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of the glove trade in queen Elizabeth's time. But, notwithstanding the flourishing state of that trade in Stratford, and a conjecture, that John Shakspeare furnished his customers with "leathern hose, aprons, belts, points, jerkins, pouches, wallets, satchels, and purses," Mr. Malone confesses, that from all this, the poet's father derived but a scanty maintenance.

John Shakspeare had been, in 1568, an officer or bailiff (high-bailiff or mayor) of the body corporate of Stratford, and chief alderman in 1571. At one time, it is said that he possessed lands and tenements to the amount of 500l., the reward of his grandfather's faithful and approved services to king Henry VIII. This might account for his being elected to the magistracy, had it not been asserted upon very doubtful authority; but Mr. Malone is of opinion, that these "faithful and approved services" must be meant of some of the ancestors of his wife, one of the Ardens.

Whatever may have been his former wealth it appears to have been greatly reduced in the latter part of his life, as it is found in the books of the corporation, that in 1579 he was excused the trifling weekly tax of fourpence, levied on all the aldermen; and that in 1586 another alderman was appointed in his room, in consequence of his declining to attend on the business of that office.

His wife, to whom he was married in 1557, this long agiwas the youngest daughter and heiress of RoLife of Shak-bert Arden, of Wellingcote or Wilmecote, in on of Shak- the county of Warwick, by Agnes Webb his yo. 1821. It wife. Mary Arden's fortune, Mr. Malone has about the discovered, amounted to one hundred and ten pounds thirteen shillings and fourpence!

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Life of Shakspeare

By A. Chalmers.

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father derived but a scanty maintenance.

WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE was born at Stratford- of the glove trade in queen Elizabeth's time. upon-Avon, in Warwickshire, on the 23d day | But, notwithstanding the flourishing state of of April, 1564. Of the rank of his family it that trade in Stratford, and a conjecture, that is not easy to form an opinion. Mr. Rowe John Shakspeare furnished his customers with says, that according to the register and certain" leathern hose, aprons, belts, points, jerkins, public writings relating to Stratford, his an- pouches, wallets, satchels, and purses," Mr. cestors were of good figure and fashion" | Malone confesses, that from all this, the poet's in that town, and are mentioned as "gentlemen;" but the result of the late as well as early inquiries made by Mr. Malone is, that the epithet gentleman was first applied to the poet, and even to him at a late period of his life. Mr. Malone's inclination to elevate Shakspeare's family cannot be doubted, yet he is obliged to confess that, after thirty years' labour, he could find no evidence to support it. His father, John Shakspeare, according to Mr. Malone's conjecture, was born in or before the year 1530. John Shakspeare was not originally of Stratford, but, perhaps, says Mr. Malone, of Snitterfield, which is but three miles from Stratford. He came to Stratford not very long after the year 1550. Former accounts have reported him to have been a considerable dealer in wool, but Mr. Malone bas discovered that he was a glover; and, to add importance to this discovery, he has given us a historical dissertation upon the state

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John Shakspeare had been, in 1568, an officer or bailiff (high-bailiff or mayor) of the body corporate of Stratford, and chief alderman in 1571. At one time, it is said that he possessed lands and tenements to the amount of 500l., the reward of his grandfather's faithful and approved services to king Henry VIII. This might account for his being elected to the magistracy, had it not been asserted upon very doubtful authority; but Mr. Malone is of opinion, that these "faithful and approved services" must be meant of some of the ancestors of his wife, one of the Ardens.

Whatever may have been his former wealth it appears to have been greatly reduced in the latter part of his life, as it is found in the books of the corporation, that in 1579 he was excused the trifling weekly tax of fourpence, levied on all the aldermen; and that in 1586 another alderman was appointed in his room, in consequence of his declining to attend on the business of that office.

the county of Warwick, by Agnes Webb his wife. Mary Arden's fortune, Mr. Malone has discovered, amounted to one hundred and ten pounds thirteen shillings and fourpence!

On the subject of the trade of John Shak"speare, 1 am not under the necessity of relying "on conjecture, being enabled, after a very tedious His wife, to whom he was married in 1557, and troublesome search, to shut up this long agiwas the youngest daughter and heiress of Ro"tated question for ever." Malone's Life of Shak-bert Arden, of Wellingcote or Wilmecote, in speare, vol. ii. p. 70. of his new edition of Shakspeare's Plays and Poems, 21 vols. 8vo. 1821. It does not appear where any question about the trade of John Shakspeare was ever agitated. His being a dealer in wool was first asserted by Mr. Rowe, and silently acquiesced in by all succeeding editors and commentators, Mr. Malone not excepted, until he discovered that John's trade was that of a glover; and then, in his imagination, he had the honour of shutting up a long agitated question for ever.

Mr. Arden is styled a gentleman of worship," and the family of Arden is very ancient. Robert Arden of Bromich, Esq., is in the list of the Warwickshire gentry, returned by the commissioners in the twelfth year of king

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Henry V., A.D. 1433. sheriff of the county in 1568. part of this county was anciently called Ardern, afterwards softened to Arden, and hence the

name.

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Edward Arden was ❘ mestic economy or professional occupation at The woodland this time, we have no information; but if we may credit former accounts, by Rowe, &c., it would appear, that both were in a considerable degree neglected, in consequence of his associating with a gang of deer-stealers.

It was formerly said that John Shakspeare had ten children, and it was inferred, that the providing for so large a family must have embarrassed his circumstances; but Mr. Malone has reduced them to eight, five of whom only attained to the age of maturity,-four sons and a daughter. Our illustrious poet was the eldest of the eight, and received his education, however narrow or liberal, at the free-school founded at Stratford.

From this he appears to have been placed in the office of some country attorney, or the seneschal of some manor court, where, it is highly probable, he picked up those technical law phrases that frequently occur in his plays, and which could not have been in common use unless among professional men. It has been remarked, but the remark will probably be thought of no great value, that he derives none of his allusions from the other learned professions. Of amusements, his favourite appears to have been falconry. Very few, if any of his plays, are without some allusions to that sport; and archery, likewise, appears to have engaged much of his attention.

Mr. Capell conjectures, that his early marriage prevented his being sent to one of the universities. It appears, however, as Dr. Farmer observes, that his early life was incompatible with a course of education; and it is certain that his contemporaries, friends and foes, "nay, and himself likewise, agree in his want "of what is usually termed literature." It is, indeed, a strong argument in favour of Shakspeare's illiterature, that it was maintained by all his contemporaries, many of whom have bestowed every other merit upon him, and by his successors, who lived nearest to his time, when "his memory was green:" and that it has been denied only by Gildon, Sewell, and others, down to Upton, who could have no means of ascertaining the truth. Mr. Malone seems inclined to revive their opinion, but finds it impossible.

In his eighteenth year (1582), or perhaps a little sooner, he married ANNE HATHAWAY, who was seven years and a half older than himself. She was the daughter of one Hathaway, who is said to have been a substantial yeoman in the neighbourhood of Stratford. Of his do

It is said, that being detected with them in robbing the park, that is, stealing deer out of the park of sir Thomas Lucy, of Charlecote, near Stratford, he was so rigorously prosecuted by that gentleman as to be obliged to leave his family and business, whatever that might be, and take shelter in London. Sir Thomas, on this occasion, was exasperated by a ballad which Shakspeare wrote (probably his first essay in poetry), of which the following stanza was communicated to Mr. Oldys :

“A parliemente member, a justice of peace,
At home a poor scare-crowe, at London an asse,
If lowsie is Lucy, as some volke miscalle it,
Then Lucy is lowsie, whatever befall it :

He thinks himself greate,

Yet an asse in his state

We allowe by his ears but with asses to mate,
If Lucy is lowsie, as some volke miscalle it,
Sing lowsie Lucy, whatever befall it.”

In our preceding edition, we remarked that these lines do no great honour to our poet, and the satire was probably unjust; for, although some of his admirers have exclaimed against sir Thomas as a “vain, weak, and vindictive magistrate," he was certainly exerting no very violent act of oppression in protecting his property against a young man who was degrading the commonest rank of life, and who had at this time bespoke no indulgence by any display of superior talents. It was also added, that the ballad must have made some noise at sir Thomas's expense, for the author took care it should be affixed to his park gates, and liberally circulated among his neighbours.

In defence of Shakspeare, Mr. Malone attempts to prove that our poet could not have of fended sir Thomas Lucy by stealing his deer: FIRST, because (granting for a moment that he did steal deer) stealing deer was a common youthful frolic, and therefore could not leave any very deep stain on his character: SECONDLY, it was a practice wholly unmixed with any sordid or lucrative motive, for the venison thus obtained was not sold, but freely participated at a convivial board: THIRDLY, that the ballad Shakspeare is said to have written in ridicule of sir Thomas Lucy is a forgery and LASTLY, that sir Thomas had no park, and no deer.

After this very singular defence of Shakspeare, which occupies thirty of Mr. Malone's pages, besides some very prolix notes, he appears to be perplexed to know what to do with Shakspeare's resentment against sir Thomas Lucy. That he had a resentment against this gentleman is certain, and that he retained it for many years is equally certain, for he gave vent to it in 1601, when he wrote "The Merry Wives of Windsor," about a year after sir Thomas's

death.

Mr. Malone, after allowing that various passages in the first scene of the above-mentioned play afford ground for believing that our author, on some account or other, had not the most profound respect for sir Thomas, adds, "the dozen white luces, however, which Shallow is made to commend as a good coat,' was not sir Thomas Lucy's coat of arms: though Mr. Theobald asserts that it is found on the monument of one of the family, as represented by Dugdale. No such coat certainly is found, either in Dugdale's Antiquities of Warwickshire, or in the church of Charlecote, where I in vain sought for it. It is probable that the deviation from the real coat of the Lucies, which was gules, three lucies hariant, argent, was intentionally made by our poet, that the application might not be too direct, and give offence to sir Thomas Lucy's son, who, when this play was written, was living, and much respected, at Stratford."

As the deer-stealing story has hitherto been told in order to account for Shakspeare's arrival in London, it might have been expected that Mr. Malone would have been enabled to substitute some other reason, and to precede the arrival of our poet with some circumstances of more importance and of greater dignity; but nothing of this kind is to be found. We have lost the old tradition, with all its feasible accompaniments, but have got nothing in return. All that Mr. Malone ventures to conjecture, is, that when Shakspeare left Stratford, he was involved in some pecuniary difficulties."

On his arrival in London, which was probably in the year 1586, when he was only twenty-two years old, he is said to have made his first acquaintance in the play-house, to which idleness or taste may have directed him, and where his necessities, if tradition may be credited, obliged him to accept the office of cali-boy, or prompter's assistant. This is a menial whose employment it is to give the performers notice to be ready to enter, as often

as the business of the play requires their appearance on the stage. Pope, however, relates a story communicated to him by Rowe, but which Rowe did not think deserving of a place in the life which he wrote, that must a little retard the advancement of our poet to the office just mentioned. According to this story, Shakspeare's first employment was to wait at the door of the play-house, and hold the horses of those who had no servants, that they might be ready after the performance. But "I cannot," says his acute commentator, Mr. Steevens, "dismiss this anecdote without "observing that it seems to want every mark "of probability. Though Shakspeare quitted "Stratford on account of a juvenile irregula"rity, we have no reason to suppose that he "had forfeited the protection of his father, who was engaged in lucrative business, or the "love of his wife, who had already brought "him two children, and was herself the

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daughter of a substantial yeoman. It is un"likely, therefore, when he was beyond the "reach of his prosecutor, that he should con"ceal his plan of life, or place of residence, "from those who, if he found himself dis

tressed, could not fail to afford him such supplies as would have set him above the "necessity of holding horses for subsistence. "Mr Malone has remarked, in his Attempt "to ascertain the Order in which the Plays of

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Shakspeare were written,' that he might "have found an easy introduction to the stage: "for Thomas Green, a celebrated comedian of "that period, was his townsman, and perhaps "his relation. The genius of our author "prompted him to write poetry; his connexion "with a player might have given his produc"tions a dramatic turn; or his own sagacity 66 might have taught him that fame was not incompatible with profit, and that the theatre was an avenue to both. That it was once the "general custom to ride on horseback to the I play I am likewise yet to learn. The most "popular of the theatres were on the Bank"side; and we are told by the satirical pamphleteers of that time, that the usual mode "of conveyance to these places of amusement was by water, but not a single writer so "much as hints at the custom of riding to "them, or at the practice of having horses "held during the hours of exhibition. Some "allusion to this usage (if it had existed), must, I think, have been discovered in the course of our researches after contemporary

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