Could you please tell me what "intelligence" mean in the following sentence?

As Giovanni followed her with his eyes, he beheld the emaciated figure and pale intelligence of Dr. Rappaccini, who had been watching the scene, he knew not how long, within the shadow of the entrance.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Rappaccini's Daughter"

It seems to me that this "intelligence" means "face", but no dictionary that I checked lists such meaning. I appreciate it very much if you could explain.

1 Answer 1


This is not a standard idiom or expression. Instead it is an "impressionistic" phrasing. Somehow Dr. Rappaccini gives an impression of "pale intelligence". I get the feeling of someone intelligent but narrow-minded, someone who is quiet and cold, even a little scary. Someone who spends a lot of time inside studying.

The aim is to give us an impression of a certain type of intelligent person rather than a literal meaning like "face"

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