صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

k to play the parasite, and he without dispute is u of all Gods the greatest. 'Tis his custom to u make himself wekorne in every house he en“ ters, rich or poor, no matter which; wherever « he finds the dinner-table ncatly spread, the « couches ready fet, and all things in decent « order, down fits he without ceremony; cats, u drinks and makes merry, and all at free.cost, u cajoling his poor hoft; and in the end, when " hc has filled his bully and bilked his club, coolly « walks home at his leisure.”

DIONYSIUS the comic poct was also a native of Sinope, the countryman as well as contemporary of Diodorus. I have nothing but a thort fentence from this author, which conveys an excellent maxim fo neatly turnod, that I shall It it down in the original"' *I λίγε τί σιγής κρίντλον, ή σιγήν έχε., .

“ Either say something better than nothing, or say

"' nothing!"

The noted tyrant of Sicily of the above name was also a writer both of tragedy and comedy.

EPHIPPUS, a writer of comedy iri this period, was a native of Athens, and one of the most celebrated poets of his age; we have the titles of twelve of his comedies, of all which that intitled Philyra was the most admired ; this Philyra was the mother of Chiron the Centaur.




PICRATES was a native of the city of

Ambrasia, the capital of Epirus ; his reputation is high amongst the writers of the class under our present review; he was somewhat junior in point of time to Antiphanes before mentioned, and, if we are to give credit to Athenæus, was an imitator of that poet's manner; it is said that he went so far as to copy certain passages out of his comedies and introduce them into his own. Five of his comedies are named, and the following remnant of a dialogue ridicules the frivolous disquisitions of the Academy in fo pleafant a stile of comic irony, that I think myself happy in the discovery of it. The learned reader will acknowledge a striking limilitude in the manner

to Aristophanes's remarks upon the occupations of Socrates's scholars in the comedy of The Clouds.

A. I pray you, Sir (for I perceive you learnd “ In these grave matters) let my ignorance fuck “ Some profit from your courtely, and tell me • What are your wise philosophers engag'd in, " Your Plato, Menedernus and Spealippus ? or What mighty mysteries have they in projection ? " What new discoveries may the world expect de From their profound researches ? I conjure your By Earth, our common mother, to impart them!

« B. Sir, you shall know at our great festival " I was myself their hearer, and so much " As I there heard will presently disclose, ac So you will give it ears, for I must speak "Of things perchance surpassing your belief, « So strange they will appear ; but so it happen d, “ That these most fage Academicians fate « In folemn consultation on a cabbage.

A. A cabbage! what did they discover there?

B. Oh sir! your cabbage hath it's sex and gender, " It's provinces, prerogatives and ranks, as And nicely handled breeds as many questions « As it does maggots. All the younger fry « Stood dumb, with expectation and respect, : "Wond'ring what this fanie cabbage should bring

" forth :: to The Lecturer ey'd them round, whereat a youth. • Took heart, and breaking first the awful silence, * Humbly crav'd leave to think that it was round: " The cause was now at issue, and a fecond

« Opin'd

« Opind it was an herb--A third conceiv'd
“ With due fubmiflion it might be a plant-
« The difference inethought was fuch, that each
“ Might keep his own opinion and be right;
“ But loon a bolder voice broke up the council,
“ And, stepping forward, a Sicilian quack
" Told them their question was abuse of time,
" It was a cabbage, neither more nor less,
" And they were fools to prate so much about it

Lofolent wretch! amazement seiz'd the troop,
“ Clamor and wrath and tenrult rag'd amain,
« Till Plato, trembling for his own philosophy,
“ And calmly praying patience of the court,

up the cabbage and adjouro'd the cause."


ERIPHUS was also a writer of the Middle Comedy, and like the poet last reviewed is charged by Athenæus with being a copyift of Antiphanes. Three small fragments, and the titles of three plays, are every thing which now remains of this author.


Eubulus, the son of Euphranor, and a native of Atarna in Lesbos, ranks with the most celebrated poets of this ara, and though Suidas enumerates only four and twenty of his comedies, Athenæus contends that he was the author of fifty, and the names of all these are still


the list. He Aourished in Olymp. C), which is so VOL. IV.



[ocr errors]

high in the period now under review, as to make it matter of doubt whether the Old Comedy has not a joint claim to his productions with the Middle : Ammonius however expressly claffes Eubulus amongst the latter, and quotes his comedy of The Cup Bearers; it is from this

very comedy as it should seem, that the famous paffage was taken, in which he introduces Bacchus in person laying down to mankind these temperate and moral rules against the abuse of his blesse ings

• Three cups of wine a prudent man may take ; " The first of these for conftitution's fake; “ The second to the girl he loves the best ; " The third and last to lull him to his rest, $ Then home to bed !--but if a fourth he pours, “ That is the cup of folly and not ours; "Loud noisy, talking on the fifth attends; “ The sixth breeds feuds and falling out of friends ; " Seven beget blows and faces stain'd with gore ;

Fight, and the watch-patrole breaks ope the door ; “ Mad with the ninth, another cop goes round, " And the iwillid for drops fenfeless ro the ground.”

When 'luch maxims of moderation proceed from the mouth of Bacchus, it argues great impiety in his votaries not to obey them.

The most elegant epigrammatist might be proud to father the following ingenios turn upon the emblem of Love addresseił to a painter

* Why,

« السابقةمتابعة »