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To the Right Honorable
CH A R L E S
Lord HALLIFA X.
My LORD, F I could have the Vanity to make a Merit
of Dedicating this TRAGEDY, I should here take an Opportunity of telling You, that I am, in this, endeavouring to make the best, and only Return I am capable of, for all those Marks of exceeding Goodness and Humanity, which I have still had the Honor to meet with from Your Lordship. But since the Matter is quite otherwise, since it is highly to my Advantage to shelter myself under so great a Name; since I have done myself so much Honor by, it; I am bound to own, with all the Gratitude I am
capable of, that Your Lordship's Patronage is a new, and will be a lasting Obligation upon me.
Most kinds of Poetry, but especially TRAGEDIES, come into the World now, like Children born under ill Stars; a general Indifference, or rather Disinclination, attends like a bad Influence upon them; and after having bustled through ill Usage, and a short Life, they sleep and are forgotten. The Relish of Things of this kind is certainly very much altered from what it was fome Time since; and though I will not presume to censure other People's Pleasures, and prescribe to the various Tastes of Mankind; yet I will take the Liberty to say, that those who fcorn to be entertained like their Fore-fathers, will hardly substitute fo reasonable a Diversion in the Room of that which they have laid aside. I could wish there were not so much Reason as there is to attribute this Change of Inclinations, to a Disefteem of Learning itself. Too many People are apt to think, that Books are not necessary to the finishing the Character of a fine Gentleman; and are