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Incidents In The Life Of A Blind Girl

Creator: Mary L. Day (author)
Date: 1859
Publisher: James Young, Baltimore
Source: Available at selected libraries
Figures From This Artifact: Figure 2

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After he had started on his errand, Jinnie's husband was informed of my arrival and it was thought best to prepare their servant for my very unprepossessing appearance.


A short ride, and I was at my sister's home. I knew nothing of what had passed as to my personal or mental endowments, nor cared I. It was happiness indeed, once more to be near those so dear to me; and clasped once again in a loving sister's embrace. After Charles had led me to the parlor, he ran away to his own home, not far distant, for he had been some three weeks married. Sister neglected to introduce me to her husband, in her haste to take my bonnet off to ascertain if my hair was really red; after having duly examined it with a light near by, she presented him to me; he greeted me most cordially and affectionately, saying: "He was glad to have a sister, for he had never had one."


When somewhat rested and refreshed, he entered into conversation with me, to ascertain how ignorant I was, I suppose. I narrated to him the incidents of my journey, not omitting the many kindnesses I had received. While so doing I afterwards learned Ellen, the Irish girl, peeped in through the open door at me. When sister went out to give directions for tea, she exclaimed: "Why, what a story-teller Mr. Charles is; why, she's a real lady, and she hasn't got red hair, nor large feet and hands neither!"


Sister and I sat up nearly the whole night, recounting our past lives, and all the hardships we had endured since our dear mother's death. She had undergone almost as numerous vicissitudes as I had. At the age of sixteen, however, she was married to one of the best of husbands; thus finding a protector and counsellor who had tenderly shielded and guarded her.


The next morning Charles came in and offered me one of his gloves to try on. The joke was then told me, and I with the rest laughed at the very comical representation he had given of me. My wardrobe was examined by sister, and pronounced somewhat out of date.


In a few days Doctor --- was called in to examine my eyes; he pronounced them incurable; this announcement made me very unhappy, for I had hoped to find relief. Shortly after this, Dr. --- was consulted. He professed to have performed great cures, and thought he could in my case do the same, but that it would require three months' treatment, occasionally operating -- also placing me under a regular course of medicine.


I was quite hopeful at the prospect of regaining my sight; and once again being able to look out upon this beautiful world, filled with the handiwork of the Most High. According to appointment Dr. --- with several students, came to perform the operation; he desired the presence of the latter, that they might benefit watching so delicate an effort of skill. It was extremely painful, almost more than I could bear, but hope buoyed me up. And as a sort of balm or soothing palliative, just as it was over came a letter from Mr. Chamberlain, in answer to one I had sent, informing him of my safe arrival, also of the contemplated operation upon my eyes. A week only elapsed between the forwarding of my letter and the receipt of his answer. Three months passed, and my vision was neither restored nor improved.


The close atmosphere of the city, and the expenditure of physical strength the operations upon my eyes had occasioned, had told fearfully upon my health; indeed, it seemed utterly shattered. Oh! how I longed to be once more in my country home. Sometimes I would think I would go to Mrs Cook, and never leave her again but then this would not be treating with proper consideration the kindness of my relatives. Every second week came a sweet and welcome letter from Mrs. Cook, affording me unutterable delight.


That long tedious summer passed, leaving me delicate and frail. Sister Jinnie, Charles and Mr. Barton, were all attentive to me, and if affection and tenderness could have reinstated my health, I should not long have been an invalid.




"THE joys of meeting pay the pangs of absence."


"AND doth not a meeting like this make amends
For all the long years I've been wandering away?" ANON.


"I CAN not speak, tears so obstruct my words,
And choke me with unutterable joy."


"Oh! art thou found?
But yet to find thee thus!"


"AH me! what hand can touch the string so fine!
Who up the lofty diapason roll
Such sweet, such sad, such solemn airs divine?"


MY brother-in-law was a carriage-maker, and carried on the business in Chicago, Charles being his partner. One day, while Mr. B. had left the shop to go to dinner, a very gentlemanly young man entered and inquired of Charles if Mr. N. A. Barton were in. On being told he had gone to dinner, he took a seat as if to wait his return. Charles asked him: "If he wished to get some work done; if he did, he was Mr. Barton's, partner, and could arrange matters with him." The gentleman then said: "He had not called to have work done, but he had heard Mr. Barton was his brother-in-law, and had come to ascertain if is were true." Charles looked at him intently for a moment, and then exclaimed: "Is it possible this is William Day? If so, we are brothers, for I am Charles Day." The truth seeded no second confirmation; in an instant they were in each other's arms and no words can justly represent the joy of that meeting. Mr. Barton entered the shop, and Charles with pleasure beaming in his countenance, introduced his long-lost brother William. He welcomed him heartily, for he was anxious our family should be reunited.

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