Phrenological bust by LN FowlerPhrenological bust by LN FowlerThe History of Phrenology on the Web

by John van Wyhe

George Combe's A System of Phrenology, 5th edn, 2 vols. 1853.

Vol. 1: [front matter], Intro, Nervous system, Principles of Phrenology, Anatomy of the brain, Division of the faculties 1.Amativeness 2.Philoprogenitiveness 3.Concentrativeness 4.Adhesiveness 5.Combativeness 6.Destructiveness, Alimentiveness, Love of Life 7.Secretiveness 8.Acquisitiveness 9.Constructiveness 10.Self-Esteem 11.Love of Approbation 12.Cautiousness 13.Benevolence 14.Veneration 15.Firmness 16.Conscientiousness 17.Hope 18.Wonder 19.Ideality 20.Wit or Mirthfulness 21.Imitation.
Vol. 2: [front matter], external senses, 22.Individuality 23.Form 24.Size 25.Weight 26.Colouring 27.Locality 28.Number 29.Order 30.Eventuality 31.Time 32.Tune 33.Language 34.Comparison, General observations on the Perceptive Faculties, 35.Causality, Modes of actions of the faculties, National character & development of brain, On the importance of including development of brain as an element in statistical inquiries, Into the manifestations of the animal, moral, and intellectual faculties of man, Statistics of Insanity, Statistics of Crime, Comparative phrenology, Mesmeric phrenology, Objections to phrenology considered, Materialism, Effects of injuries of the brain, Conclusion, Appendices: No. I, II, III, IV, V, [Index], [Works of Combe].

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THE history of the discovery of this organ has already been given in the Introduction, p. 76.

A large development of it is indicated by the prominence and depression of the eyes ; this appearance being produced by convolutions of the brain, lying on the posterior and transverse part of the upper orbitar plate, pressing the latter, and with it the eyes, more or less forward, downward, or outward, according to the size of the convolutions. When the knowing organs are very large, and the eyebrows project, the eyes may appear less prominent than they really are. The projection of the eyes over the cheek-bone, and their depression downwards, are the proper signs of the organs being large.

The functions of this organ will be understood by a short elucidation. The different faculties being active, produce desires, emotions, and intellectual conceptions. The mind, wishing to communicate a knowledge of these to other individuals, accomplishes this end by making signs expressive of their existence. These signs may consist of the peculiar gestures, looks, and cries, that naturally accompany the action of the several faculties, and which, being part of our constitution, are universally understood. For example, when the mind is deeply impressed by fear, a certain terror-stricken expression is spread over the countenance, indicative of the emotion. When it is wrapt in pride, the head is carried high, and a cold, repulsive, arrogant aspect is presented to the spectator. These signs constitute the elements of natural language, and need only to be presented, to be understood, in all countries, and by all nations.

But mankind possess also the power of inventing and establishing arbitrary signs to express their feelings and conceptions. For example, the words, love, compassion, and anger, are mere conventional signs, by which we in Britain agree to express three internal feelings ; and there is no


natural connexion between the signs and the things signified. The metaphysicians attribute this talent to association ; but it is a peculiar power of association given by the faculty of Language only. Persons possessing much of this faculty, have a great natural power of inventing arbitrary signs, and of learning the use of them when invented by others. As this faculty, however, gives the talent merely for expressing our feelings and ideas, by means of sounds and forms, it is cognizant of signs alone, the meaning of which is acquired by other faculties. If a horse, for instance, be presented to the mind, the faculty of Language will give the desire to find a name or sign by which to indicate it, and also the power of associating the appearance of the object with any particular sound or name when invented. But the meaning or signification which the word will embrace, will depend on the perfection of other faculties, and the extent to which they have been used. For example, the faculty of Form will judge of the form of a horse ; Size, of its dimensions ; Colouring, of its colour. A blind man, by the aid of the faculty of Language, may learn to connect his own notions of a horse with the name ; but his conceptions will be very different from those attached to it by a person who sees ; for the blind man could not judge of its colour at all, and not very correctly of its form and size. In the same way, any individual possessing the organ of Language, may learn the manner in which the word justice is generally used ; but the meaning attached to it, in the mind of a person like David Haggart, who was extremely deficient in the organ of Conscientiousness, will be very imperfect, when compared with the notion which would be connected with it by one in whom that organ was extremely large.

Every metaphysical author complains of the ambiguity of words, and shews how the vagueness of their signification retards the progress of moral and intellectual science :-the exposition now given, shews whence this vagueness arises. Before individuals can attach precisely the same conceptions to words expressive of feelings and judgments of the under-


standing, they must possess a similar combination of faculties ; and as no two individuals do possess an exactly similar combination of faculties, so as to be capable of feeling and judging alike, there will be shades of difference in the meaning attached by different persons to such terms, in spite of every effort to define them. In consequence of this difference in the faculties, the very definition itself is differently apprehended. In mathematics and algebra, the things indicated by the signs are not feelings, which vary in every individual, but relations and proportions of space and numbers, which have a definite and fixed existence, and which, if apprehended at all, can be conceived only in one way. Hence arises the precision of the language of these sciences, compared with that of metaphysics and moral philosophy.

If these principles be correct, they demonstrate the impossibility of framing a philosophical language, applicable, with perfect precision, to moral disquisitions. To apprehend the very definition of the words, we must be able to experience the sentiments which they are intended to indicate ; and many persons are capable of doing so only in a very imperfect degree. In attending to the style of an author, we may observe that he uses those words with most precision and felicity, which express mental feelings or operations naturally vigorous in himself. Mr Stewart, for example, writes correctly and with great beauty in narrative, and on topics connected with moral sentiment ; but his style becomes loose and inaccurate, when he enters on original abstract discussion, requiring the activity of the higher intellectual powers. I infer from this, that in him the knowing and sentimental organs were more amply developed than those of reflection. Moore uses epithets and illustrations expressive of attachment, with great frequency and inimitable beauty ; and we may conclude, that in him, Adhesiveness, which gives that feeling, is very strong. John Bellingham, the murderer of Mr Perceval the prime minister of England, on the other hand, in his voluminous memorials, petitions, and letters, was continually writing about


justice and injustice, and about cruelty and oppression exercised towards him ; but the acts which he specifies as such, are discovered by every well-constituted mind, not to have possessed the characters which he ascribed to them, and his writings on these points are replete with abuses of words. This, I apprehend, arose from the great deficiency of Conscientiousness which is discernible in his head. In professional practice, also, every lawyer meets with individuals who pretend ardently to desire justice, and who speak incessantly about it, but who evidently do not perceive what it is ; the selfish faculties in their case so far predominating over Conscientiousness, that they never attain to correct notions of equity. The same thing happens in regard to religion. Many persons talk about it, and against it, without comprehending the real elements of a true faith. In like manner, most men will acknowledge in words that charity is a duty ; but, on inquiring of different persons what constitutes charity, we shall find their notions of the meaning of the word, and of the duty also, to vary exceedingly, according to the development of Benevolence, in proportion to Acquisitiveness and Self-Esteem in their heads.1

The power of associating, by means of the faculty of

1 These principles enable us to explain, in a simple manner, the source and nature of eloquence. It is a trite observation, that every passion is eloquent ; that is to say, every propensity or sentiment being vividly active excites the faculty of Language to give it utterance ; and when the mental emotion is strongly felt, the words partake of the force, and are distinguished by the precision, which characterise the feeling. Popular eloquence draws largely from the propensities and sentiments, and hence in many distinguished orators we do not observe so large a development of the intellectual organs, as those persons would expect who imagine that oratory is altogether an intellectual product; but in them an ample endowment of the organs of the propensities and sentiments will be discovered. The Phrenological Society possesses masks of Burke and Curran. The former is by much the more distinguished for intellect in his printed remains, and his forehead is the better developed ; but the impression made by Curran on a popular assembly was the greater of the two. On analyzing Curran's orations, however, as formerly remarked (section on Wit), no higher degree of reflecting power will be discovered in them than what is indicated by his mask.


Language, conceptions with signs, is limited in one respect. Any indifferent object may be selected and used as the arbitrary sign of a propensity, sentiment, or conception ; but if the object already stands in a natural relation to any faculty, it cannot, except with great difficulty, be made the arbitrary sign of an opposite emotion. For example, we might, by a mutual understanding, constitute a square figure the artificial sign of the emotion termed rage. After the agreement was understood, that figure would suggest the notion of rage, just as well as the letters now composing that word, which are mere forms placed in a certain order. But, if we were whimsical enough to use the outline of a sweet and smiling countenance, which, likewise, is merely a species of form, as the sign of this emotion, we could not, without great difficulty, learn to associate the idea of rage with this figure, for it is already the natural sign of emotions entirely opposite : it would excite Benevolence directly, more forcibly than Destructiveness indirectly, through the medium of Language ; it would call up ideas of joy fulness and innocence, rather than of anger and cruelty. In the same way, we might associate feelings of veneration, pity, affection, or grief, with soft and slow notes of music, because these notes themselves stand in a natural relation to such emotions ; while it would be difficult to form associations, by which they should become the artificial signs of violent rage, jealousy, and fury.

Philosophers have written voluminous disquisitions on the influence of words on thought ; but if the view now presented be correct, feelings and conceptions must, in every instance, precede the intelligent use of words ; and the invention of a term for which no idea exists, instead of being a step towards the advancement of knowledge, would be a simple absurdity. It is true that the language of any nation is a correct index of its mental attainments ; but this happens, because, in proportion as a people acquire notions, they invent words to express them, and not because they first invent words and then use them as a means of acquiring ideas.


The art of writing greatly facilitates the progress of knowledge ; but it does so only by giving precision to words and permanence to thought. Written words are to emotions and intellectual conceptions, what figures are to numerical quantities, and their relations ; they serve to express, and enable us to record, our past attainments, and thereby to advance, unencumbered, in the path of discovery : in no instance, however, can they profitably precede the acquisition of ideas. The new nomenclature of chemistry smooths the study of that science ; but the nomenclature itself was the result of correct and enlarged ideas of the nature and relations of chemical substances, and could not possibly have been formed before these were obtained.

If these principles be sound, it is a grievous error in education to devote the years of youth chiefly to the study of languages. In all cases, knowledge of objects and their qualities and relations should precede the study of words ; for it is only in consequence of that previous knowledge that words become significant and useful. A good education should embrace the culture of all the faculties ; which can be attained only by exercising each on its own objects, and regulating its action.

Persons who have a great endowment of the organ of Language, abound in words. In ordinary conversation their expressions flow like a copious stream-in making a speech they pour out torrents. When this organ is extremely large, and those of reflection small, the individual is prone to repeat, to the inconceivable annoyance of the hearer, the plainest sentences again and again, as if the matter were of such difficult apprehension, that one enunciation was not sufficient to convey the meaning. This practice appears to originate in an immoderate power and activity of the organ of Language -so great, that delight is felt in mere articulation, independently of reflection. The same combination produces a verbose, cumbersome, and inelegant style of literary composition, Thomson's Seasons are chargeable with a redundancy of words, and, in the portraits and busts of the author, the organ

VOL. II. ö


appears very large. In Dramas of the Ancient World, by David Lindsay, we meet with examples of this kind of writing :-

" My gracious kinsman What good occasion now hath brought thee hither 1

noah.-Nothing of good, for good is flown for ever Away from this stained world ; and spotless truth, And weeping mercy, veiling their bright looks With their spread pinions, have forsaken earth, And sought a refuge at the sacred foot Of the Almighty's throne."

The Deluge, p. 16.

Another example occurs in the following passage, extracted from a periodical publication.

" We hope it will prove interesting to our readers, occasionally to take a popular sketch of the brilliant success attending the meritorious activity of the respectable circle of scientific chemists, whose pursuits, if judiciously exhibited, are fitted to interest every mind endowed with intellectual curiosity."

When the organ is very small, there is a want of command of expression, a painful repetition of the same words, and a consequent poverty of style, both in writing and in speaking. The style of that author is generally most agreeable, in whom the organs of Language and of Reflection bear a just proportion to each other. If the intellectual powers are very acute and rapid, and Language not in equal proportion, a stammer in speech is frequently the consequence. Individuality, Eventuality, Time, Comparison, and Imitation, greatly assist this faculty, when applied to the acquisition of foreign languages and grammar. I have observed that boys who are duces in classes for languages, generally possess such a combination ; and that this endowment, with moderate Language, accomplishes more, in the way of scholarship, than a large development of the latter organ, with a small endowment of the others. Such individuals have a great facility in recollecting rules, as matters of fact and detail, in tracing


etymologies, and in discriminating tenses and shades of meaning : The combination alluded to, gives them great readiness also in using their knowledge, whatever the extent of it may


The doctrine before laid down, that the signification of words is learned by means of other faculties, removes an apparent difficulty, in regard to learning to repeat, which occasionally presents itself. A person with a moderate organ of Language, will sometimes learn songs, poetry, or particular speeches, by heart, with considerable facility and pleasure ; but in such cases, the passages committed to memory will be found highly interesting to his other powers, such as Ideality, Causality, Tune, Veneration, Combativeness, or Adhesiveness ; and the study and recollection of vocables only, will be difficult and disagreeable to him. To a person, on the other hand, in whom the organ is decidedly large, mere words are interesting, and he can learn them without caring much about their meaning. Hence, also, a person with a moderate organ of Language and good reflecting organs, may, by perseverance, learn languages, and attain proficiency as a scholar ; but he will not display copiousness, fluency, and richness of expression in his style, either in his own or in a foreign tongue.

There appears to be a quality of brain, no external indication of which is known, which communicates the character of retentiveness to all the intellectual organs, and which greatly augments their power of remembering the impressions-which they have received. Sir Walter Scott appears to have possessed this quality ; for it is said that he never forgot any thing which he had ever heard, seen, or read.

It is difficult to determine precisely, on what powers the talent for learning the spirit of languages depends. The fact is certain, that some individuals easily learn the spirit of different languages without having a great memory for words ; while others readily acquire words, without catching the spirit of any language. Dr Gall admits two organs of Language ; one he names " Sens des mots, sens des noms, mémoire


des mots, mémoire verbale /' and the other, " Sens du langage de parole ; talent de la philologie :'' to the latter he attributes the talent for philology, and for acquiring the spirit of languages. The former organ he describes as lying on the posterior half of the super-orbitar plate, and, when large, pushing the eyes outwards ; it gives a talent for learning and recollecting words, and persons possessing it large recite long passages by heart, after reading them once or twice. The latter organ, says he, is placed on the middle of the anterior part of the super-orbitar plate, and, when it is large, the eyeball not only projects, but is depressed ; the depression producing the appearance of a bag, or folding, in the lower eyelid. Persons possessing this form of eyes, he adds, have not only an excellent memory of words, but a particular disposition for the study of languages, for criticism, and, in general, for all that has reference to literature.1 Dr Gall states, at the same time, that the determination of the size of the organ of words is attended with much difficulty ; as, from its situation it may extend itself to the sides, as well as forwards,- increasing, in the former case, the general breadth of the head across the temples, or even between the eyes ; so that much remains to be ascertained in regard to it.

Dr Spurzheim, on the other hand, admits only one organ of Language, lying transversely on the posterior portion of the super-orbitar plates;2 and holds that it takes cognizance both of words and of the spirit of languages-that it "makes us acquainted with arbitrary signs, remembers them, judges of their relations, and gives a disposition to indulge in all exercises connected with words.'' " It seems to me," says he, " that the organ of words must have its laws as well as those of Colour, Melody, or any other faculty. Now, the law of words constitutes the spirit of language. I am satis-

1 Sur les Fonctions du Cerveau, tome v. p. 18 and 30.

2 I have seen the skull of Dr Spurzheim, in the possession of the Phrenological Society at Boston, U. S. There is in it a large transverse depression in the posterior portion of each super-orbitar plate, indicating a large organ of Language.' He spoke and wrote several languages successfully.


fied," he continues,. "that this opinion is correct; because the spirit of every language is the same, just as the essence of all kinds of music is alike ; that is, the laws or principles of music and of language rule universally, arid are constant ; they are only modified in different nations, by modifications in their organs, and dissimilar combinations of these in each."1

I am disposed to coincide with Dr Spurzheim in this view ; and perhaps, by analyzing the source whence the structure of language proceeds, we may obtain some light on the origin of a taste for the spirit of languages, as distinguished from the power of learning and recollecting words.

Language, then, expresses merely the feelings and conceptions produced by the various primitive faculties acting separately or in combination. Now, let us imagine the cerebral development of a nation to be distinguished by large organs of the propensities, sentiments, and knowing faculties, small reflecting organs, and little Secretiveness. Their language, being the spontaneous growth of such a combination, would naturally abound in words expressive of simple feelings, and of conceptions of individual objects and their qualities, while it would be poor in terms of abstract relation, conceived by the faculties of reflection. For the same reason, the transitions in such a language would be rapid, like those in Mrs Quickly's speech, and they would follow the order of the occurrences which excited the ideas ; Secretiveness being small, there would naturally be little involution in the arrangement of the words. Suppose, on the other hand, that in another nation Secretiveness and the reflecting organs predominated; the genius of their language would differ widely from that of the people first described. Their expressions for discriminating individual conceptions would be fewer, while their stock of words and phrases designative of abstract relations, would be more extensive, and the general structure of their sentences would be more involved. Suppose again, two individuals, with equal organs of Language,

1 Phrenology, p. 288.


and consequently equal power of learning words, as mere signs, to possess, the one a head like the former, and the other a head like the latter people,-and that they attempted to learn these different languages,-it appears probable, that the one with the first mentioned development would find the genius of the first language the more easy and natural to him ; he would acquire its forms of collocation, and its niceties of designation, with facility and delight, because they would coincide with the modes of feeling and thinking of his own mind. If, on the other hand, his attention were directed to the language of the second people, he would meet with greater difficulties. Although he might master the words, he would not find the idioms natural to him ; the forms of expression depending on the reflecting powers, and likewise the involutions introduced by Secretiveness, would, through defect of tact to apprehend them, appear to him extremely intricate and unintelligible,-he would be obliged to learn them by rule ; and rules alone never produce a really excellent linguist. The second language, on the other hand, would appear natural and easy to the other individual possessing a head like that of the people who invented it.

If these views be correct, the talent for learning the genius or spirit of different languages will depend upon the development of the organ of words, in conjunction with the power of the individual to enter into the feelings, and form the precise kinds of intellectual combinations, of different nations ; or, upon his capacity to enter into the mental state of others-a power conferred chiefly by Secretiveness, Imitation, Individuality, and Eventuality, aided of course by the other primitive faculties. Although this is merely a theory, thrown out for the consideration of the reader ; yet it has been suggested by facts. I know an individual who has an excellent development of many of the organs, but is a very decided character, and possesses little of the talent of entering into, or accommodating himself to the feelings of others ; and he experienced an inconceivable difficulty in acquiring the simplest French idioms. I know another young gentle-


man who was in the same situation in regard to Latin, and who has little versatility. In them, the organ of Language is rather deficient : On the other hand, I have met with several persons in whom the organ was equally deficient, and who possessed the power of learning foreign idioms ; in their case, however, the power of amalgamation with the mental states of others, was decidedly greater, and their organs of Secretiveness, Imitation, Individuality, and Eventuality, were larger.

Although the theory of the talent for philology is involved in considerable obscurity, it is -quite certain that the ready command of words in speech or writing bears a proportion to the development of the organ situated above the super-or-bitar plate, and that a fluent orator or author is never found deficient in it. In some individuals distinguished for a talent for learning languages, I have observed that the eyes were neither prominent nor depressed in any conspicuous degree, but in the middle of the eyebrows, at and above the organ of Colouring, there was an extraordinary fulness and prominence of the head ; as if the convolutions of the brain lying in that situation had been pushed unusually outward and forward. Only by a post mortem examination could it be ascertained whether this appearance was caused by a large development of the organ of Language, extending itself forward, and pushing the organs of Colouring and Time outward, in place of extending itself downward, as it usually does.

Dr JBroussais observes that men with large organs of Language and deficient reflecting organs, pour out torrents of words without ideas. This is never done by persons who are deficient both in the organs of Language and in those of the intellectual faculties. If a person possess large intellectual organs, these will acquire many ideas, and although he should possess only a moderate development of Language, this will suffice to learn expressions sufficient to designate and communicate his ideas. The more his knowledge is increased, the more will his words be multiplied, and such a


person may come at last to possess a very extensive vocabulary without" large organs of Language : But he will never be rich in phraseology. He may have words "for all his ideas, but he will not have a variety of expressions for them. His style may be perspicuous and expressive, but it will never be rich or redundant. JBroussais' Lectures on Phrenology p. 616.

Dr "Vimont treats largely of this faculty, and draws the following conclusions from the facts which he mentions :-

1st, That in man and animals a faculty exists, the function of which is to recall sounds, whether articulated or not articulated;

2dly, That the talent called " sens des Langues, talent du philologue" is not the result of a special faculty, as Gall pretends, nor a mode of judgment of the faculty of verbal memory, as Spurzheim announces ; but arises from the higher intellectual faculties which the faculty of verbal memory may powerfully aid ;

3dly, That projecting eyes, or eyes having a pouch under the lower eye-lid, described as the characteristic of the organ of verbal memory, or Philology, large, are not the constant signs of a considerable development of these two faculties, although they accompany them so often as to merit the attention of Phrenologists- *

Numerous cases are on record of the power of using words being impaired by disease, when the ability to articulate, and the powers of perception and judgment, remained entire. In the Transactions of the Phrenological Society, p. 235, Mr Hood of Kilmarnock has communicated a very interesting instance of this kind which fell under his own notice as medical attendant. The patient, a sober and regular man of 65 years of age, possessed of the ordinary knowledge of written and spoken language, on the evening of 2d September 1822 suddenly began to speak incoherently, and became quite unintelligible to all those who were about him. " It was discovered that he had forgotten the name of every object in 1 Traite de Phrénologie, tome ii. sec. xi.


nature. His recollection of things seemed to be unimpaired, but the names by which men and things are known, were entirely obliterated from his mind, or rather he had lost the faculty by which they are called up at the control of the will. He was by no means inattentive, however, to what was going on ; and he recognised friends and acquaintances perhaps as quickly as on any former occasion ; but their names or even his own or his wife's name, or the names of any of his domestics, appeared to have no place in his recollection.

" On the morning of the 4th September," says Mr Hood, " much against the wishes of his family, he put on his clothes, and went out to the workshop ; and, when I made my visit, he gave me to understand, by a variety of signs, that he was perfectly well in every respect, with the exception of some slight uneasiness referable to the eyes and eyebrows. I prevailed on him, with some difficulty, to submit to the reapplication of leeches, and to allow a blister to be placed over the left temple. He was now so well in bodily health that he would not be confined to the house : and his judgment, in so far as I could form an estimate of it, was unimpaired ; but his memory for words was so much a blank, that the monosyllables of affirmation and negation seemed to be the only two words in the language, the use and signification of which he never entirely forgot. He comprehended distinctly every word which was spoken or addressed to him ; and, though he had ideas adequate to form a full reply, the words by which these ideas are expressed seemed to have been entirely obliterated from his mind. By way of experiment, I would sometimes mention to him the name of a person or thing-his own name, for example, or the name of some one of his domestics,-when he would have repeated it after me distinctly, once or twice ; but, generally, before he could do so a third time, the word was gone from him as completely as if he had never heard it pronounced. When any person read to him from a book, he had no difficulty in perceiving the meaning of the passage, but he could not him-


self then read ; and the reason seemed to be, that he had forgotten the elements of written language, viz. the names of the letters of the alphabet. In the course of a short time, he became very expert in the use of signs ; and his convalescence was marked by his imperceptibly acquiring some general terms, which were with him at first of very extensive and varied application. In the progress of his recovery, time and space came both under the general appellation of time. All future events and objects before him were, as he expressed it, ' next time /' but past events and objects behind him, were designated ' last time.'1 One day being asked his age, he made me to understand that he could not tell ; but, pointing to his wife, uttered the words ' many times ' repeatedly, as much as to say that he had often told her his age. When she said he was sixty, he answered in the affirmative, and inquired what * time ' it was ; but as I did not comprehend his meaning distinctly. I mentioned to him the hour of the day, when he soon convinced me that I had not given him the proper answer. I then named the day of the week, which also was unsatisfactory ; but, upon mentioning the month, and day of the month, he immediately signified that this was what he wanted to know, in order to answer my question respecting his age. Having succeeded in getting the day of the month, he then pointed out the ' time1 or day of the month on which he was born, and thereby gave me to understand that he was sixty years of age. and five days, or ' times j as he expressed it."

In the month of December 1822, his convalescence was so complete, that he could support conversation without much difficulty. The headachs, with which he had been so long affected, recurred occasionally ; but in other respects he enjoyed, generally, tolerably good health. On 10th January 1825, he suddenly became paralytic on the left side. On 17th August he had an attack of apoplexy, and on 21st he expired. In The Phrenological Journal, vol. iii. p. 28, Mr Hood has reported the dissection of his brain. In the left hemisphere, lesion of the parts was found, which terminated


"' at half an. inch from the surface of the brain, where it rests over the middle of the super-orbitar plate." Two small degressions or cysts were found in the substance of the brain, ** and the cavity, considered as a whole, expanded from the anterior part of the brain till it opened into the ventricle in the form of a trumpet. The right hemisphere did not present any remarkable appearance." Another case is reported by Mr Hood, in vol. ii. p. 82.

In vol. x., p. 68, Dr Inglis reports the case of Maria Wilson, aged 33, who was shot by a sheriff-officer ; " the ball entered the cranium at the external orbitar angle of the frontal bone." She continued " to observe and know every one, and understood what was said to her ;" and her tongue was not affected, but she lost the power of using words. The ball was extracted, and she recovered her health, and also the use of words. Dr Inglis reports another case, in which the power of using words was suspended in a boy in concomitance with " violent pain over both eyes, and also of the eye-balls."1' Both the pain and mental impediment were removed by the application of cold cloths " over the eyes and frontal ridge."

In July 1836 I was present at the dissection of the brain of a gentleman who died in his 94th year, and who for several years before his death had laboured under a deficiency in the command of words, similar to that experienced by Mr Hood's patient. His understanding was sound, and he comprehended spoken language when addressed to him ; he could articulate perfectly, but he could not command the proper words to express his ideas. A small cavity was found in the left corpus striatum about an inch back from the organ of Language. There had obviously been effusion of blood into it, which had been absorbed, leaving a cavity of a quarter of an inch in diameter lined with a yellowish membrane. The right hemisphere was entire. The brain presented appearances of general chronic inflammatory action.1

A presbyterian clergyman in Bath used to object to Phre-

I have fully reported this case in The Phrenological Journal, x. 352 See also pp. 565, 632, 710


nology as unsupported by evidence and the authority of great names, when his wife was seized with apoplexy. She recovered, but her power of using words was impaired. Her other faculties remained entire ; she could understand language when addressed to her, and articulate perfectly, but could not use words to express her own ideas. After this event her husband ceased to condemn the science.

Dr Spurzheim mentions having seen, at Inverness, a case closely resembling the, foregoing ; and also one of the same nature at Paris. Dr Gall cites from Pinel the case of a notary, who, after an attack of apoplexy, had forgot his own name, and those of his wife, children, and friends, although his tongue preserved all its mobility. He could no longer read or write, but nevertheless remembered objects which had formerly made an impression on his senses, and which related to his profession. He frequently pointed out with his finger the files which contained documents that could not be found, and indicated, by other signs, that he preserved the former train of ideas entire.1 Dr Gall mentions also the case of a soldier sent to him by Baron Larrey, whom he found to be very nearly in the same condition as the notary mentioned by Pinel. " It was not his tongue," says he, " which was the source of his embarrassment, for he was able to move it with great agility, and to pronounce well a great number of isolated words. It was not his memory either which was in fault, for he shewed evident dissatisfaction with himself upon many subjects which he wished to mention. The only faculty in him which was impaired, was that of speech. This soldier, like the patient of M. Pinel, was rendered incapable of reading or writing."2

M. Bouillaud, an eminent Parisian phrenologist, has made extensive investigations into the pathology of the organ of Language. In an essay which he has published on this subject,3 a number of interesting cases of loss of the power of

1 Pinel, sur l'Aliénation mentale, 2de édition, § 105.

3 Sur les Fonctions du Cerveau, tome v. p. 38.

3 Archives Générales de Médecine, tome viii. pp. 25-45. 1825.


speech are reported, partly from his own observations, and partly from the works of MM. Rostan and Lallemand, two of the most accurate and highly esteemed continental writers on nervous diseases. In two of the patients, the anterior lobe, at the part which corresponds to the orbital arch, was reduced to soft purulent-looking matter. A third was restored to health. Not fewer than sixteen instances follow, in which the recollection of words and their relations, and the ability to use them, were altogether destroyed, although it was evident from the looks and gestures of the patients that their silence resulted from no want of ideas, but solely from incapacity to express them. In these cases the same organic lesion was discovered. M. Bouillaud's essay led him into a successful controversy with M. Scipio Pinel, of which some account will be found in The Phrenological, Journal.l

In another volume of the same Journal,2 Mr John Inglis Nicol, one of the medical attendants of the Northern Infirmary at Inverness, has reported two cases of a similar kind. One of the patients died ; and it was found on dissection, that, " about the centre of the under surface of the anterior lobe, the convolutions, to the extent of half-a-crown, were changed in colour to a reddish brown."

In a case reported by Professor Syme,3 the faculty of Language was impaired, and on dissection, both anterior lobes were found healthy, with the exception of the parts constituting the organs of Form and Language. In this, as in most of the other instances referred to, the patient seemed to understand perfectly whatever was said to him, but had scarcely any recollection of written or printed words. It is difficult to explain why the latter exclusively should have been unintelligible. Perhaps the disease of the organ of Form may have had some share in producing this phenomenon.

Pain over the eyes frequently accompanies derangement or deprivation of the power of speech. This is seen in cer-

1 Vol. viii. p. 256. 2 Vol.iii. p.616.
3 Edin. Med. and Surg. Journ. No. 117 ; and Phren. Journ. ix. 17.


tain diseases, such as plague, yellow fever, and typhus ;1 and has been observed also in cases of cerebral injury.2

Mr Macnish reports the following case. " I know a gentleman," says he, " who, in consequence of excessive overworking of his brain during the composition of a French and English dictionary, lost the memory of words for a considerable time. His knowledge of French, German, and Italian, which was very extensive, disappeared from his mind as if by enchantment, and did not return till the brain had its usual energy restored by quiescence." Mr W. R. Scott of the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in Doncaster, Yorkshire, reports the case of a deaf and dumb pupil in whom the organs of Language were small, while those of Individuality, Weight, and Size, were large, and those of Constructiveness very large. The boy, says he, had been upwards of four years at school, " and the progress he has made in the knowledge of words is extremely limited ;" but he " draws correctly and with ease," " he delights in constructing pieces of mechanism,'' and " is very clever in the use of tools."

In the ninth volume of The Phrenological Journal? a valuable series of papers, On Morbid Manifestations of the Organ of Language, as connected with insanity," has been published by Dr Browne, physician to the Crichton Royal Institution for Lunatics, Dumfries. He describes successively, and illustrates by numerous cases, the various kinds of symptoms by which the derangement shews itself :- 1. Rapidity of voluntary utterance ; 2. Involuntary utterance ; 3. Rapidity of involuntary utterance ; 4. Total loss of verbal memory ; 5. Partial loss of memory of all words indiscriminately ; 6. Partial loss of memory of certain classes of words, such as names, or substantives generally ; 7. Impaired perception of the relation of words to the things signified ;

1 Phren, Journ. vol. viii, p. 422.

3 Ibid. vol. viii. p. 189 ; ix. 119, 516 ; x. 86, 118, 483, 566 ; xi. p. 155, 291 ; xiii. p. 344 ; xiv. 55, 133, 159 ; xv. 132, 241, 323.

3 Pages 250, 308, 414.


8. Impaired perception of the relation of words to each, other ; ands 9. Total loss of perception of these relations. It appears from several cases reported by Dr Browne, that the activity of the organ sometimes rises to so high a pitch of exaltation in lunatics, that the utmost difficulty is experienced in preserving silence, and occasionally words now with astonishing volubility, in direct opposition to the will of the , speaker.l Many lunatics indulge in the vociferation of most violent and disgusting language ; Dr Browne considers it pretty certain, both from his own observation and that of others, that, in a great majority of such cases, the ejaculations are involuntary, and result from a special excitement of the organ of Language, by which certain words are called up without the assent of the patient, and sometimes even contrary to his inclination. It is important that the possibility of derangement confined to this single faculty should be generally known ; for, as Dr Browne remarks, " little doubt can be entertained, that, in many such cases, great and irreparable injury and injustice may be committed by restraining or confining individuals as lunatics, who are merely monomaniacs in the power of Language. The effects of joy, fear, affection, and love of approbation, in suspending or limiting the exercise of language, are known and have been felt by all ; and it may readily be conceived, that in a disposition highly susceptible of such impressions, the slightest deviation from health in the organ of Language will become doubly perceptible, and may lead to misconstruction and consequences of the most melancholy kind."2 Dr Browne has more recently published in the Journal,3 an instructive account of that species of insanity of which the symptom is speech in unknown tongues, and which is not uncommon among the fanatics of Britain.

Professor William Gregory mentions, that he has repeatedly observed the faculty of Language to be affected by the use of morphia. "If I take," says he, "from twenty to

1 Pages 311-13. 2 Page 422. 3 Vol. ix. p. 593.


thirty drops of the solution of muriate of morphia, it produces, in the course of an hour, a very agreeable state of calm ; and, for some hours after, the organ of Language is so strongly stimulated, that I find it difficult to stop when I begin to speak ; and I have repeated this experiment, which is attended with no inconvenience, so often, that I am quite confident of the result."l Having, on other occasions, taken a considerably larger quantity of the solution, he found it to produce a marked derangement of the faculty of Language, amounting to a dissociation of words from the things signified, and, in the most severe instance, accompanied by violent headach in the situation of the organ. Dr Gregory considers it probable, that morphia acts exclusively upon the anterior lobe, more particularly the organ of Language ; and that an over-dose causes entire derangement of that faculty. These conclusions, he adds, will have to be confirmed, or otherwise, by the observations of intelligent practitioners. He justly remarks, that if medical men, acquainted with Phrenology, were to direct their attention to the specific action of different remedies on the minds of their patients, a new and interesting field of inquiry would be laid open, and much light would probably be thrown on many obscure points in mental philosophy. In the Phren. Journ., vol. xv. p. 38, Dr Otto states that tobacco excites the organ of Language, ' and also the organs of the intellectual faculties ; and that beer " depresses the intellectual faculties, in particular the organ of Language."

Some individuals, in whom Language is large, state as an objection, that they have a bad memory of names ; but they will be found in general to have a deficient memory of the objects which the names indicate ; for example, if they cannot recollect names of persons, they will have deficient Form and Individuality ; and if they cannot recollect names of tunes, they will be deficient in Tune. The defect lies in the faculty which apprehends and recollects the primitive

1 Phrenological Journal, vol. viii. p. 163.



idea, for which Language recollects the name ; and it is quite conceivable, that, although Language may be powerful, yet it may not furnish names, as mere words, when the thing signified is not present in the mind.l

In the Phrenological Journal, vol. xv. p. 137, Mr Hytche remarks, that, " amongst the many distinguished men who have been wholly or partially devoid of any taste for music, may be mentioned, Johnson, Burke, Windham, Fox, Mackintosh, and Charles Lamb ; and that, nevertheless, the speeches of Burke, Windham, and Fox, were delivered with graceful intonation of voice, and the writings of Johnson, Mackintosh, and Lamb, were well modulated." He mentions also similar cases known to himself. Mr Hytche considers that the organ of Tune, which he names " Tone," " is not merely a music-judging or tune-learning organ ; but that its province is to appreciate sounds," and he is disposed to ascribe the perception of rhythm to it ; but he does not appear to me to account in a satisfactory manner for the cases cited by himself, in which the power of rhythm was strong in conjunction with deficiency of musical perception. I may be allowed to mention that, in my own head, the organ of Tune is small ; that I am able to perceive melody, and to enjoy it, while the instrument is sounding, but have no memory of it, being incapable of recalling in my own mind, or reproducing the simplest musical note. My organ of Time is better developed, and I am more alive to the quality of time in music. When a boy, I could scan with facility every va-

1 See remarks by Dr A. Combe on the talent for recollecting names, Phrenological Journal, vol. iii. p. 120.-In vol. v. p. 431, is recorded a case where memory of names was impaired by a severe blow on the left eyebrow, while the memory of other classes of words does not seem to have been injured ; another case of loss of memory of names only, is noticed in vol. viii. p. 415.-Mr Hewett Watson has published, in vol. vu. p. 214, some observations on memory of names.-Dr W. A. F. Browne states it as the result of his experience, that, in cases of partial loss of language, the words remembered appear to be substantives when Individuality is vigorous, abstract terms when Causality is powerful, and adjectives when the lateral knowing organs are large and unimpaired ; vol. viii. p. 423. VOL. II.


riety of Latin verses, and give the rules, which many of my schoolfellows who greatly excelled me in other exercises, could never learn to do. I have not been able to determine satisfactorily on what organs this talent depends.

The lower animals appear to be endowed with the organ of language in some degree ; for they learn the meaning of arbitrary signs in so far as they possess the feelings and conceptions which these express. Dr Vimont agrees with George Le Roy in the opinion, that the lower animals possess the faculty of Language, and use it in their communications with each other. " If a mother," says Le Roy, " alarmed for her offspring, had only one cry to announce every danger, we should see the young, on hearing this cry, execute always the same movements. But, on the contrary, their actions vary with the circumstances; sometimes the command is to fly precipitately ; sometimes to conceal themselves ; sometimes to offer battle. Since, in consequence of the order issued by the mother, the actions are different, it follows that the language must have been different.3' In Dr Broussais' lectures, pp. 618, 619, there is an excellent dissertation on the language of animals. In general, says he, they have one accent for expressing terror, another for calling assistance, one for expressing despair, one he believes for exciting compassion, one for expressing joy, one for calling to partake of prey, one or several to invite to love, and perhaps others"; but these modulations are inspired by instincts which act on their organs of voice, and which call into play the same instincts in those individuals of the same species who hear them, and in man also, on account of the relation between their organization and ours. There is no evidence, says he, that they are conventional terms, applicable to particular objects. This would imply the necessity of an apprenticeship.

The organ is large in the companion of Gall, Sir J. E. Smith, Humboldt, Pope, Voltaire, and Rammohun Roy and small in the mask of Fraser.-Established.

Vol. 1: [front matter], Intro, Nervous system, Principles of Phrenology, Anatomy of the brain, Division of the faculties 1.Amativeness 2.Philoprogenitiveness 3.Concentrativeness 4.Adhesiveness 5.Combativeness 6.Destructiveness, Alimentiveness, Love of Life 7.Secretiveness 8.Acquisitiveness 9.Constructiveness 10.Self-Esteem 11.Love of Approbation 12.Cautiousness 13.Benevolence 14.Veneration 15.Firmness 16.Conscientiousness 17.Hope 18.Wonder 19.Ideality 20.Wit or Mirthfulness 21.Imitation.
Vol. 2: [front matter], external senses, 22.Individuality 23.Form 24.Size 25.Weight 26.Colouring 27.Locality 28.Number 29.Order 30.Eventuality 31.Time 32.Tune 33.Language 34.Comparison, General observations on the Perceptive Faculties, 35.Causality, Modes of actions of the faculties, National character & development of brain, On the importance of including development of brain as an element in statistical inquiries, Into the manifestations of the animal, moral, and intellectual faculties of man, Statistics of Insanity, Statistics of Crime, Comparative phrenology, Mesmeric phrenology, Objections to phrenology considered, Materialism, Effects of injuries of the brain, Conclusion, Appendices: No. I, II, III, IV, V, [Index], [Works of Combe].

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