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The foundation of Phrenological science, was laid by the discoverics of F. J. Gall, a native of Germany, who was born March 9, 1757. His attention was first directed to the subject while a schoolboy, from the circumstance, that those who committed the words of their lessons to memory with the greatest ease, had prominent eyes. He next observed that those who excelled in the memory of places, had a peculiar prominence upon the forehead. After he left the University, he commenced the practice of medicine. He was now a man of science-his very profession led him to study human nature in connection with the human constitution-and he began to reflect—" If the prominence of one part of the head indicates one talent, and the prominence of another part indicates another, may not all the talents and dispositions of men be indicated by the developement of different parts of the head?" The suggestion seemed plausible; and he accordingly, after having in vain examined all the different aui hors on mental philosophy, betook himself 10 the observation of the heads of peculiar characters. He was successful, even beyond his most ardent hopes; for he soon discovered external indications of talents for painting, poetry, and the mechanic arts, besides several of the moral and animal propensities. Gall's first publication on the subject, was made in 1798. He very naturally failed to give system to the facts which he had discovered; and the names which he gave to the organs were unphilosophical. In 1801, fortunately for the science, John Gasper Spurzheim, also a German, became the pupil of Gall, and in 1804 was admitted as his partner. Spurzheim greatly improved the nomenclature and classification of the organs: and also contributed much towards giving a more philosophical account of the anatomical structure of the brain.
In 1802, the lectures of Dr. Gall at Vienna, which had continued during five years, were prohibited by an order of the government, obtained through the influence of the clergy. In 1805, Gall and Spurzheim left Vienna, and travelled to some of the other cities of Europe, lecturing upon, and disseminating their doctrines. In 1807, Gall arrived at Paris, and remained there until his death, which took place in 1828.
Spurzheim dissolved his partnership with Gall in 1813, and in 1814 visited Great Britain, and lectured in the principal cities. During his visit to Edinburgh, he had the good fortune to make a convert of Geo. Combe, Esq., a gentleman who has since distinguished himself as an able and eloquent phrenological author and lecturer. In 1817, Spurzheim returned to Paris. In 1824, the lectures of Gall and
Spurzheim at Paris, were prohibited by an order of the government. Spurzheim again visited Great Britian in 1825, where he afterwards spent most of his time until June 20, 1832, when he sailed from Havre, and arrived at New York, August 4. He remained in New-York until the 11th, when he proceeded to New-Haven. On the 16th he left for Hartford, and from that city he went to Boston, where he arrived on the 20th. He gave a course of lectures in Boston, and another at Cainbridge. This was the last labour of Spurzheim in the cause of science. A slow, continued fever, not at first considered dangerous, finally proved fatal, and he died at Boston, Nov. 10, 1832. No man was ever more sincerely lamented. To the honor of my native city, the most distinguished tokens of love and regard were extended to him while living, and the highest testimonials of grateful reverence followed him to the grave. His beautiful monument at Mount Auburn, is but an emblem of the pure affection with which his memory is cherished. The marble may perish, and the place of his burial be forgotten; but the names both of Gall and Spurzheim are immortal. They must always be associated with principles, that will be known and appreciated, while science has a temple or a devotee, on the earth.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF THE HUMAN CONSTITUTION.
PARENOLOGY is the science of the human mind, founded upon the human constitution.
The human constitution is composed of a vast number of organs, intimately related to each other, and all acting . together in the most perfect and beautiful harmony.
Notwithstanding the exalted nature of man above all the animated tribes
6. That roam the wood,
Or wing the sky, or roll along the flood,” yet, as an organized being, he is subject to the same laws that regulate the rest of the animal and vegetable creation. The
organs which compose the human constitution are so numerous, and complicated, and the offices that they perform 80 different, that it would be impossible to form any correct idea of them, without classing together those which perform similar functions, and considering them as distinct and par
tially independent systems. Thus the bones are denominated the
and constitute the frame upon which the other organs are supported. But the bones cannot move without the agency of the muscles: these constitute another class of organs, demominated the
Those who are not familiar with anatomical expressions will have a perfect idea of the structure of a muscle, when they are informed that all the lean parts of flesh and fish are entirely composed of muscles, the parallel fibres of which extend from one bone to another, and possessing, as they do, the power of contracting with great force, they are capable of moving the bones from one place to another, as far as the tendons will permit. This principle of the contractility of muscles is of the greatest importance, since every motion of the body, and every sign of life which we are capable of making, is made by the contraction of one or more of the muscles. Not only are the movements of the body, the pulsation of the heart, the circulation of the blood, and the action of the stomach and intestines, dependent upon the construction of the muscles, but also the manifestations of the mind-probably even thought itself--but certainly the signs, the manifestations, the evidences of thought, are dependent upon muscular contraction.
This dependence of the mind upon the muscles, is perfectly illustrated by the case of persons that have been in a trance, who, although conscious of what was going on around them, yet could give no sign of consciousness; and their friends, believing them dead, have proceeded to bury them.