3032. The reason I say that Faldoni would have spent his time better if he learned to play the guitar, rather than trying to hopelessly learn to read and write is because when you strum the guitar you receive an immediate personal gratification, that is if your guitar is in tune, and you strum it in the right way.
But a person learning to read needs the assistance of another person in
order to gain the satisfaction that comes from doing something
correctly. So, you must picture to yourself poor Faldoni, memorizing the
letters of Latin words, trying to remember how to write them down and
pronounce them, burdening his mind with remembering what his jailer’s
said the words were.
If the jailer held up one of the scraps of paper they were using with a
phrase on it, Faldoni would wrinkle up his brow and concentrate and
then come out with the exclamation, “It says, how are you today my good
sir?” Then the jailer would nod his head up and down enthusiastically to
encourage Faldoni. The truth was that the Latin phrase actually said,
“Among the Helvetii, Orgetorix was by far the most distinguished and
wealthy,” because the book they were using was Caesars’ Gallic wars.
3035. The point to consider here is that Faldoni could only derive the satisfaction of accomplishing something with the help of the encouragement of the jailer, whereas if he was studying the guitar, he could have felt the pure pleasure of his accomplishment all by himself in the darkness of his cell, alone in the middle of the night, as he awaited the fast approaching end of his life.