« PreviousContinue »
Absent in body, but present in spirit.
I Corinthians. V. 3.
14 Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see, My heart untravelled, fondly turns to thee; Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain, And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
GOLDSMITH-Traveller. L. 7.
Achilles absent, was Achilles still.
HOMER—Iliad. Bk. 22. L. 415. POPE's trans.
A Traveller at Sparta, standing long upon one leg, said to a Lacedæmonian, "I do not believe you can do as much." "True," said he, "but every goose can.” PLUTARCH-Laconic Apothegms. Remarkable
Speeches of Some Obscure Men. Illud tamen in primis testandum est, nihil præcepta atqueartes valere nisi adjuvante natura.
One thing, however, I must premise, that without the assistance of natural capacity, rules and precepts are of no efficacy.
QUINTILIAN-Proæmium. I. 4. Die Menschen gehen wie Schiesskugeln weiter, wenn sie abgeglättet sind.
Men, like bullets, go farthest when they are smoothest.
JEAN PAUL RICHTER—Titan. Zykel 26. Parvus pumilio, licet in monte constiterit; colossus magnitudinem suam servabit, etiam si steterit in puteo.
A dwarf is small even if he stands on a mountain; a colossus keeps his height, even if he stands in a well. SENECA-Epistles. 76.
(See also BUTLER) The world is like a board with holes in it, and the square men have got into the round holes.
SYDNEY SMITH, as quoted in Punch.
What shall I do with all the days and hours
That must be counted ere I see thy face? How shall I charm the interval that lowers
Between this time and that sweet time of grace? FRANCES ANNE KEMBLE-Absence.
Cum autem sublatus fuerit ab oculis, etiam cito transit a mente.
But when he (man) shall have been taken from sight, he quickly goes also out of mind. THOMAS & KEMPIS— Imitation of Christ. Bk.
I. Ch. XXIII. 1.
Les méchants sont toujours surpris de trouver de l'habileté dans les bons.
The wicked are always surprised to find ability in the good. VAUVENARGUES—Réflexions. CIII.
Oft in the tranquil hour of night,
When stars illume the sky,
Possunt quia posse videntur.
They are able because they think they are able. VERGIL- Æneid. V. 231.
Wives in their husbands' absences grow subtler, And daughters sometimes run off with the butler.
BYRON—Don Juan. Canto III. St. 22.
For there's nae luck about the house;
Attributed to W. J. MICKLE—There's Nae
y! Songs cannot hymn in.
papers after his death.
POPE—Eloise to Abelard. L. 361.
Let no one be willing to speak ill of the absent.
Life by DIOGENES LAERTIUS. (Modified
by THUCYDIDES. II. 45.) Days of absence, sad and dreary,
Clothed in sorrow's dark array,
She I love is far away.
"Tis said that absence conquers love;
But oh! believe it not.
But thou art not forgot.
Fairest of women!
My songs have followed you,
Like birds the summer;
The harping of mortals!
E. B. BROWNING—Aurora Leigh. Bk. VI.
Stood up in balmy air,
And breathed a perfume rare.
Nights. Pt. I.
(See also WILKES)
ilies. DICKENS—David Copperfield. Ch. XXVIII.
Pickwick Papers. Ch. II. SCOTT—Peveril of the Peak. Last Chapter. V.S. LEAN-Collec
tanæ. Vol. III. P. 411.
(See also MIDDLETON, DE STAËL)
II. Sc. 4.
Among the defects of the bill (Lord Derby's] which are numerous, one provision is conspicuous by its presence and another by its absence. LORD JOHN RUSSELL. Address to the Electors
of the City of London, April 6, 1859. Phrase used by LORD BROUGHAM. Quoted by CHENIER in one of his tragedies. Idea used by HENRY LABOUCHÈRE in Truth, Feb. 11, 1886, and by EARL GRANVILLE Feb. 21, 1873. LADY BROWNLOW-Reminiscences of a Septuagenarian.
(See also TACITUS) I dote on his very absence, and I wish them a fair departure.
Merchant of Venice. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 120.
7 All days are nights to see till I see thee, And nights bright days when dreams do show
thee me. Sonnet XLIII.
8 How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What old December's bareness everywhere.
Præfulgebant Cassius atque
Cassius and Brutus were the more distin-
and sister to BRUTUS, when the insignia of
(See also RUSSELL)
Nichts unter der Sonne ist Zufall-am wenigsten das wovon die Absicht so klar in die Augen leuchtet.
Nothing under the sun is accidental, least of all that of which the intention is so clearly evident. LESSING-Emilia Galotti. IV. 3.
1 At first laying down, as a fact fundamental, That nothing with God can be accidental. LONGFELLOW-Christus. The Golden Legend.
Pt. VI. 2 By many a happy accident. THOMAS MIDDLETON-No Wit, no Help, like a Woman's. Act IV. Sc. 1.
(See also GOLDSMITH) 3
Was der Ameise Vernunft mühsam zu Haufen schleppt, jagt in einem Hui der Wind des Zufalls zusammen.
What the reason of the ant laboriously drags into a heap, the wind of accident will collect in one breath. SCHILLER—Fiesco. Act II. Sc. 4.
In all me time (the stage's prime!) and The
Other One was Booth. EDMUND VANCE COOKE—The Other One was
I think I love and reverence all arts equally, only putting my own just above the others; because in it I recognize the union and culmination of my own. To me it seems as if when God conceived the world, that was Poetry; He formed it, and that was Sculpture; He colored it, and that was Painting; He peopled it with living beings, and that was the grand, divine, eternal Drama.
CHARLOTTE CUSHMAN. 13
See, how these rascals use me! They will not let my play run; and yet they steal my thunder. JOHN DENNIS-See Biographia Britannica.
Vol. V. P. 103.
I have shot mine arrow o'er the house And hurt my brother.
Hamlet. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 254.
5 Moving accidents by flood and field.
Othello. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 135.
Like hungry guests, a sitting audience looks:
the sauce, high-season'd, sharp and
rough. Kind masks and beaux, I hope you're pepper
proof? Wit is the wine; but 'tis so scarce the true Poets, like vintners, balderdash and brew. Your surly scenes, where rant and bloodshed Are butcher's meat, a battle's sirloin: Your scenes of love, so flowing, soft and chaste, Are water-gruel without salt or taste. GEORGE FARQUHAR—The Inconstant; or, The
Way to Win Him. Prologue. Prologues precede the piece in mournful verse, As undertakers walk before the hearse. DAVID GARRICK-Apprentice. Prologue.
16 Prologues like compliments are loss of time; 'Tis penning bows and making legs in rhyme. DAVID GARRICK-Prologue to Crisp's Trag
edy of Virginia.
A happy accident.
(See also GOLDSMITH) 7 The accident of an accident. LORD THURLOW-Speech in reply to Lord
The chapter of accidents is the longest chapter in the book. Attributed to JOHN WILKES by SOUTHE The Doctor. Ch. CXVIII.
(See also BURKE) ACTING; THE STAGE (See also WORLD)
9 Farce follow'd Comedy, and reach'd her prime, In ever-laughing Foote's fantastic time; Mad wag! who pardon'd none, nor spared the
best, And turn'd some very serious things to jest. Nor church nor state escaped his public sneers, Arms nor the gown, priests, lawyers, volunteers; "Alas, poor Yorick!" now forever mute! Whoever loves a laugh must sigh for Foote. We smile, perforce, when histrionic scenes Ape the swoln dialogue of kings and queens, When “Chrononhotonthologos must die,” And Arthur struts in mimic majesty.
BYRON-Hints from Horace. L. 329.
10 As good as a play.
Saying ascribed to CHARLES II. while listen
ing to a debate on Lord Ross's Divorce Bill. 11
But as for all the rest, There's hardly one (I may say none) who stands
the Artist's test. The Artist is a rare, rare breed. There were
but two, forsooth,
On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting, 'Twas only that when he was off, he was acting.
GOLDSMITH—Retaliation. L. 101.
Everybody has his own theatre, in which he is manager, actor, prompter, playwright, sceneshifter, boxkeeper, doorkeeper, all in one, and audience into the bargain.
J. C. AND A. W. HARE—Guesses at Truth.
A little private spouting;
There still remains to mortify a wit
POPE Horace. Ep. I. Bk. II. L. 30.
SCOTT, under PUBLIC) To wake the soul by tender strokes of art, To raise the genius, and to mend the heart; To make mankind, in conscious virtue bold, Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold— For this the tragic Muse first trod the stage.
POPE-Prologue to Addison's Cato. L. I. Your scene precariously subsists too long, On French translation and Italian song, Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage; Be justly warm'd with your own native rage.
POPE-Prologue to Addison's Cato. L. 42.
Old Drury's pride and boast,
Especially the ghost.
The play's the thing Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
Hamlet. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 633. 19
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.
Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 1.
Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature.
Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 19.
The play bill which is said to have announced the tragedy of Hamlet, the character of the Prince of Denmark being left out.
SCOTT—The Talisman. Introduction. 12 If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue.
As You Like It. Epilogue. L. 3.
0, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 32.
22 A hit, a very palpable hit.
Hamlet. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 294.
Like a dull actor now, I have forgot my part, and I am out, Even to a full disgrace.
Coriolanus. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 40.
Come, sit down, every mother's son, and re
hearse your parts. Midsummer Night's Dream. Act III. Sc. 1.
This high man, with a great thing to pursue,
Dies ere he knows it.
(See also BEAUMONT, CAMPBELL) What's done we partly may compute, But know not what's resisted.
BURNS—Address to the Unco Guid.
A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
Richard II. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 23.
I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
Richard III. Act III. Sc. 5. L. 5.
A beggarly account of empty boxes.
Romeo and Juliet. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 45. And, like a strutting player, whose conceit Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich To hear the wooden dialogue and sound 'Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldage.
Troilus and Cressida. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 153
Put his shoulder to the wheel.
Sect. I. Memb. 2.
St. 37. (See also BURNS) Our grand business undoubtedly is, not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
CARLYLE-Essays. Signs of the Times.
The best way to keep good acts in memory is to refresh them with new. Attributed to Cato by BACON-Apothegms.
No. 247. 20 He is at no end of his actions blest Whose ends will make him greatest and not best. GEORGE CHAPMAN—Tragedy of Charles, Duke
of Byron. Act V. Sc. 1. Quod est, eo decet uti: et quicquid agas, agere pro viribus.
What one has, one ought to use: and whatever he does he should do with all his might. CICERO—De Senectute. IX.
22 It is better to wear out than to rust out. BISHOP CUMBERLAND. See Horne's Sermon
-- On the Duty of Contending for the Truth. 23
Actions of the last age are like almanacs of the last year.
SIR JOHN DENHAM-The Sophy. A Tragedy.
(The) play of limbs succeeds the play of wit. HORACE AND JAMES SMITH-Rejected Ad
dresses. By Lord B. Cui Bono. 11. Lo, where the Stage, the poor, degraded Stage, Holds its warped mirror to a gaping age! CHARLES SPRAGUE-Curiosity.
(See also LLOYD) The play is done; the curtain drops,
Slow falling to the prompter's bell: A moment yet the actor stops,
And looks around, to say farewell. It is an irksome word and task:
And, when he's laughed and said his say, He shows, as he removes the mask,
A face that's anything but gay,
THACKERAY—The End of the Play. In other things the knowing artist may Judge better than the people; but a play, (Made for delight, and for no other use) If you approve it not, has no excuse. ÈDMUND WALLER--Prologue to the Maid's Tragedy. L. 35.
ACTION (See also DEEDS) Let's meet and either do or die. BEAUMONT and FLETCHER—The Island Princess. Act II. Sc. 2.
(See also BURNS) Of every noble action the intent Is to give worth reward, vice punishment. BEAUMONT and FLETCHER—The Captain.
Act V. Sc. 5.
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.
Ecclesiastes. IX. 10. 25
For strong souls Live like fire-hearted suns; to spend their strength In furthest striving action.
GEORGE ELIOT—Spanish Gypsy. Bk. IV.
Zeus hates busybodies and those who do too
much. EURIPIDES. Quoted by EMERSON.
27 Man is his own star, and the soul that can Render an honest and a perfect man, Commands all light, all influence, all fate. Nothing to him falls early or too late. Our acts, our angels are, or good or ill, Our fatal shadows that walk by us still. JOHN FLETCHER-Upon an Honest Man's
Fortune, L. 37.
That low man seeks a little thing to do,
Sees it and does it;