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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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