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CHAP. XI. SHRUGGING THE SHOULDERS. 269
panied in some cases by the other proper movements, is
a gesture natural to mankind.
This gesture implies an unintentional or unavoidable
action on our own part, or one that we cannot perform;
or an action performed by another person which we
! cannot prevent. It accompanies such speeches as, " It
f was not my fault;" " It is impossible for me to grant
j this favour; " cc He must follow his own course, I can-
i not stop him." Shrugging the shoulders likewise ex-
presses patience, or the absence of any intention to re-
l sist. Hence the muscles which raise the shoulders are
) sometimes called, as I have been informed by an artist,
\ " the patience muscles." Shylock the Jew, says,
" Sig-nor Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto have yo'u rated me
About my monies and usances;
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug."
Merchant of Venice, act i. sc. 3.
Sir C. Bell has given 14 a life-like figure of a man,
y who is shrinking back from some terrible danger, and is
; on the point of screaming out in abject terror. He is
f represented with his shoulders lifted up almost to his
i ears; and this at once declares that there is no thought
' of resistance.
j As shrugging the shoulders generally implies "I
1 cannot do this or that," so by a slight change, it some-
times implies " I won't do it." The movement then ex-
\ presses a dogged determination not to act. Olmsted
describes15 an Indian in Texas as giving a great shrug
^ to his shoulders, when he was informed that a party of
men were Germans and not Americans, thus expressing
that he would have nothing to do with them. Sulky and
14 * Anatomy of Expression,' p. 166.
18 * Journey through Texas,' p. 352.