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I think it probable the following fragment has been the opening fpeech of this very comedy; for in it he addreffes the People, and complains of the preference they are apt to beftow upon foreigners, to the neglect of their own countrymen "Receiving every thing "with favour that falls from their lips, and "applauding them as oracles of human wif "dom; whereas, if any one of your own "countrymen addreffes you (though in no "refpect their inferior) you look down upon "him with contempt; nay, you are ready to 66 pronounce that the man is in his dotage; cc a fool who never had fenfes, or a madman "who has loft them-but hark ye, gentlemen! "let me have a word with you at starting; "let me prevail with you to revoke these un"juft proceedings, and give a fellow-citizen "and your humble fervant a fair hearing and "impartial judgment."

I fufpect this to be a fly blow at Aristophanes, who was not an Athenian born, and perhaps at this time had not his adoption. He proceeds to lament the ftate of public affairs, and the degeneracy of the times; for in the old comedy it was usual for the poet to harangue the theatre, either in the opening of the piece, or at any convenient interval between the fcenes, VOL. III.



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fometimes in his own perfon, fometimes by the mouth of the chorus. We cannot wonder if fuch fentiments as the following, delivered from the stage, fhould render Eupolis obnoxious to men in power.

Addrefs to the Audience by Eupolis.

"Of many things, which offer themselves "to my confideration, I cannot find words to "fpeak, fo penetrated am I with affliction, "when I turn my thoughts to the condition "of the commonwealth; for you must be "confcious, O citizens, it was not fo admi"niftered in times paft, when men of high "birth, men, whofe rank, fortune and merit ༦་ gave them a confideration in the ftate, filled "the firft offices of government: To fuch we

deferred, as to the deities themselves; for "they merited our refpect, and under their EC protection we enjoyed fecurity: Now we "have no other guide in our election but blind "6 ignoble chance, and on whatsoever head it "falls, though he be the worst and meaneft of "mankind, he starts up a great man at once, "and is inftalled with all proper folemnity a "rogue in ftate."

Here the poet fpeaks out of the roftrum


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rather than from the ftage: This is plain bold language; and tempts me to call our countryman Ben Jonson on the scene, who was deep in all these remnants of the old Greek poets, and frequently talks the very language of the Athenian theatre.

Afper, in character of Prefenter of the play, thus opens the comedy of Every Man out of bis Humour.

Addrefs to the Audience by B. Jonfon.


Who is fo patient of this impious world,

That he can check his spirit, or rein his tongue ?-

Who can behold fuch prodigies as thefe,

And have his lips feal'd up? Not I; my foul

Was never ground into fuch oily colours,

To flatter vice and dawb iniquity :
But with an armed and refolved hand
I'll Arip the ragged follies of the time,
Naked as at their birth.

I fear no mood fampt in a private bros,
When I am pleas'd to unmask a public vice.
I fear no frumpet's drugs, nor ruffian's ftab,
Should I detect their hateful luxuries;
No broker's, ufurer's, or lawyer's gripe,
Were I difpos'd to fay, They're all corrupt.
I fear no courtier's frown, fhould I applaud
The ealy flexure of his fupple hams.
Tut! thefe are fo innate and popular,

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That drunken cuftom would not shame to laugh
In fcorn at him, that should not dare to tax them.
&c. &c.

This is the very fpirit of the old Greek comedy, fpeaking through the organs of our English Ariftophanes, and old Ben fills the character of the prægrandis fenex, as well as he for whom it was defigned. It is the Comædia, vocem tollens, and afferting her determination to keep up her rights according to antient custom of her founders - Siquis erat dignus defcribi.—In the third year of Olymp. LXXXIX. which was two years after the decease of Cratinus, Eupolis acted his comedy called The Flatterers, Alcæus being archon. I cannot doubt but the following is a fragment of this comedy; it is a part of the speech of a parafite, and runs over a few of the arts, by which he gulls the rich boobies that fall in his way.

The Parafite of Eupolis.

and learn of me the thriving arts,

Mark now,
"By which we parasites contrive to live:

"Fine rogues we are, my friend (of that be fure)
"And daintily we gull mankind.—Observe!
"First I provide myself a nimble thing
"To be my page, a varlet of all crafts ;

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"Next two new fuits for feafts and gala-days,
"Which I promote by turns, when I walk forth
"To fun myself upon the public square :
"There if perchance I fpy fome rich dull knave,
"Strait I accoft him, do him reverence,
“And, faunt'ring up and down, with idle chat
"Hold him awhile in play; at every word,
"Which his wife worship utters, I ftop fhort
"And bless myfelf for wonder; if he ventures
"On fome vile joke, I blow it to the skies,
"And hold my fides for laughter-Then to fupper
"With others of our brotherhood to mess
"In fome night-cellar on our barley cakes,
"And club inventions for the next day's fhift."

The Parafite of Ben Jonson.


Oh! your parafite

Is a moft precious thing, dropt from above,
Not bred 'mong clods and clot-poles here on earth.

I mufe the mystery was not made a science,
It is fo liberally profeft. Almoft

All the wife world is little else in nature

But parafites and sub-parafites. And yet
I mean not those, that have your bare town-art,
To know who's fit to feed them; bave no house,
No family, no care, and therefore mould

Tales for men's ears, to bait that fenfe-nor those,
With their court dog-tricks, that can fawn and fleer,
Make their revenue out of legs and faces,
Echo, My Lord, and lick away a moth;
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