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  • A ridiculous burlesque, which in 1730 had an extraordinary run at the Haymarket theatre. So great was its popularity that a club called “The Hurlo-Thrumbo Society” was formed. The author was Samuel Johnson, a half-mad dancing master, who put this motto on the title-page when the burlesque was printed:

    Ye sons of fire, read my Hurlo-Thrumbo,

    Turn it betwixt your finger and your thumbo,

    And being quite undone, be quite struck dumbo.

    -Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894

    July 31, 2010