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The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin

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Therefore it would seem that the capillaries of the face
are affected, both during the inhalation of the nitrite of amyl
and during blushing, before that part of the brain is affected
on which the mental powers depend.

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

[22] See also Dr. J. Crichton Browne's Memoir on this subject
in the `West Riding Lunatic Asylum Medical Report,' 1871, pp. 95-98.

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

My reasons for believing that attention directed to personal appearance,
and not to moral conduct, has been the fundamental element
in the acquirement of the habit of blushing, will now be given.
They are separately light, but combined possess, as it appears
to me, considerable weight. It is notorious that nothing makes
a shy person blush so much as any remark, however slight, on his
personal appearance. One cannot notice even the dress of a woman
much given to blushing, wihout causing her face to crimson.
It is sufficient to stare hard at some persons to make them,
as Coleridge remarks, blush,--"account for that he who can."[23]

With the two albinos observed by Dr. Burgess,[24] "the slightest attempt
to examine their peculiarities invariably" caused them to blush deeply.
Women are much more sensitive about their personal appearance than men are,
especially elderly women in comparison with elderly men, and they blush
much more freely. The young of both sexes are much more sensitive on this
same head than the old, and they also blush much more freely than the old.
Children at a very early age do not blush; nor do they show those other signs
of self-consciousness which generally accompany blushing; and it is one of
their chief charms that they think nothing about what others think of them.
At this early age they will stare at a stranger with a fixed gaze
and un-blinking eyes, as on an inanimate object, in a manner which we
elders cannot imitate.

[23] In a discussion on so-called animal magnetism in `Table Talk,' vol. i.

[24] Ibid. p. 40.

It is plain to every one that young men and women are highly sensitive
to the opinion of each other with reference to their personal appearance;
and they blush incomparably more in the presence of the opposite sex
than in that of their own.[25] A young man, not very liable to blush,
will blush intensely at any slight ridicule of his appearance from
a girl whose judgment on any important subject lie would disregard.
No happy pair of young lovers, valuing each other's admiration and love
more than anything else in the world, probably ever courted each
other without many a blush. Even the barbarians of Tierra del Fuego,
according to Mr. Bridges, blush "chiefly in regard to women, but certainly
also at their own personal appearance."

Of all parts of the body, the face is most considered and regarded,
as is natural from its being the chief seat of expression and
the source of the voice. It is also the chief seat of beauty and
of ugliness, and throughout the world is the most ornamented.[26]
The face, therefore, will have been subjected during many generations
to much closer and more earnest self-attention than any other part
of the body; and in accordance with the principle here advanced
we can understand why it should be the most liable to blush.
Although exposure to alternations of temperature, &c., has probably much
increased the power of dilatation and contraction in the capillaries
of the face and adjoining parts, yet this by itself will hardly
account for these parts blushing much more than the rest of the body;
for it does not explain the fact of the hands rarely blushing.
With Europeans the whole body tingles slightly when the face
blushes intensely; and with the races of men who habitually go
nearly naked, the blushes extend over a much larger surface than with us.
These facts are, to a certain extent, intelligible, as the self-attention
of primeval man, as well as of the existing races which still
go naked, will not have been so exclusively confined to their faces,
as is the case with the people who now go clothed.

[25] Mr. Bain (`The Emotions and the Will,' 1865, p. 65) remarks on "the
shyness of manners which is induced between the sexes .... from the influence
of mutual regard, by the apprehension on either side of not standing well
with the other."

[26] See, for evidence on this subject, `The Descent of Man,'
&c., vol. ii. pp. 71, 341.

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

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

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

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

Shyness, as the derivation of the word indicates in several
languages,[27] is closely related to fear; yet it is distinct
from fear in the ordinary sense. A shy man no doubt dreads
the notice of strangers, but can hardly be said to be afraid
of them, he may be as bold as a hero in battle, and yet have no
self-confidence about trifles in the presence of strangers.
Almost every one is extremely nervous when first addressing
a public assembly, and most men remain so throughout their lives;
but this appears to depend on the consciousness of a great
coming exertion, with its associated effects on the system,
rather than on shyness;[28] although a timid or shy man no
doubt suffers on such occasions infinitely more than another.
With very young children it is difficult to distinguish
between fear and shyness; but this latter feeling with them has
often seemed to me to partake of the character of the wildness
of an untamed animal. Shyness comes on at a very early age.
In one of my own children, when two years and three months old,
I saw a trace of what certainly appeared to be shyness,
directed towards myself after an absence from home of only a week.
This was shown not by a blush, but by the eyes being for a few
minutes slightly averted from me. I have noticed on other
occasions that shyness or shamefacedness and real shame are
exhibited in the eyes of young children before they have acquired
the power of blushing.

[27] H. Wedgwood, Dict. English Etymology, vol. iii. 1865, p. 184.
So with the Latin word _verecundus_.

As shyness apparently depends on self-attention, we can perceive
how right are those who maintain that reprehending children
for shyness, instead of doing them any good, does much harm,
as it calls their attention still more closely to themselves.
It has been well urged that "nothing hurts young people more than
to be watched continually about their feelings, to have their
countenances scrutinized, and the degrees of their sensibility
measured by the surveying eye of the unmerciful spectator.
Under the constraint of such examinations they can think
of nothing but that they are looked at, and feel nothing
but shame or apprehension."[29]

[28] Mr. Bain (`The Emotions and the Will,' p. 64) has discussed
the "abashed" feelings experienced on these occasions,
as well as the _stage-fright_ of actors unused to the stage.
Mr. Bain apparently attributes these feelings to simple
apprehension or dread.

[29] `Essays on Practical Education,' by Maria and R. L. Edgeworth,
new edit. vol. ii. 1822, p. 38. Dr. Burgess (ibid. p.
187) insists strongly to the same effect.

_Moral causes: guilt_.--With respect to blushing from strictly
moral causes, we meet with the same fundamental principle
as before, namely, regard for the opinion of others.
It is not the conscience which raises a blush, for a man may sincerely
regret some slight fault committed in solitude, or he may suffer
the deepest remorse for an undetected crime, but he will not blush.
"I blush," says Dr. Burgess,[30] "in the presence of my accusers."
It is not the sense of guilt, but the thought that others think
or know us to be guilty which crimsons the face. A man may feel
thoroughly ashamed at having told a small falsehood, without blushing;
but if he even suspects that he is detected he will instantly blush,
especially if detected by one whom he reveres.

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

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

[29{sic, should be 30}] `Essays on Practical Education,'
by Maria and R. L. Edgeworth, new edit. vol. ii. 1822, p. 50.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_Theory of Blushing_.--We have now to consider, why should the thought
that others are thinking about us affect our capillary circulation?
Sir C. Bell insists[31] that blushing "is a provision for expression,
as may be inferred from the colour extending only to the surface of
the face, neck, and breast, the parts most exposed. It is not acquired;
it is from the beginning." Dr. Burgess believes that it was designed by
the Creator in "order that the soul might have sovereign power of displaying
in the cheeks the various internal emotions of the moral feelings;"
so as to serve as a check on ourselves, and as a sign to others,
that we were violating rules which ought to be held sacred.
Gratiolet merely remarks,--"Or, comme il est dans l'ordre de la nature
que l'etre social le plus intelligent soit aussi le plus intelligible,
cette faculte de rougeur et de paleur qui distingue l'homme, est un
signe naturel de sa haute perfection."

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

[31] Bell, `Anatomy of Expression,' p. 95. Burgess, as quoted
below, ibid. p. 49. Gratiolet, De la Phys. p. 94.

No doubt a slight blush adds to the beauty of a maiden's face;
and the Circassian women who are capable of blushing, invariably fetch
a higher price in the seraolio of the Sultan than less susceptible
women.[32] But the firmest believer in the efficacy of sexual selection
will hardly suppose that blushing was acquired as a sexual ornament.
This view would also be opposed to what has. just been said about
the dark-coloured races blushing in an invisible manner.

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

As the basis of this theory rests on mental attention
having some power to influence the capillary circulation,
it will be necessary to give a considerable body of details,
bearing more or less directly on this subject.
Several observers,[33] who from their wide experience and
knowledge are eminently capable of forming a sound judgment,
are convinced that attention or consciousness (which latter term
Sir H. Holland thinks the more explicit) concentrated on almost
any part of the body produces some direct physical effect on it.
This applies to the movements of the involuntary muscles,
and of the voluntary muscles when acting involuntarily,--
to the secretion of the glands,--to the activity of the senses
and sensations,--and even to the nutrition of parts.

[32] On the authority of Lady Mary Wortley Montague;
see Burgess, ibid. p. 43.

It is known that the involuntary movements of the heart are
affected if close attention be paid to them. Gratiolet[34] gives
the case of a man, who by continually watching and counting his
own pulse, at last caused one beat out of every six to intermit.
On the other hand, my father told me of a careful observer,
who certainly had heart-disease and died from it, and who
positively stated that his pulse was habitually irregular
to an extreme degree; yet to his great disappointment it
invariably became regular as soon as my father entered the room.
Sir H. Holland remarks,[35] that "the effect upon the circulation
of a part from the consciousness suddenly directed and fixed
upon it, is often obvious and immediate." Professor Laycock,
who has particularly attended to phenomena of this nature,[36]
insists that "when the attention is directed to any portion
of the body, innervation and circulation are excited locally,
and the functional activity of that portion developed."

[33] In England, Sir H. Holland was, I believe, the first to consider
the influence of mental attention on various parts of the body, in his
`Medical Notes and Reflections,' 1839 p. 64. This essay, much enlarged,
was reprinted by Sir H. Holland in his `Chapters on Mental Physiology,'
1858, p. 79, from which work I always quote. At nearly the same time,
as well as subsequently, Prof. Laycock discussed the same subject:
see `Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal,' 1839, July, pp. 17-22. Also
his `Treatise on the Nervous Diseases of Women,' 1840, p. 110; and `Mind
and Brain,' vol. ii. 1860, p. 327. Dr. Carpenter's views on mesmerism
have a nearly similar bearing. The great physiologist Muller treated
(`Elements of Physiology,' Eng. translat. vol. ii. pp. 937, 1085)
of the influence of the attention on the senses. Sir J. Paget discusses
the influence of the mind on the nutrition of parts, in his `Lectures on
Surgical Pathology,' 1853, vol. i. p. 39: 1 quote from the 3rd edit.
revised by Prof. Turner, 1870, p. 28. See, also, Gratiolet, De
la Phys. pp. 283-287.

[34] De la Phys. p. 283.

It is generally believed that the peristaltic movements
of the intestines are influenced by attention being paid
to them at fixed recurrent periods; and these movements depend
on the contraction of unstriped and involuntary muscles.
The abnormal action of the voluntary muscles in epilepsy, chorea,
and hysteria is known to be influenced by the expectation of an attack,
and by the sight of other patients similarly affected.[37] So
it is with the involuntary acts of yawning and laughing.

Certain glands are much influenced by thinking of them, or of
the conditions under which they have been habitually excited.
This is familiar to every one in the increased flow of saliva,
when the thought, for instance, of intensely acid fruit is
kept before the mind." It was shown in our sixth chapter,
that an earnest and long-continued desire either to repress,
or to increase, the action of the lacrymal glands is effectual.
Some curious cases have been recorded in the case of women,
of the power of the mind on the mammary glands; and still more
remarkable ones in relation to the uterine functions.[39]

[35] `Chapters on Mental Physiology,' 1858, p. 111. [36] `Mind
find Brain,' vol. ii. 1860, p. 327. [37] `Chapters
on Mental Physiology,' pp. 104-106. [38] See Gratiolet on
this subject, De la Phys. p. 287. [39] Dr. J. Crichton Browne,
from his observations on the insane, is convinced that attention
directed for a prolonged period on any part or organ may
ultimately influence its capillary circulation and nutrition.
He has given me some extraordinary cases; one of these,
which cannot here be related in full, refers to a married
woman fifty years of age, who laboured under the firm
and long-continued delusion that she was pregnant.
When the expected period arrived, she acted precisely as if she
had been really delivered of a child, and seemed to suffer
extreme pain, so that the perspiration broke out on her forehead.
The result was that a state of things returned, continuing for
three days, which had ceased during the six previous years.
Mr. Braid gives, in his `Magic, Hypnotism,' &c., 1852, p.
95, and in his other works analogous cases, as well as other facts
showing the great influence of the will on the mammary glands,
even on one breast alone.

When we direct our whole attention to any one sense, its acuteness
is increased;[40] and the continued habit of close attention,
as with blind people to that of hearing, and with the blind and deaf
to that of touch, appears to improve the sense in question permanently.
There is, also, some reason to believe, judging from the capacities
of different races of man, that the effects are inherited.
Turning to ordinary sensations, it is well known that pain is increased
by attending to it; and Sir B. Brodie goes so far as to believe
that pain may be felt in any part of the body to which attention
is closely drawn.[41] Sir H. Holland also remarks that we become
not only conscious of the existence of a part subjected to
concentrated attention, but we experience in it various odd sensations.
as of weight, heat, cold, tingling, or itching.[42]

Lastly, some physiologists maintain that the mind can influence
the nutrition of parts. Sir J. Paget has given a curious instance
of the power, not indeed of the mind, but of the nervous system,
on the hair. A lady "who is subject to attacks of what is called
nervous headache, always finds in the morning after such an one,
that some patches of her hair are white, as if powdered with starch.
The change is effected in a night, and in a few days after,
the hairs gradually regain their dark brownish colour.[43]

[40] Dr. Maudsley has given (`The Physiology and Pathology of Mind,'
2nd edit. 1868, p. 105), on good authority, some curious statements with
respect to the improvement of the sense of touch by practice and attention.
It is remarkable that when this sense has thus been rendered more acute
at any point of the body, for instance, in a finger, it is likewise improved
at the corresponding point on the opposite side of the body.

[41] The Lancet,' 1838, pp. 39-40, as quoted by
Prof. Laycock, `Nervous Diseases of Women,' 1840, p. 110.

[42] `Chapters on Mental Physiology,' 1858, pp. 91-93.

We thus see that close attention certainly affects various parts
and organs, which are not properly under the control of the will.
By what means attention--perhaps the most wonderful of all the wondrous
powers of the mind--is effected, is an extremely obscure subject.
According to Muller,[44] the process by which the sensory cells of the brain
are rendered, through the will, susceptible of receiving more intense
and distinct impressions, is closely analogous to that by which the motor
cells are excited to send nerve-force to the voluntary muscles.
There are many points of analogy in the action of the sensory
and motor nerve-cells; for instance, the familiar fact that close
attention to any one sense causes fatigue, like the prolonged exertion
of any one muscle.[45] When therefore we voluntarily concentrate
our attention on any part of the body, the cells of the brain
which receive impressions or sensations from that part are,
it is probable, in some unknown manner stimulated into activity.
This may account, without any local change in the part to which our
attention is earnestly directed, for pain or odd sensations being
there felt or increased.

[43] `Lectures on Surgical Pathology,' 3rd edit.
revised by Prof. Turner, 1870, pp. 28, 31.

[44] `Elements of Physiology,' Eng. translat. vol. ii. p. 938.

[45] Prof. Laycock has discussed this point in a very interesting manner.
See his `Nervous Diseases of Women,' 1840, p. 110.

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

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

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

To give another, and, in some respects, more appropriate illustration.
If a man stands before a hot fire, his face reddens. This appears
to be due, as Mr. Michael Foster informs me, in part to the local
action of the heat, and in part to a reflex action from the vaso-motor
centres.[46] In this latter case, the heat affects the nerves of the face;
these transmit an impression to the sensory cells of the brain,
which act on the vaso-motor centre, and this reacts on the small arteries
of the face, relaxing them and allowing them to become filled with blood.
Here, again, it seems not improbable that if we were repeatedly to
concentrate with great earnestness our attention on the recollection
of our heated faces, the same part of the sensorium which gives us
the consciousness of actual heat would be in some slight degree stimulated,
and would in consequence tend to transmit some nerve-force to
the vaso-motor centres, so as to relax the capillaries of the face.
Now as men during endless generations have had their attention often
and earnestly directed to their personal appearance, and especially
to their faces, any incipient tendency in the facial capillaries to be
thus affected will have become in the course of time greatly strengthened
through the principles just referred to, namely, nerve-force passing
readily along accustomed channels, and inherited habit. Thus, as it
appears to me, a plausible explanation is afforded of the leading
phenomena connected with the act of blushing.

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

[46] See, also, Mr. Michael Foster, on the action of the vaso-motor system,
in his interesting Lecture before the royal Institution, as translated
in the `Revue des Cours Scientifiques,' Sept. 25, 1869, p. 683.

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

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

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


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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is perhaps worth consideration whether movements at first used
only by one or a few individuals to express a certain state
of mind may not sometimes have spread to others, and ultimately
have become universal, through the power of conscious and
unconscious imitation. That there exists in man a strong tendency
to imitation, independently of the conscious will, is certain.
This is exhibited in the most extraordinary manner in certain
brain diseases, especially at the commencement of inflammatory
softening of the brain, and has been called the "echo sign."
Patients thus affected imitate, without understanding every
absurd gesture which is made, and every word which is uttered
near them, even in a foreign language.[1] In the case of animals,
the jackal and wolf have learnt under confinement to imitate
the barking of the dog. How the barking of the dog, which serves
to express various emotions and desires, and which is so remarkable
from having been acquired since the animal was domesticated,
and from being inherited in different degrees by different breeds,
was first learnt we do not know; but may we not suspect
that imitation has had something to do with its acquisition,
owing to dogs having long lived in strict association with so
loquacious an animal as man?

[1] See the interesting facts given by Dr. Bateman on
`Aphasia,' 1870, p. 110.

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

Although most of our expressive actions are innate or instinctive,
as is admitted by everyone, it is a different question whether we
have any instinctive power of recognizing them. This has generally
been assumed to be the case; but the assumption has been strongly
controverted by M. Lemoine.[2] Monkeys soon learn to distinguish,
not only the tones of voice of their masters, but the expression
of their faces, as is asserted by a careful observer.[3] Dogs well know
the difference between caressing and threatening gestures or tones;
and they seem to recognize a compassionate tone. But as far
as I can make out, after repeated trials, they do not understand
any movement confined to the features, excepting a smile or laugh;
and this they appear, at least in some cases, to recognize.
This limited amount of knowledge has probably been gained, both by
monkeys and dogs, through their associating harsh or kind treatment
with our actions; and the knowledge certainly is not instinctive.
Children, no doubt, would soon learn the movements of expression
in their elders in the same manner as animals learn those of man.
Moreover, when a child cries or laughs, he knows in a general manner
what he is doing and what he feels; so that a very small exertion
of reason would tell him what crying or laughing meant in others.
But the question is, do our children acquire their knowledge of expression
solely by experience through the power of association and reason?

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

[2] `La Physionomie et la Parole,' 1865, pp. 103, 118.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The movements of expression in the face and body, whatever their origin
may have been, are in themselves of much importance for our welfare.
They serve as the first means of communication between the mother
and her infant; she smiles approval, and thus encourages her child
on the right path, or frowns disapproval. We readily perceive sympathy
in others by their expression; our sufferings are thus mitigated and our
pleasures increased; and mutual good feeling is thus strengthened.
The movements of expression give vividness and energy to our spoken words.
They reveal the thoughts and intentions of others more truly than do words,
which may be falsified. Whatever amount of truth the so-called science
of physiognomy may contain, appears to depend, as Haller long ago remarked,[4]
on different persons bringing into frequent use different facial muscles,
according to their dispositions; the development of these muscles being
perhaps thus increased, and the lines or furrows on the face, due to their
habitual contraction, being thus rendered deeper and more conspicuous.
The free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it.
On the other hand, the repression, as far as this is possible, of all outward
signs softens our emotions.[5] He who gives way to violent gestures will
increase his rage; he who does not control the signs of fear will experience
fear in a greater degree; and he who remains passive when overwhelmed
with grief loses his best chance of recovering elasticity of mind.
These results follow partly from the intimate relation which exists between
almost all the emotions and their outward manifestations; and partly from
the direct influence of exertion on the heart, and consequently on the brain.
Even the simulation of an emotion tends to arouse it in our minds.
Shakespeare, who from his wonderful knowledge of the human mind ought
to be an excellent judge, says:--

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

[4] Quoted by Moreau, in his edition of Lavater, 1820, tom. iv. p. 211.

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

[5] Gratiolet (`De la Physionomie,' 1865, p. 66) insists on the truth
of this conclusion.

{raw OCR to the end} INDEX.


Actions, reflex, 35 ; coughing,
sneezing, &c., 85; muscular action
of decapitated frog, 36; closing
the eyelids, 38 : starting, 38-
41; contraction of the iris, 41.
Admiration, 289.
Affirmation, signs of. 272.
Albinos, blushing in, 312, 326.
Alison, Professor, 31.
Ambition, 261.
Anatomical drawin,s by HeDle, 5.
Anatomy and Philosophy of Expression,
Anderson, Dr., 106, n. 26.
Anger, as a stimulant, 79; expreqsion,
244; in monkeys, 136. See
also Rage.
Animals, special expressions of, 115.
See al8o Expression.
-7 habitual associated movements
in the lower, 42-49; dogs,
43; wolves and Jackals, 44;
horses, 45; cats, 46; chickens,
4~ , sholdrakes, &c., 48.
Annesley, Lieut., R. A., 124, n. 4.
Antithesis, the principle of, 50 ;
dogs, 50, 57 ; cats, 56; conventional
signs, 61.
Anxie ' 17 6,

Ape, 'Ile Gibbon, produces musical


nds 8
A ~s pili, 101, 103.
Association, the power of, 31; instances
of, 31, 3 2.
Astonishment, 218; in monkeys.
Audubon, 98, n. 14.
Avarice, 261.
Azara, 126, n. 6,128, n. 7.

Baboon, the Anubis, 95, 133, 137.
Bain, Mr., 8, 31, 198, '- 4, 213, n. 21,
290, n. 16,327, n. 25.


Baker, Sir Samuel, 113.
Barber, Mrs., 21, 107, n. 28, 268,
Bartlett, Mr., 44, 48, 112~ 122,134,
Behn, Dr., 310.
Bell, Mr., 293.
-, Sir Charles, 1, 9, 22, 49, 115,
120, 128, n. 8, 144, 157, 171, 210,
n. 17, 218, 220, 304, 336.
Bennett, G., 138, n. 16.
Ber,,eon, 168, n. 21.
BerLrd, Claude, 37, 68, 70, n. 5.
Billiard- player, gestures of the, 6.
Birds ruffle their feathers when
angry. 97; when frightened adpres~
them, 99.
Blair, the Rev. R. IT., 311, 351.
Blind, tendency of the, to blush,
Blushing, 309; inheritance of, 311;
in the various races of man, 315;
movements and gestures which
accompany, 320 ; confusion of
mind, 322; the nature of the
mental states which induce, 325;
shyness, 329 ; moral causes:
guilt, 332, breaches of etiquette,
333; modest;y, 333 ; theory of,
Blyth, Mr., 97.
Bowman, Mr., 159, n. 14,160, n. 16,
165, 169, 225.
Brehm, 96, 128, 137, n. 11t, 138,
n. 15.
Bridges, Mr., 22, 246, 2rO, 317.
Bridgman, Laura, 196, 212, 266, 2~3,
Brinton, Dr., 158, n. 18.
Brodie, Sir B., 340.
Brooke, the Rajah, 20, 207.
Brown, Dr. R., 108, n. 29.
Browne, Dr. J. Crichton, 13, 76, n.
10, 154, 183, 197, 203, 242, 292,
295, 313, 339, n. 39.
Bucknill, Dr., 296.
Bulmer, Mr. J., 20, 207, 250, 285,


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