Field--Nathaniel Field, author of The Fatal Dowry, and an actor of reputation--in his singular costume, and with a face of perhaps not quite reassuring subtlety, might pass for the original of those Italian, or Italianized, voluptuaries in sin which pleased the fancy of Shakespeare's age.
If not the greatest actor of his day, Kynaston was the greatest of the 'boy-actresses.
Nor are the poets who write them to be blamed for this; for some there are among them who are perfectly well aware of their faults, and know what they ought to do; but as plays have become a salable commodity, they say, and with truth, that the actors
will not buy them unless they are after this fashion; and so the poet tries to adapt himself to the requirements of the actor
who is to pay him for his work.
Where solitude endeth, there beginneth the market-place; and where the market-place beginneth, there beginneth also the noise of the great actors
, and the buzzing of the poison-flies.
If one of them rendered lines containing the most subtile distinctions between right and wrong, the gallery was immediately aware if the actor
meant wickedness, and denounced him accordingly.
The manager having brought the drama to a close and stripped the actor
shows him to us.
Everything was now in a regular train: theatre, actors
, actresses, and dresses, were all getting forward; but though no other great impediments arose, Fanny found, before many days were past, that it was not all uninterrupted enjoyment to the party themselves, and that she had not to witness the continuance of such unanimity and delight as had been almost too much for her at first.
A shade crossed the brow of both visitors; for the other room was the private room of the great actor
with whom Miss Aurora was performing, and she was of the kind that does not inflame admiration without inflaming jealousy.
Gradually, too, the priests lost their hold even on the plays themselves; skilful actors
from among the laymen began to take many of the parts; and at last in some towns the trade-guilds, or unions of the various handicrafts, which had secured control of the town governments, assumed entire charge.
And as, happily, the actors
have tried to perform it in the simple fashion in which it must have been done long ago, we can get from it a very good idea of the plays which pleased our forefathers.
The Monkeys at the sight of the nuts forgot their dancing and became (as indeed they were) Monkeys instead of actors
Some have considered the larger part of mankind in the light of actors
, as personating characters no more their own, and to which in fact they have no better title, than the player hath to be in earnest thought the king or emperor whom he represents.