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hitherto, in me, aimed at any thrift: yet I have ever honoured virtue, as the richest ornament to the noblest titles. Endeavour of being known to your Lordship, by such means, I conceive no ambition; the extent being bounded by humility: so neither can the argument appear ungracious; nor the writer, in that, without allowance. You enjoy, my Lord, the general suffrage, for your freedom of merits: may you likewise please, by this particular presentment, amongst the number of such as faithfully honour those merits, to admit, into your noble construction,

JOHN FORD.

2

* Amongst the number of such as faithfully honour those merits, to admit, &c.] The 4to has-“ Among the number of such as I faithfully honour those merits, &c.” which to me is unintelligible. There can be little doubt that the pronoun was inserted through mistake, or misapprehension of the poet's meaning; most probably the latter.

There is something pleasing in this short Dedication. It displays a spirit of independence very honourable to the poet, and yet is sufficiently respectful to his patron.

PROLOGUE.

The Fancies! that's our play; in it is shown
Nothing, but what our author knows his own
Without a learned theft; no servant here
To some fair mistress, borrows for his ear,
His lock, his belt, his sword, the fancied grace
Of any pretty ribbon; nor, in place
Of charitable friendship, is brought in
A thriving gamester, that doth chance to win
A lusty sum ; while the good hand doth ply him,
And FANCIES this or that, to him sits by him.
His free invention runs but in conceit
Of mere imaginations; there's the height
Of what he writes; which if traduced by some,
'Tis well, he says, he’s far enough from home.
For you, for him, for us, then this remains,
Fancy your own opinions, for our pains.

3 Fancy your own opinions.] The old copy reads, “ Fancy your even opinions.” Ford appears to have been on the continent when this piece was first given to the stage:

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

Octavio, marquis of Sienna.
TROYLO-SAVELLI, his nephew.
Livio, brother to CASTAMELA.
ROMANELLO, (Pragniolo,) brother to Flavia.
JULIO DE VARANA, lord of Camerino.
CAMILLO,

attendants on Julio. FABRICIO, a merchant, Flavia's first husband.

attendants on the Secco, a barber,

marquis. SPADONE,

VESPUCCI,

}

NITIDO, a page,

CASTAMELA, sister to Livio.
CLARELLA,
Silvia,

The FANCIES.
FLORIA,
Flavia, wife to Julio.
Morosa, guardianess to the FANCIES.

THE SCENE-Sienna.

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