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ogy will diminish both the necessity of demanding security and the danger of undertaking it. I have repeatedly shewn to you examples of the three classes of heads; first, the class very imperfectly endowed in the moral and intellectual regions; second, the class very favorably constituted, in which these higher organs have a decided preponderance; and third, the class in which the three regions stand nearly in equilibrium. Now, no man of prudence, if he knew phrenology, would become security for men of the lowest class, nor be accessary, in any way, to placing them in situations of trust; because this would just be exposing them to temptations, which their weak moral faculties are not capable of withstanding. Men, having the highest or best combination of organs, if well educated, may be safely trusted without security; or if we do become bound for them, we shall have little to fear from their misconduct. I have mentioned that among several thousand criminal heads which I have seen, I have never met one possessing the highest form of combination. Only once, in a penitentiary in Dublin, I found a female whose head approached closely to this standard, and I ventured to predict that there was diseased action in the brain. The jailer said he was not aware of there being disease, but that the woman was subject to intense and long continued headaches, during which her mental perceptions became obscure; and the physician, on hearing my remark, expressed his own conviction, as having been of long standing, that there was diseased action in the brain. This leaves, then, only the middle class of individuals, or those in whose brains the organs of propensity, sentiment, and intellect, are nearly equally balanced, as those for whose conduct surety would be required, and for whom it would be hazardous to give it. The necessity and the hazard both arise from the same cause. Individuals thus constituted may be moral, as long as external temptation is withheld; but they may, on any day, lapse into dishonesty, when strong inducements are presented; and often the possession of property, committed to their charge in a confidential manner, that is to say, in such a way that they may misapply it for a time without detection, operates as an irresistible temptation, and they change their character, to the consternation of their sureties, in the very circumstances in which their good conduct was most implicitly relied on. We sometimes read in the newspapers of enormous embezzlements, or breaches of trust, or disgraceful bankruptcies, committed by men who, during a long series of years, had enjoyed the most reputable characters; and the unreflecting wonder how men can change so suddenly, or how, after having known the sweets of virtue, they can be so infatuated as to part with them all, for the hollow illusions of criminal gain. But the truth is, that these men belong to the class in which the three regions of the brain are nearly equally balanced, and their virtue ..never at any time stood on a very stable foundation. It was poised like a pyramid on its apex, and the breath of external temptation was sufficient at any moment to overset it. Many small slips from the code of perfect morality probably preceded the grand catastrophe; which, moreover, was hastened, if not induced, by the facilities for doing wrong, afforded by the very confidence and good reputation which they had previously enjoyed. It is of some importance to know the characteristic distinctions of the different classes of minds, in judging in relation to suretyship; because, looking at such obligations, we observe that in some cases, they lead to no loss, while in others, they are ruinous in the extreme. The judgment is perplexed, while we have no means of accounting for these differences of result; but if you will study phrenology, and apply it practically, it will clear up many of these apparent anomalies, and enable you to judge when you are safe, and when exposed to danger.
We come now to inquire into the practical rule which we should follow, in regard to becoming sureties. In the present state of society, the exacting of security is in many instances indispensable; and I cannot, therefore, see any ground on which the selfishness of those who decline, in all circumstances, to undertake it, can be defended. It appears to me to be a necessary duty, which presents itself to many individuals; and that, although when imprudently discharged, it may be hazardous, we are not, on that account, entitled entirely to shrink from it. There are several precautions, however, which we are not only entitled, but called on, to adopt, for our own protection. In the first place, no man ought ever to bind himself to pay money to an extent which, if exacted, would render him bankrupt; for this would be to injure his creditors by his suretyship; nay, he should not bind himself gratuitously to pay any sum for another, which, if lost, would seriously injure his own family. In short, no man is called on to undertake gratuitous and benevolent obligations, beyond the extent which he can discharge without severe and permanent suffering to himself; and in subscribing such obligations, he should invariably calculate on being called on to fulfil them by payment. In general, men, even of ordinary prudence, find by experience that they are compelled to pay, at least one half of all the cautionary obligations which they grant, and the imprudent even more. Unless, therefore, they are disposed to go to ruin in the career of social kindness, they should limit their obligations in proportion to their means. Secondly—We should consider the object sought to be attained by the suretyship. If it be to enable a young man to get into a desirable employment, or to commence business on a moderate scale on his own account, or to help a friend, in a temporary, unexpected, and blameless emergency, good may, in all of these instances, result from the act. But if it be merely to enable a person who is doing well, to do, as he imagines, a great deal better; to enable him to extend his business, or to get into a more lucrative situation, we may often pause, and doubt whether we are about to serve our friend, or injure both him and ourselves. According to my observation, the men who have succeeded best in the pursuits of this world, and longest and most steadily enjoyed prosperity and maintained character, are those who, from moderate beginnings, have advanced slowly and steadily along with the stream of events, aided chiefly by their own talents and mental resources; men who have never hastened to be rich, but who, from the first, have seen that time, economy, and prudence, are the grand elements of ultimate success. These men ask only the means of a fair commencement, and afterwards give no trouble, either to the public or to their friends. Success flows upon them, as the natural result of their own course of action, and they never attempt to force it prematurely. There are other individuals, full of sanguine hope, inordinate ambition, or of a boundless love of gain, who never discover the advantage of their present attainments, but who are constantly aiming at an imaginary prosperity, just at arm's length beyond their reach; and they ask their friends to lend them the aid of their arm, to add to the length of their own, assured that they will then seize the prize. These persons urge their friends to become securities for them, to raise money, in order to extend their business. I would humbly recommend to those to whom this appeal is made, to moderate their pace, instead of accelerating it; to advise them to practise economy and patience; and to wait till they acquire capital of their own to increase their trade. The mental weakness of such men arises from their own oversanguine, ambitious, and grasping disposition; and it is liable to be fostered, and rendered more dangerous, by encouragement. The chances are many, that they will ruin themselves, and bring serious loss on their sureties. I have seen the most deplorable examples of families absolutely ruined by a single member of them, possessing this character, who, by his brilliant representations of approaching fortune, succeeded in getting possession of the moderate patrimonies of his brothers and sisters, the funds provided for his mother's annuity, in short, the whole capital left by his father, as the fruit of a long and laborious life, and in a few years had dissipated every sixpence of it, in enterprises and speculations of the most extravagant description. One benefit of phrenology, to those who make a practical use of it, is to enable them to discriminate between a man's hopes and his real capacities. They are aware, when they see considerable deficiency in the organs of intellect, or in those of cautiousness, conscientiousness and firmness, that whatever promises the individual may make, or however sincere his own intentions of being prosperous may be, yet that if he involve himself in a multitude of affairs, beyond the reach of his intellectual powers, failure will be inevitable; and they act accordingly. I have repeatedly urged individuals to abstain from assisting characters of this description to extend their speculations, and advised them to reserve their funds for emergencies of a different description, which were certain to arise; and at the distance of a few years, after the advice had been forgotten by me, they have returned and thanked me for the counsel. Such speculative men generally fall into great destitution in the end; and my recommendation to their relatives has uniformly been, to reserve their means, with the view of saving them from abject poverty, when their schemes shall have reached their natural termination in ruin; and this has been found to be prudent advice. As a general rule, therefore, I would dissuade you from undertaking suretyship merely to increase the quantity, or accelerate the march of prosperity, if your friend, by the aid of time, prudence and economy, may ultimately command success by his own resources.