A VISIT TO THE DEAF AND DUMB ASYLUM AT SIENA
F. G. KERR
(Extracted from Macmillan's Magazine, (1882), vol. 46, no, 276, pp. 447-455.)
"EPHPHATHA!" This was the motto adopted by the International Congress which assembled at Milan in the autumn of 1881, to consider a question of vital interest to many of our fellow-creatures, "Shall speech be given to the dumb?"
The members of the Milan Congress, some two hundred men and
women from the various countries of Europe, and from the other side of the
Atlantic, were most of them experienced workers in the cause which all had at
heart. In their presence a band of speaking pupils from the several Italian
schools for the deaf and dumb
gave an exhibition of their vocal acquirements, when two short plays and other recitations were intelligibly rehearsed, by lips all of which had once been speechless. The audience heard and wondered. Some were of opinion that the performers must be regarded as exceptionally gifted, while others maintained that what was possible to these was possible to all deaf mutes alike, and pleaded earnestly that the attainment of articulate speech should be brought within the reach of all.
To those who still shook their heads and doubted, Padre
Marchio, head master of the famous asylum at Siena, simply said, "Come and see
our boys that speak." By the kind courtesy of the superiors the writer was
permitted to visit this admirable institution at pleasure, and to trace from
class to class the progressive process by which the latent organs of speech are
developed, and the mute restored to the society of his kind, an articulating
human being a result which may truly be described as marvellous.
As the subject is one which is attracting much notice at present in our own country, and as the method in use in Italy and Germany is gaining ground among the friends and instructors of the deaf and dumb in England, a short account of the school and its inmates may not perhaps be uninteresting to the general reader.
In ancient times the claims of the deaf and dumb on the sympathies of their more fully endowed brethren, met with scant recognition, and the old heathen philosophers sometimes even ventured to doubt whether they could be considered altogether human. Christian charity, however, which has long and patiently striven to mitigate the isolation of their lot, has abundantly proved that the double deprivation under which they labour does not involve of necessity any intellectual inferiority to the rest of their race. Careful education has set free many a powerful mind which lay dormant in obscurity, and it is a well-known fact that from among the ranks of the deaf and dumb, there have come forth at various times, men who have made a name for themselves in science, in literature, and in art.
But though so much has been done for these, our imperfectly endowed brothers and sisters, there are many who are doomed to pass through life "with no language but a cry," not a slight deprivation indeed.
Speech for the dumb may seem to some to savour of paradox ;
but there are probably few persons now who are not aware that dumbness is not a
pre-existing cause, but simply an effect consequent upon the incapacity of
hearing and imitating sound ; the instances in which it proceeds from paralysis
or other organic defect being rare. The connection between hearing and speech
may be aptly illustrated by the story which is told of the old Egyptian king,
Psammetichus, who, desiring to arrive at the original language of man, bethought
himself of secluding an unfortunate child from all communication with his kind.
The device, it may be needless to add, did not result in the desired discovery,
but left the experimentaliser with a virtual mute on his hands.
The teaching of articulation to the deaf and dumb is not a recent invention, although until lately it was not considered feasible, except in special cases. English readers may be reminded that a countryman of their own is justly regarded as the founder of the so-called "articulate school." The Venerable Bede in his writings makes mention of a poor deaf mute, whom John de Beverley, Archbishop of York (A.D. 685) took into his palace and instructed. The prelate, we are told, made the sign of the cross on his tongue, and bade him speak ; whereupon the mute said "gae" or "gea." After this successful commencement, other articulate sounds were in due time acquired by the pupil. The account of the process pursued doubtless sounds legendary, but we may believe that the fact underlying it, is true.
After good Bishop de Beverley, we hear of no further efforts in the teaching of articulation till the fifteenth century, when it was practised with good results by Rodolph Agricola, at Heidelberg. Others followed in the same course. Among these we may notice the Spanish Benedictine, Pedro Ponce de Leon, whose method, considered excellent in his time, perished with him, because not preserved in any written record. In the seventeenth century, John Bulwer, Dr. Wallis, and
others, both in England and abroad, laboured and wrote in the same cause. Finally, about a century ago, great progress was made in the difficult art by several distinguished men, whose names yet live in the various methods for the instruction of the deaf and dumb, which are in use at the present time.
Among these we find the Abbe de l'Epee, a Frenchman, and Heiniette, a native of Saxony, whose systems of instruction have been severally developed into the so-called "combined" or French, and the "pure oral" or German method.
The Abbe de l'Epee organised a complete language of signs for the benefit of his pupils, using also gesture and the manual alphabet, and teaching articulation as an accomplishment in exceptional cases. Thus it is stated that he actually taught six languages to a talented deaf-mute, a tour de force, which we record somewhat doubtfully, and the repetition of which by others similarly circumstanced, is neither probable nor desirable.
Heiniette, on the other hand, taught chiefly through the medium of articulation, using gestures, the manual alphabet, and writing, as auxiliaries only to language, which is recorded by the advocates of the "pure oral" school as the natural, and therefore most desirable vehicle for communicating instruction.
When, about ten years ago, the Italian teachers of the deaf and dumb resolved to introduce articulation into the training of their institutions, they did not slavishly follow any one of the systems which had been, from time to time, adopted in the schools of other countries, but they devised and elaborated for themselves the ingenious method by which they have laboured, with an earnestness and enthusiasm in which lies the secret of all true success. It is entirely oral, and only permits the use of gesture in the earliest communications between the master and the pupil, when no other mode of expression could be understood by the latter.
The asylum at Siena stands in an elevated part of the town, and is approached by a steep street, the Via dei Sordomuti, whose original name has been merged into that of the school. The beautiful little mediaeval chapel of St. Anzano, with quaint old belfry and small rose window, and walls rich with ruddy colour, heads the narrow street and terminates the vista.
This school, now one of the most renowned in Italy, was commenced in the early part of this century under very humble auspices, by Padre Tommaso Pendola, member of the teaching confraternity of the Senole Pie, and professor of the Royal Tolomei College, who, having attained now to a venerable age, is still its director. While yet a young man, he was painfully struck by the forlorn condition of the poor deaf mutes in his native city, and gathering them together in his own apartments, gave them such instruction as he could. Sympathising friends, who saw and admired his devotion, aided him with their means and influence; and after
some years Duke Leopold II. of Tuscany assigned the premises of a suppressed monastery as a permanent locale for Padre Pendola' s school, and caused the pre-existing institution at Pisa to be incorporated with that of Siena.
A large and handsome new building, with spacious class-rooms and dormitories, has lately been erected for the boys, while the girls retain possession of the original premises. The number at present in the schools is eighty. Of these thirty-seven are girls, who are under the care of five sisters of the Order of St. Vincent de Paul, each of whom labours five hours a day in the arduous work of instruction. The school hours are from 8 A.M. to 1 P.M., with an interval of half-an-hour for luncheon and recreation. The afternoons are spent by the boys in the various workshops on the premises, for they all learn a trade, while the girls practise needlework and other household arts. In the evening, lessons are resumed for an hour.
The age which is considered most suitable for admission to the schools is between eight and ten in the case of the boys, and a year earlier for the girls, when the intelligence and organic development are sufficiently advanced to bear the strain of the requisite training. The course of instruction is never less than seven
years, and the pupils, most of whom belong to the poorest classes in Tuscany, are all boarders, returning to their homes only for the vacations.
The institution has some small endowments, but they are insufficient; and each parish or municipality is expected to contribute towards the maintenance of any pauper children it may send.
On entering the Siena asylum, the visitor is struck by the bright happy tone that pervades it. The eyes of the children beam with intelligence, for the eye which supplies to them the place of hearing, besides its ordinary office of seeing, acquires peculiar brilliancy through constant exercise. There is none of that painful un-
natural silence that prevails in other asylums for the deaf and dumb. "We are tempted to quote from the words of a French gentleman who visited the schools.
"We were at Siena," he says, "where the venerable superior made us sit at the family table in a private room among all his priests, while the pupils were taking their meal in the refectory. Suddenly hark! there is a great hum of conversation almost interrupting ours. Who was speaking with so much ease and power! You
may guess who were the culprits, and I assure you it would have been a cruel prohibition to bid them refrain."
Indeed these young creatures become as fond of using their tongues, when once they have learnt how to do so, as others of the same age to whom the power is natural; and pupils have often told their teachers that although at the outset speech had been painful to them, it afterwards became easy and pleasant. Though they cannot hear themselves speak, they can feel it; for as one expressed himself "I feel perfectly within myself the sounds uttered by me." It was curious to hear one of the good sisters gently complaining that her eldest pupil was too fond of talking! She was indeed an apt scholar, as far as speech was concerned, and her utterance was very fluent and natural.
An interest almost painful attaches to the operations of the first or lowest class in the school, where the foundation is laid, on which the whole superstructure of subsequent education depends. The training here is entirely individual, and requires the greatest tact and patience. The teacher takes each child in turn, and holding it by the hand, shows it first how to breathe correctly. This lesson is commenced by blowing or expiration, and is followed by regular expansion of the lungs, in which the child is required to copy, minutely, the movements of the teacher. This preparation is important, for the volume of air which is inhaled for ordinary respiration is insufficient for speaking. To quote from the observations of Padre Marchio, who has carefully studied the subject:
"The breathing of deaf mutes is as a rule short and panting. The lungs have the double office of supplying oxygen to the blood, and of furnishing breath the material of the voice. The lungs of the deaf mute being used .for only one of these purposes, are imperfectly developed, and their functions performed in an abnormal manner. The human subject of normal development breathes from fourteen to twenty times in a minute, while adult deaf mutes breathe from twenty-four to twenty-eight times in the same period. Hence their disposition to pulmonary disease."
By careful practice the rate of respiration is lowered, and several ingenious toys have been invented to facilitate these breathing exercises. It is asserted that all the defects of deaf mute speakers, such as pitching the voice too high, or too low, can be obviated by training them to breathe correctly at the beginning. A. tendency to speak through the nose may also be overcome at this stage, proceeding as it does from the habit of breathing with the mouth closed. It is considered very important that this task should be intrusted only to an experienced person, for it has been found that too often a "prentice hand" has spoilt his first class. The teacher whom we found in charge of the difficult lowest form at Siena, was a young priest whose pleasing manners and gentle patience were well calculated to inspire his pupils with confidence. It was affecting to observe the intense eagerness with which the poor rough lads, as the turn of each came, tried their very utmost to do what was required of them. It was like an actual grasping the hand stretched out to raise them up from the darkness and ignorance by which the spirit within them lay bound. The docility of the pupils throughout the school was indeed as striking as the gentleness of the teachers. Everything is done to encourage the learner; the smile of approval, the mild rebuke, the jest by which the lesson is playfully illustrated, all combining to smooth the difficulties in his path, and win his grateful affection. Corporal punishment is never resorted to, and is indeed forbidden in the Italian State schools of any description.
After the preliminary breathing exercises, articulate sounds are taught, commencing with the vowels: A as with us in Father ; O, as oo in fool; E as a in day; I as e in see. The 'broad open vowels are taught first, because they are the easiest to acquire. Consonants are always taken in connection with a vowel sound, and in a regular succession according to the difficulties they are found to present, thus: P, B, and M, produced by the lips; then T, D, N, formed by the point of the tongue; G (hard), K, and NO, from the back of the tongue; L and R by a murmur in the throat; F and V; and last of all the sibillants. In conveying the various sounds to the child's apprehension, the hand plays an important part, for it is trained to feel the vibration produced in the throat or chest of the speaker, or the movements of the tongue in articulation. A mirror is also used to allow the pupil to watch his own lips, while he strives to copy the changes he detects on those of his teacher. In the formation of syllables, the course natural to ordinary speaking children is followed as closely as possible, and the pupils are taught to practise on words which contain a repetition of the same sounds; such as pappa, poppo, &c. This exercise is continued at the discretion of the teacher, the early speaking lesson being of about a quarter of an hour at a time. Sometimes beginners are almost voiceless. A boy was pointed out to us, of whom after three months of sedulous endeavour, the teacher was disposed to despair. He seemed quite unable to produce sound. But the headmaster did not think the case hopeless, for the child was evidently intelligent. "Persevere yet a while," he said, "and the voice will come." And the teacher did persevere, and was rewarded, for the voice gradually gained strength, and the boy is now making -satisfactory progress in articulation.
The first difficulties of pronunciation having been surmounted, the pupils learn to read the syllables they acquire, on the primers that are hung up on the walls. Whenever they form words of any meaning, these are if possible, illustrated by an object, for the key of the method is, in Padre Marchio's words, "Language in presence of the real" (the object).
"Writing is acquired with, little difficulty, and almost as an amusement, by means of an excellent series of copybooks provided for the special use of the schools. It forms the occupation of those who are not engaged in the vocal lesson, and appears to afford them much gratification. Long before they can form other words, they are able to write their own names, and the names of their class companions, which as long as they cannot speak, are their only sign of identification.
At the end of a year they are removed to the upper division of the first class, in a room hung round with pictures of common objects, whose names they learn, with the article prefixed. The boys in this class could already read detached words from the writer's lips, at a distance of several yards, and repeated them aloud as they did so. The art of lip-reading is the most wonderful feature in the training, and the advocates of the "pure oral" method assert that the minute powers of observation it requires, are never acquired in the same degree of perfection, by the pupils of any other system. This is explained by the fact, that in schools where gesture is allowed, the pupil's eye wearies of the close attention necessary for watching the slight movements of the lips and nerves, and gladly wanders to the far more palpable ones produced by hand or shoulder. In order to counteract this tendency the use of gesture is rigidly discontinued by the Italian teachers, as soon as possible after the introduction of the pupil.
The Abbe Guerin, Superintendent of the asylum for deaf mutes at Marsailles, himself a recent convert to the pure oral method, thus eloquently describes the process of instruction as witnessed by himself in Italy:
"The master speaks. The child looks, but does not understand. The master repeats the word. The child understands no better, I see still before me the imploring look of the child, plainly praying, 'Make me understand.' He is pleading for a gesture. Inflexible, because admirably patient, the master refuses; joins his hands, repeats the word once, twice, ten times. The child looks looks again; looks on never tired, never discouraged, because he wills to understand: and, when at last, he succeeds in solving the enigma, a cry of joy breaks from his lips, and he goes away exulting, to repeat the newly-discovered word to his companions in misfortune. Such is the process by which those prodigies of intelligent, rapid lip-reading are accomplished, which we have all seen and admired."
On entering the second class, we found nine boys, nearly all in the third year of training. These were promoted to a long crescent-shaped desk, for they were now sufficiently advanced to learn together, as in ordinary schools. The master's desk was placed opposite, so that the movements of his lips were visible to all. They were engaged in an exercise of grammar, that of adding articles and adjectives to a subject, and connecting it with a verb. To several among the number it was the first week of the new class exercise; but the manner in which it was performed evidenced that it had been understood, and that the pupils were not simply repeating sounds, like parrots. When the complications of gender in the Italian language are borne in mind, it will be found that the exercise was by no means an easy one.
The master had a picture book before him, in which he pointed out objects with which he knew the boys were familiar, and which they readily named. Several words were then written on the blackboard, and above them a list of attributes. The master next wrote a noun in a place by itself, in an interrogative form, thus:
"The hat is what?"
Whereupon the boys would shout the answer in chorus. "Is black."
Among this set of eager vociferating boys, it was becoming quite difficult to realise that the school was one for the deaf and dumb; but the feeling of wondering unreality increased, as the higher forms were visited.
In the third class, pupils in the fourth year of their course were engaged in verbal exercises of a more intricate kind, for they were learning how to conjugate the Italian auxiliaries, and the reflective form of the same, which is often strangely capricious. Practice was invariably linked to precept, and the pupils acted out their lessons. The master, sitting at his desk, directed his scholars by word of mouth to perform an action, which they were then desired to describe in words, and afterwards to inscribe in their copy books. Thus tenses of verbs were conjugated by the boys in turn, and the new phraseology was imprinted on the memory.
In all the classes, the most promising pupils were often the true congenital deaf mutes. This is accounted for by the fact, that children who have lost their hearing in infancy, through illness, although their difficulties in articulation are less, are often inferior to the others in intelligence, since the same cause which has robbed them of hearing, has frequently weakened the brain at the same time.
The fourth and highest class in the Siena Asylum is under the immediate superintendence of Padre Marchio, one of the most distinguished professors of the pure oral method in Italy, whose scholastic and medical experience, illustrated by his keen, vigorous pen, have long been actively devoted to the cause of the afflicted one, for whose welfare he labours.
The writer spent several mornings in this class by his kind permission, listening with ever fresh interest to the lessons, in which the acute intellect of the teacher bent itself to the needs of the poor young minds entrusted to his care, as he sought by every device in his power, to present knowledge before them in such a form as should be most easily grasped by their capacity.
The class, which consisted of ten boys, had been recently reorganised after the vacation; and while the older scholars had been six, some had been only four years in the institution. Two had lost their hearing in early childhood, the rest were deaf and dumb from their birth. Several of these had very good voices, and spoke in natural and distinct tones. One big boy, whose tuition had commenced somewhat late in life, retained an imperfect utterance. So rapid was their lip reading, that we could not refrain from asking: "Do they really hear nothing?"
"Nothing!" was the emphatic reply, as the master beckoned a lad to his side, and placing him with his back turned, spoke again in loud tones.
A blank silence was the result.
A dictation was then given out, for which the writer was requested to furnish a subject, in order that it might be one for which the class was not prepared. The theme suggested was, "On Flowers"; whereupon the master immediately pronounced a short discourse, uttering the whole in a whisper. Each boy in turn wrote down a sentence of the dictation on the blackboard, while all the others were on the alert to correct him, if he made the slightest mistake. Both orthography and calligraphy were excellent.
When speaking to the pupils at ordinary times, the enunciation of the master, although deliberate, was not slow; nor were the movements of the lips or facial nerves at all exaggerated; yet they rarely failed to apprehend his meaning correctly. All their answers, and the manner in which their exercises were performed, proved that they had already acquired an extensive nomenclature, besides a creditable acquaintance with grammar and with the varied forms of expression sanctioned by their fertile language. When examined on other subjects, their replies were intelligent, and would have compared favourably with those of speaking children of the same rank in life. To use the words in which the opinion of the Milan Conference was recorded: "The pupils of the Italian schools are in no way inferior in attainments to those of other asylums for the deaf and dumb; and they possess, in addition, the powers of speech."
An important addition, truly! and one which we may well hope to see extended to all who are capable of acquiring it.
While listening to the teaching, and the replies of the boys, one is continually apt to forget the exceptional circumstances of the latter. They strike one indeed as individuals whose speech is peculiar, but it is strange to remember that there was a time when they had none at all. We felt impelled to ask: "How can any one that has seen these children, and heard them converse, continue to insist on the superiority of other modes of instruction!"
"Ah, yes!" was the reply. "But very few have seen them. They do not come, and do not know."
The system pursued at the girls' school in Siena is identical with that in use for the boys. When the seven or eight years' training comes to an end, the good priests and sisters still strive to keep up a friendly intercourse with their protégés. Several of the old pupils find employment in the workshops, or in the domestic service
of the institution, which may perchance be to some the only home they can remember. Others go forth into the world, or return to live with their parents, and, we may believe, cast back many an affectionate glance on the years spent in that atmosphere of kindness. A few, belonging to the higher classes of society, pursue their studies further, and all seem to retain a friendly regard for their early teachers. Padre Marchio introduced us to a young gentleman, a former pupil, who was an accomplished musician. He took great pleasure in playing on the piano, and although he could not hear his own performance, he asserted that he could feel it, and was an excellent timist. A young lady kindly undertook to play some duets with him at sight, and he was quick to observe the slightest mistake on her part, gently admonishing her of the same by a corrective touch of his elbow. His speech was quite natural in tone, and of his former infirmity, no trace remained besides deafness.
It is in their after life, and especially by those persons who must earn their own livelihood, that the advantage conferred by the restored power of articulation is most strongly felt. Parents invariably prefer their children to return to them in the possession of speech, and would in every case rather have them with imperfect utterance, than with none at all.
Employment too is more readily forthcoming for the speaking than the speechless, for employers shrink from the difficulty of communication through the complicated channel of the manual alphabet, or the uncertain medium of signs. On the other hand, lip-reading has been acquired in such perfection as to almost equal hearing in precision. There is, or was very lately, living in a small German town, a young dressmaker who employed a staff of workers, with whom, as well as with her customers, she communicated only by means of articulation and lip-reading. She had never learnt to express herself by signs or the manual alphabet, and never had recourse to writing. She could converse easily, and when she did so with persons who did not labour under the same disadvantage as herself, her replies flowed so readily that a stranger would have failed to discover her deficiency in hearing. Many other similar instances might be adduced to prove that the time employed in teaching articulation is not wasted, and that the result is not a doubtful accomplishment, but a most real and tangible benefit.
The advocates of the "combined method" are slow to believe this. They are eloquent in favour of gesture, which they call "the language of nature," and which with much ingenuity, they have methodised and endeavoured to reduce to a science. It is doubtless true that we can readily express our lower wants by means of gesture. But for interchange of thought, or for the expression of any abstract ideas, what a clumsy medium it is! Can it ever become, as its adherents would urge, a world-wide means of communication; and do not signs, like language, take their tone and colouring from the different customs of various nations!
On reading the systematised code of signs in use in some of the American schools, there are some that seem droll enough, and by no means likely to be of world-wide interpretation. For instance, we find that "the sign of a ruffled shirt front," is registered as the type of elegance. Ruffled shirt fronts used to be generally worn by persons of fashion; hence the application of the symbol to an abstract idea, an accurate impression of which one would not imagine it likely to convey to the pupil's mind. A cap brim is the sign for a man, and cap strings tied under the chin for a woman; and these articles of dress have now acquired a wider meaning, and convey the sign of gender to the pupil for animals as well as persons. Some signs are of very obscure meaning, as the ingenious writer of the article whence these specimens are extracted frankly admits; and even he finds it difficult to say why "whittling the forefinger" should mean the word cannot, or why putting one hand over the other, and wriggling the thumbs should mean as we are informed it does, "Charlatanism."
"The reason why" would be, indeed, difficult to ascertain.
Professor Gallandat, of the National College for the Deaf and Dumb at Washington, where the "combined method" is in use, said the Lord's Prayer by gesture, in presence of the Congress at Milan. He said he considered that mode of expression more edifying to the mind than the printed form of words. But the spectators objected that they would never have guessed the meaning of the pantomime which he believed to be so significant, had he not explained it.
Thus there can be no doubt that pupils who learn abstract truths through the medium of gesture, which can but describe the ineffable by means of the visible the infinite by things circumscribed often obtain very confused ideas on such subjects. Professor Fornaii of Milan mentions some striking cases, illustrating the erroneous impressions produced by such means. Before the oral method was introduced into Italy, he always felt much difficulty in conveying abstract truth. One day a pupil, in the fourth year of his instruction, fell ill. When the professor visited him, he found the poor lad weeping bitterly, in the deepest grief "that would not be comforted," nor could he be induced to tell the cause of his distress, the sight of which was pitiful. The tender-hearted master used all the arts of pantomime to draw the secret forth. He tried to make the boy understand that he loved him like a father, and, pointing to his cassock, showed him that, like his mother, he wore the gown, and felt for him as she did. At length the poor child ventured to tell his secret. Covering his eyes with his hand in token of shame he signified by gestures, and repeated it by the manual alphabet, that he had "thrown up his soul!"
He had confused the sign commonly used to express the soul, with that which meant sickness. Another time the same gentleman found a pupil busily engaged in drawing crosses on a slate and blowing upon them. He thought this an odd amusement.
"What are you about?" he inquired.
The boy signified that he was drawing likenesses of spirits.
"But these are crosses, not spirits," said his interlocutor.
The boy was perplexed.
"The teachers gave me this sign for the spirits," he replied, "and inwardly I always picture them to myself thus."
Professor Fornan states that these answers were to him "a great revelation," showing him how widely the best intended instruction might shoot from the mark, and how unreliable was the medium through which he had taught.
In Great Britain, where gratuitous education is now provided for the children of the poor, no national grant has yet been set apart for the far more urgent needs of the deaf and dumb, the number of whom averages one in every 1600 of the population. Private benevolence has done much for them, but it is surprising to find that Parliament has hitherto been ineffectually petitioned, to allow even the small sum of five shillings a week for the maintenance of those in indigent circumstances. It is, therefore, not a matter of wonder that in many cases the school course must be curtailed, and that a system which involves the necessity of several years' patient and assiduous training, has not yet become general. The pure oral method was first adopted in London by the directors of the "Jews' Home," an asylum opened by the liberality of the Rothschild family for the deaf and dumb of that religion. Since then an institution for the training of teachers has been established at Baling, other asylums have begun to admit the teaching of articulation among their inmates, and it may be hoped that as its merits become better
known, the oral method will supersede all others amongst us.
In conclusion, we would quote the words of the well-known Alexander-Manzoni, when he visited the Milan Asylum, and heard the deaf-mutes speak. He was delighted, and as he took his leave he said to the superintendent:
"Go on, and make them speak. By all means teach them to speak, for language is the surest medium by which to convey instruction. Gesture appeals to sense and imagination, but language goes straight from mind to mind."