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existence of a God, and is the most cogent proof mankind pos sess of such existence, Dr. Spurzheim, speaking for himself, contends that it is no proof whatever; that his friends have mistaken the object, and that it indicates neither religion nor morality; both which it seems, in the opinion of these illumined philosophers, have nothing to do with each other; since "one man," says our author, " may be religious without being just, and another may be just without being religious." (P. 415.) To the protuberance, therefore, in question, Dr. Spurzheim gives a different and a far ampler scope, so as to cover with its ample investiture, as all his names do, fifty or a hundred qualities at the same time. He calls it, indeed, the organ of veneration, which, at first sight, appears to approach the names given it by Gall and his other disciples; but then he explains himself cautiously upon the subject, by adding that this faculty does not determine! the object to be venerated nor the manner of venerating; and that: it equally includes the veneration due to our Maker himself, of saints, of persons or things of any kind.
As some amends, however, for this unholy latitude, he deno-. minates Gall's organ of moral goodness, the "organ of Christian charity;" (P. 410.) quotes a variety of texts of scripture, and makes reference to a multitude of authorities to prove that "all natural philosophers, and physicians, all the fathers of the church, and even the apostles, agree with us that all the manifestations of the mind depend on the organization;" (P. 119.) and makes the doctrine of election and reprobation, of the two natures of man which are perpetually combating one another, of the law of sin, together> with various other deep and peculiar tenets of the Christian scriptures, hang upon the new system, in the same manner as Gall, Bojames, and Böttiger derive from it our most cogent proof of the existence of a God. (P. 499-501.)
Now as the new system furnishes so much aid to the Bible, it is but fair that the Bible should return the courtesy: and hence there is scarcely a doctrine it lays down which is not attempted to be supported by some text of scripture or other. St. Paul ap-, pears to have been a famous craniologist, and is proved, (p. 209— 212,) to have had a thorough knowledge of the proper organization of the brain, and of the fundamental principles of distinct faculties and functions, and developements and manifestations; and he is hence enumerated with Pythagoras, Galen, Gilbert,, Gassendi, Bacon, Van Helmont, and many other learned writers of ancient and modern times, who are said to have been acquainted with the subject, and who seem so fully to have treated of it, as almost to destroy its claim to novelty. St. Gregory, St. Augustine, St. Cyprian, St. Ambrose, Eusebius, and various
other fathers of the church, are proved, in like manner, to have been converts to the same science. (P. 119.)
But it may be said that there is no reasoning against facts> that the persons we allude to are men of learning and character, and that they have actually determined the moral propensities of a multitude of persons by a reference to the rules of their art. We admit the learning and character of these gentlemen, and freely pay homage to the physiological and historical knowledge which the present volume unfolds to us: but these qualities, though a full security against voluntarily deceiving others, are no security whatever against self-deception. There is no science, perhaps, of high estimation in former times, that has fallen into more contempt than that of judicial astrology. Yet even this, when supported by novelty or fashion, was embraced, like the new system, by men of the greatest learning and talents as well as of unblemished integrity; and who in numerous instances foretold events that actually came to pass, and persuaded theinselves that they foretold them by the rules of their own art. Such, to confine ourselves to times comparatively recent, were Baptista Porta, Cardan, and Kepler, the first the most distin guished scholar, and the two last the most distinguished mathe maticians of the sixteenth century; and such were the Abbé de Rancée, the celebrated founder of the monastery of La Trappe, and our two learned countrymen and poets Cowley and Dryden, in the seventeenth century. Let the school before us, therefore, boast as much as they will, we can bring far more numerous instances of individuals as honest, as successful, and incomparably more learned, who have devoted themselves to a science, and rendered that science most specious and plausible, which is now utterly abandoned by every man in his senses. To talk, there fore, of the occasional success of the physiognomists of the new school, is to add not a barley corn to the scale in their favour: right they must sometimes be upon the common doctrine of chances, and in the very nature of things: right they may some times be from the common physiognomy or pathognomy of the face: right they may still more frequently be from the artful and sweeping amplitude of their doctrines, and the vortex of their profound vocabulary, which as it expresses nothing, may mean any thing or every thing; and necessarily and infallibly right they do not profess to be.
So far, indeed, as we have had an opportunity of noticing the effect of their own application of their own principles, we do not think they have any great reason to boast of their success. We have already hinted that a brief sketch of Dr. Gall's journey over a considerable number of the principalities of Germany, when in
the zenith of his popularity, and when every public institution, every prison and hospital were open to his inspection, was drawn up by his friend professor Böttiger. This sketch is now before us, and we advert to it the rather because we have reason to believe that Dr. Spurzheim accompanied his colleague on this
In examining the prisons at Torgau, he appears to have described the characters of several culprits presented to him with a tolerable degree of general accuracy, but he seems as frequently to have failed, and this in a situation that seemed of itself to suggest the general nature of the propensities he was to appropriate,
In P. a locksmith from Goerlitz," observes Mr. Böttiger, "who was confined as a false coiner, and who was known in the house as being of a mechanical turn, he immediately discovered a decided talent for mechanics, which this man had evinced even from his childhood. It would have been natural to think that, according to the direction which this instinct took afterwards, and of which he made such a bad use, the sense for numbers might have been found likewise in him. But Dr. Gall did not see any thing of it." Now here the external marks, as laid down by themselves, did not correspond with the internal tendencies. The man is admitted to have had a propensity towards members without any developement of the organ of numbers; whilst the organ of mechanics, which appears to have been para mount, led him, not to any thing of a strictly mechanical invention, but to false coining, to which he ought rather to have been led by the organ of imitation, of cunning, or of robbery.
Every person," continues Mr. B. " was desirous to know what Dr. Gall would say about T. who was known in the house as a thief full of cunning, and who having several times effected his escape, wore an additional iron. It was surprising that he saw in him far less the organ of cunning than in many other prisoners. However it was proved that examples and conversation with other thieves in the house had suggested to him the plans for his escape, and that his own stupidity was the cause of his being retaken." Again,
"The existence of the organ for music in a very prominent degree in a person deaf and dumb, was extremely surprising. No one had paid attention to it till then; and the question arose how this organ could show its effects in a deaf and dumb person, After inquiry it was found that he used to do every thing by time, and that he was found not quite insensible to the sound of a drum." A loop-hole of the very same kind as the preceding. This man ought rather to have shown the organ of numbers.In the next prisoner Dr. Gall detected the organ of poetry; but unfortunately the man turned out to be a watch-maker. The
difficulty, however, was easily got rid of, by his observing that the organ of poetry is a continuation of the organ of music, and that both import time, which is an attribute of clocks and watches.
"A man of the name of Koëlner was confined in the house of correction on account of some threatening speeches to a person who was afterwards found murdered. Dr. Gall observed in this man the organs of haughtiness and obstinacy, but by no means that of murder." This was somewhat unlucky: but the dilemma was soon overcome, as, "according to the opinion of Dr. Gall, the organs which he had noticed in the prisoner were sufficient to lead any one to commit murder.”
"Two other thieves were examined, and in both of them the organs of thieving and cunning were remarkable. Concerning one of them he expressed himself thus: To judge by the flatness of the fore part of the skull of this man, he is mercenary and easily to be seduced, and his organ for music is eminent.' The man spoke much of his being thrown into his misfortunes by se duction. With regard to music, he acknowledged that he had joined with pleasure in psalm-singing !!" Q. E. D.
"Dr. Gall spoke of M**n, a journeyman-bricklayer, in the following manner: His organ for thieving is very visible: he has likewise the organ of representation: but his organs for haughtiness and obstinacy, and that for music, are still more conspicuous. Upon inquiring into his conduct, we were assured that he was very obstinate and rebellious, and that he had once made his escape. With respect to his instinct for music, we were told that he was the best psalm-singer in the whole congregation. Dr. Gall observed that this convict ought not to be punished, as his organization was so very favourable."
And here we cannot but remark, in conclusion, the intimate connexion of the present system, if system it may be called, with the doctrines of fatalism or philosophical necessity, and materialism. This charge, indeed, has been often brought against it, and in the work before us is attempted to be repelled. In this attempt Dr. Spurzheim is far from being successful: he writes and reasons plausibly, but by no means strictly.
We have already had occasion to observe that he sometimes takes things for proved or demonstrated without any proof whatever: thus p. 88. "I here take this for granted: its particular elucidation must be demonstrated afterwards. I mention this proof only for the sake of connexion." We have not been able to find out any demonstration afterwards. So p. 44, "It una→ voidably follows that in hydrocephalus the convolutions are separated into two parts. This is more probable, &c." Here a necessary result or incontrovertible proof is confounded with a
loose degree of probability. In like manner our author opposes the common doctrine respecting the primitive or general faculties of the mind, as perception, thought, reason, judgment, imagination, and their developement by the means of education and other external influences; and substitutes and endeavours to establish his own doctrine of special faculties, as those of wit, numbers, music, mechanics, murder, thieving, &c. upon the ruin of the former, by vaguely employing the term faculty sometimes in the sense of an attribute capable of being produced, and at others of an attribute actually produced; and upon this confusion of idea the question as here treated of chiefly hinges, whether the faculties of the mind are innate or acquired? So again the term will is occasionally used in its ordinary sense, as importing desire; and occasionally in its more correct sense, as a faculty or power of a very different kind.
On these accounts we cannot subscribe to the correctness of our author's reasoning, or the arguments by which he endeavours to disentangle himself. It was our intention to have pursued these arguments at some length, but we feel that we have already written upon these discussions on the brain till we are in danger of a vertigo.
ART. V. The Lord of the Isles. A Poem. By Walter Scott. 4to. Edinburgh. 1815.
By one "brave bound" Walter Scott placed himself in the first rank of modern poets. He merited and acquired fame, and all. that literary fame can give. Success stimulated his exertions, and four distinguished poems, subsequent to his Lay of the Last Minstrel, attest the vigour of his genius, and the opulence of his resources. Popularity may often be an equivocal proof of merit; but when it is obtained without flattering any prevailing prejudices or passions, and is bestowed from gratitude for pleasure. which has been received, it is generally fairly earned, and is likely to last. Nature is true to itself, and wherever it finds its own impress, even though marred with some defects, it hails, the discovery with an involuntary burst of delight.
To unite the suffrages of all on points of taste is impossible, and therefore we can feel no surprise that Mr. Scott has often been blamed for the inartificial arrangement of his fables, and the injudicious adoption of his metre, These charges, in our opinion, have not been altogether substantiated: for, if the object of the art is to produce, from given materials, the greatest effect, in a pre