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THE LOVER’S MELANCHOLY.
This piece, the author tells us, was “ the first of his that ever courted reader.” It was licensed by Sir Henry Herbert, in 1628, and brought out on the 24th of November in that year: in 1629, it was given to the press, aecompanied (as the manner was) by several recommendatory poems. It seems to have been favourably received. The title of the quarto is “ The Lover's Melancholy. Acted at the Private House in the Blacke Friars, and publikely at the Globe, by the King's Majestie's seruants. London, printed for H. Seile. 1629.”
It was revived at Drury Lane in 1748, by Macklin, for his wife's benefit; but apparently without success.
MY WORTHILY RESPECTED FRIENDS,
NATHANIEL FINCH, JOHN FORD, EsqRs.
MR. HENRY BLUNT, MR. ROBERT ELLICE,
AND ALL THE REST OF THE
NOBLE SOCIETY OF GRAY'S INN.
MY HONOURED FRIENDS,
The account of some leisurable hours is here summed up, and offered to examination. Importunity of others, or opinion of mine own, hath not urged on any confidence of running the hazard of a censure. As plurality hath reference to a multitude, so I care not to please many; but where there is a parity of condition, there the freedom of construction makes the best music. This concord hath equally held between you the patrons, and me the presenter. I am cleared of all scruple of disrespect on your parts; as I am of too slack a merit in myself. My presumption of coming in print in this kind,' hath hitherto been unrepro
* In this kind.] i. e. the Drama: he had previously printed “Fame's Memorial," and, probably, other poems, now lost.
vable; this piece being the first that ever courted reader; and it is very possible that the like compliment with me may soon grow out of fashion. A practice of which that I may avoid now, I commend to the continuance of your loves, the memory of his, who, without the protestation of a service, is readily your friend,
? And it is very possible that the like compliment with me may soon grow out of fashion.] This, as the author says, is the first time of his appearing in print as a dramatic writer; and yet he comes before the reader with all the querulous cant of an old professor. Fortunately, this language of routine means nothing; and the present publication was, in course, followed by others, as leisure or opportunity offered.