The Drama of Sensibility: A Sketch of the History of English Sentimental Comedy and Domestic Tragedy, 1696-1780

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Page 4 - KNOW then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of Mankind is Man. Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state, A Being darkly wise, and rudely great: With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side, With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride, He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest; In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast; In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer...
Page 250 - Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts, The Terence of England, the mender of hearts; A flattering painter, who made it his care To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are.
Page 4 - Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd: The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
Page 258 - No, sir; she has recovered her senses, and your own arts have furnished her with the means. — Sir Peter, I do not expect you to credit me — but the tenderness you expressed for me, when I am sure you could not think I was a witness to it, has penetrated so to my heart, that had I left the place without the shame of this discovery, my future life should have spoken the sincerity of my gratitude.
Page 102 - I am no lord, but a poor needy man, come with a mean, a scandalous design to prey upon your fortune; but the beauties of your mind and person have so won me from myself that, like a trusty servant, I prefer the interest of my mistress to my own.
Page 110 - Our passions and inclinations come over next; and our reason surrenders itself with pleasure in the end. Thus the whole soul is insensibly betrayed into morality, by bribing the fancy with beautiful and agreeable images...
Page 4 - With too much knowledge for the sceptic side, With too much weakness for the stoic's pride He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest; In doubt to deem himself a god or beast ; In doubt his mind or body to prefer ; Born but to die, and reasoning but to err; Alike in ignorance, his reason such, Whether he thinks too little or too much...
Page 154 - Lost indeed! Yet, how he should be guilty of what he there charges himself withal, raises my wonder equal to my grief. Never had youth a higher sense of virtue: justly he thought, and as he thought he practised ; never was life more regular than his ; an understanding uncommon at his years — an open, generous manliness of temper — his manners easy, unaffected and engaging.
Page 17 - Self-Tormentor.' It is from the beginning to the end a perfect picture of human life, but I did not observe in the whole one passage that could raise a laugh. How well disposed must that people be, who could be entertained with satisfaction by so sober and polite mirth...
Page 8 - Comedy is an imitation of the common errors of our life, which he representeth in the most ridiculous and scornful sort that may be, so as it is impossible that any beholder can be content to be such a one.

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