I could plainly discover whence one family derives a long chin; why a second has abounded with knaves for two generations, and fools for two more; why a third happened to be crack-brained
, and a fourth to be sharpers; whence it came, what Polydore Virgil says of a certain great house, NEC VIR FORTIS, NEC FOEMINA CASTA; how cruelty, falsehood, and cowardice, grew to be characteristics by which certain families are distinguished as much as by their coats of arms; who first brought the pox into a noble house, which has lineally descended scrofulous tumours to their posterity.
You insist on my introducing you to Dexter, and I refuse to trust you alone with th at crack-brained
Keck, the editor of the "Trumpet," in asserting that Ladislaw, if the truth were known, was not only a Polish emissary but crack-brained
, which accounted for the preternatural quickness and glibness of his speech when he got on to a platform--as he did whenever he had an opportunity, speaking with a facility which cast reflections on solid Englishmen generally.
And this proves not only that the brutes have less reason than man, but that they have none at all: for we see that very little is required to enable a person to speak; and since a certain inequality of capacity is observable among animals of the same species, as well as among men, and since some are more capable of being instructed than others, it is incredible that the most perfect ape or parrot of its species, should not in this be equal to the most stupid infant of its kind or at least to one that was crack-brained
, unless the soul of brutes were of a nature wholly different from ours.
They probably embodied the traditionary peculiarities of their whole line of progenitors, derived through an unbroken succession of eggs; or else this individual Chanticleer and his two wives had grown to be humorists, and a little crack-brained
withal, on account of their solitary way of life, and out of sympathy for Hepzibah, their lady-patroness.
But, withal, this Peter Goldthwaite, crack-brained
simpleton as, perhaps, he was, might have cut a very brilliant figure in the world, had he employed his imagination in the airy business of poetry, instead of making it a demon of mischief in mercantile pursuits.