After the nigh-polemic on Cynthia’s Revels, I’m feeling a wee bit guilty. As recompense (and, because I love to write, but am finding myself nigh-exhausted with thesearch lately), I thought I would attempt to revive one of the word games in Act 4 of the play.
First, the rules of the game:
[Phantaste]. Well, I imagine a thing done; Hedon thinks, who did it; Moria, with what it was done; Anaides, where it was done; Argurion, when it was done; Amorphus, for what cause was it done; you, Philautia, what followed upon the doing of it; and this gentleman, who would have done it better. What? is it conceived about?
All. Yes, yes.
Pha. Then speak you, sir, Who would have done it better?
[Asotus]. How! does it begin at me?
Pha. Yes, sir: this play is called the Crab, it goes backward. (191)
Well, then, I asked some of my accomplices to play along[i]. Here then, is the plot we devised. “Rehearse”.
An essay was written
By a German philosopher,
With collective exasperation,
At eight o’clock in the morning,
To delight and instruct its readers.
Laughter and scorn followed:
The Academics would have done it better.
Well, it’s not “Shakespeare: The Bard Game“, but it is amusing, and surprisingly transferable to contemporary day. I know I’ll be playing it at the next dinner party.
[i] to play along. Oddly, some of you were not available to answer my questions at 1.30 in the morning. To fill the missing responses, I borrowed phrases from recent emails you’ve sent me (or, Paul’s case, his “blog”).
[ii] the next dinner party. Hopefully I won’t be playing it alone.
Jonson, Ben. Cynthia’s Revels. Ben Jonson: The Complete Plays. Vol.1. Ed Felix Schelling. London: JM Dent, 1915. 149-232.
18 June 2008 ~ St. Catharines