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The Dawn of Genius.
(Irith Illustration.) BY THE REV. WILLIAM BARKER, M.A., VICAR OF HOLY TRINITY, FOREST OF DEAN. T may not require a genius to you have been about all this time ? You draw a cat upon a slate, as have been shutting and opening, and opening the boy in the picture appears and shutting, the lid of the tea-kettle over to be doing But a boy that and over again; you have put the saucer in tries to draw is more likely to the steam from the spout; and then you
have find out whether he has any held the silver tea-spoon in it; and then you
genius for drawing than the have done nothing but pore over them, and boy who never puts pencil to slate or paper. bring together the drops formed by condenA man never yet became an artist, however sation on the surface of the china or the clever he might be in his attempts at sketch
Are you not ashamed of spend. ing, if he failed to work hard with his pencil ing your time in that way?" and brush. Still, when there is genius in Watt's reply is not recorded. If he had anybody, it will almost be sure to show itself replied, he probably would
replied, he probably would have said :in early life.
· Aunt, don't bother me, please. I'm not All our great men were fond of experiment wasting my time; I have got a notion in ing in their youth in those things which took my head about this steam; and perhaps, their fancy. Every celebrated chemist las, some day, you will see greater things done when a lad, broken many a bottle, and had by steam than just the lifting up of the lid many a narrow escape, and frightened his of the tea-kettle." mother nearly to death many a time by his By taking away that tea-kettle from young explosions. None of these disasters stopped Watt, and forcing him to read his books, we him. He rather enjoyed them. His mother might have been deprived at this day of the was proud of him, and would predict great steam engine, and never known what it was things of him. She saw in these pursuits to travel at the rate of sixty miles an hour! the dawn of genius.
But great results have often very simple begin. A friend of Mr. Watt one day came upon nings. A burnt stick and a barn door served young James Watt, stretched
David Wilkie in lieu of pencil and canvas; ground, tracing with chalk all sorts of cross and he afterwards rose to be one of our finest lines. “Why do you suffer this child thus to painters. Another famous painter, Benjamin trifle
away his time !” exclaimed the visitor. West, made his first brushes, when a lad, out “ Send him to school." The father answered, of the tail of the family cat. Gifford worked “You will do well to delay your judgment; his first problem in mathematics, when a cobbefore condemning him be good enough to bler's apprentice, upon small scraps of leafind out his occupation.” On examining the ther, which he beat smooth for the purpose.
cross lines," it was discovered that this His master thought only of the shoes, and, no child of six was solving a problem in doubt, scolded Gifford for wasting his time geometry.
and his leather. If Gifford had “ stuck to The visitor no longer judged him harshly. his last” he would never have become a He was accomplishing at that early age what celebrated mathematician, and the editor of thousands of men at fifty, who call them- the Quarterly Review. selves educated, could not accomplish.
They say of poets, that they must be born To the same lad, James Watt, his aunt, such. And no doubt it is so, not only with Mrs. Muirhead, once said :
poets, but also with painters, musicians, “James, I never saw ang boy more given orators, and the like. But, with whatever to trifling than you are. Can't you take a gifts we are born, they are of small use withibook and employ yourself usefully. There out cultivation. The most gifted men have have you been sitting a whole hour without ever been the most studious and laborious. speaking a single word. Do you know what Buffon, the great naturalist, said that
“ genius is patience.” John Foster held duties at home was to nurse his younger genius to be the power of lighting one's own brother Peter, then a delicate child under two fire. Sir Isaac Newton, when asked by what years old. To relieve himself of the labour means he had worked out his extraordinary of carrying Peter about, he hit upon the discoveries, modestly answered, “By always device of constructing a small wagon in thinking unto them.”
which to wheel him. This was his first A great point to be aimed at, is to machine; but by no means his last. This get the working quality well trained. tiny wagon became the index of a mechaTalent will help and direct a lad in his nical skill which was unsuspected before, and work, but work, with small talent, will which led to great results. His only tools achieve more
success than genius itself were a knife, a gimlet, and an old saw. A which is never brought out, Sir Robert blockhead would have disdained the imple. Peel, when a boy at Drayton Manor, was ments, and produced nothing. In using them made to stand upon the table to practise the dawn of Fairbairn's genius appeared. extempore speaking, and repeat the Sunday Out of a piece of thin board, and by the sermon. The result was, that he became help of a few nails, he soon made the body renowned as one of the finest orators in of the contemplated vehicle. When he came the British Parliament. Gainsborough went to the wheels, his difficulties increased. But sketching, when a school-boy, in the woods, by cutting sections from the stem of a small while the other boys went to cricket. At alder tree, he obtained the material properly twelve he was a confirmed artist. Edward shaped ; and then, with a red-hot poker, he Bird, when a child only three or four years
bored the holes in the centre to receive the old, would mount a chair, and draw figures on axle. The body was mounted on the four the walls, which he called French and English wheels, the axles introduced, and the wagon soldiers. A box of colours was purchased for was complete, and became a sort of perambuhim, and his father, wishing to turn his love lator (before the days of perambulators) for of art to account, put him apprentice to a the daily drives of the future Mayor of Leeds, maker of tea-trays.
Out of this trade he Sir Peter Fairbairn, who had the honour gradually raised himself, by study and during his mayoralty, of entertaining her labour, to the rank of a Royal Academician. Majesty the Queen.
Not long since, we lost by death, at an ad- His brother, William, the carriage builder, vanced age, one of our greatest machinists, never looked with greater pride on his most Sir William Fairbairn. Let me give a story finished cotton-spinning frame, constructed of him in connection with his early life. in after years, than he did on this, his first
When he lived at Moy, where his father, stroke of genius, the baby-wagon of his Andrew Fairbairn, was a farmer, one of his nursing days.
The Young Folks' Page.
III. THE LOST HALF-CROWN.
ORK was over for the week at the set me up in the world for life; I would then
factory, and two of the lads were soon give up the factory."
on their way home from their Just at this moment they were overtaken labours. As they went along they talked by old Andrew Jones, who worked with them abont a large sum of money a gentleman in at the factory. He soon found out what they the next town had lost out of his pocket. were talking about, and their wishes in the
“I should like to be the finder," said one matter. of the boys.
“I once found some money—only a small "So should I,” replied the other ; "it would sum, it is true,” said Andrew; "but it taught