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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/295

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289
GENIUS AND HAIR-COLOR

and of these twenty-two possessed curly or wavy hair. It is an interesting circumstance that of these twenty-two personages no less than nineteen were poets, artists or literary men, namely: Dumas the elder, Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt (inclined to wave), Charles Lamb, Washington Alston, Tennyson (wavy), Sir Arthur Sullivan (wavy), Mendelssohn (very curly), Gladstone, Keats (clustering and curly), Lanier (wavy, almost straight), Ruskin, Shelley, Southey, Bayard Taylor, N. P. Willis, Chopin, Thackeray. In the entire list of eminent men possessing curly or wavy hair only General Thomas, Martin Van Buren (wavy), Charles George Gordon (crisp and wavy) can not be classed as poets, artists or literary men. Hair of marked softness or fulness seems likewise a frequent accompaniment of artistic and literary genius. Thus the hair of Washington Alston is referred to not only as curly but as "silken," that of Rossetti as "silken and abundant," that of Eugene Field as "very fine," that of Keats as "clustering thickly," that of Lanier as "soft," that of Ruskin as "luxuriant," and that of Sumner as a "rich mass." The abundant hair of musicians, as observed upon the concert platform, will in this connection suggest itself to the reader.

Those in the list of twenty-six whose hair was straight were Daniel Webster, James Russell Lowell, Grieg and Napoleon, and of these the hair of Napoleon is spoken of as "stiff and flat," that of Andrew Jackson as "stiff and wiry," and that of Lowell as "wiry." We have seen that the hair of Lowell was of a very unpoetic color, and that biographer who insisted Lowell had not the poet's nose might have included the hair in his remark, alike as to its color and formation. In view of the prejudice in all ages against coarse, bristling hair the personal qualities of Napoleon and Andrew Jackson are not unworthy of note in connection with the structure of the hair in those cases, and the Indian-like hair of Webster, perhaps, we may associate with the coarse strain that betrayed itself not infrequently in the character of that distinguished personage; but the wiry hair of Lowell is a warning against too hasty a generalization, and the straight hair of Grieg may read to us a valuable lesson against carrying too far the notion that wavy hair is the unfailing accompaniment of artistic genius.

In the paper of the present writer upon "Genius and Stature" in the December issue, 1910, of this magazine, the conclusion was reached that the stature of genius is in general above the medium, and in the discussion of physiognomy and genius, as already mentioned, it was determined that the eyes of genius are usually blue or gray or bluish gray. Thus far, therefore, genius would seem to abide chiefly with the class of humanity called by Huxley the "Xanthachroic," with their tall stature and blue or gray eyes; but the hair of that type ranges from straw-color to chestnut, whereas the hair of genius, as we have seen, is in the very large majority of cases dark. Dark hair, it will be recalled, is a characteristic of the Melanchroic in Huxley's classification—who