They can be learned, either by heart – formally – or by preservation, and the latter method is the best in living languages. The study of the words is really necessary, but it is much better, that the children learn them when they find them in an author, who has been ordered to read. Youth must have a fixed and determined task. Geography is best learned by a certain mechanism. Memory particularly prefers this mechanism, which is also very convenient in a lot of things. So far none have been found purposely for the story yet; some tables have been tested; however, they do not seem to give good results. History is an excellent way to exercise judgment on understanding. Memory is very necessary, but it is worth absolutely nothing, when it is made a mere exercise; for example, when making speeches learned by heart. In fact, this only serves to encourage daring; and declamation, on the other hand, is only suitable for men.
Here also belong all the things that are learned only for a future examination or in consideration of the future oblivionen3. Memory should not be used except for things whose preservation is convenient for us and which are related to real life. Reading novels is harmful to children, because they only serve as a distraction while reading them; it also weakens memory, since it would be ridiculous to retain the novel and want to tell it to others. Therefore, all novels must be withdrawn from the hands of children. As they read them, they imagine another novel in them, because the circumstances are represented differently, they wander and are left as if stunned.
Amusements should never be allowed, at least in school, for they end up producing a certain inclination, a certain habit to them. Those who are given to amusements lose their most beautiful qualities. Although the children are distracted in their games, they soon return to recollection; when they prepare a bad game, they are often seen distracted, as they then ponder how to hide or repair it. At this time, they only hear half of what is being spoken to them, they respond in reverse, they do not know what they are reading, etc.
Memory is cultivated: a) Retaining the names found in the narratives; b) by reading and writing, but exercising them reflectively and not by spelling; c) through languages, which children have to learn by speaking, even before they can read.