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Dramatic Effect

Anecdotes Home






It is related in the annals of the stage, as a remarkable
instance of the force of imagination, that when Banks's play of the _Earl
of Essex_ was performed, a soldier, who stood sentinel on the stage,
entered so deeply into the distress of the scene, that in the delusion of
his imagination, upon the Countess of Nottingham's denying the receipt of
the ring which Essex had sent by her to the queen to claim a promise of
favour, he exclaimed, "'Tis false! she has it in her bosom;" and
immediately seized the mock countess to make her deliver it up.


Charles Hulet, a comedian of some celebrity in the early part of the last
century, was an apprentice to a bookseller. After reading plays in his
master's shop, he used to repeat the speeches in the kitchen, in the
evening, to the destruction of many a chair, which he substituted in the
room of the real persons in the drama. One night, as he was repeating the
part of Alexander, with his wooden representative of Clitus, (an elbow
chair), and coming to the speech where the old general is to be killed,
this young mock Alexander snatched a poker, instead of a javelin, and threw
it with such strength, against poor Clitus, that the chair was killed upon
the spot, and lay mangled on the floor. The death of Clitus made a
monstrous noise, which disturbed the master in the parlour, who called out
to know the reason; and was answered by the cook below, "Nothing, sir, but
that Alexander has killed Clitus."





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