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He eyes the centre, 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 pitiless storm,1
Blame where you must, be candid where you can,
And be each critic the Good-Natur'd Man.

[King Lear, Act III. Sc. 4.]

1

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER:

OR,

THE MISTAKES OF A NIGHT

A COMEDY

[She Stoops to Conquer was produced at Covent Garden, Monday, the 15th March, 1773. It was played twelve times before the conclusion of the season (31st May), the tenth representation (5th May) being commanded by the King and Queen. On the 26th March it was published in octavo by Francis Newbery, at the corner of St. Paul's Churchyard, with the following title:— She Stoops to Conquer: or, The Mistakes of a Night. A Comedy. As it is acted at the Theatre-Royal in Covent Garden. Written by Doctor Goldsmith. The price was one shilling and sixpence. The present reprint is from the fourth edition which appeared in the same year as the first.]

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 honour 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.1 The undertaking a comedy, not merely sentimental, was very dangerous 2; 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,3 I have every reason to be grateful. I am, dear sir,

Your most sincere friend
And admirer,

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

[Johnson had throughout befriended the play, and had been mainly instrumental in inducing Colman to produce it.]

[Because of the popularity of genteel or sentimental comedy. [I..., when, owing to holidays and actors' benefits, there could not be many representations.]

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