This document was originally published in The Drama: Its History, Literature and Influence on Civilization, vol. 2. ed. Alfred Bates. London: Historical Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 210-211.

The new style of comedy made its way amidst the most determined literary warfare. The Plautine style of composing had taken root among the Roman populace; the comedies of Terence encountered the liveliest opposition from the public, which found their "insipid language," their "feeble style," intolerable. The sensitive poet replied in his prologues--which properly were not intended for any such purpose--with counter-criticisms full of defensive and offensive polemics; and appealed from the multitude, which had twice run away from his Stepmother to witness a band of gladiators and rope-dancers, to the cultivated circles of the genteel world. He declared that he aspired only to the approval of the "good." He acquiesced in or even favored the report that persons of distinction aided him in composing, with their counsel, or even with their coöperation. In reality he carried his point; even in literature the oligarchy prevailed and the artistic comedy of the exclusives supplanted that of the people, the plays of Plautus gradually disappearing from the stage. This is the more significant, because, after the early death of Terence, no man of conspicuous talent further occupied this field.

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