Графични страници
PDF файл

every profession; that the clerical and medical members had already been given ; but there remained another class of pro. fessional men who had embraced the cause of Phrenology, reduced it instantly to practice, and whose works were calculated at once to illustrate and adorn it; their healths he now begged leave to propose ; he alluded to the artists, viz. Mr Stewart, Mr Joseph, Mr Douglas, Mr Rennie, Mr Uwins, Mr P. Gibson, Mr Morrison, and Mr Stewart Watson, members of the Society.

Mr Douglas, miniature-painter, returned thanks. He had great pleasure in acknowledging the benefits he had derived from Phrenology in his art. If it had done nothing more than presented him with a mapped outline of the head, and called his attention to the propriety of delineating all its parts and proportions with minuteness and accuracy, it would have still deserved his warmest acknowledgments; but, connected as Phrenology was with the philosophy of expression, he conceived it impossible for any one to understand the ultimate principles of this branch of his art who was ignorant of the science. He only regretted that, from the calls upon his time, he had it not in his power practically to promote its diffusion.


Mr G. COMBE begged to propose the health of Dr James Kennedy of Tamworth. He was not permitted at present to mention all that Phrenology owed to Dr Kennedy, but when his exertions were divulged, he would be acknowledged as one of the most zealous and efficient supporters of the

He was a focus of phrenological light in Stafford, shire, and, aided by some able and intelligent friends, diffused its principles through an extensive district by means of several newspapers and journals. Several of these articles had been read by gentlemen now present, and they could appreciate their value. On the faith of their testimony he

66 The health of Dr Kennedy."

would propose

Mr JAMES BRIDGES proposed the “ Editor of the Phrenological Journal.”

Several other toasts were given ; after which Mr Scott left the chair at twelve o'clock, when the meeting broke up. The greatest conviviality prevailed during the evening; the toasts were received with great interest, and followed by acclamations of applause.




Dundee, 8th December, 1826. RESPECTED SIR,-Every one acquainted with the science of Phrenology will at once perceive that it forms the basis of a pure morality, and will consequently feel gratified to hear of its wider dissemination among mankind. Under this impression I beg leave to inform you of its progress here, -a progress which has in truth exceeded our most sanguine expectations. When, in March last, a few of us, all equally ignorant of the science, formed ourselves into a society for the purpose of becoming acquainted with its truth (which a more thorough knowledge of its principles, aided by observation, has to our minds completely established), we little anticipated that, in the short interval which has elapsed, we should number, as we now do, between forty and fifty members. Originally we met in a private house ; but, after the rapid increase of members, we engaged a hall, where we meet once a fortnight, when a lecture is delivered, or an essay connected with the science is read by one of the members; after which measurements and developments are taken, and other routine business of the society disposed of. But it is

not among the members only that the science is discussed ; it has found its way throughout the town, and has in some measure given the tone to the language of our citizens. Notwithstanding we continue to meet with opposition from some of those whose education and station in society should teach them to be more tolerant even of error; and when Mr Jeffrey's last tirade against his own* Phrenology made its appearance, it was hailed by them with more than party zeal, and quotations from their champion were thrown at us in abundance ; but since the appearance of your able reply, not a few of them have owned themselves vanquished, and the others have for the present sunk into silence. Meanwhile the science is extending on every side, and has found its way to cottage-hearths, seated at the foot of the Grampians, whither we have received orders for your invaluable publications.

Trusting for the Society a continuance of your advice and assistance,

I am, respected Sir,

Yours most respectfully,


It is certainly Mr Jeffrey's own Phrenology, for no Phrenologist in Europe would own it for his.



A LECTURE on PHRENOLOGY, as illustrative of the Moral

and Intellectual Capacities of Man. By Disney AlexANDER, M. D., one of the Physicians to the General Dispensary, and the Pauper Lunatic Asylum in Wakefield. London ; Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy. Edinburgh ; John

Anderson, Jun.; and J. Stanfield, Wakefield, pp. 44. The author informs us in his advertisement, that “ the “present essay is the First of a series of Lectures on the Application of Phrenology to the study and development of the human “ character; comprising Observations on the Dramatic Writings of " Shakspeare, and some of the more usual Phenomena of Mental " Derangement.

These essays were originally composed with a view to their delivery, for the benefit of the Wakefield General Dispensary. Cir

cumstances, which it is not necessary to state, having arisen to "" frustrate the author's intention, he has been induced to commit “ the • Introductory Lecture to the press, in the hope that it may “ be a means of reviving in the minds of some of his readers an interest in the subject, or at least of recalling their attention to a “ science which, with all its alleged imperfections, and in despite of “ all the contempt and obloquy that have been poured upon it, ap

pears to him amply entitled to consideration and respect.”

He observes, that one of the marks of true science is, that it instantly becomes available to purposes of utility; and in his introductory pages he shows that this quality belongs, in an eminent degree, to Phrenology. “ No sooner," says he,

was this system evolved and promulgated, than it was found ca“ pable of being applied to, and of affording a satisfactory solution “ of those eccentricities, and apparent incongruities, in the disposi“ tions, talents, and actions of men, which have in all ages baffled “ the ingenuity of the most acute and erudite philosophers. Those - who have studied the subject, and who have consequently accus“ tomed themselves to think phrenologically, are able, in all cases of real character, even the most anomalous, to discern that combina“ tion of the organs which produces the manifestations perceived ; " and whenever a character is well or accurately defined, though ex“isting merely in the imagination of the writer, they have no diffi“ culty or hesitation in applying to its development the same mode " of analysis.

Dr Alexander notices the sketch of the character of Iago

which appeared in our Journal, and correctly appreciates both the object and utility of that production. We are aware that it was subjected to ridicule by half-informed Phrenologists, and still more so by ignorant opponents; but Dr A. entertains a different opinion of it :-" The tho“roughly-instructed Phrenologist will reap much pleasure from "tracing, in his own mind, the principle on which the author of " the sketch proceeded, in deducing from the well-known character of the man this combination of the primitive faculties.” Hementions, that he had performed a similar experiment himself in regard to the character of Hamlet, and with similar success. He proceeds,“ We admit that the argument in favour of

our science which is thus afforded is not of that obvious and pal

pable kind, which is likely at once to carry conviction to a mind “ but newly-directed to the inquiry, and perhaps very superficially “ acquainted with its principles; and we are far from resting the “ merits of the system on any such foundation. But to those who “ have made some progress in the study, this application of the sub"jeet is, though an indirect, a most beautiful and convincing proof “ that Nature and Phrenology are one. They discover in it the “ elements of the most various and opposite appearances which the “ mind of man does or can assume. They are enabled to explain “phenomena, and to account for inconsistencies which, upon any “other theory, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, sa“ tisfactorily to solve; and, if a system so luminous and coherent “must be deemed, after all

, no more than an ingenious illusion ex“isting in the inventive faculties of Gall and Spurzheim, its op“ponents assert what, in truth, is harder to be believed than the “proposition which they themselves reject on the ground of its in“ credibility.”

On the doctrine of the Combinations the author makes the following very just remarks :-“ The modifying in“fluence of circumstances and combinations is admitted in regard to “every other science; why should it be excluded in this? In che“mistry, for instance, the gaseous and earthly constituents, into “ which different portions of matter have been resolved, are known to “ assume very different forms, and to produce very different effects, “ according to the different substances, or the different proportions “ of those substances to which they may be united.* In these cases,

• " For example (as in the various and well-known preparations of mercury), “ one combination of elementary ingredients produces a medicine of singular “efficacy; another combination of the same materials, but differing in their re“ lative proportions, yields a mortal poison. And thus it is in human nature; * one combination of the faculties may produce the profane sceptic or midnight “ murderer ; and another a Fenelon, a Howard, or a Fry, glowing with piety “ towards God and benevolence to man."

« ПредишнаНапред »