John Ford (dramatist)

English Caroline dramatist and poet

John Ford (1586 – c. 1640) was one of the last English playwrights in the great Jacobean school that produced Marlowe, William Shakespeare and Jonson.

Quotes edit

  • Her words are trusty heralds to her mind.
  • Oh, happy kings,
    Whose thrones are raised in their subjects' hearts.
  • A bachelor
    May thrive by observation, on a little.
    A single life's no burden: but to draw
    In yokes is chargeable, and will require
    A double maintenance.
    • The Fancies, Chaste and Noble Act I, sc. iii.

The Lover's Melancholy (1628) edit

  • Flattery
    Is monstrous in a true friend.
    • Act I, sc. i.
  • Physicians are the cobblers, rather the botchers, of men's bodies; as the one patches our tattered clothes, so the other solders our diseased flesh.
    • Act I, sc. ii.
  • Tell us, pray, what devil
    This melancholy is, which can transform
    Men into monsters.
    • Act III, sc. i.
  • Melancholy
    Is not, as you conceive, indisposition
    Of body, but the mind's disease.
    • Act III, sc. i.
  • Philosophers dwell in the moon.
    • Act III, sc. iii.
  • Love is the tyrant of the heart; it darkens
    Reason, confounds discretion; deaf to Counsel
    It runs a headlong course to desperate madness.
    • Act III, sc. iii.
  • Fly hence, shadows, that do keep,
    Watchful sorrows, charmed in sleep.
    • Act V, sc. i.

The Broken Heart (c. 1625-33) edit

  • Tempt not the stars, young man, thou canst not play
    With the severity of fate.
    • Act I, sc. iii.
  • I am, gay creature,
    With pardon of your deities, a mushroom
    On whom the dew of heaven drops now and then.
    • Act I, sc. iii.
  • Green indiscretion, flattery of greatness,
    Rawness of judgement, wilfulness in folly,
    Thoughts vagrant as the wind, and as uncertain.
    • Act II, sc. ii.
  • The joys of marriage are the heaven on earth,
    Life's paradise, great princess, the soul's quiet,
    Sinews of concord, earthly immortality,
    Eternity of pleasures; no restoratives
    Like to a constant woman!
    • Act II, sc. ii.
  • Glories
    Of human greatness are but pleasing dreams,
    And shadows soon decaying.
    • Act III, sc. v.
  • Revenge proves its own executioner.
    • Act IV, sc. i.
  • There's not a hair
    Sticks on my head but, like a leaden plummet,
    It sinks me to the grave: I must creep thither;
    The journey is not long.
    • Act IV, sc. ii.
  • Truth is child of time.
    • Act IV, sc. iii.
  • Love is dead; let lovers' eyes
    Locked in endless dreams
    Th' extreme of all extremes
    Ope no more, for now Love dies.
    • Act IV, sc. iii.
  • He hath shook hands with time.
    • Act V, sc. ii.

'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1629-33?) edit

  • Nice philosophy
    May tolerate unlikely arguments,
    But heaven admits no jest.
    • Act I, sc. i.
  • I have spent
    Many a silent night in sighs and groans,
    Ran over all my thoughts, despised my fate,
    Reasoned against the reasons of my love,
    Done all that smoothed-cheek Virtue could advise,
    But found all bootless: 'tis my destiny
    That you must either love, or I must die.
    • Act I, sc. iii.
  • Brother, even by my mother's dust, I charge you,
    Do not betray me to your mirth or hate.
    • Act I, sc. iii.
  • Delay in vengeance gives a heavier blow.
    • Act III, sc. iii.
  • There is a place,
    List, daughter! in a black and hollow vault,
    Where day is never seen; there shines no sun,
    But flaming horror of consuming fires;
    A lightless sulphur, choked with smoky fogs
    Of an infected darkness; in this place
    Dwell many thousand thousand sundry sorts
    Of never-dying deaths.
    • Act III, sc. v.
  • Busy opinion is an idle fool.
    • Act V, sc. iii.
  • Why, I hold fate
    Clasped in my fist, and could command the course
    Of time's eternal motion, hadst thou been
    One thought more steady than an ebbing sea.
    • Act V, sc. v.

The Lady's Trial (1638) edit

  • He is a noble gentleman; withal
    Happy in his endeavours: the general voice
    Sounds him for courtesy, behaviour, language,
    And every fair demeanour, an example:
    Titles of honour add not to his worth;
    Who is himself an honour to his title.
    • Act I, sc. iii.
  • Let them fear bondage who are slaves to fear;
    The sweetest freedom is an honest heart.
    • Act I, sc. iii.
  • We can drink till all look blue.
    • Act IV, sc. ii.

Criticism edit

  • Ford was of the first order of poets. He sought for sublimity, not by parcels in metaphors or visible images, but directly where she has her full residence in the heart of man; in the actions and sufferings of the greatest minds.
    • Charles Lamb Specimens of English Dramatic Poets ([1808] 1854) p. 228.

External links edit

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