« السابقةمتابعة »
to the doctrines laid down by all phrenological writers, a considerable size of brain is found to be indicative of a powerful manifestation of the faculties; and that a large development before the ear, and a large coronal surface, are the marks of a high endowment of intellectual and moral qualities.*
In farther confirmation of what is stated in the text, I may refer to the account of two skulls in the possession of the Phrenological Society, taken from an ancient temple in Egypt, which there are strong presumptive proofs for supposing to have been those of Ramesis II, and
These skulls were presented to the Society by Captain Felix, R.N. The circumstances in which they were found are thus related :
:-“ A temple was discovered in December, 1828, which had been erected by Ramses or Ramesis II. Under one of the chambers was a small vault, containing two mummies, a man and a woman, richly and completely gilt. The mummy case crumbled to pieces on being touched. Much gold was found on the mummies, besides three hundred bronze gods of different sizes, &c. In the chamber where the mummies were, the king was dedicator, and no other name appeared. It is always the person to whom the tomb belongs who dedicates it.” Some other conjectures are added, but the whole circumstances seemed to indicate it as probable, that these were really the skulls of Ramesis II. otherwise named Sesostris, (who flourished about the time of the Trojan war, nearly twelve hundred years before Christ,) and one of his wives.
In an account of these skulls given in the Phrenological Journal,t it is stated, that “ the chief value of them is not so much their prodigious antiquity, nor even their increased antiquarian value, arising from the singular glimmer of light which chance has thrown upon their identity, in which particular, we take it, they are unique among cabinet mummies,) but the confirmation they afford of the phrenological truth, that a people remarkable for intelligence, tuste, enterprise, and all the elements of civilization, — and such a people were the Egyptians, — must have exbibited a brain well endowed with the organization through which such qualities are invariably manifested.” The article then proceeds to shew that this was actually the case. It had been mentioned in a previous number, that “the mummies confirm our uniform experience, that the Egyptian head belonged to the Caucasian variety of Blumenbach, to which the European also belongs ;” and it is here added, that the skulls are of large size, indicating, according to the well known phrenological rule, great power and energy of character. The development, which is given at length, is stated to indicate a fair balance of
# Vol. vi. p. 523.
From the above I think it is evident that Mr Combe is not borne out in assuming that “the civil history of man proclaims the march, though often vacillating and slow, of moral and intellectual improvement.” In regard to intellectual attainment, at least, we have seen it proved, that the most ancient nations equalled, or rather surpassed, all that have come after them. The proofs from history, from existing monuments, from phrenological observation on undoubted cranial remains, all unite in leading to this conclusion. We have farther seen, that in every great people, the earlier periods of their history have been most remarkable for a pure state of morals, and that no great improvement in this respect has taken place since the earliest ages. If, then, we find the Egyptians and Babylonians, three thousand years ago, equal, in intellectual and moral qualities, to the principal nations of the world at the present day, what reason have we to suppose that their ancestors, the original stock from which they were derived, had ever been materially below the same standard ? Again, if it be true that society is constituted on the principle of gradual progression, “containing within itself the the animal, intellectual, and moral qualities. In the male head, com.parison and causality, (the principal reasoning powers,) also firmness, veneration, and hope, (three of the principal moral powers,) together with cautiousness, and love of approbation, are all stated to be large ; self-esteem, benevolence, and ideality, also important powers, rather large ; conscientiousness, or the sense of justice, wonder, gaiety, or wit, and imitation, full. This, in any head, would be considered a good development; and if, as is supposed, it belonged to a powerful king, its manifestations would doubtless be productive of great effects. The female head is not less highly endowed, with some striking differences, characteristic of the sex of the party. Both of the heads, in development as well as in size, are above the average even of the European head at this day ; and if they afford any thing like fair specimens of the race to which they belonged, they prove, if there be truth in phrenology, that that race must have held a very high rank in the scale of intelligence and civilization among the nations of the world.
elements of improvement, which time is continually evolving and bringing to maturity,” then Babylonia and Egypt should have been now the greatest, the most powerful, the most intellectual, and the most moral nations on the face of the earth. Enjoying, as they did, the finest climate, the richest soil, and the most splendid advantages of situation, with immense population, and the possession of what it is now the fashion to call “ useful knowledge” (a knowledge of the arts and sciences) in a high degree of perfection, how has it happened that they did not improve these advantages farther ? how has it happened that they have so entirely fallen from their ancient greatness? There must be some reason for this, that is not dreamt of in Mr Combe's philosophy.
It will be observed, that in comparing the Egyptians and Babylonians with nations now existing, it is not fair to compare them with ourselves, or with any other nation enjoying the superior lights derived from revealed religion. They ought to be compared with the Chinese, the Japanese, or other nations which are not favoured with a knowledge of revealed truth; for in this way only can it be seen how far the moral and intellectual nature of man may be brought to perfection by the sole aid of those principles of improvement inherent within itself. That a great and rapid improvement has now been going on for centuries, and is still proceeding, in those countries which have been brought under the influence of Christianity, is admitted on all sides; but that proves nothing in favour of Mr Combe's argument, unless it can be shewn that Christianity has nothing to do with this improvement
GENERAL PROGRESS OF CIVILIZATION.
IV.- Progress of Civilization over the world.
But let us proceed with our account of the facts. Babylonia is universally understood to have been the first peopled country in the world. From it, as from a centre, the arts and sciences, and civilization, were disseminated among the neighbouring countries, to the east and to the west. The rise of the kingdoms of Persia and India on the one side, and of Egypt and Phænicia on the other, are instances of this. Greece was civilized by communication with the east. Cadmus introduced letters from Phænicia. , Corn, and a knowledge of agriculture, were brought from Egypt. The curious and ardent spirits of Greece, anxious to see with their own eyes the wonders they had heard of, travelled into these countries, and brought with them a knowledge of their arts, their sciences, their traditions, their philosophy, and their religion.
From Greece, the arts, letters, and philosophy, passed to Rome. The conquerors were civilized by the conquered. The Romans having subdued the nations of western Europe, then possessed by a number of barbarian hordes, carried their arts and literature along with them; and in return for the subjection to which they reduced them, imbued them with a knowledge and a taste for the conveniences of civilized life.
This has been the progress of arts and civilization over the whole world. There has never been an instance known of a nation, which had once degenerated into barbarism, (for I conceive in all cases barbarism to be the result of degeneracy) that ever raised itself to civilization without the aid of foreign influences. As this is a negative proposition, Mr Combe is aware that it does not require or admit of proof. If he is able to
adduce any instance where a barbarous and savage race have risen, by their own efforts, to moral or intellectual excellence, it will be time enough to consider it. We know, that during the period that has elapsed since the discovery of America, not the least improvement has taken place in any of the barbarous tribes scattered over that great continent. The same may be said of the numerous nations inhabiting the interior of Africa. But the rule is universal, and a contrary instance may be searched for in vain.
V.- Progress of Civilization in Britain, and the causes which
have given rise to the improvement of its inhabitants.
MR COMBE takes the case of the inhabitants of Britain, and mentions that, at the time of the Roman invasion, they lived as savages, and appeared with painted skins; and he seems to conclude, that because they were savages, and we are now civilized, nothing more is necessary to be adduced, in order to establish his principle of gradual improvement. But if we look attentively into history, we shall find that the civilization of the inhabitants of Britain has not proceeded spontaneously from any principles of improvement inherent in themselves, but has arisen entirely from the effects of successive foreign conquests, and other influences coming from without, the principal and most efficacious of which is undoubtedly Christianity. Judging from the case of other savages, none of whom are ever known to shew the least tendency of themselves towards improvement, the Britons, if left entirely to their own devices, would have been painted savages still.
The Romans first conquered, and then colonized the country, and possessed it for a period of four hundred years. During that time they mixed with the inhabitants, and taught them the arts of peace. Agriculture