vians. But not the whole of them-nor even, perhaps, the most striking and unexpected. Though constituting great and independent nations, they were no warriors, and became the victims and slaves of a mere handful of freebooters, visiting them from a distant portion of the globe. At the head of less than two hundred Spaniards, Pizarro overthrew, and reduced to the most servile condition, the empire of Peru, with a population of several millions of subjects, affectionately attached to the person of their chief, and enthusias. tically devoted to their religion and government.

And with a Spanish band of less than five hundred, aided by auxiliaries from some of the surrounding nations, Cortez conquered and enslaved the more populous and powerful empire of Mexico-two events which, as already intimated, are uninterrupted enigmas in the history of man. To what cause, or combination of causes, shall we look for an explanation of the fact, that victory bound her chaplets on the brows of a few, in conflicts where their adversaries outnumbered them in the ratio of ten thousand to one? In such a case, had not the Mexi. cans and Peruvians been essentially deficient in some high qualities indispensable to success, they could, with perfect ease, have thrown themselves on their foes in numbers so overwhelming, and with o force so irresistible, as literally to tear them into fragments, or trample them under foot, and crush them in mass.

Nor could any form of armour, or mode of battle, have saved the invaders from such an issue. It is a question, then, in anthropology, of no common interest, what were the qualities in which the South Americans were so fatally deficient? It was not in abstract personal courage. In conflicts with each other, and in wars with the surrounding nations, they not only manifested ordinary bravery, but had become the conquerors and masters of the land. It was not in personal strength and activity. In those qualities they were but little, if at all, infe. rior to their invaders. And the prize for which they fought was of the highest value, and the most inspiriting character, including all that is dearest in life. It was their firesides and their families, their altars, and the hallowed ashes of their ancestors. It was every thing that enters into the all-absorbing thoughts, and the soul-inspiring sentiments of the man and the patriot, which should render him invincible when doing battle for his home and his native land.

Nor was it, as most writers and pretended wise ones on the subject have contended, their vast superiority in military discipline and skill, acquired by more abundant experience in war, that rendered the few Europeans so easily triumphant over the almost innumerable hosts of Americans. Far from it. The difference in military tactics, as far as experience was concerned, between the two contending parties in Mexico and Peru, was not greater, perhaps not so great, as that which existed between the legions of Cæsar and the barbarous hordes with which he contended in Germany, Gaul, and Britain. Yet the issue of war in the two hemispheres was widely different. Notwithstanding his skill and invincible hardihood, as a soldier, and his boundless resources of mind, as a chieftain, Cæsar rarely won a cheap or an easy victory, even when the numbers he led to battle were but little surpassed by those of his enemy.

Others have attributed the easy conquest of the Mexicans and Peruvians to the superstitious veneration in which they held their ruthless assailants, regarding them as beings of a superior nature, who had descended to them from the skies, to become their rulers and benefactors. But that a delusion of this kind took possession of the Americans, seems highly improbable. And it is still more improbable, even admitting its occurrence at the first moment of the arrival of the roving marauders, that it should have been of long duration. The inhabitants of the New World must have very soon discovered that the emigrants from the Old were as subject as themselves to bodily injuries, sickness, and other misfortunes and infirmities, and to death itself from wounds and diseases. It is even probable, if not certain, that, from some of these sources of calamity, especially from that of seasoning sickness, the strangers must have suffered much more than the natives. And if our recollection fail us not, such was actually the case. Many of the Spaniards sickened, and not a few of them died, while those whom they had reduced to bondage remained healthy. From the notion of their divinityship, therefore, admitting it to have had an existence, the “ Iberian freebooters” derived in the end but little advantage. There is reason to believe that such advantage was more than counterbalanced by the scorn which their mean cupidity, and the detestation and abhorrence which their cruelty and revolting profligacy engendered.

Still, then, does the question, “ Why were the Americans so easily subdued ?" remain unanswered. And the correct answer, virtually but silently rendered in the “Crania Americana,” is derived from the science of phrenology alone. They were engaged in war with a race of men superior to themselves-though not descended immediately from the skies. For the Spaniards were Caucasians. And whenever, or wherever, that race, which stands at the head of the great community of man, (as the nervous and cerebral tissue takes rank of the other tissues of the body,) comes into collision, whether belligerent or pacific, with either of the other races, it neverofails in the end 10 gain and maintain a decided ascendency. To this position, wo confidently believe that no solid exception can be adduced from either

fact or philosophy—the examples of the present, or the history of the past. Nor is it from occurrences in the New World alone that it receives at once illustration and proof. By a phenomenon of equal moment, notoriety, and interest, or rather perhaps of much greater, in the Old World, it is further and no less substantially maintained. We allude to the degraded condition in which Hindostan, and several neighbouring principalities, are held by a British army, which, from its incredible inferiority in numbers to the almost boundless amount of population it controls, might well be deemed infinitely incompetent to the mightiness of the task. That army, containing less than eighty thousand rank and file, not a moiety of them, we think, being natives of Europe, has already conquered, now holds in check, and virtually consigns to a degrading vassalage, one hundred and twenty millions of human beings !

To what cause or causes is this astonishing issue ascribable? The answer we think plain. The Asiatics, though not all of a really different race from the Europeans who enslave them, are a degenerate, perhaps a mongrel, branch of the same race. They are not genuine Caucasians; while a large portion of their conquerors and masters are Anglo-Saxons—that variety which stands decidedly at the head of the Caucasians, and is their highest caste.

Are we asked to specify the actual difference between the Anglo. Saxon and the Hindostanic varieties of man, which gives to the former such a marked superiority over the latter? We reply that it consists in the different size and form of the brain in those varieties, which are fully disclosed by corresponding difference in the size and form of their ** crania." Not only is the entire brain of the AngloSaxon considerably larger than the brain of the Hindoo; the superior and truly governing organs of it are larger in a still greater proportion. Are we again asked to name those ruling and power-bestowing organs ? They are, we reply, more especially Combativeness, Destructiveness, Self-esteem, Approbativeness, Firmness, and the reflecting organs. All the organs calculated to give greater strength and energy of character, and greater scope and vigour of thought, are larger. Hence the native and necessary superiority of the Caucasians, especially of the Anglo-Saxon branch, in war, as well as in the higher walks of science, literature, and the arts.

For the easy conquests of Mexico and Peru, similar causes may be correctly assigned. Those events were attributable not to any superiority of civilisation and education on the part of the invaders. In these points the invaded were nearly, if not quite, on an equality with them. The cause was to be found exclusively in the superiority of native strength and compass of mind on the part of the Europeans.


And those qualities arose from the greater size, and better developement and configuration of their brains.

The Spaniards were a branch of the Caucasian race. And though they did not belong to the most highly gifted and most efficient branch, they were greatly superior to the American race, with whom they were in conflict. And that superiority was indicated by the greater size, and better developement and shape of their crania and brains. They had, in their cerebral organisation, a larger endowment of ground for intellectual qualifications, and comparatively a less preponderance of that forming the seat of mere animality. And these native advantages of brain bestowed on them a range and measure of mental compass and power, which the inferiorly organised, and weaker-minded Americans were unable to resist. · Those comparative imbeciles stood related to their vigorous assailants, as boys do to men, idiots to sound-minded persons, or as inferior animals to the human race. Hence the amazing suddenness and completion of their overthrow and degradation !

Groundless and visionary as this position will no doubt appear to those who have never made the subject of it a matter of study, it will present itself in that light to such persons only. Individuals sufficiently acquainted with it will view it very differently. They will regard it as one of the most grand and impressive physiological truths that has ever been disclosed. For physiological the phenomena it relates to are-as clearly and decidedly so, as the digestion of food, the secretion of bile, or the circulation of the blood. Yet was it never dreamed of as such until the discoveries of Gall, which will yet be acknowledged to constitute themselves one of the chief scientific triumphs of the nineteenth century; while their fruits will be deposited in the temple of philosophy, among the most glorious and invaluable trophies her ministers have won.

Nor is it alone the so deemed mysterious events of the conquest of Mexico, Peru, and Hindostan, that the discoveries of the great German are destined to illuminate and make intelligible and useful. They will render to mankind a similar service, as relates to many other enigmas that have confounded the anthropologist, and eluded his scrutiny. In truth, they will yet be referred to, by the students and masters of mental and moral science, as the great expounders of the philosophy of history. They will shed on the deeds and characters of the ancient Greeks a light which the world has never yet enjoyed. They will disclose the causes of the ambition, wars, and conquests of Philip and Alexander. They will tell why Cæsar first glorified and then enslaved his country, and ultimately fell by the dagger of Brutus ; why the Roman empire, after having become, and continued for centuries, a marvel of power and greatness, injustice and crime, was

duced at length to a mighty ruin by barbarian invaders; why Palestine was inundated by the mingled blood of the Crusaders and the Saracens; why the clouds of the dark ages, brought down on the world by the disasters of the sword, were ultimately dispersed by the return of the sun of literature and science; why Napoleon first astonished the world by the miracles of his greatness and power, and then ended his career in captivity and exile ; and why our own country was rendered independent and glorious, by Washington and his compatriots; and has increased in wealth and renown, and their concomitants, with a rapidity and steadiness altogether unprecedented in the annals of nations.

These were all physiological events, produced through the functions of the human brain, and will hereafter be universally acknowledged as such, by those who shall become competent judges of the subject. And for this great result, the world will be indebted to the genius and labours of the founders of phrenology. Physiologists and philosophers will learn and acknowledge, that man, to be studied correctly, as a being to be acted on mentally himself, or to act by mind on others, whether for elevation or degradation, for good or for evil, must be studied through his brain. And that in all their manifestations and conditions, his moral and intellectual natures, instead of being any longer investigated by or through the laws, supposed to regulate abstract spirit, must be approached and comprehended (if comprehended at all) through the instrumentality of the material machinery on which his spirit immediately acts. In other words; that all the events and phenomena in which man is concerned, either as agent or subject, and whether they be peaceful or belligerent, scientific or literary, instead of being regarded, as heretofore, as the immediate products of mind, will be considered, in time to come, as referable to mind only through the attributes of the nervous system. Thus will anatomy and physiology be justly ranked among the most elevated branches of human knowledge, and be received and recognised as the true foundation of anthropology and mental philosophy.

« VorigeDoorgaan »