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On Jupiter, he came, and lent them aid,
He surely may appear in tragedy:

I fay then, in this play will Jove himself
Perform a part, and I together with him.

Now lend attention, whilst that I unfold

The argument of this our Comedy.

This city here is Thebes, and in that house
Amphitryon dwells, an Argive by his birth,
Sprung from an Argive father, and with whom
Alcmena married, daughter of Electryon.

This fame Amphitryon now commands in chief
The Theban forces; for there is a war
Betwixt the Thebans and the Teleboans.
Ere his departure hence to join the troops,
His wife was pregnant by him. Verily
Ye know my father, how he is inclin'd,
How freely he indulges in love-matters,
With what excefs he doats, where once he loves.
He for Alcmena entertain'd a paffion

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Unknown unto the husband, and poffefs'd her, 130

V. 109.] This is palpably an allufion to fome play or other, that was well known to the audience; but whether it was defigned as a ridicule or not, cannot poffibly be gathered from the context. It is not at all within my defign to intermeddle with jarring commentators: I fhall therefore only juft mention, that some of these have found out, that the original reading in the Latin was Nannio, &c. inftead of Anno, &c. and they make this paffage allude to a play called by the name of Nannium, a famous courtefan of antiquity.. May we not as well fuppofe, that a real tragedy is here hinted at, in which, according to Horace's rule, Nec Deus interfit, nifi dignus vindice nodus

Inciderit:

Jupiter was reprefented coming down to fettle a knotty point, as he does at the conclufion of this very play.

Whence

Whence she grew pregnant from his ftol'n embrace.
That ye may rightly read her fituation,
Know she is pregnant with a double issue,
Both by her husband and by highest Jove.
My father is now with her in this house,
And for that reafon is this night prolong'd,
Whilft, with his love he takes his pleasure: yet
In form he seems as though he were Amphitryon.

Be not astonish'd then at this my habit,
That I come forth thus in a fervile garb.
I shall present you with an ancient tale,
[Set forth in Greek, now in the Latin tongue]

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V. 136.]"It appears, (fays Madam Dacier) from this verse, "that this piece was played at night; as also a little further "on, from the 178th verfe, where mention is made of Sofia's "lanthorn."

Nothing can be more ridiculous than this remark, as if the Supposed time of the drama had any thing to do with the real time of its representation. This is fomewhat of a piece with her observation on the beginning of the third act of the Self-Tormentor of Terence, which is opened by Chremes saying,-Lucefcit hoc jam, 'Tis now juft day-break. Our female critic, in order to preserve the unity of time, fuppofes the audience to have gone out to fupper at the end of the fecond act, and to have returned at four the next morning, to hear the reft of the play. See her whole note refuted and ridiculed by Mr. Colman. ·

V. 141.] This line is inclofed in crotches, because it is not immediately expreffed in the original; though I cannot but agree with Cooke, in thinking it implied. He doubts not but that "Plautus tranflated," he should have faid, at least borrowed the general idea, and perhaps a confiderable part of the plot, characters, &c. of his “ Amphitryon from a Greek Play :" and he adds, that our Author "means [by antiquam rem novam ad "vos proferam] that he brings an old GREEK Play in a new "drefs to the LATINS."

The

Made new; and therefore do I come apparell'd
In a new fashion. Jupiter my father
Is now within, chang'd to Amphitryon's form;
And all the flaves, that fee him, think he is
The fame, fo readily he fhifts his fhape,
Whene'er his godfhip pleafes. And I too
Have taken on myself a fervant's form,
The form of Sofia, he who went from hence
Together with Amphitryon to the army;

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The reft of the Commentators, if I am not mistaken, have all of them understood this paffage as meaning nothing more than fimply making a new play upon an old ftory: but it is very well known that the Latin comic writers borrowed largely from the Greek ones; and Terence's obligations to them are acknowledged in every one of the Prologues to his pieces, as well as our author's in feveral of his. Befides, it is worth our notice, that the word Nova (meaning Fabula) is with its declenfions frequently and indifcriminately ufed in the Prologues to Terence's plays, particularly in the first and fecond to the Step-Mother above half a dozen times; and in that to the Phormio, where the play is profeffedly declared to have been taken from the Greek, it is faid,

Ad porto NovAM:

Epidicazomenon quam vocant Comediam
Greci: Latini Phormionem nominant ;
Quia primas partes qui aget, is erit Phormio.
To-day I bring a NEW play, which the Greeks
Call Epidicazomenon; the Latins,
From the chief character, name Phormio.

So alfo in the Prologue to the Brothers.
Synapothefcontes Diphili commedia eft;
Eam Commorientes Plautus fecit Fabulam.
In Græca adolefcens eft, qui lenoni arripit
Meretricem in primâ fabulâ : eum Plautus locum
Reliquit integrum: eum hic locum fumpfit fibi
In Adelphos; verbum de verbo expressum extulit.
Eam nos acturi fumus NovaM.

COLMAN.

The

That in this guise my father I might serve
In his amour, and no one of the family

Afk who I am, when they fhall fee me here

Frequent about the house; but as they'll think me 155 Their fellow-fervant, none will question me

Or who I am, or wherefore I came hither.

My father is indulging now within

His heart's defire, and her, whom most he loves,
Clafps in his fond embrace; recounts to her

The Synapothefcontes is a piece

By Diphilus, a comedy which Plautus,
Having tranflated, call'd Commorientes.
In the beginning of the Grecian play
There is a youth, who rends a girl perforce
From a procurer: and this incident,
Untouch'd by Plautus, render'd word for word,
Has our Bard interwoven with his Brothers,
The NEW piece which we reprefent to-day.

Again, in the Prologue to the Self-Tormentor.

Ex integra Gracâ integram Comediam
Hodie fum acturus Heautontimoreumenon,
Duplex quæ ex argumento facta eft fimplici,
NOVAM effe oftendi, et quæ effet.

COLMAN,

To-day a whole play, wholly from the Greek,
We mean to reprefent, the Self Tormentor;
Wrought from a fingle to a double plot.
Now therefore, that our comedy is NEW,
And what it is, I've fhewn,

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COLMAN.

I have been the more large in my quotations, in order to fhew, that Novant in this laft paffage implies nothing more than it does in other places; and it was want of attention to the common ufe of this word, that led Madam Dacier and M. Diderot, (as quoted and tranflated in Mr. Colman's notes) to refine upon it. Madam Dacier fays, "By Duplex ex argumento facta eft fimplici, Terence meant to fay, that he had doubled the characters. In

Read

What was tranfacted in the army; fhe,

Mean while, mistakes th' adulterer for her husband.
He tells her how he put the enemies troops

To flight, and that they gave him many gifts.
These gifts, beftow'd upon Amphitryon, we
Have stolen; for my father can with ease
Do what he will.-Now on this very day
Amphitryon will arrive here from the army,
Together with his flave, whofe form I bear.
That ye may then diftinguifh us more readily.
I on my hat these little wings fhall wear,

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"stead of one old man, one gallant, one mistress, as in Menander, "he had two old men, &c. he therefore adds, very properly, "NOVAM effe oftendi,-That our Comedy is NEW,-which certain

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ly could not have been implied, had the characters been the "fame in the Greek poet."-Diderot fays, " Terence pretends, "that having doubled the subject of the Self-Tormentor, his piece is NEW," But it is plain the author had no fuch meaning. It was no otherwife NEW than the Phormio, or any other from the Greek, in the Prologues to which no improvement is hinted at; and in the Prologue to this very Play, the fame expreffion is used in a general sense, without any particular implication.

Nam nunc NOVAS qui fcribunt, nihil parcunt feni,
For they, who now produce NEW Comedies,

Spare not my age.

So likewife in the Prologue to the Cafina of our Author:

Nam nunc NovE que prodeunt Comœdiæ, &c.

For the EW Comedies that now come out, &c.

COLMAN

V. 170.] As the ancient Actors wore masks, it was a very eafy matter to contrive, that two people should bear an exact refemblance to each other; an advantage that is wanting on the modern ftage, whenever these kind of deceptions are introduced on it. Yet furely, if there was a neceffity to diftinguish one from the other by certain external marks, as in this play, the advantage cannot be thought so very great. In the Prologue to

the

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