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SYMMETRY OF THE HEAD.
to their height, but in many respects women are unquestionably superior to men.
The symmetry of the two sides of the head is not always preserved. The celebrated anatomist, Bichat, who, though dying at the early age of thirty-one, had already achieved world-wide fame by his medical discoveries, was wont to maintain that in such instances the mental faculties must be impaired. But he proved in his own person that his view was untenable, for on an examination of his body after death, one hemisphere of the brain was found decidedly larger than the other.
Some years ago we had under our care a child which was in excellent health, but in whom the left side of the head was larger than the right. We counselled delay, and since then the skull has gradually assumed a more correct shape, and the mind is entirely sound. In such instances, unless nature acted soon, we should not hesitate to use judiciously regulated pressure. Every one knows there are some savage tribes who flatten or elongate the heads of their infants without ill results. At a tender age the bones of the skull will readily adapt themselves to a mould, and that without injury to the delicate parts within.
A common disease of children, causing sad deformity of the head, is known as "water on the brain," or hydrocephalus. This is a serious complaint, and requires prompt medical assistance.
The forehead in women should be rather low and broad. This was the rule of the ancient artists. It was thought that a high forehead gives a bold or else a shrewish expression to the countenance. Nevertheless, we admire none of the "foreheads villainous low," denoting a limited or à perverse intellect. The height from the bridge of the nose should exactly equal the length of the nose.
In some persons the hair grows down upon the forehead, destroying its contour and beauty. This may be remedied by carefully removing the hairs, which are generally thin and fine, by one of the depilatories to be mentioned hereafter. Charlotte Bremer, in her Life of her sister, Frederica Bremer, relates that this was one of the girlish troubles of the gifted authoress, and her mother often regretted the disfigurement. One day Frederica cut off the hair around her forehead with the scissors. Her mother, not at once perceiving what she had been about, remarked in the course of the day, "Why, Frederica, your forehead is not so low after all." This delighted her daughter, but soon the hairs commenced to reappear, stiff and bristly. But with heroic perseverance, Frederica pulled them out, one after another, with a pair of tweezers, until she had achieved that fine high forehead, which those who saw her in her visit to this country may remember.
A retreating forehead is always a marplot to beauty,
WINKELMAN'S LAW OF BEAUTY.
and gives one the aspect of fatuity or half-idiocy. One of the Indian tribes in our western country dislike it so much that they press the skull of the child forward, so that they all have a highly intellectual appearance.
Wrinkles and spots on the forehead we shall treat of in the chapter on the skin.
A forehead broad in proportion to its height gives an air of dignity and queenliness, always much admired. There is an ancient Spanish poem dating from some time in the Middle Ages called "The Thirty Beauties of Woman," one of the lines of which is:
"Tres anchas, los pechos, la frente, y el entrecejo."
"Three parts should be broad: the breast, the forehead, and the space between the eyebrows."
This dictum is strictly in accordance with the laws of ideal proportion. The head, in every view of it, should appear larger in the superior part, and gradually diminish as it descends. The beauty of the face, observes one of the great critics of art (Winkelman), depends largely on the angle which the line of the forehead seen in profile makes with the line of the nose. The greater the angle, in other words, the nearer the profile approaches a straight line, the more majestic and soft is the general expression. This observation, founded on a long contemplation of Greek art, is eminently true.
THE FACE, AND EXPRESSION.
The face, like the head, should form nearly an oval when viewed from in front. Its height, from the upper border of the forehead to the base of the chin, should be three times the length of the nose, measured along its base, and equal a line drawn along the eyebrows, from the outer extremity of one to that of the other.
A line drawn from the cavity of the ear to the most prominent part of the upper jaw, should meet another line drawn from the central and highest point of the forehead to the same point, almost at right angles; that is, the upper jaw should project very little or not at all beyond the line of the forehead. This angle is called the "facial angle," and is deemed of much importance in studying heads.
The lower part of the profile should neither recede nor project more than the upper, and whether regarded from half, quarter, or full face, the outline should present soft curves, not abrupt angles, or sudden depressions. The bones, which here approach nearer the surface than in other parts of the body, should be well clothed with flesh, but not to the extent of hiding their general forms.
It is easy to lay down these rules one after another, but how are we to conform to them? What aid can cosmetic science here offer to one not gifted by nature with a handsome face?
PASSION IN DEATH.
Directly, perhaps, there is little to be done, but indirectly a great deal. For, after all, it is not these mathematical diagrams which we have been describing that make up beauty. It is expression, the soul, if you will, shining through its mortal coil.
And here we have no longer to do with unyielding bone and solid flesh, but with material infinitely more plastic than even the tempered clay in which the sculptor forms his model. The vast majority of persons are neither repulsive nor beautiful in feature, and it is the expression of their faces which grants or denies them popularity and success. Therefore this is a most weighty branch of our theme, and all the more so because expression is very much under our own control, if we only know it.
For what makes expression? Chiefly the action of certain muscles of the face. Why it is that joy or sadness, love or hate, fear or anger, should each call into action a particular muscle on this prominent and visible part of the human frame, we do not know. But the fact can be shown by this strange experiment: Connect the poles of an electric battery with these separate muscles on the face of a corpse, and you will see the ghastly spectacle of the passions of rage, of mirth, of lust, of hate, one after another brought into horrid relief on the countenance of death.
The habitual use of one of these muscles above the other, enlarges it, and leaves on the countenance marks