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ESSAYS ON CRANIOSCOPY, CRANIOLOGY, Pureology, &c.*
Counsel for the Prisoner.
Justiciary Records for the year 1996. As almost every individual in this paratus, and that an examination of ancient city who can read has lately the head of any one by those in the had an opportunity of judging of the secret, is sure to detect the prevailing infallibility of the doctrine which mea- character of the individual, from the sures the powers of our minds by the external swellings or bumps upon his bumps upon our skulls, from the ac- skull. This is the system of those curate examination of the head of the renowned discoverers Drs Gall and unfortunate individual who lately for- Spurzheim, and of their illustrators in feited his life to the laws of his coun- this country; and any one who takes try, by one so eminently qualified to the trouble to examine it by the test form an accurate opinion on the sub- of experiment, will soon find that this ject, I trust I shall be pardoned for hypothesis of human action is admidelicating a few pages to a theme rably calculated for the subsequent which I have been compelled to hear improvement of our species. My chief illustrated in every company.
objection to it is, that it does not go There seems now little doubt, from far enough, and that in the thirtythe learned publications of our own three great divisions in the map of the countrymen, that every prevalent bent osseous covering of the centre of nerof mind or brain (for brain without
vous energy, rvoin has not been found mind is a very useless article indeed) for thirty-three divisions more. For developes itself by a corresponding instance, we know that there are dull, increase of the bony case which is and very stupid, and even insane peosupposed to contain the thinking ap- ple in the world; yet there is no organ
Cranioscopy means the inspection of the cranium, and Craniology, a discourse on the cranium. Phrenology is derived from the Greek noun oivas, mind, or rather perhaps from oqaviti, mentis delirium; the same root from which our common English word phrensy takes its rise, and which signifies, according to Dr Johnson, on the authority of Milton, madness, frantickness. The Scottish writers on this subject, with the characteristic good sense of their countrymen, prefer the appropriate term phrenology to the less significant terms employed by the cranial philosophers of the south, or the fathers of skull science on the Continent. Phrenitis, in the nosological systems of Sauvages and Cullen, I need scarcely remark, is a cognate word. Vol. X.
of stupidity, or bump of dulness,-no so well known to medical men from rise or depression to designate the sane the intolerable headachs which arise from the insane,-the crack-brained from repletion and indigestion, also theorist from the cool investigator. well deserves the notice of some great Now, that there must, in some skulls man, capable of working up the idea at least, be tremendous bumps of folly into a system. The facts which have and gullibility, (gullibilitiveness, I be- come under my own notice, have long lieve, should be the word,) the writ- impressed me with the belief, that ings of Spurzheim and his followers there is more mind in the belly than afford abundant and most melancholy most people are aware of. There is no proof.
saying what effect even diet may have Another very profound theory of on the production of genius; and it human action and human motive, has would be premature, in the present been lately propounded by the cele- state of our knowledge on this point, brated Dr Edward Clyster; and though to offer any conjectures as to the share the system of the Doctor has been pre- which breakfast, dinner, and supper vented from being sufficiently known may have had in the elicitation of by the mean jealousies and envy of works, hitherto attributed to the head professional rivalship, and the prevail- alone. ing celebrity of phrenology, it certain- Without entering into the merits of ly deserves to be made better known. these rival hypotheses, or of the more The Doctor's theory is, that the pre- probable one of Lavater, that the prevailing mental character of the indivi- vailing habits of thought give a chadual may be traced with equal certainty racteristic tone to the whole physiogon another extremity of the human nomy, I may be permitted to state, body; and that in point of practical that the production of genius is a much experiment, more instances can be more philosophical subject of inquiry cited in favour of his hypothesis, than than the indications of it, or the want that of Drs Gall and Spurzheim. of them in a person already formed, From the Doctor's repeated examina- and where the utmost that can be ex-, tion of the bottoms of nearly eight pected from the knowledge is, some hundred boys, while usher of the minute regulations for checking or imGrammar School of Kittlehearty, and proving what can only be checked or from facts communicated to him by improved to a very limited extent. the four masters of the High School These indications, then, of the hitherof Gutterborough, he concludes with to barren theory of Drs Gall, Spurzconfidence, that the indications of the heim, and Company, I now purpose hemispheres of the one termination, to turn to some practical account. are at least of equal importance with It is a well-known fact, that the hu-. the indications of the other. He man cranium may be moulded, in early mentions with an air of triumph the infancy, into any conceivable shape, results of the application of the birch from the elastic nature of the bones of (taws, Scotticé,) to this part, and the which it is formed. Every medical well known effects of the operation in practitioner, from Hippocrates and Celstimulating the intellectual powers, as sus down to Abraham Posset the apomatter of everyday observation, and thecary, is aware of this fact ; and it is as affording reason to believe that the equally well ascertained, that several bottom is more intimately connected tribes of savages take their distinctive with the mind than preceding investic mark from the form of the skull. It gators have supposed.t
is fashionable among one tribe, for inThe intimate connection which sub- stance, to wear their brain in a case sists between the stomach and the brain, shaped like a sugar-loaf, while others
+ Dr Spurzheim, from the circumstance of Sterne being represented in all his portraits with his head leaning on his hand, and his finger on a particular place of his forehead, concludes that the organ of wit must occupy that identical spot; and Dr Clyster, froin the late Dr Webster, the founder of that excellent institution, the Widows' Fund of the Scottish Clergy, having his hands in his breeches-pockets when he brought forward the measure in the General Assembly, and always one hand in that position when he spoke on the subject, considers it as demonstrated, that the organ of Benevolence and Philanthropy must be confined to that neighbourhood. So nearly balanced are the two theories.
prefer to have their terminating promi- lead to any very notable discovery are nence moulded in imitation of a cocoa- of service in tracing the filiation of nut. And I have little doubt, when ideas, I may further remark, that it the interior of the African continent is was after a careful perusal of the Phrebetter known, that nations will be nological Notices regarding Haggart's found with their craniums compressed head, attached to the end of that murinto forms still more unaccountable.* derer's narrative, and the very satisThe mere mention of these undoubted factory illustration of that almost profacts, when coupled with the know- phetic art, which can, by manipulation, ledge of the functions of the brain de- typify a thrice-condemned convict as rived from the writings of Gall, Spurz- a remarkable culprit, before he is acheim, and their British disciples, must tually hanged ! My supper this evenawaken, in the minds of philosophic ing consisted of a plate of strawberries, observers, ideas of the perfectibility of (very small ones,) and about the the human race, and the concentration eighth part of an ounce, by estimation, and expansion of the powers of the hu- of Scottish Parmasan, viz. ewe-milk man mind, which may make the gold- cheese.-- Thus much for the ascertainen age of the old world, or the Mille- ment of my discovery, which, I have nium of the present, an event within little doubt, will add a few leaves more the reach of ordinary life, and perfect- to the already flourishing laurel which ly practicable in the next generation. already encircles the head of Sir To
I know the envy generally attached bias Tickletobæus, Baronet. + to the promulgator of a new discovery; As all the organs of thought and voand I should not have dared, did a lition are as distinctly laid down in the court of inquisition exist in this coun- cranial map of Gall and Spurzheim as try, perhaps even to hint at the gene- the position of the Isle of May, or the ralization of facts collected by the great Bell Rock, in the charts of the coast of men who have gone before me in the Scotland, and as I have already deroad of discovery. But if the scheme monstrated the practicability of comI have now to propose be taken up by pressing the cranial bones, at an early Parliament in their next session, I age, into any conceivable form,-nopledge myself, (the principles of Gall thing more is required, to give a new and Spurzheim retaining their infalli- and definite direction to the thoughts bility,) gradually to lessen by its means and feelings of the next generation, the annual amount of crime in this than to mould the infant head to a country, and in the course of thirty given form, by the simple application years, the common term for a genera- of an unyielding metal head-dress, tion of human beings, to banish it en- formed so as only to permit the devetirely from Great Britain.
lopement of the required organs. These As it is of considerable importance, metal caps might be moulded from the however, and as it may prevent the heads of those whose ruling passions honour of my discovery from being were most strongly marked ; and, conappropriated by others, and save å tinuing them of the same form, they world of literary controversy about might be made of increasing sizes, so priority of ideas, I beg to mention, as to suit every shade of growth, from that the idea came into my organ of puling infancy to the full grown man. inventiveness on the twenty-fifth of If the elevation of the skull, at a cere July, one thousand, eight hundred, tain part, be occasioned by the deveand twenty-one, ten minutes after lopement of a particular organ situated eleven o'clock at night, and that it under it, (and this has been clearly deentered into my very marked organ of monstrated by Dr Spurzheim, and his benevolence in less than three minutes Scottish disciples,) there can be noafter. As all the circumstances which thing more easy in nature, or in the
The relation which Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Othello, of " men whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders,” may turn out to be a veritable fact. Othello, it will be observed, was a native of Africa.
• My German commentators generally quote me by my Christian name Tobias ; but the Dutch translators always denominate me as above. I mention this, because it has, in more than one instance, occurred that I have been confounded with “
my uncle Toby," and I wish as long as possible to preserve my personal identity.
brass and iron manufactures, than to and it were necessary to have a stand-
This is printed costiveness, by mistake I presume, in the second edition of Dr Spurzheim's book.–See Dr Hamilton's work on Purgative Medicines, for the allevia. tion of this troublesome coinplaint; and the Doctor himself for its permanent cure..
taphorical expression,) born with the hopeless dulness, or absolute stupidiknife in their teeth ; lecturers on every ty; and then the money now expendbranch of science calculated to acquire ed in the education of the young, in the necessary information from their cultivating faculties unmarked, percradles; or, what perhaps would be haps unexisting, in the bony covering still better, the metal caps might be of the cogitative pulp, might be apconstructed so as to allow no faculty plied to more hopeful and necessary to expand beyond the mediocrity of purposes.
I hae a theory lying in saut,
Lad, gin ye lo'e me, tell me true ;
Than the thing that the Carles are to try ye for now.
Lad, gin ye lo'e me, tell me now;
Mur. No, Sir!-You're wrong for once. I loved the fair-
Phron. You had no wish to kill, but to escape ?
Mur. Why, there you're right, sir ; but, when in a scrape,
Dialogue between a Phrenologist and a Murderer.* Having, in the preceding chapter, of the minor details. The great matter laid the basis of my great discovery be- at the first commencement of the plan fore the public, I now proceed to some would be, to provide accurate models
As our respectable correspondent, Sir Toby Tickletoby, has omitted to insert a motto for this chapter, perhaps from not having carried his library with him to the Moors, we have taken the liberty to prefix two,--ore from a well-known old song--the other froin a manuscript of “ Haggart's Life, done into English verse, by an Eminent Hand,” which has been sent us for publication.
To ascertain the fidelity of this paraphrase, we were at the trouble of comparing it with the original published narrative, and now subjoin the parallel passages.
Phre. “ The present communication is entirely confidential, and will not be abused. David Haggart is therefore requested to be open, and completely candid in his remarks. P. 159.
* You would not be the slare of sexual passion, nor greatly given to drink.”P. 167.
Hag.“ You have mistaken me in this point of sexual passion ; for it was my greatest failing that I had a grcat inclivation to the fair sex ; not, however, of those called prostigtes; for I never could bear the thought of a whore, although I was the means of leading away and betraying the innocence of young women, and then leaving them to the freedom of their own will. I believe that I was master of that art more than any other that I followed.
" A little spirits were always necessary, although I could abstain from them at pleasure, according as it suited the company I was in. When in drink I was very quiet, and would think twice before I spoke once.”—Pp. 167, 168.
Phren. “ You would never be cruel or brutal; and you would never inflict serious suffering upon any individual without bitterly regretting it?”_P. 167.