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The World As I Have Found It / Sequel to Incidents in the Life of a Blind Girl By Mary L. Day Characters: 3281

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

"The saddest day hath gleams of light,

The darkest wave hath bright foam near it.

And, twinkles o'er the cloudiest night,

Some solitary star to cheer it."

In the year 1855, my heart still heavy with its burden of blindness, I entered the Baltimore Institution for the Blind. With kind friends to aid and cheer me, high hopes, rich resolutions and ambitious aims to inspire, I commenced the course of study which was to fit me for my new avocations. Ofttimes was I found in the deep valley of humiliation, where I sat me down and sighed; and in many a "Garden of Gethsemane" were seen the trickling "tears of blood." The cross and the crucifixion came, but afterwards came the resurrection of dead hopes and angels bearing the crown.

I must say with undying gratitude to all connected with the Institution, that it is to them I am indebted for the might and the mastery; for while many a daisy was crushed in my path, many a rose bloomed upon a thorny stem, and these kind ones led me at last to the sun-crowned mountain-tops and clear blue skies.

After being in school for three years, without consulting with any friend, I wrote, with much difficulty, a letter with pin-type, to Governor Hicks, asking a three years extension of time. I preserved secrecy in this matter in the fear of disappointment, and determined if it came to bear it alone. One day a professor called me to him and said: "You have written to the Governor, and his reply has come." With anxious, nervous silence, I "waited for the verdict," and when it came in an affirmative, how happy and joyous I felt! How determined to push on to the bright goal

before me!

Meantime I had written a history of my life, and through assistance from ever kind friends had succeeded in securing its publication. A copy of it was sent to the Governor, as a tiny token of my appreciation of his kindness. I afterward accompanied a delegation from our school to Annapolis, where we gave an entertainment. The Governor, coming up to our little group, said, in cheerful tones, "I am going to see if I can recognize the one who wrote the book." And in pursuance of this announcement, easily selected me, and with kindly tones and hearty grasp of the hand, spoke many words of comfort, which are still carefully held in my casket of gems as

"Treasures guarded with jealous care

And kept as sacred tokens."

Continuing my course of studies, I graduated in 1860 with, I hope, a fair degree of honor to myself and my instructors. Just previous to this time there came among our many visitors a good friend from Loudon county, Virginia, named Richard Henry Taylor, who promised if I would visit his home he would furnish me every facility for the sale of my book; and of him I shall have more to say hereafter.

Now commenced the real struggle of life. Alone I must brave the world, and with patience bear its frowns or enjoy its smiles, as the case might be. Alone I must earn my bread.

Meagre were many times the means and scanty was the allowance, yet they came in the hour of need as manna in the wilderness, ofttimes wet with the dews of heavenly love; and ever, in my laborious pilgrimage, I have been allowed to stand upon Mount Gerizim, to bless the people and the "rulers of the land."

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