—’Thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sovereign vital Lamp; but thou
Revisit’st not these Eyes, that roul in vain
To find thy piercing Ray, but find no Dawn’.
And a little after,
’Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet Approach of Ev’n and Morn,
Or Sight of vernal Bloom, or Summer’s Rose,
Or Flocks or Herds, or human Face divine;
But Cloud instead, and ever-during Dark
Surround me: From the chearful Ways of Men
Cut off, and for the Book of Knowledge fair,
Presented—with an universal Blank
Of Nature’s Works, to me expung’d and raz’d,
And Wisdom at one Entrance quite shut out’.
Again, in ‘Sampson Agonistes’.
—’But Chief of all,
O Loss of Sight! of thee I most complain;
Blind among Enemies! O worse than Chains,
Dungeon, or Beggary, or decrepid Age!
Light, the prime Work of God, to me extinct,
And all her various Objects of Delight
—’Still as a Fool,
In Power of others, never in my own,
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than Half:
O dark! dark! dark! amid the Blaze of Noon:
Irrecoverably dark, total Eclipse,
Without all Hopes of Day!’
The Enjoyment of Sight then being so great a Blessing, and the Loss of it so terrible an Evil, how excellent and valuable is the Skill of that Artist which can restore the former, and redress the latter? My frequent Perusal of the Advertisements in the publick News-Papers (generally the most agreeable Entertainment they afford) has presented me with many and various Benefits of this kind done to my Countrymen by that skilful Artist Dr. Grant, Her Majesty’s Oculist Extraordinary, whose happy Hand has brought and restored to Sight several Hundreds in less than Four Years. Many have received Sight by his Means, who came blind from their Mother’s Womb, as in the famous Instance of Jones of Newington . I my self have been cured by him of a Weakness in my Eyes next to Blindness, and am ready to believe any thing that is reported of his Ability this way; and know that many, who could not purchase his Assistance with Money, have enjoy’d it from his Charity. But a List of Particulars would swell my Letter beyond its Bounds, what I have said being sufficient to comfort those who are in the like Distress, since they may conceive Hopes of being no longer miserable in this Kind, while there is yet alive so able an Oculist as Dr. Grant.
I am the SPECTATOR’S humble Servant,
[Footnote 1: ’A Full and True Account of a Miraculous Cure of a young Man in Newington, &c,’ was a pamphlet of 15 pages, published in 1709. William Jones was not born blind, and little benefited by the operation of the Doctor Grant, who in this pamphlet puffed himself.]