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A Mathematical Prodigy

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Aríidiot wtao, perhaps, surpasses aü rtvals Ín meuiory, and in capacity to make mathematicalcaluulations in his head, was recently exainined beforethe students of the Medico-surgical Aeiidemy of St. Petersburg. He is twentyseveii years oíd. In his youth he was noted tor his briliiant ability, but was aduicted to the immoderateuseof liquors, and led n dissipated lile. He was attacked by an acute díaease. When he recoveroü he was found to have lost all his mental facultics except memory and the power of mathcmatical ealculation. These inereased proportionately as hls understanding and power of logica! thinking vanished. Now he is a living phonograpu and caloulating apparatus. In the lecture room Prot. Merjevsky requesteci him to square numbers oontaining flve or six Hgures, to extract the square roots of like numbers, and so on. All the questions were correotly answerod by the patiënt in a few seconds. No mathematician present' eould do anything like it. Then the Professor requested some one to read poetry aloud for Beveral minutes, and the patiënt repeated lt as correctly as a phonotfraph. The Professor declared to the andience that he was unable to explaln 1his psychical phenomenon. Thememory and the calculatiiiK capacitj' of the patiënt are still growing, while in otbcr respects heis beoominjí a more hopeless idiot.


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