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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
2 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 Histriomastix, 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 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.
PHILIPPO CARAFFA, Duke of Pavy.
ROSEILLI, a young
two Counsellors of State.
RODERICO D'AVOLOS, Secretary to the Duke.
MAURUCCIO, an old Antick.
GIACOPO, Servant to MAURUCCIO,
BIANCA, the Duchess.
FIORMONDA, the Duke's Sister.
COLONA, Daughter to PETRUCHIO.
MORONA, an old Lady.
Attendants, Courtiers, Officers, &c.
THE SCENE-Pavy (Pavia).
ACT I. SCENE I.
A Room in the Palace.
Enter ROSEILLI and RODERICO D'AVOLOS.
Ros. DEPART the court?
D'Av. Such was the duke's command.
Ros. You are secretary to the state and him, Great in his counsels, wise, and, I think, honest; Have you, in turning over old Records,
Read but one name descended of the house
D'Av. Never, my lord.
Ros. Why then should I now, now, when glorious peace
Triumphs in change of pleasures, be wiped off, Like to a useless moth, from courtly ease?— And whither must I go?
Of Lesui.] Lesus, or Lelus would be just as near to the traces of the original. As the "Records" of this illustrious house have never fallen in my way, I cannot pretend to say which is the genuine word. The text is evidently a misprint.
D'Av. You have the open world before you. Ros. Why, then 'tis like I'm banish'd?
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 warn'd you, my lord, at your peril be it, if you disobey; I shall inform the duke of your discontent.-[Erit. 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 lion's den.
Enter FERNANDO and PETRUCHIO.
Fern. My noble lord, Roseilli!
I should have welcomed you with, is wrapt up
Fern. Sir, I know
You are so well acquainted with your own,
'tis Fiormonda, she,] Ford, as has been already observed, escapes no better than his contemporaries from Italian Fiormonda is here a quadrisyllable.