We were at first almost tempted to say, it is remarkable that no common error, which pervaded the philosophy of the nineteenth century, missed an application in the various attempts then made to educate the deaf and dumb. On second thoughts, however, our astonishment would have been more excited, had our subject been the only one which was free from the presumptuous dogmatism of that period. On the contrary, we find from history that the reign of the method of induction began later to extend itself over this part than almost any other of its natural domain. Even so late as the year 1779 the Abbé Deschamps published a Cours élémentaire d'éducation des Sourds-Muets.' With the true spirit of a system-maker, he determined that the idea of the Creator of the world, and the plan of his great work, should be the first presented to the mind of a pupil, who, as far as he knew, had never yet used two ideas to produce a third, and who could not by possibility be in possession of any one of those notions which we term abstract. From the Creator he proceeded to the stars, from them to the earth, and thence to plants, animals, and man. M. Degerando complains, that the name of the Abbé Deschamps has been condemned to unjust oblivion. If by this he understands that an instance of ardent zeal in the cause of humanity, accompanied by great sacrifices of time and money, has not met its just reward with posterity, he is undoubtedly correct; but if he speaks of the philosopher, he should recollect that Descartes and Leibnitz would have shared the same oblivion, had they not, in the course of their career, produced something more useful than the imaginations, in which, and in which only, they have been so closely imitated by the good Abbé. We speak only of the philosophy

L'Education des Sourds-muets de Naissance. A Paris, chez Méquignon l'Ainé, père. Two volumes, octavo.

+ Die Taub-Stummen-anstalt zu Paris; nebst Geschichte und Litteratur der Taub-stummen unterrichtes in Spanien und Frankreich. Koenigsberg, 1827. One volume, octavo.

of the work, for in several other respects there is much in it which deserves attention.

To the Abbé de l'Epée we owe the first general introduction of a simple and uniform system. He tells us that when he first applied himself to this species of instruction, he was not aware that any one before him had attempted the same task. The end had been fully accomplished in particular instances by several others, who either refused to disclose their secret without remuneration, or perhaps felt better qualified for the execution than the explanation of their plans. Of this there is one most remarkable instance in M. Saboureux de Fontenay, who was born deaf and dumb, and instructed mostly by M. Péreire, who, however, did not disclose his system. To show how completely it succeeded, we subjoin the first sentence of a long letter written by the first mentioned individual in 1764, to a lady who requested to know how he had been taught, from which we would gladly have explained the system employed, had it been sufficiently detailed.

'Vous me demandez comment j'ai pu apprendre à lire, à écrire, à parler, à m'expliquer; je me ferai un vrai plaisir de vous le faire concevoir distinctement: mais, quoique ce soit une matière qui demande à être discutée en métaphysicien, je tâcherai de m'abstenir du langage des savans, pour n'emprunter que celui de la conversation ordinaire.'

We doubt if any pupil of either of the methods, which we now proceed to describe, ever succeeded in writing his own language with so much correctness.

The attention of the Abbé de l'Epée was accidentally turned to the subject, by the circumstance of two orphan girls being left without instruction on the death of their teacher. From feelings of benevolence, and a desire to teach them the principles of religion, he undertook their education, with no previous knowledge of the habits, ideas, or capabilities of the unfortunate class to which they belonged. He gave himself up to the pursuit, and devoted to it his time, his money, and his energies. He collected around him other deaf and dumb children, and continued his good work until his death, which took place in 1789. He tendered his services to any country which should think proper to employ them in forming institutions and instructors, stipulating only that no remuneration should ever be offered. He disclosed his method to all who would learn it, and many celebrated teachers, one of whom was Sicard, were among his pupils. Such is a slight outline of the labours of the Abbé de l'Epée. If the motto Aux grands hommes la patrie reconaissante'


be anything more than an empty flourish, his statue will occupy no mean place in the national pantheon of his country.

The method followed by the Abbé de l'Epée sprung out of a principle readily admitted, and generally professed, but seldom applied, viz.: that instruction is the art of leading the pupil to that which is not known, by means of that which is. He had observed that the deaf and dumb, though deprived of ordinary facilities, are not entirely without means of communication. He knew that the sounds by which we express our ideas are in most cases pure conventions, having no necessary connexion with the things which they represent. We should now feel that small thanks would be due to any one who gravely announced the same principle; but we must recollect that even this was once new. For example, in 1667, Van Helmont asserted that the Hebrew was the natural language of mankind, to which they would have attained, without instruction, by means of their vocal organization alone. While we do not forget what is due to talent, we must remember how much we owe to common sense. A little portion of the unrestrained imagination of Deschamps, might possibly have wasted the powers of De l'Epée in an attempt to read the original Pentateuch with the deaf and dumb orphans out of the streets of Paris. He took a method somewhat different. He contented himself at first with methodising, and extending the species of language which they already possessed. All who are born deaf and dumb soon have recourse to signs, by which they may transfer to others the few impressions which memory recalls to themselves. These are almost entirely derived from some particular circumstance connected with the object which they wish to represent, and vary therefore with the characters of the persons who use them. Thus some will represent a letter by the action of writing and reading; others by that of breaking open and reading; others by its shape and address. Some represent future time by pointing with the hand, as if to indicate a distant object; others by repeating the action of undressing and going to bed several times in succession. Their language is meagre, but not more so than that of most savage nations: it is, however, capable of any degree of amplification, and to this the Abbé de l'Epée first applied himself. Had he lived, he would probably have completed the Dictionary of Methodical Signs which he began, but of which he only finished the verbs. His method was certainly too etymological, and more nearly akin to the ideas of the teacher than to those of the pupil. It had the defect which prevails so generally in our systems of teaching Latin and Greek, of bringing the

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