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The Hand an Organ of Expression.

Further, we cannot fail to recognise and admire the adaptation of the hand to the mind at all ages, and under various circumstances; in its weakness and suppleness, and in its purposeless and playful movements in infancy and childhood; in its gradually increasing strength and steadiness as the intellect ripens; in the stiffness and shakiness of declining years; in the iron grasp of the artizan; in the light delicate touch of the lady; in the twirlings, fumblings, and contortions of the idiot; in the stealthy movements of the thief; in the tremulousness of the drunkard; in the openhandedness of the liberal man; and in the closefistedness of the niggard.

Thus the hand becomes an organ of expression and an index of character. What would the nervous young gentleman in a morning call give to be quit of these tale-telling members; or what would he do without a hat or a stick to employ and amuse them? How effective an auxiliary to the orator is the wave of the hand, or, even, the movement of a finger. Some men, indeed, seem to owe the efficiency of their declamations as much to the hand as to the tongue. I have seen

a practised orator (he was a man of the most complete self-possession) quell an excited audience by one determined movement of his hand. It happened to me to hear two of the most celebrated preachers of the day within a short period. In each of them the movements of the hand were remarkable, though very different. In one, the free, impassioned, but natural, and, therefore, easy action of the hand showed a deep and genuine interest in the subject, and helped to waft the fervid sentiments straight from his own heart to the hearts of his audience. In the other, who was a no less accomplished speaker, the constrained and carefully regulated movements of the hands were evidently the result of forethought and study; they were intended to be impressive, but were too obviously done for effect; and, therefore, were far less effective as well as less pleasing.

Our great and venerable orator, as well as high authority on the art of speaking (Lord Brougham), tells us that the subject of a speech should be carefully studied, and the sequences well adjusted. He says that, in the most effective passages, even of practised speakers, the exact words are usually selected beforehand; but he is silent respecting the actions by which they should be accompanied. These, at least, should be unpremeditated; and they will best assist to convey to others the real

feelings and emotions when they are the simple result of the natural working of the mind upon the body.

The kind of expression that lies in the hand, being much dependent on the effect of the muscles upon it, is very hard for the artist to catch, though very important to the excellence of the picture. Painters, usually, make the hand a subject of careful study, but rarely succeed in throwing the proper amount, either of animation or of listlessness, into it. In portraits, especially, the hands are a difficult part to treat satisfactorily; yet the artist feels that they are too important not to have a prominent place, and he, commonly, imposes upon himself the task of representing them both in full. I have seen them. drawn held up in front, like the paws of a kangaroo, in an otherwise good picture. The stereotyped position in portraits is that one hand lies upon a table, though it, probably, evinces an uneasiness there, while the other rests, perhaps equally uneasily, upon the arm of a chair. Vandyck, in whose paintings the hand usually forms a prominent feature, is considered to have peculiarly excelled in imparting to it a sentimental air imbued with deep pathos.

Shaking Hands.

How much do we learn of a man by his "SHAKE-OF-HAND." Who would expect to get a handsome donation, or a donation at all, from one who puts out two fingers to be shaken and keeps the others bent as upon an "itching palm"? How different is the impression conveyed by the hand which is coldly held out to be shaken and slips away again as soon as decently may be, and the hand which comes boldly and warmly forward and unwillingly relinquishes its hearty grasp? Sometimes one's hand finds itself comfortably enclosed, nursed, as it were, between both hands of a friend, an elderly friend probably; or it is shaken from side to side in a peculiar short brisk manner. In either case we are instinctively convinced that we have to do with a warm and kindly heart. In a momentary squeeze of the hand how much of the heart often oozes through the fingers; and who that ever experienced it has forgotten the feeling conveyed by the eloquent pressure of the hand of a dying friend, when the tongue has ceased to speak?

Why do we shake hands? It is a very oldfashioned way of indicating friendship. Jehu said to Jehonadab, "Is thine heart right as my

heart is with thine heart? If it be, give me thine hand." It is not merely an old-fashioned custom; it is a strictly natural one, and, as usual in such cases, we may find a physiological reason, if we will only take the pains to search for it. The Animals cultivate friendship by the sense of touch, as well as by the senses of smell, hearing, and sight; and for this purpose they employ the most sensitive parts of their bodies. They rub their noses together, or they lick one another with their tongues. Now, the hand is a part of the human body in which the sense of touch is highly developed; and, after the manner of the animals, we not only like to see and hear our friend (we do not usually smell him, though Isaac, when his eyes were dim, resorted to this sense as a means of recognition), we, also, touch him, and promote the kindly feelings by the contact and reciprocal pressure of the sensitive hands.

Observe, too, how this principle is illustrated by another of our modes of greeting. When we wish to determine whether a substance be perfectly smooth and are not quite satisfied with the information conveyed by the fingers, we apply it to the LIPS and rub it gently upon them. We do so, because we know by experience that the sense of touch is more acutely developed in

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