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piteous condition, whose eyes have been torn from their sockets, together with a naked maniac, who is starting from the hovel, where he had housed himself during the tempeft: The effect of this figure is described with rapture, for he is drawn in the prime of youth, beautiful and of a most noble air ; his naked limbs display the finest proportions of the human figure, and the muscular exertion of the sudden action he is thrown into furnish ample fcope to the anatomical science of the artist. The fable feigns him to be the son of the blind old man above described, and the fragment relates that his phrensy being not real but assumed, Parrhasius availed himself of that circumstance, and touched the character of his madness with so nice and delicate a discrimination from that of Oedipus, that an attentive observer might have discovered it to be counterfeited even without the clue of the story. There are two other attendant cha, racters in the group: One of these is a rough, hardy veteran, who seems to brave the storm with a certain air of contemptuous petulance in his countenance, that bespeaks a mind fuperior to fortune, and indignant under the visitation even of the gods themselves. The other is a character, that seems to have been a kind of imaginary creature of the poet, and is a buffoon
or jefter upon the model of Homer's Thersites, and was employed by Æschylus in his drama upon the old burlesque system of the Satyrs, as an occasional chorus or parody upon the severer and more tragic characters of the piece.
« The next picture in our author's catalogue was by the hand of Timanthes : This modest painter, though residing in the capital of Attica, lived in such retirement from society, and was so absolutely devoted to his art, that even his person was scarce known to his competitors. Envy never drew a word from his lips to the disparagement of a contemporary, and emulation could hardly provoke his diffidence into a contest for fame, which so many bolder rivals were prepared to difpute.
Æschylus, it is well known, wrote three plays on the fable of Prometheus ; the second in this series is the Prometheus chained, which happily survives; the last was Prometheus delivered, and from the opening scene of this drama Timanthes formed his picture. Prometheus is here discovered on the sea-fhore upon an island inhabited only by himself and his daughter, a young virgin of exquisite beauty, who is supposed to have seen none other of the human species but her father, besides certain imaginary beings, whom Prometheus had either created by his
stolen fire, or whom he employed in the capacity of familiars for the purposes of his enchantments, for the poet very justifiably supposes him endowed with supernatural powers, and by that vehicle brings to pass all the beautiful and surprising incidents of his drama. One of these aërial spirits had by his command conjured up a most dreadful tempeft, in which a noble ship is represented as sinking in the midst of the breakers on this enchanted shore. The daughter of Prometheus is seen in a supplicating attitude imploring her father to allay the storm, and save the finking maținers from destruction. In the back ground of the picture is a cavern, and at the entrance of it a mishapen favage being, whose evil nature is depicted in the deformity of his person and features, and who was employed by Prometheus in all servile offices, necessary for his accommodation in this folitude. The aërial fpirit is in the clouds, which he is driving before him at the beheft of his great master. In this composition therefore, although not replete with characters, there is yet such diversity of stile and subject, that we have all, which the majesty and beauty of real nature can furnish, with beings out of the regions of nature, as strongly contrafted in form and character, as fancy can de. vise : The scenery also is of the sublimet cast,
and whilst all Greece resounded with applauses upon the exhibition of this picture, Timanthes alone was filent, and startled at the very echo of his own fame, shrunk back again to his retirement.”
As this fragment is now in the hands of an ingenious translator, I forbear for the present to intrude 'upon his work by any further anticipation of it, conscious withal as I am that the public curiosity will shortly be gratified with a much more full and satisfactory delincation of this interesing narrative, than I am able to give.
SHALL now resume the plan I have pursued in the foregoing volumes and
proceed with my review of the writers of the Greek flage.
In No LXXVIII. I took leave of what is properly called The Old Comedy ; I am next to speak of that class of authors, who are generally filed writers of The Middle Comcily. The spirit of a free people will discover itself in the productions of their stage; the comic drama, being a professed representation of living manners, will paint these likenesses in stronger or in fainter colours according to the degree of licence or restraint, which may prevail in different places, or in the same place at different periods. We are now upon that particular æra in the Athenian constitution, when it began to feel such a degree of controul under the rising power of the Macedonian princes, as put a stop to the personal licentiousness of the comic poets: If we are to consider Athens only as the capital seat of genius, we must bewail this declension from her former state of freedom, which had produced so brilliant a' period in the annals of her literature; but speak of her in a political sense, and it must be acknowledged that whatever restraints were put upon her liberty, and howa ever humbling the disgraces were which she incurred, they could not well be more than the merited by her notorious abuse of public profperity and most ingrateful treatment of her best and most deserving citizens. When the thunder of oratory was silenced, the flashes of wit were no longer displayed; death stopped the impetuous tongue of Demosthenes, and the hand of power controuled the acrimonious muse of Ariftophanes; obedient to the rein, the poet checked