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agency. But we certainly cannot ask to have them excused or loved in consequence of our peculiar condition. No: attribute them to our ignorance, carelessness or stupidity, but we pray thee, reader or critic, attribute them not to blindness, for this won must deem rather an advantage than an inconvenience in wou art of composition.

Our subject is one of which so many false notions have been entertained and disseminated by speculative writers, that wo have deemed it expedient to give the facts we wish to illustrate in connection with the lives of some of the most distinguished of our class, as we could in such connections best guard against being misunderstood. The characters we have chosen are from almost every age, country, occupation and class of society; so that, though we have dealt somewhat largely in biography, we hope that the facts, trials and triumphs presented may still pro duce an agreeable variety. The questions so frequently aske with touching pathos, by those who lose their sight in mature life,—“ Is there benevolence in this world ? Must charity sup ply my wants? Will there be always some hand to lead me? Have the blind ever a home in

any

heart? Dues uything ever cheer them? Are their lives always useless ? Is there anything they can do?"—these interrogatories are, we think, verein fully answered. To accomplish this work, we have spared no time, pains nor expense. All the information rela tive to the sightless condition, that could be obtained from the records of our Institutions for this class, was, through the kindness of their Principals, placed at our command; and we have imported from Europe for this purpose, numerous valuahlo

a

works written by the blind, never before possessed by an American public. From these writings, as from

many

others of our class, we have made a sufficient number of extracts to put beyond question the literary taste and capacity of our order.

It is frequently not uninteresting to the reader, to know some hing of the author whose thoughts he is perusing. But upon she history of our lives we shall say but little. The principal scenes of life's drama in which we have acted, during our short peregrinations over the rugged face of old mother earth, are se much like those of our class in general, given in other connec tions, that we shall not here enter into detail. We will there ore only say, for the satisfaction of the curious, that we were born in Western New York, somewhere within the vicinity of twenty-five years ago; that Artman lost his sight at the age of eighteen; that Hall's privation was congenital; that we were both educated at the New York Institution for the Blind, and have for the last four or five years been endeavoring to force a subsistence from nature and society, in various, and of course HONORABLE, occupations.

If this, our first effort in a literary capacity, should find favor with the public, more from us may be heard hereafter.

THE AUTHORS.

Dansville,

Achievements of the Blind.

MEMOIRS OF EMINENT BLIND AUTHORS,

WITH BEAUTIES FROM THEIR WRITINGS.

That man must indeed be depraved, who does not discover in himself some reflection of a divine image, though sin may have blotted and mutilated its form. The whole field of science does not open up to the inind a more pleasing subject for contemplation, or one fraught with more intense interest, than the study of its own mysterious nature. What are the elements that enter into its composition? Can it exist as distinct from matter, or is it merely the result of physical organization, as sound is the result of vibration? Is the brain only a system of organs, conspiring to produce thought, as melody is produced by musical instruments? How did the mind come in possession of its own identity, or that inward consciousness of a separate existence as distinct from the laws of naturo which silently, govern matter? How does it put forth volition? In what way do outward manifestations awaken painful or pleasant emotions, and why should it possess that fearful power of perverting its

own affections, or destroying its own energies : These are themes upon which every contemplative mind loves to dwell. Speculative philosophy is, however, not without its attendant evils; it may ripen into rank infidelity if not carefully guarded. Investigations of mental phenomena should be conducted with a prayerful heart. The relations which the creature sustains to its Creator, should be kept constantly in view, and no apparent discrepancy or incongruity, should be allowed to shake our faith in the wisdom and goodness of a Supreme Being.

Next to an earnest and careful inquiry after God's revealed will to man, the study of man himself is paramount to all others. Ile who best knows him self, is best able to judge others. Yet, without revealed religion, it is impossible to determine what is laudable in ourselves, without studiously observing what traits of character are lovely or hateful in oth

Hence it happens, that biography has been read and admired in all ages, and is found to be of such vital importance to the young. In the history of a great and good man, the youth finds a pattern by which he may mould his character. It is much easier to imitate good examples, than to act well from wise suggestions. It is less hazardous to follow closely in the footsteps of a virtuous and prudent man, whose path has led to honor and distinction, than to mark out for one's self a new course in life.

ers.

Tread you my steps ! 'Tis mine to lead the race,
The first in glory, and the first in place.

AN ACCOUNT OF TIIE LIFE OF LIOMER.

So little is known of this truly great man, that all our most anxious inquiries concerning him, have been but meagerly rewarded. The vague conjectures of his numerous biographers, serve only to thicken the haze that has settled over his long-since faded pathway.

So many fabulous accounts have been given of this prince of poets, by his early biographers, that some rather too skeptical, now deny even his existence. His wonderful poems, however, (the Iliad and Odyssey,) stand as monuments of his true greatness. They are voices from the grave of the past, floating on the . tide of time, breathing in poetic numbers the fire of youth and the frenzy of love. The most reliable sources of information concerning Homer are, perhaps—Bibliotheca Græca, by Fabricus, Wood's Essay on the Genius and Writings of Homer, Cumberland's Observer, Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary, Herodo. tus, Plutarch, and the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Various opinions have been entertained respecting the period in which he flourished, the place of his birth, and even his true name. These have been subjects of heated controversies among the learned of

all ages.

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