A fine and subtle way to depict a look which appears to express more than the person looking is capable of feeling.
And I’ve always been struck when I come across commonplace proverbs and phrases in their original setting, and see how readily they are used by people who would be astounded to know they were quoting Milton or Shakespeare. It’s one of the joys of language, that gems from its finest literature can just tumble into daily language, like diamonds falling from a diadem to be picked up by anyone who likes their lustre.
‘Just as a national language may be instinct with poetry unfelt by the lips that use it.’
Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 330
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