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brows arched and easy, show tranquillity 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, show a mind agitated with fury. Above all, the eye shows the very spirit in a visible form. In every different state of 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 beam. 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 wonderously 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, as if 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.
Tranquillity, or apathy, appears by the composure of the countenance, and general repose of the body and limbs, without the exertion of any one muscle. The 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 dwelling 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; lessens 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.
Raillery, 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. 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 backhand blow. The pitch of the voice rather loud, the tone arch and sneering, the sentences short; the expressions satirical, with mock praise intermixed. There are instances of raillery 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 raillery 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 entertainments.
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 aggravated. The voice rises, 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, shows 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 eyebrows; 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 speaks 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 misfortune, agitates the whole frame; and besides expressing 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 gestures, 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; grovelling 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, motionless. 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 round 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 frequently u... tered 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 cyes 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; and sometimes irrecoverably confounds the understanding: produces 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 more gracious disposition of penitence, or contrition; then the eyes are raised (but with great appearance of doubting and fear) to the throne of heavenly mercy; and immediately cast down again to the earth. Then floods of tears are seen to flow. The knees are bended; or the body prostrated on the ground. The arms are spread in a suppliant posture, and the voice of deprecation is uttered with sighs, groans, timidity, hesitation, and trembling.
Courage, steady and cool, opens the countenance, gives the whole form an erect and graceful air. The accents are strong, fullmouthed and articulate; the voice firm and even.
Boasting, or affected courage, is loud, blustering, threatening. The eyes stare; the eyebrows drawn down; the face red and bloated; the mouth pouts out; the voice hollow and thundering; the arms are set akimbo; the head often nodding in a menacing manner; and the right fist, clenched, is brandished, from time to time, at the person threatened. The right foot is often stamped upon the ground, and the legs take such large strides, and the steps are so heavy, that the earth seems to tremble under them.
Pride, assumes a lofty look, bordering upon the aspect and attitude of anger. The eyes open, but with the eyebrows considerably drawn down; the mouth pouting out, mostly shut, and the lips pinched close. The words walk out astrut, with a slow, stiff, bombastic affectation of importance. The arms generally akimbo, and the legs at a distance from one another, taking large tragedy strides.
Obstinacy, adds to the aspect of pride, a dogged sourness, like that of malice. See Malice.
Authority, opens the countenance; but draws down the eyebrows a little, so far as to give the look of gravity. See Gravity.
Commanding, requires an air a little more peremptory, with a look a little severe or stern. The hand is held out, and moved toward the person, to whom the order is given, with the palm upwards, and the head nods toward him.