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THE

PREFACE.

HA

AVING recommended this play to the town, and delivered the copy of it to the bookseller, I think myself obliged to give some account of it.

It had been fome years in the hands of the author, and falling under my perufal, I thought fo well of it, that I perfuaded him to make fome additions and alterations to it, and let it appear upon the stage. I own I was very highly pleafed with it, and liked it the better, for the want of those studied fimilies and repartees, which we, who have writ before him, have thrown into our plays, to indulge and gain upon a falfe taste that has prevailed for many 15

years

years in the British theatre. I believe the author would have condefcended to fall into this way a little more than he has, had he before the writing of it been often prefent at theatrical reprefentations. I was confirmed in my thoughts of the play, by the opinion of better judges to whom it was communicated, who obferved that the scenes were drawn after Moliere's manner, and that an eafy and natural vein of humour ran through the whole,

I do not queftion but the reader will difcover this, and fee many beauties that efcaped the audience; the touches being too delicate for every tafte in a popular affembly. My brother-sharers were of opinion, at the first reading of it, that it was like a picture in which the ftrokes were not trong enough to appear at a distance. As it is not in the common way of writing, the approbation was at firft, doubtful, but has

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rifen every time it has been acted, and has given an opportunity in feveral of its parts for as juft and good action as ever I faw on the stage.

The reader will confider that I fpeak here, not as the author, but as the patentee. Which is, perhaps, the reason why I am not diffufe in the praise of the play, left I should seem like a man who cries up his own wares only to draw in customers.

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