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the commonwealth, during the time of their abode at school; and shall take care that it shall be done with the same conveniencies as are enjoyed even by rich men's children (.though they maintain the fewer for that cause), there being nothing of eminent and illustrious to be expected from a low, sordid, and hospital-like education.


If I be not much abused by a natural fondness to my own conceptions (that crogyrj of the Greeks, which no other language has a proper word for), there was never any project thought upon, which deserves to meet with so few adversaries as this; for who can without impudent folly oppose the establishment of twenty well-selected persons in such a condition of life, that their whole business and sole profession may be to study the improvement and advantage of all other professions, from that of the highest general even to the lowest artisan? who shall be obliged to employ their whole time, wit, learning, and industry, to these four, the most useful that can be imagined, and to no other ends; first, to weigh, examine, and prove, all things of nature delivered to us by former ages; to detect, explode, and strike a censure through, all false monies with which the world has been paid and cheated so long; and (as I may say) to set the mark of the col


legc upon all true coins, that they may pass hereafter without any further trial: secondly, to recover the lost inventions, and, as it were, drowned lands of the ancients: thirdly, to improve all arts which we now have: and lastly, to discover others which we yet have not: and who shall, besides all this (as a benefit by the bye), give the best education in the world (purely gratis) to as many men's children as shall think fit to make use of the obligation? Neither does it at all check or interfere with any parties in a state or religion; but is indifferently to be embraced by all differences in opinion, and can hardly be conceived capable (as many good institutions have done) even of degeneration into any thing harmful. So that, all things considered, I will suppose this proposition shall encounter with no enemies: the only question is, whether it will find friends enough to carry it on from discourse and design to reality and effect; the necessary exponces of the beginning (for it will maintain itself well enough afterwards) being so great (though I have set them as low as is possible, in order to so vast a work), that it may seem hopeless to raise such a sum out of those few dead relicks of human charity and publick generosity which are yet remaining in the world.




* This comedy has considerable merit. The dialogue 13 easy enough, and many of the scenes pleasant. And, though the subject be farcical, and the plot too much in the Spanish taste of intrigue, I should, perhaps, have inserted the Cutter of Coleman street in the present collection, if, agreeably to the plan and purpose of this publication, I could have found room for so long a work. However, the Preface could by no means be omitted, as it serves to let us into the writer's character, and is written, throughout, in his own spirit.





A Comedy, called the Guardian, and made by nre when I was very young, was acted formerly at Cambridge; and several times after, privately, during the troubles, as I am told, with good approbation, as it has been lately too at Dublin. There being many things in it which I disliked, and finding myself for some days idle, and alone in the country, I fell upon the changing of it almost wholly, as now it is, and as it was played since at his Royal Highness's theatre under this new name. It met at the first representation with no favourable reception; and I think there was something of faction against it, by the early appearance of some meus' disapprobation before they had seen enough of it to build their dislike upon their judgment. Afterwards it got some ground, and found friends, as well as adversaries. In which condition I should willingly let it die, if the main imputation under which it suffered had been shot only against my wit or art in these matters, and not di

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