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and without being incommoded by those of the people above them; no footboards being provided for them.

Each of these stories of benches were divided in two different manners ; in their height by the landingplaces, called by the Romans præcinctiones, and in their circumferences by several staircases, peculiar to each story, which, intersecting them in right lines, tending towards the centre of the theatre, gave the form of wedges to the quantity of seats between them, from whence they were called cunei.

Behind these stories of seats were covered galleries, through which the people thronged into the theatre by great square openings, contrived for that purpose in the walls next the seats. Those openings were called vomitoria, from the multitude of the people crowding through them into their places.

As the actors could not be heard to the extremity of the theatre, the Greeks contrived a means to supply that defect, and to augment the force of the voice, and make it more distinct and articulate. For that purpose they invented a kind of large vessels of were disposed under the seats of the theatre, in such a manner, as made all sounds strike upon the ear with more force and distinction.

The orchestra being situated, as I have observed, between the two other parts of the theatre, of which one was circular, and the other square, it participated of the form of each, and occupied the space between both. It was divided into three parts.

The first and most considerable was more particu. larly called the orchestra, from a Greek word” that

copper, which signifies to d-nce. It was appropriated to the pantomimes and dancers, and to all such subaltern actors as played between the acts, and at the end of the representations.

a Oρχεισθαι.

The second was named thumelee,' from its being square in the form of an altar. Here the chorus was generally placed.

And in the third, the Greeks generally bestowed their symphony, or band of music. They called it uposkenion," from its being situated at the bottom of the principal part of the theatre, which they styled the scenes.

I shall describe here this third part of the theatre, called the scenes; which was also subdivided into three different parts.

The first and most considerable was properly called the scenes, and gave name to this whole division. It occupied the whole front of the building from side to side, and was the place allotted for the decorations. This front had two small wings at its extremity, from which hung a large curtain, that was let down to open the scene, and draw up between the acts, when any thing in the representation made it necessary.

The second, called by the Greeks indifferently proskenion,* and logeion,' and by the Romans proscenium, and pulpitum, was a large open space in front of the scene, in which the actors performed their parts, and which, by the help of the decorations, represented either the public place or forum, a common street, or the country; but the place so represented was always in the open air.

• θυμιλα. .



9 λογείον.

But as

The third division was a part reserved behind the scenes, and called by the Greeks paraskenion. Here the actors dressed themselves, and the decorations were locked up. In the same place were also kept the machines, of which the ancients had abundance in their theatres.

As only the porticos and the building of the scene were roofed, it was necessary to draw sails, fastened with cords to masts, over the rest of the theatre, to screen the audience from the heat of the sun. this contrivance did not prevent the heat occasioned by the perspiration and breath of so numerous an assembly, the ancients took care to allay it by a kind of rain; conveying the water for that use above the porticos, which falling again in form of dew through an infinity of small pores concealed in the statues, with which the theatre abounded, did not only diffuse a grateful coolness all around, but the most fragrant exhalations along with it ; for this dew was always perfumed. Whenever the representations were interrupted by storms, the spectators retired into the porticos behind the seats of the theatre.

The passion of the Athenians for representations of this kind is not conceivable.' Their eyes, their ears, their imagination, their understanding, all shared in the satisfaction. Nothing gave them so sensible a pleasure in dramatic performances, either tragic or comic, as the strokes which were aimed at the affairs of the public; whether pure chance occasioned the application, or the address of the poets, who knew how to reconcile the most remote subjects with the transactions of the

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republic. They entered by that means into the inter. ests of the people, took occasion to sooth their passions, authorize their pretensions, justify, and sometimes condemn, their conduct, entertain them with agreeable hopes, instruct them in their duty in certain nice conjectures ; in effect of which they often not only acquired the applauses of the spectators, but credit and influence in the public affairs and councils. Hence the theatre became so grateful, and so much the concern of the people. It was in this manner, according to some authors, that Euripides artfully reconciled his tragedy of “Palamedes with the sentence passed against Socrates, and explained by an illustrious example of antiquity, the innocence of a philosopher, oppressed by a vile malignity, supported against him by power and faction.

Accident was often the occasion of sudden and unforeseen applications, which from their appositeness, were very agreeable to the people. Upon this verse of Eschylus in praise of Amphiaraus,

.'Tis his desire Not to appear, but be the great and good, the whole audience rose up, and unanimously applied it to Aristides. The same thing happened to Philopemen at the Nemean games. At the instant he entered the theatre, these verses were singing upon the stage :

...............He comes, to whom we owe Our liberty, the noblest good below. All the Greeks cast their eyes upon Philopemen, and,

* It is not certain whether this piece was prior or posterior to the death of Socrates.

• Plut. in Aristid. p. 300 • Plnt. in Philopæm. p. 362.

with clapping of hands, and acclamations of joy, expressed their veneration for the hero.

In the same manner at Rome, during the banishment of Cicero, when some verses of 'Accius, which reproached the Greeks with their ingratitude in suffering the banishment of Talemon, were repeated by Esop, the best actor of his time, they drew tears from the eyes of the whole assembly.

Upon another, though very different, occasion, the Roman people applied to Pompey the Great some verses to this effect:

{ 'Tis our unhappinest has made thee great ; and then addressing to the people,

The time shall come when you shall late deplore

So great a power confided to such hands; The spectators obliged the actor to repeat these verses several times.

Passion for the Representations of the Theatre, one of the principal causes of the Degeneracy and Corruption of the Athenian State. When we compare the happy times of Greece, in which Europe and Asia resounded with nothing but the fame of the Athenian victories, with the later ages, when the power of Philip and Alexander the Great had in a manner subjected it, we shall be surprised at the strange alteration in the affairs of that republic. But what is most material, is the knowledge of the causes and progress of this declension; and these Mr. de Tourreil has discussed in an admirable manner in the preface to his translation of Demosthenes's orations.

d Cic. in orat. pro Sext. n. 120, 123. • O ingratifici Argivi, inanes Graii, immemores beneficii, Exulare sivistis, sivistis pelli, pulsum patimini.

Cic ad Attic. I. ii. Epist. 19. Val. Max. l. vi. c. 2.

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