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Picture to yourselves the mind in which this does not take place—where the physical deprivation of deafness makes intercommunication on almost all but the most familiar and practical subjects nearly impossible, except with a few persons. . Of course there are exceptions to this. I need not be reminded of that. I do not for a moment forget it. But we must not be diverted by these exceptions from trying to fix our attention upon what must be the general, ordinary, and inevitable condition of the great bulk of this large class of our fellow citizens. It is more agreeable to dwell upon these exceptions ; but we must not look upon the few until we overlook the many. The few can take care of themselves; and whatever is done for the welfare of the many is for their advantage also, though their necessity is not so great. Of the mass it is the simple truth to say that they are in humble circumstances, of moderate capacity, with moderate attainments, and could only spend a limited time at school, where they had to learn all that they ever have learned. How little did we learn at school to what we learned thereafter! The living voice is our teacher, speaking from the lips of all around us, and in the pages of the finest minds in all ages ; but this voice can never break that silence in which the deaf mute is entombed ; and it is spoken language alone which makes a written language vivid and vital. A language which is unspoken is, in more senses than the literal one, a dead letter. For the words we read only represent to us the words we spoke, long before we could read at all, and which we know are in familiar use by thousands of persons who cannot read a syllable : but to those who never spoke them, what can they have of that wonderful power of which we speak when we quote Gray's descriptive line
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn ?" From all this instruction by the living voice, and from almost all but the mere outskirts of the world of letters, the vast
majority of the deaf and dumb have been long excluded Our own education never ceases; we are constantly receiving knowledge ; building upon the foundations laid in our early education at school. Who is to do this for the deaf and dumb ? How is it to be done? Why are they who need it so much the more on account of their affliction to be left without any instruction in a language (the only language-the language of signs) “understood by the people” themselves? This is a question which has long pressed for an answer, and that answer it has now received. It is within this period of ten years, which has engaged our attention to-night, that this further advantage to the deaf and dumb has been gained. There are new agencies at work for the benefit of the adult deaf and dumb in the large towns of the kingdom, which aim at placing them in the same position, with respect to intellectual advantages and religious privileges, as is held by ourselves. In London and Manchester, separate societies are supported for this very work. While I am addressing you here, Mr. Turner, of Manchester, is addressing a deaf and dumb audience (if you will forgive the misnomer), in that city--giving the opening lecture of a course on the Natural History of the Seasons, which Mr. Stainer is interpreting by signs to those whom the voice of the speaker can never reach.
Every Sunday, in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow; in Leeds, Sheffield, Halifax and Hull; at Ashton, Birmingham, Belfast, Brighton, and here in Liverpool, the adult deaf and dumb in these several localities are assembled together, and religious services are conducted in the only mode which enables them to take an intelligent and willing part in them—by their language of signs. We have our own service at the Institution in Oxford Street every Sunday after
We have our congregation of far more than a hundred souls, every one of whom is deaf, except my assistants and myself. To see us in that hour's service-that one hour in
the week, remember, which is, to heart and mind, the prospect and the retrospect of all the week besides, to the attentive group which gathers round us—to see us then and there, if any of you could see it, might shew you what was meant in yesterday's Courier by the apt title of “ Silent Sermons;" but there is one thing you never would see, and that is a sleepy congregation. It is impossible for me to say as much as might be said about this particular form of usefulness, on account of my own immediate connection with it, but I may mention that steps have been taken this very day for engrafting upon this a society for mutual help and benefit, for giving counsel and assistance, and affording to the members, in "trouble, sorrow, need, sickness or any other adversity," a friend and helper in their need.
And now, just briefly to recapitulate what has been said, I have shewn, I think
1. That we have more deaf and dumb persons to teach now than we had in 1851.
2. That more of the deaf and dumb are taught.
3. That the education they receive is sound and serviceable, inasmuch as its effect is to make them respect themselves, and make them honest and industrious; for we find
(a) That the paupers have diminished in number.
(c) And criminals are entirely so. 4. That the number of those employed in remunerative occupations is much increased, and the area of employment considerably enlarged.
5. That the appliances of our Institutions are made to embrace far more of the life of the pupil than the school age. Infants are not too young, nor the aged too old, to be cared for and ministered to, by the agencies which were first called into existence for the instruction of youth, and are primarily and properly applied to that purpose.
To one who has devoted not much less than twenty-five years of the most active and energetic part of his life to this subject and to this class of the community, it is not without encouragement to be able to look back upon so much progress in which he has borne his part, and upon results which he has helped to gain ; nor is it, may I add further, without much gratification that he has seen how willingly and sympathisingly you have listened to-night to the story he has had to tell.
THE HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY TO THE
By J. T. Towson, Esq., F.R.G.S.
(READ 9TH FEBRUABY, 1865.)
In attempting to trace the progress of the Science of Photography, it is necessary to notice several distinct classes of discoveries, the combination of which was necessary to bring about its present advancement.
The mechanical department had its origin at the latter part of the sixteenth century, when John Baptist Porta invented the camera, by means of which instrument the rays of light are arranged so as to produce a picture of the objects from which those rays are reflected. The science of Chemistry in various ways contributed to the production of a photographic picture. In the first place, the action of light produces a change in the affinities of the salts, or other materials of which the photographic preparation consists, for other chemical preparations afterwards employed. This is sometimes attended by a change of the colour of the material acted on by light, but not always so. In this latter case, the developing process is necessary, and, under all circumstances, the fixing process is required to render the picture permanent. The first chemical discovery leading to the science of Photography was made by Scheel in 1777, who found that the solar ray darkened the chloride of silver. In 1801 Ritter discovered that on the nitrate and other salts of silver a similar effect was produced.