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require to come and rivet it, or some other tradesfolk to burnish or to gild it, according to the rank of the owner, and the value of his skullcap. What a revolution would ensue from this cursed new light! Only conceive an assembly of petticoats with a gilt ball on the top of each instead of a head coiffed à la Grecque or à la Madonne. As to the ladies, they could never show their faces in such a state of affairs, for then adieu, coquetry, prudery, affectation !-the happy lover would read in his fair one's eyes all he wanted, and the sweet hesitation of tongue would be banished for ever. What strange shifts and perplexities would the professions be put to! Lawyers, for all their proverbial brass, would wear the back of their wigs before to conceal their visages; and yet that mode would be dangerous, as it might leave displayed behind some organs not to the credit of their gravity. The clergy, especially those of foreign lands, have evidently long foreseen the craniological doctrine: the tonsure just stops at the organ of amatoriness, leaving it concealed, while it fully displays that of charity. We also owe to them the invention of wigs, the bitterest enemies Gall and Spurzheim ever had to contend with—so that we may reckon them prepared against the evil effects of this all-piercing science. The medical tribe deserve no pity, as they are intimately connected with the destructive doctrines we lament; and it is to be hoped they will fall the first victims, for if there be any equity in organs, that of quackery must be a huge one.
The worthy professors of physiognomy and its sister science ought to look before them, and consider a little, ere they proceed thus to set the world by the ears, and ruin the whole collection of hatters, barbers, tutors, and cosmetic doctors; in short, all the fraternities that live by adorning the outside of the head. They themselves must be annihilated in the end, by being deprived of the very materials to work upon ; they can never hope to make a skull a bone of contention till it' is bona fide a bone, and nothing but one. They must bid good-bye to living heads, which shut up in their brass and silver cases, will make altogether the most polished generation the world has ever seen. Nevertheless, it must be allowed that a great many advantages must arise from the innovation : there could be no dissimulation of feature, no sheep's eyes, nor any whispering, or kissing-metal skulls are not favourable to such operations. Nor could there be any secrets of importance: if two statesmen were but to lay their heads together, the whole town would hear the clatter. And what would be a greater improvement than that just mentioned there could be no pretending to secrets of importance, the received method of so pretending being rendered inconvenient-it would puzzle Lord Burleigh to shake his head three times, as he does in the Critic, were it enveloped in so many stone weight of solid copper. All these benefits, however, cannot outweigh the disadvantages of being converted into a set of walking saucepans; so let us be contented with ignorance, and wear our faces in the broad daylight.
Although we may justly dread to see these arts arrive at perfection, the partial cultivation of them is very amusing. They form an endless fund of conjecture, experiment, and system, quite as useful, and much more innocent, than "dabbling in metaphysics. To rest no faith in them, but merely to catch and enjoy coincidences, will furnish delightful subjects of cogitation for many a vacant hour; which besides can be most easily practised at the times when vacancy is most distressing-in disagreeable company-in theatres before the curtain rises—in mobs, that with noise and odour leave no sense but the eye at liberty-in the House when is on his legs. In short, this habit of observation, with a view to a certain system, is a pocket companion, that serves to amuse and occupy, when every thing else fails. Observation alone, besides that its gleanings are lost to the memory, cannot support a long succession of thought by itself. It catches such and such an idea, forms such and such an opinion, and is done. But this, when carried on in connexion with a system, not only establishes every new idea in its proper place in the memory, but stirs up the whole mind to thought by making every object, be it ever so pretty, relate to some one greater. The mind is extremely given to systematize, it is its nature; nor has it a tendency more useful, nor one which has been more perniciously abused.
Nor is the moral tendency of these studies to be overlooked. It has been before mentioned in this publication, how much the indulgence of morbid feeling is combated by the discovery, that the organ of melancholy is the same with that of cowardice. And Lavater's doctrine, that the habitual thoughts and propensities of the mind become depicted in the countenance, has, to my own knowledge, arrested youth in an unreflecting career of licentiousness. Few people are conscious how just the opinion is, and how little the accurate observer is deceived: many that pretend to good behaviour show their faces without fears, nor suspect that they are at all betrayed by “the eye” of Anastatius, “round which the word rake is written in most legible black letters." It is difficult to reconcile this argument of the alterative influence of mind upon the features with the well-known story of Socrates and the physiognomist, or with the rules that assign certain propensi. ties to the immutable parts of the face. We cannot suppose that all the mortification of La Trappe would fill up the dangerous dimple of a luxurious chin, or that any degree of humiliation could break the bridge of a Roman nose. For original character the stationary features must be consulted—the forehead, the nose, and chin; for acquired, we must peruse the mutable ones—the eyes and mouth. Poets have abused the eyes for being notorious traitors: they certainly seem eminently formed for expression, yet I think we are apt to bestow on them too much credit, as we are apt to do to all pretty informers. They are the centre to which the motion of every muscle is referred; and, after scanning the various parts of the face, we seek in them for the sum. And thus they obtain the reputation of disclosing what in reality was elicited from the several other features. Take an eye by itself, distinct and separate, and what can you read in it? Unconnected, it is the most insignificant of the features; from a nose, a chin, a mouth, you can conjecture something, but from an eye alone, leaving the socket out of consideration, not one inference can be drawn. What can painters make of an eye ?-Nothing ;-yet it is there the expression of the picture is centered. In short, this piece of animal mechanism is nought but a little mirror-taken by itself merely bright-but owing all its beauty and expression to the objects it reflects.
The lips seem to me the most interesting and intelligent contemplation. There is more diversity in them than in any other feature; their outline is capable of marking all shades from the highest degree of sensibility to the lowest of brutality; and being the most flexible and most agitated, they undergo more changes than any other part of the visage. The nose is not of such consequence-by it we are to judge of a passing face-of one at a distance; it consequently expresses the common. attribute of character, the only one we have need to perceive. But the mouth presents itself to the inspection of intimacy and friendship, and therefore is calculated to mark the nice shades of character and temper, which it imports those to become acquainted with who live much together. The best way to judge of a friend is from his own mouth, he can have no objection to the mode. In people of great sensibility, it is the lips that first feel internal agitation; the fever of anxiety or anger, the pallor of fear or despair, are communicated to them earlier than they are visible in the eyes. People of strong feelings too are compelled to acquire dissimulation, and it is over the eye and muscle of the cheek they exert it: the calm face and blank eye contradict emotion, the tremulous lip betrays it. But let us not proceed farther in these minutiæ, for fear the reader should suspect we are but making mouths at him.
The writer of this article once took the trouble to form a system of lips, and had proceeded pretty far to his own satisfaction, when the view of one face utterly upset his card-fabric-it was that of Sir Joshua Reynolds. The pictures and busts of this great artist, among them the likeness taken by himself, represent him almost without an upper lip; his mouth is represented by a dark stroke, the upper part fixed seemingly to his teeth. This, according to my ideas, was indicative of an utter want of taste--a defect that could not, by any stretch, be applied to the celebrated artist. I supposed it, however, to express a paucity of feeling; and Sir Joshua seems to have had but little beyond what he possessed for his art. The next stumbling-block was that of Dryden: his face is eminently poetical, yet I should have expected delicacy from his lips--and he had none, a want of delicacy being his chief defect. This quality is one of taste more than of temperament perhaps, and should not be inferred directly. It is difficult to imagine a natural want of delicacy connected with the exquisite feeling that produced “ Alexander's Feast.” There was a sudden coarseness that sprang up in that regenerated age, first overwhelming the elegant manners and taste that prevailed in the court of the first Charles, and then yielding to a spirit as coarse, though at the opposite extremity of licentiousness. This leads me to a face from which I received a stronger impression than from any other, living or represented—it is that of Lord Strafford by Vandyke. The aspect strikes at first as coarse, seemingly pock-marked; but such rigour, such pride, such a beautiful disdain," and in fine, such nobility seems to burst from it, that I can no longer wonder at the inexorability of the enemies who dreaded him. The picture remains in my mind, as the ideal of a warrior and a statesman united ;-perhaps this is but homage to the painter, I should be sorry if it was not more to the man. But what system can reconcile the resemblance of men of most opposite characters to each other ?Poussin and Oliver Cromwell, for instance. The picture of the former in the Louvre, painted by himself, is scarcely to be distinguished from those of the Protector; yet, could they have had one feeling in common? The head of Epicurus is another anomaly: he looks the most forlorn of mankind, and so he should have been perhaps, were we to conclude from the natural result of his philosophy; but the light in which he is handed down to us by history, forms a curious contrast with his long melancholy visage.
The countenances of the ancients, like their characters, had much national, but little individual variety, which fact strongly corroborates the doctrine of the effect of sentiment upon feature. Their cast of visage, therefore, still remains the ideal of a public personage ; beroes and legislators we expect to see moulded after the Greek and Roman. But the arts have carried this reverence too far, in assigning the same form to female beauty and manly sensibility—the Grecian outline is perhaps the most inexpressive a human face can be confined in well, that is, the most incapable of expressing individual passion. The Mars' and Venuses of painting are very marble; the attempt to illumine those hard-bound faces with tenderness and passion is always a ludicrous failure. In the famous picture by Guerin, of Æneas relating his adventures to Dido, the Trojan hero seems as if he were snarling—the artist meant to have made him extremely pathetic. The only successful mode of depicting on canvass the private passions of those nations, is to do it negatively—to show them suppressed, and leave them to supposition ; such is the scene of Coriolanus before his wife and mother ere he yields; Brutus, Leonidas, &c. To represent the ancients with modern aspects would be more ridiculous—the Brutuses of David are all Frenchmen and assassins, there is not a spark of Roman grandeur visible. The Tatius of the same painter is also a French head, which does not at all seem to fit the shoulders of the wearer. His Romulus is of no nation under the sun, it is for all the world like a cock crowing. What applies to our neighbours, applies to us—there must be a revolution in the principles of art with respect to the human head, ere any thing great can be produced in painting.
It is surprising that physiognomy, as connected with the arts, has not been more studied. Theorists are in the habit of contemning portraitpainting, and esteem all representations of the face as portraits ; consequently, their researches have been directed towards the rules of general outline and the combination of colour. There is little to be hoped from inquiries, where the only foundation for any thing like a principle is in appeals to a refined and rare species of taste. Lavater's physiognomical researches are far less fantastic, but they are more laughed at, because to perceive their gist is easy. Any doctrine or philosophy that is obscure, should take care to be so in all its parts--it will then at least be respected, for, when people absolutely know nothing, they must be silent. But let them comprehend the smallest particle, they think themselves entitled to form a judgment, and an aspect of simplicity and candour is sure to incur the ridicule of the many.
Y. THE HAUNCH OF VENISON.
At Number One dwelt Captain Drew,
(The street we'll not now mention) The latter stunn'd the King's Bench bar, The former, being lamed in war,
Sung small upon a pension.
Of culinary knowledge;
In Mrs. Rundell's College.
A host who “spread" so nicely, Tom answerd, ere the ink was dry, “ Extremely happy-come on Fri.
Day next, at six precisely."
Ideal turbot rich in :
Down in the next-door kitchen. “Hey! Zounds! what's this? a haunch at Drew's? I must drop in: I can't refuse :
To pass were downright treason: To cut Ned Benson's not quite staunch; But the provocativema haunch!
Zounds! it's the first this season! “Ven’son, thou’rt mine! I'll talk no more--" Then, rapping thrice at Benson's door,
“John, I'm in such a hurry! Do tell your master that my aunt Is paralytic, quite aslant,
I must be off for Surrey." Now Tom at next door makes a din“Is Captain Drew at home?"_“ Walk in"
“ Drew, how d'ye do?"_" What! Blewit?” “Yes, I–you've ask'd me, many a day, To drop in, in a quiet way,
So now I'm come to do it.” “I'm very glad you have,” said Drew, “I've nothing but an Irish stew"
Quoth Tom (aside) “No matter, “ "Twon't dommy stomach's up to that,"Twill lie by, till the lucid fat
Comes quiv’ring on the platter." “You see your dinner, Tom," Drew cried, “No, but I don't though," Tom replied:
“ I smok'd below,"_“What?”—“Ven'sonA haunch”—“Oh! true, it is not mine; My neighbour has some friends to dine: -"
“Your neighbour! who?”-“George Benson.