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 +<​h2>​ON THE</​h2>​
 +<​h1>​NATURE OF THOUGHT,</​h1>​
 +<​h3>​OR THE</​h3>​
 +<​h2>​ACT OF THINKING,</​h2>​
 +<​h3>​AND ITS</​h3>​
 +<p class="​tbrk">&​nbsp;</​p>​
 +<​h2><​span class="​smcap">​By JOHN HASLAM, M.D.</​span></​h2>​
 +<p class="​tbrk">&​nbsp;</​p>​
 +<​h3>​London:<​br />
 +[Printed by <span class="​smcap">​G. Hayden</​span>,​ Little College Street, Westminster,​]<​br />
 +<br />​PUBLISHED BY<br />
 +<hr class="​smler"​ />
 +<hr class="​smler"​ />
 +<​h3>​[<​i>​PRICE TWO SHILLINGS.</​i>​]</​h3>​
 +<hr />
 +<div class="​block">​
 +<div class="​poem"><​div class="​stanza">​
 +<​div><​i>​Polonius</​i>&​mdash;​What do you read, my Lord?</​div>​
 +<​div><​i>​Hamlet</​i>&​mdash;​Words,​ words, words.&​mdash;<​i>​Act 2d.</​i></​div>​
 +<hr class="​smler"​ />
 +<p class="​center"><​span class="​smcap">​Mephistopheles.</​span></​p>​
 +<​blockquote><​p>"​Im Ganzen&​mdash;​haltet euch an Worte!<​br />
 +Dann geht ihr durch die sichere Pforte<​br />
 +Zum Tempel der Gewissheit ein."</​p>​
 +<p class="​center"><​span class="​smcap">​Schuler.</​span></​p>​
 +<​p>"​Doch ein Begriff muss bey dem Worte seyn."</​p>​
 +<p class="​center"><​span class="​smcap">​Mephistopheles.</​span></​p>​
 +<​p>"​Schon gut! nur muss man sich nicht allzu &​auml;​ngstlich qu&​auml;​len,<​br />
 +Denn eben wo Begriffe fehlen,<​br />
 +Da stellt ein Wort zur rechten zeit sich ein.<br />
 +Mit Worten l&​auml;​sst sich trefflich streiten,<​br />
 +Mit Worten ein System bereiten.<​br />
 +An Werte l&​auml;​sst sich trefflich glauben,<​br />
 +Von einem Wort l&​auml;​sst sich kein Iota rauben."&​mdash;<​i>​Go&​euml;​the'​s Faust.</​i><​br />
 +<hr class="​smler"​ />
 +<​blockquote><​p>"​And when I have enumerated these, I imagine I have comprehended
 +almost every thing which can enter into the composition of the
 +intellectual life of man. With the single exception of reason, (and
 +reason can scarcely operate without the intervention of language,)
 +is there any thing more important to man, more peculiar to him, or
 +more inseparable from his nature than speech? Nature indeed could
 +not have bestowed on us a gift more precious than the human voice,
 +which, possessing sounds for the expression of every feeling, and
 +being capable of distinctions as minute, and combinations as
 +intricate as the most complex instrument of music; is thus enabled
 +to furnish materials so admirable for the formation of artificial
 +language. The greatest and most important discovery of human
 +ingenuity is writing; there is no impiety in saying, that it was
 +scarcely in the power of the Deity to confer on man a more glorious
 +present than <span class="​smcap">​Language</​span>,​ by the medium of which, he himself has been
 +revealed to us, and which affords at once the strongest bond of
 +union, and the best instrument of communication. So inseparable
 +indeed are mind and language, so <​i>​identically one</​i>​ are thought and
 +speech, that although we must always hold reason to be the great
 +characteristic and peculiar attribute of man, yet language also,
 +when we regard its original object and intrinsic dignity, is well
 +intitled to be considered as a component part of the intellectual
 +structure of our being. And although, in strict application,​ and
 +rigid expression, thought and speech always are, and always must
 +be, regarded as two things metaphysically distinct,&​mdash;​yet there only
 +can we find these two elements in disunion, where one or both have
 +been employed imperfectly or amiss. Nay, such is the effect of the
 +original unity or <​i>​identity</​i>​ that, in their most extensive
 +varieties of application,​ they can never be totally disunited, but
 +must always remain inseparable,​ and every where be exerted in
 +combination."&​mdash;<​i>​Frederick Schlegel'​s Lectures on the History of
 +Literature</​i>,​ (<​i>​English Translation</​i>,​ 1818,) <​i>​page 11</​i>​.</​p></​blockquote>​
 +<hr />
 +<​h2><​i>​MRS. HUNTER, DUNDEE.</​i></​h2>​
 +<hr class="​smler"​ />
 +<​p><​i>​My dearest Daughter</​i>,</​p>​
 +<​p><​i>​This Essay on</​i>​ <span class="​smcap">​Thought</​span>​ <i>is appropriately dedicated to a lady of whom I
 +am constantly thinking:&​mdash;​whose dutiful conduct, and filial affection,
 +have rendered a protracted life the subject of consolation,​ under all
 +its contingent miseries</​i>​.</​p>​
 +<​p><​i>​33,​ Great Ormond Street,<​br />&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​June 1835.</​i></​p>​
 +<hr />
 +<​p><​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_1"​ id="​Page_1">​[Pg 1]</​a></​span></​p>​
 +<​h1>​THE NATURE OF THOUGHT,</​h1>​
 +<​h2><​i>&​amp;​c.&​nbsp;​ &​amp;​c.&​nbsp;​ &​amp;​c.</​i></​h2>​
 +<hr class="​smler"​ />
 +<p>In our survey of the Creation endowed with life and intellect, we are
 +impelled to the conclusion, that the human mind is, beyond all
 +comparison, the most perfect specimen that the Divine Author has chosen
 +to allot to his creatures. The history of our species unfolds the
 +splendid catalogue of man's achievements:​ many monuments, reared by his
 +patriotism and piety, and elaborated by his tasteful ingenuity, that
 +have resisted the corrosions of time, and the spoliations of conquest,
 +remain in our possession: and we still preserve those intellectual
 +treasures that embalm the poetry, the eloquence, and the wisdom of the
 +enlightened nations of antiquity. These are, deservedly, the models we
 +have endeavoured to imitate, and they have even been considered the
 +boundaries of attainment: but a new epoch has arisen, distinguished for
 +the cultivation of that which tends to ultimate advantage, where the
 +mind, confiding in its native <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_2"​ id="​Page_2">​[Pg 2]</​a></​span>​energies,​ and exercising its own thought
 +on human affairs, has been less disposed to submit to the dictates of authority.</​p>​
 +<p>At this period we possess abundant facilities for the acquirement of
 +valuable knowledge: under this system, the mental faculties have been
 +directed to their proper objects, and the time consumed in teaching has
 +been considerably abbreviated. This abridgement of the usual course of
 +education has conduced to the neglect of that classical learning, which
 +required a painful and enduring attention, even for many years, to two
 +languages that have ceased to be spoken, and are only addressed to the
 +eye in written character. It is in no manner intended to under-rate the
 +value of classical literature, the constituent of a scholar, and the
 +passport and ornament of a gentleman; but to introduce a very probable
 +opinion, that few of those who have devoted many of the most productive
 +years of their existence to the Greek and Latin writers, ever attain a
 +critical knowledge of those tongues: and that the substance of morals,
 +wisdom, and even the elegant turns of expression, may be more certainly
 +conveyed through the medium of the best translations,​ which we now
 +possess, and the performance of which has occupied a large portion of
 +the time of accomplished scholars. This conversion of talent to that
 +which is useful, and <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_3"​ id="​Page_3">​[Pg 3]</​a></​span>​productive of emolument, has given a more
 +energetic impulse to the mind, and accelerated that march of which we
 +now so justly boast: but it cannot be denied, that in the rapidity of
 +our advancement,​ and flushed with the ardent hope of arriving at our
 +destination,​ we have bestowed but little notice on the machinery that
 +urged us forwards, or contemplated the scenery through which we passed.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Most persons concur that the human mind is the noblest subject of
 +investigation;​ but few will be at the trouble of undertaking its
 +analysis. With the multitude there is neither leisure nor inclination,​
 +and the doctrines that have been dictated concerning our intellectual
 +faculties and their operations, have tended rather to stifle than to
 +promote inquiry. It is therefore unnecessary to enumerate the catalogue
 +of illustrious names whose contradictory systems have created suspicion
 +and distaste in the student. The science that has been improperly termed
 +Metaphysics,​ ought to be considered a branch of human physiology, not
 +abstracted from, but in this state of existence, connected with the
 +phenomena of life. The citations on the reverse of the Title-page, to
 +which many more might have been added, clearly shew that the doctrine of
 +words being the elements of Thought, did not originate from my own
 +conjecture or inference, and, consequently,​ that the endeavour to
 +<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_4"​ id="​Page_4">​[Pg 4]</​a></​span>​investigate its truth has been the sole object of my research; under
 +the persuasion that, if ideas were inadequate, words only remained to
 +afford the solution of this important process. The necessary connexion
 +of thought with the construction of a perspicuous sentence, has not, to
 +my knowledge, been previously noticed.</​p>​
 +<p>We are said to <span class="​smaller">​THINK</​span>​ on certain subjects, and this process is confessed
 +to require an intense exertion of our intellectual faculties: but for
 +this operation, the materials have not been clearly specified, nor the
 +manner of the elaboration defined. It has been held, that our thoughts
 +are produced by some mysterious assemblage and arrangement of <span class="​smaller">​IDEAS</​span>,​
 +which the mind or soul performs by a dexterous and imperceptible
 +contrivance;​ although we are conscious of all our acts of intelligence,​
 +and on a moment'​s consideration it will be evident, that such
 +intelligence would be useless without our consciousness.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Mr. <span class="​smcap">​Locke</​span>,​ whose name can never be mentioned without a grateful
 +recollection for the instruction he has afforded us, and for the candour
 +with which he has recorded the difficulties that obstructed the progress
 +of his inquiries, has employed this ideal system most extensively:​ but
 +it is evident, that he felt the obscurity of his own definition.<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_5"​ id="​Page_5">​[Pg 5]</​a></​span>​ In his
 +Introduction to the Essay, p. 5, 6th edition, he says, "​Before I proceed
 +on what I have thought on this subject, I must here in the entrance beg
 +pardon of my reader, for the frequent use of the word Idea, which he
 +will find in the following Treatise. It being that term which, I think,
 +serves best to stand for whatsoever is the object of the understanding,​
 +when a man thinks. I have used it to express whatever is meant by
 +Phantasm, Notion, Species, <span class="​smaller">​OR WHATEVER IT IS</​span>,​ which the mind can be
 +employed about in thinking; and I could not avoid frequently using it."
 +Dr. <span class="​smcap">​Reid</​span>​ follows nearly in the same track:&​mdash;"​It is a fundamental
 +principle of the Ideal system, that every object of thought, must be an
 +<​i>​impression</​i>​ or an <​i>​Idea</​i>,​ that is, a <​i>​faint copy</​i>​ of some preceding
 +impression."&​mdash;<​i>​Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense</​i>,​ 1765, p. 41.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The doctrine of Innate Ideas having been deservedly exploded, it follows
 +that these Ideas must be derived from our intercourse with the world we
 +inhabit. For this purpose we are furnished with five senses, from each
 +of which we obtain a separate and different kind of intelligence,​ which
 +is denominated Perception. The perceptions of the Eye, under an
 +attentive inspection, leave on the Sensorium a phantasm or Idea of the
 +object, a vivid memorial of that which has been perceived;<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_6"​ id="​Page_6">​[Pg 6]</​a></​span>​ but the
 +other senses do not convey any similar phantasm.<​a name="​FNanchor_1_1"​ id="​FNanchor_1_1"></​a><​a href="#​Footnote_1_1"​ class="​fnanchor">​[1]</​a>​ The doctrine of
 +Ideas appears to have been countenanced,​ and reconciled under all its
 +difficulties,​ from a presumed spiritual operation and guidance in the
 +act of thinking, and especially to an implacable aversion to any
 +explanation that might be deemed to savour of <​i>​materialism</​i>​. This term,
 +the denunciation of the pious, the convenient obloquy of the ignorant,
 +being equal in its sweeping persecution,​ to the horrible word craven,
 +demands a brief and modest exposition. That we exist in a material
 +world, will scarcely be denied, and it is a fair inference, that the
 +annihilation of matter would involve our globe and its inhabitants in
 +equal destruction. Of this matter, the <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_7"​ id="​Page_7">​[Pg 7]</​a></​span>​concentrated power of man cannot
 +create nor exterminate a single atom. The human body is a material
 +fabric: the brain and nerves, together with those delicate organs that
 +are the instruments of our perceptions,&​mdash;​whereby we receive light,
 +detect fragrance, apprehend sounds, relish viands, and enjoy the
 +gratifications of contact, are all of material structure: and when that
 +state, called Death, has ensued, their offices cease, and they undergo
 +the decompositions to which all animal matter is subjected.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The <​i>​Capacities</​i>,​ by which we feel, experience pleasure and pain,
 +perceive, remember, exercise volition, and become conscious, may be
 +termed Spiritual, or if it be preferred, Divine endowments; and it is
 +not probable that we shall ever detect the immediate agency by which
 +these operations are performed. The state of <​i>​Life</​i>,​ the indispensable
 +medium for the display of the phenomena of intelligence in our present
 +condition of existence, is equally inscrutable by human sagacity,
 +although different hypotheses have been adventured for its solution.</​p>​
 +<p>To account for the harmonious concurrence of motions and processes that
 +distinguish living animals, a <span class="​smaller">​MATTER OF LIFE</​span>​ has been supposed, and its<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_8"​ id="​Page_8">​[Pg 8]</​a></​span>​
 +nature conjectured to be some modification<​a name="​FNanchor_2_2"​ id="​FNanchor_2_2"></​a><​a href="#​Footnote_2_2"​ class="​fnanchor">​[2]</​a>​ of electricity or
 +galvanism, and which being unsupported,​ is not deserving of further
 +comment. Another sect of physiologists has conceived that life is the
 +immediate result of a particular organization;​ but they are unable to
 +demonstrate that any arrangement of parts is consequently endowed with
 +vital actions. This arrangement of particular tissues, may be absolutely
 +necessary for the performance of various functions in the living state:
 +but this is altogether different from the energy or cause that excites
 +the action. A violin and its bow are prepared to "​discourse most
 +excellent music,"​ yet they are mute until guided by the skilful hands of
 +the performer. When death ensues from many diseases, the organization
 +remains, for without this concession our anatomical knowledge must be
 +very imperfect. Thus the nature of life, whether it be developed in the
 +vegetable creation, or display its admirable complications in the higher
 +animals, is inexplicable on any of the principles that regulate our
 +philosophy, and can only be referred to the contrivance and disposition
 +of infinite wisdom: yet the vehicle in which these stupendous operations
 +are conducted owns a material basis: even<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_9"​ id="​Page_9">​[Pg 9]</​a></​span>​ the confused mass that
 +composes the earth we tread on possesses certain intrinsic properties.
 +Every atom is subjected to definite regulation, and without
 +exaggeration,​ may be considered endowed with instinctive tendency to
 +coalesce or disunite under favourable opportunities,​ and the correct
 +observation of these habitudes, constitutes the foundations of chemical
 +science. When the power and intelligence of the supreme Artificer is
 +conspicuous in the ultimate particles of matter, we ought to be more
 +temperate in our invectives against the doctrine of materialism.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Ideas have been generally employed, and held competent, by many of the
 +tribe of metaphysicians,​ to explain the phenomena and operations of our
 +intellectual nature: but they have failed in the attempt. They have
 +endeavoured to confer on them an agency they do not possess, and have
 +given the mind a dominion over them that it cannot exert.<a name="​FNanchor_3_3"​ id="​FNanchor_3_3"></​a><​a href="#​Footnote_3_3"​ class="​fnanchor">​[3]</​a>​ <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_10"​ id="​Page_10">​[Pg 10]</​a></​span>​Ideas are
 +the memorial phantasms of visual perception, a largess bestowed, perhaps
 +exclusively,​ on the sense of sight, and this bounty contributes
 +essentially to the acquirement and retention of knowledge. They are the
 +unfading transcripts of vision, and they exhibit the original picture to
 +the retrospect of memory. They are but little under the immediate
 +direction of the will, and cannot be arbitrarily summoned or dismissed,
 +but owe their introduction to a different source, to be explained
 +hereafter. They perform important offices, although they are not the
 +materials to rear and consolidate the edifice of thought.</​p>​
 +<​p><​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_11"​ id="​Page_11">​[Pg 11]</​a></​span></​p><​p>​Those writers on the human mind who have adhered to the doctrine of
 +Ideas, and have been the advocates for the Spirituality of Thought, have
 +insufficiently considered, or held in subordinate regard, Language; the
 +prominent criterion, by which a human being is proudly elevated above
 +the rest of the animated creation. Speech, and its representation by
 +characters, are exclusively comprehensible by man; and these have been
 +the sources of his vast attainments and rapid progression. The ear
 +receives the various intonations that convey intelligence,​ and the
 +characters or symbols of these significant sounds are detected by the
 +human eye. Some of the more docile animals have been supposed capable of
 +comprehending the meaning of a few individual words, but no one worthy
 +of belief, has affirmed that they could understand a sentence or
 +distinct proposition:​ still less, has any person, however confiding in
 +the marvellous, ever ventured to assert that they were able to read. The
 +important feature, and obvious utility of language, consists in the
 +commutation of our perceptions for a significant sound or word, which by
 +convention may be communicated to others, bearing a common and identical
 +meaning. In this manner we become intelligible to each other, by the
 +transmission and reception of these articulate and significant sounds.
 +Words are not only the representatives of the perceptions we receive
 +through the medium of our<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_12"​ id="​Page_12">​[Pg 12]</​a></​span>​ five senses, but likewise of many internal
 +feelings, passions, and emotions, together with all that the <​i>​Mind</​i>​ (the
 +aggregate of capacity and acquired intelligence) has elaborated. The
 +result of this commutation renders the word the intelligible substitute
 +for the thing perceived, so that the presence of the object recalls its
 +name, and the name when uttered excites the immediate recollection of
 +the absent object. This reciprocal substitution or mutual exchange,
 +forms the basis, and affords a reason for Language. Whoever will take
 +the trouble to watch the progress of the child from the commencement of
 +its efforts to speak, will be surprised with its display of curiosity
 +and intelligence. It feels delighted with the existence it enjoys, and
 +with the power its senses possess to examine the objects of the world
 +that surrounds it. Every organ, in succession, is occupied in noticing
 +the wonders and mysteries that are presented. This incessant, but silent
 +play of perception, proceeds until a sound, often repeated, interests
 +the sense of hearing, and although at first dimly comprehended,​ is meant
 +to represent some present object or person, and which, by an excitement
 +little understood, urges the effort of imitation. The success of
 +intelligible pronunciation impels it forward to other attempts, <​i>​vires
 +acquirit eundo</​i>,​ and in a time comparatively short, it accumulates a
 +copious vocabulary. These are the incipient efforts to establish<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_13"​ id="​Page_13">​[Pg 13]</​a></​span>​ that
 +commutation of the object of perception for the word, on which the
 +structure of language is erected. It is unnecessary further to trace
 +these dawnings of speech, or to describe the satisfaction that is felt,
 +when the child by this commutation of perceptions for words, can
 +communicate the wonders it has seen, the delicacies it has tasted, or
 +the flattering commendations bestowed on its person and accomplishments.
 +This commutation confers additional satisfaction by being enabled to
 +invest the object of immediate perception with an appropriate and
 +intelligible name. Thus by the repeated exercise of this commutation,​
 +which soon becomes confirmed into habit, we speak of the past, by the
 +assistance of memory, with the correctness and feeling of the present.
 +At a certain age we learn to discriminate the characters that compose
 +words, (letters)&​mdash;​the order in which they are placed, (orthography,​) and
 +with greater difficulty, the position of these words, to convey a
 +definite and connected meaning. When reading has been fully attained, it
 +must be recollected that all the sentences in the volume we peruse, are
 +composed of individual words, that are examples of the commutation
 +mentioned; and although the objects are absent, and the actions have
 +been long since performed, often for centuries, we are interested in the
 +narrative, and bestow the appropriate tribute of sympathy or admiration.
 +Words, thus <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_14"​ id="​Page_14">​[Pg 14]</​a></​span>​impregnated with definite meaning, become the floating
 +currency of the mind, are the efficient materials of Thought, and of its perspicuous expression.</​p>​
 +<p>It has been frequently remarked, that the mind is more delighted by
 +making distant excursions, than in the examination of surrounding
 +objects, or of those directly obvious. Such immediate assistance for the
 +pursuit and development of this inquiry is presented in two remarkable
 +instances, where Nature digresses from her usual course, and which are
 +not of rare occurrence. 1st. Some persons are born with their ears
 +impervious to sound, and as language is acquired by imitation,<​a name="​FNanchor_4_4"​ id="​FNanchor_4_4"></​a><​a href="#​Footnote_4_4"​ class="​fnanchor">​[4]</​a>​ such
 +as are deaf, remain mute or dumb.<a name="​FNanchor_5_5"​ id="​FNanchor_5_5"></​a><​a href="#​Footnote_5_5"​ class="​fnanchor">​[5]</​a>​ With the exception of the sense of
 +hearing, they are like animals the creatures of perception. Some have
 +displayed considerable curiosity in examining objects by the eye, and by
 +the organs of touch, taste, and smell: but they do not, with these
 +elements of<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_15"​ id="​Page_15">​[Pg 15]</​a></​span>​ knowledge, progressively advance in intelligence,​ until
 +they have been circuitously taught the characters that are the
 +constituents of words, and also to comprehend, that the word itself is
 +the commuted substitute for the object perceived. Notwithstanding these
 +deficiencies,​ and disqualifications for human intercourse,​ these deaf,
 +and consequently dumb persons, must be, in a very high degree, the
 +subjects of Ideas, or of those phantasms that are associated with visual perception.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The second instance, is of those who are born blind, and continue
 +sightless through life. A person under such total privation of vision,
 +must be exempt from those phantasms or Ideas, that are connected with,
 +or are the residuary contingents on visual perception: yet the blind
 +acquire speech, when young, with equal facility, as the children who
 +enjoy sight; but visible objects must, to them, be abstract or complex
 +terms, as all such necessarily are, that cannot be the objects of
 +perception. The other sensitive organs, and especially the touch, to a
 +limited extent, become the substitutes for visual defect, although they
 +are no actual compensations for sight. By models the blind can become
 +acquainted with alphabetic characters, and unite them into words: and in
 +the same manner discriminate,​ and record the musical notes. Some of the
 +blind have become highly intelligent,​ and<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_16"​ id="​Page_16">​[Pg 16]</​a></​span>​ have excelled in
 +conversational acuteness; and as human beings have left the deaf and
 +dumb in the rear, notwithstanding the latter are furnished with all the
 +<​i>​Ideas</​i>​ that can be inherited from sight. This constant employment of
 +words, impregnated with meaning, affords the blind considerable facility
 +in acquiring information by pertinent questions, and enables him to
 +communicate his thoughts with precision and correctness. These words,
 +and the intelligence that resides in them, are the only sources of his
 +knowledge, (his perceptions being commuted for words,) and the meaning
 +they import is all that it is necessary for him to comprehend. It may
 +here be repeated that the capacity by which man exclusively exercises
 +the range of thought by sounds that are significant,​ and receives from
 +others the same oral intelligence,​ has no material basis that we can
 +possibly detect or logically infer: but must be considered an endowment
 +of infinite power and wisdom.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Before we attribute such vast powers to these Ideas or phantasms, the
 +shadows of visual perception, it will be convenient to inquire into
 +their nature, and endeavour to ascertain the laws by which they are
 +regulated. In that state of mental relaxation, when the intellect is not
 +intently occupied on any particular subject, numberless phantasms will
 +involuntarily intrude: for, during the<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_17"​ id="​Page_17">​[Pg 17]</​a></​span>​ time we are awake, the mind is
 +never wholly unoccupied, and such irregular presentations of Ideas
 +constitute our reveries. However these ignes fatui may glimmer in their
 +wanderings, tumultuously assemble, or abruptly depart; such confluence
 +or dispersion contributes nothing to effective thought. As far as these
 +Ideas or phantasms, the obsequious shadows of visual perception, can be
 +traced, they are incapable of being summoned to appear by any voluntary
 +command; but are consequently revived by the term or word for which the
 +perception is commuted. Thus, having previously noticed them with
 +attention, when we speak of St. Paul's Cathedral or Westminster Abbey,
 +the attendant visions of these buildings immediately arise, and we are
 +impressed with a memorial picture in conjunction with, and through the
 +intervention of the word. The will possesses no power to unite or
 +separate Ideas; they adhere to, and remain the unalterable deposits of
 +perception. Let it next be asked, what human purpose can be effected by
 +their sole agency? On those solemn occasions when we address our prayers
 +to the Divine Source, can these effusions of grateful feeling, and
 +humble petition, be conveyed in phantasms? Does not the lamenting and
 +repentant sinner emphatically articulate his anxious supplications?​ Can
 +any human contract be concluded by mere Ideas, or any system of
 +jurisprudence be established on such visionary basis?<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_18"​ id="​Page_18">​[Pg 18]</​a></​span>​ Ideas therefore
 +cannot enable us to perform our duty towards God, or our neighbour.<​a name="​FNanchor_6_6"​ id="​FNanchor_6_6"></​a><​a href="#​Footnote_6_6"​ class="​fnanchor">​[6]</​a></​p>​
 +<p>In pursuing this important subject, the candid confession of Mr. <span class="​smcap">​Locke</​span>​
 +bewrays his distrust of the powers and efficiency of his favourite
 +Ideas. "To form a clear notion of <​i>​Truth</​i>,​ it is very necessary to
 +consider Truth of Thought, and Truth of words distinctly one from
 +another: but yet it is very difficult to treat of them asunder. Because
 +it is unavoidable,​ in treating of mental propositions to make use of
 +words; and then the instances given of <​i>​mental</​i>​ propositions,​ cease
 +immediately to be barely mental, and become <​i>​verbal</​i>​. For a mental
 +proposition,​ being nothing <​i>​but a bare consideration of the Ideas</​i>,​ as
 +they are in our minds <​i>​stripped</​i>​ of names, they lose the nature of
 +purely mental propositions,​ as soon as they are put into words. And that
 +which makes it <​i>​yet harder</​i>​ to treat of mental and verbal Propositions
 +separately, is, that most men, if not all, in their <span class="​smaller">​THINKING</​span>,​ and
 +reasonings within themselves, make use of <span class="​smcap">​Words</​span>,​ instead of Ideas, at
 +least when the subject of their meditation contains in it complex Ideas.
 +Which is a great evidence of the imperfection and uncertainty of our
 +Ideas of that kind, and may, if <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_19"​ id="​Page_19">​[Pg 19]</​a></​span>​attentively made use of, serve for a
 +mark to shew us, what are those things, we have clear and perfect
 +established Ideas of, and what not."&​mdash;<​i>​Vol.</​i>​ II. <​i>​C.</​i>​ 5, <​i>​p.</​i>​ 195. Mr.
 +<span class="​smcap">​Locke</​span>​ was a patient and acute observer of that which passed in his own
 +mind, when he strictly meditated any particular subject: and in this
 +process he was likewise aware, in common with others, that he employed
 +<​i>​words</​i>​ instead of Ideas in his thinking and reasoning within himself.
 +By Ideas alone, he confesses that he could not advance; and for this
 +evident reason, because Ideas are incapable of being communicated to
 +others, or received by ourselves, excepting through a verbal medium.
 +There is no evidence of Thought without it be perspicuously expressed in
 +words addressed to the ear, or by their characters presented to the eye;
 +and the vain consciousness we may feel that our mind is teeming with
 +important Thoughts, is little to be relied on, until we are capable of
 +expressing them orally, or exhibiting them in writing. It has been a
 +prevailing opinion with those attached to the Ideal doctrine, and who
 +are advocates for the spiritual process of Thought, that the Idea is
 +first conceived mentally, and subsequently,​ by some process not
 +explained, invested with the corresponding expression. It is however
 +certain that the word itself, with the meaning that is attached to it,
 +must be previously acquired, and thoroughly comprehended,​ before the
 +abstract Idea,<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_20"​ id="​Page_20">​[Pg 20]</​a></​span>​ or naked Thought, can select the befitting expression,
 +and ransack the vast range of a copious vocabulary. The believers in the
 +extreme rapidity of thought to which we shall presently advert, must be
 +alarmed at this manner of explanation,​ which necessarily constitutes
 +Thought a two-fold process, and consequently would consume, at least
 +double the time for its disclosure. Perhaps in all instances the
 +phraseology we employ, like our manners, is derived from the society we
 +frequent: that which is imbibed from persons of good education bears the
 +stamp of superior discrimination and correctness,​ contrasted with the
 +rude dialect of the vulgar: but it still remains unsolved, by what means
 +these phantasms, or Ideas, accommodate themselves with the appropriate
 +words to express the Thoughts they have conceived.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Can it be supposed that the abstract, naked, and incommunicable
 +conception possesses an innate sagacity to clothe itself with a verbal
 +garb, at best of capricious and transient fashion?</​p>​
 +<div class="​poem"><​div class="​stanza">​
 +<​div>"​Multa renascentur,​ qu&​aelig;​ jam cecidere, cadentque</​div>​
 +<​div>​Qu&​aelig;​ nunc sunt in honore vocabula, si volet usus,</​div>​
 +<​div>​Quem penes arbitrium est, et jus et norma loquendi."</​div>​
 +<p>It is certain that Ideas may exist in the mind, as the connected
 +results, and enduring phantasms of visual perception, independently of
 +words, and<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_21"​ id="​Page_21">​[Pg 21]</​a></​span>​ such condition is exemplified in those born deaf, who are
 +consequently dumb: to whom the business of life is a mere pantomime, who
 +only communicate the impulses of passion, and expose their want of comprehension.</​p>​
 +<div class="​poem"><​div class="​stanza">​
 +<​div>"​In dumb significants proclaim their Thoughts."&​mdash;<​i>​Henry VIth.</​i></​div>​
 +<​p>​From these examples it appears that a human being may possess a
 +multitude of Ideas, and yet be wholly ignorant of language: and in the
 +instances of those born blind, he may acquire speech to its fullest
 +extent without having any Ideas, which therefore cannot be considered
 +the necessary instruments of Thought. Thus, the presumed mutual
 +intercourse,​ and reciprocal correspondence between Ideas and words is a
 +very disputable conclusion.</​p>​
 +<​p>​When the Idea or phantasm that is connected with visual perception
 +appears, in consequence of the word being mentioned (which by
 +commutation is its substitute),​ the presentation is immediate. He who
 +has visited and attentively noted interesting scenes, mountainous
 +districts, cataracts or prospects, when they are mentioned, will have
 +their phantasms or pictured images occur to him, and he will be aware of
 +them, like the intrusion of a sudden flash. From this phenomenon the
 +<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_22"​ id="​Page_22">​[Pg 22]</​a></​span>​generally received opinion of the <​i>​rapidity</​i>​ of <​i>​Thought</​i>​ may in all
 +probability have originated.</​p>​
 +<​p>​All popular and settled notions, however unfounded, like prejudices
 +early imbibed, are with difficulty eradicated. Among these may be
 +instanced the dictum of the astonishing rapidity of Thought, which is
 +almost proverbial, and generally believed: even Mr. <span class="​smcap">​Tooke</​span>,​ Vol. I., p.
 +28, conforms to this established maxim. "Words have been called
 +<​i>​winged</​i>:​ and they well deserve that name, when their abbreviations are
 +compared with the progress which speech could make without these
 +inventions; but when compared with the <​i>​rapidity</​i>​ of <​i>​thought</​i>,​ they
 +have not the smallest claim to that title."​ By calculation,​ the progress
 +of light from the sun and other luminaries is said to be ascertained;​
 +and likewise the rate at which sound travels: but hitherto no
 +contrivance has been fabricated to estimate the rapidity of thought. If
 +the succession of our thoughts should be more rapid than they can be
 +distinctly apprehended,​ confusion must ensue, and their rapidity would
 +render them useless. Our perceptions are regulated by the same law. If
 +the prismatic colours be painted on a surface which is revolved with
 +great rapidity, the individual colours will not be apparent. The
 +succession of sounds to a definite number, may be severally
 +distinguished,​ in a certain interval: but<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_23"​ id="​Page_23">​[Pg 23]</​a></​span>​ if the succession be
 +increased beyond the power of discrimination,​ they will impress the ear
 +as one uniform sound. The same principle must regulate our thoughts,
 +whether they be composed of Ideas or words, or, if it be possible, of
 +both jumbled together. It does not appear that our thoughts for any
 +useful purpose, which must imply their communication to others, or for a
 +record in written characters, <​i>​can</​i>​ be more rapid than the intelligible
 +pronunciation of the words themselves, and which, when delivered in
 +quick succession, leave the short-hand-writer behind.<​a name="​FNanchor_7_7"​ id="​FNanchor_7_7"></​a><​a href="#​Footnote_7_7"​ class="​fnanchor">​[7]</​a></​p>​
 +<p>As Ideas can be nothing more than the mere phantasms attendant on visual
 +perception, which, like the perceptions of the other senses, are
 +commuted for words, that, by the aid of memory, recall in their absence
 +the objects that have been perceived; it would be difficult to suppose
 +that Ideas could fortuitously or voluntarily assemble in a more rapid
 +succession, than the words for which they have been commuted, without
 +producing confusion. It frequently happens to inexperienced persons, in
 +giving evidence before a legal <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_24"​ id="​Page_24">​[Pg 24]</​a></​span>​tribunal,​ or in addressing a popular
 +assembly, that they cannot proceed; and they are generally disposed to
 +interpret this failure, to their thoughts occurring in a succession too
 +rapid for their utterance. Allowing the apology to be correct, it is a
 +proof that such rapidity is inconvenient,​ and renders the Thought wholly
 +useless if it cannot be communicated.</​p>​
 +<​p>​When we attentively measure the steps of our own minds in the act of
 +thinking, and also observe the progress of others, it will be found that
 +effective Thought does not result from this rapid and tumultuous rush of
 +Ideas; but is a very deliberate, and in many cases painful elaboration:​
 +and must, when committed to writing, be subjected to subsequent revisals
 +and repeated corrections,​ and which must be applied to the <​i>​words</​i>​
 +constituting the sentence in which the thought is contained. From this
 +general view of the subject, it is concluded that Ideas, the residuary
 +phantasms of visual perception, cannot directly constitute or become the
 +immediate instruments of Thought.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The present Essay being considered an humble attempt to investigate a
 +portion of intellectual physiology, an apology will scarcely be deemed
 +necessary for a short digression to inquire into the powers and
 +faculties of the human mind: and which, when<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_25"​ id="​Page_25">​[Pg 25]</​a></​span>​ determined, may be viewed
 +as the alphabet of mental science.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Systems prematurely constructed,​ and under the impression of authority,
 +have been especial impediments to our intellectual progress: and this
 +truth has been remarkably exemplified in the works that have treated of
 +the human mind. In the numerous treatises on this subject that have
 +issued from the press, there is but little agreement concerning these
 +powers or faculties, and it is evident that a definite number must be
 +required: some writers enumerate more, others less, and it is not
 +unusual for some of these metaphysical projectors to split a single and
 +presumed faculty into a variety of subdivisions. To the acute and
 +patient observer, it will appear that the operations of Nature are
 +contrived with admirable simplicity; but man, in his endeavours to
 +explain them, has generally resorted to a mysterious and discouraging
 +complexity. Thus, as might be expected, the same faculty, according to
 +different authorities,​ has dissimilar energies,&​mdash;​one is detected to
 +encroach on the boundary of another, and when the mechanism of mind,
 +fabricated by these scholastic dictators, is attempted to be set in
 +motion, it is found incapable of working. For the grand moving power we
 +have an undefined, and consequently unintelligible doctrine of <​i>​Ideas</​i>,​
 +of supposed spiritual and directing agency; the <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_26"​ id="​Page_26">​[Pg 26]</​a></​span>​admission of which
 +would destroy the responsibility of a human being both here and
 +hereafter, and degrade his ennobled condition to the instinct of the
 +speechless brute. To endow these insubstantial and reflected phantasms
 +with some activity and mimic play, a theory of the <​i>​association of
 +Ideas</​i>​ has been erected, without having previously established that they
 +are capable of such confederation. A wearisome catalogue of faculties,
 +many of which are conjectural,​ has been enumerated; Abstraction,​
 +Conception, Contemplation,​ Consciousness,​ Comparison, Imagination,​
 +Judgment, Memory, Recollection,​ Reminiscence,​ Retention, Perception,
 +Sensation, Reflection, Thought, Understanding,​ Volition, and many others
 +that caprice has created, or a subtle discrimination helped to multiply.
 +These are the materials out of which scholastic metaphysicians have
 +fashioned their unresembling model, and deserted Nature. It is not
 +intended in this abbreviated essay to settle the pretensions of these
 +numerous faculties, the discussion of which would require an ample
 +volume: and the award might probably be protracted, till the claim was
 +forgotten. When we contemplate the dexterities that the hand performs,
 +and the monuments of skill and taste that it has elaborated; it would
 +only create unnecessary distinctions to affirm that it possessed the
 +faculties of sculpturing,​ painting, writing, spinning, weaving, sewing,
 +and numberless other manipulations:​ <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_27"​ id="​Page_27">​[Pg 27]</​a></​span>​besides those that ulterior
 +discoveries may enable it to accomplish. However profuse these
 +constructors of the mind may have been in the accumulation of its
 +component faculties, they appear to have little regarded language, its
 +most prominent and important feature; <​i>​the universal menstruum of
 +intelligence,​ and accredited currency for the circulation and exchange
 +of thought</​i>​. There are two faculties or capacities that are peculiar to
 +the human intellect, by which our species has attained a supremacy that
 +leaves all other animated beings in a distant rear: the possession of
 +which has rendered man a progressive being, and the race of animals so
 +nearly stationary, that however they may be tortured into improvement,​
 +they feel no emulation to proceed, and the acquirement perishes where
 +the brute expires. These undisputed faculties are Speech, with its
 +recording characters, and the comprehension of numbers, the powerful
 +sources of that pre-eminence which man has already attained, and to
 +which he must be indebted for his further advancement.</​p>​
 +<p>As Ideas are wholly incompetent to explain the process of thought, the
 +next inquiry will be, whether words are capable of affording the
 +adequate solution. For this purpose, the simple experiment would be
 +sufficient; and as we are conscious, under due attention of all the acts
 +that the mind performs, every person, in proportion to his habits of
 +<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_28"​ id="​Page_28">​[Pg 28]</​a></​span>​deliberately noting that which passes within himself, will be enabled
 +to institute this examination. It is however to be lamented, that
 +Thought is not the constant or habitual exercise of the mind on the
 +phenomena of Nature, the occurrences of life, or the subjects we listen
 +to and peruse: but is only occasionally awakened by difficulties,​
 +excited by contention, or invoked by the promise of fame and by the hope
 +of emolument. The usual course of education is but little calculated to
 +promote the habitudes of thinking, and especially that teaching where
 +authority dictates, and demonstration is neglected. Much of this
 +instruction is enforced by degradation and terror; and the pupil, at an
 +early age, is compelled to swallow doctrines which he is unable to
 +comprehend, and consequently cannot digest, except through the peptic
 +assistance of the scourge: and which, when matured by manhood, and
 +enlightened by reason, he is forced to reject.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Thought requires knowledge as its basis, and in proportion to its extent
 +on any given subject, the investigation will be productive. This
 +knowledge may be acquired by conversation,​ reading, or experiment, and
 +these require Language, or a composition of words. Knowledge supplies
 +the materials for thought, and every thought must be a distinct
 +proposition,​ or sentence composed of words. A single word, although it
 +possesses a<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_29"​ id="​Page_29">​[Pg 29]</​a></​span>​ distinct meaning, cannot constitute a thought, which
 +implies a separate proposition or inference contained in a sentence:
 +still less can it be supposed to result from an individual phantasm or
 +Idea. When it is considered that language is composed of words adapted
 +by position to represent all the phenomena and contingencies of human
 +affairs, and that we employ them, <i>by commutation</​i>,​ for all that we can
 +experience as sentient and intellectual beings, we shall be able to
 +understand that they are the mental currency previously described, and
 +that they are the only instruments of intelligence to which we can
 +resort for the communication of our thoughts, or for the process of
 +their elaboration. They must be expressed in words, and by words
 +prepared for such expression. Without attempting to investigate the
 +different kinds of words, or parts of speech, the province of general or
 +philosophical grammarians,​ whose unsettled disputes still perplex the
 +patient and modest inquirer, it will be sufficient to remark that we
 +possess words adapted to convey all the shades of opinion and degrees of
 +feeling: and when these words, under the guidance of acquired knowledge,
 +are perspicuously arranged into a proposition or sentence, they
 +constitute Thought: and the act of thinking consists in their correct
 +selection and arrangement for the purpose of promulgation by speech or
 +writing, and which is very properly termed composition.<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_30"​ id="​Page_30">​[Pg 30]</​a></​span>​ When we
 +reflect, that from our infancy to the natural decline of our
 +intellectual powers, we are employed, during our waking hours, in the
 +exercise of language;<​a name="​FNanchor_8_8"​ id="​FNanchor_8_8"></​a><​a href="#​Footnote_8_8"​ class="​fnanchor">​[8]</​a>&​mdash;​by conversation,​ often desultory, where we
 +range through a variety of topics, as the bird sports from branch to
 +twig; to the more deliberate act of composition,​ where the mind
 +enduringly broods on the subject;&​mdash;​or when we read, and attentively
 +consider the thoughts of others:&​mdash;​these occupations contribute to
 +augment our vocabulary, and fix the meaning of the words we employ. By
 +these words, and the intelligence that resides in them, although many
 +centuries have passed by, we participate,​ and feel impregnated with the
 +pure and exalted spirit that conceived the Iliad and Odyssey. Time has
 +not diminished the vigour or impaired the beauty of those memorials that
 +have survived the extinction of the Grecian states, and the glory of the
 +eternal city; and such is the luminous correspondence of Language, that
 +by transfusion into our vernacular idiom, we may<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_31"​ id="​Page_31">​[Pg 31]</​a></​span>​ receive a satisfactory
 +measure of the original inspiration. Let it be kept in view, that Ideas,
 +the frail associates of a perception, possess no permanence, are
 +incapable of being transferred,​ and must fade away when our existence
 +terminates. It is the word that forms the nucleus, and contains the
 +intellectual deposit, that may become the inheritance of future generations.</​p>​
 +<​p>​This process, in no manner or degree tends to subvert the spiritual
 +nature of Thought, which has its source in the capacities whereby we
 +perceive, remember, and comprehend that significant sounds or words are
 +the commuted representatives of the objects of intelligence. The
 +perceptive organs of many animals are more exquisitely endowed than man,
 +and their local memory more retentive; yet they are wholly incapable of
 +comprehending language or calculating numbers;&​mdash;​capacities by which the
 +Creator has exclusively dignified the human race.</​p>​
 +<p>It may excite some surprise that an Essay on Thought should be connected
 +with the construction of a perspicuous sentence. To explain this
 +conjunction,​ it may be urged, that there can be no evidence of thought,
 +until it is promulgated by speech or written character: and, on all
 +important occasions, such communications of meaning become<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_32"​ id="​Page_32">​[Pg 32]</​a></​span>​ absolutely
 +necessary. Acquiescence or dissent may indeed be tacitly conveyed, by
 +holding up the hand, or by ballot, without condescending to offer any
 +verbal reasons for the adoption or rejection of the proposed measure.
 +Affirmation or negation does not in any manner constitute Thought; such
 +determination may result from caprice, from ignorance, or from
 +prejudice, without the slightest consideration. Thought requires some
 +proposition clearly conceived and perspicuously expressed in a sentence;
 +and the clearness of the Thought will be ascertained by the perspicuity
 +of its verbal expression. There may be some difficulty respecting the
 +precise meaning of individual words, arising from the corruptions of the
 +ignorant; but more especially from the perversions of writers who have
 +been deemed authorities. This distortion of the original sense, is, in a
 +certain degree, incidental to all living languages, which being in
 +childhood acquired by the ear, the learner is compelled to adopt the
 +signification of words, and employ the current phraseology of those with
 +whom he associates. When he is subsequently taught to speak and write by
 +rule, or grammatically,​ generally at an age anterior to the exercise of
 +reason, he is coerced to imbibe that which is forced in the way of
 +instruction. Even at a more advanced period the student cannot readily
 +comprehend how a perspicuous sentence is formed by the position of
 +<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_33"​ id="​Page_33">​[Pg 33]</​a></​span>​individual words, each bearing a distinct signification,​ which it is
 +presumed must be the fact: but Mr. <span class="​smcap">​Dugald Stewart</​span>,​ in his <​i>​Philosophical
 +Essays</​i>,​ <​i>​p.</​i>​ 155, has introduced a doctrine entirely opposite to this
 +well-founded position. "So different is all this from the fact, that our
 +words when examined <​i>​separately</​i>,​ are <​i>​often</​i>​ as completely
 +insignificant as the letters of which they are composed: deriving their
 +meaning <​i>​solely</​i>​ from the connexion, or relation in which they stand to others."</​p>​
 +<​p>​For the memory of Mr. <span class="​smcap">​Stewart</​span>,​ in common with his surviving pupils, I
 +feel the reverence that is due to a learned, eloquent and amiable
 +instructor, although I may now differ with him in many essential points
 +relating to his philosophy of the human mind. The fact, that every word
 +possesses a distinct meaning, appears to constitute one of the
 +foundations of language: and it is impossible to conceive that any word,
 +in itself completely insignificant,​ can impart signification to others;
 +that which it does not contain cannot be communicated. The reservation
 +contained in the word <​i>​often</​i>,​ implies that some words really are
 +significant;​ but no directions are given how to discover, and select
 +from the copious vocabulary of our language, such as are impregnated
 +with meaning, in order to expunge those that are insignificant. When we
 +consult Dr. <span class="​smcap">​Johnson'​s</​span>​ Dictionary, we find that the greater<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_34"​ id="​Page_34">​[Pg 34]</​a></​span>​ part of the
 +words enumerated in his ample collection, instead of being senseless,
 +enjoy an exuberance of meaning. Thus the verb to think has ten
 +significations;​ the substantive Thought (the preterite of the verb), 12;
 +Something, n. s., 5; Nothing, n. s., 11; Smooth, adj., 6; Rough, adj.,
 +12; To stand, v. n., 69; To run, v. n., 62; Empty, adj., 9; Full, adj.,
 +15; Beginning, n. s., 5; End, n. s., 20; Before, prepos., 12; After,
 +prep., 6. However strange, or perhaps ludicrous, these numbers may seem,
 +yet, in the progress of language from barbarism to refinement, from the
 +assumed authority of writers, this accumulation of meanings is
 +inevitable. However precise the primitive signification of words may
 +have been, imagination,​ passion, or feeling would readily train them to
 +deflect from their original import, under the effusions of the "poet,
 +the lunatic, or the lover."​ A correct etymology would unfold the rude
 +and simple origin of many words, that our Anglo-saxon,​ and Norman
 +ancestors have bequeathed to us; although we are now but little sensible
 +of the legacy; as the great mass feels no inclination to revert to the
 +source of derivation. Many have been distorted by corruption, and these
 +are the most difficult to trace: to which may be added, that the terms
 +we now employ to express our feelings and passions, and all that depicts
 +mind and its operations, are of a figurative or metaphorical origin.
 +Instead of any word being <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_35"​ id="​Page_35">​[Pg 35]</​a></​span>​insignificant,​ there is no one but may become
 +the keystone in a sentence; and therefore a word blotted out in a
 +perspicuous,​ that is, a properly constructed sentence, would render it
 +unintelligible. To the composition of a sentence, whatever may be the
 +thought, certain words are absolutely necessary, each containing an
 +individual meaning; which, like a sum in addition, composed of different
 +units, each possessing a separate and intrinsic value, may, when added
 +together, produce the total. To those who have not attentively
 +considered the subject, there is considerable difficulty in
 +understanding how a determinate number of words can include the
 +intelligence contained in a proposition or sentence: and especially how
 +these components of separate significations can become connected for
 +such general and comprehensive meaning. It should be recollected that
 +such is the amazing inclosure of language, that it comprehends all the
 +living and inanimate materials of this world, all that perception can
 +detect, memory recall, or thought elaborate. This exposition includes
 +the present posture of human affairs, and the movements we
 +observe:&​mdash;​much that has heretofore occurred, which the characters of
 +language have preserved unfaded from dark and remote ages: and are
 +competent to transmit to a distant posterity, with accumulated interest:
 +all that experience has amassed, accompanied with the consoling
 +promises<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_36"​ id="​Page_36">​[Pg 36]</​a></​span>​ of the future, which Revelation has unfolded. The extended
 +empire of speech, and its perpetuating characters, embrace this
 +prodigious range; but their comprehension is exclusively limited to the
 +human race. When words can represent all that is evident and all that is
 +conjectural&​mdash;​the works of Omnipotence,​ and the fabrications of man&​mdash;​we
 +need to seek no further for the necessary materials of thought. The
 +difficulty that has perplexed many persons respecting the compactness
 +and unity of intelligence that a sentence contains, principally arises
 +from their ignorance of the precise meaning of individual words.
 +Etymologists would employ them in their original sense, and consider
 +themselves justified by referring to their primitive import: others
 +would use them according to their ordinary acceptation,​ which may be
 +perverted; for in the currency of language, much is defective and
 +counterfeit:​ but in general the authority of writers who are accredited,
 +however they may disagree, is adopted. The intrinsic meaning of many
 +words, especially the particles, will appear obscure; because they are
 +disguised abbreviations of other words, and, in some instances, are sunk
 +so deeply, that they cannot be fathomed. A protracted life might now be
 +consumed in the investigation of these convenient and necessary
 +particles, including the voluminous efforts of those illustrious
 +grammarians who have terminated their discordant <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_37"​ id="​Page_37">​[Pg 37]</​a></​span>​labours,​ without
 +arriving at their primitive signification. The chemical elements of
 +matter have undergone various reforms, and actual revolutions,​ and still
 +await ulterior confusion.</​p>​
 +<​p>​The clearness of the thought will be manifested by the perspicuity of
 +the sentence that expresses it. Whatever may be related, is most readily
 +comprehended,​ when detailed in the strict order of its occurrence. If a
 +procession be described, the exact sequence of its train must be noted,
 +otherwise it will become a confused mixture of persons, or a mob. The
 +same regularity is required in the construction of a sentence; and it
 +appears fortunate that the English language reconciles this direct
 +location of words, on which, its conformity to natural events and human
 +transactions principally depends. From this straight-forward expression
 +of meaning we may expect a future excellence of composition,​ and a more
 +direct elaboration of thought. This distant prospect which imagination
 +paints, and hope promotes, can only be realized under a system where
 +light streams uncontrolled,​ and the atmosphere we breathe is free. The
 +spirit of liberty must preside where improvement is expected. When we
 +have acquired the power and habit of original thinking, the most
 +important part of education, the mind is emancipated,​ and its
 +independence commences: we cease to be espaliers, and<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_38"​ id="​Page_38">​[Pg 38]</​a></​span>​ become standards.
 +Hitherto we have been principally trained according to the ancient
 +models. The Greek and Latin historians, orators, and poets, have
 +consumed, to a great extent, the docile season of youth: when perception
 +is active, and memory most permanently retains its various deposits, to
 +the dereliction of the great presentations of Nature, the operations of
 +numbers, the foundations of science, and more especially the exercise of
 +thought. After we have quitted school, and commenced our career of
 +profitable employment, these studies are seldom continued, and from
 +desuetude are soon forgotten; or only revived, perhaps unaptly, in an
 +occasional quotation. Even a living language, when not exercised, fades
 +from the recollection. The indirect location of words which prevails in
 +Latin, can be no model for English composition,​ where regular and
 +consecutive meaning constitute the perspicuity of the sentence; and
 +according to the reasoning that has been adopted, of the thought itself.
 +Words, and the meaning which resides in each individual, are the only
 +media by which our thoughts can be conveyed; and if these, which are
 +connected by sense and subject, are so separated, or dislocated, that it
 +becomes a puzzle to reduce them to their natural order, such distraction
 +ought not to be considered an example for the process of thinking, and
 +its development by composition or construction of sentences in the
 +English <span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_39"​ id="​Page_39">​[Pg 39]</​a></​span>​language. The connexion that exists in a perspicuous sentence,
 +is the conjunction of meaning, a further proof of the individual
 +signification of words, and which bearing a definite sense, are selected
 +for the purpose of that composition,​ which we term the process of
 +thinking. To this connexion we are directed by the knowledge we possess
 +of any particular subject, when we are intently occupied in its
 +investigation,​ with a view to confute or confirm it, or by a more
 +successful effort to arrive at discovery: and these acts of thought
 +involve the continuation of meaning by the addition of words adapted to
 +fulfil such intention.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Connexion,​ in a great degree, is the contrivance of our own minds, and
 +has been frequently confounded with successive occurrences,​ many of
 +which, on examination,​ are detected to be in no manner related; most
 +persons link together circumstances that ought to be kept apart, and
 +which often prove the source of unsurmountable prejudices.</​p>​
 +<p>It will scarcely be contended, that the order of time establishes such
 +concatenation,​ although it forms the basis of historical narrative. Each
 +portion of time must be individual and distinct, and essentially
 +consists in its subdivisions:​ indeed, if we were to fuse together hours,
 +days and years, our<span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_40"​ id="​Page_40">​[Pg 40]</​a></​span>​ existence would only amount to a tedious dream. The
 +letters of the alphabet are insulated symbols, and have no natural
 +connexion with each other, but may be arranged to constitute words,
 +which possess a definite meaning. Words are in the same situation, there
 +is no connexion in a vocabulary; they resemble the individuals of our
 +species. Each is a separate being, charged with his own propensities and
 +peculiar character; but he may become connected with others in
 +friendship, in interest, or as the member of a society for particular
 +objects: he may confederate with immense bodies, for the protection of
 +his rights, or become part of an army for the destruction of his
 +neighbours. Thus one philosophical system, in pamphlets or in formidable
 +volumes, endeavours to overturn another: but the words are individual,
 +and have no tendency to associate until they are enlisted and
 +disciplined into the composition of sentences.</​p>​
 +<​p>​When the proposition or sentence is formed, it ought to bear evidence of
 +the most direct connexion, for the purposes of being readily
 +comprehended and enduringly retained. From the nature of our minds, we
 +recollect events, however unconnected,​ in the order of their occurrence,
 +and we acquire by heart any passage, of level construction,​ with greater
 +facility than where the natural sequence<​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_41"​ id="​Page_41">​[Pg 41]</​a></​span>​ is disarranged;​ we repeat
 +lines from Pope with superior fidelity than quotations from <span class="​smcap">​Milton</​span>​.</​p>​
 +<p>To compress this Essay into the smallest compass, citations have been
 +studiously avoided; yet there is a temptation to illustrate this subject
 +by the introduction of an Epigram from <span class="​smcap">​Martial</​span>,​ <​i>​Lib. 5, Epig. 1.</​i></​p>​
 +<div class="​mono block">​
 +<​p>&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​13&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​14&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​18&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​15&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​17&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​16&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​18<​br />
 +"Hoc tibi Palladi&​aelig;​ seu collibus uteris Alb&​aelig;,<​br /><br />
 +&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​2&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​19&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​20&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​22&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​21&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​23&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​24<​br />
 +C&​aelig;​sar et hinc Triviam prospicis inde Thetin:<​br /><br />
 +&​nbsp;​25&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​28&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​26&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​27&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​28&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​26<​br />
 +Seu tua veridic&​aelig;​ discunt responsa sorores,<​br /><br />
 +&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​30&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​31&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​29&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​32&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​30&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​31<​br />
 +Plana suburbani qua cubat unda freti:<​br /><br />
 +&​nbsp;​33&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​30&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​35&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​34&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​37&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​38&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​39<​br />
 +Seu placet &​AElig;​ne&​aelig;​ nutrix, seu filia solis,<​br /><br />
 +&​nbsp;​40&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​42&​nbnbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​41&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​41&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​42<​br />
 +Sive salutiferis candidus anxur aquis;<​br /><br />
 +&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​12&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​1&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​6&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​3&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​8&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​5&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​4<​br />
 +Mittimus o rerum felix tutela salusque,<​br /><br />
 +&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​7&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​7&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​12&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​8&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​10&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;&​nbsp;​9<​br />
 +Sospite quo gratum credimus esse Jovem."<​br /></​p></​div>​
 +<​p>​The figures pointing out the "<​i>​ordo verborum</​i>"​ are according to the
 +subjoined interpretation of Mons. <span class="​smcap">​Collesson</​span>,​ who prepared this Delphine
 +edition. The same figures have been placed where the adjective agrees
 +with the substantive or pronoun; and for this clew to the consecutive
 +arrangement of these disbanded and dispersed members of the sentence,
 +some young gentlemen at school, and many who have finished their
 +education, will be under considerable obligations.</​p>​
 +<​p><​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_42"​ id="​Page_42">​[Pg 42]</​a></​span></​p><​p>​It is of considerable moment that this question should be fully
 +discussed in order to be finally determined. The groundwork is
 +physiological,​ the superstructure involves some moral considerations:​
 +and the conclusions will have an extensive influence on the system of
 +education that ought to be adopted. If the perceptions of the eye, and
 +its associated phantasms, or memorial visions, under the name of <span class="​smcap">​Ideas</​span>,​
 +are to be viewed as the effective materials of our Thoughts; such
 +inference is directly confuted by the instances of those born blind, and
 +continue through life without sight, and who must necessarily be
 +deficient of such materials. If Thought be the result of any immediate
 +spiritual dictation, which the difficulty of accounting for it without
 +such mysterious agency, has led many to suppose: and of which we are not
 +conscious, the responsibility of our species is destroyed. If Thought be
 +effected by the selection and arrangement of words, each of which
 +possesses a definite meaning, and is capable when conjoined with other
 +words, of adding to their significance:​ of which process, and the
 +individual steps that compose it, we <​i>​are</​i>​ conscious under due
 +attention, the mystery vanishes, and the act of thinking becomes
 +unfolded in the progressive formation of a perspicuous sentence.</​p>​
 +<div class="​footnotes"><​h3>​FOOTNOTES:</​h3>​
 +<div class="​footnote"><​p><​a name="​Footnote_1_1"​ id="​Footnote_1_1"></​a><​a href="#​FNanchor_1_1"><​span class="​label">​[1]</​span></​a>​ The eye is the only organ of sense that affords a connected
 +phantasm, vision or Idea. In the other senses, there is a memorial
 +connection, by which the perception is recognised as having previously
 +occurred, and consequently a consciousness of former perception. Without
 +these adjuncts the repetition of these perceptions would be useless as
 +instruments of knowledge. Avoiding a lengthened detail concerning the
 +other senses, it will be sufficient to instance the olfactory organ. If
 +we scent the essences of rose or jasmine, on the second presentation,​
 +they are recognised as having occurred before: should we have smelled
 +the same perfumes from the living plants that exhale them, and by the
 +<​i>​eye</​i>​ noticed them, we should experience a phantasm or Idea of the
 +figure of the plants, but there would be no phantasm of the odour. The
 +excitation of the phantasm associated with the perception, and the
 +recollection of the perception without the phantasm, by the attribution
 +of a name, is, for the present, purposely concealed.</​p></​div>​
 +<div class="​footnote"><​p><​a name="​Footnote_2_2"​ id="​Footnote_2_2"></​a><​a href="#​FNanchor_2_2"><​span class="​label">​[2]</​span></​a>​ Modification. A word of useless application,​ unless the
 +<​i>​modus in quo agit</​i>,​ be defined.</​p></​div>​
 +<div class="​footnote"><​p><​a name="​Footnote_3_3"​ id="​Footnote_3_3"></​a><​a href="#​FNanchor_3_3"><​span class="​label">​[3]</​span></​a>​ Of the supposed operations of these Ideas, and the purposes
 +to which they are subjected, a few, among abundant instances, are
 +selected from Mr. Locke'​s Essay. "Some Ideas <​i>​forwardly</​i>​ offer
 +themselves to all men's understanding;​ some sorts of truths result from
 +any Ideas, as soon as the mind puts <​i>​them</​i>​ into propositions:​ other
 +Truths require a <​i>​train</​i>​ of Ideas <​i>​placed in order</​i>​."&​mdash;<​i>​Vol.</​i>​ I. <​i>​p.</​i>​
 +"When the understanding is once stored with these simple Ideas, it has
 +the power to <​i>​repeat</​i>,​ <​i>​compare</​i>,​ and <​i>​unite</​i>​ them, even to an almost
 +infinite variety, and so can make at pleasure <​i>​new</​i>​ complex
 +Ideas."&​mdash;<​i>​Vol.</​i>​ I. <​i>​p.</​i>​ 81.
 +"The next operation we may observe in the mind about its Ideas, is
 +<span class="​smcap">​Composition</​span>,​ whereby it puts together several of those simple ones it
 +has received from sensation and reflection, and <​i>​combines</​i>​ them into
 +complex ones."&​mdash;<​i>​Vol.</​i>​ I. <​i>​p.</​i>​ 118.
 +"If either by any sudden very strong impression, or long fixing his
 +fancy upon one sort of thoughts, <​i>​incoherent</​i>​ Ideas have been <​i>​cemented</​i>​
 +together so powerfully, as to remain united."&​mdash;<​i>​Vol.</​i>​ I. <​i>​p.</​i>​ 121.
 +"But there are degree of Madness as of folly, the disorderly <​i>​jumbling</​i>​
 +Ideas together, in some more, and some less." <​i>​Vol.</​i>​ I. <​i>​p.</​i>​ 122.
 +"The acts of the mind wherein it exerts its power over its simple Ideas,
 +are chiefly three. 1st. Combining several simple Ideas into one
 +<​i>​compound one</​i>,​ and <​i>​thus</​i>​ all complex Ideas are made. The second, is
 +bringing <​i>​two Ideas</​i>,​ whether simple or complex together, and <​i>​setting</​i>​
 +them by one another, so as to take a view of them <i>at once</​i>,​ without
 +uniting them into one; by which way it gets all its Ideas of relations.
 +The third, is <​i>​separating</​i>​ them from all other Ideas that <​i>​accompany</​i>​
 +them in their real existence; this is called Abstraction."&​mdash;<​i>​Vol.</​i>​ I.
 +<​i>​p.</​i>​ 124.</​p></​div>​
 +<div class="​footnote"><​p><​a name="​Footnote_4_4"​ id="​Footnote_4_4"></​a><​a href="#​FNanchor_4_4"><​span class="​label">​[4]</​span></​a>​ The acquirement of language does not wholly consist in the
 +imitation of the word, but likewise in the comprehension that the
 +articulate sound is the representative of the object perceived. There
 +are some persons of defective intellect that I have seen, whose hearing
 +was perfect, and who could whistle some tunes, but who were unable to
 +learn their native language so as to understand what was said to them,
 +and consequently incompetent to afford an answer. In this particular
 +they approximate to the state of animals.</​p></​div>​
 +<div class="​footnote"><​p><​a name="​Footnote_5_5"​ id="​Footnote_5_5"></​a><​a href="#​FNanchor_5_5"><​span class="​label">​[5]</​span></​a>​ "Nec missas audire queunt, nec reddere voces."</​p></​div>​
 +<div class="​footnote"><​p><​a name="​Footnote_6_6"​ id="​Footnote_6_6"></​a><​a href="#​FNanchor_6_6"><​span class="​label">​[6]</​span></​a>​ On consulting the Concordance of <span class="​smcap">​Cruden</​span>,​ it does not appear
 +that the word <span class="​smcap">​Idea</​span>,​ is to be found in our Translations of the Old and
 +New Testament. <span class="​smcap">​Cruden</​span>,​ although deemed a Lunatic, was a man of
 +persevering research and scrupulous accuracy.</​p></​div>​
 +<div class="​footnote"><​p><​a name="​Footnote_7_7"​ id="​Footnote_7_7"></​a><​a href="#​FNanchor_7_7"><​span class="​label">​[7]</​span></​a>​ It is very probable that <span class="​smcap">​Martial</​span>,​ in his eulogy of the
 +Roman Notarius, may have exceeded the actual performance.</​p>​
 +<div class="​poem"><​div class="​stanza">​
 +<​div>"​Currant verba licet, manus est velocior illis:</​div>​
 +<​div>​Nondum linga suum, dextra peregit opus."</​div>​
 +<div class="​i16"><​i>​Lib. 14, Epig. 208.</​i></​div>​
 +<div class="​footnote"><​p><​a name="​Footnote_8_8"​ id="​Footnote_8_8"></​a><​a href="#​FNanchor_8_8"><​span class="​label">​[8]</​span></​a>​ In imitation of the Auburn (American) prison, the Middlesex
 +magistrates,​ in their judicial wisdom, have adopted an entirely opposite
 +system; by imposing an awful silence in their house of correction. This
 +penance must press sorely on the criminals of the softer sex, to whom
 +tea and conversation (errors excepted) constitute the principal comforts
 +of life. <span class="​smcap">​Catullus</​span>​ seems to allude to this infernal art of exasperating
 +the miseries of incarceration.</​p>​
 +<div class="​poem"><​div class="​stanza">​
 +<​div>"​Nulla fug&​aelig;​ ratio, nulla spes: <span class="​smaller">​OMNIA MUTA</​span>,</​div>​
 +<​div>​Omnia sunt deserta: ostentant omnia Lethum."</​div>​
 +<hr class="​smler"​ />
 +<hr />
 +<​p><​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_43"​ id="​Page_43">​[Pg 43]</​a></​span></​p>​
 +<​h3><​i>​LIST OF WORKS BY THE AUTHOR.</​i></​h3>​
 +<hr class="​smler"​ />
 +<​p>​OBSERVATIONS on MADNESS &amp; MELANCHOLY. Octavo, 1809.</​p>​
 +<​p>​ILLUSTRATIONS of MADNESS. Octavo, 1810.</​p>​
 +<​p>​MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE,​ as it relates to Insanity, according to the Law
 +of England. Octavo, 1817.</​p>​
 +<p>A LETTER to the GOVERNORS of BETHLEM HOSPITAL. Octavo, 1818.</​p>​
 +<​p>​SOUND MIND. Octavo, 1819.</​p>​
 +<​p>​LETTER to the LORD CHANCELLOR, on UNSOUNDNESS of MIND and Imbecility of
 +Intellect. Octavo, 1823.</​p>​
 +<​p>​Six LECTURES on the INTELLECTUAL COMPOSITION of MAN.&​mdash;<​i>​Vide Lancet for
 +<​p>​LETTER to the METROPOLITAN COMMISSIONERS in LUNACY. Octavo, 1830.</​p>​
 +<hr />
 +<​p><​span class='​pagenum'><​a name="​Page_44"​ id="​Page_44">​[Pg 44]</​a></​span></​p>​
 +<p class="​center">​(<​i>​Shortly will be published</​i>​)</​p>​
 +<​h3><​span class="​smcap">​By Dr.</​span>​ HASLAM,</​h3>​
 +<p class="​center">​A <span class="​smcap">​Work</​span>​ on the TREATMENT of INSANITY conducive to its CURE.</​p>​
 +<​p>​This Treatise will contain the practical experience of forty years.
 +Three preliminary Dissertations will be prefixed. 1st. How far Insanity
 +ought to be considered a <​i>​mental</​i>​ affection. 2d. On the influence which
 +individuals are capable of exerting on the minds of others, both in the
 +sane and insane state: the latter of course becomes the basis of that
 +regulation which is termed <​i>​moral management</​i>​. 3d. On the connexion
 +between the sexual organs and the mind, including the disorders that
 +have been termed nymphomania,​ furor uterinus, puerperal insanity,
 +barrenness, impotence, and the attacks that supervene at the period of
 +cessation. On the disorders that resemble and are not unfrequently
 +confounded with Insanity, viz. Delirium, Hypochondriasis,​ Morbid
 +Activity of Mind, certain degrees of Paralysis, and various nervous
 +affections. An investigation of the existing laws that apply to
 +Lunatics, Idiots, and persons denominated of <​i>​Unsound</​i>​ Mind: with an
 +accurate examination of the degree of incapacity or imbecility that
 +ought to subject them to legal protection. Reflections on the
 +parliamentary inquiries relating to insane persons, and the regulations
 +enacted respecting the houses in which lunatics are confined. Candid
 +remarks on the establishment and duties of the Metropolitan
 +Commissioners. Estimate of the probability of the lives of insane
 +persons, and of those who have been visited with mental derangement;​
 +calculated for the guidance of assurance offices.</​p>​
on_the_nature_of_thought.txt ยท Last modified: 2020/02/07 23:10 by briancarnell