« ZurückWeiter »
Woodburn not being acquainted with the ford, he again undertook the office of guide, and leading the way, they soon arrived at Scoton Moor, where Mr. Trapps and his company had waited for them several hours. Mr. Woodburn explained the cause of the delay, and being now able to participate in the joke, the affair ended very agreeably.
Our young hero, also frequented the hippodromes at York, and other places. At the races, he commonly rode in among the crowd, and was often successful in his bets, in which he was, however, assisted by several gentlemen, to whom he was known. Hav ing once matched one of his horses to run three miles for a considerable wager, and the parties agreeing each to ride his own horse, they set up posts at certain distances on the Forest Moor, describing a circle of one mile, having, consequently, to go three times round the course. Under the idea that Metcalf would be unable to keep the course, great odds were laid against him, but his ingenuity furnished him with an expedient in this dilemma. He procured some bells, and placing a man with one at each post, was enabled by the ringing to judge when to turn; by this contrivance, and the superior speed of his horse, he came in winner amidst the applauses of all present, except those who had betted against him.!
We also give place to the following account of his marriage: At the Royal Oak, (an inn,) where Metcalt was in the habit of spending his evenings, after the season at Harrowgate, he attracted the notice of Miss Benson, the landlady's daughter, whose constant attention and kindness soon inspired him with a reciprocal affection ; knowing, however, that her mother would oppose their union, various successful devices were employed to conceal their mutual partiality and frequent meetings. An event, however, occurred, which obliged Metcalf to quit not only the object of his attachment, but likewise that part of the country. During his absence, a Mr. Dick. enson had paid his addresses to Miss Benson, and now urged his suit with such ardor, that the banns were published, and the wedding-day appointed, to the no small mortification of Metcalf, who thought himself secure of her affections. But, though he loved her tenderly, his pride prevented him from manifesting his feelings, or attempting to prevent the match. On the day preceding that on which the nuptials were to be celebrated, Metcalf, riding past the Royal Oak, was accosted with,“ One wants to speak with you.” He immediately turned toward the stables of the Oak, and there, to his joy and surprise, he found the object of his love, who had sent her mother's servant to call him.
After some explanation, an elopement was resolved upon, which Metcalf, with the assistance of a friend, effected that night, and the next morning they were united. The confusion of his rival, who had provided an entertainment for two hundred people, may easily be imagined. Mrs. Benson, enraged at her daughter's conduct, refused either to see her or give up her clothes
nor was she reconciled until the baptism of her second child, on which occasion she stood sponsor for it, and presented Metcalf with his wife's fortune. It now became a matter of wonder that she should have preferred a blind man to Dickenson, she being as handsome a woman as any in the country. A lady having asked her why she refused so many good offers for Blind Jack, she answered, “Because I could not be happy without him.” And being more particularly questioned, she replied, “ His actions are so singular, and his spirit so manly and enterprising, that I could not help liking him.”
ACHIETAMENT OF THE BLIND IN POETRY AND
SERIES III.-SECTION I.
BOME EXPLANATION OF THE METHOD BY WHICH THE BORN BLIND
GAIN A KNOWLEDGE OF THE EXTENSION, MAGNITUDE AND APPEARANCE OF DISTANT OBJECTS.
It is not difficult to understand how it is that the obstacles which imperfect sight throws in the way of blacksmithing, painting, or anatomical investigations, are no impediments to the study of music, or even to very superior attainments in it, both as an art and a science. But we confess it is not so easy to perceive how it happens that some persons, denied the blessings of sight from birth, can describe scenes so graphically that even a connoisseur of natural scenery could not detect their condition; or how, indeed, they can form any notion of objects as they must appear to the eye from a distance, of the nature of light itself, of the indescribable glory of the sun, moon, and stars, and much less of those peculiarly pleasurable sensations which the blending of light and shade, and contrast of colors produce.
It is not wonderful that those who regard sight as the grand avenue to the mind, and who through this
entrance receive most of their impressions from without, are slow to believe that so many fields of enterprise, and rich subjects for contemplation, are open to the blind. How, say they, can one whose ideas of extent and superficial area can be gathered only from the distance within his reach, or the space of ground over which he may have traveled, form any adequate conception of the magnitude of a mountain, or picture to himself a vast landscape, diversified with groves, meadows, sunny hill-sides, winding streams, with plains and grazing flocks, and here and there isolated trees, at distinct though irregular distances from each other? That the born blind do possess this imaginative power, and even the ability to form new combinations from isolated ideas, is clearly shown in their writings.
The following descriptive lines gathered from the poems of Blacklock, by Spence, his critical reviewer, may serve to demonstrate this fact:
“Mild gleams the purple evening o'er the plain.”
“Ye vales, which to the raptured eye,
Disclosed the flowery pride of May;
Blushed with the morning's earliest ray.”
“Let long-lived pansies here their scents bestow,