Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

For many years, in his lectures before medical students as well as on other occasions, he has embraced every convenient opportunity to ridicule and oppose the science; and from his long experience, extensive attainments, and peculiar official relations to the public, his influence perhaps has been greater in this respect, than that of almost any other man in the country. We are glad that he has at last stated his objections in print, so that phrenologists may possess them in a tangible form, and fairly examine into their real merits, leaving the public and posterity to judge of the issue. A thorough and extended review of Dr. Smith's work may therefore be expected in the Journal.

Morton's Crania Americana.—This great work is attracting much attention among the scientific men of Europe. There have lately appeared several flattering notices of it, in some of the leading periodicals of Great Britain. Dr. Hirchfeld, a distinguished physician of Bremen, Germany, and the author of several valuable works, recently wrote us, ordering a copy of the Crania Americana, saying, from what he could learn of its character, that "in a phrenological as well as in a historical point of view, Dr. Morton's publication promises to be of very great inte. rest to scientific men of all nations."

[ocr errors]

The late Dr. Turnpenny a Phrenologist.-In a biographical notice of Dr. J. Turnpenny, (who was a young physician of much promise, and died recently in ihis city with consumption, aged 32,) in the Medical Examiner, we find the following statement:"He (Dr. T.) was a zealous advocate of the doctrines of the phrenological school, and looked to the science of phrenology as a means whereby many of the phenomena of the diseases of the brain which are now exceedingly obscure, or altogethor inexplicable, would at some future period be satisfactorily explained. So well informed was Dr. Turnpenny in the details of this science, that he was selected by Dr. Morton io furnish an article on the phrenological developements of the different races of men to be incorporated in his splendid work, Crania Americana; he was prevented, however, from executing his task by the invasion of disease.”

a

Phrenological Almanac for 1841, prepared and published by L. N. Fowler, 135 Nassuu street, New York. Last year we had occasion to notice the novelty of an Almanac, embracing, besides a Calendar, many facts and illustrations on phrenology: This met with so favourable a reception, as to induce the author to prepare another for the ensuing year, which, in point of matter and variety, is much superior to the former. The phrenological part occupies 32 octavo pages, printed in two columns and in small type, and affords a greater amount of reading matter than many duodecimo volumes. It contains more than fifty different engravings and articles on phrenology.

Combe's Lectures on Phrenology, reported by Dr. A. Boardman.We are happy to learn that the first edition of ihis work is already exhausted, and that a new edition, corrected and somewhat enlarged, is now in press, and will shortly be published.

Dr. Forille, of Paris.- This gentleman has recently published a large and valuable work on Physiology and Anatomy, in which the merits of phrenology are freely and impartially discussed. We shall give some account of it in a future number.

[blocks in formation]

(Continued from page 26 of this Journal.) Over lectures fourth, fifth, and sixth, we shall pass without comment or notice; not because they are unworthy of comment, (for the reverse can hardly be more strikingly true,) but because we have neither time nor space to dwell on them; and shall offer a few remarks on lecture seventh, in which Mr. Combe considers, with his usual judgment and ability, the “ Duty of parents to educate their children, and fit them out in the world.

An interest connected with time more deeply and awfully impressive and important to mankind than this, cannot be even imagined, much less specified ; and it may be, with entire propriety, and per. haps ought to be, so modified and enlarged, as to embrace all that concerns them throughout eternity. For, to render education persect, religion should be an element of it, in common with science, literalure, and morals. Education is of great value to every people; because it alone improves their nature and elevates their character, and renders their existence respectable and happy. An uneducated savage, roaming through the forest, seeking his coarse and scanty food from uncultivated nature, battling for it with the monsters of the land or the ocean, or cheerlessly secluded, and dreaming away his time, in his hut, or his cave, is among the most wretched and degraded of beings. To his miserable lot, that of most of the inferior animals is immeasurably superior. They are in the con. dition for which the Creator designed and framed them, and to which they are adapted. But the Eskimau, the Kamschatkan, the Papuan, and the Boscheseman, are degraded far below the destiny of man, and have ungratified longings, which must deeply embitter even the very limited comforts which they enjoy.

VOL. III.-4

But there are some people to whom education is more immediately necessary and important than to others. And of all mankind, it is at present most so to the inhabitants of our own country.

To our existence as a nation, destined to continue the home of freedom and all its enjoyments, it is essential. Without it in due degree, and of the requisite character, our government will become a despotism of the most hopeless description, or it will be rent asunder by civil dis. sensions, and be made the prey of licentiousness, anarchy, and mis. rule. Portentous as this prediction may be thought, it is oracularly true.

Instead of being saved by the labours of statesmen, in the capitol of the nation, our government must look for its safety from impending ruin to seats of education dispersed in sufficient numbers through. out the country, and ably conducted ; and, above all, it must rely on that form of education which begins and is most efficiently conducted under the parental roof-more especially by MOTHERS as the teachers. Our allusion is to moral education, which our country most radically needs; and which is the product more directly of domestic instruction and example, resulting from the intelligence and the virtue of woman. We do not say that the intellectual attainments of the community of the United States are sufficiently extensive. Far from it. But we do say that, in matters of government, at least, if not in those of every other description, they are, practically speaking, far ahead of our standing in morals. In plain terms, there is more of sagacity and intelligence in the country, than of rectitude and honesty. Still, the mass of our population are deficient in knowledge. Such is unfortutunately the case with the many. And on that deficiency the cun. ning, artful, and fraudulent few operate to such effect, as to do infinite mischief. For this evil, the remedy is two-fold; an increase of knowledge in those who are deceived ; and an increase of virtue, by moral culture, in those who mislead them. And both must be achieved by means of education.

It has been already observed by us, that, until the discoveries of Gall, moral education, and its distinction from intellectual, were not understood. Scarcely, perhaps, was the existence of such distinction positively recognised. When youth were disciplined in science and letters, they were believed to be at the same time disciplined in virtue. The reason of this mistake is sufficiently plain. As hereto. fore stated, the philosophy of morals was a sealed subject. not known that there existed in the human brain moral organs, as susceptible of cultivation and improvement as any other portion of living organised matter. And, in a particular manner, it was neither known, nor even suspected, that those organs were so many

It was

specialities in existence and susceptibility, action and influence, and must be disciplined and strengthened, each in its own way, else no improvement in morals could be effected. But those great truths being now disclosed, by the labours of phrenologists, the obstacles to moral education, as a distinct and independent branch of discipline, are for ever removed ; and there is reason to hope, that that form of instruction, so infinitely important to general order and prosperity, as well as to individual happiness, will go on hereafter, pari passu, with other modes of improving the condition of our race. And thus, in ages to come, when the world shall be comparatively a moral paradise, (and our hope of such an event, not to say our belief in it, nothing can extinguish,) will mankind be indebted for much of their knowledge and splendour, and still more of their virtue and felicity, to the genius, and industry, and perseverance of Gall.

In lecture eighth, on The origin of society-of different occupations, and of gradations in rank ;” ninth, “On the past, present, and prospective conditions of society;" tenth, “ The consideration of the present and prospective condition of society continued ;” and eleventh, The consideration of the prospective condition of society continued ;" in these lectures, the knowledge and ability displayed by Mr. Combe suffer no abatement. He continues equal to himself and his subject, and not inferior to the end to be attained, as we Aatter ourselves the issue will ultimately prove. His remarks on the origin of society, in particular, are peculiarly happy.

After a con clusive refutation of the views of certain other writers on the question, he thus expresses himself :

“What solution, then," (of the origin of society,) "does phreno. logy offer? It shows that man possesses mental faculties endowed with spontaneous activity, which give rise to many desires equally definite with the appetite for food. Among these faculties are several which act as social instincts, and from the spontaneous activity of these, society has obviously proceeded. The phrenologist, then, follows in the same track with Lord Kames; but the advantage which he possesses over his lordship, consists in the supe. rior precision with which, by means of studying the organs of the mind, he has ascertained the faculties which are really primitive, with their functions and spheres of action; and also, the effects of differences in the relative size of the organs in different individuals.

From the three faculties of Amativeness, Philoprogenitiveness, and Adhesiveness, the matrimonial compact, as formerly shown, derives its origin. Adhesiveness has a yet wider sphere of action : it is the gregarious instinct, or propensity to congregate ; it desires the society of our fellow-men generally. Hence, its existence

a

demonstrates that the Creator intended us to live in the social state. The nature and objects of other faculties besides Adhesiveness, lead to the same conclusion. Neither Benevolence, which delights in universal happiness,-nor Love of Approbation, whose gratification is the applause and good opinion of others,-nor Veneration, which gives a tendency to respect and yield obedience to superiors,-nor Conscientiousness, which holds the balance wherein the rights of competing parties are weighed, -has full scope, and a sufficiently wide sphere of action, except in general society: the domestic circle is too contracted for the purpose.

“ 'The faculty of Conscientiousness, in particular, seems necessarily to imply the existence of the individual in the social state. Tu give rise to the exercise of justice, and the fulfilment of duty, there must necessarily be two parties—the one to perform, and the other to receive. Conscientiousness would be as little useful to a solitary human being, as speech to a hermit; while even in the domestic circle, the faculties of Benevolence, Philoprogenitiveness, and Veneration, are more directly called into play than it. The head of the family bestows through affection and bounty; the dependents receive with gratitude and respect; and the feeling of duty, on the part of either, rarely mingles its influence, when these other and more direct principles play with great and spontaneous energy. The sphere in which Conscientiousness is most directly exercised, is that in which the interests and inclinations of equals come into competition. Conscientiousness, aided by intellect, then determines the rights of each, and inspires them with the feeling that it is their duty to do so much, and to demand no more. Plorenology enables us to prove that Con. scientiousness is not a factitious sentiment, reared up in society, as many moral philosophers and metaphysicians have taught, but a primitive power, having its specific organ. This fact is essential to my argument; and in my lectures on phrenology, I have exhibited the evidence by which it is established. I do not consider it necessary here to revert to it.

The adaptation of the intellectual faculties to society, is equally conspicuous. The faculty of Language implies the presence of intelligent beings, with whom we may communicate by speech. The faculties of Causality and Comparison, which are the fountains of reasoning, imply our coexistence with other intellectual beings, with whose perceptions and experience we may compare our own. Without combination, what advanco could be made in science, arts, or manufactures ? As food is related to hunger, and light to the sense of vision, so is society adapted to the social faculties of man. The presence of human beings is indispensable to the gratification

« VorigeDoorgaan »