If German historians are to be credited, scholastic brilliance is the "last infirmity of noble minds", and stupidity the most coveted of encomiums. In their searching compilations of the biographies of great men, they find that Genius has been largely accustomed to growing up "study free." Napoleon looms out with a colossal capacity for mental vacuity, and the moral is obvious; set a lazy man to catch a dullard. Wellington was notoriously lazy. Blucher, by some mysterious prefiguration, early showed signs of his later forte by earning for himself the sobriquet of the "last-place pupil".--Waterloo was to see him starring in his old position, with Wellington showing that laziness is superior to mere lack of education, such as Napoleon's. These Germans, in invading the scientific world, find further that Darwin neglected his three R's shamefully, and in his naturalistic zeal set out on many punitive expeditions after cats. Nelson, Clive, and Goldsmith also find their names on the roll of the "know-nothings".
With this enlightening retrospect, it is clearly advantageous to single out parellels, that the incipiently great among us may be recognized. First, there is the apathetic student who carves monograms in Sever while the lecturer's torrent of words slides off him. A "mute, inglorious Milton", taking his first steps! Likewise, what of the note-book sketcher? Another Whistler in the cotyledonous stage, learning his art under scholastic duress! As for the Darwins those fraternities and organizations that demand initiatory cats doubtless have their place in the education of great men. Or such, at least, are the comforting inferences to be drawn from the work of some modern historians.