A TREATISE useful for such as are to speak in Publick.

By Marius D' Assigny, B. D.

Omnis disciplina Memoria constat, frustra­que docemur, si quicquid audimus prae­terfluat. Quintil. lib. II.
Rerum omnium thesaurus Memoria est. Cic. I. de Orat.
Constat Memoriam habere quiddam arti­ficii, & non omnem à natura proficisci. Cic.

London, Printed by J. D. for Andr. Bell at the Cross-Keys and Bible in Corn­hil, near Stocks-market, 1697.

[Page v] To the Young Students of both Universities.

I Need not tell you, Gentlemen, how useful this Art is and may be to you, whatever Employ­ment you are to undertake in Church or State. As it is the most desira­ble Faculty for the enriching your Minds with rare Sciences and Know­ledges, and the gathering from your Stations those rich Jewels that will cause you one day to appear the greatest Ornaments of your Age and Nation; it is also the most excellent Ability [Page vi] for the perfecting of all your Natu­ral Perfections, and procuring to you a real Happiness in this Life, and an eternal Felicity in the next.

Seeing therefore that so many and apparent Advantages depend upon your Memories, and the Improve­ment of them, pray be not wanting to your selves; neglect not this Gift of God, suffer it not to be idle and useless, but employ it for the Pur­poses intended by the Donor's Wisdom and Bounty.

If you have capacious and officious Memories able to receive, contain and preserve much, keep them not as empty Bladders, puft up with Wind and Fancy, but fill them while you are at the Fountain with the profita­ble Knowledg of God and Nature, of [Page vii] sound Learning, and of true Wisdom, and of those liberal Arts and Sciences by which you design to be useful, and do good in your Generation.

Let your Elevation be never so great, and your Birth never so con­siderable, Learning, Knowledg and Wisdom will add a greater Splendor and Glory to your Nobility, and pro­cure to you a greater Veneration from those who are to be subject to your Commands and Dominion. Picus Father and Son, Earls of Mirandu­la, tho Men of great Eminency in our late days, thought the Exercise of their Memories in the studying of all manner of Sciences to be no Di­minution to their Nobility, but ra­ther a considerable Increase to their Native Honour; for one of them pub­lished [Page viii] at Rome, Theses de om­nibus Scientiis, with a Promise to defray the Charges of those Learned Men, if poor, who would have the Pleasure to travel to oppose and dispute with him. And if you please to look into Antiquity, how many Noble and Famous Men, how many Kings and Princes have purchased to themselves everlasting Renown by the Exercise of their Memories, by their Industry, Studies and great Learning? Cato the Elder, at the Age of 80 Years, pleaded his own Cause when accused by his Adversa­ries of a Capital Crime; and it was observed, that neither his Memory failed him, nor his Countenance changed. Themistocles that No­ble Athenian, could call all his fel­low [Page ix] Citizens by their proper Names; and when he was banished into Per­sia, he learnt in a few Months the Persian Tongue, that he might be able to speak to King Darius with­out an Interpreter. And in our late Ages King Alfonsus, Aver­roes, and Avicenna, were noted for their Learning as well as for their Nobility.

Memory is a rich and precious Jewel, if polish'd, used and improved; but if suffered to be idle, it is as a Pearl of great Value in the Hands of a slothful or unskilful and igno­rant Artist.

To this purpose Erasmus speaks very well. Ad nativae Memo­riae vim natura felicem accedat intelligentia, cura, exercitatio [Page x] & ordo, ad memoriam confir­mandam non nihil opis polli­centur medici: sed praeter ea quae diximus plurimùm confert perpetua vitae sobrietas; nam cra­pula & ebrietas ut ingenium he­betant, ita memoriam prorsus obruunt. Officit etiam curarum varietas & turba negotiorum, officit & tumultuaria diverso­rum voluminum lectio. And again he saith, Optima memoriae Ars est & penitus intelligere, in­tellecta in ordinem redigere, po­stremò subinde repetere quod meminisse velis. Certainly such have a great advantage who are gifted with a large Memory, but it can yield neither them nor others any Benefit, unless they employ this [Page xi] Gift for the Purposes that their wise God hath designed in the Donation. And let it be never so strong and large by Nature, it may be improved and increased by Art and their In­dustry, to the compleating of their Felicity both Temporal and Eternal.

But if Nature seems to deny some of you this Advantage, and you are not so ready and perfect as others in the use of this excellent Ability, you are not therefore to slight the least Gifts of God in your Crea­tion, but still to endeavour the Im­provement and Increase of them. Let your Labour and Industry strive to supply the Deficiencies of Nature, and polish this Gift, this precious Jewel by a continual Exercise. Demosthenes, the Prince of the [Page xii] Greek Orators, had such Natural Imperfections, as made him unfit to speak in publick; yet by his resolute and vertuous Endeavours he attained to the highest pitch of Perfection and Glory in Oratory. Art may procure to us divers Excellencies which Nature seems to keep from us; and the Divine Bounty grants many times to our assidual Labours what was refused to our Birth at first. The sparing Hand of Na­ture in bestowing this Ability should rather provoke our Resolution to get it by other means, than cause us to slacken, or discourage our Endea­vours; for according to the old Greek Proverb, [...], the great­er the Difficulty in the Attempt, the greater will be the Glory and Satis­faction [Page xiii] in overcoming it: for of all the Perfections of the Mind there is none more capable of a greater Im­provement than Memory, and none will reward our Labours with more satisfactory Returns than this ex­cellent Ability when we can attain to any Perfection. Pray consider therefore, you who are like to want the use of this rare Faculty in the following course of your Lives, and in the Imployments that you design to engage your selves in, how much it concerns you now to polish and in­crease your Memories, and exercise them frequently; for, as a Roman Author observes, Memoria minui­tur nisi exerceas eam. Tho the Labour may be great at first because of your Natural Imperfections, the [Page xiv] Difficulty is to be overcome by Art; and what is wanting to you in Na­ture, the other will supply in time. Pray weigh and consider these sea­sonable Verses applicable to my Pur­pose.

Quisquis desidiam, luxum (que) se­quetur inertem,
Dum fugit appositas incauta mente labores,
Turpis inops (que) simul miserabile transiget aevum.

The Advantages that the Exer­cise of Memory will procure to you are innumerable; to you, Gentlemen, chiefly, who design to instruct the Nation from the Pulpit: for besides the Honour, Glory, Esteem and Va­lue [Page xv] that you will thereby obtain from your Congregations by this way of Delivery, besides the greater Effi­cacy and Power that your Words and Preaching will have upon the Minds of your Auditors, besides the pro­moting of the Glory of God, and perhaps the perswading a greater Number thereby out of the broad Road of Eternal Perdition, I must needs tell you that you will quickly find an unspeakable Benefit in a few Years; and your great Pains at first in conquering your natural Weak­nesses will be fully recompensed with a greater Ease, Pleasure and De­light in the publishing of your Me­ditations. You will find that this way of Delivery will smooth and polish your Conceptions and Fancy. [Page xvi] You will find that it will unty your Tongues, and make you more ready to express your selves: you will find that your Labours will be the less, your Preaching more acceptable, your Improvements greater, your Learning more sound, and your selves able upon a sudden to answer all Gain­sayers; for by this means the Body of Divinity will become as familiar to you as your Pater Noster. An­tisthenes, the Athenian Philoso­pher, when a Friend complained that he had lost his Book where he had recorded weighty Matters, told him that he ought not to have trusted things of so great Importance to Pen, Ink and Paper, but to his Memory, where he should always have found them ready at hand in time of need.

[Page xvii] There is one Advantage more which we shall receive by the Exer­cise of our Memories: how conside­rable it may be to us, and what In­fluence it may have to increase and inlarge our Eternal Happiness, we may at a distance guess; for thereby the Soul will be inabled to increase its Abilities, Faculties and Graces, which have a natural Dependance upon this of Memory, and that also will be inabled to retain more; be­cause as there is a strict Union and Communication of all the Perfections between the Soul and Body; so that if one receives an Inlargement, it conveys the same Benefit to the other, and the other becomes more perfect and accomplished in that Ability which its Partner enjoys: The Exercise [Page xviii] therefore of Memory will not only inable the Organ now to perform more perfect Acts, and inlarge the Ability while the Soul is in Conjunction with the Body; but at its Separation, and at the great Morn of the Resurrection, this Perfection with all the rest, be­ing as immortal as the Spirit where it is fixt, and to which it is conveyed, by our constant Endeavours and Cor­respondence with the Body, will then appear more compleat and greater, for the better Reception of future Glory and Bliss, and to our everlasting Com­fort and Satisfaction: Therefore as St. Bernard very well expresseth himself, Ad aeternitatis Gloriam acquirendam nullus labor du­rus, nullum tempus longum vi­deri debet. In Doct.

[Page xix] I would not have those Worthy and Learned Gentlemen of my Functi­on be displeased with this Exhorta­tion and Advice that I address to the Students of our Universities, as if it were designed to undervalue their wise and profitable Meditations pronounced with the Assistance of Book from the Pulpit. Our Nation only is used to this way of Delivery; for we are wont ofttimes, as we ought, to consider and weigh the Things and Expressions more than the manner of the Publication. Nei­ther is it possible for them after a Tract of Time and a long Usage to change their Custom of Preaching. But for the Young Men coming up to supply our vacant Places in Church and State, 'tis now in their [Page xx] Power to alter this Custom, to exer­cise their Memories, to follow the Practice of the Learned Men of other Nations: 'Tis now in their Power to use themselves to such a Practice as will be advantagious to the Glory of God, the Salvation of Souls, the Credit of our Church, and infinitely beneficial to themselves.

I recommend therefore this Trea­tise principally to you, Gentlemen; and let nothing hinder you from the Exercise of your Memories, and the Practice of the Rules here prescribed, which I will assure you from Expe­rience have proved effectual for the overcoming the Weaknesses of Na­ture, and inabling frail Memories to perform the Acts of large and strong. If some of them seem common, de­spise [Page xxi] them not, they will be no less useful if put in Practice. I have not only consulted, in the delivery of them, my own Knowledg and Expe­rience, but have also set down the Advices▪ of several Learned Men about this Subject, and borrowed from the Skill of the Physicians several approved Experiments for the strengthening and corroborating the Faculty of Memory.

However, I intreat you, Gentle­men, to accept kindly from my Pen this Endeavour for your Benefit and the Publick, and this sincere Ex­pression of my earnest Desire of your Success, Promotions and Advan­tages, and of the Prosperity of our Church and Nation.

[Page xxii] I beseech God of his Infinite Bounty to make you all truly use­ful in your Generation, to inlarge your Memories, increase your Learn­ing, bless all your Abilities and Graces, and to preserve you all to his Eternal Kingdom.



PAge 8. line penult. dele all. P. 10. l. 27. read [...]. P. 23. l. 28. r. suscitat. P. 43. l. 26. r. tam. P. 54. l. 3. r. capillis. P. 57. l. 24. r. linguam. P. 58. l. 3. r. dicta. P. 59. l. 13. r. albi. l. 24. put a colon after dictas. P. 60. l. 26. r. bulliant. P. 61. l. 4. r. Stichad [...]s.

  • Chap. 1. OF the Soul or Spirit of Man, page 1
  • Chap. 2. Of Memory, its Seat, and Excellency, p. 18
  • Chap. 3. The Temper or Disposition of the Body best and worst for Memory, with the Natural Causes and Reasons of both, p. 30
  • Chap. 4. Some General and Physical Observations and Prescriptions for the remedying, strengthning, and restoring a Memory injured by the ill Temper of the Body, or the Predominancy of one of the four Qualities in the Brain, p. 38
  • [Page xxiv] Chap. 5. What is very much prejudicial to the Faculty, Habit, and Practice of Memory, p. 42
  • Chap. 6. Of such Natural Things as may be assisting to, and may comfort Memory, from the Procurement of Nature, and the Contrivance of Art, p. 49
  • Chap. 7. Rules to be observed for the Acts or Practice of Memory, p. 62
  • Chap. 8. Rules to be observed to help our Remembrance of things that we desire to preserve in Mind, p. 77
  • Chap. 9. Of Artificial or Fantastical Memory or Remembrance, p. 82

[Page 1]The Art of Memory, &c.

CHAP. I. Of the Soul or Spirit of Man.

THE Excellent and Wonderful Frame of the Human Body, wherein the Wisdom of the Creator shines so beautifully and apparently before our Eyes, being but the Cabinet of the Soul, or the out­ward Shell, made on purpose to receive and entertain this Immortal Creature, gives good reason to imagine that this Jewel is far more excellent and of a grea­ter Worth. Certainly our Wise Maker had no mean Esteem of this Master-piece of the Creation, seeing he hath cau­sed all Visible Beings to be designed for the Good, Assistance, Pleasure, Recrea­tion, Happiness, and Glory of Man. [Page 2] Therefore at the first forming of Adam, the Sacred Trinity proceed with Deli­beration, and act together with an ex­traordinary Care and Consultation; Let us make Man after our own Image. Man bears both in Body and Soul a lively Re­semblance of the Unity and Trinity, and the Relation that our Almighty God has to this great World. For as this uni­versal Spirit gives Life and Motion to every Member and Part, and supports the whole Fabrick by an over-ruling Pro­vidence, and a comprehensive Spirit; thus the Soul is the first and only Princi­ple that actuates, governs, and moves the Microcosm, the Body, and every Sense and Member, being in the whole, and en­tire in every Part. In the Godhead there is a Unity that admits of no Division, an Omnipotent Spirit, not subject to the Infirmities of Separation or Partition. And is not the Soul or Spirit of Man in this Excellency, the Representation of his Heavenly Maker? It is a Unity not to be divided nor cut in parts; it disco­vers it self in the whole Body, and by its Operations in every Member produceth differing Acts according to the Diversity of the Organs. In the Godhead we are [Page 3] informed by the Sacred Pen-men, that there is a Trinity of Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: Likewise in the Soul of Man we find three remark­able and distinct Faculties, the Under­standing, the Will, and the Memory; which tho they be three Abilities or Powers, are but one Soul or Spirit. Of this Resemblance between God and the Soul, Seneca seems to be sensible, when he inquires, Epist. 32. Quid aliud voces Animum, nisi Deum in humano corpore hospitem? And St. Austin, in his Treatise of the Trinity, expresly confirms the Truth of this great Mystery, by this Pa­rallel with the Soul of Man. Man there­fore being the living Image of his Crea­tor, participates in some measure of the Excellency of that Eternal Being: Who in all his Proceedings in relation to this Creature, expresseth a high Esteem of him, and of his Immortal Spirit. For him he seems to have raised, beautified and adorned this great Fabrick of the World, putting all things in Subjection under his Feet, and made him as it were a visible God, to govern, dispose of, and command all the Creatures that inhabit the four Elements. For him he hath [Page 4] kindled so many Glorious Lights in the Firmament above, sending down from thence the continual Expressions of his Kindness and Goodness to Man. For him the World is maintain'd, and the Omni­potent Hand of Divine Providence sup­ports and continues all things entire, for the Completion of that appointed Num­ber of Mankind design'd for Happiness, from the Beginning, by the Divine Wis­dom.

And since Man hath wilfully forsaken his Maker, and join'd himself in Rebellion with the Apostate Spirits, God's Mercy hath not totally rejected him, nor de­barred him from a Return; but on the contrary he invites him back to himself, with the greatest and most endearing Ex­pressions of Love, Kindness and Esteem. The Divine Mercy values the Souls of Men at so high a rate, that it hath given an infinite Price to redeem them; and employs the Agency of an Omnipotent Spirit to sanctify and prepare them for the noble Purposes for which they are design'd. If the Souls of Men had not been full of Excellency, and of a great Value, would the Eternal Wisdom suffer the Son of God to forsake his Glory, and [Page 5] stoop so low to fetch them out of the Depths of Everlasting Misery? Would he have joined himself to this Being, and took upon him our Human Nature? Would he have thought no Pains nor Suffering too great to purchase them to himself? Would he have opened for them the Treasuries of Immortality to enrich them, and commission'd his Holy Spirit to polish and purify them from the Remains of Corruption? Would the Glories of the Heavenly Mansions be pre­paring to receive these Souls, and the Blessed Spirits Above attend to conduct us in our Passage thither, were there no­thing in us worthy of so great Love, Care, Expence and Labour? It plainly appears therefore, by the actings of Di­vine Wisdom, and the proceedings of the Spiritual Beings, who in reason ought to be well acquainted with the real value of the Spirit of Man, that it is of a Di­vine Excellency, and far more worth than the whole World; seeing they have no such regard for any created Being be­sides, as for this visible Governour of the Universe.

If therefore Man's Soul is a Jewel of such extraordinary Worth, if God and [Page 6] the Superiour Beings have for it so great an Esteem; certainly Man should have no less for this better part of himself. However, it is a Madness to prostitute the Interest of the noblest Part to the Lusts, Follies, and Corruption of the vilest, and prefer the deceitful momen­tary and counterfeit Satisfactions of the Body to the real and everlasting Advan­tages of the Soul: A Weakness not excu­sable in a Rational Being.

And if the Abuse of so Divine a Part of our selves be Criminal, the Neglect is Hainous. Remember, O Man, that this Rich and Spiritual Jewel is by the Divine Wisdom committed to thy Care, and recommended to thy Endeavours to be polished and fitted for the adorning the Heavenly Sanctuary above. As there are divers Imperfections that belong to it in the present State, which render it incapable of so high an Advancement, and which must of necessity be first remo­ved by our Religious Practices; so there are several Ornaments, Excellencies, and Improvements requisite before it can ex­pect so great an Honour. It is not possi­ble to leap from our vile and mean Con­dition of Sin and Corruption, to the En­joyment [Page 7] of the Presence of a Holy God, without a due Preparation, or in a mo­ment of Time. We are to draw near by degrees, and labour to attain to those Endowments of the Mind that may pre­dispose and recommend our Souls for the Heavenly State.

There is nothing created in a conditi­on of an absolute Perfection, but in a pos­sibility to be advanced higher, to be en­creased, enlarged, and enriched with greater Perfections. Chiefly the Intelli­gent Beings, who have Abilities and Faculties granted to them for that very purpose by our wise Creator, it is cer­tainly their duty to answer this end of their Creation, to study the Improvement of their Natures, and labour in this Life to draw nearer to Perfection; which tho it be not attainable till we be admitted to the Vision of our God, nevertheless it is both our Duty and Interest to approach as near as we can to that Blessed State, and prepare the Abilities of our Souls for that Glorious End.

And tho all Gifts, Graces and Im­provements of our Nature proceed from God, as the Apostle affirms, that is, from the Assistance of his Holy Spirit and Di­vine [Page 8] Bounty, from the Concurrence of his over-ruling Providence and apparent Benediction, from the secret Actings of his Grace and Wisdom, that influences our Wills and Endeavours; yet we are not to be sluggish and idle. But as we come into the World with active Abi­lities, we are in all reason obliged to em­ploy them, and make them instrumental in procuring our own Good. Nay, we are to seek and endeavour this Improve­ment, and not wholly to depend on the favourable Will and Blessings of our Maker.

But of all Improvements those of the Spiritual part of Man are chiefly to be minded, because our present and future Happiness will thereupon depend, be­cause such Improvements are not subject to the Casualties of the Body, nor cannot easily be taken from us by Violence or Death; but as this excellent Being is Immortal, all the Ornaments and Per­fections acquired to it do accompany it into another State, and are not change­able without our Wills and contrary En­deavours. How soon are the Excellen­cies of the Body destroyed, and [...] the Gifts of God and Nature humbled in the [Page 9] Dust, together with all our Labours to imbellish and adorn this outward part of our Selves, made the Sport and Food of the vilest Worms? But the precious Souls of Men, with the Graces and Ver­tues that enrich them, are not so quickly spoiled; they are to continue with that Heavenly Substance, and to abide with it for ever. Death, the great Destroyer of God's Works, can't separate those Perfe­ctions from the Souls, with which God's Blessings and our Endeavours have en­rich'd them.

For this Noble Part as well as the Body is capable of great Improvement. The latter grows and encreases by de­grees, in the use of the ordinary Methods appointed by God in Nature. Thus the Soul with every Faculty is to be enlarged, increased, and advanced to Perfection, by the means prescribed to us by the Divine Wisdom. The Understanding is to be enriched with an increase of Prudence, Wisdom and Knowledg; the Will of Man with the Habits of Moral and Chri­stian Vertues. Thus ought the other Faculty of the Soul, called the Memory, to be enlarged, increased and imbellished. To this purpose St. Bernard hath an ex­cellent [Page 10] Saying, Dilatari oportet animam, ut fiat habitatio Dei. Sup. Cant. Serm. 28. For that intent our wise Creator hath appointed in his Church the use of his Word and Ordinances, hath ordered his inspired Prophets and Apostles to deliver to us the Sacred Mysteries of our Religi­on, and the most Heavenly Directions, that we may grow in Grace, and in the know­ledg of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. 3. 18. And for the same purpose our good God hath opened to us the Books of Nature and Providence, that we might continually read, study and understand the Secrets of his Divine Wis­dom, and draw nearer to the Perfections of the Mind; unto which we shall never attain till we are admitted to the Vision of God.

Now this precious Jewel is by the Phi­losophers defined, Forma substantialis cor­poris viventis, per quam vivimus, sentimus, nutrimur, intelligimus, & loco movemur; The substantial Form of our living Body, by which we live, are sensible, nourished, understand, and move from place to place. Aristotle tells us, it is [...] of the living organized Body. 'Tis al­together Spiritual, and proceeds from [Page 11] the immediate Agency of our wise God, Creator and Preserver of all things, who at the time of Conception and Formation of the Body, when the Parts and Organs are duly prepared, and fitted to receive this Heavenly Guest, creates it without any Concurrence or Assistance of the Pa­rents. Witness the Words of the Ecclesi­astes, chap. 12. vers. 7. That at the Disso­lution, the Spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

And it is observable in this Excellent and Spiritual Being here are divers Facul­ties, which are either natural, vital or animal, by which the Soul in conjunction with the Body produces divers Functions and Actions of Life. The Natural Fa­culty is that Power of the Soul by which the Body, assisted by the natural Heat and Food, is nourished, grows, and produces acts of Generation. The Vital Faculty is that by which the Vital Spirits are en­gendered in the Heart, and Life is pre­served in the whole Body. The Animal Faculty is likewise that Power of the Soul by which a Man is sensible, moves, and performs the principal Functions, which are Imagination, Reason and Memory; which indeed are the chief Fun­ctions of the reasonable Soul.

[Page 12] We must here take notice of a consi­derable difference between [...] anima, and [...] spiritus. Indeed the Divine Oracles make use of both Words to ex­press the same Spiritual Being; as in Matth. 10. 28. [...] Fear not them which kill the Body, but are not able to kill the Soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both Soul and Body in Hell. This same Soul is named the Spirit, in the last Prayer of the Proto-Martyr, Acts 7. 59. [...] Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit. Therefore the Soul and the Spirit in the Scripture-Language, signi­fies that same Spiritual Being that en­livens, moves, and governs this dull Mass of the Body, which cannot be destroyed by the Malice of Men, and which at the Separation is received into an Estate of Bliss, by our great Saviour, and the Holy Angels his ministring Spirits. Yet if we examine some other Passages of Holy Writ, we shall meet with a Distin­ction not Essential but Accidental. In [Page 13] 1 Thess. 5. 23. St. Paul desires that their whole Spirit, and Soul, and Body be preserved blameless unto the Appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the Author to the He­brews, Chap. 4. v. 12. declares, That the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged Sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of Soul and Spirit.

Interpreters differ something in the Exposition of these two Passages. Mr. Cal­vin understands by the Soul the Will and its Affections, and by the Spirit the Un­derstanding and all its Gifts: which In­terpretation seems to be weak, and not answering the Scope of the Words. O­thers, and amongst the Antient Fathers not a few, tell us, by the Soul is meant the Sensual and Animal Part of Man, and by the Spirit the more refined and more sub­lime Part, the Intellect and its Perfecti­ons. This Interpretation, in my Judg­ment, draws nearest to the meaning of the Apostle: but we must take heed of a gross Error, contrary to all Reason and Philosophy, of some of them, who make Man to be composed of three Parts, Bo­dy, Soul and Spirit, and multiply Beings without Necessity. The Spirit given by God to enliven, move, and govern this [Page 14] Body, is but one, and hath all the Abili­ties granted to it which they ascribe to two distinct Substances; it hath the Power to govern the Senses as it is united to the Body; and as it withdraws it self from the Senses, it performs all Spiritual Operations: Therefore this Gloss which is designed by them to solve the difficult Question about the Descent of Christ in­to Hell, in my Opinion is not Orthodox, nor agreeing with the Principles of Rea­son and Nature.

So that in these two Passages [...] and [...] differ in some respect, but it is only in the Original Signification of the Words, and in the Relation that the Spirit of Man hath to the Body, and the Animal Faculties and Operations. As it is a Spiritual Being separate from the Bo­dy, and enjoys a Subsistence independent from this outward Tabernacle, it is na­med [...], the Spirit of Man, cre­ated by the immediate Hand of God at that moment that it is put to inform and enliven the Organized Body, which takes its immediate Beginning from other Prin­ciples. This Spirit at the Dissolution of the Body is immortal, and returns to God that made it, and cannot be de­stroyed [Page 15] by Death. It enters into ano­ther State, and hath the freedom of its Faculties and Operations, as the Holy Angels above. It is deliver'd from the Pains and Slavery of the Body, and from its Concernment with this vile Part of Man. It enters into a new Acquaintance, and into a Conversation with Beings an­swerable to it self. In this blessed State, stiled in Holy Writ, The Joy of our Lord, The Paradise of God, Fulness of Joy, God's Presence, &c. the Soul or Spirit re­tains all its Perfections, Graces and Abi­lities; and being delivered or let loose from the Body that clogs it, from the Members and Organs decay'd by Sickness or old Age, it thereby arrives to a more excellent Activity than it was formerly capable of, when confined to the Limits and Bondage of the Senses. It is not so much straitned in its Operations as when it was One in Society with the weak and infirm Body; but every Faculty hath the greater liberty to manifest that Improve­ment that hath been made in them by our former Diligence, Industry and La­bours.

But while this Spirit continues in Con­junction with the Body, and operates by [Page 16] the Senses and Organs, it is properly named [...] Anima, or the Soul, and in the Hebrew Tongue [...] a word de­rived from the Verb [...] he breathed, because its present Being and Subsistence relates to the Animal Functions main­tained and continued by our constant breathing. But tho most part of the Actions of this Spiritual Being are pro­duced in and by the Organs of the Body, there are at present many Operations of the Soul that have no relation to the Senses, especially in such as are sanctified by the Spirit of God, and are designed for a better and higher State: There­fore in the former Passage to the Thessa­lonians, St. Paul prays that God would sanctify their Spirits from the Corruption convey'd to them by the vicious Inclina­tions of the Body, and that this immor­tal Part might be preserved pure and undesiled from all Sin and Infection: That the Soul likewise, that is, the same Spirit as it works and acts by the Animal Senses of the Body, and in conjunction with this outward Part, might be also free from Sin and Pollution: And that the Body also with all its Members might be sanctified, and preserved blameless un­to [Page 17] the Appearance of Christ. Likewise the Author to the Hebrews tells us, that the Word of God is so sharp as to divide between the Spirit and the Soul; that is, that it is so exact in its Commands and Injunctions in relation to Piety and Holi­ness, as to lay an Obligation to be circum­spect upon the Spiritual Being of Man in the Actions that are produced in con­junction with the Body, and in the Ope­rations that are separate from the Senses, and that it censures both the Spiritual and the Sensitive Part of Man.

But by this near Conjunction of the Soul and Body, it happens that the Ha­bits of the former are more or less per­fect, and the Actions more or less ex­cellent according to the good or vicious Disposition of the latter. So that an Im­pediment or a Weakness in the Organ may hinder the Soul from acting. But such Impediments, if they proceed not from a natural Deficiency in the princi­pal Part, may in some cases be removed by an assidual Labour, a resolute Industry, a long Usage, and the Blessing of the God of Nature. As in the Example of a famous Orator, who wore away the stammering of his Tongue with Peble [Page 18] Stones, and attained to a Facility of Speech and Memory by speaking often to the roaring Waves of the Sea.

Indeed we are the more indebted to our wise Maker, when he gives an ex­cellent Soul in a well-disposed and well-organized Body, and that the Temper of the one assists the Operations of the other.

CHAP. II. Of Memory, its Seat, and Excel­lency.

ST. Austin names Memory the Soul's Belly or Store-house, or the Receptacle of the Mind, because it is appointed to receive and lay up as in a Treasury those things that may be for our Benefit and Advantage. Divers Names and De­scriptions are given to it, but all may be reduced to this one Definition, That it is that Faculty of the Soul appointed by our wise Creator to receive, retain and preserve the several Ideas convey'd into [Page 19] it by the Inlets of the Understanding, whether intellectual or sensitive.

Two Vertues belong to it, readily to receive, and long to retain whatsoever is committed to its Custody by the Un­derstanding: For Perfection of Memory consists in these two Qualities, quickly to receive the Impressions or Images of things, and to keep them long from Ob­livion, that the Intellect might there find them to employ them for such Uses as Reason may require. There are likewise three differing Acts of this Faculty, tho some reckon but two; 1st, That which we properly call Memory, which is a Re­tention of the Ideas of things admitted into the Soul. 2dly, Recordatio, Remem­brance, or a calling to Mind, or a refresh­ing those Ideas that are there closeted up. 3dly, Reminiscentia, which is a Reco­very of the same Ideas which were for­merly lost, or a renewing of those Im­pressions in the Memory that were blot­ted out, or defaced by Forgetfulness. The first may be found in some measure in the Brutes, and other Animals, who have a kind of local Retention of the Objects that are either grateful or hurt­ful to their Natures; so that the presence [Page 20] of those things cause them either to fly from, or to run to them, having had a former Sense of their good or evil Qua­lities. This Animal Memory differs in this from that of Man, in that it requires the presence of the Objects to mind the dumb Creatures of their past Experience; but the Soul of Man having more perfect and excellent Assistances, needs not the Representation of Things to remember the former Passages; neither is his Me­mory so narrow, so weak and infirm, as that of the Brutes. But the two latter Acts of Memory are not to be found in them, because they depend on the rea­soning of the Understanding, and cannot be produced without that Ability, which we cannot admit in other Animals.

And tho these two Acts, which some reckon to be but one, be produced by the same Faculty as the Acts of Memory, yet they differ in this, that the Memory may be without the use of reasoning, but the others require the Assistance of the Rati­onal Faculty to recover the lost Ideas, by the help of certain Circumstances that remain yet in our Mind. Besides, it's very common, that some who are excellent for Memory, may be the more apt to be [Page 21] guilty of Forgetfulness, and to let slip out of their Thoughts many weighty Matters. Again, Memory precedes Re­membrance in relation to Time, for we can't call to mind Things that we ne­ver had in our Memory before. And I judg there is this difference between Re­cordatio and Reminiscentia, that the first is a plain Remembrance of Things re­maining yet in the Memory, but not thought upon before, by reason of the multiplicity and crowd of other Ideas; whereas Reminiscentia is a recovery of the lost Ideas which were blotted out of the Memory, and again refreshed and renew­ed by the assistance of some known Cir­cumstances and Passages, that lead us to the minding again of those Things that we had forgotten: however we must ac­knowledg between them the difference of magis & minus. Now there are four natural Motions observable in Memory; First, the Motion of the Spirits, which convey the Species or Ideas from the thinking Faculty to that of Memory. Secondly, the Formation or Reception of those Ideas, and the fixing or imprinting them into the Fancy. Thirdly, a retur­ning back of those Spirits from the me­morative [Page 22] Faculty to the rational. Fourth­ly, that Action by which the thinking Faculty reviews what is treasured up in Memory, which indeed is the very Act of Memory. Therefore some have de­fined Memory, Apprehensio in Anima ex­istentium specierum cum indagatione & in­quisitione; An Apprehension of the Mind of those Ideas that are in the Soul, ac­companied by a Search and Inquisition.

We must here make one Observation more; That as the Peripateticks commonly distinguish three distinct Things in every Faculty, so we must note the same in that of Memory. First, there is the Faculty, Power or Ability of Memory, which we fancy to reside in the Soul as in its proper Subject, and to produce Acts by that Or­gan appointed by our wise Maker, name­ly the Cerebellum. Secondly, to this Abi­lity or Faculty belongs the Habit of Me­mory, which is acquired by repeated Acts; for there may be a Faculty in the Soul, which through Neglect or otherwise may be useless, and it often happens that the Faculty is perfected by a constant and continual Practice and Habit, whereas Slothfulness decays and ruines the most excellent Ability. The third Thing [Page 23] observable in Memory, is the several Acts produced by the Faculty, which at last make up an Habit. We shall find this Distinction to be of some use in the fol­lowing Chapters.

Now the Seat of Memory is generally acknowledged to be in the hinder part of the Head, which we call Occiput; in the third Closet, named Ventriculus, Puppis, or Cerebellum. For as all the Naturalists are of opinion, that in the Brain there are three Operations of the Soul, the Imagi­nation, Reason, and Memory; they have from the Direction of Experience, assigned to the two first the two greater Closets of the Brain, and to the latter the less and hindermost. For I need not busy my self to prove that all the Functi­ons of Life have their particular Organs; and the Soul acting little or nothing without the concurrence and assistance of the Body, our wise Creator hath ap­pointed the several distinct parts where the Spirit is to move and act, to produce the differing Actions of Life; according to that old and approved Saying of the Physicians,

Cor sapit, & pulmo loquitur, fel suscitat iras,
Splen ridere facit, cogit amare jecur:

[Page 24] The Heart is the Seat of Wisdom, the Lights are employed in Speaking, the Gaul moves us to Anger, the Spleen inclines to Laughter, and the Liver to an Amorous Temper. Thus in this Clo­set of Memory the Soul treasures up the Ideas of Things, making use of a clear and subtile Spirit, ascending from the Heart, to form the Impressions, which contain either a longer or shorter space, answerable to the Temperature of the Body, and the Largeness of this Closet: For they have observed, that such have a capacious Memory whose hinder-part of the Head is larger than ordinary; but when that part is otherwise, plain, and narrow, such Persons are seldom gifted with a rich and an officious Memory. It is most certain that the good or evil Dis­position of the hindermost part of the Head contributes much either to the largeness or shallowness of Memory. For when that part of the Brain is sound, and the Passage open and wide, by which the Spirits ascend up to it with Ease, and without any Obstruction, such Men are quick of Apprehension, and their Memo­ry is the more happy, and the more sus­ceptible of the Ideas. But if the way be [Page 25] obstructed that conveys up the Spirits, or if there be any natural or casual De­fect in that part, they will quickly find it by the decay of Memory. Some having received a considerable Blow in that side of the Head, as a Greek Author relates, forgot all their nearest Relations. And it is reported of Messala Corvinus the Orator, that by an Accident he became so stupified as to forget his own Name. The Casualties therefore that may hap­pen to this excellent Faculty, by the Pre­judices to which this part of the Brain is subject, should awaken our Care and Diligence to preserve and defend it.

But as the Parts of the Body, and the Soundness and Perfection of the Brain, are great Helps to a good Memory; they have caused the Naturalists to divide Memory into Natural and Artificial. The Natural is when the Person hath this great Advantage from his Natural Parts, without any help from his own Industry, and when his wise Maker hath bestowed upon him all the inward Qualifications needful for a large and happy Memory. The Artificial is that which is acquired by our Care, Study, Invention and La­bour. For it is the Opinion of Cicero, [Page 26] That the goodness of our Memory pro­ceeds not always from our Natural Per­fections, but sometimes from the Contri­vance and Art of Man. And our Expe­rience can verify the same, that Memory is capable of increase and decrease; and that the Art of Man may add much, and accomplish this excellent Ability. How­ever, if we offer to neglect, and suffer this rare Faculty to be unpolish'd and co­vered over, as it were, with the Rubbish of Idleness and Debauchery, when God and Nature have been bountiful to us in this respect, we cannot expect to use it with that Advantage, as others who have laboured to increase their Maker's Gifts by their Study and Industry. Of some it hath been reported, that they had prodigious Memories. Mithridates, that famous Enemy of the Roman State, was once a King of two and twenty King­doms, where so many differing Langua­ges were spoken; which he understood so well, that he could speak every one of them, and to all his Subjects, without an Interpreter. The Great Cyrus had so large a Memory, that he could call every Souldier of his numerous Army by his proper Name. Likewise Seneca tells us [Page 27] of himself, that he could repeat 2000 distinct Names that had no dependance. And in our late Days, the Cardinal du Perron was able to repeat, without missing a Word, two hundred Verses which were spoken before Henry the Fourth by a famous Poet, and never heard nor saw them before. Likewise in our Age and Nation, some carry with them whole Libraries in their Memory: Which in reason cannot be expected, un­less Men endeavour to improve this rare Gift of God by a continued Exercise. I need not inlarge upon the Usefulness and Excellency of Memory, to incline Men to the practice of the Means to attain to it. All other Abilities of the Mind borrow from hence their Beauty, Ornaments, and Perfections, as from a common Trea­sury: And the other Capacities and Fa­culties of the Soul are useless without this. For to what purpose is Knowledg and Understanding, if we want Memory to preserve and use it? What signify all other Spiritual Gifts, if they are lost as soon as they are obtained? It is Memory alone that enriches the Mind, that pre­serves what Labour and Industry collect, which supply this Noble and Heavenly [Page 28] Being with those Divine Excellencies, by which it is prepared for a Glorious Im­mortality. In a word, there can be nei­ther Knowledg, neither Arts nor Sci­ences, without Memory: Nor can there be any improvement of Mankind, either in respect of the present Welfare, or fu­ture Happiness, without the Assistance and Influence of this Supernatural Abili­ty. Memory is the Mother of Wisdom, the common Nurse of Knowledg and Vertue, as the Poet very well hath express'd,

Sophiam me vocant Graeci, vos sapientiam,
Ʋsus me genuit, mater peperit memoria.

But as these Lines are designed for the Benefit and Encouragement of their Me­mories chiefly who are to appear in the Pulpit, or at the Bar, to speak in the Audience of the People; I need not tell them with St. Austin, Memoria in primis oratori necessaria, That there is no Ability more useful to an Orator than Memory: For it gives Life to what is spoken, and makes a deeper Impression in the Minds of Men; it awakens the dullest Spirits, and causeth them to receive a Discourse [Page 29] more kindly than otherwise; it adds a Grace, and an extraordinary Excellency, both to the Person and his Oration, and is the greatest Ornament of that part of Rhetorick that we commonly name Pro­nunciatio. So that if there is any thing worthy to be esteemed or valued in that Art, so useful in a Common-wealth, 'tis all borrowed from Memory alone; which gives the greatest weight and efficacy to the Words that are spoken. It is repor­ted of Eschines, that when he came to Rhodes, he read to the Inhabitants a fa­mous Oration of Demosthenes, which they very much admired, tho pronounced without the Grace of an Orator: But said he to them, Quid si ipsum audissetis? How much more would you admire and esteem this Oration, if you had heard it from his own Mouth? But our daily Ex­perience can declare more of the Excel­lency of this rare Ability.

I shall therefore proceed to examine what Temper is most agreeable with a good Memory.

CHAP. III. The Temper or Disposition of the Body best and worst for Memory, with the Natural Causes and Rea­sons of both.

MEmory is named, or rather descri­bed, by Plato, that great and fa­mous Philosopher of his Age, the Sound­ness of the Senses, because the Soul ma­king use of the Senses of the Body to receive the Impressions of Things, the Memory is either larger or narrower, greater or less, according to the good or ill Qualities of the Senses, and the Ideas are more or less lasting in Man. However, 'tis most certain that in gene­ral it is requisite for a good Memory, that the Body be in a perfect Health; for if either the whole be distemper'd, or any part be diseased, the Sufferings are communicated to every Member, and [Page 31] all are sensible in some respect of the Pain with the disaffected Part; and the Disease, whatever it be, disorders the Functions more or less, according to the nearness of Communication. Some Diseases have that evil Influence that they totally de­prive us of our Memory for a time, as those that seize upon the Head and Brain, and such as distemper the Nerves and Veins that are uppermost, and corrupt the Blood and Spirits which are used for the Exercise of Memory. Besides, when any part of the Body is diseased, the Mind is distracted, and cannot so readily per­form that Office, as when it enjoys a per­fect Tranquillity free from the Avocati­ons of Maladies and Pain. Likewise, if the Spirit be disturbed by the violent Passi­ons of Anger, Fear, Despair, &c. the Exercise of Memory can never be so free, because it requires a sedate and quiet Temper of Mind as well as a Soundness in the Body. All the Alarms and Troubles of the Soul blot out the Ideas that are already entertain'd, and hinder others from coming in. They obstruct all the Passages; and the Crowd of Thoughts that in such Cases arise is a great hindrance to Memory.

[Page 32] But the Learned observe, that two Tempers of the Body or Brain are Ene­mies to a good Memory, and that such can never expect any great Advantage from this Ability that in those cases is naturally disinabled. The first is a Tem­per extraordinary Cold, for thereby the necessary Motions are stopt, and the Passa­ges for a speedy Conveyance frozen, and the Imagination as it were benumm'd. So that as a convenient Heat of the Body is a notable Help to an active Memory, a cold Temper can never be so quick in Apprehension, nor receive the Impressi­ons that are offered. Therefore a noted Physician names Cold the Mother of For­getfulness, and declares that there can be nothing more pernicious to Memory, either to the admittance of the Ideas, or to the making use of them, than an inward or a too violent and ambient Cold.

The second Temper unfit for Memory is Moist, when a too great Humidity seizes upon the Brain, as in Drunkenness, Intemperance, and Defluxions; Memo­ry in such a case may quickly receive an Impression, but it will as speedily lose it: As a Ship at Sea running swiftly through [Page 33] the Waves, leaves behind a Track, which is almost assoon lost as made, so that no sign can be found of its Passage through that fluid Element. So the Moisture of the Brain may be susceptible of an Idea for the present, but 'tis not lasting, nor is there any sign a little after of any such matter. Those Persons may re­member the things near at hand, but they seldom call to mind that which hath been long ago done.

I might add a third Temper very much unfit for Memory, that is, an extraor­dinary dry Brain, or a corrupt Disposi­tion of Body, proceeding from too much Heat and Driness: for tho these two Qualities are necessary Assistants of a good Memory, both for Reception and Retention, yet when they exceed the Pre­script of Nature, they must needs be offen­sive to Health, and consequently to the Practice of Memory. It is therefore needful for this purpose that the four Qualities of the Body be in an Equilibrium, in an equal Ballance; because this Equality serves very much for a more ready For­mation of the Ideas, and inables the Organ the better to receive and retain them. But of the four Qualities it is [Page 34] observed, that Cold and Moist are the most destructive to Memory; an excessive Cold being the greatest Enemy of Na­ture, and of its Preservation. For Humi­dity, it cannot be expected that when the Brain is drowned in Liquor, or over­flows with Humours, that in such an In­undation Memory can act and perform its Duty with that Exactness, and in that Perfection that it can at other times, and in a better Temper. Now 'tis not diffi­cult to understand what Quality is pre­dominant by these following Experi­ments: First, by our Sleep; for if we are more inclinable to it than ordinary, it is a sign of a wet and moist Brain, that makes us heavy and drowsy; but if we cannot take our usual Rest, it is an evi­dent Token of a dry Temper. Besides, this Humidity falls down into the Palate by an extraordinary Spittle, breaks out of the corner of the Eyes, and evacuates it self through the Nose and other Con­veyances from the Brain, in a greater abundance than is usual. But if the Brain be too dry, you will not be able to close your Eyes as formerly, you will find a Lightness in the Head, there will be seldom any natural Evacuations, and the [Page 35] Eyes will appear sunk into the Head, and the Excrements of the Ears will encrease. This is the Case of such as grow in Years, which causeth old Age to be less sus­ceptible of new Impressions in their Me­mory, but to be more retentive of those that are there already: So that all the Passages of their youthful days they can quickly call to mind.

But if an inward Cold predominates, it will appear by these Signs: The Face will seem very white, the Eyes languish­ing, the Veins will scarce be seen; a Cold may be felt about the Parts next to the Head, and a Dulness and Stupidity seizeth in such a case upon the Spirits and Brain; so that by this means Men are rendered less fit for Action. Now it is observed by Physicians, that the Brain is naturally hotter in Summer than in Winter, unless it be when some Di­stemper increaseth the internal Heat, and augments it the more by reason of the ambient Cold.

If too much Heat be in the Brain, it may be perceived by these infallible Signs. All the Parts about the Head will be hotter and more red than or­dinary, the Eyes will be rolling and [Page 36] fiery, the Temples burning, and the Per­son cannot be inclinable to sleep, because all the Vapours that cause Drowsiness are consumed by that internal Heat, and dried up as soon as they enter the Closets of the Brain. From what hath been said it is most certain, that a moderate Temper, where all the four Qualities cor­respond and agree in an Equality, is the most fit for the Practice of a good Memo­ry; and when any of these exceed the natural Proportion, both the Health and Memory also are impaired in that Body, and rendered more unfit for Exercise. In such cases therefore the Physicians Art may be very useful to restore Health, to rectify the Brain, to remedy the Temper, and remove the superfluous and perni­cious Quality, and consequently it may preserve, increase, inlarge and help Me­mory. For as it is most certain that di­vers Diseases destroy this Ability, or disinable it; so it is unquestionable that several Remedies may assist, comfort and corroborate this excellent Faculty, which requires a good Disposition of Body, a careful Government of our selves, and an Abstinence from the Extravagancies and Debaucheries of the Age.

[Page 37] Now in some Cases 'tis impossible to remedy a decay'd Memory, as when Na­ture fails through some violent Disease; when an extraordinary Heat and internal Driness hath corrupted the vital Parts, or the Closet of Memory, and filled it with infected Spirits; or when old Age brings a Diminution to our Strength, Vi­gor, Abilities, and all our Natural Parts decay with our Body. 'Tis then in vain to attempt by Physick to help or remedy that which is naturally lost and perished. However in such Cases we may preserve what remains of Memory by a regular manner of living, and by such Food as may expel the inward Driness and Cold, and comfort the Brain with a Recruit of wholsome Spirits, proceeding from the Easiness and Quickness of Digestion.

CHAP. IV. Some General and Physical Observa­tions and Prescriptions for the remedying, strengthning, and re­storing a Memory injured by the ill Temper of the Body, or the Predominancy of one of the four Qualities in the Brain.

THE Excellency of Memory, as we have taken notice, depending whol­ly upon the Health and good Disposition of the Body, 'tis not to be doubted but that which restores Health to the one, is by consequence useful and assisting to the Welfare and Operations of the other. Chiefly, if the Head or Brain be any ways damnified, incumbred or prejudiced, such Medicines as are proper to remove the ill Qualities, or to restore Soundness, are also proper to help Memory: Divers therefore are prescribed by the most emi­nent [Page 39] Physicians, answerable to the several Distempers of the Brain, and the Causes from whence they proceed.

First; If by reason of extraordinary Loosness and immoderate Evacuations, or of any internal Driness, the Memory be prejudiced, we must seek a Remedy from a convenient Diet, which may strengthen the Body, and comfort the Spirits and Senses. In such a Case juicy Meats are to be used, and such as are of easy Di­gestion in the Stomach; good and whol­some Drinks are to be taken, as Claret Wine, Metheglin well made, &c. We are likewise to exercise our Bodies mo­derately, and without being tired; we ought to rub the Head and Temples soft­ly with Woollen Clothes, and endeavour to restore the Body to its ordinary Tem­per by Sleep, Bathing, and other natural Means. But if the Brain and Memory be injured by reason of an internal Cold, Heat must be applied to expel it (as Humidity is used to remedy the Driness of the Temper) but always with a con­venient Moderation; for we must take heed that we heat not the Brain too much, nor totally dry up the internal Humidity, for fear of falling into a more [Page 40] dangerous Distemper, which may deprive us both of Life and Memory together. When the Brain is out of order by rea­son of Cold and Moisture, the Air is to be chosen for the Patient to live in which may be hot and drying: and in wet and cold misty Weather, the Chamber or Dwelling where he is, ought to be per­fumed with hot and odoriferous Herbs, as Sage, Marjoram, Lavender, Rose­mary, Thyme, wild Thyme; and let a Smoak be made of some of these well­scented Herbs in the Chamber, together with Juniper, (for such Perfumes will dry the Air, and help the Brain) chiefly of that Indian Amber that is named the Gum of the Soul. The Diet ought to be according to the Distemper, of such Meats as are of an easy Concoction; and tho some Physicians forbid cold Sallets, I suppose they may be of great use, chief­ly in the Spring and Summer, to some hot Stomachs, as Lettice, Purslane, Spinage, Corn-sallet, Cichory, Endive, and Na­sturtium; the latter being good to stir up the Spirits, and a natural Remedy a­gainst Sloth; from whence comes the old Direction to a Sluggard, Vade & ede Nasturtium. Likewise it is very proper [Page 41] in many Distempers of the Brain, to open a Vein, and free the superiour Parts from the over-flowings of Blood, and to give a gentle Purgation, either by Potions, Pills, or other usual Means, according to the Advice of experienced Physicians, and the Nature of the Distemper. Now such Diseases incident to the Brain are either in the Cavities, or the Substance of the Brain; in the first are chiefly these, Vertigo, Catarrh, Epilepsia, Apoplexia, Pal­sy, Convulsion, Trembling: in the Substance are these, Phrenzy, Melancholy, Madness, Loss or Hurt of Memory, sleepy Dis­eases, &c. All which, as they bring a present Prejudice to the Faculty of Me­mory, so they are to be removed and cu­red before it can act with Vigor.

But if the Disease proceeds from a too great Increase of the Humours, such skilful Physicians are to be consulted, and proper Remedies are to be applied for the correcting and removing of those Humours, as Bleeding, Purgations, Glis­ters, Vomits, Issues, &c.

Now 'tis most certain that divers Oint­ments, Snuffs, Perfumes, Plaisters, and Medicines are applicable to the Head and Temples, for curing several Distempers of [Page 42] the Brain: But this being a Subject that more properly concerns the Physician, I shall only advise the Patient to be very cautious in making use of Remedies for the removing of Diseases of the Head, which is a tender Part; and when once the Part or Organ is wounded, 'tis a ve­ry difficult Task to cure it, and with­out a Miracle it can never be made whole.

CHAP. V. What is very much prejudicial to the Faculty, Habit, and Practice of Memory.

THE Memory residing in so tender a Part as the Brain, Nature hath had a particular care to preserve it from all Casualties by a thick Skull: It shews thereby what Esteem, Value, and Ten­derness we are to have for that Part of the Body, and how much it concerns us to take heed it be not injured either by [Page 43] our own Miscarriages, or by others En­deavours. Certainly we are worthy of blame if we ruin that most excellent and most necessary Part of our selves, and run wilfully into such Actions as are hurtful to our Brain and Memory. Now it is observed, and we may understand it from our own Experience, that these following Particulars are prejudicial to Memory.

1. All Crudities, Repletion, and Indi­gestions of the Stomach; for they en­gender many dangerous Diseases, disor­der the Brain, and send up infectious Va­pours, which cause Pains in the Head, Giddiness, and several other Distempers: consequently they are pernicious to Rea­son and Memory, as St. Ambrose tells us, Cibus immodicus & Animae & Corpori no­cent: An excessive Eating hurts both the Soul and Body.

2. Drunkenness is offensive to the Brain, and all its Functions, because it fills it full of Humours, and naturally causeth Forgetfulness. And as a Father expresseth himself, Ebrietas Tempestas est tam in Ani­mo quam in Corpore, & seipsam ignorat; It is a Storm both in the Body and Soul, and causeth us to forget and be unmind­ful [Page 44] of our selves. Therefore the use of strong Wines is dangerous, and a fre­quent ingorging and constant Debau­chery turns Men into Sots and Beasts, and weakens all the Operations of the Brain. I cannot but mind here what Suetonius writes of Claudius Caesar, that by Drunkenness he had forgot what he had commanded but an hour before: for having ordered his impudent and leche­rous Wife and Empress Messalina, to be put to Death, because of her unsuffera­ble and publick Adulteries, when he sat down to eat Meat a while after, asked his Officers and Servants what their La­dy was doing, that she came not as usual­ly to Table with him. And the same Roman Author, with others, tell us of Vitellius, who when he came to the Em­pire, gave himself over to such Debau­chery and Drunkenness, that he lost and drowned all his Memory and Reason.

3. A violent and outward Cold in the Night-season offends the Brain, if the Head be not well covered. Therefore for the better Preservation of the Seat of Memory, it is convenient to keep our Heads warm, according to this French Direction, Gardez chaux les pieds & Lateste, [Page 45] audemeurant vivez en besse; keep warm the Feet and the Head, but for the rest live as the Beasts.

4. To take cold and wet in the Feet in Winter-time weakens the Eye-sight, and injures the Memory, because of that great Correspondence that there is be­tween these two Extremities, the Head and the Feet.

5. An extraordinary and hot Air, or a burning Sun, disturbs the Mind, and pre­judices Memory, if we suffer it long to work upon us.

6. All windy Foods and Drinks are not good for the Assistance of Memory, but rather contrary, unless Nature car­ries them speedily off in the ordinary course.

7. We must avoid eating in the Eve­ning such things as may increase too much the ascending Vapors, and cause a too great Humidity in the Brain, or may be of an ill Digestion, or may too much fume up into the Head: for tho such things may incline to Sleep, they may have a bad Effect upon the Seat of Memory; and remember these seasona­ble Verses,

[Page 46]
Ex magna Coena stomacho fit maxima poena,
Ʋt sis nocte levis, sit tibi Coena brevis.

8. Forbear drinking too much imme­diately after eating, chiefly after Supper, for that will but spoil and hinder Di­gestion, and will prove offensive to the Brain and Memory.

9. An extraordinary Idleness and La­ziness of Body begets and encreases ill Humours, which have bad Influence upon the Faculty of Memory: Therefore a moderate Exercise becomes us as Men, and is very useful for our Health, and the Safety of our Being; as an antient Phi­losopher taught his Disciples, by telling them, that Exercitium confert ad Corpus & Animum; that Exercise is profitable both to the Body and Soul.

10. Forbear sleeping immediately after a plentiful Supper or Dinner, before the Food hath past down from the Orifice into the bottom of the Stomach; for there is nothing more pernicious, be­cause it prevents the working of Nature, and causeth often the good Food to be­come bad, and to disturb both the Body and Mind.

[Page 47] 11. A too frequent and violent use of Venus, when the Stomach is altogether empty, or too full, or contrary to the Rules of Conjugal Chastity and Religion, is very dangerous, not only to the Body, but also to the Soul, and all its Faculties: For such an irregular Act draws a Curse after it, and obligeth our just and wise God to withdraw his Blessing from such Contemners of his Laws, enacted for our Safety and Preservation.

12. Fear, Sadness, Anger, violent Passions, and melancholy Thoughts are no Friends to Memory; for they disturb the Mind, disquiet the Soul, and disorder all the Faculties.

13. A too violent Vomiting is destru­ctive to Memory, because it forces Na­ture, and discomposes the Brain.

14. A disquieted Mind can never make use of Memory, tho the Faculty may be good, and assisted by Exercise, and strengthned by Habit; yet while the Soul is alarm'd, and dissatisfied, it can never in the midst of its Troubles use its Memory with Freedom, and so well, as in a more peaceable Temper and Dis­position.

[Page 48] 15. All such Motions of the Body as cause Giddiness, or Swimming in the Head, are destructive to Memory. Therefore we should have a special care to avoid Falls from high Places, turning round, or Blows upon the hinder part of the Head. For, if we may believe Thu­cidides, some by that means, in the Gre­cian Wars, lost totally the use of their Memories: For by that Violence the Seat of Memory received so great a Prejudice, that the Faculty could make no use of it; and the Contusion was so great, that the Brain was disturbed, and could receive no more Impressions, nor preserve them that were there before.

These Experiments are not to be neg­lected, by those who design to attain to a Perfection of Memory; for they are of dangerous Consequence, as our Experi­ence can witness, to the Faculty of Me­mory, and to the other Functions of the Brain.

CHAP. VI. Of such Natural Things as may be assisting to, and may comfort Me­mory, from the Procurement of Nature, and the Contrivance of Art.

GOD and Nature have bestowed upon us Faculties and Abilities, and with them Means to inlarge and assist them in the performance of their several Offices. As there are some things to be avoided, which may be pernicious to them, so there are others to be used and employed for this good purpose, for a more ready Execution and Discharge of their Duties and Functions. Memory, this excellent Ability of the Soul, may meet with many Helps in the Course of Nature to strengthen it, and render it more per­fect. I shall recommend these following.

1. A moderate and convenient Exer­cise of Body before we sit to Meat, to [Page 50] prepare the Stomach for a more hearty Reception, and a better Digestion, is useful not only to the Faculty of Memo­ry, but to all other Animal Functions; for from thence proceed those good Spi­rits which help all the Offices of the Brain, and make it more able to act with Vigour: Such an Exercise, I mean, as may be answerable to the Abilities, Cal­ling, and Employment of the Person; such an Exercise as may free us from all Natural Superfluities, which may incom­mode, incumber, or burden Nature.

2. It becomes us to feed upon such tem­perate Meats as may agree with our Sto­machs as well as our Appetites, and to eat and drink with that Moderation, as may tend to strengthen and not to destroy Na­ture: for as there is nothing more perni­cious to the Faculty of Memory than Ex­cess, Drunkenness, and Gluttony, so there is nothing that can better preserve it than a sober use of those good things that Nature affords to supply the daily Defici­encies, and corroborate our Strength.

3. There are some things that may hin­der the ill Fumes of the Stomach from ascending higher, which are useful to strengthen Memory after a plentiful Re­past, [Page 51] as Stiptick, Fruits well prepared by Art or Nature, Coriander Seed well pre­served with Sugar, and other Things.

4. A moderate Joy and Contentment of Mind is very profitable for the preser­ving and fortifying this Ability of Me­mory: For if the Soul be uneasy, all the chief Faculties are disturbed, more espe­cially Memory, and render'd more unfit for Action.

5. To wash our Feet often in hot Wa­ter, wherein we have boiled some Ca­momile, Lawrel, Balm-mint, and some other odoriferous Herbs, is very comfor­table to the Brain, the Eyes, and the Memory: For besides the good effect the hot Liquor hath upon the Head, the Scent of such Herbs serves very much to refresh the Spirits, and comfort the Brain. Therefore in Summer the smell of Roses, and other fragrant Flowers, is not useless, but advantageous to this purpose.

6. A convenient Purgation of all Su­perfluities of Nature is likewise helpful to the Faculty of Memory: for when there is a Stoppage of that which ought to be cast out, there is a Burden that is not only troublesom to the Person, but [Page 52] also of a dangerous Consequence to the Health and Life, and to all the Superiour Faculties and Functions that are thereby hindered in their Actions and Opera­tions.

Now Physicians inform us, that this tender part of Man, namely the Brain, is injured and prejudiced by three Means. First, By a violent breaking in of the Ex­crements of the Body, or of any part of it. Secondly, By nourishing and har­bouring some ill Quality. Thirdly, By retaining the usual and natural Purgati­ons, when they have not their ordinary Course by the common Passages appoint­ed by our wise Maker: For as there are continual Vapours ascending to the Brain from the inferior parts, designed for the nourishing and assisting the Brain in the several Functions of Life; so there must be some Evacuations for that which is su­perfluous and useless in Nature, to be voided. Now these Vapours, if they have any ill Quality, or are any ways offensive to the Brain, do quickly hin­der the Operations of Life and Reason. For there is no part of the Body more tender than this, no Part is sooner and more susceptible of pernicious Fumes [Page 53] and Vapours than the Brain. Our good God therefore hath provided, amongst the Natural Things, a great many An­tidotes, and comfortable Herbs, &c. which are proper to help and restore the Brain to its usual Temper and Perfection, and consequently to assist and preserve Memory. Now amongst the Natural Things, and those that may be prepared by Art for the use of Memory, are ei­ther Pouders for the Head, or Pouders to snuff up in the Nose; Plaisters to apply to the Temples or other part of the Head; Bathings, Drinks, Fruits, Confections, Smells, Purgations, Oint­ments, &c.

1. Of Pouders to dry up the Humours of the Head, and cleanse the Hair: they are very useful for the strengthning of the Memory, when the Person is of a moist Temper, and that he finds a too great Humidity to burden the internal part, and disturb his Fancy; or if he be often afflicted with a Cephalalgia, proceeding from Cold or Vapours. But such Pou­ders are to be made of Odoriferous Herbs, and well scented, which may be pleasing to the Smell. Riverius prescribes for this purpose, this excellent Pouder. [Page 54] Pulveris Ireos Florentini, lb ss; Storacis, Ben­joini, ana ℥ ii. fiat pulvis tenuissimus capil­li [...] inspergendus in lecti introitu, & mane pectine decutiendus; si efficaciam intendere volueris, adde caryophillos, nucem moschatam, & cinamomum.

2. Sneezing Pouders well prepared are of great use, but may prove per­nicious if any thing is offensive to the Brain in the Composition. Now the same Author recommends the dried Leaves of Marjoram, Sage, Rosemary, the Roots of the Herb Pyrethrum, of Lingwort perfumed with Musk, to be a choice Sneezing Pouder, to comfort the Brain and Memory. And the Herb Galangal well dried, and reduced to Pouder, is very useful to strengthen Memory. Ano­ther good Sneezing Pouder may be made of Pepper, with the Herb Condisi, white Lingwort, and Lillies, with some perfu­med Gums. But we must have a care not to offend Nature by a too frequent use of these or other Snuffs, which may prejudice the Brain.

3. And as all noisome Smells are hurt­ful to the Brain, and when they are con­tinually taken are infectious; so there is a great Benefit to be expected from good [Page 55] and wholsome Scents, as of Flowers, Perfumes, &c. This is excellent to com­fort the Brain; Take Lign-aloes, Frankin­cense, Gum-mastix, Red Roses, Leaves of Betony, Cinamon, Mace, Spice, Cloves, with Styrax; and with all this make a Pouder: cast it on a Chafing-dish of Coals in a Morning, and it will wonderfully comfort the Brain and help Memory.

4. Divers Plaisters, when we find a Decay in Memory, may be useful for the helping the Brain: As a Plaister made of Mustard-seed, and clapt to the hin­der part of the Head, or the Oil of Mustard-seed when applied to that Part. Or if you please to be at greater Ex­pence, take Florentine, Lillies, the Herbs Hermodactyle and Pyrethrum, Leaves of the wild Vine, Pigeon-dung, Mustard-seed, of each an Ounce; mix them with Moschata Nuts, Spice, Cloves, Cinamon, and Pepper, and make a Plaister, which you may likewise apply to the hinder part of the Head, and you will find it will increase and help Memory. And a certain famous Author assures us, that the Gall of a Partridg anointed about the Temples does wonderfully streng­then the Seat of Memory; as also the [Page 56] Brains of Birds and Fowls roasted, and chiefly of Hens, are not useless for the same purpose.

5. If you please to try this Experi­ment, you will find it of great use, as some Learned Physicians tell us; Take the Seed of Orminum, and reduce it to Pouder, and every Morning take a small quantity in a Glass of Wine. And they say that the Shavings or Pouder of Ivory produce the same Effect, namely, the corroborating of the Brain and Me­mory; as likewise a Grain of white Frankincense taken in a Draught of Li­quor when we go to Bed, dries up the offensive Humours of the Brain. And it hath been observed, that the Applica­tion of Gold to that Sutura which di­vides the Seat of Memory from the other Closets of the Brain, strengthens the Weakness of the Head, drives away all Pain, and hath a wonderful Effect upon the Faculty of Memory.

6. There are some Ointments to be made for the same Intent, as this; Take of the Fat of Hens or Capons, together with the Fat of a Cow, and Gum of Ivy, of each a Pound; which being distilled in a Lymbick with a soft Fire into an [Page 57] Oil, is very good to anoint the Temples and the Wrists three times a Week. Here is another Ointment which Aristo­tle is said to have often used for the strengthning of his Memory: Take of the Fat of Moles, Bears if it be to be had, of Weesel and Bever, or instead of that of Otter, of each an equal Quanti­ty, Juice of Betony and Rosemary; of all which make an Ointment to anoint the Temples chiefly in cold Weather.

A famous Author tells us, Ʋt profundè Memoria teneas, & perpetuò ut (que) velociter apprehendas, hoc usi sunt multi magni Viri: Recipe radicum linguae bovinae, radicum va­lerianae, ana uncias quatuor; radicum rutae uncias duas; fac inde pulveres subtilissimos: postea recipe succum euphragiae, sclareae sive ormini, berbenaeque, ana uncias qua­tuor; coletur bene succis per pannum: postea misce succos simul, & pulveres separatim: postea recipe medullam anacardorum unciae unius pondere, & fac pulverem ut supra. Item recipe lingu [...] avis, id est semen fraxi­ni, & fac pulverem subtilissimum: postea misce omnia praedicta simul, scilicet succos & pulveres, & accipe sartaginem terream vitreatam, & pone ad ignem, intus (que) pone ex ursi pinguedine, & funde seu liquefac [Page 58] paulatim, & intos projice dictos pulveres, cum succis miscendo, semper apponendo de dicto pinguedine, quous (que) fiat Ʋnguentum subtilissimum; quo unge tempora, & partem Memoriae, & frontem, & verticis partem versus nucham; hoc (que) ter vel quater in anno facies, & continuabis sic ungendo etiam, pro­ut magis aut minus oportebit. Hoc enim in virtute excedit superstitiosam artem noto­riam.

Again, another Experiment may be tried for the same purpose. Recipe octo calices aquae communis, foliorum hederae, sti­chadis, ana lib. unam semis; ponantur simul in aqua, ad bulliendum fere ad consumptio­nem aquae; postea coletur benè, & expri­matur, & intus pone modicum terebinthinae lotae cum rosaceo: postea caput lava cum bono lixivio, & post siccationem unge cum praedicto liquore tempora & occiput.

The same Author recommends to us the making of this perfum'd Apple for the comforting of the Brain and Memory. Recipe Ladani, ligni Aloes, Styracis, ana drach. unam; Caryophillorum, nucis mos­chatae, seminis Ozimi, ana drach. semis, cum aqua rosacea, in qua nonnihil Moschi & Ambari dissolutum sit; fiat pomum.

[Page 59] Another Prescription we find recom­mended to us by a worthy Author in this manner. Ad habendam profundam memoriam, vel siquis eam ex debilitate vel infirmitate amisisset; valet etiam Vertigini. Recipe Roris marini, id est Libanotidis, Bo­raginis, Chamaemeli, Violarum, Rosarum, ana unciam unam; foliorum Lauri, Majo­ranae, Salviae, ana uncias duas: omnia in­cide, & pone in optimo Vino, & post diem destilla per alembicum vitreum aut vitrea­tum; & destillatum serva, in quo pone Terebinthinae odoratae lib. unam, Thuris albi uncias octo; Mastichis, Myrrhae, Bdellii, Anacardorum, ana uncias quatuor: omnia tere, & dimitte sic stare per dies quinque cum destillatione cooperta; postea destilla in tantum cum igne fortiori, donec ex eis oleum habeas, quod serva bene▪ clausum in ampulla vitrea, bene cum cera & pergamento obturata. Modus usus talis est: Recipe ex eo quantum caperet cortex avellanae per os, & unge etiam partes Memoriae, scilicet occiput, & quasvis partes jam dictas: optimum ex­perieris.

Some Physicians order Pills for the use of Memory to be made in this manner. Recipe Cubebarum, Calaminthae, Nucis mos­chatae, Caryophillorum sing. drach. unam [Page 60] semis; Thuris optimi, Myrrhae electae, Am­bari orientalis sing. scrupulum unum semis, Moschi grana quinque, cum aqua Majoranae: pilulas confice; recipe unam hora decubitus, duas vero in solis ortu, horis quinque ante Cibum, Hyeme per mensem, Vere & Autum­no rariùs.

Aliud probatissimum Experimentum ad Ingenium & Memoriam, quod ferunt esse Ari­stotelis. Recipe ursi pinguedinem, quam ha­bet in humero seu spatula dextra, eam (que) re­pone in vesica ipsius ursi, simul cum ejus uri­na, & simul stent octo diebus: tum extrahe & accipe succum Ormini, sive Sclareae domesti­cae, Euphragiae, Berbenae, Buglossi, Valerianae, Aloes, Omnium aequaliter, & simul misce cum praedicta pinguedine super ignem, cum lignea spatula agitando quoad fiat Ʋnguen­tum spissum; ex quo cum volueris accipe quantitatem parvae fabae, & unge frontem & tempora fricando aliquantisper, & audita recordaberis.

Lixivium pro ablutione Capitis humidi frigidique comfortativum, & Memoriae con­ferens, debet autem esse ex Cinere Sarmen­torum vel Quercus, postea intùs haec bulli­ant. Recipe Acori veri, Stichadis, foliorum Lauri, Roris marini, Ivae, Salviae, ana ma­nipulum unum; ex isto lavato caput: post [Page 61] vero ablutionem aquae vitae modico sinciput madefacito, & sequenti pulvere aspergito. Recipe Pulegii, Calaminthae, Caryophillorum, Sandaracae, Macis, Stichados, mentae siccae, Majoranae, ana drach. quinque; misce, & fiat pulvis subtilis, & post inspersionem super­pone stupam canabis; aliis quo (que) diebus in­grediens lectum, pone super capitis bregma­te ex pulvere illo etiam illoto capite, nam siccat, &c.

And Ludovicus Mercatus adviseth to make this Water, which he saith has a wonderful Virtue for the restoring and strengthening of decayed Memories. Recipe Aquarum Buglossae, Betonicae, Flo­rum Libiae, ana lib. 1. Aquae Vitae optimae, lib. ss; Florum Anthos, Rosarum, & Ma­joranae, & Florum Buglossae, ana P. j. spe­cierum confectionis anacardinae ʒ iiij. infun­dantur flores in aquis suo tempore, & tan­dem species, & stent in loco solis vel digesti­onis per mensem, postea in Balneo extrahatur aqua, cujus noctu ʒ ij. aut ℥ ss porriges vel accipies.

CHAP. VII. Rules to be observed for the Acts or Practice of Memory.

MEmory, as we have already ob­served, being an excellent Facul­ty or Ability of the Soul, it is by con­sequence to produce Acts answerable to it self; which Acts by degrees form an Habit, that strengthens the Ability, and makes it more ready and able again to appear in Action: for the more we use this Ability, the more able and perfect we shall render it, whereas by Neglect and Sloth Men lose this natural Gift, and it becomes useless.

Now for the better exercising of Me­mory, and for the accomplishing this rare Faculty, I shall recommend these following Rules, which I shall desire those Persons to observe and practise that in­tend to use their Memories either in a Pulpit, or at the Bar, or on any other occasion where they desire to deliver [Page 63] their Meditations without the Assistance of Book or Paper.

1. Let the Subject that we treat upon, or the Matter or Discourse that we de­liver, be rational and worthy of our own Esteem: For the things that we admire, or that afford us Pleasure in the reading or hearing of them, make a deeper Im­pression in our Minds than those things we value not. As this Faculty is noble, it retains willingly nothing but what is answerable to it self: likewise any thing strange and unusual, or that which is su­table to our own Genius and Temper, commonly finds in Memory a kind Re­ception, and a longer Retention. It is therefore the Advice which a wise Man recommends to young Students, Sapi­entem audire Praeceptorem, quem etiam coga­ris admirari, plurimùm enim Memoriae con­ducit; To hear a wise Tutor whom we ought to admire, because Admiration is a great Advantage to remember his In­structions. And amongst the Keys of Wisdom he reckons this to be one, Ho­nor Magistri, a particular Respect not only for the Person of our Teacher, but a Value that we must put upon his Words and Directions, that we may treasure [Page 64] them up for our own Use and Benefit▪ For tho Memory by the Naturalists is compared to a Sive, or (reti similis) to a Net, 'tis in respect of those weak and unfaithful Memories that never retain the things committed to their Custody, and that lose them as soon as they have them.

2. Let there be a Method and conve­nient Order observed, and a Coherence in the Discourse that we design to de­liver; for it will be far more easy to mind and remember what hath a mu­tual Dependance one upon another, than that which is without Order or Method.

3. Let every thing that we desire to remember be fairly written and distinct­ly, and divided into Periods with large Characters in the beginning; for by this means we shall the more readily imprint the Matter and Words in our Minds, the more remarkable the Writing appears to the Eye. This Sense conveys the Ideas to the Fancy better than any other; and what we have seen is not so soon for­gotten, as what we have only heard. Therefore Cicero tells us, in 3. de Oratore; Facilius ad ea quae visa sunt, quam ad ea quae audita sunt Oculi Mentis feruntur: [Page 65] That the Eyes of the Understanding, and consequently Memory, are carried more easily to the things that are seen, than to those that are heard.

4. Let these Characters, or Beginnings of every Period, be well imprinted in our Minds, for they will quickly bring thi­ther the whole Discourse also. No sooner shall we think upon the first En­trance, but we shall have a prospect of all the rest in our Imagination. And it will be no small Assistance to our Memo­ries, if these first Letters of every Sen­tence or Period can luckily express some known or remarkable Word or Thing in every Page. As Buxtorf in his Hebrew Grammar, that Students may remember the Letters which change their natural Pronunciation by the Inscription of a Dagesh, hath gathered them together in the word Begadkephat. And that they might not forget those Letters which are named Quiescentes, that are written and sometimes not pronounced, he hath put them together in the word Ehevi. Thus if we may happily join all the first Words of every Sentence so as to express some remarkable Thing, or Subject, or Word, we shall remember more easily the Be­ginnings [Page 66] of every Period or Sentence; and by taking every Letter in order one after another, come to the remembrance of all that is written in the Page without any difficulty; for the Beginning will lead us to all the rest. This Direction may be of great use to weak and infirm Memories.

5. If we will have the Command of our Memory, and secure it from the frailty of Oblivion, or the apprehension of a Mistake, it becomes us to have in our Minds well imprinted the Abbrevia­tion of our whole Discourse, and the chief Heads, so that in an instant we may be able to recollect and cast our in­ternal Eye upon any part of the Matter that ought to lie as it were before our Fancies; for in this case if any Inter­ruption happens, or any Casualty comes accidentally to disturb the Series of our Discourse, we shall be the more ready and better able to call to mind our Business, and proceed on with more Courage, Re­solution, and less fear of a Miscarriage, because we may be certain, that in an unexpected Weakness of Memory we shall have a Remedy at hand to re­lieve us in case of need, and we shall [Page 67] speak with more Confidence and Bold­ness, the more we shall know our selves secure from Frailty. Therefore it is Se­neca's Advice, that in a large Discourse we should have it abbreviated and con­tracted to certain principal Heads, for the prevention not only of Confusion, but also of that Disorder that multipli­city of Words and Matter is apt to cause in weak Memories.

6. Let there be a local Apprehension of our written Discourse well fixed in the Mind, and in the Delivery of it let the Fancy proceed on, and the Imagina­tion leisurely dictate the Matter, and the Words as they are couched in our Paper. This local Apprehension is the greatest help to Memory, and chiefly if the Cha­racters, as we have formerly noted, be fairly written, and remarkable to the Eye and Fancy; for as they give a deeper Impression into the Mind, they become more legible, and are not so soon de­faced.

7. When we first intend to recover a Discourse, and get it into our Memories, we ought to read it quietly with the greatest Attention and Intention of the Mind, setting aside all other Business [Page 68] which might incumber or interrupt us. We must for this purpose summon all our Thoughts to attend upon the Busi­ness in hand, and seriously read over eve­ry Period and Sentence; for without this Intention it is impossible to be able to imprint any thing well into our Ima­gination. And before we proceed on too far, it becomes us to get well a Part by Heart, that our Memories may go on more securely and gradatim, by de­grees.

8. Therefore it becomes us for this purpose to repeat often over what we have already learned, and softly to ut­ter every Sentence one after another. This Repetition will be of great use both for the getting it more perfect, and for the more easy delivery; for when the Tongue is accustomed to the Expressions, it will more readily deliver them again. And we find by Experience, that Verses and other Discourses that we have often spoken, when once we begin to deliver them, they drop from us insensibly; and, as a Man that is use to run in a Career, or down a Hill, we cannot stop till we come to the end.

[Page 69] 9. After we have thus gotten into our Memory a Discourse in the beginning, we must suppose that it is not confirmed in us, and must therefore run it over by a frequent Meditation, chiefly in the Eve­ning when we are going to Bed, or in those Intervals that we cannot sleep; for then the Silence of the Night, and the Quiet of the Time, are very proper to strengthen in Memory what we have committed to its Custody. These Me­ditations are esteemed by Aristotle the greatest Assistance of Memory; and Ptolomey calls Meditation the Key of Truth. Truly without this Practice a Discourse can never be well digested, but will come from us raw, perhaps as a Lesson from a School-boy; neither can we be able without it to make it our own, nor to give that Life and Virtue to it that is needful to affect the Minds of our Auditors. Therefore a Discourse ought to have a convenient time to settle in our Memories, that they might often run them over by Meditation.

10. Let young Men take care to exer­cise their Memory betimes, for by a fre­quent Practice we gain and strengthen the Habit of Memory. Let not the [Page 70] Difficulties that may appear in the Be­ginning fright or cause us to discontinue, but resolutely proceed on in the accu­stoming our Faculty to retain both Mat­ter and Words. I know some charge their Memory with nothing but the Mat­ter, but it is as easy to mind the Words when once we have used our selves to the Practice. Cicero writes of Lucullus and Hortensius, two famous Orators of the Roman Empire, who had vast Memories, that the former remembred Matter, the other Words, and prefers therefore Lu­cullus before Hortensius: but I conceive that Orator to be the most accomplish'd, who having penn'd his Discourse in such a manner, that it speaks weighty Matter as well as Words, is able to deliver it verhatim with Deliberation and Vigor. Seneca tells of himself, that he could re­peat two thousand distinct Names one after another without any Mistake, so large was his Memory, which proceeded from a long and continued Exercise; for by this means we shall attain to a great Perfection.

11. Beware of taking a Pride, and glorying in our Memory. As we are to use it in necessary Occasions for the Glory [Page 71] of God, the Edification of his Churchd and Instruction of the People, I woul e not have any vainly to boast or presum, too much upon the Strength of Memory but to look upon it as a Gift proceeding from God's Bounty to us. Staupitius, a Tutor of Martin Luther, in a Sermon thought, in a vain Ostentation of Me­mory, to repeat all the Genealogy of Christ mentioned by St. Matthew; but when he came to the Captivity of Baby­lon, his Memory failed him, which caused him to take the Assistance of his Book, with this Expression, I see, said he, that God resisteth the Proud. How many have there been, who vainly priding in this Excellency of the Soul, have been to­tally deprived of their Memories, for­gotten their own Names, their dearest Relations, &c.? The Gifts of God are not to be employed as Instruments of our Pride and Folly. Our Great Creator is sensible of the Injury done to his Libe­rality, when we ascribe to our Industry, Sobriety, or the Goodness of our Tem­per, what is most and chiefly due to his Bounty. Several sad Examples there­fore of the Resentment of his Justice have appeared before our Eyes, of Persons [Page 72] who have altogether lost in a manner what was the greatest Subject of their Glory; that we might learn to avoid such Provocations, and behave our selves with Humility and Thankfulness to his unwearied Goodness, always giving to him the Honour of our Perfections and Enjoyments.

12. For the better Preservation of the Faculty of Memory, it becomes us to know well its Strength, Ability, Reach and Frailty, that we may take Measures accordingly: for the loading of our Me­mory too much may be as prejudicial to it, as the taking of too heavy a Burden upon our Shoulders will be to our Body and Loins; for it will wrong the Faculty it self, and disinable it from further Ser­vice. Besides, the Ignorance of our own Weakness may expose us to the Shame and Laughter of the World, when we shall presume to undertake what we can­not well perform. And as it is with a Man's Stomach when it is filled, cramm'd more than Nature will bear, no Digesti­on can possibly be there; and instead of strengthning the Body, the Health is impaired, and a shameful Disorder hap­pens: So 'tis with the Memories of Men, [Page 73] they must not be too much loaded, nor burdened with more than they can well bear, according to the Saying of Horace,

Sumite Materiam vestris qui scribitis aequam Viribus, &c.

13. If we are to study any Liberal Art or Science, it becomes us for the better Encouragement of our Memories, and for a more firm Retention of the Doctrines and Principles, to comprehend the Sense, Meaning, and Reasonableness of them, before we commit them to their Custody. What we understand is our own, and cannot easily be forgotten. Reason is an excellent Confirmation of Memory when it is concerned in that Employment; for whilst our reasoning Faculty continues, we shall never forget what it hath formerly approved of, as agreeing with its internal Principles.

14. And if we are to speak in publick, it will be a great Advantage to Memory that we perfectly understand the Matter and Business in question; that we are fully acquainted with the Argument, Mystery, or Theme that we treat of; that we have search'd and studied all [Page 74] that may be alledged for or against it, and have continually a prospect of all that may be said upon the Subject: For in case Memory should be interrupted, disturbed, or fail, it will not be diffi­cult then to recover our selves to proceed on; and if we have any thing of In­vention, we may supply the Defect of Memory by our former Knowledg; however, 'tis a great Assistance to it to remember all the Particulars, and the continued Series of Discourse, when we thus understand perfectly the Subject, and are no Novices in the Matter that we are publickly to deliver.

15. When we betake our selves to our Study, or offer to exercise our Memory by the delivery of a Discourse, we must observe what hath been said before to be useful for the assisting of Memory, and endeavour to avoid what is prejudicial, as Gluttony, Drunkenness, Debauche­ry, &c.

16. Set aside all other Occupations and Employments, and chiefly those trouble­some Passions of the Mind that will not suffer us to enjoy our selves, as Anger, Wrath, Envy, Revenge, Lust, Cove­tousness, Alarms, Fears, &c. for when [Page 75] the Mind is totally taken up with such uneasy Guests, 'tis not possible to em­ploy it about the Functions of Memory, according to the old Proverb,

Pluribus intentus minus est ad singula sensus.

17. A convenient time is to be chosen for the Exercise of Memory; for all Seasons and Times are not proper, nor is the Mind ready disposed always for an Activity: We must therefore chuse such a time as we know our selves to be best able to retain the Things that we hear and read. Neither are all Tempers alike, but commonly when we are fasting, or after a moderate Repast, or in the Night-season, or in the Morning, most Men are best prepared for the Exercise of their Memories, and to receive the Impressions and Ideas.

18. But one Rule more I must add, which I look upon to be the chief; To seek from God by our devout and con­stant Prayers, both the Continuance and Increase of our Memories: For I must confess, that 'tis a particular Gift and Favour of our great Creator, who hath bestowed upon us such a Natural Ability. [Page 76] As therefore it depends upon his Bounty, 'tis from thence that we must expect its Perfection and Welfare. And tho by Art we may remove what is prejudicial to it, and help in some respect the Fa­culty; tho we may prescribe Rules for the Practice of Memory, yet all our En­deavours will prove vain and ineffectual without a Blessing from above, which we must strive to obtain by our Hu­mility and Devotion, being the ordinary Means appointed by the Divine Wisdom for the getting and increasing of all Temporal and Spiritual Blessings. Nei­ther are we to doubt of gracious Re­turns to our Requests; for we have this Assurance from the Sacred Oracle, If you that are evil know how to give good things to your Children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him? God hath reserved to himself the bestowing of all Spiritual Gifts, and this of Memory proceeds from him, not only the Fa­culty, but likewise the Practice depends very much upon his immediate Influence; for Experience may inform us, that we have often an inward Assistance granted to our Petitions, to comfort and help the [Page 77] Weakness of our Memories in divers occasions, chiefly where the Interest of Religion and his Honour is concerned, as in the publick delivery of his Word and Will to his People. It becomes us therefore in all such Instances not to rely or presume too much upon our own Strength or Ability, but lean and trust upon the All-sufficiency of the Holy Spirit, who will never be wanting to them who earnestly and heartily im­plore his gracious Assistance in time of Need.

CHAP. VIII. Rules to be observed to help our Re­membrance of things that we de­sire to preserve in Mind.

THE Multiplicity of Ideas and Matters that we commit to our Memories, will sometimes cause the most Capacious to forget things of the greatest Impor­tance. For the better assisting therefore [Page 78] this Faculty, to call to our Remembrance such Objects, these Rules are to be ob­served.

1. Mind the Order in which those things were first entered into our Me­mories; for the things that precede will oblige us to think upon those that follow­ed, and the Consequences of things will refresh in our Fancies that which went before. It becomes us therefore to re­cord them in order with a Connexion and a mutual Dependance, and this Or­der will direct our Memories, and help them to find out such things as were lost and defaced by Forgetfulness. There­fore a wise Man tells us, Quae bene in­vicem ordinata sunt, benè reminiscibilia sunt; quae vero malè, difficulter in Memoriam revocantur. The Things that are in good order are easily to be remember'd, but those that are without Method or Order cannot, without much difficulty, be re­called to mind.

2. For the better remembring of things, we ought to compare them with those things with which we are familiar, or best acquainted, and that have a Re­semblance with them, either in Syllables, in Quantity, in Office, Employment, &c. [Page 79] For this Similitude will certainly imprint the Thing or Person so in our Mind, that if we do casually forget, we shall the more easily recover the lost Idea, because the Idea that we have already in Memory, and that hath a Resemblance and Rela­tion to that which is absent in some known Particular, will lead our Fancy to it again.

3. We may imprint in our Minds, and fix Things in Memory, by thinking upon their Contraries or Opposites; and we may by the same means better remember Things that are almost blotted out of our Imagination. For Example, he that remembers an Hector, cannot forget A­chilles; he that thinks upon a Goliah, will also mind a David: when we represent to our selves Sobriety or Temperance, we cannot but have a Notion of Debau­chery and Intemperance. Now if that which is contrary is better known to us, it will quickly refresh the Remembrance of that which we had forgotten.

4. If we desire to mind Things of Im­portance, we ought to imprint all the Circumstances in our Memories of Time, Place, Persons, Causes, &c. because these Circumstances being always in our Fancy, [Page 80] will also keep there the things that we intend to preserve from Oblivion. And such Circumstances will scarce be de­faced if they are recorded in our Me­mories by the assistance of the Eyes from the things themselves, or from the sight of them written or otherwise ap­pearing to this Sense: for as a Shadow can never be without a Body, nor a Form without a Substance, neither can the Circumstances be in our Minds with­out that Reality that we purpose not to forget.

5. We may think upon Things, and remember them by their Properties and Qualifications. For Example; if we de­sire to remember a gross and fat Man, we may think upon King Dionysius, of whom an Author tells us, that he grew so fat, that he could scarce see, and that at last his Eyes were closed up with Fat.

6. If we desire to remember any thing, let us mind that Circumstance that is be­longing to it, most admirable, remarka­ble, or sutable to our Genius, Temper, or Interest; for this will fix it in our Memories in such a manner that it will not easily be forgotten.

[Page 81] 7. If we have several things to record in our Memory, note exactly the Num­ber of them, with the first Letter of every such thing which may casually make up some Name or Word; which being fixed in our Mind, will quickly di­rect us to every particular thing that we design not to forget. For Example, I desire to remember Sugar, Almonds, Prunes, Oil, and Raisins, I will there­fore take the first Letter of every Word, and I find they make Sapor, which being fixed in the Mind will direct me the sooner to the things that I design to re­member.

Some other Rules may be prescribed for this same purpose which our Inge­nuity may supply us with, as a careful Re­petition, frequent Meditation, &c. but because I have already mentioned them before, I proceed to represent the Fancies of some Ingenious Men, and a Method which they lay down, and which may sometimes be useful I confess for the assisting of an Artificial Memory, and which indeed may very well be named a Fantastical Remembrance, because it al­together depends upon the Fancy of the Contriver.

CHAP. IX. Of Artificial or Fantastical Memo­ry or Remembrance.

ARtificial Memory, saith the Philoso­pher, Est Dispositio imaginaria in mente rerum sensibilium, super quas Memoria naturalis reflexa, per eas admonetur ut me­moratorum facilius distinctius (que) recordari valeat: It is an imaginary Disposition in our Mind of sensible things, upon which when our Memory reflects, by them it is admonished and assisted to remember more easily and distinctly things that are to be minded. And, as Cicero speaks, Constat ex locis veluti ex cera aut tabella, & imaginibus veluti figuris literarum▪ that it consists in Places and Images, &c. Now some prescribe the Imagination of a fair and regular Building, divided into many Rooms and Galleries, with differing Colours and distinct Pillars, which the [Page 83] Party must fancy to stand before him as so many Repositories where he is to place the Things or Ideas which he designs to remember, ordering them according to their several Circumstances and Qualifi­cations, for the better Assistance of Me­mory. Others, instead of a House, Pa­lace or Building, have chosen such Beasts as answer to all the Alphabetical Letters in the Latin Tongue, and instead of Rooms have assigned their several Mem­bers for our Fancy to six our Ideas there, and place them for our better Remem­brance: These are the Names of the Beasts, Asinus, Basiliscus, Canis, Draco, Ele­phas, Faunus, Gryfus, Hircus, Juvencus, Leo, Mulus, Noctua, Ovis, Panthera, Qua­lea, Rhinoceron, Simia, Taurus, Ʋrsus, Xystus, Hyena, Zacheus. Every one of these they divide into five Parts or Places, into Head, Fore-feet, Belly, Hinder-feet, and Tail; for this is the Order that Na­ture it self directs, neither can our Ima­gination be disordered in reckoning or telling them over. So that by this means the Fancy may have one hundred and fifteen Places to imprint the Images of memorable things. Likewise in the Per­son [Page 84] speaking, we may fix the Ideas of things to be remembred, on his Head, Fore-head, Eyes, Mouth, Chin, and so downwards on all his Members. But if this way of Remembrance be beneficial, 'tis best when the Places where we de­sign to leave and commit our Ideas are more known and familiar to us: as for Example, the Town where we live, or the City that we are best acquainted with; our Mind must as it were enter by the Gate, and proceed to the several Streets and Quarters of the City, mark­ing the publick Places, Churches, Friends Houses, &c. by this means we may have an infinite number of Places to commit our Ideas. And because all Directions are best understood by Examples, I shall recommend these, that this Method of remembring may better be comprehen­ded. Suppose therefore a large and empty House, unto which we must not go often but seldom; suppose at the En­trance there is one Room about three Foot from the Door, the second about 12 or 15 Foot, being in a Corner, the third being distant about the same num­ber of Feet; and so likewise the fourth, [Page 85] fifth, sixth, seventh, and as many as you please, fancying upon them the Number that denotes and distinguisheth the Rooms and Corners the one from the other, that there may be no Mistake nor Confusion in our Remembrance; or, if you please, distinguish the several Rooms by other Characters than Numbers. Now when we have well settled and divided the se­veral Rooms and Corners in our Imagi­nation, where we are to place the Ideas for our Remembrance, we must contrive such a remarkable Fancy of that thing that we intend to put there as may not easily be forgotten, and such a Fancy as may be remarkable for Folly, Simplicity, Wisdom or Wonder, &c. For Example, If I will remember any thing acted by another, I must fancy him in one of these Rooms acting in a ridiculous manner that which I design not to forget. Now the Figures that we must there place ought to provoke to Pity, Wonder, Laughter or Scorn, that it may make a deeper Impres­sion in our Fancy. Again, we may repre­sent things by their Likeness or Contra­ries; for Example, If we design to re­member Galen, we will write the Name [Page 86] of some famous Physician well known to us, or of some contemptible Mounte­bank. If we will remember Ovidius Naso, we shall represent a Man with a great Nose; if Plato, we shall think upon a Person with large Shoulders; if Cris­pus, we shall fancy another with curl'd Hair, and so of other things. But this Method of remembring things is cum­bersome and fantastical, and perhaps may not be sutable to every Temper and Person; neither is it proper, or of any use for the Delivery of a Discourse by Memory, but rather for the assisting our Remembrance not to forget some certain Passages of our Life, and of others, and we may make some use of it for the remembring of Sentences and Names.

I shall conclude with just setting down some other Rules which are prescribed by such as recommend this kind of Arti­ficial Remembrance, for the better im­printing the Ideas in our Mind, and the avoiding Confusion.

1. That the things we design to re­member be three or four times read [Page 87] over or repeated, before we assign to them any kind of Images, or noted Spe­cies to preserve them, for by this means we shall be better acquainted with them, and they will be less strange to our Ima­gination.

2. We must know how to adapt such Figures as are most sutable to the things to be preserved in our Memory, and such Figures as are known to us, that we may be the more quickly and easily minded of the things themselves.

3. Now to such Figures we must assign a convenient Action or Motion, for that makes a greater Impression than such as are still and quiet, and the Imagination is more readily moved by a moving Ob­ject than by one without Life and Mo­tion.

4. Such Figures are to be contrived to mind us of the things as may excite the Passions of the Soul and the Affections, as Sorrow, Anger, Pleasure, Indignation, Wrath, Wonder or Compassion. &c. thereby the Soul is more concerned in keeping in mind the Things and Ideas that we desire to preserve.

[Page 88] 5. We are to make use of such Figures as are proper not only for the Things, but also for the Places where we lay them up for our Remembrance, and such as have a natural Relation to the Places, as a Miller grinding in his Mill, the Fish in the Water, Birds flying in the Air, wild Beasts in a Forest, &c. And there­fore we may rather use Natural Figures than Artificial, or such as our Fancy may contrive.

6. Again, those Figures must not be too mean or contemptible, nor too high above our ordinary Reach, Capacity, and familiar Acquaintance.

7. Neither are we to make use of the same Figures or Images to represent di­vers things at the same time: Therefore we must have ready in our Fancy several Images to picture out, or form the Ideas of the things that are to be remembred.

8. Such Images are to be often recall'd in our Mind in the same order as they were placed, with their several Circum­stances and Properties, and such as are most remarkable and notable: for if by chance the Idea be blotted out, those Circumstances will quickly renew them [Page 89] in our Memorative Faculty; and a fre­quent Repetition will make a deeper Im­pression in our Minds of the things that we desire not to forget; chiefly if this Repetition be made when we are going to lay down our Heads upon our Pillows: for it is observable, that what we think upon when we are going to sleep, we shall have fresh in our Fancy when we awake the next Morning. And in those Intervals that we lie quiet at Midnight without sleeping, we may easily imprint in our Imagination things that will not quickly be forgotten. The Mind will then be more susceptible, more retentive and tenacious of any Idea that we re­commend to it with Deliberation, and free from the Incumbrance of Business: for he that will make use of his Memory, must know himself what time and season is most proper to employ it, when it is most at liberty, and freest to receive the Impressions or Ideas of Things. 'Tis with Memory as with the other Faculties and Abilities belonging to Man, there is a time for Action, and a time when they are not sit, and a Temper that renders them unable to produce the Natural Ope­rations. [Page 90] Such Times therefore, Seasons and Tempers are to be chosen for the Exercise of Memory when it is altoge­ther disingaged from Troubles, Impedi­ments, and all Incumbrances, and freest for Action. Our youthful Days are the most proper to begin to employ this Fa­culty, for we then may speedily learn, and easily improve this Ability to our great Comfort and Advantage in the following course of our Lives. And as it hath already been observed, Exercise will render us by degrees more perfect: So that we shall never have cause to re­pent of the Labours and Pains that we take in this case at the beginning of our Days. It is therefore the Advice of a wise Author,

Nunc adhibe puro pectore verba puer; Nunc te melioribus offer.
Quo semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem Testa diu.

And another tells us, Non tantum cele­riùs, sed etiam perfectiùs imbuuntur, quae à pueris discuntur. Veget. lib. 1.

[Page 91] I shall conclude this Treatise with the two Verses of Persius.

Mille hominum species & rerum discolor usus,
Velle suum cui (que) est, nec voto vivitur uno.

And with the Proverb of Hesiod,


And with the Saying of Tully, ‘Virtute duce, comite fortuna, omnia summa consequi possumus.’


BOOKS printed for Andrew Bell in Cornhil, near Stocks-market.

ADvice to the Young; or the Reasonableness and Advantages of an Early Conversion: In three Sermons on Eccles. 12. 1. By Joseph Stennett.

Emblems, by Fra. Quarles; with the Hierogly­phicks: All the Cuts being newly illustrated.

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