The Broken Heart, by John Ford

PROLOGUE

OUR scene is Sparta. He whose best of art
hath drawn this piece calls it THE BROKEN HEART.
The title lends no expectation here
Of apish laughter, or of some lame jeer
At place or persons; no pretended clause
Of jests fit for a brothel courts applause
From vulgar admiration: such low songs,
Tun’d to unchaste ears, suit not modest tongues.
The Virgin Sisters then deserv’d fresh bays
When Innocence and Sweetness crown’d their lays;
Then vices gasp’d for breath, whose whole commerce
Was whipp’d to exile by unblushing verse.
This law we keep in our presentment now,
Not to take freedom more than we allow;
What may be here thought fiction, 2 when time’s youth
Wanted some riper years, was known a truth:
In which, if words have cloth’d the subject right,
You may partake a pity with delight.

2 Q. a fiction.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/f/ford/john/broken/prologue.html

Last updated Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 20:37