Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 193



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 193

state for the Transvaal Republic. Are you related to him?”

Bok explained that this was his uncle, and that he was named for him.

Years afterward Bok happened to be at a public meeting where Mr. Blaine was speaking, and the statesman, seeing him, immediately called him by name. Bok knew of the reputed marvels of Mr. Blaine’s memory, but this proof of it amazed him.

“It is simply inconceivable, Mr. Blaine,” said Bok, “that you should remember my name after all these years.”

“Not at all, my boy,” returned Mr. Blaine. “Memorizing is simply association. You associate a fact or an incident with a name and you remember the name. It never leaves you. The moment I saw you I remembered you told me that your uncle was secretary of state for the Transvaal. That at once brought your name to me. You see how simple a trick it is.”

But Bok did not see, since remembering the incident was to him an even greater feat of memory than recalling the name. It was a case of having to remember two things instead of one.

At all events, Bok was no stranger to James G. Blaine when he called upon him at his Lafayette Place home in Washington.

“You’ve gone ahead in the world some since I last saw you,” was the statesman’s greeting. “It seems to go with the name.”

This naturally broke the ice for the editor at once.

“Let’s go to my library where we can talk quietly.



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