Having already declared, that I profefs to give nothing more than a direct translation of my author, I fhall only add, that the English reader will not, I hope, be difpleafed at my adhering fo ftrictly to the fenfe of the original with refpect to thofe cuftoms, manners, ceremonies,&c. which differ from the modern.§ In other respects, univerfal nature is and has been so much the fame in all ages and countries, that the characters, difpofitions, and paffions of men, as fet forth by our author, will be found very nearly to resemble those of the present times.

§ What Mr Colman fays with regard to his tranflation of TERENCE'S Comedies, is no lefs applicable to a translation of the Comedies of our author.- The English reader is defired "to obferve, that the manners, prevailing in them all, are wholly

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Grecian. The fcene is laid in or near Athens, the actors were "dreffed in Grecian habits, fuitable to their respective characters; " and the cuftoms, coins, &c. occafionally mentioned, such as were used in Greece. TERENCE, who imitated, rather than "tranflated Menander, chofe however to preferve the scenery and "manners of his original. The direct tranflator of TERENCE, "therefore, has certainly no right to modernize his Comedies, "and instead of Grecian manners to fubftitute the French, English, or Italian. Yet this has been the method pursued by most profeffed tranflators, though neceffarily productive of two great inconveniences for firft, it deprives the modern reader of the pleasure of directly comparing the manners and cuftoms of another age and country with thofe of his own; and "and fecondly, the ground of the play, the fable, characters, fentiments, and language, ftill retaining the ancient caft, the refult of this modernizing fpirit is a fantaftical medley, which represents the manners and cuftoms of no age or country at all." It may, however, be obferved, that our author, who follows the Grecian models, very often confounds the Roman cuftoms and manners with the Grecian,

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To the READER.

T the time the late Mr THORNTON ad

vertised, that he was preparing for the prefs a tranflation of the Comedies of PLAUTUS, I had myself tranflated feveral Comedies. of that author into profe. These were the Aulularia, Rudens, Epidicus, Ciftellaria, Mofiellaria, Stichus, almost the whole of the Trinummus, with a small part of the Menæchmi. I had alfo made no inconfiderable progrefs in the Captivi, in the fame kind of familiar blank verfe which Mr COLMAN had adopted in his deservedly admired tranflation of TERENCE,. and Mr THORNTON intended in his of PLAUTUS. This I communicated to him; who, after I had compleated the translation in the fame manner, accepted of the Captivi with the notes, and printed it with his own tranflations, and that of the Mercator by Mr COLMAN, in the first edition of this work. Had he lived to

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have continued it, he intended to have inserted in his next publication, my translation of the Moftellaria, which for that purpose was new written by me in the fame kind of familiar blank verfe, and put into his hands not long before his death.

This fecond edition, in regard to the memory of my deceased friend, I have undertaken to revise and correct, the Mercator by Mr COLMAN excepted. I have made no change in what Mr THORNTON had tranflated, a very few words only excepted, the alteration of which had been fubmitted to him and approved of. I have alfo inferted in their proper places, the corrections mentioned in his table of Errată. In my own tranflation of the Captivi, fome alterations have been made, I trust for the better; and fome addition to the former notes, as well as fome new ones, more fully to explain and illustrate the author.

Among the papers of the deceased tranflator, have been found the first two acts of the Menachmi, with the Prologue; and the whole first act, with the first scene, and somewhat more of the second act of the Epidicus. These are put hands. And as the admirers of PLAU

into my


TUS, by the unhappy lofs of a gentleman, who had shewn himself in all respects equal to fo difficult an undertaking, have been deprived of a continuation of the work by fo able a hand, they are defired to accept of it from one much inferior; which I therefore propose to give the Publick, preserving all that Mr. THORNTON had left, and adding notes.

This continuation fhall be printed in the fame fize, with the fame letter, and on the fame paper, as the prefent edition.

Woodford Row, Essex.
July 15, 1769.


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