[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.

Charles Darwin

All Pages of This Book