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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/730

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

should be an act of expiration. Some persons begin to speak while they are drawing their breath, but are compelled to halt as soon as they have uttered the first syllables. They spit out their syllables; then, suffering an oppression of the chest, are compelled to relieve themselves from it, and the rest of the phrase goes out in a gasp. Others speak during the period of expiration, but do not begin until the lungs have been nearly emptied and have not air enough to keep up the action of their vocal organs. Others speak through their nose and fail in the utterance of the stronger consonants. Stammerers are not always equally liable to suffer from their affliction, but the intermittence is not regulated by any law. Sometimes they may be helped over the difficulty by pronouncing the embarrassing word for them; sometimes by a little diversion of attention. Children who stammer much are often able to speak with perfect freedom under circumstances in which they are free from embarrassment, as the stuttering boy playing with his dog, or the girl with her doll; but, if another interrupt them with the most simple question, they will begin to halt in their speech. The fault may often be alleviated or made to disappear by reading or speaking aloud when alone. Some persons are accustomed to use, before the syllables which give them difficulty, certain words which seem to them to smooth the way of the rebellious consonant. One stammerer is mentioned by M. Chervin who had the habit of saying et, mais, oui (and, but, yes), before every difficult word, whatever it might be, which often gave a ludicrous turn of expression to his remark. The same expedients do not, however, always have the same operation with different persons, and sometimes result oppositely with the same person. Singing is nearly uniform in its action. In chanted or rhythmic speech, as in the recitative of operas, stammering is very rare. Singing, reduced to its most simple element, cadence, enters largely into the application of the means employed by M. Chervin for the cure of the affliction. The poetic cadence in the declamation of verse and the variety of intonations which give to poetic diction a character very different from that of familiar conversation, are generally effective in preventing halting in the speech. More than this, it is often enough to speak or read in the same measure with a stammerer to make it more easy for him to speak or read. The accompaniment serves as a kind of support or guide, which affords incontestable assistance in a majority of cases. Generally, reading and recitation are easier than conversation, especially if they are carried on in a low voice. It is proper to remark, in connection with this point, that with all stammerers whose difficulty is accompanied with glottic spasms, articulation in a low tone, diminishing the play of the vocal chords, operates as a restraint upon one of the provocations to stuttering. There is no resemblance between stammering and what is called writer's cramp, which results from the excessive use of an organ; no connection between it and paralysis. When it occurs with paralysis, it is only as one of the symptoms. In the majority of cases it appears as a single infirmity in subjects otherwise healthy, is generally wholly curable, and may be ameliorated in the most rebellious cases.

 

Turquoises.—All the turquoises in Europe come from one mine, which is situated in Persia, on the road from Teheran to Herat, not far from Meschid, the capital of Khorassan. Two kinds of turquois are distinguished in mineralogy: the real stone turquois, or calaite (in Persian, sengui), and the osseous turquois or odontolite. The latter is considered a false turquois, and is supposed to be composed of a piece of bone colored with phosphate of iron. The Persians again divide the real turquoises into two kinds—the sengui, or stony, and the khaki, or earthy, turquois—accordingly as they are incrusted with the rock, or are obtained by washing the earth, and are clear of foreign matters. The mines are at the village of Maden, in the region of the salt-mines of Doulet Aly. The salt district is like an immense block of salt just covered with a thin soil of red clay. The miners get out the salt by making a hole, putting a ball of clay into it, and striking upon the clay till a block is detached. The hills in which the turquoises are found have the same reddish gray aspect as is remarked in the salt-rocks; they are formed of rocks and an earth full of pebbles, and are bored in their whole extent with galleries, tunnels, abandoned pits,