Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/647

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647
GREETING BY GESTURE.

the state be the subject of suit in all cases where it has injured its citizens by acts which would come within the cognizance of laws between individuals; let twelve men adjust the differences between the one who has suffered for the good of the many and the corporate body that represents the public. This is done in all cases where property is taken by corporations created by the state, and there is no reason to prevent the application of the same rules to the principal as is applied to the agents. The time has gone by for the invoking of ancient doctrines at the expense of the liberty and the justice due to the citizen.

Despite the fanciful theories of the new school of political economists, the strong force of personal impulses and preferences are the mainsprings from which the advancement of the world takes its movement. The protection of the freedom and rights of the individual against the power of the state is as important as that society shall be protected against him, and any system of laws or social science that ignores this fact is certain to retard the cause of progressive government.


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GREETING BY GESTURE.

By GARRICK MALLERY.

II.

Salutations without contact. — The salutation now most prevalent among civilized people is the bow. That, in its abbreviated form, consists in a forward inclination of the head, sometimes accentuated by a corresponding motion of the arms, as in the salam, sometimes deepened by the depression of the upper part of the body. It is regarded by Herbert Spencer as merely a modification from the expressions of physical fear and bodily subjection noticed among subhuman animals and the lowest races of man. It originates, he says, with abject prostration and groveling, to which crawling and kneeling succeed, and the bow is but a simulated and partial prostration. An argument for this explanation is drawn from usages of savages and of antiquity.

A large class of obeisances undoubtedly had their origin in the attitudes of deprecation. A modern and familiar instance, also illustrative of the religious attitude of adoration and supplication, is in the "hands up" of our Western plains, which is an old Indian gesture sign for "no fight" or "surrender" — the palm of the empty hand being held toward the person to whom the surrender is made or implied. The Thlinkits, in addition to holding up their hands as a confession of utter helplessness,