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expanded, the cheeks contracted, and the corners of the mouth drawn upwards : anger and resentment contract the forehead, draw the brows together, and thrust out the lips: terror elevates both the brows and forehead, expands the eyes and nostrils, and opens the mouth. As these are the natural signs of such passions, there can be no true oratory without them.
But as the eyes are most active and significant, it is the advice of Cicero, that the greatest care should be taken in their management. And he gives this reason for it: “Because other parts of the countenance have but few motions; whereas all the passions of the soul are expressed in the eyes, by so many different actions, which cannot possibly be represented by any gestures of the body if the eyes are kept in a fixed posture.” Common experience does in a great measure Confirm the truth of this observation. We readily guess at a person's intentions, or how he is affected towards us by his eyes; and any sudden change or emotion of the mind is immediately followed by an alteration of the look. The divine author of our religion, agonized by a look the soul of his perfidious companion Peter, and without uttering a word, produced thereby the most sincere contrition :
“ And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter: and Peter remembered the words of the Lord, how he had said unto him, “ Before the cock crow twice thou shalt deny me thrice.” And Peter went out and wept bitterly.”—Luke c. xxiii. v. 61.
Thomson, in his poem on summer, thus beautifully characterizes the mutual affection of Celadon and Amelia:
« Alone amid the shades,
And again, speaking of the power of beauty, he says:
« The look resistless, piercing to the soul,
Dryden in his inimitable poem entitled Alexander's Feast, represents the most powerful influence of music upon the king as expressed, not by words, but by looks :
• The prince unable to conceal his pain,
Gaz'd on the Fair
Who caus'd his care,
In speaking, therefore, upon pleasant and delightful subjects, the eyes are brisk and cheerful; as, on the contrary, they sink and are languid in delivering anything melancholy and sorrowful. This is so agreeable to nature, that before a person speaks, we are prepared with the expectation of one or the other, from his aspect. So likewise, in anger, a certain vehemence and intenseness appears in the eyes, which, from want of proper words to express it, we endeavour to represent by metaphors taken from fire, the most violent and rapid element, and say, in such cases, the eyes sparkle, burn, or are inflamed. In expressions of hatred or detestation, it is natural to alter the look, by turning the eyes either aside or downwards. If at any time, a particular object be addressed, whatever it be, the eyes should be turned that way; and therefore a speaker would very justly incur ridicule, who, in reciting Satan's address to the sun,
“O! thou, that with surpassing glory crown'd,
should turn his eyes downward towards the earth: or in repeating Adam's address to the earth, immediately after his creation,
"0! thou enlighten'd earth, so fresh and gay:
should look up to heaven.
As all the passions are, in the most lively manner, expressed in the eyes, their motions ought to vary, according to the different nature of those passions which they are suited both to discover in the speaker, and convey to his hearer; since as the quickest access to the mind, is by the sight; a proper, well-timed look will sometimes cffect this, sooner than it can be done by words: as, in discharging a cannon, we are struck with the light before we hear the sound.
The most accurate rules for the management of the features, in. expressing the various passions and emotions of the mind, with corresponding passages extracted from the best authors, may be found in Walker's “ Elements of Elocution.” But, unless a speaker feel the force of his subject, he can never manage his countenance properly. Mr. Burke, in his book on the sublime and beautiful, observes, that there is such a connexion between the internal feeling of a passion, and the external expression of it, that we cannot put ourselves in the posture or attitude of any passion, without communicating a certain degree of the passion itself to the mind.
In ordinary discourse, when we are particularly pressing and earnest in what we say, the eye is naturally directed to those to whom we address ourselves; and in reading, a turn now and then of this organ upon the hearers, when anything very remarkable or interesting occurs, has a good effect in gaining it a proper attention.
But it is seldom that sentiment is conveyed by the eyes only : the other features generally lend their aid in enforcing its expression. The mouth has (by some physiognomists) been considered as the most intelligent feature of the whole assemblage. Whether, however, it be so or not, it generally acts in concert with the eyes.
To elucidate, and to enforce the foregoing observations, I shall devote the remaining pages of this lecture to some of Mr. Walker's most striking delineations of the passions; with corresponding extracts.
The first picture of the passions (if it may be so called) says he, is
Tranquillity. Tranquillity is expressed by the calmness of the countenance, and general composure of the whole body, without the exertion of any one muscle. The countenance open, the forehead smooth, the eyebrows arched, the mouth not close shut, and the eyes passing with an easy motion from object to object, but not dwelling long upon any one. To distinguish it however, from insensibility, it seems necessary to give it that cast of happiness which borders on cheerfulness.
This expression of calmness and solidity has even been attributed to inanimate things, as in Congreve's description of the temple in his Mourning Bride:
“How reverend is the face of this tall pile,
Cheerfulness. When joy is settled into a habit, or flows from a placid temper of mind, desiring to please and be pleased, it is called gayety, good humour, or cheerfulness.
Cheerfulness adds a smile to tranquillity, and opens the mouth a little more.
Cheerfulness in retirement,
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
Shakspeare, “ As You Like It."
Mirth. When joy arises from ludicrous or fugitive amusements in which others share with us, it is called merriment or mirth. Mirth or laughter, opens the mouth horizontally, raises the cheek high, lessens the aperture of the eyes; and, when violent, shakes and convulses the whole frame, fills the eys with tears, and occasions holding the sides from the pain the convulsive laughter gives them.
Invocation of the Goddess of Mirth.
Anger, rage or fury. When hatred and displeasure rise high on a sudden from an apprehension of injury received; and perturbation of mind in consequence of it, it is called anger; and rising to a very high degree, and extinguishing humanity, becomes rage and fury.
Anger, when violent, expresses itself with rapidity, noise, harshness, and sometimes with interruption and hesitation, as if unable to utter itself with sufficient force. It wrinkles the brows, enlarges and heaves the nostrils, strains the muscles, clinches the fist, stamps with the foot, and gives a violent agitation to the whole body. The voice assumes the highest tone it can adopt, consistently with force and loudness; though sometimes to express anger with uncommon energy, the voice assumes a low and forcible tone.
Collins in his Ode on the Passions has given a fine description of anger.
Next anger rush'd, his eyes on fire
In light’nings own’d his secret stings;
And swept with hurried hands the strings.-Ode on Passions.
Fear and terror. Fear is a mixture of aversion and sorrow, discomposing and debilitating the mind, upon the approach or anticipation of evil. When this is attended with surprise or much discomposure, it grows into terror and consternation.
· Fear, violent and sudden, opens wide the eyes and mouth, shortens the nose, gives the countenance an air of wildness, covers it with deadly paleness, draws back the elbows parallel with the sides, and lifts up the open hands with the fingers spread, to the height of the breast, at some distance before it, so as to shield it from the dreadful object. 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 quick and short, and 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.
Horror at a dreadful apparition.
Sorrow. Sorrow is a painful depression of spirit upon the deprivation of good, or arrival of evil: when it is silent and thoughtful, it is sadness; when long indulged, so as to prey upon and possess the mind, it becomes habitual and grows into melancholy; when tossed by hopes and fears, it is distraction ; when these are swallowed up by it, it settles into despair.