Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Ros’cius.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A first-rate actor; so called from the Roman Roscius, unrivalled for his grace of action, melody of voice, conception of character, and delivery. He was paid thirty pounds a day for acting; Pliny says four thousand a year, and Cicero says five thousand.   1
“What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?”
Shakespeare: 3 Henry VI., v. 6.
   Another Roscius. So Camden terms Richard Burbage (1566–1619).   2
   The British Roscius. Thomas Betterton, of whom Cibber says, “He alone was born to speak what only Shakespeare knew to write.” (1635–1710.)   3
   David Garrick (1716–1779).   4
   The Roscius of France. Michel Boyron, generally called Baron. (1653–1729.)   5
   The Young Roscius. William Henry West Betty, who in fifty-six nights realised £34,000. (Died 1874, aged 84.)   6


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