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ried on the north fide of the chancel, in the great
improbable that any such rupture should have taken place; for if the supposed cause of offence had happened subsequently to the execution of the instrument, it is to be presumed that he would have revoked the legacy to Shakspeare : and the same argument may be urged with respect to the direction concerning his tomb.
Mr. Combe by his will bequeaths to Mr. Francis Collins, the elder, of the borough of Warwick, (who appears as a legatee and subscribing witness to Shakspeare's will, and therefore may be presumed a common friend, ten pounds; to his godson John Collins, (the son of Francis,) ten pounds; to Mrs. Susanna Collins (probably godmother to our poet's eldest daughter) fix pounds, thirteen Thillings, and four-pence; to Mr. Henry Walker, (father to Shakspeare's godfon,) twenty shillings; to the poor of Stratford twenty pounds; and to his servants, in various legacies, one hundred and ten pounds. He was buried at Stratford, July 12, 1614, and his will was proved, Nov. 10, 1615.
Our author, at the time of making his will, had it not in his power to fhow any teftimony of his regard for Mr. Combe, that gentleman being then dead; but that he continued a friendly correspondence with his family to the last, appears evidently (as Mr. Steevens has observed) from his leaving his fword to Mr. Thomas Combe, the nephew, refiduary legatee, and one of the executors of John.
On the whole we may conclude, that the lines preferved by Rowe, and inserted with some variation in Braithwaite's Remains, which the latter has mentioned to have been affixed to Mr. Combe's tomb in his life-time, were not written till after Shakspeare's death; for the executors, who did not prove the will till Nov. 1615, could not well have erected " a fair monument" of considerable expence for those times, till the middle or perhaps the end of the year 1616, in the April of which year our poet died. Between that time and the year 1618, when Braithwaite's book appeared, some one of those persons (we may prefume) who had suffered by Mr. Combe's severity, gave vent to his feelings in the satirical composition preserved by Rowe; part of which, we have seen, was borrowed from epitaphs that had already been printed.-That Mr. Combe was a money-lender, may be inferred from a clause in his will, in which he mentions his “ good and just debtors ;" to every one of whom he remits, “twenty Shillings for every twenty pounds, and so after this rate
church at Stratford, where a monument is placed
for a greater or lesser debt,” on their paying in to his executors what they owe.
Mr. Combe married Mrs. Rose Clopton, August 27, 1560; and therefore was probably, when he died, eighty years old. property, from the description of it, appears to have been confiderable.
In justice to this gentleman it should be remembered, that in the language of Shakspeare's age an usurer did not mean one who took exorbitant, but any, interest or usance for money; which many then considered as criminal. The opprobious terms by which such a person was distinguished, Ten in the hundred, proves this; for ten per cent, was the ordinary interest of money. See Shakspeare's will.—Sir Philip Sidney directs by his will, made in 1586, that Sir Francis Walsingham Thall put four thoufand pounds which the testator bequeathed to his daughter, " to the best behoofe either by purchafe of land or lease, or some other good and godly use, but in no case to let it out for any ufury at all." MALONE.
He died in the 53d year of his age,] He died on his birthday, April 23, 1616, and had exactly completed his fifty-second year. From Du Cange's Perpetual Almanack, Gloss. in v. Annus, (making allowance for the different style which then prevailed in England from that on which Du Cange's calculation was formed,) it appears, that the 23d of April in that year was a Tuesday.
No account has been transmitted to us of the malady which at so early a period of life deprived England of its brightest ornament. The private note-book of his fou-in-law Dr. Hall, * containing a thort state of the cases of his patients, was a few years ago put into my hands by my friend, the late Dr. Wright; and as Dr. Hall married our poet's daughter in the year 1607, and undoubtedly attended Shakspeare in his laft illness, being then forty years old, I had hopes this book might have enabled me to gratify the publick curiofity on this subject. But unluckily the earliest case recorded by Hall, is dated in 1617. He had probably filled some other book with memorandums of his prac. tice in preceding years; which by some contingency may hereafter be found, and inform pofterity of the particular circum
* Dr. Hall's pocket-book after his death fell into the hands of a surgeon of Warwick, who published a translation of it, (with some additions of his own) under the title of Select Observations on the English Bodies of eminent Persons, in desperate Diseases, &c. The third edition was printed in 1683.
in the wall. 2
On his grave-stone underneath
" Good friend,” for Jesus' sake forbear
ttances that attended the death of our great poet. From the 34th påge of this book, which contains an account of a disorder under which his daughter Elizabeth laboured about the year 1624,) and of the method of cure, it appears, that she was his only daughter ; (Elizabeth Hall, filia mea unica, tortura oris defædata.] In the beginning of April in that year the visited London, and returned to Stratford on the 22d ; an enterprise at that time " of great pith and moment."
While we lament that our incomparable poet was snatched from the world at a time when his faculties were in their full vigour, and before he was “ declined into the vale of years,” let us be thankful that “ this sweetest child of Fancy" did not perish while he yet lay in the cradle. He was born at Stratford-uponAvon in April 1564; and I have this moment learned from the Register of that town that the plague broke out there on the 30th of the following June, and raged with such violence between that day and the last day of December, that two hundred and thirty-eight persons were in that period carried to the grave, of which number probably 216 died of that malignant distemper ; and one only of the whole number resided, not in Stratford, but in the neighbouring town of Welcombe. From the 237 inhabitants of Stratford, whose names appear in the Register, twenty, one are to be fubducted, who, it may be presumed, would have died in fix months, in the ordinary course of nature ; for in the five preceding years, reckoning, according to the style of that time, from March 25, 1559, to March 25, 1564, two hundred and twenty one persons were buried at Stratford, of whom 210 were townsmen : that is, of these latter 42 died each year, at an average. Supposing one in thirty-five to have died anually, the total number of the inhabitants of Stratford at that period was 1470 ; and consequently the plague in the last fix months of the
year 1564 carried off more than a seventh part of them Fortunately for mankind it did not reach the house in which the infant Shakspeare lay ; for not one of that name appears in the dead lift.-May we suppose, that, like Horace, he lay secure and fearless in the midst of contagion and death, protected by the Mures to whom his future life was to be devoted, and covered
- where a monument is placed in the wall.] He is represented under an arch, in a fitting posture, a cushion spread before him, with a pen in his right hand, and his left rested on a scroll of paper. The following Latin diftich is engraved under the cushion :
Judicio Pylium, genio Socratem, arte Maronem,
THEOBALD. The first syllable in Socratem is here made short, which cannot be allowed. Perhaps we should read Sophoclem. Shakspeare is then appofitely compared with a dramatick author among the ancients : but ftill it should be remembered that the elogium is lefsened while the metre is reformed; and it is well known that fome of our early writers of Latin poetry were uncommonly negligent in their prosody, especially in proper names. The thought of this diftich, as Mr. Tollet observes, might have been taken from The Faëry Queene of Spenser, B. II. c. ix. ft. 48, and c. x. st. 3.
To this Latin inscription on Shakspeare should be added the lines which are found underneath it on his monument :
“Stay, passenger, why doft thou go so fast?
« Obiit Ano. Dni. 1616.
æt. 53, die 23 Apri. Steevens. It appears from the Verses of Leonard Digges, that our author's monument was erected before the year 1623. It has been engraved by Vertue, and done in mezzotinto by Miller. ;
A writer in The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. XXIX. p. 267, fays, there is as strong a resemblance between the bust at Stratford, and the portrait of our author prefixed to the first folio edition of his plays, “ as can well be between a statue and a pidure." To me (and I have viewed it several times with a good deal of attention) it appeared in a very different light. When I went last to Stratford, I carried with me the only genuine prints of Shakspeare that were then extant, and I could not trace any resemblance between them and this figure. There is a pertners
in the countenance of the latter totally differing from that placid Composure and thoughtful gravity, so perceptible in his original Portrait and his best prints. Our poet's monument having been erected by his son-in-law, Dr. Hall, the statuary probably had the assistance of some picture, and failed only from want of skill to copy it.
Mr. Granger observes, (Biog. Hift. Vol. I. p. 259,) that " it has been said there never was an original portrait of Shakspeare, but that Sir Thomas Clarges after his death caused a portrait to be drawn for him from a person who nearly resembled him." This entertaining writer was a great collector of anecdotes, but not always very scrupulous in inquiring into the authenticity of the information which he procured; for this improbable tale, I find, on examination, stands only on the insertion of an anonymous writer in The Gentleman's Magazine, for Auguft, 1759, who boldly “ affirmed it as an absolute fact ;" but being afterwards publickly called upon to produce his authority, never produced any. There is the strongest reason therefore to presume it a forgery.
“ Mr. Walpole (adds Mr. Granger) informs me, that the only original pi&ture of Shakspeare is that which belonged to Mr. Keck, from whom it passed to Mr. Nicoll, whose only daughter married the Marquis of Caernarvon" (now Duke of Chandos).
From this picture, his Grace, at my request, very obligingly permitted a drawing to be made by that excellent artist Mr. Ozias Humphry; and from that drawing the print prefixed to the present edition has been engraved.
In the manuscript notes of the late Mr. Oldys, this portrait is said to have been “ painted by old Cornelius Jansen." “ Others," he adds," say, that it was done by Richard Burbage the player ;” and in another place he ascribes it to “ John Taylor, the player." Thiş Taylor, it is said in The Critical Review for 1770, left it by will to Sir William D'Avenant.
But unluckily there was no player of the christian and surname of :John Taylor, contemporary with Shakspeare. The player who performed in Shakspeare's company, was Joseph Taylor. There was, however, a painter of the name of John Taylor, to whom in his early youth it is barely possible that we may have been indebted for the only original portrait of our author ; for in the Picture Gallery at Oxford are two portraits of Taylor the WaterPoet, and on each of them “ John Taylor pinx. 1655.” There appears some resemblance of manner between these portraits and the picture of Shakspeare in the Duke of Chandos's colle&ion. That picture (I express the opinion of Sir Joshua Reynolds) has not the least air of Cornelius Jansen's performances.
That this picture was once in the poffeffion of Sir Wm. D'Ave.