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To the Ingenious Reader.

T He Art of Dancing called by the Ancient Greeks Orchestice, and Orchestis, is a commendable and rare Quality fit for yong Gentlemen, if opportunely and civilly used. And Plato, that Famous Philosopher thought it meet, that yong Ingenious Children be taught to Dance. It is a Quality that has been formerly honoured in the Courts of Princes, when performed by the most Noble Heroes of the Times! The Gentlemen of the Innes of Court, whose sweet and ayry Activity has crowned their Grand Solemnities with admiration to all Spectators. This Art has been anciently handled by Athenæus, Julius Pollux, Cælius Rhodiginus, and others, and much commend it to be Excellent for Recreation, after more serious Studies, making the body active and strong, gracefull in deportment, and a quality very much beseeming a Gentleman. Yet all this should not have been an Incitement to me for Publication of this work (knowing these Times, and the Nature of it do not agree,) But that there was then a false and surrupticious Copy at the Printing Presse, which if it had been published, would have been a disparagement to the quality, and the Professors thereof, and a hinderance to the Learner : Therefore for prevention of all which, having at that time an Excellent Copy by me, and the assistance of a knowing Friend; I did venture this enduing Work to the publick view, and gentle censure of all ingenious Gentlemen, lovers of this Quality; whose favourable acceptance, has moved me to a second Edition, in which I have indeavoured to expunge those many groß Errors, which were by oversight committed in the former. Craving your favourable acceptance, I rest ever,
Your servant to command,
J. P.

This HTML version of Playford's Dancing Master was created by Jeff Lee <godfrey@shipbrook.net>