Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/31

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[19]

Another most interesting chanty, only to be found, I believe, in this place and Liverpool, adds to the respect we feel for the Bristol character. It is a School of Industry for the Indigent Blind, formed in 1793, and supported by the voluntary contributions of the public. Here those unfortunate beings, who, (the blessing of sight being denied to them) may apply to themselves the pathetic lament of Milton:

"For with the year
" Seasons return ; but not to us return
" Day, nor the sweet approach of ev'n or morn.,
" Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
" Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine?
" But clouds instead, and ever-during dark
" Surround us? from the cheerful ways of men
" Cut off, and, for the Book of Knowledge fair,
" Presented with an universal blank!"

Here they are taught to earn their livelihood by the labour of their hands; and by these means relieved from that most distressing of all convictions, the conviction of being a burthen on society. Their employments are of several sorts; that of the males is chiefly basket-making; of the females spinning, and making laces for women's stays. No sight can be more interesting or affecting than this little seminary, its scholars busied in their respective avocations. All is cheerfulness, anima-