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Do pity me;
Oroonoko. Act ii.
And Dryden, in his Alexander's Feast, after de. scribing the power of Timotheus in exciting his hero's pity for the sad fate of Darius, says,
The mighty master smild to see,
And Julia, in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, says of Proteus,
Because he loves her he despises me;
Poets, who, where the passions are concerned, are generally the best philosophers, constantly describe love and pity as melting the soul : but how does this agree with the intense muscles with which Hill marks the expression of both these passions ? And how, according to this writer, can the muscles be intense and the eye languid at the same time, as he has described them in pity ; or is it conceivable that the eye can express an emotion directly contrary to the feelings of the whole frame ? The distinction, therefore, of braced and unbraced muscles, upon which his whole system turns, seems at best but a doubtful hypothesis ; and much too hidden and uncertain for the direction of so important a matter as the expression of the passions.
In the display of the passions which I have adopted, nothing farther is intended, than such a description of them as may serve to give an idea of their external appearance, and such examples of their operations on the soul as may tend to awaken an origin., al feeling of them in the breast of the reader. But
it cannot be too carefully noted, that, if possible, the expression of every passion ought to commence within. The imagination ought to be strongly impressed with the idea of an object which naturally excites it, before the body is brought to correspond to it by suitable gesture. This order ought never to be reversed, except when the mind is too cold and languid to imbibe the passion first; and, in this case, an adaptation of the body to an expression of the passion, will either help to excite the passion we wish to feel, or in some measure supply the absence of it.
The two circumstances that most strongly mark the expression of passion, are the tone of the voice, and the external appearance of countenance and gesture; these we shall endeavour to describe, and to each description subjoin an example for practice.
In the following explanation and description of the passions, I have been greatly indebted to a very ingenious performance, called the Art of Speaking; this work, though not without its imperfections, is on a plan the most useful that has hitherto been adopted. The passions are first described, then passages are produced which contain the several passions, and these passions are marked in the margin as they promiscuously occur in the passage. This plan I have adopted, and I hope not without some degree of improvement. For after the description of the several passions, in which I have frequent. ly departed widely from this author, I have subjoined examples to each passion and emotion, which contain scarcely any passion or emotion but that de. scribed ; and by thus keeping one passion in view at a time, it is presumed the pupil will more easily acquire the imitation of it, than by passing suddenly to those passages where they are scattered promiscuously in small portions. But though this association of the similar passions is certainly an advantage, the greatest merit is due to the author above men. tioned; who, by the division of a passage into its several passions, and marking these passions as they occur, has done real service to the art of speaking, and rendered his book one of the most useful that has been hitherto published.
The first picture of the Passions (if it may be called so) is
TRANQUILLITY. Tranquillity appears by the composure of the countenance, and general repose of the whole body, without the exertion of any one muscle. The countenance open, the forehead smooth, the eyebrows arched, the mouth just not shut, and the eyes passing with an easy motion from object to object, but not dwelling long upon any one. To distinguish it, however, from insensibility, it seems necessary to give it that cast of happiness which borders on cheerfulness.
When joy is settled into a habit, or flows from a placid temper of mind, desiring to please and be pleased, it is called gaiety, good humour, or cheerfulness.
Cheerfulness adds a smile to tranquillity, and opens the mouth a little more:
Now my co-mates, and brothers in exile,
This is no flattery ; these are counsellors
Shakespeare's As You Like It.
When joy arises from ludicrous or fugitive amuse. ments in which others share with us, it is called merriment or mirth.
Mirth, or laughter, opens the mouth horizontally, raises the cheeks high, lessens the aperture of the eyes, and, when violent, shakes and convulses the whole frame, fills the eyes with tears, and occasions holding the sides from the pain the convulsive laughter gives them.
Invocation of the Goddess of Mirth.
Laughter on seeing a shrewd Bufoon.
Shakespeare's As You Like It.
Raillery, without animosity, puts on the aspect of cheerfulness; the countenance smiling, and the tone of voice sprightly.
Rallying a Person for being melancholy.