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"The admiration of what is grand, awful, and solemn, -the love of what is soft, elegant, and graceful,-the pleasure of what is new, brilliant, and surprising,—are indigenous in human nature: hence the three classes of beautiful expression which have found appropriate utterance, by means of each of the fine arts, in every civilised age."




THE Author of this volume gives the following account of the circumstances under which her attention was first directed to the investigation it contains.

It happened that being, as a child, resident with a near relative, whose health required great stillness, she was plentifully supplied, for her amusement, with books of prints of a superior class; among them were many works of architectural antiquities, ancient statues and costumes, and likewise the French edition of Lavater, which is remarkable for the physiognomic correctness of its outlines. "The books with which children are acquainted, being but few, seldom fail to inspire them with a lively interest." Lavater was of all these

the chief favourite, and the school-room of the little girl soon exhibited a large collection of profiles of the most frequent visitors to the family, a large proportion of whom, at that time, were persons of literary and scientific celebrity. She delighted to travesty these profiles with every variety of costume, and to puzzle the originals with their own likenesses. The different effects of the various costumes were very apparent. It could not fail to strike even a child, that while some completely disguised the individual or produced a burlesque incongruity of appearance, others gave a new and bold relief to the expression, and, as with the touch of Ithuriel's spear, bade the true character start up to light. The question naturally occurred, whence could arise congruity or incongruity of expression between the dress and the countenance; and the unanswered question soon extended itself to other objects. When copying animals from Buffon, or drawing from memory any object which had struck her fancy, she would often ask herself" What can this lion, this oak tree,

this Roman soldier, this Cheddar cliff have in common with each other, yet they all produce on the mind the same impression of power? Or again, this wild antelope, this Grecian figure, this campanula, all affect me with an impression of gracefulness, yet what is there alike in the animal, the lady, and the flower?" The endeavour to discover a satisfactory solution to this problem occasionally occupied her mind from the age of nine years to that of twenty. It was not pursued long without suggesting another observation.

The expressions which pleased her in the various objects that struck her as beautiful soon ranged themselves under two classes; those, namely, which were found alike in the animate and inanimate creation, and those which belonged exclusively to man, as an intellectual and moral agent. While strength may equally characterise the statue of Hercules, Alpine scenery, the figure of a lion, or the giant limbs of an oak tree, the expression which marks wit, judgment, sensibility, genius, can be conveyed only by means of a me

chanism peculiar to man. It was manifest, therefore, that there exist a universal physiognomy, the laws of which obtain equally in the whole domain of created nature, and a human physiognomy governed by its own. laws, and affording far more vivid sources of interest and gratification both to the taste and to the heart.

Occupied with these thoughts, the Author occasionally entertained herself with making observations on the subject of pleasing expression in general, and of beautiful human expression in particular. When she was about twenty, she endeavoured to arrange her scattered pencil notes into a regular system, and to illustrate them by sketches of examples which had come under her notice. At this time, however, she proceeded but a little way in the execution of her scheme; and circumstances soon arose, which forcibly directed her attention to subjects of more serious moment.

Some years after her marriage, her husband, who possessed a cultivated taste for paintings,

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