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law, and superstition and priestcraft shall be the religion, and the selfdestructive indulgence of all sensual and unhallowed passions shall be the only happiness, of that people which neglects the education of its children !
On the word God, a gesture of some emphasis, and yet partly of location, made by lifting the hand to the height of the head, and striking upward on the word God, so that the arm will be extended straight towards heaven. The hand is then slowly withdrawn as far as the head, and an emphatic gesture is made by a downward stroke on the word liberty, and, again, on law. On religion, another still more forcible blow is struck for emphasis. On the word happiness, it might not be inappropriate to increase the emphasis by a stroke of both hands, due preparation having been made for the stroke by lifting both to about the height of the forehead. It is especially important for the student to take notice that all, or nearly all, of the emphatic gestures of the hand and arm may be made still more emphatic by combining with them a simultaneous nod. (See pages 92, 93.)
IV. CONVENTIONAL GESTURES.
Under this head we include those gestures which by com: mon usage have come to have a certain significance, without being palpably founded on place, manner, or degree; that is, they do not indicate locality, nor do they imitate, nor emphasize. Such is the uplifted hand, the fingers perpendicular and joined, the palm turned to the front, at the height of the face; that being the position required in the administration of an oath. Such are the bow of a speaker to his audience at the beginning of his address; the clasping of the hands or placing the palms together in front of the breast in the act of adoration ; folding the arms across the breast, indicating composure; kneeling in the act of prayer; the nod of affirmation ; and the shaking of the head, indicating negation. Conventional gestures are not very numerous.
V. GESTURES OF ACTUAL PERFORMANCE.
These hardly need to be mentioned. They are simply the motions of a speaker performing what he describes, or manipulating implements; as of a chemical lecturer handling retorts, crucibles, etc.
1. Avoid all awkward, ungainly, or uncouth gestures and attitudes. It is a good rule never to take, unless unavoidable, and never to remain in, a posture in which you would not be willing to have your picture taken, or in which you would not be willing to be represented in a marble statue.
2. Unless the significance of the passage require it, avoid gestures that move in a straight line. So far as practicable, the hand should generally move in a curve.
3. Examine the passage beforehand, and ascertain if any
gestures of place are requisite to present clearly the ideas; and then examine it in order to discover whether additional distinctness or vividness can be added by gestures of imitation. If you feel like imitating, imitate ; being careful, however, as Shakespeare advises, “not to overstep the modesty of nature."
4. There will be little need of scrutinizing the passage to discover where gestures of emphasis may be needed. One who feels deeply what he is saying, may generally, so far as mere emphasis is concerned, safely yield to the impulses of nature. If you feel like striking, strike.
5. Let your face and your attitude express the state of your mind; not the opposite, except for comic effect.
6. Use no gesture for which you ca give a good reason.
7. Finally, the complete elocutionary analysis of any passage will include the process laid down on pages 53, 54 for the elements of vocal expression.
THE SIXTH READER.
I. - CONSTITUTIONAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, July 11, 1767, and died at Washington, February 23, 1848. He was for half a century in the service of his country, as Foreign Minister, United States Senator, Secretary of State, President of the United States, and from 1831 to the time of his death member of the House of Representatives. He was a man of indomitable energy, dauntless courage, indefatigable industry, and ardent patriotism. His political opinions made him many enemies, especially in his declining years, but no one ever doubted his honesty and integrity, or failed to respect the spotless purity of his private life. His systematic industry enabled him to accomplish an immense deal of work. He was a man of extensive learning, and familiar with ancient and modern literature. His writings, consisting of speeches, addresses, lectures, and reports, are numerous enough to fill several volumes. He was for a short time professor of rhetoric and oratory in Harvard College, and the lectures he delivered in that capacity were published in 1810, in two octavo volumes. The following extract is from a discourse entitled “The Jubilee of the Constitution,” delivered at New York on the fistieth anniversary of the adoption of that instrument.
THEN the children of Israel, after forty years of
wanderings in the wilderness, were about to enter upon the promised land, their leader, Moses, who was not permitted to cross the Jordan with them, just before his removal from among them, commanded that when the Lord their God should have brought them into the land, they should put the curse upon Mount Ebal and the blessing upon Mount Gerizim.
This injunction was faithfully fulfilled by his successor, Joshua. Immediately after they had taken possession of