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No. 194.]

FEBRUARY 1, 1810.

[1 of VOL. 29.

As long as thofe who write are ambitious of making Conxeris, and of giving their Opinions a Maximum o "Influence and Celebrity, the most extensively circulated Mifcellany will repay with the greatet Et the Curiofity of those who read either for Amusement or Intrudion."-JOHNSON.


For the Monthly Magazine.
NICS; and the QUACKERIES of its

on medicinal aids, I shall leave Horstius, Marsilins, Johnston, and their disciples,' to explain for themselves.

We now come to a consideration of the third method, which forms indeed the

MEMORY, or the power of retaining chief object of my present communic

and reviving ideas once impressed on the mind, is a faculty, whose fullness of vigour is rarely coeval with the formation of the human intellect. Man has therefore recourse to art, for supplying those resources, which are denied to him by nature. As to the readiest means of effecting this end, so indispensably requisite to the acquisition and retention of knowledge, the philosophers and rhetoricians of every age are found at variance: nor do they differ less widely, in pointing out the fittest mode of cultivating and improving the memory, than agriculturists differ as to the mode of cultivating and improving the same soil. Some contend for the natural aids of a well-directed practice and constant exercise: others scruple not to call in me, dicine to the assistance of the retentive faculty; and many insist upon the agency of impressions, derived from external objects, with which a certain association of ideas is connected. In respect to the first of these methods, we find Quine tilian among its warmest supporters: "If, (says he,) I should be asked in what consists the real and greatest art for improving the memory, I would say, in labour and exercise; and that nothing is so efficacious as learning much by heart, thinking much, and this daily, if possible." These maxims are strongly enforced by various modern writers; and amongst those of our own country, by Beattie and Knox, who may be consulted with advantage, by such as feel an interest in this subject. The second me thod I have mentioned, as being founded

Si quis tamen unam maximamque a me artem Memoriæ quærat, exercitatio est et labor; multa ediscere, multa cogitare, et si Geri potest, quotidiè, potentissimum est. Inst. Orat. lib. xi. c. 2.


tion; the Topical Memory, or Loci of the
Ancients, known by the name of Mine-
monics, and a-kin to tife Ars Memora-'
tiva or Artificial Memory of the Mo-
derns. The principles on which this art'
is grounded will be adverted to Here-
after; and its practice, at least' in 'the
present day, I shall abstain frin'enlarge
ing upon, as that has been so ably de-"
I shall
veloped on a former occasion,
content myself, therefore, with a sum-
mary notice of the oright and progress of
this art among the ancients, previously
to entering upon a wider field; the quack-"
eries of its professors, and the patronage,
conferred on them in the sixteenth


The most important of human discoveries owe their birth to accidental. causes; and I know not, therefore, wha chance should not be deemed 25 funtful a mother of invention, as necessity. Simonides, the Cean, was indebted for the invention of Mnemonics to a casualty. We are told, that this mercenary poet being hired at a Supper to eulogize the prowess of his patroil, Sedpas," "vic-' tor in wrestling at the Olympic Games,, he was suddenly called away from table,' on being informed, that two youths on white horses were waiting for him at;

* Vide, vol. xxiv. p. 105; et seq Monthly Magazine, signed COMMON SENSE.

+ So Anacreon, Callimachus, and others, designate him, from the ardour with which he prostituted the Muscs for lucre: nor could the Romans brand the works of a fellow-poet with a more opprobrious epithet, than Simonidis Cantilena. To this charge, alleged against. Simonides even in his own times, Simonides more artfully than wittily pleaded: "I d rather leave wherewithal for my enemies to prey upon when I am dead, than become a burden to my friends in my life-time." A the

During his absence, the tificial means, are enumerated Metro-
dorus, Hippias, and Theodectes.
The Romans bestowed no less atten-

panegyric and discussion throughout a whole chapter of his masterly treatise on Oratory.* Yet Cicero's conviction of its utility did not prevent Quinctilian's assertion of its inefficiency, a short time afterwards; for we find the latter summing up his thoughts upon it, in these vehement terms:-"Wherefore, both Carneades, and the Scepsius Metrodorus, (of whom I have just spoken,) who, as Cicero says, had used this exercise, may keep this method to themselves: we will pass over to a more simple subject."t Fabius, the historian, also ridicules this art in his XIth book. Mnemonics, however, still continued in great repute; and Cicero, strengthening precept by example, boasted that they were the basis of his excellent memory. It is said, their practice was cultivated with suc cess, by others of no less repute; amongst whom, Crassus, Julius Caesar, and Seneca, are particularly noticed.

the gates. chamber in which Scopas and his guests were carousing, fell in, and in its fall they were crushed to death. The relation on this art, the subject of Cicero's tions of these unfortunate revellers, anxious to honour them with funereal obsequics, were unable to recognize their persons in the mangled and disfigured corpses, which lay strewed around, till Simonides overcame this dilemma, by remembering the distinct places each had occupied at table; and thus pointing out each individual to those who sought his remains. This event suggested to his mind the practicability of making external impressious subservient to the strengthening of memory, by selecting places and images, as so many reposito ries and symbols of ideas. Hence, he was led to propound a method of associating the ideas of things to be retained in the memory, with the ideas of objects conveyed to the mind by that acutest. of our senses-the sight; and already impressed upon it in a regular serics. The invention of this method stamped, him as the Father of the Mucinouic Art. Cicero, tells us, that when Simonides. offered to instruct Themistocles in his method, his offer was rejected in these memorable words: "A! (replied the hero,) rather teach me the art of forgetting; for I often remember what I would not, aud cannot forget what would,"

From this time, Mnemonics became a favourite pursuit with the Greeks; and being brought to perfection by Scepsius Metrodorus was in great vogue among their orators. They are said to have made use of the statues, paintings, or naments, and other external circumstances, of the places where they harangued, for reviving, in progressive order, the topics and matter of their orations, which they had already appropriated to each circu:Estance. In the list of those who prided themselves on having perfected their memory by ar

This story is handed down to us, both by Cicero and Phaedrus, in his fables.

+ This system of Simonides, is founded on that theory of emblems, which Bacon so justly characterizes: "Emblema verò deducit intellectuale ad sensibile: sensibile autem semper

fort ùs percutit memoriam, deque in ea faciliùs

imprimitur, quam intellectuale." Emblem reduceth conceits intellectual to images sensible, which always strike the memory more forcibly, and are therefore the more easily imprinted, than intellectual conceits-BACON's Augm. Scientian. Lib. vi. cap. 2.

Plinii His. Nat. lib, viii. c. 21.

This art appears to have lain dormant in after-ages, till that luminary of science, Raimond Lulle, thought fit to bring it once more into notice among the learned; and wooed it with such dili gence, that it has ever since been called,

Lulle's Art. I shall not detain your readers, by entering into an analysis of Lulle's method, which is amply detailed by Morhof, and in. Gray's Memoria Technica.

Mnemonics had not yet attained the meridian of their greatness: this epoch was reserved for the sixteenth century; and I question much, whether any art

De Oratore, lib. i. sect. 86, 87.

Quare et Carneades et Scepsius (de quo modo dixi) Metrodorus, quos Cicero dicit, usos hac exercitatione, sibi habeant sua: nos simpliciora tradamus 'Just Orat. ut supra. Dr. Beattie, also says, in conclusion of his remarks on Artificial Memory, I cannot but think with Quinctilian, that the Art was too complex, and that Memory may be improved by easier methods.” Diss. Mor. and Crit. chap. ii. sect. 3. Lord Bacon held a similar opinion, as well as Morhof, in whose

Polyhistor Literar." (lib. ii. cap. v. de Arte Lulliana, and cap. vi. De Memoriae Subsidiis,) is preserved an elaborate account of the writers on this subject.

Gaspar Scioppius, speaking of this Doctor Illuminatus, terms him, with jus tice, lutulentum et ineptum scriptorem, sed portentosi acuminis."-Conument. de Styla Hist.


has ever been the subject of a more tedious and obstinate controversy; or has been brought forward under more illustrious auspices, with greater solemnity, or a more bare-faced impudence. These will be sufficiently manifest in the account I shall now render of the Mnemonistic Duumvirate of Lambert Schenkel, and his haud indignus' plenipotentiary, Martin Sommer.

self as commissioned by Schenkel, to instruct the whole world.

“A lawyer, (says he,) who has a hundred causes and more to conduct, by the assistance of my Mnemonics, may stamp them so strongly on his memory, that he will know in what wise to answer each client, in any order, and at any hour, with as much precision as if he had but just perused his brief. And in pleading, he will not only have the evidence and reasonings of his own party, at his fingers' ends, but (mirabile dictu!) all the grounds and refutations of his antagonist also! Let a man go into a library, and read one book after another, yet shall ha be able to write down every sentence of what he has read, many days after at home. The proficient in this science can dictate matters of the most opposite nature, to ten, or thirty writers, alter nately. After four weeks' exercise, he will be able to class twenty-five thousand. disarranged portraits within the saying of a paternoster:-aye, and he will do this ten times a day, without extraordi nary exertion, and with more precision than another, who is ignorant of the art, can do it in a whole year! He will no longer stand in need of a library for referring to. This course of study may be completed in nine days"-(perhaps in the same way that foreign languages are now-a-days taught in twelve lessons!)—

Lambert or Lamprecht Schenkel, born at Bois-le-Due, in 1547, was the son of an apothecary and philologist. He went through his academical course at Lyons and Cologne, and afterwards became a teacher of rhetoric, prosody, and gymnastics, at Paris, Antwerp, Malines, and Rouen; not forgetting, as the custom of the age required, to claim his title to scholarship, by writing Latin verses. From these, however, he acquired no celebrity proportionate to that which was reared on his discoveries in the Mnemonic Art. The more effectually to propagate these discoveries, he travelled through the Netherlands, Germany, and France; where his method was inspected by the great, and transmitted from one university to another. Applause followed every where at his heels. Princes and nobles, ecclesiastics and laymen, alike took soundings of his depth; and Schenkel brought himself through every ordeal, to the astonishment and admiration of his judges. The rec" and an hour's practice daily, will be suftor of the Sorbonne, at Paris, having previously made trial of his merits, permitted him to teach his science at that university; and Marillon, Maitre des Requêts, having done the same, gave him an exclusive privilege for practising Mnemonics throughout the French do minions. His auditors were, however, prohibited from communicating this art to others, under a severe penalty. As his time now became too precious to admit of his making circuits, he delegated this branch of his patent to the licentiate Martin Sommer, and invested him with a regular diploma, as his plenipotentiary for circulating his art, under certain stipulations, through Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the neighbouring countries. Sommer now first published a Latin treatise on this subject, which he dispersed in every place he visked, under the title of "Brevis Delineatio de utilitatibus et effectibus admirabilibus Artis Memoriæ." (Venet. 1619, 12, 24 pp.) In this he celebrates the rare feats of his master, and announces him

ficient: but, when the rules are once acquired, they require but half an hour's exercise daily. Every pupil, who has afterwards well-grounded complaints to allege, shall not only have the premium paid in the first instance, returned to him, but an addition will be made to it. The professor of this art, makes but a short stay in every place. When called upon, he will subinit proofs, adduce testimonials from the most eminent characters, and surprise the ignorant, after four or six lessons, (observe!) with the most incredible displays." Here follow testimonials from the most cele brated universities. Nine alone are produced from learned men at Leipzig, and precede others from Marburg, and Frankfort on the Oder."

At the same time was published, "Gazypholium Artis Memoriæ, illustratum per Lambertum Schenkelium de Strasb. 1619:” but this is far outdone by the preceding treatise of Sommer. The student, destitute of oral instruction, will gather about as much of Mnemonics


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