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the Siamese commoner does as it were of himself cringe and fall on his knees before the absurd nobility of his country; and that the descendant of the Pilgrims, whether on the banks of the Detroit, the Illinois, or the Wabash, has the true instinct for liberty. And as to the use of speech, the infant on the banks of the Euphrates has, it may not be doubted, an inherited aptness to learn the diffuse forms of its Oriental language; and on the banks of the Seine to prefer the dialect of Paris to the stronger accents of the Germans. Though a man may have acquired a foreign language in his infancy, his thoughts were not destined by nature to flow in it; and perfect success in the use of words, is obtained only by expressing the thoughts in the mother tongue.
The differences in national character are obvious, when we hold up in contrast the manners and history of the nations. It is still easier to observe the difference between families. The father's lineaments and constitution, the mother's temper, re-appear in their offspring. The child bears originally the features of its parents, and how often is the analogous resemblance of mind and tastes apparent.
And lastly, the life of each individual has, from its commencement, its own peculiarities. From the first dawn of consciousness it is distinguished from that of every other intelligent being ; and it contains within itself, the principles which are to decide on character, condition, and happiness.
It appears then, from its race, its age, its nation, its family, and its own peculiar organization, the infant receives with its existence peculiar characteristics. If it be asked, in what these original differences consist, we might safely invite the reader to consider each of the classes, under which we have arranged them, and apply the principles which we have given to individual cases. This would be attended with no difficulty as far as regards the three first points of difference. Where men are to be judged of by observing them in masses, whether of races or of nations, and centuries of national existence are to be grouped together for the convenience of observing, it may not be difficult to seize on general characteristics. But it is in the daily walks of life, that the knowledge of man is both difficult and invaluable. It is in comparing family with family, and man with man, that an almost endless variety seems to baffle every effort at classification.
But the whole subject has been happily reduced to order. It has been found possible to analyze the ingredients, which compose the physical, and influence the moral nature; and thus to arrive at comparatively a small number of original elements, which, by their various combinations, produce the infinite diversity existing between individuals. It was the ancients, who first established the simple classification of men according to their
physical organization, and with the happy sagacity, for which they are justly considered eminent, invented the doctrine of temperaments; a doctrine, in itself neither unimportant nor uninteresting ; of high moment to the physician in the treatment of disease, and not without its advantages to any one in the care of his health ; a doctrine which may well hold a conspicuous place in physiological science, as a fit object for liberal curiosity, and as belonging in general to the history and knowledge of man.
It is our purpose to proceed and expound this intricate subject. It is in the power of every one who reads, to try the correctness of our views, by comparisons drawn from his own experience. Yet the observer will bear in mind, that the theory has to exhibit each temperament in its purity, unmixed and unmitigated ; life generally furnishes only examples, in which one or the other is strongly predominant. It is our duty, in order to draw the lines of separation between opposite characters, to present the peculiar qualities in a strong and distinct light. Nature blends them in harmonious combinations.
The temperament, which in its external appearance, claims the highest degree of physical beauty, is the sanguineous. Its forms are moulded by nature to perfect symmetry, and invested with a complexion of the clearest lustre. The hands of the artist have embodied its outlines in the majestically graceful Apollo of the Vatican. Its delicate shape is the dream of love.” А mild and clear eye promptly reveals the emotions of the heart; the veins swell with copious and healthful streams ; and the cheek is quick to mantle with the crimson current. The breath of life is inhaled freely ; the chest is high and expanded like that of “a young Mohawk warrior ;" the pulse is active but gentle ; the hair light; the skin soft and moist; the face unclouded; and, in short, the whole organization is characterized by the vigour and facility of its functions.
The moral character of those who belong to this temperament is equally pleasing. They are amiable companions, every where welcome, and requiting the kindness shown them by gentleness of temper and elegance of manners. They are distinguished for playfulness of fancy and ready wit. Their minds are rapid in their conceptions, pass readily from one subject to another, and they can change at once from gaiety to tears, or from gravity to mirth. Of a happy memory, a careless and unsuspecting mien, a contented humour, a frank disposition, they form no schemes of deep hypocrisy or remote ambition. They are naturally affectionate, yet fickle in their friendships; prompt to act, yet uncertain of purpose. They excel in labours which demand a most earnest but short application. They conquer at a blow, or abandon the game. They gain their point by a coup de main, never by a tedious siege. They are easily excited, but easily calm
ed; they take fire at a word, but are as ready to forgive. They dislike profound meditation, but excel in prompt ingenuity; they succeed in light exercises of fancy, in happily contrasting incongruous objects, and inventing singular but just comparisons. They are given to display, and passionately fond of being admired. Inconstant by nature, they are full of sympathy, and are eminently capable of transferring themselves in imagination into other scenes and conditions. Hence they sometimes are successful in the lighter branches of letters; but they are too little persevering to excel. A continuance of intellectual labour is odious to them; and in no case have they been known to unite the deep sentiments of philosophy to eloquent language. They are the gayest members of society, and yet the first to feel for others. With a thousand faults, their kindness of heart makes them always favourites. In their manners, they unite a happy audacity with winning good nature; their conversation is gay, varied, and sparkling; never profound, but never dull; sometimes trivial, but often brilliant. Love is their ruling passion; but it is a frolic love, to which there are as many cynosures as stars.
It is Rinaldo in the chains, which he will soon break to submit to new ones. Sometimes they join in the contest for glory. In the council they never have the ascendant: but of all executive officers they are the best. They often are thrown by some happy chance to be at the head of affairs; but they never retain power very long. They are sometimes even delighted with camps ; but the field of arms is for them only an affair for a holiday; they go to battle as merrily as to a dance, and are soon weary of the one and the other. Life is to them a mérry tale; if they are ever sad, it is but from compassion or the love of change; and they breathe out their sighs chiefly in sonnets. Thus they seem made for sunshine and prosperity. Nature has given them the love of enjoyment, and blessed them with the gift of cheerfulness. In short, this temperament is to the rest, what youth is to the other periods of life, what spring is to the succeeding seasons; the time of freshness and flowers, of elastic hope and unsated desire.
Are examples of this temperament demanded ? Go to the abodes of the contented, the houses of the prosperous. Ask for the gayest among the gay in the scenes of pleasure; search for those who have stilled the voice of ambition by the gentle influences of contented love? In the mythology of the ancients, among whom generally character was more distinctly marked, and stood forth in bolder relief, numerous illustrations may be found. Why mention Paris, who, as the poet says, went to battle like the war horse prancing to the river's side, and who valued the safety of his country less than the gratification of his love? Or Leander, whose passion the waters of the Hellespont could not quench? Or the too fascinating Endymion, who drew
Diana herself from her high career? In history, we have the dangerous Alcibiades, who surpassed all other Athenians in talent, the Spartans in self-denial, the Thracians in abandoned luxury; Mark Antony, who, for a time, was the first man in Rome, but gave up the world for Cleopatra; Nero, the capricious tyrant, whose tomb was yet scattered with flowers; the English Leicester, for whom two queens are said to have contended ; the gallant Hotspur of the British drama; the French duke de Richelieu, the good king Henry, the bold and amiable Francis; or to take quite a recent example, the brave and gallant, but passionate and wavering Murat, now, in time of truce, displaying his splendid dresses and his skill in horsemanship by parading before the admiring Cossacks, and anon in the season of strife, charging the enemy's cavalry with fearless impetuosity. But we have the most striking illustration of the sanguineous temperament, when uncontrouled by moral principle, in the life and character of Demetrius, the famed besieger of cities. The son of Antigonus was tall, and of such beautiful symmetry, that no artist could take his likeness. Grace and majesty were united in his countenance; and he inspired at once both affection and awe. In his hours of leisure, he was an agreeable profligate ; in his moments of action, no man equalled him in diligence and despatch. Like Bacchus, he was terrible in war, but in peace a voluptuary. At one time he hazards honour and liberty for the indulgence of his love ; and at another, his presence of mind and his daring make him victorious in the bloodiest naval battle of which any record exists. He was a respectful son; and, though sometimes capriciously cruel, yet naturally humane. By turns a king and a pensioner, a hero and a profligate, a tyrant and a liberator, he conquered Ptolemy, he besieged Thebes, he gave freedom to Athens, he was acknowledged to be the most active warrior of his age, and yet died in captivity, of indolence and gluttony.
Plutarch's life of Demetrius Poliorcetes might indeed be called the adventures of a sanguineous man, but of one morally abandoned. But where men of this temperament are distinguished for blamelessness and purity, they comprise within themselves all that there is of lovely and amiable in human nature. They are the fondest husbands and the kindest fathers. They live in an atmosphere of happiness. The fables of Arcadia seem surpassed by realities. It is especially in early life that their virtues have the most pleasing fragrance; "severe in youthful beauty,” they are like the Israelites, who would not eat of the Eastern kings' meat, and yet had countenances fairer than all. These are they, of whom the poets praise the destiny which takes them early from the world. These are the favourites of heaven,
who, if they live to grow old, at least “fill up one monument. with goodness itself.
With regard to the preservation of health, we sum up every precept for the sanguineous man in this one; avoid excess. He should take much active, but not violent exercise; and must be careful to diminish the tendency to plethora.' He may dance, may fence, may indulge in field-sports, or use any of the exercises of a well instituted gymnasium; but all moderately. Nature has made him prone to indulgence, but has made indulgence doubly dangerous for his constitution and his morals. We repeat it: let him avoid excess, and his life will pass away in uninterrupted cheerfulness, in deeds of courtesy and benevolence, in the habitual exercise of the gentle and the generous virtues.
The athletic temperament possesses in some respects the external appearance of the sanguineous; but it rises to a colossal stature, and is possessed of extraordinary strength. It implies an excess of muscular force over the sensitive. In the great physical powers, it loses all playfulness of mind. The athletic man has great vigour of frame, but is of an inactive spirit. He never attains to elevated purposes, or a fixed character; he has no acuteness, no insight into human motives, no gift of eloquence or poetry. He can be made an instrument in the hands of others, but never of himself conceive vast enterprises. He is good-natured, and by coaxing and flattery may be made to do or suffer almost any thing; but if his passions are excited, he is capable of becoming ferocious, and even brutal. The sanguineous man may often become athletic by a course of exercise, fitted to give the greatest development to the physical powers.
The mythology of the ancients furnishes examples of this class, in the whole race of the Titans, who thought in their folly that they could scale heaven, because their strong arms could rend mountains from their bases. But the best example among the demigods is Hercules. The brawny hero, who was perpetually cozened by Eurystheus, was compelled to execute the most frightful labours, turned rivers from their courses, withdrew the dead from the world of shades, and struck terror into the powers
of Orcus, and yet was the slave of his appetites, and the dupe of his mistress, shows us an example of this excess of force and its concomitant mental imbecility.
If we turn to real life for illustrations, it must be remembered, that this temperament rarely fills the high oslices of power and trust. The historic muse names no one of this class among the benefactors of mankind. Had we the annals of the amphitheatres of old, we could know what giant son of the human race had worn the highest honours for prodigies of strength. In the unsettled period of the Roman empire, there are not wanting instances of men, who gained the diadem by being the strongest