— 208 —
Why Children number not earlier.       §7. Thus Children, either for want of Names to mark the
several Progressions of Numbers, or not having yet the faculty to
collect scattered Ideas into complex ones, and range them in a
regular Order, and so retain them in their Memories, as is necessary
to reckoning, do not begin to number very early, nor proceed in it
very far or steadily, till a good while after they are well furnished
with good store of other Ideas; and one may often observe them
discourse and reason pretty well, and have very clear conceptions of
several other things, before they can tell 20. And some, through the
default of their Memories, who cannot retain the several Combina-
tions of Numbers, with their Names annexed in their distinct
orders, and the dependence of so long a train of numeral Pro-
gressions, and their relation one to another, are not able all their
life-time, to reckon, or regularly go over any moderate Series of
Numbers. For he that will count Twenty, or have any Idea of that
Number, must know that Nineteen went before, with the distinct
Name or Sign of every one of them, as they stand marked in their
order; for where-ever this fails, a gap is made, the Chain breaks,
and the progress in numbering can go no farther. So that to reckon
right, it is required, 1. That the Mind distinguish carefully two Ideas,
which are different one from another only by the addition or
subtraction of one Unite. 2. That it retain in Memory the Names,
or Marks, of the several Combinations from an Unite to that
Number; and that not confusedly, and at random, but in that exact
order, that the Numbers follow one another: in either of which, if
it trips, the whole business of Numbering will be disturbed, and
there will remain only the confused Idea of multitude, but the Ideas
necessary to distinct numeration, will not be attained to.
Locke Hum II, 16, §7, p. 208