Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/327

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TEMPERAMENTS.

in comparison: thus, the figure has the deceptive appearance of a superabundant nutrition. This is a one-sided nutrition, the appropriation of fatty material to the neglect of the solid, motor machinery of brawn and muscles.

The mental traits seem to take direction and tone from the bodily characteristics. The passions move slowly and are easily kept under control, in marked contrast to those of the sanguine man who has no more control than is sufficient to keep him within the not too narrow limits of the social barriers. From the moderate emotional development there is little need of energetic will-power. Where the moral qualities have any chance of growth and exercise they are always "good people," orthodox, and conservative. The mind acts slowly, but is very retentive, logical and sound in its conclusions. They are persistent in their undertakings, honorable in their affairs with other men; commonplace and common-sense govern them in their daily life. They are apt to be dull companions, but constant and steadfast friends.

This temperament is found in its most perfect form among men; women rarely show it uncrossed, especially as it easily blends with other temperaments. There is no doubt but in this type there are inherent defects of histological structure. Dr. Southey says it is due to a too exuberant vegetative cell-life. Whatever may be the radical cause, persons of this type are weak in vital energy, and short-lived. They are the usual subjects of structural changes, such as scrofula, phthisis, and articular rheumatism, and in whom these morbid processes show the largest ratio of mortality. It will be noticed that these are diseases with a marked hereditary force. It would be interesting to study how much of this heredity exists in the morbid processes, or in the temperament itself, which offers a fair field for their onset.

Nature exerts herself in a more eccentric manner in the nervous temperament. Here we find greater variety in the physical signs, and diversity in the mental traits. Typical instances of the nervous temperament are not good specimens anatomically. In stature they are below the average, the bones small and lightly covered with flesh in both sexes up to middle life. The head is large and covered with not over-abundant dark-brown or black hair; the eyes are dark, the skin dark, sallow, and pale; pigmentation of the skin is more abundant than in any other temperament, while the cuticle is hot, dry, and firm. The muscles are small and compact. Persons of this temperament are capable of sudden outlays of great strength, but the muscles do not work in harmony, the movements being oftentimes irregular. The want of nervous coördination is a marked trait, and tells upon their efficiency in any occupation requiring trained and accurate touch. Dr. Southey explains this by what he calls cerebro-central preoccupation, which means that the brain and spinal cord are slow in receiving and responding to the wants of different and remote