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much owing to misapprehension on the rounded in Edinburgh by a multitude of second of these points as on the first. Be- persons who believe in the same truth as fore he took any pains to understand it, firmly as we do. For our own part, if we he did not conceive that its truth or false. have fallen into error, it is not the result hood was of any iinportance. Granting it of precipitation ; for most deliberately have to be true that certain propensities and we examined and studied nature, and fully faculties of the mind are accompanied or aware were we of the certain consequences connected with certain appearances or de- of any erroneous representations we might velopements of the brain, it was not per. send abroad, before we ventured to make fectly obvious, that from this we the present declaration. likely to know any thing more of the nature of mind, its feelings, faculties, and
After these testimonies, by persons manifestations, than we did before. He who have inquired into the subject, has now come to entertain a different opi- and whose understandings appear nion, and, after due consideration, is in. deserving of respect, it would be unclined to think, that, provided only he becoming in us, without cogent reawere satisfied that the doctrines are true, he cannot but be of opinion that they are demnation of the science, and equally
sons, to pronounce a sentence in convery important.
improper, by silence, to withhold it Since the publication of this work, from the notice of our readers, as unwe have been favoured with the pe- worthy of their consideration. rusal of a letter from Dr. Bell, of It is a curious inquiry, and one Philadelphia, to a gentleman in this which naturally first suggests itself, country, dated 10th May, 1822, to how it has happened, that the general the following effect:
verdict of enlightened men of every Ere this reaches you, you will have been profession has been so adverse to apprised of the formation of a Phrenological phrenology, if, in fact, it shall be Society in this city, having the same objects found to contain any reasonable poras the one established in Edinburgh. It is tion of truth? The brain is an organ but recently that the subject of Phrenology with which every anatomist must has excited any attention here, and you may have been familiar; and concerning readily conceive the opposition which at- the faculties of the mind, every retempts to diffuse the knowledge of it must meet with. The few who had heard it, or
flecting person possesses, in his own read about it, derived their information consciousness, a source of informaand took their opinions from the literary tion. How then, did the judgment journals of Europe (which on this head of the public happen to be so erronehave not been marked by much liberality ous, if the new doctrine is really and sound philosophy), and could not, of founded in nature ? The phrenolocourse, be supposed to hail with any fa- gists explain this anomaly in a simvourable sentiments more serious attempts ple, and rather satisfactory manner. for the establishment of a sound doctrine. It is a law of physiology, say they, The first difficulties surmounted, and a that the functions of an organ cansociety once organized, we have now not
not be discovered from its structure to complain of a lack of members, &c.
alone; anatomists, for example, were And an order is given to send out a long acquainted with the form and variety of casts and books upon
appearance of the arteries before subject. The editor of the New Edinburgh even in the present day, every dis
Harvey discovered their use; and Review has also declared decidedly sector is familiar with the shape of in favour of phrenology. In the the mesenteric glands, but their Number for October 1821, Article 1. functions, nevertheless, remain an it is stated,
enigma. In like manner, the strucThat we have devoted a considerable ture of the brain does not reveal its portion of attention to the observations of functions; and as, in time past, correspondence or of non-correspondence be- physiologists devoted their attentween particular mental powers and particu. tion chiefly to the anatomy of this lar forms of cerebral developement; we have examined the heads of, at least, some hun- organ, they necessarily remained dreds of individuals, and especially those ignorant of its uses.- In the next with whose characters and talents we are
place, the mind has no consciousness most intimately acquainted, and we affirm, of thinking by means of organs at all; in the most positive terms, that such cor
and hence, although every one is famirespondence actually does exist. Nay, liar with his own thoughts and feelmore, we have to mention that we are sur- ings, his consciousness of them leaves him completely in the dark, whe- tions of the different parts of the ther they are experienced by means body. We have been at a loss, thereof cerebral organs or not.
fore, to understand why it should It was quite natural, therefore, say have been supposed, that a person is the phrenologists, for the medical pro- to become an adequate judge of the fession and the public, while these merits of phrenology by merely readprinciples were not attended to, to ing a book upon the subject, or lookhold the very novelty of the doctrines ing at a plate or a cast, without a as presumptive evidence against their serious and continued effort to learn. truth; but when the proper expla- by experience the true situations and nation is given, nothing can be clearer developement of the organs. Farther, than that they may all be true, not nothing is more common than to hear withstanding these previous opinions the most opposite and erroneous opiagainst them. Dr. Gall did not dis- nions announced by superficial obcover the organs by dissection; and servers, concerning the dispositions he did not find them out by reflec- of other men. The distinction betion. He informs us that he merely tween pride and vanity, when they observed in nature, that persons in appear in actual life, is not known whom a particular mental power was by one out of ten of the persons who strong, possessed a large develope- pass in society as not deficient in pement of a particular portion of the netration; and much less are differbrain, and that other individuals, ences in intellectual talent sufficiently in whom the power was weak, had discriminated. A great power of that cerebral portion small. This observation and detail, joined with assertion may be true, for any thing ease and fluency in communicating that dissection shows to the contrary, facts, will, in the estimation of many, for it ought always to be kept in constitute a man of genius; while mind, that the brain is not appro- others will regard such a person as a priated by anatomists to other pur- superficial talker. Depth of reflecposes, and that its structure affords tion, when combined with difficulty no evidence against the phrenological . of expression, will, by many, be opinions :-in fact, if it is not the mistaken for dullness and stupidity. organ of the mind, its uses are alto- The proposition, therefore, appears gether unknown. In like manner, to be also reasonable and philosophiDr. Gall's statement may be perfect- cal, that study is requisite, as well ly correct, for any evidence which as some natural talent, to enable a consciousness affords against it; be- person to judge correctly concerning cause we know nothing, from this the primitive mental faculties, from source, concerning the existence, merely observing their manifestamuch less the functions of the brain. tions. Hence, the whole question resolves While, therefore, we perceive on itself into a point of fact; have such the one hand a variety of individuals, particular forms of head been found who have devoted their time to the in concomitance with such particu- study of phrenology, and of whose lar mental powers, or have they not? talents we are able to judge by their The phrenologists inform us, that works, maintaining it to be a true practice is requisite to be able cor- and important science, and vouching rectly to observe and distingush dif- for their sincerity by publishing their ferences of form; and that study is names; and, on the other a host also necessary to be able to recog- of anonymous writers overwhelmnise and discriminate the different ing it with ridicule, but not condeprimitive mental powers in their out- scending to meet the alleged facts by ward manifestations. These propo- counter-statements, or the inferences sitions appear in themselves reason- by legitimate argument, it is not able, and such as would readily be difficult to perceive, on a fair and acceded to, if advanced in any other impartial estimate, to which side the science. Every one will admit that scale of testimony inclines. practice (as well as theoretical know- Mr. Abernethy treats the subject fedge) is indispensably requisite to rather as a system of philosophy than constítute an expert operative che- as a physiological discovery of the mist; and that we cannot learn to functions of the brain. He speaks dissect by merely reading descripc with the highest respect of Dr. Spurzheim, as a man' and a philosopher, head ; yet, as the brain affects the heart, and but adds, that he told him he would other parts of the body, mankind have been never inquire into the truth of his induced, in all ages, to believe them situ. physiognomical observations, because ated in the more evidently affected organs ; he apprehended that they would still, I could not but feel surprize, that so lead to harm ; while, at the same
late and so eminent an anatomist and phy
siologist as Bichát, should represent the time, he proceeds to state his opi- heart to be the seat of feeling, and the head nion concerning the different faculties of thought. Anger and fright may greatly of the mind, alleged to have been augment or diminish the actions of the discovered by this mode of philoso- heart ; yet the intelligence producing either phising. We do not precisely enter of these emotions was conveyed by the eye into Mr. Abernethy's fears of harm, or ear to the brain ; first affecting the mind, arising from the physiognomical part and secondarily the heart. Good sentiments of the system; for if it be true, which and dispositions, with serenity of mind, Mr. Abernethy seems, in a subse
seem to make the bosom's lord sit lightly quent part of his pamphlet, rather to
on its throne," and produce sensations of the constitution of nature; and the rooted in the memory, some irrascibly writadmit, it will be a mere exposition which may be said, circa præcordia ludere.
Whilst, on the other hand, “ some sorrow days are long gone by, when know
ten troubles of the brain,” make us feel, ledge of the physical constitution of
" as if the foul bosom wanted to be cleansed man was considered as injurious to of that perilous stuff that weighs upon the his soul. Somewhat in opposition to heart." But it is surely as simple, and himself also, Mr. Abernethy proceeds more correct to express ourselves as Gall to enumerate, and admit as well and Spurzheim would have us, by saying, founded, a variety of the phrenolo- that a person has benevolent or just sentigical faculties, and to approve of the ments, as that he has a good or an upright
heart. situation of their different organs.
The author of the
second pamphlet, I see no objection (says he) to the classification of the superior intellectual faculties,
“ Observations on Phrenology, as afwhich Gall and Spurzheim have made, into fording, a systematic view of human comparison, analysis or causation, and com. nature,” also avoids grappling with bination ; because this arrangement refers the facts on which the system is to all the elementary powers cognizable in alleged to be founded, and we rethe actions of the human mind : powers gret that he should have done so; which seem exclusively to belong to man. because, however ingenious his reI am even pleased with the station which flections, and however interesting the the organs supposed to be productive of views may be in which he presents these powers are said to occupy; for we phrenology, the decisive evidence find them arranged in a regular phalanx of observations in support of his on a part of the head peculiar to man, the views is necessarily wanting. His summit of the lofty forehead. As I have said in the lectures addressed to this col: pamphlet, however, will be useful lege, if we find the head more produced in
in dispelling prejudices, and in exparts peculiar to man, it is reasonable to hibiting beauty and arrangement in suppose that he will possess more of the a system in which the public had intellectual character; and if in those parts previously perceived only unseemlicommon also to brutes, that he will pos- ness and chaos; and as comprehensess more of those propensities in which he siveness in thinking, joined with eleparticipates with the brute creation. We are gance of fancy, are decidedly disall naturally physiognomists ; and almost played in its composition, we recomevery observant person has remarked the ammend it as well deserving of the plitude of this part of the head to be indi. attention of the reader. cative of intellectual power. Shakspeare denotes the eye as the herald of the mind,
After discussing some preliminary which so quickly proclaims its mandates, topics, the author continues; that he compares it to the winged Mercury, The argument then leads us to this: new-lighted on a fair and ample hill, so if the brain be an organ at all, it is probable lofty, that, Olympus like, it seemed to that it is the organ of our mental functouch the heavens.
tions. If it be the organ of our mental funcMr. Abernethy continues :
tions, it is probable, at least possible, that
its different parts may be destined to serve The representation which Gall and Spurz- different purposes ; and, if its different parts heim have given, places the sentiments and are destined to different purposes, where is dispositions in their real situation, in the the absurdity of supposing, that certain separate portions of the brain are more inti- ble one another in their nature and uses, mately connected with, and more closely or which act upon and co-operate with one subservient to, different individual functions another, or mutually' aid and assist, or of the mind, than any other part ? If this controul and balance each other, we should be so, it may appear to us a very curious naturally expect the organs of these powers and wonderful provision, but it is no more to be situated near to one another, and in absurd or inconsistent with reason, than such a way as either to adjoin, or at least, that different organs are appropriated to the to admit of an easy communication. Acuse of the different senses--that the eye is cordingly we find this to be the case, and connected with and subservient to the sense we farther find the situation of the different of sight, the ear to that of hearing, and powers, or rather of their organs, to corthe tongue to that of taste. The only dif- respond in a remarkable manner with their ference is, that, in the one case the organs relative degrees of use and dignity. are more open to observation, their configuration is more mechanical, and more
The author then treats of the posiobvious to our
gross and imperfect powers tions of the different organs in the of observing ;—but, in the principle itself, head, as corresponding with the that the different powers may have different places which the faculties attached portions of the brain assigned to them, to them hold in the scale of the mental connected with and subservient to them, powers; and of their relative situaand by means of which they act and mani. tions in regard to each other, as calfest themselves, there is no absurdity what. culated at once for combined action ever. It may perhaps not be true ;-that and reciprocal support. After noticis a different matter, and must be decided ing several of the organs, he conby observation and experience; but it is
tinues, quite conformable to reason and analogy to say that it may be so.
We shall now mention some other groups Having cleared the ground so far, and of faculties founded upon, and including in come to the conclusion that the different them some of those already mentioned, powers of the mind may have different por. We shall begin with Amativeness, the use tions of the brain assigned for their pecu- of which, for the continuance and propagaliar use, it may be proper to consider the tion of the species, is too obvious to be scheme as presented to us, in which the overlooked. A blind appetite like this, situation of the different portions, and the however, would not of itself be sufficient powers to which they are respectively sub- for the purpose. The young of the human servient, are distinctly and confidently laid species are by nature so weak and helpless, down. I inquire not at present into the truth that, without a very powerful principle imof the scheme; I merely wish to see if I can pelling the parents to watch over their prereconcile it to reason and analogy. If it be servation, they would unavoidably perish, like the rest of nature's designs, we are sure almost at the moment of their birth. We not only that it will be adequate to its pur. find, accordingly, next and immediately pose, but that it will possess a perfection above Amativeness, the organ of Philopro. and a beauty which never are found in any genitiveness, a distinct propensity, implying scheme of mere human invention. When I not merely a general love towards our off. began to consider the schedule or map pre- spring, but such a strong anxiety for their sented to us by Drs. Gall and Spurzheim, I welfare as induces us to make the greatest could at first see none of this beauty in it. exertions, and to submit to any sacrifices In looking over their list of powers, I could to procure their comfort and accommodaobserve no order or connection between tion. This principle is generally stronger, them. The whole presented to me a rude and the corresponding organ is said to be appearance, quite different, as I then accordingly more fully developed, in wothought, from what is commonly found in men than in men.
After a more attentive considera. But this would be imperfect in its operation, however, light began to dawn upon tion, and lead to an unfair distribution of me, and, beginning to consider the facul. the burden and care of children, without ties in a certain way, and to group them another principle which should restrain man after a certain order, the whole gradually from an indiscriminate intercourse with the formed themselves before me into a system other sex, and lead him to attach himself of surprising symmetry, and, like the dis- to an individual. In conformity to this jointed parts of an anamorphosis when seen we find, immediately adjoining to Philofrom the proper point of view, collecting progenitiveness, and on each side, organs themselves into one elegant design, de- appropriated to Adhesiveness, or that prolighted me with the appearance of that pensity which suggests such a preference as very order and beauty which I would be may lead to the
permanent union of one forehand have expected to find in them. man with one woman-the sacred and in
In a scheme such as this, where we find dissoluble bond of marriage. That such a powers which are analogous, which resem. principle exists in man, independently of
any positive enactment, is certain, from and had sat down to contrive a scheme in the practice even of the most savage tribes. which we should place these powers ac
There is still another propensity, some cording to their relative use and dignity, degree of which is necessary to the full this is assuredly the very order in which operation of those now mentioned. I mean we should be inclined to place them. But, the attachment to home, or to the place, in the peculiar positions that are assigned whatever it may be, or wherever situated them in this system, there are circumwhich contains the objects of our dearest stances of connection and mutual relation affections. Every part of the world is not to which we could hardly have attended, equally rich or well supplied with the com- and which seem to surpass any effort of forts and luxuries of lite ; and were it not mere human ingenuity. for some propensity of this kind, every one As an additional instance of this, I may would naturally prefer those seats which mention, as deserving notice, the situation are most abundantly provided with these of the organ of Ideality, which is consideraccommodations, so that some parts would be ed the organ of poetry, the region of taste, too crowded with inhabitants, while others, and fancy, and inspiration. It lies, it may less favoured by nature, would be left to be observed, almost in the centre between their original solitude and desolation. But the lower or animal propensities, the knowby the aid of this principle, a more equal ing and intellectual faculties, and the moand convenient distribution of the human ral powers or sentiments. Just around, race is effected, without any compulsion and adjoining it, are powers of most neevery one generally preferring the soil cessary use to the perfection of poetry. where Providence has originally cast him; In the front, we find Wit, of which, and so that the hardy mountaineer, instead of its use in poetry, it is unnecessary to speak. envying the inhabitant of the plains, looks Above it is Imitation, leading to the accuwith contempt on the dull uniformity of rate delineation of the passions, feelings, these rich tracts, and regards his bleak hills and manners,—Wonder, or the love of the with an affection which seems to be strong great and marvellous, and Hope, leading in proportion to their barrenness.
to bright and flattering ideas, and a dispoOn looking at the scheme, we see the love sition to view things in their gayest and of home surrounded by the love of self, most smiling aspect. Next to hope is and of those objects which are nearest our- Cautiousness, its opposite, leading to a selves, as wife and children, forming alto- chastening judgment, of use to prevent too gether a group, which may be denominated great luxuriance of imagination, and to the domestic affections,-the very names of hinder the sublime from degenerating into which must give rise to feelings that are rant and bombast. Before are the knowdear to every heart. We observe, too, ing faculties, from which poetry draws her that this group of affections is surrounded, materials and images. Behind are the ani. and embraced, as it were, by the comba- mal propensities, the irascible and kindly tive and destructive powers, and cautious- affections, which conduce to the two great ness, indicating that these powers are best subjects of the poet's art—" fierce wars employed in preserving and defending the and faithful loves.” Above are the moral objects of our kind affections.
powers, to which all poetry ought ever to
be in subservience. Lastly, before it, and After adverting to several of the just under Wit, lie the organs of Time knowing and reflecting faculties, and and Tune, the source of mellifluous numtheir organs, the author proceeds : bers, the vehicles which, in all ages, have
been used for the conveyance of poetrySome of the remarks I have here ventured to make, may, perhaps, appear too
the dress in which it is clothed and adornhazardous, and to have led me rather into ed, and set out to the admiration of the doubtful and debateable ground. I have
world. thrown them out as they occurred to me, The author's mode of treating the as at any rate worthy of some examination; subject is illustrated, and rendered but I shall not insist upon them fur- easily intelligible, hy a plate of the ther here, being anxious to avoid every human head having the organs dething that may have the appearance of lineated, and it is incomparably the over-refinement. Without incurring any most elegant and accurate which has imputation of this kind, however, it may fallen under our notice. After sevebe observed in general, that nothing can
ral additional observations the aube more simple, elegant, or appropriate, than the arrangement of those organs and thor adds, faculties which are said to occupy the fore- At the same time, it will easily be perhead. Lowest are the faculties of Percep- ceived, that I am not yet a phrenologist : tion and Observation,-next the knowing I am sensible that I have not treated the powers,-above those the reasoning, -and subject in the manner a phrepologist would last of all the imaginative. Supposing that have done. Taking his stand upon the we were entirely ignorant of this system, high ground of facts, and firm in the con