Do The Deaf & Dumb Think Themselves Unhappy?

Two deaf and dumb scholars of the late Abbe Siccard were asked--Do the

deaf and dumb think themselves unhappy? The following is the answer of

Massien:--"No; because we seldom lament that which we never possessed,

or know we can never be in possession of; but should the deaf and dumb

become blind, they would think themselves very unhappy, because sight is

the finest, the most useful, and the most agreeable of all the senses.
r /> Besides, we are amply indemnified for our misfortune by the signal

favour of expressing by gestures and by writing our ideas, our thoughts,

and our feelings, and likewise by being able to read books and


The following is the answer of Clerc, the other pupil, to the same

question:--"He who never had anything has never lost anything, and he

who never lost anything has nothing to regret; consequently, the deaf

and dumb who never heard or spoke, have never lost either hearing or

speech, therefore cannot lament either the one or the other. And he who

has nothing to lament cannot be unhappy; consequently the deaf and dumb

are not unhappy. Besides, it is a great consolation for them to be able

to replace hearing by writing, and speech by signs."