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authors mentioned by M. Dufau, exhaust the list of the blindborn who have cultivated poetry; but they do not rise above the level of smooth and agreeable versifiers. What is remarkable in them is, that their writings abound in attempted descriptions of visual scenery, made up, often very ingeniously, and with a clever avoidance of the errors to which we should suppose them liable, of epithets and phrases, derived from the works of those who saw, but unmeaning to them. Poetry is in their case strictly, as Aristotle called it, an imitative art. The metaphysical poetry, so popular in our day, which paints human emotions and dwells on the inner life of the soul,—to which we should suppose them, from their introspective, meditative, and self-centered turn of mind, particularly prone,- is quite remote from the spirit of their verse. As little does the “ beauty born of murmuring sound” find any echo or expression there. No such effects (we speak of kind, and not of degree) as Tennyson's bugle-song can be quoted from any blind poet. And yet there is not a line, and only a phrase, in it which the blind man is not as competent as the seeing, or even more competent, vividly to realise :

“Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying;
Blow, bugle, answer echoes dying, dying, dying.
O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,

And thinner, clearer, farther going !
O sweet and far, from cliff and scar

The horns of elfland faintly blowing:
Blow, let us hear, the purple glens replying;

Blow, bugle, answer echoes dying, dying, dying." The phrase "purple glens” is the only one in these exquisite lines which would be unintelligible to the blind; and yet it is the only one which reminds us of the “poetry” which they are in the habit of writing.

“ Azure distances," "yellow corn,”

” “ ‘ “ dewy greens," &c., are the stock images of blind versifiers. It would appear as if, on the one hand, the merely sensuous feelings (which respond to music), and, on the other, the purely intellectual apprehensions, existed in their full force in the blind, but that the emotions in which thought and feeling blend were but feebly present to them. The dislike (which is said to show itself in many ways among them) of appearing different from the seeing, no doubt leads them to parody the description of “coloured nature” which they find in ordinary works. There is also some kind of mysterious attraction to them, perhaps, in realities from the knowledge of which they are excluded.

It is not necessary to say any thing of the remaining senses, smell and taste. They do not often present any peculiarities in the merely blind; though the former of them is often marvel

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lously developed in blind and deaf mutes, especially, it would appear, when the reason is somewhat weakened. It seems then to acquire something of the fineness and discrimination which it has in the lower animal races. In speaking of the special senses, we have somewhat anticipated the subject of the intellectual qualities which the absence of sight seems to foster. A remarkable power of concentrated attention, natural in those whose minds are not solicited by the attractions of the multifarious objects of vision, is the fundamental quality of their understanding To this may be attributed the strength of memory for which as a class they are celebrated. Attention and memory are the two constituents of the faculty of comparison, or the discernment of resemblances and differences, on which all knowledge depends. We have already, in quoting from M. Dufau, shown how the successive apprehension of the several properties and parts of a complex object, alone possible to the sense of touch, favours habits of abstraction and analysis. These are just the qualities needful for success in science, and just the qualities fatal to poetry and imagination, which deal not with constituent elements, but with concrete and living wholes, and which have their source with the intuitive rather than the discursive faculties of the mind.

Of the moral qualities which generally accompany blindness it is less easy to speak with decision.' Diderot attributes to them a deficiency in modesty, and also in compassionate feeling. His reasons for the latter deficiency are worth giving:

« Since of all the exterior demonstrations which arouse in us commiseration and the idea of pain, the blind are affected only by the cry of grief, I suspect them, as a general rule, of inhumanity. . . . . . Do not we ourselves cease to feel compassion when the distance or the smallness of objects produces in us the same effects that the privation of sight does in the blind? so much do our virtues depend on the mode of our sensations, and on the degree in which exterior things affect us.

I have no doubt, therefore, that, except for the fear of chastisement, many people would have less pain in killing a man at a distance, which made him appear no larger than a swallow, than they would have in cutting the throat of an ox with their own hands. If we have compassion for a suffering horse, and if we crush an ant without any scruple, is it not the same principle which sways us ?” To this (rather by way of compliment than of accusation) he adds an insinuation of irreligion.

Dr. Guillié expresses himself much to the same effect. He echoes Diderot's charge of want of modesty on the part of the blind; decides that they are very imperfectly acquainted with the emotions which draw us one to another, and decide our affections and attachments; and though he acquits them of atheism,


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is unable "altogether to justify them from the reproach of impiety, which, with some foundation, has been urged against them. . . . Conscience, in short,” he sums up by saying, "has not the influence over their actions which it has over ours. . . The moral world does not exist for the blind;.... he acts as if he alone existed, he refers every thing to himself. . . . Their situation, which compels them to keep on their guard against all mankind, often leads them to rank in the same category their benefactors and their enemies, and, perhaps without intending it, to show themselves ungrateful.” Immodesty, inhumanity, selfishness, irreligion, and ingratitude, are the attributes which Dr. Guillié assigns to those whom he elsewhere calls “his poor adopted children” (ces infortunés, mes enfants adoptifs). His authority is deservedly so high on every point connected with the blind, that we are glad to tind his testimony on this matter contradicted by an observer entitled to even greater deference--M. Dufau, who strenuously combats the injurious estimates of his predecessor in the Institution at Paris. The reserved, self-contained nature of the blind; their undemonstrative character; their aversion to mere sentimental effusion; and want of attention on the observers' part to the very different way in which the same feelings will express themselves in the blind and in the seeing,- have led, according to M. Dufau, to the errors of Diderot and Dr. Guillie. With regard to the first charge against them, the sense of modesty “passe chez eux de la vue à l'ouïe. . . . . Cette chasteté d'oreille exclut en général de leur langage les paroles légères et les équivoques sans décence; il en resulte aussi que des traits qui ne sont que gais pour nous dans quelqu'uns de nos meilleurs écrivains, dans nos anciens comiques, par exemple, deviennent inconvenans pour eux; si leur âme est pure, ils n'en rient pas, et restent parfois déconcertés et mal à l'aise” (p. 20). M. Rodenbach himself, a very distinguished blind man,* pronounces that three

Alexander Rodenbach, born at Roulers (West Flanders) in 1786, lost his sight when he was eleven years of age. He entered the Musée des Aveugles, then under the direction of Haüy, and soon became one of his most distinguished pupils. On returning home he gave himself up to profound inquiries into different questions of public interest, which he afterwards discussed in several publications, which attracied to him the attention of his fellow-citizens. A lively opposition to the tendencies impressed on the country by the House of Nassau was formed. M. Rodenbach joined the ranks of the periodical press, in order to give his support to this opposition, and became one of the most active promoters of the revolution from which the Belgian nationality sprang. He was elected a member of Congress in 1830, and bas ever since continued to sit in the Chamber of Representatives, where he has distinguished himself on several occasions by the soundness of his views as well as by an animated and ready style of elocution. M. Rodenbach has been elected burgomaster of the commune where he lives, near Roulers. He is member of several academies, Knight of the Order of St. Leopold, and has been decorated with the Iron Cross” (Dufau, Des Aveugles, pp. xxiii. xxiv.).

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fourths of the blind men whom he has known have felt more strongly than others the need of religious consolations, and have been remarkably alive to religious feeling. The accusations of inhumanity and ingratitude are rebutted by M. Dufau, and the mistake, which has led to their being preferred, pointed out. There is probably this amount of foundation for the charges of Diderot and Dr. Guillié, that the suspicion and timidity which M. Dufau acknowledges to belong very frequently to the blind, and which may be referred to the sense of disadvantage under which they labour in regard to the seeing, do, so far as they alone operate, tend to produce the defects which have been too absolutely laid to their charge. And further, an isolated self-centered life is unfavourable to the development of the social qualities. Free expression of feeling is needful to the vitality and freshness of feeling. As regards religion, though the logical argument exists in all its force for the blind, the appeal to wonder and awe made by “ the two infinities," as Pascal calls them, that surround us, and which are revealed by the telescope and the microscope, is silent for those without “ eyes to see. Moreover, the prevailingly intellectual character of the blind presents religion to them rather on its dogmatic than on its emotional side. The same circumstance leads them to base their affections on judgment and calm preference rather than on an impulse. So far from “conscience having less effect on their actions than it has on ours," a profound sense of justice and equity is remarked by M. Dufau as a strikingly prominent feature of their characters.

Our exhausted space warns us to bring these remarks to a close. We have freely used the materials presented in the works named at the head of this article, always, we hope, with adequate acknowledgment. We shall be glad if what has been said tends in any way to awaken philanthropic and scientific interest in the condition of that large class (calculated at nearly a million over the entire earth) who journey through this world, like Virgil's travellers “through Pluto's empty mansions and shadowy kingdoms,”

“ Obscuri sola sub nocte per umbram

Qualem per incertain lunam sub luce malignâ
Est iter in sylvis, ubi cælum condidit umbrâ
Juppiter, et rebus nox abstulit atra colorem."



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CRUSADING threatens to become a social danger as well as a fashionable folly of the age. Every year increases the amount of spare energy, unabsorbed in the arduous struggles of daily life, which is ready now to devote itself to the service of philanthropy, as eight centuries ago to that of the cross. The field is wide enough for all comers; the enemy mighty enough to tax their powers more severely than Saladin taxed the strength of united Christendom. And in such a warfare we ought to have no cause for aught but hope and satisfaction in seeing the increase of numbers and vigour on the right side. Unfortunately, however, the want of discipline and guidance, and the utter ignorance of the nature and conditions of the contest, too generally displayed by the volunteers, make them not seldom more dangerous to the peace of society at large than to the evils which disturb it, and against which they are enlisted. Their chiefs, competent for nothing better than guerilla command, are wholly unable to wield for good the power bestowed by an unmerited confidence, and lose from vanity the little judgment which enthusiasm had left them. And thus each host of social reformers falls into disgrace and confusion, resembling in its march rather the rabble rout of Peter the Hermit than the disciplined army of the princes of the crusade. The consequence is, that not only is much power wasted, which, wisely turned to account, might have achieved great results, but actual injury and mischief are the lasting monuments of its misguidance: not only is discredit thrown on a good cause by the folly and fanaticism of its adherents, but sober and earnest men, sympathising in the aim, are forced by the method pursued and the means adopted into

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