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That dew was never born of the sun, neither is it exhaled by it; it is so
"Avernus' gates are open night and day,
True, the grace of God may interpose to rescue the prisoner from the fetters which he has forged for himself, but no man has a right to reckon upon such a deliverance, much less to tempt the Lord by plunging into enslaving habits on the ground that others have been, through infinite mercy, emancipated from them. Who in his senses would take poison because in some cases an antidote has been supplied before death has closed the scene? Who wishes to be plague-stricken because a few survive amid the general mortality? O man, be wise, and shun the tempter and his honey-dew, lest thou be fatally ensnared and fastened down to certain ruin. Flies have no warning, but men have,
therefore let them take it, and flee far away from the destroyer. Leave off vice before it be meddled with, is an allowable alteration of the wise man's proverb. Prevention is better than a cure, abstinence is better than reformation. Touch not, taste not, handle not that Sundew which is not from heaven and prepares for hell.
We have not done with the singular tenant of the bog, but will use it for another purpose. Its flower is very seldom seen expanded. For some reason unknown to botanists, and apparently in no way dependent on the shining of the sun, this flower often remains closed during the greater part of its flowering season. One enquirer asks, "Has any person ever seen the blossoms of the round-leaved Sundew fully expanded? Wishing to obtain a specimen of this little plant in full bloom, to sketch from, I have visited in almost every hour of the day a bog traversed by a small rivulet, whose margin is thickly dotted with its glowing leaves, looking as if they had, indeed, impaled drops of the morning dew to cool them through the day. I have watched it from the time in which its slender scape first rises from amidst a bunch of circinate leaves to that at which it forms at top into a nodding raceme, but never have I seen its minute white flower-buds unclose." Many other watchful observers declare that, even in the fairest weather and brightest sunshine, they have looked in vain for opened flowers. Here and there a watcher has seen a flower unfold itself in the morning and close at noon to open no more, but the sight seems to be a great rarity even to the most attentive naturalists. One would not wish to follow the example of so rare a blooming, yet are there men of kindred spirit. They must surely have good times, seasons of affection, moments of generous impulse, when the soul reveals its best, but those around them have looked in vain for such rare occasions. They are so miserly that seldom are they moved to pity and relieve the needy, so churlish that scarcely ever can they utter a kind encouraging word, so cold that never are they seen to warm into enthusiasm. Children of the marsh, they are damp even to the core, sunlight cannot woo them into blossoming, the genial influences which rule other hearts scarcely affect them for good. Woe to those who are compelled to live with them, they watch in vain for sympathy or love. Unhappy is the Abigail who is married to such a Nabal. Perhaps now and then, to some favoured companion, they become for the moment cordial, but they scarcely forgive themselves for the aberration, and relapse into the closed-up state again, to unfold their affections no more. Around them are men and women full of love, smiling and flourishing the various seasons through, perfuming their surroundings with kindly fragrance of good thoughts and deeds, yet do they abide shut up within themselves. May heaven pity them in boundless mercy, and save them from themselves. "Twere better far to die of love than live without loving. Disappointment and heartbreak are infinitely to be preferred to selfishness and isolation: the one is an affliction which may happen to the noblest, the other is the vice of the base and grovelling. Give the heart room to blossom like the rose, even though the hand of the cruel should pluck at it; our nature sinks even below its natural depravity when we refuse to love. Be it ours to open
wide our full soul beneath the smile of the Sun of Righteousness, and so to grow as the lily, and give forth a sweet smell as Sharon's ruddy flower; and never, never may we yield to the power of selfishness, which is as deadly to the heart itself as it is pernicious to those whom it despises.
Old writers highly praise the essence of the Sundew as a remedy for many diseases: it was celebrated under the name of aqua rose solis, or spirit of Sundew. One old herbalist declares that it is good for the lungs, and for nervous faintness, and, though it will raise blisters upon the skin, he considers it to be very useful inwardly, and puts it down as a great cordial. Ladies used it as a cosmetic, and perhaps do so still, but we are not learned in such matters; the country people use it to destroy warts and corns, so that after all it has uses, and perhaps this brief paper may conserve some little of its virtues, to the benefit of manners and of men. Good lies latent in things evil, but the hand of wisdom extracts it; be thus wise, dear reader, and thy profiting shall be known unto all.
Language by Touch.*
LL our readers are, or ought to be, well acquainted with the wonderful case of Laura Bridgman, the blind, deaf, and dumb girl, whom Dickens saw in America, and so graphically described. She not only learned to sew and knit, but to read, write, and calculate. Although every avenue of communication with her seemed to be closed, she was instructed through the sole medium of touch till she became a highly intelligent girl. The name of Doctor Howe, her patient instructor, deserves to be had in grateful remembrance; he was the pioneer in the difficult task of teaching blind, deaf mutes, and all who have followed him confess their obligations to his example.
It is not, however, at all generally known that Mr. Patterson, of the Parochial Schools of the Manchester Union, has achieved the same result in other cases. A small shilling book, by George Wallis, of the South Kensington Museum, gives a brief account of the cases of Mary Bradley and Joseph Hague, who were by Mr. Patterson's persevering efforts upraised from a condition of living death into active mental life. The girl Mary Bradley was abandoned by her mother in a damp cellar, while suffering from some virulent disease, and so lost both sight and hearing at three years of age. She was, when first noticed, a motherless and fatherless child, without ear or eye, a most wretched inmate of the infant department of a workhouse, where the other children cruelly made sport of her, hitting and pulling her with their hands, while she screamed and vainly stretched out her hand to seize them. Happy for her was the day when she was admitted to the institution for the deaf and dumb. It was, however, far more easy to take her into the institution
Language by Touch: a Narrative Illustrating the Instruction of the Blind and Deaf Mute. By George Wallis, South Kensington Museum. London: W. Tweedie, 337, Strand.
than to know what to do with her. "The obvious course for her instructor seemed to be to watch her habits, and to endeavour to adapt his own course and the efforts of those around her to them. With this view she was left for some days to her own resources, in order that the bent of her inclination might be seen and judged of. Finding herself in a new position, she was occupied for a time in becoming acquainted with the locality, and the persons and things by which she was surrounded. She made no attempt to make known her wants by signs, as is usual in the case of the deaf and dumb. If she required help her habit was to shout and scream; and, as her utterances were by no means agreeable, every one was interested in relieving her wants. Since her loss of hearing and sight she had been in no position in which signs could have been understood, had she made any; but it never seemed to occur to her to do so. In fact, she was at this time one of the most uncouth and wild-looking objects it is well possible to conceive. She had recently had her head shaved in consequence of some disease in the skin of the scalp, and with a crouching, groping attitude, she had more the appearance of a scared and timid animal seeking some mode of escape from danger, than of a human being endowed with a rational soul."
The first step in teaching was to make her acquainted with the names of things around her. Mr. Patterson placed before her objects distinctly differing in shape, such as a pen, a book, a slate. As the visible letters could not be placed before her, the signs used by the deaf and dumb were used instead, but as she could not see them, her fingers were touched by Mr. Patterson in the proper form. This plan was a complete failure for a long time, for the poor girl failed to connect the pen or the book with the sign appropriate to it. Every day the work had to be commenced anew; the appliances were varied, and great kindness and patience exercised, but no beam of intelligence entered the darkened mind for five weeks. But to the resolute nothing is hopeless, God rewards determination: all at once, as with a sudden burst of sunshine, Mary Bradley's face lit up with full intelligence; she had found the clue, she had connected the sign with the thing signified, and she proceeded to sign upon the fingers of her teacher the names of each of the articles. This was a grand beginning, and was energetically followed up. "Mr. Patterson then cut out the letters of the alphabet in cardboard, and gummed them to a sheet of stiff pasteboard, so that they stood in relief, and could be sharply felt and distinguished from each other by the fingers. By this means she soon became acquainted with all their forms, and mentally associated-say pen-with the signs upon her fingers and the object which these signs represented. Her progress now became daily more and more evident. She took great delight in her work, and with the limited time at Mr. Patterson's disposal, it was difficult to keep pace with her desire for the knowledge of names. From these she was taught the quality of things. When new words of this kind were intended to be taught, the objects were generally placed before her, as an illustration of comparison for instance-a large book and a small one, a light object and a heavy one, thick and thin, rough and smooth, hard and soft, sweet and sour. Objects possessing opposite qualities were placed within
her reach, and she very readily acquired the words to express them. Thus the work went on step by step, every day's lesson being a preparatory one for the next day. Verbs were taught much in the same way, the word being given with the action: standing, sitting, walking; eating, drinking, laughing, crying, &c., &c., generally in the form of the present participle, and in connection with a noun, as being an easy change from the adjectives-as, a boy standing, a girl crying, &c.
"At length the great inconvenience presented itself of the want of a lesson-book adapted to meet the case. In order to supply this want, a case of type for printing in relief was obtained, and some lessons were printed, which were readily deciphered by the pupil through the sense of touch. It was, however, soon discovered that the operation of composing the type was an exercise which was not only very amusing to her, but also very instructive. A little box was constructed in which she could arrange the type in sentences, &c., which were dictated to her by natural signs, the teacher using her hands in the same way as he would use his own to sign similar sentences to a seeing deaf child, and this became a never-failing source of interest. It made her familiar with the various modes of construction,—the greatest difficulty which the deaf and dumb have to encounter. Every new word was at once applied to its appropriate meaning."
When she was ten years old, and had been under instruction two or three years, she learned to write, and before long exchanged letters across the Atlantic with her sister in deprivation, Laura Bridgman. With this mental growth the girl's temper improved, and her manner became subdued, though before she had been exceedingly irritable. She lived to the age of twenty-six, suffering with great patience during the later years of her life. The great truths of revelation had been made known to her, and she greatly rejoiced in reading the gospels in the form printed for the use of the blind. Calling together her chief benefactors, she calmly and formally declared how she wished her small possessions to be disposed of, then fell asleep, we trust to wake in the image of Jesus. The little book before us only fails with regard to spiritual experience, of which we should have liked far more; however, as it is sold for the benefit of the deaf and dumb, we have no heart even to hint at a fault. That which is described awakens gratitude in our heart, and leads us to pray that all other poor creatures in a like case may come under similar judicious and generous influences.
The boy Joseph Hague was the son of a deaf and dumb mother, was born deaf, and became blind before he was two years of age. When he was eight years old he became the fellow pupil of Mary Bradley, who was delighted to communicate all she knew to her young companion. Only imagine one poor blind, deaf, and dumb child teaching another. With the boy much the same process had to be gone through as in the case of the girl, and the two together progressed much more rapidly than could have been anticipated when Mary alone was the pupil. Joseph aspired to do all that other blind boys could do, and soon progressed from making his own bed to the manufacture of baskets, in which he became a clever workman, and left the institution in due time to live with his father and mother.
Both cases are very wonderful, and read like a reproduction of Laura