Sidor som bilder

in all ages, seeing the deceptions con- the number of those having brains thus stantly practised on mankind by the excitable, is comparatively small, yet marvellous, have been very justly on in every society of a few hundred their guard against easy credulity, it individuals, there will be found some does not become the true philosopher subjects impressible in a greater or less of the nineteenth century to close the degree. To those in whom scepticism organs of his five external senses is a predominant organ, we would againsi the intrusion of any evidence seriously recommend the perusal of the which might possibly disiurb some following lines written by Galileo to favorite and long cherished system. It Kepler, which are not the worse for does not become the philosophic in- having been oft quoted :quirer to decide precipitately that any Here, at Padua, is the principal phenomenon is too marvellous for professor of philosophy, whom I have belief. Many natural phenomena repeatedly and urgently requested to which were formerly regarded with look at the moon and planets through superstitious awe, as, for instance, the my glasses, which he pertinaciously Spectre of Brocken, which consisted refuses to do.of a gigantic image of man delineated We would now proceed to illustrate on the sky,—the fact of troops perform- the general subjeci of NEUROLOGY, by ing their evoluticns on the surface of a bringing before the reader certain porlake, or on the face of an inaccessible tions of a report on experimental inprecipice,-or the equally extraordinary vestigations, published in the “Evening phantasm of a ship's being seen in the Post” of the 6th December, entitledair, in the solitude of the ocean's waste, “Minutes of the Proceedings of a notwithstanding no vessel was within Committee appointed by the public reach of the eye,--are all now satis- audience attending the lectures of Dr. factorily explained by the unequal Buchanan, to superintend experiments refractive powers of the atmosphere, relating to Neurology,' and to prepare arising from its variable temperature. experiments suitable for public exhi" It is impossible,” says Dr. Brewster, bition.” “to study these phenomena without The committee met on the 4th and being impressed with the conviction, 5th of November, and spent several that nature is full of the marvellous, hours each day in the performance of and that the progress of science, a variety of experiments, but as a and the diffusion of knowledge, are general impression prevailed that the alone capable of dispelling the fears results exhibited were not, on the which her wonders must necessarily whole, of a character so marked and unexcite, even in enlightened minds." equivocal as to be very satisfactory, Dr.

In like manner, to those unaware Buchanan stated that he had relied on that each mental faculty has its distinct the expectation that some impressible organ in the brain, the proposition that subjects would be brought to the meetthese emotions or faculties may be ex- ing by members of the committee, but cited at will, as when we call forth the that there had not been any of a chadifferent notes of a musical instrument, racter other than very imperfect and is so startling as to be beyond credi- doubtful. He suggested that a subbility ; but to the mind of the phre- committee should be appointed, who nologist, who has been wont to con- could witness experiments in greater template the great truths of his privacy upon some subjects who might science, the announcement of such be found unwilling to appear before so results offers no violence. This field large a number as the general comof scientific research, which offers a mittee, and who would also be able to harvest rich in new and valuable facts, bestow more time on the investigation is open to every laborer; and we find of the subject than could be done by accordingly, that it has been already the larger number. This suggestion entered upon by many philosophical being adopted, the following gentlemen inquirers. We, as well as many others, were appointed as that sub-commithave witnessed repeated experimental tee:-Rev. Henry W. Bellows, Messrs. verifications of the excitement of the William C. Bryant and John L. O'Sulliseparate organs of the brain, thus call- van, and Dr. Sámuel Forry. The firsting forth, in an intense degree, their named of these gentlemen was prenatural language and action. Although rented by absence from the city from

being present at the greater part of the opens a field of investigation second to experiments made, and from partici- no other in immediate interest, and in pating in the report.

promise of important future results to We will present, in the first place, science and humanity. the conclusions of this sub-committee:

- The different members of the sub

committee have not all been present at all “REPORT OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE. the meetings described in their minutes.

“ The sub-committee, appointed to Some of them have, however, in private, on witness private experiments by Dr. other occasions than those here referred to, Buchanan, beg leave to report, to the witnessed other similar experiments, of the committee from which their appointment most interesting and satisfactory characemanated, that they have held meetings, ter, which are not here described, because of which an account is given in their not witnessed by them collectively, in minutes subjoined. Their object has that capacity in which alone they have to been to give to the subject an attention, make the present report. The absence at the same time cautious and candid, of Mr. Bellows from the city, at the time and to present a simple statement of their of submitting this report, renders it observations, to serve as a basis for the necessary to forego the advantage of his deductions of others, rather than of any participation in it. The minutes were positive conclusions of their own, as to prepared by Dr. Forry, from notes taken the correctness of those views and opi- at the time of the various experiments. nions to which Dr. Buchanan has given The papers appended to this report are the name of the science of Neurology,'

a brief and general statement, by Dr. as discovered and developed by him.

Buchanan, of the outlines of his system “For the sake of rendering more intel- or science of Neurology,' and the minutes ligible the bearing of the facts and appear of the proceedings of the sub-committee. ances observed, upon those principles

“ All of which is respectfully submitted. • propounded by Dr. Buchanan, of which

5. WM. C. BRYANT, they are presented as illustrations and

“ J. L. O'SULLIVAN, evidences, the sub-committee present also

“SAMUEL FORRY, M. D.” a brief and general statement of the out Every reader must determine for lines of Dr. Buchanan's system, as fur- himself the degree of confidence to nished by himself, at their request. which the statements of this committee

“In justice to Dr. Buchanan, they at are entitled. The name of one of its the same time feel bound to declare the members is already classical in the highly favorable manner in which, English language; Dr. Forry's recent throughout all the intercourse growing excellent work on the Climate and out of this investigation, they have been Endemic Influences of the United impressed by the evident intelligence, States has given him, though a young sincerity, and earnestness of convictions, and truthfulness of conduct and deport- man, an honorable place among the ment, strongly characterizing that gentle scientific observers and writers of the man; and that they are fully satisfied of day; while, however otherwise obthe honorable motives prompting his scure, the remaining name is not present devotion to these investigations, unknown to the readers of the Review, in the sole spirit of a student of science, through which he has the honor, a pursuer of truth, and a friend of his monthly, of coming into a relation race. They will also add that, feeling with them, grateful on the one side, every reason to believe in the good faith and not unfriendly, it is hoped, on the and veracity of the subjects of these other. experiments-independent of those ex

The following outlines of the prinperiments which were, in themselves, ciples of Neurology, by Dr. Buchanav of a nature to preclude deception-they himself, will, in connection with the deem it their duty, in view of the extra- remarks already made, afford the ordinary facts they have witnessed, to say reader at least some general idea of that, although they have obtained a very imperfect knowledge of the system of the subject : Dr. Buchanan, and have been prevented “Gentlemen-As you desire from me a by the pressure of their other avocations sketch of the principles of Neurology, I from bestowing on the subject as much submit the following brief statement, time as would have been desirable to hoping that its brevity will not render it themselves ; they have had sufficient obscure: evidence to satisfy them that Dr. Bu “ The word Neurology, as it relates to chanan's views have rational experi- man, is but another name for the great

ental foundation, and that the subject science of Anthropology, because the

science of the nervous substance neces have generally been attempted by them sarily includes all the manifestations of during the state of somnambulism supermind and life connected with or dependent induced by mesmeric operations, I would upon that substance, which we know is remark that such experiments are often the seat of life and the organ of the mind. highly deceptive and inaccurate. Exper

“ Physiology, Pathology, Insanity, and iments should be made in the natural what has been called Animal Magnetism, condition of the subject, and free from the Mental Philosophy or Phrenology, Crani- imaginative excitement which belongs to oscopy, Physiognomy, Education, &c., are somnambulism. As far as I have heard partial views of the phenomena and of the result of the somnambulic expersystematic laws of the human constitu- iments, I know of but few cases in which tion, which constitute the science of the operator has not been misled by his Neurology.

imaginative subject. “ The characteristic feature of that “ An extensive course of experiments system of Neurology which I have brought upon persons of intelligence, in their before the public is, that it has been natural state of mind, has established and established by means of cautious and placed beyond a doubt, the fact that the decisive experiments, and may easily be brain, as psychological organ, manifests verified by any individual who has the an immense number of mental functions, necessary patience to pursue the inves- and that there are no phrenological tigation of the subject.

divisions in the brain, other than the “ The experiments consist in exciting anfractuosities of the convolutions, and the various functions of the nervous sub- that there are no simple primitive cerestance in the cranium or the body by the bral organs manifesting a pure special application of the proper stimulating single function, unless we carry our subagents. Every article of the materia divisions so far as to make a primitive medica possesses in some form, or to some organ of each constituent fibre of a convoextent, the power of exciting and modify- lution. ing the functions; Galvanism, Electricity, « The number of cerebral organs which Magnetism, and Caloric, possess efficient we may recognize is, therefore, a matter exciting powers; but no agent that I have of arbitrary arrangement, as

we may ased possesses so efficient, and at the divide the brain, for convenience, into same time, so congenial an influence, as three, four, or five regions, or with equal the aura of the nervous system.

precision and functional accuracy, into “ This Neuraura, which is the agent three, four, or five hundred. From fifty by which one individual makes a physio- to a hundred subdivisions would be as logical impression upon another, when in many as we can learn to locate correctly, contact, is radiated and conducted freely and is a sufficient number for practical from the human hand. The experiments purposes. which I have made in your presence,

" It is established with equal certainty, consist in applying this Neuraura to the that the brain is as much a physiological various portions of the brain, upon which as a psychological organ, and that it it may make an impression through the maintains its sympathies with the body, cranium and the face, which present no and exercises its controlling power over obstacles to its transmission.

it by means of certain conductor organs “ To develope important results from at the base of the encephalon, by which such experiments, it is necessary that we it radiates volitionary, circulatory and should make them upon persons whose secretory influences to the muscular cerebral action is easily excited or de- system and other tissues of the body. ranged by slight influences. It is neces- each portion of the brain has an intimate sary that the portion of the brain which relation or sympathy with its particular we excite should be so energetically stim- region of the body, and exercises a modiulated as to become predominant over all fying influence upon the general circulathe other portions, and to manifest its tion and innervation of the system. It functions in a pure and distinct form, is through the conductor organs that the unmingled with any different or counter- special relations of the brain and the body acting functions. It is also extremely are established, and all the physiological desirable that the experiments should be effects which may be produced by operatmade upon persons whose mental cultiva- ing upon the brain, may be as easily, and, tion, sagacity, and integrity, render their indeed, more promptly evolved by operatdescriptions of their own sensations cau- ing upon the corresponding conductors, tious, exact, and worthy of implicit confi- which transmit their influence directly. dence.

“ Thus do we explain the relations of “As my experiments have been repeated the brain to the body, and by carrying out by many phrenologists and others, and the mathematical laws of cerebral hy:io.

logy, we show the influence of each We shall next introduce to the hemisphere of the brain upon the opposite reader some extracts from the minutes hemisphere, and through that upon the of the sub-committee. As these correlative half of the body.

minuies alone would cover twice the “ To explain the relations of the mind

space allotted to this article, we are to the brain, and the peculiar mode or laws of their connection, would not be a

obliged to exclude the greater portion ; more difficult task than to explain the

and to decide which shall go in, and relations between the brain and the body which shall not, we find no easy task. -either of hich would seem to the “ Sub-committee met on the 11th of novice a chimerical undertaking.

November. Present, Mr. Bryant and “ This higher psychological philosophy, Dr. Forry. however, constitutes no part of the “ The person experimented upon was a psychologico-physiological system

to lady residing near Poughkeepsie, aged which I have called the attention of the about forty, and the mother of a large public, and which aims at extensive family. She declared her entire ignorance education and medical utility. Or this of the principles of phrenology, as well system, I have given you a few imperfect as the locality of any cerebral organ; illustrations, and regret that I have not and lest some doubts might be started had the opportunity of illustrating, in upon this point, the certificate of the your presence, the beneficial influence gentleman who accompanied her has been which may be exerted upon the sick. appended.

“ The experiments with medicines “In these experiments, Dr. Buchanan applied to the fingers, were designed to designed to show that an individual who illustrate some important principles in is highly impressible,' may not only reference to human impressibility, and have the special functions of the brain the mode in which medicines produce excited by having the corresponding their eflects.

portions of his head touched by another “ The experiment of bringing an person, but may receive the neurauric impressible person into contact with the influence to the same extent, or nearly so, head of another, illustrates the laws of directly from the brain of another, simply transmission of the Neuraura, and presents by his placing the end of a finger on the us a method of accomplishing a perfect region of a special organ on such person. diagnosis of disease, as well as of explor “ The lady having, at the request of ing the physiology of the brain, and Dr. Buchanan, placed the ends of her ascertaining the characters of particular index and middle fingers upon the upper individuals. This method, which I have part of Dr. Forry's forehead, in the been for some time engaged in applying region, as designated by phrenologists, of to practice, must ultimately take the the reflective organs, and being now asked precedence of all other methods of what mental emotions she experienced, diagnosis and examination, either for replied — I have a desire for knowledge, character, for disease, or for the establish- and particularly to know all about this ment of scientific principles.

subject.' Dr. Buchanan then asked her “ In conclusion, permit me to remark, what her motive was in desiring this that the principles of Neurology have knowledge, to which she answered that been established by innumerable coinci- she was influenced alone by the mere love dent harmonious facts, similar to those of knowledge. Dr. Buchanan next raised which you have witnessed, and that unless her fingers so as to touch, at the same the testimony of our senses is utterly false, time, the region of bencvolence in Dr. or unless a large number of intelligent Forry's head, and being now interrogated observers have been suddenly seized by as to her mental emotions, she said in an epidemic and methodic insanity, a new reply that she still had a desire for knowclass of facts has been developed, and a ledge, but that there was now a motive new science exists, which imperiously added to her wish for knowledge. This demands the attention of all lovers of motive she declared to be a wish to do truth or friends of man, and which, if good, that is, she desired to become even half of its bright promise is realized, acquainted with the mysteries of neuromust originate a great and happy era in logy, with the view to be enabled to do the history of human progress.

good to her fellow-beings. Her hand “With high respect, enhanced by the was next placed in the region of Dr. cordiality, courtesy and promptness with Forry's self-esteem; instantly the whole which you have engaged in your recent tone of her manner changed. From duties, I remain,

being modest and retiring, she suddenly “ Your humble servant,

became bold and assuming. Jerking her « Jos. R. BUCHANAN. hand from Dr. Forry's head, she remarked Bryant Forry and O'Sullinen » abruptly-II do not like this sensation

I feel covetous. To the question of Dr. to excite the organ which is the cause of Buchanan, why she felt covetous, the perspiration, to such a degree as to proreply was—'I would wish to get means duce a distinct moisture on her hands. In to make a display in the world. Placing three or four minutes we found, on examher hands now, at the request of Dr. ining the hands, that they were perceptiBuchanan, successively on the upper fore bly moist. His patient being now in an part and on the back part of Dr. Forry's agreeable condition, he proceeded with head, she described the sensation of the other experiments. former as mild and more agreeable and “ It is a part of Dr. Buchanan's theory causing ennobling feelings, whilst that of that each finger is the conductor of a particthe latter was unpleasant, but imparted ular influence, such as the galvanic, elecstrength to her system-phenomena which tric, neurauric, &c.; and accordingly she accord with the principles laid down by describes the sensation produced by touchDr. Buchanan. These experiments were ing the ends of his fingers with her own, repeated with similar effects upon the as very different in each one. Her head of Mr. Bryant; but when she came descriptions correspond somewhat with to the region of skepticism, she suddenly the effects attributed to each of these jerked away her hand, saying, I feel agents. In the ring finger, she says there nothing. This result, as Dr. Buchanan is a' jerking motion,' which may be comremarked, is a phenomenon that follows pared to the successive thrills caused by invariably.

electric agency. On touching the middle “ As Dr. Buchanan's system modifies finger, she avers there is produced a very much that of the phrenologists, it stiffening sensation of the wrist.' The may be here mentioned that his division index finger caused an effect, which she of the functions of the brain, as delineated describes as 'stimulating and warming to externally on the skull by certain regions, the arm. as those of skepticism, insanity, intoxica “ Dr. Buchanan next attempted to excite tion, temperance, levity, &c., is, for the mirthfulness by placing his finger on the sake of convenience, adopted in these region of that organ, and the result folminutes by the sub-committee, without lowed in a striking degree, three or four intending to express an opinion as to the times successively. On her part, the accuracy of all its details.

tendency to laugh was irresistible, and she “ These were the leading experiments, each time buried her face in her handkerwhich were here cut short, as the lady chief until relieved by Dr. Buchanan. was about leaving in a steamer for her The result intended to be produced was home.

in this, as well as the following instances, “CERTIFICATE-At the request of the stated in writing, and the person operated committee, I would state that I am well upon was kept wholly ignorant of what acquainted with the lady above referred was anticipated. It was now proposed to, and well know her to be entirely that Dr. Buchanan should excite the organ unacquainted with phrenology, the loca- of language, but in attempting to do so, tion of any of the organs, or any of its his finger touched the locality of the adprinciples.

joining organ of calculation, when sud- LEWIS WAKELEY,

denly Mrs. R. arose from her chair and “ 29 Greenwich street." commenced counting the flowers on the

wall paper. Counting the number in a “ Sub-committee met November 16th, horizontal line, and then in a perpendicu1842. Experiments on Mrs. R. Present, lar one, of a side of the room, she would Messrs. Bryant, O'Sullivan, and Dr. immediately announce the sum total. So Forry.

completely engrossed did she become in “Upon our arrival at the residence of this, that she took no notice of the byMrs. R.-a lady of intelligence and standers further than as they interfered respectability-whose health is generally with her view of the wall. Her mind delicate, we found her complaining of seemed entirely abstracted, as it were in some chilly and uncomfortable sensations. a monomania of calculation. This exDr. Buchanan began by holding his hand periment was repeated several times with for some time on the organ of calorifica- the same effect. One time she wished to tion,' and silently placing his hand on the count the threads in a flower of the carvarious portions of her head, which he pet. thought might have a restorative effect. “In the next place, Dr. Buchanan excited In the course of three or four minutes, her the organs of self-esteem, combativeness, chilliness was removed, and her feelings and firmness, that of philanthropy, as were comfortable. Dr. Buchanan then he remarked, being naturally strong. remarked aloud that he would endeavor The effect was truly remarkable. Under

« FöregåendeFortsätt »