Bagi István, Wendell Berry, Michael Burch, Billy Collins, Russel Edson, Maggie Estep, Gary R. Ferris, Jorie Graham, Louise Glick, Erica Jong, Haron Esther Lampert, David Lehman, Thomas Lux, Sharon Olds, Jennifer Reeser, Wanda Phipps, Marge Piercy, Belinda
A preface to a play seems generally to be considered as a kind of closet-prologue, in which-if his piece has been successful-the author solicits that indulgence from the reader which he had before experienced from the audience: but as the scope and immediate object of a play is to please a mixed assembly in representation (whose judgment in the theatre at least is decisive,) its degree of reputation is usually as determined as public, before it can be prepared for the cooler tribunal of the study. Thus any farther solicitude on the part of the writer becomes unnecessary at least, if not an intrusion: and if the piece has been condemned in the performance, I fear an address to the closet, like an appeal to posterity, is constantly regarded as the procrastination of a suit, from a consciousness of the weakness of the cause. From these considerations, the following comedy would certainly have been submitted to the reader, without any farther introduction than what it had in the representation, but that its success has probably been founded on a circumstance which the author is informed has not before attended a theatrical trial, and which consequently ought not to pass unnoticed.
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