My notions upon this head might not have been so clear as they are, but for a fortunateaccident which happened to me when I was a very little boy. A good-hearted old Irish nurse(whom I shall not forget in my will) took me up one day by the heels, when I was making morenoise than was necessary, and swinging me round two or three times, d -- d my eyes for "ashreeking little spalpeen," and then knocked my head into a cocked hat against the bed-post. This,I say, decided my fate, and made my fortune. A bump arose at once on my sinciput, and turnedout to be as pretty an organ of as one shall see on a summer's day. Hence thatpositive appetite for system and regularity which has made me the distinguished man of business that I am.
If there is any thing on earth I hate, it is a genius. Your geniuses are all arrant asses -- thegreater the genius the greater the ass -- and to this rule there is no exception whatever. Especially,you cannot make a man of business out of a genius, any more than money out of a Jew, or thebest nutmegs out of pineknots. The creatures are always going off at a tangent into some fantasticemployment, or ridiculous speculation, entirely at variance with the "fitness of things," and havingno business whatever to be considered as a business at all. Thus you may tell these charactersimmediately by the nature of their occupations. If you ever perceive a man settingup as a merchant or a manufacturer; or going into the cotton or tobacco trade, or any of thoseeccentric pursuits; or getting to be a dry-goods dealer, or soap-boiler, or something of that kind;or pretending to be a lawyer, or a blacksmith, or a physician -- anything out of the usual way --you may set him down at once as a genius, and then, according to the rule-of-three, he's an ass.