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through the press, (May 20,) we are informed, that the necessary amount is already collected within two or three thousand dollars, and that no doubt remains, that the sum will be completed within the limited time. Thus this interesting Institution, which, on the first of January last was wholly destitute of funds, will possess on the first of June a large and splendid building, worth $30,000, with a fund of $50,000 in the Treasury
The Institution may be said to merit this public favor ; the progress of the pupils has been such as to astonish even those who have visited the European Schools for the Blind. The apparatus is not only as perfect as any one there ; but several important improvements have already been effected by native ingenuity in the methods of teaching the blind. The pupils learn to read by raised letters; they are also taught writing, arithmetic, geography, and all the branches commonly taught in other schools. Music occupies much of their attention; and in a workshop attached to the house, they weave, and make baskets. The number of pupils is at present nearly twenty ; and they are as happy and intelligent children as can be found; they spend twelve hours a day at their studies or work. It is intended to teach them all the higher branches of education, and the languages. The Musical Department is under the superintendence of Mr. Lowell Mason; Mr. Trencheri, a blind man, teaches the intellectual branches; Mr. Pringle, who is also blind, instructs in the mechanic arts; the whole being under the direction of Dr. Howe.
Art. III.-Phrenology. 1. Phrenology, or the Doctrine of the Mental Phenomena.
By G. SPURZHEIM, M. D. Boston. 1832. 2. A View of the Elementary Principles of Education,
founded on the Study of the Nature of Man. By G.
SPURZHEIM, M.D. Boston. 1833. 3. Philosophical Catechism of the Natural Laws of Man.
By G. SPURZHEIM. Boston. 1833. 4. Thoughts on the True Mode of improving the Con
dition of Man. By CHARLES CALDWELL, M.D. Lex
ington, Ky. 1833. 5. Thoughts on the Pathology, Prevention and Treatment
of Intemperance, as a form of Mental Derangement.
By CHARLES CALDWELL, M.D. We have had our doubts about the expediency of meddling with the subject of the works at the head of this article. It seems, on the one hand, at least proper to notice a doctrine which has occupied of late a good deal of the public attention, while, on the other, the probability that any individual, at all acquainted with physiology or mental philosophy, can seriously believe it, is so small, that the question seems to be hardly worth arguing. On the whole, however, we have concluded to offer a few remarks on the subject, if it be only for the purpose of showing our colors; as we have noted, among other analogous dispositions of the professors of Phrenology, a determination to regard every one as for them, who is not decidedly against them; or at least to divide the literary world into three classes, the converts, the ignorant, and the persecutors, without seeming to be aware of the possibility, that persons, perfectly well qualified to investigate the subject, may, after candid and deliberate examination, come to the conclusion, that every thing, that is new or peculiar in their doctrines, is destitute of a shadow of evidence. The cry of persecution and interested opposition, indeed, is not peculiar to phrenologists. Its uses have been long well known to mankind. The ignorant empiric, while he puffs his infallible nostrum, takes care to hint that its virtues would be universally admitted, if it were not for the opposition of a set of lazy and purse-proud doctors, whose emoluments would be endangered by the general use
of the elixir. The low-bred pettifogger calls for the sympathy of the mob against a combination of the grandees of the bar, who are jealous of his superior acuteness. The wouldbe legislator bemoans the evils which overshadow the land, from the predominance of an aristocratic junto. The vulgar infidel clamors against priestcraft; and the editor of an incipient newspaper casts about for a prosecution for libel.
That some tendency to get up this sort of cry on the subject of Phrenology prevails occasionally among the ranks of the initiated, we think no one can doubt, who takes the trouble to examine the history of the rise and progress of this delusion; and whilst its promulgators continue to pour out their abuse of that portion of the thinking community, who have not chosen to admit their pretensions, nothing can surpass the cries of horror and indignation, which greet any return of the civility. Thus, when the Edinburgh Review, some fifteen or twenty years since, belabored in no very gentle manner both the apostles and the revelation, dire indeed was the clamor, which arose from the discomfited disciples of craniology. Loudly were the scientific and candid of the age called upon to arise in their might and crush these barbarous flagellators, these lying oracles of criticism. A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine of the period expresses the most naif astonishment, that scientific men should be willing to permit the assertions of the Review, with respect to anatomical points, to pass without contradiction. Nor does it, for a moment, seem to occur to him, that they might be true :--that the corpus dentatum, which Gall and Spurzheim declared to be a mass of gray matter, (un amas de substance grise) might be truly, as the Edinburgh Review asserts, a mass of white matter in a brown capsule,
-that the differences between gray, white and brown are such as are pretty easily discoverable by common eyes, and that unfortunately, the best informed anatomists happened to agree with the Review in this particular.—The truth is, that this whole charge of undiscerning hostility on the part of the scientific is extremely absurd; it has no foundation. Nothing has been more characteristic of this class of men, during the last half century, than their catholic eagerness for the advancement of science. The wildest opinions or professed discoveries meet with a candid reception. And the hypothesis, for it is a mere hypothesis, that the rejection of Phrenology by so great a majority of physiologists is to be attributed to prejudice and want
of examination, we hold to be entirely groundless. For our own part, we desire to clear the way, by declaring, that if we are ignorant of its merits, it is not for want of examination, and that, if we have any hostility to it, it is mainly attributable, as we believe, to the arrogant dogmatism of its principal defenders; to their unhesitating assumption of principles, for which no evidence is offered, and to a sincere belief in the evil effects to society, which would result from a general reception of some of its doctrines.
With this proviso, we proceed to the subject. And the inquiry which meets us on the threshold is, What is Phrenology? The advocates of a doctrine have a right to demand of its critics a fair statement of its positions. Such a statement, difficult enough in regard to most matters of controversy, is so formidable in this, that many of the writers concerning it have been content to get hold of as many intelligible propositions, as they could find scattered among its voluminous records, and to show either that they were not new, or not true, leaving open to its advocates the convenient rejoinder, that the true question was still untouched and uninvestigated. What then is the peculiar doctrine of Phrenology? At first, and under its original name of Craniology, it was simple enough ; being, as we then understood it, neither more nor less than this, that there existed on the surface of the skull certain projections, indicative of particular and distinguishing points of character in each individual ; that particular regions of the cranium were found to be more prominent, for instance, as a general rule, in thieves, than in honest men; and so on of other points of character. That this is the doctrine even now received by multitudes of the disciples, we have no doubt, having frequently had occasion to hear it announced. And we very readily admit that such a position is a perfectly fair subject for examination. There is no natural impossibility in it, and though its improbability is such as would perhaps prevent us from taking much interest in the inquiry, we could feel no surprise, that others, to whom the improbability might appear less striking, should feel differently. But we do not reject this theory, improbable as it appears, without examination. We have examined and found the statement incorrect. Others have examined and published the results of their examination, and find in like manner that it is incorrect; and lastly, to render the matter perfectly clear and satisfactory, the phrenological writers themselves admit the
statement not to be correct, when they declare, in the case of any particular organ, that the surrounding organs may be so much developed, (we use the orthodox phrase,) that this organ, though absolutely projecting, may, in a mechanical sense, (another orthodox term,) be depressed. By this admission, we conceive that this form of the theory is substantially given up.
What then, we repeat, is Phrenology? As far as a careful examination of the works of its advocates enable us to state it, it may be included in the following propositions.
First. The human brain consists of a number of separate portions, of which the general figure may be considered as that of a cone, the apex of which is situated somewhere about the medulla oblongata, and the base at the surface of the brain. We do not understand, that they are supposed to be literal and right-lined cones, but only conical in their character,-commencing in a small bundle of nervous fibres, and, though the course of these may be more or less devious, ending finally in an expansion on the surface, which gives rise to another set of expanded fibres, that again converge to the original point or apex
of the cone. Secondly. That the liability of any individual of the human race to be the subject of those affections, which are commonly considered and treated of as mental, or of certain modes and varieties of them, is in direct proportion to the relative development of these portions of the brain.
We apprehend that these propositions cover the whole phrenological ground. There is a vast deal of argument and assertion about the brain being the organ of the mind; the division of it into an animal or posterior, and an intellectual or anterior portion ; about one set of nerves being fitted only for sensation, and another for motion ; about the fibrous structure of the brain, and a long et cetera of positions, very taking to those who are profoundly ignorant of the history of anatomy and physiology. To such persons,—and the class, we regret to say, is a large one,—these details are highly interesting; and we have no quarrel with them, so far as they are true. But we find them much more clearly and philosophically treated in the works from which the pbrenologists borrow them; and we protest, in the strongest manner, against having any of these things considered as part or portion of Phrenology -the rather, as our observation has led us to believe, that most of the