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

236

DECISION.

CHAP. IX.

B

needle,, may he seen to compress his lips and either to
stop breathing., or to breathe as quietly as possible. So
it was, as formerly stated, with a young and sick chim-
panzee, whilst it amused itself by killing flies with its
knuckles, as they buzzed about on the window-panes.
To perform an action, however trifling, if difficult, im-
plies some amount of previous determination.

There appears nothing improbable in all the above
assigned causes having come into play in different de-
grees, either conjointly or separately, on various occa-
sions. The result would be a well-established habit,
now perhaps inherited, of firmly closing the mouth at
the commencement of and during any violent and pro-
longed exertion, or any delicate operation. Through
the principle of association there would also be a strong
tendency towards this same habit, as soon as the mind
had resolved on any particular action or line of con-
duct, even before there was any bodily exertion, or if
none were requisite. The habitual and firm closure of
the mouth would thus come to show decision of char-
acter; and decision readily passes into obstinacy.

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