Before the Footlights and Behind the Scenes: a Book about "the Show Business" in All Its Branches: from Puppet Shows to Grand Opera: From Mountebanks to Menageries; from Learned Pigs to Lecturers; from Burlesque Blondes to Actors and Actresses: with Some Observations and Reflections (original and Reflected) on Morality and Immorality in Amusements: Thus Exhibiting the "show World" as Seen from Within, Through the Eyes of the Former Actress, as Well as from Without, Through the Eyes of the Present Lecturer and Author

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Parmelee & Company, 1870 - Actors - 612 pages
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Page 424 - Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world — though the cant of hypocrites may be the worst — the cant of criticism is the most tormenting! I would go fifty miles on foot, for I have not a horse worth riding on, to kiss the hand of that man whose generous heart will give up the reins of his imagination into his author's hands — be pleased he knows not why, and cares not wherefore.
Page 278 - an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," a life for a life; Shakespeare, too : " Accursed bo the air on which ho rides, And damned all those that trust him.
Page 54 - Othello, the mixture of love that intruded upon his mind upon the innocent answers Desdemona makes, betrayed in his gesture such a variety and vicissitude of passions as would admonish a man to be afraid of his own heart, and perfectly convince him that it is to stab it to admit that worst of daggers — jealousy.
Page 56 - A distinguished theatrical performer, in consequence of the sudden illness of another actor, had occasion to prepare himself, on very short notice, for a part which was entirely new to him ; and the part was long and rather difficult. He acquired it in a very short time, and went through it with perfect accuracy, but immediately after the performance forgot every word of it. Characters which he had acquired in a more deliberate manner he never- forgets, but can perform them at any time without a...
Page 424 - I would go fifty miles on foot, for I have not a horse worth riding on, to kiss the hand of that man whose generous heart will give up the reins of his imagination into his author's hands, be pleased he knows not why, and cares not wherefore.
Page 52 - He had little eyes, and a broad face, a little pock-fretten, a corpulent body, and thick legs, with large feet. He was better to meet, than to follow; for his aspect was serious, venerable, and majestic; in his latter time a little paralytic His voice was low and grumbling; yet he could time it by an artful climax, which enforced universal attention, even from the fops and orange-girls.
Page 33 - Fathers and sons shed each other's blood; and in the intervals of lust and murder, wild riot howled through the wasted land. Even if permitted by the laws, the theatre could not exist amid such horrors. But the actors were outlawed, and the bigoted Roundheads fixed that stigma upon the profession of a player which illiterate and narrow-minded people attach to it even to this day. The Pulpit too often depicts Virtue in austere and forbidding colors, and strips her of every attractive grace. The path...
Page 519 - ... em my friends. As for the Saints (your thorough-paced ones I mean, with screwed faces and wry mouths) I despair of them, for they are friends to nobody. They love nothing, but their altars and themselves. They have too much zeal to have any charity: they make debauches in piety, as sinners do in wine; and are as quarrelsome in their religion, as other people are in their drink : so I hope nobody will mind what they say.
Page 113 - The audience hissed their rebellion at such an easy death. " If thou art merciful " continued Paris — the audience hissed more loudly still, as though calling upon Romeo to show no mercy to a man who died so luxuriously. " Open the tomb, and " faltered Paris — but what disposition he preferred to be made of the mortal mould, upon which he had bestowed such care, no Romeo could have heard ; for the redoubled hisses of the audience drowned all other sounds, and admonished Paris to precipitate...
Page 505 - Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo ; down I Thy crown does sear mine eyeballs. And thy hair, Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first. A third is like the former. Filthy hags ! Why do you show me this ? A fourth ! Start, eyes ! What!

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