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TO

SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL. D.

DEAR SIR,

By inscribing this slight performance to you, I do not mean so much to compliment you as myself. It may do me some honor to inform the public, that I have lived many years in intimacy with you. It may serve the interests of mankind also to inform them, that the greatest wit may be found in a character, without impairing the most unaffected piety.

I have, particularly, reason to thank you for your partiality to this performance. The undertaking a comedy, not merely sentimental, was very dangerous; and Mr. Colman, who saw this piece in its various stages, always thought it so.* However, I ventured to trust it to the public; and, though it was necessarily delayed till late in the season, I have every reason to be grateful.

I am, dear Sir,
Your most sincere friend and admirer,

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

* (A few days before the first representation, Dr. Johnson wrote thus to a friend:-“

:-"Goldsmith has a new comedy in rehearsal at Covent Garden, to which the manager predicts ill-success. I hope he will be mistaken. I think it deserves a very kind reception.” Speaking on the same subject, in 1778, he said, “ Both Goldsmith's comedies were once refused: his first by Garrick, his second by Colman, who was prevailed on at last by much solicitation, nay, a kind of force, to bring it on."-See Boswell, vol. iï. p. 244.]

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* [Smith and Woodward, who were designed to play Young Marlow and Tony Lumpkin, threw up their parts. To this fanciful resignation Lee Lewis and Quick owed much of their early celebrity.]

PROLOGUE,

WRITTEN BY

DAVID GARRICK, ESQ.

Enter MR. WOODWARD, dressed in black, and holding a

handkerchief to his cyes.
Excuse me, Sirs, I pray-I can't yet speak-
I'm crying now—and have been all the week.
“'Tis not alone this mourning suit," good masters:
"I've that within"--for which there are no plasters!
Pray, would you know the reason why I'm crying?
The Comic Muse, long sick, is now a-dying !
And if she goes, my tears will never stop;
For as a player, I can't squeeze out one drop:
I am undone, that's all-shall lose my bread-
I'd rather, but that's nothing-lose my head.
When the sweet maid is laid upon the bier,
Shuter and I shall be chief mourners here.
To her a mawkish drab of spurious breed,
Who deals in sentimentals, will succeed !*

* {"When this piece was brought forward, the taste of the nation had sickened with a preposterous love for what was termed sentimental comedy; that is a dramatic composition, in which the ordinary business of life, which, in a free country like England, produces such a diversity of character, was to be superseded by an unnatural affectation of polished dialogue, in which the usages and singularities of the multitude were to be nearly, if not altogether rejected. Kelly and others were enforcing this principle with ardor, when Goldsmith planted the standard of Thalia on the boards of Covent Garden Theatre, and banished triumphantly those mawkish monsters of fashion, which were tending to make sentiment ridiculous, by dissolving its ties with common incidents, and thereby rendering it somewhat independent of social virtue, by weakening its moral interest.”—Biog. Dram., vol. iii. p. 263.]

Poor Ned and I are dead to all intents;
We can as soon speak Greek as sentiments !
Both nervous grown, to keep our spirits up,
We now and then take down a hearty cup.
What shall we do? If Comedy forsake us,
They'll turn us out, and no one else will take us.
But, why can't I be moral ?—Let me try-
My heart thus pressing-fix'd my face and eye-
With a sententious look, that nothing means,
(Faces are blocks in sentimental scenes,)
Thus I begin—"All is not gold that glitters,
Pleasures seem sweet, but prove a glass of bitters.
When ignorance enters, Folly is at hand:
Learning is better far than house and land.
Let not your virtue trip; who trips may stumble,
And virtue is not virtue, if she tumble."

I give it up—morals won't do for me;
To make you laugh, I must play tragedy.
One hope remains-hearing the maid was ill,
A Doctor comes this night to show his skill.
To cheer her heart, and give your muscles motion,
He, in Five Draughts prepar'd, presents a potion :
A kind of magic charm—for be assur’d,
If

you will swallow it, the maid is cur'd: But desp’rate the Doctor and her case is, If you reject the dose, and make wry faces ! This truth he boasts, will boast it while he lives, No pois'nous drugs are mix'd in what he gives. Should he succeed, you'll give him his degree; If not, within he will receive no fee! The college, you, must his pretensions back, Pronounce him Regular, or dub him Quack.

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER;

OR,

THE MISTAKES OF A NIGHT.

ACT FIRST.

SCENE-A Chamber in an old-fashioned House.

Enter Mrs. HARDCASTLE and MR. HARDCASTLE. Mrs. HARD. I vow, Mr. Hardcastle, you're very particular. Is there a creature in the whole country but ourselves, that does not take a trip to town now and then, to rub off the rust a little ? There's the two Miss Hoggs, and our neighbor Mrs. Grigsby, go to take a month's polishing every winter.

HARD. Ay, and bring back vanity and affectation to last them the whole year. I wonder why London cannot keep its own fools at home! In my time, the follies of the town crept slowly among us, but now they travel faster than a stage-coach. Its fopperies come down not only as inside passengers, but in the

very basket.

Mrs. HARD. Ay, your times were fine times indeed ; you have been telling us of them for many a long year. Here we

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