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Philotus, together with Lyndsay’s mediaeval morality,
constitutes the meagre corpus of early Scottish dramatic
literature. While we cannot claim much intrinsic
literary value for our play, and may well hesitate to
endorse Pinkerton’s view that “ after all there are but
two lines in the comedy which are immodest,” we could
nevertheless ill spare this unique specimen of Scottish
Renaissance drama.
Authorship and Date.
No indication as to authorship is given in either of the
early printed editions of the play, nor are the early
literary historians fertile in suggestions. Pinkerton, who
ascribes it to some author (unknown) before 1530, com¬
ments on its attribution to Heywood by Phillips and
Winstanley, though, he continues in his downright fashion,
it was “ written in old Scotish, which Heywood could
never have thought of, even in a dream.”1 In The
Diarey of Robert Birr el, under the date January 17, 1568,
occurs the following entry :—
“ The 17 of Januarii a play made by Robert Semple, and
played befor the Lord Regent, and divers uthers of the
nobilitie.” 2
1 Pinkerton, Ancient Scotish Poems, 1786, pp. cx. ff.
a DalyelTs Fragments of Scottish History,

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