Glossary of Terms

Kaspar Hauser


Mary Baker Eddy Mentioned Them

by Rachael M. Pratt (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1961, pages 102-103)


KASPAR HAUSER, 1812-1833

Mentioned in Science and Health, pp. 194, 195

In the spring of 1828 a shoemaker was attracted by the sight of a boy about sixteen who was trying to walk, but who could not stand upright or control the movement of his legs. The boy, moaning and crying, handed a letter addressed to a captain in Nuremberg to the shoemaker, who conducted him to the captain. The letter said that when a baby the boy had been left with the writer and that now the boy wanted to become a soldier. The letter obviously hid the truth. The boy's only sentence, which he repeated parrotlike, was, "I will be a rider as my father."

The captain gave the boy over to the police. When asked to write his name, the boy wrote legibly, "Kaspar Hauser." At first the only food he could enjoy was bread and water, and his only pleasure was in a wooden horse. Soon, because of his good nature and obedience, he was taken to live with the jailor. Within a few months Kaspar's face gained expression, and even the structure of his face altered.

His case aroused great interest, and a Professor Daumer took charge of him. His mentality, which had been that of a two-year-old child, now developed rapidly. He met people easily, and his senses and memory were unusually accurate. When he first saw stars, he was so moved by their beauty that for the first time he spoke of the cruelty of the man who had kept him locked up. As his education advanced, he began to write the story of his boyhood, spent in what he called a cage, which was too low to permit him to stand upright. Although taught to write his name, he never saw his caretaker. When awakened from naps, Kaspar would find himself in fresh clothes and with bread and water beside him. Never had he been in the light and air until he was taken to Nuremberg.

After he began the writing of his story, an attempt was made on his life. Subsequently Earl Stanhope became interested in Kaspar and sent him to Anspach, where he became a law clerk. One day by agreement he met a stranger in the palace gardens. While Kaspar read papers which the stranger gave him, he was fatally stabbed.

Different theories have been advanced regarding Kaspar; but the one which has persisted is that he was a legitimate prince of the house of Baden and that the morganatic wife of the grand duke, to secure the succession for her son, had Kaspar incarcerated.


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