Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/568

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tremes. The Germans of the north are dolichocephalic, the Germans of the south brachycephalic.

While recognizing the importance of the characters drawn from these general forms, we must guard ourselves against exaggerating their import or giving them a wrong signification. Some authors, belonging to the dolichocephalic races, have pretended that the elongation of the head behind is a sign of intellectual superiority. The fact I have just stated suffices to refute this conclusion, and nothing justifies it. The Germans of the south are noways inferior to their country-men of the north. In the Academy of Sciences in Paris, the brachycephalic crania, or at most the mesocephalic, are in very great majority; and still, what association of men is superior, in an intellectual point of view, to this philosophical body?

Analogous indications have been drawn from the greater or less capacity of the cranium. It has been supposed that this exactly corresponded in measure to the volume of the brain, and this volume has been regarded as a sort of measure of intellectual power.

That there is some truth at the bottom of the idea that a brain sufficiently developed is necessary to give the power to fulfil its functions, is what all the world admits. But that intellectual power is measured by the quantity of cerebral matter entering into the composition of the organ is in contradiction to the observations and the figures of many anatomists, among others, of R. Wagner.

In considerations of this nature we do not generally take account of the stature. Now, although the head does not enlarge in the same proportion as the rest of the body, it is not the less true that its form has an influence on its dimensions and on those of the cranium.

Besides, with organized and living beings, the volume, the mass of organs, is not all. Their special energy is much more. Certainly you all know small persons, of slender aspect, who are more active and strong than some of their comrades who are larger and more muscular. Well, how is it that what is true of flesh, of muscle, is not also true of brain?

After the cranium we come to the face. But I will only speak of a single order of characters drawn from the jaws and teeth.

Observe a negro, and a European. Look at the jaws and teeth of the first. You see them project in front. In the second, on the contrary, teeth and jaws are equally vertical. The first of these is called prognathism, and the peoples or individuals who present them are said to be prognathous; the second takes the name of orthognathism and characterizes the orthognathous races or individuals.

Prognathism has long been considered as characterizing the negro races. Since, we have found it in people who could not be affiliated with the negro; and, finally, looking closely into the matter, we have found it in the heart of white populations. At Paris, even, it is frequent enough, particularly among women. This is a fact of which