Mirror of Literature,  11 (1828), 331–35.

The Man with the Mouth



Extract, Short Fiction, Drollery

Publications extracted:

A Modern Pythagorean Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine


Magnetism, Feeling, Wonder, Phrenology

    The narrator is astonished by the size of the mouth possessed by a man sitting opposite him in the Advocate's Library in Edinburgh. For a spell, his attention oscillates between it and an interesting article in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. He observes: 'Each possessed a magnetic property; and my mind was, like a piece of iron, reciprocally acted upon by a couple of powerful loadstones' (331). The mouth evokes strong feelings of wonder and delight in the narrator, who questions why it should have so strong an effect upon him. However, 'being neither casuist nor phrenologist', he has to drop the subject as being too much for his powers (332). When the man with the mouth yawns, the narrator thinks that it would 'rival the loudest yawn ever uttered by luckless wight, while luxuriating in the recondite pages of that profound philosopher, Dr. Black' (333).

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