Page:Father's memoirs of his child.djvu/66

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rising, while it forces the forward shoots of intellect into an unseasonable luxuriance. "These prodigies of learning," said he, "commence their career at three, become expert linguists at four, profound philosophers at five, read the fathers at six, and die of old age at seven." A sarcasm so pointed, and apparently so applicable to the circumstance in question, uttered as it was face to face, had it been just, would have been intolerable; but failing as it did in the essential article of truth, it only served to evince the indecency and brutality of its author. Not that these memoirs are designed for an answer to so unkind and unfeeling a speech, but as a single testimony, tending to discredit the popular opinion, that children of uncommon powers or attainments, as such, are almost necessarily short-lived. Should the facts about to be stated convince the reader, that an instance, liable to be mistaken on common report for a confirmation of the prevailing idea, furnishes a pointed example in proof