The Life of Edmund Kean, Volume 1

E. Moxon, 1835

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Page xl - With respect to the extravagance of actors, as a traditional character, it is not to be wondered at. They live from hand to mouth ; they plunge from want into luxury ; they have no means of making money breed ; and all professions that do not live by turning money into money, or have not a certainty of accumulating it iu the end by parsimony, spend it.
Page xliii - It were for me To throw my sceptre at the injurious gods ; To tell them that this world did equal theirs Till they had stol'n our jewel.
Page xxiii - A farther excellence in Betterton, was, that he could vary his spirit to the different characters he acted. Those wild impatient starts, that fierce and flashing fire, which he threw into Hotspur, never came from the unruffled temper of his Brutus; (for I have, more than once seen a Brutus as warm as Hotspur) when the Betterton Brutus was...
Page 13 - Before the piece was brought out, I had a number of children brought to me, that I might choose a Cupid. One struck me, with a fine pair of black eyes, who seemed by his looks and little gestures...
Page xxiii - The voice of a singer is not more strictly tied to time and tune than that of an actor in theatrical elocution : the least syllable too long, or too slightly dwelt upon, in a period, depreciates it to nothing : which very syllable if rightly touched, shall, like the heightening stroke of light from a master's pencil, give life and spirit to the whole.
Page 59 - Kean once played Young Norval to Mrs. Siddons's Lady Randolph : after the play, as Kean used to relate, Mrs. Siddons came to him, and patting him on the head, said, " You have played very well, sir, very well. It's a pity, — but there's too little of you to do anything.
Page 201 - I shall be glad to have some conversation with you. My name is Arnold ; I am the manager of Drury Lane Theatre.
Page 200 - ... understand acting. He was very attentive to the performance. Seeing this, I was determined to play my best. The strange man did not applaud ; but his looks told me that he was pleased. After the play, I went to...
Page 126 - Laertes commenced, after slurring " for better for worse " through the usual salute, to push carte and tierce, which might, as far as the scientific use of the small sword was concerned, have been as correctly termed cart and horse. My companion, who had by no means a poor opinion of his own skill, and who was rather unmerciful towards the awkwardness of others, laughed outright, and in a manner sufficient to disconcert even an adroit performer. He proposed to me to leave the place, calling out theatrically,...
Page 88 - He used to mope about for hours, walking miles and miles alone with his hands in his pockets, thinking intensely on his characters. No one could get a word from him ; he studied and slaved beyond any actor I ever knew.

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