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thongh Plutarch, Athenæus, Laertius, in his Pytha. goras, Stobæus and Gyraldus all'make mention of his name, none of them have given us any anecdotes of his history.

Love and matrimony, which are subjects little touched upon by the writers of the Old Comedy, became important personages in the Middle Drama; the former seems to have opened a very flowery field to fancy, the last appears generally to have been set up as the butt of ridicule and invective.-Our author for instance tells us

A man may marry once without a crime,
But curs’d is be, who weds a second time.'

On the topic of love he is more playful and ingenious

• Love, the disturber' of the peace of heaven,
And grand fomenter of Olympian feuds,
Was banish'd from the synod of the Gods :
They drove him down to earth at the expence
Of us poor mortals, and curtail'd his wings
To spoil his soaring and secure themselves
From his annoyance-Selfish, hard decree!
For ever since he roams th’ unquiet world,
The tyrant and despoiler of mankind.'

There is a fragment of his comedy of the Pythagorista, in which he ridicules that philosopher's pretended visit to the regions of the dead

• I've heard this arrogant impostor tell,
Amongst the wonders which he saw in hell,
That Pluto with this scholars sate and fed,
Singling them out from the inferior dead :
Good faith! the monarch was not over-nice,
Thus to take up with beggary and lice,'

thus ignoble in his birth, lived to signalize himself by his genius, and was held in such respect by his Athenian patrons, that a public decree was made for the removal of his remains from the isle of Chios, where he died at the age of seventy-four, and for depositing them in the city of Athens, where his funeral honours were sumptuously performed at the charge of the state.

Various accounts are given of the number of his comedies, but of all the Greek dramatists he appears to have been the most prolific, for the lowest list of his plays amounts to two hundred and ninety, and some contend that he actually composed three hundred and sixty-five, a number almost incredible if we had not the instances of Calderon and De Vega, too well authenticated to admit of a doubtin modern times, to refer to. Antiphanes bore off the prize with thirty comedies; and if these successes appear dis. proportioned to his attempts, yet they were brilliant, jpasmúch 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 its 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 lost, 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,style and manners 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 some 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 nader the name of this author.

NUMBER CXLIV.

WHEN I find the Middle Comedy abounding with invectives against women, I am tempted to think it was the æra of bad wives. Antiphanes wrote two plays of a satirical cast, one entitled 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 nonsuit your complaint, till in the end

Justice is hooted down, and guilt prevails.'
The second is in a more animated strain of comedy.

. 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.

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Oh! might I never more behold a woman!
Rather than I should meet that object, Gods !

Strike out my eyes - I'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 for cooling the air of his banqueting-chamber, whilst he sate at supper.

"A. You say you've pass'd much of your time in Cyprus.
B, All; for the war prevented my departure,
A. In what place chiefly, may I ask ?

B. In Paphos;
Where I saw elegance in such perfection,
As almost mocks belief.

A. Of what kind, pray you?

B. Take this for one- The monarch, when he stipt, Is fann'd by living doves.

4. 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 appetite; with this
The king annoints his temples, and the odour
No sooner captivates the silly birds,
Than straight they flutter round him, nay, would file
A bolder pitch, so strong a love-charm draws them,
And perch, O horror! on his sacred crown,
If that such prophanation were permitted
Of the by-standers, who, with reverend care
Fright them away, till thus, retreating now
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 coold,

And thus he sups as Paphian monarchs should.'
An old man in the comedy, as it should seem, of the
rapatáns, reasons thus-

• I grant you that an old fellow like myself, if he be a wise fellow withal, one that has seen much and learnt a great deal, may be good for some. thing and keep a shop open for all customers, 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, cursed by all who have attained thee; railed at by the wise, betrayed 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 con. sume our means in gluttony, run mad for a wench, or break locks to get at her; and why then may not old age, seeing such discretion belongs to it, be allowed its pretensions to happiness?'

A servant thus rallies his master upon a species 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 you. Old Charon, has a stubborn task
To tug you to his wherry and dislodge you
From your rich tables, when your hour is come:
I muse the Gods send not a plague amongst you,
A good, brisk, sweeping, epidemic plague:

There's nothing else can make you all immortal.' Surely there is good comedy in this raillery of the servant–The following short passages have a very neat turn of expression in the original.

An honest man to law makes no resort;
His conscience is the better rule of court.'

• The man, who first laid down the pedant rule,
That love is folly, was himself the fool:
For if to life that transport you deny,
Wlaţ privilege is left us--but to die?

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