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Title: Memory - How to Develop, Train, and Use It
Author: Atkinson, William Walker, 1862-1932
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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      *      *      *      *      *


By William Walker Atkinson

In the past few years a widespread mental and spiritual awakening has
taken place among the people of this country. And this new awakening has
been very aptly called THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY MOVEMENT, because it has to do
with the development and expression of the mind, or soul, of both the
individual and the nation.


Although each book stands alone as an authority on the subject treated,
yet one idea runs through the series binding them together to make a
complete whole.

Uniform Postpaid Price of Each Volume is $1.60.


This is Mr. Atkinson's complete statement of the history and principles
of the great New Thought movement of which the new psychology is a
phase. This volume is bound in artistic paper cover, 36 pages, price
28c. postpaid.


By Elizabeth Towne


  FIFTEEN LESSONS IN NEW THOUGHT, (formerly Lessons in Living). Price

    Price $1.60.




These are among the most popular of Mrs. Towne's books. Any or all sent
postpaid on receipt of price.

The Elizabeth Towne Company, Holyoke, Mass.

      *      *      *      *      *


How to Develop, Train and Use It



L. N. Fowler & Company
7, Imperial Arcade, Ludgate Circus
London, E.C., England

The Elizabeth Towne Co.
Holyoke, Mass.

Copyright 1912
Elizabeth Towne


      I. Memory: Its Importance             7

     II. Cultivation of the Memory         17

    III. Celebrated Cases of Memory        27

     IV. Memory Systems                    37

      V. The Subconscious Record-File      48

     VI. Attention                         58

    VII. Association                       70

   VIII. Phases of Memory                  81

     IX. Training the Eye                  90

      X. Training the Ear                 101

     XI. How to Remember Names            111

    XII. How to Remember Faces            121

   XIII. How to Remember Places           130

    XIV. How to Remember Numbers          140

     XV. How to Remember Music            152

    XVI. How to Remember Occurrences      160

   XVII. How to Remember Facts            168

  XVIII. How to Remember Words, etc.      178

    XIX. How to Remember Books, Plays,
           Tales, etc.                    186

     XX. General Instructions             197



It needs very little argument to convince the average thinking person of
the great importance of memory, although even then very few begin to
realize just how important is the function of the mind that has to do
with the retention of mental impressions. The first thought of the
average person when he is asked to consider the importance of memory, is
its use in the affairs of every-day life, along developed and cultivated
lines, as contrasted with the lesser degrees of its development. In
short, one generally thinks of memory in its phase of "a good memory" as
contrasted with the opposite phase of "a poor memory." But there is a
much broader and fuller meaning of the term than that of even this
important phase.

It is true that the success of the individual in his every-day business,
profession, trade or other occupation depends very materially upon the
possession of a good memory. His value in any walk in life depends to a
great extent upon the degree of memory he may have developed. His memory
of faces, names, facts, events, circumstances and other things
concerning his every-day work is the measure of his ability to
accomplish his task. And in the social intercourse of men and women, the
possession of a retentive memory, well stocked with available facts,
renders its possessor a desirable member of society. And in the higher
activities of thought, the memory comes as an invaluable aid to the
individual in marshalling the bits and sections of knowledge he may have
acquired, and passing them in review before his cognitive
faculties--thus does the soul review its mental possessions. As
Alexander Smith has said: "A man's real possession is his memory; in
nothing else is he rich; in nothing else is he poor." Richter has said:
"Memory is the only paradise from which we cannot be driven away. Grant
but memory to us, and we can lose nothing by death." Lactantius says:
"Memory tempers prosperity, mitigates adversity, controls youth, and
delights old age."

But even the above phases of memory represent but a small segment of its
complete circle. Memory is more than "a good memory"--it is the means
whereby we perform the largest share of our mental work. As Bacon has
said: "All knowledge is but remembrance." And Emerson: "Memory is a
primary and fundamental faculty, without which none other can work: the
cement, the bitumen, the matrix in which the other faculties are
embedded. Without it all life and thought were an unrelated succession."
And Burke: "There is no faculty of the mind which can bring its energy
into effect unless the memory be stored with ideas for it to look upon."
And Basile: "Memory is the cabinet of imagination, the treasury of
reason, the registry of conscience, and the council chamber of thought."
Kant pronounced memory to be "the most wonderful of the faculties." Kay,
one of the best authorities on the subject has said, regarding it:
"Unless the mind possessed the power of treasuring up and recalling its
past experiences, no knowledge of any kind could be acquired. If every
sensation, thought, or emotion passed entirely from the mind the moment
it ceased to be present, then it would be as if it had not been; and it
could not be recognized or named should it happen to return. Such an one
would not only be without knowledge,--without experience gathered from
the past,--but without purpose, aim, or plan regarding the future, for
these imply knowledge and require memory. Even voluntary motion, or
motion for a purpose, could have no existence without memory, for memory
is involved in every purpose. Not only the learning of the scholar, but
the inspiration of the poet, the genius of the painter, the heroism of
the warrior, all depend upon memory. Nay, even consciousness itself
could have no existence without memory for every act of consciousness
involves a change from a past state to a present, and did the past state
vanish the moment it was past, there could be no consciousness of
change. Memory, therefore, may be said to be involved in all conscious
existence--a property of every conscious being!"

In the building of character and individuality, the memory plays an
important part, for upon the strength of the impressions received, and
the firmness with which they are retained, depends the fibre of
character and individuality. Our experiences are indeed the stepping
stones to greater attainments, and at the same time our guides and
protectors from danger. If the memory serves us well in this respect we
are saved the pain of repeating the mistakes of the past, and may also
profit by remembering and thus avoiding the mistakes of others. As
Beattie says: "When memory is preternaturally defective, experience and
knowledge will be deficient in proportion, and imprudent conduct and
absurd opinion are the necessary consequence." Bain says: "A character
retaining a feeble hold of bitter experience, or genuine delight, and
unable to revive afterwards the impression of the time is in reality the
victim of an intellectual weakness under the guise of a moral weakness.
To have constantly before us an estimate of the things that affect us,
true to the reality, is one precious condition for having our will
always stimulated with an accurate reference to our happiness. The
thoroughly educated man, in this respect, is he that can carry with him
at all times the exact estimate of what he has enjoyed or suffered from
every object that has ever affected him, and in case of encounter can
present to the enemy as strong a front as if he were under the genuine
impression. A full and accurate memory, for pleasure or for pain, is the
intellectual basis both of prudence as regards self, and sympathy as
regards others."

So, we see that the cultivation of the memory is far more than the
cultivation and development of a single mental faculty--it is the
cultivation and development of our entire mental being--the development
of our _selves_.

To many persons the words memory, recollection, and remembrance, have
the same meaning, but there is a great difference in the exact shade of
meaning of each term. The student of this book should make the
distinction between the terms, for by so doing he will be better able to
grasp the various points of advice and instruction herein given. Let us
examine these terms.

Locke in his celebrated work, the "Essay Concerning Human
Understanding" has clearly stated the difference between the meaning of
these several terms. He says: "Memory is the power to revive again in
our minds those ideas which after imprinting, have disappeared, or have
been laid aside out of sight--when an idea again recurs without the
operation of the like object on the external sensory, it is
_remembrance_; if it be sought after by the mind, and with pain and
endeavor found, and brought again into view, it is _recollection_."
Fuller says, commenting on this: "Memory is the power of reproducing in
the mind former impressions, or percepts. Remembrance and Recollection
are the exercise of that power, the former being involuntary or
spontaneous, the latter volitional. We remember because we cannot help
it but we recollect only through positive effort. The act of
remembering, taken by itself, is involuntary. In other words, when the
mind remembers without having tried to remember, it acts spontaneously.
Thus it may be said, in the narrow, contrasted senses of the two terms,
that we remember by chance, but recollect by intention, and if the
endeavor be successful that which is reproduced becomes, by the very
effort to bring it forth, more firmly intrenched in the mind than ever."

But the New Psychology makes a little different distinction from that of
Locke, as given above. It uses the word memory not only in his sense of
"The power to revive, etc.," but also in the sense of the activities of
the mind which tend to receive and store away the various impressions of
the senses, and the ideas conceived by the mind, to the end that they
may be reproduced voluntarily, or involuntarily, thereafter. The
distinction between remembrance and recollection, as made by Locke, is
adopted as correct by The New Psychology.

It has long been recognized that the memory, in all of its phases, is
capable of development, culture, training and guidance through
intelligent exercise. Like any other faculty of mind, or physical part,
muscle or limb, it may be improved and strengthened. But until recent
years, the entire efforts of these memory-developers were directed to
the strengthening of that phase of the memory known as "recollection,"
which, you will remember, Locke defined as an idea or impression "sought
after by the mind, and with pain and endeavor found, and brought again
into view." The New Psychology goes much further than this. While
pointing out the most improved and scientific methods for
"re-collecting" the impressions and ideas of the memory, it also
instructs the student in the use of the proper methods whereby the
memory may be stored with clear and distinct impressions which will,
thereafter, flow naturally and involuntarily into the field of
consciousness when the mind is thinking upon the associated subject or
line of thought; and which may also be "re-collected" by a voluntary
effort with far less expenditure of energy than under the old methods
and systems.

You will see this idea carried out in detail, as we progress with the
various stages of the subject, in this work. You will see that the first
thing to do is _to find something to remember_; then to impress that
thing clearly and distinctly upon the receptive tablets of the memory;
then to exercise the remembrance in the direction of bringing out the
stored-away facts of the memory; then to acquire the scientific methods
of recollecting special items of memory that may be necessary at some
special time. This is the natural method in memory cultivation, as
opposed to the artificial systems that you will find mentioned in
another chapter. It is not only development of the memory, but also
development of the mind itself in several of its regions and phases of
activity. It is not merely a method of recollecting, but also a method
of correct seeing, thinking and remembering. This method recognizes the
truth of the verse of the poet, Pope, who said: "Remembrance and
reflection how allied! What thin partitions sense from thought divide!"



This book is written with the fundamental intention and idea of pointing
out a rational and workable method whereby the memory may be developed,
trained and cultivated. Many persons seem to be under the impression
that memories are bestowed by nature, in a fixed degree or
possibilities, and that little more can be done for them--in short, that
memories are born, not made. But the fallacy of any such idea is
demonstrated by the investigations and experiments of all the leading
authorities, as well as by the results obtained by persons who have
developed and cultivated their own memories by individual effort without
the assistance of an instructor. But all such improvement, to be real,
must be along certain natural lines and in accordance with the well
established laws of psychology, instead of along artificial lines and in
defiance of psychological principles. Cultivation of the memory is a
far different thing from "trick memory," or feats of mental legerdemain
if the term is permissible.

Kay says: "That the memory is capable of indefinite improvement, there
can be no manner of doubt; but with regard to the means by which this
improvement is to be effected mankind are still greatly in ignorance."
Dr. Noah Porter says: "The natural as opposed to the artificial memory
depends on the relations of sense and the relations of thought,--the
spontaneous memory of the eye and the ear availing itself of the obvious
conjunctions of objects which are furnished by space and time, and the
rational memory of those higher combinations which the rational
faculties superinduce upon those lower. The artificial memory proposes
to substitute for the natural and necessary relations under which all
objects must present and arrange themselves, an entirely new set of
relations that are purely arbitrary and mechanical, which excite little
or no other interest than that they are to aid us in remembering. It
follows that if the mind tasks itself to the special effort of
considering objects under these artificial relations, it will give less
attention to those which have a direct and legitimate interest for
itself." Granville says: "The defects of most methods which have been
devised and employed for improving the memory, lies in the fact that
while they serve to impress particular subjects on the mind, they do not
render the memory, as a whole, ready or attentive." Fuller says: "Surely
an art of memory may be made more destructive to natural memory than
spectacles are to eyes." These opinions of the best authorities might be
multiplied indefinitely--the consensus of the best opinion is decidedly
against the artificial systems, and in favor of the natural ones.

Natural systems of memory culture are based upon the fundamental
conception so well expressed by Helvetius, several centuries ago, when
he said: "The extent of the memory depends, first, on the daily use we
make of it; secondly, upon the attention with which we consider the
objects we would impress upon it; and, thirdly, upon the order in which
we range our ideas." This then is the list of the three essentials in
the cultivation of the memory: (1) Use and exercise; review and
practice; (2) Attention and Interest; and (3) Intelligent Association.

You will find that in the several chapters of this book dealing with the
various phases of memory, we urge, first, last, and all the time, the
importance of the use and employment of the memory, in the way of
employment, exercise, practice and review work. Like any other mental
faculty, or physical function, the memory will tend to atrophy by
disuse, and increase, strengthen and develop by rational exercise and
employment within the bounds of moderation. You develop a muscle by
exercise; you train any special faculty of the mind in the same way; and
you must pursue the same method in the case of the memory, if you would
develop it. Nature's laws are constant, and bear a close analogy to each
other. You will also notice the great stress that we lay upon the use of
the faculty of attention, accompanied by interest. By attention you
acquire the impressions that you file away in your mental record-file of
memory. And the degree of attention regulates the depth, clearness and
strength of the impression. Without a good record, you cannot expect to
obtain a good reproduction of it. A poor phonographic record results in
a poor reproduction, and the rule applies in the case of the memory as
well. You will also notice that we explain the laws of association, and
the principles which govern the subject, as well as the methods whereby
the proper associations may be made. Every association that you weld to
an idea or an impression, serves as a cross-reference in the index,
whereby the thing is found by remembrance or recollection when it is
needed. We call your attention to the fact that one's entire education
depends for its efficiency upon this law of association. It is a most
important feature in the rational cultivation of the memory, while at
the same time being the bane of the artificial systems. Natural
associations educate, while artificial ones tend to weaken the powers of
the mind, if carried to any great length.

There is no Royal Road to Memory. The cultivation of the memory depends
upon the practice along certain scientific lines according to well
established psychological laws. Those who hope for a sure "short cut"
will be disappointed, for none such exists. As Halleck says: "The
student ought not to be disappointed to find that memory is no exception
to the rule of improvement by proper methodical and long continued
exercise. There is no royal road, no short cut, to the improvement of
either mind or muscle. But the student who follows the rules which
psychology has laid down may know that he is walking in the shortest
path, and not wandering aimlessly about. Using these rules, he will
advance much faster than those without chart, compass, or pilot. He will
find mnemonics of extremely limited use. Improvement comes by orderly
steps. Methods that dazzle at first sight never give solid results."

The student is urged to pay attention to what we have to say in other
chapters of the book upon the subjects of attention and association. It
is not necessary to state here the particulars that we mention there.
The cultivation of the attention is a prerequisite for good memory, and
deficiency in this respect means deficiency not only in the field of
memory but also in the general field of mental work. In all branches of
The New Psychology there is found a constant repetition of the
injunction to cultivate the faculty of attention and concentration.
Halleck says: "Haziness of perception lies at the root of many a bad
memory. If perception is definite, the first step has been taken toward
insuring a good memory. If the first impression is vivid, its effect
upon the brain cells is more lasting. All persons ought to practice
their visualizing power. This will react upon perception and make it
more definite. Visualizing will also form a brain habit of remembering
things pictorially, and hence more exactly."

The subject of association must also receive its proper share of
attention, for it is by means of association that the stored away
records of the memory may be recovered or re-collected. As Blackie says:
"Nothing helps the mind so much as order and classification. Classes are
few, individuals many: to know the class well is to know what is most
essential in the character of the individual, and what burdens the
memory least to retain." And as Halleck says regarding the subject of
association by relation: "Whenever we can discover any relation between
facts, it is far easier to remember them. The intelligent law of memory
may be summed up in these words: Endeavor to link by some thought
relation each new mental acquisition to an old one. Bind new facts to
other facts by relations of similarity, cause and effect, whole and
part, or by any logical relation, and we shall find that when an idea
occurs to us, a host of related ideas will flow into the mind. If we
wish to prepare a speech or write an article on any subject, pertinent
illustrations will suggest themselves. The person whose memory is merely
contiguous will wonder how we think of them."

In your study for the cultivation of the memory, along the lines laid
down in this book, you have read the first chapter thereof and have
informed yourself thoroughly regarding the importance of the memory to
the individual, and what a large part it plays in the entire work of the
mind. Now carefully read the third chapter and acquaint yourself with
the possibilities in the direction of cultivating the memory to a high
degree, as evidenced by the instances related of the extreme case of
development noted therein. Then study the chapter on memory systems, and
realize that the only true method is the natural method, which requires
work, patience and practice--then make up your mind that you will follow
this plan as far as it will take you. Then acquaint yourself with the
secret of memory--the subconscious region of the mind, in which the
records of memory are kept, stored away and indexed, and in which the
little mental office-boys are busily at work. This will give you the key
to the method. Then take up the two chapters on attention, and
association, respectively, and acquaint yourself with these important
principles. Then study the chapter on the phases of memory, and take
mental stock of yourself, determining in which phase of memory you are
strongest, and in which you need development. Then read the two chapters
on training the eye and ear, respectively--you need this instruction.
Then read over the several chapters on the training of the special
phases of the memory, whether you need them or not--you may find
something of importance in them. Then read the concluding chapter,
which gives you some general advice and parting instruction. Then return
to the chapters dealing with the particular phases of memory in which
you have decided to develop yourself, studying the details of the
instruction carefully until you know every point of it. Then, most
important of all--_get to work_. The rest is a matter of practice,
practice, practice, and rehearsal. Go back to the chapters from time to
time, and refresh your mind regarding the details. Re-read each chapter
at intervals. Make the book your own, in every sense of the word, by
absorbing its contents.



In order that the student may appreciate the marvelous extent of
development possible to the memory, we have thought it advisable to
mention a number of celebrated cases, past and present. In so doing we
have no desire to hold up these cases as worthy of imitation, for they
are exceptional and not necessary in every-day life. We mention them
merely to show to what wonderful extent development along these lines is

In India, in the past, the sacred books were committed to memory, and
handed down from teacher to student, for ages. And even to-day it is no
uncommon thing for the student to be able to repeat, word for word, some
voluminous religious work equal in extent to the New Testament. Max
Muller states that the entire text and glossary of Panini's Sanscrit
grammar, equal in extent to the entire Bible, were handed down orally
for several centuries before being committed to writing. There are
Brahmins to-day who have committed to memory, and who can repeat at
will, the entire collection of religious poems known as the
_Mahabarata_, consisting of over 300,000 _slokas_ or verses. Leland
states that, "the Slavonian minstrels of the present day have by heart
with remarkable accuracy immensely long epic poems. I have found the
same among Algonquin Indians whose sagas or mythic legends are
interminable, and yet are committed word by word accurately. I have
heard in England of a lady ninety years of age whose memory was
miraculous, and of which extraordinary instances are narrated by her
friends. She attributed it to the fact that when young she had been made
to learn a verse from the Bible every day, and then constantly review
it. As her memory improved, she learned more, the result being that in
the end she could repeat from memory any verse or chapter called for in
the whole Scripture."

It is related that Mithridates, the ancient warrior-king, knew the name
of every soldier in his great army, and conversed fluently in
twenty-two dialects. Pliny relates that Charmides could repeat the
contents of every book in his large library. Hortensius, the Roman
orator, had a remarkable memory which enabled him to retain and
recollect the exact words of his opponent's argument, without making a
single notation. On a wager, he attended a great auction sale which
lasted over an entire day, and then called off in their proper order
every object sold, the name of its purchaser, and the price thereof.
Seneca is said to have acquired the ability to memorize several thousand
proper names, and to repeat them in the order in which they had been
given him, and also to reverse the order and call off the list backward.
He also accomplished the feat of listening to several hundred persons,
each of whom gave him a verse; memorizing the same as they proceeded;
and then repeating them word for word in the exact order of their
delivery--and then reversing the process, with complete success.
Eusebius stated that only the memory of Esdras saved the Hebrew
Scriptures to the world, for when the Chaldeans destroyed the
manuscripts Esdras was able to repeat them, word by word to the
scribes, who then reproduced them. The Mohammedan scholars are able to
repeat the entire text of the Koran, letter perfect. Scaliger committed
the entire text of the Iliad and the Odyssey, in three weeks. Ben Jonson
is said to have been able to repeat all of his own works from memory,
with the greatest ease.

Bulwer could repeat the Odes of Horace from memory. Pascal could repeat
the entire Bible, from beginning to end, as well as being able to recall
any given paragraph, verse, line, or chapter. Landor is said to have
read a book but once, when he would dispose of it, having impressed it
upon his memory, to be recalled years after, if necessary. Byron could
recite all of his own poems. Buffon could repeat his works from
beginning to end. Bryant possessed the same ability to repeat his own
works. Bishop Saunderson could repeat the greater part of Juvenal and
Perseus, all of Tully, and all of Horace. Fedosova, a Russian peasant,
could repeat over 25,000 poems, folk-songs, legends, fairy-tales, war
stories, etc., when she was over seventy years of age. The celebrated
"Blind Alick," an aged Scottish beggar, could repeat any verse in the
Bible called for, as well as the entire text of all the chapters and
books. The newspapers, a few years ago, contained the accounts of a man
named Clark who lived in New York City. He is said to have been able to
give the exact presidential vote in each State of the Union since the
first election. He could give the population in every town of any size
in the world either present or in the past providing there was a record
of the same. He could quote from Shakespeare for hours at a time
beginning at any given point in any play. He could recite the entire
text of the Iliad in the original Greek.

The historical case of the unnamed Dutchman is known to all students of
memory. This man is said to have been able to take up a fresh newspaper;
to read it all through, including the advertisements; and then to repeat
its contents, word for word, from beginning to end. On one occasion he
is said to have heaped wonder upon wonder, by repeating the contents of
the paper backward, beginning with the last word and ending with the
first. Lyon, the English actor, is said to have duplicated this feat,
using a large London paper and including the market quotations, reports
of the debates in Parliament, the railroad time-tables and the
advertisements. A London waiter is said to have performed a similar
feat, on a wager, he memorizing and correctly repeating the contents of
an eight-page paper. One of the most remarkable instances of
extraordinary memory known to history is that of the child Christian
Meinecken. When less than four years of age he could repeat the entire
Bible; two hundred hymns; five thousand Latin words; and much
ecclesiastical history, theory, dogmas, arguments; and an encyclopædic
quantity of theological literature. He is said to have practically
retained every word that was read to him. His case was abnormal, and he
died at an early age.

John Stuart Mill is said to have acquired a fair knowledge of Greek, at
the age of three years, and to have memorized Hume, Gibbon, and other
historians, at the age of eight. Shortly after he mastered and
memorized Herodotus, Xenophon, some of Socrates, and six of Plato's
"Dialogues." Richard Porson is said to have memorized the entire text of
Homer, Horace, Cicero, Virgil, Livy, Shakespeare, Milton, and Gibbon. He
is said to have been able to memorize any ordinary novel at one careful
reading; and to have several times performed the feat of memorizing the
entire contents of some English monthly review. De Rossi was able to
perform the feat of repeating a hundred lines from any of the four great
Italian poets, provided he was given a line at random from their
works--his hundred lines following immediately after the given line. Of
course this feat required the memorizing of the entire works of those
poets, and the ability to take up the repetition from any given point,
the latter feature being as remarkable as the former. There have been
cases of printers being able to repeat, word for word, books of which
they had set the type. Professor Lawson was able to teach his classes on
the Scriptures without referring to the book. He claimed that if the
entire stock of Bibles were to be destroyed, he could restore the book
entire, from his memory.

Rev. Thomas Fuller is said to have been able to walk down a long London
street, reading the names of the signs on both sides; then recalling
them in the order in which they had been seen, and then by reversing the
order. There are many cases on record of persons who memorized the words
of every known tongue of civilization, as well as a great number of
dialects, languages, and tongues of savage races. Bossuet had memorized
the entire Bible, and Homer, Horace and Virgil beside. Niebuhr, the
historian, was once employed in a government office, the records of
which were destroyed. He, thereupon, restored the entire contents of the
book of records which he had written--all from his memory. Asa Gray knew
the names of ten thousand plants. Milton had a vocabulary of twenty
thousand words, and Shakespeare one of twenty-five thousand. Cuvier and
Agassiz are said to have memorized lists of several thousand species and
varieties of animals. Magliabechi, the librarian of Florence, is said
to have known the location of every volume in the large library of which
he was in charge; and the complete list of works along certain lines in
all the other great libraries. He once claimed that he was able to
repeat titles of over a half-million of books in many languages, and
upon many subjects.

In nearly every walk of life are to be found persons with memories
wonderfully developed along the lines of their particular occupation.
Librarians possess this faculty to an unusual degree. Skilled workers in
the finer lines of manufacture also manifest a wonderful memory for the
tiny parts of the manufactured article, etc. Bank officers have a
wonderful memory for names and faces. Some lawyers are able to recall
cases quoted in the authorities, years after they have read them.
Perhaps the most common, and yet the most remarkable, instances of
memorizing in one's daily work is to be found in the cases of the
theatrical profession. In some cases members of stock companies must not
only be able to repeat the lines of the play they are engaged in acting
at the time, but also the one that they are rehearsing for the following
week, and possibly the one for the second week. And in repertoire
companies the actors are required to be "letter-perfect" in a dozen or
more plays--surely a wonderful feat, and yet one so common that no
notice is given to it.

In some of the celebrated cases, the degree of recollection manifested
is undoubtedly abnormal, but in the majority of the cases it may be seen
that the result has been obtained only by the use of natural methods and
persistent exercise. That wonderful memories may be acquired by anyone
who will devote to the task patience, time and work, is a fact generally
acknowledged by all students of the subject. It is not a _gift_, but
something to be won by effort and work along scientific lines.



The subject of Memory Development is not a new one by any means. For two
thousand years, at least, there has been much thought devoted to the
subject; many books written thereupon; and many methods or "systems"
invented, the purpose of which has been the artificial training of the
memory. Instead of endeavoring to develop the memory by scientific
training and rational practice and exercise along natural lines, there
seems to have always been an idea that one could improve on Nature's
methods, and that a plan might be devised by the use of some "trick" the
memory might be taught to give up her hidden treasures. The law of
Association has been used in the majority of these systems, often to a
ridiculous degree. Fanciful systems have been built up, all artificial
in their character and nature, the use of which to any great extent is
calculated to result in a decrease of the natural powers of remembrance
and recollection, just as in the case of natural "aids" to the physical
system there is always found a decrease in the natural powers. Nature
prefers to do her own work, unaided. She may be trained, led, directed
and harnessed, but she insists upon doing the work herself, or dropping
the task. The principle of Association is an important one, and forms a
part of natural memory training, and should be so used. But when pressed
into service in many of the artificial systems, the result is the
erection of a complex and unnatural mental mechanism which is no more an
improvement upon the natural methods, than a wooden leg is an
improvement upon the original limb. There are many points in some of
these "systems" which may be employed to advantage in natural memory
training, by divorcing them from their fantastic rules and complex
arrangement. We ask you to run over the list of the principal "systems"
with us, that you may discard the useless material by recognizing it as
such; and cull the valuable for your own use.

The ancient Greeks were fond of memory systems. Simonides, the Greek
poet who lived about 500 B.C. was one of the early authorities, and his
work has influenced nearly all of the many memory systems that have
sprung up since that time. There is a romantic story connected with the
foundation of his system. It is related that the poet was present at a
large banquet attended by some of the principal men of the place. He was
called out by a message from home, and left before the close of the
meal. Shortly after he left, the ceiling of the banquet hall fell upon
the guests, killing all present in the room, and mutilating their bodies
so terribly that their friends were unable to recognize them. Simonides,
having a well-developed memory for places and position, was able to
recall the exact order in which each guest had been seated, and
therefore was able to aid in the identification of the remains. This
occurrence impressed him so forcibly that he devised a system of memory
based upon the idea of position, which attained great popularity in
Greece, and the leading writers of the day highly recommended it.

The system of Simonides was based upon the idea of position--it was
known as "the topical system." His students were taught to picture in
the mind a large building divided into sections, and then into rooms,
halls, etc. The thing to be remembered was "visualized" as occupying
some certain space or place in that building, the grouping being made
according to association and resemblance. When one wished to recall the
things to consciousness, all that was necessary was to visualize the
mental building and then take an imaginary trip from room to room,
calling off the various things as they had been placed. The Greeks
thought very highly of this plan, and many variations of it were
employed. Cicero said: "By those who would improve the memory, certain
places must be fixed upon, and of those things which they desire to keep
in memory symbols must be conceived in the mind and ranged, as it were,
in those places; thus, the order of places would preserve the order of
things, and the symbols of the things would denote the things
themselves; so that we should use the places as waxen tablets and the
symbols as letters." Quintillian advises students to "fix in their minds
places of the greatest possible extent, diversified by considerable
variety, such as a large house, for example, divided into many
apartments. Whatever is remarkable in it is carefully impressed on the
mind, so that the thought may run over every part of it without
hesitation or delay.... Places we must have, either fancied or selected,
and images or symbols which we may invent at pleasure. These symbols are
marks by which we may distinguish the particulars which we have to get
by heart."

Many modern systems have been erected upon the foundation of Simonides
and in some of which cases students have been charged high prices "for
the secret." The following outline given by Kay gives the "secret" of
many a high priced system of this class: "Select a number of rooms, and
divide the walls and floor of each, in imagination, into nine equal
parts or squares, three in a row. On the front wall--that opposite the
entrance--of the first room, are the units; on the right-hand wall the
tens; on the left hand the twenties; on the fourth wall the thirties;
and on the floor the forties. Numbers 10, 20, 30 and 40, each find a
place on the roof above their respective walls, while 50 occupies the
centre of the room. One room will thus furnish 50 places, and ten rooms
as many as 500. Having fixed these clearly in the mind, so as to be able
readily and at once to tell exactly the position of each place or
number, it is then necessary to associate with each of them some
familiar object (or symbol) so that the object being suggested its place
may be instantly remembered, or when the place be before the mind its
object may immediately spring up. When this has been done thoroughly,
the objects can be run over in any order from beginning to end, or from
end to beginning, or the place of any particular one can at once be
given. All that is further necessary is to associate the ideas we wish
to remember with the objects in the various places, by which means they
are easily remembered, and can be gone over in any order. In this way
one may learn to repeat several hundred disconnected words or ideas in
any order after hearing them only once." We do not consider it necessary
to argue in detail the fact that this system is artificial and
cumbersome to a great degree. While the idea of "position" may be
employed to some advantage in grouping together in the memory several
associated facts, ideas, or words, still the idea of employing a process
such as the above in the ordinary affairs of life is ridiculous, and any
system based upon it has a value only as a curiosity, or a mental
acrobatic feat.

Akin to the above is the idea underlying many other "systems," and
"secret methods"--the idea of Contiguity, in which words are strung
together by fanciful connecting links. Feinagle describes this
underlying idea, or principle, as follows: "The recollection of them is
assisted by associating some idea of relation between the two; and as we
find by experience that whatever is ludicrous is calculated to make a
strong impression on the mind, the more ridiculous the association is
the better." The systems founded upon this idea may be employed to
repeat a long string of disconnected words, and similar things, but have
but little practical value, notwithstanding the high prices charged for
them. They serve merely as curiosities, or methods of performing
"tricks" to amuse one's friends. Dr. Kothe, a German teacher, about the
middle of the nineteenth century founded this last school of memory
training, his ideas serving as the foundation for many teachers of
high-priced "systems" or "secret methods" since that time. The above
description of Feinagle gives the key to the principle employed. The
working of the principle is accomplished by the employment of
"intermediates" or "correlatives" as they are called; for instance, the
words "chimney" and "leaf" would be connected as follows:

Then there are systems or methods based on the old principle of the
"Figure Alphabet," in which one is taught to remember dates by
associating them with letters or words. For instance, one of the
teachers of this class of systems, wished his pupils to remember the
year 1480 by the word "BiG RaT," the capitals representing the figures
in the date. Comment is unnecessary!

The student will find that nearly all the "systems" or "secret methods"
that are being offered for sale in "courses," often at a very high
price, are merely variations, improvements upon, or combinations of the
three forms of artificial methods named above. New changes are
constantly being worked on these old plans; new tunes played on the same
old instruments; new chimes sounded from the same old bells. And the
result is ever the same, in these cases--disappointment and disgust.
There are a few natural systems on the market, nearly all of which
contain information and instruction that makes them worth the price at
which they are sold. As for the others--well, judge for yourself after
purchasing them, if you so desire.

Regarding these artificial and fanciful systems, Kay says: "All such
systems for the improvement of the memory belong to what we have
considered the first or lowest form of it. They are for the most part
based on light or foolish associations which have little foundation in
nature, and are hence of little practical utility; and they do not tend
to improve or strengthen the memory as a whole." Bacon says that these
systems are "barren and useless," adding: "For immediately to repeat a
multitude of names or words once repeated before, I esteem no more than
rope-dancing, antic postures, and feats of activity; and, indeed, they
are nearly the same things, the one being the abuse of the bodily as the
other of the mental powers; and though they may cause admiration, they
cannot be highly esteemed." And as another authority has said: "The
systems of mnemonics as taught, are no better than crutches, useful to
those who cannot walk, but impediments and hindrances to those who have
the use of their limbs, and who only require to exercise them properly
in order to have the full use of them."

In this work, there shall be no attempt to teach any of these "trick
systems" that the student may perform for the amusement of his friends.
Instead, there is only the desire to aid in developing the power to
receive impressions, to register them upon the memory, and readily to
reproduce them at will, naturally and easily. The lines of natural
mental action will be followed throughout. The idea of this work is not
to teach how one may perform "feats" of memory; but, instead, to
instruct in the intelligent and practical use of the memory in the
affairs of every-day life and work.



The old writers on the subject were wont to consider the memory as a
separate faculty of the mind, but this idea disappeared before the
advancing tide of knowledge which resulted in the acceptance of the
conception now known as The New Psychology. This new conception
recognizes the existence of a vast "out of consciousness" region of the
mind, one phase of which is known as the subconscious mind, or the
subconscious field of mental activities. In this field of mentation the
activities of memory have their seat. A careful consideration of the
subject brings the certainty that the entire work of the memory is
performed in this subconscious region of the mind. Only when the
subconscious record is represented to the conscious field, and
recollection or remembrance results, does the memorized idea or
impression emerge from the subconscious region. An understanding of
this fact simplifies the entire subject of the memory, and enables us to
perfect plans and methods whereby the memory may be developed, improved
and trained, by means of the direction of the subconscious activities by
the use of the conscious faculties and the will.

Hering says: "Memory is a faculty not only of our conscious states, but
also, and much more so, of our unconscious ones." Kay says: "It is
impossible to understand the true nature of memory, or how to train it
aright, unless we have a clear conception of the fact that there is much
in the mind of which we are unconscious.... The highest form of memory,
as of all the mental powers, is the unconscious--when what we wish to
recall comes to us spontaneously, without any conscious thought or
search for it. Frequently when we wish to recall something that has
previously been in the mind we are unable to do so by any conscious
effort of the will; but we turn the attention to something else, and
after a time the desired information comes up spontaneously when we are
not consciously thinking of it." Carpenter says: "There is the working
of a mechanism beneath the consciousness which, when once set going,
runs on of itself, and which is more likely to evolve the desired result
when the conscious activity of the mind is exerted in a direction
altogether different."

This subconscious region of the mind is the great record-file of
everything we have ever experienced, thought or known. Everything is
recorded there. The best authorities now generally agree that there is
no such thing as an absolute forgetting of even the most minute
impression, notwithstanding the fact that we may be unable to recollect
or remember it, owing to its faintness, or lack of associated
"indexing." It is held that everything is to be found in that
subconscious index-file, if we can only manage to find its place. Kay
says: "In like manner we believe that every impression or thought that
has once been before consciousness remains ever afterward impressed upon
the mind. It may never again come up before consciousness, but it will
doubtless remain in that vast ultra-conscious region of the mind,
unconsciously moulding and fashioning our subsequent thoughts and
actions. It is only a small part of what exists in the mind that we are
conscious of. There is always much that is known to be in the mind that
exists in it unconsciously, and must be stored away somewhere. We may be
able to recall it into consciousness when we wish to do so; but at other
times the mind is unconscious of its existence. Further, every one's
experience must tell him that there is much in his mind that he cannot
always recall when he may wish to do so,--much that he can recover only
after a labored search, or that he may search for in vain at the time,
but which may occur to him afterwards when perhaps he is not thinking
about it. Again, much that we probably would never be able to recall, or
that would not recur to us under ordinary circumstances, we may remember
to have had in the mind when it is mentioned to us by others. In such a
case there must still have remained some trace or scintilla of it in the
mind before we could recognize it as having been there before."

Morell says: "We have every reason to believe that mental power when
once called forth follows the analogy of everything we see in the
material universe in the fact of its perpetuity. Every single effort of
mind is a creation which can never go back again into nonentity. It may
slumber in the depths of forgetfulness as light and heat slumber in the
coal seams, but there it is, ready at the bidding of some appropriate
stimulus to come again out of the darkness into the light of
consciousness." Beattie says: "That which has been long forgotten, nay,
that which we have often in vain endeavored to recollect, will sometimes
without an effort of ours occur to us on a sudden, and, if I may so
speak, of its own accord." Hamilton says: "The mind frequently contains
whole systems of knowledge which, though in our normal state they may
have faded into absolute oblivion, may in certain abnormal states, as
madness, delirium, somnambulism, catalepsy, etc., flash out into
luminous consciousness.... For example, there are cases in which the
extinct memory of whole languages were suddenly restored." Lecky says:
"It is now fully established that a multitude of events which are so
completely forgotten that no effort of the will can revive them, and
that the statement of them calls up no reminiscences, may nevertheless
be, so to speak, embedded in the memory, and may be reproduced with
intense vividness under certain physical conditions."

In proof of the above, the authorities give many instances recorded in
scientific annals. Coleridge relates the well-known case of the old
woman who could neither read nor write, who when in the delirium of
fever incessantly recited in very pompous tones long passages from the
Latin, Greek and Hebrew, with a distinct enunciation and precise
rendition. Notes of her ravings were taken down by shorthand, and caused
much wonderment, until it was afterwards found that in her youth she had
been employed as a servant in the house of a clergyman who was in the
habit of walking up and down in his study reading aloud from his
favorite classical and religious writers. In his books were found marked
passages corresponding to the notes taken from the girl's ravings. Her
subconscious memory had stored up the sounds of these passages heard in
her early youth, but of which she had no recollection in her normal
state. Beaufort, describing his sensations just before being rescued
from drowning says: "Every incident of my former life seemed to glance
across my recollection in a retrograde procession, not in mere outline,
but in a picture filled with every minute and collateral feature, thus
forming a panoramic view of my whole existence."

Kay truly observes: "By adopting the opinion that every thought or
impression that had once been consciously before the mind is ever
afterwards retained, we obtain light on many obscure mental phenomena;
and especially do we draw from it the conclusion of the perfectibility
of the memory to an almost unlimited extent. We cannot doubt that, could
we penetrate to the lowest depths of our mental nature, we should there
find traces of every impression we have received, every thought we have
entertained, and every act we have done through our past life, each one
making its influence felt in the way of building up our present
knowledge, or in guiding our every-day actions; and if they persist in
the mind, might it not be possible to recall most if not all of them
into consciousness when we wished to do so, if our memories or powers of
recollection were what they should be?"

As we have said, this great subconscious region of the mind--this Memory
region--may be thought of as a great record file, with an intricate
system of indexes, and office boys whose business it is to file away the
records; to index them; and to find them when needed. The records record
only what we have impressed upon them by the attention, the degree of
depth and clearness depending entirely upon the degree of attention
which we bestowed upon the original impression. We can never expect to
have the office boys of the memory bring up anything that they have not
been given to file away. The indexing, and cross-references are supplied
by the association existing between the various impressions. The more
cross-references, or associations that are connected with an idea,
thought or impression that is filed away in the memory, the greater the
chances of it being found readily when wanted. These two features of
attention and association, and the parts they play in the phenomena of
memory, are mentioned in detail in other chapters of this book.

These little office boys of the memory are an industrious and willing
lot of little chaps, but like all boys they do their best work when kept
in practice. Idleness and lack of exercise cause them to become slothful
and careless, and forgetful of the records under their charge. A little
fresh exercise and work soon take the cobwebs out of their brains, and
they spring eagerly to their tasks. They become familiar with their work
when exercised properly, and soon become very expert. They have a
tendency to remember, on their own part, and when a certain record is
called for often they grow accustomed to its place, and can find it
without referring to the indexes at all. But their trouble comes from
faint and almost illegible records, caused by poor attention--these
they can scarcely decipher when they do succeed in finding them. Lack of
proper indexing by associations causes them much worry and extra work,
and sometimes they are unable to find the records at all from this
neglect. Often, however, after they have told you that they could not
find a thing, and you have left the place in disgust, they will continue
their search and hours afterward will surprise you by handing you the
desired idea, or impression, which they had found carelessly indexed or
improperly filed away. In these chapters you will be helped, if you will
carry in your mind these little office boys of the memory record file,
and the hard work they have to do for you, much of which is made doubly
burdensome by your own neglect and carelessness. Treat these little
fellows right and they will work overtime for you, willingly and
joyfully. But they need your assistance and encouragement, and an
occasional word of praise and commendation.



As we have seen in the preceding chapters, before one can expect to
recall or remember a thing, that thing must have been impressed upon the
records of his subconsciousness, distinctly and clearly. And the main
factor of the recording of impressions is that quality of the mind that
we call Attention. All the leading authorities on the subject of memory
recognize and teach the value of attention in the cultivation and
development of the memory. Tupper says: "Memory, the daughter of
Attention, is the teeming mother of wisdom." Lowell says: "Attention is
the stuff that Memory is made of, and Memory is accumulated Genius."
Hall says: "In the power of fixing the attention lies the most precious
of the intellectual habits." Locke says: "When the ideas that offer
themselves are taken notice of, and, as it were, registered in the
memory, it is Attention." Stewart says: "The permanence of the
impression which anything leaves on the memory, is proportionate to the
degree of attention which was originally given to it." Thompson says:
"The experiences most permanently impressed upon consciousness are those
upon which the greatest amount of attention has been fixed." Beattie
says: "The force wherewith anything strikes the mind is generally in
proportion to the degree of attention bestowed upon it. The great art of
memory is attention.... Inattentive people have always bad memories."
Kay says: "It is generally held by philosophers that without some degree
of attention no impression of any duration could be made on the mind, or
laid up in the memory." Hamilton says: "It is a law of the mind that the
intensity of the present consciousness determines the vivacity of the
future memory; memory and consciousness are thus in the direct ratio of
each other. Vivid consciousness, long memory; faint consciousness, short
memory; no consciousness, no memory.... An act of attention, that is an
act of concentration, seems thus necessary to every exertion of
consciousness, as a certain contraction of the pupil is requisite to
every exertion of vision. Attention, then, is to consciousness what the
contraction of the pupil is to sight, or to the eye of the mind what the
microscope or telescope is to the bodily eye. It constitutes the better
half of all intellectual power."

We have quoted from the above authorities at considerable length, for
the purpose of impressing upon your mind the importance of this subject
of Attention. The subconscious regions of the mind are the great
storehouses of the mental records of impressions from within and
without. Its great systems of filing, recording and indexing these
records constitute that which we call memory. But before any of this
work is possible, impressions must first have been received. And, as you
may see from the quotations just given, these impressions depend upon
the power of attention given to the things making the impressions. If
there has been given great attention, there will be clear and deep
impressions; if there has been given but average attention, there will
be but average impressions; if there has been given but faint attention,
there will be but faint impressions; if there has been given no
attention, there will be no records.

One of the most common causes of poor attention is to be found in the
lack of interest. We are apt to remember the things in which we have
been most interested, because in that outpouring of interest there has
been a high degree of attention manifested. A man may have a very poor
memory for many things, but when it comes to the things in which his
interest is involved he often remembers the most minute details. What is
called involuntary attention is that form of attention that follows upon
interest, curiosity, or desire--no special effort of the will being
required in it. What is called voluntary attention is that form of
attention that is bestowed upon objects not necessarily interesting,
curious, or attractive--this requires the application of the will, and
is a mark of a developed character. Every person has more or less
involuntary attention, while but few possess developed voluntary
attention. The former is instinctive--the latter comes only by practice
and training.

But there is this important point to be remembered, that _interest may
be developed by voluntary attention_ bestowed and held upon an object.
Things that are originally lacking in sufficient interest to attract the
involuntary attention may develop a secondary interest if the voluntary
attention be placed upon and held upon them. As Halleck says on this
point: "When it is said that attention will not take a firm hold on an
uninteresting thing, we must not forget that anyone not shallow and
fickle can soon discover something interesting in most objects. Here
cultivated minds show their especial superiority, for the attention
which they are able to give generally ends in finding a pearl in the
most uninteresting looking oyster. When an object necessarily loses
interest from one point of view, such minds discover in it new
attributes. The essence of genius is to present an old thing in new
ways, whether it be some force in nature or some aspect of humanity."

It is very difficult to teach another person how to cultivate the
attention. This because the whole thing consists so largely in the use
of the will, and by faithful practice and persistent application. The
first requisite is _the determination to use the will_. You must argue
it out with yourself, until you become convinced that it is necessary
and desirable for you to acquire the art of voluntary attention--you
must convince yourself beyond reasonable doubt. This is the first step
and one more difficult than it would seem at first sight. The principal
difficulty in it lies in the fact that to do the thing you must do some
active earnest thinking, and the majority of people are too lazy to
indulge in such mental effort. Having mastered this first step, you must
induce a strong burning desire to acquire the art of voluntary
attention--you must learn to want it hard. In this way you induce a
condition of interest and attractiveness where it was previously
lacking. Third and last, you must hold your will firmly and persistently
to the task, and practice faithfully.

Begin by turning your attention upon some uninteresting thing and
studying its details until you are able to describe them. This will
prove very tiresome at first but you must stick to it. Do not practice
too long at a time at first; take a rest and try it again later. You
will soon find that it comes easier, and that a new interest is
beginning to manifest itself in the task. Examine this book, as
practice, learn how many pages there are in it; how many chapters; how
many pages in each chapter; the details of type, printing and
binding--all the little things about it--so that you could give another
person a full account of the minor details of the book. This may seem
uninteresting--and so it will be at first--but a little practice will
create a new interest in the petty details, and you will be surprised at
the number of little things that you will notice. This plan, practiced
on many things, in spare hours, will develop the power of voluntary
attention and perception in anyone, no matter how deficient he may have
been in these things. If you can get some one else to join in the
game-task with you, and then each endeavor to excel the other in
finding details, the task will be much easier, and better work will be
accomplished. Begin to take notice of things about you; the places you
visit; the things in the rooms, etc. In this way you will start the
habit of "noticing things," which is the first requisite for memory

Halleck gives the following excellent advice on this subject: "To look
at a thing intelligently is the most difficult of all arts. The first
rule for the cultivation of accurate perception is: Do not try to
perceive the whole of a complex object at once. Take the human face as
an example. A man, holding an important position to which he had been
elected, offended many people because he could not remember faces, and
hence failed to recognize individuals the second time he met them. His
trouble was in looking at the countenance as a whole. When he changed
his method of observation, and noticed carefully the nose, mouth, eyes,
chin, and color of hair, he at once began to find recognition easier. He
was no longer in difficulty of mistaking A for B, since he remembered
that the shape of B's nose was different, or the color of his hair at
least three shades lighter. This example shows that another rule can be
formulated: Pay careful attention to details. We are perhaps asked to
give a minute description of the exterior of a somewhat noted suburban
house that we have lately seen. We reply in general terms, giving the
size and color of the house. Perhaps we also have an idea of part of the
material used in the exterior construction. We are asked to be exact
about the shape of the door, porch, roof, chimneys and windows; whether
the windows are plain or circular, whether they have cornices, or
whether the trimmings around them are of the same material as the rest
of the house. A friend, who will be unable to see the house, wishes to
know definitely about the angles of the roof, and the way the windows
are arranged with reference to them. Unless we can answer these
questions exactly, we merely tantalize our friends by telling them we
have seen the house. To see an object merely as an undiscriminated mass
of something in a certain place, is to do no more than a donkey
accomplishes as he trots along."

There are three general rules that may be given in this matter of
bestowing the voluntary attention in the direction of actually _seeing_
things, instead of merely looking at them. The first is: Make yourself
take an interest in the thing. The second: See it as if you were taking
note of it in order to repeat its details to a friend--this will force
you to "take notice." The third: Give to your subconsciousness a mental
command to take note of what you are looking at--say to it; "Here, you
take note of this and remember it for me!" This last consists of a
peculiar "knack" that can be attained by a little practice--it will
"come to you" suddenly after a few trials.

Regarding this third rule whereby the subconsciousness is made to work
for you, Charles Leland has the following to say, although he uses it to
illustrate another point: "As I understand it, it is a kind of impulse
or projection of will into the coming work. I may here illustrate this
with a curious fact in physics. If the reader wished to ring a doorbell
so as to produce as much sound as possible, he would probably pull it
as far back as he could, and then let it go. But if he would, in letting
it go, simply give it a tap with his forefinger, he would actually
redouble the sound. Or, to shoot an arrow as far as possible, it is not
enough to _merely_ draw the bow to its utmost span or tension. If, just
as it goes, you will give the bow a quick push, though the effort be
trifling, the arrow will fly almost as far again as it would have done
without it. Or, if, as is well known in wielding a very sharp sabre, we
make the draw cut; that is, if to the blow or chop, as with an axe, we
also add a certain slight pull, simultaneously, we can cut through a
silk handkerchief or a sheep. Forethought (command to the
subconsciousness) is the tap on the bell; the push on the bow; the draw
on the sabre. It is the deliberate but yet rapid action of the mind when
before dismissing thought, we bid the mind to consequently respond. It
is more than merely thinking what we are to do; it is the bidding or
ordering the Self to fulfill a task before willing it."

Remember first, last and always, that before you can remember, or
recollect, you must first _perceive_; and that perception is possible
only through attention, and responds in degree to the latter. Therefore,
it has truly been said that: "The great Art of Memory is Attention."



In the preceding chapters we have seen that in order that a thing may be
remembered, it must be impressed clearly upon the mind in the first
place; and that in order to obtain a clear impression there must be a
manifestation of attention. So much for the recording of the
impressions. But when we come to recalling, recollecting or remembering
the impressions we are brought face to face with another important law
of memory--the law of Association. Association plays a part analogous to
the indexing and cross-indexing of a book; a library; or another system
in which the aim is to readily find something that has been filed away,
or contained in some way in a collection of similar things. As Kay says:
"In order that what is in the memory may be recalled or brought again
before consciousness, it is necessary that it be regarded in connection,
or in association with one or more other things or ideas, and as a rule
the greater the number of other things with which it is associated the
greater the likelihood of its recall. The two processes are involved in
every act of memory. We must first impress, and then we must associate.
Without a clear impression being formed, that which is recalled will be
indistinct and inaccurate; and unless it is associated with something
else in the mind, it cannot be recalled. If we may suppose an idea
existing in the mind by itself, unconnected with any other idea, its
recall would be impossible."

All the best authorities recognize and teach the importance of this law
of association, in connection with the memory. Abercrombie says: "Next
to the effect of attention is the remarkable influence produced upon
memory by association." Carpenter says: "The recording power of memory
mainly depends upon the degree of attention we give to the idea to be
remembered. The reproducing power again altogether depends upon the
nature of the associations by which the new idea has been linked on to
other ideas which have been previously recorded." Ribot says: "The most
fundamental law which regulates psychological phenomena is the law of
association. In its comprehensive character it is comparable to the law
of attraction in the physical world." Mill says: "That which the law of
gravitation is to astronomy; that which the elementary properties of the
tissues are to physiology; the law of association of ideas is to
psychology." Stewart says: "The connection between memory and the
association of ideas is so striking that it has been supposed by some
that the whole of the phenomena might be resolved into this principle.
The association of ideas connects our various thoughts with each other,
so as to present them to the mind in a certain order; but it presupposes
the existence of those thoughts in the mind,--in other words it
presupposes a faculty of retaining the knowledge which we acquire. On
the other hand, it is evident that without the associating principle,
the power of retaining our thoughts, and of recognizing them when they
occur to us, would have been of little use; for the most important
articles of our knowledge might have remained latent in the mind, even
when those occasions presented themselves to which they were immediately

Association of ideas depends upon two principles known, respectively, as
(1) the law of contiguity; and (2) the law of similarity. Association by
contiguity is that form of association by which an idea is linked,
connected, or associated with the sensation, thought, or idea
immediately preceding it, and that which directly follows it. Each idea,
or thought, is a link in a great chain of thought being connected with
the preceding link and the succeeding link. Association by similarity is
that form of association by which an idea, thought, or sensation is
linked, connected, or associated with ideas, thoughts, or sensations of
a similar kind, which have occurred previously or subsequently. The
first form of association is the relation of sequence--the second the
relation of kind.

Association by contiguity is the great law of thought, as well as of
memory. As Kay says: "The great law of mental association is that of
contiguity, by means of which sensations and ideas that have been in the
mind together or in close succession, tend to unite together, or cohere
in such a way that the one can afterward recall the other. The
connection that naturally subsists between a sensation or idea in the
mind, and that which immediately preceded or followed it, is of the
strongest and most intimate nature. The two, strictly speaking, are but
one, forming one complete thought." As Taine says: "To speak correctly,
there is no isolated or separate sensation. A sensation is a state which
begins as a continuation of preceding ones, and ends by losing itself
in those following it; it is by an arbitrary severing, and for the
convenience of language, that we set it apart as we do; its beginning
is the end of another, and its ending the beginning of another." As
Ribot says: "When we read or hear a sentence, for example, at
the commencement of the fifth word something of the fourth word
still remains. Association by contiguity may be separated into two
sub-classes--contiguity in time; and contiguity in space. In contiguity
in time there is manifested the tendency of the memory to recall the
impressions in the same order in which they were received--the first
impression suggesting the second, and that the third, and so on. In this
way the child learns to repeat the alphabet, and the adult the
succeeding lines of a poem." As Priestly says: "In a poem, the end of
each preceding word being connected with the beginning of the succeeding
one, we can easily repeat them in that order, but we are not able to
repeat them backwards till they have been frequently named in that
order." Memory of words, or groups of words, depends upon this form of
contigious association. Some persons are able to repeat long poems from
beginning to end, with perfect ease, but are unable to repeat any
particular sentence, or verse, without working down to it from the
beginning. Contiguity in space is manifested in forms of recollection or
remembrance by "position." Thus by remembering the things connected with
the position of a particular thing, we are enabled to recall the thing
itself. As we have seen in a preceding chapter, some forms of memory
systems have been based on this law. If you will recall some house or
room in which you have been, you will find that you will remember one
object after another, in the order of the relative positions, or
contiguity in space, or position. Beginning with the front hall, you may
travel in memory from one room to another, recalling each with the
objects it contains, according to the degree of attention you bestowed
upon them originally. Kay says of association by contiguity: "It is on
this principle of contiguity that mnemonical systems are constructed, as
when what we wish to remember is associated in the mind with a certain
object or locality, the ideas associated will at once come up; or when
each word or idea is associated with the one immediately preceding it,
so that when the one is recalled the other comes up along with it, and
thus long lists of names or long passages of books can be readily learnt
by heart."

From the foregoing, it will be seen that it is of great importance that
we correlate our impressions with those preceding and following. The
more closely knitted together our impressions are, the more closely will
they cohere, and the greater will be the facility of remembering or
recollecting them. We should endeavor to form our impressions of things
so that they will be associated with other impressions, in time and
space. Every other thing that is associated in the mind with a given
thing, serves as a "loose end" of memory, which if once grasped and
followed up will lead us to the thing we desire to recall to mind.

Association by similarity is the linking together of impressions of a
similar kind, irrespective of time and place. Carpenter expresses it as
follows: "The law of similarity expresses the general fact that any
present state of consciousness tends to revive previous states which are
similar to it.... Rational or philosophical association is when a fact
or statement on which the attention is fixed is associated with some
fact previously known, to which it has a relation, or with some subject
which it is calculated to illustrate." And as Kay says: "The similars
may be widely apart in space or in time, but they are brought together
and associated through their resemblance to each other. Thus, a
circumstance of to-day may recall circumstances of a similar nature that
occurred perhaps at very different times, and they will become
associated together in the mind, so that afterwards the presence of one
will tend to recall the others." Abercrombie says of this phase of
association: "The habit of correct association--that is, connecting
facts in the mind according to their true relations, and to the manner
in which they tend to illustrate each other, is one of the principle
means of improving the memory, particularly that kind of memory which is
an essential quality of a cultivated mind--namely, that which is founded
not upon incidental connections, but on true and important relations."

As Beattie says: "The more relations or likenesses that we find or can
establish between objects, the more easily will the view of one lead us
to recollect the rest." And as Kay says: "In order to fix a thing in
the memory, we must associate it with something in the mind already,
and the more closely that which we wish to remember resembles that with
which it is associated, the better is it fixed in the memory, and the
more readily is it recalled. If the two strongly resemble each other, or
are not to be distinguished from each other, then the association is of
the strongest kind.... The memory is able to retain and replace a vastly
greater number of ideas, if they are associated or arranged on some
principle of similarity, than if they are presented merely as isolated
facts. It is not by the multitude of ideas, but the want of arrangement
among them, that the memory is burdened and its powers weakened." As
Arnott says: "The ignorant man may be said to have charged his hundred
hooks of knowledge (to use a rude simile), with single objects, while
the informed man makes each hook support a long chain to which thousands
of kindred and useful things are attached."

We ask each student of this book to acquaint himself with the general
idea of the working features of the law of association as given in this
chapter for the reason that much of the instruction to be given under
the head of the several phases and classes of memory is based upon an
application of the Law of Association, in connection with the law of
Attention. These fundamental principles should be clearly grasped before
one proceeds to the details of practice and exercise. One should know
not only "how" to use the mind and memory in certain ways, but also
"why" it is to be used in that particular way. By understanding the
"reason of it," one is better able to follow out the directions.



One of the first things apt to be noticed by the student of memory is
the fact that there are several different phases of the manifestation of
memory. That is to say, that there are several general classes into
which the phenomena of memory may be grouped. And accordingly we find
some persons quite highly developed in certain phases of memory, and
quite deficient in others. If there were but one phase or class of
memory, then a person who had developed his memory along any particular
line would have at the same time developed it equally along all the
other lines. But this is far from being the true state of affairs. We
find men who are quite proficient in recalling the impression of faces,
while they find it very difficult to recall the names of the persons
whose faces they remember. Others can remember faces, and not names.
Others have an excellent recollection of localities, while others are
constantly losing themselves. Others remember dates, prices, numbers,
and figures generally, while deficient in other forms of recollection.
Others remember tales, incidents, anecdotes etc., while forgetting other
things. And so on, each person being apt to possess a memory good in
some phases, while deficient in others.

The phases of memory may be divided into two general classes, namely (1)
Memory of Sense Impressions; and (2) Memory of Ideas. This
classification is somewhat arbitrary, for the reason that sense
impressions develop into ideas, and ideas are composed to a considerable
extent of sense impressions, but in a general way the classification
serves its purpose, which is the grouping together of certain phases of
the phenomena of memory.

Memory of Sense Impressions of course includes the impressions received
from all of the five senses: sight; hearing; taste; touch; and smell.
But when we come down to a practical examination of sense impressions
retained in the memory, we find that the majority of such impressions
are those obtained through the two respective senses of sight and
hearing. The impressions received from the sense of taste, touch and
smell, respectively, are comparatively small, except in the cases of
certain experts in special lines, whose occupation consists in acquiring
a very delicate sense of taste, smell or touch, and correspondingly a
fine sense of memory along these particular lines. For instance, the
wine-taster and tea-tasters, who are able to distinguish between the
various grades of merchandise handled by them, have developed not only
very fine senses of taste and smell, but also a remarkable memory of the
impressions previously received, the power of discrimination depending
as much upon the memory as upon the special sense. In the same way the
skilled surgeon as well as the skilled mechanic acquires a fine sense of
touch and a correspondingly highly developed memory of touch

But, as we have said, the greater part of the sense impressions stored
away in our memories are those previously received through the senses
of sight and hearing, respectively. The majority of sense impressions,
stored away in the memory, have been received more or less
involuntarily, that is with the application of but a slight degree of
attention. They are more or less indistinct and hazy, and are recalled
with difficulty, the remembrance of them generally coming about without
conscious effort, according to the law of association. That is, they
come principally when we are thinking about something else upon which we
have given thought and attention, and with which they have been
associated. There is quite a difference between the remembrance of sense
impressions received in this way, and those which we record by the
bestowal of attention, interest and concentration.

The sense impressions of sight are by far the most numerous in our
subconscious storehouse. We are constantly exercising our sense of
sight, and receiving thousands of different sight impressions every
hour. But the majority of these impressions are but faintly recorded
upon the memory, because we give to them but little attention or
interest. But it is astonishing, at times, when we find that when we
recall some important event or incident we also recall many faint sight
impressions of which we did not dream we had any record. To realize the
important part played by sight impressions in the phenomena of memory,
recall some particular time or event in your life, and see how many more
things that you _saw_ are remembered, compared with the number of things
that you _heard_, or tasted, or felt or smelled.

Second in number, however, are the impressions received through the
sense of hearing, and consequently the memory stores away a great number
of sound impressions. In some cases the impressions of sight and sound
are joined together, as for instance in the case of words, in which not
only the sound but the shape of the letters composing the word, or
rather the word-shape itself, are stored away together, and consequently
are far more readily remembered or recollected than things of which but
one sense impression is recorded. Teachers of memory use this fact as a
means of helping their students to memorize words by speaking them
aloud, and then writing them down. Many persons memorize names in this
way, the impression of the written word being added to the impression of
the sound, thus doubling the record. The more impressions that you can
make regarding a thing, the greater are the chances of your easily
recollecting it. Likewise it is very important to attach an impression
of a weaker sense, to that of a stronger one, in order that the former
may be memorized. For instance, if you have a good eye memory, and a
poor ear memory, it is well to attach your sound impressions to the
sight impressions. And if you have a poor eye memory, and a good ear
memory it is important to attach your sight impressions to your sound
impressions. In this way you take advantage of the law of association,
of which we have told you.

Under the sub-class of sight impressions, are found the smaller
divisions of memory known as memory of locality; memory of figures;
memory of form; memory of color; and memory of written or printed
words. Under the sub-class of sound impressions are found the smaller
divisions of memory known as memory of spoken words; memory of names;
memory of stories; memory of music, etc. We shall pay special attention
to these forms of memory, in succeeding chapters.

The second general class of memory,--memory of ideas,--includes the
memory of facts, events, thoughts, lines of reasoning, etc., and is
regarded as higher in the scale than the memory of sense impressions,
although not more necessary nor useful to the average person. This form
of memory of course accompanies the higher lines of intellectual effort
and activities, and constitutes a large part of what is known as true
education, that is education which teaches one to think instead of to
merely memorize certain things taught in books or lectures.

The well-rounded man, mentally, is he who has developed his memory on
all sides, rather than the one who has developed but one special phase
of the faculty. It is true that a man's interest and occupation
certainly tend to develop his memory according to his daily needs and
requirements, but it is well that he should give to the other parts of
his memory field some exercise, in order that he may not grow one-sided.
As Halleck has said: "Many persons think that memory is mainly due to
sight; but we have as many different kinds of memory as we have senses.
To sight, the watermelon is a long greenish body, but this is its least
important quality. Sight alone gives the poorest idea of the watermelon.
We approach the vine where the fruit is growing, and in order to
decide whether it is ripe, we tap the rind and judge by the sound.
We must remember that a ripe watermelon has a certain resonance. By
passing our hands over the melon, we learn that it has certain touch
characteristics. We cut it open and learn the qualities of taste and
smell. All this knowledge afforded by the different senses must enter
into a perfected memory image. Hence we see that many complex processes
go to form an idea of a thing. Napoleon was not content with only
hearing a name. He wrote it down, and having satisfied his eye memory
as well as his ear memory, he threw the paper away."

In this book we shall point out the methods and processes calculated to
round out the memory of the student. As a rule his strong phases of
memory need but little attention, although even in these a little
scientific knowledge will be of use. But in the weaker phases, those
phases in which his memory is "poor," he should exert a new energy and
activity, to the end that these weaker regions of the memory may be
cultivated and fertilized, and well stored with the seed impressions,
which will bear a good crop in time. There is no phase, field, or class
of memory that is not capable of being highly developed by intelligent
application. It requires practice, exercise and work--but the reward is
great. Many a man is handicapped by being deficient in certain phases of
memory, while proficient in others. The remedy is in his own hands, and
we feel that in this book we have given to each the means whereby he may
acquire a "good" memory along any or all lines.



Before the memory can be stored with sight impressions--before the mind
can recollect or remember such impressions--the eye must be used under
the direction of the attention. We think that we see things when we look
at them, but in reality we _see_ but few things, in the sense of
registering clear and distinct impressions of them upon the tablets of
the subconscious mind. We _look at_ them rather than _see_ them.

Halleck says regarding this "sight without seeing" idea: "A body may be
imaged on the retina without insuring perception. There must be an
effort to concentrate the attention upon the many things which the world
presents to our senses. A man once said to the pupils of a large school,
all of whom had seen cows: 'I should like to find out how many of you
know whether a cow's ears are above, below, behind, or in front of her
horns. I want only those pupils to raise their hands who are sure about
the position and who will promise to give a dollar to charity if they
answer wrong.' Only two hands were raised. Their owners had drawn cows
and in order to do that had been forced to concentrate their attention
upon the animals. Fifteen pupils were sure that they had seen cats climb
trees and descend them. There was unanimity of opinion that the cats
went up heads first. When asked whether the cats came down head or tail
first, the majority were sure that the cats descended as they were never
known to do. Any one who had ever noticed the shape of the claws of any
beast of prey could have answered the question without seeing an actual
descent. Farmers' boys who have often seen cows and horses lie down and
rise, are seldom sure whether the animals rise with their fore or hind
feet first, or whether the habit of the horse agrees with that of the
cow in this respect. The elm tree has about its leaf a peculiarity which
all ought to notice the first time they see it, and yet only about five
per cent of a certain school could incorporate in a drawing this
peculiarity, although it is so easily outlined on paper. Perception, to
achieve satisfactory results, must summon the will to its aid to
concentrate the attention. Only the smallest part of what falls upon our
senses at any time is actually perceived."

The way to train the mind to receive clear sight-impressions, and
therefore to retain them in the memory is simply to concentrate the will
and attention upon objects of sight, endeavoring to _see_ them plainly
and distinctly, and then to practice recalling the details of the object
some time afterward. It is astonishing how rapidly one may improve in
this respect by a little practice. And it is amazing how great a degree
of proficiency in this practice one may attain in a short time. You have
doubtless heard the old story of Houdin, the French conjurer, who
cultivated his memory of sight impressions by following a simple plan.
He started in to practice by observing the number of small objects in
the Paris shop windows he could see and remember in one quick glance as
he rapidly walked past the window. He followed the plan of noting down
on paper the things that he saw and remembered. At first he could
remember but two or three articles in the window. Then he began to see
and remember more, and so on, each day adding to his power of perception
and memory, until finally he was able to see and remember nearly every
small article in a large shop window, after bestowing but one glance
upon it. Others have found this plan an excellent one, and have
developed their power of perception greatly, and at the same time
cultivated an amazingly retentive memory of objects thus seen. It is all
a matter of use and practice. The experiment of Houdin may be varied
infinitely, with excellent results.

The Hindus train their children along these lines, by playing the "sight
game" with them. This game is played by exposing to the sight of the
children a number of small objects, at which they gaze intently, and
which are then withdrawn from their sight. The children then endeavor to
excel each other in writing down the names of the objects which they
have seen. The number of objects is small to begin with, but is
increased each day, until an astonishing number are perceived and

Rudyard Kipling in his great book, "Kim," gives an instance of this
game, played by "Kim" and a trained native youth. Lurgan Sahib exposes
to the sight of the two boys a tray filled with jewels and gems,
allowing them to gaze upon it a few moments before it is withdrawn from
sight. Then the competition begins, as follows: "'There are under that
paper five blue stones, one big, one smaller, and three small,' said Kim
in all haste. There are four green stones, and one with a hole in it;
there is one yellow stone that I can see through, and one like a pipe
stem. There are two red stones, and--and--give me time.'" But Kim had
reached the limit of his powers. Then came the turn of the native boy.
"'Hear my count,' cried the native child. 'First are two flawed
sapphires, one of two ruttes and one of four, as I should judge. The
four rutte sapphire is chipped at the edge. There is one Turkestan
turquoise, plain with green veins, and there are two inscribed--one with
the name of God in gilt, and the other being cracked across, for it came
out of an old ring, I cannot read. We have now the five blue stones;
four flamed emeralds there are, but one is drilled in two places, and
one is a little carven.' 'Their weight?' said Lurgan Sahib, impassively.
'Three--five--five and four ruttees, as I judge it. There is one piece
of old greenish amber, and a cheap cut topaz from Europe. There is one
ruby of Burma, one of two ruttees, without a flaw. And there is a ballas
ruby, flawed, of two ruttees. There is a carved ivory from China,
representing a rat sucking an egg; and there is last--Ah--ha!--a ball of
crystal as big as a bean set in gold leaf.'" Kim is mortified at his bad
beating, and asks the secret. The answer is: "By doing it many times
over, till it is done perfectly, for it is worth doing."

Many teachers have followed plans similar to that just related. A number
of small articles are exposed, and the pupils are trained to see and
remember them, the process being gradually made more and more difficult.
A well known American teacher was in the habit of rapidly making a
number of dots on the blackboard, and then erasing them before the
pupils could count them in the ordinary way. The children then
endeavored to count their mental impressions, and before long they
could correctly name the number up to ten or more, with ease. They said
they could "see six," or "see ten," as the case may be, automatically
and apparently without the labor of consciously counting them. It is
related in works dealing with the detection of crime, that in the
celebrated "thieves schools" in Europe, the young thieves are trained in
a similar way, the old scoundrels acting as teachers exposing a number
of small articles to the young ones, and requiring them to repeat
exactly what they had seen. Then follows a higher course in which the
young thieves are required to memorize the objects in a room; the plan
of houses, etc. They are sent forth to "spy out the land" for future
robberies, in the guise of beggars soliciting alms, and thus getting a
rapid peep into houses, offices, and stores. It is said that in a single
glance they will perceive the location of all of the doors, windows,
locks, bolts, etc.

Many nations have boys' games in which the youngsters are required to
see and remember after taking a peep. The Italians have a game called
"Morro" in which one boy throws out a number of fingers, which must be
instantly named by the other boy, a failure resulting in a forfeit. The
Chinese youths have a similar game, while the Japanese boys reduce this
to a science. A well trained Japanese youth will be able to remember the
entire contents of a room after one keen glance around it. Many of the
Orientals have developed this faculty to a degree almost beyond belief.
But the principle is the same in all cases--the gradual practice and
exercise, beginning with a small number of simple things, and then
increasing the number and complexity of the objects.

The faculty is not so rare as one might imagine at first thought. Take a
man in a small business, and let him enter the store of a competitor,
and see how many things he will observe and remember after a few minutes
in the place. Let an actor visit a play in another theatre, and see how
many details of the performance he will notice and remember. Let some
women pay a visit to a new neighbor, and then see how many things about
that house they will have seen and remembered to be retailed to their
confidential friends afterward. It is the old story of attention
following the interest, and memory following the attention. An expert
whist player will see and remember every card played in the game, and
just who played it. A chess or checker player will see and remember the
previous moves in the game, if he be expert, and can relate them
afterward. A woman will go shopping and will see and remember thousands
of things that a man would never have seen, much less remembered. As
Houdin said: "Thus, for instance, I can safely assert that a lady seeing
another pass at full speed in a carriage will have had time to analyze
her toilette from her bonnet to her shoes, and be able to describe not
only the fashion and quality of the stuffs, but also say if the lace be
real or only machine made. I have known ladies to do this."

But, remember this--for it is important: Whatever can be done in this
direction by means of attention, inspired by interest, may be duplicated
by _attention directed by will_. In other words, the desire to
accomplish the task adds and creates an artificial interest just as
effective as the natural feeling. And, as you progress, the interest in
the game-task will add new interest, and you will be able to duplicate
any of the feats mentioned above. It is all a matter of attention,
interest (natural or induced) and practice. Begin with a set of
dominoes, if you like, and try to remember the spots on one of them
rapidly glanced at--then two--then three. By increasing the number
gradually, you will attain a power of perception and a memory of
sight-impressions that will appear almost marvelous. And not only will
you begin to remember dominoes, but you will also be able to perceive
and remember thousands of little details of interest, in everything,
that have heretofore escaped your notice. The principle is very simple,
but the results that may be obtained by practice are wonderful.

The trouble with most of you is that you have been looking without
seeing--gazing but not observing. The objects around you have been out
of your mental focus. If you will but change your mental focus, by means
of will and attention, you will be able to cure yourself of the careless
methods of seeing and observing that have been hindrances to your
success. You have been blaming it on your memory, but the fault is with
your perception. How can the memory remember, when it is not given
anything in the way of clear impressions? You have been like young
infants in this matter--now it is time for you to begin to "sit up and
take notice," no matter how old you may be. The whole thing in a
nut-shell is this: In order to remember the things that pass before your
sight, you must begin to _see with your mind_, instead of with your
retina. Let the impression get beyond your retina and into your mind. If
you will do this, you will find that memory will "do the rest."



The sense of hearing is one of the highest of the senses or channels
whereby we receive impressions from the outside world. In fact, it ranks
almost as high as the sense of sight. In the senses of taste, touch, and
smell there is a direct contact between the sensitive recipient nerve
substance and the particles of the object sensed, while in the sense of
sight and the sense of hearing the impression is received through the
medium of waves in the ether (in the case of sight), or waves in the air
(in the sense of hearing.) Moreover in taste, smell and touch the
objects sensed are brought into direct contact with the terminal nerve
apparatus, while in seeing and hearing the nerves terminate in peculiar
and delicate sacs which contain a fluidic substance through which the
impression is conveyed to the nerve proper. Loss of this fluidic
substance destroys the faculty to receive impressions, and deafness or
blindness ensues. As Foster says: "Waves of sound falling upon the
auditory nerve itself produces no effect whatever; it is only when, by
the medium of the endolymph, they are brought to bear on the delicate
and peculiar epithelium cells which constitute the peripheral
terminations of the nerve, that sensations of sound arise."

Just as it is true that it is the mind and not the eye that really
_sees_; so is it true that it is the mind and not the ear that really
_hears_. Many sounds reach the ear that are not registered by the mind.
We pass along a crowded street, the waves of many sounds reaching the
nerves of the ear, and yet the mind _accepts_ the sounds of but few
things, particularly when the novelty of the sounds has passed away. It
is a matter of interest and attention in this case, as well as in the
case of hearing. As Halleck says: "If we sit by an open window in the
country on a summer day, we may have many stimuli knocking at the gate
of attention: the ticking of a clock, the sound of the wind, the
cackling of fowl, the quacking of ducks, the barking of dogs, the lowing
of cows, the cries of children at play, the rustling of leaves, the
songs of birds, the rumbling of wagons, etc. If attention is centered
upon any one of these, that for the time being acquires the importance
of a king upon the throne of our mental world."

Many persons complain of not being able to remember sounds, or things
reaching the mind through the sense of hearing, and attribute the
trouble to some defect in the organs of hearing. But in so doing they
overlook the real cause of the trouble, for it is a scientific fact that
many of such persons are found to have hearing apparatus perfectly
developed and in the best working order--their trouble arising from a
lack of training of the mental faculty of hearing. In other words the
trouble is in their mind instead of in the organs of hearing. To acquire
the faculty of correct hearing, and correct memory of things heard, the
mental faculty of hearing must be exercised, trained and developed.
Given a number of people whose hearing apparatus are equally perfect, we
will find that some "hear" much better than others; and some hear
certain things better than they do certain other things; and that there
is a great difference in the grades and degrees of memory of the things
heard. As Kay says: "Great differences exist among individuals with
regard to the acuteness of this sense (hearing) and some possess it in
greater perfection in certain directions than in others. One whose
hearing is good for sound in general may yet have but little ear for
musical tones; and, on the other hand, one with a good ear for music may
yet be deficient as regards hearing in general." The secret of this is
to be found in the degree of interest and attention bestowed upon the
particular thing giving forth the sound.

It is a fact that the mind will hear the faintest sounds from things in
which is centered interest and attention, while at the same time
ignoring things in which there is no interest and to which the attention
is not turned. A sleeping mother will awaken at the slightest whimper
from her babe, while the rumbling of a heavy wagon on the street, or
even the discharge of a gun in the neighborhood may not be noticed by
her. An engineer will detect the slightest difference in the whir or hum
of his engine, while failing to notice a very loud noise outside. A
musician will note the slightest discord occurring in a concert in which
there are a great number of instruments being played, and in which there
is a great volume of sound reaching the ear, while other sounds may be
unheard by him. The man who taps the wheels of your railroad car is able
to detect the slightest difference in tone, and is thus informed that
there is a crack or flaw in the wheel. One who handles large quantities
of coin will have his attention drawn to the slightest difference in the
"ring" of a piece of gold or silver, that informs him that there is
something wrong with the coin. A train engineer will distinguish the
strange whir of something wrong with the train behind him, amidst all
the thundering rattle and roar in which it is merged. The foreman in a
machine shop in the same manner detects the little strange noise that
informs him that something is amiss, and he rings off the power at once.
Telegraphers are able to detect the almost imperceptible differences in
the sound of their instruments that inform them that a new operator is
on the wire; or just who is sending the message; and, in some cases,
the mood or temper of the person transmitting it. Trainmen and steamboat
men recognize the differences between every engine or boat on their
line, or river, as the case may be. A skilled physician will detect the
faint sounds denoting a respiratory trouble or a "heart murmur" in the
patients. And yet these very people who are able to detect the faint
differences in sound, above mentioned, are often known as "poor hearers"
in other things. Why? Simply because they hear only that in which they
are interested, and to which their attention has been directed. That is
the whole secret, and in it is also to be found the secret of training
of the ear-perception. It is all a matter of interest and attention--the
details depend upon these principles.

In view of the facts just stated, it will be seen that the remedy for
"poor hearing," and poor memory of things heard is to be found in the
use of the will in the direction of voluntary attention and interest. So
true is this that some authorities go so far as to claim that many cases
of supposed slight deafness are really but the result of lack of
attention and concentration on the part of the person so troubled. Kay
says: "What is commonly called deafness is not infrequently to be
attributed to this cause--the sounds being heard but not being
interpreted or recognized ... sounds may be distinctly heard when the
attention is directed toward them, that in ordinary circumstances would
be imperceptible; and people often fail to hear what is said to them
because they are not paying attention." Harvey says: "That one-half of
the deafness that exists is the result of inattention cannot be
doubted." There are but few persons who have not had the experience of
listening to some bore, whose words were distinctly heard but the
meaning of which was entirely lost because of inattention and lack of
interest. Kirkes sums the matter up in these words: "In hearing we must
distinguish two different points--the audible sensation as it is
developed without any intellectual interference, and the conception
which we form in consequence of that sensation."

The reason that many persons do not remember things that they have heard
is simply because they have not _listened_ properly. Poor listening is
far more common than one would suppose at first. A little
self-examination will reveal to you the fact that you have fallen into
the bad habit of inattention. One cannot listen to everything, of
course--it would not be advisable. But one should acquire the habit of
either really listening or else refusing to listen at all. The
compromise of careless listening brings about deplorable results, and is
really the reason why so many people "can't remember" what they have
heard. It is all a matter of habit. Persons who have poor memories of
ear-impressions should begin to "listen" in earnest. In order to
reacquire their lost habit of proper listening, they must exercise
voluntary attention and develop interest. The following suggestions may
be useful in that direction.

Try to memorize words that are spoken to you in conversation--a few
sentences, or even one, at a time. You will find that the effort made to
fasten the sentence on your memory will result in a concentration of the
attention on the words of the speaker. Do the same thing when you are
listening to a preacher, actor or lecturer. Pick out the first sentence
for memorizing, and make up your mind that your memory will be as wax to
receive the impression and as steel to retain it. Listen to the stray
scraps of conversation that come to your ears while walking on the
street, and endeavor to memorize a sentence or two, as if you were to
repeat it later in the day. Study the various tones, expressions and
inflections in the voices of persons speaking to you--you will find this
most interesting and helpful. You will be surprised at the details that
such analysis will reveal. Listen to the footsteps of different persons
and endeavor to distinguish between them--each has its peculiarities.
Get some one to read a line or two of poetry or prose to you, and then
endeavor to remember it. A little practice of this kind will greatly
develop the power of voluntary attention to sounds and spoken words. But
above everything else, practice repeating the words and sounds that you
have memorized, so far as is possible--for by so doing you will get the
mind into the habit of taking an interest in sound impressions. In this
way you not only improve the sense of hearing, but also the faculty of

If you will analyze, and boil down the above remarks and directions, you
will find that the gist of the whole matter is that one should _actually
use, employ and exercise_ the mental faculty of hearing, actively and
intelligently. Nature has a way of putting to sleep, or atrophying any
faculty that is not used or exercised; and also of encouraging,
developing and strengthening any faculty that is properly employed and
exercised. In this you have the secret. Use it. If you will listen well,
you will hear well and remember well that which you have heard.



The phase of memory connected with the remembrance or recollection of
names probably is of greater interest to the majority of persons than
are any of the associated phases of the subject. On all hands are to be
found people who are embarassed by their failure to recall the name of
some one whom they feel they know, but whose name has escaped them. This
failure to remember the names of persons undoubtedly interferes with the
business and professional success of many persons; and, on the other
hand, the ability to recall names readily has aided many persons in the
struggle for success. It would seem that there are a greater number of
persons deficient in this phase of memory than in any other. As Holbrook
has said: "The memory of names is a subject with which most persons must
have a more than passing interest.... The number of persons who never or
rarely forget a name is exceedingly small, the number of those who have
a poor memory for them is very large. The reason for this is partly a
defect of mental development and partly a matter of habit. In either
case it may be overcome by effort.... I have satisfied myself by
experience and observation that a memory for names may be increased not
only two, _but a hundredfold_."

You will find that the majority of successful men have been able to
recall the faces and names of those with whom they came in contact, and
it is an interesting subject for speculation as to just how much of
their success was due to this faculty. Socrates is said to have easily
remembered the names of all of his students, and his classes numbered
thousands in the course of a year. Xenophon is said to have known the
name of every one of his soldiers, which faculty was shared by
Washington and Napoleon, also. Trajan is said to have known the names of
all the Praetorian Guards, numbering about 12,000. Pericles knew the
face and name of every one of the citizens of Athens. Cineas is said to
have known the names of all the citizens of Rome. Themistocles knew the
names of 20,000 Athenians. Lucius Scipio could call by name every
citizen of Rome. John Wesley could recall the names of thousands of
persons whom he had met in his travels. Henry Clay was specially
developed in this phase of memory, and there was a tradition among his
followers that he remembered every one whom he met. Blaine had a similar

There have been many theories advanced, and explanations offered to
account for the fact that the recollection of names is far more
difficult than any other form of the activities of the memory. We shall
not take up your time in going over these theories, but shall proceed
upon the theory now generally accepted by the best authorities; i.e.
that the difficulty in the recollection of names is caused by the fact
that names in themselves are _uninteresting_ and therefore do not
attract or hold the attention as do other objects presented to the mind.
There is of course to be remembered the fact that sound impressions are
apt to be more difficult of recollection than sight impressions, but the
lack of interesting qualities in names is believed to be the principal
obstacle and difficulty. Fuller says of this matter: "A proper noun, or
name, when considered independently of accidental features of
coincidence with something that is familiar, _doesn't mean anything_;
for this reason a mental picture of it is not easily formed, which
accounts for the fact that the primitive, tedious way of rote, or
repetition, is that ordinarily employed to impress a proper noun on the
memory, while a common noun, being represented by some object having
shape, or appearance, in the physical or mental perception, can thus be
_seen or imagined_: in other words _a mental image_ of it can be formed
and the _name_ identified afterwards, through associating it with this
mental image." We think that the case is fully stated in this quotation.

But in spite of this difficulty, persons have and can greatly improve
their memory of names. Many who were originally very deficient in this
respect have not only improved the faculty far beyond its former
condition, but have also developed exceptional ability in this special
phase of memory so that they became noted for their unfailing
recollection of the names of those with whom they came in contact.

Perhaps the best way to impress upon you the various methods that may be
used for this purpose would be to relate to you the actual experience of
a gentleman employed in a bank in one of the large cities of this
country, who made a close study of the subject and developed himself far
beyond the ordinary. Starting with a remarkably poor memory for names,
he is now known to his associates as "the man who never forgets a name."
This gentleman first took a number of "courses" in secret "methods" of
developing the memory; but after thus spending much money he expressed
his disgust with the whole idea of artificial memory training. He then
started in to study the subject from the point-of-view of The New
Psychology, putting into effect all of the tested principles, and
improving upon some of their details. We have had a number of
conversations with this gentleman, and have found that his experience
confirms many of our own ideas and theories, and the fact that he has
demonstrated the correctness of the principles to such a remarkable
degree renders his case one worthy of being stated in the direction of
affording a guide and "method" for others who wish to develop their
memory of names.

The gentleman, whom we shall call "Mr. X.," decided that the first thing
for him to do was to develop his faculty of receiving clear and distinct
sound impressions. In doing this he followed the plan outlined by us in
our chapter on "Training the Ear." He persevered and practiced along
these lines until his "hearing" became very acute. He made a study of
voices, until he could classify them and analyze their characteristics.
Then he found that he could _hear_ names in a manner before impossible
to him. That is, instead of merely catching a vague sound of a name, he
would hear it so clearly and distinctly that a firm registration would
be obtained on the records of his memory. For the first time in his life
names began to _mean something_ to him. He paid attention to every name
he heard, just as he did to every note he handled. He would repeat a
name to himself, after hearing it, and would thus strengthen the
impression. If he came across an unusual name, he would write it down
several times, at the first opportunity, thus obtaining the benefit of a
double sense impression, adding eye impression to ear impression. All
this, of course, aroused his interest in the subject of names in
general, which led him to the next step in his progress.

Mr. X. then began to study names, their origin, their peculiarities,
their differences, points of resemblances, etc. He made a hobby of
names, and evinced all the joy of a collector when he was able to stick
the pin of attention through the specimen of a new and unfamiliar
species of name. He began to collect names, just as others collect
beetles, stamps, coins, etc., and took quite a pride in his collection
and in his knowledge of the subject. He read books on names, from the
libraries, giving their origin, etc. He had the Dickens' delight in
"queer" names, and would amuse his friends by relating the funny names
he had seen on signs, and otherwise. He took a small City Directory home
with him, and would run over the pages in the evening, looking up new
names, and classifying old ones into groups. He found that some names
were derived from animals, and put these into a class by themselves--the
Lyons, Wolfs, Foxes, Lambs, Hares, etc. Others were put into the color
group--Blacks, Greens, Whites, Greys, Blues, etc. Others belonged to the
bird family--Crows, Hawks, Birds, Drakes, Cranes, Doves, Jays, etc.
Others belonged to trades--Millers, Smiths, Coopers, Maltsters,
Carpenters, Bakers, Painters, etc. Others were trees--Chestnuts,
Oakleys, Walnuts, Cherrys, Pines, etc. Then there were Hills and Dales;
Fields and Mountains; Lanes and Brooks. Some were Strong; others were
Gay; others were Savage; others Noble. And so on. It would take a whole
book to tell you what that man found out about names. He came near
becoming a "crank" on the subject. But his hobby began to manifest
excellent results, for his _interest_ had been awakened to an unusual
degree, and he was becoming very proficient in his recollection of
names, for they now meant something to him. He easily recalled all the
regular customers at his bank,--quite a number by the way for the bank
was a large one--and many occasional depositors were delighted to have
themselves called by name by our friend. Occasionally he would meet with
a name that balked him, in which case he would repeat it over to
himself, and write it a number of times until he had mastered it--after
that it never escaped him.

Mr. X. would always repeat a name when it was spoken, and would at the
same time look intently at the person bearing it, thus seeming to fix
the two together in his mind at the same time--when he wanted them they
would be found in each other's company. He also acquired the habit of
_visualizing_ the name--that is, he would see its letters in his mind's
eye, as a picture. This he regarded as a most important point, and we
thoroughly agree with him. He used the Law of Association in the
direction of associating a new man with a well-remembered man of the
same name. A new Mr. Schmidtzenberger would be associated with an old
customer of the same name--when he would see the new man, he would think
of the old one, and the name would flash into his mind. To sum up the
whole method, however, it may be said that the gist of the thing was in
_taking an interest_ in names in general. In this way an uninteresting
subject was made interesting--and a man always has a good memory for the
things in which he is interested.

The case of Mr. X. is an extreme one--and the results obtained were
beyond the ordinary. But if you will take a leaf from his book, you may
obtain the same results in the degree that you work for it. Make a study
of names--start a collection--and you will have no trouble in developing
a memory for them. This is the whole thing in a nut-shell.



The memory of faces is closely connected with the memory of names, and
yet the two are not always associated, for there are many people who
easily remember faces, and yet forget names, and vice versa. In some
ways, however, the memory of faces is a necessary precedent for the
recollection of the names of people. For unless we recall the face, we
are unable to make the necessary association with the name of the
person. We have given a number of instances of face-memory, in our
chapter on name-memory, in which are given instances of the wonderful
memory of celebrated individuals who acquired a knowledge and memory of
the thousands of citizens of a town, or city, or the soldiers of an
army. In this chapter, however, we shall pay attention only to the
subject of the recollection of the features of persons, irrespective of
their names. This faculty is possessed by all persons, but in varying
degrees. Those in whom it is well developed seem to recognize the faces
of persons whom they have met years before, and to associate them with
the circumstances in which they last met them, even where the name
escapes the memory. Others seem to forget a face the moment it passes
from view, and fail to recognize the same persons whom they met only a
few hours before, much to their mortification and chagrin.

Detectives, newspaper reporters, and others who come in contact with
many people, usually have this faculty largely developed, for it becomes
a necessity of their work, and their interest and attention is rendered
active thereby. Public men often have this faculty largely developed by
reason of the necessities of their life. It is said that James G. Blaine
never forgot the face of anyone whom he had met and conversed with a few
moments. This faculty rendered him very popular in political life. In
this respect he resembled Henry Clay, who was noted for his memory of
faces. It is related of Clay that he once paid a visit of a few hours to
a small town in Mississippi, on an electioneering tour. Amidst the
throng surrounding him was an old man, with one eye missing. The old
fellow pressed forward crying out that he was sure that Henry Clay would
remember him. Clay took a sharp look at him and said: "I met you in
Kentucky many years ago, did I not?" "Yes," replied the man. "Did you
lose your eye since then?" asked Clay. "Yes, several years after,"
replied the old man. "Turn your face side-ways, so that I can see your
profile," said Clay. The man did so. Then Clay smiled, triumphantly,
saying: "I've got you now--weren't you on that jury in the Innes case at
Frankfort, that I tried in the United States Court over twenty years
ago?" "Yes siree!" said the man, "I knowed that ye know me, 'n I told
'em you would." And the crowd gave a whoop, and Clay knew that he was
safe in that town and county.

Vidocq, the celebrated French detective, is said to have never forgotten
a face of a criminal whom he had once seen. A celebrated instance of
this power on his part is that of the case of Delafranche the forger who
escaped from prison and dwelt in foreign lands for over twenty years.
After that time he returned to Paris feeling secure from detection,
having become bald, losing an eye, and having his nose badly mutilated.
Moreover he disguised himself and wore a beard, in order to still
further evade detection. One day Vidocq met him on the street, and
recognized him at once, his arrest and return to prison following.
Instances of this kind could be multiplied indefinitely, but the student
will have had a sufficient acquaintance with persons who possess this
faculty developed to a large degree, so that further illustration is
scarcely necessary.

The way to develop this phase of memory is akin to that urged in the
development of other phases--the cultivation of interest, and the
bestowal of attention. Faces as a whole are not apt to prove
interesting. It is only by analyzing and classifying them that the study
begins to grow of interest to us. The study of a good elementary work on
physiognomy is recommended to those wishing to develop the faculty of
remembering faces, for in such a work the student is led to notice the
different kinds of noses, ears, eyes, chins, foreheads, etc., such
notice and recognition tending to induce an interest in the subject of
features. A rudimentary course of study in drawing faces, particularly
in profile, will also tend to make one "take notice" and will awaken
interest. If you are required to draw a nose, particularly from memory,
you will be apt to give to it your interested attention. The matter of
interest is vital. If you were shown a man and told that the next time
you met and recognized him he would hand you over $500, you would be
very apt to study his face carefully, and to recognize him later on;
whereas the same man if introduced casually as a "Mr. Jones," would
arouse no interest and the chances of recognition would be slim.

Halleck says: "Every time we enter a street car we see different types
of people, and there is a great deal to be noticed about each type.
Every human countenance shows its past history to one who knows how to
look.... Successful gamblers often become so expert in noticing the
slightest change of an opponent's facial expression that they will
estimate the strength of his hand by the involuntary signs which appear
in the face and which are frequently checked the instant they appear."

Of all classes, perhaps artists are more apt to form a clear cut image
of the features of persons whom they meet--particularly if they are
portrait painters. There are instances of celebrated portrait painters
who were able to execute a good portrait after having once carefully
studied the face of the sitter, their memory enabling them to visualize
the features at will. Some celebrated teachers of drawing have
instructed their scholars to take a sharp hasty glance at a nose, an
eye, an ear, or chin, and then to so clearly visualize it that they
could draw it perfectly. It is all a matter of interest, attention, _and
practice_. Sir Francis Galton cites the instance of a French teacher who
trained his pupils so thoroughly in this direction that after a few
months' practice they had no difficulty in summoning images at will; in
holding them steady; and in drawing them correctly. He says of the
faculty of visualization thus used: "A faculty that is of importance in
all technical and artistic occupations, that gives accuracy to our
perceptions, and justice to our generalizations, is starved by lazy
disuse, instead of being cultivated judiciously in such a way as will,
on the whole, bring the best return. I believe that a serious study of
the best means of developing and utilizing this faculty, without
prejudice to the practice of abstract thought in symbols, is one of the
many pressing desiderata in the yet unformed science of education."

Fuller relates the method of a celebrated painter, which method has been
since taught by many teachers of both drawing and memory. He relates it
as follows: "The celebrated painter Leonardo da Vinci invented a most
ingenious method for identifying faces, and by it is said to have been
able to reproduce from memory any face that he had once carefully
scrutinized. He drew all the possible forms of the nose, mouth, chin,
eyes, ears and forehead, numbered them 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., and committed
them thoroughly to memory; then, whenever he saw a face that he wished
to draw or paint from memory, he noted in his mind that it was chin 4,
eyes 2, nose 5, ears 6,--or whatever the combinations might be--and by
retaining the analysis in his memory he could reconstruct the face at
any time." We could scarcely ask the student to attempt so complicated a
system, and yet a modification of it would prove useful. That is, if you
would begin to form a classification of several kind of noses, say about
seven, the well-known Roman, Jewish, Grecian, giving you the general
classes, in connection with straight, crooked, pug and all the other
varieties, you would soon recognize noses when you saw them. And the
same with mouths, a few classes being found to cover the majority of
cases. But of all the features, the eye is the most expressive, and the
one most easily remembered, when clearly noticed. Detectives rely much
upon _the expression of the eye_. If you ever fully catch the
_expression_ of a person's eye, you will be very apt to recognize it
thereafter. Therefore concentrate on eyes in studying faces.

A good plan in developing this faculty is to visualize the faces of
persons you have met during the day, in the evening. Try to develop the
faculty of visualizing the features of those whom you know--this will
start you off right. Draw them in your mind--see them with your mind's
eye, until you can visualize the features of very old friends; then do
the same with acquaintances, and so on, until you are able to visualize
the features of every one you "know." Then start on to add to your list
by recalling in the imagination, the features of strangers whom you
meet. By a little practice of this kind you will develop a great
interest in faces and your memory of them, and the power to recall them
will increase rapidly. The secret is to study faces--to be interested in
them. In this way you add zest to the task, and make a pleasure of a
drudgery. The study of photographs is also a great aid in this work--but
study them in detail, not as a whole. If you can arouse sufficient
interest in features and faces, you will have no trouble in remembering
and recalling them. The two things go together.



There is a great difference in the various degrees of development of
"the sense of locality" in different persons. But these differences may
be traced directly to the degree of memory of that particular phase or
faculty of the mind, which in turn depends upon the degree of attention,
interest, and use which has been bestowed upon the faculty in question.
The authorities on phrenology define the faculty of "locality" as
follows: "Cognizance of place; recollection of the looks of places,
roads, scenery, and the location of objects; where on a page ideas are
to be found, and position generally; the geographical faculty; the
desire to see places, and have the ability to find them." Persons in
whom this faculty is developed to the highest degree seem to have an
almost intuitive idea of direction, place and position. They never get
lost or "mixed up" regarding direction or place. They remember the
places they visit and their relation in space to each other. Their minds
are like maps upon which are engraved the various roads, streets and
objects of sight in every direction. When these people think of China,
Labrador, Terra del Fuego, Norway, Cape of Good Hope, Thibet, or any
other place, they seem to think of it in "_this_ direction or _that_
direction" rather than as a vague place situated in a vague direction.
Their minds think "north, south, east or west" as the case may be when
they consider a given place. Shading down by degrees we find people at
the other pole of the faculty who seem to find it impossible to remember
any direction, or locality or relation in space. Such people are
constantly losing themselves in their own towns, and fear to trust
themselves in a strange place. They have no sense of direction, or
place, and fail to recognize a street or scene which they have visited
recently, not to speak of those which they traveled over in time past.
Between these two poles or degrees there is a vast difference, and it is
difficult to realize that it is all a matter of use, interest and
attention. That it is but this may be proven by anyone who will take
the trouble and pains to develop the faculty and memory of locality
within his mind. Many have done this, and anyone else may do likewise if
the proper methods be employed.

The secret of the development of the faculty and memory of place and
locality is akin to that mentioned in the preceding chapter, in
connection with the development of the memory for names. The first thing
necessary is to develop an _interest_ in the subject. One should begin
to "take notice" of the direction of the streets or roads over which he
travels; the landmarks; the turns of the road; the natural objects along
the way. He should study maps, until he awakens a new interest in them,
just as did the man who used the directory in order to take an interest
in names. He should procure a small geography and study direction,
distances, location, shape and form of countries, etc., not as a mere
mechanical thing but as a live subject of interest. If there were a
large sum of money awaiting your coming in certain sections of the
globe, you would manifest a decided interest in the direction, locality
and position of those places, and the best way to reach them. Before
long you would be a veritable reference book regarding those special
places. Or, if your sweetheart were waiting for you in some such place,
you would do likewise. The whole thing lies in the degree of "want to"
regarding the matter. Desire awakens interest; interest employs
attention; and attention brings use, development and memory. Therefore
you must first _want to_ develop the faculty of Locality--and want to
"hard enough." The rest is a mere matter of detail.

One of the first things to do, after arousing an interest, is to
carefully note the landmarks and relative positions of the streets or
roads over which you travel. So many people travel along a new street or
road in an absent-minded manner, taking no notice of the lay of the land
as they proceed. This is fatal to place-memory. You must take notice of
the thoroughfares and the things along the way. Pause at the cross
roads, or the street-corners and note the landmarks, and the general
directions and relative positions, until they are firmly imprinted on
your mind. Begin to see how many things you can remember regarding even
a little exercise walk. And when you have returned home, go over the
trip in your mind, and see how much of the direction and how many of the
landmarks you are able to remember. Take out your pencil, and endeavor
to _make a map_ of your route, giving the general directions, and noting
the street names, and principal objects of interest. Fix the idea of
"North" in your mind when starting, and keep your bearings by it during
your whole trip, and in your map making. You will be surprised how much
interest you will soon develop in this map-making. It will get to be
quite a game, and you will experience pleasure in your increasing
proficiency in it. When you go out for a walk, go in a round-about way,
taking as many turns and twists as possible, in order to exercise your
faculty of locality and direction--but always note carefully direction
and general course, so that you may reproduce it correctly on your map
when you return. If you have a city map, compare it with your own little
map, and also re-trace your route, in imagination, on the map. With a
city map, or road-map, you may get lots of amusement by re-traveling
the route of your little journeys.

Always note the names of the various streets over which you travel, as
well as those which you cross during your walk. Note them down upon your
map, and you will find that you will develop a rapidly improving memory
in this direction--because you have awakened interest and bestowed
attention. Take a pride in your map making. If you have a companion,
endeavor to beat each other at this game--both traveling over the same
route together, and then seeing which one can remember the greatest
number of details of the journey.

Akin to this, and supplementary to it, is the plan of selecting a route
to be traveled, on your city map, endeavoring to fix in your mind the
general directions, names of streets, turns, return journey, etc.,
before you start. Begin by mapping out a short trip in this way, and
then increase it every day. After mapping out a trip, lay aside your map
and travel it in person. If you like, take along the map and puzzle out
variations, from time to time. Get the map habit in every possible
variation and form, but do not depend upon the map exclusively; but
instead, endeavor to correlate the printed map with the mental map that
you are building in your brain.

If you are about to take a journey to a strange place, study your maps
carefully before you go, and exercise your memory in reproducing them
with a pencil. Then as you travel along, compare places with your map,
and you will find that you will take an entirely new interest in the
trip--it will begin by meaning something to you. If about to visit a
strange city, procure a map of it before starting, and begin by noting
the cardinal points of the compass, study the map--the directions of the
principal streets and the relative positions of the principal points of
interest, buildings, etc. In this way you not only develop your memory
of places, and render yourself proof against being lost, but you also
provide a source of new and great interest in your visit.

The above suggestions are capable of the greatest expansion and
variation on the part of anyone who practices them. The whole thing
depends upon the "taking notice" and using the attention, and those
things in turn depend upon the taking of interest in the subject. If
anyone will "wake up and take interest" in the subject of locality and
direction he may develop himself along the lines of place-memory to an
almost incredible degree, in a comparatively short time at that. There
is no other phase of memory that so quickly responds to use and exercise
as this one. We have in mind a lady who was notoriously deficient in the
memory of place, and was sure to lose herself a few blocks from her
stopping place, wherever she might be. She seemed absolutely devoid of
the sense of direction or locality and often lost herself in the hotel
corridors, notwithstanding the fact that she traveled all over the
world, with her husband, for years. The trouble undoubtedly arose from
the fact that she depended altogether upon her husband as a pilot, the
couple being inseparable. Well, the husband died, and the lady lost her
pilot. Instead of giving up in despair, she began to rise to the
occasion--having no pilot, she had to pilot herself. And she was forced
to "wake up and take notice." She was compelled to travel for a couple
of years, in order to close up certain business matters of her
husband's--for she was a good business woman in spite of her lack of
development along this one line--and in order to get around safely, she
was forced to take an interest in where she was going. Before the two
years' travels were over, she was as good a traveler as her husband had
ever been, and was frequently called upon as a guide by others in whose
company she chanced to be. She explained it by saying "Why, I don't know
just how I did it--I just _had to_, that's all--I just _did_ it."
Another example of a woman's "because," you see. What this good lady
"just did," was accomplished by an instinctive following of the plan
which we have suggested to you. She "just _had_ to" use maps and to
"take notice." That is the whole story.

So true are the principles underlying this method of developing the
place-memory, that one deficient in it, providing he will arouse intense
interest and will stick to it, may develop the faculty to such an extent
that he may almost rival the cat which "always came back," or the dog
which "you couldn't lose." The Indians, Arabs, Gypsies and other people
of the plain, forest, desert, and mountains, have this faculty so highly
developed that it seems almost like an extra sense. It is all this
matter of "taking notice" sharpened by continuous need, use and
exercise, to a high degree. The mind will respond to the need if the
person like the lady, "just _has to_." The laws of Attention and
Association will work wonders when actively called into play by Interest
or need, followed by exercise and use. There is no magic in the
process--just "want to" and "keep at it," that's all. Do you want to
hard enough--have you the determination to keep at it?



The faculty of Number--that is the faculty of knowing, recognizing and
remembering figures in the abstract and in their relation to each other,
differs very materially among different individuals. To some, figures
and numbers are apprehended and remembered with ease, while to others
they possess no interest, attraction or affinity, and consequently are
not apt to be remembered. It is generally admitted by the best
authorities that the memorizing of dates, figures, numbers, etc., is the
most difficult of any of the phases of memory. But all agree that the
faculty may be developed by practice and interest. There have been
instances of persons having this faculty of the mind developed to a
degree almost incredible; and other instances of persons having started
with an aversion to figures and then developing an interest which
resulted in their acquiring a remarkable degree of proficiency along
these lines.

Many of the celebrated mathematicians and astronomers developed
wonderful memories for figures. Herschel is said to have been able to
remember all the details of intricate calculations in his astronomical
computations, even to the figures of the fractions. It is said that he
was able to perform the most intricate calculations mentally, without
the use of pen or pencil, and then dictated to his assistant the entire
details of the process, including the final results. Tycho Brahe, the
astronomer, also possessed a similar memory. It is said that he rebelled
at being compelled to refer to the printed tables of square roots and
cube roots, and set to work to memorize the entire set of tables, which
almost incredible task he accomplished in a half day--this required the
memorizing of over 75,000 figures, and their relations to each other.
Euler the mathematician became blind in his old age, and being unable to
refer to his tables, memorized them. It is said that he was able to
repeat from recollection the first six powers of all the numbers from
one to one hundred.

Wallis the mathematician was a prodigy in this respect. He is reported
to have been able to mentally extract the square root of a number to
forty decimal places, and on one occasion mentally extracted the cube
root of a number consisting of thirty figures. Dase is said to have
mentally multiplied two numbers of one hundred figures each. A youth
named Mangiamele was able to perform the most remarkable feats in mental
arithmetic. The reports show that upon a celebrated test before members
of the French Academy of Sciences he was able to extract the cube root
of 3,796,416 in thirty seconds; and the tenth root of 282,475,289 in
three minutes. He also immediately solved the following question put to
him by Arago: "What number has the following proportion: That if five
times the number be subtracted from the cube plus five times the square
of the number, and nine times the square of the number be subtracted
from that result, the remainder will be 0?" The answer, "5" was given
immediately, without putting down a figure on paper or board. It is
related that a cashier of a Chicago bank was able to mentally restore
the accounts of the bank, which had been destroyed in the great fire in
that city, and his account which was accepted by the bank and the
depositors, was found to agree perfectly with the other memoranda in the
case, the work performed by him being solely the work of his memory.

Bidder was able to tell instantly the number of farthings in the sum of
£868, 42s, 121d. Buxton mentally calculated the number of cubical
eighths of an inch there were in a quadrangular mass 23,145,789 yards
long, 2,642,732 yards wide and 54,965 yards in thickness. He also
figured out mentally, the dimensions of an irregular estate of about a
thousand acres, giving the contents in acres and perches, then reducing
them to square inches, and then reducing them to square hair-breadths,
estimating 2,304 to the square inch, 48 to each side. The mathematical
prodigy, Zerah Colburn, was perhaps the most remarkable of any of these
remarkable people. When a mere child, he began to develop the most
amazing qualities of mind regarding figures. He was able to instantly
make the mental calculation of the exact number of seconds or minutes
there was in a given time. On one occasion he calculated the number of
minutes and seconds contained in forty-eight years, the answer:
"25,228,800 minutes, and 1,513,728,000 seconds," being given almost
instantaneously. He could instantly multiply any number of one to three
figures, by another number consisting of the same number of figures; the
factors of any number consisting of six or seven figures; the square,
and cube roots, and the prime numbers of any numbers given him. He
mentally raised the number 8, progressively, to its sixteenth power, the
result being 281,474,976,710,656; and gave the square root of 106,929,
which was 5. He mentally extracted the cube root of 268,336,125; and the
squares of 244,999,755 and 1,224,998,755. In five seconds he calculated
the cube root of 413,993,348,677. He found the factors of 4,294,967,297,
which had previously been considered to be a prime number. He mentally
calculated the square of 999,999, which is 999,998,000,001 and then
multiplied that number by 49, and the product by the same number, and
the whole by 25--the latter as extra measure.

The great difficulty in remembering numbers, to the majority of persons,
is the fact that numbers "do not mean anything to them"--that is, that
numbers are thought of only in their abstract phase and nature, and are
consequently far more difficult to remember than are impressions
received from the senses of sight or sound. The remedy, however, becomes
apparent when we recognize the source of the difficulty. The remedy is:
_Make the number the subject of sound and sight impressions._ Attach the
abstract idea of the numbers to the sense of impressions of sight or
sound, or both, according to which are the best developed in your
particular case. It may be difficult for you to remember "1848" as an
abstract thing, but comparatively easy for you to remember the _sound_
of "eighteen forty-eight," or the _shape and appearance_ of "1848." If
you will repeat a number to yourself, so that you grasp the sound
impression of it, or else visualize it so that you can remember having
_seen_ it--then you will be far more apt to remember it than if you
merely think of it without reference to sound or form. You may forget
that the number of a certain store or house is 3948, but you may easily
remember the sound of the spoken words "thirty-nine forty-eight," or the
form of "3948" as it appeared to your sight on the door of the place. In
the latter case, you associate the number with the door and when you
visualize the door you visualize the number.

Kay, speaking of visualization, or the reproduction of mental images of
things to be remembered, says: "Those who have been distinguished for
their power to carry out long and intricate processes of mental
calculation owe it to the same cause." Taine says: "Children accustomed
to calculate in their heads write mentally with chalk on an imaginary
board the figures in question, then all their partial operations, then
the final sum, so that they see internally the different lines of white
figures with which they are concerned. Young Colburn, who had never been
at school and did not know how to read or write, said that, when making
his calculations 'he saw them clearly before him.' Another said that he
'saw the numbers he was working with as if they had been written on a
slate.'" Bidder said: "If I perform a sum mentally, it always proceeds
in a visible form in my mind; indeed, I can conceive of no other way
possible of doing mental arithmetic."

We have known office boys who could never remember the number of an
address until it were distinctly repeated to them several times--then
they memorized the _sound_ and never forget it. Others forget the
sounds, or failed to register them in the mind, but after once seeing
the number on the door of an office or store, could repeat it at a
moments notice, saying that they mentally "could see the figures on the
door." You will find by a little questioning that the majority of people
remember figures or numbers in this way, and that very few can remember
them as abstract things. For that matter it is difficult for the
majority of persons to even think of a number, abstractly. Try it
yourself, and ascertain whether you do not remember the number as either
a _sound of words_, or else as the mental image or visualization of the
_form of the figures_. And, by the way, which ever it happens to be,
sight or sound, that particular kind of remembrance is _your_ best way
of remembering numbers, and consequently gives you the lines upon which
you should proceed to develop this phase of memory.

The law of Association may be used advantageously in memorizing numbers;
for instance we know of a person who remembered the number 186,000 (the
number of miles per second traveled by light-waves in the ether) by
associating it with the number of his father's former place of business,
"186." Another remembered his telephone number "1876" by recalling the
date of the Declaration of Independence. Another, the number of States
in the Union, by associating it with the last two figures of the number
of his place of business. But by far the better way to memorize dates,
special numbers connected with events, etc., is to visualize the picture
of the event with the picture of the date or number, thus combining the
two things into a mental picture, the association of which will be
preserved when the picture is recalled. Verse of doggerel, such as "In
fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue;" or "In
eighteen hundred and sixty-one, our country's Civil war begun," etc.,
have their places and uses. But it is far better to cultivate the "sight
or sound" of a number, than to depend upon cumbersome associative
methods based on artificial links and pegs.

Finally, as we have said in the preceding chapters, before one can
develop a good memory of a subject, he must first cultivate an interest
in that subject. Therefore, if you will keep your interest in figures
alive by working out a few problems in mathematics, once in a while, you
will find that figures will begin to have a new interest for you. A
little elementary arithmetic, used with interest, will do more to start
you on the road to "How to Remember Numbers" than a dozen text books on
the subject. In memory, the three rules are: "Interest, Attention and
Exercise"--and the last is the most important, for without it the others
fail. You will be surprised to see how many interesting things there are
in figures, as you proceed. The task of going over the elementary
arithmetic will not be nearly so "dry" as when you were a child. You
will uncover all sorts of "queer" things in relation to numbers. Just as
a "sample" let us call your attention to a few:

Take the figure "1" and place behind it a number of "naughts," thus:
1,000,000,000,000,--as many "naughts" or ciphers as you wish. Then
divide the number by the figure "7." You will find that the result is
always this "142,857" then another "142,857," and so on to infinity, if
you wish to carry the calculation that far. These six figures will be
repeated over and over again. Then multiply this "142,857" by the figure
"7," and your product will be _all nines_. Then take any number, and set
it down, placing beneath it a reversal of itself and subtract the latter
from the former, thus:


and you will find that the result will always reduce to nine, and is
always a multiple of 9. Take any number composed of two or more figures,
and subtract from it the added sum of its separate figures, and the
result is always a multiple of 9, thus:

  1 + 8 + 4 = 13
             171 ÷ 9 = 19

We mention these familiar examples merely to remind you that there is
much more of interest in mere figures than many would suppose. If you
can arouse your interest in them, then you will be well started on the
road to the memorizing of numbers. Let figures and numbers "mean
something" to you, and the rest will be merely a matter of detail.



Like all of the other faculties of the mind, that of music or tune is
manifested in varying degrees by different individuals. To some music
seems to be almost instinctively grasped, while to others it is acquired
only by great effort and much labor. To some harmony is natural, and
inharmony a matter of repulsion, while others fail to recognize the
difference between the two except in extreme cases. Some seem to be the
very soul of music, while others have no conception of what the soul of
music may be. Then there is manifested the different phases of the
knowledge of music. Some play correctly by ear, but are clumsy and
inefficient when it comes to playing by note. Others play very correctly
in a mechanical manner, but fail to retain the memory of music which
they have heard. It is indeed a good musician who combines within
himself, or herself, both of the two last mentioned faculties--the ear
perception of music and the ability to execute correctly from notes.

There are many cases of record in which extraordinary powers of memory
of music have been manifested. Fuller relates the following instances of
this particular phase of memory: Carolan, the greatest of Irish bards,
once met a noted musician and challenged him to a test of their
respective musical abilities. The _defi_ was accepted and Carolan's
rival played on his violin one of Vivaldi's most difficult concertos. On
the conclusion of the performance, Carolan, who had never heard the
piece before, took his harp and played the concerto through from
beginning to end without making a single error. His rival thereupon
yielded the palm, thoroughly satisfied of Carolan's superiority, as well
he might be. Beethoven could retain in his memory any musical
composition, however complex, that he had listened to, and could
reproduce most of it. He could play from memory every one of the
compositions in Bach's 'Well Tempered Clavichord,' there being
forty-eight preludes and the same number of fugues which in intricacy
of movement and difficulty of execution are almost unexampled, as each
of these compositions is written in the most abstruse style of

"Mozart, at four years of age, could remember note for note, elaborate
solos in concertos which he had heard; he could learn a minuet in half
an hour, and even composed short pieces at that early age. At six he was
able to compose without the aid of an instrument, and continued to
advance rapidly in musical memory and knowledge. When fourteen years old
he went to Rome in Holy Week. At the Sistine Chapel was performed each
day, Allegri's 'Miserere,' the score of which Mozart wished to obtain,
but he learned that no copies were allowed to be made. He listened
attentively to the performance, at the conclusion of which he wrote the
whole score from memory without an error. Another time, Mozart was
engaged to contribute an original composition to be performed by a noted
violinist and himself at Vienna before the Emperor Joseph. On arriving
at the appointed place Mozart discovered that he had forgotten to bring
his part. Nothing dismayed, he placed a blank sheet of paper before
him, and played his part through from memory without a mistake. When the
opera of 'Don Giovanni' was first performed there was no time to copy
the score for the harpsichord, but Mozart was equal to the occasion; he
conducted the entire opera and played the harpsichord accompaniment to
the songs and choruses without a note before him. There are many
well-attested instances of Mendelssohn's remarkable musical memory. He
once gave a grand concert in London, at which his Overture to 'Midsummer
Night's Dream' was produced. There was only one copy of the full score,
which was taken charge of by the organist of St. Paul's Cathedral, who
unfortunately left it in a hackney coach--whereupon Mendelssohn wrote
out another score from memory, without an error. At another time, when
about to direct a public performance of Bach's 'Passion Music,' he found
on mounting the conductor's platform that instead of the score of the
work to be performed, that of another composition had been brought by
mistake. Without hesitation Mendelssohn successfully conducted this
complicated work from memory, automatically turning over leaf after
leaf of the score before him as the performance progressed, so that no
feeling of uneasiness might enter the minds of the orchestra and
singers. Gottschalk, it is said, could play from memory several thousand
compositions, including many of the works of Bach. The noted conductor,
Vianesi, rarely has the score before him in conducting an opera, knowing
every note of many operas from memory."

It will be seen that two phases of memory must enter into the "memory of
music"--the memory of tune and the memory of the notes. The memory of
tune of course falls into the class of ear-impressions, and what has
been said regarding them is also applicable to this case. The memory of
notes falls into the classification of eye-impressions, and the rules of
this class of memory applies in this case. As to the cultivation of the
memory of tune, the principle advice to be given is that the student
take an active interest in all that pertains to the sound of music, and
also takes every opportunity for listening to good music, and
endeavoring to reproduce it in the imagination or memory. Endeavor to
enter into the spirit of the music until it becomes a part of yourself.
Rest not content with merely hearing it, but lend yourself to a
_feeling_ of its meaning. The more the music "means to you," the more
easily will you remember it. The plan followed by many students,
particularly those of vocal music, is to have a few bars of a piece
played over to them several times, until they are able to hum it
correctly; then a few more are added; and then a few more and so on.
Each addition must be reviewed in connection with that which was learned
before, so that the chain of association may be kept unbroken. The
principle is the same as the child learning his A-B-C--he remembers "B"
because it follows "A." By this constant addition of "just a little bit
more," accompanied by frequent reviews, long and difficult pieces may be

The memory of notes may be developed by the method above named--the
method of learning a few bars well, and then adding a few more, and
frequently reviewing as far as you have learned, forging the links of
association as you go along, by frequent practice. The method being
entirely that of eye-impression and subject to its rules, you must
observe the idea of visualization--that is learning each bar until you
can _see_ it "in your mind's eye" as you proceed. But in this, as in
many other eye-impressions, you will find that you will be greatly aided
by your memory of the _sound_ of the notes, in addition to their
appearance. Try to associate the two as much as possible, so that when
you _see_ a note, you will _hear_ the sound of it, and when you _hear_ a
note sounded, you will _see_ it as it appears on the score. This
combining of the impressions of both sight and sound will give you the
benefit of the double sense impression, which results in doubling your
memory efficiency. In addition to visualizing the notes themselves, the
student should add the appearance of the various symbols denoting the
key, the time, the movement, expression, etc., so that he may hum the
air from the visualized notes, with expression and with correct
interpretation. Changes of key, time or movement should be carefully
noted in the memorization of the notes. And above everything else,
memorize the _feeling_ of that particular portion of the score, that you
may not only see and hear, but also _feel_ that which you are recalling.

We would advise the student to practice memorizing simple songs at
first, for various reasons. One of these reasons is that these songs
lend themselves readily to memorizing, and the chain of easy association
is usually maintained throughout.

In this phase of memory, as in all others, we add the advice to: Take
interest; bestow Attention; and Practice and Exercise as often as
possible. You may have tired of these words--but they constitute the
main principles of the development of a retentive memory. Things must be
impressed upon the memory, before they may be recalled. This should be
remembered in every consideration of the subject.



The phase of memory which manifests in the recording of and recollection
of the occurrences and details of one's every-day life is far more
important than would appear at first thought. The average person is
under the impression that he remembers very well the occurrences of his
every-day business, professional or social life, and is apt to be
surprised to have it suggested to him that he really remembers but very
little of what happens to him during his waking hours. In order to prove
how very little of this kind is really remembered, let each student lay
down this book, at this place, and then quieting his mind let him
endeavor to recall the incidents of the same day of the preceding week.
He will be surprised to see how very little of what happened on that day
he is really capable of recollecting. Then let him try the same
experiment with the occurrences of yesterday--this result will also
excite surprise. It is true that if he is reminded of some particular
occurrence, he will recall it, more or less distinctly, but beyond that
he will remember nothing. Let him imagine himself called upon to testify
in court, regarding the happenings of the previous day, or the day of
the week before, and he will realize his position.

The reason for his failure to easily remember the events referred to is
to be found in the fact that he made no effort at the time to impress
these happenings upon his subconscious mentality. He allowed them to
pass from his attention like the proverbial "water from the duck's
back." He did not wish to be bothered with the recollection of trifles,
and in endeavoring to escape from them, he made the mistake of failing
to store them away. There is a vast difference between dwelling on the
past, and storing away past records for possible future reference. To
allow the records of each day to be destroyed is like tearing up the
important business papers in an office in order to avoid giving them a
little space in the files.

It is not advisable to expend much mental effort in fastening each
important detail of the day upon the mind, as it occurs; but there is an
easier way that will accomplish the purpose, if one will but take a
little trouble in that direction. We refer to the practice of
_reviewing_ the occurrences of each day, after the active work of the
day is over. If you will give to the occurrences of each day a mental
review in the evening, you will find that the act of reviewing will
employ the attention to such an extent as to register the happenings in
such a manner that they will be available if ever needed thereafter. It
is akin to the filing of the business papers of the day, for possible
future reference. Besides this advantage, these reviews will serve you
well as a reminder of many little things of immediate importance which
have escaped your recollection by reason of something that followed them
in the field of attention.

You will find that a little practice will enable you to review the
events of the day, in a very short space of time, with a surprising
degree of accuracy of detail. It seems that the mind will readily
respond to this demand upon it. The process appears to be akin to a
mental digestion, or rather a mental rumination, similar to that of the
cow when it "chews the cud" that it has previously gathered. The thing
is largely a "knack" easily acquired by a little practice. It will pay
you for the little trouble and time that you expend upon it. As we have
said, not only do you gain the advantage of storing away these records
of the day for future use, but you also have your attention called to
many important details that have escaped you, and you will find that
many ideas of importance will come to you in your moments of leisure
"rumination." Let this work be done in the evening, when you feel at
ease--but do not do it after you retire. The bed is made for sleep, not
for thinking. You will find that the subconsciousness will awaken to the
fact that it will be called upon later for the records of the day, and
will, accordingly, "take notice" of what happens, in a far more diligent
and faithful manner. The subconsciousness responds to a call made upon
it in an astonishing manner, when it once understands just what is
required of it. You will see that much of the virtue of the plan
recommended consists in the fact that in the review there is an
employment of the attention in a manner impossible during the haste and
rush of the day's work. The faint impressions are brought out for
examination, and the attention of the examination and review greatly
deepen the impression in each case, so that it may be reproduced
thereafter. In a sentence: it is _the deepening of the faint impressions
of the day_.

Thurlow Weed, a well-known politician of the last century, testifies to
the efficacy of the above mentioned method, in his "Memoirs." His plan
was slightly different from that mentioned by us, but you will at once
see that it involves the same principles--the same psychology. Mr. Weed
says: "Some of my friends used to think that I was 'cut out' for a
politician, but I saw at once a fatal weakness. My memory was a sieve. I
could remember nothing. Dates, names, appointments, faces--everything
escaped me. I said to my wife, 'Catherine, I shall never make a
successful politician, for I cannot remember, and that is a prime
necessity of politicians. A politician who sees a man once should
remember him forever.' My wife told me that I must train my memory. So
when I came home that night I sat down alone and spent fifteen minutes
trying silently to recall with accuracy the principal events of the day.
I could remember but little at first--now I remember that I could not
then recall what I had for breakfast. After a few days' practice I found
I could recall more. Events came back to me more minutely, more
accurately, and more vividly than at first. After a fortnight or so of
this, Catherine said 'why don't you relate to me the events of the day
instead of recalling them to yourself? It would be interesting and my
interest in it would be a stimulus to you.' Having great respect for my
wife's opinion, I began a habit of oral confession, as it were, which
was continued for almost fifty years. Every night, the last thing before
retiring, I told her everything I could remember that had happened to
me, or about me, during the day. I generally recalled the very dishes I
had for breakfast, dinner and tea; the people I had seen, and what they
had said; the editorials I had written for my paper, giving her a brief
abstract of them; I mentioned all the letters I had seen and received,
and the very language used, as nearly as possible; when I had walked or
ridden--I told her everything that had come within my observation. I
found that I could say my lessons better and better every year, and
instead of the practice growing irksome, it became a pleasure to go over
again the events of the day. I am indebted to this discipline for a
memory of unusual tenacity, and I recommend the practice to all who wish
to store up facts, or expect to have much to do with influencing men."

The careful student, after reading these words of Thurlow Weed, will see
that in them he has not only given a method of recalling the particular
class of occurrences mentioned in this lesson, but has also pointed out
a way whereby the entire field of memory may be trained and developed.
The habit of reviewing and "telling" the things that one perceives, does
and thinks during the day, naturally sharpens the powers of future
observation, attention and perception. If you are witnessing a thing
which you know that you will be called upon to describe to another
person, you will instinctively apply your attention to it. The knowledge
that you will be called upon for a description of a thing will give the
zest of interest or necessity to it, which may be lacking otherwise. If
you will "sense" things with the knowledge that you will be called upon
to tell of them later on, you will give the interest and attention that
go to make sharp, clear and deep impressions on the memory. In this case
the seeing and hearing has "a meaning" to you, and a purpose. In
addition to this, the work of review establishes a desirable habit of
mind. If you don't care to relate the occurrences to another
person--learn to tell them to yourself in the evening. Play the part
yourself. There is a valuable secret of memory imbedded in this
chapter--if you are wise enough to apply it.



In speaking of this phase of memory we use the word "fact" in the sense
of "an ascertained item of knowledge," rather than in the sense of "a
happening," etc. In this sense the Memory of Facts is the ability to
store away and recollect items of knowledge bearing upon some particular
thing under consideration. If we are considering the subject of "Horse,"
the "facts" that we wish to remember are the various items of
information and knowledge regarding the horse, that we have acquired
during our experience--facts that we have seen, heard or read, regarding
the animal in question and to that which concerns it. We are continually
acquiring items of information regarding all kinds of subjects, and yet
when we wish to collect them we often find the task rather difficult,
even though the original impressions were quite clear. The difficulty is
largely due to the fact that the various facts are associated in our
minds only by contiguity in time or place, or both, the associations of
relation being lacking. In other words we have not properly classified
and indexed our bits of information, and do not know where to begin to
search for them. It is like the confusion of the business man who kept
all of his papers in a barrel, without index, or order. He knew that
"they are all _there_" but he had hard work to find any one of them when
it was required. Or, we are like the compositor whose type has become
"pied," and then thrown into a big box--when he attempts to set up a
book page, he will find it very difficult, if not impossible--whereas,
if each letter were in its proper "box," he would set up the page in a
short time.

This matter of association by relation is one of the most important
things in the whole subject of thought, and the degree of correct and
efficient thinking depends materially upon it. It does not suffice us to
merely "know" a thing--we must know where to find it when we want it. As
old Judge Sharswood, of Pennsylvania, once said: "It is not so much to
know the law, as to know _where to find it_." Kay says: "Over the
associations formed by contiguity in time or space we have but little
control. They are in a manner accidental, depending upon the order in
which the objects present themselves to the mind. On the other hand,
association by similarity is largely put in our own power; for we, in a
measure, select those objects that are to be associated, and bring them
together in the mind. We must be careful, however, only to associate
together such things as we wish to be associated together and to recall
each other; and the associations we form should be based on fundamental
and essential, and not upon mere superficial or casual resemblances.
When things are associated by their accidental, and not by their
essential qualities,--by their superficial, and not by their fundamental
relations, they will not be available when wanted, and will be of little
real use. When we associate what is new with what most nearly resembles
it in the mind already, we give it its proper place in our fabric of
thought. By means of association by similarity, we tie up our ideas, as
it were, in separate bundles, and it is of the utmost importance that
all the ideas that most nearly resemble each other be in one bundle."

The best way to acquire correct associations, and many of them, for a
separate fact that you wish to store away so that it may be recollected
when needed--some useful bit of information or interesting bit of
knowledge, that "may come in handy" later on--is to _analyze_ it and its
relations. This may be done by asking yourself questions about it--each
thing that you associate it with in your answers being just one
additional "cross-index" whereby you may find it readily when you want
it. As Kay says: "The principle of asking questions and obtaining
answers to them, may be said to characterize all intellectual effort."
This is the method by which Socrates and Plato drew out the knowledge of
their pupils, filling in the gaps and attaching new facts to those
already known. When you wish to so consider a fact, ask yourself the
following questions about it:

     I. Where did it come from or originate?

    II. What caused it?

   III. What history or record has it?

    IV. What are its attributes, qualities and characteristics?

     V. What things can I most readily associate with it? What is it like?

    VI. What is it good for--how may it be used--what can I do with it?

   VII. What does it prove--what can be deduced from it?

  VIII. What are its natural results--what happens because of it?

    IX. What is its future; and its natural or probable end or finish?

     X. What do I think of it, on the whole--what are my general
          impressions regarding it?

    XI. What do I know about it, in the way of general information?

   XII. What have I heard about it, and from whom, and when?

If you will take the trouble to put any "fact" through the above rigid
examination, you will not only attach it to hundreds of convenient and
familiar other facts, so that you will remember it readily upon
occasion, but you will also create a new subject of general information
in your mind of which this particular fact will be the central thought.
Similar systems of analysis have been published and sold by various
teachers, at high prices--and many men have considered that the results
justified the expenditure. So do not pass it by lightly.

The more other facts that you manage to associate with any one fact, the
more pegs will you have to hang your facts upon--the more "loose ends"
will you have whereby to pull that fact into the field of
consciousness--the more cross indexes will you have whereby you may "run
down" the fact when you need it. The more associations you attach to a
fact, the more "meaning" does that fact have for you, and the more
interest will be created regarding it in your mind. Moreover, by so
doing, you make very probable the "automatic" or involuntary
recollection of that fact when you are thinking of some of its
associated subjects; that is, it will come into your mind naturally in
connection with something else--in a "that reminds me" fashion. And the
oftener that you are involuntarily "reminded" of it, the clearer and
deeper does its impression become on the records of your memory. The
oftener you use a fact, the easier does it become to recall it when
needed. The favorite pen of a man is always at his hand in a remembered
position, while the less used eraser or similar thing has to be searched
for, often without success. And the more associations that you bestow
upon a fact, the oftener is it likely to be used.

Another point to be remembered is that the future association of a fact
depends very much upon your system of filing away facts. If you will
think of this when endeavoring to store away a fact for future
reference, you will be very apt to find the best mental pigeon-hole for
it. File it away with _the thing it most resembles_, or to which it has
the most familiar relationship. The child does this, involuntarily--it
is nature's own way. For instance, the child sees a zebra, it files away
that animal as "a donkey with stripes;" a giraffe as a "long-necked
horse;" a camel as a "horse with long, crooked legs, long neck and humps
on its back." The child always attaches its new knowledge or fact on to
some familiar fact or bit of knowledge--sometimes the result is
startling, but the child remembers by means of it nevertheless. The
grown up children will do well to build similar connecting links of
memory. Attach the new thing to some old familiar thing. It is easy when
you once have the knack of it. The table of questions given a little
farther back will bring to mind many connecting links. Use them.

If you need any proof of the importance of association by relation, and
of the laws governing its action, you have but to recall the ordinary
"train of thought" or "chain of images" in the mind, of which we become
conscious when we are day-dreaming or indulging in reverie, or even in
general thought regarding any subject. You will see that every mental
image or idea, or recollection is associated with and connected to the
preceding thought and the one following it. It is a chain that is
endless, until something breaks into the subject from outside. A fact
flashes into your mind, apparently from space and without any reference
to anything else. In such cases you will find that it occurs either
because you had previously set your subconscious mentality at work upon
some problem, or bit of recollection, and the flash was the belated and
delayed result; or else that the fact came into your mind because of its
association with some other fact, which in turn came from a precedent
one, and so on. You hear a distant railroad whistle and you think of a
train; then of a journey; then of some distant place; then of some one
in that place; then of some event in the life of that person; then of a
similar event in the life of another person; then of that other person;
then of his or her brother; then of that brother's last business
venture; then of that business; then of some other business resembling
it; then of some people in that other business; then of their dealings
with a man you know; then of the fact that another man of a similar name
to the last man owes you some money; then of your determination to get
that money; then you make a memorandum to place the claim in the hands
of a lawyer to see whether it cannot be collected now, although the man
was "execution proof" last year--from distant locomotive whistle to the
possible collection of the account. And yet, the links forgotten, the
man will say that he "just happened to think of" the debtor, or that
"it somehow flashed right into my mind," etc. But it was nothing but the
law of association--that's all. Moreover, you will now find that
whenever you hear mentioned the term "association of mental ideas,"
etc., you will remember the above illustration or part of it. We have
forged a new link in the chain of association for you, and years from
now it will appear in your thoughts.



In a preceding chapter we gave a number of instances of persons who had
highly developed their memory of words, sentences, etc. History is full
of instances of this kind. The moderns fall far behind the ancients in
this respect; probably because there does not exist the present
necessity for the feats of memory which were once accepted as
commonplace and not out of the ordinary. Among ancient people, when
printing was unknown and manuscripts scarce and valuable, it was the
common custom of the people to learn "by heart" the various sacred
teachings of their respective religions. The sacred books of the Hindus
were transmitted in this way, and it was a common thing among the
Hebrews to be able to recite the books of Moses and the Prophets
entirely from memory. Even to this day the faithful Mohammedans are
taught to commit the entire Koran to memory. And investigation reveals,
always, that there has been used the identical process of committing
these sacred books to memory, and recalling them at will--the natural
method, instead of an artificial one. And therefore we shall devote this
chapter solely to this method whereby poems or prose may be committed to
memory and recalled readily.

This natural method of memorizing words, sentences, or verses is no
royal road. It is a system which must be mastered by steady work and
faithful review. One must start at the beginning and work his way up.
But the result of such work will astonish anyone not familiar with it.
It is the very same method that the Hindus, Hebrews, Mohammedans,
Norsemen, and the rest of the races, memorized their thousands of verses
and hundreds of chapters of the sacred books of their people. It is the
method of the successful actor, and the popular elocutionist, not to
mention those speakers who carefully commit to memory their "impromptu"
addresses and "extemporaneous" speeches.

This natural system of memorizing is based upon the principle which has
already been alluded to in this book, and by which every child learns
its alphabet and its multiplication table, as well as the little "piece"
that it recites for the entertainment of its fond parents and the bored
friends of the family. That principle consists of the learning of one
line at a time, and reviewing that line; then learning a second line and
reviewing that; and then reviewing the two lines together; and so on,
each addition being reviewed in connection with those that went before.
The child learns the sound of "A;" then it learns "B;" then it
associates the sounds of "A, B" in its first review; the "C" is added
and the review runs: "A, B, C." And so on until "Z" is reached and the
child is able to review the entire list from "A to Z," inclusive. The
multiplication table begins with its "twice 1 is 2," then "twice 2 is
4," and so on, a little at a time until the "twos" are finished and the
"threes" begun. This process is kept up, by constant addition and
constant review, until "12 twelves" finishes up the list, and the child
is able to repeat the "tables" from first to last from memory.

But there is more to it, in the case of the child, than merely learning
to repeat the alphabet or the multiplication table--there is also the
strengthening of the memory as a result of its exercise and use. Memory,
like every faculty of the mind, or every muscle of the body, improves
and develops by intelligent and reasonable use and exercise. Not only
does this exercise and use develop the memory along the particular line
of the faculty used, but also along _every_ line and faculty. This is so
because the exercise develops the power of concentration, and the use of
the voluntary attention.

We suggest that the student who wishes to acquire a good memory for
words, sentences, etc., begin at once, selecting some favorite poem for
the purpose of the demonstration. Then let him memorize one verse of not
over four to six lines to begin with. Let him learn this verse
perfectly, line by line, until he is able to repeat it without a
mistake. Let him be sure to be "letter perfect" in that verse--so
perfect that he will "see" even the capital letters and the punctuation
marks when he recites it. Then let him stop for the day. The next day
let him repeat the verse learned the day before, and then let him
memorize a second verse in the same way, and just as perfectly. Then let
him review the first and second verses together. This addition of the
second verse to the first serves to weld the two together by
association, and each review of them together serves to add a little bit
to the weld, until they become joined in the mind as are "A, B, C." The
third day let him learn a third verse, in the same way and then review
the three. Continue this for say a month, adding a new verse each day
and adding it to the verses preceding it. But constantly review them
from beginning to end. He cannot review them too often. He will be able
to have them flow along like the letters of the alphabet, from "A" to
"Z" if he reviews properly and often enough.

Then, if he can spare the time, let him begin the second month by
learning _two verses_ each day, and adding to those that precede them,
with constant and faithful reviews. He will find that he can memorize
two verses, in the second month, as easily as he did the one verse in
the first month. His memory has been trained to this extent. And so, he
may proceed from month to month, adding an extra verse to his daily
task, until he is unable to spare the time for all the work, or until he
feels satisfied with what he has accomplished. Let him use moderation
and not try to become a phenomenon. Let him avoid overstraining. After
he has memorized the entire poem, let him start with a new one, but not
forget to revive the old one at frequent intervals. If he finds it
impossible to add the necessary number of new verses, by reason of other
occupation, etc., let him not fail to keep up his review work. The
exercise and review is more important than the mere addition of so many
new verses.

Let him vary the verses, or poems with prose selections. He will find
the verses of the Bible very well adapted for such exercise, as they
lend themselves easily to registration in the memory. Shakespeare may be
used to advantage in this work. The "Rubaiyat" of Omar Khayyam; or the
"Lady of the Lake" by Scott; or the "Song Celestial" or "Light of Asia"
both by Edwin Arnold, will be found to be well adapted to this system
of memorizing, the verses of each being apt to "stick in the memory,"
and each poem being sufficiently long to satisfy the requirements of
even the most ambitious student. To look at the complete poem (any of
those mentioned) it would seem almost impossible that one would ever be
able to memorize and recite it from beginning to end, letter perfect.
But on the principle of the continual dripping of water wearing away the
stone; or the snowball increasing at each roll; this practice of a
little being associated to what he already has will soon allow him to
accumulate a wonderfully large store of memorized verses, poems,
recitations, etc. It is an actual demonstration of the catchy words of
the popular song which informs one that: "Every little bit, added to
what you've got, makes just a little bit more."

After he has acquired quite a large assortment of memorized selections,
he will find it impossible to review them all at one time. But he should
be sure to review them all at intervals, no matter how many days may
elapse between each review.

The student who has familiarized himself with the principles upon which
memory depends, as given in the preceding chapters, will at once see
that the three principles of attention, association and repetition are
employed in the natural method herein recommended. Attention must be
given in order to memorize each verse in the first place; association is
employed in the relationship created between the old verses and the new
ones; and repetition is employed by the frequent reviewing, which serves
to deepen the memory impression each time the poem is repeated.
Moreover, the principle of interest is invoked, in the gradual progress
made, and the accomplishment of what at first seemed to be an impossible
task--the game element is thus supplied, which serves as an incentive.
These combined principles render this method an ideal one, and it is not
to be wondered that the race has so recognized it from the earliest



In the preceding chapters we have given you suggestions for the
development of the principal forms of memory. But there are still other
phases or forms of memory, which while coming under the general
classification may be still considered as worthy of special
consideration. For instance there may be suggestions given regarding the
memorization of the contents of the books you read, the stories you
hear, etc. And so we have thought it advisable to devote one chapter to
a consideration of these various phases of memory that have been "left
out" of the other chapters.

Many of us fail to remember the important things in the books we read,
and are often mortified by our ignorance regarding the contents of the
works of leading authors, or of popular novels, which although we have
read, we have failed to impress upon the records of our memory. Of
course we must begin by reminding you of the ever present necessity of
interest and attention--we cannot escape from these principles of the
memory. The trouble with the majority of people is that they read books
"to kill time," as a sort of mental narcotic or anæsthetic, instead of
for the purpose of obtaining something of interest from them. By this
course we not only lose all that may be of importance or value in the
book, but also acquire the habit of careless reading and inattention.
The prevalence of the habit of reading many newspapers and trashy novels
is responsible for the apparent inability of many persons to
intelligently absorb and remember the contents of a book "worth while"
when they do happen to take up such a one. But, still, even the most
careless reader may improve himself and cure the habit of inattention
and careless reading.

Noah Porter says: "We have not _read_ an author till we have seen his
object, whatever it may be, as he _saw_ it." Also: "Read with attention.
This is the rule that takes precedence of all others. It stands instead
of a score of minor directions. Indeed it comprehends them all, and is
the golden rule.... The page should be read as if it were never to be
seen a second time; the mental eye should be fixed as if there were no
other object to think of; the memory should grasp the facts like a vise;
the impressions should be distinctly and sharply received." It is not
necessary, nor is it advisable to attempt to _memorize_ the text of a
book, excepting, perhaps, a few passages that may seem worthy to be
treasured up word for word. The principal thing to be remembered about a
book is its _meaning_--what it is about. Then may follow the general
outline, and the details of the story, essay, treatise or whatever it
may be. The question that should be asked oneself, after the book is
completed, or after the completion of some particular part of the book,
is: "What was the writer's idea--what did he wish to say?" Get the
_idea_ of the writer. By taking this mental attitude you practically
place yourself in the place of the writer, and thus _take part_ in the
idea of the book. You thus view it from the inside, rather than from the
outside. You place yourself at the centre of the thing, instead of upon
its circumference.

If the book be a history, biography, autobiography, narrative, or story
of fact or fiction, you will find it of value to visualize its
occurrences as the story unfolds. That is, endeavor to form at least a
faint mental picture of the events related, so that you see them "in
your mind's eye," or imagination. Use your imagination in connection
with the mechanical reading. In this way you build up a series of mental
pictures, which will be impressed upon your mind, and which will be
remembered just as are the scenes of a play that you have witnessed, or
an actual event that you have seen, only less distinct of course.
Particularly should you endeavor to form a clear mental picture of each
character, until each one is endowed with at least a semblance of
reality to you. By doing this you will impart a naturalness to the
events of the story and you will obtain a new pleasure from your
reading. Of course, this plan will make you read more slowly, and many
trashy tales will cease to interest you, for they do not contain the
real elements of interest--but this is no loss, but is a decided gain
for you. At the end of each reading, take the time to mentally review
the progress of the story--let the characters and scenes pass before
your mental vision as in a moving picture. And when the book is finally
completed, review it as a whole. By following this course, you will not
only acquire the habit of easily remembering the tales and books that
you have read, but will also obtain much pleasure by re-reading favorite
stories in your imagination, years after. You will find that your
favorite characters will take on a new reality for you, and will become
as old friends in whose company you may enjoy yourself at any time, and
whom you may dismiss when they tire you, without offense.

In the case of scientific treatises, essays, etc., you may follow a
similar plan by dividing the work into small sections and mentally
reviewing the _thought_--(not the words) of each section until you make
it your own; and then by adding new sections to your review, you may
gradually absorb and master the entire work. All this requires time,
work and patience, but you will be repaid for your expenditure. You
will find that this plan will soon render you impatient at books of
little consequence, and will drive you to the best books on any given
subject. You will begin to begrudge your time and attention, and
hesitate about bestowing them upon any but the very best books. But in
this you gain.

In order to fully acquaint yourself with a book, before reading it you
should familiarize yourself with its general character. To do this you
should pay attention to the full title, and the sub-title, if there be
any; the name of the author and the list of other books that he has
written, if they are noted on the title page, or the one preceding it,
according to the usual custom. You should read the preface and study
carefully the table of contents, that you may know the field or general
subject covered by the book--in other words endeavor to get the general
outline of the book, into which you may afterwards fill in the details.

In reading a book of serious import, you should make it a point to fully
grasp the meaning of each paragraph before passing on to the next one.
Let nothing pass you that you do not understand, at least in a general
way. Consult the dictionary for words not familiar to you, so that you
may grasp the full idea intended to be expressed. At the end of each
chapter, section and part, you should review that which you have read,
until you are able to form a mental picture of the general ideas
contained therein.

To those who wish to remember the dramatic productions that they have
attended, we would say that the principles above mentioned may be
applied to this form of memory as well as to the memory of books. By
taking an interest in each character as it appears; by studying
carefully each action and scene, and then reviewing each act in the
intervals between the acts; and by finally reviewing the entire play
after your return home; you will fasten the whole play as a complete
mental picture, on the records of your memory. If you have acquainted
yourself with what we have just said regarding the recollection of the
contents of books, you will be able to modify and adapt them to the
purpose of recollecting plays and dramatic productions. You will find
that the oftener you review a play, the more clearly will you remember
it. Many little details overlooked at first will come into the field of
consciousness and fit into their proper places.

Sermons, lectures and other discourses may be remembered by bestowing
interest and attention upon them, and by attempting to grasp each
general idea advanced, and by noting the passage from one general idea
to another. If you will practice this a few times, you will find that
when you come to review the discourse (and this you should always do--it
is the natural way of developing memory) the little details will come up
and fit into their proper places. In this form of memory, the important
thing is to train the memory by exercise and review. You will find that
at each review of a discourse you will have made progress. By practice
and exercise, the subconscious mentality will do better work, and will
show that it is rising to its new responsibilities. You have allowed it
to sleep during the many discourses to which you have listened, and it
must be taught new habits. Let it know that it is expected to retain
that which it hears, and then exercise it frequently by reviews of
discourses, and you will be surprised at the degree of the work it will
perform for you. Not only will you remember better, but you will _hear_
better and more intelligently. The subconsciousness, knowing that it
will be called upon later on to recollect what is being said, will urge
you to bestow the attention necessary to supply it with the proper

To those who have had trouble in remembering discourses, we urge that
they should begin to attend lectures and other forms of discourse, with
the distinct purpose of developing that form of memory. Give to the
subconscious mentality the positive command that it shall attend to what
is being said, and shall record the same in such a way that when you
review the discourse afterward you will be presented with a good synopsis
or syllabus of it. You should avoid any attempt to memorize the _words_ of
the discourse--your purpose being to absorb and record the _ideas_ and
general thought expressed. Interest--Attention--Practice--Review--these
are the important points in memory.

To remember stories, anecdotes, fables, etc., the principles given above
are to be employed. The main thing in memorizing an anecdote is to be
able to catch the _fundamental idea_ underlying it, and the epigrammatic
sentence, or central phrase which forms the "point" of the story. Be
sure that you catch these perfectly, and then commit the "point" to
memory. If necessary make a memorandum of the point, until you have
opportunity to review the story in your mind. Then carefully review it
mentally, letting the mental image of the idea pass before you in
review, and then repeating it to yourself in your own words. By
rehearsing and reviewing the story, you make it your own and will be
able to relate it afterward just as you would something that you had
actually experienced. So true is this principle, that when carried too
far it endows the story with a false sense of actuality--who has not
known men who told a story so often that they came actually to believe
it themselves? Do not carry the principle to this extreme but use it in
moderation. The trouble with many men is that they attempt to repeat a
tale, long after they have heard it, without reviewing or rehearsing in
the meantime. Consequently they omit many important points, because they
have failed to impress the story as a whole upon the memory. In order to
_know_ an anecdote properly, one should be able to _see_ its characters
and incidents, just as he does when he sees an illustrated joke in a
comic paper. If you can make a mental picture of an anecdote, you will
be apt to remember it with ease. The noted story tellers review and
rehearse their jokes, and have been known to try them on their
unsuspecting friends in order to get the benefit of practice before
relating them in public--this practice has been called by flippant
people: "trying it on the dog." But it has its good points, and
advantages. It at least saves one the mortification of being compelled
to finish up a long-drawn out tale by an: "Er--well, um-m-m--I'm afraid
I've forgotten just how that story ended--but it was a good one!"



In this chapter we shall call your attention to certain of the general
principles already mentioned in the preceding chapters, for the purpose
of further impressing them upon your mind, and in order that you may be
able to think of and to consider them independent of the details of the
special phases of memory. This chapter may be considered in the nature
of a general review of certain fundamental principles mentioned in the
body of the work.

POINT I. _Give to the thing that you wish to memorize, as great a degree
of concentrated attention as possible._

We have explained the reason for this advice in many places in the book.
The degree of concentrated attention bestowed upon the object under
consideration, determines the strength, clearness and depth of the
impression received and stored away in the subconsciousness. The
character of these stored away impressions determines the degree of
ease in remembrance and recollection.

POINT II. _In considering an object to be memorized, endeavor to obtain
the impressions through as many faculties and senses as possible._

The reason for this advice should be apparent to you, if you have
carefully read the preceding chapters. An impression received through
both sound and sight is doubly as strong as one received through but one
of these channels. You may remember a name, or word, either by having
seen it in writing or print; or else by reason of having heard it; but
if you have both _seen and heard_ it you have a double impression, and
possess two possible ways of reviving the impression. You are able to
remember an orange by reason of having seen it, smelt it, felt it and
tasted it, and having heard its name pronounced. Endeavor to know a
thing from as many sense impressions as possible--use the eye to assist
ear-impressions; and the ear to assist in eye-impressions. See the thing
from as many angles as possible.

POINT III. _Sense impressions may be strengthened by exercising the
particular faculty through which the weak impressions are received._

You will find that either your eye memory is better than your ear
memory, or vice versa. The remedy lies in exercising the weaker faculty,
so as to bring it up to the standard of the stronger. The chapters of
eye and ear training will help you along these lines. The same rule
applies to the several phases of memory--develop the weak ones, and the
strong ones will take care of themselves. The only way to develop a
sense or faculty is to intelligently train, exercise and use it. Use,
exercise and practice will work miracles in this direction.

POINT IV. _Make your first impression strong and firm enough to serve as
a basis for subsequent ones._

Get into the habit of fixing a clear, strong impression of a thing to be
considered, from the first. Otherwise you are trying to build up a large
structure upon a poor foundation. Each time you revive an impression you
deepen it, but if you have only a dim impression to begin with, the
deepened impressions will not include details omitted in the first one.
It is like taking a good sharp negative of a picture that you intend to
enlarge afterward. The details lacking in the small picture will not
appear in the enlargement; but those that _do_ appear in the small one,
will be enlarged with the picture.

POINT V. _Revive your impressions frequently and thus deepen them._

You will know more of a picture by seeing it a few minutes every day for
a week, than you would by spending several hours before it at one time.
So it is with the memory. By recalling an impression a number of times,
you fix it indelibly in your mind in such a way that it may be readily
found when needed. Such impressions are like favorite tools which you
need every little while--they are not apt to be mislaid as are those
which are but seldom used. Use your imagination in "going over" a thing
that you wish to remember. If you are studying a thing, you will find
that this "going over" in your imagination will help you materially in
disclosing the things that you have not remembered about it. By thus
recognizing your weak points of memory, you may be able to pick up the
missing details when you study the object itself the next time.

POINT VI. _Use your memory and place confidence in it._

One of the important things in the cultivation of the memory is the
actual use of it. Begin to trust it a little, and then more, and then
still more, and it will rise to the occasion. The man who has to tie a
string around his finger in order to remember certain things, soon
begins to cease to use his memory, and in the end forgets to remember
the string, or what it is for. There are many details, of course, with
which it is folly to charge the memory, but one should never allow his
memory to fall into disuse. If you are in an occupation in which the
work is done by mechanical helps, then you should exercise the memory by
learning verses, or other things, in order to keep it in active
practice. Do not allow your memory to atrophy.

POINT VII. _Establish as many associations for an impression, as

If you have studied the preceding chapters, you will recognize the
value of this point. Association is memory's method of indexing and
cross-indexing. Each association renders it easier to remember or
recollect the thing. Each association gives you another string to your
mental bow. Endeavor to associate a new bit of knowledge with something
already known by, and familiar to you. In this way to avoid the danger
of having the thing isolated and alone in your mind--without a label, or
index number and name, connect your object or thought to be remembered
with other objects or thoughts, by the association of contiguity in
space and time, and by relationship of kind, resemblance or
oppositeness. Sometimes the latter is very useful, as in the case of the
man who said that "Smith reminds me so much of Brown--he's so
_different_." You will often be able to remember a thing by remembering
something else that happened at the same place, or about the same
time--these things give you the "loose ends" of recollection whereby you
may unwind the ball of memory. In the same way, one is often able to
recollect names by slowly running over the alphabet, with a pencil,
until the sight of the capital first letter of the name brings the
memory of those following it--this, however, only when the name has
previously been memorized by _sight_. In the same way the first few
notes of a musical selection will enable you to remember the whole air;
or the first words of a sentence, the entire speech or selection
following it. In trying to remember a thing which has escaped you, you
will find it helpful to think of something associated with that thing,
even remotely. A little practice will enable you to recollect the thing
along the lines of the faintest association or clue. Some men are adept
memory detectives, following this plan. The "loose end" in memory is all
the expert requires. Any associations furnish these loose ends. An
interesting and important fact to remember in this connection is that if
you have some one thing that tends to escape your memory, you may
counteract the trouble by noting the associated things that have
previously served to bring it into mind with you. The associated thing
once noted, may thereafter be used as a loose end with which to unwind
the elusive fact or impression. This idea of association is quite
fascinating when you begin to employ it in your memory exercises and
work. And you will find many little methods of using it. But always use
natural association, and avoid the temptation of endeavoring to tie your
memory up with the red-tape of the artificial systems.

POINT VIII. _Group your impressions._

This is but a form of association, but is very important. If you can
arrange your bits of knowledge and fact into logical groups, you will
always be master of your subject. By associating your knowledge with
other knowledge along the same general lines, both by resemblances and
by opposites, you will be able to find what you need just when you need
it. Napoleon Bonaparte had a mind trained along these lines. He said
that his memory was like a large case of small drawers and pigeon-holes,
in which he filed his information according to its kind. In order to do
this he used the methods mentioned in this book of comparing the new
thing with the old ones, and then deciding into which group it naturally
fitted. This is largely a matter of practice and knack, but it may be
acquired by a little thought and care, aided by practice. And it will
repay one well for the trouble in acquiring it. The following table will
be found useful in classifying objects, ideas, facts, etc., so as to
correlate and associate them with other facts of a like kind. The table
is to be used in the line of questions addressed to oneself regarding
the thing under consideration. It somewhat resembles the table of
questions given in Chapter XVII, of this book, but has the advantage of
brevity. Memorize this table and use it. You will be delighted at the
results, after you have caught the knack of applying it.

QUERY TABLE. _Ask yourself the following questions regarding the thing
under consideration. It will draw out many bits of information and
associated knowledge in your mind_:

  (1) WHAT?
  (2) WHENCE?
  (3) WHERE?
  (4) WHEN?
  (5) HOW?
  (6) WHY?
  (7) WHITHER?

While the above Seven Queries are given you as a means of acquiring
clear impressions and associations, they will also serve as a Magic Key
to Knowledge, if you use them intelligently. If you can answer these
questions regarding anything, you will know a great deal about that
particular thing. And after you have answered them fully, there will be
but little unexpressed knowledge regarding that thing left in your
memory. Try them on some one thing--you cannot understand them
otherwise, unless you have a very good imagination.

      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

Obvious typographical errors and printer errors have been corrected
without comment. Other than obvious errors, the spelling, grammar,
and use of punctuation are preserved as they appear in the original

Inconsistencies in spelling which remain unchanged include:

    rutte/ ruttes and ruttee/ ruttees

In addition to obvious errors, the following changes were made:

  1. Page 15: changed "it" to "is" in the phrase, "... first thing to do
     is to find...."

  2. Page 140: changed "it" to "is" in the phrase, "... is to

  3. On page 75 there was no closing quote mark to match the opening
     quote at the phrase, "As Priestly says: "In a poem,..." A closing
     quote mark was added at the end of this sentence.

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