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Sixth. Preference in gesticulation should be given to the right arm. As a general rule, when the right hand is employed in Gesture, the weight of the body should be on the left foot, the right advanced.
Seventh. Every act of gesture consists of two parts : preparation and termination.
The former is the preliminary movement—that is, the elevation of the hand before it is brought down--the latter for which the Gesture is made. In emphatic gesticulation this will be upon the word that demands the Gesture and just at the instant of the utterance of the accented part of the word in the expression of it will just a little precede the vocal utterance.
QUALITIES OF GESTURE. The Qualities on which excellence of gesture depends are SIMPLICITY, PROPRIETY, BOLDNESS, VARIETY, GRACE.
1. Simplicity of Gesture is a perfectly free and seemingly unstudied movement. It appears to be the natural result of the situation and sentiments of the speaker.
Propriety of Gesture is an obvious connection between the sentiment and action ; it is the use of such gestures as are best suited to the sentiments and emotions. Di. dactic thought will require mild gestures, argumentative utterance, holder and more forcible, impassioned feeling, violent action.
Boldness of Gesture is the firmness and decision of the action-the striking and unexpected movements and transitions.
Variety of Gesture is a frequent change of action so as to avoid the too frequent recurrence of the same Gesture or even the same set of Gestures.
Grace of Gesture is that easy, poetic movement of hand and arm, free from angles, jars, and discords. It is the embodiment of nature in art,- that which is exhibited in the movement of every blade of grass, of every field of ripening grain, of every floating cloud and rolling wave.
ACCOMPANIMENTS OF GESTURE.
THE BODY AND COUNTENANCE. The movement of the hands and arms, however perfect, will not of themselves be sufficient. The head, the body, the lower limbs, and even the expression of countenance, must be in harmony with the Gesture. If they remain unmoved and unexecuted, the action of the hands and arms will be simply that of a well contrived automaton.
But with all the physical powers in harmony with the voice there will be nothing wanting for the impressive expression of thought and feeling.
THE HEAD AND FACE.
The hanging down of the head denotes shame or grief.
The inclination of the head implies diffidence or languor.
The head is averted in dislike or horror.
They are cast in various directions in doubt and anxiety.
The placing of the hand on the head indicates pain or distress.
On the eyes, shame or sorrow.
Both hands are held supine, or they are applied or clasped in prayer.
Both are held prone in blessing.
The body, held erect, indicates steadiness and courage.
Thrown back, pride.
THE LOWER LIMBS.
The firm position of the lower limbs signifies courage or obstinacy.
Bended knees indicate timidity or weakness.
be termed significant.
THE COUNTENANCE, The countenance has the greatest power of expression. With it we supplicate, we threaten, we soothe,
we rouse, we rejoice, we mourn, we triumph, we express submission. Upon the countenance the audience hangs, upon it their eyes are fixed. They examine and study the face, and often, before a word is spoken, they are impressed favorably or unfavorably. 6 Whitefield's face was, as it were, a canvas upon which he painted every passion that stirs the human heart. It was at one moment terrific, as if all the Furies were enthroned on that dark brow; the next, as by a dissolving view, there would come forth a sweetness that savored of heaven itself."
in the eye.
The eye is the most expressive of all the features. Its power is so great that it determines in a great degree the expression of the whole countenance. Through it the soul makes its inost clear and vivid manifestations. Joy, grief, anger, love, hatred, affection, pity, contempt, all the passions, all the emotions of the human heart, express themselves with the utmost power
Even the lower animals recognize and acknowledge its power. The dog watches his master's eye and learns from it whether to expect a caress or chastisement. The lion quails beneath the steady glare of the human eye.
The orator should avail himself of this power and keep his eye fixed upon the audience. . He should not allow it to wander from his audience, except when by a glance he indicates the direction of a Gesture.
QUESTIONS. 1. Define Action. 2. What is said of its importance ? 3. What was Demosthenes's opinion of Action ? 4. Is it a natural or acquired language ?
5. Which is the more truthful, Voice or Action ? 6. Is it a universal or national language ? 7. Must we be instructed in its use, or do we acquire it naturally? 8. When do we need instruction on Action ? 9. Does Booth or Mary Anderson possess powers of expression
superior to ordinary persons ? 10. Which is the more expressive, Words or Action ? 11. Upon what does the expressiveness of Gesture chiefly depend? 12. What is said of the expressive puwers of the hand ? 13. Explain and illustrate the different positions of the hand. 14. Explain and illustrate the positions of the arms in re pose. 15. Explain and illustrate the positions and movements of the arms
in Gesture. 16. What are the qualities of Gesture ? 17. Explain and illustrate each. 18. What are the accompaniments of Gesture ? 19. Mention and illustrate some significant Gestures of the head. 20. Of the Eyes, the Arms, the Body, the Lower Limbs. 21. What is said of the Countenance ? 22. What of the Eye ?
THE PASSIONS. It now remains to say something of those expressions of countenance which indicate the passions and emotions of the speaker. A full description of each would far transcend the bounds of a work of this kind. Only a few can be noticed, and these but briefly.
“It should be remarked in passing that feeling cannot be expressed by words alone, or even by the tones of the voice. It finds its best, and oftentimes its only, expression in the flash of passion on the cheek, in the speaking eye, the contracted brow, the compressed lip, the heaving breast, the trembling frame, in the rigid muscle and the general bearing of the entire body; and when