The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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duced the number 247,483 : this he immediately did by mentioning the numbers 941 and 263, which, indeed, are the only twc numbers that will produce it. Another of them proposed 171,3951 and he named the following factors as the only ones, viz., 5 X 34.279, 7 X 24,485, 59 X 2,905, 83 X 2,065, 35 X 4,897, 295 X 581, and 413 X 415. JHe was then asked to give the factors of 36,083 ; but he immediately replied that it had none, which in fact was the case, as 36,083 is a prime number. Other numbers were indiscriminately proposed to him, and he always succeeded in giving the correct factors, except in the case of prime numbers, which he discovered almost as soon as proposed. One of the gentlemen asked him how many minutes there were in forty-eight years; and before the question could be written down he replied, 25,228,800; and instantly added that the number of seconds in the same period was 1,513,728,000. Various questions of the like kind were put to him, and to all of them he answered with equal facility and promptitude, so as to astonish every on* present, and to excite a desire that so extraordinary a faculty should, if possible, be rendered more extensive and useful. It was the wish of the gentlemen present to obtain a knowledge of the method by which the child was enabled to answer with so much facility and correctness the questions thus put to him; but to all their inquiries on the subject (and he was closely examined on this point) he was unable to give them any information. He persistently declared (and every observation that was made seemed to justify the assertion) that he did not know how the answer came into his mind. In the act of multiplying two numbers together, and in the raising of powers, it was evident, not only from the motion of his lips, but also from some singular facts which will be hereafter mentioned, that some operations were going forward in his mind; yet that operation could not, from the readiness with which the answers were furnished, be at all allied to the usual mode of proceeding with such subjects; and moreover he is entirely ignorant of the common rules of arithmetic, and cannot perform upon paper a simple sum in multiplication or division. But in the extraction of roots and in mentioning the factors of high numbers, it does not appear that any operation can take place, since he will give the answer immediately, or in a very few seconds, where it would require, according to the ordinary method of solution, a very difficult and laborious calculation; and, moreover, the knowledge of a prime number cannot be obtained by any known rule.
" It must be evident, from what has here been stated, that the singular faculty which this child possesses is not altogether