Here and there there are touches of the latter, as in the portrait of Quintessence, but passion is everywhere absent - an absence for which the comic structure and plan of the book do not by any means supply a complete explanation.
But we find no trace of the exuberant comic power and geniality of his great contemporary.
Some of the old masters of the Yamato school were, however, admirable in their rendering of the burlesqtie, and in modern times KyOsai, the last of the Hokusai school, outdid all his predecessors in the riotous originality of his weird and comic fancies.
Under the title of Select Scottish Ballads he reprinted in 1783 his tragic ballads, with a supplement comprising Ballads of the Comic Kind.
The characters are well drawn and the dialogue full of comic strength, the scenes knit together and the plot skilfully worked out.
It is at first sight remarkable that Voltaire, whose comic power was undoubtedly far in excess of his tragic, should have written many tragedies of no small excellence in their way, but only one fair second-class comedy, Nanine.
A brief tract on comic metres (De comicis dimensionibus) and a work De causis linguae Latinae - the earliest Latin grammar on scientific principles and following a scientific method - were his only other purely literary works published in his lifetime.
Powerful as a comic playwright, he was not a poet in the proper sense of the term.
Volcacius Sedigitus, the dramatic critic, places him first amongst the comic poets; Varro credits him with pathos and skill in the construction of his plots; Horace (Epistles, ii.
A fragment of the comic poet 1 Aristotle, An.