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[214] in a recent note to Dr. Howe, published in the report, thus speaks of his present condition: ‘When I remember his former wild and almost frantic demeanor when approached by any one, and the apparent impossibility of communicating with him, and now see him standing in his class, playing with his fellows, and willingly and familiarly approaching me, examining what I gave him,—and when I see him already selecting articles named by his teacher, and even correctly pronouncing words printed on cards,—improvement does not convey the idea presented to my mind; it is creation; it is making him anew.’

All the pupils have more or less advanced. Their health and habits have improved; and there is no reason to doubt that the experiment, at the close of its three years, will be found to have been quite as successful as its most sanguine projectors could have anticipated. Dr. Howe has been ably seconded by an accomplished teacher, James B. Richards, who has devoted his whole time to the pupils. Of the nature and magnitude of their task, an idea may be formed only by considering the utter listlessness of idiocy, the incapability of the poor pupil to fix his attention upon anything, and his general want of susceptibility to impressions. All his senses are dulled and perverted. Touch, hearing, sight, smell, are all more or less defective. His gluttony is unaccompanied with the gratification of taste,—the most savory viands and the offal which he shares with the pigs equally satisfy him. His mental state is still worse than his physical. Thought is painful and irksome to him.

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Samuel G. Howe (2)
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