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LYMPHATIC TEMPERAMENT.-(Photographed from life.) The perceptive region is small, as indicated by the short space between the ear and lower portion of the forehead, the form of which is like that given by the tomb-maker to the bust of Shaksperc, Youths of this class are dull and slow in apprehension, and never succeed in artistic pursuits requiring great taste, sensibility, and executive skill.
heavy aspect harmonises with these characteristics. Ther will live on the labours of others, rather than work out their own redemption from suffering, unless external influences help them upwards.*
It is a well-established fact, that special idiosyncracies and eccentricities are also transmitted. Dr. A. Combe states that “when an original eccentricity is on the mother's side, and she is gifted with much force of character, the evil extends more widely among the children than when it is on
* The same names may be seen constantly recurring in workhouse books for generations; that is, the persons were born and brought up, generation after generation, in the conditions which make paupers The close observer may safely predict that such a family, whether its members marry or not, will become extinct; that such another will degenerate morally and physically. But who learns the lesson! --Notes on Nursing, by FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE.
the father's side.” The father and his stock will give the organs of vitality and the complexion, and the mother the mental and moral peculiarities, and sometimes the reverse. A striking 'illustration of heritage may be found in a brief description of the father of Dr. Johnson, which very forcibly indicates the source of the great lexicographer's peculiar strength and eccentricities. “Michael Johnson,” says the biographer of the author of Rasselas, “was a man of large athletic make, and violent passions; wrong-headed, positive, and at times afflicted with a degree of melancholy * little short of madness." In this brief sketch we may trace the heritage of Johnson's love of contention, his singular force of mind and character. It is said “his morbid melancholy had an effect on his temper; his passions were irritable; and the pride of science, as well as of a fierce independent spirit, inflamed him on some occasions above all bounds of moderation. Notwithstanding all his piety, self-government or the comniand of his passions in conversation, does not seem to have been among his attainments. Whenever he thought the contention was for superiority, he has been known to break out with violence, even ferocity.” A morbid “melancholy was his constitutional malady, derived perhaps from his father, who was, at times, overcast with a gloom that bordered on insanity."
Mental aptitudes are transmitted by descent through many generations, which serves to explain the greater quickness of the children in manufacturing districts in learning ingenious employments. The boys playing in and around Sheffield are broader from constructiveness and the neighbouring organs, than the children of the same class in the agricultural and fenny districts of England. Dr. Paterson, in speaking of the Phrenology of Hindostan, mentions a remarkable correspondence in this respect in the heads of the inhabitants of a small town on the banks of the Ganges, Fort Monghyr, which has been long noted for its superiority in cutlery, gun making, tools, and other articles the result of mechanical construction. Only those who have mechanical aptitude can succeed in these trades, and thus the best workmen become settled, and in the progress of ages a prominent faculty becomes marked in the organisation. The mechanical faculties are large, or active, and culture gives increased susceptibility. Like the strings of a musical instrument, exercise improves the quality of the tone.
There are families in which musical, artistic, and other distinguishing talents, are hereditary for generations, and these aptitudes would continue if there was uniform obedience to the law. We have the mathematica) Herschels, the courageous and fighting Napiers, the analytical Gre. gories, the inventive Branels, the constructive Stephensons, and the histrionic Kembles.
Families and individuals are sometimes remarkable for particular defects, such as an inability to perceive colours. I have known several illustrations of this peculiarity. One gentleman who cannot tell colours, describes his wife's green silk dress as scarlet. A youth apprenticed to a house painter could never select the right colours, and he had to leave the business. This defect is accompanied by a depression of the eyebrow, giving the opposite form to that of Vandyke, Rubens, and Titian. The memory of dates and places will be very weak in some families, and very retentive in others, I met an English gentleman in Paris who was obliged to have the assistance of a valet to enable him to return to his hotel. He lost his watch and top-coat through forgetfulness of the places where he had left them. These deficiencies arise from the moderate development and weakness of power in particular portions of the brain ; and, like other portions of the body, become hereditary. On the other hand, when all the conditions are favourable, we have the result embodied in talent or genius, as in the union of the Ardens and the Shaksperes. On the one side, eminently superior in the cerebral type and physical conformation; and on the other, in vitality and energy, they united the highest advantages with the finest quality or temperament. The vascular and nervous systems predominated; the one presiding over nutrition, extension, growth, and development; the other being the foundation of the refined sensi. bilities, mental aptitudes, and intellectual power.
The most illustrious men in every age have arisen from the classes likely, though ignorantly, to act upon the principle of a happy choice by intermarriage with other classes. The most eminent men of Greece were of obscure origin, and foreign female slaves gave birth to many of them. A Carian was the mother of Themistocles, and a Scythian of Demosthenes. The most striking examples of energy among our own aristocracy, were the first fruits of intermarriages with the healthy, vigorous offspring of the middle class. The Persian nobility have, by the selection of Circassian wives, eradicated their old coarse physiognomy, as seen in the Guebres, their progenitors. Many of the Spanish nobility illustrate the opposite results, from intermarriage among themselves. It is with mind as with the weapon of the warrior and the tool of the workman-temper is everything—and temper is intimately connected with temperament and cerebral susceptibility. While the nervous are prone to be irritable; the sanguine irascible and passionate; the bilious slow, persistent, and often violent; the lymphatic are most inclined to inaction, and disposed to sail with the wind. Those of the apathetic constitution have seldom disturbed the current of events, either by their deeds, their negotiations, or their conquests. Talent they sometimes possess; genius never. They float with the flood, or cast anchor till the returning tide ; they never go against the stream.
The tomb-maker who built the bust of Shakspere at Stratford, was not aware of this important relation between form, capacity, and character; while the picture by Jansen, the portrait of Shakspere's daughter, and the Mask said to be taken after death, all harmonise with the law of relation between form and capacity, power and results.
Although it may be conceded that education and favourable circumstances have great influence on organisations adapted to receive the rays of light and intelligence, and to make them manifest; yet, no amount of culture will raise the idiot into a philosopher, or convert the sluggish offspring of the feeble or the imbecile, into the highly-organised sensitive child of genius. The transmission of aptitude is shown too in the fact, that the children of linguists, and those of mathematicians, learn languages and numbers sooner than those of uneducated parents. The children of musicians, when both parents are musically inclined, learn inore easily than others; and this susceptibility, when. inherited during three generations, often results in the extraordinary powers called talent and genius.
The biographers of Shakspere have hitherto attempted to explain the marvellous powers of the poet by the external influences with which he was surrounded, by what books he read, and where he resided. They mention his parents, it is true, but they almost ignore the heritage of his ancestry. They forget that many thousands have been sur
rounded by similar circumstances of nature, condition, and education; but which no doubt contributed their due influence on the mental organism of a highly sensitive character, clerived from many generations of a superior stock, where the physical, the mental, and the moral elements were in harmonious proportions, as in the Ardens and the Shaksperes.
Moral beauty of character, too, is dependent on this harmonious balance of the organic forces in the constitution, and especially so, in the just proportion between the various regions of the cerebral and the vital powers of the body. A vigorous and healthy organism that gives soundness to the bones, will fix its index in the complexion, impart a sparkling lustre to the eye, and give grace to the outline, the form, carriage, and expression. The face is thus the epitome of the body, repeating in miniature the inward emotions; and every organic action is pleasing from its truth, directness, and fitness of expression in the body and mind.
It is a just remark of an able writer who says, that“ The union of certain temperaments and combinations of mental organs, are highly conducive to health, talent, and morality in the offspring; and that these conditions may be discovered and taught with far greater certainty, facility, and advantage, than is generally imagined.”
When, however, the sensitive, nervous organisation of a race or family is developed into the highest state of sensibility and refinement, ending in talent, eccentricity, and genius, the vitality becomes weak and effete, and the race (lies out in a generation or two, as in the case of Shakspere, Milton, Corneille, Scott, Burke, Byron, Moore, Mozart, and many others, whose names are known no more among men.
Scott, like Shakspere, was desirous of founding a family, but the name and inheritance passed to female descendants. Our greatest poet had only one son, who died early; his daughter, Susanna Hall, had one girl, and she died childless. The explanation must be sought in the fact, that in men of high culture and sensibility, the physical and the vital parts of the human organism are sacrificed to the nervous—the brain is exercised at the expense of the body, and exhausted in the very manifestations by which the poet or artist becomes known, and by which he influences the world. Their works become their best effigies. There is an