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by its own gravity. The trunk of the body is to be well balanced, and sustained erect upon the supporting limb; except in such attitudes as particularly require its inclination; as veneration, supplication, fear, &c.

In changing the positions of the feet, the motions are to be made with the utmost simplicity, and free from the parade and sweep of dancing. The speaker must advance, retire or change, almost imperceptibly, except only when particular energy requires that he should stamp with his foot, that he should start back or advance with marked precision.-The general rule for changing in the position of the feet is, that it should take place after the first gesture or preparation of the changing hand, and coincide with the finishing gesture: and it is to be particularly observed, that the changes should not be too frequent.

The positions and motions of the hands are so numerous, and may be so exceedingly varied by minute changes, that it would perhaps be impossible, and certainly would be a useless labour to attempt to describe them all. I shall only mention some of the most prominent, and such as are of most common use in public speaking. Quintilian considers the gestures of the hands of such importance for illustration and enforcement, that he even attributes to them the faculty of universal language.

Without the aid of the hand, says he, action would be mutilated, and void of energy; but it is hardly possible, since they are almost as copious as words themselves, to enumerate the variety of motions of which they are capable. The action of the other parts of the body assists the speaker, but the hands (I could almost say) speak themselves. Do we not by them, demand, promise, call, dismiss, threaten, supplicate, express abhorrence and terror, question and deny? do we not by them express joy and sorrow, doubt, confession, repentance, measure, quantity, number and time? do they not also encourage, supplicate, restrain, convict, admire, respect? and in

pointing out places and persons, do they not discharge the office of adverbs and pronouns so that in the great diversity of languages, which obtain among all kingdoms and nations, theirs appears to me the universal language of mankind.-Cresollius goes far beyond Quintilian; the very contents or title of the chapter in which he treats of the hands, are in this spirit:-"The hand, the admirable contrivance of the Divine Artist.-The minister of reason,-Without the hand no eloquence !"-"Man, I say, full of wisdom and divinity, could have appeared nothing superior to a naked trunk or a block, had he not been adorned with this interpreter and messenger of his thoughts."

Every thing, it must be confessed, depends on the hand it gives strength and colouring to eloquence, and adds force and nerves to the riches of thought, which, otherwise languid, creeping on the ground, and deficient in vigour, would lose all estimation. In my judgment, therefore, the hand may properly be called a second tongue, because nature has adapted it by the most wonderful contrivance for illustrating the art of persuasion.

The positions of the hand are determined by four different circumstances. 1st. By the disposition of the fingers. 2d. By the manner in which the palm is represented. 3d. By the combined disposition of both hands. 4th. By the part of the body on which they are occasionally placed.

Position of the Arms.



I Downwards across.

2 Downwards forward.
3 Downwards oblique.
4 Downwards extended.
5 Downwards backwards, 5 Horizontal backwards. 5 Elevated backwards.

I Elevated across.
2 Elevated forwards.
3 Elevated oblique,
4 Elevated extended,


1 Horizontal across.
2 Horizontal forward.
3 Horizontal oblique.
4 Horizontal extended.

These fifteen positions, arising from three original directions, downwards, horizontal, and elevated, will be found sufficient to represent most of the ordi

nary gestures. They contain a great variety; for when they are performed by the right, by the left, or by both together, they produce forty-five positions. Each of these positions may be varied, almost ad infinitum when we consider all the degrees and kinds of tone, passion and emotion which occur in public speaking: all of which influence the character of the gesture, in the same manner they do the expressions of the voice.

As the head gives the chief grace to the person, so does it principally contribute to the expression of grace in delivery. It must be held in an erect and natural position. For when hung down, it is expressive of humility; when turned upwards, of arrogance; when inclined to one side, it expresses languor; and when stiff and rigid, it indicates a degree of barbarity in the mind. Its movements should be suited to the character of the delivery; they should accord with the gesture, and fall in with the action of the hands, and the motions of the body. When the hand approaches the head, the head bends forward to meet it; when the hand moves from the head, the head is in general held back or averted. In submission, when the hands are prone and the arms descend, it bends downwards, and accords with the movements of the hands and arms. The eyes, which are of the utmost consequence to the orator, are always to be directed as the gesture points; except when we have occasion to condemn, or refuse, or to require any object to be removed; on which occasion we should at the same movement express aversion in our countenance, and reject by our gesture.

The sides should also bear their part in gesture. The motions of the body contribute, says Cicero, much to the effect in delivery. Indeed he is of opinion that they are not inferior to the hands. In his work De Oratore, he says, No affected motions of the finger, no measured cadence of their articulation. Let the gesture rather regulate itself by the movements of the whole trunk, and by the manly in

flexion of the sides.-The raising up or shrugging of the shoulders in order to express indifference or contempt, is merely theatrical, and should be sparingly used even on the stage. Quintilian condemns it altogether in an orator.

The Stroke and Time of Gesture.

The arm, the hand, and the fingers united in one flexible line of several joints, which combine together their mutual action, form the grand instrument of gesture, or, as Cicero calls it, "the weapon of oratory." The centre of motion of this combined line, is the shoulder, which does not move altogether in the form of an inflexible line; but each joint becomes of ten a new centre of motion, for the position between it and the extremity. Accordingly in directing the gesture to any particular point, the upper arm first arrives at its proper position, then the fore arm turning on the joint of the elbow, and lastly the hand moving on the joint of the wrist; and in some cases there is a fourth motion of the fingers from the knuckles next the palm; this last motion is the expanding of the collected fingers.

The stroke of the gesture is analogous to the impression of the voice, made on those words, which it would illustrate or enforce; it is used for the same purpose and should fall precisely on the same place, that is, on the accented syllable of the emphatical word, so that the emphatical force of the voice, and the most lively stroke of the gesture, co-operate in order to present the idea in the most lively and distinguished manner, as well to the eye as to the ear of the hearer. The stroke of the gesture is to the eye, what emphasis and inflexions of voice are to the ear, and it is capable of equal force and variety.-When there is little effort or variety of expression of voice, such as in the simple and narrative parts of a discourse, the gesture in such cases, if any be used, ought to be tame and simple; but in the more impas

sioned parts, they are both equally exerted: the voice is elevated and varied, and the gesture becomes more bold and frequent. The gesture also in many instances, imitates the inflexions of the voice. When the voice rises, the gesture seems also naturally to ascend; and when the voice makes the falling inflexion, or lowers its tones, the gesture follows it by a corresponding descent; and in the level and monotonous pronunciation of the voice, the gesture seems to observe a similar limitation, by moving rather in the horizontal direction without varying its elevation.

With respect to the commencement of gesture, it is a good general rule, that it should accompany the words, that is, that it should never precede nor follow them. But it must be observed, that this is only a general rule. When it is applied to the calmer parts of a discourse, it will be found nearly correct. But if the speaker be warmed or excited, some difference of time however small, will take place between the gesture and the language. Hence the order of the combined expressions of the signs of a public speaker will be thus: in calm discourse the words and gestures are nearly contemporaneous; and in high passion the order is, 1. The eyes. 2. The countenance. 3. The gestures. 4. The language. But here it must be particularly noticed, that the interval between each is extremely limited.

The occasions on which the left hand may be used, are nearly the following. 1. When the persons addressed are on the left side, the left hand naturally performs the principal gesture, in order to avoid the awkwardness of gesticulating much across the body. 2. The necessary discrimination of objects opposed to each other, requires the left hand alternately to assume the principal gesture. 3. The advantage of variety. 4. The power of giving not only variety but force by occasionly elevating and bestowing, as it were, upon the retired hand, all the spirit and au thority of the gesture. These changes, where the right hand resigns the principal gesture to the left,


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