CHAP. I. SERVICEABLE ASSOCIATED HABITS. gg 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 accom- panied in grown-up persons by the winking of the eye- lids.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 be- lieve never did so. The start of an older infant appar- ently 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 ob- viously 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 seerns 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 in- herited, that they are performed, even when not of the 18 Miiller remarks (' Elements of Physiology,' Engr. tr. vol. ii. p. 1311) on starting- being- always accompanied by the closure of the eyelids.