Labiology, or Reading Character by the Lips: 1894

studying lips

LANGUAGE OF THE LIPS

They Tell a Story of the Character of Their Owner

Lips That are Loving; Lips That are Selfish; Lips That Promise Happiness; and Lips That Revel in Mischief.

Mr. Bachelor, when you and the dearest girl in the world stood under the ensnaring dimness of the front hallway and indulged in frequent mellifluous osculatory movements annually made permissible by the tender white berries, did you once think that those two smiling, ruby lips might reveal to you in an unspoken language the story of the ingrained affections or peculiar idiosyncrasies of your most devoted inamorata—did you?

To be sure, there is something new under the sun. And the beneficent fates revealed to me the clew of a neoteric, most interesting science, certain to find favor within the sacred precincts of uppertendom.

Strolling down State Street yesterday afternoon, says the Chicago Times man, I overheard a pretty maiden confidentially say to her girl companion:

“Really, it’s more fun. Jack initiated me into its mysteries last evening, and if the hard times continue I propose to start an establishment of my own—a labiological retreat, as it were—and teach eligible bachelors the ‘art,’” which assertion was followed by an irresistible burst of such genuine laughter that instanter the resolve possessed me to clandestinely hear the secret of this novel fad.

So in the train of the youthful pair I followed, and heard an interested interrogation and the enthusiastic reply:

“It’s the study of the lips, you know. Jack heard from a friend down east of the latest social innovation called labiology, or reading character by the lips, and last evening he examined my lips—which he pronounced perfect, the flatterer—and then told me how I might study the lips of—of my prospective Benedick, you know, and find out if he would make an ideal partner for life. There is science in it, and it’s so interesting, really. In the first place—“

And in the second place a wave of humanity separated me from my fair informer. But I could not help thinking—labiology, lip language, that sounds interesting. Can it really be built on fact and not fancy? Continuing my walk I began studying the lips of the passerby. Many a belle and beau realize to their chagrin what a rarity is a perfect nose, but never before had it occurred to me how few perfect lips were to be seen. It was simply a revelation. Either the lips are too thick or too thin; some looking like a square cut in the face—a mere porthole for food and an export hole for talk—while others appeared weak and infantile. And again, Dame nature had made the lips too severe, angular, contemptuous, bitter, hard, or too mild, characterless, insipid. And so on through the entire lip category.
But could there be method in all this madness of outline? For the sake of the innumerable host considering seriously a life voyage on the uncertain sea of matrimony, I resolved to thoroughly investigate the probity or falsity of this so-called labial science. So to the cosmopolitan Masonic Temple I wandered, where suave professionals of every variety flourish, and there found a versatile scientist, one of whose favorite themes was physiognomy, who entertainingly revealed the secrets of this new study of the lips.

affectation lips

Well, the two fleshy folds surrounding the orifice of the mouth—or, in less technical terms, the lips—are ineffaceably impressed with the marks of character, and may be read with the same ease and interest that the latest book is devoured if one but be initiated into the mysteries of this lip language. These, for instance, are the infallible signs for youths to study if they would shun an infelicitous mésalliance and find the road to perfect happiness and ideal connubial bliss: If the lips of your lady love border a large and generous mouth you may rest assured that she is warm-hearted and affectionate and as a wife would be gentle, loving, and truthful…

proud lips

A small mouth with tightly drawn lips indicate great self-control with occasional burst of affection and ill temper—not a bad combination, as occasional clouds often make the connubial sunshine all the brighter.

Rather a desirable outline is formed in lips that develop their fullness sin the center, which is a sign of refined and exclusive love.

laughing lips

In These There Is Mischief.

If the termination of the lips threw upward a curved line this would indicate a love of fun and mischief. Beware of such lips, young man, which often pucker up to attract and invite and suddenly assume a solemn and forbidding aspect to the discomfiture of the prospective kisser. These lips, however, will ever be pure and faithful and the happy owner will make an ideal helpmate.

murderer's lips

When the under lip protrudes beyond the upper, which feature so distinguishes the condemned murderer Prendergast, an unregulated affection and love without resolution is denoted.

If the upper lip is long it indicates firmness and resolution—that is when all the features are harmoniously developed, as we sometimes find a long upper lip the result of a pug nose. A short upper lip, on the other hand, is indicative of irresolution.

Colorless lips portray a coldness of disposition, and in proportion as the lips approach in color the poetic ruby may warmth and glow of love be expected. Dry and parched lips show that the possessor is stirred by mingled emotions of fear and apprehension, but if the lips be softly tender, it is an evidence that they are wetted with the ambrosial dew of love.

Again, if the lips are constantly held open, in a manner sometimes seen on the profile of the newcomer from Arkansas, want of energy and tact is portrayed. When the lips are tightly closed disposition to cunning and secrecy are the characteristics of the unfortunate possessor.

So marriage is no longer a failure if labiology be studied by prospective hymeneal applicants, thus avoiding repentance at leisure, for these are facts built upon the principles of physiognomy.

the girl to tie to lips

If, then, you would know the signs of perfect lips, artistically, physiognomically, and physiologically considered—lips most likely to make life happy with gay laughter and bright repartee, or to whisper words of encouragement when the inevitable clouds of misfortunate overshadow—in a word, lips mostly likely to bring sunshine into the life of the one who could claim the inalienable and exclusive osculatory right, would be those which, in ruby color, moderate fullness of development, and slight compression, would sweetly and smilingly indicate the warmth, genuineness, purity, and faithfulness of perfect love.

This newcomer in the field of science promises to be received with open arms by the younger generations and to carry off the palm for uniqueness and popularity. Indeed it is safe to predict that amorous devotees will assiduously search for its scientific secrets, especially Sunday evenings, when the conditions and positions are peculiarly favorable. What sacrifices our dear young people will make for the sake of science! But I trust their researches will not be disappointing and that sweethearts, by following the dictates of labiological principles, will wed, find a veritable Elysium, and, in the phraseology of nursery tales—live happily ever after. 

The Worthington [MN] Advance 15 March 1894: p. 3

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Mrs Daffodil has written before on idiosyncratic methods of reading personal character, such as phrenology, nose-, and fingernail-reading. She thinks it all tosh, but it amuses the young people.

“Prendergast” was Eugene Patrick Prendergast a “crazy paper carrier” who shot Chicago Mayor, Carter Harrison, to death in his own house 28 October 1893. Prendergast claimed that the Mayor had promised to make him a corporation counsel, but had reneged on his promise. Prendergast was admitted to Harrison’s house by a servant, walked directly up to the Mayor, who had come into the hall to see who was asking for him, and fired four shots at him. Three bullets hit the Mayor, who died in ten minutes.  

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,”where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes.

 

 

 

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