« VorigeDoorgaan »
ing off its surface; they feel lifted up, sinking down, and whirling round. Sickness would follow these sensations, independent of the stimulus of the liquor to the stomach; and it is extremely probable that sea-sickness results from the inverted feelings occasioned by motion which violates our habitual perception of equilibrium *.”
A correspondent of the Phrenological Journal mentions †, that he was struck with this remark about sea-sickness arising from the disturbance of equilibrium, and found by experience when at sea, that, by standing at the vessel's side, directing his eyes to an object on shore perfectly still, the top of a mountain for example, and shutting out with the palms of his hands all sight of the ship and the sea, sickness invariably left him, but always returned whenever he withdrew his hands, and allowed any part of the vessel to catch his eye.
Sir G. S. MACKENZIE has suggested the name "Resistance," as more appropriate for this faculty than that of Weight. "We cannot judge," says he, " of Weight, as we do of Form, without repeated experience. We may see before us two balls of the same size and colour. We take up one of them, and perceive that it requires a certain exertion or resistance on the part of the muscles of the arm and hand to support it. From this, however, we cannot determine that the other ball will produce the same effect, for it may be hollow. Now, although we have obtained the experience that two similar balls may not produce the same effect; this experience is of no use to us, for we must always make the experiment of lifting both, in order to determine which is the heavier. The impression of Resistance is, however, left with us; and probably it is the function of the faculty which Dr SPURZHEIM calls that of Weight, to give us conceptions of resistance in general ‡.” Mr SIMPSON, I believe, is now disposed to admit the correctness of this analysis.
• Phrenological Journal, vol. ii. p. 428. Illustrations of Phrenology, p. 160.
+ No. viii. p. 645.
ALTHOUGH the eyes are affected agreeably or disagreeably by different modifications of the beams of light or by colours, yet they do not conceive the relations of different colours, their harmony or discord, and they have no memory of them. Certain individuals are almost destitute of the power of perceiving colours, who yet have the sense of vision acute, and readily perceive other qualities in external bodies, as their size and form. This fact has been remarked by Mr STEWART. He says, " In the power of conceiving colours, too, there are striking differences among individuals and indeed I am inclined to suspect, that, in the greater number of instances, the supposed defects of sight in this respect, ought to be ascribed rather to a defect in the power of conception. One thing is certain, that we often see men who are perfectly sensible of the difference between two colours when they are presented to them, who cannot give names to these colours with confidence, when they see them apart; and are, perhaps, apt to confound the one with the other. Such men, it should seem, feel the sensation of colour like other men, when the object is present; but are incapable (probably in consequence of some early habit of inattention), to conceive the sensation distinctly, when the object is removed *."
In this quotation, we have a specimen of the usual mode of conducting metaphysical speculations. When the most curious and striking phenomena of the mind are mentioned, and when we look anxiously for an explanation of them, habit or association is dragged in to solve the difficulty; and this often merely in a parenthesis, as if no difficulty existed.
Observation proves, that individuals who have the part of the brain marked No. 26. largely developed, possess in a
Elements, ch. iii.
high degree the power of discriminating colours, and, on this account, the phrenologist admits this as a fundamental faculty of the mind.
Mr JEFFREY objected to this doctrine, that light is always coloured, indeed nothing else but colour; and that it is impossible for any one to see acutely who cannot distinguish colours with equal success, because all visible objects must necessarily be distinguished by colour alone. The answer is, that the eye receives the external impression of light, and transmits it to the organ of Colouring, just as the ears transmit sound to the organ of Tune; and both are requisite to the perception of colour. If the eye be perfect, and the organ of Colour deficient, the individual may be capable of distinguishing degrees of intensity of light, although he cannot discriminate differences of tint; and the former is sufficient to acute vision, as is proved by engraving and black chalk drawing; in which form distance and expression are successfully represented by mere differences of light and shade, or by different degrees of light independently of colour.
The faculty, when powerful, gives a delight in contemplating colours, and a vivid feeling of their harmony and discord. Those in whom the organ is deficient experience little interest in colouring, and are almost insensible to difference of hues. In the Phrenological Transactions, Dr BUTTER reports the case of Mr ROBERT TUCKER, whose eye-sight was not deficient, and who was able neither to distinguish nor to recollect many of the primitive colours, even when shown to him. "Orange, he calls green, and green colours orange; red, he considers as brown, and brown as red; blue silk looks to him like pink, and pink of a light blue colour; indigo is described as purple *." The organ is reported to be decidedly deficient in this gentleman's head. The case of Mr JAMES MILNE, brass-founder in Edinburgh, is also peculiarly illustrative of this faculty; and, as I obtained the facts from himself, they may be implicitly relied on.
• Page 210.
Mr MILNE'S grandfather, on the mother's side, had a deficiency in the power of perceiving colours, but could distinguish forms and distance easily. On one occasion, this gentleman was desirous that his wife should purchase a beautiful green gown. She brought several patterns to him, but could never find one which came up to his views of the colour in question. One day he observed a lady passing on the street, and pointed out her gown to his wife, as the colour that he wished her to get; when she expressed her astonishment, and assured him, that the colour was a mixed brown, which he had all along mistaken for a green. It was not known till then that he was deficient in the power of perceiving colours.
Neither Mr MILNE's father, mother, nor uncle, on the mother's side, were deficient in this respect; so that the imperfection passed over one generation. In himself and his two brothers, however, it appeared in a decided manner; while in his sisters, four in number, no trace of it is to be found; as they distinguish colours easily. Mr SPANKIE, a cousin once removed, has a similar defect *.
Mr MILNE is rather near-sighted, but never could find glasses to aid his defect. He rather excels in distinguishing forms and proportions; and, although he cannot discover game upon the ground, from the faintness of his perception of colours, yet he is fond of shooting; and, when a boy, was rather an expert marksman, when the birds were fairly visible to him in the air. He sees them, however, only in the sky-light; and, on one occasion, when a large covey of partridges rose within ten or twelve yards of him, the back ground being a field of Swedish turnips, he could not perceive a single bird. His eye is decidedly convex to a considerable degree.
I have examined the heads of Mr MILNE's brothers, who are defi. cient in the power, and in them the organ is evidently little developed. I have also examined its development in one of his sisters, and found no deficiency, but rather a fulness in the organ. Mr LYON, a member of the Society, states, that he has examined the head of Mr SPANKIE, and found the organ rather deficient.
Mr MILNE'S defect was discovered in rather a curious manner. He was bound apprentice to a draper, and continued in his service for three years and a half. During two years, he fell into considerable mistakes about colours, but this was attributed to inexperience and ignorance of the names of the tints merely. At length, however, in selling a piece of olive corduroy for breeches, the purchaser requested strings to tie them with; and Mr MILNE was proceeding to cut off what he considered as the best match, when the person stopped him, and requested strings of the same colour as the cloth. Mr MILNE begged him to point out a colour to please himself; and he selected, of course, a green string. When he was gone, Mr MILNE was so confident that he himself was right, and the purchaser wrong, in the colour that he had chosen, that he cut off a piece of the string which he intended to give, and a piece of that which had been selected, and carried both home, with a piece of the cloth also, and shewed them to his mother. She then told him that his ribbon was a bright scarlet, and the other a grass-green. His masters would not believe in any natural defect in his power of perceiving colours; and it was only after many mistakes, and some vituperation, that he was permitted to resign the business, and to betake himself to another, that of a brass-founder, to which he had a natural disposition; for he had used the turning-loom in constructing playthings, when a mere boy.
As to the different colours, he knows blues and yellows, certainly; but he cannot distinguish browns, greens and reds. A brown and green he cannot discriminate or name when apart; but when together, he sees a difference between them. Blue and pink, when about the same shade, and seen in day-light, appear to him the colour of the sky, which he calls blue; but seen in candle-light, the pink appears like a dirty buff, and the blue retains the appearance which it had in day-light. The grass appears to him more like an orange, than any other coloured object with which he is acquainted. Indigo, violet and purple, appear only