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possess. On account of the marked superiority of his intellect, a half-bred seldom fails to become a chief.
A chief of the Creek nation, who, on account of his preeminence in eloquence, held the appointment of orator of the delegation, surpassed in a high degree all the others in the development of the organs of Ideality and Comparison. His addresses were replete with metaphor, and, for an uneducated speaker, marked with taste.
Of the full-blooded Indians generally, permit me to remark, that such is their entire unfitness for civilization, that every successive effort to mould them to that condition of life, more and more deteriorates their character. Of the mixt-bloods this is not true. Hence the only efficient scheme to civilize the Indians, is to cross the breed. Attempt any other, and you will extinguish the race. To the truth of this the ex. perience of every day bears ample testimony. The real aboriginal Indian is retreating before civilization, and disappearing with the buffalo and the elk, the panther and the grisly bear. Let the benevolent and enthusiastic missionary say what he may, the forest is the natural home of the Indian. Remove him from it, and, like the imprisoned elephant, he loses the strength and loftiness of his character. He becomes a hot-house plant, and dwindles in all his native efficiences. This problem (for so by many it is considered) is solved only, but can be solved easily, by the lights of Phrenology. On this position it is my purpose to dwell more fully hereafter.
The wisdom of Providence is manifested in the innumerable aptitudes of things that every where present themselves, and in none more clearly than in those which concern the human family. The vast American wilderness, the haunt of the deer and the elk, the bear and the buffalo, required a race of savages to people it. But converted, as it already is, in part, and rapidly as that conversion is daily extending into cultivated fields and populous towns and cities, the abode of civilization, commerce, and the arts, the mere man of the forest is no longer wanted, and he is, therefore, passing away.
Vol. IV.No XIV.
He has flourished-he was needed; but he is needed no longer, and he therefore decays.
As respects my intended visit to England, of which you have been pleased to speak so obligingly, and for their kindness in relation to which I entreat you to make my
acknowledgments acceptable to the members of the Phrenological Society generally, but more especially to Mr Combe-as respects that visit, I say, I still hold it in contemplation, and cherish a hope of carrying it into effect ; but not, I think, at an earlier period than the spring of 1828.
In my late tour I received pressing invitations to deliver courses of lectures on Phrenology in two of the large Atlantic cities. With these a compliance was forbidden by a want of time. But I am under a conditional engagement to visit the same places next spring for the same purpose. Should I do this, my voyage to Europe will be prevented for the time, and cannot be effected until the following season,
Although a visit to Europe would be the more gratifying and instructive to me, I think it not improbable that my labours in my own country, humble as they are, are the more useful. And I have lived long enough to know, and, I trust, in some instances, to realize the truth, that public usefulness is a worthier object of human desire than personal gratification.
In this republican country of ours we carry every thing by numbers. It is here that vox populi is truly and practically vox Dei; and here every body reads, and not a few think. I have thoughts of endeavouring to avail myself of this state of things in behalf of Phrenology.
My meditated scheme is, to write and publish a small and cheap work, called Phrenological Talk, Conversations on Phrenology, or bearing some such simple and familiar title. In this production, carried on, perhaps, by question and answer, there inust be no long or superfluous words, no display of learning, nor any discussion difficult to be understood. Plainness, simplicity, and common sense, must be its predominant traits. If I am not mistaken, the true elements of
Phrenology, diffused in this way among the people, might be made to lay a broad and solid basis of thinking on the subject, which nothing could shake, and to awaken a spirit of inquiry which nothing could resist.
Pardon, I pray you, the inordinate length of this letter, and believe me, with sentiments of high consideration,
OF WIT AND THE FEELING OF THE LUDICROUS."
(By Mr William Scott.) It was a long time ago observed by Dr Gall, and stated in his large work on the functions of the brain, that persons who are witty, and who are fond of sprightly sallies, bon mots, and repartees, have the upper and outer parts of the forehead, immediately before the organs of Ideality, much developed. Dr Gall does not attempt any accurate analysis of the faculty, (to which he gives the name of Esprit Caustique, Esprit de Saillie,) and states that he cannot describe it better, than by saying, that it is the quality most conspicuous in the writings of Rabelais, Cervantes, Swift, Sterne, Voltaire. In all these authors, and many others in whom a similarity of genius appears, the parts of the forehead before mentioned are prominent and rounded. When this development is excessively large, it is attended with a disposition, apparently irresistible, to view objects in a ludicrous light, and, according to the combination with which it is united, it leads to epigrammatic points and turns of wit, to private sarcasm or general satire, to good-humoured joking and harmless raillery, or to gross buffoonery and caricature.
In the first two editions of Dr Spurzheim's physiognomical system, he has classed this faculty among the intellectual powers, and gives it the name of Wit, (Witz, Germ.) He says, thatjest, raillery, mockery, ridicule, and irony, belong to it. “ It is asserted,” he says, “ that Wit consists in compar“ing objects in order to discover their similarity or dissimilarity: “ but the two preceding faculties (Comparison and Causality) also "compare; and comparing in a philosophical way is quite different " from comparing wittily. Thus," he adds“ the essence of this “faculty consists in its peculiar manner of comparing, which always “excites gaiety and laughter."
In his new work on “ Phrenology," lately published, Dr Spurzheim departs from this arrangement. He now considers this disposition as belonging to the class of feeling, and states its special function to be “ mirthfulness or gayness.”
I strongly incline to think that the view previously taken by Dr Spurzheim is the correct one; that this is an intellectual faculty, and that while its function, as well as that of Comparison and Causality is to compare ideas or feelings together, its special function consists in its peculiar manner of comparing. It does not compare, as Comparison does, to discover resemblances or analogies, nor, as Causality does, to draw refined distinctions, or to observe close philosophical relations; but it compares for the purpose of discovering broad, violent, extravagant contrasts, and of bringing together ideas the most incongruous, disproportionate, and opposite in existence.
INCONGRUITY.—No subject has been more frequently canvassed than the feeling of the ludicrous, and various theories have been proposed to account for it. It seems to be now generally admitted that it is caused by some kind of incongruity. Dr Beattie states, that “ Laughter arises from the * view of two or more inconsistent, unsuitable, or incongruous
parts, or circumstances considered as united in one complex object or assemblage, or as acquiring a sort of mutual relation “ from the peculiar manner in which the mind takes notice of " them.” The same doctrine is thus stated by Akenside :
“Where'er the power of Ridicule displays
Dr Gerard observes to the same purpose :-“ The sense of “ ridicule is gratified by an inconsistence and dissonance of circum“stance in the same object, or objects nearly related in the main ;
or by a similitude or relation unexpected between things, on the “ whole opposite and unlike.”
Although there is much truth in this, it does not amount to an exact description, far less to a logical definition of the cause of laughter, there being, as Dr Beattie observes, “innu“ merable combinations of congruity and incongruity, of rela“ tion and contrariety, of likeness and dissimilitude, which are “ not ludicrous at all." We shall try if it be possible to come a little nearer to an exact description; and with this view, we shall, in the first place, examine the four species of incongruity which, according to Dr Beattie, excite the feeling of the ludicrous. These four are the following :
1st, When the incongruous particulars are united by mere juxta-position.
2d, When they are stated as in the relation of cause and effect.
3d, When they are brought together by a comparison founded on some point of similitude.
4th, When they are united so as to exhibit an opposition between meanness and dignity.
These do not by any means form a complete enumeration, as we shall afterwards see.
SIMPLE CONTRAST.-To begin with the case of juxta-position, we laugh to see a short fat woman waddling beside a very tall thin man, and obliged to take two or three steps for one of his. A still more incongruous conjunction, perhaps, is a tall awkward woman stooping down to the arm of a little purfled round-bellied mannikin, whom she could apparently carry in her pocket. A country-dance of couples so contrasted, like those given in Hogarth's Analysis of Beauty, could hardly fail, as Dr Beattie observes, to make a beholder merry, whether he believed their union to be the effect of design or of accident.