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second hieroglyphic, which picture may be said immediately to prompt the word associated with it. The operation of these hieroglyphics upon the mind may be compared to that of a prompter, with this advantage, that the associations of sight arę in general more vivid than those of sound.
Mr. Stewart, in his admirable work on the Philosophy of the Human Mind, has remarked of the topical memory of the ancients, that it might be applied to the prejudice of truth and justice. Certainly the absolute command of preconcerted arguments in prepared succession, in the flow of apparently extenporé debate, might occasionally make the worse appear the better cause; but the abuse of an improvement can never be fairly urged against its utility, and granting the efficacy of the application, it may be made subservient to the best and holiest purposes.
The next part of Mr. Feinaigle's system is the substitution of letters for figures, which was practised both in the ancient and middle ages. He employs consonants only, as representatives of 1 figures; his alphabet is as follows: and the facility with which it may be committed to memory by certain familiar associations, is no bad test of their utility.
t, n, m, I, I, d, cgkq, bh yw, pf, sxz.
8 9 0 To fix this conventional alphabet in the memory, it might be said t is employed for the figure 1, because it has only one stroke; n, for 2, because it has two strokes; m, for 3, because it has three strokes; r, for four, from some supposed analogy in shape; or because s is the fourth letter of the word four, &c. &c. Associations like these might be readily multiplied, and however absurd they may appear, the point is, whether a person not disdaining to adopt them, would not be able to commit such an alphabet . to memory in a shorter space of time, and with greater certainty of retention: in fact, as philosophical relations cannot exist between arbitrary signs, we have only to trust, in recollecting them, to fanciful associations, or to mere strength of memory. Perhaps the ingenious person who exclaimed, 'Well may this place be called Stoney Stratford, for I never was so bitten with feas before,' had formed some arbitrary association in his mind abundantly competent to suggest the idea. It will be at once evident that the adoption of consonants for the expression of numbers, and the exclusion of vowels, gives a facility of employing any words, in any language, for the expression of a number, provided that the word contains exactly the consonants, which are the representatives of the figures to be denoted, unless the nature of the numbers to be expressed convinces us that they could not be extended beyond units of tens, as in the case of pence and shillings
in an item of English expenditure; when the first and last may be understood to designate the number, if the word contains more
these of a
The application of this art to chronology is effected by quartering the kings of each dynasty, or historical epochs of events, upon the hieroglyphics, and afterwards connecting a short story with each, in which the most prominent words shall express the dute. A great part of the ridicule attached to Mr. Feinaigle's sstem, arises not from his proceeding to explain the 'obscurum per obscurius,' but from his constant practise of teaching the ' facilius per facile. He has arranged the dynasty of the kings of Façland from the Conquest to the present time: it is probable that the names in our royal list are not familiar to him, as a fo
he has therefore proceeded to pun upon them in successin
. Thus, with the first hieroglyphic, be associates a' willow trze, which is to prompt the name of William the Conqueror; a " ded' soldier is lying by the willow, who might have more naterally lain at the feet of the conqueror; the consonants of the verd' dead' translate into sixty-six, to which if we add one thousand
, we have the date of the conquest. If we were desired to lean by heart the dynasty of the Otaheitean or Abyssinian momachs, we might find it more convenient to associate some famlar words with each, correspondent in sound, than to trust to were strength of memory. This alphabet may be evidently empilosed to facilitate the remembrance of dates, independent of all locations or associations with visible objects; for example, Louis the Fourteenth came to the throne at the sound of a drum;' here He translate d-r-m=643=1643. Louis the Fifteenth came to the tesne quietly: translate q-t-1=715=1715. There is no neces
for any real analogy in such associations. It would be impossible to explain practically the ingenious application of this art to geography, without reference to diagrams; and even with their assistance, we doubt whether the account given 2 the volume before us, will appear intelligible. We shall only offer the most general outline of it. Two rooms are employed, se immediately over the other, the upper room is called the borthern, the lower the southeru hemisphere; the floor in the upDet room, the equator; and the centre of the cieling, the North Pole
; the arrangement is reversed in the lower room, and the centre of the foor is called the South Pole. We must then conceive a map of the world on Mercator's projection, on the scale of ten degrees of both latitude and longitude, painted on the four mails of both rooms, the cieling of the upper, and the floor of the bower
. The hierogsyphics are associated in a certain order with each square of ten degrees; and by an ingenious arrangement, the 12
number of each hieroglyphic denotes the general latitude and longitude of that given portion of the world to which it is attached; and vice versa, any longitude or latitude being given, we are enabled, by a short arithmetical process, to recur to the hieroglyphic belonging to those parallels, which will suggest the locality. This story system, which vividly affects and excites the imagination, is calculated to impress very correct ideas of the relative situation of countries, though we think it rather too refined and complicated for generalizatie i arloption. This mode of associating visible objects with certain degrees of space is adopted in the celestial globe, and may have suggested the hint to Mr. Feinaigle. We must again protest against the miserable horde of puns employed to fix the names of the most familiar countries and places in the memory, which was are equally superfluous and disgusting. Mr. Feinaigle's principles of arithmetic are omitted in this treatise: there is a long unsatisfactory chapter upon the analogy of languages, as presenting an 27 additional facility in acquiring them. The mode of committing systematic tables to memory is literally borrowed from Quintilian it is to form a mental picture of some real or arbitrary type of the character or quality to be remembered, and to localize these 19 pictures on the furniture of a room. We shall wave the mentions of many minor details; it is the spirit of the system and not the site discretionary variety of its application, which is really valuable.
Nothing can be more opposite in principle, than the 'mnemonics and methodics' of Feinaigle, which, for the most part, depend upon associations of sight, and the Memoria Technica' of Dr. Grey,* which depends entirely upon associations of sound, and is utterly distinct from a topical or artificial memory. His system in the may be defined to be a method of translating things difficult to be remembered, into an abbreviated, and conventional language, (aided by the associations of metrical cadence,) which operates upon the mind as short-hand upon the eye; and, but for the abuse of Greek etymologies in the present day, might be termed' mental stenography'. It is remarkable that this work should have gone through nine editions, without the least attempt at improvement. The present edition inherits all the failings of its predecessors; it is evidently edited by a person utterly ignorant of the spirit of the system, and even unacquainted with the rhythm of hexameter verse. Nothing can be more unconnected and unphilosophical than thie form in which the greater part of these memorial lines are arranged: they were probably composed at successive periods, and with no view to publication; the key to their connection was in the
• Dr. Richard Grey was born in the year 1693, he was a divine of the Church of England, a graduate of Lincoln College, Oxford, and the author of several able trea. lises on ecclesiastical law, divinity, and the Hebrew language.
directions for learning this alphabet, p. 2; but we would suggest
and doctor's head, he had abundantly fulfilled his task; but it was for
the editors of subsequent editions to have modernized, improved, led, extended and arranged his system on principles of philosophical and hic
casual association, which find no place in the method of Dr. Grey, This who thus states the object of his invention. Introduction, p 2. ated
* The design is not to make the memory better, but things more easy
to be remembered, so that by the help of it an ordinary or even a weak eral
semory, shall be able to retain what the strongest, and most extraorditain
sary memory could not retain without it; the whole art being in effect
nothing more than this, to make such a change in the ending of a name, otes
place, person, planet, coin, &c. withoui altering the beginning of it, as
stall readily suggest the thing sought, at the same time the beginning hich of the word being preserved, shall be a leading, or prompting syllable ples
to the end of it, so changed. Thus in history the deluge happened in 1053
the year B. C. 2348, this is expressed by the word Del-etok, Del g an
sarding for deluge, and etok for 2348. tting The following is the alphabet of letters to be substituted for an pe of
oi ei ou y these 1 2 3 4
7 8 9 0
words, of which
employed in the composition ; thus the date of the che si
or Del-etfei or Del-diok, all of which, by a
le. hemoepent of Dr. and is system
- to be (aided on the use of mental e gov ement
disk, or Del-difei,
rense jan aanged with a in the
mistaken for eiba=811; z signifying the cypher O should also bę pronounced very broad whenever it is met with in a technical line, to distinguish it from s=6.
As a specimen, we subjoin the English dynasty from William the Conqueror to George III; the change of termination in the name of each sovereign denotes the year of his accession, but
This we have altered many chronological inaccuracies in it, which are less pardonable, as the figures expressing the date are correct, but the letters remain unaltered. Wil-con-sau, Ruf-koi, Hen-pr-ag 66 87
100 Steph-bilet Hen-sec-buf, Ric-bein, J-ann, He-th-das et Ed-doid 135
189 199 216 272 Ed-se-typ, Ed-ter-tep, Ri-se-toip, He-fo-toun, He-fi-fat-que 307 327 377 399
413 Hen-si-fed, Ed-quar-faub, E-fi-R-okt, Hen-sep-feil, Hen-oc-lyz 422 461 483 485
509 Ed-sex-lop, Mary-lut, Els-luk, Jam-syt, Caro-prim-sel .547 553 558 663
625 Car-sec-son, Jam-seil, Wil-sein, Anne-pyd, Geo-bo-doi-pauz 649 685 689
702 14 27 760 It will be observed that as Edward V, and Richard III, ascended the throne in the same year, 1483, the technical word is E-fi-R-okt, and as the three Georges succeeded each other, their names are not repeated, but each syllable expresses the date; after 1700, it is not necessary to express the 7 by a letter.
We shall offer a few hints to those who are desirous of composing verses for themselves, and of becoming accurate chronolo-Berg gists by this system. Chronology has only a relative object: it has been named, and justly, one of the eyes of history; as a moral lesson, of te the observation of a few years presents all the intricate variety of seat human passions; as a political lesson, the whole chain of history is fraught with valuable instruction, but its value is in precise proportion to the degree of chronological accuracy with which they events are recorded. It is of the utmost moment to ascertain the precise time when the operation of certain causes conspired to be produce certain effects; and it is the induction of these effects, but which constitutes the essence of the philosophy of history. Hence point that analogical prescience, which should be the first aim of this the practical politician. A constant reference to chronological tables is frequently inconvenient, and sometimes impossible; it always consumes much time, and yet to omit it is to forego the principal advantage resulting from historical study. It is perfectly easy by the systein above described, to commit to memory the regular MG gradation, and exact date, of all the principal events from the cre