Elegant extracts: a copious selection of passages from the most eminent prose writers (Google eBook)

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1812
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Page 112 - ... twere, 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. Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others.
Page 245 - The business of a poet," said Imlac, "is to examine, not the individual, but the species ; to remark general properties and large appearances ; he does not number the streaks of the tulip, or describe the different shades in the verdure of the forest.
Page 245 - He must write as the interpreter of nature and the legislator of mankind, and consider himself as presiding over the thoughts and manners of future generations as a being superior to time and place.
Page 243 - Whatever be the reason, it is commonly observed that the early writers are in possession of nature, and their followers of art ; that the first excel in strength and invention, and the latter in elegance and refinement.
Page 112 - 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 any thing 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; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form, and pressure.
Page 112 - And let those that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them : for there be of them, that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too ; though, in the mean time, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered: that's villainous; and . shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.
Page 112 - Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve ; the censure of the which one, must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh, 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,...
Page 111 - 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 252 - You seldom find him making Love in any of his Scenes, or endeavouring to move the Passions ; his genius was too sullen and saturnine to do it gracefully, especially when he knew he came after those who had performed both to such an height.
Page 111 - Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue : but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines.

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