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A

SYSTEM

OF

P H R E N O L O G Y.

BY

GEORGE COMBE.

RES NON VERBA QUÆSO.

THE ONLY COMPLETE AMERICAN EDITION, BEING FROM THE FOURTH

AND LAST (REVISED AND ENLARGED) EDINBURGH EDITION.

WITH UPWARD OF ONE HUNDRED ENGRAVINGS.

NEW YORK:

WILLIAM H. COLY ER,

No, 5 HAGUE-STREET.

1 84 2.

THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 218493

ASTOR, LENOX AND
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

1901

PREFACE

TO THE SECOND EDITION.

The following are the circumstances which led to the publication of the present work:

My first information concerning the system of Drs. Gall and Spurzheim was derived from No. 49 of the Edinburgh Review. Led away by the boldness of that piece of criticism, I regarded the doctrines as contemptibly absurd, and their authors as the most disingenuous of men. In 1816, however, shortly after the publication of the Review, my friend Mr. Brownlee invited me to attend a private dissection of a recent brain, to be performed in his house by Dr Spurzheim. The subject was not altogether new, as I had previously attended a course of demonstrative lectures on Anatomy by Dr. Barclay. Dr. Spurzheim exhibited the structure of the brain to all present, (among whom were several gentlemen of the medical profession,) and contrasted it with the bold averments of the reviewer. The result was a complete conviction in the minds of the observers, that the assertions of the reviewer were refuted by physical demonstration.

The faith placed in the Review being thus shaken, I attended the . next course of Dr. Spurzheim's lectures, for the purpose of hearing from himself a correct account of his doctrines. The lectures satisfied me that the system was widely different from the representations given of it by the reviewer, and that

, if true, it would prove highly important; but the evidence was not conclusive. I therefore appealed to Nature by observation; and at last arrived at complete conviction of the truth of Phrenology.

In 1818 the Editor of the “ Literary and Statistical Magazine for Scotland” invited me to a free discussion of the merits of the system in his work, and I was induced to offer him some essays on the subject. The notice which these attracted led to their publication in 1819, in a separate volume, under the title of “Essays on Phrenology.” A second edition of these Essays has since been called for, and the present volume is offered in compliance with that demand. In the present work I have adopted the title of “ A System of Phrenology," on account of the wider scope and closer connexion of its parts; but pretend to no novelty in principle, and to no rivalry with the great founders of the science.

The controversial portions of the first edition are here almost entirely omitted. As the opponents have quitted the field, these appeared no longer necessary, and their place is supplied by what I trust will be found more interesting matter. Some readers may think that retributive justice required the continued republication of the attacks of the opponents, that the public mind, when properly enlightened, might express a just disapprobation of the conduct of those who so egregiously misled it: but Phrenology teaches us forbearance; and, besides, it will be misfortune enough to the individuals who have distingished themselves in the work of misrepresentation, to have their names

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