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French finances, contributed so powerfully to the glory of his sovereign, and the prosperity of his country.
2. Of the Historical Account.
A concise statement of the principal historical events must necessarily find a place in the divisions of our grand memorial, if it shall be as complete as it could be wished. No well-informed person is indifferent to the public events, which are likely to have an influence at once on his country, on the age in which he lives, and on his own situation. It behoves him, moreover, for his private use, information, and satisfaction, to keep a journal, containing in chronological order, a summary of the principal facts composing the history of states and eminent contemporaries. It is useful to be thoroughly acquainted with this history, and to have classed the general results successively in our ininds, that we may have a more comprehensive view of the whole.
This account, however, seems more especially, perhaps exclusively, suited to those who hold public offices, civil or military, in whom a posi. tive duty and a direct personal interest excite a wish to preserve some memorial of the remarkable events, political and military, in which they have perhaps co-operated.
3. Of the Necrological Account. The idea of death, which every object and every moment are incessantly presenting to our eyes and our minds, must not be omitted in our tablets. It is even adviseable to assign to it a particular account, the object of which is moral and philosophical; for to live well we must learn to die. In the military profession, in civil offices,
every possible situation, a man cannot be happy unless he can constantly preserve a serenity and composure which the approach of death itself is incapable of disturbing. We shall thus form by degrees a kind of necrological gallery, in which will be deposited the names, characters, and memoirs, of deceased persons whom we have known, and who have performed in our time important parts in public affairs. Their inages, frequently present to our view, will familiarize us with that supreme law, which calls us all sooner or later to the same grave. The idea of death, associated with the cheering and sublime conviction of the immortality of the soul and the existence of God inspires man with fortitude, instructive, on the different branches of the
purifies the soul, incites to virtue, and acts as a powerful auxiliary to morality, by furnishing a point of support, and holding forth an aim.
It should not be forgotten, that these accounts or journals, supplementary to the analytical journal, which may, at first sight, appear likely to occupy a great deal of time, tend, on the contrary, to save it, and require but about half an hour every two or three days to be kept
XIX. OF THE INTELLECTUAL JOURNAL OR ACCOUNT DEVOTED
TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE MIND.
The Intellectual Journal comprises the results of the observations made on the judgment, the imagination, the understanding, the memory, in short, on all the intellectual faculties. We study to become thoroughly acquainted with them with a view to develop, cultivate, and improve them. We extend our remarks on these subjects to all those with whom we are in habitual intercourse. We record the substance of all conversations and discussions of any interest at which we have been present. We suffer no productive fact, no luminous and fertile idea to escape us : whatever appears interesting and useful is carefully preserved. We thus form in time a valuable and multifarious collection of detached articles, elementary and sciences, on which we have occasion to hear the arguments of enlightened men, or to read good works ourselves. This collection is regularly arranged, with references to corresponding articles.
The sciences, all of which began to exist before they were distinguished by particular denominations, and divided into different classes, are nothing but collections of facts, observations, experiments, and results. The man who has contracted the beneficial habit of rendering every thing subservient to his improvement, of adding every day to his stock of facts and observations, and who is always eager after information, ought to profit even by the conversations and discussions which he hears in companies in which he happens to be. He recapitulates every night to himself such as seem deserving of his attention. He analyses and inserts the substance of them in his journal, after digesting and maturing them by meditation : for we retain better what we have fixed in our minds by reflection, than what we have learned merely by the aid of the memory. In this manner we exercise the mind, form correct ideas, and learn to think.
An index formed upon Locke's plan,* and placed at the end of the journal, enables us to bring together all the detached articles on the same subject, and serves to form a whole on one or more sciences, of which we thus acquire a general notion. The subject of each article being expressed in a single word in the margin, * it may be easily referred to when wanted. The results in a few years present a mass of clear and positive information on several branches of science, collected without difficulty, trouble, or fatigue, in the moments of relaxation, spent in company and lost in general by other persons. It may here be observed, that in familiar conversations scientific men adapt themselves to the level of ordinary capacities, and then illustrate the sciences in a manner that renders them more easy of prehension.
* See the explanation of Locke's method in Note l. subjoined to this Essay.
It is not my intention to assert that by this method alone we may acquire a thorough knowledge of the sciences, but we may gain from it a slight tincture of them successively; we shall be led to view them under different aspects; we shall be enabled to compare the different doc
The choice of the leading word written in the margin to each article is of great importance for accuracy, and for the facility of reference to similar and corresponding articles.