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work of art, it is far inferior to the monuments of the period in the neighbourhood-such as those on the tombs of the Cloptons, Sir Thomas Lucy, and others. After the manner of the times, the monument was painted—the hair, beard, and moustache of an auburn colour, and the eyes hazel ; the dress consisting of a scarlet doublet, over which was a tabard, or loose black gown, without sleeves. These details would lead to the supposition of an attempt to obtain an exact likeness. Having a cast taken from the face of it now before me, I can appreciate its effect on those who are prepared to accept as truth what has so strong a resemblance of life and reality. Sir F. Chantry, himself a sculptor; Hugh Miller, a stonemason ; Bullock and Fairholt, artists-all speak in approval of the monument; but they look at it from a limited point of view, and without being qualified to perceive the incongruities that are apparent to the ethnic student, the physiologist, and phrenologist. On the other hand, Mr. Skottowe declares that the bust“ is not only at variance with the tradition of Shakspere's appearance having been prepossessing, but irreconcilable with the belief of its ever having borne a striking resemblance to any human being.”.
This is a sweeping conclusion, with which I do not altogether agree; but I have no theory to advocate as to Shakspere's personal appearance or beauty, except that which harmonises with the relation of nervous power and capacity, and the law that all beauty is organic. Th world owes much of its civilisation and advancement to men whose intellect and moral beauty lie beyond the range of the mental vision of the multitude. It is not in the most regular features, most beautiful faces, or fairest complexions, that we find the greatest power of mind or of character.
Boswell tells us that Mrs. Boswell considered Dr. Johnson more like a bear than a beauty; Mirabeau was, according to his own description of himself to a lady, “like a tiger pitted with the small pox.” In the portrait of Goldsmith there is nothing to indicate the man who “could write like an angel, yet talk like a fool.” We do not look for beauty of facial contour in a Michael Angelo, a Cromwell, a Luther, a Brougham, or a Garibaldi. Those who have exercised the greatest influence over humanity were not, physically speaking, the most handsome of their race. It
SIR THOMAS LUCY. From the Effigy on the Tomb in Charlecote Church, is the size, quality, and proportions of the brain that constitute the sources of power and the cause of our admiration. Our attraction to them does not originate in their features, but in their works--their deeds, prompted by their brains—the true source of all their beauty. When we find in them high moral organisms, we see that even yet beauty “rides with the lion-hearted;" for it is the beauty and harmony existing in the brain, embodied in great and generous actions and noble work, that wins the heart's worship, and commands its lasting sympathy: and our task is to ascertain, if possible, what Shakspere was in form and stature, in relation to his character as a poet and
According to Dugdale, Gerard Johnson, the “tombemaker," was employed to erect the monument of Shakspere in the Stratford Church. Wheeler states that he resided in London, and employed a number of journeymen and apprentices. He appears to have been much engaged, and probably made his own designs, and left the details to be elaborated by one of his journeymen.
It is the opinion of Chantrey, Bell, and others, that the tomb-maker worked from a cast of the face taken after
death. The face of the bust belongs to the true Warwickshire type of physiognomy, found among the mass of the people. It is broad, and the cheek bones are low; the jaw ħeavy, and rather massive; the cheeks round, full
, fleshy, and flaccid. The upper lip is very long, and the moustache coarsely cut; the tuft on the chin rather thick, and rudely indicated by the tool of the workman. The face has a cheerful, jovial, life-like look in the expression, but the features are not indicative of sensibility or refinement. The head runs up high towards Firmness : it is broad across the perceptive region, and expands towards Acquisitiveness and Ideality—a feature not accurately given in some of the engraved portraits of the monument. Hain Frizwell says—“The skull is a mere block, and a phrenologist would be puzzled at its smoothness and roundness. It has no more individuality than a boy's marble !" It is the facial and cranial contour that renders the bust, as a. portrait, enigmatical.
The face of a man of great intellectual and moral power generally bears deep traces of thought and feeling in its habitual expressions, form, and texture; while soft, round, undefined fat cheeks, drowsy eyes and expressions, speak of feeble mental powers and slothful habits. These effects arise from the action of the brain on the nerves, which expand themselves on the face and the eye, and where the mind finds its most responsive and sympathetic indicators. When viewed from the floor of the chancel, the fleshy character of the face of the bust predominates. To be able to do it justice, the spectator must be placed in a position where he can examine it in a line before him. It is very evident that the tomb-maker had not the cast from the British Museum to guide him. Mr. Fairholt, F.S.A., says—“The whole of the face has been sculptured with singular delicacy and remarkable care, except in one instance, which indeed still more strongly confirms the position now assumed. The eyes are not only badly executed, but are untrue to nature: they are mere eliptical openings, exhibiting none of the delicate curvatures which ought to be expressed; the ciliary cartilages are straight, hard, and unmeaning; and the glands at the corners next to the nose entirely omitted." The inartistic manner of dealing with the eyelids leads him to conclude that the artist followed a good model in other parts of the
face. But, on the other hand, it will be admitted that a cast taken after death could not give that fulness to the upper eyelids here indicated. A form prostrated by fever, and wasted by disease, would give to the eyes a sunken aspect ; and if he worked after such a model, the artist has taken great liberties, not only with the eyes, but other parts of the face. The forehead is large, and has, from large Comparison, a preponderance in the upper part ; while Causality and Wit are the least indicated. Individuality and other perceptive powers are only moderate in their development.
The openings in the eyes show that they were made on a cast which served as the model for the bust : but I am inclined to think the cast was taken during life, and from some other living person than the poet, and modelled to harmonise with the recollections of the friends of the bard; especially as it was not made till about the time when the first edition of the plays was published in 1623, and presents several other doubtful features. The tomb-maker was probably required, as is often the case in the present day, to make a mere monumental effigy, possessing a general resemblance, rather than an exact likeness of the departed poet, leaving, as I have said, the details to be carried out by his assistants, sent into the provinces to execute the work.
It was the custom of artists in Shakspere's time to take casts after death from the face and forehead of persons belonging to the nobility. Johnson's model was from a plaster mould; and the fulness of the fleshy parts of the cheeks, the eyes, and the drawn-up nostrils, would all mark themselves on a mould from a living person. The face of the original cast was probably without a moustache, which was very inartistically supplied by the tomb-maker, either in applying his material to the face of his model, or in chiseling it from his fancy. It is rudely cut, and curled up. If taken after death, neither the moustache nor the hair of the head would have retained their curls, as it is necessary to reduce them to a smooth, even surface in taking a cast, as indicated in the case of Sir Thomas Lucy, a sketch of whose profile is given above. They have been added by the artist, to make the bust leasing, life-like, and picturesque." The full and heavy
the face and figure lead to the conclusion
that the original would not be able to sustain long and continued mental exertion-would be rather fond of ease and the gratification of the appetites-liable to fits of impulsive good nature and passionate utterance.
The chief value of the bust lies in the illustration of the fact that the head was rather large, and the complexion fair, and that the forehead was expanded at the sides above the temples. The dress was that of the day, and the hair and eyes were coloured in harmony with nature. But the temperament indicated-sanguine lympathetic-was not that of Shakspere.
It is difficult for artists to realise a faithful likeness from mere verbal descriptions of the features. This is especially the case with those who have not become acquainted with the varying forms of the brain, in relation to special tendencies; and is repeatedly illustrated in the works of painters and sculptors of the present day. I have seen four busts of the poet Montgomery, all modelled about the same period of life, yet all different, and only one appears true to nature. On the other hand, any special and prominent feature is liable to a little exaggeration. In 1843, a clever artist brought out a humourous cartoon relating to the movements of the Free Church party in Edinburgh, in which there were several groups, and excellent portraits of well-known literary characters-Professor Wilson (Christopher North), George Combe, Lord Jeffery, Rev. Robert Montgomery, James Simpson, the Lord Provost, Lord Cunningham, Sheriff Thomson, Lord Murray, Dr. Classon, and others; and while every portrait was an admirable likeness, every prominent feature was exaggerated, and to such an extent that the central figure has repeatedly been declared, by intelligent artists, as merely wanting the collar, the moustache, and the tuft, to make it a Shakspere !-showing that an exaggerated forehead is the popular ideal of the poet ; whereas the chief elements of his power lay in his happy cerebral combinations, and a fine temperament-quality added to keen perceptive faculty.
The Portraits of Shakspere, Although the portraits of Shakspere are numerous, and a general character of a high forehead and sedate expression prevails throughout, there are differences and con