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trary to the popular spirit of our institutions: yet upon this very belief I offered that work to the public; hoping by the diffusion of its principles, in due season to suit the country to it; and thus instead of being a present time server, on full but precarious wages, to endeavour to be the unhired server of an enlightened and grateful futurity.
With here and there an exception, the scoffers at this work have been those eternal enemies of improvement,—the Placemen of Learning. Supposing however that, through the influence of knowledge made light and popular and cheap, the arts are not now so far downward as to create despair of any successful efforts by a new one, before their intire decay and future revival,- I would say to many of those who hold the places and draw the profits of science, that if they will but continue to sheathe their opposition in their feigned contempt, the first humble apostles of this work may, by a gradual rise to those places and profits, see their own enlarged designs of instruction, in the course of half a century completed.
There are now several teachers and numerous friends of the system throughout the United States. Dr. Barber, an English physician, who had devoted himself to the study of elocution, and who came to Philadelphia about the period of the publication of the Philosophy of the human voice,' was the first to adopt its principles, and to defend them against the double operations of doubt and sneer, by an explanatory and illustrative course of lectures. Yale College, at New Haven, was earJy favorable to the system. But the University of Cambridge, by the appointment of Dr. Barber to its department of Elocution, was the first chartered institution of science that gave an influential and responsible approbation of the work.
This work' furnishes, upon analysis, a system of principles for an art that heretofore has been waywardly directed by individual instinct or caprice: all therefore who design to teach
the art of reading must sooner or later adopt it. Will the influential instructors of Philadelphia be the last? If this city were not the place of my birth and residence, I would take upon me to answer-No.
The objections first made to the Philosophy of the human voice' were against its utility; now the cry among the learned is, that it is too difficult. Too difficult! Why, all new things are difficult; and if the scholastic pretender knows not this, let the annals of the trades instruct him. -Just one century has elapsed since that common material of furnituremahogany, was first known in England. It is recorded that Dr. Gibbons, an eminent physician of that period, had a brother, a West India captain, who took over to London some planks of this wood, as ballast. The Doctor was then building a house; and his brother thought they might be of service to him. But the carpenters finding the wood too hard for their tools, it was laid aside for a time as useless. Soon after a candle-box being wanted in his family, Dr. Gibbons requested his cabinet maker to use some of this plank which laid in his garden. The cabinet maker also complained that it was too hard. The Doctor told him he must get stronger tools. When however, by successful means, the box was made, the Doctor ordered a bureau of the same material; the colour and polish of which were so remarkable, that he invited all his friends to view it. Among them was the Duchess of Buckingham, who being struck with its beauty, obtained some of the wood: of which a like piece of furniture was immediately made for Her Grace. Under this influence the fame of mahogany was at once established; its manufacture was then found to be in nowise difficult; and its employment for both use and ornament has since become universal.
The master-builders of science, literature and eloquence, declared the Philosophy of the human voice to be too hard for their studious energies; and threw it aside as useless. But a few humble cabinet makers of learning having, some how or other, got stronger tools, have already made the box; are under way with the bureau; and are only waiting for the authoritative influence of some leader of oratorical fashion,-to produce a general belief in the simple truism that-IF WE WISH TO READ WELL, WE MUST FIRST LEARN HOW.
TAE analysis of the human voice, contained in the following essay, was undertaken some years ago, exclusively as a subject of physiological inquiry. Upon the discovery of some essential functions of speech, I was induced to pursue the investigation; and subsequently to attempt a methodical description of all the vocal phenomena, with a view to bring the subject within the limits of science, and thereby to assist the purposes of oratorical instruction.
By every scheme of the cyclopædia, the description of the voice is classed among the duties of the physiologist; yet he has strangely neglected his part, by borrowing the small substance of his knowledge from the fancies of rhetoricians, and the dull authority of grammarians. It is time at last for physiology, of right and seriously, to take up its task.
In entering on this inquiry, I determined to avoid an express reference to the productions of former writers, until the influence of nature over the ear should be so far established, as to obviate the danger of adopting unquestioned errors, which the strongest effort of independence often finds it so difficult to avoid. Even a faint recollection of school instruction was not without its forbidding interference, with my first endeavour to discover, by the ear alone, the hidden processes of speech.
After obtaining an outline of the work of nature in the voice, sufficient to enable me to avail myself of the useful truths of other observers, and to guard against their mistakes, I consulted all accessible treatises on the subject, particularly the European compilations of the day, the authors of which have opportunities for selection, not enjoyed in this country. Finding, on comparison, that the following history of the voice represents its nature more extensively and definitely than any known system, I am induced to offer it to the public. Many errors may be found in it; but if the leading points of analysis, and the general method be not a copy from nature, and do not prompt others to carry the subject into practical detail, I shall forever regret the publication.
It becomes me, however, to remark, that as this work has not been made up from the quoted, or controverted, or accommodated opinions of authors, I shall totally disregard any decision upon its merits, which is not made by a scrutinizing comparison with nature herself.
The art of speaking well, has, in most civilized countries, been a cherished mark of distinction between the elevated and the humble conditions of life, and has been immediately connected with some of the greater labours of ambition and taste. It may therefore appear extraordinary, that the world, with all its works of philosophy, should have been satisfied with an instinctive exercise of the art, and with occasional examples of its perfection, without an endeavour to found an analytic system of instruction, productive of more multiplied instances of success. Due reflection, however, will convince us, that even this extended purpose of the art of speaking, has been one of the causes of neglect. It has been a popular art; and works for popularity are too often the works of mediocrity. The majority of the bar, the senate, the pulpit, and the stage, deprecate the trouble of improvement: and the satisfaction of the general ear is, in no less a degree, encouraging to the faults of the voice, than the approving judgment of the million is subversive of the rigid discipline of the mind.
Physiologists have described, and classed the organic positions by which the alphabetic elements are produced. This has been done by the rule, and with the success of philosophy. Other attempts have not been so satisfactory. In treating the subject of Intonation, that is, the movement of the voice in regard to its pitch, they have not accurately measured, by some known or invented scale, the modes and degrees of such movements, and thus furnished a real detail of the economy of