1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Colman the Younger

George Daniel, in The Modern Dunciad (1814; 1815) 79.



Once 'twas the fashion, in an earlier day,
For two, at least one plot to form a play;
But our sage authors frugally dispense
With plots; nay, more — with nature, wit, and sense;
Through five long acts their weary audience lull,
Most cold and tasteless, most perversely dull.
For me, no blind disciple of the schools
That laugh and cry by ARISTOTLE'S rules;
I loathe the fool whose humour lies in trick,
While sentimental trumpery makes me sick;
And "Ohs!" and "Ahs!" and "Dammes!" modern wit—
Can please me never, though they please the pit.
Yet not a Cynic, nor devour'd by spleen,
I needs must smile if COLMAN grace the scene;
Let humour broad, with polish'd wit combine,
No faculties more risible than mine:
But shall I laugh because some antic droll
Squints in my face? — I cannot for my soul!