“F—— used to stick his fingers into sulphur if he wished to play the piano…. Such things do not [pg 199] interfere with the average mind;… it acts like a coarse sieve» (Vermischte Schriften, vol. I. p. 398). I have long really held the opinion that the amount of noise which any one can bear undisturbed stands in inverse proportion to his mental capacity, and therefore may be regarded as a pretty fair measure of it.
Therefore, if I hear the dogs barking for hours together in the court of a house without being stopped, I know what to think of the intellectual capacity of the inhabitants. The man who habitually slams the door of a room, instead of shutting it with his hand, or allows this to go on in his house, is not only ill-bred, but is also a coarse and dull-minded fellow.”