Sherlock Holmes: His Talents and His Limitations
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A Study In Scarlet, Chapter 2 The Science of Deduction
I enumerated in my own mind all the various points upon which he had shown me that he was exceptionally well informed. I even took a pencil and jotted them down. I could not help smiling at the document when I had completed it. It ran in this way:
Sherlock Holmes – his limits
1. Knowledge of Literature.–Nil.
2. ” ” Philosophy.–Nil.
3. ” ” Astronomy.–Nil.
4. ” ” Politics.–Feeble.
5. ” ” Botany.–Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening.
6. Knowledge of Geology.–Practical, but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks has  shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.
7. Knowledge of Chemistry.–Profound.
8. ” ” Anatomy.–Accurate, but unsystematic.
9. ” ” Sensational Literature.–Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century.
10. Plays the violin well.
11. Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman.
12. Has a good practical knowledge of British law.
When I had got so far in my list I threw it into the fire in despair. “If I can only find what the fellow is driving at by reconciling all these accomplishments, and discovering a calling which needs them all,” I said to myself, “I may as well give up the attempt at once.”