Shakespeare from Betterton to Irving, Volume 2

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Constable, 1921 - Theater
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Page 69 - His legs bestrid the ocean : his rear'd arm Crested the world : his voice was propertied As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends ; But when he meant to quail and shake the orb, He was as rattling thunder.
Page 75 - No, no, no life! Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, And thou no breath at all? Thou'lt come no more, Never, never, never, never, never!
Page 195 - Went to the theatre, where I went on a first rehearsal of ' King Lear.' My opinion of the introduction of the Fool is that, like many such terrible contrasts in poetry and painting, in acting representation it will fail of effect ; it will either weary and annoy or distract the spectator. I have no hope of it, and think that at the last we shall be obliged to dispense with it.
Page 323 - And not only do the scenes melt dream-like one into another, but over all the fairy portion of the play there is a haze thrown by a curtain of green gauze placed between the actors and the audience, and maintained there during the whole of the second, third, and fourth acts. This gauze curtain is so well spread that there are very few parts of the house from which its presence can be detected, but its influence is everywhere felt ; it subdues the flesh and blood of the actors into something more...
Page 325 - Ephesus, which is the crowning scenic glory of the play. The dresses, too, are brilliant. As beseems an Eastern story, the events all pass among princes. Now the spectator has a scene presented to him occupied by characters who appear to have stepped out of a Greek vase ; and presently he looks into an Assyrian palace and sees figures that have come to life and colour from the stones of Nineveh. There are noble banquets and glittering processions, and in the banquet-hall of King Simonides there is...
Page 89 - Mr. Capon, like his old acquaintance, the late John Carter, was cast in the mould of antiquity ; and his passion was, and is, the ancient architecture of this country. With all the zeal of an antiquary, therefore, the painter worked as if he had been upon oath ; and as all that he painted for the new theatre perished in the miserable conflagration of it a few years after, I indulge myself in some description of the scenery, which so much interested Mr. Kemble. The artist had a private painting room,...
Page 6 - Mr. Holland had constructed, in the recess, a theatre in the lyral form, rather solid than light in its appearance, and of which the fronts of the boxes bulged something in the curve of a ship's side.
Page 86 - Fort form a back ground to the sleeping centinels in the Critic ; but nothing could be less accurate, or more dirty, than the usual pairs of low flats that were hurried together, to denote the locality of the finest dialogue that human genius ever composed. The error was too universal to admit of a speedy or radical corrective. The vast old stock could not be entirely condemned, and the treasury could seldom bear the expense of any very considerable novelties. The scale of dimension was also too...
Page 170 - Easter spectacle, while the plays of Shakespeare were put upon the stage with make-shift scenery, and, at the best, a new dress or two for the principal characters. That although his brother John, whose classical mind revolted from the barbarisms which even a Garrick had tolerated, had abolished the bag-wig of Brutus and the goldlaced suit of Macbeth, the alterations made in the costumes of the plays founded upon English history in particular, while they rendered them more picturesque, added but...
Page 26 - Farewell ; and if my fortune be not crost, I have a father, you a daughter, lost. SONG — JESSICA. Haste, Lorenzo, haste away, To my longing arms repair, With impatience I shall die; Come, and ease thy Jessy's care ; Let me then, in wanton play, Sigh and gaze my soul away.

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