C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Nature never writes a blind hand.

T. Starr King.

There is a certain physiognomy in manners.

Joseph Cook.

Trust not too much to an enchanting face.


There is no art whereby to find the mind’s construction in the face.


There is nothing truer than physiognomy, taken in connection with manner.


The scope of an intellect is not to be measured by inches in a man’s face.

Benjamin West.

Physiognomy is often a great falsifier, though as a rule it is honest enough.

Joaquin Miller.

A wise man will find us to be rogues by our faces.


What knowledge is there of which man is capable that is not founded on the exterior,—the relation that exists between visible and invisible, the perceptible and the imperceptible?


We are all of us more or less active physiognomists.


What is love at first sight but a proof of the powerful but silent language of physiognomy.

Mary Clemmer.

The language of the face is not taught by the schools; it is intuitive, and to the observant is always legible.

Julia Ward Howe.

The unsuitableness of one man’s aspect to another man’s fancy has raised such aversion as has produced a perfect hatred of him.


The tongue is more easily controlled than the features of the face; and though the heart may be secret, the face is transparent.

Helen Hunt.

Children are marvellously and intuitively correct physiognomists. The youngest of them exhibit this trait.


The scope of an intellect is not to be measured with a tape-string, or a character deciphered from the shape or length of a nose.


As the language of the face is universal, so ’tis very comprehensive: no laconism can reach it; ’tis the shorthand of the mind, and crowds a great deal in a little room.

Jeremy Collier.

Spite of Lavater, faces are oftentimes great lies. They are the paper money of society, for which on demand, there frequently proves to be no gold in the human coffer.

F. G. Trafford.

These flattering mirrors reflect imperfectly what is within; the countenance is often a gay deceiver. What defects of mind lie hidden under its beauty! What fair exteriors conceal base souls!


The distinguishing characters of the face and the lineaments of the body grow more plain and visible with time and age; but the peculiar physiognomy of the mind is most discernible in children.


Every passion gives a particular cast to the countenance, and is apt to discover itself in some feature or other. I have seen an eye curse for half an hour together, and an eyebrow call a man a scoundrel.


Alas! how few of nature’s faces there are to gladden us with their beauty! The cares and sorrows and hungerings of the world change them as they change hearts; and it is only when these passions sleep and have lost their hold forever that the troubled clouds pass off, and leave heaven’s surface clear.


It is believed that physiognomy is only a simple development of the features already marked out by nature. It is my opinion, however, that in addition to this development, the features come insensibly to be formed and assume their shape from the frequent and habitual expression of certain affections of the soul. These affections are marked on the countenance; nothing is more certain than this; and when they turn into habits, they must leave on it durable impressions.