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Cease, moumers, cease complaint, and weep no more !
Your lost friends are not dead, but gone before,
Advanced a stage or two upon that road,
Which you must travel in the steps they trode;
In the same inn we all shall meet at last,
There take new life and laugh at sorrows past.'

æra.

When I meet these and many other familiar sentiments, which these designers after nature abound in, I ask myself where originality is to be sought for ; not with these poets it is clear, for their sickles are for ever in each other's corn: nor even with the founders of the Greck drama, for they all leant upon Homer, as he perhaps on others antecedent to his

As for the earliest writers of our own stage, the little I have read of their rude beginnings seems to be a dull mass of second hand pedantry coarsely daubed with ribaldry. In Shakspeare you meet originality of the purest cast, a new creation, bright and beaming with unrivalled lustre; his contemporary Jonson did not seem to aim at it.

Though I have already given a Parasite from Eupolis, and compared him with Jonson's admirable Mosca, yet, I cannot refuse admission to a very pleasant, impudent fellow, who gives name to a comedy of Antiphanes, and in the following spirited apology for his life and actions, takes upon him the office of being his own historian.

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• What art, vocation, trade or mystery,
Can match with your fine Parasite?—The painter?
He! a mere dauber: A vile drudge the Farmer :
Their business is to labour, our's to laugh,

To jeer, to quibble, faith Sirs ! and to drink,
Aye, and to drink lustily. Is not this rare?
Tis life, my life at least: the first of pleasures
Were to be rich myself; but next to this
I hold it best to be a Parasite,
And feed upon the rich. Now mark mo right!

Set down my virtues one by one: imprimis,
Good-will to all men—Would they were all rich
So might I gull them all: malice to none;
I envy no man's fortune, all I wish
Is but to share it: wonld you have a friend,
A gallant steady friend? I am your man :
No striker I, no swaggerer, no defamer,
But one to bear all these and still forbear:
If you insnlt, I laugh, unruffled, merry,
Invincibly good-humour'd still I laugh :
A stout good soldier I, valorous to a fault,
When once my stomach's up and supper serv'd:
You know my humour, not one spark of pride,
Such and the same for ever to my friends :
If cudgelld, molten iron to the hammer
Is not so malleable ; but if I cudgel,
Bold as the thunder : is one to be blinded ?
I am the lightning's flash : to be puffd up,
I am the wind to blow him to the bursting :
Choak’d, strangled? I can do't and save a halter :
Would you break down his doors? Behold an earthquake :
Open and enter them A battering-ram :
Will
you

sit down to supper? I'm your guest,
Your very Fly to enter without bidding:
Would you move off? You'll move a well as soon :
I'm for all work, and tho' the job were stabbing,
Betraying, false-accusing, only say,
Do this, and it is done! I stick at nothing;
They call me Thunder-bolt for my dispatch ;
Friend of my friends am I : Let actions speak me ;
Įm much too modest to commend myself.'

I must consider this fragment as a very striking specimen of the author, and the only licence I have used is to tack together two separate extracts from the same original, which meet in the break of the tenth line, and so appositely, that it is highly pro. bable they both belong to the same speech; more than probable to the same comedy and character, Lucian's Parasite seeins much beholden to this of Antiphanes,

Antiphanes was on a certain occasion commanded to read one of his comedies in the presence of Alex. ander the Great; he had the mortification to find that the play did not please the royal critic; the moment was painful, but the poet addressing the mo. narch as follows, ingeniously contrived to vindicate his own production, at the same time he was pass. ing a courtly compliment to the prince, at whose command he read it— I cannot wonder, O king ! that you disapprove of my comedy; for he, who could be entertained by it, must have been present at the scenes it represents ; he must be acquainted with the vulgar humours of our public ordinaries, have been familiar with the impure manners of our courtesans, a party in the beating-up of many a brothel, and a sufferer as well as an actor in those unseemly frays and riots.

Of all these things, you, Great Sir! are not informed, and the fault lies more in my presumption for intruding them upon your hearing, than in any want of fidelity with which I have described them.

NUMBER CXLV.

ANAXANDRIDES.

ANAXANDRIDES of Rhodes, son of Anaxander, was author of sixty-five comedies, with ten of which he bore away the prizes from his competitors. Nature bestowed upon this poet notooly a fine genius, but a most beautiful person, his stature was of the tallest, his air elegant and engaging, and, whilst he affected an effeminate delicacy in his habit and appearance, he was a victim to the most violent and uncontroul. able passions, which, whenever he was disappointed of the prize he contended for, were vented upon every person and thing that fell in his way, not excepting even his own unfortunate dramas, which he would tear in pieces and scatter amongst the mob, or at other times devote them to the most ignominious uses hecould devise : Of these he would preserve no copy, and thus it came to pass that many admirable comedies were actually destroyed and lost to posterity. His dress was splendid and extravagant in the extreme, being of the finest purple richly fringed with gold, and his hair was not coiled up in the Athenian fashion, but suffered to fall over his shoul. ders at its full length : his muse was no less wanton and voluptuous than his manners, for it is recorded of him, that he was the first comic poet, who ventured to introduce upon the scene incidents of the grossest intrigue: he was not only severe upon Plato and the Academy, but attacked the magistracy of Athens, charging them with the depravity of their lives, in so daring and contemptuous a style, that they brought him to trial, and by one of the most cruel sentences upon record condemned the unhappy poet to be starved to death.

Zarottus and some other commentators upon Ovid interpret that distich in his lbis to allude to Anax. andrides, where he says, ver. 525-6,

Utve parum stabili qui carmine læsit Athenas.

Invisus pereas deficiente cibo.

Or meet the libeller's unpitied fate,
Starv'd for traducing the Athenian state.'

I know this interpretation of Zarottus is controverted upon the authority of Pausanias, and Ovid is supposed by some to point at Mævius, by others at Hipponax; but as the name of the sufferer is not given, those who incline to the construction of Eu. stathius, as well as Zarottus, will apply it to our author.

Of the titles of his comedies eight and twenty remain, but for his fragments, which are few in number, I discover none which seem to merit a translation; had he spared those which his passion de. stroyed, happy chance might perhaps have rescued something worth our notice.

ARISTOPHON.

This poet has left us more and better remembrancers of his muse, though fewer of his history : that he was a writer of the Middle Comedy is all I can collect, which personally concerns him : the titles of four of his comedies are in my hands, but

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