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twenty classes organised in connection with the Rotherham Literary and Mechanics’ Institute-showing in many instances that aptitude, tendency, and even moral dispositions are intimately connected with heritage derived from one or both parents.
I have always found the educational efforts of the offspring of the ignorant, lymphatic and lazy, less apt, more slow and dull
, than the children of the intelligent, active, and industrious. Hereditary paupers breed paupers. Idleness is in their bones, apathy in their brains, and vacuity in their visages.
A general co-mixture of the temperaments is most beneficial. Facts show that the nervous and sanguine impart susceptibility and activity; the bilious the power of action; and the lymphatic that tendency to inaction and rest which is essential to the healthful nutrition of the brain after fatiguing exertion. How can this knowledge become useful? By impressing the truth on those likely to be the men and women of the future. As scrofula and insanity are hereditary, so surely temperaments are hereditary. Family portraits indicate family features, and also family temperaments ; and those who value the interests and happiness of themselves and their offspring, will subscribe the marriage contract with another of somewhat different temperament. From sluggish temperaments those of an active character rarely descend; frum the nervous-sanguine in man and woman, we usually find the same combination in the offspring. If the portrait of Shakspere by Jansen, or the portrait said to be Susanna Hall, which I discovered in the possession of a descendant of the Hathaways, or the Mask said to be taken from the face of Shakspere after death, be faithful likenesses, then the poet was endowed with a nervous-sanguine temperament.
When two persons are united in whom the same kind of temperament prevails, it is not only found in the issue, but in greater strength, and its energy is more intense. The intermarriage of the purely nervous is often followed by delicate, ricketty, and weakly offspring, and there is a hard battle to be fought for a tolerable lease of life; while the continued intermarriage of the lymphatic would ultimately result in the fatuous or idiotic. On the union of mingled temperaments, we generally find those temperaments blend in the offspring with the happiest results to health, vigour, vitality
and longevity. It is a well-established fact, that the distinguished men whose talents make them conspicuous in the cabinet, the camp, or the closet, have had either the nervous-bilious, or the nervous-sanguine temperaments. Temperament is also an element in good taste. The nervous, sanguine, and bilious, by giving fineness to the substance and vivacity to the action of the brain, are highly conducive to refinement. Those authors and artists whose productions are conspicuous for great delicacy and beauty, have fine temperaments, and large perceptive powers, combined with Ideality. We find examples of the active temperaments in Alexander the Great, Julius Cæsar, Charlemagne, William the Norman, Cromwell, Napoleon, Mazzini, and Garibaldi. The poets have a large share of the nervous temperament, as shown in the portraits of Tasso, Dante, Alfieri, Pope, Corneille, Moliere, Voltaire, Pope, Shelley, Keats, Campbell, Lamartine, and Tennyson. So among artizans—those fond of .simple and beautifuľ decorations to make their homes graceful attractions from grosser pleasures, will be found endowed with a large proportion of activity arising from the temperament. And woman, who possesses more delicacy than man, more natural refinement of manner, has greater aptitude, and a keener appreciation of the elegancies of life.
On the other hand, coarseness and gross habits more frequently co-exist with the opposite conditions. A lady once brought her servant, and requested me to state iny opinion about her. After examining her facial and cranial contour, the relative proportions of her brain and her temperament, and finding a low and peculiar organisation, a feeble condition of body, and a dull heavy apathetic aspect, I told her the girl had the characteristics of a pauper, and would prove cunning, deceitful, and lazy: The lady expressed her surprise, and wished to learn how I could know, for she had obtained her from the workhouse. The girl had been the cause of the death of the cat. Every day the cream vanished, and she attributed it to puss. The cat was killed, and yet the cream still vanished. It was ultimately discovered that the girl lapped the cream from the milk like a kitten, and left no sign on the basin! What is bred in the flesh, will be manifest in the spirit. The sluggishness of the children of hereditary vagrants is notorious. Their brightest attribute is cunning. With a torpid nervous system, they vegetate rather than enjoy life with vigour, and their dull
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. They will live on the labours of others, rather than work out their own redenıption 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 command 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 Gregories, the inventive Brunels, 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 forgetfulhress 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 sensibilities, 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 inen 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.