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        RECEIVED, A BLANK CHILD.

THE blank day of blank, Received a blank
child.

Within a few weeks, this official form,
printed on a piece of parchment, happened to
come in our way. Finding it to be associated
with the histories of more than twenty
thousand blank children, we were led into an
enquiry concerning those little gaps in the
decorous world. Their home and head
quarters whence the document issues, is the
Foundling Hospital, London.

This home of the blank children is by no
means a blank place. It is a commodious
roomy comfortable building, airily situated,
though within advertisement distance of
Temple Bar, which, as everybody knows, is
precisely ten minutes' walk. It stands in its
own grounds, cosily surveying its own shady
arcades, its own turf, and its own high trees.
It has an incredible fishpond behind it, no
curious windows before it, and the wind
(tempered to the shorn lambs within) is free
to blow on either side of it. It preserves
a warm, old fashioned, rich-relation kind of
gravity, strongly indicative of Bank stock.
Its confidential servants have comfortable
places. Its large rooms are wainscoated
with the names of benefactors, set forth in
goodly order like the tables of the law. Its
broad staircases, with balustrades such as
elephants might construct if they took to the
building arts, not only lead to long dining-
rooms, long bedroom galleries, long lavatories,
long schoolrooms and lecture halls, for the
blank children; but to other rooms, with
listed doors and Turkey carpets, which the
greatest English painters have lent their aid
to adorn. In the halls of the blank children,
the Guards for ever march to Finchley, under
General HOGARTH. Deceased patrons come
to life again under the hands of KNELLER,
REYNOLDS, and GAINSBOROUGH. Nay, the good
Duke of Cambridge himself, in full masonic
paraphernalia, condescends to become a
stupendous enigma over the chimney-piece of
the smallest of the blank infants who can sit
at dinner. Under the roof of the blank
children the Royal Academy of Painting and
Sculpture was originated. In the chapel of
the blank children there is a noble organ, the
gift of HANDEL; from whose great oratorio
The Messiahalso his munificent contribution
for their benefittheir hospital has received
ten thousand pounds. There, too, the Church
service is every Sunday performed at its best,
with all the assistance of devotional music,
yet free from the stage-playing of any ism,
not forgetting schism. There, likewise, may
be heard at this present time, if we may
presume to say so, one of the least conventional,
most sensible, naturally eloquent and earnest
of preachers.

The knowledge of all these things accumulating
in our mind upon the receipt for that
blank child on the blank day of blank,
induced us to look more curiously into the
history of the Foundling Hospital.

In or about the Christian year one thousand
seven hundred and twenty-two: a good old
time, when England had had too much to do,
through all the good old times intervening
since the days of Pope Innocent the Third, to
do anything whatever for Foundlings; in or
about that year there dwelt in London the
gentle sea-captain, THOMAS CORAM. Although
the captain had made his fortune on the American
plantations, and had seen sights in his day,
he came out of it all with a tender heart;
and this tender heart of Captain Coram was
so affected by seeing blank children, dead and
alive, habitually exposed by the wayside as
he journeyed from Rotherhithe (where he
had set up his retreat that he might keep a
loving eye on the river) to the Docks and
Royal Exchange, and from the Docks and
Royal Exchange home to Rotherhithe again
to receive the old shipmate, who was generally
coming to dinner, that he could not bear it.
So, the Captain went to work like a man who
had gone down to the sea in ships, and knew
what work was. After conquering innumerable
thorns and brambles, springing out into
his path from that weedy virtue which is
always observed to flower in a wrong place
when nobody wants to smell it, Captain
Coram found that he had got together
subscriptions enough to begin a hospital for poor
foundlings, and to buy an estate of fifty-six
acresout in Lamb's Conduit fields then
for five thousand five hundred pounds. Little
did the Captain think that the whole amount
of that purchase-money would ever come to
be annually received back in rents; but so it
is at this day.

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