CHAP. VH. DEPRESSED CORNERS OF THE MOUTH. 195 being gorged with blood,- but this contraction was com- pletely overmastered, and her brow remained unruffled. Had the pyramidal, corrugator, and orbicular muscles "been as little obedient to the will, as they are in many persons, they would have been slightly acted on; and then the central fascia? of the frontal muscle would have contracted in antagonism, and her eyebrows would have become oblique, with rectangular furrows on her fore- head. Her countenance would-then have expressed still more plainly than it did a state of dejection, or rather one of grief. Through steps such as these we can understand how it is, that as soon as. some melancholy thought passes through the brain, there occurs a just perceptible draw- ing down of the corners of the mouth, or a slight raising up of the inner ends of the eyebrows, or both movements combined, and immediately afterwards a slight suffu- sion of tears. A thrill of nerve-force is transmitted along several habitual channels, and produces an effect on any point where the will has not acquired through long liabit much power of interference. The above actions may be considered as rudimental vestiges of the scream- ing-fits, which are so frequent and prolonged during infancy. In this case, as well as in many others, the links are indeed wonderful which connect cause and effect in giving rise to various expressions on the human countenance; and they explain to us the meaning of certain movements, which we involuntarily and uncon- sciously perform, whenever certain transitory emotions pass through our minds.