Eugene V. (Eugene Valentine) Brewster.

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tion and inflammation, and it is likely to affect
seriously some distant organ. By readjusting
the bones of the neck, shoulder, back or spinal
cord, we relieve that pressure and thereby cure
the disorder. There can be no doubt of all this,
and every regular physician ought to know it
and to practice it, but they don't and won't.
Furthermore, they won't refer the patient to an
Osteopath. Professional jealousy!

It is really a shame that there cannot be some
kind of a union of the various isms, ologies and
athies. Certainly all Osteopaths should be regu-
larly admitted physicians and surgeons. If they
could be broad enough for that, they would soon
put the old-school physicians out of business.


In conclusion, Osteopathy is much overesti-
mated by some, and much underestimated by
many. It will do good to most anybody, and
harm to nobody. It will cure thousands of cases
that the regular physicians cannot cure; but, on
the other hand, there are thousands of cases that
Osteopathy should not attempt to cure without
the aid of the modern school of physicians and


THE word phrenology comes from the
Greek word phren, meaning the mind,
and logus, meaning science — the science
of the mind. The alleged science rests upon
these principles: (i) The brain is the organ of
the mind; (2) the mind may be divided into a
certain number of faculties independent of one
another; (3) each faculty resides in a definite
region of the brain; (4) the size of each region
is the true measure of the intellectual power of
the organ therein residing. The phrenelogist
examines the outside of the skull, and, by meas-
uring the various bumps and indentations there-
on, claims to be able to tell how much brains arc
within and just what faculties are concealed un-
der each and every portion of the skull. They
claim to take into consideration various other
things, such as the texture of the hair, the lung
power, the brilliancy of the eye, the color of the
skin, the general poise and shape of the head,



and so on, but phrenology really means bump-
ology or craniology.

The real fathers of the aheory are Drs. Gall
and Spurzheim, although we find suggestions
of it in the writings of some of the ancients,
notably those of Aristotle and Pythagoras, and
even so far back as the ancient Egyptians. Aris-
totle believed the brain to be a complex organ,
but held that the small head was the standard of
perfection — "Little head, little wit; big head
not a bit." (For a lengthy treatise on phren-
ology and its history, see Enc. Britannica.)

If phrenology is sound, the brain is divided
into compartments, each having a separate and
distinct function to perform. But when the
brain is dissected, no such compartments or
divisions are revealed, even under the micro-
scope. Neither the certical nor fibrous ^part of
the brain reveals any such dividing lines or dif
ference in texture. And not only this — the
existence of the horizontal membrane sepa-
rating the superior from the interior part of the
whole brain, and the arrangement of the lateral
ventricles, corpus callosum, the fornix and other
parts, are of themselves almost conclusive proof
that there can be no compartments such as
phrenologists describe.

But even if the brain were divided into com-


partments, each resting against the skull, it
would next be necessary for the phrenologist to
prove that quantity means quality or that
quantity means power. Otherwise, a person
might have a large quantity of, say, combative-
ness, and a small quantity of, say, veneration, as
donated by the size of the bumps, at the places
where those faculties are supposed to reside, but
the brain matter in the veneration compartment
might be twice as dense, compact, active, power-
ful or flexible as 'the brain matter in the com-
bativeness compartment, and hence the phrenol-
ogist would be deceived by outward appear-
ances. The phrenologist must depend upon size,
and he must assume that every part of the brain
is of the same density, texture and power. For
example, when he sees a head that is large and
full in the upper forehead and small at the back,
he at once declares that that person's casuality,
eventuality and comparison, are highly devel-
oped, and that his amativeness and philopro-
genitiveness are poorly developed. Size is the
measure, and he assumes that size means volume,
and that volume means power. Hence, a man
with a large head must have more brains than a
man with a small head, and the more brains he
has, the greater his power, other things being
equal. He forgets that many idiots have


enormous heads, and that the heads of many of
the world's greatest characters were very small.
Several kinds of monkeys, the dolphin, the can-
ary and the sparrow, all have larger brains than
man, in proportion to the size of the body. The
ground mole and field mouse have about the
same proportion as man. The whale, the rat,
the porpoise and the goose have more.

Again, the researches of physiologists of the
highest authority seem to have established the
fact that the brain acquires its full size and
weight at the age of eight years! How can the
phrenologist reconcile his philosophy to this
stubborn fact? The skull and head continue to
grow after the age of eight, but the brain re-
mains the same in weight and size. Everybody
knows how the skulls of children change as they
grow up, and yet the brains never do. As the
child acquires knowledge and develops his
mental faculties, the brain remains the same size
and weight. What then have bumps to do with
his mind? We may polish our brains, but we
cannot add to them. And so, when the phrenol-
ogist says that this pulpy matter called brains
gradually grows larger and crowds the skull
bones out so as to make bumps, or that it shrinks,
for want of exercise, and makes the skull con-
tract with it, causing indentations, he is not talk-


ing from facts but from a premise founded on a

If the theory of phrenology is true, then, if a
person should have an accident or a disease, and
lose a portion of his brain, he will lose control
of those faculties which are supposed to be
located within the lost part. Now, every physi-
cian knows of cases where patients have lost por-
tions of their brains, and you will probably not
find a single case where the patient lost control
of the precise faculty said to be located in that
portion. The medical books are full of proof
of this. Once in a while a physician has to
remove a portion of the brain where the faculty
of, say tune, is located, or it is destroyed by acci-
dent or disease, but after the operation the
patient has the ^same fondness and talent for
music that he formerly had. The brains of able
men have been examined after death, and cer-
tain portions have been found to be diseased; yet
the patients had shown no signs of having lost
any of their faculties.

These examples show that the brain is not and
cannot be composed of a plurality of organs,
each of which is the seat of a separate faculty,
as claimed by the phrenologists, because if such
were the case the destruction of one of these or-


gans would result in the destruction of the par-
ticular faculty connected with it.

Again, the phrenologist assumes that all skulls
are of the same thickness, and that every skull
is of the same thickness at every point. There
are variations of this rule, as he will tell you,
but in the main the statement is true; for, if it
were not so, bumps and indentations would be
almost meaningless. But the fact is that some
skulls are only one-eighth of an inch thick and
some are a full inch in thickness. And there is
no certain way of telling just how thick a skull
is, except by an examination of its interior and
not every subject is willing to undergo this in-
convenience. The phrenologist may thump it
with his knuckle and sound it, but he can never
be certain how near he is to the brain nor how
much brains are within. And still again, nearly
every skull has thin parts and thick parts, and
in some heads there are actual cavities in places.
So, even if the size of the brain is the sure test
of mentality, how is one to tell the size of a brain
which is incased in a skull of unknown and vari-
able thickness?

And then, the mistaken notion that there arc
just and only thirty-five or so faculties and that
each acts independently of the others. As well
might one say that the retina of the eye is divided


into compartments, one to see flowers, one to see
trees, one to see letters and figures, and so on;
or that the ear-drum is divided into sections —
one section to hear the voice, one to hear the
violin and one to hear other sounds. If there is
a separate compartment for every faculty there
should be nearer thirty-five thousand compart-
ments than thirty-five. But there are not even
thirty-five faculties, and there are certainly not
more than two or three compartments, if any.
Aristotle divided the brain into only three parts.
Veneration is the result of fear, admiration, love,
respect, conscientiousness, and a dozen other
things. Destructiveness and combativeness, con-
tinuity, stubbornness and many other faculties
produce in greater or less degree, the same emo-
tion and results. Form and size are the same
faculty, the knowledge of extension including
both. To say that each of these faculties has a
separate plot or parcel of brains staked out for
its own private and exclusive use is about as sen-
sible as to say that there is a separate compart-
ment of brains devoted to love of children, an-
other for the love of parents, another for
brothers, another for dogs, and so on. It requires
no philosopher or psychologist to see that every
single faculty is a part of an inseparable indi-
visible whole. Instead of endowing the mind


with certain faculties and designating these ac-
cording to the nature of their function, the
phrenologist designates them according to the
nature of object upon which they are exercised.
According to this, to be logical, he should have
as many faculties and compartments as there are
things in the universe.

There are two ways of looking at phrenology.
If there is a portion of brains for each faculty,
then we must determine how many faculties
there are, and we must assume that each portion
or compartment performs only its own function,
for otherwise, if a certain compartment fre-
quently does the work of some other compart-
ment, then the whole theory of phrenology falls,
because it matters not how much or how little
brains a person has in one compartment when
other sections are to lend a hand in helping its
weak or deficient neighbors. The phrenologist
must assume that "comparison," for example, is
the faculty that does all of the work in that line,
and that "color" does all of the work in its par-
ticular line. Otherwise bumps would be mean-
ingless. Fowler and Wells, the latest author-
ities, give thirty-nine distinct and separate facul-
ties, each with its particular location. Now,
many of these conflict, such as comparison, form
and size, combativeness and destructiveness.


firmness and continuity, cautiousness and secret-
iveness, veneration and spirituality and conjugal
love, friendship, amativeness, inhabitiveness and
philoprogenitiveness. True, these words of each
group are not synonyms, but they require the
same mental process, produce like emotions, or
proceed from the same motives and sensations.
If this be true, part of the bottom of phrenology
falls out. There is redundancy. The faculty
of cautiousness makes one cautious when one is
exercising one or more of the other faculties,
and continuity is the faculty which gives us the
power of keeping one or more other faculties
applied to the task. Nearly every organ must
be endowed with the power of imagination, yet
there is a faculty called ideality which is as-
sumed to have a monopoly of this power. Near-
ly every faculty is also endowed with casuality,
particularly calculation, constructiveness and
comparison. And if the phrenologist should say
that there is no redundancy here, that each of
these things is a dififerent and distinct faculty,
surely if there is not redundancy, there is at least
deficiency (either of which is fatal) in that ac-
cording to his theory there should be separate
faculties for mechanical constructiveness and
literary constructiveness, separate faculties for
love of children and love of cats, separate facul-


ties for the English language and the Chinese
language, and every language, and a separate
faculty for every object of attention in the uni-

Until the phrenologist can find some way of
measuring the quantity of neurine in the brain
of his subject he cannot tell much about that per-
son's mentality; and when he does this he is no
longer a phrenologist.

Phrenology takes in a wide field which con-
tains so many avenues of escape, that it is quite
impossible to attack it at one point without let-
ting it out at another, for its powers to evade the
issue are almost unlimited. When the skull of
Voltaire was examined, it was found to have the
organ of Veneration developed to an extra-
ordinary degree. The phrenologist would
promptly explain: "His veneration for the
Deity was so great and his sensibility upon the
subject of devotion so exquisite that he became
shocked and disgusted with the irreverence of
even the most devout Christians, and that out of
pure respect for the Deity he attempted to exter-
minate the Christian religion from the earth."

If you have a large bump of destructiveness,
the phrenologist might declare you were like
the early English who would often say: "It's
a fine day; let's go out and kill somebody." Yet


you may be only inclined to destroy delusions; or
to destroy the rum demon; or to demolish gam-
bling; or to combat vice.

The novel "Mr. Midshipman Easy," by Capt.
Maryatt, might be recommended for the con-
sideration of phrenologists. Prof. Easy built a
great machine with tubes and pistons; the sub-
ject would get into the machine and, by suction,
the professor would draw out the good organ
indentations and by pressure suppress the "bad
organ" bumps. If the brain grows, as phrenol-
ogists claim, this system ought to help the brain
grow in the right direction and create perfect

The irregular formation of the skull, features,
fingers and of other parts of the anatomy are
mere accidents of nature, and are no more a test
of a person's character and capacity than a cask
is of its contents. The verdict of phrenology
retards the moral and intellectual advancement
of the subject and lessens the influence of reason,
religion, environment and education.

After Professor Person's death, his head was
dissected, when, to the confusion of craniologists
and the consolation of blockheads, it was dis-
covered that he had a skull of extraordinary
thickness. Professor Gall, on being called upon
to reconcile the intellectual powers and tenac-


ious memory of Porson with a skull that would
have suited an ignorant prizefighter, replied:
"How the ideas got into such a skull is their
business, not mine; but, when they were once in,
they certainly could never get out again."


PHYSIOGNOMY is not entirely a delu-
sion. There is no "science" of Physiog-
nomy, however, nor is it an exact art. The
rules laid down by Adamantius were quite dif-
ferent from those of Aristotle, just as those of
Baptist Porta and Robert Fludd were quite dif-
ferent from Levater's. Physiognomy is the art
of knowing the humor, temperament or disposi-
tion of a person from observation of the lines of
the face, and from the character of its members
or features. While there is as yet no code of
rules laid down by any author which constitutes
a trustworthy guide, there in an apparent an-
alogy between the mind and the countenance,
which is discernible to keen observers. Prob-
ably every man and woman prides him or herself
on the ability of translating expression, because
we all imagine that we are good judges of human
nature; yet, we have all erred in this regard, and
often they were costly errors. Our instincts and
intuitions, are perhaps the safest guides, after



all, for there is but little reliance to be placed on
the text books; and the common beliefs regard-
ing the meaning of the features are anything but
reliable. The best that can be done, for the
present, is to assemble the predominating char-
acteristics of the great men of history and com-
pare these with their portraits.

It is generally conceded that the greatest
authority on Physiognomy is Levater; yet, in my
copy of his principal work, which, by the way,
is the voluminous 15th London edition, he says:
"I understand but little of physiognomy, and
have been, and continue daily to be, mistaken in
my judgment." Since no greater physiognomist
ever lived, it seems fair to assume that there is
no "science" of physiognomy, and no infallible
system with which we can read the character
and capabilities of a person by means of the
features. Whether such a science will yet be
discovered or devised, remains to be seen. How-
ever, it is possible, and even probable, that the
features all have meanings, even if we do not
know those meanings, and that the code finally
adopted by Levater is fairly correct. This being
true, the best we can say for Physiognomy is that
it helps us to interpret character by showing us
tendencies. That is, given a face the chin of
which denotes firmness, and the mouth tenacity,


we may be reasonably certain that the individual
will have a strong tendency to do thus and so
under certain conditions, provided those charac-
teristics are not over-balanced and offset by other
characteristics. That the tendency is not con-
clusive, is apparent: for the person may be born
with a nose which, according to Physiognomy,
denotes criminal propensities; yet, he may have
overcome his immoral tendencies by means of
education, religion or environment, while his
nose remains unchanged. Again, he may have
certain features which are said to denote gener-
osity, for example, yet there may be various
other features which denote love of power, ac-
quisitiveness, vanity, etc., which would make it
quite impossible to say that generosity would
predominate, and to which tendency the subject
would yield. Indeed, it is a grave question if
all the accumulated knowledge of the ages on
Physiognomy would not be misleading, even if
every person knew the precise meaning of every
section of the face; for, however skilful we
might be, our judgment would constantly be
taxed to the utmost to weigh and balance, to
compare and distinguish, one indication with
another, and then that other with still another,
and with perhaps a whole group of others, — a
task for a mathematician, psychologist and phil-


osopher combined. Again, who may say that a
large nose, which was esteemed so highly by
Napoleon, or a strong jaw, which is generally
understood to denote perseverance, may not be
mere accidents of nature, for are not some born
tongue-tied, cross-eyed or flat-footed, without
design, meaning or tendency, so far as those phy-
sical conditions are concerned? And do not all
persons develop one or more faculties, and neg-
lect others, without causing any change in the
bones of the face? One may conquer and con-
quer, like Alexander, until there are no more
worlds to be conquered, and yet not acquire a
conqueror's nose. If we treat Physiognomy as
the science of interpreting expression by means
of the muscular anatomy of the face, that is a
dififerent matter; but the real Physiognomy deals
with bones as well as with muscles. If there is
doubt as to whether the shape of the bones of the
face are indicative of character, there is no doubt
that the flesh and muscles of the face form what
we call expression of the countenance, and that
this can be interpreted with some degree of accu-

Levater says that the forehead is the image or
mirror of the understanding; the nose and
cheeks the image of moral and sensitive life; and
the mouth and chin the image of the animal life;


while the eye will be to the whole as the sum-
mary and center. I am prepared to believe
without hesitation that nothing passes in the soul
which does not produce some change in the
body, and that even desire, and the act of will-
ing, create a corresponding motion in the body;
but it requires extraordinary credulity to believe
that bones are enlarged or diminished by this
process, and, consequently, that part of Physiog-
nomy I must reject. But it is quite certain that,
on the countenance discernibly appear light and
gloom, joy and anxiety, stupidity, ignorance, and
vice, and that, on this waxen tablet are deeply
scribed every combination of sense and soul. On
the forehead, all the Graces revel, or all the
Cyclops thunder! Nature has left it bare, that,
by it, the countenance may be enlightened or
darkened. At its lowest extremities, thought
appears to be changed into action. The mind
here collects the powers of resistance. Here
resides the cornua addita pauperi. Here head-
long obstinacy and wise perseverance take up
their fixed abode. Beneath the forehead are its
expressive confines, the eyebrows; a rainbow of
promise, when benignant; and the bent bow of
discord, when enraged; alike descriptive, in
each case, of interior feeling. The nose imparts
solidity and unity to the whole countenance, —


the mountain that shelters the fair vales beneath.
How descriptive of the mind and character are
its various parts; the insertion, the ridge, the
cartilege, and the nostrils, through which life is
inhaled. The eyes, considered only as tangible
objects, are by their form, the windows of the
soul, the fountains of light and life. The eye-
bone, whether gradually sunken, or boldly
prominent, is also worthy of attention; as like-
wise are the temples, whether hollow or smooth.
That region of the face which includes the eye-
brows, eye, and nose, also include the chief signs
of soul ; that its of will, or mind, in action. The
occult, the noble, the sublime, sense of hearing,
has nature placed sideways, and half concealed.
On the inferior part of the face, nature has be-
stowed a mask for the male, and not without
reason, for here are displayed those marks of
sensuality, which ought to be hidden. All know
how much the upper lip betokens the sensations
of taste, desire, appetite, and the enjoyments of
love; how much it is curved by pride and anger,
drawn thin by cunning, smoothed by benevo-i
lence, made flaccid by effeminacy; how love and
desire, sighs and kisses, cling to it, by indescrib-
able traits. The under lip is little more than its
supporter, the rosy cushion on which the crown
of majesty reposes. If the parts of any two


bodies can be pronounced to be exactly adapted
to each other, such are the lips of man, when the
mouth is closed. Words are the pictures of the
mind. We judge of the host by the portal. He
holds the flaggon of truth, of love and endearing
friendship. The chin is formed by the under
lip, and the termination of the jaw-bones, and it
denotes sensuality in man, according as it is more
or less flexible, smooth, or clear: it discovers
what his rank is among his fellows. The chin
forms the oval of the countenance; and when,
as in the antique statues of the Greeks, it is
neither pointed nor indented, but smooth, and
gradually diminishes, it is then the keystone of
the superstructure. With apologies to Herder
for much of the foregoing, thus endeth this brief
dissectation on Physiognomy.


IT is quite clear that the phenomena of
dreams could be perfectly accounted for by
natural laws and therefore they should not
be attributed to supernatural causes.

Ancient divines taught that dreams either pro-
ceeded from the Deity or from the devil, but it
is now quite certain that all dreams originate
only in the dreamers. Dreams come only from
a state of imperfect sleep. When sleep is per-
fect, all the faculties are at complete rest, and
there can be no dreams — and even if there were,
memory being absent, the dream could never be

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Online LibraryEugene V. (Eugene Valentine) BrewsterWhat's what in America → online text (page 3 of 12)