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situation, and feel safe ; and then I am enabled to act without fear or embarrassment. Phrenology has placed my mind at peace also with itself. I know my deficiencies, and avoid reliance upon them ; while I know also the powers that are given, and the purposes to which they may be applied ; and gratitude to Providence, with a due feeling of responsibility, have succeeded to fear and diffidence, which can never exist in a high degree, without some portion of discontent. Much, therefore, as Phrenology is depised, I must always regard an acquaintance with it as one of the happiest circumstances of my life ; and have no doubt that others will entertain the same opinion when they are practically acquainted with its truths." But it is time to return to Mr Scott's analysis.
Mr Scott.-" This propensity sometimes manifests itself very strongly, where there is no opportunity or pretext for any serious or actual opposition. There are some men in whom it appears in the course of the lightest or most amicable conversation. Such men are your great arguers. The spirit of contention and opposition is so strong in them, that they cannot prevail upon themselves to assent to the simplest proposition. There are men who make a point of contradicting almost every thing that is said ; who, whatever question is broached, are sure to take the opposite, and even though vanquished they can argue still.? Such persons cannot endure to have their opinions assented to. If you are convinced by their arguments, they will go over to the opinion you have left, - Confute, change sides, and still confute.
Obs. This is a pure tendency to OPPOSE. Such persons love to contradict aggressively, and to resist defensively. With large Destructiveness and Self-Esteem, and little Benevolence, a great endowment of Combativeness gives rise to that species of detractor described by Dr Johnson in the Rambler under the title of The Roarer. “ If the wealth of a trader is mentioned; the Roarer without hesitation devotes him to bankruptcy; if the beauty and elegance of a lady be commended, he wonders how the town can fall in love with rustic deformity ; if a new performance of genius happens to be celebrated, he pronounces the writer a hopeless idiot, without knowledge of books or life, and without the understanding by which it must be acquired. His exaggerations are generally without effect upon those whom he com pels to hear them; and though it will sometimes happen that the timorous are awed by his violence, and the credulous mistake his confidence for knowledge, yet the opinions which he endeavours to suppress soup recover their former strength, as the trees that bend to the tempest erect themselves again when its force is past."
From a similar cause proceeds that peevish disposition, which
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 bis 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.
a dity and want of confidence are naturally so great, that I can scarcely imagine the time when I would have had courage to place myself 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
My timicombat in favour of truth with all the energy of a powerful mind. What is this but OPPOSIVENESS ?*
Mr Scott.-" True Combativeness shews itself in prompting to strike, whether there be occasion or no."Obs. If Mr Scott mean that this
prompter of blows, I cannot assent to his opinion. It appears to me, that without Destructiveness neither blows nor wounds can be given, for the mere pleasure of doing so. The latter propensity urges to the infliction of injury,– plıysical or moral, mortal or trivial,-on the persons or property of ourselves or others, or on the reputation of those whom we dislike ; and from it originates every action which has for its object the production of pain, uneasiness, destruction, mutilation, or defacement. The name of this faculty, as well as of that more particularly under consideration, is therefore by no means sufficiently comprehensive; for it incites men not merely to destroy, but to torment, disable, punish, hate, annoy, slander, and take revenge. In fighting, both Combativeness and Destructiveness come into operation ; and the latter seems to me quite as indispensable in the character of a pugnacious man as the former. It is Destructiveness alone, I repeat, which is gratified by the infliction of a blow. When Combativeness is deficient, or is overborne by Cautiousness, blows are directed against some defenceless object, and the wellknown phenomenon of a ferocious coward appears.
When Combativeness is large, and Destructiveness moderate, fighting is resorted to for the purpose of gratifying the love of opposition and contention; and the blow is inflicted by Destructiveness rather with the view of raising up an antagonist, than for the pleasure of causing pain. Wrestling is a species of contest where Combativeness acts with little, if any, Destructiveness. When a man boldly walks up to, and attempts to disarm, a highwayman whom he sees awaiting his approach, he acts under the impulse of Combativeness alone: when blows are added, Destructiveness also comes into play ; he not only acts in opposition to the highwayman, but also inflicts ivjury upon him. In such a case, he whose Combativeness is large, and Destructiveness small, will probably desist as soon as the highwayman is in his power ; he in whom both are large, will continue still to belabour him ; while he who has Destructiveness and Cautiousness large, with Combativeness deficient, will decline the conflict altogether, and at once take to his heels—or, if a companion should fight with the highwayman, will keep out of the fray till the enemy is overcome; upon which he will suddenly acquire magnanimity, and apply himself with vigour to the duty of chastisement and
See an allusion to a similar trait in the character of the poet Burns, in the 41st No. of this Journal, p. 62.
revenge. It is to be observed, however, that a remarkable sympathy exists between the two organs in question, probably from their juxta-position in the brain. When one of them is highly excited, the other seldom remains quiescent. It is with great difficulty that persons who engage in contention avoid becoming angry and ill-natured; while, on the other hand-as Dr Thomas Brown has remarked, though in too unqualified terms“ when anger arises, fear is gone ;-there is no coward, for all are brave."
This simultaneousness of action appears to be the principal cause why the functions of Combativeness and Destructiveness have hitherto been so much confounded.
The skulls and dispositions of the Peruvian Indians afford a strong confirmation of the views now proposed. The Phrenological Society possesses several of these, closely resembling each other. Combativeness is in them very little developed, while Destructiveness and Cautiousness are quite enormous. cordance with this, we are told in the Edinburgh Review, (vol. ix. p. 437), that the Peruvian Indians are “ dastardly in moments of danger, savage and cruel after victory, and severe and inexorable in the exercise of authority.” Equally striking are the following remarks of that most sagacious observer of human character, Montaigne. “ I have often heard it said,
I that cowardice is the mother of cruelty; and I have found by experience, that malicious and inhuman animosity and fierceness is usually accompanied with feminine faintness. . . . . Valour, whose effect is only to be exercised against resistance, stops when it sees the enemy at its mercy ; but Pusillanimity, not having dared to meddle in the first act of danger, rushes into the second of blood and massacre: like cowardly house-curs, that in the house worry and tear the skins of wild beasts they durst not come near in the field.”+
Combativeness, then, is a chief element in the propensity to fight; but Destructiveness is not less indispensable. When the latter is deficient, or when Cautiousness is very large, Combativeness will incline to seek gratification in some of the bloodless and blowless fields above adverted to—in moral rather than physical contention—and in wrestling rather than tighting. If Language be greatly developed, a love of verbal disputation will be the probable result.
If man be destined—as there is good reason to believe that he is—to reach that point in the scale of civilization where the propensities will act under the guidance of the higher sentiments and intellect, physical contention will altogether cease, except in
Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind, iii. 24. + Essays, vol. ii. ch. 27,
those countries where fierce and ravenous animals remain. When this period shall arrive, what sphere of activity will there be for Dr Spurzheim's “ propensity to fight?" The only field which will then exist, is that of mental opposition and discussion.
For these reasons I humbly submit, 1st, That Dr Spurzheim's definition of the function of the organ No. V. is incorrect and incomplete; and, 2dly, That the word OPPOSIVENESS, as above defined, includes every form of action to which the propensity leads, expresses the fundamental or elementary function with precision and clearness, and ought therefore to be substituted for the term Combativeness, now almost universally in use. At all events, it is superior to the present name, by embracing the moral as well as physical actions to which the faculty prompts. The title Courage, originally bestowed by Gall, is objectionable as not sufficiently comprehensive, and also because it expresses a state of mind in which the tendency to oppose prevails over the dictate of Cautiousness; for it seems to me that the same development of the organ No. V. may render one man courageous, but fail to produce this effect on another in whom Cautiousness predominates. It may be said that a name is of little importance, provided the real nature of the faculty is understood. To this 1 reply, first, that Dr Spurzheim's defi. nition gives an erroneous view of the real nature of the faculty; secondly, that though advanced phrenologists may, notwithstanding, have accurate notions about the faculty, students of the science are puzzled and misled; and, lastly, that people who judge of the nature of the faculties merely from their names, have their prejudices against Phrenology increased by the belief, needlessly forced upon them, that phrenologists have discovered an organ, the natural and legitimate function of which is to induce mankind to fight.
Whether the foregoing observations be well founded or not, they may at least be useful in drawing more of the attention of phrenologists than has of late been given, to the analysis of the fundamental faculties, and to the mode in which such inquiries ought to be pursued.
VOL. IX. —NO. XLII.