A boy born with a deficient power of apprehending signs and abstractions must suffer the penalty of his congenital deficiency, just as if he had been born with one leg shorter than the other.
An anatomist—even a mere physiognomist— would have seen that the deformity of Philip’s spine was not a congenital hump, but the result of an accident in infancy; but you do not expect from Tom any acquaintance with such distinctions; to him, Philip was simply a humpback.
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It was a congenital heart defect.
It was true what I’d heard, that his heart was congenitally diseased, and he was now in urgent need of a transplant.