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Interdum tamen & vocem Comoedia tollit.
Hor. Ar. Poet.
Huic equidem consilio palmam do ; hic me mag
nifice effero , qui vim tantam in me , & poteftatem habean tante aftutie , vera dicendo ut eos ambos fallam.
Syr in Terent. Heaut.
I Heartily with this Play were as perfect as I intended it, that it might be more worthy your Acceptance; and that my Dedication of it to you, might be more becoming that Honour and Efteem which I, with every Body, who is so fortunate as to know you , have for you. It had your Countenance when yet unknown; and now it is inade publick, it wants your Pro. tection
The Epistle Dedicatory. I would not have any body imagine , that I think this Play without its Faults , for I am conscious of several. I confess I defign'd ( whatever Vanity or Ambition occafion'd that design ) to have written a true and regular Comedy: but I found it an Undertaking wbich put me in mind of Sudet multum, frustraque laboret aufus idem. And now to make `Amends for the Va* nity of such a design , I do confess both the Attempt and the imperfect Perfor mance.
Yet I must take the Boldness to say, I have not miscarry'd in the whole ; for the Mechanical part of it is tegular. That I may say with as little Vanity, as a Builder may say he has built a House, according to the Model laid down before him ; or a Gardner that he has set his Flowers in a Knot of such or such a Figure. I design'd the Moral first, and to that Moral I invented the Fable; and do not know that I have borrow'd one Hint of it any where. I made the Plot as strong as I could, because it was single; and I made it single, because I would avoid Confusion, and was resolved to preferve the three Únities of the Drama. Sir, this Discourse is very impertinent to you, whose Judgement much better can discern the Faults, than I can excuse them ; and whose good-nature, like that of a Lover will find out those hidden Beauties (if there are any such ) which it wou'd be great Immodesty for me to discover. I think I don't speak improperly when I call you a Lover