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human nature, an upholder and preserver, carrying everywhere with him relationship and love. In spite of difference of soil and climate, of language and manners, of laws and customs, in spite of things silently gone out of mind, and things violently destroyed, the poet binds together by passion and knowledge the vast empire of human society, as it is spread over the whole earth, and over all time. The objects of the poet's thoughts are everywhere; though the eyes and senses of man are, it is true, his favourite guides, yet he will follow wheresoever he can find an atmosphere of sensation in which to move his wings. Poetry is the first and last of all knowledge-it is as immortal as the heart of man. If the labours of men of science should ever create any material revolution, direct or indirect, in our condition, and in the impressions which we habitually receive, the poet will sleep then no more than at present, but he will be ready to follow the steps of the man of science, not only in those general indirect effects, but he will be at his side, carrying sensation into the midst of objects of the science itself. The remotest discoveries of the chemist, the botanist, or mineralogist, will be as proper objects of the poet's art as any upon which it can be employed, if the time should ever come when these things shall be familiar to us, and the relations under which they are contemplated by the followers of these respective sciences shall be manifestly and palpably material to us as enjoying and suffering beings. If the time should ever come when what is now called science, thus familiarised to men, shall be ready to put on, as it were, a form of flesh and blood, the poet will lend his divine spirit to aid the transfiguration, and will welcome the being thus produced as a dear and a genuine inmate of the household of man. It is not, then, to be supposed that any one, who holds that sublime notion of poetry which I have attempted to convey, will break in upon the sanctity and truth of his pictures by transitory and accidental ornaments, and endeavour to excite admiration of himself by arts, the necessity of which must manifestly depend upon the assumed meanness of his subject.
DR J. KITTO. [ONE of the most interesting autobiographical books, perhaps, that ever was published, whether considered in a physiological or moral point of view, appeared in the series of Knight's Weekly Volumes. It is entitled "The Lost Senses-Deafness," and was written by Dr Kitto, the editor of the "Pictorial Bible." The introductory chapter of this little book, part of which we subjoin, is most curious in itself, and renders any further explanation unneces sary. Dr Kitto was born in 1800, and died in 1854]
Any one who has spent a considerable time under peculiar, or at least undescribed circumstances, must have been very unobservant if he has nothing to relate in which the public would be interested. It may be, indeed, that such person lies under the same obligation to the public of describing his own condition, as a traveller is under to render his report respecting the unexplored countries which he has traversed in his pilgrimage. It is under this impression that I now write. I am unwilling to quit this world without leaving behind me some record of a condition of which no sufferer has yet rendered an account.
I became deaf on my father's birthday, early in the year 1817, when I had lately completed the twelfth year of my age. The commencement of this condition is too clearly connected with my circumstances in life to allow me to abstain from troubling the reader with some particulars which I should have been otherwise willing to withhold.
My father, at the expiration of his apprenticeship, was enabled, by the support of his elder brother, an engineer, well known in the West of England, to commence life as a master-builder, with advantageous connexions and the most favourable prospects. But both the brothers seem to have belonged to that class of men whom prosperity ruins; for after some years they became neglectful of their business, and were eventually reduced to great distress. At the time I have specified, my father had become a jobbing mason, of precarious employment, and in such circumstances
that it had for some time been necessary that I should lend my small assistance to his labours. This early demand upon my services, joined to much previous inability or reluctance to stand the cost of my schooling, and to frequent headache, which kept me much from school even when in nominal attendance, made my education very backward. I could read well, but was an indifferent writer and worse cipherer, when the day arrived which was to alter so materially my condition and hopes in life.
The circumstances of that day—the last of twelve years of hearing, and the first of twenty-eight years of deafness—have left a more distinct impression upon my mind than those of any previous, or almost any subsequent, day of my life. It was a day to be remembered. The last day on which any customary labour ceases -the last day on which any customary privilege is enjoyed—the last day on which we do the things we have done daily, are always marked days in the calendar of life; how much, therefore, must the mind not linger in the memories of a day which was the last of many blessed things, and in which one stroke of action and suffering, one moment of time, wrought a greater change of condition, than any sudden loss of wealth or honours ever made in the state of man!
On the day in question my father and another man, attended by myself, were engaged in new slating the roof of a house, the ladder ascending to which was fixed in a small court paved with flag-stones. The access to this court from the street was by a paved passage, through which ran a gutter, whereby waste water was conducted from the yard into the street.
Three things occupied my mind that day. One was that the town-crier, who occupied part of the house in which we lived, had been the previous evening prevailed upon to intrust me with a book, for which I had long been worrying him, and with the contents of which I was most eager to become acquainted. I think it was "Kirby's Wonderful Magazine;" and I now dwell the rather upon this circumstance, as, with other facts of the same kind, it helps to satisfy me that I was already a most voracious reader, and that the calamity which befell me did not create in
me the literary appetite, but only threw me more entirely upon the resources which it offered.
The other circumstance was, that my grandmother had finished, all but the buttons, a new smock-frock, which I had hoped to have assumed that very day, but which was faithfully promised for the morrow. As this was the first time that I should have worn that article of attire, the event was contemplated with something of that interest and solicitude with which the assumption of the toga virilis may be supposed to have been contemplated by the Roman youth.
The last circumstance, and the one perhaps which had some effect upon what ensued, was this. In one of the apartments of the house in which we were at work, a young sailor, of whom I had some knowledge, had died after a lingering illness, which had been attended with circumstances which the doctors could not well understand. It was, therefore, concluded that the body should be opened to ascertain the cause of death. I knew this was to be done, but not the time appointed for the operation. But in passing from the street into the yard, with a load of slates which I was to take to the house-top, my attention was drawn to a stream of blood, or rather, I suppose, bloody water, flowing through the gutter by which the passage was traversed. The idea that this was the blood of the dead youth, whom I had so lately seen alive, and that the doctors were then at work cutting him up and groping at his inside, made me shudder, and gave what I should now call a shock to my nerves, although I was very innocent of all knowledge about nerves at that time. I cannot but think it was owing to this that I lost much of the presence of mind and collectedness so important to me at that moment; for when I had ascended to the top of the ladder, and was in the critical act of stepping from it on to the roof, I lost my footing, and fell backward, from a height of about thirty-five feet, into the paved court below.
Of what followed I know nothing; and as this is the record of my own sensations, I can here report nothing but that which I myself know. For one moment, indeed, I awoke from that death.
like state, and then found that my father, attended by a crowd of people, was bearing me homeward in his arms; but I had then no recollection of what had happened, and at once relapsed into a state of unconsciousness.
In this state I remained for a fortnight, as I afterwards learned. These days were a blank in my life; I could never bring any recollections to bear upon them; and when I awoke one morning to consciousness, it was as from a night of sleep. I saw that it was at least two hours later than my usual time of rising, and marvelled that I had been suffered to sleep so late. I attempted to spring up in bed, and was astonished to find that I could not even move. The utter prostration of my strength subdued all curiosity within me. I experienced no pain, but I felt that I was weak; I saw that I was treated as an invalid, and acquiesced in my condition, though some time passed-more time than the reader would imagine, before I could piece together my broken recollections so as to comprehend it.
I was very slow in learning that my hearing was entirely gone. The unusual stillness of all things was grateful to me in my utter exhaustion; and if, in this half-awakened state, a thought of the matter entered my mind, I ascribed it to the unusual care and success of my friends in preserving silence around me. I saw them talking indeed to one another, and thought that, out of regard to my feeble condition, they spoke in whispers, because I heard them not. The truth was revealed to me in consequence of my solicitude about the book which had so much interested me in the day of my fall. It had, it seems, been reclaimed by the good old man who had sent it to me, and who doubtless concluded that I should have no more need of books in this life. He was wrong; for there has been nothing in this life which I have needed more. I asked for this book with much earnestness, and was answered by signs which I could not comprehend.
"Why do you not speak?" I cried. "Pray let me have the book."
This seemed to create some confusion; and at length some one, more clever than the rest, hit upon the happy expedient of writ