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MENTAL AND VOCAL PHILOSOPHY:
INVOLVING THE PRINCIPLES OF
READING AND SPEAKING;
FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND CULTIVATION
BOTH BODY AND MIND,
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE
NATURE, USES, AND DESTINY OF MAN:
TWO OR THREE HUNDRED CHOICE ANECDOTES;
THREE THOUSAND ORATORICAL AND POETICAL READINGS; FIVE THOUSAND
BY PROF. BRONSON, A. M., M. D.
REVISED AND CORRECTED, WITH LARGE ADDITIONS, ORIGINAL AND SELECTED DLALOGUES AND
LOUISVILLE, KY.: MORTON & GRISWOLD.
THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THIS SYSTEM.
SOME years ago, the Author was extensively engaged as a Public Speaker and, in consequence of the habit of speaking, principally, with the muscles of the throat and breast, he finally broke down,-faliing 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 dif ficulties 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 full 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 ap preciated; 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 TRUE.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by C. P. BRONSON,
Printed by Merton & Griswold, Louisville, Ky
the body its workmanship. Here is a good representation of
1. Every ART, and SCIENCE, has its Externals, up the Body, with the materials, furnished by the and its Internals, its Generals and Particulars; external world. The Soul is the architect, and which must be understood Analytically, and Synthe tically, if we would practice either successfully. The Internals of Elocution, are Thoughts and Feelings, 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, and Mind-the Performer: hence, the necessity of becoming acquainted, theoretically and practieally, with their NATURES, RELATIONS and USES.
2. As the subjects of MIND and LANGUAGE, are partially unfolded in the following work, in this part, something must be said of the BODY, the harp of ten thousand strings: particularly in regard to structure, position, and the organs to be used for the production and modification of sounds, in Speech and Song: also of Gestures, or Actions; illustrated by appropriate Engravings, which may be imitated by the Pupil, for the purpose of bringing the Body into subjection to the Mial; without, however, any reference to speeific Recitations,-lest he should become artificial instead of natural.
3. The more we contemplate MAN, the more we see and feel the truth, that he is a MICROCOSM indeed; a minature-world.-an abstract of creaton-an epitome of the universe,-a finite representation of the INFINITE DEITY! Well saith the her then motto, "KNOW THYSELF!" and the poet
"THE PROPER STUDY OF MANKIND-IS MAN." And it may truly be said, that there is nothing in the Mineral, Vegetable and Animal Kingdoms, that cannot be found, essentially, in the human body; and nothing in the world of Mind, that is not shadowed forth in his spiritual nature: hence, the grandeur, the magnificence of our subjects, and our objects.
4. The three grand essentials of the Body proper, are the Osseus, or bony system, which fixes its form, and gives it stability: the Muscular, or fleshy system, which is designed to act on the Ouseus; and Nervous system, acting on the Muscular: while the Mind, acts on and through the Nervous; receiving its life and power from Him, who is emphatically "THE LIFE:" thus, we can look through Nature, up to Nature's God. Observe, the Analytical course is from outermosts to innermosts, from effects to causes; and the Synthetical progress from innermosts to outermosts; or from causes to effects.
5. NERVES OF ORGANIC LIFE. Every thing must have a beginning: and nothing is made perfect at once. Now in the body, there is a certain port.on, called Nerves of Organic Life; beCause they are the first formed, and constitute the grand medium, through which the soul builds
mass, which is a kind of brain,
(or series brain.) that presides over those glands, or workshops, that take charge of the food, digest it, and watch over its changes, till it is made into blood, and then appropriated to the Lody. The
nervous centre, called Semilunar Ganglion and So lar Plexus, may
be seen at a. a. a, a; it is situated under the diaphragm and partly behind the stomach: other subordinate centres may be seen at e, e, e, e; also in other places, that need not be designated, as they are very numerous: these centres are like miner posts in a state, or king
dom. At i, is seen a pair of
chords, called trisplanchnic nerves: and at 0, 0, are seen other nerves, with their little brains, or centres, where they come together, forming a line along the spine, from the bottom of the chest, ic the top of the neck. From this large collection of Organic Nerves, others proceed to every part. of the system, uniting in smaller centres, and forming ganglions in the palms of the hands, balls of the fingers, &c. Our Astronomical system is called the Solar System, because the Sun is its centre, watching over our planets; so, of these nervous centres of the grand and smaller departments of our miniature-universe. Owing to the intimate connection of these nerves with