Punch,  59 (1870), 274.

Ayrton on Himself



Essay, Drollery


Phrenology, Architecture, Aesthetics, Government, Politics, Controversy, Physiognomy

    Begins by noting the usefulness of phrenological 'nomenclature', irrespective of the truth or falsity of its 'physiognomical part'. Proceeds to discuss a speech by Ayrton, the Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Board of Works, delivered at the opening of the new General Post Office. In his address Ayrton emphasized that the building was designed for 'public convenience and utility' rather than to cater to 'ideas of fancy or taste'. Punch believes that, 'Phrenologically considered', this is 'tantamount' to Ayrton admitting that he is 'deficient in Constructiveness and Ideality', his 'Acquisitiveness is very large' and his 'Self-Esteem also greatly preponderat[es]' over his 'sense of beauty and predilection for building'. Argues that Ayrton only cares for 'sensible men' or those 'whose Acquisitiveness, like his own, exceeds their Constructiveness and Ideality'.

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