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Absenti nemo ne nocuisse velit.

Let no one be willing to speak ill of the absent. PROPERTIUSElegiæ. IÎ. 19. 32. Chilo in

Life by DIOGENES LAERTIUS. (Modified by THUCYDIDES. II. 45.)


Days of absence, sad and dreary,

Clothed in sorrow's dark array, Days of absence, I am weary;

She I love is far away.
ROUSSEAUDays of Absence.




Among the defects of the bill (Lord Derby's] which are numerous, one provision is conspicuous by its presence and another by its absence. LORD JOHN RUSSELL. Address to the Electors

of the City of London, April 6, 1859. Phrase used by LORD BROUGHAM. Quoted by CHENIER in one of his tragedies. Idea used by HENRY LABOUCHÈRE in Truth, Feb. 11, 1886, and by EARL GRANVILLE Feb. 21, 1873. LADY BROWNLOW-Reminiscences of a Septuagenarian.

(See also TACITUS) I dote on his very absence, and I wish them a fair departure.

Merchant of Venice. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 120.

ACACIA A great acacia, with its slender trunk And overpoise of multitudinous leaves, (In which a hundred fields might spill their dew And intense verdure, yet find room enough) Stood reconciling all the place with green.

E. B. BROWNING-Aurora Leigh. Bk. VI.
Light-leaved acacias, by the door,

Štood up in balmy air,
Clusters of blossomed moonlight bore,

And breathed a perfume rare.
GEORGE MACDONALD Song of the Spring

Nights. Pt. I.
Our rocks are rough, but smiling there
Th' acacia waves her yellow hair,
Lonely and sweet, nor loved the less
For flow'ring in a wilderness.
MOORE—Lalla Rookh. Light of the Harem.

ACCIDENT Chapter of accidents. BURKE-Notes for Speeches. (Edition 1852) Vol. II. P. 426.

(See also WILKES) Accidents will occur in the best regulated fam

ilies. DICKENS-David Copperfield. Ch. XXVIII.

Pickwick Papers. Ch. II. Scott-Peveril of the Peak. Last Chapter. V.S. LEAN-Collectance. Vol. III. P. 411.




All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show

thee me. Sonnet XLIII.



How like a winter hath my absence been

From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!

What old December's bareness everywhere. Sonnet XCVII.



To what happy accident is it that we owe so unexpected a visit? GOLDSMITH-Vicar of Wakefield. Ch. XIX.



Præfulgebant Cassius atque Brutus eo ipso, quod effigies eorum non vide


Cassius and Brutus were the more distinguished for that very circumstance that their portraits were absent. From the funeral of JUNIA, wife of CASSIUS

and sister to BRUTUS, when the insignia of
twenty illustrious families were carried in
the procession.
TACITUS-Annals. Bk. III. Ch. 76.

(See also RUSSELL)

Our wanton accidents take root, and grow
To vaunt themselves God's laws.
CHARLES KINGSLEY-Saint's Tragedy. Act

II. Sc. 4.


Nichts unter der Sonne ist Zufall-am wenigsten das wovon die Absicht so klar in die Augen leuchtet.

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By many a happy accident. Thomas MIDDLETON--No Wit, no Help, like a Woman's. Act IV. Sc. 1.

(See also GOLDSMITH) 3

Was der Ameise Vernunft mühsam zu Haufen schleppt, jagt in einem Hui der Wind des Zufalls zusammen.

What the reason of the ant laboriously drags into a heap, the wind of accident will collect in one breath. SCHILLERFiesco. Act II. Sc. 4.


See, how these rascals use me! They will not let my play run; and yet they steal my thunder. JOHN DENNIS–See Biographia Britannica.

Vol. V. P. 103.


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Like hungry guests, a sitting audience looks:
Plays are like suppers; poets are the cooks.
The founder's you: the table is this place:
The carvers we: the prologue is the grace.
Each act, a course, each scene, a different dish,
Though we're in Lent. I doubt you're still for

flesh. Satire's the sauce, high-season'd, sharp and

rough. Kind masks and beaux, I hope you're pepper

proof? Wit is the wine; but 'tis so scarce the true Poets, like vintners, balderdash and brew. Your surly scenes, where rant and bloodshed

join. Are butcher's meat, a battle's sirloin: Your scenes of love, so flowing, soft and chaste, Are water-gruel without salt or taste. GEORGE FARQUHARThe Inconstant; or, The

Way to Win Him. Prologue.

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Prologues precede the piece in mournful verse, As undertakers walk before the hearse.

DAVID GARRICK-Apprentice. Prologue.



Prologues like compliments are loss of time; 'Tis penning bows and making legs in rhyme. DAVID GARRICK-Prologue to Crisp's Trag

edy of Virginia.


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

GOLDSMITH-Retaliation. L. 101.


Farce follow'd Comedy, and reach'd her prime,
In ever-laughing Foote's fantastic time;
Mad wag! who pardon'd none, nor spared the

And turn'd some very serious things to jest.
Nor church nor state escaped his public sneers,
Arms nor the gown, priests, lawyers, volunteers;
“Alas, poor Yorick!” now forever mute!
Whoever loves a laugh must sigh for Foote.
We smile, perforce, when histrionic scenes
Ape the swoln dialogue of kings and queens,
When "Chrononhotonthologos must die,”
And Arthur struts in mimic majesty.

BYRON-Hints from Horace. L. 329.

10 As good as a play. Saying ascribed to CHARLES II. while listen

ing to a debate on Lord Ross's Divorce Bill. 11

But as for all the rest, There's hardly one (I may say none) who stands

the Artist's test. The Artist is a rare, rare breed. There were

but two, forsooth,

Everybody has his own theatre, in which he is manager, actor, prompter, playwright, scene shifter, boxkeeper, doorkeeper, all in one, and audience into the bargain.

J. C. AND A. W. HARE-Guesses at Truth.


It's very hard! Oh, Dick, my boy,
It's very hard one can't enjoy

A little private spouting;
But sure as Lear or Hamlet lives,
Up comes our master, Bounce! and gives
The tragic Muse a routing.
HoonThe Stage-Struck Hero.

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There still remains to mortify a wit
The many-headed monster of the pit.

POPE-Horace. Ep. I. Bk. II. L. 30.

Scott, under PUBLIC )
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.

POPE-Prologue to Addison's Cato. L. 1. Your scene precariously subsists too long, On French translation and Italian song. Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage; Be justly warm'd with your own native rage.

POPE-Prologue to Addison's Cato. L. 42.

Tom Goodwin was an actor-man,

Old Drury's pride and boast,
In all the light and spritely parts,

Especially the ghost.
J. G. SAXE-The Ghost Player.

The play's the thing Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.

Hamlet. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 633. 19

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.

Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 1. 20

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature.

Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 19.




The play bill which is said to have announced the tragedy of Hamlet, the character of the Prince of Denmark being left out.

SCOTT-The Talisman. Introduction. 12

If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue.

As You Like It. Epilogue. L. 3.

0, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 32.


A hit, a very palpable hit.

Hamlet. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 294.


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Come, sit down, every mother's son, and re

hearse your parts. Midsummer Night's Dream. Act III. Sc. 1.

L. 74.


Is there no play, To ease the anguish of a torturing hour? Midsummer Night's Dream. Act V. Sc. 1.

L. 36. 2 A play there is, my lord, some ten words long, Which is as brief as I have known a play; But by ten words, my lord, it is too long, Which makes it tedious. Midsummer Night's Dream. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 61.

As in a theatre, the eyes of men, After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage, Are idly bent on him that enters next, Thinking his prattle to be tedious.

Richard II. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 23.

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I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
Speak and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
Intending deep suspicion.

Richard III. Act III. Sc. 5. L. 5.


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And, like a strutting player, whose conceit
Lies in his hamstring, and doth think it rich
To hear the wooden dialogue and sound
'Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldage.

Troilus and Cressida. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 153.

Put his shoulder to the wheel.
BURTON--Anatomy of Melancholy. Pt. II.

Sect. I. Memb. 2.
To-morrow let us do or die.
CAMPBELL Gertrude of Wyoming. Pt. III.

St. 37. (See also BURNS) Our grand business undoubtedly is, not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.

CARLYLE-Essays. Signs of the Times.

The best way to keep good acts in memory is to refresh them with new. Attributed to Cato by BACON-Apothegms.

No. 247. 20 He is at no end of his actions blest Whose ends will make him greatest and not best. GEORGE CHAPMANTragedy of Charles, Duke

of Byron. Act V. Sc. 1. 21

Quod est, eo decet uti: et quicquid agas, agere pro viribus.

What one has, one ought to use: and whatever he does he should do with all his might. CICERODe Senectute. LX.

22 It is better to wear out than to rust out. BISHOP CUMBERLAND. See Horne's Sermon

-On the Duty of Contending for the Truth.





Actions of the last age are like almanacs of the last year.

SIR JOHN DENHAMThe Sophy. A Tragedy.


(The) play of limbs succeeds the play of wit. HORACE AND JAMES SMITH-Rejected Ad

dresses. By Lord B. Cui Bono. 11. Lo, where the Stage, the poor, degraded Stage, Holds its warped mirror to a gaping age! CHARLES SPRAGUE—Curiosity.

(See also LLOYD) The play is done; the curtain drops,

Slow falling to the prompter's bell: A moment yet the actor stops,

And looks around, to say farewell. It is an irksome word and task:

And, when he's laughed and said his say,
He shows, as he removes the mask,

A face that's anything but gay.
THACKERAYThe End of the Play.

10 In other things the knowing artist may Judge better than the people; but a play, (Made for delight, and for no other use) If you approve it not, has no excuse. EDMUND WALLER-Prologue to the Maid's Tragedy. L. 35.

ACTION (See also DEEDS) 11 Let's meet and either do or die. BEAUMONT and FLETCHER-The Island Princess. Act II. Sc. 2.

(See also BURNS) 12 Of every noble action the intent Is to give worth reward, vice punishment. BEAUMONT and FLETCHERThe Captain.

Act V. Sc. 5. 13 That low man seeks a little thing to do,

Sees it and does it;

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A fiery chariot, borne on buoyant pinions,
Sweeps near me now! I soon shall ready be
To pierce the ether's high, unknown dominions,
To reach new spheres of pure activity!
GOETHE-Faust. Bk. I. Sc. 1.


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As a blessing or a curse, and mostly
In the greater weakness or greater strength
Of the acts which follow it.
LONGFELLOW-Christus. The Golden Legend.

Pt. II. A Village Church.
The good one, after every action, closes
His volume, and ascends with it to God.
The other keeps his dreadful day-book open
Till sunset, that we may repent; which doing,
The record of the action fades away,
And leaves a line of white across the page
Now if my act be good, as I believe,
It cannot be recalled. It is already
Sealed up in heaven, as a good deed accom-

plished. The rest is yours. LONGFELLOW-Christus. The Golden Legend.

Pt. VI.

Let thy mind still be bent, still plotting, where, And when, and how thy business may be done. Slackness breeds worms; but the sure traveller, Though he alights sometimes still goeth on.

HERBERT—T'emple. Church Porch. St. 57.

The shortest answer is doing.

HERBERT Jacula Prudentum.



Attempt the end, and never stand to doubt; Nothing's so hard but search will find it out.

HERRICK-Seek and Find.


With useless endeavour,
Forever, forever,
Is Sisyphus rolling
His stone up the mountain!
LONGFELLOW-Masque of Pandora. Chorus
of the Eumenides.

(See also OVID) Trust no future, howe'er pleasant!

Let the dead past bury its dead!
Act,-act in the living Present!

Heart within and God o'erhead.
LONGFELLOW—Psalm of Life.


A man that's fond precociously of stirring

Must be a spoon.
Hood Morning Meditations.

It is not book learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebræ which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies, do a thing—"carry a message to Garcia." ELBERT HUBBARD_Carry a Message to Gar

cia. Philistine. March, 1900. (LIEUT. COL. ANDREW S. Rowan carried the message to Garcia.)

Fungar vice cotis, acutum Reddere quæ ferrum valet, exsors ipsa secandi.

I will perform the function of a whetstone, which is able to restore sharpness to iron, though itself unable to cut. HORACE-Ars Poetica. 304.






In medias res.

Into the midst of things.
HORACE-Ars Poetica. 148.

Let us then be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.
LONGFELLOWPsalm of Life.

(See also BYRON, under FATE) Every man feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action. LOWELL-Among my Books. Rousseau and the Sentimentalists.

(See also BAILEY, under ADVICE) Nil actum credens dum quid superesset agendum.

Thinking that nothing was done, if anything remained to do. LUCAN-Pharsalia. II. 657.

20 Go, and do thou likewise.

Luke. X. 37.



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