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it was afterwards, when Thucydides changed its form, and justified this change, by censuring those who went before him. In this censure, Herodotus, though not named, is supposed to have been principally comprehended. . This revolution in history-writing is employed by M. DE ROCHEFORT to unfold the views that guided Herodotus in the composition of his history, more especially to shew, that he was less desirous of exhibiting to the curiosity of the Greeks, a feries of events contained in a certain period of time, than of selecting such facts as were interesting and instructive, subfervient to the advancement of religion, morality, and political wisdom, in which the great and effential interests of mankind åre involved. Now these important objects have an eminent place in the writings of Homer, and hence arise the points of comparison between the historian and the poet, which our Author illustrates, in a long and circumstantial detail, in these two memoirs, in which there is much instruction and good criticism, but, at the same time, a great redundancy of erudition.Many pages less than fifty-three might have contained the neceffary illustrations of this subject. The First Memoir concerning Aristotle's Poetics. By the Abbé
BATTEUX. The learned Academician here proposes to examine, whether Aristotle gives us a true notion of tragedy, when he maintains, that its catastrophe should always be unhappy, even to the virtuous (which seems contrary to the interests and demands of morality), and whether some moderns, who have undertaken to modify this decision, or to overturn it entirely, by infifting that felicity should be annexed to virtue, have not violated, if not perverted the essential character of tragedy. To discuss this point, our Academician divides his memoir into two articles; . of which the first contains the theory of Aristotle, with refpect to the nature and end of tragedy, and the second, that of tome modern writers on this subject.
In treating the first article, the Abbé examines and explains Aristotle's celebrated definition of tragedy. Some parts of this definition have excited keen disputes among the learned, more especially that in which he indicates the end of tragedy. This is, according to him (as interpreted by our Abbé), to excite terror and pity by the exhibition of a fictitious catastrophe, adapted to this purpose, and to make us feel there paffions, disengaged from the circumstances that render them painful. Our Author proves this to be the doctrine of the Stagyrite, by a variety of learned and ingenious observations. The Grecian sage had obterved, that men love to be moved, and that the emotions of joy from fi&titious objects, are not only less lively than those that are excited by real ones, but also when the scene is finished,
produce a species of dejection in the mind. From hence he concluded, that emotions of distress, pity, and terror, were preferable in tragedy, as they are less painful than those that are excited by reality, -- nay, give pleasure to the mind, by producing, in it, emotion without anguish, fear without danger, and compassion without the existence of miserable objects. Thus the passions of fear and compassion affect the mind, without cormenting it, and are disengaged, or (as Aristotle expresses it) purged from the poignancy and dejection that accompany them in real life : xat cpoi por xocs $288.
Several moderns, as our Academician observes, in his second article, have not only departed from this theory, but condemned it. They look upon it as the theory of the Grecian theatre, from whence, say they, Aristotle drew it, and not as the true theory of the tragic art. They also plead the great success of tragedies formed upon an opposite plan, whose catastrophes convey moral instruction, by the punishment of vice, and the triumphs of virtue.-Qur Academician replies, that the Oedia pus of Sophocles, the Polieucte of Corneille, the Phædra of Racine, and the Zara of Voltaire, which are universally acknowledged to be among the most perfect productions of the tragic muse, are all composed upon the plan of Aristotle,-and that the tragedies which have been applauded, though composed on a different plan, are not indebted for this applause to their deviation from the rule of that great critic, but to the beauty of their moral portraits, sublimity of thought and expression, and a variety of other kinds of merit, of which tragical composition is susceptible, and which our Academician enumerates in an ample and interesting detail. A Second Memoir on Tragedy, containing an Answer to fome Ob.
jections made by M. De Rochefort to the preceding Memoir. By the Abbé BATTEUX.
The objections which our Abbé here answers with fagacity and candour, are contained in the seventh memoir of this volume, in which M, DE ROCHEFORT treats of the principal object of tragedy among the Greeks. The answers of the ingenious Abbé drew a second memoir from M, DE ROCHEFORT, which is the eighth in the volume before us. We must refer our Readers to the work itself, for a just view of this elegant controversy, which is carried on by the two learned Academicians, in a manner that does honour to their taste and sentiments, and will afford satisfaction to the connoiffeurs in polite literature, A Third Memoir, on the Nature and End of Comedy. By the
Abbé BATTEUX, In his critical and philosophical walk through the wide field of poetry, our Academician follows Aristocie alone. The latter, indeed, speaks little of comedy in his poetics : but from
that little, and the inductions which our Author has the happy talent of drawing from it, we have, in this memoir, an account of the origin of comedy, its definition, the differences between tragedy and comedy, with respect to the manner of compofing the dramatic action, as also to morals and manners, probability, the nature and manner of the conclusion or catastrophe, the style, and the ultimate end of each kind.
From the observations contained in these articles, we see, that these two kinds are both dramatic imitations of an action, which has a certain extent, and is designed to excite agreeable impressions in the minds of the audience. Tragedy is the imitation of moral good, or virtue-Comedy the imitation of moral defect, or vice-che one exhibits virtue unhappy, the other vice, or moral defect, in its ridiculous aspects :-the one is the representation of misfortune or danger, without shame or reproach,-the other, the representation of shame or reproach, without danger or misfortune-the one distresses the mind, or rends it with anguish; the other expands it in amenity and mirth.-In both, the emotion is twofold: in tragedy, we feel apprehension for ourselves, and a tender pity and concern for others; in comedy, an agreeable diftinction in our own favour, and a contemptuous mockery of others. Both kinds may administer useful lessons, wise maxims, and instructive examples, and it is here that the art of the poet is chiefly displayed : in neither, does' the action point out in itself any instruction, or moral ;-this is not the law, or intention of the drama. Both tragedy and comedy may, indeed, contribute to foften rude manners, to civilize, to polish, as the file removes afperities ;--but when the manners are already civilized and polished, the drama, like the file, by continuing its operation, only weakens and diminishes. It never came into the head of Aristotle, or of any other philosopher, to affirm, that when a nation is 'enervated by effeminacy and low vices, the passions and pleasures of the theatre are, or can be a specific for reforming its manners. We leave our readers to consider the restrictions with which this very judicious observation of our Academician is to be adopted. Fourth Memoir, on the Poetics of Aristotle ; in which Epic Poetry
is compared with Tragedy and Hifiory. By the same. The learned Abbé follows here the same method that he has observed in the preceding memoirs, confining himself entirely to Aristotle's account of the Epic Poem: consequently, there is nothing new in this memoir: It is only inftructive and interefting by the luminous point of view, in which the ingenious Academician collects the observations of the Grecian philosopher on this agreeable subject. With this intention, after giving, in a first article, the definition of the Epopeia, he thews in a fecond and third, the points of resemblance and of difference
between it and tragedy-of which it has the fable, manners, thoughts, and diction, without the representation,--and from which it differs, by giving a greater extent to the probable, by employing sometimes a marvellous, which is fupernatural, by a less circumstantial and vehement representation of the passions, by the extent of the action and episodes, and by some particularities (chiefly applicable to Grecian poetry) relative to time and place. In a fourth Article, he considers the marks of distinction that separate the epopeia (though it be a narration) from history. These marks are the action of the former, which is one, - its materials, which are invented, chosen, and always interesting the arrangement of events without any regard to chronological order-the dramatic composition--the elocution and numbers, &c.-In the fifth Article, he treats of the end and purpose of the epic poem, which is to excite admiration. Tragedy excites a pleasing melancholy, or gravity of frame, Pastoral, a mild chearfulness,-Comedy, a malignant species of enjoyment, -Lyric Poetry, a kind of intoxication;- but the Epic Muse, exhibiting to our view embellished nature, and all objects exaggerated on the grand or beautiful fide, excites a pleasing admiration and wonder. Remarks on the Number of Pieces, that were represented, the fame
Day, on the Athenian Theatre. By the Abbé BARTHELEMY,
The theatre at Athens was only opened on certain festivals; and some of these festivals only continued one day, so that the poets, who contested for the pre-eminence in tragedy or comedy (every one of whom was obliged to come to the literary contest with a tetralogy *), seem not to have had time fufficient for the representation of so many pieces, considering, that besides these dramatic performances, the Athenians were amused with many other shews, amusements, and exhibitions, on there folemnities. To throw some philological light on this subject, our Author examines and solves the three following questions, What were the festivals on which dramatic pieces were represented at Athens, and how long did they continue ? -Was the representation of these pieces" preceded by the judgments of any literary censors ?– How many of these pieces were acted in a day?-Whoever desires ample answers to these questions, will find them in this memoir, to which we refer them. Researches concerning the Carnean Festival (KAPNEIA) designed to
illustrate the Hymn, composed by Callimachus, in Honour of
Apollo. By M. Du Theil. Disquisitions concerning the Thermophoria (or Feafts of Ceres),
designed as an Introduction to a Comedy of Aristophanes,
* This title was given to the three tragedies, accompanied with a farce or jarire, which each competitor was to prelent to the judges.
called called Thermophoriazuses, and to the Hymn of Callimachus, in
Honour of Ceres=Thermophoria. By the same. Concerning the Festivals, instituted by the Greeks in Honour of Palo
las, designed to illustrate the Himn, composed by Callimachus, on
the Baths of Pallas. By the same. A Translation of Plato's Dialogue, entitled, 1o. By the Abbé
ARNAUD. This excellent version is preceded by several elegant and judicious remarks on the nature and intention of the dialogue. Historical Researches concerning the Ediets and Statutes of the Roman
Magistrates, in Three Memoirs. By M. BOUCHAUD. Those who are acquainted with the writings of Heineccius, and more especially with his excellent Treatise on Roman An-, tiquities, will find nothing new in these memoirs, if we except what relates to the edicts of the Ædiles, and some interesting illustrations of certain points of Roman jurisprudence, which the learned German has treated with unusual brevity.
Inquiries concerning the Julian Law de Ambitu. By the fame. ; This famous law, deligned to remedy the growing evil of bribery and corruption in the Roman republic, is here treated in a masterly manner, but with a prodigality of erudition that will satiate, even a tolerably keen philological appetite. The XIXth, XXth, XXI/1, and XXIId Memoirs concerning the
Roman Legion. By M. Le Beau. After having thewn, in the preceding memoirs, how the Roman legion was formed, the parts of which it was composed, the names and employments of the soldiers, officers, and other persons, engaged in the military service, our indefatigable Academician enters, here, into another part of the subject, that he has rendered so ample and extensive. He here takes the soldier, clothes, equips, and arms him for offensive and defensive combat, and furnishes him with provisions, pay, and other necessaries. The two last of these meinoirs, relative to the clothing of the soldiers, are very curious. Concerning Two Imperial Medals of the City of Hippone. By the
Abbé Le BLOND. These two beautiful medals, which belong to the collection of M. Ennery, have not hitherto been publithed. They are, nevertheless, worthy the attention of the learned. One of them, which is of the large bronze, represents, on the one side, the head of Tiberius, with the legend, T: CÆSAR Divi AuGUSTI. F. AUGUSTUS.—On the reverse, is represented a woman sitting, with her head veiled, holding, in her right hand, a patera, and in her left a lighted torch. The legend Hippone Libera is so placed, that the first of these words is above the. figure, and the other below it. In the area, or field, we find inscribed, in larger characters, Jul. Aug.-The other medal