Love is now become a trade
appeared in Playford’s first book of The Theatre of Music
in 1685. The anonymous author takes a wry view of love, likening it to a commercial transaction: those with wealth can bid for a wife to last them all their life (though they may along the way bring employment to a lawyer) but this simple tradesman is happy just to have a single night’s entertainment with ‘a small retailing whore’!
from notes by Robert King © 2003