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Will, as he called him, and be a spectator of him as an actor in some of his own plays. This custom, as his brother's fame enlarged, and his dramatick entertainments grew the greatest support of our principal, if not of all our theatres, he continued it seems so long after his brother's death, as even to the latterend of his own life. The curiosity at this time of the most noted actors to learn something from him of his brother, &c. they justly held him in the highest veneration. And it may be well believed, as there
As to the Crown-Inn, it still remains as an inn, and is an old decayed house, but probably was once a principal inn in Oxford. It is directly in the road from Stratford to London. In a large upper room, which seems to have been a sort of Hall for entertaining a large company, or for accommodating (as was the custom) different parties at once, there was a bow window, with three pieces of excellent painted glass. About eight years ago, I remember visiting this room, and proposing to purchase of the landlord the painted glass, which would have been a curiosity, as coming from Shskspere's inn. But going thither soon after, I found it was removed; the inn-keeper having communicated my intended bargain to the owner of the house, who began to suspect that he was possessed of a curiosity too valuable to be parted with, or to remain in such a place: and I never could hear of it afterwards. If I remember right, the painted glass consisted of three armorial shields, beautifully stained. I have said so much on this subject, because I think that Shakspere's old hostelry at Oxford deserves no less respect than Chaucer's Tabarde in Southwark. T. WARTON. Tt
was besides a kinsman and descendant of the family, who was then a celebrated actor among them (Charles Hart. See Shakspere's Will), this opportunity made them greedily inquisitive into every little circumstance, more especially in his dramatick character, which his brother could relate of him. But he, it seems, was so stricken in years, and, possibly, his memory so weakened with infirmities (which might make him the easier pass for a man of weak intelle&ts) that he could give them but little light into their inquiries; and all that could be recollected from him of his brother Will, in that station, was the faint, general, and almost lost ideas he had of having once seen him act a part in one of his own comedies, wherein being to personate a decrepid old man, he wore a long beard, and appeared so weak and drooping, and unable to walk, that he was forced to be supported and carried by another person to a table, at which he was seated among some company who were eating, and one of them sung a song." See the character of Adam in As You Like It. Act II. Sc. ult.
“ Verses by Ben Jonson and Shakspere, occasioned by the motto to the Globe-Theatre. Totus mundus agit histrionem.
Poetical Characteristicks, 8vo. MS. vol. I. some time in the Harleian Library; which volume was returned to its owner."
« Old Mr. Bowman the player reported from Sir William Bishop, that some part of Sir John Falstaff's character was drawn from a townsman of Stratford, who either faithlessly broke a contract, or spitefully refused to part with some land, for a valuable consideration, adjoining to Shakspere's, in or near that town,"
To these anecdotes I can only add the following:
At the conclusion of the advertisement prefixed to Lintot's edition of Shakspere's poems, it is said, “ That most learned prince and great patron of learning, King James the First, was pleased with his own hand to write an amicable letter to Mr. Shakspere; which letter, though now lost, remained long in the hands of Sir William Davenant, as a credible person now living can testify.”
Mr. Oldys, in a' MS. note to his copy of Fuller's Worthies, observes, that “ the story came from the Ttij
duke of Buckingham, who had it from Sir William D'Avenent.
It appears from Roscius Anglicanus (commonly called Downes the prompter's book), 1708, that. Shakspere took the pains to instruct Joseph Taylor in the character of Hamlet, and John Lowine in that of King Henry VIII, Sreeyens.
* Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials of the
SHAkspere Family; transcribed from the Register-Book of the Parish of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire.
Jonet, daughter of John Shakspere, was baptized
Sept. 15, 1558.
April 30, 1563.
April 26, 1564.
April 15, 1569.
tized Sept. 28, 1571.
* With this extract from the register of Stratford, I was favoured by the Hon. James West, Esq. STEEVENS.
+ She married the ancestor of the Harts of Stratford.