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Charles Grandemange, the French Prodigy
The National Magazine, Volume 4, No.1, January, 1854, p.22.
The names of several children of extraordinary mathematical powers have lately been introduced to the world. Thomas Safford, "the wonderful Vermont boy," has attained a world-wide celebrity; and we perceive that the West has recently claimed a youthful genius scarcely less remarkable. France has already boasted of two mathematical prodigies, but we venture to affirm that the case of young Grandemange is without a parallel. Physically as well as intellectually he is a wonder. The likeness we present was drawn from a daguerreotype.
This poor child is without arms or legs, and can be supported in an erect position only by a sort of box, as seen in the picture, in which he is compelled constantly to live. But this fragment of a human body, which in Sparta would have perished on the day of its birth, has received, in compensation for an infirmity so complete, a faculty of abstraction and calculation, of which it will be difficult to meet with a more extraordinary example. All the vital forces, deprived of the opportunity of expansion, seem to have sought refuge in the brain, and in the midst of misfortune there has resulted a most extraordinary development of mathematical powers.