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“ An intelligent being who should thoroughly comprehend the mechanism of the Brain, and
WILLIAM TAIT, 78, PRINCE'S-STREET.
SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & CO. LONDON; JOHN CUMMING, DUBLIN.
The following Treatise owes its origin to the conviction that there was both room and need for it.
The only works which even pretend to give more than a mere outline, or grammar of Phrenology, offer to the public an account of the most popular of all sciences at the most anti-popular of all prices. The Author has endeavoured to furnish ample details of the theory of mind and morals, which forms the subject of this digest, at a cost which will render it accessible to the great body of the people.
Phrenology has left the discoveries of its original expounders at a great distance behind. The Institutes of Gall and Spurzheim, excellent as in many respects they are, have now become almost obsolete. Mr. Combe's system contains an admirable exposition of the present state of the science; but as his views differ materially from those of many, and as his doctrines, both relative to the function of the organs and the applications of the principles of this new philosophy, were supposed to be liable to numerous and grave objections, the writer of this work was induced to undertake it for the double purpose of expounding his own opinions of the analysis of the faculties, and of exposing what ha conceives to be the errors of others. That he himself has escaped from falling into many, he does not venture to hope that he will be blamed for more than he has committed, he feels too well assured. But if he shall have succeeded in rendering a competent knowledge of the science more easily attainable, in exciting a healthy spirit of free inquiry, and, above all, in stimulating others to a more careful investigation of, and ho fresh discoveries in, that most defective of all departments of Fhronology, its metaphysics, he shall rest satisfied that he has not written in vain.
The task of collecting the errata, graphical and typographical, which may be found in this work, will no doubt be gladly undertaken by the critics of commas, the semicolon reviewers, the hunters of tautologies, and editors syntactic and rhetorical. It is hoped, that in conferring upon them the distinction of executing the duties of such an office, they will believe that it is intended to manifest towards them only the most substantial proofs of esteem and affection, for it may be remembered, that Boaz first indicated his attachment for Ruth by directing the reapers to make a slovenly stubble, in order that there might be the more for the poor gleaner to gather. If their ruthless strictures should prove the inaptitude of the comparison, authors will learn, when next they cut their harvest, to leave fewer stray ears among their sheaves.
EDINBURGH, 16th June, 1838.