« PredošláPokračovať »
expressions. As relates to the opponents of Phrenology, this is certainly true. To know the details' of that science, and to believe in them, are the same. No one has ever thoroughly studied them, by a faithful examination of man as he is, without arriving at a conviction of their truth. If such an instance has ever occurred, it has been in some individual whose cerebral developments were unfavourable ; in plainer English, whose head was badly formed. Neither Homer's Thersites, whose cranium was misshapen,' nor any of Sbakspeare's personages, with · foreheads villanously low, could have been easily proselyted to the doctrines of Phrenology: The reason is obvious. Their own heads would not have passed muster. Their belief, therefore, would have been self-condemnatory. And as no man is bound, in common law, to give evidence against himself, neither is it very consistent with the laws of human nature, for any one to believe, more especially to avow his belief, to his own disparagement. As the hump-backed, knock-kneed, and bandylegged have an instinctive hostility to the science of gymnastics, it is scarcely to be expected that the flat-heads, apple-heads, and sugar-loaf-heads will be favourably disposed to that of Phrenology. Nor will those whose brains are so ponderous behind and light before, that their heads seem in danger of tilting back
We have no doubt that, on widening the sphere of his observations, Arnold will become satisfied with respect to the details, as well as the principles of Phrenology. Should he ultimately declare himself a phrenologist, of which we have little doubt, the cause of the science will be greatly forwarded in Germany; for he is there universally known, and it is all but certain that he will succeed Tiedemann 'as Professor of Anatomy and Physiology in the University of Heidelberg.
AN ESSAY ON THE CHARACTER AND CEREBRAL DEVELOP
MENT OF ROBERT BURNS. Read, on 5th May 1834, before The Edinburgh Ethical Society for the Study and Practical Application of Phrenology. By Mr Robert Cox.
It may be affirmed without fear of contradiction, that there is no individual whose character and history are better known in Scotland than those of Robert Burns. To Scotchmen, even in the most distant parts of the world, his works are hardly
Caldwell's New Views of Penitentiary Discipline, &c. Philadelphia, 1829. Preface, pp. 5 and 6.
less familiar than the sacred writings themselves. The minutest incidents of his life have been recorded, commented on, and repeated almost to satiety, by a succession of talented biographers; and his career is in itself pregnant with interest and instruction to every student of the nature of man. For these reasons, the Edinburgh phrenologists have long been anxious to ascertain the cerebral development of Burns; and they consider themselves highly indebted to those gentlemen in Dumfries, through whose exertions there is now before us an accurate and authentic representation of the poet's skull *,
The circumstances in which the cast was procured are fully stated in the following narrative, from the
pen of Mr Blacklock, surgeon, originally published in the Dumfries Courier.
“ On Monday night, 31st March 1834, Mr John M‘Diarmid, Mr Adam Rankine, Mr James Kerr, Mr James Bogie, Mr Andrew Crombie, and the subscriber, descended into the vault of the mausoleum for the purpose of examining the remains of Burns, and, if possible, procuring a cast of his skull. Mr Crombie having witnessed the exhumation of the bard's remains in 1815, and seen them deposited in their present resting place, at once pointed out the exact spot where the head would be found, and a few spadefuls of loose sandy soil being removed, the skull was brought into view, and carefully lifted.
“ The cranial bones were perfect in every respect, if we except a little erosion of their external table, and firmly held together by their sutures; even the delicate bones of the orbits, with the trifling exception of the os unguis in the left, were sound and uninjured by death and the grave. The superior maxillary bones still retained the four most posterior teeth on each side, including the dentes sapientiæ, and all without spot or blemish ; the incisores, cuspidati, &c. had, in all probability, recently dropt from the jaw, for the alveoli were but little decayed." The bones of the face and palate were also sound. Some small portions of black hair, with a very few grey hairs intermixed, were observed while detaching some extraneous matter from the occiput. Indeed nothing could exceed the high state of preservation in which we found the bones of the cranium, or offer a fairer opportunity of supplying what has so long been desiderated by phrenologists-a correct model of our immortal poet's head: and in order to accomplish this in the most
• A report has been widely circulated, that, long before the present cast was obtained, the phrenologists had made an imaginary bust of Burns, and adduced it in support of their doctrines. Nothing can be more unfounded. The report has been contradicted in a number of the Scotch newspapers : but the English press, which widely copied the story as an excellent joke against the phrenologists, has not in general been so candid as to insert the contradiction. Many of our friends, as well as enemies, are consequently full of astonishment at the folly and bad faith of the Scotch phrenologists !
accurate and satisfactory manner, every particle of sand, or other foreign body, was carefully washed off, and the plaster of Paris applied with all the tact and accuracy of an experienced artist. The cast is admirably taken, and cannot fail to prove highly interesting to phrenologists and others.
“Having completed our intention, the skull, securely enclosed in a leaden case, was again committed to the earth precisely where
a we found it.
ARCHD. BLACKLOCK. “ DUMFRIES, 1st April 1834.” Before considering the particular faculties by which Burns was distinguished, it may be useful to offer a few observations on his head and character generally. In these preliminary remarks I shall advert, 1st, To the general size of his brain; Adly, To its quality and activity; and, 3dly, To the relative development of the three great divisions of the cerebral organs those of the animal, moral, and intellectual powers.
1. In GENERAL SIZE, the skull of Burns considerably surpasses the majority of Scottish crania ; heads which; even undivested of the integuments, equal it in volume, being regarded by phrenologists as large. The following are the dimensions of the skull of Burns : Inches.
Inches. Greatest circumference, . 224 From Ear to Firmness, * 51 From Occipital Spine to Indivi. From Destructiveness to ! De. duality, over top of skull, 14 structiveness,
53 From Ear to Ear vertically over From Secretiveness to Secretivetop of skull, 13 ness (greatest breadth),
53 From Philoprogenitiveness to From Cautiousness to CautiousIndividuality (greatest length) 8
5. From Concentrativeness to Com- From Ideality to Ideality, parison,
7! From Constructiveness to ConFrom Ear to Philoprogenitive- structiveness,
4From Mastoid process to Mas. From Ear to Individuality, From Ear to Benevolence,
During life, the circumference of Burns's head must have been about 24 inches, the length 8), and the breadth 61.
2. The QUALITY of the poet's brain was still more pre-eminent than its size. Its activity and intensity of action were indeed very remarkable. His temperament appears, from Nasmyth's portrait, but more particularly from the descriptions given of his person and the expression of his countenance, to have been bilious-sanguine or bilious-nervous (bilious predominating); both of which are accompaniments of great cerebral and muscular activity. “ His form," says
was one that indicated agility as well as strength. His well-raised forehead, shaded with black curling hair, indicated extensive capacity. His eyes were large, dark, full of ardour and intelligence.
His face was well formed, and his countenance uncommonly interesting and expressive. He was very muscular, and possessed extraordinary strength of body.” Sir Walter Scott, who had the fortune to see Burns, gives the following account of the natural language of his features: “ There was a strong expression of sense and shrewdness in all his lineaments; the eye alone, I think, indicated the poetical character and temperament. It was large and of a dark cast, which glowed (I say literally glowed) when he spoke with feeling or interest. I never saw such another eye in a human head, though I have seen the most distinguished men of my time *." Independently of temperament and expression, however, there is a sufficiency of direct evidence of the intense vivacity with which Burns's brain was capable of performing its functions. “ Burns," says Currie, “ had in his constitution the peculiarities and the delicacies that belong to the temperament of genius.” “ Endowed by nature with great sensibility of nerves, he was, in his corporeal as well as in his mental system, liable to inordinate impressions ; to fever of body as well as of mind.” To the same effect are the following remarks, from the pen of a female writer (understood to be Mrs Riddell), who knew him well. " I believe no man was ever gifted with a larger portion of the vivida vis animi : the animated expression of his countenance was almost peculiar to himself
. The rapid lightnings of his eye were always the harbinger of some flash of genius, whether they darted the fiery glances of insulted and indignant superiority, or beamed with the impassionate sentiment of fervent and impetuous affections t." Burns, then, had a brain both large and active; and hence the vivida vis, in other words the activity and power, of his mind.
3. With respect to the RELATIVE DEVELOPMENT OF THE THREE GREAT DIVISIONS of the poet's brain. Heads, as is well known, are generally divided by phrenologists into three classes. The first includes those in which the organs of the pro
. pensities and lower sentiments predominate over the organs of the faculties peculiar to man ; that is to say, where Amativeness, Combativeness, Destructiveness, Secretiveness, Acquisitiveness, Self-Esteem, Love of Approbation, and Cautiousness, or most of them, are larger than Benevolence, Conscientiousness, Veneration, Ideality, and the organs of Reflection. Heads in the second class are of an exactly opposite description, and indicate a preponderance of the moral feelings and reflective intellect. The third is composed of heads in which the two orders of organs are pretty equally balanced. A man whose head belongs to the first of these classes is naturally endowed with base, selfish, and violent dispositions, and falls into vicious practices in spite of the best education. He in whom the organs of the moral sentiments and reflective intellect predominate, is “ a law unto himself,” resists temptation to evil doing, and remains uncorrupted even among associates the most depraved. When there is little disproportion between the organs of the propensities and those of the peculiarly human faculties, as in the third class, the character of the individual is powerfully influenced by circumstances, and is good or bad, according to the society in which he is trained, the ideas instilled into his mind, and the example and motives set before him *. To this third classbut with a slight leaning, perhaps, towards the first–belonged the head of Robert Burns. The basilar and occipital regions, in which are situated the organs of the animal faculties, appear from the cast to have been very largely developed; but, at the same time, the coronal region—its frontal portion at least-is also large; and the anterior lobe, containing the organs of the intellect, is very considerably developed. Besides, the natural force of the regulating powers must have been greatly increased by the excellent moral and religious education which the poet received. The following statement of the cerebral development indicated by the skull, shews the relative size of the individual organs; and the four views, though not perfectly accurate, will convey to the reader a sufficiently correct notion of the general appearance of the skull.
* Lockhart's Life of Burns, p. 114.
† Article originally published in the Dumfries Journal, and inserted in Cur. rie's Life of Burns.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE ORGANS.
Scale. 1. Amativeness, rather large, 16 2. Philoprogenitiveness, very large,
20 3. Concentrativeness, large, 18 4. Adhesiveness, very large, .. 20 5. Combativeness, very large, 20 6. Destructiveness, large, i 18 7. Secretiveness, large,
. 19 8. Acquisitiveness, rather large, 16 9. Constructiveness, full, . 15 10. Self-Esteem, large,
18 11. Love of Approbation, very large,
20 12. Cautiousness, large, .
19 13. Benevolence, very large,
20 14. Veneration, large,
18 15. Firmness, full,
15 16. Conscientiousness, full, 15 17. Hope, full, . .
18. Wonder, large,
18 18 15 19 19 16
17 . 16
16 18 12
14 . 18
• It may be necessary to apologize for the frequency with which this clas. sification of heads is repeated in our pages. Without such repetition, many of our occasional readers would find the meaning obscure.- Ed.