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Suavius fhould have been tranflated more agreeable; a fenfe which it commonly bore in the time of Plautus.-Sweeter feems here uncouth.

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Was this a law in force, we should not fee The white net fpread to take our neighbour's goods. The commentators have both mifread, and misunderstood, this pafiage, and it is, therefore, no wonder if they have led the Tranflator into their mistake. Not knowing what to make of albo ariete, and modeftly concluding, according to custom, that what they did not understand muft needs be wrong, some of them, to reconcile it to their ignorance, had the hardiness to alter the text to albo rete; which, indeed, made abfolute nonfenfe of it. The allufion is military; the metaphorical conftruction this, We should fee none of thofe fellows who lay fiege to other mens goods with a white ram.' The real fenfe,

We should fee none of thofe informers who, by infidious means, get poffeffion of the property of others.' The applica tion of the metaphor, which is very happy, would probably have occurred to them, if they had recollected the following paffage in Pliny: EQUUM (qui nunc ARIES appellatur) in muralibus machinis primum epeum ad Trojam. Plin. Nat. Hift. lib. vii. cap. 56. The infidious conduct of the informer reprefented by the equally infidious inftrument of the equus al Trojam, qui nunc aries appellatur, gives to the allufion the greatest propriety.

If the Tranflator of thefe comedies has fallen into any confiderable error, it is when, through too great diffidence, he has departed from himfelf, and too implicitly given into the opinions of the commentators-that generation of moles, for ever groping and blundering, who, in general, without tafte, penetration, or judgment, fell into the moft miferable quibbling, and torturing of words. Mr. W. with all his merit, we can hardly forgive for his acquiefcence in their interpretation of the following paffage :

IB. ACT V. Sc. I.
Hic ftatui volo primum

Aquilam mihi

The commentators will have aquilam in this place to ftand for aquulam, a little water: now, not to mention that Toxilus calls for this article afterwards.

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Date aquam manibus,

nothing can be more clear than that this expreffion is a continuation of the military metaphor with which he beginsHoftibus vitis, civibus falvis, &c. Hic ftatui volo primum

Aquilam mihi

The enemy fubdued, the state in fafety,

Here shall my ftandard firft be placed, the eagle.

The Perfian abounds with more unaffected wit and nature than almost any other of the comedies of Plautus. It is interfperfed with fine fentiments, and the general purpofe is truly comical, if not moral. A mifchievous Pandar, impofed upon by the art of Toxilus (who had previous connections with him. fufficient to make him wifh for revenge) and drawn in to purchafe a freeman's daughter, under pretence that he was a Perfian flave, when he finds his mistake, and that he has thrown away his money, becomes a fine fubject for comic ridicule. He appears venting his rage in the laft act, when he finds Toxilus and his coadjutors exulting over his misfortunes.

Enter TOXILUS and Slaves.

TOXILUS. The foe fubdu'd, the citizens all fafe,
The ftate fecure, peace firmly ratified,
The war extinct, and ended with fuccefs,
Our army and our garrifons compleat,
Since thus, O Jove, and all ye heavenly powers,
You've aided us effectually, I'm grateful;
And pay you my acknowledgments, that I
So fully am reveng'd upon my foe.

Go out then and prepare-Before the door,
Here, 'twixt my fellow foldiers I'll divide
The spoil, and make them be partakers with me-
Here my co-mates I'll entertain-Come forth-

[to the flaves.

Set down the couches here-Bring every thing
Ufual on fuch occafions-Here I'll have

The water plac'd-Here will I make all gay,
Free and rejoicing; that all those, by whofe

The water plac'd-] The original is aquilam, the eagle, which the Romans carried on their enfigns. The commentators feem to agree, that the fpeaker ufes it for aguulam, a little water, in order to make a kind of jeu des mots (as the French call it) on the words. That the Romans ufed warm and cold water both before their meals, moft probably to wash their hands, appears from many paffages in our author.

Age accumbe igitur--cedo aquam
Manibus, puer appone bic menfulam.

Moftellaria, A& I. Scene III. v. 150.
Then take your place-Some water for our hands-
Boy, fet the table here-


Affiftance I've fo eafily accomplish'd

The thing I wish'd for, may have fome reward-
The man's a knave in grain, who can receive
A favour, and yet knows not to return it.


My Toxilus, why ftand I diftant from you?
Or rather should I fay, why you from me?

Go to Why don't you come then and carefs me?
I will with all my heart-[embracing him.] There's no-
thing sweeter.





Prithee, why don't you take us to our couches
my dear-

At once,


Tox. Your wifh is mine-
LEM. And mine

Is yours

Tox. Come, Sagariitio, come and take
The upper couch-

SAG. I care not much 'bout that,
+ Do you but make the agreement good betwixt us.
All in good time-

SAG. All in good time's too late.

Attend the prefent business-Take your couch-
This happy day let's celebrate with joy,
It is my birth-day-Bring us water, boy,

[to PÆG.

To wash our hands-Set fupper on the table-
To you, fweet flower, this wreath of flowers I give,
giving a wreath to LEMNISELENE.

For you shall be the mistress of our feast-
Start from the top with feven cups, my boy,
Move your hand briskly, ftir-Thou art an age,
Pægnium, in giving me the cups-Come, give them me-
Health to my noble felf, and health to you,
And health to my fair miftrefs-The kind gods
Have granted me this day, this day I long'd for-
When in my arms I may unfold you freed
From flavery.


[to LEM.

LEM. You've made us happy all-
As it becomes a mittref to her love,

my dear-] The original is, ceulus meus, my eye. made ufe of by Plautus in an endearing fente.

Oculus and ocellus are often

Curculio, A& I. Scene III. v. 47.

Sticbus, A&t V. Scene VI. v. 3.

+ Do you but make, &c] The original in most of the editions is cedò parem. Aldus and Lambin read cedo partem. If the former is adhered to, it is, fay the commentators, addreffed to Toxilus, and means, do you provide a mistress for me, that I may be as bappy as you are. If the latter, it means, give me the money, according to


Bene vale, ocule mi'Adieu, my dear

Meus oculus, da mibi favium

Give me a kifs, you regue

1 with feven cups-] This is an allufion to the game the Romans called turulia, which were races with chariots, which they were to drive round the courie. The Grecians drove round twelve times. Therefore pergræcari, to drink like Grecians, was to drink largely. Limiers from M. De L'Oeuvre.

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Take it

My hand prefents this cup to yours-
Tox. Come, give it me―
[giving him the cup.
Tox. To him, who in this joy rejoices,
Health; and to him, who does not grudge it me-

Enter DORDALUS at a distance.







Who are, who fhall be, or whoe'er have been,
Or who from this day forth fhall ever be,
I, fingle I, furpafs them all-And am
Without a peer, the greatest wretch alive.
I'm ruin'd, totally undone-This day

Has been to me the worst of days-That cheat
Has by his crafty tricks quite ruin'd me.
* I've loft my filver hook, nor ta'en my prey→→
May all the gods confound this rafcal Perfian,
And every Perfian-every person too-
I'm fuch a miferable, lucklefs wretch-
'Tis Toxilus has conjur'd up thefe plagues-
Because I would not truft him with the money,
He has contriv'd thefe engines of deceit ;
Whom, if I live, if I do not to chains
And torture drive, fhould but his mafter once
Return again, as I do hope he will-

But ha-What fee I-Do but look at them!
What comedy is this?-They're drinking here→
By Pollux! I will venture to accoft them-
My honest friend, my honeft freed flave too!
Hail to you both!

Tox. This furely must be Dordalus-
Why not invite him hither-

Tox. Let him come-
We'll shout applaufe-My moft confummate Dordalus
All hail!-This is your place-Come, here recline-
Water to wash his feet-Come, bring it boy! [to PAG.
Touch me but lightly, with a fingle finger,
I'll fell you to the ground, you rascal you-

I'll inflant dafh your eye out with my cup

What fay't thou, gallows!-Wearer out of fcourges! How thou haft cheated me this day, how hamper d me! How lent a hand about this Perfian too!

• I've loft my filver book] The commentators give themselves much trouble in explaining this paffage, which to us feems very eaty to be understood. Dordalus, by his having parted with the girl who had brought grift to his mill, in order to have a fum of money, and by the purchate he had just made of a girl whom he was obliged to give up, lofes both the money, and the one as well as the other of theie perfons, at the fame time. Herein feems to be the whole mystery of this paffage, which on following the difpofition of the piece, and not lofing fight of the fubject, as moft com. mentators do, by quitting things for words, is very clear. LIMIERS.

Water to wash bis feet-] The commentators inform us, that it was the custom of the Gentiles as well as Jews, to have their flaves wash the feet of their guests before they fat down to meals. Lambin, not aware of this, will have it to be ironical.

If you were wife, you'd wrangle fomewhere elfe..
And you, my dainty freed woman, you knew
All this full well, and yet conceal'd it from me.
What folly 'tis, when one may live at ease,
To chufe the stirring of contentious brawls
To live at ease, in time may fuit
you best-
My heart's on fire-

Tox. Give him a bowl of wine-
Extinguish it-For if his heart's on fire,
His head may catch the flame-
DOR. I understand you-










You fool me now-Flout on as you were wont-
This is a place of liberty-
Tox. Well done!

What a facetious, princely ftrut thou'st got-
Facetiousness becomes me mighty well.
Befides, I long to play this knave fome pranks,
Since he deferves them well-

Tox. As you've begun

Go on

Have at you, pandar

DOR. Oh! undone,

[ftriking him.

He has almost knock'd me down-
PAG. Here, mind again-

Play on your pranks at will, while far from hence
Your mafter's abfent-

PAG. See how I obey

Why should not you obey then, in return,

All my commands, and do what I perfuade you?
What's that?

PAG. Why, take a rope, a flout one though,
And hang yourself-

DOR. You'd beft be cautious how
You touch me, boy; left I, with this my staff
Should do your business-

PAG. Well, well-Ufe your staff,
I'll pardon you-

Tox. Come Pagnium,

have done

I'll utterly deftroy you all, by Pollux !
But he who dwells above me will, ere long
Utterly ruin you-who is your foe,
And will not be your friend-It is not they
Who tell you fo-But it is 1, myself-

Come, carry round the wine, and in full bumpers--
We have not drank this age--Our lips are parch'd-
Would to the gods your drink † might not pafs thro' you!




You fool me now- w-] After these words a fenteme is not tranflated. The learned reader will know the reafon.

bave done-] The original is da paufam. Greek, naveis, a ceffation. + might not pass through you!-] We have tranflated it literally. The speaker means, I wish your drink would poifon you.


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