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Plays,
Never before Printed.

Written
By the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and Excellent Princesse,
The
Duchess of Newcastle.

London,
Printed by A. Maxwell, in the Year 1668M.DC.LX.VIII.

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To The
Readers.

It is most certain, That those that perform Publick
Actions, expose themselves to Publick censures; and
so do Writers, live they never so privately and retir’d, as
soon as they commit their Works to the Press. Which
should perswade wise Persons to be very cautious what they
publish; especially in a malicious, and envious Age. I do not
say, that this is so; but if it be, I can truly say, that I am
sorry of it, meerly for the Age’s sake; and not in relation
to my Self, or my Books; which I write and disperse abroad,
only for my own pleasure, and not to please others: being
very indifferent, whether any body reads them or not; or
being read, how they are esteem’d. For none but poor and
mean spirits will think themselves concern’d in spightful
Censures.

Having observ’d, that the most Worthy and most Meritorious
Persons have the most envious Detractors, it would
be a presumptuous opinion in me to imagine my self in danger
to have any: but however, their malice cannot hinder me
from Writing, wherein consists my chiefest delight and
greatest pastime; nor from Printing what I write, since I
regard not so much the present as future Ages, for which I
intend all my Books.

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When I call this new one, Plays, I do not believe to
have given it a very proper Title: for it would be too great
a fondness to my Works to think such Plays as these suitable
to 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 spight
of 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.

The

The Sociable Companions, or, The Female Wits

The Presence and Scenes from ’The Presence’

The Bridals

The Convent of Pleasure

A Piece of a Play