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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 1, page 180, October 8, 1850

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Identifier: DX09669652

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 1, page 180, October 8, 1850

Description: Comments on William Shakespeare's play, As You Like It.


whole the conception of the character was defective. There was not the exquisite under current of deep feeling, gentleness and fresh-heartedness; evident in her [Pauline Cushman’s] portrayal of the sweetest, dearest heroine [Rosalind] [William] Shakspere hath created for us. “Ah me! how full of briars is this working day world!” was not given as a bursting forth of mingled sorrow and womanly feeling. And “By this hand-it would not harm a fly!” almost verged on common-place. Best was she in her playful descriptions of time’s paces, and perhaps most in the sweet counterfeit — I assure you!” She is a clever woman. I was pleased at seeing little Scharf of Sadlers Wells in Touchstone. / How vilely do the players counterfeit nature, neither walking, looking nor speaking like men of God’s making nor aught else. A villanous, overdrawn striving to make effect of every line and word so that a servitors message cannot be delivered without buffonery or tragic grimace: a strongly marked line drawn of good and ill characters; — such a one is a villain, therefore must he scowl fold his arms, bellow and look melo-drame in every line — Why Oliver is simply an avaricious, moody, tyrannical, self willed man, yet was his splenetic curse “be better employed, and be naught awhile!” given as though he invoked all unspeakable horrors in the head of Orlando. But bah! let me not think of these fellows but of the Most Divine play itself. It is to be bodily transported into the Golden Age. To revel in the richest, most genial and deepest thoughts of the Poets Mind. To listen to the most profound, sweetly solemn comments on all that fills up the routine of mortals. To be gladdened by the out pourings of the quaintest wit; — to hold converse with Nature in her most inviting mood.

a perpetual feast of nectared sweets

Where no crude surface reigns —

To think with, to love with Orlando, the noble, gentle-hearted &

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1850-10-08

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Actors


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