Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

US.

This fall has one peculiarity which that this had been Allan Breck Stuart, is a considerable improvement to its who was supposed to have murdered appearance, which is, that its water, a Mr Campbell of Glenure. * except when swoln with rains, is pure We now began to think of returnand transparent, and its foam, instead ing to Ballachelish, but were obliged of having a reildish tinge from moss again to wait for the tide. On this or any earthy substance, is of a bril- account it was very late before we got liant pearly whiteness, which is finely there. In the course of our excursion contrasted by the blackness of the sur at the head of the loch, we saw large rounding rocks.

masses of marble, which might be We next went to visit some of the wrought to great advantage. Great caves we had heard of. Our guides, quantities of fine slates are quarried at after muttering Gaelic to each other Ballachelish and Glencoe, and sent to for some time, at last confessed, that various parts of the kingdom. Porthey did not know where to find the phyry and granite abound in this part entrance to any of them. We, how- of the country, Deer are frequently ever, had the good fortune to meet a to be met with among the hills, and man who dwelt near the head of the eagles build in some of the rocks. loch, and who undertook to conduct Upon the whole, we were highly gra

He led us a good way up a hill, tified with what we had seen during near the top of which, he shewed us a this day, and I would recommend it to small hole in the turf, which proved future travellers, by no means to pass to be the entrance to a very large Ballachelish, without paying a visit to cavern, and which could be quite con- Lochleven-Head. I am, &c. J. cealed by a small quantity of heath, It was so dark, that we could not see the whole of it, but from what we saw, we judged that it was of great extent. REMARKS ON THE DEAF AND DUMB. We found that there was another entrance to it in the face of a precipice, The very unusual circumstance of which was so steep as to render the a deaf and dumb woman appearing at cave almost inaccessible from that the bar of our Supreme Criminal quarter. Our guide informed us that Court, accused of murder, and that at no very remote period this cave was too of her own child, having excited, the haunt of a gang of robbers, but their retreat having been at last discovered, the cave was surrounded by This murder happened soon after the soldiers, and a party entered by the rebellion in 1745, and excited much interopening from the top. The banditti, est about that time, on account of a man however, made their escape by the being executed for it, who was generally other opening, of which the soldiers believed to have been intirely innocent. were ignorant,

The estate of Ardshiel, the property of a Mr We were next conducted to another Stewart, had been forfeited on account of cave, close by the side of a river. The his being cngaged in the rebellion. Mr entrance to it was in the precipitous

Colin Campbell of Glenure was appointed bank of the stream, and so near it, that factor, and under him Mr James Stewart,

a brother of the late possessor. For some we were obliged to walk through the water to get at it. The mouth of it but afterwards, having turned out many of

time Campbell behaved with moderation, was very narrow, but it appeared to the tenants, he was shot when passing be of considerable size within. Our through the wood of Lettermore, on his guide informed us, that a man who way from Fort William, where he had been had been outlawed for some crime, on some business. It was generally suplived for several years in this cave,

posed that Allan Breck Stuart was the going out at night to procure provi

murderer. Mr James Stewart, however, sions, and keeping concealed during

was also suspected of having been an acthe day. At last having turned too

complice, and was apprehended, and tried bold, he ventured out in daylight,

at Inverary. Although it was proved that

he was at home when the murder happenand was apprehended and executed.

ed, and although little was proved against Although our guide either would not,

him, except that he liad sent Allan some or could not tell, us any thing parti money, he was condemned and executed ; cular about him, I was led to suppose, but it was generally believed that he met from what information we procured, with great injustice.

in no ordinary degree, the attention of structure of the human body, or atthe public, we beg leave to lay be- tempt to unravel the more abstruse fore our readers a few remarks, which properties of mind ;-whether we have arisen from a consideration of consider man as a mere machine which that case, the history of which was is acted upon by external objects, and shortly as follows: Jean Campbell, has a self.governing power, or look alias Bruce, a native of Argyllshire, upon him as an intelligent being, posborn deaf and dumb, had long pro- sessing power and faculties superior cured her subsistence as a wandering to every other living thing, we shall beggar. Cast upon the world with- still find that man is the noblest study out education and unprotected, it was of man, and that in this field there is naturally to be supposed she would enough to engage the attention of the fall an easy prey to any villain who most zealous inquirer, and more than might choose to take advantage of her sufficient to occupy him in every wakhelplessness ; accordingly, we find her ing hour. . It is not our intention, on the mother of several natural children, the present occasion, to enter into any and that her conduct in other respects metaphysical discussion of the conwas not the most proper. While lean- nection between mind and matter, or ing against the parapet of one of the to canvass the opinions of men with bridges over the Clyde at Glasgow, on regard to moral consciousness and inthe 19th of November 1816, her nate or acquired ideas, though the subyoungest child, an infant about three ject, we must confess, is most inviting. years old, slipt from her back while Werather prefer dealing in facts, which asleep,-fell into the river, and was every one has the power of verifying lost, and it was to account for this to himself. accident that she was brought to the All know that the mind is acted bar of the Court of Justiciary, being upon by means of the external senindicted for murder. On calling the ses, and that, when any one of these diet, it was stated in bar of trial, senses becomes diseased, or has never that the prisoner had been deaf and existed, one of the channels by which dumb from her birth ;-had never knowledge is communicated is shut received any education ;--and as hay- up; and though every sense has ing a mens sibi non conscia aut recti its own particular modification, and aut mali, she was literally without the no two individuals hear and see expale of the law. As the case was not actly alike, yet all in whom these only novel, but highly important, senses are pertect, acquire their knowthe Judges ordered informations, and ledge of external objects in a great excellent papers were given in, both measure by means of the eye and the by the counsel for the Crown and for ear. In man there is no proportion the prisoner.

The Lords decided between the manifestations of his fathat the woman, though deaf and culties and the perfection of his exterdumb, was capable of pleading. The nal senses; for though the acquisition trial was proceeded in at Glasgow, and of vocal speech in children depends we rejoice to add, that the poor wo- almost entirely upon the sense of man was acquitted, as it was proved hearing, yet it does not follow that that the loss of the child was altoge- he who has the most acute ear is to ther accidental.

be the most eloquent speaker. Nay, The deaf and dumb form a very in- many persons possess a very acute teresting part of the human species, sense of hearing, without being able to and if we could succeed in drawing distinguish the harmony of sounds, the attention of philosophers and or at least without being sensible to men of science to a more minute in- the beauty of music, whilst others vestigation of their physical and mo- who have rather a dull ear are alive ral defects, we are convinced that to all the charms of melody. It is a much of the former, and the whole of work of labour to teach a child to the latter, might be remedied; for, speak even when all the senses are whether we examine the mechanical perfect, and, of course, is still more

so when he is deprived of the power

of distinguishing sounds. We have It is our intention to notice the plead heard or read somewhere of an enings in this case more fully in an early thusiast who, anxious to ascertain number.

what language a child would speak,

without being taught any, had his childish amusements in the fields. son, when a year old, shut up with a Left, therefore, in a great measure, dumb nurse in a secluded house, to their own resources, they had inwhich no one was allowed to approach vented names for almost every object who had the power of speaking. The that came under their observation; child grew, and had attained his and we have often listened for hours fourth year, without giving any signs to their prattle, without being able to of his being able to speak, when one comprehend a single word they said. day the father, while on a visit to him, As they grew up, however, and was so much provoked by some occur- mingled with the world, they soon rence as to utter an oath. The child lost every trace of the language of caught the sound, and the words were their childhood, though for many recollected, and although the plan years they retained soinething of a which had been so long persisted in foreign tone and accent. was immediately abandoned, it was The progress which we make in the many months before the boy could be acquirement of language is very slow, brought to repeat any other words even with all our senses perfect; but in than those of the abominable oath children, the gradation from simple which he had first heard. We men sounds to compound sentences is littion this anecdote merely to shew, tle attended to. It is the frequent that it is by practice we acquire the and varied repetition of the same word art of expressing our ideas in lan- that first impresses it upon the tender guage, or vocal speech; and if the memory of the infant, and the desire experiment was really made, it proves of imitation that leads him to articuthat language depends, in a great late the sound which he has heard. measure, upon imitation. Many in- Yet many months pass over before he dividuals born deaf and dumb acquire makes use of any thing but simple the faculty of pronouncing every syllables to express his wishes or his word of the language they are taught, wants. It having been our lot, more but, from having no idea of sound, than once, to be cast, as it were alone, their accent is grating to our ears. among a strange people, whose lanThey possess no means of regulating guage we were ignorant of, and withtheir tones, and, therefore, are not out any means of acquiring it, except likely to make much progress in the by the ear, we have felt what it was art of speaking. Yet, though those to study under such circumstances, born deaf will for ever remain dumb, and have studied what we conceive to unless instructed in speech, we are have been the process we underwent convinced that two children, with the in our infancy, and reflected on some senses perfect, if left to themselves, of the difficulties which, even with will form a language of their own, the faculties matured, and the senses in which they would communicate perfect, we had to undergo in bringwith as much ease, though not per- ing the organs of speech to give utterhaps to the same extent, as in any ance to sounds so new to the ear. language they might be taught. Of We can, therefore, forin some idea of this fact a remarkable instance has the labour of the instructor who atcome within our own sphere of obser- tempts to teach the deaf to speak. It vation, which we are ready to authen- is much easier to teach them any writticate by a more particular account of ten language, which, in fact, is names and dates, -of the place where, only a different version of the lanand the time when, if necessary. A guage of signs, and dependant alsmall farmer in the south of Scotland together upon the memory; but, as had a son and daughter, who were we cannot pursue this subject at greatnearly of the same age; they lived in er length, we can only recommend, to a sequestered spot, and at a consider- such of our readers as may have an able distance from any other dwelling. opportunity, to visit the institution in As the father and mother of these this city, which is under the superinchildren had the

labours of their farm tendance of Mr Kinniburgh, and which to attend to, they were, as soon as is open to the public every Wednesthey were able to walk, left very much day, between the hours of twelve and to themselves. They slept together one. This institution was formed, in during the night, and were accustom- 1810, by a few of our benevolent fel. ed to spend the day in pursuing their low-citizens, and has been liberally

supported by the voluntary contribu- pends either upon a deranged or distions of several of the nobility and by eased state of the component parts of annual subscriptions. There are now the external or of the internal ear, or fifty pupils in the house; and the (what we conceive will be found most progress which many of them have frequently to be the case) of the aumade in every branch of useful edu- ditory nerve in its connection with the cation is truly astonishing. At the brain, or in its passage to or expansame time that their education is go- sion upon the parts which form the ing on, several of the boys have been organ of hearing. It is very seldom bound to trades, by which, in after that we can discover any difference life, they will be able to gain a liveli- between the external ear of' those who hood; while the girls are instructed by are deaf and those who hear. In some Mrs Kinniburgh in sewing, knitting, cases deafness may depend upon a disand household affairs, so as to render eased state of the brain itself; but in them useful as well as intelligent such instances the other external senses members of society.

are also blunted or deficient, and the Every day adds something new individual belongs to the worst class to our stock of knowledge, which of idiots. It is to be regretted that tends to shew, not only how little the pathology of the ear has not met we know, but often how ill able with the degree of attention which it we are to account for or explain justly merits ; for deafness, as a coneven that little. The auditory nerve, genital affection, is very frequent in which is the medium of communica- this country. Our labours hitherto tion between the mind and the exter- have been chiefly directed to the pronal world, in as far as that communi- curing of a remedy for the dumbness, cation depends upon the sense of hear- or that want of the faculty of speech ing, is found in all animals, from which is the natural consequence of man down to the lowest scale of fishes; being born deaf; and the extent to and, even when an organ of hearing which these labours have been success: has not been distinguishable, it is evi- ful we have already endeavoured to dent that the animals are endowed point out, as well as to state some of with this sense.

We may state it as the difficulties which those who have a general law, that the apparatus of attended to it have had to overcome. hearing becomes more complex in Those who are dumb, merely because proportion as the organ approaches they are deaf, are observed in general to perfection. This is the case to have the organs of the other senses with regard to the external as well in a very perfect state. They are enas to the internal ear. Many ani- dowed with a more than ordinary mals hear better than man, and in share of intellect, and hence the facithem we find that the apparatus upon lity with which difficulties, in ordinawhich the simple transmission of ry circumstances almost insurmountsound depends is also more perfectable, are overcome with regard to than it is in the human species. New- them. born children are perfectly insensible So far back as the 16th century, to sound, for in them the sense of one Pedro de Ponce, a Spanish Behearing is not yet active. It improves nedictine Monk, is celebrated for havby degrees, and in proportion to the ing instructed the deaf and dumb, developement of the organs. But the and for having taught them to speak. deafness of old people does not depend But we read no where of any great so much upon the blunted sensibility effort that has been made, either in of the nerve as on the general decay ancient or modern times, to cure deafof the auditory apparatus. In young ness. In this country, the earliest inand healthy persons, anatomists tell structor of the deaf and dumb was us the auditory nerve is expanded in Mr Thomas Braidwcod, and he is a humour which occupies the cavities said to be the first person in Great Briof the internal ear ; but in old people tain who opened a regular academy for this humour is diminished, and the that purpose ; but such were the prenerve itself becomes of a shrivelled judices of parents and guardians, it we and shrunk appearance.

are to believe the report of the times, These observations naturally lead that he found more difficulty in conus to inquire into the nature of per- vincing them of the possibility of infeet deatness. This, we are told, de structing the deaf and dumb, than ir

TY

TOL. I.

communicating knowledge to the in- dumb without being deaf, that what dividuals themselves.

may be considered dumb from being We know it is the opinion of some, deaf. We would also mention anothat deafness, like many other dis- ther fact which seems pretty well aseases, is hereditary; but if we are to certained, namely, that if the first judge from the facts which have come child of a family is born deaf, one or to our knowledge, we should be in- more of the succeeding children will clined to give a different verdict. We have the same defect; and although are aware, that there is one distin. there are instances where a deaf and guished family in this kingdom, in dumb father has had a deaf and dumb which it has been traced to something child, yet it more frequently happens like an hereditary descent, generally that there are two, three, four, and passing over one generation, and ap- even five children in the same family pearing in the second ; but this is a born deaf and dumb, without there solitary instance, while we can pro- being the least reason to suspect that duce hundreds of families in the king- it had ever occurred in any of their dom, in which there are one or more progenitors. We will only mention deaf children, and with regard to the poor woman whose casé gave rise whom there is not the smallest trace to these rather heterogeneous remarks. of any of their ancestors having la- She was the mother of three children, boured under a similar defect. Our who were born with all their senses own decided opinion is, that the oc- perfect. Her sister, who is also deaf eurrence of deafness is altogether ace and dumb, is the mother of two, yet cidental, and owing to the position or none of them have any defect in the state of the fætus in utero. Some organs of hearing ; indeed, we do not say it is owing to the effect of impres- know of a single instance where a sions upon the mind of the mother deaf and dumb mother has produced during the period of gestation, and a deaf and dumb child, though we we know that many mothers are de- do not hesitate to say, that they are cidedly of this opinion. We will al- just as likely to have children with low that such impressions may have this defect as other women ; they are a mediate effect upon the state or con as liable to be of that form and make dition of the child, in altering its po- which prevents the developement of sition, or in the change of relative the head of the fætus, in a lateral diparts. But it is too absurd to sup- rection, as other females. pose, that they can have any imme It was long, and still is, a prevaildiate effect, or tend in any other way ing opinion among the common people to produce the complaint. To those of this country, that dumb persons who are inclined to pursue this sub- possess the power of seeing into futu. ject, we would mention, that there is rity, and can foretell, with much cersomething peculiar in the form of the tainty, the fate of individuals. This heads of deaf and dumb persons. knowledge of “ coming events" is to They are all more or less elongated be ascribed altogether, we imagine, to and compressed at the sides. In some the unusual degree of intelligence this conformation is more evident than which, as children, they possess, and in others; but in so far as we have to that superstition which is natural had an opportunity of observing, it to the uninformed mind.

We once prevails universally in all cases where knew a dumb sybil, who was sup, the external ear is perfect. From the posed to be wonderfully gifted with inforination which we at present pos- the art of divination; and shall consess, we believe there are several hun- clude this paper with an account of dreds of individuals in Scotland who the circumstance upon which her cewere born deaf, consequently dumb; lebrity was founded. Though only a but on this subject we shall have ac- child of seven years of age, she was curate information as soon as the sitting at supper with her father and valuable report on the state of the mother, and a few friends, who had poor, which was ordered by the last spent the “ fore-sipper” in “ crackGeneral Assembly, is completed. Of ing with the gude man,” as was cusupwards of two thousand idiots in the tomary for neighbours some fifty or kingdom, not more than thirty or sixty years ago, when two honest farforty are deaf and dumb; and what is mers called in, on their way home rather singular, there are more idiots from the market, where they had been

« AnteriorContinuar »