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BROSTMTS SYSTEM FOR THE CURE OF IMPEDIMENTS OF SPEECH. 13.1f a PUPIL. [Froni a Letter in the London Magazine for August.] Having been requested a few weeks ago through theriledium of a friend, to give in a letter my opinion on the merits oftheBrosterian Discovery, it occurred to me, that a general sketch of the syttem, As far as is allotvable, being made public, might be of public benefit. That letter is not so easily recoverable as another is written. If you approve of this, perhaps you will allow me to give it a Ideal habitation and a name in your ma- gazine. I acknowledge that I do feel such a sketch to be my duty towards the public in ge- neral, and towards Mr. B roster in particular you perhaps divide this feeling with itoe, and will therefore permit me to gratify ihTaklllg your philanthropy for granted, I submit the following document for insertion: Mr. Broster's System for the cjire Of Impedi- ments may certainly he nàmedthe chief discovery of the present day tt le-ast if we. are to nWasure that by the sensation created. Supposing it what it professes to be, it is second only to that of Jenner's in this age, and in the department to which both belong,-tbe cure ofvisible iiiflrmity. Inasmuch as the want of speech may by some be deemed a yet more lamentable defect than the want of sight, it will appear to them even of su- perior importance. But the meri ts of this system are, I believe, generally misunderstood, arid its claims to public favour generally mis-estimated. It shall be my endeavour to explain the one, and adjust the other. No one can do both but a pu- pil. He can, if he has sincerity and ability. I have given you references sufficient, I believe, to satisfy you (and through you, the public) with respect to my sincerity with respect to my abi- lity, you (and the public also) must be content with a slenderer security. These premises were necessary. Now to the purpose. As far as I have learned of other systems by inquiry, and as far as I know of this by experience, I conceive it to be the very best which the human imagination ever devised to attain its purpose.— But it is no miracle. It is generally effective, but it is not always perfective. It is powerful, but not almighty; a partial remedy certainly, a total one possibly,—a nearly perfect one, probably.— In a word, it is only a potent remedy, not an in" fallible one. This is my opinion, founded on my experience; it may either exceed that of the public, or fall short of that of the inventor,—both of which are about equally distant from my wish to flatter- or follow. It is no great vanity to sus- pect that readers will generally prefer mine to that which must be the result of ignorance in the first case, and may be the effect of prejudice in the latter, I am myself a living instance of what I assert; of the potency of the system, and its fallibility. It is not always perfective, nor omnipotant, nor infallible,—for I, I repeat, am yet uncured, who have tried it. But it is generally effective, and powerfull, and at least a probable remedy, for all have been, in a greater measure or a less, re- lieved, who have to my knowledge tried it.-Se. veral pupils have been perfectly cured some but partially. Explicitness is the life of infor- mation Of twelve cases which fell under mv own observation whilst at Mr. Broster's house (including myself,) it may be said that three are nearly as eloquent now as their friends, and three nearly as tongue-twd as their enemies could wish them. The remaining six (of which I am one) are all partially or considerably relieved, both species of relief bemg in different degrees. To this account it is but fair to add, that those uficurpd would be at least partially cured, and those par. tially cured, would be almost perfectly cured, if they had continued to put Mr. Brocter's system of speaking in force as they might and should. But in some cases it is difficult, and in others disagreeable to put this System in force, which makesthe fallibility of the system,—and in this view alone is it fallible. But how can a system be considered infallible, when the difficulty or disagreeability (in some cases) of puttings it in force, disempowers the pupil from using it? Sup- pose it were the secret of the system, that tne pupil should stand with his arm extended at right angles to his body whilst he was speaking, & that this whilst acted of was infallible,—would the sys- tem yet be infallible; Certainly not; for no man could always speak in the attitude required, nor wouldhe for any length of duration. Or ifthe sys- tem be in theory infallible, it is in fact useless, i. e. as far as it is impracticable. Suppose, to take another instance of a system infallible in theory and fallible in practice, suppose a certain given act requiring presence of mind were to be performed on every occasion of speaking, in order to facili- tate Speech suppose the secret of the system to be of this kind, and suppose from the natural im- petuosity. irresolution, or forgetfulness of tha pu- pil's disposition, he is unable to collect that pre- sence of mind which is imperative for the success of the system. Can the system in this case be considered infallible ? Assuredly not; for though it would, if put into act. vanquish the visible part of the pupil's malady, still ifit does not vanquish the invisible part, videlicet the pupil's disposition, it does not insure that act, and therefore does not cure that pupil. Id est, it is not infallible. Now there is somethfcig, I do not Say of what kind. in Mr. Broster's System, which, in certain cases, is required for its success, and which, in these cases is not always practicable by the pupil, though when he can practice it is remedial. This much it is incumbent on me to assert; great as is my admiration of the System, I cannot allow it to be infallible, and think-k"n, it to be my duty so to declare to the public. That the non-infallibi- lity of System be generally and distinctly under- stood is of use perhaps to both parties; it will prevent over sanguine expectation, disappoint- ment, &c., and likewise divest Mr. Broster'sdis- covery of that air of imposture and quackery which always accompanies the promulgation of an infallible nostrum or a miraculous remedy. The next great point of the System to its power, is its permanence. As to this, no one, I think but a perfect fool could forget the System: and the sooner lie forgets it the better. We have plenty of fluent folly already in the world, with- out setting other founts a-Sow. Men with no other faculty besides memory, and of that but a scanty endowment, must remember the System and its good effects will be exactly as permanent as its practice. There is nothing farther to be said upon this point. From the consideration of its permanent effects, the mind naturally flows to the progressive effects of the system. These I am happy to testify are not merely proportional to the time and quantity of the practice, but in a ratio vastly transcendant. In one week's labour, you reap one week's fruit; in two you seem to reap four; in three, twelve and so on. The difficulty, disagreeability, and necessity of practising the system continually di- minish.* My own experience is my best evi- dence for the Srst fortnight after my return from Mr. Broster's I was but little better than before; in thtllJext I was a new man and now I often speak without any difficulty, seldom with much. The nature of my disposition is very inimical to the system if I did or could perpetually speak in it. I should speak as perpetually well. Even under this unfavourable circumstance I feel perfectly con- Of course there are advances and recessions ^always owing to accident or neglect however) but the average improvement is progressively steady. fident that the difficulty and disagreeability of speaking in the system will, in my case, wear themselves out and that I shall ultimately he able to speak as fast and as fluently as I can scrib- bie more than sufficient for my hearer's satis- faction, perhaps, but at least quiet enough for my own. The last material point in the System is. the difficulty of acquiring its secret, the time and la- bour of acquiring its practice. To prevent this Discovery" from becoming a longitude or trisection problem with my readers; to prevent country-parsons and village schoolmasters begin- ning with an El Dorado upon its foundation, and ending with a madhouse in short, to prevent any one puzzling his wits to no purpose or a bad one, this is sufficiont the secret of the system is not one, but multifold. It is no charm, nor panacea, neither a black ribbon round the throat; nor a bunch of" holy vervain" for the breast; neither Balm of Gilead, Tar-water, nor tbe Universal Restorative," a potion nor an operation. Nei- ther Satan nor St. David are At the bottom of it; but Nature herself. By a long devotion to her service, and a close examination of her secrets, in plain English, by long experience and native sagacity, this system was discovered. It has no other basis but Nature and until some other person investigates her as long and laboriously, as sagaciously and successfully, its present dis- coverer will probably be its only one. The secret, I say, is multifold it is made up of many secrets, all of different, many of opposite effects. From this it follows that to different cases,.different se« crets are applicable to some, opposite ones. Yet it frequently happens that secrets of exactly oppo- site effects are to be applied to thesame case, only at different stages. The simplicity, andatthesame time intricacy of the System, are not its least re- markable features. Easy to be comprehended in its part, but as a whole hardly to be compassed. Even if the secrets one and all stood rubric, even if they were published, known, and understood, they could be made but little use of; the grand secret is,how, when, and to whom to apply them. My knowledge of the Brosterian System, intimate as it is with one part of it. and general as it is with all, would scarcely enable me to cure a parrot if it spoke with an iinpeditnent,-unless, indeed, it happened to speak as I do myself. But complicated as it is, as a whole, no pupil can have any difficulty in understanding his part of it, at least if he can understand his prayers. As to 'the time and labour of acquiring its practice, these are with some the work of a moment; with no one who is willing, more than a few days. This last point may be also put in the form of the following question.—How long a time is ne- cessary for such instruction in the system as will render it permanently effective ? To this I answer, that of course the difficulty not only ofacquiring, but of persevering in the practice, will depend on the disposition of the pupil and the nature of his case some find none after the first moment, hour, day, week, &c.: I find considerable still; and others may find it for ever. But the time neces- sary for instruction generally falls short of two Months, and is, I believe, mostly about one. Such at least was the case whilst I, was at Mr. Broster's. Some have found a week quite sufficient; some t day. I t do not know that I have any thing further to add to the above sketch, but-that I never heard any pupil of this system, cured or uncured, regret the expense of it. For my own part. with the knowledge that I now have of the System, were itto be tried again, I would try it.


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