Advice to a Scholar: Remember Everything!

Vergerio, de ingenuis moribus et liberalibus adulescentiae studiis, LII:

“It is also very true that those who have sharper intellects have weaker powers of memory, and those who seize upon things quickly are less apt to retain them. Therefore, Cato’s plan seems particularly relevant to preserving and shoring up one’s memory. He used to say he would think over in the evening everything which he had done, seen, or read during the day, as though he were demanding an account ledger of his daily business; yet he did not want only an account of his business, but even of his leisure time! Thus we too, if we can, will take care to remember everything; if we fail in this, we should at least cling to those things which we have selected as especially important to ourselves.

sed et id quoque perplurimum verum est, acutiores ingenio minus valere memoria, et qui celeriter capiunt, retinent minus. Ad salvandam igitur confirmandamque memoriam, maxime affinis est illa Catonis ratio, qua uti se dicebat, ut quicquid egerat viderat legerat, vesperi commemoraret, tamquam diurni a se negotii rationem exigens, non modo qui negotii, sed et otii quoque volebat reddendam esse rationem. Ita igitur nos omnia quidem, si possumus, reminisci curabimus; si minus, ea saltem quae praecipua nobis delegimus, complectemur.

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