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Death ! Confusion!
-why Gloster! Gloster! I'd speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his wife. Are they inform’d of this ? my breath and blood! Fiery? the fiery duke?".
Sorrow and complaint demand a voice quite diffe. rent, flexible, slow, interrupted, and modulated in a mournful tone; as in that pathetical soliloquy of Cardinal Wolsey on his fall. “ Farewell!
-a long farewell to all my greatness! This is the state of man-to-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hope ; to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him, The third day comes a frost, a killing frost, And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a ripening, nips his root, And then he falls as I do."
We have likewise a fine example of this in the whole part of Andromache in the Distrest Mother, particularly in these lines:
“ I'll go, and in the anguish of my heart
Fear expresses itself in a low, hesitating, and abject sound. If the reader considers the following speech of Lady Macbeth, while her busband is about the murder of Duncan and his grooms, he will imagine her even affrighted with the sound of her own voice while she is speaking it.
“ Alas! I am afraid they have awak'd,
Courage assumes a louder tone, as ip that speech of Don Sebastian.
“ Here satiate all your fury;
Pleasure dissolves into a luxurious, mild, tender, and joyous modulation; as in the following lines of Caius Marius.
« Lavinia ! O there's music in the name, That soft'ning me to infant tenderness, Makes my heart spring, like the first leaps of life."
And perplexity is different from all these; grave, but not bemoaning, with an earnest uniform sound of voice; as in that celebrated speech of Hamlet.
“ To be, or not to be that is the question :
Th’ oppressor's wrongs, the proud man's contumely,
As all these varieties of voice are to be directed by the sense, so the action is to be directed by the voice, and with a beautiful propriety, as it were to enforce it. The arm, which, by a strong figure, Tully calls the Orator's Weapon, is to be sometimes raised and extended; and the hand, by its motion, sometimes to lead, and sometimes to follow the words as they are uttered. The stamping of the foot too has its proper expression in contention, anger, or absolute command. But the face is the epitome of the whole man, and the eyes are, as it were, the epitome of the face; for which reason, he says, the best judges among the Romans were not extremely pleased, even with Roscius himself, in his mask. No part of the body, besides the face, is capable of so many changes as there are different emotions in the mind, and of expressing them all by those changes. Nor is this to be done without the freedom of the eyes; therefore Theo. phrastus called one, who barely rehearsed his speech with his eyes fixed, an absent actor.
As the countenance admits of so great variety, it requires also great judgment to govern it. Not that the form of the face is to be shifted on every occasion, lest it turn to farce and buffoonery; but it is certain that the eyes have a wonderful power of inarking the emotions of the mind, sometimes by a stedfast look, sometimes by a careless one, now by a sudden regard, then by a joyful sparkling, as the sense of the words is diversified : for action is, as it were, the speech of the features and limbs, and must therefore conform itself always to the sentiments of the soul. And it may be observed, that in all which relates to the gesture, there is a wonderful force implanted by nature, since the vulgar, the unskilful, and even the most bar. barous, are chiefly affected by this. None are moved by the sound of words, but those who understand the language; and the sense of many things is lost upon men of dull apprehension: but action is a kind of universal tongue; all men are subject to the same passions, and consequently know the same marks of them in others, by which they themselves express them.
Perhaps some of my readers may be of opinion, that the hints I have here made use of, out of Cicero, are somewhat too refined for the players on our theatre : in answer to which, I venture to lay it down as a maxim, that without good sense no one can be a good player, and that he is very unfit to personate the dignity of a Roman hero, who cannot enter into the rules for pronunciation and gesture delivered by a Roman orator.
There is another thing which the author does not think too minute to insist on, though it is purely mechanical; and that is the right pitching of the voice. On this occasion, he tells the story of Gracchus, who employed a servant with a little ivory pipe, to stand behind him, and give him the right pitch, as often as he wandered too far from the proper modulation, Every voice, says Tully, has its particular medium and compass, and the sweetness of speech consists in leading it through all the variety of tones naturally, and without tonching any extreme. Therefore, says he, leave the pipe at home, but carry the sense of this custom with
HOW TO ENJOY LIFE.
Non est vivere sed valere vita. MAR.
IT is an unreasonable thing some men expect of their
acquaintance. They are ever complaining that they are out of order, or displeased, or they know not how, and are so far from letting that be a reason for retiring to their own homes, that they make it their argument for coming into company. What has any body to do with accounts of a man's being indisposed but his physician? If a man laments in company, where the rest are in humour enough to enjoy themselves, he should not take it ill if a servant is ordered to present him with a porringer of caudle or possetdrink, by way of admonition that he go home to bed, That part of life which we ordinarily understand by the word conversation, is an indulgence to the sociable part of our make; and should incline us to bring our proportion of good-will or good-humour among the friends we meet with, and not to trouble them with relations wbich must of necessity oblige them to a real or feigned atsiction. Cares, distresses, diseases, uneasinesses, and dislikes of our own, are by no means to be obtruded upon our friends. If we would consider how little of this vicissitude of motion and rest, which we call life, is spent with satisfaction, we should be more tender of our friends, than to bring them little sorrows which do not belong to them. There is no real life but cheerful life; therefore valetudinarians should be sworn before they enter into company, not to say a word of themselves until the meeting breaks up. It is not here pretended, that we should be always sitting with chaplets of flowers round our beads, or be crowned with roses in order to make our entertain. ment agreeable to us; but if, as it is usually observed,