Графични страници
PDF файл

said Mr L., what incalculable benefits Phrenology will confer upon

the whole humản race !


The eighth meeting was held at Mr Levison's, July 12, 1827, Dr Alderson in the chair.

Mr L. read a paper, “ to prove that man's cerebral organization destined him for civili“-zation, and that the barbarous races of the human family (if they are the production of one original stock) are examples of degeneration,” &c. Many highly-interesting and valuable remarks were made on the paper, connected with perfection and degeneration of animals by breeding, and crossing the breeds of families of the same species, by Dr Alderson, Messrs Casson, Craven, Rev. J. Blezard, Mr Lyon, &c.; and other parts of the paper were then alluded to.

A letter was read by the secretary from Dr Elliotson, in answer to one sent to that gentleman, in which he thanks the Society for their politeness, &c., and states that at the next meeting of the London Phrenological Society he intended to propose our president, Dr Alderson, a corresponding member of theirs.

The ninth meeting was held at Dr Turnbull's, July 26, 1827, (Mr Lyon acting as secretary.) The minutes of a for mer meeting were read, and a paper commenced by the Rev. J. Blezard.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The tenth meeting held at Mr Robinson's, Mr Young in the chair, when the paper of Rev. J. Blezard was continued.

The eleventh meeting of the Society was held at Mr Lyon's, surgeon, on Thursday evening, August 28, 1827, the Rev. J. Blezard in the chair. After the minutes of a former were read by the secretary, the Society was favoured with some curious remarks on George Noakes, (by the Rev. J. Blezard), a youth celebrated for his powers of calculation. Many numerical questions were put to him, to which

[ocr errors]


gave prompt answers. Mr B., in conclusion, asked this question,- Is the talent which that boy displays, some peculiar perceptiveness, the effect of a general concentrated nervous influencé, rather than that of a particular organic devel. opment, such as that of Number?

Mr Casson read a curious case of disease of the brain, highly interesting, as illustrating Drs Gall and Spurzheim's theory of the structure of the brain.

Mr Levison read to the Society an account of an individual in the work-house at Scarborough, and stated, that although he waś now an idiot, it was the result of an accident to the brain, but which, instead of presenting any obstacles to the study of the science of Phrenology, might be cited rather in proof of its fundamental truth, viz., that the mind exercised itself through the instrumentality of material organs, and therefore, whenever they were diseased, the process of ratiocination becomes defective. Acast will be (if possible) procured, when a farther account will be furnished the Society. :

Mr Craven read a post-mortem examination of a lad of seven years old, belonging to the Society of Friends, who, during the latter part of his disorder, (inflammation of the brain, &c.) occasionally sung, ''with great skill, hymns, ' &c. although music is not cultivated or practised by those of his religious tenets. Mr C. found the organs of Tune * consi

derably increased in bulk, and rather more appearance of

inflammation on their surface than the neighbouring parts « presented." But the brain itself" was much larger and heavier than usual, and the boy exhibited very great precocity of talent.

Mr Blezard offered to translate Dr Gall's French work for the Society, if they furnished him a copy gratis. *****!:n

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]



, you (From a Correspondent.)

[ocr errors]

Mr Combe, in his System of Phrenology; p. 393, gives the following account of memory. The mind," says he, “ has no “ power of calling up into freshexistence the emotionsexperienced “ by means of the propensities and sentiments, by merely willing " them to be felt, and hence we hold these faculties not to pos“ sess memory. The ideas, however, formed by the knowing " and reflecting faculties can be recalled by an act of recollec« tion, and they are therefore said to have memory: ' Memory « is thus merely a degree of activity of the knowing and re"flecting organs." At first view this analysis of Memory

1 to us exceedingly simple and philosophical ; but, upon closer examination, we are inclined to think that it is altogether hypothetical, and has been framed without attending to some of the most striking characteristics of this faculty, wie

The most important part of our knowledge consists in an acquaintance with the multifarious relations which we perceive to exist in nature, and the manner in which we recollect or recall these remains quite unexplained by Phrenologists. We are aware of the manner in which we recollect individual existences or events, without reference to the order in which they occur, or to any other relation in which they stand to each other ; but it still remains a mystery by what power of the mind we are enabled to recall the relations which we trace or observe among the phenomena, either in the world without, or in that still more incomprehensible world within ourselves. This power of the mind comprehends a range of phenomena as extensive as nature itself. Without it, all the wisdom and knowledge of former ages would have been utterly lost to us. The discoveries of Newton could never have been unfolded ;---nay, the simplest operations of the mind could not have been retained for one moment. It is by means of this faculty that we are regulated in our most ordinary as well as in our most difficult pursuits. We must possess the power of recollecting the relation in which we stand to external objects, otherwise all the feelings and sentiments with which we are endowed would be utterly useless.

Mr Combe states, that the mind has no power of calling “ap into fresh existence the emotions experienced by means of the “ propensities and sentiments by merely willing them to be felt, and se hence we hold these faculties not to possess memory.”

But this statement we conceive to be a mere evasion of the difficulty. The mere feeling, it is admitted, cannot confer the power of recalling the relation in which we may have stood to some being. The feeling itself is a simple and single phenomenon, as is likewise the individual object by which it may have been excited; and it is therefore plain, that the same faculty of the mind remembers both. But no account is given of the faculty, by means of which we are enabled to remember the relation in which the internal feeling stood to the exter. nal object. Without this faculty, the mind would have been made

up so many successive embtions, without any link by which to connect them with external nature. External circumstances might have excited our feelings, but without a faculty by which we are enabled to recollect the relation between the internal feeling and the external object, the external circumstances would no sooner cease to operate upon our feelings than every trace of these phenomena having existed in connexion would be utterly obliterated. It would be needless to proceed to illustration to show how much of our knowledge depends upon this principle of the mind. We may generally refer to the amazing knowledge of life and character possessed by Shakspeare. His perceptions were not cnly quick and powerful, but, in addition, he possessed the faculty, by means of which he stored up his own rich speculations on life and manners. This power of the mind, Therefore, is of the highest importance, whether we regard


[ocr errors]

it simply by itself, or in s reference to the influence which its comparative strength or weakness has over the individual character. As we are possessed of one faculty of mind, by which we recollect individual phenomena or events, so we are possessed of another, by which we recollect the relations which we trace or perceive among these phenomena or events." To the former power a place is assigned by Phrenologists;') but the latter, according to their present views, is referable to a variety of faculties, varying in their functions, and attended with very different effects. Thus, the power, which we possess of remembering relations is scattered over a yariety of powers, and has no distinct or independent existence, from these,ếor, in the language of Mr Combe,“ The ideas “ formed by the reflecting faculties can be recalled by an act of recollection, and they are therefore said to have mémory.We are compelled to give this statement a positive denial, and shall now proceed to give our own views on the subject, and illustrate them by a reference to facts.

We are of opinion, that each of the Individualities is a faculty of the mind quite distinct from the other. To the lower we ascribe that function by which we are enabled to remember single unconnected phenomena or events. To Upper Individuality belongs that function by which we remember relations of every description, whether these subsist between external phenomena, or between these phenomena and the mind itself. These positions, we maintain, are founded upon accurate observations. An individual who has Lower Individuality large, with the Upper small, will recollect phenomena or events which come under his notice very unconnectedly. He will be unable to remember the order in which they occurred, or, in other words, he will forget the relationship of one to another, though he may still recollect all thre individual phenomena themselves. A person who has Upper Individuality very full, with the Lower moderate, will be unable to form a very vivid or clear conception of any individual object or phenomenon. These will be


[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »