"There is a certain waste of the people for whome there is no use but war, and these men ust have some employement still to cut them off. If they have no service abroad, they will make mutinies at home. Or if the affairs of state be such as cannot exhale these corrupt excrements, it is very expedient they have some light toys to busy their heads withal, cast before them as bones to gnaw on, which may keep them from having leisure to intermeddle with higher matters. To this effect, the Policy of Plays is very necesary -- however some shallow-brained censors [Puritans] mightily oppugn them."
-- Thomas Nashe, Pierce Penniless, London 1592.