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the rest-to attend more particularly to their indications. The powers of the other senses are more called into action; but they do' not acquire a greater capacity. That remains the same, but greater use is made of it. This superior efficacy, this increase of power, is usually ascribed almost exclusively to the touch; and Mr. H. speaks of his in the same delusive tone. We suspect sounds become the source of much more considerable information than is generally supposed. There can be no motion without sound, and where there is life, there is motion; every motion is peculiar, and the consequent sound is so too. Mr. H., we doubt not, will far better distinguish the roar of the waves, and the woods, and the distant rofl of carriages, than we who have the double aid of eyes and ears, and can reciprocally correct the perceptions of one organ by the communications of the other. Mr. H. talks of an "undefinable power, almost resembling instinct, which he believes in a lively manner gives him ideas of whatever may be going forward externally." This power, if its source be not in sounds, which we take to be the more probable conjecture, may be the result of his long acquaintance with visible things; which his recollections as yet bring vividly before him; but which, not proceeding immediately from sight, he attributes to some mysterious origin. In this case, a person blind from his birth can have no such sensations; and we apprehend Mr. H. must lose them as his recollections fade away.
Mr. H. is a moral spectacle, he will excuse this little anatomy of ours; he has furnished us with little else to arrest our attention. The incidents of his tour are of slender interest; and for his descriptions he is necessarily indebted to previous writers, or to the reports of his fellow-travellers, or to the gossiping of Ciceroni. We are disposed to receive his narrative with great complacency; we are pleased with his good sense, and admire his activity and resolution; we can tolerate the facetiousness now and then introduced, though of the coarser cast; and will not be offended with his occasional levity, though it little harmonizes with the grave and compassionate feelings which his privation insensibly, and in spite of all his gaiety, excites in our bosoms.
The dependency, which any deprivation of a serious kind necessarily inflicts, naturally leads to religious feelings; and a most grateful and consoling consequence it is. But Mr. H. displays an unreasoning sort of piety, which we think quite unworthy of his understanding. When he resists the entreaties of his friends, and contends that his previous habits and experience were sufficient to direct him through the common occurrences to which a traveller is exposed, he reasons well; but it is mere prattling to talk of trusting to the protection of God in the midst of dangers, to which we voluntarily
and without any necessity expose ourselves, and from which nothing but direct interference can rescue us. We have no warrant for rushing into unnecessary danger, and still less for expecting the laws of nature, which are the laws of providence, to be suspended in our favour. Otherwise, how shall we reconcile the destruction of myriads by what are termed accidental means? It is the ordinance of God, that we make use of our knowledge, and shun the perils which we are unable to encounter or repel. And again, when his friend at Bourdeaux took him to a woman of some celebrity for the cure of blindness, he says, "I wanted faith in her power to serve me; and, moreover, was satisfied with the opinions in which my medical friends had concurred, as well as reconciled to my deprivation, and resigned to the will of providence." Still he had not neglected to seek the aid of surgical skill, and wisely; for what know we of the will of providence in matters of this kind, but that we are left at perfect liberty to use all the means, instruments, and remedies, which he has kindly cast in our way? It is pious, and a duty, to endure with patience and resignation whatever proves to be unchangeable; but to embrace an evil, when there is hope or prospect of removal, is not piety, but puerility.
We do not propose to track Mr. H. through his three years' tour. The labour would be alike wearisome and unprofitable. Of the places, which he has visited, he has nothing new to communicate, and we have similar tours in abundance from persons of equal credit and perfect vision. His book is strictly a "personal narrative," and will make that novel phrase much more familiar than Baron Humboldt's volumes, which, replete with science and speculation as they are, even to satiety, but bare of incident, are very little observant of the demands of their title. We shall give a few unconnected passages from Mr. H.'s book; such as are somewhat remarkable for interest or good sense.
CHARACTER OF THE FRENCH.
"There is something highly fascinating in the exterior, manners and converse of a Frenchman: courteous in his behaviour, he evinces a strong desire to please and be pleased; but although he manifests the speciousness of ardent friendship, his heart is not the soil in which this quality is capable of taking a firm and unshaken root; for as soon as the source from which it has emanated, and been supported, ceases to be present, the previous impressions disappear, and a blank is offered for the reception of new ones, equally vivid, but equally superficial.
"This mixture of susceptibility and indifference makes the Frenchman a gay and pleasing, but at the same time an uncertain, companion; he does not, like the Englishman, dwell on the enjoyments of the past, and entangle his mind with useless and prolonged regrets, but is ever ready to enliven new scenes of social intercourse; in short, he can ill sustain a state of tristesse, which he considers all his reflecting moments, and, whether thrown into
contact with his countrymen or strangers, is a sensualist in his social feelings, and must seek for pleasure and amusement; for in this he lives and has his being, and that man is his dearest friend who most contributes to his gratification.
"With respect to the fair sex, they are generally lively and fascinating; and possessed of susceptible feelings capable of being converted into strong attachments. These are some of the essential requisites for forming an amiable and virtuous character; but, alas! the good is perverted by the influence of an injudicious and trifling system of education, extended at most to superficial literary acquisitions, which barely serve for the dictation of an ungrammatical billet-doux, or the copying of a song. The most devoted attention is given to the art of pleasing, and the study of dress; attentions to which, with the auxiliaries of music and embroidery, form the leading occupations of young French females.
"In conversation they are acute, playful, and frequently sensible; but it cannot be wondered at, when the defects of education are taken into account, that there should be little which sinks deep into the heart and leaves an impression or promise of future matron-like virtue. Many ladies are, however, educated in convents, where they acquire a temporary spirit of bigotry, which wears off after they return into the world, and frequently leaves behind it a proportionate vacuum, or want of religious feeling.
"They generally marry young enough to enable a judicious husband to form a character if defective, or to correct it if deformed: but here they are truly to be pitied; for they soon experience a culpable neglect from those men who ought to be their inseparable protectors and advisers, and who, preferring the society of others, leave them incautiously to their own pursuits and feelings. Is it to be wondered at they should cease to cultivate the domestic virtues?
"To conclude, the French female contains within her those principles, which, under proper cultivation, would produce excellent wives and estimable women; and it is a serious reflection upon the national character, that such principles should be sacrificed by the indifference and neglect of those whose duty as well as interest it is, to elicit and establish her virtues." p. 70, &c.
VISIT TO THE VATICAN.
“ My feelings on entering this museum of the finest sculpture in the world, were not of that rapturous nature which I hear every amateur of this beautiful and interesting art, or even a common observer, expresses. No! it was not with me as with others, who on entering the room are struck by a collection of the finest statues bursting on their view, not knowing what first or most to admire; being for a time lost in the confusion of delightful variety, and viewing them collectively, before they can fix their attention on any single object. How different were my feelings! for when it was announced that I was in the midst of these exquisite works of art, although my imagination was raised to the highest pitch, and well adapted to supply the deficiency of visual organs, it could but faintly convey to my mind the impressions which an ocular inspection as above described must have excited. This coup d'auil, with me, was not only wanting, but I had to walk up to cach statue in rotation, and listen to a tame description of its beauties. I was not even allowed the advantage of examining by the touch, as soldiers
were placed in each apartment to prevent such violation: had I been permitted this kind of examination, I doubt not that I might have been as highly gratified as those who saw; for the sense of touch conveys to my mind as clear, or at least as satisfactory, ideas of the form, and I think I may add the force of expression, as sight does to others. I did occasionally examine them in this way by stealth, when I was apprized that the soldiers' backs were turned towards me. " p. 152, &c.
"Among the incidents which I reflect upon with the greatest pleasure, I must place the very interesting visit we paid to M. Huber; so well known in the literary world for his acute observations in Natural History, and particularly his patient and extraordinary investigation of the habits and economy of that valuable insect, the common honey-gathering bee. There existed a sympathy and fellow-feeling between this amiable man and myself of no common kind, for we had both of us long been secluded from all enjoyment of the 'visual ray;' forty years before, and in the prime of life, M. Huber had the misfortune to lose his sight. Besides his superior acquaintance with natural history, M. Huber is a deep mathematician and accomplished
"Before the present personal introduction, we were, however, not entirely unknown to each other, as through the medium of Dr. P―, when at Edinburgh, we had exchanged mutual compliments.
"At this time he was residing at his country house, about a mile and a half from Geneva. We here found him walking alone in his garden, for which purpose he has a string extended along a particular walk, which assists in guiding his steps with confidence when engaged in deep mental research. "But, notwithstanding the public and literary character of M. Huber is so highly estimated, it is in the bosom of his family that his worth is most to be appreciated: his integrity, benevolence and urbanity have secured the respect and affection of all around him. He has been particularly fortunate in the companion of his domestic happiness. We had the pleasure of being introduced to Madame H., the following traits of whose character cannot fail to do her the highest honour. M. Huber and herself had formed an attachment for each other before his loss of sight: after this misfortune, her friends urged her to think no more of him; but neither her affection nor magnanimity would allow her to desert in adversity that being whom she had loved in prosperity. They were married, and she has had the exalted gratification of having bestowed a comfortable independence upon a worthy man, with whom she has now most happily descended far into the vale of life.
"One of the sons of M. Huber, emulating the literary character of his father, has distinguished himself by an Essay on the Economy of the Ant; a work which has been thought worthy of translation into foreign languages.
"M. Huber's reception of me was cordial and flattering; and after too short a visit for the full gratification of my feelings, I was obliged to tear myself away, impressed with indelible sentiments of respect and veneration for this truly amiable man and indefatigable philosopher." p. 291, &c.
"Notwithstanding the representations made to me on all sides, of the
difficulties which must attend it, my desire to visit Mount Vesuvius was of so ardent a nature that I certainly should have made the attempt alone, had not a friend, Mr. M., kindly volunteered to accompany me, but from whom, I have the vanity to say, I rather looked for amusement and information than guidance and protection. My friends endeavoured to dissuade me from this arduous undertaking; and when, after fully deciding upon the measure, I inquired in what way it was customary for others to make the ascent, replied, "Oh! they could see their way up." "Well, then," I retorted, "I have little doubt of being able to feel mine." I must acknowledge myself annoyed by having suggestions of difficulties persisted in, which I feel sensible in my own bosom do not insuperably exist; nor can I admit any person not in the same situation with myself, capable of estimating the powers, which, under the curtailment of one sense, another in consequence acquires. We set off from Naples about five o'clock in the afternoon, with the view of seeing the mountain by moonlight. After passing through Portici we reached Revina about seven o'clock, where we left the carriage to await our return and re-convey us to Naples. Taking a conductor from the house of Salvatori, whose family are esteemed the most respectable guides of the mountain, we immediately commenced our ascent. A number of asses are constantly in attendance at this point, for the purpose of assisting such as are incapable of walking, or apprehensive of fatigue, and which are able to convey their riders two-thirds of the way towards the summit; but in order that I might acquire a more correct idea of the nature of the road, we gave the preference to walking. We proceeded along a fair road until we arrived at a house about half way to the hermitage, where we rested a short time, and refreshed ourselves with wine and water; after this the road gradually became worse, so that if I had not on former occasions witnessed the astonishing powers of asses and mules, I should have conceived it impossible for them to have advanced along it. We reached the hermitage about half after eight, and at the suggestion of our guide recruited ourselves with some of the hermit's bread and wine; and then began the more arduous part of our journey. The road soon became very soft, being constituted of the light dust which had been thrown out from the crater; interspersed, however, with large and sharp stones ejected from the same source; some of which were of such immense size, that did we not bear in mind the astonishing powers of elementary fire, we could scarcely credit the possibility of such masses being hurled to this distance from out of the bowels of the mountain. One of the greatest inconveniences I found in this ascent was from the particles of ashes insinuating themselves within my shoes, and which annoyed my feet so much, that I was repeatedly compelled to take them off, in order to get rid of the irritating matter; hence I would recommend future travellers to ascend in white leathern boots.
"At length we reached the only part of the mountain which was at this time in a burning state, and which was throwing out flames and sulphurous vapour; when the guide, taking me by the arm, conducted me over a place where the fire and smoke issued from apertures between the stones we walked upon, and which we could hear crackling under our feet every instant, as if they were going to be separated and precipitate us into the bowels of the mountain. My imagination, I admit, was actively alive to the possible accidents which might have occurred; I followed, however, with all the