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Full text of "Expression Of The Emotions In Man And Animals"

CHAP. VI.                        WEEPING.                               151

open; so that the above-named depressor muscles are not
brought into such strong action.

With one of my own infants, from his eighth day and
for some time afterwards, I often observed that the first
sign of a screaming-fit, when it could be observed com-
ing on gradually, was a little frown, owing to the con-
traction of the corrugators of the brows; the capillaries
of the naked head and face becoming at the same time
reddened with blood. As soon as the screaming-fit ac-
tually began, all the muscles round the eyes were strongly
contracted, and the mouth widely opened in the manner
above described; so that at this early period the features
assumed the same form as at a more advanced age.

Dr. Pidcrit  lays great stress on the contraction of
certain muscles which draw down the nose and narrow
the nostrils, as eminently characteristic of a crying ex-
pression. The deprexxores ancjuli or is, as AVC have just
seen, are usually contracted at the same time, and they
indirectly tend, according to Dr. Duchenne, to act in
this same manner on the nose. With children having
bad colds a similar pinched appearance of the nose may
be noticed, Avhich is at least partly due, as remarked to
me by Dr. Langstaff, to their constant snuffling, and the
consequent pressure of the atmosphere on the two sides.
The purpose of this contraction of the nostrils by chil-
dren having bad colds, or whilst crying, seems to be to
check the downward flow of the mucus and tears, and
to prevent these fluids spreading over the upper lip.

After a prolonged and severe screaming-fit, the scalp,
face, and eyes are reddened, OAving to the return of the
blood from the head having been impeded by the violent
expiratory efforts; but the redness of the stimulated

B ' Mimilc und Physiognomilc,' 1867, s. 102.    Duclienne,
Meeanisme de la Phys. Humaine, Album, p. 34.