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This study centers on the imaginary observer who crops up in Henry James’s late fiction to read characters’ faces. As he contemplates the microexpressions that leak out in moments of tension, the observer briefly registers the interaction between what characters say (or don’t) and their observable emotions. This paper outlines how James conducts the observer into scenes from The Awkward Age and The Golden Bowl to conjure affects and model responses for the reader. Drawing on what the observerinfersfrom microexpressions,I suggest that James uses the device to channel how he wants certain scenes to signify.