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baskets of a tough, reedy-looking substance, in such elegant forms, that you might imagine them modelled in Greece or Etruria, rather than woven by hands that have heaved at the capstan and furled the sail.
DEAF AND BLIND.
THERE is a Scotch proverb, “It is easier to look on a burden than to lift it,” meaning, that the sympathiser does not feel so keenly as the sufferer. The result of this truth is, that many sufferers remain unaided. Yet the Christian part of our world shews varied and noble establishments, the sole object of which is to lighten, if not remove, the load of the burden. We find it instructive to look from the institution to its source, and can generally trace it to a single bosom, where the chord of compassion has been touched by a sight of distress—and from that we thankfully follow it higher, till we reach Him from whom compassions flow, and who hath the hearts of all men in his hand, and turneth them as he turneth the rivers of water. Thus was the heart of the benevolent Count Von de Reeke touched when he found naked children living on roots in a Silesian forest, whom a prolonged and bloody war had rendered parentless. Out of his emotion of pity sprung the institution at Düsselthal Abbey, which
has preserved, educated, and sent out in the world, 1400 orphans. Thus was the heart of Mrs Tomlinson moved, by the faithfulness of a widow who rescued her children from a Popish asylum, and preferred extreme poverty with them to having them fed and perverted—and out of this sprung the Half Orphan Asylum, beginning in a cellar, where a matron took charge of four babes. One house after another was found too strait for them, till now they rank amongst the substantial and excellent charities of New York. Thus, too, was Dr Guggenbühl smitten with the idea that there might exist some portion of mind under the deformity and apparent idiocy of the poor cretin. He saw one of these miserable beings kneeling and muttering before an image of the Virgin. Compassion welled up till his heart had no repose—and out of that has sprung the cheerful and prosperous hospital of the Abendberg, which has been parent to another and another in Switzerland; to two schools for those of feeble intellects, in England; and it is expected that more of this humble but useful family of charities are hastening to come forth vigorously in America.
But the examples are numerous, and might occupy a chapter themselves. The only one that I shall name in addition is connected closely with our present subject..
In the city of Hartford it pleased God to afflict a very lovely and intelligent youny creature, Alice
Cogswell, with the loss of hearing. Her father was an eminent physician. His ingenuity and inquiries for the means of instructing his beloved child were unceasing. But we prefer to quote a portion of an oration delivered by Mr Gallaudet to the re-assembled pupils of the asylum, which sprung out of Alice's misfortune, after it has shed its benignant influence on deaf mutes for thirty-five years.
“Some of our number, both teachers and pupils, have gone to the spirit-world. She has gone, the beloved Alice, my earliest pupil, who first drew my attention to the deaf and dumb, and enkindled my sympathy for them. We will ever cherish her memory and that of her father, one of your best and long-tried friends. We will never forget that to them, under the Divine guidance and blessing, we owe the origin of those ample provisions which have been made for your benefit. For God saw fit to visit her at a tender age with your common privation. And on whom else, so intelligent and lovely, could his mysterious yet benign providence have sent this privation, to produce as it did, so deeply and extensively, the interest needed to be felt in her and her fellow-sufferers, in order to lead to prompt and effectual action on their behalf ?”....
“ The same providence cast my happy lot in this community, near to this father and daughter, herself a playmate of my younger brothers and sisters, which led to my acquaintance with her, and then to my attempting her instruction. This I did from
time to time, inexperienced indeed, but with no little enthusiasm and zealous perseverance. At length, I had the privilege of being employed to carry into effect the benevolent designs of my fellow-citizens ; designs, extending as they have already done, in the establishment of many kindred institutions in various parts of our country. See in these successive links of providence how God works out the chain of his beneficent movements.”
When first the name of Gallaudet* reached my ear, he was a pupil under the Abbé Sicard, at Paris, who was then teaching the highest class of deaf mutes in that city. When he returned to his native land, he succeeded in bringing with him Mr Laurent Clerc, another élève of the French Institution, and in a brief space they were both actively engaged in Hartford, where “ The American Asylum” sprung up. It is the offspring of Christian benevolence, and from it has sprung an extensive family,
An interesting and striking festival was held on September 26, 1850, in the Hartford Asylum, where it is believed more persons enduring the same sad privation met than were ever before assembled together since the world began.
Mr Brown of New Hampshire, an early and intelligent pupil of the asylum, stated, in his graphic language of signs, that his spirit could find no rest
* M. Gallaudet adds another to the honoured names of those who have been summoned to the undying world since I had the pleasure of intercourse with him.