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ceived from nature, and that this constitution is in exact accordance with the development of their brains. Climate and other external causes modify to some extent the effects of natural endowment, but the distinguishing features of each people seem to bear a more direct and uniform relation to the size and form of their brain, than to those adventitious circumstances. Where a people is subjugated by a foreign power, as the Greeks by the Turks, and the Italians by the Austrians, the national character has no adequate opportunity of unfolding its peculiarities; and hence, if this circumstance is overlooked, the same race may seem to present different characteristics at different periods of their history. The modern Greeks, it was lately said, no more resemble their ancestors than the Hindoos the Europeans; and this was urged as an insuperable objection against Phrenology. Now, however, when the Turkish yoke is loosened so as to allow the native qualities to shoot, we see the same force of character, the same deliberate and determined heroism, the same capacity for stratagem in war, with all the fickleness and proneness to dissension, the same ascendency of passion which distinguished the Greeks in the days of Pericles, reappearing in their descendants. Many millions of Hindoos, Africans, and American Indians, have been for ages independent of a foreign yoke, and never displayed qualities such as those exhibited by independent Europeans.
The effects of temperament are distinguishable in national skulls. The grain of the New Holland skulls is extremely rough and coarse; that of the Hindoos, fine, smooth, and compact, more closely resembling ivory; the Swiss skulls are open and soft in the grain, while the Greek are closer and finer. There would be a corresponding quality of brain in the individuals, which would influence the mental character.
The Phrenological Society have more specimens of national skulls than are here noticed. They afford interesting materials for philosophical reflection, but the great length to which this work has extended, compels me to omit the notice of them.
MEASUREMENTS OF NATIONAL SKULLS.
From Phi. From
From De- From Se. From loprogeni. Concen. From Ear From Ear From Ear From Ear structive cretive. Cautious. tiveness to trativeness to Pbilo to Indivi. to
to Bene ness to ness to Se
ness to Individua- to Com progeni- duality. Firmness. volence.
Destruc cretive. Cautious. lity. parison. tiveness.
These measurements do not represent the size of any organs in particular, for the reasons (ted on p. 97. They are intended to indicate whether the skulls are large or small. They do not, howeverccomplish this object successfully, in consequence of the impossibility of measuring irregular spheres by meters. They
are therefore indications merely of the length of the particular lines stated in the different skulls; from which a
may rough estimate of the relative dimensions of the skulls
avue of measurement is much be formed.
Measurements are taken from individual wants, and cannot be given as an exact statement of the average
of the different national crania. They are, however, an approximation to truth, and are sufficient to shew the interest of the investigation. The collection is still too limited to enable us to draw average results. The Negro skull is a very favourable specimen, and the Swiss is perhaps under the average.
The real characters of foreign nations will never be philosophically delineated, until travellers shall describe their temperaments, and the size and combinations of their brains. BLUMENBACH's extensive work on National Crania is destitute of moral interest, owing to his omission of all notice of the characters of the nations whose heads he represents.' Donations of national skulls are highly esteemed by the Phrenological Society.
OBJECTIONS TO PHRENOLOGY CONSIDERED.
Having now considered the elements of Phrenology, I shall notice briefly some objections which have been urged against it. These shall be given, as nearly as possible, in the words of actual opponents, and an answer shall be subjoined.
Objection.—The idea of ascribing different faculties to different parts of the brain is not new. Many authors did so before Dr Gall; but their systems have fallen into disrepute, which proves that the doctrine is not true.
Answer.-Dr Gall himself has called the attention of philosophers to the fact, that the idea alluded to is very ancient; he has given a history of previous opinions concern
ing the functions of the brain; and shewn, that different functions have been attributed to different parts of it for centuries past, while he has assigned reasons for these ideas falling into oblivion. Dr SPURZHEIM in his works does the same; and, in the Phrenological Journal, No. VII. Art. 8, “ An Historical Notice of early Opinions concerning the brain" is given, accompanied with a plate of the head, shewing it marked out into different organs in 1562, it is copied on p. 22 of this work. The difference, Lowever, between the mode of proceeding of prior authors and that of Dr Gall, is so great, that different results are accounted for. Former speculators assigned to certain mental faculties local situations in the brain, on account of the supposed aptitude of the place to the faculty. Common sense, for example, was placed in the forehead, because it was near the eyes and nose; while memory was lodged in the cerebellum, because it lay like a store-house behind, to receive and accommodate all kinds of knowledge, till required to be brought forth for use. This was not philosophy. It was the human imagination constructing man, instead of the intellect observing how the Creator had constituted him. Dr Gall acted on different principles. He did not assume any mental faculties, and neither did he assign them habitations in the brain according to his own fancy. On the contrary, he observed, first, the manifestations of mental talents and dispositions; and, secondly, The form of brain which accompanied each of these when strong and weak. He simply reported what Nature had done. There is the same difference between his method of proceeding and that of prior authors, as between that of Des Cartes and NewTON ; and hence it is equally intelligible, why he should be successful in discovering truth, while they invented only ingenious errors.
Objection. It is ridiculous to suppose that the mind has thirty-five faculties; why not fifty-five ? or an hundred and
five? Besides, the phrenologists have been continually altering the number.
Answer.-As well may it be said to be absurd, that we should possess exactly five senses; why not ten, or fifteen? The phrenologists deny all responsibility for the number of the faculties. They admit neither fewer, nor a greater number, than they find manifested in nature. Besides, authors on mental philosophy admit as many, and some more, faculties than the phrenologists. Lord Kames, for example, admits twenty of the phrenological faculties; while Mr DuGaLD STEWART, in his System, ascribes more faculties to the mind than are enumerated in the phrenological works*. The increase of the number of the phrenological faculties is easily accounted for. It has invariably been stated, that the functions of certain portions of the brain remain to be discovered; and, in proportion as this discovery proceeds, the list of mental powers will necessarily be augmented.
Objection.—“ On opening the skull, and examining the brain towards the surface, where the organs are said to be situated, it seems to require no small share of creative fancy, to see any thing more than a number of almost similar convolutions, all composed of cineritious and medullary substance, very nearly in the same proportions, and all exhibiting as little difference in their form and structure, as the convolutions of the intestine.” “ No phrenologist has ever yet observed the supposed lines of distinction between them; and no pbrenologist, therefore, has ventured, in the course of his dissections, to divide a hemisphere of the brain accurately into any such number of well marked and specific organs.”
This objection was urged by the late Dr John BARCLAY, and is answered at full length by Dr A. COMBE, in the Phrenological Transactions. A summary only of his ob
* See answer to Mr JEFFREY in Phren. Jour. vol. iv. p. 30.