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in the proper direction of their feelings, would, in many instances, remedy this evil. But while ignorance continues, it is advisable to rely chiefly on natural qualities : for example, if one servant has Self-Esteem large, a companion should be selected in whom this organ is moderate ; and the same with Combativeness. When this is neglected, the natural language of Self-Esteem or Combativeness in the one involuntarily excites the same feeling in the other, and harmony is nearly impossible: whereas, if one has SelfEsteem large, and the other has it small, the natural expression of the former is not painful to the latter ; on the contrary, the absence of pretension, which attends a small Self-Esteem, renders the latter agreeable to the former, and a sincere mutual regard may arise between them.
It will be obvious to every reflecting person, that the circumstance of a servant being rejected by a phrenologist, is no proof of the individual being essentially bad; it shews only, that, in one or other of the six points before mentioned, the individual did not suit the particular phrenologist, and no more. The servant may be admirably qualified for a different employer.
These observations are offered as hints of several particulars which appear to me proper to be attended to, and not as complete practical directions. The elements which compose human character are so numerous, their combinations so intricate, and so little has been done in the practical application of the science, in the manner now recommended, that it is impossible to be too modest either in giving directions or promising results. Experience is the great teacher, and my sole object is to induce phrenologists to seek experience by practice. I am aware that many of my readers will feel, that, to act upon the principles unfolded even in this brief statement, would require much greater attainments than they at present possess; and hence, many of them may consider the remarks as altoge. ther useless; but several answers may be made to this objection. First, There are several phrenologists who actu
ally practise what is here recommended, and have experienced great advantages from it; and what has been done successfully and with benefit by some, may be accomplished by others. Secondly, Science is useless unless it be practical ; all practical sciences must advance by experience; and it is only by beginning and persevering that experience can be gained. And, thirdly, Even those persons who are conscious of incapacity to practise these rules, must perceive the advantage of acting on them if they could; and must feel that, until some mode of guiding the judgment in the selection of servants shall be resorted to, which shall bring into view the points before treated of, uncertainty, disappointment, and annoyance, must afflict both masters and servants. And, finally, Every person of common reflection will acknowledge, that while it would be a great advantage to obtain the foregoing knowledge of human character, there is no system of mental philosophy in existence which affords even the least aid in attempting it, if Phrenology does not do so.
This application of Phrenology has suggested the question, Are individuals with “ill shaped heads" to become “ outcasts from society?” This is precisely the evil which, under the actual system of criminal legislation, exists, and which the phrenologists are labouring to remove. favourably developed brain, and good natural dispositions, are two conditions which do not co-exist in nature. Phrenologists, therefore, by establishing the fact, that an imperfectly formed brain renders an individual naturally prone to vice, will afford an inducement to society to treat men so constituted as moral patients, and to use more effectual means for restraining their propensities than any that are at present adopted. This, in my opinion, would be preferable to the existing practice, which leaves men with the worst natural dispositions at liberty, in the worst of circumstances, to follow their instinctive tendencies, and only punishes them severely after having committed crimes. At present these beings are surrounded by want, misery,
and the means of intoxication. They transgress the criminal law, are confined in jails and bridewells, calculated to excite their propensities, and to afford little cultivation to their moral powers; they are steeped in vice, branded with infamy, and then ejected into the immoral atmosphere from which they were taken; a mode of treatment which could not exist, if Phrenology were believed and understood.
It has been further asked by way of objection, “ Does Mr COMBE deny, that in the case he mentions, the boy whom he rejected might have had a good character, notwithstanding the indications of his original propensities? If he denies this, he denies a proposition which he himself has always stated, and from which he derives the practical value of Phrenology; namely, that the original propensities can be corrected, and even eradicated, by education, and other means."
Answer: I have not stated that the original propensities can be eradicated by education and other means." Phrenology would necessarily be a dream. What I have said is this,—that all the faculties may be directed to proper objects, and, when so directed, their action will become good. But to guide strong animal propensities to virtue, there must be a directing power. If there be vigorous, moral, and intellectual faculties in the individual himself, he will, in that case, be a law and a guide unto himself. If, however, the moral and intellectual faculties be deficient, which was the case with the individual under discussion, then I certainly maintain, that strong animal feelings will not guide themselves to virtue. In this
the directing power must be supplied from without. The case of E. S., mentioned in the Phrenological Journal, No. XXI. p. 82. and 147, is exactly in point, and illustrates the positions here maintained. Now, if the boy had been placed from infancy in an asylum, from which temptation to vice was excluded, and in which the highest moral and intellectual treatment was administered, he might have had a good character, notwithstanding of the form of his brain;
because, so situated, he could not have offended. But I was informed that he had been brought up in the ordinary circumstances of the labouring classes in this country; and extensive observation had convinced me, that that condition does not withdraw temptation from the propensities, and does not supply moral and intellectual stimulus to the higher faculties, sufficient to direct a mind constituted like his to morality. I therefore inferred, that his good character was false ; which it actually proved to be. At present society is greatly deficient in institutions in which the moral influence of higher minds can be brought habitually to bear on inferior minds, in the absence of external temptation.
In consequence also of the lamentable ignorance of the nature of individuals, which too generally abounds, the mental deficiencies in which the tendency to crime originates are not understood, and still less is the immense power
of moral influence which the best order of minds could wield over the inferior duly appreciated. This influence, however, cannot exert itself efficiently, unless external temptation to evil be withdrawn, which cannot be the case without institutions formed for the purpose. Phrenology will hasten the day when these shall exist. Society is in possession, from history and observation, of a pretty accurate knowledge of human nature in general; but this knowledge is too general to be practically useful. When an individual is presented to them, they cannot tell whether he is naturally a CALIGULA or a WASHINGTON. · Phrenology not only gives a scientific basis and form to the general knowledge of mankind already existing, but renders it available in particular instances; it unfolds the natural qualities of individual men, and enables us to judge how far they will be inclined to one course of action or to another. I consider it, therefore, neither unjust nor inhumane to decline taking into my service individuals whom I know to be unfitted by their mental qualities for the duties which they would be required to perform. In short, if society at
large would read the marks set by Providence on men, and aet according to reason and sound morality, then, instead of giving false characters of vicious individuals (through Benevolence acting without Conscientiousness), and, in consequence, exposing each other to loss of property and life by criminal depredations, they would see the propriety of treating, as moral patients, those persons whose mental deficiencies render them incapable of guiding themselves to virtue.
The principles now expounded, apply to the selection of individuals to fill every situation in life. In my separate work, on “ the Constitution of Man,” the application of Phrenology to morals and practical conduct, is farther elucidated.
ON THE COINCIDENCE BETWEEN THE NATURAL
TALENTS AND DISPOSITIONS OF NATIONS, AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR BRAINS.
The mental character of an individual, at any given time, is the result of his natural endowment of faculties, modified by the circumstances in which he has been placed. The first element, or natural constitution, is admitted, by most thinking men, to form the basis of, and prescribe the limits to, the operation of the second. If a child is by nature extremely combative, and very little cautious, highly prone to covetousness, and very insensible to justice, a reflecting guardian will adopt a different method of education, and expect different consequences, than if his natural dispositions were exactly the reverse.
A nation is composed of individuals, and what is true of all the parts (which in a nation preserve their individuality), must þold good of the whole ;-nevertheless the fashionable doctrine is, that national character depends altogether on external circumstances, and that the native stock of animal, moral, and intellectual powers on which these operate, is the same in New Holland and in England, in Hindostan