unless he possesses a disposition so happily constituted as to lead him to believe that the obscurity and mysticism in which he is involved, arises rather from the defects of the author than from ignorance on his own part, it must impress the reviewer with a constant sense of his incompetency to perform the task which he has undertaken.

The experience of phrenology to which Mr. Combe's critic has attained, is very candidly stated to consist as follows:

“We perfectly remember to have met in the street one day, some few years ago, a physician, a firm believer in the theories of Dr. Spurzheim, who proposed that we should accompany him to the apartment of an artist in the neighbourhood, for the purpose of having our scepticism on the subject of phrenology removed by the evidence of the skull of a murderer who had just been executed, and of which a cast had been taken. We consented to the proposal; on condition that the phrenologist should read the man's character from the cast, and that we, the party to be converted, should compare it with the general tenor of his actions. Arriving at the place, we desired the two philosophers to determine--for the artist was likewise a professor-what might be the most remarkable developement which the skull of the malefactor presented ? It was carefully inspected, and the examiners agreed that “Secretiveness” was the quality of all others most strongly indicated. Our reply was, that in such case we must dissent more tenaciously than ever; since it was manifest, from the evidence on his trial, that the fellow could never have been convicted, and in all probability never would have been even suspected, if he had only kept his own counsel ! The erime itself had grown out of some strange and unnatural intimacy between the slayer and the slain, and was not accompanied by robbery. Yet even that unholy secret this wretch, upon whose skull Secretiveness was the most remarkable developement, (and, observe, without any thing of remorse or penitence to account for it, without any direct confession,) betrayed by his own garrulity! We then requested the parties to allege any thing the man had ever done to balance these strange acts, of so very opposite a nature to that which, on the principles of phrenology, ought to have marked his conduct. They were driven to the miserable expedient, that he had stuck the blade of his murderous knife into the sod, so as to conceal it tolerably well; whereas, the act of having done it in the very neighbourhood of the corpse might have betrayed the murderer, had any one which was not the case-identified the weapon.

“ Another instance we can vouch for, which shows a second signal failure in this pretended art or science. A gentleman was expressing his disbelief in the professions of phrenology, and was answered by


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one, who, if he might himself be credited, was no inconsiderable adept. It was agreed that the skull of the sceptic himself should be examined in evidence; and the phrenologist confidently announced a taste and organ for music, as forming a characteristic of the individual. • Why, said the latter party, after this annunciation had been made, "we may expect you to make a fortunate guess now and then. I beg your pardon,' answered the other, but you agreed to abide by the experiment.' •Well,' replied the opponent, and so I will; for I can assure you' (we ourselves can vouch that it is the truth as to our friend's musical taste] •I would not positively say whether I could distinguish God Save the King from the 104th Psalm or not.'

“We have no hesitation, therefore,” continues the reviewer, "in saying that our own experience-where the phrenologist has made the prognosis, and we have ourselves compared it with the conduct of the party–has been unfavourable."

To any person accustomed to follow out scientific inquiries, the plan thus adopted for testing the truth of phrenology must appear absolutely ludicrous. We believe that in these days it would be difficult to find a schoolboy of a year's standing, who could be ignorant of the necessity of collecting a vast number of clear and well attested facts before he might, "without hesitation," pronounce an opinion upon any matter, the proofs of which are entirely of an inductive kind. On the two cases above mentioned, our reviewer pronounces phrenology to be a “ pretended art or science.” Let us see what they are worth.

In Case No. 1, we are not furnished with any names. Two "prosessors,” of whose experience or qualifications we can form no estimate, pronounce “Secretiveness” to be the largest organ in the head of a murderer, betweem whom and his victim some strange and unnatural intimacy had subsisted, but who never would have been suspected of the crime if he had kept his own counsel. Now, to a careless-minded person, to whom a few superficial observations would have all the weight which would only by others be attached to a long chain of careful experiments, the above combination may appear 10 be utterly impossible, and he may expect that his relation of this anonymous case may be sufficient to overturn the hundreds of facts attested by a full detail of names, dates, and correlative circumstances, which have been collected by phrenologists up to the present time. But, unfortunately, it will appear to all persons, (whether phrenologists or not,) who have given any attention to mental phenomena, that the combination of the secretive propensity, with a willingness to confess to certain atrocious crimes, is extremely frequent, and by no means difficult of explanation. We have not space here to enter into


the philosophy of the point, and as it has been fully examined elsewhere, it is unnecessary that we should do so.* We will therefore content ourselves by expressing our regret that, owing to the secretiveness of the reviewer, we are destined to remain in ignorance of the nature of the “ strange and unnatural intimacy" alluded to in the above case; or, if this would not admit of publication, of the means by which it had been concealed, since it is possible that a full knowledge of the case might show that the unnamed professors had no occasion, in their defence, to resort to the “miserable subterfuge" of the knife. In order, however, to relieve all future professors who may hereafter be placed in circumstances of similar difficulty, we will mention the following cases, to show that the coincidence of the secretive and self-convicting tendencies is by no means impossible.

On the 27th of March, 1835, Maria Jaeger was condemned at Mayence for having poisoned, at various intervals, her uncle, mother, father, husband, her three daughters, and another person. She had done all this with so much caution, that no suspicion whatever was excited, and she was at last condemned upon her own voluntary confession! Cook, the murderer of Mr. Paas, at Leicester, whose case excited such a strong sensation, on account of the means adopted for concealment, when apprehended at Liverpool, at once confessed the murder. In the former case, it is proper to remark that the culprit stated that she had had a dream, which induced her to confess; and our reviewer, with much simplicity, seems disposed to infer that, in the case which he has quoted, the man confessed without any motive. Most of our readers are sufficiently acquainted with mental science to know that no act was ever yet committed without a motive; and even our critic would doubtless allow that, if the confession could have taken place without a motive, it must have been the result of insanity; and if such was the fact, as he gives us no pathological account of the criminal's brain, the case, as he relates it, is utterly worthless.

In Case No. 2, we are not furnished with any names. A gentle man, a friend of the reviewer's, or probably a friend's friend, for we have no precise information, being in company with some indiscreet believer in his own powers of manipulation, submits his head to be examined, and the examiner commits an egregious blunder; both parties being of that rash or playful turn of mind which would induce them to test the truth of a science which has agitated Europe during a

A consideration of the causes which most frequently induce confessions, both of a direct and an indirect character, in homicidal cases, will be found in a series of articles on Criminal Jurisprudence, which lately appeared in the Spectator, London newspaper.

VOL. 111.-15


period of forty years, by this empirical procedure, and render them willing to abide by the result. This anecdote being retailed to our reviewer, is immediately coupled by him with his own personal experience, (as related in case No. 1,) and both together form such a mass of evidence as to induce him, “ without hesitation,” to pronounce phrenology to be nothing more than a pretence."

When, apart from the want of all identification of the case, we observe that he had not even taken the pains, before he alludes to it in evidence, to procure either measurement or cast of his friend's friend's head, in which the extraordinary developement of the organ of Tune is unaccompanied by the power of recognising “God save the King," we feel entitled to complain of his indifference to a public duty, and 10 the true interests of science. When, in addition to this, we take into consideration that, notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Deville's collection of between two and three thousand authenticated casts is open to any individual inquirer, we find our reviewer willing to take up an opinion or impression upon a matter of such grave importance as he admits phrenology to be, upon the loose and gossiping pair of cases to which he has limited his inquiries, we think that he will not accuse us of judging unfairly if we express a suspicion that he must want that mental discipline which is the result of severe training, and that, carrying more sail than ballast, he must be one of those who are apt to give implicit credence to matters at five-and-twenty or thirty, which they may discover at fifty to be erroneous, and will probably look back upon, at seventy, with the bitterest regret.

Thus it is that, in attempting to upset a system of philosophy, our reviewer completely exposes his ignorance of the principles upon which the system rests. There can be no doubt that the study of phrenology presents the only true method of dealing with Mr. Combe's works, because if these works administer to deism, and phrenology nevertheless prove to be founded on truth, it would, as the Christian religion is truth itself, be a very easy task to show that Mr. Combe's philosophy is disproved even by phrenology; and if phrenology be not true, it cannot be an impossible task to prove its falsehood, and thus, by sweeping away the foundation of Mr. Combe's philosophy, to destroy altogether the structure which he has raised. This would have been the simplest and most philosophical mode of dealing with the matter, and would have saved the writer from the impiety of making the truth of the Christian religion a subject of discussion, when the question at issue admitted of satisfactory settlement by other means.

Having exposed the unfitness of our reviewer for the task which he has assumed, as far as scientific knowledge is concerned, we will pro


ceed to examine his fitness as evinced by his knowledge and interpretation of the chief points of the Christian doctrine. His sole view, as stated by himself, is to prove that Mr. Combe's work is deistical in its tendency, and with this intention, he says,

• It may be well to define our own notion of deism ; for on this head we are determined to avoid all hair-drawn distinctions.

We consider the deist to be a person who believes in the existence of a Supreme Being, or great first cause of all things, but who does not believe in any revelation whatever of his will unto mankind. He believes God to have created this universe, and to have given to mind and matter definite laws; but he believes those laws, when they are discovered, to be the only revelations of His will unto mankind.”

Now, we have never been able to gather from Mr. Combe's works, any denial of specific revelations having been made to man; nor does the reviewer, although he professes his intention to abide by the above definition, either convict, or attempt to convict, Mr. Combe of any thing of the sort. If the reviewer means to assert that any act ever proceeded from the Creator, which was not the result of laws established by him, and consistent with his eternal mind, we suspect that he will not only find himself at issue with Mr. Combe, but with all the rest of the world. All that Mr. Combe implies is, that the Creator having given to man a certain organisation, has in all his dealings with him reference to that organisation. No man can see God and live-hence, whenever the Creator has revealed himself to the race, it has always been through means adapted to their constitution; our Saviour took upon himself the form of man in obedience to this necessity, and, in earlier days, the revelations of the Divine Spirit were received by the patriarchs, not through the medium of an altered existence, but through their natural powers, by the material agencies of light and sound. The Divine Ruler having thus always communicated with man as a being manisesting his powers in this life only through the instrumentality of a definite and material organisation, it is difficult to conceive whence arises the disinclination which exists in the minds of some persons to contemplate this fact, or to entertain any system of philosophy that may be based upon it. It is owing to this disinclination that there has always been, as our reviewer observes, “not only in our country, but universally in the history of mankind, a conflict between the material and the spiritual schools of philosophy,” and it is as a disciple of the latter school that he enters into opposition to Mr. Combe. “We must grapple,” he says, "with that gentleman's exposition of the case between these antagonising principles, and in order to do it fairly, we shall do it in his own language :

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