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To my Truest Friend, my Worthiest Kinsman,
JOHN FORD, OF GRAY'S INN, Esq.
is in sense but the argument of a dedica-
gratitude for a received, and acknowledg. ment 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 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 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 Here is an allusion to Prynne, also reserred to by Shirley in the verses prefixed to this play. Piynne had just produced his Histrio. mastix, or Actor's Tragedy, and was at this time before the StarChamber for a supposed insult to the Queen by his reflection on women-players. A few days before Histriomastix appeared the Queen and her ladies had acted in a pastoral at Whitehall.
PHILIPPO CARAFFA, Duke of Pavia.
two Counsellors of State.
BIANCA, the Duchess.
SCENE 1.- A Room in the Palace.
D'Av. Such was the duke's com
mand. Ros. You’re secretary to the state and him,
D'Av. Never, my lord.
D'Av. You have the open world before you.
D'Av. Not so: my warrant is only to command you from the court; within five hours to depart after notice taken, and not to live within thirty miles of it, until it be thought meet by his excellence to call you back. Now
I have warned you, my lord, at your peril be it, if you disobey. I shall inform the duke of your discontent.
[Exit. Ros. Do, politician, do! I scent the plot Of this disgrace; 'tis Fiormonda, she, That glorious widow, whose commanding check Ruins my love: like foolish beasts, thus they Find danger that prey too near the lions' den.
Enter FERNANDO and PETRUCHIO.
Sir, the joy
Sir, I know
And I'll second
Ros. You are, my Lord Fernando, late returned
Fern. Troth, sir, I'll freely speak as I have found.
1 It was the age of Velasquez and Calderon, but Spain was not popular in England at this period. Ford was probably indebted in part to Howell for this description.
And in their pride unsociable; the court
What for France ?
That : pray, sirYou have been there, methought I heard you praise
Fern. I'll tell you what I found there ; nien 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,
1 It seems that about this period the English were surpassed by most nations in this noble art: nor was it till James I. wisely en. couraged horse-races, that we thought of improving the old, heavy, short-winded breed of horses, by the introduction of Barbary and other stallions.-Gifford. 2 Disposition. Ford.