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246

The Bravest Battle that ever was

Fought,

Joaquin Miller, 252

The Wives of Weinsberg,

Gottfried August Bürger, 253

Little Joe,

Jennie Woodville 256

The Merchant and the Book-Agent, .

Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby,

Joel Chandler Harris, . 271

A Battle of Words,

Richard R. Madden, 279

Sam Weller's Valentine,. Dickens,

. 283

The Indians and the Mustard,

289

Caudle's Wedding Day,

Douglas Jerrold,

.

· 268

· 291

AIDS

CORRECT AND EFFECTIVE ELOCUTION.

GESTURE.

GESTURE is a universal language.

It is usually defined as the various postures and motions of the body.

We would define gesture as the body's attempt to give expression to the thought.

All laws for gesture must rest upon the primary one of Correspondence.

Gestures, or movements of the body, should be made with precision, ease, and harmony-in a word, with grace.

Although grace is defined as the union of ease, precision, and harmony, the student is cautioned against bringing any one of these into undue prominence.

We have seen ease degenerate into vulgarity, precision into pedantry, and harmony into affectation.

Gesture must always precede speech. The sense is not in the words ; it is in the inflection and gesture.

Let as much expression as possible be given to

7

the face. A gesture made by the hand is wrong when not justified in advance by the face.

Gestures should not be multiplied; we are moved by only one sentiment at a time: hence it is useless to multiply gestures.

The lines of gesture whether referring to objects or ideas are identical.

As gesture is a muscular movement, all the directions to gain flexibility should be carefully followed and the exercises faithfully practised.

Delaumosne gives six laws of gesture, viz.: Priority, Retroaction, The Opposition of Agents, Unity, Stability, and Rhythm,

PRIORITY.—This law should be carefully observed. The expression of the face should precede gesture, and gesture should precede speech.

RETROACTION.-This law is founded upon the fact that "every object of agreeable or disagreeable aspect which surprises us makes the body recoil. The degree of reaction should be proportionate to the degree of emotion caused by the sight of the object."

THE OPPOSITION OF AGENTS.This law teaches that “simultaneous movement must be made in opposition.'

Successive movement should be parallel. It is the law of equilibrium. In ancient art this law is always observed.

UNITY.-This law has relation to the number of gestures. Delaumosne says: “There must be unity in everything; but a rôle may be condensed in two or three traits ; therefore a great number of gestures is not necessary. Let it be

carefully noted: the expression of the face should make the gesture of the arms forgotten.”

STABILITY.—This law refers to the duration of gesture. The suspension or prolongation of movement is one of the great sources of effect.

RHYTHM.—This law teaches that gesture is rhythmic through its movement, more or less slow, or more or less rapid.

“The rhythm of gesture is proportional to the mass to be moved.”

This law is based upon the vibration of the pendulum. Great levers have slow movements, small agents more rapid

ones.

“In proportion to the depth and majesty of the emotion is the deliberation and slowness of the motion ; and, vice versa, in proportion to the superficiality and explosiveness of the emotion will be the velocity of its expression in motion.

To facilitate expression we give a system of notation similar to that invented and used by Mr. Austin in his “Chironomia,” published in 1806, and than which no better work on the technique of gesture has since appeared :

d. f., descending front. P., prone. d.o., descending oblique. V., vertical. d. l., descending lateral. i. or ind., index finger. d. o. b., descending oblique upl., uplifted. backwards.

par., parallel. h. f., horizontal front. di., clinched. h. o., horizontal oblique. cla., clasped. h. l., horizontal lateral.

ap., applied.

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