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tion, unless well known, until the volume is safely returned. Designing and dishonest persons are ever hovering about public libraries, and some of the most dangerous among them are men who know the value of books.

This class of reserved books should not be given out in circulation, under any circumstances. Not only are they subject to injury by being handled in households where there are children or careless persons, who soil or deface them, but they are exposed to the continual peril of fire, and consequent loss to the library. There are often books among these rarities, which money cannot replace, because no copies can be found when wanted. In the Library of Congress, there is a very salutary safe-guard thrown around the most valuable books in the form of a library regulation which provides that no manuscript whatever, and no printed book of special rarity and value shall be taken out of the library by any person. This restriction of course applies to Members of Congress, as well as to those officials who have the legal right to draw books from the library.

CHAPTER 12.

THE FACULTY OF MEMORY.

To every reader nothing can be more important than that faculty of the mind which we call memory. The retentive memory instinctively stores up the facts, ideas, imagery, and often the very language found in books, so clearly that they become available at any moment in after life. The tenacity of this hold upon the intellectual treasures which books contain depends largely upon the strength of the impression made upon the mind when reading. And this, in turn, depends much upon the force, clearness and beauty of the author's style or expression. A crude, or feeble, or wordy, redundant statement makes little impression, while a terse, clear, well-balanced sentence fixes the attention, and so fastens itself in the memory. Hence the books which are best remembered will be those which are the best written. Great as is the power of thought, we are often obliged to confess that the power of expression is greater still. When the substance and the style of any writing concur to make a harmonious and strong impression on the reader's mind, the writer has achieved success. All our study of literature tends to confirm the conviction of the supreme importance of an effective style.

We must set down a good memory as a cardinal qualification of the librarian. This faculty of the mind, in fact, is more important to him than to the members of any other profession whatever, because it is more incessantly drawn upon. Every hour in the day, and sometimes every minute in the hour, he has to recall the names of certain books, the authors of the same, including both their surnames and Christian or forenames, the subjects principally treated in them, the words of some proverb or quotation, or elegant extract in poetry or prose, the period of time of an author or other noted person, the standard measurements and weights in use, with their equivalents, the moneys of foreign nations and their American values, the time of certain notable events in history, whether foreign or American, ancient or modern, the names and succession of rulers, the prices of many books, the rules observed in the catalogue, both of authors and subjects, the names and schools of great artists, with their period, the meaning in various foreign languages of certain words, the geographical location of any place on the earth's surface, the region of the library in which any book is located—and, in short, an infinitude of items of information which he wants to know out of hand, for his own use, or in aid of Library readers or assistants. The immense variety of these drafts upon his memory seldom perplexes one who is well endowed with a natural gift in that direction. In fact, it seems actually true of such minds, that the more numerous the calls upon the memory, the more ready is the response.

The metaphysicians have spent many words in attempting to define the various qualities of the mind, and to account for a strong or a weak memory; but after all is said, we find that the surprising difference between different memories is unaccounted for; as unaccountable, indeed, as what differences the man of genius from the mere plodder. The principle of association of ideas is doubtless the leading element in a memory which is not merely verbal. We associate in our minds, almost instinctively, ideas of time, or space, or persons, or events, and these connect or compare one with another, so that

what we want is called up or recalled in memory, by a train of endless suggestion. We all have this kind of memory, which may be termed the rational or ideal, as distinguished from the verbal and the local memory. The verbal memory is that which retains in the mind, and reproduces at will what has been said in our hearing by others, or what we have read which has made a marked impression upon us. Thus, some persons can repeat with almost exact accuracy, every word of a long conversation held with another. Others can repeat whole poems, or long passages in prose from favorite authors, after reading them over two or three times, and can retain them perfectly in memory for half a century or more. There have even been persons to whom one single reading of any production was sufficient to enable them to repeat it verbatim. These instances of a great verbal memory are by no means rare, although some of them appear almost incredible. John Locke tells us of the French philosopher Pascal, that he never forgot anything of what he had done, said, or thought, in any part of his natural life. And the same thing is recorded of that great scholar of Holland, Hugo Grotius.

The mathematician Euler could repeat the Aeneid of Virgil from beginning to end, containing nearly nine thousand lines. Mozart, upon hearing the Miserere of Allegri played in the Sistine Chapel at Rome, only once, went to his hotel, and wrote it all down from memory, note for note.

Cardinal Mezzofanti both wrote and spoke thirty languages, and was quite familiar with more than a hundred. He said that if he once heard the meaning of a word in any language, he never forgot it. Yet he was of the opinion, that although he had twenty words for one idea, it was better to have twenty ideas for one word; which is no doubt true, so far as real intellectual culture is concerned. Lord Macaulay, who had a phenomenal memory, said that if all the copies of Milton's Paradise Lost were to be destroyed, he could reproduce the book complete, from memory. In early life he was a great admirer of Walter Scott's poetry, and especially the "Lay of the Last Minstrel", and could repeat the whole of that long poem, more than six hundred lines, from memory. And at the age of fiftyseven he records—“I walked in the portico, and learned by heart the noble fourth act of the Merchant of Venice. There are four hundred lines. I made myself perfect master of the whole in two hours.” It was said of him that every incident he heard of, and every page he read, "assumed in his mind a concrete spectral form.”

But the memory for names and words has been sometimes called the lowest form of memory. Persons of defective or impaired intellect frequently have strong and retentive verbal memories. Mrs. Somerville records the case of an idiot who could repeat a whole sermon verbatim, after once hearing it, but who was stupid and ignorant as to every thing else. And there are many instances in the books to the same effect.

Another kind of memory may be called, for want of a better name, the local memory. A person who has this strongly developed, if he once goes to a place, whether a room, or a street in a city, or a road in any part of the country, knows the way again, and can find it by instinct ever after. In the same way any one gifted with this almost unerring sense of locality, can find any book on any shelf in any part of a library where he has once been. He knows, in like manner, on which side of the page he saw any given passage in a book, which impressed him at the time, although he may never have had the volume in his hand more than once. He may not remember the num

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