A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 78

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 78

A'ctor. n.s. [actor, Lat.]

  1. He that acts, or performs any thing.

    The virtues of either age may correct the defects of both: and good for succession, that young men may be learners, while men in age are actors. Bacon, Essay civ.

    He, who writes an Encomium Neronis, if he does it heartily, is himself but a transcript of Nero in his mind, and would, no doubt, gladly enough see such pranks, as he was famous for, acted again, though he dares not be the actor of them himself. South's Sermons.

  2. He that personates a character; a stage-player.

                                    Would you have
    Such an Herculean actor in the scene,
    And not this hydra? They must sweat no less
    To fit their properties, than t'express their parts.
    Ben Johnson's Catiline.

    When a good actor doth his part present,
    In every act he our attention draws,
    That at the last he may find just applause.
    Sir J. Denham.

    These false beauties of the stage are no more lasting than a rain-bow; when the actor ceases to shine upon them, when he gilds them no longer with his reflection, they vanish in a twinkling. Dryd. Spanish Friar, Dedication.

Sources: Bacon, Francis (396) · Denham, John (75) · Dryden, John (788) · Jonson, Ben (70) · South, Robert (158)

Attributes: Latin (690) · Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Actor." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: April 15, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/actor/.

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