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rope-dancer measures his steps by the eye, yet, on the other hand, a blind man can balance his body in standing, walking, and running, every effort of voluntary power which gives motion to the body is directed by a sense of the condition of the muscles, and without this sense we could not regulate their actions, and a very principal inlet to knowledge would be cut off.”
This evidence elearly establishes that there is in the mind a perception of the condition of the muscles, and that there is a distinct order of nerves destined for the transmissions of the appropriate sensations. The paper concluded with a rectification of the mis-statement made by the Edinburgh Reviewer respecting the functions of this organ. Instead of stating the function to be the perception of weight, pressure, or resistance, as understood by every Phrenologist, the Reviewer states, that it is a faculty by which we acquire an idea of gravitation, or of the tendency of all bodies to move with more or less force towards the surface of the earth, which the
paper showed to be at utter variance with the principles of Phrenology.
Dr Elliotson, in reference to the subject of artificial compression of the cranium, discussed at a preceding meeting, called the attention of the Society to the observations and facts calculated to elucidate this contested point contained in Dr Gall's “ Fonctions du Cerveau.”
Fourth Meeting of the Third Session, Dec. 21, 1826.
Dr ELLIOTSON, Vice-President, in the Chair.
Dr Disney ALEXANDER, Physician to the Lunatic Asylum, Wakefield, was elected a Corresponding Member.
Mr David Dunn, Surgeon, was elected Ordinary Member.
Mr Bennett read a paper on “ Instinct, considered as in Connexion with Pbrenology.” Instinct, he considered, in the common acceptation of the word, to be a term applied to those feelings of animals which direct their actions and habits of
life. Various opinions have been maintained on tbis subject, but the general error on the part of disputants is, that they do not sufficiently distinguish between the various instincts of animals; some contending that the habits and actions of ani. mals are the result of mere instinct, while others argue that they evince a partial reason. He described several of the primitive instincts in animals, and their modifications; and, illustrations of the corresponding cerebral developments, he exhibited the skulls of various species of animals, and he showed that the degree of sagacity in an animal corresponded with the development of the anterior portion of the brain, where all the intellectual faculties have been found to reside.
A conversation ensued on this subject, and Dr Gall's Observations on Instinct were referred to. This author states, that instinct is a feeling, or internal movement, independent of reflection, or of true will—an impulse which impels a living being to certain actions, without its having a distinct idea either of the means or end; that it is erroneous to consider instinct as a general faculty, and to endeavour to explain by it all animal actions, however opposite they may be; and consequently that it is absolutely impossible to find a single organ for instinct. Dr G. farther states, that there are as many instincts as there are primitive faculties, and that the word instinct designates only the activity of either of these same primitive powers.
Dr Poole submitted to the inspection of the Members the skull of a murderer and suicide, and related some particulars of the dispositions and character of the individual when living. The cerebral development was in accordance with the character given.
Mr Smart exhibited a human skull found in a tumulus near a Roman encampment.
The Meeting adjourned to Thursday, January 4, 1827.
M. AUDUBON, M. WEISS, CARL. MAR. V. WEBER.
We have sometimes been found fault with for dealing too much in speculation and too little in facts; and as we would wish to gratify every class of our readers, it is our intention in future to dedicate a corner of our work to the detail of any cases of remarkable development which may come in our way, and which are likely to prove interesting. The most proper subjects for this sort of notice are persons who have become eminent for some particular talent, or mental quality, -whose performances are matters of public notoriety, and respecting whose manifestations there can be no mistake. Three such cases we have chosen for the subject of the présent article.
About three months ago we happened to meet with Mr Audubon, the celebrated American ornithologist, and Mr Weiss, whose performance on the flute, and musical attainments in general, are well known to the public,—when á Phrenologist came into the room who had never seen either of them in his life, and being asked to point out which of the two gentlemen was the painter, and which the musician, did so at once, without the smallest hesitation. It was indeed impossible that he should have erred, as there could not be two cases of better-marked development.
Mr Audubon, we are happy to say, is still residing among us, and any of our fellow-citizens may have an opportunity of verifying or disproving our assertion, that in his head the organs of Form, Size, Weight, Colouring, Locality, and Lower Individuality (forming what is called the superciliary ridge, and comprising the principal observing powers most necessary to a painter) are all developed in a more than ordinary degree. The organ of Colouring, in particular, is very large, forming an arch over the eye, that may be remarked
even in the portrait which is now exhibited in Waterloo Place,-but much more observable in the real head, where the whole of the organs we have mentioned, and this of Colouring in particular, will be found to stand prominently out, in a degree that is seldom seen. The upper part of the forehead, though fully developed, is not so in proportion to the organs already noticed; and therefore it appears to retreat, not from any deficiency in the superior or reflecting organs, but from the very remarkable developmerft of the lower or observing ones. This description will be better understood by inspecting a mask of the face from nature, now in the Phrenological Society's collection,
We refer to such of our readers as have seen Mr Audubon's paintings, whether the development we have described does not correspond in the most perfect manner with the qualities there manifested. The representation of birds, the subject to which Mr Audubon has dedicated his talents, is one well calculated for the display of his peculiar powers, and it will be owned, that in this he has reached a degree of perfection, which, if it has been ever equalled, has certainly never been surpassed. In the collection which he exhibited lately in the rooms of the Institution, we were at a loss whether to admire most the extreme accuracy and elegance of form, the alternate splendour and delicacy of colouring, the minuteness of finishing, or the freedom and expression of attitude which distinguished his representations of the feathered race. We have seen each of these qualities separately in an equal, or nearly equal degree, but we do not recollect any instance where they appeared to be all combined in the same perfection. Indeed, it is probable that we might have been more struck with the colouring, and the more mechanical details of the figures, had our attention been less drawn away to their admirable expression and character, giving to the whole the appearance of reality and life that we never saw equalled.
This indeed seemed to us to constitute the peculiar merit of Mr Audubon's drawings, that all the birds were represent
ed in some characteristic attitude, and some of them, indeed, in a state of the most energetic and even violent action. Birds of prey are seen in the act of pouncing upon their victims, the latter cowering in terror, or endeavouring, with convulsive flutterings, to elude their formidable foes. Others of a less destructive kind are seen seeking their appropriate food among plants and insects, each according to its own peculiar nature and habits. Sea-birds are seen skimming the waves, or « shaving with level wing the deep,” while others are darting through the air in chase of their mates, or in mere wantonness of spirit. All appears life, and motion, and activity.
It has been suggested by some Phrenologists that there must be somewhere an organ of Motion, a faculty whose peculiar province it is to observe motion, or objects in motion, and that by means of this faculty, painters and others, whose object it is to represent animals, are enabled to catch as it were the expression of activity, and to infuse the appearance of life and motion into their performances. Some have supposed that this may possibly be the proper function of theorganof lower 19, or Individuality. These are, however, mere suggestions, and no sufficient proof has yet been adduced in support of them. Dr Spurzheim states in his System, that it is the function of Individuality to take notice not merely of individual objects, but “ of every phenomenon and every fact, and “ hence also of motions." And there appear to be strong grounds for supposing this correct. Motion is merely a change of place, and there seems no reason why there should be an organ for observing this change in particular, if there be not one for every other change in nature. All the ob serving powers, if in high activity, not only observe certain qualities of objects, but also any change that takes place in these qualities. Form observes the minutest changes of form,-Size the changes of real or apparent size,-Colour of colours, and so on,—while Locality observes change of place. These different powers, thus, in addition to Individuality, which takes notice of facts, seem abundantly sufficient to con