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round bire, as if to implore compassion. Garrick was often present at these scenes of misery, and used to say that it gave him the first idea of Lear's madmess. He sometimes gave a representation of this unhappy father. He leaned on the back of a chair, seeming, with parental fondness, to play with a chuld; and, after expressing the most heartfelt delight, he suddenly seemed to drop the infant, and instantly broke into a most violent agony of grief, so tender, so affecting, that every eye in the company was moistened with a gush of tears."
Hamlet was undoubtedly a favourite character with Garrick; yet judging from his unpardonable alteration of that fine play, we might suppose he had no true relish of the character. Murphy, bowever, and all his biographers are warm in praising his delineation of the Prince of Denmark. lo all the shiftings of the passions, in which the tragedy abounds, his voice and attitude changed with wonderful celerity; and, at every pause, his face was an index to his mind. On the appearance of the Ghost, such a figure of consternation was never seen. He stood fixed in mute astonishment, and the audience saw him growing paler and paler. After an interval of suspense, he spoke in a low and trembling accent, and uttered his questions with the greatest difficulty." The rest of Murphy's account of Garrick in this part, is uninteresting, because totally deficient in that particularity which only can convey information. Davies is equally mystic; and unfortunately we have no better authorities.
Macbeth afforded another opportunity for the display of Garrick's talents. He seems to have acted it very finely; but nothing is preserved relative to his mode of representing the guilty Thane, more descriptive than what follows:-"Conscious of his fall design, Macbeth, with terror and dismay says, 'Is this a dagger that I see before me?' Garrick's attitude, his consternation, and his pause, while his soul appeared in his countenance, and the accents that followed, astonished the spectators. The sequel was a climax of terror, till at last he finds it to be the effect of a disordered imagisation, and exclaims:
voice so peculiarly musical, as, very early in life, obtained him the appellation of "The silver-toned Barry," which, in all his love scenes (lighted up by the smiles of such a countenance) was persuasion itself. Indeed, so strongly did he communicate his feelings on these occasions, that, whoever observed the expressive countenances of most of the female parts of his audience, would fancy that each seemed to say, in the language of Desdemona, "Would that heaven had made me such a man!"
His greatest trumph was Othello. This was the first character he ever appeared in, the first his inclinations prompted him to attempt, and the first, without question, that exhibited his genius in the full force and variety of its powers. In the outset of Othello, when he speaks but a few short sentences, there appears a dignified calmness in his nature. These passages are often passed over as if the actor reserved himself for something more striking; but Barry knew the value of these introductory traits of character; and in his very first speech, "It's better as it is," bespoke such a preeminence of judgment, such a noble forbearance of temper, as roused the attention of his audience, and led them to anticipate the highest gratification. His address to the senate was a glorious piece of oratory. In the recital of his "feats of broils and battles," the courage of the soldier was fully seen; but when he came to the tender ejaculations of Desdemona, his voice was so harmonised to the expression, that the sigh of pity communicated itself to the whole house. In the second act, when he meets Desdemona at Cyprus, after the storm, his rushing into her arms, and repeating that fine speech-O! my soul's joy!" was the action and voice of love itself; describing that passion in so extatic a manner, as seemingly justified his fears, that such transports could never recur. Through the whole of the third act, where Iago is working him up to jealousy, his breaks of love and rage, were masterpieces of nature; but in his conference with Desdemona in the fifth act, where he describes the agony of his mind, and then looking tenderly on her, exclaims,
"But there, where I had garner'd up my heart, Where either I must live, or bear no life;"
the extremes of love and grief were so powerfully painted in his face, and so impressively given in his tones, that the audience seemed to lose the energies of their hands, and could only thank bim with their tears. In Othello, the author rises from scene to scene to a climax of horror and intense interest never equalled in any language; and Barry was an actor that kept pace with the mighty poet whose conceptions he embodied; his ravings over the dead body of his innocent wife, his reconciliation with Cassio, and his dying soliloquy, were all in the full play of varied excellence, and forced from the severest critic, the most unqualified applause. Colley Cibber, with all his partialities for Betterton, gave Barry the palm in Othello.
Notwithstanding the great popularity of this actor, it is a singular fact that not any good portrait of him exists, or we should have certainly added him to our group.
Barry died in January, 1777.
WE have no very perfect account of this great actor, who, it appears, was rejected by Garrick, as altogether unfit for the stage; a striking instance of that wonderful artist's jealousy or want of judgment. The following extracts from Boaden's Life of Kemble, convey a tolerably good idea of Henderson's peculiar style of acting, and are abundantly sufficient to establish his claim to the very highest rank in his art:
"Mr. Henderson was, at this time (just before the appearance of John Kemble) perhaps the
greatest master of his art; he resembled his illustrious predecessor (Garrick) in his versatility. His tragedy, however, was certainly inferior to his comedy. In the former, he had comparatively fewer requisites. His understanding was of the highest order, and his feelings could be instantaneously excited; but his person was without either dignity or grace; and his eye, though well placed for expression, wanted colour, as his face, though rather handsome, was too fleshy to shew all the muscular action, 'in which expression resides. He was neglectful, too, of such aids as might have been had to his figure. He paid not the slightest attention to costume, and was indifferent even as to the neatness of his dress. He affected to care nothing about it. He pleased himself that he could at length make you forget the want which need not to have existed. All his excellencies were perfectly concomitant with propriety in dress. Had he studied appearance, his Lear might have been venerable; although bis Hamlet could not be the mould of form,' it might easily have been the glass of fashion;' but he never looked even to the linings of the suit he wore, and once boasted that he had played, I think, ten characters consecutively, in the same coat. His conceptions were grand, and beautiful, and just; but they were often baffled by his execution of them. When Henderson's Lear was first discovered, he looked like Falstaff sitting as Henry the Fourth; and when Lear speaks in his sleep, and fancying himself on the point of gaining the battle, exclaims, Charge, charge upon the flank,' the tones were exactly those with which Falstaff encourages Hal in the combat with Percy, and excited a titter from so unsuitable a recollection. He had, indeed, made Falstaff his own, and the jolly knight seemed rather too kindly to have returned the compliment; for that vast soul of humour more or less informed all his other characters. He would sometimes delight to shew, without language, the rapid and opposite emotions, as they rise and chace each other in the mind. A masterly effort of this kind was Falstaff's reading the letter from Mrs. Ford in the presence of the foolish carrion,' Mrs. Quickly. First you saw that he had his bellyful of Ford,' her messenger even was an object of detestation. He glanced over the beginning of the letter, and pished at its apologies. He turned again to the messenger to see how her air was in unison with the language of her mistress. The cudgel of Ford then seemed to fall on his shoulders, and he shrunk from the enterprise. He read a sentence or two of the letter, a spark of lechery twinkled in his eye, which turned for confirmation of his hopes upon love's ambassadress; and thus the images of suffering and desire, of alarm and enjoyment, succeeded one another, until at last the oil of incontinency in him settled above the waters of the Thames, and the divinity of odd numbers determined him to risk the third adventure.'
"I will not (said Mr. Kemble once to me) speak of Henderson's Falstaff: every person can say how rich and voluptuous it was; but I will say, that his Shylock was the greatest effort I ever witnessed on the stage.' member it in its principal scenes, and I have no doubt whatever that it fully merited so high a praise; but I respectfully insinuate, that Macklin in the trial scene was superior to him and all men. Yet it may be proper here to say, that in many of his characters Henderson's superiority may be disputed; but that his performance of Falstaff is as much above all competition, as the character itself transcends all that was ever thought comic in man. The cause of this pre-eminence was purely mental, he understood it better in its diversity of powers; his imagination was congenial; the images seemed coined in the brain of the actor; they
sparkled in his eye, before the tongue supplied them with language. I saw him act the character in the Second Part of Henry IV. where it is more mataphysical, and consequently less powerful. He could not supply the want of active dilemmas, such as exhilirate the Falstaff of the First Part, but it was equally perfect in conception and execution. I have borne with many invasions on this pecular domain of Henderson. It has in truth been an ungracious task to most of his successors; they seem all to have doubted their right of possession; to have considered themselves tenants only upon sufferance; and thus it was with King, and Palmer, and Stephen Kemble, and Ryder, and a whole chapter of fat knights, who have roared and chuckled at the slightest possible expense of thought; and, laughing much themselves in their turns, perhaps, set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too.'-Peace to all such!"
Henderson died 25th November, 1785, when he had not completed his thirty-ninth year.
MACKLIN made the part of Shylock peculiarly his own, as he was the first actor who ever represented that inimitably fine character in a serious and effective manner; previous to his assumption of it, it was usual to degrade the Jew of Venice into a mere buffoon. Macklin performed a variety of characters with infinite success, but his Shylock alone connects him with Shakspeare. The following extract from Kirkman's Life of Macklin, will illustrate the merit of that performance more forcibly than anything of our own.
Anthonio Bassanio.. Gratiano Shylock ... Launcelot Gobbo Salerio.... Morochius Lorenzo
Prince of Arrogan Duke of Venice Jubal Salarino Portia
"In the year 1741, Macklin resolved to revive The Merchant of Venice, by Shakspeare, in opposition to the Jew of Venice, altered from the same author by lord Landsdowne. The play was put in rehearsal, and Macklin stuck close to Shakspeare's text, and studied the part of Shylock with great diligence. He saw from the beginning, that such a character, if properly supported, afforded a wide scope for the display of his abilities; but he had a great deal to encounter and surmount. The public had been for a long time to see and approve the representation of the Jew of Venice, in which, the part of Shylock, instead of being the principal, was the most subordinate in the play, and was always personated by a very low comedian. Macklin, however, persevered. During the rehearsals he did not let any person, not even the players, see how he intended to act the part. He merely repeated the lines of the character, and did not by so much as one single look, tone, gesture, or attitude, disclose his manner of personating the cruel Israelite. The actors declared that Macklin would spoil the performance; and Quin went so far as to say, that he would be hissed off the stage for his arrogance and presumption. Nay, even the manager himself expostulated with him, as to the propriety of having The Merchant of Venice represented in opposition to the judgment of so eminent a person as lord Lansdowne; still Macklin, supported throughout by his sound sense and acute discrimination, continued firm, and The Merchant of Venice was announced for representation on the 14th of February. It was cast in the following manuer:
that he was. Perhaps the discrimination of Taci-
The cartain rose, and the performers who opened
Hamlet introduced Mr. Kemble to a London audience, and it may well be doubted whether the part was ever so ably represented, either before or The calm, contemplative nature of the since. royal Dane, seemed to sit peculiarly well upon him, and the noble poetry of the part came from his mouth clothed with all the richness and harmony of eloquence. His scene with the Ghost was all that the most critical judgment could require; for without once degenerating into rant, he was imcontinued before him, his eye was fixed in eager pressive in the highest degree. While the spectre inquiry, and his voice, in the fine adjuration "Aninto a hushed irresolute tone, betrayed the amazegels and ministers of grace defend us!" sinking ment of the speaker. When he heard the tale of his father's murder, a sudden hectic of anger flitted over his pale cheek, but it was succeeded by intense sorrow, as he ejaculated "Alas! poor ghost." The devotedness with which he promised revenge appeared to rise naturally out of the circumas the phantom vanished, asking by his clasped stances; but the way in which he sunk on his knees was above praise. In the play scene his wildly hands, and imploring looks the paternal blessing, expressed affection towards Ophelia, and his anxious scrutiny of the King, combined with the assumed follies of fatuity, deadened the spectator's ed him into a belief that real events were passing perception that the whole was a fiction, and cheat
ance, he was at once malevolent and then infuriate, and then malevolent again; the transitions were strictly natural, and the variation of his countenance admirable. In the dumb action of the trial scene he was amazingly descriptive; and, through the whole, displayed such unequalled merit, as jastly entitled him to the comprehensive though concise compliment paid him by Pope, who sat in the stage-box on the third night of the representation, and emphatically exclaimed
Macklin, there can be no doubt, looked, as well as spoke the character of Shylock, much better than any other person. In the level scenes, his voice was most happily suited to that sententious gloominess of expression the author intended; which, with a sullen solemnity of deportment, marked the character strongly. In his malevolence, there was a forcible and terrifying ferocity. During the interview with Tubal, in the third act, he was inimitable. He broke the tones of utter-before him. In the closet scene, his upbraidings of still bore her as a son; but the attitude of dumb Gertrude were finely tempered by the affection he the Ghost, would have justified Partridge's critidismay in which he stood on the re-appearance of derful in Garrick's terror at seeing a spirit. In cism in Tom Jones, who could find nothing wonexclamation "What, the fair Ophelia?" was the last act, when apprised of Ophelia's death, his every eye in the audience became involuntarily given in a tone of such heart-rending pathos that dimmed with tears. The soliloquy, "To be or not to be," and the advice to the players, were given with appropriate effect; and indeed every "When Mr. Kemble first appeared, sible finish. portion of the character received the highest pos(says Boaden) he played the part in a modern court dress of rich black velvet, with a star on the breast, the garter and pendant ribband of an order, mourning sword and buckles, with deep ruffles: the hair in powder, which in the scenes of feigned distraction, flowed dishevelled in front and over the shoulders."
OF SHAKSPEARE'S CHARACTERS.
On the first night of the revival, the house was crowded in every part. Some came from motives of pleasure, some to express their disapprobation, some to support the actor, and a great number appeared merely to gratify their curiosity. Before the curtain rose, the manager appeared in the green-room in great distress. The actors were anticipating the reception that awaited them, and were making malicious remarks upon the headstrong conduct of Macklin. It is impossible to describe the feelings of poor Shylock at this precise juncture. Macklin knew that he was right, but he could not be sure of a kind reception from a mixed and stormy audience.
"This is the Jew,
That Shakspeare drew."
The Jew of Venice made his final exit, and The Merchant of Venice has held quiet possession of the stage ever since. eing then consiMacklin died in July, 1797, derably upwards of a hundred years old.
J. P. KEMBLE.
THE following passage from Boaden's Life of this truly great and most excellent man, will be read with interest: "Mr. Kemble, as to his persen, might be said to be majestic by effort rather than habit; he could become so in a moment. His ordinary gait was careless, his look rather kind than penetrating. He did not, except professionally, strive to be considered the noble creature
Macbeth, as represented by Kemble, was our sympathies, his natural bias was to virtue, character that to the very last seemed entitled to overwhelming circumstances had plunged him in guilt. He trod the blasted heath a truly magni
ficent being, flushed with victory, happy in the present, and full of hope for the future. His dress as a Scottish thane, shewed his fine person to great advantage; the graceful negligence of the tartan, the ample plumage of the bonnet, the warlike semblance of the brightly bossed shield, all conspired to produce a picture, not classical indeed, but romantic in the highest degree. The appearance of the Weird Sisters seemed to paralyse the triumphant chieftain, and their "All hail,” with the deceitful prophecies that followed took hold of his imagination and sunk into his brain with fatal power. You saw at this moment, as Kemble represented the part, a virtuous and singlehearted soldier on the point of being seduced from his onward course into crooked paths of evil, and the feeling inspired was decidedly compassion. In the scene where his fiend-like wife persuades him to assassinate his guest, the noble burst
tia's dead!" it was the voice of nature whispered from the heart of a stoic. The way in which he relieved his drowsy page from bis instrument, was a delightful piece of domestic kindness. His deportment on beholding the shade of Caesar, and his answer to the prophecy "Thou shalt meet me at Phillippi," were inconceivably grand, as his fortitude under defeat, and his constancy in death, were in the highest degree affecting and dignified. Coriolanus. In this character Mr. Kemble took his leave of the stage: it was a glorious performance. Forgetting all the infirmities of age, (he was then sixty, and had been for years a martyr to the gout,) he threw all his mighty intellect into the lofty-minded Patrician, and rushed upon the stage with the step and air, and enthusiasm of youth. The same ardour supported him through the whole play; his bitter scorn of the plebeians had never been given with such annihilating force, the Tribunes shrunk into nothingness before him; and at Corioli, he seemed like a youthful Mars was delivered with all the energy of truth, and he bearing death and victory on his sword. When seemed for a moment to have broken from the suing for the Consulship, the royalty of scorn with trammels of his destiny. Immediately previous which he drew back from the prying eyes of the to the murder, when conscience presents the people, and the impatient enumeration which he visionary dagger to appal him, his terrible rumi- made of his claims to preferment, produced an nations were given in a tone of hurry and alarm, electric effect. Even this was but the level part and with looks of dread and irresolution, admira- of the character; the vehemence of his indignation, bly appropriate. The crime completed, you when charged with treason, was terrible; and the heard the voice of the assassin as he descended burst of contempt, "There is a world elsewhere,” from the chamber of his victim, and the effect of rolled from his lips like a thunder-peal. The those few words was absolutely sublime; for they scenes at Antium merit equal praise; but language were enunciated in a hollow sepulchral tone, sinks beneath the attempt to describe his excelwhich bespoke all the horror, despair, and punish-lence in the last act, it was a wonderful display of ment of a murderer. Presently, moving mechani- genius: Raphael might have ennobled his concepcally, like a madman in breathless haste to escape tions by studying it. from some undefined evil, came Macbeth, staring with eyes that seemed starting from their sockets, on his bloody hands, and weapons "unmannerly breeched with gore.' At the banquet, when Banquo's apparition rises, the frenzy of his amazement was adequate to its cause. He dashed down the untasted goblet, and gazed as if hell had yawned at his feet. Nor can we omit to remark the melancholy beauty bestowed by Kemble on the closing scenes of Macbeth. Who that heard him deliver it, can ever forget the deep pathos of his manner, in the soliloquy beginning "My way of life is fallen into the sear," alas! how different from the "sound and fury of more recent performers.
"I dare do all that may become a man,
Brutus. In the representation of this part, and indeed of all his Roman characters, this actor never had a rival. His person, always grand and commanding, in the dress of a Roman senator or warrior, swelled into a majesty of port and demeanour that seemed too high for mere mortality. The garden scene in Julius Cæsar, which most artists would leave tiresome and tedious, was in Kemble's hands a source of exquisite delight to every auditor of taste. His address to the conspirators was the outpouring of a patriot's soul; and his regretful glance at Cæsar as he passed into the capitol, was a fine commentary on the text of Shakspeare. When the dictator lay dead at his feet, while he shook his ensanguined sword, and called on his country's Gods, Liberty first, his figure dilated as he spoke, and his voice seemed an echo from the glories of ancient Rome. His oration to the plebeians, was what it always should be-clear, nervous, authoritative, patrotic. The tent scene, certainly one of the author's noblest efforts, was perhaps the greatest triumph of the actor. The spirit of the death-despising Brutus appeared to modulate his tones, alike incapable of passion or prejudice, his calmness was as awful as his energy, and he stood in his integrity, like an oak of the forest, which the storm may break, but cannot bend. Even this, however, was inferior to the concentrated grief which marked the exclamation Por
THE following account of Cooke's personal qualifications for the histrionic art, is taken from Goede, a German critic, and it seems to be correct and impartial: "Cooke does not possess the elegant figure of Kemble, but his countenance beams with expression. The most prominent features in the physiognomy of Cooke, are a long and somewhat hooked nose, of uncommon breadth between the eyes, which are fiery, dark, and at times, terribly expressive, with prominent lids, and flexible brows; a lofty and broad forehead, and the muscles around the mouth pointedly marked. His countenance is certainly not so dignified as Kemble's; but its expression of passion, particularly the worst passions of our nature, is stronger. His voice, though sharp, is powerful and of great compass, a pre-eminence which he possesses by nature over Kemble, and of which he skilfully avails himself. His attitudes are far less picturesque than those of Kemble; but they are just, appropriate, and natural."
The account we shall now give of Cooke in his three principal characters, is extracted from his life by Dunlop, with reference however to other sources of information.
On the 31st of October, 1800, Mr. Cooke then in the forty-fifth year of his age, appearec for the first time on the Covent Garden stage, a Richard III. and at once established his fame a a first-rate tragedian. "Never," he says, "was reception more flattering, nor ever did I receiv more encouraging, indulgent, and warm approba tion, than on that night, both through the play an at the conclusiou. Mr. Kemble did me the honou of making one of the audience."
Mr. Cooke's figure and manner in many portion of his representation of the crafty tyrant, were em nently dignified and graceful, and his superiori over other performers in the confident dissimul tion, and the bitter sarcasm of the character, acknowledged on all hands. Even those peculiar
ties, and habits, and tones of voice, which at first startled and almost offended, were converted by the force of his abilities into sources of pleasure. The effect produced by the high-pitched tone of his voice in the opening speech was quite electric. During the first three lines
"Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by the sun of York;
And all the clouds that lower'd upon our house---” he was without motion, his hands hanging at ease; at the beginning of the fourth,
"........ We do pray for mercy, And that same prayer doth teach us all To render the deeds of mercy."
Shakspeare here makes Portia, in her zeal, quote the Lord's Prayer, and enforce its divine precepts as applicable to Shylock; but the great actor, by his looks, and the movement of his head and hand, gives a comment on the text, by rejecting the application to himself or those of his belief.
On the 18th of the same month, Mr. Cook personated Iago, a part in which he had no comdown-petitor. He had only to combat the recollection of Henderson, and those who had seen that noble tragedian, pronounced him his legitimate successor, while the younger part of the audience agreed that they had never seen Iago until then. In the exhibition of every species of hypocrisy, Cooke accused of betraying so much of the workings of excelled all other players. In Iago he has been cunning and deceit to the audience, that it appears wonderful how Othello could be deceived by him: but it must be remembered, first, that it was to the spectators, and not to Othello, that he betrayed the workings of his soul on his expressive countenance; and secondly, that Othello, seeing through the jaundiced medium of jealousy, is not capable of discovering, even in the eager and obRichard's scene in the fourth act with Stanley, be- his extreme love and honesty. Cooke's peculiaritrusive suggestions of Iago, any other motive than
"I'm busy---Thou troublest me---I'm not i' th' vein."
Gloster..There let him sink, and be the seas on him!
ties of manner and voice were singularly adapted
This last line, given in a manner so perfectly contrasted with There let him sink," yet with a transition as natural as it was rapid, and the whole intellect thrown into the sneering expression of the face and tone of voice, said in the four words sach anatterable things as defy language.
"Within these three days let me hear thee say,
Cooke's acting throughout the last scenes was amazingly energetic; the horrors of the night preceeding the battle, and the death of Richard, were fearfully depicted.
Cooke used then to start; and the spectator might read plainly in his expressive face, "What! murder my friend and companion?" he then coOn the 10th November following, Cooke perform-vered his face with his hands, and gradually lifting his head, when he withdrew his hands, his face and eyes were turned upwards: he then started again, as if remembering the oath he had just taken, and after a second mental struggle, said, as if submitting to necessity, and the obligation imposed on him by his vow,
ed Shylock for the first time before a London audience. Nothing can be conceived more perfectly "The Jew that Shakspeare drew," than the voice, and expression of this great actor. In the great scene of the third act, he was greeted with shouts of applause. The gloomy satisfaction that seemed to accompany the recollection of the bond by which he had Antonio "on the hip," and the savage exultation of his laugh when the full mount of his enemy's loss is stated, were frightfally impressive. The transitions were made in a masterly manner, and the speech in which Shylock urges his own wrongs and vindicates his tribe, formed a climax of as well wrought passion as can be conceived. In the trial scene, the "lodged hate" of the impenetrable Israelite was kept constantly in view. The audience were surprised and delighted at the abruptness of his reply to Pora's request that he would permit the bond to be torn. When it is paid according to the tenor," he lest she should tear it; and at the same time, a mabestily replies, indicating a degree of apprehension lignant recognition of the penalty due. In fact,
"In the deep bosom"
be lifted the right hand a little, with a gently
"of the ocean"
and made a short pause, then sinking his hand (the
I'll hear no more."
........ The Tower? Ay, the Tower --the Tower!"
or of his departure from the unfortunate Buckingham,
and the rejecting shake of his head and waving of his hand, when she says,
Gloster..Well, my lord, what is the news with you?
who can forget that ever heard Cooke throw his
"My friend is dead."
This unrivalled actor, died at New York, on the 26th of September, 1812, in his 58th year; the victim of a long course of brutalizing intemperance, which alone prevented him from attaining, early in life, the first rank in his profession.
whether of humour, wit, or mere sprightliness, was "THIS lady's delivery of dialogue (says Davies) never surpassed, or perhaps equalled. Her fame town flocked to see her in every new character.
daily increased from the eagerness with which the
Not confined to any one walk in acting, she ranged through them all, and discovered a high degree of merit in whatever she undertook; her tragic powers were in which re
quired force of expression and dignity of figure. She excelled as the Queen in Hamlet, and as Queen Katharine in Henry VIII.; but the character which she made especially her own, was Lady Macbeth. She gave these parts importance by her action, as well as speaking; her few defects proceeded from a too loud and profuse expression of grief, and a want of grace in her manner;
"It is an attribute of God himself;"