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System of Mnemonics;
ART OF ASSISTING THE MEMORY;
SHEWING THE APPLICATION OF THIS USEFUL SCIENCE
History, Chronology, Geography, Astronomy, Statistics, Botany,
Logarithms, Prose and Verse, Foreign Grammar, &c.
THE LATIN VERBS
ARE ALSO ARRANGED IN SUCH A MANNER THAT FOUR MAY
IS DONE BY THE COMMON METHOD.
THE MULTIPLICATION TABLE
IS SO MADE OUT THAT IT MAY BE LEARNED BY A CHILD IN TWO HOURS.
By S. SAMS, Bath;
English, Latin, and French, on a plan entirely new.
And the Principal Booksellers throughout the Kingdom.
MY intention in composing these pages will be guided by a wish to convey as much information and instruction as possible to the Student, and not to display an ostentatious parade of my own reading or abilities, by introducing mat, ter which does not concern it; and therefore shall not take up the reader's time by entering into speculative arguments, or useless investigation, nor give a long detail respecting the origin of Mnemonics. I shall merely observe, that it is a folly in any man of the present day to arrogate to himself (as has been done) its origin; for according to Quințillian and Cicero, the Grecian poet Simonides, who lived 538 years before Christ, invented, and practised it with success; and since his time many of the ancient worthies of Greece and Rome, and men of more modern times and various countries have applied it in a variety of forms, However, thiş may be, all the systems which I have seen have either not been properly defined, or otherwise so complicated that most who have read them have been prévented from putting the Science into practise; at any rate, not one of them has been written to suit the capacity of a child,
I have ardently endeavoured in this small treatise, to remove every obstacle that may be likely to retard the Student in the prosecution of this most useful Art; and have so simplified it, that children are capable of receiving it at a very early period, as I have frequently proved bye
(iv) teaching a child the diameters of the Planets, and their distances from the Sun, in less than an hour ;-and other things equally difficult, in a time proportionate. My arrangements will be found to differ widely from my predecessors; and also my method of numbering, for this part is so contrived, that any number from one, to nine hundred millions can be expressed by one short word.
In the prosecution of all kinds of studies, permit me to advise you to call your imagination to your assistance, and not put the whole burden on your memory; for depend on it, if the fancy was suffered to act more, the memory, would be much less harassed in the greatest part of our researches, If imagery will bring to our recollection any thing that we wish not to escape us, why not use it? Surely nothing can be less difficult, than to bring before the eye of the mind any objects that we are acquainted with. The celebrated Dr. Watts, in his supplement to the Art of Logic, when speaking of the memory and the imagination, says
Sounds which address the ear, are lost and die
Engraves the image with a beam of light.”
The same author continues thus For the assistance of weak memories, the first letters or words of every period, in every page, may be written in distinct colours ; as yellow, green, red, &c. and if you observe the same order of colours, at the beginning of each sentence, it will be still better. This will make a great impression, and may much aid the memory.” As directions will be given more particularly, how to use the imagination for learning poetry, &c. &c. I shall not dwell on it here; and will only make one obseryation. Suppose the word clock, would reinind you of the date of Henry II. King of England, who is the
25th in succession from Egbert, how easy then is it to bring before the eye of the mind this object, which at once gives you the date. (See the Chronology of the Kings of England.)
Sometimes the associations will appear a little ļudicrous, which cannot be avoided; but, if the means produce the ends we ought to be satisfied. But this ludicrousness will wear off as you get more acquainted with it, and a little perseverance will make it appear more and more beautiful, as you will daily discover the great advantages arising from this mode of study.
I shall now request your attention to the division of the Floor, and what are called the numerals, or letters for numbering. As far as respects numbering, in this systemi letters are used instead of figures; but these are only consonants, (no vowels;) and are as follows:
bc, d, fg, hjks, l, mn, pq, r, tv,
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 The X, 2, and w, will be explained hereafter. The reason for employing letters for numbering instead of figures, is, because figures have no association with words, and this is the reason we cannot recollect numbers to any extent. Indeed if we retain a number for one hour, it is a chance if we do not forget it the next;' but by turning numbers into words, they readily associate with what is concerned, and by these means we may with a very little trouble fix in our memories 500 different amounts; for whenever the name, or thing is mentioned, the word or words attached to it for giving the number, will also present itself. In History, and Chronology, I recommend abbreviation as much as possible; i. ę. taking only the radical, or first part of those words which are sufficient to bring to our remembrance the facts; and the initials of each of these parts of words I have caused to be printed with a capital letter, whether