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So for centuries men have recognized in the large

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Unformatted text preview: ind that the finest paper of the meeting will be read not by some Olympian-browed member, but by a man with a low, receding forehead, who nevertheless possesses a high-grade intellect. So for centuries men have recognized in the large aquiline nose a sign of power and ability. Napoleon's famous dictum that no man with this type of proboscis is a fool has been accepted by many, most of whom, like Napoleon probably, have large aquiline noses. The number of failures with this facial peculiarity has never been studied, nor has any one remarked that many a highly successful man has a snub nose. And in fact the only kind of a nose that has a real character value is the one presenting no obstruction to breathing. The assigned value given to a "pretty" nose has no relation to character, except as its owner is vain because of it. One might go on indefinitely discussing the various features of the face and discovering that only a vague relationship to character existed. The thick, moist lower lip is the sensual lip, say the physiognomists, but there are saints with sensual lips and chaste thoughts. Squinty eyes may indicate a shifty character, but more often they indicate conjunctivitis or some defect of the optical apparatus. A square jaw indicates determination and courage, but a study of the faces of men who won medals in war for heroism does not reveal a preponderance of square jaws. In fact, man is a mosaic of characters, and a fine nature in one direction may be injured by a defect in another; even if one part of the face really did mean something definite, no one could figure out its character value because of the influence of other features--contradictory, inconsistent, supplementary. Just as the wisest man of his day took bribes as Lord Chancellor, so the finest face may be invalidated by some disharmony, and a fatal weakness may disintegrate a splendid character. Moreover, no one really studies faces disinterestedly, impartially, without prejudice. We like or dislike too readily, we are blinded by the race, sex and age of the one studied, and, most fata...
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