BUNTHORNE?

It was W. S. Gilbert's chief delight to lash the foibles and follies of his day and generation. In the character of Bunthorne, the fanciful posturer of the opera " Patience," he has satirised the type of person who adopts an affected style of dress and thought, merely for the sake of drawing attention to his otherwise very ordinary self. Reginald Bunthorne was a vain young man to whom admiration was the breath of life. As neither his looks nor brains were at all remarkable he was compelled to use considerable ingenuity in order to satisfy his love of praise and flattery. He posed as an aesthetic, art-loving creature, a poet; babbled a lot of incomprehensible, but impressive nonsense; dressed in early English style and went about with a lily in his hand. Foolish maidens felt wildly enamoured of him, copied his style of dress, listened to his poems and even decked him with flowers, until another and handsomer poet appeared upon the scene. Though Reginald tried by every means to uphold his own prestige, the maidens fled and he was left lamenting, a suitable fate for such a foolish young man.