“Now, it is enough,” said the doctor, “it is only by degrees that he can become accustomed to the light, and for this reason, my boy, you must remain blind for a few days longer;” he replaced the bandage and added, “whenever this is taken off, the room must be darkened, as the light must be admitted only by degrees, until his eyes are accustomed to it. Neglect of this precaution would deprive him of sight for ever.”
Madame Tube promised to be careful, then seizing the doctor’s hand, “Permit me,” she said, “to kiss the hand which has, with God’s blessing, restored sight to my child. I cannot reward you for this noble action. May God give you his choicest blessings!”
“Oh! good, kind gentleman,” broke in Madelaine, “how happy you have made us all; if I could but express all I feel; but I am too ignorant, I can only thank you a thousand times.”
“And I,” said Raphael, “I can only thank you now, but I will pray for you, my benefactor. When I rise in the morning, when I lie down at night,—when I look around me on this beautiful world, I will always think of you, and ask God to bless you.”
“It is enough, enough,” said the doctor, “I am very happy that I have been successful.” As he spoke, his countenance beamed with benevolence, and doubtless the heartfelt thanks and prayers of the poor family, and the consciousness of having performed a kind action, gave him most sincere pleasure. He quitted the little room, followed by silent blessings.
THE ENJOYMENT OF SIGHT.
A new world was now open to Raphael—hearing and taste were before his greatest pleasures, but now he forgot every thing in the enjoyment of sight. The first time the bandage was removed from his eyes, he amused his mother and sister by trying to reach the bouquet of forget-me-nots, which was at the further side of the room. He was quite astonished to find his hand did not reach it. His mother, who had remarked this said, laughing, “My dear Raphael, you are like a little infant who stretches out its hands towards every object it sees, whether near or distant.”
When the thick curtain was withdrawn, Raphael would have put his head through the window, had not his mother prevented him and when shown the glass, he was all amazement.
One day he said to Madelaine, “There is some one looking at us through that little window there; who is it that lives so very near us?”
Madelaine looked at him, and laughed with all her heart. “It is the looking-glass,” she answered, “and that person is no other than yourself.”
But Raphael would not believe her until his mother took down the looking-glass to convince him. He looked behind it, expecting to find some one there. “Ah,” said his mother to Madelaine, “we shall have many curious questions to answer our Raphael, before he becomes acquainted with the world in which he lives.”