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THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN.
ALL the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players : They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time play's many parts, His acts 3 being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling - and puking 5 in the nurse's arms. Then, the whining schoolboy, with his satchel, And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then, the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then, a soldier, Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,6 Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation? Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice, 8
Merely, only. · Exits and entrances, their goings out and comings on the stage of life. Referring to one generation of men dying and another being born.
Acts, the different parts of his life. • Mewling, crying like a cat, squalling. • Puking, vomiting.
Pard, a leopard. ? Bubble reputation, the fame which is not worth seeking.
* Justice, a judge, a magistrate, any one who administers justice,
In fair round belly, with good capon lined,
1 With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws 3 and modern instances ; * And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side ; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness, and mere oblivion, Sans 8 teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
· Capon, a young cock.
s Pantaloon, an old tottering man, a great character in Italian comedy, and introduced into our modern pantomimes.
6 Shank, leg.
1. The Castle of Kenilworth was founded in the reign of Henry I., one of the sons of William the Conqueror. In the reign of Henry III. it was used as a prison, and was given by him to Simon de Montfort, who had married his sister. About ten years afterwards, in 1264, Simon headed the barons in their war against King Henry, but was killed at Evesham the next year. His youngest son, also named Simon, escaped, and with other fugitives took shelter in this castle, where they became little better than robbers.
2. The king determined to put an end to their excesses, and marched an army against them. Simon fled and escaped to France, but his companions held out against a six months' siege. At length their provisions failed, a pestilence broke out, and the governor gave up the castle to the king, who bestowed it upon his youngest son, Edmund, Earl of Leicester.
3. Twenty years later, in 1286, a grand meeting of one hundred nobles of high distinction, both English and foreign, and the same number of ladies, was held at Kenilworth. It is said that at this festival silks were for the first time worn in England.
4. During the civil wars between the houses of York and Lancaster the castle was taken by both parties. Many years afterwards, Queen Elizabeth bestowed it upon her favourite, Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and the most memorable incident in the history of Kenilworth Castle is the costly entertainment which Leicester gave the queen there in the year 1575
5. Elizabeth visited him in state, attended by thirty-one barons, besides her ladies of the court, who, with four hundred servants, were all lodged in the castle. The festival continued for seventeen days, at an expense which was estimated at one thousand pounds a day-a very large sum in those times. The waiters upon the court, as well as the gentlemen of the barons, were all clothed in velvet. Ten oxen were slaughtered every morning, and the wine consumed is said to have been sixteen hogsheads a day, and of beer forty hogsheads.
6. The following account of this entertainment is taken from the description of an eye-witness, and presents a curious picture of the habits and manners of the people of England in Elizabeth's reign.
7. After her journey from London, which the queen performed entirely on horseback, she arrived at the castle on Saturday, July 9, 1575. Here she was received by a person dressed in white silk, who recited before her an English poem setting forth the happiness her presence produced wherever she went, and wishing her joy and prosperity all her life long
8. On her entrance into the tilt-yard, a porter, tall of person and stern of countenance, dressed also in silk, having a great club and a large bunch of keys, roughly demanded to know the cause of all this din and noise. As soon as he saw the queen, however, he fell upon his knees as if he had