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Dumb Luck?

Paralyzed with stage fright, Colley Cibber badly botched his first dramatic role (requiring him only to hand a message to a character played by the famed Thomas Betterton). Following the embarrassing performance, Betterton angrily demanded to know which boy had botched the play.

"Master Colley," the prompter replied.
"Master Colley? Then fine him!"
"But, sir, he has no salary."
"No?"
"No."
"Well," Betterton said, pausing to think, "put him down for ten shillings a week and fine him five!"

[Cibber was later immortalized, as the paragon of dullness, in Alexander Pope's Dunciad (1743).]

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