Memoirs of the Late Thomas Holcroft, Volume 1

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Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1816 - Actors
 

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Page vii - How much he had it at heart," says the editor of the manuscript, which was given to the world some years after the death of the author, " may, however, be inferred from the extraordinary pains he then took to make some progress in it. He told his physicians that he did not care what severity of treatment he was subjected to, provided he could live six months longer to complete what he had begun. By dictating a word at a time, he succeeded in bringing it down to his fifteenth year. When the clearness,...
Page 111 - ... wretchedness. I had been exposed to every want, every weariness, and every occasion of despondency, except that such poor sufferers become reconciled to, and almost insensible of, suffering; and boyhood and beggary are fortunately not prone to despond. Happy had been the meal where I had enough; rich to me was the rag that kept me warm; and heavenly the pillow, no matter what, or how hard, on which I could lay my head to sleep. Now I was warmly clothed, nay gorgeously; for I was proud of my new...
Page 222 - Boys and the Frogs, which entirely turned the tide of popular opinion in her favour. What must the feelings of the same mother have been, when this child, afterwards Mrs.
Page 230 - They appear to be a set of merry, thoughtless beings, who laugh in the midst of poverty, and who never want a quotation or a story to recruit their spirits. When they get any money, they seem in haste to spend it, lest some tyrant, in the shape of a dun, should snatch it from them.
Page 192 - like other novices, you seem to imagine that all excellence lies in the lungs : whereas such violent exertions should be used but very sparingly, and upon extraordinary occasions; for (besides that these two gentlemen, instead of straining their throats, are supposed to be in common conversation) if an actor make no reserve of his powers, how is he to rise according to the tone of the passion ? ' He then read the scene they had rehearsed, and with so much propriety and ease, as well as force, that...
Page 108 - ... most severe. When it is over, another pause thoroughly to recover their wind is allowed them, their last walk is begun, the limits of which are prescribed, and it ends in directing their ride homewards. The morning's exercise often extends to four hours, and the evening's to much about the same time. Being once in the stable, each lad begins his labour. He leads the horse into his stall, ties him up, rubs down his legs with straw, takes off his saddle and body clothes ; curries him carefully,...
Page 191 - But, come, give us a touch of your quality ; a speech : here's a youngster,' pointing to his secretary, 'will roar Jaffier against Pierre, let the loudest take both.' Accordingly, he held the book, and at it they fell : the scene they chose, was that of the before-mentioned characters in Venice Preserved. For a little while after they began, it seems that Holcroft took the hint...
Page 107 - A brushing gallop signifies that the horses are nearly at full speed before it is over, and it is commonly made at last rather up hill. Having all pulled up, the horses stand some two or three minutes, and recover their wind ; they then leisurely descend the hill and take a long walk ; after which they are brought to water. But in this, as in every thing else (at least as soon as long exercise begins), every thing to them is measured. The boy counts the number of times the horse swallows when he...
Page 94 - Well, as you have been so short a time in the stables, I am not surprised he should turn you away ; he would have everybody about him as clever as himself; they must all know their business thoroughly ; however, they must learn it somewhere. I will venture to give you a trial, but I must first inquire your character of my good friends Woodcock and Johnstone. Come to-morrow morning at nine, and you shall have an answer.
Page 133 - Forester were such, that he passed the flat, and ascended the hill as far as the distance post, nose to nose with Elephant; so that John Watson, who rode him, began to conceive hopes. Between this and the chair, Elephant, in consequence of hard whipping, got some little way before him, while Forester exerted every possible power to recover, at least, his lost equality; till finding all his efforts ineffectual, he made one sudden spring, and caught Elephant by the under jaw, which he griped so violently...

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