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their last meeting.* He determined pretty nearly the stature of those he was speaking with, by the direction of their voices; and he made tolerable conjectures respecting their temper and dispositions, by the manner in which they conducted their conversation. It must be observed, that this gentleman's eyes were not totally insensible to intense light, as the rays refracted through a prism, when sufficiently vivid, produced certain perceptible effects on them. The red gave him a disagreeable sensation, which he compared to the touch of a saw; as the colours declined in intensity, the harshness lessened, until the green afforded a sensation that was highly pleasing to him, and which he described as conveying an idea, similar to what he felt in running his hand over polished surfaces. Polished surfaces, meandering streams, and gentle declivities, were the figures by which he expressed his ideas of beauty ; rugged rocks, irregular points, and boisterous elements, furnished him with expressions for terror and disgust. He excelled in the charms of conversation ; was happy in his allusions to visual objects; and discoursed on the nature, composition, and beauty of colours, with pertinence and precision.
*“ Moyes possessed all that extreme delicacy in the senses of touch and hearing, for which the blind have usually been remarkable. We have been told, that having been one day accosted in the street by a young friend, whom he had not met with for several years, his instant remark, on hearing his voice, was, “how much taller you have grown since we last met!” He contrived for himself a system of palpable arithmetic, on a different principle from that of Saunderson, and possessing the advantage in point of neatness and simplicity. Dr. Moyes must have been a person of extraordinary mental endowments, and certainly affords us, next to Saunderson, the most striking example on record, of attainments in the mathematics, made without any assistance from the eye.”
“Dr. Moyes was a striking instance of the power the human soul possesses of finding sources of enjoyment, even under the most rigorous calamities. Though involved in ever-during darkness, and excluded from the charming view of silent, or of animated nature; though dependent upon an undertaking, the success of which was very precarious, for the means of his subsistence; in short, though destitute of other support than his genius; still, Dr. Moyes was generally cheerful, and apparently happy. Indeed, it inust afford much pleasure to the feeling heart, to observe that this hilarity of temper prevails almost universally with the blind. Though cut off from the cheerful ways of men, and the contemplation of the human face divine, they have this consolation, they are exempt from the discernment and influence of those painful emotions of the soul, that are often visible on the countenance, and which hypocrisy itself cannot conceal. This cheerfulness of disposition, likewise, may be considered as an internal evidence of the native worth of the human mind, that thus supports its dignity and cheerfulness, under one of the severest calamities that can possibly befall us."
This extraordinary man, after a life of fifty-seven years spent in learned labours, paid the debt of nature, August 10th, 1807. As he never entered into the married state, he was enabled by prudence and economy to amass a considerable sum, which he bequeathed to his brother. In his manner of living he was abstemious, as he was entirely unacquainted with the use of ardent spirits, or fermented liquors. He had a natural dislike to animal food of
description, and consequently his meals were plain and simple. He was very partial to a sea-weed, well known by the name of dulse; this he would boil, and dress with a little butter, which, with a crust of bread, and a draught of spring water, was the only luxury in which he indulged. Well might Dr. Moyes say with Goldsınith's hermit;
“No flocks th at range the valley free,
To slaughter I condemn;
I learn to pity them.
A guiltless feast I bring;
And water from the spring."
Transactions of the Manchester Philosophical SocietyEncyclopædia Britannica-Select Anecdotes, vol. the 2nd.
JOHN STANLEY, B.M.
“For music's voice the icy bosom warms,
The English, it is said, have no national music; but yet, they are by no means unacquainted with the principles of that delightful science. Many of our composers, as well as performers, have been men of acknowledged talents; and their compositions would bear comparison with some of the productions of the first masters, of either the German or Italian schools. John Stanley, whose life we are next to consider, was a prodigy in his day: as a composer, few could equal him, and as a performer, he had perhaps no superior. Such was the opinion of two most distinguished foreigners, at that time in England, (Handel and Gazzini,) men, whose distinguished musical genius well qualified them to judge of the merits of Mr. Stanley's performances.
John Stanley was born in 1713. At two years"of age, he totally lost his sight, by falling on a marble hearth, with a china basin in his hand. At the age of seven he first began to learn music, as an art that was likely to amuse him; but without his friends
supposing it possible for him, circumstanced as he was, to make it his profession. His first master was Reading, a scholar of Dr. Blow's, and organist of Hackney; but his father, finding that he had not only received great pleasure in music, but had made a rapid progress, placed him with Dr. Green, under whom he studied with great diligence, and a success that was astonishing.* At eleven years of age, he obtained the
* The influence of music is still more generally to be observed than that of poetry. Music, almost without exception, appears to be the favourite amusement of the blind. There is no other employment, religious contemplation excepted, that seems so well adapted to soothe the soul, and dissipate the melancholy ideas which, it may naturally be expected, will sometimes pervade the minds of those who are utterly bereft of sight; this, together with the beneficial influence that results from the practice of this delightful art, by quickening and perfecting the sense of hearing, is a matter that deserves the most serious attention. The celebrated professor just now mentioned, excelled in performing on the flute, in his youth; and the refinement of his ear has been very justly attributed to his early attention to music. It is not, therefore, surprising, that so many blind people have distinguished themselves in this science. Stanley and Parry were deprived of their sight in early infancy ; yet both these gen. tlemen have displayed extraordinary proofs of their abilities, not only as composers and performers of music, but likewise in matters that, at a first view, we might be apt to consider, as peculiar to those who are fully possessed of the faculty of vi. sion. Their separate reputations, as musicians, are sufficiently known and acknowledged. The style of Stanley is truly his own, and his execution on the organ equal, if not superior, to any of his contemporary performers on that grand instrument;