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BY ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE & CO., EDINBURGH,

AND HURST, ROBINSON, & CO., LONDON.

Handsomely Printed in Quarto with Engravings,

Price L. 1, 5s. in Boards,

VOLUME IV.-PART II.

OF

upplement

TO THE

ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA.

EDITED BY

MACVEY NAPIER, F. R. S. LOND. & EDIN.

This Half-Volume is enriched with the following Articles and Treatises, contributed by John ALLEN, Esq. JOHN BARROW, Esq. JEAN BAPTISTE Biot, Member of the Royal Institute of France, WILLIAM JACOB, Esq. James Ivory, Esq. JAMES Mill, Esq. DAVID RICARDO, Esq. M. P. and other well known writers; viz.

In Topography.--Forfarshire-Galway, County-Glamorganshire-Glasgow-Gloucestershire-Haddingtonshire Hampshire-Herefordshire-Hertfordshire.

In Geography, Statistics, and History.-France Germany Granada, NewGreat Britain Greece Guatimala

Guiana Hanover-Heligoland-Herculaneum-Himalaya Mountains.

In Biography.~ Fontana-Forster (J. R.)-Forster (J. G. A.) -Fourcroy-Fox (Charles James) Frisi-Galiani-GarveGenovesi-Guyton de Morveau-Heyne-Home (John).

In Arts and Sciences.--Equations-Fluids (Elevation of, in Capillary Tubes)-Food (Selection, Preservation, and Preparation of) Galvanism-Gas Lights-Horticulture.

In Politics and Political Economy. Funding System-Go. vernment.

This Work will be completed in Six Volumes. Volume V.
Part I. containing the Second Part of Mr STEWART's
Dissertation, is in great forwardness, and will be pub-
lished early in 1821.

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This Day was Published,
Handsomely printed, in 3 Vols. Post 8vo, Price

L.1, 11s. 6d. boards,
KENILWORTH;

A Romance,
BY THE AUTHOR OF “ WAVERLEY," " IVANHOE," &c.

“ No scandal about Queen Elizabeth, I hope !"

The Critic.

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EDINBURGH: Printed for ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE and

Co. and John BALLANTYNE, Edinburgh; and
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Of whom may be had,
IVANHOE, a Romance. 3 Vols. Post 8vo, L.1, 10s. Also
New Editions of the Author's other Works,

Bions mign with equai propriety we ascribed to persons of the other sex,--or, at any rate, thrown into a joint and common stock for almost indifferent use amongst themselves. There is hardly a shade of variation to break the sameness of this uniformity, or to distinguish the heroines from each other. The sacrificed daughter of one play, is the devoted wife of a second, and the pious sister of a third. Difference of circumstances makes little difference of language or of feeling. Polyxene VOL. XXXIV. NO. 68.

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BY ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE & CO., EDINBURGH,

AND HURST, ROBINSON, & CO., LONDON.

This Day was Published,

Price 6d.

ABSTRACT

OF

MR BROUGHAM'S

EDUCATION BILLS.

LONDON: Printed for Messrs LONGMAN & Co. Pater

noster-Row, and James RIDGWAY, Piccadilly.

In Arts and Sciences. - Equations-Fluids (Elevation of, in Capillary Tubes)-Food (Selection, Preservation, and Preparation of) Galvanism-Gas Lights-Horticulture.

In Politics and Political Economy. Funding System-Government. * This Work will be completed in Six Volumes. Volume V.

Part I. containing the Second Part of Mr STEWART's Dissertation, is in great forwardness, and will be published early in 1821.

EDINBURGH REVIEW,

NOVEMBER, 1820.

No. LXVIII.

Ant. I. The Comedies of Aristophanes. By T. MITCHELL,

A. M. late Fellow of Sidney-Sussex College, Cambridge. Vol. I. London. John Murray, Albemarle-street, 1820.

pp. 454.

Nor
OTWITHSTANDING the great success of the Greek writers

in tragic composition, there were circumstances affecting the state of ancient Greece, very adverse to their efforts in that department of poetry. There was a clumsy, cumbrous, intricate Mythology, --within the mazes of which, when once involved, the poet could do little but fatigue himself, and weary his audience. There was a Religion, addressed so much to the senses, and so little to the heart or understanding, that at best it was but a gorgeous plaything to amuse, or a bugbear to terrify full-grown nurseries, and denied him all powerful topics of consolation or of terror. There was a restriction upon Female intercourse,-a confinement of the high-born dames of antiquity to little better than menjal offices,--that obstructed or obscured all the more delicate workings of the female breast, and thus deprived him of one great charm of the modern drama. Women, it is true, are sometimes made the leading characters in Grecian tragedies; but they want the discriminating stamp of womanhood; and, for the most part, their feelings and expressions might with equal propriety be ascribed to persons of the other sex,--or, at any rate, thrown into a joint and common stock for almost indifferent use amongst themselves. There is hardly a shade of variation to break the sameness of this uniformity, or to distinguish the heroines from each other. The sacrificed daughter of one play, is the devoted wife of a second, and the pious sister of a third. Difference of circumstances makes little difference of language or of feeling. Polyxene VOL. XXXIV. NO. 68.

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*

SO

might sit for the picture of Iphigenia, or Alcestis stand as the reflection of Antigone. Love, fruitful a source of interest with modern writers, is left uncultivated by the ancient dramatists. They have no Juliets, no Belvideras, no Ophelias. They till a sterner soil, and are more successful in the delineation of jealousy or revenge.

or revenge. Medea is indeed the picture of a consummate artist-true to nature, and essentially female. She is in revenge what Lady Macbeth is in ambition,-as bold, as resolute, as bloody,-yet with one touch of tenderness to redeem her from abhorrence. The last smile of her children--the rævUSATOV Jedagpl...is to her what the resemblance in the sleeping Duncan to her father is to the other. But with this exception, the remark holds good. The poet could not perceive the defect, and of consequence could not remedy it. To supply the want of a poetical theology, he had two resources, of which unsparing use is made:-he could resort to the Furies or the Fates. The first, in the hands of + Aschylus, were enough to frighten women into miscarriages, and children into fits; and even modern breasts may thrill at the invocations of | Edipus, or the agonies of Orestes. The mysterious power of Destiny is made yet more potent and appalling. Leading its unconscious, helpless victim, through the dreary vicissitudes of madness, crime, and misery, to a catastrophe of undeserved but unavoidable horror, it makes the gradual development of the (Edipus Tyrannus the most heart-rending series of action that imagination can conceive. We drink the cup of agony by drops, and find it regularly increase in bitterness to the close. This masterpiece of Grecian tragedy stands single. It is as if the Muse had concentrated her whole strength to make one im

* Sophocles and Æschylus have pourtrayed, one the jealous an. xieties of a Dejanira, and the other the jealous revenge of a Clytemnestra ; but they have nothing like love in any of their plays. Euripides introduced something like it, but it was in his hands a Kavyos épws, (Aristot. Rhetor. II. c. 6.)—the passion, not the sentiment ; not, in short, the kind of love which we evidently mean to signify in the text. See the Frogs of Aristophanes, v. 1044, and the Clouds, v. 1372.

+ Aristophanes does not forget this circumstance. See the Plutus, v. 423, and the Scholiast

upon

it. Edipus Coloneus, v. 84. li There is nothing in poetry more truly overwhelming than the picture of the sufferings of Orestes under the persecution of these tremendous beings, as it is given in the Iphigenia in Tauris of Euri. pides.

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