AN
ESSAY
on the
EDUCATION OF THE BLIND;
or,
An Explication of the different Means, confirmed by successful
Experiments, to render them capable of Reading by the Assistance of
Touch, and of printing Books, in which they may obtain the Knowledge
of Languages, of History, of Geography, of Music, &c. of performing 
the different Offices necessary in mechanical Employments, &c.
DEDICATED TO THE KING,
By M. HAUY,
Interpreter to his Majesty, the Admiralty of France, and the Hotel de
Ville, of the City of Paris; Member and Professor of the Academical
Office for Writing, in which Ancient and Foreign Characters are
taught to be read and ascertained.  
PARIS:
Printed in the Original by BLIND CHILDREN, under the Superintendance
of M. Clousier, Printer to the King, and sold for their Benefit at
the House where they are educated, in the Street called  Rue Notre
Dame des Victoires.
MDCCLXXXVI.
Under the Patronage of the Academy of Sciences.
To the KING OF FRANCE.
Sire,
The Protection with which your Majesty honours distinguished Talents
ascertains your Claim to their Reverence and Respect.  But when their
Productions have a Tendency to console the Miseries of suffering
Humanity, they have still a more powerful Title to attract the
Attention of Louis the Beneficent.  It was under the Influence of
Sentiments inspired by a Title so amiable, which is deeply engraven
on all the Hearts of France, that I conceived the Desire of
presenting to your Majesty the Fruits of my Labours; if they have any
Value, they will owe it to the double Advantage of appearing under a
Patronage so august, and of becoming Vehicles to the Bounty expected
from their Sovereign, by the Young and unhappy, who have been early
deprived of the Benefit of Light, with all its numerous and important
Resources.
I am,
With the profoundest Respect,
Sire,
Your Majesty's most humble,
most obedient,
and most faithful Subject and Servant,
HAÜY.
PREFACE
AMONGST the unfortunate, who have been deprived, whether from the
instant of their birth, or by some early accident in the course of
their lives, of that organ which most sensibly contributes to our
enjoyment of the delights and advantages arising from society, there
have been found some who, by the pregnancy of their genius, and the
force and perseverance of its exertions, have found out for
themselves certain employments, which they were able to execute, and
by these pursuits have proved successful in alleviating the miseries
of a situation, in itself so afflicting.  Some of them, full of
penetration, have enriched their memories with productions of genius,
and have imbibed from the charms of conversation or from reading, at
which they were happily present, knowledge of a nature and extent
which it was impossible for them either to acquire or collect from
their own internal resources alone, or from the precious repositories
in which it was confined.  Others, endued with a dexterity, which
might do honour to the most enlightened artist, have performed
mechanical tasks with an exactness, neatness, and symmetry, which
could only have been expected from hands informed and regulated by
the advantage of sight.  But in spite of these happy dispositions in
the blind, these marvellous exhibitions, which ought rather to be
called prodigies, than natural events, could only be, in the persons
by whom they were displayed, the slow results of indefatigable
industry and obstinate application, and seemed alone to have been
reserved for a small number amongst them, who were peculiarly
prerogatived by nature, whilst the rest of their brethren appeared
consigned by destiny to idleness, languor and dependence, without a
possibility of escaping from a durance so horrible in its nature, and
so permanent in its continuance.  Thus with respect to all social
utility and importance, people in these unhappy circumstances were to
be accounted dead members, even in those societies where their
existence was protracted, and its exigencies supplied; and the most
part of them victims at once to the double calamity of blindness and
indigence, had no other portion assigned them but the miserable and
sterile resource of begging, for protracting, if we may so speak, in
the horrors of a dungeon the moments of a painful and burdensome
existence.  It is to be essentially serviceable to this class of
suffering mortals that I have invented a General Plan of Institution,
which, by principles and utensils proper for their use, might
facilitate to some of these what they could not otherwise accomplish,
without almost insuperable difficulty, and render practicable to
others, what it appeared impossible for them to execute.  I felt the
difficulty of this enterprise in its full extent, that it was too
arduous to be performed by myself alone; I have therefore been
assiduous in my researches for support and assistance.  Beneficent
characters have, on all hands, exerted themselves with ardour, that
they might co-operate in promoting this labour of love.  They have
laid the foundation of a fabric whose structure will at once
reflect honour on their own hearts and on the age which their lives
adorn.  Each of them indeed, with a laudable emulation, seems to have
disputed with me for the cordial pleasure of perfecting and finishing
a monument so congenial and so grateful to humanity; and I confess it
with delight, if it was permitted to any to claim an honour from such
an undertaking, it is they more than any one else, who have a just
claim to that honour.  I shall therefore avoid, in the sequel of this
work, every expression which may seem to imply any design of
appropriating that merit to myself; and I shall there speak only in
the person of those who have insured their unalienable right to my
gratitude, whether they have contributed to the maturity of this plan
by the exertions of their understanding, or by any other means.  
An
ESSAY
On The
EDUCATION OF BLIND CHILDREN.
CHAP I.
The Intention of this Plan.
Before we give an account of the motives of our institution, let us
be permitted to say a few words on that readiness which we declare
ourselves to possess, not only to answer all the objections which may
be urged against us, but even to enter into a minute detail of all
the circumstances, whose solution the public have a right to expect
from us.  Though there is scarcely any invention, which has not, by
its novelty, excited the clamour of envy and of ignorance, we are
bold enough to flatter ourselves that our plan has nothing to fear
from the malignity of their attacks.  The nature of our design; the
wisdom of the age in which we live, the humanity of our countrymen,
all these circumstances conspire to assure us, that we shall only
have to resolve, in the sequel of this work, such difficulties as may
be proposed by a wise and well-intended criticism; a criticism rather
designed to favour our attempts, than to discourage us in their
prosecution.  It is with this hope that we are determined to answer
every objection which shall appear to us, either as lying against the
motives or plan of cultivation, which we have proposed for the blind.
We will do more, we will endeavour to dissipate, in the imagination
of our readers, every prepossession, even in our favour, which may
deceive those who have not been present at our probationary
exhibitions, and to whom the too zealous partizans of our plan may
have represented as marvellous and unaccountable, such circumstances
as are its natural and proper effects.  In offering thus a faithful
delineation of our method, considered in its proper point of view, it
is our intention to leave no impressions on the minds of the public
with respect to our establishment, but such real and just ideas as
they ought to entertain: to teach the blind reading, by the
assistance of books, where the letters are rendered palpable, by
their elevation above the surface of the paper, and by means of this
reading, to instruct them in the art of printing, of writing, of
arithmetic, the languages, history, geography, mathematics, music,
&c. to put into the hands of these unfortunate people such arts and
occupations as are merely mechanical; spinning, for instance,
knitting, book-binding, &c.  From such an institution, two objects
are in view, both of which benevolent men will own to be of
importance.
First, To employ those among them who are in easy circumstances, in
an agreeable manner.  Secondly, To rescue from the miseries of
beggary, those to whom fortune has been parsimonious of her favours,
by putting the means of subsistence in their power; and, in short, to
render useful to society their hands, as well as those of their
guides.
SUCH is the end pursued by our institutions.
CHAP II.
Answer to the Objection against the Utility of this Plan.
THE public has done us the justice unanimously to agree, that we have
accomplished the first object of our institution, in presenting an
amusement to the blind who share the bounties of fortune; and if any
doubt have arisen, it can only be concerning the possibility of
realising the hopes which we have given of blending in our
establishment the useful with the agreeable.  "In teaching your
blind," say the objectors, "all the parts of education which you
propose, can you have conceived the project of peopling the republic
of letters and arts with men of learning, professors, and artists,
each of whom, though blind, shall be capable of making a
distinguished figure in these conspicuous departments, or can they
even be certain of deriving the means of subsistence each from the
labours of his own vocation?"  No, we never pretend that those of the
blind who even discover the most shining parts, shall enter into
competition, either in the liberal sciences, or mechanical arts, with
scholars or artisans who are blessed with the use of sight, even when
their talents rise not above mediocrity; but when any or all of these
provinces are not properly supplied with persons who, to the
advantage of sight add professional abilities, the blind, may then
exert their powers, whether natural or acquired, as well in promoting
private as public utility; and in this view, it requires no mighty
effort of courage to recommend them to the public benevolence and
attention; and though their talents should not be sufficient to pre
engage the general taste in their favour, or the necessity of
employing them, so considerable as to open a resource for their
exigencies, yet the force of humanity alone may be adequate to
produce an effect so desirable.  How often have we already seen
beneficence ingenious in prescribing tasks to these unhappy
labourers, that it might have an opportunity of supplying their
indigence without wounding their delicacy.  This is what at first
occurs as an answer to the objection urged against the general
utility of our plan, till our readers be convinced by a detail of
this work, and still more effectually by experience, to what degree
our scheme of education may be carried, and how essentially it may
contribute to the subsistence of those among the blind who are born
in the depth of want and obscurity.
CHAP III.
Of Reading, as adapted to the Practice of the Blind.
READING is the only method of adorning the memory, so that it may
command the stores which it has imbibed, with facility, promptitude,
and method.  It is, as it were, the channel through which every
different kind of knowledge is communicated to us.  Without this
medium, literary productions could form nothing in the human mind but
a confused heap of disarranged and fluctuating ideas.  To teach
the blind therefore to read, and to form a library proper for their
use,must constitute the object of our first care.  Before our time,
various, but ineffectual experiments had been tried; sometimes, by
the assistance of characters moving upon a board and raised above its
surface (a); at other times, by the use of letters formed upon paper
with the puncture of a pin (b), the principles or elementary
characters of reading had been rendered obvious to the perception of
the blind. 
(a) It is without doubt, by these means that the blind man of
Puiseaux, of whom M. Diderot speaks in his letter on the blind, page
8. taught his son to read.
(b) We have seen some words thus marked by punctures upon cards in
the hands of Mlle. Paradis.  This virtuosa is 20 years of age; she
was born in Vienna in Austria, the place of her ordinary residence. 
A kind of apoplexy deprived her suddenly of her sight, at the age of
two years.  She has principally applied herself to music, and
constituted in 1784, at Paris, the chief pleasures of the spiritual
concert.
Already had the wonders of the art of writing, which before had
appeared chimerical, been realised.  Already, under their touch,
which was now found a substitute for vision, had the conceptions of
the blind assumed a body.  But these gross and imperfect utensils
only presented to the blind the possibility of attaining and enjoying
the pleasures and advantages of reading, without affording them the
proper means for acquiring them.  We had no difficulty in exploring
them; their principles had existed for a long time, and were daily
exhibited to our eyes.  We had observed, that a printed leaf, issuing
from the press, presented to the eye on the contrary side, the
letters higher than its surface, but reversed both in their position
and in their order.
We ordered typographical characters to be cast of the form in which
their impression strikes our eyes, and by applying to these a paper
wet, as the printers do, we produced the first exemplar which had
till then appeared of letters whose elevation renders them obvious to
the touch, without the intervention of sight.  Such was the origin of
a library for the use of the blind.
AFTER having successfully employed characters of different sizes,
according as we found the touch of our pupils more or less delicate
and susceptible, it appeared proper to us, at least during the first
periods of our progress, to confine ourselves to that type which has
been used in printing the greatest part of this work.  This character
appears to us as proper medium amongst those which can be felt and
distinguished by different individuals who are deprived of sight,
according to the various degrees of tactile nicety with which nature
has endued them; or at least according to the degrees of sensibility
which diversities of age or occupation may have left them.  It will
be easily conceived, that when these means are found, there is no
more difficulty in teaching a blind person the principles of reading,
than in teaching one, whose visual powers are in their highest
perfection, and that the blind may pass, by an easy transition, from
the perception of typographical to that of written characters.  We do
not here speak of characters written in the manner of those who see;
for all our endeavours to form characters rising to the touch by the
assistance of ink have proved abortive.  We have therefore
substituted in their place impressions made upon strong paper, with
an iron pen, whose point is not slit.  It is unnecessary to mention,
that in writing to the blind we do not make use of ink, that the
character is deeply impressed, distinctly separated, a little larger
than common, and nearly of the same kind with those now in the hands
of our reader; that, in short, we never write but on the side of the
paper contrary to that which is read, and in such a manner that the
position and order of the letters may appear proper when the page is
turned.  These precautions being scrupulously observed, the blind may
read tolerably letters from their correspondents who see, those
formed by their own hands, or by the hands of others in similar
circumstances.
(c) They will do more, they will equally distinguish, on the same
paper, musical characters and others, rendered sensible by our method
of procedure, as we shall immediately show in the sequel.
(c) M. Weissenbourg, a boy dwelling at Manheim, having become blind
between the seventh and eighth year of his age, celebrated for the
knowledge which he has acquired, has preserved the faculty of
writing; but this advantage, which is only an object of curiosity,
will become of real utility, if, as we hope, he adopts our method.
CHAP. IV.
Answer to various Objections against the Method of Reading proposed
for the Blind.
1.  "The elevation of your characters will doubtless be very soon
depressed," says an objector, "and of consequence no longer
perceptible to the blind by touch."  No person is ignorant of the
acuteness of that sense in several individuals, who from their
infancy have been obliged to use it, in order to supply the want of
that which nature has denied them.  A surface which appears the
smoothest to our eye, presents to the fingers of the blind
inequalities which escape the notice of that organ, though by its
assistance those who see exult in being able to perceive the remotest
stars that adorn the spacious concave of heaven; and when our pupils
distinguish a typographical character by feeling, which may elude
even a microscopic eye, when between the thickness of two given
objects, if the one differs from the other only by the fourth part of
a French line, they can clearly perceive that difference; when, in
short, they read a series of words, after the elevation of the
letters is depressed, what have we to fear from the frequent use of
their books, except the absolute destruction of the volumes
themselves, a misfortune to which those who see are equally liable? 
2.  "Your books," it is objected, "are too voluminous.  You swell a
12mo to the enormous and unwieldy size of a folio; and by thus
altering its convenient form, you render it less portable and
useful."  We might satisfy ourselves with answering to this objection
that our art of printing is yet in its infancy, but progressive, and
may perhaps one day become perfect, as that which is obvious to the
sight has already done; that it may likewise have its Elzivers, its
Barbous, its Peters, its Didot, &c.  And since its commencement, how
many and how important are the obligations which it already owes to
M. Clousier printer to the King, who assists us by his advice with as
much zeal as disinterestness?
We add, that, during the interval between its present and its more
perfect state, we are employed in adapting a method of epitomising,
which will considerably diminish the size of our volumes.  Of this we
hope to give the first specimen, in a work which will be immediately
printed after this is finished. (d)  Besides, we will make a
selection of authors, nor shall any one enter into our press, but
such works as by their reputation have merited that distinction; so
that, on one hand, if by the magnitude of our characters we enlarge
our volumes, on the other, we shall lessen them by a judicious
abridgement; and perhaps one day the library of the blind may become
the library of taste and learning.
(d) Examples of these abbreviations, within the capacity and reach of
all readers, are in the Treatises of Philosophy, in the Dictionaries,
the new Methods and other Elementary Books of Education.
3. "But confess then, that your blind scholars read slowly, and that
the spirit of the most animated composition will evaporate beneath
their fingers, while the words are languidly pronounced without
energy and without emotion."  Our pupils, it is true, read in slow
succession; besides the little practice, which an institution so
lately begun allows them in reading, they have the disadvantage of
only perceiving one letter at once, as readers who see themselves
must do, were their eyes obliged to traverse an opening between each
letter, equal to the space occupied by one typographical character in
this work.
But we hope that after frequent practice in reading, and in making
use of the abbreviations we have mentioned above, our blind pupils
will proceed with greater quickness.  Besides, we have never
entertained the ambition of qualifying them to be readers for
princes, or to declaim in public with all the graces of oratory.  Let
them only, by means of reading, learn the elements of science; let
them find in this exercise an effectual remedy against that
intolerable melancholy, which corporeal darkness, and mental
inactivity united in the same person, are too apt to produce; these
ends attained, will fully accomplish our wishes.
4. "But what good purpose will it serve to teach the blind the
letters?  Why instruct them in the art of printing books for their
peculiar use?  They never will be able to read ours.  And, from the 
knowledge which they will acquire by reading, will any considerable
advantage result to society?"  Permit us, in our turn, to ask you, To
what purpose is it that books are printed amongst all the people who
surround us, and exclusively intended for the peculiar use of each?
Do you read the language of the Chinese, that of Malabar, or of
Turkey?  Can you interpret the Peruvian Quipos, and so many other
tongues indispensably necessary to those who understand them?  Should
you then be transported to China, to the banks of the Ganges, to the
Ottoman empire, or to Peru, you will there be precisely in the same
predicament with one of our blind pupils.  With regard to the utility
which the knowledge of a blind man in reading may produce to society,
without deviating from the sentiment expressed near the end of the
following page of this work, we may with pleasure appeal for its
reality to the experiment so often repeated under our own eyes, and
of which the public itself has been a witness in our exhibitions, we
mean the experiment of a blind child teaching one who saw to read (c
). 
       (c) According to the proposal made in advertisements, 
annunciations, and various intimations on the 3d of December 1786, 
page 3204, in the first article of demands, on  the 5th of the same 
month we caused one of our blind to begin teaching a child who saw 
to read.  During the lessons the master had beneath his fingers a 
white book, printed in relief for the blind, whilst the other had 
under his eyes the same edition in black.  This child gave, for the 
first time, proofs of his advancement in the exercises performed by 
the blind at Versailles, during the Christmas holidays in the same year.
We appeal for its reality to the example of the blind person at Puyseaux (f).
(f) This blind person, as we have said before, note 11. gave to his son 
lessons in reading.
We appeal to you, in short, ye tender and respectable parents, born 
to a liberal share of fortune's favours, whose son is just entered 
into the world, but shall never see the light of heaven; what a 
sensible satisfaction it is to us to find ourselves in a capacity 
to alleviate the transports of your grief!  Yes, our plan of education 
bids fair on one hand to restore to your son, already tenderly loved, 
the dearest prerogative of intellectual existence; on the other, to 
furnish you with the means of gratifying those desires with which your 
taste for learning and genius inspires you, to procure him an education 
worthy of a child born in a distinguished rank.  And you men of learning, 
who enlighten us by your exertion of corporeal sight, if the fatigues 
of unremitted labour for our instruction should one day extinguish that 
organ, permit us at that unhappy crisis to offer you the means, at once 
of continuing the benefit of your lessons to us, and to you the enjoyment 
of an advantage of which they are in some measure the agreeable fruits. 
Homer, Belisarius, and Milton, afflicted with blindness, would with pleasure 
have consecrated to the service of their country those years of their 
lives which followed that catastrophe.
CHAP. V.
Of the Art of Printing, as practiced by the Blind for their peculiar use.
The analogy which the manner of reading adapted to the blind, has with 
their method of printing, having reduced us to the necessity of giving 
by anticipation, in detail, some circumstances which relate to the origin 
of their art of printing, it remains for us to explain the principal 
operations of that art, as adapted to their practice.  It will be much 
the same case with respect to the mechanical operations of printing 
among the blind, as with those who see.  It is doubtless impossible for 
every individual to have an exclusive possession of it (g). 
(g) One knows how easy it is to abuse printing in all respects; and not 
satisfied with the rectitude of our intentions, and the indulgence with 
which people have honoured our infant printing; the productions of which 
bear a character of originality easily distinguishable, we have formed 
to ourselves an inviolable rule not to suffer any thing printed to issue 
from us without the sanction of M. Clousier, printer to the King, and 
which has not been executed under his eyes, or those of some person 
commissioned by him.
The necessity of habitually knowing and practicing the different 
branches of that art, the multiplicity and high price of the utensils 
requisite for its execution, the civil privileges with which its 
professors must be endued, all these conspiring obstacles limit its 
pursuit to a society of the blind, solely formed and intended for its 
practice.  It is in our academy for their education where we hope to 
constitute the chief place, (if we may use the expression), from 
whence will issue such typographical productions, for instance, as are 
proper for the use of all the blind who in their misfortune shall have 
the sweet consolation of being born within the dominions of our Monarch (b).
(b) Till establishments similar to ours be formed in other nations, it 
will be a pleasure to us to cause to be printed in relievo, and in 
other languages, by our blind pupils, books destined for the use of 
strangers who are deprived of sight.
Let us proceed to the manner in which our blind pupils perform their 
typographical labours.  We have given to their cases the order of the 
alphabet, so as to preserve, immediately under their hands, the characters 
which they shall have most frequent occasion to use.  We preferred that 
distribution under the apprehension that the blind would be less clever 
than we have really found them.  It is upon the same principle that we
make them set their types in a case lined with a copper bottom, and 
pierced with several lines of small holes, from whence, by the assistance 
of a pointed instrument, they bring out the types which are to be changed.  
It is upon the same principle that we cause to be adjusted, in the inside 
of these cases, iron rulers, (moveable by means of their screws), one 
at the side, and the other at the bottom of the page, to keep the lines 
in it regular.  It is, in short, upon the same principle that we raise 
these cases horizontally in longitude upon four feet, of which the two 
that support the upper end of the page are one half lower than those 
upon which the under end rests; so that without making use of a 
composing-stick, the blind compositor may place the words at proper 
distances, and that they may not be inverted whilst he is composing the 
remainder of the page.
The way in which the typographical characters of the blind present 
themselves, naturally indicates that the arrangement ought to be made 
from left to right, as we have observed in chap. 3d.  And in order to 
make reading easy to the blind, at least in the first periods of their 
education, it may prove a happy expedient to leave spaces between the 
words, and even sometimes between the letters.  It is easy to see that 
when one prints in relievo, he cannot print on the other side without 
being in danger of destroying the former impression, by tracing which 
with their finger only, the blind can read.  Likewise, for preserving 
the pages in the same order that they have in books for the use of 
those who see, the blind are obliged to paste together, back to back, 
by their extremities, the four pages of a sheet coming from the press; 
and then the arrangement of the cases is made in an order different 
from that of persons who see.  Thus the leaves being pasted, they form 
them into books, by simply stitching and covering them with pasteboard, 
without beating them.
The office of the ordinary printing-press is easily done, by help of a 
cylindrical press, which is moved by a lever from one extremity to the 
other, along two bars of iron, between which are placed the forms, or 
pages that are set, after the manner of printers (i).  
(i) This press is the invention of Sieur Beaucher, chief lock-smith.  
It has amply and successfully accomplished our wishes, as to the facility 
with which it is managed without any great effort by a blind child, and 
by which it admits the mechanism which we have adapted to it.  We believe, 
however, that a perpendicular pressure given to the whole leaf, at the 
same instant, will leave behind it a more solid impression; we hope to find 
this in a press of another kind, which the Sieur Beaucher has described to 
us.
We may employ with success the same process for printing in relievo for the 
use of the blind, musical characters, geographical maps, the principal strokes 
of designing, and, in general, of all the figures of which the knowledge 
may be obtained by means of touch.  It is upon account of these last objects 
above all, that we hope the admirable discovery of M. M. Hoffman will be 
precious to the blind; we share by anticipation their sentiments of gratitude 
towards those estimable artists (k).
(k) Although in pages 8 and 14 of this work we have not repeated the 
names of some of the distinguished printers whom we have heard celebrated, 
we cannot forbear to confess, that according to our manner of thinking, 
there are many others who appear to us to exercise their employment with 
eclat.  We even perceive, in those who compose the body of this society, 
a general emulation.  And obliged, by the nature of our institution, to 
serve a kind of apprenticeship to this art, we would quote with pleasure 
a considerable number of well-known productions from different presses 
which leave no further improvement to be wished; as well for the neatness 
of the characters, as for the choice of paper, and which have served us 
as models in the study of printing which we had to go through.  Besides, 
far from erecting ourselves as judges in opposition to persons who 
cultivate the arts and sciences, whether from situation or taste, we 
praise even attempts that have not been crowned with success.
To the press of which we have spoken a little above, we have thought 
it proper to add a kind of tympanum, by the assistance of which, the 
blind may, at their pleasure, tinge with black, copies of an edition 
perfectly similar to those which they print on white paper for their own 
private use.
This procedure, which is equally applicable to music, to geographical maps, 
or to designs, &c. puts the blind artist in a capacity, not only of giving 
an account to himself of all the productions which he wishes to convey to 
those who see, but likewise easily to direct their studies by the 
similarity of copies, on the supposition of his being employed to give 
them lessons.
CHAP. VI.
On the Art of Printing, as practiced by the Blind for the Use of Those who See.
If we have been happy enough to discover the means of rendering printing 
useful to the blind for their own use; if it is to us that they owe the 
advantage of henceforth possessing libraries, and of taking from books 
formed on purpose for themselves, notions of letters, of languages, of 
history, of geography, of mathematics, of music, &c. we are not the 
first who dared to try to make them impress their ideas upon paper by 
help of typographical characters.  We have seen in the hands of 
Mademoiselle Paradis (l) a letter printed by her in the character called 
Pica, and in the German language, full of sentiments the most delicate, 
as well as the best expressed.
(l) This production was executed by the assistance of a little press 
which M. de Kempellan, the inventor of the automatic chess player, had 
formed for her.
This attempt gave birth in my mind to the idea of applying the blind to 
the art of printing for the use of those who see; it has succeeded with 
us in every kind of work, whether with large or common types, as one may 
judge by the different specimens which they have exhibited, and which are 
to [be] found at the end of this work, if they can possibly be procured.
After our manner of proceeding, the blind, formed according to our 
institution, compose a typographical plate in imitation of these models, 
with so much more ease as they are almost continually of the same form; 
it suffices to write for them the subject with a pen of iron, of which 
the top is not split, or with the handle of a pen-knife, as we have shown 
above in the 3d chapter.
After having exercised the blind upon the different branches of the art 
of printing, in the manner of those who see, there are found few kinds 
in which they have not succeeded.  We have seen them successively 
compose, adjust, impress, moisten the paper, touch it, print, &c. &c. (m).
(m) If there is any operation among the blind which requires to be 
directed by those who see; it is printing for the use of these last 
we acknowledge.  This speculation has been often repeated to us upon 
other different branches of our institution.  But have not clear-sighted 
persons who labour at the press themselves need of a guide, to whose 
skill they are obliged to pay deference?  And in the other states of 
life do we not see persons more enlightened, directing those who are 
less, whilst those are in a situation to conduct people less experienced 
than they?  'Tis thus that, in the day of battle, the general of an 
army gives orders, the intention of which his subaltern officers are 
ignorant.  It was thus that the pilot conducts to the end of their 
voyage the learned academicians who are unskilled in the are of navigation.
We appeal, besides, to competent judges in that affair, and we refer 
our readers to the report of M. M. the printers, which agrees with 
that of the Academy of Sciences.
CHAP. VII.
Of Writing.
The example of Bernouilli, who had taught a young blind girl to write, 
and that of M. Weissenbourg, who, deprived of sight from seven years of 
age, has procured for himself the advantages of fixing also his ideas 
upon paper by writing, have encouraged us to try the means of putting 
the pen into the hands of our pupils.  But always occupied in our real 
point of view, that is to say, in rendering our institution in every 
respect useful to those individuals who were its objects, we have 
thought that it could not but be curious to cause the blind to write, 
if they could arrive at reading their own hand; this is what engaged 
us in causing to be made for their use a pen of iron, the top of which 
was not split, and with which writing without ink, and supported with 
a strong paper, they produce upon it a character in relievo which they
can afterwards read, in passing their fingers along the elevated lines 
on the back of the page.  This elevation, however slight it may appear, 
is always sufficient, especially if care is taken to place below the 
paper upon which the blind write a soft and yielding surface, such as 
several leaves of wastepaper, of pasteboard, or of leather.  With respect 
to the proper mechanism of teaching the art of writing to those who are 
born blind, it is by no means difficult to be executed; you have only 
to teach your pupil to trace, with a pointed instrument, the characters 
ranged in form of lines.  But instead of directing the process of this 
pointed instrument by means of characters in relievo, as M. Weissenbourg 
has done, it is better to conduct it by letters graven hollow on some 
plate of metal.  We have, besides this precaution, taken that of giving 
our printed letters the form of written, in order early to accustom 
the blind pupil to catch the resemblance.  At last, when he has acquired 
the habit of distinguishing their forms, there remains nothing more 
for him to write straight but to place upon his paper a frame, internally 
furnished with small rising lines, parallel to the direction of the 
writing, and distant from one another about 9-10ths of an inch.  These 
parallel lines serve to direct his hand, whilst he transports it from 
left to right, in order to trace the characters.
CHAP. VIII.
Of Arithmetic.
We have admired the ingenious tablets of Saunderson (n), and those of 
M. Weissenbourg (o); the reason why we have adopted neither of these 
methods was from another view, viz. that we might preserve, without 
interruption, the strictest analogy possible between the means of 
educating the blind and those who see, we have thought that the manner 
of these last ought to be preferred.  Likewise when our pupils calculate, 
one may follow their operations, step by step.
(n) The arithmetical table of Saunderson was formed by a board divided 
into small squares, placed horizontally, and separated one from the 
other at equal distances; each little square was pierced with nine 
holes, viz. one on the midst of each side.  It was by the different 
positions of the pegs uniformly placed in different holes that Saunderson 
could express any kind of number.
(o) We have seen, in the hands of Mlle Paradis, arithmetical tables which 
we believe to have been those of M. Weissenbourg.  But without a 
particular study, one cannot follow the operations which are performed 
by the help of these tables.  We do not know if our pupil could operate 
with equal swiftness and certainty by these means as he could by those 
of persons who see, and we have no other merit but that of rendering 
them palpable to him.
We have caused to be made for them to this end, a board pierced with 
different lines of square holes, proper for receiving moveable figures 
and bars for separating different parts of an operation.
We have added, to render this board more useful, a case composed of four 
rows of little boxes, containing all the figures proper for calculation, 
and which are placed at the right hand of the blind person while he 
operates.  The only difficulty which occurred was to represent all the 
possible fractions, without multiplying the characters which express 
them.  We have thought of causing to be cast 10 simple denominators in 
the order of the figures 0, 1, 2, &c. even to 9 inclusively; and likewise 
10 simple numerators in the same order, moveable, in order to be adapted 
at the head of the denominators.  By means of this combination, there is 
not a fraction which our pupils cannot express.
One may see from what has been said, that our method has a double advantage.
	1. A father of a family, or a tutor, can easily direct a blind 
child in the study of arithmetic.
	2. This blind child, when once instructed, may also conduct, in 
his turn, the arithmetical operations performed by a child who sees.
The blind have, besides, so great a propensity for calculation, that 
we have often seen them following an arithmetical process, and correcting 
its errors, by memory alone.
CHAP. IX.
Of Geography.
We owe to Madame Paradis the knowledge of geographical maps for the 
use of the blind.  She herself had it from M. Weissenbourg: but we 
are astonished that neither the one nor the other has carried to a 
higher degree of perfection, the utensils which contribute to the 
study of that science.
They mark the circumference of countries by a tenacious and viscid 
matter, covering the different parts of their maps with a kind of sand 
mixed with glass, in various manners, and distinguish the order of 
towns by grains of glass of a greater or lesser size.
We are satisfied with marking the limits in our maps for the use of the 
blind, by small iron wire rounded; and it is always a difference either 
in the form or size of every part of a map, which assists our pupils in
distinguishing the one from the other.
These means we have chosen in preference, on account of the ease which 
they afford us of multiplying, by the assistance of the press, the copies 
of our original maps for the use of the blind.  It will, besides, be 
more apt than any other to offer itself to the execution of details the 
most delicate which can affect the touch of these individuals; and the 
first of our pupils have brought themselves to such admirable perfection 
in the use of geographical maps, that people see them with surprise, at 
our exhibitions, distinguish a kingdom, a province, an island, the 
impression of which is presented to them, independent of other parts of 
a map, upon a square piece of paper.
CHAP. X.
Of Music.
In tracing the plan of the education of the blind, we have at first 
looked upon music only as an appendage fit for relaxing them after 
their labour.  But the natural propensity in the greatest number of the 
blind for this art; the resources which it can furnish to several among 
them for their sustenance; the interest with which it inspires those 
who deign to be present at our exhibitions, have all forced us to 
sacrifice our own opinion to the general utility.
     
The blind have natural propensities for this art.  A considerable number 
of them, deprived of the means of living, seize with eagerness, through 
necessity, an employment towards which their inclination had already so 
powerfully attracted them.  It is only the want of instruction, without 
doubt, which reduces some of them to the necessity of wandering in the 
streets, from door to door, grating the ear by the aid of an ill-tuned 
instrument, or a hoarse voice, that they may extort an inconsiderable 
piece of money, which is frequently given them with an injunction to 
be silent (p).
(p) If the taste and inclination which certain blind persons have 
shown for the violin, or for such instruments as can easily be joined 
with it, were directed by art, perhaps they might make use of it for 
gaining more decently their livelihood.  An estimable citizen*, who 
approves all the parts of our institution, without discovering for any 
of them a particular predilection, suggested to us in the course of 
one of our exhibitions, that one might usefully employ in the train[ing] 
[of] blind musicians at festivals.
       *Mr. Thierry, Author of the Traveller's Almanack.
Others less unfortunate, and giving themselves up by choice to an 
instrument which affords them more resource, follow the career of 
Couperin, of Balbatre, of Sejan, of Miroir, of Carpentiers (q).
(q) All the world knows the merit of Mr. Chauvet, blind organist of 
Notre Dame de Bonne-Nouvelle.  They quote in France several other 
blind people, whose talents ascertain the utility of this study for 
our pupils.  How comfortable for us will it be one day to have 
extracted from this art of harmony the means of subsistence for a part 
of those unfortunate people, and to have seen them become, by a happy 
choice, the instruments of beneficence.
Our institution will furnish all of them with assistance, whether in 
the study or practice of their art.  Before our time, teachers of the 
blind were obliged to make them comprehend, by playing them over and 
over, the small pieces of music which they wished to execute.  We have 
caused to be cast musical characters proper to represent upon paper 
all its possible varieties, by elevations on its surface in the manner 
of those which we have devised to represent words (r).
(r) It has been objected to us with propriety, that our blind pupils 
cannot execute and feel the musical characters at the same time, which 
people who see call performing at sight, but this never was the end 
which we proposed.  What matters it though they perform a piece of 
music by heart, provided they perform it correctly and faithfully.
By the assistance of our printed music, then the blind pupil may learn 
at present the principles of that art, and impress on his memory the 
different pieces of music with which he wishes to enrich it (s).
(s) No person is ignorant how faithful and sure are the memories of 
the blind, and with what readiness they furnish them.  It is likewise 
known, what a clear conception the greatest number of them discover 
in difficult operations of mind; talents so astonishing, that one 
would almost doubt whether nature was more parsimonious in her gifts 
with respect to them, or anxious to recompence them for those which 
she has refused.
He may likewise form to himself a library of taste, composed of the 
most enchanting musical productions; and in short he himself may 
transmit to us the fruits of his own genius (t).
(t) Mlle Paradis, who was employed in the study of composition during 
her continuance in Paris, and who then fought the means of figuring 
the cords, learned with pleasure that we were making trials on the 
same subject.  We regret that her abrupt departure to go and reap 
under another climate the fruits of her talents, did not leave us 
time to offer her the result of our procedures, to assist her in fixing 
upon paper the matter of her study.
With respect to the music introduced into our particular exhibitions, 
we beg of our readers only to consider it as a decent recreation, which 
we have seen ourselves obliged to grant to our pupils.  Our institution 
is, in its origin, a kind of work-house, the different artists and 
labourers of which amuse their toils from time to time with harmony.  
And we have, with less reluctance, permitted them to execute some 
little pieces, even in their public exercises, that the most part of 
the beneficent people, who have deigned to be present at them, have 
shown the most lively and sensible compassion on hearing their 
performances.
CHAP XI.
Of the Occupations relative to Manual Employments, or Handicrafts.
Before the birth of our institution, some of the blind, doubtless 
fatigued with that wretched inactivity to which their deplorable 
situation seemed to condemn them, made efforts to shake it off.  
(u) Convinced of their fitness for several manual employments, we 
had no other anxiety but that of selection such tasks as were proper
for them.
(u) Amongst the blind, who not having the advantage of enjoying the 
pension of Quinze-Vingts, are obliged to ask their livelihood in the 
capital, we have seen several who occupied themselves in employments 
relative to handicrafts.  The number of these which we can make the 
blind exercise in our work-houses is very considerable; and we are 
not afraid to assert, that, if we continue to be favoured, we shall 
arrive one day at placing all the blind under shelter from indigence 
by employing them advantageously.
Convinced of their fitness for several manual employments, we had 
no other anxiety but that of selecting such tasks as were proper 
for them.  We applied them with success to spinning.  (x) Of the 
thread which they spun we succeeded in making them twist pack-thread, 
and of this pack-thread we made them weave girths.
(x) Blind children, who are under instruction in the house of our 
institution, spin by the assistance of the ingenious machine 
invented by the Sr. Hildebrand, a mechanic.  One among them turns 
a principal wheel, which gives to several smaller wheels a motion 
which each spinner can stop, quicken, or retard, at his pleasure, 
without disturbing the general order.
Their labours at the Boisseau (y), in making small walking staves 
of cords, in the working of nets, in sewing, in binding books, all 
were tried to our satisfaction; and we wanted labourers rather than 
work: so many are the kinds of manual employment, which one may trust 
to the unfortunate persons who are deprived of the pleasure of sight.
(y) The translator takes here the liberty of retaining the original 
French word, not being able to find an English name for the same 
utensil.  Boisseau properly signifies a bushel, but likewise means 
an instrument of timber, of a semiglobular form, and about one foot 
and a half in length, very light, which is placed upon the knee for 
working.  They make use of it in plaiting small round cord, or 
working girdles of silk, or other works, which they call done with 
the boisseau, to distinguish them from those which are made upon frames.
After these first trials, we will neglect nothing to put early into 
the hands of a blind child, born of indigent parents, an occupation 
from which he may one day draw his sustenance.  We will thus extirpate 
the inclination to beggary; and we will finish (if the expression may 
be allowed us), by grouping our picture, as well as by giving animation 
to the individual figures it contains.
CHAP. XII.
Of the Manner of Instructing the Blind, and a Parallel of their Education 
with that of the Deaf and Dumb.
As we have principally attached ourselves to simplify the means and 
the utensils proper for the instruction of the blind, we flatter 
ourselves we have placed their education within the reach and compass 
of all the world.  This operation, besides that it is easy in itself, 
requires more courage than knowledge in a matter.  We believe then, 
that upon this subject we have no particular advice to give.
By the aid of our books in relievo, every one can teach them to read.  
Upon the musical works formed in our press every professor of that art 
may give them lessons.  With an iron pen, with plates and moveable 
characters, executed according to our models, the first masters in 
writing may teach them that art and arithmetic.  In short, there wants 
nothing but maps in relievo to direct their studies in geography; and so 
of other things (y). 
(y) We will take pleasure in directing the construction of utensils 
useful for the instruction of the blind who are strangers.  The books 
and works of music shall be furnished by our blind pupils, and sold 
for their benefit alone.  When we shall have put the last hand to 
the objects which demand our chief care, we hope to employ ourselves 
in their amusements, and in every thing which can form a decent and 
innocent recreation for the blind.  We believe that it ought equally 
to enter into our views to teach blind children to walk alone, and 
without a guide.
We cannot conclude this reflection on the degrees of facility with 
which the blind may be educated, without drawing a parallel between 
it and the method of educating the deaf and dumb.  However surprising 
to the eyes of the public the result of our procedure may appear, we 
are very far from implicitly joining in that rash admiration of some 
persons who are very willing to give this result a preference to the 
art of instructing the deaf and dumb: An art we dare say, incredible 
to those who have never been witnesses of the success to which it has 
been conducted by the virtuous ecclesiastic, who is its original author; 
and with regard to which, several, even of those who have seen the proofs 
of this art, neither know how to estimate its merit or to feel its 
difficulties.  Let any person in reality follow them step by step: 
let him take the Abbé in the first instant of time, when he begins to 
wish to make his first signs understood by his pupil.  Let such a one 
explain to us by what enchanting and magical talents he teaches the 
deaf to distinguish the moods of a verb; its tenses, and the inflexions 
of its persons.  How will one tell us in what manner he insinuates 
into their minds metaphysical ideas?  By what marvellous secret he 
makes himself understood by the motion of his lips alone, and maintains 
a kind of conservation with them, extremely expressive, quite silent 
as it is; and it will be agreed, that the talent of impressing the soul 
with new ideas, in speaking to the eyes alone, by gesticulations infinitely 
more eloquent than those of all our orators, is much superior to the talent 
of awaking in the soul ideas which are already engraven on it, by causing 
to concur with the impression of the voice, upon the organ of hearing, 
the delicacy of a touch exercised in seizing the nicest elevations on 
the surface of a paper.  It is a long time since we have been anxious 
to pay this tribute to M.l' Abbe de l'Epée; we congratulate ourselves 
on having this task to perform in such favourable circumstances, and 
we flatter ourselves that our readers will feel all the justice of the 
deference we pay him (z).
(z) We speak with so much more knowledge of the cause of instructing 
the deaf and dumb; and our opinion is so much more agreeable to truth, 
that obliged, by circumstances from which we could not extricate ourselves, 
to consecrate the leisure which the instruction of the blind left us to that 
of a young man found upon the coast of Normandy, who is deaf and almost dumb, 
we have felt in every step how difficult the enterprise was, beyond the 
reach of our powers, and a talk alone for M. l'Abbe de l'Epée.  We propose 
to ourselves to give the history of this unfortunate young man.  The 
composition of it shall be done by him, and the print by blind children.  
The whole shall be introduced by proposals for subscription; the benefits 
arising from which shall be divided into two equal parts, and given one 
half to the blind children, and the other to that unfortunate young man.
CHAP XIII.
Of Languages, History, Mathematics, &c.
It is chiefly for the study of all these objects, that the books which 
we have invented for the use of the blind, will be to them of immense 
utility.  Elementary works of languages, of mathematics, of history, 
&c. will be in reality the first foundation of their library.  Those 
which they can produce themselves, and which shall merit the public 
approbation, will be justly entitled to a place there (a).
(a) It was certainly a desirable and a happy thing for Saunderson, 
author of various productions, to commit them himself to paper, and, 
without being obliged to depend on the fidelity of a secretary, to be 
able at every instant to render himself an exact account.
One of our pupils shewing a disposition to poetry, we beg of our readers 
to permit us to encourage it in subjoining a specimen of his rising 
talent, after the models of different works in printing, which can be 
executed by the blind, and which are at the end of this volume.
We will take particular care to join in their library works equally 
fitted to form the heart and cultivate the mind of our blind pupil, 
in fixing, as the basis of these studies, the most essential of all 
studies, that of religion.  By the assistance of such principles, 
we will inculcate the love of his duty, and in particular, gratitude 
towards his benefactors.  In enlivening his days by the interesting 
details of history, we will cause him to know the French, among whom 
he will congratulate himself on having received his existence.  We 
sill engrave upon his memory the principal facts of their history, 
and the marks of beneficence and humanity which are mixt with the 
relation of their achievements.  We will cause him, above all, to 
remark, that, in every period of time, the French have distinguished 
themselves by an inviolable attachment to their kings; and from the 
faithful picture which we will draw to him of a Monarch, who, formed 
by himself to inspire that attachment, includes in his equity and 
beneficence all the particular motives which can add to the energy 
of this hereditary sentiment, he will feel, as we do, that the 
submission of several millions of people towards a common master, 
presents itself under the image of the respectful tenderness of a 
large family towards a father who constitutes its happiness.
An
HISTORICAL SUMMARY
Of the
Rise, the Progress, and the Actual State of the
Institution of the Blind Children.
Many respectable persons have carried the concern which they felt 
for our institution, even to demand how such an idea could possibly 
enter into our mind; by what means we attempted the execution of 
it; and by what degrees it advanced to the point in which it is at 
present.  Anxious to satisfy a curiosity so laudable, we are eager 
to subjoin here a concise narrative of the rise, progress, and actual 
state of our establishment.
A novelty of a kind so singular has attracted for several years the 
united attention of a number of persons at the entry of one of those 
places of refreshment, situated in the public walks whither 
respectable citizens go to relax themselves about the decline of day. 
Eight or ten poor blind persons, with spectacles on their noses, 
placed along a desk which sustained instruments of music, where they 
executed a discordant symphony, seemed to give delight to the audience.  
A very different sentiment possessed our soul, and we conceived, at 
that very instant, the possibility of realizing, to the advantage 
of those unfortunate people, the means of which they had only an 
apparent and ridiculous enjoyment: the blind, said we to ourselves, 
do they not know objects by the diversity of their forms?  are they 
mistaken in the value of a piece of money? Why can they not distinguish 
a C from G in music, or an a from an f in orthography, if their 
characters were rendered plain.
We reflected sometimes on the utility of this undertaking; there 
another observation came to strike us.  A young child, full of 
understanding, but deprived of sight, listened, with advantage, 
to correct the errors of his brother in reading.  He even frequently
 besought him to read his elementary books to him.  He, more employed 
in objects of amusement, shut his ears to the solicitations of his 
unhappy brother, whom a cruel disease carried off very soon.
These different examples soon convinced us how precious it would 
be to the blind to possess the means of extending their knowledge, 
without their being obliged to wait for, or sometimes even in vain 
to demand, the assistance of those who saw.
If the execution of these means appeared to us possible, it did 
not fail at first to present us with some difficulties.  We had 
need of encouragement, we confess.  Madamoiselle Paradis arrived 
in this metropolis.  She shewed us her attempts, and those of 
M. Weissenbourg.  We collected those of the blind who lived before 
our time; we put into execution several of their proceedings; to 
these we joined the results of our own; and we formed a general 
plan of the Institution.  There was only wanting a person upon 
whom we might try our first experiments.  Providence deigned, 
without doubt, to direct our choice upon him.
François le Sueur, struck with blindness in consequence of convulsions 
at the age of six weeks, had not, at the age of seventeen years and 
a half, any notion relative to literature.  Descended from a 
respectable family, but entirely deprived of the advantages of 
fortune, and constrained to seek the means of subsistence in the 
place frequented by people least easy in their circumstances, 
although perhaps the most laborious, the blind youth scarcely 
enjoyed the use of reason, when he was afraid of being burdensome 
to his parents; he soon found himself under the necessity of going 
and presenting himself at the gates of our temples, there to crave 
that kind of unsubstantial and momentary assistance which is given 
by those who enter, which the indigent often obtain with difficulty 
from the rich, who industriously avoid their importunities.  Full of 
joy at the least acquisition, he flies with eagerness to the bosom 
of his unhappy family, to divide the fruit of his solicitations, 
with the authors of his being, and with three sisters and two brothers, 
whereof the last is still upon the breast.  It was in the midst of 
this hard life, as little calculated to inspire as to favour a taste 
for the sciences, that our first pupil began his education.  Soon did 
a noble enthusiasm wholly take possession of him; he snatched from 
the necessity of labouring for his existence, those moments which 
he consecrated to study.  His efforts were not slow in being followed 
with success.  They demanded of us to see the result of our proceedings; 
we seized the favourable circumstance of an Academical Assembly, where 
we were appointed to read a memorial.  We took for its subject certain 
reflections on the education of the blind.  M. le Noir, then the 
magistrate, charged with the administration of the police, was 
president of this assembly.  He saw our first attempts, received 
them with that concern with which he presently inspired Ministers, 
protectors of arts and indigence.  M. le Compte de Vergennes, M. le 
Baron de Breteuil, Mr. Comptroller General, and Mr. Keeper of the 
Seals, were kindly willing to permit that the young Sueur should 
perform his exercises in their presence, and all these respectable 
witnesses encouraged our first pupil by their beneficence.
But whilst we were employed in delineating our plan of education for
 blind children, already had a company of beneficent gentlemen, 
composed of members of the first distinction, for their birth, their 
employments, their fortune or their talents; depositaries of the 
public benefits of which every one inclines to increase the mass 
according to his wealth; who snatching an interval from their business 
or their leisure hours go twice every month to employ themselves at 
the bottom of a cloyster, afar from the public observation, about 
the means of diminishing the number of the unfortunate; already, I
 say, had the Philanthropic Society laid the foundation of this 
institution.  Twelve poor blind children received from this company 
each one the assistance of twelve livres per month.  Satisfied with 
our first trials, they designed to instruct us with the care of these 
unfortunate people.  We were not slow in conceiving the hope of adding, 
to the assistance which they had given them, the product of their 
labours.  What obligations have we not to acknowledge to the whole of 
this respectable society?  And why is it not permitted to us to name 
those of its members, who having neither reputation nor fortune to 
acquire, have shared with us, modestly and in silence, the numerous 
details into which the education of this establishment leads us!
Very soon did our institution acquire a new degree of importance in 
the eyes of the public.  Then they ceased to believe that the power 
of receiving by touch the education which we proposed, was restricted 
to an individual alone favoured with the propensities inspired by 
nature.  Of the fourteen blind children instructed in the first rudiments, 
there were then found only three whose progress had been slow; because 
enjoying still a weak ray of light, they obtained at least from touch 
what remained to them almost entirely lost from the weakness of their 
sight.
There remained no more to put the last hand to this establishment but 
the testimony of the learned upon these means.  The Academy of Sciences 
has designed to employ itself in examining them, and drew up the report 
which we have inserted at the end of this work.
Led by the suffrages of people instructed, by their own experience, 
by the emotions of a heart disposed to favour the good, the public 
have been eager from all quarters to contribute to the expence of 
rearing a house which we have built for suffering nature.
The Royal Academy of Music performed on the 19th of February 1786,
 for the benefit of blind children, a concert, in which the audience 
were divided on one hand between the noble disinterestedness of the 
members, and on the other between the talents which they displayed 
on that occasion.
In short, the Lyceum, the Museum, and the Hall of Correspondence, 
disputed among themselves with emulation the agreeable satisfaction 
of seeing, in the midst of their academical meetings, young blind 
children lisp out the first elements of reading, of calculation, 
&c. and in the scenes of learned emulation, where Genius alone 
had till then found encouragement, beneficence has, for the first 
time, been seen decreeing a crown.
Enthusiasm gained over particular societies; and the exercises of 
blind children were always terminated by some acquisition in 
their favour, sent to the house of the Philanthropic Society, who, 
joining their assistance to what was produced by the funds of the 
institution, distributed the sums to them with the tenderness 
which a good mother equally feels for every one of her children.
Thirty of these unfortunate children, with these assistances, 
partake the advantage of our institution.  Several others, too 
young to be set to work, receive no less that relief to which 
their sad situation seems to secure them a right.  But in the 
actual state in which our establishment is, we beg our readers 
not to regard it but as a beginning.  We hope that their sagacity 
will shew them, in these first fruits, a pledge of that success 
which they promise in the sequel.  It is thus that an attentive 
observer of the productions of nature sees, that the buds which 
the spring causes to shoot forth from all parts of the trees, 
announces the fruits which autumn will produce.

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