Moses Mendelssohn, a brilliant philosopher (sometimes called “The German Socrates”), was thought to be very unattractive. He was quite stunted and misshapen and had a hunchback. The Prussian emperor said about him, “Never have I seen such great wine in such an ugly vessel.” In 1762, on a visit to Hamburg, the 32-year-old Mendelssohn met a lovely girl named Fromet Gugenheim. Apparently when Fromet laid eyes on him, she was so frightened by his appearance that she actually burst into tears.
The story goes that Mendelssohn explained to her that when he was born, his future wife was also chosen, but at the same time, it was said that she herself would be humpbacked. “O God,” he said, “a deformed girl will become embittered and unhappy, whereas she should be beautiful. Dear Lord, give me the humpback, and let the maiden be well-made and agreeable!”
Several months later, they were married. They had six children surviving to adulthood, and one of their grandsons was the famous musician, Felix Mendelssohn.