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AMENICA.—Extract from a letter, dated Albany, United States, 30th April 1834, to a gentleman in Edinburgh : Societies similar to the Edinburgh Association for procuring Instruction in Useful and Entertaining Sciences are springing up throughout this state. One was formed in Albany last winter, called The Young Men's Association for Mutual Improvement.' Mr Dean, their President, has just finished a course of Lectures on Phrenology before the Association. He presented me with a tickel, and so great was the interest created, that he has been obliged to repeat the lectures twice. He was without casts to illustrate the subject, which was a great disadvantage to him. His lectures are to be published, and I shall send you a copy, so that you may be able to judge of them for yourself
. Lectures have been delivered before the Association this season, on Astronomy, Anatomy, Geology, Me. dical Jurisprudence, American History, Horticulture, American Literature, Comparative Examination of the Animal Kingdom, and Botany. The Association has a library and reading-room, where may be seen all the leading periodicals and newspapers of the United States. I'he citizens of Albany have cordially supported it, by giving donations of money and books. The mem. bers are males, between fifteen and thirty-five years of age, who pay two dollars of entry-money, and one dollar annually afterwards. The lecturers were all natives except two, who were Scotchmen. I have got two numbers of an American periodical called The Knickerbocker, which I shall send you shortly. One contains an article on Phrenology by Mr Timothy Flint, who always speaks of Mr-Combe with the highest respect: the other number has a review of The Constitution of Man,' by another hand."
An English translation of Gall's work Šur les Fonctions du Cerveau, to consist of three volumes, was announced last winter as proposed to be published at Boston.”
RAPHAEL'S SKULL. The following letter, addressed to the Secretary of the Phrenological Society, and dated Rome, September 30. 1833, having been sent by a private hand, did not reach Edinburgh till March 1834.
“Sin, I have not the pleasure of being known to you, but will indulge a hope that the communication itself, which is the cause and subject of this let. ter, may be deemed extenuatory of the liberty I take in addressing you.
“ Late perusal of two numbers of the Phrenological Journal, has totally suppressed in me the hasty deference with which I had listened to objections hazarded against the system ; and I now sincerely avow regret that present literary and antiquarian avocations at present do, and for some time will, preclude my going in miedias res, or even endeavouring to master the rudiments of so interesting a study.
“ It has happened, that just at the time when I was devouring the pages to which I have alluded, the discovery of the bones of Raphael was effected in the Pantheon, and it immediately struck me, that attainment of a cast of that sublime artist's skull might be acceptable to your Society, and of utility in its researches. In consequence, I forwarded to the Pope, through the medium of the Cardinal Secretary, a memorial, of which the following is a translation :
« • Most Holy FATHER,— The recent discovery of the bones of Raphael Sanzio impels Mr J. J. F. Hely, an Irish gentleman, and a member of the British army, respectfully to offer to your Holiness a tribute of congratulation upon an event which is a subject of universal exultation, and will constitute a distinguished epoch in the annals of your pontificate.
“ • At the same time, as so fortunate an occurrence may be productive of increased gratification to the lovers of the fine arts, and probably of utility to scientific men, and this without causing any injury to the remains themselves, your memorialist is encouraged to beseech your Holiness to permit him to cause a plaster-cast of the skull to be taken, by an expert artist, and at his expense.
« • If time would permit your memorialist to transmit information of his purpose to his own country, such tidings, as well as those of the requested favour being eventually granted, would, he is persuaded, be received with en
thusiasm and gratitude by all to whom the arts are dear, and by whom science is venerated.'
“ To this application I have not yet received any answer. In fact, it had been more than hinted to me, subsequently, that the tenets here are hostile to Phrenology and its deductions. In such
I hardly expect the boon to be granted. At all events, I shall take the liberty of saying with an old writer — Sit voluisse satis.' Should I, however, be agreeably disappointed, you may rely upon receiving the cast. Mean time, I have the honour to be, Sir, your very obedient humble servant,
J. J. F. Hely." Subsequently to the arrival of the foregoing esteemed communication, we received letters from two phrenological friends, who had seen a cast of Raphael's skull; and with one of whom, Dr Robert Verity, a phrenulogist of very considerable skill and acuteness, we lately had the pleasure of conversing. Only two casts have been made; and there is a prohibition to the effect that they shall not be multiplied. “ The proofs adduced in favour of the authenticity of the skull," says one of our correspondents, “ are various. The most conclusive are in Raphael's own hand-writing, contained in a codicil to his will. He was buried in the Pantheon beneath an altar, and his will is deposited in the archives of that church, where perpetual mass is said for his soul, as he left a sum of money for that purpose. He also left to a sculptor, whose name, though mentioned, I forget, a certain sum to defray the expense of a statue of the Madonna, which he requested to be placed above his tomb, Beneath this statue the skeleton was found. It was ex. amined by antiquaries, surgeons, &e. The length of the skeleton, 7? Roman palms, agrees with the height of Raphael. The soekets of the elbow and wrist bones were found different from those of the left, owing to the continual employment of the right arm in his art. He was a Knight of the Golden Spur: the badge of the order was found in his grave. Moreover, it is stated by several authors that he was buried in the Pantheon ; and the evidence altogether is of such a satisfactory nature, that it is the general if not unis versal belief, that the skeleton is that of Raphael. Since the Council of Trent, interment beneath altars has been prohibited : Raphael died 38 years before it.” Dr Verity says, “ Only two casts were allowed to be taken; one of which is in the possession of the Academy of St Luke, and the other is deposited at the house of Signor Fabris, professor of sculpture, 14 Via Felice, to whose care it was consigned by the Academy of the Fine Arts, with the view of aiding him in the execution of a bust of Raphael which had been ordered by the Pope. Learning that the casts were guarded with all the professional jealousy of their respective possessors, I was enabled, by the kindness of Sir William Gell, to employ the influence of Signor Nibby, professor of archæology, in obtaining the consent of Signor Fabris to permit me to examine the one in his studio." The Professor assured me the cast might be depended upon as most accurate, the Government having employed for the occasion the most skilful artist in that department who could be found in Rome. With the exception of the upper part of the occipital bone, which is broken off, the cranium and bones of the face are perfect, and the lower maxil. lary bone is sarıounted with a circle of teeth of great beauty. The organization appeared to be of exceeding delicacy, owing most probably to the fine quality of the osseous substance. The bones of the nose descend from the forehead boldly, and in a singularly forward manner, full and broad in the transverse direction between the orbit: the situation of the organ of Form; and so filled up are the internal lateral regions of the orbits, that I could not refrain from calling the Professor's attention to the point, when he assured me it was no accidental circumstance, but the exact fac-simile of the parts themselves in the skull. Certainly this combination of development is of striking beauty in the eyes of a phrenologist. Holding up the cast, and placing it by the side of a large engraving of Raphael, Professor Fabris begged me to observe how closely the features of the cast resembled those of the portrait. 'It is Raphael himself,' be said.” The skull, we are further informed, differs from that of Don Desiderio Adjutorio, formerly supposed to be Raphael's, in being narrower, and having less general volume ; but the combination of the organs is very favourable to the excellence in the fine
arts; and from the portraits of Raphael, but more especially from the delicate texture of the skull, it appears that the quality of the brain was exceedingly fine. It is well known that designing and expression were the departments of art in which Raphael most excelled; and in conformity with this, both of our correspondents notice a large development of Form and Imitation. The organ of Colouring Dr Verity states to be only full; a circumstance which holds also in the case of Don Desiderio. Constructiveness does not seem to be so protuberant as with the latter. On several points our friends are a little at variance; so that we refrain from offering any detailed remarks at present. Buth agree as to large Amativeness, Concentrativeness, Adhesiveness, Secretiveness, Cautiousness, Love of Approbation, Imitation, Form, Size, Locality, Causality, and Comparison. Of the organ of Hope, Raphael had only a full or moderate development. Dr Verity adds: “In the Capitoline Museum, there is a bust of Raphael, executed by Carlo Varatta in 1674, giving very much the same development of the intellectual organs, of Benevolence, and of Imitation, as appears from the skull; together with large Form. In his own portrait, painted by himself, in the School of Athens, there is the same broad expanse of forehead, and a deep pensive intellectual expression pervading the whole countenance. His stature was below the average; and, as far as we can judge from portraits, his temperament must have been highly nervous, with that combina. tion of the bilious so prevalent among the southern Italians."—We are in. formed that Don Desiderio Adjutorio was passionately fond of the fine arts, an amateur, a priest, a man of learning and refinement, and the founder of St Luke's Academy of Painting. Is it wonderful, then, that, in cerebral development as well as character, he and Raphael should have in many particulars resembled each other?
Dr William Stokes, in a lecture delivered at the Medical School, Park Street, Dublin, and published in the London Medical and Surgical Journal of 21st June 1834, adverts at considerable length to Phrenology, and states that, in his opinion, “ there can be no doubt that the principles of Phrenology are founded on truth.” He falls, however, into the extraordinary error of stating that pathology is entirely disregarded by the phrenologists,-an aver. ment which he repeats in a great variety of forms throughout the lecture. " It is idle,” says he,“ to say, as they do, that theirs is the science of health, and that it is unfair to apply to it the test of disease. From pathology is drawn a host of facts, from which the doctrines they profess derive their principal support.” Now, it cannot fail to be well known to every one who has perused the writings of Dr Gall
, Dr Spurzheim, Mr Combe, or Dr Andrew Combe, that, almost at every turn, pathology is there referred to in support of Phrenology. Dr Gall's book, in particular, contains a regular array of Preuves Pathologiques" of the plurality of cerebral organs. (Sur Les Fonctions du Cerveau, ij. 443-457.) In what work did Dr Stokes find the idle saying with which he charges the phrenologists? Though we are tolerably well versed in phrenological literature, it has certainly not hitherto fallen in our way. The Doctor expresses a strong desire to see the science in better hands than those of the rejecters of pathology, and adds, “ We shall then, I have no doubt, recognise it as the greatest discovery in the science of the moral and physical nature of man that has ever been made.”
Mr J. L. LEVISon's temper has been somewhat ruffled by our late notice of his book on Mental Culture ; and he has, in consequence, heartily abused us in a letter published in the Berkshire Chronicle of 14th June 1834. Having already replied to him in a communication politely inserted by the editor of that paper, on 12th July, we deem only a few remarks necessary on the present occasion. The passage in our review which has given offence to Mr Levison is as follows:-" Want of space prevents us from giving any thing like an analysis of its (the book's) contents; but this is the less to be regretted, as the author's ideas seem, in many"instances, borrowed from Dr Spurzheim.” Now, what is the obvious meaning of this sentence ? Simply, that as our readers were already acquainted with Dr Spurzheim's views on education, from having read either his own work or the analysis of it given in this Journal, they had little cause to regret the want of an abstract of Mr
Levison's book, in which the same ideas are expressed in an inferior manner. This is the sense in which the words were intended to be understood, and we humbly think they will bear no other interpretation, Mr Levison, however, finds in them a serious charge of " plagiarism,” and speaks most feelingly of “ the lash of the critic;" and he proceeds to justify his adoption of Ďr Spurzheim's views, and to challenge us“ to prove that, in any one instance, the language of Dr Spurzheim is servilely adopted.” Now, in the first place, Mr Levison freely admits the whole extent of our averment, viz. that Dr Spurzheim's ideas are extensively borrowed, and consequently his cry of facta non verba is quite uncalled for; secondly, we did not say that the Doctor's language had been adopted ; and, thirdly, Mr Levison received from us neither commendation nor reproof for repeating the ideas of Dr Spurzheim. The readiness, however, with which he has discovered in the sentence above quoted a meaning which it does not and never was meant to express, and the warmth with which his letter is written, have induced us to look again into his book, and we now without hesitation affirm, that Mc Levison, although, according to his own explicit confession, he has “ reiterated the opi. nions” of Dr Spurzheim on education, does not acknowledge his obligation to that philosopher for a single idea contained in the most important part of his book on Mental Culture—the chapters, namely, where Phrenology is applied to the business of education, and which constitute nearly two-thirds of the whole work (p. 117 to p. 269.) But even now, we are far from complaining that Mr Levison has reiterated Dr Spurzheim's opinions on education ; every one who aids in diffusing them has our best wishes, and we have no doubt that his book will be of service in spreading them abroad. We only assert as a fact, that he expounds many of Dr Spurzheim's ideas as his own, and thus puts himself in the way of receiving the honour which is justly due to another. Whether this is intentional or not, we do not pretend to judge. Had Mr Levison ex. pounded in philosophical and accurate language the opinions of Dr Spurzheim, and avoided the errors which are mixed up with the great body of true and use. ful ideas contained in his work on Mental Culture, no periodical would have more willingly and heartily commended his production than the Phrenological Journal. He tries to exculpate himself by saying that he “ has not acted half so much the plagiarist as the writers who principally contribute to the Phrenological Journal ;" in particular, he charges Mr Combe and Mr Simpson with the sin, and denies all originality to the Scotch phrenologists. Nor does he fail to make use of misrepresentation in doing so. But even assum. ing Mr Levison's assertion as to want of originality to be true, there is this great difference between his mode of proceeding and that of the Scotch phre. nologists, that the latter every where acknowledge, in the most open and ex. plicit manner, their obligations to Gall and Spurzheim ; and not only so, but, as the readers of our Journal are well aware, have for many years zealously defended the merits and reputation of these philosophers. The question whether the Scotch phrenologists have displayed originality of thought, we leave to the decision of those who have studied their writings and compared them with those of Gall and Spurzheini.
Mr Levison calls for an enumeration of the errors by which we stated his book to be disfigured. We could easily quote a variety of statements little redounding to his credit as a phrenologist; but having exhausted our space, and already gratified him by pointing out, in the Berkshire Chronicle, some of the principal blunders, we must now take leave of the subject.
The fifty-second number of Fraser's Magazine (April 1834) contains one of the most paltry attacks on Phrenology which we have seen for many years. Such specimens of controversy are admirably fitted to bring the cause of antiphrenology into contempt. The critic admits (what certain other critics deny) that Gall and Spurzheim made some valuable discoveries relative to the anatomy of the nervous system ; but for nothing beyond this will he allow them the slightest credit. So hot is his zeal against their doctrine, that he manfully sets himself in array against the whole world of physiologists, and, in a fit of chivalrous and disinterested enthusiasm, declares he “would rather die” than concede that the brain is the material instrument by means of which the mind carries on intercourse with the external world! Does the critic really believe that any man can think in this world without brains, and that their only use is to save Nature from the horror of a vacuum in the skull ? With equal gravity he propounds the insufferably trite and contemptible piece of cant, that “ Phrenology is now the stronghold of materialism;" an assertion a thousand times refuted, and which no respectable opponent has ever brought forward. He affirms, moreover, that “phrenologists present us with analogy only,” to establish the fact that the brain is an aggregate of organs performing different functions ! We marvel that Oliver Yorke admits such trash into his magazine: he ought in future to submit all antiphrenological lucubrations sent him for insertion, to the scrutiny of his friend the Modern Pythagorean, whom he knows to be no fool, and who would not fail to treat the writers according to their deserts.
RAMMOHUN Roy.—Some of our ideas about Rammohun Roy have been combated—though in a very friendly spirit-by a critic in the Christian Pioneer for July; but we have been so ably defended in the August num. ber of the same periodical, by an unknown Glasgow phrenologist, subscribing “ M. A. C.," (to whom our best acknowledgments are due,) that any remarks on the subject in this place would be quite superfluous. The critic falls into various misapprehensions, which are well exposed by M. A. C. We still differ from both writers, however, in believing that Rammohun Roy doubted, at least till towards the close of bis life, the miraculous origin of Christianity ; nor is it possible to depart from this belief, till the reasons which led to it, and which are detailed in our last Number, shall be invalidated.
HEAD OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. A paragraph lately appeared in the London Medical Gazette, stating that Dr Antommarchi had published a bust of Napoleon, taken by Dr A. himself from the dead body of the Emperor ; and that this bust is chiefly remarkable for the smallness of its size, the mea. surements being under the average. No details are given, but the case is described as one very unfavourable to Phrenology. Now we have seen and handled the cast in the possession of Dr Antommarchi, and are therefore en. titled to request attention to the following facts.
1. In October last, Dr Antommarchi possessed only a cast of the head as far back as a line passing downwards a little behind the vertex. The back part was wanting, and Dr A. was very anxious to obtain a copy of a cast of ihe posterior region of the head, which he stated to be in the possession of an English gentleman : from peculiar circumstances, however, he had very little hope of accomplishing this object. If, then, an entire cast has been published, it is, in all probability, authentic only in the middle and anterior regions, the back having been added by guess to make a bust. But,
2. The cast in the possession of Dr Antommarchi, as far as it goes, we can state, from personal observation, to be of a very unusually large size ; almost every organ included in it being remarkably well developed. We had not permission to measure it, and indeed the measurements of a half bust would not have been satisfactory ; but we are sure that, if the back part of the head was only in proportion to the parts seen in the cast, the whole head must have been one of the largest in Europe. We have no doubt that if Dr Antommarchi has procured the authentic cast of the posterior portion, and joined the two halves accurately (a matter of some difficults, as they are not halves of one cast, but taken separately), the head will be found to correspond with our description of it. It is proper to explain, that when Dr A. took a cast of the head, the back part, as he informed us, was broken, owing to a deficiency of plaster, which caused it to be very thin, and that another cast of that part was subsequently made. In joining this to the other, if he had procured it, he was to have been guided by measurements made on the actual head.
Further observations would be superfluous until we either see the bust or obtain correct measurements, along with proper evidence of its authenticity. From the foregoing statement, our readers will be able to judge how far the anti-phrenological fact of the Medical Gazette is worthy of credit.
EDINBURGH, 1st September 1834.