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

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

Infants, when suffering even slight pain, moderate hunger, or discomfort, utter violent and prolonged screams. Whilst thus screaming their eyes are firmly closed, so that the skin round them is wrinkled, and the forehead contracted into a frown. The mouth is widely opened with the lips retracted in a peculiar manner, which causes it to assume a squarish form; the gums or teeth being more or less exposed. The breath is inhaled almost spasmodically. It is easy to observe infants whilst screaming; but I have found photographs made by the instantaneous process the best means for observation, as allowing more deliberation. I have collected twelve, most of them made purposely for me; and they all exhibit the same general characteristics. I have, therefore, had six of them[1] (Plate I.) reproduced by the heliotype process.

The firm closing of the eyelids and consequent compression of the eyeball,--and this is a most important element in various expressions,--serves to protect the eyes from becoming too much gorged with blood, as will presently be explained in detail. With respect to the order in which the several muscles contract in firmly compressing the eyes, I am indebted to Dr. Langstaff, of Southampton, for some observations, which I have since repeated. The best plan for observing the order is to make a person first raise his eyebrows, and this produces transverse wrinkles across the forehead; and then very gradually to contract all the muscles round the elves with as much force as possible. The reader who is unacquainted with the anatomy of the face, ought to refer to p. 24, and look at the woodcuts 1 to 3. The corrugators of the brow (_corrugator supercilii_) seem to be the first muscles to contract; and these draw the eyebrows downwards and inwards towards the base of the nose, causing vertical furrows, that is a frown, to appear between the eyebrows; at the same time they cause the disappearance of the transverse wrinkles across the forehead. The orbicular muscles contract almost simultaneously with the corrugators, and produce wrinkles all round the eyes; they appear, however, to be enabled to contract with greater force, as soon as the contraction of the corrugators has given them some support. Lastly, the pyramidal muscles of the nose contract; and these draw the eyebrows and the skin of the forehead still lower down, producing short transverse wrinkles across the base of the nose.[2] For the sake of brevity these muscles will generally be spoken of as the orbiculars, or as those surrounding the eyes.

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

When these muscles are strongly contracted, those running to the upper lip[3] likewise contract and raise the upper lip. This might have been expected from the manner in which at least one of them, the _malaris_, is connected with the orbiculars. Any one who will gradually contract the muscles round his eyes, will feel, as he increases the force, that his upper lip and the wings of his nose (which are partly acted on by one of the same muscles) are almost always a little drawn up. If he keeps his mouth firmly shut whilst contracting the muscles round the eyes, and then suddenly relaxes his lips, he will feel that the pressure on his eyes immediately increases. So again when a person on a bright, glaring day wishes to look at a distant object, but is compelled partially to close his eyelids, the upper lip may almost always be observed to be somewhat raised. The mouths of some very short-sighted persons, who are forced habitually to reduce the aperture of their eyes, wear from this same reason a grinning expression.

The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals Page 60

19th Century English Literature

Charles Darwin

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Charles Darwin

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