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perusal of Alison's work on Taste. The poet's letter to Mr Alison, on this subject, deserves to be quoted. "I own, sir, that, at first glance, several of your propositions startled me as paradoxical. That the martial clangour of a trumpet had something in it vastly more grand, heroic, and sublime, than the twingle-twangle of a Jew's harp; that the delicate flexure of a rose-twig, when the half-blown flower is heavy with the tears of the dawn, was infinitely more beautiful and elegant than the upright stub of a burdock, and that from something innate and independent of all association of ideas: these I had set down as irrefragable orthodox truths, until perusing your book shook my faith." Allan Cunningham is in doubt whether or not Burns's faith was really shaken. To me it seems evident, from the very nature of the objects contrasted, the trumpet and Jew's harp, the rose and bare stub of a burdock,-that the poet was only complimenting the philosopher, and retained as firmly as ever his original and rational conviction.
Burns had a good deal of logical power, and could trace acutely cause and effect; but it is hardly necessary to observe, that of his reflective faculties he had little opportunity of making any notable display.
I have thus endeavoured to give an impartial account of the character of Burns, and to trace its various features to the radical mental qualities indicated by his skull. The subject is by no means free from difficulty; and I am conscious of many defects in the foregoing analysis; but, after what has been said, I may perhaps be allowed to hope that the candid reader will agree with me in regarding the skull of Burns as a striking and valuable confirmation of the truth of Phrenology.
THE PRINCIPLES OF PHYSIOLOGY APPLIED TO THE PRESERVATION OF HEALTH, AND TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL EDUCATION. By ANDREW COMBE, M. D., Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. 2d Edition, Enlarged and Corrected. Edinburgh: A. & C. Black; and Longman & Co. London. 1834. 12mo. Pp. 385.
DR COMBE's object in this volume, is to lay before the public a plain and intelligible description of the structure and uses of some of the more important organs of the human body, and to shew how information of this kind may be usefully applied both to the preservation of health, and to the improvement of physical and mental education. The work is divided into ten chapters, in which are considered the usefulness of physiological
knowledge, the structure and functions of the skin,-preservation of the health of the skin,-nature of the muscular system, -effects of, and rules for, muscular exercise,-structure, uses, and health of the bones, respiration and its uses, the nervous system and mental faculties, causes of bad health, and application of the principles of physiology to the amelioration of the condition of the insane. The author has no intention of endeavouring to make every man his own doctor;" but, in expounding the laws which regulate the corporeal system, aims merely at enabling persons of common sense to take care of their health while it subsists; to perceive, why certain circumstances are beneficial or injurious; to understand, in some degree, the nature of disease, and the operation of the agents which produce and counteract it, and to co-operate with the physician in removing the morbid state when it occurs, instead of defeating, as is now through gross ignorance constantly done, the best concerted plans for the renovation of health. It is commonly objected to the communication of such knowledge to the public generally, that it is sure to do harm by making people constantly think of this and the other precaution, to the utter sacrifice of every noble and generous feeling, and to the certain production of hypochondriacal peevishness and discontent. "The result, however," observes Dr. Combe, "is exactly the reverse; and it would be a singular anomaly in the constitution of the moral world were it otherwise. He who is instructed in and familiar with grammar and orthography, writes and spells so easily and accurately as scarcely to be conscious of attending to the rules by which he is guided; while he, on the contrary, who is not instructed in either, and knows not how to construct his sentences, toils at the task, and sighs at every line. The same principle holds in regard to health. He who is acquainted with the general constitution of the human body, and with the laws which regulate its action, sees at once his true position when exposed to the causes of disease, decides what ought to be done, and thereafter feels himself at liberty to devote his undivided attention to the calls of higher duties. But it is far otherwise with the person who is destitute of this information. Uncertain of the nature and extent of the danger, he knows not to which hand to turn, and either lives in the fear of mortal disease, or, in his ignorance, resorts to irrational and hurtful precautions, to the certain neglect of those which he ought to use. It is ignorance, therefore, and not knowledge, which renders an individual full of fancies and apprehensions, and robs him of his usefulness. It would be a stigma on the Creator's wisdom, if true knowledge weakened the understanding, and led to injurious results. And accordingly, the genuine hypochondriac, whose blind credulity leads him to the implicit adoption of every monstrous specific, is
not the person who has gained wholesome knowledge by patient study in the field of nature; but he, and he alone, who has derived his notions of the human constitution, and of the laws of nature, from the dark recesses of his own crude imagination.
"Those who have had the most extensive opportunities of forming an opinion on this subject from experience, bear unequivocal testimony to the advantages which knowledge confers in saving health and life, time and anxiety. Dr Davies of the East India Company's Depot at Chatham, for example, distinctly states that, for this very reason, the man of mature age, who has been some years at a trade before enlisting, is found to make the most valuable soldier, because he not only conforms with more ease to the system of diet and restraint necessary to subordination, but, having more experience, he is more observant of health, learns sooner how to take care of himself, to avoid or diminish causes of disease, and when ill, he gives more aid in bringing about a state of convalescence. Dr Davies adds afterwards, that this knowing how to manage is an invaluable qua lification to a soldier embarking for service in a tropical climate;" and if it is invaluable to the soldier, it is assuredly not less safe and advantageous to the civilian."
As the health of the brain, and consequently the proper performance of the mental functions, is greatly influenced by the condition of the other parts of the body, particularly the skin, lungs, stomach, and blood, it is impossible fully to understand the moral and intellectual phenomena of man, without bestowing attention upon every part of his frame." It has been, the misfortune," says the late Professor John Gregory," of most of those who have studied the philosophy of the human mind, that they have been little acquainted with the structure of the human body and the laws of the animal economy; and yet the mind and body are so intimately connected, and have such a mutual influence on one another, that the constitution of either, examined apart, can never be thoroughly understood." To the phrenologist, therefore, the subjects treated of by Dr. Combe, especially in his chapter on the brain, possess a peculiar interest.
In this second edition is given a chapter in which the principles of physiology are applied to the condition of the insane. As the truths which it contains ought to be made known as extensively as possible, and the chapter must be new to such of our readers as have perused the first edition alone, we shall transfer the greater part of it to our pages.
"Having given the reader some notion of the extent to which human health and happiness depend on the fulfilment of the conditions which the Creator has attached to the exercise of the bodily and mental functions, and shewn that the direct design of suffering and pain is to lead us to a stricter obedience to
nature's institutions, and to more perfect enjoyment of life, I might now perhaps leave the farther application of the doctrines to the consideration of the reader. But the reception which the first edition of this volume met with, gives me fresh confidence in the practical importance of the principles which I have been unfolding, and encourages me to add in the present edition a few remarks on the condition of the insane,—a class of sufferers who have the strongest claims on our sympathy, and in regard to whom, notwithstanding the numerous channels in which public benevolence has of late been so generously flowing, an apathy is still displayed which is not less hurtful than melancholy, and which can proceed only from the real state and wants of the insane being too imperfectly known.
"It is certain indeed, that the secluded life which most of the insane are obliged to lead, separated from kindred and from society, and the disgraceful prejudices against them which have descended to us almost unimpaired from amidst the superstitions of the darker ages in which they originated, have contributed, in no small degree, to perpetuate the obscurity in which the subject has long been involved, and to render insanity one of the few evils which mankind has never ventured to look fairly in the face, with a view to discover its nature, and the means of its prevention and cure. The consequences are, that its roots have been allowed to extend more and more widely, while scarcely any thing has been done to arrest its growth, or to remove it when formed; and, as little improvement can be effected until the public shall become heartily interested in the cause, it be comes an imperative duty to allow no opportunity to escape of spreading abroad such information as may help to dissipate the prevailing indifference, and rouse attention to the magnitude of the existing evils.
"If the state and management of public and private asylums for the reception of this class of patients be examined with reference to the conditions of health already explained in treating of the respiratory, muscular, and nervous systems, it cannot fail to strike the reflecting observer, that while in many institutions the most laudable zeal has been shewn for the physical health and comfort of the patients, comparatively little has been accomplished, or even attempted, with the direct purpose of correcting the morbid action of the brain, and restoring the mentai functions. We have now, in most asylums, clean and well ventilated apartments, baths of various descriptions, abundant supplies of nourishing food, and a better system of classification; the furious and the depressed being no longer subjected to each other's influence and society: and the result has been, that in so far as these important conditions are favourable to the general health, and to that of the nervous system in particular, recovery has
been promoted, and personal comfort secured. But in so far as regards the systematic employment of what is called active moral treatment, and its adaptation to particular cases, a great deal more remains to be done than has hitherto been considered necessary. This will be apparent on reflecting how extremely influential the regular employment of the various feelings, affections, and intellectual powers is on the health of the brain, and how few asylums possess any adequate provision for effecting this most desirable object. If want of occupation, and the absence of objects of interest, be, as we have seen, sufficient to destroy the health of a sound organ, the same causes must be not less influential in retarding the recovery of one already diseased. Hence it becomes an object of extreme importance in establishments for the insane, to provide the necessary means for encouraging the healthy and regular exercise of the various bodily and mental powers; and for drawing out, as it were, and directing, the various affections, feelings, and intellectual faculties to their proper objects-this being a condition essential, in a higher degree than any other, to the success of our curative
"Those who have not attended to the subject, may be disposed to think that the importance attached to mental and bodily occupation in cases of insanity is here exaggerated. But the physiologist who looks to the established law of the animal economy, which decrees regular action of every organic part to be essential to its health, no matter whether that part be bone, muscle, blood vessel, nerve, or brain, will not fail to bear testimony to the truth of my remarks. The pathological observer, also, whose attention is daily called to the miseries and bad health resulting from the total absence of mental occupation in those whom fortune has condemned to a life of idleness, without having imparted to them that activity of constitution which seeks out objects of interest and makes occupation for itself, will at once acknowledge that a command of the means of healthy mental and bodily exercise would add more to his power over nervous and mental diseases, than any other remedy which art has yet discovered. And yet, in the majority of our asylums, the patients are still merely placed in security and humanely treated, without the least effort being made to afford them occupation of mind or body, or any of the more cheering comforts of sympathy and social intercourse; and this being the case, can we be surprised that only one-third or one-half recover their reason, or shall we rest contented in imagining that human means can go no farther to alleviate their calamities?
"It is in the treatment of this unhappy class of patients, who are deprived of their dearest enjoyments and of the soothing intercourse and consolations of social and domestic life, that an ac