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burst into tears. When she recovered, she wrote down upon a piece of paper that she had experienced a delight which she could not express, and that it had forced her to weep.
It is mentioned in a German journal, that, in 1750, a merchant of Cleves, named Jorrisen, who had become almost totally deaf, sitting one day near a harpsichord where some persons were playing, and having a tobacco-pipe in his mouth, the bowl of which rested against the body of the instrument, was agreeably surprised to hear all the notes in the most distinct manner. By a little reflection and practice he again obtained the use of this valuable sense ; for he soon learned by means of a piece of hard wood, one end of which he placed against his teeth, to keep up a conversation, and to be able to understand the least whisper. He soon afterwards made his beneficial discovery the subject of an inaugural dissertation, published at Halle in 1754. The effect is the same if the person who speaks rests the stick against his throat or his breast, or when one rests the stick which he holds in his teeth against some vessel into which the other speaks.
Various devices have been adopted to teach the blind to read, the most successful being that in which raised letters are employed ; the touch of the fingers answering the purpose of sight. To perfect this species of printing for the blind, several kinds of letters, all more or less arbitrary in forın, have been tried, in each case with some degree of success; so that opinion is still divided as to which is on the whole the best. On this plan of raised figures palpable to the touch, maps and globes for teaching geography have been formed for the use of the blind, and are now introduced into all well-conducted asylums. To enable the blind to practise ordinary writing, a frame with cross wires is used; and the writing is traced, without ink, by means of a style and a sheet of carbonised paper.*
* A simple and inexpensive form of this frame, contrived recently by lady whose husband had lost his sight, is figured below; the mode of using it is represented at the head of this tract. A description of it is given in Chambers's Journal for February 29, 1868.
WAS born at Bruton, a market-town in Somersetshire, of parents in tolerably good circumstances. My mother having died while I was very young, I was left entirely to the charge of my father, who had been a great
traveller in his youth, and frequently related his adventures abroad. This roused a desire in my mind to follow his steps. I often begged he would let me go to sea with some captain of his acquaintance; but he would reply : ‘Stay where you are; you know not the hazards and dangers that attend a sea-life; think no more of going to sea, for I know it is only the desire of youth, prone to change: and if I should give you leave, one week's voyage would make you wish to be at home again. It was with me as with many other heedless lads ; I disregarded my father's advice, and used all the arguments I could think of to move him from his opposition, but without effect. At length, in consequence of certain family misfortunes, my father gave his consent to my departure. I now proceeded to Bristol, and by the recommendation of my parent to
This narrative is reprinted, with some slight alterations, from a rare old work, now little known, but which was a favourite with Sir Walter Scott in his younger days, as appears from the following observations made by him on the blank-leaf of a copy which had been in his possession: ‘This book I re: in early youth. I am ignorant whether it is altogether fictitious, and written upon Defoe's plan, which it generally resembles, or whether it is only an exaggerated account of the adventures of a real person. It is very scarce; for, endeavouring to add it to the other favourites of my infancy, I think I looked for it ten years to no, purpose, and at last owed it to the active kindness of Mr Terry: yet Richard Falconer's Adventures seem to have passed through several editions.'
a Captain Pultney, was put on board the Albion frigate, Captain Wase commander; it was a trader bound to Jamaica, and set sail with a fair wind on the ad of May 1699. The vessel reached its destination in safety after a stormy, and to me far from pleasant voyage.
Finding our affairs would detain us here about half a year, I obtained leave of the captain to go in a sloop, with some of my acquaintances, to seek logwood on the South American coast, at the Bay of Campeachy; and on the 25th of September we set sail on this expedition. The manner of getting this wood is as follows: A company of desperate fellows go together in a sloop, well armed, and land by stealth, to avoid an encounter with the Spaniards, to whom the country at that time belonged; but in case of any resistance, the whole crew attend on the cutters ready armed, to defend them. We sailed merrily on our course for six days together, with a fair wind towards the bay; but on the seventh, the clouds darkened, and the welkin seemed all on fire with lightning, and the thunder roared louder than ever I heard it in my life. In short, a dreadful hurricane approached. The sailors had furled their sails, and lowered their topmasts, waiting for it under a double-reefed foresail. At length it came with extreme violence, which lasted three hours, until it insensibly abated, and brought on a dead calm. We then loosed our sails in expectation of the wind, which stole out again in about half an hour. About six in the evening, we saw a waterspout, an aërial cloud that draws up the salt water of the sea, and distils it into fresh showers of rain. This cloud comes down in the form of a pipe of lead, of a vast thickness, and, by the force of the sun, sucks up a great quantity of water. I stood an hour to observe it. After it had continued about half an hour in the water, it drew up insensibly, by degrees, till it was lost in the clouds; but in closing, it shut out some of the water, which fell into the sea again wit a noise like that of thunder, and occasioned a thick mist, that continued for a considerable time.
October the 6th, we anchored at Triste Island, in the Bay of Campeachy, and sent our men ashore at Logwood Creek, to seek for the logwood cutters, who immediately came on board. The bargain was soon struck; and in exchange for our rum and sugar, and a little money, we got in our lading in eight days, and set sail for Jamaica on the 15th day of October. Now, getting up to Jamaica again generally takes up two months, because we are obliged to ply it all the way to windward. I one day went down into the hold to bottle off a small parcel of wine I had there: coming upon deck again, I wanted to wash myself, but did not care to go into the water, so went into the boat astern that we had hoisted out in the morning to look after a wreck. Having washed and dressed myself, I took a book out of my pocket, and sat reading in the boat; when, before I was aware, a 'storm began to rise, so that I could not get up the ship's side as usual, but called for the ladder of ropes that hangs over the ship's quarter, in order to get up that way. Whether it broke through rottenness, as being seldom used, I cannot tell, but down I fell into the sea; and though the ship tacked about to take me up, yet I lost sight of them through the duskiness of the evening and the storm. I had the most dismal fears that could ever possess any one in my condition. I was forced to drive with the wind, which, by good-fortune, set in with the current; and having kept myself above water, as near as I could guess in this fright, four hours, I felt my feet every now and then touch the ground; and at last, by a great wave, I was thrown and left upon the sand. Yet, it being dark, I knew not what to do; but I got up and walked as well as my tired limbs would let me, and every now and then was overtaken by the waves, which were not high enough to wash me away. When I had got far enough, as I thought, to be out of danger, I could not discover anything of land, and I immediately conjectured that it was but some bank of sand that the sea would overflow at high tide; whereupon I sat down to rest my weary limbs, and fit myself for death; for that was all I could expect, in my own opinion. Then all my sins came flying in my face. I offered up fervent prayers, not for my safety, because I did not expect any such thing, but for all my past offences; and I may really say I expected my dissolution with a calmness that led me to hope I had made my peace with Heaven. At last I fell asleep, though I tried all I could against it, by getting up and walking, till I was obliged, through weariness, to lie down again.
When I awoke in the morning, I was amazed to find myself among four or five very low sandy islands, separated half a mile or more, as I guessed, by the sea. With that I began to be a little cheerful, and walked about to see if I could find anything that was eatable ; but, to my great grief, I found nothing but a few eggs, which I was obliged to eat raw. The fear of starving seemed to me to be worse than that of drowning; and often did I wish that the sea had swallowed me, rather than thrown me on this desolate island ; for I could perceive, by the evenness of them, that they were not inhabited, either by man or beast, or anything else but rats, and several sorts of fowl.
Upon this island there were some bushes of a wood they call burton-wood, which used to be my shelter at night ; but, to complete my misery, there was not to be found one drop of fresh water anywhere, so that I was forced to drink sea-water for two or three days, which made my skin come off like the peel of a broiled codling. At last my misery so increased that I often was in the mind of terminating my life, but desisted, from the expectation I had that some alligator or other voracious creature would come and do it for me.
I had lived a week upon eggs only, when, by good-fortune, I discovered a bird called a booby sitting upon a bush. I ran immediately, as fast as I could, and knocked it down with a stick. I never considered whether it was proper food, but sucked the blood and ate the flesh with such a pleasure as none can express but those who have felt the pain of hunger to the same degree as myself. After I had devoured this banquet, I walked about and discovered many more of these birds, which I killed. My stomach being now pretty well appeased, I began to consider whether I could not with two sticks make a fire, as I had seen the blacks do in Jamaica. I tried with all the wood I could get, and at last happily accomplished it. This done, I gathered some more sticks, and made a fire, picked several of my boobies, and broiled them as well as I could; and now I resolved to come to an allowance.
At night, I and my fellow-inhabitants endured a great storm of rain and thunder, with the reddest lightning I had ever seen, which well washed us all, I believe. As for myself, my clothes, which were only a pair of thin shoes and thread stockings, and a canvas waistcoat and breeches, were soundly wet; but I had the happiness to find in the morning several cavities of rain-water, which put in my head a thought of making a deep well, or hollow place, that I might have water continually by me, which I brought to perfection in this manner: I took a piece of wood, and pitched upon a place under a burton-tree, where, with my hands and the stick together, I dug a hole, or well, big enough to contain a hogshead of water; then I put in stones, and paved it, and got in and stamped them down hard all round, and with my sticks beat the sides close, so that I made it capable of holding water. But the difficulty was how to get the water there, which I at length effected by means of a sort of bucket made from a part of my clothing. I now felt greatly cheered with my prospects, and thought I should not be very badly off for a while ; for, besides the water for my drink, I had ready broiled forty boobies, designing to allow myself half a one a day. "I had a small Ovid, printed by Elzevir, which was in my trousers-pocket when I was going up the ladder of ropes; and, by being pressed close, was not quite spoiled, but only the cover off
, and a little stained with the wet. This was a great mitigation of my misfortune ; for I could entertain myself with this book under a burton-bush till I fell asleep. I remained always in good health, only a little troubled with the headache, for want of a hat, which I lost in the water in falling down from the ladder of ropes. But I remedied this as well as I could by gathering a parcel of chick-weed, which grows there in plenty, and strewing it over the burton-bushes under which I sat. Nay, at last finding my time might be longer there than I expected, I tore off one of the sleeves of my shirt, and lined a cap that I had made of green sprigs, twisted with the green bark that I peeled off.
I had been here a month by my reckoning, and in that time my skin looked as if it had been rubbed over with walnut-shells, I