« PreviousContinue »
MENTAL AND VOCAL PHILOSOPHY:
INVOLVINO THE PRINCIPLES OP
READING AND SPEAKING;
FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND CULTIVATION
BOTH BODY AND MIND,
IN ACCORDANCE WITU THE
NATURE, USES, AND DESTINY OF MAN:
BY PROF. BRONSON, A. M., M. D.
REVISED AND CORRECTED, WITU LARGE ADDITIONS, ORIGINAL AND SELECTED DLAL0GUE3 AND
Si'EECHES, WHICH ARE COPr-RIUllTED.
LOUISVILLE, KY.: MORTON & GRISWOLD.
THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THIS SYSTEM.
Some years ago, the Author was extensively engaged as a Public Speaker and, in consenuence of the habit of speaking, principally, with the muscles of uie throat ana breast, he finally broke down,—falling senseless, after speaking about an hour and a half: that was followed by a protracted illness; during which, he providentially discovered the Causes, and also the Remedies, of the diificulties under which he had labored; and now, for months in succession, by the aid of these principles, he often speaks from six to ten hours a day, without the least inconvenience: the principal cause of which is, that the effort is made from the dorsal and abdominal region. Few are aware of the comprehensive nature of the principles here partially unfolded; and probably the Author would now be in a similar state, had it not been for the teachings afforded by children and Indians. To secure a perfectly healthy distribution of the vital fluids throughout the body, and a free and powerful activity of the mind, there must be a lull and synchronous action in the brain, the lungs, and the viscera of the abdomen; the soul operating, naturally, on the dorsal and abdominal muscles, and thus setting in motion the whole body.
That he was the first to teach the specific use of those muscles, for a healthy breathing, and the exercise of the vocal organs, as well as blowing on wind instruments for hours together, without injury, he has not the least doubt; and, if any person will produce evidence to the contrary, from any medical writer, or teacher of elocution, previous to 1830, he shall be handsomely rewarded. The time is fast approaching, when this, and its kindred subjects, will be duly appreciated; and it will be seen and felt, that without a practical knowledge of these important principles, no one can become a successful speaker, or teacher: and the opinion is advisedly expressed, that they will produce as great a revolution in regard to the promotion of health, the art of reading and speaking with science and effect, and the perfect development and cultivation of mind, voice, and ear,—as the discovery of the mariner's compass, or the invention of the steam engine, in navigation, manufacture, and travel;—and, to be the medium of introducing such a system, by which so many thousands have been greatly benefited, and hundreds of lives saved, is the occasion of devout gratitude to the Infinite Author of all that is Good and Trui.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by C. P. Baoirson,
Printed by Merlon k. Griiwold, Louinllle, Kf
1. Ererv AnT, anil Science, ha* its Externals, mud Ab Internals, iis General* and Particulars; which must be understood Analytically, and Synthetically, if we would practice either successfully. The Internals of Elocution, are Thoughts am Peelings, and its Externals comprise all that is addressed to our five senses: its Generals are Mind and Body, with their various Languages, or modes of manifestation. Comparatively. Language—is the Tune. Body—the Instrument, anil >[ind—the Performer: hence, the necessity of becoming acquainted, theoretically and practically, with their Natures, Relation's and Use*.
2. As the subject* of Mind and Langcagk, are partially unfolded in the following work, in this part, something must he said of the Body, the harp of ten thousand strings: particularly in regard to structure, position, and the organs to he u*ed for the production and modification of sounds, in Speech and Song: also of Gestures, or Actions; illustrated by appropriate Engravings, wh-ch may he imitated by the Pupil, for the purpose of bringing the Body into subjection to the Mit*l; without, however, any reference to spetific Recitations,—lest he should become artificial, instead of natural.
3. The more we contemplate Man. the more we sec and feel the truth, that he is a Microcosm indeed: a miuature-world.—an abstract of creation,—an epitome of the universe,—a finite representation of the Infinite Deity! Well saith the kft then motto, " Know Thyself!:' and the poet—
"the Proper Sti-dy Of Mankind—is Man." And it may truly be said, that there is nothing in the Mineral, Vegetable and Animal Kingdoms, that en it not be found, essentially, in the human body ; ami nothing in the world of Mind, thai is not shadowed forth in his spiritual nature: hence, the grandeur, the magnificence—of our subjects, aii d our objects.
4-. The three grand essentials of the Body proper, lire the Osseus, or bony system, which fixes its form, and gives it stability: the Muscular, or Meshy system, which is designed to net on the Omwus; and Nervous system, acting on the Muscular: while the Mind, acts on and through the Nervous; receiving its life and power from llitn, who is emphatically ''THE LIFE:'' thus, we can look through Nature, up to Nature's God. Oli■erve, the Analytical course is from outermost* to innermosis, from effects to causes; ami the Synthetical progress from inncrmosts to outemiosis; or from causes to effects,
5. Nerves Of Organic Life. Every ihing must have a beginning: and nothing is made perfect at once. Now in the body, there is a certain portion, called Nerves of Organic Life; bemuse they are the first formed, and constitute the grand medium, through which the soul builds
up the Body, with the materials, furnished by the externa! world. The Soul is the architect, and the body its work mnnship. Here is a good representation or this nervous
muss, which is a kind of brain, (or series of brain.) that presides over those glands, or workshops, that take charge of the food, digest it, and watch over us changes, till it it* made into blood, and then appropriated to the Lody. The nervous centre, called Semilunar (ianglionand So lar Plexus, may be s'"in at a. a, rt, a; it is situated under the diaphragm and partly behind the stomach: other subordinate centres may he seen at s, e, e, e; also in oilier places, that need not be designated, sis they .are my numerous : these centres are like miner posts in a state, or kingdom. At i, is seen a pair of chords, called trisplanchnic nerves: and at o. a, are seen other nerves, with their little brains, oi centres, where they corns together, forming a Una along the spine, from the bottom of the chest, ir the lop of the neck. From tins large coll I
of Organic Nerves, others proceed to every part* of the system, uniting in smaller centres, and forming ganglions in the pulius of the hands, balls of the fingers, ice. Our Astronomical system is called the Solar System, tiecause the Sun is its centre, watching over our planets; so, of these nervous centres of the grand and smaller departments of our niiniature-universe. Owing to the intimate connection of these nerves wnu