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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
MORTON & GRISWOLD.
OTIS CLAPP, CROSBY & NICHOLS, PHILLIPS, SAMPSON & CO
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,-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 difficulties 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;-ahd, 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 Morton & Griswold, Louisville, Ky
TO THE FIFTH EDITION.
In this work, the Author has given some of the results of his study and practice, in the department of Mental and Vocal Philosophy, for the last fifteen years. Persons, who are familiar with the subjects discussed, can see how much he is indebted to books, and how much to investigation and experience. Whatever is GOOD and TRUE in it, belongs to ALL; for it is from ABOVE. If there be anything false and evil, the Author holds himself responsible for it. His endeavor has been, to furnish a book, which may be useful to every one. He believes that a greater variety will be found in this, than in any other work on the subject;-a variety, too, which will induce deep and careful thinking, and right feeling; and which tends directly, to the end in view, to wit: the development and application, of those principles of MIND and VOICE, which the Author has been engaged in practicing and teaching, in our principal towns and cities, and Institutions of Learning: notices of which may be seen among the accompanying testimonials.
This work is an abridgment of what the Author has written, in three connected, yet separate volumes, as yet unpublished, embracing the subjects of Body and Mind, their natures, relations, and destinies: the work, next in order, is PHYSIOLOGY and PSYCHOLOGY, which, it is expected, will be published the coming year.
One reason why no more quotations are made from the Bible is, that the SACRED VOLUME is nearly ready for the press,-prepared with such a notation as will aid the reader, to pronounce and emphasize it, at sight—it being both a Pronouncing and Rhetorical Bible: it was commenced sev eral years ago, at the request of clergymen and others, who have attended the Author's Biblical Readings and Recitations; and would probably have been laid before the public before this, but for the destruction of a portion of it by fire.
The following work is now "cast upon the waters," in a stereotyped form, not likely soon to be changed. An affectionate Teacher's kindest regards to his Pupils, and respects to a candid and generous public.
NEW YORK, 1845.
Testimonials and References,
the testimonials of the latter:
tion, combined with other causes. produced bronch Five classes were formed in the Academical de- tis, from which I have been suffering more than 18 partment of Yale College, and three in the Theolog- months. By your directions, I can speak and sing ical Department. The following is an extract from freely without irritating my throat. My voice has its natural tone and compass; and I have the deResolved, That we consider his system exceeding-lightful prospect of soon resuming my accustomed labors ly well adapted to develop and train the voice, and give expression to the passions; and we believe it "Professor Bronson's Recitations are the best we calculated to promote the health of public speakers. ever heard."-National Intelligencer.. Being persuaded that we have derived essential ad- Pro Bronson's Lectures and Recitations, have vantage from his instructions, we hereby express given universal delight.-Louisville Journal. our thanks for the assiduity and skill with which he
"The Recitations of Mr. Bronson, are almost per
has directed us in our practice, and most cordially fect."-Baltimore Atheneum and Visitor. recommend him to the patronage of all who would
"Mr. Bronson's success has been most complete.
cultivate their voices with a view to public speaking.-U. S. Gazette. EXTRACT. From Professors of Princeton College
and Theological Seminary, N. J.-We have had good the wonderful capabilities of the human voice, and
EXTRACT-From the Faculty of Marietta College, EXTRACT.-Letter from a distinguished lady in
At the close of his Lectures in the Apollo, the following resolution was unanimously adopted by a crowded house of ticket-holders:
PROF BRONSON is a gentleman of much original ity of thought, extensive reading and remarkable powers. His Lectures, beyond the charm of novel. Resolved, That the thanks of the members of this ty, are very interesting.-Albany Evening Journal. meeting be presented to PROF. BRONSON for his We warmly recommend Prof. Bronson's reading successful efforts (in connection with Mr. F. H. and recitations to the attention of all those who are Nash, his Assistant,) to interest, amuse and instruct partial to effectual and powerful elocution. They them. They conclude, by expressing their high adare an excellent substitute for dramatic exhibitions miration of Prof Bronson's sincerity, zeal and abi -Daily Signal, N. Y We feel anxious that a knowledge of Mr. Bronson's ring to him their best wishes, that success and lity in the cause of truth and humanity, and tende. pecular views should be extended, believing them prosperity may attend him in his noble and genehighly important. not only in juvenile education, rous enterprise. AMOS BELDEN, Chairman. but to the professional speaker.-National Gazette, Philadelphia.
E. PARMLY, Secretary."
Prof. BRONSON's new theory in relation to the sci- At a meeting of the Classes, the Rev. CHARLES ence of Elocution, is, in our judgment, founded in G. SOMMERS, Chairman, and Dr. AMOS JOHNSON, truth, the author being a practical illustration of the Secretary, the following Resolution was unaniBoundness of his doctrine.-Oneida Whig, (Utica) mously adopted: N. Y.
From the Philadelphia Daily World.
Resolved, That the Ladies and Gentlemen, who have attended a series of Lessons and Lectures, by We render no more than justice in pronouncing Prof. BRONSON, on Elocution, Music and PhysioloProf Bronson's Recitations the best we ever heard. gy, feel great pleasure in expressing their high His recitation of "The Maniac, " by Lewis, was sense of his urbanity, uncompromising regard for terrific. We never before saw confirmed, hopeless TRUTH, as the basis of Religion and sound Philosoraving insanity so thorougly counterfeited by any phy; as well as their entire belief that his method actor. In the course of his recitations he explains of imparting knowledge is as natural and interest. his discoveries (for such they are,) in Elocution. fing, as it is novel; and that it is admirably calcula From the REV. MR. Cook, of Hartford, Conn,ted to promote the health of the BODY, and the imwho received only twelve lessons. provement of the MIND. The Classes desire also to PROF. BRONSON-Dear Sir-My Physician, Dr. express their indebtedness to Mr. NASH, Prof. B.'s Sherwood, of N. Y., directed me to you for aid in accomplished Associate, whose critical knowledge recovering the use of my voice. A habit of speaking of VOCAL SCIENCE, So happily connected with un solely with the muscles of my breast and throat, usual Melody and Power of Voice, eminently qual attributable in part at least to Dr. Barber's instruc-[fies him for an Instructor in Music.
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 Synthetically, 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 Mind; without, however, any reference to speeific Recitations,-lest he should become artificia, 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 creaJon, an epitome of the universe, a finite representation of the INFINITE DEITY! Well saith the ea then motto, "KNOW THYSELF!" and the poet"THE PROPER STUDY OF MANKIND-IS MAN." And it may truly be said, that there is nothing → the Mineral, Vegetable and Animal Kingdoms, bat cannot be found, essentially, in the human dy; and nothing in the world of Mind, that is ot 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 Osseus; 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 portion, called Nerves of Organic Life; because they am the first formed, and constitute the grand m, though which the soul builds
mass, 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 its changes, till
it is made into blood, and ther appropriated to the body. The nervous centre, called Semilunar Ganglion and So lar Plexus, may be seen at a, a, a,
a; it is situated under the diaphragm ar.d part
ly 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, ia seen a pair of
chords, called trisplanchnic nerves: and at 0, 0, are seen other nerves, with their little brains, of centres, where they come together, forming a line along the spine, from the bottom of the chest, tc the top of the neck. From this large collection of Organic Nerves, others proceed to every par 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