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MY TRUEST FRIEND, MY WORTHIEST KINSMAN,
JOHN FORD OF GRAYE'S INNE, Esq.
Tue title of this little work, my good cousin, is in senso but the argument of a dedication;' which, being in most writers a custom, in many a compliment, I question not but your clear knowledge of my intents will, in me, read as the earnest of affection. My ambition herein aims at a fair flight, borne up on the double wings of gratitude for a received, and acknowledgment for a continued love. It is not so frequent to number many kinsmen, and among them some friends, as to presume on some friends, and among them little friendship. But in every fulness of these particulars, I do not more partake through you, my cousin, the delight than enjoy the benefit of them. This inscription to your name is only a faithful deliverance to memory, of the truth of my respects to virtue, and to the equal in honour with virtue, desert. The contempt thrown on studies of this kind, by such as dote on their own singularity, hath almost só outfaced invention, and proscribed judgment, that it is more safe, more wise, to be suspectedly silent, than modestly confident of opinion, herein. Let me be bold to tell the severity of censurers, how willingly I neglect their practice, so long as I digress from no becoming thankfulness. Accept, then, my cousin, this witness to posterity of my constancy to your merits; for no ties of blood, no engagements of friendship, shall more justly live a precedent, than the sincerity of both in the heart of
1 The title of this little work, my good cousin, is in sense but the argument of a dedication,] i. e. Love's SACRIFICE. The affection between the cousins, appears to be mutual; for, on the appearance of Perkin Warbeck, this gentleman returned the compliment with an introductory copy of verses, which are neither the best nor the worst called forth by that drama.-GIFFORD.
2 Here is an allu on Prynne, who is also noticed by Shirley, in the complimentary verses prefixed to this play. That restless "paperworm, as Needham calls him, had the year before produced his Histriomastix, or Actors' Tragedy, to the sore annoyance of the stage; and was at this time before the Star-chamber for the scurrilous and libellous language in that “ voluminous” farrago of puritanic
There is a quaintness in the style of this little piece; but the frank and grateful tore of affection which it displays is truly pleasing. It is not his dramatic powers that Ford is solicitous to assert; but his respect to virtue and desert, and his boldness to avow and praise them in a dear relation.--GIFFORD.
PHILIPPO CARAFFÀ, Duke of Pavy.
Bianoa, the dutchess.
Attendants, Courtiers, Officers, fc.
SCENE, Pavy (Pavia).
ACT I. SCENE I.,
A Room in the Palace.
Enter Roseilli and FERNANDO. Ros. You are, my lord Fernando, late return'd From travels; pray instruct me:- :-since the voice of most supreme authority commands My absence, I determine to bestow Some time in learning languages abroad; Perhaps the change of air may change in me Remembrance of my wrongs at home: good sir, Inform me; say I meant to live in Spain, What benefit of knowledge might I treasure ?
Fern. 'Troth, sir, I 'll freely speak as I have found. In Spain you lose experience; 't is a climate Too hot to nourish arts;' the nation proud, And in their pride unsociable; the court More pliable to glorify itself
1 Fernando's character of the Spanish nation is somewhat tinctured with severity; yet not unjust in the main. James had, with much political foresight, and some success, strove to cultivate the friendship of Spain; but the culpable capriciousness of Charles, aggravated by the ruffian insolence of Buckingham, abruptly checked his endeavours, and by rendering the Spanish party unpopvlar, as well as unfashionable at court, occasioned a fatal reaction in politics, which in no long process of time threw that country and its resources into the arms of France, to be constantly directed against us. Ford seems to be indebted to Howell for a part of his description.-GIFFORD.
Than do a stranger grace: if you intend
Ros. What for France ?
Yourself for horsemanship much famed; and there,
Ros. Yet, methought,
Fern. England ?
Ros. That: pray, sirYou have been there, methought I heard you praise it.
Fern. I'll tell you what I found there; men as neat, As courtly as the French, but in condition Quite opposite. Put case that you, my lord, Could be more rare on horseback than you are, If there (as there are many) one excell'd You in your art as much as you do others,
1 France I more praise and love, &c.] The excellence of the French in horsemanship is noticed by most of our old writers. It seems, indeed, that about this period the English were surpassed by most nations in this noble art; nor was it till James I. wisely encouraged horse-races, that we thought of improving the old heavy, short-winded breed of horses, by the introduction of Barbary and other stallions, and that the consequent improvement in managing them took place which long since rendered us the most skilful and daring riders of Europe.-GIFFORD.
2 i. e. in disposition.-GIFFORD.