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And here, I must blame fome well-meaning parents and teachers, for defiring children, when they go to church, or hear the fcripture read, to be careful to remember a note, that is, a fentence or fhort paffage. The confequence is, that the child directs his whole attention to fome one phrase, and difregards all the rest. And fo, in order to make him retain a fingle aphorifm, which perhaps he does not understand, and which he will probably forget before next morning, he is in a manner required by authority to be inattentive to what he hears; notwithstanding that he is told it is of the utmost importance. Would it not be better, to recommend to him a general and uniform attention; and, when he is to give an account of what he has heard, rather to exercife his judgment, and aflift his Memory, by appofite questions in the Socratick method, than to infift on his repeating a number of words in the exact form in which he heard them?

The more relations, or likeneffes, that we find, or can establish, between objects, the more eafily will the view of one lead us to recollec the reft. Verse we remember better than prose, because of the relation in meafure, as well as in fense, that the words of the former bear to one another; and rhime better than blank verfe, becaufe lines in rhime bear to one another a relation in found, as well as in fenfe and measure. Horace tells us, that in fome countries laws were antiently written in verfe; in order, no doubt, that they might be the more eafily remembered. And it is obfervable, that many of those common proverbs, which every body remembers, have measure; that several of them have rhime; and that, in fome, there is a fameness of found in the initial

initial letters of the words that compofe them.. Every coincidence of this kind is favourable to Memory *.

The more fenfes we employ in perceiving things, the more eafily will thofe things be remembered. Thus, to read aloud, and with propriety, if we are accustomed to it, facilitates the remembrance of what we read, conveying it to the mind by the ear, as well as by the eye: but, if we are not accustomed to it, the found of our voice, and the fear of going wrong, will withdraw our attention, and prevent remembrance. Transcription is alfo, in many cafes, favourable to Memory. And if we tranfcribe flowly, in good order, in diftinct paragraphs, without contractions, with a fcrupulous nicety in punctuation and spelling, and with a reasonable diftance between the lines, we fhall have a better chance to remember what we write, than if we were to throw it together confufedly, and in hafte. For by all these means attention is quickened, and the original impreffion made more lively.

And here, though paffion fhould determine against me, I will endeavour, on rational principles, to lay down fome rules, in regard to that mode of penmanship, which I conceive to be moft expedient for thofe, who write with a view to ascertain their knowledge, and improve their minds.

I take it for granted, that thofe handwritings are the best, which are most durable and diftinct,

See Bishop Lowth's learned Differtation prefixed to his


which do not occupy too much room, and may be performed with expedition: and that one is better, or worse, as it partakes, more or less, of thefe qualities. Upon this principle, I muft blame, in the fashionable hands, all thofe Alourishes, that either require time, or mix with any other part of the writing; all thofe heads and tails of letters, which are fo long as to interfere with one another; and all thofe hair-strokes (as they are called) which are fo fine as to be hardly visible, or which require too great nicety in cutting the pen. Letters, that rife and fall obliquely, are not fo distinct as those of an erect form : and all individual letters I would confider as blameable, which are known from their fituation, but would not be known if they ftood alone. What we call the body of the letter, by which I mean that part of it, which neither rifes above, nor falls below the line, ought, in my opinion, to be erect, or nearly fo; of a fquare figure, only a little narrower from right to left, than from top to bottom; and of a fize equal, at least, to that of large print. Those parts of the letter, which rife above, or fall below the line, should be no longer than the body of the letter, that is, no longer than the line is broad fomething more than the breadth of two lines should be the space between the lines, that the heads or tails of one row of letters may not touch thofe of another; and that a little room may be left for interlineation, if that should be neceffary. Let the lines be perfectly straight, and of an uniform breadth; let the points be accurately marked, and the words properly feparated: and though fome ftrokes of the pen may, and indeed muft, be finer than others, there fhould be no greater difproportion, than is commonly feen in elegant printing. In a word, I would make the VOL. I.




Roman printed letter the archetype, or pattern, of the written one: that being the most diftinct, and one of the most beautiful characters I know; and withal fo fimple in the form, as to have nothing fuperfluous; and yet fo diverfified, as that one letter can never be mistaken for another. I do not mean, that the writer fhould imitate this character exactly. There must be more round, nefs in his strokes, and more frequent joinings of one letter with another: and fome of the Roman characters, as a and g, are not eafily made with the pen, and therefore fhould not be attempted. But I would have the penman confider the Roman alphabet as the ftandard: and if, between that and the present fashionable hand-writing, he can hit the juft medium, he will come near to realize my idea; and his work will have the diftinctness and durability of print, and will at the fame time admit of all neceffary fpeed in the execution. Nay, of the correctness of the compofition, when thus written, he will be a more competent judge, that of that of ordinary manufcripts, because he will more clearly perceive what is written and his Memory will be affifted by the vivacity of the fenfation it conveys to the eye, as well as by the distinct ideas it imparts to the understanding.



Different Appearances of Memory-in different PerJons,and in the fame Perfon at different Times.


HE appearances of Memory are not the fame in all men, nor in the same man at all times. Inftances are recorded of extraordinary Memory. Themistocles made himself master of the Perfian language in one year; and could call by their names all the citizens of Athens, whofe number was twenty thousand. Cyrus knew the name of every foldier in his army; Craffus fpoke every dialect of the Greek tongue; and Julius Cefar could dictate to three secretaries at once, on three different fubjects. Portius Latro, as we learn from Seneca, his intimate friend, remembered every thing that he committed to writing, though he wrote with the greatest rapidity; and never forgot a word of what he had once remembered. The fame author relates, that Cineas, who had gone to Rome as ambaffador from king Pyrrhus, did, on the day after his arrival, though he had never been there before, falute every fenator, and a great number of the Roman people, by their names: that another perfon, whofe name is not recorded, on hearing a poet read a new poem, claimed it as his own, and, for a proof, rehearsed it from beginning to end, which the real author could not do and that Hortenfius, after fitting a whole day

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