This last method of measurement, even though it gives an idea of the relative intelligence within narrow limits only, is at least founded upon certain facts, and it expresses the law of the proportional development of the face and skull in the superior animals. And even in measuring by the facial angle the causes of error may be avoided to a certain extent, and this measurement is an expression of an incontestable anatomical fact.
But this is not the case with a doctrine which was received with enthusiasm about the beginning of this century, though now almost forgotten. We speak of phrenology. Gall professed to discover the degree of development of the faculties by exploring the cranium. According to his theory, the skull is moulded upon the brain, and presents protuberances corresponding to those of that organ, and thus gives the measure of the development of the intellectual and emotional faculties. These faculties, which he localized in the encephalon, were composed, according to him, of a series of conoid bundles, the base of which corresponded to the surface of the brain and the apex to the medulla oblongata. Each one of these cones was the seat of a faculty, of which he numbered twenty-seven, placing all the intellectual faculties in the anterior portion of the brain, the animal faculties in the posterior portion, and the moral faculties in the middle portion over the ear: the first confined for the most part to a very small space, and the others distributed over larger surfaces. The pupils of Gall added eleven faculties to those which he had classed. Among the latter, the sense of right and wrong—or as they termed it, conscientiousness— did not appear.
To this system it was objected that if the principal projections of the exterior of the skull, the frontal and parietal protuberances, for example, correspond to the depressions or fossæ of the interior, no external relief indicated the digital impressions and the small cavities which correspond to the surface of the brain; that at several points an external projection corresponded to one on the inner surface; that the arch of the brow (the superciliary ridge), where six faculties are located, is more or less prominent, not from the cerebral relief, but from the development of the frontal sinuses; and that there is no resemblance between the form of the internal table and the external table in the frontal region. Gall was therefore wrong in tracing upon the brain the seat of each faculty according to the elevations which he found upon the skull. It was added also, that, even admitting the localization of the faculties and the divisions of the brain, it was very irrational to unite all the faculties in corresponding portions of the cranial arch, and to attribute none at all to those portions of the brain which are not in contact with the skull, or which rest laterally and in front on its base. This exclusive grouping was unjustifiable, and is to be considered as purely arbitrary. Gall and his school invoked the aid of the comparative anatomy of the brain in support of his system. Leuret gave them a death-blow by showing that the study of the brain in the animal scale proves the facts to be in entire disagreement with the theory of the German savant, and that it disproves at all points the propositions of phrenology.
The face is composed of fourteen bones, which form, by their union with each other and with the bones of the skull, the cavities in which the organs of sight, of smell, and of taste are placed. Twelve of these bones are in pairs, and placed symmetrically on each side: these are the superior maxillary, the malar or cheek bones, the nasal bones, the lachrymal bones, the superior turbinated bones, and the palatine bones. Two are not paired: these are the vomer and the inferior maxillary. The superior maxillaries, with the lachrymal and malar bones, combine to form the inferior portion of the orbit; they are united to the temporal bones by the malar bones, the protuberances of which form the cheek-bones. At their alveolar border the teeth are placed, and the space included in the dental arch is called the palatine arch, which is prolonged backward by the palatine bones. The nasal bones form the upper portion or root of the nose; below these, and between the superior maxillaries, is the nasal cavity, which is divided into two parts by a partition, of which the vomer forms a portion. The superior turbinated bones articulate with the maxillaries and contribute to multiply the nasal sinuses, in which are the ramifications of the olfactory nerves.
The inferior maxillary is at first composed of two bones, which are early joined together at the point called the symphysis of the chin. The branches of this bone form a right angle with its body, called the angle of the jaw, and at their superior extremity they divide into two apophyses; namely, the condyle, which articulates with the glenoid cavity of the temporal bone, and the coronoid process, where the tendon of the temporal muscle is inserted. This is one of the muscles which draw the lower jaw to the upper one in chewing the food.
This skeleton, with its strange and imperfect outlines, this type of Death, disappears under the muscles and teguments, which cover it with an elegant envelope. The eyelids veil the orbit and protect the eye, the watchful sentinel and investigator of the exernal world, the admirable instrument which enables the brain to contemplate the works of creation and to express its most vivid impressions. The nose covers the organs of smell, while it completes them by protecting their sensibility; the lips are placed before the mouth, and they are at once an organ of prehension, a docile and indefatigable guard, a necessary instrument in articulating sounds, and one of the most expressive of the features which combine to form the physiognomy. The concha, or external ear, surrounds the auditory canal, and serves to collect the sonorous waves, and to give expression to the head. The hair, the eyebrows, and eyelashes protect the skull and the eye against external objects, and at the same time their different shades, and curves, and undulations, greatly contribute to the beauty of the whole. Lastly, the skin of the face is animated with the most delicate tints, or is clothed in the vigorous tones and that admirable carnation which has been so well rendered by the Venetian painters.