But Timocles the comic writer, asserting that tragedy is [p. 354] useful in many respects to human life, says in his Women celebrating the Festival of Bacchus—
My friend, just hear what I'm about to say.
Man is an animal by nature miserable;
And life has many grievous things in it.
Therefore he has invented these reliefs
To ease his cares; for oft the mind forgets
Its own discomforts while it soothes itself
In contemplation of another's woes,
And e'en derives some pleasure and instruction.
For first, I'd have you notice the tragedians;
What good they do to every one. The poor man
Sees Telephus was poorer still than he,
And bears his own distress more easily.
The madman thinks upon Alcmæon's case.
Has a man weak sore eyes? The sons of Phineus
Are blind as bats. Has a man lost his child
Let him remember childless Niobe.
He's hurt his leg; and so had Philoctetes.
Is he unfortunate in his old age?
Œneus was more so. So that every one,
Seeing that others have been more unfortunate,
Learns his own griefs to bear with more content.