CHAP. XII. ASTONISHMENT. 287 man, as I neglected to make inquiries on this head. That it is innate or natural may be inferred from the fact that Laura Bridgman, when amazed, " spreads her arms and turns her hands with extended fingers upwards; " il nor is it likely, considering that the feeling of surprise is gen- erally a brief one, that she should have learnt this ges- ture through her keen sense of touch. Huschke describes 12 a somewhat different yet allied gesture, which he says is exhibited by persons when astonished. They hold themselves erect, with the fea- tures as before described, but with the straightened arms extended backwardsthe stretched fingers being separated from each other. I have never myself seen this gesture; but Huschke is probably correct; for a friend asked another man how he would express great astonishment, and he at once threw himself into this attitude. These gestures are, I believe, explicable on the prin- ciple of antithesis. We have seen that an indignant man holds his head erect, squares his shoulders, turns out his elbows, often clenches his fist, frowns, and closes his mouth; whilst the attitude of a helpless man is in every one of these details the reverse. Now, a man in an ordinary frame of mind, doing nothing and thinking of nothing in particular, usually keeps his two arms sus- pended laxly by his sides, with his hands somewhat flexed, and the fingers near together. Therefore, to raise the arms suddenly, either the whole arms or the fore-arms, to open the palms fiat, and to separate the 11 Lieber, ' On the Vocal Sounds,' &c., ibid. p. 7. 12 Huschke, ' Mimices et Physiognomices,' 18£l, p. 18. Gratiolet (De la Phys. p. 255) gives a figure of a man Jn this attitude, which, however, seems to me expressive of fear combined with astonishment. Le Brim also refers (Lava- ter, vol. ix. p. 299) to the hands of an astonished man being opened.