Obrázky na stránke

In almost every instance the extreme crisis may be traced to injudicious and generally cruel treatment, when reason was tottering, but not yet gone. Without altogether denying the doctrine of hereditary tendencies, Dr Ellis is persuaded that, if taken in time, these may almost always be overcome ; and that their effect would be comparatively trifling if unaided by moral causes.

In the whole compass of moral statistics, perhaps, no subject is more interesting than this. It is interesting in itself, as relating to beings of themselves utterly helpless; and it is, if possible, still more interesting in its ulterior application. For may we not assume that the treatment which is eminently successful in the extreme case of mental disease, must contain within itself the principles on which all mental training ought to be founded ? In our schools, therefore, as in our lunatic asylums, may we not infer, from this example, that not less value should be set on the indirect than on the direct culture of the yet imperfect mind; that the leisure of pupils should be improved, as well as their school hours ; that their temper and affections, as well as their intellect, should be nurtured; their active, as well as sedentary, pursuits be such as to give habits of industry and consecutive labour, &c. ? Instead of this, it is to be feared that in most of our English schools our boys are dismissed from their tasks to idleness at best, but to mischief and vice much more commonly; the weak are overborne by the strong; the strong are spoiled by their superiority; the tenipers of all are injured, and their affections only brought out during their brief holidays. Ought we to wonder, then, that a fitful manhood should so often succeed an unruly youth, and that both should so frequently disappoint the fairest promise of opening childhood ? " The subject can be here only hinted at; but its development well deserves the attention of every friend to national education, national happiness, character, and virtue.

In saying this much respecting Hanwell Asylumn, I could wish to be understood as far from meaning to intimate that it stands alone in the interesting experiment making in it. On the contrary, I believe that similar attempts are in progress in several other places ; but I wish to testify to the almost complete success here. In conclusion, one of the most striking physical effects of his system Dr Ellis states to be the uninterrupted sleep of bis whole establishment during the night. His patients are not lodged in separate apartments, but together, in wards: yet is he not disturbed by them three times a-year. This he attributes both to their occupation through the day and their general tranquillity of mind.

A. M.



Our readers will be amused, if they will take the trouble to contrast the sayings and opinions of the antiphrenologists with each other, and see how much each admits, which the other de. nies. In the article on Temperament, by Dr Prichard, to which we alluded in last Number, that learned opponent gives sundry weighty reasons for believing the cerebellum to be the seat, not of Amativeness, but of the intellect! and, as a proof, he avers, that many Cretins with small cerebella manifest strong sexual desire, but little or no intellectual power,-facts which he says he can reconcile with the above theory, but not with Phrenology. Tiedemann, the celebrated professor at Heidelberg, propounds a different view of the matter; and while he is equally hostile to Phrenology, and to the connection of Amativeness with the cerebellum, he chooses a more dignified habitation for the intellect, and declares in his lectures to his wondering students," that persons with large foreheads are endowed with superior intellects, and that individuals with small heads have inferior intellects. The brain of Cuvier, which was unusually large, will illustrate the first, and the skull of this idiot (shewing one) the second." This is not amiss for a great antiphrenologist like our friend Tiedemann; but what says Dr Prichard on the same subject? He disapproves altogether of this doctrine, and gives the palm to the head of moderate or smallish size.

• It would rather seem probable," says he, “ that the state of interior organization, from which the highest degree of energy in its” (the understanding's)“ appropriate action may be supposed to result, would be found in a brain, the volume of which, both generally and in its parts, has the medium degree of development, or is neither greater nor less than the average dimension. As far as our experience and observation reaches, it bears out this presumption: the individuals whom we have known possessed of the greatest intellectual powers have been those in the form and size of whose heads, compact and of moderate volume, nothing remarkable presented itself."

It would be curious to discover whether Dr Prichard has a moderate-sized head, and Tiedemann rather a big one! The result might enable us more easily to reconcile them to each other. In the mean time, it is not too much to conjecture, that the intellectual

Cyclopaedia of Practical Medicine, article TEMPERAMENT, No. xxi. p. 174.

persons known to Dr Prichard are somewhat inferior to such men as Napoleon, Sully, Chatham, Franklin, and Washington; and, moreover, that possibly he is not an adept in the art of distinguishing the signs of intellectual talent.

We cannot help thinking that Dr Prichard has examined the Cretins very imperfectly, when he speaks of their intellects, and not their appetites, bearing a relation to the size of the cerebellum. We have seen numbers of them with unusually large cerebella, in whom reason was but a ray, compared to the energy of the sexual passion which they manifested ; and we can state, as an additional fact, that, in such cases, the forehead is either unusually small and contracted, or presents the appearance of morbid distention. In a very few instances, nothing remarkable appears in its external configuration, but the whole expression and aspect of the body indicate structural disease in the brain itself.

But to return to Tiedemann." This," he continues, “would appear to shew that there is some truth in the doctrines of Gall and Spurzheim, and it would be well if the heads of individuals intended for an intellectual or studious life were measured before they cominenced their studies, as many disappointments would be avoided. The assertion, however, that in one part of the brain resides this faculty, and in another that, I cannot believe. In dissection of intellectual persons, the convolutions are found more numerous than usual, and the anfractuosities deeper. In women the sulci are less deep than in men."

We are glad to perceive that Dr Tiedemann is a man of the practical understanding which the above quotation betokens. No doubt, a statement of facts like his does appear" to support Phrenology, but it is Nature and not Tiedemann that must be blamed for the coincidence. It is evident that he would have avoided every appearance of supporting such doctrines, if truth would have allowed him. As it is, we suspect that he is a sounder Phrenologist than many who arrogate the title. He distinctly, although by implication, admits the fundamental principle of size of brain being an index of mental power; and he farther admits, that intellect has a direct relation to the cerebral con volutions situated in the anterior lobes. If, after these admissions, he differs as to the functions of other parts of the brain, it is a difference only as to details; and when principles are once established, details can be easily verified and corrected. We are bound, indeed, to declare, that the learned Professor is not conscious of being a phrenologist; but his evidence in its favour is only the more valuable on that account, and whatever he may now do or say about the cerebellum is of little consequence, as time and farther progress in his new field of study will ultimately remove all his

present difficulties.




Having noticed the opinion of one of the Heidelberg profes-sors respecting Phrenology, we take the opportunity of adverting to those of another. We learn from excellent authority, that Professor Arnold stated in his lectures last summer, that he agrees with Gall in thinking that the cerebellum is the organ of Amativeness; though he believes it for what reason we know not-to be also in some way connected with involuntary motion. Personal observation has satisfied him that the animal, moral, and intellectual faculties are connected with different regions of the brain ; and he entirely concurs with Gall as to the individual regions occupied by each class of faculties, but, like Tiedemann, thinks that Gall has gone too far in asserting that these regions consist of a number of smaller organs. Arnold, then, admits, from observation, the grand fundamental principle, that different parts of the brain perform different functions; and, in particular, that on the basilar and occipital regions depend the propensities, on the coronal region the moral sentiments, and on the forehead the intellect. As a commentary on his and Tiedemann's refusal to admit the existence of organs of individual facultiesin other words to assent to the details of Phrenology—we shall extract, but without meaning to apply the whole of it to the two professors, a lively and forcible passage from a work published in 1829 by Dr Caldwell of Lexington.

Nothing is more common," says Dr Caldwell, “ than for physicians and others, who ought to be better informed, to observe very gravely, and, as some may think, very knowingly, • We believe in the general principles of Phrenology, but not in its details.' But a few years ago those same sage and cautious gentlemen denounced it, by the lump,' principles,' and al). This they will not deny. But times have changed, and they have changed their creed and their tone. Phrenology has gained strength, and, in the same ratio, have their opposition and hostility to it gained weakness. They think by fashion, as they shape their apparel. They feel the breeze of popular sentiment with as much attention and accuracy as they do their patients pulses, or as they examine the state of respiration by means of the stethoscope, and turn and turn' as it turns, yet still go on.'

• Thus do they completely verify the common adage, that those who talk at random should have good memories. Although they may forget, the world will remember.

* But let them occupy their new ground undisturbed. What have they gained by it? What are the meaning and force of their objection to Phrenology? Literally nothing. In the general principles' of the science they avow their belief; and in that avowal they concede every thing. What are principles ?? Generalizations of details,' and nothing more.

They are but aggregates or classifications of recognised facts. - Details' are


[ocr errors]


parts, principles' the whole. Of Phrenology, this is proverbially true. By those who know the history of it, it is perfectly understood, that, in all his discoveries, in developing the science, the march of Gall was from 'details' to“ principles,'—from individuals to generals--not the reverse. His method, like that of Bacon, was strictly inductive. In this consisted his chief merit as a discoverer and a philosopher. Could he, then, out of false • details' construct true principles ?' No antiphrenologist will answer in the affirmative. No such alchemy pertained to Gall or any of his followers. Nor did they ever profess it. It is by their opponents that it is virtually professed; and to them belongs the task to reconcile the inconsistency, or to bear the burden of it.

“ But they cannot reconcile it. As well may they attempt any other impossibility ; and as soon will they succeed in it. If the

general principles of Phrenology are true, so are its details.' If the parts be corrupt, the whole cannot be sound. The enemies of the science, then, have but one alternative; to reject or receive it in toto.

“ But wherefore is it that the opponents of Phrenology do not believe in its details ? The reply is easy. They have not studied them, and do not, therefore, understand them. praise enough for any one, to say of him, that he thoroughly understands what he has carefully studied. What he has not thus studied, no man ever yet understood, nor ever can. But to pursue ' details' is much more troublesome and laborious, than to comprehend principles' when completely established and clearly enunciated. Hence the reason why, as relates to Phrenology, gentlemen profess a belief in the latter and not in the former. Let them first acquire a correct and thorough knowledge of the latter, and then deny and subvert them, if they can. As soon would they dream of denying, or attempting to subvert, the facts of the descent of ponderous bodies, the reflexion of light, or the pressure of the atmosphere. Why did the prince of Ceylon disbelieve in the consolidation of water by cold? He was ignorant of details.' Why have the Chinese denied the possibility of throwing balls to a great distance, and with a destructive force, by means of water acted on by fire ? For the same reason, an ignorance of details.' Why did the world remain so long incredulous of the identity of electricity and lightning, and of the compressibility of water? Franklin and Perkins had not yet instructed them in the requisite • details.' Away, then, with such idle affectation of sagacity and wisdom! It is but a tattered covering for a want of information ; a hackneyed apology for a neglect to inquire. In truth, with men who make a pretence to knowledge, a disbelief in details, and an entire ignorance of them, are too frequently synonymous

« PredošláPokračovať »