The Art of weeping.
An English weekly paper has these pleasant paragraphs:
Tears of childhood and early youth are allowable — nay, sometimes desirable.
But the tears of grown people are more of less objectionable.
An adult who weeps extravagantly is either unhealthily perceptible or bent upon deceiving the bystanders.
We do not refer to tears wrung from unwilling eyes by the pressure of some terrible calamity.
We mean tears shed for the sake of appearances or with a view to deceive.
We mean tears evoked by histrionic influences in private or public life.
We mean the lachrymose sensibility to a doleful impression so often proved to be compatible with a cold and cruel heart.
Actors — we do not mean actors in social circles and on public platform, of which there are so many, but bona fide
actors on the stage — are of corpse right to cultivate the habit of weeping.
It helps both themselves and the spectators to realize the passion represented.
We have read indeed, of an actor so thoroughly carried away by his feelings, whilst performing in a field seems as not only to plunger a real dagger home to the hilt in his breast, but faithfully to support his character to the last by dying in a studied attitude, according to the most approved range rules.
We confess, however, that the story come from the other side of the Atlantic
, an I may not be strictly true.
On the other hand, one of our foremost English actors — Young the tragedian — merited severe censure when he sobbed aloud at the pathetic tearful of Mrs. Siddone
and was only recalled to a sense of his responsibilities as the villain of the piece, by the stern admonition of the great actress — uttered in a thrilling whisper--‘"Mr. Young
A weeping woman.
Women have often an extraordinary talent for shedding tears.
It is well that this should be so. Tears are not without their influence on the baser sex. Even brutish husbands — a class entering largely in the composition of society, whether high or low — are not invincible to tears, especially when sober.
But women must be careful not to weep over lately.
The demonstration should be reserved for special occasions.
The more frugally tears the shed the deeper will be the effect produced.
to Arblay describes a young lady ted with extraordinary powers in this line.--When requested, at a large social gathering, to oblige the company by weeping, she would cheerfully comply.
The process was as follows: The young lady's features first became composed and thoughtful.
Presently her calm blue eyes filled with tears.
Then, one by one, in endless sequence, the pearly drops rained down her serene countenance until each one murmured, ‘"Hold, enough!"’ As a rule, we suppose that tears easily secreted affect beholders as little as they cost the lady shedding them.
A case of Deception.
We only once witnessed an exhibition of this kind.
An Irishwoman, in tattered garments, with an imperfectly washed physiognomy, abruptly waylaid us at the back door of our modest suburban residence.
Never was passionate grief so vividly portrayed on the face of a human being as on that of this excited daughter of Erin.
The tears poured down her cheeks.
We stopped, almost awe struck, to listen to her tale of woe. It was this: Her baby, an interesting little creature, three weeks old, was lying dead in the village, and the vicar declined to consign it to consecrated ground unless the customary fees were paid.--‘"Sure, your honor will give a trifle to get the blessed baby put decently under the ground?"’--Now, we were personally acquainted with the vicar.
He was the most amiable of men. Rather than have witnessed those gushing tears for the space of one minute, he would have gladly submitted to be buried alive along with the babe.
A portly coachman was therefore summoned to accompany the Irish woman to the vicarage and ascertain the right of the story.
Mounted on a pony of corresponding bulk, John started, with the weeping mother walking by his side.
In a quarter of an hour he returned, flushed and discomfited.
The weeping mother had suddenly dashed through a gap in the hedge, and vanished across the country.
Both coachman and pony were too fat to follow and the unburied baby was a myth.
A railway adventure.
Our young friend Engenius once met with a very unpleasant adventure in a railway train.
Bound for town, to enjoy a week or two of intellectual recreation, he noticed on the platform of the station whence he started an affecting scene.
A lady in deep mourning, apparently young and handsome, bade farewell, with ill-concealed emotion, to a swarthy gentleman, clad in the height of fashion, but laboring under the disadvantage of a flattened nose and a slight cast in the eye. Who can account for tastes?
Pity is akin to love, and probably the lady had been touched originally by the man's extremely unprepossessing appearance.
The railway whistle gives the fatal signal — there is no time to lose — the lady tears herself away and lightly springs into a first-class carriage, of which Engenius chances to be the sole occupant.
Off went the train.
The lady waved out of the window a handkerchief moistened by her tears, and burying her face in her hands, wept silently and persistently.
What could Eugenius
do. He could only offer the respectful tribute of an occasional sigh or a glance of modest sympathy.
At Swindleburg, as every one knows, the train stops ten minutes for refreshments.
delicately offered the afflicted lady a cup of tea. She declined; but in a low, musical voice, murmured the words, ‘"A glass of stout."’ Eugenius
flew to procure it for her. As the train approached London
, he endeavored to sooth her mind by other unostentatious little civilities.
In accents of deep compassion he asked her commonplace questions.
Would she like the window up?
Might he offer her the loan of his railroad rug?
The rug was accepted with silent gratitude.
Presently the train rolls into the London
Our young friend leaps from the carriage in order to procure a cab for his forlorn companion.
He has barely recovered his balance when a swarthy gentleman, dressed in the height of fashion, with a flattened nose and a slight cast in the eye, seizes him by the throat and communicates his intention of instantly giving him into custody on a charge of insulting the unprotected female who had been his fellow-traveller to London
remembers little more beyond a dreadful now — his hat knocked over his eyes amidst the plaudits of an indignant mob — the interference of a puzzled policeman, who believed the asseverations of neither party — and the final surrender of all of the ready money in his pocket to the swarthy man of fashion with the imperfect nose, as the shortest mode of effecting his escape from the clutches of a brace of conspirators.
A weeping prisoner.
Emotion may not be feigned, yet its source may be very different from what lookers-on imagine, A jail chaplain strove day after day to awaken a culprit, condemned to the gallows, to some sense of his miserable condition.
All seemed in vain.
One night, however, on taking leave, the prisoner's manner changed.
There was some slight exhibition of feeling; the clergyman's hopes revived.
He paused, spoke kindly to the man, and asked him what was on his mind?
The man burst into tears, and, grasping the other's hand, exclaimed in broken accounts, ‘"Sir, I should like to have a good bellyful of victuals afore I die!"’