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XX. OF THREE PARTICULAR JOURNALS AUXILIARY
GENERAL INTELLECTUAL JOURNAL, viz.
1. Obligatory Occupations;
3. Bibliographic Account. The general intellectual journal, the utility of which we have been explaining, seems to admit of three particular auxiliary journals, each of which must concur in the same end, that of aiding and fortifying the understanding, by frequent exercises relative to the different pursuits to which duty or inclination urges us to apply.
1. Of Obligatory Occupations. Obligatory occupations, or such as are imposed by the situation we hold in society, deserve a par. ticular account, which enables us to follow their order and progression, and to give greater regularity and rapidity to their course. Occupations of this kind are indeed sometimes, arduous and disagreeable, especially to those whom society, by the misemployment of their talents, dooms to a continual struggle between their destination and their destiny, between that for which they were designed by nature, and that which they are compelled to be by their condition. It behoves us,
nevertheless, to strive incessantly to improve ourselves in this particular, that we may perform our duty the better; that we may render it lighter and more pleasant; that we may be at the same time better satisfied with ourselves, more worthy of the esteem of others, and more useful to our country. Daily experience, none of the lessons of which is lost, because we carefully collect the results, and an uninterrupted apprenticeship to the different parts of the principal branch of our functions, quickly lead to such a degree of cleverness as renders us superior, or at least equal, to all those who are successfully pursuing the same career in society.
2. Of Optional Occupations. Optional occupations, or such as we follow from natural taste and inclination, may likewise have a distinct account opened for them. We have already hinted at the object and advantages of this particular account, by recommending, when treating of the general intellectual account, the keeping of a journal or book of extracts, for the different branches of our favourite and habitual studies. By these means we pursue them more connectedly, more methodically, and more successfully; we seize their coherence and concatenation ; we establish mutual relations between them; and thus make them contribute to the advancement of each other. By combining and arranging the details of which each is composed, we form a satisfactory and useful whole. We have here the application of our general law of division and re-union, considered as two generating means, which must be combined before they can be productive. We rise from what we know to what we do not know; agreeably to another general law, that of gradation, which fixes the natural and necessary course of the human mind. We throw a light upon our path, that we may continue to advance with a sure step. We are never at a loss for points of support, since we raise the new knowledge we acquire upon that which we have previously procured. With a prudent circumspection, not incompatible with a happy boldness, we proceed toward a determinate object, the cultivation and the improvement of our intellectual faculties.
3. Of the Bibliographic Account. This third auxiliary account has been kept with benefit by several young military officers and travellers, who have found it to be at once a convenient, and agreeable medium of inform
ation. It consists in entering the titles of all works of any importance, both new editions of antient, and modern books, as they appear, classed under distinct heads, according to their subjects, or the science to which they belong. We are informed of their publication, either by the newspapers and the literary journals, or by conversing with intelligent persons, who may have read and formed their opinion of them. We thus compose an analytical catalogue of a certain number of select works, in the different branches of the sciences, and especially in those to which, from obligation or choice, we chiefly apply ourselves. We have, in time, a kind of economical and portable library; and by recurring to the books registered in it we may consult all the observations made by the ablest men on the subjects to which we have occasion to direct our studies. In the book devoted to this purpose, a greater or less number of pages must be allowed to each science, according to the degree of attention that we propose, or are obliged to bestow on it.
Each of the pages of this account is divided into five columns, as follows: 1. a column for the running numbers, which may be very narrow, as it is to contain no more than two or three figures ; 2. the titles of the works, and the addresses of the
publishers; 3. the name and country of the authors; 4. the time of publication, or dates of the publications; 5. brief remarks on each work, consisting either of our own opinions, or those of persons on whose judgment ne can rely. The last column should be left blank till we have been able to procure the information necessary for filling it to our satisfaction.*
It is impossible to conceive the assistance to be derived by the mind from this very simple and easy method, which takes up at most but a quarter of an hour every week, and enables us to review monthly, or yearly, the most remarkable productions of the understanding among the different nations of the world. The titles of the works, furnishing the most concise indication of their nature, show correctly what sciences are most flourishing in any particular country; which appear to be neglected and abandoned, or remain
* For the more methodical classification of the productions of the human mind in our Bibliographic Account, the three following grand divisions may be adopted : 1. Physical and natural, or specially descriptive sciences; 2. Metaphysical, moral, and political, or specially rational sciences ; 3. Literary and mathematical sciences, and the various arts, physics, mathematical, mechanical, liberal or fine arts, or specially instrumental sciences, such as furnish all the others with instruments.