Page images
PDF
EPUB

EPILOGUE.

WHERE noble judgments and clear eyes are fix'd :
To grace endeavour, there sits truth, not mix'd
With ignorance; those censures may command
Belief, which talk not, till they understand.
Let some say, This was flat; some, Here the scene
Fell from its height; another, That the mean
Was ill observd, in such a growing passion,
As it transcended either state or fashion.
Some few may cry, 'Twas pretty well, or so,
But and there shrug in silence : yet we know
Our writer's aim was, in the whole, addrest
Well to deserve of all, but please the BEST;
Which granted, by th' allowance of this strain,
The Broken Heart may be pieced up again.

LOVE'S SACRIFICE. LOVE'S SACRIFICE.

I CANNOT ascertain when this Tragedy was first given to the stage ; but it was printed in the same year as the Broken Heart. The old title is “Love's Sacrifice. A tragedie, received generally well, acted by the Queene's Majestie's servants, at the Phoenix in Drury-Lane. London: Printed by J. B. for Hugh Beeston, dwelling next the Castle in Cornhill. 1633.” 4to. It has neither Prologue nor Epilogue.

TO

MY TRUEST FRIEND, MY WORTHIEST KINSMAN,

JOHN FORD OF GRAYE'S INNE, Esq.

The title of this little work, my good cousin, is in sense 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 Aight, borne up on the double wings of gratitude for a received, and acknowledgement for a continued love. It is not so frequent to number many kinsmen, and amongst them some friends, as to presume on some friends, and amongst 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

· 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.

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 so outfaced invention, and proscribed judgement, 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 practise, 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

JOHN FORD.

? Here is an allusion to Prynne, who is also noticed by Shirley, in the complimentary verses prefixed to this play. That restless “paper worm," as Needham calls him, had the year before produced his Histriomastir, or Actor's 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 rancour.

There is a quaintness in the style of this little piece; but the frank and grateful tone of affection wbich 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,

« PreviousContinue »