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pardon. If his man enters the room without what he sent for, “ That blockhead,” begins he" Gentlemen, I ask your pardon, but servants now.a-days”—The wrong plates are laid, they are thrown into the middle of the room; his wife stands by in pain for him, which he sees in her face, and answers as if he had heard all she was thinking; “ Why, what the devil! Why don't you take care to give orders in these things?” His friends sit down to a tasteless plenty of every thing, every minute expecting new insults from bis impertinevt passions. In a word, to eat with, or visit Syncropius, is no other than going to see him exorcise his family, exercise their patience, and his own anger.
It is monstrous that the shame and confusion in wbich this good-natured angry man must needs behold his friends while he thus lays about him, does not give him so much reflection as to create an amendment. This is the most scandalous disuse of reason imaginable; all the harmless part of him is no inore than that of a bull-dog, they are tame no longer than they are not offended. One of these good-natured angry men shall, in an instant, assemble together so many allusions to secret circumstances, as are enough to dissolve the peace of all the families and friends he is acquainted with, in a quarter of an hour, and yet the next moment be the best natured man in the whole world. If you would see passion in its purity, without mixture of reason, behold it represented in a mad hero, drawn by a mad poet. Nat. Lee makes his Alexander say thus:
“ Away, begone, and give a whirlwind room,
My brain is burst, debate and reason quench'd;
Every passionate fellow in town talks half the day with as little consistency, and threatens things as much out of his power.
The next disagreeable person to the outrageous gentleman, is one of a much lower order of anger, and he is what we commonly call a peevish fellow. А peevish fellow is one who has some reason in himself for being out of humour, or has a natural incapacity for delight, and therefore disturbs all who are happier than himself with pishes and pshaws, or other wellbred interjections, at every thing that is said or done in his presence. There should be physic mixed in the food of all which these fellows eat in good company. This degree of anger passes, forsooth, for a delicacy of judgment, that wou't admit of being easily pleased : but none above the character of wearing a peevish man's livery, ought to bear with his ill manners. All things among men of sense and condition should pass the censure, and have the protection of the eye of
No man ought to be tolerated in an habitual humour, whim, or particularity of behaviour, by any who do not wait upon him for bread. Next to the peevish fellow is the snarler. This gentleman deals mightily in what we call the irony, and as these sort of people exert themselves most against those below them, you see their humour best in their talk to their servants. That is so like you, you are a fine fellow, thou art the quickest head-piece, and the like. One would think the hectoring, the storming, the sullen, and all the different species and subordinations of the angry should be cured, by knowing they live only as pardoned men, and how pitiful is the condition of being only suffered? But I am interrupted by the pleasantest scene of anger and the disappointment of it that I have ever known, which happened while I was yet writing, and I overheard as I sat in a back room at a French bookseller's. There came into the shop a very learned man with an erect solemn air, and though a person of great parts otherwise, slow in understanding any thing which makes against himself. The composure of the faulty man, and the whimsical perplexity of bim that was justly angry, is perfectly new. After turning over many volumes, said the seller to the buyer, “ Sir, you know I have long asked you to send me back the first volume of French Sermons I formerly lent you.”_"Sir,” said the chapman, “I have often looked for it, but cannot find it; it is cer. tainly lost, and I know not to whom I lent it, it is so many years ago.”_" Then, Sir, here is the other volume, I'll send you home that, and please to pay for both.”—“My friend,” replied he, “ can’st thou be so senseless as not to know that one volume is as imper. fect in my library as your shop?"_“Yes, Sir, butit is you have lost the first volume, and, to be short, I will be paid.”_" Sir, answered the chapman, “ you are a young man, your book is lost, and learn by this little loss to bear much greater adversities, which you must expect to meet with.”-“ Yes, Sir, I'll bear when I must, but I have not lost now, for I say you have it and shall pay me."-" Friend, you grow warm, I tell you the book is lost, and I foresee in the course even of a prosperous life, that you will meet afflictions to make you mad, if you cannot bear this trifle.”_"Sir, there is in this case no need of bearing, for you have the book."-" I say, Sir, I have not the book. But your passion will not let you hear enough to be informed that I have it not. Learn resignation of yourself to the distresses of this life: nay do not fret and fume, it is my duty to tell you that you are of an im. patient spirit, and an impatient spirit is never without woe.”-“ Was ever any thing like this?"c" Yes, Sir, there have been many things like this. The loss is but a trifle, but your temper is wanton, and incapable of the least pain; therefore let me advise you, be patient, the book is lost, but do not you for that reason lose yourself."
PRONUNCIATION AND ACTION.
Format enim Vatura prius non intus ad omnem Fortunarum habitum; juvat, aut impellit ad
iram, Aut ad humum mærore gravi deducit et angit; Post effert animi motus interprete lingua.
HOR. Ars. Poet. v. 108. For Nature forms and softens us within, And writes our fortune's changes in our face: Pleasure enchants, impetuous rage transports, And grief dejects, and wrings the tortur'd soul; And these are all interpreted by speech.
ROSCOMMON. CICERO concludes his celebrated books de Ora
tore with some precepts for pronunciation and action, without which part he affirms that the best orator in the world can never succeed; and an indifferent one, who is master of this, shall gain much greater applause. What could make a stronger impression, says he, than those exclamations of Gracchus, “ Whither shall I turn? Wretch that I am! to what place betake myself? Shall I go to the Capitol? Alas! it is overflowed with my brother's blood. Or shall I retire to my house? Yet there I bebold my mother plunged in misery, weeping and despairing!” These breaks and turns of passion, it seems, were so enforced by the eyes, voice, and gesture of the speaker, that bis very enemies could not refrain from tears. I insist, says Tully, upon this the rather, because our erators,
who are as it were actors of the truth itself, have quitted this manner of speaking; and the players, who are but the imitators of truth, have taken it up.
I shall therefore pursne the hint he has here given me, and for the service of the British stage I shall copy some of the rules which this great Roman master has laid down; yet, without confining myself wholly to his thoughts or words; and to adapt this essay the more to the purpose for which I intend it, instead of the examples he has inserted in this discourse, out of the ancient tragedies, I shall make use of parallel pas. sages out of the most celebrated of our own.
The design of art is to assist action as much as possible in the representation of nature; for the appearance of reality is that which moves us in all reprezentations, and these have always the greater force, the nearer they approach to nature, and the less they show of imitation.
Nature herself has assigned, to every emotion of the soul, its peculiar cast of the countenance, tone of voice, and manner of gesture; and the whole person, all the features of the face and tones of the voice, answer, like strings upon musical instruments, to the impressions made on them by the mind. Thus the sounds of the voice, according to the various touches which raise them, form themselves into an acute or grave, quick or slow, loud or soft tone. These too may be subdivided into various kinds of tones, as the gentle, the rough, the contracted, the diffuse, the continued, the intermitted, the broken, abrupt, winding, softened, or elevated. Every one of these may be employed with art and judgment; and all supply the actor, as colours do the painter, with an expressive variety.
Anger exerts its peculiar voice in an acute, raised, and hurrying sound. The passionate character of King Lear, as it is admirably drawn by Shakspeare, abounds with the strongest ipstances of this kind.