Biographia Dramatica: Or, A Companion to the Playhouse: Containing Historical and Critical Memoirs, and Original Anecdotes, of British and Irish Dramatic Writers, from the Commencement of Our Theatrical Exhibitions; Amongst Whom are Some of the Most Celebrated Actors. Also an Alphabetical Account, and Chronological Lists, of Their Works, the Dates when Printed, and Observations on Their Merits. Together with an Introductory View of the Rise and Progress of the British Stage, Volume 2
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Page 54 - We were all at the first night of it, in great uncertainty of the event; till we were very much encouraged by overhearing the Duke of Argyle, who sat in the next box to us, say, 'it will do — it must do! — I see it in the eyes of them!
Page 18 - This was the fatal period of that virtuous fabric, wherein yet nothing did perish but wood and straw, and a few forsaken cloaks ; only one man had his breeches set on fire, that would perhaps have broiled him, if he had not by the benefit of a provident wit put it out with bottle ale.
Page 18 - King Henry making a mask at the Cardinal Wolsey's house, and certain cannons being shot off at his entry, some of the paper, or other stuff wherewith one of them was stopped, did light on the thatch...
Page 217 - Statutes in that case made and provided, and against the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King, his crown, and dignity.
Page 212 - Penitent, his next production (1703), is one of the most pleasing tragedies on the stage, where it still keeps its turns of appearing, and probably will long keep them, for there is scarcely any work of any poet at once so interesting by the fable, and so delightful by the language.
Page 277 - Hamlet" the praise of variety. The incidents are so numerous, that the argument of the play would make a long tale. The scenes are interchangeably diversified with merriment and solemnity ; with merriment, that includes judicious and instructive observations; and solemnity, not strained by poetical violence above the natural sentiments of man. New characters appear from time to time in continual succession, exhibiting various forms of life and particular modes of conversation.
Page 73 - D'Ambois" upon the theatre ; but when I had taken up what I supposed a fallen star, I found I had been cozened with a jelly ; * nothing but a cold, dull mass, which glittered no longer than it was shooting...
Page 148 - To remark the folly of the fiction, the absurdity of the conduct, the confusion of the names and manners of different times, and the impossibility of the events in any system of life, were to waste criticism upon unresisting imbecility, upon faults too evident for detection, and too gross for aggravation.