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Go on, obfequious to my father's pleasure :
'Tis the best fervice, for the beft of beings,
Beft done; and you will find your interest in it.
Sos. I think I never faw a longer night

Than this, except one night, when I was drub'd, 165
And hung up by the heels: yet this methinks
Exceeds e'en that in length.-Faith I believe
The Sun has drank too much, and dropt asleep.
MERC. Say you fo? Do you think the Gods
Are like yourself? You hang-dog! but I'll pay you 170
For your vile deeds and speeches. Come but hither
You'll find your ruin.

Sos. Where are those gallants,
So loth to lye alone ?-A rare night this,
To have their penny-worths of their doxies.

MERC. Faith

This fellow hits my father to an ace,

Who now is lying in Alcmena's arms,
His heart's defire indulging.

Sos. I'll go in,

And tell Alcmena what my mafter bade me.

175

(Advancing difcovers Mercury)

What do I fee? a man before the house,

So late at night? I like him not.

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Has not his equal for rank cowardice.

Sos. What is he ?-By his motions he should feem

V. 162.] Optumo optumè optuman operam das. These ringing of the changes upon words is too common in our author, even where no comicality is defigned; but in this place, I imagine, it is meant.

A weaver,

A weaver, and would fain now trim my jacket.

MERC. He's frighten'd: I'll have sport with him.
Sos. I'm ruin'd: 185

How my teeth chatter! fure he's posted here
To give me a reception with his fists.
Troth he takes pity on me; and because

My master now has made me keep awake,

He'll lull me with his fifts to fleep. Look, look-190 I'm loft for ever-what a fwinging rogue!

How brawny !

MERC. I'll draw nearer, raise my voice

That he may hear me, and from thence conceive
More terrible fears within him.-(Loud) Come my fifts,
To action-ftir ye;-'tis a long long while
Since ye have made provifion for my belly.
Methinks it is an age fince yesterday

195

Ye ftript four men, and laid them dead asleep.
Sos. I'm fore afraid, that I fhali change my name;
No longer fimple Sofia, but be ftil'd

Sofia The Fifth.-He fays, he laid asleep

200

V. 184.] Volt pallium detexere. The interpretation put upon this paffage by Janus Douza, (and it feems to be a right one,) is, that Mercury throws out his arms in the manner that Weavers do when at work. On this the joke, fuch as it is, appears to depend. I could think of nothing better to preferve it in fonte measure, than to use a familiar phrafe in our tongue-to trim one's jacket.

V. 187.] See V. 12. of this Scene.

V. 201.] Quintus fiam è Sofia. This cannot be tranflated; and Cooke's allufion to it, which I have adopted, may ferve the purpofe well enough to illuftrate it. Ius, Ilus, &c. Vus, &c. were common appellations among the Romans, for the fame reafon as we have Johnson, Robertfon, Williamfon, &c. &c. among us.

Four

Four men I fear, I fhall increase the number.

MERC. (Throwing about his arms.) There I could have him; Sa!-this is the way,

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Sos. Pfha! I don't like

To eat fo late at night-Away with them.

I fupt juft now-Then pray bestow
On them that have more appetite.

Is not of trifling weight.

your fupper

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Sos. I'm a dead man:

He's weighing of his fifts.

Gently to fleep?

MERC. What if I ftroak him

Sos. You'll do me a great fervice; For I have watch'd these three whole nights together. MERC. That's but a paltry action: No,my fift, 215 Thou haft not learnt to fmite a check fo poorly. One glance of thine would make a man put on

V. 214. These three whole nights together.] Cortinuas has tres noctes. I could almost be of opinion, that Soft here means that one night only, on which he had been fent home, but which appeared to him as long as three nights, and in reality was fo, according to the fable. It is with diffidence I fubmit it to the learned reader, whether CONTINUAS (without interruption, may not imply as much.

Another

Another form.

Sos. He'll vamp me up a-new,

New mould my face.

MERC. If luftily thou strik'st,

A mercy on his bones!

Sos. Why fure he means

To bone me like an eel. I wifh him further
With these his boning tricks.-I'm a dead man,
If he should see me now.-

To his deftruction.

MERC. Some fellow ftinks

Sos. How now! do I fmell?

220

MERC. Nor can he be far off, though he has

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To exercise them, prithee cool them first
Against the wall.

MERC. A voice flies to my ears.

L.

V. 218. Vamp me up a-new.] The word in the original is, interpolabit. Interpolare, according to Nonius, eft novam formam ex vetere fingere, and is ufed in a figurative fenfe alluding to the bufinefs of a fuller.

V. 226. A conjuror.] Superftitiofus. The latter part of the preceding line-uerum longè hinc abfuit-" he has been far off" is given by Madam Dacier to Sofia merely from her own conjecture but as fuperftitiofus means a diviner, or as we fay in English "a conjuror," this arbitrary alteration of the text is unneceffary. Sofia is furprised, that Mercury fhould know he had been far off, (that is abroad) and naturally exclaims-" Sure he's a "conjuror."

Sos.

Sos. Unlucky, that I did not clip it's wings, 230 Since 'tis a bird-like voice.

MERC. The wretch! he calls for❜t,

He claims it of me, a moft heavy lading

On his beaft's back.

Sos. Not I-I have no beaft

Of burthen truly.

MERC. Yes, he fhall be loaded

Well with these fifts.

Sos. In troth I am fatigued.

With coming from on fhipboard, and e'n now
I am so crop-fick, I can scarcely crawl,
Even without a lading. Do not think then,
That I can carry burthens.

MERC. Certainly

'Tis Some-one speaks.

Sos. I'm fafe; he fees me not.

235

240

V. 231. A bird-like voice.] Volucrem vocem. To preserve the allufion more strongly, I am inclined to think, that volucrem in this place is rather a fubftantive than an adjective, as it is generally interpreted-a flying voice.

V. 240. Some one Speaks.] Nefcio quis loquitur. The humour of Sofia's reply, confifts in his understanding Nefcio quis (Some-one, as I have turned it) to be the name of a perfon. I need not perhaps mention, that a fimilar joke is to be found in Homer's Odyfey, towards the end of the Ninth Book, where Ulyes gives an account of his having impofed on Polyphemus, by calling himself OrTIE, which fignifies NO-MAN. The annotator to Pope's tranflation, juftly obferves, that, however delighted Euftathius and Dacier might be with this play upon words, it is fitter for the two Sofias in our author. He takes notice of Euripides having a play upon the fame fubject, borrowed from Homer, called the Cyclops, which turns upon this very circumftance; but he is mistaken in imagining it a ferious tragedy, it being the only inftance in antiquity of a comic one, if I may be

indulged

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