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Especially the face, being furnished with a variety of muscles, does more in expressing the passions of the mind than the whole human frame besides. The change of color (in white people)shews, by turns, anger by redness, and sometimes by paleness, fear likewise by paleness, and shame by blushing. Every feature contributes its part. The mouth open, shews one state of mind, shut, another; the gnashing of teeth, another. The forehead smooth, eyebrows arched and easy, shews tranquility or joy. Mirth opens the mouth towards the ears, crisps the nose, half shuts the eyes, and sometimes fills them with tears. The front wrinkled into frowns, and the eyebrows overhanging the eyes, like clouds, fraught with tempest, shew a mind agitated with fury. Above all, the eye shews the very spirit in a visible form. In every different state of the mind, it assumes a different appearance. Joy brightens and opens it. Grief half closes, and drowns it in tears. Hatred and anger, flash from it like lightning. Love, darts from it in glances, like the orient-bearn. Jealousy and squinting envy,dart their contagious blasts from the eye. And devotion raises it to the skies, as if the soul of the holy man were: going to take its flight to heaven
The force of attitude and looks alone appears in a wondrously striking manner, in the works of the painter and statuary; who have the delicate art of making the flat canvass and rocky marble utter every passion of the human mind, and touch the soul of the spectator, aзif the picture, or statue, spoke the pathetic language of Shakespeare. It is no wonder then, that masterly action, joined with powerful elocution, should be irresistible. And the variety of expression, by looks and gestures, is so great, that, as is well known, a whole play can be represented without a word spoken. -
The following are; I believe, the principal passions, humors, sentiments and intentions which are to be expressed by speech and action. And I hope, it will be allowed by the reader, that it is nearly in the following manner; that nature expresses them.
Tranquility, or apathy, appears by the composure of the countenance, and general. repose of the body wak
limbs, without the exertion of any one muscle. countenance open; the forehead smooth; the eyebrows arched; the mouth just not shut; and the eyes passing with an easy motion from object to object, but not dwel ling long upon any one.
Cheerfulness, adds a smile, opening the mouth a little
Mirth or laughter,opens the mouth still more towards the ears; crisps the nose; lessons the aperture of the eyes, and sometimes fills them with tears; shakes and convulses the whole frame; giving considerable pain, which occasions holding the sides.
Railery, in sport, without real animosity, puts on the aspect of cheerfulness. The tone of voice is sprightly. With contempt, or disgust, it casts a look asquint, from time to time, at the object; and quits the cheerful aspect for one mixed between an affected grin and sourness. The upper lip is drawn up with an air of disdain, The arms are set akimbo on the hips; and the right hand now and then thrown out toward the object, as if one were going to strike another a slight back handblow. The pitch of the voice rather loud, the tone arch and sneering, the sentences short; the expressions satirical, with mockpraise intermixed. There are instances of railery in scripture itself, as 1 Kings xviii, and Isa. xliv. it is not, therefore, beneath the dignity of the pulpit orator, occasionally to use it, in the cause of virtue, by exhibiting vice in a ludicrous appearance. Nor should I think railery unworthy the attention of the lawyer; as it may occasionally come in, not unusefully, in his pleadings, as well as any other stroke of ornament, or entertainment.
Buffoonery, assumes an arch, sly, leering gravity. Must not quit its serious aspect,though all should laugh to burst ribs of steel. This command of face is somewhat difficult; though not so hard, I should think, as to restrain the contrary sympathy, I mean of weeping with those who weep.
Joy, when sudden and violent, expresses itself by clapping of hands, and exultation or leaping. The eyes. are opened wide; perhaps filled with tears; often raised
to heaven, especially by devout persons. The countenance is smiling not composedly, but with features agitated. The voice raises, from time to time, to very high notes.
Delight or pleasure, as when one is entertained, or ravished with music, painting, oratory, or any such elegancy, shews itself by the looks, gestures, and utterance of joy; but moderate.
Gravity or Seriousness,the mind fixed upon some important subject, draws down the eyebrows a little, casts down, or shuts, or raises the eyes to heaven; shuts the mouth, and pinches the lips close. The posture of the body. and limbs is composed, and without much motion. The speech, if any, slow and solemn; the tone unvarying.
Inquiry, into an obscure subject, fixes the body in one posture, the head stooping, and the eye poring, the eyebrows drawn down.
Attention, to an esteemed, or superior character, has the same aspect; and requires silence; the eyes often cast down upon the ground; sometimes fixed on the speaker; but not too pertly.
·Modesty or submission, bends the body forward; levels the eyes to the breast, if not to the feet, of the superior character. The voice low; the tone submissive, and words few.
Perplexity or anxiety, which is always attended with some degree of fear and uneasiness, draws all the parts. of the body together, gathers up the arms upon the breast, unless one hand covers the eyes, or rubs the forehead; draws down the eye brows ; hangs the head upon the breast; casts down the eyes, shuts and pinches the eyelids close; shuts the mouth,and pinches the lips close, or bites them. Suddenly the whole body is vehemently agitated. The person walks about busily, stops abruptly, Then he talks to himself, or makes grimaces. If he speak to another, his pauses are very long; the tone of his voice unvarying, and his sentences broken, expressing half, and keeping in half of what arises in his mind.
Vexation, occasioned by some real or imaginary mis fortune, agitates the whole frame; and besides express-ing itself with the looks, gestures, restlessness, and tone of perplexity, it adds complaint, fretting and lamenting.
Pity, a mixed passion of love and grief, looks down upon distress with lifted hands; eyebrows drawn down; mouth open; and features drawn together. Its expression, as to looks and gesture, is the same with those of suffering, (See Suffering) but more moderate, as the painful feelings are only sympathetic, and therefore one remove, as it were, more distant from the soul, than what one feels in his own person.
Grief, sudden and violent, expresses itself by beating the head; groveling on the ground, tearing of garments, hair and flesh; screaming aloud, weeping,stamping with the feet, lifting the eyes, from time to time, to heaven ;. hurrying to and fro, running distracted, or fainting away, sometimes without recovery. Sometimes violent grief produces a torpid silence,resembling total apathy.
Melancholy, or fixed grief, is gloomy, sedentary, mo tionless. The lower jaw falls; the lips pale, the eyes are cast down,half shut, eyelids swelled and red or livid, tears trickling silent, and unwiped ; with a total inattention to every thing that passes. Words, if any, few, and those dragged out, rather than spoken; the accents weak, and interrupted, sighs breaking into the middle of sentences and words
Despair, as in a condemned criminal, or one, who has lost all hope of salvation, bends the eyebrows downward; clouds the forehead; rolls the eyes around frightfully; opens the mouth towards the ears; bites the lips; widens the nostrils; gnashes with the teeth, like a fierce wild beast. The heart is too much hardened to suffer tears to flow; yet the eyeballs will be red and inflamed like those of an animal in a rabid state. The head is hung down upon the breast. The arms are bended at the elbows, the fists are clenched hard; the veins and muscles swelled; the skin livid; and the whole body strained and violently agitated; groans, expressive of inward torture,more freequently uttered than
words. If any words, they are few, and expressed with a sullen, eager bitterness; the tone of voice often loud and furious. As it often drives people to distraction, and self murder, it can hardly be overacted by one, who would represent it.
Fear,violent and sudden,opens very wide the eyes and mouth; shortens the nose; draws down the eyebrows ; gives the countenance an air of wildness; covers it with a deadly paleness; draws back the elbows parallel with the sides; lifts up the open hands, the fingers together, to the height of the breast, so that the palms face the dreadful object, as shields opposed against it. One foot is drawn back behind the other, so that the body seems shrinking from the danger,and putting itself in a posture for flight. The heart beats violently; the breath is fetched quick and short; the whole body is thrown into a general tremor. The voice is weak and trembling; >the sentences are short, and the meaning confused and incoherent. Imminent danger, real or fancied, produces. in timorous persons, as women and children, violent shrieks without any articulate sound of words; andsometimes irrecoverably confounds the understanding; pro duces fainting, which is sometimes followed by death.
Shame, or a sense of one's appearing to a disadvantage, before one's fellow creatures; turns away the face from the beholders; covers it with blushes; hangs the head; casts down the eyes; draws down the eyebrows; either strikes the person dumb, or, if he attempts to say any thing in his own defence, causes his tongue to faulter and confounds his utterance; and puts him upon making a thousand gestures and grimaces, to keep himself in countenance; all of which only heighten the confusion of his appearance.
Remorse, or a painful sense of guilt, casts down the countenance, and clouds it with anxiety; hangs down the head, draws the eyebrows down upon the eyes. The right hand beats the breast. The teeth gnash with anguish. The whole body is strained and violently agitated. If this strong remorse is succeeded by the niore gracious disposition of penitence,or contrition; then the eyes are raised (but with great appearance of doubting.