14 FEBRUARY 1880, Page 15



SIR,—The following extract from a letter of Professor James Elliot, of Goldielands, will probably interest many of your readers. The Professor also drew my attention to a paper con- tributed to Nature, of January 15th last, by Mr. Edward Dutton, in which many curious facts are stated respecting the faculty of visual representation. The paper is illustrated by diagrams sent him by Mr. G. Bidder, and others who possess

this faculty, to exhibit the manner in which numbers habitually present themselves to their mental vision :—

" In the Spectator (of February let, 1879) there was a curious account of a Jesuit preacher who, while apparently speaking without notes, was reading the whole time from a manuscript which he saw mentally before him. Last autumn, at Silloth, I met with a Scotch minister who told me he had the same peculiarity himself. After writing a sermon carefully and reading it carefully, ho could see it before him mentally, and read from it page after page and line after line, seeing even the stops."