- Museum number
- Object: The manager, and the Buzz-Bee in a Doctor's Wig.
Heading to a printed broadside. A corner of the stage at Drury Lane, receding in perspective to the left, with part of the orchestra and a corner of the pit on the right. Above this are two boxes, one above the other, so wide as to resemble sections of gallery. One of the famous lamps is in the corner of the stage. G. F. Busby, thin and foppish, stands in profile to the right, addressing the house, holding out his hat in the right hand and in the other flourishing a long broadside, headed 'The Buz bees Address'. He declaims the opening lines:
"When energising objects men persue
What are the prodigies they cannot do."
Behind him stands an irate schoolmaster in cap and gown, a reincarnation of Dr. Busby (1606-95), of Westminster School, lifting the young man's coat-tails, and vigorously plying a birch-rod. He says:
"As Harlequin had smote the Slumberous heap
And bade the rubbish to a fabric leap
So will I smite this little Buz bee's r-
And make the Rogue with rage Poetic jump."
On the extreme 1. stands the stage manager, Raymond, displaying to the audience a long printed broadside headed A Loud Bees humming Add[ress]. He says:
Are these the Busby's of the present age?
Flog me such Asses from famed Drury's stage.
In the upper box a little man (Dr. Busby) is angrily shouting, "I'm the great Buzbee." Two tough-looking men are about to seize him. Occupants of both boxes point and stare. The pittites are much amused at young Busby's recitation; some shout: "go off"; "off off off go home go home," and "'tis a very bad Address"; one says: "go on." The song is to the air of 'The Frog in a Cock'd Hat', see No. 11842. It opens with a 'Recitative' (annotated 'Fragment in imitation of Lucretius delivered in Recitative by a Yonker, accompanied with a full Chorus of Groans, and set to Music by Doctor Busby, professor of Ars Musica'):
Thou whom all natures 'amorous' works obey,
Whose smiles, from 'chaise-horse' called primæval day;
Thou for whose presence every lover sighs,
Sing rumpty dumpty, puddings and mince pies;
Thee I invoke! possess me while I sing,
To Whitbread's ear my nonsense let me bring;
Apollo, strike thy lyre with merry jig,
And hear a Buz-bee in a doctor's wig.
The sixth of eight verses:
Of your humming address you need not be proud,
No, no, said Raymond
For a lord B- [Byron] has lately been humming the croud,
With his buzzing, fussing,
Gammoning speeches O!
He has, said Manager Raymond.
c. October 1812.
- Production date
Height: 417 millimetres
Width: 265 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
Another satire on the scene at Drury Lane on 15 Oct., see No. 11940, &c. Dr. Busby's rhymed translation of Lucretius is also ridiculed; it was completed c. 1782 but not published (to subscribers) till 1813, though he (and his son) gave readings from it.
Reid, No. 135. Cohn, No. 1715. Reproduced, 'Cruikshankian Momus', p. 70.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1989 April-Aug, Grasmere, Dove Cottage, Byron ...
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number