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MISS CYNTHIA BULLOCK.
AN AMERICAN AUTHORESS.
"Lo! heaven's bright bow is glad!
And shall the immortal sons of God,
No! says God, our sire!
Is light, and hope, and life, and power;
FAR inadequate is human wisdom, aside from divine revelation, to foster the sacred ties that should bind our race in gentleness together. The arts, sciences, and multifarious schools of philosophy, in which the sages of antiquity won for themselves immortal fame, tended but to magnify the distinction between the lowly and privileged classes, and dry up the vein of sympathy between the opulent and dejected. On Bethlehem's plains, by angelic hosts, was first announced on earth, the advent of humanity's
great Benefactor. When 'neath Eden's bowers, our primitive representatives invoked consuming wrath, His potent hand turned aside the stroke of death, and now came to raise the fallen, bind up the brokenhearted, and wipe the tear from the cheek of the disconsolate. His words imparted activity to the maimed, life to the dead, and sight to the blind. The injunctions that fell from his holy lips, attended by grace divine, have gently distilled upon the sterile heart of humanity, like the dews of heaven on the tender grass, and caused it to germ, and bring forth fruit to bless the afflicted. The many brilliant benevolent institutions that gem our land, like stars the ethereal blue, are but emanations from that glorious gospel that shall eventually restore primitive paradise
Though the votaries of learning of every nation, from a high antiquity, held in enthusiastic admiration the inimitable songs of sightless Homer, no institution for the benefit of this class, adorned the plains of Egypt, or crowned the sunny hills of Greece, or reflected the brightness of an Italian sky. It is from the fountain of christianity alone, that flow those benign principles that lead men, at the present day, to supply the want of sight, by means devised by mercy. One of the recipients of such public munificence, in whose soul was poured the light of gladness, is our present authoress. And, like Israel's poet, her lines glow with fervent thanks to God, the bountiful dispenser of temporal as well as spiritual blessings.
It is with pleasure that we ornament the pages of this work, with the name and a few select poems of this distinguished and highly gifted authoress. And we only regret that its design confines us to so small a space, in which to give a sketch of her biography; but hope that ere long she will favor the public with a fuller history of her experience and perigrinations in her world of physical darkness.
For the public munificence and educational opportunities which the blind of this country at present enjoy, we are largely indebted to the efforts of this lady. She was among the small group of sightless children collected at New York, by the benevolent Dr. Akerly, for the purpose of making experiments in the instruction of this class. Her quick perception and readiness in acquiring a knowledge of all the branches of science in which she was trained, and her interesting appearance at the several examinations and exhibitions given before the legistature of our state, greatly aided in moving that body to make provisions for the education of this class, on a more extensive plan; whose example nearly all the sister states of this great republic have nobly imitated. Who can estimate the vast good which her indomitable perseverance has done, in self-culture, and to dispel the mental gloom that so long shrouded all under similar circumstances. Like resistless ocean's tide, it commenced with a small riplet, but will continue to flow on, extend, and rise, until it breaks on the boundless shores of eternity.
Miss Bullock was born at Lyons, Wayne county, New York, March 7th, 1821. There are, perhaps, few deprivations to which our physical organization is subject, that tend, in a greater degree, to weaken our predominant and all-absorbing passion for life, than that under which this infant launched her frail bark on life's tempestuous sea. The earth robed in richest loveliness, tinged with beauty's fairest dyes, must ever be to her but a mocking unreality; the luminous worlds that gem the sable curtains of night could have no voice to allure her thoughts heavenward; and the rosy tints of morn, nor the gorgeous, drapery of the setting sun, could ever thrill one chord of gladness in her heart; for her captive soul must be barred in a living tomb, until her passage through the icy portals of death.
But the sunshine of parental love and tenderness in which her gentle spirit basked through the early years of childhood, dissipated all the dark gloom that often hovers over such misfortunes, and fostered a spirit of cheerfulness in her heart that has seldom since forsaken her. The current of her days was, however, not long thus gently to glide on. To the kind voice, gentle hand, and well known footsteps of her protecting parent, who supplied, so far as possible, her want of sight, and filled her heart with joy and gratitude, together with the wealth and ease in which her home abounded, she must soon bid adieu forever. While her father was engaged in extensive business, he suddenly died, and his affairs being un
settled, "unprincipled persons took advantage of these unfortunate circumstances, and the mother and her children were left almost destitute; and she was obliged to exert herself to the utmost of her abilities to sustain her little family."
Little Cynthia early manifested great activity of mind, “and when her brothers began to go to school, a loneliness crept over her spirit, to which it had before been a stranger. She felt herself isolated without knowing why, yet took great pleasure in committing to memory the words which fell from the lips of her brothers, as they conned their lessons in the evening. Frequently, after they had ceased reading, would she take the book, and for some time feel its smooth pages. Then might you see a burning tear rolling silently down her young cheeks, as if started by the thought: 'Oh, how delightful thus to learn so much that is beautiful and interesting!' But these thoughts did not long cast their shadow over her childish spirit." The rosy morning tints of a brighter day dawned on her pathway, and a brilliant star of hope arose to adorn the horizon of her soul. The glorious hand of philanthropy, that, in the forenoon of the nineteenth century, commenced strewing her choicest flowers along the pathway of the blind, and ushered into the world of humanity a new era, sought her out, and endowed her with that liberal instruction which her dawning intellect so much craved.
Accordingly, in 1833, when in the thirteenth year of her age, she joined the small, sightless class ad