« PreviousContinue »
fear, and heartily wish there were no truth therein."—" For, of sins heteroclital, and such as want either name or precedent, there is oftimes a sin in their histories. We desire no records of such enormities; sins should be accounted new, that they may be esteemed monstrous. They omit of monstrosity, as they fall from their rarity; for men count it venial to err with their forefathers, and foolishly conceive they divide a sin in its society. The pens of men may sufficiently expatiate without these singularities of villainy; for as they increase the hatred of vice in some, so do they enlarge the theory of wickedness in all. And this is one thing that makes latter ages worse than were the former: for the vicious example of ages past poisons the curiosity of these present, affording a hint of sin unto seduceable spirits, and soliciting those unto the imitation of them, whose heads were never so perversely principled as to invent them. In things of this nature, silence commendeth history; 'tis the veniable part of things lost, wherein there must never rise a Pancirollus, nor remain any register, but that of hell."-p. 414.
THE BROKEN HEART.
THERE is no account to be found of the first appearance of this Tragedy, or of its success on the stage; but it was given to the public in 1633. In the title, it is said to have been "acted by the King's Majestie's servants, at the Private House in the Black Friers." Ford has prefixed, as a motto, the words FIDE HONOR, an anagram of his own name, which therefore should, perhaps, be written, as he sometimes wrote it himself, JOHN FORDE. It would appear from the Prologue, that the story, which is admitted to be of ancient date, had some foundation in fact. It may one day perhaps be met with.
MOST WORTHY DESERVER OF THE NOBLEST TITLES IN HONOUR,
LORD CRAVEN, BARON OF HAMSTEED-MARSHALL.'
THE glory of a great name, acquired by a greater glory of action, hath in all ages lived the truest chronicle to his own memory. In the practice of which argument, your growth to perfection, even in youth, hath appeared so sincere, so unflattering a penman, that posterity cannot with more delight
'The following extract from "Collins's Peerage" will sufficiently explain the allusions in the Dedication to the active life of this eminent person. "William, first Baron and Earl Craven, the eldest son of Sir W. Craven, Lord Mayor, was much affected with military services from his youth, and signalized himself in Germany, and in the Netherlands, under Henry, Prince of Orange. In which valiant adventures he gained such honour, that on his return, he was first knighted at Newmarket, March 4, 1626, and in the year after deservedly raised to the dignity of Lord Craven of Hampsteed-Marshall. In 1631 he was one of the commanders of those forces sent to the assistance of the great Gustavus Adolphus, and was wounded in the assault upon the strong fortress of Kreutznach; after the surrender of which, he was told by the Swedish monarch, 'He adventured so desperately, he bid his younger brother fair play for his estate.' Subsequently he was advanced to the dignities of Viscount and Earl, and served Charles I. and II. and James II. faithfully; and died, after a very active and chequered life, April 9, 1697, at the advanced age of 88. He is now chiefly remembered for his romantic attachment to the Queen of Bohemia, daughter of James I. to whom it is generally supposed he was privately married."