ASSOCIATIONS FOR HELPING THE BLIND 689
The trades they learn are mostly caning chairs, making brushes, baskets, ropes, paper sacks, and some similar articles in which a man with full sight can earn but very little. Besides, a seeing workman can add to his work many things to make it appear nicer, which will increase its price. Also selling and getting new orders is more difficult for a blind man as long as he must work alone.
Saxony is an industrial country. It has many great manu- factories, and large parts of the country are inhabited chiefly by weavers and people that have only a small income. In such districts the number of blind people is not small, and, what is still more serious, they are very likely to become beggars. Not seldom they are even engaged by their own families, which are poor and of a low education, to live in this manner, which, no doubt, will bring them a little better income than making brushes or baskets. They do not mind that in this way they will fall entirely into immorality, and what they learned in the institution of Dresden may be lost in a few years. Such cases must be prevented, and, in order to prevent them, it is the first duty of the inspector at Dresden to find out whether it would be wise to send the pupil back to his people after leaving the institution. Then he must take care to find out what may be the most suc- cessful trade for him ; and this he begins already while he is in school. After he has completed his studies, he remains in one of the large workshops of the institution, to complete learning his trade, because he must know it well enough to perform it without any master. This aim he has attained when he is eighteen or twenty years old, and then he is sent either to his family or to some other place which the inspector considers fit for him. How can he get on there ? This question is more difficult to answer than many think. Most of them lack in their lives one of the most important periods of a seeing work- man, the period when he was a journeyman. He has learned his trade as well as a blind man can, but he hardly knows any- thing of business life. Thus arranging a business himself is almost impossible. Even when kind friends would do it for him, he hardly understands how to meet his clients. Although