Obrazy na stronie

as the nose is bent the man's inclined. He lays before us probosises of all sorts and their propensities, the cleaver Roman, which cut its way to the heart of the Sabine woman and of Gaul; the sculptor Grecian, that won the admiration of the world and the ruin of its own land; the bull-dog “pug," and (as Mr. Warwick is pleased to call it) the “ celestial” snub, in which so many of our middle-class females and our middle-class tomb-stone cherubs exultate. Now is it not rather of the cruelest that the mighty post of mind-interpreter should be borne only by the forehead and the nose? There is a neglected portion of the human “ face divine,” which, as it is the termination thereof, might be more justly taken as the index to the private ends of the man.- The chin is certainly as varied in the matter of its formation as any other organ; and if (acting upon the precedent of Mr. Warwick) we look abroad, and fit the man to the chin whenever we can do so, and when we cannot hold our peace, chin, like its brother ologies, is easily proved. First, then, there is the chin-martial, or the Wellington, without which, doubtless, “ Bajados” would at this present time be standing in all its strength, and the corn of Waterloo would not be in possession of its fine sanguine flavour. For the second-hence, reader, into Petticoat Lane-or, the Far East-or, by-the-way, a turn into the Palace of the Tuilleries in these present Prince-President days would not be fruitless. Getters of the yellow dross, is it not a charity (and the only one that hangeth to ye) that, as the snake its rattle, your tribe beareth the the plyer-like nose and chin, to warn the “kindness-milk” bearers from your curdling presence ?

Business-non-Israelitish and non-cent-per-centish businessChristian-like, Anglian business, the quality which, inexplicably to the Celt and Yankee, is so very go-a-head and yet maketh no noise with its footsteps, hath its finger-post in the double and JohnBullish promontory, the possession of which gives the appearance of a fleshy-comforter about the neck of the owner. The House of Hanover is, we believe, gifted in this respect; and although it may be objected that the third of that race was not over prolific of deeds, yet at the same time, as the speech-gift for awhile slumbered in Sheridan, so the business-turn may possibly be so excessively innate that it never issueth,—such is the Christian business chin.

Who has not noticed-when at a maidenly tea-party the brown urn in the middle of the table purs and murmurs its blessings over the fragrant souchong beneath, and delicate slicings of wheaten

bread and butter are lying like cakes of snow on the warm brown cloth—who has not noticed the long thin chins that are moving with another intent than mastication, while the thin eye-brows alternately rise and fall in surprise and condemnation.-Fearful organs are those noses ; hard and merciless-sharp and wedgelike-they enter into the hidden motives of friend and foe. They plunge, like officious spoons, through the calm surface of social life, and rake up the dormant mud. A few shakes from one of them has ruined many a maiden's fame, has split up many a happy hearth-circle, and has brought not a few to the “union.” Such is the “scan mag” chin.

When, however, the tendency of the pointed chin is downwards and not outwards, it gains in respectability considerably, and indicates, moreover, no lack of the salt of intellect sprinkled over the business habits of the person to whom it belongs. In former ages-its nicely tempered shape imparting such symmetry to the beard—it was seldom left bared to the prying eye. At the council chamber, where “beards wagged all,” this termination was and is peculiarly effective. Seldom, however, either from its cowardice or cuteness, do we find it trusting itself in the olden time within the shell of a visor, or in the way of one in the modern day. Its “bubble reputation ” is gotten mostly in the mouth of the full-toned vituperations of the senate or the law-court.

Of the dimpled chin the less said, perhaps, the better; but we may be permitted to observe—we would do it in all modestythat the chin of the fourth George and the “first gentleman” had—a dimple in it !—And we must, we cannot help saying thus much, that the fewer chins, dimple-parted, England sees upon her throne, the fewer Fitzes” will she have to provide for! Ladies, young and simple, ware you, ware you of this chin—it is a dangerous one, a fatal one!

Are there any more remaining for our fingers to be laid upon ? We think not. Were we indeed to act strictly upon precedents, it might be doubtless shown that for every phase of the human character, for every turn of the human taste, and for every key of the human brain-as there are, doubtless, eye-brows, lips, noses, hats, and garments—so also there is graciously provided—a chin! But we forbear—we forbear from a love of veracity and of the reading public-and, therefore, until such time as a large manual of chinology shall appear, we take leave of our disciples and our doctrine.




MAY, 1852.

The Spirit of Self.

Love took up the glass of time, and turn'd it in his glowing hands,
Every moment lightly shaken, ran itself in golden sands.
Love took up the harp of Life, and smote on all the chords, with might
Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling pass’d in magic out of sight.


OUR story opens in an upper chamber of a spacious gothic mansion, at the corner of one of the streets in the ancient, bustling, moneygetting town of Frankfort-on-the-Maine, the 1st November, in the year of Grace, 1505.

It is a large and comfortable room, almost a square in shape, were it not for the deep recesses, concealed with crimson hangings, in which the windows are placed, and the arched ceiling, full of grotesque but beautiful carvings in rich oak, and so cunningly wrought by the artist's hand as to convey an appearance of vast extent and distance. The walls are covered with tapestry, pourtraying the building of the Jewish Temple; although the crowds of natural curiosities, scientific instruments, strange machinery, books and papers, which lie scattered in all directions, leave but a small portion of the elaborate needlework exposed to view. At one end, near the windows, raised on a lofty stand, is a stuffed Albatross with sparkling eyes and outstretched wings. On the opposite side, the figure of a lovely woman stands in white marble, encircled by a group of laughing children, who clamber on each other's shoulders, to take the nourishment she proffers from her naked bosom. Underneath, in fantastic letters, are a few short verses, with the inscription, “An die W issenschaft,” in a larger character.

On the table, in the middle of the room, lie several caskets of old-German workmanship, whose opened lids disclose the most exquisite little paintings by the early masters, and on an oaken rest may be seen two beautiful specimens of the then recent art of printing ;-one, a copy of the Scriptures, bound in gold and vellum, the work of Venetian presses, and of countless value, - the other, a pamphlet in the German language, containing a narration of the “wondrous discoveries lately made by Master Christopher Columbus, sometime of Genoa, Maker of Maps and Charts, now in the service of The most High and Mighty Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, never before so truly set forth in print.”

A young man, the owner of the house, is leaning back in a large high chair, his head resting on his hand, his senses bound in sleep-or something more, for he neither moves nor seems to breathe. Some anatomical rarities, a human skeleton, musical and warlike instruments, all thrown in the greatest disorder around, complete the picture.

The cheerful flames upon the hearth burst forth at fitful intervals, gleaming on the quaint old gothic roof, and imparting a ruddy hue to the murky figures on the wall, and to the careworn features of the student, who had not observed that the lamp by his side had just gone out,—a thin curling vapour issuing from the lifeless wick.

He was a man of about thirty years, but care and toil had thinned his once massy dark-brown hair, and slightly pinched his robust frame. His face, pale and hollow with watching, was yet manly and expressive, and but for a peculiar sharpness about the lips, would have been a model for the painter. His whole appearance, nay, the merest tinge of foppishness in the well-chosen, close-fitting garb, betokened a man to whom this harmless pleasure was a sweet relief from the sad monotony of a life devoted to the severest toil and application. Aye, and Franz Rudenstein's had been a life of toil indeed. Left at an early age without a parent, he found a parent in the person of a Benedictine Monk, who had been his father's earliest friend, and who now resolved to guide the helpless orphan in life's mournful journey, to give him all the learning that the times afforded, and to preserve the ample fortune left him by his father from the hands of knavery and extortion. Franz, or Franziskus, as he was called in the convent, went in due time to Paris and the Italian Universities. He there drank deep of the intoxicating springs of Knowledge, and plunged, like so many of his contemporaries, into the dangerous seas of occult science, which he soon discarded in its then-existing form, and gave his mind wholly up to the completion of a discovery, which was, as he fondly prophesied, to change the whole face of human things, to overturn all the social and political relations of life, and render all the crude and unformed theories of bye-gone days, compared with the Newer Life,—but as the rattle of the crying infant to the mature enjoyments and loftier pleasures of the man.

But he opens his eyes: he speaks. Let him finish his own tale.

Franziskus slowly rose and looked about him vacantly for some. minutes, as if in search for an object on which to collect his scattered thoughts, and recal his wandering spirit to the earth. At length his eye rested on the marble group, with the inscription, “An die Wissenschaft.” He gazed for some time on the life-like figures with a countenance in which awe was blended with reproach, and when his first feelings had subsided, he spoke : .“ Aye, thou bright Goddess, for many a year to thee alone have my heartfelt prayers been raised. Thou hast been my deity, my dream : for thee have I robbed the day of pleasure, and the night of rest. I have pored over age-blackened volumes in my monkish cell; I have foresworn the reveller's cup and glittering feast, – and all, all to gain one smile, one golden smile, from thee,—to slake my lips with but one drop of the rich mother's milk that gushes from thy wondrous bosom. Wissenschaft! scientia ! Epistênê!-others too, in other climes, have sought thy giddy favors ;-others too have dreamed of thee as of the bright morning dawn; but I have done more than these. In striving to be thine alone, I have burst asunder all the ties that bind other men to earthly things; this gross body I have seared and burned in the nobler spirit-flame ;--and yet the last favor that I beg, the crowning wonder to the whole, without which all I have done is nought—this thou dost refuse me, thou that hast been my cross, my hope, my only joy and love!

“ And yet,” pursued he, with a musing air, “let me try to pierce through the misty gloom of the Pasto-before my immortal essence had overcome this earthly frame, this prison of clay, that yet impedes my passage to the world of spirits, so that I cannot flutter forth like a bird from his cage, on the wings of joy and hope. Was I not once a little merry child, sporting in the forest that skirts our Benedictine convent? What, shall the dark shadows cover all. No, no! I see a ray of light, of bright and dazzling light, stream through the darkened mist. It is like an angel form : a beauteous child with golden hair and sunny cheeks, that was the partner of my forest walks, the little attendant spirit of my stolen hours of play, when the old dotard-fathers would chide

« PoprzedniaDalej »