Instructions on How to Cry*

”Putting the reasons for crying aside for the moment, we might concentrate on the correct way to cry, which, be it understood, means a weeping that doesn’t turn into a big commotion nor proves an affront to the smile with its parallel and dull similarity. The average, everyday weeping consists of a general contraction of the face and the spasmodic sound accompanied by tears and mucus, this lasts toward the end, since the cry ends at the point when one energetically blows one’s nose.


“In order to cry, steer the imagination toward yourself, and if this proves impossible owing to having contracted the habit of believing in the exterior world, think of a duck covered with ants or of those gulfs in the Straits of Magellan into which no one sails ever.

“Coming to the weeping itself, cover the face decorously, using both hand, palms inward. Children are to cry with the sleeve of the dress or shirt pressed against the face, preferably in a corner of the room. Average duration of crying, three minutes!”

*lifted from Man in the Dramatic Mode, p. 41

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