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Full text of "Stamering And Cognate Defects Of Speech Vol - Ii"


Coutance, who lived at 16 Rue dcs Bernarclins, Paris, Not
only did this young woman stammer, but in addition she was
subject to involuntary movements of the limbs when standing
or walking. The rythmic speech to which she resorted in
order to cure her stammering, had the most beneficial influence
on these involuntary movements; and they completely dis-
appeared together with the infirmity regarding which she came
to consult us. These two cases seem to prove that one should
employ music, or rather rhythm, as a curative agent in certain
nervous diseases  such as Saint Vitus*s dance, for instance.

*'A medical friend of ours has assured us that he knew a
young woman that limped despite the absence of any observ-
able organic defect, but that her infirmity was not in evidence
when she danced or walked in step with another person,

"Musk, says Plato (that paragon of accuracy)t was not
accorded to man by the immortal gods merely to delight and titil-
late the senses* but also to quiet the disorders of the soul and
the irregular movements that a body full of imperfections
must sutler.

44 Every one knows the jx>wir of the drum with its uniform
rhythm - - how it allays tiredness and helps the soldiers to
march on in order, Ami every one knows that a young and
weak person may dance through a whole night without fatigue
 owing to the rhythm of the music. Ami lastly, the instinct
that compels us to take steps of uniform length, and trip along
with regular rather than irregular movements, and the regular
interruptions! of the pulse and of respiration, and a host of other
phenomena furnish suflkimt proof that rhythm is a need aris-
ing from the firet laws of animal economy, and that we can make
all our movements equal, regular, and perfect with the aid of
this universal principle.

"The Romans knew the influence of rhythm upon speech,
for one reads in, the Encydop&liti mitkodiquet Par Pmmery et