As to those artificial expedients which have been proposed, and in some cases tried, in order to aid memory in retaining what it has acquired, like the attempts formerly made to form an orator by rule, their success and expediency may justly be doubted. Simonides is said to have been the inventor of this artificial mode of remembrance. * Cicero and Quintilian both speak of it in terms of approbation, and I suspect, that after all it involves the only principle upon which any effectual assistance can be given to the memory. It depends upon two component parts of our constitution, both of which have considerable influence over us: viz, that of association, and another which has been generally remarked by philosophers, that things which are addressed to the sense of sight have a more lasting impression upon the mind than when barely an object of contemplation to it, or when perceived through the instrumentality of the other senses. The se very considerations are alluded to by Cicero as the ground of his favourable opinion about the local memory of the ancients. No doubt some slight advantages may be derived from this expedient, to those whose duties require them to commit long speeches to memory, or follow in debates a connected chain of reasoning. How much does the eye aid us in the use of our maps, in the study of geography? And, then again, in the study of history, we find the facts recorded in it, more deeply imprinted on the memory by connecting them by association with the places, to which our minds have become familiarized in geography. By associating, therefore, things which we wish to retain in memory with those which are familiar, and already safely laid in that depository, and by giving to abstract ideas a local habitation perceptible to the eye, there can be no doubt, that the power of recollection may be assisted. For example, say upon the plan of the ancients, I wish to impress upon my mind the three divisions of Massillon's sermon upon the causes of infidelity, ignorance, vanity and vice. I imagine these divisions to be represented upon the three sides of my room, ignorance, written upon the front wall, vanity upon the wall on my right hand, and vice upon the wall on the left. There can be no doubt, that by this simple expedient, I have already enabled myself to remember them better than I could have done without it. But suppose in addition to this, I can imagine these ideas exhibited upon these walls by hieroglyphick symbols, or images bearing some distant analogy to them.

* The manner in which the local memory of the ancients was suggested to its inventor, Simonides, the celebrated poet, is curious, and perhaps worth mentioning. He was one day dining with a man of distinction, says Cicero, in Thessaly, and during the repast, was called out and obliged to leave the company, for a few moments, in order to speak with some gentlemen who had called to see hiin. During his absence the room in which he had been dining fell in, and killed every person belonging to the party. It appeared, upon examination, that their bodies were so much injured and altered by the casualty, that the servant who was commissioned to attend to their funerals, could not recognize their persons. In this dif. ficulty he appealed to Simonides, who was able to distinguish their features only by recollecting the places in which they severally sat at dioner. This circumstance suggested to him the idea of the assistance which the inemory may derive from local situations.

For instance, to represent ignorance upon the front wall, let there be supposed the figure of a goose; to represent vanity, that of a peacock, said to be a vain bird; to represent vice, Milton's figure of sin, as described in his Paradise lost. 'That the subjects are of a ridiculous nature, would be rather of advantage than disadvantage in such cases. Connecting these divisions with such visible images, they now become so deeply imprinted upon the mind, it is certain, I never afterwards should forget them. This is the sum and substance of the local memory of the ancients; and from my own experience I am convinced, that to a certain extent it may be useful. I am unable to recollect the name of a gentleman of my acquaintance by the name of Richmond, and of a lady by the name of Tunis. I remember that one has the


same name as the capital of the state of Virginia, and the other that of one of the Barbary states, with which I am familiar from a knowledge of geography, and ever after I find not the least difficulty in calling them by name. Themistocles is said to have thought it an object of desire to have the power of oblivion, as he remembered too much; and Montaigne complains sadly, that his memory served him for none of the ordinary purposes of life. Both these results are easily accounted for in the characters of these distinguished men, without supposing them to have been pedantic or uncandid. Themistocles, having strong natural parts, and being constantly occupied in the affairs of the Grecian states, found it necessary to cultivate great minuteness of recollection; even in those matters which his superiority of understanding would otherwise have led him to neglect and despise, and hence his memory became burthened with unimportant facts and transactions. Montaigne, on the other hand, being exclusively occupied with wit and fine writing, let every ordinary object of attention pass by him unheeded, so that even the names of them could not be recalled. “ I can do nothing,” says he, “ without my memorandum book; and so great is my difficulty in remembering proper names, that I am forced to call my domestick servants by their offices. I am ignorant of the greater part of our coins in use; of the difference of one grain from another, both in the earth and in the granary; what use leaven is of in making bread, and why wine must stand some time in the vat before it ferments.” Father Mallebranche, who animadverts severely upon the works of Montaigne, ascribes these declarations to affectation and pedantry. "Could he be thus forgetful,” says he, et cependant avoir l'esprit plein de nom des anciens philosophes, et de leurs principes, des idées de Platon, des atoms d'Epicures, du plein et du vuides de Leucippus et de Democritus, de l'eau de Thales, de l'infinitè de nature d'Anaximandre, de l'air de Diogenes, des nombres et de la symmetrie de Pytagoras, de l'infinu de Parmenides, de l'un de Musæus, de l'eau et du feu d'Apollodorus, des parties similaires d'Anaxagoras, de la discorde et de l'amitiè a’Empedocles, du feu de Heraclite, &c.” “Yet the same author,” says professor Stewart,“ appears evidently from his wri. tings, to have had his memory stored with an infinite varit ty of apothegms and historical passages, which had struck his imagination; and to have been familiarly acquainted with the ideas of Plato, the atoms of Epicurus, the plenum and va. cuum of Leucippus and Democritus, the water of Thales, the numbers of Pythagoras, the infinite of Parmenides and the unity of Musæus.” There is no inconsistency between the account given by Montaigne of his want of memory in such matters, and his capacity to recollect those important facts and doctrines, which supplied him with the materials of fine writing. The first were altogether uninteresting, and of course would not be sufficiently impressed upon the mind, to enable him afterwards to recollect them. I suspect there is scarcely any one who devotes himself to abstract study and close application to literary pursuits, who does not often experience a difficulty in recalling the names of things, which are most at the command of others.

The fact is, that even in exercising the memory a good judgment is necessary, in order to direct it in the most useful channels. We should select those ideas and facts, which are the most important, and endeavour to impress them upon our mind, and not deposit in this store-house, without discrimination, all kinds of trash. Of what advantage can it be supposed to be to any man to recollect in connection thousands of strange and unconnected names and dates, if his mind does not faithfully retain fine sentiments, wise maxims, and principles of science? Most of those methods of forming an artificial memory, which have been proposed, are rather calculated to supply us with that kind of materials, which would nourish a frivolous vanity, and

ostentation of learning, rather than the solid knowledge which forms the understanding to greatness and virtue. All those memories which have distinguished greatly their possessors, and been the means of accomplishing any useful purposes, have become such rather by their native force, and habitual and vigorous exertion, than by any adventitious aid. Continued and strenuous exertion, therefore, together with the habitual use of the pen, in recording important matters which occur to us in reading and study, are the most effectual aids which we can afford to the native power

of memory. For this purpose we cannot adopt a better expedient than that of having a common-place-book, such as that recommended by Mr. Locke, in which to insert sentiments, maxims, and passages from the writers we peruse, or such as shall occasionally occur to our own minds, which are worthy of preservation. But probably the worst of all expedients, by which to impress things upon the memory, is to put them into doggerel verse. The slight share of information which we obtain in this manner, above what might be as well attained without it, is a wretched compensation to us for the injury done to our sense of harmony in poetic numbers, and the vitiation of our taste.

We conclude this part of our subject with this single observation. A disease sometimes obliterates from the mind all past events, or in other words utterly destroys our power of recollecting any thing past; and at other times, after destroying our recollection for the time, upon the recovery of health this power is renewed, and we can even recollect what we could not before our illness. Must not all these effects be referred to the action of disease upon those corporeal organs, made use of in memory and recollection? Is not the mind always the same principle?

It remains for us barely to state, and refute the objections which have been brought by Dr. Reid against the system of Mr. Locke, upon this point. In chap. 7, essay 3rd, upon

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