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scientific basis. May ^Esthetic Physical Culture contribute its
mite to that end !

I take leave of my readers in quoting the words used by Dr.
Feodor Wehl in concluding his review of the first edition of this
book :

" May the entire dramatic profession and all other persons of
artistic vocations or natures cordially welcome this book. By so
doing they will themselves be benefited and also promote
dramatic and oratorical art."

The Author.

New York, 1879.

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In presenting Esthetic Physical Culture in the kmguage
of my adopted country, nothing need be added to the pre-
ceding prefaces, which tell the story of the book and explain
its scope. I can only wish that it may be as cordially
received by the American public as it was in my native land,

436 East 57th St., New York.

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The Bones of the Head 4

The Torso 4

The /Upper Limbs 6

The Lower Lhnbs 6


The Muscles of the Head 12

The Muscles of the Face 12

The Muscles of the Torso 13

The Muscles of the Upper Limbs ; 13

The Muscles of the Lower Limbs ^ 14


The Centre of Gravity 15

Thh Mechanism of the Walking Apparatus 18

Walking Forward 22

Walking Backward 23




Directions for Practice 27

THE SINGLE MEMBERS— Simple Exercises.

Base Position 30

Turning the Head to the Right and Left 31

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Bowing of the Head Forward, Backward, or' to the Right and

• Left 31

The Head Circle 31

Shoulder Movements ^ 32

The Shoulder Circle ; 33

Rising and Falling of the Hips 34

Turning or Twisting of the Trunk 34

Inclination of the Torso Forward, Backward, Right and Left. . 34

The Torso Circle 35

Elevating the Torso 35

Arm Exercises 36

Arm Exercises with Outstretched Arms.

Lifting and Moving the Arm 37

The Arm Circle 37

Turning and Revolving the Arms 37

Balancing arid Oblique Movements 38

Arm Exercises with the Aid of the Elbow-Joints.

Attraction and Repulsion 39

Movement of the Arms behind the Back 40

Hand and Wrist Practice. *

Finger-Stretching and Spreading 41

Leg and Foot Practice.

Exercise with Stretched Leg — Leg Swinging 42

The Leg Circle, Forward and Backward 43

The Flexion and Extension of the Knee Backward 43

The Flexion and Extension of the Knee Forward 43

Strengthening of the Muscles of the Legs « 44

Foot Extension 45

Foot Extension, Flexion and Circling 46

•THE LIMBS AS A WHOLE— Complex Exercises.

Exercises for the Upper Part of the Body 47

Exercises for the Legs and Feet — The ** Leg Circle " 50

Exercises for the Upper Body, Legs and Feet 51




The Human Body and its Lim bs 58

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The Limbs Singly, in a State of Rest 5&

Movement of the Arms and Hands 62


Walking in General 73

The Walking of Ladies with Trains 73

The Lifting of a Lady's Dress in Walking 75,

Turning to the Right or Left in Walking 75

Turning to the Right or Left While Standing 75.

Walking Sideward 75

Stepping Sideward With Bowing 76

Turning Round in Walking 76

Turning Round While Standing 77

Turning in the Case of Women ' 77

Carriage of the Arms in Walking 7&

The Opening of a Door 7&

The Entrance of a Servant ^ 79

The Setting of a Chair for One's Self or for Others 79

Seating One's Self upon a Chair already Placed 80

Kneeling 82

Lifting Something from the Floor 84

Falling upon the Stage 84

The Holding of the Hat 85

The Carrying of the Fan 86

The Carrying of a Cane 87

The Use of the Handkerchief 88

The Hand-Kiss 89

Fundamental Rules for Position if Several Persons are on the

Stage 90

Position of Subordinates 92

Play of Features.

General Remarks 93

The Eyes 94

The Mouth 95

Main Elements of Facial Expression 7

General Physiognomical Remarks.

The Cheeks 103

The Lips 103

The Chin 103

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The Single Limbs in Relation to Gesture.

The Head 104

The Anns and Hands in General 106

Main Principles of the Position of the Hand in Acting 109

The Torso iii

The Legs and Feet .* 112

Walking in Acting 114

Characteristic Tokens of Several Kinds of Gait 115

The Limbs in Harmonious Action.

The Divisions of Gesture 117

The Fundamental Rules for Correct Action of the Limbs in

Gesture 119

The Use of the Left and Right Hand 122

Greeting, Prayer, Oath 123

Salutations of the Hebrews 124

The Moslem Salutation 125

Chinese Salutations 127

Salutations of the Hindoos, Greeks and Romans 128

Salutation, Oath and Prayer of Modern Times According to the

European Fashion among Civilized People 129

Various Faulty Gestures and their Correction.

Drinking 130

The Holding of a Cup of Coffee or lea 131

Pantomimic Reading and Letter Writing 131

Turning the Leaves of a Book 133

Use of a Pencil 133

Practical Exercises for Pupils 133




Carriage of the Body 139

Fundamental Positions and Movements 140

The Position of the Feet 140

The Position of the Arms 142

Exercises Preluninary to the Dance 144

Single Movements of the Feet through which the Dancing

Steps are Rendered Possible 147

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Elementary Dancing Steps 147

Composite Independent Steps 150

The Minuet as a School for Compliments 151

Compliment — Reverence.

The Compliment of Ancient Times 152

The Mediaeval Compliment 152

The Compliment of the 17th and i8th Centuries 153

The Great Reverence for Gentlemen 154

The Great Reverence for Ladies 156

The Little Reverence for Gentlemen 158

The Little Reverence for Ladies 159

Reverence before Several Persons Standing in a Half -Circle. . . 160
The Little Reverence upon Arrival and at Departure, also at

Meeting in Walking, for Gentlemen and for Ladies. . 161-162
The Modem Compliment 163




The Foil 169

The Measure 169

Place and Position , 170

First Position 170

Second Position 171

Attitude of the Hand 172

The Foot Movement 174

The Primary Thrust 176

The Secondary Thrust 177

Simple Parades 178

Counter- Parades 178

The Degagement 179

The Double 179

The Coupe 179

Compliment of Arms 179

General Advice 181

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Women's Dress 185.

Men's Dress. 18&

Combination of Colors 191




What is Decorum ? 197

Politeness and Modesty 198

Deportment toward Ladies 202

Deportment in Large Companies 203

Deportment at a Ball 205 .

Deportment at Table 208

Deportment at the Theatre or Concert 210

The Visit of Ceremony. 211

Audience with Princes 212-

The Manner of Studying this Book without a Teacher 21^

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"The thought originates in the brain, the brain acts upon the nerves, the
nerves upon the muscles, the muscles upon the bones, and not until after this
process is it possible for us to undertake any action."

GuTTMANN's ** Gymnastics of the Voice."

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The skeleton of the human body is composed of bones and
cartilages, united by flexible cords, and forming a movable appa-
ratus which can be set in action by the muscles. The peculiar
articulation of the bones gives, rise to cavities within the skeleton
(the cavities of the head, brain, chest, abdomen and pelvis), in
which the various internal organs, designed partly for nourish-
ment and partly for mental activity, have their seat. All these
parts are permeated by greater or smaller veins, and by white
fibres : the former, the arteries, carry the blood from the heart
through the body, and again back to the heart ; and the latter,
the white fibres or nerves, bind the different parts of the body
into one harmonious whole. They proceed from the brain and
the spinal marrow, and, excited by outward or inward impulse,
cause motion, sensation, and intellectual activity. As long as
man lives, a constant change is going on in the particles which
compose his body, and this forces him to take the necessary food.

Physical gymnastics teach the laws through whose observance
this change may go on regularly and advantageously. The office
of (esthetic gymnastics is to make the limbs appear graceful and
pleasing in accordance with (Esthetic laws.

The greater divisions of the human body are the head^ trunk
and limbs. The head^ the upper and most important part, is mov-
ably set upon the neck, and contains the brain in its upper half,
while its lower half forms the face, with cavities for the organs of
the senses. The trunk or torso is divided into four parts, — the
neck, the chest, the abdomen and pelvis, and has its support in
the spinal column. The front of the neck contains the organs of

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the voice, and the air and food tubes. The chest contains the
breathing apparatus and the heart. The abdomen and pelvis
contain the sustaining and reproductive organs. The limbs,'
which enclose no vital organ, are bordered with muscles, and
may be divided into two groups : The upper limbs, the arms,
which consist of the shoulder, the upper arm, and the lower
arm and hand, are joined to the chest by ligaments, while the
loiver limbs, the legs — consisting of the upper and lower leg
and the foot, — are joined by ligaments to the pelvis.
The single bones of these main groups are :

7. The Bones of the Head
Consisting of the skull and the face. The skull is composed of
eight bones, firmly and elaborately united ; the face of fourteen
bones, only one of which, the lower jaw, is movable, while the
upper bones, like those of the skull, are bound strongly together.

2. The Torso.
This has its main support in the backbone or spinal column.
It consists of twenty-six single bones. The seven upper ones
(Fig. I., 1-7) are the bones of the neck ; the next twelve (8-20)
'are the breast and backbones; and the five lower ones (21-26)
belong to the abdomen and loins, and unite with the os sacrum
(26) and coccyx (27), which form the terminal extremity of the
spinal column. On each side of the twelve breastbones, and
united with them, stand twelve rib-bones (8-19), which are in
turn joined by tendons to the breastbone (28). In this way
is formed the chest-cavity which contains those important or-
gans, the heart and lungs. By means of muscles fastened to
these bones, the chest-cavity may be expanded or contracted,
whereby the breathing process is mainly carried on. Upon
each side of the sacrum (29-30) lies a bone of the pelvis, whose
upper surface is called the hip-bone. The pelvis-cavity is com-
posed of four bones, — the two innominata, the sacrum and the
coccyx. The abdominal cavity lies between that of the pelvis

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' 4




Fig. I.

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and the chest, and is the seat of the greater portion of the digest-
ive organs.

J. The Upper Limbs ^ or the Arms.
These consist of the shoulder, the shoulder-joint, the humerus
or upper arm, the lower arm and the hand. The hand consists
of the wrist, the palm and the fingers. The shoulder-bones
consist of the two clavicles, or collar-bones (31) and the shoulder-
blades (32). The first extend from the breastbone to the shoul-
der-joint ; the latter lie along the back, connecting with the
clavicles and bones of the upper arms, and forming the- shoulder-
joints. By means of the clavicles, which, as we have said, connect
the bones of the humerus with the torso, the shoulder-joint is held
at the required distance from the torso, and the arms receive the
necessary freedom in their movements. The bone of the upper
arm {t,^,), which is joined to the shoulder-blade and to the two
bones of the lower arm, helps in this way to form the shoulder
and elbow-joint. The lower arm has two bones, the radius (34)
and the ulna (35). The junction of the upper and lower arm
forms the elbow-joint (36). The wrist is composed of eight bones,
ranged in two rows, and bound firmly together. The five bones
of the metacarpus, or middle hand, articulate with the second
range of carpal bones (39). The four fingers and the thumb ar-
ticulate with these five metacarpal bones, the thumb having two
joints and the fingers three, the first of which is the largest (40),
the lower (41) being called the nail-joint.

4. The Lmver Limbs^ or the Legs
Consist of the upper leg, the lower leg and the foot. The upper
leg, like the upper arm, has but one bone, the femur (42).
At its top there is a ball-shaped joint (43) which fits into the
socket of the pelvis, and forms the hip- joint. At its lower end
it connects with the shin-bone and the knee-pan, forming the knee-
joint (44). The knee-pan (45 a) is a heart-shaped bone which
covers the front part of the cavity of the knee-joint, and is at-
tached to the bones of both the upper and lower leg.

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The lower leg, like the lower arm, consists of two bones, the
tibia (45 b) and the fibula (46). The first is much larger than
the second. At the lower end of these bones (47) are joints
connecting them with the foot, which, like the hand, consists
of three parts : The tarsus, the metatarsus and the toes. The
tarsus consists of seven bones (48-52) ; the metatarsus of five
(53, 54), articulating at one extremity with the tarsal bones, and
at the other with the first range of toe-bones, and so united as to
give the foot a convex form, and conduce to the elasticity of the
step. The four smaller toes, like the fingers, have three joints,
while the great toe, like the thumb, has two joints.

After this condensed description of the bones we pass on to the
muscles, which are of more importance.

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Who has not been entranced by some melodious, prolonged
strain of music, by pearl-like purity of colorature ? Who has not
been surprised at the sylph-like motions of a danseuse, or the
grotesque springs of a dancer ? And yet few have been conscious
wherein lay the mystery of all this. It is, in fact, due to a har-
monious action of the muscles. All movements of the human
body are made by means of the muscles, which are fastened to
the movable bones of the skeleton, and are thrown into action by
the nerves.

No harmonious 7novement is possible without a correct action of
the muscles.

We believe, therefore, that it may be said truthfully that a'
knowledge of the structure and peculiarities of the muscles, of
the laws of their training and preservation, is the all-important
thing if we would do artistic work, if we would be graceful in our
actions in life. The muscles consist of a web of tendons and
sinews which "possess the capability of contraction and expansion.
The contraction of a muscle is followed by a state of relaxation
(repose), either voluntarily or resulting from weariness, in which
state of repose nourishment is better carried on, as in a state of
contraction there is greater consumption of blood and nervous

By gradually-increasing and oft-repeated exercise, by proper
nourishment, by a flesh diet, the muscles gain incredibly in size
and strength, and obtain their full development, while they are
rendered weak and lax by inactivity and the lack of good food.

Gymnasts, dancers and piano-players attest the truth of this as-

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Fig. II.

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sertion. Singers, who produce such wonderful effects with those
small muscles of the larynx, have brought those muscles to this
degree of perfection by the right kind of practice, ever increasing
in vigorous effort, and followed by intervals of repose.

As an increased consumption of blood follows contraction of
the muscles, so, in the state of repose resulting from the cessation
of this contraction, an increased formation of blood takes place ;
therefore it is self-evident that a muscle acting in steady alterna-
tions becomes far stronger, and less easily fatigued, than one
whose activity is constant or long continued.

Standing, for this reason, is more fatiguing than walking for the
same length of time. Paralysis of the muscles may be brought
on by too great or too prolonged exertion. Nothing but a per-
sistent exercise of the muscles, with alternations of the needed
repose, will at last fit them to make any movement the will
ordains. In the early stages of practice this is impossible, and in
the use of certain muscles one cannot guard against moving
others with them. Beginners in gymnastics, dancing, fencing,
etc., are almost incapable of keeping inactive the muscles that are
not required.

The erroneous belief ,obtains with many that the mind only
need be cultivated, and all other culture will follow. But the
thought originates in the brain, the brain acts upon the nerves,
the nerves upon the muscles, the muscles upon the bones, and
only after all these processes is physical action possible. What
avails the most intellectual letter if there is no messenger to con-
vey it to the desired place ? This is the office of physical gym-

It is only after long practice that the will alone may be relied
on to set the required muscles in motion. All who would perform
to acceptance before the public, must attain the greatest skill in
this respect.

After these brief remarks upon the muscles in general, we pro-
ceed to a description of them in detail. They may be divided
into two classes., viz., the voluntary and the involuntary muscles.

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Fig. III.

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To the second class belong the hearty the diaphragm^ and the
muscles of the intestines. All the others belong to the first class.
We distinguish (a) the muscles of the head, {b) the muscles of the
torso, (c) the muscles of the upper limbs, and [ci) the muscles
of the lower limbs.

The Muscles of the Head.
The muscle of the cranium (musculus epicranius), whose
front part is called the forehead muscle (musculus frontalis), and
has an important part in acting as its office, is to elevate and
lower the forehead, as well as to control the eyebrows, and also

The Muscles of the Face.

These, by means of the facial nerve, which controls all these
muscles, are closely connected with the brain, and for this reason
strong impressions upon the brain, or diseases of that organ, have
great influence upon the muscles of the face. They are the
means of expressing sensations and passions, and effect the play
of the features. Sad and painful emotions generally contract
the muscles of the mouth, eyes and forehead, and draw them
downward. Joyous ^niotions, into which the cheek muscles also
enter, draw them upward.

In Figures II. and III. the muscles are designated by numbers
as follows :

1. The skull and forehead muscle.

2. The face muscles.

3. The throat muscles.

4. The neck muscles.

5. The chest muscles.

6. The back muscles.

7. The abdominal muscles.

8. Xhe pelvis muscles.

9. The shoulder-blade muscles.

10. The deltoid muscle.

11. The upper-arm muscles.

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12. The fore-arm muscles.

13. The hand muscles.

14. The upper-leg muscles.

15. The lower-leg muscles.

16. The muscles of the calf of the leg.

17. The tendon of Achilles.

18. The foot muscles.

The Muscles of the Torso,
These are the muscles of the throat, neck, chest, back, abdo-
men and pelvis. The throat and neck muscles (Fig. III., 4)
move the head forward, backward and sideways, turning and
stretching it. The muscles on the inside of the throat, which
rule the larynx, demand a special exposition that will not be given
here, as it belongs to the domain of singing and rhetoric. The
breast muscles (Fig. II., 5), leaving the breastbone uncovered,
lie around the whole cavity of the chest, and have the important
function of regulating the breathing, as well as moving the shoul-
ders and arms. The muscle which separates the abdominal
cavity from that of the chest, performs the main function in
breathing, and also serves for contracting the chest-cavity, is
called the diaphragm, and must have its special description in
the study of singing and speech. The spinal muscles (Fig. III.,
6) serve to hold erect, bend and extend the whole torso ; they
move the shoulders and upper arms, and assist in breathing.
The important office pf the abdominal muscles is to protect and
sustain the organs of the abdomen (intestines). It is to be espec-
ially noted that, if these muscles have to perform an arduous
work, or to remain a long time in a tense position, they must be
contracted, or else injury to the person will result. The abdom-
inal muscles extend from the lower part of the cavity of the chest
to the pelvis, and form the front and side walls of the abdomen.

The Muscles of the Upper Limbs,
These may be divided into the following groups : —
I. The muscles of the shoulder extend from the cl' '>cle (col-

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lar-bone) and the shoulder-blade to the upper arm, and move it
in all directions. The strongest of them is called the deltoid
muscle (Fig. III., lo).

2. The muscles of the upper arm (Fig. IIL, 9, and Fig. II., 11)
lie partly upon the inner and partly upon the outer side of the
humerus, and serve to bend or stretch the fore-arm.

3. The muscles of the fore-arm (Fig. III., 12) move the hand
and fingers inward and outward, bending or stretching, with-
drawing or extending them. The hand muscles lie in the hand,
especially at the first and fifth joints of the metacarpus (Fig. II.,


The Muscles of the Lower Limbs.

These comprise (i) the muscles of the lower leg and foot, and
(2) those of the upper leg. The muscles of the upper leg (Fig.
III., 14) serve for stretching and bending the knee-joint, and for
drawing the leg backward and forward. The tendons, which
draw it forward, lie in front ; those which draw it backward lie.
behind. The tendons of the foot and the toes (15) are on
the back surface of the lower leg, forming the calf of the leg
(Fig. III., 16). They are peculiarly ijnportant in. walking and
dancing. The lower end of the tendon, which is attached to the
top of the heel-bone, is called, on account of its strength, the
"tendon of Achilles" (Fig. III., 17). The dilating muscles of
the foot lie upon its upper surface (Fig. II., 18) ; those which
dilate and contract the toes are in the sole or lower part.

All the mentioned muscles of the first group may be moved
voluntarily, and acquire incredible facility through practice. We
shall learn in the course of our studies of physical gymnastics how
many soi:ts of these voluntary movements there are.

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The limbs of the human body move in accordance with the law
of the lever. It is not necessary to our purpose to explain this
law, and we need offer no further explanation of the arms than
that already given in our description of the muscles. It is quite
otherwise with the lower limbs, which are governed by spec-
ial laws relating to the centre of gravity. If these laws are not
strictly followed, good walking is impossible. We must, there-
fore, dwell upon them, first treating of

The Centre of Gravity.

The relations of the centre of gravity to the base, decide
whether the body stands or falls. As every single part remains
subject to the laws of gravity, it will always be attracted to the
earth's centre. If a mass consists of unlike and variously-formed
pieces, each of these will, as far as possible, set its gravitating force
into action. These opposing influences must, therefore, unite in
such a way that their several actions meet at an imaginary point
— the centre of gravity. The whole body will then poise itself
as if its weight were accumulated at this place. A direct line
from this point to the base, therefore, designates its further rela-

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