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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
JOHN P. MORTON & 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 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 revo lution 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,
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.