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that suite of dramas, which we know Æschylus composed from the story of the Atridæ, and of which we have still such valuable remains. He represents Ægisthus, after the murder of Agamemnon by the instigation of Clytemnestra, in the act of consulting certain Sybils, who by their magical spells and incantations have raised the ghost of Agamemnon, which is attended by a train of phantoms, emblema, tic of eight successive kings of Argos, his immediate descendants: the spectre is made pointing to his posterity, and at the same time looking on his murderer with a smile, in which Apelles contrived to give the several expressions of contempt, exultation and reyenge, with such a character of ghastly pain and horror, as to make the beholders shrink. Amongst these Sybils he introduces the person of Cassandra the prophetess, whom Agamemnon brought captive from the destruction of Troy. The light, he says, proceeds only from a flaming cauldron, in which the Sybils have been making their libations to the infernal deities or furies, and he speaks of the reflected, ruddy tints, which by this management of the artist were cast upon the figures, as producing a wonderful effect, and giving an amazing horror and magnificence to the group. Upon the whole he states it as the most capital performance of the master, and that he got such universal honour thereby, that he was afterwards employed to paint for the Persian monarch, and had a commission even from the queen of Scythia, a country then emerging from barbarity.

• Parrhasius, though born in the colony of Miletus on the coast of Asia, was an adopted citizen of Athens, and in great credit there for his celebrated picture on the death of Epaminondas : he contributed to this collection by a very capital composition taken from a tragedy, which was the third in a series of dramas, founded by Æschylus on the wellknown story of Oedipus, all which are lost. The miserable monarch, whose misfortunes had overturned his reason, is here depicted taking shelter under a wretched hovel in the midst of a tremendous storm, where the elements seem conspiring against a helpless being in the last stage of human misery The painter has thrown a very touching character of insanity into his features, which plainly indicates that his loss of reason has arisen from the tender rather than the inflammatory passions; for there is a majestic sensibility mixed with the wildness of his distraction, which still preserves the traces of the once benevolent monarch. In this desolate scene he has a few forlorn companions in his distress, which form a very peculiar group of personages ; for they consist of a venerable old man in a very piteous condition, whose eyes have been torn from their sockets, together with a naked maniac, who is starting from the hovel, where he had housed himself during the tempest : the effect of this figure is described with rapture, for he is drawn in the prime of youth, beautiful and of a inost noble air; his naked limbs display the finest proportions of the human figure, and the muscular exertion of the sudden action he is thrown into furnish ample scope to the anatomical science of the artist. The fable feigns him to be the son of the blind old man above described, and the fragment relates that his phrensy being not real but assumed, Parrhaşius availed himself of that circumstance, and touched the character of his niad. ness with so nice and delicate a discrimination from that of Oedipus, that an attentive observer might have discovered it to be counterfeited even without the clue of the story. There are two other attendant characters in the group: one of these is a rough, hardy veteran, who seems to brave the storm with a certain air of contemptuous petulance in his countenance, that bespeaks a mind superior to fore tune, and indignant under the visitation even of the gods themselves. The other is a character, that seems to have been a kind of imaginary creature of the poet, and is a buffoon or jester upon the model of Homer's Thersites, and was employed by Æschylus in his drama upon the old burlesque system of the Satyrs, as an occasional chorus or parody upon the severer and more tragic characters of the piece.

• The next picture in our author's catalogue was by the hand of Timanthes: this modest painter, though residing in the capital of Attiça, lived in such retirement from society, and was so absolutely devoted to his art, that even his person was scarce known to his competitors. Envy never drew a word from his lips to the disparagement of a contemporary, and emulation could hardly provoke his diffidence into a contest for fame, which so many bolder rivals were prepared to dispute.

Æschylus, it is well known, wrote three plays on the fable of Prometheus; the second in this series is the • Prometheus chained, which happily sure vives; the last was • Prometheus delivered, and from the opening scene of this drama 'Timanthes formed his picture. Prometheus is here discovered on the sea-shore upon an island inhabited only by himself and his daughter, a young virgin of exquisite beauty, who is supposed to have seen none other of the human species but her father, besides certain imaginary beings, whom Prometheus had either created by his stolen fire, or whom he employed in the capacity of familiars for the purposes of his enchantments, for the poet very justifiably supposes him endowed with supernatural powers, and by that vehicle brings to pass all the beautiful and surprising incidents of his drama. One of these aërial spirits had by his command conjured up a most dreadful tempest, in which

a noble ship is represented as sinking in the midst of the breakers on this enchanted shore. The daughter of Prometheus is seen in a supplicating attitude imploring her father to allay the storm, and save the sinking mariners from destruction. In the back ground of the picture is a cavern, and at the entrance of it a misshapen savage being, whose evil nature is depicted in the deformity of his person and features, and who was employed by Prometheus in all servile offices, necessary.

for his accommodation in this solitude. The aërial spirit is in the clouds, which he is driving before him at the behest of his great master. In this composition therefore, although not replete with characters, there is yet such diversity of style and subject, that we have all which the majesty and beauty of real nature can furnish, with beings out of the regions of nature, as strongly contrasted in form and character, as fancy can devise : the scenery also is of the sublimest cast, and whilst all Greece resounded with applauses upon the exhibition of this picture, Timanthes alone was silent, and startled at the very echo of his own fame, shrunk back again to his retirement.'

As this fragment is now in the hands of an ingenious translator, I forbear for the present to intrude upon his work by any further anticipation of it, conscious withal as I am that the public curiosity will shortly be gratified with a much more full and satisfactory delineation of this interesting narrative, than I am able to give.

NUMBER C.

Magnum iter ad doctas proficisci cogor Athenas.

PROPERT

I was agreeably surprized the other day with an unexpected visit from a country friend, who once made a considerable figure in the fashionable world, and, with an elegant taste for the fine arts, is possest of many valuable paintings and sculptures of his own collecting in Italy : he told me, that after six

years absence from town, he had made a journey purposely to regale his curiosity for a few days with the spectacles of this great capital, and desired I would accompany him on his morning's tour to some of the eminent artists, and afterwards conduct him to the theatre, where he had secured himself a seat for the representation of Mr. Southern's tragedy of • The Fatal Marriage.' Though I had just been honoured with a card from Vanessa, purporting that she would hold · The Feast of Reason' that evening at her house, where my company was expected, I did not hesitate to accept the invitation of my country friend, and excuse myself from that of Vanessa, though I must confess my curiosity was somewhat roused by the novelty of the entertainment to which I was bidden.

Our day passed so entirely to the satisfaction of my candid companion, that, when we parted at night, he shook me by the hand, and with a smile of complacency, declared, that a day so spent would not disgrace the diary of Pericles.

When I had returned to my apartment, this allusion of my friend to the age of Pericles, with the

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