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Writings About Laurent Clerc

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In Chronological Order

1809.07.24 Toulouse.Laurent and Sicard

Page 9: First public meeting in Toulouse, where the abbe Sicard produced his pupil Clerc. July 24, 1809

All the members of the learned societies of Toulouse, the Directors and Professors of the Lycee and all the schools, all the members of the corps, whether ecclesiastical or civil, that have been invited to this session by Father Sicard.

The Mayor invited the ladies there.

The Abbe reviewed his teaching methods, then, through Clerc (k), he made applications which aroused great enthusiasm.

Then, Mr. Prefet Desmousseaux addressed the following questions to this deaf-mute:

  1. What are the sentiments of a man of genius? 

Response: Feelings of admiration and astonishment for the works he has done or in his footsteps.

  1. What feelings does he inspire when he has rendered great service to his fellows?

    Response: Feelings of attachment, love, recognition.

  1. Who is the man here who inspires all of these feelings?

Answer: He was the one who pulled me out of nothing, the one who put me in communication with society, and finally, the one who made me know God and his holy religion that I always ignored.

A thunderclap having been heard during the session, Clerc was asked if he had heard it. He replied no. He was asked what idea he had thunder.

He repeated: Thunder is a great noise that is made in the heavens above and terrifies the earth, whether it is raining or going to rain.

Someone asked him: What is religion?

He replied: She is learning to know God and to render him the worship which is due to him.

Following this session, the journalist reports, Mr. le Prefet met for dinner Mr. Abbé Sicard and a major member of learned societies. Young Clerc was among the guests. He was asked the following new questions:

  1. How do you define beauty?

    He replied: Beauty is shining. Explode and please everything

  1. What is [noise?

The noise is one body knocking against another, two opposing tunes which strike the pillow. It is also of confused sounds. You hear through the ears and I hear through the stomach.

M. d'Aguilar, member of the Academy of Floral Games, addressed the following impromptu to Father Sicard:

“O new Promethee! O you whose genius,

By powerful magic,

Makes the word feel and knows how to paint the sound,

We admired your learned lessons,

And your profonde theory,

Always be human,

The Helpful Comforter,

The follower of the truth,

Of the deaf and the dumb the respectable Solon,

And the honor of this quote.

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