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were their opponents. Multiplied instances might be adduced, but these suffice.
Truth, before her claims have been acknowledged, has always had to battle with ignorance, prejudice, and illiberality—a necessity which, if we regard its effects upon the advancement of human happiness and intelligence, cannot be too deeply deprecated. Let us for a moment examine into the cause. If it can be removed, it cannot be done too quickly. First, then, whatever we are ignorant of, we love to condemn. When the simple love of truth, be the truth what it may, does not predominate in the mind, we love to hear any theory, science, or art, which does not accord with our old established notions, set aside. Narrow-mindedness and ignorance are hand-in-hand companions. The ignorant man, in contemplating his amount of knowledge, feels vastly more complaisant than he whose mind has been enlarged by science, by philosophy, and the study of nature. Every new acquisition widens his mental horizon; and the more he learns, the more he is convinced that the greatest and best stored minds cannot attain all. He knows that from all the varied elements, physical and moral, which make up our world, from the action of mind upon matter, and of miod upon itself, new results must be developed, and when these are presented, he is preparing to examine them patiently and candidly. The ignorant man expects nothing new. He presumes there are very few things in the world of which he does not know something. Tell him of a theory, opioion, or doctrine of which he has never heard, and ten to one he will give you that very reason for not believing it. The enlightened man is always a scholar; the ignorant man completes his education in early life. Sir Isaac Newton retraced his steps for an hour, during a severe rain, in the hope of learning something new from the boorish shepherd. The latter was probably satisfied with the amount of knowledge he already possessed.
Pride of opinion is another fruitful source of opposition to newly discovered truths. We all of us have our opinions made up on subjects of ordinary interest. These we rarely fail to identify with truth, and when any thing opposed to them is presented, a fierce conflict is waged at once. All the passions and prejudices of human nature are waged against the invader, and we fight with the zeal of martyrs for the dear privilege of believing what we have believed, merely because ue have believed it. If we would examine the spirit of the discussions which are daily carried on in society, we should find that in a majority of cases we maintain our opinions more from a dogged resolution to preserve the same belief, than from a conviction that the arguments opposed to it contained no truth. In regard
to the great doctrines of the age, the same spirit obtains even in a more formidable degree. Demonstrate to a thinking man that the opinions which he has advanced and acted upon for ten, twenty, or thirty years, are erroneous; ask him to reject them and search for others, and he looks upon you as a very annoying and presuming pretender. Locke has justly likened arguments used in such a case to the wind, endeavouring to wrest his cloak from the traveller; at every fresh gust he grasps the tighter. Dr. Joseph Black, well known in the scientific world, writes thus to Lavoisier :-" For thirty years I taught the doctrines of phlogiston, ten years of which I combated your discoveries. That barrier to every improvement,prejudice, required ten whole years—another siege of Troy-before it could be subdued. I see now, clear as the noon-day, the truth of your new system.” An example of candour which cannot be too strongly recommended to those who are permitting prejudice to close the avenues to truth.
Lamentable, indeed, is it, when we consider that human happiness depends on the progress of real knowledge and morality, to see puny man endeavour to raise his voice against the dictates of nature, shutting out from his mind, her immutable truth, blinding himself to her institutions, and thus rendering himself liable to all the miseries incident to a subject living under a penal law of which he is igno. rant, which he is tempted daily and hourly to violate, and every infraction of which must inevitably be followed by the penalty. We
Wc wrong ourselves and posterity by every such act. For though the fiat of eternal wisdom has gone forth that truth must prevail, yet man has it in his power to impede her progress and impair her influence. Whenever he does this, he is guilty of a moral wrong, and though self-love and vanity may be gratified for a time, at being able to resist the influence of new doctrines, yet we shall find after all, that there is no great glory to be won by acting merely as dead weights to the cause of improvement.
These thoughts were suggested by having recently witnessed the manifestation of feeling of this kind towards an attempt to introduce the science of phrenology. It is not my purpose now to enter into the merits of this science, or examine its claims to attention. I wish humbly to suggest to those who oppose it, whether, when a science which claims to be the basis of intellectual and moral improvement; which is acknowleged by a large portion of the intelligent world to be true, and is taught with ardent hopes of its benefits by many of the most talented and philosophical men of the age; which has stood the test of the mosi hostile and unyielding opposition for sixty years, and whose march has still been onward; when such a subject is introduced, would it not be consistent with a professed love of knowledge, at least to hear what is gratuitously offered in its defence ?
Stokes's and Bell's Practice of Medicine. In a previous number of the Journal, we presented some excellent remarks on phrenology, from the lectures of Dr. Wm. Stokes, of Dublin, Ireland. We are glad to state thal a new edition of these lectures has just been published by Haswell, Barrington, & Co., of this city, being greatly enlarged by the addition of copious notes and twelve new lectures, by Dr. John Bell. This is one of the best works now extant on the “ Theory and Practice of Medicine," and we may say, it is the only one that gives a correct exposition of the functions of the brain. It must be truly gratifying to every phrenologist to see the principles of this science expounded and defended in a work so able and learned, and one that must become a standard work of reference in medicine. Dr. Bell has also appended two or three uotes to Dr. Stokes's remarks on phrepology, which testify strongly in favour of the truth and importance of the science.
Innateness of Animal Instinct.— The following curious facts were communicated to us by Dr. Andrew Boardman, of New York :-In August last, a gentleman brought to this city from the country, a number of eggs of the copper-head snake, in cach of which, as the event proved, there was a young reptile almost mature enough to make its exit. One of these eggs was thrown down with sufficient force to burst the membranous shell, and dislodge the young inhabitant, which soon disentangled itself from the albuminous fluid with which it was surrounded ; on having done which, I struck it slightly on the tail two or three times. Immediately its energies were aroused, its tongue repeatedly projected, its body thrown into coils, and its head raised aloft in an attitude of attention and defiance. I again struck its tail, and immediately presented the stick towards its head, on which it darted forward and struck the end of the stick with accuracy. This I repeated several times, with the same result. Another egg was broken, from which another reptile issued ; similar experiments were made, and were followed by similar results. A third egg was broken, from which a third reptile issued; similar experiments were made, and again with like results.
The above, I think, were unexceptionable tests of the innate and connate powers of these animals. Uninfluenced by imitation, instruction, or experience, they manifested a bold, resentful, and malignant disposition; they were able so to control and adjust the muscles as to poise the head aloft and hold it in equilibrium; they perceived in the stick an object or substance capable of being struck or bitten; when they darted towards the stick, their motion was in a line from the head's position to the stick, evincing their perception of direction ; they seemed in each instance to proportion the muscular effort made to reach the stick to its greater or less proximity to themselves, thus showing, as it seemed to me, a perception of distance, of the resistance to be overcome, and of the amount of force requisite to overcome such resistance.
Head of John Horn Tooke.-In the biography of this celebrated map, by A. Stephens, Esq., we find (Vol. II. page 447) the following curious statements respecting Tooke's head :-"On application to Mr. Chantry, the statuary, he has communicated the following dimensions of Tooke's skull, taken by him when he modeled the bust, and kindly reduced his scale to the standard of common measurement. The width of the os occipitis was exactly six inches and three quarters; the os frontis, five inches and a quarter; the greatest width between the extremities of both, eighi inches and three quarters. The artist remarks that all the parts were well defined and highly finished, so as to exhibit a flowing curvilinear surface, combined with a marked character. He was also pleased to add, that the head possessed a complete resemblance to the bronze bust of Voltaire."
R. Jarvis, Esq. and Phrenology.-An article, titled “ Humbug of Phrenology, by R. Jarvis, Esq." appeared in the August number of the Gentleman's Magazine, upon the object and merits of which very different opinions are entertained. We considered it at first as a satire on the objections advanced against pbrenology, but that such was its appearance and character as to be of very questionable utility in its bearings on the science; and a more thorough examination has only served to confirm us in this opinion. Others may think differently, bot we have here no desire or room for controversy on the matter. Mr. Jarvis has been for some years a decided and able advocate of phrenology, and intended, by this present contribution, to promote the interests of ihe science. In a letter to the editor of this Journal, he thus states the object of the article alluded to:—“ That article is a satire upon the common objections to phrenology; a satire of the ironical class, or ridicule in serious terms.' The objections which the satirist urges against phrenology are inconsistent with well known facts, and the arguments which be applies to them are illogical; his object being to expose the futility of these objections by arguments that either prove nothing, or prove the reverse of the point upon which they are adduced."
Death of Dr. Ticknor.-Died at New York, September, 1840, Caleb Ticknor, A. M., M. D., aged thirty-six, author of the “ Philosophy of Living,” “ A Treatise on Medical Philosophy," &c. The early death of Dr. Ticknor is a great loss to the cause of true science. We had the promise of one or more articles from bis pep for this Journal. Dr. T. was an efficient member of the New York Phrenological Society, which passed the following resolution at their quarterly meeting in September, 1840:
Resolved, That we learn with feelings of deep regret, the death of our late fellow-member, Dr. Caleb Ticknor; a man, whose manners and virtues inspired attachment and esteem, and whose attainments in science, and devotion to whatever he deemed the cause of truth, secured the respect and admiration of all cultivated and generous minds.
There is perhaps no subject connected with the philosophy of the human mind on which more has been written, and on which, at the same time, a greater diversity of opinion has appeared, than on the theory of virtue. A term whose meaning the most ordinary mind thinks it can readily apprehend, has been bandied from one school to another, from the remote age of Aristotle to the times in which we now live, and it still remains a question, Whether it has ever received a true and satisfactory explanation? If, indeed, our search after the true meaning of this mysterious substantive were confined to the theories in which the problem is professedly solved, so essentially different are these in their principles, and so various in their results, we might readily doubt whether that which we sought had any real existence—whether we were not renewing, by such a pursuit, the visions of alchemy; searching after a bodiless creation, which bad a name only, but no local habitation upon earth.
And is virtue, then, of a nature so capricious and unstable as necessarily to appear under a new form to every successiye inquirer? Is this summum bonum, to a knowledge of which man has for two thousand years been labouring to attain, no better than an ignis fatuus, deluding the eye with a momentary light which leads only to deeper darkness-a mirage in the desert, cheating the traveller with the appearance of smiling vegetation, when a nearer approach shows all around to be only arid and unproductive sand ? Fallen as human nature unquestionably is, we are far from holding it to be so entirely degraded. If that philosophy which has the constitution and pheno. mena of the human mind for the objects of its research, has hitherto
* From the 12th number of the Edinburgh Phrenological Journal. VOL. III.—7