Thursday, 10 March 2016

28 February 1880 - 'Beautiful Women in Tears' by F.A. Kemble

Um, okay.

The power or weakness of abundant weeping without disfigurement is an attribute of deficient rather than excessive feeling. In such persons the tears are poured from their crystal cups without muscular distortion of the rest of the face. In proportion to the violence or depth of emotion and the acute or profound sensibility of the temperament, is the disturbance of the countenance. In sensitive organisations the muscles round the nostrils and lips quiver and are distorted, the throat and temples swell, and a grimace, which but for its miserable significance would be grotesque, convulses the whole face. Men's tears always seem to me as if they were pumped up from their heels, and strained through every drop of blood in their veins; women's, to start as under a knife stroke, direct with a gush from their heart, abundant and beneficent. But, again, women of the temperament I have alluded to above, have fountains of lovely tears behind their lovely eyes; and their weeping, which is indescribably beautiful, is comparatively painless, and yet pathetic enough to challenge tender compassion. I have twice seen such tears shed, and never forgotten them: once from heaven-blue eyes, and the face looked like a flower with pearly dew drops sliding over it; and, again, once from magnificent, dark, uplifted orbs, from which the falling tears looked like raindrops by moonlight. 

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