Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/399

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Colman
Colman
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progress towards recovery was made, but the mind remained enfeebled. In 1787 he published in 3 vols., under the title of 'Prose on Several Occasions, accompanied with some Pieces in Verse,' his miscellaneous essays, introductions, prologues, epilogues, and poems, and wrote some particulars of his life, which were published under the care of Richard Jackson, his executor, in London in 1795, 8vo. This has little autobiographical information, and is principally occupied with defending himself from the charge of having, by his theatrical proceedings, forfeited the respect of General Pulteney, and with a vindication of his legitimacy. Growing feebler in mind, Colman was put under restraint in Paddington, where on 14 Aug. 1794 he died, at the age of sixty-four. His remains are in the vaults under Kensington Church. Colman was a man of tact, enterprise, and taste; his plays are ingenious and occasionally brilliant, and more than one of them remains on the acting list. The characters are as a rule well drawn, and types of living eccentricity are well hit off. He was extravagant and ostentatious, but preserved during his life the esteem and affection of the best men of his day. Byron contrasted him favourably with Sheridan, saying in a well-known passage in his 'Memoirs:' 'Let me begin the evening with Sheridan and finish it with Colman. Sheridan for dinner, Colman for supper,' &c. His prologues, epilogues, and occasional pieces are often very happy. In addition to the pieces mentioned, a selection from which was published under the title of Dramatic Works' in 1777, 4 vols. 8vo, there were acted 'The Fairy Tale,' from 'Midsummer Night's Dream,' Haymarket, 18 July 1777; 'New Brooms,' Drury Lane, 21 Sept. 1776; 'The Spanish Barber, or the Fruitless Precaution,' from 'Le Barbier de Seville' of Beaumarchais, Haymarket, 30 Aug. 1777; ' Polly,' an opera altered from Gay, Haymarket, 19 June 1777; 'The Sheep Shearing,' from Garrick's alteration of 'The Winter's Tale,' Haymarket, 1777: 'The Separate Maintenance,' a four-act comedy, Haymarket, 31 Aug. 1779; 'The Manager in Distress,' Haymarket, 30 May 1780; 'Harlequin Teague, or the Giant's Causeway,' pantomime, Haymarket, 1782; 'Fatal Curiosity,' a tragedy altered from Lillo, 29 June 1782; 'Tit for Tat' comedy altered from the ' Mutual Deception ' of Joseph Atkinson, Haymarket, 29 Aug. 1786; 'Ut Pictura Poesis,' his last dramatic production, from Hogarth's print, 'The Enraged Musician,' Haymarket, 18 May 1789. A complete collection of Colman's dramas has not been made, and many of them have never been printed. Colmanedited, in 1778, ' The Dramatic Works of Beaumont and Fletcher,' 10 vols. 8vo. This was reprinted by Percival Stockdale with the works of Ben Jonson, also edited by Colman, 1811, 4 vols. royal 8vo. The preface to Beaumont and Fletcher is included in 'Prose on Several Occasions,' &c. ii. 149, in which appears also the appendix to the second edition of the translation of Terence, 'Remarks on Shylock,' ' Orthopædia, or Thoughts on Publick Education,' a scene from ' The Death of Adam ' of Klopstock, ' The Rolliad, an Heroick Poem,' written in 1759, &c. Stories concerning Colman, mostly to his credit, are to be found in many quarters. O'Keefe speaks of him as ' a man of strict probity.' Manuscript letters of Colman and his father are in the British Museum. According to Nichols's ' Illustrations ' Colman threatened an edition of Shakespeare.

[Works mentioned; Peake's Memoirs of the Colman Family, 2 vols. n. d.; Random Recollections by George Colman the Younger; Some Particulars of the Life of George Colman, 1795; Genest's Account of the English Stage; Baker, Reed. and Jones's Biographia Dramatica; The Garrick Correspondence, 2 vols. 1832; Oulton's History of the Theatres of London, 3 vols. 1818; Posthumous Letters to Francis and George Colman, ed. George Colman the younger, 4to, 1820; Memoir of C. M. Young, 2 vols. 1871; Nichols's Literary Anecdotes; Reed's Notitia Dramatica (manuscript); Southey's Life of Cowper; the Colman Controversial Tracts in the British Museum; Davies's Dramatical Miscellanies, &c.]

J. K.

COLMAN, GEORGE, the younger (1762–1836), dramatist, miscellaneous writer, and theatrical manager, the son of George Colman the elder [q. v.], was born on 21 Oct. 1762. His mother, whose name was Ford, is said to have been an actress, and to have lived in close relations with Mossop the actor, previous to forming a similar intimacy with the elder Colman, whom she ultimately married. Young Colman was placed at a fashionable school in Marylebone, under Dr. Fountain, which he quitted the day of his mother's death, 29 March 1771. After a short stay with his father in Richmond, he was sent in 1772 to Westminster School. A narrow escape from drowning while bathing in the Thames is the only incident of his school life worth mentioning. At his father's house in Soho Square he made the acquaintance of Johnson, Goldsmith, Garrick, and many other celebrities, principally members of the Literary Club. His father's position offered him an 'early initiation into theatrical life, and private theatricals, in which during three years he took part at Wynnstay, the seat of Sir Watkins Williams Wynn, fostered his