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lique), and of a third be x (extended). The hand should not move in the line of dots directly from f to q, and from q to x; but from ƒ go back almost to c (across), in order that it may traverse the greater space; and then proceed to q with an accelerated motion for the stroke of the gesture. In the same manner, and for the same purpose, it should return back almost to ƒ, before it proceeds to x.

The ascending and descending gestures are performed Diag. 19. in the same manner, under simi lar circumstances, as may be seen in diagram 19, in which Z is the zenith, and R the point of rest, and where the hand, in ascending and descending, is represented as making returning inflections at the principal points, d, h, and e.

The line of preparation assumes a variety of other curves, fourteen of which are represented by Diagram 20.

Whatever form this indirect line may be, it is used as a preparation for the gesture to which it leads; and the extent of the return, or depth of the sweep or indentation, is determined by the character of the sentiments to be delivered. The more magnificent they are, the greater is this parade; and the nearer to ordinary discourse, the less it is. The preparation made by these different curves does not suit every species of gesture; it is adapted almost solely to that kind which is termed discriminating Another kind of preparation is made for emphatic gestures. They are generally preceded by a suspending gesture, which serves the double purpose of marking some less important word, and of preparing for the

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Diag. 20.

stroke of the emphatic gesture. It will be recollected
that contracting and retracting gestures are reckoned
among the sus-
pending ges-
tures, as be-
ing made pre-
vious to some
forcible ef-
fort, and are,
therefore, pre-
paratory to
the gestures
which ensue.
In order to il-
lustrate what
is here ad-
vanced, let it
be supposed
that the em-
phatic ges-

ture requires


nef bn

shf st

Hear me for my cause.* - Shakspeare.



An example of a preparatory contracting gesture:

vhf rt

vhf rj

I hate the drum's discordant sound.t-Langhorne.

A gesture across, which passes rapidly to the extended position, may also be used as a preparation for rejection :

*The letters, nef bn, signify, natural elevated forwards bending shf st, supine horizontal forwards striking.

The letters, vhf rt, signify, vertical horizontal forward retract ing; vhf rj, vertical horizontal forwards rejecting.


x rj

Who's here so base that would be a bondman ?*-Shaks. Another example of a previous contracted gesture:

Bvhf rt -p


To hear the roar she sends through all her gates.-Cowp.

In the passage from Cowper, the suspending, or previous gesture, Bvhf rj, contains all the letters belonging to the subsequent emphatic gesture, except the last (p). This new letter, only, is expressed, and is joined by a long dash, or mark of connexion, with the notation letters of the preceding gesture: another line of connexion, joining this letter to x, signifies that both hands continuing in the same position, viz. vertical, the arms are to be extended. The gestures, marked at large on this line, would be as follows:

Bvhf rt- - Bvhf p


To hear the roar she sends through all her gates.t

But the former method is preferable, as it abridges the trouble of notation, and is equally intelligible.

The connexion of gesture is, therefore, the relation which one gesture bears to another; and it is shown by the notation of the circumstances in which they agree, and of those in which they differ. Thus, the gestures noted in the foregoing line agree, first, in being common to both hands (B), and then in the position of each hand, v (vertical), and also in the elevation of both arms, h (horizontal). So that it is unnecessary to repeat those circumstances in which they agree, as the connecting-dash expresses them with sufficient clearness, and with greater brevity.

The connexion of gesture in the vertical direction. when the hand, without altering its posture, merely ascends by short intervals, in order to mark a succession of discriminating gestures, is noted by the usual connecting-dash, and an a over the word where the hand ascends.

* The letters, ohc, signify, the hand outwards, the arm hori zontal across; x rj, extended rejecting.

† Buhf rt, both hands vertical, both arms horizontal forwards retracting; Buhf p, both hands vertical, both arms horizontal forwards pushing; Bvhx, both hands vertical, both arms horizontal extended.


I mourn the pride

-nef, shf st

And avarice that make man a wolf to man.

Cowper. But this passage would perhaps answer better with he auxiliary gesture, thus:

Bphf a vefI mourn the pride

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Bnef bn Bshf st



- vef
And avarice that make man a wolf to man." *

The transition of gesture relates to the manner of arriving at a gesture, and to the changes of gesture; and signifies either the particular changes of the position of the hand and arm, or the general change of the principal gesture from one hand to the other.

A gesture may have a very different character and effect, according to the manner in which the hand arrives at its destined point. It may ascend, descend, move towards the right, or towards the left, and may also make the stroke with various degrees of energy, and in various ways; and these motions constitute, in each, an absolutely different gesture, though, after the moment of the stroke, which a painter might choose to represent, the hand and arm of each should be in the same precise position. (Fig. 85, p. 100.) As, however, the emphatic gestures are liable to ambiguity, on account of the various transitions which might be supposed to bring them to their stroke, painters more frequently choose to represent the suspending gestures, which give an idea of action, and greater interest to their principal figures.

But the transition of gesture particularly relates to the change of the principal gesture from one hand to

*Bphf a, both hands prone horizontal forwards ascending; vef (followed by a dash), right hand vertical elevated forwards; vef (preceded by a dash), left hand vertical elevated forwards; Bnef bn, both hands natural elevated forwards bending; Bshf st, both hands supine horizontal forwards striking.

the other; which may be regulated, in some measure, according to the following principles. So long as there subsists a strict connexion between the sentiments, uninterrupted by any considerable pause, or change of persons, no transition can take place in this last sense: the same hand which began, continues to perform the principal gesture. And the variety which it is always desirable to produce, must not be attempted by the change of the principal gesture: it must arise alone from the graceful and well-regulated action of the advanced hand, supported by the combined assistance or accompaniment of the other. If the passage to be pronounced be of considerable length, the right hand should perform the principal gesture throughout the whole of it. For the left, though allowed to take its place occasionally, according to certain rules, by no means arrives at an equality of honour. The right hand always continues the better hand, both from long prescription, and the ability arising from use.

In the narrative parts of an oration, where different persons or things are to be described as variously disposed, or in the recitation of descriptive poetry, when a picture, as it were, is to be represented by the speaker, consisting of many natural objects in different parts of a landscape, of which Gray's Elegy in a Country Church-yard will afford many examples, the right hand having first pointed out those persons or objects supposed to lie adjacent to itself, may yield to the left the arrangement and ordering of those other parts, which may be imagined to be at its own side. This interchange, judiciously regulated, produces a pleasing variety in the gesture; and if the speaker possess the imagination of a painter, his disposition and colouring will produce the most distinct and vivid picture.

Variety, which is a most important object to be kept in view by a public speaker, allows, with advantage, an interchange of the principal gesture, even when the subject may be of a more abstruse and demonstrative

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