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Title: Prefaces to Terence's Comedies and Plautus's Comedies (1694)
Author: Echard, Lawrence, 1670?-1730
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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          The Augustan Reprint Society

                Lawrence Echard


                 _To Terence's_


                _And Plautus's_



               _Introduction by_
                 JOHN BARNARD

  Publication Number 129
  University of California, Los Angeles


  George Robert Guffey, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  Maximillian E. Novak, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  Robert Vosper, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_


  Richard C. Boys, _University of Michigan_
  James L. Clifford, _Columbia University_
  Ralph Cohen, _University of Virginia_
  Vinton A. Dearing, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  Arthur Friedman, _University of Chicago_
  Louis A. Landa, _Princeton University_
  Earl Miner, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  Samuel H. Monk, _University of Minnesota_
  Everett T. Moore, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  Lawrence Clark Powell, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_
  James Sutherland, _University College, London_
  H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., _University of California, Los Angeles_


  Edna C. Davis, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_


Perhaps no higher praise can be paid a translator than posterity's
acceptance of his work. Laurence Echard's _Terence's Comedies_, first
printed in 1694 in the dress and phraseology of Restoration comedy, has
received this accolade through the mediation of no less a modern
translator than Robert Graves. In 1963 Graves edited a translation of
three of Terence's plays. His Foreword points to the extreme difficulty
of translating Terence, and admits his own failure-- "It is regrettable
that the very terseness of his Latin makes an accurate English rendering
read drily and flatly; as I have found to my disappointment." Graves's
answer was typically idiosyncratic. "A revival of Terence in English,
must, I believe, be based on the translation made . . . . with
fascinating vigour, by a young Cambridge student Laurence Echard
. . . ."[1]

The Prefaces to Echard's _Terence's Comedies: Made English_ . . . .
(1694) and to his _Plautus's Comedies, Amphitryon, Epidicus, and Rudens_
(1694) are of interest for several reasons. Both of them outline the
intentions and rationale which lie behind the translations. They also
throw light upon the sense of literary rivalry with French achievements
which existed in some quarters in late seventeenth-century England, make
comments on the contemporary stage, and are valuable both as examples of
seventeenth-century attitudes to two Classical dramatists, and as
statements of neoclassical dramatic theory. Finally, they are, to some
extent, polemical pieces, aiming at the instruction of contemporary

Laurence Echard, or Eachard (1670?-1730), was a minor cleric, a prolific
hack, and an historian, a typical enough confusion of functions for the
time. It suggests that Echard had energy, ability, and political
commitment, but lacked a generous patron or good fortune to take the
place of private means. Within the Church his success was modest: he was
installed prebendary of Louth in 1697, but had to wait until 1712 before
becoming Archdeacon of Stow. Echard achieved the little fame by which he
is remembered as an historical writer. Perhaps he is more accurately
described as a compiler rather than as an historian. His major works
were _The Roman History, from the Building of the City, to the Perfect
Settlement of the Empire by Augustus Caesar_ . . . (1695-98), the
equally comprehensive _A General Ecclesiastical History from the
Nativity of Our Blessed Saviour to the First Establishment of
Christianity_ . . . (1702), his all-inclusive _The History of England
from the first Entrance of Julius Caesar . . . to the Conclusion of the
Reign of King James the Second_ . . . (1707-18), and the more detailed
but equally long work, _The History of the Revolution, and the
Establishment of England in . . . 1688_ (1725).

Echard's career as a publisher's jack-of-all-trades ran concurrently
with his life's work on history, and showed a similar taste for the
voluminously encyclopedic. In 1691 he graduated B.A. at Christ's
College, Cambridge, and published four works under the imprint of Thomas
Salusbury: _A Most Complete Compendium of Geography; General and
Special; Describing all the Empires, Kingdoms, and Dominions in the
Whole World_, _An Exact Description of Ireland . . ._, _A Description of
Flanders . . ._, and the _Duke of Savoy's Dominions most accurately
described_.[2] These were followed in 1692 by _The Gazetteer's or
Newsman's Interpreter: being a Geographical Index_ . . . . Two years
later the translations of Plautus and Terence were published.

All of this work was clearly irrelevant to his main interests: in 1695
he had been urged to undertake his _General Ecclesiastical History_, and
by that time he was already at work upon his _Roman History_
(1695-98).[3] Into the bargain, he was in residence at Cambridge until
1695, for he did not gain his M.A. until that year. Despite the apparent
success of his publisher's enterprises (_A Most Complete Compendium_ was
in its eighth edition by 1713, and _The Gazetteer's or Newsman's
Interpreter_ reached a twelfth in 1724), little of the profit reached
the penurious Echard. In 1717 Archbishop Wake wrote to Addison that "His
circumstances are so much worse than I thought, that if we cannot get
somewhat pretty considerable for Him, I doubt He will sink under the
weight of his debts . . . ."[4]

The sheer quantity of work which Echard accomplished in these early
years is astonishing: it is no wonder that in the Preface to the
_Plautus_ he explained that "business" had prevented him from
translating more than three of the comedies, remarking, ". . . I have
taken somewhat less time than was necessary for the translating such an
extraordinary difficult Author; for this requires more than double the
time of an _Historian_ or the like, which was as much as I cou'd allow
my self" (sig. b3).

In all of his work Echard sought and acknowledged the help of a whole
series of unnamed encouragers and authorities. For the _Plautus_ he "had
the Advantage of another's doing their [i.e., "these"?] Plays before me;
from whose Translation I had very considerable Helps . . ." (sig. b4).
Apart from that aid, the _Plautus_, on the evidence offered by the
title-page and the Preface, was all Echard's own. This is not the case
with the _Terence_, which was translated by a symposium, with the
Preface being written by Echard on the group's behalf. As a result, its
Preface uses "we" throughout where the _Plautus_ uses "I." When the
first edition of the _Terence_ appeared it gave the authorship as "By
Several Hands," but later editions are more detailed, and specify that
the work was done "By Mr. Laurence Echard, and others. Revis'd and
Corrected by Dr. Echard and Sir R. L'Estrange." The fourth edition also
stated firmly in 1716, "The PREFACE, Written by Mr. _Laurence Echard_"
(p. i).

The only discrepancy which might seem to deny Echard's authorship of the
Preface to the _Terence_ is the fact that the two Prefaces contradict
one another over the way in which scenes should be marked. The Preface
to the _Terence_ simply says that exits and entrances within the acts
are a sufficient indication that the scene has changed without numbering
them, "for the _Ancients_ never had any other [method] that we know of"
(p. xxii). The _Plautus_ on the other hand, numbers the scenes, and the
Preface comments, "I have all the way divided the _Acts_ and _Scenes_
according to the true Rules of the Stage . . ." (sig. b2v). Since this
was an open question, however, in neoclassical dramatic theory, the
simplest explanation is that Echard was free to do as he believed in the
_Plautus_, which was all his own, but was, in the Preface to the
_Terence_, expressing the views of the whole group of translators.

The two volumes are a testimony to Echard's remarkable industry and
abilities. They were published the year before he took his M.A., when he
was only twenty-four. In the years between coming up to Cambridge in
1687 and 1695, he found time not only to satisfy his university, and to
do the very considerable amount of hack work which appeared in 1691 and
1692, as well as embarking upon his large historical works, but also
translated two difficult Roman authors with great verve.

It would be interesting to know why, in the years between 1691 and 1694,
Echard turned his attentions to the art of translation. The venture is a
curious deviation from his otherwise single-minded devotion to history
and to journalistic enterprises (the only other translation he is known
to have done is the brief "Auction of the Philosophers" in _The Works of
Lucian_ [1710-11]). The connection of Dr. John Eachard and Sir Roger
L'Estrange may offer a slight clue. Echard was closely related to Dr.
Eachard (1636?-1697), Master of Catharine Hall, Cambridge, and author of
the lively dialogue, _Mr. Hobbs's State of Nature Consider'd_ (1672).[5]
With a family connection such as this, Echard might well have hoped for
a successful career centered on his stay at Cambridge. The dedication of
his _A Most Complete Compendium_ in 1691 to the Master of his own
college, Dr. John Covel, suggests that he was looking in this direction.
L'Estrange is important not only for his intimate knowledge of the
publishing trade, but also because he was a translator in his own right.
His _Æsop_ appeared in 1692, and he had early put out translations of
Quevedo (1673), Cicero (1680), and Erasmus (1680), and was to go on to
translate Flavius Josephus (1702). Since L'Estrange had also been a
student at Cambridge, there is some possibility that the translation of
Terence was carried out at the instigation of a Cambridge based group.
The translation might also be connected with the resurgence of interest
in translation and in "correctness" which can be discerned in the

The two Prefaces differ somewhat in character. It seems clear from
remarks made in the Preface to the _Plautus_ that it was written after
the _Terence_ had already reached the public and after Echard's copy for
the text of Plautus's three comedies was in the printer's hands. Not
surprisingly the later Preface is hurried, and at times almost casual.
The Preface to the _Terence_ is more ambitious, more carefully written,
and more wide-ranging, though giving fewer examples of the kinds of
translations made by Echard. Both Prefaces lay claim to substantially
the same audience. That to the _Terence_ explains that the translation
was undertaken in the first place because of the literary value of
Terence's comedy. In consequence, its benefits would apply to "most
sorts of People, but especially for the Service it may do our _Dramatick
Poets_." Secondly, the work was undertaken for "the Honour of our own
_Language_, into which all good Books ought to be Translated, since
_'tis now become so Elegant, Sweet and Copious_ . . . ." Thirdly, it
might rival the translations done in other countries, particularly those
in France. The audience envisaged ranged from schoolboys, who would find
the translation less Latinate and the notes more pointed than those of
Bernard or Hoole, to "Men of Sense and Learning," who ought to be
pleased to see Terence in "modern Dress." As for the dramatists, Terence
might serve as an exemplar, especially since the translation could "be
read with less Trouble than the Original . . ." (pp. xvii-xix). The
_Plautus_ Preface is far less detailed, but refers back to these
reasons, while stressing the function of the translation for the
schoolboy. Judging by the number of editions, the _Terence_ found its
market, for where the _Plautus_ ran to only two editions, the first and
that of 1716, the _Terence_ appeared in a seventh edition in 1729. Nor
was Echard's audience merely made up of students. If one of his main
targets was contemporary dramatists, he would have been elated to learn
that William Congreve owned a copy of the first edition of both

The Prefaces are perhaps a little disingenuous in acknowledging Echard's
and his collaborators' debt to the contemporary French classical scholar
and translator, Anne Dacier. On both occasions Echard paid her some
tribute. What he does not mention is that the two volumes seem to be
modelled on her example. The _Terence_ translates the plays which had
appeared in her _Les comédies de Térence_ (Paris, 1688), and it is
significant that despite his claims that he wished to translate more
than three of Plautus' comedies, he in fact translated only those three
which Mme. Dacier had already done in her _Les comédies de Plaute_
(Paris, 1683). Moreover, the notes and to some extent the Prefaces, are
modelled on the French scholar's work: Echard's notes are often directly
dependent upon Mme. Dacier's and are exactly described by her account of
her own volume as being "avec de remarques et un examen de chaque
comédie selon les règles du theatre."

The views on translation put forward by the Prefaces are an intelligent
exposition of progressive contemporary notions of the art. The belief in
literal translation which characterizes Jonson and Marvell in the
earlier years of the century had been displaced by the more liberal
concept of "imitation." Roscommon is a representative of this freer
attitude, while Dryden's more severe theory of "paraphrase," whatever
his practice may have been, stands somewhere between the two positions.
Like Ozell and Gildon, and later Pope, Echard's aim, whether translating
by himself or collectively, was to imitate the spirit of his author in
English. "A meer _Verbal Translation_ is not to be expected, that wou'd
sound so horribly, and be more obscure than the Original . . . . We
couldn't have kept closer . . . without too much treading upon the
Author's Heels, and destroying our Design of giving it an easie, _Comick
Style_, most agreeable to our present Times" (_Terence's Comedies_,
p. xx). To this end it was necessary to tone down the "familiarity and
bluntness in [Terence's] Discourse" which were "not so agreeable with
the Manners and Gallantry of our Times." This was intended to bring
Terence up to the level of gentility for which he was credited by
compensating for the barbarity of Roman social manners. But the
translation was willing to go further than this: it added to the Roman
comedy what Echard thought English comedy excelled in, "humour"-- "In
some places we have had somewhat more of _Humour_ than the Original, to
make it still more agreeable to our Age . . . ." (_ibid._, p. xxii).
When speaking for himself alone in the Preface to the _Plautus_,
Echard's claims were less grandiose. Here the translation seems much
more specifically aimed at schoolboys, and Echard made firm claims for
his literalness (sig. b1-2v). On the other hand, he went out of his way
to praise Dryden's _Amphitryon_ (1690) for the freedom it had taken with
the original, which, said Echard, "may serve for one Instance of what
Improvements our Modern Poets have made on the Ancients, when they built
upon their Foundations" (sig. b3v-4).

The praise of Dryden is to some extent double-edged since it is an
implicit assertion of the point made in both Prefaces, that English
writers had much to learn from the Roman dramatists. Echard uses the
Prefaces to assess and compare Plautus and Terence, but he also uses
them as a springboard for a critique of the state of English comedy.
Like much neoclassical criticism it is, of course, derivative. The stock
comparison of Plautus and Terence comes from Anne Dacier,[8] and
Echard's footprints can be tracked in the snows of Cicero, Scaliger,
Rapin, André Dacier, the Abbé D'Aubignac, and Dryden. Having set the
Ancients against the Moderns, Echard is able to attack the looseness of
English double plots by pointing to Terence's success within a similar
structure. He is also able to praise Terence's genteel style. Against
this, Echard admits, along with his precursors, Plautus' superiority in
point of _vis comica_, which he defines, interestingly, as "_Liveliness
of Intreague_" (sig. a8). Echard is thus able to claim, with
considerable conviction, the superiority of English comedy in several
areas, especially in its variety, its humour, "in some Delicacies of
_Conversation_," and "above all in _Repartée_" (_Terence's Comedies_,
p. xi).

What the English had to learn, in Echard's view, was "regularity," that
is, the discipline imposed upon a dramatist by observing the Unities,
and obeying the other "rules of the drama" (such as the _liaisons_), in
pursuit of verisimilitude and tautness of structure. Echard's main hope
was that his translation and notes would correct his contemporaries'
habit of ignoring the Roman dramatists' "_essential_ Beauties," and
"contenting themselves with considering the _superficial_ ones, such as
the _Stile_, _Language_, _Expression_, and the like, without taking much
notice of the Contrivance and Management, of the _Plots, Characters,
etc._" (_Plautus_, sig. a1). The remarkable fact about Echard's
discussion of these matters, despite his dependence at times upon that
arch-pedant, the Abbé D'Aubignac,[9] is the critical intelligence with
which he puts forward his argument. Unlike many neoclassical critics,
Echard keeps his eyes fixed firmly on the strengths and weaknesses of
Restoration comedy within the context of previous English comedy and the
Restoration stage itself. A sign of this is his attention to practical
details, which take the form of one or two valuable notes on the theatre
of his day. We learn, for instance, that actors were in the "custom of
looking . . . full upon the Spectators," and that some members of the
Restoration audience took printed copies into the playhouse in order to
be able to follow the play on the stage.[10] It is a real loss to the
historian of drama and to the critic that these two volumes were
Laurence Echard's solitary adventure into the criticism and translation
of drama.

University of Leeds


 1. _The Comedies of Terence: Echard's Translations Edited with a
    Foreword by Robert Graves_ (London, 1963), pp. viii-ix. Graves
    (p. ix) says that Echard's translation of Terence was made in
    1689, when he was only nineteen. I have been unable to find any
    evidence in support of this statement.

 2. No copy of the _Duke of Savoy's Dominions_ appears to be
    extant. It is not recorded in Wing, but appears in _The Term
    Catalogues, 1688-1709_ . . ., ed. Edward Arber (1903-1906), II,
    380. This must have been much smaller than Echard's other
    publications in this year: it cost only 3d. against the first
    two's 1s. 6d.

 3. _A General Ecclesiastical History_ . . . . (London, 1702),
    sig. b1.

 4. _The Letters of Joseph Addison_, ed. Walter Graham (Oxford,
    1941), p. 504.

 5. Recently republished with an introduction by Peter Ure as No.
    XIV (1958) in the University of Liverpool Reprints.

 6. "Dryden, Tonson, and Subscriptions for the 1697 _Virgil_,"
    _PBSA_, LVII (1963), 147-48. Raymond Havens makes a rather
    different emphasis in his "Changing Taste in the Eighteenth
    Century," _PMLA_, XLIV (1929), 501-18.

 7. Items 450 and 595 in _The Library of William Congreve_, ed.
    John C. Hodges (New York, 1955). [[Doctrine Publishing Corporation e-text 27606]]

 8. _Les comédies de Plaute_, ed. and trans. Anne Dacier (Paris,
    1683). For a further statement of her views, see _Les comédies de
    Térence_ (Paris, 1688).

 9. In particular, see his discussion of the _liaisons_ which is
    derived from François Hédelin, Abbé D'Aubignac, _La practique du
    théâtre_ . . . . (Paris, 1669), pp. 117-19, 315-20. D'Aubignac's
    work was translated into English as _The Whole Art of the Stage_
    . . . . (1684).

10. _Plautus's Comedies_, sig. a8v; _Terence's Comedies_, p. xiii.


The texts of this edition are reproduced from copies in the Brotherton
Library, University of Leeds.



                Made _ENGLISH_.

                    with his


                    and some

              REMARKS at the End.

               By Several HANDS.


  Printed for _A. Swall_ and _T. Childe_, at the
  _Unicorn_, at the West-End of St. _Paul_'s
  Church-yard. 1694.



Since long +Prefaces+ are lately much in Fashion upon this and the
like Occasions, why may not we be allow'd some tolerable Liberty in
this kind; provided we keep close to our Author, and our own
Translation of him. As for our Author, wherever Learning, Wit or
Judgment have flourish'd, this Poet has always had an extraordinary
Reputation. To mention all his Excellencies and Perfections were a
Task too difficult for us, and perhaps for the greatest Criticks
alive; so very few there are that perfectly understand all of 'em;
yet we shall venture at some of the most Remarkable.

To begin with him in general. He was certainly the most Exact, the
most Elaborate, and withal the most Natural of all +Dramatick+
Poets; His +Stile+ so neat and pure, his +Characters+ so true and
perfect, his +Plots+ so regular and probable, and almost every thing
so absolutely just and agreeable, that he may well seem to merit
that Praise which several have given him, +That he was the most
correct Author in the World.+ To compare him with +Plautus+, the
other great +Latin Comedian+, we may observe that +Plautus+ had more
Wit and Spirit, but +Terence+ more Sense and Judgment; the former's
Stile was rich and glaring, the latter's more close and even:
+Plautus+ had the most dazelling out-side, and the most lively
Colours, but +Terence+ drew the finest Figures and Postures, and had
the best Design; the one pleas'd the Vulgar, but our Author the
Better sort of people; the former wou'd usually set his Spectators
into a loud Laughter, but the latter steal 'em into a sweet Smile
that shou'd continue from the beginning to the end of the
Representation: in short, +Plautus+ was more lively and vigorous,
and so fitter for +Action+; and +Terence+ more grave and serious,
and so fitter for +Reading+. Tho' +Plautus+'s Beauties were very
extraordinary, yet he had his Faults and Indecorums very frequent;
but +Terence+'s Excellencies (tho' possibly inferior to some of the
others) were more general, better dispers'd, and closer continu'd;
and his Faults so inconsiderable, and so very few, that +Scaliger+
said, +There were not three to be found throughout the Six Plays.+
So that our Author seems to want nothing to make him absolutely
compleat, but only that same +Vis Comica+ that +Cæsar+ wishes he
had, and which +Plautus+ was Master of in such a high degree. We
shall determine nothing between 'em, but leave 'em good Friends as
we found 'em.

This may be sufficient for our Author's Excellencies in general; for
his particular ones, we shall begin with his Stile, a thing he has
been admir'd for in all Ages, and truly he deserves it; for
certainly no one was ever more accurate, natural, and clear in his
Expressions than he. But to be a little more particular in this
Matter, we shall give you some few of our Author's Excellencies in
this kind under three or four different Heads.

And first, We may observe of his +Words+, that they are generally
nicely chosen, extreamly proper and significant; and many of 'em
carry so much Life and Force in 'em, that they can hardly be
express'd in any other Language without great disadvantage to the
Original. To instance in these following. +Qui cum ingeniis
_conflictatur_ ejusmodi.+ +Ut animus in spe atque in timore usque
ante hac _attentus_ fuit.+ +Nisi me lactasses amantem, & falsa spe
_produceres_.+ +_Pam._ Mi Pater. _Si._ Quid mi Pater? Quasi tu
_hujus indigeas_ Patris.+ +Tandem ego non illâ caream, si sit opus,
vel totum triduum. _Par._ Hui? _Universum triduum._+ +Quam _elegans_
formarum spectator siem.+ +Hunc comedendum & deridendum vobis

We shall next take notice of one or two Instances of the Shortness
and Clearness of his Narrations; as that which +Tully+ mentions.
+Funus interim procedit sequimur, ad Sepulchrum venimus, in ignem
posita est, Fletur.+ Another may be that in +Phormio+. +Persuasum
est homini, factum est, ventum est, vincimur, duxit.+

Another remarkable Beauty of his Stile appears in his Climaxes;
where every Word is Emphatical, heightens the Sense, and adds
considerably to what went before. As, +Hæc verba Mehercule una falsa
Lachrymula, quam oculos terendo miserè vix vi expresserit,
restinguet.+ +Quod ille unciatim vix de demenso suo, suum defraudans
genium, comparsit miser.+

The last thing we shall give any instance of, is the Softness and
Delicacy of his Turns; of which many might be produced; but we think
these few may be sufficient for our purpose. +Eheu me miseram! Cur
non aut isthæc mihi ætas & forma est, aut tibi hæc sententia.+ +Nam
si ego digna hac contumelia sum maxime, at tu indignus qui faceres
tamen.+ +Nam dum abs te absum, omnes mihi labores fuere, quos cepi,
leves, præterquam tui carendum quod erat.+ +Palam beatus, ni unum
desit, animus qui modeste isthæc ferat.+ +Aliis, quia defit quod
amant, ægre est, tibi, quod super est, dolet.+ And as for the Purity
of his Language in general; we find it very much commended even by
+Tully+ himself. And +One+ of the Moderns is not at all out of the
way when he tells us: That the +Latin+ Tongue will never be lost, as
long as +Terence+ may be had.

Our Author's Excellent +Latin+ is now the greatest Cause of his
Esteem, and makes him so much read in the World; but for certain, he
that reads him purely for his +Latin+ sake, does but a quarter read
him; for 'tis his +Characters+ and +Plots+ have so far rais'd him up
above the rest of the Poets, and have gain'd him so much Honour
among the Criticks in all Ages. His +Stile+, tho' so very
extraordinary, in a great measure may be learnt by Industry, long
Custom, and continual Usage, and has been imitated to a high degree
by several; and indeed this was but as rich Attire, and outward
Ornaments to set off a more beautiful Body. But in his +Characters+
and +Manners+ there it is that he triumphs without a Rival; and not
only +Dramatick+, but all other Poets must yield to him in that
Point. For these are drawn exactly to the Life, perfectly just,
truly proportionably, and fully kept up to the last; and as for
their being natural, +Rapin+ says, +That no Man living had a greater
insight into Nature than he.+ The more a Man looks into 'em, the
more he must admire 'em; he'll find there not only such Beauty in
his +Images+, but also such excellent Precepts of +Morality+, such
solid Sense in each Line, such depth of Reasoning in each Period,
and such close arguing between each Party, that he must needs
perceive him to be a Person of strong Sense and Judgment. His
+Deliberations+ are most compleat, where all the several Accidents,
Events, Dangers, Casualties, good and bad Consequences are fully
summed up and clearly urg'd; so are the +Answers+ of each Person as
perfect, where every thing is so well fitted, so home, and so
natural, that if one shou'd study upon 'em never so long, he cou'd
scarce find any thing more to the purpose. He had a peculiar
Happiness at pleasing and amusing an Audience, perpetually keeping
'em in a most even, pleasant, smiling Temper; and this is the most
distinguishing part of his Character from the rest of the World; his
Pleasantries were somewhat Manly, and such as reach'd beyond the
Fancy and Imagination, even to the Heart and Soul of the Audience;
and what is more remarkable yet, one single Scene shall please a
whole day together; a Secret which few or no other Poet ever found

And as we have scarce found one Man in the World that equals him in
his Characters, so we find but very few that cou'd come up to him in
the Management (we mean his Art and Contrivance) of his +Plots+. We
are sensible that many have been so foolish as to count his Plays a
+bare Bundle of Dialogues dress'd up in a neat Stile+, and there all
his Excellency to consist, or at least that they are very ordinary
and mean; but such senseless Suppositions will soon vanish upon
giving an Account of the Nature and Perfection of 'em. He well
understood the Rules of the Stage, or rather those of +Nature+; was
perfectly +Regular+, wonderful exact and careful in ordering each
+Protasis+ or Entrance, +Epitasis+ or working up, +Catastasis+ or
heighth, and +Catastrophe+ or unravelling the Plot; which last he
was famous for making it spring necessarily from the Incidents, and
neatly and dextrously untying the Knot, whilst others of a grosser
make, would either tear, or cut it in pieces. In short (setting
aside some few things which we shall mention by and by) +Terence+
may serve for the best and most perfect +Model+ for our +Dramatick+
Poets to imitate, provided they exactly observe the different
Customs and Manners of the +Roman+ and +English+ People; and upon
the same account we beg leave to be a little more particular in this
Matter, which dispos'd us very much to this Translation.

The Nature of his +Plots+ was for the most part grave and solid,
and sometimes passionate a little, resembling our Modern
+Tragy-Comedies+; only the Comical parts were seldom so merry;
the Thinness and clearness of 'em somewhat resembling our Modern
+Tragedies+, only more perfect in the latter, and not crouded
with too many Incidents. They were all double except the +Hecyra+,
or +Mother-in-Law+, yet so contriv'd that one was always an
+Under-plot+ to the other: So that he still kept perfectly to the
first great Rule of the Stage, the +Unity of Action+. As for the
second great Rule the +Unity of Time+ (that is, for the whole Action
to be perform'd in the compass of a Day) he was as exact in that as
possible, for the longest Action of any of his Plays reaches not
Eleven hours. He was no less careful in the third Rule, +The Unity
of Place+, for 'tis plain he never shifts his Scene in any one of
his Plays, but keeps constantly to the same place from the beginning
to the end. Then for the +Continuance in the Action+, he never fails
in any one place, but every Instrument is perpetually at work in
carrying on their several Designs, and in them the design of the
whole; so that the Stage never grows cold till all is finish'd: And
to do this the more handsomely and dextrously, he scarce ever brings
an +Actor+ upon the Stage, but you presently know his Name and
Quality, what part of the Intrigue he's to promote, why he came
there, from whence he came, why just at that time, why he goes off,
where he's a going, and also what he is or ought to be doing or
contriving all the time he's away. His +Scenes+ are always unbroken,
so that the Stage is never perfectly clear but between the Acts; but
are continually joyn'd by one of the four Unions. Which according to
+Mon. Hedelin+ are these; +Presence+, +Seeking+, +Noise+, or +Time+;
and when the Action ceaseth (that is, upon the Stage) and the Stage
is clear'd, an +Act+ is then finish'd. Then for +Incidents+, and the
due Preparation of 'em, +Terence+ was admirable: And the true and
exact Management of +these+ is one of the most difficult parts of
+Dramatick Poetry+. He contrives every thing in such a manner so as
to fall out most probably and naturally, and when they are over they
seem almost necessary; yet by his excellent Skill he so cunningly
conceals the Events of things from his Audience, till due time, that
they can never foresee 'em; by this means they are so amus'd with
the +Actors+ Designs, that the +Poets+ is unknown to 'em, till at
last, being all along in the dark, they are surpriz'd most agreeably
by something they never look'd for: And this is the most taking and
the most delightful part of a Play. We might insist much more
largely upon each of these Particulars, and upon several others, but
at present we shall content our selves with saying that these
+Plots+ are all so very +clear+, and +natural+, that they might very
well go for a Representation of a thing that had really happen'd;
and not the meer Invention of the +Poet+.

There are two or three remarkable Objections against our Author
which we can't but take notice of. First, 'tis said, +That he has
not kept to the Unity of Time in his Heautontimoreumenos, or
Self-Tormenter; which contains the space of two days. Then, between
the second and third Acts, there's an absolute failure of the
Continuance of the Action.+ These are generally believ'd by several
Men, and such as are famous too; and some to vindicate +Terence+ the
better have added another Mistake, +That the Play was always acted
two several times, the two first Acts one, and the three last
another.+ But 'tis plain from all Circumstances, that the +Action+
began very late in the Evening, and ended betimes in the Morning (of
which we have said something in our +Remarks+ at the end) so that
the whole cou'dn't contain above Eleven hours; but as for that of
the +Cessation of the Action+, 'tis answer'd two ways, either by the
necessity of Sleep at that Interval, and consequently no
+Cessation+, or (which is more probable) by the Persons being busie
at the Treat at +Chremes+'s House, that being a necessary part of
the main +Action+. The two following are Mr. +Dryden+'s Exceptions;
where first he lays an Error to our Author's Charge in matter of
+Time+. +In the Eunuch+ (says he) +when _Laches_ enters _Thais_'s
House by mistake, between his _Exit_ and the Entrance of _Pythias_,
who comes to give ample Relation of the Disorder he has rais'd
within, _Parmeno_ who is left upon the Stage has not above five
Lines to speak.+ In answer to this, +Pythias+ makes no such +ample
Relation+, but rather tells him what +Disorders+ such a foolish Act
of his was like to raise; and in truth it is not probable she shou'd
stay above five or six Lines speaking, since after she saw her Cheat
had taken, she cou'dn't keep her countenance within Doors, and was
so eager to revenge her self by laughing at the Fool without.
Besides here's an excellent Artifice of the Poets, for had she
tarry'd longer, +Parmeno+ might ha' been gone, and her Mirth
qualified when she saw the good Fortune +Chærea+ had met withal. His
other Exception is, that our Author's +Scenes+ are several times
broken. He instances in the same Play, +That _Antipho_ enters singly
in the midst of the third Act, after _Chremes_ and _Pythias_ were
gone off+. As for this, 'tis to be consider'd that +Scenes+ are
united by +Time+ as well as +Presence+; and this is a perfect +Union
of Time+, apparent to all who understand the +Art of the Stage+. A
little farther he says, +That _Dorias_ begins the fourth Act
alone;---- She quits the Stage, and _Phedria_ enters next.+ Here
+Dorias+ does not quit the Stage till three +Scenes+ after, as
appears by +Pythias+, bidding her carry in such things as she had
brought with her from the Captain's Entertainment; but if she did,
there wou'd be an +Union of Time+ nevertheless, as there is in all
other places, where the +Scenes+ seem broken. Some make this
Objection; that in the beginning of many Scenes, two +Actors+ enter
upon the Stage, and talk to themselves a considerable time before
they see or know one another; +Which+ (they say) +is neither
probable nor natural+. Those that object this don't consider the
great Difference between our little scanty Stage, and the large
magnificent +Roman Theatres+. Their Stage was sixty Yards wide in
the Front, their Scenes so many Streets meeting together, with all
By-Lanes, Rows and Allies; so two +Actors+ coming down two different
Streets or Lanes cou'dn't be seen by each other, tho' the
+Spectators+ might see both, and sometimes if they did see each
other they cou'dn't well distinguish Faces at sixty Yards distances.
Besides upon several accounts it might well be suppos'd when an
+Actor+ enters upon the Stage out of some House, he might take a
turn or two under the +Portico's+, +Cloysters+, or the like (that
were usual at that time) about his Door, and take no notice of an
+Actor+'s being on the other side the Stage.

But since we propose our Master as the best +Model+ for +Dramatick
Poets+ to follow, we ought in Justice to mention such things wherein
he was any ways faulty, or at least where he ought not to be
imitated. The first is, He makes his +Actors+ in some places speak
directly, and immediately to the +Audience+ (of which that
+Monologue+ of +Mysis+ in the first Act of the first Play is an
instance) which is contrary to the Rules of +Dramatick Poetry+, or
rather indeed of +Nature+; and this is the only real Fault that
+Terence+ was guilty of, as his want of +Vis Comica+ was the only
real Defect. His +Plots+ were not always the best for Story, tho'
for Contrivance, and wanted somewhat of Length and Variety, fully
and compleatly to satisfie an Audience. Take 'em all together, they
were too much alike to have always their deserv'd Effect of
surprizing; which also gave a mighty Limitation to the Variety of
his +Characters+; a great pity for a Man that had such an admirable
Knack of drawing them to the Life. It were also to be wish'd that
his +Monologues+ or Discourses by single Persons, were less
frequent, and sometimes shorter too; for tho' they are all of 'em
full of excellent Sence, sound Reasoning, ingenious +Deliberations+,
and serv'd truly to carry on the main Design; yet several parts of
'em, especially all +Narrations+, wou'd ha' been more natural as
well as Artificial, if told by Persons of the +Drama+ to one
another. Then his +Aparts+ or +Asides+ (that is when one +Actor+
speaks something which another that is present is suppos'd to not
hear, tho' the Audience do) are sometimes too long to be perfectly
natural. Whether he has not sometimes too much Elevation of Passion,
or Borders too nigh upon +Tragedy+ for such inferior Persons, we
leave to others. These are the main things to be taken notice of by
all that make use of him for a +Model+, besides all such as belong
purely to the various Customs of Countries, and to the difference of
+Theatres+; but those are obvious enough to all.

But there's still one great Objection against these +Plays+ in
general; that is, +If _Terence_'s Plays are so good as is pretended,
why doesn't some Poet or other translate one or more of 'em for the
Stage, so save himself the trouble of racking his Brain for new
Matter+. We own they wouldn't take upon our Stage; but to clear all,
we shall give these two Reasons: First, The Difference between the
+Romans+ and our selves in +Customs+, +Humors+, +Manners+ and
+Theatres+ is such, that it is impossible to adapt their Plays to
our Stages. The +Roman+ Plots were often founded upon the exposing
of Children, and their unexpected Delivery, on buying of Misses and
Musick-Girls; they were chiefly pleas'd to see a covetous old Father
neatly bubbled by his Slave of a round Sum of Money; to find the
young Spark his Son (miserably in want of Cash) joyn with the Slave
in the Intrigue, that he may get somewhat to stop his Mistress's
Mouth, whom he keeps unknown to his Father; to see a bragging
Coxcomb wheadled and abus'd by some cunning +Parasite+; to hear a
Glutton talk of nothing but his Belly, and the like. Our +Plots+ go
chiefly upon variety of Love-Intrigues, Ladies Cuckolding their
Husbands most dextrously; Gallants danger upon the same account,
with their escape either by witty Fetches, or hiding themselves in
dark Holes, Closets, Beds, &c. We are all for Humour, Gallantry,
Conversation, and Courtship, and shou'dn't endure the chief Lady in
the Play a Mute, or to say very little, as 'twas agreeable to them:
Our amorous Sparks love to hear the pretty Rogues prate, snap up
their Gallants, and Repartée upon 'em on all sides. We shou'dn't
like to have a Lady marry'd without knowing whether she gives her
consent or no, (a Custom among the +Romans+) but wou'd be for
hearing all the Courtship, all the rare and fine things that Lovers
can say to each other. The second Reason of their not taking upon
the Stage is this, tho' +Terence+'s Plays are far more +exact+,
+natural+, +regular+, and clear than ours, and his Persons speak
more like themselves than generally ours do; yet (to speak
impartially) our Plays do plainly excel his in some Particulars.
First, in the great Variety of the +Matter+ and +Incidents+ of our
+Plots+; the Intrigues thicker and finer; the +Stories+ better,
longer, and more curious for the most part than his: And tho'
there's much confusion, huddle and precipitation in the generality
of 'em; yet the great variety and number of +Incidents+ tho' ill
manag'd, will have several Charms, and be mighty diverting,
especially to a vulgar Audience, like the Sight of a large City at a
distance, where there is little of Regularity or Uniformity to be
discern'd just by. Next, we do much excel +Terence+ in that which we
call +Humour+, that is in our +Comical Characters+, in which we have
shewn and expos'd the several Humours, Dispositions, Natures,
Inclinations, Fancies, Irregularities, Maggots, Passions, Whims,
Follies, Extravagancies, &c. of Men under all sorts of
Circumstances, of all sorts of +Ranks+ and +Qualities+, of all
+Professions+ and +Trades+, and of all +Nations+ and +Countries+, so
admirably, and so lively, that in this no Nation among the Ancients
or Moderns were ever comparable to us. Lastly, Our +Comedies+ excel
his in some Delicacies of +Conversation+; particularly in the
Refinedness of our +Railery+ and +Satyr+, and above all in
+Repartée+. Some of these things (especially when mix'd with
+Humour+) have made many an ordinary +Plot+ take and come off well;
and without a pretty quantity of some of 'em, our Plays wou'd go
down very heavily.

Since we are accidentally fall'n into the Excellencies of our
+Comedies+, we hope it may be pardonable if we mention also some
principal Faults in 'em, which seem to need a Regulation. And first,
Our +Poets+ seldom or never observe any of the three great +Unities
of Action+, +Time+ and +Place+, which are great Errors; For what
breeds more Confusion than to have five or six main +Plots+ in a
Play, when the Audience can never attend to 'em? What more
extravagant than to fancy the Actions of Weeks, Months, and Years
represented in the Space of three or four Hours? Or what more
unnatural than for the Spectators to suppose themselves now in a
Street, then in a Garden, by and by in a Chamber, immediately in the
Fields, then in a Street again, and never move out of their place?
Wou'dn't one swear there was Conjuration in the Case; that the
Theatres were a sort of +Fairy Land+ where all is Inchantment,
Juggle and Delusion? Next, our Plays are too often over-power'd with
+Incidents+ and +Under-plots+, and our Stage as much crowded with
such +Actors+, as there's little or no occasion for; especially at
one time. Then the +Matter+, and Discourse of our Plays is very
often incoherent and impertinent as to the main Design; nothing
being more common than to meet with two or three whole Scenes in a
Play, which wou'd have fitted any other part of the Play ev'n as
well as that; and perhaps any Play else. Thus some appear to swear
out a Scene or two, others to talk bawdy a little, without any
manner of dependance upon the rest of the Action. But besides this
(which is another great Error) when the +Matter+ and +Discourse+ do
serve to carry on the main Design, commonly Persons are brought on
to the Stage without any sort of Art, Probability, Reason or
Necessity for their coming there; and when they have no such
Business as one that comes in to give you a Song or a Jigg. They
come there to serve the Poets Design a little, then off they go with
as little Reason as they came on; and that only to make way for
other Actors, who (as they did) come only to tell the Audience
something the Poet has a mind to have 'em know; and that's all their
business: And truly that's little enough. This we see frequently in
the chief Actor of the Play, who comes on and goes off, and the
Spectators all the time stand staring and wondring at what they know
not what. Another great Fault common to many of our Plays is, that
an Actor's +Name+, +Quality+ or +Business+ is scarce ever known till
a good while after his appearance; which must needs make the
Audience at a great Loss, and the Play hard to be understood,
forcing 'em to carry Books with 'em to the +Play-house+ to know who
comes in, and who goes out.

The Ancients were guilty of none of these Absurdities, and more
especially our Author; and indeed the Non-observance of +Rules+ has
occasion'd the great Miscarriages of so many excellent Genius's of
ours, particularly that of the immortal +Shakespear+. Since these
are such apparent Faults and Absurdities, and still our Beauties are
so admirable as to cover, and almost to out-weigh our Errors (else
our Plays were not to be endur'd) undoubtedly our +Dramatick Poets+
by the Observance of this Author's Ways and Rules might out-do all
the +Ancients+ and +Moderns+ too, both at +Tragedy+ and at +Comedy+;
for no Nation ever had greater +Genius+'s than ours for Dramatick
Poetry. These ha' been but little observ'd as yet, so that all our
fine +Imitations of Nature+ may often be call'd +Lucky hits+, and
more by Accident than by Art. We very much need a Reformation in
this Case, and our Plays can never arrive to any great Perfection
without it; therefore the nigher they come up to this Standard, the
more they will be admir'd and lov'd by all Judicious Persons,
provided they still keep to those Excellencies before-mention'd.
Besides, these are as easily practicable upon ours as upon the
+Greek+ and +Roman+ Theatres; and by a strict Observance of the
+Unity of Place+, the Stage may be made far more handsome and
magnificent with less Charge; and by that of the +Unity of Action+
(especially by the help of an Under-plot or so) the Story may be
made far more fine and clear with less trouble.

But our Nation by long Custom, and the Success of Irregular Pieces,
seems naturally averse to all Rules; and take it very ill to have
their Thoughts confin'd and shackled, and tied to the Observance of
such Niceties: Therefore in the first place they tell us, That Poets
of all Men in the World are perfectly freely, and by no means ought
to confine their Noble Fancies to dull pedantick Rules; +For this+
(say they) +is like taking of Bees, cutting off their Wings, and
laying such Flowers before 'em to make Honey as they please+. A
+Poet+ indeed shou'd be free, and unconfin'd as Air, as to his
Though, Fancy and Contrivance, but then his +Poetica Licentia+
shou'dn't transport him to Madness and Extravagancy, making him
phrensically transgress the Rules of +Reason+ and +Nature+, as well
as +Poetry+. These that we mention are not any Man's Arbitrary
+Rules+, but pure Nature only Methodiz'd: They never hamper a
+Poet+'s Fancy or clip his Wings, but adorn their Thoughts, and
regulate their Flights so as to give 'em a clearer insight into
+Nature+, +Probability+ and +Decency+, without something of which it
is impossible to please. And these are no more a +Confinement+ to a
+Poet+'s Fancy, than the true Proportion of Pillars, the Regularity
and Uniformity of Windows are to an Architect; or the exact
Imitation of Nature to a Painter: As if there could be half so much
Beauty in Grotesque and irregular Whims, as in the due Observation
of the Rules of Prospect, Shadows and Proportion.

Another Objection is, +That our Nation will never bear Rules, but
are much better pleas'd with the ways now in practice.+ 'Tis true,
several of our most irregular Plays have come off with a great deal
of Applause, but certainly never the more for their Irregularity;
but because most of the Audience knew no better, being often dazzled
by the Greatness of the Author's Genius, and the Actor's
Performances; and those that did, were willing to pardon the Faults
for the sake of some choice +Master-stroaks+ they had; and upon the
same account a couple of good +Scenes+ have many times carry'd off a
very indifferent Play: 'Tis plain that want of Use and Knowledge
have been the only Cause of these ways seeming so unpracticable; and
if the middle sort of Persons were once truly brought to a Sight of
the Excellencies of this, and the Deformities of the other way (as
the well reading of these Plays wou'd in a great measure do, being
chiefly design'd for them) they wou'd esteem of it far more than
now; and certainly they cou'd never pardon those many +Indecencies+,
+Improbabilities+, +Absurdities+ that are so frequent in our Plays.
'Tis true, there has been a considerable Regulation among many of
'em since the Days of +Shakespear+, but not to bring things half to
perfection. And thus Regulation has made hope for a further, as the
Age will be brought to bear it.

The last Objection is more particular: They say, +That the Unities
of Action, Time and Place must needs take off from the great Variety
of the Plot, and a fine Story by this means will be quite murder'd.+
'Tis true, all +Stories+ whatsoever are not fit for a +Dramatick
Poem+; yet there may be an excellent +Plot+ without crowding
together Intrigues (little depending upon one another) of half a
dozen couple, suppose, in one Play; without hurrying over the
Business of three Months in three Hours time, or perhaps without
skipping from Gardens to Mountains, from thence to Groves, and then
to Town in an Act or two: But our prying, curious Sparks can't rest
here, but must be for peeping into Chambers, Closets, and
Withdrawing-Rooms, ay, and into Beds too (sometimes with the Ladies
in 'em) and have all things brought openly upon the Stage, tho'
never so improper, and indecent. But this Objection may yet be
better answer'd by Instances; and first for the +Unity of Time+, we
may mention the Play call'd, +The Adventures of Five Hours+, the
whole +Action+ lasting no longer (much less a day, the extent
allow'd for a +Dramatick Poem+) yet this is one of the pleasantest
+Stories+ that ever appear'd upon our Stage, and has as much Variety
of +Plots+ and +Intrigues+, without any thing being precipitated,
improbable or unnatural as to the main +Action+; so by this it
appears that this Rule is no Spoiler or Murderer of a finer +Story+.
Then for the +Unity of Time+ and Action too, +Ben. Johnson's Silent
Woman+ is a remarkable Instance; an excellent +Comedy+ indeed, where
the +Action+ is perfectly single, and the utmost extent of the
+Time+ exceeds not three Hours and a half (the shortest we ever
find) yet still the +Plot+, +Intrigues+, and above all the
+Incidents+ are very fine, and no ways unnatural. Lastly, For all
three +Unities+, Mr. +Dryden's All for Love+ (tho' a +Tragedy+, and
somewhat foreign to our business) is worthy to be taken notice of,
that being perfectly +Regular+ according to the Rules of the Stage,
the Scenes unbroken, the +Incidents+ exactly and duly prepar'd, and
all things noble and beautiful, just and proportionable. This we
reckon one of the best +Tragedies+ of our Nation. Now can any Man
justly think that these Plays we now mention'd were ever the worse
for that +Regularity+ they had; or indeed have we many better in the
Nation for +Plot+; or many that have better pleas'd the generality
of Persons than these; If so this sufficiently shows the Truth of
what we offered; and withal commends our Master's great Judgment in
this Point: Who, in our Opinion (besides the Excellency of his
+Characters+) plainly deserves a greater Name for his +Plots+, than
he does for his +Language+.

Come we next then to our own Vindication, in which we shall briefly
shew the +Reasons+ why we did it, and likewise what our Performances
have been in this Version.

The main +Reasons+ why we undertook it were these. First, For the
Excellency and Usefulness of this Author in general: And
consequently for the benefit (as we shall shew by and by) of most
sorts of People, but especially for the Service it may do our
+Dramatick Poets+. Next, for the Honour of our own +Language+, into
which all good Books ought to be Translated, since +'tis now become
so Elegant, Sweet and Copious+: And indeed nothing refines, or gives
Foreigners a greater Opinion of any Language than its number of good
Translations; of which the +French+ is a great Instance. Thirdly,
Because most of our Neighbours have got it in their +Language+,
particularly the +French+, who have done it with good Success; and
we have no reason for our being out-done by any of our Neighbours,
since we have a +Language+ we dare set against any in the World.
Lastly, Since the Author is so excellent, we undertook it because no
other Persons wou'd. 'Tis strange that none of our great Wits wou'd
undertake it before, but let us Persons of Obscurity, take their
Works out of their Hands; when we can perceive by our little
Performances that our +Language+ will do it to a very high degree,
undoubtedly better than the +French+.

The most considerable Objections that have been made against our
Translation are these. First, +What real Use or Advantage can this
Translation be to the Publick? As for school-Boys and Learners,
_Bernard_'s and _Hool_'s Translations, the great number of Notes,
a School-Master, or their own Industry will well enough teach 'em to
construe it. Men of Sense and Learning, they read it wholly for the
Latin sake; therefore a Translation is of no use to them.+ Lastly,
+They won't fit our Stage; and consequently they are impertinent at
best.+ To these we answer; First, As to +School-Boys+ and
+Learners+; +Bernard+'s and +Hool+'s Translations are very often
false, mostly so obsolete, flat and unpleasant, that a Man can
scarce read half a Page without sleeping; the latter is full of
+Latinisms+, and both are often more obscure than the Original. The
+Notes+ sometimes don't express the Author's Sense; and often very
obscurely: In some things they are too short, in others too long and
tedious: And most of them have the slight of running very nimbly
over those Places which they are afraid they shou'd stick in.
+School-Masters+ often want time, and now and then Judgment and
Learning to explain things as they ought; then to leave Boys by
themselves to pick out the Sense of such a difficult Author as this,
is very inconvenient; which besides the Discouragement sometimes of
not being able to do it, will often lead 'em into such Errors and
Mistakes, as perhaps they'll ne're get clear of. So that this will
be of great use even to +School-Boys+ and +Learners+: Beside the
great Advantage of teaching 'em, perhaps not the worst +English+;
and something of the Idiom of our Tongue.

As for the second part of the Objection, +That Men of Sense and
Learning read it only for the Latin sake+; This is or ought to be
look'd upon as a great Mistake: Since +Terence+ has other and
greater Excellencies than his Style, as we have before shewn. But
however ingenious Persons must needs receive some pleasure in seeing
such excellent Latin now speak tolerable good +English+; and
likewise in seeing somewhat of the Conversation, Humour and Customs
of the old +Greeks+ and +Romans+ put into a modern Dress; and
perhaps not quite out of the Fashion. Besides, since many of these
do sometimes upon an occasion make use of +Notes+, 'twill be of
equal use (in that respect) to them as to all +Learners+. And that
they have often need of such, will appear from the several difficult
places (especially as to the Plot) and some obscure dubious Passages
in this Author, which the utmost Skill in the +Latin+ Tongue will
not teach to explain; since there is as great a necessity for the
understanding of the +Roman+ Customs and Theatres in this Case, and
of the Art of the Stage, as of the +Latin+ Tongue. How extraordinary
useful a Translation can be in perfectly +clearing an Author+,
+Roscommon+'s Translation of +Horace+'s +Art of Poetry+ is an
apparent Instance; which shews the Sense, Meaning, Design, &c. of
+Horace+ better and easier than all the +Paraphrases+ and +Notes+ in
the World.

Thirdly, Tho' our +Translation+ will never fit our Stage, yet it may
be of considerable use to some of the +Dramatick Poets+; which we
had some respect to, when we did it; they will serve 'em (as was
said before) for +Models+; and tho' many of our Poets do very well
understand the Original, yet 'tis plain that some of 'em do not
understand it over much. But however, it may not be wholly useless
to those that do, and more proper for their business, being ready
explain'd to their hands: And upon some accounts to be read with
less trouble than the Original: For that is in many places very
obscure by reason of corrupted Copies, wrong Points, false Division
of whole +Acts+ as well as +Scenes+ and the like: Further, if these
Plays come to be frequently read by the more ordinary sort of
People, they will by little and little grow more in love with, and
more clearly see the true Excellencies of these Rules, and these
lively +Imitations of Nature+, which will be the greatest
Encouragement our Poets can have to follow 'em. And besides, the
common People by these +Plays+ may plainly perceive that
+Obscenities+ and +Debaucheries+ are no ways necessary to make a
good +Comedy+; and the Poets themselves will be the more ready to
blush when they see +Heathens+ so plainly out-do us +Christians+ in
their +Morals+; for their principal Vices in their Plays, were
chiefly from the Ignorance of the Times, but we have no such
pretence. This alone might ha' been a sufficient reason for our
undertaking this Design.

But to come now to what we have done; 'tis not to be expected we
shou'd wholly reach the Air of the Original; that being so peculiar,
and the Language so different; We have imitated our Author as well
and as nigh as the +English+ Tongue and our small Abilities wou'd
permit; each of us joyning and consulting about every Line, not only
for the doing of it better, but also for the making of it all of a
piece. We follow'd no one +Latin+ Copy by it self, because of the
great Disagreements among 'em, but have taken any that seem'd
truest. We look'd over all the +Notes+, sometimes they would help us
a little, and often not; some hints we had from the +French+, but
not very many; besides we had considerable helps from other Persons
far above our selves, for whose Care and Pains we shall ever
acknowledge our Gratitude. A meer +Verbal Translation+ is not to be
expected, that wou'd sound so horribly, and be more obscure than the
Original; but we have been faithful Observers of his Sence, and even
of his Words too, not slipping any of consequence without something
to answer it; nay farther, where two Words seem to be much the same,
and perhaps not intended to be very different by the Author, we were
commonly so nice as to do them too; such as +Segnitia+ and
+Socordia+, +Scire+ and +Noscere+, and the like, which is more exact
than most, if not all, our modern Versions. We cou'dn't have kept
closer (especially in this Author, which several ingenious Persons
told us, +Is the hardest in the World to translate+;) without too
much treading upon the Author's Heels, and destroying our Design of
giving it an easie, +Comick Style+, most agreeable to our present
Times. If we have been guilty of any Fault of this nature, it seems
to be that of keeping too close.

But still to be more particular; we did all we cou'd to prevent any
of the Meaning and Grace of the best +Words+ to be lost; so that we
were often forc'd to search and study some time for those most
proper, and oftentimes to express 'em by two, and sometimes by a
+Circumlocution+: Which Madam +Dacier+ her self, as accurate as she
is accompted, has often neglected: And thereby has wholly lost the
Force and Beauty of many Emphatical Words. +Terence+ had some Words
taken in a great many several Sences, such as +Contumelia+ and
+Injuria+, +Odiosus+, +Tristis+, &c. these we have been very careful
about; but where he plays upon Words (tho' never so prettily) he
ought not in some places to be imitated at all, because the Fineness
is more lost that way, than the other; yet we try'd at several when
they were Natural and tolerable in +English+. As for his +Allusions+
and the like, many of them perhaps are quite lost to us. However
they are commonly lost in our Language. On such places (as well as
some others) we made +Remarks+ or +Notes+ at the latter end; some of
which we are oblig'd to the +French+ Lady for; these serving to shew
our Author's fine Stroaks, as well as to vindicate our Translation.
For his +Sense+ and +Meaning+, we have taken more than ordinary care
about, and weigh'd all Circumstances before we fix'd. Several of the
Passages are done contrary to the general Opinion, and some few
differently from all, both as to the +Person that speaks+ as well as
the +Meaning+, but not without good Grounds; and if any be so nice
in censuring, we desire that Person to shew us three +Terences+ that
exactly agree with one another, either in Points or Words, for two
Acts together. Of those Passages that were absolutely doubtful, we
always took the best, and that, which seem'd to us, the most
probable Way and Meaning; and all such as were difficult, knotty or
obscure in the Original, we made as plain and clear as we cou'd;
and we presume to phansie there are very few Passages in ours,
unintelligible to the meanest Capacity. In his +Jests+ and
+Repartees+ (except they were +Allusions+ or the like) we hope that
the force of 'em is seldom lost. For making every Person speak so
exactly like themselves (a thing that our Author was so famous for)
is much more difficult in +English+ by reason of its greater variety
of +Idioms+ and +Phrases+ than in the +Latin+; and to suit these
always right, requires a greater +Genius+ than we can pretend to.
+Terence+, tho' reckon'd very genteel in his Days, seems in some
place to have a sort of familiarity and bluntness in his Discourse,
not so agreeable with the Manners and Gallantry of our Times; which
we have mollify'd as well as we cou'd, still making the +Servants+
sawcy enough upon occasion. In some places we have had somewhat more
of +Humour+ than the Original, to make it still more agreeable to
our Age; but all the while have kept so nigh our Author's +Sence+
and +Design+, that we hope it can never be justly call'd a Fault. We
can't certainly tell whither +William+ the Conqueror, the +Grand
Seignior+ (and the like) may pass with some: They may possibly
take 'em for Blunders in time: which are now become Proverbial
Expressions; the first signifying only a great while ago, and
t'other a great Man.

As for the Division of the +Acts+ and +Scenes+, all the common
+Terences+ are most notoriously false: The +Acts+ are often wrong,
but the +Scenes+ oftener; and these have bred some obscurity in our
Author's +Rules+. Madam +Dacier+ has been more exact in this than
all others before her; yet, still she's once mistaken in her +Acts+,
and very often in her +Scenes+. We have follow'd her as to her
+Acts+, except one in the +Phormio+; but we have not divided the
+Scenes+ at all by Figures, because they are of no such use; only
the Reader may take notice that whenever any particular +Actor+
enters upon the Stage, or goes off, that makes a different +Scene+;
for the +Ancients+ never had any other that we know of. The
+Prologues+, by the Advice of several Judicious Persons, are left
out, as being the Meanest, the fullest of Quibbles, and the least
Intelligible of any thing he wrote: They relating chiefly to private
Squabbles between our +Author+ and the +Poets+ of his time: The
Particulars of which 'tis impossible for us to understand now, and
we need not be much concern'd that we don't. Besides, in the main,
they are so much beneath the +Author+, that 'tis much question'd
whether they are his or no, especially the Third. The +Arguments+
are certainly none of his, and so far from being useful, that they
only serve to forestall the +Plots+, and take away the Pleasure of

Lastly, That there might be nothing wanting that might make this
Translation as intire and clear as possible; we've all the way
intermix'd +Notes of Explanation+, such as, +Enter+, +Exit+,
+Asides+, and all other things of +Action+, necessary to be known,
and constantly practis'd among our Modern +Dramatick Poets+. These
serve extreamly to the clearing of the +Plots+ which wou'd be
obscure without 'em; especially since their Theatres were so
different from ours. And as this sort of +Notes+ are the +shortest+,
that are generally us'd, so they are most +compleat+, +useful+ and
+clear+, by the help of which any Child almost may apprehend every
thing. Perhaps we might have omitted some of 'em, but we have better
offend this way than the other.

Thus have we said as much as we thought requisite in Vindication of
our Master's Honour, and of our own Undertaking. And if we had said
ten times as much; and ne're so much to the purpose, People will
still think, and talk what they please, and we can't help it.



                 _EPIDICUS_, and

                 Made English:


               +Critical Remarks+

                Upon Each PLAY.

                ---- _Non ego paucis_
  _Offendar maculis: quas aut incuria fudit_
  _Aut humana parum cavit natura:_ ----

        Horat. Art. Poet.


  Printed for _Abel Swalle_ and _T. Child_ at the _Unicorn_
  at the West-End of _S. Paul's_ Churchyard, 1694.



This Nations Excellencies in +Dramatick Poetry+ have been so
extraordinary, and our Performance both in +Tragedy+ and +Comedy+
have discover'd such strange +Genius+'s, that we have some reason to
believe, that we have not only surpass'd our Neighbours the Moderns,
but likewise have excell'd our Masters the Ancients. But the want of
Knowledge of the Ancients has been one great Reason for our setting
our selves so very much above 'em; for tho' we have many Beauties
which they wanted, yet it must be own'd, that they have more which
we have not, except that it may be some very few of our Pieces. But
then their Excellencies are far less known to us than ours; for the
Common People are unacquainted with their Languages, and the more
Learned sort, for want of due Observance and Penetration, have been
ignorant enough of their essential Beauties; they, for the most
part, contenting themselves with considering the +superficial+ ones,
such as the +Stile+, +Language+, +Expression+, and the like, without
taking much notice of the Contrivance and Management, of the
+Plots+, +Characters+, &c.

But a considerable Discovery of these Excellencies has been made by
means of a late Version of +Terence+, especially by the help of the
+Preface+ and +Remarks+: And this has made me hope, that two or
three Plays of +Plautus+'s cou'd not be very unacceptable after
them; and since the principal Fault of the +Remarks+ in that Version
was their being too short, I have made these somewhat longer and
clearer, hoping they will prove the principal means of recommending
this Book to the World, even tho' the Translation had been brought
to the utmost Perfection it was capable of: a Thing which I dare
never pretend to. I made Choice of the same three which Madam
+Dacier+ had done before me; those being, in many respects, fitter
for my purpose. But before I come to Particulars in those Things,
I shall give some Character and Account of my Author.

+Plautus+, if consider'd as a +Dramatick Poet+, may justly enough be
stil'd the Prince of the +Latin Comedians+, for tho' most of 'em are
lost, and consequently little capable of being judg'd of, yet, from
all Circumstances, we have good reason to presume that they never
came up to +Plautus+; so that there is no one to stand in
competition with him but +Terence+: But if +Comedy+ consists more in
+Action+ than +Discourse+, then +Terence+ himself must be oblig'd to
give place to our Author; and as +Terence+ ought to be esteem'd as a
Man who spoke admirably, +Plautus+ is to be admir'd as a
+Comick-Poet+. The principal Differences of these two Poets have
been touch'd upon in the Preface to the English +Terence+; and from
thence it will appear, that +Plautus+ had the vaster +Genius+, and
+Terence+ the more exquisite Judgment; and, considering what Persons
they copied, as the later was call'd the +Half Menander+, so the
former may be stil'd the +Half Aristophanes+.

+Terence+'s Stile was generally more refin'd and pure, and withal
more elaborate than this Poet's; yet undoubtedly, +Plautus+ was a
most absolute Master of his Tongue, and in many Places there appear
such a Sharpness and Liveliness of Expression, nay and such a
Neatness and Politeness too, that is scarce to be found in
+Terence+; and this, perhaps, may have occasion'd +Varro+ to say,
+That if the Muses were to speak Latin, they wou'd certainly make
use of his very Stile+; and +Tanaquill Faber+ to call +Plautus+,
+The very Fountain of pure Latin+. As to +Wit+ and +Raillery+,
+Terence+ might by no means be compared to him; then he is not
always so happy, but often degenerates to a Meanness that +Terence+
wou'd never have been guilty of; and tho' his +Jests+ and
+Repartees+ were sometimes admirable, and often far above
+Terence+'s, yet they were many times as much below him, and by
their Trifling and Quibbling, appear to have been calculated for the
Mob. This, probably, made +Rapin+ observe, +That he says the best
Things in the World, and yet very often he says the most wretched.+
A little before he says, +_Plautus_ is ingenious in his Designs,
happy in his Imaginations, fruitful in his Invention; yet, that
there are some insipid Jests that escape from him in the Taste of
_Horace_; and his good Sayings that make the People laugh, make
sometimes the honester sort to pity him.+ The most remarkable Thing
in his Stile, is the natural and unaffected +Easiness+ of it, I mean
in opposition to +Stiffness+, which with the true +Elegance+ and
+Propriety+ of the +Latin+ Tongue in +Common Discourse+, seems
almost its distinguishing Character, and sets him above any other
+Roman+ Author in that respect. 'Tis true, +Terence+ has all these
Excellencies, and perhaps is more exact in +Propriety of Terms+, and
in his Choice of +Words+, yet his extream Closeness and great
Elaborateness, I presume, has made it somewhat less +Free+ and
+Familiar+, or at least it wou'd be so if any other Man of less
Judgment had managed it. So that what I mean is, that +Plautus+'s
Stile ought rather to be imitated for +Common Discourse+ than
+Terence+'s. +Plautus+ had the Misfortune of living in a worser Age
than +Terence+, therefore there must be a larger Allowance for his
+Obsolete Words+, his +Puns+, and +Quibbles+, as well as those Words
that were peculiar to the Theatre and his Subjects, which, if once
transplanted, wou'd never thrive elsewhere.

Next, may be consider'd our Authors +Characters+; and in that point
indeed, +Terence+ triumphs without a Rival, as was observ'd in the
+Preface+ to that Author; and for a just and close Observance of
+Nature+, perhaps no Man living ever excell'd him. It ought to be
observ'd, that +Plautus+ was somewhat poor, and made it his
principal Aim to please and tickle the Common People; and since they
were almost always delighted with something new, strange, and
unusual, the better to humour them, he was not only frequently
extravagant in his +Expressions+, but likewise in his +Characters+
too, and drew Men often more Vicious, more Covetous, more Foolish,
&c. than generally they were; and this to set the People a gazing
and wondering. With these sort of +Characters+ many of our modern
+Comedies+ abound, which makes 'em too much degenerate into +Farce+,
which seldom fail of pleasing the Mob. But our Author had not many
of these; for a great part of 'em were very true and natural, and
such as may stand the Test of the severest Judges. His two most
remarkable +Characters+, are his +Miser+, and his +Bragadocio+; and
that the Reader may the more clearly understand the nature of these
+Characters+, their Resemblance to some of ours, and their
Unlikeness to those of +Terence+, I shall give a Translation of some
part of 'em. First then, take the First Act of his Third Comedy
call'd +Aulularia+, which begins with the Old Covetous Fellow and
his Maid.

  _+Euclio+ and +Staphila+._

_Euc._ Out-a-doors, I say: Come out. I'll fetch ye out with a
Horse-pox, for a damnable, prying, nine-ey'd Witch.

_Sta._ Why do you misuse a poor Rogue at this rate?

_Euc._ To make ye a poor Rogue as long as you live, like a Jade
as you are.

_Sta._ But why, Sir, am I thrust out-a-doors now?

_Euc._ Must I give you an account, you hempen Bitch?---- Get you
from the Door:-- that way:-- See how the Jade moves.---- Observe
what you'll meet with. If I take a good Cudgel or a Whip, 'sbud,
I shall soon put you out o' your Snails pace.

_Sta. softly:_] Wou'd I were hang'd out o' the way, rather than
be bound to serve such an old Rogue.

_Euc._ How the Jipsey mutters to her self!---- Faith, I shall
spoil those damn'd eyes, then look what I'm doing if you can.--
Huzzy, go further off:-- Further still:-- Further still:----
Still, I say.---- So! stand there.---- Now, you Baggage, stir
one step, move a hairs breadth, or look back i' the least till I
speak, and by Cocks-nowns, I'll hang y' up in an instant.-- [_To
himself, going off._] I ne're met with a more subtle old Hag
than this i' my days: I'm cursedly afraid this Witch shou'd trap
me in my discourse, and discover the place where I've hid my
Gold: Troth, I believe the consuming Jade has Eyes in her
Breech.---- Now for my Gold, that has cost me such a woful deal
of trouble, I'll go see whether that be safe as I hid it.

  _Exit +Euclio+._

  _+Staphila+ alone._

As I live, I can't devise or imagine what Evil Genius or Madness
has possess'd my Master; he uses me so inhumanely; and kicks me
out a doors ten times a day. Troth, it puzzles me strangely to
find out the meaning of his crazy Whims: He watches whole Nights
together; and sits all day long within doors, like a lame Cobler
upon his Stall.---- Well, considering these Plagues, and the
difficulty of concealing my young Mistresses Labour, now at
hand, I find no way but making a short cut, and hanging my self.

  _Re-enter +Euclio+._

_Euc._ Now I've found all well within doors, my mind's a little
at ease.---- Now come in, and keep House.

_Sta._ What, for fear it shou'd be stolen away? There's no
Plunder for Thieves; there's nothing but Emptiness and Cobwebs.

_Euc._ I'll warrant ye, I must keep a House like an Emperor for
your sake, you old Sorceress? Huzzy, I'll have every Cobweb
taken care of, and preserv'd.

I'm very poor, I confess; but I patiently bear what the Gods lay
upon me.---- Get ye in, and make fast the door; I'll be back
presently. Take a special care you don't let e're a Soul come
within the doors; and that they mightn't pretend an Excuse to
borrow Fire, I'll ha' ye put it all out: If there be any now,
out with't in an instant. If they want Water, tell 'em the Pump
is dry; if they wou'd borrow a Knife, an Axe, a Mortar, or a
Pestil, as Neighbours us'd to do, tell 'em the House was robb'd,
and they're all stolen. 'Sbud, I'll ha' no body set a step
within my House when I'm gone; therefore if _Good-luck_ her self
shou'd come, I charge ye keep her out.

_Sta._ Troth, you needn't fear her coming; for were she at the
Threshold, she'd ne're come in.

_Euc._ Hold your prating Tongue, and get ye in.

_Sta._ To please you, I'll do both.

_Euc._ And besure you secure the Door with two great Bolts: I'll
be here instantly.

  _Exit +Staphila+._

  _+Euclio+ alone._

O, I'm wretchedly perplex'd that I'm forc'd to go out a doors
now; and troth, it goes sore against my mind; however, 'tis upon
sure grounds. For now's the time for our Officer to distribute
the Money to the Poor: Now if I shou'd be negligent, and not be
among the Beggars, I'm afraid the World wou'd presently
conclude, that I had got Gold at home. For 'tis n't likely such
a poor Fellow as I pretend to be, shou'd so little value Money,
as not to be there. Notwithstanding my restless care of
concealing this Gold, it strangely runs in my Head, that all the
World knows of it, and every body seems to be more obliging, and
to complement me more than ever. They meet me, stay me, embrace
me, enquire after my Health, my Welfare, and every thing.----
Well, I'll go, and be back again as soon as possibly.


Here we see a considerable deal of the strange Nature of this old
miserable Fellow; and this +Character+ he has carry'd through the
whole Play: But to see his Humour a little more perfectly, take part
of the fourth Scene of the second Act; where the Servant +Strobulus+
and the two Cooks are discoursing about this Miser.

  _+Strobulus+ and +Congrio+._

_Stro._ A Pumice-stone is not half so dry as that old Huncks.

_Con._ Say ye so, introth?

_Stro._ Take this from me. If the least Smoke shou'd chance to
fly out of his House, he strait allarms the Town, exclaims
against Heaven and Earth, that he's undone, and ruin'd for
ever!---- I'll tell ye: whene're he goes to Bed he tyes a
Bladder at his Nose.

_Con._ What for?

_Stro._ For fear of losing part of his Soul when he's asleep.

_Con._ And doesn't he plug up his lower Bung-hole too, lest any
shou'd steal out that way?

_Stro._ 'Tis civil to believe me, since I do you.

_Con._ Why, truly, I do believe ye.

_Stro._ Did you never hear, how it goes to the Soul of him to
pour out the Water he has once wash'd his hands in?

_Con._ Do'st think, Boy, we shall be able to squeeze out a
swinging sum of Money of this old Gripes, to purchase our
Freedom with?

_Stro._ Troth, shou'd ye beg Hunger it self of him, the Wretch
wou'd deny ye. Nay more; whenever he gets his Nails to be cut,
he carefully scrapes up all the Parings, and saves 'em.

_Con._ Why, faith, this is the most miserable Cur upon the face
of the Earth.---- But is he really such a pinching Wretch as you

_Stro._ Why t'other day a Kite chanc'd to steal a bit of
something from him; this poor Devil goes strait to my _Lord
Chief Justice_'s, crying, roaring, and houling for his Warrant
to apprehend it.---- O, I cou'd tell ye a thousand of these
Stories, if I had leisure.

This is stretching of a +Character+ a degree above Nature and
Probability; yet these sort, at first sight, will glare and dazle a
common Audience, and sometimes give a superficial Pleasure to a more
judicious one; but are carefully to be avoided by any correct

His +Miles Gloriosus+, or +Braggadocio+, is as remarkable a
+Character+ as this, and there you may see another too in the same
place, one who wheadles as much as the other boasts, and plays the
Knave as much as the other does the Fool. For the Reader's
Satisfaction, here follows a Translation of the first Act of the
+Miles Gloriosus+, which begins between that Blockhead and his

  _+Pyrgopolinices+, with his Servant +Artotrogus+, and his Soldiers._

_Pyr. to his Soldiers._] Take care to have my Buckler out-shine
the resplendent Sun, when the Heavens are serene; so that in the
midst o' the Battel, I may dazle the Eyes of my Enemies, and
confound every man of 'em.---- In the mean time, I'll comfort my
bold _Bilbo_, that he might n't be dull and melancholly for want
of use this long time; for the poor Rogue is damnably eager to
slice all my Foes, and make a Hash of 'em.---- But where's

_Art._ Here, an't like your Honour, ready to wait upon a Man o'
the greatest Fortitude and Fortune i' th' Universe, and o' the
most majestick Air; then for personal Valour, Lord, _Mars_
himself dare n't pretend to measure Swords with you.

_Pyr._ You mean him in the spatious _Gurgustidonian_ Plains, the
mighty Generalissimo, _Bombomachides-- Cluninstaridy--
Sarchides_, great _Neptune_'s Grand-child?----

_Art._ ----The same, Sir. Him with the golden Armour, whose
whole Army you blew away with a single Puff, like Leaves before
the Wind, and Feathers in a Storm.

_Pyr._ By _Hercules_, 'twas nothing.

_Art._ No, faith, Sir, nothing at all to what I can relate,----
[_Aside_] but the Devil a bit of Truth's in't. If any Man can
shew me a greater Lyer, or a more bragging Coxcomb than this
Blunderbuss, he shall take me, make me his Slave, and starve me
with Whey and Butter-milk-- Well, Sir?

_Pyr._ Where are you?

_Art._ Here, Sir:---- Wonderful! how you broke the great
_Indian_ Elephants Arm with your single Fist?

_Pyr._ What Arm?

_Art._ I wou'd ha' said Thigh.

_Pyr._ Pshaw, I did that with ease.

_Art._ By _Jove_, Sir, had you us'd your full Strength, you'd
ha' flead, gutted, and bon'd the huge Beast at once.

_Pyr._ I wou'd not ha' ye relate all my Acts at this time.

_Art._ Really, Sir, 'tis impossible to innumerate all your noble
Acts that I have been Spectator of.---- [_Aside._] 'Tis this
Belly of mine creates me all this Plagues. My Ears must bear
this Burden, for fear my Teeth shou'd want Work; and to every
Lye he tells, I must swear to.

_Pyr._ What was I going to say?------

_Art._ O, Sir, I know your meaning.---- 'Twas a noble Exploit;
I remember't very well.

_Pyr._ What was't?

_Art._ Whatever you perform'd, was so.

_Pyr._ Ha' ye a Table-Book here?

_Art._ D'ye want one, Sir?---- Here's a Pencil too.

_Pyr._ Thou'st ingeniously accommodated thy Sentiments to mine.

_Art._ O, 'tis my Duty to adapt my Manners to your Nod, and
always keep 'em within the compass of your Commands.

_Pyr._ Well, how many can you remember?

_Art._ I remember a hundred and fifty _Cilicians_, a hundred
_Sycolatronideans_, thirty _Sardeans_, and threescore
_Macedonians_, you slew in one day.

_Pyr._ And how many are there in all?

_Art._ Seven thousand.

_Pyr._ That's right. You're an excellent Arithmetician.

_Art._ I have 'em _in capite_, tho' not in black and white.

_Pyr._ Truly, a prodigious Memory!

_Art._ That's owing to your Table.

_Pyr._ As long as you proclaim my Honour, you shall never want
eating: my Table shall be always free to receive ye.

_Art._ Then in _Cappadocia_, Sir, where you wou'd ha' certainly
cut off five hundred Men, had not your Sword been a little
blunt; and those but the Relicts of the Infantry you had just
defeated,---- [_Aside_] if there were any such in being.---- But
why shou'd I mention these things, when the whole World knows
how much the mighty _Pyrgopolinices_ excels the rest of Mortals
in Valour, Beauty, and Renown'd Exploits. All the Ladies in Town
are ready to run mad for ye; troth, and all the reason i'the
World for't, since you've so charming a Countenance. As
yesterday, some of 'em catch'd me by the Cloak, and----

_Pyr._ Prithee, what did they say o' me? [_Smiling._

_Art._ They fell to questioning: _Prithee_, says one, _is n't
this the stout +Achillis?+ His Brother indeed_, quoth I. _Let me
dye_, says another, _if he be n't a wonderful handsome Man, how
nobly he looks, and how gracefully he wears his Hair! What a
prodigious Happiness 'tis to be his Bed-fellow!_

_Pyr._ Said she so, i' faith? [_Laughing._

_Art._ And more than that, begg'd of me, for God's sake, to get
ye to pass that way, that they might see how triumphantly you
march'd along.

_Pyr._ This same extraordinary Beauty brings a Man to
extraordinary Inconveniencies.

_Art._ Well, strangely importunate they were, they nothing but
begg'd, pray'd, and conjur'd me to bless 'em with a sight of ye;
nay, they sent for me so often, that I was sometimes forc'd to
neglect your Business.

_Pyr._ I think 'tis high time to be marching to the Piazza, and
pay off the Soldiers I listed yesterday; for the King was very
earnest with me to do him the favour of raising him some new
Levies. This day have I appointed to pay him a Visit.

_Art._ Let's be marching then.

_Pyr._ Guards, follow your Leader.

  _Exeunt omnes._

I need not make many Reflections upon this Scene; but for the
clearer perceiving of it, let us bring it to the Touch-stone of
Nature, that is, compare it with Terence, and shew how modestly he
has manag'd the same +Subject+ and +Characters+, to wit, his
+Thraso+ and +Gnatho+, in the beginning of the third Act of his

  _+Thraso+ and +Gnatho+._

_Thra._ Was the Lady so extremely thankful?

_Gna._ O, vastly, Sir.

_Thra._ And wonderfully pleas'd, say ye?

_Gna._ Really, Sir, not so much for the present as the honorable
Person who bestow'd it; and for that, Sir, she triumphs above

_Thra._ Truly, 'tis my peculiar Fortune, to have every thing I
do most gratefully receiv'd.

_Gna._ Faith, Sir, I've observ'd as much.

_Thra._ Why the King of _Persia_, whenever I did him a Kindness,
was extremely sensible of it: He was n't so to others.

_Gna._ A smart Tongue so well hung as yours, Sir, can obtain
that Glory with Ease which cost others so much Toil and Labour.

_Thra._ Right.

_Gna._ The Monarch has you in his Eye then?

_Thra._ Right again.

_Gna._ And wears you next his heart?

_Thra._ Very true: And trusts all his Army and Secrets to my

_Gna._ Prodigious!

_Thra._ Then if he happen'd to be tir'd with Company, or
fateagu'd with Business, and was desirous of Ease,---- as
tho',---- you know what I mean.

_Gna._ Yes, Sir:------ As tho, when he had a mind to clear his
Stomach, as a Man may say, of all Concerns,------

_Thra._ Right: Then was I his only Companion hand to fist.

_Gna._ Ay marry Sir! This is a Monarch indeed.

_Thra._ Oh! he's a Man of a thousand.

_Gna._ Yes, one of a million, if he chose you for his Companion.

_Thra._ All the Officers envy'd me, and grumbl'd at me behind my
back; but I valued it not: They envy'd me intolerably: But above
all, one who had the Charge o' the vast _Indian_ Elephants. One
day, this Fellow being more turbulent than the rest, I snap'd
him up; _Prithee Strato_, said I, _why art thou so fierce? Is't
because you're Lord o' the wild beasts?_

_Gna._ Neatly said, as I hope to live; and shrewdly. Bless me!
you overthrow Man and Beast.---- What said he, Sir?

_Thra._ Not a word.

_Gna._ Nay, I can't tell how he shou'd.

_Thra._ But, _Gnatho_, did I never tell you how sharp I was upon
a young _Rhodian_ Spark at a Feast?

_Gna._ Never, Sir; let's hear't, by all means.-- He has told it
me a thousand times. [_Aside._

_Thra._ Why this _Rhodian_ Spark I told ye of, was with me at a
Feast, where I happen'd to have a small Girl: This Stripling
began to be sweet upon her, and waggish upon me too. _How now,
you impudent Saucebox_, said I; _you're Man's meat your self,
and yet have a mind to a Tid-bit._

_Gna._ Ha, ha, he.

_Thra._ What's the matter, hah?

_Gna._ Very fine, sharp, and delicate; that cou'd not be mended.
But pray, Sir, was this your own? I took it for an old Jest.

_Thra._ Did you ever hear't before?

_Gna._ Often, Sir; and it takes to a miracle.

_Thra._ They're oblig'd to me for't.

_Gna._ I'm sorry tho', you were so sharp upon the foolish young
Gentleman. But pray, Sir, what did he say then?

_Thra._ He was quite dash'd out of Countenance; and the whole
Company ready to dye with laughing. After that, every body stood
in great awe of me.

_Gna._ And truly they had reason.

Here may be seen +Bragging+ and +Wheadling+ sufficiently, but still
Nature closely observ'd, and all its due proportions; whereas the
other has too much out-gone Probability, and strain'd his
+Characters+ to an extravagant pitch. I shall not criticise upon the
Particulars, but leave the Reader to judge their Differences; but
only I may observe, that when +Characters+ are carry'd too high, as
many of ours are, they may probably make an Audience laugh very
heartily, but can give 'em but small Pleasure; whereas others will
give 'em great Delight, tho' less Laughter.

I am afraid I have dwelt too long upon this Subject, therefore I
pass on to our Author's +Plots+. In that respect, he had not often
that +Art+ and +Management+ that +Terence+ had, nor in all his Plays
was so +regular+ as he; tho' in several he was, particularly in
those I have chosen. But then his Scenes were commonly less
languishing, his +Incidents+ more surprizing, and his +Surprizes+
more admirable; undoubtedly he had more of the +Vis comica+, which I
may translate +Liveliness of Intreague+, than +Terence+. His
+Subjects+ were all more +Simple+ than the other's, but I am apt to
believe, that will be reckon'd but a very small Commendation in our
Nation, who are but little Lovers of such thin Dyet, as they call
it. His +Narrations+ are more lively and sharp than those of
+Terence+'s, and, I think, every whit as natural and as well brought
in: I'm sure in some of 'em he can never be out-done as to his way
of bringing of 'em in. As for the General Rules of the Stage,
I refer the Reader to the Preface to +Terence+.

Our Author's principal Fault was, his mixing the +Representation+
with the +Theatral Action+ in many places, where he often makes his
Actors speak immediately and directly to the Spectators; a Fault
that +Terence+ was not wholly free from. This our modern Plays,
I think, are never guilty of; only in our +Monologues+ and +Asides+,
our Actors have got a custom of looking so full upon the Spectators,
that it seems but one degree better. But our Author is not guilty of
this in these three Plays, except in +Amphitryon+, and that by way
of +Prologue+, or of any other Faults but what, I believe, I have
shewn in my +Remarks+. And these that I have here chosen, are no
ways inferior to +Terence+'s in matters of +Plot+ and +Intreague+,
but in some respects superior, tho' not so elaborately wrought up,
or always with that Niceness; so that these may undoubtedly prove
excellent Models for our Poets Imitation, provided they observe
Differences of Tastes, Humours, Ages, and Persons, and keep to those
principal Beauties they already possess, some of which are
undoubtedly above the Ancients. Only +Terence+ will teach 'em one
thing that +Plautus+ does not, to wit, the great Cunning of working
in +Under-Plots+, and still preserving the +Unity of Action+; for
+Plautus+ has none of them. As for the Necessity of Rules, the
Objections against 'em, and the wonderful Perfection our Plays might
arrive to by a more close Observance of 'em, I must once more refer
my Reader to the Preface to +Terence+. It was principally upon the
Poets Account, and for all such as are desirous of understanding and
judging the Excellencies of Dramatick Poetry, that I translated
these Plays. If it be objected, that the Poets, Criticks, and
Lovers, as well as Judges of Dramatick Poetry, do most of 'em
understand the Original; I must deny the Truth of it, tho' several
of 'em do: But if they did, these will be much more proper for their
Design, especially by means of the +Notes+ and +Remarks+; and the
Reasons I urg'd for the translation of +Terence+, bear a greater
force in this Author, for here is a greater Obscurity, by reason of
corrupted Copies, wrong Points, false Divisions of whole Acts as
well as Scenes, besides a greater number of knotty and obscure
Passages, than in +Terence+.

Tho' this was my principal, it was not my only Design of translating
this Author, for I had all the way an Eye to School boys, and
Learners of the +Latin+ Tongue: Therefore, upon that account, I have
not only kept perfectly close to his Sence, but almost always to his
Words too; a thing not only extream difficult in an Author so
frequently verbose, but oftentimes dangerous too: And for an
Instance, I need not go any further than the very first Sentence of
the +Prologue+ to +Amphitryon+, which if I had made shorter, I cou'd
have made better. I can't forbear mentioning a Passage in the third
Act of the same Play, which just now comes to my remembrance:

  Nam certo si sis sanus, aut sapias satis,
  Quam tu impudicam esse arbitrare, & prædicas,
  Cum ea tu sermonem nec joco, nec serio
  Tibi habeas, nisi sis stultior stultissimo.

Which I have translated, perhaps, too closely thus; +I'm sure, had
ye either Wit, or Discretion, or weren't the greatest Fool in
Nature, you'd ne'er hold Discourse, either in Mirth or Earnest, with
the Woman you believe and declare a Strumpet.+ I'm confident many
other Translators wou'd not have been so scrupulously nice, but have
made shorter work of it. But I have not only been so scrupulous in
this Case, but I have likewise imitated all his Faults and
Imperfections, whenever I cou'd do it without extream Injury to the
Translation; I speak of his +Puns+, +Quibbles+, +Rhimes+, +Gingles+,
and his several ways of playing upon words; which indeed were the
Faults of his Age, as it was of ours in +Shakespear+'s and
+Johnson+'s days, and of which +Terence+, as correct as he is, is
not perfectly clear. Our Author's playing upon words are of that
various nature, and so frequent too, I need not go far for a single
Instance, which shall be in the fore part of the Prologue to

  Justam rem & facilem esse oratum à vobis volo.
  Nam juste ab justis sum orator datus.
  Nam injusta ab justis impetrare non decet:
  Justa autem ab injustis petere, insipientia 'st:
  Quippe illi iniqui jus ignorant, neque tenent.

Which I have translated thus: +I desire nothing but what's
reasonable, and feasible; for 'tis a reasonable God requires Reason
from a reasonable People; but to require Roguery from reasonable
People, is base; and to expect Reason from Rascals, is nonsence;
since such People neither know Reason nor observe it.+ Our Author's
Wit did many times consist in his playing upon Words; a great pity
indeed, for a person who was so well able to writ after a more
substantial way, of which we have many remarkable Instances. Besides
his Quibbling, partly from his Carelesness and Necessities, he hath
sometimes a vein of +Trifling+, which was but very indifferent; and
on those places the Reader must make some allowance for the
translation, and not expect more than the Matter will well bear. As
for our Author's +Jests+ and +Repartees+, for what we know of 'em,
I took a particular care in preserving their Force; and for the most
part, I presume, I have done it in a great measure, sometimes by a
lucky hit; or a peculiar happiness of our Tongue, other times by a
little Liberty taken, and when all have fail'd, the +Remarks+ have
generally supply'd the Defect, a way I was forc'd to content my self
withal in many places; the worse they were, they were frequently
more difficult to preserve, therefore I thought it as well to slur
over some few of the meaner sort. Several of his +Jests+ and bits of
+Satyr+ are undoubtedly lost to us, not only in respect of our
Language, but also our Knowledge, and this sometimes makes his
+Sence+ a little obscure. And as the +Sence+ of an Author ought to
be his Translator's chiefest Care, so it has been mine; and tho'
I cannot affirm, that I have kept to it in every passage, yet I
believe I have often done it where a common Reader will think I have
not; and I think it no commendation to my self to say I have hit it
on many places where the Common Interpreters have missed.

After all, I dare not pretend to say, that this Translation equals
the Original, for there is such a peculiar Air in this Author as
well as +Terence+, that our Tongue seems uncapable of, or at least
it does so to me. Yet still if 'twere always read with the Original,
it wou'd make far more for me than otherwise. In short, the Reader
ought to look upon this as a Translation of an Author who had
several Faults, and such places, as the +English+ must of necessity
appear mean, being little better in the Original; and likewise as an
Author of Antiquity, some of whose Customs and Manners will appear a
little uncouth and unsightly, in spight of all a Translator's Care.
I endeavour'd to be as like my Author as I cou'd, especially in that
which I reckon his distinguishing Character, to wit, the natural and
unaffected easiness of his Stile, and as this seems the most capable
of imitation, so I believe I have been more successful in this
Particular than in any other: and that is the main Reason I have had
so many Abbreviations, to make it appear still more like common
Discourse, and the usual way of speaking. Perhaps I may be thought
to have been too bold in that point, because I have had some that
are not usual in Prose; therefore I don't set this way as a Copy for
any one to follow me in, nor shall I use it myself in any other
Piece. I have all the way divided the +Acts+ and +Scenes+ according
to the true Rules of the Stage, which are extreamly false in all the
Editions of this Author, especially the +Scenes+.

To make this Translation the most useful that I cou'd, I have made
+Remarks+ upon each Play, and those are of two sorts, tho' equally
intermix'd: The first, to shew the Author's chief Excellencies as to
his Contrivance and Management of his +Plots+ and +Incidents+; the
second, to discover several Beauties of +Stile+ and +Wit+,
principally such as are not very clear, or cannot well be preserv'd
in our Tongue; and those are likewise to vindicate my Translation.
Several of these I must own my self oblig'd to Madam +Dacier+ for,
or at least the hint, tho' some of 'em I cou'd not have miss'd of in
the prosecution of those Designs I aim'd at. I have borrow'd little
or nothing from any other, for her's are far the best +Notes+ I ever
met with, tho' many of 'em were done more to shew her Parts and
Reading than for any real use, a thing which I shall never aim at.
I have been forc'd in most of 'em to be extream nice and curious in
penetrating into the bottom of the Author, for I find it far more
difficult to discover a Beauty than a Fault. I might have enlarg'd
upon 'em, and have made several more, with good grounds, but I
thought it dangerous to say all that cou'd be said; but instead of
that I was forc'd, much against my will, to dash out several of
those upon +Amphitryon+ upon the account of the Printer, but the
rest are more full and compleat.

If business wou'd have permitted me, I shou'd have ventur'd upon
three more of our Authors Plays; and upon that Account, I have taken
somewhat less time than was necessary for the translating such an
extraordinary difficult Author; for this requires more than double
the time of a +Historian+ or the like, which was as much as I cou'd
allow my self. I made choice of these three Plays as well for their
+Modesty+ as +Regularity+, for above all things I wou'd by no means
give the least Encouragement to Lewdness or Obscenity, which grow
too fast of themselves; and therefore I thought I cou'd not chuse
better than after a Lady. +Amphitryon+ had the Name, and never
fail'd of a general Approbation; +Epidicus+ was our Author's
Favourite, and truly there is much Art in it, tho' it is a little
heavy; and +Rudens+ is in several respects a better Play than any of
+Plautus+'s or +Terence+'s. I'm afraid +Amphitryon+ will bear the
worse in our Tongue, upon the Account of Mr. +Dryden+'s, whose
Improvements are very extraordinary; but considering Mr. +Dryden+'s
Management is of such a different Nature, this will still be as
useful and as proper for my +Design+, or at least to School-boys and
Learners. I must do that great Man the Justice in saying, that he
has not only much improved the +Humour+, +Wit+, and +Design+ in many
places, but likewise the +Thoughts+. I'll mention one, which just
now comes into my mind. +Alcmena+ in the Second Act complains thus:
+How poor and short are this Life's Pleasures, if once compar'd with
the Sorrows we endure? 'Tis Man's Destiny, and Heaven's Pleasure, to
mix our Joys with bitter Potions; and for some few Hours of
Satisfaction, we meet with Ages of Ills and Troubles.+ Mr. +Dryden+,
by the help of Blank Verse, and a little more room, has better'd it

  Ye niggard Gods! you make our Lives too long:
  You fill 'em with Diseases, Wants, and Woes,
  And only dash 'em with a little Love;
  Sprinkled by Fits, and with a sparing Hand.
  Count all our Joys, from Childhood ev'n to Age,
  They wou'd but make a Day of ev'ry Year:

And to carry it on further yet, and to make it appear more fine and
clear, he says,

  Take back your Sev'nty Years, (the stint of Life)
  Or else be kind, and cram the Quintessence
  Of Sev'nty Years into sweet Sev'nty Days:
  For all the rest is flat, insipid Being.

I mention this the rather, because it may serve for one Instance of
what Improvements our Modern Poets have made on the Ancients, when
they built upon their Foundations. For we find that many of the fine
things of the Ancients are like Seeds, that, when planted on
+English+ Ground by a Skilful Poet's Hand, thrive, and produce
excellent Fruit.

But I'm afraid this +Preface+ has been too long and tedious for this
small Piece; but the Press stays, and the hast I'm in will not
permit me to make it shorter, or so much as review it; yet before I
conclude, I must inform the Reader, that I had the Advantage of
another's doing their +P+lays before me; from whose Translation I
had very considerable Helps, especially in the +Jests+ and

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16. Henry Nevil Payne, _The Fatal Jealousie_ (1673).  [16916]

18. Anonymous, "Of Genius," in _The Occasional Paper_, Vol. III, No. 10
(1719), and Aaron Hill, Preface to The Creation (1720).  [15870]


19. Susanna Centlivre, _The Busie Body_ (1709).  [16740]

20. Lewis Theobald, _Preface to the Works of Shakespeare_ (1734).

22. Samuel Johnson, _The Vanity of Human Wishes_ (1749), and two
_Rambler_ papers (1750).  [13350]

23. John Dryden, _His Majesties Declaration Defended_ (1681).  [15074]


26. Charles Macklin, _The Man of the World_ (1792).  [14463]


31. Thomas Gray, _An Elegy Wrote in a Country Churchyard_ (1751), and
_The Eton College Manuscript_.  [15409]


41. Bernard Mandeville, _A Letter to Dion_ (1732).  [29478]


98. _Select Hymns Taken Out of Mr. Herbert's Temple_ (1697).


104. Thomas D'Urfey, _Wonders in the Sun_; or, _The Kingdom of the
Birds_ (1706).


110. John Tutchin, _Selected Poems_ (1685-1700).  [_In Preparation_]

111. Anonymous, _Political Justice_ (1736).

112. Robert Dodsley, _An Essay on Fable_ (1764).

113. T. R., _An Essay Concerning Critical and Curious Learning_ (1698).

114. _Two Poems Against Pope_: Leonard Welsted, _One Epistle to Mr. A.
Pope_ (1730), and Anonymous, _The Blatant Beast_ (1742).  [21499]


115. Daniel Defoe and others, _Accounts of the Apparition of Mrs. Veal_.

116. Charles Macklin, _The Covent Garden Theatre_ (1752).  [_In

117. Sir George L'Estrange, _Citt and Bumpkin_ (1680).  [_In Preparation_]

118. Henry More, _Enthusiasmus Triumphatus_ (1662).

119. Thomas Traherne, _Meditations on the Six Days of the Creation_

120. Bernard Mandeville, _Aesop Dress'd or a Collection of Fables_
(1704).  [_In Preparation_]


122. James MacPherson, _Fragments of Ancient Poetry_ (1760).  [8161]

123. Edmond Malone, _Cursory Observations on the Poems Attributed to
Mr. Thomas Rowley_ (1782).  [29116]

124. Anonymous, _The Female Wits_ (1704).  [_In Preparation_]

125. Anonymous, _The Scribleriad_ (1742). Lord Hervey, _The Difference
Between Verbal and Practical Virtue_ (1742).  [_In Preparation_]

126. _Le Lutrin: an Heroick Poem, Written Originally in French by
Monsieur Boileau: Made English by N. O._ (1682).

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127-128. Charles Macklin, _A Will and No Will, or a Bone for the
Lawyers_ (1746). _The New Play Criticiz'd, or The Plague of Envy_
(1747). Introduction by Jean B. Kern.  [_In Preparation_]

129. Lawrence Echard, Prefaces to _Terence's Comedies_ (1694) and
_Plautus's Comedies_ (1694). Introduction by John Barnard.
[_Present Text_]

130. Henry More, _Democritus Platonissans_ (1646). Introduction by P. G.
Stanwood.  [_In Preparation_]

131. John Evelyn, _The History of . . . Sabatai Sevi . . . The Suppos'd
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Errata (noted by transcriber)

_In the Prefaces, errors were corrected only if a later edition showed
the same correction._

_Editor's Introduction_

  under the imprint of Thomas Salusbury [_spelling is correct_]
  another's doing their [i.e., "these"?] Plays before me
    [_this and following bracketed notes are in the original_]

_Preface to Terence_

  vix de demenso suo, suum defraudans genium
    [demcuso ... defrudans]
  Eheu me miseram!  [Ehen]
  ni unum desit [de sit]
  perfectly just, truly proportionably  [. for,]
  he never fails in any one place, but  [. for,]
  why he goes off, where he's a going  [goes of]
  the whole cou'dn't contain above Eleven hours  [about Eleven hours]
  for such inferior Persons, we leave to others.  [. invisible]
  or to say very little, as  'twas agreeable to them
    [_s in "as" invisible_]
  In some things they are too short, in others too long  [. for,]
  _School-Masters_ often want time, and now and then Judgment
      [time. and now then and]
  some hints we had from the _French_, but  [. for,]
  _Odiosus_, _Tristis_, &c. these we
    [_missing ; or : after "&c.", OR error for "These"_]
  They may possibly take 'em for Blunders  [' missing or invisible]
  but we have better offend this way than the other  [beeter]

_Preface to Plautus_

  due Observance and Penetration  [Penitration]
  Exit +Euclio+. [Eudio]
  And besure you secure the Door  [_spacing as shown_]
  For the Reader's Satisfaction, here follows  [he follows]

_Augustan Reprints_

  and 30 -- in Great Britain and Europe  [_unchanged_]

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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.