Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2010
Online Publication Date:December 2011
Original Publication Year:1839
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511695186.002
Subjects: English literature 1830-1900
Blackrock, Friday.—I have been ill for the last three weeks, and confined to my room. The pen trembles in my hand, yet I wish to try and put down some of the thoughts and feelings which have so delightfully cheered my lonely hours, and soothed my suffering frame.
The contrast between my musings of late, and the thoughts which haunted my bed of suffering during an illness I had in London last year, is very striking: one reason of this may be, that here in this room, most of the objects which meet my gaze tell some tale of suffering relieved, of human beings rescued from misery.
For instance, yonder book-case and that pretty flower-stand recall to my mind, first, a look of squalid despair, a pallid face, and emaciated frame; then the same form well clothed, a countenance rosy and flourishing, and eyes beaming with pleasure and hope. Thus, besides the dear volumes they contain, and the flowers that breathe their fragrance through the room, those mahogany stands inspire delightful thoughts.
I see a boy of about fifteen, tall, and with good features, but fearfully thin, and bowed down with suffering. His large dark eyes are sunk and hollow, yet they flit to and fro with eager quickness; that restless, yet comprehending look which shews they are the only means he has to communicate his thoughts, or receive impressions, for the poor boy is deaf and dumb!
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