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of one species were short ; those of the other long, and not quite so grotesque. These two kinds were fubdivided into many species, distinguished by the dresses and characters, such as shews, drunkards, physicians, men, and women.

Thus far of the Greeks. The Romans having borrowed of them the more noble shews of tragedy and comedy, were not content till they had their rhapsodies. They had their plani pedes, who played with flat foles, that they might have the more agility; and their Sannions; whose head was shaved, that they might box the better. There is no need of naming here all who had a name for these diversions among the Greeks and Romans. I have faid enough, and perhaps too much of this abortion of comedy, which drew upon itself the contempt of good men, the censures of the magistrates, and the indignation of the fathers of the church *.

Another set of players were called Pantomimes : there were at least so far preferable to the former, that they gave no offertce to the ears. They spoke only to the eyes; but with such art of expression, that without the utterance of a single word, they represented, as we are told, a complete tragedy or comedy, in the same manner as dumb Harlequin is exhibited on our theatres. These Pantomimes among the Greeks first mingled singing with their dances; afterwards, about the time of

• It is the licentiousness of the Mimi and Pantomimes, against which the censure of the Holy Fathers particularly breaks out, as against a thing irregular and indecent, without fuppuling it much connected with the cause of religion.


Livius Andronicas, the songs were performed by one part, and the dances by another. Afterwards, in the time of Auguftus, when they were sent for to Rome, for the diversions of the people, whom he had enslaved, they played comedies without songs or vocal utterance; but by the sprightliness, activity, and efficacy of their geftures; or, as Sidonius Apollinaris expresies it, clausis faucibus, et loquente gestu, they not only exhibited things and passions, but even the most delicate distinctions of pasfions, and the Nightest circumstances of facts. Wc must not however imagine, at least in my opinion, that the Pantomimes did literally represent regular tragedies or comedies by the mere motions of their bodies. We may justly determine, notwithstanding all their agility, their representations would at last be very incomplete : yet we may suppose, with good reason, that their action was very lively; and that the art of imitation went great lengths, since it raised the admiration of the wiseft men, and made the people mad with eagerness. Yet when we read that one Hylus, the pupil of one Pylades, in the time of Augustus, divided the applauses of the people with his master, when they represented Oedipus, or when Juvenal tells us, that Batbillus played Leda, and other things, of the same kind, it is not easy to believe that a single man, without speaking a word, could exhibit tragedies or comedies, and make starts and bounds supply the place of vocal articulation. Notwithstanding the obscurity of this whole matter, one may know what to admit as certain, or how far a representation could be carried by dance, posture, and grimace. Among



these artificial dances, of which we know nothing but the names, there was as early as the times of Aristophanes some extremely indecent. These were continued in Italy from the time of Augustus, long after the empe

It was a public mischief, which contributed in some measure to the decay and ruin of the Roman empire. To have a due detestation of these licentious entertainments, there is no need of any recourse to the fathers; the wiser Pagans tell us very plainly what they thought of them. I have made this mention of the Mimi and Pantomimes, only to shew how the most noble of public spectacles were corrupted and abused, and to conduct the reader to the end through every road, and through all the bye-paths of human wit, from Homer and Eschylus to our own time. VII. That we may conclude this work Wanderings of

the human by applying the principles laid down at

mind in the the beginning, and extend it through the birth and pro

gress of thea, whole, I desire the reader to recur to

trical represent that point where I have represented the

tations, human mind as beginning the course of the drama. The chorus was first a hymn to Bacchus, produced by accident; art brought it to perfection, and delight made it a public diversion. Thespis made a single actor play before the people ; this was the beginning of theatrical shews. Eschylus, taking the idea of the Iliad and Odyssey, animated, if I may so express it, the epic poem, and gave a dialogue in place of simple recitation, puts the whole into action, and sets it before the eyes, as if it was a present and real transaction : he gives the cho


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an interest in the scenes, contrives habits of dig. nity and theatrical decorations. In a word, he gives both to tragedy; or, more properly, draws it from the bofom of the epic poem. She made her appearance sparkling with graces, and displayed fuch majesty as gained every heart at the first view. : Sophocles considers her more nearly, with the eyes of a critic, and finds that she has something still about her rough and swel. ling: he diyefts her of her false ornaments, teaches her a more regular walk, and more familiar dignity. Euripides was of opinion, that the ought to receive ftill more softness and tenderness; he teaches her the new art of pleasing by simplicity, and gives her the charms of graceful negligence; so that he makes her stand in suspence, whether she appears most to advantage in the dress of Sophocles sparkling with gems, or in that of Euripides, which is more simple and modest. Both indeed are elegant ; but the elegance is of different kinds, between which no judgment as yet has decided the prize of superiority. : We can now trace it no farther; its progress amongst the Greeks is out of sight. We must pass at once to the time of Auguftus, where Apollo and the Muses quitted their ancient residence in Greece, to fix their abode in Italy. But it'is vain 10 ask questions of Matemone; the is obstinately filent, and we cnly know from strangers her power amongit the Romans. Seneca endeavours to

Ichylus, in my opinion, as well as the other poets his contemporaries, retained the chorus, not merely because it was the falhion, but becaule cxamining tragedy to the bottom, they found it not pational to conceive, that an action great and splendid, like the tevolution of a fate, could pass without witnesses.

make her speak ; but the gaudy shew with which he racther loads than adorns her, makes us think that he took. some phantom of Melpomone for the Muse herself.

Another flight, equally rapid with that to Rome, must carry us through thousands of years, from Rome to. France. There in the time of Lewis XIV. we see the, mind of man giving birth to tragedy a second time, as; if the Greek tragedy had been utterly forgot. In the place of Eschylus, we have our Rotrou. In Corneille, we have another Sophocles, and in Racine a second Euripides., Thus is tragedy raised from her alhes, carried to the utmost point of greatness, and so dazzling that she prefers herself to herself. Surprised to see herself produced, again in France in so short a time, and nearly in the same manner as before in Greece, she is disposed to be lieve that her fate is to make a short transition from her birth to her perfection, like the goddess that issued from the brain of Jupiter.

If we look back on the other side to the rise of comedy, we shall see it hatched by Margites from the OdyfJey of Homer, in imitation of her eldest sister; but we see her under the conduct of Aristophanes become licentious and petulant, taking airs to herself which the magistrates were obliged to crush. Menander reduced her to bounds, taught her at once gaiety and politeness, and enabled her to correct vice, without shocking the of fenders. Plautus, among the Romans, to whom we must now pass, united the earlier and the later comedy, and, joined buffoonery with delicacy. Terence, who was better instructed, received comedy from Menander, and furpassed his original, as he endeavoured to copy it. And lastly, Moliere produced a new species of comedy,


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