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mark the objects of his thoughts. It would then be necessary, in the language of pantomime, that the imitation of visible objects should take place of these elements; since, as I have already said, signs purely arbitrary, and deprived of every kind of motive, cannot become the basis of any language whatsoever: these primitive signs ought afterwards to serve as a type to all those that, conformably to the figures and varied turns of a language it would be necessary to create, indicate the remainder of our other ideas: and why would it not be as possible to arrive at this by the means of looks and gestures as by the aid of sounds? Why could not visible images also designate the various connections and abstractions which the mind, the judgment, and the imagination execute relatively to the ideas? Hitherto, the language of pantomime appears nearly as practicable as verbal language: notwithstanding, a circumstance of some importance remains to be examined.
In a language spoken, the interjection of the expression of the sentiment is never but a sound —an expiration; but in pantomime it is a complete, proper, finished attitude. In the first, the imitative sound, which contains the idea of the object, is able to unite itself very intimately with the tone or expiration, which satisfies the sentiment. In the second case, the reunion of the painting and the expression is impossible, where the one and the other ought to operate by the same parts of the body, whilst each demands a totally different employment of it.
The word love is, without contradiction, impressive, as well as the action or attitude made use of to express this affection, it paints the languor, softness, and charm of this sentiment; nevertheless, this word once found, you can pronounce it, not only with a soft and tender inflexion, but also with an accent plaintive, sad, choleric, furious, bitter, or sarcastical, without one title of this word's becoming confused, and, consequently without the idea of the object losing any of its perspicuity.—Here all depends solely on the modification of such or such an organ or expiration, which renders the tone of the voice low or elevated, soft or rough, flat or sharp, trembling or decided.
On the other hand, endeavour to reunite to the picturesque gesture of love, varied pantomimical expressions, and such as are connected in a very intimate manner, without the gesture finding itself destroyed, or becoming less obscure, difficult, and equivocal; then you will perceive the impossibility, or at least the extreme difficulty of this reunion. Sometimes one contradiction will impede this mixture. The eye languishing and dying, the attitude bending with grace, or softly indolent with love (as when Felix leans over the chair of his weeping Violante (Plate XXXV.) cannot, by any means accord with the sparkling, undecided look, with the muscles extended and indicative of choler, as when the fiery young Spaniard is accusing her of perfidy and falsehood. (See Plate XXXVI.) These gestures accord as little as the cringing, humiliated air of a flatterer, who, with curved body and sinking knee, takes by turn the honied and respectful tone, (as in Plate XXXVII.) can assimilate to the proud Hamlet, who neither hides his contempt nor his indignation. (See Plate XXXVIII.)
Sometimes, whilst this reunion is not of itself impossible, we shall be uncertain if in the play of gestures, the looks or the attitude ought, in their ensemble, to express or designate a mixed sentiment.
When I see a soft smile wandering round the mouth and cheeks of a person, whilst the interior angles of his eyebrows are elevated, how is it possible for me to answer the question, whether the two sentiments, i. e. love and sorrow, reunite