The Magazine of Memory

Montaigne says that “there is no man who has less business talking about memory. For I recognize no trace of it in me, and I do not think there is another one in the world so monstrously deficient.” He has “some consolation,” though. “As several similar examples of nature’s processes demonstrate, nature has tended to strengthen other faculties in me in proportion as my memory has grown weaker; and I might easily rest my mind and judgment and let them grow languid following on others’ traces, as everyone does, without exercising their own strength, if other men’s discoveries and opinions were always present to me by virtue of my memory. My speech is the briefer for it. For the magazine of memory is apt to be better furnished with matter than that of invention.” (I:9, 22, Frame)