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Account of the celebrated SHAKESPEAR. 151 he continued for some time ; but having, his lively wit and engaging manners proby a misfortune too common to young fel- cured him the acquaintance and friendship. lows, fallen into bad company, some of of the gentlemen of the neighbourhoud, whom made a frequent pra&ice of deer. In that country they have a tradition to this stealing, he was engaged with them more day, that he had a particular intimacy with than once in robbing the park of Sir Tho- Mr, Combe, an old gentleman noted for mas Lucy, of Cherlecot, near Stratford, his wealth, and for being a great usurer ; who prosecuted him for it ; and as he A and that in a pleasant conversation with thought him too severe, to be revenged, him and other friends, Mr. Combe merrily he made a ballad upon him, which, prom told Shakespear, that he fancied he intende bably, was the first eslay of his poetry, ed to write his epitaph, if he happened to tho it be now loft. However, 'tis said to out-live him, and since he could not know have been so very bitter, that it redoubled
what might be said of him when he was the prosecution against him ; so that he dead, he desired it might be done immedia was forced to leave his bufiness and family “ately : Upon which Shakespear gave him in the country, for some time, and take Thelter in London. Tho' this was certain
the following lines : B
Ten in tbe bundred lies bere ingrav'd, ly at that time a blemish upon his charac- 'Tis a bundred to ten bis soul is not fao'd: ter, and seemed at first to be a misfortune
If any man ask, wbó lies in tbis romb ? to him ; yet it afterwards proved the oc.
OL! bo! quorbibe devil, 'ris my Jobned. cafion of exerting one of the greatest ge. Como nius's in dramatick poetry that ever was known.
But the sharpness of the satire is said to For as the abovementioned accident
have Nung the man so severely, that he brought him to London, so it occafioned C never forgave it.
Shakespear died in 1616, in the <3d year his first acquaintance with the play.
of his age, and was buried on the north ers ; among whom tho' he ac first stood in
fide of the chancel, in the great church at a very mean rank, yet his admirable wit,
Stratford, where a monument is placed in and the natural turn of it to the Nage, roon
the wall. On his grave-ftone underneath distinguished him, if not as an extraordioa
are there lines :
Good friend, for Jefus' fake forbear but, it seems; the top of his
To dig the dust inclosed bere. was the ghost in his own Hamlet. Befides Blef be tbe man ibat spares obese stones, his furprizing and almost inimitable wit,
And curft be be obat moves my
bones, he was a very good-natured man, of great He had three daughters, of whom two sweetness in his temper and manners, and lived to be married, and had children ; but a most delightful companion ; which excel. there all died without issue, lent qualities brought him acquainted with Mr. Pope says, if ever an author dethe best perfons of his time. Q. Elizabeth ferved the name of an original, it was had several of his plays acted before her, Shakespear.-His characters are so much and, without doubt, gave him many gra. E nature herself, that it is a sort of incious marks of her favour : She was so jury to call them copies of her.-Every well pleased with his character of Falstaff, fingle character in him is as much an indiin the two parts of Henry IV. that the vidual as those in life itself. The power comminded him to continue it for one play over our passions was never poffeffed in more, and to lhew him in love ; which is a more eminent degree, or displayed in Taid to bave been the occasion of his wri- fo different instances : Yet all along there ting'Tbe MerryWives of Windsor. But the is no labour, no pains to raise them :-We particular nocice and encouragement of F are surprized the moment we weep ; and the queen was not his only advantage : yet upon reflection find the passion so just, The earl of Southampton, so famous for that we should be surprised if we had not his friendship to the unfortunate earl of wept, and wept at the very moment. Effex, was his munificent and generous -How surprizing is it again, that the patron, who at one time is said to have pasfions directly contrary to these, laugh given him 1000 l. to enable him to go thro' ter and spleen, are no less at his comwith a purchase he was then about. It mand! That he is not more a master was to this noble lord that he dedicated his of the great than of the ridiculous in hu. poem of Venus and Adonis.
G man nature ; of our noblest tender. The laiter part of his life was passed in nesses, than of our vainest foibles, of our retirement and the conversation of his strongest emotions, than of our idleft fen. friends. He had the good fortune to ac- sations.--Nor does he only excel in the quire a competent estate, and is said to pafsions : In the coolness of reflection and have spent some years before his death at reasoning he is still as admirable. his native Stratford. It is no wonder, thas
152 BRITAIN's ISL E.
Prince of Wales.
153 JOURNAL of the ProceedingŚ and DEBATES
in the POLITICAL CLUB, continued from p. 112. In the Debate continued in your last, army are or may be householders
the next that spoke was C. Popilius or freemen of some of our cities or Lænas, whose Speech was in Sub. boroughs, we ought to make them fance as follows.
as independent of their commanders
as is consistent with the nature of Mr. President,
military discipline in time of peace, SIR,
A which certainly does not then stand Hatever the noble lord in need of being so strict as in time who spoke last may think,
Nay, if peace continues I am far from
any long time, and this power which opinion, that the punishment of this colonels have assumed over the staffserjeant and corporal proceeded officers of their regiment be likewise purely from a regard for the free. continued, I do not in the least quesdom of our elections. On the con- B tion but chat a soldier having a vote trary, when I consider what a num- for a member of parliament will be .ber of the officers and soldiers of the a more powerful recommendation guards have houses in Westminster, for his being made a corporal or and consequently a right to vote for serjeant, than any military qualifi. representatives of that city in par- cation he can acquire or be indued liament, I am ap to think, that this with ; and if this should ever be the
severe punishment was inflicted on cconsequence, I am afraid, our army purpose to shew to all such officers would make but a sorry appearance and soldiers, what they were to ex- in the next war the nation might be pect if they voted for that candidate, engaged in. in whose favour the poor soldier I ħall admit, Sir, that we cannot seemed wantonly to declare himself; certainly judge of a man's motives for therefore I must conclude, that any action or any instance of behavi. the exercise of this power, at that Dour, but from the action or instance particular time, proceeded not from icielf, and from concurrent circum. a regard for the freedom, but from ftances, we may pretty confidently a design to destroy the freedom of guess at them; and when the action the Westminster election ; and for appears in itself to be bad, or unjust, the same reason I am apt to suspect, we must presume that the motives that if the whole party, with the were not good, which presumption ferjeant at their head, had joined in E is so strong, that it throws the burden the opposite cry, no report of it of the proof upon the person guilty; wo have been made to the officer for if he cannot fhew ar
prove, upon guard, nor would the omis. that his motives were good, he must fion have ever been termed a neg. stand condemned in the eye of every lect of military duty.
impartial judge. Now the action But, Sir, les this be as it will, it under consideration, that is to say, is evidently an affair that relates to F punishment inflicted upon this serthe freedom of our elections, and as jeant and corporal, is, in my opi. it does, we are in duty bound to nion, either wicked, or at least the inquire into it ; for if soldiers should punishment was too severe, and conbe guilty of any illegal practices at sequently unjust. If this punishment an election, they are to be punished was inflicted, as I have already hintby the civil magistrate and not by ed, with a design to influence the their commanding officer ; and as Weitminster election, by directing many of the staff officers of the G all the officers and soldiers of the Lunds
guards how to vote upon chat occaa
154 PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. April fion, the action was wicked : If For this reason, Sir, I think, we there was no such design, if the pu. cannot avoid making some inquiry nishment was inflicted only with a into this affair; but I agree with the design to make staff and other offi- noble lord who spoke lait, in being cers more exact in their report, and of opinion, that we should not hear more observant of the behaviour of the complaint of any foldier against every soldier under their command, A his officer, without giving the officer it was by much too severe. But says at the same time an opportunity to the noble lord, the men might have justify himself; for tho' no one can had relief by applying to a board suppose, that we should proceed to of general officers : Sir, I have as a censure upon any man's conduct, good an opinion of the officers, before we had given him time for especially the generals of our army, his vindication, yet, I think, we as of any set of men whatever ; but B Should not proceed in any formal. I have some little knowledge of man- manner even to hear the accusation, kind; and as all or most of our without the presence of the person general officers are colonels of regi. accused, because an accusation leaves ments, I must from the nature of a sort of ftigma upon a man's chamankind suppose, that a staff officer racter, which he must labour under could hardly expect relief from them, till he has an opportunity to wipe it upon a complaint against the rigour Coff. I shall therefore conclude with and severity of his colonel, who had moving, that this debate may be ad. exercised no power but what was ex- journed but till Friday next ; and pressly given him by the articles of when you have agreed to that, I war.
fhall move, that these two soldiers Therefore, Sir, if these men and the commanding officer of the have been injured, or too severely regiment, may then be ordered to punished, they can expect no relief D attend ; both which motions will, I but from the jultice of parliament, hope, be agreeed to, as we need be where, I hope, the oppressed thall in no hurry about passing the bill never apply in vain ; and the uncer- now before us, having time enough tainty we may be under as to the for that purpose between this and Lamotives which induced the colonel dy-day next, so that two days delay to reduce these two Itaff.oficers, can be of no manner of consequence can be no reason for our not inqui. E with regard to the passing of the bill; ring into this affair ; for we may ob- but a thorough insight into this af. lige the colonel to declare his mo- fair, is certainly of the greatest im. tives, and to prove the facts upon portance, with regard to the questi. which they were founded ; and be- on, whether we hould agree to the fides, it is in this case highly proba. clause now offered to be added to the ble, that the causes or motives for bill. the punishment were declared, be- F fore the punishment was inflicted; Upon this Julius Florus food up and and we may discover that the true Spoke to this Effect : motive was, as I have suggested, to direct the vote of every man belong
Mr. President, ing to the army, with respect to the
SIR, election then depending, which HE question as to the clause would be a discovery of the utmost
now offered to be added to consequence to the freedom of elec. G this bill, I thought a question of so tions, and to the preservation of our little importance, that I was resolved present happy constitution.
1751. PROCEEDINGS of the POLITICAL CLUB, &c. 155 not to have given you the trouble of which would make them in a short hearing my sentiments upon the oc- time conceive a detestation for parcafion, but the debate has now taken liament, and the officers would ei. a different turn, and a turn which I ther conceive a contempt for it, or think of the utmost importance. by being so often put to trouble and What! would you call officers and expence by such inquiries, they would foldiers to traduce and impeach one A generally desire to get rid of it;: another at your bar ? This, Sir, which would make it easy for some might be of the most dangerous con- ambitious prince or general to put an fequence to the very existence of this end to the very being of parliament. auguit assembly. I hope neither will Therefore, Sir, whatever you ever learn the way to this house. If may do with the clause proposed to they should once learn the way of be added to this bill, I hope, you coming here with their complaints, B will not give yourself the trouble we may expe&t that they will soon to make any inquiry into the comlearn the way of coming here with plaint now laid before you; for there their petitions and remonftrances, as cannot, I think, be the least prethey did about a century ago ; and tence for saying, that it any way rethe consequence at that time I need lates to the freedom of elections, not desire gentlemen to recollect. or to the election now depending
Our business, Sir, is to consider C for Westminster. It relates wholly what number of regular forces may to the duty of a serjeant sent out with be necessary for the defence of the a party upon a command, who cernation, and to grant money for main- tainly ought to be very minute and taining that number ; but we have circumftantial in his report. It is no bufiness with the conduct of the not for him to judge, nor can he army, or with their complaints against know what incidents may be worth one another, which belongs to the D or not worth reporting : He is to king alone, or such as shall be com- leave that to his commanding officer; missioned by him. If we ever give therefore he ought to report every ear to any such complaints, it will incident that happens, even tho' it certainly produce one of these two may to him appear trifling; and as consequences : It will either destroy dangerous mutinies and sedicions all manner of discipline and subordi. have often arose from a very trifling nation in the army, or it will render E circumstance, I must think, it was this house despised by the officers, very impudent in a soldier under and detested by the common soldiers command to join in any popular cry of the army; and either of these he heard in the streets, it was negliconsequences would be fatal to che gent in the serjeant to take no notice nation. If the common soldiers of him, and a much more heinous hould be encouraged to come here neglect of duty to take no rocice with their complaints against their F of this in his report, especially at a officers, and should, upon every oc- time when there was such mobbing casion, find redress, it would soon in the streets, and such a seeming put an end to their having any de- inclination in the populace to be riopendence upon, or regard for their tous. But whether the punishment commanding officers, without which was too severe, is a question which I no discipline can be preserved. On Thall not take upon me to determine, the other hand, if the soldiers should and I must say, that I do not think come here with their complaints, G it a question proper for this house to most of them would be found to be determine : I think it belongs much unjuft, so that they would very sel- more properly to a court martial, or dom find the redress they expected, to a board of general officers, and