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probably for the theatre. In 1610 it is supposed that he made a final retirement to Stratford. In 1611 he appears as having again made additions to his property of twenty acres of pasture land (lesves as they are often called,) bought of John and William Combe, upon one of whom “ he did merrily fann up some witty and facetious verses," for which John Combe has left him 51. in his will. Mr. Halliwell's volume may be consulted for the traditionary anecdotes relating to them. In March 1612-13 Shakspere bought a house in “ the Blackfriars of Henry Walker, abutting on a street leading down to Puddle Wharf on the east part, right against the King's Majesty's wardrobe." A house near St. Andrew's Church is still pointed out as the tenement, and Mr. Halliwell has given a view of it. (P. 247.) It is supposed to have some reference to his theatrical property in the vicinity. It cost 1401. but 601. remained on mortgage About this time he was engaged in another suit relating to the tithe he rented of the corpo. ration. In the same year the Globe Theatre was destroyed by fire, but it is not known whether Shakspere was then proprietor. In 1614 he was occupied in business relating to proposed inclosures on the common lands at Stratford, opposed by the corporation. The Stratford records contain no further notice of him before his death in 1616; “but the following entry, which occurs in the Chamberlain's accounts for 1614, appears to shew that the religious devotion which characterized his descendants had already exhibited itself.

" Item, for on quart of sack and on Papist. The poet may possibly have bequart of clarrett wine geven to a preacher come piously inclined during his latter at the Newe Place, xx". ;' and the notice days, but I think most direct testimony is of more importance than might be at is against such an opinion, and the first supposed, for it seems to give a de- epitaph on his daughter seems to imply cided negative to the incredible assertion the contrary : of Davies (p. 123), that Shakspere died a

Witty above her sexe,—but that's not all,
Wise to salvation was good Mistriss Hall.
Something of Shakspere was in that-but this

Wholy of Him with whom she's now in blisse." The last notice of Shakspere in London is dated in November 1614, and no account of his engagements in the following year has been discovered. On Feb. 10, 1616, his daughter Judith was married to Thomas Quiney, whose father in 1598 had applied to Shakspere for a loan of money, 301. Their son Shakspere Quiney, baptized in the following November, was probably named after the deceased poet; and there can be no doubt, from the notice in Shakspere's will, that the nuptials were celebrated with his sanction. It has been supposed that the will had special reference to this marriage, having been originally dated “ vicesimo quinto die Januarii, anno regni domini nostri Jacobi nunc regis Angliæ, &c. decimo quarto;" but the 25th of January in the fourteenth year of James fell in 1617, so that we may perhaps conclude this was only a clerical error. The poet is there described as in perfect health and memory, yet in a few short weeks he was no more.

Shakspere died at New Place on April 23rd, 1616, and was buried in the chancel of Stratford church two days afterwards. The poet may have been in good health for all we know in January, but the second signature to the will in March is surely, as Malone observes, the irregular, weak, and tremulous hand of illness : and therefore it would not appear that he was cut off by any sudden or violent disease, as of fever, as Mr. W:

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We understand that Mr. Hunter bas argued against the authority of this and the other Ellesmere Papers; but we are not able to state the grounds

dissent, and indeed, if we were, we have no opportunity of deelaring in the present paper. Mr. Collier surposes Shakspere's theatrical

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.] Halliwell's Life of William Shakspere. probably for the theatre. In 1610 it is supposed that he made a final retirement to Stratford. In 1611 he appears as having again made additions to his property of twenty acres of pasture land (lesves as they are often called,) bought of John and William Combe, upon one of whom “ he did merrily fann up some witty and facetious verses," for which John Combe has left him 51. in his will. Mr. Halliwell's volume may be consulted for the traditionary anecdotes relating to them. In March 1612-13 Shakspere bought a house in “ the Blackfriars of Henry Walker, abutting on a street leading down to Puddle Wharf on the east part, right against the King's Majesty's wardrobe.” A house near St. Andrew's Church is still pointed out as the tenement, and Mr. Halliwell has given a view of it. (P. 247.) It is supposed to have some reference to his theatrical property in the vicinity. It cost 1401. but 601. remained on mortgage. About this time he was engaged in another suit relating to the tithe he rented of the corpo. ration. In the same year the Globe Theatre was destroyed by fire, but it is not known whether Shakspere was then proprietor. In 1614 he was occupied in business relating to proposed inclosures on the common lands at Stratford, opposed by the corporation. The Stratford records contain no further notice of him before his death in 1616; “ but the following entry, which occurs in the Chamberlain's accounts for 1614, appears to shew that the religious devotion which characterized his descendants had already exhibited itself.

"Item, for on quart of sack and on Papist. The poet may possibly have be. quart of clarrett wine geven to a preacher, come piously inclined during his latter at the Newe Place, xx". ;' and the notice days, but I think most direct testimony is of more importance than might be at is against such an opinion, and the first supposed, for it seems to give a de epitaph on his daughter seems to imply cided negative to the incredible assertion the contrary : of Davies (p. 123), that Shakspere died a

Witty above her sexe, but that's not all,
Wise to salvation was good Mistriss Hall.
Something of Shakspere was in that-but this

Wholy of Him with whom she's now in blisse.” The last notice of Shakspere in London is dated in November 1614, and no account of his engagements in the following year has been discovered. On Feb. 10, 1616, his daughter Judith was married to Thomas Quiney, whose father in 1598 had applied to Shakspere for a loan of money, 301. Their son Shakspere Quiney, baptized in the following November, was probably named after the deceased poet; and there can be no doubt, from the notice in Shakspere's will, that the nuptials were celebrated with his sanction. It has been supposed that the will had special reference to this marriage, having been originally dated “ vicesimo quinto die Januarii, anno regni domini nostri Jacobi nunc regis Angliæ, &c. decimo quarto ;" but the 25th of January in the fourteenth year of James fell in 1617, so that we may perhaps conclude this was only a clerical error. The poet is there described as in perfect health and memory, yet in a few short weeks he was no more.

Shakspere died at New Place on April 23rd, 1616, and was buried in the chancel of Stratford church two days afterwards. The poet may have been in good health for all we know in January, but the second signature to the will in March is surely, as Malone observes, the irregular, weak, and tremulous hand of illness : and therefore it would not appear that he was cut off by any sudden or violent disease, as of fever, as Mr. Ward affirms. As for festive meetings and bad drainage, we repudiate them altogether ; besides, the fevers occasioned by wine in circulation or by water in stagnation, are of two very different kinds. Which, then, was the cause of the fatal issue—the mulld sack, or the putrid sewer? Which the result the continued or the typhus fever ? It is quite as likely that, in a life of constant exertion of mind and waste of body, he had burnt the candle to the socket, and retired to Stratford when Nature had given him timely warning to retreat.

Mr. Halliwell closes his biography by saying, “ The character of Shakspere is even better substantiated than his history. We have direct and undeniable proofs that he was provident and active in the business of life, judicious and honest, possessing great conversational talent, univer. sally esteemed as gentle and amiable, yet more desirous of accumulating property than increasing his reputation, and occasionally indulging in courses - irregular and wild,' but not incompatible with this generic summary.” And he had previously said (p. 194), “I venture to hazard a remark that may hereafter be discussed, that Shakspere's energies required in some measure the impulse of necessity to develope them in the full extent, and that, after his fortune was made, acting and writing became secondary objects."

Dr. Farmer, in his Essay on the Learning of Shakspere, has said, “ Every writer on Shakspere hath expressed his astonishment that this author was not solicitous to secure his family a correct edition of his performances ;” and he there states the reasons to be that he sold his works to the company, whose property they became, and it was their interest to keep them safe in manuscript from their rivals. Mr. Capell thinks that he really had formed such a design, but towards his latter days, and when it was too late to put it into execution. But Malone, agreeing with Farmer, says,—“ We have an indisputable proof of a fact which has been doubted, and can now pronounce with certainty that our poet was entirely careless of literary fame, and would patiently endure to be made answerable for compositions which were not his own, without using any means to undeceive the public.” Whether Shakspere looked on his great productions with indifference, or whether he treated them with neglect, we have no means of knowing : Farmer's argument is good to a certain extent, -that after his plays were written they were no longer his own property, and were jealously secured by the purchasers ; yet such was the respect and admiration of him, and such the natural regard for their own interest, that they would gladly have received from his hands any alterations and improvements he had chosen to make : so that we may reasonably conclude that when Shakspere left the theatre he dismissed any further thoughts about those works on which he had spent the best and longest portion of his life, and by which he had established at once his fortune and his fame. Yet we must confess that in our apprehension there is some singularity in the matter not removed by the common explanation and apologies. It is barely possible that after his retirement, according to Capell's opinion, he had not time nor leisure to revise and amend them ; it is also possible that he had no longer the desire; for, granting that he had not the liberty of collecting and printing them, he could have kept in his own possession, or bestowed on his old friends the players, corrected copies of all his productions Could it be, we ask with all possible diffidence, and willingness to be corrected if we are thought wrong, or considered to be uttering one unkind or unjust thought regarding him whose genius is as much our pride and delight as it is that of the world's ; we then ask whether under the increasing seriousness which naturally arises in the mind as the shadows of declining life approach, and when the mimic representations and transitory splendours of the theatre bad gradually faded away before the realities of a new sphere of action before the solid occupations, the tranquil thoughts, and social obligations of his new existence he may not have reflected with few feelings of approbation or content on subjects that had formed the whole prolonged and perpetual occupation of his thoughts, and yet could afford little consolation to the anxieties and little satisfaction to the thoughtfulness of advancing age?

When he looked back on the gigantic efforts of his mighty genius, he may perhaps have felt that, in the exercise of his great and noble art, he had no higher principle in view than to awaken, if so he could, the strongest sympathies, to appeal to the most seductive passions, and to pour a voice of power into the remotest recesses of the agitated mind; and that, after the toil by which his conquest was acquired, nothing remained which he could contemplate with delight, save only the grandeur of its aim and the success of its achievement. The richest gifts of nature and the highest manifestations of genius were lavished on too elaborate displays of elegance and too fascinating forms of poetic description ; in painting the wild desires, the guilty passions, the idle sensations, and fantastic humour, the folly and the vice of the human heart, for the mere amusement of the low, the frivolous, the sensual, and the profane. * Amid the altered engagements and the substantial occupations of real life, he may have recollected his former course as a kind of empty and painted mockery of existence ; when, amidst the influence of interested motives, all his great powers of intellect were employed in forming imaginary creations and contemplating transitory delights ; sometimes in throwing a false and delusive splendour over the varied path of life, and sometimes covering with dark and tempestuous shadows the moral landscape of mankind. Had he looked back to the great tragic drama of an elder country, he could have seen on what a deeper foundation of reason, piety, and truth, its purposes were laid, its subjects formed, and its energies confined—where amidst the gloomiest prospects, the darkest calamities, and even the undeseryed miseries of life, the innocent and the suffering acknowledged the inevitable powers of destiny and the inexorable justice of heaven-where every thought was filled and every mind inspired with a reverential awe of the supreme power of divine government; acknowledging human weakness in the inferior nature of its creation to Him in whose awful sight no guilt was pardoned, no error palliated, no virtue was strong enough to redeem, no patience meek enough to restore. Such was the serious aim and purpose of that wonderful and unequalled drama, which the great philosopher of the ancient world pronounced to be the highest achievement of human genius, the best corrector of human passions, and the truest teacher and purifier of the human heart. If this is not so on the modern stage; if it has too often been contented with the lower aim of transient gratification, forgetting its great purposes, and loftier designs,

- Then when this blot shall be observed
Upon the last leaf of her chronicle,
It shall unsettle quite the reader's faith

To all her former glory. * Pope says “That Shakspere, having no other aim in his writings than to procure a subsistence, directed bis endeavours solely to suit the humour and taste that then prevailed, and that his audience was composed of the meaner sort of the people," &c, - Rev.

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