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As if the earth had thrown a neck of land
END OF BOOK II.
NATURAL LANGUAGE OF THE FEELINGS AND FACULTIES
The system of Phrenology will not, perhaps, appear to the minds of some persons, to derive very decisive or material confirmation from the natural language of the Feelings and Faculties. The investigation may probably be considered as more curious than useful.
The connexion, however, between the internal organs and their external expression can scarcely be questioned; but it may be thought that, although the existence of the faculties is proved by the language they intelligibly utter, yet the precise situation of each organ is not very clearly established by mere pantomimic indication. Still it is curious to observe in how many instances the action holds a strict correspondence or relation with the place in which the organ is seated.
Thus, to investigate the expression of some of the sentiMENTS-Pride, or inordinate self-esteem, elevates and throws backward the head, in the precise direction of the organ in question; and naturally gives a stiffness and formality to the attitude. The motions are, in consequence, measured and stately. The feeling with which the individual is inspired, seems to brace up, to an intense state, the brain in that portion of the head alluded to, and by the excitement to encrease its development in proportion to the measure of its exercise or indulgence.
Humility, the opposite of this feeling, is indicated by a depression in the same part of the head, and is occasioned by the inactivity or absence of the sentiment of self-esteem. Here the signs are reversed. The head, instead of being raised up, is bowed forward, and in its most abased state, it is prostrated. The brain seems to sink down, deprived of energy, and according to the degree of humiliation, and of its extent and frequency, the skull, deprived of the activity of the internal power, does not attain its due elevation, but presents an aspect of depression.
Again, Circumspection, or Cautiousness, somewhat lifts up the head, and summons every sense into activity, and every faculty into attention.
We look around with an observant eye, and listen with an anxious ear. The organs which are called into action appear to possess some degree of intensity, and are placed above the ears in the angle of a line drawn from the visual sense. Their situation appears suited to their character,—they are not, like pride and firmness, boldly prominent on the top of the head, but stationed, secretly and guardingly, on each side. When this tendency to Cautiousness becomes excessive, it diminishes the action of every other faculty, subduing their free exercise, and casting over the whole character a veil of timidity and indecision.
Conscientiousness and Firmness give an upright and immovable position. Situated on the very crown of the head, and, when much developed, giving it encreased elevation, they seem the result of an intense and determined purpose. The feeling within seems to raise up the material fabric, which it animates, and, by its soaring, to propel that part of the system in an upward direction.
Wbilst Pride, as we have seen, elevates and throws the head backward, Veneration, though it also raises it upwards, at the same time inclines it forward. The hands and eyes are directed to the same point. The spirit seems to mount up to its appropriate region, and to seek there the object it adores.
Benevolence, a feeling directed towards its kindred beings, advances forward, with lively emotion, and a caressing or affectionate air. The brain acts on these occasions, in the front of the head, on the summit of the brow, and seems directed towards its object, and ready to fly forward to its assistance.
With regard to the natural expression of the PROPENSITIES, it may be sufficient to select a few only for the purpose of illustration.
The dispositions to combat and destroy, are of an intense
and active nature. The muscles are contracted,—the hand is clenched to strike, or opened to grasp,--the teeth are gnashed and set,-the feet are stamped, the whole body is violently agitated; and it will be found that these modes of action operate on the posterior sides of the brain, and distend it, in the same manner in which we observe that the muscles and limbs are enlarged and become permanently strengthened by exercise. On the contrary, the deficiency of these active organs occasions depression. The brain is relaxed in consequence of its inactivity, and the cranium is consequently not so much developed.
In Cunning, or Secretiveness, the head is cowered down, and the look is from below upwards,--the body is contracted, and seems to shrink from observation, in order to conduct its actions without being perceived. It seems that the tendency of the brain is to indicate its activity in these instances in a line a little higher than the situation of the ear.
It is remarkable also, that, with respect to many of the INTELLECTUAL FACULTIES, there is a peculiar degree of correspondence and connexion between the nature and station of the organs, and the external expressions by which they are accompanied.
Thus, in exercising the Powers of Reflection, the action of the brain seems confined to the upper part of the forehead, over which, in deep meditation, the hand is frequently pressed. The employment of the perceptive faculties for the time is suspended. There seems to be a peculiar concentration of 'the intellect, and the external senses remain in a state of inactivity. The eye is sometimes closed, in order to prevent the intrusion of any extraneous object, and the whole aspect indicates deep abstraction or profound meditation,
On the other hand, the perceptive, or, as they have been called, the knowing faculties, display their action in an external manner. Thus, the organ of Observation, or Individuality, which seeks acquaintance with the whole surface of the material world, seems to press forward in order to obtain a more distinct view of its object. It puts in activity all the senses, and when connected with some other faculties, gives a peculiar expression of intelligence and penetration to the countenance.
It is obvious, of course, that a single organ, however developed, will not alone give an impression of the general character. According to the number of the faculties manifested, and the extent of their development, will be the aggregate result, and from thence may be ascertained the peculiar features of the mind; its acuteness and penetration; its reflection and contemplation; its powers of reasoning and observation; its imagination, or its speculative lineaments; its boldness, energy, and promptitude, or its timidity, slowness, and indecision.
It is not a little singular, that, in making any difficult Calculation, we naturally look a little downward and sideways, in the direction where the organ is stationed, and employ consequently that portion of the brain which is there situate, and which, when much exercised, peculiarly developes the lower part of the eyebrow.
The organ of Time and those of Order and Colour, which are stationed over the eye, are not insisted upon, by some Phrenologists, as very perfectly established; and the difficulty of demonstrating them very clearly appears to arise from the minuteness of the organs. But, it is worthy of notice, that the natural action of these faculties, is to elevate and project more or less the eyebrow; an effect which is perfectly consistent with the mode in which we are accustomed to view external objects, and in so far, therefore, the natural expression is correspondent with the general situation assigned to the organs.
Again, the action which accompanies the exercise of the organ of Language, is connected intimately with its situation. In endeavouring to recollect names, or words, a variety of motions are made with the eyeballs and eyelids. We sometimes shut the eyes closely, and sometimes press the hand over them, or rub them; as it were to excite their activity, and produce the recollection we desire: so, also, in listening to Musical Sounds, a motion is observable sideward and forward, according to the cadence, and the eyes are directed to that part where the organ of tune is situated.
The peculiarly appropriate and the complete explanation which this system furnishes of the human character, both in its intellectual and moral nature, are convincing proofs of its foundation in truth. It is scarcely conceivable, that, possessing so striking a facility to expound the involvements and intricate machinery of our complex constitution, it should be destitute of foundation. The nice accordance of the system with the real nature of man, seems to constitute, what, in judicial science, we denominate circumstantial evidence, and which generally is more entitled to credit than bold and direct testimony, If it be false, it is one of the most ingenious systems of falsehood that was ever presented to the world. I cannot give Drs. Gall and Spurzheim the credit of such superhuman ingenuity. Their powers of observation and reflection, I admire, and consider the former as peculiarly gifted in the discovery, and both of them distinguished for the talent with which they have pursued it; but I feel assured, there is as much of truth as ingenuity in the discovery, and I can scarcely tell which the more to admire ; the new and singular, yet beautiful view, which is thus presented of human nature, or the success, the skill, and perseverance, with which it has been developed and conducted:
DISCUSSION: HAVE THE EFFECTS RESULTING FROM THE INSTITUTION OF
CHIVALRY BEEN MORE BENEFICIAL OR INJURIOUS ?
The opener of the above question proposed to contend, that the effects resulting from the institution of chivalry have been more beneficial, than injurious. In doing this, he was aware he had to contend with certain prejudices arising from a misapprehension of the real nature of chivalry, and the effects resulting from it. If, however, he should be so fortunate as to give an explanation of the duties of a true knight, and the effects since produced by the careful performance of those duties, he had no doubt that arguments would be unnecessary to gain the suffrages of his hearers.
The subject seemed naturally to divide itself into four parts. First, the state of Europe, from the time that the institution, known by the name of chivalry arose, down to the time of its abolition. Secondly, the history and nature of chivalry itself. Thirdly, how that system was suited to reform the existing abuses. And fourthly, how the effects resulting from chivalry were calculated to have a beneficial influence on society.
With regard to the first division of the subject, it was not to be supposed, that in a discussion like the present, a minute, and exact relation of all the facts internal, as well as external, which operated in producing the various political changes which had taken place in the above-mentioned period, could be given by the opener. All he shonld endeavour to do, was to call the attention of his audience to the most important epochs, and changes, which had occurred in the different countries of Europe, and which would form the principal topics of observation in the course of the discussion. The empire of Charlemagne would of course be the first object of remark. That, having comprehended the countries of Germany, France, Italy, and the Pyrenean mountains, was the principal scené of the abuses of the feudal system, and, consequently, of the deeds of knights in endeavouring to correct them. So long as the sceptre of this wide-extended and overgrown empire was grasped by the firm hand of Charlemagne, and the people