'I have seen, of Mr. Pope's drawing, a grave old Chaucer, from Occleve; a Betterton; a Lucius Verus, large profile; two Turkish heads; a Janizary from the life; Antinous; and St. John praying.' — Spence's Anecdotes.
Thomas Betterton (1635-1710) was a great actor, who played all through the time when Dryden was writing for the stage. Cibber speaks of his power of acting in terms of such very high praise as to leave some doubt whether they must not of necessity be exaggerated. That he was a man of uncommon power, and understood the spirit of the highest art in acting, is shown by the tale related of him and Archbishop Tillotson, whose friendship he always retained. The Archbishop complaining that he could not move his hearers in the pulpit as Betterton could on the stage;
'That,' says Betterton, 'I think, is easy to be accounted for: it is because you are only telling them a story, and I am showing them facts.' — Spence's Anecdotes.
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