Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

portion. This portion they must be ordered to get by heart against the next lesson ; and then the first boy must speak it, standing at some distance before the rest, in the manner directed in the Plates; the second boy must succeed him, and so on till they have all spoken. After which another portiort must be read to them, which they must read and speak in the same manner as before. When they have gone througlı a speech in this manner by portions, the two or three first boys may be ordered, against the next lesson, to speak the whole speech; the next lesson, two or three more, and so on to the rest. This will excite emulation, and give the teacher an ope. portunity of ranking them according to their merit.

SECTION III.

Rules for expressing, with propriely, the principal

Passions and Humors, which occur in Reading, or public Speaking

VERY part of the human frame contributes to ex.

press the passions and emotions of the mind, and to shew in general its present state. The head is sometimes erected, sometimes hung down, sometimes drawn suddenly back with an air of disdain, sometimes shews by a nod a particular person or object; gives assent, or denial, by different motions; threatens by one sort of movement, approves by another, and expresses suspicion by a third.

The arms are sometimes both thrown out, sometimes the right alone. Sometimes they are lifted up as high as the face, to express wonder ; sometimes held out before the breast, to shew fear; spread forth with the hands open, to express desire or affection; the hands clapped in surprise, and in sudden joy and grief ; the right hand clenched, and the arms brandished, to threaten; the two arms set akimbo, to look big, and express contempt or courage. With the hands, we solicit, we refuse, we promise, we

threaten, we dismiss, we invite, we intreat, we express aversion, fear, doubting, denial, asking, affirmation, negation, joy, grief, confession, penitence. With the hands we describe, and point out all circumstanees of time, place, and manner of what we relate ; we excite the passions of others, and sooth them, we approve and disapprove, permit, or prohibit, adinire or wespise. The hands serve us instead of many sorts of words, and where the language of the tongue is unknown, that of the hands is understood, being universal, and common to all nations.

The legs advance, or retreat, to express desire, or a. version, love or hatred, courage or fear, and produce ex. ultation, or leaping in sudden joy; and the stamping of the foot expresses earnestness, anger and threatening.

Especially the face being furnished with a variety of muscles, does more in expressing the passions of the mind than the whole human frame besides. The change of colour (in white people) shews, by turns, anger by redness, and sometimes by paleness, fear likewise by paleness, and shame by blushing. Every feature contributes its part. The mouth open shews one state of mind, shut, another; the gnashing of the teeth, another. The forehead smooth, eyebrows arched and easy, shew tranquillity or joy. Mirth opens the mouth toward the ears, crisps the nose, half shuts the eyes, and sometimes fills them with tears. The front wrinkled into frowns, and the eyebrows overhangiog the eyes, like clouds, fraught with tempest, shew a mind agitated with fury. Above all, the eye shews the very spirit in a visible form. In every different state of the mind, it assumes a different appearance. Joy brightens and opens it. Grief halt closes, and drowns it in tears. Hatred and anger, flash from it like lightning. Love darts from it in glances, like the orient beam. Jealousy and squinting envy, dart their contagious blasts from the eye. And devotion raises it to the skies, as if the soul of the holy man were going to take its flight to heaven.

The force of attitude and looks alone appears in a won. drously striking mapnor, in the works of the painter and statuary; who have the delicate art of making the flat canvass and rocky marble utter every passion of the bu.

man mind, and touch the soul of the speclator, as if the picture, or statue, spoke the pathetic language of Shakespeare. It is no wonder, th, n, that masterly action, joined with powerful elocution) should be irresistible. And the variety of expression, by looks and gestures, is so great, that, as is well known, a whole play can be represented without a word spoken.

The following are, I believe, the principal passions, humors, sentiments and intentions which are to be expressed by speech and action. And I hope it will be allowed by the reader, that it is nearly in the following manner, that nature expresses them.

Tranquillity, or apathy, appears by the composure of the countenance, and general repose of the body and limbs, without the exertion of any one muscle. The countenance open ; the forehead smooth ; the eyebrows arched ; the mouth just not shut ; and the eyes passing with an easy motion from object to object, but not dwelling long upon any one.

Cheerfulness, adds a smile, opening the mouth a little more.

Mirth or laughter, opens the mouth still more towards the ears ; crisps the nose; lessens the aperture of the eyes, and sometimes fills them with tears; shakes and convulses the whole frame ; giving considerable pain, which occasions holding the sides.

Raillery, in sport, without real animosity, puts on the aspect of cheerfulness. The tone of voice is sprightly. With contempt, or disgust, it casts a look asquint, from time to time, at the object; and quits the cheerful aspect for one mixed between an affected grin and sourvess. The upper lip is drawn up with an air of disdain. The arms are set akimbo on the hips ; and the right hand now and then thrown out toward the object, as if one were going to strike another a slight back hand blow. The pitch of the voice rather loud, the tone arch and steering, the sentenres short ; the expressions satirical, with mock praise intermixad. There are instances of raillery in scripture itself, as ! Kings xviii, and Isa. xliv. It is not, therefore, beneath the dignity of the pulpit orator, occar

sionally to use it, in the cause of virtue, by exhibiting vice in a ludicrous appearance. Nor should I think raillery unworthy the attention of the lawyer; as it may occasion ally come in, not unusefully, in his pleadings, as well as any other stroke of ornament, or entertainment.

Buffoonery, assumes an arch, sly, leering gravity, Must not quit its serious aspect, though all should laugh to burst ribs of steel. This command of face is somewhat difficult ; though not so hard, I should think, as to restrain the contrary sympathy, I mean of weeping with those who weep:

Joy, when sudden and violent, expresses itself by clapping of hands, and exultation or leaping. The eyes are opened wide; perhaps filled with tears ; often raised to heaven, especially by devout persons. The countenance is smiling, not composedly, but with features aggravated. The voice rises, from time to tinie, to very high notes.

Delight or Pleasure, as when one is entertained, or ravished with music, painting, oratory, or any such elegancy, shews itself by the looks, gestures, and utterance of joy ; but moderate.

Gravity or Şeriousne88, the mind fixed upon some important subject, draws down the eyebrows a little, casts dowli, or shuts, or raises the eyes to heaven ; shuts the mouth, and pinches the lips close. The posture of the body and limbs is composed, and without much motion. The speech, if any, slow and solemn; the tone unvarya ing.

Inquiry, into an abscure subject, fixes the body in one posture, the head stooping, and the eye poring, the eyebrows drawa dowa.

Attention, to an csteemed, or superior character, has the same aspect, and requires silence; the eyes often cast down upon the ground; sometimes fixed on the speaker; but net too pertly.

Modesty or submission, bends the body forward; levels the eyes to the breast, if not to the feet of the superior character. The voice low; the tope submissive, and wore's few.

Perplexity or anxiety, which is always attended with dolge degree of fear and uneasiness, draws all the parts of the body together, gathers up the arms upon the breast, unless one hand covers the eyes, or rubs the forehead; draws down the eyebrows; hangs the head upon the breast ; casts down the eyes, shuts and pinches the eye. lids close; shuts the mouth, and pinches the lips close, or bites them. Suddenly the whole body is vehemently agitated. The person walks about busily, stops abruptly. Then he talks to himself, or makes grimaces. If he speak to another, his pauses are very long ; the tone of his voice, unvarying, and his sentences broken, expressiog half, and keeping in half of what arises in his mind.

Vexation, occasioned by some real or imaginary misfortune, agitates the whole frame; and besides expres. sing itself with the looks, gestures, restlessness,and tone of perplexity, it adds complaint, fretting and lamenting.

Pity, a mixed passion of love and grief, looks down upon distress with lifted hands; eyebrows drawn down; mouth open ; and features drawn together. Its expression, as to looks and gesture, is the same with those of suffering, (see suffering) but more moderate, as the painful feelings are only sympathetic, and therefore one remove, as it were, more distant from the soul, than what one feels in his own person.

Grict, sudden and violent, expresses itself by beating the head; grovelling on the ground, tearing of garments, hair and Hesh; screaming aloud, weeping, stamping with the feet, lifting the eyes, from time to time, to heaven; hurrying to and fro, running distracted, or fainting away, sometimes without recovery. Sometimes violent grief produces a torpid silence, resembling total apathy.

Melancholy, or fixed grief, is gloomy, sedentary, mo. tionless., Ttie lower jaw falls; the lips pale, the eyes are cast down, half shut, eyelids swelled and red or livid, tears trickling silent and unwiped ; with a total inattention to every thing that passes. Words, if any, few, and those dragged out, rather than spoken ; the accents weak, and interrupted, sighs breaking into the middle of sentences and words.

« ZurückWeiter »