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hitherto, in me, aimed at any thrift: yet I have ever honoured virtue, as the richest ornament to the noblest titles. Endeavour of being known to your Lordship, by such means, I conceive no ambition; the extent being bounded by humility: so neither can the argument appear ungracious; nor the writer, in that, without allowance. You enjoy, my Lord, the general suffrage, for your freedom of merits: may you likewise please, by this particular presentment, amongst the number of such as faithfully honour those merits, to admit, into your noble construction,
* Amongst the number of such as faithfully honour those merits, to admit, &c.] The 4to has-“ Among the number of such as I faithfully honour those merits, &c.” which to me is unintelligible. There can be little doubt that the pronoun was inserted through mistake, or misapprehension of the poet's meaning; most probably the latter.
There is something pleasing in this short Dedication. It displays a spirit of independence very honourable to the poet, and yet is sufficiently respectful to his patron.
The Fancies! that's our play; in it is shown
3 Fancy your own opinions.] The old copy reads, “ Fancy your even opinions.” Ford appears to have been on the continent when this piece was first given to the stage:
Octavio, marquis of Sienna.
attendants on Julio. FABRICIO, a merchant, Flavia's first husband.
attendants on the Secco, a barber,
NITIDO, a page,
CASTAMELA, sister to Livio.