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Engrav’d this mandate, to preserve their frame
And hold entire the general orb of being.
Then, with becoming reverence, let each pow'r,
In deep attention, hear the voice of God;
That awful voice, which, speaking to the soul,
Commands its resignation to his law !

For this, has Heaven to virtue's glorious stage
Call’d me, and placed the garland' in my view,
The wreath of conquest; basely to desert
The part assigned me, and with dastard fear,
From present pain, the cause of future bliss,
To shrink into the bosom of the grave!
How, then, is gratitude’s vast debt repaid ?
Where all the tender offices of love

D to fraternal man, in which the heart
Each blessing it communicates, enjoys ?
How then shall I obey the first great law
Of nature's legislator, deep impress’d
With double sanction, restless fear of death,
And fondness still to breathe this vital air
Nor is th’injunction hard; who would not sing
Awhile in tears and sorrow, then emerge
With ten-fold luster, triumph o'er his pain,
And with unfading glory, shine in heaven!

Come, then, my little guardian genius! Cloth'd
In that familiar form, my Phylax, come!
Let me caress thee, hug thee to my heart,
Which beats with joy of life preserved by thee.
Had not thy interposing fondness stay'd
My blind precipitation, now, e'en now,
My soul, by nature's sharpest pangs expell’d
Had left this frame; had pass’d the dreadful boundary
Which life from death divides, divides this scene
From vast eternity, whose deep'ning shades.
Impervious to the sharpest mortal sight,
Elude our honest search.-But still I err.
Howe'er thy grateful, undesigning heart,
In ills foreseen, with promptitude might aid;
Yet this, beyond thy utmost reach of thought,

Not e'en remotely distant couldst thou view.
Secure thy steps the fragile board could press,
Nor feel the least alarm, where I had sunk;
Nor couldst thou judge the awful depth below
Which, from its watery bottom, to receive
My fall, tremendous yawn'd. Thy utmost skill.
Thy deepest penetration here had stopt
Short of its aim; and in the strong embrace
Of ruin struggling, left me to expire.
No-Heaven's high sovereign, provident of all,
Thy passive organs moving, taught thee first
To check my heedless course, and hence I live.

Eternal Providence! whose equal sway
Weighs each event, whose ever wakeful care,
Connecting high with low, minute with great,
Attunes the wondrous whole, and bids each part
In one unbroken harmony conspire;
Haill sacred Source of happiness and life!
Substantial Good, bright, intellectual Sun!
To whom my soul, by sympathy innate,
Unwearied tends; and finds in thee, alone,
Security, enjoyment, and repose.
By thee, O God! by thy paternal arm,
Through every period of my infant state,
Sustain'd, I live to yield thee praises due.
01 could my lays with heavenly raptures warm,
High as thy throne, reëcho to the songs
Of angels; thence, 01 could my prayer obtain
One beam of inspiration, to inflame
And animate my numbers ; Heaven's full choir,
In loftier strains, th' inspiring God might sing ;
Yet not more ardent, more sincere than mine.
But, though my voice, beneath the seraph’s note,
Must check its feeble accents, low depress'd
By dull mortality: to thee, great Soul
Of heaven and earth! to thee my hallow'd strain
Of gratitude and praise shall still ascend.



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It has been observed by writers, that there is no misfortune to which mankind is exposed, that so effectually shuts from us the book of nature and knowledge, as that of physical blindness. Yet, when we take into consideration the scores of blind

persons, (many of them so from birth or early in life,) in almost every age and country, whose names are registered high on the scroll of fame, for their attainments in literature and the arts, and their important service in the development of science, since its early dawn upon mankind, we are at an utter loss to determine from what strange oracle these writers have received such disparaging impressions, or what mode of reasoning they have adopted, to arrive at such conclusions.

It is a well known matter of fact, as well as history, that there is scarcely a single branch of natural science yet developed, requiring the minutest calculation or profoundest thought, in which blind persons have not been celebrated proficients. The most intricate problems of mathematics they have demonstrated with ease; to the beautiful science of chemistry they have added many valuable experiments; hydrostatics, hydraulics, acoustics, and optics, have

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been to them themes of entertainment and delight; and even the motion of the heavenly bodies they have determined with accuracy, and the two noblest poems that yet gem the literary heavens, at this Augustin age, are the productions of the blind.

With such truths before us, refulgent as the noonday sun, we cannot help thinking that, whoever seeks to maintain that the immortal mind of man must remain ignorant and unemployed, for the only reason that one of its avenues to the external world of knowledge bas become obstructed, is guilty of the grossest inconsistency, and shows himself destitute of the most important of all senses

To receive that knowledge through other mediums of the mind, usually conveyed through that of the eye, is, we confess, in many instances inconvenient; but whoever has not sufficient force of character to grapple with such difficulties in the pursuit of knowledge, would, under the most favorable circumstances, arrive at no great celebrity. How the difficulties which the loss of sight occasions, may be overcome by ingenuity and perseverance, even in the investigation of those sciences requiring the minutest observation, the achievments of this naturalist have cheeringly illustrated.

Francis Huber was born at Geneva, on the 2d of July, 1750, of an honorable family, in which originality and vivacity of mind formed a distinguishing characteristic. His father, John Huber, had the reputation of being one of the most witty men of his age,

a trait which was frequently noticed by Voltaire, who valued him for the originality of his conversation. He was an agreeable musician, and no inferior poet. To these accomplishments he joined the taste and art of observing the peculiarities of the animal creation,

His love of natural history as well as his brilliancy of mind were completely inherited by his son. The latter attended from his childhood the public lectures at the college, and, under the guidance of good masters, he acquired a predilection for literature, which the conversation of his father served to develop. He derived his fondness for science from the lessons of De Saussure, and from manipulations in the laboratory of one of his relatives, who ruined himself in searching for the philosopher's stone.

At the age of fifteen, his general health and his sight began to be impaired. The zeal with which he pursued his studies, constitutiņg his highest pleasure, and his unremitting application to reading by the feeble light of a lamp, or that of the moon, were, it is said, the causes which threatened at once the loss of health and of sight. His father took him to Paris, to consult Tronchin on account of his health, and Venzel, on the condition of his eyes.

With a view to his general health, Tronchin sent him to an agricultural district near Paris, to divert his attention from all laborious study. He there practiced the life of a simple peasant, engaging in those rural concerns that never fail to give quietude of mind, and healthful activity to the body. This

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