The Curse of Education
Linnæus, the great naturalist, had a very narrow escape from missing his proper vocation. He was sent to a grammar-school, but exhibited no taste for books; therefore his father decided to apprentice him to a shoemaker. Fortunately, however, a discriminating physician had observed the boy's love of natural history, and took him into his own house to teach him botany and physiology.
Instances of the kind might be multiplied. Milton himself began life as a schoolmaster, and the father of Turner, one of the greatest landscape painters who ever lived, did his best to turn his brilliant son into a barber. The point, however, is obvious enough without the need of further illustration. A few examples have been adduced of great geniuses who have contrived, by the accident of circumstances or through sheer force of character, to escape from an environme