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speare's illustnous friend ; and its transfers, during | poetic palm. I have already cited Chette: let me the hundred and thirty-seven years, which inter- now cite Jonson, from whose pages much more of posed between the death of Southampton, in 1624, a similar nature might be adduced. “I loved,” he And the time of its emerging from darkness at Gop- says in his Discoveries,' “I loved the man, and do sal, in 1761, are not made the subjects even of a honour his memory, on this side idolatry, as much random guess.
On such evidence, therefore, if as any. He was, indeed, honest, of an open and evidence it can be called, it is impossible for us to free nature ; had an excellent fancy, brave notions receive, with Mr. Boaden, the Gopsal picture as a and gentle expressions,” &c. &c. When Jonson genuine portrait of Shakspeare. We are now as- apostrophizes his deceased friend, he calls him, sured that it was from the Chandos portrait Sir" My gentle Shakspeare," and the title of "the Godfrey Kneller copied the painting which he pre- sweet swan of Avon," so generally given to him, sented to Dryden, a poet inferior only to him whose after the example of Jonson, by his contemporaries, portrait constituted the gift. The beautiful verses, seems to have been given with reference as much with which the poet requited the kind attention of to the suavity of his temper as to the harmony of the painter, are very generally known : but many his verse. In their dedication of his works to the may require to be informed that the present, made Earls of Pembroke and Montgomery, his fellows, on this occasion by the great master of the pen- Heminge and Condell, profess that their great ob cil to the greater master of the pen, is still inject in their publication was "only to keep the existence, preserved no doubt by the respect felt to memory of so worthy a friend and fellow alive as be due to the united names of Kneller, Dryden, was our Shakspeare :" and their preface to the and Shakspeare ; and is now in the collection of public appears evidently to have been dictated by Earl Fitzwilliam at Wentworth Castle. * The ori- their personal and affectionate attachment to cher ginal painting, from which Droeshout drew the copy departed friend. If we wish for any further evifor his engraving, prefixed to the first folio edition dence in the support of the moral character as of our Poet's dramas, has not yet been discovered; Shakspeare, we may find it in the friendship of Southand I feel persuaded that no original painting ever ampton ; we may extract it from the pages of his existed for his imitation; but thai the artist worked immortal works. Dr. Johnson, in his much overin this instance from his own recollection, assisted praised Preface, seems to have taken a view, very probably by the suggestions of the Poet's theatric different from ours, of the morality of our author's friends. We are, indeed, strongly of opinion that scenes. He
says, “His (Shakspeare's) first defect Shakspeare, remarkable, as he seems to have been, is that to which may be imputed most of the evil in for a lowly estimate of himself, and for a carelessness books or in men. He sacrifices virtue to conveof all personal distinction, would not readily submit nience; and is so much more careful to please than his face to be a painter's study, to the loss of hours, to instruct, that he seems to write without any moral which he might more usefully or more pleasurably purpose. From his writings, indeed, a system of assign to reading, to composition, or to conviviality. moral duty may be selected," (indeed !) ** but his If any sketch of his features was made during his precepts and axioms drop casually from him:” life, it was most probably taken by some rapid and (Would the preface-writer have wished the dramaunprofessional pencil, when the Poet was unaware tist to give a connected treatise on ethics like the of it; or, taken by surprise, and exposed by it to offices of Cicero?) " he makes no just distribution no inconvenience, was not disposed to resist it. of good or evil, nor is always careful to show in We are convinced that no authentic portrait of this the virtuous a disapprobation of the wicked: he great man has yet been produced, or is likely to be carries his persons indifferently through right and discovered; and that we must not therefore hope wrong; and at the close dismisses them without to be gratified with any thing which we can contem- further care, and leaves their examples to operate plate with confidence as a faithful representation of by chance. This fault the barbarity of the age canhis countenance. The head of the statue, executed not extenuate ; for it is always a writer's duty to by Scheemaker, and erected, in 1741, to the honour make the world better, and justice is a virtue indeof our poet in Westminster Abbey, was sculptured pendent on time or place." Why this commonplace after a mezzotinto, scraped by Simon nearly twenty on justice should be compelled into the station in years before, and said to be copied from an origi- which we here most strangely find it, I cannot for nal portrait, by Zoust. But as this artist was not my life conjecture. But absurd as it is made by its known by any of his productions in England till association in this place, it may not form an ini the year 1657, no original portrait of Shakspeare proper conclusion to a paragraph which means little, could be drawn by his pencil; and, consequently, and which, intending censure, confers dramatic the marblo chiselled by Schoemaker, under the praise on a dramatic writer. It is evident, however, direction of Lord Burlington, Pope, and Mead, Sihat Dr. Johnson, though he says that a system of cannot lay any claim to an authorized resemblance moral duty may be selected from Shakspeare's to the man, for whom it was wrought. We must writings, wished to inculcate that his scenes were be satisfied, therefore, with knowing, on the au- not of a moral tendency. On this topic, the first thority of Aubrey, that our Poet “was a handsome, and the greater Jonson seems to have entertained well-shaped man;" and our imagination must sup- very different sentimentsply the expansion of his forehead, the sparkle and Hash of his eyes, the sense and good-temper play
“Look, how the father's face ing round his mouth; the intellectuality and the benevolence mantling over his whole countenance. (says this great man) It is well that we are better acquainted with the
Lives in his issue ; even so the race rectitude of his morals, than with the symmetry of
or Shakspeare's mind and manners, brightly shines his features. To the integrity of his heart; the In his well-torned and cruefiled lines " gentleness and benignity of his manners, we have the positive testimony of Chettle and Ben Jonson; We think, indeed, that his scenes are rich in ster the former of whom seems to bave been drawn, by ling morality, and that they must have been the effuour Poet's good and amiable qualities, from the fac- sions of a moral mind. The only criminatior. of his tion of his dramatic enemies; and the latter, in his morals must be drawn from a few of his sonnets; love and admiration of the man, to have lost all nis and from a story first suggested by Anthony Wood, natural jealousy of the successful competitor for the and afterwards told by Oldys on the authority of
Betterton and Pope. From the Sonnets* we can * I derive my knowledge on this topic from Malone; collect nothing more than that their writer was for till I saw the fact asserted in his page, I was not blindly attached to an unprincipled woman, who aware that the picture in question had been preserved preferred a young and beautiful friend of his to him thority also of Malone and of Mr. Boaden, I speak of self. But the story told by Oldys presents somo Sir Godfrey's present to Dryden as of a copy from the Chandos portrait
* See Son 141, 144, 147, 151, 152
thing to us of a more tangible nature ; and as it the Roman poet, into a man, as I would be induced possesses some intrinsic merit as a story, and rests, to think, with the writer “On Shakspeare and his as to its principal facts, on the a athority of Wood, Times," that these familiar and servent addresses who was a native of Oxford and a veracious man, were made to the proud and the lofty Southampton. we shall not hesitate, after the example of most of Neither can I persuade myself, with Malone, that the recent biographers of our Poet, to relate it, and the friend and the mistress are the mere creatures in the very words of Oldys. “If tradition may be of our Poet's imagination, raised for the sport of trusted, Shakspeare often baited at the Crown Inn his muse, and without “a local habitation or a or Tavern in Oxford, on his journey to and from name.” They were, unquestionably, realities : but London. The landlady was a beautiful woman and who they were must for ever remain buried in inof a sprightly wit; and her husband, Mr. John scrutable mystery. That those addressed to his Davenant, (afterwards mayor of that city,) a grave, male friend are not open to the infamous interpre. melancholy man, who, as well as his wife, used tation, aliixed to them by the monthly critic, may much to delight in Shakspeare's pleasant company. be proved, as I persuade myself, to demonstrations Their son, young Will Davenant (afterwards Sir The odious vice to woich we allude, was always in William Davenant) was then a little schoolboy, in England held in merited detestation; and would the town, of about seven or eight years old; and so our Poet consent to be the publisher of his own fond also of Shakspeare that, whenever he heard of shame? to become a sort of outcast from society ? his arrival, he would fly from school to see him. to be made One day, an old townsman, observing the boy running homeward almost out of breath, asked him “ A fixed figure for the hand of time whíther he was posting in that heat and hurry. He
To point his slow, unmoving finger at ?" answered, to see his god-father, Shakspeare. There if the sonnets in question were not actually publishis a good boy, said the other; but have a care that you don'i lake God's name in vain! This story
ed by him, he refrained to guard them from manu. Mr. Pope told me at the Earl of Oxford's table, script distribution; and they soon, as might be exupon occasion of some discourse which arose aboui pecied, found their way to the
whence they Shakspeare's monument, then newly erected in were rapidly circulated, to the honour of his poetry Westminster Abboy."
and not to the discredit of his morals. So pure On these two instances of his frailty, under the was be from the disgusting vice, imputed to him, influence of the tender passion, one of them sup- alludes to it only once (if my recollection be at all
for the first time, in the nineteenth century, that he ported by his own evidence, and one resting on auThority which seems to be not justly questionable, accurate) in all his voluminous works ; and that is depend all the charges which can be brought against where the foul-mouthed Thersites, in Troilus and the strict personal morality of Shakspeare. In these Cressida, * calls Patroclus “Achilles's masculine
whore." days of peculiarly sensitive virtue, he would not
Under all the circumstances of the case, possibly be admitted into the party of the saints: therefore, that these sonnets should be the effusios but, in the age in which he lived, these errors of his of sexual love is incredible, inconceivable, impossue human weakness did not diminish the respect, com- ble; and we must turn away from the injurious manded by the probity of his heart; or the love, suggestion with honest abhorrence and disdain. conciliated by the benignity of his manners; or the
The Will of Shakspeare, giving io his youngest admiration exacted by the triumph of his genius. I daughter, Judith, not more than three hundred blush with indignation when I relate that an offence, pounds, and a piece of plate, which probably was of a much more foul and atrocious nature, has been valuable, as it is called by the testator, “My broad suggested against him by a critic* of the present silver and gilt bowl,"assigns almost the whole of his day, on the pretended testimony of a large number property to his eldest daughter, Susanna Hall, and of his sonnets.
But his own proud character, which her husband; whom he appoints to be his executors, raised him high in the estimation of his contempo- The cause of this evident partiality in the father raries, sufficiently vindicates him from this abomi- appears to be discoverable in the bigher mental acnable imputation. It is admitted that one hundred complishments of the elder daughter; who is reand twenty of these little poems are addressed to aported to have resembled him in her intellectual male, and that in the language of many of them endowments, and to have been eminently distinlove is too strongly and warmly identified with guished by the picty and the Christian benevolence friendship. But in the days of Shakspeare love and which actuated her conduct. Having survived her friendship were almost synonymous terms. In the
estimable husband fourteen years, she died on the Merchant of Venice, † Lorenzo speaking of Antonio 11th of July, 1649; and the inscription on her lomb, to Portia, says,
preserved by Dugdale, commemorates her intelleco
tual superiority, and the intluence of religion upon "But if you knew to whom you show this honour, her heart. This inscription, which we shall tranHow true a gentleman you send relief to;
scribe, hears witness also, as we must observe, to How dear a lorer of my lord, your husband,” &c. the piety of her illustrious father, and Portia, in her reply calls Antonio" the bosom lover Witry above her sex; but that's not all: of her lord.” Drayton, in a letter to his friend, Wise to salvation was good Mistress Hal). Drummond of Hawthornden, tells him that Mr. Jo. Something of Shakspeare was in that; but this seph Davies is in love with him; and Ben Jonson
Wholly of him, with whom she's now in bliss concludes a letter to Dr. Donne by professing him
Then, passenger, hast ne'er a tear self as ever his true lover. Many more instances of the
To weep with her, that wept with all ?
That wepi, yet net herself to cheer same perverted language might be educed from the
Them up with comforts cordial. writings of that gross and indelicate age; and I Her love shall live, her mercy spread, have not a doubt that Shakspeare, without exposing himself to the hazard of suspicion, employed this authorized dialect of his time to give the greater As Shakspeare's last will and testament will be glow to these addresses to his young friend. But printed at the end of this biography, we may refer who was this young friend? The question has fre- our readers to that document for all the minor legaquently been asked; and never once been even cies which it bequeaths; and may pass immediately speciously answered. I would as readily believe, to an account of our great Poet's family, as far as it with the late Mr. G. Chalmers, that this object of can be given from records which are authentic. our author's poetic ardour, was Queen Elizabeth, Judith, his younger daughter, bore to her husband, changed for the particular purpose, like the Iphis of Thomas. Quinev, three sons ; Shakspeare, who
died in his infancy, Richard and Thomas, who deSee Monthly Review for Dec. 1824 : article, Skoro ceased, the first in his 21st year, the last in his 1912, we's Life of Shakspeare.
* Ac iii sc 4
When thou hast ne'er a tear to shed.
* Acty sc. l.
unmarried and before their mother; who, having | Whatever is in any degree associated with the reached her 77th year, expired in February 1661-2 personal history of Shakapirate is wojghts maith other pears either not to have received any oducation, or impart consequence even to a provincial town; and not to have profited by the lessons of her teachers, we are not unconcerned in the past or the present for to a deed, still in existence, she affixes her fortunes of the place, over which hovers the glory mark.
of his name. But the house, in which he passed We have already mentioned the dates of the the last three or four years of his life, and in which birth, marriage, and death of Susanna Hall. She he terminated his mortal labours, is still more enleft only one daughter, Elizabeth, who was baptized gaging to our imaginations, as it is more closely and on the 21st of February, 1607-8, eight years before personally connected with him. Its history, there#r grandfather's decease, and was married on the fore, must not be omitted by us; and if in some read of April, 1626, to Mr. Thomas Nash, a country spects, we should differ in it from the narrative ou gentleman, as it appears, of independent fortune. Malone, we shall not be without reasons sufficient Two years after the death of Mr. Nash, who was to justify the deviations in which we indulge. New buried on the 5th of April, 1647, she married on the Place, ihen, which was not thus first named by 5th of June, 1649, at Billesley in Warwickshire, Sir Shakspeare, was built in the reign of Henry VH., John Barnard, Knight, of Abington, a small village by Sir Hugh Clopton, Kt., the younger son of an in the vicinity of Northampton. She died, and was old family resident near Stratford, who had filled buried at Abington, on the 17th of February, 1669-70; in succession the offices of Sheriff and of Lord and, as she left no issue by either of her husbands, Mayor of London. In 1563 it was sold by one of ner death terminated the lineal descendants of the Clopton family to William Bott; and by him Shakspeare. His collateral kindred have been in- it was again sold in 1570 to William Underhill, (the dulged with a much longer period of duration; the purchaser and the seller being both of the rank of descendants of his sister, Joan, having continued in esquires) from whom it was bought by our Poet in a regular succession of generations even to our 1597. By him it was bequeathed to his daughter, days; whilst none of them, with a single exception, Susanna Hall; from whom it descended to her only have broken from that rank in the community in child, Lady Barnard. In the June of 1643, this which their ancestors, William Hart and Joan Lady, with her first husband Mr. Nash, entertained, Shakspeare united their unostentatious fortunes in for nearly three weeks, at New Place, Henrietta the year 1599. The single exception to which we Maria, the queen of Charles I., when, escorted by allule is that of Charles Hart, believed, for good Prince Rupert and a large body of troops, she was reasons, to be the son of William the eldest son of on her progress to meet her royal consort, and to William and Joan Hart, and, consequently, the proceed with him to Oxford. On the death of Lady grand-nephew of our Poet. At the early age of Barnard without children, New Place was sold, in seventeen, Charles Hart, as lieutenant in Prince 1675,to Sir Edward Walker, Kt., Garter King at Rupert's regiment, fought at the battle of Edgehill : Arms; by whom it was left to his only child, Barbara, and, subsequently betaking himself to the stage, he married to Sir John Clopton, Kt., of Clopton in the became the most renowned tragic actor of his time. parish of Stratford. On his demise, it became the “What Mr. Hart delivers," says Rymer, (I adopt property of a younger son of his, Sir Hugh Clopton, the citation from the page of Malone,)“ every
one kt., (this family of the Cloptons seems to have beer takes upon content: 'their eyes are prepossessed peculiarly prolífic in the breed of knights,) by whom and charmed by his action before aught of the poet's it was repaired and decorated at a very large excan approach their ears ; and to the most wretched pense. Malone affirms that it was pulled down by of characters he gives a lustre and brilliancy, which him, and its place supplied by a more sumptuous dazzles the sight that the deformities in the poetry edifice. If this statement were correct, the crime of cannot be perceived." "Were I a poet,” (says its subsequent destroyer would be greatly extenu another contemporary writer,) "nay a Fletcher or ated; and the hand 'which had wielded the axe a Shakspeare, I would quit my own title to immor. against the hallowed mulberry tree, would be abtality so that one actor might never die. This I solved from the second act, imputed to it, of sacrimay modestly say of bim (nor is it my particular legious violence. But Malone's acccount is, unopinion, but ihe sense of all mankind) that the best questionably, erroneous. In the May of 1742, Sir tragedies on the English stage have received their | Hugh entertained Garrick, Macklin, and Delany lustre from Mr. Hart's performance: that he has under the shade of the Shakspcarian mulberry. On left such an impression behind him, that no less than the demise of Sir Hught in the December of 1751, the interval of an age can make them appear & gain New Place was sold by his son-in-law and executor, with half their majesty from any second hand." This Henry Talbot, the Lord Chancellor Talbot's brother, was a brilliant eruption from the family of Shak- to the Rev. Francis Gastrell, Vicar of Frodsham in speare ; but as it was the first so it appears to have Cheshire ; by whom, on some quarrel with the been the last; and the Harts have ever since, as magistrates on the subject of the parochial assessfar at least as it is known to us, “pursued the noise- ments, it was razed to the ground, and its site abanless tenor of their way,” within the precincts of doned to vacancy. On this completion of his outtheir native town on the banks of the soft-flowing ragesộ against the memory of Shakspeare, which
his unlucky possession of wealth enabled him to * By intelligence, on the accuracy of which I can rely, said, with any of the vitality of genius. For this inforand which has only just reached me, from the birth matjon I am indebted to Mr. Charles Fellows, of No. place of Shakspeare, I learn that the family of the Harts, tingham; who with the characteristic kindness of his after a course of lineal descents during the revolu: most estimable family, sought for the intelligence which tion of two hundred and twenty-six years, is now on the was required by me, and obtained it. verge of extinction; an aged woman, who retains in † Malone gives a different account of some of the single blessedness her maiden name of Hart, being at transfers of New Place. According to him, it passed by this time (Nov. 1825) ils sole surviving representative. sale, on the death of Lady Barnard, to Edward Nashi. For some years she
occupied the house of her ancestors, the cousin.german of thai Lady's first husband; and, in which shakspeare is reported to have first seen the by him, was bequeathed to his daughter Mary, the wife light; and here she obtained a comfortable subsistence of Sir Reginald Foster ; from whom it was bought by by showing the antiquities of the venerated mansion to Sir John Clopon, who gave it by deed to his youngest the numerous strangers who were attracted to it. Being son, Sir Hugh. But the deed, which conveyed New dispossessed of this residenco by the rapaciousness of its Place to Sir Edward Walker, is still in existence; and proprietor, she settled herself in a dwelling nearly oppo has been published by R. B. Wheeler, the historian of site to it. Here she still lives; and continues to exhibit Stratford. some relics, not reputed to be genuine, of the mighty # Sir Hugh Clopton was knighted by George I. He bard, with whom her maternal ancestor was nourished was a barrister ai law; and died in the December 0 in the game womb. She regards herself also as a dra. 1751, at the advanced age of eighty: - Malone. matic poet; and, in support of her pretensions, she pro. g Our days, also, have witnessed a similar profana Juces the rude sketch of a play, uninformed, as it is (tion of the relics of genius; not, indeed, of gerus
commit, Francis Gastrell departed from Stratford, ing epitaph, attributed, certainly not on its interns
When God was pleased, the world unwilling yeh and was sold by the widow of the clerical barbarian.
Elias James to nature paiủ his deit,
And here reposeth; as he lived he died; Having remained during a certain period, as a por
The saying in him stronuly verified, tion of a garden, a house was again erected on it;
Such life, such death: then, the known truth to tell, and, in consequence also of some d spuie about He lived a gedly life and dies as well. the parish as: essments, that house, like iis predeces.
WM. SHAKSPEARE. 80r, was pulled down; and its site was înally abandoned to Nature, for the production of her fruits Among the monuments in Tonge Church, in the and her flowers : and thither may we iniagine the county of Salop, is one raised to the inemory of Sir litte Elves and Fairies frequently to resort, io trace Thomas Stanley, Knt., who is thought by Malons the footsteps of their beloved poet, now obliterated to have died about the year 1600. With the prose from the vision of man; to throw a finer perfume inscription on this toinb, transcribed by Sir W. on the violet; to unfold ihe first rose of the year, Dugdale, are the verses which I am about to copy, and in tinge its check with a richer blush; and, in said by Dugdale to have been made by William their dances beneath the full-orbed moon, to chant Shakspeare, the late famous tragedian. their harmonies, too subtle for the gross ear of mortality, to the fondly cherished memory of their dar- ON THE EAST END OF THE TOMB. ling, THE SWEET SWAN OF Avox.
Ask who lies here, but do not weep: Of the personal history of Willam Shakspeare, He is not dead, he doth but sleep. as far as it can be drawn, even in shadowy exist- This stony register is for his bones : cnce, from the obscurity which invests it, and of His fame is more perpetual than these-stones: whatever stands in immediate connection with it, we And his own goodness with himself being gone, have now exhibited all that we can collect; and we
Shall live when earthly monument is none are not conscious of having omitted a single circum
ON THE WEST END. stance of any moment, or worthy of the attention of our readers. We might, indeed, with old Fuller,
Not monumental stone preserves our fame : speak of our Poet's wit-combats, as Fuller calls
Norsky-aspiring pyramids our name. them, at the Mermaid, with Ben Jonson: but then
The memory of biin fur whom this stands,
Shall outlivé marble and defacer's hands. we have not one anecdote on record of either of
When all to time's consumption shall be given, these intellectual gladiators to produce, for not a Stanley, for whom this stands, shall stand in learen sparkle of our Shakspeare's convivial wit has travelled down to our eyes; and it would be neither instructive nor pleasant to see him represented as a
As the great works of Shakspeare have engaged light skiff, skirmishing with a huge galleon, and the attention of an active and a learned century either evading of pressing attack as prudence sug- since they were edited by Rowe, little that is now gested, or the alertness of his movements embold-on the subject of them can be expected from a pen cned him to attempt. The lover of heraldry may,
of the present day. It is necessary, however, that perhaps, censure us for neglecting to give the blazon we should notice them, lest our readers should be of Shakspeare's arms, for which, as it appears, two compelled to seek in another page than ours for the patents were issued from the herald's office, one in common information which ihey might conceive 1569 or 1570, and one in 1599; and by him, who themselves to be entitled to expect from us. will insist on the transcription of every word which
Fourteen of his plays were published separately, has been imputed on any authority to the pen of in quarto copies, during our Poet's life ; and, seren Shakspeare, we may be blamed for passing over in years after his death, a complete edition of them silence two very indifferent epitaphs, which have was given to the public in folio by his theatric fel. been charged on him. We will now, therefore, give lows, Heminge and Condell. Or those productions the arms which were accorded to him; and we will
, of his, which were circulated by the press while he also, copy the two epitaphs in question. We may
was yet living, and were all surreptitious, our great then, without any further impediment, proceed to
author seems to have been as utterly regardless as the more agreeable portion of our labours,-the he necessarily was of those which appeared when notice of our author's works.
he was mouldering in his grave.* We have already The armorial bearings of the Shakspeare family are, or rather were,-Or, on a bend sable, a tilting
* In his essay on the chronological order of Shak spear of the first, point upwards, headed argent. the title-page of the earliest edition of Hamlet, which he
speare's plays, Malone concludes very properly froin Crest, A falcon displayed, argent, supporting a believed then to be extant, that this edition (published in spear in pule, or.
1604) had been preceded by another of a less correct and In a MS. volume of poems, by William Herrick less perfect character. A copy of the elder edition, in and others, preserved in the Bodleian, is the follow- question, has lately been discovered ; and is, indeed,
far more remote from perfection than its sucessor, which equally hallowed with that of which we have been was collated by Malone. It obviously appears to have speaking, for Nature has not yet produced a second been printed from the rude draught of the drama, as it Shakspeare ; but of genius, which had conversed with was sketched by the Poet from the first suggestions of the immortal Muses, which had once been the delight of his mind. But how this rude and imperfect draught the good and the terror of the bad. I rade to the vio could fall into the hands of its publisher, is a question lation of Pope's charming retreat, on t'w banks of the not easily to be answered. Such, however, is ihe auThames, by a capricious and tasteless is man, who thority to be attached to all the early quartos. They has endeavoured to blot out every memorist of the great were obtained by every indirect mean; and the first inand moral poet from that spot, which his occupation correct Ms., blotted again and again by the pens of is. had made classic, and dear to the heart of his country. norant transcribers, and multiplied by the presg, was In the mutability of all human things, and the inevitable suffered, by the apathy of its illustrious author, to be phistings of property, “From you to me, from me to circulated, without check, among the multitude. Hence l'eter Walter," these lamentable desecrations, which the grossest anomalies of granmar have been considermortify our pride and wound our sensibilities, will of ed, by his far-famed restorers, as belonging to the dianecessity sometimes occur. The site of the Tusculan lect of Shakspeare; and the most egregious infractions of Cicero may become the haunt of bandiui, or be dis- of rhythm, as the tones of his honey.longued muse. The graced with the walls of a monastery. The residences variations of the copy of Hamlet iinmediately before us, of a Shakspeare and a Pope may be devastated and de which was published in 1603, from the perfect drama, Sled by a Parson Gastrell and a Baroness Howe. We as it subsequently issued from the prese, are far too nu. can only righ over the ruin when its deformity strikes merous to be noticed in this place, is indeed this place upon our eyes, and execrate the han its by which it has could properly be assigned to such a purpose. I may, boon savagely accomplished.
however, jusi nuention thai Corambia and Montano are
observed on the extraordinary,—nay wonderful in- view cured and perfect of their limbs; and all the difference of this illustrious man toward the offspring rest absolute in their numbers as he conceived of his fancy; and we make it again the subject of them." But notwithstanding these professions, our remark solely for the purpose of illustrating the and their honest resentment against impostors and cause of those numerous and pernicious errors surreptitious copies, the labours of these sole poswhich deform all the early editions of his plays. sessors of Shakspeare's MSS. did not obtain tho He must have known that many of these, his iniel-credit which they arrogated ; and they are charged lectual children, were walking through the commu- with printing from those very quartos, on which nity in a state of gross disease, with their limbs they had heaped so much well-merited abuse. They spotted, as it were, with the leprosy or the plague. printed, as there cannot be a doubt, from their But he looked on them without one parental feeling, prompter's book, (for by what temptation could they and stretched not out his hand for their relief. They be enticed beyond it?) but then, from the same had broken from the confinement of the players, to book, were transcribed many, perhaps, of the surwhose keeping he had consigned them; and it was reptitious quartos ; and it is not wonderful that their business and not his to reclaim thein. As for transcripts of the same page should be precisely the rest of his intellectual progeny, they wero where alike. These editors, however, of the first folio, he had placed them; and he was uiterly uncon- have incurred the heavy displeasure of some of our cemed about their future fate. How fraught and modern critics, who are zealous on all occasions to glowing with the principle of life must have been depreciate their work. Wherever they differ from their nature to enable them to subsist, and to force the first quartos, which, for the reason that I have themselves into immortality under so many circum- assigned, they must in general very closely resem stances of evil!
ble, Malone is ready to decide against them, and The copies of the plays, published antecedently to defer to the earlier edition. But it is against the to his death, were transcribed either by memory i editor of the second folio, published in 1632, that from their recitation on the stage ; or from the sepa- he points the full storm of his indignation. He rate parts, written out for the study of the particu- charges this luckless wight, whoever he may be, lar actors, and to be pieced together by the skill of with utter ignorance of the language of Shakspeare's the editor ; .or, lastly, if stolen or bribed access time, and of the fabric of Shakspeare's verse and could be obtained to it, from the prompter's book he considers him and Pope as the grand corrupters itself
. From any of these sources of acquisition of Shakspeare's text. Without reflecting that to the copy would necessarily be polluted with very be ignorant of the language of Shakspeare's time flagrant errors;
and from cvery edition, through was, in the case of this hapless editor, to be ignowhich it ran, it would naturally contract more pol- rant of his own, for he who published in 1632 could lution and a deeper stain. Such of the first copies hardly speak with a tongue different from his who as were fortunately transcribed from the prompter's died only sixteen years before, Malone indulges in book, would probably be in a state of greater rela- an elaborate display of the unhappy man's ignotive correctness: but they are all, in different de- tance, and of his presumptuous alterations. He groes, deformed with inaccuracies; and not one of the editor of the second folio) did not know that the ihem can claim the right to be followed as an au- double negative was the customary and authorized thority. What Steevens and Malone call the re- dialect of the age of Queen Elizabeth ; (God help storing of Shakspeare's text, by reducing it to the him, poor man! for if he were forty years old when he reading of these early quartos, is frequently the re- edited Shakspeare, he must have received the first storing of it to error and to nonsense, from which it rudiments of his education in the reign of the maid nad luckily been reclaimed by the felicity of conjec- en queen;) and thus egregiously ignorant (igno tural criticism. One instance immediately occurs rant, by the bye, where Shakspeare himself was to me, to support what I have affirmed; and it may ignorant, for his Twelfth Night,* the clown says, be adduced instead of a score, which might be easi your four negatives make your two afirmatives ly found, of these vaunted restorations.
--why then the worse for my friends and the better
"Nor to her bed no homage do I owe.”
this editor has stupidly printed,
“ Nor to her bed a homage do I owe."
, &c. &c. Again, in.“. As you Like It,” for “ I cannot go no
," this blockhead of an editor has substituted The passage thus stood in one of these old copies I can no further.” In “Much Ado about of authority : but Pope, not able to discover any
Nothing," for meaning in the epithet, brooded, most happily sub
“ There will she hide her stituted®“ broad-eyed" in its stead. As the com
To listen our purpose.” pound was poetic and Shakspearian (for Shakspeare has dull-eyed and fire-eyed,) and was also most pe- this corrupting editor has presumed to relieve the culiarly suited to the place which it was to fill, the halting metre by printing, substitution for a while was permitted to remain; till Steevens, discovering the reading of the old copy,
"There will she bide her
To listen to our purpose.”
In these instances, I feel convinced that the editor is In 1623, the first complete edition of our author's right, and consequently that the critic is the block. dramatic works was published in folio by his com- head who is wrong. In what follows also, I am rades of the theatre, Heminge and Condell; and in decidedly of opinion that the scale inclines in favour this we might expect a text tolerably incorrupt, if of the former of these deadly opposites. The double not perfectly pure. The editors denounced the comparative is common in the plays of Shakspeare, copies which had preceded their edition as "stolen says Malone:true, as I am willing to allow; but and surreptitious copies, mainned and deformed by always, as I am persuaded, in consequence of the the frauds and stealths of injurious impostors, that illiteracy or the carelessness of the first trar. scriber : exposed them; even those are now offered to your for why' should Shakspeare write more ar unalous
English than Spenser, Daniel, Hooker, and acon i the names given in this copy to the Polonius and Rey or why in his plays should he be guilty c burbero naldo of the more perfect editions; and the young lord, Osrick, is called in it only a braggart gentleman.
-If thou couldst