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We had an interview with Laura Bridgeman at the noble Blind Asylum of Boston. Her first question was, “Have you seen Doctor ?” Dr Howe, being her first link to social life, is, of course, to her the most interesting person in the world. A blind friend by her side, interpreted to us the hand-language of Laura, who has a pretty figure, is pale, with fair hair, neatly braided by herself, and small green shades which entirely cover the sockets once occupied by her blue eyes. Her features are animated, and her face full of sensibility. She replied sensibly to various questions; and when she was told that one of the ladies was from Scotland, she made several remarks about that country, and observed that she must have crossed three thousand miles of ocean to come to Boston. She suddenly, without apparent explanation, made her way from behind a little table, flew across the wide hall like a bird, and must have ascended the lofty staircase with as rapid and as sure a foot as the possession of all her senses could have bestowed, for she returned in a moment. She had gone to fetch her little merchandise of watch-guards woven by herself. We purchased and paid for them into her own delicate hand. One lady gave her a gold dollar. It was a new coin, so she had not had one before. She touched it with her tongue, carefully fingered the figures on the surface, then ran her nail round the notched edge, and said, on the hand of her friend, “ California.” I paid her in five or six coins to make up one dollar. She fingered and
counted them till she was satisfied it was right, being acquainted with the feeling and the value of half and quarter dollars, of dimes, and shillings. One could not help feeling a little solicitude, lest, among the few ideas which can find access to her secluded mind, that which may tend to covetousness should furnish too large a share. We were told, however, that her mother is poor, and it is for her that she exercises her industry. She inquired with curiosity whether we had chosen blue or puce colour. When told that mine was to go to Scotland to be given to the physician from whom I had brought a book for Dr Howe, she expressed great delight, smiling very pleasantly.
We were told, but not in the institution, that Dr H. had been greatly annoyed, after an absence, to to find that a visitor had told her of the “ Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world." He avoids imagery or anything like complex figures in his instructions, and she did not kvow what to make of this new figure. It must indeed be very difficult to tread in his steps as her instructor, yet one feels a strong sympathy with the kind friend who wished to lead her to a knowledge of the atonement.
We heard with a little surprise that the amiable wife of M. Gallaudet, the benefactor of the deaf, is herself a mute. So the animated, intellectual young man, whom we met in the New York Institution, never was sung to sleep by the voice of his mother. I was much more surprised to learn that upwards
of a hundred pupils of the Hartford Asylum are married, the greater part among themselves, though a few have partners who can hear and speak. The fear which we might naturally entertain with respect to offspring, has been, by a gracious Providence, disappointed. “With a few exceptions, they are blessed with children enjoying all their faculties, which will be a great consolation to them in old age. The men are freemen, and have votes.
The reader may now be better prepared, as I am, to enter into the sentiment of the American poetess, when with her usual feeling and delicacy she describes
THE MARRIAGE OF THE DEAF AND DUMB.
“No word ! no sound! But yet a solemn rite
Is consummated in yon festive hall.
“Mute-mute-'tis passing strange-
“So, ye voiceless pair,
MRS L. H. SIGOURNEY.*
It is of great value to the subjects of instruction, that what they are taught of Christianity is in general sound and heartfelt; and very touching to observe that the prominent felicity of heaven dwelt on by the pupils in letters and compositions is, that their ears shall be there unstopped, and their tongues loosed.
* Poetical Works, p. 257.
“Yes, there are some who sorrow's vigils keep,
Unknown who languish, undistinguish'd weep."
THERE is poverty everywhere in the world. In the United States there is enough of it, but it is emigrant poverty, or poverty among the depressed coloured race. One heard marvels about the comfortable condition of the native people. In one small town in New England, a society of ladies, who met for devotional purposes, agreed to form a fund for the help of the poor. Having raised their means, they began to look about for their objects, but they were nowhere to be found, or only found in the persons of one coloured family. After the humane ladies had new-rigged all the children, and got them roused and sent to school, they added various comforts in the way of furniture, then they sent one man to repair the dripping roof, another to fill up the boards in the broken floor, and—their work was done! They were obliged to turn the flow of their contributions into the wide bed of the Home Mission,