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MORAL PHILOSOPHY NECESSARILY FOUNDED ON
THE ANIMAL NATURE OF MAN. That animalnalure various in its degrees and qualities, phrenologically or organically and chemically* conslituted and physiognomically indicated.
In my cogitations, the above proposition is as clear as any principle of nature can be felt to be by self, or be made to appear to be to others. As sure as there is a variety of figure in the human head and face, and as great a variety of human disposition, so sure is that variety founded on the varied figure aud composition of the various individuals and exhibited to demonstration in that variety. This exhibition of variety has, in its demonstrations, been classed under the heads physiognomical and phrenological. We place the word physiognomical first; because, it is the first in order of principle." Phrenology, though the basis of physiognomy, is a prineiple of later discovery, just as superficial objects are seen before those more hidden or covered; and Phrenology is the first in order of principle, just as all visible properties have a hidden root or principle of life, from which they spring into visibility.
I am again, I confess pleasantly, drawn to this subject, in consequence of a paper from a correspondent impugning my article in the twenty-fifth number of the first volume. My correspondent has a pertness in his style of writing ; but I doubt his competency so to meet the subject in controversy as to make it useful. Without taking a single exception to my paper in detail, he calls upon me to strike more blows, that he may parry them and return. Enough is stated in that paper, as a new view of the metaphysic of moral Philosophy, to induce a competent opponent to maintain
* I could find, no better word than chemical to express the colour and quality of the animal matter.
Printed and Pablished by R. CARLILE, 62, Fleet Stroet. No. 1.- Vol. 2.
the old view against it. The old view is, that mind emanates from an object or objects exterior to the animal: the new view is, that mind is animal and has no other than the animal origin. Locke traced mind in its source to animal sensations. The phrenologist grants the deduction of Locke, but has gone farther, and has traced the variety of mind, apart from education, in its source, to the variety of cerebral formation. I go still farther, and to the sensations of Locke, and the cerebral formation of the phrenologist, add the physiognomical and chemical presentations of the whole body, to make up the due estimation of the whole mind of the individual. I opine that Locke was right, that the phrenologist is right, and that I am right, the difference is only in the degree in which we extend our perceptions.
I have no objection to extend the discussion of the subject with a competent opponent, in the present volume of “ The Lion,” as I presume such a discussion cannot fail to be useful. It is a point worthy of the philosopher, to teach man, that he is a factotum, depending throngh life upon his own powers, and not guided by a directing mind or mechanism distinct from himself. He may suffer himself to be made the machine of the priest or human tyrant; but he is, for life, physically independent of all mental power, if he will but resolve to be so.
He may degrade himself so as to be a voluntary slave; but he cannot be naturally the slave of any other passions or mental power than his own.
There is one great object in my constant view, in daily thoughts and nightly dreams, in which all my others concentre, and from which, as from a focus, they radiate; and that is, the study and desire to ameliorate the condition of the human race, and if possia ble, of animal nature generally; but more particularly of the human race, as the more sentient beings and most susceptible of pleasure and pain, and still more particularly, to begin with neighbours and countrymen. I have no curiosity, no taste, no desire, no pleasure in any object or purpose distinct from this. It is wholly a matter of self-love. The question of the human mind is at the root of the enquiry and the desired change; and is the proper and only medium through which to uproot the various superstitions by which humanity is degraded.
To the Editor of “ The Lion." SIR,- In the concluding paragraph of your paper on l'hysiognomy, Phrenology, &c." in the 25th No. of “The Lion," you inrite any one who thinks himself “competent" to send you his renarks on what you have written. I am not going to boast of any competency-I am but is wooden spoon-a poor devil forced to labour and sweat for a sixpence to buy a scrag of mutton for a Sunday's dinner, and have no time for science and literature, even if I had the ability. But stealing an hour just now from sleep, I bave caught up my pen to scrawl down a few thoughts, which, if you
think proper to insert, shall, on some furure day, be followed by others weightier and better clothed.
You promise to continue the subject you have just begun ; I am glad of it. At present, you have only dallied with il-just drawn your sword froin its scabbard, and stand in attitude to fight, but struck no blow, nor taken any particular aim at any thing. I shall wait, therefore, to see how you give battle-how you siand your position—which, in truth, at present, I can bardly understand—" Physiognomy and Phrenology essential to the establishment of correct Moral Philosophy," If I take you right, Sir, you mean to prove that these two sciences supersede and destroy all other systems of metaphysics.* That, I believe is the popular notion--and that the size and organization of the brain, and shape and colour of the face, determine the intellectual and moral conduct of mankind. O, Socrales! 0, Plato! O, all ye pbilosophers of the olden schools ! ye all died fools, that died before the days of Lavater. And if phrenology be true, Lavater, thou too, diedst a fool. And Bacon, and Malbranch, and Locke, and Priestley, and Read,+ ye all did but prate about the philosophy of the human mind. If ye were living now, we'd send ye all to school again, and whip ye till ye could tell how many bumps were in the skull of man, and what each particular bump did signify, dividing the sensual from the moral, and the moral from the 'intellectual.— But ye are all dead, and buried with the fool's cap on.—" Tread softly on their ashes, ye men of genius.”
Mr. Editor, I have read Drs. Gall, Spurzheim, Mackenzie, and others: I have attended Mr. Deville's lectures : I have read your paper ; and I think you all wrong. The thing is carried too far—there's too much dogmatism in it, and if it be true, even in the outline, yet wrong in the detail. But you go further than these gentlemen. They deny physiognomy altogether ; you believe in it.' Your phrenological notion then, must, 1 should think, differ from theirs, although you have not told us in what; for if there be in the head an organ for every faculty, propensity, or what not, of the mind ; if their system be complete, explaining every phenonjenon of thought and action; if they can parcel out the brain thus, and trace ideality in one corper, combativeness in another, moneygetiveness in another, &c. &c., and prove it to the satisfaction, as you say, of all sceptics that heat their arguments ; why then, what becoines of physiognomy? 'Tis all my eye,-there's no necesșity for it ; the admission of the doctrine would only perfect the truth in opposition to that maxim of philosophy–Never invent a cause to explain an effect, when it can be explained without it. If phrenology be insufficient, how will you mix up the two theories? or how separate them? You say Lavater generalised physiognomy. How would you par. ticularize it? How “ reduce the contour of the face and its lineaments to mensurable and moral accuracy ?”' Lavater saw the folly of it? and I know of po better system than his; and yet, if it be founded in nature, we see every day, in a thousand faces, a thousand satires on phrenology-intel. lectuality in the cranium,-in the face, the drivelling ass. Before, therefore, you unite the two sciences, or build any argument, or draw any conclusion from them, prove their truth, or you build op sand. Don't take them on trust. We know there is a variety of human faces and heads; but the question is, do these shapes form their different characters as these sciences teach? Your saying so does not prove it. Assertions or declarations are but empty, though I know they make the faith of some. It is easy to say the earth is immovable and made up of brass, that there is no such thing as gravitation, that Sir Isaac Newton was a flat, and that Sir Richard Phillips has destroyed his system. It is easy to say the Bible is a fable, and to make small wits believe it. It is easy to tell them the moon grows in their back, - easy to say anything; but the proof is the thing, Sir. I must have proof, or give the doctrine to the winds. No sopbistry, for I'ın up to it. You may write with eloquence on anything ; you may gloss over a bad argument, with smooth and learned words; “ words with long tails," and "make the worse appear the better reason; but I'll examine it, compose, weigh, judge, dissect. I don't believe in Newton's philosophy, because he merely said 'twas true ; but because he demonstrated--building it on nature, firm as the pillared firmament, firm as earth’s base.(2) I don't believe in Christianity because my fathers did, and told me not to read Voltaire, Hume, Paine, nor a hundred more ; but because I have examined it for myself, heard patiently all that can be said against it, read libraries of books on both sides, and fiod that infidels only laugh at what they can't disprove, calling Christians enthusiasts, idiots, slaves, while they themselves cling with superstitious veneration to hypotheses they may happen to have been taught, sanctioned by great men, and read the “ Age of Reason,' their household god, THE GRANDEST BOOK AS IS, as the cockney infidels say, just as Southcotonians do read the “Book of Wonders,” learning it by rote, and apeing it to every vinny they meet, or uttering it out in twopenny tracts, with one eternal bore about “Priestcraft," &c., without understanding the works they quote, or knowing what they really do believe-mere half reasoners, blind in one eye, dull in the other, and they call themselves philosophers, uncircumcised dogs! Put but a little water in a spoon, 'twill unbaptize 'em. They talk of their free thoughts, while they are tying the latchet of the sophist's shoe, and, like the man in the fable, dreaming of liberty in a dungeon. Neither, sir, do I believe in physiognomy, because Lavater has speculated ; nor in phrenology, because a great deal is said in its support. But I won't say now what I do believe, till I have seen what you have to add to'what is already advanced on these two sciences.
* Aye, but let us confine the expression to what is called the metaphysic or theory of mind. R.C. + I don't know, but I believe Read is living—no matter. (1.) This is more easily said than proved. I know no such instances. R.C.
If you have no objection, Mr. Editor, if you'll insert my letters without alteration (except the spelling, which in my haste, and for want of practice, may sometimes be bad, which I beg you'll correct ;) I say, if you'll show me fair play, I'll accept the invitation you have so often given, and trouble you with a letter once now and then, when I've time, and see necessity, in answer to some of your correspondents; and although I'm but an obscure individual, labouring under great disadvantages, yet I think I can defend Christianity from their attacks-limb 'em, and throw 'em to the dogs, like a giant in the land of Lilliput. (3)
NOTES TO THE LETTER OF “ A RECLUSE." (!) Certainly," no watter," whether he be living or dead. Any discoveries made in physiognomy or phrenology, do not assume the absence of preexistent knowledge ; do not detract from the knowledge of Socrates or Plato, Bacon or Malebranch, Locke, Priestly or Read, any further than Sir Isaac Newton's explanation of the cause of the rainbow detracts from its colours, or than as a discovery of the constituent gases of common water detracts from its properties. The properties of every science exist before they are detailed and reduced to a written system; nor are they often perfectly detailed in the first attempts. Where phrenology has not been understood, all that is argued is, that there has been a radical defect in treating on the moral properties of inankind. Does our correspondent mean to say, that a perfect system of poral philosophy has been presented to us by any of the persons mentioned, or by all put together? If he do not; then, it follows that my position is here good, and his reverie about Socrates, &c. a reverie.-R. C.
(2) Ab! quite as firm. There is no pillared firmament, the earth has no base ; so there is no demonstration, but that of error, here.-R. C.
(3) We'll accept the letters of our correspondent; but we hope that he will follow his own advice, and give us more of demonstration and argument, and less of dogmatism, rant and reverie, than he has given us in the first. He has well proved his own statement, that it is more easy to make assertions, promises and threats, than to argue, to fulfil and to reason. Yes, we know this well; but it is necessary to bluster a little, to get some sort of opponents into the field of criticism, and this is more peculiarly the case with the Christian people, as common sense approaches them.-R. c.
LETTER XXI.-FROM THE REV. ROBERT TAYLOR.
PERSECUTION, PECULIARLY CHRISTIAN. DEAR MR. CARLILE,-Strong and irresistible as is the demonstration of facts, to the proof that thus it hath been, even that demonstration, is of a relatively subaudinate cogency, when compared with the really overwhelming necessity, that thus it must be; that thus there is no alternative left in the compass of possibilities, but that thus it should be. Because, no other religion that ever was in the world, infinitely unnatural as the best, or the worst of them may have really been, did ever avowedly, overtly, and with intention, prepense of that intention, proclaim war on nature ; and nature, I take it for granted, can never be outraged either by God or man, without her most ample revenge.
All her laws subverted quite,
Great nature triunsphs still." It was Christianity alone that ever afforded humanity the abominable insult, of maintaining, that even the pure offenceless infant was by nature born in sin, and shapen in iniquity. It was a maxim of Paganism, even under the most egregious forms in which it ever existed; that all its forms were to be understood and respected only in subordination, and as ancilliary and subservient, always lending their intended aid, officious, or even mischievous as it might have been to nature, but never bearing arms against her. Not one of the thirty thousand Gods and Goddesses of pagan Greece and Rome, can be shown ever to have outraged