WRITTEN By the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and Excellent
PRINCESSE, THE Duchess of Newcastle.
Printed by A. Maxwell, in the Year M.DC.LX.VIII.
TO THE READERS.
It is most certain, That those that perform Publick Actions, expose themselves to Publick Censures; andso do Writers, live they never so privately and retir’d, assoon as they commit their Works to the Press. Whichshould perswade wise Persons to be very cautious what theypublish; especially in a malicious, and envious Age. I do notsay, that this is so; but if it be, I can truly say, that I amsorry of it, meerly for the Age’s sake, and not in relationto my Self, or my Books ; which I write and disperse abroad,only for my own pleasure, and not to please others; beingvery indifferent, whether any body reads them or not; orbeing read, how they are esteem’d. For none but poor andmean spirits will think themselves concern’d in spightfulCensures.
Having observ’d, that the most Worthy and most Me-ritorious Persons have the most envious Detractors,it wouldbe a presumptuous opinion in me to imagine my self in dangerto have any: but however, their malice cannot hinder mefrom Writing, wherein consists my chiefest delight andgreatest pastime; nor from Printing what I write, since Iregard not so much the present as future Ages, for which Iintend all my Books.
WhenTo the Readers. When I call this new one, Plays, I do not believe tohave given it a very proper Title: for it would be too great a fondness to my Works to think such Plays as these suitableto ancient Rules, in which I pretend no skill; or agreeable to the modern Humor, to which I dare acknowledg my aversion: But having pleased my Fancy in writing many Dialogues upon Several Subjects, and having afterwards order’d them into Acts and Scenes, I will venture, in spightof the Criticks, to call them Plays; and if you like them so,well and good; if not, there is no harm done: And so Farewell.