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Absenti nemo ne nocuisse velit.
Let no one be willing to speak ill of the absent. PROPERTIUS—Elegiæ. 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.
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.
Štood up in balmy air,
And breathed a perfume rare.
Nights. Pt. I.
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,
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.
(See also MIDDLETON, DE STAËL)
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
(See also RUSSELL)
Our wanton accidents take root, and grow
II. Sc. 4.
Nichts unter der Sonne ist Zufall-am wenigsten das wovon die Absicht so klar in die Augen leuchtet.
By many a happy accident. Thomas MIDDLETON—No Wit, no Help, like a Woman's. Act IV. Sc. 1.
(See also GOLDSMITH) 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. SCHILLER—Fiesco. Act II. Sc. 4.
See, how these rascals use me! They will not let my play run; and yet they steal my thunder. JOHN DENNISSee Biographia Britannica.
Vol. V. P. 103.
Like hungry guests, a sitting audience looks:
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 FARQUHAR—The Inconstant; or, The
Way to Win Him. Prologue.
The chapter of accidents is the longest chapter in the book. Attributed to JOHN Wilkes by SOUTHEYThe Doctor. Ch. CXVIII.
(See also BURKE)
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.
ACTING; THE STAGE (See also WORLD)
BYRON-Hints from Horace. L. 329.
As good as a play.
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,
It's very hard! Oh, Dick, my boy,
A little private spouting;
There still remains to mortify a wit
POPE-Horace. Ep. I. Bk. II. L. 30.
Scott, under PUBLIC )
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.
Old Drury's pride and boast,
Especially the ghost.
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.
Come, sit down, every mother's son, and re
hearse your parts. Midsummer Night's Dream. Act III. Sc. 1.
This high man, with a great thing to pursue,
Dies ere he knows it.
(See also BEAUMONT, CAMPBELL) What's done we partly may compute, But know not what's resisted.
BURNS—Address to the Unco Guid.
A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
Richard II. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 23.
I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
Richard III. Act III. Sc. 5. L. 5.
A beggarly account of empty boxes.
Romeo and Juliet. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 45. 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.
Sect. I. Memb. 2.
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 CHAPMAN—Tragedy of Charles, Duke
of Byron. Act V. Sc. 1. 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. CICERO—De Senectute. IX.
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. 23
Actions of the last age are like almanacs of the last year.
SIR JOHN DENHAM-The 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,
THACKERAY—The End of the Play. 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. ÈDMUND WALLER--Prologue to the Maid's Tragedy. L. 35.
ACTION (See also DEEDS) Let's meet and either do or die. BEAUMONT and FLETCHER—The Island Princess. Act II. Sc. 2.
(See also BURNS) Of every noble action the intent Is to give worth reward, vice punishment. BEAUMONT and FLETCHER—The Captain.
Act V. Sc. 5.
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.
Ecclesiastes. IX. 10. 25
For strong souls Live like fire-hearted suns; to spend their strength In furthest striving action.
GEORGE ELIOT—Spanish Gypsy. Bk. IV.
Zeus hates busybodies and those who do too
much. EURIPIDES. Quoted by EMERSON.
27 Man is his own star, and the soul that can Render an honest and a perfect man, Commands all light, all influence, all fate. Nothing to him falls early or too late. Our acts, our angels are, or good or ill, Our fatal shadows that walk by us still. JOHN FLETCHER-Upon an Honest Man's
Fortune, L. 37.
That low man seeks a little thing to do,
Sees it and does it;
A fiery chariot, borne on buoyant pinions,
Do well and right, and let the world sink.
HERBERT—Country Parson. Ch. XXIX.
3 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— Temple. Church Porch. St. 57.
As a blessing or a curse, and mostly
Pt. II. A Village Church.
plished. The rest is yours. LONGFELLOW-Christus. The Golden Legend.
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,
(See also OVID)
A man that's fond precociously of stirring
Must be a spoon. HoodMorning Meditations. 7
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.
(See also PROVERBS. XXVII) In medias res.
Into the midst of things.
That action which appears most conducive to the happiness and virtue of mankind. FRANCES HUTCHESON—A System of Moral
Philosophy. The General Notions of Rights,
and Laws Explained. Bk. II. Ch. III. Attack is the reaction; I never think I have hit hard unless it rebounds. SAMUEL JOHNSON—Boswell's Life of Johnson.
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. Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Learn to labor and to wait.
(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) 19
Nil actum credens dum quid superesset agendum.
Thinking that nothing was done, if anything remained to do. LUCAN-Pharsalia. II. 657.
Quelque éclatante que soit une action, elle ne doit pas passer pour grande, lorsqu'elle n'est pas l'effet d'un grand dessein.
However resplendent an action may be, it should not be accounted great unless it is the result of a great design. LA ROCHEFOUCAULD-Maximes. 160.
So much one man can do,
Cromwell's Return from Ireland.
No action, whether foul or fair,
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Matthew. VII. 12.