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STAGE, THE.

Where is our usual manager of mirth?
What revels are in hand? Is there no play,
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
_Midsummer Night's Dream, Act v. Sc. 1_. SHAKESPEARE.

Prologues, like compliments, are loss of time;
'Tis penning bows and making legs in rhyme.
_Prologue to Crisp's Tragedy of Virginia_. D. GARRICK.

Prologues precede the piece in mournful verse,
As undertakers walk before the hearse.
_Prologue to Apprentice_. D. GARRICK.

On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting,
'Twas only that when he was off, he was acting.
_Retaliation_. O. GOLDSMITH.

The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give.
For we that live to please, must please to live.
_Prologue. Spoken by Mr. Garrick on Opening Drury
Lane Theatre, 1747_. DR. S. JOHNSON.

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.
_Prologue to Addison's Cato_. A. POPE.

As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
After a well-graced actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious.
_Richard II., Act v. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wanned?
_Hamlet, Act ii. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears.
_Hamlet, Act ii. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
A stage, where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.
_Merchant of Venice, Act i. Sc. 1_. SHAKESPEARE.

I have heard
That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul, that presently
They have proclaimed their malefactions.

* * * * *

The play's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.
_Hamlet, Act ii. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

Lo, where the stage, the poor, degraded stage,
Holds its warped mirror to a gaping age.
_Curiosity_. C. SPRAGUE.

A veteran see! whose last act on the stage
Entreats your smiles for sickness and for age;
Their cause I plead,--plead it in heart and mind;
A fellow-feeling makes one wondrous kind.
_Prologue on Quitting the Stage in 1776_. D. GARRICK.

Who teach the mind its proper face to scan,
And hold the faithful mirror up to man.
_The Actor_. R. LLOYD.




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