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vigorous constitntion. As an instance, we offer the following from the Encyclopedia Britanica: “ The sedentary life to which they are doomed, relaxes the frame, and subjects them to all the disagreeable sen. sations which arise from dejection of spirits ; hence the most feeble exertions create lassitude and uneasi. ness, and the natural tone of the nervous system, destroyed by inactivity, exasperates and embitters every disagreeable impression.” This, so far from being true, is strikingly at variance with our own experience and numerous observations. The educated blind are commonly as cheerful as the seeing, and apparently much happier than the deaf mute, who has all his powers of locomotion, aided by perfect sight. He is annoyed by a thousand loathsome and disgusting objects, which, from us, are excluded. Possessing the sense of hearing, cultivated to an astonishing degree, and a delicacy of touch known only by those who look out from the ends of their fingers, we hear beauties in pleasant voices, sweet sounds, and even what may seem to others harsh discord, entirely hidden to the more obtuse senses of those who see. We derive great satisfaction from feeling over glossy surfaces, equivalent, perhaps, to the pleasurable emotions experienced by the seeing froin the perception of brilliant colors. Indeed, this charge cinnot be true, (though a hypothesis commonly assumed at the present day,) from the fact that the blind, in order to examine objects by their sense of touch, are necessarily compelled to travel over a space of ground
which the eye might embrace at a single glance. In
a short, all blind persons with whom we have ever been acquainted, are more or less addicted to habits of incessant motion, either in walking or oscillating, a motion which Blacklock so good-naturedly describes in his picture of himself.
An opinion is prevalent, even at the present day, that when the grand avenue to the mind is closed from birth, nature most miraculously provides for the deficiency, by digging deep the other channels; or, in other words, rectifying her mistake by endowing her imperfect piece of mechanisın with supernatural abilities. Hence, Rochester's idea: “If one sense should be suppressed, it but retires into the rest." Some suppose that when the mind cannot peep out through its natural windows, at the fair face of nature, it listens more intently at what is going on without, and even reaches out through the fingers' ends, to gain a knowledge, not only of the texture of objects, but, mirabile dictu, even their very colors, though tinseled with a thousand lights and shades. It is rather surprising that those who entertain such vague notions, are not fearful that some elfish blind person, in groping about among nature's fixings, might tarnish the brilliant colors of the rainbow. These remarks are not meant to be unkind, nor would we be understood as holding in contempt the inferences drawn by the friends of the blind, from the many astonishing exhibitions of their delicacy of touch. Nor do we think these mistaken impressions anworthy of a candid consideration. But, having adverted to them in another place, let us turn from this digression, patient reader, to go in quest of the little desponding creature whom we left pining over her misfortunes.
Her seat beside her cottage door is desolate. We now see her in the midst of a gay group of merry school girls, quite as cheerful and happy as her companions. She has now reached her fifteenth year, and become a regular inmate of the New York Insti tution for the Blind. At this period, it is said, commenced the dawn of her mental existence, from which time her intellectual powers have expanded, until her imaginative mind has been enabled to clothe its thoughts in language at once chaste and poetic. No longer under the tender care and evervigilant eye of a fond mother, whose anxious solicitude and commiseration for her sightless daughter tended only to render her delicate nature the more sensitive, she was now thrown in the society of those whose latent powers had already begun to unfold to the genial rays of an intellectual day. Soon her slumbering energies were aroused to vigorous activity. Her fondness for poetry soon manifested itself. Soine of her first effusions may still be seen in the early reports of the institution. Her first book of poems was published in 1844. For this she realizea for herself and mother considerable pecuniary aid. Her last work, entitled “Monterey and other Poems,"
appeared in 1851. From this we have made the fol lowing selections :
VISIT TO A FIXED STAR.
[Suggested on attending a course of lectures delivered at the Broadway Tabernacle, by Professor Mitchell, the celebrated Amer can astronomer.]
’T was night, and by a fountain side,
I stood and miised alone;
That were to me unknown.
Mysterious forms fantastic moved,
With slow and measured tread,
Or spectres from the dead.
A goblet from that fountain filled,
How quickly did I drain!
May live the past again.
Then suddenly a meteor glare
Flash'd from the midnight sky; 'Twas gone,—and on immensity
Was riveted mine eye.
Borne upward by a power unseen,
In air I seemed to glide;
A spirit was my guide.
We passed on never-tiring wings
Through boundless realms of space.
That here we scarce can trace.