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'TIS PITY SHE'S A WHORE.
Tois tragedy, in the dedication to the Earl of Peterborough, is styled, “ the first fruits of the author's leisure.” How long it had been written, or what was the date of its first appearance, is nowhere mentioned; but it was given to the press in 1633, with the following title : “ 'Tis Pity She's a Whore ; acted by the Queenes Majesties seruants, at the Phænix, in Drury-Lane. London: Printed by Nicholas Okes, for Richard Collins, and are to be sold at his shop, in St. Paul's Church-yard, at the signe of the Three Kings, 1633.” It was one of the plays appropriated, by the Lord Chamberlain, to the Cockpit or Phønix Theatre, in 1639.'
1 This tragedy was selected for publication by Mr. Dodsley. The choice was not very judicious, for, though the language of it is eminently beautiful, the plot is repulsive : and the “ Lover's Melancholy,” or the “ Broken Heart,” would have been fully as characteristic of the author's manner. It owes little to the taste, and nothing to the judgment of the former editors. Dodsley merely copied the 4to. and Reed re-published the transcript with a few childish " Ilustrations," worth a sponge.
THE TRULY NOBLE
EARL OF PETERBOROUGH, LORD MORDAUNT,
BARON OF TURVEY.?
MY LORD, WHERE a truth of merit hath a general warrant, there love is but a debt, acknowledgment a justice. Greatness cannot often claim virtue by inheritance; yet, in this, Your's appears most eminent, for that you are not more rightly heir to your fortunes than glory shall be to your memory. Sweetness of disposition ennobles a freedom of birth; in both, your lawful interest adds honour to your
John, first Earl of Peterborough, Collins informs us,“ obtained that dignity in the year 1627-8. He was brought up in the Romish religion, but was converted by a disputation at his own house, between the learned Bishop Usher (then only Dr. Usher) and a Papist, who confessed himself silenced by the just hand of God, for presuming to dispute without leave from his superiors.” vol. iii. p. 317. No miraculous event appears to bave confirmed his loyalty, (whatever may be said of his faith,) for “he joined the Parliamentary Army in 1642, and was made General of the Ordnance and Colonel of a regiment of foot, under Essex.” His military career was of short duration; as “ he departed this life June 18th the same year."
own name, and mercy to my presumption. Your noble allowance of these first fruits of my leisure, in the action, emboldens my confidence of your as noble construction in this presentment; especially since my service must ever owe particular duty to your favours, by a particular engagement. The gravity of the subject may easily excuse the lightness of the title, otherwise I had been a severe judge against mine own guilt. Princes have vouchsafed grace to trifles offered from a purity of devotion; your Lordship may likewise please to admit into your good opinion, with these weak endeavours, the constancy of affection from the sincere lover of your deserts in honour,
* So little of Ford's personal history is known, that no allusion to any circumstance peculiar to himself can be explained. He seems here (and all is but seeming) to speak of some legal business in which he was engaged under this nobleman ; but of what nature, it would be useless to inquire.
} Citizens of Parma.
BONAVENTURA, a Friar.
ANNABELLA, Daughter to Florio.
Officers, Attendants, Servants, fc.