The reform'd wife a comedy, as it is acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury Lane.
Burnaby, William, 1672 or 3-1706.
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I don't know whether I have more reason to be pleas'd or griev'd at the Fate of this Play; for the World is ve∣ry jealous of applause, and he is sure to make a great many Enemies, that is so unfortunate to succeed.

Some have already done me the Honour to say, that it was not all Mine; tho' I am surpriz'd at the imputation, that what I once believed too great a Dowdy to belong to ev'n my self; should deserve to be thought another's! But the uneasy Criticks, upon a nearer view of its Features, have mortify'd me, and more judiciously concluded, that no Body wou'd own it but my self.

All that I shall say to these last is, that I did not design a just Play, and that I am as well pleas'd as they are, that I had no regard to the Vnities of Action, &c. but if I di∣verted my Friends, without offending the Ladies, I have my wish.

These angry Gentlemen, I presume, will thank me for one thing, in the Third Act, and that is, I have put a Pun in the Mouth of the fine Lady; a Gentleman very remarkable for his good Nature and good Sence; told me of it before it was Acted, but he agreed with me, to allow the Folly, for the sake of the Diversion; it succeeded as we guest, and was always Clap'd.

Page  [unnumbered]I confess I have had some grave Thoughts on the Occasion of such Labours, and methinks 'tis very strange, that the chief thing, that flatters the vanity of most Writers, is, what they can't know, for Fame is a good that never arrives to us till we are past injoying it, and we are only immortal when we are no more; as for my self, I presume, it will appear by what I have done, that I as little value, as deserve, that Honour, notwithstanding I don't doubt, but I shall be yet be∣liev'd to have my share of the vanity; and that 'twill always be one reason of writing, to be thought a little wiser than we are

—Vivimus ambitiosa,
Paupertate omnes—