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produced his comedy of The Knights, in which he personally attacks the tribune Cleon.
In the first year of Olymp. LXXXIX. he produced his first comedy of The Clouds, and in the year following his second of that title, which is now in our hands, and ranks as third in the Yolume.
In the same year was acted his comedy of The Wasps, in which he satirizes the General Chares for his conduct in the unfortunate expedition to Sicily.
In the fourth year of Olymp. XC. we may place ; his comedy intitled The Peace. In the first of Olymp. XCI. The Lysistrata; and in the second of the same Olympiad that of The Birds.
The Thefmophoriagufæ, or Cerealia Celebrantes, and Concionatrices, fall within the period of Olymp. XCII. before the death of Euripides, who is satirized in the former of these pieces.
The Frogs were performed in the last year of Olymp. XCIII. after the death of Euripides.
The Plutus, which completes the eleven co. medies still remaining, and the last, to which be prefixed his own name, was produced in the fourth year of Olymp. XCVII.
It is generally fupposed that we owe these remains of Aristophanes to St. Chryfoftom, who
happily rescued this valuable, though small, portion of his favourite author from his more scrupulous Christian contemporaries, whose zeal was fatally too successful in destroying every other comic author, out of a very numerous collection, of which no one entire scene now remains.
SHALL now proceed to mention fome
other principal writers of the old comedy, of whose works, though once the favourites of the Athenian ftage, few memorials survive, and these so small and imperfect, and withal so separated from each other (consisting only of short quotations in the scholiasts and grammarians) that it is a talk to collect them, which nothing would compensate but the hope of being in some degree the instrument of saving from absolute extinction the names of authors once so illustrious.
AMIPSIAS was a contemporary of Aristophanes, and no mean rival ; we have the titles of ten coinedies of this author. In some of these
his fatire was personal, but all of them seem by their titles to have been levelled against the reigning vices of his time, fuch as The Gamesters, The Glutton, The Beard (in which he inveighed against the hypocrisy and affectation of the priests and philosophers), The Adulterers, The Sappho (wherein the morals of the fair sex were exposed), The Purse, a second attack upon the gamesters, and The Philosopher's Cloak, in which it is understood he glanced pretty severely at Socrates,
Plato was a comic poet, high in time and character; a collection of no less than forty titles of his comedies has been made by the learned Meurfius, but very few fragments of these are remaining. Clemens afferts that Aristophanes and Plato were mutually charged of borrowing from each other, which in one sense makes greatly to the reputation of our poet, He is quoted by Plutarch in his Alcibiades, and very honourably mentioned by the famous Galen, by Athenæus, Clemens, Julius Pollux and Suidas, There is a fragment containing four lines and a half, upon a statue of Mercury cut by Dædalus, which has an epigrammatic neatness and point in it, that induced me to render it in rhime : He addresses the statue, mistaking it for a living figure :
“ Hoa there! who art thou ? Answer me-Art dumb ?"
_Warm from the hand of Dædalus I come; 5. My name Mercurius, and, as you may prove, “ A statue; but his statues speak and move."
Plato wrote a comedy personally against the General Cleophon, and called it by his name; there are others of the same description in his catalogue, and some of the middle fort: There are a few lines upon the tomb of Themistocles, which have a turn of elegant and pathetic fimplicity in them, that deserves a better translation than I can give.
« On the Tomb of Themistocles. “ By the fea’s margin, on the watery strand, " Thy monument, Themistocles, tall stand : “ By this directed to thy native shore “ The merchant shall convey his freighted store; " And when our fleets are fummond to the fight,
Athens shall conquer with thy tomb in fight.”
The following fragment of a dialogue, between a father and a sophist, under whose tuition he had placed his son, probably belonged either to the comedy called The Beard, or The PhiloSopher's Cloak : It is pretty much in the spirit of our old English drama.
FATHER.. “ Thou haft destroy'd the morals of my son, “ And turn'd his mind, not fo dispos’d, to vice, “ Unholy pedagogue! With morning drams, “ A filthy custom which he caught from thee, 66 Clean from his former practice, now he saps “ His youthful vigour. Is it thus you school him ?
“ SOPHIST, “ And if I did, what harms him? Why complain you? “ He does but follow what the wife prescribe, “ The great yoluptuous law of Epicurus, « Pleasure, the best of all good things on earth; “ And how but thus can pleasure be obtain’d?
" FATHER. “ Virtue will give it him.
" And what but virtue “ Is our philosophy? When have you met “ One of our feet flush'd and difguis’d with wine ? “ Or one, but one of those you tax fo roundly, “ On whom to fix a fault?
“ Not one, but all, “ All who march forth with supercilious brow “ High-arch'd with pride, beating the city-rounds, “ Like constables in quest of rogues and out-laws, “ To find that prodigy in human nature, “ A wise and perfect man! What is your science “ But kitchen-science ? wisely to descant “ Upon the choice bits of a savoury carp, “ And prove by logic that his fummum bonum “ Lies in his head; there you can lecture well,