Grizzle. Oh! Huncamunca, Huncamunca, oh!(Henry Fielding, The Tragedy of Tragedies; or, the Life and Death of Tom Thumb the Great (1731), II.5)
Even eighteenth-century scholars tend to know very little more about Thomson as a playwright than that Fielding parodies a line from his play Sophonisba (1730) in the rewritten, annotated version of Tom Thumb. In fact Sophonisba is one of the principal targets in The Tragedy of Tragedies, identified by name in Scriblerus Secundus’ preface to assist Fielding's argument against notional detractors that it is quite legitimate for his play not to resemble the printed sources from which it presumably derives. Thomson's Sophonisba, Scriblerus points out, does not resemble earlier versions of that story by Mairet and Lee, the heroine being entirely devoid of passion: a Queen Elizabeth to their Mary, Queen of Scots. Thereafter, Scriblerus in his role as a learned commentator combining the talents of a Bentley and a Dennis, notes several parallels between his text and Thomson's, the most celebrated of which is given in my epigraph. The courtier Grizzle bleats his love for the Princess Huncamunca, his forlorn sigh fleshed out, so to speak, by some biological, or perhaps metallurgical, evidence:
Griz. Oh! Huncamunca, Huncamunca, oh,
Thy pouting Breasts, like Kettle-Drums of Brass,
Beat everlasting loud Alarms of Joy;
As bright as Brass they are, and oh, as hard;
Oh, Huncamunca, Huncamunca! oh!