Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/493

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477
GREETING BY GESTURE.

personal safety. We can learn to swim and climb only by exercises in swimming and climbing. It is not by running that we learn to overcome the vertigo we feel in lofty places or to extricate ourselves from danger by the strength of our arms.

These truths can and ought to be taught. A considerable portion of them are already popular; some, new or less known, form the matter of the new manual of gymnastic exercises and school plays which the Minister of Public Instruction is about to publish.

However important these tentatives in teaching may be, they are still insufficient. There should be instituted in physical education a special technical teaching in which the mechanism of the movements and their physiology shall be studied with all the development which it permits. On this condition we can raise the level and the return of physical education. We can also by this means introduce ameliorations into manual trades by seeking for a more perfect adaptation of tools to the human organization, and in general the best utilization of muscular force wherever it is called into exercise. This branch is, with hygiene, one of the most useful applications of biological science and touches at many points upon the amelioration of the condition of the laboring classes. While it requires the co-operation of a number of particular branches of knowledge necessitating specialization, its social bearing still deserves to interest special minds and exercise the sagacity of students. — Translated for The Popular Science Monthly from the Revue Scientifique.


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GREETING BY GESTURE.

By GARRICK MALLERY.

I.

VERBAL salutations have generally been employed to explain those expressed by gesture and posture. The study of ancient literature and of modern travel has furnished many friendly phrases of anthropologic and ethnic interest. But friendly greetings were common before articulate speech prevailed. Sign-language was then the mode of communication, and gestures connected with the concepts and emotions of men preceded and influenced all historic ceremonials of greeting. So it is judicious to resort to gesture-speech, as still found surviving among some peoples and deaf-mutes, for the explanation of the existing and still more of the oldest known forms of salutation, whether verbal or silent. Undoubtedly some of the verbal forms are of recent origin and are independent of any gesture,