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Thurlow Weed's Memory

Thurlow Weed's Memory image
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In a recent interview Mr. Weed gave some exhibitions of his wonderfully retentive memory and also explained his method of cultivating it. I got married, he said, in 1818, when I was workingin Albany as a journeyman. printer. In a few months I went into business, establishing a newspaper for myself, and some of my friends thought 1 was cut out a politician. But I saw at once a fatal weakness. My memory was a sieve. I could romember nothmg. Dates, ñames, appointments, faces - everything escapcd me. I said to my wife, "Catherine, 1 shall never rnake a sucocssful politician, for I cannot remerhber, and that is a prime necessity of politicians. A politician who sees a man once should remember Mm forever." I recalled what had been said of Henry Clav; that he could go around a room and tíb introduced to 50 persons, and then, on mingling with the company, cali every man by his right name. And I thought also of the oolored fellow who officiated at the grand hat-rack in the vestibule of the United States hotel at Saratoga, and who, as the hundreds of guests flocked out of the dining room, hands to each one instantly the hat, shawl, parasol, fan, or whatever has been deposited there an hour or two before. My wife told me that I must train my ïnemory. So when I eame home that night, I sat down alone and spent 15 minutes trying silently to recall the events of the day. I could remember little at first; ww I remember that I rtinirï nAt thüTi Vtïm Omlior U'h ftt, I liad for breakfast. . Finally I found that I could rccall more. Events came back to mo more minutely andmore accurately. After a fortnight ör so of this, Oatharine said, "Why don't you teil it to me? It would be interesting, and my interest in it would stimulate you." Then I began a habit of oral confession, as it were, I told my wife everything that I could recall that had happened to me or about mje during the day. I gfnerally rccalled the very dishes I had had for breakfast, dinner and tea; the peopie i naa seen anu vvuai, liij oi, the editaríais 1 had written, and an abstract of them; the letters I had sent and received, and the very language ruedas aear as possible; when I had walked or riddoiw-everything, in short, that had rome within my knowledge. I found I could say my lesson better and better every year, and insteid of growing irksome'it got to be a pleasure to run the events of the day in review. I nm indebted to this discipline ior a momory of somewhat unusual tenaeity, and I recomnumd the practico to all who cxpect to have much to do with influcncinfi' men.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat