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· I wou'd thou coud'ft stammer, that thou might'st
pour this conceal'd man out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrow neck'd bottle, either too much at once, or none at all. I
I prythee take the cork out of thy mouth, that I may drink thy tidings.'
Every speech after this, convinc'd us more and more, that we had been long in poffeffion of a jewel that we had scandalously neglected; till toward the end of the play, her raillery to her lover, who pretended to be dying for her, shew'd us fully what she was. Ex eo Corydon, Corydon et tempore nobis.
With what pleasure is it that one recollects the circumstances that discovered so much merit; that one remembers the manner in which she said,
• No, faith, die by attorney ; the poor world ' is almost fix thousand years old, and in all this
time there was not a man died in his own per• fon, videlicet, in a love cause : Troilus had his • brains dath'd out with a Grecian club, yet
he did what he cou'd to die before, and he is
one of the patterns of love. Leander was anoother of them ; he wou'd have liv'd many a fair
year, tho' Hero had turn'd Nun, if it had not been for a hot midsummer night; for, good youth, he went forth to wash himself in the Hellespont, and being taken with the cramp he
was drown'd; and the foolish chro:viclers of " that age found it was for Hero of Seftos. But " there are all lies; men have dy'd from tinie
to time, and worms have eaten tbem; but not 6 for love.
c H A P.
CH A P. IV. Players who are naturally amorous, are the only
ones who shou'd perform the Parts of Lovers upon the Stage.
N actress whose personal charms had long
render'd her celebrated among a set of pertoriners, where some others might with more justice have claim'd the first applaufe, had the part of a princess assign'd her in a new piece, whose character was remarkable for a very tender passion to a very faithless man: She perfectly remember'd the words of her part, but she was by no means able to throw into it that tenderness, which the author had meant to characterise the lady by:
There are many reasons why two people of the same sex thou'd not have any very great friendship for one another while on the fame stage ; but all these pleaded in vain against the generosity of temper of one of this favourite lady's fister-actresses. She was fond of her, and wish'd nothing so much as to see her merit as a player equal to the applauses which were bestow'd upan her person. She peculiarly wish'd to see her excell in this new part. She gave her many le ! sons upon the subject; but they did not produce the intended effect. In fine, the instructress one day in amazement ask'd her scholar, Dear creature, can there be any real difficulty in what I am taking all this pains to set you right in ? throw your self out of the personated character into real life; suppose yourself the generous tender woman you act, betray'd in the same base manner: If you
were to be this moment abandoned by a man whom you tenderly loved, would it not strike you with the most sensible pain? Would not you be endeavouring by every means in the world! I! reply'd the lady to whom this discourse was directed! I should certainly be endeavouring to get myself another lover as quick as I could. If that be the case, reply'd the other, we are both throwing away our time: I am very well fatisfy'd that you will never play this part as you ought to do.
The consequence the friend of our actress drew from this declaration of the state of her heart, was a very just one; the celebrated lady having no other ideas in a love affair than those of interest or vanity, was utterly incapable of expressing any thing of the tenderness and delicacy of that elegant and di&nterested paffion.
What is the reason that no body ever play'd Juliet so well as Mrs. Cilber, but that Mrs. Cibber has a heart better form'd for tendernefs than any other woman who ever attempted it; and perhaps, in real life, more deserves the name of a lover than any body of her sex ever did ? It is easy to see that in all that tenderness Shakespear has put into the mouth of this favourite character, this actress is, as the delivers it, glorying in the opportunity of expressing her own sentiments in such elegant language ; and 'tis fur this reason that no body after her will ever be endur'd on the same stage in that passionate speech, wherein she tells Romeo from her window,
Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face, Elle would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
For that which thou hast heard me speak to
night: Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny What I have spoke ;--but farewel compliment. Doft thou love me? I know thou wilt fay
aye, And I will take thy word : yet if thou swear'st, Thou may'st prove false :-at lover's perjuries They say Jove laughs.-O gentle Romeo, If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully; Or if you think I am too quickly won, I'll frown and be perverse, and say thee nay, So thou wilt woo; but else not for the world.
· In truth, sweet Mountague, I am too fond, And therefore thou may'st think my 'haviour light: But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true, Than those that have more cunning to be strange.
Or in those eager and animated speeches to him afterwards, which indeed, in reading, are very pleasing; but which are not the thing that strike us to the heart with a tenderness for the character, except when she speaks them, such are,
If thou wilt swear, swear by thy gracious self,
O for a falkner's voice,
Romeo's name. -If that thy bent of love be honourable, Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow;
And all my fortunes at thy foot I lay,
Whoever has heard this actress deliver there speeches, knows that there is more fondness, more real love in them, than in all the pompous declarations of it in a S'atira, when in the transports of an enthusiastic passion, the fays of Alexander,
He kisses softer than a southern wind,
Or in the eager expression of it in Hermione, when Pyrrhus apologizes for his own inconftancy, by telling her, the man who ne'er was lov'd can ne'er be false; with how much spirit and earneftness does Mrs. Horton answer to this,
Have I not lov'd you then, perfidious man?
But with all the energy that accompanies this speech, there appears something wanting in it; we perceive that Hermione is very angry, but we do not distinguish in her that heart-felt passion the poet meant the should discover in every fentence, as the source of that anger: pride, and an indignation of being forsaken for another, seem the reigning passions in the character as this lady