Page images
PDF
EPUB

The eyes are open wide, and now and then raised toward heaven. The mouth is opened. The hands are lifted up. The tone of the voice rapturous. This passion expresses itself copiously, making great use of the figure hyperbole.

Gratitude, puts on an aspect full of complacency. (See Love.) If the object of it is a character greatly superior, it expresses much submission. (See Modesty.) The right hand pressed upon the breast accompanies very properly, the expression of a sincere and hearty sensibility of obligation.

Curiosity, as of a busy body, opens the eyes, and mouth, lengthens the neck, bends the body forward, and fixes it in one posture, with the hands nearly in that of admiration. (See Admiration.-See also Desire, Attention, Hope, Inquiry, and Perplexity.)

Persuasion, puts on the looks of moderate love. (See Love.) Its accents are soft, flattering, emphatical and articulate.

Tempting, or wheedling, expresses itself much in the same way ; only carrying the fawning part to excess.

Promising is expressing with benevolent looks, the nod of consent, and the open hands gently moved towards the person to whom the promise is made; the palms upwards. The sincerity of the promiser may be expressed by laying the right hand gently on the breast.

Affectation, displays itself in a thousand different ges., tures, motions, airs and looks, according to the character which the person affects. Affectation of learning gives a stiff formality to the whole person. The words come stalking out with the pace of a funeral procession ; and every sentence has the solemnity of an oracle. Affectation of piety turns up the goggling whites of the eyes to heaven, as if the person were in a trance, and fixes them in that posture so long that the brain of the beholder grows giddy. Then comes up deep gruinbling, a holy groan from the lower part of the thorax; but so tremendous in sound, and so long protracted, that you expect to see a goblin rise, like an exhalation through the solid earth. Then he begins to rock from side to side, or backward and forward, like an aged pine on the side of an

[ocr errors]

hill, when a brisk wind blows. The hands are clasped together, and often lifted, and the head often shaken with foolish vehemence. The tone of the voice is canting, or sing song lullaby, not much distant from an Irish howl; and the words godly doggered. Affectation of beauty, and killing, puts a fine woman by turns into all sorts of forms, appearances, and attitudes, but amiable ones. She undoes, by art, or rather by awkwardness, (for true art conceals itself) all that nature had done for her. Nature formed her almost an angel, and she, with infinite pains, makes herself a monkey. Therefore, this species of af. fectation is easily imitated, or taken off. Make as many, and as ugly grimaces, motions and gestures as can be made ; and take care that nature never peep out; and you represent coquetish affectation to the life.

Sloth, appears by yawning, dozing, snoring, the head dangling sometimes to one side, sometimes to the other, the arms and legs stretched out, and every sinew of the body unstrung, the eyes heavy or closed; the words, if any, crawl out of the mouth, but half formed, scarce au. dible to any ear, and broken off in the middle by power

People who walk in their sleep, (of which our inimitable Shakespeare has in his tragedy of MACBETH, drawn out a fine scene) aro said to have their eyes open; though they are not the more for that, conscious of any thing, but the dream that has got possession of their imagination. I never saw one of those persons; therefore cannot describe their manner from nature ; but I suppose, their speech is pretty much like that of persons dreaming, inarticulate, incoherent, and very different, in its tone, from what it is when waking.

Intoxication, shews itself by the eyes half shut, sleepy, stupid, inflamed. An idiot smile, a ridiculous surliness, or affected bravado, disgraces the bloated countenance. The mouth open, tumbles out nonsense in heaps, without articulation enough for any ear to take it in, and unwor. thy of attention, if it could be taken in. The head seems too heavy for the neck. The arms dangle from the shoulders, as if they were almost cut away, and hung by shreds. The legs totter and bend at the knees, as ready

ful sleep

to sink under the weight of the reeling body. And a general incapacity, corporeal and mental, exhibits human nature sunk below the brutal.

Anger, (violent) or rage, expresses itself with rapidity, interruption, noise, harshness and trepidation. The neck stretched out; the head forward, often nodding and shaken in a menacing manner, against the object of the passion. The eyes red, inflamed, staring, rolling, and sparkling ; the eyebrows drawn down over them ; and the forehead wrinkled into clouds. The nostrils stretch. ed wide; every vein swelled; every muscle strained; the breast heaving and the breath fetched hard. The mouth open, and drawn on each side towards the ears, shewing the teeth, in a gnashing posture. The face bloated, pale, red, or sometimes almost black. The feet stamping ; the right arm often thrown out, and menacing with the clenched fist shaken, and a general and violent agitation of the whole body.

Peevishness, or ill nature, is a lower degree of anger; and is therefore expressed in the above manner, only more moderate ; with half sentences, and broken speeches, uttered hastily; the upper lip drawn up disdainfully; the eyes squint upon the object of displeasure.

Malice, or spite, sets the jaws, or gnashes with the teeth ; sends blasting flashes from the eyes ; draws the mouth towards the ears ; clenches both fists, and bends the elbows in a straining manner. The tone of voice and expression, are much the same with that of anger ; but the pitch not so loud.

Envy, is a little more moderate in its gestures, than malice ; but much the same in kind.

Revenge, expresses itself as malice.

Cruelty. (See Anger, Aversion, Malice, and the other irascible passions.)

Complaining, as when one is under violent bodily pain, distorts the features; almost closes the eyes; sometimes raises them wishfully ; opens the mouth ; gnashes with the teeth ; draws up the upper lip ; draws down the head upon the breast, and the whole body together. The arms are violently bent at the elbows, and the fists strongly clenched. The voice is uttered in groans, lamentations, and violent screams. Extreme torture produces fainting and death.

Farigut, froin severe labor, gives a general languor to the whole body. The countenance is dejected. (See Grief.) The arms hang listless ; the body, if sitting, or lying along, be not the posture, stoops, as in old age. (See Dotage.) The legs, if walking, are dragged heavily along, and seem at every step ready to bend under the weight of the body. The voice is weak, and the words hardly enough articulated to be understood.

Aversion, or hatred, expressed to, or of any person or thing, that is odious to the speaker, occasions his drawing back, as avoiding the approach of what he hates ; the hands, at the same time, thrown out spread, as if to keep it off. The face turned away froni that side toward which the hands are thrown out ; the eyes, looking angrily and asquint the same way the hands are directed ; the eyebrows drawn downwards; the upper lip disdainfully drawn up; but the teeth set. The pitch of the voice loud; the tone chiding, and unequal, surly, vehement. The sentences short, and abrupt.

Commendation, or approbation, from a superior, puts on the aspect of love, (excluding Desire and Respect) and expresses itself in a mild tone of voice ; the arms gently spread; the palms of the hands toward the person approved. Exhorting, or encouraging, as of an army by a general, is expressed with some part of the looks and actions of courage.

Jealousy, would be likely to be well expressed by one who had often seen prisoners tortured in the dungeons of the inquisition, or who had seen what the dungeons of the inquisition are the best earthly emblem of; I mean hell. For next to being in the Pope's or in Satan's pris. on, is the torture of him who is possessed with the spirit of jealousy. Being a mixture of passions directly contrary to one another, the person whose soul is the seat of such confusion and tumult, must be in as much greater misery than Prometheus, with the vulture tearing his liver, as the pains of the mind are greater than those of the body. Jealousy is a ferment of love, hatred, hope, fear, shame, anxiety, suspicion, grief, hity, envy, pride, rage,

[ocr errors]

cruelty, vengeance, madness, and if there be any other tormenting passion, which can agitate the human mind. Therefore to express jealousy well, requires that one know how to represent justly all these passions by turns. (See Love, Hatred, &c.) And often, several of them together. Jealousy shews itself by restlessness, peevishness, thoughtfulness, anxiety, absence of mind. Sometimes it bursts out in piteous complaint, and weeping ; then a gleam of hope, that all is yet well, lights up the countenance into a momentary smile. Immediately the face, clouded with a general gloom, shews the mind overcast again with horrid suspicions and frightful imaginations. Then the arms are folded upon the breast ; the fists violently clenched ; the rolling, bloody eyes dart fury. He hurries to and fro; he has no more rest than a ship in a troubled sea, the sport of winds and waves. Again he composes himself a little to reflect on the charins of the suspected person. She appears to his imagination like the sweetness ofthe rising dawn. Then his monster breeding fancy represents her as false as she is fair. Then he roars out as one on the rack, when the cruel engine rends every joint, and every sinew bursts. Then he throws himself on the ground. He beats his head against the pavement. Then he springs up, and with the look and action of a fury, bursting hot from the abyss, he snatches the instrument of death, ani after ripping up the bosom of the loved, suspected, hated, lamented fair one, he stabs himself to the heart, and exhibits a striking proof, how terrible a creature, a puny mortal is, when agitated by an infernal passion.

Dotage, or infirm old age, shews itself by talkativeness, boasting of the past, hollowness of eyes and cheeks, dimness of sight, deafness, tremor of voice, the accents, through default of teeth, scarce intelligible ; hams weak, knees tottering, head paralytic, hollow coughing, frequent expectoration, breathless wheezing, laborious groaning, the body stooping under the insupportable load of years which soon shall crush it into the dust, from whence it had its origin.

Folly, that is of a natural idiot, gives the face an habitual thoughtless, brainless grin. The eyes dance from ob

« PreviousContinue »