Outlines of a New System of Physiognomy: Indicating the Location of the Signs of the Different Mental Faculties by James Redfield (1856)

Excerpt from Outlines of a New System of Physiognomy: Illustrated by Numerous Engravings, Indicating the Location of the Signs of the Different Mental Faculties

The faith which mankind will have in Physiognomy will not henceforth depend merely on an intuitive perception of its truth, but will be based on understanding. The reception or rejec tion of this science, or the belief or disbelief in its existence, will not turn upon the presumed correctness of popular judg ments in respect to what are good countenances and what are bad ones. The modern masters of painting and sculpture, no more than their disciples, are to be considered infallible in their ideas of character in the forms and features which they give to their imaginary beings; for, though they may be correct in the general outline of their figures, they needed a deeper insight into Nature in order to portray character in the features and expressions of the face. We can well believe that M. Sturtz spoke truth when he declared to Lavater that he once hap pened to see a criminal condemned to the wheel, who, with satanic wickedness, had murdered his benefactor, and who yet had the benevolent and open countenance of an angel of Gui do but we do not believe that such a person had the counts nance of an angel of heaven. It might be said with equal truth that the face of an Ecce Homo, as it is represented in ninety nine cases out ofa hundred, might be found among guilty crim mals, for there is scarcely a representation of the Divine man that does not show a face more barren of social, moral, and reli gious feelings, than is the case with the majority of mankind.

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