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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/388

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The rival candidates for Attic fame!
In grim array though Lewis' spectres rise,
Still Skeffington and Goose divide the prize.
And sure great Skeffington must claim our praise,
For skirtless coats and skeletons of plays
Renowned alike; whose genius ne'er confines600
Her flight to garnish Greenwood's gay designs;[1][2]
Nor sleeps with "Sleeping Beauties," but anon
In five facetious acts comes thundering on.
While poor John Bull, bewildered with the scene,
Stares, wondering what the devil it can mean;
But as some hands applaud, a venal few!
Rather than sleep, why John applauds it too.

Such are we now. Ah! wherefore should we turn
To what our fathers were, unless to mourn?
Degenerate Britons! are ye dead to shame,610
Or, kind to dulness, do you fear to blame?
Well may the nobles of our present race
Watch each distortion of a Naldi's face;
Well may they smile on Italy's buffoons,

And worship Catalani's pantaloons,[3]
  1. Its humble flight to splendid Pantomimes.—[British Bards. MS.]
  2. Mr. Greenwood is, we believe, scene-painter to Drury Lane theatre—as such, Mr. Skeffington is much indebted to him.
  3. Naldi and Catalani require little notice; for the visage of the one, and the salary of the other, will enable us long to recollect these amusing vagabonds. Besides, we are still black and blue from the squeeze on the first night of the Lady's appearance in trousers. [Guiseppe Naldi (1770-1820)