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I know this interpretation of Zarottus is controverted upon the authority of Pausanias, and Ovid is supposed by some to point at Mævius, by others at Hipponax; but as the name of the sufferer is not given, those, who incline to the construction of Eustathius as well as Zarottus, will apply it to our author.
Of the titles of his comedies eight and twenty remain, but for his fragments, which are few in number, I discover none, which seem to merit a translation; had he spared those which his passion destroyed, happy chance might perhaps have rescued something worth our notice.
ARIS T O P H O N. This poet has left us more and better remembrancers of his muse, though fewer of his history: That he was a writer of the Middle Comedy is all I can collect, which personally concerns him: The titles of four of his comedies are in my hands, but though Plutarch, Athena us, Laertius in his Pythagoras, Stobæus and Gyraldus all make mention of his name, none of them have given us any anecdotes of his history.
Love and matrimony, which are subjects little touched upon by the writers of the Old Comedy, became important personages in the Middle
Drama; the former seems to have opened a very flowery field to fancy, the last appears generally to have been set up as the butt of ridicule and invective.-Our author for instance tells us
“ A man may marry once without a crime,
On the topic of love he is more playful and ingenious.com.
« Love, the disturber of the peace of heaven,
There is a fragment of his comedy of the Pythagorista, in which he ridicules that philosopher's pretended visit to the regions of the dead
• I've heard this arrogant impostor tell,
Singling them out from the inferior dead :
In another passage of the same satirical.co, medy he thus humorously describes the disciples of Pythagoras
" So gaunt they seem, that famine never made
Of lank Philippides so mere a shade; $« Of falted tunny-fith their scanty dole, " Their beverage, like the frog's, a standing pool,
With now and then a cabbage, at the best • The leavings of the caterpillar's feast : $ No comb approaches their dishevell'd hair “ To rout the long-establish'd myriads there; « On the bare ground their bed, nor do they know “ A warmer coverlid than serves the crow; şi Flames the meridian fun without a cloud ? “ They balk like grasshoppers and chirp as loud : “ With oil they never even feast their eyes;
The luxury of stockings they despise, “ But bare-foot as the crane still march along $ All night in chorus with the screech-owi's song.”
Of AXIONICUS the comic poet I have nothing to relate but that he was a writer of reputation in the period we are describing, and that we have the titles of six of his comedies with a small parcel of uninteresting fragments, chiefly to be found in Athenæus.
BATHON I must also pass over like the former, no records of his history and only a few fragments of his comedies with three of their titles remaining. Though I class CHÆREMON amongst the writers of the Middle Comedy, I have some doubt if he should not have been in the list of Old Dramatists, being said to have been the scholar of Socrates: He is celebrated by Ariftotle, Athenæus, Suidas, Stobæus, Theophrastus and others, and the titles of nine of his comedies are preserved in those authors with some scraps of his dialogue. Aristotle relates that in his comedy of The Hippocentaur he introduced a rhapsody, in which he contrived to mix every species of metre, inventing as it should seem a characteristic measure for a compound monfter out of nature.
OF CLEARCHUS we have a few fragments and the titles of three comedies preserved by Athenæus ; the fame author gives us the title of one comedy by CRITON, of four by CROBYLUS and of two by DEMOXENUS, one of which is The Self-Tormentor, or Heautontimorumenos ; this poet was an Athenian born, and seems to have been a voluminous writer. Of DEMETRIUS there remains only one fragment, yet we have testimony of his having been a comic poet of this period in great reputation.
DIODORUS was a native of Sinope, a city of Pontus, and the birth-place of many eminent poets and philosophers; we have the titles of three of his comedies, and from the few frag
ments of his works now existing I have selected these which follow
“ This is my rule, and to this rule I'll hold, " To chuse my wife by merit not by gold ; " For on that one election must depend 6. Whether I wed a fury or a friend."
" When your foe dies let all resentment cease, 6o Make peace with death, and death Thall give you
I meet with another fragment of this author, which is so far curious, as it contains a bold blasphemy against the supreme of the heathen deitiesand marks the very loose hold, which the established religion had upon the minds of the common people of Athens at this period, who must have been wonderfully changed by the new philosophy from the times of Æschylus and Aristophanes, who both incurred their resentment in a very high degree for daring to affront the Gods, though it is probable neither went the length of Diodorus's Parasite, who afferts the superior dignity, authority and even divinity of his vocation with the following hardy allusion to Jupiter himself - “ All other arts," says he, « have been of man's invention without the '" help of the Gods; but Jupiter himself, who is
our partner in the trade, first taught us how