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the recruit's mouth, “We ain't no plaster saints,” but there is a deep well of common humanity which springs up constantly in the actions of Kipling's recruits, even though the verse be frequently faulty, and the English be the tongue of the cadger.
Neither has Kipling idealised. He has pictured the soldier as he naturally is. This is another advantage which the light poet possesses over his hard-working brother. The professional poet is bound to idealize; if he . does not, he must give up the business. But the light poet gives us Nature; frequently we laugh at his drolleries, and sometimes we laugh when our eyelashes are moistened with the tears of which we are ashamed.
So it is with Kipling. “Danny Deever” is intensely sad ; “Gunga Din ” gives us a picture of a man of a class too often despised, yet, although black of countenance, who was, as Kipling says,
White, clear white inside." Then there is the noble strain “Fuzzy-Wuzzy.” It is easy to laugh at these poems, but I doubt if they are ever read without a feeling of love for the subject arising in the heart of the intelligent reader.
Kipling does for the soldier what Bret Harte did for the gold-digger,—he makes him into a fascinating if not a lovable character. First, in “ Tommy Atkins," he gives us the soldier with a grievance and a very real grievance it is.
We aren't no thin red heroes, we aren't no blackguards too
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that,
An' Tommy, “Fall be'ind,”
When there's trouble in the wind.
“ Mandalay” is a very charming picture of the soldier who longs for India,--for the old Moulmein pagoda, for the banjo, for a vision of the yellow petticoat, for the
Neater, sweeter maiden in the cleaner, greener land.
Tommy's description of the maiden is given in a stanza which, in spite of the critics, I persist in calling lovely,
W'en the mist was on the rice fields, and the sun was droppin' slow,
Elephints a-pilin teak,
On the sludgy, squdgy creek,
You was 'arf afraid to speak !
On the road to Mandalay.
We have room and to spare for such writers, for men who will ease our burdens and give us a light heart, but who will at the same time remember, in their easy openhearted fashion, the troubles and difficulties of life. We have sufficient sadness. We do not look to young men who are climbing the steep slope of Parnassus, by the aid of Elliot Stock and John Lane, to add to our misery by verse of leaden tinge. Brighten our darkling souls, oh! writers, for yours is a magician's wand which knows no unresponsive object, yours is a magnet for which there is ever a lode-stone.
For we look behind us along those sands which have almost become Mr. Longfellow's copyright,—those dreary sands of time. " The road that we have traversed,” says Mr. Jerome, “is very fair behind us. We see not the sharp stones ; we only see the roses by the wayside. Even the strong briers that stung us are to our distant eyes but gentle tendrils waving in the wind.”
The brightest side of everything is also its highest and best, so that as our little lives sink behind us into the dark sea of forgetfulness, all that which is the lightest and the most gladsome is the last to sink, and stands above the waters, long in sight, when the angry thoughts and smarting pain are buried deep below the waves and trouble us no more."
THE SIGN LANGUAGE OF THE DEAF AND DUMB.
By J. BIRKBECK NEVINS, M.D.LOND. THE MEANS OF COMMUNICATION WITH THE DEAF AND DUMB
ARE VARIOUS. 1st. Such signs as the dumb may make from infancy to indicate hunger, pain, anger, pleasure, &c., which become intelligible to those intimately associated with them, though they may be unintelligible to strangers, and cannot possibly be called sign language."
2nd. Facial expressions, accompanied or not accompanied by speech, such as anger or pity, on the part of hearing people; which expressions become intelligible in a degree to the deaf and dumb, although without any sound being heard. But such facial, or even oral movements, could not be called an “oral” language.
3rd. A system of signs constructed upon some intelligent principle, which may be taught to a number of deaf and dumb as well as to hearing persons ; and if such signs should have any easily intelligible meaning in themselves, they might then, in a perfectly legitimate sense, be called a "sign language.” Such a system of signs would evidently be a great advance upon the limited number above suggested, and it is such a system that is and has been in actual existence for about a hundred years (constituting the so-called “sign language of the deaf and dumb,”) which it is the object of this paper to illustrate and explain.
4th. There is yet another method of communicating with the deaf and dumb, viz., by teaching them to watch the
lips, tongue, and throat of a person when speaking slowly and distinctly, and at the same time pointing to tangible objects, so that the deaf person learns in time to associate certain positions of the vocal organs with certain objects; and, further still, he is taught to imitate those positions and movements of the lips, &c., and at the same time to breathe out gently, and he then produces a sound appreciably resembling the spoken words. Thus, in some sense, he sees what is said to him, and he speaks back in reply without hearing a word on either side. This is called, technically, the “ deaf and dumb oral language.”
5th. The finger or alphabet deaf and dumb language requires a knowledge of spelling and reading, which implies a somewhat more advanced education; for the fingers must be placed in such positions as to resemble as nearly as possible the capital letters of the alphabet, and then the words are spelt in these capital letters by the one side, and are read from the letters by the other. This is, perhaps, the most generally known system of communicating with the deaf and dumb that is employed by hearing persons.
Lastly. A slate, or paper, and a pencil, for actually writing and reading what it is desired to convey, is the last, and often the first resource (because of its obvious advantages) that is employed by the educated deaf and dumb, even when they are themselves familiar with the “sign,” “finger,” or “oral” systems.
ORIGIN AND ORIGINATOR OF THE SIGN LANGUAGE OF THE
DEAF AND DUMB. The common belief in the time of our Lord's sojourn upon earth was that a deaf and dumb person was one possessed by a devil,* and even to almost our own time
* Matt. xii, 32; Mark ix, 25; Luke xi, 14.