How to be Insulting with Feint Praise
The great nineteenth-century Shakespearean director, Sir Henry Irving, visited the American actor, Richard Mansfield, immediately after his performance as Richard III, which Irving had never seen before. He found Mansfield in his dressing-room, running with sweat after his exertions on stage, and patting him on the shoulder, Irving said:
'Well, Dick, me boy! I see your skin acts well.'