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man of blameless morals, and, throughout his whole life had manifested a deep sense of the importance of religion; in conversation, he would frequently speak of the pleasure that he had experienced in setting the words of the Sacred Scriptures to music, and how much some of the sublime passages in the Psalms had contributed to his comfort and satisfaction: but now, when he found himself drawing near the close of his mortal state, these sentiments were improved into solid and rational piety, accompanied by a calm and undisturbed mind. Towards the beginning of the year 1758, he found himself fast declining; and the general debility which had seized him, was rendered still more alarming by an almost total loss of appetite. When the latter symptom appeared, he considered his recovery as entirely hopeless; and, resigning himself into the hands of his Creator, he expired on the 14th of April, 1759, in the 76th year of his age.
Musical Biography, vol. 2.
DR. NICHOLAS BACON.
“Men, by whom impartial laws were given.”
Dr. Nicholas Bacon was descended from the same family with the celebrated Lord Verulam; he was deprived of sight at nine years of age, by an arrow from a cross-bow, with which he was attempting to shoot. When he recovered his health, which had suffered from the accident, he continued the same plan of education which he had before commenced; and, having heard that one Nicasius de Vourde, born blind, who lived towards the end of the 15th century, after having distinguished himself in his studies at the University of Louvain, had taken his degree as D.D. in that of Cologne, he himself resolved to make the same attempt. But his friends treated his intention with ridicule, and even the professors themselves were not far from the same sentiment; for they admitted him into their schools, rather under an impression that he might amuse them, than that they should be able to communicate much information to him. He had the good fortune, however, contrary to their expectations, to obtain the first place among his fellow-students. They then said, that such rapid advances might be made, in the preliminary branches of education, but that they would soon be effectually checked, in studies of a more profound nature. This opinion, it seems, was reiterated through the whole range of his pursuits, and when, in the course of academical learning, it became necessary to study the art of poetry, it was declared by the general voice, that all was over, and that at length he had reached his ne plus ultra; but here he likewise disproved their prejudices, and taught them the immense difference between blindness of the intellect and blindness of the bodily organs. After continuing his studies in learning and philosophy for two years longer, he applied himself to law, and took his degree in that science at Brussels. He then commenced as a pleading coun
sellor, or advocate, in the council of Brabant, and had the pleasure of terminating almost every suit in which he engaged, to the satisfaction of his clients.
A BLIND BOOKSELLER.
NATHANIEL Price, was a bookseller at Norwich, who, giving up business in that city, went out with goods to a considerable amount, from London to America. On his voyage thither, he lost his sight in consequence of a severe cold, and having suffered much distress and fatigue, he at length returned to his native country, after an absence of nearly five years.
This remarkable man could make every part of his dress, from the shoes on his feet, to the bat upon
his head. After his loss of sight, he followed the employment of a bookbinder, and bound several books in the first style ; being the first instance of a blind man who was capable of such an employment. proof of his abilities, there is a quarto Bible, elegantly bound by him, now in the Marquis of Blandford's ibrary, at Sion-hill, in Oxfordshire. Strange as this may appear, to those unacquainted with the extraordinary capabilities possessed by many of the blind, this account has been confirmed by several respectable people, with whom the author is acquainted, and in whose veracity the reader may place implicit confidence.
As a THE BLIND TAILOR.
The following account of Blind Macguire, is no less wonderful than true, and will show that the privation of sight does not always impede the exercise of mechanical skill, “ The late family tailor of Mr. M'Donald, of Clanronald, in Invernesshire, lost his sight fifteen years before his death, yet he still continued to work for the family as before, not indeed with the same expedition, but with equal correctness. It is well known how difficult it is to make a Tartan dress, because every stripe and colour (of which there are many,) must fit each other with mathematical exactness; hence, even very few tailors, who enjoy their sight, are capable of executing that task. Blind Macguire having received orders to make for his master's brother, who had lately returned from India, a complete suit of Tartan within a given time, proceeded to work without delay. It so happened, that that gentleman passed at a late hour, at night, through the room where the blind tailor was working, and hearing some low singing, he asked, Who's there?' To which the poor blind tailor answered, 'I am here, working at your honour's hose !'How,' said he, forgetting that Macguire was blind, can you work without a candle ?
O! please your honour,' rejoined the tailor, ‘midnight darkness is the same to me as noon-day!'” It was said that Macguire could, by the sense of touch, distinguish all the colours of the Tartan.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
"From theme to theme, my wandering muse, retire,
The following anecdote respecting John Gonelli, surnamed “the Blind of Cambassi,” from the place of his birth, in Tuscany, is taken from the article “Blind," in the Edinburgh Encyclopædia. “He was a scholar of Pietro Iacca, and discovered some genius, but he lost his sight at the age of twenty years. The statue of Cosmo, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, was sculptured by him after he became blind, and he had equal success in various other works of the same nature. He died at Rome, under the Pontificate of Urban VIII.”
We have read of another celebrated blind sculptor, who took the likeness of the Duke of Bracciano, in a dark cellar, by means of moulding the face with wax; and who also made a marble statue of King Charles I. of England, of great elegance and just proportions.