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].

38. --WONDER.

THIS organ is situated immediately above Ideality, in the lateral parts of the anterior region of the vertex. Dr Gall observed, that some individuals imagine themselves to be visited by apparitions of persons dead or absent ; and he asks, How does it happen, that men of considerable intellect often believe in the reality of ghosts and visions ? Are they fools, or impostors ? or is there a particular organization, which imposes, in this form, on the human understanding ? and how are such illusions to be explained I He then enters into a historical sketch of the most remarkable instances of visions. Socrates spoke frequently and willingly to his disciples of a demon or spirit, which served him as a guide. Dr Gall remarks, that he is quite aware of the common explanation, that Socrates referred only to the force and justness of his own understanding ; but adds, that if he had not himself believed in a genius communicating with him, the opinion that he had one would have been lost in the twenty-three years during which Aristophanes made it a subject of ridicule, and his accusers would not have revived it as a charge against him. Joan of Arc also related an appearance of St Michael to her, who told her that God had pity on France, and that she was commis-



sioned to raise the siege of Orleans, and to install Charles VII. as king, at Rheims. Tasso asserted himself to have been cured by the aid of the Virgin Mary and St Scholastic, who appeared to him during a violent attack of fever. In the historical notes which accompany the Life of Tasso, the following anecdote appears, extracted from the Memoirs of Manso, Marquis of Villa, published after the death of Tasso, his friend. Tasso, in his delirium, believed that he conversed with familiar spirits. One day when the Marquis endeavoured to drive these ideas from his mind, Tasso said to him, " Since I cannot convince you by reason, I shall do so by experience ; I shall cause the spirit, in which you refuse to believe, to appear before your own eyes." " I accepted the offer," says the Marquis, " and next day, when we sat by the fire conversing, he turned his eyes towards the window, and looking with stedfast attention, appeared so completely absorbed, that when I called to him he did not answer. ' See !' said he at length, ' See ! my familiar spirit comes to converse with me.' I looked with the greatest earnestness, but could see nothing enter the apartment. In the mean time, Tasso began to converse with this mysterious being. I saw and heard himself alone. Sometimes he questioned, and sometimes answered ; and from his answers I gathered the sense of what he had heard. The subject of his discourse was so elevated, and the expressions so sublime, that I felt myself in a kind of ecstasy. I did not venture to interrupt him, or to trouble him with questions, and a considerable time elapsed before the spirit disappeared. I was informed of its departure by Tasso, who, turning towards me, said, ' In future you will cease to doubt.' ' Rather,' said I, ' I shall be more sceptical ; for although I have heard astonishing words, I have seen nothing.' Smiling, he replied, ' You have perhaps heard and seen more than-' He stopped short ; and fearing to importune him by my questions, I dropped the conversation."1 Dr Gall quotes this dialogue from " La


1 Sur les Fonctions du Cerveau, tome v. p. 341.


Vie du Tasse, publiée à Londres en 1810;" and I have translated from his French version.1 Swedenborg believed himself miraculously called to reveal to the world the most hidden mysteries. " In 1743," says he, " it pleased the Lord to manifest himself to me, and appear personally before me, to give me a knowledge of the spiritual world, and to place me in communication with angels and spirits, and this power has been continued with me till the present day." Swedenborg, say his biographers, was a man of unquestionable sincerity, but one of the most extravagant enthusiasts that ever existed.2 Dr Gall remarked, in the first fanatic who fell under his observation, a large development of the part of the brain lying between the organs of Ideality and Imitation, and subsequently met with many similar instances. Dr Jung Stilling, whom he often saw with the late Grand Duke of Baden, was a tailor in his youth, then a tutor, afterwards doctor in medicine, moralist, divine, journalist, illuminatus, and visionary ; and in him this part of the brain was largely developed. He believed firmly in apparitions, and wrote a book in exposition of this doctrine. In the Maison de Detention at Berne, Dr Gall saw a fanatic, who believed that Jesus Christ, surrounded by a brilliant light, as if a million of suns had combined their splendours, had appeared to him to reveal the true religion. A gentleman who moved in the best society in Paris, asked Dr Gall to examine his head. The Doctor's first remark was, " You sometimes see visions, and believe in apparitions." The gentleman started from his chair in astonishment, and said that he had frequent visions ; but that never, up to this moment, had he spoken on the subject to any human being, through fear of being set down as absurdly credulous. On another occasion, Dr Gall, when he observed the development of the head of a Dr W., told him, that he ought to have a strong liking for the mar-

1 For the original, see Rev. Mr Black's Life of Tasso, vol. ii, p. 240. * Gall, tome v. p. 342.


vellous and supernatural. " For once,'1 replied he, " you are completely mistaken, for I have laid down the rule to believe in nothing which cannot be mathematically demonstrated.5' After talking with him on various scientific subjects, Dr Gall turned the conversation towards animal magnetism, which appeared a fit topic to put the mathematical rigour of his proofs to the test. He instantly became greatly animated ; assured Dr Gall again very solemnly, that he admitted nothing as true that was not mathematically demonstrated ; but added, he was convinced that a spiritual being acted in magnetism,-that it operated at great distances,-that no distance indeed presented an obstacle to its action,-and that, on this account, it could sympathize with persons in any part of the world. "It is the same cause," continued he, which produces apparitions. Apparitions and visions are rare, no doubt, but they undoubtedly exist, and I am acquainted with the laws which regulate their production." " On this occasion," says Dr Gall, " I thought within myself that my inference from his development was not so very erroneous as the worthy doctor wished me to believe.'1

A man named Halleran, at Vienna, imagined himself continually accompanied by a familiar spirit ; he saw the spirit, and conversed with it. When he reached his sixtieth year, his genius appeared as if he wished to leave him; and only on certain days in the month was he favoured with his presence. At Gersbach, near Durlach, in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Dr Gall knew a curate who was confined because he conceived himself to have a familiar spirit. At Mannheim there was a man who saw himself continually attended by several spirits ; sometimes they marched at his side in visible forms ; at other times they attended him under ground. In these persons Dr Gall found the part of the brain in question largely developed. He states as questions for consideration, " Does this convolution form part of the organ of Imitation ? and does its extreme development exalt the talent for mimicry to such a degree, as to personify sim-


pie ideas, and to give them, thus metamorphosed, a locality out of the individual ? Or does it constitute parts both of Ideality and Imitation ? Or, finally, does it constitute a separate organ ? These points can be determined only by farther researches."1

Sir Walter Scott observes, that " no man ever succeeded in imposing himself on the public as a supernatural personage, who was not to a certain degree the dupe of his own imposture."2

Dr Gall mentions, that the organ appears large in the busts of Socrates, Joan of Are, Cromwell, Swedenborg, and other individuals by whom the tendency before described has been manifested. In the portrait of Tasso, it and Ideality (18 and 19) appear largely developed.


The views of Dr Spurzheim on this faculty are thus ex-

1 Sur les Fonctions du Cerveau, tome v. p. 346.

2 Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, vol, iv., p, 88.


pressed in Ms Phrenology-, p. 206 :-" There is still a sentiment which exerts a very great influence over religious conceptions, and which, in my opinion, contributes more than Veneration to religious faith. Some find all things natural, and regulated by the laws of creation ; many others are amused with fictions, tales of wonders, and miraculous occurrences. They find in every passing event extraordinary and wonderful circumstances, and are constantly searching after whatever can excite admiration and astonishment. This sentiment is to be observed among mankind at large, both among savages and civilized nations. In every age, and under every sky, man has been guided and led by his credulity and superstition. The founders of all nations have had a fabulous origin ascribed to them, and in all countries miraculous traditions and marvellous stories occur in ample abundance. There are many disposed to believe in dreams, sorcery, magic, astrology, in the mystic influence of spirits and angels, in the power of the devil, in second sight, and in miracles and incomprehensible representations of all sorts. Some, also, are disposed to have visions, and to see ghosts, demons, and phantoms. This sentiment gains credence to the true and also to the false prophet, aids superstition, but is also essential to faith and refined religion. It is more or less active, not only in different individuals, but also in whole nations. Its functions are often disordered, constituting one species of insanity.

" The legislators of antiquity, aware of the great influence of this faculty, made frequent use of it to enforce and to confirm their laws. They spoke in the name of God, of angels, or of supernatural powers. In our own days, the religious sects of Swedenborgians, Methodists, Quakers, and many others, particularly demonstrate its influence and presence. In dramatic representations, the introduction of ghosts, angels, transformations, and supernatural events, proclaims its activity both in the author and in the public, by whom such exhibitions are relished and sought after.

6' The existence of this feeling is certain. Its organ is


situated anterior to Hope, and a great development of the convolutions on which, it depends enlarges and elevates the superior and lateral parts of the frontal bone. It is remarkably prominent in the heads of Socrates, of Torquato Tasso, Dr Price, Jung Stilling, Wesley, &c. My observations on it are extremely numerous, and I consider it as established.1'

My own observations on this organ are the following.-I have met with persons excessively fond of news, which, if extravagant, were the more acceptable ; prone to the expression of surprise and astonishment in ordinary discourse ; deeply affected by tales of wonder ; delighting in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, and the mysterious incidents abounding in the Waverley Novels ; and in them I have uniformly found the part of the brain in question largely developed. When the organ predominates, there is a peculiar look of wonder, and an unconscious turning up of the exterior portions of the eye-lashes, expressive of surprise. In other persons, I have found the part of the brain in question small, and in them it was accompanied with a staid soberness of feeling, diametrically opposite to the manifestations above described. Such individuals were annoyed by every thing new or strange ; they scarcely felt or expressed surprise, and had no taste for narratives leaving the beaten track of probability or reality, and soaring into the regions of supernatural fiction. On analyzing these manifestations, they all appear to be referrible to the sentiment of Wonder, an emotion which is quite distinguishable from those hitherto enumerated.

It appears to me that the love of the new is the primitive function of this faculty, and that surprise and wonder are the pleasurable emotions which attend its activity, when excited by the presence of unknown objects. The whole of this sublunary creation is one vast scene of destruction and renovation. Destructiveness places man in harmony with the first series of these changes, and the faculty now under


consideration with the second. Mr Bryant has well expressed this idea in " The Forest Hymn :''

" My heart is awed within me, when I think Of the great miracle that still goes on In silence round me-the perpetual work Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed For ever. Written on thy works I read The lesson of thy own eternity. Lo ! all grow old and die-but see again, How on the faltering footsteps of decay Youth presses-ever gay and beautiful youth, In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees Wave not less proudly that their ancestors Moulder beneath them, '!1

Philosophers have long been puzzled to account for the circumstance, that a particular form of furniture or dress is pleasing, and is regarded as even beautiful, when first introduced, but that it appears ridiculous and antiquated after it has been superseded by a newer fashion. Probably one cause of this feeling may be found in the faculty now under consideration ; and the agreeable impressions made on it by new objects, may be one source of the gratification which a change of fashion affords. Love of Approbation unquestionably prompts multitudes to follow the fashion, without much relish for novelty itself ; but some individuals must take the lead, and there must be some principle in the mind to be gratified by mere change, which excites them to do so ; and Wonder may contribute to this effect. Indeed, as every faculty has a useful and legitimate sphere of action, I am disposed to infer, that the legitimate tendency of this sentiment is to inspire the mind with a longing after novelty

1 In travelling through the untouched forests in America, I was struck with the similarity of their state to that of human society. The number of very large old trees is small, that of trees of middle age and size is great, and that of saplings and infant shoots very considerable. To the eye the forest presents always the same aspect, yet the individual trees are constantly perishing, and their places are supplied by the germination of the seeds which are shed by those in full vigour.


in every thing, and that its proper effect is to stimulate to invention and improvement. Fashion is not a real element of beauty in external objects ; and to persons who possess a good endowment of Form and Ideality, intrinsic elegance is much more pleasing and permanently agreeable, than forms of less merit, recommended merely by being new. Hence there is a beauty which never palls, and there are objects over which fashion exercises no control. A Chinese teapot may be rendered agreeable by being fashionable, but will look ugly when the mode changes ; while a vase of exquisite form will please in all countries and in all ages. The teapot I conceive to owe its attraction to the impression which its novelty makes on the faculty of Wonder : but when this has ceased, it is judged of by its proper qualities, and disliked on account of its inherent inelegant proportions ; while the vase, by gratifying the faculties which take cognizance of intrinsic beauty, is always an agreeable object. This view is strengthened by the fact, that the greatest votaries of fashion have frequently execrably bad taste ; a circumstance perfectly accordant with the supposition, that the mere love of novelty is the chief element in this disposition of mind.1

The French in general possess a considerable development of the organs of Ideality, Wonder, and Love of Approbation ; and they have long been celebrated as leaders of fashion. Their ordinary discourse, also, is replete with terms of admiration and approbation, which to Englishmen appear excessive. Every object is superbe, magnifique ; and the terms bon, beau, excellent, express such faint praise as almost to imply disapprobation.

Sir John Ross, R.N., mentioned to me that young men, born and bred up in inland situations, who enter the Navy voluntarily, generally possess a large development of this

1 Concentrativeness has been supposed to act as the antagonist of Wonder, in giving the love of sameness of object and pursuit. See Phren. Journ. ix. 619.


organ, the gratification of which, he inferred, incites them to choose the sea as a profession.

According to this view, Wonder may aid genius by prompting to novelty in all the conceptions of the mind.1 Kepler, Napier, Newton, and Davy, all of whom were fond of diving into abstruse and unexplored regions of science, were inclined to superstition. Dr Samuel Johnson is strongly suspected of having believed in ghosts, a trait which indicates an excessive endowment of this faculty ;2 and his style is full of new words and unusual forms of expression, to which he was probably led by the same feeling. Dr Chalmers also shews a strong tendency to coin new vocables, and occasionally to give strange turns to his discourse ; which seem to originate from Wonder acting with Comparison, as his brilliancy and elevation spring chiefly from Ideality. Mr Tennant, the author of Anster Fair, and Mr Hazlitt, shew some degree of the same disposition in their writings ; and I have observed the organ full in the heads of both. The faculty prompts, as Dr Spurzheim remarks, to the use of machinery in poetry, and to the introduction of supernatural agency. In the portraits of Shakspeare and the busts of Sir Walter Scott, it is large ; moderate in the head of Rammohun Roy. The feeling was strong in Robert Burns, and the cast of his skull indicates a large development of the organ.3

The following lines of the poet Akenside, finely delineate the manifestations of the sentiment of Wonder :

" Witness the sprightly joy, when aught unknown Strikes the quick sense, and wakes each active power To brisker measures. Witness the neglect

1 Professor Broussais remarks, that, " in determined and exclusive homoopathists, and in animal magnetisers who occupy themselves with nothing but magnetism, Phrenologists have observed a large development of the organ of Wonder. In stating this," says he, " I am only the historian of facts."-Cours de Phrenologie, p. 399.

3 Respecting the sources of credulity, see Phren. Journ., ix. 642.

3 See Phren. Journ., ix. 69, note.


Of all familiar prospects, though beheld
With transports once ; the fond attentive gaze
Of young astonishment ; the sober zeal
Of age, commenting on prodigious things.
For such the bounteous providence of Heaven,
In every breast implanting this desire
Of objects new and strange, to urge us on
With unremitted labour to pursue
Those sacred stores, that wait the ripening soul
In Truth's exhaustless bosom. What need words
To paint its power 1 For this the daring youth
Breaks from his weeping mother's anxious arms,
In foreign climes to rove ; the pensive sage,
Heedless of sleep, or midnight's harmful damp,
Hangs o'er the sickly taper ; and, untired,
The virgin follows, with enchanted step,
The mazes of some wild and wondrous tale
From morn to eve. Hence, finally, by night,
The village matron, round the blazing hearth,
Suspends the infant audience with her tales,
Breathing astonishment ! of witching rhymes,
And evil spirits ; of the death-bed call
Of him who robbed the widow, and devoured
The orphan's portion ; of unquiet souls
Risen from the grave to ease the heavy guilt
Of deeds in life concealed ; of shapes that walk
At dead of night, and clank their chains, and wave
The torch of hell around the murderer's bed.
At every solemn pause the crowd recoil,
Gazing each other speechless, and congealed
With shivering sighs ; till, eager for the event,
Around the beldame all erect they hang,
Each trembling heart with grateful terrors quelled."1

Dr Spurzheim concludes his account of this faculty with the following remarks. "The preceding facts," says he, " determined me formerly to designate this feeling by the name of Supernaturality ; and it is certain that it is principally manifested by a belief in miraculous and supernatural circumstances in the foundation of religion by supernatural means, and in its dogmatical points. As, however, the feel-

1 Pleasure of Imagination, B. I. v. 232-270.


ing may be applied both to natural and supernatural events, and in every case fills the mind with amazement and surprise, I do not hesitate to change the name of Supernaturality into that of Marvellousness. This name I prefer to that of Wonder, adopted by Mr Combe, because, according to Dr Johnson's Dictionary, wonder is applicable only to surprise excited by natural objects, whilst marvellousness embraces both kinds of astonishment caused by natural and supernatural circumstances."

When Dr Spurzheim observes, in the foregoing passage, that this faculty is " principally manifested by a belief in miraculous and supernatural circumstances," I do not understand him to mean that this belief is its legitimate function. The period when Divine Power manifested itself by extraordinary means was limited, and is long since past ; and philosophy cannot acknowledge any object or event that occurs in the present day as miraculous or supernatural : a special faculty, therefore, for belief in such objects appears inadmissible. The fact, however, mentioned by Dr Spurzheim, that persons in whom this organ is large have a natural disposition to believe in the wonderful and miraculous is certain. Some individuals, so endowed, have informed me, that when any marvellous circumstance is communicated to them, the tendency of their minds is to believe it without examination ; and that an effort of philosophy is necessary to resist the belief, instead of evidence being requisite to produce it. This disposition appears to me to arise from too great energy in this faculty, not directed by reflection ; but it is not inconsistent with the idea, that the primitive sentiment is that of "Wonder. Every propensity and sentiment desires objects suited to afford it gratification : Acquisitiveness longs for wealth, Love of Approbation for praise ; and, in like manner, Wonder will ardently desire the marvellous. Individuals, therefore, in whom the organ is large, will delight in extraordinary narratives, and the pleasure felt in them will render the intellect little prone


to enter on a severe scrutiny of their truth : hence the tendency to believe in such communications is easily accounted for. Still, however, this longing for the marvellous appears to be an abuse of the sentiment. Philosophy does not recognise the " supernatural," while it admits wonder at new and extraordinary circumstances as a legitimate state of mind. With the greatest deference to Dr Spurzheim, therefore, I continue to regard Wonder as the more correct name ; and in this, analysis I am supported by the authority of the metaphysicians.

Wonder and Veneration acting together produce adoration ; Wonder and Ideality give rise to admiration.

The organ, in a state of exaltation, is the great source of fanaticism in religion. When largely developed, it is liable to energetic activity, from its mere size ; and the impressions which it then excites are mistaken by persons ignorant of its nature for direct communications from heaven, and reason is contemned. It is then also liable to be vividly called into action by external communications of a marvellous and fanatical character ; and hence the wildest dogmatist pretending to superior illumination, finds no difficulty in drawing after him a crowd of devoted admirers. I examined the head of the late Reverend Edward Irvine, before he was established as a preacher, and when his peculiarities were unknown ; and observed that the organs of Wonder and Self-Esteem were very large. They gave a tinge to his whole public life. The organs of Benevolence, Conscientiousness, Veneration, and Intellect, were also amply developed, so that he possessed the natural elements of the Christian character in great strength, but their direction was rendered unprofitable by the predominance of Wonder and Self-Esteem.


The organ of Wonder is large in the skulls of the ancient Greeks, and small in the Esquimaux. ancient greek. The sentiment is much weaker among the latter than in savages generally.1 When the organ is small, the skull slopes rapidly on each side, but when large, the vertex is broad, as seen in the annexed cut.

Dr Adam Smith, in his History of Astronomy? calls Wonder a sentiment, and attempts to distinguish it from surprise. " We wonder," he says, " at all extreme and uncommon objects ; at all the rarer phenomena of nature ; at meteors, comets, eclipses ; at singular plants and animals ; and at every thing, in short, with which we have before been either little or not at all acquainted ; and we still wonder, though forewarned of what we are to see." " We are surprised" he continues, " at those things which we have seen often, but which we least of all expected to meet with in the place where we find them ; we are surprised at the sudden appearance of a friend, whom we have seen a thousand times, but whom we did not imagine we were to see then."

Lord Kames observes, that " of all the circumstances that raise emotions, not excepting beauty nor even greatness, novelty hath the most powerful influence. A new object produceth instantaneously an emotion termed wonder, which totally occupies the mind, and for a time excludes all other objects. Conversation among the vulgar never is more interesting than when it turns upon strange objects and extraordinary events. Men tear themselves from their native country in search of things rare and new ; and novelty converts into a pleasure the fatigues and even perils of travelling. To what cause shall we ascribe these singular appearances ? To curiosity undoubtedly, a principle implanted in human nature for a purpose extremely beneficial, that of acquiring knowledge ; and the emotion of wonder, raised by

1 See Phrenological Journal, viii. 433. 2 Page 2.


new and strange objects, inflames our curiosity to know more of them."1

Dr Thomas Brown2 also admits Wonder as a primitive emotion, and contends with success, that surprise and wonder are intrinsically the same feeling, only excited by different objects or occurrences. We wonder at the comet from its novelty ; we are surprised to meet a friend in Edinburgh, whom we believed to be in London : but it is the novel and unexpected situation in which we meet him, that causes the surprise, and not his appearance itself.

Dr Brown3 somewhat strangely observes, that " it seems most probable that the feeling of wonder, which now attends any striking event that is unexpected by us, would not arise in the infant mind, on the occurrence of events, all of which might be regarded as equally new to it ; since wonder implies, not the mere feeling of novelty, but the knowledge of some other circumstances which were expected to occur, and is, therefore, I conceive, inconsistent with absolute ignorance" The facts which we daily observe prove the very opposite of this doctrine. The organ of Wonder existing, every new object excites it, and calls forth the emotion ; and hence, the greater the ignorance, the more frequent and more intense is the astonishment, for then almost every occurrence is novel.

Dr Brown4 observes more justly, that " we may be struck at the same time with the beauty or grandeur of a new object, and our mixed emotion of the novelty and beauty combined, will obtain the name of admiration,,''

Mr Stewart and Dr Reid do not treat of this emotion. Their writings (especially those of Dr Reid) indicate very little of the quality existing in their own minds, and this probably was the cause of their omitting to enrol it among the primitive mental emotions.

The subject of visions is still attended with considerable

1 Elements of Criticism, vol. i. p. 211. s Vol. Hi. p. 59
3 Vol. in. p. 55. 4 vol. iii. p. 57.



difficulty. I have met with cases similar to those recorded by Drs Gall and Spurzheim. In the London Bedlam, I examined the head of a patient whose insanity consisted in seeing phantoms, and being led to act as if they were realities, although, as he himself stated, he was convinced by his understanding, at the very time, that they were mere illusions ; but could not regulate his conduct by this conviction. In him the organ of Form was well developed, and that of Wonder was decidedly large. When asked whether he experienced any sensation in the head when afflicted with visions, he pointed to the spot on each side where the organ of Wonder is situated, and said that he felt an uneasy sensation there.

In the Richmond Lunatic Asylum at Dublin, I saw several patients in whom this organ predominated, and whose insanity consisted in believing themselves to be supernatural beings, or inspired.1 In the Lunatic Asylum at Newcastle, I saw a Miss H., in whom this organ was exceedingly large in the left hemisphere, and her insanity consisted in believing herself under the influence of spiritual beings.2

An interesting case of derangement of the organ of Wonder is reported in The Phrenological Journal, vol. v. p. 585. The patient, Dr Anderson of Cupar-Fife, devoted much attention to the study of animal magnetism, and at length imagined himself under its influence-an opinion which gradually acquired an ascendency over him, till it became so strong as to haunt him continually. His nights became disturbed, and when he did sleep he was tormented by oppressive dreams and other strange phantasms. His notion of animal magnetism was, that certain individuals who had an antipathy to him, could wield over him. at will an influence of so malignant a nature as to deprive him of every kind of enjoyment. " He invested these invisibles, as he called them, with vast power. No place was proof against

1 See Phrenological Journal, vol. vi. p 84.

2 See a paper on Demonology and Witchcraft, by Mr Simpson, Phren. Journ. vi. 504 ; Dr W. A. F. Browne's Observations on Fanaticism, vol. ix. pp. 289, 522, 577 ; x. 45 ; and case mentioned in vol. v. p. 84.


their malignancy, nor could distance restrain it. He went to Paris in the year 1822, with the view of escaping from it, but he found its influence there as great as at home. He frequently during the night could hear his enemies planning schemes for his annoyance. In his imagination they had recourse to every kind of torment which the most wicked and inquisitorial minds could invent, and were inexorable and persevering in their attacks... .Several times he made application to the local authorities to control their malignity, and even took bond from some of his acquaintances that they should cease to disturb him. On all other subjects saving animal magnetism his judgment was sound ; and indeed in reasoning he evinced much acuteness ; a stranger, in short, when the peculiar subject was not agitated, could not detect any thing unusual about him." On opening the head after death, the skull-cap was found very thick and hard, affording evidence of long-continued disease ; and over the organ of Wonder was " an inflammatory deposit, apparently of old standing, under the arachnoid coat, with thickening of the membrane itself, and adhesion to the parts beneath for about the space of an inch and a-half in length, and one in breadth." Dr Scott, who reports the case, does not specify the organ of Wonder as the exact seat of the affection ; because, from not being acquainted with Phrenology, he did not know the situation of that organ. But Dr A. Combe received a letter (quoted in The Phrenological Journal} from a gentleman who was present at the dissection, and who had studied the science, stating explicitly, that the deposit had its seat precisely at the organ of Wonder ; and adding, that the pain complained of during eight years was " confined to the forehead and coronal surface, but principally to the latter region," and that it was Dr Anderson's invariable practice to apply cold water to these parts every night, to abate the annoying heat which he felt in them.

About twelve years before the death of Mr N. a gentleman whom I knew personally, he began to see spectral illusions, which continued to appear at intervals till he died.



They were human figures of all sizes, and in the costumes of different nations. Sometimes they were small and beautiful miniatures. He was generally aware that these were illusions. I was present at the post mortem examination of his brain, and observed that, on the left side, the skull was thickened, by descent of the inner table, over the organs of Imitation and Wonder. There were also strong marks of chronic inflammatory action in the falx and in the dura mater, covering Firmness, Benevolence, Veneration, Imitation, and Wonder, on both sides. See Phren. Journ,, vol. x. p. 355.

In the Edinburgh Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Dr Spurzheim saw a woman who was visited by ghosts and spectres. In her the organ of Wonder was remarkably developed. He asked her if she ever complained of headach. She answered that she did ; and being requested to put her hand on that part of the head where she felt the pain, she did so on the very spot where the organ, is situated.

Several years ago I saw a person in the west of Scotland, who was liable to spectral illusions. He was then thirty-eight years of age, in sound health, remarkably intelligent, and by no means liable to extravagance either in his sentiments or ideas. He mentioned that there was almost constantly present to his mind the appearance of a carpet in motion, and spotted with figures. On visiting Glasgow, he saw a large log of wood, mounted on two axles and four wheels, passing along the street ; and on returning home, the apparition of the timber and its vehicle, with the horses, driver, &c. stood before him in the dimensions and hues of actual existence. On another occasion, he saw a funeral pass by the end of Queen Street, Glasgow ; and for some time afterwards, whenever he shut his eyes or was in darkness, the procession moved before his mind, as distinctly as it had previously done before his eyes. These are merely a few instances, out of many, of beings and objects which he had seen, reappearing to his fancy. He was not conscious of

1 Phrenological Journal, v. 143.


the appearance of the phantom of any object which he had not previously seen ; and he was rarely, or almost never, troubled with these visions, when actual existences were before his eyes in broad light : but at all times they appeared to a greater or less extent when his eyes were shut, or darkness prevailed. His head was in general well formed ; the different organs, with the exception of the organ of Wonder (which was decidedly large, and which seems to have been the origin of this affection,) were fairly proportioned ; the knowing organs preponderated a little over the reflective.

He mentioned, that this peculiarity had descended to his son. On one occasion, the boy had made up to what he .conceived to be a beggar-man, and endeavoured to speak to him. The figure retired ; and the boy followed, till it disappeared at a high wall, seeming to glide into it. The boy ran up to the wall, and groped it with his hands, when he discovered that the beggar was a spectral illusion. I had not an opportunity of examining the head of the son ; but the father stated, that, in other respects, there was no peculiarity about his mental constitution.

This tendency of mind, occurring in remote and secluded districts of the Highlands, has probably given rise to the second sight. The individual above described, if placed in a situation where his chieftain, his clansmen, their dogs and their flocks, were almost the only animated objects presented to his eyes, would have been visited with frequent spectral appearances of them. If, after the occurrence of such apparitions, the chief had been killed, or the clansmen drowned, or the flock buried in the snow, the coincidence would have been remarked, and the event would have been regarded as having been predicted by an exercise of the second sight. Where nothing followed the spectres, nothing would be said of their appearance, just as happens in the case of dreams. A correspondent of The Phrenological Journal? gives an account of a Highland gentleman, who believed that an ap-

1 Vol. ii p. 362.


parition of the second sight had occurred to himself ; and he states, that, in his head, the organ of Wonder is large.

At the same time, it is difficult to comprehend, how an exalted state of this organ should produce these effects, unless we suppose it to excite the organs of Form, Colouring, Size, and Individuality, so as to prompt them to conjure up illusions of forms and colours, fitted for the gratification of "Wonder ; just as the involuntary activity of Cautiousness, during sleep, excites the intellectual organs to conceive objects of terror, producing thereby frightful dreams. This theory is rendered probable by the fact, that morbid excitement of the knowing organs produces spectral illusions, independently of an affection of the organ of Wonder. Mr Simpson communicated an admirable paper on this subject to The Phrenological Journal, to which I shall have occasion afterwards to refer.

A gentleman in Boston, Massachusetts, in whom Ideality, Wonder, and Hope, are large, told me that he delights to shut out the world and all ordinary things from his mind, and, in his imaginings, to realize the perfect, the spiritual, the eternal. He communes mentally with superior existences, and experiences their influence. The future and spiritual seem to him to become real. He .does not see visions, or believe in the actual presence of supernatural beings, and is aware that all minds do not enjoy the same inward impressions ; but he infers that a state of being must exist to which these impressions are related.

Dr Otto, in a communication " On the Effects of Medicines and Different Kinds of Food, &c., on the Mind," printed in The Phren. Journal, vol. xv., states, on page 37, that " ammonia and its preparations, morphia, castoreum, wine, ether, and the ethereal oils, produce a greater activity of Ideality, Hope, and the reflective intellectual faculties ; but the empyreumatic oils occasion a greater activity of Cautiousness, Wonder, and the perceptive faculties-for they

1 Vol. ii. p. 290.


induce melancholy feelings, and mostly visions, particularly of the gloomy kind."

The natural language of this faculty is nodding the head obliquely upwards, in the direction of the organ. I have observed a person telling another, in whom this organ predominated, a wonderful story, and at the end of each branch of the narration the listener nodded his head upwards, two or three times, and ejaculated an expression of surprise. An individual in whom the organ is small will not naturally do this.1

The general function of the organ is regarded as ascertained ; but its metaphysical analysis is still incomplete.

Vol. 1: [front matter], Intro, Nervous system, Principles of Phrenology, Anatomy of the brain 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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