Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/165

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PHYSIOGNOMY AND.GENIUS

The lines of the mouth we never neglect. We naturally scrutinize the lips for impressions of power or weakness, coldness or affection, sensuality or delicacy. Our data here are less full than could be wished. We have no means of trying by the testimony of biography the dislike we feel for lips that are excessively full or which, when smiling, turn upward at the corners, nor can we verify the impression of extreme narrowness and obstinacy which we gain from feminine lips that are thin and bloodless and drawn downward at the end. We seem, however, to discern a marked austerity in the meager lips of Rufus Choate, Farragut, Stonewall Jackson, Frederick the Great, Ibsen, Robespierre, Thaddeus Stevens ("thin upper lip"), U. S. Grant and Paul Jones, whereas in the ampler labia of Coleridge, Cromwell ("strict yet copious"—Carlyle), Nathaniel Hawthorne (full under lip), Oliver Wendell Holmes (protruding under lip), Julian (full lower lip), Peter the Great, Savonarola (full under lip), Beethoven (protruding under lip) and Schubert we might suspect a proneness to self-indulgence. The long upper lip of Landor gives a suggestion of assertiveness and tenacity which seems unmistakable.

Quite disappointing are our data with reference to the chin. That feature would seem entitled to greater weight in any estimate of character than biography appears to warrant. Thus, the chin of long, square, shovel-like structure always drives in upon us a vague shrinking, as from something fanatical, and so a thin and pointed or receding chin carries a suggestion of weakness which moves our pity or contempt; yet such inferences seem unjustified when applied to the distinguished individuals of history, though even our scant data are not without a testimony to general characteristics of disposition as associated with set types of chin.

The chin of Oliver Wendell Holmes, as we find, was decidedly retreating, that of Hawthorne is pronounced "weak"; Defoe and Robespierre had sharp chins, while that of Fielding is described as "unusually long," that of Napoleon "projecting" and that of Parkman as "of unusual prominence." As round or full—a contour pleasing to the eye—we have those of Captain Cook, Charles XII. of Sweden, Eugene Field, Washington Irving, Sidney Smith and Thoreau, which last is described as "strong."

The nose we seem instinctively to look upon as a decisive index to character. We never think highly of the character or capacity of persons with small pinched noses. Pug noses, moreover, we associate with pertness, and long, pointed noses with inquisitiveness. So, the hawk-nose, to most observers, is a sign of an aggressive, self-sufficient nature, not troubled overmuch with moral scruple. We never look for a placid temper among persons whose noses roughen easily into wrinkles, and in those whose noses wrap into long folds down the