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terests, and prejudices out of the question, or in an abstracted point of view, we judge fairly and conscientiously; for conscience is nothing but the abstract idea of right and wrong. But no sooner have we to act or suffer, than the spirit of contradiction or some other demon comes into play, and there is an end of common sense and reason. Even the very strength of the speculative faculty, or the desire to square things with an ideal standard of perfection (whether we can or no) leads perhaps to half the absurdities and miseries of mankind. We are hunting after what we cannot find, and quarrelling with the good within our reach. Among the thousands that have read The Heart of Mid Lothiun there assuredly never was a single person who did not wish Jeanie Deans success. Even Gentle George was sorry for what he had done, when it was over, though he would have played the same prank the next day: and the unknown author, in his immediate character of contributor to Blackwood and the Sentinel, is about as respectable a personage as Daddy Ratton himself. On the stage, every one takes part with Othello against Iago. Do boys at school, in reading Homer, generally side with the Greeks or Trojans ?

ESSAY XIV.

ON DR. SPURZHEIM'S THEORY.

ESSAY XIV.

ON DR. SPURZHEIM'S THEORY.

It appears to me that the truth of physiognomy (if we allow it) overturns the science of craniology. For instance, the system of Drs. Gall and Spurzheim supposes that every bump or protuberance on the skull is necessarily produced by an extraordinary protrusion of the brain or increase of the

of perception immediately underneath it. Now behind a great part of the face we have no brain, and can have no such organs existing and accounting for the external phenomena; and yet here are projections or ramifications of bones, muscles, &c. which are allowed by these reasoners and most other persons to indicate character and intellect just as surely as the new-discovered organs of craniology. If then these projections or modifications of the countenance have such force and meaning where there is no brain underneath to account for them, is it not clear that in other cases the theory which assumes that such pro

organ

jections can only be caused by an extraordinary pressure of the brain, and of the appropriate local organ within, is in itself an obvious fallacy and contradiction? The long prudent chin, the scornful nose (naso adunco), the goodnatured mouth, are proverbial in physiognomy, but are totally excluded from the organic system. I mentioned this objection once to Dr. Spurzheim personally, but he only replied“We have treated of physiognomy in our larger work!” I was not satisfied with this answer.

I am utterly ignorant of the anatomical and physiological part of this question, and only propose to point out a few errors or defects in his system, which appear on the author's own showing, in the manner of marginal notes on the work. I would observe, by the bye, that the style and manner of the writer are not such as to induce the reader to place a very implicit reliance on his authority; and in a subject, which is so much an occult science, a terra incognita in the world of observation, depending on the traveller's report, authority is a good deal. The craniologist may make fools of his disciples at pleasure, unless he is an honest man. They have no check upon him. The face is as “a book where men may read strange matters:" it is open to every one : the language

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