Love Hath Found Out His Eyes

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Thomas Jordan (1640)

Historical Records

Stationers' Register

29 June 1660 (SR2, 2.271, CLIO)

Hum. Moseley
Entred . . . under ye hand of MASTER THRALE warden, the severall plays following, that is to say . . . . vs vjd

. . .
Love hath found his Eyes, by Thomas Jordan.

Fragment in Royal Arbor of Loyal Poesy (1663)

Jordan's own Royal Arbor of Loyal Poesy (1663) reproduces the Prologue and Epilogue from his otherwise lost play:

A Prologue to a Play of mine, call'd, Love hath found his eyes; or Distractions.
I Know ye did expect me, but for what,
To say we have a Play, the Bills shew that;
Why let's begin then, Sound---But some will say
Are there no faults in th' Actors, or the Play
To beg your patience for? Yes faith, there's store,
Yet all we crave is you'l not make 'em more.
A very just petition, and 'tis fit
I think, we bear no more then we commit;
Yet there are some, wise judges, that do seek
To raise their laughter on what you dislike:
The errors of the Actors, and they be
The witty tribe of our own Quality;
Why let them laugh, they paid for't, why should we
Deprive a man of that felicity,
That cannot help nor hurt us; and I pray
How e're it prove, don't call't a Pretty Play:
Let it be good or bad, that slight word pritty
Shews the Play naught, and the depraver witty.
The language is but low, and the invention
No higher then a common apprehension,
And (in a word) the Authours wish is such
You'l not despair, nor yet expect too much. (EEBO-TCP, open access)

The Epilogue spoken by Cupid.
I Hope these mutual Marriages express
My opticks are restor'd for each distress
The Lovers once suppos'd they had by me,
I have converted to a Jubilee.
All's happy but my self, for I poor I
That figure an eternal Deity,
Must quit my glorious supremacy
To stand the censure of mortality:
Be curteous to a God, then whose high laws
Commands all hearts, yet now must beg applause;
For if you censure like rig'rous men,
You spoil the plot and strike me blinde agen:
All our distractions now are out of date,
I would they were so too in Church and State,
That Englands King and People were at rest
Without confounding eithers interest;
That jealousies and fears may never more
Let loyal hearts lie weltring in their gore;
That so the God of Love may often view
This Island and present himself to you. (EEBO-TCP, open access)

These were later reprinted in A Nursery of Novelties in Variety of Poetry (1665?).

Warburton's list

"Love hath found out his Eyes by Tho. Jorden" appears as the 18th play noted by John Warburton (1682-1759) in his list of the unprinted MS plays allegedly in his collection until destroyed by Warburton’s cook:

Lansdowne ms 807 f001r.jpg

(British Library, Lansdowne MS 807, fo.1r. Reproduced by permission of the British Library. Click image to view full page; click here for more information on Warburton's list)

Theatrical Provenance

Unknown; commercial playhouse (see Prologue above); Red Bull? (Munro et al).

Probable Genre(s)

Comedy (Harbage)

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

Information welcome.

References to the Play

Only those by Jordan himself and Warburton (possibly derived from Moseley's SR entry) above.

Critical Commentary

Bentley notes that "[t]he prologue is not very informative as to the character of the play, but it does show commercial and not occasional performance in the opening lines [and] a later reference in the prologue to paid admission" (4.684). In dating the play to between 1641-48/9, he notes that:

There are phrases in Jordan's epilogue which seem to refer to the wars, but I suppose it is possible that the mention of distractions in Church and State and the opposition of King and people could refer to affairs of 1640 and 1641, and the loyal hearts weltering in gore could refer to the execution of Strafford in May, 1641. ... The wish that 'Englands King and people were at rest' would surely be inappropriate after the execution of King Charles on 30 January 1648/9. (4.685)

He adds, conjecturally, that "[t]he title of the play, it might be observed, is more like Jordan's fanciful, allegorical titles of the Interregnum--Cupid His Coronation and Fancy's Festivals--than like his realistic and satiric Caroline titles--the Walks of Islington and Hogsdon and Money Is an Ass" (4.685).

In an "Issues in Review" section of Early Theatre focusing on "Popular Theatre and the Red Bull", Munro, Lancashire, Astington and Straznicky suggest that "Jordan seems to have returned to the Red Bull for surreptitious performances in the 1640s and 1650s. The epilogue to his play Love Hath Found his Eyes, or Distractions, printed in A Royal Arbor of Loyal Poesie (1663), contains references which seem to fit the period between 1642 and 1648 better than the 1660s" (107) then proceed to assert more confidently that "Love Hath Found his Eyes seems to have been performed at the Red Bull in May 1660" (108). Their evidence for this bolder claim is Van Lennep 128, who "follows a suggestion of W.J. Lawrence in unpublished notes preserved at Harvard and states that ‘Love Hath Found out his Eyes’ was performed about May 1660" (113, n28).

For What It's Worth

Information welcome.

Works Cited

Jordan, Thomas. A royal arbor of loyal poesie consisting of poems and songs digested into triumph, elegy, satyr, love & drollery. London: Printed by R.W. for Eliz. Andrews, 1663. (EEBO-TCP, open access)
Munro, Lucy, Anne Lancashire, John Astington and Marta Straznicky. "Issues in Review: Popular Theatre at the Red Bull". Early Theatre 9.2 (2006): 99-113.
Van Lennep, William. "The Death of the Red Bull". Theatre Notebook 16 (1961–2): 126-34.

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