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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.

ii A1v iii
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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.

When iv A2v

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