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.