King James IV’s love of language led to a shocking experiment
Throughout history, experiments have been a great way to test certain theories. Certain ones morph into astonishing discoveries. Others will simply land in the gutter. One experiment was simply too much to handle.
Talking your head off
King James IV was one of the most prolific kings of Scotland. When it came to his speech, he understood a plethora of languages. Over time, he became enamored on how we were able to learn how to speak. He would often sit and watch people’s mouths move in order to get an understanding. As expected, this led to fewer people coming out to his glorious dinners.
In 1493, King James IV decided to take his infatuation with speech one major step forward.
A bizarre investigation
He decided to conduct an experiment seeing what language humans can truly speak without supervision. He called this the language of the Gods. Since kids normally learn languages from their parents, finding a test subject was a bit hard at first. While two infants caught James’ eye, their mute mother was the real attraction. Since she couldn’t speak at all, they were the perfect test for this wild venture known as the Forbidden Experiment.
James locked the lady and kids away on Inchkeith Island. This island wasn’t filled with blooming trees and delighted animals. It was one of the dreariest spots in Scotland. The lady’s job was to nurse both children until they were able to speak.
The results are in?
Were the two kids able to speak? Well, it depends on who you asked. Certain people stated that the two spoke great Hebrew. Other have said they didn’t speak a single word. It was truly one of those “You had to be there” situations.
Regardless, this experiment was conducted again by Mughal emperor Akbar. Future novels such as Le Miroir de Cassandre and The New York Trilogy also touched upon this experiment. In the end, King James IV simply learned to let things happen naturally.