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Title: The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
Author: Darwin, Charles
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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By Charles Darwin

_With Photographic And Other Illustrations_

New York

D. Appleton And Company






















 Muscles of the Human Face. Fig 1-2

 Muscles of the Human Face. Fig 3

 Small Dog Watching a Cat on A Table. Figure 4

 Dog in a Hostile Frame of Mind. Fig. 5

 Dog in a humble and Affectionate Frame of Mind. Fig. 6

 Dog in a Hostile Frame of Mind. Fig. 7

 Dog Carressing his Master. Fig. 8

 Cat, Savage, and Prepared to Fight. Fig. 9

 Cat in an Affectionate Frame of Mind. Fig. 10

 Sound Producing Quills from Tail of a Porcupine. Fig. 11

 Hen Driving Away a Dog from Her Chickens. Fig. 12

 Swan Driving Away an Intruder. Fig 13

 Head of Snarling Dog. Fig 14

 Cat Terrified at a Dog. Fig.15

 Cynopithecus Niger, Pleased by Being Caressed. Fig.17

 Chimpanzee Disappointed and Sulky. Fig. 18

 Screaming Infants. Plate I.

 Obliquity of the Eyebrows. Plate II

 Moderate Laughter and Smiling. Plate III

 Ill-temper. Plate IV

 Anger and Indignation. Plate VI

 Scorn and Disdain. Plate V

 Gestures of the Body. Plate VII

 Photograph of an Insane Woman. Fig. 19

 Terror. Fig. 20

 Horror and Agony. Fig. 21

_N.B_.—Several of the figures in these seven Heliotype Plates have been
reproduced from photographs, instead of from the original negatives;
and they are in consequence somewhat indistinct. Nevertheless they are
faithful copies, and are much superior for my purpose to any drawing,
however carefully executed.



The three chief principles stated—The first principle—Serviceable
actions become habitual in association with certain states of the mind,
and are performed whether or not of service in each particular case—The
force of habit—Inheritance—Associated habitual movements in man—Reflex
actions—Passage of habits into reflex actions—Associated habitual
movements in the lower animals—Concluding remarks

The Principle of Antithesis—Instances in the dog and cat—Origin of the
principle—Conventional signs—The principle of antithesis has not arisen
from opposite actions being consciously performed under opposite

The principle of the direct action of the excited nervous system on the
body, independently of the will and in part of habit—Change of colour
in the hair—Trembling of the muscles—Modified
secretions—Perspiration—Expression of extreme pain—Of rage, great joy,
and terror—Contrast between the emotions which cause and do not cause
expressive movements—Exciting and depressing states of the mind—Summary

The emission of sounds—Vocal sounds—Sounds otherwise produced—Erection
of the dermal appendages, hairs, feathers, &c., under the emotions of
anger and terror—The drawing back of the ears as a preparation for
fighting, and as an expression of anger—Erection of the ears and
raising the head, a sign of attention

The Dog, various expressive movements of—Cats—Horses—Ruminants—Monkeys,
their expression of joy and affection—Of pain—Anger Astonishment and

The screaming and weeping of infants—Form of features—Age at which
weeping commences—The effects of habitual restraint on
weeping—Sobbing—Cause of the contraction of the muscles round the eyes
during screaming—Cause of the secretion of tears

General effect of grief on the system—Obliquity of the eyebrows under
suffering—On the cause of the obliquity of the eyebrows—On the
depression of the corners of the mouth

Laughter primarily the expression of joy—Ludicrous ideas—Movements of
the features during laughter—Nature of the sound produced—The secretion
of tears during loud laughter—Gradation from loud laughter to gentle
smiling—High spirits—The expression of love—Tender feelings—Devotion

The act of frowning—Reflection with an effort or with the perception of
something difficult or disagreeable—Abstracted
meditation—Ill-temper—Moroseness—Obstinacy—Sulkiness and
pouting—Decision or determination—The firm closure of the mouth

Hatred—Rage, effects of on the system—Uncovering of the teeth—Rage in
the insane—Anger and indignation—As expressed by the various races of
man—Sneering and defiance—The uncovering of the canine teeth on one
side of the face

Contempt, scorn and disdain, variously expressed—Derisive
Smile—Gestures expressive of contempt—Disgust—Guilt, deceit, pride,
etc.—Helplessness or impotence—Patience—Obstinacy—Shrugging the
shoulders common to most of the races of man—Signs of affirmation and

Surprise, astonishment—Elevation of the eyebrows—Opening the
mouth—Protrusion of the lips—Gestures accompanying surprise—Admiration
Fear—Terror—Erection of the hair—Contraction of the platysma
muscle—Dilatation of the pupils—horror—Conclusion.

Nature of a blush—Inheritance—The parts of the body most
affected—Blushing in the various races of man—Accompanying
gestures—Confusion of mind—Causes of blushing—Self-attention, the
fundamental element—Shyness—Shame, from broken moral laws and
conventional rules—Modesty—Theory of blushing—Recapitulation

The three leading principles which have determined the chief movements
of expression—Their inheritance—On the part which the will and
intention have played in the acquirement of various expressions—The
instinctive recognition of expression—The bearing of our subject on the
specific unity of the races of man—On the successive acquirement of
various expressions by the progenitors of man—The importance of



Many works have been written on Expression, but a greater number on
Physiognomy,—that is, on the recognition of character through the study
of the permanent form of the features. With this latter subject I am
not here concerned. The older treatises,[1] which I have consulted,
have been of little or no service to me. The famous ‘Conférences’[2] of
the painter Le Brun, published in 1667, is the best known ancient work,
and contains some good remarks. Another somewhat old essay, namely, the
‘Discours,’ delivered 1774-1782, by the well-known Dutch anatomist
Camper,[3] can hardly be considered as having made any marked advance
in the subject. The following works, on the contrary, deserve the
fullest consideration.

Sir Charles Bell, so illustrious for his discoveries in physiology,
published in 1806 the first edition, and in the third edition of his
‘Anatomy and Philosophy of Expression.’[4] He may with justice be said,
not only to have laid the foundations of the subject as a branch of
science, but to have built up a noble structure. His work is in every
way deeply interesting; it includes graphic descriptions of the various
emotions, and is admirably illustrated. It is generally admitted that
his service consists chiefly in having shown the intimate relation
which exists between the movements of expression and those of
respiration. One of the most important points, small as it may at first
appear, is that the muscles round the eyes are involuntarily contracted
during violent expiratory efforts, in order to protect these delicate
organs from the pressure of the blood. This fact, which has been fully
investigated for me with the greatest kindness by Professors Donders of
Utrecht, throws, as we shall hereafter see, a flood of light on several
of the most important expressions of the human countenance. The merits
of Sir C. Bell’s work have been undervalued or quite ignored by several
foreign writers, but have been fully admitted by some, for instance by
M. Lemoine,[5] who with great justice says:—“Le livre de Ch. Bell
devrait être médité par quiconque essaye de faire parler le visage de
l’homme, par les philosophes aussi bien que par les artistes, car, sous
une apparence plus légère et sous le prétexte de l’esthétique, c’est un
des plus beaux monuments de la science des rapports du physique et du

From reasons which will presently be assigned, Sir C. Bell did not
attempt to follow out his views as far as they might have been carried.
He does not try to explain why different muscles are brought into
action under different emotions; why, for instance, the inner ends of
the eyebrows are raised, and the corners of the mouth depressed, by a
person suffering from grief or anxiety.

In 1807 M. Moreau edited an edition of Lavater on Physiognomy,[6] in
which he incorporated several of his own essays, containing excellent
descriptions of the movements of the facial muscles, together with many
valuable remarks. He throws, however, very little light on the
philosophy of the subject. For instance, M. Moreau, in speaking of the
act of frowning, that is, of the contraction of the muscle called by
French writers the _soucilier_ (_corrigator supercilii_), remarks with
truth:—“Cette action des sourciliers est un des symptômes les plus
tranchés de l’expression des affections pénibles ou concentrées.” He
then adds that these muscles, from their attachment and position, are
fitted “à resserrer, à concentrer les principaux traits de la _face_,
comme il convient dans toutes ces passions vraiment oppressives ou
profondes, dans ces affections dont le sentiment semble porter
l’organisation à revenir sur elle-même, à se contracter et à
_s’amoindrir_, comme pour offrir moins de prise et de surface à des
impressions redoutables ou importunes.” He who thinks that remarks of
this kind throw any light on the meaning or origin of the different
expressions, takes a very different view of the subject to what I do.

In the above passage there is but a slight, if any, advance in the
philosophy of the subject, beyond that reached by the painter Le Brun,
who, in 1667, in describing the expression of fright, says:—“Le sourcil
qui est abaissé d’un côté et élevé de l’autre, fait voir que la partie
élevée semble le vouloir joindre au cerveau pour le garantir du mal que
l’âme aperçoit, et le côté qui est abaissé et qui paraît enflé,—nous
fait trouver dans cet état par les esprits qui viennent du cerveau en
abondance, comme polir couvrir l’âme et la défendre du mal qu’elle
craint; la bouche fort ouverte fait voir le saisissement du cœur, par
le sang qui se retire vers lui, ce qui l’oblige, voulant respirer, à
faire un effort qui est cause que la bouche s’ouvre extrêmement, et
qui, lorsqu’il passe par les organes de la voix, forme un son qui n’est
point articulé; que si les muscles et les veines paraissent enflés, ce
n’est que par les esprits que le cerveau envoie en ces parties-là.” I
have thought the foregoing sentences worth quoting, as specimens of the
surprising nonsense which has been written on the subject.

‘The Physiology or Mechanism of Blushing,’ by Dr. Burgess, appeared in
1839, and to this work I shall frequently refer in my thirteenth

In 1862 Dr. Duchenne published two editions, in folio and octavo, of
his ‘Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine,’ in which he analyses by
means of electricity, and illustrates by magnificent photographs, the
movements of the facial muscles. He has generously permitted me to copy
as many of his photographs as I desired. His works have been spoken
lightly of, or quite passed over, by some of his countrymen. It is
possible that Dr. Duchenne may have exaggerated the importance of the
contraction of single muscles in giving expression; for, owing to the
intimate manner in which the muscles are connected, as may be seen in
Henle’s anatomical drawings[7]—the best I believe ever published it is
difficult to believe in their separate action. Nevertheless, it is
manifest that Dr. Duchenne clearly apprehended this and other sources
of error, and as it is known that he was eminently successful in
elucidating the physiology of the muscles of the hand by the aid of
electricity, it is probable that he is generally in the right about the
muscles of the face. In my opinion, Dr. Duchenne has greatly advanced
the subject by his treatment of it. No one has more carefully studied
the contraction of each separate muscle, and the consequent furrows
produced on the skin. He has also, and this is a very important
service, shown which muscles are least under the separate control of
the will. He enters very little into theoretical considerations, and
seldom attempts to explain why certain muscles and not others contract
under the influence of certain emotions.

A distinguished French anatomist, Pierre Gratiolet, gave a course of
lectures on Expression at the Sorbonne, and his notes were published
(1865) after his death, under the title of ‘De la Physionomie et des
Mouvements d’Expression.’ This is a very interesting work, full of
valuable observations. His theory is rather complex, and, as far as it
can be given in a single sentence (p. 65), is as follows:—“Il résulte,
de tous les faits que j’ai rappelés, que les sens, l’imagination et la
pensée elle-même, si élevée, si abstraite qu’on la suppose, ne peuvent
s’exercer sans éveiller un sentiment corrélatif, et que ce sentiment se
traduit directement, sympathiquement, symboliquement ou
métaphoriquement, dans toutes les sphères des organs extérieurs, qui la
racontent tous, suivant leur mode d’action propre, comme si chacun
d’eux avait été directement affecté.”

Gratiolet appears to overlook inherited habit, and even to some extent
habit in the individual; and therefore he fails, as it seems to me, to
give the right explanation, or any explanation at all, of many gestures
and expressions. As an illustration of what he calls symbolic
movements, I will quote his remarks (p. 37), taken from M. Chevreul, on
a man playing at billiards. “Si une bille dévie légèrement de la
direction que le joueur prétend lui imprimer, ne l’avez-vous pas vu
cent fois la pousser du regard, de la tête et même des épaules, comme
si ces mouvements, purement symboliques, pouvaient rectifier son
trajet? Des mouvements non moins significatifs se produisent quand la
bille manque d’une impulsion suffisante. Et cliez les joueurs novices,
ils sont quelquefois accusés au point d’éveiller le sourire sur les
lèvres des spectateurs.” Such movements, as it appeirs to me, may be
attributed simply to habit. As often as a man has wished to move an
object to one side, he has always pushed it to that side when forwards,
he has pushed it forwards; and if he has wished to arrest it, he has
pulled backwards. Therefore, when a man sees his ball travelling in a
wrong direction, and he intensely wishes it to go in another direction,
he cannot avoid, from long habit, unconsciously performing movements
which in other cases he has found effectual.

As an instance of sympathetic movements Gratiolet gives (p. 212) the
following case:—“un jeune chien à oreilles droites, auquel son maître
présente de loin quelque viande appétissante, fixe avec ardeur ses yeux
sur cet objet dont il suit tous les mouvements, et pendant que les yeux
regardent, les deux oreilles se portent en avant comme si cet objet
pouvait être entendu.” Here, instead of speaking of sympathy between
the ears and eyes, it appears to me more simple to believe, that as
dogs during many generations have, whilst intently looking at any
object, pricked their ears in order to perceive any sound; and
conversely have looked intently in the direction of a sound to which
they may have listened, the movements of these organs have become
firmly associated together through long-continued habit.

Dr. Piderit published in 1859 an essay on Expression, which I have not
seen, but in which, as he states, he forestalled Gratiolet in many of
his views. In 1867 he published his ‘Wissenschaftliches System der
Mimik und Physiognomik.’ It is hardly possible to give in a few
sentences a fair notion of his views; perhaps the two following
sentences will tell as much as can be briefly told: “the muscular
movements of expression are in part related to imaginary objects, and
in part to imaginary sensorial impressions. In this proposition lies
the key to the comprehension of all expressive muscular movements.” (s.
25) Again, “Expressive movements manifest themselves chiefly in the
numerous and mobile muscles of the face, partly because the nerves by
which they are set into motion originate in the most immediate vicinity
of the mind-organ, but partly also because these muscles serve to
support the organs of sense.” (s. 26.) If Dr. Piderit had studied Sir
C. Bell’s work, he would probably not have said (s. 101) that violent
laughter causes a frown from partaking of the nature of pain; or that
with infants (s. 103) the tears irritate the eyes, and thus excite the
contraction of the surrounding in muscles. Many good remarks are
scattered throughout this volume, to which I shall hereafter refer.

Short discussions on Expression may be found in various works, which
need not here be particularised. Mr. Bain, however, in two of his works
has treated the subject at some length. He says,[8] “I look upon the
expression so-called as part and parcel of the feeling. I believe it to
be a general law of the mind that along with the fact of inward feeling
or consciousness, there is a diffusive action or excitement over the
bodily members.” In another place he adds, “A very considerable number
of the facts may be brought under the following principle: namely, that
states of pleasure are connected with an increase, and states of pain
with an abatement, of some, or all, of the vital functions.” But the
above law of the diffusive action of feelings seems too general to
throw much light on special expressions.

Mr. Herbert Spencer, in treating of the Feelings in his ‘Principles of
Psychology’ (1855), makes the following remarks:—“Fear, when strong,
expresses itself in cries, in efforts to hide or escape, in
palpitations and tremblings; and these are just the manifestations that
would accompany an actual experience of the evil feared. The
destructive passions are shown in a general tension of the muscular
system, in gnashing of the teeth and protrusion of the claws, in
dilated eyes and nostrils in growls; and these are weaker forms of the
actions that accompany the killing of prey.” Here we have, as I
believe, the true theory of a large number of expressions; but the
chief interest and difficulty of the subject lies in following out the
wonderfully complex results. I infer that some one (but who he is I
have not been able to ascertain) formerly advanced a nearly similar
view, for Sir C. Bell says,[9] “It has been maintained that what are
called the external signs of passion, are only the concomitants of
those voluntary movements which the structure renders necessary.” Mr.
Spencer has also published[10] a valuable essay on the physiology of
Laughter, in which he insists on “the general law that feeling passing
a certain pitch, habitually vents itself in bodily action,” and that
“an overflow of nerve-force undirected by any motive, will manifestly
take first the most habitual routes; and if these do not suffice, will
next overflow into the less habitual ones.” This law I believe to be of
the highest importance in throwing light on our subject.’[11]

All the authors who have written on Expression, with the exception of
Mr. Spencer—the great expounder of the principle of Evolution—appear to
have been firmly convinced that species, man of course included, came
into existence in their present condition. Sir C. Bell, being thus
convinced, maintains that many of our facial muscles are “purely
instrumental in expression;” or are “a special provision” for this sole
object.[12] But the simple fact that the anthropoid apes possess the
same facial muscles as we do,[13] renders it very improbable that these
muscles in our case serve exclusively for expression; for no one, I
presume, would be inclined to admit that monkeys have been endowed with
special muscles solely for exhibiting their hideous grimaces. Distinct
uses, independently of expression, can indeed be assigned with much
probability for almost all the facial muscles.

Sir C. Bell evidently wished to draw as broad a distinction as possible
between man and the lower animals; and he consequently asserts that
with “the lower creatures there is no expression but what may be
referred, more or less plainly, to their acts of volition or necessary
instincts.” He further maintains that their faces “seem chiefly capable
of expressing rage and fear.”[14] But man himself cannot express love
and humility by external signs, so plainly as does a dog, when with
drooping ears, hanging lips, flexuous body, and wagging tail, he meets
his beloved master. Nor can these movements in the dog be explained by
acts of volition or necessary instincts, any more than the beaming eyes
and smiling cheeks of a man when he meets an old friend. If Sir C. Bell
had been questioned about the expression of affection in the dog, he
would no doubt have answered that this animal had been created with
special instincts, adapting him for association with man, and that all
further enquiry on the subject was superfluous.

Although Gratiolet emphatically denies[15] that any muscle has been
developed solely for the sake of expression, he seems never to have
reflected on the principle of evolution. He apparently looks at each
species as a separate creation. So it is with the other writers on
Expression. For instance, Dr. Duchenne, after speaking of the movements
of the limbs, refers to those which give expression to the face, and
remarks:[16] “Le créateur n’a donc pas eu à se préoccuper ici des
besoins de la mécanique; il a pu, selon sa sagesse, ou—que l’on me
pardonne cette manière de parler—par une divine fantaisie, mettre en
action tel ou tel muscle, un seul ou plusieurs muscles à la fois,
lorsqu’il a voulu que les signes caractéristiques des passions, même
les plus fugaces, fussent écrits passagèrement sur la face de l’homme.
Ce langage de la physionomie une fois créé, il lui a suffi, pour le
rendre universel et immuable, de donner à tout être humain la faculté
instinctive d’exprimer toujours ses sendments par la contraction des
mêmes muscles.”

Many writers consider the whole subject of Expression as inexplicable.
Thus the illustrious physiologist Müller, says,[17] “The completely
different expression of the features in different passions shows that,
according to the kind of feeling excited, entirely different groups of
the fibres of the facial nerve are acted on. Of the cause of this we
are quite ignorant.”

No doubt as long as man and all other animals are viewed as independent
creations, an effectual stop is put to our natural desire to
investigate as far as possible the causes of Expression. By this
doctrine, anything and everything can be equally well explained; and it
has proved as pernicious with respect to Expression as to every other
branch of natural history. With mankind some expressions, such as the
bristling of the hair under the influence of extreme terror, or the
uncovering of the teeth under that of furious rage, can hardly be
understood, except on the belief that man once existed in a much lower
and animal-like condition. The community of certain expressions in
distinct though allied species, as in the movements of the same facial
muscles during laughter by man and by various monkeys, is rendered
somewhat more intelligible, if we believe in their descent from a
common progenitor. He who admits on general grounds that the structure
and habits of all animals have been gradually evolved, will look at the
whole subject of Expression in a new and interesting light.

The study of Expression is difficult, owing to the movements being
often extremely slight, and of a fleeting nature. A difference may be
clearly perceived, and yet it may be impossible, at least I have found
it so, to state in what the difference consists. When we witness any
deep emotion, our sympathy is so strongly excited, that close
observation is forgotten or rendered almost impossible; of which fact I
have had many curious proofs. Our imagination is another and still more
serious source of error; for if from the nature of the circumstances we
expect to see any expression, we readily imagine its presence.
Notwithstanding Dr. Duchenne’s great experience, he for a long time
fancied, as he states, that several muscles contracted under certain
emotions, whereas he ultimately convinced himself that the movement was
confined to a single muscle.

In order to acquire as good a foundation as possible, and to ascertain,
independently of common opinion, how far particular movements of the
features and gestures are really expressive of certain states of the
mind, I have found the following means the most serviceable. In the
first place, to observe infants; for they exhibit many emotions, as Sir
C. Bell remarks, “with extraordinary force;” whereas, in after life,
some of our expressions “cease to have the pure and simple source from
which they spring in infancy.”[18]

In the second place, it occurred to me that the insane ought to be
studied, as they are liable to the strongest passions, and give
uncontrolled vent to them. I had, myself, no opportunity of doing this,
so I applied to Dr. Maudsley and received from him an introduction to
Dr. J. Crichton Browne, who has charge of an immense asylum near
Wakefield, and who, as I found, had already attended to the subject.
This excellent observer has with unwearied kindness sent me copious
notes and descriptions, with valuable suggestions on many points; and I
can hardly over-estimate the value of his assistance. I owe also, to
the kindness of Mr. Patrick Nicol, of the Sussex Lunatic Asylum,
interesting statements on two or three points.

Thirdly Dr. Duchenne galvanized, as we have already seen, certain
muscles in the face of an old man, whose skin was little sensitive, and
thus produced various expressions which were photographed on a large
scale. It fortunately occurred to me to show several of the best
plates, without a word of explanation, to above twenty educated persons
of various ages and both sexes, asking them, in each case, by what
emotion or feeling the old man was supposed to be agitated; and I
recorded their answers in the words which they used. Several of the
expressions were instantly recognised by almost everyone, though
described in not exactly the same terms; and these may, I think, be
relied on as truthful, and will hereafter be specified. On the other
hand, the most widely different judgments were pronounced in regard to
some of them. This exhibition was of use in another way, by convincing
me how easily we may be misguided by our imagination; for when I first
looked through Dr. Duchenne’s photographs, reading at the same time the
text, and thus learning what was intended, I was struck with admiration
at the truthfulness of all, with only a few exceptions. Nevertheless,
if I had examined them without any explanation, no doubt I should have
been as much perplexed, in some cases, as other persons have been.

Fourthly, I had hoped to derive much aid from the great masters in
painting and sculpture, who are such close observers. Accordingly, I
have looked at photographs and engravings of many well-known works;
but, with a few exceptions, have not thus profited. The reason no doubt
is, that in works of art, beauty is the chief object; and strongly
contracted facial muscles destroy beauty.[19] The story of the
composition is generally told with wonderful force and truth by
skilfully given accessories.

Fifthly, it seemed to me highly important to ascertain whether the same
expressions and gestures prevail, as has often been asserted without
much evidence, with all the races of mankind, especially with those who
have associated but little with Europeans. Whenever the same movements
of the features or body express the same emotions in several distinct
races of man, we may infer with much probability, that such expressions
are true ones,—that is, are innate or instinctive. Conventional
expressions or gestures, acquired by the individual during early life,
would probably have differed in the different races, in the same manner
as do their languages. Accordingly I circulated, early in the year
1867, the following printed queries with a request, which has been
fully responded to, that actual observations, and not memory, might be
trusted. These queries were written after a considerable interval of
time, during which my attention had been otherwise directed, and I can
now see that they might have been greatly improved. To some of the
later copies, I appended, in manuscript, a few additional remarks:—

(1.) Is astonishment expressed by the eyes and mouth being opened wide,
and by the eyebrows being raised?

(2.) Does shame excite a blush when the colour of the skin allows it to
be visible? and especially how low down the body does the blush extend?

(3.) When a man is indignant or defiant does he frown, hold his body
and head erect, square his shoulders and clench his fists?

(4) When considering deeply on any subject, or trying to understand any
puzzle, does he frown, or wrinkle the skin beneath the lower eyelids?

(5.) When in low spirits, are the corners of the mouth depressed, and
the inner corner of the eyebrows raised by that muscle which the French
call the “Grief muscle”? The eyebrow in this state becomes slightly
oblique, with a little swelling at the Inner end; and the forehead is
transversely wrinkled in the middle part, but not across the whole
breadth, as when the eyebrows are raised in surprise.

(6.) When in good spirits do the eyes sparkle, with the skin a little
wrinkled round and under them, and with the mouth a little drawn back
at the corners?

(7.) When a man sneers or snarls at another, is the corner of the upper
lip over the canine or eye tooth raised on the side facing the man whom
he addresses?

(8) Can a dogged or obstinate expression be recognized, which is
chiefly shown by the mouth being firmly closed, a lowering brow and a
slight frown?

(9.) Is contempt expressed by a slight protrusion of the lips and by
turning up the nose, and with a slight expiration?

(10) Is disgust shown by the lower lip being turned down, the upper lip
slightly raised, with a sudden expiration, something like incipient
vomiting, or like something spit out of the mouth?

(11.) Is extreme fear expressed in the same general manner as with

(12.) Is laughter ever carried to such an extreme as to bring tears
into the eyes?

(13.) When a man wishes to show that he cannot prevent something being
done, or cannot himself do something, does he shrug his shoulders, turn
inwards his elbows, extend outwards his hands and open the palms; with
the eyebrows raised?

(14) Do the children when sulky, pout or greatly protrude the lips?

(15.) Can guilty, or sly, or jealous expressions be recognized? though
I know not how these can be defined.

(16.) Is the head nodded vertically in affirmation, and shaken
laterally in negation?

Observations on natives who have had little communication with
Europeans would be of course the most valuable, though those made on
any natives would be of much interest to me. General remarks on
expression are of comparatively little value; and memory is so
deceptive that I earnestly beg it may not be trusted. A definite
description of the countenance under any emotion or frame of mind, with
a statement of the circumstances under which it occurred, would possess
much value.

To these queries I have received thirty-six answers from different
observers, several of them missionaries or protectors of the
aborigines, to all of whom I am deeply indebted for the great trouble
which they have taken, and for the valuable aid thus received. I will
specify their names, &c., towards the close of this chapter, so as not
to interrupt my present remarks. The answers relate to several of the
most distinct and savage races of man. In many instances, the
circumstances have been recorded under which each expression was
observed, and the expression itself described. In such cases, much
confidence may be placed in the answers. When the answers have been
simply yes or no, I have always received them with caution. It follows,
from the information thus acquired, that the same state of mind is
expressed throughout the world with remarkable uniformity; and this
fact is in itself interesting as evidence of the close similarity in
bodily structure and mental disposition of all the races, of mankind.

Sixthly, and lastly, I have attended as closely as I could, to the
expression of the several passions in some of the commoner animals; and
this I believe to be of paramount importance, not of course for
deciding how far in man certain expressions are characteristic of
certain states of mind, but as affording the safest basis for
generalisation on the causes, or origin, of the various movements of
Expression. In observing animals, we are not so likely to be biassed by
our imagination; and we may feel safe that their expressions are not

From the reasons above assigned, namely, the fleeting nature of some
expressions (the changes in the features being often extremely slight);
our sympathy being easily aroused when we behold any strong emotion,
and our attention thus distracted; our imagination deceiving us, from
knowing in a vague manner what to expect, though certainly few of us
know what the exact changes in the countenance are; and lastly, even
our long familiarity with the subject,—from all these causes combined,
the observation of Expression is by no means easy, as many persons,
whom I have asked to observe certain points, have soon discovered.
Hence it is difficult to determine, with certainty, what are the
movements of the features and of the body, which commonly characterize
certain states of the mind. Nevertheless, some of the doubts and
difficulties have, as I hope, been cleared away by the observation of
infants,—of the insane,—of the different races of man,—of works of
art,—and lastly, of the facial muscles under the action of galvanism,
as effected by Dr. Duchenne.

But there remains the much greater difficulty of understanding the
cause or origin of the several expressions, and of judging whether any
theoretical explanation is trustworthy. Besides, judging as well as we
can by our reason, without the aid of any rules, which of two or more
explanations is the most satisfactory, or are quite unsatisfactory, I
see only one way of testing our conclusions. This is to observe whether
the same principle by which one expression can, as it appears, be
explained, is applicable in other allied cases; and especially, whether
the same general principles can be applied with satisfactory results,
both to man and the lower animals. This latter method, I am inclined to
think, is the most serviceable of all. The difficulty of judging of the
truth of any theoretical explanation, and of testing it by some
distinct line of investigation, is the great drawback to that interest
which the study seems well fitted to excite.

Finally, with respect to my own observations, I may state that they
were commenced in the year 1838; and from that time to the present day,
I have occasionally attended to the subject. At the above date, I was
already inclined to believe in the principle of evolution, or of the
derivation of species from other and lower forms. Consequently, when I
read Sir C. Bell’s great work, his view, that man had been created with
certain muscles specially adapted for the expression of his feelings,
struck me as unsatisfactory. It seemed probable that the habit of
expressing our feelings by certain movements, though now rendered
innate, had been in some manner gradually acquired. But to discover how
such habits had been acquired was perplexing in no small degree. The
whole subject had to be viewed under a new aspect, and each expression
demanded a rational explanation. This belief led me to attempt the
present work, however imperfectly it may have been executed.

I will now give the names of the gentlemen to whom, as I have said, I
am deeply indebted for information in regard to the expressions
exhibited by various races of man, and I will specify some of the
circumstances under which the observations were in each case made.
Owing to the great kindness and powerful influence of Mr. Wilson, of
Hayes Place, Kent, I have received from Australia no less than thirteen
sets of answers to my queries. This has been particularly fortunate, as
the Australian aborigines rank amongst the most distinct of all the
races of man. It will be seen that the observations have been chiefly
made in the south, in the outlying parts of the colony of Victoria; but
some excellent answers have been received from the north.

Mr. Dyson Lacy has given me in detail some valuable observations, made
several hundred miles in the interior of Queensland. To Mr. R. Brough
Smyth, of Melbourne, I am much indebted for observations made by
himself, and for sending me several of the following letters,
namely:—From the Rev. Mr. Hagenauer, of Lake Wellington, a missionary
in Gippsland, Victoria, who has had much experience with the natives.
From Mr. Samuel Wilson, a landowner, residing at Langerenong, Wimmera,
Victoria. From the Rev. George Taplin, superintendent of the native
Industrial Settlement at Port Macleay. From Mr. Archibald G. Lang, of
Coranderik, Victoria, a teacher at a school where aborigines, old and
young, are collected from all parts of the colony. From Mr. H. B. Lane,
of Belfast, Victoria, a police magistrate and warden, whose
observations, as I am assured, are highly trustworthy. From Mr.
Templeton Bunnett, of Echuca, whose station is on the borders of the
colony of Victoria, and who has thus been able to observe many
aborigines who have had little intercourse with white men. He compared
his observations with those made by two other gentlemen long resident
in the neighbourhood. Also from Mr. J. Bulmer, a missionary in a remote
part of Gippsland, Victoria.

I am also indebted to the distinguished botanist, Dr. Ferdinand Müller,
of Victoria, for some observations made by himself, and for sending me
others made by Mrs. Green, as well as for some of the foregoing

In regard to the Maoris of New Zealand, the Rev. J. W. Stack has
answered only a few of my queries; but the answers have been remarkably
full, clear, and distinct, with the circumstances recorded under which
the observations were made.

The Rajah Brooke has given me some information with respect to the
Dyaks of Borneo.

Respecting the Malays, I have been highly successful; for Mr. F. Geach
(to whom I was introduced by Mr. Wallace), during his residence as a
mining engineer in the interior of Malacca, observed many natives, who
had never before associated with white men. He wrote me two long
letters with admirable and detailed observations on their expression.
He likewise observed the Chinese immigrants in the Malay archipelago.

The well-known naturalist, H. M. Consul, Mr. Swinhoe, also observed for
me the Chinese in their native country; and he made inquiries from
others whom he could trust.

In India Mr. H. Erskine, whilst residing in his official capacity in
the Admednugur District in the Bombay Presidency, attended to the
expression of the inhabitants, but found much difficulty in arriving at
any safe conclusions, owing to their habitual concealment of all
emotions in the presence of Europeans. He also obtained information for
me from Mr. West, the Judge in Canara, and he consulted some
intelligent native gentlemen on certain points. In Calcutta Mr. J.
Scott, curator of the Botanic Gardens, carefully observed the various
tribes of men therein employed during a considerable period, and no one
has sent me such full and valuable details. The habit of accurate
observation, gained by his botanical studies, has been brought to bear
on our present subject. For Ceylon I am much indebted to the Rev. S. O.
Glenie for answers to some of my queries.

Turning to Africa, I have been unfortunate with respect to the negroes,
though Mr. Winwood Reade aided me as far as lay in his power. It would
have been comparatively easy to have obtained information in regard to
the negro slaves in America; but as they have long associated with
white men, such observations would have possessed little value. In the
southern parts of the continent Mrs. Barber observed the Kafirs and
Fingoes, and sent me many distinct answers. Mr. J. P. Mansel Weale also
made some observations on the natives, and procured for me a curious
document, namely, the opinion, written in English, of Christian Gaika,
brother of the Chief Sandilli, on the expressions of his
fellow-countrymen. In the northern regions of Africa Captain Speedy,
who long resided with the Abyssinians, answered my queries partly from
memory and partly from observations made on the son of King Theodore,
who was then under his charge. Professor and Mrs. Asa Gray attended to
some points in the expressions of the natives, as observed by them
whilst ascending the Nile.

On the great American continent Mr. Bridges, a catechist residing with
the Fuegians, answered some few questions about their expression,
addressed to him many years ago. In the northern half of the continent
Dr. Rothrock attended to the expressions of the wild Atnah and Espyox
tribes on the Nasse River, in North-Western America. Mr. Washington
Matthews Assistant-Surgeon in the United States Army, also observed
with special care (after having seen my queries, as printed in the
‘Smithsonian Report’) some of the wildest tribes in the Western parts
of the United States, namely, the Tetons, Grosventres, Mandans, and
Assinaboines; and his answers have proved of the highest value.

Lastly, besides these special sources of information, I have collected
some few facts incidentally given in books of travels.——

Muscles of the Human Face. Fig 1-2

Muscles of the Human Face. Fig 3

As I shall often have to refer, more especially in the latter part of
this volume, to the muscles of the human face, I have had a diagram
(fig. 1) copied and reduced from Sir C. Bell’s work, and two others,
with more accurate details (figs. 2 and 3), from Herde’s well-known
‘Handbuch der Systematischen Anatomie des Menschen.’ The same letters
refer to the same muscles in all three figures, but the names are given
of only the more important ones to which I shall have to allude. The
facial muscles blend much together, and, as I am informed, hardly
appear on a dissected face so distinct as they are here represented.
Some writers consider that these muscles consist of nineteen pairs,
with one unpaired;[20] but others make the number much larger,
amounting even to fifty-five, according to Moreau. They are, as is
admitted by everyone who has written on the subject, very variable in
structure; and Moreau remarks that they are hardly alike in
half-a-dozen subjects.[21] They are also variable in function. Thus the
power of uncovering the canine tooth on one side differs much in
different persons. The power of raising the wings of the nostrils is
also, according to Dr. Piderit,[22] variable in a remarkable degree;
and other such cases could be given.

Finally, I must have the pleasure of expressing my obligations to Mr.
Rejlander for the trouble which he has taken in photographing for me
various expressions and gestures. I am also indebted to Herr
Kindermann, of Hamburg, for the loan of some excellent negatives of
crying infants; and to Dr. Wallich for a charming one of a smiling
girl. I have already expressed my obligations to Dr. Duchenne for
generously permitting me to have some of his large photographs copied
and reduced. All these photographs have been printed by the Heliotype
process, and the accuracy of the copy is thus guaranteed. These plates
are referred to by Roman numerals.

I am also greatly indebted to Mr. T. W. Wood for the extreme pains
which he has taken in drawing from life the expressions of various
animals. A distinguished artist, Mr. Riviere, has had the kindness to
give me two drawings of dogs—one in a hostile and the other in a humble
and caressing frame of mind. Mr. A. May has also given me two similar
sketches of dogs. Mr. Cooper has taken much care in cutting the blocks.
Some of the photographs and drawings, namely, those by Mr. May, and
those by Mr. Wolf of the Cynopithecus, were first reproduced by Mr.
Cooper on wood by means of photography, and then engraved: by this
means almost complete fidelity is ensured.


The three chief principles stated—The first principle—Serviceable
actions become habitual in association with certain states of the mind,
and are performed whether or not of service in each particular case—The
force of habit—Inheritance—Associated habitual movements in man—Reflex
actions—Passage of habits into reflex actions—Associated habitual
movements in the lower animals—Concluding remarks.

I will begin by giving the three Principles, which appear to me to
account for most of the expressions and gestures involuntarily used by
man and the lower animals, under the influence of various emotions and
sensations.[101] I arrived, however, at these three Principles only at
the close of my observations. They will be discussed in the present and
two following chapters in a general manner. Facts observed both with
man and the lower animals will here be made use of; but the latter
facts are preferable, as less likely to deceive us. In the fourth and
fifth chapters, I will describe the special expressions of some of the
lower animals; and in the succeeding chapters those of man. Everyone
will thus be able to judge for himself, how far my three principles
throw light on the theory of the subject. It appears to me that so many
expressions are thus explained in a fairly satisfactory manner, that
probably all will hereafter be found to come under the same or closely
analogous heads. I need hardly premise that movements or changes in any
part of the body,—as the wagging of a dog’s tail, the drawing back of a
horse’s ears, the shrugging of a man’s shoulders, or the dilatation of
the capillary vessels of the skin,—may all equally well serve for
expression. The three Principles are as follows.

I. _The principle of serviceable associated Habits_.—Certain complex
actions are of direct or indirect service under certain states of the
mind, in order to relieve or gratify certain sensations, desires, &c.;
and whenever the same state of mind is induced, however feebly, there
is a tendency through the force of habit and association for the same
movements to be performed, though they may not then be of the least
use. Some actions ordinarily associated through habit with certain
states of the mind may be partially repressed through the will, and in
such cases the muscles which are least under the separate control of
the will are the most liable still to act, causing movements which we
recognize as expressive. In certain other cases the checking of one
habitual movement requires other slight movements; and these are
likewise expressive.

II. _The principle of Antithesis_.—Certain states of the mind lead to
certain habitual actions, which are of service, as under our first
principle. Now when a directly opposite state of mind is induced, there
is a strong and involuntary tendency to the performance of movements of
a directly opposite nature, though these are of no use; and such
movements are in some cases highly expressive.

III. _The principle of actions due to the constitution of the Nervous
System, independently from the first of the Will, and independently to
a certain extent of Habit_.—When the sensorium is strongly excited,
nerve-force is generated in excess, and is transmitted in certain
definite directions, depending on the connection of the nerve-cells,
and partly on habit: or the supply of nerve-force may, as it appears,
be interrupted. Effects are thus produced which we recognize as
expressive. This third principle may, for the sake of brevity, be
called that of the direct action of the nervous system.

With respect to our _first Principle_, it is notorious how powerful is
the force of habit. The most complex and difficult movements can in
time be performed without the least effort or consciousness. It is not
positively known how it comes that habit is so efficient in
facilitating complex movements; but physiologists admit[102] “that the
conducting power of the nervous fibres increases with the frequency of
their excitement.” This applies to the nerves of motion and sensation,
as well as to those connected with the act of thinking. That some
physical change is produced in the nerve-cells or nerves which are
habitually used can hardly be doubted, for otherwise it is impossible
to understand how the tendency to certain acquired movements is
inherited. That they are inherited we see with horses in certain
transmitted paces, such as cantering and ambling, which are not natural
to them,—in the pointing of young pointers and the setting of young
setters—in the peculiar manner of flight of certain breeds of the
pigeon, &c. We have analogous cases with mankind in the inheritance of
tricks or unusual gestures, to which we shall presently recur. To those
who admit the gradual evolution of species, a most striking instance of
the perfection with which the most difficult consensual movements can
be transmitted, is afforded by the humming-bird Sphinx-moth
(_Macroglossa_); for this moth, shortly after its emergence from the
cocoon, as shown by the bloom on its unruffled scales, may be seen
poised stationary in the air, with its long hair-like proboscis
uncurled and inserted into the minute orifices of flowers; and no one,
I believe, has ever seen this moth learning to perform its difficult
task, which requires such unerring aim.

When there exists an inherited or instinctive tendency to the
performance of an action, or an inherited taste for certain kinds of
food, some degree of habit in the individual is often or generally
requisite. We find this in the paces of the horse, and to a certain
extent in the pointing of dogs; although some young dogs point
excellently the first time they are taken out, yet they often associate
the proper inherited attitude with a wrong odour, and even with
eyesight. I have heard it asserted that if a calf be allowed to suck
its mother only once, it is much more difficult afterwards to rear it
by hand.[103] Caterpillars which have been fed on the leaves of one
kind of tree, have been known to perish from hunger rather than to eat
the leaves of another tree, although this afforded them their proper
food, under a state of nature;[104] and so it is in many other cases.

The power of Association is admitted by everyone. Mr. Bain remarks,
that “actions, sensations and states of feeling, occurring together or
in close succession, tend to grow together, or cohere, in such a way
that when any one of them is afterwards presented to the mind, the
others are apt to be brought up in idea.”[105] It is so important for
our purpose fully to recognize that actions readily become associated
with other actions and with various states of the mind, that I will
give a good many instances, in the first place relating to man, and
afterwards to the lower animals. Some of the instances are of a very
trifling nature, but they are as good for our purpose as more important
habits. It is known to everyone how difficult, or even impossible it
is, without repeated trials, to move the limbs in certain opposed
directions which have never been practised. Analogous cases occur with
sensations, as in the common experiment of rolling a marble beneath the
tips of two crossed fingers, when it feels exactly like two marbles.
Everyone protects himself when falling to the ground by extending his
arms, and as Professor Alison has remarked, few can resist acting thus,
when voluntarily falling on a soft bed. A man when going out of doors
puts on his gloves quite unconsciously; and this may seem an extremely
simple operation, but he who has taught a child to put on gloves, knows
that this is by no means the case.

When our minds are much affected, so are the movements of our bodies;
but here another principle besides habit, namely the undirected
overflow of nerve-force, partially comes into play. Norfolk, in
speaking of Cardinal Wolsey, says—

“Some strange commotion
Is in his brain; he bites his lip and starts;
Stops on a sudden, looks upon the ground,
Then, lays his finger on his temple: straight,
Springs out into fast gait; then, stops again,
Strikes his breast hard; and anon, he casts
His eye against the moon: in most strange postures
We have seen him set himself.”—_Hen. VIII_., act iii, sc. 2.

A vulgar man often scratches his head when perplexed in mind; and I
believe that he acts thus from habit, as if he experienced a slightly
uncomfortable bodily sensation, namely, the itching of his head, to
which he is particularly liable, and which he thus relieves. Another
man rubs his eyes when perplexed, or gives a little cough when
embarrassed, acting in either case as if he felt a slightly
uncomfortable sensation in his eyes or windpipe.[106]

From the continued use of the eyes, these organs are especially liable
to be acted on through association under various states of the mind,
although there is manifestly nothing to be seen. A man, as Gratiolet
remarks, who vehemently rejects a proposition, will almost certainly
shut his eyes or turn away his face; but if he accepts the proposition,
he will nod his head in affirmation and open his eyes widely. The man
acts in this latter case as if he clearly saw the thing, and in the
former case as if he did not or would not see it. I have noticed that
persons in describing a horrid sight often shut their eyes momentarily
and firmly, or shake their heads, as if not to see or to drive away
something disagreeable; and I have caught myself, when thinking in the
dark of a horrid spectacle, closing my eyes firmly. In looking suddenly
at any object, or in looking all around, everyone raises his eyebrows,
so that the eyes may be quickly and widely opened; and Duchenne remarks
that[107] a person in trying to remember something often raises his
eyebrows, as if to see it. A Hindoo gentleman made exactly the same
remark to Mr. Erskine in regard to his countrymen. I noticed a young
lady earnestly trying to recollect a painter’s name, and she first
looked to one corner of the ceiling and then to the opposite corner,
arching the one eyebrow on that side; although, of course, there was
nothing to be seen there.

In most of the foregoing cases, we can understand how the associated
movements were acquired through habit; but with some individuals,
certain strange gestures or tricks have arisen in association with
certain states of the mind, owing to wholly inexplicable causes, and
are undoubtedly inherited. I have elsewhere given one instance from my
own observation of an extraordinary and complex gesture, associated
with pleasurable feelings, which was transmitted from a father to his
daughter, as well as some other analogous facts.[108] Another curious
instance of an odd inherited movement, associated with the wish to
obtain an object, will be given in the course of this volume.

There are other actions which are commonly performed under certain
circumstances, independently of habit, and which seem to be due to
imitation or some sort of sympathy. Thus persons cutting anything with
a pair of scissors may be seen to move their jaws simultaneously with
the blades of the scissors. Children learning to write often twist
about their tongues as their fingers move, in a ridiculous fashion.
When a public singer suddenly becomes a little hoarse, many of those
present may be heard, as I have been assured by a gentleman on whom I
can rely, to clear their throats; but here habit probably comes into
play, as we clear our own throats under similar circumstances. I have
also been told that at leaping matches, as the performer makes his
spring, many of the spectators, generally men and boys, move their
feet; but here again habit probably comes into play, for it is very
doubtful whether women would thus act.

_Reflex actions_—Reflex actions, in the strict sense of the term, are
due to the excitement of a peripheral nerve, which transmits its
influence to certain nerve-cells, and these in their turn excite
certain muscles or glands into action; and all this may take place
without any sensation or consciousness on our part, though often thus
accompanied. As many reflex actions are highly expressive, the subject
must here be noticed at some little length. We shall also see that some
of them graduate into, and can hardly be distinguished from actions
which have arisen through habit?[109] Coughing and sneezing are
familiar instances of reflex actions. With infants the first act of
respiration is often a sneeze, although this requires the co-ordinated
movement of numerous muscles. Respiration is partly voluntary, but
mainly reflex, and is performed in the most natural and best manner
without the interference of the will. A vast number of complex
movements are reflex. As good an instance as can be given is the
often-quoted one of a decapitated frog, which cannot of course feel,
and cannot consciously perform, any movement. Yet if a drop of acid be
placed on the lower surface of the thigh of a frog in this state, it
will rub off the drop with the upper surface of the foot of the same
leg. If this foot be cut off, it cannot thus act. “After some fruitless
efforts, therefore, it gives up trying in that way, seems restless, as
though, says Pflüger, it was seeking some other way, and at last it
makes use of the foot of the other leg and succeeds in rubbing off the
acid. Notably we have here not merely contractions of muscles, but
combined and harmonized contractions in due sequence for a special
purpose. These are actions that have all the appearance of being guided
by intelligence and instigated by will in an animal, the recognized
organ of whose intelligence and will has been removed.”[110]

We see the difference between reflex and voluntary movements in very
young children not being able to perform, as I am informed by Sir Henry
Holland, certain acts somewhat analogous to those of sneezing and
coughing, namely, in their not being able to blow their noses (_i.e._
to compress the nose and blow violently through the passage), and in
their not being able to clear their throats of phlegm. They have to
learn to perform these acts, yet they are performed by us, when a
little older, almost as easily as reflex actions. Sneezing and
coughing, however, can be controlled by the will only partially or not
at all; whilst the clearing the throat and blowing the nose are
completely under our command.

When we are conscious of the presence of an irritating particle in our
nostrils or windpipe—that is, when the same sensory nerve-cells are
excited, as in the case of sneezing and coughing—we can voluntarily
expel the particle by forcibly driving air through these passages; but
we cannot do this with nearly the same force, rapidity, and precision,
as by a reflex action. In this latter case the sensory nerve-cells
apparently excite the motor nerve-cells without any waste of power by
first communicating with the cerebral hemispheres—the seat of our
consciousness and volition. In all cases there seems to exist a
profound antagonism between the same movements, as directed by the will
and by a reflex stimulant, in the force with which they are performed
and in the facility with which they are excited. As Claude Bernard
asserts, “L’influence du cerveau tend donc à entraver les mouvements
réflexes, à limiter leur force et leur étendue.”[111]

The conscious wish to perform a reflex action sometimes stops or
interrupts its performance, though the proper sensory nerves may be
stimulated. For instance, many years ago I laid a small wager with a
dozen young men that they would not sneeze if they took snuff, although
they all declared that they invariably did so; accordingly they all
took a pinch, but from wishing much to succeed, not one sneezed, though
their eyes watered, and all, without exception, had to pay me the
wager. Sir H. Holland remarks[112] that attention paid to the act of
swallowing interferes with the proper movements; from which it probably
follows, at least in part, that some persons find it so difficult to
swallow a pill.

Another familiar instance of a reflex action is the involuntary closing
of the eyelids when the surface of the eye is touched. A similar
winking movement is caused when a blow is directed towards the face;
but this is an habitual and not a strictly reflex action, as the
stimulus is conveyed through the mind and not by the excitement of a
peripheral nerve. The whole body and head are generally at the same
time drawn suddenly backwards. These latter movements, however, can be
prevented, if the danger does not appear to the imagination imminent;
but our reason telling us that there is no danger does not suffice. I
may mention a trifling fact, illustrating this point, and which at the
time amused me. I put my face close to the thick glass-plate in front
of a puff-adder in the Zoological Gardens, with the firm determination
of not starting back if the snake struck at me; but, as soon as the
blow was struck, my resolution went for nothing, and I jumped a yard or
two backwards with astonishing rapidity. My will and reason were
powerless against the imagination of a danger which had never been

The violence of a start seems to depend partly on the vividness of the
imagination, and partly on the condition, either habitual or temporary,
of the nervous system. He who will attend to the starting of his horse,
when tired and fresh, will perceive how perfect is the gradation from a
mere glance at some unexpected object, with a momentary doubt whether
it is dangerous, to a jump so rapid and violent, that the animal
probably could not voluntarily whirl round in so rapid a manner. The
nervous system of a fresh and highly-fed horse sends its order to the
motory system so quickly, that no time is allowed for him to consider
whether or not the danger is real. After one violent start, when he is
excited and the blood flows freely through his brain, he is very apt to
start again; and so it is, as I have noticed, with young infants.

A start from a sudden noise, when the stimulus is conveyed through the
auditory nerves, is always accompanied in grown-up persons by the
winking of the eyelids.[113] I observed, however, that though my
infants started at sudden sounds, when under a fortnight old, they
certainly did not always wink their eyes, and I believe never did so.
The start of an older infant apparently represents a vague catching
hold of something to prevent falling. I shook a pasteboard box close
before the eyes of one of my infants, when 114 days old, and it did not
in the least wink; but when I put a few comfits into the box, holding
it in the same position as before, and rattled them, the child blinked
its eyes violently every time, and started a little. It was obviously
impossible that a carefully-guarded infant could have learnt by
experience that a rattling sound near its eyes indicated danger to
them. But such experience will have been slowly gained at a later age
during a long series of generations; and from what we know of
inheritance, there is nothing improbable in the transmission of a habit
to the offspring at an earlier age than that at which it was first
acquired by the parents.

From the foregoing remarks it seems probable that some actions, which
were at first performed consciously, have become through habit and
association converted into reflex actions, and are now so firmly fixed
and inherited, that they are performed, even when not of the least
use,[114] as often as the same causes arise, which originally excited
them in us through the volition. In such cases the sensory nerve-cells
excite the motor cells, without first communicating with those cells on
which our consciousness and volition depend. It is probable that
sneezing and coughing were originally acquired by the habit of
expelling, as violently as possible, any irritating particle from the
sensitive air-passages. As far as time is concerned, there has been
more than enough for these habits to have become innate or converted
into reflex actions; for they are common to most or all of the higher
quadrupeds, and must therefore have been first acquired at a very
remote period. Why the act of clearing the throat is not a reflex
action, and has to be learnt by our children, I cannot pretend to say;
but we can see why blowing the nose on a handkerchief has to be learnt.

It is scarcely credible that the movements of a headless frog, when it
wipes off a drop of acid or other object from its thigh, and which
movements are so well coordinated for a special purpose, were not at
first performed voluntarily, being afterwards rendered easy through
long-continued habit so as at last to be performed unconsciously, or
independently of the cerebral hemispheres.

So again it appears probable that starting was originally acquired by
the habit of jumping away as quickly as possible from danger, whenever
any of our senses gave us warning. Starting, as we have seen, is
accompanied by the blinking of the eyelids so as to protect the eyes,
the most tender and sensitive organs of the body; and it is, I believe,
always accompanied by a sudden and forcible inspiration, which is the
natural preparation for any violent effort. But when a man or horse
starts, his heart beats wildly against his ribs, and here it may be
truly said we have an organ which has never been under the control of
the will, partaking in the general reflex movements of the body. To
this point, however, I shall return in a future chapter.

The contraction of the iris, when the retina is stimulated by a bright
light, is another instance of a movement, which it appears cannot
possibly have been at first voluntarily performed and then fixed by
habit; for the iris is not known to be under the conscious control of
the will in any animal. In such cases some explanation, quite distinct
from habit, will have to be discovered. The radiation of nerve-force
from strongly-excited nerve-cells to other connected cells, as in the
case of a bright light on the retina causing a sneeze, may perhaps aid
us in understanding how some reflex actions originated. A radiation of
nerve-force of this kind, if it caused a movement tending to lessen the
primary irritation, as in the case of the contraction of the iris
preventing too much light from falling on the retina, might afterwards
have been taken advantage of and modified for this special purpose.

It further deserves notice that reflex actions are in all probability
liable to slight variations, as are all corporeal structures and
instincts; and any variations which were beneficial and of sufficient
importance, would tend to be preserved and inherited. Thus reflex
actions, when once gained for one purpose, might afterwards be modified
independently of the will or habit, so as to serve for some distinct
purpose. Such cases would be parallel with those which, as we have
every reason to believe, have occurred with many instincts; for
although some instincts have been developed simply through
long-continued and inherited habit, other highly complex ones have been
developed through the preservation of variations of pre-existing
instincts—that is, through natural selection.

I have discussed at some little length, though as I am well aware, in a
very imperfect manner, the acquirement of reflex actions, because they
are often brought into play in connection with movements expressive of
our emotions; and it was necessary to show that at least some of them
might have been first acquired through the will in order to satisfy a
desire, or to relieve a disagreeable sensation.

_Associated habitual movements in the lower animals_.—I have already
given in the case of Man several instances of movements associated with
various states of the mind or body, which are now purposeless, but
which were originally of use, and are still of use under certain
circumstances. As this subject is very important for us, I will here
give a considerable number of analogous facts, with reference to
animals; although many of them are of a very trifling nature. My object
is to show that certain movements were originally performed for a
definite end, and that, under nearly the same circumstances, they are
still pertinaciously performed through habit when not of the least use.
That the tendency in most of the following cases is inherited, we may
infer from such actions being performed in the same manner by all the
individuals, young and old, of the same species. We shall also see that
they are excited by the most diversified, often circuitous, and
sometimes mistaken associations.

Dogs, when they wish to go to sleep on a carpet or other hard surface,
generally turn round and round and scratch the ground with their
fore-paws in a senseless manner, as if they intended to trample down
the grass and scoop out a hollow, as no doubt their wild parents did,
when they lived on open grassy plains or in the woods. Jackals,
fennecs, and other allied animals in the Zoological Gardens, treat
their straw in this manner; but it is a rather odd circumstance that
the keepers, after observing for some months, have never seen the
wolves thus behave. A semi-idiotic dog—and an animal in this condition
would be particularly liable to follow a senseless habit—was observed
by a friend to turn completely round on a carpet thirteen times before
going to sleep.

Many carnivorous animals, as they crawl towards their prey and prepare
to rush or spring on it, lower their heads and crouch, partly, as it
would appear, to hide themselves, and partly to get ready for their
rush; and this habit in an exaggerated form has become hereditary in
our pointers and setters. Now I have noticed scores of times that when
two strange dogs meet on an open road, the one which first sees the
other, though at the distance of one or two hundred yards, after the
first glance always lowers its bead, generally crouches a little, or
even lies down; that is, he takes the proper attitude for concealing
himself and for making a rush or spring although the road is quite open
and the distance great. Again, dogs of all kinds when intently watching
and slowly approaching their prey, frequently keep one of their
fore-legs doubled up for a long time, ready for the next cautious step;
and this is eminently characteristic of the pointer. But from habit
they behave in exactly the same manner whenever their attention is
aroused (fig. 4). I have seen a dog at the foot of a high wall,
listening attentively to a sound on the opposite side, with one leg
doubled up; and in this case there could have been no intention of
making a cautious approach.

Small Dog Watching a Cat on A Table. Figure 4

{illust. caption = for making a rush or FIG. 4.—Small dog watching a
cat on a table. From a photograph taken by Mr. Rejlander.}

Dogs after voiding their excrement often make with all four feet a few
scratches backwards, even on a bare stone pavement, as if for the
purpose of covering up their excrement with earth, in nearly the same
manner as do cats. Wolves and jackals behave in the Zoological Gardens
in exactly the same manner, yet, as I am assured by the keepers,
neither wolves, jackals, nor foxes, when they have the means of doing
so, ever cover up their excrement, any more than do dogs. All these
animals, however, bury superfluous food. Hence, if we rightly
understand the meaning of the above cat-like habit, of which there can
be little doubt, we have a purposeless remnant of an habitual movement,
which was originally followed by some remote progenitor of the
dog-genus for a definite purpose, and which has been retained for a
prodigious length of time.

Dogs and jackals[115] take much pleasure in rolling and rubbing their
necks and backs on carrion. The odour seems delightful to them, though
dogs at least do not eat carrion. Mr. Bartlett has observed wolves for
me, and has given them carrion, but has never seen them roll on it. I
have heard it remarked, and I believe it to be true, that the larger
dogs, which are probably descended from wolves, do not so often roll in
carrion as do smaller dogs, which are probably descended from jackals.
When a piece of brown biscuit is offered to a terrier of mine and she
is not hungry (and I have heard of similar instances), she first tosses
it about and worries it, as if it were a rat or other prey; she then
repeatedly rolls on it precisely as if it were a piece of carrion, and
at last eats it. It would appear that an imaginary relish has to be
given to the distasteful morsel; and to effect this the dog acts in his
habitual manner, as if the biscuit was a live animal or smelt like
carrion, though he knows better than we do that this is not the case. I
have seen this same terrier act in the same manner after killing a
little bird or mouse.

Dogs scratch themselves by a rapid movement of one of their hind-feet;
and when their backs are rubbed with a stick, so strong is the habit,
that they cannot help rapidly scratching the air or the ground in a
useless and ludicrous manner. The terrier just alluded to, when thus
scratched with a stick, will sometimes show her delight by another
habitual movement, namely, by licking the air as if it were my hand.

Horses scratch themselves by nibbling those parts of their bodies which
they can reach with their teeth; but more commonly one horse shows
another where he wants to be scratched, and they then nibble each
other. A friend whose attention I had called to the subject, observed
that when he rubbed his horse’s neck, the animal protruded his head,
uncovered his teeth, and moved his jaws, exactly as if nibbling another
horse’s neck, for he could never have nibbled his own neck. If a horse
is much tickled, as when curry-combed, his wish to bite something
becomes so intolerably strong, that he will clatter his teeth together,
and though not vicious, bite his groom. At the same time from habit he
closely depresses his ears, so as to protect them from being bitten, as
if he were fighting with another horse.

A horse when eager to start on a journey makes the nearest approach
which he can to the habitual movement of progression by pawing the
ground. Now when horses in their stalls are about to be fed and are
eager for their corn, they paw the pavement or the straw. Two of my
horses thus behave when they see or hear the corn given to their
neighbours. But here we have what may almost be called a true
expression, as pawing the ground is universally recognized as a sign of

Cats cover up their excrements of both kinds with earth; and my
grandfather[116] saw a kitten scraping ashes over a spoonful of pure
water spilt on the hearth; so that here an habitual or instinctive
action was falsely excited, not by a previous act or by odour, but by
eyesight. It is well known that cats dislike wetting their feet, owing,
it is probable, to their having aboriginally inhabited the dry country
of Egypt; and when they wet their feet they shake them violently. My
daughter poured some water into a glass close to the head of a kitten;
and it immediately shook its feet in the usual manner; so that here we
have an habitual movement falsely excited by an associated sound
instead of by the sense of touch.

Kittens, puppies, young pigs and probably many other young animals,
alternately push with their forefeet against the mammary glands of
their mothers, to excite a freer secretion of milk, or to make it flow.
Now it is very common with young cats, and not at all rare with old
cats of the common and Persian breeds (believed by some naturalists to
be specifically extinct), when comfortably lying on a warm shawl or
other soft substance, to pound it quietly and alternately with their
fore-feet; their toes being spread out and claws slightly protruded,
precisely as when sucking their mother. That it is the same movement is
clearly shown by their often at the same time taking a bit of the shawl
into their mouths and sucking it; generally closing their eyes and
purring from delight. This curious movement is commonly excited only in
association with the sensation of a warm soft surface; but I have seen
an old cat, when pleased by having its back scratched, pounding the air
with its feet in the same manner; so that this action has almost become
the expression of a pleasurable sensation.

Having referred to the act of sucking, I may add that this complex
movement, as well as the alternate protrusion of the fore-feet, are
reflex actions; for they are performed if a finger moistened with milk
is placed in the mouth of a puppy, the front part of whose brain has
been removed.[117] It has recently been stated in France, that the
action of sucking is excited solely through the sense of smell, so that
if the olfactory nerves of a puppy are destroyed, it never sucks. In
like manner the wonderful power which a chicken possesses only a few
hours after being hatched, of picking up small particles of food, seems
to be started into action through the sense of hearing; for with
chickens hatched by artificial heat, a good observer found that “making
a noise with the finger-nail against a board, in imitation of the
hen-mother, first taught them to peck at their meat.”[118]

I will give only one other instance of an habitual and purposeless
movement. The Sheldrake (_Tadorna_) feeds on the sands left uncovered
by the tide, and when a worm-cast is discovered, “it begins patting the
ground with its feet, dancing as it were, over the hole;” and this
makes the worm come to the surface. Now Mr. St. John says, that when
his tame Sheldrakes “came to ask for food, they patted the ground in an
impatient and rapid manner.”[119] This therefore may almost be
considered as their expression of hunger. Mr. Bartlett informs me that
the Flamingo and the Kagu (_Rhinochetus jubatus_) when anxious to be
fed, beat the ground with their feet in the same odd manner. So again
Kingfishers, when they catch a fish, always beat it until it is killed;
and in the Zoological Gardens they always beat the raw meat, with which
they are sometimes fed, before devouring it.

We have now, I think, sufficiently shown the truth of our first
Principle, namely, that when any sensation, desire, dislike, &c., has
led during a long series of generations to some voluntary movement,
then a tendency to the performance of a similar movement will almost
certainly be excited, whenever the same, or any analogous or associated
sensation &c., although very weak, is experienced; notwithstanding that
the movement in this case may not be of the least use. Such habitual
movements are often, or generally inherited; and they then differ but
little from reflex actions. When we treat of the special expressions of
man, the latter part of our first Principle, as given at the
commencement of this chapter, will be seen to hold good; namely, that
when movements, associated through habit with certain states of the
mind, are partially repressed by the will, the strictly involuntary
muscles, as well as those which are least under the separate control of
the will, are liable still to act; and their action is often highly
expressive. Conversely, when the will is temporarily or permanently
weakened, the voluntary muscles fail before the involuntary. It is a
fact familiar to pathologists, as Sir C. Bell remarks,[120] “that when
debility arises from affection of the brain, the influence is greatest
on those muscles which are, in their natural condition, most under the
command of the will.” We shall, also, in our future chapters, consider
another proposition included in our first Principle; namely, that the
checking of one habitual movement sometimes requires other slight
movements; these latter serving as a means of expression.


The Principle of Antithesis—Instances in the dog and cat—Origin of the
principle—Conventional signs—The principle of antithesis has not arisen
from opposite actions being consciously performed under opposite

We will now consider our second Principle, that of Antithesis. Certain
states of the mind lead, as we have seen in the last chapter, to
certain habitual movements which were primarily, or may still be, of
service; and we shall find that when a directly opposite state of mind
is induced, there is a strong and involuntary tendency to the
performance of movements of a directly opposite nature, though these
have never been of any service. A few striking instances of antithesis
will be given, when we treat of the special expressions of man; but as,
in these cases, we are particularly liable to confound conventional or
artificial gestures and expressions with those which are innate or
universal, and which alone deserve to rank as true expressions, I will
in the present chapter almost confine myself to the lower animals.

Dog in a Hostile Frame of Mind.  Fig. 5

  Fig. 6

Dog in a Hostile Frame of Mind.  Fig. 7

When a dog approaches a strange dog or man in a savage or hostile frame
of mind be walks upright and very stiffly; his head is slightly raised,
or not much lowered; the tail is held erect, and quite rigid; the hairs
bristle, especially along the neck and back; the pricked ears are
directed forwards, and the eyes have a fixed stare: (see figs. 5 and
7). These actions, as will hereafter be explained, follow from the
dog’s intention to attack his enemy, and are thus to a large extent
intelligible. As he prepares to spring with a savage growl on his
enemy, the canine teeth are uncovered, and the ears are pressed close
backwards on the head; but with these latter actions, we are not here
concerned. Let us now suppose that the dog suddenly discovers that the
man he is approaching, is not a stranger, but his master; and let it be
observed how completely and instantaneously his whole bearing is
reversed. Instead of walking upright, the body sinks downwards or even
crouches, and is thrown into flexuous movements; his tail, instead of
being held stiff and upright, is lowered and wagged from side to side;
his hair instantly becomes smooth; his ears are depressed and drawn
backwards, but not closely to the head; and his lips hang loosely. From
the drawing back of the ears, the eyelids become elongated, and the
eyes no longer appear round and staring. It should be added that the
animal is at such times in an excited condition from joy; and
nerve-force will be generated in excess, which naturally leads to
action of some kind. Not one of the above movements, so clearly
expressive of affection, are of the least direct service to the animal.
They are explicable, as far as I can see, solely from being in complete
opposition or antithesis to the attitude and movements which, from
intelligible causes, are assumed when a dog intends to fight, and which
consequently are expressive of anger. I request the reader to look at
the four accompanying sketches, which have been given in order to
recall vividly the appearance of a dog under these two states of mind.
It is, however, not a little difficult to represent affection in a dog,
whilst caressing his master and wagging his tail, as the essence of the
expression lies in the continuous flexuous movements.

Dog Carressing his Master.  Fig. 8

We will now turn to the cat. When this animal is threatened by a dog,
it arches its back in a surprising manner, erects its hair, opens its
mouth and spits. But we are not here concerned with this well-known
attitude, expressive of terror combined with anger; we are concerned
only with that of rage or anger. This is not often seen, but may be
observed when two cats are fighting together; and I have seen it well
exhibited by a savage cat whilst plagued by a boy. The attitude is
almost exactly the same as that of a tiger disturbed and growling over
its food, which every one must have beheld in menageries. The animal
assumes a crouching position, with the body extended; and the whole
tail, or the tip alone, is lashed or curled from side to side. The hair
is not in the least erect. Thus far, the attitude and movements are
nearly the same as when the animal is prepared to spring on its prey,
and when, no doubt, it feels savage. But when preparing to fight, there
is this difference, that the ears are closely pressed backwards; the
mouth is partially opened, showing the teeth; the fore feet are
occasionally struck out with protruded claws; and the animal
occasionally utters a fierce growl. (See figs. 9 and 10.) All, or
almost all these actions naturally follow (as hereafter to be
explained), from the cat’s manner and intention of attacking its enemy.

Cat, Savage, and Prepared to Fight. Fig. 9

Cat in an Affectionate Frame of Mind. Fig. 10

Let us now look at a cat in a directly opposite frame of mind, whilst
feeling affectionate and caressing her master; and mark how opposite is
her attitude in every respect. She now stands upright with her back
slightly arched, which makes the hair appear rather rough, but it does
not bristle; her tail, instead of being extended and lashed from side
to side, is held quite still and perpendicularly upwards; her ears are
erect and pointed; her mouth is closed; and she rubs against her master
with a purr instead of a growl. Let it further be observed how widely
different is the whole bearing of an affectionate cat from that of a
dog, when with his body crouching and flexuous, his tail lowered and
wagging, and ears depressed, he caresses his master. This contrast in
the attitudes and movements of these two carnivorous animals, under the
same pleased and affectionate frame of mind, can be explained, as it
appears to me, solely by their movements standing in complete
antithesis to those which are naturally assumed, when these animals
feel savage and are prepared either to fight or to seize their prey.

In these cases of the dog and cat, there is every reason to believe
that the gestures both of hostility and affection are innate or
inherited; for they are almost identically the same in the different
races of the species, and in all the individuals of the same race, both
young and old.

I will here give one other instance of antithesis in expression. I
formerly possessed a large dog, who, like every other dog, was much
pleased to go out walking. He showed his pleasure by trotting gravely
before me with high steps, head much raised, moderately erected ears,
and tail carried aloft but not stiffly. Not far from my house a path
branches off to the right, leading to the hot-house, which I used often
to visit for a few moments, to look at my experimental plants. This was
always a great disappointment to the dog, as he did not know whether I
should continue my walk; and the instantaneous and complete change of
expression which came over him as soon as my body swerved in the least
towards the path (and I sometimes tried this as an experiment) was
laughable. His look of dejection was known to every member of the
family, and was called his _hot-house face_. This consisted in the head
drooping much, the whole body sinking a little and remaining
motionless; the ears and tail falling suddenly down, but the tail was
by no means wagged. With the falling of the ears and of his great
chaps, the eyes became much changed in appearance, and I fancied that
they looked less bright. His aspect was that of piteous, hopeless
dejection; and it was, as I have said, laughable, as the cause was so
slight. Every detail in his attitude was in complete opposition to his
former joyful yet dignified bearing; and can be explained, as it
appears to me, in no other way, except through the principle of
antithesis. Had not the change been so instantaneous, I should have
attributed it to his lowered spirits affecting, as in the case of man,
the nervous system and circulation, and consequently the tone of his
whole muscular frame; and this may have been in part the cause.

We will now consider how the principle of antithesis in expression has
arisen. With social animals, the power of intercommunication between
the members of the same community,—and with other species, between the
opposite sexes, as well as between the young and the old,—is of the
highest importance to them. This is generally effected by means of the
voice, but it is certain that gestures and expressions are to a certain
extent mutually intelligible. Man not only uses inarticulate cries,
gestures, and expressions, but has invented articulate language; if,
indeed, the word INVENTED can be applied to a process, completed by
innumerable steps, half-consciously made. Any one who has watched
monkeys will not doubt that they perfectly understand each other’s
gestures and expression, and to a large extent, as Rengger
asserts,[201] those of man. An animal when going to attack another, or
when afraid of another, often makes itself appear terrible, by erecting
its hair, thus increasing the apparent bulk of its body, by showing its
teeth, or brandishing its horns, or by uttering fierce sounds.

As the power of intercommunication is certainly of high service to many
animals, there is no _à priori_ improbability in the supposition, that
gestures manifestly of an opposite nature to those by which certain
feelings are already expressed, should at first have been voluntarily
employed under the influence of an opposite state of feeling. The fact
of the gestures being now innate, would be no valid objection to the
belief that they were at first intentional; for if practised during
many generations, they would probably at last be inherited.
Nevertheless it is more than doubtful, as we shall immediately see,
whether any of the cases which come under our present head of
antithesis, have thus originated.

With conventional signs which are not innate, such as those used by the
deaf and dumb and by savages, the principle of opposition or antithesis
has been partially brought into play. The Cistercian monks thought it
sinful to speak, and as they could not avoid holding some
communication, they invented a gesture language, in which the principle
of opposition seems to have been employed.[202] Dr. Scott, of the
Exeter Deaf and Dumb Institution, writes to me that “opposites are
greatly used in teaching the deaf and dumb, who have a lively sense of
them.” Nevertheless I have been surprised how few unequivocal instances
can be adduced. This depends partly on all the signs having commonly
had some natural origin; and partly on the practice of the deaf and
dumb and of savages to contract their signs as much as possible for the
sake of rapidity.[203] Hence their natural source or origin often
becomes doubtful or is completely lost; as is likewise the case with
articulate language.

Many signs, moreover, which plainly stand in opposition to each other,
appear to have had on both sides a significant origin. This seems to
hold good with the signs used by the deal and dumb for light and
darkness, for strength and weakness, &c. In a future chapter I shall
endeavour to show that the opposite gestures of affirmation and
negation, namely, vertically nodding and laterally shaking the head,
have both probably had a natural beginning. The waving of the hand from
right to left, which is used as a negative by some savages, may have
been invented in imitation of shaking the head; but whether the
opposite movement of waving the hand in a straight line from the face,
which is used in affirmation, has arisen through antithesis or in some
quite distinct manner, is doubtful.

If we now turn to the gestures which are innate or common to all the
individuals of the same species, and which come under the present head
of antithesis, it is extremely doubtful, whether any of them were at
first deliberately invented and consciously performed. With mankind the
best instance of a gesture standing in direct opposition to other
movements, naturally assumed under an opposite frame of mind, is that
of shrugging the shoulders. This expresses impotence or an
apology,—something which cannot be done, or cannot be avoided. The
gesture is sometimes used consciously and voluntarily, but it is
extremely improbable that it was at first deliberately invented, and
afterwards fixed by habit; for not only do young children sometimes
shrug their shoulders under the above states of mind, but the movement
is accompanied, as will be shown in a future chapter, by various
subordinate movements, which not one man in a thousand is aware of,
unless he has specially attended to the subject.

Dogs when approaching a strange dog, may find it useful to show by
their movements that they are friendly, and do not wish to fight. When
two young dogs in play are growling and biting each other’s faces and
legs, it is obvious that they mutually understand each other’s gestures
and manners. There seems, indeed, some degree of instinctive knowledge
in puppies and kittens, that they must not use their sharp little teeth
or claws too freely in their play, though this sometimes happens and a
squeal is the result; otherwise they would often injure each other’s
eyes. When my terrier bites my hand in play, often snarling at the same
time, if he bites too hard and I say GENTLY, GENTLY, he goes on biting,
but answers me by a few wags of the tail, which seems to say “Never
mind, it is all fun.” Although dogs do thus express, and may wish to
express, to other dogs and to man, that they are in a friendly state of
mind, it is incredible that they could ever have deliberately thought
of drawing back and depressing their ears, instead of holding them
erect,—of lowering and wagging their tails, instead of keeping them
stiff and upright, &c., because they knew that these movements stood in
direct opposition to those assumed under an opposite and savage frame
of mind.

Again, when a cat, or rather when some early progenitor of the species,
from feeling affectionate first slightly arched its back, held its tail
perpendicularly upwards and pricked its ears, can it be believed that
the animal consciously wished thus to show that its frame of mind was
directly the reverse of that, when from being ready to fight or to
spring on its prey, it assumed a crouching attitude, curled its tail
from side to side and depressed its ears? Even still less can I believe
that my dog voluntarily put on his dejected attitude and “_hot-house
face_,” which formed so complete a contrast to his previous cheerful
attitude and whole bearing. It cannot be supposed that he knew that I
should understand his expression, and that he could thus soften my
heart and make me give up visiting the hot-house.

Hence for the development of the movements which come under the present
head, some other principle, distinct from the will and consciousness,
must have intervened. This principle appears to be that every movement
which we have voluntarily performed throughout our lives has required
the action of certain muscles; and when we have performed a directly
opposite movement, an opposite set of muscles has been habitually
brought into play,—as in turning to the right or to the left, in
pushing away or pulling an object towards us, and in lifting or
lowering a weight. So strongly are our intentions and movements
associated together, that if we eagerly wish an object to move in any
direction, we can hardly avoid moving our bodies in the same direction,
although we may be perfectly aware that this can have no influence. A
good illustration of this fact has already been given in the
Introduction, namely, in the grotesque movements of a young and eager
billiard-player, whilst watching the course of his ball. A man or child
in a passion, if he tells any one in a loud voice to begone, generally
moves his arm as if to push him away, although the offender may not be
standing near, and although there may be not the least need to explain
by a gesture what is meant. On the other hand, if we eagerly desire
some one to approach us closely, we act as if pulling him towards us;
and so in innumerable other instances.

As the performance of ordinary movements of an opposite kind, under
opposite impulses of the will, has become habitual in us and in the
lower animals, so when actions of one kind have become firmly
associated with any sensation or emotion, it appears natural that
actions of a directly opposite kind, though of no use, should be
unconsciously performed through habit and association, under the
influence of a directly opposite sensation or emotion. On this
principle alone can I understand how the gestures and expressions which
come under the present head of antithesis have originated. If indeed
they are serviceable to man or to any other animal, in aid of
inarticulate cries or language, they will likewise be voluntarily
employed, and the habit will thus be strengthened. But whether or not
of service as a means of communication, the tendency to perform
opposite movements under opposite sensations or emotions would, if we
may judge by analogy, become hereditary through long practice; and
there cannot be a doubt that several expressive movements due to the
principle of antithesis are inherited.


The principle of direct action of the excited nervous system on the
body, independently of the will and in part of habit—Change of colour
in the hair—Trembling of the muscles—Modified
secretions—Perspiration—Expression of extreme pain—Of rage, great joy,
and terror—Contrast between the emotions which cause and do not cause
expressive movements—Exciting and depressing states of the

We now come to our third Principle, namely, that certain actions which
we recognize as expressive of certain states of the mind, are the
direct result of the constitution of the nervous system, and have been
from the first independent of the will, and, to a large extent, of
habit. When the sensorium is strongly excited nerve-force is generated
in excess, and is transmitted in certain directions, dependent on the
connection of the nerve-cells, and, as far as the muscular system is
concerned, on the nature of the movements which have been habitually
practised. Or the supply of nerve-force may, as it appears, be
interrupted. Of course every movement which we make is determined by
the constitution of the nervous system; but actions performed in
obedience to the will, or through habit, or through the principle of
antithesis, are here as far as possible excluded. Our present subject
is very obscure, but, from its importance, must be discussed at some
little length; and it is always advisable to perceive clearly our

The most striking case, though a rare and abnormal one, which can be
adduced of the direct influence of the nervous system, when strongly
affected, on the body, is the loss of colour in the hair, which has
occasionally been observed after extreme terror or grief. One authentic
instance has been recorded, in the case of a man brought out for
execution in India, in which the change of colour was so rapid that it
was perceptible to the eye.[301]

Another good case is that of the trembling of the muscles, which is
common to man and to many, or most, of the lower animals. Trembling is
of no service, often of much disservice, and cannot have been at first
acquired through the will, and then rendered habitual in association
with any emotion. I am assured by an eminent authority that young
children do not tremble, but go into convulsions under the
circumstances which would induce excessive trembling in adults.
Trembling is excited in different individuals in very different degrees
and by the most diversified causes,—by cold to the surface, before
fever-fits, although the temperature of the body is then above the
normal standard; in blood-poisoning, delirium tremens, and other
diseases; by general failure of power in old age; by exhaustion after
excessive fatigue; locally from severe injuries, such as burns; and, in
an especial manner, by the passage of a catheter. Of all emotions, fear
notoriously is the most apt to induce trembling; but so do occasionally
great anger and joy. I remember once seeing a boy who had just shot his
first snipe on the wing, and his hands trembled to such a degree from
delight, that he could not for some time reload his gun; and I have
heard of an exactly similar case with an Australian savage, to whom a
gun had been lent. Fine music, from the vague emotions thus excited,
causes a shiver to run down the backs of some persons. There seems to
be very little in common in the above several physical causes and
emotions to account for trembling; and Sir J. Paget, to whom I am
indebted for several of the above statements, informs me that the
subject is a very obscure one. As trembling is sometimes caused by
rage, long before exhaustion can have set in, and as it sometimes
accompanies great joy, it would appear that any strong excitement of
the nervous system interrupts the steady flow of nerve-force to the

The manner in which the secretions of the alimentary canal and of
certain glands—as the liver, kidneys, or mammæ are affected by strong
emotions, is another excellent instance of the direct action of the
sensorium on these organs, independently of the will or of any
serviceable associated habit. There is the greatest difference in
different persons in the parts which are thus affected, and in the
degree of their affection.

The heart, which goes on uninterruptedly beating night and day in so
wonderful a manner, is extremely sensitive to external stimulants. The
great physiologist, Claude Bernard,[303] has shown how the least
excitement of a sensitive nerve reacts on the heart; even when a nerve
is touched so slightly that no pain can possibly be felt by the animal
under experiment. Hence when the mind is strongly excited, we might
expect that it would instantly affect in a direct manner the heart; and
this is universally acknowledged and felt to be the case. Claude
Bernard also repeatedly insists, and this deserves especial notice,
that when the heart is affected it reacts on the brain; and the state
of the brain again reacts through the pneumo-gastric nerve on the
heart; so that under any excitement there will be much mutual action
and reaction between these, the two most important organs of the body.

The vaso-motor system, which regulates the diameter of the small
arteries, is directly acted on by the sensorium, as we see when a man
blushes from shame; but in this latter case the checked transmission of
nerve-force to the vessels of the face can, I think, be partly
explained in a curious manner through habit. We shall also be able to
throw some light, though very little, on the involuntary erection of
the hair under the emotions of terror and rage. The secretion of tears
depends, no doubt, on the connection of certain nerve-cells; but here
again we can trace some few of the steps by which the flow of
nerve-force through the requisite channels has become habitual under
certain emotions.

A brief consideration of the outward signs of some of the stronger
sensations and emotions will best serve to show us, although vaguely,
in how complex a manner the principle under consideration of the direct
action of the excited nervous system of the body, is combined with the
principle of habitually associated, serviceable movements.

When animals suffer from an agony of pain, they generally writhe about
with frightful contortions; and those which habitually use their voices
utter piercing cries or groans. Almost every muscle of the body is
brought into strong action. With man the mouth may be closely
compressed, or more commonly the lips are retracted, with the teeth
clenched or ground together. There is said to be “gnashing of teeth” in
hell; and I have plainly heard the grinding of the molar teeth of a cow
which was suffering acutely from inflammation of the bowels. The female
hippopotamus in the Zoological Gardens, when she produced her young,
suffered greatly; she incessantly walked about, or rolled on her sides,
opening and closing her jaws, and clattering her teeth together.[304]
With man the eyes stare wildly as in horrified astonishment, or the
brows are heavily contracted. Perspiration bathes the body, and drops
trickle down the face. The circulation and respiration are much
affected. Hence the nostrils are generally dilated and often quiver; or
the breath may be held until the blood stagnates in the purple face. If
the agony be severe and prolonged, these signs all change; utter
prostration follows, with fainting or convulsions.

A sensitive nerve when irritated transmits some influence to the
nerve-cell, whence it proceeds; and this transmits its influence, first
to the corresponding nerve-cell on the opposite side of the body, and
then upwards and downwards along the cerebro-spinal column to other
nerve-cells, to a greater or less extent, according to the strength of
the excitement; so that, ultimately, the whole nervous system maybe
affected.[305] This involuntary transmission of nerve-force may or may
not be accompanied by consciousness. Why the irritation of a nerve-cell
should generate or liberate nerve-force is not known; but that this is
the case seems to be the conclusion arrived at by all the greatest
physiologists, such as Müller, Virchow, Bernard, &c.[306] As Mr.
Herbert Spencer remarks, it may be received as an “unquestionable truth
that, at any moment, the existing quantity of liberated nerve-force,
which in an inscrutable way produces in us the state we call feeling,
MUST expend itself in some direction—MUST generate an equivalent
manifestation of force somewhere;” so that, when the cerebro-spinal
system is highly excited and nerve-force is liberated in excess, it may
be expended in intense sensations, active thought, violent movements,
or increased activity of the glands.[307] Mr. Spencer further maintains
that an “overflow of nerve-force, undirected by any motive, will
manifestly take the most habitual routes; and, if these do not suffice,
will next overflow into the less habitual ones.” Consequently the
facial and respiratory muscles, which are the most used, will be apt to
be first brought into action; then those of the upper extremities, next
those of the lower, and finally those of the whole body.[308]

An emotion may be very strong, but it will have little tendency to
induce movements of any kind, if it has not commonly led to voluntary
action for its relief or gratification; and when movements are excited,
their nature is, to a large extent, determined by those which have
often and voluntarily been performed for some definite end under the
same emotion. Great pain urges all animals, and has urged them during
endless generations, to make the most violent and diversified efforts
to escape from the cause of suffering. Even when a limb or other
separate part of the body is hurt, we often see a tendency to shake it,
as if to shake off the cause, though this may obviously be impossible.
Thus a habit of exerting with the utmost force all the muscles will
have been established, whenever great suffering is experienced. As the
muscles of the chest and vocal organs are habitually used, these will
be particularly liable to be acted on, and loud, harsh screams or cries
will be uttered. But the advantage derived from outcries has here
probably come into play in an important manner; for the young of most
animals, when in distress or danger, call loudly to their parents for
aid, as do the members of the same community for mutual aid.

Another principle, namely, the internal consciousness that the power or
capacity of the nervous system is limited, will have strengthened,
though in a subordinate degree, the tendency to violent action under
extreme suffering. A man cannot think deeply and exert his utmost
muscular force. As Hippocrates long ago observed, if two pains are felt
at the same time, the severer one dulls the other. Martyrs, in the
ecstasy of their religious fervour have often, as it would appear, been
insensible to the most horrid tortures. Sailors who are going to be
flogged sometimes take a piece of lead into their mouths, in order to
bite it with their utmost force, and thus to bear the pain. Parturient
women prepare to exert their muscles to the utmost in order to relieve
their sufferings.

We thus see that the undirected radiation of nerve-force from the
nerve-cells which are first affected—the long-continued habit of
attempting by struggling to escape from the cause of suffering—and the
consciousness that voluntary muscular exertion relieves pain, have all
probably concurred in giving a tendency to the most violent, almost
convulsive, movements under extreme suffering; and such movements,
including those of the vocal organs, are universally recognized as
highly expressive of this condition.

As the mere touching of a sensitive nerve reacts in a direct manner on
the heart, severe pain will obviously react on it in like manner, but
far more energetically. Nevertheless, even in this case, we must not
overlook the indirect effects of habit on the heart, as we shall see
when we consider the signs of rage.

When a man suffers from an agony of pain, the perspiration often
trickles down his face; and I have been assured by a veterinary surgeon
that he has frequently seen drops falling from the belly and running
down the inside of the thighs of horses, and from the bodies of cattle,
when thus suffering. He has observed this, when there has been no
struggling which would account for the perspiration. The whole body of
the female hippopotamus, before alluded to, was covered with
red-coloured perspiration whilst giving birth to her young. So it is
with extreme fear; the same veterinary has often seen horses sweating
from this cause; as has Mr. Bartlett with the rhinoceros; and with man
it is a well-known symptom. The cause of perspiration bursting forth in
these cases is quite obscure; but it is thought by some physiologists
to be connected with the failing power of the capillary circulation;
and we know that the vasomotor system, which regulates the capillary
circulation, is much influenced by the mind. With respect to the
movements of certain muscles of the face under great suffering, as well
as from other emotions, these will be best considered when we treat of
the special expressions of man and of the lower animals.

We will now turn to the characteristic symptoms of Rage. Under this
powerful emotion the action of the heart is much accelerated,[309] or
it may be much disturbed. The face reddens, or it becomes purple from
the impeded return of the blood, or may turn deadly pale. The
respiration is laboured, the chest heaves, and the dilated nostrils
quiver. The whole body often trembles. The voice is affected. The teeth
are clenched or ground together, and the muscular system is commonly
stimulated to violent, almost frantic action. But the gestures of a man
in this state usually differ from the purposeless writhings and
struggles of one suffering from an agony of pain; for they represent
more or less plainly the act of striking or fighting with an enemy.

All these signs of rage are probably in large part, and some of them
appear to be wholly, due to the direct action of the excited sensorium.
But animals of all kinds, and their progenitors before them, when
attacked or threatened by an enemy, have exerted their utmost powers in
fighting and in defending themselves. Unless an animal does thus act,
or has the intention, or at least the desire, to attack its enemy, it
cannot properly be said to be enraged. An inherited habit of muscular
exertion will thus have been gained in association with rage; and this
will directly or indirectly affect various organs, in nearly the same
manner as does great bodily suffering.

The heart no doubt will likewise be affected in a direct manner; but it
will also in all probability be affected through habit; and all the
more so from not being under the control of the will. We know that any
great exertion which we voluntarily make, affects the heart, through
mechanical and other principles which need not here be considered; and
it was shown in the first chapter that nerve-force flows readily
through habitually used channels,—through the nerves of voluntary or
involuntary movement, and through those of sensation. Thus even a
moderate amount of exertion will tend to act on the heart; and on the
principle of association, of which so many instances have been given,
we may feel nearly sure that any sensation or emotion, as great pain or
rage, which has habitually led to much muscular action, will
immediately influence the flow of nerve-force to the heart, although
there may not be at the time any muscular exertion.

The heart, as I have said, will be all the more readily affected
through habitual associations, as it is not under the control of the
will. A man when moderately angry, or even when enraged, may command
the movements of his body, but he cannot prevent his heart from beating
rapidly. His chest will perhaps give a few heaves, and his nostrils
just quiver, for the movements of respiration are only in part
voluntary. In like manner those muscles of the face which are least
obedient to the will, will sometimes alone betray a slight and passing
emotion. The glands again are wholly independent of the will, and a man
suffering from grief may command his features, but cannot always
prevent the tears from coming into his eyes. A hungry man, if tempting
food is placed before him, may not show his hunger by any outward
gesture, but he cannot check the secretion of saliva.

Under a transport of Joy or of vivid Pleasure, there is a strong
tendency to various purposeless movements, and to the utterance of
various sounds. We see this in our young children, in their loud
laughter, clapping of hands, and jumping for joy; in the bounding and
barking of a dog when going out to walk with his master; and in the
frisking of a horse when turned out into an open field. Joy quickens
the circulation, and this stimulates the brain, which again reacts on
the whole body. The above purposeless movements and increased
heart-action may be attributed in chief part to the excited state of
the sensorium,[310] and to the consequent undirected overflow, as Mr.
Herbert Spencer insists, of nerve-force. It deserves notice, that it is
chiefly the anticipation of a pleasure, and not its actual enjoyment,
which leads to purposeless and extravagant movements of the body, and
to the utterance of various sounds. We see this in our children when
they expect any great pleasure or treat; and dogs, which have been
bounding about at the sight of a plate of food, when they get it do not
show their delight by any outward sign, not even by wagging their
tails. Now with animals of all kinds, the acquirement of almost all
their pleasures, with the exception of those of warmth and rest, are
associated, and have long been associated with active movements, as in
the hunting or search for food, and in their courtship. Moreover, the
mere exertion of the muscles after long rest or confinement is in
itself a pleasure, as we ourselves feel, and as we see in the play of
young animals. Therefore on this latter principle alone we might
perhaps expect, that vivid pleasure would be apt to show itself
conversely in muscular movements.

With all or almost all animals, even with birds, Terror causes the body
to tremble. The skin becomes pale, sweat breaks out, and the hair
bristles. The secretions of the alimentary canal and of the kidneys are
increased, and they are involuntarily voided, owing to the relaxation
of the sphincter muscles, as is known to be the case with man, and as I
have seen with cattle, dogs, cats, and monkeys. The breathing is
hurried. The heart beats quickly, wildly, and violently; but whether it
pumps the blood more efficiently through the body may be doubted, for
the surface seems bloodless and the strength of the muscles soon fails.
In a frightened horse I have felt through the saddle the beating of the
heart so plainly that I could have counted the beats. The mental
faculties are much disturbed. Utter prostration soon follows, and even
fainting. A terrified canary-bird has been seen not only to tremble and
to turn white about the base of the bill, but to faint;[311] and I once
caught a robin in a room, which fainted so completely, that for a time
I thought it dead.

Most of these symptoms are probably the direct result, independently of
habit, of the disturbed state of the sensorium; but it is doubtful
whether they ought to be wholly thus accounted for. When an animal is
alarmed it almost always stands motionless for a moment, in order to
collect its senses and to ascertain the source of danger, and sometimes
for the sake of escaping detection. But headlong flight soon follows,
with no husbanding of the strength as in fighting, and the animal
continues to fly as long as the danger lasts, until utter prostration,
with failing respiration and circulation, with all the muscles
quivering and profuse sweating, renders further flight impossible.
Hence it does not seem improbable that the principle of associated
habit may in part account for, or at least augment, some of the
above-named characteristic symptoms of extreme terror.

That the principle of associated habit has played an important part in
causing the movements expressive of the foregoing several strong
emotions and sensations, we may, I think, conclude from considering
firstly, some other strong emotions which do not ordinarily require for
their relief or gratification any voluntary movement; and secondly the
contrast in nature between the so-called exciting and depressing states
of the mind. No emotion is stronger than maternal love; but a mother
may feel the deepest love for her helpless infant, and yet not show it
by any outward sign; or only by slight caressing movements, with a
gentle smile and tender eyes. But let any one intentionally injure her
infant, and see what a change! how she starts up with threatening
aspect, how her eyes sparkle and her face reddens, how her bosom
heaves, nostrils dilate, and heart beats; for anger, and not maternal
love, has habitually led to action. The love between the opposite sexes
is widely different from maternal love; and when lovers meet, we know
that their hearts beat quickly, their breathing is hurried, and their
faces flush; for this love is not inactive like that of a mother for
her infant.

A man may have his mind filled with the blackest hatred or suspicion,
or be corroded with envy or jealousy, but as these feelings do not at
once lead to action, and as they commonly last for some time, they are
not shown by any outward sign, excepting that a man in this state
assuredly does not appear cheerful or good-tempered. If indeed these
feelings break out into overt acts, rage takes their place, and will be
plainly exhibited. Painters can hardly portray suspicion, jealousy,
envy, &c., except by the aid of accessories which tell the tale; and
poets use such vague and fanciful expressions as “green-eyed jealousy.”
Spenser describes suspicion as “Foul, ill-favoured, and grim, under his
eyebrows looking still askance,” &c.; Shakespeare speaks of envy “as
lean-faced in her loathsome case;” and in another place he says, “no
black envy shall make my grave;” and again as “above pale envy’s
threatening reach.”

Emotions and sensations have often been classed as exciting or
depressing. When all the organs of the body and mind,—those of
voluntary and involuntary movement, of perception, sensation, thought,
&c.,—perform their functions more energetically and rapidly than usual,
a man or animal may be said to be excited, and, under an opposite
state, to be depressed. Anger and joy are from the first exciting
emotions, and they naturally lead, more especially the former, to
energetic movements, which react on the heart and this again on the
brain. A physician once remarked to me as a proof of the exciting
nature of anger, that a man when excessively jaded will sometimes
invent imaginary offences and put himself into a passion, unconsciously
for the sake of reinvigorating himself; and since hearing this remark,
I have occasionally recognized its full truth.

Several other states of mind appear to be at first exciting, but soon
become depressing to an extreme degree. When a mother suddenly loses
her child, sometimes she is frantic with grief, and must be considered
to be in an excited state; she walks wildly about, tears her hair or
clothes, and wrings her hands. This latter action is perhaps due to the
principle of antithesis, betraying an inward sense of helplessness and
that nothing can be done. The other wild and violent movements may be
in part explained by the relief experienced through muscular exertion,
and in part by the undirected overflow of nerve-force from the excited
sensorium. But under the sudden loss of a beloved person, one of the
first and commonest thoughts which occurs, is that something more might
have been done to save the lost one. An excellent observer,[312] in
describing the behaviour of a girl at the sudden death of her father,
says she “went about the house wringing her hands like a creature
demented, saying ‘It was her fault;’ ‘I should never have left him;’
‘If I had only sat up with him,’” &c. With such ideas vividly present
before the mind, there would arise, through the principle of associated
habit, the strongest tendency to energetic action of some kind.

As soon as the sufferer is fully conscious that nothing can be done,
despair or deep sorrow takes the place of frantic grief. The sufferer
sits motionless, or gently rocks to and fro; the circulation becomes
languid; respiration is almost forgotten, and deep sighs are drawn. All
this reacts on the brain, and prostration soon follows with collapsed
muscles and dulled eyes. As associated habit no longer prompts the
sufferer to action, he is urged by his friends to voluntary exertion,
and not to give way to silent, motionless grief. Exertion stimulates
the hear, and this reacts on the brain, and aids the mind to bear its
heavy load.

Pain, if severe, soon induces extreme depression or prostration; but it
is at first a stimulant and excites to action, as we see when we whip a
horse, and as is shown by the horrid tortures inflicted in foreign
lands on exhausted dray-bullocks, to rouse them to renewed exertion.
Fear again is the most depressing of all the emotions; and it soon
induces utter, helpless prostration, as if in consequence of, or in
association with, the most violent and prolonged attempts to escape
from the danger, though no such attempts have actually been made.
Nevertheless, even extreme fear often acts at first as a powerful
stimulant. A man or animal driven through terror to desperation, is
endowed with wonderful strength, and is notoriously dangerous in the
highest degree.

On the whole we may conclude that the principle of the direct action of
the sensorium on the body, due to the constitution of the nervous
system, and from the first independent of the will, has been highly
influential in determining many expressions. Good instances are
afforded by the trembling of the muscles, the sweating of the skin, the
modified secretions of the alimentary canal and glands, under various
emotions and sensations. But actions of this kind are often combined
with others, which follow from our first principle, namely, that
actions which have often been of direct or indirect service, under
certain states of the mind, in order to gratify or relieve certain
sensations, desires, &c., are still performed under analogous
circumstances through mere habit although of no service. We have
combinations of this kind, at least in part, in the frantic gestures of
rage and in the writhings of extreme pain; and, perhaps, in the
increased action of the heart and of the respiratory organs. Even when
these and other emotions or sensations are aroused in a very feeble
manner, there will still be a tendency to similar actions, owing to the
force of long-associated habit; and those actions which are least under
voluntary control will generally be longest retained. Our second
principle of antithesis has likewise occasionally come into play.

Finally, so many expressive movements can be explained, as I trust will
be seen in the course of this volume, through the three principles
which have now been discussed, that we may hope hereafter to see all
thus explained, or by closely analogous principles. It is, however,
often impossible to decide how much weight ought to be attributed, in
each particular case, to one of our principles, and how much to
another; and very many points in the theory of Expression remain


The emission of Sounds—Vocal sounds—Sounds otherwise produced—Erection
of the dermal appendages, hairs, feathers, &c., under the emotions of
anger and terror—The drawing back of the ears as a preparation for
fighting, and as an expression of anger—Erection of the ears and
raising the head, a sign of attention.

In this and the following chapter I will describe, but only in
sufficient detail to illustrate my subject, the expressive movements,
under different states of the mind, of some few well-known animals. But
before considering them in due succession, it will save much useless
repetition to discuss certain means of expression common to most of

_The emission of Sounds_.—With many kinds of animals, man included, the
vocal organs are efficient in the highest degree as a means of
expression. We have seen, in the last chapter, that when the sensorium
is strongly excited, the muscles of the body are generally thrown into
violent action; and as a consequence, loud sounds are uttered, however
silent the animal may generally be, and although the sounds may be of
no use. Hares and rabbits for instance, never, I believe, use their
vocal organs except in the extremity of suffering; as, when a wounded
hare is killed by the sportsman, or when a young rabbit is caught by a
stoat. Cattle and horses suffer great pain in silence; but when this is
excessive, and especially when associated with terror, they utter
fearful sounds. I have often recognized, from a distance on the Pampas,
the agonized death-bellow of the cattle, when caught by the lasso and
hamstrung. It is said that horses, when attacked by wolves, utter loud
and peculiar screams of distress.

Involuntary and purposeless contractions of the muscles of the chest
and glottis, excited in the above manner, may have first given rise to
the emission of vocal sounds. But the voice is now largely used by many
animals for various purposes; and habit seems to have played an
important part in its employment under other circumstances. Naturalists
have remarked, I believe with truth, that social animals, from
habitually using their vocal organs as a means of intercommunication,
use them on other occasions much more freely than other animals. But
there are marked exceptions to this rule, for instance, with the
rabbit. The principle, also, of association, which is so widely
extended in its power, has likewise played its part. Hence it follows
that the voice, from having been habitually employed as a serviceable
aid under certain conditions, inducing pleasure, pain, rage, &c., is
commonly used whenever the same sensations or emotions are excited,
under quite different conditions, or in a lesser degree.

The sexes of many animals incessantly call for each other during the
breeding-season; and in not a few cases, the male endeavours thus to
charm or excite the female. This, indeed, seems to have been the
primeval use and means of development of the voice, as I have attempted
to show in my ‘Descent of Man.’ Thus the use of the vocal organs will
have become associated with the anticipation of the strongest pleasure
which animals are capable of feeling. Animals which live in society
often call to each other when separated, and evidently feel much joy at
meeting; as we see with a horse, on the return of his companion, for
whom he has been neighing. The mother calls incessantly for her lost
young ones; for instance, a cow for her calf; and the young of many
animals call for their mothers. When a flock of sheep is scattered, the
ewes bleat incessantly for their lambs, and their mutual pleasure at
coming together is manifest. Woe betide the man who meddles with the
young of the larger and fiercer quadrupeds, if they hear the cry of
distress from their young. Rage leads to the violent exertion of all
the muscles, including those of the voice; and some animals, when
enraged, endeavour to strike terror into their enemies by its power and
harshness, as the lion does by roaring, and the dog by growling. I
infer that their object is to strike terror, because the lion at the
same time erects the hair of its mane, and the dog the hair along its
back, and thus they make themselves appear as large and terrible as
possible. Rival males try to excel and challenge each other by their
voices, and this leads to deadly contests. Thus the use of the voice
will have become associated with the emotion of anger, however it may
be aroused. We have also seen that intense pain, like rage, leads to
violent outcries, and the exertion of screaming by itself gives some
relief; and thus the use of the voice will have become associated with
suffering of any kind.

The cause of widely different sounds being uttered under different
emotions and sensations is a very obscure subject. Nor does the rule
always hold good that there is any marked difference. For instance with
the dog, the bark of anger and that of joy do not differ much, though
they can be distinguished. It is not probable that any precise
explanation of the cause or source of each particular sound, under
different states of the mind, will ever be given. We know that some
animals, after being domesticated, have acquired the habit of uttering
sounds which were not natural to them.[401] Thus domestic dogs, and
even tamed jackals, have learnt to bark, which is a noise not proper to
any species of the genus, with the exception of the _Canis latrans_ of
North America, which is said to bark. Some breeds, also, of the
domestic pigeon have learnt to coo in a new and quite peculiar manner.

The character of the human voice, under the influence of various
emotions, has been discussed by Mr. Herbert Spencer[402] in his
interesting essay on Music. He clearly shows that the voice alters much
under different conditions, in loudness and in quality, that is, in
resonance and _timbre_, in pitch and intervals. No one can listen to an
eloquent orator or preacher, or to a man calling angrily to another, or
to one expressing astonishment, without being struck with the truth of
Mr. Spencer’s remarks. It is curious how early in life the modulation
of the voice becomes expressive. With one of my children, under the age
of two years, I clearly perceived that his humph of assent was rendered
by a slight modulation strongly emphatic; and that by a peculiar whine
his negative expressed obstinate determination. Mr. Spencer further
shows that emotional speech, in all the above respects is intimately
related to vocal music, and consequently to instrumental music; and he
attempts to explain the characteristic qualities of both on
physiological grounds—namely, on “the general law that a feeling is a
stimulus to muscular action.” It may be admitted that the voice is
affected through this law; but the explanation appears to me too
general and vague to throw much light on the various differences, with
the exception of that of loudness, between ordinary speech and
emotional speech, or singing.

This remark holds good, whether we believe that the various qualities
of the voice originated in speaking under the excitement of strong
feelings, and that these qualities have subsequently been transferred
to vocal music; or whether we believe, as I maintain, that the habit of
uttering musical sounds was first developed, as a means of courtship,
in the early progenitors of man, and thus became associated with the
strongest emotions of which they were capable,—namely, ardent love,
rivalry and triumph. That animals utter musical notes is familiar to
every one, as we may daily hear in the singing of birds. It is a more
remarkable fact that an ape, one of the Gibbons, produces an exact
octave of musical sounds, ascending and descending the scale by
halftones; so that this monkey “alone of brute mammals may be said to
sing.”[403] From this fact, and from the analogy of other animals, I
have been led to infer that the progenitors of man probably uttered
musical tones, before they had acquired the power of articulate speech;
and that consequently, when the voice is used under any strong emotion,
it tends to assume, through the principle of association, a musical
character. We can plainly perceive, with some of the lower animals,
that the males employ their voices to please the females, and that they
themselves take pleasure in their own vocal utterances; but why
particular sounds are uttered, and why these give pleasure cannot at
present be explained.

That the pitch of the voice bears some relation to certain states of
feeling is tolerably clear. A person gently complaining of
ill-treatment, or slightly suffering, almost always speaks in a
high-pitched voice. Dogs, when a little impatient, often make a high
piping note through their noses, which at once strikes us as
plaintive;[404] but how difficult it is to know whether the sound is
essentially plaintive, or only appears so in this particular case, from
our having learnt by experience what it means! Rengger, states[405]
that the monkeys (_Cebus azaræ_), which he kept in Paraguay, expressed
astonishment by a half-piping, half-snarling noise; anger or
impatience, by repeating the sound _hu hu_ in a deeper, grunting voice;
and fright or pain, by shrill screams. On the other hand, with mankind,
deep groans and high piercing screams equally express an agony of pain.
Laughter maybe either high or low; so that, with adult men, as Haller
long ago remarked,[406] the sound partakes of the character of the
vowels (as pronounced in German) _O_ and _A_; whilst with children and
women, it has more of the character of _E_ and _I_; and these latter
vowel-sounds naturally have, as Helmholtz has shown, a higher pitch
than the former; yet both tones of laughter equally express enjoyment
or amusement.

In considering the mode in which vocal utterances express emotion, we
are naturally led to inquire into the cause of what is called
“expression” in music. Upon this point Mr. Litchfield, who has long
attended to the subject of music, has been so kind as to give me the
following remarks:—“The question, what is the essence of musical
‘expression’ involves a number of obscure points, which, so far as I am
aware, are as yet unsolved enigmas. Up to a certain point, however, any
law which is found to hold as to the expression of the emotions by
simple sounds must apply to the more developed mode of expression in
song, which may be taken as the primary type of all music. A great part
of the emotional effect of a song depends on the character of the
action by which the sounds are produced. In songs, for instance, which
express great vehemence of passion, the effect often chiefly depends on
the forcible utterance of some one or two characteristic passages which
demand great exertion of vocal force; and it will be frequently noticed
that a song of this character fails of its proper effect when sung by a
voice of sufficient power and range to give the characteristic passages
without much exertion. This is, no doubt, the secret of the loss of
effect so often produced by the transposition of a song from one key to
another. The effect is thus seen to depend not merely on the actual
sounds, but also in part on the nature of the action which produces the
sounds. Indeed it is obvious that whenever we feel the ‘expression’ of
a song to be due to its quickness or slowness of movement—to smoothness
of flow, loudness of utterance, and so on—we are, in fact, interpreting
the muscular actions which produce sound, in the same way in which we
interpret muscular action generally. But this leaves unexplained the
more subtle and more specific effect which we call the _musical_
expression of the song—the delight given by its melody, or even by the
separate sounds which make up the melody. This is an effect indefinable
in language—one which, so far as I am aware, no one has been able to
analyse, and which the ingenious speculation of Mr. Herbert Spencer as
to the origin of music leaves quite unexplained. For it is certain that
the _melodic_ effect of a series of sounds does not depend in the least
on their loudness or softness, or on their _absolute_ pitch. A tune is
always the same tune, whether it is sung loudly or softly, by a child
or a man; whether it is played on a flute or on a trombone. The purely
musical effect of any sound depends on its place in what is technically
called a ‘scale;’ the same sound producing absolutely different effects
on the ear, according as it is heard in connection with one or another
series of sounds.

“It is on this _relative_ association of the sounds that all the
essentially characteristic effects which are summed up in the phrase
‘musical expression,’ depend. But why certain associations of sounds
have such-and-such effects, is a problem which yet remains to be
solved. These effects must indeed, in some way or other, be connected
with the well-known arithmetical relations between the rates of
vibration of the sounds which form a musical scale. And it is
possible—but this is merely a suggestion—that the greater or less
mechanical facility with which the vibrating apparatus of the human
larynx passes from one state of vibration to another, may have been a
primary cause of the greater or less pleasure produced by various
sequences of sounds.”

But leaving aside these complex questions and confining ourselves to
the simpler sounds, we can, at least, see some reasons for the
association of certain kinds of sounds with certain states of mind. A
scream, for instance, uttered by a young animal, or by one of the
members of a community, as a call for assistance, will naturally be
loud, prolonged, and high, so as to penetrate to a distance. For
Helmholtz has shown[407] that, owing to the shape of the internal
cavity of the human ear and its consequent power of resonance, high
notes produce a particularly strong impression. When male animals utter
sounds in order to please the females, they would naturally employ
those which are sweet to the ears of the species; and it appears that
the same sounds are often pleasing to widely different animals, owing
to the similarity of their nervous systems, as we ourselves perceive in
the singing of birds and even in the chirping of certain tree-frogs
giving us pleasure. On the other hand, sounds produced in order to
strike terror into an enemy, would naturally be harsh or displeasing.

Whether the principle of antithesis has come into play with sounds, as
might perhaps have been expected, is doubtful. The interrupted,
laughing or tittering sounds made by man and by various kinds of
monkeys when pleased, are as different as possible from the prolonged
screams of these animals when distressed. The deep grunt of
satisfaction uttered by a pig, when pleased with its food, is widely
different from its harsh scream of pain or terror. But with the dog, as
lately remarked, the bark of anger and that of joy are sounds which by
no means stand in opposition to each other; and so it is in some other

There is another obscure point, namely, whether the sounds which are
produced under various states of the mind determine the shape of the
mouth, or whether its shape is not determined by independent causes,
and the sound thus modified. When young infants cry they open their
mouths widely, and this, no doubt, is necessary for pouring forth a
full volume of sound; but the mouth then assumes, from a quite distinct
cause, an almost quadrangular shape, depending, as will hereafter be
explained, on the firm closing of the eyelids, and consequent drawing
up of the upper lip. How far this square shape of the mouth modifies
the wailing or crying sound, I am not prepared to say; but we know from
the researches of Helmholtz and others that the form of the cavity of
the mouth and lips determines the nature and pitch of the vowel sounds
which are produced.

It will also be shown in a future chapter that, under the feeling of
contempt or disgust, there is a tendency, from intelligible causes, to
blow out of the mouth or nostrils, and this produces sounds like pooh
or pish. When any one is startled or suddenly astonished, there is an
instantaneous tendency, likewise from an intelligible cause, namely, to
be ready for prolonged exertion, to open the mouth widely, so as to
draw a deep and rapid inspiration. When the next full expiration
follows, the mouth is slightly closed, and the lips, from causes
hereafter to be discussed, are somewhat protruded; and this form of the
mouth, if the voice be at all exerted, produces, according to
Helmholtz, the sound of the vowel _O_. Certainly a deep sound of a
prolonged _Oh!_ may be heard from a whole crowd of people immediately
after witnessing any astonishing spectacle. If, together with surprise,
pain be felt, there is a tendency to contract all the muscles of the
body, including those of the face, and the lips will then be drawn
back; and this will perhaps account for the sound becoming higher and
assuming the character of _Ah!_ or _Ach!_ As fear causes all the
muscles of the body to tremble, the voice naturally becomes tremulous,
and at the same time husky from the dryness of the mouth, owing to the
salivary glands failing to act. Why the laughter of man and the
tittering of monkeys should be a rapidly reiterated sound, cannot be
explained. During the utterance of these sounds, the mouth is
transversely elongated by the corners being drawn backwards and
upwards; and of this fact an explanation will be attempted in a future
chapter. But the whole subject of the differences of the sounds
produced under different states of the mind is so obscure, that I have
succeeded in throwing hardly any light on it; and the remarks which I
have made, have but little significance.

Sound Producing Quills from Tail of a Porcupine. Fig. 11

All the sounds hitherto noticed depend on the respiratory organs; but
sounds produced by wholly different means are likewise expressive.
Rabbits stamp loudly on the ground as a signal to their comrades; and
if a man knows how to do so properly, he may on a quiet evening hear
the rabbits answering him all around. These animals, as well as some
others, also stamp on the ground when made angry. Porcupines rattle
their quills and vibrate their tails when angered; and one behaved in
this manner when a live snake was placed in its compartment. The quills
on the tail are very different from those on the body: they are short,
hollow, thin like a goose-quill, with their ends transversely
truncated, so that they are open; they are supported on long, thin,
elastic foot-stalks. Now, when the tail is rapidly shaken, these hollow
quills strike against each other and produce, as I heard in the
presence of Mr. Bartlett, a peculiar continuous sound. We can, I think,
understand why porcupines have been provided, through the modification
of their protective spines, with this special sound-producing
instrument. They are nocturnal animals, and if they scented or heard a
prowling beast of prey, it would be a great advantage to them in the
dark to give warning to their enemy what they were, and that they were
furnished with dangerous spines. They would thus escape being attacked.
They are, as I may add, so fully conscious of the power of their
weapons, that when enraged they will charge backwards with their spines
erected, yet still inclined backwards.

Many birds during their courtship produce diversified sounds by means
of specially adapted feathers. Storks, when excited, make a loud
clattering noise with their beaks. Some snakes produce a grating or
rattling noise. Many insects stridulate by rubbing together specially
modified parts of their hard integuments. This stridulation generally
serves as a sexual charm or call; but it is likewise used to express
different emotions.[408] Every one who has attended to bees knows that
their humming changes when they are angry; and this serves as a warning
that there is danger of being stung. I have made these few remarks
because some writers have laid so much stress on the vocal and
respiratory organs as having been specially adapted for expression,
that it was advisable to show that sounds otherwise produced serve
equally well for the same purpose.

_Erection of the dermal appendages_.—Hardly any expressive movement is
so general as the involuntary erection of the hairs, feathers and other
dermal appendages; for it is common throughout three of the great
vertebrate classes. These appendages are erected under the excitement
of anger or terror; more especially when these emotions are combined,
or quickly succeed each other. The action serves to make the animal
appear larger and more frightful to its enemies or rivals, and is
generally accompanied by various voluntary movements adapted for the
same purpose, and by the utterance of savage sounds. Mr. Bartlett, who
has had such wide experience with animals of all kinds, does not doubt
that this is the case; but it is a different question whether the power
of erection was primarily acquired for this special purpose.

I will first give a considerable body of facts showing how general this
action is with mammals, birds and reptiles; retaining what I have to
say in regard to man for a future chapter. Mr. Sutton, the intelligent
keeper in the Zoological Gardens, carefully observed for me the
Chimpanzee and Orang; and he states that when they are suddenly
frightened, as by a thunderstorm, or when they are made angry, as by
being teased, their hair becomes erect. I saw a chimpanzee who was
alarmed at the sight of a black coalheaver, and the hair rose all over
his body; he made little starts forward as if to attack the man,
without any real intention of doing so, but with the hope, as the
keeper remarked, of frightening him. The Gorilla, when enraged, is
described by Mr. Ford[409] as having his crest of hair “erect and
projecting forward, his nostrils dilated, and his under lip thrown
down; at the same time uttering his characteristic yell, designed, it
would seem, to terrify his antagonists.” I saw the hair on the Anubis
baboon, when angered bristling along the back, from the neck to the
loins, but not on the rump or other parts of the body. I took a stuffed
snake into the monkey-house, and the hair on several of the species
instantly became erect; especially on their tails, as I particularly
noticed with the _Cereopithecus nictitans_. Brehm states[410] that the
_Midas œdipus_ (belonging to the American division) when excited erects
its mane, in order, as he adds, to make itself as frightful as

With the Carnivora the erection of the hair seems to be almost
universal, often accompanied by threatening movements, the uncovering
of the teeth and the utterance of savage growls. In the Herpestes, I
have seen the hair on end over nearly the whole body, including the
tail; and the dorsal crest is erected in a conspicuous manner by the
Hyaena and Proteles. The enraged lion erects his mane. The bristling of
the hair along the neck and back of the dog, and over the whole body of
the cat, especially on the tail, is familiar to every one. With the cat
it apparently occurs only under fear; with the dog, under anger and
fear; but not, as far as I have observed, under abject fear, as when a
dog is going to be flogged by a severe gamekeeper. If, however, the dog
shows fight, as sometimes happens, up goes his hair. I have often
noticed that the hair of a dog is particularly liable to rise, if he is
half angry and half afraid, as on beholding some object only
indistinctly seen in the dusk.

I have been assured by a veterinary surgeon that he has often seen the
hair erected on horses and cattle, on which he had operated and was
again going to operate. When I showed a stuffed snake to a Peccary, the
hair rose in a wonderful manner along its back; and so it does with the
boar when enraged. An Elk which gored a man to death in the United
States, is described as first brandishing his antlers, squealing with
rage and stamping on the ground; “at length his hair was seen to rise
and stand on end,” and then he plunged forward to the attack.[411] The
hair likewise becomes erect on goats, and, as I hear from Mr. Blyth, on
some Indian antelopes. I have seen it erected on the hairy Ant-eater;
and on the Agouti, one of the Rodents. A female Bat,[412] which reared
her young under confinement, when any one looked into the cage “erected
the fur on her back, and bit viciously at intruding fingers.”

Birds belonging to all the chief Orders ruffle their feathers when
angry or frightened. Every one must have seen two cocks, even quite
young birds, preparing to fight with erected neck-hackles; nor can
these feathers when erected serve as a means of defence, for
cock-fighters have found by experience that it is advantageous to trim
them. The male Ruff (_Machetes pugnæ_) likewise erects its collar of
feathers when fighting. When a dog approaches a common hen with her
chickens, she spreads out her wings, raises her tail, ruffles all her
feathers, and looking as ferocious as possible, dashes at the intruder.
The tail is not always held in exactly the same position; it is
sometimes so much erected, that the central feathers, as in the
accompanying drawing, almost touch the back. Swans, when angered,
likewise raise their wings and tail, and erect their feathers. They
open their beaks, and make by paddling little rapid starts forwards,
against any one who approaches the water’s edge too closely. Tropic
birds[413] when disturbed on their nests are said not to fly away, but
“merely to stick out their feathers and scream.” The Barn-owl, when
approached “instantly swells out its plumage, extends its wings and
tail, hisses and clacks its mandibles with force and rapidity.”[414] So
do other kinds of owls. Hawks, as I am informed by Mr. Jenner Weir,
likewise ruffle their feathers, and spread out their wings and tail
under similar circumstances. Some kinds of parrots erect their
feathers; and I have seen this action in the Cassowary, when angered at
the sight of an Ant-eater. Young cuckoos in the nest, raise their
feathers, open their mouths widely, and make themselves as frightful as

Hen Driving Away a Dog from Her Chickens. Fig. 12

{illust. caption = FIG. 12—Hen driving away a dog from her chickens.
Drawn from life by Mr. Wood.}

Swan Driving Away an Intruder. Fig 13

{illust. caption = FIG. 13.—Swan driving away an intruder. Drawn from
life by Mr. Wood.}

Small birds, also, as I hear from Mr. Weir, such as various finches,
buntings and warblers, when angry, ruffle all their feathers, or only
those round the neck; or they spread out their wings and tail-feathers.
With their plumage in this state, they rush at each other with open
beaks and threatening gestures. Mr. Weir concludes from his large
experience that the erection of the feathers is caused much more by
anger than by fear. He gives as an instance a hybrid goldfinch of a
most irascible disposition, which when approached too closely by a
servant, instantly assumes the appearance of a ball of ruffled
feathers. He believes that birds when frightened, as a general rule,
closely adpress all their feathers, and their consequently diminished
size is often astonishing. As soon as they recover from their fear or
surprise, the first thing which they do is to shake out their feathers.
The best instances of this adpression of the feathers and apparent
shrinking of the body from fear, which Mr. Weir has noticed, has been
in the quail and grass-parrakeet.[415] The habit is intelligible in
these birds from their being accustomed, when in danger, either to
squat on the ground or to sit motionless on a branch, so as to escape
detection. Though, with birds, anger may be the chief and commonest
cause of the erection of the feathers, it is probable that young
cuckoos when looked at in the nest, and a hen with her chickens when
approached by a dog, feel at least some terror. Mr. Tegetmeier informs
me that with game-cocks, the erection of the feathers on the head has
long been recognized in the cock-pit as a sign of cowardice.

The males of some lizards, when fighting together during their
courtship, expand their throat pouches or frills, and erect their
dorsal crests.[416] But Dr. Günther does not believe that they can
erect their separate spines or scales.

We thus see how generally throughout the two higher vertebrate classes,
and with some reptiles, the dermal appendages are erected under the
influence of anger and fear. The movement is effected, as we know from
Kolliker’s interesting discovery, by the contraction of minute,
unstriped, involuntary muscles,[417] often called _arrectores pili_,
which are attached to the capsules of the separate hairs, feathers, &c.
By the contraction of these muscles the hairs can be instantly erected,
as we see in a dog, being at the same time drawn a little out of their
sockets; they are afterwards quickly depressed. The vast number of
these minute muscles over the whole body of a hairy quadruped is
astonishing. The erection of the hair is, however, aided in some cases,
as with that on the head of a man, by the striped and voluntary muscles
of the underlying _panniculus carnosus_. It is by the action of these
latter muscles, that the hedgehog erects its spines. It appears, also,
from the researches of Leydig[418] and others, that striped fibres
extend from the panniculus to some of the larger hairs, such as the
vibrissae of certain quadrupeds. The _arrectores pili_ contract not
only under the above emotions, but from the application of cold to the
surface. I remember that my mules and dogs, brought from a lower and
warmer country, after spending a night on the bleak Cordillera, had the
hair all over their bodies as erect as under the greatest terror. We
see the same action in our own _goose-skin_ during the chill before a
fever-fit. Mr. Lister has also found,[419] that tickling a neighbouring
part of the skin causes the erection and protrusion of the hairs.

From these facts it is manifest that the erection of the dermal
appendages is a reflex action, independent of the will; and this action
must be looked at, when, occurring under the influence of anger or
fear, not as a power acquired for the sake of some advantage, but as an
incidental result, at least to a large extent, of the sensorium being
affected. The result, in as far as it is incidental, may be compared
with the profuse sweating from an agony of pain or terror.
Nevertheless, it is remarkable how slight an excitement often suffices
to cause the hair to become erect; as when two dogs pretend to fight
together in play. We have, also, seen in a large number of animals,
belonging to widely distinct classes, that the erection of the hair or
feathers is almost always accompanied by various voluntary movements—by
threatening gestures, opening the mouth, uncovering the teeth,
spreading out of the wings and tail by birds, and by the utterance of
harsh sounds; and the purpose of these voluntary movements is
unmistakable. Therefore it seems hardly credible that the co-ordinated
erection of the dermal appendages, by which the animal is made to
appear larger and more terrible to its enemies or rivals, should be
altogether an incidental and purposeless result of the disturbance of
the sensorium. This seems almost as incredible as that the erection by
the hedgehog of its spines, or of the quills by the porcupine, or of
the ornamental plumes by many birds during their courtship, should all
be purposeless actions.

We here encounter a great difficulty. How can the contraction of the
unstriped and involuntary _arrectores pili_ have been co-ordinated with
that of various voluntary muscles for the same special purpose? If we
could believe that the arrectores primordially had been voluntary
muscles, and had since lost their stripes and become involuntary, the
case would be comparatively simple. I am not, however, aware that there
is any evidence in favour of this view; although the reversed
transition would not have presented any great difficulty, as the
voluntary muscles are in an unstriped condition in the embryos of the
higher animals, and in the larvae of some crustaceans. Moreover in the
deeper layers of the skin of adult birds, the muscular network is,
according to Leydig,[420] in a transitional condition; the fibres
exhibiting only indications of transverse striation.

Another explanation seems possible. We may admit that originally the
_arrectores pili_ were slightly acted on in a direct manner, under the
influence of rage and terror, by the disturbance of the nervous system;
as is undoubtedly the case with our so-called _goose-skin_ before a
fever-fit. Animals have been repeatedly excited by rage and terror
during many generations; and consequently the direct effects of the
disturbed nervous system on the dermal appendages will almost certainly
have been increased through habit and through the tendency of
nerve-force to pass readily along accustomed channels. We shall find
this view of the force of habit strikingly confirmed in a future
chapter, where it will be shown that the hair of the insane is affected
in an extraordinary manner, owing to their repeated accesses of fury
and terror. As soon as with animals the power of erection had thus been
strengthened or increased, they must often have seen the hairs or
feathers erected in rival and enraged males, and the bulk of their
bodies thus increased. In this case it appears possible that they might
have wished to make themselves appear larger and more terrible to their
enemies, by voluntarily assuming a threatening attitude and uttering
harsh cries; such attitudes and utterances after a time becoming
through habit instinctive. In this manner actions performed by the
contraction of voluntary muscles might have been combined for the same
special purpose with those effected by involuntary muscles. It is even
possible that animals, when excited and dimly conscious of some change
in the state of their hair, might act on it by repeated exertions of
their attention and will; for we have reason to believe that the will
is able to influence in an obscure manner the action of some unstriped
or involuntary muscles, as in the period of the peristaltic movements
of the intestines, and in the contraction of the bladder. Nor must we
overlook the part which variation and natural selection may have
played; for the males which succeeded in making themselves appear the
most terrible to their rivals, or to their other enemies, if not of
overwhelming power, will on an average have left more offspring to
inherit their characteristic qualities, whatever these may be and
however first acquired, than have other males.

_The inflation of the body, and other means of exciting fear in an
enemy_.—Certain Amphibians and Reptiles, which either have no spines to
erect, or no muscles by which they can be erected, enlarge themselves
when alarmed or angry by inhaling air. This is well known to be the
case with toads and frogs. The latter animal is made, in AEsop’s fable
of the ‘Ox and the Frog,’ to blow itself up from vanity and envy until
it burst. This action must have been observed during the most ancient
times, as, according to Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood,[421] the word _toad_
expresses in all the languages of Europe the habit of swelling. It has
been observed with some of the exotic species in the Zoological
Gardens; and Dr. Günther believes that it is general throughout the
group. Judging from analogy, the primary purpose probably was to make
the body appear as large and frightful as possible to an enemy; but
another, and perhaps more important secondary advantage is thus gained.
When frogs are seized by snakes, which are their chief enemies, they
enlarge themselves wonderfully; so that if the snake be of small size,
as Dr. Günther informs me, it cannot swallow the frog, which thus
escapes being devoured.

Chameleons and some other lizards inflate themselves when angry. Thus a
species inhabiting Oregon, the _Tapaya Douglasii_, is slow in its
movements and does not bite, but has a ferocious aspect; “when
irritated it springs in a most threatening manner at anything pointed
at it, at the same time opening its mouth wide and hissing audibly,
after which it inflates its body, and shows other marks of anger.”[422]

Several kinds of snakes likewise inflate themselves when irritated. The
puff-adder (_Clotho arietans_) is remarkable in this respect; but I
believe, after carefully watching these animals, that they do not act
thus for the sake of increasing their apparent bulk, but simply for
inhaling a large supply of air, so as to produce their surprisingly
loud, harsh, and prolonged hissing sound. The Cobras-de-capello, when
irritated, enlarge themselves a little, and hiss moderately; but, at
the same time they lift their heads aloft, and dilate by means of their
elongated anterior ribs, the skin on each side of the neck into a large
flat disk,—the so-called hood. With their widely opened mouths, they
then assume a terrific aspect. The benefit thus derived ought to be
considerable, in order to compensate for the somewhat lessened rapidity
(though this is still great) with which, when dilated, they can strike
at their enemies or prey; on the same principle that a broad, thin
piece of wood cannot be moved through the air so quickly as a small
round stick. An innocuous snake, the _Trovidonotus macrophthalmus_, an
inhabitant of India, likewise dilates its neck when irritated; and
consequently is often mistaken for its compatriot, the deadly
Cobra.[423] This resemblance perhaps serves as some protection to the
Tropidonotus. Another innocuous species, the Dasypeltis of South
Africa, blows itself out, distends its neck, hisses and darts at an
intruder.[424] Many other snakes hiss under similar circumstances. They
also rapidly vibrate their protruded tongues; and this may aid in
increasing their terrific appearance.

Snakes possess other means of producing sounds besides hissing. Many
years ago I observed in South America that a venomous Trigonocephalus,
when disturbed, rapidly vibrated the end of its tail, which striking
against the dry grass and twigs produced a rattling noise that could be
distinctly heard at the distance of six feet.[425] The deadly and
fierce _Echis carinata_ of India produces “a curious prolonged, almost
hissing sound in a very different manner, namely by rubbing the sides
of the folds of its body against each other,” whilst the head remains
in almost the same position. The scales on the sides, and not on other
parts of the body, are strongly keeled, with the keels toothed like a
saw; and as the coiled-up animal rubs its sides together, these grate
against each other.[426] Lastly, we have the well-known case of the
Rattle-snake. He who has merely shaken the rattle of a dead snake, can
form no just idea of the sound produced by the living animal. Professor
Shaler states that it is indistinguishable from that made by the male
of a large Cicada (an Homopterous insect), which inhabits the same
district.[427] In the Zoological Gardens, when the rattle-snakes and
puff-adders were greatly excited at the same time, I was much struck at
the similarity of the sound produced by them; and although that made by
the rattle-snake is louder and shriller than the hissing of the
puff-adder, yet when standing at some yards distance I could scarcely
distinguish the two. For whatever purpose the sound is produced by the
one species, I can hardly doubt that it serves for the same purpose in
the other species; and I conclude from the threatening gestures made at
the same time by many snakes, that their hissing,—the rattling of the
rattle-snake and of the tail of the Trigonocephalus,—the grating of the
scales of the Echis,—and the dilatation of the hood of the Cobra,—all
subserve the same end, namely, to make them appear terrible to their

It seems at first a probable conclusion that venomous snakes, such as
the foregoing, from being already so well defended by their
poison-fangs, would never be attacked by any enemy; and consequently
would have no need to excite additional terror. But this is far from
being the case, for they are largely preyed on in all quarters of the
world by many animals. It is well known that pigs are employed in the
United States to clear districts infested with rattle-snakes, which
they do most effectually.[429] In England the hedgehog attacks and
devours the viper. In India, as I hear from Dr. Jerdon, several kinds
of hawks, and at least one mammal, the Herpestes, kill cobras and other
venomous species;[430] and so it is in South Africa. Therefore it is by
no means improbable that any sounds or signs by which the venomous
species could instantly make themselves recognized as dangerous, would
be of more service to them than to the innocuous species which would
not be able, if attacked, to inflict any real injury.

Having said thus much about snakes, I am tempted to add a few remarks
on the means by which the rattle of the rattle-snake was probably
developed. Various animals, including some lizards, either curl or
vibrate their tails when excited. This is the case with many kinds of
snakes.[431] In the Zoological Gardens, an innocuous species, the
_Coronella Sayi_, vibrates its tail so rapidly that it becomes almost
invisible. The Trigonocephalus, before alluded to, has the same habit;
and the extremity of its tail is a little enlarged, or ends in a bead.
In the Lachesis, which is so closely allied to the rattle-snake that it
was placed by Linnaeus in the same genus, the tail ends in a single,
large, lancet-shaped point or scale. With some snakes the skin, as
Professor Shaler remarks, “is more imperfectly detached from the region
about the tail than at other parts of the body.” Now if we suppose that
the end of the tail of some ancient American species was enlarged, and
was covered by a single large scale, this could hardly have been cast
off at the successive moults. In this case it would have been
permanently retained, and at each period of growth, as the snake grew
larger, a new scale, larger than the last, would have been formed above
it, and would likewise have been retained. The foundation for the
development of a rattle would thus have been laid; and it would have
been habitually used, if the species, like so many others, vibrated its
tail whenever it was irritated. That the rattle has since been
specially developed to serve as an efficient sound-producing
instrument, there can hardly be a doubt; for even the vertebrae
included within the extremity of the tail have been altered in shape
and cohere. But there is no greater improbability in various
structures, such as the rattle of the rattle-snake,—the lateral scales
of the Echis,—the neck with the included ribs of the Cobra,—and the
whole body of the puff-adder,—having been modified for the sake of
warning and frightening away their enemies, than in a bird, namely, the
wonderful Secretary-hawk (_Gypogeranus_) having had its whole frame
modified for the sake of killing snakes with impunity. It is highly
probable, judging from what we have before seen, that this bird would
ruffle its feathers whenever it attacked a snake; and it is certain
that the Herpestes, when it eagerly rushes to attack a snake, erects
the hair all over its body, and especially that on its tail.[432] We
have also seen that some porcupines, when angered or alarmed at the
sight of a snake, rapidly vibrate their tails, thus producing a
peculiar sound by the striking together of the hollow quills. So that
here both the attackers and the attacked endeavour to make themselves
as dreadful as possible to each other; and both possess for this
purpose specialised means, which, oddly enough, are nearly the same in
some of these cases. Finally we can see that if, on the one hand, those
individual snakes, which were best able to frighten away their enemies,
escaped best from being devoured; and if, on the other hand, those
individuals of the attacking enemy survived in larger numbers which
were the best fitted for the dangerous task of killing and devouring
venomous snakes;—then in the one case as in the other, beneficial
variations, supposing the characters in question to vary, would
commonly have been preserved through the survival of the fittest.

_The Drawing back and pressure of the Ears to the Head_.—The ears
through their movements are highly expressive in many animals; but in
some, such as man, the higher apes, and many ruminants, they fail in
this respect. A slight difference in position serves to express in the
plainest manner a different state of mind, as we may daily see in the
dog; but we are here concerned only with the ears being drawn closely
backwards and pressed to the head. A savage frame of mind is thus
shown, but only in the case of those animals which fight with their
teeth; and the care which they take to prevent their ears being seized
by their antagonists, accounts for this position. Consequently, through
habit and association, whenever they feel slightly savage, or pretend
in their play to be savage, their ears are drawn back. That this is the
true explanation may be inferred from the relation which exists in very
many animals between their manner of fighting and the retraction of
their ears.

All the Carnivora fight with their canine teeth, and all, as far as I
have observed, draw their ears back when feeling savage. This may be
continually seen with dogs when fighting in earnest, and with puppies
fighting in play. The movement is different from the falling down and
slight drawing back of the ears, when a dog feels pleased and is
caressed by his master. The retraction of the ears may likewise be seen
in kittens fighting together in their play, and in full-grown cats when
really savage, as before illustrated in fig. 9 (p. 58). Although their
ears are thus to a large extent protected, yet they often get much torn
in old male cats during their mutual battles. The same movement is very
striking in tigers, leopards, &c., whilst growling over their food in
menageries. The lynx has remarkably long ears; and their retraction,
when one of these animals is approached in its cage, is very
conspicuous, and is eminently expressive of its savage disposition.
Even one of the Eared Seals, the _Otariapusilla_, which has very small
ears, draws them backwards, when it makes a savage rush at the legs of
its keeper.

When horses fight together they use their incisors for biting, and
their fore-legs for striking, much more than they do their hind-legs
for kicking backwards. This has been observed when stallions have
broken loose and have fought together, and may likewise be inferred
from the kind of wounds which they inflict on each other. Every one
recognizes the vicious appearance which the drawing back of the ears
gives to a horse. This movement is very different from that of
listening to a sound behind. If an ill-tempered horse in a stall is
inclined to kick backwards, his ears are retracted from habit, though
he has no intention or power to bite. But when a horse throws up both
hind-legs in play, as when entering an open field, or when just touched
by the whip, he does not generally depress his ears, for he does not
then feel vicious. Guanacoes fight savagely with their teeth; and they
must do so frequently, for I found the hides of several which I shot in
Patagonia deeply scored. So do camels; and both these animals, when
savage, draw their ears closely backwards. Guanacoes, as I have
noticed, when not intending to bite, but merely to spit their offensive
saliva from a distance at an intruder, retract their ears. Even the
hippopotamus, when threatening with its widely-open enormous mouth a
comrade, draws back its small ears, just like a horse.

Now what a contrast is presented between the foregoing animals and
cattle, sheep, or goats, which never use their teeth in fighting, and
never draw back their ears when enraged! Although sheep and goats
appear such placid animals, the males often join in furious contests.
As deer form a closely related family, and as I did not know that they
ever fought with their teeth, I was much surprised at the account given
by Major Ross King of the Moose-deer in Canada. He says, when“two males
chance to meet, laying back their ears and gnashing their teeth
together, they rush at each other with appalling fury.”[433] But Mr.
Bartlett informs me that some species of deer fight savagely with their
teeth, so that the drawing back of the ears by the moose accords with
our rule. Several kinds of kangaroos, kept in the Zoological Gardens,
fight by scratching with their fore-feet and by kicking with their
hind-legs; but they never bite each other, and the keepers have never
seen them draw back their ears when angered. Rabbits fight chiefly by
kicking and scratching, but they likewise bite each other; and I have
known one to bite off half the tail of its antagonist. At the
commencement of their battles they lay back their ears, but afterwards,
as they bound over and kick each other, they keep their ears erect, or
move them much about.

Mr. Bartlett watched a wild boar quarrelling rather savagely with his
sow; and both had their mouths open and their ears drawn backwards. But
this does not appear to be a common action with domestic pigs when
quarrelling. Boars fight together by striking upwards with their tusks;
and Mr. Bartlett doubts whether they then draw back their ears.
Elephants, which in like manner fight with their tusks, do not retract
their ears, but, on the contrary, erect them when rushing at each other
or at an enemy.

The rhinoceroses in the Zoological Gardens fight with their nasal
horns, and have never been seen to attempt biting each other except in
play; and the keepers are convinced that they do not draw back their
ears, like horses and dogs, when feeling savage. The following
statement, therefore, by Sir S. Baker[434] is inexplicable, namely,
that a rhinoceros, which he shot in North Africa, “had no ears; they
had been bitten off close to the head by another of the same species
while fighting; and this mutilation is by no means uncommon.”

Lastly, with respect to monkeys. Some kinds, which have moveable ears,
and which fight with their teeth—for instance the _Cereopithecus
ruber_—draw back their ears when irritated just like dogs; and they
then have a very spiteful appearance. Other kinds, as the _Inuus
ecaudatus_, apparently do not thus act. Again, other kinds—and this is
a great anomaly in comparison with most other animals—retract their
ears, show their teeth, and jabber, when they are pleased by being
caressed. I observed this in two or three species of Macacus, and in
the _Cynopithecus niger_. This expression, owing to our familiarity
with dogs, would never be recognized as one of joy or pleasure by those
unacquainted with monkeys.

_Erection of the Ears_.—This movement requires hardly any notice. All
animals which have the power of freely moving their ears, when they are
startled, or when they closely observe any object, direct their ears to
the point towards which they are looking, in order to hear any sound
from this quarter. At the same time they generally raise their heads,
as all their organs of sense are there situated, and some of the
smaller animals rise on their hind-legs. Even those kinds which squat
on the ground or instantly flee away to avoid danger, generally act
momentarily in this manner, in order to ascertain the source and nature
of the danger. The head being raised, with erected ears and eyes
directed forwards, gives an unmistakable expression of close attention
to any animal.


The Dog, various expressive movements of—Cats—Horses—Ruminants—Monkeys,
their expression of joy and affection—Of pain—Anger—Astonishment and

_The Dog_.—I have already described (figs. 5 and 7) the appearance of a
dog approaching another dog with hostile intentions, namely, with
erected ears, eyes intently directed forwards, hair on the neck and
back bristling, gait remarkably stiff, with the tail upright and rigid.
So familiar is this appearance to us, that an angry man is sometimes
said “to have his back up.” Of the above points, the stiff gait and
upright tail alone require further discussion. Sir C. Bell remarks[501]
that, when a tiger or wolf is struck by its keeper and is suddenly
roused to ferocity, every muscle is in tension, and the limbs are in an
attitude of strained exertion, prepared to spring. This tension of the
muscles and consequent stiff gait may be accounted for on the principle
of associated habit, for anger has continually led to fierce struggles,
and consequently to all the muscles of the body having been violently
exerted. There is also reason to suspect that the muscular system
requires some short preparation, or some degree of innervation, before
being brought into strong action. My own sensations lead me to this
inference; but I cannot discover that it is a conclusion admitted by
physiologists. Sir J. Paget, however, informs me that when muscles are
suddenly contracted with the greatest force, without any preparation,
they are liable to be ruptured, as when a man slips unexpectedly; but
that this rarely occurs when an action, however violent, is
deliberately performed.

With respect to the upright position of the tail, it seems to depend
(but whether this is really the case I know not) on the elevator
muscles being more powerful than the depressors, so that when all the
muscles of the hinder part of the body are in a state of tension, the
tail is raised. A dog in cheerful spirits, and trotting before his
master with high, elastic steps, generally carries his tail aloft,
though it is not held nearly so stiffly as when he is angered. A horse
when first turned out into an open field, may be seen to trot with long
elastic strides, the head and tail being held high aloft. Even cows
when they frisk about from pleasure, throw up their tails in a
ridiculous fashion. So it is with various animals in the Zoological
Gardens. The position of the tail, however, in certain cases, is
determined by special circumstances; thus as soon as a horse breaks
into a gallop, at full speed, he always lowers his tail, so that as
little resistance as possible may be offered to the air.

When a dog is on the point of springing on his antagonist, he utters a
savage growl; the ears are pressed closely backwards, and the upper lip
(fig. 14) is retracted out of the way of his teeth, especially of his
canines. These movements may be observed with dogs and puppies in their
play. But if a dog gets really savage in his play, his expression
immediately changes. This, however, is simply due to the lips and ears
being drawn back with much greater energy. If a dog only snarls at
another, the lip is generally retracted on one side alone, namely
towards his enemy.

Head of Snarling Dog. Fig 14

{illust. caption = FIG. 14.—Head of snarling Dog. From life, by Mr.

The movements of a dog whilst exhibiting affection towards his master
were described (figs. 6 and 8) in our second chapter. These consist in
the head and whole body being lowered and thrown into flexuous
movements, with the tail extended and wagged from side to side. The
ears fall down and are drawn somewhat backwards, which causes the
eyelids to be elongated, and alters the whole appearance of the face.
The lips hang loosely, and the hair remains smooth. All these movements
or gestures are explicable, as I believe, from their standing in
complete antithesis to those naturally assumed by a savage dog under a
directly opposite state of mind. When a man merely speaks to, or just
notices, his dog, we see the last vestige of these movements in a
slight wag of the tail, without any other movement of the body, and
without even the ears being lowered. Dogs also exhibit their affection
by desiring to rub against their masters, and to be rubbed or patted by

Gratiolet explains the above gestures of affection in the following
manner: and the reader can judge whether the explanation appears
satisfactory. Speaking of animals in general, including the dog, he
says,[502] “C’est toujours la partie la plus sensible de leurs corps
qui recherche les caresses ou les donne. Lorsque toute la longueur des
flancs et du corps est sensible, l’animal serpente et rampe sous les
caresses; et ces ondulations se propageant le long des muscles
analogues des segments jusqu’aux extrémités de la colonne vertébrale,
la queue se ploie et s’agite.” Further on, he adds, that dogs, when
feeling affectionate, lower their ears in order to exclude all sounds,
so that their whole attention may be concentrated on the caresses of
their master!

Dogs have another and striking way of exhibiting their affection,
namely, by licking the hands or faces of their masters. They sometimes
lick other dogs, and then it is always their chops. I have also seen
dogs licking cats with whom they were friends. This habit probably
originated in the females carefully licking their puppies—the dearest
object of their love—for the sake of cleansing them. They also often
give their puppies, after a short absence, a few cursory licks,
apparently from affection. Thus the habit will have become associated
with the emotion of love, however it may afterwards be aroused. It is
now so firmly inherited or innate, that it is transmitted equally to
both sexes. A female terrier of mine lately had her puppies destroyed,
and though at all times a very affectionate creature, I was much struck
with the manner in which she then tried to satisfy her instinctive
maternal love by expending it on me; and her desire to lick my hands
rose to an insatiable passion.

The same principle probably explains why dogs, when feeling
affectionate, like rubbing against their masters and being rubbed or
patted by them, for from the nursing of their puppies, contact with a
beloved object has become firmly associated in their minds with the
emotion of love.

The feeling of affection of a dog towards his master is combined with a
strong sense of submission, which is akin to fear. Hence dogs not only
lower their bodies and crouch a little as they approach their masters,
but sometimes throw themselves on the ground with their bellies
upwards. This is a movement as completely opposite as is possible to
any show of resistance. I formerly possessed a large dog who was not at
all afraid to fight with other dogs; but a wolf-like shepherd-dog in
the neighbourhood, though not ferocious and not so powerful as my dog,
had a strange influence over him. When they met on the road, my dog
used to run to meet him, with his tail partly tucked in between his
legs and hair not erected; and then he would throw himself on the
ground, belly upwards. By this action he seemed to say more plainly
than by words, “Behold, I am your slave.”

A pleasurable and excited state of mind, associated with affection, is
exhibited by some dogs in a very peculiar manner, namely, by grinning.
This was noticed long ago by Somerville, who says,

“And with a courtly grin, the fawning hound
Salutes thee cow’ring, his wide op’ning nose
Upward he curls, and his large sloe-back eyes
Melt in soft blandishments, and humble joy.”
_The Chase_, book i.

Sir W. Scott’s famous Scotch greyhound, Maida, had this habit, and it
is common with terriers. I have also seen it in a Spitz and in a
sheep-dog. Mr. Riviere, who has particularly attended to this
expression, informs me that it is rarely displayed in a perfect manner,
but is quite common in a lesser degree. The upper lip during the act of
grinning is retracted, as in snarling, so that the canines are exposed,
and the ears are drawn backwards; but the general appearance of the
animal clearly shows that anger is not felt. Sir C. Bell[503] remarks
“Dogs, in their expression of fondness, have a slight eversion of the
lips, and grin and sniff amidst their gambols, in a way that resembles
laughter.” Some persons speak of the grin as a smile, but if it had
been really a smile, we should see a similar, though more pronounced,
movement of the lips and ears, when dogs utter their bark of joy; but
this is not the case, although a bark of joy often follows a grin. On
the other hand, dogs, when playing with their comrades or masters,
almost always pretend to bite each other; and they then retract, though
not energetically, their lips and ears. Hence I suspect that there is a
tendency in some dogs, whenever they feel lively pleasure combined with
affection, to act through habit and association on the same muscles, as
in playfully biting each other, or their masters’ hands.

I have described, in the second chapter, the gait and appearance of a
dog when cheerful, and the marked antithesis presented by the same
animal when dejected and disappointed, with his head, ears, body, tail,
and chops drooping, and eyes dull. Under the expectation of any great
pleasure, dogs bound and jump about in an extravagant manner, and bark
for joy. The tendency to bark under this state of mind is inherited, or
runs in the breed: greyhounds rarely bark, whilst the Spitz-dog barks
so incessantly on starting for a walk with his master that he becomes a

An agony of pain is expressed by dogs in nearly the same way as by many
other animals, namely, by howling writhing, and contortions of the
whole body.

Attention is shown by the head being raised, with the ears erected, and
eyes intently directed towards the object or quarter under observation.
If it be a sound and the source is not known, the head is often turned
obliquely from side to side in a most significant manner, apparently in
order to judge with more exactness from what point the sound proceeds.
But I have seen a dog greatly surprised at a new noise, turning, his
head to one side through habit, though he clearly perceived the source
of the noise. Dogs, as formerly remarked, when their attention is in
any way aroused, whilst watching some object, or attending to some
sound, often lift up one paw (fig. 4) and keep it doubled up, as if to
make a slow and stealthy approach.

A dog under extreme terror will throw himself down, howl, and void his
excretions; but the hair, I believe, does not become erect unless some
anger is felt. I have seen a dog much terrified at a band of musicians
who were playing loudly outside the house, with every muscle of his
body trembling, with his heart palpitating so quickly that the beats
could hardly be counted, and panting for breath with widely open mouth,
in the same manner as a terrified man does. Yet this dog had not
exerted himself; he had only wandered slowly and restlessly about the
room, and the day was cold.

Even a very slight degree of fear is invariably shown by the tail being
tucked in between the legs. This tucking in of the fail is accompanied
by the ears being drawn backwards; but they are not pressed closely to
the head, as in snarling, and they are not lowered, as when a dog is
pleased or affectionate. When two young dogs chase each other in play,
the one that runs away always keeps his tail tucked inwards. So it is
when a dog, in the highest spirits, careers like a mad creature round
and round his master in circles, or in figures of eight. He then acts
as if another dog were chasing him. This curious kind of play, which
must be familiar to every one who has attended to dogs, is particularly
apt to be excited, after the animal has been a little startled or
frightened, as by his master suddenly jumping out on him in the dusk.
In this case, as well as when two young dogs are chasing each other in
play, it appears as if the one that runs away was afraid of the other
catching him by the tail; but as far as I can find out, dogs very
rarely catch each other in this manner. I asked a gentleman, who had
kept foxhounds all his life, and he applied to other experienced
sportsmen, whether they had ever seen hounds thus seize a fox; but they
never had. It appears that when a dog is chased, or when in danger of
being struck behind, or of anything falling on him, in all these cases
he wishes to withdraw as quickly as possible his whole hind-quarters,
and that from some sympathy or connection between the muscles, the tail
is then drawn closely inwards.

A similarly connected movement between the hind-quarters and the tail
may be observed in the hyaena. Mr. Bartlett informs me that when two of
these animals fight together, they are mutually conscious of the
wonderful power of each other’s jaws, and are extremely cautious. They
well know that if one of their legs were seized, the bone would
instantly be crushed into atoms; hence they approach each other
kneeling, with their legs turned as much as possible inwards, and with
their whole bodies bowed, so as not to present any salient point; the
tail at the same time being closely tucked in between the legs. In this
attitude they approach each other sideways, or even partly backwards.
So again with deer, several of the species, when savage and fighting,
tuck in their tails. When one horse in a field tries to bite the
hind-quarters of another in play, or when a rough boy strikes a donkey
from behind, the hind-quarters and the tail are drawn in, though it
does not appear as if this were done merely to save the tail from being
injured. We have also seen the reverse of these movements; for when an
animal trots with high elastic steps, the tail is almost always carried

As I have said, when a dog is chased and runs away, he keeps his ears
directed backwards but still open; and this is clearly done for the
sake of hearing the footsteps of his pursuer. From habit the ears are
often held in this same position, and the tail tucked in, when the
danger is obviously in front. I have repeatedly noticed, with a timid
terrier of mine, that when she is afraid of some object in front, the
nature of which she perfectly knows and does not need to reconnoitre,
yet she will for a long time hold her ears and tail in this position,
looking the image of discomfort. Discomfort, without any fear, is
similarly expressed: thus, one day I went out of doors, just at the
time when this same dog knew that her dinner would be brought. I did
not call her, but she wished much to accompany me, and at the same time
she wished much for her dinner; and there she stood, first looking one
way and then the other, with her tail tucked in and ears drawn back,
presenting an unmistakable appearance of perplexed discomfort.

Almost all the expressive movements now described, with the exception
of the grinning from joy, are innate or instinctive, for they are
common to all the individuals, young and old, of all the breeds. Most
of them are likewise common to the aboriginal parents of the dog,
namely the wolf and jackal; and some of them to other species of the
same group. Tamed wolves and jackals, when caressed by their masters,
jump about for joy, wag their tails, lower their ears, lick their
master’s hands, crouch down, and even throw themselves on the ground
belly upwards.[504] I have seen a rather fox-like African jackal, from
the Gaboon, depress its ears when caressed. Wolves and jackals, when
frightened, certainly tuck in their tails; and a tamed jackal has been
described as careering round his master in circles and figures of
eight, like a dog, with his tail between his legs.

It has been stated[505] that foxes, however tame, never display any of
the above expressive movements; but this is not strictly accurate. Many
years ago I observed in the Zoological Gardens, and recorded the fact
at the time, that a very tame English fox, When caressed by the keeper,
wagged its tail, depressed its ears, and then threw itself on the
ground, belly upwards. The black fox of North America likewise
depressed its ears in a slight degree. But I believe that foxes never
lick the hands of their masters, and I have been assured that when
frightened they never tuck in their tails. If the explanation which I
have given of the expression of affection in dogs be admitted, then it
would appear that animals which have never been domesticated—namely
wolves, jackals, and even foxes—have nevertheless acquired, through the
principle of antithesis, certain expressive gestures; for it is not
probable that these animals, confined in cages, should have learnt them
by imitating dogs.

_Cats_.—I have already described the actions of a cat (fig. 9), when
feeling savage and not terrified. She assumes a crouching attitude and
occasionally protrudes her fore-feet, with the claws exserted ready for
striking. The tail is extended, being curled or lashed from side to
side. The hair is not erected—at least it was not so in the few cases
observed by me. The ears are drawn closely backwards and the teeth are
shown. Low savage growls are uttered. We can understand why the
attitude assumed by a cat when preparing to fight with another cat, or
in any way greatly irritated, is so widely different from that of a dog
approaching another dog with hostile intentions; for the cat uses her
fore-feet for striking, and this renders a crouching position
convenient or necessary. She is also much more accustomed than a dog to
lie concealed and suddenly spring on her prey. No cause can be assigned
with certainty for the tail being lashed or curled from side to side.
This habit is common to many other animals—for instance, to the puma,
when prepared to spring;[506] but it is not common to dogs, or to
foxes, as I infer from Mr. St. John’s account of a fox lying in wait
and seizing a hare. We have already seen that some kinds of lizards and
various snakes, when excited, rapidly vibrate the tips of their tails.
It would appear as if, under strong excitement, there existed an
uncontrollable desire for movement of some kind, owing to nerve-force
being freely liberated from the excited sensorium; and that as the tail
is left free, and as its movement does not disturb the general position
of the body, it is curled or lashed about.

All the movements of a cat, when feeling affectionate, are in complete
antithesis to those just described. She now stands upright, with
slightly arched back, tail perpendicularly raised, and ears erected;
and she rubs her cheeks and flanks against her master or mistress. The
desire to rub something is so strong in cats under this state of mind,
that they may often be seen rubbing themselves against the legs of
chairs or tables, or against door-posts. This manner of expressing
affection probably originated through association, as in the case of
dogs, from the mother nursing and fondling her young; and perhaps from
the young themselves loving each other and playing together. Another
and very different gesture, expressive of pleasure, has already been
described, namely, the curious manner in which young and even old cats,
when pleased, alternately protrude their fore-feet, with separated
toes, as if pushing against and sucking their mother’s teats. This
habit is so far analogous to that of rubbing against something, that
both apparently are derived from actions performed during the nursing
period. Why cats should show affection by rubbing so much more than do
dogs, though the latter delight in contact with their masters, and why
cats only occasionally lick the hands of their friends, whilst dogs
always do so, I cannot say. Cats cleanse themselves by licking their
own coats more regularly than do dogs. On the other hand, their tongues
seem less well fitted for the work than the longer and more flexible
tongues of dogs.

Cat Terrified at a Dog.  Fig.15

Cats, when terrified, stand at full height, and arch their backs in a
well-known and ridiculous fashion. They spit, hiss, or growl. The hair
over the whole body, and especially on the tail, becomes erect. In the
instances observed by me the basal part of the tail was held upright,
the terminal part being thrown on one side; but sometimes the tail (see
fig. 15) is only a little raised, and is bent almost from the base to
one side. The ears are drawn back, and the teeth exposed. When two
kittens are playing together, the one often thus tries to frighten the
other. From what we have seen in former chapters, all the above points
of expression are intelligible, except the extreme arching of the back.
I am inclined to believe that, in the same manner as many birds, whilst
they ruffle their feathers, spread out their wings and tail, to make
themselves look as big as possible, so cats stand upright at their full
height, arch their backs, often raise the basal part of the tail, and
erect their hair, for the same purpose. The lynx, when attacked, is
said to arch its back, and is thus figured by Brehm. But the keepers in
the Zoological Gardens have never seen any tendency to this action in
the larger feline animals, such as tigers, lions, &c.; and these have
little cause to be afraid of any other animal.

Cats use their voices much as a means of expression, and they utter,
under various emotions and desires, at least six or seven different
sounds. The purr of satisfaction, which is made during both inspiration
and expiration, is one of the most curious. The puma, cheetah, and
ocelot likewise purr; but the tiger, when pleased, “emits a peculiar
short snuffle, accompanied by the closure of the eyelids.”[507] It is
said that the lion, jaguar, and leopard, do not purr.

_Horses_.—Horses when savage draw their ears closely back, protrude
their heads, and partially uncover their incisor teeth, ready for
biting. When inclined to kick behind, they generally, through habit,
draw back their ears; and their eyes are turned backwards in a peculiar
manner.[508] When pleased, as when some coveted food is brought to them
in the stable, they raise and draw in their heads, prick their ears,
and looking intently towards their friend, often whinny. Impatience is
expressed by pawing the ground.

The actions of a horse when much startled are highly expressive. One
day my horse was much frightened at a drilling machine, covered by a
tarpaulin, and lying on an open field. He raised his head so high, that
his neck became almost perpendicular; and this he did from habit, for
the machine lay on a slope below, and could not have been seen with
more distinctness through the raising of the head; nor if any sound had
proceeded from it, could the sound have been more distinctly heard. His
eyes and ears were directed intently forwards; and I could feel through
the saddle the palpitations of his heart. With red dilated nostrils he
snorted violently, and whirling round, would have dashed off at full
speed, had I not prevented him. The distension of the nostrils is not
for the sake of scenting the source of danger, for when a horse smells
carefully at any object and is not alarmed, he does not dilate his
nostrils. Owing to the presence of a valve in the throat, a horse when
panting does not breathe through his open mouth, but through his
nostrils; and these consequently have become endowed with great powers
of expansion. This expansion of the nostrils, as well as the snorting,
and the palpitations of the heart, are actions which have become firmly
associated during a long series of generations with the emotion of
terror; for terror has habitually led the horse to the most violent
exertion in dashing away at full speed from the cause of danger.

_Ruminants_.—Cattle and sheep are remarkable from displaying in so
slight a degree their emotions or sensations, excepting that of extreme
pain. A bull when enraged exhibits his rage only by the manner in which
he holds his lowered head, with distended nostrils, and by bellowing.
He also often paws the ground; but this pawing seems quite different
from that of an impatient horse, for when the soil is loose, he throws
up clouds of dust. I believe that bulls act in this manner when
irritated by flies, for the sake of driving them away. The wilder
breeds of sheep and the chamois when startled stamp on the ground, and
whistle through their noses; and this serves as a danger-signal to
their comrades. The musk-ox of the Arctic regions, when encountered,
likewise stamps on the ground.[509] How this stamping action arose I
cannot conjecture; for from inquiries which I have made it does not
appear that any of these animals fight with their fore-legs.

Some species of deer, when savage, display far more expression than do
cattle, sheep, or goats, for, as has already been stated, they draw
back their ears, grind their teeth, erect their hair, squeal, stamp on
the ground, and brandish their horns. One day in the Zoological
Gardens, the Formosan deer (_Cervus pseudaxis_) approached me in a
curious attitude, with his muzzle raised high up, so that the horns
were pressed back on his neck; the head being held rather obliquely.
From the expression of his eye I felt sure that he was savage; he
approached slowly, and as soon as he came close to the iron bars, he
did not lower his head to butt at me, but suddenly bent it inwards, and
struck his horns with great force against the railings. Mr. Bartlett
informs me that some other species of deer place themselves in the same
attitude when enraged.

_Monkeys_.—The various species and genera of monkeys express their
feelings in many different ways; and this fact is interesting, as in
some degree bearing on the question, whether the so-called races of man
should be ranked as distinct species or varieties; for, as we shall see
in the following chapters, the different races of man express their
emotions and sensations with remarkable uniformity throughout the
world. Some of the expressive actions of monkeys are interesting in
another way, namely from being closely analogous to those of man. As I
have had no opportunity of observing any one species of the group under
all circumstances, my miscellaneous remarks will be best arranged under
different states of the mind.

_Pleasure, joy, affection_—It is not possible to distinguish in
monkeys, at least without more experience than I have had, the
expression of pleasure or joy from that of affection. Young chimpanzees
make a kind of barking noise, when pleased by the return of any one to
whom they are attached. When this noise, which the keepers call a
laugh, is uttered, the lips are protruded; but so they are under
various other emotions. Nevertheless I could perceive that when they
were pleased the form of the lips differed a little from that assumed
when they were angered. If a young chimpanzee be tickled—and the
armpits are particularly sensitive to tickling, as in the case of our
children,—a more decided chuckling or laughing sound is uttered; though
the laughter is sometimes noiseless. The corners of the mouth are then
drawn backwards; and this sometimes causes the lower eyelids to be
slightly wrinkled. But this wrinkling, which is so characteristic of
our own laughter, is more plainly seen in some other monkeys. The teeth
in the upper jaw in the chimpanzee are not exposed when they utter
their laughing noise, in which respect they differ from us. But their
eyes sparkle and grow brighter, as Mr. W. L. Martin,[510] who has
particularly attended to their expression, states.

Young Orangs, when tickled, likewise grin and make a chuckling sound;
and Mr. Martin says that their eyes grow brighter. As soon as their
laughter ceases, an expression may be detected passing over their
faces, which, as Mr. Wallace remarked to me, may be called a smile. I
have also noticed something of the same kind with the chimpanzee. Dr.
Duchenne—and I cannot quote a better authority—informs me that he kept
a very tame monkey in his house for a year; and when he gave it during
meal-times some choice delicacy, he observed that the corners of its
mouth were slightly raised; thus an expression of satisfaction,
partaking of the nature of an incipient smile, and resembling that
often seen on the face of main, could be plainly perceived in this

The _Cebus azaræ_,[511] when rejoiced at again seeing a beloved person,
utters a peculiar tittering (_kichernden_) sound. It also expresses
agreeable sensations, by drawing back the corners of its mouth, without
producing any sound. Rengger calls this movement laughter, but it would
be more appropriately called a smile. The form of the mouth is
different when either pain or terror is expressed, and high shrieks are
uttered. Another species of _Cebus_ in the Zoological Gardens (_C.
hypoleucus_) when pleased, makes a reiterated shrill note, and likewise
draws back the corners of its mouth, apparently through the contraction
of the same muscles as with us. So does the Barbary ape (_Inuus
ecaudatus_) to an extraordinary degree; and I observed in this monkey
that the skin of the lower eyelids then became much wrinkled. At the
same time it rapidly moved its lower jaw or lips in a spasmodic manner,
the teeth being exposed; but the noise produced was hardly more
distinct than that which we sometimes call silent laughter. Two of the
keepers affirmed that this slight sound was the animal’s laughter, and
when I expressed some doubt on this head (being at the time quite
inexperienced), they made it attack or rather threaten a hated Entellus
monkey, living in the same compartment. Instantly the whole expression
of the face of the Inuus changed; the mouth was opened much more
widely, the canine teeth were more fully exposed, and a hoarse barking
noise was uttered.

The Anubis baboon (_Cynocephalus anubis_) was first insulted and put
into a furious rage, as was easily done, by his keeper, who then made
friends with him and shook hands. As the reconciliation was effected
the baboon rapidly moved up and down his jaws and lips, and looked
pleased. When we laugh heartily, a similar movement, or quiver, may be
observed more or less distinctly in our jaws; but with man the muscles
of the chest are more particularly acted on, whilst with this baboon,
and with some other monkeys, it is the muscles of the jaws and lips
which are spasmodically affected.

Cynopithecus Niger, in a Placid Condition. Fig.16-17

I have already had occasion to remark on the curious manner in which
two or three species of Alacacus and the _Cynopithecus niger_ draw back
their ears and utter a slight jabbering noise, when they are pleased by
being caressed. With the Cynopithecus (fig. 17), the corners of the
mouth are at the same time drawn backwards and upwards, so that the
teeth are exposed. Hence this expression would never be recognized by a
stranger as one of pleasure. The crest of long hairs on the forehead is
depressed, and apparently the whole skin of the head drawn backwards.
The eyebrows are thus raised a little, and the eyes assume a staring
appearance. The lower eyelids also become slightly wrinkled; but this
wrinkling is not conspicuous, owing to the permanent transverse furrows
on the face.

_Painful emotions and sensations_.—With monkeys the expression of
slight pain, or of any painful emotion, such as grief, vexation,
jealousy, &c., is not easily distinguished from that of moderate anger;
and these states of mind readily and quickly pass into each other.
Grief, however, with some species is certainly exhibited by weeping. A
woman, who sold a monkey to the Zoological Society, believed to have
come from Borneo (_Macacus maurus_ or _M. inornatus_ of Gray), said
that it often cried; and Mr. Bartlett, as well as the keeper Mr.
Sutton, have repeatedly seen it, when grieved, or even when much
pitied, weeping so copiously that the tears rolled down its cheeks.
There is, however, something strange about this case, for two specimens
subsequently kept in the Gardens, and believed to be the same species,
have never been seen to weep, though they were carefully observed by
the keeper and myself when much distressed and loudly screaming.
Rengger states[512] that the eyes of the _Cebus azaræ_ fill with tears,
but not sufficiently to overflow, when it is prevented getting some
much desired object, or is much frightened. Humboldt also asserts that
the eyes of the _Callithrix sciureus_ “instantly fill with tears when
it is seized with fear;” but when this pretty little monkey in the
Zoological Gardens was teased, so as to cry out loudly, this did not
occur. I do not, however, wish to throw the least doubt on the accuracy
of Humboldt’s statement.

The appearance of dejection in young orangs and chimpanzees, when out
of health, is as plain and almost as pathetic as in the case of our
children. This state of mind and body is shown by their listless
movements, fallen countenances, dull eyes, and changed complexion.

_Anger_.—This emotion is often exhibited by many kinds of monkeys, and
is expressed, as Mr. Martin remarks,[513] in many different ways. “Some
species, when irritated, pout the lips, gaze with a fixed and savage
glare on their foe, and make repeated short starts as if about to
spring forward, uttering at the same time inward guttural sounds. Many
display their anger by suddenly advancing, making abrupt starts, at the
same time opening the mouth and pursing up the lips, so as to conceal
the teeth, while the eyes are daringly fixed on the enemy, as if in
savage defiance. Some again, and principally the long-tailed monkeys,
or Guenons, display their teeth, and accompany their malicious grins
with a sharp, abrupt, reiterated cry.” Mr. Sutton confirms the
statement that some species uncover their teeth when enraged, whilst
others conceal them by the protrusion of their lips; and some kinds
draw back their ears. The _Cynopithecus niger_, lately referred to,
acts in this manner, at the same time depressing the crest of hair on
its forehead, and showing its teeth; so that the movements of the
features from anger are nearly the same as those from pleasure; and the
two expressions can be distinguished only by those familiar with the

Baboons often show their passion and threaten their enemies in a very
odd manner, namely, by opening their mouths widely as in the act of
yawning. Mr. Bartlett has often seen two baboons, when first placed in
the same compartment, sitting opposite to each other and thus
alternately opening their mouths; and this action seems frequently to
end in a real yawn. Mr. Bartlett believes that both animals wish to
show to each other that they are provided with a formidable set of
teeth, as is undoubtedly the case. As I could hardly credit the reality
of this yawning gesture, Mr. Bartlett insulted an old baboon and put
him into a violent passion; and he almost immediately thus acted. Some
species of Macacus and of Cereopithecus[514] behave in the same manner.
Baboons likewise show their anger, as was observed by Brehin with those
which he kept alive in Abyssinia, in another manner, namely, by
striking the ground with one hand, “like an angry man striking the
table with his fist.” I have seen this movement with the baboons in the
Zoological Gardens; but sometimes the action seems rather to represent
the searching for a stone or other object in their beds of straw.

Mr. Sutton has often observed the face of the _Macacus rhesus_, when
much enraged, growing red. As he was mentioning this to me, another
monkey attacked a _rhesus_, and I saw its face redden as plainly as
that of a man in a violent passion. In the course of a few minutes,
after the battle, the face of this monkey recovered its natural tint.
At the same time that the face reddened, the naked posterior part of
the body, which is always red, seemed to grow still redder; but I
cannot positively assert that this was the case. When the Mandrill is
in any way excited, the brilliantly coloured, naked parts of the skin
are said to become still more vividly coloured.

With several species of baboons the ridge of the forehead projects much
over the eyes, and is studded with a few long hairs, representing our
eyebrows. These animals are always looking about them, and in order to
look upwards they raise their eyebrows. They have thus, as it would
appear, acquired the habit of frequently moving their eyebrows. However
this may be, many kinds of monkeys, especially the baboons, when
angered or in any way excited, rapidly and incessantly move their
eyebrows up and down, as well as the hairy skin of their
foreheads.[515] As we associate in the case of man the raising and
lowering of the eyebrows with definite states of the mind, the almost
incessant movement of the eyebrows by monkeys gives them a senseless
expression. I once observed a man who had a trick of continually
raising his eyebrows without any corresponding emotion, and this gave
to him a foolish appearance; so it is with some persons who keep the
corners of their mouths a little drawn backwards and upwards, as if by
an incipient smile, though at the time they are not amused or pleased.

A young orang, made jealous by her keeper attending to another monkey,
slightly uncovered her teeth, and, uttering a peevish noise like
_tish-shist_, turned her back on him. Both orangs and chimpanzees, when
a little more angered, protrude their lips greatly, and make a harsh
barking noise. A young female chimpanzee, in a violent passion,
presented a curious resemblance to a child in the same state. She
screamed loudly with widely open mouth, the lips being retracted so
that the teeth were fully exposed. She threw her arms wildly about,
sometimes clasping them over her head. She rolled on the ground,
sometimes on her back, sometimes on her belly, and bit everything
within reach. A young gibbon (_Hylobates syndactylus_) in a passion has
been described[516] as behaving in almost exactly the same manner.

The lips of young orangs and chimpanzees are protruded, sometimes to a
wonderful degree, under various circumstances. They act thus, not only
when slightly angered, sulky, or disappointed, but when alarmed at
anything—in one instance, at the sight of a turtle,[517]—and likewise
when pleased. But neither the degree of protrusion nor the shape of the
mouth is exactly the same, as I believe, in all cases; and the sounds
which are then uttered are different. The accompanying drawing
represents a chimpanzee made sulky by an orange having been offered
him, and then taken away. A similar protrusion or pouting of the lips,
though to a much slighter degree, may be seen in sulky children.

Chimpanzee Disappointed and Sulky. Fig. 18

Many years ago, in the Zoological Gardens, I placed a looking-glass on
the floor before two young orangs, who, as far as it was known, had
never before seen one. At first they gazed at their own images with the
most steady surprise, and often changed their point of view. They then
approached close and protruded their lips towards the image, as if to
kiss it, in exactly the same manner as they had previously done towards
each other, when first placed, a few days before, in the same room.
They next made all sorts of grimaces, and put themselves in various
attitudes before the mirror; they pressed and rubbed the surface; they
placed their hands at different distances behind it; looked behind it;
and finally seemed almost frightened, started a little, became cross,
and refused to look any longer.

When we try to perform some little action which is difficult and
requires precision, for instance, to thread a needle, we generally
close our lips firmly, for the sake, I presume, of not disturbing our
movements by breathing; and I noticed the same action in a young Orang.
The poor little creature was sick, and was amusing itself by trying to
kill the flies on the window-panes with its knuckles; this was
difficult as the flies buzzed about, and at each attempt the lips were
firmly compressed, and at the same time slightly protruded.

Although the countenances, and more especially the gestures, of orangs
and chimpanzees are in some respects highly expressive, I doubt whether
on the whole they are so expressive as those of some other kinds of
monkeys. This may be attributed in part to their ears being immovable,
and in part to the nakedness of their eyebrows, of which the movements
are thus rendered less conspicuous. When, however, they raise their
eyebrows their foreheads become, as with us, transversely wrinkled. In
comparison with man, their faces are inexpressive, chiefly owing to
their not frowning under any emotion of the mind—that is, as far as I
have been able to observe, and I carefully attended to this point.
Frowning, which is one of the most important of all the expressions in
man, is due to the contraction of the corrugators by which the eyebrows
are lowered and brought together, so that vertical furrows are formed
on the forehead. Both the orang and chimpanzee are said[518] to possess
this muscle, but it seems rarely brought into action, at least in a
conspicuous manner. I made my hands into a sort of cage, and placing
some tempting fruit within, allowed both a young orang and chimpanzee
to try their utmost to get it out; but although they grew rather cross,
they showed not a trace of a frown. Nor was there any frown when they
were enraged. Twice I took two chimpanzees from their rather dark room
suddenly into bright sunshine, which would certainly have caused us to
frown; they blinked and winked their eyes, but only once did I see a
very slight frown. On another occasion, I tickled the nose of a
chimpanzee with a straw, and as it crumpled up its face, slight
vertical furrows appeared between the eyebrows. I have never seen a
frown on the forehead of the orang.

The gorilla, when enraged, is described as erecting its crest of hair,
throwing down its under lip, dilating its nostrils, and uttering
terrific yells. Messrs. Savage and Wyman[519] state that the scalp can
be freely moved backwards and forwards, and that when the animal is
excited it is strongly contracted; but I presume that they mean by this
latter expression that the scalp is lowered; for they likewise speak of
the young chimpanzee, when crying out, as having the eyebrows strongly
contracted. The great power of movement in the scalp of the gorilla, of
many baboons and other monkeys, deserves notice in relation to the
power possessed by some few men, either through reversion or
persistence, of voluntarily moving their scalps.[520]

_Astonishment, Terror_—A living fresh-water turtle was placed at my
request in the same compartment in the Zoological Gardens with many
monkeys; and they showed unbounded astonishment, as well as some fear.
This was displayed by their remaining motionless, staring intently with
widely opened eyes, their eyebrows being often moved up and down. Their
faces seemed somewhat lengthened. They occasionally raised themselves
on their hind-legs to get abetter view. They often retreated a few
feet, and then turning their heads over one shoulder, again stared
intently. It was curious to observe how much less afraid they were of
the turtle than of a living snake which I had formerly placed in their
compartment;[521] for in the course of a few minutes some of the
monkeys ventured to approach and touch the turtle. On the other hand,
some of the larger baboons were greatly terrified, and grinned as if on
the point of screaming out. When I showed a little dressed-up doll to
the _Cynopithecus niger_, it stood motionless, stared intently with
widely opened eyes, and advanced its ears a little forwards. But when
the turtle was placed in its compartment, this monkey also moved its
lips in an odd, rapid, jabbering manner, which the keeper declared was
meant to conciliate or please the turtle.

I was never able clearly to perceive that the eyebrows of astonished
monkeys were kept permanently raised, though they were frequently moved
up and down. Attention, which precedes astonishment, is expressed by
man by a slight raising of the eyebrows; and Dr. Duchenne informs me
that when he gave to the monkey formerly mentioned some quite new
article of food, it elevated its eyebrows a little, thus assuming an
appearance of close attention. It then took the food in its fingers,
and, with lowered or rectilinear eyebrows, scratched, smelt, and
examined it,—an expression of reflection being thus exhibited.
Sometimes it would throw back its head a little, and again with
suddenly raised eyebrows re-examine and finally taste the food.

In no case did any monkey keep its mouth open when it was astonished.
Mr. Sutton observed for me a young orang and chimpanzee during a
considerable length of time; and however much they were astonished, or
whilst listening intently to some strange sound, they did not keep
their mouths open. This fact is surprising, as with mankind hardly any
expression is more general than a widely open mouth under the sense of
astonishment. As far as I have been able to observe, monkeys breathe
more freely through their nostrils than men do; and this may account
for their not opening their mouths when they are astonished; for, as we
shall see in a future chapter, man apparently acts in this manner when
startled, at first for the sake of quickly drawing a full inspiration,
and afterwards for the sake of breathing as quietly as possible.

Terror is expressed by many kinds of monkeys by the utterance of shrill
screams; the lips being drawn back, so that the teeth are exposed. The
hair becomes erect, especially when some anger is likewise felt. Mr.
Sutton has distinctly seen the face of the _Macacus rhesus_ grow pale
from fear. Monkeys also tremble from fear; and sometimes they void
their excretions. I have seen one which, when caught, almost fainted
from an excess of terror.

Sufficient facts have now been given with respect to the expressions of
various animals. It is impossible to agree with Sir C. Bell when he
says[522] that “the faces of animals seem chiefly capable of expressing
rage and fear;” and again, when he says that all their expressions “may
be referred, more or less plainly, to their acts of volition or
necessary instincts.” He who will look at a dog preparing to attack
another dog or a man, and at the same animal when caressing his master,
or will watch the countenance of a monkey when insulted, and when
fondled by his keeper, will be forced to admit that the movements of
their features and their gestures are almost as expressive as those of
man. Although no explanation can be given of some of the expressions in
the lower animals, the greater number are explicable in accordance with
the three principles given at the commencement of the first chapter.


The screaming and weeping of infants—Forms of features—Age at which
weeping commences—The effects of habitual restraint on
weeping—Sobbing—Cause of the contraction of the muscles round the eyes
during screaming—Cause of the secretion of tears.

In this and the following chapters the expressions exhibited by Man
under various states of the mind will be described and explained, as
far as lies in my power. My observations will be arranged according to
the order which I have found the most convenient; and this will
generally lead to opposite emotions and sensations succeeding each

_Suffering of the body and mind: weeping_.—I have already described in
sufficient detail, in the third chapter, the signs of extreme pain, as
shown by screams or groans, with the writhing of the whole body and the
teeth clenched or ground together. These signs are often accompanied or
followed by profuse sweating, pallor, trembling, utter prostration, or
faintness. No suffering is greater than that from extreme fear or
horror, but here a distinct emotion comes into play, and will be
elsewhere considered. Prolonged suffering, especially of the mind,
passes into low spirits, grief, dejection, and despair, and these
states will be the subject of the following chapter. Here I shall
almost confine myself to weeping or crying, more especially in

Infants, when suffering even slight pain, moderate hunger, or
discomfort, utter violent and prolonged screams. Whilst thus screaming
their eyes are firmly closed, so that the skin round them is wrinkled,
and the forehead contracted into a frown. The mouth is widely opened
with the lips retracted in a peculiar manner, which causes it to assume
a squarish form; the gums or teeth being more or less exposed. The
breath is inhaled almost spasmodically. It is easy to observe infants
whilst screaming; but I have found photographs made by the
instantaneous process the best means for observation, as allowing more
deliberation. I have collected twelve, most of them made purposely for
me; and they all exhibit the same general characteristics. I have,
therefore, had six of them[601] (Plate I.) reproduced by the heliotype

Screaming Infants. Plate I.

The firm closing of the eyelids and consequent compression of the
eyeball,—and this is a most important element in various
expressions,—serves to protect the eyes from becoming too much gorged
with blood, as will presently be explained in detail. With respect to
the order in which the several muscles contract in firmly compressing
the eyes, I am indebted to Dr. Langstaff, of Southampton, for some
observations, which I have since repeated. The best plan for observing
the order is to make a person first raise his eyebrows, and this
produces transverse wrinkles across the forehead; and then very
gradually to contract all the muscles round the elves with as much
force as possible. The reader who is unacquainted with the anatomy of
the face, ought to refer to p. 24, and look at the woodcuts 1 to 3. The
corrugators of the brow (_corrugator supercilii_) seem to be the first
muscles to contract; and these draw the eyebrows downwards and inwards
towards the base of the nose, causing vertical furrows, that is a
frown, to appear between the eyebrows; at the same time they cause the
disappearance of the transverse wrinkles across the forehead. The
orbicular muscles contract almost simultaneously with the corrugators,
and produce wrinkles all round the eyes; they appear, however, to be
enabled to contract with greater force, as soon as the contraction of
the corrugators has given them some support. Lastly, the pyramidal
muscles of the nose contract; and these draw the eyebrows and the skin
of the forehead still lower down, producing short transverse wrinkles
across the base of the nose.[602] For the sake of brevity these muscles
will generally be spoken of as the orbiculars, or as those surrounding
the eyes.

When these muscles are strongly contracted, those running to the upper
lip[603] likewise contract and raise the upper lip. This might have
been expected from the manner in which at least one of them, the
_malaris_, is connected with the orbiculars. Any one who will gradually
contract the muscles round his eyes, will feel, as he increases the
force, that his upper lip and the wings of his nose (which are partly
acted on by one of the same muscles) are almost always a little drawn
up. If he keeps his mouth firmly shut whilst contracting the muscles
round the eyes, and then suddenly relaxes his lips, he will feel that
the pressure on his eyes immediately increases. So again when a person
on a bright, glaring day wishes to look at a distant object, but is
compelled partially to close his eyelids, the upper lip may almost
always be observed to be somewhat raised. The mouths of some very
short-sighted persons, who are forced habitually to reduce the aperture
of their eyes, wear from this same reason a grinning expression.

The raising of the upper lip draws upwards the flesh of the upper parts
of the cheeks, and produces a strongly marked fold on each cheek,—the
naso-labial fold,—which runs from near the wings of the nostrils to the
corners of the mouth and below them. This fold or furrow may be seen in
all the photographs, and is very characteristic of the expression of a
crying child; though a nearly similar fold is produced in the act of
laughing or smiling.[604]

As the upper lip is much drawn up during the act of screaming, in the
manner just explained, the depressor muscles of the angles of the mouth
(see K in woodcuts 1 and 2) are strongly contracted in order to keep
the mouth widely open, so that a full volume of sound may be poured
forth. The action of these opposed muscles, above and below, tends to
give to the mouth an oblong, almost squarish outline, as may be seen in
the accompanying photographs. An excellent observer,[605] in describing
a baby crying whilst being fed, says, “it made its mouth like a square,
and let the porridge run out at all four corners.” I believe, but we
shall return to this point in a future chapter, that the depressor
muscles of the angles of the mouth are less under the separate control
of the will than the adjoining muscles; so that if a young child is
only doubtfully inclined to cry, this muscle is generally the first to
contract, and is the last to cease contracting. When older children
commence crying, the muscles which run to the upper lip are often the
first to contract; and this may perhaps be due to older children not
having so strong a tendency to scream loudly, and consequently to keep
their mouths widely open; so that the above-named depressor muscles are
not brought into such strong action.

With one of my own infants, from his eighth day and for some time
afterwards, I often observed that the first sign of a screaming-fit,
when it could be observed coming on gradually, was a little frown,
owing to the contraction of the corrugators of the brows; the
capillaries of the naked head and face becoming at the same time
reddened with blood. As soon as the screaming-fit actually began, all
the muscles round the eyes were strongly contracted, and the mouth
widely opened in the manner above described; so that at this early
period the features assumed the same form as at a more advanced age.

Dr. Piderit[606] lays great stress on the contraction of certain
muscles which draw down the nose and narrow the nostrils, as eminently
characteristic of a crying expression. The _depressores anguli oris_,
as we have just seen, are usually contracted at the same time, and they
indirectly tend, according to Dr. Duchenne, to act in this same manner
on the nose. With children having bad colds a similar pinched
appearance of the nose may be noticed, which is at least partly due, as
remarked to me by Dr. Langstaff, to their constant snuffling, and the
consequent pressure of the atmosphere on the two sides. The purpose of
this contraction of the nostrils by children having bad colds, or
whilst crying, seems to be to check the downward flow of the mucus and
tears, and to prevent these fluids spreading over the upper lip.

After a prolonged and severe screaming-fit, the scalp, face, and eyes
are reddened, owing to the return of the blood from the head having
been impeded by the violent expiratory efforts; but the redness of the
stimulated eyes is chiefly due to the copious effusion of tears. The
various muscles of the face which have been strongly contracted, still
twitch a little, and the upper lip is still slightly drawn up or
everted,[607] with the corners of the mouth still a little drawn
downwards. I have myself felt, and have observed in other grown-up
persons, that when tears are restrained with difficulty, as in reading
a pathetic story, it is almost impossible to prevent the various
muscles. which with young children are brought into strong action
during their screaming-fits, from slightly twitching or trembling.

Infants whilst young do not shed tears or weep, as is well known to
nurses and medical men. This circumstance is not exclusively due to the
lacrymal glands being as yet incapable of secreting tears. I first
noticed this fact from having accidentally brushed with the cuff of my
coat the open eye of one of my infants, when seventy-seven days old,
causing this eye to water freely; and though the child screamed
violently, the other eye remained dry, or was only slightly suffused
with tears. A similar slight effusion occurred ten days previously in
both eyes during a screaming-fit. The tears did not run over the
eyelids and roll down the cheeks of this child, whilst screaming badly,
when 122 days old. This first happened 17 days later, at the age of 139
days. A few other children have been observed for me, and the period of
free weeping appears to be very variable. In one case, the eyes became
slightly suffused at the age of only 20 days; in another, at 62 days.
With two other children, the tears did NOT run down the face at the
ages of 84 and 110 days; but in a third child they did run down at the
age of 104 days. In one instance, as I was positively assured, tears
ran down at the unusually early age of 42 days. It would appear as if
the lacrymal glands required some practice in the individual before
they are easily excited into action, in somewhat the same manner as
various inherited consensual movements and tastes require some exercise
before they are fixed and perfected. This is all the more likely with a
habit like weeping, which must have been acquired since the period when
man branched off from the common progenitor of the genus Homo and of
the non-weeping anthropomorphous apes.

The fact of tears not being shed at a very early age from pain or any
mental emotion is remarkable, as, later in life, no expression is more
general or more strongly marked than weeping. When the habit has once
been acquired by an infant, it expresses in the clearest manner
suffering of all kinds, both bodily pain and mental distress, even
though accompanied by other emotions, such as fear or rage. The
character of the crying, however, changes at a very early age, as I
noticed in my own infants,—the passionate cry differing from that of
grief. A lady informs me that her child, nine months old, when in a
passion screams loudly, but does not weep; tears, however, are shed
when she is punished by her chair being turned with its back to the
table. This difference may perhaps be attributed to weeping being
restrained, as we shall immediately see, at a more advanced age, under
most circumstances excepting grief; and to the influence of such
restraint being transmitted to an earlier period of life, than that at
which it was first practised.

With adults, especially of the male sex, weeping soon ceases to be
caused by, or to express, bodily pain. This may be accounted for by its
being thought weak and unmanly by men, both of civilized and barbarous
races, to exhibit bodily pain by any outward sign. With this exception,
savages weep copiously from very slight causes, of which fact Sir J.
Lubbock[608] has collected instances. A New Zealand chief “cried like a
child because the sailors spoilt his favourite cloak by powdering it
with flour.” I saw in Tierra del Fuego a native who had lately lost a
brother, and who alternately cried with hysterical violence, and
laughed heartily at anything which amused him. With the civilized
nations of Europe there is also much difference in the frequency of
weeping. Englishmen rarely cry, except under the pressure of the
acutest grief; whereas in some parts of the Continent the men shed
tears much more readily and freely.

The insane notoriously give way to all their emotions with little or no
restraint; and I am informed by Dr. J. Crichton Browne, that nothing is
more characteristic of simple melancholia, even in the male sex, than a
tendency to weep on the slightest occasions, or from no cause. They
also weep disproportionately on the occurrence of any real cause of
grief. The length of time during which some patients weep is
astonishing, as well as the amount of tears which they shed. One
melancholic girl wept for a whole day, and afterwards confessed to Dr.
Browne, that it was because she remembered that she had once shaved off
her eyebrows to promote their growth. Many patients in the asylum sit
for a long time rocking themselves backwards and forwards; “and if
spoken to, they stop their movements, purse up their eyes, depress the
corners of the mouth, and burst out crying.” In some of these cases,
the being spoken to or kindly greeted appears to suggest some fanciful
and sorrowful notion; but in other cases an effort of any kind excites
weeping, independently of any sorrowful idea. Patients suffering from
acute mania likewise have paroxysms of violent crying or blubbering, in
the midst of their incoherent ravings. We must not, however, lay too
much stress on the copious shedding of tears by the insane, as being
due to the lack of all restraint; for certain brain-diseases, as
hemiplegia, brain-wasting, and senile decay, have a special tendency to
induce weeping. Weeping is common in the insane, even after a complete
state of fatuity has been reached and the power of speech lost. Persons
born idiotic likewise weep;[609] but it is said that this is not the
case with cretins.

Weeping seems to be the primary and natural expression, as we see in
children, of suffering of any kind, whether bodily pain short of
extreme agony, or mental distress. But the foregoing facts and common
experience show us that a frequently repeated effort to restrain
weeping, in association with certain states of the mind, does much in
checking the habit. On the other hand, it appears that the power of
weeping can be increased through habit; thus the Rev. R. Taylor,[610]
who long resided in New Zealand, asserts that the women can voluntarily
shed tears in abundance; they meet for this purpose to mourn for the
dead, and they take pride in crying “in the most affecting manner.”

A single effort of repression brought to bear on the lacrymal glands
does little, and indeed seems often to lead to an opposite result. An
old and experienced physician told me that he had always found that the
only means to check the occasional bitter weeping of ladies who
consulted him, and who themselves wished to desist, was earnestly to
beg them not to try, and to assure them that nothing would relieve them
so much as prolonged and copious crying.

The screaming of infants consists of prolonged expirations, with short
and rapid, almost spasmodic inspirations, followed at a somewhat more
advanced age by sobbing. According to Gratiolet,[611] the glottis is
chiefly affected during the act of sobbing. This sound is heard “at the
moment when the inspiration conquers the resistance of the glottis, and
the air rushes into the chest.” But the whole act of respiration is
likewise spasmodic and violent. The shoulders are at the same time
generally raised, as by this movement respiration is rendered easier.
With one of my infants, when seventy-seven days old, the inspirations
were so rapid and strong that they approached in character to sobbing;
when 138 days old I first noticed distinct sobbing, which subsequently
followed every bad crying-fit. The respiratory movements are partly
voluntary and partly involuntary, and I apprehend that sobbing is at
least in part due to children having some power to command after early
infancy their vocal organs and to stop their screams, but from having
less power over their respiratory muscles, these continue for a time to
act in an involuntary or spasmodic manner, after having been brought
into violent action. Sobbing seems to be peculiar to the human species;
for the keepers in the Zoological Gardens assure me that they have
never heard a sob from any kind of monkey; though monkeys often scream
loudly whilst being chased and caught, and then pant for a long time.
We thus see that there is a close analogy between sobbing and the free
shedding of tears; for with children, sobbing does not commence during
early infancy, but afterwards comes on rather suddenly and then follows
every bad crying-fit, until the habit is checked with advancing years.

_On the cause of the contraction of the muscles round the eyes during
screaming_.—We have seen that infants and young children, whilst
screaming, invariably close their eyes firmly, by the contraction of
the surrounding muscles, so that the skin becomes wrinkled all around.
With older children, and even with adults, whenever there is violent
and unrestrained crying, a tendency to the contraction of these same
muscles may be observed; though this is often checked in order not to
interfere with vision.

Sir C. Bell explains[612] this action in the following manner:—“During
every violent act of expiration, whether in hearty laughter, weeping,
coughing, or sneezing, the eyeball is firmly compressed by the fibres
of the orbicularis; and this is a provision for supporting and
defending the vascular system of the interior of the eye from a
retrograde impulse communicated to the blood in the veins at that time.
When we contract the chest and expel the air, there is a retardation of
the blood in the veins of the neck and head; and in the more powerful
acts of expulsion, the blood not only distends the vessels, but is even
regurgitated into the minute branches. Were the eye not properly
compressed at that time, and a resistance given to the shock,
irreparable injury might be inflicted on the delicate textures of the
interior of the eye.” He further adds, “If we separate the eyelids of a
child to examine the eye, while it cries and struggles with passion, by
taking off the natural support to the vascular system of the eye, and
means of guarding it against the rush of blood then occurring, the
conjunctiva becomes suddenly filled with blood, and the eyelids

Not only are the muscles round the eyes strongly contracted, as Sir C.
Bell states and as I have often observed, during screaming, loud
laughter, coughing, and sneezing, but during several other analogous
actions. A man contracts these muscles when he violently blows his
nose. I asked one of my boys to shout as loudly as he possibly could,
and as soon as he began, he firmly contracted his orbicular muscles; I
observed this repeatedly, and on asking him why he had every time so
firmly closed his eyes, I found that he was quite unaware of the fact:
he had acted instinctively or unconsciously.

It is not necessary, in order to lead to the contraction of these
muscles, that air should actually be expelled from the chest; it
suffices that the muscles of the chest and abdomen should contract with
great force, whilst by the closure of the glottis no air escapes. In
violent vomiting or retching the diaphragm is made to descend by the
chest being filled with air; it is then held in this position by the
closure of the glottis, “as well as by the contraction of its own
fibres.”[613] The abdominal muscles now contract strongly upon the
stomach, its proper muscles likewise contracting, and the contents are
thus ejected. During each effort of vomiting “the head becomes greatly
congested, so that the features are red and swollen, and the large
veins of the face and temples visibly dilated.” At the same time, as I
know from observation, the muscles round the eyes are strongly
contracted. This is likewise the case when the abdominal muscles act
downwards with unusual force in expelling the contents of the
intestinal canal.

The greatest exertion of the muscles of the body, if those of the chest
are not brought into strong action in expelling or compressing the air
within the lungs, does not lead to the contraction of the muscles round
the eyes. I have observed my sons using great force in gymnastic
exercises, as in repeatedly raising their suspended bodies by their
arms alone, and in lifting heavy weights from the ground, but there was
hardly any trace of contraction in the muscles round the eyes.

As the contraction of these muscles for the protection of the eyes
during violent expiration is indirectly, as we shall hereafter see, a
fundamental element in several of our most important expressions, I was
extremely anxious to ascertain how far Sir C. Bell’s view could be
substantiated. Professor Donders, of Utrecht,[614] well known as one of
the highest authorities in Europe on vision and on the structure of the
eye, has most kindly undertaken for me this investigation with the aid
of the many ingenious mechanisms of modern science, and has published
the results.[615] He shows that during violent expiration the external,
the intra-ocular, and the retro-ocular vessels of the eye are all
affected in two ways, namely by the increased pressure of the blood in
the arteries, and by the return of the blood in the veins being
impeded. It is, therefore, certain that both the arteries and the veins
of the eye are more or less distended during violent expiration. The
evidence in detail may be found in Professor Donders’ valuable memoir.
We see the effects on the veins of the head, in their prominence, and
in the purple colour of the face of a man who coughs violently from
being half choked. I may mention, on the same authority, that the whole
eye certainly advances a little during each violent expiration. This is
due to the dilatation of the retro-ocular vessels, and might have been
expected from the intimate connection of the eye and brain; the brain
being known to rise and fall with each respiration, when a portion of
the skull has been removed; and as may be seen along the unclosed
sutures of infants’ heads. This also, I presume, is the reason that the
eyes of a strangled man appear as if they were starting from their

With respect to the protection of the eye during violent expiratory
efforts by the pressure of the eyelids, Professor Donders concludes
from his various observations that this action certainly limits or
entirely removes the dilatation of the vessels.[616] At such times, he
adds, we not unfrequently see the hand involuntarily laid upon the
eyelids, as if the better to support and defend the eyeball.

Nevertheless much evidence cannot at present be advanced to prove that
the eye actually suffers injury from the want of support during violent
expiration; but there is some. It is “a fact that forcible expiratory
efforts in violent coughing or vomiting, and especially in sneezing,
sometimes give rise to ruptures of the little (external) vessels” of
the eye.[617] With respect to the internal vessels, Dr. Gunning has
lately recorded a case of exophthalmos in consequence of
whooping-cough, which in his opinion depended on the rupture of the
deeper vessels; and another analogous case has been recorded. But a
mere sense of discomfort would probably suffice to lead to the
associated habit of protecting the eyeball by the contraction of the
surrounding muscles. Even the expectation or chance of injury would
probably be sufficient, in the same manner as an object moving too near
the eye induces involuntary winking of the eyelids. We may, therefore,
safely conclude from Sir C. Bell’s observations, and more especially
from the more careful investigations by Professor Donders, that the
firm closure of the eyelids during the screaming of children is an
action full of meaning and of real service.

We have already seen that the contraction of the orbicular muscles
leads to the drawing up of the upper lip, and consequently, if the
mouth is kept widely open, to the drawing down of the corners by the
contraction of the depressor muscles. The formation of the naso-labial
fold on the cheeks likewise follows from the drawing up of the upper
lip. Thus all the chief expressive movements of the face during crying
apparently result from the contraction of the muscles round the eyes.
We shall also find that the shedding of tears depends on, or at least
stands in some connection with, the contraction of these same muscles.

In some of the foregoing cases, especially in those of sneezing and
coughing, it is possible that the contraction of the orbicular muscles
may serve in addition to protect the eyes from too severe a jar or
vibration. I think so, because dogs and cats, in crunching hard bones,
always close their eyelids, and at least sometimes in sneezing; though
dogs do not do so whilst barking loudly. Mr. Sutton carefully observed
for me a young orang and chimpanzee, and he found that both always
closed their eyes in sneezing and coughing, but not whilst screaming
violently. I gave a small pinch of snuff to a monkey of the American
division, namely, a Cebus, and it closed its eyelids whilst sneezing;
but not on a subsequent occasion whilst uttering loud cries.

_Cause of the secretion of tears_.—It is an important fact which must
be considered in any theory of the secretion of tears from the mind
being affected, that whenever the muscles round the eyes are strongly
and involuntarily contracted in order to compress the blood-vessels and
thus to protect the eyes, tears are secreted, often in sufficient
abundance to roll down the cheeks. This occurs under the most opposite
emotions, and under no emotion at all. The sole exception, and this is
only a partial one, to the existence of a relation between the
involuntary and strong contraction of these muscles and the secretion
of tears is that of young infants, who, whilst screaming violently with
their eyelids firmly closed, do not commonly weep until they have
attained the age of from two to three or four months. Their eyes,
however, become suffused with tears at a much earlier age. It would
appear, as already remarked, that the lacrymal glands do not, from the
want of practice or some other cause, come to full functional activity
at a very early period of life. With children at a somewhat later age,
crying out or wailing from any distress is so regularly accompanied by
the shedding of tears, that weeping and crying are synonymous

Under the opposite emotion of great joy or amusement, as long as
laughter is moderate there is hardly any contraction of the muscles
round the eyes, so that there is no frowning; but when peals of loud
laughter are uttered, with rapid and violent spasmodic expirations,
tears stream down the face. I have more than once noticed the face of a
person, after a paroxysm of violent laughter, and I could see that the
orbicular muscles and those running to the upper lip were still
partially contracted, which together with the tear-stained cheeks gave
to the upper half of the face an expression not to be distinguished
from that of a child still blubbering from grief. The fact of tears
streaming down the face during violent laughter is common to all the
races of mankind, as we shall see in a future chapter.

In violent coughing especially when a person is half-choked, the face
becomes purple, the veins distended, the orbicular muscles strongly
contracted, and tears run down the cheeks. Even after a fit of ordinary
coughing, almost every one has to wipe his eyes. In violent vomiting or
retching, as I have myself experienced and seen in others, the
orbicular muscles are strongly contracted, and tears sometimes flow
freely down the cheeks. It has been suggested to me that this may be
due to irritating matter being injected into the nostrils, and causing
by reflex action the secretion of tears. Accordingly I asked one of my
informants, a surgeon, to attend to the effects of retching when
nothing was thrown up from the stomach; and, by an odd coincidence, he
himself suffered the next morning from an attack of retching, and three
days subsequently observed a lady under a similar attack; and he is
certain that in neither case an atom of matter was ejected from the
stomach; yet the orbicular muscles were strongly contracted, and tears
freely secreted. I can also speak positively to the energetic
contraction of these same muscles round the eyes, and to the coincident
free secretion of tears, when the abdominal muscles act with unusual
force in a downward direction on the intestinal canal.

Yawning commences with a deep inspiration, followed by a long and
forcible expiration; and at the same time almost all the muscles of the
body are strongly contracted, including those round the eyes. During
this act tears are often secreted, and I have seen them even rolling
down the cheeks.

I have frequently observed that when persons scratch some point which
itches intolerably, they forcibly close their eyelids; but they do not,
as I believe, first draw a deep breath and then expel it with force;
and I have never noticed that the eyes then become filled with tears;
but I am not prepared to assert that this does not occur. The forcible
closure of the eyelids is, perhaps, merely a part of that general
action by which almost all the muscles of the body are at the same time
rendered rigid. It is quite different from the gentle closure of the
eyes which often accompanies, as Gratiolet remarks,[619] the smelling a
delicious odour, or the tasting a delicious morsel, and which probably
originates in the desire to shut out any disturbing impression through
the eyes.

Professor Donders writes to me to the following effect: “I have
observed some cases of a very curious affection when, after a slight
rub (_attouchement_), for example, from the friction of a coat, which
caused neither a wound nor a contusion, spasms of the orbicular muscles
occurred, with a very profuse flow of tears, lasting about one hour.
Subsequently, sometimes after an interval of several weeks, violent
spasms of the same muscles re-occurred, accompanied by the secretion of
tears, together with primary or secondary redness of the eye.” Mr.
Bowman informs me that he has occasionally observed closely analogous
cases, and that, in some of these, there was no redness or inflammation
of the eyes.

I was anxious to ascertain whether there existed in any of the lower
animals a similar relation between the contraction of the orbicular
muscles during violent expiration and the secretion of tears; but there
are very few animals which contract these muscles in a prolonged
manner, or which shed tears. _The Macacus maurus_, which formerly wept
so copiously in the Zoological Gardens, would have been a fine case for
observation; but the two monkeys now there, and which are believed to
belong to the same species, do not weep. Nevertheless they were
carefully observed by Mr. Bartlett and myself, whilst screaming loudly,
and they seemed to contract these muscles; but they moved about their
cages so rapidly, that it was difficult to observe with certainty. No
other monkey, as far as I have been able to ascertain, contracts its
orbicular muscles whilst screaming.

The Indian elephant is known sometimes to weep. Sir E. Tennent, in
describing these which he saw captured and bound in Ceylon, says, some
“lay motionless on the ground, with no other indication of suffering
than the tears which suffused their eyes and flowed incessantly.”
Speaking of another elephant he says, “When overpowered and made fast,
his grief was most affecting; his violence sank to utter prostration,
and he lay on the ground, uttering choking cries, with tears trickling
down his cheeks.”[620] In the Zoological Gardens the keeper of the
Indian elephants positively asserts that he has several times seen
tears rolling down the face of the old female, when distressed by the
removal of the young one. Hence I was extremely anxious to ascertain,
as an extension of the relation between the contraction of the
orbicular muscles and the shedding of tears in man, whether elephants
when screaming or trumpeting loudly contract these muscles. At Mr.
Bartlett’s desire the keeper ordered the old and the young elephant to
trumpet; and we repeatedly saw in both animals that, just as the
trumpeting began, the orbicular muscles, especially the lower ones,
were distinctly contracted. On a subsequent occasion the keeper made
the old elephant trumpet much more loudly, and invariably both the
upper and lower orbicular muscles were strongly contracted, and now in
an equal degree. It is a singular fact that the African elephant,
which, however, is so different from the Indian species that it is
placed by some naturalists in a distinct sub-genus, when made on two
occasions to trumpet loudly, exhibited no trace of the contraction of
the orbicular muscles.

From the several foregoing cases with respect to Man, there can, I
think, be no doubt that the contraction of the muscles round the eyes,
during violent expiration or when the expanded chest is forcibly
compressed, is, in some manner, intimately connected with the secretion
of tears. This holds good under widely different emotions, and
independently of any emotion. It is not, of course, meant that tears
cannot be secreted without the contraction of these muscles; for it is
notorious that they are often freely shed with the eyelids not closed,
and with the brows unwrinkled. The contraction must be both involuntary
and prolonged, as during a choking fit, or energetic, as during a
sneeze. The mere involuntary winking of the eyelids, though often
repeated, does not bring tears into the eyes. Nor does the voluntary
and prolonged contraction of the several surrounding muscles suffice.
As the lacrymal glands of children are easily excited, I persuaded my
own and several other children of different ages to contract these
muscles repeatedly with their utmost force, and to continue doing so as
long as they possibly could; but this produced hardly any effect. There
was sometimes a little moisture in the eyes, but not more than
apparently could be accounted for by the squeezing out of the already
secreted tears within the glands.

The nature of the relation between the involuntary and energetic
contraction of the muscles round the eyes, and the secretion of tears,
cannot be positively ascertained, but a probable view may be suggested.
The primary function of the secretion of tears, together with some
mucus, is to lubricate the surface of the eye; and a secondary one, as
some believe, is to keep the nostrils damp, so that the inhaled air may
be moist,[621] and likewise to favour the power of smelling. But
another, and at least equally important function of tears, is to wash
out particles of dust or other minute objects which may get into the
eyes. That this is of great importance is clear from the cases in which
the cornea has been rendered opaque through inflammation, caused by
particles of dust not being removed, in consequence of the eye and
eyelid becoming immovable.[622] The secretion of tears from the
irritation of any foreign body in the eye is a reflex action;—that is,
the body irritates a peripheral nerve which sends an impression to
certain sensory nerve-cells; these transmit an influence to other
cells, and these again to the lacrymal glands. The influence
transmitted to these glands causes, as there is good reason to believe,
the relaxation of the muscular coats of the smaller arteries; this
allows more blood to permeate the glandular tissue, and this induces a
free secretion of tears. When the small arteries of the face, including
those of the retina, are relaxed under very different circumstances,
namely, during an intense blush, the lacrymal glands are sometimes
affected in a like manner, for the eyes become suffused with tears.

It is difficult to conjecture how many reflex actions have originated,
but, in relation to the present case of the affection of the lacrymal
glands through irritation of the surface of the eye, it may be worth
remarking that, as soon as some primordial form became semi-terrestrial
in its habits, and was liable to get particles of dust into its eyes,
if these were not washed out they would cause much irritation; and on
the principle of the radiation of nerve-force to adjoining nerve-cells,
the lacrymal glands would be stimulated to secretion. As this would
often recur, and as nerve-force readily passes along accustomed
channels, a slight irritation would ultimately suffice to cause a free
secretion of tears.

As soon as by this, or by some other means, a reflex action of this
nature had been established and rendered easy, other stimulants applied
to the surface of the eye—such as a cold wind, slow inflammatory
action, or a blow on the eyelids—would cause a copious secretion of
tears, as we know to be the case. The glands are also excited into
action through the irritation of adjoining parts. Thus when the
nostrils are irritated by pungent vapours, though the eyelids may be
kept firmly closed, tears are copiously secreted; and this likewise
follows from a blow on the nose, for instance from a boxing-glove. A
stinging switch on the face produces, as I have seen, the same effect.
In these latter cases the secretion of tears is an incidental result,
and of no direct service. As all these parts of the face, including the
lacrymal glands, are supplied with branches of the same nerve, namely,
the fifth, it is in some degree intelligible that the effects of the
excitement of any one branch should spread to the nerve-cells or roots
of the other branches.

The internal parts of the eye likewise act, under certain conditions,
in a reflex manner on the lacrymal glands. The following statements
have been kindly communicated to me by Mr. Bowman; but the subject is a
very intricate one, as all the parts of the eye are so intimately
related together, and are so sensitive to various stimulants. A strong
light acting on the retina, when in a normal condition, has very little
tendency to cause lacrymation; but with unhealthy children having
small, old-standing ulcers on the cornea, the retina becomes
excessively sensitive to light, and exposure even to common daylight
causes forcible and sustained closure of the lids, and a profuse flow
of tears. When persons who ought to begin the use of convex glasses
habitually strain the waning power of accommodation, an undue secretion
of tears very often follows, and the retina is liable to become unduly
sensitive to light. In general, morbid affections of the surface of the
eye, and of the ciliary structures concerned in the accommodative act,
are prone to be accompanied with excessive secretion of tears. Hardness
of the eyeball, not rising to inflammation, but implying a want of
balance between the fluids poured out and again taken up by the
intra-ocular vessels, is not usually attended with any lacrymation.
When the balance is on the other side, and the eye becomes too soft,
there is a greater tendency to lacrymation. Finally, there are numerous
morbid states and structural alterations of the eyes, and even terrible
inflammations, which may be attended with little or no secretion of

It also deserves notice, as indirectly bearing on our subject, that the
eye and adjoining parts are subject to an extraordinary number of
reflex and associated movements, sensations, and actions, besides those
relating to the lacrymal glands. When a bright light strikes the retina
of one eye alone, the iris contracts, but the iris of the other eye
moves after a measurable interval of time. The iris likewise moves in
accommodation to near or distant vision, and when the two eyes are made
to converge.[623] Every one knows how irresistibly the eyebrows are
drawn down under an intensely bright light. The eyelids also
involuntarily wink when an object is moved near the eyes, or a sound is
suddenly heard. The well-known case of a bright light causing some
persons to sneeze is even more curious; for nerve-force here radiates
from certain nerve-cells in connection with the retina, to the sensory
nerve-cells of the nose, causing it to tickle; and from these, to the
cells which command the various respiratory muscles (the orbiculars
included) which expel the air in so peculiar a manner that it rushes
through the nostrils alone.

To return to our point: why are tears secreted during a screaming-fit
or other violent expiratory efforts? As a slight blow on the eyelids
causes a copious secretion of tears, it is at least possible that the
spasmodic contraction of the eyelids, by pressing strongly on the
eyeball, should in a similar manner cause some secretion. This seems
possible, although the voluntary contraction of the same muscles does
not produce any such effect. We know that a man cannot voluntarily
sneeze or cough with nearly the same force as he does automatically;
and so it is with the contraction of the orbicular muscles: Sir C. Bell
experimented on them, and found that by suddenly and forcibly closing
the eyelids in the dark, sparks of light are seen, like those caused by
tapping the eyelids with the fingers; “but in sneezing the compression
is both more rapid and more forcible, and the sparks are more
brilliant.” That these sparks are due to the contraction of the eyelids
is clear, because if they “are held open during the act of sneezing, no
sensation of light will be experienced.” In the peculiar cases referred
to by Professor Donders and Mr. Bowman, we have seen that some weeks
after the eye has been very slightly injured, spasmodic contractions of
the eyelids ensue, and these are accompanied by a profuse flow of
tears. In the act of yawning, the tears are apparently due solely to
the spasmodic contraction of the muscles round the eyes.
Notwithstanding these latter cases, it seems hardly credible that the
pressure of the eyelids on the surface of the eye, although effected
spasmodically and therefore with much greater force than can be done
voluntarily, should be sufficient to cause by reflex action the
secretion of tears in the many cases in which this occurs during
violent expiratory efforts.

Another cause may come conjointly into play. We have seen that the
internal parts of the eye, under certain conditions act in a reflex
manner on the lacrymal glands. We know that during violent expiratory
efforts the pressure of the arterial blood within the vessels of the
eye is increased, and that the return of the venous blood is impeded.
It seems, therefore, not improbable that the distension of the ocular
vessels, thus induced, might act by reflection on the lacrymal
glands—the effects due to the spasmodic pressure of the eyelids on the
surface of the eye being thus increased.

In considering how far this view is probable, we should bear in mind
that the eyes of infants have been acted on in this double manner
during numberless generations, whenever they have screamed; and on the
principle of nerve-force readily passing along accustomed channels,
even a moderate compression of the eyeballs and a moderate distension
of the ocular vessels would ultimately come, through habit, to act on
the glands. We have an analogous case in the orbicular muscles being
almost always contracted in some slight degree, even during a gentle
crying-fit, when there can be no distension of the vessels and no
uncomfortable sensation excited within the eyes.

Moreover, when complex actions or movements have long been performed in
strict association together, and these are from any cause at first
voluntarily and afterwards habitually checked, then if the proper
exciting conditions occur, any part of the action or movement which is
least under the control of the will, will often still be involuntarily
performed. The secretion by a gland is remarkably free from the
influence of the will; therefore, when with the advancing age of the
individual, or with the advancing culture of the race, the habit of
crying out or screaming is restrained, and there is consequently no
distension of the blood-vessels of the eye, it may nevertheless well
happen that tears should still be secreted. We may see, as lately
remarked, the muscles round the eyes of a person who reads a pathetic
story, twitching or trembling in so slight a degree as hardly to be
detected. In this case there has been no screaming and no distension of
the blood-vessels, yet through habit certain nerve-cells send a small
amount of nerve-force to the cells commanding the muscles round the
eyes; and they likewise send some to the cells commanding the lacrymal
glands, for the eyes often become at the same time just moistened with
tears. If the twitching of the muscles round the eyes and the secretion
of tears had been completely prevented, nevertheless it is almost
certain that there would have been some tendency to transmit
nerve-force in these same directions; and as the lacrymal glands are
remarkably free from the control of the will, they would be eminently
liable still to act, thus betraying, though there were no other outward
signs, the pathetic thoughts which were passing through the person’s

As a further illustration of the view here advanced, I may remark that
if, during an early period of life, when habits of all kinds are
readily established, our infants, when pleased, had been accustomed to
utter loud peals of laughter (during which the vessels of their eyes
are distended) as often and as continuously as they have yielded when
distressed to screaming-fits, then it is probable that in after life
tears would have been as copiously and as regularly secreted under the
one state of mind as under the other. Gentle laughter, or a smile, or
even a pleasing thought, would have sufficed to cause a moderate
secretion of tears. There does indeed exist an evident tendency in this
direction, as will be seen in a future chapter, when we treat of the
tender feelings. With the Sandwich Islanders, according to
Freycinet,[624] tears are actually recognized as a sign of happiness;
but we should require better evidence on this head than that of a
passing voyager. So again if our infants, during many generations, and
each of them during several years, had almost daily suffered from
prolonged choking-fits, during which the vessels of the eye are
distended and tears copiously secreted, then it is probable, such is
the force of associated habit, that during after life the mere thought
of a choke, without any distress of mind, would have sufficed to bring
tears into our eyes.

To sum up this chapter, weeping is probably the result of some such
chain of events as follows. Children, when wanting food or suffering in
any way, cry out loudly, like the young of most other animals, partly
as a call to their parents for aid, and partly from any great exertion
serving relief. Prolonged screaming inevitably leads to the gorging of
the blood-vessels of the eye; and this will have led, at first
consciously and at last habitually, to the contraction of the muscles
round the eyes in order to protect them. At the same time the spasmodic
pressure on the surface of the eye, and the distension of the vessels
within the eye, without necessarily entailing any conscious sensation,
will have affected, through reflex action, the lacrymal glands.
Finally, through the three principles of nerve-force readily passing
along accustomed channels—of association, which is so widely extended
in its power—and of certain actions, being more under the control of
the will than others—it has come to pass that suffering readily causes
the secretion of tears, without being necessarily accompanied by any
other action.

Although in accordance with this view we must look at weeping as an
incidental result, as purposeless as the secretion of tears from a blow
outside the eye, or as a sneeze from the retina being affected by a
bright light, yet this does not present any difficulty in our
understanding how the secretion of tears serves as a relief to
suffering. And by as much as the weeping is more violent or hysterical,
by so much will the relief be greater,—on the same principle that the
writhing of the whole body, the grinding of the teeth, and the uttering
of piercing shrieks, all give relief under an agony of pain.


General effect of grief on the system—Obliquity of the eyebrows under
suffering—On the cause of the obliquity of the eyebrows—On the
depression of the corners of the mouth.

After the mind has suffered from an acute paroxysm of grief, and the
cause still continues, we fall into a state of low spirits; or we may
be utterly cast down and dejected. Prolonged bodily pain, if not
amounting to an agony, generally leads to the same state of mind. If we
expect to suffer, we are anxious; if we have no hope of relief, we

Persons suffering from excessive grief often seek relief by violent and
almost frantic movements, as described in a former chapter; but when
their suffering is somewhat mitigated, yet prolonged, they no longer
wish for action, but remain motionless and passive, or may occasionally
rock themselves to and fro. The circulation becomes languid; the face
pale; the muscles flaccid; the eyelids droop; the head hangs on the
contracted chest; the lips, cheeks, and lower jaw all sink downwards
from their own weight. Hence all the features are lengthened; and the
face of a person who hears bad news is said to fall. A party of natives
in Tierra del Fuego endeavoured to explain to us that their friend, the
captain of a sealing vessel, was out of spirits, by pulling down their
cheeks with both hands, so as to make their faces as long as possible.
Mr. Bunnet informs me that the Australian aborigines when out of
spirits have a chop-fallen appearance. After prolonged suffering the
eyes become dull and lack expression, and are often slightly suffused
with tears. The eyebrows not rarely are rendered oblique, which is due
to their inner ends being raised. This produces peculiarly-formed
wrinkles on the forehead, which are very different from those of a
simple frown; though in some cases a frown alone may be present. The
comers of the mouth are drawn downwards, which is so universally
recognized as a sign of being out of spirits, that it is almost

The breathing becomes slow and feeble, and is often interrupted by deep
sighs. As Gratiolet remarks, whenever our attention is long
concentrated on any subject, we forget to breathe, and then relieve
ourselves by a deep inspiration; but the sighs of a sorrowful person,
owing to his slow respiration and languid circulation, are eminently
characteristic.[701] As the grief of a person in this state
occasionally recurs and increases into a paroxysm, spasms affect the
respiratory muscles, and he feels as if something, the so-called
_globus hystericus_, was rising in his throat. These spasmodic
movements are clearly allied to the sobbing of children, and are
remnants of those severer spasms which occur when a person is said to
choke from excessive grief.[702]

_Obliquity of the eyebrows_.—Two points alone in the above description
require further elucidation, and these are very curious ones; namely,
the raising of the inner ends of the eyebrows, and the drawing down of
the corners of the mouth. With respect to the eyebrows, they may
occasionally be seen to assume an oblique position in persons suffering
from deep dejection or anxiety; for instance, I have observed this
movement in a mother whilst speaking about her sick son; and it is
sometimes excited by quite trifling or momentary causes of real or
pretended distress. The eyebrows assume this position owing to the
contraction of certain muscles (namely, the orbiculars, corrugators,
and pyramidals of the nose, which together tend to lower and contract
the eyebrows) being partially cheeked by the more powerful action of
the central fasciæ of the frontal muscle. These latter fasciæ by their
contraction raise the inner ends alone of the eyebrows; and as the
corrugators at the same time draw the eyebrows together, their inner
ends become puckered into a fold or lump. This fold is a highly
characteristic point in the appearance of the eyebrows when rendered
oblique, as may be seen in figs. 2 and 5, Plate II. The eyebrows are at
the same time somewhat roughened, owing to the hairs being made to
project. Dr. J. Crichton Browne has also often noticed in melancholic
patients who keep their eyebrows persistently oblique, “a peculiar
acute arching of the upper eyelid.” A trace of this may be observed by
comparing the right and left eyelids of the young man in the photograph
(fig. 2, Plate II.); for he was not able to act equally on both
eyebrows. This is also shown by the unequal furrows on the two sides of
his forehead. The acute arching of the eyelids depends, I believe, on
the inner end alone of the eyebrows being raised; for when the whole
eyebrow is elevated and arched, the upper eyelid follows in a slight
degree the same movement.

 Obliquity of the Eyebrows. Plate II

But the most conspicuous result of the opposed contraction of the
above-named muscles, is exhibited by the peculiar furrows formed on the
forehead. These muscles, when thus in conjoint yet opposed action, may
be called, for the sake of brevity, the grief-muscles. When a person
elevates his eyebrows by the contraction of the whole frontal muscle,
transverse wrinkles extend across the whole breadth of the forehead;
but in the present case the middle fasciae alone are contracted;
consequently, transverse furrows are formed across the middle part
alone of the forehead. The skin over the exterior parts of both
eyebrows is at the same time drawn downwards and smooth, by the
contraction of the outer portions of the orbicular muscles. The
eyebrows are likewise brought together through the simultaneous
contraction of the corrugators;[703] and this latter action generates
vertical furrows, separating the exterior and lowered part of the skin
of the forehead from the central and raised part. The union of these
vertical furrows with the central and transverse furrows (see figs. 2
and 3) produces a mark on the forehead which has been compared to a
horse-shoe; but the furrows more strictly form three sides of a
quadrangle. They are often conspicuous on the foreheads of adult or
nearly adult persons, when their eyebrows are made oblique; but with
young children, owing to their skin not easily wrinkling, they are
rarely seen, or mere traces of them can be detected.

These peculiar furrows are best represented in fig. 3, Plate II., on
the forehead of a young lady who has the power in an unusual degree of
voluntarily acting on the requisite muscles. As she was absorbed in the
attempt, whilst being photographed, her expression was not at all one
of grief; I have therefore given the forehead alone. Fig. 1 on the same
plate, copied from Dr. Duchenne’s work,[704] represents, on a reduced
scale, the face, in its natural state, of a young man who was a good
actor. In fig. 2 he is shown simulating grief, but the two eyebrows, as
before remarked, are not equally acted on. That the expression is true,
may be inferred from the fact that out of fifteen persons, to whom the
original photograph was shown, without any clue to what was intended
being given them, fourteen immediately answered, “despairing sorrow,”
“suffering endurance,” “melancholy,” and so forth. The history of fig.
5 is rather curious: I saw the photograph in a shop-window, and took it
to Mr. Rejlander for the sake of finding out by whom it had been made;
remarking to him how pathetic the expression was. He answered, “I made
it, and it was likely to be pathetic, for the boy in a few minutes
burst out crying.” He then showed me a photograph of the same boy in a
placid state, which I have had (fig. 4) reproduced. In fig. 6, a trace
of obliquity in the eyebrows may be detected; but this figure, as well
as fig. 7, is given to show the depression of the corners of the mouth,
to which subject I shall presently refer.

Few persons, without some practice, can voluntarily act on their
grief-muscles; but after repeated trials a considerable number succeed,
whilst others never can. The degree of obliquity in the eyebrows,
whether assumed voluntarily or unconsciously, differs much in different
persons. With some who apparently have unusually strong pyramidal
muscles, the contraction of the central fasciae of the frontal muscle,
although it may be energetic, as shown by the quadrangular furrows on
the forehead, does not raise the inner ends of the eyebrows, but only
prevents their being so much lowered as they otherwise would have been.
As far as I have been able to observe, the grief-muscles are brought
into action much more frequently by children and women than by men.
They are rarely acted on, at least with grown-up persons, from bodily
pain, but almost exclusively from mental distress. Two persons who,
after some practice, succeeded in acting on their grief-muscles, found
by looking at a mirror that when they made their eyebrows oblique, they
unintentionally at the same time depressed the corners of their mouths;
and this is often the case when the expression is naturally assumed.

The power to bring the grief-muscles freely into play appears to be
hereditary, like almost every other human faculty. A lady belonging to
a family famous for having produced an extraordinary number of great
actors and actresses, and who can herself give this expression “with
singular precision,” told Dr. Crichton Browne that all her family had
possessed the power in a remarkable degree. The same hereditary
tendency is said to have extended, as I likewise hear from Dr. Browne,
to the last descendant of the family, which gave rise to Sir Walter
Scott’s novel of ‘Red Gauntlet;’ but the hero is described as
contracting his forehead into a horseshoe mark from any strong emotion.
I have also seen a young woman whose forehead seemed almost habitually
thus contracted, independently of any emotion being at the time felt.

The grief-muscles are not very frequently brought into play; and as the
action is often momentary, it easily escapes observation. Although the
expression, when observed, is universally and instantly recognized as
that of grief or anxiety, yet not one person out of a thousand who has
never studied the subject, is able to say precisely what change passes
over the sufferer’s face. Hence probably it is that this expression is
not even alluded to, as far as I have noticed, in any work of fiction,
with the exception of ‘Red Gauntlet’ and of one other novel; and the
authoress of the latter, as I am informed, belongs to the famous family
of actors just alluded to; so that her attention may have been
specially called to the subject.

The ancient Greek sculptors were familiar with the expression, as shown
in the statues of the Laocoon and Arretino; but, as Duchenne remarks,
they carried the transverse furrows across the whole breadth of the
forehead, and thus committed a great anatomical mistake: this is
likewise the case in some modern statues. It is, however, more probable
that these wonderfully accurate observers intentionally sacrificed
truth for the sake of beauty, than that they made a mistake; for
rectangular furrows on the forehead would not have had a grand
appearance on the marble. The expression, in its fully developed
condition, is, as far as I can discover, not often represented in
pictures by the old masters, no doubt owing to the same cause; but a
lady who is perfectly familiar with this expression, informs me that in
Fra Angelico’s ‘Descent from the Cross’ in Florence, it is clearly
exhibited in one of the figures on the right-hand; and I could add a
few other instances.

Dr. Crichton Browne, at my request, closely attended to this expression
in the numerous insane patients under his care in the West Riding
Asylum; and he is familiar with Duchenne’s photographs of the action of
the grief-muscles. He informs me that they may constantly be seen in
energetic action in cases of melancholia, and especially of
hypochondria; and that the persistent lines or furrows, due to their
habitual contraction, are characteristic of the physiognomy of the
insane belonging to these two classes. Dr. Browne carefully observed
for me during a considerable period three cases of hypochondria, in
which the grief-muscles were persistently contracted. In one of these,
a widow, aged 51, fancied that she had lost all her viscera, and that
her whole body was empty. She wore an expression of great distress, and
beat her semi-closed hands rhythmically together for hours. The
grief-muscles were permanently contracted, and the upper eyelids
arched. This condition lasted for months; she then recovered, and her
countenance resumed its natural expression. A second case presented
nearly the same peculiarities, with the addition that the comers of the
mouth were depressed.

Mr. Patrick Nicol has also kindly observed for me several cases in the
Sussex Lunatic Asylum, and has communicated to me full details with
respect to three of them; but they need not here be given. From his
observations on melancholic patients, Mr. Nicol concludes that the
inner ends of the eyebrows are almost always more or less raised, with
the wrinkles on the forehead more or less plainly marked. In the case
of one young woman, these wrinkles were observed to be in constant
slight play or movement. In some cases the comers of the mouth are
depressed, but often only in a slight degree. Some amount of difference
in the expression of the several melancholic patients could almost
always be observed. The eyelids generally droop; and the skin near
their outer comers and beneath them is wrinkled. The naso-labial fold,
which runs from the wings of the nostrils to the comers of the mouth,
and which is so conspicuous in blubbering children, is often plainly
marked in these patients.

Although with the insane the grief-muscles often act persistently; yet
in ordinary cases they are sometimes brought unconsciously into
momentary action by ludicrously slight causes. A gentleman rewarded a
young lady by an absurdly small present; she pretended to be offended,
and as she upbraided him, her eyebrows became extremely oblique, with
the forehead properly wrinkled. Another young lady and a youth, both in
the highest spirits, were eagerly talking together with extraordinary
rapidity; and I noticed that, as often as the young lady was beaten,
and could not get out her words fast enough, her eyebrows went
obliquely upwards, and rectangular furrows were formed on her forehead.
She thus each time hoisted a flag of distress; and this she did
half-a-dozen times in the course of a few minutes. I made no remark on
the subject, but on a subsequent occasion I asked her to act on her
grief-muscles; another girl who was present, and who could do so
voluntarily, showing her what was intended. She tried repeatedly, but
utterly failed; yet so slight a cause of distress as not being able to
talk quickly enough, sufficed to bring these muscles over and over
again into energetic action.

The expression of grief, due to the contraction of the grief-muscles,
is by no means confined to Europeans, but appears to be common to all
the races of mankind. I have, at least, received trustworthy accounts
in regard to Hindoos, Dhangars (one of the aboriginal hill-tribes of
India, and therefore belonging to a quite distinct race from the
Hindoos), Malays, Negroes and Australians. With respect to the latter,
two observers answer my query in the affirmative, but enter into no
details. Mr. Taplin, however, appends to my descriptive remarks the
words “this is exact.” With respect to negroes, the lady who told me of
Fra Angelico’s picture, saw a negro towing a boat on the Nile, and as
he encountered an obstruction, she observed his grief-muscles in strong
action, with the middle of the forehead well wrinkled. Mr. Geach
watched a Malay man in Malacca, with the comers of his mouth much
depressed, the eyebrows oblique, with deep short grooves on the
forehead. This expression lasted for a very short time; and Mr. Geach
remarks it “was a strange one, very much like a person about to cry at
some great loss.”

In India Mr. H. Erskine found that the natives were familiar with this
expression; and Mr. J. Scott, of the Botanic Gardens, Calcutta, has
obligingly sent me a full description of two cases. He observed during
some time, himself unseen, a very young Dhangar woman from Nagpore, the
wife of one of the gardeners, nursing her baby who was at the point of
death; and he distinctly saw the eyebrows raised at the inner comers,
the eyelids drooping, the forehead wrinkled in the middle, the mouth
slightly open, with the comers much depressed. He then came from behind
a screen of plants and spoke to the poor woman, who started, burst into
a bitter flood of tears, and besought him to cure her baby. The second
case was that of a Hindustani man, who from illness and poverty was
compelled to sell his favourite goat. After receiving the money, he
repeatedly looked at the money in his hand and then at the goat, as if
doubting whether he would not return it. He went to the goat, which was
tied up ready to be led away, and the animal reared up and licked his
hands. His eyes then wavered from side to side; his “mouth was
partially closed, with the corners very decidedly depressed.” At last
the poor man seemed to make up his mind that he must part with his
goat, and then, as Mr. Scott saw, the eyebrows became slightly oblique,
with the characteristic puckering or swelling at the inner ends, but
the wrinkles on the forehead were not present. The man stood thus for a
minute, then heaving a deep sigh, burst into tears, raised up his two
hands, blessed the goat, turned round, and without looking again, went

_On the cause of the obliquity of the eyebrows under suffering_.—During
several years no expression seemed to me so utterly perplexing as this
which we are here considering. Why should grief or anxiety cause the
central fasciae alone of the frontal muscle together with those round
the eyes, to contract? Here we seem to have a complex movement for the
sole purpose of expressing grief; and yet it is a comparatively rare
expression, and often overlooked. I believe the explanation is not so
difficult as it at first appears. Dr. Duchenne gives a photograph of
the young man before referred to, who, when looking upwards at a
strongly illuminated surface, involuntarily contracted his
grief-muscles in an exaggerated manner. I had entirely forgotten this
photograph, when on a very bright day with the sun behind me, I met,
whilst on horseback, a girl whose eyebrows, as she looked up at me,
became extremely oblique, with the proper furrows on her forehead. I
have observed the same movement under similar circumstances on several
subsequent occasions. On my return home I made three of my children,
without giving them any clue to my object, look as long and as
attentively as they could, at the summit of a tall tree standing
against an extremely bright sky. With all three, the orbicular,
corrugator, and pyramidal muscles were energetically contracted,
through reflex action, from the excitement of the retina, so that their
eyes might be protected from the bright light. But they tried their
utmost to look upwards; and now a curious struggle, with spasmodic
twitchings, could be observed between the whole or only the central
portion of the frontal muscle, and the several muscles which serve to
lower the eyebrows and close the eyelids. The involuntary contraction
of the pyramidal caused the basal part of their noses to be
transversely and deeply wrinkled. In one of the three children, the
whole eyebrows were momentarily raised and lowered by the alternate
contraction of the whole frontal muscle and of the muscles surrounding
the eyes, so that the whole breadth of the forehead was alternately
wrinkled and smoothed. In the other two children the forehead became
wrinkled in the middle part alone, rectangular furrows being thus
produced; and the eyebrows were rendered oblique, with their inner
extremities puckered and swollen,—in the one child in a slight degree,
in the other in a strongly marked manner. This difference in the
obliquity of the eyebrows apparently depended on a difference in their
general mobility, and in the strength of the pyramidal muscles. In both
these cases the eyebrows and forehead were acted on under the influence
of a strong light, in precisely the same manner, in every
characteristic detail, as under the influence of grief or anxiety.

Duchenne states that the pyramidal muscle of the nose is less under the
control of the will than are the other muscles round the eyes. He
remarks that the young man who could so well act on his grief-muscles,
as well as on most of his other facial muscles, could not contract the
pyramidals.[705] This power, however, no doubt differs in different
persons. The pyramidal muscle serves to draw down the skin of the
forehead between the eyebrows, together with their inner extremities.
The central fasciae of the frontal are the antagonists of the
pyramidal; and if the action of the latter is to be specially checked,
these central fasciae must be contracted. So that with persons having
powerful pyramidal muscles, if there is under the influence of a bright
light an unconscious desire to prevent the lowering of the eyebrows,
the central fasciae of the frontal muscle must be brought into play;
and their contraction, if sufficiently strong to overmaster the
pyramidals, together with the contraction of the corrugator and
orbicular muscles, will act in the manner just described on the
eyebrows and forehead.

When children scream or cry out, they contract, as we know, the
orbicular, corrugator, and pyramidal muscles, primarily for the sake of
compressing their eyes, and thus protecting them from being gorged with
blood, and secondarily through habit. I therefore expected to find with
children, that when they endeavoured either to prevent a crying-fit
from coming on, or to stop crying, they would cheek the contraction of
the above-named muscles, in the same manner as when looking upwards at
a bright light; and consequently that the central fasciae of the
frontal muscle would often be brought into play. Accordingly, I began
myself to observe children at such times, and asked others, including
some medical men, to do the same. It is necessary to observe carefully,
as the peculiar opposed action of these muscles is not nearly so plain
in children, owing to their foreheads not easily wrinkling, as in
adults. But I soon found that the grief-muscles were very frequently
brought into distinct action on these occasions. It would be
superfluous to give all the cases which have been observed; and I will
specify only a few. A little girl, a year and a half old, was teased by
some other children, and before bursting into tears her eyebrows became
decidedly oblique. With an older girl the same obliquity was observed,
with the inner ends of the eyebrows plainly puckered; and at the same
time the corners of the mouth were drawn downwards. As soon as she
burst into tears, the features all changed and this peculiar expression
vanished. Again, after a little boy had been vaccinated, which made him
scream and cry violently, the surgeon gave him an orange brought for
the purpose, and this pleased the child much; as he stopped crying all
the characteristic movements were observed, including the formation of
rectangular wrinkles in the middle of the forehead. Lastly, I met on
the road a little girl three or four years old, who had been frightened
by a dog, and when I asked her what was the matter, she stopped
whimpering, and her eyebrows instantly became oblique to an
extraordinary degree.

Here then, as I cannot doubt, we have the key to the problem why the
central fasciae of the frontal muscle and the muscles round the eyes
contract in opposition to each other under the influence of
grief;—whether their contraction be prolonged, as with the melancholic
insane, or momentary, from some trifling cause of distress. We have all
of us, as infants, repeatedly contracted our orbicular, corrugator, and
pyramidal muscles, in order to protect our eyes whilst screaming; our
progenitors before us have done the same during many generations; and
though with advancing years we easily prevent, when feeling distressed,
the utterance of screams, we cannot from long habit always prevent a
slight contraction of the above-named muscles; nor indeed do we observe
their contraction in ourselves, or attempt to stop it, if slight. But
the pyramidal muscles seem to be less under the command of the will
than the other related muscles; and if they be well developed, their
contraction can be checked only by the antagonistic contraction of the
central fasciae of the frontal muscle. The result which necessarily
follows, if these fasciae contract energetically, is the oblique
drawing up of the eyebrows, the puckering of their inner ends, and the
formation of rectangular furrows on the middle of the forehead. As
children and women cry much more freely than men, and as grown-up
persons of both sexes rarely weep except from mental distress, we can
understand why the grief-muscles are more frequently seen in action, as
I believe to be the case, with children and women than with men; and
with adults of both sexes from mental distress alone. In some of the
cases before recorded, as in that of the poor Dhangar woman and of the
Hindustani man, the action of the grief-muscles was quickly followed by
bitter weeping. In all cases of distress, whether great or small, our
brains tend through long habit to send an order to certain muscles to
contract, as if we were still infants on the point of screaming out;
but this order we, by the wondrous power of the will, and through
habit, are able partially to counteract; although this is effected
unconsciously, as far as the means of counteraction are concerned.

_On the depression of the corners of the mouth_.—This action is
effected by the _depressores anguili oris_ (see letter K in figs. 1 and
2). The fibres of this muscle diverge downwards, with the upper
convergent ends attached round the angles of the mouth, and to the
lower lip a little way within the angles.[706] Some of the fibres
appear to be antagonistic to the great zygomatic muscle, and others to
the several muscles running to the outer part of the upper lip. The
contraction of this muscle draws downwards and outwards the corners of
the mouth, including the outer part of the upper lip, and even in a
slight degree the wings of the nostrils. When the mouth is closed and
this muscle acts, the commissure or line of junction of the two lips
forms a curved line with the concavity downwards,[707] and the lips
themselves are generally somewhat protruded, especially the lower one.
The mouth in this state is well represented in the two photographs
(Plate II., figs. 6 and 7) by Mr. Rejlander. The upper boy (fig. 6) had
just stopped crying, after receiving a slap on the face from another
boy; and the right moment was seized for photographing him.

The expression of low spirits, grief or dejection, due to the
contraction of this muscle has been noticed by every one who has
written on the subject. To say that a person “is down in the mouth,” is
synonymous with saying that he is out of spirits. The depression of the
corners may often be seen, as already stated on the authority of Dr.
Crichton Browne and Mr. Nicol, with the melancholic insane, and was
well exhibited in some photographs sent to me by the former gentleman,
of patients with a strong tendency to suicide. It has been observed
with men belonging to various races, namely with Hindoos, the dark
hill-tribes of India, Malays, and, as the Rev. Mr. Hagenauer informs
me, with the aborigines of Australia.

When infants scream they firmly contract the muscles round their eyes,
and this draws up the upper lip; and as they have to keep their mouths
widely open, the depressor muscles running to the corners are likewise
brought into strong action. This generally, but not invariably, causes
a slight angular bend in the lower lip on both sides, near the corners
of the mouth. The result of the upper and lower lip being thus acted on
is that the mouth assumes a squarish outline. The contraction of the
depressor muscle is best seen in infants when not screaming violently,
and especially just before they begin, or when they cease to scream.
Their little faces then acquire an extremely piteous expression, as I
continually observed with my own infants between the ages of about six
weeks and two or three months. Sometimes, when they are struggling
against a crying-fit, the outline of the mouth is curved in so
exaggerated a manner as to be like a horseshoe; and the expression of
misery then becomes a ludicrous caricature.

The explanation of the contraction of this muscle, under the influence
of low spirits or dejection, apparently follows from the same general
principles as in the case of the obliquity of the eyebrows. Dr.
Duchenne informs me that he concludes from his observations, now
prolonged during many years, that this is one of the facial muscles
which is least under the control of the will. This fact may indeed be
inferred from what has just been stated with respect to infants when
doubtfully beginning to cry, or endeavouring to stop crying; for they
then generally command all the other facial muscles more effectually
than they do the depressors of the corners of the mouth. Two excellent
observers who had no theory on the subject, one of them a surgeon,
carefully watched for me some older children and women as with some
opposed struggling they very gradually approached the point of bursting
out into tears; and both observers felt sure that the depressors began
to act before any of the other muscles. Now as the depressors have been
repeatedly brought into strong action during infancy in many
generations, nerve-force will tend to flow, on the principle of long
associated habit, to these muscles as well as to various other facial
muscles, whenever in after life even a slight feeling of distress is
experienced. But as the depressors are somewhat less under the control
of the will than most of the other muscles, we might expect that they
would often slightly contract, whilst the others remained passive. It
is remarkable how small a depression of the corners of the mouth gives
to the countenance an expression of low spirits or dejection, so that
an extremely slight contraction of these muscles would be sufficient to
betray this state of mind.

I may here mention a trifling observation, as it will serve to sum up
our present subject. An old lady with a comfortable but absorbed
expression sat nearly opposite to me in a railway carriage. Whilst I
was looking at her, I saw that her _depressores anguli oris_ became
very slightly, yet decidedly, contracted; but as her countenance
remained as placid as ever, I reflected how meaningless was this
contraction, and how easily one might be deceived. The thought had
hardly occurred to me when I saw that her eyes suddenly became suffused
with tears almost to overflowing, and her whole countenance fell. There
could now be no doubt that some painful recollection, perhaps that of a
long-lost child, was passing through her mind. As soon as her sensorium
was thus affected, certain nerve-cells from long habit instantly
transmitted an order to all the respiratory muscles, and to those round
the mouth, to prepare for a fit of crying. But the order was
countermanded by the will, or rather by a later acquired habit, and all
the muscles were obedient, excepting in a slight degree the
_depressores anguli oris_. The mouth was not even opened; the
respiration was not hurried; and no muscle was affected except those
which draw down the corners of the mouth.

As soon as the mouth of this lady began, involuntarily and
unconsciously on her part, to assume the proper form for a crying-fit,
we may feel almost sure that some nerve-influence would have been
transmitted through the long accustomed channels to the various
respiratory muscles, as well as to those round the eyes, and to the
vaso-motor centre which governs the supply of blood sent to the
lacrymal glands. Of this latter fact we have indeed clear evidence in
her eyes becoming slightly suffused with tears; and we can understand
this, as the lacrymal glands are less under the control of the will
than the facial muscles. No doubt there existed at the same time some
tendency in the muscles round the eyes at contract, as if for the sake
of protecting them from being gorged with blood, but this contraction
was completely overmastered, and her brow remained unruffled. Had the
pyramidal, corrugator, and orbicular muscles been as little obedient to
the will, as they are in many persons, they would have been slightly
acted on; and then the central fasciae of the frontal muscle would have
contracted in antagonism, and her eyebrows would have become oblique,
with rectangular furrows on her forehead. Her countenance would then
have expressed still more plainly than it did a state of dejection, or
rather one of grief.

Through steps such as these we can understand how it is, that as soon
as some melancholy thought passes through the brain, there occurs a
just perceptible drawing down of the corners of the mouth, or a slight
raising up of the inner ends of the eyebrows, or both movements
combined, and immediately afterwards a slight suffusion of tears. A
thrill of nerve-force is transmitted along several habitual channels,
and produces an effect on any point where the will has not acquired
through long habit much power of interference. The above actions may be
considered as rudimental vestiges of the screaming-fits, which are so
frequent and prolonged during infancy. In this case, as well as in many
others, the links are indeed wonderful which connect cause and effect
in giving rise to various expressions on the human countenance; and
they explain to us the meaning of certain movements, which we
involuntarily and unconsciously perform, whenever certain transitory
emotions pass through our minds.


Laughter primarily the expression of joy—Ludicrous ideas—Movements of
the features during laughter—Nature of the sound produced—The secretion
of tears during loud laughter—Gradation from loud laughter to gentle
smiling—High spirits—The expression of love—Tender feelings—Devotion.

Joy, when intense, leads to various purposeless movements—to dancing
about, clapping the hands, stamping, &c., and to loud laughter.
Laughter seems primarily to be the expression of mere joy or happiness.
We clearly see this in children at play, who are almost incessantly
laughing. With young persons past childhood, when they are in high
spirits, there is always much meaningless laughter. The laughter of the
gods is described by Homer as “the exuberance of their celestial joy
after their daily banquet.” A man smiles—and smiling, as we shall see,
graduates into laughter—at meeting an old friend in the street, as he
does at any trifling pleasure, such as smelling a sweet perfume.[801]
Laura Bridgman, from her blindness and deafness, could not have
acquired any expression through imitation, yet when a letter from a
beloved friend was communicated to her by gesture-language, she
“laughed and clapped her hands, and the colour mounted to her cheeks.”
On other occasions she has been seen to stamp for joy.[802]

Idiots and imbecile persons likewise afford good evidence that laughter
or smiling primarily expresses mere happiness or joy. Dr. Crichton
Browne, to whom, as on so many other occasions, I am indebted for the
results of his wide experience, informs me that with idiots laughter is
the most prevalent and frequent of all the emotional expressions. Many
idiots are morose, passionate, restless, in a painful state of mind, or
utterly stolid, and these never laugh. Others frequently laugh in a
quite senseless manner. Thus an idiot boy, incapable of speech,
complained to Dr. Browne, by the aid of signs, that another boy in the
asylum had given him a black eye; and this was accompanied by
“explosions of laughter and with his face covered with the broadest
smiles.” There is another large class of idiots who are persistently
joyous and benign, and who are constantly laughing or smiling.[803]
Their countenances often exhibit a stereotyped smile; their joyousness
is increased, and they grin, chuckle, or giggle, whenever food is
placed before them, or when they are caressed, are shown bright
colours, or hear music. Some of them laugh more than usual when they
walk about, or attempt any muscular exertion. The joyousness of most of
these idiots cannot possibly be associated, as Dr. Browne remarks, with
any distinct ideas: they simply feel pleasure, and express it by
laughter or smiles. With imbeciles rather higher in the scale, personal
vanity seems to be the commonest cause of laughter, and next to this,
pleasure arising from the approbation of their conduct.

With grown-up persons laughter is excited by causes considerably
different from those which suffice during childhood; but this remark
hardly applies to smiling. Laughter in this respect is analogous with
weeping, which with adults is almost confined to mental distress,
whilst with children it is excited by bodily pain or any suffering, as
well as by fear or rage. Many curious discussions have been written on
the causes of laughter with grown-up persons. The subject is extremely
complex. Something incongruous or unaccountable, exciting surprise and
some sense of superiority in the laugher, who must be in a happy frame
of mind, seems to be the commonest cause.[804] The circumstances must
not be of a momentous nature: no poor man would laugh or smile on
suddenly hearing that a large fortune had been bequeathed to him. If
the mind is strongly excited by pleasurable feelings, and any little
unexpected event or thought occurs, then, as Mr. Herbert Spencer
remarks,[805] “a large amount of nervous energy, instead of being
allowed to expend itself in producing an equivalent amount of the new
thoughts and emotion which were nascent, is suddenly checked in its
flow.”... “The excess must discharge itself in some other direction,
and there results an efflux through the motor nerves to various classes
of the muscles, producing the half-convulsive actions we term
laughter.” An observation, bearing on this point, was made by a
correspondent during the recent siege of Paris, namely, that the German
soldiers, after strong excitement from exposure to extreme danger, were
particularly apt to burst out into loud laughter at the smallest joke.
So again when young children are just beginning to cry, an unexpected
event will sometimes suddenly turn their crying into laughter, which
apparently serves equally well to expend their superfluous nervous

The imagination is sometimes said to be tickled by a ludicrous idea;
and this so-called tickling of the mind is curiously analogous with
that of the body. Every one knows how immoderately children laugh, and
how their whole bodies are convulsed when they are tickled. The
anthropoid apes, as we have seen, likewise utter a reiterated sound,
corresponding with our laughter, when they are tickled, especially
under the armpits. I touched with a bit of paper the sole of the foot
of one of my infants, when only seven days old, and it was suddenly
jerked away and the toes curled about, as in an older child. Such
movements, as well as laughter from being tickled, are manifestly
reflex actions; and this is likewise shown by the minute unstriped
muscles, which serve to erect the separate hairs on the body,
contracting near a tickled surface.[806] Yet laughter from a ludicrous
idea, though involuntary, cannot be called a strictly reflex action. In
this case, and in that of laughter from being tickled, the mind must be
in a pleasurable condition; a young child, if tickled by a strange man,
would scream from fear. The touch must be light, and an idea or event,
to be ludicrous, must not be of grave import. The parts of the body
which are most easily tickled are those which are not commonly touched,
such as the armpits or between the toes, or parts such as the soles of
the feet, which are habitually touched by a broad surface; but the
surface on which we sit offers a marked exception to this rule.
According to Gratiolet,[807] certain nerves are much more sensitive to
tickling than others. From the fact that a child can hardly tickle
itself, or in a much less degree than when tickled by another person,
it seems that the precise point to be touched must not be known; so
with the mind, something unexpected—a novel or incongruous idea which
breaks through an habitual train of thought—appears to be a strong
element in the ludicrous.

The sound of laughter is produced by a deep inspiration followed by
short, interrupted, spasmodic contractions of the chest, and especially
of the diaphragm.[808] Hence we hear of “laughter holding both his
sides.” From the shaking of the body, the head nods to and fro. The
lower jaw often quivers up and down, as is likewise the case with some
species of baboons, when they are much pleased.

Moderate Laughter and Smiling. Plate III

During laughter the mouth is opened more or less widely, with the
corners drawn much backwards, as well as a little upwards; and the
upper lip is somewhat raised. The drawing back of the corners is best
seen in moderate laughter, and especially in a broad smile—the latter
epithet showing how the mouth is widened. In the accompanying figs.
1-3, Plate III., different degrees of moderate laughter and smiling
have been photographed. The figure of the little girl, with the hat is
by Dr. Wallich, and the expression was a genuine one; the other two are
by Mr. Rejlander. Dr. Duchenne repeatedly insists[809] that, under the
emotion of joy, the mouth is acted on exclusively by the great
zygomatic muscles, which serve to draw the corners backwards and
upwards; but judging from the manner in which the upper teeth are
always exposed during laughter and broad smiling, as well as from my
own sensations, I cannot doubt that some of the muscles running to the
upper lip are likewise brought into moderate action. The upper and
lower orbicular muscles of the eyes are at the same time more or less
contracted; and there is an intimate connection, as explained in the
chapter on weeping, between the orbiculars, especially the lower ones
and some of the muscles running to the upper lip. Henle remarks[810] on
this head, that when a man closely shuts one eye he cannot avoid
retracting the upper lip on the same side; conversely, if any one will
place his finger on his lower eyelid, and then uncover his upper
incisors as much as possible, he will feel, as his upper lip is drawn
strongly upwards, that the muscles of the lower eyelid contract. In
Henle’s drawing, given in woodcut, fig. 2, the _musculus malaris_ (H)
which runs to the upper lip may be seen to form an almost integral part
of the lower orbicular muscle.

Dr. Duchenne has given a large photograph of an old man (reduced on
Plate III. fig 4), in his usual passive condition, and another of the
same man (fig. 5), naturally smiling. The latter was instantly
recognized by every one to whom it was shown as true to nature. He has
also given, as an example of an unnatural or false smile, another
photograph (fig. 6) of the same old man, with the corners of his mouth
strongly retracted by the galvanization of the great zygomatic muscles.
That the expression is not natural is clear, for I showed this
photograph to twenty-four persons, of whom three could not in the least
tell what was meant, whilst the others, though they perceived that the
expression was of the nature of a smile, answered in such words as “a
wicked joke,” “trying to laugh,” “grinning laughter.... half-amazed
laughter,” &c. Dr. Duchenne attributes the falseness of the expression
altogether to the orbicular muscles of the lower eyelids not being
sufficiently contracted; for he justly lays great stress on their
contraction in the expression of joy. No doubt there is much truth in
this view, but not, as it appears to me, the whole truth. The
contraction of the lower orbiculars is always accompanied, as we have
seen, by the drawing up of the upper lip. Had the upper lip, in fig. 6,
been thus acted on to a slight extent, its curvature would have been
less rigid, the naso-labial farrow would have been slightly different,
and the whole expression would, as I believe, have been more natural,
independently of the more conspicuous effect from the stronger
contraction of the lower eyelids. The corrugator muscle, moreover, in
fig. 6, is too much contracted, causing a frown; and this muscle never
acts under the influence of joy except during strongly pronounced or
violent laughter.

By the drawing backwards and upwards of the corners of the mouth,
through the contraction of the great zygomatic muscles, and by the
raising of the upper lip, the cheeks are drawn upwards. Wrinkles are
thus formed under the eyes, and, with old people, at their outer ends;
and these are highly characteristic of laughter or smiling. As a gentle
smile increases into a strong one, or into a laugh, every one may feel
and see, if he will attend to his own sensations and look at himself in
a mirror, that as the upper lip is drawn up and the lower orbiculars
contract, the wrinkles in the lower eyelids and those beneath the eyes
are much strengthened or increased. At the same time, as I have
repeatedly observed, the eyebrows are slightly lowered, which shows
that the upper as well as the lower orbiculars contract at least to
some degree, though this passes unperecived, as far as our sensations
are concerned. If the original photograph of the old man, with his
countenance in its usual placid state (fig. 4), be compared with that
(fig. 5) in which he is naturally smiling, it may be seen that the
eyebrows in the latter are a little lowered. I presume that this is
owing to the upper orbiculars being impelled, through the force of
long-associated habit, to act to a certain extent in concert with the
lower orbiculars, which themselves contract in connection with the
drawing up of the upper lip.

The tendency in the zygomatic muscles to contract under pleasurable
emotions is shown by a curious fact, communicated to me by Dr. Browne,
with respect to patients suffering from GENERAL PARALYSIS OF THE
INSANE.[811] “In this malady there is almost invariably
optimism—delusions as to wealth, rank, grandeur—insane joyousness,
benevolence, and profusion, while its very earliest physical symptom is
trembling at the corners of the mouth and at the outer corners of the
eyes. This is a well-recognized fact. Constant tremulous agitation of
the inferior palpebral and great zygomatic muscles is pathognomic of
the earlier stages of general paralysis. The countenance has a pleased
and benevolent expression. As the disease advances other muscles become
involved, but until complete fatuity is reached, the prevailing
expression is that of feeble benevolence.”

As in laughing and broadly smiling the cheeks and upper lip are much
raised, the nose appears to be shortened, and the skin on the bridge
becomes finely wrinkled in transverse lines, with other oblique
longitudinal lines on the sides. The upper front teeth are commonly
exposed. A well-marked naso-labial fold is formed, which runs from the
wing of each nostril to the corner of the mouth; and this fold is often
double in old persons.

A bright and sparkling eye is as characteristic of a pleased or amused
state of mind, as is the retraction of the corners of the mouth and
upper lip with the wrinkles thus produced. Even the eyes of
microcephalous idiots, who are so degraded that they never learn to
speak, brighten slightly when they are pleased.[812] Under extreme
laughter the eyes are too much suffused with tears to sparkle; but the
moisture squeezed out of the glands during moderate laughter or smiling
may aid in giving them lustre; though this must be of altogether
subordinate importance, as they become dull from grief, though they are
then often moist. Their brightness seems to be chiefly due to their
tenseness,[813] owing to the contraction of the orbicular muscles and
to the pressure of the raised cheeks. But, according to Dr. Piderit,
who has discussed this point more fully than any other writer,[814] the
tenseness may be largely attributed to the eyeballs becoming filled
with blood and other fluids, from the acceleration of the circulation,
consequent on the excitement of pleasure. He remarks on the contrast in
the appearance of the eyes of a hectic patient with a rapid
circulation, and of a man suffering from cholera with almost all the
fluids of his body drained from him. Any cause which lowers the
circulation deadens the eye. I remember seeing a man utterly prostrated
by prolonged and severe exertion during a very hot day, and a bystander
compared his eyes to those of a boiled codfish.

To return to the sounds produced during laughter. We can see in a vague
manner how the utterance of sounds of some kind would naturally become
associated with a pleasurable state of mind; for throughout a large
part of the animal kingdom vocal or instrumental sounds are employed
either as a call or as a charm by one sex for the other. They are also
employed as the means for a joyful meeting between the parents and
their offspring, and between the attached members of the same social
community. But why the sounds which man utters when he is pleased have
the peculiar reiterated character of laughter we do not know.
Nevertheless we can see that they would naturally be as different as
possible from the screams or cries of distress; and as in the
production of the latter, the expirations are prolonged and continuous,
with the inspirations short and interrupted, so it might perhaps have
been expected with the sounds uttered from joy, that the expirations
would have been short and broken with the inspirations prolonged; and
this is the case.

It is an equally obscure point why the corners of the mouth are
retracted and the upper lip raised during ordinary laughter. The mouth
must not be opened to its utmost extent, for when this occurs during a
paroxysm of excessive laughter hardly any sound is emitted; or it
changes its tone and seems to come from deep down in the throat. The
respiratory muscles, and even those of the limbs, are at the same time
thrown into rapid vibratory movements. The lower jaw often partakes of
this movement, and this would tend to prevent the mouth from being
widely opened. But as a full volume of sound has to be poured forth,
the orifice of the mouth must be large; and it is perhaps to gain this
end that the corners are retracted and the upper lip raised. Although
we can hardly account for the shape of the mouth during laughter, which
leads to wrinkles being formed beneath the eyes, nor for the peculiar
reiterated sound of laughter, nor for the quivering of the jaws,
nevertheless we may infer that all these effects are due to some common
cause. For they are all characteristic and expressive of a pleased
state of mind in various kinds of monkeys.

A graduated series can be followed from violent to moderate laughter,
to a broad smile, to a gentle smile, and to the expression of mere
cheerfulness. During excessive laughter the whole body is often thrown
backward and shakes, or is almost convulsed; the respiration is much
disturbed; the head and face become gorged with blood, with the veins
distended; and the orbicular muscles are spasmodically contracted in
order to protect the eyes. Tears are freely shed. Hence, as formerly
remarked, it is scarcely possible to point out any difference between
the tear-stained face of a person after a paroxysm of excessive
laughter and after a bitter crying-fit.[815] It is probably due to the
close similarity of the spasmodic movements caused by these widely
different emotions that hysteric patients alternately cry and laugh
with violence, and that young children sometimes pass suddenly from the
one to the other state. Mr. Swinhoe informs me that he has often seen
the Chinese, when suffering from deep grief, burst out into hysterical
fits of laughter.

I was anxious to know whether tears are freely shed during excessive
laughter by most of the races of men, and I hear from my correspondents
that this is the case. One instance was observed with the Hindoos, and
they themselves said that it often occurred. So it is with the Chinese.
The women of a wild tribe of Malays in the Malacca peninsula, sometimes
shed tears when they laugh heartily, though this seldom occurs. With
the Dyaks of Borneo it must frequently be the case, at least with the
women, for I hear from the Rajah C. Brooke that it is a common
expression with them to say “we nearly made tears from laughter.” The
aborigines of Australia express their emotions freely, and they are
described by my correspondents as jumping about and clapping their
hands for joy, and as often roaring with laughter. No less than four
observers have seen their eyes freely watering on such occasions; and
in one instance the tears rolled down their cheeks. Mr. Bulmer, a
missionary in a remote part of Victoria, remarks, “that they have a
keen sense of the ridiculous; they are excellent mimics, and when one
of them is able to imitate the peculiarities of some absent member of
the tribe, it is very common to hear all in the camp convulsed with
laughter.” With Europeans hardly anything excites laughter so easily as
mimicry; and it is rather curious to find the same fact with the
savages of Australia, who constitute one of the most distinct races in
the world.

In Southern Africa with two tribes of Kafirs, especially with the
women, their eyes often fill with tears during laughter. Gaika, the
brother of the chief Sandilli, answers my query on this head, with the
words, “Yes, that is their common practice.” Sir Andrew Smith has seen
the painted face of a Hottentot woman all furrowed with tears after a
fit of laughter. In Northern Africa, with the Abyssinians, tears are
secreted under the same circumstances. Lastly, in North America, the
same fact has been observed in a remarkably savage and isolated tribe,
but chiefly with the women; in another tribe it was observed only on a
single occasion.

Excessive laughter, as before remarked, graduates into moderate
laughter. In this latter case the muscles round the eyes are much less
contracted, and there is little or no frowning. Between a gentle laugh
and a broad smile there is hardly any difference, excepting that in
smiling no reiterated sound is uttered, though a single rather strong
expiration, or slight noise—a rudiment of a laugh—may often be heard at
the commencement of a smile. On a moderately smiling countenance the
contraction of the upper orbicular muscles can still just be traced by
a slight lowering of the eyebrows. The contraction of the lower
orbicular and palpebral muscles is much plainer, and is shown by the
wrinkling of the lower eyelids and of the skin beneath them, together
with a slight drawing up of the upper lip. From the broadest smile we
pass by the finest steps into the gentlest one. In this latter case the
features are moved in a much less degree, and much more slowly, and the
mouth is kept closed. The curvature of the naso-labial furrow is also
slightly different in the two cases. We thus see that no abrupt line of
demarcation can be drawn between the movement of the features during
the most violent laughter and a very faint smile.[816]

A smile, therefore, may be said to be the first stage in the
development of a laugh. But a different and more probable view may be
suggested; namely, that the habit of uttering load reiterated sounds
from a sense of pleasure, first led to the retraction of the corners of
the mouth and of the upper lip, and to the contraction of the orbicular
muscles; and that now, through association and long-continued habit,
the same muscles are brought into slight play whenever any cause
excites in us a feeling which, if stronger, would have led to laughter;
and the result is a smile.

Whether we look at laughter as the full development of a smile, or, as
is more probable, at a gentle smile as the last trace of a habit,
firmly fixed during many generations, of laughing whenever we are
joyful, we can follow in our infants the gradual passage of the one
into the other. It is well known to those who have the charge of young
infants, that it is difficult to feel sure when certain movements about
their mouths are really expressive; that is, when they really smile.
Hence I carefully watched my own infants. One of them at the age of
forty-five days, and being at the time in a happy frame of mind,
smiled; that is, the corners of the mouth were retracted, and
simultaneously the eyes became decidedly bright. I observed the same
thing on the following day; but on the third day the child was not
quite well and there was no trace of a smile, and this renders it
probable that the previous smiles were real. Eight days subsequently
and during the next succeeding week, it was remarkable how his eyes
brightened whenever he smiled, and his nose became at the same time
transversely wrinkled. This was now accompanied by a little bleating
noise, which perhaps represented a laugh. At the age of 113 days these
little noises, which were always made during expiration, assumed a
slightly different character, and were more broken or interrupted, as
in sobbing; and this was certainly incipient laughter. The change in
tone seemed to me at the time to be connected with the greater lateral
extension of the mouth as the smiles became broader.

In a second infant the first real smile was observed at about the same
age, viz. forty-five days; and in a third, at a somewhat earlier age.
The second infant, when sixty-five days old, smiled much more broadly
and plainly than did the one first mentioned at the same age; and even
at this early age uttered noises very like laughter. In this gradual
acquirement, by infants, of the habit of laughing, we have a case in
some degree analogous to that of weeping. As practice is requisite with
the ordinary movements of the body, such as walking, so it seems to be
with laughing and weeping. The art of screaming, on the other hand,
from being of service to infants, has become finely developed from the
earliest days.

_High spirits, cheerfulness_.—A man in high spirits, though he may not
actually smile, commonly exhibits some tendency to the retraction of
the corners of his mouth. From the excitement of pleasure, the
circulation becomes more rapid; the eyes are bright, and the colour of
the face rises. The brain, being stimulated by the increased flow of
blood, reacts on the mental powers; lively ideas pass still more
rapidly through the mind, and the affections are warmed. I heard a
child, a little under four years old, when asked what was meant by
being in good spirits, answer, “It is laughing, talking, and kissing.”
It would be difficult to give a truer and more practical definition. A
man in this state holds his body erect, his head upright, and his eyes
open. There is no drooping of the features, and no contraction of the
eyebrows. On the contrary, the frontal muscle, as Moreau observes,[817]
tends to contract slightly; and this smooths the brow, removes every
trace of a frown, arches the eyebrows a little, and raises the eyelids.
Hence the Latin phrase, _exporrigere frontem_—to unwrinkle the
brow—means, to be cheerful or merry. The whole expression of a man in
good spirits is exactly the opposite of that of one suffering from
sorrow. According to Sir C. Bell, “In all the exhilarating emotions the
eyebrows, eyelids, the nostrils, and the angles of the mouth are
raised. In the depressing passions it is the reverse.” Under the
influence of the latter the brow is heavy, the eyelids, cheeks, mouth,
and whole head droop; the eyes are dull; the countenance pallid, and
the respiration slow. In joy the face expands, in grief it lengthens.
Whether the principle of antithesis has here come into play in
producing these opposite expressions, in aid of the direct causes which
have been specified and which are sufficiently plain, I will not
pretend to say.

With all the races of man the expression of good spirit appears to be
the same, and is easily recognized. My informants, from various parts
of the Old and New Worlds, answer in the affirmative to my queries on
this head, and they give some particulars with respect to Hindoos,
Malays, and New Zealanders. The brightness of the eyes of the
Australians has struck four observers, and the same fact has been
noticed with Hindoos, New Zealanders, and the Dyaks of Borneo.

Savages sometimes express their satisfaction not only by smiling, but
by gestures derived from the pleasure of eating. Thus Mr. Wedgwood[818]
quotes Petherick that the negroes on the Upper Nile began a general
rubbing of their bellies when he displayed his beads; and Leichhardt
says that the Australians smacked and clacked their mouths at the sight
of his horses and bullocks, and more especially of his kangaroo dogs.
The Greenlanders, “when they affirm anything with pleasure, suck down
air with a certain sound;”[819] and this may be an imitation of the act
of swallowing savoury food.

Laughter is suppressed by the firm contraction of the orbicular muscles
of the mouth, which prevents the great zygomatic and other muscles from
drawing the lips backwards and upwards. The lower lip is also sometimes
held by the teeth, and this gives a roguish expression to the face, as
was observed with the blind and deaf Laura Bridgman.[820] The great
zygomatic muscle is sometimes variable in its course, and I have seen a
young woman in whom the _depressores anguli oris_ were brought into
strong action in suppressing a smile; but this by no means gave to her
countenance a melancholy expression, owing to the brightness of her

Laughter is frequently employed in a forced manner to conceal or mask
some other state of mind, even anger. We often see persons laughing in
order to conceal their shame or shyness. When a person purses up his
mouth, as if to prevent the possibility of a smile, though there is
nothing to excite one, or nothing to prevent its free indulgence, an
affected, solemn, or pedantic expression is given; but of such hybrid
expressions nothing more need here be said. In the case of derision, a
real or pretended smile or laugh is often blended with the expression
proper to contempt, and this may pass into angry contempt or scorn. In
such cases the meaning of the laugh or smile is to show the offending
person that he excites only amusement.

_Love, tender feelings, &c_.—Although the emotion of love, for instance
that of a mother for her infant, is one of the strongest of which the
mind is capable, it can hardly be said to have any proper or peculiar
means of expression; and this is intelligible, as it has not habitually
led to any special line of action. No doubt, as affection is a
pleasurable sensation, it generally causes a gentle smile and some
brightening of the eyes. A strong desire to touch the beloved person is
commonly felt; and love is expressed by this means more plainly than by
any other.[821] Hence we long to clasp in our arms those whom we
tenderly love. We probably owe this desire to inherited habit, in
association with the nursing and tending of our children, and with the
mutual caresses of lovers.

With the lower animals we see the same principle of pleasure derived
from contact in association with love. Dogs and cats manifestly take
pleasure in rubbing against their masters and mistresses, and in being
rubbed or patted by them. Many kinds of monkeys, as I am assured by the
keepers in the Zoological Gardens, delight in fondling and being
fondled by each other, and by persons to whom they are attached. Mr.
Bartlett has described to me the behaviour of two chimpanzees, rather
older animals than those generally imported into this country, when
they were first brought together. They sat opposite, touching each
other with their much protruded lips; and the one put his hand on the
shoulder of the other. They then mutually folded each other in their
arms. Afterwards they stood up, each with one arm on the shoulder of
the other, lifted up their heads, opened their mouths, and yelled with

We Europeans are so accustomed to kissing as a mark of affection, that
it might be thought to be innate in mankind; but this is not the case.
Steele was mistaken when he said “Nature was its author, and it began
with the first courtship.” Jemmy Button, the Fuegian, told me that this
practice was unknown in his land. It is equally unknown with the New
Zealanders, Tahitians, Papuans, Australians, Somals of Africa, and the
Esquimaux. But it is so far innate or natural that it apparently
depends on pleasure from close contact with a beloved person; and it is
replaced in various parts of the world, by the rubbing of noses, as
with the New Zealanders and Laplanders, by the rubbing or patting of
the arms, breasts, or stomachs, or by one man striking his own face
with the hands or feet of another. Perhaps the practice of blowing, as
a mark of affection, on various parts of the body may depend on the
same principle.[823]

The feelings which are called tender are difficult to analyse; they
seem to be compounded of affection, joy, and especially of sympathy.
These feelings are in themselves of a pleasurable nature, excepting
when pity is too deep, or horror is aroused, as in hearing of a
tortured man or animal. They are remarkable under our present point of
view from so readily exciting the secretion of tears. Many a father and
son have wept on meeting after a long separation, especially if the
meeting has been unexpected. No doubt extreme joy by itself tends to
act on the lacrymal glands; but on such occasions as the foregoing
vague thoughts of the grief which would have been felt had the father
and son never met, will probably have passed through their minds; and
grief naturally leads to the secretion of tears. Thus on the return of

“Telemachus Rose, and clung weeping round his father’s breast.
There the pent grief rained o’er them, yearning thus.
*   *    *    *    *    *
Thus piteously they wailed in sore unrest,
And on their weepings had gone down the day,
But that at last Telemachus found words to say.”
_Worsley’s Translation of the Odyssey_, Book xvi. st. 27.

So again when Penelope at last recognized her husband:—

“Then from her eyelids the quick tears did start
And she ran to him from her place, and threw
Her arms about his neck, and a warm dew
Of kisses poured upon him, and thus spake:”
—Book xxiii.  st.  27.

The vivid recollection of our former home, or of long-past happy days,
readily causes the eyes to be suffused with tears; but here, again, the
thought naturally occurs that these days will never return. In such
cases we may be said to sympathize with ourselves in our present, in
comparison with our former, state. Sympathy with the distresses of
others, even with the imaginary distresses of a heroine in a pathetic
story, for whom we feel no affection, readily excites tears. So does
sympathy with the happiness of others, as with that of a lover, at last
successful after many hard trials in a well-told tale.

Sympathy appears to constitute a separate or distinct emotion; and it
is especially apt to excite the lacrymal glands. This holds good
whether we give or receive sympathy. Every one must have noticed how
readily children burst out crying if we pity them for some small hurt.
With the melancholic insane, as Dr. Crichton Browne informs me, a kind
word will often plunge them into unrestrained weeping. As soon as we
express our pity for the grief of a friend, tears often come into our
own eyes. The feeling of sympathy is commonly explained by assuming
that, when we see or hear of suffering in another, the idea of
suffering is called up so vividly in our own minds that we ourselves
suffer. But this explanation is hardly sufficient, for it does not
account for the intimate alliance between sympathy and affection. We
undoubtedly sympathize far more deeply with a beloved than with an
indifferent person; and the sympathy of the one gives us far more
relief than that of the other. Yet assuredly we can sympathize with
those for whom we feel no affection.

Why suffering, when actually experienced by ourselves, excites weeping,
has been discussed in a former chapter. With respect to joy, its
natural and universal expression is laughter; and with all the races of
man loud laughter leads to the secretion of tears more freely than does
any other cause excepting distress. The suffusion of the eyes with
tears, which undoubtedly occurs under great joy, though there is no
laughter, can, as it seems to me, be explained through habit and
association on the same principles as the effusion of tears from grief,
although there is no screaming. Nevertheless it is not a little
remarkable that sympathy with the distresses of others should excite
tears more freely than our own distress; and this certainly is the
case. Many a man, from whose eyes no suffering of his own could wring a
tear, has shed tears at the sufferings of a beloved friend. It is still
more remarkable that sympathy with the happiness or good fortune of
those whom we tenderly love should lead to the same result, whilst a
similar happiness felt by ourselves would leave our eyes dry. We
should, however, bear in mind that the long-continued habit of
restraint which is so powerful in checking the free flow of tears from
bodily pain, has not been brought into play in preventing a moderate
effusion of tears in sympathy with the sufferings or happiness of

Music has a wonderful power, as I have elsewhere attempted to
show,[824] of recalling in a vague and indefinite manner, those strong
emotions which were felt during long-past ages, when, as is probable,
our early progenitors courted each other by the aid of vocal tones. And
as several of our strongest emotions—grief, great joy, love, and
sympathy—lead to the free secretion of tears, it is not surprising that
music should be apt to cause our eyes to become suffused with tears,
especially when we are already softened by any of the tenderer
feelings. Music often produces another peculiar effect. We know that
every strong sensation, emotion, or excitement—extreme pain, rage,
terror, joy, or the passion of love—all have a special tendency to
cause the muscles to tremble; and the thrill or slight shiver which
runs down the backbone and limbs of many persons when they are
powerfully affected by music, seems to bear the same relation to the
above trembling of the body, as a slight suffusion of tears from the
power of music does to weeping from any strong and real emotion.

_Devotion_.—As devotion is, in some degree, related to affection,
though mainly consisting of reverence, often combined with fear, the
expression of this state of mind may here be briefly noticed. With some
sects, both past and present, religion and love have been strangely
combined; and it has even been maintained, lamentable as the fact may
be, that the holy kiss of love differs but little from that which a man
bestows on a woman, or a woman on a man.[825] Devotion is chiefly
expressed by the face being directed towards the heavens, with the
eyeballs upturned. Sir C. Bell remarks that, at the approach of sleep,
or of a fainting-fit, or of death, the pupils are drawn upwards and
inwards; and he believes that “when we are wrapt in devotional
feelings, and outward impressions are unheeded, the eyes are raised by
an action neither taught nor acquired.” and that this is due to the
same cause as in the above cases.[826] That the eyes are upturned
during sleep is, as I hear from Professor Donders, certain. With
babies, whilst sucking their mother’s breast, this movement of the
eyeballs often gives to them an absurd appearance of ecstatic delight;
and here it may be clearly perceived that a struggle is going on
against the position naturally assumed during sleep. But Sir C. Bell’s
explanation of the fact, which rests on the assumption that certain
muscles are more under the control of the will than others is, as I
hear from Professor Donders, incorrect. As the eyes are often turned up
in prayer, without the mind being so much absorbed in thought as to
approach to the unconsciousness of sleep, the movement is probably a
conventional one—the result of the common belief that Heaven, the
source of Divine power to which we pray, is seated above us.

A humble kneeling posture, with the hands upturned and palms joined,
appears to us, from long habit, a gesture so appropriate to devotion,
that it might be thought to be innate; but I have not met with any
evidence to this effect with the various extra-European races of
mankind. During the classical period of Roman history it does not
appear, as I hear from an excellent classic, that the hands were thus
joined during prayer. Mr. Rensleigh Wedgwood has apparently given[827]
the true explanation, though this implies that the attitude is one of
slavish subjection. “When the suppliant kneels and holds up his hands
with the palms joined, he represents a captive who proves the
completeness of his submission by offering up his hands to be bound by
the victor. It is the pictorial representation of the Latin _dare
manus_, to signify submission.” Hence it is not probable that either
the uplifting of the eyes or the joining of the open hands, under the
influence of devotional feelings, are innate or truly expressive
actions; and this could hardly have been expected, for it is very
doubtful whether feelings, such as we should now rank as devotional,
affected the hearts of men, whilst they remained during past ages in an
uncivilized condition.


The act of frowning—Reflection with an effort, or with the perception
of something difficult or disagreeable—Abstracted
meditation—Ill-temper—Moroseness—Obstinacy Sulkiness and
pouting—Decision or determination—The firm closure of the mouth.

The corrugators, by their contraction, lower the eyebrows and bring
them together, producing vertical furrows on the forehead—that is, a
frown. Sir C. Bell, who erroneously thought that the corrugator was
peculiar to man, ranks it as “the most remarkable muscle of the human
face. It knits the eyebrows with an energetic effort, which
unaccountably, but irresistibly, conveys the idea of mind.” Or, as he
elsewhere says, “when the eyebrows are knit, energy of mind is
apparent, and there is the mingling of thought and emotion with the
savage and brutal rage of the mere animal.”[901] There is much truth in
these remarks, but hardly the whole truth. Dr. Duchenne has called the
corrugator the muscle of reflection;[902] but this name, without some
limitation, cannot be considered as quite correct.

A man may be absorbed in the deepest thought, and his brow will remain
smooth until he encounters some obstacle in his train of reasoning, or
is interrupted by some disturbance, and then a frown passes like a
shadow over his brow. A half-starved man may think intently how to
obtain food, but he probably will not frown unless he encounters either
in thought or action some difficulty, or finds the food when obtained
nauseous. I have noticed that almost everyone instantly frowns if he
perceives a strange or bad taste in what he is eating. I asked several
persons, without explaining my object, to listen intently to a very
gentle tapping sound, the nature and source of which they all perfectly
knew, and not one frowned; but a man who joined us, and who could not
conceive what we were all doing in profound silence, when asked to
listen, frowned much, though not in an ill-temper, and said he could
not in the least understand what we all wanted. Dr. Piderit[903] who
has published remarks to the same effect, adds that stammerers
generally frown in speaking, and that a man in doing even so trifling a
thing as pulling on a boot, frowns if he finds it too tight. Some
persons are such habitual frowners, that the mere effort of speaking
almost always causes their brows to contract.

Men of all races frown when they are in any way perplexed in thought,
as I infer from the answers which I have received to my queries; but I
framed them badly, confounding absorbed meditation with perplexed
reflection. Nevertheless, it is clear that the Australians, Malays,
Hindoos, and Kafirs of South Africa frown, when they are puzzled.
Dobritzhoffer remarks that the Guaranies of South America on like
occasions knit their brows.[904]

From these considerations, we may conclude that frowning is not the
expression of simple reflection, however profound, or of attention,
however close, but of something difficult or displeasing encountered in
a train of thought or in action. Deep reflection can, however, seldom
be long carried on without some difficulty, so that it will generally
be accompanied by a frown. Hence it is that frowning commonly gives to
the countenance, as Sir C. Bell remarks, an aspect of intellectual
energy. But in order that this effect may be produced, the eyes must be
clear and steady, or they may be cast downwards, as often occurs in
deep thought. The countenance must not be otherwise disturbed, as in
the case of an ill-tempered or peevish man, or of one who shows the
effects of prolonged suffering, with dulled eyes and drooping jaw, or
who perceives a bad taste in his food, or who finds it difficult to
perform some trifling act, such as threading a needle. In these cases a
frown may often be seen, but it will be accompanied by some other
expression, which will entirely prevent the countenance having an
appearance of intellectual energy or of profound thought.

We may now inquire how it is that a frown should express the perception
of something difficult or disagreeable, either in thought or action. In
the same way as naturalists find it advisable to trace the
embryological development of an organ in order fully to understand its
structure, so with the movements of expression it is advisable to
follow as nearly as possible the same plan. The earliest and almost
sole expression seen during the first days of infancy, and then often
exhibited is that displayed during the act of screaming; and screaming
is excited, both at first and for some time afterwards, by every
distressing or displeasing sensation and emotion,—by hunger, pain,
anger, jealousy, fear, &c. At such times the muscles round the eyes are
strongly contracted; and this, as I believe, explains to a large extent
the act of frowning during the remainder of our lives. I repeatedly
observed my own infants, from under the age of one week to that of two
or three months, and found that when a screaming-fit came on gradually,
the first sign was the contraction of the corrugators, which produced a
slight frown, quickly followed by the contraction of the other muscles
round the eyes. When an infant is uncomfortable or unwell, little
frowns—as I record in my notes—may be seen incessantly passing like
shadows over its face; these being generally, but not always, followed
sooner or later by a crying-fit. For instance, I watched for some time
a baby, between seven and eight weeks old, sucking some milk which was
cold, and therefore displeasing to him; and a steady little frown was
maintained all the time. This was never developed into an actual
crying-fit, though occasionally every stage of close approach could be

As the habit of contracting the brows has been followed by infants
during innumerable generations, at the commencement of every crying or
screaming fit, it has become firmly associated with the incipient sense
of something distressing or disagreeable. Hence under similar
circumstances it would be apt to be continued during maturity, although
never then developed into a crying-fit. Screaming or weeping begins to
be voluntarily restrained at an early period of life, whereas frowning
is hardly ever restrained at any age. It is perhaps worth notice that
with children much given to weeping, anything which perplexes their
minds, and which would cause most other children merely to frown,
readily makes them weep. So with certain classes of the insane, any
effort of mind, however slight, which with an habitual frowner would
cause a slight frown, leads to their weeping in an unrestrained manner.
It is not more surprising that the habit of contracting the brows at
the first perception of something distressing, although gained during
infancy, should be retained during the rest of our lives, than that
many other associated habits acquired at an early age should be
permanently retained both by man and the lower animals. For instance,
full-grown cats, when feeling warm and comfortable, often retain the
habit of alternately protruding their fore-feet with extended toes,
which habit they practised for a definite purpose whilst sucking their

Another and distinct cause has probably strengthened the habit of
frowning, whenever the mind is intent on any subject and encounters
some difficulty. Vision is the most important of all the senses, and
during primeval times the closest attention must have been incessantly:
directed towards distant objects for the sake of obtaining prey and
avoiding danger. I remember being struck, whilst travelling in parts of
South America, which were dangerous from the presence of Indians, how
incessantly, yet as it appeared unconsciously, the half-wild Gauchos
closely scanned the whole horizon. Now, when any one with no covering
on his head (as must have been aboriginally the case with mankind),
strives to the utmost to distinguish in broad daylight, and especially
if the sky is bright, a distant object, he almost invariably contracts
his brows to prevent the entrance of too much light; the lower eyelids,
cheeks, and upper lip being at the same time raised, so as to lessen
the orifice of the eyes. I have purposely asked several persons, young
and old, to look, under the above circumstances, at distant objects,
making them believe that I only wished to test the power of their
vision; and they all behaved in the manner just described. Some of
them, also, put their open, flat hands over their eyes to keep out the
excess of light. Gratiolet, after making some remarks to nearly the
same effect,[905] says, “Ce sont là des attitudes de vision difficile.”
He concludes that the muscles round the eyes contract partly for the
sake of excluding too much light (which appears to me the more
important end), and partly to prevent all rays striking the retina,
except those which come direct from the object that is scrutinized. Mr.
Bowman, whom I consulted on this point, thinks that the contraction of
the surrounding muscles may, in addition, “partly sustain the
consensual movements of the two eyes, by giving a firmer support while
the globes are brought to binocular vision by their own proper

As the effort of viewing with care under a bright light a distant
object is both difficult and irksome, and as this effort has been
habitually accompanied, during numberless generations, by the
contraction of the eyebrows, the habit of frowning will thus have been
much strengthened; although it was originally practised during infancy
from a quite independent cause, namely as the first step in the
protection of the eyes during screaming. There is, indeed, much
analogy, as far as the state of the mind is concerned, between intently
scrutinizing a distant object, and following out an obscure train of
thought, or performing some little and troublesome mechanical work. The
belief that the habit of contracting the brows is continued when there
is no need whatever to exclude too much light, receives support from
the cases formerly alluded to, in which the eyebrows or eyelids are
acted on under certain circumstances in a useless manner, from having
been similarly used, under analogous circumstances, for a serviceable
purpose. For instance, we voluntarily close our eyes when we do not
wish to see any object, and we are apt to close them, when we reject a
proposition, as if we could not or would not see it; or when we think
about something horrible. We raise our eyebrows when we wish to see
quickly all round us, and we often do the same, when we earnestly
desire to remember something; acting as if we endeavoured to see it.

_Abstraction. Meditation_.—When a person is lost in thought with his
mind absent, or, as it is sometimes said, “when he is in a brown
study,” he does not frown, but his eyes appear vacant. The lower
eyelids are generally raised and wrinkled, in the same manner as when a
short-sighted person tries to distinguish a distant object; and the
upper orbicular muscles are at the same time slightly contracted. The
wrinkling of the lower eyelids under these circumstances has been
observed with some savages, as by Mr. Dyson Lacy with the Australians
of Queensland, and several times by Mr. Geach with the Malays of the
interior of Malacca. What the meaning or cause of this action may be,
cannot at present be explained; but here we have another instance of
movement round the eyes in relation to the state of the mind.

The vacant expression of the eyes is very peculiar, and at once shows
when a man is completely lost in thought. Professor Donders has, with
his usual kindness, investigated this subject for me. He has observed
others in this condition, and has been himself observed by Professor
Engelmann. The eyes are not then fixed on any object, and therefore
not, as I had imagined, on some distant object. The lines of vision of
the two eyes even often become slightly divergent; the divergence, if
the head be held vertically, with the plane of vision horizontal,
amounting to an angle of 2° as a maximum. This was ascertained by
observing the crossed double image of a distant object. When the head
droops forward, as often occurs with a man absorbed in thought, owing
to the general relaxation of his muscles, if the plane of vision be
still horizontal, the eyes are necessarily a little turned upwards, and
then the divergence is as much as 3°, or 3° 5’: if the eyes are turned
still more upwards, it amounts to between 6° and 7°. Professor Donders
attributes this divergence to the almost complete relaxation of certain
muscles of the eyes, which would be apt to follow from the mind being
wholly absorbed.[906] The active condition of the muscles of the eyes
is that of convergence; and Professor Donders remarks, as bearing on
their divergence during a period of complete abstraction, that when one
eye becomes blind, it almost always, after a short lapse of time,
deviates outwards; for its muscles are no longer used in moving the
eyeball inwards for the sake of binocular vision.

Perplexed reflection is often accompanied by certain movements or
gestures. At such times we commonly raise our hands to our foreheads,
mouths, or chins; but we do not act thus, as far as I have seen, when
we are quite lost in meditation, and no difficulty is encountered.
Plautus, describing in one of his plays[907] a puzzled man, says, “Now
look, he has pillared his chin upon his hand.” Even so trifling and
apparently unmeaning a gesture as the raising of the hand to the face
has been observed with some savages. Mr. J. Mansel Weale has seen it
with the Kafirs of South Africa; and the native chief Gaika adds, that
men then “sometimes pull their beards.” Mr. Washington Matthews, who
attended to some of the wildest tribes of Indians in the western
regions of the United States, remarks that he has seen them when
concentrating their thoughts, bring their “hands, usually the thumb and
index finger, in contact with some part of the face, commonly the upper
lip.” We can understand why the forehead should be pressed or rubbed,
as deep thought tries the brain; but why the hand should be raised to
the mouth or face is far from clear.

_Ill-temper_.—We have seen that frowning is the natural expression of
some difficulty encountered, or of something disagreeable experienced
either in thought or action, and he whose mind is often and readily
affected in this way, will be apt to be ill-tempered, or slightly
angry, or peevish, and will commonly show it by frowning. But a cross
expression, due to a frown, may be counteracted, if the mouth appears
sweet, from being habitually drawn into a smile, and the eyes are
bright and cheerful. So it will be if the eye is clear and steady, and
there is the appearance of earnest reflection. Frowning, with some
depression of the corners of the mouth, which is a sign of grief, gives
an air of peevishness. If a child (see Plate IV., fig. 2)[908] frowns
much whilst crying, but does not strongly contract in the usual manner
the orbicular muscles, a well-marked expression of anger or even of
rage, together with misery, is displayed.

Ill-temper. Plate IV

If the whole frowning brow be drawn much downward by the contraction of
the pyramidal muscles of the nose, which produces transverse wrinkles
or folds across the base of the nose, the expression becomes one of
moroseness. Duchenne believes that the contraction of this muscle,
without any frowning, gives the appearance of extreme and aggressive
hardness.[909] But I much doubt whether this is a true or natural
expression. I have shown Duchenne’s photograph of a young man, with
this muscle strongly contracted by means of galvanism, to eleven
persons, including some artists, and none of them could form an idea
what was intended, except one, a girl, who answered correctly, “surely
reserve.” When I first looked at this photograph, knowing what was
intended, my imagination added, as I believe, what was necessary,
namely, a frowning brow; and consequently the expression appeared to me
true and extremely morose.

A firmly closed mouth, in addition to a lowered and frowning brow,
gives determination to the expression, or may make it obstinate and
sullen. How it comes that the firm closure of the mouth gives the
appearance of determination will presently be discussed. An expression
of sullen obstinacy has been clearly recognized by my informants, in
the natives of six different regions of Australia. It is well marked,
according to Mr. Scott, with the Hindoos. It has been recognized with
the Malays, Chinese, Kafirs, Abyssinians, and in a conspicuous degree,
according to Dr. Rothrock, with the wild Indians of North America, and
according to Mr. D. Forbes, with the Aymaras of Bolivia. I have also
observed it with the Araucanos of southern Chili. Mr. Dyson Lacy
remarks that the natives of Australia, when in this frame of mind,
sometimes fold their arms across their breasts, an attitude which may
be seen with us. A firm determination, amounting to obstinacy, is,
also, sometimes expressed by both shoulders being kept raised, the
meaning of which gesture will be explained in the following chapter.

With young children sulkiness is shown by pouting, or, as it is
sometimes called, “making a snout.”[910] When the corners of the mouth
are much depressed, the lower lip is a little everted and protruded;
and this is likewise called a pout. But the pouting here referred to,
consists of the protrusion of both lips into a tubular form, sometimes
to such an extent as to project as far as the end of the nose, if this
be short. Pouting is generally accompanied by frowning, and sometimes
by the utterance of a booing or whooing noise. This expression is
remarkable, as almost the sole one, as far as I know, which is
exhibited much more plainly during childhood, at least with Europeans,
than during maturity. There is, however, some tendency to the
protrusion of the lips with the adults of all races under the influence
of great rage. Some children pout when they are shy, and they can then
hardly be called sulky.

From inquiries which I have made in several large families, pouting
does not seem very common with European children; but it prevails
throughout the world, and must be both common and strongly marked with
most savage races, as it has caught the attention of many observers. It
has been noticed in eight different districts of Australia; and one of
my informants remarks how greatly the lips of the children are then
protruded. Two observers have seen pouting with the children of
Hindoos; three, with those of the Kafirs and Fingoes of South Africa,
and with the Hottentots; and two, with the children of the wild Indians
of North America. Pouting has also been observed with the Chinese,
Abyssinians, Malays of Malacca, Dyaks of Borneo, and often with the New
Zealanders. Mr. Mansel Weale informs me that he has seen the lips much
protruded, not only with the children of the Kafirs, but with the
adults of both sexes when sulky; and Mr. Stack has sometimes observed
the same thing with the men, and very frequently with the women of New
Zealand. A trace of the same expression may occasionally be detected
even with adult Europeans.

We thus see that the protrusion of the lips, especially with young
children, is characteristic of sulkiness throughout the greater part of
the world. This movement apparently results from the retention, chiefly
during youth, of a primordial habit, or from an occasional reversion to
it. Young orangs and chimpanzees protrude their lips to an
extraordinary degree, as described in a former chapter, when they are
discontented, somewhat angry, or sulky; also when they are surprised, a
little frightened, and even when slightly pleased. Their mouths are
protruded apparently for the sake of making the various noises proper
to these several states of mind; and its shape, as I observed with the
chimpanzee, differed slightly when the cry of pleasure and that of
anger were uttered. As soon as these animals become enraged, the shape
of the month wholly changes, and the teeth are exposed. The adult orang
when wounded is said to emit “a singular cry, consisting at first of
high notes, which at length deepen into a low roar. While giving out
the high notes he thrusts out his lips into a funnel shape, but in
uttering the low notes he holds his mouth wide open.”[911] With the
gorilla, the lower lip is said to be capable of great elongation. If
then our semi-human progenitors protruded their lips when sulky or a
little angered, in the same manner as do the existing anthropoid apes,
it is not an anomalous, though a curious fact, that our children should
exhibit, when similarly affected, a trace of the same expression,
together with some tendency to utter a noise. For it is not at all
unusual for animals to retain, more or less perfectly, during early
youth, and subsequently to lose, characters which were aboriginally
possessed by their adult progenitors, and which are still retained by
distinct species, their near relations.

Nor is it an anomalous fact that the children of savages should exhibit
a stronger tendency to protrude their lips, when sulky, than the
children of civilized Europeans; for the essence of savagery seems to
consist in the retention of a primordial condition, and this
occasionally holds good even with bodily peculiarities.[912] It may be
objected to this view of the origin of pouting, that the anthropoid
apes likewise protrude their lips when astonished and even when a
little pleased; whilst with us this expression is generally confined to
a sulky frame of mind. But we shall see in a future chapter that with
men of various races surprise does sometimes lead to a slight
protrusion of the lips, though great surprise or astonishment is more
commonly shown by the mouth being widely opened. As when we smile or
laugh we draw back the corners of the mouth, we have lost any tendency
to protrude the lips, when pleased, if indeed our early progenitors
thus expressed pleasure.

A little gesture made by sulky children may here be noticed, namely,
their “showing a cold shoulder.” This has a different meaning, as, I
believe, from the keeping both shoulders raised. A cross child, sitting
on its parent’s knee, will lift up the near shoulder, then jerk it
away, as if from a caress, and afterwards give a backward push with it,
as if to push away the offender. I have seen a child, standing at some
distance from any one, clearly express its feelings by raising one
shoulder, giving it a little backward movement, and then turning away
its whole body.

_Decision or determination_.—The firm closure of the mouth tends to
give an expression of determination or decision to the countenance. No
determined man probably ever had an habitually gaping mouth. Hence,
also, a small and weak lower jaw, which seems to indicate that the
mouth is not habitually and firmly closed, is commonly thought to be
characteristic of feebleness of character. A prolonged effort of any
kind, whether of body or mind, implies previous determination; and if
it can be shown that the mouth is generally closed with firmness before
and during a great and continued exertion of the muscular system, then,
through the principle of association, the mouth would almost certainly
be closed as soon as any determined resolution was taken. Now several
observers have noticed that a man, in commencing any violent muscular
effort, invariably first distends his lungs with air, and then
compresses it by the strong contraction of the muscles of the chest;
and to effect this the mouth must be firmly closed. Moreover, as soon
as the man is compelled to draw breath, he still keeps his chest as
much distended as possible.

Various causes have been assigned for this manner of acting. Sir C.
Bell maintains[913] that the chest is distended with air, and is kept
distended at such times, in order to give a fixed support to the
muscles which are thereto attached. Hence, as he remarks, when two men
are engaged in a deadly contest, a terrible silence prevails, broken
only by hard stifled breathing. There is silence, because to expel the
air in the utterance of any sound would be to relax the support for the
muscles of the arms. If an outcry is heard, supposing the struggle to
take place in the dark, we at once know that one of the two has given
up in despair.

Gratiolet admits[914] that when a man has to struggle with another to
his utmost, or has to support a great weight, or to keep for a long
time the same forced attitude, it is necessary for him first to make a
deep inspiration, and then to cease breathing; but he thinks that Sir
C. Bell’s explanation is erroneous. He maintains that arrested
respiration retards the circulation of the blood, of which I believe
there is no doubt, and he adduces some curious evidence from the
structure of the lower animals, showing, on the one hand, that a
retarded circulation is necessary for prolonged muscular exertion, and,
on the other hand, that a rapid circulation is necessary for rapid
movements. According to this view, when we commence any great exertion,
we close our mouths and stop breathing, in order to retard the
circulation of the blood. Gratiolet sums up the subject by saying,
“C’est là la vraie théorie de l’effort continu;” but how far this
theory is admitted by other physiologists I do not know.

Dr. Piderit accounts[915] for the firm closure of the mouth during
strong muscular exertion, on the principle that the influence of the
will spreads to other muscles besides those necessarily brought into
action in making any particular exertion; and it is natural that the
muscles of respiration and of the mouth, from being so habitually used,
should be especially liable to be thus acted on. It appears to me that
there probably is some truth in this view, for we are apt to press the
teeth hard together during violent exertion, and this is not requisite
to prevent expiration, whilst the muscles of the chest are strongly

Lastly, when a man has to perform some delicate and difficult
operation, not requiring the exertion of any strength, he nevertheless
generally closes his mouth and ceases for a time to breathe; but he
acts thus in order that the movements of his chest may not disturb,
those of his arms. A person, for instance, whilst threading a needle,
may be seen to compress his lips and either to stop breathing, or to
breathe as quietly as possible. So it was, as formerly stated, with a
young and sick chimpanzee, whilst it amused itself by killing flies
with its knuckles, as they buzzed about on the window-panes. To perform
an action, however trifling, if difficult, implies some amount of
previous determination.

There appears nothing improbable in all the above assigned causes
having come into play in different degrees, either conjointly or
separately, on various occasions. The result would be a
well-established habit, now perhaps inherited, of firmly closing the
mouth at the commencement of and during any violent and prolonged
exertion, or any delicate operation. Through the principle of
association there would also be a strong tendency towards this same
habit, as soon as the mind had resolved on any particular action or
line of conduct, even before there was any bodily exertion, or if none
were requisite. The habitual and firm closure of the mouth would thus
come to show decision of character; and decision readily passes into


Hatred—Rage, effects of on the system—Uncovering of the teeth—Rage in
the insane—Anger and indignation—As expressed by the various races of
man—Sneering and defiance—The uncovering of the canine tooth on one
side of the face.

If we have suffered or expect to suffer some wilful injury from a man,
or if he is in any way offensive to us, we dislike him; and dislike
easily rises into hatred. Such feelings, if experienced in a moderate
degree, are not clearly expressed by any movement of the body or
features, excepting perhaps by a certain gravity of behaviour, or by
some ill-temper. Few individuals, however, can long reflect about a
hated person, without feeling and exhibiting signs of indignation or
rage. But if the offending person be quite insignificant, we experience
merely disdain or contempt. If, on the other hand, he is all-powerful,
then hatred passes into terror, as when a slave thinks about a cruel
master, or a savage about a bloodthirsty malignant deity.[1001] Most of
our emotions are so closely connected with their expression, that they
hardly exist if the body remains passive—the nature of the expression
depending in chief part on the nature of the actions which have been
habitually performed under this particular state of the mind. A man,
for instance, may know that his life is in the extremest peril, and may
strongly desire to save if; yet, as Louis XVI. said, when surrounded by
a fierce mob, “Am I afraid? feel my pulse.” So a man may intensely hate
another, but until his bodily frame is affected, he cannot be said to
be enraged.

_Rage_.—I have already had occasion to treat of this emotion in the
third chapter, when discussing the direct influence of the excited
sensorium on the body, in combination with the effects of habitually
associated actions. Rage exhibits itself in the most diversified
manner. The heart and circulation are always affected; the face reddens
or becomes purple, with the veins on the forehead and neck distended.
The reddening of the skin has been observed with the copper-coloured
Indians of South America,[1002] and even, as it is said, on the white
cicatrices left by old wounds on negroes.[1003] Monkeys also redden
from passion. With one of my own infants, under four months old, I
repeatedly observed that the first symptom of an approaching passion
was the rushing of the blood into his bare scalp. On the other hand,
the action of the heart is sometimes so much impeded by great rage,
that the countenance becomes pallid or livid,[1004] and not a few men
with heart-disease have dropped down dead under this powerful emotion.

The respiration is likewise affected; the chest heaves, and the dilated
nostrils quiver.[1005] As Tennyson writes, “sharp breaths of anger
puffed her fairy nostrils out.” Hence we have such expressions as
“breathing out vengeance,” and “fuming with anger.”[1006]

The excited brain gives strength to the muscles, and at the same time
energy to the will. The body is commonly held erect ready for instant
action, but sometimes it is bent forward towards the offending person,
with the limbs more or less rigid. The mouth is generally closed with
firmness, showing fixed determination, and the teeth are clenched or
ground together. Such gestures as the raising of the arms, with the
fists clenched, as if to strike the offender, are common. Few men in a
great passion, and telling some one to begone, can resist acting as if
they intended to strike or push the man violently away. The desire,
indeed, to strike often becomes so intolerably strong, that inanimate
objects are struck or dashed to the ground; but the gestures frequently
become altogether purposeless or frantic. Young children, when in a
violent rage roll on the ground on their backs or bellies, screaming,
kicking, scratching, or biting everything within reach. So it is, as I
hear from Mr. Scott, with Hindoo children; and, as we have seen, with
the young of the anthropomorphous apes.

But the muscular system is often affected in a wholly different way;
for trembling is a frequent consequence of extreme rage. The paralysed
lips then refuse to obey the will, “and the voice sticks in the
throat;”[1007] or it is rendered loud, harsh, and discordant. If there
be much and rapid speaking, the mouth froths. The hair sometimes
bristles; but I shall return to this subject in another chapter, when I
treat of the mingled emotions of rage and terror. There is in most
cases a strongly-marked frown on the forehead; for this follows from
the sense of anything displeasing or difficult, together with
concentration of mind. But sometimes the brow, instead of being much
contracted and lowered, remains smooth, with the glaring eyes kept
widely open. The eyes are always bright, or may, as Homer expresses it,
glisten with fire. They are sometimes bloodshot, and are said to
protrude from their sockets—the result, no doubt, of the head being
gorged with blood, as shown by the veins being distended. According to
Gratiolet, “the pupils are always contracted in rage,” and I hear from
Dr. Crichton Browne that this is the case in the fierce delirium of
meningitis; but the movements of the iris under the influence of the
different emotions is a very obscure subject.[1008]

Shakspeare sums up the chief characteristics of rage as follows:—

“In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man,
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
To his full height! On, on, you noblest English.”
_Henry V_., act iii. sc. 1.

The lips are sometimes protruded during rage in a manner, the meaning
of which I do not understand, unless it depends on our descent from
some ape-like animal. Instances have been observed, not only with
Europeans, but with the Australians and Hindoos. The lips, however, are
much more commonly retracted, the grinning or clenched teeth being thus
exposed. This has been noticed by almost every one who has written on
expression.[1009] The appearance is as if the teeth were uncovered,
ready for seizing or tearing an enemy, though there may be no intention
of acting in this manner. Mr. Dyson Lacy has seen this grinning
expression with the Australians, when quarrelling, and so has Gaika
with the Kafirs of South America. Dickens,[1010] in speaking of an
atrocious murderer who had just been caught, and was surrounded by a
furious mob, describes “the people as jumping up one behind another,
snarling with their teeth, and making at him like wild beasts.” Every
one who has had much to do with young children must have seen how
naturally they take to biting, when in a passion. It seems as
instinctive in them as in young crocodiles, who snap their little jaws
as soon as they emerge from the egg.

A grinning expression and the protrusion of the lips appear sometimes
to go together. A close observer says that he has seen many instances
of intense hatred (which can hardly be distinguished from rage, more or
less suppressed) in Orientals, and once in an elderly English woman. In
all these cases there “was a grin, not a scowl—the lips lengthening,
the cheeks settling downwards, the eyes half-closed, whilst the brow
remained perfectly calm.”[1011]

This retraction of the lips and uncovering of the teeth during
paroxysms of rage, as if to bite the offender, is so remarkable,
considering how seldom the teeth are used by men in fighting, that I
inquired from Dr. J. Crichton Browne whether the habit was common in
the insane whose passions are unbridled. He informs me that he has
repeatedly observed it both with the insane and idiotic, and has given
me the following illustrations:—

Shortly before receiving my letter, he witnessed an uncontrollable
outbreak of anger and delusive jealousy in an insane lady. At first she
vituperated her husband, and whilst doing so foamed at the mouth. Next
she approached close to him with compressed lips, and a virulent set
frown. Then she drew back her lips, especially the corners of the upper
lip, and showed her teeth, at the same time aiming a vicious blow at
him. A second case is that of an old soldier, who, when he is requested
to conform to the rules of the establishment, gives way to discontent,
terminating in fury. He commonly begins by asking Dr. Browne whether he
is not ashamed to treat him in such a manner. He then swears and
blasphemes, paces tip and down, tosses his arms wildly about, and
menaces any one near him. At last, as his exasperation culminates, he
rushes up towards Dr. Browne with a peculiar sidelong movement, shaking
his doubled fist, and threatening destruction. Then his upper lip may
be seen to be raised, especially at the corners, so that his huge
canine teeth are exhibited. He hisses forth his curses through his set
teeth, and his whole expression assumes the character of extreme
ferocity. A similar description is applicable to another man, excepting
that he generally foams at the mouth and spits, dancing and jumping
about in a strange rapid manner, shrieking out his maledictions in a
shrill falsetto voice.

Dr. Browne also informs me of the case of an epileptic idiot, incapable
of independent movements, and who spends the whole day in playing with
some toys; but his temper is morose and easily roused into fierceness.
When any one touches his toys, he slowly raises his head from its
habitual downward position, and fixes his eyes on the offender, with a
tardy yet angry scowl. If the annoyance be repeated, he draws back his
thick lips and reveals a prominent row of hideous fangs (large canines
being especially noticeable), and then makes a quick and cruel clutch
with his open hand at the offending person. The rapidity of this
clutch, as Dr. Browne remarks, is marvellous in a being ordinarily so
torpid that he takes about fifteen seconds, when attracted by any
noise, to turn his head from one side to the other. If, when thus
incensed, a handkerchief, book, or other article, be placed into his
hands, he drags it to his mouth and bites it. Mr. Nicol has likewise
described to me two cases of insane patients, whose lips are retracted
during paroxysms of rage.

Dr. Maudsley, after detailing various strange animal-like traits in
idiots, asks whether these are not due to the reappearance of primitive
instincts—“a faint echo from a far-distant past, testifying to a
kinship which man has almost outgrown.” He adds, that as every human
brain passes, in the course of its development, through the same stages
as those occurring in the lower vertebrate animals, and as the brain of
an idiot is in an arrested condition, we may presume that it “will
manifest its most primitive functions, and no higher functions.” Dr.
Maudsley thinks that the same view may be extended to the brain in its
degenerated condition in some insane patients; and asks, whence come
“the savage snarl, the destructive disposition, the obscene language,
the wild howl, the offensive habits, displayed by some of the insane?
Why should a human being, deprived of his reason, ever become so brutal
in character, as some do, unless he has the brute nature within
him?”[1012] This question must, as it would appear, he answered in the

_Anger, Indignation_.—These states of the mind differ from rage only in
degree, and there is no marked distinction in their characteristic
signs. Under moderate anger the action of the heart is a little
increased, the colour heightened, and the eyes become bright. The
respiration is likewise a little hurried; and as all the muscles
serving for this function act in association, the wings of the nostrils
are somewhat raised to allow of a free indraught of air; and this is a
highly characteristic sign of indignation. The mouth is commonly
compressed, and there is almost always a frown on the brow. Instead of
the frantic gestures of extreme rage, an indignant man unconsciously
throws himself into an attitude ready for attacking or striking his
enemy, whom he will perhaps scan from head to foot in defiance. He
carries his head erect, with his chest well expanded, and the feet
planted firmly on the ground. He holds his arms in various positions,
with one or both elbows squared, or with the arms rigidly suspended by
his sides. With Europeans the fists are commonly clenched.[1013] The
figures 1 and 2 in Plate VI. are fairly good representations of men
simulating indignation. Any one may see in a mirror, if he will vividly
imagine that he has been insulted and demands an explanation in an
angry tone of voice, that he suddenly and unconsciously throws himself
into some such attitude.

Anger and Indignation.  Plate VI

Rage, anger, and indignation are exhibited in nearly the same manner
throughout the world; and the following descriptions may be worth
giving as evidence of this, and as illustrations of some of the
foregoing remarks. There is, however, an exception with respect to
clenching the fists, which seems confined chiefly to the men who fight
with their fists. With the Australians only one of my informants has
seen the fists clenched. All agree about the body being held erect; and
all, with two exceptions, state that the brows are heavily contracted.
Some of them allude to the firmly-compressed mouth, the distended
nostrils, and flashing eyes. According to the Rev. Mr. Taplin, rage,
with the Australians, is expressed by the lips being protruded, the
eyes being widely open; and in the case of the women by their dancing
about and casting dust into the air. Another observer speaks of the
native men, when enraged, throwing their arms wildly about.

I have received similar accounts, except as to the clenching of the
fists, in regard to the Malays of the Malacca peninsula, the
Abyssinians, and the natives of South Africa. So it is with the Dakota
Indians of North America; and, according to Mr. Matthews, they then
hold their heads erect, frown, and often stalk away with long strides.
Mr. Bridges states that the Fuegians, when enraged, frequently stamp on
the ground, walk distractedly about, sometimes cry and grow pale. The
Rev. Mr. Stack watched a New Zealand man and woman quarrelling, and
made the following entry in his note-book: “Eyes dilated, body swayed
violently backwards and forwards, head inclined forwards, fists
clenched, now thrown behind the body, now directed towards each other’s
faces.” Mr. Swinhoe says that my description agrees with what he has
seen of the Chinese, excepting that an angry man generally inclines his
body towards his antagonist, and pointing at him, pours forth a volley
of abuse.

Lastly, with respect to the natives of India, Mr. J. Scott has sent me
a full description of their gestures and expression when enraged. Two
low-caste Bengalees disputed about a loan. At first they were calm, but
soon grew furious and poured forth the grossest abuse on each other’s
relations and progenitors for many generations past. Their gestures
were very different from those of Europeans; for though their chests
were expanded and shoulders squared, their arms remained rigidly
suspended, with the elbows turned inwards and the hands alternately
clenched and opened. Their shoulders were often raised high, and then
again lowered. They looked fiercely at each other from under their
lowered and strongly wrinkled brows, and their protruded lips were
firmly closed. They approached each other, with heads and necks
stretched forwards, and pushed, scratched, and grasped at each other.
This protrusion of the head and body seems a common gesture with the
enraged; and I have noticed it with degraded English women whilst
quarrelling violently in the streets. In such cases it may be presumed
that neither party expects to receive a blow from the other.

A Bengalee employed in the Botanic Gardens was accused, in the presence
of Mr. Scott, by the native overseer of having stolen a valuable plant.
He listened silently and scornfully to the accusation; his attitude
erect, chest expanded, mouth closed, lips protruding, eyes firmly set
and penetrating. He then defiantly maintained his innocence, with
upraised and clenched hands, his head being now pushed forwards, with
the eyes widely open and eyebrows raised. Mr. Scott also watched two
Mechis, in Sikhim, quarrelling about their share of payment. They soon
got into a furious passion, and then their bodies became less erect,
with their heads pushed forwards; they made grimaces at each other;
their shoulders were raised; their arms rigidly bent inwards at the
elbows, and their hands spasmodically closed, but not properly
clenched. They continually approached and retreated from each other,
and often raised their arms as if to strike, but their hands were open,
and no blow was given. Mr. Scott made similar observations on the
Lepchas whom he often saw quarrelling, and he noticed that they kept
their arms rigid and almost parallel to their bodies, with the hands
pushed somewhat backwards and partially closed, but not clenched.

_Sneering, Defiance: Uncovering the canine tooth on one side_.—The
expression which I wish here to consider differs but little from that
already described, when the lips are retracted and the grinning teeth
exposed. The difference consists solely in the upper lip being
retracted in such a manner that the canine tooth on one side of the
face alone is shown; the face itself being generally a little upturned
and half averted from the person causing offence. The other signs of
rage are not necessarily present. This expression may occasionally be
observed in a person who sneers at or defies another, though there may
be no real anger; as when any one is playfully accused of some fault,
and answers, “I scorn the imputation.” The expression is not a common
one, but I have seen it exhibited with perfect distinctness by a lady
who was being quizzed by another person. It was described by Parsons as
long ago as 1746, with an engraving, showing the uncovered canine on
one side.[1014] Mr. Rejlander, without my having made any allusion to
the subject, asked me whether I had ever noticed this expression, as he
had been much struck by it. He has photographed for me (Plate IV. fig
1) a lady, who sometimes unintentionally displays the canine on one
side, and who can do so voluntarily with unusual distinctness.

The expression of a half-playful sneer graduates into one of great
ferocity when, together with a heavily frowning brow and fierce eye,
the canine tooth is exposed. A Bengalee boy was accused before Mr.
Scott of some misdeed. The delinquent did not dare to give vent to his
wrath in words, but it was plainly shown on his countenance, sometimes
by a defiant frown, and sometimes “by a thoroughly canine snarl.” When
this was exhibited, “the corner of the lip over the eye-tooth, which
happened in this case to be large and projecting, was raised on the
side of his accuser, a strong frown being still retained on the brow.”
Sir C. Bell states[1015] that the actor Cooke could express the most
determined hate “when with the oblique cast of his eyes he drew up the
outer part of the upper lip, and discovered a sharp angular tooth.”

The uncovering of the canine tooth is the result of a double movement.
The angle or corner of the mouth is drawn a little backwards, and at
the same time a muscle which runs parallel to and near the nose draws
up the outer part of the upper lip, and exposes the canine on this side
of the face. The contraction of this muscle makes a distinct furrow on
the cheek, and produces strong wrinkles under the eye, especially at
its inner corner. The action is the same as that of a snarling dog; and
a dog when pretending to fight often draws up the lip on one side
alone, namely that facing his antagonist. Our word _sneer_ is in fact
the same as _snarl_, which was originally _snar_, the _l_ “being merely
an element implying continuance of action.”[1016]

I suspect that we see a trace of this same expression in what is called
a derisive or sardonic smile. The lips are then kept joined or almost
joined, but one corner of the mouth is retracted on the side towards
the derided person; and this drawing back of the corner is part of a
true sneer. Although some persons smile more on one side of their face
than on the other, it is not easy to understand why in cases of
derision the smile, if a real one, should so commonly be confined to
one side. I have also on these occasions noticed a slight twitching of
the muscle which draws up the outer part of the upper lip; and this
movement, if fully carried out, would have uncovered the canine, and
would have produced a true sneer.

Mr. Bulmer, an Australian missionary in a remote part of Gipps’ Land,
says, in answer to my query about the uncovering of the canine on one
side, “I find that the natives in snarling at each other speak with the
teeth closed, the upper lip drawn to one side, and a general angry
expression of face; but they look direct at the person addressed.”
Three other observers in Australia, one in Abyssinia, and one in China,
answer my query on this head in the affirmative; but as the expression
is rare, and as they enter into no details, I am afraid of implicitly
trusting them. It is, however, by no means improbable that this
animal-like expression may be more common with savages than with
civilized races. Mr. Geach is an observer who may be fully trusted, and
he has observed it on one occasion in a Malay in the interior of
Malacca. The Rev. S. O. Glenie answers, “We have observed this
expression with the natives of Ceylon, but not often.” Lastly, in North
America, Dr. Rothrock has seen it with some wild Indians, and often in
a tribe adjoining the Atnahs.

Although the upper lip is certainly sometimes raised on one side alone
in sneering at or defying any one, I do not know that this is always
the case, for the face is commonly half averted, and the expression is
often momentary. The movement being confined to one side may not be an
essential part of the expression, but may depend on the proper muscles
being incapable of movement excepting on one side. I asked four persons
to endeavour to act voluntarily in this manner; two could expose the
canine only on the left side, one only on the right side, and the
fourth on neither side. Nevertheless it is by no means certain that
these same persons, if defying any one in earnest, would not
unconsciously have uncovered their canine tooth on the side, whichever
it might be, towards the offender. For we have seen that some persons
cannot voluntarily make their eyebrows oblique, yet instantly act in
this manner when affected by any real, although most trifling, cause of
distress. The power of voluntarily uncovering the canine on one side of
the face being thus often wholly lost, indicates that it is a rarely
used and almost abortive action. It is indeed a surprising fact that
man should possess the power, or should exhibit any tendency to its
use; for Mr. Sutton has never noticed a snarling action in our nearest
allies, namely, the monkeys in the Zoological Gardens, and he is
positive that the baboons, though furnished with great canines, never
act thus, but uncover all their teeth when feeling savage and ready for
an attack. Whether the adult anthropomorphous apes, in the males of
whom the canines are much larger than in the females, uncover them when
prepared to fight, is not known.

The expression here considered, whether that of a playful sneer or
ferocious snarl, is one of the most curious which occurs in man. It
reveals his animal descent; for no one, even if rolling on the ground
in a deadly grapple with an enemy, and attempting to bite him, would
try to use his canine teeth more than his other teeth. We may readily
believe from our affinity to the anthropomorphous apes that our male
semi-human progenitors possessed great canine teeth, and men are now
occasionally born having them of unusually large size, with interspaces
in the opposite jaw for their reception.[1017] We may further suspect,
notwithstanding that we have no support from analogy, that our
semi-human progenitors uncovered their canine teeth when prepared for
battle, as we still do when feeling ferocious, or when merely sneering
at or defying some one, without any intention of making a real attack
with our teeth.


Contempt, scorn and disdain, variously expressed—Derisive
smile—Gestures expressive of contempt—Disgust—Guilt, deceit, pride,
&c.—Helplessness or impotence—Patience—Obstinacy—Shrugging the
shoulders common to most of the races of man—Signs of affirmation and

Scorn and disdain can hardly be distinguished from contempt, excepting
that they imply a rather more angry frame of mind. Nor can they be
clearly distinguished from the feelings discussed in the last chapter
under the terms of sneering and defiance. Disgust is a sensation rather
more distinct in its nature and refers to something revolting,
primarily in relation to the sense of taste, as actually perceived or
vividly imagined; and secondarily to anything which causes a similar
feeling, through the sense of smell, touch, and even of eyesight.
Nevertheless, extreme contempt, or as it is often called loathing
contempt, hardly differs from disgust. These several conditions of the
mind are, therefore, nearly related; and each of them may be exhibited
in many different ways. Some writers have insisted chiefly on one mode
of expression, and others on a different mode. From this circumstance
M. Lemoine has argued[1101] that their descriptions are not
trustworthy. But we shall immediately see that it is natural that the
feelings which we have here to consider should be expressed in many
different ways, inasmuch as various habitual actions serve equally
well, through the principle of association, for their expression.

Scorn and disdain, as well as sneering and defiance, may be displayed
by a slight uncovering of the canine tooth on one side of the face; and
this movement appears to graduate into one closely like a smile. Or the
smile or laugh may be real, although one of derision; and this implies
that the offender is so insignificant that he excites only amusement;
but the amusement is generally a pretence. Gaika in his answers to my
queries remarks, that contempt is commonly shown by his countrymen, the
Kafirs, by smiling; and the Rajah Brooke makes the same observation
with respect to the Dyaks of Borneo. As laughter is primarily the
expression of simple joy, very young children do not, I believe, ever
laugh in derision.

The partial closure of the eyelids, as Duchenne[1102] insists, or the
turning away of the eyes or of the whole body, are likewise highly
expressive of disdain. These actions seem to declare that the despised
person is not worth looking at or is disagreeable to behold. The
accompanying photograph (Plate V. fig. 1) by Mr. Rejlander, shows this
form of disdain. It represents a young lady, who is supposed to be
tearing up the photograph of a despised lover.

Scorn and Disdain.  Plate V

The most common method of expressing contempt is by movements about the
nose, or round the mouth; but the latter movements, when strongly
pronounced, indicate disgust. The nose may be slightly turned up, which
apparently follows from the turning up of the upper lip; or the
movement may be abbreviated into the mere wrinkling of the nose. The
nose is often slightly contracted, so as partly to close the
passage;[1103] and this is commonly accompanied by a slight snort or
expiration. All these actions are the same with those which we employ
when we perceive an offensive odour, and wish to exclude or expel it.
In extreme cases, as Dr. Piderit remarks,[1104] we protrude and raise
both lips, or the upper lip alone, so as to close the nostrils as by a
valve, the nose being thus turned up. We seem thus to say to the
despised person that he smells offensively,[1105] in nearly the same
manner as we express to him by half-closing our eyelids, or turning
away our faces, that he is not worth looking at. It must not, however,
be supposed that such ideas actually pass through the mind when we
exhibit our contempt; but as whenever we have perceived a disagreeable
odour or seen a disagreeable sight, actions of this kind have been
performed, they have become habitual or fixed, and are now employed
under any analogous state of mind.

Various odd little gestures likewise indicate contempt; for instance,
_snapping one’s fingers_. This, as Mr. Taylor remarks,[1106] “is not
very intelligible as we generally see it; but when we notice that the
same sign made quite gently, as if rolling some tiny object away
between the finger and thumb, or the sign of flipping it away with the
thumb-nail and forefinger, are usual and well-understood deaf-and-dumb
gestures, denoting anything tiny, insignificant, contemptible, it seems
as though we had exaggerated and conventionalized a perfectly natural
action, so as to lose sight of its original meaning. There is a curious
mention of this gesture by Strabo.” Mr. Washington Matthews informs me
that, with the Dakota Indians of North America, contempt is shown not
only by movements of the face, such as those above described, but
“conventionally, by the hand being closed and held near the breast,
then, as the forearm is suddenly extended, the hand is opened and the
fingers separated from each other. If the person at whose expense the
sign is made is present, the hand is moved towards him, and the head
sometimes averted from him.” This sudden extension and opening of the
hand perhaps indicates the dropping or throwing away a valueless

The term ‘disgust,’ in its simplest sense, means something offensive to
the taste. It is curious how readily this feeling is excited by
anything unusual in the appearance, odour, or nature of our food. In
Tierra del Fuego a native touched with his finger some cold preserved
meat which I was eating at our bivouac, and plainly showed utter
disgust at its softness; whilst I felt utter disgust at my food being
touched by a naked savage, though his hands did not appear dirty. A
smear of soup on a man’s beard looks disgusting, though there is of
course nothing disgusting in the soup itself. I presume that this
follows from the strong association in our minds between the sight of
food, however circumstanced, and the idea of eating it.

As the sensation of disgust primarily arises in connection with the act
of eating or tasting, it is natural that its expression should consist
chiefly in movements round the mouth. But as disgust also causes
annoyance, it is generally accompanied by a frown, and often by
gestures as if to push away or to guard oneself against the offensive
object. In the two photographs (figs. 2 and 3, on Plate V.) Mr.
Rejlander has simulated this expression with some success. With respect
to the face, moderate disgust is exhibited in various ways; by the
mouth being widely opened, as if to let an offensive morsel drop out;
by spitting; by blowing out of the protruded lips; or by a sound as of
clearing the throat. Such guttural sounds are written _ach_ or _ugh_;
and their utterance is sometimes accompanied by a shudder, the arms
being pressed close to the sides and the shoulders raised in the same
manner as when horror is experienced.[1107] Extreme disgust is
expressed by movements round the month identical with those preparatory
to the act of vomiting. The mouth is opened widely, with the upper lip
strongly retracted, which wrinkles the sides of the nose, and with the
lower lip protruded and everted as much as possible. This latter
movement requires the contraction of the muscles which draw downwards
the corners of the mouth.[1108]

It is remarkable how readily and instantly retching or actual vomiting
is induced in some persons by the mere idea of having partaken of any
unusual food, as of an animal which is not commonly eaten; although
there is nothing in such food to cause the stomach to reject it. When
vomiting results, as a reflex action, from some real cause—as from too
rich food, or tainted meat, or from an emetic—it does not ensue
immediately, but generally after a considerable interval of time.
Therefore, to account for retching or vomiting being so quickly and
easily excited by a mere idea, the suspicion arises that our
progenitors must formerly have had the power (like that possessed by
ruminants and some other animals) of voluntarily rejecting food which
disagreed with them, or which they thought would disagree with them;
and now, though this power has been lost, as far as the will is
concerned, it is called into involuntary action, through the force of a
formerly well-established habit, whenever the mind revolts at the idea
of having partaken of any kind of food, or at anything disgusting. This
suspicion receives support from the fact, of which I am assured by Mr.
Sutton, that the monkeys in the Zoological Gardens often vomit whilst
in perfect health, which looks as if the act were voluntary. We can see
that as man is able to communicate by language to his children and
others, the knowledge of the kinds of food to be avoided, he would have
little occasion to use the faculty of voluntary rejection; so that this
power would tend to be lost through disuse.

As the sense of smell is so intimately connected with that of taste, it
is not surprising that an excessively bad odour should excite retching
or vomiting in some persons, quite as readily as the thought of
revolting food does; and that, as a further consequence, a moderately
offensive odour should cause the various expressive movements of
disgust. The tendency to retch from a fetid odour is immediately
strengthened in a curious manner by some degree of habit, though soon
lost by longer familiarity with the cause of offence and by voluntary
restraint. For instance, I wished to clean the skeleton of a bird,
which had not been sufficiently macerated, and the smell made my
servant and myself (we not having had much experience in such work)
retch so violently, that we were compelled to desist. During the
previous days I had examined some other skeletons, which smelt
slightly; yet the odour did not in the least affect me, but,
subsequently for several days, whenever I handled these same skeletons,
they made me retch.

From the answers received from my correspondents it appears that the
various movements, which have now been described as expressing contempt
and disgust, prevail throughout a large part of the world. Dr.
Rothrock, for instance, answers with a decided affirmative with respect
to certain wild Indian tribes of North America. Crantz says that when a
Greenlander denies anything with contempt or horror he turns up his
nose, and gives a slight sound through it.[1109] Mr. Scott has sent me
a graphic description of the face of a young Hindoo at the sight of
castor-oil, which he was compelled occasionally to take. Mr. Scott has
also seen the same expression on the faces of high-caste natives who
have approached close to some defiling object. Mr. Bridges says that
the Fuegians “express contempt by shooting out the lips and hissing
through them, and by turning up the nose.” The tendency either to snort
through the nose, or to make a noise expressed by _ugh_ or _ach_, is
noticed by several of my correspondents.

Spitting seems an almost universal sign of contempt or disgust; and
spitting obviously represents the rejection of anything offensive from
the mouth. Shakspeare makes the Duke of Norfolk say, “I spit at
him—call him a slanderous coward and a villain.” So, again, Falstaff
says, “Tell thee what, Hal,—if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face.”
Leichhardt remarks that the Australians “interrupted their speeches by
spitting, and uttering a noise like pooh! pooh! apparently expressive
of their disgust.” And Captain Burton speaks of certain negroes
“spitting with disgust upon the ground.” Captain Speedy informs me that
this is likewise the case with the Abyssinians. Mr. Geach says that
with the Malays of Malacca the expression of disgust “answers to
spitting from the mouth;” and with the Fuegians, according to Mr.
Bridges “to spit at one is the highest mark of contempt.”[1110]

I never saw disgust more plainly expressed than on the face of one of
my infants at the age of five months, when, for the first time, some
cold water, and again a month afterwards, when a piece of ripe cherry
was put into his mouth. This was shown by the lips and whole mouth
assuming a shape which allowed the contents to run or fall quickly out;
the tongue being likewise protruded. These movements were accompanied
by a little shudder. It was all the more comical, as I doubt whether
the child felt real disgust—the eyes and forehead expressing much
surprise and consideration. The protrusion of the tongue in letting a
nasty object fall out of the mouth, may explain how it is that lolling
out the tongue universally serves as a sign of contempt and

We have now seen that scorn, disdain, contempt, and disgust are
expressed in many different ways, by movements of the features, and by
various gestures; and that these are the same throughout the world.
They all consist of actions representing the rejection or exclusion of
some real object which we dislike or abhor, but which does not excite
in us certain other strong emotions, such as rage or terror; and
through the force of habit and association similar actions are
performed, whenever any analogous sensation arises in our minds.

_Jealousy, Envy, Avarice, Revenge, Suspicion, Deceit, Slyness, Guilt,
Vanity, Conceit, Ambition, Pride, Humility, &c_.—It is doubtful whether
the greater number of the above complex states of mind are revealed by
any fixed expression, sufficiently distinct to be described or
delineated. When Shakspeare speaks of Envy as _lean-faced_, or _black_,
or _pale_, and Jealousy as “_the green-eyed monster_;” and when Spenser
describes Suspicion as “_foul, ill-favoured, and grim_,” they must have
felt this difficulty. Nevertheless, the above feelings—at least many of
them—can be detected by the eye; for instance, conceit; but we are
often guided in a much greater degree than we suppose by our previous
knowledge of the persons or circumstances.

My correspondents almost unanimously answer in the affirmative to my
query, whether the expression of guilt and deceit can be recognized
amongst the various races of man; and I have confidence in their
answers, as they generally deny that jealousy can thus be recognized.
In the cases in which details are given, the eyes are almost always
referred to. The guilty man is said to avoid looking at his accuser, or
to give him stolen looks. The eyes are said “to be turned askant,” or
“to waver from side to side,” or “the eyelids to be lowered and partly
closed.” This latter remark is made by Mr. Hagenauer with respect to
the Australians, and by Gaika with respect to the Kafirs. The restless
movements of the eyes apparently follow, as will be explained when we
treat of blushing, from the guilty man not enduring to meet the gaze of
his accuser. I may add, that I have observed a guilty expression,
without a shade of fear, in some of my own children at a very early
age. In one instance the expression was unmistakably clear in a child
two years and seven months old, and led to the detection of his little
crime. It was shown, as I record in my notes made at the time, by an
unnatural brightness in the eyes, and by an odd, affected manner,
impossible to describe.

Slyness is also, I believe, exhibited chiefly by movements about the
eyes; for these are less under the control of the will, owing to the
force of long-continued habit, than are the movements of the body. Mr.
Herbert Spencer remarks,[1112] “When there is a desire to see something
on one side of the visual field without being supposed to see it, the
tendency is to check the conspicuous movement of the head, and to make
the required adjustment entirely with the eyes; which are, therefore,
drawn very much to one side. Hence, when the eyes are turned to one
side, while the face is not turned to the same side, we get the natural
language of what is called slyness.”

Of all the above-named complex emotions, Pride, perhaps, is the most
plainly expressed. A proud man exhibits his sense of superiority over
others by holding his head and body erect. He is haughty (_haut_), or
high, and makes himself appear as large as possible; so that
metaphorically he is said to be swollen or puffed up with pride. A
peacock or a turkey-cock strutting about with puffed-up feathers, is
sometimes said to be an emblem of pride.[1113] The arrogant man looks
down on others, and with lowered eyelids hardly condescends to see
them; or he may show his contempt by slight movements, such as those
before described, about the nostrils or lips. Hence the muscle which
everts the lower lip has been called the _musculus superbus_. In some
photographs of patients affected by a monomania of pride, sent me by
Dr. Crichton Browne, the head and body were held erect, and the mouth
firmly closed. This latter action, expressive of decision, follows, I
presume, from the proud man feeling perfect self-confidence in himself.
The whole expression of pride stands in direct antithesis to that of
humility; so that nothing need here be said of the latter state of

_Helplessness, Impotence: Shrugging the shoulders_.—When a man wishes
to show that he cannot do something, or prevent something being done,
he often raises with a quick movement both shoulders. At the same time,
if the whole gesture is completed, he bends his elbows closely inwards,
raises his open hands, turning them outwards, with the fingers
separated. The head is often thrown a little on one side; the eyebrows
are elevated, and this causes wrinkles across the forehead. The mouth
is generally opened. I may mention, in order to show how unconsciously
the features are thus acted on, that though I had often intentionally
shrugged my shoulders to observe how my arms were placed, I was not at
all aware that my eyebrows were raised and mouth opened, until I looked
at myself in a glass; and since then I have noticed the same movements
in the faces of others. In the accompanying Plate VI., figs. 3 and 4,
Mr. Rejlander has successfully acted the gesture of shrugging the

Englishmen are much less demonstrative than the men of most other
European nations, and they shrug their shoulders far less frequently
and energetically than Frenchmen or Italians do. The gesture varies in
all degrees from the complex movement, just described, to only a
momentary and scarcely perceptible raising of both shoulders; or, as I
have noticed in a lady sitting in an arm-chair, to the mere turning
slightly outwards of the open hands with separated fingers. I have
never seen very young English children shrug their shoulders, but the
following case was observed with care by a medical professor and
excellent observer, and has been communicated to me by him. The father
of this gentleman was a Parisian, and his mother a Scotch lady. His
wife is of British extraction on both sides, and my informant does not
believe that she ever shrugged her shoulders in her life. His children
have been reared in England, and the nursemaid is a thorough
Englishwoman, who has never been seen to shrug her shoulders. Now, his
eldest daughter was observed to shrug her shoulders at the age of
between sixteen and eighteen months; her mother exclaiming at the time,
“Look at the little French girl shrugging her shoulders!” At first she
often acted thus, sometimes throwing her head a little backwards and on
one side, but she did not, as far as was observed, move her elbows and
hands in the usual manner. The habit gradually wore away, and now, when
she is a little over four years old, she is never seen to act thus. The
father is told that he sometimes shrugs his shoulders, especially when
arguing with any one; but it is extremely improbable that his daughter
should have imitated him at so early an age; for, as he remarks, she
could not possibly have often seen this gesture in him. Moreover, if
the habit had been acquired through imitation, it is not probable that
it would so soon have been spontaneously discontinued by this child,
and, as we shall immediately see, by a second child, though the father
still lived with his family. This little girl, it may be added,
resembles her Parisian grandfather in countenance to an almost absurd
degree. She also presents another and very curious resemblance to him,
namely, by practising a singular trick. When she impatiently wants
something, she holds out her little hand, and rapidly rubs the thumb
against the index and middle finger: now this same trick was frequently
performed under the same circumstances by her grandfather.

This gentleman’s second daughter also shrugged her shoulders before the
age of eighteen months, and afterwards discontinued the habit. It is of
course possible that she may have imitated her elder sister; but she
continued it after her sister had lost the habit. She at first
resembled her Parisian grandfather in a less degree than did her sister
at the same age, but now in a greater degree. She likewise practises to
the present time the peculiar habit of rubbing together, when
impatient, her thumb and two of her fore-fingers.

In this latter case we have a good instance, like those given in a
former chapter, of the inheritance of a trick or gesture; for no one, I
presume, will attribute to mere coincidence so peculiar a habit as
this, which was common to the grandfather and his two grandchildren who
had never seen him.

Considering all the circumstances with reference to these children
shrugging their shoulders, it can hardly be doubted that they have
inherited the habit from their French progenitors, although they have
only one quarter French blood in their veins, and although their
grandfather did not often shrug his shoulders. There is nothing very
unusual, though the fact is interesting, in these children having
gained by inheritance a habit during early youth, and then
discontinuing it; for it is of frequent occurrence with many kinds of
animals that certain characters are retained for a period by the young,
and are then lost.

As it appeared to me at one time improbable in a high degree that so
complex a gesture as shrugging the shoulders, together with the
accompanying movements, should be innate, I was anxious to ascertain
whether the blind and deaf Laura Bridgman, who could not have learnt
the habit by imitation, practised it. And I have heard, through Dr.
Innes, from a lady who has lately had charge of her, that she does
shrug her shoulders, turn in her elbows, and raise her eyebrows in the
same manner as other people, and under the same circumstances. I was
also anxious to learn whether this gesture was practised by the various
races of man, especially by those who never have had much intercourse
with Europeans. We shall see that they act in this manner; but it
appears that the gesture is sometimes confined to merely raising or
shrugging the shoulders, without the other movements.

Mr. Scott has frequently seen this gesture in the Bengalees and
Dhangars (the latter constituting a distinct race) who are employed in
the Botanic Garden at Calcutta; when, for instance, they have declared
that they could not do some work, such as lifting a heavy weight. He
ordered a Bengalee to climb a lofty tree; but the man, with a shrug of
his shoulders and a lateral shake of his head, said he could not. Mr.
Scott knowing that the man was lazy, thought he could, and insisted on
his trying. His face now became pale, his arms dropped to his sides,
his mouth and eyes were widely opened, and again surveying the tree, he
looked askant at Mr. Scott, shrugged his shoulders, inverted his
elbows, extended his open hands, and with a few quick lateral shakes of
the head declared his inability. Mr. H. Erskine has likewise seen the
natives of India shrugging their shoulders; but he has never seen the
elbows turned so much inwards as with us; and whilst shrugging their
shoulders they sometimes lay their uncrossed hands on their breasts.

With the wild Malays of the interior of Malacca, and with the Bugis
(true Malays, though speaking a different language), Mr. Geach has
often seen this gesture. I presume that it is complete, as, in answer
to my query descriptive of the movements of the shoulders, arms, hands,
and face, Mr. Geach remarks, “it is performed in a beautiful style.” I
have lost an extract from a scientific voyage, in which shrugging the
shoulders by some natives (Micronesians) of the Caroline Archipelago in
the Pacific Ocean, was well described. Capt. Speedy informs me that the
Abyssinians shrug their shoulders but enters into no details. Mrs. Asa
Gray saw an Arab dragoman in Alexandria acting exactly as described in
my query, when an old gentleman, on whom he attended, would not go in
the proper direction which had been pointed out to him.

Mr. Washington Matthews says, in reference to the wild Indian tribes of
the western parts of the United States, “I have on a few occasions
detected men using a slight apologetic shrug, but the rest of the
demonstration which you describe I have not witnessed.” Fritz Müller
informs me that he has seen the negroes in Brazil shrugging their
shoulders; but it is of course possible that they may have learnt to do
so by imitating the Portuguese. Mrs. Barber has never seen this gesture
with the Kafirs of South Africa; and Gaika, judging from his answer,
did not even understand what was meant by my description. Mr. Swinhoe
is also doubtful about the Chinese; but he has seen them, under the
circumstances which would make us shrug our shoulders, press their
right elbow against their side, raise their eyebrows, lift up their
hand with the palm directed towards the person addressed, and shake it
from right to left. Lastly, with respect to the Australians, four of my
informants answer by a simple negative, and one by a simple
affirmative. Mr. Bunnett, who has had excellent opportunities for
observation on the borders of the Colony of Victory, also answers by a
“yes,” adding that the gesture is performed “in a more subdued and less
demonstrative manner than is the case with civilized nations.” This
circumstance may account for its not having been noticed by four of my

These statements, relating to Europeans, Hindoos, the hill-tribes of
India, Malays, Micronesians, Abyssinians, Arabs, Negroes, Indians of
North America, and apparently to the Australians—many of these natives
having had scarcely any intercourse with Europeans—are sufficient to
show that shrugging the shoulders, accompanied in some cases by the
other proper movements, is a gesture natural to mankind.

This gesture implies an unintentional or unavoidable action on our own
part, or one that we cannot perform; or an action performed by another
person which we cannot prevent. It accompanies such speeches as, “It
was not my fault;” “It is impossible for me to grant this favour;” “He
must follow his own course, I cannot stop him.” Shrugging the shoulders
likewise expresses patience, or the absence of any intention to resist.
Hence the muscles which raise the shoulders are sometimes called, as I
have been informed by an artist, the patience muscles. Shylock the Jew,

“Signor Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto have you rated me
About my monies and usances;
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug.”
_Merchant of Venice_, act i. sc. 3.

Sir C. Bell has given[1114] a life-like figure of a man, who is
shrinking back from some terrible danger, and is on the point of
screaming out in abject terror. He is represented with his shoulders
lifted up almost to his ears; and this at once declares that there is
no thought of resistance.

As shrugging the shoulders generally implies “I cannot do this or
that,” so by a slight change, it sometimes implies “I won’t do it.” The
movement then expresses a dogged determination not to act. Olmsted
describes[1115] an Indian in Texas as giving a great shrug to his
shoulders, when he was informed that a party of men were Germans and
not Americans, thus expressing that he would have nothing to do with
them. Sulky and obstinate children may be seen with both their
shoulders raised high up; but this movement is not associated with the
others which generally accompany a true shrug. An excellent
observer[1116] in describing a young man who was determined not to
yield to his father’s desire, says, “He thrust his hands deep down into
his pockets, and set up his shoulders to his ears, which was a good
warning that, come right or wrong, this rock should fly from its firm
base as soon as Jack would; and that any remonstrance on the subject
was purely futile.” As soon as the son got his own way, he “put his
shoulders into their natural position.”

Resignation is sometimes shown by the open hands being placed, one over
the other, on the lower part of the body. I should not have thought
this little gesture worth even a passing notice, had not Dr. W. Ogle
remarked to me that he had two or three times observed it in patients
who were preparing for operations under chloroform. They exhibited no
great fear, but seemed to declare by this posture of their hands, that
they had made up their minds, and were resigned to the inevitable.

We may now inquire why men in all parts of the world when they
feel,—whether or not they wish to show this feeling,—that they cannot
or will not do something, or will not resist something if done by
another, shrug their shoulders, at the same time often bending in their
elbows, showing the palms of their hands with extended fingers, often
throwing their heads a little on one side, raising their eyebrows, and
opening their mouths. These states of the mind are either simply
passive, or show a determination not to act. None of the above
movements are of the least service. The explanation lies, I cannot
doubt, in the principle of unconscious antithesis. This principle here
seems to come into play as clearly as in the case of a dog, who, when
feeling savage, puts himself in the proper attitude for attacking and
for making himself appear terrible to his enemy; but as soon as he
feels affectionate, throws his whole body into a directly opposite
attitude, though this is of no direct use to him.

Let it be observed how an indignant man, who resents, and will not
submit to some injury, holds his head erect, squares his shoulders, and
expands his chest. He often clenches his fists, and puts one or both
arms in the proper position for attack or defence, with the muscles of
his limbs rigid. He frowns,—that is, he contracts and lowers his
brows,—and, being determined, closes his mouth. The actions and
attitude of a helpless man are, in every one of these respects, exactly
the reverse. In Plate VI. we may imagine one of the figures on the left
side to have just said, “What do you mean by insulting me?” and one of
the figures on the right side to answer, “I really could not help it.”
The helpless man unconsciously contracts the muscles of his forehead
which are antagonistic to those that cause a frown, and thus raises his
eyebrows; at the same time he relaxes the muscles about the mouth, so
that the lower jaw drops. The antithesis is complete in every detail,
not only in the movements of the features, but in the position of the
limbs and in the attitude of the whole body, as may be seen in the
accompanying plate. As the helpless or apologetic man often wishes to
show his state of mind, he then acts in a conspicuous or demonstrative

In accordance with the fact that squaring the elbows and clenching the
fists are gestures by no means universal with the men of all races,
when they feel indignant and are prepared to attack their enemy, so it
appears that a helpless or apologetic frame of mind is expressed in
many parts of the world by merely shrugging the shoulders, without
turning inwards the elbows and opening the hands. The man or child who
is obstinate, or one who is resigned to some great misfortune, has in
neither case any idea of resistance by active means; and he expresses
this state of mind, by simply keeping his shoulders raised; or he may
possibly fold his arms across his breast.

_Signs of affirmation or approval, and of negation or disapproval:
nodding and shaking the head_.—I was curious to ascertain how far the
common signs used by us in affirmation and negation were general
throughout the world. These signs are indeed to a certain extent
expressive of our feelings, as we give a vertical nod of approval with
a smile to our children, when we approve of their conduct; and shake
our heads laterally with a frown, when we disapprove. With infants, the
first act of denial consists in refusing food; and I repeatedly noticed
with my own infants, that they did so by withdrawing their heads
laterally from the breast, or from anything offered them in a spoon. In
accepting food and taking it into their mouths, they incline their
heads forwards. Since making these observations I have been informed
that the same idea had occurred to Charma.[1117] It deserves notice
that in accepting or taking food, there is only a single movement
forward, and a single nod implies an affirmation. On the other hand, in
refusing food, especially if it be pressed on them, children frequently
move their heads several times from side to side, as we do in shaking
our heads in negation. Moreover, in the case of refusal, the head is
not rarely thrown backwards, or the mouth is closed, so that these
movements might likewise come to serve as signs of negation. Mr.
Wedgwood remarks on this subject,[1118] that “when the voice is exerted
with closed teeth or lips, it produces the sound of the letter _n_ or
_m_. Hence we may account for the use of the particle _ne_ to signify
negation, and possibly also of the Greek mh in the same sense.”

That these signs are innate or instinctive, at least with Anglo-Saxons,
is rendered highly probable by the blind and deaf Laura Bridgman
“constantly accompanying her _yes_ with the common affirmative nod, and
her _no_ with our negative shake of the head.” Had not Mr. Lieber
stated to the contrary,[1119] I should have imagined that these
gestures might have been acquired or learnt by her, considering her
wonderful sense of touch and appreciation of the movements of others.
With microcephalous idiots, who are so degraded that they never learn
to speak, one of them is described by Vogt,[1120] as answering, when
asked whether he wished for more food or drink, by inclining or shaking
his head. Schmalz, in his remarkable dissertation on the education of
the deaf and dumb, as well as of children raised only one degree above
idiotcy, assumes that they can always both make and understand the
common signs of affirmation and negation.[1121]

Nevertheless if we look to the various races of man, these signs are
not so universally employed as I should have expected; yet they seem
too general to be ranked as altogether conventional or artificial. My
informants assert that both signs are used by the Malays, by the
natives of Ceylon, the Chinese, the negroes of the Guinea coast, and,
according to Gaika, by the Kafirs of South Africa, though with these
latter people Mrs. Barber has never seen a lateral shake used as a
negative. With respect to the Australians, seven observers agree that a
nod is given in affirmation; five agree about a lateral shake in
negation, accompanied or not by some word; but Mr. Dyson Lacy has never
seen this latter sign in Queensland, and Mr. Bulmer says that in Gipps’
Land a negative is expressed by throwing the head a little backwards
and putting out the tongue. At the northern extremity of the continent,
near Torres Straits, the natives when uttering a negative “don’t shake
the head with it, but holding up the right hand, shake it by turning it
half round and back again two or three times.”[1122] The throwing back
of the head with a cluck of the tongue is said to be used as a negative
by the modern Greeks and Turks, the latter people expressing _yes_ by a
movement like that made by us when we shake our heads.[1123] The
Abyssinians, as I am informed by Captain Speedy, express a negative by
jerking the head to the right shoulder, together with a slight cluck,
the mouth being closed; an affirmation is expressed by the head being
thrown backwards and the eyebrows raised for an instant. The Tagals of
Luzon, in the Philippine Archipelago, as I hear from Dr. Adolf Meyer,
when they say “yes,” also throw the head backwards. According to the
Rajah Brooke, the Dyaks of Borneo express an affirmation by raising the
eyebrows, and a negation by slightly contracting them, together with a
peculiar look from the eyes. With the Arabs on the Nile, Professor and
Mrs. Asa Gray concluded that nodding in affirmation was rare, whilst
shaking the head in negation was never used, and was not even
understood by them. With the Esquimaux[1124] a nod means _yes_ and a
wink _no_. The New Zealanders “elevate the head and chin in place of
nodding acquiescence.”[1125]

With the Hindoos Mr. H. Erskine concludes from inquiries made from
experienced Europeans, and from native gentlemen, that the signs of
affirmation and negation vary—a nod and a lateral shake being sometimes
used as we do; but a negative is more commonly expressed by the head
being thrown suddenly backwards and a little to one side, with a cluck
of the tongue. What the meaning may be of this cluck of the tongue,
which has been observed with various people, I cannot imagine. A native
gentleman stated that affirmation is frequently shown by the head being
thrown to the left. I asked Mr. Scott to attend particularly to this
point, and, after repeated observations, he believes that a vertical
nod is not commonly used by the natives in affirmation, but that the
head is first thrown backwards either to the left or right, and then
jerked obliquely forwards only once. This movement would perhaps have
been described by a less careful observer as a lateral shake. He also
states that in negation the head is usually held nearly upright, and
shaken several times.

Mr. Bridges informs me that the Fuegians nod their heads vertically in
affirmation, and shake them laterally in denial. With the wild Indians
of North America, according to Mr. Washington Matthews, nodding and
shaking the head have been learnt from Europeans, and are not naturally
employed. They express affirmation by describing with the hand (all the
fingers except the index being flexed) a curve downwards and outwards
from the body, whilst negation is expressed by moving the open hand
outwards, with the palm facing inwards. Other observers state that the
sign of affirmation with these Indians is the forefinger being raised,
and then lowered and pointed to the ground, or the hand is waved
straight forward from the face; and that the sign of negation is the
finger or whole hand shaken from side to side.[1126] This latter
movement probably represents in all cases the lateral shaking of the
head. The Italians are said in like manner to move the lifted finger
from right to left in negation, as indeed we English sometimes do.

On the whole we find considerable diversity in the signs of affirmation
and negation in the different races of man. With respect to negation,
if we admit that the shaking of the finger or hand from side to side is
symbolic of the lateral movement of the head; and if we admit that the
sudden backward movement of the head represents one of the actions
often practised by young children in refusing food, then there is much
uniformity throughout the world in the signs of negation, and we can
see how they originated. The most marked exceptions are presented by
the Arabs, Esquimaux, some Australian tribes, and Dyaks. With the
latter a frown is the sign of negation, and with us frowning often
accompanies a lateral shake of the head.

With respect to nodding in affirmation, the exceptions are rather more
numerous, namely with some of the Hindoos, with the Turks, Abyssinians,
Dyaks, Tagals, and New Zealanders. The eyebrows are sometimes raised in
affirmation, and as a person in bending his head forwards and downwards
naturally looks up to the person whom he addresses, he will be apt to
raise his eyebrows, and this sign may thus have arisen as an
abbreviation. So again with the New Zealanders, the lifting up the chin
and head in affirmation may perhaps represent in an abbreviated form
the upward movement of the head after it has been nodded forwards and


Surprise, astonishment—Elevation of the eyebrows—Opening the
mouth—Protrusion of the lips—Gestures accompanying
surprise—Admiration—Fear—Terror—Erection of the hair—Contraction of the
platysma muscle—Dilatation of the pupils—Horror—Conclusion.

Attention, if sudden and close, graduates into surprise; and this into
astonishment; and this into stupefied amazement. The latter frame of
mind is closely akin to terror. Attention is shown by the eyebrows
being slightly raised; and as this state increases into surprise, they
are raised to a much greater extent, with the eyes and mouth widely
open. The raising of the eyebrows is necessary in order that the eyes
should be opened quickly and widely; and this movement produces
transverse wrinkles across the forehead. The degree to which the eyes
and mouth are opened corresponds with the degree of surprise felt; but
these movements must be coordinated; for a widely opened mouth with
eyebrows only slightly raised results in a meaningless grimace, as Dr.
Duchenne has shown in one of his photographs.[1201] On the other hand,
a person may often be seen to pretend surprise by merely raising his

Dr. Duchenne has given a photograph of an old man with his eyebrows
well elevated and arched by the galvanization of the frontal muscle;
and with his mouth voluntarily opened. This figure expresses surprise
with much truth. I showed it to twenty-four persons without a word of
explanation, and one alone did not at all understand what was intended.
A second person answered terror, which is not far wrong; some of the
others, however, added to the words surprise or astonishment, the
epithets horrified, woful, painful, or disgusted.

The eyes and mouth being widely open is an expression universally
recognized as one of surprise or astonishment. Thus Shakespeare says,
“I saw a smith stand with open mouth swallowing a tailor’s news.”
(‘King John,’ act iv. scene ii.) And again, “They seemed almost, with
staring on one another, to tear the cases of their eyes; there was
speech in the dumbness, language in their very gesture; they looked as
they had heard of a world destroyed.” (‘Winter’s Tale,’ act v. scene

My informants answer with remarkable uniformity to the same effect,
with respect to the various races of man; the above movements of the
features being often accompanied by certain gestures and sounds,
presently to be described. Twelve observers in different parts of
Australia agree on this head. Mr. Winwood Reade has observed this
expression with the negroes on the Guinea coast. The chief Gaika and
others answer _yes_ to my query with respect to the Kafirs of South
Africa; and so do others emphatically with reference to the
Abyssinians, Ceylonese, Chinese, Fuegians, various tribes of North
America, and New Zealanders. With the latter, Mr. Stack states that the
expression is more plainly shown by certain individuals than by others,
though all endeavour as much as possible to conceal their feelings. The
Dyaks of Borneo are said by the Rajah Brooke to open their eyes widely,
when astonished, often swinging their heads to and fro, and beating
their breasts. Mr. Scott informs me that the workmen in the Botanic
Gardens at Calcutta are strictly ordered not to smoke; but they often
disobey this order, and when suddenly surprised in the act, they first
open their eyes and mouths widely. They then often slightly shrug their
shoulders, as they perceive that discovery is inevitable, or frown and
stamp on the ground from vexation. Soon they recover from their
surprise, and abject fear is exhibited by the relaxation of all their
muscles; their heads seem to sink between their shoulders; their fallen
eyes wander to and fro; and they supplicate forgiveness.

The well-known Australian explorer, Mr. Stuart, has given[1202] a
striking account of stupefied amazement together with terror in a
native who had never before seen a man on horseback. Mr. Stuart
approached unseen and called to him from a little distance. “He turned
round and saw me. What he imagined I was I do not know; but a finer
picture of fear and astonishment I never saw. He stood incapable of
moving a limb, riveted to the spot, mouth open and eyes staring.... He
remained motionless until our black got within a few yards of him, when
suddenly throwing down his waddies, he jumped into a mulga bush as high
as he could get.” He could not speak, and answered not a word to the
inquiries made by the black, but, trembling from head to foot, “waved
with his hand for us to be off.”

That the eyebrows are raised by an innate or instinctive impulse may be
inferred from the fact that Laura Bridgman invariably acts thus when
astonished, as I have been assured by the lady who has lately had
charge of her. As surprise is excited by something unexpected or
unknown, we naturally desire, when startled, to perceive the cause as
quickly as possible; and we consequently open our eyes fully, so that
the field of vision may be increased, and the eyeballs moved easily in
any direction. But this hardly accounts for the eyebrows being so
greatly raised as is the case, and for the wild staring of the open
eyes. The explanation lies, I believe, in the impossibility of opening
the eyes with great rapidity by merely raising the upper lids. To
effect this the eyebrows must be lifted energetically. Any one who will
try to open his eyes as quickly as possible before a mirror will find
that he acts thus; and the energetic lifting up of the eyebrows opens
the eyes so widely that they stare, the white being exposed all round
the iris. Moreover, the elevation of the eyebrows is an advantage in
looking upwards; for as long as they are lowered they impede our vision
in this direction. Sir C. Bell gives[1203] a curious little proof of
the part which the eyebrows play in opening the eyelids. In a stupidly
drunken man all the muscles are relaxed, and the eyelids consequently
droop, in the same manner as when we are falling asleep. To counteract
this tendency the drunkard raises his eyebrows; and this gives to him a
puzzled, foolish look, as is well represented in one of Hogarth’s
drawings. The habit of raising the eyebrows having once been gained in
order to see as quickly as possible all around us, the movement would
follow from the force of association whenever astonishment was felt
from any cause, even from a sudden sound or an idea.

With adult persons, when the eyebrows are raised, the whole forehead
becomes much wrinkled in transverse lines; but with children this
occurs only to a slight degree. The wrinkles run in lines concentric
with each eyebrow, and are partially confluent in the middle. They are
highly characteristic of the expression of surprise or astonishment.
Each eyebrow, when raised, becomes also, as Duchenne remarks,[1204]
more arched than it was before.

The cause of the mouth being opened when astonishment is felt, is a
much more complex affair; and several causes apparently concur in
leading to this movement. It has often been supposed[1205] that the
sense of hearing is thus rendered more acute; but I have watched
persons listening intently to a slight noise, the nature and source of
which they knew perfectly, and they did not open their mouths.
Therefore I at one time imagined that the open mouth might aid in
distinguishing the direction whence a sound proceeded, by giving
another channel for its entrance into the ear through the eustachian
tube, But Dr. W. Ogle[1206] has been so kind as to search the best
recent authorities on the functions of the eustachian tube, and he
informs me that it is almost conclusively proved that it remains closed
except during the act of deglutition; and that in persons in whom the
tube remains abnormally open, the sense of hearing, as far as external
sounds are concerned, is by no means improved; on the contrary, it is
impaired by the respiratory sounds being rendered more distinct. If a
watch be placed within the mouth, but not allowed to touch the sides,
the ticking is heard much less plainly than when held outside. In
persons in whom from disease or a cold the eustachian tube is
permanently or temporarily closed, the sense of hearing is injured; but
this may be accounted for by mucus accumulating within the tube, and
the consequent exclusion of air. We may therefore infer that the mouth
is not kept open under the sense of astonishment for the sake of
hearing sounds more distinctly; notwithstanding that most deaf people
keep their mouths open.

Every sudden emotion, including astonishment, quickens the action of
the heart, and with it the respiration. Now we can breathe, as
Gratiolet remarks[1207] and as appears to me to be the case, much more
quietly through the open mouth than through the nostrils. Therefore,
when we wish to listen intently to any sound, we either stop breathing,
or breathe as quietly as possible, by opening our mouths, at the same
time keeping our bodies motionless. One of my sons was awakened in the
night by a noise under circumstances which naturally led to great care,
and after a few minutes he perceived that his mouth was widely open. He
then became conscious that he had opened it for the sake of breathing
as quietly as possible. This view receives support from the reversed
case which occurs with dogs. A dog when panting after exercise, or on a
hot day, breathes loudly; but if his attention be suddenly aroused, he
instantly pricks his ears to listen, shuts his mouth, and breathes
quietly, as he is enabled to do, through his nostrils.

When the attention is concentrated for a length of time with fixed
earnestness on any object or subject, all the organs of the body are
forgotten and neglected;[1208] and as the nervous energy of each
individual is limited in amount, little is transmitted to any part of
the system, excepting that which is at the time brought into energetic
action. Therefore many of the muscles tend to become relaxed, and the
jaw drops from its own weight. This will account for the dropping of
the jaw and open mouth of a man stupefied with amazement, and perhaps
when less strongly affected. I have noticed this appearance, as I find
recorded in my notes, in very young children when they were only
moderately surprised.

There is still another and highly effective cause, leading to the mouth
being opened, when we are astonished, and more especially when we are
suddenly startled. We can draw a full and deep inspiration much more
easily through the widely open mouth than through the nostrils. Now
when we start at any sudden sound or sight, almost all the muscles of
the body are involuntarily and momentarily thrown into strong action,
for the sake of guarding ourselves against or jumping away from the
danger, which we habitually associate with anything unexpected. But we
always unconsciously prepare ourselves for any great exertion, as
formerly explained, by first taking a deep and full inspiration, and we
consequently open our mouths. If no exertion follows, and we still
remain astonished, we cease for a time to breathe, or breathe as
quietly as possible, in order that every sound may be distinctly heard.
Or again, if our attention continues long and earnestly absorbed, all
our muscles become relaxed, and the jaw, which was at first suddenly
opened, remains dropped. Thus several causes concur towards this same
movement, whenever surprise, astonishment, or amazement is felt.

Although when thus affected, our mouths are generally opened, yet the
lips are often a little protruded. This fact reminds us of the same
movement, though in a much more strongly marked degree, in the
chimpanzee and orang when astonished. As a strong expiration naturally
follows the deep inspiration which accompanies the first sense of
startled surprise, and as the lips are often protruded, the various
sounds which are then commonly uttered can apparently be accounted for.
But sometimes a strong expiration alone is heard; thus Laura Bridgman,
when amazed, rounds and protrudes her lips, opens them, and breathes
strongly.[1209] One of the commonest sounds is a deep _Oh_; and this
would naturally follow, as explained by Helmholtz, from the mouth being
moderately opened and the lips protruded. On a quiet night some rockets
were fired from the ‘Beagle,’ in a little creek at Tahiti, to amuse the
natives; and as each rocket, was let off there was absolute silence,
but this was invariably followed by a deep groaning _Oh_, resounding
all round the bay. Mr. Washington Matthews says that the North American
Indians express astonishment by a groan; and the negroes on the West
Coast of Africa, according to Mr. Winwood Reade, protrude their lips,
and make a sound like _heigh, heigh_. If the mouth is not much opened,
whilst the lips are considerably protruded, a blowing, hissing, or
whistling noise is produced. Mr. R. Brough Smith informs me that an
Australian from the interior was taken to the theatre to see an acrobat
rapidly turning head over heels: “he was greatly astonished, and
protruded his lips, making a noise with his mouth as if blowing out a
match.” According to Mr. Bulmer the Australians, when surprised, utter
the exclamation _korki_, “and to do this the mouth is drawn out as if
going to whistle.” We Europeans often whistle as a sign of surprise;
thus, in a recent novel[1210] it is said, “here the man expressed his
astonishment and disapprobation by a prolonged whistle.” A Kafir girl,
as Mr. J. Mansel Weale informs me, “on hearing of the high price of an
article, raised her eyebrows and whistled just as a European would.”
Mr. Wedgwood remarks that such sounds are written down as _whew_, and
they serve as interjections for surprise.

According to three other observers, the Australians often evince
astonishment by a clucking noise. Europeans also sometimes express
gentle surprise by a little clicking noise of nearly the same kind. We
have seen that when we are startled, the mouth is suddenly opened; and
if the tongue happens to be then pressed closely against the palate,
its sudden withdrawal will produce a sound of this kind, which might
thus come to express surprise.

Gestures of the Body. Plate VII

Turning to gestures of the body. A surprised person often raises his
opened hands high above his head, or by bending his arms only to the
level of his face. The flat palms are directed towards the person who
causes this feeling, and the straightened fingers are separated. This
gesture is represented by Mr. Rejlander in Plate VII. fig. 1. In the
‘Last Supper,’ by Leonardo da Vinci, two of the Apostles have their
hands half uplifted, clearly expressive of their astonishment. A
trustworthy observer told me that he had lately met his wife under most
unexpected circumstances: “She started, opened her mouth and eyes very
widely, and threw up both her arms above her head.” Several years ago I
was surprised by seeing several of my young children earnestly doing
something together on the ground; but the distance was too great for me
to ask what they were about. Therefore I threw up my open hands with
extended fingers above my head; and as soon as I had done this, I
became conscious of the action. I then waited, without saying a word,
to see if my children had understood this gesture; and as they came
running to me they cried out, “We saw that you were astonished at us.”
I do not know whether this gesture is common to the various races of
man, as I neglected to make inquiries on this head. That it is innate
or natural may be inferred from the fact that Laura Bridgman, when
amazed, “spreads her arms and turns her hands with extended fingers
upwards;”[1211] nor is it likely, considering that the feeling of
surprise is generally a brief one, that she should have learnt this
gesture through her keen sense of touch.

Huschke describes[1212] a somewhat different yet allied gesture, which
he says is exhibited by persons when astonished. They hold themselves
erect, with the features as before described, but with the straightened
arms extended backwards—the stretched fingers being separated from each
other. I have never myself seen this gesture; but Huschke is probably
correct; for a friend asked another man how he would express great
astonishment, and he at once threw himself into this attitude.

These gestures are, I believe, explicable on the principle of
antithesis. We have seen that an indignant man holds his head erect,
squares his shoulders, turns out his elbows, often clenches his fist,
frowns, and closes his mouth; whilst the attitude of a helpless man is
in every one of these details the reverse. Now, a man in an ordinary
frame of mind, doing nothing and thinking of nothing in particular,
usually keeps his two arms suspended laxly by his sides, with his hands
somewhat flexed, and the fingers near together. Therefore, to raise the
arms suddenly, either the whole arms or the fore-arms, to open the
palms flat, and to separate the fingers,—or, again, to straighten the
arms, extending them backwards with separated fingers,—are movements in
complete antithesis to those preserved under an indifferent frame of
mind, and they are, in consequence, unconsciously assumed by an
astonished man. There is, also, often a desire to display surprise in a
conspicuous manner, and the above attitudes are well fitted for this
purpose. It may be asked why should surprise, and only a few other
states of the mind, be exhibited by movements in antithesis to others.
But this principle will not be brought into play in the case of those
emotions, such as terror, great joy, suffering, or rage, which
naturally lead to certain lines of action and produce certain effects
on the body, for the whole system is thus preoccupied; and these
emotions are already thus expressed with the greatest plainness.

There is another little gesture, expressive of astonishment of which I
can offer no explanation; namely, the hand being placed over the mouth
or on some part of the head. This has been observed with so many races
of man, that it must have some natural origin. A wild Australian was
taken into a large room full of official papers, which surprised him
greatly, and he cried out, _cluck, cluck, cluck_, putting the back of
his hand towards his lips. Mrs. Barber says that the Kafirs and Fingoes
express astonishment by a serious look and by placing the right hand
upon the mouth, uttering the word _mawo_, which means ‘wonderful.’ The
Bushmen are said[1213] to put their right hands to their necks, bending
their heads backwards. Mr. Winwood Reade has observed that the negroes
on the West Coast of Africa, when surprised, clap their hands to their
mouths, saying at the same time, “My mouth cleaves to me,” i. e. to my
hands; and he has heard that this is their usual gesture on such
occasions. Captain Speedy informs me that the Abyssinians place their
right hand to the forehead, with the palm outside. Lastly, Mr.
Washington Matthews states that the conventional sign of astonishment
with the wild tribes of the western parts of the United States “is made
by placing the half-closed hand over the mouth; in doing this, the head
is often bent forwards, and words or low groans are sometimes uttered.”
Catlin[1214] makes the same remark about the hand being pressed over
the mouth by the Mandans and other Indian tribes.

_Admiration_.—Little need be said on this head. Admiration apparently
consists of surprise associated with some pleasure and a sense of
approval. When vividly felt, the eyes are opened and the eyebrows
raised; the eyes become bright, instead of remaining blank, as under
simple astonishment; and the mouth, instead of gaping open, expands
into a smile.

_Fear, Terror_.—The word ‘fear’ seems to be derived from what is sudden
and dangerous;[1215] and that of terror from the trembling of the vocal
organs and body. I use the word ‘terror’ for extreme fear; but some
writers think it ought to be confined to cases in which the imagination
is more particularly concerned. Fear is often preceded by astonishment,
and is so far akin to it, that both lead to the senses of sight and
hearing being instantly aroused. In both cases the eyes and mouth are
widely opened, and the eyebrows raised. The frightened man at first
stands like a statue motionless and breathless, or crouches down as if
instinctively to escape observation.

The heart beats quickly and violently, so that it palpitates or knocks
against the ribs; but it is very doubtful whether it then works more
efficiently than usual, so as to send a greater supply of blood to all
parts of the body; for the skin instantly becomes pale, as during
incipient faintness. This paleness of the surface, however, is probably
in large part, or exclusively, due to the vasomotor centre being
affected in such a manner as to cause the contraction of the small
arteries of the skin. That the skin is much affected under the sense of
great fear, we see in the marvellous and inexplicable manner in which
perspiration immediately exudes from it. This exudation is all the more
remarkable, as the surface is then cold, and hence the term a cold
sweat; whereas, the sudorific glands are properly excited into action
when the surface is heated. The hairs also on the skin stand erect; and
the superficial muscles shiver. In connection with the disturbed action
of the heart, the breathing is hurried. The salivary glands act
imperfectly; the mouth becomes dry,[1216] and is often opened and shut.
I have also noticed that under slight fear there is a strong tendency
to yawn. One of the best-marked symptoms is the trembling of all the
muscles of the body; and this is often first seen in the lips. From
this cause, and from the dryness of the mouth, the voice becomes husky
or indistinct, or may altogether fail. “Obstupui, steteruntque comae,
et vox faucibus haesit.”

Of vague fear there is a well-known and grand description in Job:—“In
thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up. It
stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was
before my eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying, Shall
mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his
Maker?” (Job iv. 13)

As fear increases into an agony of terror, we behold, as under all
violent emotions, diversified results. The heart beats wildly, or may
fail to act and faintness ensue; there is a death-like pallor; the
breathing is laboured; the wings of the nostrils are wildly dilated;
“there is a gasping and convulsive motion of the lips, a tremor on the
hollow cheek, a gulping and catching of the throat;”[1217] the
uncovered and protruding eyeballs are fixed on the object of terror; or
they may roll restlessly from side to side, _huc illuc volvens oculos
totumque pererrat_.[1218] The pupils are said to be enormously dilated.
All the muscles of the body may become rigid, or may be thrown into
convulsive movements. The hands are alternately clenched and opened,
often with a twitching movement. The arms may be protruded, as if to
avert some dreadful danger, or may be thrown wildly over the head. The
Rev. Mr. Hagenauer has seen this latter action in a terrified
Australian. In other cases there is a sudden and uncontrollable
tendency to headlong flight; and so strong is this, that the boldest
soldiers may be seized with a sudden panic.

As fear rises to an extreme pitch, the dreadful scream of terror is
heard. Great beads of sweat stand on the skin. All the muscles of the
body are relaxed. Utter prostration soon follows, and the mental powers
fail. The intestines are affected. The sphincter muscles cease to act,
and no longer retain the contents of the body.

Photograph of an Insane Woman. Fig. 19

Dr. J. Crichton Browne has given me so striking an account of intense
fear in an insane woman, aged thirty-five, that the description though
painful ought not to be omitted. When a paroxysm seizes her, she
screams out, “This is hell!” “There is a black woman!” “I can’t get
out!”—and other such exclamations. When thus screaming, her movements
are those of alternate tension and tremor. For one instant she clenches
her hands, holds her arms out before her in a stiff semi-flexed
position; then suddenly bends her body forwards, sways rapidly to and
fro, draws her fingers through her hair, clutches at her neck, and
tries to tear off her clothes. The sterno-cleido-mastoid muscles (which
serve to bend the head on the chest) stand out prominently, as if
swollen, and the skin in front of them is much wrinkled. Her hair,
which is cut short at the back of her head, and is smooth when she is
calm, now stands on end; that in front being dishevelled by the
movements of her hands. The countenance expresses great mental agony.
The skin is flushed over the face and neck, down to the clavicles, and
the veins of the forehead and neck stand out like thick cords. The
lower lip drops, and is somewhat everted. The mouth is kept half open,
with the lower jaw projecting. The cheeks are hollow and deeply
furrowed in curved lines running from the wings of the nostrils to the
corners of the mouth. The nostrils themselves are raised and extended.
The eyes are widely opened, and beneath them the skin appears swollen;
the pupils are large. The forehead is wrinkled transversely in many
folds, and at the inner extremities of the eyebrows it is strongly
furrowed in diverging lines, produced by the powerful and persistent
contraction of the corrugators.

Terror. Fig. 20

Mr. Bell has also described[1219] an agony of terror and of despair,
which he witnessed in a murderer, whilst carried to the place of
execution in Turin. “On each side of the car the officiating priests
were seated; and in the centre sat the criminal himself. It was
impossible to witness the condition of this unhappy wretch without
terror; and yet, as if impelled by some strange infatuation, it was
equally impossible not to gaze upon an object so wild, so full of
horror. He seemed about thirty-five years of age; of large and muscular
form; his countenance marked by strong and savage features; half naked,
pale as death, agonized with terror, every limb strained in anguish,
his hands clenched convulsively, the sweat breaking out on his bent and
contracted brow, he kissed incessantly the figure of our Saviour,
painted on the flag which was suspended before him; but with an agony
of wildness and despair, of which nothing ever exhibited on the stage
can give the slightest conception.”

I will add only one other case, illustrative of a man utterly
prostrated by terror. An atrocious murderer of two persons was brought
into a hospital, under the mistaken impression that he had poisoned
himself; and Dr. W. Ogle carefully watched him the next morning, while
he was being handcuffed and taken away by the police. His pallor was
extreme, and his prostration so great that he was hardly able to dress
himself. His skin perspired; and his eyelids and head drooped so much
that it was impossible to catch even a glimpse of his eyes. His lower
jaw hung down. There was no contraction of any facial muscle, and Dr.
Ogle is almost certain that the hair did not stand on end, for he
observed it narrowly, as it had been dyed for the sake of concealment.

With respect to fear, as exhibited by the various races of man, my
informants agree that the signs are the same as with Europeans. They
are displayed in an exaggerated degree with the Hindoos and natives of
Ceylon. Mr. Geach has seen Malays when terrified turn pale and shake;
and Mr. Brough Smyth states that a native Australian “being on one
occasion much frightened, showed a complexion as nearly approaching to
what we call paleness, as can well be conceived in the case of a very
black man.” Mr. Dyson Lacy has seen extreme fear shown in an
Australian, by a nervous twitching of the hands, feet, and lips; and by
the perspiration standing on the skin. Many savages do not repress the
signs of fear so much as Europeans; and they often tremble greatly.
With the Kafir, Gaika says, in his rather quaint English, the shaking
“of the body is much experienced, and the eyes are widely open.” With
savages, the sphincter muscles are often relaxed, just as may be
observed in much frightened dogs, and as I have seen with monkeys when
terrified by being caught.

_The erection of the hair_.—Some of the signs of fear deserve a little
further consideration. Poets continually speak of the hair standing on
end; Brutus says to the ghost of Caesar, “that mak’st my blood cold,
and my hair to stare.” And Cardinal Beaufort, after the murder of
Gloucester exclaims, “Comb down his hair; look, look, it stands
upright.” As I did not feel sure whether writers of fiction might not
have applied to man what they had often observed in animals, I begged
for information from Dr. Crichton Browne with respect to the insane. He
states in answer that he has repeatedly seen their hair erected under
the influence of sudden and extreme terror. For instance, it is
occasionally necessary to inject morphia, under the skin of an insane
woman, who dreads the operation extremely, though it causes very little
pain; for she believes that poison is being introduced into her system,
and that her bones will be softened, and her flesh turned into dust.
She becomes deadly pale; her limbs are stiffened by a sort of tetanic
spasm, and her hair is partially erected on the front of the head.

Dr. Browne further remarks that the bristling of the hair which is so
common in the insane, is not always associated with terror. It is
perhaps most frequently seen in chronic maniacs, who rave incoherently
and have destructive impulses; but it is during their paroxysms of
violence that the bristling is most observable. The fact of the hair
becoming erect under the influence both of rage and fear agrees
perfectly with what we have seen in the lower animals. Dr. Browne
adduces several cases in evidence. Thus with a man now in the Asylum,
before the recurrence of each maniacal paroxysm, “the hair rises up
from his forehead like the mane of a Shetland pony.” He has sent me
photographs of two women, taken in the intervals between their
paroxysms, and he adds with respect to one of these women, “that the
state of her hair is a sure and convenient criterion of her mental
condition.” I have had one of these photographs copied, and the
engraving gives, if viewed from a little distance, a faithful
representation of the original, with the exception that the hair
appears rather too coarse and too much curled. The extraordinary
condition of the hair in the insane is due, not only to its erection,
but to its dryness and harshness, consequent on the subcutaneous glands
failing to act. Dr. Bucknill has said[1220] that a lunatic “is a
lunatic to his finger’s ends;” he might have added, and often to the
extremity of each particular hair.

Dr. Browne mentions as an empirical confirmation of the relation which
exists in the insane between the state of their hair and minds, that
the wife of a medical man, who has charge of a lady suffering from
acute melancholia, with a strong fear of death, for herself, her
husband and children, reported verbally to him the day before receiving
my letter as follows, “I think Mrs. —— will soon improve, for her hair
is getting smooth; and I always notice that our patients get better
whenever their hair ceases to be rough and unmanageable.”

Dr. Browne attributes the persistently rough condition of the hair in
many insane patients, in part to their minds being always somewhat
disturbed, and in part to the effects of habit,—that is, to the hair
being frequently and strongly erected during their many recurrent
paroxysms. In patients in whom the bristling of the hair is extreme,
the disease is generally permanent and mortal; but in others, in whom
the bristling is moderate, as soon as they recover their health of mind
the hair recovers its smoothness.

In a previous chapter we have seen that with animals the hairs are
erected by the contraction of minute, unstriped, and involuntary
muscles, which run to each separate follicle. In addition to this
action, Mr. J. Wood has clearly ascertained by experiment, as he
informs me, that with man the hairs on the front of the head which
slope forwards, and those on the back which slope backwards, are raised
in opposite directions by the contraction of the occipito-frontalis or
scalp muscle. So that this muscle seems to aid in the erection of the
hairs on the head of man in the same manner as the homologous
_panniculus carnosus_ aids, or takes the greater part, in the erection
of the spines on the backs of some of the lower animals.

_Contraction of the platysma myoides muscle_.—This muscle is spread
over the sides of the neck, extending downwards to a little beneath the
collar-bones, and upwards to the lower part of the cheeks. A portion,
called the risorius, is represented in the woodcut (M) fig. 2. The
contraction of this muscle draws the corners of the mouth and the lower
parts of the checks downwards and backwards. It produces at the same
time divergent, longitudinal, prominent ridges on the sides of the neck
in the young; and, in old thin persons, fine transverse wrinkles. This
muscle is sometimes said not to be under the control of the will; but
almost every one, if told to draw the corners of his mouth backwards
and downwards with great force, brings it into action. I have, however,
heard of a man who can voluntarily act on it only on one side of his

Sir C. Bell[1221] and others have stated that this muscle is strongly
contracted under the influence of fear; and Duchenne insists so
strongly on its importance in the expression of this emotion, that he
calls it the _muscle of fright_.[1222] He admits, however, that its
contraction is quite inexpressive unless associated with widely open
eyes and mouth. He has given a photograph (copied and reduced in the
accompanying woodcut) of the same old man as on former occasions, with
his eyebrows strongly raised, his mouth opened, and the platysma
contracted, all by means of galvanism. The original photograph was
shown to twenty-four persons, and they were separately asked, without
any explanation being given, what expression was intended: twenty
instantly answered, “intense fright” or “horror”; three said pain, and
one extreme discomfort. Dr. Duchenne has given another photograph of
the same old man, with the platysma contracted, the eyes and mouth
opened, and the eyebrows rendered oblique, by means of galvanism. The
expression thus induced is very striking (see Plate VII. fig. 2); the
obliquity of the eyebrows adding the appearance of great mental
distress. The original was shown to fifteen persons; twelve answered
terror or horror, and three agony or great suffering. From these cases,
and from an examination of the other photographs given by Dr. Duchenne,
together with his remarks thereon, I think there can be little doubt
that the contraction of the platysma does add greatly to the expression
of fear. Nevertheless this muscle ought hardly to be called that of
fright, for its contraction is certainly not a necessary concomitant of
this state of mind.

A man may exhibit extreme terror in the plainest manner by death-like
pallor, by drops of perspiration on his skin, and by utter prostration,
with all the muscles of his body, including the platysma, completely
relaxed. Although Dr. Browne has often seen this muscle quivering and
contracting in the insane, he has not been able to connect its action
with any emotional condition in them, though he carefully attended to
patients suffering from great fear. Mr. Nicol, on the other hand, has
observed three cases in which this muscle appeared to be more or less
permanently contracted under the influence of melancholia, associated
with much dread; but in one of these cases, various other muscles about
the neck and head were subject to spasmodic contractions.

Dr. W. Ogle observed for me in one of the London hospitals about twenty
patients, just before they were put under the influence of chloroform
for operations. They exhibited some trepidation, but no great terror.
In only four of the cases was the platysma visibly contracted; and it
did not begin to contract until the patients began to cry. The muscle
seemed to contract at the moment of each deep-drawn inspiration; so
that it is very doubtful whether the contraction depended at all on the
emotion of fear. In a fifth case, the patient, who was not
chloroformed, was much terrified; and his platysma was more forcibly
and persistently contracted than in the other cases. But even here
there is room for doubt, for the muscle which appeared to be unusually
developed, was seen by Dr. Ogle to contract as the man moved his head
from the pillow, after the operation was over.

As I felt much perplexed why, in any case, a superficial muscle on the
neck should be especially affected by fear, I applied to my many
obliging correspondents for information about the contraction of this
muscle under other circumstances. It would be superfluous to give all
the answers which I have received. They show that this muscle acts,
often in a variable manner and degree, under many different conditions.
It is violently contracted in hydrophobia, and in a somewhat less
degree in lockjaw; sometimes in a marked manner during the
insensibility from chloroform. Dr. W. Ogle observed two male patients,
suffering from such difficulty in breathing, that the trachea had to be
opened, and in both the platysma was strongly contracted. One of these
men overheard the conversation of the surgeons surrounding him, and
when he was able to speak, declared that he had not been frightened. In
some other cases of extreme difficulty of respiration, though not
requiring tracheotomy, observed by Drs. Ogle and Langstaff, the
platysma was not contracted.

Mr. J. Wood, who has studied with such care the muscles of the human
body, as shown by his various publications, has often seen the platysma
contracted in vomiting, nausea, and disgust; also in children and
adults under the influence of rage,—for instance, in Irishwomen,
quarrelling and brawling together with angry gesticulations. This may
possibly have been due to their high and angry tones; for I know a
lady, an excellent musician, who, in singing certain high notes, always
contracts her platysma. So does a young man, as I have observed, in
sounding certain notes on the flute. Mr. J. Wood informs me that he has
found the platysma best developed in persons with thick necks and broad
shoulders; and that in families inheriting these peculiarities, its
development is usually associated with much voluntary power over the
homologous occipito-frontalis muscle, by which the scalp can be moved.

None of the foregoing cases appear to throw any light on the
contraction of the platysma from fear; but it is different, I think,
with the following cases. The gentleman before referred to, who can
voluntarily act on this muscle only on one side of his neck, is
positive that it contracts on both sides whenever he is startled.
Evidence has already been given showing that this muscle sometimes
contracts, perhaps for the sake of opening the mouth widely, when the
breathing is rendered difficult by disease, and during the deep
inspirations of crying-fits before an operation. Now, whenever a person
starts at any sudden sight or sound, he instantaneously draws a deep
breath; and thus the contraction of the platysma may possibly have
become associated with the sense of fear. But there is, I believe, a
more efficient relation. The first sensation of fear, or the
imagination of something dreadful, commonly excites a shudder. I have
caught myself giving a little involuntary shudder at a painful thought,
and I distinctly perceived that my platysma contracted; so it does if I
simulate a shudder. I have asked others to act in this manner; and in
some the muscle contracted, but not in others. One of my sons, whilst
getting out of bed, shuddered from the cold, and, as he happened to
have his hand on his neck, he plainly felt that this muscle strongly
contracted. He then voluntarily shuddered, as he had done on former
occasions, but the platysma was not then affected. Mr. J. Wood has also
several times observed this muscle contracting in patients, when
stripped for examination, and who were not frightened, but shivered
slightly from the cold. Unfortunately I have not been able to ascertain
whether, when the whole body shakes, as in the cold stage of an ague
fit, the platysma contracts. But as it certainly often contracts during
a shudder; and as a shudder or shiver often accompanies the first
sensation of fear, we have, I think, a clue to its action in this
latter case.[1223] Its contraction, however, is not an invariable
concomitant of fear; for it probably never acts under the influence of
extreme, prostrating terror.

_Dilatation of the Pupils_.—Gratiolet repeatedly insists[1224] that the
pupils are enormously dilated whenever terror is felt. I have no reason
to doubt the accuracy of this statement, but have failed to obtain
confirmatory evidence, excepting in the one instance before given of an
insane woman suffering from great fear. When writers of fiction speak
of the eyes being widely dilated, I presume that they refer to the
eyelids. Munro’s statement, that with parrots the iris is affected by
the passions, independently of the amount of light, seems to bear on
this question; but Professor Donders informs me, that he has often seen
movements in the pupils of these birds which he thinks may be related
to their power of accommodation to distance, in nearly the same manner
as our own pupils contract when our eyes converge for near vision.
Gratiolet remarks that the dilated pupils appear as if they were gazing
into profound darkness. No doubt the fears of man have often been
excited in the dark; but hardly so often or so exclusively, as to
account for a fixed and associated habit having thus arisen. It seems
more probable, assuming that Gratiolet’s statement is correct, that the
brain is directly affected by the powerful emotion of fear and reacts
on the pupils; but Professor Donders informs me that this is an
extremely complicated subject. I may add, as possibly throwing light on
the subject, that Dr. Fyffe, of Netley Hospital, has observed in two
patients that the pupils were distinctly dilated during the cold stage
of an ague fit. Professor Donders has also often seen dilatation of the
pupils in incipient faintness.[1225]

_Horror_.—The state of mind expressed by this term implies terror, and
is in some, cases almost synonymous with it. Many a man must have felt,
before the blessed discovery of chloroform, great horror at the thought
of an impending surgical operation. He who dreads, as well as hates a
man, will feel, as Milton uses the word, a horror of him. We feel
horror if we see any one, for instance a child, exposed to some instant
and crushing danger. Almost every one would experience the same feeling
in the highest degree in witnessing a man being tortured or going to be
tortured. In these cases there is no danger to ourselves; but from the
power of the imagination and of sympathy we put ourselves in the
position of the sufferer, and feel something akin to fear.

Horror and Agony. Fig. 21

Sir C. Bell remarks,[1226] that “horror is full of energy; the body is
in the utmost tension, not unnerved by fear.” It is, therefore,
probable that horror would generally be accompanied by the strong
contraction of the brows; but as fear is one of the elements, the eyes
and mouth would be opened, and the eyebrows would be raised, as far as
the antagonistic action of the corrugators permitted this movement.
Duchenne has given a photograph[1227] (fig. 21) of the same old man as
before, with his eyes somewhat staring, the eyebrows partially raised,
and at the same time strongly contracted, the mouth opened, and the
platysma in action, all effected by the means of galvanism. He
considers that the expression thus produced shows extreme terror with
horrible pain or torture. A tortured man, as long as his sufferings
allowed him to feel any dread for the future, would probably exhibit
horror in an extreme degree. I have shown the original of this
photograph to twenty-three persons of both sexes and various ages; and
thirteen immediately answered horror, great pain, torture, or agony;
three answered extreme fright; so that sixteen answered nearly in
accordance with Duchenne’s belief. Six, however, said anger, guided no
doubt, by the strongly contracted brows, and overlooking the peculiarly
opened mouth. One said disgust. On the whole, the evidence indicates
that we have here a fairly good representation of horror and agony. The
photograph before referred to (Pl. VII. fig. 2) likewise exhibits
horror; but in this the oblique eyebrows indicate great mental distress
in place of energy.

Horror is generally accompanied by various gestures, which differ in
different individuals. Judging from pictures, the whole body is often
turned away or shrinks; or the arms are violently protruded as if to
push away some dreadful object. The most frequent gesture, as far as
can be inferred from the action of persons who endeavour to express a
vividly-imagined scene of horror, is the raising of both shoulders,
with the bent arms pressed closely against the sides or chest. These
movements are nearly the same with those commonly made when we feel
very cold; and they are generally accompanied by a shudder, as well as
by a deep expiration or inspiration, according as the chest happens at
the time to be expanded or contracted. The sounds thus made are
expressed by words like _uh_ or _ugh_.[1228] It is not, however,
obvious why, when we feel cold or express a sense of horror, we press
our bent arms against our bodies, raise our shoulders, and shudder.

_Conclusion_.—I have now endeavoured to describe the diversified
expressions of fear, in its gradations from mere attention to a start
of surprise, into extreme terror and horror. Some of the signs may be
accounted for through the principles of habit, association, and
inheritance,—such as the wide opening of the mouth and eyes, with
upraised eyebrows, so as to see as quickly as possible all around us,
and to hear distinctly whatever sound may reach our ears. For we have
thus habitually prepared ourselves to discover and encounter any
danger. Some of the other signs of fear may likewise be accounted for,
at least in part, through these same principles. Men, during numberless
generations, have endeavoured to escape from their enemies or danger by
headlong flight, or by violently struggling with them; and such great
exertions will have caused the heart to beat rapidly, the breathing to
be hurried, the chest to heave, and the nostrils to be dilated. As
these exertions have often been prolonged to the last extremity, the
final result will have been utter prostration, pallor, perspiration,
trembling of all the muscles, or their complete relaxation. And now,
whenever the emotion of fear is strongly felt, though it may not lead
to any exertion, the same results tend to reappear, through the force
of inheritance and association.

Nevertheless, it is probable that many or most of the above symptoms of
terror, such as the beating of the heart, the trembling of the muscles,
cold perspiration, &c., are in large part directly due to the disturbed
or interrupted transmission of nerve-force from the cerebro-spinal
system to various parts of the body, owing to the mind being so
powerfully affected. We may confidently look to this cause,
independently of habit and association, in such cases as the modified
secretions of the intestinal canal, and the failure of certain glands
to act. With respect to the involuntary bristling of the hair, we have
good reason to believe that in the case of animals this action, however
it may have originated, serves, together with certain voluntary
movements, to make them appear terrible to their enemies; and as the
same involuntary and voluntary actions are performed by animals nearly
related to man, we are led to believe that man has retained through
inheritance a relic of them, now become useless. It is certainly a
remarkable fact, that the minute unstriped muscles, by which the hairs
thinly scattered over man’s almost naked body are erected, should have
been preserved to the present day; and that they should still contract
under the same emotions, namely, terror and rage, which cause the hairs
to stand on end in the lower members of the Order to which man belongs.


Nature of a blush—Inheritance—The parts of the body most
affected—Blushing in the various races of man—Accompanying
gestures—Confusion of mind—Causes of blushing—Self-attention, the
fundamental element—Shyness—Shame, from broken moral laws and
conventional rules—Modesty—Theory of blushing—Recapitulation.

Blushing is the most peculiar and the most human of all expressions.
Monkeys redden from passion, but it would require an overwhelming
amount of evidence to make us believe that any animal could blush. The
reddening of the face from a blush is due to the relaxation of the
muscular coats of the small arteries, by which the capillaries become
filled with blood; and this depends on the proper vaso-motor centre
being affected. No doubt if there be at the same time much mental
agitation, the general circulation will be affected; but it is not due
to the action of the heart that the network of minute vessels covering
the face becomes under a sense of shame gorged with blood. We can cause
laughing by tickling the skin, weeping or frowning by a blow, trembling
from the fear of pain, and so forth; but we cannot cause a blush, as
Dr. Burgess remarks,[1301] by any physical means,—that is by any action
on the body. It is the mind which must be affected. Blushing is not
only involuntary; but the wish to restrain it, by leading to
self-attention actually increases the tendency.

The young blush much more freely than the old, but not during
infancy,[1302] which is remarkable, as we know that infants at a very
early age redden from passion. I have received authentic accounts of
two little girls blushing at the ages of between two and three years;
and of another sensitive child, a year older, blushing, when reproved
for a fault. Many children, at a somewhat more advanced age blush in a
strongly marked manner. It appears that the mental powers of infants
are not as yet sufficiently developed to allow of their blushing.
Hence, also, it is that idiots rarely blush. Dr. Crichton Browne
observed for me those under his care, but never saw a genuine blush,
though he has seen their faces flush, apparently from joy, when food
was placed before them, and from anger. Nevertheless some, if not
utterly degraded, are capable of blushing. A microcephalous idiot, for
instance, thirteen years old, whose eyes brightened a little when he
was pleased or amused, has been described by Dr. Behn,[1303] as
blushing and turning to one side, when undressed for medical

Women blush much more than men. It is rare to see an old man, but not
nearly so rare to see an old woman blushing. The blind do not escape.
Laura Bridgman, born in this condition, as well as completely deaf,
blushes.[1304] The Rev. R. H. Blair, Principal of the Worcester
College, informs me that three children born blind, out of seven or
eight then in the Asylum, are great blushers. The blind are not at
first conscious that they are observed, and it is a most important part
of their education, as Mr. Blair informs me, to impress this knowledge
on their minds; and the impression thus gained would greatly strengthen
the tendency to blush, by increasing the habit of self-attention.

The tendency to blush is inherited. Dr. Burgess gives the case[1305] of
a family consisting of a father, mother, and ten children, all of whom,
without exception, were prone to blush to a most painful degree. The
children were grown up; “and some of them were sent to travel in order
to wear away this diseased sensibility, but nothing was of the
slightest avail.” Even peculiarities in blushing seem to be inherited.
Sir James Paget, whilst examining the spine of a girl, was struck at
her singular manner of blushing; a big splash of red appeared first on
one cheek, and then other splashes, variously scattered over the face
and neck. He subsequently asked the mother whether her daughter always
blushed in this peculiar manner; and was answered, “Yes, she takes
after me.” Sir J. Paget then perceived that by asking this question he
had caused the mother to blush; and she exhibited the same peculiarity
as her daughter.

In most cases the face, ears and neck are the sole parts which redden;
but many persons, whilst blushing intensely, feel that their whole
bodies grow hot and tingle; and this shows that the entire surface must
be in some manner affected. Blushes are said sometimes to commence on
the forehead, but more commonly on the cheeks, afterwards spreading to
the ears and neck.[1306] In two Albinos examined by Dr. Burgess, the
blushes commenced by a small circumscribed spot on the cheeks, over the
parotidean plexus of nerves, and then increased into a circle; between
this blushing circle and the blush on the neck there was an evident
line of demarcation; although both arose simultaneously. The retina,
which is naturally red in the Albino, invariably increased at the same
time in redness.[1307] Every one must have noticed how easily after one
blush fresh blushes chase each other over the face. Blushing is
preceded by a peculiar sensation in the skin. According to Dr. Burgess
the reddening of the skin is generally succeeded by a slight pallor,
which shows that the capillary vessels contract after dilating. In some
rare cases paleness instead of redness is caused under conditions which
would naturally induce a blush. For instance, a young lady told me that
in a large and crowded party she caught her hair so firmly on the
button of a passing servant, that it took some time before she could be
extricated; from her sensations she imagined that she had blushed
crimson; but was assured by a friend that she had turned extremely

I was desirous to learn how far down the body blushes extend; and Sir
J. Paget, who necessarily has frequent opportunities for observation,
has kindly attended to this point for me during two or three years. He
finds that with women who blush intensely on the face, ears, and nape
of neck, the blush does not commonly extend any lower down the body. It
is rare to see it as low down as the collar-bones and shoulder-blades;
and he has never himself seen a single instance in which it extended
below the upper part of the chest. He has also noticed that blushes
sometimes die away downwards, not gradually and insensibly, but by
irregular ruddy blotches. Dr. Langstaff has likewise observed for me
several women whose bodies did not in the least redden while their
faces were crimsoned with blushes. With the insane, some of whom appear
to be particularly liable to blushing, Dr. J. Crichton Browne has
several times seen the blush extend as far down as the collar-bones,
and in two instances to the breasts. He gives me the case of a married
woman, aged twenty-seven, who suffered from epilepsy. On the morning
after her arrival in the Asylum, Dr. Browne, together with his
assistants, visited her whilst she was in bed. The moment that he
approached, she blushed deeply over her cheeks and temples; and the
blush spread quickly to her ears. She was much agitated and tremulous.
He unfastened the collar of her chemise in order to examine the state
of her lungs; and then a brilliant blush rushed over her chest, in an
arched line over the upper third of each breast, and extended downwards
between the breasts nearly to the ensiform cartilage of the sternum.
This case is interesting, as the blush did not thus extend downwards
until it became intense by her attention being drawn to this part of
her person. As the examination proceeded she became composed, and the
blush disappeared; but on several subsequent occasions the same
phenomena were observed.

The foregoing facts show that, as a general rule, with English women,
blushing does not extend beneath the neck and upper part of the chest.
Nevertheless Sir J. Paget informs me that he has lately heard of a
case, on which he can fully rely, in which a little girl, shocked by
what she imagined to be an act of indelicacy, blushed all over her
abdomen and the upper parts of her legs. Moreau also[1308] relates, on
the authority of a celebrated painter, that the chest, shoulders, arms,
and whole body of a girl, who unwillingly consented to serve as a
model, reddened when she was first divested of her clothes.

It is a rather curious question why, in most cases the face, ears, and
neck alone redden, inasmuch as the whole surface of the body often
tingles and grows hot. This seems to depend, chiefly, on the face and
adjoining parts of the skin having been habitually exposed to the air,
light, and alternations of temperature, by which the small arteries not
only have acquired the habit of readily dilating and contracting, but
appear to have become unusually developed in comparison with other
parts of the surface.[1309] It is probably owing to this same cause, as
M. Moreau and Dr. Burgess have remarked, that the face is so liable to
redden under various circumstances, such as a fever-fit, ordinary heat,
violent exertion, anger, a slight blow, &c.; and on the other hand that
it is liable to grow pale from cold and fear, and to be discoloured
during pregnancy. The face is also particularly liable to be affected
by cutaneous complaints, by small-pox, erysipelas, &c. This view is
likewise supported by the fact that the men of certain races, who
habitually go nearly naked, often blush over their arms and chests and
even down to their waists. A lady, who is a great blusher, informs Dr.
Crichton Browne, that when she feels ashamed or is agitated, she
blushes over her face, neck, wrists, and hands,—that is, over all the
exposed portions of her skin. Nevertheless it may be doubted whether
the habitual exposure of the skin of the face and neck, and its
consequent power of reaction under stimulants of all kinds, is by
itself sufficient to account for the much greater tendency in English
women of these parts than of others to blush; for the hands are well
supplied with nerves and small vessels, and have been as much exposed
to the air as the face or neck, and yet the hands rarely blush. We
shall presently see that the attention of the mind having been directed
much more frequently and earnestly to the face than to any other part
of the body, probably affords a sufficient explanation.

_Blushing in the various races of man_.—The small vessels of the face
become filled with blood, from the emotion of shame, in almost all the
races of man, though in the very dark races no distinct change of
colour can be perceived. Blushing is evident in all the Aryan nations
of Europe, and to a certain extent with those of India. But Mr. Erskine
has never noticed that the necks of the Hindoos are decidedly affected.
With the Lepchas of Sikhim, Mr. Scott has often observed a faint blush
on the cheeks, base of the ears, and sides of the neck, accompanied by
sunken eyes and lowered head. This has occurred when he has detected
them in a falsehood, or has accused them of ingratitude. The pale,
sallow complexions of these men render a blush much more conspicuous
than in most of the other natives of India. With the latter, shame, or
it may be in part fear, is expressed, according to Mr. Scott, much more
plainly by the head being averted or bent down, with the eyes wavering
or turned askant, than by any change of colour in the skin.

The Semitic races blush freely, as might have been expected, from their
general similitude to the Aryans. Thus with the Jews, it is said in the
Book of Jeremiah (chap. vi. 15), “Nay, they were not at all ashamed,
neither could they blush.” Mrs. Asa Gray saw an Arab managing his boat
clumsily on the Nile, and when laughed at by his companions, “he
blushed quite to the back of his neck.” Lady Duff Gordon remarks that a
young Arab blushed on coming into her presence.[1310]

Mr. Swinhoe has seen the Chinese blushing, but he thinks it is rare;
yet they have the expression “to redden with shame.” Mr. Geach informs
me that the Chinese settled in Malacca and the native Malays of the
interior both blush. Some of these people go nearly naked, and he
particularly attended to the downward extension of the blush. Omitting
the cases in which the face alone was seen to blush, Mr. Geach observed
that the face, arms, and breast of a Chinaman, aged 24 years, reddened
from shame; and with another Chinese, when asked why he had not done
his work in better style, the whole body was similarly affected. In two
Malays[1311] he saw the face, neck, breast, and arms blushing; and in a
third Malay (a Bugis) the blush extended down to the waist.

The Polynesians blush freely. The Rev. Mr. Stack has seen hundreds of
instances with the New Zealanders. The following case is worth giving,
as it relates to an old man who was unusually dark-coloured and partly
tattooed. After having let his land to an Englishman for a small yearly
rental, a strong passion seized him to buy a gig, which had lately
become the fashion with the Maoris. He consequently wished to draw all
the rent for four years from his tenant, and consulted Mr. Stack
whether he could do so. The man was old, clumsy, poor, and ragged, and
the idea of his driving himself about in his carriage for display
amused Mr. Stack so much that he could not help bursting out into a
laugh; and then “the old man blushed up to the roots of his hair.”
Forster says that “you may easily distinguish a spreading blush” on the
cheeks of the fairest women in Tahiti.[1312] The natives also of
several of the other archipelagoes in the Pacific have been seen to

Mr. Washington Matthews has often seen a blush on the faces of the
young squaws belonging to various wild Indian tribes of North America.
At the opposite extremity of the continent in Tierra del Fuego, the
natives, according to Mr. Bridges, “blush much, but chiefly in regard
to women; but they certainly blush also at their own personal
appearance.” This latter statement agrees with what I remember of the
Fuegian, Jemmy Button, who blushed when he was quizzed about the care
which he took in polishing his shoes, and in otherwise adorning
himself. With respect to the Aymara Indians on the lofty plateaus of
Bolivia, Mr. Forbes says,[1313] that from the colour of their skins it
is impossible that their blushes should be as clearly visible as in the
white races; still under such circumstances as would raise a blush in
us, “there can always be seen the same expression of modesty or
confusion; and even in the dark, a rise of temperature of the skin of
the face can be felt, exactly as occurs in the European.” With the
Indians who inhabit the hot, equable, and damp parts of South America,
the skin apparently does not answer to mental excitement so readily as
with the natives of the northern and southern parts of the continent,
who have long been exposed to great vicissitudes of climate; for
Humboldt quotes without a protest the sneer of the Spaniard, “How can
those be trusted, who know not how to blush?”[1314] Von Spix and
Martius, in speaking of the aborigines of Brazil, assert that they
cannot properly be said to blush; “it was only after long intercourse
with the whites, and after receiving some education, that we perceived
in the Indians a change of colour expressive of the emotions of their
minds.”[1315] It is, however, incredible that the power of blushing
could have thus originated; but the habit of self-attention, consequent
on their education and new course of life, would have much increased
any innate tendency to blush.

Several trustworthy observers have assured me that they have seen on
the faces of negroes an appearance resembling a blush, under
circumstances which would have excited one in us, though their skins
were of an ebony-black tint. Some describe it as blushing brown, but
most say that the blackness becomes more intense. An increased supply
of blood in the skin seems in some manner to increase its blackness;
thus certain exanthematous diseases cause the affected places in the
negro to appear blacker, instead of, as with us, redder.[1316] The
skin, perhaps, from being rendered more tense by the filling of the
capillaries, would reflect a somewhat different tint to what it did
before. That the capillaries of the face in the negro become filled
with blood, under the emotion of shame, we may feel confident; because
a perfectly characterized albino negress, described by Buffon,[1317]
showed a faint tinge of crimson on her cheeks when she exhibited
herself naked. Cicatrices of the skin remain for a long time white in
the negro, and Dr. Burgess, who had frequent opportunities of observing
a scar of this kind on the face of a negress, distinctly saw that it
“invariably became red whenever she was abruptly spoken to, or charged
with any trivial offence.”[1318] The blush could be seen proceeding
from the circumference of the scar towards the middle, but it did not
reach the centre. Mulattoes are often great blushers, blush succeeding
blush over their faces. From these facts there can be no doubt that
negroes blush, although no redness is visible on the skin.

I am assured by Gaika and by Mrs. Barber that the Kafirs of South
Africa never blush; but this may only mean that no change of colour is
distinguishable. Gaika adds that under the circumstances which would
make a European blush, his countrymen “look ashamed to keep their heads

It is asserted by four of my informants that the Australians, who are
almost as black as negroes, never blush. A fifth answers doubtfully,
remarking that only a very strong blush could be seen, on account of
the dirty state of their skins. Three observers state that they do
blush;[1319] Mr. S. Wilson adding that this is noticeable only under a
strong emotion, and when the skin is not too dark from long exposure
and want of cleanliness. Mr. Lang answers, “I have noticed that shame
almost always excites a blush, which frequently extends as low as the
neck.” Shame is also shown, as he adds, “by the eyes being turned from
side to side.” As Mr. Lang was a teacher in a native school, it is
probable that he chiefly observed children; and we know that they blush
more than adults. Mr. G. Taplin has seen half-castes blushing, and he
says that the aborigines have a word expressive of shame. Mr.
Hagenauer, who is one of those who has never observed the Australians
to blush, says that he has “seen them looking down to the ground on
account of shame;” and the missionary, Mr. Bulmer, remarks that though
“I have not been able to detect anything like shame in the adult
aborigines, I have noticed that the eyes of the children, when ashamed,
present a restless, watery appearance, as if they did not know where to

The facts now given are sufficient to show that blushing, whether or
not there is any change of colour, is common to most, probably to all,
of the races of man.

_Movements and gestures which accompany Blushing_.—Under a keen sense
of shame there is a strong desire for concealment.[1320] We turn away
the whole body, more especially the face, which we endeavour in some
manner to hide. An ashamed person can hardly endure to meet the gaze of
those present, so that he almost invariably casts down his eyes or
looks askant. As there generally exists at the same time a strong wish
to avoid the appearance of shame, a vain attempt is made to look direct
at the person who causes this feeling; and the antagonism between these
opposite tendencies leads to various restless movements in the eyes. I
have noticed two ladies who, whilst blushing, to which they are very
liable, have thus acquired, as it appears, the oddest trick of
incessantly blinking their eyelids with extraordinary rapidity. An
intense blush is sometimes accompanied by a slight effusion of
tears;[1321] and this, I presume, is due to the lacrymal glands
partaking of the increased supply of blood, which we know rushes into
the capillaries of the adjoining parts, including the retina.

Many writers, ancient and modern, have noticed the foregoing movements;
and it has already been shown that the aborigines in various parts of
the world often exhibit their shame by looking downwards or askant, or
by restless movements of their eyes. Ezra cries out (ch. ix. 6), “O, my
God! I am ashamed, and blush to lift up my head to thee, my God.” In
Isaiah (ch. I. 6) we meet with the words, “I hid not my face from
shame.” Seneca remarks (Epist. xi. 5) “that the Roman players hang down
their heads, fix their eyes on the ground and keep them lowered, but
are unable to blush in acting shame.” According to Macrobius, who lived
in the filth century (‘Saturnalia,’ B. vii. C. 11), “Natural
philosophers assert that nature being moved by shame spreads the blood
before herself as a veil, as we see any one blushing often puts his
hands before his face.” Shakspeare makes Marcus (‘Titus Andronicus,’
act ii, sc. 5) say to his niece, “Ah! now thou turn’st away thy face
for shame.” A lady informs me that she found in the Lock Hospital a
girl whom she had formerly known, and who had become a wretched
castaway, and the poor creature, when approached, hid her face under
the bed-clothes, and could not be persuaded to uncover it. We often see
little children, when shy or ashamed, turn away, and still standing up,
bury their faces in their mother’s gown; or they throw themselves face
downwards on her lap.

_Confusion of mind_.—Most persons, whilst blushing intensely, have
their mental powers confused. This is recognized in such common
expressions as “she was covered with confusion.” Persons in this
condition lose their presence of mind, and utter singularly
inappropriate remarks. They are often much distressed, stammer, and
make awkward movements or strange grimaces. In certain cases
involuntary twitchings of some of the facial muscles may be observed. I
have been informed by a young lady, who blushes excessively, that at
such times she does not even know what she is saying. When it was
suggested to her that this might be due to her distress from the
consciousness that her blushing was noticed, she answered that this
could not be the case, “as she had sometimes felt quite as stupid when
blushing at a thought in her own room.”

I will give an instance of the extreme disturbance of mind to which
some sensitive men are liable. A gentleman, on whom I can rely, assured
me that he had been an eye-witness of the following scene:—A small
dinner-party was given in honour of an extremely shy man, who, when he
rose to return thanks, rehearsed the speech, which he had evidently
learnt by heart, in absolute silence, and did not utter a single word;
but he acted as if he were speaking with much emphasis. His friends,
perceiving how the case stood, loudly applauded the imaginary bursts of
eloquence, whenever his gestures indicated a pause, and the man never
discovered that he had remained the whole time completely silent. On
the contrary, he afterwards remarked to my friend, with much
satisfaction, that he thought he had succeeded uncommonly well.

When a person is much ashamed or very shy, and blushes intensely, his
heart beats rapidly and his breathing is disturbed. This can hardly
fail to affect the circulation of the blood within the brain, and
perhaps the mental powers. It seems however doubtful, judging from the
still more powerful influence of anger and fear on the circulation,
whether we can thus satisfactorily account for the confused state of
mind in persons whilst blushing intensely.

The true explanation apparently lies in the intimate sympathy which
exists between the capillary circulation of the surface of the head and
face, and that of the brain. On applying to Dr. J. Crichton Browne for
information, he has given me various facts bearing on this subject.
When the sympathetic nerve is divided on one side of the head, the
capillaries on this side are relaxed and become filled with blood,
causing the skin to redden and to grow hot, and at the same time the
temperature within the cranium on the same side rises. Inflammation of
the membranes of the brain leads to the engorgement of the face, ears,
and eyes with blood. The first stage of an epileptic fit appears to be
the contraction of the vessels of the brain, and the first outward
manifestation is, an extreme pallor of countenance. Erysipelas of the
head commonly induces delirium. Even the relief given to a severe
headache by burning the skin with strong lotion, depends, I presume, on
the same principle.

Dr. Browne has often administered to his patients the vapour of the
nitrite of amyl,[1322] which has the singular property of causing vivid
redness of the face in from thirty to sixty seconds. This flushing
resembles blushing in almost every detail: it begins at several
distinct points on the face, and spreads till it involves the whole
surface of the head, neck, and front of the chest; but has been
observed to extend only in one case to the abdomen. The arteries in the
retina become enlarged; the eyes glisten, and in one instance there was
a slight effusion of tears. The patients are at first pleasantly
stimulated, but, as the flushing increases, they become confused and
bewildered. One woman to whom the vapour had often been administered
asserted that, as soon as she grew hot, she grew MUDDLED. With persons
just commencing to blush it appears, judging from their bright eyes and
lively behaviour, that their mental powers are somewhat stimulated. It
is only when the blushing is excessive that the mind grows confused.
Therefore it would seem that the capillaries of the face are affected,
both during the inhalation of the nitrite of amyl and during blushing,
before that part of the brain is affected on which the mental powers

Conversely when the brain is primarily affected; the circulation of the
skin is so in a secondary manner. Dr. Browne has frequently observed,
as he informs me, scattered red blotches and mottlings on the chests of
epileptic patients. In these cases, when the skin on the thorax or
abdomen is gently rubbed with a pencil or other object, or, in
strongly-marked cases, is merely touched by the finger, the surface
becomes suffused in less than half a minute with bright red marks,
which spread to some distance on each side of the touched point, and
persist for several minutes. These are the _cerebral maculae_ of
Trousseau; and they indicate, as Dr. Browne remarks, a highly modified
condition of the cutaneous vascular system. If, then, there exists, as
cannot be doubted, an intimate sympathy between the capillary
circulation in that part of the brain on which our mental powers
depend, and in the skin of the face, it is not surprising that the
moral causes which induce intense blushing should likewise induce,
independently of their own disturbing influence, much confusion of

_The Nature of the Mental States which induce Blushing_.—These consist
of shyness, shame, and modesty; the essential element in all being
self-attention. Many reasons can be assigned for believing that
originally self-attention directed to personal appearance, in relation
to the opinion of others, was the exciting cause; the same effect being
subsequently produced, through the force of association, by
self-attention in relation to moral conduct. It is not the simple act
of reflecting on our own appearance, but the thinking what others think
of us, which excites a blush. In absolute solitude the most sensitive
person would be quite indifferent about his appearance. We feel blame
or disapprobation more acutely than approbation; and consequently
depreciatory remarks or ridicule, whether of our appearance or conduct,
causes us to blush much more readily than does praise. But undoubtedly
praise and admiration are highly efficient: a pretty girl blushes when
a man gazes intently at her, though she may know perfectly well that he
is not depreciating her. Many children, as well as old and sensitive
persons blush, when they are much praised. Hereafter the question will
be discussed, how it has arisen that the consciousness that others are
attending to our personal appearance should have led to the
capillaries, especially those of the face, instantly becoming filled
with blood.

My reasons for believing that attention directed to personal
appearance, and not to moral conduct, has been the fundamental element
in the acquirement of the habit of blushing, will now be given. They
are separately light, but combined possess, as it appears to me,
considerable weight. It is notorious that nothing makes a shy person
blush so much as any remark, however slight, on his personal
appearance. One cannot notice even the dress of a woman much given to
blushing, without causing her face to crimson. It is sufficient to
stare hard at some persons to make them, as Coleridge remarks,
blush,—“account for that he who can.”[1323]

With the two albinos observed by Dr. Burgess,[1324] “the slightest
attempt to examine their peculiarities invariably caused them to blush
deeply.” Women are much more sensitive about their personal appearance
than men are, especially elderly women in comparison with elderly men,
and they blush much more freely. The young of both sexes are much more
sensitive on this same head than the old, and they also blush much more
freely than the old. Children at a very early age do not blush; nor do
they show those other signs of self-consciousness which generally
accompany blushing; and it is one of their chief charms that they think
nothing about what others think of them. At this early age they will
stare at a stranger with a fixed gaze and un-blinking eyes, as on an
inanimate object, in a manner which we elders cannot imitate.

It is plain to every one that young men and women are highly sensitive
to the opinion of each other with reference to their personal
appearance; and they blush incomparably more in the presence of the
opposite sex than in that of their own.[1325] A young man, not very
liable to blush, will blush intensely at any slight ridicule of his
appearance from a girl whose judgment on any important subject he would
disregard. No happy pair of young lovers, valuing each other’s
admiration and love more than anything else in the world, probably ever
courted each other without many a blush. Even the barbarians of Tierra
del Fuego, according to Mr. Bridges, blush “chiefly in regard to women,
but certainly also at their own personal appearance.”

Of all parts of the body, the face is most considered and regarded, as
is natural from its being the chief seat of expression and the source
of the voice. It is also the chief seat of beauty and of ugliness, and
throughout the world is the most ornamented.[1326] The face, therefore,
will have been subjected during many generations to much closer and
more earnest self-attention than any other part of the body; and in
accordance with the principle here advanced we can understand why it
should be the most liable to blush. Although exposure to alternations
of temperature, &c., has probably much increased the power of
dilatation and contraction in the capillaries of the face and adjoining
parts, yet this by itself will hardly account for these parts blushing
much more than the rest of the body; for it does not explain the fact
of the hands rarely blushing. With Europeans the whole body tingles
slightly when the face blushes intensely; and with the races of men who
habitually go nearly naked, the blushes extend over a much larger
surface than with us. These facts are, to a certain extent,
intelligible, as the self-attention of primeval man, as well as of the
existing races which still go naked, will not have been so exclusively
confined to their faces, as is the case with the people who now go

We have seen that in all parts of the world persons who feel shame for
some moral delinquency, are apt to avert, bend down, or hide their
faces, independently of any thought about their personal appearance.
The object can hardly be to conceal their blushes, for the face is thus
averted or hidden under circumstances which exclude any desire to
conceal shame, as when guilt is fully confessed and repented of. It is,
however, probable that primeval man before he had acquired much moral
sensitiveness would have been highly sensitive about his personal
appearance, at least in reference to the other sex, and he would
consequently have felt distress at any depreciatory remarks about his
appearance; and this is one form of shame. And as the face is the part
of the body which is most regarded, it is intelligible that any one
ashamed of his personal appearance would desire to conceal this part of
his body. The habit having been thus acquired, would naturally be
carried on when shame from strictly moral causes was felt; and it is
not easy otherwise to see why under these circumstances there should be
a desire to hide the face more than any other part of the body.

The habit, so general with every one who feels ashamed, of turning
away, or lowering his eyes, or restlessly moving them from side to
side, probably follows from each glance directed towards those present,
bringing home the conviction that he is intently regarded; and he
endeavours, by not looking at those present, and especially not at
their eyes, momentarily to escape from this painful conviction.

_Shyness_.—This odd state of mind, often called shamefacedness, or
false shame, or _mauvaise honte_, appears to be one of the most
efficient of all the causes of blushing. Shyness is, indeed, chiefly
recognized by the face reddening, by the eyes being averted or cast
down, and by awkward, nervous movements of the body. Many a woman
blushes from this cause, a hundred, perhaps a thousand times, to once
that she blushes from having done anything deserving blame, and of
which she is truly ashamed. Shyness seems to depend on sensitiveness to
the opinion, whether good or bad, of others, more especially with
respect to external appearance. Strangers neither know nor care
anything about our conduct or character, but they may, and often do,
criticize our appearance: hence shy persons are particularly apt to be
shy and to blush in the presence of strangers. The consciousness of
anything peculiar, or even new, in the dress, or any slight blemish on
the person, and more especially, on the face—points which are likely to
attract the attention of strangers—makes the shy intolerably shy. On
the other hand, in those cases in which conduct and not personal
appearance is concerned, we are much more apt to be shy in the presence
of acquaintances, whose judgment we in some degree value, than in that
of strangers. A physician told me that a young man, a wealthy duke,
with whom he had travelled as medical attendant, blushed like a girl,
when he paid him his fee; yet this young man probably would not have
blushed and been shy, had he been paying a bill to a tradesman. Some
persons, however, are so sensitive, that the mere act of speaking to
almost any one is sufficient to rouse their self-consciousness, and a
slight blush is the result.

Disapprobation or ridicule, from our sensitiveness on this head, causes
shyness and blushing much more readily than does approbation; though
the latter with some persons is highly efficient. The conceited are
rarely shy; for they value themselves much too highly to expect
depreciation. Why a proud man is often shy, as appears to be the case,
is not so obvious, unless it be that, with all his self-reliance, he
really thinks much about the opinion of others although in a disdainful
spirit. Persons who are exceedingly shy are rarely shy in the presence
of those with whom they are quite familiar, and of whose good opinion
and sympathy they are perfectly assured;—for instance, a girl in the
presence of her mother. I neglected to inquire in my printed paper
whether shyness can be detected in the different races of man; but a
Hindoo gentleman assured Mr. Erskine that it is recognizable in his

Shyness, as the derivation of the word indicates in several
languages,[1327] is closely related to fear; yet it is distinct from
fear in the ordinary sense. A shy man no doubt dreads the notice of
strangers, but can hardly be said to be afraid of them, he may be as
bold as a hero in battle, and yet have no self-confidence about trifles
in the presence of strangers. Almost every one is extremely nervous
when first addressing a public assembly, and most men remain so
throughout their lives; but this appears to depend on the consciousness
of a great coming exertion, with its associated effects on the system,
rather than on shyness;[1328] although a timid or shy man no doubt
suffers on such occasions infinitely more than another. With very young
children it is difficult to distinguish between fear and shyness; but
this latter feeling with them has often seemed to me to partake of the
character of the wildness of an untamed animal. Shyness comes on at a
very early age. In one of my own children, when two years and three
months old, I saw a trace of what certainly appeared to be shyness,
directed towards myself after an absence from home of only a week. This
was shown not by a blush, but by the eyes being for a few minutes
slightly averted from me. I have noticed on other occasions that
shyness or shamefacedness and real shame are exhibited in the eyes of
young children before they have acquired the power of blushing.

As shyness apparently depends on self-attention, we can perceive how
right are those who maintain that reprehending children for shyness,
instead of doing them any good, does much harm, as it calls their
attention still more closely to themselves. It has been well urged that
“nothing hurts young people more than to be watched continually about
their feelings, to have their countenances scrutinized, and the degrees
of their sensibility measured by the surveying eye of the unmerciful
spectator. Under the constraint of such examinations they can think of
nothing but that they are looked at, and feel nothing but shame or

_Moral causes: guilt_.—With respect to blushing from strictly moral
causes, we meet with the same fundamental principle as before, namely,
regard for the opinion of others. It is not the conscience which raises
a blush, for a man may sincerely regret some slight fault committed in
solitude, or he may suffer the deepest remorse for an undetected crime,
but he will not blush. “I blush,” says Dr. Burgess,[1330] “in the
presence of my accusers.” It is not the sense of guilt, but the thought
that others think or know us to be guilty which crimsons the face. A
man may feel thoroughly ashamed at having told a small falsehood,
without blushing; but if he even suspects that he is detected he will
instantly blush, especially if detected by one whom he reveres.

On the other hand, a man may be convinced that God witnesses all his
actions, and he may feel deeply conscious of some fault and pray for
forgiveness; but this will not, as a lady who is a great blusher
believes, ever excite a blush. The explanation of this difference
between the knowledge by God and man of our actions lies, I presume, in
man’s disapprobation of immoral conduct being somewhat akin in nature
to his depreciation of our personal appearance, so that through
association both lead to similar results; whereas the disapprobation of
God brings up no such association.

Many a person has blushed intensely when accused of some crime, though
completely innocent of it. Even the thought, as the lady before
referred to has observed to me, that others think that we have made an
unkind or stupid remark, is amply sufficient to cause a blush, although
we know all the time that we have been completely misunderstood. An
action may be meritorious or of an indifferent nature, but a sensitive
person, if he suspects that others take a different view of it, will
blush. For instance, a lady by herself may give money to a beggar
without a trace of a blush, but if others are present, and she doubts
whether they approve, or suspects that they think her influenced by
display, she will blush. So it will be, if she offers to relieve the
distress of a decayed gentlewoman, more particularly of one whom she
had previously known under better circumstances, as she cannot then
feel sure how her conduct will be viewed. But such cases as these blend
into shyness.

_Breaches of etiquette_.—The rules of _etiquette_ always refer to
conduct in the presence of, or towards others. They have no necessary
connection with the moral sense, and are often meaningless.
Nevertheless as they depend on the fixed custom of our equals and
superiors, whose opinion we highly regard, they are considered almost
as binding as are the laws of honour to a gentleman. Consequently the
breach of the laws of etiquette, that is, any impoliteness or
_gaucherie_, any impropriety, or an inappropriate remark, though quite
accidental, will cause the most intense blushing of which a man is
capable. Even the recollection of such an act, after an interval of
many years, will make the whole body to tingle. So strong, also, is the
power of sympathy that a sensitive person, as a lady has assured me,
will sometimes blush at a flagrant breach of etiquette by a perfect
stranger, though the act may in no way concern her.

_Modesty_.—This is another powerful agent in exciting blushes; but the
word modesty includes very different states of the mind. It implies
humility, and we often judge of this by persons being greatly pleased
and blushing at slight praise, or by being annoyed at praise which
seems to them too high according to their own humble standard of
themselves. Blushing here has the usual signification of regard for the
opinion of others. But modesty frequently relates to acts of
indelicacy; and indelicacy is an affair of etiquette, as we clearly see
with the nations that go altogether or nearly naked. He who is modest,
and blushes easily at acts of this nature, does so because they are
breaches of a firmly and wisely established etiquette. This is indeed
shown by the derivation of the word _modest_ from _modus_, a measure or
standard of behaviour. A blush due to this form of modesty is,
moreover, apt to be intense, because it generally relates to the
opposite sex; and we have seen how in all cases our liability to blush
is thus increased. We apply the term ‘modest,’ as it would appear, to
those who have an humble opinion of themselves, and to those who are
extremely sensitive about an indelicate word or deed, simply because in
both cases blushes are readily excited, for these two frames of mind
have nothing else in common. Shyness also, from this same cause, is
often mistaken for modesty in the sense of humility.

Some persons flush up, as I have observed and have been assured, at any
sudden and disagreeable recollection. The commonest cause seems to be
the sudden remembrance of not having done something for another person
which had been promised. In this case it may be that the thought passes
half unconsciously through the mind, “What will he think of me?” and
then the flush would partake of the nature of a true blush. But whether
such flushes are in most cases due to the capillary circulation being
affected, is very doubtful; for we must remember that almost every
strong emotion, such as anger or great joy, acts on the heart, and
causes the face to redden.

The fact that blushes may be excited in absolute solitude seems opposed
to the view here taken, namely that the habit originally arose from
thinking about what others think of us. Several ladies, who are great
blushers, are unanimous in regard to solitude; and some of them believe
that they have blushed in the dark. From what Mr. Forbes has stated
with respect to the Aymaras, and from my own sensations, I have no
doubt that this latter statement is correct. Shakspeare, therefore,
erred when he made Juliet, who was not even by herself, say to Romeo
(act ii. sc. 2):—

“Thou know’st the mask of night is on my face;
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek,
For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night.”

But when a blush is excited in solitude, the cause almost always
relates to the thoughts of others about us—to acts done in their
presence, or suspected by them; or again when we reflect what others
would have thought of us had they known of the act. Nevertheless one or
two of my informants believe that they have blushed from shame at acts
in no way relating to others. If this be so, we must attribute the
result to the force of inveterate habit and association, under a state
of mind closely analogous to that which ordinarily excites a blush; nor
need we feel surprise at this, as even sympathy with another person who
commits a flagrant breach of etiquette is believed, as we have just
seen, sometimes to cause a blush.

Finally, then, I conclude that blushing,—whether due to shyness—to
shame for a real crime—to shame from a breach of the laws of
etiquette—to modesty from humility—to modesty from an
indelicacy—depends in all cases on the same principle; this principle
being a sensitive regard for the opinion, more particularly for the
depreciation of others, primarily in relation to our personal
appearance, especially of our faces; and secondarily, through the force
of association and habit, in relation to the opinion of others on our

_Theory of Blushing_.—We have now to consider, why should the thought
that others are thinking about us affect our capillary circulation? Sir
C. Bell insists[1331] that blushing “is a provision for expression, as
may be inferred from the colour extending only to the surface of the
face, neck, and breast, the parts most exposed. It is not acquired; it
is from the beginning.” Dr. Burgess believes that it was designed by
the Creator in “order that the soul might have sovereign power of
displaying in the cheeks the various internal emotions of the moral
feelings;” so as to serve as a check on ourselves, and as a sign to
others, that we were violating rules which ought to be held sacred.
Gratiolet merely remarks,—“Or, comme il est dans l’ordre de la nature
que l’être social le plus intelligent soit aussi le plus intelligible,
cette faculté de rougeur et de pâleur qui distingue l’homme, est un
signe naturel de sa haute perfection.”

The belief that blushing was SPECIALLY designed by the Creator is
opposed to the general theory of evolution, which is now so largely
accepted; but it forms no part of my duty here to argue on the general
question. Those who believe in design, will find it difficult to
account for shyness being the most frequent and efficient of all the
causes of blushing, as it makes the blusher to suffer and the beholder
uncomfortable, without being of the least service to either of them.
They will also find it difficult to account for negroes and other
dark-coloured races blushing, in whom a change of colour in the skin is
scarcely or not at all visible.

No doubt a slight blush adds to the beauty of a maiden’s face; and the
Circassian women who are capable of blushing, invariably fetch a higher
price in the seraolio of the Sultan than less susceptible women.[1332]
But the firmest believer in the efficacy of sexual selection will
hardly suppose that blushing was acquired as a sexual ornament. This
view would also be opposed to what has just been said about the
dark-coloured races blushing in an invisible manner.

The hypothesis which appears to me the most probable, though it may at
first seem rash, is that attention closely directed to any part of the
body tends to interfere with the ordinary and tonic contraction of the
small arteries of that part. These vessels, in consequence, become at
such times more or less relaxed, and are instantly filled with arterial
blood. This tendency will have been much strengthened, if frequent
attention has been paid during many generations to the same part, owing
to nerve-force readily flowing along accustomed channels, and by the
power of inheritance. Whenever we believe that others are depreciating
or even considering our personal appearance, our attention is vividly
directed to the outer and visible parts of our bodies; and of all such
parts we are most sensitive about our faces, as no doubt has been the
case during many past generations. Therefore, assuming for the moment
that the capillary vessels can be acted on by close attention, those of
the face will have become eminently susceptible. Through the force of
association, the same effects will tend to follow whenever we think
that others are considering or censuring our actions or character.

As the basis of this theory rests on mental attention having some power
to influence the capillary circulation, it will be necessary to give a
considerable body of details, bearing more or less directly on this
subject. Several observers,[1333] who from their wide experience and
knowledge are eminently capable of forming a sound judgment, are
convinced that attention or consciousness (which latter term Sir H.
Holland thinks the more explicit) concentrated on almost any part of
the body produces some direct physical effect on it. This applies to
the movements of the involuntary muscles, and of the voluntary muscles
when acting involuntarily,—to the secretion of the glands,—to the
activity of the senses and sensations,—and even to the nutrition of

It is known that the involuntary movements of the heart are affected if
close attention be paid to them. Gratiolet[1334] gives the case of a
man, who by continually watching and counting his own pulse, at last
caused one beat out of every six to intermit. On the other hand, my
father told me of a careful observer, who certainly had heart-disease
and died from it, and who positively stated that his pulse was
habitually irregular to an extreme degree; yet to his great
disappointment it invariably became regular as soon as my father
entered the room. Sir H. Holland remarks, that “the effect upon the
circulation of a part from the consciousness suddenly directed and
fixed upon it, is often obvious and immediate.” Professor Laycock, who
has particularly attended to phenomena of this nature, insists that
“when the attention is directed to any portion of the body, innervation
and circulation are excited locally, and the functional activity of
that portion developed.”

It is generally believed that the peristaltic movements of the
intestines are influenced by attention being paid to them at fixed
recurrent periods; and these movements depend on the contraction of
unstriped and involuntary muscles. The abnormal action of the voluntary
muscles in epilepsy, chorea, and hysteria is known to be influenced by
the expectation of an attack, and by the sight of other patients
similarly affected. So it is with the involuntary acts of yawning and

Certain glands are much influenced by thinking of them, or of the
conditions under which they have been habitually excited. This is
familiar to every one in the increased flow of saliva, when the
thought, for instance, of intensely acid fruit is kept before the mind.
It was shown in our sixth chapter, that an earnest and long-continued
desire either to repress, or to increase, the action of the lacrymal
glands is effectual. Some curious cases have been recorded in the case
of women, of the power of the mind on the mammary glands; and still
more remarkable ones in relation to the uterine functions.

See Gratiolet on this subject, De la Phys. p. 287. Dr. J. Crichton
Browne, from his observations on the insane, is convinced that
attention directed for a prolonged period on any part or organ may
ultimately influence its capillary circulation and nutrition. He has
given me some extraordinary cases; one of these, which cannot here be
related in full, refers to a married woman fifty years of age, who
laboured under the firm and long-continued delusion that she was
pregnant. When the expected period arrived, she acted precisely as if
she had been really delivered of a child, and seemed to suffer extreme
pain, so that the perspiration broke out on her forehead. The result
was that a state of things returned, continuing for three days, which
had ceased during the six previous years. Mr. Braid gives, in his
‘Magic, Hypnotism,’ &c., 1852, p. 95, and in his other works analogous
cases, as well as other facts showing the great influence of the will
on the mammary glands, even on one breast alone.

When we direct our whole attention to any one sense, its acuteness is
increased;[1340] and the continued habit of close attention, as with
blind people to that of hearing, and with the blind and deaf to that of
touch, appears to improve the sense in question permanently. There is,
also, some reason to believe, judging from the capacities of different
races of man, that the effects are inherited. Turning to ordinary
sensations, it is well known that pain is increased by attending to it;
and Sir B. Brodie goes so far as to believe that pain may be felt in
any part of the body to which attention is closely drawn.[1341] Sir H.
Holland also remarks that we become not only conscious of the existence
of a part subjected to concentrated attention, but we experience in it
various odd sensations as of weight, heat, cold, tingling, or

Lastly, some physiologists maintain that the mind can influence the
nutrition of parts. Sir J. Paget has given a curious instance of the
power, not indeed of the mind, but of the nervous system, on the hair.
A lady “who is subject to attacks of what is called nervous headache,
always finds in the morning after such an one, that some patches of her
hair are white, as if powdered with starch. The change is effected in a
night, and in a few days after, the hairs gradually regain their dark
brownish colour.”[1343]

We thus see that close attention certainly affects various parts and
organs, which are not properly under the control of the will. By what
means attention—perhaps the most wonderful of all the wondrous powers
of the mind—is effected, is an extremely obscure subject. According to
Müller,[1344] the process by which the sensory cells of the brain are
rendered, through the will, susceptible of receiving more intense and
distinct impressions, is closely analogous to that by which the motor
cells are excited to send nerve-force to the voluntary muscles. There
are many points of analogy in the action of the sensory and motor
nerve-cells; for instance, the familiar fact that close attention to
any one sense causes fatigue, like the prolonged exertion of any one
muscle.[1345] When therefore we voluntarily concentrate our attention
on any part of the body, the cells of the brain which receive
impressions or sensations from that part are, it is probable, in some
unknown manner stimulated into activity. This may account, without any
local change in the part to which our attention is earnestly directed,
for pain or odd sensations being there felt or increased.

If, however, the part is furnished with muscles, we cannot feel sure,
as Mr. Michael Foster has remarked to me, that some slight impulse may
not be unconsciously sent to such muscles; and this would probably
cause an obscure sensation in the part.

In a large number of cases, as with the salivary and lacrymal glands,
intestinal canal, &c., the power of attention seems to rest, either
chiefly, or as some physiologists think, exclusively, on the vaso-motor
system being affected in such a manner that more blood is allowed to
flow into the capillaries of the part in question. This increased
action of the capillaries may in some cases be combined with the
simultaneously increased activity of the sensorium.

The manner in which the mind affects the vasomotor system may be
conceived in the following manner. When we actually taste sour fruit,
an impression is sent through the gustatory nerves to a certain part of
the sensorium; this transmits nerve-force to the vasomotor centre,
which consequently allows the muscular coats of the small arteries that
permeate the salivary glands to relax. Hence more blood flows into
these glands, and they secrete a copious supply of saliva. Now it does
not seem an improbable assumption, that, when we reflect intently on a
sensation, the same part of the sensorium, or a closely connected part
of it, is brought into a state of activity, in the same manner as when
we actually perceive the sensation. If so, the same cells in the brain
will be excited, though, perhaps, in a less degree, by vividly thinking
about a sour taste, as by perceiving it; and they will transmit in the
one case, as in the other, nerve-force to the vaso-motor centre with
the same results.

To give another, and, in some respects, more appropriate illustration.
If a man stands before a hot fire, his face reddens. This appears to be
due, as Mr. Michael Foster informs me, in part to the local action of
the heat, and in part to a reflex action from the vaso-motor
centres.[1346] In this latter case, the heat affects the nerves of the
face; these transmit an impression to the sensory cells of the brain,
which act on the vaso-motor centre, and this reacts on the small
arteries of the face, relaxing them and allowing them to become filled
with blood. Here, again, it seems not improbable that if we were
repeatedly to concentrate with great earnestness our attention on the
recollection of our heated faces, the same part of the sensorium which
gives us the consciousness of actual heat would be in some slight
degree stimulated, and would in consequence tend to transmit some
nerve-force to the vaso-motor centres, so as to relax the capillaries
of the face. Now as men during endless generations have had their
attention often and earnestly directed to their personal appearance,
and especially to their faces, any incipient tendency in the facial
capillaries to be thus affected will have become in the course of time
greatly strengthened through the principles just referred to, namely,
nerve-force passing readily along accustomed channels, and inherited
habit. Thus, as it appears to me, a plausible explanation is afforded
of the leading phenomena connected with the act of blushing.

_Recapitulation_.—Men and women, and especially the young, have always
valued, in a high degree, their personal appearance; and have likewise
regarded the appearance of others. The face has been the chief object
of attention, though, when man aboriginally went naked, the whole
surface of his body would have been attended to. Our self-attention is
excited almost exclusively by the opinion of others, for no person
living in absolute solitude would care about his appearance. Every one
feels blame more acutely than praise. Now, whenever we know, or
suppose, that others are depreciating our personal appearance, our
attention is strongly drawn towards ourselves, more especially to our
faces. The probable effect of this will be, as has just been explained,
to excite into activity that part of the sensorium, which receives the
sensory nerves of the face; and this will react through the vaso-motor
system on the facial capillaries. By frequent reiteration during
numberless generations, the process will have become so habitual, in
association with the belief that others are thinking of us, that even a
suspicion of their depreciation suffices to relax the capillaries,
without any conscious thought about our faces. With some sensitive
persons it is enough even to notice their dress to produce the same
effect. Through the force, also, of association and inheritance our
capillaries are relaxed, whenever we know, or imagine, that any one is
blaming, though in silence, our actions, thoughts, or character; and,
again, when we are highly praised.

On this hypothesis we can understand how it is that the face blushes
much more than any other part of the body, though the whole surface is
somewhat affected, more especially with the races which still go nearly
naked. It is not at all surprising that the dark-coloured races should
blush, though no change of colour is visible in their skins. From the
principle of inheritance it is not surprising that persons born blind
should blush. We can understand why the young are much more affected
than the old, and women more than men; and why the opposite sexes
especially excite each other’s blushes. It becomes obvious why personal
remarks should be particularly liable to cause blushing, and why the
most powerful of all the causes is shyness; for shyness relates to the
presence and opinion of others, and the shy are always more or less
self-conscious. With respect to real shame from moral delinquencies, we
can perceive why it is not guilt, but the thought that others think us
guilty, which raises a blush. A man reflecting on a crime committed in
solitude, and stung by his conscience, does not blush; yet he will
blush under the vivid recollection of a detected fault, or of one
committed in the presence of others, the degree of blushing being
closely related to the feeling of regard for those who have detected,
witnessed, or suspected his fault. Breaches of conventional rules of
conduct, if they are rigidly insisted on by our equals or superiors,
often cause more intense blushes even than a detected crime, and an act
which is really criminal, if not blamed by our equals, hardly raises a
tinge of colour on our cheeks. Modesty from humility, or from an
indelicacy, excites a vivid blush, as both relate to the judgment or
fixed customs of others.

From the intimate sympathy which exists between the capillary
circulation of the surface of the head and of the brain, whenever there
is intense blushing, there will be some, and often great, confusion of
mind. This is frequently accompanied by awkward movements, and
sometimes by the involuntary twitching of certain muscles.

As blushing, according to this hypothesis, is an indirect result of
attention, originally directed to our personal appearance, that is to
the surface of the body, and more especially to the face, we can
understand the meaning of the gestures which accompany blushing
throughout the world. These consist in hiding the face, or turning it
towards the ground, or to one side. The eyes are generally averted or
are restless, for to look at the man who causes us to feel shame or
shyness, immediately brings home in an intolerable manner the
consciousness that his gaze is directed on us. Through the principle of
associated habit, the same movements of the face and eyes are
practised, and can, indeed, hardly be avoided, whenever we know or
believe that, others are blaming, or too strongly praising, our moral


The three leading principles which have determined the chief movements
of expression—Their inheritance—On the part which the will and
intention have played in the acquirement of various expressions—The
instinctive recognition of expression—The bearing of our subject on the
specific unity of the races of man—On the successive acquirement of
various expressions by the progenitors of man—The importance of

I have now described, to the best of my ability, the chief expressive
actions in man, and in some few of the lower animals. I have also
attempted to explain the origin or development of these actions through
the three principles given in the first chapter. The first of these
principles is, that movements which are serviceable in gratifying some
desire, or in relieving some sensation, if often repeated, become so
habitual that they are performed, whether or not of any service,
whenever the same desire or sensation is felt, even in a very weak

Our second principle is that of antithesis. The habit of voluntarily
performing opposite movements under opposite impulses has become firmly
established in us by the practice of our whole lives. Hence, if certain
actions have been regularly performed, in accordance with our first
principle, under a certain frame of mind, there will be a strong and
involuntary tendency to the performance of directly opposite actions,
whether or not these are of any use, under the excitement of an
opposite frame of mind.

Our third principle is the direct action of the excited nervous system
on the body, independently of the will, and independently, in large
part, of habit. Experience shows that nerve-force is generated and set
free whenever the cerebro-spinal system is excited. The direction which
this nerve-force follows is necessarily determined by the lines of
connection between the nerve-cells, with each other and with various
parts of the body. But the direction is likewise much influenced by
habit; inasmuch as nerve-force passes readily along accustomed

The frantic and senseless actions of an enraged man may be attributed
in part to the undirected flow of nerve-force, and in part to the
effects of habit, for these actions often vaguely represent the act of
striking. They thus pass into gestures included under our first
principle; as when an indignant man unconsciously throws himself into a
fitting attitude for attacking his opponent, though without any
intention of making an actual attack. We see also the influence of
habit in all the emotions and sensations which are called exciting; for
they have assumed this character from having habitually led to
energetic action; and action affects, in an indirect manner, the
respiratory and circulatory system; and the latter reacts on the brain.
Whenever these emotions or sensations are even slightly felt by us,
though they may not at the time lead to any exertion, our whole system
is nevertheless disturbed through the force of habit and association.
Other emotions and sensations are called depressing, because they have
not habitually led to energetic action, excepting just at first, as in
the case of extreme pain, fear, and grief, and they have ultimately
caused complete exhaustion; they are consequently expressed chiefly by
negative signs and by prostration. Again, there are other emotions,
such as that of affection, which do not commonly lead to action of any
kind, and consequently are not exhibited by any strongly marked outward
signs. Affection indeed, in as far as it is a pleasurable sensation,
excites the ordinary signs of pleasure.

On the other hand, many of the effects due to the excitement of the
nervous system seem to be quite independent of the flow of nerve-force
along the channels which have been rendered habitual by former
exertions of the will. Such effects, which often reveal the state of
mind of the person thus affected, cannot at present be explained; for
instance, the change of colour in the hair from extreme terror or
grief,—the cold sweat and the trembling of the muscles from fear,—the
modified secretions of the intestinal canal,—and the failure of certain
glands to act.

Notwithstanding that much remains unintelligible in our present
subject, so many expressive movements and actions can be explained to a
certain extent through the above three principles, that we may hope
hereafter to see all explained by these or by closely analogous

Actions of all kinds, if regularly accompanying any state of the mind,
are at once recognized as expressive. These may consist of movements of
any part of the body, as the wagging of a dog’s tail, the shrugging of
a man’s shoulders, the erection of the hair, the exudation of
perspiration, the state of the capillary circulation, laboured
breathing, and the use of the vocal or other sound-producing
instruments. Even insects express anger, terror, jealousy, and love by
their stridulation. With man the respiratory organs are of especial
importance in expression, not only in a direct, but in a still higher
degree in an indirect manner.

Few points are more interesting in our present subject than the
extraordinarily complex chain of events which lead to certain
expressive movements. Take, for instance, the oblique eyebrows of a man
suffering from grief or anxiety. When infants scream loudly from hunger
or pain, the circulation is affected, and the eyes tend to become
gorged with blood: consequently the muscles surrounding the eyes are
strongly contracted as a protection: this action, in the course of many
generations, has become firmly fixed and inherited: but when, with
advancing years and culture, the habit of screaming is partially
repressed, the muscles round the eyes still tend to contract, whenever
even slight distress is felt: of these muscles, the pyramidals of the
nose are less under the control of the will than are the others and
their contraction can be checked only by that of the central fasciae of
the frontal muscle: these latter fasciae draw up the inner ends of the
eyebrows, and wrinkle the forehead in a peculiar manner, which we
instantly recognize as the expression of grief or anxiety. Slight
movements, such as these just described, or the scarcely perceptible
drawing down of the corners of the mouth, are the last remnants or
rudiments of strongly marked and intelligible movements. They are as
full of significance to us in regard to expression, as are ordinary
rudiments to the naturalist in the classification and genealogy of
organic beings.

That the chief expressive actions, exhibited by man and by the lower
animals, are now innate or inherited,—that is, have not been learnt by
the individual,—is admitted by every one. So little has learning or
imitation to do with several of them that they are from the earliest
days and throughout life quite beyond our control; for instance, the
relaxation of the arteries of the skin in blushing, and the increased
action of the heart in anger. We may see children, only two or three
years old, and even those born blind, blushing from shame; and the
naked scalp of a very young infant reddens from passion. Infants scream
from pain directly after birth, and all their features then assume the
same form as during subsequent years. These facts alone suffice to show
that many of our most important expressions have not been learnt; but
it is remarkable that some, which are certainly innate, require
practice in the individual, before they are performed in a full and
perfect manner; for instance, weeping and laughing. The inheritance of
most of our expressive actions explains the fact that those born blind
display them, as I hear from the Rev. R. H. Blair, equally well with
those gifted with eyesight. We can thus also understand the fact that
the young and the old of widely different races, both with man and
animals, express the same state of mind by the same movements.

We are so familiar with the fact of young and old animals displaying
their feelings in the same manner, that we hardly perceive how
remarkable it is that a young puppy should wag its tail when pleased,
depress its ears and uncover its canine teeth when pretending to be
savage, just like an old dog; or that a kitten should arch its little
back and erect its hair when frightened and angry, like an old cat.
When, however, we turn to less common gestures in ourselves, which we
are accustomed to look at as artificial or conventional,—such as
shrugging the shoulders, as a sign of impotence, or the raising the
arms with open hands and extended fingers, as a sign of wonder,—we feel
perhaps too much surprise at finding that they are innate. That these
and some other gestures are inherited, we may infer from their being
performed by very young children, by those born blind, and by the most
widely distinct races of man. We should also bear in mind that new and
highly peculiar tricks, in association with certain states of the mind,
are known to have arisen in certain individuals, and to have been
afterwards transmitted to their offspring, in some cases, for more than
one generation.

Certain other gestures, which seem to us so natural that we might
easily imagine that they were innate, apparently have been learnt like
the words of a language. This seems to be the case with the joining of
the uplifted hands, and the turning up of the eyes, in prayer. So it is
with kissing as a mark of affection; but this is innate, in so far as
it depends on the pleasure derived from contact with a beloved person.
The evidence with respect to the inheritance of nodding and shaking the
head, as signs of affirmation and negation, is doubtful; for they are
not universal, yet seem too general to have been independently acquired
by all the individuals of so many races.

We will now consider how far the will and consciousness have come into
play in the development of the various movements of expression. As far
as we can judge, only a few expressive movements, such as those just
referred to, are learnt by each individual; that is, were consciously
and voluntarily performed during the early years of life for some
definite object, or in imitation of others, and then became habitual.
The far greater number of the movements of expression, and all the more
important ones, are, as we have seen, innate or inherited; and such
cannot be said to depend on the will of the individual. Nevertheless,
all those included under our first principle were at first voluntarily
performed for a definite object,—namely, to escape some danger, to
relieve some distress, or to gratify some desire. For instance, there
can hardly be a doubt that the animals which fight with their teeth,
have acquired the habit of drawing back their ears closely to their
heads, when feeling savage, from their progenitors having voluntarily
acted in this manner in order to protect their ears from being torn by
their antagonists; for those animals which do not fight with their
teeth do not thus express a savage state of mind. We may infer as
highly probable that we ourselves have acquired the habit of
contracting the muscles round the eyes, whilst crying gently, that is,
without the utterance of any loud sound, from our progenitors,
especially during infancy, having experienced, during the act of
screaming, an uncomfortable sensation in their eyeballs. Again, some
highly expressive movements result from the endeavour to cheek or
prevent other expressive movements; thus the obliquity of the eyebrows
and the drawing down of the corners of the mouth follow from the
endeavour to prevent a screaming-fit from coming on, or to cheek it
after it has come on. Here it is obvious that the consciousness and
will must at first have come into play; not that we are conscious in
these or in other such cases what muscles are brought into action, any
more than when we perform the most ordinary voluntary movements.

With respect to the expressive movements due to the principle of
antithesis, it is clear that the will has intervened, though in a
remote and indirect manner. So again with the movements coming under
our third principle; these, in as far as they are influenced by
nerve-force readily passing along habitual channels, have been
determined by former and repeated exertions of the will. The effects
indirectly due to this latter agency are often combined in a complex
manner, through the force of habit and association, with those directly
resulting from the excitement of the cerebro-spinal system. This seems
to be the case with the increased action of the heart under the
influence of any strong emotion. When an animal erects its hair,
assumes a threatening attitude, and utters fierce sounds, in order to
terrify an enemy, we see a curious combination of movements which were
originally voluntary with those that are involuntary. It is, however,
possible that even strictly involuntary actions, such as the erection
of the hair, may have been affected by the mysterious power of the

Some expressive movements may have arisen spontaneously, in association
with certain states of the mind, like the tricks lately referred to,
and afterwards been inherited. But I know of no evidence rendering this
view probable.

The power of communication between the members of the same tribe by
means of language has been of paramount importance in the development
of man; and the force of language is much aided by the expressive
movements of the face and body. We perceive this at once when we
converse on an important subject with any person whose face is
concealed. Nevertheless there are no grounds, as far as I can discover,
for believing that any muscle has been developed or even modified
exclusively for the sake of expression. The vocal and other
sound-producing organs, by which various expressive noises are
produced, seem to form a partial exception; but I have elsewhere
attempted to show that these organs were first developed for sexual
purposes, in order that one sex might call or charm the other. Nor can
I discover grounds for believing that any inherited movement, which now
serves as a means of expression, was at first voluntarily and
consciously performed for this special purpose,—like some of the
gestures and the finger-language used by the deaf and dumb. On the
contrary, every true or inherited movement of expression seems to have
had some natural and independent origin. But when once acquired, such
movements may be voluntarily and consciously employed as a means of
communication. Even infants, if carefully attended to, find out at a
very early age that their screaming brings relief, and they soon
voluntarily practise it. We may frequently see a person voluntarily
raising his eyebrows to express surprise, or smiling to express
pretended satisfaction and acquiescence. A man often wishes to make
certain gestures conspicuous or demonstrative, and will raise his
extended arms with widely opened fingers above his head, to show
astonishment, or lift his shoulders to his ears, to show that he cannot
or will not do something. The tendency to such movements will be
strengthened or increased by their being thus voluntarily and
repeatedly performed; and the effects may be inherited.

It is perhaps worth consideration whether movements at first used only
by one or a few individuals to express a certain state of mind may not
sometimes have spread to others, and ultimately have become universal,
through the power of conscious and unconscious imitation. That there
exists in man a strong tendency to imitation, independently of the
conscious will, is certain. This is exhibited in the most extraordinary
manner in certain brain diseases, especially at the commencement of
inflammatory softening of the brain, and has been called the “echo
sign.” Patients thus affected imitate, without understanding every
absurd gesture which is made, and every word which is uttered near
them, even in a foreign language.[1401] In the case of animals, the
jackal and wolf have learnt under confinement to imitate the barking of
the dog. How the barking of the dog, which serves to express various
emotions and desires, and which is so remarkable from having been
acquired since the animal was domesticated, and from being inherited in
different degrees by different breeds, was first learnt we do not know;
but may we not suspect that imitation has had something to do with its
acquisition, owing to dogs having long lived in strict association with
so loquacious an animal as man?

In the course of the foregoing remarks and throughout this volume, I
have often felt much difficulty about the proper application of the
terms, will, consciousness, and intention. Actions, which were at first
voluntary, soon became habitual, and at last hereditary, and may then
be performed even in opposition to the will. Although they often reveal
the state of the mind, this result was not at first either intended or
expected. Even such words as that “certain movements serve as a means
of expression,” are apt to mislead, as they imply that this was their
primary purpose or object. This, however, seems rarely or never to have
been the case; the movements having been at first either of some direct
use, or the indirect effect of the excited state of the sensorium. An
infant may scream either intentionally or instinctively to show that it
wants food; but it has no wish or intention to draw its features into
the peculiar form which so plainly indicates misery; yet some of the
most characteristic expressions exhibited by man are derived from the
act of screaming, as has been explained.

Although most of our expressive actions are innate or instinctive, as
is admitted by everyone, it is a different question whether we have any
instinctive power of recognizing them. This has generally been assumed
to be the case; but the assumption has been strongly controverted by M.
Lemoine.[1402] Monkeys soon learn to distinguish, not only the tones of
voice of their masters, but the expression of their faces, as is
asserted by a careful observer.[1403] Dogs well know the difference
between caressing and threatening gestures or tones; and they seem to
recognize a compassionate tone. But as far as I can make out, after
repeated trials, they do not understand any movement confined to the
features, excepting a smile or laugh; and this they appear, at least in
some cases, to recognize. This limited amount of knowledge has probably
been gained, both by monkeys and dogs, through their associating harsh
or kind treatment with our actions; and the knowledge certainly is not
instinctive. Children, no doubt, would soon learn the movements of
expression in their elders in the same manner as animals learn those of
man. Moreover, when a child cries or laughs, he knows in a general
manner what he is doing and what he feels; so that a very small
exertion of reason would tell him what crying or laughing meant in
others. But the question is, do our children acquire their knowledge of
expression solely by experience through the power of association and

As most of the movements of expression must have been gradually
acquired, afterwards becoming instinctive, there seems to be some
degree of _a priori_ probability that their recognition would likewise
have become instinctive. There is, at least, no greater difficulty in
believing this than in admitting that, when a female quadruped first
bears young, she knows the cry of distress of her offspring, or than in
admitting that many animals instinctively recognize and fear their
enemies; and of both these statements there can be no reasonable doubt.
It is however extremely difficult to prove that our children
instinctively recognize any expression. I attended to this point in my
first-born infant, who could not have learnt anything by associating
with other children, and I was convinced that he understood a smile and
received pleasure from seeing one, answering it by another, at much too
early an age to have learnt anything by experience. When this child was
about four months old, I made in his presence many odd noises and
strange grimaces, and tried to look savage; but the noises, if not too
loud, as well as the grimaces, were all taken as good jokes; and I
attributed this at the time to their being preceded or accompanied by
smiles. When five months old, he seemed to understand a compassionate,
expression and tone of voice. When a few days over six months old, his
nurse pretended to cry, and I saw that his face instantly assumed a
melancholy expression, with the corners of the mouth strongly
depressed; now this child could rarely have seen any other child
crying, and never a grown-up person crying, and I should doubt whether
at so early an age he could have reasoned on the subject. Therefore it
seems to me that an innate feeling must have told him that the
pretended crying of his nurse expressed grief; and this through the
instinct of sympathy excited grief in him.

M. Lemoine argues that, if man possessed an innate knowledge of
expression, authors and artists would not have found it so difficult,
as is notoriously the case, to describe and depict the characteristic
signs of each particular state of mind. But this does not seem to me a
valid argument. We may actually behold the expression changing in an
unmistakable manner in a man or animal, and yet be quite unable, as I
know from experience, to analyse the nature of the change. In the two
photographs given by Duchenne of the same old man (Plate III. figs. 5
and 6), almost every one recognized that the one represented a true,
and the other a false smile; but I have found it very difficult to
decide in what the whole amount of difference consists. It has often
struck me as a curious fact that so many shades of expression are
instantly recognized without any conscious process of analysis on our
part. No one, I believe, can clearly describe a sullen or sly
expression; yet many observers are unanimous that these expressions can
be recognized in the various races of man. Almost everyone to whom I
showed Duchenne’s photograph of the young man with oblique eyebrows
(Plate II. fig. 2) at once declared that it expressed grief or some
such feeling; yet probably not one of these persons, or one out of a
thousand persons, could beforehand have told anything precise about the
obliquity of the eyebrows with their inner ends puckered, or about the
rectangular furrows on the forehead. So it is with many other
expressions, of which I have had practical experience in the trouble
requisite in instructing others what points to observe. If, then, great
ignorance of details does not prevent our recognizing with certainty
and promptitude various expressions, I do not see how this ignorance
can be advanced as an argument that our knowledge, though vague and
general, is not innate.

I have endeavoured to show in considerable detail that all the chief
expressions exhibited by man are the same throughout the world. This
fact is interesting, as it affords a new argument in favour of the
several races being descended from a single parent-stock, which must
have been almost completely human in structure, and to a large extent
in mind, before the period at which the races diverged from each other.
No doubt similar structures, adapted for the same purpose, have often
been independently acquired through variation and natural selection by
distinct species; but this view will not explain close similarity
between distinct species in a multitude of unimportant details. Now if
we bear in mind the numerous points of structure having no relation to
expression, in which all the races of man closely agree, and then add
to them the numerous points, some of the highest importance and many of
the most trifling value, on which the movements of expression directly
or indirectly depend, it seems to me improbable in the highest degree
that so much similarity, or rather identity of structure, could have
been acquired by independent means. Yet this must have been the case if
the races of man are descended from several aboriginally distinct
species. It is far more probable that the many points of close
similarity in the various races are due to inheritance from a single
parent-form, which had already assumed a human character.

It is a curious, though perhaps an idle speculation, how early in the
long line of our progenitors the various expressive movements, now
exhibited by man, were successively acquired. The following remarks
will at least serve to recall some of the chief points discussed in
this volume. We may confidently believe that laughter, as a sign of
pleasure or enjoyment, was practised by our progenitors long before
they deserved to be called human; for very many kinds of monkeys, when
pleased, utter a reiterated sound, clearly analogous to our laughter,
often accompanied by vibratory movements of their jaws or lips, with
the corners of the mouth drawn backwards and upwards, by the wrinkling
of the cheeks, and even by the brightening of the eyes.

We may likewise infer that fear was expressed from an extremely remote
period, in almost the same manner as it now is by man; namely, by
trembling, the erection of the hair, cold perspiration, pallor, widely
opened eyes, the relaxation of most of the muscles, and by the whole
body cowering downwards or held motionless.

Suffering, if great, will from the first have caused screams or groans
to be uttered, the body to be contorted, and the teeth to be ground
together. But our progenitors will not have exhibited those highly
expressive movements of the features which accompany screaming and
crying until their circulatory and respiratory organs, and the muscles
surrounding the eyes, had acquired their present structure. The
shedding of tears appears to have originated through reflex action from
the spasmodic contraction of the eyelids, together perhaps with the
eyeballs becoming gorged with blood during the act of screaming.
Therefore weeping probably came on rather late in the line of our
descent; and this conclusion agrees with the fact that our nearest
allies, the anthropomorphous apes, do not weep. But we must here
exercise some caution, for as certain monkeys, which are not closely
related to man, weep, this habit might have been developed long ago in
a sub-branch of the group from which man is derived. Our early
progenitors, when suffering from grief or anxiety, would not have made
their eyebrows oblique, or have drawn down the corners of their mouth,
until they had acquired the habit of endeavouring to restrain their
screams. The expression, therefore, of grief and anxiety is eminently

Rage will have been expressed at a very early period by threatening or
frantic gestures, by the reddening of the skin, and by glaring eyes,
but not by frowning. For the habit of frowning seems to have been
acquired chiefly from the corrugators being the first muscles to
contract round the eyes, whenever during infancy pain, anger, or
distress is felt, and there consequently is a near approach to
screaming; and partly from a frown serving as a shade in difficult and
intent vision. It seems probable that this shading action would not
have become habitual until man had assumed a completely upright
position, for monkeys do not frown when exposed to a glaring light. Our
early progenitors, when enraged, would probably have exposed their
teeth more freely than does man, even when giving full vent to his
rage, as with the insane. We may, also, feel almost certain that they
would have protruded their lips, when sulky or disappointed, in a
greater degree than is the case with our own children, or even with the
children of existing savage races.

Our early progenitors, when indignant or moderately angry, would not
have held their heads erect, opened their chests, squared their
shoulders, and clenched their fists, until they had acquired the
ordinary carriage and upright attitude of man, and had learnt to fight
with their fists or clubs. Until this period had arrived the
antithetical gesture of shrugging the shoulders, as a sign of impotence
or of patience, would not have been developed. From the same reason
astonishment would not then have been expressed by raising the arms
with open hands and extended fingers. Nor, judging from the actions of
monkeys, would astonishment have been exhibited by a widely opened
mouth; but the eyes would have been opened and the eyebrows arched.
Disgust would have been shown at a very early period by movements round
the mouth, like those of vomiting,—that is, if the view which I have
suggested respecting the source of the expression is correct, namely,
that our progenitors had the power, and used it, of voluntarily and
quickly rejecting any food from their stomachs which they disliked. But
the more refined manner of showing contempt or disdain, by lowering the
eyelids, or turning away the eyes and face, as if the despised person
were not worth looking at, would not probably have been acquired until
a much later period.

Of all expressions, blushing seems to be the most strictly human; yet
it is common to all or nearly all the races of man, whether or not any
change of colour is visible in their skin. The relaxation of the small
arteries of the surface, on which blushing depends, seems to have
primarily resulted from earnest attention directed to the appearance of
our own persons, especially of our faces, aided by habit, inheritance,
and the ready flow of nerve-force along accustomed channels; and
afterwards to have been extended by the power of association to
self-attention directed to moral conduct. It can hardly be doubted that
many animals are capable of appreciating beautiful colours and even
forms, as is shown by the pains which the individuals of one sex take
in displaying their beauty before those of the opposite sex. But it
does not seem possible that any animal, until its mental powers had
been developed to an equal or nearly equal degree with those of man,
would have closely considered and been sensitive about its own personal
appearance. Therefore we may conclude that blushing originated at a
very late period in the long line of our descent.

From the various facts just alluded to, and given in the course of this
volume, it follows that, if the structure of our organs of respiration
and circulation had differed in only a slight degree from the state in
which they now exist, most of our expressions would have been
wonderfully different. A very slight change in the course of the
arteries and veins which run to the head, would probably have prevented
the blood from accumulating in our eyeballs during violent expiration;
for this occurs in extremely few quadrupeds. In this case we should not
have displayed some of our most characteristic expressions. If man had
breathed water by the aid of external branchiae (though the idea is
hardly conceivable), instead of air through his mouth and nostrils, his
features would not have expressed his feelings much more efficiently
than now do his hands or limbs. Rage and disgust, however, would still
have been shown by movements about the lips and mouth, and the eyes
would have become brighter or duller according to the state of the
circulation. If our ears had remained movable, their movements would
have been highly expressive, as is the case with all the animals which
fight with their teeth; and we may infer that our early progenitors
thus fought, as we still uncover the canine tooth on one side when we
sneer at or defy any one, and we uncover all our teeth when furiously

The movements of expression in the face and body, whatever their origin
may have been, are in themselves of much importance for our welfare.
They serve as the first means of communication between the mother and
her infant; she smiles approval, and thus encourages her child on the
right path, or frowns disapproval. We readily perceive sympathy in
others by their expression; our sufferings are thus mitigated and our
pleasures increased; and mutual good feeling is thus strengthened. The
movements of expression give vividness and energy to our spoken words.
They reveal the thoughts and intentions of others more truly than do
words, which may be falsified. Whatever amount of truth the so-called
science of physiognomy may contain, appears to depend, as Haller long
ago remarked,[1404] on different persons bringing into frequent use
different facial muscles, according to their dispositions; the
development of these muscles being perhaps thus increased, and the
lines or furrows on the face, due to their habitual contraction, being
thus rendered deeper and more conspicuous. The free expression by
outward signs of an emotion intensifies it. On the other hand, the
repression, as far as this is possible, of all outward signs softens
our emotions.[1405] He who gives way to violent gestures will increase
his rage; he who does not control the signs of fear will experience
fear in a greater degree; and he who remains passive when overwhelmed
with grief loses his best chance of recovering elasticity of mind.
These results follow partly from the intimate relation which exists
between almost all the emotions and their outward manifestations; and
partly from the direct influence of exertion on the heart, and
consequently on the brain. Even the simulation of an emotion tends to
arouse it in our minds. Shakespeare, who from his wonderful knowledge
of the human mind ought to be an excellent judge, says:—

Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit,
That, from her working, all his visage wann’d;
Tears in his eyes, distraction in ’s aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing!
_Hamlet_, act ii. sc. 2.

We have seen that the study of the theory of expression confirms to a
certain limited extent the conclusion that man is derived from some
lower animal form, and supports the belief of the specific or
sub-specific unity of the several races; but as far as my judgment
serves, such confirmation was hardly needed. We have also seen that
expression in itself, or the language of the emotions, as it has
sometimes been called, is certainly of importance for the welfare of
mankind. To understand, as far as possible, the source or origin of the
various expressions which may be hourly seen on the faces of the men
around us, not to mention our domesticated animals, ought to possess
much interest for us. From these several causes, we may conclude that
the philosophy of our subject has well deserved the attention which it
has already received from several excellent observers, and that it
deserves still further attention, especially from any able


1 (return) [ J. Parsons, in his paper in the Appendix to the
‘Philosophical Transactions’ for 1746, p. 41, gives a list of forty-one
old authors who have written on Expression.]

2 (return) [ Conférences sur l’expression des différents Caractères des
Passions.’ Paris, 4to, 1667. I always quote from the republication of
the ‘Conférences’ in the edition of Lavater, by Moreau, which appeared
in 1820, as given in vol. ix. p. 257.]

3 (return) [ ‘Discours par Pierre Camper sur le moyen de représenter
les diverses passions,’ &c. 1792. 1844]

4 (return) [ I always quote from the third edition, 1844, which was
published after the death of Sir C. Bell, and contains his latest
corrections. The first edition of 1806 is much inferior in merit, and
does not include some of his more important views.]

5 (return) [ ‘De la Physionomie et de la Parole,’ par Albert Lemoine,
1865, p. 101.]

6 (return) [ ‘L’Art de connaître les Hommes,’ &c., par G. Lavater. The
earliest edition of this work, referred to in the preface to the
edition of 1820 in ten volumes, as containing the observations of M.
Moreau, is said to have been published in 1807; and I have no doubt
that this is correct, because the ‘Notice sur Lavater’ at the
commencement of volume i. is dated April 13, 1806. In some
bibliographical works, however, the date of 1805—1809 is given, but it
seems impossible that 1805 can be correct. Dr. Duchenne remarks
(‘Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine,’-8vo edit. 1862, p. 5, and
‘Archives Générales de Médecine,’ Jan. et Fév. 1862) that M. Moreau “_a
composé pour son ouvrage un article important_,” &c., in the year 1805;
and I find in volume i. of the edition of 1820 passages bearing the
dates of December 12, 1805, and another January 5, 1806, besides that
of April 13, 1806, above referred to. In consequence of some of these
passages having thus been _composed_ in 1805, Dr. Duchenne assigns to
M. Moreau the priority over Sir C. Bell, whose work, as we have seen,
was published in 1806. This is a very unusual manner of determining the
priority of scientific works; but such questions are of extremely
little importance in comparison with their relative merits. The
passages above quoted from M. Moreau and from Le Brun are taken in this
and all other cases from the edition of 1820 of Lavater, tom. iv. p.
228, and tom. ix. p. 279.]

7 (return) [ ‘Handbuch der Systematischen Anatomie des Menschen.’ Band
I. Dritte Abtheilung, 1858.]

8 (return) [ ‘The Senses and the Intellect,’ 2nd edit. 1864, pp. 96 and
288. The preface to the first edition of this work is dated June, 1855.
See also the 2nd edition of Mr. Bain’s work on the ‘Emotions and

9 (return) [ ‘The Anatomy of Expression,’ 3rd edit. p. 121.]

10 (return) [ ‘Essays, Scientific, Political, and Speculative,’ Second
Series, 1863, p. 111. There is a discussion on Laughter in the First
Series of Essays, which discussion seems to me of very inferior value.]

11 (return) [ Since the publication of the essay just referred to, Mr.
Spencer has written another, on “Morals and Moral Sentiments,” in the
‘Fortnightly Review,’ April 1, 1871, p. 426. He has, also, now
published his final conclusions in vol. ii. of the second edit. of the
‘Principles of Psychology,’ 1872, p. 539. I may state, in order that I
may not be accused of trespassing on Mr. Spencer’s domain, that I
announced in my ‘Descent of Man,’ that I had then written a part of the
present volume: my first MS. notes on the subject of expression bear
the date of the year 1838.]

12 (return) [ ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ 3rd edit. pp. 98, 121, 131.]

13 (return) [ Professor Owen expressly states (Proc. Zoolog. Soc. 1830,
p. 28) that this is the case with respect to the Orang, and specifies
all the more important muscles which are well known to serve with man
for the expression of his feelings. See, also, a description of several
of the facial muscles in the Chimpanzee, by Prof. Macalister, in
‘Annals and Magazine of Natural History,’ vol. vii. May, 1871, p. 342.]

14 (return) [ ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ pp. 121, 138.]

15 (return) [ ‘De la Physionomie,’ pp. 12, 73.]

16 (return) [ ‘Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine,’ 8vo edit. p. 31.]

17 (return) [ ‘Elements of Physiology,’ English translation, vol. ii.
p. 934.]

18 (return) [ ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ 3rd edit. p. 198.]

19 (return) [ See remarks to this effect in Lessing’s ‘Lacooon,’
translated by W. Ross, 1836, p. 19.]

20 (return) [ Mr. Partridge in Todd’s ‘Cyclopædia of Anatomy and
Physiology,’ vol. ii. p. 227.]

21 (return) [ ‘La Physionomie,’ par G. Lavater, tom. iv. 1820, p. 274.
On the number of the facial muscles, see vol. iv. pp. 209-211.]

22 (return) [ ‘Mimik und Physiognomik,’ 1867, s. 91.]

101 (return) [ Mr. Herbert Spencer (‘Essays,’ Second Series, 1863, p.
138) has drawn a clear distinction between emotions and sensations, the
latter being “generated in our corporeal framework.” He classes as
Feelings both emotions and-sensations.]

102 (return) [ Müller, ‘Elements of Physiology,’ Eng. translat. vol.
ii. p. 939. See also Mr. H. Spencer’s interesting speculations on the
same subject, and on the genesis of nerves, in his ‘Principles of
Biology,’ vol. ii. p. 346; and in his ‘Principles of Psychology,’ 2nd
edit. pp. 511-557.]

103 (return) [ A remark to much the same effect was made long ago by
Hippocrates and by the illustrious Harvey; for both assert that a young
animal forgets in the course of a few days the art of sucking, and
cannot without some difficulty again acquire it. I give these
assertions on the authority of Dr. Darwin, ‘Zoonomia,’ 1794, vol. i. p.

104 (return) [ See for my authorities, and for various analogous facts,
‘The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication,’ 1868, vol.
ii. p. 304.]

105 (return) [ ‘The Senses and the Intellect,’ 2nd edit. 1864, p. 332.
Prof. Huxley remarks (‘Elementary Lessons in Physiology,’ 5th edit.
1872, p. 306), “It may be laid down as a rule, that, if any two mental
states be called up together, or in succession, with due frequency and
vividness, the subsequent production of the one of them will suffice to
call up the other, and that whether we desire it or not.”]

106 (return) [ Gratiolet (‘De la Physionomie,’ p. 324), in his
discussion on this subject, gives many analogous instances. See p. 42,
on the opening and shutting of the eyes. Engel is quoted (p. 323) on
the changed paces of a man, as his thoughts change.]

107 (return) [ ‘Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine,’ 1862, p. 17.]

108 (return) [ ‘The Variation of Animals and Plants under
Domestication,’ vol. ii. p. 6. The inheritance of habitual gestures is
so important for us, that I gladly avail myself of Mr. F. Galton’s
permission to give in his own words the following remarkable case:—“The
following account of a habit occurring in individuals of three
consecutive generations {footnote continues:} is of peculiar interest,
because it occurs only during sound sleep, and therefore cannot be due
to imitation, but must be altogether natural. The particulars are
perfectly trustworthy, for I have enquired fully into them, and speak
from abundant and independent evidence. A gentleman of considerable
position was found by his wife to have the curious trick, when he lay
fast asleep on his back in bed, of raising his right arm slowly in
front of his face, up to his forehead, and then dropping it with a
jerk, so that the wrist fell heavily on the bridge of his nose. The
trick did not occur every night, but occasionally, and was independent
of any ascertained cause. Sometimes it was repeated incessantly for an
hour or more. The gentleman’s nose was prominent, and its bridge often
became sore from the blows which it received. At one time an awkward
sore was produced, that was long in healing, on account of the
recurrence, night after night, of the blows which first caused it. His
wife had to remove the button from the wrist of his night-gown as it
made severe scratches, and some means were attempted of tying his arm.

“Many years after his death, his son married a lady who had never heard
of the family incident. She, however, observed precisely the same
peculiarity in her husband; but his nose, from not being particularly
prominent, has never as yet suffered from the blows. The trick does not
occur when he is half-asleep, as, for example, when dozing in his
arm-chair, but the moment he is fast asleep it is apt to begin. It is,
as with his father, intermittent; sometimes ceasing for many nights,
and sometimes almost incessant during a part of every night. It is
performed, as it was by his father, with his right hand.

“One of his children, a girl, has inherited the same trick. She
performs it, likewise, with the right hand, but in a slightly modified
form; for, after raising the arm, she does not allow the wrist to drop
upon the bridge of the nose, but the palm of the half-closed hand falls
over and down the nose, striking it rather rapidly. It is also very
intermittent with this child, not occurring for periods of some months,
but sometimes occurring almost incessantly.”]

109 (return) [ Prof. Huxley remarks (‘Elementary Physiology,’ 5th edit.
p. 305) that reflex actions proper to the spinal cord are _natural_;
but, by the help of the brain, that is through habit, an infinity of
_artificial_ reflex actions may be acquired. Virchow admits (‘Sammlung
wissenschaft. Vorträge,’ &c., “Ueber das Rückenmark,” 1871, ss. 24, 31)
that some reflex actions can hardly be distinguished from instincts;
and, of the latter, it may be added, some cannot be distinguished from
inherited habits.]

110 (return) [ Dr. Maudsley, ‘Body and Mind,’ 1870, p. 8.]

111 (return) [ See the very interesting discussion on the whole subject
by Claude Bernard, ‘Tissus Vivants,’ 1866, p. 353-356.]

112 (return) [ ‘Chapters on Mental Physiology,’ 1858, p. 85.]

113 (return) [ Müller remarks (‘Elements of Physiology,’ Eng. tr. vol.
ii. p. 1311) on starting being always accompanied by the closure of the

114 (return) [ Dr. Maudsley remarks (‘Body and Mind,’ p. 10) that
“reflex movements which commonly effect a useful end may, under the
changed circumstances of disease, do great mischief, becoming even the
occasion of violent suffering and of a most painful death.”]

115 (return) [ See Mr. F. H. Salvin’s account of a tame jackal in ‘Land
and Water,’ October, 1869.]

116 (return) [ “Dr. Darwin, ‘Zoonomia,’ 1794, vol. i. p. 160. I find
that the fact of cats protruding their feet when pleased is also
noticed (p. 151) in this work.]

117 (return) [ Carpenter, ‘Principles of Comparative Physiology,’ 1854,
p. 690, and Müller’s ‘Elements of Physiology,’ Eng. translat. vol. ii.
p. 936.]

118 (return) [ Mowbray on ‘Poultry,’ 6th edit. 1830, p. 54.]

119 (return) [ See the account given by this excellent observer in
‘Wild Sports of the Highlands,’ 1846, p. 142.]

120 (return) [ ‘Philosophical Translations,’ 1823, p. 182.]

201 (return) [ ‘Naturgeschichte der Säugethiere von Paraguay,’ 1830, s.

202 (return) [ Mr. Tylor gives an account of the Cistercian
gesture-language in his ‘Early History of Mankind’ (2nd edit. 1870, p.
40), and makes some remarks on the principle of opposition in

203 (return) [ See on this subject Dr. W. R. Scott’s interesting work,
‘The Deaf and Dumb,’ 2nd edit. 1870, p. 12. He says, “This contracting
of natural gestures into much shorter gestures than the natural
expression requires, is very common amongst the deaf and dumb. This
contracted gesture is frequently so shortened as nearly to lose all
semblance of the natural one, but to the deaf and dumb who use it, it
still has the force of the original expression.”]

301 (return) [ See the interesting cases collected by M. G. Pouchet in
the ‘Revue des Deux Mondes,’ January 1, 1872, p. 79. An instance was
also brought some years ago before the British Association at Belfast.]

302 (return) [ Müller remarks (‘Elements of Physiology,’ Eng. translat.
vol. ii. p. 934) that when the feelings are very intense, “all the
spinal nerves become affected to the extent of imperfect paralysis, or
the excitement of trembling of the whole body.”]

303 (return) [ ‘Leçons sur les Prop. des Tissus Vivants,’ 1866, pp.

304 (return) [ Mr. Bartlett, “Notes on the Birth of a Hippopotamus,”
Proc. Zoolog. Soc. 1871, p. 255.]

305 (return) [ See, on this subject, Claude Bernard, ‘Tissus Vivants,’
1866, pp. 316, 337, 358. Virchow expresses himself to almost exactly
the same effect in his essay “Ueber das Rückenmark” (Sammlung
wissenschaft. Vorträge, 1871, s. 28).]

306 (return) [ Müller (‘Elements of Physiology,’ Eng. translat. vol.
ii. p. 932) in speaking of the nerves, says, “any sudden change of
condition of whatever kind sets the nervous principle into action.” See
Virchow and Bernard on the same subject in passages in the two works
referred to in my last foot-note.]

307 (return) [ H. Spencer, ‘Essays, Scientific, Political,’ &c., Second
Series, 1863, pp. 109, 111.]

308 (return) [ Sir H. Holland, in speaking (‘Medical Notes and
Reflexions,’ 1839, p. 328) of that curious state of body called the
_fidgets_, remarks that it seems due to “an accumulation of some cause
of irritation which requires muscular action for its relief.”]

309 (return) [ I am much indebted to Mr. A. H. Garrod for having
informed me of M. Lorain’s work on the pulse, in which a sphygmogram of
a woman in a rage is given; and this shows much difference in the rate
and other characters from that of the same woman in her ordinary

310 (return) [ How powerfully intense joy excites the brain, and how
the brain reacts on the body, is well shown in the rare cases of
Psychical Intoxication. Dr. J. Crichton Browne (‘Medical Mirror,’ 1865)
records the case of a young man of strongly nervous temperament, who,
on hearing by a telegram that a fortune had been bequeathed him, first
became pale, then exhilarated, and soon in the highest spirits, but
flushed and very restless. He then took a walk with a friend for the
sake of tranquillising himself, but returned staggering in his gait,
uproariously laughing, yet irritable in temper, incessantly talking,
and singing loudly in the public streets. It was positively ascertained
that he had not touched any spirituous liquor, though every one thought
that he was intoxicated. Vomiting after a time came on, and the
half-digested contents of his stomach were examined, but no odour of
alcohol could be detected. He then slept heavily, and on awaking was
well, except that he suffered from headache, nausea, and prostration of

311 (return) [ Dr. Darwin, ‘Zoonomia,’ 1794, vol. i. p. 148.]

312 (return) [ Mrs. Oliphant, in her novel of ‘Miss Majoribanks,’ p.
362. All this reacts on the brain, and prostration soon follows with
collapsed muscles and dulled eyes. As associated habit no longer
prompts the sufferer to action, he is urged by his friends to voluntary
exertion, and not to give way to silent, motionless grief. Exertion
stimulates the heart, and this reacts on the brain, and aids the mind
to bear its heavy load.]

401 (return) [ See the evidence on this head in my ‘Variation of
Animals and Plants under Domestication,’ vol. i. p. 27. On the cooing
of pigeons, vol. i. pp. 154, 155.]

402 (return) [ ‘Essays, Scientific, Political, and Speculative,’ 1858.
‘The Origin and Function of Music,’ p. 359.]

403 (return) [ ‘The Descent of Man,’ 1870, vol. ii. p. 332. The words
quoted are from Professor Owen. It has lately been shown that some
quadrupeds much lower in the scale than monkeys, namely Rodents, are
able to produce correct musical tones: see the account of a singing
Hesperomys, by the Rev. S. Lockwood, in the ‘American Naturalist,’ vol.
v. December, 1871, p. 761.]

404 (return) [ Mr. Tylor (‘Primitive Culture,’ 1871, vol. i. p. 166),
in his discussion on this subject, alludes to the whining of the dog.]

405 (return) [ ‘Naturgeschichte der Säugethiere von Paraguay,’ 1830, s.

406 (return) [ Quoted by Gratiolet, ‘De la Physionomie,’ 1865, p. 115.]

407 (return) [ ‘Théorie Physiologique de la Musique,’ Paris, 1868, P.
146. Helmholtz has also fully discussed in this profound work the
relation of the form of the cavity of the mouth to the production of

408 (return) [ I have given some details on this subject in my ‘Descent
of Man,’ vol. i. pp. 352, 384.]

409 (return) [ As quoted in Huxley’s ‘Evidence as to Man’s Place in
Nature,’ 1863, p. 52.]

410 (return) [ Illust. Thierleben, 1864, B. i. s. 130.]

411 (return) [ The Hon. J. Caton, Ottawa Acad. of Nat. Sciences, May,
1868, pp. 36, 40. For the _Capra, Ægagrus_, ‘Land and Water,’ 1867, p.

412 (return) [ ‘Land and Water,’ July 20, 1867, p. 659.]

413 (return) [ _Phaeton rubricauda_: ‘Ibis,’ vol. iii. 1861, p. 180.]

414 (return) [ On the _Strix flammea_, Audubon, ‘Ornithological
Biography,’ 1864, vol. ii. p. 407. I have observed other cases in the
Zoological Gardens.]

415 (return) [ _Melopsittacus undulatus_. See an account of its habits
by Gould, ‘Handbook of Birds of Australia,’ 1865, vol. ii. p. 82.]

416 (return) [ See, for instance, the account which I have given
(‘Descent of Man,’ vol. ii. p. 32) of an Anolis and Draco.]

417 (return) [ These muscles are described in his well-known works. I
am greatly indebted to this distinguished observer for having given me
in a letter information on this same subject.]

418 (return) [ ‘Lehrbuch der Histologie des Menschen,’ 1857, s. 82. I
owe to Prof. W. Turner’s kindness an extract from this work.]

419 (return) [ ‘Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science,’ 1853, vol.
i. p. 262.]

420 (return) [ ‘Lehrbuch der Histologie,’ 1857, s. 82.]

421 (return) [ ‘Dictionary of English Etymology,’ p. 403.]

422 (return) [ See the account of the habits of this animal by Dr.
Cooper, as quoted in ‘Nature,’ April 27, 1871, p. 512.]

423 (return) [ Dr. Günther, ‘Reptiles of British India,’ p. 262.]

424 (return) [ Mr. J. Mansel Weale, ‘Nature,’ April 27, 1871, p. 508.]

425 (return) [ ‘Journal of Researches during the Voyage of the
“Beagle,”’ 1845, p. 96. I have compared the rattling thus produced with
that of the Rattle-snake.]

426 (return) [ See the account by Dr. Anderson, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1871,
p. 196.]

427 (return) [ The ‘American Naturalist,’ Jan. 1872, p. 32. I regret
that I cannot follow Prof. Shaler in believing that the rattle has been
developed, by the aid of natural selection, for the sake of producing
sounds which deceive and attract birds, so that they may serve as prey
to the snake. I do not, however, wish to doubt that the sounds may
occasionally subserve this end. But the conclusion at which I have
arrived, viz. that the rattling serves as a warning to would-be
devourers, appears to me much more probable, as it connects together
various classes of facts. If this snake had acquired its rattle and the
habit of rattling, for the sake of attracting prey, it does not seem
probable that it would have invariably used its instrument when angered
or disturbed. Prof. Shaler takes nearly the same view as I do of the
manner of development of the rattle; and I have always held this
opinion since observing the Trigonocephalus in South America.]

428 (return) [ From the accounts lately collected, and given in the
‘Journal of the Linnean Society,’ by Airs. Barber, on the habits of the
snakes of South Africa; and from the accounts published by several
writers, for instance by Lawson, of the rattle-snake in North
America,—it does not seem improbable that the terrific appearance of
snakes and the sounds produced by them, may likewise serve in procuring
prey, by paralysing, or as it is sometimes called fascinating, the
smaller animals.]

429 (return) [ See the account by Dr. R. Brown, in Proc. Zool. Soc.
1871, p. 39. He says that as soon as a pig sees a snake it rushes upon
it; and a snake makes off immediately on the appearance of a pig.]

430 (return) [ Dr. Günther remarks (‘Reptiles of British India,’ p.
340) on the destruction of cobras by the ichneumon or herpestes, and
whilst the cobras are young by the jungle-fowl. It is well known that
the peacock also eagerly kills snakes.]

431 (return) [ Prof. Cope enumerates a number of kinds in his ‘Method
of Creation of Organic Types,’ read before the American Phil. Soc.,
December 15th, 1871, p. 20. Prof. Cope takes the same view as I do of
the use of the gestures and sounds made by snakes. I briefly alluded to
this subject in the last edition of my ‘Origin of Species.’ Since the
passages in the text above have been printed, I have been pleased to
find that Mr. Henderson (‘The American Naturalist,’ May, 1872, p. 260)
also takes a similar view of the use of the rattle, namely “in
preventing an attack from being made.”]

432 (return) [ Mr. des Vœux, in Proc. Zool. Soc. 1871, p. 3.]

433 (return) [ ‘The Sportsman and Naturalist in Canada,’ 1866, p. 53.
p. 53.{sic}]

434 (return) [ ‘The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia,’ 1867, p. 443.]

501 (return) [ ‘The Anatomy of Expression,’ 1844, p. 190.]

502 (return) [ ‘De la Physionomie,’ 1865, pp. 187, 218.]

503 (return) [ ‘The Anatomy of Expression,’ 1844, p. 140.]

504 (return) [ Many particulars are given by Gueldenstädt in his
account of the jackal in Nov. Comm. Acad. Sc. Imp. Petrop. 1775, tom.
xx. p. 449. See also another excellent account of the manners of this
animal and of its play, in ‘Land and Water,’ October, 1869. Lieut.
Annesley, R. A., has also communicated to me some particulars with
respect to the jackal. I have made many inquiries about wolves and
jackals in the Zoological Gardens, and have observed them for myself.]

505 (return) [ ‘Land and Water,’ November 6, 1869.]

506 (return) [ Azara, ‘Quadrupèdes du Paraquay,’ 1801, tom. 1. p. 136.]

507 (return) [ ‘Land and Water,’ 1867, p. 657. See also Azara on the
Puma, in the work above quoted.]

508 (return) [ Sir C. Bell, ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ 3rd edit. p. 123.
See also p. 126, on horses not breathing through their mouths, with
reference to their distended nostrils.]

509 (return) [ ‘Land and Water,’ 1869, p. 152.]

510 (return) [ ‘Natural History of Mammalia,’ 1841, vol. 1. pp. 383,

511 (return) [ Rengger (‘Sagetheire von Paraquay’, 1830, s. 46) kept
these monkeys in confinement for seven years in their native country of

512 (return) [ Rengger, ibid. s. 46. Humboldt, ‘Personal Narrative,
Eng. translat. vol. iv. p. 527.]

513 (return) [ Nat. Hist. of Mammalia, 1841, p. 351.]

514 (return) [ Brehm, ‘Thierleben,’ B. i. s. 84. On baboons striking
the ground, s. 61.]

515 (return) [ Brehm remarks (‘Thierleben,’ s. 68) that the eyebrows of
the _Inuus ecaudatus_ are frequently moved up and down when the animal
is angered.]

516 (return) [ G. Bennett, ‘Wanderings in New South Wales,’ &c. vol.
ii. 1834, p. 153. FIG. 18.-Chimpanzee disappointed and sulky. Drawn
from life by Mr. Wood.]

517 (return) [ W. L. Martin, Nat. Hist. of Mamm. Animals, 1841, p.

518 (return) [ Prof. Owen on the Orang, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1830, p. 28.
On the Chimpanzee, see Prof. Macalister, in Annals and Mag. of Nat.
Hist. vol. vii. 1871, p. 342, who states that the _corrugator
supercilii_ is inseparable from the _orbicularis palpebrarum_.]

519 (return) [ Boston Journal of Nat. Hist. 1845—-47, vol. v. p. 423.
On the Chimpanzee, ibid. 1843-44, vol. iv. p. 365.]

520 (return) [ See on this subject, ‘Descent of Man,’ vol. i. p. 20.]

521 (return) [ ‘Descent of Man,’ vol, i. p, 43.]

522 (return) [ ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ 3rd edit. 1844, pp. 138, 121.]

601 (return) [ The best photographs in my collection are by Mr.
Rejlander, of Victoria Street, London, and by Herr Kindermann, of
Hamburg. Figs. 1, 3, 4, and 6 are by the former; and figs. 2 and 5, by
the latter gentleman. Fig. 6 is given to show moderate crying in an
older child.]

602 (return) [ Henle (‘Handbuch d. Syst. Anat. 1858, B. i. s. 139)
agrees with Duchenne that this is the effect of the contraction of the
_pyramidalis nasi_.]

603 (return) [ These consist of the _levator labii superioris alaeque
nasi_, the _levator labii proprius_, the _malaris_, and the
_zygomaticus minor_, or little zygomatic. This latter muscle runs
parallel to and above the great zygomatic, and is attached to the outer
part of the upper lip. It is represented in fig. 2 (I. p. 24), but not
in figs. 1 and 3. Dr. Duchenne first showed (‘Mécanisme de la
Physionomie Humaine,’ Album, 1862, p. 39) the importance of the
contraction of this muscle in the shape assumed by the features in
crying. Henle considers the above-named muscles (excepting the
_malaris_) as subdivisions of the _quadratus labii superioris_.]

604 (return) [ Although Dr. Duchenne has so carefully studied the
contraction of the different muscles during the act of crying, and the
furrows on the face thus produced, there seems to be something
incomplete in his account; but what this is I cannot say. He has given
a figure (Album, fig. 48) in which one half of the face is made, by
galvanizing the proper muscles, to smile; whilst the other half is
similarly made to begin crying. Almost all those (viz. nineteen out of
twenty-one persons) to whom I showed the smiling half of the face
instantly recognized the expression; but, with respect to the other
half, only six persons out of twenty-one recognized it,—that is, if we
accept such terms as “grief,” “misery,” “annoyance,” as
correct;—whereas, fifteen persons were ludicrously mistaken; some of
them saying the face expressed “fun,” “satisfaction,” “cunning,”
“disgust,” &c. We may infer from this that there is something wrong in
the expression. Some of the fifteen persons may, however, have been
partly misled by not expecting to see an old man crying, and by tears
not being secreted. With respect to another figure by Dr. Duchenne
(fig. 49), in which the muscles of half the face are galvanized in
order to represent a man beginning to cry, with the eyebrow on the same
side rendered oblique, which is characteristic of misery, the
expression was recognized by a greater proportional number of persons.
Out of twenty-three persons, fourteen answered correctly, “sorrow,”
“distress,” “grief,” “just going to cry,” “endurance of pain,” &c. On
the other hand, nine persons either could form no opinion or were
entirely wrong, answering, “cunning leer,” “jocund,” “looking at an
intense light,” “looking at a distant object,” &c.]

605 (return) [ Mrs. Gaskell, ‘Mary Barton,’ new edit. p. 84.]

606 (return) [ ‘Mimik und Physiognomik,’ 1867, s. 102. Duchenne,
Mécanisme de la Phys. Humaine, Album, p. 34.]

607 (return) [ Dr. Duchenne makes this remark, ibid. p. 39.]

608 (return) [ ‘The Origin of Civilization,’ 1870, p. 355.]

609 (return) [ See, for instance, Mr. Marshall’s account of an idiot in
Philosoph. Transact. 1864, p. 526. With respect to cretins, see Dr.
Piderit, ‘Mimik und Physiognomik,’ 1867, s. 61.]

610 (return) [ ‘New Zealand and its Inhabitants,’ 1855, p. 175.]

611 (return) [ ‘De la Physionomie,’ 1865, p. 126.]

612 (return) [ ‘The Anatomy of Expression,’ 1844, p. 106. See also his
paper in the ‘Philosophical Transactions,’ 1822, p. 284, ibid. 1823,
pp. 166 and 289. Also ‘The Nervous System of the Human Body,’ 3rd edit.
1836, p. 175.]

613 (return) [ See Dr. Brinton’s account of the act of vomiting, in
Todd’s Cyclop. of Anatomy and Physiology, 1859, vol. v. Supplement, p.

614 (return) [ I am greatly indebted to Mr. Bowman for having
introduced me to Prof. Donders, and for his aid in persuading this
great physiologist to undertake the investigation of the present
subject. I am likewise much indebted to Mr. Bowman for having given me,
with the utmost kindness, information on many points.]

615 (return) [ This memoir first appeared in the ‘Nederlandsch Archief
voor Genees en Natuurkunde,’ Deel 5, 1870. It has been translated by
Dr. W. D. Moore, under the title of “On the Action of the Eyelids in
determination of Blood from expiratory effort,” in ‘Archives of
Medicine,’ edited by Dr. L. S. Beale, 1870, vol. v. p. 20.]

616 (return) [ Prof. Donders remarks (ibid. p. 28), that, “After injury
to the eye, after operations, and in some forms of internal
inflammation, we attach great value to the uniform support of the
closed eyelids, and we increase this in many instances by the
application of a bandage. In both cases we carefully endeavour to avoid
great expiratory pressure, the disadvantage of which is well known.”
Mr. Bowman informs me that in the excessive photophobia, accompanying
what is called scrofulous ophthalmia in children, when the light is so
very painful that during weeks or months it is constantly excluded by
the most forcible closure of the lids, he has often been struck on
opening the lids by the paleness of the eye,—not an unnatural paleness,
but an absence of the redness that might have been expected when the
surface is somewhat inflamed, as is then usually the case; and this
paleness he is inclined to attribute to the forcible closure of the

617 (return) [ Donders, ibid. p. 36.]

618 (return) [ Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood (Dict. of English Etymology,
1859, vol. i. p. 410) says, “the verb to weep comes from Anglo-Saxon
_wop_, the primary meaning of which is simply outcry.”]

619 (return) [ ‘De la Physionomie,’ 1865, p. 217.]

620 (return) [ ‘Ceylon,’ 3rd edit. 1859, vol. ii. pp. 364, 376. I
applied to Mr. Thwaites, in Ceylon, for further information with
respect to the weeping of the elephant; and in consequence received a
letter from the Rev. Mr Glenie, who, with others, kindly observed for
me a herd of recently captured elephants. These, when irritated,
screamed violently; but it is remarkable that they never when thus
screaming contracted the muscles round the eyes. Nor did they shed
tears; and the native hunters asserted that they had never observed
elephants weeping. Nevertheless, it appears to me impossible to doubt
Sir E. Tennent’s distinct details about their weeping, supported as
they are by the positive assertion of the keeper in the Zoological
Gardens. It is certain that the two elephants in the Gardens, when they
began to trumpet loudly, invariably contracted their orbicular muscles.
I can reconcile these conflicting statements only by supposing that the
recently captured elephants in Ceylon, from being enraged or
frightened, desired to observe their persecutors, and consequently did
not contract their orbicular muscles, so that their vision might not be
impeded. Those seen weeping by Sir E. Tennent were prostrate, and had
given up the contest in despair. The elephants which trumpeted in the
Zoological Gardens at the word of command, were, of course, neither
alarmed nor enraged.]

621 (return) [ Bergeon, as quoted in the ‘Journal of Anatomy and
Physiology,’ Nov. 1871, p. 235.]

622 (return) [ See, for instance, a case given by Sir Charles Bell,
‘Philosophical Transactions,’ 1823, p. 177.]

623 (return) [ See, on these several points, Prof. Donders ‘On the
Anomalies of Accommodation and Refraction of the Eye,’ 1864, p. 573.]

624 (return) [ Quoted by Sir J. Lubbock, ‘Prehistoric Times,’ 1865, p.

701 (return) [ The above descriptive remarks are taken in part from my
own observations, but chiefly from Gratiolet (‘De la Physionomie,’ pp.
53, 337; on Sighing, 232), who has well treated this whole subject.
See, also, Huschke, ‘Mimices et Physiognomices, Fragmentum
Physiologi-cum,’ 1821, p. 21. On the dulness of the eyes, Dr. Piderit,
‘Mimik und Physiognomik,’ 1867, s. 65.]

702 (return) [ On the action of grief on the organs of respiration, see
more especially Sir C. Bell, ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ 3rd edit. 1844,
p. 151.]

703 (return) [ In the foregoing remarks on the manner in which the
eyebrows are made oblique, I have followed what seems to be the
universal opinion of all the anatomists, whose works I have consulted
on the action of the above-named muscles, or with whom I have
conversed. Hence throughout this work I shall take a similar view of
the action of the corrugator supercilii, orbicularis, pyramidalis nasi,
and frontalis muscles. Dr. Duchenne, however, believes, and every
conclusion at which he arrives deserves serious consideration, that it
is the corrugator, called by him the sourcilier, which raises the inner
corner of the eyebrows and is antagonistic to the upper and inner part
of the orbicular muscle, as well as to the pyramidalis nasi (see
Mécanisme de la Phys. Humaine, 1862, folio, art. v., text and figures
19 to 29: octavo edit. 1862, p. 43 text). He admits, however, that the
corrugator draws together the eyebrows, causing vertical furrows above
the base of the nose, or a frown. He further believes that towards the
outer two-thirds of the eyebrow the corrugator acts in conjunction with
the upper orbicular muscle; both here standing in antagonism to the
frontal muscle. I am unable to understand, judging from Henle’s
drawings (woodcut, fig. 3), how the corrugator can act in the manner
described by Duchenne. See, also, on this subject, Prof. Donders’
remarks in the ‘Archives of Medicine,’ 1870, vol. v. p. 34. Mr. J.
Wood, who is so well known for his careful study of the muscles of the
human frame, informs me that he believes the account which I have given
of the action of the corrugator to be correct. But this is not a point
of any importance with respect to the expression which is caused by the
obliquity of the eyebrows, nor of much importance to the theory of its

704 (return) [ I am greatly indebted to Dr. Duchenne for permission to
have these two photographs (figs. 1 and 2) reproduced by the heliotype
process from his work in folio. Many of the foregoing remarks on the
furrowing of the skin, when the eyebrows are rendered oblique, are
taken from his excellent discussion on this subject.]

705 (return) [ Mécanisme de la Phys. Humaine, Album, p. 15.]

706 (return) [ Henle, Handbuch der Anat. des Menschen, 1858, B. i. s.
148, figs. 68 and 69.]

707 (return) [ See the account of the action of this muscle by Dr.
Duchenne, ‘Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine, Album (1862), viii. p.

801 (return) [ Herbert Spencer, ‘Essays Scientific,’ &c., 1858, p.

802 (return) [ F. Lieber on the vocal sounds of L. Bridgman,
‘Smithsonian Contributions,’ 1851, vol. ii. p. 6.]

803 (return) [ See, also, Mr. Marshall, in Phil. Transact. 1864, p.

804 (return) [ Mr. Bain (‘The Emotions and the Will,’ 1865, p. 247) has
a long and interesting discussion on the Ludicrous. The quotation above
given about the laughter of the gods is taken from this work. See,
also, Mandeville, ‘The Fable of the Bees,’ vol. ii. p. 168.]

805 (return) [ ‘The Physiology of Laughter,’ Essays, Second Series,
1863, p. 114.]

806 (return) [ J. Lister in ‘Quarterly Journal of Microscopical
Science,’ 1853, vol. 1. p. 266.]

807 (return) [ ‘De la Physionomie,’ p. 186.]

808 (return) [ Sir C. Bell (Anat. of Expression, p. 147) makes some
remarks on the movement of the diaphragm during laughter.]

809 (return) [ ‘Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine,’ Album, Légende

810 (return) [ Handbuch der System. Anat. des Menschen, 1858, B. i. s.
144. See my woodcut (H. fig. 2).]

811 (return) [ See, also, remarks to the same effect by Dr. J. Crichton
Browne in ‘Journal of Mental Science,’ April, 1871, p. 149.]

812 (return) [ C. Vogt, ‘Mémoire sur les Microcéphales,’ 1867, p. 21.]

813 (return) [ Sir C. Bell, ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 133.]

814 (return) [ ‘Mimik und Physiognomik,’ 1867, s. 63-67.]

815 (return) [ Sir T. Reynolds remarks (‘Discourses,’ xii. p. 100), “it
is curious to observe, and it is certainly true, that the extremes of
contrary passions are, with very little variation, expressed by the
same action.” He gives as an instance the frantic joy of a Bacchante
and the grief of a Mary Magdalen.]

816 (return) [ Dr. Piderit has come to the same conclusion, ibid. s.

817 (return) [ ‘La Physionomie,’ par G. Lavater, edit. of 1820, vol.
iv. p. 224. See, also, Sir C. Bell, ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 172,
for the quotation given below.]

818 (return) [ A ‘Dictionary of English Etymology,’ 2nd edit. 1872,
Introduction, p. xliv.]

819 (return) [ Crantz, quoted by Tylor, ‘Primitive Culture,’ 1871, Vol.
i. P. 169.]

820 (return) [ F. Lieber, ‘Smithsonian Contributions,’ 1851, vol. ii.
p. 7.]

821 (return) [ Mr. Bain remarks (‘Mental and Moral Science,’ 1868, p.
239), “Tenderness is a pleasurable emotion, variously stimulated, whose
effort is to draw human beings into mutual embrace.”]

822 (return) [ Sir J. Lubbock, ‘Prehistoric Times,’ 2nd edit. 1869, p.
552, gives full authorities for these statements. The quotation from
Steele is taken from this work.]

823 (return) [ See a full acount,{sic} with references, by E. B. Tylor,
‘Researches into the Early History of Mankind,’ 2nd edit. 1870, p. 51.]

824 (return) [ ‘The Descent of Man,’ vol. ii. p. 336.]

825 (return) [ Dr. Mandsley has a discussion to this effect in his
‘Body and Mind,’ 1870, p. 85.]

826 (return) [ ‘The Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 103, and ‘Philosophical
Transactions,’ 1823, p. 182.]

827 (return) [ ‘The Origin of Language,’ 1866, p. 146. Mr. Tylor
(‘Early History of Mankind,’ 2nd edit. 1870, p. 48) gives a more
complex origin to the position of the hands during prayer.]

901 (return) [ ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ pp. 137, 139. It is not
surprising that the corrugators should have become much more developed
in man than in the anthropoid apes; for they are brought into incessant
action by him under various circumstances, and will have been
strengthened and modified by the inherited effects of use. We have seen
how important a part they play, together with the orbiculares, in
protecting the eyes from being too much gorged with blood during
violent expiratory movements. When the eyes are closed as quickly and
as forcibly as possible, to save them from being injured by a blow, the
corrugators contract. With savages or other men whose heads are
uncovered, the eyebrows are continually lowered and contracted to serve
as a shade against a too strong light; and this is effected partly by
the corrugators. This movement would have been more especially
serviceable to man, as soon as his early progenitors held their heads
erect. Lastly, Prof. Donders believes (‘Archives of Medicine,’ ed. by
L. Beale, 1870, vol. v. p. 34), that the corrugators are brought into
action in causing the eyeball to advance in accommodation for proximity
in vision.]

902 (return) [ ‘Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine,’ Album, Légende

903 (return) [ ‘Mimik und Physiognomik,’ s. 46.]

904 (return) [ ‘History of the Abipones,’ Eng. translat. vol. ii. p.
59, as quoted by Lubbock, ‘Origin of Civilisation,’ 1870, p. 355.]

905 (return) [ ‘De la Physionomie,’ pp. 15, 144, 146. Mr. Herbert
Spencer accounts for frowning exclusively by the habit of contracting
the brows as a shade to the eyes in a bright light: see ‘Principles of
Physiology,’ 2nd edit. 1872, p. 546.]

906 (return) [ Gratiolet remarks (De la Phys. p. 35), “Quand
l’attention est fixee sur quelque image interieure, l’oeil regarde dons
le vide et s’associe automatiquement a la contemplation de l’esprit.”
But this view hardly deserves to be called an explanation.]

907 (return) [ ‘Miles Gloriosus,’ act ii. sc. 2.]

908 (return) [ The original photograph by Herr Kindermann is much more
expressive than this copy, as it shows the frown on the brow more

909 (return) [ ‘Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine,’ Album, Légende
iv. figs. 16-18.]

910 (return) [ Hensleigh Wedgwood on ‘The Origin of Language,’ 1866, p.

911 (return) [ Müller, as quoted by Huxley, ‘Man’s Place in Nature,’
1863, p. 38.]

912 (return) [ I have given several instances in my ‘Descent of Man,’
vol. i. chap. iv.]

913 (return) [ ‘Anatomy of Expression.’ p. 190.]

914 (return) [ ‘De la Physionomie,’ pp. 118-121.]

915 (return) [ ‘Mimik und Physiognomik,’ s. 79.]

1001 (return) [ See some remarks to this effect by Mr. Bain, ‘The
Emotions and the Will,’ 2nd edit. 1865, p. 127.]

1002 (return) [ Rengger, Naturgesch. der Säugethiere von Paraguay,
1830, s. 3.]

1003 (return) [ Sir C. Bell, ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 96. On the
other hand, Dr. Burgess (‘Physiology of Blushing,’ 1839, p. 31) speaks
of the reddening of a cicatrix in a negress as of the nature of a

1004 (return) [ Moreau and Gratiolet have discussed the colour of the
face under the influence of intense passion: see the edit. of 1820 of
Lavater, vol. iv. pp. 282 and 300; and Gratiolet, ‘De la Physionomie,’
p. 345.]

1005 (return) [ Sir C. Bell ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ pp. 91, 107, has
fully discussed this subject. Moreau remarks (in the edit. of 1820 of
‘La Physionomie, par G. Lavater,’ vol. iv. p. 237), and quotes Portal
in confirmation, that asthmatic patients acquire permanently expanded
nostrils, owing to the habitual contraction of the elevatory muscles of
the wings of the nose. The explanation by Dr. Piderit (‘Mimik und
Physiognomik,’ s. 82) of the distension of the nostrils, namely, to
allow free breathing whilst the mouth is closed and the teeth clenched,
does not appear to be nearly so correct as that by Sir C. Bell, who
attributes it to the sympathy (_i. e_. habitual co-action) of all the
respiratory muscles. The nostrils of an angry man may be seen to become
dilated, although his mouth is open.]

1006 (return) [ Mr. Wedgwood, ‘On the Origin of Language,’ 1866, p. 76.
He also observes that the sound of hard breathing “is represented by
the syllables _puff, huff, whiff_, whence a _huff_ is a fit of

1007 (return) [ Sir C. Bell ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 95) has some
excellent remarks on the expression of rage.]

1008 (return) [ ‘De la Physionomie,’ 1865, p. 346.]

1009 (return) [ Sir C. Bell, ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 177. Gratiolet
(De la Phys. p. 369) says, ‘les dents se découvrent, et imitent
symboliquement l’action de déchirer et de mordre.’I If, instead of
using the vague term _symboliquement_, Gratiolet had said that the
action was a remnant of a habit acquired during primeval times when our
semi-human progenitors fought together with their teeth, like gorillas
and orangs at the present day, he would have been more intelligible.
Dr. Piderit (‘Mimik,’ &c., s. 82) also speaks of the retraction of the
upper lip during rage. In an engraving of one of Hogarth’s wonderful
pictures, passion is represented in the plainest manner by the open
glaring eyes, frowning forehead, and exposed grinning teeth.]

1010 (return) [ ‘Oliver Twist,’ vol. iii. p. 245.]

1011 (return) [ ‘The Spectator,’ July 11, 1868, p. 810.]

1012 (return) [ ‘Body and Mind,’ 1870, pp. 51-53.]

1013 (return) [ Le Brun, in his well-known ‘Conference sur
l’Expression’ (‘La Physionomie, par Lavater,’ edit. of 1820, vol. lx.
p. 268), remarks that anger is expressed by the clenching of the fists.
See, to the same effect, Huschke, ‘Mimices et Physiognomices,
Fragmentum Physiologicum,’ 1824, p. 20. Also Sir C. Bell, ‘Anatomy of
Expression,’ p. 219.]

1014 (return) [ Transact. Philosoph. Soc., Appendix, 1746, p. 65.]

1015 (return) [ ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 136. Sir C. Bell calls (p.
131) the muscles which uncover the canines the snarling muscles.]

1016 (return) [ Hensleigh Wedgwood, ‘Dictionary of English Etymology,’
1865, vol. iii. pp. 240, 243.]

1017 (return) [ ‘The Descent of Man,’ 1871, vol. L p. 126.]

1101 (return) [ ‘De In Physionomie et la Parole,’ 1865, p. 89.]

1102 (return) [ ‘Physionomie Humaine,’ Album, Légende viii. p. 35.
Gratiolet also speaks (De la Phys. 1865, p. 52) of the turning away of
the eyes and body.]

1103 (return) [ Dr. W. Ogle, in an interesting paper on the Sense of
Smell (‘Medico-Chirurgical Transactions,’ vol. liii. p. 268), shows
that when we wish to smell carefully, instead of taking one deep nasal
inspiration, we draw in the air by a succession of rapid short sniffs.
If “the nostrils be watched during this process, it will be seen that,
so far from dilating, they actually contract at each sniff. The
contraction does not include the whole anterior opening, but only the
posterior portion.” He then explains the cause of this movement. When,
on the other hand, we wish to exclude any odour, the contraction, I
presume, affects only the anterior part of the nostrils.]

1104 (return) [ ‘Mimik und Physiognomik,’ ss. 84, 93. Gratiolet (ibid.
p. 155) takes nearly the same view with Dr. Piderit respecting the
expression of contempt and disgust.]

1105 (return) [ Scorn implies a strong form of contempt; and one of the
roots of the word ‘scorn’ means, according to Mr. Wedgwood (Dict. of
English Etymology, vol. iii. p. 125), ordure or dirt. A person who is
scorned is treated like dirt.]

1106 (return) [ ‘Early History of Mankind,’ 2nd edit. 1870, p. 45.]

1107 (return) [ See, to this effect, Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood’s
Introduction to the ‘Dictionary of English Etymology,’ 2nd edit. 1872,
p. xxxvii.]

1108 (return) [ Duchenne believes that in the eversion of the lower
lip, the corners are drawn downwards by the _depressores anguli oris_.
Henle (Handbuch d. Anat. des Menschen, 1858, B. i. s. 151) concludes
that this is effected by the _musculus quadratus menti_.]

1109 (return) [ As quoted by Tylor, ‘Primitive Culture,’ 1871, vol. i.
p. 169.]

1110 (return) [ Both these quotations are given by Mr. H. Wedgwood, ‘On
the Origin of Language,’ 1866, p. 75.]

1111 (return) [ This is stated to be the case by Mr. Tylor (Early Hist.
of Mankind, 2nd edit. 1870, p. 52); and he adds, “it is not clear why
this should be so.”]

1112 (return) [ ‘Principles of Psychology,’ 2nd edit. 1872, p. 552.]

1113 (return) [ Gratiolet (De la Phys. p. 351) makes this remark, and
has some good observations on the expression of pride. See Sir C. Bell
(‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 111) on the action of the _musculus

1114 (return) [ ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 166.]

1115 (return) [ ‘Journey through Texas,’ p. 352.]

1116 (return) [ Mrs. Oliphant, ‘The Brownlows,’ vol. ii. p. 206.]

1117 (return) [ ‘Essai sur le Langage,’ 2nd edit. 1846. I am much
indebted to Miss Wedgwood for having given me this information, with an
extract from the work.]

1118 (return) [ ‘On the Origin of Language,’ 1866, p. 91.]

1119 (return) [ ‘On the Vocal Sounds of L. Bridgman;’ Smithsonian
Contributions, 1851, vol. ii. p. 11.]

1120 (return) [ ‘Mémoire sur les Microcéphales,’ 1867, p. 27.]

1121 (return) [ Quoted by Tylor, ‘Early History of Mankind,’ 2nd edit.
1870, p. 38.]

1122 (return) [ Mr. J. B. Jukes, ‘Letters and Extracts,’ &c. 1871, p.

1123 (return) [ F. Lieber, ‘On the Vocal Sounds,’ &c. p. 11. Tylor,
ibid. p. 53.]

1124 (return) [ Dr. King, Edinburgh Phil. Journal, 1845, p. 313.]

1125 (return) [ Tylor, ‘Early History of Mankind,’ 2nd edit. 1870, p.

1126 (return) [ Lubbock, ‘The Origin of Civilization,’ 1870, p. 277.
Tylor, ibid. p. 38. Lieber (ibid. p. 11) remarks on the negative of the

1201 (return) [ ‘Mécanisme de la Physionomie,’ Album, 1862, p. 42.]

1202 (return) [ ‘The Polyglot News Letter,’ Melbourne, Dec. 1858, p.

1203 (return) [ ‘The Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 106.]

1204 (return) [ Mécanisme de la Physionomie,’ Album, p. 6.]

1205 (return) [ See, for instance, Dr. Piderit (‘Mimik und
Physiognomik,’ s. 88), who has a good discussion on the expression of

1206 (return) [ Dr. Murie has also given me information leading to the
same conclusion, derived in part from comparative anatomy.]

1207 (return) [ ‘De la Physionomie,’ 1865, p. 234.]

1208 (return) [ See, on this subject, Gratiolet, ibid. p. 254.]

1209 (return) [ Lieber, ‘On the Vocal Sounds of Laura Bridgman,’
Smithsonian Contributions, 1851, vol. ii. p. 7.]

1210 (return) [ ‘Wenderholme,’ vol. ii. p. 91.]

1211 (return) [ Lieber, ‘On the Vocal Sounds,’ &c., ibid. p. 7.]

1212 (return) [ Huschke, ‘Mimices et Physiognomices,’ 1821, p. 18.
Gratiolet (De la Phys. p. 255) gives a figure of a man in this
attitude, which, however, seems to me expressive of fear combined with
astonishment. Le Brun also refers (Lavater, vol. ix. p. 299) to the
hands of an astonished man being opened.]

1213 (return) [ Huschke, ibid. p. 18.]

1214 (return) [ ‘North American Indians,’ 3rd edit. 1842, vol. i. p.

1215 (return) [ H. Wedgwood, Dict. of English Etymology, vol. ii. 1862,
p. 35. See, also, Gratiolet (‘De la Physionomie,’ p. 135) on the
sources of such words as ‘terror, horror, rigidus, frigidus,’ &c.]

1216 (return) [ Mr. Bain (‘The Emotions and the Will,’ 1865, p. 54)
explains in the following manner the origin of the custom “of
subjecting criminals in India to the ordeal of the morsel of rice. The
accused is made to take a mouthful of rice, and after a little time to
throw it out. If the morsel is quite dry, the party is believed to be
guilty,—his own evil conscience operating to paralyse the salivating

1217 (return) [ Sir C. Bell, Transactions of Royal Phil. Soc. 1822, p.
308. ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 88 and pp. 164-469.]

1218 (return) [ See Moreau on the rolling of the eyes, in the edit. of
1820 of Lavater, tome iv. p. 263. Also, Gratiolet, De la Phys. p. 17.]

1219 (return) [ ‘Observations on Italy,’ 1825, p. 48, as quoted in ‘The
Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 168.]

1220 (return) [ Quoted by Dr. Maudsley, ‘Body and Mind,’ 1870, p. 41.]

1221 (return) [ ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 168.]

1222 (return) [ Mécanisme de la Phys. Humaine, Album, Légende xi.]

1223 (return) [ Ducheinne takes, in fact, this view (ibid. p. 45), as
he attributes the contraction of the platysma to the shivering of fear
(_frisson de la peur_); but he elsewhere compares the action with that
which causes the hair of frightened quadrupeds to stand erect; and this
can hardly be considered as quite correct.]

1224 (return) [ ‘De la Physionomie,’ pp. 51, 256, 346.]

1225 (return) [ As quoted in White’s ‘Gradation in Man,’ p. 57.]

1226 (return) [ ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 169.]

1227 (return) [ ‘Mécanisme de la Physionomie,’ Album, pl. 65, pp. 44,

1228 (return) [ See remarks to this effect by Mr. Wedgwood, in the
Introduction to his ‘Dictionary of English Etymology,’ 2nd edit. 1872,
p. xxxvii. He shows by intermediate forms that the sounds here referred
to have probably given rise to many words, such as _ugly, huge_, &c.]

1301 (return) [ ‘The Physiology or Mechanism of Blushing,’ 1839, p.
156. I shall have occasion often to quote this work in the present

1302 (return) [ Dr. Burgess, ibid. p. 56. At p. 33 he also remarks on
women blushing more freely than men, as stated below.]

1303 (return) [ Quoted by Vogt, ‘Mémoire sur les Microcéphales,’ 1867,
p. 20. Dr. Burgess (ibid. p. 56) doubts whether idiots ever blush.]

1304 (return) [ Lieber ‘On the Vocal Sounds,’ &c.; Smithsonian
Contributions, 1851, vol. ii. p. 6.]

1305 (return) [ Ibid. p. 182.]

1306 (return) [ Moreau, in edit. of 1820 of Lavater, vol. iv. p. 303.]

1307 (return) [ Burgess. ibid. p. 38, on paleness after blushing, p.

1308 (return) [ See Lavater, edit. of 1820, vol. iv. p. 303.]

1309 (return) [ Burgess, ibid. pp. 114, 122. Moreau in Lavater, ibid.
vol. iv. p. 293.]

1310 (return) [ ‘Letters from Egypt,’ 1865, p. 66. Lady Gordon is
mistaken when she says Malays and Mulattoes never blush.]

1311 (return) [ Capt. Osborn (‘Quedah,’ p. 199), in speaking of a
Malay, whom he reproached for cruelty, says he was glad to see that the
man blushed.]

1312 (return) [ J. R. Forster, ‘Observations during a Voyage round the
World,’ 4to, 1778, p. 229. Waitz gives (‘Introduction to Anthropology,’
Eng. translat. 1863, vol. i. p. 135) references for other islands in
the Pacific. See, also, Dampier ‘On the Blushing of the Tunquinese’
(vol. ii. p. 40); but I have not consulted this work. Waitz quotes
Bergmann, that the Kalmucks do not blush, but this may be doubted after
what we have seen with respect to the Chinese. He also quotes Roth, who
denies that the Abyssinians are capable of blushing. Unfortunately,
Capt. Speedy, who lived so long with the Abyssinians, has not answered
my inquiry on this head. Lastly, I must add that the Rajah Brooke has
never observed the least sign of a blush with the Dyaks of Borneo; on
the contrary under circumstances which would excite a blush in us, they
assert “that they feel the blood drawn from their faces.”]

1313 (return) [ Transact. of the Ethnological Soc. 1870, vol. ii. p.

1314 (return) [ Humboldt, ‘Personal Narrative,’ Eng. translat. vol.
iii. p. 229.]

1315 (return) [ Quoted by Prichard, Phys. Hist. of Mankind, 4th edit
1851, vol. i. p. 271.]

1316 (return) [ See, on this head, Burgess, ibid. p. 32. Also Waitz,
‘Introduction to Anthropology,’ Eng. edit. vol. i. p. 139. Moreau gives
a detailed account (‘Lavater,’ 1820, tom. iv. p. 302) of the blushing
of a Madagascar negress-slave when forced by her brutal master to
exhibit her naked bosom.]

1317 (return) [ Quoted by Prichard, Phys. Hist. of Mankind, 4th edit.
1851, vol. i. p. 225.]

1318 (return) [ Burgess, ibid. p. 31. On mulattoes blushing, see p. 33.
I have received similar accounts with respect to, mulattoes.]

1319 (return) [ Barrington also says that the Australians of New South
Wales blush, as quoted by Waitz, ibid. p. 135.]

1320 (return) [ Mr. Wedgwood says (Dict. of English Etymology, vol.
iii. 1865, p. 155) that the word shame “may well originate in the idea
of shade or concealment, and may be illustrated by the Low German
_scheme_, shade or shadow.” Gratiolet (De la Phys. pp. 357-362) has a
good discussion on the gestures accompanying shame; but some of his
remarks seem to me rather fanciful. See, also, Burgess (ibid. pp. 69,
134) on the same subject.]

1321 (return) [ Burgess, ibid. pp. 181, 182. Boerhaave also noticed (as
quoted by Gratiolet, ibid. p. 361) the tendency to the secretion of
tears during intense blushing. Mr. Bulmer, as we have seen, speaks of
the “watery eyes” of the children of the Australian aborigines when

1322 (return) [ See also Dr. J. Crichton Browne’s Memoir on this
subject in the ‘West Riding Lunatic Asylum Medical Report,’ 1871, pp.

1323 (return) [ In a discussion on so-called animal magnetism in ‘Table
Talk,’ vol. i.]

1324 (return) [ Ibid. p. 40.]

1325 (return) [ Mr. Bain (‘The Emotions and the Will,’ 1865, p. 65)
remarks on “the shyness of manners which is induced between the
sexes.... from the influence of mutual regard, by the apprehension on
either side of not standing well with the other.”]

1326 (return) [ See, for evidence on this subject, ‘The Descent of
Man,’ &c., vol. ii. pp. 71, 341.]

1327 (return) [ H. Wedgwood, Dict. English Etymology, vol. iii. 1865,
p. 184. So with the Latin word _verecundus_.]

1328 (return) [ Mr. Bain (‘The Emotions and the Will,’ p. 64) has
discussed the “abashed” feelings experienced on these occasions, as
well as the _stage-fright_ of actors unused to the stage. Mr. Bain
apparently attributes these feelings to simple apprehension or dread.]

1329 (return) [ ‘Essays on Practical Education,’ by Maria and R. L.
Edgeworth, new edit. vol. ii. 1822, p. 38. Dr. Burgess (ibid. p. 187)
insists strongly to the same effect.]

1330 (return) [ ‘Essays on Practical Education,’ by Maria and R. L.
Edgeworth, new edit. vol. ii. 1822, p. 50.]

1331 (return) [ Bell, ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ p. 95. Burgess, as
quoted below, ibid. p. 49. Gratiolet, De la Phys. p. 94.]

1332 (return) [ On the authority of Lady Mary Wortley Montague; see
Burgess, ibid. p. 43.]

1333 (return) [ In England, Sir H. Holland was, I believe, the first to
consider the influence of mental attention on various parts of the
body, in his ‘Medical Notes and Reflections,’ 1839 p. 64. This essay,
much enlarged, was reprinted by Sir H. Holland in his ‘Chapters on
Mental Physiology,’ 1858, p. 79, from which work I always quote. At
nearly the same time, as well as subsequently, Prof. Laycock discussed
the same subject: see ‘Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal,’ 1839,
July, pp. 17-22. Also his ‘Treatise on the Nervous Diseases of Women,’
1840, p. 110; and ‘Mind and Brain,’ vol. ii. 1860, p. 327. Dr.
Carpenter’s views on mesmerism have a nearly similar bearing. The great
physiologist Müller treated (‘Elements of Physiology,’ Eng. translat.
vol. ii. pp. 937, 1085) of the influence of the attention on the
senses. Sir J. Paget discusses the influence of the mind on the
nutrition of parts, in his ‘Lectures on Surgical Pathology,’ 1853, vol.
i. p. 39: 1 quote from the 3rd edit. revised by Prof. Turner, 1870, p.
28. See, also, Gratiolet, De la Phys. pp. 283-287.]

1334 (return) [ De la Phys. p. 283.]

1340 (return) [ Dr. Maudsley has given (‘The Physiology and Pathology
of Mind,’ 2nd edit. 1868, p. 105), on good authority, some curious
statements with respect to the improvement of the sense of touch by
practice and attention. It is remarkable that when this sense has thus
been rendered more acute at any point of the body, for instance, in a
finger, it is likewise improved at the corresponding point on the
opposite side of the body.]

1341 (return) [ The Lancet,’ 1838, pp. 39-40, as quoted by Prof.
Laycock, ‘Nervous Diseases of Women,’ 1840, p. 110.]

1342 (return) [ ‘Chapters on Mental Physiology,’ 1858, pp. 91-93.]

1343 (return) [ ‘Lectures on Surgical Pathology,’ 3rd edit. revised by
Prof. Turner, 1870, pp. 28, 31.]

1344 (return) [ ‘Elements of Physiology,’ Eng. translat. vol. ii. p.

1345 (return) [ Prof. Laycock has discussed this point in a very
interesting manner. See his ‘Nervous Diseases of Women,’ 1840, p. 110.]

1346 (return) [ See, also, Mr. Michael Foster, on the action of the
vaso-motor system, in his interesting Lecture before the royal
Institution, as translated in the ‘Revue des Cours Scientifiques,’
Sept. 25, 1869, p. 683.]

1401 (return) [ See the interesting facts given by Dr. Bateman on
‘Aphasia,’ 1870, p. 110.]

1402 (return) [ ‘La Physionomie et la Parole,’ 1865, pp. 103, 118.]

1403 (return) [ Rengger, ‘Naturgeschichte der Säugethiere von
Paraguay,’ 1830, s. 55.]

1404 (return) [ Quoted by Moreau, in his edition of Lavater, 1820, tom.
iv. p. 211.]

1405 (return) [ Gratiolet (‘De la Physionomie,’ 1865, p. 66) insists on
the truth of this conclusion.]

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