"Such an enterprise would seem almost as hopeful as for Lavater to have scrutinised the wrinkles on the Rock of Gibraltar or for Gall to have mounted a ladder and manipulated the Dome of the Pantheon."

Swiss pastor Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741 – 1801) was a promoter of physiognomy, the idea that a person's character or personality is reflected in their face. Phrenology, developed by German physician Franz Joseph Gall (1758 – 1828), was a form of physiognomy primarily focused on measurements of the human skull.