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be arrived at; and before the phrenological nomenclature can be accurate, we must designate each faculty by a term which, in the words of Dr Spurzheim, already repeatedly cited, shall “s press the whole sphere of its activity."
It appears to me that both Gall and Spurzheim have failed to discover, or at least to expound, what in the faculty under discussion “ is common to all individuals.” This elementary, ultimate, primary, or fundamental quality or faculty, I have been led by much reflection to conclude, is, when stripped of all its “accidental modifications, neither more nor less than THE INSTINCT OR PROPENSITY TO OPPOSE ; or, as it may be shortly expressed, OPPOSIVENESS.
The word OPPOSE I use both in its primitive and in its secondary sense ; applying it to acts both physical and moral.
To OPPOSE literally signifies to set one's-self against. Aiccording to Dr Johnson, it means, to act against, to be adverse ; to hinder ; to resist ; to place as an obstacle : And OPPOSER he explains to be one that opposes ; antagonist; enemy ;, rival.
OPPOsition may be either aggressive or defensive: we may act against another either by attacking or by resisting.
Let us now examine how far OPPOSITION characterises the actions to which, according to Phrenologists, Combativeness leads. Mr Scott's acute and comprehensive essay on this faculty, in the Transactions of the Phrenological Society, may be selected as the best subject for comment. That gentleman has the merit of having first clearly elucidated the moral functions of the faculty
“By itself,” says Mr Scott, “it is a blind impulse, delighting in opposition for its own sake."-Obs. Every faculty delights in the performance of actions prompted by itself.
Mr Scott.“ A restless spirit of contention, without end or object.”—Obs. Contention is the action of two or more parties in OPPOSITION to each other. There can be no contention without OPPOSITION and resistance.
Mr Scott.“ Under the direction of higher powers, it gives boldness and force to the character, and enables these to act with energy and effect." —Obs. Here, also, there must be opPOSITION “ Boldness" is an impulse to face dangerous objects; to set one's self against them. Large No. V. enables a man to meet them without shrinking, nay even with pleasure. It matters not whether the dangerous object be a living creature or an inanimate object. In swimming against a rapid stream, persons in whom this faculty is weak will speedily become fainthearted, if indeed they venture into the water at all; while they who are amply endowed will continue, so long as their muscles are capable of resisting the torrent, to
and dishonest men. Where the organ is small, and Cautiousness full, the individual is utterly dismayed when he is under the necessity of competing with an opponent.' On the approach of a conflict, Cautiousness utterly overpowers him, and if possessed of sensibility, he is rendered exquisitely miserable : " his countenance is changed; his thoughts trouble him, so that the joints of his loins are loosed, and his knees smite one against another.” When, on the other hand, the organ is large, opposition is a powerful incentive to redoubled exertion, and is felt to be positively agreeable. Men of this class are able to bring whatever talent they possess into operation; they execute their plans in a dashing and vigorous style, and frequently impress the shallow and inexperienced with a mistaken idea of their great intellectual superiority, and even men of high talent but deficient Combativeness with admiration of the ease and vigour with which they act in circumstances that paralyze and unnerve the minds of persons differently constituted. This idea is forcibly expressed by Lord Bacon, in his Essay on Boldness. “ It is a trivial grammar-school text,” says he, “but yet worthy a wise man's consideration :-A question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? He answered, action: What next ? Action : What next again ? Action. He said it that knew best, and had by nature himself no advantage in that he commended. A strange thing, that that part of an orator which is but superficial, and rather the virtue of a player, should be placed so high above those other noble parts of invention, elocution, and the rest ; nay almost alone, as if it were all in all. But the reason is plain. There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise ; and therefore those faculties by which the foolish part of men's minds is taken, are most potent. Wonderful like is the case of boldness in civil business: What first ? Boldness: What second and third ? Boldness. And yet boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness, far inferior to other parts: but, nevertheless, it doth fascinate and bind hand and foot those that are either shallow in judgment or weak in courage, which are the greatest part; yea, and prevaileth with wise men at weak times.
In private society, also, individuals with large Combativeness and Self-esteem often make a far greater figure in the eyes of superficial and ignorant observers, than men whose moral and intellectual qualities are vastly superior. An excellent illustration of this occurs in an amusing paper of Addison's, in the Tatler, where he treats of the various sorts of conversation which are current in society, and likens the speakers to different musical instruments, according to the nature and manner of the conversation of each. The first sort mentioned is the drum.“ Your drums," says he, “ are the blusterers in conversation,
that with a loud laugh, unnatural mirth, and a torrent of noise, domineer in public assemblies; overbear men of sense ; stun their companions; and fill the place they are in with a rattling sound, that hath seldom any wit, humour, or good breeding in it. The drum, notwithstanding, by this boisterous vivacity, is very proper to impose upon the ignorant; and in conversation with ladies who are not of the finest taste, often passes for a man of mirth and wit, and for wonderful pleasant company. I need not observe, that the emptiness of the drum very much contributes to its noise." The author next proceeds to the lute, which, says he, is a character directly opposite to the drum, that sounds very finely by itself, or in a very small concert, Its potes are exquisitely sweet, and yery low, easily drowned in a multitude of instruments, and even lost among a few, upless you give a particular attention to it. Alute is seldom heard in a company of more than five; whereas a drum will shew itself to advantage in an assembly of five hundred. The lutenists, therefore, are men of fine genius, unconimon reflection, great affability, and esteemed chiefly by persons of good taste, who are the only proper judges of so delightful and soft a melody.” In this description of the lute, it is not difficult to recognise an admirable and strikingly, accurate picture of the character of Addison himself. In large mixed companies, he was silent and reserved ; but among a few choice friends, he freely gave vent to that wit and humour, which, embodied, during his solitary hours, in essays, contributed to the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, have since delighted millions, and will yet add to the enjoyment of many generations. 1:
Phrenology is of great use in helping us to see through the blustering surface of presumptuous but ignorant and narrowminded men, and to discover merit in persons whose modesty and diffidence are apt to prevent the display of the talents which they possess. Many young men of excellent parts, but deficient in Combativeness, and, it may be, in the quickness of perception which Individuality confers, feel themselves brow-beaten and cast down when brought into collision with persons of the drum species, and readily take up the impression that their own intellectual qualities are of a much inferior grade. To such youths Phrenology is of the highest service, by enabling them to discriminate between reckless pretension and solid ability, and also to form a just estimate of their own characters. An apposite illustration of this is published in the fourth Number of the Phrenological Journal, in an article entitled, “ Phrenology applied to the Education of a Youth." In childhood, the indivi
" dual in question was remarkable for good nature, simplicity, diffidence, and bluntness of manner, and at school was uniformly made the fag of boys more roughly constituted than himself.
Having only a moderate development of the knowing organs, he made extremely little progress in his education till after the age of puberty. He then studied, among other branches of science, Phrenology; and his observations on this topic are particularly deserving of attention. “ As to Phrenology," says he, “ I am convinced I owe as much, if not more; to it, than to any other of my studies. The extreme diffidence, which formed so remarkable a feature of my disposition, arose partly from natural timidity ; but it was greatly aggravated by my being conscious of deficiency in some intellectual powers, compared with other persons, and entertaining most exaggerated notions of the impediments which these defects threw in the way of my attaining even ordinary proficiency in any thing. In short, before I knew Phrenology, I was persuaded that I was a blockhead, and my whole character and conduct were on the point of being formed and regulated on this principle. When, however, I was told that my timidity arose from a deficiency of Combativeness, joined with large Cautiousness, Conscientiousness, and Love of Approbation; I felt the truth of the observation instinctively; and as I have a good Self-Esteem, and no deficiency of Firmness, I felt as if a mountain had been taken off my shoulders, and hoped that I should yet be able to hold up my head in society. The knowledge, also, that the confidence of many of my' associates, whose presence of mind I had envied and attributed to great intellectual superiority, arose merely from larger Combativeness and less Cautiousness than mine, gave me additional courage; and I found that this theory of their dispositions was correct, not only by observing their heads, but by comparing with these their manner and conduct when boys, and discovering how beautifully it explained them. I had a natural tendency to implicit belief in all that was presented to my mind, and took every one's pretensions for actual attainments; and in this
way could never feel that I was half wise enough to act on my own opinion, if any human being chose to call it in question. Phrenology gave me an invaluable insight into character, and enabled me to distinguish the chaff from the wheat; and also to try my own views by the standard of nature, and not by the mere notions of other men. The knowledge of character which it has communicated, is as valuable as at least ten years' experience of the world would have been to a mind such as mine. My timidity and want of confidence are naturally so great, that I can scarcely imagine the time when I would have had courage to place yself in situations calculated to afford experience. Possessed of Phrenology, I feel myself invested with something like the invisible ring of the fairy tales; I enter into society with an instrument which enables me to appreciate individuals with truth and accuracy; this knowledge makes me know my real