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SOME NOTED DUNCES.

Isaac Newton gravitated in his sohool daya alwaya towards the .bottom of his class.

Dr Chalmers was expelled from the parish school of Anstruther as a dunce for whom there was no hope. Adam Clark, who rose to be one of the most famous Wesleyan ministers, was pronounced by his father '* a grievous dunce." Sir David Wilkie, when Bt school, was one of the idlest and most eccentric of boys. He himself declares that he could draw before he could read, and paint before he could spell. Charles J. Mathews, the distinguished actor, while relating the story of his life, tells of his education at Merchant Taylors' School. "I was a dunce," he says ; "it is a fact; there is no disguising the truth." Henry Ward Beecher, as we learn from his biography, was a dull boy. On Sunday it was usual in his father's family for the children to learn the catechism, but at this exercise Henry always broke down. Walter Scott, while at Edinburgh University, gave little evidence of that genius which was to make him- famous. " Dunce he is, and dunce he will remain," said Professor Dalzell of him who became the moßt distinguished of his students. Charles Darwin, in bia autobiography, tells us that he " had much zeal for subjects which interested him," which possibly could be said for the dullest boy that ever. vexed a teacher's heart. It was the collective opinion of Darwin's masters that a duller boy had never been within the school walls. Robert Chambers, whose name will ever be held in esteem as a pioneer of cheap literature, for six weeks filled a situation in Mitchell street, Leith. " From that place," he says, " I was discharged for no other reason that I can think of but that my employer thought me too stupid to be likely ever to do him any good." Dr Samuel Smiles, in his life of George Moore, tells us that at school the great philanthropist was considered dull. He was much fonder of bathing than of reading. Mr Fisher, one of Moore's first employers, said that he had had many a stupid blockhead from Cumberland, but George Moore was the greatest blockhead of them all.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971026.2.32

Bibliographic details

SOME NOTED DUNCES., Issue 10454, 26 October 1897

Word Count
371

SOME NOTED DUNCES. Issue 10454, 26 October 1897

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