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palm; the middle and third finger lightly touch; the fore-finger is separated from the middle finger, and less bent, and the little finger separated from the third, and more bent. The extremity of the thumb bends a little outwards; and, in its general length and disposition, is nearly parallel with the fore-finger. When the arm is raised horizontal, the hand is held obliquely between the postures inward and supine. Cresollius recommends the public speaker to adopt this posture of the hand, and for this preference he adduces the authority of Hippocrates and Galen. But it is not necessary that a speaker should confine himself to any one posture of the hand; variety may often demand the contrary: if, however, he should prefer using only one, this posture merits the preference.
Clinched, c, Fig. 52. The fingers, in this disposition, are firmly closed, and press their extremities upon the palm; the thumb aids the pressure, and is lapped, particularly, over the middle finger.
Extended, x, Fig. 53. The fingers, in this state, whatever may be the general position of the hand, are separated from each other with energy in proportion to the excitation of the speaker.
Index, i, Fig. 54, 55, 56. Pointing with the forefinger, and sometimes also with the middle finger extended, the other fingers turned inwards, and contracted with more or less force, according to the energy of
* The letter chosen for the notation of a particular gesture, is not always the initial letter, because the names of many of the gestures begin with the same letter. It becomes necessary, therefore, to employ some remarkable letter in the word; thus, x is used for extended, and l for collected, which may be easily remembered. Of the many names of gestures which begin with the same letter, the gesture most used is marked by the initial letter.
the speaker. This gesture is used in reproach and indication, from the last of which it has its name, index.
Collected, 1, Fig. 57 and 58. When the ends of all
the fingers are gently inclined towards, or touch the end of the thumb.
With the fingers collected, as in a, the hand is brought near the lips, or opposite shoulder, then re
moved in the contrary direction, with the fingers extended, as in b.
Holding, h, Fig. 59, 60, 61. The finger and thumb
are pressed together, either the fore or middle finger, or both; the other fingers are contracted, more or less, according to the degree of energy required by the sentiment.
Hollow, w, Fig. 61. When the palm is held nearly
supine, and the fingers turn inwards, without touching.
Thumb, m, Fig. 63 and 64. Pointing with the thumb, the fingers being clasped down, and the thumb extended.
Grasping, g, Fig. 65. The fingers and thumb seizing the garments, or the hair.
"That gesture," says Quintilian, "which urges on the words, contracting and opening the hand with alternate and rapid motion, is rather admitted by
common usage, than according to art." (See Fig. 66.) Second Class of the Postures of the Hands, depending on the manner of presenting the Palm. Prone, p, Fig. 67. The hand is prone when the palm is turned downwards.
Supine, s. The hand is said to be
supine, when the palm is turned upwards, as in Fig. 68. Inwards, n, Fig. 69. When the palm is turned to
wards the breast and the hand is held on the edge. Outwards, 0,
Fig. 70. When the palm is turned from the body, and towards the object, the thumb downwards, the hand held on the edge.
Vertical, v, Fig. 71. When the palm is perpendicular to the horizon, the fingers pointing upwards.
Forwards, f. When the palm is presented forwards, the arm hanging down, or placed in one of the extended, or backward positions.
Backwards, b. When the palm is turned backwards, the arm hanging down, or placed in one of the extended, or backward positions.
Third Class of the Postures of the Hands, arising from the combined disposition of both Hands.
Of this class a few only are noticed, and those are they which are most in use among public speakers; others may be supplied as occasion may require. It is found necessary to use two letters for the notation of each of these postures.
Applied, ap, Fig. 72. When the palms are pressed together, and the fingers and thumbs of each are mutually laid against each other.
Clasped, lp, Fig. 73. When all the fingers are inserted between each other, and the hands pressed closely together.
Folded, ld, Fig. 74. When the fingers of the right hand, at the second joint, are laid between the thumb and fore-finger of the left, the right thumb crossing the left.
Crossed, cr, Fig. 75. When the left hand is placed on the breast, and the right on the left, or the contrary. Inclosed, in, Fig. 76. When the knuckles at the middle joint of one hand, moderately bent, are received within the palm of the other, the fingers of which stretch along the back of the inclosed hand nearly to the wrist, the thumbs crossing, or rather, laid at length over each other.
Touching, tc, Fig. 77. When the points of the fingers of each hand are brought lightly into contact.
Wringing, wr, Fig. 78. When both hands are first clasped together, and elevated, then depressed, and separated at the wrists, without disengaging the fingers.
Enumerating, nu, Fig. 79. When the index finger of the right hand is laid successively upon the index, or the different fingers of the left. If the number of divisions be more than four, the enumeration should begin from the thumb. Sometimes the finger and thumb of the right hand hold the finger of the left, which represents the division.
Fourth Class of the Postures of the Hands, arising from the Part of the Body on which they are occasionally placed.
The fourth class of the postures of the hands arises from the part of the body on which they are occasion