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

310

BLUSHIJSTGk

CHAP. XIII.

11. i

any physical means.,—that is by any action on the
body. It is the mind which must be affected. Blush-
ing is not only involuntary; but the wish to restrain it,
by leading to self-attention actually increases the ten-
dency.

The young blush much more freely than the old, but
not during infancy.,2 which is remarkable, as we know
that infants at a very early age redden from passion. I
have received authentic accounts of two little girls
blushing at the ages of between two and three years;
and of another sensitive child, a year older, blushing,
when reproved for a fault. Many children, at a some-
what more advanced age blush in a strongly marked
manner. It appears that the mental powers of infants
are not as yet sufficiently developed to allow of their
blushing. Hence, also, it is that idiots rarely blush.
Dr. Crichton Browne observed for me those under his
care, but never saw a genuine blush, though he
has seen their faces flash, apparently from joy,
when food was placed before them, and from anger.
Nevertheless some, if not utterly degraded, are capable
of blushing. A macrocephalous idiot, for instance, thir-
teen years old, whose eyes brightened a little when he
was pleased or amused, has been described by Dr. Behn,3
as blushing and turning to one side, when undressed for
medical examination.

Women blush much more than men. It is rare to
see an old man, but not nearly so rare to see an old
woman blushing. The blind do not escape. Laura
Bridgman, born in this condition, as well as completely

2  Dr. Burg-ess, ibid. p. 56.   At p. 33 he also remarks on
•women blushing' more freely than men, as stated below.

3 Quoted by Vogt, * Memoire sur les Mierocephales,' 1867,
p. 20.   Dr. Burgess (ibid. p. 56) doubts whether idiots ever
blush.