There is no more interesting study than that of the passions. Of nothing do we think we know so much while in reality we know so little.

We love, we fear, we hate. We experience every passion and emotion. But have we ever stopped to think what are these passions that we are feeling every day?


We not only feel our passions, we act them. Every emotion has its outward manifestation.

A muscle may become stiff or lie limp. Our blood-vessels may constrict and make us pale or they may dilate and make us redden. The heart often beats more quickly or more slowly, and sometimes even stops for a time. Our breathing may be short and quick or long drawn out with great pauses. The glands in the mouth may stop secreting and our mouth and throat become dry. The glands in the eye may secrete too much and the tears run down our cheeks.

Different Manifestations in Different People.—The passions often act differently upon different people. Every one of us, almost, has some peculiarity of expression. One person will laugh or act differently from his neighbor. He will redden or pale where others do not.

Anger.—Anger may throw one man in a violent passion, while it may make another merely frown and look stern. Joy may make one fairly intoxicated, while it may evoke almost no outward sign in another.

Love.—Love, the strongest passion of all, will make one person the gentlest of creatures. It will make him think more of others. He will do anything for his beloved. His all he is willing to risk, even his very life. Another will be made fierce by this same passion. Murderous thoughts will be aroused in his breast. He thinks of the welfare of no one, not even of the object of his love. He is willing to sacrifice the happiness, the honor, even the life of another.

Grief.—Grief will soften some people and harden others.

Every emotion, however, is shown by some sign, generally by the same actions in all, but occasionally by different expressions.


There are two ways of looking at our emotions and their manifestations.

Emotion.—The view we naturally take of our passions is the following. We are made conscious of some fact. This knowledge excites in us a feeling called the emotion, and this state of mind causes all the actions and expressions that go with the passion. We lose a parent, are sorry and weep. We meet a wild animal, are frightened and run. We are insulted by a rival, are angry and strike.

Expression.—Another way of looking at the matter is this. What immediately follow the knowledge of the fact causing our emotion are the action and the expression. The passion is the feeling of the actions. The death of our mother makes us cry. We feel sorry because we cry. In like manner we are afraid because we tremble, and are angry because we strike.

This latter view seems at first very foolish, but it is held by a great many investigators.


Every one of the actions is felt the same moment the emotion occurs. If the reader has never paid any attention to the matter he will be both interested and astonished to learn how many different bodily feelings he can detect in himself as present with every passion. He will be surprised to find out how for each emotion there is a different action or expression.

Of course a man can not stop in the middle of any passion to study what movements are taking place. But he can observe the more quiet states.

When worried by any slight trouble one will usually find that his brows are knitted.

When a person is embarrassed for the moment he feels something in his throat that makes him either swallow, clear his throat or give a slight cough.

When anyone is very much amused he will find it almost impossible to keep his features straight.


There can be no consciousness of any motion without an accompanying feeling.

Fear.—What kind of an emotion of fear would be left if there were not present the feeling of quickened heart-beats or of shallow breathing, of goose-flesh, rising hair and queer empty feelings about the stomach?

Rage.—Who can fancy the state of rage and picture no boiling in the chest, no flushing of the face, no quivering of the nostrils and no clenching of the teeth?

Tears.—What would grief be without its tears, its sobs, its suffocation of the heart, its pang in the breast?


As a rule, the same passion effects all men in the same way. There are exceptions, however.

We have all seen people dumb with joy instead of talking and shouting. We have seen how fright will cause the blood to rush into a man's head instead of driving it away. We have witnessed those who have met with losses running around in their grief, crying and lamenting instead of sitting down, bowed and silent.


Let those who call this question silly pay attention to the following instances:

When we are reading or listening to a story we are often surprised at the shiver that suddenly flows over our skin and at the heart swellings and tears that sometimes unexpectedly excite us.

If we are walking in the woods and suddenly see a dark form, our heart stops beating and we catch our breath intently before we have time to form in our mind any idea of danger.

If we see anyone walking near a precipice we shudder and shrink back, although we know him to be safe and have in our mind no feeling of real danger.

An Illustrative Case.—A writer tells of his astonishment, when a boy of eight, at fainting at the sight of blood. He was watching a horse being bled. The blood was in a bucket with a stick in it.

Out of curiosity the boy picked up the stick and stirred the blood around and saw it drop from the end of the stick.

Suddenly the world grew black before his eyes, his ears began to buzz and he knew no more.

He had never heard that the sight of blood produced faintness and sickness, and he had no repugnance to it and no thought of danger from it. And even at his young age he could not help wondering how the mere presence of a pailful of red fluid could cause such violent effects in his body.

Fright.—When a person jumps at a loud sound he says the noise frightened him. But he never felt any real fear or thought there was any danger.

Many men can never grow used to standing beside a cannon when it is fired off, although they know perfectly well that there is no danger either to themselves or others. The mere sound is too much for them.


Many give a negative answer to this question.

An actor, they say, can simulate an emotion and yet be inwardly cold. We can all pretend to cry and not feel grief. We frequently feign laughter without being at all amused.

On the other hand, experience shows us that the bodily manifestation sometimes does precede the emotion.

Emotions Feed Themselves.—Everyone knows how a panic in a theatre is increased by flight. How the giving way to the symptoms of grief or anger increases those passions themselves.

Each fit of sobbing makes the sorrow more acute and calls forth another fit, stronger still. And it is only with absolute exhaustion that rest comes.

In a rage we all know how a man can work himself up. How the more he storms the angrier he gets.

Suppressing Passion.—Refuse to give in to the outward expression of a passion and the passion itself dies.

Count ten before venting your anger and in nearly every instance the occasion will seem ridiculous.

On the other hand, sit all day in a moping posture, sigh and reply to every question with a dismal voice, and you will remain melancholy.


It is possible for anyone to conquer an undesirable passion, as is well known by all who have had experience.

Sullenness.—We must faithfully, and at first in cold blood, go through the outward movements of those opposite dispositions that we wish to cultivate. If we are persistent we will finally meet with due reward. The sullen expression will fade out and real cheerfulness will come in its stead.

Frowning.—Whenever you catch yourself frowning, smooth out your brow. When you find you are talking in a high tone, lower your pitch. When you discover your fists clenched, open out your hand. When you feel like saying something nasty, refrain, and whenever an opportunity arises say something pleasant.

Road to Happiness.—If you carefully and faithfully carry out these directions you will find that you do not become angered so easily and that when you do become angry you do not remain so long. You will begin to feel more kindly to others and you will lead a happier life.


It is curious how even the temporary imitation of the outward expression of a feeling will bring about the feeling itself.

Expression of Mental Condition.—The great German student, Fechner, says: "One may find by one's own observation that the imitation of the bodily expression of a mental condition makes us understand it much better than the merely looking on.   *  *  *   When I walk behind some one whom I do not know, and imitate as accurately as possible his gait and carriage, I get the most curious impression of feelings as the person himself must feel. To go tripping and mincing after the fashion of a young woman puts one, so to speak, in a feminine mood of mind."

Facial Expression.—Burke writes of the physiognomist, Campanella: "This man, it seems, had not only made very accurate observations on human forms but was very expert in mimicking such as were in any way remarkable. When he had a mind to penetrate into the inclinations of those he had to deal with, he composed his face, his gestures, and his whole body, as nearly as he could, into the exact similitude of the person he intended to examine; and then carefully observed what turn of mind he seemed to acquire by the change. So that, says my author, he was able to enter into the dispositions and thoughts of people as effectually as if he had been changed into the very men."

Mimicry.—Burke, the great actor, goes on to say of himself: "I have often observed that, on mimicking the looks and gestures of angry, or placid, or frightened, or daring men, I have involuntarily found my mind turned to that person whose appearance I strove to imitate; nay, I am even convinced it is hard to avoid it, though one strove to separate the passion from its corresponding gestures."

Many actors declare that they can perfectly mimic the outward appearance of emotion in face, gait and voice without feeling the emotion at all.

Experience of Actors.—According to Mr. Archer, however, who has made a very instructive statistical study of this question, whenever an actor plays a part well he is overcome with the emotion of the part. In his book, "The Anatomy of Acting," he quotes many noted players.

Paleness.—"I often turn pale," writes Miss Isabel Bateman, "in scenes of terror or great excitement. I have been told this many times and I can feel myself getting very cold and shivering and pale in thrilling situations." "When I am playing rage or terror," writes Mr. Lionel Brough, "I believe I do turn pale. My mouth gets dry, my tongue cleaves to my palate. In Bob Acres, for instance (in the last act), I have to continually moisten my mouth or I shall become inarticulate. I have to 'swallow the lump,' as I call it."

All artists who have had much experience of emotional parts are absolutely unanimous.   .  .  .  .


Exercise of Passion.—It is said by some that manifesting an emotion does not increase it. On the contrary, it is claimed, it makes it cease. Rage melts away after a real good outburst. It is the pent-up emotions which are not expressed that keep up a constant turmoil in the brain.

Increase of Passion.—On the other hand others hold that if a man repress the expression of his passions he will find that they will expire if they get no vent at all. While if he permits their outbreak to occur frequently he will find them increase in intensity as time goes on.


Nature of love.—This is the strongest passion of all and by many considered the most irresistible. It is described by Bain as "a massive pleasure growing out of definite relations to persons or sentient creatures, and pointing to the embrace." Strange to say, however, it often is lacking or at least checked by ordinary shyness or by the instinct of personal isolation. This latter is the actual repulsiveness to us of the idea of intimate contact with most of the persons we meet. It exists more strongly in men with respect to one another, and more strongly in women with respect to men.

Parental love.—Parental love is stronger in women than in men, at least in the early childhood of its object.

According to Schneider as soon as a wife becomes a mother the centre of the world is no longer herself but her child. She does not think of her own hunger; she must first be sure that the child is fed. It is nothing to her that she herself is tired and needs rest so long as she sees that the child's sleep is undisturbed. Now she has the greatest patience with the ugly, piping cry-baby, whereas until now every discordant sound, every slightly unpleasant noise made her nervous. Every limb of the still hideous little being appears to her beautiful, every movement fills her with delight.

Beauty of Devotion.—James says that the passionate devotion of a mother, ill herself, perhaps, to a sick or dying child, is perhaps the most simply beautiful spectacle that human life affords. Contemning every danger, triumphing over every difficulty, outlasting all fatigue, woman's love is here invincibly superior to anything that man can show.


Nature.—This of course is the direct opposite of love. Among the ordinary causes are the sense of some one wrong never satisfied, the recognition of a standing disposition to cause harm, an obstructive position maintained and often mere aversions to the character, conduct or even appearance of another person.

A study of the way in which man shows hatred might prove interesting.

How Hatred is Shown.—The head is thrown back and the body drawn away while the hands are brought forward, as if to defend one's self against the hated object. The eyes are partially closed, the upper lip is raised and the nose is closed. Threatening movements then follow. The individual frowns, his eyes are wide open, he shows his teeth or he may grind his teeth and shut his jaws. He may also open his mouth and protrude the tongue, clinch his fists, threaten with his hands or stamp with his feet.

Other Manifestations.—He often takes deep inspirations, pants, growls and utters various cries, or repeats a word or syllable. Sudden weakness or trembling of the voice may occur, or spitting. The man may tremble, his lips and face may twitch. He may bite his fist or nails, laugh sardonically. He may turn red or pale. His nostrils may dilate widely and his hair stand up on end. All of the above may occur, though not all in the same person.


Nature of Grief.—With grief there is a weakness which makes it cost an effort to perform actions usually done with ease. Lange calls it a feeling of weariness. Movements are made slowly, heavily, without strength, unwillingly and with exertion, and are limited to the fewest possible.

How Grief Shows.—By this the grieving person gets his outward stamp. He walks slowly, dragging his feet and hanging his arms. His voice is weak and without resonance. He prefers to sit still, sunk in himself and silent. The neck is bent, the head hangs bowed down, the jaw drops, making the face look long and narrow. There is a feeling of weariness and heaviness, of something which weighs upon one.

Weeping.—The most regular manifestations of grief, of course, are the weeping, with its profuse secretion of tears, its swollen reddened face, red eyes and increased secretion from the nose.

Control of Grief.—These are the natural evidences of grief. They are more or less controlled by different persons, and by some are suppressed altogether.


Fear is a genuine instinct, according to James, and one of the earliest shown by the human child.

Effect of Noises.—Noises seem especially to call it forth. M. Pereg believes that children between three and ten months are more often alarmed by what they hear than by what they see. He quotes the case of a child, three and a half months old, who, in the midst of the turmoil of a conflagration in presence of the devouring flames and ruined walls, showed neither astonishment nor fear, but smiled at the woman that was taking care of him while his parents were busy. The noise, however, of the trumpet of the firemen, who were approaching, and that of the wheels of the engine made him start and cry.

Other Effects of Noise.—The effect of noise in heightening any terror we may feel in after years is very marked, according to James. The howling of the storm, whether on sea or land, is a principal cause of our anxiety when exposed to it. A dog attacking us, he also believes, is much more dreadful by reason of the noises he makes.

Effect of Strange Things.—Strange men and strange animals, either large or small, excite fear, but especially men or animals advancing toward us in a threatening way. Certain kinds of vermin, especially spiders and snakes, seem to excite a fear usually difficult to overcome. Black things, and especially dark places, holes, caverns, and so forth, arouse a peculiarly gruesome fear. Even an adult can easily observe that an uncomfortable timidity steals over him in a lonely wood at night, although he may have the fixed conviction that not the slightest danger is near.

The Supernatural.—Fear of the supernatural is one variety of fear. To bring the ghostly terror to its height there must be other dreadful elements, such as loneliness, darkness, inexplicable sounds, especially of a dismal character, moving figures half discerned, and so forth.

How fear Shows.—In fear the eyes and mouth are widely opened and the eyebrows raised. The frightened man at first stands like a statue, motionless and breathless, or crouches down as if instinctively to escape observation. The heart beats quickly and violently so that it knocks against the ribs. The skin instantly becomes pale as just before fainting. Cold sweat breaks out, the hairs on the skin stand erect and the muscles shiver. The breathing is hurried, the mouth becomes dry and is often opened and shut. From this cause the voice becomes husky or indistinct, or may altogether fail.


Manifestations.—Anger consists in picturing in the mind the actions and impression which would occur while inflicting some kind of pain. The destructive passion, according to Spencer, of which anger is a representative, is shown in a general tension of the muscular system, in gnashing of teeth and protrusion of the claws, in dilated eyes and nostrils and in growls.


Nature of Sympathy.—In man, the sight of suffering or danger to others is a direct exciter of interest, James believes, and an immediate stimulus, if no complication hinders, to acts of relief. Some forms of sympathy, that of mother and child for example, are instinctive and not due to the mother thinking of the board and lodging and other support to be reaped in old age. Danger to the child blindly and instantaneously stimulates the mother to actions of alarm or defense. Menace or harm to the adult beloved or friend excites us in a corresponding way, often against all dictates of prudence.


The Social Desire.—Man is excited by the absence of his kind. To be alone is one of the greatest evils for him. Solitary confinement is by many regarded as a mode of torture too cruel and unnatural for civilized countries to adopt. To one long pent up on a desert island, the sight of a human footprint or a human form in the distance would be the most tumultuously exciting of experiences, in the opinion of James. In diseased states of the mind one of the commonest symptoms is the fear of being alone.


Everyone knows how difficult it is not to covet whatever pleasing thing we see, and how the sweetness of the thing often is as gall to us as long as it is another's. When another is in possession the impulse to appropriate the thing often turns into the impulse to harm him. Thus envy or jealousy ensues.


James says: "Secretiveness, which although often due to intelligent calculation and the dread of betraying our interests in some more or less definitely foreseen way, is quite as often a blind propensity, serving no useful purpose, and is so stubborn and ineradicable a part of the character as fully to deserve a place among the instincts."


Hunting.—This passion is very general in boys who are brought up naturally, especially in the country. Everyone knows what pleasure a boy takes in the sight of a butterfly, fish, crab or other animal, or of a bird's nest. He has a strong passion for pulling apart, breaking, opening and destroying all complex, objects.

Fighting.—Rochefoucald says that an apostle of peace will feel a certain vicious thrill run through him and enjoy a vicious brutality as he turns to the column in his newspaper at the top of which "Shocking Atrocity" stands printed in large capitals.

Consider the enormous annual sale of revolvers to persons, not one in a thousand of whom has any serious intention of using them, but of whom each one has his carnivorous self-consciousness tickled by the notion, as he clutches the handle of his weapon, that he will be rather a dangerous customer to meet. See the ignoble crew that escorts every great pugilist! The first blow at a prize fight is apt to make a refined spectator sick, but his blood is soon up in favor of one party and it will then seem as if the other fellow could not be banged and pounded and mangled enough—the refined spectator would like to reinforce the blows himself.


A boy cannot help running after another boy who runs provokingly near him. The sexes differ somewhat in their plays. As Schneider says: "The little boy imitates soldiers, models clay into an oven, builds houses, makes a wagon out of chairs, rides on horseback upon a stick, drives nails with a hammer, harnesses his brethren and comrades together and plays the stage-driver, or lets himself be captured as a wild horse by someone else.

Girl Play.—"The girl, on the contrary, plays with her doll, washes and dresses it, strokes it, clasps and kisses it, puts it to bed and tucks it in, sings it a cradle-song, or talks to it as if it were a living being."

Adult Play.—The passion for play is also shown in the love for festivities, ceremonies, ordeals, and so forth. The lowest savages have their dances. The various religions have their solemn rites and exercises. The government officials and the military bodies exhibit their grandeur by processions and ceremonies. We have our operas and parties and masquerades.


Characteristics.—James claims that there are all kinds of misers. The common sort, the excessively niggardly man simply exhibits the fact that a possibility has often a greater influence over our mind than an actuality. A man will not marry now, because to do so puts an end to his indefinite possibilities of choice of a partner. He prefers the latter. He will not use open fires or wear his good clothes because the day may come when he will have to use the furnace or dress in a worn-out coat, "and then where will he be?" For him better the actual evil than the fear of it. So it is with the common lot of misers.


Pity is sympathy with pain, according to Bain.

The sympathizer takes on the pain that he witnesses and instead of ridding himself of the disagreeable feeling thus assumed by turning his back upon the sufferer and looking out for some diversion, he works it out as if it was his own by such relief as he is able to afford.


The simplest form of gratitude is the return of pleasure for pleasure received. Bain says: "Proper gratitude does not begin until we sympathetically enter into other peoples' pleasures and pains, and become conscious of being causes of the one or the other. It also supposes that we take notice of others as the causes of our pleasures and pains, and have associations in consequence. At this stage there is an increase of the satisfaction of giving good offices when we have ourselves experienced good at the hands of the same person."


This is the recognition of superior might or excellence in any department of human capability. It has also been called wonder mixed with love.


The objects of our esteem are all those about us that fulfill the tasks imposed upon them by their situation or display the virtues that make men useful members of society.


This feeling is caused by a dread of being condemned or thought ill of by others. A man is shamed openly when publicly censured. One is also put to shame by falling into any act that people are accustomed to disapprove and will certainly censure in their own minds, although they may refrain from actually pronouncing condemnation.


The expression of pride consists in movements tending to increase in size and height. The breathing is deep, the chest expanded so that the individual is "puffed up" or "swollen" with pride. The body and head are held more erect, the gait is assured, the mouth firmly closed and the teeth clinched.

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