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

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.