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

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last habitually, to the contraction of the muscles round
the eyes in order to protect them. _ At the same time the
spasmodic pressure on the surface of the eye, and the
distension of the vessels within the eye, without neces-
sarily entailing any conscious sensation, will have af-
fected, through reflex action, the lacrymal glands.
Finally, through the three principles of nerve-force read-
ily passing along accustomed channels—of association,
which is so widely extended in its power—and of cer-
tain actions, being more under the control of the will
than others—it has come to pass that suffering readily
causes the secretion of tears, without being necessarily
accompanied ty any other action.

Although In accordance with this view we must look
at weeping as an incidental result, as purposeless as the
secretion of tears from a blow outside the eye, or as a
sneeze from the retina being affected by a bright light,
yet this does not present any difficulty in our under-
standing how the secretion of tears serves as a relief to
suffering. And by as much as the weeping is more vio-
lent or hysterical, by so much will the relief be greater,
—on the same principle that the writhing of the whole
body, the grinding of the teeth, and the uttering of
piercing shrieks, all give relief under an agony of pain.