Excerpt from The History of the Harlequinade, Vol. 1 The first mime, or rather the first comic actor, was he who leapt upon a bench or table to delight the assembly by his singing, his dancing or his relation of an amusing story. Improvisation prompted all such early attempts. Some of these primitive comedians assemble in Icaria under the direction of Susarion, who gives a form and a sequence to their buffooneries, and they set out to trail their booths and chariots through the cities of Greece (800 B.C.). They represent a slave with shaven head, a drunkard rubicund of face, brutalised by libations, an obese glutton, who tumbles incessantly. Soon comic poets, such as Magnes, Achaeus and Timocreon, conceive for them performances mingled with comic dances (termed cordaces) and pantomimes. Thespis, born in Icaria, sets up a theatre, assigns roles to his mimes, dresses them grotesquely, parades them in chariots, their faces smeared with dregs or soot, and sets about presenting little dramas and comedies mingled with music. He detaches from the chorus an individual, assigns to him a role and thus creates the corypheus. AEschylus the Athenian (393 B.C.) adds a second one. Thenceforward comic or tragic performances are given without music. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.