페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

These, Craniology declares it bas discovered ; but, with all its causality, it shows little knowledge of causation. The relation of a cause and effect no man, who has thought at all, would pretend to define. The fact is, that we do not understand a law or reason of nature. Let the experimentalists, in what is most absurdly, when restrictively, called Physical science, tell, —why the sealing-wax upon friction will gather light substances about it; why the load-stone draws certain metallic matter; why atoms cohere; why bodies are borne in a particular direction ; why limpid water is arrested into crystals. It is not enough to answer that these phænomena are caused by Electricity, Magnetism, Attraction, Gravitation, Congelation. These are only so many declared effects ; or, more properly speaking, so many subsequent states in which these things are found. I know from experience when I may expect these states ; in what order of succession they will occur; but of their causal subsistence nothing has been apprehended. Of mental operations we may speak as correctly and confidently ; we are only stopped by the limit of all enquiry.

But when Intellectual Science is mentioned, all must have a gird at it.” Its persecution is as common as it is unreasonable. Is it possessed of facts ? Are those facts within our cognisance ? Are they capable of classification? Can they be reduced to system? May they be turned to account? The introverted mind at once answers each interrogation. I know no pretext for its depreciation but this ; that it is so accessible and so transcendent. It may be dangerous to the other sciences by its greatness. They may be neglected in consequence of its attraction. They may shrink from comparison with its paramount importance. They, therefore, by a species of ostracism, would exile it !

O happy world! The secret of thy redress and reformation is elicited at last! Eldorado, and Atalantis, and Antilla, cannot picture thy bliss! Let Bacon yield the prize, and pore over this “Novum Organum." Ye Grotius' and Montesquicus, ye Puffendorfs and Vattels, ye studied laws too soon! Statesmen shall now acquire their wisdom amid cabinets of skulls! Ye Corams and Guys, ye Howards and Vennings, ye wept unavailing tears ! There shall be, though not in a Scotch sense, a universal Humanity Class ! By a better management of heads, prisons and lazarettos will soon be swept from the earth ! “Redeunt Saturnia regna.” Servants will need no character, register offices will be superseded, and counties will entrust to the returning officer, the business of measuring the candidates' heads. Should they wish to be seen by their constituents, it will be unnecessary to speak, but be sure they uncover and keep the poll open. Biography will be no longer required to depict the “ daily beauty of the life,” but merely to lithograph the proportions of the scalp. Education will direct its aim to higher purposes than it now contemplates; it will “rear the tender”

pate, and “teach the young“ cerebrum “how to shoot.” By a vacuum, it will be easy to elevate a cranial depression ; and should another organ rise too high, a compress or ligature must be used. The Atomic theory will be probably applied, and a scale of proportions be hung up in each school. Some great national undertaking must be adopted to close a chasm which now swallows up so much important matter; and either some Curtius will devote himself, or the parts of the sinus be brought together by a nobler Roman cement. A certain enemy to many high human powers will no longer be permitted to flatten and suffocate them, nor to stave in their apartments,—the evil will be no longer endured, nor further temporising be admitted. These grievances being healed, the Cephalic globe will swell into nobler dimensions, it will stand out with new enchasements and bas relievos, and show how it has been restrained for ages. The passions, now the vultures of the mind, will become simple and gentle as Venus' doves. The powers will adopt the mutual instruction and co-operative schemes, and be adepts alike in all mental employments. Monboddo, the theorist of human tails, would hear, could he return to the earth, of nothing but heads. Men will no longer steal,-acquisitiveness is checked ; nor fight,—destruc.. tiveness is destroyed. The snake will not only be scotched but killed. The possibility of mischance will be extinguished. Each new-born babe will exhibit a head within a sort of tourniquet :

any

ours.

a youthful training shall prevent the thousand ills of the community. Equality of character will generally obtain, and man, at peace with himself, will be at peace with his neighbour. Should fossil remains of the present generation be discovered in future times, our descendants, with their towering heads, will stand aghast at the smallness and comparative nothingness of

Theories will be rife,-classifications puzzled : these anomian specimens will not submit to any arrangement : but surely the singular petrifactions must be placed hard by the ammonitæ, while posterity will speculate, with St. Hilda or without her, on the circumstance of our headless conformation. By the greater mass and superior activity, of the brain, essential advantages may be obtained.

Even sleep will become superAuous, perhaps impracticable. There will be heard a voice which shall cry through all the chambers of the brain, sleep no more. A part of the head may occasionally feel drowsy, but it will only answer to our idea of a leg or arm being asleep: neither body nor mind, then most perfectly amalgamated, will require repose. An earthly immortality will be enjoyed. An unfading youth will be perpetuated. Hail! ye happy scenes! glowing visions !

“ Spare mine aching sight,

Ye unborn ages crowd not on my soul !" The fulcrum is obtained for the lever which shall move the world. After the failures of six thousand years, this grand experiment will make man the subject of knowledge and virtue, and render earth the dwelling of happiness and love !

-SANCHO AND BARATARIA! SPIRIT of CERVANTES THOU ART OUTDONE!

To conclude this Essay, I would sum up with as much indulgence as the case will allow ; and really do think that Craniology will deserve respectful attention when it can exhibit one fact for its basis, one plausibility for its recommendation, one application for its use :—but not till then ! If my faculties be developed or not, if they be various or not, all of which I am conscious determine me against this system. My order revolts at a confusion of genera and species and substances, such

Hail! ye as it involves. My locality rejects an area so pitiful, refuses to “prate of such a where-about,” and seeks a limitless space. My comparison pronounces a theory like this unworthy to be weighed against the standard systems of human philosophy. My causality demands premises and reasons, as well as conclusions. I trust that I have too much wit to be overawed by such shallow pretence, and I am sure that I have too much ideality to be reconciled to such debasing materialism. My cautiousness renders me suspicious of the thousand and one tales of modern discovery. My benevolence holds me back from giving a sanction to that prying inquisitorial surveillance, which, if it were general, would taint all the sources of confidence and good will.

ood will. Veneration teaches me to adore the Great First Cause, not only as a Potter having power over his clay but as the Father of spirits. Hope cheers me that the silly bubble will speedily burst. My conscientiousness yields me the testimony that in scouting such charlatanism, I am subserving the cause of truth and virtue. My pride, I own, disdains affinity with the brutal herd. My decision confirms my purpose, however fashion may simper its favour upon this conceit, and gaping credulity devour it. My love of approbation assures me that I shall gain the applause of many, for an honest effort against a dangerous folly. My adhesiveness shall still grapple me to my friends, whether their heads be circular or square, projected on a plane or tapering to a cone, small or large, elevated or oblong. Nay, my Love of Offspring is so passionately intense, that I will not, I cannot, be a party in transmitting such a distorted, mischievous, fable to posterity!

« Ειμι δ' ασχολος α

ναθεμεν πασαν μακραγoρίαν
Λυρα τε και φθεγμα-
τι μαλθακω."

PINDAR. — Pyth: Od : viii. Lin : 40

Præter cetera, me Romæ ne poemata censes

Scribere posse, inter tot curas, totque labores ?
Hic sponsum vocat, hic auditum scripta, relictis
Omnibus officiis : cubat hic in colle Quirini :
Hic extremo in Aventino : visendus uterque :
Intervalla vides humanè commoda! Verum
Puræ sunt platea, nihil ut meditantibus obstet!"

HORAT :-Epis: ii. Lib: 2.

“ Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses !"

CitizeN, IN JULIUS CÆSAR.

« 이전계속 »