English Actors: Their Characteristics and Their Methods

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Clarendon Press, 1886 - Acting - 60 pages
 

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Page 12 - Suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 't were, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.
Page 12 - Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue : but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus ; but use all gently ; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.
Page 12 - Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor; suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature: for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature...
Page 31 - As an actor, confess'd without rival to shine; As a wit, if not first, in the very first line: Yet, with talents like these, and an excellent heart, The man had his failings, a dupe to his art. Like an ill-judging beauty, his colours he spread, And beplaster'd with rouge his own natural red. On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting; Twas only that when he was off he was acting.
Page 13 - O, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
Page 10 - He had all the parts of an excellent orator, animating his words with speaking and speech with action, his auditors being never more delighted than when he spoke nor more sorry than when he held his peace, yet even then he was an excellent actor still, never falling in his part when he had done speaking but with his looks and gesture maintaining it still unto the height...
Page 30 - tis true, as you say, that I've injured a letter, I'll change my note soon, and, I hope, for the better : May the right use of letters, as well as of men, Hereafter be fixed by the tongue and the pen ; Most devoutly I wish they may both have their due, And that /may be never mistaken for U !
Page 28 - Garrick reckoned a tolerable author, though he has proved how little sense is necessary to form a great actor ! His Cymon, his prologues and epilogues, and forty such pieces of trash, are below mediocrity, and yet delight the mob in the boxes, as well as in the footman's gallery. I do not mention the things written in his praise, because he writes most of them himself.
Page 37 - But above all, never let your Shakespeare be out of your hands, or your pocket; keep him about you as a charm; the more you read him the more you will like him, and the better you will act him.
Page 19 - Mr. Betterton (although a superlative good actor) labored under ill figure, being clumsily made, having a great head, a short thick neck, stooped in the shoulders, and had fat short arms, which he rarely lifted higher than his stomach. His left hand frequently lodged in his breast, between his coat and waistcoat, while, with his right he prepared his speech.

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