Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

dren of both sexes, or those who have not attained the age of puberty, have the hair cut short, and are not permitted to use any artificial covering to the body. One trait is, perhaps, peculiar to the women of this country, and may be regarded by some as an indication of their good sense—that they have no taste for baubles, or, at all events, do not appear to desire them more than the men, With respect to articles of clothing, they are equally exempt from such incumbrances as the other sex.

Happy the climate where the be
Wears the same suit for use and show,
And at a small expense, your wife,
If once well pink’d, is clothed for life.

“ Their lords and masters contrive to keep them in great subjection, and accustom them to carry their burdens; they evince also a considerable degree of jealousy, and show evident marks of displeasure, whenever strangers pay attentions to them. As, however, this is equally the case whether the lady be young or old, it is not improbable that it may, in some measure, arise from their considering it too great a condescension on their parts, to notice persons whom they deem so inferior."

Mr. Holman's view from Adam's Peak, in Ceylon, will give the reader a faint idea of the pleasure he derived from traveling, and the exquisite delight, with which his inner vision drank in scenes of beauty. “ We reached the summit,” says he, “just before

[ocr errors]

the sun began to break, and a splendid scene opened ..pon us.

The insulated mountain, rising up into a peak of 7,420 feet above the level of the sea, flanked on one side by lofty ranges, and on the other by a champagne country, stretching to the shore, that formed the margin of one immense expanse of ocean. I could not see this glorious sight with the visual orbs, but I turned toward it with indescribable enthusiasm. I stood upon the summit of the Peak, and felt all its beauties rushing into my heart of hearts."

It is to be regretted that Mr. Holman did not give to the world, more of his own observations and reflections. As a writer, he might have been useful to the world in a two-fold sense. Having possessed perfect sight during the early part of his life, his vivid recollections of light and shade, nature's smiles and frowns, and the various combinations of color, enabled him to draw, with an imaginative pencil, every scene that could be described to him. The knowledge which he gained of new and interesting objects, by adroitly managing the eyes of others, was as correct, no doubt, as though they had been painted upon his own mind. He, therefore, found no diffi. culty in describing all that other travelers describe, or in gathering as much useful information as other travelers collect. To him, phases of the human character were presented, which are commonly hidden from the seeing. We allude to those higher feel.

. ings of wild and savage nature, that only the misfortunes of others can sometimes bring out. Wild, sweet flowers are sometimes found among brambles, and the crudest nature has in it something refined. Most blind persons find the study of character a source of unbounded satisfaction. Our author's pe

. culiar situation, and comparative helplessness, might have opened up to him, among the numerous tribes he visited, an endless field of useful labor. We are, however, not disposed to find much fault with the course Mr. Holman pursued. His writings have amused and interested the public, and have gained for their author a high character in the literary world. LIFE OF JAMES WILSON, THE BLIND BIOGRAPHER.

“I go, I go! And must mine image fade
From the green spots wherein my childhood played

By my own streams ?
Must

my life part from each familiar place,
As a bird's song that leaves the woods no trace

Of its lone themes ?

a

JAMES WILSON was born May 24th, 1779, in Richmond, Virginia. His father, John Wilson, was a native of Scotland, who emigrated to this country when eighteen years of age, to manage the estate of his uncle, which he afterward inherited. After the death of his uncle, he married Elizabeth Johnson, of Baltimore. But, unfortunately for him, at the com mencement of the revolutionary war, he found his predilections for monarchy too strong to relish the doctrines of liberty or death, and joined the royal

In consequence of this, a band of enraged incendiaries attacked and burned his dwelling, and laid waste his plantation. He served during five campaigns, in a detachment under the command of Lord Cornwallis, and was taken prisoner at Yorktown, where General Washington gave the finishing stroke to the war.

On being released, he found his health much impaired, and being perhaps much grieved to see the

canse.

star spangled banner, which he strove so hard to humble in the dust, now wave in proud triumph over the Colonies, he decided to take his family and return to England. Bound for Liverpool, the vessel set sail under the guidance of Captain Smith. But they had scarcely lost sight of land, when Mr. Wilson was attacked with severe illness, and twenty days after the ship had left New York harbor, he died.

Mrs. Wilson, being at this time in delicate health, was so shocked by this sad event, that she expired in twenty minutes after. They were both wrapped in one hammock, and committed to a watery grave ! And James Wilson, their only surviving offspring, at the tender

age

of four years, was left a poor, friendless, fortuneless orphan, Nor was this the end of his misfortune; seized by the small pox, and for want of a mother's care and proper medical aid, this most loathsome disease deprived him of his sight. After a long and tedious voyage, the captain was compelled to put into Belfast harbor for repairs. Young Wilson, having not yet recovered from his illness, was immediately sent to the city and placed in charge of the church warden; and to prevent him from becom. ing a charge to the parish, the benevolent Captain Smith put in the warden's hands a sum of money sufficient to defray his expenses for five years. When about seven years

of

age, his right eye was couched by Surgeon Wilson, and restored to partial sight, But shortly after, on crossing the street one day, he was attacked and badly bruised by

« ZurückWeiter »