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hum of men is hushed, the streets are empty, brutes and cattle are at rest, all nature is asleep; the peal, therefore, which by day was thwarted, smothered, or obstructed by harsher sounds and stronger vibrations, which did not get beyond a mile or so from its source, and was little suggestive among the crowd of noises that jangled upon the ear, now travels over houses and along streets, across parks and above trees, beyond suburbs and over hills, causing the vigilant watchdog to lift his head, admonishing the belated traveller, entering the open windows and speaking to the unslumbering sufferer, or mingling with the sleeper's dreams. So likewise the ocean when calm is very sublime; the still water suggests all it has done, all it may do, but all it is not doing ; how suggestive is its power when seen in those mighty rocks and boulders upon a wild coast, cleft, and pierced, and shifted many perches up the shore, hurled about, the playthings of the billows ! Yes, its storms are dreadful, its tempests frightful, its hurricanes terrific; but now, however, the sea is deep but peaceful, capable but quiescent, strong but merciful. For similar reasons it is that the moan before a storm and the rumble preceding an earthquake are, as Alison observes, far more sublime than the storm or the earthquake themselves.
Things ancient, because of their suggestiveness, are more sublime than things modern. Ruins are perhaps the best example of this fact. There is little innate, but there may be immense suggested power in a ruin. Take a feudal castle, for instance. Does it not tell of a thousand transactions that are ended—of a thousand persons who are gone ? Does it not speak of festive gatherings, of the chase and its return, of its spoils and relics in the hall, of unsettled times, of disquieting rumours, of approaching danger, of hostile gatherings, of siege and stress, of mail-clad warders, of garrisoned battlements and death-dispensing loopholes, of fierce assaults and bloody resistance, of triumphs and trophies, of pacts and treaties ? Or take a peaceful building—a great cathedral, an ancient library, or a hall of state ; take even the massive portico alone, and does it not suggest enormous power-power coming out of the past and stretching into the future ? Has it not sheltered our fathers for centuries from the sun and from the rain, from the wind and from the snow ? Does it not shelter us now? And shall it not shelter our descendants for centuries to come ? Thus those massive pillars and that huge entablature have shown their power before we were born and will exercise it after we are dead. Similarly, an elm or “monumental oak” may be an object of extreme sublimity; standing before the ancient manor house, it is a mute but eloquent historian of the family's fortunes ; every bough has a tale to tell, and the old trunk is a repository of ancestral archives. What has this tree not known and seen ? It has seen the heir coming of age, and the inaugural banquets that ensued; it has seen the family rise and seen it fall, seen it fluctuate and seen it flourish; it has seen guests and entertainments, conclaves and councils, rites and ceremonies; it has seen gatherings for congratulation and rejoicing, and gatherings for condolence and grief; it has heard the bleak December blast howl among the ancient turrets or' whistle through the vacant corridors, “ clattering the doors of deserted guardrooms," and appalling the imagination of the lonely caretaker; it has seen the sun of summer and the haze of leafy June settle on the roof or play around the porch ; it has seen the edifice gay and thronged with inmates, and seen it when there was “no sign of home from parapet to basement;” it has seen the lord of the manor brought forth as an infant to be christened, go forth as a bridegroom to be married, carried forth as a corpse to be buried. Such suggestions as these and under such circumstances are seldom worded, but are always felt by persons of poetic susceptibility.
We have now reached a class of objects whose innate power is remote and small, but whose suggested power is transcendent, and whose sublimity is, as such things go, incontrovertible. Were further confirmation of the law we are seeking to establish required, it might be found in the fact that the dead are far more sublime than the living, their innate power being at its nadir, and their suggested power at its zenith. Even a bad eminence partially redeems itself by death, the power to injure being at an end, simple talent or potentiality begets a modicum of awe. The very greatest and best of men are less sublime alive than dead, and by parity of reasoning the most feared and hated are hated and feared a hundredfold more intensely during life than after death. Nothing is too odious or wicked to be attributed to a rival or a foe: so unfavourably suggestive is his conduct that no calumny is too vile to be repeated of him, no motive too base to be insinuated, no intention too vicious to be implied; “envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness” may shower their missiles upon him without end, and nothing too much. After death invective takes a turn; indignation grows more moderate; slander speaks more slowly and less loud; charges are less frequently reiterated, for the enemy is no longer hostile, and the rival no longer threatens; by and by the execrable monster of the past may be brought up as a model of patriotism or magnanimity in comparison with another rival or another foe, and all this comes of the influence of suggested power. The same law holds good, though in a very different degree, of friends and colleagues—of those who are loved and praised and boasted of, be they poets or philosophers, statesmen or scholars; and for this reason, that human nature is fallible and subject to vicissitude: the living therefore are ever unreliable somewhat; we know what they have done, but we cannot tell what they may do; we cannot tell how they may belittle or belie themselves; we have no security for their future conduct but the probability of analogy; we are not certified as to what we must expect of them in the coming years. The moment these persons die, however, they become inexhaustibly sublime; they have now paid all debts; they cannot alter; their sublimity grows as time advances, and years but root and strengthen it; the awe “where death has set his seal, nor age can chill nor rival steal nor falsehood disavow.” Such lives offer us a past which is secured and stereotyped, and to that past we suggest a thousand counterparts.
The human countenance is capable of displaying, as well as beauty and ugliness, great sublimity. The features which express greatness of genius or of talent, we regard with awe; and in this case, as in every other, sublimity is based on power; and as the innate power of facial features is very small, the sublimity may be very great. This is felt by all, and there is probably more eagerness, curiosity, and excitement exhibited in obtaining a glimpse of a great man's face, than in beholding any other attractive sight in nature: accidents have happened, bones have been broken, lives have been lost, in securing a momentary and distant view of extraordinary men. Sublime countenances are almost always what is called expressive, i.e., they have well-defined traits and lineaments. There are, of course, many expressive faces which are not sublime, but hideous; many that suggest power, but noxious, mischievous, dangerous power. Expressive countenances which denote villany, cruelty, treachery, brutality, ferocity, &c., are not mean or ugly, as was before observed; they are horrible, hideous, abominable. Those that suggest obstinacy, bigotry, selfishness, sensuality, cowardice, mendacity, or other vices, are ugly and disgusting.
There is much difference of opinion—superficiality of judgment, perhaps it ought to be called—as to what countenances are hideous and forbidding, and what are extraordinary and great. Upon this point it may suffice to observe that certain faces, from the rare development of features accompanying a corresponding development of genius, might, by reason of that very rarity, easily appear ugly to the majority of persons who know of no qualities in the countenance but those of ugliness and beauty. Such development, moreover, might bear a great resemblance to what we are accustomed to notice in tramps and ruffians, and yet might differ from them in the most essential particulars-particulars of trifling appearance but of transcendent moment. Any unusual phenomenon, if resembling a common phenomenon, is liable to be confounded by all unthinking persons with such common phenomenon. The countenance of Socrates is an eminent instance of this truth. Socrates is generally thought to have been very ugly, and so indeed he was according to popular estimate; but popular estimate is useful as a signpost more than as a compass. The fact is probably this :—the character of Socrates was in all respects very thorough and pronounced ; and as no man is without his faults, the faults, together with the great genius and unparalleled virtues of that philosopher, may have stamped themselves very prominently in his countenance, producing a combination which ordinary observers were unable to appreciate, and which thus became repulsive to the many—an examination of the difficulty being saved by identifying the great man's features with those of rogues and cut-throats, and declaring physiognomy to be a snare. “ Socrates was stupid, brutal, sensual, and addicted to drunkenness," said the physiognomist Zopyrus. “By nature," answered Socrates, “I am addicted to all these vices, and they were only restrained and vanquished by the continual practice of virtue.”
True, we say of a man sublimely great or good, that his genius sanctifies his ugliness; but we forget to inquire whether our own judgment as to the ugliness be correct or not. Let Lavater speak once more :-"In the study of physiognomy, it cannot be too much inculcated nor too often repeated by a writer on the science, that disposition and development, talents, powers, their application and use, the stolid and inflexible parts, the prominent and fugitive traits, must be most accurately distinguished if