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THE BIRTH OF MERLIN

or, The Child hath found his Father

The following article is reprinted from A Dictionary of the Drama. W. Davenport Adams. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1904.

The Birth of Merlin; or, The Child hath found his Father is a tragi-comedy, printed in 1662, and attributed on the title page to Shakespeare and Rowley. In this play, Merlin is represented as the offspring of the Devil and Joan, the sister of a clown; and he is born, not only with a beard and the faculties of a man, but with the gift of prophecy. The Devil seeks to carry off Joan, but Merlin rescues her, and imprisons his father in a rock. Allied to this comic business is the story of Constantia and Modesta, the two daughters of Donobert, who wishes them to marry two nobles; they prefer to become nuns. Rowley himself probably acted the clown, who is the best character.

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