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On his arrival in London, which was probably in 1586, when he was 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 call-boy, or prompter's attendant. 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.

The ballad, however, must have made some noise at | sufficient to give celebrity to the founder of a ne Sir Thomas's expense, as the author took care it should stage. It may be added, that his uncommon meri be affixed to his park-gates, and liberally circulated his candor, and good-nature, are supposed to hav among his neighbors. procured him the admiration and acquaintance every person distinguished for such qualities. It not difficult, indeed, to suppose, that Shakespeare wa a man of humor, and a social companion, and proba bly excelled in that species of minor wit not ill adapte to conversation, of which it could have been wishe he had been more sparing in his writings.

How long he acted has not been discovered, but h continued to write till the year 161t. During i dramatic career he acquired a property in the theatre which he must have disposed of when he retired, as no mention of it occurs in his will. His connection

with Ben Jonson has been variously related. It is said, that when Jonson was unknown to the world, he offered a play to the theatre, which was rejected after a very careless perusal, but that Shakespeare having acci

Th' applause, delight, the wonder of our stage! Some distinction he probably first acquired as an actor, although Mr. Rowe has not been able to dis-dentally cast his eye on it, conceived a favorable opinion of it, and afterwards recommended Jonson and his cover any character in which he appeared to more ad

an envious disrespect.

vantage than that of the ghost in Hamlet. The in-writings to the public. For this candor he was repaid structions given to the player in that tragedy, and by Jonson, when the latter became a poet of note, with other passages of his works, show an intimate acquaintance with the skill of acting, and such as is scarcely surpassed in our own days. He appears to have studied nature in acting as much as in writing. Mr. Rowe regrets that he cannot inform us which was the first play he wrote. More skilful research has since found, that Romeo and Juliet, and Richard II and III were printed in 1597, when he was thirty-three years old: there is also some reason to

think that he commenced as a dramatic writer in 1592, and Mr. Malove even places his first play, "First part of Henry VI," in 1589. His plays, however, must have been not only popular, but approved by persons of the higher order, as we are certain that he enjoyed the gracious favor of Queen Elizabeth, who was very

fond of the stage and the particular and affectionate patronage of the Earl of Southampton, to whom he dedicated his poems of "Venus and Adonis," and his "Tarquin and Lucrece." On Sir William Davenant's authority, it has been asserted, that this nobleman at one time gave him a thousand pounds to enable him to complete a purchase. At the conclusion of the advertisement prefixed to Lintot's edition of Shakespeare's poems, it is said, "That most learned prince, and great patron of learning, King James the First, was pleased, with his own hand, to write an amicable letter to Mr. Shakespeare; which letter, though now lost, remained long in the hands of Sir William D'Avenant, as a credible person now living can testify." Dr. Farmer with great probability supposes, that this letter was written by King James, in return for the compliment paid to him in Macbeth. The relater of this anecdote was Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham. These brief notices, meagre as they are, may show that our author enjoyed high favor in his day. Whatever we may think of King James as a "learned prince," his patronage, as well as that of his predecessor, was

But in whatever situation he was first employed at the theatre, he appears to have soon discovered those

talents which afterwards made him

The latter part of Shakespeare's life was spent in case, retirement, and the conversation of his friends. He had accumulated considerable property, which Gildon stated to amount to £300 per annum, a sum at least equal to £1000 in our days; but Mr. Malone doubts whether all his property amounted to much more than in those times, and it is supposed that he might have £200 per annum, which yet was a considerable fortune derived £200 per annum from the theatre while he

continued on the stage.


He retired some years before his death to a house in Stratford, built by Sir Hugh Clopton, a younger brother of an ancient family in that neighborhood. The principal estate had been sold out of the Clopton family for above a century, at the time when Shakespeare became the purchaser; who having repaired and modelled it to his own mind, changed the name to New Place, which the mansion-house, afterwards erected in the room of the poet's house, retained for many The house and lands belonging to it continued in the possession of Shakespeare's descendants to the time of the Restoration, when they were re purchased by the Clopton family. Here, in May, 1742, when Mr. Garrick, Mr. Macklin, and Mr. Delane, visited Stratford, they were hospitably entertained under Shakespeare's mulberry-tree by Sir Hugh Clopton. His executor, about the year 1752, sold New Place to the Rev. Mr. Gastrell, a man of large fortune, who resided in it but a few years, in consequence of a disagreement with the inhabitants of Stratford. As he resided part of the year at Litchfield, he thought he was assessed too highly in the monthly rate towards the maintenance of the poor; but being very properly compelled by the magistrates of Stratford to pay the whole of what was levied on him, on the principle that this house was occupied by his servants in his absence, he peevishly

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declared that that house should never be assessed | Earl of Burlington, Dr. Mead, Mr. Pope, and Mr. again; and soon afterwards pulled it down, sold the Martyn. It was the work of Scheemaker, (who rematerials, and left the town. He had some time before ceived £300 for it,) after a design of Kent, and was cut down Shakespeare's mulberry-tree, to save himself opened in January of that year. The performers of the trouble of showing it to those whose admiration of each of the London theatres gave a benefit to defray our great poet led them to visit the classic ground on the expenses, and the Dean and Chapter of Westminswhich it stood. That Shakespeare planted this tree ter took nothing for the ground. The money received appears to be sufficiently authenticated. Where New by the performers at Drury Lane theatre amounted to Place stood is now a garden. above £200, but the receipts at the Covent Garden did not exceed £100.

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During Shakespeare's abode in this house, his pleasurable wit, and good-nature, engaged him the acquaintance, and entitled him to the friendship, of the gentlemen of the neighborhood. Shakespeare, during his retirement, wrote the play of Twelfth Night. He died on his birthday, Tuesday, April 23, 1616, when he had exactly completed his fifty-second year, and was buried on the north side of the chancel, in the great church at Stratford, where a monument is placed in the wall, on which he is represented under an arch, in a sitting posture, a cushion spread before him, with a pen in his right hand, and his left rested on a scroll of paper.

From these imperfect notices, which are all we have been able to collect from the labors of his biographers and commentators, our readers will perceive that less is known of Shakespeare than of almost any writer who has been considered as an object of laudable curiosity. Nothing could be more highly gratifying than an account of the early studies of this wonderful man, the progress of his pen, his moral and social qualities, his friendships, his failings, and whatever else constitutes personal history.

Unfortunately, we know as little of his writings as of his personal history. The industry of his illustraOn his grave-stone, underneath, are these lines, in tors for the last thirty years has been such, as probaan uncouth mixture of small and capital letters:

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We have no account of the malady which, at no very advanced age, closed the life and labors of this unrivalled and incomparable genius.

The only notice we have of his person is from Aubrey, who says, "he was a handsome well-shaped man;" and adds, "verie good company, and of a verie ready, and pleasant and smooth wit."

His family consisted of two daughters, and a son named Hamnet, who died in 1596, in the twelfth year of his age. Susannah, the eldest daughter, and her father's favorite, was married to Dr. John Hall, died July 11, 1649, aged sixty-six. They left only one child, Elizabeth, born 1607-8, and married April 22, 1626, to Thomas Nashe, Esq., who died in 1647; and afterwards to Sir John Barnard, of Abington, in Northamptonshire; but died without issue by either husband Judith, Shakespeare's youngest daughter, was married to a Mr. Thomas Quiney, and died February, 1661-62, in her seventy-seventh year. By Mr. Quiney she had three sons, Shakespeare, Richard, and Thomas, who all died unmarried.

In the year 1741, a monument was erected to our poet in Westminster Abbey, by the direction of the

bly never was surpassed in the annals of literary investigation; yet so far are we from information of the conclusive or satisfactory kind, that even the order in which his plays were written, rests principally on conjecture, and of some plays usually printed among his works, it is not yet determined whether he wrote the whole, or any part.

With respect to himself, it does not appear that he printed any one of his plays, and only eleven of them were printed in his lifetime. The reason assigned for this is, that he wrote them for a particular theatre, sold them to the managers when only an actor, reserved them in manuscript when himself a manager, and when he disposed of his property in the theatre, they were still preserved in manuscript to prevent their being acted by the rival houses.

Shakespeare died in 1616; and seven years afterwards appeared the first edition of his plays, published at the charges of four booksellers,—a circumstance from which Mr. Malone infers, "that no single publisher was at that time willing to risk his money on a complete collection of our author's plays." This edition was printed from the copies in the hands of his fellow-managers, Heminge and Condell, which had been in a series of years frequently altered through convenience, caprice, or ignorance.

Of his POEMS, it is perhaps necessary that some notice should be taken, although they have never been favorites with the public, and have seldom been reprinted with his plays. Shortly after his death, a very incorrect impression of them was issued, which in every subsequent edition was implicitly followed, until Mr. Malone published a corrected edition in 1780 with illustrations, &c.



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Bots. Heigh, my hearts! cheerly, cheerly, my hearts! yare, vare. Take in the topsail; tend to the master's whistle.-Blow, till thou burst thy wind, if room enough!

ZALO, and Others, from the Cabin."

Alon. Good boatswain, have a care. Where's the master? Play the men.

Boats. I pray now, keep below.

Ant. Where is the master, boatswain?

his hanging: make the rope of his destiny our cable,
for our own doth little advantage. If he be not born
to be hanged, our case is miserable.

Re-enter Boatswain.

Boats. Down with the top-mast: yare; lower, lower Bring her to try with main-course. [A cry within.| A plague upon this howling! they are louder than the weather, or our office.

Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO. Yet again! what do you here? Shall we give o'er, and drown? Have you a mind to sink?

Seb. A pox o' your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!

Boats. Work you, then.

Ant. Hang, cur, hang! you whoreson, insolent noisemaker, we are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.

Gon. I'll warrant him for drowning; though the ship were no stronger than a nutshell, and as leaky as an unstanched wench.

Boats. Lay her a-hold, a-hold. Set her two courses:

Boats. Do you not hear him? You mar our labour. off to sea again; lay her off.
Keep your cabins: you do assist the storm.

Gom. Nay, good, be patient.
Bouts. When the sea is. Hence! What care these
rearers for the name of king? To cabin: silence!
Louble us not.

Enter Mariners, wet.

Mar. All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost! [Ex. Boats. What! must our mouths be cold? [them. Gon. The king and prince at prayers! let us assist For our case is as theirs.

Seb. I am out of patience.

Ant. We are merely' cheated of our lives by drunkards.


The washing of ten tides!

Go. Good; yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
Boats. None that I more love than myself. You
are a counsellor if you can command these elements
Elence, and work the peace of the present, we will This wide-chapp'd rascal,-would, thou might'st lie
not hand a rope more; use your authority: if you
cannot, give thanks you have lived so long, and make
yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the
bour, if it so hap. Cheerly, good hearts !-Out of our
way, I say.
Gon. I have great comfort from this fellow: me-
thinks, he hath no drowning mark upon him; his com-
plexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good fate, to

He'll be hanged yet,
Though every drop of water swear against it,
And gape at wid'st to glut him. [A confused noise
within.] Mercy on us!-

We split, we split-Farewell, my wife and children!—
Farewell, brother!-We split, we split, we split!—

Former editions: the sea with a ship. heard: not in f. e. as on ship-board, etc.: not in f. e. Nimbly. from the cabin: not biela: not in f. e. 1 Absolutely.

Ant. Let's all sink with the king. Seb. Let's take leave of him.

[Exit. That this lives in thy mind? What seest thou else [Exit. In the dark backward and abysm of time?

Gon. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, any thing. The wills above be done! but I would fain die a dry death.

[Exit. SCENE II.—The Island: before the cell of PROSPERO. Enter PROSPERO and MIRANDA.

Mira. If by your art, my dearest father, you have Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.

The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,
But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's heat,'
Dashes the fire out. O! I have suffer'd
With those that I saw suffer a brave vessel,
Who had no doubt some noble creatures2 in her,
Dash'd ali to pieces. O! the cry did knock
Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e'er
It should the good ship so have swallow'd, and
The fraughting souls within her.


Be collected: No more amazement: Tell your piteous heart, There's no harm done.

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'Tis time I should inform thee farther. Lend thy hand, And pluck my magic garment from me.--So:

[Lays down his robe. Lie there my art.-Wipe thou thine eyes; have comfort. The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'd The very virtue of compassion in thee,

I have with such prevision in mine art

So safely order'd, that there is no soul-
No, not so much perdition as an hair,
Betid to any creature in the vessel

Which thou heard'st cry, which thou saw'st sink. Sit down;

For thou must now know farther.

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And rather like a dream, than an assurance That my remembrance warrants. Had I not Four or five women once, that tended me?

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Which is from my remembrance. Please you, farther
Pro. My brother, and thy uncle, call'd Antonio
pray thee, mark me,—that a brother should
Be so perfidious !-he whom, next thyself,
Of all the world I lov'd, and to him put
The manage of my state; as, at that time,
Through all the signiories it was the first,
(And Prospero the prime duke, being so reputed
In dignity) and, for the liberal arts,

Without a parallel: those being all my study,
The government I cast upon my brother,

And to my state grew stranger, being transported
And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle-
Dost thou attend me?

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Pro. Being once perfected how to grant suits, How to deny them, whom t'advance, and whom To trash for over-topping, new created The creatures that were mine, I say, or chang'd them Or else new form'd them; having both the key Of officer and office, set all hearts i' the state To what tune pleas'd his ear; that now he was The ivy, which had hid my princely trunk, And suck'd my verdure out on't. Thou attend'st not Mira. O good sir! I do.


I pray thee, mark me. I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated To closeness, and the bettering of my mind With that, which but by being so retired O'er-priz'd all popular rate, in my false brother Awak'd an evil nature and my trust, Like a good parent, did beget of him A falsehood, in its contrary as great As my trust was; which had, indeed, no limit, A confidence sans bound. He being thus loaded,❞ Not only with what my revenue yielded, But what my power might else exact,-like one, Who having to untruth.10 by telling of it, Made such a sinner of his memory,

To credit his own lie,-he did believe

He was indeed the duke; out o' the substitution,
And executing th' outward face of royalty,
With all prerogative:-hence his ambition
Growing-Dost thou hear?


Your tale, sir, would cure deafness Pro. To have no screen between this part he play'd,

Pro. Thou hadst, and more, Miranda. But how is it, And him he play'd it for, he needs will be

1 cheek in f. e. creature: in f. e. 3 mantle

in f. e.

provision: in f. e.

Not in f. e. ❝ and in f. e. 1 Trouble. A hunt in f. e.

ng term, signifying to beat back. See Othello, II., 1. lorded in f. e. 10 unto truth

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