-Spectators, ad pudicos mores facta haec fabulast.
Neque in hoc subigitationes sunt neque ulla amatio
Nec pueri suppositio nec argenti circumductio,
Neque ubi amans adulescens scortum liberet clam suum patrem.
Huius modi paucas poetae reperiunt comoedias,
Ubi boni meliores fiant. Nunc vos, si vobis placet,
Et si placuimus neque odio fuimus, signum hoc mittite;
Qui pudicitiae esse voltis praemium, plausum date!-
We see here the opinion entertained regarding the Greek comedy by
the party of moral reform; and it may be added, that even in those
rarities, moral comedies, the morality was of a character only adapted
to ridicule innocence more surely. Who can doubt that these dramas
gave a practical impulse to corruption? When Alexander the Great
derived no pleasure from a comedy of this sort which its author read
before him, the poet excused himself by saying that the fault lay not
with him, but with the king; that, in order to relish such a piece, a
man must be in the habit of holding revels and of giving and receiving
blows in an intrigue.