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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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My health continuing to decline, my brother in Racine sent for me to pay a visit, thinking a change might be beneficial to me. The second of September I started. Mr. Barton took me to the boat, and seated me in the cabin. A gentleman came up to me and asked if I had consumption. I told him I hoped not. Taking a seat beside me, he examined my pulse and informed me I would not live three months if I continued the treatment I had been undergoing. He then invited me to walk on deck. The day was beautiful, and Lake Michigan calm, peaceful, serene. I had not long enjoyed the open air and sky before I felt refreshed; my spirits also became quite enlivened, Dr. Clark was so agreeable and entertaining. He was on his way to Milwaukee, but said he should stop long enough at Racine to see me safely with my friends. Brother William met me at the boat. The doctor did not bid me good-by till I was seated in the carriage. Then he bade me adieu, hoping I would soon regain my health. I never exchanged words of friendship with him again, but in my heart his memory hath a sunny nook.




"THY voice is sweet as if it took
Its music from thy face." Miss LANDON.


"AND should'st thou ask my judgment of that which hath most profit in the world,
For answer, take thou this:
The prudent penning of a letter." TUPPER.


"LAY her i' the earth;
And from her fair and unspotted flesh
May violets spring." SHAKSPEARE.


BORTHER WILLIAM took me to Mr. St. Clair's, the family by whom he had been reared. They welcomed me as cordially as if I had been their own child. The next day brother told me he was engaged to be married to one of the most beautiful ladies in Racine, and that he should bring her to see me. He did so, and I thought he was correct in thinking her very lovely. Her low, sweet voice fell like music on my ear, and from that moment I loved her.


I could fill whole pages, reciting the hospitality and kindness of the people of Racine to me, during my stay among them. I remained four weeks. My health being much improved, I again returned to my sister. The journey back was rather unpleasant; the weather was stormy, the lake rough, and I confined to my berth, terribly sea-sick. About nine o'clock at night, I reached home.


On the following day Dr. Norfolk came to see me. I told him I did not desire his services any longer, as I thought my sight would never be restored. He grew very angry, and left the house, saying he should send his bill. In the afternoon it came, and was one hundred dollars. I sent him word by the servant I would never pay it, for I had already given an equivalent for his services. In a few days I was summoned to court. I was very much frightened, having never been sued before. Mr. Barton bid me not be alarmed, he would see the matter properly adjusted. The day arrived on which the trial was to take place. I was so nervous and frightened I could not walk to the court-house. I can not describe my feelings while seated in the large court-room surrounded by so many people. When, however, I thought of the cruel manner in which Dr. N. had treated me, my strength returned, and I gave in my testimony without faltering.


The Dr.'s witnesses were sworn. Just as the last one took his seat Dr. --- entered. He walked up to me and examined my eyes. He was then sworn, and testified, it was the worst piece of mal-practice he had ever met with. His opinion had great weight, for he was considered one of the best physicians in the city. The case after a few days' litigation was decided in my favor.


My brother was not satisfied no further attempt should be made to effect the restoration of my sight, therefore Dr. Shipley was consulted, the best Homeopathic physician in the place. He made no promises, held out no false hopes, but said he would do the best he could for me. At the end of the year under his treatment I found my health and sight much improved, being able to distinguish light and colours.


My sister was the only one of our family who remembered our relatives in Baltimore. She had written to them, but the letters had remained unanswered. The Doctors all advised me to go to the New-York Infirmary, so I concluded I would write to my relatives and, informing them of my misfortunes, ask their assistance. I mentioned my intention to brother and sister, but they opposed it, so I determined to arrange my plans without their knowledge if possible. Sister had a servant who could write; the next Sunday I took her to my room, and dictated a long letter to my uncle Jacob Day, my father's only brother. I secreted it until an opportunity transpired of sending it to the post-office. My friend of flute recollection mailed it for me, promising not to mention the circumstance to any one.


It had been nearly three years since I had left Mrs. Cook's, and I was now making preparations to go and spend a few weeks with her. My little niece was to accompany me as far as her grand-parents in Marshall. Mr. Barton placed as in the cars, and his father was to meet us. The journey would have been a pleasant one, but I was taken quite sick soon after starting.

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