« السابقةمتابعة »
During his absence, the chamber in which Scopas and his guests were carousing, fell in, and in its fall they were crushed to death. The relations of these unfortunate revellers, anxious to honour them with funereal obsequies, were unable to recognize their persons in the mangled and disfigured corpses, which lay strewed around, til Simonides overcame this dilemma, by remembering the distinct places each had occupied at table; and thus pointing out each individual to those who sought his remains. * This event suggested to his mind the practicability of making external impressions subservient to the strengthening of memory, by selce ing places and images, as so many repositoas and symbols of ideas. Hence, he was led to propound a method of associating the ideas of things to be retained in the inemory, with the ideas of objects conveyed to the mind by that acutest of our senses the sight; and already impressed upon it in a regular series. The invention of this method stamped him as the Father of the Mnemonic Art. Cicero tells us, that when Simonides offered to instruct Themistocles in his method, his offer was rejected in these memorable words: "Ah! (replied the hero,) rather teach me the art of forgetting; for I often remember what I would not, and cannot forget what I would."
From this time, Mnemonics became a favourite parsuit with the Greeks; and being brought to perfection by Scepsius Metrodorus, was in great vogue among their orators. They are said to have made use of the statues, paintings, ormanients, and other exterial circumstances, of the places where they harangued, for reviving, in progressive order, the topics and matter of their orations, which they had already appropriated to cach circumstance. In the list of those who prided themselves on having perfected their memory by ar
This story is handed down to us, both by Cicero and Phaedrus, in his fables.
+ This system of Simonides, is founded on that theory of emblems, which Bacon so justly characterizes: "Emma werd delict intellectuale ad sensibile: sentibile autem semper fortius percutit memoriam, atque in ea faciliùs imprimitur, quan intellect, le." Emblem rediceen conceits intellectual to images scnshte, which always strike the memory more forcibly, and are therefore the more easily imprinted, than intellectual conceits-BACON's Augm. Scientian. Lab. vi. cap. 2.
† Plinii His. Nat. lib. viii. c. 9k.
tificial means, are enumerated Metrodorus, Hippias, and Theodectes.
The Romans bestowed no less attention on this art, the subject of Cicero's panegyric and discussion throughout a whole chapter of his masterly treatise on Oratory.* Yet Cicero's conviction of its utility did not prevent Quinctilian's assertion of its inctficiency, a short time afterwards; for we find the latter summing up his thoughts upon it, in these vehement terms:-"Wherefore, both Carcades, and the Scepsius Metrodorus, (of whom I have just spoken,) who, as Ciccro says, had used this exercise, may keep this method to themselves: we will pass over to a more simple subject." Fabius, the historian, also ridicules this art in his XIth book. Anemonics, however, still continued in great repute; and Cicero, strengthening precept by example, boasted that they were the basis of his excellent mémory. It is said, their practice was cultivated with success, by others of no less repute; amongst whom, Crassus, Julius Cæsar, and Seneca, are particularly noticed.
This art appears to have lain dormant in after-ages, till that luminary of science, Raimond Lulle, thought fit to bring it once more into notice among the learned; and wooed it with such diligence, that it has ever since been called Lulle's Art.' I shall not detain your readers, by entering into an analysis of Lulle's method, which is amply detailed by Morhof, and in Gray's Memoria Technica.
Mnemonics had not yet attained the meridian of their greatness: this epoch was reserved for the sixteenth century; and I question much, whether any art
* De Oratore, lib. i. sect. 86, 87.
t Quare et Carneades et Scepsius (de quo modo dixi) Metrodorus, quos Cicero dicit, usos hac exercitatione, sibi habeant sua: nos simpliciora tradamus' Inst. Orat. ut supra. Dr. Benttie also says, in conclusion of his remuks on Artificial Memory, "I cannot but think with Quinctilian, that the Art was too complex, and that Memory may be improved by easier methods. " Diss. Mor. and Crit. chap. ii. sect. 3. Lord Bacon held a similar opinion, as well as Morhof, in whose
Polyhistor Literar." (lib. ii. cap. v. de Aite Lulliana, and cap. vi. De Memoriae Subsidiis,) is preserved an elaborate account of the writers on this subject.
Gaspar Scioppius, speaking of this · Doctor illuminatus,' terms him, with justice, "lutulentum et ineptum scriptorem, sed portentosi acuminis."-Comment. de Styla List.
self as commissioned by Schenkel, to instruct the whole world.
has ever been the subject of a more tedious and obstinate controversy; or has been brought forward under more illustrious auspices, with greater solemnity, or a more bare-faced impudence. These will be sufficiently manifest in the, account I shall now render of the Mnemonistic Duumvirate of Lambert Schenkel, and his baud indignus' plenipotentiary, Martin Sommer.
Lambert or Lamprecht Schenkel, born at Bois-le-Due, in 1547, was the son of an apothecary and philologist. He went through his academical course at Lyons and Cologne, and afterwards became a teacher of rhetoric, prosody, and gymnastics, at Paris, Antwerp, Malines, and Rouen; not forgetting, as the custom of the age required, to claim his title to scholarship, by writing Latin verses. From these, however, he acquired no celebrity proportionate to that which was reared on his discoveries in the Mnemonic Art. The more effectually to propagate these discoveries, he travelled through the Netherlands, Germany, and France; where his method was inspected by the great, and transmitted from one university to another. Applause followed every where at his heels. Princes and nobles, ecclesiastics and laymen, alike took soundings of his depth; and Schenkel, brought himself through every ordeal, to the astonishment and admiration of his judges. The rec tor of the Sorbonne, at Paris, having previously made trial of his merits, permitted him to teach his science at that university; and Marillon, Maitre des Requêts, having done the same, gave him an exclusive privilege for practising Mnemonics throughout the French doIninions. His auditors were, however, prohibited from communicating this art to others, under a severe penalty. As his time now became too precious to admit of his making circuits, he delegeted this branch of his patent to the licentiate Martin Sommer, and invested him with a regular diploma, as his plenipotentiary for circulating his art, under certain stipulations, through Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the neighbouring countries. Sommer now first published a Latin treatise on this subject, which he dispersed in every place he visited, under the title of "Brevis Delineatio de utilitatibus et effectibus admirabilibus Artis Memo iæ." (Venet. 1619, 12, 24 pp.) In this he celebrates the rare feats of his master, and announces him
"A lawyer, (says he,) who has a hen-" dred causes and more to conduct, by the assistance of my Mnemonics, may stamp them so strongly on his memory, that he will know in what wise to answer each client, in any order, and at any hour, with as much precision as if he had but just perused his brief. And in pleading, he will not only have the evidence and reasonings of his own party, at his fingers' ends, but (mirabile dictu!) all the grounds and refutations of his antagonist also! Let a man go into a library, and shall be read one book after another, yet be able to write down every sentence of what he has read, many days after at home. The proficient in this science can dictate matters of the most opposite nature, to ten, or thirty writers, alter." nately. After four weeks' exercise, he will be able to class twenty-five thousand. disarranged portraits within the saying of a paternoster:-aye, and he will do this ten times a day, without extraordimary exertion and with more precision than another, who is ignorant of the art, can do it in a whole year! He will no longer stand in need of a library for referring to. This course of study may be completed in nine days"-(perhaps in the same way that foreign languages are now-a-days taught in twelve lessons!)-` "and an hour's practice daily, will be suf ficient: but, when the rules are once acquired, they require but half an hour's exercise daily. Every pupil, who has afterwards well-grounded complants to allege, shall not only have the premium paid in the first instance, returned to him, but an addition will be made to it. The professor of this art, makes but a short stay in every place. When called upon, he will submit proofs, adduce testimonials from the most eminent characters, and surprise the ignorant, after four or six lessons, (observe!) with the most incredible displays." Here follow testimonials from the most colebrated universities. Nine alone are produced from learned men at Leipzig, and precede others from Marburg, and Frankfort on the Oder."
At the same time was. published, Gazypholium Artis Memoriæ, illustratum per Lambertum Schenkelium de. Strasb. 1619" but this is far outdone by the preceding treatise of Sommer. The student, destitute of oral instruction, will gather about as much of Mnemonics by
by wading through this treatise, as by secking them in the hieroglyphics of an Egyptian obelisk. It is pretty evident that this Gazypholium,' was designedly intended as a labyrinthal series: the author indeed closes his labours by confessing, that the work was to be intrusted only to his scholars, and referring for further elucidation to oral precepts. The very basis of his art is concealed beneath a jumble of signs and abbreviations: thus, sect. 9. d. a sect. 99; "vidilicet, locus, imago ordo locorum, memoria loci, imagines." And further, in setting forth the most important points, he amuses himself by evincing a multitude of jingling, and unintelligible words. As this work, besides being a literary curiosity, had of late years be come extremely rare; Doctor Klueber not long since published a German translation of it, and by his happy dex. terity in decyphering, has unravelled the ambiguous passages in the original, and illustrated them with a profusion of pertinent annotations." *
requires that its powers should be at once ingenious and perceptive. Its acquirement is founded on the association of ideas: nor does it fail to call wit and imagination in aid of natural memory. Sommer's Compendium,consisting of eight sections, was printed for the use of his auditors. After his departure, permission is given to bis scholars to communicate their mnemonistic doubts, observations, and discoveries, to each other; but no one can be present without legalizing himself previously, as one of the initiated, by prescribed signs: and he who fails in this, is excluded as a pro
At all events, this work is a singular production. Agreeably to the character of Schenkel's system, his development of the art does not confine itself to mechanical ideas alone. It sets the technical, symbolical, and logical faculties of the memory, in equal activity; and
Compendium der Mnemonik, &c. Compendium of Mnemonics, or the Art of Memory at the beginning of the seventeenth century, by L. Schenkel, and M. Sommer. Translated from the Latin, with a Preface and Remarks, by D. Klüber. Erlangen. Palm. 1804 8; pp. 104.
In thus tracing the origin of Mnemonics, and their progress, down to the sixteenth century, if the reader's curiosity should be awakened by these memoranda of mine, he will find it gratified by a reference to Cicero and Morhof, than whom no writer has so amply treated of Memory, and its assistants. Gray's 'Memoria Technica' will supply him with much information on this subject, to which the student's attention is also directed, in a plan of artificial me mory, lately laid down in Robinson's Grammar of History.' Your's, &c.
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.
From the foregoing Table it will be seen, that the first four months in the last year, and likewise October and December, were hotter than the same months in 1808; but in the other mouths,
N conformity with the usual plan of your Magazine, I send you a summary of meteorological observations for the year which has just expired. I shall begin with setting down the average heat of each month, for the years 1808 and 1809, which is as follows:
the highest temperature was in 1808; and on the whole year, the average height of the thermometer was nearly a degree and a half lower in 1809, than in the preceding year.
In page 32, of vol, xxvii, of this Magazine, we gave the average temperature for the seven years preceding, as it was taken at Camden-town, a village two miles from the metropolis, which was 50°-48; the average of the last year is therefore rather more than a degree short of this. At the same place, and for the same period, the average height of the barometer was 29.786: for the present year, at Highgate, the mean height is 29-522: this difference is too Account of the Quantity of Rain fallen in each Month, since the Year 1802, as ascertained by a correct Rain-gauge. By Dr. Pole, Bristol. 1803. 1804
small, we conceive, to account for the quantity of rain fallen during the last twelve months; which is equal to 47.875 inches in depth; and is eighteen inches more than the average depth for the above-named period, which will be found in the page and voluine already referred to, to be 29 613 inches. This last quantity, is nearly the average depth also for six years, at Bristol, as will be seen by the following Table:
3 15 0 25
5244 6 19 145
100 of an inch.
100 of an inch.
28 2 15
100 of an inch.
27 39 29 77 |26 1 34 38 31 31 32 8
3 8 5 1 52
Observations at Highgate, for 1809.
No. of days.
It is stated, from the register kept at the Royal Society, that the south-west wind blows more upon an average in each month of the year than any other, particularly in July and August: that the north-east prevails during January, March, April, May, and June; and is most unfrequent in February, July, September, and December: the north-west occurring more frequently from November to March; and less so in September and October than in any other months. Our observations for the last year, do not correspond with this statement; and the difference may perhaps account for the quantity of rain fallen; for the few hot days, and in short, for that small share of summer weather, which was open to every person's notice. Highgate, Your's, &c. Jan. 3, 1810. J. J.
For the Monthly Magazine. MANUSCRIPT of ESCHYLUS'S TRAGEDIES, entitled, the " SEVEN at THEBES," and "PROMETHEUS."
HE learned French critic, Mons.
library at Paris, formerly called the Bibliotheque du Roi, a MS. copy of the Seven at Thebes, and Prometheus, by Eschylus (No. 2785) on which he has offered the following remarks:
In verse 13, of the "Seven at Thebes," the particle T is suppressed
Ωραν τ ̓ ἔχονθ ̓ ἑκατον, ὥς τι συμπέπες, and in the manuscript ὥραν εχινθ ̓ ἕκασιν; but the omission of this letter gives some order to a phrase, which before had none; and M. Brunk has found the same reading in other MSS. and adopted it.
At verse 250, a fault occurs, it must be owned, yet it points out a good reading:
this passage as follows: "Gemit civitas a terra tanquam circumclusa;" as if they had found the word S. It appears, indeed, that the scholiast read the word so: ctural, (says he,) ý úμɛrépa 25. The word Sny does not seem to have any meaning: ynde, on the contrary, expresses very well that dead sound occasioned by the trampling of a multitude of men on the earth, and which is prolonged to a greater or lesser distance; but instead of translating it, "Tunquam circumclusa," it should rather be, "utpote sub pedibus circumsese-fundentuim; for the poet did not mean to describe the grief of an afflicted people, but the actual noise which announces the approach of enemies towards the ramparts.
Έκτα γαρ Αρης βόσκεται φθίνῳ βροτῶν. Our editions have ; it is not, however, with fright, but with carnage, that Mars is glutting himself; and this consideration induces us to prefer the reading p, which another MS. pre sents. This reading may be easily recognized in the word 6, as found in the MS. before us, and the faults of different copies often yield this M. advantage to attentive readers. Brunk also has found or in some MSS. and has printed it accordingly.
But the reading of day, in verse 253, does not here appear. One edition has
Στένει πόλισμα δηθεν, ὡς κικλεμενών. The Latin translators have rendered
Verse 437 offers an interesting variation. In our editions,we read, Επεύχομαι δὴ τῷ δε μεν ευτυχεῖν τω προμαχ' εμῶν δόμαν,
"Opto quidem huic succedere defensor mearum domorum."-This dative Tode, which is of the third person, cannot accord with the vocative, pouage. The manuscript
forms a very perfect sense-“ Opto quidem in hoc certamine;"—and it subjoins, at the end of the verse, cs, which renders the phrase complete,
Επευχόμε: δὴ τάδε μεν ευτυχεῖν σε.
As to the measure of the verse, it de pends on too many combinations to become the object of these concise remarks,
It must, however, be observed, that in verse 619, Eteocles speaks of Amphiaralis, who, notwithstanding his piety, was, for having associated with the wicked, to perish along with them: ̓Ανοσίοισι συμμιγείς Θρασύς ουοισιν ανίξασι φρενών βίᾳ Τεινεσι πομπην την μακραν παλίν μελεῖν Διος θέλοντος συγκαθελκα σθητεται.
So it is found in our editions. What Can παλιν μύλειν signify? Those words are translated by reverti, and that is certainiy the sense of παλιν. But the army of Argos did not make any criminal elforts for returning :-the crime with which Eteocles reproaches them is, that of having come to attack unjustly the city of Thebes. In fact, the manuscript reads πολίν. M. Brunk very properly condemus, as ridiculous, the interpretation of the scholiast, who explains these words by the great journey towards the infernal regions; but, in applying them to the city of Thebes itself, nothing can be more clear than the meaning.—“ Consocialus