The eyes, of all the features, stand pre-eminent for their beauty and ever-varying powers of expression, and for being the organs of the most exalted, delicate and useful of the senses. It is they alone that “reveal the external forms of beauty to the mind, and enable it to perceive them, even at a distance, with the speed of light.”
It is they alone that clothe the whole creation with the magic charms of color, and fix on every object the identity of figure. It is the eyes alone, or chiefly, that reveal the emotions of the mind to others, and that clothe the features with the language of the soul.
Melting with pity, or glowing with hope, or redolent with love, benevolence, desire, or emulation, they impart to the countenance those vital fascinations which are the peculiar attributes of man.” “And when the mind is subdued by fear, anxiety or shame, or overwhelmed by sorrow or despair, the eyes, like faithful chroniclers, still tell the truthful story of the mental disquietude. And hatred, anger, envy, pride, and jealousy, ambition, avarice, discontent, and all the varied passions and emotions that torment, excite or depress the human soul, and find a resting place in the human breast, obtain expression in the eyes.
At one moment the instruments of receiving and imparting pleasure, at another the willing or passive instruments of pain, their influences and changes are as varied and boundless as the empire of thought itself.”
Through their silent expressions the mind reveals its workings to the external world in signs more rapid and as palpable as those uttered by the tongue. It is “the eyes alone that stamp the face with the outward symbol of animation and vitality,” and which endue it with the visible “sanctity of reason.”
The eye is, indeed, the chief and most speaking feature of the face, and the one on whose excellence, more than any other, its beauty depends.