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alleging that within two hours the fire had consumed | had been settled Shakespeare returned to Stratford, "fifty-four dwelling-houses, many of them being how long he remained there, or whether he ever very fair houses, besides barns, stables, and other came to London again, we are without information. houses of office, together also with grent store of He was very possibly in the metropolis at the time corn, hay, straw, wood, and timber." The amount when a narrative poem, founded in part upon his of loss is stated, on the same authority, to be historical play of "" Richard III.,” was published, "eight thousand pounds and upwards." What was and which until now has escaped observation, althe issue of this charitable appeal to the whole though it contains the clearest allusion, not indeed kingdom, we know not.
by name, to our author and to his tragedy. It is It is very certain that the dwelling of our great called “The Ghost of Richard the Third," and it dramatist, called New Place, escaped the conflagra- bears date in 1614; but the writer, C. B., only gives tion, and his property, as far as we can judge, seems his initials. We know of no poet of that day to to have been situated in a part of the town which whom they would apply, excepting Charles Best, fortunately did not suffer from the ravages of the fire. who has several pieces in Davison's “Poetical Rhap
The name of Shakespeare is not found among sody," 1602, but he has left nothing behind him to those of the inhabitants whose certificate was stated indicate that he would be capable of a work of such to be the immediate ground for issuing the royal brief, power and variety. It is divided into three portions, but it is not at all unlikely that he was instrumental the “Character, the "Legend," and the " Tragin obtaining it. We are sure that he was in Lon- edy" of Richard III.; and the second part opens don in November following the fire, and possibly with the following stanzas, which show the high was taking some steps in favor of his fellow-towns- estimate the writer hud formed of the genius of men. However, his principal business seems to Shakespeare: they are extremely interesting as a have related to the projected inclosure of certain contemporaneous tribute. Richard, narrating his common lands in the neighborhood of Stratford in own history, thus speaks:which he had an interest. Some inquiries as to
"To him that impt my fame with Clio's quill, the rights of various parties were instituted in Sep Whose magick
rnie'd me from Oblivion's den, tember, 1614, as we gather from a document yet That writ iny stories on the Muses hill, preserved, and which is now before us. The in
And with my actions dignified his pen;
He that from Helicon sends many a rill, dividuals whose claims are set out are," Mr. Shuke Whose nectared veines are drunke by thirstie men; speare," Thomas Parker, Mr. Lane, Sir Francis Crown'd be his stile with fame, his head with bayes, Smith, Mace, Arthur Cawdrey, and “Mr. Wright, And none detract, but gratulate his praise. vicar of Bishopton." All that it is necessary to " Yet if his scenes have not engrost all grace, quote is the following, which refers to Shakespeare, The much fam'd action could extend on stage ; and which, like the rest, is placed under the head
If Time or Memory bave left a place
For me to fill, t'enforme this ignorant age, of " Auncient Freeholders in the fields of Old Strat To that intent I show my horrid face, ford and Welcome.”
Imprest with feare and characters of rage :
Nor wits nor chronicles could ere containe "Mr. Shakspeare, 4 yard land : noe common, nor ground
The hell-deepe reaches of my soundlesse braine." beyond Gospell bushe: noe ground in Bandfield, nor none in Slow Hill field beyond Bishopton, nor none in the enclo The above is the last extant panegyric upon ShakeBures beyond Bishopton."
speare during his lifetime, and it exceeds, in point The date of this paper is 5th September, 1614, of fervor and zeal, if not in judicious criticism, any and, as we have said, we may presume that it was that had gone before it. That C. B. was an author chiefly upon this business that Shakespeare came to of distinction, and well known to some of the London on the 16th November. It should appear greatest poets of the day, we have upon their own thut Thomas Greene, of Stratford, was officially evidence, from the terms they use in their comopposing the inclosure on the part of the corpora- mendatory poems, subscribed by no less names than tion; and it is probable that Shakespeare's wishes those of Ben Jonson, George Chapman, and others. were accordant with those of the majority of the As we have stated, his work is one of great excelinhabitants : however this might be, (and it is liable lence, but it would be going too much out of our to dispute which party Shakespeare favored,) the way to enter here into any farther examination of its members of the municipal body of the borough were nearly unanimous, and, as far as we can learn from the imperfect particulars remaining upon this subject, they wished our poet to use his influence to
CHAPTER XX. resist the project, which seems to have been sup- Shakespeare's return to Stratford.—Marriage of his daughter ported by Mr. Arthur Mainwaring, then resident in
Judith to Thomas Quiney in February, 1616.--Shake the family of Lord Ellesmere as auditor of his do speare's will prepared in January, but dated March, 1616. mestic expenditure.
--His last illness : attended by Dr. Hall, his son-in-law. It is very likely that Shakespeare saw Mainwaring;
Uncertainty as to the nature of Shakespeare's fatal malady.
-His birth-dny and death-day the same.-Entry of bis ond, as it was only five or six years since his name burial in the register at Stratford. His will, and circumhad been especially brought under the notice of the stances to prove that it was prepared two months before Lord Chancellor, in relation to the claim of the city
it was executed.--- His bequest to his wife, and provision authorities to jurisdiction in the Blackfriars, it is
for her by dower. not impossible that Shakespeare may have had an The autumn seems to have been a very usual time interview with Lord Ellesmere, who seems at all for publishing new books, and Shakespeare having times to have been of a very accessible and kindly been in London in the middle of November, 1614, disposition. A petition was also prepared and pre- as we have remarked, he was perhaps there when sented to the privy council, and we may gather that "The Ghost of Richard the Third" came out, and, the opposition was effectual, because nothing was like Ben Jonson, Chapman, and others, might he done in the business: the common fields of Wel acquainted with the author. He probably returned combe, which it had been intended to inclose, re- home before the winter, and passed the rest of his mained open for pasture as before.
days in tranquil retirement, and in the enjoyment of How soon after the matter relating to the inclosure the society of his friends, whether residing in the
country, or occasionally visiting him from the me was probably not of long duration; and if when he tropolis
. “The latter part of his life," says Rowe, subscribed his will he had really been in health, we "was spent, as all men of good sense will wish are persuaded that at the age of only fifty-two he theirs may be, in ease, retirement, and the society would have signed his name with greater steadiness of his friends;" and he adds what cannot be doubted, and distinctness. All three signatures are more or that "his pleasurable wit and good-nature engaged less infirm and illegible, especially the first two, but him in the acquaintance, and entitled him to the he seems to have made an effort to write his best when friendship of the gentlemen of the neighborhood.” he affixed both his names at length at the end, " By He must have been of a lively and companionable me William Shakspeare." disposition; and his long residence in London, amid We hardly need entertain a doubt that he was the bustling and varied scenes connected with his attended in his last illness by his son-in-law, Dr. public life, independently of his natural powers of Hall, who had then been married to Susanna Shakeconversation, could not fail to render his society speare more than eight years: we have expressed most agreeable and desirable. We can readily be our opinion that Dr. and Mrs. Hall lived in the same lieve that when any of his old associates of the house with our poet, and it is to be recollected that stage, whether authors or actors, came to Stratford, in his will he leaves New Place to his daughter they found a hearty welcome and free entertainment Susanna. Hall must have been a mun of considerat his house: and that he would be the last man, inable science for the time at which he practised, and his prosperity, to treat with slight or indifference le has left behind him proofs of his knowledge and those with whom, in the earlier part of his career, skill in a number of cases which had come under he had been on terms of familiar intercourse. his own eye, and which he described in Latin: these
One of the very latest acts of his life was bestow-were afterwards translated from his manuscript, and ing the hand of his daughter Judith upon Thomas published in 1657 by Jonas Cooke, with the title of Quiney, a vintner and wine-merchant of Stratford, "Select Observations on English Bodies," but the the son of Richard Quiney, who died May 31st, case of Dr. Hall's father-in-law is not found there, 1602, while he was bailiff of Stratford. She because, unfortunately, the "observations" only bemust have been four years older than her hus- gin in 1617. One of the earliest of them shows band, having, as already stated, been born on 2d that an epidemic, called the "new fever," then preFebruary, 1585, while he was not born until 26th vailed in Stratford and "invaded many." Possibly February, 1589: he was consequently twenty-seven Shakespeare was one of these ; though, had such years old, and she thirty-one, at the time of their been the fact, it is not unlikely that, when spenking marriage in February, 1616. As there was a dif- of "the Lady Beaufou," who suffered under it on ference of four years in the ages of Judith Shake- July 1st, 1617, Dr. Hall would have referred back speare and her husband, we ought perhaps to receive to the earlier instance of his father-in-law.c that fact as some testimony, that our great dramatist We are left, therefore, in utter uncertainty as to did not see sufficient evil in such disproportion to the immediate cause of the death of Shakespeare induce him to oppose the union.
at an age when he would be in full possession of His will had been prepared as long before its his faculties, and when in the ordinary course of actual date as 25th January, 1615–16, and this fact nature he might have lived many years in the enjoyis apparent on the face of it: it originally began ment of the society of his family and friends, in that "Vicesimo quinto die Januarij," (not Februarij, as grateful and easy retirement, which had been earned Malone erroneously read it,) but the word Jannarij, by his genius and industry, and to obtain which had was subsequently struck through with a pen, and apparently been the main object of many years of Martij substituted by interlineation. Possibly it toil, anxiety, and deprivation. was not thought necessary to alter vicesimo quinto, Whatever doubt may prevail as to the day of the or the 25th March might be the very day the will birth of Shakespeare, none can well exist as to the was executed: if it were, the signatures of the tes- day of his death. The inscription on his monument tator, upon each of the three sheets of paper of in Stratford church tells us, which the will consists, bear evidence (from the
* Obiit Anno Domini 1616. want of firmness in the writing) that he was at that time suffering under sickness. It opens, it is true,
Ætatis 53. die 23 Apr." by stating that he was " in perfect health and mem. And it is remarkable that he was born and died on ory," and such was doubtless the case when the the same day of the same month, supposing him, as instrument was prepared in January, but the execution of it might be deferred until he was attacked That Shakespeare was of sober, though of companionable by serious indisposition, and then the date of the habits, we are thoroughly convinced : he could not have month only might be altered, leaving the assertion and additions now lost) in five-and-twenty years had he been
written seven-and-thirty plays (not reckoning alterations as to health and memory as it had originally stood. otherwise ; and we are sure also, that it Drayton and Ben What was the nature of Shakespeare's fatal illness Jonson
visited himn at Stratford, he would give them a free we have no satisfactory means of knowing," but it Drayton was at all given to intoxication, although it is cer
tain that Ben Jonson was a bountiful liver. • The fruits of this marriage were three sons : viz. Shake He several times speaks of sicknesses in his own family, speare, baptized 230 November, 1616, and buried May 8th, and of the manner in which he had removed them. “Mrs. 1617; Richard, baptized 9th February, 1617-18,
and buried Hall, of Stratford, my wife,” is more than once introduced 2612 February, 1638-9; and Thomas, baptized 231 January, in the course of the volume, as well as " Elizabeth Hall, my 2619-20, and buried 28th January, 1638-9. Judith Quiney, only daughter." Mrs. Susanna Hall died in 1649, aged 66, their mother, did not die until after the Restoration, and was and was buried at Stratford. Elizabeth Hall, her daughter buried 9th February, 1661-2.
by Dr. Hall, (baptized on the 21st February, 1607–8.) and The Rev. John Ward's Diary, to which we have before grand-daughter to our poet, was married on the 221 April, referred, contains the following undated paragraph : 1626, to Mr. Thomas Nash, (who died in 1617,) and on 5th
"Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson, had a merie June, 1649, to Mr. John Bernard, of Abingdon, who was meeting, and, itt seems, drank too hard, for Shakespear died knighted after the Restoration. Lady Bernard died child. of a fevuur there contracted."
less in 1679, and was buried, not at Stratford, with her own What credit nay be due to this statement, preceded As it family, but at Abingdon with that of her second husband. is by the words " it seems," implying a doubt on the subject Sho was the last of the lineal descendants of William Shake in the writer's mind, we must legvo the reader to determine.) speare.
we have every reason to believe, to have first seen be answered, that the second best bed" was probthe light on the 230 April, 1564. It was most usual ably that in which the husband and wife had slept, about that period to mention the day of death in when he was in Stratford earlier in life, and every inscriptions upon tomb-stones, tablets, and monu- night since his retirement from the metropolis: the ments; and such was the case with other members best bed was doubtless reserved for visiters: if, of the Shakespeare family. We are thus informed therefore, he were to leave his wife any express that his wife, Anne Shakespeare, "departed this legacy of the kind, it was most natural and considlife the 6th day of Augn. 1623 :" Dr. Hall “de-erate that he should give her that piece of furniture, ceased Nove. 25. Ao. 1635 :" Thomas Nash, who which for many years they had jointly occupied. married Hall's daughter, " died April 4, A. 1647 :" | With regard to the second part of the charge, our Susanna Hall" deceased the 11th of July, Ao. 1649." great dramatist has of late years been relieved from Therefore, although the Latin inscription on the the stigma, thus attempted to be thrown upon him, monument of our great dramatist may, from its form by the mere remark of Mr. Knight, in his " Pictoriand punctuation, appear not so decisive as those we ai Shakspere," that Shakespeare's property being have quoted in English, there is in fact no ground principally freehold, the widow, by the ordinary for disputing that he died on 23. April, 1616. It is operation of the law of England, would be entitled quite certain from the register at Stratford that he to, what is legally known by the term, dower. It was interred on the 25th April, and the record of is extraordinary that this explanation should never that event is placed among the burials in the fol- have occurred to Malone, who was educated to the lowing manner:
legal profession ; but that many others should have
followed him in his unjust imputation is not re"1616, April 25, Will Shakspere, Gent."
markable, recollecting how prone most of ShakeWhether from the frequent prevalence of infec- speare's biographers have been to repeat errors, tious disorders, or from any other cause, the custom rather than take the trouble to inquire for themof keeping the bodies of relatives unburied, for a selves, to sift out truth, and to balance probabilities. week or more after death, seems comparatively of modern origin; and we may illustrate this point also by reference to facts regarding some of the members of the Shakespeare family. Anne Shake
CHAPTER XXI. speare was buried two days after she died, viz., on the 8th August, 1623: Dr. Hall and Thomas Nash Monument to Shakespenre nt Stratford-upon-Avon erected were buried on the day after they died; and al
before 1623; probably under the superintendence of Dr.
Hall, and Shakespeare's daughter Susanna.-Difference though it is true that there was an interval of five
between the bust on the monument and the portrait on days between the death and burial of Mrs. Hall, in the title-page of the folio of 1623.-Ben Jonson's testimony 1649, it is very possible that her corpse was con
in favor of the likeness of the latter. -Shakespeare's per. veyed from some distance, to be interred among her
sonal appearance.-His social and convivial qualities.
"Wit-combats" mentioned by Fuller in his "Worthies." relations at Stratford. In the case of our poet, con - Epitaph upon Sir Thomas Stanley.-Conclusion.-Halcluding that he expired on the 230 April, there was, lam's character of Shakespeare, as in the instance of his wife, an interval of two days before his interment.
A MONUMENT to Shakespeare was erected anterior Into the particular provisions of his will we need to the publication of the folio edition of his “Com. not enter at all at large, because we have printed it it is thus distinctly mentioned by Leonard Digges,
edies, Histories, and Tragedies" in 1623, because at the end of the present memoir from the original, in the earliest copy of commendatory verses preas it was filed in the Prerogative Court, probate fixed to that volume, which he states shall outlive having been granted on the 22d June following the date of it. His daughter Judith is there only called
the poet's tomb :by her Christian name, although she had been mar
" when that stone is rent, ried to Thomas Quiney considerably more than a
And time dissolves thy Stratford Monument,
Here we alive shall view thee still." month anterior to the actual date of the will, and although his eldest daughter Susanna is mentioned This is the most ancient notice of it; but how by her husband's patronymic. It seems evident, long before 1623 it had been placed in the church from the tenor of the whole instrument, that when of Stratford-upon-Avon, we have no means of deit was prepared Judith was not married, although ciding. It represents the poet sitting under an her speedy union with Thomas Quiney was contem- arch, with a cushion before him, a pen in his right plated : the attorney or scrivener, who drew it, had hand, and his left resting upon a sheet of paper: it first written "son and daughter," (meaning Judith has been the opinion of the best judges that it was and her intended husband) but erased the words cut by an English sculptor, (perhaps Thomas Stan
son and" afterwards, as the parties were not yet ton) and we may conclude, without much hesitation, married, and were not "son and daughter" to the that the artist was employed by Dr. Hall and his testator. It is true that Thomas Quiney would not wife, and that the resemblance was as faithful as a have been Shakespeare's son, only his son-in-law; bust, not modelled from the life, but probably, under but the degrees of consanguinity were not at that living instructions, from some picture or cast, could time strictly marked and attended to, and in the be expected to be. Shakespeare is there considersame will Elizabeth Hall is called the testator's ably fuller in the face, than in the engraving on the "niece," when she was, in fact, his granddaughter. title-page of the folio of 1623, which must have
The bequest which has attracted most attention is been made from a different original. It seems not an interlineation in the following words, " Itin 1 unlikely that after he separated himself from the gyve unto my wief my second best bed with the business and anxiety of a professional life, and furniture." Upon this passage has been founded, withdrew to the permanent inhaling of his native by Malone and others, a charge against Shake-air, he became more robust, and the hall-length speare, that he only remembered his wife as an upon his monument conveys the notion of a cheerafterthought, and then merely gave her "an old fül, good-tempered, and somewhat jovial man. The bed.” As to the last part of the accusation, it may expression, we apprehend, is less intellectual than
it must have been' in reality, and the forehead, Aubrey is the only authority, beyond the inferences though lofty and expansive, is not strongly marked that may be drawn from the portraits, for the perwith thought: on the whole, it has rather a look sonal appearance of Shakespeare ; and he sums up of gaiety and good humor than of thought and re our great poet's physical and moral endowments in flection, and the lips are full, and apparently in the two lines;-" He was a handsome well-shaped man, act of giving utterance to some amiable pleasantry. very good company, and of a very ready, and pleasThe bust was originally, like many other monuments ant, and smooth wit." We have every reason to of the time, colored after the life, and so it contin- suppose that this is a correct description of his perued until Malone, forgetting the practice of the sonal appearance, but we are unable to add to it period at which the work was produced, had it from any other source, unless indeed we were to painted one uniform stone-color. It was afterwards rely upon a few equivocal passages in the " Sonnets." found impossible to restore the original colors. Upon this authority it has been supposed by some
On a tablet below the bust are placed the follow that he was lame, and certainly the 37th and 89th ing inscriptions, which we give literally :
Sonnets, without allowing for a figurative mode of "Ivdicio Pylivm, genio Socratem, arte Maronem, expression, might be taken to import as much. If
Terrn tegit, popvlvs mæret, Olyinpvs habet. we were to consider the words literally, we should Stay, Passenger, why goest thov by so fast?
imagine that some accident had befallen him, which Read, if thov cavst, whom enviovs Death hath plast
rendered it impossible that he should continue on Within this monvment: Shak-penre ; with whome Quick natyre dide: whose name doth deck ye Tombe the stage, and hence we could easily account for his Far more then cost; sieth all yt he hath writt
early retirement from it. We know that such was Leaves living art bvt page to serve his witt
the case with one of his most famous predecessors, Obiit ano Dol, 1616.
Christopher Marlowe, but we have no sufficient Ætatis. 53. die 23 Apr."
reason for believing it was the fact as regards On a flat grave-stone in front of the monument, Shakespeare: he is evidently speaking metaphoriand not far from the wall against which it is fixed, cally in both places, where "lame" and" lameness" we read these lines; and Southwell's correspond- occur. ent (whose letter was printed in 1838, from the His social qualities, his good temper, hilarity, original manuscript dated 1693) informs us, speak- vivacity, and what Aubrey calls his “ very ready, and ing of course from tradition, that they were written pleasant, and smooth wit," (in our author's own by Shakespeare himself:
words, "pleasant without scurrility, witly without "Good frend, for lesys sake forbeare
affectation,") cannot be doubted, since, besides To digg the dyst enclosed heare:
what may be gathered from his works, we have it Blest be ye man yt spares thes stones,
from various quarters; and although nothing very And cvrst be he yt moves my bones."
good of this kind may have descended to us, we The half-length on the title-page of the folio of have sufficient to show that he must have been a 1623, engraved by Martin Droeshout, has certainly most welcome visitor in all companies. The epithet an expression of greater gravity than the bust on “gentle” has been frequently applied to him, twice Shakespeare's monument; and, making some al- by Ben Jonson, (in his lines before the engraving, lowances, we can conceive the original of that re- and in his laudatory verses prefixed to the plays semblance more capable of producing the mighty in the folio of 1623,) and if it be not to be underworks Shakespeare has left behind him, than the stood precisely in its modern acceptation, we may be original of the bust: the one may be said to repre- sure that one distinguishing feature in his character sent Shakespeare during his later years at Stratford, was general kindliness: he may have been “sharp happy in the intercourse of his family and friends, and sententious," but never needlessly bitter or illand the cheerful companion of his neighbors and natured: his wit had no malice for an ingredient. townsmen ; and the other, Shakespeare in London, Fuller speaks of the "wit-combats" between Shakerevolving the great works he had written or pro- speare and Ben Jonson at the convivial meetings at jected, and with his mind somewhat burdened by the Mermaid club, established by Sir Walter Raleigh; the cares of his professional life.
and he adds, " which two I behold like a Spanish There is one point in which both the engraving great galleon and an English man-of-war: Master and the bust in a degree concur,-we mean in the Jonson, like the former, was built far higher in length of the upper lip, although the peculiarity learning; solid, but slow in his performances : seems exaggerated in the bust. Opposite the en- Shakespeare, with the English man-of-war, lesser graving are the following lines, subscribed with the in bulk, but lighter in sailing, could turn with all initials of Ben Johnson, and doubtless from his pen. tides, tack about
, and take advantage of all winds We give them exactly as they stand in the folio of by the quickness of his wit and invention.” Fuller 1623:
has another simile, on the same page, respecting "TO THE READER.
Shakespeare and his acquirements, which is worth “ This Figure, that thou here seest put,
quoting. “He was an eminent instance of the truth It was for gentle Shakespeare cut; Wherein the Graner had a strife
of that rule, Poeta non fit, sed nascitur; one is not With Nature, to out-doo the life :
made, but born a poet. Indeed his learning was O, could he but haue drawne his wit
very little, so that as Cornish diamonds are not polAs well in brasse, As he hath hit His face; the Print would then surpasse
ished by any lapidary, but are pointed and smooth All, that was euer writ in brasso,
even as they are taken out of the earth, so nature itBut, since he cannot, Reader, looke
self was all the art which was used upon him." Of Not on his Picture, but his Booke,
course Fuller is here only referring to Shakespeare's B. I."
classical acquirements : his “learning" of a difIf only half the pictures said, within the last cen- ferent kind, perhaps, exceeded that of all the antury, to represent Shakespeare, were in fact from cients put together. the life, the poet must have possessed a vast stock Connected with Ben Jonson's solidity and slowof patience, if not a larger share of vanity, when he ness is the following witticism between him and devoted so much time to sitting to the artists of the Shakespeare, said to have passed at a tavern. duy
“Mr. Ben Jonson and Mr. Wm. Shakespeuro
being merrie at a tavern, Mr. Jonson begins this for This stony register is for his bones ; his epitaph,
His fame is more perpetunl than these stones :
And his own goodness, with himself being gone,
Shall live when earthly monument is none. he gives it to Mr. Shakespeare to make up, who
“ Written on the west end thereof. presently writt
"Not monumental stone preserves our fame,
Nor sky-aspiring pyramids our name.
The memory of him for whom this stands
Sball out-live marble and defacers' hands, It is certainly not of much value, but there is a When all to time's consumption shall be given, great difference between the estimate of an extem
Stanley, for whom this stands, shall stand in heaven." pore joke at the moment of delivery, and the opinion
We have thus brought into a consecutive narrative we may form of it long afterwards, when it has been the particulars respecting the life of the "Myriadput upon paper, and transmitted to posterity under minded Shakespeare," with which our predecessors such 'names as those of Shakespeare and Jonson. were acquainted, or which, from various sources, we The same excuse may be made for two other pieces have been able, during a long series of years, to of unpretending pleasantry between the same par-collect. Yet, after all, comparing what we really ties, which have been handed down to us upon know of our great drumatist with what we might something like authority. “Shakespeare was god- possibly have known, we cannot but be aware how father to one of Ben Jonson's children, and after little has been accomplished. “Of William Shakethe christening, being in a deepe study, Jonson came speare," says one of our greatest living authors (Halto cheere him up, and askt him why he was so mel lam, in his Introduction to the Literature of Europe) ancholy ! -No, faith, Ben, (sayes he) not I; but I of our greatest dead one, “whom, through the have been considering a great while what should be mouths of those whom he has inspired to body forth the fittest gift for me to bestow upon my god-child, the modifications of his immense mind, we seem to and I have resolv'd at last.'— I pr’ythee what?' know better than any human writer, it may be truly says he.' I 'faith, Ben, I'll e'en give him a douzen said that we scarcely know anything. We see him, of Latten spoones, and thou shalt translate them.' so far as we do see him, not in himself, but in a Of course the joke depends upon the pun between reflex image from the objectivity in which he is Latin, and the mixed metal called latten.
manifested: he is Falstaff, and Mercutio, and MalThe next is from a M$. formerly in the Harleian volio, and Jaques, and Portia, and Imogen, and Collection:
Lear, and Othello; but to us he is scarcely a deter“Verses by Ben Jonson and Shakespeare, occa- mined person, a substantial reality of past time, the sioned by the motto to the Globe theatre- Totus man Shakespeare." We cannot flatter ourselves mundus agit histrionem.
that we have done much to bring the reader better " Jonson. If but stage-actors all the world displays,
acquainted with "the man Shakespeare," but if we Where shall we find spectators of their plays ? have done anything we shall be content; and, in" Shakespeare. Little, or much of what we see, we do; stead of attempting any character of our own, we
We are both actors and spectators too." will subjoin one, in the words of the distinguished of a different character is a production preserved writer we have above quoted, as brief in its form as by Dugdale, at the end of his 'Visitation of Salop, it is comprehensive in its matter:—"The name of in the Heralds' College: it is an epitaph, inscribed Shakespeare is the greatest in our literature—it is upon the tomb of Sir Thomas Stanley, in Tongue the greatest in all literature. No man ever came church; and Dugdale, whose testimony is unim near to him in the creative powers of the mind; no peachable,distinctly states that "the following verses man had ever such strength at once, and such variety were made by William Shakespeare, the late famous of imagination," tragedian."
If the details of his life be imperfect, the history “Written upon the east end of the tomb. of his mind is complete; and we leave the reader " Ask who lies here, but do not weep;
to turn from the contemplation of "the man ShakeHe is not dead, be doth but sleep.
speare" to the study of THR POET SHAKESPEARE.