But their clandeftine loves remain conceal'd.

Though as I faid, Amphitryon fhall know all :-
What then?-There's no one will impute it furely
As fcandal to Alcmena: for it would not
Be acting like a God to let the blame
Of his offences light upon a mortal.-


I must stop here,-the door creeks, and here comes The counterfeit Amphitryon with his wife

That he has borrow'd.

(Retires from the door.)



Jup. Farewell, my Alcmena:

Take care of that, in which we both have interest
And O! be fparing of yourself, I pray you :

You've gone, you know the full time of your reckoning.

I muft away hence of neceffity


Whatever child is born, you'll bring it up.

ALC. My lord, what business can it be, that you

V. 6. Bring it up.] The Latin word is tollito,-take it up. This is agreeable to a custom among the ancients. As foon as a child was born, it was laid upon the ground, and if not taken up by the father, it was difowned, and expofed. So in the Andrian of Terence, Davus expreffes his admiration, upon Glycerium's being with child by Pamphilus, that

Quicquid peperiffet, decreverunt tollere.

Whate'er she shall bring forth, they have refolv'd
To educate.



Should quit your home so sudden?

JUP. By my faith

It is not that I'm wearied or of you,

Or of my

home: But when the chirf commander 10

Is abfent from his army, 'tis more likely

Things will be done, which help not, than which ought.

MERC. A crafty counterfeit, this fire of mine! Mind ye-how fweetly does he smooth her o'er ! ALC. Ah! I do find indeed now by experience, 15 How much you prize your wife!

JUP. Is't not enough,

I love her more than any of her sex ?

MERC. Faith; if your wife but know your tricks, I warrant

You'd rather be Amphitryon than high Jove.

ALC. 'Twould please me more to find it than be

told fo.


You leave me ere the bed, in which you lay,
Could well grow warm: you came at midnight to me;
And now you're gone again.-Say, is this kind?

MERC. I will approach and speak to her, and


My father in his wheedling. (To Alcmena.) Never fure

Did mortal man fo doat upon a wife!

He loves you to distraction.

V. 18. Your wife.] The original word is illa, which fome understand as a relative to Alcmeną ; but I am rather inclined to think with others, that it alludes to Jove's celeftial confort Juno, as the fenfe is plainer. and the humour not unnatural for the character of Mercury.

JUP. Rogue! I know you :

Out of my fight.-What business is't of your's?
Hang-dog!-how dare you chatter ?—If I take

A ftick in hand

ALC. O don't be in a rage.

JUP. Do, mutter, firrah.


with me

MERC. (Afide.) This my first attempt At wheedling has, I find, but ill fucceeded. JUP. Sweet wife, you ought not to be angry For that which you complain of.---I withdrew In fecret from the army, stole this interview, That you might be the first to learn from me, How I fucceeded.---I have told you all.--This, if I had not loy'd you to th' I had not done.

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MERC. (Afide.) So.---is't not as I faid?

See, how this ftroking cheers her!

JUP. I muft now
Return from hence in fecret, left the troops

Should scent my abfence, when they'll fay, that I
Prefer'd my wife before the public good.



ALC. I cannot chufe but weep for your departure, JUP. Come, come, no more bewailings do not


Those pretty eyes: I fhortly fhall return.

ALC. Ah me! that shortly will be all too long, JUP. 'Tis with reluctance I must leave you here,

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30. Don't be in a rage.] Alcmena only fays noli-don't: but it is reasonable to fuppofe, that irafci-be angry-may be understood.

V. 40.] Timidam palpo percutit,


And part thus from you.

ALC. Ay, I do perceive it:

For on the very night you came to me,


On that fame you depart. (Hangs about Jupiter.) JUP. Why do you hold me?

'Tis time; and I would leave the city ere

It waxes light.---Alcmena, with this cup

I now present you, giv'n me for

my valour,

The fame king Pterelas drank from, whom I flew 55 With my own hand.

ALC. (Taking the cup.) Done like your other actions: As you are always won't to do.---By heavens

A noble gift, and worthy him that gave it!
MERC. A noble gift indeed, and worthy her
To whom 'tis giv'n!

JUP. You rafcal! what again?

Why don't I put an end to you at once,


And your impertinence ?

ALC. Nay prithee, love,

Do not be angry with him for my fake.
JUP. Sweet, you shall be obey'd.

MERC. (Afide.) How plaguy cross His wenching makes him!

V.56.] Alcmena's fatisfaction on receiving the prefent of a gold cup, may perhaps be understood as an oblique cenfüre upon the ladies. Be this as it will, the character of Alcmena is truly amiable. She is reprefented as a most affectionate wife, full of innocence and fimplicity; and her diftrefs, on being fufpected by the real Amphitryon, is highly interefting. There is a great fimilarity of manners between her and Defdemona, labouring under the fame circumstances, in Shakespeare's Othello.



JUP. (Going.) Would you ought elfe?
ALC. This--that you'd love me, though I am away,
Me that am your's ftill, though you're abfent from me.
MERC. 'Tis almoft day, Sir: come, Sir, let's be

JUP. Go you before: I'll follow you this inftant.


you ought elfe?

ALC. Yes, one thing---that you would 70 Return, and presently.

V. 65. Would you ought elfe ?] Numquid vis? It may be proper to obferve once for all, that this was a common mode of expreffion upon taking leave or going away.

V. 66-67.] Ut, quom abfim, me ames, me tuam, te absente tamen. "The common reading (fays Cooke) is me tuam abfentem tamen, "but te abfente is in the firft printed copy ;" and I can but agree with him, that it is "more emphatical." This fentiment is finely amplificated in Terence's Eunuch, towards the end of A&t I. where Phædria takes leave of his mistress Thais, who by his confent was to entertain his rival Thrafo.

THAIS. Numquid vis aliud ?

PHEDRIA. Egone quid velim?

Cum milite ifto præfens abfens ut fies :
Dies noctefque me ames: me defideres :
Me fomnies: me expectes de me cogites :
Me fperes me te oblectes: mecum tota fis :
Meus fac fis poftremò animus, quando ego fum tuus.
Thais. Would you ought elfe with me?

Phadria. Ought elfe, my Thais!

Be with yon foldier prefent, as if abfent :
All night and day love me : ftill long for me :
Dream, ponder ftill of me: wifh, hope for me:
Delight in me be all in all with me :

Give your whole heart, for mine's all your's, to me."





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