When we play the fool, how wideThe theatre expands! beside,How long the audience sits before us!How many prompters! what a chorus!
The play is done; the curtain drops,Slow falling to the prompter’s bellA moment yet the actor stopsAnd looks around to say farewell.It is an irksome word and task:And when he’s laughed and said his sayHe shows, as he removes the mask,A face that’s anything but gay.william makepeace thackeray
The growing drama has outgrown such toys Of simulated stature, face, and speech: It also peradventure may outgrow The simulation of the painted scene, Boards, actors, prompters, gaslight, and costume, And take for a worthier stage the soul itself, Its shifting fancies and celestial lights, With all its grand orchestral silences To keep the pauses of its rhythmic sounds.Book V. (Aurora Leigh (1857))
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