Papers on Shelley, Wordsworth & Others

Papers on Shelley, Wordsworth & Others

Papers on Shelley, Wordsworth & Others

Papers on Shelley, Wordsworth & Others

Excerpt

Man has always been liable to be tripped up by this, that he cannot rigidly distinguish between himself as a play-actor and himself in what may be called real life. It may be called that, though in a sense man's play-acting is as real as any other part of his acting. There is, however, a difference. A man will play Hamlet on the stage, and forget for the time partly, as those watching him may forget completely, that he is really Garrick and not Hamlet; but if after the play was over, he still thought himself Hamlet, people would say he was mad, and if the spectators were found the next day in the streets of London, inquiring for the house of Polonius, they would be said to be mad. Where men are not seen to be mad is when they carry over the play-acting, say, in their religion into their real lives. I perhaps ought not to say as much as that. This would be enough to say,--that if men did mix play-acting with their religion, and if they carried over some of that play-acting into their real lives, they would not be seen to be mad. It would take a sharper eye to see that than man has.

I believe that man does act other than con-

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