2. CHAPTER II. THE SCIENCE OF DEDUCTION.
1. Knowledge of Literature. -- Nil.
2. Philosophy. -- Nil.
3. Astronomy. -- Nil.
4. Politics. -- Feeble.
5. Botany. -- Variable. Well up in belladonna,
opium, and poisons generally.
Knows nothing of practical gardening.
6. Geology. -- Practical, but limited.
Tells at a glance different soils
from each other. After walks has
shown me splashes upon his trousers,
and told me by their colour and
consistence in what part of London
he had received them.
7. Chemistry. -- Profound.
8. Anatomy. -- Accurate, but unsystematic.
9. Sensational Literature. -- Immense. He appears
to know every detail of every horror
perpetrated in the century.
10. Plays the violin well.
11. Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman.
12. Has a good practical knowledge of British law.
When I had got so far in my list I threw it into the fire in
despair. "If I can only find what the fellow is driving at
by reconciling all these accomplishments, and discovering a
calling which needs them all," I said to myself, "I may as
well give up the attempt at once."
I see that I have alluded above to his powers upon the violin.
These were very remarkable, but as eccentric as all his other
accomplishments. That he could play pieces, and difficult pieces,
I knew well, because at my request he has played me some of
Mendelssohn's Lieder, and other favourites.
When left to himself, however, he would seldom produce any
music or attempt any recognized air. Leaning back in his
arm-chair of an evening, he would close his eyes and scrape
carelessly at the fiddle which was thrown across his knee.
Sometimes the chords were sonorous and melancholy.
Occasionally they were fantastic and cheerful. Clearly they
reflected the thoughts which possessed him, but whether the
music aided those thoughts, or whether the playing was simply
the result of a whim or fancy was more than I could determine.
I might have rebelled against these exasperating solos had it
not been that he usually terminated them by playing in quick
succession a whole series of my favourite airs as a slight
compensation for the trial upon my patience.