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verses precomposed by the dithyrambic poets. These poets at the outset were, like the chorus, simple peasants, distinguished above their fellow-labourers by their natural and uncultivated talent for versifying; who, against these festive occasions, used to provide the chorus with a hymn. They in time became a numerous and peculiar body. Emulation was excited, contests between the choruses of neighbouring districts speedily arose, and an ox was assigned as the prize of superior skill. (Pindar, Ol. 13. 24. seqq. Compare the scholiast). The dithyrambic chorus was also called Cyclian (Kúkλios) from their dancing in a ring round the altar of Bacchus, whilst they sang the hymn. (Bentley, Phal. p. 80. Schol. Pindar, Ol. 13. 26.) This exhibition never suffered any material change, but always formed an important part of the Dionysian festival, and was performed by a chorus of fifty men. (Simonides, Epigr. 76.) In later ages, when a regular theatre was erected, a portion of it,' called the opxnoтpa, or dancing-space, was set apart for the performance of the song and dance, round the Ovuéλn, or altar. (Mus. Crit. vol. ii. p. 74.)
The next advance in the developement of the drama was the invention of the Satyric chorus. (Schneider, de Orig. Trag. p. 7. seqq.) At what period and by whom this chorus was introduced, are points of utter uncertainty. Wine and merriment probably first suggested the idea of imitating, in frolic, the supposed appearance of the Satyrs, by fixing horns on the head, and covering the body with a goat's skin. The manners of these sportive beings would of course be adopted along with the guise, while jest and sarcasm were banded about. Be this as it may, a chorus of Satyrs was by some means formed, and thenceforth became an established accompaniment of the Bacchic festival. It is now that we first discover something of a dramatic nature. The singers of the dithyramb were mere choristers; they assumed no character, and exhibited no imitation. The performers in the new chorus had a part to sustain they were to appear as Satyrs, and represent the character of those gamesome deities. Hence the duties of this chorus were twofold. As personating the attendants of Bacchus, and in conformity with the custom at his festivals, they sang the praises of the god; and next they poured forth their ludicrous effusions, which, to a certain degree, were of a dramatic nature, but uttered without system or order, just as the ideas suggested themselves to each performer. These AUTOσXEdiάσμATα were accompanied with dancing, gesticulation, and grimace; and the whole bore a closer resemblance to a wild kind of ballet, than to any other modern performance. This rude species of drama was afterwards called τραγῳδία (i. e. τράγου ᾠδή), either from the goatskin dress of the performers, or, what is more probable, from the goat which was assigned as the prize to the cleverest wit and nimblest dancer in the chorus.
Thespis, a native of Icaria, an Athenian village, was the author of the third stage in the progress of the drama, by adding an actor distinct from the chorus. When the performers, after singing the Bacchic hymn, were beginning to flag in the extemporal bursts of satyric jest and gambol which succeeded, Thespis himself used to come forward, and from an elevated stand exhibit, in gesticulated narration, some mythological story. When this was ended, the chorus again commenced their performance. These dramatic recitations encroached upon
place. Besides the addition of an actor, Thespis first gave the character of a distinct profession to this species of entertainment. He organised a regular chorus, which he assiduously trained in all the niceties of the art, but especially in dancing. (Aristoph. Vesp. 1470.) With this band of performers he is said to have strolled about from village to village, to the several local festivals, and exhibiting his novel invention upon the waggon, which conveyed the members and apparatus of his corps dramatique. Thespis is generally considered to have been the inventor of the drama. Of tragedy, however, properly so called, he does not appear to have had any idea. The dramatic recitations which he introduced were probably confined to Bacchus and his adventures; and the whole performance was little elevated above the levity of the satyric extemporalia, which these monologues had superseded.
Up to this period, the performance called payedía had more the semblance of comedy than of its own subsequent and perfect form. The honour of introducing tragedy, in its later acceptation, was reserved for Phrynicus, a scholar of Thespis, who began to exhibit B. C. 511, the year before the expulsion of the Pisistratidæ. Phrynieus dropped the light and ludicrous cast of the original drama, and, dismissing Bacchus and the Satyrs, formed his plays from the more grave and elevated events recorded in the mythology and history of the country. The change thus produced in the tone of the drama constitutes its fourth form. Much, however, yet remained to be done. The choral odes, with the dances, still composed the principal part of the performance; and the disjointed monologues of the single actor were far removed from that unity of plot and connection of dialogue which subsequent improvements produced.
The fifth form of tragedy owed its origin to Æschylus. He added a second actor to the locutor of Thespis and Phrynicus, and thus introduced the dialogue. He abridged the immoderate length of the choral odes, making them subservient to the main interest of the plot, and expanded the short episodes into scenes of competent extent. To these improvements in the economy of the drama, he added the decorations of art in its exhibition. A regular stage (Vitruv. Præf. Libr. 7.), with appropriate scenery, was erected; the performers were furnished with becoming dresses, and raised to the stature of the heroes represented, by the thick-soled cothurnus; whilst the face was brought to the heroic cast by a mask of proportionate size, and strongly marked character, which was also so contrived as to give power and distinctness to the voice. He paid great attention to the choral dances, and invented several figure dances himself. Among his other improvements is mentioned the introduction of a practice, which subsequently became established as an essential rule: the removal of all deeds of bloodshed and murder from public view. In short, so important were the alterations and additions of Eschylus, that he was considered the Father of Tragedy. To Eschylus succeeded Sophocles, who put the finishing hand to the improvement of the Drama. He shortened the choral songs, improved the rhythm, introduced a third actor, a more laboured complication of the plot, a greater multiplicity of incidents, and a more complete unfolding of them, a more steady method of dwelling on all the points of an action, and bringing out the more decisive ones with greater stage effect.
HISTORY OF THE ROMAN DRAMA.
THE Roman drama, unlike that of Greece, arose neither from the ardent love of poetry, nor the grateful sacrifice of the peasant resting from his labour; but from the superstitious fears engendered by a national calamity. About the end of the fourth century from the building of the city, Rome was, for the first time, visited by a plague; and, as a last resource, histrions, or players, were, by a decree of the senate, summoned from Etruria. It was conceived, that scenic representations might appease the wrath of the gods, and thus in Rome, no less than Greece, the drama was a religious solemnity. These histrions were mere dancers and pantomimists. (Liv. vii. 2.) The first pieces, in which dialogue was introduced on the Roman stage, were borrowed from the Osci, an ancient Italian nation. They were called Fubula Atellanæ, from Atella (now St. Arpino), a considerable town of the Oscan tribe, and consisted of detached scenes, possessing little regularity, but replete with broad humour and comic extravagances. It was not until the
time of Livius Andronicus, that is, about a century after the introduction of the histrionic art from Etruria, that a regular theatre was constructed, built on the Aventine hill, and the drama, properly so called, attempted. Livius, like the early dramatists of most countries, was, at first, an actor, and, indeed, the sole actor in his own pieces. At length. to relieve himself, in consequence of his voice beginning to fail, he introduced a boy, who undertook the recitative, in concert with the flute, whilst his own contribution to the entertainment was chiefly confined to expressing the sentiments thus conveyed by corresponding gestures, only speaking in the conversational scenes. This strange division of labour we learn from Livy (vii. 2.) always prevailed, although with modifications. Livius Andronicus wrote both tragedies and comedies, as did his successor Nævius. From the era of the former, the drama, founded on that of Magna Græcia or Sicily, became a distinct art, and the exclusive province of professional players and authors. Ennius, the friend of the elder Scipio Africanus, by attaching himself to the purest models of Greek composition, improved in a high degree upon the ruder sketches of his predecessors. His plays seem, indeed, to have been translations from those of Sophocles and Euripides, rather than original compositions. The career thus opened was followed up by the comedians Plautus, Cæcilius, Afranius, Lavinius, Trabea, and Terence, of whose compositions twenty plays of the first, and six of the last, are all that remain. These writers, for the most part, took the new comedy of the Greeks (compare note on Sat. 1. 4. 2.) as their guide, and borrowed more freely from Menander than any comic poet of that school.
"The drama in Rome," observes Mr. Dunlop, " did not establish itself systematically, and by degrees, as it did in Greece. Plautus wrote for the theatre during the time of Livius Andronicus, and Terence was nearly contemporary with Pacuvius and Attius; so that every thing, serious and comic, good and bad, came at once, and, if it was Grecian, found a welcome reception among the Romans. On this account, every
species of dramatic amusement was indiscriminately adopted at the theatre, and that which was most absurd was often most admired. The Greek drama acquired a splendid degree of perfection by a close imitation of nature: but the Romans never attained such perfection; because, however exquisite their models, they did not copy directly from nature, but from its representation and image."
Besides the comedies called togate, and palliata, (compare note on Epist. to the Pisos, line 288.), there were the tabernaria (from taberna, "a tavern"), and which, with reference to the former, may be termed farces. The tragedies were likewise distinguished into palliate, and pretextatæ, according as the manners and dress of the piece were Grecian or Roman. Of all their various dramatic entertainments the Fabule Atellana were the only species which the Romans could claim as of native growth. Their origin has been already given; and, after the stage had become a distinct profession, the Roman youth reserved to themselves exclusively the right of representing these satiric pieces. They enjoyed this privilege, without being subject, like the professional actors, to removal from their tribe, incapacity for military service, or the obligation of unmasking when called upon by the audience. (Julius Pollur.) These favourite productions seem to have been dependent on the spirit and humour of the performers, rather than the art of the author. It appears probable that the subject merely was sketched out for them, and that the scenes were filled up by jests, quips, and buffoonery of their own invention. They were for a long time written in the Oscan dialect: but in the beginning of the seventh century of Rome, Quintus Novius innovated on this custom; and, at length, in the time of Sylla, Lucius Pomponius discarded the use of this provincial dialect, and gave the fabule a more polished and rational cast. (Vell. Pater. ii. 9.) He nevertheless retained the Maccus, a grotesque personage corresponding in some measure to the clown of modern pantomime, and the Pappo or Pappus, equivalent, perhaps, to our pantaloon. The pieces called Erodia, were similar to the Atellane fables, and were likewise reserved for the Roman youth.
An account of the Roman satires, and their specific difference, both as to origin and application, from the Greek, will be found at page 141., and some further remarks in the note given at lines 145, 146., of the first epistle of the second book (p. 308.). It remains now to notice the Mimes, which, borrowing their name from the Greek Mio, differed essentially in kind. The latter exhibited a single adventure, taken from every-day life, neither heightened by buffoonery, nor accompanied by more action than was common to any other description of dramatic entertainment. Mimetic gestures of every kind, except dancing, were indispensable to the former. The Roman Mimes, again, differed from their pantomime by the introduction of recitation. They seem to have been of a coarser description than the Atellane fables (Cic. Epist. Familiar. ix. 16.), and to have brought on the scene characters chiefly drawn from the lower orders at Rome. The actors sometimes wore masks; sometimes had their faces stained, or painted. Like the Atellana, the Mimes chiefly depended on the impromptus, and extemporaneous effusions of the actors. Great licence was allowed them; and several of their bitter and pointed sayings, addressed to public characters present in the theatre, have been handed down to us. Occasionally, sentiments of great moral truth and beauty were uttered; as is evident from
the sayings of Publius Syrus, which are fragments of his Mimes. most celebrated writers in this kind were the last named author, Laberius, and Matius. In the time of Horace, the Mimes had relapsed into the mere buffoonery from which these writers, who acted in, as well as composed, these productions, had raised them. From these burlesque representations, preserved throughout all the vicissitudes of the Roman empire, sprang the Commedia dell' Arte of the Italians. The Sannio of the Mimes, with his head shaved, his face bedaubed with soot, and partycoloured garments, is the Zanni of those Italian comedies, so much in vogue in the sixteenth century; reproduced in France as the Arlequin, or intriguing servant; and known to ourselves as the magician whose wand still conjures before us new scenes, and fresh transformations, every Christmas.
IN 1778, Villoison published, in the Supplement to his remarks on the Pastorals of Longus, two odes of Horace, which he had received from M. Genet, secretary to Monsieur, the brother of the French King. They were said to have been discovered at Rome in a MS. of Horace by Caspar Pallavicini. Villoison adds nothing farther on the subject.
No other traces of this pretended discovery appear, except in an edition of Horace, the title of which is given as follows by Mitscherlich:-"Q. Horati Flacci Opera omnia, prius ad exemplar Bentleй excusa, nunc insertis duobus Codd. novissume repertis aucta, addita quoque de harum Odarum inventione epistola principis Pallavicini." This edition has neither date nor place of printing expressed. It is said, however, by Mitscherlich, to have been published at Prague in 1760, under the care of Prince Fürstenberg.
Jani, in his edition of Horace, speaks of the odes in question as having been published a short time previous by an English scholar ("a docto Anglo nuper edita sunt"): The work to which he refers is probably the following, "Á dissertation concerning two Odes of Horace, which have been discovered in the Palatine Library at Rome." London, 4to, 1790
(Marked in the MS. as Lib. 1. Ode 39.)
AD IULIUM FLORUM.
DISCOLOR grandem gravat uva ramum