« PreviousContinue »
great activity was added ; and hence arose commanding energy, combined with profound and comprehensive intellectual capacity.
The Society possesses casts of the heads of Captains FRANKLIN and Parry; and both are decidedly large, with an excellent proportion in the different orders of organs. These commanders displayed great force of character in their respective expeditions in quest of a North-west Passage. No tendency to mutiny, or insubordination, occurred even in the most trying circumstances; and this would be the case, because the men under their command would instinctively feel natural superiority coinciding with artificial rank.
The figure represents the cast of Captain Parry, taken by DEVILLE. The brain is large, the portion before the ear greatly exceeds that behind it. The asterisks indicate the seat of Cautiousness and Causality; the region above them belongs to the moral sentiments; it is large; Firmness is conspicuously developed; but the hair gives part of the elevation at Firmness, and allowance falls to be made for its thickness.
The men who are able to attend to their private duties, and at the same time carry a load of public business on their minds, without feeling encumbered, owe this quality to great size in the brain, combined with large Knowing Organs. Those who, having small brains, find their whole powers absorbed and exhausted by their particular occupations, wonder at such men, and cannot comprehend either their motives, or the means by which they accomplish so much. It is power which distinguishes them, so that duties wbich to others are oppressive, press lightly on them, or afford them only amusement or relaxation. Mr JOSEPH HUME, M. P. is a beautiful illustration of this doctrine. He possesses moderate organs of Causality, little Wit, less Ideality, with no great endowment of Language; and yet
even his opponents allow him to manifest great force of character, with a power of application and perseverance which to ordinary minds is incomprehensible. If we look at the large brain indicated in his cast, and attend to the combination of organs which it displays, we shall perceive the source of his weight. THURTELL also shewed great force of character, and his brain was large. This quality in THURTELL was the source of the intense and long enduring interest which he created and supported in the public mind. He made deep impressions on those individuals who came in contact with him, they wrote and printed their emotions, and the public caught the feeling.
In examining the heads of criminals in jail, I have found the most daring, desperate and energetic to possess large brains. When great size and an unfavourable combination occur together, the officers of justice are reduced to despair of correcting the offender. They feel a strength of character which they cannot subdue, and an evil bent which they cannot direct;-the result generally is a report from the police that the individual is incorrigible; the first capital offence is prosecuted to extremity, and he is hanged for the sake of protecting society from farther mischief. In professional pursuits, also, the men who are indisputably paramount to their fellows not merely in cleverness, but in depth and force of character, have large heads; and this holds not only in the learned professions, but in mercantile avocations. I have observed, that individuals who, born in indigence, have risen to wealth, by conducting great and extensive establishments, have uniformly brains above an average size; and mercantile travellers who succeed in procuring orders, and pushing a trade amidst a keen and arduous competition, are distinguished by the same quality. Such men make an impression, and act with a confidence of power, which gives effect to all they say or do. In a school, if the children care nothing for the master, treat him with disrespect, and he fail, after using every severity, to maintain discipline and subordi
nation, he will be found to have a small head. In the domestic circle, if the mistress of a family (while in good health), is easily overcome, annoyed and oppressed with the cares and duties of her household, the origin of the evil will be found in too small a head.
In the Church, the effects of size are equally conspicuous. A preacher with a large brain is felt by his flock to possess weight, and they submit willingly to be led and taught by him, while they treat with indifference the feebleness that accompanies a little head. If, as occasionally happens, a preacher possess an excellent combination, that is, the organs of the sentiments and intellect large in proportion to those of the animal propensities, he will be acute, amiable, sensible, and interesting; but if the general size of his brain be under an average, he will not be impressive and commanding.
The principle that Size gives power of manifestation, forms the key to the following criticism on Dr CHALMERS. “ His manner, so far from being graceful,” says a contemporary writer, " is very nearly uncouth; his tones are nei-,
. ther musical, nor under strict subordination; in the selection of words, and management of figures, his taste, so far from being pure, is sometimes very much the reverse ; his pronunciation, though vigorous and distinct, is beset with provincialisms, which time and a city audience have done very little to correct; and as to gesture, wherever we have heard him, he appeared to be totally unconscious that he had got such a thing as hands and arms to manage. In what, then, it may be asked, consists the secret of the Doctor's eloquence? Simply, as we take it, in this,—that, while his arguments and illustrations are for the most part striking and original, he possesses prodigious enthusiasm and energy in enforcing them; that the defects of his rhetoric are completely lost in the force of his ratiocination ; that while he has mathematics or logic enough to make his reasoning acute, grasping, and irresistible, he has poetry enough to prevent it from being dull ; thus evincing the very high
est species of intellect, the union of a sound and comprehensive judgment, with a fertile and brilliant imagination. We have said he possesses energy, and this we take to be the great and redeeming quality of his manner, compared to which the tiny graces sink into insignificance. Whether we are facile or fastidious, whether we like or dislike the preacher's doctrine, one thing is certain, he forces us to attend to him. A man might easily get his pocket picked while listening to Dr CHALMERS, but we defy him to fall asleep." The bust of Dr CHALMERS indicates a large brain.
In authorship, the same law holds good. Critics have been puzzled to account for the high rank which Dr SAMUEL JOHNSON holds in English literature, and to discover the qualities of mind on which his eminence is founded. He has made no discoveries in morals or in seience to captivate the mind. His style is stately and sonorous, and his arrangement in general good; but equal or superior graces may be found in GOLDSMITH, Thomson, and other authors, whom nobody would compare with him in «genius. His great characteristic is force and weight; and these are the concomitants of great size in the organs. Milton's writings are highly characteristic of power, as are also those of Locke. Addison, on the other hand, is a specimen of genius produced by a felicitous combination of sentiment and intellect, without preponderating energy from great size. Power is the leading charm of SWIFT's writings; he is not graceful, far from elegant, his reasoning is frequently superficial, and his conclusions questionable ; but he is rarely feeble. Strength, energy, and determination mark every page.
To produce its full effects, large size must be accompanied with sound health and an active temperament, as explained on p. 101; but these, while necessary to give it effect, will never compensate for its absence.
ACTIVITY in the organs, on the other hand, gives liveliness, quickness, and rapidity; Dr SPURZHEIM thinks that
long fibres contribute to activity. The sanguine and nervous temperaments described on pages 32, 33, and 101, afford external indications of constitutional activity. Moderate size of brain, with favourable combination, and much activity, will constitute what is commonly understood by a clever man in ordinary life; such an individual will form ideas rapidly, do a great deal of work, shew tact and discrimination, and prove himself really a valuable and useful member of society; but he must not be overloaded with difficulties, or encumbered with obstacles, nor must the field in which he is called on to labonr be too extensive.
Great errors are often committed in society through ignorance of this fact. An individual possessing a small brain, but a fine temperament, andfavourable combination, perhaps distinguishes himself in a limited and subordinate sphere, or he makes one great and successful effort, in which his powers are tasked to the utmost of their limits ;the notion is then adopted that he is capable of higher duties, and of exhibiting babitually the force of mind thus displayed on a single occasion.
He is, in consequence, promoted to a more arduous station. He continues to execute small matters so well, that it is difficult to point out individual instances of failure, and yet a general impression of his incapacity arises, want of success and discontent increase, and at last, after great suffering to himself, and annoyance to his employers, he is dismissed. The small brain is the origin of the incapacity; and ignorance of its effects the cause of his being misplaced.
Mankind, in extreme cases, recognise power or feebleness of mental character, and modify their conduct accordingly. Those in whom moral and religious principles do not constitute the habitual rule of conduct, treat individuals in the most different manner, according to the impression which they receive from their manner, and the estimate they form from it of their strength or weakness of mind. There are men who carry in their very look the intimation of greatness,