Weeping at a Play

It is a prevailing folly to be ashamed to shed a tear
at any part of a tragedy, however affecting. "The reason," says the

Spectator, "is, that persons think it makes them look ridiculous, by

betraying the weakness of their nature. But why may not nature show itself

in tragedy, as well as in comedy or farce? We see persons not ashamed to

laugh loudly at the humour of a Falstaff,--or the tricks of a harlequin;

and why should not the tear be equally allowed to flow for the misfortunes

of a Juliet, or the forlornness of an Ophelia?" Sir Richard Steele records

on this subject a saying of Mr. Wilks the actor, as just as it was polite.

Being told in the green-room that there was a general in the boxes weeping

for Juliana, he observed with a smile, "_And I warrant you, sir, he'll

fight ne'er the worse for that_."

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