176 SYSTEMS OF TREATING STAMMERING
the foot. As this expedient soon lost its potency, he hit upon
the device of intensifying the movements by walking forward
two or three steps, and then executing as many steps backward.
While performing this manoeuvre he would strengthen the
rhythm by planting the regulating foot with unusual firmness;
and all this, of course, he had to do with as little display as
possible. When these elaborate preliminaries progressed to
the first or second stamp of the foot, he could begin to enun-
The writer has seen a number of stammerers
that had been taught to beat time with the hand.
The ultimate accomplishment of many of these
subjects consisted in threshing the air while they
The time-beating artifice is not so much a cure as
an additional disease. In his "Autobiography of
a Stutterer/7 Edgar S. Werner (who was editor of
The Voice, a defunct journal published for stammerers)
thus arraigns the method.:l
"The nearest I came to a treatment, up to 'this time, was a
call upon an itinerant stutter-doctor, who showed the charlatan
too plainly for my parents to be deceived. His 'method' was
beating time at every syllable. This is not the place to consider
this time-beating business, which was practised in France fifty
years ago, was then taken up in Germany and in England, and
only last year, I believe, was revealed ( ?) to Americans by Dio
Lewis, who assured the afflicted that it was a sure remedy.
It is nothing of the kind. Many stutterers would be made
worse the more they practised it."
i The Voice, Vol. VI, p. 125.