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writing, in order to profit by what we read ; and the man,
The memory is unfaithful, and the best memory cannot retain all. Auguftin complained of the many things he had suffered himself to lose, and was obliged to seek after them again. Much time is lost in this way. Instances are given of learned men endued with great memory, who 'yet all assisted themselves by making collections-ergo notandum et excerpendum,
Pliny Secundus, the secretary of nature, attained to prodigious erudition by this method, which he observed constantly; info, much that his nephew tells us, he never ́read any thing without making extracts. While he was lying in the sunshine ; at sup, per ; after supper ; while he was þathing; while he was dressing, liber legebatur, adnotabatur. Even while he was on a journey, an amanuensis was with him ; who wrote in gloves if the weather was cold: while his nephew was walking out for the air, he used that memorable expression, poteras has horas non perderetemporis parfimoniam, quam ignota es et rara!--Omnium rerum jactura reparabilis, præter quam temporis,
Extracts are necessary, even to a poet, who works from his imagination. We see an example of this in Herman Hugo, whose Pia Defideria are an ingenious çontexture of the Scriptures and the Fathers together; out of which, when he had collected, he made this excellent use. Extracts are the life and soul of history: and no history can be composed without previous nota. tion. Even orators must read, and note, and transfer the excellencies of others into their own page. Which of them all did ever arrive at the summit of learning, without constant applicar
tion to notes and extracts ? Aristotle exceeded all that went before him ; but not without the making of infinite collections from the books they had left behind them. Among great divines, examples are given of Augustin, Jerom, Cyprian, and Bernard; and after every one, Drexelius presses the inference, that nothing great ever was, or ever will be done, without iudustrious notation. At last he adds an example froin his own experience, and protests, that he would not part with his notes for any price but that of heaven itself. In displaying the profit of it, he observes, 1. That whatever subject was proposed, he could tell all the authors that had written upon it; even though the subject were minute and out of the way. A friend wanted to borrow his book : but most author's are of use only to those that have read them. He reckons a man nothing, if he could not talk an hour upon a subject. 2. In preaching: If the Scriptures were duly read and extracted, a man's store would never be exhausted. 3. For instructing any person who comes to consult or ask. Particulars of time and place can rarely be recollected without notes. 4. A man may subsist upon his own stock, in case of sickness, or under any hindrance, or in time of age, when he must write, but cannot read. It is miserable to be runding to the baker, when we should be going to dinner: think of the ant and the bee. The author declares of himself, with advantage and satisfaction he used the fruits of thirty years labour, and that, if his life were to last ever so long, his fund would never be out.
He was a great example of his own do&trine. 5. In all kinds of speaking and writing, he found himself in teadiness: and could engage to write two books in a year on different subjects out of his excerpta. There is little difficulty in building, when all the necessary materials are ready at hand. 6. It is of excellent use in conversation ; keeps it from flagging, and places us above the necessity of vain repetitions, such as women and ignorant persons fall into for want of matter.
After the doctrine has been confirmed by testimonies and examples, the author considers the reasons. 1. It is observed, that the attention is fixed better by writing and noting, than by repeated readings. Dionysius of Halicarnassus reports, that Demosthenes transcribed Thucydides eight times. Jerom wrote over many volumes. 2. The matter is deeper impressed upon the mind. In reading, the cye wanders, and the judgment is kess exact. Money is not examined merely by looking at it: we
rub it, and weigh it, and found it, to distinguish between the precious and the vile, and by a similar method we must distinguith truth from error, and one style from another. 3. What is written is not forgotten-litera scripta manet--as it was said in a forter chapter. 4. How many volumes for the benefu of the public have been sent abroad from the mere industry of colleding! Antiquæ lectiones, Florigelia, Horæ subseciva, Mufarum horti, Gia &c., And if we find the collections of others so serviceable, how much more so will our own be? When we ourselves are the collectors, our own uses and purposes are provided for; and we may derive more use from one page of this sort, than from a hundred by another person, who works according to his own views, not according to yours; as every scholar will discover, who has any exercise in this way: be takes only what suits him; turning and twisting every stream into his own channel.. (This teaches how we are exposed when another person picks out an history for us.) 5. The ant collects in summer for her food in winter. This is beautifully described and applied—itimibus ac reditionibus eandem viam relegit millies, fatigari nescia-bruma injurias non metuit, infæcundum hicmem non ægre tolerat, &c. The happy industry of the bee is described with the same poetical elegance Omnes apicula flores delibant, et velut judicio excerpunt-violarum suaves divitias-nec extrahunt nisi quod melioris fucci eft; venenum quod in fcre deterius, araneis relinquunt. Hac apum sedulitas, et in excerpendo pudiům, mellis et ceræ thesauris orben opulentat. Let us be as wise as thcy in our studies: let us take the best authors, and out of them the best things; otherwise, like summer flies, we have neither honey nor wax; our conversation and writings are poor and empty. 6. Notes form an epitome, and contain the effence of a library, and will supply the place of it: they will travel with us, where books are difficult to be met with. Take what you want out of the book you are reading, and it is done for ever : you need never turn it over any more. Incredible how useful a volume may be coinpiled in how îmort a time! Your own papers will always be found your best library.
Objections answered.-5. I have no design to write volumes like Origen. A. But the smallest thing cannot be well done without it-hence we have so many jejune compositions and when any public exercise comes in course, not having dug, we are forced to beg and borrow. ----2. Another objection: that persons who write, neglect the use of memory, and so lose it. A. This