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T has long been a just complainty that copies of
ficult to be procured, even at the exorbitant charge of one shilling each, the usual shop-price; and that many of them are often not to be procured for any price: A circumftance which arises chiefly from Booksellers having little inducement to keep any regular affortment of pieces. of this kind, the demand even for those of the first merit,, in a detached form, being inconsiderable and uncertain. These inconveniences first suggested the design of the present publication :. And as no Collection of the same kind has hitherto appeared, it is hoped this will meet. with a favourable reception from the PUBLIC; and will be peculiarly acceptable to those who are poffessed of a good Collection of Plays, to which it will form a proper Companion or Supplement, as including the principal. performances of a Garrick, a Foots, &c. printed in an elegant and uniform manner, and attainable at a mo.. derate expence.
The Volume now published is intended as a specimen; and will be followed by three, four, five, or more, if. the Publisher be encouraged to complete his Plan, which is meant to comprehend all the best petit pieces of the Stage that have appeared.
The several Pieces are printed entire, according to the last editions corrected by their respective authors; and, by the assistance of some gentlemen of taste and theatrical knowledge, those passages usually omitted in the repre.. sentation are uniformly diftinguished by inverted commas. Іт may
be proper to mention, that the different Vo. lumes are meant to be sold separately, as well as in fets; but that the particular pieces cannot be sold in the same way, as the manner of printing prevents their separation
AUGUST I. 1782
CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.