A series of diagrams from A System of Elocution, with Special Reference to Gesture, to the Treatment of Stammering, and Defective Articulation (1846) by Andrew Comstock. To illustrate the proper gestures to adopt when public speaking Comstock has a figure enact out a section from Milton's Paradise Lost, in which Satan, expelled from Heaven and finding himself in Hell, delivers a speech to awaken his legions.
A physician and professor of elocution at the Vocal and Polyglot Gymnasium in Philadelphia, Comstock was hugely influential in the burgeoning science of elocution in mid-nineteenth-century America. Amongst other boasts, he invented his own phonetic alphabet to improve the speech of his pupils, an alphabet which was also used to transcribe documents, including the New Testament.
February 5, 2015