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they pronounced their fentences well in one speech, they will be sure to pronounce every speech in the fame manner, be the substance or sense of it ever so different from that of the first. We have at present an actress among us who has the secret of affecting an audience beyond most people, in places where the poet bas meant to touch them to the heart, with the distress of the character the plays; she is not contented with this praise when she has room to deserve it, but will be attempting to make every passage she fpeaks, even the most indifferent, moving and affecting; and because fhe has been told that there is a peculiar beauty in her manner of fheding tears, the would, by her own good will, be always crying.

Every tender passage appears to her to be the fame thing, of whatever character it makes a part; and we have the mortification to find the mischief spreading wide among the rest of the people of the fame houfe. Whoever has of late attended the tragedies there, cannot but have perceived that the men are getting into the fame me lancholy turn. 'Tis in vain that the poets have made tenderneffes of a thou fand kinds, they have but one manner of expresfing them all; they Thew only the softness and distress of their part, when there is requir'd a force and dignity, even in the sorrow that is confessed in it; they are wafting their fighs to us, when they ought to be expressing the severest transports of their rage and vengeance, together with their grief; and they lament and bemoan themselves like shepherds who have loft a lamb, when the poet meant that they fhould grieve like exil'd kings, whose subjects suffered under usurping tyrants.

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You wou'd think I had an hundred and fifty tatter'd prodigals just come from fwine-keeping ; from eating draff and husks.

A mad fellow met me on the way and told me, I had been unloading all the gibbets and had press'd the dead bodies. No eye hath feen such scare-crows-I'll not march with them thro' Coventry, that's flat: nay, and the villains march wide betwixt the legs as if they had gyves on, for indeed I had the most of them out of prifon- There's but a shirt and a half in my whole company, and the half shirt is two napkins tack'd together, and thrown over the shoulders like a herald's coat without fleeves : and the shirt, to fay truth, was ftolen from the host at St. Alban's, or the reduc'd innkeeper of Daintry ; but that's all one, they'll find linen enough on every hedge.”

Never was there more room for humour and variety in the player than in this famous fpeech, and never was there so much of either shewn in it as by the person we are celebrating in this part. We with the charge of sameness in deportment in all characters, which some are apt to lay against another great player, could as juftly or as easily be got over as the injudicious charge of monotony against Mr. Quin is by these, and might be by a thousand other instances.

We are also to reckon, among the number of the causes of false recitation, or a vicious delivery in our actors, the reigning passion that most of them have for some particular manner of playing : if they suppose they have merit in any one thing, they will not rest till they introduce that fort of merit into every part, even into things the most opposite and contradictory: if they have been told

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they pronounced their fentences well in one speech, they will be sure to pronounce every speech in the same manner, be the substance or fense of it ever so different from that of the first. We have at present an actress among us who has the secret of affecting an audience beyond most people, in places where the poet has meant to touch them to the heart, with the distress of the character she plays; fhe is not contented with this praise when she has room to deserve it, but will be attempting to make every passage she fpeaks, even the most indifferent, moving and affecting ; and because the has been told that there is a pecue liar beauty in her manner of fheding tears, the would, by her own good will, be always crying

Every tender passage appears to her to be the same thing, of whatever character it makes a part; and we have the mortification to find the mischief spreading wide among the rest of the people of the same house. Whoever has of late attended the tragedies there, cannot but have perceived that the men are getting into the fame melancholy turn. 'Tis in vain that the poets have made tenderneffes of a thoufand kinds, they have but one manner of expressing them all; they shew only the softness and distress of their part, when there is requir'd a force and dignity, even in the sorrow that is confessed in it; they are wafting their fighs to us, when they ought to be expressing the severest transports of their rage and vengeance, together with their grief; and they lament and bemoan themfelves like shepherds who have lost a lamb, when the poet meant that they fhould grieve like exild kings, whose fubjects suffered under usurping tyrants.

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Others we have among the actors of fome credit and character at present, who have a great deal of feeling coupled with very little judgment, and who consequently can never find the art of moderating, with any degree of propriety, the emotions which the redundance of this good quality throws them into. The actors of this sort are frequently very severely blam'd for faults which the excess only of what is right in itself occasion in them: they are ever carrying too far the exprefsion of the principal passion they are to feel ; they employ all that vehemence and ardour, which is neceffary and laudable in the more interesting parts of the character, into every scene tho' ever so indifferent; and facrifice truth and reason, in an idle hope of giving an unnatural energy to their acting.

However violent the love of Torrismond may be for the fair Leonora, that heroe, when speaking to his friends and confidents, tho' he has occafion to mention his passion to them, is not to raise himself to all that transport and energy which it is proper he should use when speaking to the queen of Arragon, or when avowing his love in the face of his infolent and haughty rival.

The highest instance which perhaps the world ever saw of the use of that judicious moderation of the paffions, according to the variation of the circumstances of the part, (the want of which we have so much reason to lament on the English stage,) was that which fome years ago charm’d the French audiences for a long succession of nights, in the character of Penelope.

There is no doubt but a fettled melancholy ought to be a peculiar characteristic of that diftress'd princess ; she is very judiciously thrown by

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the author into a state of sorrow till the very hour of Ulyses's return; yet, as the circumstances of her misfortunes differ in the several parts of the play, the judicious actress who perform'd this favourite part perceived that there might be great merit in moderating her griefs insensibly, as the occasions of them lefsen'd. The nearer that play approaches toward a conclufion, the more the terrors of Penelope abate, and the more her sorrow ought to abate also: in the first act she has the absence of a husband and that of an only fon to lament; but in the second, her son is restor'd to her; and, soon after the return of Telemachus, The receives certain information that Ulysses himself is also living; her grief therefore is to diminish all the way as the causes of it are taken off; and, in fine, it is not to be supposed that her despair fhould express itfelf in the same manner when she has nothing to fear but the infidelity of her husband, as when she supposed him dead.

The younger players are more apt to be guilty of the fault we have been mentioning, as opposite to this excellence, than those who better understand their profession ; but even these latter very often fall into one that is little less absurd ; that is, when there is any affecting circumstance that concerns the character they represent, they do not take the pains to regulate the sensation they have of it, by the nature of the character that is supposed to feel it, but give us, instead of that, the manner in which themselves would have felt it.

The character of Marcia in Cato, tho' a very fine one as deliver'd from the hands of the author, has been very seldom represented to us in its native beauty; the actresses have not felt the different

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