Let Satire Be My Song


TCS 63, Harvard Theatre Collection

Not that a Title’s sounding charm can save
Or scrawl or scribbler from an equal grave:
This LAMB must own, since his Patrician name
Failed to preserve the spurious Farce from shame.

Playbill for Whistle for It, Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, April 10th, 1807.

The “spurious Farce” was Whistle for It, a comic opera that Byron notes was “damned with great expedition at the late theatre, Covent Garden.” Lamb (1784-1834) was the brother of William Lamb, the future Prime Minister, whose wife Caroline famously described the poet as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” He later served with Byron on the Sub-Committee of Management of Drury Lane Theatre.