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are to be employed. The nets used in the her- | their fidelity, and whom I should think likely to ring-fishery ean furnish work but for few, and desert for the pleasure of desertion, or for a farnot many can be employed as labourers at the thing a month advanced in their pay. Of these foundation of the new bridge. There must, men I know not what use can be made, for they therefore, be some other scheme formed for their can never be trusted, but with shackles on their accommodation, which the present state of af- legs. There are others whom long depression, fairs may easily supply. It is well known, that under supercilious patrons, has so humbled and great efforts lave been lately made to man the crushed, that they will never have steadiness to fleet, and augment the army, and loud com- keep their ranks. But for these men there may plaints are made of useful hands forced away be found fifes and drums, and they will be well from their families into the service of the crown. enough pleased to inflame others to battle, if This offensive exertion of power may be easily they are not obliged to fight themselves. avoided, by opening a few houses for the enter- It is more difficult to know what can be done tainment of discarded authors, who would enter with the ladies of the pen, of whom this age has into the service with great alacrity, as most of produced greater numbers than any former time. them are zealous friends of every present gov- It is indeed common for women to follow the ernment; many of them are men of able bodies camp, but no prudent general will allow them in and strong limbs, qualified at least as well for such numbers as the breed of authoresses would the musket as the pen ; they are, perhaps, at pres- furnish. Authoresses are seldom famous for ent a little emaciated and enfeebled, but would clean linen, therefore they cannot make launsoon recover their strength and flesh with good | dresses; they are rarely skilful at their needle, quarters and present pay.
and cannot 'mend a soldier's shirt; they will There are some reasons for which they may make bad sutlers, being not much accustomed seem particularly qualified for a military life. to eat. I must therefore propose, that they shall They are used to suffer want of every kind; they form a regiment of themselves, and garrison are accustomed to obey the word of command the town which is supposed to be in most danfrom their patrons and their booksellers; they ger of a French'invasion. They will probably have always passed a life of hazard and adven- have no enemies to encounter; but, if they are ture, uncertain what may be their state on the once shut up together, they will soon disencamnext day; and, what is of yet more importance, ber the public by tearing out the eyes of one anthey have long made their minds familiar to other. danger, by descriptions of bloody battles, daring The great art of life, is to play for much, and undertakings, and wonderful escapes. They to stake little ; 'which rule I have kept in view have their memories stored with all the strata- through this whole project ; for, if our authors gems of war, and have over and over practised and authoresses defeat our enemies, we shall in their closets the expedients of distress, the ex- obtain all the usual advantages of victory; and, ultation of triumph, and the resignation of he- if they should be destroyed in war, we shall roes, sentenced to destruction.
lose only those who had wearied the public, Some indeed there are, who, by often changing and whom, whatever be their fate, nobody will sides in controversy, may give just suspicion of ) miss.
LITERARY MAGAZINE, 1756.
TO THE PUBLIC.
to deride, and yet every man expects, and ex
pects with reason, that he who solicits the pubThere are some practices which custom and lic attention should give some account of his prejudice have so unhappily influenced, that to pretensions. observe or neglect them is equally censurable. We are about to exhibit to our countrymen a The promises made by the undertakers of any new Monthly Collection, to which the well new design, every man thinks himself at liberty | deserved popularity of the first undertaking of this kind, has now made it almost necessary to The literary history necessarily contains an prefix the name of Magazine. There are already account of the labours of the learned, in which many such periodical compilations, of which we whether we shall show much judgment or sagado not envy the reception, nor shall dispute the city, must be left to our readers to determine; excellence. If the nature of things would al- we can promise only justness and candour. It low us to indulge our wishes, we should desire is not to be expected that we can insert extensive to advance our own interest without lessening extracts or critical examinations of all the writthat of any other, and to excite tbe curiosity | ings which this age of writers may offer to our of the vacant, rather than withdraw that which notice. A few only will deserve the distinction other writers have already engaged.
of criticism, and a few only will obtain it. We Our design is to give the history, political and shall try to select the best and most important literary, of every month, and our pamphlets must pieces, and are not without hope, that we may consist, like other collections, of many articles sometimes influence the public voice, and basten unconnected and independent on each other. the popularity of a valuable work.
The chief political object of an Englishman's Our regard will not be confined to books; it attention must be the great council of the nation, will extend to all the productions of science. and we shall therefore register all public pro- Any new calculation, a commodious instrument, ceedings with particular care. We shall not the discovery of any property in nature, or any attempt to give any regular series of debates, or new method of bringing known properties into to amuse our readers with senatorial rhetoric. use or view, shall be diligently treasured up The speeches inserted in other papers have been wherever found. long known to be fictitious, and produced some- In a paper designed for general perusal, it will times by men who never heard the debate, nor be necessary to dwell most upon things of genhad any authentic information. We have no eral entertainment. The elegant trifles of literdesign to impose thus grossly on our readers, ature, the wild strains of fancy, the pleasing and shall therefore give the naked arguments amusements of harmless wit, shall therefore be used in the discussion of every question, and considered as necessary to our collection. Nor add, when they can be obtained, the names of shall we omit researches into antiquity, explathe speakers.
nations of coins or inscriptions, disquisitions on As the proceedings in parliament are unintel-controverted history, conjectures on doubtful ligible without a knowledge of the facts to which geography, or any other on those petty works they relate, and of the state of the nations to upon which learned ingenuity is sometimes emwhich they extend their influence, we shall ex- ployed. hibit monthly a view, though contracted yet To these accounts of temporary transactions distinct, of foreign affairs, and lay open the de- and fugitive performances, we shall add some signs and interests of those nations which are dissertations on things . more permanent and considered by English either as friends or ene- stable; some inquiries into the history of nature, mies.
which has hitherto been treated as if mankind Of transactions in our own country curiosity were afraid of exbausting it. There are in our will demand a more particular account, and we own country many things and places worthy of sball record every remarkable event, extraor- note that are yet little known, and every day dinary casualty, uncommon performance, or gives opportunities of new observations which striking novelty, and shall apply our care to the are made and forgotten. We hope to find means discovery of truth, with very little reliance on of extending and perpetuating physiological disthe daily historians.
coveries, and with regard to this article, and all The lists of births, marriages, deaths, and others, entreat the assistance of curious and burials will be so drawn up, that we hope very candid correspondents. few omissions or mistakes will be found, though We shall labour to attain as much exactness some must be expected to happen in so great a as can be expected in such variety, and shall variety, where there is neither leisure nor op- give as much variety as can consist with reasonportunity for minute information.
able exactness; for this purpose a selection has It is intended that lists shall be given of all been made of men qualified for the different the officers and persons in public employment; parts of the work, and each has the employment end that all the alterations shall be noted as they assigned bim, which he is supposed most able to happen, by which our list will be a kind of Court discharge. Register always complete.
* Compare Schlegel diam, lect; Müller Sk. ar ;
3 Sulweis athens, Juafue to reg. resin of austephanesi
I CONCLUDE this work according to my promise,
I. with an account of the Comic Theatre, and en
Reasons why Aristophanes may be reviewed, withtreat the reader, whether a favourer or an enemy of the ancient drama, not to pass bis censure
oul translating him entirely. upon the authors or upon me, without a regular I was in doubt a long time, whether I should perusal of this whole work. For, though it meddle at all with the Greek comedy, both beseems to be composed of pieces of which each cause the pieces which remain are very few, the may precede or follow without dependence upon licentiousness of Aristophanes, their author, is the other, yet all the parts taken together, exorbitant, and it is very difficult to draw from form a system which would be destroyed by the performances of a single poet, a just idea of their disjunction. Which way shall we come at Greek comedy. Besides, it seemed that tragedy the knowledge of the ancients' shows, but by was sufficient to employ all my attention, that I comparing together all that is left of them? The might give a complete representation of that kind value and necessity of this comparison deter- of writing, which was most esteemed by the mined me to publish all, or to publish nothing. Athenians and the wiser Greeks, * particularly Besides, the reflections on each piece, and on by Socrates, who set no value upon comedy or the general taste of antiquity, which, in my comic actors. But the very name of that drama, opinion, are not without importance, have a which in polite ages, and above all others in our kind of obscure gradation, which I have careful-own, has been so much advanced, that it has ly endeavoured to preserve, and of which the become equal to tragedy, if not preferable, inthread would be lost by him who should slightly clines me to think that I may be partly reproachglance sometimes upon one piece, and sometimes ed with an imperfect work, if, after having upon another. It is a structure which I have gone as deep as I could into the nature of Greek endeavoured to make as near to regularity as 1 tragedy, I did not at least sketch a draught of could, and which must be seen in its full extent the comedy. and in proper succession. The reader who skips I then considered, that it was not wholly imhere and there over the book, might make a possible to surmount, at least in part, the diffihundred objections which are either anticipated culties which bad stopped me, and to go somewhat or answered in those pieces which he might have farther than the learned writers,who have puboverlooked. I have laid such stress upon the lished in French some pieces of Aristophanes; connection of the parts of this work, that I have not that I pretend to make large translations. declined to exhaust the subject, and have sup- The same reasons which have hindered with repressed many of my notions, that I might leave spect to the more noble parts of the Greek the judicious reader to please himself by forming drama, operate with double force upon my presuch conclusions as I supposed him like to dis- sent subject. Though ridicule, wbich is the cover as well as myself. I am not here attempting business of comedy, be not less uniform in all to prejudice the reader by an apology either for times, than the passions which are moved by the ancients, or my own manner. I have not tragic compositions; yet, if diversity of manners claimed a right of obliging others to determine, may sometimes disguise the passions themselves, by my opinion, the degrees of esteem which I how much greater change will be made in think due to the authors of the Athenian Stage; nor do I think that their reputation in the present time, ought to depend upon my mode of
* There was a law which forbade any judge of the thinking or expressing my thoughts, which I Areopagus to write comedy. leave entirely to the judgment of the public. + Madame Dacier, M. Boivin.
jocularities ! The truth is, that they are so the same method which I have taken in several much changed by the course of time, that plea- tragic pieces, which is, that of giving an exact santry and ridicule become dull and flat much analysis as far as the matter would allow, from more easily than the pathetic becomes ridiculous. which I deduce four important systems. First,
That which is commonly known by the term Upon the nature of the comedy of that age, jocular and comic, is nothing but a turn of ex- without omitting that of Menander. * Secondly, pression, an airy phantom, that must be caught Upon the vices and government of the Atheniat a particular point. As we lose this point, we ans. Thirdly, Upon the notion we ought to enlose the jocularity, and find nothing but dulness tertain of Aristophanes, with respect to Eschyin its place. A lucky sally, which has filled alus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Fourthly, Upon company with laughter, will have no effect in the jest which he makes upon the gods. These print, because it is shown single and separate things will not be treated in order, as a regular from the circumstances which gave it force. discourse seems to require, but will arise someMany satirical jests, found in ancient books, times separately, sometimes together, from the have had the same fate; their spirit has evapo- view of each particular comedy, and from the rated by time, and has left nothing to us but in- reflections which this free manner of writing sipidity. None but the most biting passages will allow. I shall conclude with a short view have preserved their points unblunted.
of the whole, and so finish my design. But, besides this objection, which extends universally to all translations of Aristophanes, and
History of Comedy. many allusions of which time has deprived us, there are loose expressions thrown out to the
III. I shall not repeat here what Madame populace to raise laughter from corrupt passions, | Dacier, and so many others before her, have colwhich are unworthy of the curiosity of decent lected of all that can be known relating to the readers, and which ought to rest eternally in pro-history of comedy. Its beginnings are as obper obscurity. Not every thing in this infancy scure as those of tragedy, and there is an appearof comedy was excellent, at least it would not
ance that we take these two words in a more exappear excellent at this distance of time, in com- tensive meaning; they had both the same ori, parison of compositions of the same kind, which ginal, that is, they began among the festivals of lie before our eyes ; and this is reason enough to
the vintage, and were not distinguished from one save me the trouble of translating, and the another but by a burlesque or serious chorus, reader that of perusing. As for that small which made all the soul and all the body. But, number of writers who delight in those delica- if we give these words a stricter sense, according cies, they give themselves very little trouble about translations, except it be to find fault with them; and the majority of people of wit like comedies • Menander, an Athenian, son of Diopythus and that may give them pleasure, without much Hegistrata, was apparently the most eminent of the trouble of attention, and are not much disposed writers of the new comedy. He had been a scholar to find beauties in that which requires long de- of Theophrastus: his passion for the women brought ductions to find it beautiful. If Helen had not infamy upon him : he was squint-eyed, and very appeared beautiful to the Greeks and Trojans lively. Of the one hundred and eighty comedies, or, but by force of argument, we had never been according to Suidas, the eighty which he composed,
and which are all stated to be translated by Terence, told of the Trojan war.
we have now only a few fragments remaining. He On the other side, Aristophanes is an author flourished about the 115th Olympiad, 318 years before more considerable than one would imagine. The the Christian Era. He was drowned as he was History of Greece could not pass over him when bathing in the port of Piræus. I have told in another it comes to touch upon the people of Athens; place, what is said of one Philemon, his antagonist, this alone might procure him respect, even when Dut so good a poet as himself, but one who often he was not considered as a comic poet. But gained the prize. This Philemon was older than him,
and was much in fashion in the time of Alexander when his writings are taken into view, we find
the Great. He expressed all his wishes in two lines : him the only author from whom may be drawn
“To have health, and fortune, and pleasure, and a just idea of the comedy of his age ; and farther, Dever to be in debt, is all I desire.” He was very we find in his pieces, that be often makes attacks covetous, and was pictured with his fingers booked. upon the tragic writers, particularly upon the so that he set his comedies at a high price. He lived three chief, whose valuable remains we have had about a hundred years, some say a hundred and ope. under examination; and what is yet worse, fell Many tales are told of his death; Valerius Maxinius sometimes upon the state, and upon the gods says, that he died with laughing at a little incident: themselves.
seeing an ass eating his figs, he ordered his servant to drive her away; the man made no great haste,
and the ass eat them all. The chief heads of this discourse.
“ Well done,” says Phile
mon, “dow give her some wine."--Apuleius and II. These considerations have determined me Quintilian placed this writer much below Menander, to follow, in my representation of this writer, but gave him the second place.
to the notion which has since been formed, IV. But the question is, who was the happy comedy was produced after tragedy, and was in author of that imitation, and that show, whether many respects a sequel and imitation of the only one like Eschylus of tragedy, or whether works of Eschylus. It is in reality nothing they were several ? for neither Horace, nor any more than an action set before the sight by the before him, explained this. This poet only same artifice of representation. Nothing is dif- | quotes three writers, who had reputation in the ferent but the object, which is merely ridicule. old comedy, Eupolis,f Cratinus, and Aristo This original of true comedy will be easily ad-phanes, of whom he says, “ That they, and mitted, if we take the word of Horace, who others who wrote in the same way, reprehended must have known better than us the true dates the faults of particular persons with excessive of dramatic works. This poet supports the liberty.” These are probably the poets of the system which I have endeavoured to establish greatest reputation, though they were not the in the second discourse* so strongly as to amount first, and we know the names of many others. $ to demonstrative proof.
Among these three we may be sure that AristoHoracet expresses himself thus : “ Thespis phanes had the greatest character, since not is said to have been the first inventor of a spe- only the king of Persia|| expressed a high esteem cies of tragedy, in wbich he carried about in of him to the Grecian ambassadors, as of a man carts, players smeared with the dregs of wine, of extremely useful to his country, and Plato whom some sung and others declaimed." This rated him so high as to say that the Graces rewas the first attempt both of tragedy and co-sided in his bosom ; but likewise because he is medy: for Thespis made use only of one speak- the only writer of whom any comedies bave er, without the least appearance of dialogue. made their way down to us, through the confu“ Eschylus afterwards exbibited them with sion of times. There are not indeed any proofs more dignity. He placed them on a stage some that he was the inventor of comedy, properly so what above the ground, covered their faces with called, especially since he had not only predecesmasks, put buskins on their feet, dressed them sors who wrote in the same kind, but it is at in trailing robes, and made them speak in a more lofty style.” Horace omits invention of
* " The alterations which have beeu made in tradialogue, which we learn from Aristotle. I gedy, were perceptible, and the authors of them unBut, however, it may be well enough inferred known ; but comedy has lain in obscurity, being not from the following words of Horace; this com- cultivated, like tragedy, from the time of its original; pletion is mentioned while he speaks of Eschy- for it was long before the magistrates began to give lus, and therefore to Eschylus it must be as
comic choruses. It was first exhibited by actors who cribed : “ Then first appeared the old comedy, From the time that it began to take some settled
played voluntarily, withont orders of the magistrates. with great success in its beginning.” Thus we
form, we know its authors, but are not informed who see that the Greek comedy arose after tragedy, first used masks, added prologues, increased the and by consequence tragedy was its parent. It uumbers of the actors, and joined all the other things was formed in imitation of Eschylus, the in- which now belong to it. The first that thought of ventor of the tragic drama; or, to go yet higher fornuing comic fables were Epicharmus and Phormya, into antiquity, had its original from Homer, and consequently this manner came from Sicily: who was the guide of Eschylus. For, if we
Crates was the first Athenian that adopted it, and credit Aristotle, $ comedy had its birtb from forsook the practice of gross raillery that prevailed the Margites, a satirical poem of Homer, and before.” Aristot. ch. 5. Crates flourished in the
82nd Olympiad, 450 years before our era, twelve or tragedy from the Iliad and Odyssey. Thus the thirteen years before Aristophanes. design and artifice of comedy were drawn from
+ Eupolis was an Atheuian ; his death, which we Homer and Eschylus. This will appear less shall mention presently, is represented differently surprising, since the ideas of the human mind by authors, who almost all agree that he was are always gradual, and arts are seldom invented drowned. Elian adds an incident which deserves to but by imitation. The first idea contains the be mentioued : he says (book x. Of Animals,) that seed of the second; this second, expanding it.
one Augeas of Eleusis, made Eupolis a present of a
fine mastiff, who was so faithful to his master as to self, gives birth to a third; and so on. Such is
worry to death a slave who was carrying away some the progress of the mind of man; it proceeds in of his comedies. He adds, that when the poet died its productions step by step, in the same man- at Egene, his dog staid by his tomb till he perished ner as nature multiplies her works by imitating, by grief and hunger. or repeating her own act, when she seems most
Cratinus of Albeas, who was son of Calimedes, to run ipto variety. In this manner it was
died at the age of pivety-seven. He composed that comedy had its birth, its increase, its im- twenty comedies, of which pine bad the prize: be
was a daring writer, but a cowardly warrior. provement, its perfection, and its diversity.
Hertelius has collected the sentences of fifty
Greek poets of the different ages of comedy. * Greek Theatre, part i. vol. 1.
Interlude of the second act of the comedy en. + Hor. Poet. v. 275.
i Poct. ch. 4.
titled “The Acharnians.' Ś Poet. chap. 4.
Epigram attributed to Plato.