The following piece of criticism appeared in the Monthly Review in 1798:
Blue Beard, or Female Curiosity, a Dramatic Romance, by George Colman, the Younger.
‘The author of this piece professes that, a pantomime not being forthcoming at Drury Lane for the Christmas holidays, he was induced, expressly for that season, to supply the place of Harlequinade. We shall not enter into a regular examination of either fable or the incidents; for, in fact, we know no rules by which our criticism should be directed. We have heard, and believe, that Mr. Colman has executed his design with considerable ability; but we are sorry that such abilities should be employed in the service of the *Smithfield Muses. We wish to see that gentleman renounce entirely the province of the marvellous incredible legends, and the whole monstrous offspring of extravagant fancy, in which truth and nature are observed. From some specimens of his genius, we think that we have a right to expect better things from his pen, whenever he shall choose to return to the verge of human life.’
*”Books and the Man I sing, the first who brings/ The Smithfield Muses to the Ear of Kings” – Pope’s The Dunciad