0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Page 5 of Address delivered at the anniversary celebration of the birth of Spurzheim : and the organization of the Boston Phrenological Society, January 1, 1838 / by Elisha Bartlett.

5 tain and indefinite becomes definite and certain. That which was before meaningless, becomes now significant. The appa- rently trivial and useless, in consequence of taking its appro- priate position, is made important and valuable. That which was before without form, and void, assumes shape and arrange- ment, and is filled with a new creation. The spirit has brooded over the chaos, transforming it into order, and covering it with beauty. The breath of life is now breathed into the body, before cold and inanimate. The limbs now move, the heart beats, the eye sees, the tongue utters. The science, whatever it may be, is no longer barren; it becomes prolific of new and great results ; it starts on a fresh career ; it spreads its wings for a bolder flight. Henceforward there is opened to it a broader and a clearer pathway. It must be obvious enough, I think, to any one who has at all looked into the subject, that the science of the humat mind constitutes no exception to the remarks already made in rela- tion to the slow growth of most of the other sciences. Certain, at any rate, is it, that hitherto, till within a very short period, it has been surrounded by the same thick obscurity and vague- ness which have enveloped the other sciences previous to the discovery of their true laws,-to the establishment of their fundamental principles. Almost the whole history of meta- physics is a record of absurdities, and inconsistencies, and contradictions. The very name has become, almost by common consent, only another term for intellectual harlequinism and jugglery. Never has the human mind been guilty of playing more fantastic tricks, than when attempting by misdirected and impotent efforts to unriddle the mystery of its own constitution. It is certainly unnecessary for me, whether speaking to phre- nologists or to anti-phrenologists, to insist upon this particular point, or to spend any time in the supererogatory labor of endeavoring either to prove or to illustrate the almost universal unsatisfactoriness, emptiness, and unprofitableness of those subtle fancies,-those shadowy and spectral visions of the human understanding, which have been dignified with the