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As some unhappy wight at some new play,
At the pit door stands, elbowing away,

While oft, with many a smile, and many a shrug,
He eyes the center, where his friends sit snug ;
His simpering friends, with pleasure in their eyes,
Sink as he sinks, and as he rises, rise :

He nods, they nod: he cringes, they grimace;
But not a soul will budge to give him place.
Since then, unhelp'd, our bard must now conform
"To 'bide the pelting of this pit'less storm,"
Blame where you must, be candid where you can,
And be each critic the Good-natur'd Man.

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DEDICATION.

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.

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