THIS Play had been sooner in Print, but for a Report about the Town (made by some either very Malitious or very Ignorant) that ’twas Thomaso alter’d; which made the Book-sellers fear some trouble from the Proprietor of that Admirable Play, which indeed has Wit enough to stock a Poet, and is not to be piec’t or mended by any but the Excellent Author himself; That I have stol’n some hints from it may be a proof, that I valu’d it more than to pretend to alter it: had I had the Dexterity of some Poets who are not more expert in stealing than in the Art of Concealing, and who even that way out-do the Spartan–Boyes I might have appropriated all to myself, but I, vainly proud of my Judgment hang out the Sign of ANGELICA (the only Stol’n Object) to give Notice where a great part of the Wit dwelt; though if the Play of the Novella were as well worth remembring as Thomaso, they might (bating the Name) have as well said, I took it from thence: I will only say the Plot and Bus’ness (not to boast on’t) is my own: as for the Words and Characters, I leave the Reader to judge and compare ’em with Thomaso, to whom I recommend the great Entertainment of reading it, tho’ had this succeeded ill, I shou’d have had no need of imploring that Justice from the Critics, who are naturally so kind to any that pretend to usurp their Dominion, they wou’d doubtless have given me the whole Honour on’t. Therefore I will only say in English what the famous Virgil does in Latin: I make Verses and others have the Fame.
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