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objections. This has been the method pursued by infidels, the opponents of Christianity. Were it granted that Christianity were false, still this method would neither be logical, true, nor conclusive. Therefore such modes of reasoning must be set aside, as neither logical nor conclusive, before we can proceed to answer objections.
To return once more to physiognomy, the question will be reduced to this.-" Whether there are any proofs sufficiently positive and decisive, in favour of physiognomy, to induce us to disregard the most plausible objections. Of this I am as much convinced as I am of my own existence; and every unprejudiced reader will be the same, who shall read this work through, if he only possess so much discernment and knowledge as not to deny that eyes are given us to see ! although there are innumerable eyes in the world that look and do not see.
It may happen that learned men, of a certain description, will endeavour to perplex me by argument. They, for example, may cite the female butterfly of Reaumur, and the large winged ant, in order to prove how much we may be mistaken, with respect to final causes, in the products of nature-They may assert, “wings, undoubtedly, appear to be given for the purpose of flight, yet these insects never fly; therefore wings are not given for that purpose. —And by a parity of reasoning, since there are wise men, who, probably, do not see, eyes are not given for the purposes of sight.”—To such objections I
shall make no reply, for never, in my whole life, have I been able to answer a sophism, I appeal only to common sense. I view a certain number
who all have the gift of sight, when they open their eyes, and there is light, and who do not see when their eyes are shut. As this certain number are not select, but taken promiscuously, among millions of existing men, it is the highest possible degree of probability that all men, whose formation is similar, that have lived, do live, or shall live, being alike provided with those organs we call eyes, must see. This, at least, has been the mode of arguing and con. cluding among all nations, and in all ages. In the same degree as this mode of reasoning is convincing, when applied to other subjects, so it is when applied to physiognomy, and is equally applicable; and if untrue in physiognomy, it is equally untrue in every other instance.
I am therefore of opinion that the defender of physiognomy may rest the truth of the science on this proposition, “ That it is universally confessed that among ten, twenty, or thirty men, indiscriminately selected, there as certainly exists a physiognomical expression, or demonstrable correspondence of internal power and sensation, with external form and figure, as that, among the like number of men, in the like manner selected, they have eyes and can see.” Having proved this, he has as sufficiently proved the universality and truth of physiognomy as the universality of sight by the aid of eyes, having shewn that ten, twenty, or thirty men, by the aid of eyes, are all capable of seeing. From a part I draw a conclusion to the whole; whether those I have seen or those I have not.
But it will be answered, though this may be proved of certain features, does it, therefore, follow that it may be proved of all ?-I am persuaded it may: if I am wrong, shew me my error.
Having remarked that men who have eyes and ears, see and hear, and being convinced that eyes were given him for the purpose of sight, and ears for that of hearing ; being unable longer to doubt that eyes and ears have their destined office, I think I draw no improper conclusion, when I suppose that every other sense, and member, of this same human body, which so wonderfully form a whole, has each a particular purpose ; although it should happen that I am unable to discover what the particular purposes of so many senses, members, and integuments may be. Thus do I reason also, concerning the signification of the countenance of man, the formation of his body, and the disposition of his members.
If it can be proved that any two or three features have a certain determinate signification, as determinate as that the eye is the expression of the countenance, is it not accurate to conclude, according to the mode of reasoning above cited, universally acknowledged to be just
, that those features are also significant, with the siga,
nification of which I am unacquainted. I think myself able to prove, to every person of the commonest understanding, that all men without exception, at least under certain circumstances, and in some particular feature, may, indeed, have more than one feature, of a certain determinate signification; as surely as I can render it comprehensible, to the simplest person, that certain determinate members of the human body are to answer certain determinate purposes.
Twenty or thirty men, taken promiscuously, when they laugh, or weep, will, in the expression of their joy or grief, possess something in common with, or similar to each other. Certain features will bear a greater resemblance to each other among them than they otherwise do, when not in the like sympathetic state of mind.
To me it appears evident, that since excessive joy and grief are universally acknowledged to have their peculiar expressions, and that the expression of each is as different as the different passions of joy and grief, it must, therefore, be allowed that the state of rest, the medium between joy and grief, shall likewise have its peculiar expression ; or, in other words, that the muscles which surround the eyes and lips, will indubitably be found to be in a different state.
If this be granted concerning the state of the mind in joy, grief, or tranquillity; why should not the same be true concerning pride, humility, patience, magnanimity, and other affections?
According to certain laws the stone flies upward, when thrown with sufficient force; by other laws, equally certain, it afterwards falls to the earth; and will it not remain unmoved according to laws equally fixed, if suffered to be at rest ? Joy, according to certain laws, is expressed in one manner, grief in another, and tranquillity in a third. Wherefore then shall not anger, gentleness, pride, humility, and other passions, be subject to certain laws; that is, to certain fixed laws ?
All things in nature are or are not subjected to certain laws. There is a cause for all things, or there is not. All things are cause and effect, or are not. Ought we not hence to derive one of the first axioms of philosophy? And, if this be granted, how immediately is physiognomy relieved from all objections, even from those which we know not how to answer ; that is, as soon as it shall be granted there are certain characteristic features, in all men, as characteristic as the eyes are to the countenance !
But, it will be said, how different are the expressions of joy and grief, of the thoughtful and the thoughtless! And how may these expressions be reduced to rule ?
How different from each other are the eyes of men, and of all creatures ; the eye of an eagle from the eye of a mole, an elephant, and a fly! and yet we believe of all who have no evident signs of infirmity, or death, that they see.
The feet and ears are as various as are the