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The “ Middle Comedy," so-called, now began to reputation and friends by the talents which he appear. The oligarchy of that period, writhing displayed. His writings were much admired by under the lash of keen satire, having forbidden the polite and learned of Rome, being esteemed the representation of living persons on the stage, for their prudential maxims and morality. Most the chorus-chief instrument of vituperation of his plays, like those of Plautus, are translawas abolished, and general character represented tions from the Greek; but they are valuable on by masks not imitating the countenances of par- that very accouni, as giving us an idea of his ticular individuals. I'hus, out of the fears of celebrated model, Menander. the great men of that day arose comparative de- Ancient Rome presents a dreary blank in the corum in the compositions of the drama. history of the drama; for shortly after this pe
The names of Menander and Philemon im- riod her greatness began to fade : vast projects mortalize the new school of Greek comedy of ambition occupied her senate, whilst the conThe first of these great men wrote about 300 tending factions, under such men as Sylla, years before the Christian era. The power of Marius, and Pompey, led on to that dread!ul his transcendent wit, the regularity of his pieces, degeneracy which ultimately destroyed every and the greatness of his mind, form a new era feeling connected with the fine arts; and amidst for the Greek stage. Unfortunately, only a few the debasement of manners, in place of the ree bis works remain to us, although be wrote finements of comedy, the Roman stage was upsards of one hundred comedies. His ideas disgraced by the most barbarous spectacles. Fale considered so delicate and pure, that bis Gladiators, wild beasts, and other brutal exhiwritings were placed in the hands of the youth bitions, corrupted the public taste, which tendof both sexes. Among the fragments of this ing to plunge the people into every species of great poet which have come down to us, the fol. immorality, the decline of the empire soon following
, entitled “Worship due to the Deity,” lowed ; ruin and desolation complete its hisgives a beautiful proof how far his soul was in- tory. That vast empire which gave laws to the fluenced by strains of the highest sublimity :- world, perished by its own infamy; and speedily - Serre, then, the Great First Cause, wherever Na- which has been truly termed the dark ages.
ensued over Europe that deluge of ignorance ture springs, Th' Almighty Sire, th’ Eternal King of kings ;
In the beginning of the middle ages, when Who gave us being, and who gives us food,
everything noble and intellectual was buried Lord of all life, and Giser of all good.”
under the torrent of barbarism, the dramatic art
existed only among the lowest classes of the The Grecian drama forms one of the most de- people, in plays improvisated at certain festivals : lightful walks in the garden of classical literature; these were attacked as heathenish, immoral, and and while it presents models of genuine pathos improper exhibitions ; but the favour which they and beautiful writing, it throws important light enjoyed amid the spirit of the times, induced the on the superstitions, prejudices, and moral feel clergy to encourage theatrical representations ings of that highly intellectual people the Greeks. of subjects from sacred history. These were They retained, even during the decline of their called mysteries ; and in all the southern countries povernment, a strong desire for every species of of Europe, as well as in Germany and England, dramatic entertainment; they were imitated by they preceded the rise of the national drama. the Romans, the conquerers of the world, who of this kind were the ridiculous Festa Assiintroduced into Rome all the classical improve- naria, in which mass was performed by persons ments of the Athenian stage.
dressed like asses, and every means taken to was not, however, till about two hundred divert the people in church on the occurrence of years before the Christian era, that Plautus, the the festival of Easter. So popular were these great Roman comic-writer, appeared; but whose extravagances, that even papal decrees against comedies were principally translations from the them were for a long time ineffectual
. Craik’s works of Dephilus, Epicharmus, and other "Sketches of the History of Literature and Greek authors. Notwithstanding this lack of Learning in England," tells us, “The subjects of originality, the vigour and beauty of his com- the mysteries, or miracle plays, were all taken
are much praised; and, according to from the histories of the Old and New Testal'arro
, the Muses, if they had spoken Latin, ments, or from the legends of saints and marwould have used the language of Plautus. tyrs; and indeed it is probable that their Amid the glory of ancient Rome, while the original design was chiefly to instruct the peoactions of her eminent men, renowned as orators ple in religious knowledge.” The morals, or and statesmen, astonished the world, the Roman moral plays, succeeded, in which all the characStage never attained the brilliancyor fertility of the ters were allegorical. The vices and the virtues Grecian ; Terence being the only writer
, next to were impersonated. The devil of the miracles Plautus, who is worthy of being noticed. Terence became the vice of the morals, though in chaBourished about a hundred years before the Chris-racter he was still introduced to undergo his tian era, and was by birth an African. He was tribulations, to the satisfaction of the audience, adopted
, when a child, by Publius Terentius in seeing the enemy of mankind overcome.
a Roman senator, who took him to More especially the morals, but even the miracle Rome, and had him educated. Being emanci- plays, were written and represented down to the pated by his master, the young African assumed very end of the sixteenth and seventeenth centhe name of his benefactor, and soon acquired' tury. Collier gives an account of Lupton's
moral, “ All for Money," in the title called “A of St. Alban’s, caused a miracle play, composed Moral and Pitiful Comedy,” in the prologue by himself, to be acted at the Abbey of Dun“A pleasant Tragedy.". The catastrophe is stable. It was entitled “St. Catharine ;” and an sufficiently tragical. Judas, in the last scene eminent French author asserts that this was long coming in (says the stage direction) “like a before the representation of mysteries in France, damned soul in black, painted with flames of which did not begin there till 1398. They onfire and a fearful vizard,” followed by Dives, tinued in vogue till the beginning of Henry the “ with such like apparel as Judas hath;" while Seventh's reign : two of them may be found in Damnation (another of the dramatis persone), Hawkins' * Origin of the English Drama." pursuing them, drives them before him, and One is entitled " Every Man,” the other “Hick they pass away, “ making a pitiful noise,” into | Scorner;" and in their structure may be disperdition.
covered the seeds of tragedy and comedy. Matthew Paris tells us, that shortly after the
(To be continued.) Conquest in the 11th century, Geoffrey, Abbot
BY HANNAH CLAY.
THE LAVERY ROCKS.
And she looked longingly across the little rivulet of sea-water which divided them from
the other beach, and which at low tide vas “ Now, my dears, remember what I have told easily crossed by means of stepping-stones. you, and on no account go near the Lavery
“Well," said Jane, “it is certainly rexing Rocks.”
to find so very few shells, for I have not many, Such was the parting injunction of Mrs. Price though I have better ones than you. I don't to her two little girls, the one eleven, the other think mamma would have objected to our going nine years of age, who had asked her permission over to the north beach if she had been sure to go and gather shells and sea-weed on the that we should have kept away from the rocks." beach. Jane and Ellen Price had been well
“ Could we not just go a little way?" said brought up, and were naturally docile and sub- Ellen hesitatingly.'" I see such a fine clammissive, though in Ellen this disposition was
shell close to the rivulet. And what is that combated by a strong love of adventure. So, sparkling in the sunshine ?” continued she, promising to be obedient, they went hand-ineagerly. Might there be diamonds here, hand towards the south beach, their fond mo
Jane? ther watching them until they were quite out of and she did not try to dissuade her sister from
Jane laughed. Her conscience was sleeping, sight. Many beautiful sprigs of pink, and white, and
her half-formed intention. purple sea-weed did they pick up, as well as
“ I will go, Jane. It will not be really dissome larger specimens ; one of which resembled obeying mamma, for she is only afraid of the a cat-o’-nine-tails, excepting that it had as many
rocks." as twelve or fourteenlashes attached to the
So Ellen stepped over, and after a while Jane stout succulent handle. Another was like a
followed; and dismissing all lingering inisgivbroad, handsome ribbon, with a stripe down ings, they were soon absorbed in the different each side. Others again were curiously en- tempting objects that met their view. amelled with ivory stars; and one in particular
It was a beautiful day. The sun shone, but might have been embroidered by the queen of not too hotly, for it was now late in autumn ; the Mermaids herself, so curious and diversified and the green cliffs, where two or three horses were its numerous ornaments.
and a cow were grazing, sparkled with the deve " It is very strange,” said Ellen at length, drops that hung upon the blades of the fine, “ that we find so few shells. Such a high wind, short grass. A few blackberries still clustered too, as there was last night. Look! all that Í upon the brambles, affording the birds a wholehave been able to meet with are these two old some repast; and towards these wandered our limpets, and these few scallops and wilks." two little girls, where they had picked up all tbe
" What a poor searcher you must be !” ex- shells they could find. claimed Jane. “ There are not many, to be Scrambling about upon the cliffs was very sure ; but I have got two or three silver-willies, healthy sport, but it brought the sisters insen, some razor-shells, a bit of cornelian, and these sibly nearer and nearer the Lavery Rocks; and sweet little pink shells, such tiny ones! just we are sorry to say, that when they discovered look.”
their position they were not so amazed as they If mamma would but have trusted us on to ought to have been. the north beach," said Ellen, “ we should have These rocks contained many curious corners, found some pebbles, and papa could have po- and were most tempting to adventurous children lished them for brooches."
Thrown, overturned, heaved, riven in all direc
tions by some mighty convulsion of nature,
It is not very narrow, and you will be they were the favourite result of the sea-gulls, out again immediately.” who made their nests in the topmost crevices. So Jane reluctantly consented, thinking that The smaller rocks, that lay strewed in masses afterwards she would get her sister away easily. on the sands, were clothed with luxuriant wreaths Having pushed through the narrow passage, of sea-weed. There, too, were the blood-red she immediately perceived a light that proceeded sea-anemones, clinging fast to the face of the from an opening in the rocks. Ellen called rock, like small lumps of jelly.
again; and following the direction of her voice, “ Look, Jane! Jook !" cried Ellen, who was Jane found herself standing on an open platin one continued transport of delight, “ there is form. a periwinkle walking ! Did you ever see such a The view was indeed magnificent. The slope thing before, Jane?"
of the cave being exceedingly steep, they had Jane never had. And with much interest ascended several yards above the level of the the watched the slow progression of the little water; and were thus enabled to see over a shell-fish, carrying its house upon its back. small promontory, which had hitherto bounded
“ After all," said Ellen again, there is their view from the beach. Before them exnothing so very dreadful about these rocks. tended the sparkling waters, now rising fast, Cook told us something about dark caves, that and covered with vessels, looking like whitereached a mile underground; but I see nothing winged birds in the quiet sunshine. On the of the kind. There is only one little one, that coast to the right, over the promontory, was the goes up into the cliff here. Let us see what it is romantic glen of Ballure, sprinkled with piclike, Jane."
turesque villas, that nestled in its recesses, or "No, Ellen, we had much better turn back peeped from beneath its scattered trees; while again. The tide is coming in.”
to the left lay the smooth beach, with its silver“What are you afraid of? We can soon flowing rivulet, the pretty town of Luxmore, and scamper over the rocks, and reach the sands, the grand sweep of Luxmore Bay. even if the water should come quite close.”
For a short time Jane gazed upon all this in "I don't know, Ellen. I dare not trust to silent admiration; and then she said, " It is too that
. Besides,” added she in a lower voice, beautiful, Ellen; it makes me dizzy. Let us rewe are disobeying mamma all this time.” turn." Ellen, eager to mount, was already within the It was easier said than done. They left the ezre, but at Jane's words she paused. “ So we platforın indeed, threaded the narrow opening, are, Jane. I had forgotten that. But you and descended the steep ascent of the cave safely know, now we are here, we cannot disobey her enough; but when they reached the bottom, the any worse, and we might as well see what there sea was rising over the rocks, and their retreat
to the beach was nearly cut off. How soon sophistry enters the heart of a Jane began to cry. Ellen looked dismayed child! How early it learns to excuse its faults, for a moment; and then rallying her spirits, thereby doubling the evil, and excluding that she laughed at the fears of her more timid sister. contrition and self-condemnation which are the Nonsense, Jane! What will crying do for first steps to amendment. Because Ellen had us? Follow me; I am sure we can manage to abready done wrong, she made that a reason for climb over that big rock. We shall get a little contaning in the wrong, instead of immediately wet, but that won't matter
. We will ask Mary returning to her duty, and thereby offering the to dry us, and not tell mamma.” only reparation in her power. But wrong-doing Thus it ever is from wrong to concealbas the effect of partially obscuring the mental ment. However, at this suggestion of her sis
ter's Jane cheered up, and began to think it posJane, overpersuaded by the plausible repre- sible to manage, sentations of her more daring sister, folloved A boy would have made light of the difficulties her into the cave, and together they climbed up the little girls now encountered, in climbing the steep ascent.
Soon the rocks approached over the slippery rock covered with damp seaeach other so closely that Jane stopped, declar- weed. But it proved a hard task for them; ing that she dared go no further. "Ellen's love and when at length, after many a slip and bruise, of adventure, however, was roused by the ap- they got on to the rock beyond, they found it pearance of difficulty ; and she persisted in impossible to proceed further, for a deep pond squeezing her slender little person between the lay between them and the sands. All the hard rocks
, telling Jane to wait for her. About five climbing had now to be gone over again, for the minutes elapsed, and Jane, alarmed for her water rose so quickly that they dared not resister's safety, called to her loudly to return. main upon the rock; otherwise Jane would Ellen answered by a cry of delight.
willingly have sat down amongst the wet seaIf you could but come a little further, Jane! weed, and given herself up to her fate, she if you could but come a little further! It is so was so completely overwhelmed by fright and beautiful ! Do venture, dear Jane, and then I fatigue. promise you that we will not look at anything The tide still gained upon them, and the two else
, but will return home immediately." little girls were fain to take refuge in the cave. * If you will keep to that promise, Ellen—.” They knew that they should be safe there ; for it “I will, indeed, Jane ; only be quick and was evident, by the marks on the drifted sand
is to be seen."
within, that the waters at their greatest height did not cover above a yard of the ascent. But this was not the only consideration. It would be several hours before the tide would so far subside as 10 allow them to leave the cave; and what would be the feelings of their poor mother during all this time? Already she would be expecting them home to dinner; and they knew how uneasy she would be in another half-hour. But that half-hour passed, and still they did not arrive!
“Oh, Ellen,” exclaimed Jane, seating herself on a rocky ledge, and weeping bitterly, we have done very wrong. If ever we get safely out of this place again, I will never
Ellen threw her arms around her sister's neck.
“ We have indeed been very naughty children, and it is all my fault; for I first stepped over the rivulet. Poor mamma! how anxious she will be. She will certainly think that we are drowned!" And the little girl mingled her tears with those of her sister.
Let us now see what Mrs. Price was doing all this time. As the dinner-hour approached, and her children did not return, she first became somewhat displeased, and then her displeasure turned into a vague uneasiness; they were usually so punctual. At length she sent Mary, the housemaid, on to the beach to look for the truants, and bring them home. But, as our readers are well aware, no little girls were to be seen; for they were snugly ensconced in the cave. So Mary soon came back again; saying that the tide was in, and that the young ladies were certainly no longer upon the beach, for she had looked everywhere.
The girl was next sent to inquire for them at the houses of some of their favourite friends; but the result was the same. Mrs. Price's apprehensions now amounted to agony; and Mr. Price determined himself to go down to the beach, and try if he could succeed any better. When he got there, he shouted aloud, Jane ! Ellen !- Ellen! Jane !" until at length lie thought he heard a faint response proceeding from the Lavery Rocks; and wading as close to them as he could, without in the least regarding the wetting, he looked up and perceived his two little girls apparently standing in a most dangerous position.
We may be sure that he was not long in devising means of relieving them froin their “ durance vile.” The mingled joy and sorrow of the meeting that ensued we leave to the imaginations of our readers to depict-having already exceeded the usual limits of a “ Lesson -as also the gusto of delight with which the wanderers were received by their poor mother.
“ Scold us as much as you will, dear mamma; lay upon us whatever punishment you please : we are ready to bear it all; for we have been very, very naughty and disobedient.”
But Mrs. Price thought that fear and suspense had already punished them enough, and so it proved. Never again did Jane and Ellen Price listen to the voice of their inclinations, when subtly tempting them away from the path of duty.
" And in that inmost page, which no
But l-and God-may touch!
If ye had read so much!
“O! cheerless are your Halls to me,
Without my holy book,
Lies clasped in saintly nook !"
March 15, 1873.
MATERIALS :- Messrs. W. Evans and Co.'s Boar’s Head Crochet Cotton, No. 8. Boulton and Son's
Crochet Hook, No. 16.
Make a chain of any length that may be re- | edge be shortened by one square, begin with a quired for the valance, only taking care that slip-stitch on the second tc of the first square there sball be the proper number of stitches in the previous row, do another slip-stitch, then for perfect patterns. For this purpose four a sc, then a dc, so that the first to stitch will chain stitches must be allowed for each square, come over the first of the second square. At and a stitch over; or to make the edge firmer, the other edge of the scallop the process must 2 stitches are to be worked at each end, which be reversed. When the dent of the scallop will require 3 extra chains. In square crochet begins to be formed, it should be finished before generally, each
square consists of two chain and proceeding to the next. After all are done, one de stitch if open, or of three de if close : work a row of sc along all the scallops. but for large pieces of work, such as this This design, done in ordinary square crochet, valance
, we would recommend te stitches to be would be extremely suitable for toilet-covers; substituted for dc, and three chain for two. and in finer cotton (say Evans's Boar’s Head This makes the pattern appear bolder, and the Crochet Cotton, No. 20 or 24) for the robinge work is not nearly so tedious. În forming the of children's dresses. scallop itself , the process is very simple. If the