II. He was educated in the palace with Britannicus, and instructed in the same branches of learning, and under the same masters. During this time, they say, that a physiognomist being introduced by Narcissus, the freedman of Claudius, to examine the features of Britannicus , positively affirmed that he would never become emperor, but that Titus, who stood by, would.
You think he may be a physiognomist, and will hit some characteristic which you would quietly let slip his notice; and you flatter yourself that I might help to mislead him. Are you afraid of being made too amiable, or too plain? No, no! You are not vain. Whence comes this vagary? well, we shall all know in good time.
"Jean!" cried he, with the voice of a field-marshal; and a youth fluttered in, laden with powder-purses, combs, curling-tongs, ribbons, pomatum, and the other appurtenances of a first-rate hair-dresser. "Now, sir," said the physiognomist, gravely, "be so good as to take a seat."
Now, my daughter, learn from my lips how you may alleviate this misfortune, so far as it will affect you." "Oh," cried Eugenie, "you are a bad physiognomist, if you imagine I deplore on my own account the catastrophe of which you warn me. I ruined? and what will that signify to me? Have I not my talent left?
Every man under such circumstances is conscious of being a great physiognomist. Nature, he knows, has a language of her own, which she uses with strict veracity, and he considers himself an adept in the language.
Walter smiled at the quaint amiability of the idea. "'Tis a winning thing, Sir, a garden! It brings us an object every day; and that's what I think a man ought to have if he wishes to lead a happy life." "It is true," said Walter; and mine host was encouraged to continue by the attention and affable countenance of the stranger, for he was a physiognomist in his way.
But they formed a picturesque sight as they marched along gaily to the everlasting song, 'Addio, mia bella, addio'; and a physiognomist would have been struck by their intelligent and often distinguished faces: nobles and poets, budding doctors and lawyers, bristled in the ranks, while the officers were the still young veterans of 1848-1849: Cosenz, hero of Venice; Medici, the defender of the Vascello; Bixio, Sirtori, Cairoli all the Knights of the Legend.
The brow was massive and broad, but strangely smooth and even; the head had no single marked development or deficiency that could have enlightened a phrenologist, as the face told no tale that a physiognomist could read. The dark deep eyes were unescapable; while in presence of the portrait you could not for a moment avoid or forget their living, fixed, direct look into your own.
A physiognomist studying his face would have said that there was no thought in it, no reflection, but only a sort of contemplation. There is a remarkable picture by the painter Kramskoy, called “Contemplation.” There is a forest in winter, and on a roadway through the forest, in absolute solitude, stands a peasant in a torn kaftan and bark shoes. He stands, as it were, lost in thought.
No wonder he's anxious to make the match between Blanche and Harthur: why, she'll have a hundred thousand if she's a penny, and bring her man a seat in Parlyment into the bargain." Nobody saw, but a physiognomist would have liked to behold, the expression of Mr. Morgan's countenance, when this astounding intelligence was made clear to him.