Page:An apology for the life of Mr. Colley Cibber - Lowe 1889 - Volume 1.djvu/13

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PREFACE.

COLLEY CIBBER'S famous Autobiography has always been recognized as one of the most delightful books of its class; but, to students of theatrical history, the charm of its author's ingenuous frankness has been unable altogether to overweigh the inaccuracy and vagueness of his treatment of matters of fact. To remove this cause of complaint is the principal object of the present edition. But correcting errors is only one of an editor's duties, and by no means the most difficult. More exacting, and almost equally important, are the illustration of the circumstances surrounding the author, the elucidation of his references to current events, and the comparison of his statements and theories with those of judicious contemporaries. In all these particulars I have interpreted my duty in the widest sense, and have aimed at giving, as far as in me lies, an exhaustive commentary on the "Apology."

I am fortunate in being able to claim that my work contains much information which has never before been made public. A careful investigation