صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Here is a drawing of the face, with its principal muscles :

[graphic]

1 Temporal muscle; this is the elevator of the the lower jaw, in mastication. 2 Orbicularis oculi; the circular muscle employed in squinting, closing the eye, and in producing tears. 3 Levator labii superioris; employed in elevating the upper lip. 4 Zygomaticus major, draws the lips upward and outward. 5 & 6 Zygomaticus minor; these muscles are exercised almost constantly by those who live laughing lives; they are employed in grinning by some animals when enraged. 7 Assistant Masticator. 8 Depressor anguli oris; this muscle draws down the angles of the mouth in fear, contempt, sneering and kindred feelings. 9 Mastoideus; this is much used by petulant persons and young ladies, who put on contemptuous airs, in throwing back the head. 10 Latissimus colli; this beautiful ribbon-like muscle depresses the lower lip and corrugates the skin of the neck. 11 Frontalis; it raises the eyebrows as in wonder; and wrinkles the forehead as in deep thought. 12 Corrugator supercili; the action of this muscle produces a scowl. 13 Orbicularis oris; draws together the lips. 14 Levator labü inferioris lifts up the lower lip as in the act of pouting, produces a dimple, and may compress the lips so as to give an appearance of firmness.

[ocr errors]

It is calculated that a hundred muscles are called into ac. tion every time we breathe; and yet how few are conscious of the vast variety of machinery that is set in operation, each successive moment, night and day, year after year, till life is extinct !

CHAPTER I X.

The brain, the capitol of the mind-Its messengers-The

nerves-Experiment-Nerve of expressionIllustrationExplanation of phenomena-Anecdote of Garrick-Conclusion..

Perhaps you inquire, "how the mind communicates its wishes to the muscles in different parts of the body?' This is a natural question, for we are not conscious that the mind ever leaves the brain, even for an instant, until it "re. turns to God who gave it, and the body to the earth as it was.”

Now, as the mind occupies the brain as its capitol, it must have messengers to bear its mandates to the members of the body, and also to communicate intelligence from its extreme parts. Of the nature of this communication, we are ignorant, but this we know, that from the brain, “that palace of the soul,” issue in every direction, fine threads, called nerves, which, as so many avenues from the seat of power, to every portion of the territory, communicate with every muscle, and visit every point on the surface of the body,

These nerves are the scouts, the mental runners; they warn, if they do not defend; they unite mind with matter, the material with the immaterial; nothing escapes their notice.

Take a fine cambric needle, and make a slight puncture in the hand of your companion. There! You touched a nerve, and the mystic messenger communicated it to the brain. What next? His mind has become acquainted with the fact, and has issued a variety of orders; other machinery is put in motion; some muscles relax; others contract; the head turns, and your companion discovers you with the needle. His eye

reflects your image; the tell-tale nerve communicates it at head-quarters. See ! it has willed again; along the nerve the swift volition darts; the muscles obey; he smiles; all this, quick as thought!

But especially, we are bound by our subject, to notice those wonder-working nerves, coming out in front of the ears, and diverging over the whole face.

These nerves are the sole instruments of expression; the thousand strings of this wondrous harp of life. Independent of the nerves which bestow sensibility, both the motions in respiration and speaking, every indication of emotion in the man,

and every demonstration of passion in the brute, are produced solely through the influence of this nerve. If the other nerves which wander in “live meander,” over the face, are divided, sensibility is destroyed; but all the exquisite changes and shades upon this mental dial-plate, remain unimpaired. In the language of Bell, “it is when the strong man is subdued, by this mysterious influence of soul and bo. dy, and when the passions may be truly said to tear the heart, that we have the most unequivocal proof that it is the order of functions which we have been considering, that is then affected. These are not the organs of breathing merely, but of natural and articulate language also, and adapted to the expression of sentiment, in the workings of the countenance and of the heart." From the first gasp of the new-born in

K

fant, to the last, faint struggle of the dying man, these mystic chords are ever vibrating, to each breath of emotion, and each ruder gust of passion.

Here is a delineation of one of the nerves of expression, coming out before each ear, and diverging over the whole face :

[ocr errors]

'The truth of these statements has been established by actual experiment. An eminent surgeon once divided the respiratory nerve on one side of a monkey's face; strange results followed; one side of Pug's visage, kept on, wriggling, chattering, grinning and scowling, as impudently as ever, while the other maintained all the gravity of a Turk. Sepa

rate this nerve in a dog, and though he will fight as bitterly as ever, there will be no retraction of his lips, no flashing of his eye. A person, whose nerves become impaired or destroyed by disease, laughs audibly but not visibly, and furnishes the only instance of a laugh with unruslied sobriety. The general system of nerves sustains the same relation to the development of our affections, that the organs of sense do to those conceptions which correspond to the qualities of the material world; without them, we might hear and see, but those emotions which vivify and humanize thoughts and actions, could never be awakened.

Depending upon the peculiar sensibility of the heart, is an extensive apparatus of muscles; so a mental state produces a sensation in the heart, and through the physical connection, this, the acting agent, and that, the controlling principal, the complicate and beautiful machinery is put in motion. While the muscles employed in speaking, are instruments of expression, there are other muscles, also, peculiar to man, which are continually speaking out the secrets of the tenant within. Man, then, from the very structure of his frame, evinces the possession of something higher and nobler than mere animal intelligence; for he not only has nerves and muscles, emphatically his own, but he combines in his constitution, the peculiar excellencies of the two great classes* of animals.

From the preceding explanation of the nerves, you will readily understand why real grief affects the breathing; why the utterance is hurried and imperfect; why the muscles of the throat are affected with spasms, and why the lips and nos. trils quiver under its influence; you will understand why fear blanches the cheek, and a sense of shame suffuses the whole

Carnivorous and gramnivorour.

« السابقةمتابعة »