THE DANAID TRILOGY OF AESCHYLUS.
THERE is much inducement to refer the Aeschylean drama of the Suppliants to the date of the earliest proposal at Athens of the Egyptian expedition. The one great difficulty lies in the style of the play, which as contrasted with that of the Oresteia, of the known date 459-58 B.C., seems to carry us further back than 461-60 B.C. This anomaly may be in some degree relieved by the consideration that we have before us what is but a detached member of a trilogy, and that its characteristic effect may have been intentionally so subdued and moderated in order to give force to a sequel; that such a consideration is not without value may appear, if we can realise with a slight effort what impression would be produced by 'the Choephori,' had it always been read by us without accompaniment of the associated dramas. Certain it is that we do not escape difficulties by throwing 'the Supplices' further back; at no other, certainly at no earlier time, does it appear that an Athenian audience could attend with sympathy to laudations and benedictions upon Argos,-- Argos here studiously brought forward as in origin Pelasgian, as allied, that is, with the recognised root and stock of autochthonous Athenians. The deferential regard which king Pelasgus is made to express for the popular sanction as indispensable, would be a counter-sense, unless Argos at
VOL. II. C.