Imágenes de páginas

of plain curves, and these movements and expressions P. 130 ideots are apt to retain ; so that in time they mark their faces with these uncouth lines; and when the lines coincide and agree with the natural forms of the features, it becomes a more apparent and confirmed character of an ideot. These plain shapes last mentioned, sometimes happen to people of the best sense, to some when the features are at rest, to others when they are put into motion; which a variety of constant regular movements proceeding from a good understanding, and fashioned by a genteel education, will often by degrees correct into lines of more elegance.

That particular expression likewise of the face, or movement of a feature which becomes one person, shall be disagreeable in another, just as such expressions or turns chance to fall in with lines of beauty, or the reverse ; for this reason there are pretty frowns and disagreeable smiles: the lines that form a pleasing smile about the corners of the mouth have gentle windings, as fig. *, but lose their beauty in the full laugh, as fig. t, the expression of excessive laughter, oftener than any other, gives a sensible face a silly or disagreeable look, as it is apt to form regular plain lines about the mouth, like a parenthesis, which sometimes appears like crying; as on the contrary, I remember to have seen a beggar who had clouted up his head very artfully, and whose visage was thin and pale enough to excite pity, but his features were otherwise so unfortunately formed for his purpose, that P.131

* Fig. 108. L. p. 2.

+ Fig. 109. L. p. 2.

what he intended for a grin of pain and misery, was rather a joyous laugh.

It is strange that nature hath afforded us so many lines and shapes to indicate the deficiencies and blemishes of the mind, whilst there are none at all that point out the perfections of it beyond the appearance of common sense and placidity. Deportment, words, and actions, must speak the good, the wise, the witty, the humane,the generous, the merciful, and the brave. Nor are gravity and solemn looks always signs of wisdom : the mind much occupied with trifles will occasion as grave and sagacious an aspect, as if it was charged with matters of the utmost moment; the balance-master's attention to a single point, in order to preserve his balance, may look as wise at that time as the greatest philosophier in the depth of his studies. All that the ancient sculptors could do, notwithstanding their enthusiastic endeavours to raise the characters of their deities to aspects of sagacity above human, was to give them features of beauty. Their god of wisdom hath no more in his look than a handsome manliness; the Jupiter is carried somewhat higher, by giving it a little more severity than the · Apollo, by a larger prominency of brow gently bending in seeming thoughtfulness, with an ample beard, which being added to the noble quantity of its other Jines, invests that capital piece of sculpture with uncommon dignity, which in the mysterious language of a profound connoisseur, is stiled a divine idea, in

conceivably great, and above nature. P.132 3dly and lastly, I shall shew in what manner the

lines of the face alter from infancy upwards, and spe. cify the different ages. We are now to pay most attention to simplicity, as the difference of ages we are about to speak of, turn chiefly upon the use made of this principle in a greater or less degree, in the form of the lines.

From infancy till the body has done growing, the contents both of the body and the face, and every part of their surface, are daily changing into more variety, till they obtain a certain medium (see page 78 on proportion) from which medium, as fig. *, if we return back to infancy, we shall see the variety decreasing, till by degrees that simplicity in the form, which

gave variety its due limits, deviates into sameness; so that all the parts of the face may be circumscribed in several circles, as fig. t.

But there is another very extraordinary circumstance, (perhaps never taken notice of before in this light) which nature hath given us to distinguish oneage from another by; which is, that though every feature grows larger and longer, till the whole person has done growing, the sight of the eye still keepsits original size; I mean the pupil, with its iris or ring; for the diameter of this circle continues still the same, and so becomes a fixed measure by which we, as it were, insensibly compare the daily perceived growings of the other parts of the face, and thereby determine a young person's age. You may sometimes find this part of the eye in a new-born infant full as large as in a p. 133

* Fig. 113. B. p. 2.

+ Fig. 116. L. p. 2.

man of six foot; nay sometimes larger, see fig. *,

and t.

In infancy the faces of boys and girls have no visible difference I, but as they grow up the features of the boy get the start, and grow faster in proportion to the ring of the eye, than those of the girl, which shews the distinction of the sex in the face. Boys who have larger features than ordinary, in proportion to the rings of their eyes, are what we call manly-featured children; as those who have the contrary, look more childish and younger than they really are. It is this proportion of the features with the eyes, that makes women, when they are dressed in men's clothes, look so young and boyish: but as nature doth not always stick close to these particulars, we may be mistaken both in sexes and ages.

By these obvious appearances, and the differences of the whole size, we easily judge of ages till twenty, but not with such certainty afterwards; for the alterations from that age are of a different kind, subject to other changes by growing fatter or leaner, which it

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

| Fig. 115. T. p. 1. which represents three different sizes of the pupil of the eye; the least, was exactly taken from the eye of a largefeatured man, aged 105, the biggest, from one of twenty, who had this part larger than ordinary, and the other is the common size. If this part of the eye in the pictures of Charles II. and James II. painted by Vandyke at Kensington, were to be measured with a pair of compasses and compared with their pictures painted by Lilly when they were men, the diameters would be found in both pictures re. spectively the same.

is well known often give a different turn to the look
of the

with regard to his age.
The hair of the head, which encompasses a face as
a frame doth a picture, and contrasts with its uniform
colour, the variegated inclosed composition, adding
more or less beauty thereto, according as it is disposed
by the rules of art, is another indication of advanced

What remains to be said on the different appear- P. 134
ances of ages, being less pleasing than what has gone
before, shall be described with more brevity. In the
age from twenty to thirty, barring accidents, there ap-
pears but little change, either in the colours or the
lines of the face; for though the bloom tints may go
off a little, yet on the other hand, the make of the
features often attain a sort of settled firmness in them,
aided by an air of acquired sensibility; which makes
ample amends for that loss, and keeps beauty till
thirty pretty much upon a par; after this time, as the
alterations grow more and more visible, we perceive
the sweet simplicity of many rounding parts of the face
begin to break into dented shapes, with more sudden
turns about the muscles, occasioned by their many re-
peated movements; as also by dividing the broad parts,
and thereby taking off the large sweeps of the serpen-
tine lines; the shades of beauty also consequently suf-
fering in their softnesses. Something of what is here
meant between the two ages of thirty and fifty, see
in figures *, and what further havock time continues

[ocr errors]

* Fig. 117. and Fig. 118. B. p. 2.

« AnteriorContinuar »