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could have in leading to the formation of vicious habits; and it occurred to me that it operated by removing or diminishing some of the strongest restraints which the laws and the customs of society have placed upon the irregular indulgence of the animal propensities. Its effect in leading to the success. ful perpetration of crime, no one can doubt.who is at all ac quainted with its functions, but to make the other effect equally evident, may require a few observations.
Human actions are the result of the decision of the understanding upon a variety of motives, and the more numerous or the more powerful those are which impel us in the same direction, the more certainly do we yield to them implicit obedience. Motives, again, are numerous and powerful in proportion to the number and strength of the primitive fam culties with which we are endowed. Thus, if there was a being who, along with intellect, possessed only the two fa. culties of Acquisitiveness and Conscientiousness, &c., and be took a fancy for any thing to which he had no right, it is clear that be would steal it or not steal it exactly as his Acquisitiveness or Conscientiousness happened to predominate. But if, to a weak Conscientiousness, you add a large Cautious. ness, inspiring with the fear of detection and punishment, the individual would very probably let the object alone. The same effect will be produced by the addition of large Love of Approbation, which gives a fear of losing the esteem and favour of our fellow-men. Now, it is well known that an immense number of individuals exist, who act honestly from such secondary but powerful motives, and therefore if, by any means, it follows that the force of these restraining powers be diminished, while other circumstances remain the same, the number of individuals who yield to the teinptation must also necessarily and considerably increase. Secretiveness has this very effect, as I will now endeavour to show."
Suppose we have A. B. with a large Acquisitiveness, moderate Conscientiousness, average Cautiousness, Self-esteem, and Love of Approbation, with small or moderate Secretiveness, and that he is so situated as to have his Acquisitive
ness considerably excited to embezzle or plunder any valuable object. He has thus a strong desire to possess himself of it; but against this he has a kind of conscience which merely hints to him that it would be very wrong, but is not sufficiently strong to be felt as a restraint. Cautiousness, however, gets active, and suggests the punishment which would follow detection. Love of Approbation, too, talks of the disgrace which would ensue, and the small Secretiveness feels even its inmost thoughts lying so open to inspection, that it declares it utterly impossible to purloin it without instantly betraying itself. Thus, with numerous weaker motives pitched against the single strong one, the intellect has little difficulty in determining that, honesty is the best policy, and therefore it says, Let us be honest.
But take C. D. with the same combination and large Secretiveness, which puts on a face that sets all scrutiny of what is: passing in the mind at utter defiance, which leads its possessor to veil every thing in an impenetrable shade, and to appear the very opposite of what he is, which gives that tact of observing and reading the countenance of others, and which enables him to provide in time for his own safety, then the effect will be very different. The Conscientiousness, as before, is too weak to operate as a check. Cautiousness, as before, speaks of the danger, but is instantly stopped by Secretiveness, detajling a plan by which he may possess the treasure without risk to any one. Love of Approbation is quieted by the same means, and Secretiveness falls to work, and manages matters so as, he thinks, will make suspicion fall in any direction but the right one; and he therefore appears with a bold and brazen face. If detection were certainly and, unavoidably to follow, then Cautiousness and Love of Approbation would operate as checks of the most powerful kind. But, remove the possibility of detection, or, what is the same thing, give the individual à positive feeling of security and impossibility of discovery, and these motives immediately lose so much of their weight, that the individual yields readily to temptations, which, with the certainty of detection before
him, he could easily have resisted. Now there is nothing more certain than that a small Secretiveness gives that perfect feeling of openness and impossibility of biding, which is equivalent to a certainty of detection, and that a large one gives that feeling of concealment and impenetrability, which, in its effects, is almost equivalent to a physical impossibility of discovery ; and thus, even independent of experience, we might safely infer, that the same combination of faculties will act very differently in the same circumstances, according as it is joined with a large or small Secretiveness.
By the same principle it is easily explained why publicity in all public matters is productive of so much good. For, with the best intentions in the world, it is not consistent with human nature to suppose that an individual wilt do a thing equally zealously and equally carefully with three motives as with six. So long as Secretiveness keeps every thing close and snug, there are no motives but those from within, and in such a case a man may mean very well, and yet, from natural indolence, or fifty other causes, he may put off and neglect the performance of his duties. But the moment you allow the public to look over his shoulder, you give him the very powerful additional motives to exertion and integrity, arising from Love of Approbation, Self-esteem, Cautiousness, &c. and these, as auxiliaries, are by no means to be despised.
In conclusion, I beg leave to add, that the same idea of the effect of Secretiveness will be found at p. 164 of the Phrenological Transactions in Mt Scott's Essay. I was not aware of the fact when I began this letter, but it seems to me an additional proof of its soundness; and, as it is a principle from which many valuable practical hints are to be ob tained, I think it may be well to bring it more plainly under the notice of your readers. If, therefore, you think this communication fit for the purpose, it is very much at your service. Yours,
ARTICLE XVII. Elements of PHRENOLOGY. By George Combe, President
of the Phrenological Society. Edinburgh, 1824. pp. 224. .
12mo. Ever since Phrenology began to excite attention in this country, it has been a desideratum with many to have a short intelligible statement of its doctrines published within a moderate compass, and at a moderate expense. The writings of the original founders of the system were beyond the reach of most readers, and by their voluminous size, and the necessary dryness of many of their details, deterred the bulk even of the speculative and inquiring from entering upon their perusal; so that, notwithstanding the publication of Dr Spurzheim's larger work and outlines in an English form in 1815, Mr Combe may be said to have been the first who, by the judicious abstract of the system given in his Essays on Phrenology, pub. lished in 1820, laid open to the English reader the treasures of valuable information and sound philosophy which that work contained. The same gentleman has now favoured us with a still shorter abstract, in which he has given, in the most condensed and manageable form, the substance of what is contained in the larger books, and also much useful and practical information that is not to be found in any previous work whatever.
The volume commences with an account of the discovery of the science, and of the manner in which Dr Gall was led to it, by comparing cerebral development with mental manifestation. Some observations are then made on the defects of former theories of mind, and on the manner in which the phrenological method of observation is calculated to obviate these defects. This is illustrated by comparing the mind, or rather its organ, the brain, to a musical instrument, which is played in an adjoining room, or behind a curtain. So long as the instrument out of sight, we cannot tell whether the notes are produced by different states of a single piece of metal, as a trumpet, or monochord, merely by its being blown
or struck with different degrees of force, or whether there is a separate string for the production of each particular note. The metaphysicians never could discover this, by reflecting on their own Consciousness, because Consciousness does not reveal the organs by means of which the mind manifests itself. The metaphysicians were therefore in the state of those who heard the instrument sounded behind the curtain ; but, in the phrénological mode of inquiry, the curtain is withdrawn.—“ The phrénologist'studies man in society, and " in comparing the power of manifesting particular faculties “ with the size of particular organs, resembles a person who, to “ discover the mode of operation of the instrument, should 'ex“amine narrowly its structure, and make it sound while he ob« served it.”
A short statement is then given of the general principles of the system, and to this follows an admirably luminous and distinct account of the thirty-four phrenological faculties, according to the arrangement of them in Dr Spurzheim's English work. Although there may be little or nothing in this part of the work that is really new, we recommend it to our readers, even those who are most advanced in the science, as well worthy of an attentive and repeated perusal, and as containing a more full, clear, and satisfactory system of human nature, and a greater number of valuable facts in regard to the primitive faculties of man, than will be found within the same compass in any other book, ancient or modern. We have no hesitation in saying, there is more to be learned from this little work, in the real knowledge of ourselves and our fellow-creatures, than in the works of all the metaphysical writers put together.
Prefixed to the account of each separate faculty, is an account of the situation of the organ in the head, which is highly useful to those who wish to make observations for themselves. The author does not profess to give the evidence by which the functions of the different organs are established, nor to answer objections that have been made to the system of faculties; but, in the course of his observations, he occasionally does both ; and we cannot resist quoting the follow