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heart when I speak of your Grace; and I am now writ. ing to the only person to whom such a panegyric would be displeasing; therefore I shall beg leave to conclude with the highest on myself, by affirming that it is my greatest ambition to be thought,
and most obedient humble servant,
ORIGINALLY PLAUTUS, secondarily MOLIERE, thirdly SHADWELL, and fourthly our incomparable Henry FIELDING, have dramatised this subject.
The present Play is that of the latter of these gentlemen---It is a free spirited translation, and keeps possession of the Stage.
To the mere translator of foreign productions but slender praise can be afforded ---but when translation is performed by original genius, it acquires a native character, differing much from the unnatural favour of forced exotics. Who would not, for instance, highly value a copy from MichAEL ANGELO, by REYNOLDS?
We know not whether the passion is not driven further than observation upon life will warrant; but something must be allowed for the production of strong comic effect.
Written by a FRIEND.
Too long the slighted Comic Muse has mourn'd,
Happy our English bard if your applause