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A Learned Young Lady

Fraulein Dorothea Schlozer, a Hanoverian lady, was thought worthy of the
highest academical honours of Goettingen University, and, at the jubilee
of 1787, she had the degree of Doctor of Philosophy conferred upon her,
when only seventeen years of age. The daughter of the Professor of
Philosophy in that University, she from her earliest years discovered an
uncommon genius for learning. Before she was three years of age, she was
taught Low German, a language almost foreign to her own. Before she was
six, she had learned French and German, and then she began geometry;
and after receiving ten lessons, she was able to answer very difficult
questions. The English, Italian, Swedish, and Dutch languages were next
acquired, with singular rapidity; and before she was fourteen, she knew
Latin and Greek, and had become a good classical scholar. Besides her
knowledge of languages, she made herself acquainted with almost every
branch of polite literature, as well as many of the sciences, particularly
mathematics. She also attained great proficiency in mineralogy; and,
during a sojourn of six weeks in the Hartz Forest, she visited the deepest
mines, in the common habit of a labourer, and examined the whole process
of the work. Her surprising talents becoming the general topic of
conversation, she was proposed, by the great Orientalist Michaelis, as
a proper subject for academical honours. The Philosophical Faculty, of
which the Professor was Dean, was deemed the fittest; and a day was
fixed for her examination, in presence of all the Professors. She was
introduced by Michaelis himself, and distinguished, as a lady, with the
highest seat. Several questions were first proposed to her in mathematics;
all of which she answered to satisfaction. After this, she gave a free
translation of the thirty-seventh Ode of the first Book of Horace, and
explained it. She was then examined in various branches of art and
science, when she displayed a thorough knowledge of the subjects. The
examination lasted two hours and a half; and at the end, the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy was unanimously conferred upon her, and she was
crowned with a wreath of laurel by Fraulein Michaelis, at the request of
the Professors.

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