Not long ago, DONALD WALKER proved to us that the
genera- lity of people knew not how to walk properly ; now comes ALEXANDER BELL to tell us that they do not speak properly. and it is too true—more shame to our teachers. How few persons comparatively enunciate distinctly—nay, more, how common are stammering and the other impediments of speech ! It is conso- latory to find, however, that these evils are curable ; and that they arise mostly from bad habits of speaking, and rarely from malefortuation of the vocal organs. In his little tractate on Stammering and other Impediments of Speech, Mr. BELL tells us, that their removal is as practicable as for a performer on the Itute or violin to teach the unskilful to play on those instruments; and he shows, moreover, in what the evil consists, and the way to remove it.
The common defects of utterance, Mr. BELL says, arise from speaking without opening the teeth, and from exhausting the supply of breath from the lungs, by not pausing or closing the teeth at proper intervals : so that to these two simple rules—to open the teeth when we speak, and close them for a timely supply of breath—the whole art of easy and distinct articulation seems reducible. These are the principles upon which Mr. BELL pro- ceeds in curing defects of utterance ; and his mode is to practise the slow and distinct enunciation of consonants, prolonging the sound, and preparing for its formation by preliminary vowels,—as eeb-b, eels-k, &c. This is so rational and intelligible a course, that it carries with it a conviction of' its soundness and efficacy : we will therefore be content to recommend Mr. BELL'S treatise to those who need it, without noticing one or two minor objections in the au thorship,—more especially as Mr. Beet, though a teacher of elocution, lays no claim to literary merit.