The little four-years-old Alfred, an uncommonly lively and amiable child, is alone with the mother at home; he pays especial court to Gabriele, and believing that he must entertain her, he brings out his Noah's Ark to introduce to her, in his low, clear, young voice, Ham and Hamina, Shem and Shemina, Japhet and Japhetina.
Little Abe, who had trotted along bravely upon his four-years-old legs, wrapped in a big plaid shawl, lost his grip at that and joined in, howling dolefully that he was hungry. Adam Grunschlag gave up at last and sat down on the curb, helpless and hopeless. Hungry! Yes, and so was he. Since morning he had not eaten a morsel, and been on his feet incessantly.
There is Pascal, mastering at the age of twelve years the greater part of Plane Geometry without any instruction, and not a figment of Calculus, drawing on the floor of his chamber all the figures in the first book of Euclid, estimating accurately the mathematical relations of them all that is, reconstructing for himself a part of descriptive Geometry; the herdsman Mangia Melo, manipulating figures, when five years old, as rapidly as a calculating machine; Mozart, executing a sonata on the pianoforte with four-years-old fingers, and composing an opera at the age of eight; Theresa Milanollo, playing the violin at four years, with such eminent skill that Baillot said she must have played it before she was born; Rembrandt, drawing with masterly power before he could read."