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It is with great pleasure I embrace this opportunity io acknowledge the favors I have received from you. Among others, I would mention in particular, the warmth with which you espoused this piece in its passage to the stage; but I am afraid it would be ihonght a compliment to your good-nature, 100 much at the expence of your judgment.
If what I now venture to lay before the public, is considered merely as a piece of dramatic writing, ic will certainly be found 10 have very litt e merit : in that light no one can think more inuifferently of ic than I do myself ; but I believe I may venture to assert, on your opinion, that some of the songs are tolerable ; that the music is more pleasing than has hitherto appeared in compositions of this kind ; and the words better adapted, considering the nature of the airs, which are not common ballads, than could be expected, supposing any degree of poetry to be preu served in the versification.
. More than this, few people expect in an Opera: andif some of the severer critics should be inclined to błanie your indulgence to one of the first attempts of a young writer, I am persuaded the publịc in general will applaud your endeavour to provide them with something new, in a species of entertainment in which the performers al your theatre so eminently excel.
You may perceive, Sir, that I yield a punctual observance to the injuncions you laid upon me, when I threatened you with this address, and make it rather a preface than a dedication: and jiet I must confess I can hardly reconcile those formalities which render it indelicate to pay praises where all the world allows them to be due; nor can I easily conceive why a man should be so studions to deserve what he does not desire: but since you will not allow me to offer any panegyric to you, I must hasten to bestow one upon myself, and let the public know (which was my chicf design in this introduction) that I have the happiness to be.
Your most obliged,
and most obedient servant. '
LOVE IN A VILLAGE.
Compiled from the Village Opera of Charles Johnson—and this musical Entertainment first appeared at Covent-Garden Theatre in 1763. Its success was nearly equal to that prodigy of fortune, the Beggar's Opera.
This piece is founded upon RURAL Life, and rural unacquaintance with the depravity of a metropolis. The characters are naturally drawn--the incidents have sufficient probability-It had the benefit of much delightful music from the composer, and the sweetest voices on the English stage have graced it by singing the airs of Rossetta, Young MEADOWS, and HawTHORN.
Mrs. BILLINGTON in this Opera, as in every other we listen to her in, throws the powers of her predecessors at an immeasurable distance : her tone, her taste, and musical science, are the pride of the British Opera.