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That did not better for my life provide,

Than public means, which public manners breeds.
Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
And almost thence my nature is subdued
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand.
Pity me then, and wish I were renew'd;
Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
Potions of eysellk, 'gainst my strong infection;
No bitterness that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance to correct correction.


799. Shakspeare's contemplation on the shortness of


That time of year thou may'st in me behold,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang,
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day

As after sun-set fadeth in the west;

Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie;
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.


Shakspeare's apostrophe to his soul.

Poor SOUL, the centre of my sinful earth'
Fool'd by those rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within, and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?


any reflection on Divine Providence. The expressions made use of are merely poetical: Fortune, in the language of poetry, is an imaginary being, supposed to distribute the lots of life according to her own humour.

* Vinegar.

1 "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."-Phil. iii. 21.

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Why so large cost, having so short a leasem,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy BODY's end?
Then, Soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms Divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed", without be rich no more:
So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men°:
And, death once dead, there's no more dying then.


801. Shakspeare's faith and hope in Christ alone.

"In the name of God, amen. I, William Shakspeare, at Stratford-upon-Avon, in the county of Warwick, gent.; in perfect health and memory, God be praised! do make and ordain this, my last will and testament, in manner and form following; that is to say,

"First, I commend my soul into the hands of God, my creator, hoping, and assuredly believing, through the only merits of Jesus Christ, my Saviour, to be made partaker of life everlasting; and my body to the earth whereof it is made."

From his Will P.

"The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."-Ps. xc. 10.

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Feeding upon Christ by faith.

"Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection."-Luke xx. 36. "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory ?"-1 Cor. xv. 55. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."-Rev. xxi. 4.

P The original will is preserved in the Prerogative Office at Doctors' Commons, with which the above preamble precisely agrees. This is the more necessary to notice, as there has long been shown at a house in Stratford-upon-Avon, along with alleged Shakspeare relics, a large written paper in a gilt frame, professing to be a faithful copy of the real will. In this paper the preamble is drawn up in the Roman Catholic form, and the whole fabrication is expressed so as to induce the belief that Shakspeare died a Papist.


Shakspeare a Protestant.

[Shakspeare having been claimed as a Papist, a selection from the evidence to the contrary furnished by himself is here given. It can scarcely be supposed that a Papist would have dared to put into the mouths of his Dramatis Personæ expressions so anti-Popish.]

The supremacy.

Thou canst not, Cardinal, devise a name
So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous,
To charge me to an answer, as the Pope.
As we under Goda are supreme head,
So under Him, that great Supremacy,
Where we do reign, we will alone uphold,
Without the assistance of a mortal hand:
So tell the Pope; all reverence set apart,
To him and his usurp'd authority.
Tell him this,-That no Italian priest
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions.


16-iii. 1.

16-iii. 1.

Though you, and all the kings of Christendom,
Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
Dreading the curse that money may buy out;
And, by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,
Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,

Who, in that sale, sells pardon from himself;
Though you, and all the rest, so grossly led,
This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish;
Yet I, alone, alone do me oppose

Against the Pope, and count his friends

my foesr.

16-iii. 1.

The invariable reading has been "heaven;" but "God" is supposed by Collier to have been the word employed before the statute of James I. against the use of the name of the Creator on the stage.

This repudiation of the papal authority is followed by the Pope's legate excommunicating King John in the following terms:

Then by the lawful power that I have,

Thou shalt stand curs'd and excommunicate:
And blessed shall he be, that doth revolt
From his allegiance to an heretic;

And meritorious shall that hand be call'd,

Canoniz'd, and worship'd as a saint,

That takes away by any secret course

Thy hateful life.

The original of this denunciation was a principal cause of


Play fast and loose with faith? so jest with Heaven.

16-iii. 1.

Oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafer-cakes.

20-ii. 3.

Cardinal Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester.
Fye, uncle Beaufort! I have heard you preach,
That malice was a great and grievous sin:
And will not you maintain the thing you teach,
But prove a chief offender in the same?

21-iii. 1.

Name not religion, for thou lov'st the flesh;
And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st,
Except it be to pray against thy foes.

21-i. 1.

This cardinal is more haughty than the devil.

21-i. 3.

Now, by God's mother, priest, I'll shave your crown for this.

22-ii. 1.

21-i. 3.

Under my feet I stamp thy cardinal's hat;
In spite of pope, or dignities of church.
Stand back,

Thou, that giv'st whores indulgences to sin:
I'll canvas thee in thy broad cardinal's hat,
If thou proceed in this thy insolence.

21-i. 3.

Presumptuous priest! this place commands my patience,

Or thou should'st find thou hast dishonour'd me.
Think not, although in writing I preferr'd
The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes,
That therefore I have forg'd, or am not able
Verbatim to rehearse the method of my pen:
No, prelate; such is thy audacious wickedness,
Thy lewd, pestiferous, and dissentious pranks,
As very infants prattle of thy pride.
Thou art a most pernicious usurer;
Froward by nature, enemy to peace;
Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems

the establishment of Magna Charta; for the English barons, fearful that King John would be intimidated by the papal threat, forced him to sign the great charter, the first words of which are,-"The Church of England shall be free, and shall have her whole rights and liberties inviolable."

A man of thy profession and degree;

And for thy treachery, What's more manifest?

21-iii. 1.

York, and impious Beaufort, that false priest,
Have all lim'd bushes to betray thy wings,
And, fly thou how thou canst, they 'll tangle thee.

Cardinal Beaufort is at point of death,
Blaspheming God, and cursing men on earth,
And whispers to his pillow

The secrets of his overcharged soul.

22-ii. 4.

22-iii. 2.

Lord Cardinal, if thou think'st on heaven's bliss,
Hold up thy hand, make signal of thy hope.--
He dies, and makes no sign; O God, forgive him!

22-iii. 3.

Cardinal Wolsey.

I love him not, nor fear him; so I leave him
To him that made him proud, the Pope.
These Cardinals trifle with me: I abhor
This dilatory sloth, and tricks of Rome.

25-ii. 2.

25-ii. 4.

Is this your christian counsel? out upon ye!
Holy men I thought ye;

But Cardinal sins, and hollow hearts, I fear ye.

I'll startle you

25-iii. 1.

Worse than the sacring bell, when the brown wench
Lay kissing in your arms, Lord Cardinal. 25-iii. 2.
What, talking with a priest, lord chamberlain?
Your honour hath no shrivings work in hand.

24-iii. 2.

I know thou art religious,

And hast a thing within thee, called conscience;
And twenty popish tricks and ceremonies,
Which I have seen thee careful to observe,-
Therefore I urge thy oath;-For that, I know,
An idiot holds his bauble for a god,

And keeps the oath, which by that god he swears;
To that I'll urge him:-Therefore, thou shalt vow
By that same god, what god soe'er it be,
That thou ador'st and hast in reverence.

• The making confession to a priest.

32-v. 1.

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