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gy. ESQUIROL very justly remarks on this subject, that although a particular sermon has often been blamed for producing this species of insanity, yet it would not have had that effect, unless there had been a predisposition to the disease, probably a pre-existence of it, in the individual. In Dublin, I saw patients insane from Veneration. The organ is established.
THIS organ is situated at the posterior part of the coronal region of the head, close upon the middle line.
Dr GALL observed, that persons of a firm and constant character have this part of the brain much developed; and LAVATER had previously distinguished the same configuration, in concomitance with that kind of disposition. It is difficult to determine, by analysis, the ultimate principle of this faculty. Dr GALL remarks, that, properly speaking, Firmness is neither an inclination nor a faculty; "c'est une manière d'être qui donne à l'homme une empreinte particulière que lo'n appelle le caractère; he who is deficient in it," says he, "is the sport of external circumstances, and of communicated impressions." Its effects, says Dr SPURZHEIM, are mistaken for Will; because those in whom it is large, are prone to use the phrase "I will," with great emphasis, which is the natural language of determination; but this feeling is different from proper volition. It gives fortitude, constancy, perseverance, determination, and, when too energetic, produces obstinacy, stubbornness, and infatuation. It will be found very large in stubborn and untractable children.
The organs of Self-Esteem, Concentrativeness, and Firmness, form a group which has no relation to external objects; their influence terminates on the mind itself; and they add only a quality to the manifestations of the other
powers thus Firmness, acting along with Combativeness, produces determined bravery; with Veneration, sustained devotion; and with Conscientiousness, inflexible integrity. It gives perseverance, however, in acting only on the other faculties which are possessed in an available degree. An individual having much Firmness and considerable Tune, may persevere in making music;-if Tune were greatly deficient, he would not be disposed to persevere in that attempt; but if he possessed much Causality, he might persevere in abstract study. At the same time Dr GALL justly remarks, that Firmness of character ought not to be confounded with perseverance in gratification of the predominating dispositions of the mind. Thus an individual, in whom Acquisitiveness is the strongest propensity, may, although Firmness be deficient, exhibit unceasing efforts to become rich, but he will be vacillating and unsteady in the means which he will employ;-he will to-day be captivated with one project; to-morrow with another; and the next day with a third; whereas, with Firmness large, he would adopt the plan which appeared to him most promising, and steadily pursue it to the end.
When this organ predominates, it gives a peculiar hardness to the manner, a stiffness and uprightness to the gait, with a forcible and emphatic tone to the voice.
A due degree of it is essential to the attainment of eminence in any difficult pursuit. Dr GALL observes, that, when it is large, the motto of the individual will be, “ Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audacior ito." It produces the "tenax propositi vir." The organ is larger in the British than in the French, and the latter are astonished at the determined perseverance of the former, in the prosecution of their designs, whether these relate to the arts, sciences, or war. NAPOLEON knew well the weakness of the French character in this point, and, in his conversations, recorded by Count LAS CASES, frequently complains of it. In war, the effects of this organ are very conspicuous in the con
duct of the two nations. The French, under the influence of a large Combativeness, and moderate Cautiousness, make the most lively and spirited attacks, shouting and cheering as they advance to the charge; but if steadily resisted, their ardour abates; and, from deficiency in Firmness, they yield readily to adversity. The British, on the other hand, advance to the assault with cool determination, arising from great Firmness, and considerable Cautiousness and Secretiveness; and although repulsed, they are not discomfited, but preserve presence of mind to execute whatever may appear most advisable in the circumstances which have occurred.
This faculty contributes greatly to success in any enterprise, by communicating the quality of perseverence. Exhaustion will damp the ardour of the bravest after much exertion, and hence he who is able to maintain his faculties in a state of vivid application for the greatest length of time, will at last frequently succeed, by merely wearying out his opponent. Fortitude and patience, also, as distinguished from active courage, result from this faculty. The organ is large in the American Indians, and their powers of endurance appear almost incredible to Europeans. Dr GALL found it very large in a highwayman, who was exceedingly hardened in crime. He was kept in close confinement for a considerable time, with the view of forcing him to disclose his accomplices; but this had no effect, and he was then put to the torture by beating. Finding this infliction intolerable, he strangled himself with his chain. After his death, the parietal bones were found separated precisely at the point where the organ of Firmness is situated. Dr GALL could not determine whether the separation arose from the violent strangulation, the excessive energy of the organ, or from accident; but records the fact, to call attention to similar cases, should they occur in future. This organ, and that of Destructiveness, are very large also in JoHN THURTELL, executed for the murder of WEARE, and he manifested both powerfully
in his conduct. The organ is also very large in King ROBERT BRUCE; and he was distinguished for unshaken firmness, in circumstances in which an ordinary mind would have been overwhelmed by despair. It is large in Haggart, who also manifested determination in crime and constancy in suffering, in a remarkable degree.
When the organ is small, the individual is prone to yield to the impulses of his predominating feelings. When Benevolence assumes the sway, he is all kindness; when Combativeness and Destructiveness are excited, he will be passionate, outrageous, and violent: and thus afford a spectacle of habitual weakness and inconsistency. If Love of Approbation and Benevolence be large, and Firmness small, solicitations will, with great difficulty, be resisted. The organ is very small in the cast of Mrs H., and she manifested much unsteadiness of purpose.
The figures introduced on p. 299. represent this organ large and small.
I am not aware that the metaphysicians admit any faculty corresponding to this sentiment. It exercises a great influence in forming the character, and its omission is important in any system of mental philosophy.
The effects of disease of the organ seem not to have been observed. We may infer, that they will be the exaltation of the function, namely, extreme stubbornness and infatua tion.
This organ is regarded as established.
THIS organ is situated on the posterior and lateral parts of the coronal region of the brain, upwards from Cautiousness, and backwards from Hope. In Dr GALL'S Plates, the function is marked as unascertained, and the discovery and establishment of the organ are due to Dr SPURZHEIM.
The dispute among philosophers about the existence of
a moral faculty in the human mind, is of very ancient standing, and it has been conducted with great eagerness since the publication of the writings of HOBBES in the middle of the seventeenth century. This author taught, "that we approve of virtuous actions, or of actions beneficial to society, from self-love; because we know, that whatever promotes the interest of society, has, on that very account, an indirect tendency to promote our own." He farther taught, that, "as it is to the institution of government we are indebted for all the comforts and confidence of social life, the laws which the civil magistrate enjoins are the ultimate standards of morality *."
UDWORTH, in opposition to HOBBES, endeavoured to shew that the origin of our notions of right and wrong is to be found in a particular power of the mind, which distinguishes truth from falsehood.
MANDEVILLE, who published in the beginning of the last century, maintained, as his theory of morals, That by nature man is utterly selfish; that among other desires which he likes to gratify, he has received a strong appetite for praise; that the founders of society, availing themselves of this propensity, instituted the custom of dealing out a certain measure of applause for each sacrifice made by selfishness to the public good, and called the sacrifice Virtue. "Men are led, accordingly, to purchase this praise by a fair barter;" and "the moral virtues," to use Mandeville's strong expression, are, "the political offspring which flattery begot upon pride." And hence, when we see virtue, we see only the indulgence of some selfish feeling, or the compromise for this indulgence, in expectation of some praise +."
Dr CLARKE, on the other hand, supposes virtue "to consist in the regulation of our conduct, according to certain fitnesses which we perceive in things, or a peculiar congruity of certain relations to each other;" and Wollaston,
* STEWART'S Outlines, p. 128.
+ Fable of the Bees, vol. i. p. 28.30. 8vo. London, 1728; and BROWN'S Lectures, vol. iv. p. 4.