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TO THE

RIGHT HONOURABLE

LADY SCARSDAL E.

Madam,

I KNOW not whether mankind at present can be said to have less vanity; but of this I am certain, that they have infinitely more delicacy than formerly. Then Dedicators met with few difficulties in addressing their Patrons; they made them every thing that was wise and good; and their Patrons in return, though they might not approve the production, yet gave the Authors an entire credit, for a clear insight into individual perfections; but contraband traffic brings many a good trade into disrepute, and a fair dealer has now not even an opportunity of vending his just merchandize. How hard then is the condition of us modern Dedicators! To lavish encomiums where they are not due, is not the fashion of the times ; and now (when the subject demands, and there is the fairest opportunity of expatiating on the most exemplary character) I have your Ladyship’s expresss prohibition against it; but public disorders frequently bring the seeds of remedy along with them. If I had spoken as I ought, it had been called an universal opinion, and your Ladyship perceives by this address, that I affect singularity; but should I in the least have failed, the world would have loudly exclaimed that I had said too little, and your Ladyship would still more unjustly have censured me for having said too much.

Have the honour to be,

with the greatest respect,

your Ladyship's sincere friend

and obliged servant,

JOSEPH CRADOCK

PREFACE

TO THE FOURTH EDITION.

Zobeide was introduced at Covent Garden Theatre by Mrs. Yates. It was taken in part from an unfinished Tragedy, entitled,

« Les Scythes,” by Mons. de Voltaire, who, in consequence of its completion, was pleased to honour the author with an English letter and coupiet, which are now prefixed. The Play was received with very great applause, and had a full run, which may be attributed to the excellent acting of Mrs. Yates and Mr. Smith, as well as that of other performers, who made every possible exertion. It has now been revised and corrected, and may so far be more worthy of a critical perusal. The Prologue and Epilogue were supplied by the Author's kind friends, Dr. Gollsmith and Mr. Murphy.

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