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a number almost incredible if we had not the instances of Calderon and De Vega too well authenticated to admit of a doubt in modern times to refer to. Antiphanes bore off the prize with thirty comedies; and if these successes appear disproportioned to his attempts, yet they were brilliant, inasmuch as he had to contend with such respectable rivals. We have now no other rule, whereby to measure his merit, but in the several fragments selected from his comedies by various authors of the lower ages, and these, though tolerably numerous, will scarce suffice to give such an insight into the original, as may enable us to pronounce upon it's comparative excellence with any critical precision: True it is, even these small reliques have agitated the curiosity of the learned moderns, to whom so many valuable authors are loft, but we cannot contemplate them without a sensible regret to find how few amongst them comprise any such portion of the dialogue, as to open the character, stile and manner of the writer, and not often enough to furnish a conjecture at the fable they appertain to; they are like small crevices, letting in one feeble ray of light into a capacious building; they dart occasionally upon fome rich and noble part, but they cannot convey to us a full and perfect idea of the symmetry and construction of the majestic whole.
I have the titles of one hundred and four comedies under the name of this author.
W abounding with inve£tives against wo
men, I am tempted to think it was the æra of had wives. Antiphanes wrote two plays of a satirical cast, one intitled Matrimony, and the other The Nuptials; we may venture to guess that the following passages have belonged to one or both of these plays
« Ye foolish husbands, trick not out your wives ; “ Dress not their persons fine, but cloath their minds. " Tell 'em your secrets !--Tell 'em to the crier, " And make the market-place your confidante !"
Nay, but there's proper penalties for blabbing". " What penalties ! they'll drive you out of them; « Summon your children into court, convene * Relations, friends, and neighbours to confront “ And nonfuit your complaint, till in the end
Justice is hooted down, and guilt prevails."
'The second is in a more animated strain of comedy.
For ( For this, and only this, I'll trust a woman, “ That if you take life from her she will die, “ And being dead she'll come to life no more ; “ In all things else I am an infidel. “ Oh! might I never more behold a woman! “ Rather than I thould meet that object, Gods! “ Strike eut my eyes!'ll thank you for your mercy."
We are indebted to Athenæus for part of a dialogue, in which Antiphanes has introduced a traveller to relate a whimsical contrivance, which the king of Cyprus had made use of för cooling the air of his banquetting-chamber, whilft he fate at supper.
* A. You say you've pass’d much of your time in
“ B. In Paphos ;
56 A. Of what kind, pray you ?
“ B. Take this for one-The monarch, when he sups, "Is fann'd bġ living doves.
6 A. You make me curious “ How this is to be done; all other questions " I will put by to be resolv'd in this. .''
“ B. There is a juice drawn from the Carpin tree, " To which your dove instinctively is wedded “With a most loving appetites with this “ The king anoints his temples, and the odour
“No sooner captivates the filly birds, Vol. IV,
“ Than ftrait they flutter round him, nay, would fly “ A bolder pitch, so strong a love-charm draws them, “ And perch, O horror! on his sacred crowni, “ If that such prophanation were permitted “Of the bye-standers, who with reverend care “ Fright them away, till thus, retreating 11ow
And now advancing, they keep such a coil " With their broad vans, and beat the lazy air “ Into so quick a stir, that in the conflict “ His royal lungs are comfortably coolid, “ And thus he sups as Papliian monarchs should."
An old man in the comedy, 'as it should seem, of the Imporadns, reasons thus“I grant you that an old fellow like myself,
if « he be a wise fellow withaly one that has feen " much and learnt a great deal, may be good for « something and keep a shop open for all cus“tomers, who want advice in points of difficulty. « Age is as it were an altar of refuge for human “ distresses to fly to. Oh! longevity, coveted by « all who are advancing towards thee, cursd by « all who have attained thee ;' railed at by the Yo wise, betray'd by them who consult thee, and « well spoken of by no one. And yet what is “it we old fellows can be charged with? We are
no spendthrifts, do not consume our means in gluttony, run mad for a wench, or break locks it to get at her; and why then may not old age, “ seeing such difcretion belongs to it, be allowed « it's pretensions to happiness ?"
A fervant thus rallies his master upon a fpeeies of hypocrisy natural to old age.
“ Ah! good my master, you may sigh for death, " And call amain upon him to release you, “But will you bid him welcome when he comes ? ** Not yout. Old Charon has a stubborn talk
" To tug you to his wherry and dislodge you
“ A good, brisk, sweeping, epidemic plague : V". There's nothing else can make you all immortal.”
Surely there is good comedy, in this raillery of the servant- The following thort passages have a very neat turn of exprellion in the original.
« An honest man to law makes no resort ; “ His conscience is the better rule of court."
" The man, who firAslaid down the pedant rule,
For if to life that transport you deny, ** What privilege is left usambut to die ?" * Cease, mourners, cease complaint, and weep no
« more! o Your lost friends are not dead, but gone before, * Advanc'd a stage or upon
that road, " Which you must travel in the steps they frode; ** In the same inn we all shall meet at last, “ There take new life and laugh at sorrows past."
When I meet these and many other familiar sentiments, which these designers after nature