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Mr. W. J. Ketley. 

To face page v. 


Perfected 1876. 


Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, N.W. 

For the reception of Resident 
and Non - Resident Pupils. 

Trincipah Mr.W.J.KETLEY, 

assisted by Mrs. Ketley [nee 
Beasley) and the Misses 
Winnie and Gladys Ketley. 

" Tarrangower " is situated about 4 miles North West of 
Charing Cross and within five minutes' walk of Brondesbury 

In 1890 the late Mr. Beasley, in the course of 
an interview with Mr. Raymond Blathwayte, said : — 

" My son-in-law, Mr. W. J. Ketley, who superintends 
my house in London, and has studied and taught 
my system for twenty years, is even more patient 
than I am, and I feel that whenever I am obliged 
to give the work up it will be carried on just as 
effectually, if not indeed more so, as ever it has 
been in my own time." — See p. 90. 



In presenting this book to those whom it may 
concern, I desire to point out that since the 
deaths of the late Mr. Benjamin Beasley and 
his son the conduct of the Beasley system 
of treatment for the cure of stammering has 
fallen upon myself. 

Before the late Mr. Beasley made the dis- 
covery which eventually led to his cure, I was 
associated with him in business, and sym- 
pathetically watched the gradual process of 
his cure, aiding him with suggestions and 
talking over with him his difficulties until his 
impediment was entirely removed. I thus 
assisted him from the very first in the 
development of the system. 

Having fully realised the value of that sys- 
tem, we disposed of our commercial enterprise 


and jointly took up the work of ministering to 
others in an establishment at Hall Green, 
Worcestershire. I was his constant companion, 
living in the same house, assisting in instructing 
the very first classes of pupils, aiding in the 
writing of his books, and helping in the elabora- 
tion of the exercises that were found necessary 
to meet the different forms of stammering and 
the different temperaments of stammerers who 
came to us for relief. 

Later, when the growth of the business made 
extensions necessary, Brampton Park was 
taken for country pupils, and an establishment 
in London was opened, of which I have had sole 
charge for the past thirty years, and where I 
have given instruction to many hundreds of 
stammerers with complete success. Through- 
out the whole of this period the system has 
stood the test of trial, and has proved itself to 
be the best and most reliable one ever 
invented for the relief of stammerers, whether 
young or old. 


For the young, the treatment is concurrent 
where desired, with the combination of ordin- 
ary studies in science, art, languages, and 
music, as well as in all elementary subjects ; so 
that a pupil undergoing treatment for stam- 
mering may not fall back in his studies in 
other subjects. Students can also be coached 
for matriculation or other examinations. 

Tarrangower has been specially equipped for 
the reception of pupils of all ages. It is in a 
delightful district, within easy reach of the 
West End, and contains facilities for outdoor 
recreation, including tennis, and indoor amuse- 

In conclusion, I wish to draw the attention 
of parents especially to the chapter on the 
Danger of Delay. The picture is by no means 
overdrawn ; the stories that have been poured 
into my ears and the obvious effects of their 
impediment on many of the pupils who have 
ultimately come to me for relief having been 
heartrending. While the child is young the 


cure is easy ; with those of mature years it is 
none the less certain, though greater watch- 
fulness and care and more determination are 
necessary to obtain relief. And by that time 
great suffering has been endured. 

In all cases the responsibility of parents is 
greater than they know, and for every one of 
those to whom this book may bring a fuller 
sense of that responsibility it will be some con- 
solation to the writer to feel that at least an 
effort will be made to rescue a sensitive soul 
from a purgatory of living torment. 


Tarrangower, 178 Willesden Lane, 
Brondesbury, N.W. 


CHAPTER I. page 
Stammering: Its Handicap and Cause i 

The Danger of Delay 9 

The Organs of Speech 20 


Active Causes of Stammering: 28 


Forms of Stammering 34 

Stammering v. Natural Methods of Speech 40 

The Stammerer at School 47 

The Beasleyi\ Other Systems 54 


Advice to my Pupils 5 3 


A Product of Civilisation 


Reminiscences of a Stammerer 


Mr. W. J. Ketley 


Tarrangower : Lecture Room 
Tarrangower : Drawing Room 
Mr. B. Beasley 


An Independent Witness ^g 


facing page y. 

„ 104 

Chapter I. 

Stammering : Its Handicap and 

To those afflicted with stammering there is 
only one subject of importance — their per- 
manent cure. Their infirmity is an ever 
present torment, marring the happiness of 
the present, blurring the visions and destroy- 
ing the ideals of the future. Few except those 
who do stammer realise what an awful handi- 
cap in life the affliction imposes. 

To the inveterate stammerer almost as 
many avenues of life are closed as to the 
deaf and dumb. The army, the navy, the 
civil service, public appointments, and public 
office of every kind, parliament, the pulpit, 
the bar and the scholastic professions are 


sealed against them ; while in all the learned 
professions — the professions associated with 
the arts and sciences — the inability to give 
vocal expression to their thoughts and designs 
and discoveries is more or less a drawback and 
an impediment to progress. 

In business it is the same. Bankers, 
merchants, stockbrokers, shippers and manu- 
facturers prefer to have in their business 
departments men of facile speech ; and even in 
commercial callings where stammering may 
not be an actual bar, it remains a fact that the 
stammerer is seriously handicapped by his 
impediment, both in obtaining employment 
and in the fulfilment of his every-day duties. 

The stammering journalist dreads every 
interview he has to undertake, the stammering 
mechanic finds it difficult to give technical 
instructions or ask for details as to the work 
he has to do, the stammering shopkeeper is 
unable to explain the merits of his goods as 
he would wish to do and as he knows he could 


do but for the fatal lack of harmony between 
the nervous system and the mechanical organs 
of speech, which locks his tongue and makes 
eloquence impossible. 

Even in the humbler walks of life the stam- 
merer is debarred from many callings. He can 
neither be railway porter, nor guard, nor 
engine driver, nor policeman, nor soldier, nor 
jack-tar. His unreadiness of speech haunts him 
even as a carter or checker, and only in the most 
humble callings where silence is golden, and 
physical work alone is required, can he be said 
to feel least the restraint of his affliction. 

Should he be tempted to go abroad, he may 
find even the gates of foreign countries closed 
against him as an emigrant, the example in 
this direction having already been set by the 
United States, where inveterate stammering 
is held to be a sufficient cause for refusing to its 
victim admission at the ports. 

Yet among all men in the world there are 
none as a class who are better equipped in 


mental ability, in versatility, in depth ot 
penetration, in nervous force, than the 

Carlyle, one of the keenest observers of his 
day, when he said that he never knew a stam- 
merer who was a fool, gave expression to a 
truism that no one who has had experience of 
stammerers will ever care to gainsa}^. [It is 
the nervous force, the intense self-conscious- 
ness, the keen mental vitality of the patient, 
that in nine cases out of ten leads to the partial 
breakdown of the harmonious association be- 
tween the nervous and muscular mechanisms 
of speech, and gives rise to the impediment. 

Where the dullard stammers, the cause is 
usually imitation of others, and with care his 
cure should be easily effected. With the 
stammerer in whom the affliction has arisen 
from complex congenital causes, the case is 
different ; but even for him there is the hope, 
nay, more than the hope, there is the certainty 
of cure, if the proper course be pursued. 


It must, however, be always remembered 
that articulate speech is in its physiological 
mechanism one of the most complicated of 
human achievements, requiring a series of 
nervous and muscular actions all of which must 
be executed with precision and in accordance. 

It is necessary, for example, as a learned 
writer has explained in the Encyclopedia 
Britannica, " that the respiratory movements, 
more especially those of expiration, should 
occur regularly and with nice adjustment to the 
kind of articulate expression required ; that 
the vocal chords be approximated and tightened 
by the muscles of the larynx acting with delicate 
precision so as to produce the sound of the 
pitch desired ; that the rima glottidis (or 
aperture of the larynx) be opened so as to pro- 
duce prolonged sounds, or suddenly closed so as 
to cut off the currents of air ; that the move- 
ments of the muscles of the tongue, of the soft 
palate, of the jaws, of the cheeks, and of the 
lips occur precisely at the same time, and to the 


requisite extent, and, finally, that all of these 
muscular adjustments take place with rapidity 
and smoothness, gliding into each other without 
effort and without loss of time. Exquisite co- 
ordination of muscular movement is therefore 
necessary, involving also complicated nervous 
actions. Hence is it that speech is acquired by 
long and laborious effort. 

" A child possesses voice from the beginning ; 
it is born with the capacity for speech, but 
articulate expression is the result of education. 
In infancy, not only a knowledge acquired of 
external objects and signs attached in the form 
of words to the ideas thus awakened, but the 
nervous and muscular mechanisms by which 
these signs or words receive vocal expression 
are trained by long practice to work harmoni- 

' It is not surprising,therefore, that in certain 
cases, owing to some obscure congenital defect, 
the co-ordination is not effected with sufficient 
precision, and that stammering is the result. 


Even in severe cases no appreciable lesion can 
be detected either in the nervous or muscular 
mechanisms, and the condition is similar to 
what may affect all varieties of finely co- 
ordinated movements. The mechanism does 
not work smoothly, but the pathologist is 
unable to show any organised defects." 

This is the baffling mystery of the affliction. 
It is not a disease. It is impossible for the 
physician to put his finger on any nerve or any 
part of the nervous system, or for the surgeon 
to point to any physical defect, and for either 
to suggest that by the stimulation of this nerve 
or the removal or amendment of that organ of 
speech a cure may be effected. 

Neither drugs nor surgical treatment are of 
avail, and medical men who know no cure are 
therefore prone to tell parents that the child 
will grow out of his infirmity. How hopelessly 
wrong they are ten thousand stammerers could 
bitterly explain. 

But in the following pages it is demonstrated 


that no stammerer need remain the prisoner of 
his affliction. The history is given of an in- 
veterate stammerer, who, having borne his 
burden for over thirty years, Effected his own 
cure, and in doing so evolved a system which 
has been of incalculable benefit to thousands of 
stammerers, and is still at the services of those 
who, harassed by one of the most distressing 
afflictions known to man, may, by perfectly 
natural means, secure emancipation from the 
thraldom in which they are held. 

Chapter II. 

The Danger of Delay. 

One of the poets has told us that the pain and 
suffering wrought by want of thought exceeds 
in infinite volume that inflicted by want of 
heart. And, so far as the stammering child 
is concerned, no truer sentiment was ever 


If the mother and father of a stammering 
child only realised for one moment the possible 
life-long hell to which they were allowing their 
child to descend by neglecting the first symp- 
toms of stammering, or refraining from taking 
advantage of the best opportunity offered for 
its cure, or hesitating in seeking out a remedy, 
they would never forgive themselves. 

Their distress on first noticing the hesitation 


or the distinct stammer is in most cases lulled 
by the suggestion of the friend or the family 
doctor that the child will grow out of it. Would 
to Heaven there were any probability of this. 
Then there might be some warrant, some justi- 
fication for the assurance. But in not one case 
out of a hundred is the assurance made good 
by subsequent fact. 

On the other hand, the hesitancy increases, 
the stammering becomes more pronounced' 
and though at home the child may seem cheer- 
ful and happy and undisturbed, unconscious of 
its disability, no one except a stammerer knows 
how little truth there is in this seeming peace 
and indifference. 

Let the parent watch the child and see how, 
when it is asking for a privilege or saying any- 
thing under conditions which do not favour 
self-forgetfulness, it begins to wince and get 
confused and troubled by its impediment, and 
they will get some dim and distant and very 
faint idea of what is really happening. 


They will never know. Only the stam- 
merer knows the suffering endured even as a 
child, although protected and patiently borne 
with by loving parents ; much less can anyone 
but a stammerer know the agony of being 
taken among strangers, or how soon the child 
learns to shrink from other children, how 
often he busies himself in looking out of win- 
dows or examining books when his heart is 
really at play with youngsters whom he fain 
would but dare not join because of heedless 
laugh and childish mockery. 

From the first moment that the stammering 
child becomes self-conscious, and learns that it 
is not as other children, the iron begins to enter 
its soul. The apparent pinpricks of the 
mimicking playfellow, the sharply spoken word 
of parent or brother or sister or nurse or gover- 
ness for a fault the child cannot help and is 
not taught to avoid because the parent knows 
not the remedy, the estranging influences of 
inability to explain itself are all, to the sensitive 


child, much deeper sorrows than either parents 
or brothers or sisters ever realise. 

Day by day, hour by hour, the consciousness 
of inability to speak as other children speak 
is there, and the brighter and more intelligent 
and more sensitive the child may be, the deeper 
does its affliction wound. 

In time the child becomes less sociable, more 
and more disinclined to meet other children, 
increasingly self-centred, and disposed to find 
its own joys in solitary games or in poring over 
books. Soon association with other children 
becomes an ordeal, and any proposal to invite 
friends a nightmare and the cause of intoler- 
able distress. 

When at length school days come to be talked 
of, the poor child, though it may put on a bold 
front, writhes in agony of mind ; and when at 
last those school days materialise he learns to 
curse his halting tongue and to hate the dawn 
of every day because of the purgatory to which 
his fellows thoughtlessly condemn him. 


This is no fanciful picture. It is the true 
story of nine out of every ten stammering chil- 
dren, whose sufferings sear their little souls 
each day. 

Indeed could fathers and mothers fully 
realise what the life of a stammerer means, no 
child would ever grow up to be a stammering 
man or woman. For a child suffering from a 
painful illness, though of only a temporary 
nature, parents often deny themselves much ; 
for a child afflicted with a stammering tongue 
they unfortunately, because they do not under- 
stand the mental agony endured, trust to luck 
for a cure. 

Could they but know how scurvily luck may 
treat their child, those in whom parental love 
is strongest would realise that it were perhaps 
better that their little one should be sleeping 
peacefully in its grave than left to the mercies 
of the wanton jade. 

^Did they realise the ever present torment, the 
constant dread, the lost opportunities and 


mortifications that will make the child's life 
hideous, dog his every footstep, mock his every 
effort, there would be ten times the solicitude 
shown towards him that is manifested over 
the passing physical illness, however painful 
it might be, and no rest till the remedy was 
found and the halting tongue made fluent. 

Once the child becomes nervous, self-con- 
scious, constrained, the hope that it will grow 
out of its affliction is vain, while the danger of 
delay remains, namely, that as it grows older 
the habit will become so ingrained that cure 
will be ten times more difficult. 

The boy or girl taken in hand just before 
school age may be easily cured and sent to 
school free from the tyrant, and rejoicing in 
freedom of speech. The young man or young 
woman entering on the duties of life will find 
it more difficult to shake off the nervous dread 
of speech and change the conduct of their 
lives, and yet each is quite capable of 
cure, though greater perseverance may be 


demanded. But they need have no fear of 
cure if they are steadfast, nor need either the 
man or woman of middle-age, even though they 
have been assiduously practising stammering 
for the greater part of a life-time. 

It is indeed never too late to mend, as Mr. 
Beasley proved in his own case, and as has been 
demonstrated in hundreds of cases since he 
opened his first establishment nearly forty 
years ago. There is not merely the possibility, 
there is the certainty of cure for any one of 
them if they have sufficient determination to 

But undoubtedly the best time to tackle the 
affliction is in early youth before the stings and 
miseries of halting speech have wrecked the 
nerves, or self-consciousness or introspective 
habits have made the patient shrink within him- 
self—before, in fact, the iron has entered too 
deeply into the soul for him ever to forget. 

Until the child has reached an age at which 
he may be allowed to go from home, parents 


themselves can do much to help and may even 
effect a cure. 

The wisest course for them to pursue, as Mr. 
Beasley himself taught, is to apparently take 
no notice of the impediment, but listen quietly 
and patiently, and themselves set an example 
by speaking slowly and thoughtfully. If kept 
unconscious of his difficulty, the child may be 
cured without his ever knowing that it existed. 

Where the child is not constantly in the 
mother's charge much may be done to stop the 
fault in its incipient stages by taking care that 
the nurse or governess is of a calm and placid 
disposition, not likely to excite or hurry the 
child, but on the contrary, to set an example at 
every turn of quiet repose in speech and 

The child stammerer is always highly strung 
and intelligent, with thoughts flowing too 
quickly for its yet limited powers of utterance. 
Its intelligence, however, is obvious, and the 
result is that the nurse or governess is only too 


ready to show it off to admiring friends, when 
the child, knowing what is expected of it and 
being eager to please, acquires habits that 
quickly grow and develop to its life-long 

I have known more than one mother so 
delighted with the pretty imperfections of her 
little prattler that she has imitated it in her own 
talk to the child. Did she but know how much 
pain and suffering she was, alas ! thus courting 
for her little one in after life, she would rather, 
one would hope, have cut the tongue from her 
own mouth than have done it. 

Children are imitative, and in tender life no 
bad example in speech, as in anything else, 
should be set them, because whatever suffering 
other bad habits may entail,the suffering caused 
to the stammering child is an ever-present tor- 
ment that so gnaws into the soul that in many 
recorded cases it has in later life driven its 
victims to suicide. 

In its very earliest stages, therefore, every 


effort should be made to check the persistence 
of faulty speech, by avoiding hurry, keeping 
the child in as placid an atmosphere as possible, 
and when speaking to, or in the presence of it, 
articulating each word slowly, clearly, and with 
precision. Should such treatment fail to secure 
the consummation so devoutly to be wished, 
then, when the time comes at which the child 
may be put under tuition, no time should be 
lost in obtaining the best aid possible. 

The parent in making selection should be on 
his guard, taking care to satisfy himself that 
the system has no tricks, no extraneous aids, 
no suggestions of hypnotism or psychical 
influences, no medicines or physical operations, 
but is one that by natural means shall help 
the child to acquire self-control, concentration 
of thought, confidence in himself, and which 
may, in its ultimate effect, make him a better 
speaker than the majority of those who have 
never suffered the disadvantages of such an 


These requirements the Beasley system 
fulfils in every detail, and it is because it does 
this that it has, during the past forty years, 
been so pre-eminently successful and so widely 
recognised, not only in the United Kingdom, 
but throughout the civilised world. 

Chapter III. 
The Organs of Speech. 

Before considering the causes of stammering, 
it may be well to explain the action of the 
organs of speech. In doing so, there will be 
no necessity to enter too minutely into detail. 
The different positions the organs take during 
the process of speech are as numerous as the 
different formations of words ; to endeavour 
to explain them would not only be an almost 
endless task, but would serve no useful 

The organs of speech are ten in number. 
They consist of the lungs, glottis, soft palate, 
tongue, lower lip, lower jaw, hard palate, upper 
teeth, upper gum, and upper lip. The first 
six are active, the other four passive. 


The lungs may be said to be the most 
important of all, as without breath vocal sound 
could not be produced, nor voice moulded into 


Respiration is principally assisted by the 
action of the diaphragm (a muscular tissue 
dividing the chest from the abdomen), which 
falls and rises ; and by the sides of the breast, 
which expand and contract when breath is 
inspired and expired. 

The glottis is the organ of sound, and is 
situated in the larynx (or Adam's apple, as it is 
called) , above the vocal chords. It is here that 
the different sounds, acute or grave, are made, 
depending on the greater or less opening of the 
aperture, and consequent effect on the vocal 


The soft palate is an organ which materially 
assists in forming quality of voice. It is situa- 
ted behind the hard palate (or roof of the 
mouth), and extends to the throat, where the 
communication with the nasal passages com- 


mences. It opens these passages in all usual 

The other organs it is unnecessary to 
describe ; they can be seen. 

In speaking, the breath is emitted from the 
lungs, producing sound in the glottis, which 
sound is fashioned into words by the action of 
the other organs of speech. 

Although there are nearly forty different 
formations, it will be sufficient to speak only 
of five, and those consonantal, and used at the 
beginning of words. 

I do not mean that these five formations are 
exactly alike in the different words which I 
shall group together, but that for all practical 
purposes they may be considered the same. 
The few examples will, if carefully studied, 
show the difference which occurs in the position 
of the organs of speech during articulation. 

Words beginning with B, P, or M are formed 
by pressure of the lips together, and then 
abrupt separation at the instant that the voice 


is made, as in bar, beg, bit, bother, but, by ; 
pack, pen, pig, pot, put, pike ; man, met, mix, 
mop, mud. The difference is caused by the 
various vowels which are used. The same 
remark will apply to other consonantal forma- 

D, T, S, Z, and N require the tip of the 
tongue to come in contact with the upper teeth, 
where the teeth and gums meet, and simul- 
taneously with vocal sound there must be cessa- 
tion of contact, in order to articulate the 
required word, as in dad,- deck, differ, doll, 
duck, dye ; tack, tempt, till, toll, turf, tie ; 
sack, send, sin, soft, suffer, sign ; zany, zeat, 
zinc, zodiak, zumic ; name, Nell, nib, not, 

C, G, J, K, L, Y, Sh, and Q, in the formation 
of a word, require the tongue to be placed 
against the hard palate. As in the former, 
quick separation is necessary at the moment 
the voice is made, as in cab, centre, cid, coffer; 
cut, cite ; gad, gem, gin, gone, gutter, gyve ; 


jack, jet, jim, jog, just ; kaw, keg, kick ; lame, 
lend, limb, lost, lust, line ; yacht, yet, yon, yule ; 
shame, shed, shine, shot, shut ; queen, quick, 

F and V are dental-labials, in which the lower 
lip comes into contact with the upper teeth, 
from which it is separated in commencing a 
word, as in fact, fed, fin, fog, fuss, fye ; vane, 
veer, vine, voice. 

R, when trilled, requires the tip of the tongue 
to be placed very near to the palate, and the 
voice propelled with sufficient force to cause 
rapid contact and separation, as in "around the 
rugged rocks the ragged rascals ran their 
rural race." 

As there are no fewer than five different 
sounds of the vowel A ; two of E ; three 
of I ; three of O ; and two of U ; as heard 
in the following words, far, mast, mare, fall, 
mate ; get, me ; fire, fir, fin ; for, home, move ; 
must, prude — besides their combinations in 
diphthongal and triphthongal sounds — the 


manner in which sounds are multiplied will 
be understood. 

Consonants may be divided into three 
classes. First, those which have no initiatory 
sound whatever, as C, K, P, Q, T. Second, 
those which have but a slight initiatory sound, 
as B, D, F, G, J, S, V, Z. And, third, those 
which have a palpable initiatory sound, as 
L, M, N. In fact, L, M, N have sounds quite 
as plain as the vowels. 

Stammerers find the most difficulty with 
words beginning with the first class, less with 
those of the second class, and least with those 
of the third class of letters. What I mean by 
the initiatory sound is that which immediately 
precedes articulation of any consonantal sound. 
The initiatory sound of L is produced by the 
tip of the tongue being placed in contact with 
the palate, close to the upper teeth, while the 
sound is allowed to pass over the tongue and 
out laterally by the teeth. This sound can be 
made with the nostrils closed. M and N can- 


not be articulated with the nostrils closed; 
thus they are called nasal. 

The initiatory sound in the second class letters 
is varied in each of them, and may be under- 
stood by placing the articulative organs in their 
right position for the letter which begins a word, 
and endeavouring to articulate that word with- 
out allowing them to move. In B, D, G, J a 
stifled sound will be produced ; and in F, S, V, 
Z a kind of hissing sound will be made ; while 
in the first class, when the organs are placed 
in right contact for a word, no possible sound 
can be uttered in trying to say that word so 
long as the organs are not separated, 

To make enunciation perfect, a light trippant 
action of the tongue and lower lip, and a free 
downward, almost involuntary, action of the 
lower jaw, are necessary. There must be no 
hard pressure at the time of contact, but every 
articulation must be made entirely without 
effort. Where this is not observed, an impeded 
articulation will ensue. 


Defective articulation is frequently the result 
of imperfect physical formation, such as hare- 
lip, cleft palate, undeveloped jaws, too large 
tongue, or defective growth of the teeth. 
Stammering rarely, if ever, proceeds from such 
cases, although it may accompany them. 

In some of the cases just mentioned the aid 
of the surgeon may be necessary, but in cases of 
stammering the knife should never be used. 
Many unfortunates have had bitterly to deplore 
the result of a surgical operation for the cure 
of stammering, when they have found to their 
cost that their condition has been made 
infinitely worse than it was before. 

Thanks to the intelligence of the present age, 
few surgeons could now be found who would 
countenance operations for stammering. 

Chapter IV. 
Active Causes of Stammering. 

In our opening chapter an attempt has been 
made to explain the underlying cause — the 
primary cause — of the affliction, and it is 
there pointed out that scientists have been 
quite unable to trace the impediment to any 
defect in the organs of speech. 

My own experience fully confirms this, 
because during my intercourse with hundreds 
of stammerers I have never met with one 
whose impediment was so caused ; and on the 
other hand I have witnessed it in its greatest 
intensity where there has been the most 
perfect physical organisation, mental vigour 
and capacity, strength of will, force of charac- 
ter and abundance of health — in fact, where 
there has been every qualification necessary 
for the perfect outward man. 


But in addition to the great underlying cause 
there are four principal active causes. First, 
not opening the glottis so as to produce sound ; 
second, not allowing the lower jaw to have free 
play ; third, pressing the lips tightly together ; 
and fourth (a habit most difficult to get rid of), 
pressing the tongue tightly against the teeth 
or gums. In other words, stammering is 
caused by trying to speak in an impossible 

Let anyone try to articulate a word begin- 
ning with one of the letters B, P, or M without 
separating the lips ; or one beginning with 
either C, G, J, K, or Q without separating the 
tongue from the palate ; or words beginning 
with the letters F or V without separating the 
lower lip from the upper teeth, and he will find 
his efforts are vain. 

In explaining their cause, it may be as well 
to state what I mean by stammering as 
distinguished from stuttering. Stammering is 
an inability to articulate sentences, words, 


or parts of words, and may occur in any part of 
a sentence, in any part of a word, or at the 
beginning of a word. Stuttering is a rapid 
repetition of the initial or beginning part of a 
word, and a difficulty or inability to finish it. 

Stammering is not confined to any letters 
or words ; but words beginning with conso- 
nants present the greatest difficulties,especially 
with double or treble consonants,such as bl, br, 
ch, cl, cr, dr, fl, fr, gl, gr, pi, pr, sc, sh, sk, si, 
sm, sp, sq, st, sw, th, scr, shr, spr, and str. 

As, however, the two forms are so nearly 
allied to each other, when I speak of stammer- 
ing my remarks will generally apply to 
stuttering also. Nervousness exercises a very 
predominant influence over stammerers, but 
it is not, as many suppose, the cause of stam- 
mering. Stammering is the cause of nervous- 
ness. If a cure be effected, all nervousness 
w disappear. Besides, it cannot be traced in 
its earlier stages to nervousness, as children are 
seldom nervous, and it is generally during 


the period of childhood that the affliction 
has its origin. Even those who have been 
troubled with an impediment for many years 
are often found to be anything but nervous, 
except in regard to their misfortune. 

There are many causes which first conduce 
to stammering, the diseases incidental to child- 
hood being the principal, such as measles, 
scarlatina, whooping-cough, low fever, or any 
thing which reduces the physical condition. 
Sometimes it is acquired by imitation. As a 
general rule it commences when children are 
between the ages of four and twelve years, and 
usually makes its appearance after recovery 
from some child-ailment. At first it is only 
slight, but does not take long to develop itself, 
and is often aggravated by the injudicious 
treatment of those having charge of children. 

The temperament of children who acquire 
the habit are of two kinds — either highly 
excitable and vivacious, or secretive and 
ruminative — and the form it will take will be 


different. As a rule the excitable child will 
both stutter and stammer, while the quiet one 
will stammer only. 

It is erroneous to suppose that stammering 
is confined to consonantal formations ; no 
doubt consonants present the greatest diffi- 
culty to stammerers, but they also stam- 
mer at vowels. The most easy of all the vowel 
sounds is a, pronounced as in la of the Italian 
method of sol-fa-ing in music. This is formed 
with the whole of the active organs entirely 
at rest, and requires, when the organs are in 
the right position, only the propulsion of the 
breath to cause the vocal chords to vibrate 
and produce the sound ; and yet the stammerer 
often finds difficulty with this formation, 
owing to lack of control over his glottis, or 
the adoption of an impossible method of 

The absurd notion, which once had a few 
disciples, that stammering is a disease, has 
nearly become obsolete ; although there may 


be some few who still entertain the idea that 
it comes within the province of the physician, 
and will succumb to medical treatment. 

To characterise as a disease an improper use 
of the lips, tongue, breath, and lower jaw 
seems quite as ridiculous as if speaking un- 
grammatically or biting one's nails were so 
called. Stammering is an affliction of highly 
complex origin, in which neither disease nor 
physical deformity has any part or share. 

Chapter V. 

Forms of Stammering. 

The phenomena of stammering are unaccount- 
ably numerous and variable in form. Re- 
markable as the statement may appear, it is 
perhaps not too much to say that no two 
victims of the affliction stammer alike. The 
bad habits into which the lack of co-ordination 
in the mechanism of speech has driven the 
stammerer differ in every individual case ; 
therefore individual treatment is essential. 

Many cases that have come under my own 
observation, either at Brampton Park or 
Brondesbury, could be quoted in proof of this ; 
and it may not be amiss to refer to a few of 
them. One gentleman, who finally came to 
me as a pupil and went away cured of his 
impediment,was often several minutes, making 
great efforts all the time, before he could utter 
a sound. When at last the sound came ten 


or twelve words would be uttered with in- 
articulate rapidity until his breath was utterly 
spent, whereupon he would be as long in trying 
to begin again. On one occasion, being asked 
a question by a friend with whom he was 
walking, he walked several hundred yards 
before replying, and when he did so the delay 
had been so long that his friend had forgotten 
what he had asked. 

Another remarkable case, laughter-provok- 
ing were it not so heartrendingly piteous, was 
that of a young lady who, in her endeavours 
to speak, frequently gave herself violent kicks, 
and had carried this so far, on her own telling, 
that on one or two occasions when out walking- 
she had kicked or tripped herself into the 

These are extreme cases, but nearly all 
stammerers distort their faces when attempt- 
ing to speak, and hundreds get hold of bad 
mechanical habits ; tapping with hand or foot 
or arm at every word, or adopting other 


methods which they have been told may help 
them in their difficulty. 

The majority of stammerers find great 
difficulty in travelling, the little window 
in the booking office of a railway station pre- 
senting a terrible ordeal, especially when other 
travellers are awaiting their turn and the 
stammerer becomes nervous lest he should keep 
them too long ; while the giving of instructions 
to taxi or cab drivers, and the inquiring of one's 
way, often presents almost unsurmountable 
difficulties. Many on this account never 
travel alone, unless compelled by force of cir- 
cumstances ; and it is no uncommon thing for 
boys who stammer to get their companions 
to execute commissions for them where speech 
is necessary. Entering a shop to ask for 
commodities is always an ordeal which every 
stammerer shirks on all possible occasions. 

Nor are these the only anomalies of the 
affliction. Some who are able to speak fairly 
to equals and superiors utterly fail to make 


themselves intelligible when speaking to ser- 
vants. Usually the contrary is the case ; but 
with stammerers there is no common ground 
except the obvious one that every stammerer 
stammers. The majority can at least 
speak passably in the family circle, and 
not at all in public. But at the present 
moment there is in the House of Lords an 
elderly nobleman who frequently inaugurates 
debates and enters into discussion with perfect 
fluency, while in private conversation he 
stammers rather badly ; and in a northern 
town the recent holder of the office of Mayor 
was a gentleman who, as a major in the 
volunteer force, and as a public speaker, was 
perfectly free of speech, while in private con- 
versation he still hesitates, stammers, and 
occasionally relapses into silence because of 
his infirmity. 

Opposite circumstances in other ways also 
have distinct effects. Some stammerers can 
speak with comparative fluency when con- 


versing with strangers, but amongst their own 
friends experience considerable difficulty; while 
others find their troubles begin immediately 
they talk to anyone with whom they are 

Stammerers are also greatly influenced by 
the manner of the persons to whom they are 
speaking. For instance, if they enter into 
conversation with anyone who shows im- 
patience or watches them very acutely, the 
result is that they get more confused, and 
ultimately come to utter grief. Sometimes, 
on the other hand, sympathy, by way of kind 
looks and words of help or encouragement, has 
the opposite effect to that for which it is 
meant, and makes the stammerer worse than 
he would be if no notice were taken of him. 

It would take volumes to enumerate all 
these differences, and, therefore, only one or 
two more must suffice. It is very common for 
a stammerer to speak and read perfectly when 
alone, and to break down immediately anyone 


comes into his presence ; or he may be talking 
to one person, with little or no hesitation, 
and be rendered completely dumb by the 
appearance of another auditor. It is no easy 
matter for a stammerer to speak through a tele- 
phone or through a tube, as the knowledge that 
someone is listening at the other end is quite 
sufficient to upset him ; while there are other 
stammerers who can use the telephone quite 
freely, and yet be almost dumb when they 
meet face to face the person to whom they have 
spoken. It is often very trying to a stammerer 
to have to give his own name, or to be called 
upon to repeat anything he may have said, 
even though he had spoken it just before with 
perfect freedom. 

Boys sometimes lose their impediment while 
at play, in their excitement altogether 
forgetting their infirmity ; but immediately 
they are summoned to quieter work again, 
or simply accosted by anyone out of their 
play, will at once begin to stammer. 

Chapter VI. 

Stammering v. Natural Methods 
of Speech. 

Whatever may be the primary cause of 
stammering — and many volumes have been, 
and further volumes might be, written upon 
the subject without getting any nearer the 
truth— the active cause is evidently an attempt 
to speak in an impossible manner. In the 
invention of such impossible methods each 
stammerer is an adept. 

Efforts to speak with clenched teeth, with 
tongue hard pressed against the gums orro of 
of the mouth, with rigid jaw, with pursed or 
protruded lips or other facial contortions, are 
habits which every stammerer adopts in turn 


with equally disastrous results. Trick after 
trick is acquired, made use of, cast aside, and 
some new contortion adopted. 

One by one the whole of the letters in the 
alphabet in turn prove stumbling blocks. 
M's, B's, P's, T's, D's present special diffi- 
culties, but a stammerer will frequently over- 
come these only to fall a victim to some other 
letter, consonant, or vowel, in regard to which 
there ought to be no difficulty at all, and will 
go to the extreme lengths in physical effort 
to frame or force the word, the initial letter of 
which is the particular bete noir of the moment. 

The ordinary man speaks without effort at 
all. His lower jaw is loose, his tongue and 
cheeks and lips are free and flexible, and his 
words flow easily and without exertion. 

What the Beasley system teaches is the 
right, the natural, method of speech. 

To this end three things are essential. 
That the stammerer be in good health, that he 
realises the necessity for both mental and 


physical repose, and that he has faith in 

There is an old proverb which tells us 
that if money be lost naught is lost, if honour 
be lost much is lost, but that if courage be lost 
all is lost. It is undoubtedly so with the stam- 
merer. If he loses courage and makes no 
effort to regain it, his case is hopeless. 

But no stammerer with a spark of grit in his 
composition would permit himself to get into 
such a condition, and if he did, the sight of a 
class of stammerers — young, middle-aged and 
elderly, including some, maybe, who have 
been much worse than himself — would surely 
help him to regain it, and would show him that 
if he is willing to try, and is ready to keep a 
watch on himself, and to endeavour to speak 
"on rule" — that is, according to the methods 
of the Beasley system — his perfect cure is a 
matter of certainty. 

First, then, the stammerer is taught to school 
himself to mental calm, to make no effort to 


speak until he feels in perfect mental and 
physical repose, and then, as Kingsley so aptly 
put it, to " speak calmly, with self-respect, as 
a man who does not talk at random, and has 
a right to a courteous answer." 

Secondly, it is pointed out to him how utterly 
foreign to free speech is all effort, and how 
impossible it is for him to speak with clenched 
teeth, rigid jaw, or strained cheek and lips. 
The mechanism of speech permits of no such 
hard running ; it should work smoothly and 
softly, and, in a cultivated speaker, run like 
a well-oiled machine. 

Indeed, that to exert effort is to create 
impediment every stammerer who has suf- 
fered from accident or serious illness can, on 
reflection, convince himself ; for when utterly 
exhausted from loss of blood or sickness, and 
thus rendered incapable of effort, he will have 
found himself speaking much more freely than 
when in perfect health he has tried to force the 
utterance he desired. 


The Beasley system is designed to help 
stammerers to " learn again the art of speak- 
ing " and to adopt only natural methods— 
to unlearn the bad habit of years, to discrimin- 
ate between the impossible method and the 
possible, and so learn to speak naturally as 
men should. 

The pity is that stammerers cannot be taught 
by printed instructions or correspondence. 
Each has his own peculiarities, and therefore 
requires to be dealt with individually. 

But more than that, he needs oral demon- 
stration. In one oral and vocal lesson more 
can be taught than by days of reading and 
nights of study. 

Indeed, the habit of speaking wrongly has be- 
come so much a part of the stammerer's nature 
that he is liable to wrongly interpret any in- 
struction given in printed folio or written letter, 
and when he attempts to put into practice in 
every-day life the lessons he has learned or 
attempted to learn in his chamber, he will, in 


nine cases out of ten, find himself worse than 
when he attempted to speak before ever the 
lesson was scanned. 

Moreover, the highly sensitive stammerer, 
without the stimulus of seeing the progress 
made by others who have been every whit as bad 
as he is, would find himself lacking the courage 
and self-control necessary to success. Con- 
tact with teachers and pupils whose cure seems 
assured gives encouragement and engenders 
such hope and confidence that one may count 
the battle already half won. 

The meeting together in class helps also to 
break through the reserve with which the 
stammering boy and girl so often surround 
themselves, and encourages the sang froid 
that is an essential part of the cure. 

The sensitive girl needs other treatment — 
kindly mothering, a gradual introduction to 
class, and freedom from vocal exercises even 
among those similarly affected until she has 
gained sufficient courage to attempt it herself 


without prompting. In a little time, being 
talked to without answer expected, she learns 
to forget her impediment ; begins to make 
attempts to speak ; is reassured by the fact 
that no one apparently takes notice of her 
failures ; and so gains such confidence that 
lessons may be begun with every hope of 

In brief, the system is a kindly, patient, 
watchful system of teaching the stammerer 
the true art of speaking ; and because it is a 
natural system, built up by one who himself 
stammered, it contains such elements of 
success as cannot fail the pupil who is in 
earnest concerning his future welfare. 

Chapter VII. 

The Stammerer at School. 

In a previous chapter passing allusion has been 
made to the painful position, so far as the care- 
less conduct of their fellow pupils is concerned, 
of the boy who is a stammerer — and it is safe 
to say that no greater act of cruelty can be 
inflicted on such a lad than to send him 
to a large public school without first 
attempting the amelioration of his difficulties. 
It is kinder to send him to a private coach, 
where the boy can have individual attention, 
and it is infinitely kinder to the boy and 
much more thoughtful of his future to send 
him to an establishment like my own, where his 
education can be carried on in a thoroughly 
efficient maimer during the time that he is 
being treated for his impediment. 


In a large public school he has no opportunity 
of oral examination ; at Tarrangower exam- 
ination in class is one of the chief features of 
the curriculum, so that the boy (or girl) is not 
only obtaining scholastic tuition, but such 
tuition is itself made a vehicle for instruction 
in the art of speaking. 

Boys at a large school who stammer are 
heavily handicapped, and their lives made 
unbearable by the thoughtless or wanton 
behaviour of their companions. In every 
school boys will be found who take a delight 
in laughing at the affliction of others, and 
stammering seems to afford them special 
opportunities for ridicule and offensive 

I have seen boys worked into ungovernable 
passion through such heartless behaviour, and 
others of a different temperament so hurt as 
to be almost broken-hearted. That boys so 
treated should have a distaste amounting to 
hatred of school is no matter of surprise, nor 

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can it be wondered at that many an amiable 
lad has had his temper spoiled and his dis- 
position ruined under such conditions. 

Parents are often utterly ignorant of the 
existence of such a condition of things, or of 
the suffering to which their child is subjected, 
because the boy of the right mettle is 
unwilling to " peach " or complain. 

And not only is the stammering boy's social 
life made miserable, but his scholastic career 
is impeded, for at every turn his difficulty of 
speech blocks the way. He is often at the 
bottom of his class, not because he does not 
know his lessons, but because of his inability 
to say them, a condition which becomes 
terribly galling, and not unfrequently has the 
effect of making him careless and causing him 
to lose all ambition to excel — all interest in 
studies, which, work he never so laboriously, 
secure for him no recognition. 

If he be of an indolent nature, he can easily 
shirk his work, well knowing that his hesitation 


will cause him to be ignored. Many a stam- 
mering boy has been given credit for knowing 
his work when he has not ; and many another 
has been considered a dullard, although perfect 
in every line. Tutors cannot be blamed 
for passing such boys, as the work of the 
whole class cannot be delayed by waiting 
for one, though no excuse can possibly 
be offered for those who show impatience 
or lose their tempers, which, unfortunately, 
some do with stammering boys. 

Having regard to these various considera- 
tions, I employ efficient tutors, so that a boy's 
education may be either commenced or car- 
ried on or completed, or, if desired, he may be 
prepared for university matriculation or 

" The pen " may, it is true, " be mightier 
than the sword," but the art of speech is 
beyond all doubt the greatest human power. 
Is it not, then, an amazing fact that not only 
is this great power absolutely uncultivated at 


the majority of schools, but that in most of 
them bad habits of speech are positively in- 
duced by the present system of cramming and 
high pressure ? Those children who show more 
than average intelligence and aptitude are 
pushed forward and overworked in order that 
theymay be made examples of the proficiency 
of this or that scholastic establishment, to the 
lifelong injury of the little pupil. 

Legislation, which forbids the bodily over- 
working of children, might well interfere to 
save this abuse of their mental powers. The 
theory of many eminent physicians that the 
great increase in stammering at the present 
day is due to these causes is no doubt correct, 
since it is invariably the quick, intelligent, 
highly strung and nervous boy, and not the slow 
or dull subject, who falls the readiest victim. 

How then can the extraordinary apathy of 
parents in regard to stammering children be 
accounted for? They have probably con- 
sulted the family doctor, and, as has been 


intimated in a previous chapter, are only too 
ready to accept his comforting formula that 
the " boy will grow out of it." I do not say 
that all medical men treat the matter in this 
cavalier-like manner — far from it. Many are 
fully alive to the vast growth and to the 
terrible significance to the individual of the 
imperfection ; but, unfortunately, there are 
others who do not like to admit their ignorance 
of a subject which in truth does not come 
within the province of their profession, and 
therefore dismiss it in this off-hand and 
reprehensible manner. 

If any proof of the fallacy of their theory be 
needed, it is to be found in the thousands of 
stammerers of mature age who have lived and 
live now to reproach their parents for neglect 
of an ever-present trouble which might easily 
have been eradicated during their education. 

With the increase of population competition 
for the different professions becomes keener, 
and it is not to be wondered at that the author- 


ities are growing correspondingly stricter, 
and are refusing to pass candidates whose 
speech-education has been neglected. 

Therefore the coaches and tutors engaged 
in connection with the educational facilities 
offered at Tarrangower are specially chosen 
and instructed as to their treatment of the 
pupils, whose difficulties of speech are made 
the special care of the principals. 

Chapter VIII. 

The Beasley v. Other Systems. 

The great advantage of the Beasley system, 
and the one which gives it a pre-eminent 
claim to attention over all others, is that it was 
evolved by a gentleman who himself stammered 
for five and thirty years, who had tried other 
systems without result, and who, feeling with 
increased intensity as the years passed the 
seriousness of the handicap under which he 
laboured, determined to put all else aside and 
wrestle with his infirmity to a finish. His 
determination had its reward. Inventing new 
vocal exercises and new expedients, un- 
wearyingly analysing his every emotion, he 
continued casting about for a cure until a 
chance intonation in a vocal exercise gave him 
a hint, the full force of which, when he came 


to study the matter, flashed upon him like an 
inspired revelation. On that hint and inspira- 
tion he laboriously constructed his system and 
cured himself, to the wonderment of business 
acquaintances and the surprise and delight of 
his friends. 

Of no other system can the same be said. 
Others may have been evolved as the result 
of much sympathetic study of stammerers, by 
question and cross question and observation ; 
but it is safe to say that no one except a 
stammerer who has been taught by personal 
experience and cruel suffering can enter into 
the emotions, the difficulties, and the terrors 
that the stammerer has to suffer and combat, 
or fully realise the essential cause of the afflic- 
tion , And to attempt to cure stammering 
without sympathetic understanding of the root 
cause, without full knowledge of the fact that 
nervousness is both cause and effect, is to 
aggravate the affliction and condemn the 
sufferer to almost hopeless doom. Buoyed up 


for a time by promises made to the ear, the 
sufferer, when he finds they are broken to the 
hope, is flung into fathomless depths of des- 
pondency, which, reacting on his nervous 
system, intensifies his impediment, and, to his 
mental vision, darkens the whole abyss of his 

Because stammering, unlike most other 
afflictions, feeds upon itself and contributes to 
its own intensification. Even as a child the 
stammerer becomes sensitive, and that sensi- 
tiveness reacts upon and further interferes with 
harmonious co-ordination of the mechanism of 
speech. As the stammerer grows older, and 
his sensitiveness increases, the nervous system 
becomes less resistant under the everlasting 
strain — the dread of speech and the ordeals of 
everyday life — and, as year by year passes, 
phase after phase of nervousness occurs, 
until self-conscious, introspective, made more 
morbid by the dumb devil of his halting tongue 
than the dumb man is by the affliction which 


from the first he knows to be hopeless, the 
stammerer withdraws himself from his fellow 
men on every possible occasion, and so makes 
worse his affliction and increases the misery of 
his life. 

By Mr. Beasley — who had himself sustained 
heavy business losses because of his inability 
to present his views plainly to those with 
whom he was dealing, and had suffered for 
thirty years all the mental agonies of the 
stammerer — this phase of the affliction was 
fully realised. In the workshop he had with- 
drawn from management because of the diffi- 
culty of giving clear instructions to the men ; 
in the office he had withdrawn from all 
speaking parts from the same overwhelming 
sensitiveness, though knowing that in hundreds 
of business transactions he could have done 
infinitely better than those on whom the duty 
fell ; and when at last he let all else go in order 
that he might know and study and cure him- 
self, he found that these withdrawals of his 


had been among the errors that added to his 
infirmity, and realised that the building up 
of the nervous system, and the putting aside 
of the dread of association with other people, 
were two essentials necessary to success in 
overcoming the difficulties of his impediment. 
In this his teaching is diametrically 
opposed to those whose instruction con- 
sists in insisting upon lengthened periods 
of silence, to be broken only in class or to the 
instructor, or in that much more insidious 
teaching which relies on hypnotic suggestion 
for the cure. In the one case the mechanism 
of speech — to secure the harmonious working 
of which every effort should be made — is left 
idle instead of being usefully exercised ; in 
the other the will power is being sapped, the 
nervous system weakened day by day, until the 
patient becomes but the puppet and the 
creature of the operator — the automaton, 
robbed of individuality and will power, in the 
hands of the strong man. 


It is not the sapping of individuality, of ner- 
vous force, of will power, that is necessary in 
the cure of the stammerer, but the contrary. 
By hypnotic suggestion temporary good may 
possibly be secured ; but at what price ? The 
abnegation of will and individual conscience, 
the enslavement of the sub-conscious self by 
another, the absolute surrender of the patient to 
the professor. Who that has dabbled with hyp- 
notism or mesmerism at all has failed to note 
the class of persons that most easily come under 
the power of the hypnotist ? Weak, anaemic, 
inanimate, feeble creatures in physique, or 
if not this, then mentally dull, they represent 
the precise opposite of the ideal man or 
woman, and it were a sin against high Heaven 
to so sap the mental or physical health of 
even the most inveterate stammerer to effect 
what can at best be but a temporary cure of 
his one affliction at so great a cost in every 
other direction. 

The Beasley system is founded on the 


opposite view. A sound mind in a sound 
body are its first essentials. In Mr. Beasley's 
case nothing so much as a robust, healthy, 
self-reliant spirit helped to bring about his 
cure ; and one of the first lessons his system 
teaches is that no one can cure a stammerer 
but himself. Once the subject realises this, 
and decides to profit by the instruction 
given, his cure is assured. Robbed of 
such self-confidence as he may possess by 
surrender of his will power to another, 
the last state of the patient, once the 
controlling personality of his preceptor is 
withdrawn, must surely be worse than the 

In both systems it will be seen suggestion 
plays its part. In the Beasley system it 
is conscience suggestion — the suggestion of 
living mind to living mind, encouragement, 
the suggestion of hope, belief in one's self, 
certainty of ability to talk as other men if 
one but for a little while exercises patience, 


keeps on one's guard, speaks according to the 
rules laid down for him, and lives in the con- 
fident hope of the future. In the other case 
it is the suggestion of the vital mind that has 
been subdued, brought under control, and, as 
it were, harnessed in servile chains. What 
greater contrast could be drawn ? What 
stronger.condemnation marshalled in evidence ? 

In no set phrase or polished paragraph can 
the Beasley system be better described than 
in the noble words of Charles Kingsley — 
himself a victim of the affliction — who said : — 

" Let. him (the stammerer) learn again the 
art of speaking, and having learned, think 
before he speaks, and say his say calmly, with 
self-respect, as a man who does not talk at 
random and has a right to a courteous answer. 
Let him fix in his mind that there is nothing 
on earth to be ashamed of save doing wrong, 
and no being to be feared save Almighty God, 
and go on making the best of the body and 
soul which heaven has given him, and I will 


warrant that in a few months his old misery 
of stammering will lie behind him as an ugly 
and all but impossible dream when one awakes 
in the morning/ ' 

This is the Beasley system ; it teaches the 
art of speaking, it induces self-respect, calm- 
ness, self-confidence, and, where the patient 
himself is in earnest, it secures to him that free- 
dom of speech which is to the stammerer 
above and beyond the gifts or the praises of 

Chapter IX. 

Advice to my Pupils. 

In conclusion, I cannot give better advice to 
my pupils than that contained in this extract 
from an article by the late Charles Kingsley in 
Fraser's Magazine. They already know my 
system ; let them supplement it by the follow- 
ing advice : — 

" Stammerers need above all men to keep 
up that mentem sanam in cor pore sano, which 
is nowadays called somewhat offensively mus- 
cular Christianity — a term worthy of a puling 
and enervated generation of thinkers who 
prove their own unhealthiness by their con- 


temptuous surprise at any praise of that health 
which ought to be the normal condition of 
the whole human race. 

" But whosoever can afford an enervated 
body and an abject character, the stammerer 
cannot. With him it is a question of life and 
death. He must make a man of himself, or 
be liable to his tormentor to the last. 

" Let him, therefore, eschew all base per- 
turbations of mind ; all cowardice, servility, 
meanness, vanity, and hankering after admira- 
tion ; for these all will make many a man, by 
a just judgment, stammer on the spot. Let 
him, for the same reason, eschew all anger, 
peevishness, haste, or even pardonable eager- 
ness. In a word, let him eschew the root of 
all evil — selfishness and self-seeking ; for he 
will surely find that whosoever begins 
thinking about himself, there is the dumb 
devil of stammering at his elbow. Let him 
eschew, too, all superstition, whether of that 
abject kind which fancies that it can please 


God by a starved body and a hang-dog visage, 
which pretends to be afraid to look mankind 
in the face, or of that more openly self-con- 
ceited kind which upsets the balance of the 
reason by hysterical raptures and self-glorifying 
assumptions. Let him eschew, lastly, all which 
can weaken either nerves or digestion ; all 
intemperance in drink or in food, whether 
gross or effeminate, remembering that it is 
as easy to be unwholesomely gluttonous over 
hot slops and cold ices as over beef and beer. 
" Let him avoid those same hot slops (to 
go on with the corpus sanum), and all else 
which will injure his wind and his digestion, 
and let him betake himself to all manly exer- 
cises which will put him into wind, and keep 
him in it. Let him, if hecan, ride, andridehard, 
remembering that (so does horse exercise expand 
the lungs and oxygenate the blood) there has 
been at least one frightful stammerer ere now 
who spoke perfectly plain as long as he was in 
the saddle. 


" Let him play rackets and fives, row, 
and box ; for all these amusements strengthen 
those muscles of the chest and abdomen which 
are certain to be in his case weak. Above all, 
let him box ; for so will ' the noble art of self- 
defence ' become to him over and above a 
healing art. 

" If he doubt this assertion, let him 
(or, indeed, any narrow chested porer over 
desks) hit out right and left for five minutes 
at a point on the wall as high as his own face 
(hitting, of course, not from the elbow like a 
woman, but from the loin, like a man, and 
keeping his breath during the exercise as long 
as he can), and he will soon become aware 
of his weak point by a severe pain in the epi- 
gastric region in the same spot which pains him 
after a convulsion of stammering. Then let 
him try boxing regularly, daily, and he will 
find that it teaches him to look a man, not 
merely in the face, but in the very eye's core ; 
to keep his chest expanded, his lungs full of 


air : to be calm and steady under excitement ; 
and, lastly, to use all those muscles of the torso 
on which deep and healthy respiration depend. 

" And let him now, in these very days, join a 
rifle club, and learn in it to carry himself with 
the erect and noble port which is all but 
peculiar to the soldier, but ought to be the 
common habit of every man ! Let him learn 
to march ; and more, to trot under arms 
without losing breath ; and by such means 
make himself an active, healthy, and valiant 

Thus, physically fit, the stammerer is able to 
tackle his infirmity under fair conditions. 
His body and mind vigorous and clear he can 
fight the enemy that has so long oppressed 
him, with every prospect of success, and if he is 
really in earnest, will come out the victor and 
no longer suffer the numbing restraints which 
Martin Tupper, the poetic theologian and 
philosopher, himself a stammerer, so well 
described when he wrote : — 


" Come, I will show thee an affliction unnumbered among the world's 

Yet real and wearisome and constant, embittering the cup of life. 
There be whom think within themselves, and the fire burneth at 

their heart, 
And eloquence waiteth at their lips, yet they speak not with their 

tongue ; 
There be whom zeal quickeneth, or slander stirreth to reply, 
Or need constraineth to ask, or pity sendeth as her messengers, 
But nervous dread and sensitive shame freeze the current of their 

speech ; 
The mouth is sealed as with lead, a cold weight presses on the heart, 
The mocking promise of power is once more broken in performance, 
And they stand impotent of words, travailing with unborn thoughts, 
Courage is cowed at the portal, wisdom is widowed of utterance : 
He that went to comfort is pitied, he that should rebuke is silent. 
And fools, who might listen and learn, stand by to look and laugh : 
While friends, with kinder eyes, wound deeper by compassion : 
And thought, finding not a vent, smouldereth gnawing at the heart, 
And the man sinketh in his sphere for lack of empty sounds. 
There may be cares and sorrows thou hast not yet considered, 
And well may thy soul rejoice at the fair privilege of speech, 
For at every turn to want a word — thou canst not guess that want : 
It is as lack of breath or bread, life hath no grief more galling." 

Chapter X. 

A Product of Civilisation. 

Since speech in its higher forms — in its 
heights of eloquence, its powers of persuasion 
for good or evil, its poetic flights, and its 
brilliant word painting — is one of the most 
obvious finished products of civilisation, it is 
not surprising to learn that until they too 
were brought under the influence of civilised 
communities, stammering was unknown 
among the aborigines of Central Africa, the 
Indians of North America, and the bushmen 
of Australia. 

So far as Central Africa is concerned, it 
is on record that Dr. Livingstone during the 
long period he spent in the interior never once 
saw a native who stammered, an observation 


which has been confirmed by Commander 
Cameron, R.N., C.B., and by many other 
African travellers, all of whom affirm that 
where stammering does exist at all it is only 
among natives who have been subjected more 
or less to the enervating influences of civilised 
life. Similar evidence is forthcoming in 
regard to the Redmen of North America 
and the degenerate blacks of the Australian 
Continent. None have been known to 
stammer unless and until they have been 
touched by civilisation. 

A curious feature about this fact is, 
however, that the stammering among these 
aborigines where it is manifest at all does 
not arise from the greater complexities, the 
wider range, or the vaster number of words 
in the vocabulary of the civilised peoples 
with whom they have come in contact 
compared with the linguistic poverty of their 
native tongue, but rather from the causes 
that have played their part in the encourage- 



ment of the higher civilisation of which the 
scientific and poetic vocabulary is the hall- 
mark. In other words, there is little or no 
language difficulty in the way of, or to 
account for, the stammerer. 

We use the word little in qualification of 
the above remark, because it is just possible 
that there may be some slight connection 
between the two. In Spain and Italy, for 
instance, stammerers are few ; and this, it 
has been argued, may arise from the soft, 
mellifluous, easy flow of the Latin tongue. 
In Great Britain and its Colonies, Austria, 
Germany, and North America, stammering is, 
on the other hand, widespread, so that colour 
may, perhaps, be given to the suggestion that 
languages of Teutonic origin, in comparison 
with the Latin, present greater difficulties to 
those in whom already exists the obscure con- 
genital defect to which the affliction is due, and 
who are, therefore, predisposed to stammer. 

The suggestion, however, is hard of belief 


in view of the fact that in France, where the 
language of the people also owes much to the 
Latin tongue, stammering is quite as common 
as in Great Britain — a fact which seems to 
indicate that we must look elsewhere than to 
the spoken language for the raison d'etre of 
the stammerer. 

The key to the situation is, perhaps, to 
be found near home. In Ireland, we are 
told on the authority of the late Sir William 
Wilde, that stammering is much more 
common in the north than in the south ; 
and this fact, taken in conjunction with the 
comparative immunity of Spain and Italy, 
raises a further question, namely : Is stammer- 
ing due in any great measure to the strenuous 
character of modern industrial life ? 

The north of Ireland is noted for its indus- 
trial activity, while in the south the pastoral 
habits of the people have much in common 
with the every-day existence of the ease- 
loving Spaniard and Italian. M (mafia ! 


Manafia I — To-morrow ! to-morrow ! — is as 
much the ejaculation of the man of the south 
of Ireland as it is of the Spaniard ; he 
takes to-day for recreation ; to-morrow is 
to be devoted to work and the fulfilment of 
obligations. And to-morrow is often long in 

In the great mills and workshops and ship- 
yards of Belfast, however, as also in the 
industrial districts of Lancashire and West 
Yorkshire, the workshops of the Black 
Country, and the factories of Birmingham, 
there are no yesterdays and no to-morrows. 

Life is just one perpetual Now, and the 
rush and wear and tear of industrial strife 
is responsible for the neurosis which pre- 
disposes so many more people to stammering 
— as also to other nervous ills — in these 
particular districts than in the less strenuous 
pastoral areas of the country. Indeed it is 
noticeable that everywhere fewer country- 
bred people stammer than town bred, because 


as a rule they are brought up under more 
natural conditions, and, where the parents are 
connected with agricultural or other outdoor 
pursuits, being slower in speech, and more 
deliberate in action, their children learn to 
speak slowly too. 

Nor is this all. Civilisation carries with it 
in the upbringing of children many other 
factors predisposing to neurotic affections 
when regarded in comparison with the lives of 
children of savages or uncivilised races who 
are brought up amid surroundings and con- 
ditions of perfect freedom. 

Some philosophic soul has said that " when 
the monkey blushed man was born." Whether 
this be true or not, it undoubtedly is true that 
when man first blushed the stammerer came into 
being. Blushing, nervous dread, hesitation, are 
all steps towards stammering, and all are due 
to the repressive influences of civilisation, 
aggravated by the wear and tear of modern 
life, with all its erotic and neurotic tendencies. 


The child of the savage is brought up like a 
healthy little animal, with all the facts of life 
exposed to him, and knowing nothing what- 
ever of the repressions which count so much 
in the decencies and refinements of conduct 
among civilised peoples. Were his skin fair 
as that of the fairest Dane, he would recognise 
naught in the crudities of life that would 
bring even the faintest blush to his cheek, or 
cause him the slightest personal concern. 

How different, when compared with this, 
is the every-day training of the child 
brought up in a civilised environment. From 
the very first day on which he can by word 
of mouth make his wants known he is taught 
to whisper of the most intimate things, to 
disguise his real instincts, to ask for what he 
wants as a privilege instead of taking it as a 
right ; to be quiet and orderly, to learn 
lessons instead of gambolling in the fields, 
or indulging his animal spirits, or working off 
his superfluous energy in games such as the 


healthy young animal that he is would be 
sure, under natural conditions, to engage in. 

And so his animal spirits and vitality being 
suppressed, kept in check, forced back upon 
him, neurotic conditions are engendered. He 
learns to be ashamed of his natural instincts ; 
afraid of being told that he is greedy or selfish ; 
timorous of giving offence by doing anything 
which he has been told it is wrong to do ; and 
so when any little contretemps occurs, he 
blushes, feels ashamed of himself, becomes 
neurotic and nervous ; hesitates in making 
his wants known, blushes when asking favours, 
and finally, where the temperament is especi- 
ally highly strung, and the predisposing 
causes exist, becomes a stammerer — a victim 
of civilisation. 

We are told that industrialism wears out 
a family in three generations, and those who 
know anything of our great industrial centres, 
with their thousands of under-sized men and 
women, will be the last to dispute this state- 


ment. If the conditions under which we live 
thus destroy the physical frame, how much 
more likely are they to play havoc with the 
vastly finer and more sensitive nervous 
system, and give rise to stammering as one 
among the thousand sequelae that nervous- 
ness carries in its train ? 

Stammering is thus undoubtedly one of the 
penalties that civilised people have to pay 
for their luxuries and refinements ; and it rests 
with those who realise this, as the writer does, 
to shew that civilisation can come to the 
rescue of its own victims, and restore them 
to the full measure of the power of the 
inheritance to which they were born. 

Chapter XL 

An Independent Witness. 

A cloud of independent witnesses could be 
summoned to bear testimony to the thorough- 
ness of the system, but perhaps the following 
reprint from Cassell's Magazine of a visit paid 
by Mr. Raymond Blathwayt to headquarters 
will suffice : — 

The evening shadows were lengthening over 
the broad swards and green lawns of Brampton 
Park as I drove up the long entrance to the 
beautiful old house, with its quaint gables and 
elaborately carved chimneys outlined clear 
against the red of the sunset sky. A flight of 
water fowl winged their way to some distant 
mere, the lowing of cows was in the air, and a 
charming rural quietude greeted me, fresh 
from the roar and bustle of Piccadilly Circus. 


My host, genial and sportsmanlike to his 
finger tips, came forward to meet me, and I 
caught a glimpse of some well-set-up young 
fellows with guns upon their shoulders dis- 
appearing in the direction of the stables. The 
whole place breathed that atmosphere of sport 
so delightful to the healthy, well-regulated 
English gentleman ; " nothing scholastic, 
nothing of the pedant here," I thought to 
myself, as I entered the great hall, in which two 
or three good-looking girls and a man or two 
were knocking about billiard balls. 

' We don't go in veiy much for the ordinary 
scholastic life here," said Mr. Beasley, as we 
sat down in his study and lit our cigars. r< I 
like my young people of both sexes to feel that 
they are at home. They are mostly of the 
upper classes, and life here is very much what 
it would be in any well-regulated English home, 
with the addition of careful tuition. At the 
same time the course of study here is very 
strict, and the hours are fully as long as they 


are at Eton or Harrow. Those young people 
whom you saw enjoying themselves in the hall 
just now have had a good hard day's work. I 
have, too, a number of boys, all of them stam- 
merers, who come here not only to be cured of 
stammering, but also to go through exactly 
the same course of study that they have to 
undergo in any English public school. 

" I like to catch the stammerer young," 
humorously continued Mr. Beasley, " although 
stammering is a thing that can be cured at any 
age. I am myself a remarkable instance of the 
possibility of stammering — a fixed, lifelong 
habit of stammering — being cured late in life, 
for till I was forty years of age my existence 
was rendered quite unbearable by this unfor- 
tunate habit. 

" It was an accidental discovery that enabled 
me in one moment to set about curing myself, 
and from that year to the present day I have 
never stammered, either in private or upon the 
platform, where I have been lecturing to 


audiences all over the kingdom. But despite 
my own case, I like to catch the stammerer 
when he is young, and devote two or three 
years to curing his habit. It is a curious fact 
that, as a rule, stammerers are more intelligent 
than those not so afflicted. I always hold 
that it is because, being cut off to a certain 
extent from conversation with their fellows, 
they have more time to cultivate the habit of 
thinking and reading, I have known — and, 
indeed, I will give you an instance of it this 
very evening — many boys from twelve to 
fifteen years of age who, after having gained 
the power of speech, have been able to give 
addresses in a manner which w r ould do credit 
to much older people. Demosthenes and St. 
Paul, to mention two classic instances, were 
great stammerers ; and to come down to 
modern times, Charles Kingsley himself was 
sadly afflicted in this way. 

" I use the word ' sadly ' advisedly, for it 
is a terrible curse to labour under. Martin 


Tupper, who wrote from bitter experience, 
called it ' an affliction unnumbered among the 
world's sorrows, yet real and wearisome and 
constant, embittering the cup of life, which hath 
no grief more galling ! ' So that you will readily 
understand how it is that, although I have 
people here of all ages — country vicars, staid 
elderly barristers, smart young cavalry officers 
— yet I prefer to get them at the earliest pos- 
sible age. For only thereby can I save them 
vast misery, and often real practical incon- 

" Let me give you some instances of the 
truth of what I say. Some time ago a young 
officer in a Hussar regiment came to me for 
advice. He said, ' In a few months I expect 
to get my troop. Well, if it only meant giving 
orders, I could perhaps manage well enough. 
You can shout out anything almost in a loud, 
indistinct voice, as you know if you have seen a 
regiment on parade. But a captain has many 
other duties. What can a stammerer like 


myself do when he is sitting on a court-martial, 
and the president asks him for his opinion on 
the case ? What can he do when it is his turn 
to preside at the mess table ? Why, I couldn't 
even stand up and say ' The Queen ' when I 
proposed the first toast. If I can't get cured 
within the next few months, I must send in 
my papers.' ' Don't you trouble/ I replied ; 
1 I'll soon put you right. Come and stay here 
a few weeks. ' He came and devoted himself to 
my system. He got to his troop, and about a 
year after he called in one afternoon to tell me 
how he was getting on. ' Why, do you know,' 
he said, ' that I often make long speeches in 
public now, thanks to you ? But what I am 
most deeply grateful to you for is for giving 
me the best wife man ever had.' I thought he 
had gone crazy. ' Given you a wife,' I said. 
' What on earth do you mean ? ' ' Absolutely 
what I say,' he replied. ' For years I had loved 
a very charming girl, but I had never mustered 
up sufficient courage to tell her so. Indeed, I 


couldn't, for I knew I should never be able to 
get the words out ; but, when I left you, I 
went to her and quietly proposed, and was 
immediately accepted. So I owe my wife as 
well as my troop to you, and I can never thank 
you enough/ 

" On another occasion a poor mechanic came 
to me in great distress. ' I could do well 
enough if I could get rid of my beastly stam- 
mer/ said he ; ' but at present I feel a ruined 
man.' ' Well/ said I, ' you come up here every 
evening,and I'll see what I can do/ for although, 
of course, he could not pay my fees, which are 
necessarily rather high, I make a point of 
giving at least one-tenth of my time to gratu- 
itous helping of poor people. In a few weeks 
he had completely and entirely lost his stam- 
mer, which was of a peculiarly painful nature ; 
and three months later he was made a foreman, 
and is now doing prosperously for himself. I 
could mention many other cases, but it is 
always a special delight to me/' continued my 


host, his face alight with pleasure, " to be able 
to help poor people whose lives would other- 
wise be ruined by their affliction." 

" Do you never fail ?*" I asked. 

" I consider that I never have failure when 
there is a willingness and determination to 
follow out my system ; only, if I am to help 
them, they must help themselves. Some, of 
course, do better than others, but I never meet 
with absolute failure. At the same time I 
never undertake a case where there is a 
marked physical or mental deformation. My 
endeavour is to help the really capable people 
to overcome a habit, which, if not strenuously 
fought and overcome, would ruin a man's life. 

r< I know from my own personal experience 
how a stammer can darken one's whole career. 
Do you know that my stammer once cost me 
£50,000 ? It is too long a story to tell you 
now, but I once lost — to put it briefly — a big 
Government contract for 100,000 Enfield 
rifles, out of which I should have made the 


sum I mentioned. But there's the dinner bell ; 
and you must come and be introduced to my 
wife and my pupils. For it is mainly due to 
my dear wife that I have been so successful. 
No one, not even myself, has benefited my 
pupils so much in every respect as she has." 

A little while after dinner — which was very 
much like the festive meal at an ordinary big 
country house — we all assembled in the music 
room for the evening's entertainment. 

The first item in the programme was a recita- 
tion charmingly delivered by a young fellow 
fresh from Eton. " Now, there," whispered 
my host to me, " there is a young fellow who, 
six weeks ago, could scarcely speak. He has 
gone in for my system heart and soul, with the 
result that he now speaks almost perfectly." 

" Yes," I replied, " but what a splendid 
elocutionist he is." " Ah ! that is part of my 
system," answered Mr. Beasley. " I make a 
point not only of curing the stammer, but also 
of perfecting speech." 


Then a young man got up and gave us a 
short, bright dissertation on dreams. He did 
it admirably and humorously, standing upon 
an elevated platform, Mr. Beasley himself 
seated opposite him in the centre of the audi- 
ence, gathered round him in a circle. " Slowly, 
slowly," cried the master of the house. " Now, 
Edwards," he continued, " remember what I 
said this morning : ' keep cool and cultivate 
repose.' You will think and speak the better 
if you are perfectly at rest. You know," he 
went on, as the young fellow came down from 
the dais amidst much laughter and well-earned 
applause, " you know that I consider self- 
control to be the very basis of my system. 
Repose in action I take to be somewhat of 
the nature of the ' line of beauty,' as Hogarth 
terms it, in painting and sculpture. In riding, 
rowing, running, billiards, gymnastics — in fact, 
in all action, the most perfect movements 
should give an idea of repose. The same surely 
with speech." 


A little boy of twelve then gave an address 
in a manner which rendered it difficult to 
believe that only a few months before he had 
come to Brampton Park unable even to 
answer a question of the most simple nature, 
and yet on the present occasion his articulation 
was far more perfect than that of many public 
speakers I have heard. 

Mr. Beasley himself wound up the evening's 
performances with a recitation from Tennyson, 
and so charming was his elocution, and so 
smooth and gliding and unhesitating his 
delivery of the melodious lines, that I found it 
impossible to believe that he was the self-same 
man who, up to forty years of age, had been 
absolutely incapable of conducting a brief 
business interview, even when it dealt with a 
matter which he had clearly and concisely 
conceived in his own mind. 

On the following morning Mr. Beasley took 
me over the beeutiful house and wide- 
spreading Park. The house itself is about 300 


years old, and belongs to the Duke of Man- 
chester. It is situated about a mile and a half 
from Huntingdon, and close to the River Ouse, 
where good fishing and boating are easily 
obtainable. There is everything that the heart 
of Englishman can desire for the enjoyment 
of a pleasant country life, and I remarked to 
my host how much I envied the pupils such 
a life. 

'Yes/' he replied, "it is a delightful place, 
but they have plenty of work to get through. 
The younger boys have just the same hours 
that they would have at any ordinary school ; 
they are kept to themselves ; they have their 
own rooms, so that both in as well as out of 
doors they can play by themselves. Their 
tutors are all Oxford and Cambridge men, 
and are specially adapted for their peculiar 
kind of work. After their own special morn- 
ing studies the boys come to me or to my son 
for instruction in relation to stammering. In 
this class, which lasts for two hours, all my 


pupils, old and young, are present ; and here 
they undergo a course of drilling in what may 
be termed vocal gymnastics, and here they are 
taught and made to carry out the system I 
have devised, with abundant practice in con- 
versation, reading, mock trials, and speech- 
making, in the presence of the whole class. 
"My son, and my son-in-law, Mr. W. J. Ketley, 
who superintends my house in London, and 
who have each studied and taught my system 
for twenty years, are even more patient than 
I am, and I feel that whenever I am obliged to 
give the work up it will be carried on just as 
effectually, if not indeed more so, as ever it 
has been in my own time. Ah ! here is my 
son," he continued, as a tall, fine-looking and 
very athletic man rode up the beautiful cedar 
drive, across which the morning sunshine 
fell in great golden splashes. I was much 
interested in my conversation with the younger 
man. He is full of capital ideas in the carrying 
out of his work. 


" I remember once," said he, " we had a 
young fellow who was going up for Sandhurst. 
He was in great funk of his viva-voce exam., 
because he felt sure he would stammer. One 
morning, when he was bemoaning his possible 
fate, I said, ' Leave the room, Roberts, and 
when you return in five minutes you'll find a 
board of examiners, who will put you through 
your facings/ Whilst he was gone my father 
and I and one of the tutors prepared the table 
as an examination table, took our seats in 
great ceremony, and Roberts was ushered in. 
We received him brusquely, put him through 
his work very sharply, behaved exactly as 
though we had never seen him before, and he 
passed with flying colours. The following week 
he went through his real exam., and wrote us 
that he had given satisfaction in every par- 
ticular, specially in his viva-voce exam. 

" Some pupils you must treat very firmly, 
others with the greatest consideration and 
tenderness. It all depends upon their special 


form of stammering." At this moment a young 
lady came up to Mr. Beasley and began to 
speak to him very quickly and, consequently, 
with a very considerable stammer. " Now, 
my dear young lady, keep cool, and speak 
slowly, as I told you last night." 

When she had gone, I commented upon the 
real wisdom, as it has always appeared to me, 
of not pretending to ignore a person's stammer. 
" Quite so," replied Mr. Beasley ; " one of my 
great difficulties is to drive it into the heads 
of my pupils that stammering is a thing not 
to be ashamed of, any more than is a broken 
leg or arm. People should always take it as 
a matter of course." " And don't you think 
it's a kindness to help a stammerer now and 
again with a word or two ? " I asked, as we 
entered the great class-room, where the pupils 
were all assembled awaiting our entry. " It 
all depends upon the stammerer," replied Mr. 
Beasley ; " but put your question to the 
ladies and gentlemen you see before you." 


I did so, and they all replied that they would 
infinitely prefer to be so helped. 

I was keenly interested in the exercise 
which followed. It was a thorough course of 
vocal gymnastics. I cannot divulge the 
system — it would not be fair to Mr. Beasley, 
although, as a matter of fact, it would be 
impossible for any outsider, not thoroughly 
acquainted with the inner meaning of the 
system, to attempt to teach it. 

Several of the pupils stammered painfully. 
Mr. Beasley always took them easily and 
coolly. " Abandon yourself to being perfectly 
at rest," said he. " Every time you allow 
yourselves to stammer you are practising 
stammering. You can do yourself more harm 
in five minutes than you can do yourself good 
in an hour of class work. Speak slowly, but 
you must learn how to speak slowly, otherwise 
slow speech may only increase your stammer. 
Never let anyone attempt to hurry you. Be 
stubbornly cool. Many of you have the idea 


that it seems peculiar to speak slowly, and that 
people are tired of it. You may take my word 
for it that they are twenty times more tired 
of hearing you stammer. Take people into 
your confidence ; you can't hide stammering ; 
don't be ashamed of it, and they will sym- 
pathise with you, you may be sure." 

I was very much interested in an exercise 
book, which was used in the class, in which 
the whole of the elementary formations of 
the English language are embodied in one 
chapter, so that every day the pupils are put 
through a thorough course, scientifically 
adapted to help them to overcome their 
unfortunate affliction. 

" What I cannot understand," said my 
host, as we returned to the library, " is the 
extraordinary apathy of parents concerning 
this habit in their children. With very young 
children, kindness and gentleness, and an 
apparent unconsciousness of their impediment, 
are the only treatments. Try to keep them 


unconscious of their difficulty, and endeavour 
to cure them without their knowing it ; but 
should this treatment not succeed, no time 
should be lost in obtaining the best possible 

" Well, Mr. Beasley," I said, " suppose you 
had a son who stammered, what would you do 
with him ? " " I would make a barrister of 
him," he unhesitatingly replied. " If he had 
ability, as almost all stammerers have, I 
would let him follow an occupation where he 
must talk. I will engage to make any boy able 
to stand up and read in his class better than 
any boy of his own age, and, indeed, better 
than most grown-up people. 

" Remember this, that the study and practice 
of elocution will materially help the stammerer, 
but, before he can practise it, he must learn 
how to use and exercise his vocal organs, other- 
wise his study of elocution will benefit him 
but little ; and he will not know how to open 
his mouth and read blank verse. Although he 


himself may be quite unconscious of it, there 
is generally one leading feature in every stam- 
merer's infirmity. This must be the first 
point to attack, as, in dealing with it, minor 
difficulties hitherto but partially developed are 
either swept away or made to stand out more 
clearly, when they can in turn be the more 
readily eradicated. 

" Stammering, you know, can be acquired 
through imitation. I constantly impress 
upon my pupils the absolute necessity for 
abandoning all those extraneous aids, efforts, 
tricks, mannerisms, and queer dodges by 
which so many people hope to overcome 
stammering. They must throw over every- 
thing which is absolutely not necessary for 
perfect speech/' 

Nothing but personal contact with his many 
and exceedingly varied types of stammerers 
has helped Mr. Beasley to his success in this 
novel career. He adapts his system individu- 
ally, feeling that the method which might be 


successful with one person would utterly fail 
with another. But stammerers may rest 
assured that a few weeks' personal aid from 
him, backed up by willingness and firmness on 
their part, will inevitably result in their 
complete cure. 

Chapter XII. 

Reminiscences of a Stammerer. 

Some years before his death, in response to the 
request of many of those who, having bene- 
fited by the Beasley treatment, wanted to know 
more of the man than they had learned while 
under instruction, Mr. Beasley wrote and 
published his reminiscences as a stammerer. 

It is, unfortunately, impossible for me within 
the covers of this book to re-issue all the 
chapters in which Mr. Beasley gave what 
must be to every stammerer so engrossing a 
human document. 

But a few extracts may serve to help and 
encourage others who are, to their sorrow, 
afflicted as he was for the major part of his 
life, to cultivate the same spirit of determina- 
tion, and so overcome their difficulties. They 


have, at any rate, this in their favour, that they 
can be taught in a few lessons what it took him 
years of study and work and concentration 
to discover and perfect for his own cure. 

In his case he groped in the dark, as thous- 
ands of stammerers have done before him, and 
as thousands are doing at this day, until he 
had almost reached middle age ; and, never 
once, despite rebuffs and repulses, relaxing his 
efforts, a ray of light finally illuminated the 
darkness and gave him renewed courage and 
hope, lightening his path until he reached the 
broad light of day, and could speak as a man 
to other men, looking all boldly in the face, 
" speaking with self-respect/' knowing " there 
was no being to be feared save Almighty 

These reminiscences show Mr. Beasley as 
he was ; a man of vigorous frame, strong will, 
iron determination, a man of great intellectual 
capacity who would have made the business 
in which he was engaged in early manhood a 


huge success but for the unfortunate impedi- 
ment which crippled and handicapped him at 
every turn, and who, having cured himself, 
turned to account the discovery he had made 
and established the greatest school for the cure 
of stammerers that has ever been known, to 
the incalculable benefit of thousands. 

His story is plainly told, and it is perhaps as 
well that without paraphrase or condensation 
I should, in a series of short extracts, give such 
parts of it here as may be of most immediate 
interest to my readers : — 


I do not recollect when first I began to stammer, but 
I believe it was when about five years of age, and after 
some child-ailment ; but I remember perfectly the 
first time I became painfully conscious of my defect. 
When about eight or nine years of age I went with my 
sisters to a children's party. Before we returned home, 
I was requested by our hostess to call with some boarding- 
school young ladies with a message to the mistress, 
apologising for having kept them rather late. No doubt 


I was immensely gratified at being made so important a 
cavalier, but my vanity soon received a very severe 

During our short walk I kept saying the message 
over again to myself, not however without some 
misgivings as to being able to deliver it without 
difficulty. My misgivings were certainly not without 
foundation, for I shall never forget so long as I live the 
utter misery that simple message cost me. I was unable 
to say a single word for a considerable time, and when I 
found utterance, what I said was almost unintelligible, 
by reason of my nervous confusion. 

I was simply as bad as if I were dumb. I don't 
think I should have felt it so much had it not been for the 
presence of the young ladies, who I could see were giggling 
at what seemed to them so funny. It was no fun for me, 
for the misery I experienced during those few minutes had 
so impressed itself on my mind, that at a distance of fifty 
years it is as vivid to me as it was at that moment. 

After that, whenever I saw in the distance either the 
lady who kept the school or any of her pupils, I would 
turn back or go a mile out of my way to avoid them ; 
nothing could induce me to face them again. 

Ever afterwards I was conscious of my infirmity, and 
it would not be difficult for me to fill a volume with the 


bitter mortifications which from that time I have since 
suffered. Whether others feel the same amount of shame 
and painful emotions I cannot say, but to me, even in my 
early life, it was sometimes absolute torture. 


My parents did all they could to get me cured, but, 
unfortunately, many of their plans were not only 
unsuccessful but injurious. I was sent to different 
schools where the masters had an idea they could cure 
me, but in several of these trials I was made worse. I 
was sent to schools where there were only a few boys, as 
it was thought that I should be better looked after ; 
but whether I went to a large or a small school the result 
was the same. 

Most, if not all, of my masters, after trying to aid 
me, found that it took up too much of their time, and 
interfered too much with the work of the whole class ; 
and, besides, having but a vague notion as to what to do 
or advise, they generally abandoned the attempt after a 
few weeks' trial. 

A stammering boy is very heavily handicapped at 
school, and I was handicapped in two ways. First, by 


my impediment, and, secondly, by neglect of study. 
In construing, I found the greatest difficulty, and the 
long time that the class was kept waiting for me caused 
my tutors to pass me over and give me credit for knowing 
what I often did not know. 

One way in which I was sorely tried was when I knew 
my lessons thoroughly, but was unable to say them, and 
was called dunce, blockhead, or other impolite names, 
which I felt were unjust ; for although I generally met 
with kindness and consideration from my tutors, I have 
met with those who showed neither. 

The happiest of my school days were those I spent at 
a grammar school in a small country town, where the 
master took only a few boarders, and, having sons of 
his own, and also some of his nephews, we formed a very 
happy little party. There were a good many day boys, 
so we had plenty of games ; and, as there were several 
good families in the neighbourhood whose boys attended, 
we had good games. The head master, an Oxford 
M.A., was a splendid old fellow, kind and genial, who 
would do anything in reason in the way of relaxation, 
provided we worked well ; but woe betide the lazy 
lad — the cane and he were sure to become intimately 
acquainted, and for him extra holidays were few and far 


But even here, with everything pleasant around me, 
my stammering caused me much pain. The son of the 
head master, though a capital fellow generally, and very 
kind to me, could not always refrain from reminding me, 
not in the pleasantest way possible, of my difficulty ; and 
if he did help me in my work, I used to think it would 
have been more pleasant if he had been less inclined to 
humour, and sometimes to slight sarcasm, at my expense. 

He once greatly offended me. He was several years 
older than I, and, of course, being in the position of a 
second master, the boys were always willing to do any- 
thing for him. He sent me to get some article for him 
from the ironmongers', and gave me half-a-crown to pay 
the cost. Now, going on errands was most distasteful to 
me on account of my impediment, but, as I could get 
no one else to go for me, I was compelled to go myself. 
With fear and trembling, I went into the shop, and 
managed to stammer out what I wanted to say. 

Whether the shopman had ever heard a stammerer 
before I do not know, but I felt he was looking at me ; 
and, fancying he was smiling at my ineffectual attempts 
to speak, I became so extremety uneasy and nervous, 
that as soon as I got the article I wanted I rushed out 
of the shop without waiting for the change or even 
thinking at all about it. I heard the young man running 

Mr. B. Beasley. 

To facte page 104. 


after me and calling me back, but shame and confusion 
lent speed to my legs, and, although he was bigger than 
I, he was soon outstripped. On taking the thing I had 
bought to my tutor, he asked me for the change, which 
should have been two shillings. I stammered out that 
they had not given me any. 

When a day or two afterwards he learned what had 
happened, he was anything but complimentary, and told 
me before a lot of boys that he had been asked if I was 
not daft, and that I was a great fool, and only fit to be 
taken out by a nurse. I could not brook this, and 
retaliated by calling him a bully and anything but a 
gentleman, at which he threatened to box my ears. I 
told him if he did I should take my ears' part, and 
openly defied him. Had not the head master put in an 
appearance, I do not know what might have happened. 
Most likely I should have been dismissed for turning on 
my tutor. 

Happily, the master was a man of very sound sense, 
and, thinking it strange that there should be a rupture 
between myself and his son (as we had always been such 
friends), took me into his study, where he elicited from 
me the whole of the story as well as I could tell it. He 
was very kind and evidently understood me ; and while 
at the same time he gave me a lecture on proper 


behaviour to tutors, I have no doubt he had something 
to say to his son, for not long after we were good friends 
again, and I never from that time had occasion to feel 
hurt on account of my infirmity, for I believe he always 
took care to smooth matters in every way. 


Until I was seventeen my stammering did not give 
me the constant trouble and vexation it subsequently 
did. In business my occupation was such that I could 
do pretty well as I liked. Being in my father's works, 
I was not so trammelled as I might have been in those of 
a stranger. My duties called me both into the office 
and the mills, but I always chose to do that which did 
not bring me into contact with strangers or require any 

Although this was a great trouble to me, I never let 
my relatives know how much I felt it, as I was always 
very sensitive on the subject ; so they never knew 
to how great an extent I was incapable of conducting 
business properly. 

When at the age of about three or four-and-twenty, a 
circumstance occurred which was afterwards destined to 
bring before me in its true light the immense difficulty 


I had to contend with. Our firm, besides carrying on 
large iron and steel works, supplied a number of gun- 
makers with gun-barrels and sword-makers with steel. 

One of our customers, a gun-maker, had got very 
heavily into our debt, and being also otherwise largely 
involved, laid his affairs before us. The result was that 
our firm took his affairs in hand, paid off his debts, and 
gave him a good salary as foreman. The management 
of the whole business was given to me, and in this 
position I soon began to find how heavily handicapped 
I was through my infirmity. 

Constant talk to workpeople and strangers, instead 
of giving me confidence, made me infinitely worse ; 
and although I argued with myself, and strove 
to conquer my difficulty by force of will, I at last 
gave in. I avoided all business matters which needed 
talking, leaving that to be done by others. 

There were some people to whom I could scarcely utter a 
word, and many times have I gone out of my way to 
avoid meeting them. I would frequently go out when I 
knew certain persons were going to call, so greatly did I 
dread exposing my infirmity, and although much business 
was lost in consequence, I could not summon up the 
courage to conquer my extreme shame and ner- 


All this may seem very strange to those who do not 
know what it is to suffer thus, but I know there will be 
many who will entirely endorse all I say. The feeling 
of shame, the sense of demoralisation, will be thoroughly 
understood by those who do suffer. 

This condition of things continued for about five years, 
when a great change occurred in the military gun 
trade. The Government were anxious to break up a 
combination of gun-makers, and the obstructions of their 
men, which militated to a considerable extent against 
the satisfactory execution of orders. They therefore 
invited tenders from the whole of the trade. 

I was successful in obtaining an immense contract, but 
this was much against the wish of our old firm (whose 
interests were altogether bound up in the ring), and they 
refused to enter into the matter or find capital for me 
to execute the contract. 

Requiring a very large amount of money to carry 
out my plans, I mentioned the matter to a friend, who 
was a partner in a very large mercantile and finance 

My friend, knowing my qualifications as a manu- 
facturer, was very willing and anxious to go into the 
matter and find the required capital ; but before any- 
thing definite could be arranged his partners had to be 


consulted, and an appointment with them was made 
that I might explain my views. 

In the week before the interview I unconsciously 
worked myself up to a pitch of intense excitement, 
knowing the difficulties I should have to contend with 
through my impediment. 

On the appointed day I was introduced by my friend 
to his partners, but I might as well have been dumb, for 
my inability to speak was so great that it caused them 
absolute pain, I could see, even to listen to my abortive 
attempts to make myself understood. 

The gentlemen did not know me intimately, and 
naturally considered me incapable of managing an affair 
of such great moment. Of course they did not tell me 
so, but I afterwards learned that my stammering was 
the sole cause of their abandoning the idea. 

This was the most terrible blow that I had ever 
experienced, as, had I been able to carry the matter 
through, I should have made a very substantial fortune 
out of that one transaction. 

For some weeks I was in a state of utter despon- 
dency. But it had one good effect, that of arousing a 
determination to conquer my enemy ; though it was 
many, many years before I accomplished my desire. 



For many years I had been seeking relief from my 
difficulty, when, strange as it may seem, it dawned on 
me suddenly. 

Walking through one of our lovely Worcestershire 
lanes, and, as was my custom, talking aloud to myself 
and carefully watching every trip of tongue, I suddenly 
became conscious of one action in speech which is 
imperative before freedom of utterance can be obtained. 

This of itself opened to me a wide field of thought, 
and became the basis upon which I have built my 
system — a system from which I have never deviated nor 
gone back. In fact, I may say from that time all has 
been plain sailing. 

When I returned home I talked to my people, I read 
to them, I recited poetry ; indeed, I scarcely knew what 
I did, I was so overjoyed. I was like a child with a new 
toy, and I felt like a new being. So great was the 
pleasure of being able to speak with freedom "that I 
never missed an opportunity of holding conversation 
with anyone I could enlist, and I fear I must often have 
been a great nuisance ; certainly no one could then 
complain of my silence, nor accuse me of being uncom- 

Soon, however, I had to guard myself against a 


danger — that of becoming careless. My freedom was so 
great that I almost forgot I was a stammerer, and I 
thought little of the warning an occasional trip some- 
times gave me. After a time these warnings were so 
frequent that I became alarmed, but when I found that, 
by strictly adhering to the rule, I could under all circum- 
stances and in the presence of anyone — relatives, friends, 
or strangers — speak perfectly, I made a resolve that I 
would try my hardest to always observe strict rule. 

By this course in a few months I had so perfected 
my system that I became unconscious of using any 
system, and my old habit of stammering had been changed 
for the natural method of speaking. 

My friends and intimates were much surprised, and 
could not help expressing their pleasure at so great a 
change, while many of them strongly advised me to 
make my system known for the benefit of others. 

But before doing so I thought it wise to try it 
further on someone else. I was not long in finding a 
subject, that of a bright little lad, about twelve years of 
age, employed as errand boy by a chemist living near 
me. The poor little fellow was very bad, in fact his 
employer told me that he should be obliged to discharge 
him, as he was getting much worse, and altogether 
unable to follow his occupation. 


I took the boy in hand, had him for an hour in the 
evening, and in the course of a few months he was free 
of speech. My next case was that of a working man, a 
relative of an old man-servant of mine, and although he 
was middle-aged, I found no more difficulty with him 
than with the boy. 

My reputation soon began to spread, and I had many 
applications, with all of which I was more or less suc- 
cessful. At last I thought it wise to undertake cases 
professionally, and the hundreds of grateful letters 
from pupils and their friends that I now possess are of 
themselves sufficient testimony to the wisdom of my 

No stammerer need despair ; if he have an earnest 
desire — which will take the form of earnest work — to 
be cured, it is a certainty that he will succeed. 



Mr. Ketley wishes it to be clearly understood that 
the scale of fees charged and the arrangements made 
for giving instruction are such as to bring the system of 
treatment within the reach of all classes of society. 

No charge is made for consultation, and it is eminently 
desirable, in the best interests of the prospective pupil, 
that a personal interview should be arranged when 
information as to terms is being sought. Much depends 
on the temperament of the individual and the character 
of the impediment, and the consequent probabilities 
concerning the time necessary to effect a cure in each 

Many artizans and tradesmen have been treated at 
evening classes with the most satisfactory results. 
Having realised the terrible drawback and hindrance to 
success due to their infirmity, they have sought a cure, 
and their ambition to rise in the world has proved a 
great incentive to effort which has resulted in complete 
success. For such pupils apartments near by are 
recommended as tending to a considerable reduction 
in expense. 

Stammerers are treated either with or without 
scholastic instruction, but where the latter is desired, 


parents are assured that the pupil will receive a thoroughly 
sound education in such subjects as may be desired. 

Public School Boys received during their holidays. 

Undergraduates can study and be coached during 
vacation while being treated for their stammering. 

Stammerers past middle life have been treated with 
unqualified success, and many cases of long standing, 
which have defied all previous attempts at cure, 
have succumbed to the Beasley system. 

It is erroneous to suppose that cases of long standing 
cannot be cured. Many pupils of mature age who, 
before consulting Mr. Ketley, have thought their malady 
almost hopeless, have in an incredibly short time 
obtained relief. These eminently satisfactory results 
can only be traced to the Extreme Simplicity of the 
system, which in itself compels perfect action of speech, 
and makes the pupil a Better Speaker than the majority 
of those who have never stammered. 

The daily opportunities afforded of speaking before a 
number of listeners form a great feature in the treatment, 
as by this course pupils learn their powers, the nervous- 
ness which generally accompanies stammering gradually 
subsides, and those who before could scarcely articulate 
are thus able to speak perfectly before a large audience. 



For obvious reasons these are not printed 
in this volume, but many hundreds of letters 
from old pupils may be seen at Tarrangower, 
and lists of up-to-date references will be sent 
on application. 


Mill III 

1 1719 02129 2539 





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