When my play-reading group did The Importance of Being Earnest, I was assigned the role of Algernon. In that line about literary criticism, I read forte as one syllable--assuming Algernon might know to say it that way--but at least two fellow readers tried to help me out by whispering "for-tay."
Bunbury makes his first appearance: ALGERNON. Literary criticism is not your forte, my dear fellow. Don’t try it. You should leave that to people who haven’t been at a University. They do it so well in the daily papers. What you really are is a Bunburyist. I was quite right in saying you were a Bunburyist. You are one of the most advanced Bunburyists I know. JACK. What on earth do you mean? ALGERNON. You have invented a very useful younger brother called Ernest, in order that you may be able to come up to town as often as you like. I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in order that I may be able to go down into the country whenever I choose. Bunbury is perfectly invaluable. If it wasn’t for Bunbury’s extraordinary bad health, for instance, I wouldn’t be able to dine with you at Willis’s to-night, for I have been really engaged to Aunt Augusta for more than a week. Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
JACK: This ghastly state of things is what you'd call Bunburying, I suppose. ALGERNON: Yes, and a perfectly wonderful Bunbury it is. The most wonderful Bunbury I have ever had in my life. JACK: Well, you've no right whatsoever to Bunbury here. ALGERNON: That is absurd. One has a right to Bunbury anywhere one chooses. Every serious Bunburyist knows that. JACK: Serious Bunburyist! Good heavens! -The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde
Bunbury's also used in Jonathan Ames's "The Extra Man." As in "Earnest," he's a made-up guy; they use him to disguise where they've truly been, so that they'll remain mysteries to each other. "I was out with Bunbury."