Tires the sad gallery, lulls the listless Pit;
And Beaumont's pilfered Caratach affords
A tragedy complete in all but words?
Who but must mourn, while these are all the rage
The degradation of our vaunted stage?
Heavens! is all sense of shame and talent gone?
Have we no living Bard of merit?—none?
Awake, George Colman! Cumberland, awake!
- Mr. T. Sheridan, the new Manager of Drury Lane theatre, stripped the Tragedy of Bonduca [Caratach in the original MS.] of the dialogue, and exhibited the scenes as the spectacle of Caractacus. Was this worthy of his sire? or of himself? [Thomas Sheridan (1775-1817), most famous as the son of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and father of Lady Dufferin, Mrs. Norton, and the Duchess of Somerset, was author of several plays. His Bonduca was played at Covent Garden, May 3, 1808. The following answer to a real or fictitious correspondent, in the European Magazine for May, 1808, is an indication of contemporary opinion: "The Fishwoman's letter to the author of Caractacus on the art of gutting is inadmissible." For anecdotes of Thomas Sheridan, see Angelo's Reminiscences, 1828, ii. 170-175. See, too, Epics of the Ton, p. 264.]
- [George Colman, the younger (1762-1836), wrote numerous dramas, several of which, e.g. The Iron Chest (1796), John Bull (1803), The Heir-at-Law (1808), have been popular with more than one generation of playgoers. An amusing companion, and a favourite at Court, he was appointed Lieutenant of the Yeomen of the Guard, and examiner of plays by Royal favour, but his reckless mode of life kept him always in difficulties. John Bull is referred to in Hints from Horace, line 166.]
- [Richard Cumberland (1732-1811), the original of Sir Fretful Plagiary in The Critic, a man of varied abilities,
and Sweethearts and Wives (1823). The World was brought out at Covent Garden, March 30, 1808, and had a considerable run. He was intimate with Charles and Mary Lamb (see Letters of Charles Lamb, ii. 16, 44).]