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to be to admit of such a change without destruction of its function. When this woman died, Dr Gall found about four pounds of limpid serum in the ventricles. The convolutions of the upper part of the forehead and of the coronal surface had entirely disappeared ; but nearer the base they were distinct in different degrees. In the interior of the cavities the fibrous structure was very conspicuous. Dr Spurzheim saw this head dissected at Dr Gall's house, and from that moment their anatomical inquiries received a new impulse; and, after many experiments, they succeeded in imitating to a considerable extent the changes produced by disease.
If a convolution be cut vertically across to its base, a very gentle pressure with the finger on the cut surface will suffice to separate its two fibrous layers. At the base of the convolutions this separation is arrested by an intercrossing of fibres, afterwards to be noticed. The same separation may be easily effected in a convolution hardened in alcohol or diluted acid ; and it always will be found to occur in the middle line, and to present smooth surfaces, without any appearance of laceration. It may also be accomplished on a fresh convolution by directing a small stream of air from a blow-pipe, or water from a syringe, upon the cut surface. And even from within the ventricle, after lacerating a few fibres at the base of the convolutions, a portion of a hemisphere may easily be unfolded. Keeping this structure in view, it is easy to conceive to what an extent the hemispheres may changein appearance without much actual disorganization, and without any change except elongation of fibre, which, as in the optic nerve for example, we know does not destroy function.
In the comparative anatomy of the brain, it is not enough to show that animals have a brain. It is necesary to determine the particular organs composing the hemispheres, the resemblances to the three lobes of man, and to the individual portions of each. From not attending to this, Cuvier, Tiedemann, Serres, and others, deny the existence of the posterior lobe in any animals except man and the quadrumana; and they ground their opinion solely on the cerebellum not being covered by the brain as it is in man. But this is demonstrated to be a mistake, as is proved both by the structure and physiology; seeing that all the parts which in man go to form the posterior lobes, and the corresponding functions, are acknowledged to exist in the inferior animals. But we must pass on, and refer our readers to Dr Spurzheim's pages for full proof.
Such is the exposition of the diverging system of the cerebral masses; and so far, at least, the anatomical views of Drs Gall and Spurzheim are generally admitted to be cor
We should now proceed to discuss the converging fibres, commissures, or fibres of union, about which many anatomists still entertain doubts ; but to do this with any degree of justice would encroach too much on the limits of our present Number; we shall, therefore, delay this branch till our next; and in the mean time beg most earnestly to recommend the work itself to the careful study, especially of our medical readers. It is cheap and concise; and the plates which it contains increase exceedingly its practical value. Indeed, without these, we doubt whether our own abstract will be sufficiently clear for ordinary readers, although, with the view of ensuring accuracy, we have as far as possible adhered to the words of Dr Spurzheim. As we said before, we have purposely avoided the discussion of disputed points in regard either to originality or facts, as we hope to touch upon these in a future historical sketch.
Letter from Dr 4. COMBE to the Editor of the EDIN
BURGH and LEITH ADVERTISER.
Sir,-In your critique on the pamphlet, entitled William Hamilton and Phrenology,” you notice one passage which you consider worthy of a serious answer, because it contains a statement of facts apparently at variance with the principles of that science.
The argument, as quoted by you, resolves itself in three points :—First, That the acuteness and intensity of the functions of the external senses bear no sort of relation to the size of the respective organs of these senses. Second, That therefore the Phrenologists, in teaching that the intensity of the internal faculties, such as Benevolence, Veneration, &c., bears a relation, cæteris paribus, to the size of the cerebral organs, are guilty of a glaring contradiction, seeing that “ the mind, which in one instance despises the dimensions of organs, " in another servilely depends upon them," and that “the divine “ intelligence of a man" is thus made “a being of such bloated pro“ portions, that it requires space as a condition of its power;" and, lastly, that it is thus made « more laborious to pity or to love than " to see or to taste;" and that “one set of feelings thus demand an “ extent and play of their physical organs, for which the others " have no necessity. Third, the complaint is made, that “ of these
anomalies, in the very principles and explanation of the science, " the volumes of Phrenology give no solution !” To these three charges I answer, that the facts assumed in the first are not true ; that the anomaly described in the second does not exist; and that the author's acquaintance with the “ volumes “ of Phrenology” has quite as little of reality in it as his facts and anomalies. First, It is a fact admitted by the highest
Part of this letter is copied into the answer to Mr Jeffrey ; but it contains so many valuable observations that we are induced to transfer it entire to the pages of the Journal. It was first published in March 1826.-Editor.
physiological authorities, and by the greatest authority of all -Nature, that the functions of the five senses are executed with a degree of acuteness and intensity exactly proportioned, cæteris paribus, to the development of their respective organs. Monro, Blumenbach, Sæmmering, Cuvier, Magendie, Georget, and a whole host of authors, might be quoted in proof, but one is enough; and, having Blumenbach at hand, I turn to the section on Smell, and find as follows:- While animals “ oft
the most acute smell have the nasal organs most extensively s evolved, precisely the same holds in regard to some barbarous na“ tions. For instance, in the head of a North-American Indian,'
(represented in one of his plates), 'the internal nares are of an “ extraordinary size,' &c. And again,' The nearest to this, in “ point of magnitude, are the internal nares of the Ethiopians, from
among whom I have seen heads very different from each other, but " each possessing a nasal organ much larger than that described ““ by Semmering:— These anatomical observations accord with " the accounts given by the most respectable travellers concerning “ the wonderful acuteness of smell possessed by these savages."
In like manner, Dr Monro, primus, no mean authority to put against a nameless pamphleteer, in treating, in his Comparative Anatomy, of the large organ of smell in the dog, says, “ the sensibility (of smell) seems to be increased in proportion “ to the surface ; AND THIS WILL ALSO BE FOUND TO TAKE PLACE
IN ALL THE OTHER SENSES.' A late French physiological writer is equally explicit. In treating of the nerves, M. Georget says " The volume of these organs bears a uniform relation, in all “ the different animals, to the extent and force of the sensations and “ movements over which they preside. Thus, the nerve of smell “ in the dog is larger than the five nerves of the external senses « in man."
Secondly, Having shown that the functions of the external senses are influenced by the size of their organs, it follows that if the same rule holds in regard to the internal faculties; if neither the former nor the latter “ despise the dimensions “ of their organs,” and if it is not “more laborious to pity
or to love than to see or taste," nature is guilty of no anomaly. Her internal organs and faculties are constituted on principles strictly harmonizing with those which regulate her external organs and senses. The anomaly complained of, therefore, exists nowhere but in the imagination of the hapless author of the pamphlet, and consequently stands in need of no explanation.
Thirdly, In regard to the author's acquaintance with the “ volumes of Phrenology," if he had ever read them, he would never have been guilty of stating that the external senses despise the dimensions of their organs. Dr Spurzheim, in p. 259, of his Phrenology, says, “ the principal condition “ to an acute taste is certainly large gustatory nerves spread over “ a considerable surface; but in this point many
surpass “ man.” At p. 267, he continues, "Many animals excel man in “ acuteness of smell; their olfactory apparatus being much larger. At p. 264, in explaining the greater acuteness of hearing of some animals, he says, “ It is anatomically proved that the
organ of hearing is in many animals much larger and more perfect than in man.” Dr Spurzheim, besides, mentions the names of many animals in which this proportion of size of organ to acuteness of sense is admitted by all. What state of mind, then, must the writer of the pamphlet have been in, when he gravely asserted that the senses were not affected by the size of their organs, and charged as a sin against the works on Phrenology, that they gave no solution of a non-existing anomaly ?
Our author does not even stop here. “ Does intensity in “ these matters (seeing, hearing, smelling, &c.) increase with bulk ? “Or does a giant feel more keenly than a dwarf? Assuredly the “ instructions of experience are exactly the reverse !!!" So says the author ; but what says nature ? She, we have seen, answers his first question in the affirmative. Now for the second ; an ant, when in a passion, fights with deadly fury, and a bee feels anger as well as a bear ; but is the passion of the insect equal in absolute quantity or intensity to that of the bear ? Do we not perceive that a shred of the rage of the latter would more than equal all the passion of the former? It is, no doubt, a towering passion for a bee, but it would be a very little one for a dog, and still a smaller one for a man. The mite, which walks with due solemnity on the mouldering sur