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member in the Life of the famous Prince of Condé, the writer observes, the face of that prince was like the face of an eagle, and that the prince was very well pleased to be told so. In this case, therefore, we may be
that he had in his mind some general, implicit notion of this art of physiognomy which I have just now mentioned; and that when his courtiers told him his face was made like an eagle's, he understood them in the same manner as if they had told him, there was something in his looks which showed him to be strong, active, piercing, and of a royal descent. Whether or no the different motions of the animal spirits in different passions, may have any
effect on the mould of the face when the lineaments are pliable and tender, or whether the same kind of souls require the same kind of habitations, I shall leave to the consideration of the curious. In the mean time I think nothing can be more glorious than for a man to give the lie to his face, and to be an honest, just, and good-natured man, in spite of all those marks and signatures which nature seems to have set upon him for the contrary. This very often happens among those, who, instead of being exasperated by their own looks, or envying the looks of others, apply themselves entirely to the cultivating of their minds, and getting those beauties which are more lasting, and more ornamental. I have seen many an amiable piece of deformity: and have observed a certain cheerfulness in as bad a system of features as ever was clapped together, which hath appeared more lovely than all the blooming charms of an insolent beauty. There is a double praise due to virtue, when it is lodged in a body that seems to have been prepared for the reception of vice; in many such cases the soul and the body do not seem to be fellows.
Socrates was an extraordinary instance of this nature. There chanced to be a great physiognomist in his time at Athens, who had made strange discoveries of men's tempers and inclinations by their outward appearances. Socrates's disciples, that they might put this artist to the trial, carried him to their master, whom he had never seen before, and did not know he was then in company with him. After a short examination of his face, the physiognomist pronounced him the most rude, libidinous, drunken old fellow that he had
I Better, " and did not know to be then in company with him," as referring to “ whom.”
ever met with in his whole life. Upon which the disciples all burst out a laughing, as thinking they had detected the falsehood and vanity of his art. But Socrates told them, that the principles of his art might be very true, notwithstanding his present mistake; for that he himself was naturally inclined to those particular vices which the physiognomist had discovered in his countenance, but that he had conquered the strong dispositions he was born with, by the dictates of philosophy.
We are indeed told by an ancient author, that Socrates very much resembled Silenus in his face; which we find to have been very rightly observed from the statues and busts of both that are still extant; as well as on several antique seals and precious stones, which are frequently enough to be met with in the cabinets of the curious. But, however observations of this nature may sometimes hold, a wise man should be particularly cautious how he gives credit to a man's outward appearance. It is an irreparable injustice we are guilty of towards one another, when we are prejudiced by the looks and features of those whom we do not know. How often do we conceive hatred against a person of worth ; or fancy a man to be proud and ill-natured by bis aspect, whom we think we cannot esteem too much when we are acquainted with his real character! Dr. Moore, in his admirable System of Ethics, reckons this particular inclination to take a prejudice against a man for his looks, among the smaller vices in morality, and, if I remember, gives it the name of a Prosopolepsia.
No. 89. TUESDAY, JUNE 12.
-Petite hinc juvencsque senesque
Vertentem sese frustra sectabere canthum. Per. As my correspondents upon the subjects of love are very numerous, it is my design, if possible, to range them under
Rightly so called, though now much neglected and almost forgotten.
several heads, and address myself to them at different times. The first branch of them, to whose service I shall dedicate this paper, are those that have to do with women of dilatory tempers, who are for spinning out the time of courtship to an immoderate length, without being able either to close with their lovers or to dismiss them. I have many letters by me filled with complaints against this sort of women. In one of them no less a man than a brother of the coiff tells me, that he began his suit Vicesimo nono Caroli Secundi, before he had been a twelvemonth at the Temple; that he prosecuted it for many years after he was called to the bar; that at present he is a serjeant-at-law; and, notwithstanding he hoped that matters would have been long since brought to an issue, the fair one demurs. I am so well pleased with this gentleman's phrase, that I shall distinguish this sect of women by the title of Demurrers. I find by another letter, from one that calls himself Thyrsis, that his mistress has been demurring above these seven years. But
among plaintiffs of this nature, I most pity the unfortunate Philander, a man of a constant passion and plentiful fortune, who sets forth, that the timorous and irresolute Sylvia has demurred till she is past child-bearing. Strephon appears by his letter to be a very choleric lover, and irrevocably smitten with one that demurs out of self-interest. He tells me with great passion, that she has bubbled him out of his youth ; that she drilled him on to five-and-fifty; and that he verily believes she will drop him in his old age if she can find her account in another. I shall conclude this narrative with a letter from honest Sam. Hopewell, a very pleasant fellow, who it seems has at last married a demurrer: I must only premise, that Sam, who is a very good bottle companion, has been the diversion of his friends, upon account of his passion, ever since the year one thousand six hundred and eighty-one.
“ DEAR SIR,
You know very well my passion for Mrs. Martha, and what a dance she has led me: she took me out at the
of two-and-twenty, and dodged with me above thirty years. I have loved her till she is grown as grey as a cat, and am with much ado become the master of her person, such as it is at present. She is, however, in my eye, a very charming old woman.
We often lament that we did not marry sooner, but she has nobody to blame for it but herself. You know very well that she would never think of me whilst she had a tooth in her head. I have put the date of my passion, (Anno Amoris trigesimo primo,) instead of a posie, on my weddingring. I expect you should send me a congratulatory letter; or, if you please, an epithalamium, upon
this occasion. “ Mrs. Martha’s and yours eternally,
In order to banish an evil out of the world, that does not only produce great uneasiness to private persons, but has also a very bad influence on the public, I shall endeavour to show the folly of demurring, from two or three reflections, which I earnestly recommend to the thoughts of my fair readers. First of all, I would
have them seriously think on the shortness of their time. Life is not long enough for a coquette to play all her tricks in. A timorous woman drops into her grave before she has done deliberating. Were the age of man the same that it was before the flood, a lady might sacrifice half a century to a scruple, and be two or three ages in demurring. Had she nine hundred years good, she might hold out to the conversion of the Jews before she thought fit to be prevailed upon. But, alas! she ought to play her part in haste, when she considers that she is suddenly to quit the stage, and make room for others.
In the second place, I would desire my female readers to consider, that as the term of life is short, that of beauty is much shorter. The finest skin wrinkles in a few
and loses the strength of its colouring so soon, that we have scarce time to admire it. I might embellish this subject with roses and rainbows, and several other ingenious conceits, which I may possibly reserve for another opportunity.
There is a third consideration, which I would likewise recommend to a 'demurrer, and that is, the great danger of her falling in love when she is about threescore, if she cannot satisfy her doubts and scruples before that time. There is a kind of latter spring, that sometimes gets into the blood of
woman, and turns her into a very odd sort of an animal. I would therefore have the demurrer consider what a strange figure she will make, if she chances to get over all difficulties, and comes to a final resolution, in that unseasonable part of her life.
I would not, however, be understood by anything I have here said, to discourage that natural modesty in the sex, which renders a retreat from the first approaches of a lover both fashionable and graceful; all that I intend is, to advise them, when they are prompted by reason and inclination, to demur only out of form, and so far as decency requires. A virtuous woman should reject the first offer of marriage, as a good man does that of a bishopric; but I would advise neither the one nor the other to persist in refusing what they secretly approve. I would in this particular propose the example of Eve to all her daughters, as Milton has represented her in the following passage, which I cannot forbear transcribing entire, though only the twelve last lines are to my present purpose.
The rib he formed and fashioned with his hands;
She disappeared, and left me dark. I waked
This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfilled
She heard me thus, and though divinely brought,