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MAID OF THE MILL;
A COMIC OPERA,
IN THREE ACTS;
BY ISAAC BICKERSTAFF.
AS PERFORMED AT THE THEATRES ROYAL,
DRURY LANE AND COVENT GARDEN.
PRINTED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE MANAGERS
FROM TAE PROMFT BOOK.
BY MRS. INCHBALD,
PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORM2,
This opera is the production of the author of " Love in a Village," and many other popular works.
In his Dedication of “ The Maid of the Mill,” to his Royal Highness, William, the late Duke of Gloucester, the writer has endeavoured to vindicate the just claim of comic operas to be acknowledged for a junior offspring of the drama; and founds his argument upon the entertainment they give, the relief they afford to tragedies and comedies, and the ex. ample of the theatres in France; where, he boldly asserts, that “ the stage has been cultivated with more care and success than in
other country.” The reader of this opera will observe, before he has proceeded far in the book, that the fable is taken from Richardson's famous novel of “ Pamela.” Characters and incidents are likewise borrowed from that well-known story, with the mere addition of a little dramatic art.
Ralph, and his vagrant companions, seem indeed exempt from this imitation, and to be creatures of the author's own imagination : but their origin is also from Richardson; for, in the novel, Goodman Andrews is said to have once had an idle son; and there is