A nine-days-old "infant prodigy"

    The first of the two cases was described in 1875 by the magazine 'Spiritualist' (vol. I, p. 222). It contains Baron Kirkupp's witness to his new-born granddaughter's spiritualistic behaviour. The baby was no more than nine-days-old when her hand wrote a coherent text in Italian.
    "She was delivered on the seventh month and was very small. Her mother, supporting the pillow on which Valentina (that was her name) was lying, had a sheet of paper propped by a book in the other. Nobody noticed who put a pencil into the baby's hand and she was clutching it in her tiny little fist. All of a sudden she started to write: first - her parents initials. The pencil fell out, and I hoped that would be all. But my daughter Imogene gave a cry of surprise saying: 'Look, the pencil is again in her fist!' - and the baby traced in an unsteady hand, just over the already written capital letters, the following: 'Non mutare, questa e buona prova, fai cosa ti abbiamo detto, addio' (Ital. 'Change nothing, this is a good proof, do as we told you, good bye')". The photograph of the sheet of paper with the baby-written sentence on it was attached to the baron's letter, along with a minutes signed by seven eye-witnesses.
    The baby's hand here is playing the role of an automatic machine operated by somebody else, obviously capable of influencing the motor zones of the human cerebral cortex. It may be looked upon as a kind of writing automatism, forming part of a wide class of phenomena, widely known to specialists and having probably mixed aetiology. However, in the case of a nine-days-old baby the influence of some external mind can hardly be denied.

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