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TO

THE TRULY NOBLE

JOHN

EARL OF PETERBOROUGH, LORD MORDAUNT,

BARON OF TURVEY*.

MY LORD, WHERE

HERE a truth of merit hath a general warrant, there love is but a debt, acknowledgement a justice. Greatness cannot often claim virtue by inheritance ; yet, in this, yours appears most eminent, for that you are not more rightly heir to your fortunes than glory shall be to your memory,

Sweetness of dispo.. sition ennobles a freedom of birth ; in both, your lawful interest adds honour to your own name, and mercy to my presumption. Your noble allowance of these first fruits of my leisure in the action, emboldens my confidence of your as noble construction in this presentment; especially since my ser. vice must ever owe particular duty to your favours, by a particular engagement. The gravity of the

* John, first Earl of Peterborough, obtained that dignity in the year 1627-8. He was brought up in the Catholic religion, but converted by Archbishop Usher. In 1642 he was general of ordnance and colonel of a regiment in the parliamentary army, and died June 18th the same year.

subject may easily excuse the lightness of the title, otherwise I had been a severe judge against mine own guilt. Princes have vouchsafed grace to trifles offered from a purity of devotion ; your Lordship may likewise please to admit into your good opinion, with these weak endeavours, the constancy of affection from the sincere lover of your deserts in honour,

John FORD.

1

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

BONAVENTURA, a friar.
A CARDINAL, nuncio to the Pope.
SORANZO, a nobleman.
Florio, a citizen of Parma.
Doxado, another citizen.

GRIMALDI, a Roman gentleman.
X GIOVANNI, son to Florio.

BERGETTO, nephew to Donado. RICHARDETTO, a supposed physician. VASQUES, servant to SORANZO. Poggio, servant to BERGETTO. Banditti.

X ANNABELLA, daughter to Florio.

HIPPOLITA, wife to RICHARDETTO.
PHILOTIS, his niece.
PUTANA, tutoress to ANNABELLA.

The Scene-Parma.

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