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times have thought it an office of honour to be employed in the collection of them ; none of these however have found their way into our language, and as I flatter myself these of the Middle Comedy have risen upon their predeceffors, I hope what is next to follow will not baulk the climax; my best care and fidelity shall be applied to the translations of such as I shall select for the purpose, and as I have generally found the simplicity of their stile and fentiment accord best to the easy metre of our old English dramatists, I shall mostly endeavour to cloathe them in the dress of those days, when Jonson, Fletcher and Maslinger supported the stage. To these I shall probably add some selections from Aristophanes, which I would not insert in their place, being aware that extracts upon a large scale would comparatively have extinguished their contemporaries, when set befide them upon a very contracted one.

Upon the whole it will be my ambition to give to the world what has never yet been attempted, a compleat collection of the beauties of the Greek stage in our own language from the remains of more than fifty comic poets.

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Omnes eodem cogimur; omnium
Versatur urna serius ocius
Sors exitura.


All to the same last home are bound;
Tine's never-wenry whcel runs round;
And life,at, longest or at shortefi date
Snaps like a thread betwixt the Shears of Fate.


REMEMBER to have been told of a cer

tain huricurist, who set up a very singular doctrine upon the fubject of death, afierting that he had discovered it to be not a necessary and inevitable event, but an act of choice and voJition; he maintained that he had certain powers and resources within himself sufficient to support him in his resolution of holding out against the summons of death, till he became weary of life; and he pledged himself to his friends, that he would in his own person give experimental proof of his hypothefis.

What particular address death made use of, when this ingenious genteman was prevailed epon to ftup out of the world, I cannot take


upon myself to fay; but certain it is, that in some weak moment he was over-persuaded to lay his head calmly on the pillow and surrender up his breath.

Though an event, fo contrary to the promise he had given, must have been a staggering circumstance to many, who were interested in the success of his experiment, yet I fee good reason to suspect that his hypothesis is not tộtally discredited, and that he has yet some surviving disciples, who are acting such a part in this world as nobody would act but upon a strong presumption, that they shall not be compelled to go out of it and enter upon another.

Mortality, it must be owned, hath means of providing for the event of death, though none have yet been discovered of preventing it: Religion and virtue are the great physicians of the foul ; patience and resignation are the nursingmothers of the human heart in fickness and in forrow; conscience can smooth the pillow under an aching head, and Christian hope administers a cordial even in our last moments, that lulls the agonies of death : But where is the need of thefe had this discovery been established? why call in phyficians and resort to 'cordials, if we can hold danger at a distance without their help? I am to presume therefore, that every human being, who makes his own will his master, and goes all lengths in gratifying his guilty paffions without restraint, must rely upon his own will for keeping him out of all danger of future trouble, or he would never commit himself so confidentially and entirely to a master, which can give him no security in return for his blind obedience and devotion : All persons of this defcription I accordingly set down in the lump as converts to the doctrine of the learned gentleman, who advanced the interesting discovery above-mentioned, but who unluckily missed some step in the proof, that was to have established it.

To what lengths of credulity they may really go is hard to say, but some such hopes as these must buoy them up, because I cannot think that any man would be wilfully wicked, fraudulent, perfidious, avaricious, cruel, or whatever else is detestable in the eye of God, if he faw death, his messenger, at the door; and I am even unwilling to believe, that he would be wantonly guilty, was he only convinced, that when death shall come to the door, he must be obliged to admit him ; for if this be fo, and if admission may not be denied, then hath death a kind of vifitatorial power over us, which makes him not a guest to be invited at our pleasure, but a lord


and master of the house, to enter in at his own, and (which is worst of all) without giving notice to us to provide for his entertainment. What man is such a fool in common life, as to take up his abode in a tenement, of which he is sure to be dispofTeffed, and yet neglect to prepare himself against a surprise, which he is subject to every moment of the day and night? We are not apt to overlook our own interests and safety in worldly concerns, and therefore when the soul is given up to sin, I must suspect some error in the brain.

What shall I say to persuade the inconsiderate that they exist upon the precarious sufferance of every moment, that passes over them in fuccesfion? how shall I warn a giddy fool not to play his antick tricks and caper on the very utmoft edge of a precipice? Who will guide the reeling drunkard in his path, and teach him to avoid the grave-stones of his fellow-fots, set up by death as marks and signals to apprise him of his danger? If the voice of nature, deposing to the evidence of life's deceitful tenure from the beginning of things to the moment present, will neither gain audience nor belief, what can the moralist expect?

Which of all those headlong voluptuaries, who seem in such hafte to get to the end of ļife,


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