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TEMPERAMENTS.

which are liable to spring upon the most circumspect of us in the shape of physiological incest; as if in the decalogue and through the ingenuity of man there were not already more crimes than human nature can withstand, that we should be exposed to others we know not of. This physiological crime consists in the marital union of like temperaments. Human science has revealed another latent offense, called sexual incompatibility, which, so far as I know, has not yet, in its sexual guise, obtruded itself in the divorce courts. It is a standing rebuke to those who build imaginary sciences, without a foothold in the solid world of facts, that, in giving their shadowy creations to the people, they are inviting the cold scrutiny of an aggregate common-sense that never fails in time to separate the true from the false.

But temperaments have been made to play a more agreeable rôle in human affairs than in defining physiological crimes. In the history of this physical attribute it is interesting to cite its literary aspects. Ben Jonson devoted whole plays to the idealizations of individual temperaments, in which a peculiarity was made to play its part as a dramatis persona. The keen and careful analysis of the poet in character is immortalized in his play of "Every Man in his Humor." Shakespeare proved himself a good physiologist as well as a good judge of a conspirator in contrasting Cassius, "lean and hungry," with men "that are fat; sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights." In the earlier English novels, temperament was given a more careful study than in the modern school of light literature. Goldsmith proved himself an enemy of the humoral pathologists in saying of Olivia, in "The Vicar of Wakefield," that the temper of woman is generally formed from the cast of her features. Fielding, in his creative novel of "Tom Jones," speaks of temperaments in such a happy vein of his inimitable philosophy, that it is worth quoting and remembering: "I make no manner of doubt," he says, "but that, in this light, we may see the imaginary future chancellor just called to the bar, the archbishop in crape, and the prime-minister at the tail of an opposition, more truly happy than those who are invested with all the power and profit of these respective offices." A more perfect description of a sanguine man was never written. Novelists, as a rule, analyze temperaments the opposite of their own in their ideal characters. Scott generally describes the bilious in his heroes and heroines, and is never purely realistic in describing the sanguine type to which he belonged. Dickens is always happier in his female characters, and they are good specimens of the sanguine. Dolly, the locksmith's daughter, is a very truthful portrait of this type; while Mark Tapley, famous as the character may be, is an atrabilious, who is continually violating his physiology by being happy under the very circumstances that bring out the unmixed misery of his class. Dickens himself was decidedly of the lymphatic—a type he rarely