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The sanguine temperament is supposed to depend upon a predominance of the vascular system over the rest of the tissues of the animal economy; the quantity of blood circulating in the system being in a proportion sufficiently great to characterise the individual. With respect to the nature of the circulating fluid in this temperament, I suppose we are to regard it as being constituted with a somewhat considerable proportion of the more nutrient ingredients, as the fibrin, the albumen, and the saline materials; and, hence, in the course of the circulation, more effectually stimulating the various organs, than when of a more watery or lymphatic composition. The sanguine temperament may be distinguished by the red or light brown hair, blue eyes,
, and a fair florid complexion : the arteries and veins are large, and generally superficial, the pulse full and frequent, the skin soft, tolerably thin, and somewhat delicate ; the body largely made, and inclined, especially in the middle period of life, to obesity. This temperament, probably more than any other, is generally regarded as influencing the mental economy otherwise than by its effects upon the activity of function; and, by many able physiologists, it is considered to be the bodily condition producing the powers and dispositions specified when speaking of the sanguine temperament at the commencement of this paper. An appeal to facts will readily set the matter at rest; and I defy every physiologist in civilized Europe to adduce this or any of the temperaments, as invariably associated with any peculiarity of human character. Individuals of the sanguine temperament are decidedly of a more active disposition than those of the lymphatic: at the same time, there is most commonly a disposition to indolence and mental inactivity, in the absence of any very powerful motive; and this is probably owing to the predominant energy possessed, in these instances, by the organs of vegetative life,-great activity of one portion of the system always, cateris paribus, detracting from the activity of another. Nevertheless, we shall find, that these individuals, when strongly excited, will be second to none in vigour of conduct; and it is highly probable that the reason why we so frequently observe the animal propensities in a state of activity with the sanguine temperament is, that, in the mass of mankind, these, so far surpassing in native energy the moral and intellec. tual faculties, more frequently afford powerful motives of action.
The bilious temperament affords a still higher degree of functional activity than the sanguine, and is considered by many to depend upon a redundancy of power in the biliary system; as the last was regarded in connection with a similar condition of the sanguineous vessels. It may not be a very easy matter to convey a precise idea of the mode in which the bilious temperament produces its results upon the cerebral organization ;
but I will endeavour to explain, in as few words as possible, the views which suggest themselves to my mind, respecting the matter. As before observed, I consider the influence of the temperaments upon organic activity to depend upon the peculiar states of the animal fluids, characteristic of each; and, in the case of the lymphatic and sanguine temperaments, I have attempted to suggest the rationale of their effects upon the system. But, in the case of the bilious temperament, I confess that I do not see my way quite so clearly. However, I would observe that we must regard the biliary system in two points of view-in relation to the depuration of the venous blood, and to the healthful stimulation of the alimentary canal. It is a fact, than which none in physiology can be better established, that a due arterialisation of the blood is essential to the full possession of its vital qualities; and it is absolutely necessary to the attainment of this object, that the noxious and superfluous ingredients of the venous blood should be eliminated from its composition. One greal agent, in effecting such elimination, is the liver, the organ which secretes the bile. Now, as the secretion of the bile constitutes so striking a feature in the necessary re-integration of the blood, we may be able, from this circumstance, to arrive at some general notion as to the necessary influence which the state of the biliary system must have upon the functions of the cerebral organisation. Again, the intimate sympathy at all times subsisting between the brain and the alimentary canal, may lead us to appreciate the importance of any diversity in the permanent character of a secretion so materially influencing the healthful condition of the latter ; for the bile is universally known to act as a powerful stimulant upon the intestinal tube, into which it is conveyed from the liver by its own proper duct. Hence, it might readily be inferred a priori, that functional activity must be modified by the character of the biliary system; and observation has established that its energetic condition produces a temperament midway, in its results, between the nervous and the sanguine. In the bilious temperament, the pulse is strong and hard, as in the sanguine, but somewhat more frequent; the veins are cutaneous and projecting; the complexion of a somewhat swarthy character; the hair black, or of a darkish brown; the body moderately fleshy, and the muscles firm and well marked; and, often, there is a peculiarly strong and harsh expression of the countenance. Individuals characterised by this temperament have generally a considerable share of native energy, manifesting their predominant powers and dispositions with remarkable keenness. Unlike individuals of the lymphatic or even of the sanguine temperament, they require no very powerful external stimu.
VOL. X. NO. XLII.
lants to produce such a result. On the whole, I should be disposed to regard the possession of this temperament as most favourable, cateris paribus, to the attainment of first rate excellence, in the generality of pursuits; and from the descriptions of historians, I should suppose that Alexander the Great, Cicero, Julius Casar, Attila, King of the Huns, our own Richard III., and Oliver Cromwell, were all of this temperament. Generally, indeed, the individuals who, under all circumstances, evince a kind of indomitable activity of character, are found to be of this temperament; they are neither enticed to indolence or sensuality by the lymphatic or the sanguineous constitution, nor too speedily exhausted of power, as is very often the case with individuals of the nervous temperament.--I need scarcely observe that the atrabiliary temperament of Hippocrates must be considered as a diseased condition; for the doctrine of the existence of black bile in the system, except as a morbid state of the secretion of the liver, has long been exploded.
The temperament denominated nervous is the most favourable to mere activity of the mental powers; but the activity is not so enduring as in the case of the bilious temperament. The mind may then be compared to a taper burning with a light too brilliant, and thence the more speedily consumed; or to ignited flax, which astonishes by its glare, but whose flame is as transitory as it is brilliant. In this constitution there seems to exist an extreme susceptibility of excitement in the nervous system, not referable to any observed peculiarity in the recognised Auids of the animal system. It may here be asked, what becomes of my own definition of the circumstances giving rise to the temperaments, if I adduce any of them as unconnected with coincident peculiarities in the condition of the fluids? In answer, I observe, that I am now discussing a subject concerning which very little that is satisfactory has been written, and very little of what is decidedly established, or perfectly defined, is even known; and I need hardly say that, under such circumstances, I am not prepared with facts, capable of being fashioned into a complete system. In the absence of direct facts, therefore, I will, for the present purpose, call in the aid of hypothesis, and will assume the correctness of those physiologists who have supposed the existence, in the constitution of the nerves, of a fluid, intimately affecting the sensibility and other phenomena of the nervous system ; and, in that case, it appears to me to be highly probable that a greater or less proportion of this fluid will produce, cateris paribus, a greater or less activity in the functions of the nervous masses. In accordance with this view, we observe that children, whose nervous power is far below that of adults, greatly surpass the latter in activity; now, the more Auid condition of their brain and nerves is well known. Again,
as in old age we notice a comparative slowness and inactivity of all functional power, so do we observe a proportionate dryness and rigidity of the nervous masses. In these remarks, I wish to be understood as but throwing out suggestions, which future investigation may confirm or reject. However, I will now proceed to mention the external characteristics of this temperament. A soft skin; fair and thin hair; sometimes a paleness of the complexion, and sometimes a hectic tinge; small and soft muscles; delicacy of the whole organization; generally a slenderness of form; a sparkling vivacity of the cornea ; and a quick sharp pulse,—are signs, in the aggregate, of the nervous temperament: giving rise, as I have before observed, to the highest degree of cerebral activity. Individuals so characterised will be sure to be in a state of very energetic excitement, on the application of stimuli inadequate to the result with the mass of mankind. If a person have strong animal propensities, he will, unless strongly under the influence of properly-directed moral feeling, be almost sure to run a short but active career of protigacy and libertinism; if the intellectual organs be in relatively
1 large proportion, he may speedily wear down his bodily strength, and sink prematurely into the grave, the victim of excessive mental exercise; or if the religious feelings predominate greatly over the intellect and animal propensities, he may become a religious maniac; and so on. In children, the possession of the nervous temperament, under the present rage for early and strenuous mental excitation, is sometimes the worst of misfortunes ; since their young brains, being so readily excited, often afford, in the mistaken judgment of their guardians, the highest evidence of genius; and thus the poor victims are goaded on, until some affection of the exhausted brain or nervous system hurries them to the close of their ill-fated career,-if it do not leave them the prey of some serious nervous affection, as epilepsy, hysteria, or even downright fatuity. In such cases, however, ill-judging and mistaken parents usually console themselves by observing that their children were too good for this world; or that they themselves were too happy in the contemplation of their excellencies, and that calamity had befallen the children as a visitation for the sins of their forefathers. I am far from disputing the verity of the doctrine implied by the last proposition; but an Almighty Providence has given us the capability of noting, to a certain extent, the intermediate links in the chain of causation, and has permitted us, where practicable, to modify their relations; and hence I would exhort every guardian of youth or infancy to consider well the effects of conduct such as I have just mentioned. Henry Kirke White, I should consider, afforded the very beau ideal of the nervous temperament; and
I have very little doubt that Lord Byron, Pope, and Cowper, were mainly of the same constitution.
These various temperaments are rarely found unmixed, but in the great majority of mankind are found to run into each other. Thus, combinations of the sanguine with the bilious, the bilious with the nervous, and the sanguine with the lymphatic, are very frequent; and generally those temperaments will be observed to run into each other, whose characteristic activity makes the nearest approach. This, however, is not invariably the case, for we may have a mixture of the nervous and sanguine, or lymphatic and bilious ; and I am not sure that the combinations of temperament are not unlimited: and, in estimating their influence upon the activity of the powers, I suppose
I we must take the mean of the characteristic activity of the temperaments entering into the combination.
I have thus endeavoured to state in what manner, and to what extent, each temperament may be regarded as modifying the activity of the brain. And, in conclusion, I would earnestly recommend every Phrenologist to employ all vigilance and zeal in prosecuting the study of the subject, whereby we may probably hereafter obtain more certain information as to the real nature and extent of the influence of the temperaments, separately and in combination, and arrive at more precise explanations of the processes by which such influence is exerted.
[The foregoing essay displays talent and ingenuity, and shews that Mr Noble has bestowed much consideration on his subject. But though very far from disputing the truth of the general proposition, that the cerebral functions are materially influenced by the condition of the fluids, particularly the blood, -we cannot help regarding some of the detailed views of Mr Noble respecting the causes of the temperaments as purely theoretical; and he therefore seems to us to have done well in offering his suggestions rather in the hope that they may aid in leading to a true explanation than as furnishing such an explanation themselves. His description of the signs and effects of the different temperaments is clear and accurate, and what he says respecting the treatment of nervous children is especially worthy of serious consideration. It is with the effects of the temperaments, more than their causes, that we are most concerned; and happily the former are less obscure than the latter. When an individual is characterised by softness of flesh, fairness of the skin, flaxen hair, plumpness of figure, a weak slow pulse, and a loutish inanimate expression, physiologists agree in describing him as a person of a lymphatic temperament; and whatever be the cause of these appearances, we know from experience that they