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the successful attempts of the blind and deaf to converse together. As the blind cannot perceive the signs of the deaf, nor they hear the words of the blind, each must seek a new language, and they communicate their ideas by tracing the forms of letters on the palms of each others' hands. When more familiar, the deaf may be seen teaching the blind the language of signs by holding up their hands, and placing their fingers in the position for the signs; and when the blind have learned the signs, they read those which the deaf make, by feeling their hands and fingers, and ascertaining the position in which they are placed.
One of the most interesting of the branches of inquiry connected with the blind is their relative amount as compared with the population of a given country. It appears that the law of blindness, like the universal laws of the creation, operates in an unfailing and uniform manner; and that of the proportion of the human race born with a deficiency of one of the five senses which are common to the rest, the general law in relation to them is, that blindness is more prevalent. As a general rule, blindness is more prevalent within the torrid zone, less in the temperate, and less still in the frigid: in dry and sandy soils it is more prevalent than in moist ones. Egypt is the country of the blind par excellence; different writers have estimated the proportion of the blind there very differently; some say, that one man in every hundred is totally or partially blind; others one in three hundred. The latter calculation is probably the nearest to the truth; but from our observation of the number of men with but one eye, or with distorted eyes, in the Egyptian army, we are inclined to think that the number of the blind in Egypt must be fearfully great. The cause is, probably, the fine sandy dust with which the air is continually filled in Egypt; and which exists to such a degree, that the first cotton machinery sent out from England for the Pacha Mehemet Ali was rendered useless by it in a very short time. This difficulty is the greatest which his engineers have had to overcome.
In several countries of Europe, the census gives accurately the number of the blind. In the centre of Europe, it is about one to eight hundred; in Austria, one to eight hundred and forty-five; in Switzerland, one to seven hundred and forty seven. Further north the population is less: in Denmark, it is one to a thousand; in Prussia, one to nine hundred: in France, one to a thousand and fifty; in England a very little less. Now, there seems no sufficient reason why North America should be exempt from the laws which operate upon others under the same latitude, and with the same climate; and, it may be safely calculated, that there are more than seven thousand blind persons in the United States. This may seem incredible, and so did the number of the deaf when it was first told; but the blind, from their very misfortune, are hidden from the world; they sit sad and secluded by the firesides of their relatives; the dawn of day does not call them into the haunts of men, and they vegetate through life and sink into the grave, unknown even to their neighbours,
To the statement made respecting the United States, we may add, on the authority of the American reviewer, that there is a striking difference between the numbers of the white and coloured blind, the largest proportion of white being in New Jersey, viz. 1 in 1464; and the smallest in Michigan, viz. 1 in 6269; while the highest proportion of the blind among the blacks is in Rhode Island, being 1 to 447; and the lowest, 1 in 3950, being in Ten
In the whole population of the United States there is a considerable excess in the proportion of the blind among the blacks over that among the whites; it being, among the blacks, 1 to 1584; among the whites, 1 to 2650; the proportion of blind persons, blacks and whites, in all the Union, being, according to this table, as 1 to 2363.
In Tennesse, however, we find more blind in a given number of whites than in the same number of blacks, the former being 1 in 3044, the latter 1 in 3950. In South Carolina, the proportion is about the same among blacks and whites.
That the proportion of blind among the blacks should be greater than among the whites, is perfectly natural, and in accordance with the general principle, that the poor are more exposed to the causes of blindness than the rich--the blacks being, generally, poor.
It is important to ascertain the proportion between the blind who are of age to receive an education, and those whom
age renders unfit for it; we believe it to be much less than is generally supposed. The number of children born absolutely blind is very small, but many become so in a few weeks or months; fewer between infancy and youth, but, still more rarely is the sight lost in youth, or during manhood.
It is very singular, that, with such a proportion of blind as the United States' population presented, no steps should have been taken for their protection or education. Very recently, however, the question has been practically considered, and the means of protection put into operation. The Americans have now the advantages to be derived from the experience of Europe; they have an abundance of warnings and lessons, such as must, of necessity, insure a better and more profitable system of instruction to their blind. We understand that there is one institution in Boston which is at present in full operation; another is nearly complete somewhere else; and a third is in progress in the flourishing state of Pennsylvania. The institution at Boston owes its existence to the activity and perseverance of a physician in that city, named Fisher. He caused meetings to assemble, and succeeded in organizing a body, which was authorized by an act of incorporation. În 1829, when the first proceedings took place, it was shewn, that, in the state of Massachussets alone, there were no less than four hundred blind; but yet, no efficient remedy was put into execu
tion until the year 1831, chiefly in consequence of the want of funds.
· The State now granted the unexpended balance of the fund for the deaf and dumb, amounting to fifteen hundred dollars, and about two thousand dollars were raised by subscription. Resolved to make an effectual effort, the trustees engaged Dr. S. G. Howe to organize the institution, and put it into operation. A few days after his appointment, that gentleman sailed for Europe, visited all the institutions for the blind there, engaged an intelligent blind teacher from the school at Paris, and another from that at Edinburgh, and returned in August, 1831. Although the funds of the Institution were almost exhausted, it was resolved not to make any public appeal until some of the blind could be qualified to plead their own cause : six children were accordingly selected, and the school was commenced privately in September, 1832. In Jariuary, 1833, the treasury was empty, and the Institution in debt. An exhibition of the pupils was then given before the General Court, which afforded such complete and striking proof of the capacity of the blind for receiving an intellectual education, that the Legislature, as it were by acclamation, voted that 6000 dollars per annum should be appropriated to the Institution, for the support of twenty poor blind persons belonging to the State.
• The next public appeal was made in Salem, where several exhibitions of the pupils were held; from which, and from the Fair which followed, the Institution realized nearly 4,500 dollars. Similar exhibitions were given in Boston, the result of which was most beneficial to the institution, and creditable to the inhabitants. About the first of May, the Hon. Thomas H. Perkins offered his splendid mansion in Pearl-street, with all the land and buildings, valued at 30,000 dollars, as a permanent residence for the blind ; and enhanced the value of his offer by adding to it the condition, that 50,000 dollars should be raised as a fund for the Institution, before the first of June. The ladies then united, and held a fair on the first of May, which was, perhaps, the most brilliant and effectual one ever known. The proceeds, which, clear of all expenses, exceeded 11,400 dollars, go to make up the Perkins' fund.'-p. 57.
Our authority states
• The institution may be said to merit this public favour; the progress of the pupils has been such as to astonish even those who have visited the European Schools for the Blind. The apparatus is not only as perfect as any one there; but several important improvements have already been effected by native ingenuity in the methods of teaching the blind. The pupils learn to read by raised letters ; they are also taught writing, arithmetic, geography, and all the branches commonly taught in other schools. Music occupies much of their attention; and in a workshop attached to the house, they weave, and make baskets. The number of pupils is at present nearly twenty; and they are as happy and intelligent children as can be found ; they spend twelve hours a day at their studies or work. It is intended to teach them all the higher branches of education, and the languages. The musical department is under the superintendence of Mr. Lowell Mason; Mr. Trencheri, a blind man, teaches the intellectual branches; Mr. Pringle, who is also blind, instructs in the mechanic arts; the whole being under the direction of Dr. Howe.'--p. 58.
We trust that these important facts will make a due impression on the minds of the benevolent in this country, and that we shall not be much longer charged with a gross neglect of performing one of the most interesting and responsible duties imposed on us by that Creator who has blessed us with perfect senses.
Art. X.--History of Croydon. By G. S. Steinman, Esq. 1 vol.
London: Longman, Rees, & Co. 1833. This is a work of industry and research, which redounds to the credit of the author. Copious and authentic details of the early history and present state of the interesting locality of Croydon, will be found in it, together with a chronological specification of the events connected with it; a full account of its manors and parks, of its charitable institutions, the palace, church, not forgetting the church-yard, among the inscriptions on the tombs in which will be found many that are exceedingly curious and interesting.
The appendix, perhaps, is the most important portion of the work, inasmuch as it contains a variety of documents calculated to shed a useful light on several antiquarian questions. There is, however, a series of papers connected with the strange conduct of a former vicar, which offer some very striking facts, well worthy of attention in modern times. This vicar, it appears, acted with such a forgetfulness of his sacred character, as to cause the respectable inhabitants to come forward, on several occasions, in order to remonstrate against his acts. In one of their petitions to parliament, they represent:
The said Doctor William Cleiver, in the times of the late rebellion, obtained a sequestered living, called Ashton, in Northamptonshire, in which he behaved himself much unlike a clergie-man, as will appear by the articles annexed, the which were in those days exhibited against him. However, there he continued to persecute the poor people till some time after his Majesty's most happy restoration to his crown and dignity; when Doctor Whitford, the person sequestered out of the said living, being about seventy years of age, and living, was restored to his benefice. When Cleiver got this living, he entertained one Mr. Preston to be his reader, who accepted thereof, served and officiated there in that capacity, but Cleiver would never pay him his wages; so that he might have starved, if some of the parishioners (to whom by stealth he did sometimes read common prayers and divine service,) had not given him relief; for which Cleiver caused him to be sent for up to London, by a messenger; and, being so old that he could not ride on horseback, he was brought up in a cart stufft with straw, and kept at London till utterly ruined; and then they released him.
The immediate charges which they bring against this man, are as follows:
First, That the said Cleiver is a very covetous man, and doth envol. iv. (1833) No. II.
deavour unjustly to exact and extort sums of money and other things from the said parishioners, and others that he hath to deal for.
The said Cleiver did unjustly demand a cow for a herriot, of Sarah Honor, a poor widow, whose husband was lately dead, and died so poor that the parish was forced to bury him at their charge, he leaving his said wife with five small children, and nothing to maintain them but that one cow; and it was never known that any
herriot was there paid. And, the better to procure his end therein, the said Cleiver promised her, that if she would let him have the cow, he would procure her a warrant from the justice of the peace, that the parish should pay her weekly one shilling, for the maintenance of herself and children.
The said Clevier hath several times unjustly detained and withheld the wages of labourers from them, who had painfully and faithfully done their duties.
He caused a poor widow (whose husband was then lately dead, and she herself being then very sick and weak, and almost blind, and left in debt fifty pounds at least, having four small children, unable to maintain themselves,) to pay him the tenth penny for a calf, which she sold towards the payment of her husband's debts, and enforced her to pay two-pence for the head and pluck, which she had reserved for herself.
The said Clevier hath pulled down a great part of the parsonage-house, and converted the materials thereof to his own use.
The said Clevier, notwithstanding his parsonage at Ashton is worth one hundred and twenty pounds by the year, at least; yet, for the lucre of money, did undertake to serve another cure of twenty pounds by the year; by means whereof he served neither of them as he ought to do.
The said Clevier is a very contentious man, and doth much vex, and trouble, and disquiet his neighbours, parishioners, and others, by unjust suits and malicious troubles.
The said Clevier did, in a clandestine way, procure a bond which was made to a sergeant at arms for security, and sued one Budworth, who was surety herein, upon the same, and recovered fifty pounds of him, and caused him to spend fifty pounds more, at least, notwithstanding the sergeant of arms was never damnified one penny thereby.
The said Clevier hath, at the last assizes in the county of Northampton, indicted a gentlewoman of his parish, of good parentage, and of worth and quality, for felony, for stealing of his horse; and himself and his wife and maid gave evidence thereupon, and would have brought the gentlewoman's life in question, if he possibly could have done it; and, when the grand jury had returned the bill Ignoramus, he gave out in speeches, that he had sufficiently disparaged the gentlewoman by what he had done.
That he hath commenced suits against divers of his parishioners.