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by cross-bar lines, scratched into the surface. At certain points of intersection nails are inserted, some deeply, some lightly, others almost buried in the wood, barely catching the eye. The blind weaver is reading them with his finger. They describe to him the pattern his eye never saw, which is now being reproduced for Mr. Cassio Brown. Observe that some nails have large dropsical heads, - others are headless, - a third kind are dying of atrophy,-mere pins ; a fourth class wear college caps; and a fifth are but ignominious brads. As his finger follows the line of brads, it is to him as a waved line, circle, or square, it may be of green, or black, or what not, but which ever it be, he feels at once the exact point where the
therefore, where to insert the necessary change of colour. Each nail tells its own story, every change of colour, and every new line of march, and this story the blind weaver reads with his fingers' ends. *
Of course it is not every pupil that attains this degree of skill and dexterity. Some never attain it. It is the reward of many years' patient assiduity on the part of teacher and pupil. It is not to be wondered at that comparatively few attain to so great an amount of skill, but that a single blind pupil ever thus masters a weaver's difficult trade. We might easily fill many pages with a further account of the works and ways of blind scholars, and perhaps run the risk of exhausting our readers' patience. Many more famous names † still remain unnoticed,
* The detection of colour by the touch of the blind is a mooted point. M. Guillié mentions several anecdotes of blind persons who had the power of discriminating colours by the touch. But, if the testimony of a large body of English blind children can be relied on, the detection of colour is utterly beyond their reach. Saunderson's power of detecting by his finger or tongue, a counterfeit coin which had deceived the eye of a connoisseur, is a totally different question. We are hardly aware how much of our dexterity in the use of the eye arises from incessant practice. Those who have been relieved of blindness at an advanced or even an early period of life, have been often found to recur to the old and more familiar sense of touch, in preference to sight; especially during the first few months after recovering their sight. Coleridge (in his Omniana) mentions a most remarkable instance of a blind man at Hanover, who possessed so keen a touch as to be able to read with his fingers books of ordinary print, if printed, as most German books are, on coarse paper. (P. 334.)
+ One remarkable instance is given by Dufau at p. 89., with which we have never met before:-'On cite en Angleterre un parent de * l'auteur du Roman celebre de Tom Jones (Fielding) qui tout aveugle ' qu'il était, exerçait à Londres les fonctions de Chief Magistrate of though well deserving of note, and replete with interest. From the golden days of the blind old man of Scio’s rocky isle,' down to our own unpoetic age, when the blind man's song is apt to be redolent of Lucifer inatches, and to whine for pity expressed in copper coin, we might easily select many a noble instance of genius, cui profundum cæcitas lumen dedit.'
But we think that our present purpose has been fulfilled if we have succeeded in-laying before our readers those features in the history and habits of the blind, as a class, wherein chiefly lies the difference between them and the rest of mankind. We have seen what has been done on their behalf, and may now form a fair judgment of what remains to be accomplished. However peculiar and isolated a race they may be, they still have, in common with other men, powers and faculties of mind and body which must be fully recognised and cherished, or every peculiarity will grow more marked, until the isolation has become final and complete.
If the books provided for their use are to be few in number, and those few all of one peculiar cast and tone of thought and subject; if, in short, they are to be dieted on some one dish of mental papulum of unbroken monotony, instead of sharing, at least to some extent, in the lessons of wisdom and beauty to be found elsewhere, it cannot be a matter of surprise that their education should progress but slowly, if it sink not into utter stagnation.
Beyond all doubt the blind man must as he learns to read be taught to prize the book of books above all others. To one in his circumstances it has a special voice and message of hope and comfort. But to institute a comparison between the one book and others, and then to decide that he shall read no single page of amusement or entertainment to the end of his days, appears to be at once an act of injustice and bigotry. The very comparison itself is wanting in that respect which is due to the sacred volume, and on which the decision professes to be founded; while its practical result is thus expressed to the sufferer, — You have lost the use of your eyes, and are thus in • a measure cut off from your fellow men, and shut out from
many sources of pleasure, amusement, and instruction, which • they enjoy, care shall therefore be taken to cut you off • entirely from all such sources of enjoyment in the world of • books.
the Police Office ou de Lieutenant de Police; il avait dans la tête ses signalemens de plusieurs milliers de voleurs, et ne se trompait jamais lorsqu'on les traduisait devant lui.'
A far juster and wiser decision would, we think, be as follows: "You have lost your sight, and are thus in a measure - isolated from the rest of men; as far as possible, therefore, we ' will atone to you for the loss. Instead of shutting up, we will open, every available channel of information. Having
first learned to read and to value the wisest and best of all • books, you shall have placed within your reach lessons of
a decision to which the friends of real education must, sooner or later, come.
In proportion as the blind share heartily and thankfully in all that is found to invigorate, to purify, and to instruct the human mind, in that exact ratio will they learn not only to value aright the written Word, but to own Him in whom they live and move. The mental vision will become bright and clear, as the physical blindness is made a lighter burden. The eyes of the soul alone see clearest traces of that great Being to whom the night is as the day. It is true that much has been done for the blind; but much still remains to be done on wider principles, and with more enlarged views. The whole spirit of the age demands that it should be so. Throughout every grade in the social scale is it beginning to be felt, that the life and well being of all is inseparably connected with the welfare of the individual; that the vitality of no one class can be real or lasting, but as it shares in the vitality of the whole. The natural result of this feeling is healthy reaction; new blood is beginning to mingle with the old, and every pulsation gives promise of fresh vigour and renewed life. We agree, indeed, with Prescott in thinking that “what has already been done has
conferred a service on the blind, which we, insensible from the ' very prodigality of our blessings, cannot fully estimate. The
glimmering of the taper which is lost in the blaze of day may be sufficient to guide the steps of him whose path lies through • darkness.' True, a lantern on a dark night is better than no light at all; it may save us from many a stumble, though it
perchance from here and there taking a wrong turning. All we ask for the blind is such a share in the advantages, privileges, and enjoyments of the rest of the world as can fairly be given, and really used. Adopting Prescott's simile of the taper, we would say to every friend of the cause in words of an older date,
• Tu, carusque Deis, et abundans lumine, soli
Art. III.--1. A Bill to make better Provision for the Management
of Episcopal and Capitular Estates. (Brought in by the Marquis of Blandford and Captain Kingscote.). London:
1853. 2. A Bill to amend the Law respecting Simony. (Brought in by
Dr. R. Phillimore and Viscount Goderich.) London : 1853.
THERE probably never was a year in which so many ecclesias
tical subjects were brought before the notice of Parliament as in that which has just ended. The Session began in February with the great fight of the Clergy Reserves. It ended in August with the usual ‘massacre of the innocents,' wherein the Colonial Church Bill, the Missionary Bishops Bill, and the Episcopal Estates Bill were stifled in a single week. Between these epochs both Houses were repeatedly occupied upon subjects connected with the temporalities of the Church. The law of Patronage was canvassed in two debates on Dr. Phillimore's Simony Bill; Lord Blandford's important measure for the better management of Church Property was several times before the House of Commons; a proposed amendment in the law of Church Rates furnished matter for an interesting discussion, and was supported in an able pamphlet by Lord Stanley ; the assessment of Episcopal Revenues was brought before the House of Lords by the Bishop of Salisbury; a Church Building Act was carried through the same House by Lord Harrowby; and a Cathedral Appointments Act was passed by the Government. These numerous measures are a proof that increasing interest is felt by the Legislature in a most important field of legislation. But the growth of knowledge has hardly kept pace with this growth of interest. Even those speakers and writers who aspire to guide public opinion occasionally show, by the extraordinary errors and misstatements into which they are betrayed, a surprising want of practical acquaintance with the most elementary facts relating to their subject. It is with the hope of contributing to the correction of such errors, that we devote the following pages to an examination of some questions in Ecclesiastical Economy which have lately been the theme of frequent argument, both in Parliament and in the Press; and, in connexion with these questions, to the consideration of certain schemes which have been suggested for effecting alterations in the Church Establishment.
In the first place, we may say a few words concerning the actual amount of the Ecclesiastical Revenues. It is strange that there is, as yet, no official document which enables us to state
this with perfect accuracy. With regard to the Parochial Tithes and Glebe, which form the bulk of the property in question, the foundation of our knowledge is the “Report of the • Commissioners appointed to inquire into Ecclesiastical Revenues,' presented to Parliament in 1835, which gives the value of all the benefices so far as could be then ascertained. The returns, however, on which this Report was founded, were in some respects incomplete; and many additional benefices have been created since it was published. The best information now accessible on this subject is contained in the annual · Clergy List,' which gives an alphabetical catalogue of every living in England and Wales, with its annual value (founded mainly on the above-mentioned returns), its population, and the names of its officiating ministers. We have ascertained from this list that the estimated net annual value of the 12,270 benefices in England and Wales is 3,479,4601.* This sum is divided amongst 17,155 parochial ministers, including 4,885 curates. The average income of the 12,270 incumbents is 283l. per annum.
A trifling addition is made to these funds by surplice fees and Easter offerings. The former amount to 51. for a population of 1000, and consequently may be estimated at 90,0001. for the whole country, which at present contains a population of
* In the Clergy List for 1853, the number of benefices whose value is returned is 11,513; the number not returned is 757. The value of those returned is 3,264,2601.; and to this we have added a proportional sum for the 757 not returned, which will be 214,6001. This vives the total value mentioned in the text. It must be remarked however, that in thus estimating the benefices not returned, we have much exaggerated their value. For 579 out of the 757 are new districts, and proprietary chapels endowed chiefly with pew rents, and yielding an income much below the average. We thus leave a margin more than sufficient to cover any pew rents which may have been omitted in the returns of 1835. We must also observe that the value of all rectories and Vicarages has been reduced, since 1835, by the repeal of the Corn Laws. Thus a tithe-rent charge of the nominal value of 1001. (as fixed by the Commutation Act in 1836) only amounted to 911. in 1853, and will be under 901. when this is published in 1854. Hence the total above given is greater than the truth.
† We have ascertained the number of curates by adding together the number licensed in each diocese as given in Whitaker's Ecclesiastical Almanac for 1853. The total number of clergy in England and Wales, according to the Clergy List for 1853, is 18,350. Of these 17,155 would thus appear to be employed in parochial work; the remainder are either dignitaries, schoolmasters, chaplains, or retired from professional duties.