« Je donne mon avis non comme bon mais comme mien. » — Michel de Montaigne

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21 mai 2010

Oculi sunt in amore duces

Classé dans : Littérature, Photographie — Miklos @ 6:43

Without going so far as the Frenchman who maintained that speech was given to us to conceal our thoughts, it is certain that we may, even now, convey them pretty accurately without the intervention of the tongue. To a certain extent every body talks with his own countenance, and puts faith in the indications of those which he encounters. The basis of physiognomy, that the face is the silent echo of the heart, is substantially true; and to confine ourselves to one feature—the eye —I would ask what language, what oratory can be more voluble and instinct with meaning than the telegraphic glances of the eye? So convinced are we of this property, that we familiarly talk of a man having an expressive, a speaking, an eloquent eye. I have always had a firm belief that the celestials have no other medium of conversation, but that, carrying on a colloquy of glances, they avoid all the wear and tear of lungs, and all the vulgarity of human vociferation. Nay, we frequently do this ourselves. By a silent interchange of looks, when listening to a third party, how completely may two people keep up a by-play of conversation, and express their mutual incredulity, anger, disgust, contempt, amazement, grief, or languor. Speech is a laggard and a sloth, but the eyes shoot out an electric fluid that condenses all the elements of sentiment and passion in one single emanation. Conceive what a boundless range of feeling is included between the two extremes of the look serene and the smooth brow, and the contracted frown with the glaring eye. What varieties of sentiment in the mere fluctuation of its lustre, from the fiery flash of indignation to the twinkle of laughter, the soft beaming of compassion, and the melting radiance of love. “Oculi sunt in amore duces,” says Propertius, and certainly he who has never known the tender passion knows not half the copiousness of the ocular language, for it is in those prophetic mirrors that every lover first traces the reflection of his own attachment, or reads the secret of his rejection, long before it is promulgated by the tardy tongue.

H., “The Eloquence of Eyes”, in The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, vol. V. London, 1822.

2 commentaires »

  1. mon oeil !!!!!

    Commentaire par francois75002 — 21 mai 2010 @ 8:17

  2. Ah bon ? L’est marron, maintenant, le tien ? Attends que je sorte mes archives !

    Commentaire par Miklos — 21 mai 2010 @ 8:31

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