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make the arm appear crooked or powerless; it must not be kept braced or straight. In Declamatory gesture the motions, though sweeping, should never be violent, but flowing, unconstrained, and easy in transition. In Colloquial gesture, less scope is allowable; the arm is less detached, and the curves it describes are more limited in extent. The distinctive character of the Colloquial positions and elevations is, that the joint of the elbow is slightly bent, that the motion chiefly originates from the wrist, and that the upper arm is held closer to the side; with which, however, it should never come completely in contact.
27. The positions and elevations may be used with either arm; but in general, the principal action is assigned to the right arm,* while the left either performs a secondary motion, or conforms itself to that of the right.
ATTITUDES OF THE ARMS. 28. If,—from a position perfectly at rest, the arms hanging unconstrainedly by the side,—the right arm is raised as high as it can (as in Diagram 8), the extremity of the fingers will describe, in the Vertical Direction, a semicircle, which, in the figure, is marked at five points :-R (nadir), d (downwards), h (horizontal), e (elevated), and Z (zenith)-each point marking an interval of 450
Quintilian condemns the practice of advancing the corresponding foot and arm. In statuary, or stage action (when the costume [as the Grecian) prevents the free use of the left arm), attention to this may be desirable; modern delivery rejects it as an unnecessary restraint.
29. If, in the transverse Direction, the arm be extended across the body, and swept horizontally round and outwards, the extremity of the fingers will describe a semicircle, which, in Diagram 9, is also marked at five points, ? (across), F (forwards), 9 (oblique), * (extended) and b (backwards), at intervals of 45°.
MOTIONS OF THE ARMS. 30. In the Transition of Gesture (i. e., in changing the position, direction, or elevation of the arm), the hand should never move in a straight line; but it should describe a sort of waving curve, thus:
Diag. 10. 31. In ascending and descending gestures, similar modes of transition should be observed: the hand should always describe a like curve, as in the subjoined diagram :
In general the hand should be so turned, in all extended changes of direction and elevation, that the side of the hand (the thumb and forefinger) shall precede any upward motion; and the palm, any downward motion.
32. The termination f motion should be made on the emphatic word or syllable, by a stroke or beat from the wrist. This stroke, which determines and perfects the action, should vary in its force and degree with the energy of the speaker.
33. It is by some considered inelegant to advance the foot and arm of the same side at the same time. (See note, page 61.)
SPECIAL MOTIONS OF THE ARMS. 34. In addition to the general Motions of the Arms, in connexion with their Direction and Elevation (see Diagrams 10 and 11), the following Nineteen Special Motions are inserted for practice. The first four may be considered COMMENCING, the next five CONCLUSIVE, and the last ten CONTINUA
DIRECTIONS FOR PRACTICE. The Special Motions do not include any that are dependent on mere change of direction or elevation (for these the student is referred to preceding paragraphs, with illustratory figures); but they present the principal which are in ordinary use. They are generally drawn on an extended scale, to stimulate the student to freedom and breadth in forming his theory of Gesture; but, iu practice, they admit of every variety of extent—sometimes, as in Colloquial language, employing only the hand and wrist; sometimes, as in energetic Declamation, requiring the whole scope of
These Motions should be practised with both arms. The line of the diagrams will point out the true motion for the left arm; for the right arm, the book should be held before a glass, and the reflection will exhibit the motions on the reversed side.
The Notation of the left arm may be distinguished by a dash preceding the number of the motion; thus, 9, that is, left arm motion 9.
The dotted lines denote the preparatory motions.
35. COMMENCING MOTIONS.
(Motion 1.) - Diag. 12,
(Motion 2.)-Diag. 13. MOTION 1. A slight curvilinear movement upwards and outwards. (Diagram 12.)
Motion 2. A curvilinear movement, commencing from the opposite shoulder, and sweeping downwards, outwards, and upwards. (Diagram 13.)
(Motion 3) Diag. 14.
(Motion 4.)-Diag. 15. Motion 3. A curvilinear movement, commencing at downwards oblique, sweeping downwards, inwards, and upwards, ending in elevated oblique. (Diagram 14.)
MOTION 4. A serpentine movement, vertical, ending in elevated extended. (Diagram 15.)
These motions may be made Colloquial by commencing them from the
wrist only, without any action of the arm; or Declamatory, as shown in the diagrams.
36. CONCLUDING MOTIONS.
(Motion 5.) Diag. 16.
(Motion 6.)—Diag. 17. MOTION 5. A movement downwards, parallel to the body. (Diagram 16.)
MOTION 6. A diagonal movement, downwards from right to left, or vice versa. (Diagram 17.)
(Motion 7.)-Diag. 18. (Motion 8.)- Diag. 19. (Motion 9.) Diag: 20. MOTION 7. A diagonal movement downwards from left to right, or vice versa. (Diagram 18.)
MOTION 8. A curvilinear movement, inwards and upwards, then downwards, ending in downwards oblique. (Diagram 19.)
MOTION 9. Commences with a circular movement of the wrist, and ends with an oblique motion of the hand. (Diagram 20.)