Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

hominum conjectatione quadam, de creatures, from their external man, oris et vultûs ingenio, deque totius ners and appearance. corporis filo atque habitu sciscitari. These variations of the meaning,

But when the study of physiog- however, it was proper to potice, nomy was revived in the middle not only for the reason before asages, the comprehensiveness of the signed, but because the definition of etymological meaning (as I imagine) physiognomy was a subject of long led those who treated on the sub- discussion between two modern auject, to indulge the prevailing taste thors of some note, in the Berlin for the marvellous, and extend the Transactions, s M. Pernetty and M. signification of the word far beyond le Catt. The former insisted that all the ancient limits. This seems to have knowledge whatever was merely been particularly the case among physiognomy; and the latter, as unthose naturalists who adopted the reasonably, confined it to the subject theory of signatures. Hence phy- of the human face. M. Pernetty's siognomy came to signify the know. second memoir is entirely occupied ledge of the internal properties of in defending the extensive significaany corporeal being from the exter- tion he has annexed to the term, nal appearances. Thus Joannes Bap- and which had been controverted tista Porta, a physiognomist and phi- by M. le Catt. The subject did not losopher of great note, wrotea trea- drop here: soon after appeared the tise concerning the physiognomy of celebrated treatise of M. Lavater, plants (Phytognomonica) through- who, although he expressly defines out which he uses physiognomy as physiognomy the art of discovering the generic term. The same per- the interior of a man by means of son, I believe it was, who wrote the his exterior, || does more than coun. treatise de Physiognomia Avium. tenance the extended significaGaspar Schottus, in his Magia Phy- tion of the term adopted by M. siognomica, makes the physiognomia Pernetty. This work produced an humana a subdivision of the science. attack upon physiognomy itself, in Hen. Alstead* adopts also the ex- the memoirs of the same academy, tensive signification now mentioned. for the year 1775, by M. Formey, So also does Boyle, † and it seems to who bestowed a great deal of pains have been the common one with us in controverting the extent which in the time of Hudibras. [ At pre- M. Lavater had assigned to his fasent, physiognomy seems to be con- vourite science. The common idea fined to the knowledge of the moral: annexed to physiognomy, beforeand intellectual character of human mentioned, seems, upon the whole,

as

• In his Cyclopædia.

+ Experimental History of Mineral Waters; appendix. s. 4. " And I have sometimes fancied there may be a physiognomy of many, if not of most, other natural bodies as well as of human faces, whereby an attentive and experienced considerer may himself discern in them many instructive things, that he cannot so declare to another man as to make him discern them too." # They'll find i'th' physiognomies

O'the planets all mens' destinies.
For the years 1769 and 1770. Il Vol. i. p 22, of the French edition, 4to.

Ibid. p. 33, and vol.ii. p. 89.

as proper as any that have been may be worth while to give a brief given.

outline of Aristotle's sentiments on I do not find any authority suffi- the subject. cient to conclude that physiognomy He observes (in substance), that was treated as a science (at least in the subject had been treated in Greece) before the time of Pytha- three different ways. That some goras. Of him it is asserted by Au. physiognomists classed animals into lus Gellius,* Ordo atque ratio Pyo genera, and ascribed a certain corthagoræ ac deinceps Familia, succes- poreal appearance, and a corresionis ejus recipiendi instituendique sponding mental disposition to each discipulos hujusmodi fuisse traditur. genus. Others distinguished still Jam a principio Adolescentes qui sese further, and divided the genera into addiscendum obtulerunt .puoroyvojove. species. Thus, among men they Idverbum significat mores naturasque distinguished the Egyptians, the hominum conjectatione quâdam, de Thracians, and the Scythians, and oris et vultusingeniodeque totiuscor. wherever else there was a known poris filo atque habitu sciscitari. It difference in habits and manners, is not improbable (if this be true) and assigned the physiognomic that. Pythagoras acquired a great marks accordingly. Some decided part of his physiognomical know- more from the actions and manners ledge, and his attachment to that of the individual, taking for granted science, during his travels; the In- that such and such manners prodians and Egyptians | being great ceeded from such and such disposiprofessors of physiognomy.

tions. His own method of consider. In the time of Socrates, it ap- ing the subject was this: there is pears not only to have been studied always a peculiar disposition of as a science, but adopted as a pro- mind attendant on a peculiar form of fession, of which the known story of body: so that there is never found a the judgment passed upon Socrates human mindin the corporeal form of by Žopyrus is a sufficient proof; any beast. Again, it is evident that subsequently it was noticed by the mind and the body act mutually Plato, ill and expressly treated by on each other. Thus in the cases of Aristotle in a distinct book. As intoxication, sickness, and mania, this forms a kind of literary epoch the mind is affected by the affections in the science of physiognomy, it of the body. In fear, sorrow, joy,

&c.

• Lib. i. cap. 9.-Proclus in Alcib. prim. Plat.-Iamb. in vit. Pythag. sub init.

+ Nicostratus, speaking of the Indians, in his book de Nuptiis, says, that in marrying they judge of their wives by their appearance, and declare they are never deceived. Among the physiognomical marks he mentions these :-benigni enim oculi summam animi pulchritudinem comitantur, et fieri solet ut qui non excandescit, nec facilè irascitur, aut bile movetur, faciem splendidam serenamque habet. Malignus et dolosus verò, statim et oculis transverse implucidèque tuetur. Qui stolidus ac simplex est, pupillas et oculos patentes gerit ut asini et oves. Cui supercilia conjungatur improbus est. Cujus superficies in vultunon rubet, sed obscura caliginosaque est nunquam ullo modo exhilaratur. Ceterum ejusmodi notæ, non modo virginibus et mulieribus, sed etiam viris insunt. Raynaudi Moral. Discip. p. 367. See also Philost. Vit. Apoll. Tyan. lib. iii. cap. 30, p. 83. wodna jev yap os opdaamos

, &c. et lib. iii. cap. 5. # AYUD T1005 feEv yag Tois wao, &c. Gronov. Not, in Aul. Gell. lib. i. cap. 9. from the physiognomy of Adamantius. See also Jambl. in Vit. Pythag. lib. i. cap. 17 παρασκευασω ενω δε αυτω, &c. $ Cic. de Fato, v. || In his Timæus.

&c. the body is affected by the af- physiognomical treatise of this great fections of the mind. From these man, are equally well founded with facts he concludes, that, wherever a this outline of the subject. In fact, particular form or bodily character thestate of knowledge in his time did appearsin a human creacure, and we not admit of a complete elucidation know beforehand from observation, of his general principles, nor was and an induction of particulars, that the brief and pithy style of Aristotle a certain mental character is con- adapted to a subject, which'even at stantly concomitant, and therefore this day will require frequent perinecessarily connected therewith, we phrasis to make it clearly comprehave a right in all such cases to infer hensible. Such as it is, however, the disposition from the appear- this work of Aristotle appears to ance--and this, whether we have have served as a foundation for aldrawn our observation from men or

most every physiognomical treatise other animals. For, as there is one that hath since been published. mental character, and one corporeal His comparative physiognomy of form of a lion, and an her of a men with beasts, indeed, though hare, wherever in buman creatures frequently, has not been universally we observe the bodily characteris- adopted ; but his language and his

! tics of a lion (such as a strong and manner, sententious, obscure, and thick hair, large extremities, a deep indiscriminate, have been copied tone of voice, &c.), we ought to in- too closely by his imitators of the fer, strength, firmness, and courage. sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Wherever, on the contrary, we see Beside this work of Aristotle exthe slender extremities, soft capilla- pressly on the subject, there are ment, or any other feature of the many incidental observations reshare, we ought to conclude a pro- pecting physiognomy that occur in portional correspondence in the bis History of Animals, and cther mental character. Upon this prin- parts of his writings. ciple he enumerates the various The ethic characters of Theocorporeal features of man, and the phrastus, the disciple and successor correspondent dispositions so far as of Aristotle, deserve also to be parthey have been observed ; and as ticularly noticed, as a distinct trea. opportunities offer, he illustrates tise on a most important branch of them by an appeal to the foregoing the science in question, The Physianalogy, and in some cases at- ognomy of Manners. This singular tempts to explain them by physio- and entertaining performance, comlogical reasoning.

posed by the author at the age of This plausible, and even probable ninety-nine, describes syntheti, theory evinces a considerable de- cally, with great justice and accugree of knowledge on this subject racy, the most remarkable traits of at a very early period—individual behaviour which certainly predomiphysiognomy, national physiog, nant characters would respectively

. nomy, and comparative physiog- occasion. The translations and imitanomy, are here distinctly noticed; tions of La Bruyere render it unnebut it cannot with truth be asserted, cessary to give any examples of what that the enumeration of particular otherwise it would be unpardonable precepts and observations in the to omit: sufficeit to observe, that this work of Theophrastus evinces such futuræ mortisannos, autpræteritæ. a degree of accurate observation From the known practice of the Pyand lively description, as will pre- thagorean school, s whose novitiates serve it in the rank of classical per. were all subjected to the physiogformances so long as the science of nomic observation of the teachers, man, and the prominent features of it is not improbable that the first human society shall continue to be physiognomists by profession among regarded as objects of attention. the Greeks,|| were of that sect; nor

work * I was not aware till lately, that the Greek writers on the subject of physiognomy were collected and published together by Franzius, “ Physiognomiæ veteres scriptores Græci, Gr. and Lat. à Franzio Altenb. 1780, 8vo.” I have not seen the book.

About this time Adamantius, the is it unlikely from the mysterious sophist, appears to have written, and ascetic nature of the doctrines whose “ Physiognomics" were pub- and discipline of the Pythagoreans, lished in several places, about the that they also were first tempted to middle of the sixteenth century. disgrace the science of physiogAdamantius, however, only trod in nomy in Greece, by annexing to it the steps of Polemon, the Athenian, the art of divination. who had written before him, and From this time to the close of the whose treatise was republished in Roman republic, few observations Greek and Latin much about the occur respecting the literary history time of the former. * So many au- of physiognomy. About that pethorst on the subject sufficiently riod, however, and from thence to shew that physiognomy was much the decline of the Roman empire cultivated as a science among the under the late emperors, it appears Greeks about this period. The pro- to have been attended to as an imfessors of physiognomy, however, portant branch of knowledge, and appear soon to have connected with adopted as a profession by persons it something of the marvellous, as pretending to superior skill in it. we nay suspect from the story told There are many physiognomical of Apelles by Apion: Imaginem remarks interspersed in the works of adeo similitudinis indiscretæpinxitut Hyppocrates** and of Galen,tt as (incredibile dictu ) Apion grammati. may well be presumed from their cus scriptum reliquerit quemdam ex medical profession-Cicero appears facie hominum addivinantem (quos to have been particularly attached to metoposcopos vocant) ex iis dixisse aut it; for he not only relates the story

of

+ Hermes Trismegistus, Alchyndus, Helenus, Loxius, Pharatoes Indus (mentioned by Philostratus) are also mentioned as writers on physiognomy, but little more seems to be known of them in this respect than the traditional quotation of their names. Voss. de Nat. Art. lib. I. cap. v. s. 19.

| Pliny, Nat. Hist. lib. XXXV. s. 35. par. 9. $ Aul. Gell. ubi. sup. Mos Pythagoræis erat per signa in corpore constituta venientes ad eos judicare, utrum ad meliorem vitam apti forent necne. Natura enim ipsa quæ animis confingit corpora instrumenta eis congrua subministrat, imaginesque animarum in corporibus indicat, per quas et animarum ingenia in hâc arte periti deprehendere possunt. Proc. in Alcib. prim. Plat.

ll There were such probably among the ancient Indians. --Vide preceding note. ** In his book de Aquis Aeris et Locis. It In his passages respecting the temperament.

of Zopyrus and Socrates in his book idcirco capite et superciliis semper De Fato,* and his Tusculan Questis est rasis, ne ullum pilum viri boni ons,* but his orations abound with habere. I have quoted these passages, physiognomical opinions. Thus, his not only as instances of Cicero's oration against Piso commences with attachment to the science of phythe following abusive passage.-- siognomy, but also as examples of

t Jamne vides bellua quæ sit hominum the ancient style of oratorical abuse. querela frontis tuæ? Nemo queritur Similar instances of Cicero's mansyrum nescio quem de grege novitio- ner occur in his observation on the rum factum esse consulem. Non enim features, &c. of Verres, Vatinnos Color iste servilis, non pilosæ ius, and Anthony :$ indeed, he asGenæ,non dentesputridideceperunt. serts generally in his book De Oreo Oculi, Supercilia, frons, vultus de- tore, s omnes enim motus animi nique totus qui sermo quidem tacitus 'suum quendam a natura habent vulmentis est, hic in errorem homines tum; which although it may be impulit, hic eos quibus eras ignotus construed to relate to the transient decepit fefellit, in fraudem induxit. physiognomy only, may well be apPauci ista tua lutulenta vitia nove- plied to the permanent features, ramus: paucitarditatem ingenii, stu. in conformity to the passages alporem debilitatemque linguæ ; nun- ready adduced from the same auquam erat audita vox in foro; nun- thor. quam periculum factum Consilii; Nor was Cicero singular, among nullum non modo illustre sed ne no- the classic authors of Roman literatum quidem factum aut militiæ aut ture, in his attention to physiognodomi; vbrepsisti ad honores errore mic observation. The extracts in hominum, commendatione famosa- the notes from Sallust, Suetonius, rum imaginum, quarum simile habes and Seneca, those already adduced nihil præter Colorem. In the same from Pliny and Aulus Gellius, and strain he appeals to his auditors the passages I could mention from against the physiognomy of C. Fan- Petronius, Plutarch, and others, nius Chærea, in his oration in favour abundantly establish this remark. of Roscius, the comedian, C. Fun- Beside ihe attention paid to phynium Cheream, Roscius

fraudavit! siognomy as a science by authors of Oratque obsecro ros qui nostis, vi- repute during the period of the Rotam inter se utriusque conferte-qui man empire, it should seem also, that non nostis, faciem utriusque conside. it continued to be practised as a rate-Nonne ipsum caput, et super- profession, as well then, as in the cilla penitus abrasa, olere malitiam, classic age of Grecian philosophy. et clamitare calliditatem videntur Plutarch, in his Life of Anthony, Nonne ab imis unguibus usque ad tells us ofan Egyptian physiognomist terticem summum (siquam conjectu- who bade Anthony beware of Octaram affert hominibus tacita corpo- vius. Petronius Arbiter in his Saris figura) ex fraude, fallaciis, men- tyricon, introduces a person saying, daciis, constare totus videtur ? Qui Vides me ? nec auguria novi, nec

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

mathematicorum

* Ubi sup.

Figuram autem corporis habilem

+ See also a passage in his book De Legibus 1, 9.
et aptam, &c.
1 In his orations against them. s Lib. III.

« AnteriorContinuar »