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read the merit of noble endeavours, than noble endeavours merit thanks from posterity to be read with delight. Many nations, many eyes have been witnesses of your deserts, and loved them; be pleased, then, with the freedom of your own name, to admit one amongst all, particularly into the list of such as honour a fair example of nobility. There is a kind of humble ambition, not uncommendable, when the silence of study breaks forth into discourse, coveting rather encouragement than applause; yet herein censure commonly is too severe an auditor, without the moderation of an able patronage. I have ever been slow in courtship of greatness, not ignorant of such defects as are frequent to opinion: but the justice of your inclination to industry, emboldens my weakness of confidence to relish an experience of your mercy, as many brave dangers have tasted of your courage. Your Lordship strove to be known to the world, when the world knew you least, by voluntary, but excellent attempts: Like allowance I plead of being known to your Lordship (in this low presumption,) by tendering, to a favourable entertainment, a devotion offered from a heart, that can be as truly sensible of any least respect, as ever profess the owner in my best, my readiest services, a lover of your natural love to virtue,
AMYCLAS, King of Laconia.
CALANTHA, the King's Daughter.
} Maids of Honour.
GRAUSIS, Overseer of PENTHEA.
Courtiers, Officers, Attendants, &c.
Here Ford gives what he calls "the names of the speakers fitted to their qualities." If he found them elsewhere, it is well; if not, he has not been very successful in his appropriation of some of them.
ITHOCLES, Honour of Loveliness.
NEARCHUS, Young Prince.
CALANTHA, Flower of Beauty.
PHILEMA, a Kiss.
GRAUSIS, Old Beldam.
OUR scene is SPARTA.
He whose best of art
Hath drawn this piece, calls it the BROKEN HEART.
Of apish laughter, or of some lame jeer
When innocence and sweetness crown'd their lays;
This law we keep in our presentment now,
What may be here thought FICTION, when time's youth
In which, if words have cloth'd the subject right,
This Prologue has been hitherto most strangely printed. It is in the author's best manner, and whether considered in a moral or poetical light, entitled to considerable praise.