« AnteriorContinuar »
THE GREEK COMEDY,
TRANSLATED FROM BRUMOY*
I CONCLUDE this work according to my promise, with an account of the Comic Theatre, and entreat the reader, whether a favourer or an enemy of the ancient drama, not to pass his censure upon the authors or upon me, without a regular perusal of this whole work. For, though it seems to be composed of pieces of which each may precede or follow without dependence upon the other, yet all the parts, taken together, form a system which
* Published by Mrs. Lennox in 4to. 1759. To the third volume of this work the following Advertisement is prefixed. “In this volume, the Discourse on the Greek Comedy, and the general conclusion, are translated by the celebrated author of the Rambler. The Comedy of the Birds, and that of Peace, by a young Gentleman. The Comedy of the Frogs, by the learned and ingenious Dr. Gregory Sharpe. The Discourse upon the Cyclops, by John Bourrya, Esq. The Cyclops, by Dr. Grainger, author of the translation of Tibullus.”......E.
would be destroyed by their disjunction. Which way shall we come at the knowledge of the ancients' shows, but by comparing together all that is left of them ? The value and necessity of this comparison determined me to publish all, or to publish nothing. Besides, the reflections on each piece, and on the general taste of antiquity, which, in my opinion, are not without importance, have a kind of obscure gradation, which I have carefully endeavoured to preserve, and of which the thread would be lost by him who should slightly glance sometimes · upon one piece, and sometimes upon another. It is a structure which I have endeavoured to make as near to regularity as I could, and which must be seen in its full extent and in proper succession. The reader who skips here and there over the book, might make a hundred objections which are either anticipated, or answered in those pieces which he might have overlooked. I have laid such stress upon the connection of the parts of this work, that I have have declined to exhaust the subject, and have suppressed many of my notions, that I might leave the judicious reader to please himself by forming such conclusions as I supposed him like to discover, as well as myself. I am not here attempting to prejudice the reader by an apology either for the ancients, or my own manner. I have not claimed a right of obliging others to determine, by my opinion, the degrees of esteem which I think due to the authors of the Athenian stage ; nor do I think that their reputation in the present time, ought to depend upon my mode of thinking or expressing my thoughts, which I leave entirely to the judgment of the public.