The Life of Henry Irving, Volume 1

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Longmans, Green, 1908 - Actors
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Page 190 - He's here in double trust; First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself.
Page 374 - Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade.
Page 94 - Lass,' and on his return home had said : " But there was a young fellow in the play who sits at the table and is bullied by Sam Emery ; his name is Henry Irving, and if that young man does not one day come out as a great actor, I know nothing of art.
Page 107 - Then down I cast me on my face, And first began to weep, For I knew my secret then was one That earth refused to keep: Or land or sea, though he should be Ten thousand fathoms deep. "So wills the fierce avenging Sprite, Till blood for blood atones! Ay...
Page 156 - Ay, is it so? Then wakes the power which in the age of iron Burst forth to curb the great, and raise the low. Mark, where she stands, around her form I draw The awful circle of our solemn Church! Set but a foot within that holy ground, And on thy head — yea, though it wore a crown — I launch the curse of Rome!
Page 348 - Every one who has the smallest histrionic gift has a natural dramatic fertility ; so that as soon as he knows the author's text, and obtains self-possession, and feels at home in a part without being too familiar with it, the mere automatic action of rehearsing and playing it at once begins to place the author in new lights, and to give the personage being played an individuality partly independent of, and yet consistent with, and rendering more powerfully visible, the dramatist's conception. It...
Page 107 - One that had never done me wrong, A feeble man and old: I led him to a lonely field; The moon shone clear and cold: Now here...
Page 213 - But it is something more than gratitude for personal pleasure or personal improvement that moves us to offer this public homage to your genius. Acting such as yours ennobles and elevates the stage, and serves to restore it to its true function as a potent instrument for intellectual and moral culture. Throughout your too brief engagement our stage has been a school of true art, a purifier of the passions, and a nurse of heroic sentiments ; you have even succeeded in commending it to the favour of...
Page 117 - Irving has thrown the whole force of his mind into the character, and works out bit by bit the concluding hours of a life passed in a constant effort to preserve a cheerful exterior with a conscience tortured till it has become a monomania. It is a marked peculiarity of the moral position of Mathias that he has no confidant, that he is not subjected to the extortions of some mercenary wretch who would profit by his knowledge. He is at once in two worlds, between which there is no link — an outer...
Page 16 - I think would be useful to all young students. Before going to see a play of Shakespeare's I used to form - in a very juvenile way - a theory as to the working out of the whole drama, so as to correct my conceptions by those of the actors; and though I was, as a rule, absurdly wrong, there can be no doubt that any method of independent study is of enormous importance, not only to youngsters, but also to students of a larger growth.

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