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TO

MY DESERVINGLY HONOURED,

JOHN WYRLEY, ESQUIRE,

AND TO THE VIRTUOUS AND RIGHT WORTHY GENTLEWOMAN,

MRS MARY WYRLEY,

HIS WIFE, THIS SERVICE.

my defect.

The inequality of retribution turns to a pity, when there is not ability sufficient for acknowledgment. Your equal respects may yet admit the readiness of endeavour, though the very hazard in it betray

I have enjoyed freely acquaintance with the sweetness of your dispositions, and can justly account, from the nobleness of them, an evident distinction betwixt friendship and friends. The latter (according to the practice of compliment) are usually met with, and often without search: The other, many have searched for, I have found. For which, though I partake a benefit of the fortune, yet to you, most equal pair, must remain the honour of that bounty. In presenting this issue of some less serious hours to your tuition, I appeal from the severity of censure to the mercy of your judgments; and shall rate it at a higher value than when it was mine own, if you

only allow it the favour of adoption. Thus, as your happiness in the fruition of each other's love proceeds to a constancy, so the truth of mine shall apó pear less unshaken, as you shall please to continue in your good opinions

John Ford.

PROLOGUE.

LANGUAGE and matter, with a fit of mirth,
That sharply savours more of air than earth,
Like midwives, bring a play to timely birth.

But where's now such a one, in which these three,
Are handsomely contriv'd ? or, if they be,
Are understood by all who hear to see.

Wit, wit's the word in fashion, that alone
Cries up the poet, which, though neatly shewn,
Is rather censur'd, oftentimes, than known.

He who will venture on a jest, that can
Rail on another's pain, or idly scan
Affairs of state, oh! he's the only man.

A goodly approbation, which must bring
Fame with contempt, by such a deadly sting!
The muses chatter, who were wont to sing.

Your favours in what we present to day,
Our fearles aạthor boldly bids me say,
He tenders you no satire, but a play ;

In which, if he so have not hit all right,
For wit, words, mirth, and matter as he might,
He wishes yet he had, for your delight.

MR BIRD *.

* Whether Theophilus Bird was the author of this Prologue, or whether he spoke it at the first appearance of the comedy, cannot be decided. His name is subjoined in a similar manner to the Prologue prefixed to the Witch of Edmonton ; and, in conjunction with Pennycuick, he published the Suns Darling, both in this volume. He was one of the players who, surviving VOL. II,

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the downfal of movarchy, and, at the same time, the destruction of dramatic representation, were forced, by editing the plays they had till then retained in manuscript, to obtain that livelihood which they could no longer find on the stage. Bird is mentioned as a celebrated player at the Cock-pit along with Perkins, Bowyer, Sumner, Allen, and Robins, in Wright's Historia Histrionica, 1699. He also published, in conjunction with several other comedians, the first folio editiou of Bequmont and Fletcher's plays, which appeared in 1647.

DRAMATIS PERSONA.

AURIA, a noble Genoese.
ADURNI, a young lord.
Aurelio, friend to AURIA.
Malfato, a discontented lover.
TRELCATIO,
MARTINO,
PIERO,
FUTELLI,

dependents on ADURNI. Guzman, a braggadoccio Spaniard. Fulgoso, an upstart gallant. BENATZI, husband to LEVIDOLCHE.

} citizens of Genoa. }

SPINELLA, wife to Auria.
CASTANNA, her sister.
AMORETTA, a fantastic maid.
LEVIDOLCHE, a wanton.

The Scene. Genoa

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