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twice, if I remember correctly, all my precautions proved unavailingthe little creature to which I was paying my modest attentions becoming too disturbed by them to feel easy, and a sudden start into the circumambient sunshine, with a subsequent settling and shifting again on the stone, were in each case, the results. Howeve having an object (though none of the most momentous certainly) before me, I was not to be discouraged in this way. After every failure, therefore, I began again, if possible, more cautiously than ever, and with more resolute determination to ascertain what "slow and steady” could effect. At last patience and perseverance obtained the recompense they were seeking. I found the pin's point and the nearest or most south-westerly extremity of the fly's wing actually in contact! Following up my advantage, and finding that there was no appearance of resentment for the liberty I had taken, I gently advanced a step more.

I caused my solid-headed instrument to slide cunningly till its point was fairly on the transparent and veiny wing of the fly. This second liberty I found was endured as quietly as the first. So, becoming venturesome now as well as gentle, I proceeded to move the pin downwards and along the fly's wing, endeavouring thus, in my clumsy manner, to imitate that sedulous cleaning process for which this species is so noted. And awkward as my imitation, of course, must have been, my kind intention, I suppose, was respected; for my little patient, to my pleasure and surprise, remained perfectly contented and quiet under the treatment it was receiving, allowing me at last not only to stroke each wing in succession, and then both together, but at times quite to bend them down in the roughness of my caressing. And this continued for some time; all display of shyness or fear being totally gone, and the little basker appearing perfectly satisfied that it was in the hands of a friend.

When our interview came to a close--as all mundane interviews must—the fly went off in one direction, and I in another. I went off, physically and corporally, in continuance of my walk; and I went off metaphysically and mentally into a train of wonder and reflection. I asked myself what was the real explanation of the curious transaction I had shared in. How far is it possible, I inquired, that that little invertebrate sexaped should feel the emotions of fear, and suspicion, and confidence, and so on ? and how far, if so, are we to suppose those emotions connected with reason as their cause ? Were a human being, if placed in circumstances at all similar, to act in anything the same way, we should attribute his conduct, at once, to reason. But is it thus with the animal creation ? Is it thus so low down in the scale as amongst the various families of insects? Is it really thus, far higher up, amongst the most intelligent of mammals? When a horse, for instance, perceives a stick raised up suddenly and sharply, does it argue that the same stick may come down with equal rapidity, and may come down on itself; and so reason itself into the conclusion that it will be more prudent to move off? When my fly, again, discerned in the distance the slow approach of the pin, did it infer that there was no need of hurry in avoiding such a leisurely menace ? and when it found itself touched at last, without hurt, did it proceed to form a syllogism on the subject, and so, as a matter of reason and logic, resolve to keep still? Or, is not the correct view rather this, that the feelings of alarm and mistrust, and their opposites, are mainly instinctive feelings in us all, given to all creatures, more or less, that have animal life to preserve, and, where bestowed in addition to reason, operating frequently before reason can bring its energies into play ? Depend upon it, I said to myself, that men in these respects are like flies. Nature has given, both to us and to them, an intuitive apprehension and dislike of everything sudden and unknown. Generally speaking, she has made the natural attitude exhibited by all sentient beings in this world towards other creatures separated from them in appearance, or position, or character, an attitude of suspicion and alarm. If you wish, therefore, to create confidence, you must endeavour to dispel that alarm. And this is inevitably a slow work. So I had experienced in my intercourse with the fly; so a celebrated living tamer of horses has proved of animals higher in the scale; so I argued respecting those highest of animals--those intelligent descendants of Adam who are not animals merely, but much more. In short, from my insignificant success with an insect, I found myself philosophizing as to the education of the young, and the management of a business, and the oversight of a parish or congregation, and the command of an army, and the formation of a political party, and the administration of a kingdom. In all these enterprises and endeavours, I said, the confidence of others is required. And this confidence, in every case, is to be obtained in much the same way-viz., by self-control and forbearance, by long perseverance and firmness, by mingled gentleness and courage, by caution, and by time. Such were the lessons I deduced from my very successful attempt to Rarey-fy a house-fly. I have often since tested these principles in my intercourse with mankind, and I have found them true in the main. But when we descend from flies to some specimens of human nature, there is a peculiar element of difficulty present. There is too often a degree of wilfulness and opposition, and a spirit of treachery and consequent suspicion in the man from which the insect is exempt, and with which no mere human power is able to contend. This leads me, however, to considerations which I will not dwell upon here. I simply record that my experience on this point is not favourable to mankind, and that I have found many so-called rational beings much more irrational than my fly.

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Orurn by T. Sulmun.




With an Account of some Eminent Blind Men.

THERE appears from statistical inquiry and investigation to be a certain average number of people who will inevitably be blind, and that this average varies in different latitudes and localities. In the temperate regions of the earth the number is the least, and it increases rapidly as we approach the polar regions or the tropics; the predisposing causes of the increase being manifestly the glare of the snow in the one instance, and the direct and powerful rays of the sun in the other.

Much valuable information respecting the blind exists in the Jurors' Report of the Exhibition of 1851, which indeed seems to have been the first complete résumé of the interesting subject ever attempted; and it has been ably followed up in the Report of the succeeding Exhibition recently published.

We propose not to dwell on this ground, but to give in the course of this paper, first, a short account of some remarkable blind men, who achieved considerable eminence prior to the late successful invention of printing for their use, and afterwards to describe as briefly as may be the institutions at present at work in London, and other parts of the country, for the care and teaching of this much afflicted class of our fellow creatures.

Before the remarkable inventions for teaching the blind to read, most of them were able to enjoy many of the advantages of locomotion, having been necessitated to cultivate the senses of touch and hearing to an extent which seems marvellous to people who have their sight. The writer of the article “Blind,” in the “Encyclopædia Britannica,” says, after a shrewd and critical analysis of the surroundings of the blind : “He distinguishes the approach of his friend from afar, by the sound of his steps, by the manner of his breathing, and almost by every audible token which he can exhibit. Prepared for the dangers which he may encounter from the surface of the ground on which he walks, his step is habitually firm and cautious. Hence he not only avoids those falls which might be occasioned by its less formidable inequalities, but from its general bias he collects some ideas how far his safety is immediately concerned ; and although these conjectures may sometimes prove fallacious, yet they are generally so true as to preserve him from accidents not incurred by his own temerity. The rapid torrent and the deep cascade not only warn him to keep a proper distance, but inform him of the direction in which he is moving, and form, as it were, audible beacons to regulate his course.

“In places to which he has been accustomed, he, so to speak, recog

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