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feast by the help of Dacier I am swimming towards it. Not that I will promise always to follow him, any more than he follows Casaubon; but to keep him in my Eye, as my best and truest Guide ; and where I think he may poffibly mislead me, there to have Recourse to my own Lights, as I expect that others should do by me.
Quintilian fays, in plain Words, Satira quidem tota noftra eft: And Horace had said the same thing before him, speaking of his Predeceffor in that sort of Poetry, Et Gracis intacti Carminis Author. Nothing can be clearer than the Opinion of the Poet, and the Orator, both the belt Critiques of the two best Ages of the Roman Empire, than that Satyr was wholly of Latin Growth; and not transplanted from Athens to Rome. Yet, as I have faid, Scaliger the Father, according to his Custom, that is, infolently enough, contradicts them both; and gives no better Reason, than the Derivation of Satyrus from oldu Salacitas ; and so from the Leto chery of those Fauns, thinks he has sufficiently prov'd, that Satyr is deriv'd from them. As if Wantonness and Lubricity were essential to that Sort of Poem, which ought to be avoided in it. His other Allegation, which I have already mention'd, is as pitiful : That the Satires carry'd Platters and Canisters full of Fruit, in their Hands. If they had enter'd empty-handed, had they been ever the less Satires? Or were the Fruits and Flowers, which they offer'd, any thing of kin to Sa., tyr? Or any Argument that this poem was originaMy Grecian? Casaubon judg'd better, and his Opinion is grounded on sure Authority, that Satyr was deriv'd from Satura, a Roman Word, which fignifies Full, and Abundant, and full also of Variety, in which nothing is wanting in its due Perfection. 'Tis thus, says Dacier, that we lay a full Colour, when the Wool has taken the whole Tincture, and drunk in as much of the Dye as it can receive. According to this Derivation from Satur
comes Satura, or Satyra, according to the new Spelling; as optumus and maxumus are now spelld optimus and maximus Satura, as I have formerly noted, is an Adje&tive, and relates to the Word Lanx, which is understood. And this Lanx, in English a Charger, or large Platter, was yearly fill'd with all sorts of. Fruits, which were offer'd to the Gods at their Festivals, as the Premices, or First Gatherings. These Offerings of several Sorts thus mingled, 'tis true, were not known to the Grecians, who call'd them xvxapoàn Juoior a Sacrifice of all sorts of Fruits ; and Tourneuiar, when they offer'd all kinds of Grain. Virgil has mentioned these Sacrifices in his Georgiques.
Lancibus & pandis fumantia reddimus Exta. And in another Place, Lancefque & liba feremus : That is, we offer the smoaking Entrails in great Platters; and we will offer the Chargers and the Cakes.
This Word Satura has been afterwards apply'd to many other forts of Mixtures ; as Feffus calls it a kind of Olla, or Hotch-potch, made of several sorts of Meats. Laws were also call'd Leges Saturæ ; when they were of several Heads and Titles ; like our tack'd Bills of Parliament. And per Saturam legem ferre, in the Roman Senate, was to carry a Law without telling the Senators, or counting Voices, when they were in hafte, Salust uses the Word per Saturam Sententias exquirere ; when the Majority was visibly on one side. From hence it might probably be conjectur'd, that the Difcourses or Satires of Ennius, Lucilius, and Horace, as we now call them, took their Name; because they are full of various Matters, and are also written on various Subjects, as Porphyrius says. But Dacier affirms, that it is not immediateiy from thence that these Satires are so call’d: For that Name had been us’d formerly for other things, which bore a nearer resemblance to those Difcourses of Horace. In explaining of which, (conti
nues Dacier) a Method is to be pursu’d, of which Cafaubon himself has never thought, and which will put all things into so clear a Light, that no farther room will be left for the least Dispute.
During the space of almost four hundred Years, since the Building of their City, the Romans had never known any Entertainments of the State: Chance and Jollity first found out those Verses which they call'd Saturnian, and Fefcennine : Or rather Human Nature, which is inclin'd to Poetry, first produc'd them, rude and barbarous, and and unpolish'd, as all other Operations of the Soul are in their Beginnings, before they are culuivated with Ast and Study. However, in Occafions of Merriment they were first practis’d; and this rough-cast unhewn Poetry, was instead of Stage-Plays, for the space of one hundred and cwenty Years together. They were made extempore, and were, as the French call them, Impromptus; For which the Tarfians of old were much renowned ; and we see the daily Examples of them in the Iralian Farces of Harlequin, and Scaramucha. Such was the Poetry of that falvage People, before it was turn'd into Numbers, and the Harmony of Verse. Little of the Saturnian Verses is now remaining; we only know from Authors, that they were nearer Prose than Poetry, without Feet, or Measure. They were to buluc!, but not éppetpor: Perhaps they might be us'd in the folemn Part of their Ceremonies ; and the Fescennine, which were invented after them, in their Afternoons Debauchery, because they were scoffing and obscene.
The Fescennine and Saturnian were the same; for as they were call’d Saturnian from their Ancientness, when Saturn reign'd in Italy; they were also called Fefcennine, from Fefcennina, a Town in the same Country, where they were first practis'd. The Actors, with a gross and rustick kind of Raillery, reproach'd each other with their Failings; and at the same time were nothing spar
ing of it to their Audience. Somewhat of this Custom was afterwards retain'd in their Suturnalia, or Feafts of Saturn, celebrated in December ; at least all kind of freedom in Speech was then allow'd to Slaves, even against their Masters; and we are not without some imitation of it in our Christmas Gambols. Soldiers also us'd those Fefcennine Verses, after Measure and Numbers had been added to them, at the Triumph of their Generals : Of which we have an Example, in the Triumph of Julius Cæsar over Gaul, in these Expressions : Cæfar Gallias subegit, Nicomedes Cæfarem : Ecce Cæfar nunc triumphat, qui fubegit Gallias ; Nicomedes non triamphat, qui fubegit Cæfarem. The Vapours of Wine made the first Satyrical Poets amongst the Romans; which, says Dacier, we cannot better represent, than by imagining a company of Clowns on a Holy-day, dancing Lubberly, and upbraiding one another in extempore Doggrel, with their Defects and Vices, and the Stories that were told of them in Bake houfes and Barbers-Shops.
When they began to be somewhat better bred, and were ehtring, as I may fay, into the first Rudiments of Civil Conversation, they left these Hedge-Notes, for anothet Sort of Poem, somewhat polith'd, which was also full of pleasant Raillery, but without any Mixture of Obscenity. This Sort of Poetry appear'd under the Name of Satyr, becaufe of its Variety: And this Satyr was adornd with Compositions of Musick, and with Dances; but lascivious Postures were banish'd from it. In the Tuscan Language, says Livy, the Word Hifter fignifies a Player : And therefore those Actors, which were first brought from Etruria to Rome, on occasion of a Peftilence; when the Romans were admonilh'd to avert the Anger of the Gods by Plays, in the Year ab Urbe Condita CCCXC: Those Actors, I say, were therefore calld Histriones: And that Name has since remain'd, not only to Actors Roman born, but to all others of every
Nation. They play'd not the former extempore Stuff of Fefcennine Verses, or Clownish Jelts; but what they acted was a kind of civil cleanly Farce, with Musick and Dances, and Motions that were proper to the Subject.
In this Condition Livius Andronicus found the Stage, when he attempted firft, instead of Farces, to supply it with a nobler Entertainment of Tragedies and Comedies. This Man was a Grecian born, and being made a Slave by Livius Salinator, and brought to Rome, had the Education of his Patron's Children committed to him. Which Trust he discharg'd, so much to the Satisfaction of his Master, that he gave him his Liberty.
Andronicus thus become a Freeman of Rome, added to his own Name that of Livius his Master ; and, as lobserv'd, was the first Author of a regular Play in that Common-wealth. Being already instructed, in his Native-Country, in the Manners and Decencies of the Athenian Theater, and conve ant in the Archaa Comedia, or old Comedy of Aristophanes, and the rest of the Grecian Poets ; he took from that Model his own Designing of Plays for the Roman Stage. The first of which was represented in the Year CCCCCXIV. since the Building of Rome, as Tully, from the Commentaries of Atticus, has assur'd us ; it was after the end of the first Punic War, the Year before Ennius was born. Dacier has not carry'd the Matter alcogether thus far ; he only says, that one Livius Andronicus was the first Stage-Poet at Rome: But I will adventure on this Hint, to advance another Proposition, which I hope the Learned will approve. And tho' we have not any thing of Andronicus remaining to justify my Conjecture, yer 'uis exceeding probable, that having read the Works of those Grecian Wits, his Country.men, he imitated not only the Ground-work, but also the Manner of their Writing. And how grave foever his Tragedies might be, yet in his Comedies he express'd the Way of Aristophanes, Eu