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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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We arrived at home; as I alighted from the stage, I was struck with the scene before me. Always greatly admiring Nature and its handiworks, I could but be impressed with the wild, uncultured beauty spreading out so lavishly; its effect upon me still recurs to memory, though years have intervened.


I have never seen Italy's far-famed sky, but I do not think it could surpass that evening sunset. The king of day sinking into the bosom of Silver Lake, the earth carpeted with the modest, fragrant violet, and the luxuriant foliage of the tall oak, swaying to the gentle passing breeze; combined to form a scene of almost fairy-like enchantment.


When meditating upon the beauties of Nature, on which I have been permitted to gaze, my heart is filled with love and reverence for the Great Being who created them. But now to me --


"All Nature is a sealed book,
Whose clasp I can not find;
It was not meant for me to read,
For I am blind, I am blind!"


I found all well and happy at home. It being spring, the Indians, according to their custom had built their wigwams near the lake shore. They might constantly be seen in their light canoes, employed in fishing, which occupation appeared to be their chief delight. One day, while my father was absent from home, having gone to the village, I was sitting on the door-step, when looking up, I saw seven gigantic Indians coming down the road towards our house; I was greatly alarmed, and in an instant sprang from the door into the house, and hid myself in a large oven. This was not the most comfortable hiding-place, but it was preferable to coming into contact with those wild, fierce-looking savages. I crawled near the door to watch their movements. They demanded something to eat; my mother told them she had nothing for them. On hearing this, one of them pointed to a steak which was being broiled, at the same time drawing his tomahawk from his belt and flourishing it over her head. She was very courageous, and raised the broom as if to strike him. Her bravery saved her life; instead of killing her, they turned and left the house, yelling and shouting as far as they could be heard: "White man's squaw brave!" When they had gone, I crept from my hiding-place, so completely covered with ashes and dirt, my mother could scarcely recognize me.




She's gone! forever gone! The king of terrors
Lays his rude hand upon her lovely limbs,
And blasts her beauties with his breath!"
DENNIS' Appius and Virginia.


"GOOD Heaven! what sorrow gloomed that parting day.
That called them from their native walks away."


MY father who had been for some time trying to sell his land, now found a purchaser, and we were destined to be on the wing again; the necessary arrangements for a removal having been made, we bade adieu to our beautiful cabin home on the banks of Silver Lake, not without parting affectionately with our true friend Mrs. Smith, and visiting for the last time the grave of our baby-brother.


A few days and we were located in Jonesville; for two months every thing moved on pleasantly. We had almost begun to think our troubles over, but a heavy affliction was about to befall us. Mother was taken very ill one day while all of us were at school except sister Jinnie, who sent for us in great haste -- our mother was dying! We reached home in time only to receive her parting blessing. After embracing each of our little group, and bidding us be good children, loving God and one another, her pure spirit winged its flight back to Him who gave it. Our best earthly friend had left us; young as we were, we deeply felt our loss, yet the burden of our woe we realized not until years had sped away, proving how great a void is created in a child's heart and life by a mother's death! The constant yearning for her tendernesses; the quick sympathy she alone can give; the caress of her soft hand in approval; or even the mild rebuke softened and chastened, coming from her lips-these departed, life seems a very blank; then speak ye kindly ever to the motherless, ye may have power to wile their hearts from sorrow by the magic influence of a smile.


Our dear mother died among strangers, yet not unmourned for; by her pleasant and affable manners she had gained many friends who wept with us over her grave.


The time had now come for us to be separated, we were taken home and kindly cared for by friends of our mother until permanent arrangements could be made for us by our father. A lady, named Mrs. Benson, took me in charge, with whom I remained about eight months, during which time homes had been found for my brothers and sister, but as yet none for me. I shall not soon forget when my youngest brother was taken to his new home; my father went with him and allowed me to accompany them -- his stranger friends seemed quite fond of him; this pleased my father very much, for he was desirous we should be comfortably and pleasantly situated. The hour came for us to part with my brother; it was very sad to leave the little fellow, but three years old, among entire strangers. The lady of the house took him into the garden, so that we could go without his knowledge. When at some distance from the house I looked back and saw Howard still playing among the flowers, I had no thought it would be the last time I should ever see him, though I watched him with the intensest interest as long as the faintest outline of his sweet form was visible.

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