Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin

Part 1 out of 6

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.7 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Scanned by Charles Keller with OmniPage Professional OCR software
NOTE: The quality of this etext is below my usual standards!!


M.A., F.R.S., ETC.



Authorized Edition.

INTRODUCTION......................................................Pages 1-26

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 ............27-49

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 impulses ..........50-65


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............................................ 66-82

CHAP. IV--MEANS OF EXPRESSION. IN ANIMALS. 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 88-114

CHAP. V.--SPECIAL EXPRESSIONS OF ANIMALS. The Dog, various expressive
movements of--Cats--Horses--Ruminants--Monkeys, their expression of joy
and affection--Of pain--Anger Astonishment and Terror Pages 115-145

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 146-175

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 176-195

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 196-219

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 220-236


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 237-252

PATIENCE--AFFIRMATION AND NEGATION. 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 negation 253-277


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. Pages 278-308


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 309-346


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 expression--Conclusion 347-366


1. Diagram of the muscles of the face, from Sir C. Bell 24
2. " " " Henle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
3. " " " " . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4 Small dog watching a cat on a table 43
5 Dog approaching another dog with hostile intentions 52
6. Dog in a humble and affectionate frame of mind 53
7. Half-bred Shepherd Dog 54
8. Dog caressing his master 55
9. Cat, savage, and prepared to fight 58
10. Cat in an affectionate frame of mind 59
11. Sound-producing quills from the tail of the Porcupine 93
12. Hen driving away a dog from her chickens......98
13. Swan driving away an intruder.................99
14. Head of snarling dog.........................117
15. Cat terrified at a dog.......................125
16. Cynopithecus niger, in a placid condition....135
17. The same, when pleased by being caressed.....135
18. Chimpanzee disappointed and sulky............139
19. Photograph of an insane woman................296
20. Terror.......................................299
21. Horror and Agony.............................306

Plate I. to face page 147 Plate V. to face page 254.
" II. " 178. " VI. " 264.
" III. " 200. " VII. " 300.
" IV. " 248.

_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.



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 `Conferences'[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

[1] 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] Conferences sur l'expression des differents Caracteres
des Passions.' Paris, 4to, 1667. I always quote from the
republication of the `Conferences' in the edition of Lavater,
by Moreau, which appeared in 1820, as given in vol. ix. p. 257.

[3] `Discours par Pierre Camper sur le moyen de representer les
diverses passions,' &c. 1792. 1844 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 etre medite 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
legere et sous le pretexte de l'esthetique, c'est un des
plus beaux monuments de la science des rapports du physique
et du moral."

[4] 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] `De la Physionomie et de la Parole,' par Albert Lemoine, 1865, p. 101.

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 symptomes les plus tranches de l'expression des
affections penibles ou concentrees." He then adds that these muscles,
from their attachment and position, are fitted "a resserrer,
a 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 a revenir sur
elle-meme, a se contracter et a _s'amoindrir_, comme pour offrir moins
de prise et de surface a 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.

[6] `L'Art de connaitre 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 (`Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine,'-8vo edit.
1862, p. 5, and `Archives Generales de Medecine,' Jan. et Fev.
1862) that M. Moreau "_a compose 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. " 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 abaisse
d'un cote et eleve de l'autre, fait voir que la partie elevee semble le
vouloir joindre au cerveau pour le garantir du mal que l'ame apercoit,
et le cote qui est abaisse et qui parait enfle, -nous fait trouver
dans cet etat par les esprits qui viennent du cerveau en abondance,
comme polir couvrir l'aine et la defendre du mal qu'elle craint;
la bouche fort ouverte fait voir le saisissement du coeur, par le sang
qui se retire vers lui, ce qui l'oblige, voulant respirer, a faire
un effort qui est cause que la bouche s'ouvre extremement, et qui,
lorsqu'il passe par les organes de la voix, forme un son qui n'est
point articule; que si les muscles et les veines paraissent enfles,
ce n'est que par les esprits que le cerveau envoie en ces parties-la."
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 Chapter.

In 1862 Dr. Duchenne published two editions, in folio and octavo,
of his `Mecanisme 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 resulte,
de tous les faits que j'ai rappeles, que les sens, l'imagination et la
pensee ellememe, si elevee, si abstraite qu'on la suppose, ne peuvent
s'exercer sans eveiller un sentiment correlatif, et que ce sentiment se
traduit directement, sympathiquement, symboliquement ou metaphoriquement,
dans toutes les spheres des organs exterieurs, qui la racontent tous,
suivant leur mode d'action propre, comme si chacun d'eux avait
ete directement affecte."

[7] `Handbuch der Systematischen Anatomie des Menschen.'
Band I. Dritte Abtheilung, 1858.

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 devie
legerement de la direction que le joueur pretend zlui imprimer,
ne l'avez-vous pas vu cent fois la pousser du regard, de la tete et
meme des epaules, 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 accuses au
point d'eveiller le sourire sur les levres 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 A oreilles droites,
auquel son maitre presente de loin quelque viande appetissante,
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 etre 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.`

[8] `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 Will.'

[9] `The Anatomy of Expression,' 3rd edit. p. 121.

[10] `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] 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.

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.

[12] `Anatomy of Expression,' 3rd edit. pp. 98, 121, 131.

[13] 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] `Anatomy of Expression,' pp. 121, 138.

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 createur n'a donc pas eu a se preoccuper ici des besoins de
la mecanique; il a pu, selon sa sagesse, ou--que l'on me pardonne
cette maniere de parler--par une divine fantaisie, mettre en
action tel ou tel muscle, un seul ou plusieurs muscles a la fois,
lorsqu'il a voulu que les signes caracteristiques des passions,
meme les plus fugaces, lussent ecrits passagerement sur la
face de l'homme. Ce langage de la physionomie une fois cree,
il lui a suffi, pour le rendre universel et immuable, de donner
a tout etre humain la faculte instinctive d'exprimer toujours
ses sendments par la contraction des memes muscles."

Many writers consider the whole subject of Expression as inexplicable.
Thus the illustrious physiologist Muller, 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."

[15] `De la Physionomie,' pp. 12, 73.

[16] `Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine,' 8vo edit. p. 31.

[17] `Elements of Physiology,' English translation, vol. ii. p. 934.

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.

[18] "Anatomy of Expression,' 3rd edit. p. 198.

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.

[19] See remarks to this effect in Lessing's `Lacooon,' translated
by W. Ross, 1836, p. 19.

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 Europeans?

(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 conventional.

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 Muller,
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 letters.

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.--------

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.

[20] Mr. Partridge in Todd's `Cyclopaedia of Anatomy
and Physiology,' vol. ii. p. 227.

[21] `La Physionomie,' par G. Lavater, tom. iv. 1820, p. 274. On the
number of the facial muscles, see vol. iv. pp. 209-211.

[22] " `Mimik und Physiognomik,' 1867, s. 91.

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.[1] 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.

[1] 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.

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[2] "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.

[2] Muller, `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.

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.[3]
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;[4] and so it is in many other cases.

[3] 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. 140.

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."[5] 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.

[4] See for my authorities, and for various analogous facts,
`The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication,'
1868, vol. ii. p. 304.

[5] `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."

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 3, 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.[6]

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[7] 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.

[6] 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.

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.[8]

[7] `Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine,' 1862, p. 17.

[8] `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."
{end of long footnote}

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?
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 Pfluger,
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."[10]

[9] 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. Vortrage,' &c., "Ueber
das Ruckeninark," 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.

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.

[10] "Dr. Maudsley, `Body and Mind,' 1870, p. 8.

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
a entraver les mouvements reflexes, a limiter leur force
et leur etendue."[11]

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[12] 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.

[11] "See the very interesting discussion on the whole subject
by Claude Bernard, `Tissus Vivants,' 1866, p. 353-356.

[12] `Chapters on Mental Physiology,' 1858, p. 85.

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 experienced.

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.[13] 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,[14] 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.

[13] Muller remarks (`Elements of Physiology,' Eng. tr. vol. ii. p. 1311)
on starting being always accompanied by the closure of the eyelids.

[14] 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."

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 Erst 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 he 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 {illust. caption = for making a rush
or FIG. 4.--Small dog watching a cat on a spring, although the road table.
From a photograph taken is quite open and The distance Mr. Rejlander.} 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.

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[15] 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.

[15] See Mr. F. H. Salvin's account of a tame jackal in `Land
and Water,' October, 1869.

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 eagerness.

Cats cover up their excrements of both kinds with earth;
and my grandfather[17]{sic} 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.

[16]"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.

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.[17] 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."[18]

[17] Carpenter, `Principles of Comparative Physiology,' 1854, p. 690, and
Muller's `Elements of Physiology,' Eng. translat. vol. ii. p. 936.

[18] Mowbray on `Poultry,' 6th edit. 1830, p. 54.

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."[19] 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,[20] "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.

[19] See the account given by this excellent observer in `Wild Sports
of the Highlands,' 1846, p. 142.

[20] `Philosophical Translations,' 1823, p. 182.



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 impulses.

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.

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.

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.

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,[1] 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 _a 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.[2] 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?[3] Hence their natural
source or origin often becomes doubtful or is completely lost;
as is likewise the case with articulate language.

[1] `Naturgeschichte der Saugethiere von Paraguay,' 1830, s. 55.

[2] 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 gestures.

[3] 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."

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--

Book of the day: