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I need not inform your Royal Highness, that in France, where the stage has been cultivated with more care, and * success, than in any other country, this species of entertainment is received with very great applause; nor is it thought an injury to Corneille, and Moliere, that the pieces of Anseaume and Favart, meet with success.

It is true, among the French, Comic Operas have very often the advantage of being extremely well written; of which, On ne s’avise jamais de tout, Le Roy et le Fermier, and some others, are an instance; nor would the best composition of the greatest master, make a very contemptible poem pass on an audience: I wish I could assert with truth, that in this respect we fall nothing behind our neighbours, and that what I here present to your Royal Highness, might lay claim to some degree of merit, cven in the writing: but though I cannot do this, permit me to say, I have attempted to render it a little interesting, and not wholly undiverting, as far as the music, my principal care, would give me leave.

But I humbly beg your Royal Highness's pardon; in applying to the connoisseur, I forget that I am at the same time addressing a Great Prince : indeed, there is a subject on which I could dwell with the truest pleasure; but I am too well instructed in your Royal Highness's character, to dare to offend you with a language which forms and customs too often impose upon princes, a necessity of hearing; I mean their own praise; to those who are most deserving, ever least welcome.

* This assertion can never be admitted---He who prefers the tedious harangue of French Dramas to the business and passion of our own, will never write better than Bickerstaff.

THE EDITOR:

I therefore, subscribe myself,
With the profoundest respect,
May it please your Royal Highness,
Your Royal Highness's,
Most obedient,

Most devoted, and

Most humble servant,

THE AUTHOR.

B

ISAAC BICKERSTAFF.

Or this man little is known, and that little, unhappily, is not good. He is a native of the kingdom of Ireland, and, we believe, went out with Lord CHESTERFIELD as a private Secretary, when his Lordship was Lord Lieutenant.

We find him also an Officer of Marines, but he left the service with imputed infamy from practices at which humanity shudders, and decency hides the head.

It hurts us to pursue the narrative-an irreclaimable depravation of appetite rendered him an exile froin his country: in some foreign sink of debauchery and wretchedness, he perhaps even yet lingers, a striking monument of the absurdity of that maxim, which teaches, that an author's life may be best known in his Works.

The writings of BICKERSTAFF are uniformly marked with much purity and simplicity.--Had he lived as he wrote this little book were perfect

there would not then have been one Page which we could wish to Blor.

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His Dramatic Productions are in number 19. Leucothoe,

1756 The Hypocrite, Thomas and Sally, - 1760 The Ephesian Matron, - 1769 * Love in a Village, 1762 Dr. Last in bis Chariot, - 1766 * Maid of the Mill, 1765 Tbe Captive, Daphne and Amintor, - 1765 A School for Fatbers, 1770 Plain Dealer, 1766 Its Well its no Worse,

1770 Love in tbe City, 1767 The Recruiting Serjeant, Lionel and Clarissa, 1768 He Would if He Could,

1771 The Absent Man,

Sultana, (not printed.) *Tbe Padlock,

The pieces distinguished by Asterisks are all that now distinguish

this Author.

THE MAID OF THE MILL.

Like Pamela, is one of those delusions which frequently destroy the proper subordination of society. The village beauty, whose simplicity and innocence are her native charms, smitten with the reveries of rank and splendor, becomes affected and retired, disdaining her situation and every one about her. So much for the tendency of such pieces.

Dramatic exhibition has ever its force in proportion to the unacquaintance of the spectator with lifeits vraisemblance is more certain and striking to the artless RUSTIC, than the cultivated inhabitants of a capital.-I know no surer steps to corrupt the primitive simplicity of a village remote from the capital, than to introduce a Theatrical company-Romance among unfurnished heads makes dreadful havock indeed.

The literary merit of this piece (if it have any) is like that of the Novel from which it sprung. For laughter it has no food-Sentiment, insipid sentiment, gives it what colouring it has.—As a dramatic exhibition, the pleasure produced must be from its Music.

Either as considering its Dialogue or its Air, we think it much interior to the Author's Love IN A VILLAGE.

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