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This enlargement and subsequent diminution in the size of the head have been so little observed, that one naturally inclines to ask, was it not the integuments that were swelled and again restored ? From Baron Larrey's express mention of the skull, and from the decrease extending to four or five lines below what the patient's head had originally been, and from Larrey's accuracy of observation, it is difficult to raise any well-founded doubt, and, knowing, as we do, that the brain not unfrequently decreases in size from disease, and that the head assumes also an increase of volume, in hydrocephalus for instance, we cannot do otherwise than receive the case related, and apply to further observation for farther information. Baron Larrey's practice was bold and decided, and its success was the best proof of its being judicious.
Phrenologists are often told by their opponents, that if the new philosophy were true, surgical cases would unquestionably be found to afford it the most direct support. We have already, on more than one occasion, explained the difficulties attendant on this mode of investigation in so far as discovery of function is concerned, and have endeavoured to show, that no man unacquainted with the true philosophy of mind, and with the situation and boundaries of the cerebral organs, is qualified to make accurate and conclusive observations. We have cited, in proof of this, the vagueness of that testimony which is founded on the patient being able to answer a single question or two, and which is often held sufficient for affirming that all the faculties are unimpaired; and we have shown that any part of two-thirds of the whole brain connected with the sentiments and propensities might thus be injured with lesion of function, and yet from the other third, or organs of the intellectual faculties, remaining untouched, the whole senses or faculties of the mind would be said to be retained in full vigour. A case illustrative of some of these remarks presents itself, and is worth mentioning: it is also by Scoutetten, p. 39.
Rigal, aged 24, soldier in the 56th regiment of the line, was returning from Bourges in 1824, where he had been condemned to hard labour (travaux forcés), and where he had been several times sick, when he entered the military hospital at Metz to be cured of a chronic disease. Not a word is said about the state of his head or mind till three days before his death, when an ædematous swelling of the forehead and of the left eyelid, with slight headache, were remarked ; in the evening the tongue was red and dry, thirst great, skin hot, pulse quick and hard; delirium, which was interrupted by asking him a question ; vomiting, drowsiness, dull eye, and stiffness in the upper extremities. Died next day.
On dissection, a good deal of disease existed in the abdomen, which is foreign to our present purpose. On opening the head, a la partie la plus réculée of the posterior lobe of the brain, two small ulcerations were manifest, which interested only the grey matter; they were so disposed that one was superior, the other inferior; the latter was of an oblong oval shape, about six lines in length ; the former, was less extensive, and about a line in breadth. The section of the tissues rendered evident a vascular sanguineous injection greater in proportion to its proximity to the ulcerations, and which gave a colour to the grey matter like that of lees. of wine. The rest of the brain was sound. The pia-mater presented a very marked vascularity, especially at THE POSTERIOR AND LATERAL PARTS OF THE LOBES OF THE ENCEPHALON, where a little blood was even extravasated; in other parts there was a serous infiltration, giving to the pia-mater a gelatinous appearance.
Here then is a case of extreme interest to the Phrenologist, and yet to the non-phrenological surgeon it is altogether without importance, in so far at least as the laws of mind are concerned. The chief seat of the cerebral disease is stated to have been in the posterior lateral parts of the lobes, which are ascertained to be the organs of some of the most
active and energetic propensities of our nature.
But as the intellect was not apparently deranged, and as, generally speaking, its operations alone are inquired into as connected with the brain, it seems never to have occurred to the medical attendant to make any remarks on the state of the temper or feelings, and, accordingly, the only point that transpires in regard to them is, that Rigal was on his way from Bourges, where he had been condemned to hard labour, and where he had been frequently sick. But he must have been condemned for some crime; and yet so little had curiosity been excited to the verification of the physiological functions of the part diseased, or to the discovery of a new one, that no allusion is made to the subject, and not a word is said in regard to any possible connexion existing between the disease and the crime, or between the crime and the general character. The phrenological surgeon, on the other hand, with the principles of his science clearly before him, would have been most anxious to ascertain whether Rigal's habitual conduct was in accordance with the indications of his development, and whether his character had undergone any change after the invasion of the disease. And, knowing the function of the part affected, he would have been curious to know whether he had been guilty of any act of violence arising from morbidly active Combativeness, or whether the crime and disease were really connected; but, for want of the preliminary knowledge, and the leading motive thence arising, many such opportunities of investigation are lost for
M. Scoutetten's case and many others lose half their value from the vagueness of description as to the precise local seat of the affection; and if the lines defining the phrenological organs served no higher purpose than the lines of latitude and longitude on a map, viz. that of identifying parts, still they would merit universal adoption, and science would be a gainer.
Phrenological Analysis of Ill-TEMPER, ILL-HUMOUR, and
ILL-NATURE, compared with the Analysis of the same Defects of Character attempted by the New Monthly Magazine for July, 1826.
It is none of the least attractive features of Phrenology that, as a road to the intellectual and moral character of our fellows and ourselves, it is as short as it is certain. We once chanced to listen to a very skilful and just exposition by an able non-phrenological friend, of the kind and degree of talent to which a certain English chemist owes his high rank in the scientific world. There was much sagacity, with some confusion, in the statement, which occupied many minutes. We were curious enough to try the effect of a phrenological analysis ; and found that we could put the whole of our friend's speech into as many words as were necessary to express the size and proportions of a few organs which indicate certain primitive intellectual powers; and, had we seen the actual forehead, we could have come to the same conclusion without the aid of the speech, which, as a speech, we much admired.
It is so rare an occurrence, that philosophers, who especially distinguish themselves by despising and vituperating our views of nature, favour us with a specimen of their own; that when it does happen, the opportunity for a comparison is not to be lost. In the New Monthly Magazine, edited by a gentleman of the most distinguished literary name, and read extensively as the current wisdom of the day, we were lately attracted by an article entitled “ English Malady," which we found was not indigestion, but Ill-humour. This not being the only “ Ill that flesh is heir to," the occasion is taken to define, distinguish, and illustrate ill-temper and ill
nature, as well as ill-humour. Now, as we think, with great deference, that the New Monthly has made hotch-potch of the subject, wherein they differ from all other magazines and reviews that venture at random into the field of human nature only as a variety of the inutile, we shall endeavour to set the three affections in question upon a phrenological basis, and from that position do our best to recall the Magazine from its wanderings.
The proper order, according to the degree of their aggravation, is ill-temper, ill-humour, and ill-nature.
I. ILL-TEMPER..When any quality has a contrary, the ex. tremes always throw light on each other. Let us then keep in view good-temper, or, as it is eminently called, temper. Temper is defined in Johnson, “ a due mixture of contrary qualities.” This is a good definition so far as it goes; but it has the fault of all the old definitions of the components of human nature, it is useless from its generality; the qualities duly mixed are not specified. Phrenology points out that: here the contrary, or rather the antagonizing qualities are, on the one hand, the primitive impulse to anger, and, on the other, the feelings that restrain it, namely, kindness, deference, justice, fear to offend, self-respect, reflection. All, or a due proportion of these last acting more powerfully than the impulse to anger, anger will not be manifested. This may occur in two ways, either when the restraints are so powerful as to overmaster a positively strong impulse to anger, or when the impulse to anger is moderate, and the balancing feelings and reflection have less to do. The first case will be restrained anger, the latter will be positive calmness and gentleness ; but both, as a due mixture of the feelings, will constitute temper. Ill-temper is the want of the due mixture now described, from which follows the frequent manifestation of the impulse to anger in excess. Now, anger being an essential function of the propensity hitherto, for want of a more comprehensive name, called Destructiveness, and generally,