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

196

EXPB.ESSIOH

JOY:

CHAP. VIM.

CHAPTEE VIII.

, HIGH SPIRITS, LOVE, TENDER PEELINGS, -
DEVOTION.

Laughter primarily the expression of joy  Ludicrous ideas
 Movements of the features during- laughter  Nature
of the sound produced  The secretion of tears during
loud laughter  Gradation from loud laughter to gentle
smiling  High spirits  The expression of love  Tender
feelings  Devotion.

JOY, when intense,' leads to various purposeless move-
ments  to dancing about, clapping the hands, stamping,
&c., and to loud laughter. Laughter seems primarily
to te the expression of mere joy or happiness. We
clearly see this in children at play, who are almost inces-
santly laughing. With young persons past childhood,
when they are in high spirits, there is always much
meaningless laughter. The laughter of the gods is de-
scribed by Homer as " the exuberance of their celestial
joy after their daily banquet. " A man smiles  and
smiling, as we shall see, graduates into laughter  at
meeting an old friend in the street, as he does at any
trifling pleasure, such as smelling a sweet perfume.1
Laura Bridgman, from her blindness and deafness, could
not have acquired any expression through imitation,
yet when a letter from a beloved friend was communi-
cated to her by gesture-language, she " laughed and

1 Herbert Spencer, * Essays Scientific,' &c., 1858, p. 360.