Biography of Scottish Child Prodigy Marjory Fleming Part 2

About the Scottish child prodigy Marjory Fleming, history and biography of the brilliant youth.

FOOTNOTE PEOPLE IN WORLD HISTORY

MARJORY FLEMING (1803-1811), Child prodigy

Perhaps the most quoted of her works is a letter she wrote, at age five, to her elder sister. It reads:

I now sit down on my bottom to answer all your kind and beloved letters which you was so good as to write to me.

This is the first time I ever wrote a letter in my Life. There are a great number of Girls in the Square and they cry just like a pig when we are under the painfull necessity of putting it to Death.

Miss Potune, a Lady of my acquaintance, praises me dreadfully. I repeated something out of Deen Sweft [Dean Swift]? and she said I was fit for the Stage and you may think I was primmed up with majestic Pride, but upon my word I felt myselfe turn a little birsay--birsay is a word . . . William composed which is as you may suppose a little enraged. This horid fat Simpliton says that my Aunt is beautiful which is intirely impossible for that is not her nature.

After three years in the Keith household, Marjory returned to Kirkcaldy in July, 1811. That fall, the town was struck by an epidemic of measles, and Marjory caught the disease. Although she appeared to make a recovery, she suffered a relapse, and on Dec. 19, 1811, she succumbed to what was known as "water on the brain." Her father was so heartsick that he never again mentioned her name.

After Marjory's death, Isabella Keith gave the journals to Mrs. Fleming, and they remained in the family until they were brought to public light in 1858. Since that time, Marjory has gained an ever increasing following. Admirers have included Mark Twain, who remarked. "She was made out of thunderstorms and sunshine, and not even her little perfunctory pieties and shop-made holinesses could squelch her spirits or put out her fire for long. . . ." It was a fitting tribute for an unusual little girl who won the heart of everyone she met during her brief lifetime.

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