THE ROMAN DRAMA. In proportion as the Romans yielded to the habit of imitating the Greeks, they advanced into refinement, and receded from their characteristic roughness and ferocity. Their pace, however, was very slow, for imagining rudeness and brutality to be synonimous with independence, they indulged and prided themselves in an adherence to their original coarseness and despised the manners of the Grecians, as the latter did those of the... more...

Menander, as has been said in the last chapter, once more rescued the stage of Greece from barbarism. In the death of Aristophanes was involved the death of "the middle comedy," which rapidly declined in the hands of his insufficient successors. The poets and wits that came after him, wanted either the talents, the malignity, or the courage to follow his example, to imitate him in his daring personalities, or to adopt his merciless satyrical... more...

ORIGIN OF COMEDY—ARISTOPHANES—DEATH OF SOCRATES. Though the term "tragedy" has from the first productions of Æschylus to the present time, been exclusively appropriated to actions of a serious nature and melancholy catastrophe, there is reason to believe that it originally included also exhibitions of a pleasant, or comic kind. The rude satires, and gross mummery which occupied the stage, or rather the cart, of Thespis, were... more...

PROSPECTUS. The advantages of a correct judgment and refined taste in all matters connected with literature, are much greater than men in general imagine. The hateful passions have no greater enemies than a delicate taste and a discerning judgment, which give the possessor an interest in the virtues and perfections of others, and prompt him to admire, to cherish, and make them known to the world. Criticism, the parent of these qualities,... more...

rise and progress of the drama in greece—origin of tragedy—thespis—æschylus, “the father of the tragic art”—his astonishing talents—his death. It has been already remarked that at a very early period, considerably more than three thousand years ago, the Chinese and other nations in the east understood the rudiments of the dramatic art. In their crude, anomalous representations they introduced... more...