An Irish surgeon who had couched a cataract and restored
the sight of a poor woman in Dublin, observed in her case
what he deemed a phenomenon in optics; on which he called
together his professional brethren, declaring himself
unequal to the solution.
He stated to them that the sight of his patient was so
perfectly restored, that she could see to thread the smallest
needle, or to perform any other operation, which required
particular accuracy of vision; but that when he presented
her with a book, she was not capable of distinguishing
one letter from another!
This very singular case excited the ingenuity of all the
gentlemen present, and various solutions were offered,
but none could command the general assent.
Doubt crowded on doubt, and the problem grew darker from
every explanation, when at length, by a question put by
the servant who attended, it was discovered that the woman
never learned to read!