Monday, May 18, 2009



Notwithstanding all that Rousseau has advanced so very ingeniously upon plays and players, their profession is, like that of a painter, one of the imitative arts, whose means are pleasure, and whose end is virtue.—Shenstone.

Comedians are not actors; they arc onlj imitators of actors.—Zimmermann.

They are the only honest hypocrites. Then life is a voluntary dream, a studied madness. The height of their ambition is to be beside themselves. To-day kings, to-morrow beggars, it is only when they are themselves that they are nothing. Made up of mimic laughter and tears, passing from the extremes of joy or woe at the prompter's call, they wear the livery of other men's fortunes; their very thoughts are not their own.—Ilazlitt.

There is one way by which a strolling player may be ever secure of success; that is, in our theatrical way of expressing it, to make a great deal of the character. To speak and act as in common life is not playing, nor is it what people come to see; natural speaking, like sweet wine, runs glibly over the palate, and scarcely leaves any taste behind it; but being high in a part resembles vinegar, which grates upon the taste, and one feels it while he is drinking.—


It is with some violence to the imagination that we conceive of an actor belonging to the relations of private life, so closely do we identify these persons in our mind with the characters which they assume upon the stage.—Lamb.

Where they do agree on the stage, their unanimity is wonderful.—Sheridan.

The actor is in the capacity of a steward to every living muse, and of an executor to every departed one: the poet digs up the ore; he sifts it from the dross, refines and purifies it for the mint; the actor sets the stamp upon it, and mak.w it current in the world.—Cumberland.

They are the abstract, and brief chronicle* of the time.—Shakespeare.

All the world ' - a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.—Shakespeare.

The stage ia a supplement to the pulpit, where virtue, according to Plato's sublime idea, moves our love and affection when made visible to the eye.—Disraeli.

God is the author, men are only the players. These grand pieces which are played upon earth have been composed in heaven.—Balzac.

Let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them.—Shakespeare.

The most difficult character in comedy is that of the fool, and he must be no simpleton that plays that part.— Cervantes.

We that live to please must please to live.— Johnson.

In acting, barely to perform the part is not commendable; but to be the least out is contemptible.—Steele.

On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting; it was only when he was off that he was acting.—Goldsmith.

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