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sympathetic human instrument.

If the finger is cut, there is a special emotion in one place of the
vertebral column.

If the finger is crushed by the blow of a hammer, the emotion will
affect a special vertebra.

The nose is one of the most complex and important agents.

There are here nine divisions to be studied. (See page 82.)

Chapter IX.

Of Gesture in Relation to the Figures which Represent It.

Gesture through its inflections may reproduce all the figures of
geometry. We shall confine ourselves to a description of the primary and
most usual imitative inflections.

These inflections comprise three sorts of movements affected by each
gesture, which usually unite and constitute a synthetic form. These
three movements agree with the three primary actions which characterize
the manifestations of the soul, the mind and the life. These are direct,
circular and oblique inflections.

The flexor movements are direct, the rotary movements circular, the
abductory movements oblique. The sum of these movements constitutes nine
co-essential terms, whose union forms the accord of nine.

There are rising, falling and medium inflections.

Gesture does everything that the voice does in rising. Hence there is
great affinity between the voice and the arms. Vocal inflection is like
the gestures of the blind; in fact, with acquaintance, one may know the
nature of the gesture from the sound of the voice.

We exalt people by a circle. We say that a thing is beautiful, noble,
grand - making circles which grew higher and broader as the object is
more elevated.

We choose the circle for exalting and caressing, because the circle is
the most agreeable form to touch and to caress. For example, an ivory

This form applies to all that is great.

For God there is no circle, there can be none. But we outline a portion
of an immense circle, of which we can touch but one point. We indicate
only the inner periphery of a circle it is impossible to finish, and
then retrace our steps.

When the circle is made small, we make it with one, two, three or four
fingers, with the hand, with the arm. If the circle is vast as can be
made with the arms, it is homogeneous.

But a small circle made with the arm will express stupidity. Thus we say
of a witty man: "This is a witty man," employing the fingers.

Stupidity wishing to simulate this, would make a broad movement.

Let us take the fable of _Captain Renard_ as an example of this view of
the circle.

I depict the cunning nature of this captain with my fingers. Without
this he would not be a captain; but at most a corporal.

- "He went in company
With his friend He-Goat of the branching horns.
The one could see no farther than his nose;
The other was past master in deceit."

As they go along, the fox relates all his exploits to the goat, and the
goat surprised, and wishing an end of the recital, sees fit to make a
gesture, as he says:

"I admire people full of sense like you."

In making the small circle, he employs not only the fingers, but the
arm, the shoulder, the whole body. He is an imbecile. He wastes too much
effort in making a small circle.

Let us take a situation from an opera. When Robert enters and sees
Isabella, he says of her:

"This peaceful sleep, this lull of every sense,
Lends a yet sweeter charm to this young face."

The gesture is in the form of a geometrical figure.

In another place, Robert says:

"Thy voice, proud beauty, few can understand."

Here a spheroidal and then a rectangular movement must be made. We close
the door. "Her voice will be understood by me, alone." He might say:
"Thy voice, proud beauty, will not be understood. It will be elevated
for me, and not for others."

Every sentiment has its form, its plastic expression, and as its form is
more or less elaborated, we may judge of the elevation of the speaker's
thought. If we could stereotype gesture, we might say: "This one has the
more elevated heart, that one the least elevated; this one in the
matter, that one in the spirit of his discourse."

All gestures may be very well delineated. An orator gesticulating before
the public, resembles a painter who pencils outlines and designs upon a

This reproduction of the figures of gesture is called _Chorography_. We
give in the subjoined chart some types of gesture. These are a few
flowers culled from a rich garden.

To express sensual grace the gesture takes the downward spheroidal form.
The virtuous form would be upward.

If we wish to express many attractive things, we make many spheroidal

What is called the culminating point of the gesture, must not be
forgotten. This is a ring in the form of the last stroke of the German
letter D, which is made by a quick, electric movement of the wrist.

We refer the student to the close of the volume, for a model of
exercises comprising a series of gestures which express the most
eloquent sentiments of the human heart.

This exercise in gesture has two advantages: it presents all the
interest of the most fascinating drama, and is the best means of gaining
suppleness by accustoming ourselves to the laws of gesture.

[Illustration: Criterion of Chorography.]

[Illustration: Inflective Medallion.]

The vertical line 1 expresses affirmation. The horizontal line 2
expresses negation. The oblique line 3 rejects despicable things. The
oblique line 4 rejects things which oppress us, of which we would be

5. The quarter-circle, whose form recalls that of the hammock, expresses
well-being, happiness, confidence.

6. The curvilinear eccentric quarter-circle expresses secrecy, silence,
possession, domination, stability, imposition, inclusion.

7. The curvilinear outside quarter-circle expresses things slender,
delicate (in two ways); the downward movement expresses moral and
intellectual delicacy.

8. The outside quarter-circle expresses exuberance, plenitude,
amplitude, generosity.

9. The circle which surrounds and embraces, characterizes glorification
and exaltation.

Part Third.

Articulate Language.

Chapter I.

Origin and Organic Apparatus of Language.

Man reveals his life through more than four millions of inflections ere
he can speak or gesticulate. When he begins to reason, to make
abstractions, the vocal apparatus and gesture are insufficient; he must
speak, he must give his thought an outside form so that it may be
appreciated and transmitted through the senses. There are things which
can be expressed neither by sound nor gesture. For instance, how shall
we say at the same time of a plant: "It is beautiful, but it has no
smell." Thought must then be revealed by conventional signs, which are
articulation. Therefore, God has endowed man with the rich gift of

Speech is the sense of the intelligence; sound the sense of the life,
and gesture that of the heart.

Soul communicates with soul only through the senses. The senses are the
condition of man as a pilgrim on this earth. Man is obliged to
materialize all: the sensations through the voice, the sentiments
through gesture, the ideas through speech. The means of transmission are
always material. This is why the church has sacraments, an exterior
worship, chants, ceremonies. All its institutions arise from a principle
eminently philosophical.

Speech is formed by three agents: the lips, the tongue and the

It is delightful to study the special rôle of these agents, the reason
of their movements.

They have a series of gestures that may be perfectly understood. Thus
language resembles the hand, having also its gesture.

Chapter II.

Elements of Articulate Language.

Every language is composed of consonants and vowels. These consonants
and vowels are gestures. The value of the consonant is the gesture of
the thing expressed. But as gesture is always the expression of a moral
fact, each consonant has the intrinsic character of a movement of the
heart. It is easy to prove that the consonant is a gesture. For example,
in articulating it, the tongue rises to the palate and makes the same
movement as the arm when it would repel something.

The elements of all languages have the same meaning. The vowels
correspond directly to the moral state.

There is diversity of language because the things we wish to express
vary from difference in usage and difference of manner and climate. What
we call a shoe, bears among northern people a name indicating that it
protects the feet from the cold; among southern people it protects the
feet from the heat. Elsewhere the shoe protects the feet against the
roughness of the soil; and in yet other places, it exists only as a
defensive object - a weapon.

These diverse interpretations require diverse signs. This does not prove
the diversity of language, but the diversity of the senses affected by
the same object.

Things are perceived only after the fashion of the perceiver, and this
is why the syllables vary among different peoples.

Nevertheless, there is but one language. We find everywhere these words:
_I_ an active personality, _me a passive personality, and _mine_ an
awarding personality. In every language we find the subject, the verb
and the adjective.

Every articulate language is composed of substantive, adjective and
copulative ideas.

All arts are found in articulation. Sound is the articulation of the
vocal apparatus; gesture the articulation of the dynamic apparatus;
language the articulation of the buccal apparatus. Therefore, music, the
plastic arts and speech have their origin and their perfection in

It is, then, of the utmost importance to understand thoroughly the
elements of speech, which is at the same time a vocalization and a
dynamic. Without this knowledge no oratorical art is possible.

Let us now hasten to take possession of the riches of speech.

Chapter III.

The Oratorical Value of Speech.

The privilege of speech may be considered under a double aspect, in
itself and in its relations to the art of oratory.

1. _In Itself._ - Speech is the most wonderful gift of the Creator.
Through speech man occupies the first rank in the scale of being. It is
the language of the reason, and reason lifts man above every creature.
Man through speech incarnates his mind to unite himself with his
fellow-men, as the Son of God was incarnated to unite with human nature;
like the Son of God who nourishes humanity with his body in the
eucharist, so man makes his speech understood by multitudes who receive
it entire, without division or diminution.

Eternal thanks to God for this ineffable gift, so great in itself, of
such value in the art of oratory!

2. What is the oratorical value of speech? In oratorical art, speech
plays a subordinate but indispensable rôle.

Let us examine separately the two members of this proposition.

A. - In the hierarchy of oratorical powers, speech comes only in the
third order. In fact, the child begins to utter cries and to
gesticulate before he speaks.

The text is only a label. The sense lies not in speech, but in
inflection and gesture. Nature institutes a movement, speech names the
movement. Writing is a dead letter.

Speech is only the title of that which gesture has announced; speech
comes only to confirm what is already understood by the auditors.

We are moved in reading, not so much by what is said, as by the manner
of reading. It is not what we hear that affects us, but that which we
ourselves imagine.

An author cannot fully express his ideas in writing; hence the
interpretation of the hearer is often false, because he does not know
the writer.

It is remarkable, the way in which we refer everything to ourselves. We
must needs create a semblance of it. We are affected by a discourse
because we place the personage in a situation our fancy has created.
Hence it happens that we may be wrong in our interpretation, and that
the author might say: "This is not my meaning."

In hearing a symphony we at once imagine a scene, we give it an aspect;
this is why it affects us.

A written discourse requires many illustrative epithets; in a spoken
discourse, the adjectives may be replaced by gesture and inflection.

Imitation is the melody of the eye, inflection is the melody of the ear.
All that strikes the eye has a sound; this is why the sight of the
stars produces an enchanting melody in our souls.

Hence in a discourse, speech is the letter, and it is inflection and
gesture which give it life. Nevertheless: -

B. - The rôle of speech, although subordinate, is not only important, but
necessary. In fact, human language, as we have said, is composed of
inflection, gesture and speech.

Language would not be complete without speech. Speech has nothing to do
with sentiment, it is true, but a discourse is not all sentiment; there
is a place for reason, for demonstration, and upon this ground gesture
has nothing to do; the entire work here falls back upon speech.

Speech is the crown of oratorical action; it is this which gives the
final elucidation, which justifies gesture. Gesture has depicted the
object, the Being, and speech responds: _God_.

Chapter IV.

The Value of Words in Phrases.

Expression is very difficult. One may possess great knowledge and lack
power to express it. Eloquence does not always accompany intellect. As a
rule, poets do not know how to read what they have written. Hence we may
estimate the importance of understanding the value of the different
portions of a discourse. Let us now examine intellectual language in
relation to intensity of ideas.

There are nine species of words, or nine species of ideas. The article
need not be counted, since it is lacking in several languages. It is the
accord of nine which composes the language, and which corresponds to the
numbers. Every word has a determinate, mathematical value.

As many unities must be reckoned on the initial consonant as there are
values in the word.

Thus the subject has less value than the attribute.

The attribute has a value of six degrees and represents six times the
intensity of the subject. Why? Because God has willed that we should
formulate our idea with mathematical intensities.

The value rests only upon the initial consonant of the word. Words have
only one expressive portion, that is, the initial consonant. It receives
the whole value, and is the invariable part of the word. It is the root.
Words are transformed in passing from language to language, and
nevertheless retain their radical.

How shall we say that a flower is charming?

Do not demand of intensity of sound a value it does not possess. It
suffices to await the articulation of the consonant.

The most normal phenomena remain true to mechanical laws. The mere
articulation of the word expresses more than all the vocal and imitative
effects that can be introduced.

Most speakers dwell upon the final word; this habit is absolutely
opposed to the nature of heart movements. This school habit is hard to
correct, and if Rachel became a great artiste, it was because she did
not have this precedent.

The subject represents one degree; it is the weakest expression.

The verb represents two degrees; the attribute six. Let us illustrate
the manner of passing from one to six as follows:

A rustic comes to visit you upon some sort of business. This man has a
purpose. As you are a musician he is surprised by his first sight of a
piano. He says to himself: "What is this? It is a singular object."

It is neither a table nor a cupboard. He now perceives the ivory keys
and other keys of ebony. What can this mean? He stands confounded before
an instrument entirely new to him. If it were given to him, he would not
know what to do with it; he might burn it. The piano interests him so
much that he forgets the object of his visit.

He sees you arrive. You occupy for him the place of the verb in relation
to the object which interests him. He passes from this object to you.
Although you are not the object which engrosses him, there is a
progression in the interest, because he knows that through you he will
learn what this piece of furniture is. "Tell me what this is!" he cries.

You strike the piano; it gives forth an accord. O heavens, how
beautiful! He is greatly moved, he utters many expressions of delight,
and now he would not burn the instrument.

Here is a progression. At first the piece of furniture interests him;
then its owner still more; at last the attributes of the piano give it
its entire value.

But why six degrees upon the last term? The value of a fact comes from
its limitation; the knowledge of an idea also proceeds from its
limitation. A fact in its general and vague expression, awakens but
little interest. But as it descends from the genus to the species, from
the species to the individual, it grows more interesting. It comes more
within our capacity. We do not embrace the vast circle of a generic

Let us take another proposition: "A flower is pleasing."

1 2 3456
- - - - - Flower is pleasing - - -
| | | | |
| | | 3 7 | |
| | + - of the forest very - -+ |
| | |
| | 4 |
| + - - - - - this + - - - - - - - - +
| |
| 5 8 - -+
+ - - - - - - little + - but
+ - - +
1 | 2 6 9
it-+ is faded Oh!

The word flower alone says nothing to the imagination. Is it a rose or a
lily of the valley? The expression is too vague. When the idea of genus
is modified by that of species, we are better satisfied.

Let us say: "The flower of the forest." This word _forest_ conveys an
idea to the mind. We can make our bouquet. We think of the lily of the
valley, of the violet, the anemone, the periwinkle. This restriction
gives value to the subject. _Forest_ is more important than the verb
which does not complete the idea, and less important than _pleasing_.
Therefore we place 3 upon _forest_, and shall rank _pleasing_ from 3 to
4, since it closes the assertion.

If we individualize by the word _this_, we augment the value by giving
actuality to the word _flower_. _This_ has more value than _the forest_,
because it designates the subject. Hence _this_ has four degrees.

As _pleasing_ forms the very essence of our proposition, we are obliged
to give it five degrees.

The idea is still somewhat vague. If I specify it still further by
saying _this little flower, little_ has a higher value than all the
other words.

What value shall we give this adjective? We have reached five, but have
not yet fully expressed the idea which impresses us. _Little_ must
therefore have six degrees.

This is the sole law for all the languages of the world. There are no
two ways of articulating the words of a discourse. When we learn a
discourse by heart in order to deliver it, and take no account of the
value of the terms, the divine law is reversed.

Now, if we could introduce an expression here, which would at once
enhance the value of the word _pleasing_, it would evidently be stronger
than all the others. In fact, if the way in which a thing is pleasing
can be expressed, it is evident that this manner of being pleasing will
rise above the word itself.

We do not know the proportion in which the flower is pleasing. We will
say that it is _very_ pleasing. This adverb gives the word _pleasing_ a
new value. It is in turn modified. If we should say _immensely_, or use
any other adverb of quantity, the value would remain the same. It would
still be a modification. Thus, when we say of God that he is _good,
immense, infinite,_ there is always a limitation attached to the idea of
God, - a limitation necessary to our nature. For God is not good in the
way we understand goodness or greatness; but our finite minds need some
expression for our idea.

We see the word _pleasing_ modified in turn, and the term which
modifies it, is higher than itself. _Very pleasing,_ - what value shall
we give it? We can give it no more than seven here.

A single word may obliterate the effect produced by all these
expressions. A simple conjunction may be introduced which will entirely
modify all we have taken pains to say. It is a _but_. _But_ is an entire
discourse. We no longer believe what has been said hitherto, but what
follows this word. This conjunction has a value of eight degrees, a
value possible to all conjunctions without exception. It sums up the
changes indicated by subsequent expressions, and embraces them
synthetically. It has, then, a very great oratorical value.

_The Conjunction._

1. We refer here only to conjunctions in the elliptical sense. The
conjunction is an ellipse, because it is the middle term between two
members of the sentence which are the extremes; it recalls what has just
been said, and indicates what is to come. Considered in itself, the word
_and_, when elliptical, embraces what has just been said, and what is
about to be said. All this is founded upon the principle that the means
are equal to the extremes.

2. The copulative or enumerative conjunctions, have only two degrees. We
see that a conjunction is not elliptical when, instead of uniting
propositions, it unites only ideas of the same character.

3. Determinative conjunctions have only three degrees. For example: "It
is necessary that I should work." _That_ has only three degrees.

4. The values indicated can be changed only by additional values
justified by gesture. Thus in the phrase: "This medley of glory and
honor," - the value of the word _medley_ can and must be changed; but a
gesture is necessary, for speech is only a feeble echo of gesture. Only
gesture can justify a value other than that indicated in this
demonstration. This value is purely grammatical, but the gesture may
give it a superlative idea, which we call additional value. The value of
consonants may vary in the pronunciation according to their valuation by
the speakers.

More or less value is given to the degrees noted and to be noted, as
there is more or less emotion in the speaker. This explains why a
gesture, which expresses an emotion of the soul, justifies changing the
grammatical value in the pronunciation of consonants.

5. Even aside from additional values, the gesture must always precede
the articulation of the initial consonant. Otherwise to observe the
degree would be supremely ridiculous. The speaker would resemble a
skeleton, a statue. The law of values becomes vital only through gesture
and inflection. Stripped of the poetry of gesture and inflection, the
application of the law is monstrous.

To place six degrees upon _pleasing_ without gesture, is abominable.

We now understand the spirit of gesture, which is given to man to
justify values. It is for him to decide whether the proposition is true
or not. If we deprive our discourse of gestures, no way is left to prove
the truth of values. Thus gesture is prescribed by certain figures, and
we shall now see from a proposition, how many gestures are needed, and
to what word the gesture should be given.

_The Conjunction Continued - Various Examples._

The degree of value given to the conjunction, may be represented by the
figure 8.

Let us justify this valuation by citing these two lines of Racine:

"The wave comes on, it breaks, _and_ vomits
'neath our eyes,
Amid the floods of foam, a monster
grim and dire."

The ordinary reader would allow the conjunction _and_ to pass
unperceived, because the word is not sonorous, and we accord oratorical
effects only to sonorous words. But the man who sees the meaning fully,
and who adds _and_, has said the whole. The other words are important,
but everything is implied in this conjunction.

Racine has not placed _and_ here to disjoin, but to unite.

We give another example of the conjunction:

Augustus says to Cinna:

"Take a chair Cinna, _and_ in all things heed
Strictly the law that I lay down for thee."

Let us suppress the isolation and silence of the conjunction, and there
is no more color.

Augustus adds:

"Hold thy tongue captive, _and_ if silence deep

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