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sorrow, our doubts, our regret, our admiration. These expressions, so obedient to passion, are extremely difficult to be imitated in a calm state. The ancients, sensible of the advantage as well as difficulty of having these expressions at command, bestowed much time and care in collecting them from observation, and in digesting them into a practical art, which was taught in their schools as an important branch of education. Certain sounds are by nature allotted to each passion for expressing it externally. The actor, who has these sounds at command to captivate the ear, is mighty; if he have also proper gestures at command to captivate the eye, he is irresistible. The foregoing signs, though in a strict sense voluntary, cannot, however, be restrained but with the utmost difficulty when prompted by passion. We scarce need a stronger proof than the gestures of a keen player at bowls: observe only how he writhes his body in order to restore a stray bowl to the right track. It is one article of good-breeding to suppress, as much as possible, these external signs of passion, that we may not in company appear too warm or too interested. The same observation holds in speech. A passion, it is true, when in extreme, is silent ;* but when less violent it must be vented in words, which have a peculiar force not to be equalled in a sedate composition. The ease and security we have in a confidant, may encourage us to talk of ourselves and of our feel. ings; but the cause is more general, for it operates when we are alone as well as in company. Passion is the cause; for, in many instances, it is no slight gratification to vent a passion externally by words as well as by gestures. Some passions, when at a certain height, impel us so strongly to vent them in words, that we speak with an audible voice even when there is none to listen. It is that circumstance in passion which justifies soliloquies; and it is that circumstance which proves them to be natural. The mind sometimes favours this impulse of passion, by bestowing a temporary sensibility upon any object at hand, in order to make it a confidant. Thus, in the Winter's Tale,‡ Antigonus addresses himself to an infant whom he was ordered to expose :

Come, poor babe!

I have heard, but not believ'd, that spirits of the dead
May walk again. If such things be, thy mother
Appear'd to me last night: for ne'er was dream
So like a waking!

* See chap. 17.

+ Though a soliloquy in the perturbation of passion is undoubtedly natural, and, indeed, not unfrequent in real life, yet Congreve, who himself has penned several good soliloquies, yields, with more candour than knowledge, that they are unnatural, and he only pretends to justify them from necessity. This he does in his dedication of the Double Dealer in the following words: "When a man in a soliloquy reasons with himself, and pro's and con's, and weighs all his designs, we ought not to imagine that this man either talks to us or to himself; he is only thinking, and thinking (frequently) such matter as it were inexcusable folly in him to speak. But because we are concealed spectators of the plot in agitation, and the poet finds it necessary to let us know the whole mystery of his contrivance, he is willing to inform us of this person's thoughts, and to that end is forced to make use of the expedient of speech, no other better way being yet invented for the communication of thought."

Act 3. sc. 6.

The involuntary signs, which are all of them natural, are either peculiar to one passion, or common to many. Every vivid passion hath an external expression peculiar to itself, not excepting pleasant passions; witness admiration and mirth. The pleasant emotions that are less vivid have one common expression, from which we may gather the strength of the emotion, but scarce the kind. We perceive a cheerful or contented look, and we can make no more of it. Painful passions, being all of them violent, are distinguishable from each other by their external expressions; thus fear, shame, anger, anxiety, dejection, despair, have each of them peculiar expressions, which are apprehended without the least confusion. Some painful passions produce violent effects upon the body; trembling, for example, starting, and swooning; but these effects depending in a good measure upon singularity of constitution, are not uniform in all


The involuntary signs, such of them as are displayed upon the countenance, are of two kinds; some are temporary, making their appearance with the emotions that produce them, and vanishing with these emotions; others being formed gradually by some violent passion often recurring, become permanent signs of that passion, and serve to denote the disposition or temper. The face of an infant indicates no particular disposition, because it cannot be marked with any character to which time is necessary. Even the temporary signs are extremely awkward, being the first rude essays of nature to discover internal feelings. Thus the shrieking of a newborn infant, without tears or sobbings, is plainly an attempt to weep; and some of these temporary signs, as smiling and frowning, cannot be observed for some months after birth. Permanent signs formed in youth, while the body is soft and flexible, are preserved entire by the firmness and solidity that the body acquires, and are never obliterated even by a change of temper. Such signs are not produced after the fibres become rigid, some violent cases excepted, such as reiterated fits of the gout or stone through a course of time. But these signs are not so obstinate as what are produced in youth; for when the cause is removed, they gradually wear away, and at last vanish.

The natural signs of emotions, voluntary and involuntary, being nearly the same in all men, form a universal language, which no distance of place, no difference of tribe, no diversity of tongue, can darken or render doubtful: even education, though of mighty influence, hath not power to vary nor sophisticate, far less to destroy, their signification. This is a wise appointment of Providence; for if these signs were, like words, arbitrary and variable, the thoughts and volitions of strangers would be entirely hid from us; which would prove a great, or rather invincible, obstruction to the formation of societies: but, as matters are ordered, the external appearances of joy, grief, anger, fear, shame, and of the other passions, forming an universal language, open a direct avenue to the heart. As the arbitrary signs vary in every country, there could be no communication of thoughts among different nations, were it not for the natural signs in which all agree: and as the

discovering passions instantly at their birth is essential to our well. being, and often necessary for self-preservation, the author of our nature, attentive to our wants, hath provided a passage to the heart which never can be obstructed while eyesight remains.

In an inquiry concerning the external signs of passion, actions must not be overlooked; for though singly they afford no clear light, they are, upon the whole, the best interpreters of the heart.* By observing a man's conduct for a course of time, we discover unerringly the various passions that move him to action, what he loves, and what he hates. In our younger years every single action is a mark, not at all ambiguous, of the temper,-for in childhood there is little or no diguise: the subject becomes more intricate in advanced age; but, even there, dissimulation is seldom carried on for any length of time,-and thus the conduct of life is the most perfect expression of the internal disposition. It merits not, indeed, the title of a universal language, because it is not thoroughly understood but by those of penetrating genius or extensive observation; it is a language, however, which every one can decipher in some measure, and which, joined with the other external signs, affords sufficient means for the direction of our conduct with regard to others. If we commit any mistake when such light is af forded, it can never be the effect of unavoidable ignorance, but of rashness or inadvertence.

Reflecting on the various expressions of our emotions, we recognise the anxious care of nature to discover men to each other. Strong emotions, as above hinted, beget an impatience to express them externally by speech and other voluntary signs, which cannot be suppressed without a painful effort; thus a sudden fit of passion is a common excuse for indecent behaviour, or opprobrious language. As to involuntary signs, these are altogether unavoidable; no voli. tion nor effort can prevent the shaking of the limbs nor a pale visage in a fit of terror; the blood flies to the face upon a sudden emo. tion of shame, in spite of all opposition.

Vergogna, che'n altrui stampo natura,

Non si puo' rinegar: che se tu' tenti

Di cacciarla dal cor, fugge nel volto.-Pastor Fido, act 2. sc. 5. Emotions indeed, properly so called, which are quiescent, produce no remarkable signs externally. Nor is it necessary that the more deliberate passions should, because the operation of such passions is neither sudden nor violent: these, however, remain not altogether in obscurity; for, being more frequent than violent

*The actions here chiefly in view are what a passion suggests in order to its gratification. Beside these, actions are occasionally exerted to give some vent to a passion, without any view to an ultimate gratification. Such occasional action is characteristical of the passion in a high degree; and for that reason, when happily invented, has a wonderful good effect:

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passion, the bulk of our actions are directed by them. therefore display, with sufficient evidence, the more deliberate passions, and complete the admirable system of external signs, by which we become skilful in human nature.

What comes next in order is to examine the effects produced upon a spectator by external signs of passion. None of these signs are beheld with indifference; they are productive of various emotions, tending all of them to ends wise and good. This curious subject makes a capital branch of human nature; it is peculiarly useful to writers who deal in the pathetic; and to history-painters it is indispensable.

It is mentioned above that each passion, or class of passions, hath its peculiar signs; and with respect to the present subject, it must be added, that these invariably make certain impressions on a spectator the external signs of joy, for example, produce a cheerful emotion; the external signs of grief produce pity: and the external signs of rage produce a sort of terror even in those who are not aimed at.

Secondly, It is natural to think, that pleasant passions should express themselves externally by signs that to a spectator appear agreeable, and painful passions by signs that to him appear disagreeable. This conjecture which nature suggests, is confirmed by experience. Pride possibly may be thought an exception, the external signs of which are disagreeable, though it be commonly reckoned a pleasant passion; but pride is not an exception, being in reality a mixed passion, partly pleasant, partly painful; for when a proud man confines his thoughts to himself, and to his own dignity or importance, the passion is pleasant, and its external signs agreeable but as pride chiefly consists in undervaluing or contemning others, it is so far painful, and its external signs disagreeable.

Thirdly, It is laid down above, that an agreeable object produceth always a pleasant emotion, and a disagreeable object one that is painful.* According to this law, the external signs of a pleasant passion, being agreeable, must produce in the spectator a pleasant emotion; and the external signs of a painful passion, being disagreeable, must produce in him a painful emotion.

Fourthly, In the present chapter it is observed, that pleasant passions are, for the most part, expressed externally in one uniform manner; but that all the painful passions are distinguishable from each other by their external expressions. The emotions accordingly raised in a spectator by external signs of pleasant passions, have little variety these emotions are pleasant or cheerful, and we have not words to reach a more particular description. But the external signs of painful passions produce in the spectator emotions of dif ferent kinds: the emotions, for example, raised by external signs of grief, of remorse, of anger, of envy, of malice, are clearly distinguishable from each other.

Fifthly, External signs of painful passions are some of them

* See chap. 2. part 7.



attractive, some repulsive. Of every painful passion" that is also disagreeable, the external signs are repulsive, repelling the spec. tator from the object: and the passion raised by such external signs may be also considered as repulsive. Painful passions that agreeable produce an opposite effect: their external signs are attractive, drawing the spectator to them, and producing in him benevolence to the person upon whom these signs appear; witness distress painted on the countenance, which instantaneously inspires the spectator with pity, and impels him to afford relief. And the passion raised by such external signs may also be considered as attractive. The cause of this difference among the painful passions raised by their external signs may be readily gathered from what is laid down, chap. 2. part 7.

It is now time to look back to the question proposed in the beginning, How we come to understand external signs, so as to refer each sign to its proper passion? We have seen that this branch of knowledge cannot be derived originally from sight nor from experience. Is it then implanted in us by nature? The following considerations will incline us to answer the question in the affirmative. In the first place, the external signs of passion must be natural; for they are invariably the same in every country, and among the different tribes of men: pride, for example, is always expressed by an erect posture, reverence by prostration, and sorrow by a dejected look. Secondly, we are not even indebted to experience for the knowledge that these expressions are natural and universal ; for we are so framed as to have an innate conviction of the fact : let a man change his habitation to the other side of the globe, he will, from the accustomed signs, infer the passion of fear among his new neighbours, with as little hesitation as he did at home. But why, after all, involve ourselves in preliminary observations, when the doubt may be directly solved as follows: That, if the meaning of external signs be not derived to us from sight, nor from experience, there is no remaining source whence it can be derived but from nature.

We may then venture to pronounce, with some degree of assurance, that man is provided by nature with a sense or faculty, that lays open to him every passion by means of its external expressions. And we cannot entertain any reasonable doubt of this, when we reflect, that the meaning of external signs is not hid even from infants: an infant is remarkably affected with the passions of its nurse expressed in her countenance; a smile cheers it, a frown makes it afraid: but fear cannot be without apprehending danger; and what danger can the infant apprehend, unless it be sensible that its nurse is angry? We must therefore admit, that a child can read anger in its nurse's face; of which it must be sensible intuitively, for it has no other mean of knowledge. I do not affirm, that these particulars are clearly apprehended by the child: for, to produce clear and distinct perceptions, reflection and experience are requisite: but that even an in

See passions explained as agreeable or disagreeable, chap. 2. part 2.

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