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821
PHYSIOGNOMIC CURIOSITIES.

symptom of failing vitality; very heavy eyebrows, on the contrary, he takes to be a mark of redundant potency and reserved strength. "Eyebrows which join each other," Lavater remarks, "were considered among the ancients as a sign of a fallen character," but he himself inclines to Goethe's opinion that they denote energische Sinnlichkeit, which does not exactly mean sensuality, but rather active vigor of all the senses. The deficiency or abundance of eyebrow-hair he holds to be a physical rather than mental symptom, but owns that he "never saw a profound thinker, or even a man of a firm and judicious mind, with slender eyebrows, placed very high."

As to the eyes themselves, opinions differ to a rather perplexing degree. Their protuberance Gall, Lavater, and Fowler hold to be a mark of a retentive memory and language, i. e., fluency of speech, while Winckelmann and the Latin sages consider it as a sign of stupidity. A large eye the Greeks admired as the token of a large soul, but Gall and Dr. Carus see in it nothing but a large share of curiosity. The horizontal extension of the eye, if abnormal, Lavater suspects to be an indication of a designing mind; Redfield of excessive caution.

Their color, too, has been interpreted in very different ways. The ancients of Southern Europe, of course, preferred their own black eyes, and depreciated every lighter shade as sickly or even unnatural; but already, before their final subjugation by the Goths, they had learned to make an exception in favor of a blue iris, and we are told that, at last, even the dandies of the Roman capital envied the bright blue eyes and brown locks of Alaric. Gray and light blue, according to Le Brun, indicate coldness, but a German rhymed proverb calls a blue eye a pledge of good faith, and associates a gray one with deceitfulness. Brown, according to the same doggerel, bespeaks love of fun and mischievous merriment, while Spurzheim informs us that he found that color generally combined with a good-natured disposition. Only in regard to red eyes all nations and doctors agree: they are a sure sign of staminal weakness and degeneration.

In a treatise on physiognomy, the nose deserves a special chapter. "There is infinite expressiveness in every bone and every muscle of that prominent organ," says Sir Charles Bell, and proceeds to give us a long list of "indications," which may be summarized in the general remarks that he considers a long and pointed nose a sign of foxy slyness, a broad, short one a mark of a plain, practical mind, and Calmuck nostrils a symptom of frog-like stupidity. Redfield, too, locates "inquisitiveness" at the tip of the nose, and critical acumen in the next neighborhood, and quotes Aristotle, who speaks of the critical resources of a powerful and pointed proboscis.

In Seneca's language, an Athenian nose is a synonym for wit; and Horace introduces a wide-awake individual as a homo enunctissimæ naris, a man whose nasal ducts are in first-rate working order. Plato records his respect for a man with a royal nose, an article of which he