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that what Spenfer there fays, if it relate at all to Shakespeare, muft hint at fome occafional Recefs he made for a time upon a Difguft taken or the Willy, there mention'd, muft relate to fome other favourite Poet. I believe, we may fafely determine that he had not quitted in the Year 1610. For in his Tempeft, our Author makes mention of the Bermuda Ilands, which were unknown to the English, till, in 1609, Sir John Summers made a Voyage to North-America, and difcover'd them and afterwards invited fome of his Countrymen to fettle a Plantation there. That he became the private Gentleman at leaft three Years before his Deceafe, is pretty obvious from another Circumftance: I mean, from that remarkable and well-known Story, which Mr. Rowe has given us of our Author's Intimacy with Mr. John Combe, an old Gentleman noted thereabouts for his Wealth and Ufury and upon whom Shakespeare made the following facetious Epitaph.

Ten in the hundred lies here in-grav'd,
'Tis a hundred to ten his Soul is not fav'd;
If any Man ask who lies in this Tomb,
Ob! ob 2
the Devil, 'tis my John-a-


This farcaftical Piece of Wit was, at the Gentleman's own Requeft, thrown out extemporally in his Company. And this Mr. John Combe I take to be the fame, who, by Dug


dale in his Antiquities of Warwickshire, is faid to have dy'd in the Year 1614, and for whom at the upper End of the Quire, of the Guild of the Holy Cross at Stratford, a fair Monument is erected, having a Statue thereon cut in Alabafter, and in a Gown with this Epitaph." Here lyeth enterr'd the Body "of John Combe Efq; who dy'd the 10th of "July, 1614, who bequeathed several An"nual Charities to the Parish of Stratford,


and 100l. to be lent to fifteen poor Tradelmen from three years to three years, changing the Parties every third Year, at the "Rate of fifty Shillings per Annum, the In"creafe to be diftributed to the Almes-poor "there."The Donation has all the Air of a rich and fagacious Ufurer.

Shakespeare himself did not furvive Mr. Combe long, for he dy'd in the Year 1616, the 53d of his Age. He lies buried on the North Side of the Chancel in the great Church at Stratford; where a Monument, decent enough for the Time, is erected to him, and plac'd against the Wall. He is reprefented under an Arch in a fitting Pofture, a Cufhion fpread before him, with a Pen in his Right Hand, and his Left refted on a Scrowl of Paper. The Latin Diftich, which is placed under the Cushion, has been given us by Mr. Pope, or his Graver, in this Manper.

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INGENIO Pylium, Genio Socratem, Arte Maronem,

Terra tegit, Populus meret, Olympus habet.

I confefs, I don't conceive the Difference beGeneve twixt Ingenio and Genio in the first Verle, They feem to me intirely fynonomous Terms; nor was the Pylian Sage Neftor celebrated for his Ingenuity, but for an Experience and Judg ment owing to his long Age. Dugdale, in his Antiquities of Warwickfire, has copied this Diftich with a Diftinction which Mr. Rowe has follow'd, and which certainly restores us the true meaning of the Epitaph.

JUDICIO Pylium, Genio Socratem, &c.

In 1614, the greater part of the Town of Stratford was confumed by Fire; but our Shakespeare's Houfe, among fome others, efcap'd the Flames. This Houfe was firft built by Sir Hugh Clopton, a younger Brother of an ancient Family in that Neighbourhood, who took their Name from the Manor of Clopton. Sir Hugh was Sheriff of London in the Reign of Richard III, and Lord Mayor in the Reign of King Henry VII. To this Gentleman the Town of Stratford is indebted for the fine Stone-bridge, confifting of fourteen Arches, which at an extraordinary Expence he built over the Avon, together with a Caufe-way running at the Weft-end thereof;


as alfo for rebuilding the Chapel adjoining to his House, and the Crofs-Ifle in the Church there. It is remarkable of him, that, tho' he liv'd and dy'd a Batchelor, among the other extenfive Charities which he left both to the City of London and Town of Stratford, he bequeath'd confiderable Legacies for the Marriage of poor Maidens of good Name and Fame both in London and at Stratford. Notwithstanding which large Donations in his Life, and Bequests at his Death, as he had purchased the Manor of Clopton, and all the Eftate of the Family, fo he left the fame again to his Elder Brother's Son with a very great Addition: (a Proof, how well Benefi cence and Oeconomy may walk hand in hand in wife Families:) Good part of which Eftate is yet in the Poffeffion of Edward Clopton, Efq, and Sir Hugh Clopton, Knt. lineally defcended from the Elder Brother of the firft Sir Hugh: Who particularly bequeathed to his Nephew, by his Will, his Houfe, by the Name of his Great-boufe in Stratford.

The Eftate had now been fold out of the Clopton Family for above a Century, at the Time when Shakespeare became the Purchafer: who, having repair'd and modell'd it to his own Mind, chang'd the Name to New-place 3 which the Manfion-houfe, fince erected upon the fame Spot, at this day retains. The Houfe and Lands, which attended it, continued in Shakespeare's Defcendants to the Time

a 4

Time of the Reftoration: when they were repurchased by the Clopton Family, and the Manfion now belongs to Sir Hugh Clopton, Knt. To the Favour of this worthy Gentleman I owe the Knowledge of one Particular, in Honour of our Poet's once Dwelling-house, of which, I prefume, Mr. Row E never was appriz'd. When the Civil War raged in England, and K. Charles the Firft's Queen was driven by the Neceffity of Affairs to make a Recefs in Warwickshire, She kept her Court for three Weeks in New-place. We may rea fonably suppose it then the beft private House in the Town; and her Majefty preferr'd it to the College, which was in the Poffeffion of the Combe-Family, who did not fo ftrongly favour the King's Party.

How much our Author employ'd himself in Poetry, after his Retirement from the Stage, does not fo evidently appear: Very few pofthumous Sketches of his Pen have been recover'd to ascertain that Point. We have been told, indeed, in Print, but not till very lately, That two large Chefts full of this Great Man's loofe Papers and Manufcripts, in the Hands of an ignorant Baker of Warwick, (who married one of the Defcendants from our Shakespeare) were carelefly scatter'd and thrown about, as Garret-Lumber, and Litter, to the particular Knowledge of the late Sir William Bishop, till they were all confumed in the general Fire and Deftruction of that


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