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

182                  EXPRESSION OF GRIEF:          CHAP. VII

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%|                        succeeded in acting on their grief-muscles, found by                   \

m                        looking at a mirror that when they made their eyebrows                   ;

lf<l                         oblique, they unintentionally at the same time depressed                    )

jV;'                         the corners of their mouths; and this is often the case

ljf                        when the expression is naturally assumed.

j i'                              The power to bring the grief-muscles freely into plajr

/ ]                        appears to be hereditary, like almost every other human

faculty.   A lady belonging to a family famous for hav-                    j

ing produced an extraordinary number of great actors                    f

and actresses, and who can herself give this expression                    [

" with singular precision/5 told Dr. Crichton Browne
that all her family had possessed the power in a remark-
able degree. The same hereditary tendency is said to
have extended, as I likewise hear from Dr. Browne, to
the last descendant of the family, which gave rise to                    |

Sir Walter Scott's novel of ' Eed Gauntlet;'   but the                    |

hero is described as contracting his forehead into a horse-                    }

, '                        shoe mark from any strong emotion.   I have also seen                    j

a young woman whose forehead seemed almost habit-
ually thus contracted, independently of any emotion                    I
being at the time felt.                                                                              |

The grief-muscles are not very frequently brought
into play; and as the action is often momentary, it easily
^ ,                        escapes observation.   Although the expression, when ob-

served, is universally and instantly recognized as that
of grief or anxiety, yet not one person out of a thousand
who has never studied the subject, is able to say precisely
what change passes over the sufferer's face. Hence prob-
ably it is that this expression is not even alluded to, as
far as I have noticed, in any work of fiction, with the
exception of ' Eed Gauntlet' and -of one other novel;
and the authoress of the latter, as I am informed, be-
longs to the famous family of actors just alluded to; so
5                         that her attention may have been specially called to the

I \                       subject.