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The Deaf Shoemaker

by Philip Barrett


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   Not today
Beneath the scorching rays of a blistering summer's sun, or chilled by the piercing blast of winter, a puny, sickly youth might have been seen daily ascending a ladder, bearing on his head a heavy weight of slate. There is nothing about his appearance but his feeble step and emaciated frame, calculated to attract the attention of the passer-by: a closer observation, however, will show that he possesses an eye which bespeaks an amount of patient perseverance but seldom known. On one occasion, when about twelve years of age, while engaged in his accustomed labor, his foot misses the round of the ladder which he had so long ascended, and the infirm youth is thrown a distance of thirty-five feet on the hard stone pavement beneath. In a state of perfect insensibility he is taken up and borne to the arms of his afflicted friends. For two long weeks he remains in a state of unconsciousness, not knowing the nearest and dearest of his relatives.

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