Abbildungen der Seite
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]




Pub hy Sherwood, Toply.? [ones, lev 118?L

joy either dawning or departing-in that point of view, where it is equally ready to elevate itself to a superior degree, or to sink into a perfect calm. (See Plate XL.)

Weaken the expression of the other affections in the same manner ; for example, that of choler, which grinds the teeth, and whose fury can hardly be restrained within any due bounds: (See Plate XLI.) or that of the most profound melancholy, which, fixing its eyes on the earth, is sometimes immovable, and at others slowly dragging along its heavy pace. (See Plate XLII.) Here, as before, retain the species, but not the total force of the expression: let the one cast his arms less before, and let the fist be closed, and the muscles firmly stretched. Let the lead of the other be less elevated, the arms more crossed, and his hands hid in his habits, but less towards the superior part of the bosom, and I think you will have a number of examples sufficiently large to enable you to raise in the general the differences which present themselves to my thought. I mean to say, the difference which there is between the expression entirely dreaded, achieved, and supported, and that which is less complete, less fixed, and susceptible of superior degrees : so that, from this reason, it may vanish more easily, adopt other shades, mingle and transform itself into expressions of a different nature.

The art of gesture has its lyrical productions, which excite enthusiasm, in which it elevates itself to the highest degree of perfection, in choosing movements the most complete and best pronounced, so as to correspond completely with the character of each passion. In this case, this art has the syllables and determined number of metre; it is (as I may say) a music for the organ of sight, as the other is a dance for the ear. Represent to yourself, in the mean time, a dancer executing a pantomime with miens and attitudes inore superficial and less decided, or with the incoherent and negligent movements of the actor, and he will produce the same effect upon you as a poet composing stupid and prosaic odes. The movements of such a pantomime will appear indolent to you ; its expressions will be without either soul or energy. You require that he should represent with earnestness the affections with which he is supposed to be animated : you wish it, in joy, to be lively, light, sparkling; that he should almost float in the air, and apparently only touch the earth as he bounds along : in the full expression and delicious raptures of love, you desire that his look should be soft and tender;

« ZurückWeiter »