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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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George Sherwood proved a firm and steadfast friend. He was indeed a noble young man, towards his mother tender and respectful, and endeavoring to sustain an almost paternal relation towards his younger brothers. He whiled away many evenings reading to me, and his selections were always very beautiful.


I never loved a stranger as dearly as I did Mrs. Sherwood, and she expressed herself similarly of myself, our tastes seemed so congenial. She was ever studying something for my enjoyment. George's health failing, the doctor ordered him to the country; when he had gone I felt lonely, the evening reading had been such a delightful pastime.


Dr. S. could do no more for me, and I concluded to return home. I regretted parting with Mrs. Sherwood and her family, but


"There is no union here of hearts,
That hath not here an end;"


so bidding them farewell and asking not to be forgotten, I left for home. Dr. S. said he would have given half he was worth to have cured me, but, as this had been beyond his skill, he could but wish me many friends and success in whatever I might at any future time undertake. He was very kind and gentlemanly.


Uncle placed me in a lady's care travelling to Baltimore, and having bid him and his dear family good-by, I was once again a bird of passage; still in the dark, for though I had gone in search of light, it had been denied, and it now became my duty to submit unrepiningly to His decrees who suffereth not even a sparrow to fall to the ground unnoticed, who is mindful of what is best for the weakest of his creatures.




"THESE eyes --
Bereft of light, their seeing half forgot;
Nor to the idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star throughout the year,
Of man or woman : Yet I argue not
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
Right onward." MILTON.


"AND thou shall touch for thyself, the golden sceptre of Religion." TUPPER.


"So, that blessed train passed by me; but the vision was sealed upon my soul;
How beautiful their feet, who follow in that train."


MRS. SIMONS was a very pleasant lady, and we chatted the time away quite agreeably. We stopped at Philadelphia, and most of the passengers went to the hotel to dine. A lady desiring to do so, left in my charge a email basket filled with gold, until she should return and claim it. A little while after, she came back into the car and took the basket from me, saying: "I placed great confidence in your honor in leaving my treasure in your care." "Not at all," said I; "You knew I could not see to run away with it, no matter what my disposition might have been." These remarks amused the passengers; they seemed fully to appreciate my inability to appropriate the lady's gold by running away with it.


We reached Baltimore in the evening; home once more. Truly, "there's no place like home.'' After my return I spent several weeks at Uncle Jacob's. Being now fully satisfied there was no hope that my sight would be restored, I resolved to submit to my lot unmurmuringly, indeed with what of cheerfulness I could, believing it would but make "the day more dark and dreary," wasting it in idle repinings. My friends were anxious I should enter the Institution for the Blind, as had previously been advised. Cousin William was at this time in Europe, and it was thought best not to delay matters until his return. So anxious was I to become a pupil that I made every personal effort to attain so desirable an end. I found unshrinking perseverance necessary to bring it about.


Aided by Professor Loughery, Superintendent of the Institution, admission was obtained. The day I left Aunt's, again to make my home with strangers, is one thronged with various memories -- emotions of pain as well as pleasure. I was sad at leaving home, and hopeful as to what I might accomplish in self-improvement during my stay in the Institution.


Cousin Mattie accompanied me. On entering we were met by Mr. Loughery, one of the most perfect gentlemen I have ever known. He also was blind, therefore could deeply sympathize with those to whom had fallen a similar affliction. The welcome he gave was very cordial, hoping I would be happy and contented while in the Institution. He then excused himself and left the room. A few moments and a young lady came to me, introducing herself as Miss Moran, the assistant teacher. I was much pleased with her manner, so graceful and ladylike. Cousin Mattie bade me good-by, promising to visit me the next week. Miss M. conducted me to the sitting-room.


School being now dismissed, the young ladies, pupils in the Institution, entered. At this time, there were only three female and five male pupils. Upon being introduced they greeted me as though I had been an old acquaintance. This is the usual manner of the blind; they are never strangers to each other, a common sympathy seems to link them wherever they meet. They are shut out from the external world around them, and feel that a mysterious tie makes them kindred to any who have been denied, like them, the power to see as well as feel that God is very great, as all his handiworks proclaim.

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