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Dismissing, with approbation, is done with a kind aspect and tone of voice: the right hand open, the palm upwards, gently waved towards the person. Dismissing, with displeasure, besides the look and tone of voice which suits displeasure, the hand is hastily thrown out towards the person dismissed, the back part of the hand towards him, and the countenance at the same time turned away from him.

Dismissing with Complaisance.

Chat. Then take my king's defiance from my mouth,
The farthest limit of my embassy.

K. John. Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace:
Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France,
For, ere thou canst report I will be there,
The thunder of my cannon shall be heard;
So hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath,
And sullen presage of your own decay.-
An honourable conduct let him have ;—
Pembroke, look to't :-farewell, Chatillon.

Shakes. King John.


Refusing, when accompanied with displeasure, is done nearly in the same way as dismissing with displeasure. Without displeasure, it is done with a visible reluctance, which occasions bringing out the words slowly, with such a shake of the head and shrug of the shoulders, and hesitation in the speech, as implies perplexity between granting and refusing, as in the following example:

Refusing to lend Money.

They answer in a joint and corporate voice,
That now they are at fall, want treasure, cannot
Do what they would; are sorry you are honourable-
But yet they could have wish'd-they know not-

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Something hath been amiss-a noble nature

May catch a wrench-would all were well-'tis pity;
And so intending other serious matters,
After distasteful looks and these hard fractions
With certain half-caps, and cold-moving nods,
They froze me into silence. Shakes. Timon of Athens.

Refusing with Displeasure.

Met. Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Cæsar,
Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat
An humble heart.

Cas. I must prevent thee, Cimber;
These couchings, and these lowly courtesies
Might fire the blood of ordinary men,
And turn pre-ordinance, and first decree
Into the lane of children. Be not fond,
To think that Cæsar bears such rebel blood,
That will be thaw'd from the true quality

With that which melteth fools; I mean, sweet words,
Low-crooked curt'sies, and base spaniel fawning.

Thy brother by decree is banished;

If thou dost bend, and pray, and fawn for him,
I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.
Know, Cæsar doth not wrong, nor without cause
Will he be satisfied.

Ibid. Jul. Cas.


When done with unreserved good-will, is accompanied with a benevolent aspect, and tone of voice; the right hand open, with the palm upwards, extending towards the person we favour, as if delivering to him what he asks; the head at the same time inclining forwards, as indicating a benevolent disposition and entire consent.

Giving a Daughter in Marriage.

Pros. If I have too severely punished you,
Your compensation makes amends; for I
Have given you here a third of mine own life,
Or that for which I live, whom once again
I tender to thy hand: all thy vexations

Were but my trials of thy love, and thou
Hast strangely stood the test.
I ratify this my rich gift: O Ferdinand,
Do not smile at me that I boast her off;
For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise,
And make it halt behind her.

Fer. I do believe it

Here, afore heav'n,

Against an oracle.

Pros. Then as my gift, and thine own acquisition,
Worthily purchas'd, take my daughter.

Shakes. Tempest.


Gratitude puts on an aspect full of complacency. If the object of it be a character greatly superiour, it expresses much submission. The right hand open with the fingers spread, and pressed upon the breast just over the heart, expresses very properly a sincere and hearty sensibility of obligation.

Gratitude for great Benefits.

O great Sciolto! O my more than father!
Let me not live, but at thy very name
My eager heart springs up and leaps with joy.
When I forget the vast, vast debt I owe thee-
(Forget-but 'tis impossible) then let me
Forget the use and privilege of reason,
Be banish'd from the commerce of mankind,
To wander in the desert among brutes,
To bear the various fury of the seasons,
The midnight cold, and noon-tide scorching heat,
To be the scorn of earth, and curse of heaven.

Rowe's Fair Penitent


Curiosity opens the eyes and mouth, lengthens the neck, bends the body forwards, and fixes it in one posture, nearly as in Admiration. When it speaks, the voice, tone, and gesture, nearly as Inquiry. See INQUIRY.

Curiosity at first seeing a fine Object.

Pros. The fringed curtains of thine eye advance,

And say what thou seest yond.

Mir. What! is't a spirit?

Lo, how it looks about! believe me, Sir,

It carries a brave form.

But 'tis a spirit.

Pros. No, wench, it eats and sleeps, and hath such senses As we have, such.

Mir. I might call him

A thing divine, for nothing natural,
I ever saw so noble.


Promise of prosperous Events.

Shakes. Tempest.

Promising is expressed by benevolent looks, a soft but earnest voice, and sometimes by inclining the head, and hands open, with the palms upwards, towards the person to whom the promise is made. Sincerity in promising is expressed by laying the right hand gently on the left breast.

I'll deliver all,

And promise you calm seas, auspicious gales,
And sail so expeditious, it shall catch
Your royal fleet far off.



To parents, superiours, or persons of eminent virtue, is an humble and respectful acknowledgment of their excellence, and our own inferiority. The head and body is inclined a little forward, and the hand, with the palm downward, just raised so as to meet the inclination of the body, and then let fall again with apparent timidity and diffidence; the eye is sometimes lifted up, and then immediately cast downward, as if unworthy to behold the object before it; the eye-brows are drawn down; the features, and the whole body and limbs, are all

composed to the most profound gravity. When this rises to adoration of the Almighty Creator and Director of all things, it is too sacred to be imitated, and seems to demand that humble annihilation of ourselves, which must ever be the consequence of a just sense of the Divine Majesty, and our own unworthiness.


Is but a less degree of veneration, and is nearly allied to modesty.


Expresses itself by bending the body forwards, and stretching the arms towards the object, as to grasp it. The countenance smiling, but eager and wishful; the eyes wide open, and eye-brows raised; the mouth open; the tone of voice suppliant, but lively and cheerful, unless there be distress as well as desire; the expressions fluent and copious; if no words are used, sighs instead of them; but this is chiefly in distress.


Commendation is the expression of the approbation we have for any object in which we find any congruity to our ideas of excellence, natural, or moral, so as to communicate pleasure. As commendation generally supposes superiority in the person commending, it assumes the aspect of love, (but without desire and respect,) and expresses itself in a mild tone of voice, with a small degree of confidence the arms are gently spread, the hands open, with the palms upwards, directed towards the person approved, and sometimes gently lifted up and down, as if pronouncing his praise.


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