The Tragedy of Chrononhotonthologos: being the most tragical tragedy that ever was tragediz’d by any Company of Tragedians. Written by Benjamin Bounce Esq. Edinburgh, 1734. —“Benjamin Bounce” is really Henry Carey, who in this play produced the blank-verse tragedy beyond which no blank-verse tragedy can ever go.

What other tragedy has ever introduced a character whose name alone takes up exactly one line of iambic pentameter? Yet here we have that character’s name, Aldi­boron­ti­phos­co­phor­nio, as the very first line of the play.

Or what tragedy has ever given us a more tragical speech than this?

A blow! Shall Bombardinion take a blow?
Blush! blush thou Sun! Start back the rapid Ocean!
Hills! Vales! Seas! Mountains! all, commixing, crumble,
And into chaos pulverize the world;
For Bombardinion has receiv’d a blow,
And Chrononhotonthologos shall die.

And could anything in Shakespeare equal this?

Ha! what have I done!
Go call a coach; and let a coach be call’d;
And let the man that calls it be the caller;
And, in his calling, let him nothing call
But Coach! Coach! Coach! O! for a coach, ye gods!

No, this must forever be the standard against which all other tragedies are measured. Fortunately, the original is available on Google Books, so when you need to measure a tragedy, you now have a proper measuring-stick.


  1. Mike says:

    Dr Boli:
    I’m impressed with the planning and forethought that went into this piece. Very few authors still writing today would have published a work under another pseudonym in the 18th century simply for the purpose of a brief item in a 21st century blog. That Benjamin Bounce is an earlier pseudonym of yours is evident, as the contrary explanation, that a published playwright would start a play with the line “Aldi­boron­ti­phos­co­phor­nio,” is too absurd to contemplate.

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