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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: 5244

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


"I lay upon the headland heights, and listened

To the incessant moaning of the sea

In caverns under me,

And watched the waves that tossed,

And fled, and glistened;

Until the rolling meadows of amethyst

Melted away in mist."

My visit to Charleston combined little of eventful note, and this city is to well known as a seaport to require a detailed description. There, as in all places in close proximity to the ocean, I was spell-bound amid the ceaseless ebb and flow, the endless melody of the waves glowing and scintillating with myriad gem-like hues from the amethyst, the emerald and the diamond, to the many-hued opal, its varied and changing beauty bearing all the brilliant glory of the fabled dolphin, born in its depths.

In this sea-girt city I found the home of Mrs. Glover, and above all her hallowed presence there. She is an accomplished lady, and once wrote an attractive novel, more for pastime than from any literary aspirations.

Vernon, the hero of her story of Vernon Grove, was blind, and as this depiction of character was so much more true to nature than the pen-pictures of other gifted delineators, even that of the shrewd searcher of the human heart, Wilkie Collins, that she had won the sympathy and interest of all at the Baltimore Institution, at which, in former years, she had been so cheerfully greeted.

Vernon possessed none of the melancholy, inanimate, suspicious characteristics supposed by many to belong of necessity to the blind, but was a brilliant, cheerful, high-minded person, who filled every position in life with dignity, accepted every sorrow and disappointment with resignation, in every struggle was a lion-hearted hero, and in every contest a conqueror.

This gifted lady was a sister of Mrs. Bowen, of Baltimore, who, as well as her husband, was a warm, true friend to the blind, and ever joyously hailed as a guest in the institution.

After traveling through the Carolinas I went to Richmond, Virginia, the Rome of America, and like that ancient city built upon seven hills, while in its patrician pride and family loyalty it possessed much of the essence of the old Roman spirit.

My visit there was during the most fervid heat of the summer solstice, when through the sultry days all living creatures are panting and breathless, yet withal the stay of three weeks' duration passed away with delightful rapidity, and time stole upon us and stole from us almost imperceptibly.

Leaving Richmond for White Sulphur Springs, I stopped at all important intervening points. At Staunton I devoted an entire day to the inspection of the Inst

itution for the Blind, and in pleasant acceptance of hospitalities dispensed both by inmates and officials.

Arriving at White Sulphur after dark, we found the mountain air so cold that we could almost imagine ourselves suddenly transported from the Equator to the Pole, and were as thoroughly chilled as one unacclimated would be from so great and sudden a transition.

The mammoth hotel of this watering place, comfortably seated in its dining-hall twelve hundred guests, and all its appointments were in equally grand proportion. We occupied, from choice, one of the cozy little cottages, nestling like a dove-cot in some bowery shade, with its patch of green-sward and flower-garden in front and purling brook behind, holding the double charm of rural simplicity and home-like air. Hattie led me through every path and grove, nook and glen of this sweet seclusion, this valley embosomed in mountains, and my thoughts reverted to the days when the belles and beaux of our American court sought these sylvan shades; when Washington and the successive Chief Magistrates of the Great Republic had gracefully glided through the stately minuet and invested this spot with a now classic interest.

Prominent among the visitors was the leonine General Lee, a Colossus in person and in mind. In spirit brave as a true hero, but in manner gentle as a woman. In the sweet solace of sympathy his heart went out to the blind girl, and assumed the tangible form of solid favors, for by his personal efforts under the magic influence and royal mandate of his imperial power many a little volume was appropriated that would have been otherwise unnoticed.

George Peabody was also a guest, but in this, his last visit to his native country, he was too ill and prostrate to receive friends. I felt for him a strong personal sympathy for his beneficence to my native city, to which he ever acknowledged himself indebted for his first business success; and in which the pure, white marble structure, with its magnificent library and other appointments, so well known as "The Peabody Institute," stands as a monument of his munificence.

Returning to Richmond, we took the James River route to Baltimore, a trip fraught with varied interest.

At Yorktown, that city of eld, we landed to take in a cargo of freight, not neglecting the usual store of oysters, of which we had at supper a sumptuous feast and it was from no fickle epicurean fancy that all pronounced these delicious bivalves the finest in the world, for, certainly, never before or since have we partaken of them with such rare relish and absolute gusto.

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