Saturday, 28 February, 1829

A neglect may in some instances prove a source of mortification. I have observed in myself an occurrence that had it been properly attended, would have been of much advantage. It is this: I have when riding and thinking on a subject observed it would appear so very plain and reasonable, and that I had ready the most forceable and appropriate words to convey my ideas; then would appear no argument could have been advanced against it sufficiently strong to have moved one proposition. Well, in a few moments, called to something else, all these ideas are gone. Now if you will be but to the small trouble to always have withyou paper and pen, and whenever you feel such ideas, set them down, just as you think, and by so doing will gain much information and in a more beautiful style than any other way. I would seriously recommend such a course to you and really hope you will adopt it and follow it through life and whenever you commence explaining a subject delineate in as minute a manner as you can. Have no work or words that will elucidate it unexpressed or any view or tendency of the subject untouched. If you will but adopt this course and follow it rigidly, you will find its advantages will more than compensate you for all the trouble it may be, and after you have used it for a short time, it will become a source of the most pleasant amusement.