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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/580

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

passional states of the physiognomy may be resolved into a number of simple movements.

And, just as he produces simple passional expressions by artificial means, so, too, he effects the synthesis of the complex expressions. Attention, which is produced by the contraction of the frontal muscle, and Joy, which is due to the conjoint activity of the great zygomatic and the inferior orbicular, are primary expressions. Whenever we determine simultaneously on one face the contraction of these two muscles, we get the physiognomy of a person who has a lively impression of some pleasing and unexpected news. If, together with these muscles, we excite that which serves to express lechery—i. e., the transverse nasal muscle—we get the type of attention directed toward some lascivious object. If we associate the lines indicating pleasure with those denoting pain, we recognize at once the melancholy smile. When we combine the smile (by contracting the great zygomatic) with gentle grief (by contracting the minor zygomatic), or, better still, with a slight contraction of the muscle of suffering—the superciliary—we have an admirable and touching expression of pity and compassion.

These fine physiological dissections, and the masterly syntheses they suggested to M. Duchenne, are nearly in full accord, as concerns their results, with the most ancient observations of empiricism, with the intuitions of painters and sculptors, as also with the teaching of psychologists and moralists. Results of this kind add nothing to our knowledge of the body or of the mind, but they will, perhaps, be of service to artists who desire to be exact in the anatomical reproduction of the passional movements of the physiognomy. No doubt the genius of superior artists is a sure and potent instinct, which leads them to follow rules they know not; and it is probable that neither Raffaelle, nor Correggio, nor Titian, would have been a greater painter, had he known, as modern physicists do, the laws of harmony and the simultaneous contrast of colors. Nevertheless, this sure and potent instinct, the germ of which exists in the élite of the artist-world, may be to some extent acquired by laborious study, and hence the conscientious artist will understand all the advantage to be derived from a science which, by giving him precise and certain directions, will save him much preliminary labor and much fruitless experiment.

Why is one special muscle of the face affected by pain, another by fear, and a third by anger? In short, why is every passion interpreted in the physiognomy by regular, determinate movements, just as the rhythm of the heart is modified? To give the question a more general form, is there a logical relation between gesture and emotion? This is a difficult question, recently put by Mr. Darwin, and which he strives to answer in accordance with his usual doctrines. For him, instincts are habits originally acquired purposely, voluntarily, and afterward fixed in the race by heredity. The instinctive movements of the physiognomy, considered as passional ex-