« 上一頁繼續 »
equal master to himself. From these various five feet eight; his form rather inclining to the excellencies, he had so full a possession of the athletic, though nothing clumsy or heavy; his esteem and regard of his auditors, that upon his air and department naturally graceful, with a entrance into every scence, he seemed to seize marking eye, and a manly sweelness in his upon the eyes and ears of the giddy and in- countenance. His voice was completely haradvertent. To have talked or looked another monious, from the softness of the flule, to the way, would then have been thought insensibility extent of the trumpet : bis alliludes were all or ignorance. In all his soliloquies of moment, picturesque; he was noble in bis designs, and the strong intelligence of his attitude and aspect happy in his execution.” His principal parts drew you inlo such an impatient gaze, and in Shakspeare's plays were, Othello, Lear, eager espectation, that you almost imbibed the Brulus, and the Ghost in Hamlet. Cibber, sentiment with your eyes, before the ear could though sparing in bis praise of Booth, highly reach it. I never heard a line in tragedy come commends his Othello :-" The master-piece from Betterton, wherein my judgment, my ear, or Booth (says be) was his Othello ; there he and my imagination were not fully satisfied ; was most in character, and seemed not more which, since his time I cannot equally say of any to animate bimself in it than his spectators.” one actor whatsoever. That genius, which na- Other contemporaries are more lavish in ture only gives, only can complete an actor; this their praises of him in this part, and particugenius, then, was so strong in Betterton, that larly in the following passage: it sbone out in every speech and motion of him.
“This fellow's of exceeding honesty, (Yet voice and person are such necessary sup- And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit, ports to it, ibat, by the multilude, they have Of human dealings." been preferred to genius itsell; or, at least, This he spoke with his eye fixed upon lago's often mistaken for it.) Belterton had a voice exit, after a long pause, as if weighing the of that kind, which gave more spirit to lerror,
general character of the man in his own mind, Iban to the softer passions ; of more strength and in a low tone of voice. Then starting into tban melody. The rage and jealousy of Othel
angerlo became him beller than the sighs and tenderness of Castalio: for though in Castalio
If I do find her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings, be only excelled others, in Othello he excelled I'd whistle her off, and let her down the wind
To prey at fortune." himself; which you will easily believe, when you consider, that in spite of his complexion, Then a pause, as is to ruminate. Otbello has more natural beauties than the best actor can find in all the magazines of poetry, to
".......Haply, for I am black,
And have not those soft parts of conversation animate bis power, and delight his judgment That chamberers have." with. ** The person of this excellent actor was
Then a look of amazement at seeing Desdesuitable to bis voice, more manly than sweet, mona, the voice and countenance softened into Dol exceeding the middle stature, inclining to love: the corpulent; of a serious and penetraling If she be false, 0, then heav'n mocks itself! aspect; bis limbs nearer the athletic than the delicate proportion; yet, however formed, there “ In Ibis, and all the distresssul passages of arose, from the harmony of the whole, a com
heart-breaking anguish and jealousy (says manding view of majesty, which the fairer Victor), I have frequently seen all the men, laced, or (as Shakspeare calls them) the curled susceptible of the tender passions, in tears.” darlings of bis time, ever wanted sometbing to
Boolb's excellence in Brulus was the effect be equal masters of.”
of a fine study of the part, which he acquired Betterton died in April, 1710.
by his laste and intimate knowledge of the
classics. In the tent scene, when Cassius BOOTH.
reiterates, Booth, with a very classical and highly im- "What, durst not tempt him?" proved judgment, possessed all the natural powers of an actor in a very eminent degree. and Brutus in reply says, “He was (says Victor) of a middle slature,
* For your life, you durst not ;"
Ull not believe it."