Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

“ very well.

[ocr errors]

« afflicted with the gout. I am very willing to inform you (and “ take your inquiry as a favour) of my inability concerning colours, « as far as I am able from my own common observations.

« It is a family failing.-My father has exactly the same impedi“ ment: my mother and one of my sisters were perfect in all co“ lours ;-my other sister and myself alike imperfect. My last* mentioned sister has two sons, both imperfect ; but she has a “ daughter who is very perfect. I have a son and daughter who “ both know all colours without any exception, and so did their “mother. My mother's own brother had the like impediment with “me; though my mother, as mentioned above, knew all colours

Now, I will inform you what colours I have least knowledge of: " -I do not know any green in the world ;-a pink colour and a

pale blue are alike ;-I don't know one from the other. A full “ red and full green the same. I have often thought them a good “ match; but yellows (light, dark, and middle), and all degrees of “ blue, except those very pale, commonly called sky, I know perfectly well

, and can discern a deficiency in any of those colours to a particular nicety. A full purple and deep blue sometimes baffle

I married my daughter to a genteel worthy man a few years ago. The day before the marriage he came to my house, dressed “ in a new suit of fine cloth clothes. I was much displeased that “ he should come (as I supposed) in black ; and said he should “ go back to change his colour ; but my daughter said, “No, no; “ the colour is very genteel, and that it was my eyes that deceived me.' He was a gentleman of the law, in a fine rich claret-coloured “ dress, which is as much a black to my eyes as any black that ever “ was dyed. She has been married several years, no child living, « and my son is unmarried ; so how this impediment may descend “ from me is unknown.

I have a general good satisfaction in the midst of this my ina“ bility :-can see objects at a distance when I am on travel “ with an acquaintance, and can distinguish the size, figure, or space, equal to most, and, I believe, as quick, Colour excepted.

My business was behind a counter many years, where I had to “ do with variety of colours. I often, when alone, met with a diffi“ culty ; but I commonly had a servant in the way to attend me, “ who made up any deficiency. I have been now seven years from - trade. My eyes, thank God, are very good at discerning men and

“ If your learned Society can search out the cause of this very é extraordinary infirmity, and find a method for amendment, you « will be so obliging to acquaint me.

&c.

« J. Scort."

« things.

I am,

I have examined the Philosophical Transactions, to see if the “ learned Society" endeavoured to account for the infirmity, or offer any method for amendment; but, as I do

not see the case mentioned again, I presume they gave it up in despair. It is most likely, however, that they supposed it to arise from some imperfection in the iris or lens ; or, perhaps, entered into an elaborate argumenton optics. Phrenology, however, at once explains the mystery: and, from what we have observed in other cases, we are entitled legitimately to infer, that the individual in question had an imperfect organ of “ Colour,” whilst Size, Form, and Locality, were well developed. His language is almost phrenological :-“ I can distinguish,” says he, “the size, figure, or space, equal to most, and, I believe, as quick, colour excepted.It will be objected to this case, that there has been no eramination of the organs, and, therefore, the above conclusions are mere suppositions. If this was the only case known to Phrenologists, this objection would be good; but we have actually examined many similar cases, and found the organ deficient. The case of Mr James Milne, recorded in the Phrenological Transactions, resembles it also in this, that in both the defect was a family failing. In the present case, as in Mr Milne's, it is only some branches of the family that are affected; and mark, too, the imperfection is always, and solely, confined to colour ; none of the family, in either instance, have any affection of the eye simply, as short-sightedness ; nor is it said that they cannot see figures, &c., perfectly. Therefore, all their imperfections evidently proceed from one cause. Now, when we see one branch or part of a family retaining the likeness (as figure or face) of their parents or ancestors, and at the same time retaining the same talents, whilst another part of the same family neither keeps the likeness nor the talent, it is natural to conclude, that the shape of the head, and consequent development of organs, may either resemble or differ in the same manner; and, as we do see this is the fact in every day's observation, it is reasonable to conclude that all the family affected with this imperfection of sight must have had an imperfect organ of Colour. This mode of inferring the state of the organ in the individual in question, taken in connexion with the cases actually observed, is perfectly legitimate. The effects are similar; and it is reasonable to conclude, that the causesare the same. In the case of Mr Milne's relations, it is ascertained by observation that all the individuals who inherit the defect are deficient in the organ of colouring, while those who perceive colours have the organ fully developed.

How the organ of Colour was affected in the way mentioned is more difficult to account for. Many persons see different colours better than others; and two gentlemen, to whom I read Mr Scott's letter, have told me they perceive some colours well, and others indifferently. This imperfection may possibly arise partly from the formation of the eye, and partly from that of the organ of Colour. From whatever cause such a varied power of sight may arise, the case of Mr Scott is an ample and curious proof of a mental defect, which could not be accounted for till Phrenology was discovered. It shews that colour, form, size, and distances, are not perceived by one faculty alone.

I am, Sir, yours, &c.

WM. H. ATHERTON. Liverpool, 11th November, 1825.

ARTICLE V.

THE PRESS AND POLITICAL ECONOMY.

POLITICAL ECONOMY has lately attracted a considerable portion of public attention; but for some months past certain of its doctrines have fallen under the displeasure of the newspaper press, and attempts have been made to bring the science itself and its advocates into contempt. The points principally attacked have been Mr M‘Culloch's doctrine of Irish absenteeism and the repeal of the combination laws. It is not our intention, on the present occasion, to discuss these controversies, or to maintain that political economists are sound in all their views, but simply to notice a “ fallacy,” as Mr Bentham would call it, by which the public mind is frequently misled, and which Phrenology enables us clearly

to expose.

There are two orders of intellectual faculties ;-the knowing and reflecting. The knowing faculties, whose organs are situated in the lower region of the forehead, take cognizance of things that exist and of occurrences, with their more obvious relations. A mind, in which these faculties predominate, is well adapted for becoming learned by reading and observation, and also for attaining expertness in practical business. Accordingly, lawyers, and physicians of extensive practice and no mean reputation, and merchants, frequently possess these organs in a predominating degree; and, what is more to our present purpose, editors of newspapers, magazines, and other periodical literary publications, are generally found to excel in the practical department of their duty in proportion to the degree in which the knowing organs are developed, in combination with a favourable endowment of the propensities and sentiments. The knowing faculties give them that capacity for varied information, that ready tact in arranging and disposing of details, and that Argus-like power of observation, which enables them to seize the passing occurrences of life, and present them, in all the freshness of actual existence, to their readers.

The second order of intellectual faculties is the reflecting, -comprehending Comparison, Causality, and Wit, which take cognizance of the more recondite and abstract relations of objects and events. The relations perceived by them are completely beyond the sphere of the senses and the knowing faculties, and one of the great distinctions between man and the lower animals is the want, in the latter, of the organs of these

powers. Their abstract functions may be illustrated by a simple observation. On one of the hottest days of last summer, we saw a cow in a field, in which there was no natural spring of water, but in which a well had been dug, and a pump erected to supply the defect. The cow had enjoyed mány a delicious draught from a trough placed beside the pump; but, on the occasion alluded to, it was empty, while the thirst of the animal was fiercely excited by a burning sun; she first anxiously examined the trough, then put her nose to the spout of the pump, as if endeavouring to suck out the water, which she seemed distinctly to know issued from that aperture. This effort also was in vain ; she then moved round to the handle of the pump, which was so low that she could have moved it with her teeth, or by her horns; she laid her head along it, as if recollecting the fact that water came when it was moved; but as nature had denied her organs of Causality, she was utterly blind to the relation between the motion of that piece of wood and the flow of water, and she continued standing and suffering without making the least attempt to perform the operation of pumping. In this instance there was the strongest desire for the water ; there were eyes, and other organs of sense, capable of seeing and feeling as acutely as those of man, and there was an obvious manifestation of observing faculties; for she had noticed and recollected the phenomena which attended the supply of water ; but there was a complete destitution of the feeling of relation between the motion of the handle and the effect which she so ardently desired. Every human being, who is not insane or idiotic, possesses all the organs to a greater or less extent; and, in the most deficient, there is still enough of reflecting power to give rise to the feeling of relation between such obvious instances of cause and effect as this the moment the phenomena are presented in conjunction to the mind; and hence there is an unmeasurable gulf between the lower animals and man, which the lower creatures can never pass without a fundamental change of their natural constitution.

But, although the power of perceiving the relation of cause and effect in simple occurrences is possessed by all, the talent of tracing it, in difficult and complicated pheno

VOL. III. -No IX.

D

« ZurückWeiter »