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THE

PREF A C E.

AVING recommended this

Play to the Town, and deH

livered the Copy of it to the Bookseller, I think my

self obliged to give fome Account of it.

It had been some Years in the Hands of the Author, and falling under my Perusal, I thought so well of it, that I persuaded him to make some Additions and Altera. tions to it, and let it appear upon the Stage. I own I was very highly pleased with it, and lik'd it the better, for the want of those studied Similes and Repartees, VOL. II.

H 2

which

which we, who have writ before him, have thrown into our Plays, to indulge and gain upon a false Taste that has prevailed for many Year's in the British Theatre. I believe the Author would have condescended to fall into this way a little more than he has, had he before the writing of it been often present at Theatrical Representations. I was confirmed in my Thoughts of the Play, by the Opinion of better Judges to whom it was communicated, who observed that the Scenes were drawn after Moliere's Manner, and that an easy and natural Vein .of Humour ran through the whole.

I do not question but the Reader will discover this, and fee many Beauties that escaped the Audience; the Touches being too delicate for every Taste 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 Strokes were not strong enough to appear at a distance. As ic is not in the common way of writing, the Approbation was at first doubtful, but has risen every time it has

been

been Acted, and has given an Opportunity in several of its Parts for as just and good Action as ever I saw on the Stage.

The Reader will consider that I speak here, not as the Author, but as the Patentee. Which is, perhaps, the Reason why I am not diffuse in the Praise of the Play, left I should seem like a Man who cries up his own Wares only to draw. in Customers,

RICHARD STEELE.

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