9 NOVEMBER 1839, Page 17


TIHS volume has a threefold division. The first is anatomical, and describes the structure of the organ. The second treats of the eye as an index of the mind, and broaches a theory by which the look may be used as a means of judging of character. The third part lays down general modes of' management for the prevention of disease and the preservation of the sight, and also contains some hints on the choice of glasses.

The anatomical description is of course not adapted for our columns. The hints for preserving eyesight involve a variety of necessary but minute directions, sometimes perhaps verging Oil the pedantic, which those who would follow can peruse in the volume. The theory by which the eye is to serve as an evidence of the character is Curious; intelligible in its laws, even if they be only suppositions ; and, !bough requiring much practice to determine by Dr. FRANZ'S PrMCIpleS, (many of us judge instinctively,) yet apparently reducible to a. system, but to a system incapable of proof. Amid several subordinate and not fifes, thneiful rules, the followingmay be taken as the fundamental principle. Assume an individual looking at himself in a glass; and two hies—suppose for the sake of illustration two wires— to pass out of the apples of his eyes : if they were prolonged in a perfectly straight direction, they would touch the pupils of his. image in the mirror; and this expression, which the Doctor names the "paralle/ism of the axes of vision," is observable in " that look which is entirely void of mental expression," and characterizes idiots and young infants. But when the mind is excited, or, as the Doctor phrases it, " in an expressive look," the two lines " con.verge towards each other, and then meet together at a certain distance in front of the eyes; the point at which they cross being named the poiut qf convergence of the axes of vision." This point of convergence may fall upon the object looked at, or short of it, or beyond it; and each of these three different points marks a difference in the character of the gazer. "The sensual look has its point of convergence always before the object ; and if' this point lie very near to the eyes, the look is fixed, or rigid, and in many cases the eyes may even seem to squint. The contemplative look has its point of convergence at different distances behind the object. When this point lies at a fixed and determinate spot behind the object, the eyes appear to look though the object, as it were ; and the look thus becomes what is termed open, and reflective. This kind of look seeks to comprehend the object in its entire appearance, and not merely some particular part of it : hence arises what may be termed contemplative seeing, (contemplari,) whereby abstract contemplation is manifested. In the intelligent look, the point of convergence coincides_ exactly, with the object. When it rests upon the object, the look becomes keen, investigating. This kind of look regards the different parts of the object, and not so much its ensemble: hence arises what may be termed intelligent or attentive seeing, (cernere;) and as from the exact coincidence of this point with the object arises the most distinct vision, (the sight not being so good where there is not such coincidence,) this seeing at the same time corresponds with what we should term sharp-sightedness (odes oculnrum.") Having thus laid down the main principle of his theory, and shown how some persons can look through an object even if it be a millstone, Dr. FRANZ proceeds to details; pointing out the causes of a steady and un3teady look, and the results deducible from each. He also investigates the rationale of the movements of the eyeballs ; the modes of expressing various passions by the eyes; and the distinguishing expression of the sexes, assigning the predominance of the will or understand lag to man, and of the/eel/11gs to woman. He then proceeds to expound the manner: The natural disposition shows itself in what he calls an "habitual look," which is snore or less marked in most people, unless where the pursuit of the individual is at variance with his inclinations. Into these points we cannot enter, on account of the space they would occupy ; and some of them are handled in a way which approaches the English flintastic or German mystical. We will however quote the results Dr. FRANZ draws from the different looks; not because we agree with his conclusions, but because the characters drawn by him no doubt exist, whatever may be the influence of the "point of convergence : " and his remarks arc acute, and well expressed.


The habitual or every-day look named the sensual, having a point of convergence which, though fafling always short of the object, may lie at various distances from it, does not regard all the different objects which present themselves in the field of view as an entire whole, but expresses rather an effort to single out some particular object, or even some portion only of an object with which it may occupy itself more exclusively. In this case there is in the mind some determined bias, some natural capacity, which, if correctly appreciated and followed, allows the individual to succeed in one particular line of life for which ho is best fitted, but seldom in any other. He feels himself attracted by common and familiar objects, which be employs in the ordinary manner for their ordinary purposes neither hnpairing nor improving them. In him the activity of the eyes and of the hands are always united upon the $0111C object ; and the point of convergence of the visual axes therefore does not extend beyond the reach of his hands. The mind of such aperson is satisfied with the things which it ordinarily finds within a narrow circle of vision; it has no other want : the look' therefore, never rests upon objects at a great distance. His ideas do not rise beyond sensible objects, and his minthis not even inclined to reflect upon impressions and ideas derived through the senses. The individual is perreetly satisfied with the enjoyments of sense; is more indifferent towards the moral feelings; is contented to hear lessons of morality without taking further notice of them. Such lieu are not exactly to be feared, but it as necessary to be on our guard iii our intercourse and dealings with them.


The habitual look to which the term intelligent has been applied, where the point of convergence coincides with the object, indicates a prevailing effort to single out and fix upon a particular object, or some part of it, yet to view it at the same time in the aggregate. Here also there is ft natural bias in the mind to apply itself practically to ordinary timings; but there is more freedom in the exercise of its powers, and the mimfrefleets upon the ideas acquired through sensation. The objects are used, it is true, with a regard to their ordinary purposes; yet they are also compared with other things, and employed an connexion with them, and in various and experimental ways, from whence improvements and inventions frequently arise. Such men unite acuteness of the senses with the power of acute observation ; they are ready in devising expedients, and skilful in investigating the true causes of' things ; and, according to the adage, know how to " hit the nail on the head." Thew mind is not insensSble to enjoyments of sense, yet does not feel itself satisfied with them ; it seeks its gratification much rather in methodical activity and in the exact K14:flees, in mathematics, mechanics, and in experimental inquiry. With regard to ethi'

cs the individual inclines to rationalism ; lie believes only what the understanding comprehends; Ile loves that which is true ant just both in word and deed. Studs mers are cautious and suspicious in every thing, but when once their minds are convinced they are decided in their actions and are therefore to be relied on; in them our confidence will not be misplaced.


The habitual look termed the contemplative, having a distant point of convergence, whit h, though always behind the object, may lie at various distances from it, ettends principally to the ensemble and !ess to individual parts, although it by no means overlooks the latter, or leaves them unobserved. There is lure a natural inclination, not strictly speaking to extraordinarythings, but rather to those which are not immediately obvious at the first glance, not quite common and finniliar, and the true nature of which is only to be learned by meditation and reflection. Persons of this class do not make use of the things that come next to hand in a blind and empirical manlier; and when they are occupied with ordinary things, they perceive more in these objects Allan actually appearkin them, or they see rather their own ideas reflected in the ob

Pets than the objects as they simply appear. They are comparatively indifferent to the enjoyments of sense, although they do not despise them ; they live rather in the more refined enjoyments of the mind, are inclined to meditation and contemplation, to philosophical pursuits, and delight in framing theories. In a moral point of view, they perceive and honour that which is just and true in word and deed : sometimes, however, this perception or knowledge is overpowered by an intensity of feeling, which borders on the domain of passion; but reason and the sense of right most frequently regain the ascendancy. Men of such character, though certainly never guilty of fraud or deceit, require to be treated with the greatest delicacy, attention, and respect ; otherwise they are not to be relied upon with implicit confidence.

Dr. FRANZ bespeaks indulgence for his style, as written in a foreign language. As in the case of several other authors who have lately come before us, we do not see any necessity for this deprecation as regards mere diction ; but a foreign cast of thought is frequently visible, which probably adds to the fanciful appearance of some of the writer's notions.