The Manner of combining the Fingers of both Hands is noted by two Small Letters.

ap, applied. lp, clasped. cr, crossed. ld, folded.

The Combinations of both Arms.

en, encumbered. pd, reposed.

in, inclosed.
ur, wringing.
tc, touching.
nu, enumerating.

Ap, appealing.
At, attention.
Vn, veneration.
L8, listening.
Lm, lamentation.
Dp, deprecation.
Pr, pride.
Sh, shame.

A capital B, preceding, and joined to a set of small letters, signifies that both Hands, or both Arms, perform the same Gesture.

km, kimbo,

(either one or both).

B, both hands, or both arms.

Significant Gestures and Expressions of Countenance, may be noted in the margin, after the manner of Mr. Sheridan.


Av, aversion.
Cm, commanding.
Ad, admiration.
Hr, horror.
Gr, grief.
Fr, fear.

En, encouraging; and
many others at pleasure.


THE most complicated gestures are those which relate to the combined postures and motions of the hands and arms; yet these are expressed with sufficient accuracy by four, or fewer, notation letters for each movement. For this purpose they are divided into four classes; the notation letters of each always preserve their own place as to priority or succession, and derive their signification from

it. The first four, or the first three letters, taken together,
are called a set of letters. In a set, as phf d, or seq n,
The first letter relates to the posture of the hand.
The second, to the elevation of the arm.

The third, to the transverse situation of the arm
The fourth, to the motion or force of the gesture.*

Thus, phfd is to be read, prone horizontal forward descending. Prone, is the posture of the hand; horizontal, is the elevation of the arm; forward is the posture of the arm in the transverse direction; and descending means that the arm descends from a higher elevation. The set, seq n, is read supine elevated oblique noting. Supine, the posture of the hand; elevated, the arm, as to elevation; oblique, the arm in the transverse direction; noting, the action of the hand and arm.

As both hands and both arms are equally capable of executing any gesture, the letters, and sets of letters, relate to both indifferently. But they are thus distinguished: when there are two sets of small letters, the first set denotes the gesture of the right hand and arm; the second, those of the left. The two sets are separated by a short dash, thus: phq-pdb, prone horizontal oblique, the right hand; and prone downwards backwards, the left.

When only a single set of three, four, or five small letters is marked, the gesture of one hand only is expressed; that of the other is presumed to be easily supplied, according to the rules of accompaniment. A short dash always accompanies a single set of small letters — when the dash follows the letters, they denote the gesture of the right hand; when the dash precedes the letters, they denote the gesture of the left hand.

When a set of small letters is preceded by a capital B, the gesture which they represent is to be performed by both hands.

When a long dash follows the small letters, connecting them with other small letters, or with a single one, farther on, a change of gesture is marked, which is to take place on the word over which such letter or letters are placed; * This last letter is often omitted.

and the commencement and termination of the dash mark the commencement and termination of the gesture.

When a set of small letters, having a dash, is connected by a line of dots with another set of small letters, having a contrary dash, the gesture made by the first hand is to be followed and supported by another gesture made by the other hand, which is to take place where the second set of letters is marked. This is called alternate gesture, and noted al.

In order to prevent confusion, the postures of the head, and the direction of the eyes, are indicated by capital letters near the beginning of the sentence, or at some distance from the letters relating to the hands and arms.

The letters which mark the positions of the feet, and the steps, are placed below the line, and under the word where they should take place.



R Bvhf r


peq n-pdq

1.2. The wind was high-❘ the window shakes; |


veq c-vhx c

3. With sudden start the miser wakes! |

8R1x pdc ad



4. Along the silent room he stalks; |


B nhưng c

Bvhf tr

J.6. Looks back, | and trembles as he walks! |




7. Each lock, and ev'ry bolt he tries, |


shq o-......-she i

8. In ev'ry creek, and corner, pries; |

a R2



9. Then opes his chest with treasure stor❜d, |



10. And stands in rapture o'er his hoard: |


Bvhf c

11. But now with sudden qualms, possest, |


-ld br

id hf


12. He wrings his hands; he beats his breast― |

g br-.......


13. By conscience stung he wildly stares; |

Bshf sh

14. And thus his guilty soul deciares :


Bsdf d


15. Had the deep earth her stores confined, |



16. This heart had known sweet peace of mind ;


hfvh U

Beef sp


17.18. But virtue's sold! | Good gods! what price |



19. Can recompense the pangs of vice ? |



Bsdf d20. O bane of good! seducing cheat! |


Bvhf vef

shf st-sdq

21.22. Can man, weak man, | thy power defeat? |

seb sw-sdq

23. Gold banished honour from the mind, |



24. And only left the name behind; |



25. Gold sow'd the world with ev'ry ill; |

ceb sh-cdq

26. Gold taught the murd'rer's sword to kill: [


hf sh-sdq

27. 'Twas gold instructed coward hearts |


Bvhf rj

28. In treach'ry's more pernicious arts. |



29. Who can recount the mischiefs o'er? |


Bpdf d 30. Virtue resides on earth no more! |








For the convenience of reference, the piece is divided into sections by vertical bars, and the number of each section is printed in the margin.

(1.) The direction of motion, expressed by the 4th small letter, r, means that from the position in which both hands are presented, vhf, they should move towards the right, and stop at the position, oblique, as noted by q, connected by a dash to the position mentioned.

(2.) The 4th small letter n, signifies noting.

(12.) The posture of the hands is, at first, folded horizontal forwards, as expressed in the notation, ld hf. At the a, connected by a dash, which signifies ascending, the hands are raised up, and at the next notation, ld br, they are forcibly withdrawn back on the breast.

(21.) This posture begins horizontal, as first noted, Bvhf, and ends elevated, B vef; but the B is omitted over the word weak, being understood by the connecting dash.

(25.) The 3rd small letter, relating to the transverse direction of the arm, is often placed alone, but connected by a dash with a preceding set of letters, as already observed. (1.) In such case it is to be understood that the posture of the hands remains as before, and that the transverse direction of the arm only is changed. Here each arm passes through the whole semicircle, from the position across to extended.

The fourth and the fifth small letter, which relates to the direction and manner of motion, are also often separated in this manner from the position to which they belong, in order that the place of the motion, or action, may be the more distinctly marked. (See 9, 15, and 20, in which n is thus separated, to point out the particular syllable on which the action of noting falls).

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