Page:Biographies of Scientific Men.djvu/95

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
63
LINNÆUS

surrounding the parental home was an extremely fine garden, and in its grounds young Linnæus laid the foundation of his subsequent studies. The father's garden was noted for being the finest and most variegated in the district, having as many as four hundred species of flowers. When quite young, Carl made himself familiar with the names of trees, plants, and flowers growing in the neighbourhood.

Until the age of ten Carl was educated by his father, but in 1717, when Charles XII. of Sweden and others were intriguing against the Brunswick dynasty in England, he was sent to his first school at Wexio. He had a fair elementary education, including Latin. The principal, or rector, of the school was fond of botany, and he took a special interest in Linnæus when he discovered that his new pupil knew all the names of the trees, plants, and flowers growing in the vicinity of the school. During his school days at Wexio, Linnæus greatly neglected his studies, and to such an extent that the tutors complained to his father. He was so enraptured with botany that he was compelled to confess to his father that he had no inclination whatever for the ministry. This was such a severe blow to the father that without further delay Carl was apprenticed to a bootmaker. However, this step caused other onlookers to think that young Linnæus would waste his time and talents as a bootmaker, so much so that Professor Rothmann (professor of medicine in