A Galling System by Unknown

When Dr. Gall first announced his new system of Craniology, the wits of Paris found it a good subject on which to exercise their talents, and it was attacked with all the light artillery of jokes and epigrams. Among others, Mercier, the author of the Tableau de Paris, entered the lists with his Podology against Craniology, in a squib, in which he contended, that "it is not in the head that ideas reside, nor by the head that man differs from other animals; that a man without a head would not on that account, be less reflecting; in short, that the head says nothing, does nothing, and contributes nothing to the observation of man. It is his foot which does every thing. It is in the foot that we must seek and find the stamp of man's original dignity. In the foot? Yes, Sir, in the foot. Look at the footman, who smiles at your surprise—is it not the foot which supports the head? Does not the foot express anger and indignation? In Spain, all matters of love and gallantry begin with the foot. The foot, in China, plays the first part. There is nothing more rude than to tread upon another's foot; when a man gets intoxicated, his foot refuses to carry him in that state of debasement; in fact, the foot cannot lie like the mouth and eyes. You must perceive, then, that the foot has all those qualities which prove a man to be a thinking being, or, in other words, the foot is the seat of the soul. If you would know, therefore, whether a woman is tender or faithless, if a man has the understanding of Montesquieu, or the folly of ———, instead of looking at his skull, you must see his foot. Yes, good Dr. Gall; you shall see my head, and I will examine your feet."—So much for the System of craniology.