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which does neither of these two things for us | He neglected jurisprudence, he neglected even is useless for our culture, though it may be of his college studies, but took an interest in so considerable practical convenience in the af- many other pursuits that his mind became fairs of ordinary life. It is right to add, how-rich indeed. Yet the wealth which his mind ever, that there is sometimes an indirect in- acquired seems to have been due to that libtellectual benefit from such accomplishments. To be able to order dinner in Spanish is not in itself an intellectual advantage; but if the dinner, when you have eaten it, enables you to visit a cathedral whose architecture you are qualified to appreciate, there is a clear in-ies, which did not greatly interest him, it is tellectual gain, though an indirect one.



The author rather inclined to congratulation than to condo-
lence-Value of a selecting memory-Studies of the young
Goethe-His great faculty of assimilation-A good liter-
ary memory like a well-edited periodical-The selecting
memory in art-Treacherous memories-Cures suggested
for them--The mnemotechnic art contrary to the true dis-
cipline of the mind-Two instances--The memory safely
aided only by right association.

So far from writing, as you seem to expect me to do, a letter of condolence on the subject of what you are pleased to call your "miserable memory," I feel disposed rather to indite a letter of congratulation. It is possible that you may be blessed with a selecting memory, which is not only useful for what it retains but for what it rejects. In the immense mass of facts which come before you in literature and in life, it is well that you should suffer from as little bewilderment as possible. The nature of your memory saves you from this by unconsciously selecting what has interested you, and letting the rest go by. What interests you is what concerns you.

erty of ranging by which it was permitted to him to seek his own everywhere, according to the maxim of French law, chacun prend son bien où il le trouve. Had he been a poor student, bound down to the exclusively legal stud

likely that no one would ever have suspected his immense faculty of assimilation. In this way men who are set by others to load their memories with what is not their proper intellectual food, never get the credit of having any memory at all, and end by themselves believing that they have none. These bad memories are often the best, they are often the selecting memories. They seldom win distinction in examinations, but in literature and art. They are quite incomparably superior to the miscellaneous memories that receive only as boxes and drawers receive what is put into them. A good literary or artistic memory is not like a post-office that takes in everything, but like a very well-edited periodical which prints nothing that does not harmonize with its intellectual life. A wellknown author gave me this piece of advice: "Take as many notes as you like, but when you write do not look at them-what you remember is what you must write, and you ought to give things exactly the degree of relative importance that they have in your memory. If you forget much, it is well, it will only save beforehand the labor of erasure." This advice would not be suitable to every author; an author who dealt much in

In saying this I speak simply from the in-minute facts ought to be allowed to refer to tellectual point of view, and suppose you to his memoranda; but from the artistic point be an intellectual man by the natural organi- of view in literature the advice was wise inzation of your brain, to begin with. In saying deed. In painting, our preferences select that what interests you is what concerns you, whilst we are in the presence of nature, and I mean intellectually, not materially. It may our memory selects when we are away from concern you, in the pecuniary sense, to take nature. The most beautiful compositions are an interest in the law; yet your mind, left to produced by the selecting office of the memitself, would take little or no interest in law, ory, which retains some features, and even but an absorbing interest in botany. The greatly exaggerates them, whilst it diminpassionate studies of the young Goethe, in ishes others and often altogether omits them. many different directions, always in obedi- An artist who blamed himself for these exagence to the predominant interests of the mo-gerations and omissions would blame himment, are the best example of the way in which a great intellect, with remarkable powers of acquisition and liberty to grow in free luxuriance, sends its roots into various soils and draws from them the constituents of its sap. As a student of law, as a university student even, he was not of the type which parents and professors consider satisfactory.

self for being an artist.

Let me add a protest against the common methods of curing what are called treacherous memories. They are generally founded upon the association of ideas, which is so far rational, but then the sort of association which they have recourse to is unnatural, and produces precisely the sort of disorder which


would be produced in dress if a man were insane enough to tie, let us say, a frying pan to one of his coat-tails and a child's kite to the TO A MASTER OF ARTS WHO SAID THAT A CERTAIN other. The true discipline of the mind is to


estimate of a schoolmaster-No one can be fully educated -Even Leonardo da Vinci fell short of the complete expression of his faculties-The word "education "used in two different senses-The acquisition of knowledge--Who are the learned?-Quotation from Sydney Smith-What a "half-educated" painter had learned-What faculties he had developed.

be effected only by associating those things to- Conventional idea about the completeness of education-The gether which have a real relation of some kind, and the profounder the relation, the more it is based upon the natural constitution of things, and the less it concerns trifling external details, the better will be the order of the intellect. The mnemotechnic art wholly disregards this, and is therefore unsuited for AN intelligent lady was lamenting to me intellectual persons, though it may be of some the other day that when she heard anything practical use in ordinary life. A little book she did not quite agree with, it only set her on memory, of which many editions have thinking, and did not suggest any immediate been sold, suggests to men who forget their reply. 'Three hours afterwards," she added, umbrellas that they ought always to associate "I arrive at the answer which ought to have the image of an umbrella with that of an open been given, but then it is exactly three hours door, so that they could never leave any too late." house without thinking of one. But would it Being afflicted with precisely the same pitinot be preferable to lose two or three guineasable infirmity, I said nothing in reply to a annually rather than see a spectral umbrella statement you made yesterday evening at in every doorway? The same writer suggests dinner, but it occupied me in the hansom as an idea which appears even more objectiona- it rolled between the monotonous lines of ble. Because we are apt to lose time, we houses, and followed me even into my bedought, he says, to imagine a skeleton clockroom. I should like to answer it this mornface on the visage of every man we talk with; ing, as one answers a letter. that is to say, we ought systematically to set You said that our friend the painter was about producing in our brains an absurd asso-"half-educated." This made me try to unciation of ideas, which is quite closely allied derstand what it is to be three-quarters eduto one of the most common forms of insanity.cated, and seven-eighths educated, and finally It is better to forget umbrellas and lose hours what must be that quite perfect state of the than fill our minds with associations of a kind man who is whole-educated. which every disciplined intellect does all it I fear that you must have adopted some can to get rid of. The rational art of memory conventional idea about completeness of eduis that used in natural science. We remem-cation, since you believe that there is any ber anatomy and botany because, although such thing as completeness, and that educathe facts they teach are infinitely numerous, tion can be measured by fractions, like the they are arranged according to the construct-divisions of a two-foot rule.

ive order of nature. Unless there were a Is not such an idea just a little arbitrary? clear relation between the anatomy of one an-It seems to be the idea of a schoolmaster, imal and that of others, the memory would re- with his little list of subjects and his profesfuse to burden itself with the details of their sional habit of estimating the progress of his structure. So in the study of languages boys by the good marks they are likely to obwe learn several languages by perceiving tain from their examiners. The half-educattheir true structural relations, and remember-ed schoolboy would be a schoolboy half-way ing these. Association of this kind, and the towards his bachelor's degree-is that it? maintenance of order in the mind, are the only arts of memory compatible with the right government of the intellect. Incongruous, and even superficial associations ought to be systematically discouraged, and we ought to value the negative or rejecting power of the memory. The finest intellects are as remarkable for the ease with which they resist and throw off what does not concern them as for the permanence with which their own truths engrave themselves. They are like clear glass, which fluoric acid etches indelibly, but which comes out of vitriol intact.

In the estimates of school and college this may be so, and it may be well to keep up the illusion, during boyhood, that there is such a thing attainable as the complete education that you assume. But the wider experience of manhood tends rather to convince us that no one can be fully educated, and that the more rich and various the natural talents, the greater will be the difficulty of educating the whole of them. Indeed it does not appear that in a state of society so advanced in the different specialities as ours is, men were ever intended to do more than develop by ed


ucation a few of their natural gifts. The only | draws for himself, are the detection of an anman who came near to a complete education apæst in the wrong place, or the restoration was Leonardo da Vinci, but such a personage of a dative case which Cranzius had passed would be impossible to-day. No contempo- over, and the never dying Ernesti failed to rary Leonardo could be at the same time a observe." leader in fine art, a great military and civil By the help of the above passage from an engineer, and a discoverer in theoretical article written sixty-three years ago by Sydscience; the specialists have gone too far for ney Smith, and by the help of another pashim. Born in our day, Leonardo would have sage in the same paper where he tells us that been either a specialist or an amateur. Situ- the English clergy bring up the first young ated even as he was, in a time and country men of the country as if they were all to keep so remarkably favorable to the general devel-grammar schools in little country towns, I opment of a variously gifted man, he still fell begin to understand what you mean by a short of the complete expansion of all his ex- half-educated person. You mean a person traordinary faculties. He was a great artist, and yet his artistic power was never developed beyond the point of elaborately careful labor; he never attained the assured manipulation of Titian and Paul Veronese, not to mention the free facility of Velasquez, or the splendid audacity of Rubens. His natural gifts were grand enough to have taken him to a pitch of mastery that he never reached, but his mechanical and scientific tendencies would have their development also, and withdrew so much time from art that every renewal of his artistic labor was accompanied by long and anxious reflection.

who is only half qualified for keeping a grammar school. In this sense it is very possible that our friend the painter possesses nothing beyond a miserable fraction of education. And yet he has picked up a good deal of valuable knowledge outside the technical acquirement of a most difficult profession. He studied two years in Paris, and four years in Florence and Rome. He speaks French and Italian quite fluently, and with a fair degree of correctness. His knowledge of those two languages is incomparably more complete, in the sense of practical possession, than our fossilized knowledge of Latin, and he reads The word "education" is used in senses so them almost as we read English, currently, different that confusion is not always avoided. and without translating. He has the heartSome people mean by it the acquisition of iest enjoyment of good literature; there is knowledge, others the development of fac-evidence in his pictures of a most intelligent ulty. If you mean the first, then the half-ed-sympathy with the greatest inventive writucated man would be a man who knew half ers. Without having a scientific nature, he what he ought to know, or who only half knows a good deal about anatomy. He has knew the different sciences, which the wholly educated know thoroughly. Who is to fix the subjects? Is it the opinion of the learned? -if so, who are the learned? "A learned man!—a scholar!-a man of erudition! Upon whom are these epithets of approbation bestowed? Are they given to men acquainted with the science of government? thoroughly masters of the geographical and commercial relations of Europe? to men who know the This for the acquisition of knowledge; now properties of bodies, and their action upon for the development of faculty. In this re each other? No: this is not learning; it is spect he excels us as performing athletes exchemistry, or political economy, not learning. cel the people in the streets. Consider the The distinguishing abstract term, the epithet marvellous accuracy of his eye, the precision of Scholar, is reserved for him who writes on of his hand, the closeness of his observation, the Æolic reduplication, and is familiar with the vigor of his memory and invention! the Sylburgian method of arranging defect- How clumsy and rude is the most learned ives in and μ. The picture which a young pedant in comparison with the refinement of Englishman, addicted to the pursuit of knowl- this delicate organization! Try to imagine edge, draws-his beau idéal of human nature what a disciplined creature he has become, -his top and consummation of man's powers how obedient are all his faculties to the com—is a knowledge of the Greek language. His mands of the central will! The brain conobject is not to reason, to imagine, or to in-ceives some image of beauty or wit, and imvent; but to conjugate, decline, and derive. mediately that clear conception is telegraphed The situations of imaginary glory which he to the well-trained fingers. Surely, if the re

not read Greek poetry, but he has studied the old Greek mind in its architecture and sculpt ure. Nature has also endowed him with a just appreciation of music, and he knows the immortal masterpieces of the most illustrious composers. All these things would not qualify him to teach a grammar school, and yet what Greek of the age of Pericles ever knew half so much?

sults of education may be estimated from the evidences of skill, here are some of the most wonderful of such results.




thing makes us prodigal where we ought to be parsimonious, and careless where we have need of unceasing vigilance. The best timesavers are the love of soundness in all we learn or do, and a cheerful acceptance of inevitable limitations. There is a certain point of proficiency at which an acquisition begins to be of use, and unless we have the time and resolution necessary to reach that point, our labor is as completely thrown away as that of a mechanic who began to make an engine but never finished it. Each of us has acquisitions which remain permanently unavailable

TO A MAN OF LEISURE WHO COMPLAINED OF from their unsoundness, a language or two


that we can neither speak nor write, a science Necessity for time-thrift in all cases-Serious men not much of which the elements have not been mastered, in danger from mere frivolity-Greater danger of losing an art which we cannot practice with satisfactime in our serious pursuits themselves-Time thrown tion either to others or to ourselves. Now the away when we do not attain proficiency-Soundness of time spent on these unsound accomplishments former scholarship a good example-Browning's Grammarian-Knowledge an organic whole-Soundness the has been in great measure wasted, not quite possession of essential parts-Necessity of fixed limits in absolutely wasted, since the mere labor of tryour projects of study-Limitation of purpose in the fine arts-In languages-Instance of M. Louis Enault-In ing to learn has been a discipline for the music-Time saved by following kindred pursuits-Order mind, but wasted so far as the accomplishand proportion the true secrets of time-thrift-A waste ments themselves are concerned. And even of time to leave fortresses untaken in our rear. this mental discipline, on which so much

You complain of want of time-you, with stress is laid by those whose interest it is to your boundless leisure!

encourage unsound accomplishment, might be obtained more perfectly if the subjects of study were less numerous and more thoroughly understood. Let us not therefore in the studies of our maturity repeat the error of our youth. Let us determine to have soundness, that is, accurately organized knowledge in the studies we continue to pursue, and let us resign ourselves to the necessity for abandoning those pursuits in which soundness is not to be hoped for.

It is true that the most absolute master of his own hours still needs thrift if he would turn them to account, and that too many nerer learn this thrift, whilst others learn it late. Will you permit me to offer briefly a few observations on time-thrift which have been suggested to me by my own experience and by the experience of intellectual friends? It may be accepted for certain, to begin with, that men who like yourself seriously care for culture, and make it, next to moral duty, the principal object of their lives, are but little exposed to waste time in downright frivolity of any kind. You may be perfectly idle at your own times, and perfectly frivolous even, whenever you have a mind to be frivolous, but then you will be clearly aware how the time is passing, and you will throw it away knowingly, as the most careful of money-economists will throw away a few sover-curate, and a determination to give however eigns in a confessedly foolish amusement, merely for the relief of a break in the habit of his life. To a man of your tastes and temper there is no danger of wasting too much time so long as the waste is intentional; but you are exposed to time-losses of a much more insidious character.

The old-fashioned idea about scholarship in Latin and Greek, that it ought to be based upon thorough grammatical knowledge, is a good example, so far as it goes, of what soundness really is. That ideal of scholarship failed only because it fell short of soundness in other directions and was not conscious of its failure. But there existed, in the minds of the old scholars, a fine resolution to be ac

much labor might be necessary for the attain-
ment of accuracy, in which there was much
grandeur. Like Mr. Browning's Gramma-
rian, they said—

"Let me know all! Prate not of most or least
Painful or easy: "

and so at least they came to know the ancient
tongues grammatically, which few of us do in
these days.

It is in our pursuits themselves that we throw away our most valuable time. Few intellectual men have the art of economizing I should define each kind of knowledge as the hours of study. The very necessity, an organic whole and soundness as the comwhich every one acknowledges, of giving vast plete possession of all the essential parts. portions of life to attain proficiency in any- For example, soundness in violin-playing con

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sists in being able to play the notes in all the | omy of time? Accurate drawing is the basis positions, in tune, and with a pure intonation, of soundness in the fine arts, and an amateur, whatever may be the degree of rapidity indi- by perseverance, may reach accuracy in drawcated by the musical composer. Soundness ing; this, at least, has been proved by some in painting consists in being able to lay a examples-not by many, certainly, but by patch of color having exactly the right shape some. In languages we may have a limited and tint. Soundness in the use of language purpose also. That charming and most intelliconsists in being able to put the right word in gent traveller, Louis Énault, tells us that he the right place. In each of the sciences, there regularly gave a week to the study of each are certain elementary notions without which new language that he needed, and found that sound knowledge is not possible, but these el-week sufficient. The assertion is not so preementary notions are more easily and rapidly sumptuous as it appears. For the practical acquired than the elaborate knowledge or con- necessities of travelling M. Énault found that firmed skill necessary to the artist or the lin- he required about four hundred words, and guist. A man may be a sound botanist without that, having a good memory, he was able to knowing a very great number of plants, and learn about seventy words a day. The secret the elements of sound botanical knowledge of his success was the invaluab art of selec may be printed in a portable volume. And so tion, and the strict limitation of it is with all the physical sciences; the ele- cordance with a preconceived design. A mentary notions which are necessary to sound-traveller not so well skilled in selection might ness of knowledge may be acquired rapidly and have learned a thousand words with less ad at any age. Hence it follows that all whose vantage to his traveis, and a traveller less de leisure for culture is limited, and who value cided in purpose ignt have wasted severa soundness of knowledge, do wisely to pursue months on the frontier of every new country some branch of natural history rather than in hopeless efforts to master the intricacies o languages or the fine arts. grammatical form. It is evident that in th It is well for every one who desires to attain strictest seno M. Énault's knowledge of Nor a perfect economy of time, to make a list of wegian cannot bave been sound, since he di the different pursuits to which he has devoted not master the grammar, but it was sound i himself, and to put a note opposite to each of its own strictly limited way, since he got pos them indicating the degree of its unsoundness session of the four hundred words which wer with as little self-delusion as may be. After to serve him as current coin. On the sam having done this, he may easily ascertain in principle it is a good plan for students of Lati how many of these pursuits a sufficient de-and Greek who have not time to reach tri gree of soundness is attainable for him, and when this has been decided he may at once effect a great saving by the total renunciation of the rest. With regard to those which remain, and which are to be carried farther, the next thing to be settled is the exact limit of their cultivation. Nothing is so favorable to sound culture as the definite fixing of limits. Suppose, for example, that the student said to himself "I desire to know the flora of the valley I live in," and then set to work systematically to make a herbarium illustrating that flora, it is probable that his labor would be more thorough, his temper more watchful and hopeful, than if he set himself to the boundless task of the illimitable flora of the world. Or in the pursuit of fine art, an amateur discouraged by the glaring unsoundness of the kind of art taught by ordinary drawing-masters, would find the basis of a more substantial superstructure on a narrower but firmer ground. Suppose that instead of the usual messes of bad color and bad form, the student produced work having some definite and not unattainable purpose, would there not be, here also, an assured econ

scholarship (half a lifetime is necessary fo
that), to propose to themselves simply tł
reading of the original authors with the he
of a literal translation. In this way the
may attain a closer acquaintance with a
cient literature than would be possible
translation alone, whilst on the other har
their reading will be much more extensi
on account of its greater rapidity. It is, f
most of us, a waste of time to read Latin a
Greek without a translation, on account
the comparative slowness of the process; b
it is always an advantage to know what w
really said in the original, and to test the
actness of the translator by continual ref
ence to the ipsissima verba of the auth
When the knowledge of the ancient langua
is not sufficient even for this, it may still
of use for occasional comparison, even thou
the passage has to be fought through à cou
de dictionnaire. What most of us need
reference to the ancient languages is a fra
resignation to a restriction of some kind.
is simply impossible for men occupied as m
of us are in other pursuits to reach peri
scholarship in those languages, and if

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