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his stupid heads ;-we thought the lines of stupidity more uniform : we want a multitude of terms to express the different sketches of Itupidity that he has collected and invented.
The Beauty of the Human Form, considered in a general point of view, is the subject of the 4th fragment. True philosophy and the most amiable philanthropy breathe their pure and refreshing spirit in this excellent chapter. It is impossible to read this and ihe following fragment (in which the Author proves, that the true knowledge and love of man are entirely compatible, without paying a warm tribute of veneration and love to the excellent heart of M. LAVATER. The title of the 4th fragment does not announce precisely its contents. It is designed to shew, that the most abject, the most depraved, the most deformed individual of the human fpecies, forms a necefiary link in the great chain of beings, is superior to the most beautiful and the most perfect of the animal creation, and has, therefore, degrees of beauty and goodness, which can never be separated from humanity in its most unseemly aspect. For let a man ever so sadly degrade his nature, he never ceases to be a man, and therefore he ftill continues to be a creature, fusceptible of amendment, improvement, and perfection. It is thus that our humane philosopher warns his physiognomist aga nit the severe judgments, the cruel contempt, averfion, and disguft, that are too often suggested (and even justified by a love of beauty and order) at the view of the deformed countenances, the hideous marks of degradation and turpitude that are visible in some human beings. You forget, Boys be, that were your form and faculties ever so noble, you would probably appear to beings of a superior rank, as defective and ungraceful, as human monsters, both phyfical and moral, appear to you in your present fphere.' This is eloquent, but perhaps fophife tical. But the following passage is pure gold: "The science of Physiognomies is to me a source of confolation, as it gives me a new proof of the eternal goodness of God to man; for if I, enlightened with the views it exhibits of human nature, am led to discern and to love the man even in the profiigate, what, O God of Love, and Father of Mankind, must be thy paternal compaffion and benevolence, when thou cafteft a look on the wicked! Is there one among them in whom thou discerneft no more any lines of thy image?' Good LAVATER ! this induction is, from thy pen, entitled to the weight of a demonstration : indulgence and benevolence, when united with the ardent love of virtue and order, can never be too extenfive ;-and in difcumuns of this kind- he can't be wrong whose heart is in the
The 6th fragment, in which Ply;ognomy is considered as the basis of eflecm and friczibip, contains several interesting truths
and observations; and in the 7th we have several anecdotes relative to this science, which deserve their place. There is a great deal of sense and simplicity in the fift, the father of a virtuous young man, who was setting out on his travels, said to him at taking leave, Son, all I ask of you is, that you
will bring me back the same face. - The story of the stranger who found, in the picture of the Duchess of Brinvilliers, who was a regular beauty, the lines of infernal wickedness, is related here, and is, we believe, well known.
The 8th fragment exhibits, in a series of twenty plates, enriched with a prodigious number of figures, an immense va. riety of (what he calls) Physiognomical and Pathologiial Exercises. There are above two hundred heads delineated, and briefly interpreted, in this fragment. some of which are taken from Le Brun, Poussin, Holbein, Chodowiecki, and Schlutter. All the actual, probable, possible lines of moral, intellectual, and phyfical characters, with their various combinations, seem to be exprefled in these heads, which certainly furnish rich materials for the painter and the poet, and curious lubjects of observation to the philosopher. There are only two or three lines to indicate the characters of most of these heads; some are more finished: but they all furnish much matter for the study of nature in its most interesting and most mortifying expressions; and the connoiffeur, in design and characters, will, no doubt, muse over them with attention and pleasure. The two plates that please us the most in this fragment, are those which exhibit fixteen heads of Henry IV. of France, engraved after the defigns of Chodowiecki, and thirty three of VOLTAIRE, after the humorous pencil of that celebrated sketcher of characters and caricaturas, Mr. Inbert, of Geneva.
In the first of these plates, Henry is represented in fixteen different expressions of countenance, as drowsy, dead, astonished, fuddled, angry, and as exprefling a variety of feelings at the same time--here vexation mixed with disdain ; there surprize blended with discontent; in one place resolution accompanied with prudence; in another weakness and fear-and so on. None of these heads, fays M. LAVATER, is the true head of Henry IV; but in them all taken together, we find, in fome measure, this illuftrious prince. In some measure, says our Author ; for, as he adds, the portraits of great men are always unfaithful, whether they be the productions of the pen or the pencil, the too much or the too little, produce always caricaturas, of which vulgar heads are less fufccptible. This is true in the panegyric and the poem, as well as the painter's sketch or picture. - It is impoffible to express, by external lines, that which properly constitutes true greatnes; the primitive foring, the initinctive energy, that for its elitnice, and the necdium through which it
views objects-all this is too individual (if we may adopt our Author's term), too peculiar, of too spiritual a nature to be juftly represented, or representable, by the chillel or the pencil, the phrases of the orator, or the images of the poet. All, therefore, that can be expressed in the sketch, or picture, of a great man, is only what M. LAVATER calls the solid mask of his mental countenance and character. This, no doubt, contains lines of grandeur; and it is curious to observe such lines even in those heads of Henry, which represent him under the moft disadvantageous afpeéts.
VOLTAIRE's thirty-three faces would excite laughter in the gravest and most auftere of human beings. One of these is the true resemblance of that extraordinary man, and all its features are found in the other thirty-two heads, but with such variations as form the drollest series of caricaturas we have ever seen. If the name of the well-known Hubert was not at the bottom of this plate, it would easily pass for the production of our Hogarth; for it carries the strongeft and most expreflive marks of his humour and genius. M. LAVATER looks upon the whole as caricaturas, in which he is mistaken ; but taking the lines observable in every head for the essential lines of the countenance of Voltaire, he makes his remarks upon them.If we considered these remarks as a trial of his talent, they would not be sufficient to decide that matter, however juft they might be, because the character of the original is supposed to be pretty generally known : some of these remarks deserve mention. "The eye,' says he, has much the same character in all these heads; iis look is piercing, and full of fire; but it has nothing gracious, nothing sublime. -Goodness, cordiality, and fimplicity, are not the lines of character that we meet with in the faces of this curious groupe ; nor do we find any thing here that inspires affection, or opens the heart to effufion and confidence. Greatness, mixed with goodness, does not only excite in us a consciousness of our inferiority and weakness, but, by a secret charm, raises us above ourselves, and communicates to us some lines of its elevation and dignity; not satisfied with adiniring such greatness, we love it; and, instead of being borne down under the weight of its superiority, the heart finds itself ennobled, dilated, and opens itself to complacence and joy. The faces of this plate produce no such effect; when we look at them fteadily, they only seem to threaten us with a satyrical sally, a malicious itroke of wit. This is the language of every lip in the whole groupe. But though (continues M. LAVATER) we do not find in any of these faces the expresion of benignity, of a noble fimplicity, of an indulgent and easy temper, yet it is 'not to be denied, that there are many passages in the writings of this extraordinary man, which breathe a spirit of true humanity, and excite the tenderest emo. tions: now that which is really in the writings or actions of a man must also be in his mind, and that which passes in his mind must be, more or less, represented in the face, which is its mirror. But--these lines of moral beauty, there amiable internal movements, are often so fine and delicate, that in faces which carry a strong expression of different qualities, they are less perceptible; they are lost, as it were, in the bold effect of features more prevalent, so that neither the pencil nor chisel can hit them off-more especially when the pencil and chisel are in the hands of an artist who makes caricaturas.'-All this we underftand, and think it judicious. But we own that we do not understand him so well, if we understand him at all, when he makes the following mysterious observation on the pencil of M. Hubert: " I must observe, with due respect to the ingenious drawer of these heads, that if Voltaire be the Author of the works that bear his name, his forehead ought to be differently arched, and its profile ought to have quite other contours.' This may be true for aught we know.
The gth fragment relates to the inferior animals. They also belong to the sphere of physiognomonical science. M. LAVATER, however, acknowledges that he has not studied the natural history of this class of beings with affiduity enough to quaJify him for interpreting their phizzes with so much accuracy as he does those of his own species. Here, therefore, he profelles confining himself to general reflellions, and some particular remarks, which may lead the observer of nature to new discoveries, and by which he proposes, in the mean time, to confirm the universality of physiognomical expression; to point out some of those laws which the eternal wisdom has followed in the creation of living beings; and to render ftill more evident and palpable the dignity and prerogatives of human nature. However, he expatiates in this new field much farther than he seems to have intended to do: he lays Buffon under violent contribution, in his rich and admirable descriptions of the animal cre. ation; and he adds the mysteries and lights of physiognomical science to the delightful magic of Buffon's eloquence. In short, the whole brute creation passes before him in review, and he tells every one of them his own. More especially he discovers very little complaisance for the monkey-tribe, and rather puthes them backward, than brings them forward in the great scale of being. This relieved us from a painful apprehenfion we began to entertain of their putting in as pretenders to near relationship, when we saw five-and-twenty of their phizzes exhibited in one of the plates of this fragment. More especially we were alarmed at M. LAVATER's description of the OurangQutang and the Gibbon. The former is will known, and is cer
tainly a mere beast. The latter, in the plate before us, has a much more humanized face than the former, and our Author describes his moral character in the following words: “ This monkey is of a good natural temper; his manners are mild and gentle, and his motions are neither too violent nor precipitate; he takes, with an air of benignity and contentment, the food that is offered to him-and so on.” “ But,” adds our Author, " the whole of his figure taken together, bas nothing in it human.” We think this rather a shuffling sentence, and should not be surprized to fee Pug lodging an appeal. Two figures, upon the whole, may differ, while some of their respective parts may
be similar; and as there is something (often much) of the beast in man, why may there not be something of man in the beast? However, we do not mean to give the brutes too extentive privileges; but we are not afraid of giving them their due, as we need be under no apprehension of their encroaching upon our domain, or coming in for their share of cur advantages and emoluments. Our security here does not, indeed, proceed from M. LAVATER's rules and observations with respect to the peculiarities in the structure of their skulls, jawbones, and other parts, but from another circumstance, which will ever keep them in their own sphere, and at an eternal distance from all human promotion, and that is-that they are physically incapable of making speeches. This the ingenious and celebrated anatomiit CAMPER has proved abundantly in his treatise on the Qurang-Outang.
[ To be continued.]
AR T. XIV. Docude Epifolar Sobre el Efado, &c. i. e. Ten Letters concerning
the prelent State of French Literature. Written from Paris in the Year 1780. By Don FRANCIS MARIA DE SIVA. Madrid. 1781.
F. MARIA DE Silva is nothing less than the Duke
D'ALMODAVAR, who was ambassador at our court before the breaking out of the late war; and we are perfuaded that this specimen of his taste for elegant literature, will do him still more honour than he would receive even from the publication of his political transactions. He seems to be a warm friend of the arts and sciences, and of thofe that cultivate them; and indeed the work here announced is litele more than a collection of the literary portraits of Voltaire, Rouleau, D'Alembert, the Marquis of Condorect, Marmontel, Thomas, de la Harpe, (si dis placet) Robinet, Diderot, Du Buffon, de la Lande, de Jaucourt, de Briffon, de Porial, Valmont, de Bomarre, d'Arcet, Sage, cum multis aliis quos nunc perfcribere langum eft.