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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/383

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341
ENGLISH BARDS, AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS.

Dunedin! view thy children with delight,
They write for food—and feed because they write:[1]
And lest, when heated with the unusual grape,
Some glowing thoughts should to the press escape,
And tinge with red the female reader's cheek,
My lady skims the cream of each critique;
Breathes o'er the page her purity of soul,
Reforms each error, and refines the whole.[2]


Now to the Drama turn—Oh! motley sight!560
What precious scenes the wondering eyes invite:
Puns, and a Prince within a barrel pent,[3][4]

And Dibdin's nonsense yield complete content.[5]

    de Vega, inserted in his life of the author. Both are bepraised by his disinterested guests.

  1. —— are fed because they write.—[British Bards.]
  2. Certain it is, her ladyship is suspected of having displayed her matchless wit in the Edinburgh Review. However that may be, we know from good authority, that the manuscripts are submitted to her perusal—no doubt, for correction.
  3. Princes in Barrels, Counts in arbours pent.—[MS. British Bards.]
  4. In the melo-drama of Tekeli, that heroic prince is clapt into a barrel on the stage; a new asylum for distressed heroes.—[In the MS. and British Bards the note stands thus:—"In the melodrama of Tekeli, that heroic prince is clapt into a barrel on the stage, and Count Everard in the fortress hides himself in a green-house built expressly for the occasion. 'Tis a pity that Theodore Hook, who is really a man of talent, should confine his genius to such paltry productions as The Fortress, Music Mad, etc. etc." Theodore Hook (1788-1841) produced Tekeli in 1806. Fortress and Music Mad were played in 1807. He had written some eight or ten popular plays before he was twenty-one.]
  5. [Vide post, l. 591, note 3.]