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SHERWOOD, GILBERT, AND PIPER,

PATERNOSTER-ROW.

1830.

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PREFACE.

No man has a right to increase the number of books without assigning a reason for it -well for bim if this be a good and cogent one: he may encumber the warehouse, but must not hope to infest the shelves without rebuke.

A new edition of the comedies of Foote being deemed necessary by the booksellers, they desired me to look after it at the press, to correct the errors that had crept into preceding impressions, and to prefix somewhat as to his life and character: indeed, to perform that which was proper, and necessary, and

usual in such cases.

The author of ". The

Author” and “The Minor" stood in need of

all these helps to posterity; for, he had not been more calumniated in his life-time than misrepresented, post mortem, by slovenly printers. Perhaps, the copy might be in a bad state from which they composed: those plays sent to press under his own eye, never met bis pen, probably, afterward; and those which his assignees, the Colmans, “committed” to the same place, not only did not find it “quite correct” there, mais tout-a-fait contraire.” Of the first description, there were eleven pieces, of the second, eight; every reprint preserving the errors of the preceding edition, and augmenting these by its own blunders. This slovenliness extended its balefulness to every department of the office, some of the copies being so mackled at press that they become, in this day of elegant and chaste typography, great curiosities to the virtuoso.

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