Friday, May 29, 2009

Bit players

Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France makes a minor appearance in the MP expense scandal.

Apropos of which, a bit I like from one of Burke's Letters on a Regicide Peace:
I remember in a conversation I once had with my ever dear friend Garrick, who was the first of Actors, because he was the most acute observer of nature I ever knew, I asked him, how it happened that whenever a Senate appeared on the Stage, the Audience seemed always disposed to laughter? He said the reason was plain; the Audience was well acquainted with the faces of most of the Senators. They knew, that they were no other than candle-snuffers, revolutionary scene-shifters, second and third mob, prompters, clerks, executioners, who stand with their axe on their shoulders by the wheel, grinners in the Pantomime, murderers in Tragedies, who make ugly faces under black wigs; in short, the very scum and refuse of the Theatre; and it was of course, that the contrast of the vileness of the Actors with the pomp of their Habits naturally excited ideas of contempt and ridicule.

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