Comments on various figures [in Duchenne’s Mécanisme].
With reference to figures 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11.f2 I would venture withgreat deference to submit that my observations lead me to believe,that awakened attention, especially if accompanied by surprise orwonder is expressed is expressed by the action of theoccipito-frontalis, elevation of the eyebrows &c, but that strong,sustained concentrated attention is accompanied by contraction of thecorrugators of the eyebrows.
Figures 34 & 23.f3 An exceedingly tragic expression, apparentlyproduced by the powerful contraction of the muscles of the eyebrows,with some elevation of the skin of the forehead & transversefolds. This expression if perfect would produce the so-called‘horse-shoe’ on the forehead about which Sir Walter Scott speaks in‘Redgauntlet’.f4 Mrs. Scott Siddons the actressf5 has the power ofproducing these lines on the forehead with singular precision. Shetells me that all her family have been remarkable for this power. Thelines referred are if I remember rightly well seen in Sir JoshuaReynolds portrait of the great Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse.f6 Mybrother Mr. Balfour Browne informs me that the last descendent ofthe Griersons of Largg (the Redgauntlets of Sir Walter Scott) pridesherself on possessing the family peculiarity, the power of producingin a striking manner, the horse-shoe on the forehead.f7
Figures 16. 17. 18.f8 The action of the pyramidalis nasi does notconvey to my mind any idea of an expressive expression. It suggestsrather painful attention. In cases of profound melancholia I havefrequently seen it combined in persistent action with the corrugatoressuperciliorum, notwithstanding Duchennes statement that they areantagonistic.f9
Figures 19. & 20. The muscles of the eyebrows are constantly seen inenergetic action in cases of melancholia. The lines due to thehabitual contraction of this muscle are most characteristic of thephysiognomy of melancholia, especially hypochondriacal-melancholia, inwhich grief & anxiety are felt respecting bodily health &conditions.f10 Along with the contraction of the eyebrows in such casesthere is a peculiar acute arching of the upper eylid which I am at aloss to understand.
Figures 30. 31. 32. & 33.f11 The action of the muscles included in thisgroup is singularly well illustrated in a form of mental disease, wellknown as the General Paralysis of the insane. “In this malady thereis almost invariably optimism, delusions, as to wealth, rank, grandeur&c,— insane joyousness, benevolence & profusion, while its veryearliest physical symptom is trembling at the corners of the mouth &outter corners of the eyes. This is a well recognised fact. Constanttremulous agitation of the inferior palpebral & great zygomaticmuscles is pathognomic of the earlier stages of general paralysis. Thecountenance has a pleased, self-complacent & benevolent expression: Asthe disease advances other muscles become involved but until completefatuity is reached, the prevailing expression is that of feeblebenevolence.”f12
Figure 34. To my thinking this is not a grimace but a genuineexpression—mirth suppressed by voluntary effort—as when chidinga child for a ludicrous offence.f13
Figure 38. Presents not the faintest trace of any lascivious feelingbut rather contempt disgust, meanness.f14
Figure 43.f15 The action of the triangularis ori is well seen in youngchildren in whom the angles of the the mouth are constantly depressed,as the preliminary of tears. Along with the pulling down of the anglesof the mouth, there is some pouting of the lower lip.
Why does not Duchenne deal with other muscles, very influential inthe expression of the emotions—such as those regulating the movementsof the eyeballs, the buccinatorf16 (precisely analogous to the otherfacial muscles, in that it is attached to the lips &c.) used inlaughter, & the masseter;f17 which occasions the grinding & gnashing ofthe teeth, in extreme rage & despair.