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Descending gestures denote inferiority or inequality, and, when emphatic, they show determination and purpose. They belong to the Will.
Ascending gestures denote superiority, greatness, an unfolding or lifting up figuratively or literally. They belong to the Imagination.
NOTE.—Two important points :
I. Make all gestures with decision-when the gesture is completed, let the arm fall slowly to the side-never allow the arms to swing.
II. Practice until graceful gesture becomes natural.
EXERCISES IN GESTURE. Practice on the following exercises cannot fail to give ease and grace to the movements of the arm and hand. The letters refer to the direction of the gesture, which should be made upon the word or syllable printed in italics.
This list of exercises is not presented as original.
RIGHT HAND SUPINE D. F. This sentiment I will maintain with the last breath of life.
H. F. I appeal to you, sir, for your
decision. A. F. I appeal to the great searcher of hearts for the truth of what I utter.
D. 0. Of all mistakes, none are so fatal as those which we incur through prejudice.
H. O. Truth, honor, justice were his motives.
H. L. The breeze of morning wafted incense on the air.
A. L. In dreams thro' camp and court he bore the trophies of a conqueror.
D. B. Away with an idea so abhorrent to humanity.
H. B. Search the records of the remotest antiquity for a parallel to this.
A. B. Then rang their proud hurrah.
RIGHT HAND PRONE.
D. F. Put down the unworthy feeling.
H. F. Restrain the unhallowed propensity.
D. 0. Let every one who would merit the Christian name repress such a feeling
H. 0. I charge you as men and as Christians to lay a restraint on all such dispositions.
A. O. Ye gods, withhold your vengeance.
D. L. The hand of affection shall smooth the turf for your last pillow
H. L. The cloud of adversity threw its gloom over all his prospects.
A. L. So darkly glooms yon thunder-cloud that swathes, as with a purple shroud, Benledi's distant hill.
RIGHT HAND VERTICAL. H. F. Arise ! meet and repel the foe!
A. F. Forbid it, Lord of Heaven!
H. O. His arm warded off the blow.
A. 0. May Heaven avert the calamity!
H. L. Out of my sight, thou serpent I
H. B. Away, delusive phantom.
BOTH HANDS SUPINE.
D. F. All personal feeling he deposited on the altar of his country's good.
H. F. Listen, I implore you, to the voice of reason!
d.F. Hail/ universal Lord.
D. 0. Every personal advantage he surrendered to the common good.
H. O. Welcomel once more to your early home!
A. O. Hail! holy Light!
D. L. I utterly renounce all the supposed advantages of such a station.
H. L. They yet slept in the wide abyss of possibility.
A. L. Joy, joy forever!
BOTH HANDS PRONE.
D. F. Lie lightly on him, earth-his step was light on thee.
H. F. Now all the blessings of a glad father rest on thee!
A. F. Blessed be Thy name, O Lord, Most High!
D. O. We are in Thy sight but as worms of the dust.
H. 0. May the grace of God abide with you forever !
A. O. And let the triple rainbow rest o'er all the mountain tops.
D. L. Here let the tumults of passion forever cease!
H. L. Spread wide around the heaven-breathing calm!
A. L. Heaven opened wide her ever during gates.
BOTH HANDS VERTICAL
H. F. Hence, hideous spectre !
A. F. Hide your faces, holy angels !
H. O. Far from our hearts be so inhuman a feeling.
A. O. Angels and ministers of grace, defend us !
H. L. The gates of death in sunder break.
A. L. Melt and dispel, ye spectre doubts !