’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, by John Ford

This 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 Phoenix, 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 Phoenix Theatre, in 1639.1

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 “Illustrations,” worth a sponge.


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