He was up in mathematics, had a taste for hydrostatics, and could talk about astronomy from Aristarchus down;
He could tell what kind of beans were devoured by the Chaldeans, and he knew the date of every joke made by a circus clown.
He was versed in evolution, and would instance the poor Russian as a type of despotism in the modern age of man.
He could write a page of matter on the different kinds of batter used in making flinty gim-cracks on the modern cooking plan.
He could revel in statistics, he was well up in the fistics, knew the pedigree of horses dating 'way back from the ark.
Far and wide his tips were quoted, and his base-ball stuff was noted. In political predictions he would always hit the mark.
He could write upon the tariff, and he didn't seem to care if he was called off to review a book or write a poem or two:
He could boil down stuff and edit, knew the value of a credit, and could hustle with the telegraph in a style excelled by few.
He could tell just how a fire should be handled; as a liar he was sure to exercise a wise, discriminative taste.
He was mild and yet undaunted, and no matter what was wanted he was always sure to get it first, yet never was in haste.
But despite his reputation as a brainy aggregation, he was known to be deficient in a manner to provoke.
For no matter when you met him he would borrow if you let him, and he seemed to have the faculty of always being broke.