Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"When found, make a note of ." Captain Cuttle

Charles Dickens' Captain Cuttle - Dombey and Son

"When found, make a note of ," is a most admirable rule; and if the excellent Captain had never uttered another word, he might have passed for a profound philosopher. It is a rule which should shine in gilt letters on the gingerbread of youth and the spectacle-case of age. Every man who reads with any view beyond mere pastime, knows the value of it. Every one, more or less acts upon it. Every one regrets or suffers who neglects it. There is some trouble in it, to be sure; but in what good thing is there not? and what trouble does it save!

...“cannot be denied that reading and writing men, of moderate industry, who act on this rule for any considerable length of time, will accumulate a good deal of matter in various forms, shapes, and sizes—some more, some less legible and intelligible—some unposted in old pocket books—some on whole or half sheets, or mere scraps of paper, and backs of letters—some lost sight of and forgotten, stuffing out old portfolios, or getting smoky edges in bundles tied up with faded tape. There are, we are quite sure, countless boxes and drawers, and pigeon-holes of such things, which want looking over, and would well repay the trouble.”

 “Notes and Queries, Number 01, November 3, 1849.”

 I also, can think of no better advice; than that offered Dickens' Captain, in my research into Chicago chess history I had failed to make a note on numerous occasions, only to fail to remember where some interesting  item of information appeared.  I have copied numerous chess columns from the Chicago Daily News they sit in a heap, in large part unorganized, now is the time to bring some order to them before they get totally out control. I find now, I may have repeat some research I had already done, but such are the wages of sin.