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Experi to the physician. We are fully justified in this opinion, therefore, or secondary causes, are the best proofs of Experi . mental Phi- by observing medical authors of the present day intro unerring wisdom. Sucis regularity of conduct is univer- mental PLilosophy.
ducing into medicine theories borrowed from mechani sally considered as an indication of wisdom among men. losopky.
frequently conceals the errors in principle, and seldom of a fool.
And what astonishing evidences of wisdom do we in religion, But there is no class of men to whom this science not observe in the general laws of the material world?
is of more service than to those who hold the honour. They will ever be considered by the intelligent philo-
sopher as the most glorious display of inconceivable
But tributes, and groundless fears of his power.
have a sort of horror at all attempts to account But besides these advantages which acerne to diffefor the events of nature by the intervention of general rent classes of men from this study, there are some efcauses, and think this procedure derogatory to the fects which are general, and are too important to be Divine nature, and inconsistent with the doctrine of passed over unnoticed.
116 his particular providence; believing, that " a sparrow That spirit of dispassionate experimental enquiry and in a does not fall to the ground without the knowledge of which has so greatly promoted this study, will carry
ther sciour heavenly Father.” Their limited conceptions can with it, into every subject of enquiry, that precision not perceive, that, in forming the general law, the and that constant appeal to fact and experience which Great Artist did at one glance see it in its remotest and characterize it. And we may venture to assert, that most minute consequence, and adjust the vast assemblage the superior good order and method which distinguish so as completely to answer every purpose of His pro some of the later productions in other sciences, have vidence. There never was a more eager enquirer into been in a great measure owing to this mathematical the laws of nature, or more ardent admirer of its glo spirit, the success of which in natural philosophy bas rious Author, than the Hon. Robert Boyle. This gen- gained it credit, and thus given it an unperceived tleman says, that he will always think more highly of influence even over those who have not made it their the skill and power of that artist who should construct study.
any consequences, however contrary to common opinion.
mind, who is incapable of change, and must do to day of him and of our relations to him : notions infinitely * Fergu- what He always did : for to change is to deviate from more just than can ever be entertained by the careless son's Lec
what is best *. The operations of unerring mind will spectator of his works. Things which to this man aptures on Ethics. therefore be regular and invariable. Physical laws, pear solitary and detached, having no other connec
Experi- tion with the rest of the universe but the shadowy and God, and with the hopes of one day enjoying all the sa. Experimental Phi Aeeting relation of co-existence, will, to the diligent tisfaction that can arise from conscious worth and con- mental Philosophy, philosopher, declare themselves to be parts of a great summate knowledge; and this is the worship wbich God losophy. and harmonious whole, connected by the general laws will approve. “ This universe (says Boyle) is the
PHYSIOGNOMONICS, among physicians, denote sucb signs as, being taken from the countenance, serve to indicate the state, disposition, &c. both of the body
and mind : and hence the art of reducing these signs to
Varions de- TS a word formed from the Greek quris, nature, and
internal properties of any corporeal existence from the finitions of germore, I know. It is the name of a science which external appearances. Joannes Baptista Porta, for inphysiogno, occupied much of the attention of ancient philoso- stance, who was a physiognomist and philosopher of con
phers, and which, since the revival of learning, has in siderable eminence, wrote a treatise on the physiognodern. a great degree been disregarded. Till of late it has
my of plants (philognomonica), in which he employs
powers of human beings, from their external appear-
brated book of Lavater appeared. He indeed defines It does not appear that the ancients extended the physiognomy to be “ the art of discovering the interior compass of physiognomy beyond man, or at least ani of man by means of his exterior ; but in different pasmated nature : But the study of that art was revived sages of his work be evidently favours the extended in the middle ages, when, misled probably by the com signification of Pernetty. This work gave occasion prehensiveness of the etymological meaning of the to M. Formey's attack upon the science itself in the word, or incited by the prevalent taste for the mar same Berlin Transactions for 1775. Formey strenuousvellous, those who treated of the subject stretched the ly controverts the extent assigned by Lavater to bis farange of their speculation far beyond the ancient li vourite science. mits. The extension of the signification of the term Before the era of Pythagoras the Greeks had little or Pythagoras was adopted universally by those naturalists who ad no science, and of course could not be scientifical physi- probably mitted the theory of signatures (see SIGNATURE); and ognomists. Physiognomy, however, was much cultiva. brought physiognomy came thus to mean, the knowledge of the ted in Egypt and India ; and from these countries the this science
to Greece. sage
sage of Samos probably introduced the rudiments of this tic, was inimical to the subject; which, to be made
phrases. Aristotle's performance, however, such as it
dote of the decision of Zopyrus, on the real character The imitators of this great man in the 16th and 17th
been frequently though not universally adopted. Be-
may be worth while to give a brief outline of Ari sides his treatise expressly on the subject, many incistotles sentiments on the subject.
dental observations on physiognomy will be found interGeneral Physiognomy, he in substance observes, had been spersed through his other works, particularly in his outline of treated of in three ways. Some philosophers classed history of animals. Aristotle's animals into genera, and ascribed to each genus a cer Next after Aristotle, his disciple and successor The-Theophrasopinion on tain mental disposition corresponding to their corpo- ophrastus would deserve to be particularly mentioned tus's ethie ject. real appearance. Others made a farther distinction of
as a writer on the subject in question. His ethic cha-characters dividing the genera into species. Among men, for racters, a singular and entertaining performance, com- important instance, they distinguished the Thracians, the Scy- posed at the age of 99, form a distinct treatise on a branch of thians, the Egyptians, and whatever nations were stri most important branch of physiognomy, the physiogno-physiogno kingly different in manners and habits, to whom ac my of manners ; but the translations and imitations of my. cordingly they assigned the distinctive physiognomical La Bruyere are so excellent, that by referring to them characteristics. A third set of physiognomists judged we do greater justice than would otherwise be in our of the actions and manners of the individual, and pre power, both to Theophrastus and to our readers. We sumed that certain manners proceeded from certain cannot, however, omit observing, that the accuracy of dispositions. But the method of treating the subject observation and liveliness of description displayed in the adopted by Aristotle himself was this : A peculiar work of Theophrastus will preserve it high in classiform of body is invariably accompanied by a peculiar cal rank, while the science of man and the prominent disposition of mind; a human intellect is never found in characteristics of human society continue to be objects the corporeal form of a beast. The mind and body re of attention. ciprocally affect each other ; thus in intoxication and Polemon of Athens, Adamantius the sophist, and se-Other mania the mind exhibits the affections of the body; and veral others, wrote on the subject about the same peri- Greek aioin fear, joy, &c. the body displays the affections of the od. Lately there was published a collection of all the thirsutine mind.
Greek authors on physiognomy: the book is entitled,
zject. From such facts he argues, that when in man a par Physiognomiæ veteris scriptores Græci, Gr. et Lat. à ticular bodily character appears, which by prior experi Franzio Altenb. 1780, 8vo. From the number of these The science ence and observation has been found uniformly accom authors, it appears that the science was much cultivated was then panied by a certain mental disposition, with which there. in Greece; but the professors seem soon to have con-coupled fore it must have been necessarily connected; we are nected with it something of the marvellous.
with someintitled in all such cases to infer the disposition from have cause to suspect from the story told by Apion of thing of the the appearance. Our observations, he conceives, may Apelles : Imaginem adeo similitudinis indiscrete pinxbe drawn from other animals as well as from men : for it, ut (incredibile dictu). Apion Grammaticus Scriptum as a lion possesses one bodily form and mental character, reliquerit quemdam ex facie hominumad divinantem (quos a hare another, the corporeal characteristics of the lion, melaposcopos vocant) cx iis dixisse aut futuræ mortis such as strong hair, deep voice, large extremities, dis- annos, aut præterite * The noviciates of the Pytha- * Pleny cernible in a human creature, denote the strength and gorean school were subjected to the physiognomic ob-Nat. Bisi. courage of that noble animal ; while the slender extre servation of their teachers, and it is probable the first lib. 3.5. mities, soft down, and other features of the bare, visible physiognomists by profession among the Greeks were 35. pato in a man, betray the mental character of that pusillani- of this sect. They, too, to whom, from the nature of*9. mous creature.
their doctrines and discipline, mystery was familiar, Upon this principle Aristotle treats of the corporeal were the first, it is likely, who exposed the science of features of man, and the correspondent dispositions, so far physiognomy in Greece to disgrace, by blending with as observed: be illustrates them by the analogy just men it the art of divination.
8 tioned, and in some instances attempts to account for From the period of which we have been treating to The obser
vations of them by physiological reasoning.
the close of the Roman republic, nothing worthy of At the early period in which Aristotle wrote, his the remark occurs in the literary history of physiognomy.other wriory, plausible certainly, and even probable, displays his About the last-mentioned era, however, and from thence ters, usual penetration, and a considerable degree of know to the decline of the empire under the later emperors, ' ledge. He distinctly notices individual physiognomy, the science appears to have been cultivated as an imnational physiognomy, and comparative physiognomy. portant branch of erudition, and assumed as a profesThe state of knowledge in his time did not admit of a sion by persons who had acquired a superior knowledge complete elucidation of bis general principles; on tbatin it. account bis enumeration of particular observations and In the works of Hippocrates and Galen, many phsprecepts is by no means so well founded or so accurate as siognomical ohservations occur. Cicero appears to have his method of study. Even his style, concise and energe been peculiarly attached to the science. In his ora
tion against Pise, and in that in favour of Roscius, the mistry, the philosophy of history, the history of man, and
the writers ral abuse.
had declined very considerably in the estimation of the
of the preMany physiognomical remarks are to be found like learned ; and those who treated of physiognomy forbore sent centuwise in the writings of Sallust, Suetonius, Seneca, Pliny, to disgrace it by a connection with those branches of ry on this Aulus Gellius, Petronius, Plutarch, and others. ideal learning with which formerly it had been invari-subject.
That in the Roman empire the science was practised ably conjoined. In Britain, Dr Gwither noticed it with as a profession, ample evidence appears in the writings approbation.-His remarks are published in the Philo. of several of the authors just mentioned. Suetonius, sophical Transactions, vol. xviii.; and Dr Parsons chose for instance, in his Life of Titus, mentions that Nar- it for the subject of the Croonean lectures, published at cissus employed a physiognomist to examine the features first in the second supplement to the 44th volume of the of Britannicus, who predicted that Britannicus would Philosophical Transactions, and afterwards (1747) in not succeed, but that the empire would devolve on a separate treatise, entitled Human Physiognomy exTitus.
plained. This The science of physiognomy shared the same fate with The observations, however, of these writers, as well science fell all others, when the Roman empire was overthrown by as of Lancisius, Haller, and Buffon, relate rather to the with the
the northern barbarians. About the beginning of the transient expression of the passions than to the perma-
16th century it began again to be noticed. From that nent features of the face and body. The well-known.
During the present century, although playsiognomy We find It has been unfortunate for physiognomy, that by ma- lias been now and then attended to, nothing of import nothing ny of these writers it was held to be connected with ance appeared on the subject till the discussion already very imdoctrines of which the philosophy of the present day mentioned between Pernetty and Le Cat, in the Berlin Hill the
would be ashamed. With these doctrines it had al. Transactions. The sentiments of these authors, in so far controver. 1ο most sunk into oblivion.
as relates to the definition of physiognomy, have been sy betweea Particular In every period of the history of literature there may above noticed. Their essays are, besides, employed in
and Le Cat. easily be marked a prevalence of particular studies. In discussing the following questions: Ist, Whether it have pecu- the early period, for instance, of Grecian literature, my would or would not be advantageous to society, were vailed at thological morality claimed the chief attention of the phi- the character, dieposition, and abilities, of each indiparticular losophers. In the more advanced state of learning in vidual so marked in his appearance as to be discovertimes. Greece and in Rome, poetry, history, and oratory, held ed with certainty?
the pre-eminence. Under the latter emperors, and for 2dly, Whether, on the supposition that by the high-
13 history of theology, and the present tone of theological Soon after this controversy in the Berlin Transactions, Lavater's opinions in Europe, furnish a pregrant example. appeared the great work of M. Lavater, dean of Zurich, celebrated
To physiognomy, and the exploded sciences last men which has excited no inconsiderable portion of attention Worki. tioned, succeeded classic philology; which gave place to in the literary world. The work itself is magnificent : modern poetry and natural philosophy ; to which recent That circumstance, as well as the nature of the subject, ly have been added the studies of rational theology, che which was supposed to be fanciful, have contributed to
(B) They are, Bartholem. Cecles, Baptista Porta, Honoratus Nuquetius, Jacobus de Indagine, Alstedius, Mi-
extend its fame; and certainly, if we may judge, the tiles, and fishes, are obviously premature, as hitherto no
serve to prejudice the reader in favour of his judgment,
In the Berlin Transactions for 1775, there appears a His work, rous, often expressive, and tolerably executed.
formal attack upon Lavater's work by M. Formey, was attack, 14 His opi
The opiņions of this celebrated physiognomist are evi This essay we have already mentioned. After disputing ed in the nionx the dently the result of actual observation. He appears in the propriety of the extensive signification applied by Transacresult of
deed to have made the science his peculiar study, and Lavater and Pernetty to the term physiognomy, M. tions by M. observation.
the grand pursuit of bis life. His performance exhibits Formey adopts nearly the same definition which we con- Formey.
, precise, and strikingly cha- dy; but his principal argument against physiognomy is,
without any correspondent change of the disposition; so $lis ima
The defects of the work, bowever, detract much from tbat it surpasses the extent of the skill of mortals to digination the weight which Lavater's opinions might otherwise stinguish the modifications of feature that are natural, has, how. challenge. His imagination has frequently so far out from those which may be accidental. Although, thereever, often
stript his judgment, that an ordinary reader would of- fore, the science of physiognomy may be founded in his judge. ten he apt to reject the whole system as the extravagant truth, he infers that the Deity only can exercise it.
reverie of an ingenious theorist. He has clothed his fa. M. Formey further contends, that education, diet,
scribes the whole material world to be objects of the so that the influence of mental character on these fea* Vol. i. universal dominion of physiognomy*. He whimsically tures may be so involved with, or hidden by, accidental 1...33.-38. conceives it necessary for a physiognomist to be a well- circumstances, that the study of physiognomy must ever
shaped bandsome man t. He employs a language which be attended by hopeless uncertainty. These objections P 89. French is often much too peremptory and decisive, dispropor are worthy of notice, but they are by no means conclu
tioned to the real substance of his remarks, or to the sive.
occasion of making them. The remarks themselves We shall give a specimen of M. Lavater's manner of Lavater's ☆ Vol i
are frequently opposite in appearance to common ob- treating the subject on the opposite side of the question: mode of Servation, and yet unsupported by any illustrations of A specimen, not in Lavater's precise words, but convey- treating his.
ing more shortly an idea at once of his sentiments, and his subject. Other Lavater certainly errs in placing too great a reli of his manner of expressing them.
19 weaknesses ance on single features, as the foundation of decision on No study, says he, excepting mathematics, more just- Physiog. of this
character. His opinions on the plıysiognomy of the ly deser ves to be termed a science than pysiognomy. nomy great phy siognomist. ears, hands, nails, and feet of the buman species, on It is a department of physics, including theology and justly cah hand-writing, on the physiognomy of birds, insects, rep belles lettres, and in the same manner with these sciences ed a sci