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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/384

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342
ENGLISH BARDS, AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS.

Though now, thank Heaven! the Rosciomania's o'er.[1]
And full-grown actors are endured once more;
Yet what avail their vain attempts to please,
While British critics suffer scenes like these;
While Reynolds vents his "dammes!" "poohs!" and "zounds!"[2][3]
And common-place and common sense confounds?

While Kenney's[4] "World"—ah! where is Kenney's wit?[5]570
  1. [William Henry West Betty (1791-1874) ("the Young Roscius") made his first appearance on the London stage as Selim, disguised as Achmet, in Barbarossa, Dec. 1, 1804, and his last, as a boy actor, in Tancred, and Captain Flash in Miss in her Teens, Mar. 17, 1806, but acted in the provinces till 1808. So great was the excitement on the occasion of his début, that the military were held in readiness to assist in keeping order. Having made a large fortune, he finally retired from the stage in 1824, and passed the last fifty years of his life in retirement, surviving his fame by more than half a century.]
  2. His "damme, poohs."—[MS. First Edition.]
  3. All these are favourite expressions of Mr. Reynolds, and prominent in his comedies, living and defunct. [Frederick Reynolds (1764-1841) produced nearly one hundred plays, one of the most successful of which was The Caravan, or the Driver and his Dog. The text alludes to his endeavour to introduce the language of ordinary life on the stage. Compare The Children of Apollo, p. 9—

    "But in his diction Reynolds grossly errs;
    For whether the love hero smiles or mourns,
    'Tis oh! and ah! and ah! and oh! by turns."]

  4. [James Kenney (1780-1849). Among his very numerous plays, the most successful were Raising the Wind (1803),
  5. While Kenny's World just suffered to proceed
    Proclaims the audience very kind indeed
    .—

    [MS. British Bards. First to Fourth Editions.]