Justice Busie

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JUSTICE BUSIE. AKA - "Justice Busy." English, Country Dance Tune (3/8 time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune and country dance directions appear in all four editions of London publisher John Young's Second Volume of the Dancing Master (1710 to 1728), and, as "Justice Busy," in Walsh & Hare's Second Book of the Compleat Country Dancing-Master (1719 and subsquent editions of 1735 and 1749).

"Justice Busy, or The Gentleman Quack" was an unsuccessful comedy by English dramatist John Crowne (1641–1712). Arthur Franklin White, in his 1922 book John Crowne: His Life and Dramatic Works, remarks:

Crowne's last play was a comedy entitled 'Justice Busy, of The Gentleman Quack.' Of all his dramatic productions it alone was never printed. Our only real source of information concerning it is Downes, who lists it among the principal new plays given from 1695 until 1704 in the following words: "Justice Busy, a Comedy wrote by Mr. Crown; 'twas well Acted, yet prov'd not a living Play: However Mrs. Bracegirdle, by a Potent and Magnetick Charm in performing a Song in't, caused 'the Stones of the Streets to fly in the Men's Faces.' Halliwell-Phillips states that the songs introduced into it were published separately with the music, and it is likely that this publication is the source of his knowledge that the secondary title is 'The Gentleman Quack.' The play we performed at the Little Lincoln's-Inn-Fields theatre, whither Betterton, Mrs. Barry, and Mrs. Bracegirdle had gone after their disagreement with the united company at Drury Lane. Halliwell-Phillips is of the opinion that 'Justice Busy' was acted in 1699, but from an examination of the list of new plays which Downes gives from 1695 until 1704, I am inclined to think that 1700 is a more likely date.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Young (Second Volume of the Dancing Master, first edition), 1710; No. 164.

Recorded sources:




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