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and short syllables. All English verse is constructed, and must be pronounced, with a regular succession and alternation of HEAVY and LIGHT syllables, in dissyllabic or trissyllabic measures. The sense always determines the accented syllable, and no light syllable should be made heavy merely for the sake of euphony. The principle of this rhythmical admeasurement may be thus explained.
239. No heavy sounds can successively follow each other without a slight intervening pause, the time of which might serve as the basis of another syllable ;* thus:pain pain
An unaccented syllable might be inserted without adding to the time of the measure, and without requiring, in consecutive utterance, any intervening pause ; thus :painful painful
Δ.. Or two unaccented syllables may be inserted, so that they occupy only the time of one ; thus:
painfully | painfully painfully
1 240. The natural order of verse, and of its harmonious pronunciation, is from pulsation to remission—that is, from heavy to light. Every bar must be commenced with a heavy syllable; and two heavy syllables cannot be contained in one measure.
Im mortal Nature lifts her changeful form
“Let every one strive to become acquainted with his own abilities; and, in order to form his action, let him less consult precept than his natural disposition.”-QUINTILIAN.
1. GESTURE is the art of expressing Mental Emotions by the action or disposition of the Body. It has been justly called the language of Nature, to distinguish it from the arbitrary and more limited language of Speech.
Gesture, in connexion with Speech, may be considered with respect to Grace, Expression, Time, Frequency, Uniformity, Transition, and Accompaniment.
The heavy syllable is marked thus (A); the light (.:-), or when two light syllables occur (...). The bar-measurer is denoted by a vertical line, thus (1), and is used to separate the various bars. An omitted heavy syllable is marked thus
); an omitted light syllable thus (O).
2. GRACE OF GESTURE has, for its constituent parts, simplicity, smoothness, and variety. Grace does not consist in attitude, but in motion ; in the changing from one position to another. Grace, according to Hogarth, * consists in moving the limbs according to a curved line, which he has denominated the Line of Beauty. The opposite of Grace is Rigidity, which is always exhibited in straight lines.
3. Grace is seen in variety of motion; but Rest is necessary as Action to beget variety. Plain space constitutes much of beauty in form; and Cessation of Movement is an agreeable contrast to Gesture. 4. EXPRESSION, or SIGNIFICANCY OF GESTURE.—Gesture may be of three
COLLOQUIAL. 5. In Representative Gesture, the nature of the particular action is fully illustrated, and the emotion of the speaker gives à PRESENT REALITY to his expressions.
6. In Sympathetic Gesture, the orator expresses his own sensations with respect to the subject described.
7. In Colloquial Gesture, the requisite motions consist generally of slight movements of the hands from the wrist, and varied expression of the countenance.
8. Perhaps nothing has tended more to deprive Gesture of its Expression, than a slavish attention to Shakspeare's rule, “Suit the action to the word.” It is impossible that Gesture can illustrate every word ; its expression is confined to feelings and emotions : ALL ACTION, THEREFORE, SHOULD REPRESENT THE GENERAL IDEA, AND NOT ILLUSTRATE ANY SINGLE WORDS WHICH MAY COMPOSE IT; as if Shakspeare had written, what he no doubt intended, “ SUIT THE ACTION TO THE IDEA."
9. In dignified delivery all IMITATION is to be avoided; as in the well. known speech of Cassius :
Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans
As a sick girl.” Here it would be improper to imitate either the authoritative voice or gesture with which the command was given, or the imploring tone and action with which Cæsar besought Titinius. The gesture must express the contemptuous feelings of THE SPEAKER, and not the feeble condition of the person represented.
10. THE TIME OF GESTURE. In unimpassioned speech, the action should accompany the expression-the principal motion falling on the emphatic word, or that part which includes the principal idea. Where passion is represented, the natural must precede the artificial expression-speech : the bodily indication of strong emotion should be made evident before its tardy utterance by words. The interval between these depends on the force of the passion.
11. THE FREQUENCY or GESTURE is, in all cases, to be regulated by the number and dissimilarity of the ideas. If the ideas are numerous but similar, one gesture, slightly varied, will be amply expressive for all; if the ideas are numerous and dissimilar, the gesture must be as frequent and as varied.
• Analysis of Beauty.
12. The UNIFORMITY OF GESTURE is used to denote that action which employs the whole of the body, in opposition to that where there is only a partial expression. " When a man clenches his fist in passion, the other arm does not lie in elegant relaxation : when the face is stern and vindictive, there is energy in the whole frame. When a man rises from his seat in impassioned gesture, thero pervade in every limb and feature a certain tension and straining.
There must be perfect accordance, otherwise there can be no beauty of expression."*
13. The Transition from one position to another is to be made in full and waving lines.
14. Emphatical gestures are generally preceded by a suspended gesture ; that is, an elevation or contraction of the arm, preceding the stroke which forms the principal action.
15. The ACCOMPANIMENT of Gesture denotes the secondary expression of that limb which does not perform the principal action.
16. This system divides the human frame into the following principal parts :
I. THE FEET AND LOWER LIMBS. | III. THE HANDS AND FINGERS.
IV. THE TRUNK AND SHOULDERS.
THE FEET AND LOWER LIMBS. 17. In unemphatic speech, the body should be principally supported on the retired foot; in moderate attention, it should be slightly thrown forward ; in extreme attention, or earnest appeal, wholly thrown forward; in dislike, hatred, &c., retracted; in entreaty and supplication, advanced, with the limbs bent.
18. Three varieties of POSITION, dependent on the weight of the body being either advanced or retired, may be thus represented and noted :
Diag. 1.—(R. 1. c.)
Diag. 2.-(R. 2. c.)
Diag. 3.- (R. 3. c.) The positions of the Left Foot are in all respects analogous to those of the Right. The same changes of position may be thus represented :
*" Anatomy of Expression " (Sir Charles Bell), page 166.
Diag. 4. (L. 1. c.)
Diag. 5.-(L. 2. c,)
The third position of the Left Foot is an analogous reverse of that of the Right Foot (diagram 3); it may be considered as an extreme of the Second position, having the retired foot so raised that the extremity of its toe alone touches the ground.
19. Three degrees of SEPARATION may, when necessary, be noted :-contracted (c), intermediate (i), and extended (x).
20. The annexed diagram will show the manner in which the feet may be shifted, as the gesture is directed, without altering their angle.
Diag. 7. 21. Changes of Position must be made as lightly and imperceptibly as possible, without any unnecessary sweep of the moving foot.
Semi-lateral Changes of the direction of the feet are made by sustaining the body on the toes, and turning to the required side while slightly elevating the heels.
Lateral Changes of the direction of the body are made by sustaining its weight on the heels, and turning round while slightly elevating the toes.
22. The feet should, in their movements, describe diagonal lines.
23. In all changes of position that foot must be moved first which does not support the
weight of the body. 24. Stage or Dramatic action requires repeated or extended motions of the lower limbs: but the preacher, the barrister, the lecturer, or the public speaker, should keep his place : all his motions may be confined to one square yard.
25. In kneeling, put that knee down first which is next to the spectator; in rising, bring up the foot which is farthest from him.
In bowing, extend one foot to the side, and draw the other towards it in the same direction, accompanied by a graceful bend of the body with the arms easily dependent.
In standing, do not lean on any object near you (a chair, table, pulpit, or desk.)]
In sitting, keep the feet on the floor.
In holding a book, keep it if possible in the left hand only; the right hand will be then free to turn the pages, and to aid the language by a few significant gestures.
THE ARMS. 26. The Arms should always perform their principal motions from the shoulders: the elbows, by a gentle bend, aiding the principal action. The elbow must never be pinned or inclined to the side, or projected so as to