This is the third in a five part series on the physiognomical vital and non-vital temperaments and rules for marriage, excerpted from Plain Home Talk by Edward B. Foote, M.D., 1894.
“The lymphatic temperament,” Dr. Powell says, “has no distinguishing complexion. It may be either fair or dark. Nevertheless, it is amply distinguished by a large and globular head, thick lips, ponderous cheeks, a pug-nose, sleepy-looking eyes, a large and amorphous person, which may be likened to a human skin filled with water. The person is nearly bereft of hair. The pulse is small and feeble. The surface of the body is cool, because of the constant evaporation from it. All the muscular movements are slow. Although this condition, when highly developed, is greatly disgusting, yet, as an element of humanity, it is indispensable to civilization. Very many of the most distinguished men of our race have been compounded of two or three of the temperaments, and this is usually one of them. In the constitution of Daniel Webster it constituted about thirty-three per cent.; in the first Napoleon and Cromwell about twenty0five per cent., relatively; in Peter the Great, thirty-three per cent.
“The most perfect representatives of this constitution obtain in China and Holland, and it greatly explains the patient industry of these peoples. Outside of the medical profession, people generally have but a confused idea of lymph. Well, it is neither flesh nor fat. It is the fluid or aqueous portion of the blood, or that fluid which is seen to escape from a blister when opened. It contains in solution both soda and lime.
“So few of this class become distinguished that it is difficult to cite illustrations of it. I can, however, cite one who is favorably known to fame: viz., Socrates; but the repletion with him was not so great nor so disgusting as it frequently is.
“It may be instructive to remark, that lymph is greatly less incompatible with both mental and physical action than fat. Hence, we find that both the Chinese and Hollanders are highly efficient. Fat renders less active and efficient all the human faculties; but lymph, if not too great, promotes activity – appears to be a lubricator.” In Fig. 177, I present a profile, front, and three-quarters view of a female head of a lymphatic temperament, arranged in the order in which I name them.