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Let the degenerate wretches, if they can,
Dig up dead honour from their father's tombs,
And boast it for their own—Vain, empty boast !
When every common fellow that they meet,
If accident hath not cut off the scroll,
Can shew a list of ancestry as long.
You call the Scythians barbarous, and despise them;
Yet Anacharsis was a Scythian born;
And every man of a like noble pature,
Tho’he were moulded from an Æthiop's loins,
Is nobler than your pedigrees can make him.'

The following is a false antithesis, in which bodily strength is substituted for mental

It demands the strength of a lion to subdue the weakness of love.'

MORAL MÀXIMS.

"Be sober in thought! be slow in belief! These are the sinews of wisdom.'

• It is the part of a wise man to foresee what ought to be done, so shall he not repent of what is done.'

• Throw not away thine anger upon trifles! Reason, and not rage should govern.'

• Mankind are more indebted to industry than to ingenuity : the gods set up their favours at a price, and industry is the purchaser.'

6 A man without merit, shall live without envy ; but who would wish to escape on these terms ?'

Live so as to hold yourself prepared either for a long life, or for a short one!'

There is no subject, which the comic poets whet their wits upon more frequently than marriage. The wives of Syracuse were not much obliged to Epi. charmus for the following sally.

Marriage is like a cast of the dice: if you get a

wife of good morals and a quiet temper withal, happy is your lot: if you light upon a gadding, gossipping, extravagant hussy, it is not a wife you wed, but an eternal plague in the apparel of a woman. There is not in the habitable globe so dire a torment; I feel it to my sorrow; the better luck is bis, who has never tried it.'

Mr. Congreve, in his Double Dealer, has the fol. lowing passage between Mellafont and Cynthia upon the very eve of their nuptials.

Cynth. Then I find marriage is like cards ; if either of us have a good hand, it is an accident of fortune.

Mell. No, marriage is rather like a game at bowls : Fortune indeed makes the match, and the two nearest, and sometimes the two farthest are together; but the game depends entirely upon judgment.

Cynth. Still it is a game, and consequently one of us must be a loser.

Mell. Not at all; only a friendly trial of skill, and the winnings to be laid out in an entertainment.

Neither this, por any part of the scene to which it appertains, is in Mr. Congreve's best manner. The wit does not flow, but is pumped up with labour, and not very clean when it comes.

Of Phormis, the contemporary of Epicharmus, no fragments are to be found.

Chionides, of Athens wrote comedy before the Persian æra, and is the oldest writer of the Athe. nian stage. All the memorials I can obtain of him are, that he wrote three plays, intitled, The Heroes, The layars, and The Poor Men.

Magnes was an Athenian, and began to appearas a writer of Comedy, whilst Chionides was living : Aristophanes makes mention of him in his play of The Knights. The Scholiast in his comment on the passage obseryes, that all his works are perisbed, nothing remaining but the titles of nine comedies, of which two bear the same names with two of Aristophanes, viz. The Frogs, and The Birds ; the same Scholiast informs us that Magnes bore away two prizes.

Dinolochus was contemporary with Magnes : he used the Doric dialect, and is said to have produced fourteen plays. Some place his birth at Syracuse, others at Agrigentum. Suidas says he flourished so early as Olymp. LXXIII. but this ill agrees with the circumstance of his being the son, or, as others contend, the scholar of Epicharmus. His works have totally perished.

These five poets, three of whom were Sicilians, must be called The Fathers of Comedy, and all that now remains of them is comprised in a few short passages here inserted.

Whilst their comedies were in representation, tragedy was advancing under Pratinas and Chærilus, and Æschylus had already taken possession of the stage : Sophocles and Euripides were born, the former six years before the latter : Ion, surnamed Xuthis, son of Orthomenes of Chios, began to write tragedy in the first year of Olymp. LXXXII. Æs. chylus being then dead. Theognis, (from the cold. ness of his drama nicknamed Snow) was contemporary with Ion.

The magistracy of Athens in Olymp. LXXXV. when Myrrichides was archon, published a decree, prohibiting the representation of comedies in Athens: this decree held in force only two years under Glaucides and Theopompus; for when Euthymenes succeeded to that annual dignity, he found it expedient to gratify the people by a revocation of the edict, and the comic muse was reinstated on the stage by the celebrated triumvirate of Eupolis, Cratinus and

Aristophanes; Cratinus opening the theatre with his celebrated comedy of The Winter Amusements, Eupolis with The New Moons, and Aristophanes with The Acharnensians.

NUMBER CXXXVII.

CRATINUS, Eupolis and Aristophanes are generally classed together as rivals and principals in what is called The Old Comedy. Cratinus was senior in age to both his competitors, and Eupolis is charged by the old annotator upon Aristophanes of having copied from him very freely : I confess this is stubborn authority, and yet it seems hard to believe that Eupolis, who was so constantly engaged in competition with his rival, should expose himself to certain detection of so disgraceful a sort; and had it been so, I should rather have expected to meet with the charge in the text of Aristophanes, than in the comment: I must add, that upon the closest search I can find nothing that favours this imputation in any other author which speaks of Eupolis, but many circumstances on the contrary, which seem to place his pretensions to originality on as good ground as that of his contemporaries, with whom he is equally celebrated.

These poets were in high favour with the people on account of the boldness and personality of their satire, and for the same reason proportionably obnoxious to the nobles and magistrates, whom they lashed without mercy. Aristophanes was much the

Icast bitter of the three, and yet we have some smart specimens of his severity. Persius seems to make this distinction in the following passagem

Andaci quicunque afflate Cratino,
Iratum Eupolidem prægrandi cum sene palles,

Aspice et hæc. In these lines he characterizes Cratinus and Eupolis by the epithets of audax and iratus, whereas he introduces Aristophanes under the description only of prægrandis senex, which is interpreted to refer to the superior gravity and dignity of his style.

Horace, in the fourth sátire of his first book, instances these three poets by pre-eminence from amongst all the writers of the old comedy.

Eupolis atque Cratinus Aristophanesque poete,
Atque alii, quorum comedia prisca virorum est,
Si quis erat dignus describi, quod malus aut fur,
Quod machus foret, aut sicarius, aut alioqui
Famosus, multa cum libertate notabant.

The comic poets, in its earliest age,
Who form'd the manners of the Grecian stage,
Was there a villain, who might justly claim
A better right of being damu'd to fame,
Rake, cut-throat, thief, whatever was his crime,
They freely stigmatiz'd the wretch in rhyme.

FRANCIS.

It appears by this quotation, that Horace does not consider their comedy in the same light with Aristotle, as if they represented human nature in worse colours than it deserved.

Quintilian expressly says, that these are the chief writers of the old comedy-Plures ejus auctores ; Aristophanes tamen et Éupolis, Cratinusque præcipui :-And he recommends the old Greek comedy, and these authors in particular, as the best

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