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Way of the World,
COM E D Y.
As it is Acted at the
Audire est Operæ pretium, procedere rette
Hor. Sat.2. 1.1.
The SECOND EDITION, Revised.
L O N D ON:
Crown in St. Paul's Church-yard, George Strahan over against
, and Egbert Sanger at the
To the Right Honourable
RALPH Earl of MOUNT AGUE, &f.
Hether the World will arraign me of Vanity, or not, that
I have presum'd to Dedicate this Comedy to Your Lord
ship, I am yet in Doubt: Tho' it may be it is some degree of Vanity even to doubt of it. One who has at any time had che Honour of Your Lordship’s Conversation, cannot be suppos'd to think very meanly of that which he would prefer to your Perufal: Yet it were to incur the Imputation of too much Šufficiency, to pretend to such a Merit as might abide the Teft of Your Lordship's Cenfure.
Whatever Value may be wanting to this Play while yet it is mine, will be sufficiently made up to it, when it is once become Your Lordship’s; and it is my Security, that I cannot have over-rated it more by my Dedication, than Your Lordship will dignifie it by Your Patronage.
That it succeeded on the Stage, was almost beyond my Expeetacion; for but little of it was prepar'd for that general Taste which seems now to be predominant in the Pallats of our Audience.
Those Characters which are meant to be ridicul'd in most of our Comedies, are of Fools so gross, that in my humble Opinion, they should rather disturb than divert the well-narur'd and reflecting Part of an Audience; they are rather Objects of Charity than Contempt; and inftead of moving our Mirch, they ought very often to excite our Compassion.
This Reflection mov'd me to design fome Characters, which should appear ridiculous not so much chro' a natural Folly (which is incorrigible, and therefore not proper for the Stage) as thro' an affected Wit; a Wit, which at the same time that it is affccted,