In 'Courage' Barrie writes:
The face itself, of course, is still more tell-tale, for it is the record of all one's past life. There the man stands in the dock, page by page; we ought to be able to see each chapter of him melting into the next like the figures in the cinematograph. Even the youngest of you has got through some chapters already. When you go home for the next vacation someone is sure to say 'John has changed a little; I don't quite see in what way, but he has changed.' You remember they said that last vacation. Perhaps it means that you look less like your father. Think that out. I could say some nice things of your betters if I chose.
In youth you tend to look rather frequently into a mirror, not at all necessarily from vanity. You say to yourself, 'What an interesting face; I wonder what he is to be up to?' Your elders do not look into the mirror so often. We know what he has been up to. As yet there is unfortunately no science of reading other people's faces; I think a chair for this should be founded in St. Andrews.
The new professor will need to be a sublime philosopher, and for obvious reasons he ought to wear spectacles before his senior class. It will be a gloriously optimistic chair, for he can tell his students the glowing truth,that what their faces are to be like presently depends mainly on themselves. Mainly, not altogether--
'I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.'
Now, we know the quote is from Henley. But what about the rest of it? Interesting points to consider are 'the science of reading people's faces' - any comments on that?
And more specifically, what does anyone make of the bit about the professor needing to be a sublime philosopher who 'for obvious reasons should wear spectacles'
Is this a) a reference to a specific professor?
b) a reference to the nature of philosophers/professors more generally
c) are the spectacles important to prevent the students from reading the face of the professor?
d) is the wearing of spectacles itself an indicator of something in this nascent (non existent) science of identity through face reading?
e) any other comments...